Astronomy 105 – Exam 2 – Study Guide


Go over the suggested HW problems

Bring a pencil

Fill-in-the-blank questions: know relevant facts, terms, ideas, and concepts

What are radioactive isotopes?

                  How do they decay?

                  What is a half-life?

                  Understand Fig 4.7 and know alpha and beta decays

Know the Geologic Time Scale and Fig4.10

What happened during the first half billion years after the Earth was formed?

Why is the Earth habitable? What geologic processes make Earth habitable?

How are different types of rocks formed?

How do you determine the age of a rock or fossil?

Where did Earth’s ocean and atmosphere come from?

What is plate tectonics and how does it work? Which planets have active plate tectonics?

Why does the Earth have a strong magnetic field, while the other terrestrial worlds do not?

How does carbon dioxide regulate the temperature of the Earth?

What is Snowball Earth?

How did we get our Moon?

What is metabolism?

Know and understand Table 5.1

What are extremophiles? What conditions do they find habitable?

In class, we went over the most extreme forms. Know them.

Challenge Problem: Which world do you think has the best chances of supporting life? The two worlds will be given on the exam. Justify your selection with scientific reasoning and support your arguments with scientific facts. Evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of the two worlds.