History of asrtonomy chp 16 section 1 Short answer about Galileo and his evidence of the heliocentric theory – practice writing this one at home so you are ready!!

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Chapter 16 Astronomy Study Guide





Galilean moons

gas giants

geocentric system


greenhouse effect

heliocentric system





nuclear fusion

retrograde rotation



solar system

terrestrial planets


  • Chp 16 section 1

  • Short answer about Galileo and his evidence of the heliocentric theory – practice writing this one at home so you are ready!!


  • Describe comets and asteroids and meteoroids

  • Be able to label the parts of a comet

  • Compare and contrast meteoroids, meteors, and meteorites


  • Make a flashcard for each planet. Write the major moon(s), inner/outer, solid/gas, atmosphere, and any characteristic specific to that planet…basically, use your foldable notes!

  • Know the characteristics of the Inner and Outer Planets

  • Know the characteristics of each planet

  • Know the Galilean moons

  • List the planets in order from the sun

  • What 2 forces keep a planet in orbit around the sun?


  • Be able to identify the 4 parts of the sun.

  • Be able to describe and label features on the sun such as sunspots, solar flares, and solar prominences

  • Be able to explain nuclear fusion.

ASTRONOMY EXAM IS _____Weds, 2/5____

Review sessions are _Mon, 2/3 3:30-4:00 Pickett

Tues, 2/4 7:45-8:23 Helm

3:30-4:00 Tucker and Simpson
Flashcards are due __Weds, 2/5___
Study Guide due __Fri, 1/31__

Describing the Solar System

Understanding Main Ideas Answer the following questions.

Ancient Greek Model Ptolemy's Geocentric Model Copernicus' Heliocentric Model

1. What is the main difference between the geocentric and heliocentric models of planetary motion?
2. How did Galileo’s observations of Jupiter and Venus support Copernicus’ model? (What did Jupiter’s moons prove? What did Venus’s phases show?)
3. How do gravity and inertia keep the planets in orbit around the sun?

Building Vocabulary Fill in each blank to complete each statement.

4. The sun-centered system of planets developed by Copernicus is an example of a(n) _______________ system.
5. An object’s _______________ tends to keep a moving object continuing in a straight line and a stationary object in place.
6. An Earth-centered system of planets is known as a(n) _______________ system.

Characteristics of the Sun

Understanding Main Ideas Label the diagram of the sun below.

Chromosphere core corona photosphere prominence sunspot

outer layer

middle layer

inner layer

Building Vocabulary Match each term with its description by writing the letter of the correct description on the line beside the term.

______ 7. solar flare a. the layer of the sun’s atmosphere that makes light
______ 8. core b. the layer of the sun’s atmosphere that has a reddish glow
______ 9. chromosphere c. the layer of the sun’s atmosphere that looks like a halo during an eclipse
______ 10. sunspot d. areas of gas on the sun that are cooler than the gases around

______ 11. corona e. reddish loops of gas that link parts of sunspot regions
______ 12. nuclear fusion f. explosions that occur when the loops in sunspot regions suddenly

______ 13. photosphere g. the center of the sun where nuclear fusion takes place
______ 14. prominence h. the joining of hydrogen atoms to form helium


haracteristics of the Inner Planets

Understanding Main Ideas Label the diagram with the names of the inner planets.


Write the name(s) of the INNER planet or planets the statement describes.

_________________ 5. has a rocky surface

_________________ 6. 70 percent is covered with water

________________ 7. rotates in the opposite direction from most other planets and moons

_________________ 8. called the “red planet” because of the color of the dust

_________________ 9. has at least one moon

Some have ONE answer and some have MORE than one answer!
_______________ 10. similar to each other in size, density, and internal structure

________________ 11. has almost no atmosphere

________________ 12. atmosphere so heavy and thick that it would crush a human

________________ 13. has a tilted axis so that the planet has seasons

________________ 14. atmosphere has low air pressure and is mostly carbon dioxide

Building Vocabulary Write a definition for each of the following terms.

15. terrestrial planets
16. retrograde rotation
17. greenhouse effect

Characteristics of the Outer Planets

Understanding Main Ideas Answer the following questions in the spaces provided.
1. What are the four outer planets? Label them on the picture below.

2. Why doesn’t the gas on a gas giant escape into space, as it has on Mercury?

4. What other object in the solar system has a composition similar to that of the gas giants?

5. Why are Neptune and Uranus blue?

6. What are Saturn’s rings made of?

7. Why did astronomers know where to look to discover Neptune?

Building Vocabulary Write a definition for the following term in the space provided.
8. gas giant

Comets, Asteroids, and Meteors
Understanding Main Ideas Complete the following table.








