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Which of the following statements about comets and asteroids is true?
Comets are balls of ice and dust.
What do asteroids and comets have in common?
Most are unchanced since their formation in the solar nebula.
how do asteroids differ from comets?
Asteroids are rocky bodies and are denser than the comets which are made of icy material.
a rocky leftover planetesimal orbiting the sun is
an icy leftover planetesimal orbiting the sun is
Why do asteroids and comets differ in composition?
Asteroids formed inside the frost line, while comets formed outside that line
What is the size of the largest asteroid?
Which is closest to the average distance between asteroids in the asteroid belt?
Where are the Trojan asteroids located?
along Jupiter’s orbit, 60∘ ahead of and behind Jupiter
Why aren’t small asteroids spherical in shape?
The strength of gravity on small asteroids is less than the strength of the rock.
A natural object originating in outer space that survives impact with the Earth’s surface
a typical shooting star in a meteor shower is caused by a _____ entering earth’s atmosphere
pea size particle from a comet
11) What characteristic distinguishes a meteorite from a terrestrial rock?
E) All of the above are true.
primitive meteorites can be distinguished from other meteorites and terrestrial rocks because they
contain a noticable fraction of pure metallic flakes
Processed Meteorites with high metal content probably are
chunks of a larger asteroid that was shattered by a collision
All of the above, cores of asteroids, Moon, Mars, crust and mantle of asteroids
What part of a comet points most directly away from the Sun
Why does the plasma tail of a comet always point away from the Sun?
The solar wind blows the ions directly away from the Sun
What happened to the “Impactor” of the Deep Impact mission?
It created a small crater on the comet.
Where did the comets that are now in the Kuiper belt originally form?
Near the radius at which they orbit today
Comets with extremely elliptical orbits, like Hyakutake and Hale-Bopp
What is the typical size of comets that enter the inner solar system?
12) According to the nebular theory, how did the Kuiper belt form?
B) It is made of planetesimals that formed beyond Neptune’s orbit and never accreted to form a planet.
13) According to the nebular theory, how did the Oort cloud form?
D) It is made of planetesimals formed in the outer solar system that were flung into distant orbits by encounters
with the jovian planets.
When was Pluto discovered?
Rather than being a planet, Pluto is really just a large member of
What is furthest from the Sun?
a comet in the Oort cloud
why won’t pluto collide with neptune?
the two planets have an orbital resonance that prevents them from colliding
How many moons is Pluto known to have?
How was Pluto’s surface mapped?
By measuring the change in brightness as Charon eclipsed Pluto.
which of the following does NOT lend support to the idea that pluto is a kupier belt object
pluto is smaller than many known comets, such as halley’s comet
What is the name of the largest Kuiper belt object?
Why was the Shoemaker-Levy 9 impact so important to astronomers?
It dredged up material that gave us our first direct look at Jupiter’s interior composition
On average, how often do impactors about 10 km in size, large enough to produce mass extinction, hit Earth?
once every hundred million years
A spacecraft traveling through the asteroid belt has a high risk of being destroyed through a collision.
All meteorites collected on Earth come from asteroids or comets.
No spacecraft has ever visited an asteroid or comet
according to our theory of solar system formation, why do all the planets orbit the sun in the same direction and in nearly the same plane?
the laws of conservation of energy and conservation of angular momentum ensure that any rotating, collapsing cloud will end up as a spinning disk
28)A comet that has an orbit around the Sun inclined to the ecliptic plane
by 65 degrees probably originated in the Kuiper belt. T/F
True or False viewed from Pluto, the Sun would appear more than a thousand times fainter than on the Earth.
What is odd about the Pluto/Charon system?
Pluto’s moon Charon orbits in an orbit highly inclined to their orbit around the sun. Charon and Pluto are tidally locked to face each other. That means Pluto rotates on its side like Uranus. Both Pluto and Charon go through dramatic season like those on Uranus as they circle the sun on their highly inclined axes.
A rock found on Earth that crashed down from space is called _________.
the region of our solar system between the orbitals of mars and Jupiter in which asteroids are heavily concentrated
A typical meteor is created by a particle about the size of a _________.
What is a primitive meteorite
a meteorite that is essentially unchanged since it first condensed and accreted in the solar nebula some 4.6 billion years ago
Among discovered meteorites, we have found some with all the following origins except _________.
being a fragment from Comet Halley
Which statement is not thought to be true of all comets in our solar system?
Comets always have tails.
Which direction do a comet’s dust and plasma tails point?
generally away from the Sun
When a comet passes near the Sun, part of it takes on the appearance of a large, bright ball from which the tail extends. This part is called _________.
The total number of comets orbiting the Sun is estimated to be about _________.
According to current evidence, Pluto is best explained as ______.
a large member of the Kuiper belt
What was the Shoemaker-Levy 9 impact?
the 1994 impact of a chain of comet fragments into Jupiter
In the asteroid impact theory of the extinction of the dinosaurs some 65 million years ago, the dinosaurs (and over half of all the other species on Earth at that time) died off largely because
dust injected into the stratosphere from the impact absorbed visible light from the Sun, causing global temperatures to plummet.
What do we mean by a mass extinction?
the extinction of a large fraction of the world’s plant and animal species in a relatively short period of time
How does the largest asteroid, Ceres, compare in size to other solar system worlds?
