Unformatted text preview: AyC10 Fall 2007: Midterm 2 Review Sheet Nicholas McConnell This compilation of questions does not comprehensively cover the course material since
Midterm 1, nor does it necessarily cover all the main ideas. But most of the questions
here touch on key ideas that we hope you have learned. These may be a useful starting
point to see how comfortable you are with many of the primary concepts introduced in
this part of the course. Hopefully they will provoke you to ask more in-depth questions,
and investigate the details as you study for the exam.
Why is Pluto no longer a planet, according to the International Astronomical Union’s
Where do comets originate?
What is the difference between a comet, an asteroid, and a meteoroid?
Describe what would happen if a 10-km object collided with Earth. How often does this
Describe the Doppler (radial velocity) method of finding extra-solar planets. What
properties of the planet does it allow us to determine? What are its limitations?
Describe the transit method of finding extra-solar planets. What properties of the planet
does it allow us to determine? What are its limitations?
What part of the Sun do we see in the daytime sky? How does its temperature relate to
the temperature at the Sun’s center?
How does the Sun’s magnetic field influence sunspots?
What other features of the Sun and its activity vary cyclically?
Describe how parallax works. What does this effect depend on? Can we use it to
determine the distance to all stars?
What is the difference between brightness and luminosity? How do we calculate a star’s
intrinsic energy output? CS 160-168
What does it mean for a star to be on the Main Sequence?
Consider two stars of spectral type K. One is a red giant, and one is a main sequence red
dwarf. How are these stars similar? How are they different? Is the red giant necessarily
much more massive than the red dwarf?
Do stars form by themselves, or in groups?
How can we tell the difference between an old star cluster and a young cluster? Which
one will have more high-mass stars?
Refer to the Supernovae worksheet for more material on this range of course slides.
What is the final stage of an evolved low-mass (less than 8 solar masses) star? What are
its properties? How does it keep stable from collapse?
What is left behind after a Type II supernova? How was this kind of object discovered?
How does the first generation of stars ever formed differ from later generations? What
does this have to do with us and our planet?
How does light interact with massive objects?
Suppose you go near, but not across the event horizon of a black hole. What happens to
you, relative to someone watching you from far away?
What if you cross the event horizon?
What effects do black holes have on other astronomical objects, in real life? ...
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- Fall '10
- Black Holes, extra-solar planets