A: Planets. Q: Which of the following objects would NOT be described as a small body: asteroids, meteoroids, comets, planets?

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1 Q: Which of the following objects would NOT be described as a small body: asteroids, meteoroids, comets, planets? A: Planets Q: What can we learn by studying small bodies of the solar system? A: We can learn what our solar system is made of. Q: What materials are comets made of? A: ice, rock, and cosmic dust Q: How do comets compare in age with the age of the solar system? A: They are the same age. They are left over from the birth of the solar system. Q: What causes the tail of a comet to form? A: Solar radiation heats the ice causing it to melt. Q: When comets form two tails, what are they made of? A: One is water vapor; the other is made of eclectically charged particles and dust. Q: How do comet orbits differ from the orbits of planets? A: The orbits of comets are more stretched out than the orbits of planets. Q: How does a dust tail act differently from an ion tail of a comet? A: The dust tail follows the comet s orbit. Q: You see a streak of light in the night sky. How do you know it is a comet and not a meteor? Q: The streak of light does not seem to move rapidly and it lasts for several months. Q: Where do many comets come from? A: The Oort cloud, which is beyond the orbit of Pluto. Q: What do you call the region between Jupiter and Mars in which most asteroids orbit? A: The

2 Q: Which type of asteroid is dark in color and rich in carbon? A: Asteroids found in the middle region of the Q: Which type of asteroid is dark red to black in color and rich in organic matter? A: Asteroids found in the outer region of the Q: Which type of asteroid is light gray in color and stony or metallic in makeup? A: Asteroids found in the inner region of the Q: What is a rocky body that reached Earth s surface without burning up called? A: a meteorite Q: What is a bright streak of light that results when a body burns up in the atmosphere called? A: a meteor Q: What is a small rocky body that travels through space called? A: meteoroid Q: What causes meteor showers? A: Earth passing through debris that comets leave behind Q: What type of meteorite is made from rocky materials? A: a stony meteorite Q: What type of meteorite is made from a mixture of rocky material and metals (iron and nickel)? A: a stony-iron meteorite Q: What type of meteorite is made from just iron and nickel? A: a metallic meteorite Q: Name three forces that help to hide impact craters. A: erosion, weathering, tectonic plate activity

3 Q: Why do planets with atmospheres have fewer impact craters? A: The air slows down and burns smaller objects before they reach the surface. Q: About how often do large impact objects strike the Earth s surface? A: every 30 to 50 million years Q: What does the Torino scale measure? A: the hazard level of near Earth objects Q: Name 5 or 6 things that make up our Solar System 1. the sun 2. 8 planets 3. several dwarf planets 4. moons 5. (between Jupiter and Mars) 6. lots of space 7. all sorts of bits and pieces of rock Q: What is sometimes called a shooting star? A: a meteor Q: Where do meteors come from? A: pieces of rock that broke off other objects in space Q: What causes a meteoroid that enters Earth s atmosphere to produce a streak of light? A: Friction between the air molecules in the atmosphere and the meteor Q: Are meteors dangerous? A: Most meteorites disintegrate before reaching the Earth s surface by burning up in the atmosphere Q: Why are comets sometimes called dirty snowballs? A: They are made up of ice, dust, and small gritty rock particles Q: Name two meteor showers and tell when they occur. A: Presides (mid-august) Leonids (mid-november)

4 Q: What causes a comet s tail? A: When a comet is close to the sun, the ice vaporizes, producing a spectacular streak of gas Q: Name some famous comets. A: Comet Hale-Bopp, Halley s Comet, and Comet Kohoutek Q: Why are asteroids sometimes called space potatoes? A: Because they are irregularly shaped much like a potato Q: How did asteroids form? A: They may be the shattered remains of objects left over from the time when the planets were formed. Q: How big are asteroids? A: They are generally larger than meteoroids. They range in size from 10 feet in diameter to bigger than a mountain. Q: How many asteroids are in our Solar System? A: About 150,000. Most are in the between Jupiter and Mars Q: What are NEAs and are they dangerous to life on Earth? A: NEA = Near Earth Asteroids. There are about 1000 of them. They are asteroids that cross Earth s orbit. A NEA / Earth collision is not likely. Q: Describe what scientists think happened when a large asteroid hit the Earth s surface 65 million years ago. Forests were wiped clean for 300 to 600 miles in all directions. 300 foot wave struck the coast of Texas Landslides Powerful earthquakes Debris in the air blocked out the sun Temperatures dropped Photosynthesis decrease Plants died... animals died Many animals became extinct (including many types of dinosaurs)

5 Q: Which is larger, an asteroid or a meteoroid? A: Asteroids are larger than meteoroids. Q: Why is it important to study smaller bodies in our Solar System such as comets and asteroids? A: They help us learn about the history of our Solar System. Q: How can studying comets help us learn about the history of our solar system? A: Comets are leftovers from the time the planets formed. Each one is a sample of that early solar system. Their composition can provide clues on the history of our solar system. Q: What do you call the solid core of a comet? A: Its nucleus Q: How does the behavior of a comet s dust tail differ from a comet s ion tail? A: The dust tail follows the comet around the sun, the ion tail points away from the sun.

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