It is about half the size of Pluto.
If we could put all the asteroids together, their total mass would be _________.
much less than the mass of any terrestrial planet
Why isn’t there a planet where the asteroid belt is located?
Gravitational tugs from Jupiter prevented material from collecting together to form a planet
The large gaps in the asteroid belt (often called Kirkwood gaps) are caused by
orbital resonances with Jupiter
When you see the bright flash of a meteor, what are you actually seeing?
the glow from a pea-size particle and the air as the particle burns up in the atmosphere
Suppose you find a meteorite made almost entirely of metal. According to current science, which of the following statements must be true?
Your meteorite is a fragment from the core of a large asteroid that shattered in a collision.
Which of the following objects are probably not located in the same general region of the solar system in which they originally formed?
Suppose there were no solar wind. How would the appearance of a comet in our inner solar system be different?
It would have only one tail instead of two.
Suppose we discover a new comet on an orbit that brings it closer to the Sun than Mercury every 125 years. What can we conclude?
It has been on its current orbit for only a very short time compared to the age of our solar system.
When we see a meteor shower, it means that _________.
Earth is crossing the orbit of a comet
why won’t pluto collide with neptune?
the two planets have an orbital resonance that prevents them from colliding
Why won’t Pluto collide with Neptune?
Pluto orbits the Sun exactly two times for every three Neptune orbits, which ensures they never come close together.
What is Pluto’s moon Charon thought to have in common with our own Moon?
It probably formed as a result of a giant impact.
Which of the following is not a piece of evidence supporting the idea that an impact caused the mass extinction that occurred 65 million years ago?
Fossilized dinosaur bones contain fragments of rock from the impact.
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If you have questions that need to be answered about the topic what characteristic distinguishes a meteorite from a terrestrial rock?, then this section may help you solve it.
Quiz: What distinguishes meteorites from terrestrial rocks?
A meteorite typically contains a lot of metal; it usually has a dark crust from burning in Earth’s atmosphere; it has different isotope ratios of some elements compared to rocks on Earth; and it contains rare elements that rocks on Earth do not, like iridium.
What separates a primitive meteorite from a rock found on land?
D) Meteorites contain a significant portion of pure metallic flakes and rare elements that terrestrial rocks do not, such as iridium.
What distinguishes a meteor from a meteorite, specifically?
If you’ve ever seen a shooting star, it was probably a meteor because meteors enter the Earth’s atmosphere at a very high speed, burn up, and produce a streak of light known as a meteorite if they survive the burn and fall to the ground.
What is the main distinction between a planet and an asteroid?
Asteroids have much smaller sizes and less regular orbits than the terrestrial planets.
What distinguishing characteristics does a meteorite have?
Flow lines, which are cooled streaks of once-molten fusion crust, can be seen on some meteorites, whereas the majority of them have smooth surfaces without any holes.
An explanation of terrestrial meteorites
Planetary geologists have discovered the first terrestrial meteorite, a piece of Earth ejected by an impact, by examining samples brought back from the Apollo missions.
What is a rock found on land?
A rock is classified as terrestrial if it is porous or has vesicles.
How do you tell a meteor apart?
Think of them as ?space rocks.” When meteoroids enter Earth’s atmosphere (or that of another planet, like Mars) at high speed and burn up, the fireballs or ?shooting stars? are called meteors. When a meteoroid survives a trip through the atmosphere and hits the ground, it’s called a meteorite.
What distinguishes terrestrial planets from giants, specifically?
Terrestrial planets are primarily made of carbon dioxide, while gas giants are primarily made of gases like helium, hydrogen, and methane. The primary distinction between terrestrial and giant planets is that the former has a solid surface, while the latter has a gas surface.
How are planets and meteors different from one another?
The Short Answer: A meteor is what happens when a meteoroid, which is a small piece of an asteroid or comet, burns up upon entering Earth’s atmosphere, creating a streak of light in the sky. Asteroids are smaller than planets, but they are larger than the pebble-size objects we call meteoroids.
How can you tell a terrestrial planet apart?
A: Terrestrial planets are planets that resemble Earth in that they are composed of rocks or metals with a hard surface, have a liquid heavy-metal core, at least one moon, and topological features like valleys, volcanoes, and craters.
What four qualities do terrestrial planets possess?
Terrestrial planets are Earth-like planets with a hard surface made of rocks or metals, a molten heavy metal core, a sparse moon population, and topographical features like valleys, volcanoes, and craters.
Quiz: What distinguishes a meteor from a meteorite?
A meteoroid, also known as a shooting star, creates a light streak as it travels through the atmosphere, while a meteorite is a meteoroid that has made contact with the Earth’s surface.
What distinguishes meteoroids from asteroids, specifically?
Asteroids are typically larger pieces of rock that originate from the asteroid belt located between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter, whereas meteoroids are smaller pieces of interplanetary matter that are frequently only millimeters in size.
What distinguishes meteors, comets, and asteroids?
Comets are small icy dirtballs that orbit the Sun; comets are made of ice and dust while asteroids are made of rock). A meteor is a space rock?or meteoroid?that enters Earth’s atmosphere, as it ? burns up upon entering Earth’s atmosphere, it creating a streak of light in the sky (often called “shooting stars”).