Answer the following questions.

1. Explain what happens to a meteoroid in order for it to become a meteorite.

2. Draw a comet and label these parts

of a comet: nucleus, coma, tail.

3. Write one theory as to how the asteroid belt formed.

Building Vocabulary From the list below, choose the term that best completes each sentence.

asteroid asteroid belt comet

meteor meteoroid meteorite
4. When a meteoroid enters Earth’s atmosphere, friction causes it to burn up and produce a streak of light called a(n) _______________ .
5. A chunk of ice and dust whose orbit is usually a long narrow ellipse is a(n) _______________.
6. If a meteoroid hits Earth’s surface, it is called a(n) _______________ .
7. An object that revolves around the sun, but is too small to be considered a planet, is a(n) _______________ .
8. A chunk of rock or dust in space that usually comes from a comet or an asteroid is called a(n) _______________ .
9. The region of the solar system between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter is known as the _______________.

Spin Cycles

Step 1: Read

Planets in our solar system are constantly moving. Each planet spins like a globe. One complete spin is a rotation. Every planet also makes an orbit, or circle, around the sun. The table below tells how long these movements take. Look over it carefully.
Note: Measurements are in Earth hours, days, and years.


Rotation Time

Orbit Time


59 Days

88 Days


243 Days

225 Days


24 Hours

365 Days


25 Hours

687 Days


10 Hours

12 Years


11 Hours

29 Years


17 Hours

84 Years


16 Hours

165 Years


6 Days

248 Years

Step 2: Use the table to decide whether each statement below is true or false. CORRECT THE FALSE ONES BY CHANGING THE UNDERLINED WORD!

  1. _________ Pluto’s rotation takes less time than any other.

  2. _________ Venus is the only planet whose rotation takes longer than its orbit.

  3. _________ Mars and Earth take roughly the same time to complete a rotation.

  4. _________ Mars and Earth take roughly the same time to complete an orbit.

  5. _________ Saturn’s orbit takes three times longer than Jupiter’s.

  6. _________ Jupiter can do 20 orbits in less time than Pluto needs for just one.

  7. _________ Pluto’s orbit takes longer than all of the other orbits combined.

  8. _________ Venus’s rotation takes longer than all the other rotations combined.

  9. _________ Four planets do a rotation in less than a single Earth day.

  10. _________ Mercury completes three rotations during each orbit.

Chapter 16 assessment
Use the text book or other worksheets to help you complete each question.  For the True/False, circle the correct answer (T or F).  If the answer is False, circle False and write the correct word.


1.  Copernicus thought that the solar system was…

        a. celestial.                  b. elliptical.                         c. geocentric.                     d. heliocentric.


2. Planets with atmospheres composed mostly of carbon dioxide include…

        a. Earth and Mercury.     b. Venus and Mercury.  c. Venus and Mars.         d. Mercury and Mars.


3. The Great Red Spot is a huge storm on…

        a. Jupiter.                    b. Saturn.                            c. Neptune.                        d. Pluto.


4. Most asteroids orbit the sun between…

        a. the sun and Mercury.        b. Earth and Mars.           c. Mars and Jupiter.        d. Jupiter and Saturn.

Correct the false ones!!!

5. The shape of the orbit of each planet is a(n) circle.  TRUE/FALSE


6. Sunspots are regions of cooler gases on the sun.   TRUE/FALSE


7. The atmosphere of Venus has higher pressure than the atmosphere of Earth.  TRUE/FALSE


8. Aside from the sun, Saturn is the largest source of gravity in the solar system.  TRUE/FALSE


For these next set of questions, use a SEPARATE sheet of paper to answer them on.  You do NOT have to answer in complete sentences.  DO NOT SQUEEZE YOUR ANSWERS into the little space given!!  Staple your paper to the back of the study guide.


9.  Where is Pluto located and why is he no longer a planet?

10. Why does Mercury have only a thin atmosphere?

11. How do astronomers explain that Venus rotates in the opposite direction from most planets and moons?

12. Name TWO major ways that the inner/terrestrial planets differ from the gas giants?

13. Which way does a comet’s tail always point (away or towards the sun)?  WHY??

14. How would Earth move if the sun (including its gravity) suddenly disappeared?  Explain!!

15. Explain why Venus is hotter than it would be without its atmosphere?

16. Compare and contrast meteoroids, meteors, and meteorites. You may draw/use a picture to explain.

Make flashcards for +5 points on the exam.

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