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Best of the Solar System
Answer key for Student Assessment Questionnaire
1. Which planet is the closest to the sun?
2. Which is the largest planet?
3. Which planet has the brightest ring system?
4. If the image of a planet seen through a telescope looks like a smooth
disk, it is because the planet is
suggested weights: d=full credit, b=1/4, c=1/2, a=1/2
5. How can we distinguish planets from stars, using our unaided eyes?
6.Tell how one planet got its name.
Those planets visible to the naked eye were named by many ancient cultures. Most of the names we use today come to us from Greek and Roman astronomers:
Neptune and Pluto were discovered after the invention of telescopes:
7. Name one thing that ancient astronomers knew about planets.
Greek sky watchers noticed that planets moved with respect to the other stars in the sky, or were moving differently, and named them with a word meaning "wanderer."
8. Look at this image of a planet:
Why is it NOT Saturn?
(fractions are suggested weights)
It has no ring system (1/2). It has jagged surface features, including a huge canyon and volcanic craters, which belong to a rocky terrestrial planet, while Saturn in a gaseous planet(1/4). It does not have the banded pattern of Saturn's atmosphere(1/4).
Why is it NOT Jupiter?
It has jagged surface features, including a huge canyon and volcanic craters, which belong to a rocky terrestrial planet, while Jupiter is a gaseous planet, made mostly of hydrogen and helium (1/2).
It does not have the banded pattern of Jupiter's atmosphere (1/2).
Why is it NOT Neptune?
It has jagged surface features, including a huge canyon and volcanic craters, which belong to a rocky terrestrial planet, while Neptune is a gaseous planet, (1/2). Neptune has a blue color and Great Dark Spot (1/4). The surface does not have bands, as on a gas planet (1/4).
Why is it NOT Earth?
The surface shows no evidence of water (1/4) and none of Earth's continents(1/4). There are no clouds(1/4), indicating dry atmosphere.There is no southern polar ice cap (1/4).
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