Astronomy 105 – Final Study Guide


Go over the study guides for Exam1, Exam2 and Exam3

Go over the suggested HW problems

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

What evidence showed that the dinosaurs died off about 65 million years ago?

What are possible causes of mass extinctions?

When did hominids and modern humans first appear?

Compared to other liquids, why is water special?

Why are other liquids like methane and ethane not as optimal to life as water?

What conditions must a world have to be considered habitable?

Which planets and moons are the most and least habitable?

Know the different categories of space probes

Know the three most recent landers to visit Mars in one piece

What causes the seasons on Mars?

What are the Martian polar caps composed of?

What is the difference between the Southern and Northern hemispheres on Mars?

How is the age of a planetary surface feature determined?

Compared to the present Martian atmosphere, what must the atmosphere be like during early Mars?

Where did Phoenix land and what was it looking for?

What geological evidence shows that water once flowed on Mars?

Why was Gusev crater selected as the target site for Spirit rover?

What happened to most of the atmosphere on Mars?

How can Mars have such dramatic climate changes over a few 100,000 years?

Why are some Jovian moons so geologically active?

What is the internal structure of Europa?

Which Jovian moons show evidence of subsurface liquids?

What did the Huygens probe discover?

What is unique about Titian and Triton?

Which Jovian moons discussed in class show the highest/lowest potential of being habitable?

How does a star’s habitable zone change with time?

Are all the worlds that are found within the habitable zone, habitable? Why or why not?

Are all the worlds that lie outside the habitable zone, not habitable?

How long will Earth remain habitable?

What is the fate of the Earth at the end of the Sun’s life?

Know Table 11.1

Know the meaning of the Drake equation

What is SETI and how does it conduct its search for life?

Challenge Problem (14%): If you can transform yourself into a microbe or a water bear, where would you prefer to live: (the two worlds will be given on the Final). Evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of the two worlds. Include a description of your environment and the dangers that you may face. Describe your metabolism and your strategies to obtain the energy, nutrients and liquids to satisfy your metabolic needs. You must justify your selection with scientific reasoning and support your arguments with scientific facts.