Earth & Astronomical Science

Part one

Chapter 23 – Light, Astronomical Observations and The Sun

1) Review Question (2 pt.)

What is the electromagnetic spectrum? What wavelength has the highest energy?

2) Review Question (2 pt.)

What can be learned about a star (or other celestial objects) from a dark-line/absorption spectrum?

3) Review Question (2 pt.)

Describe how astronomers determine whether a star is moving toward or away from Earth.

4) Review Question (2 pt.)

Why do astronomers seek to design telescopes with larger and larger mirrors? Why does the size of the mirror matter?

5) Website Learning (2 pts)

Check out the following website:

Read through the information on the various wavelengths of the EM spectrum. Pick the ones that interest you the most! In 3-4 sentences describe two of the wavelengths and tell me what you learned, in your OWN words.

6) Review Question (5 pt.)

Describe the Sun in as much detail as you can…what does it look like, what features does it have, etc. Your description should be about 1-2 paragraphs and don’t use sources other than your textbook and lecture notes, summarizing what you have learned (in other words don’t got do an internet search, just show me what you have learned!).

7) Review Question (2 pt.)

Explain how a sunspot can be very hot and yet appear dark. Use your thinking caps!

8) Review Question (1 pt.)

What “fuel” does the Sun consume?

9) Lecture Review Question (1 pt)

What is the most inefficient method of heat transfer within the interior of the sun? Hint: Think about what the sun is made of….GAS! So what method of heat transfer is least efficient in a gas?

10) Astronomy & Earth Science: Bringing it together (6 pts, 2pts each)

Time to brainstorm a bit here, and bring in what you have learned so far in this class. Explain in detail (use your thinking caps!) a few ways that the sun is an important aspect of the following:

a) The Geosphere

b) The formation of the Solar System

c) The Biosphere

Part Two

Question 1

  1. The outermost layer of the Sun is called the __

Question 2

  1. During periods of high solar activity, huge cloudlike structures that appear as great arches extending from the Sun are often produced. These solar features are called_________.

the solar wind
Question 3

  1. True or False: For an optical telescope, the size of the primary mirror does not matter. The same number of photons will be collected whether the telescope has a small or large primary mirror.



Question 4

  1. The main two methods of heat/energy transfer within the Sun are and _.

convection and radiation
conduction and radiation
convection and conduction
convection and ionizing
Question 5

  1. The CCD (charged-coupled device) is a(n):

array of electrodes used on spacecraft to detect charged particles such as electrons and protons
detector in which a small electric current is controlled by a bimetallic strip that expands and contracts in response to infrared radiation
array of small light-sensitive cells that can be used in place of photographic film to obtain a picture
electronic filter to single out one wavelength or set of wavelengths for studying astronomical objects
Question 6

  1. Which of the following statements is TRUE?

Visible light is not part of the electromagnetic spectrum
Visible light takes up only a very small part of the total range of wavelengths in the electromagnetic spectrum
Visible light takes up most (but not all) of the total range of wavelengths in the electromagnetic spectrum
Visible light takes up all of the electromagnetic spectrum
Question 7

  1. How come we can see a ‘surface’ of the sun if it is really just a ball of gas? Why don’t we see right through the Sun?

The gas particles are too big, they have large diameters
The gas particles are heavy
The gas particles are packed very dense in the Sun
The gas particles put on their cloaking devices.
Question 8

  1. Where on the Sun do sunspots occur?

the photosphere
the corona
the core
the chromosphere
Question 9

  1. Light can be described as a stream of fast-moving “bundles of energy” called _, which travel as waves.

Question 10

  1. You can get a sunburn from being out in the Sun too long. Sunburns are caused by which type of heat/energy transfer from the Sun to your Skin?

Sunburn Waves
Conduction Waves
Radiation Waves
Convection Waves
Question 11

  1. True or False: All light waves travel at the same speed



Question 12

  1. Sunspots appear dark because they are cooler than the surrounding solar surface.



Question 13

  1. The layer of the Sun that radiates most of the light that reaches Earth is called the___________.

Question 14

  1. The main optical element in a refracting telescope is a __.

combination of many small plane mirrors
prism of glass
Question 15

  1. Which of the following colors has the longest wavelength?

Question 16

  1. To determine whether a celestial body is approaching or receding from Earth, astronomers employ __.

Telescopic imaging
the Doppler principle
Einstein’s equation
Kepler’s first law
the Stefan-Boltzmann law
Question 17

  1. This Sun is composed almost entirely of two gases. They are Blank 1 and Blank 2.

Question 18

  1. The light-gathering power of a telescope is related directly to the _.

focal length of the mirror or lens
area of the mirror or lens
image quality of its optics
length of the telescope tube
Question 19

  1. Which of the following is NOT considered a form of electromagentic radiation?

radio waves
gamma rays
visible light
Question 20

  1. The Sun’s surface has a grainy texture produced by numerous bright markings called__________.

Question 21

  1. The Sun’s source of energy at the present time is thought to be

gravitational contraction.
thermonuclear fission (splitting) of heavy elements into hydrogen.
chemical burning of hydrogen gas with oxygen.
thermonuclear fusion (combining) of hydrogen atoms.
Question 22

  1. In the case of light, when a source is moving away, its light appears redder than it actually is.



Question 23

  1. What name is given to the visible “surface” of the Sun?

Question 24

  1. Which of the following is FALSE regarding our Sun

The Sun is normal, main sequence star
The Sun is the closest Star to Earth
The Sun used fusion to fuel itself
The Sun is smaller in diameter than Jupiter, the largest planet in our Solar System
Question 25

  1. The Hubble Space Telescope (HST) is an optical telescope



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