Home >  Solutions: Chapter 20 Exercises 1. When the composition is the same but the arrangement of atoms is different, the minerals are called polymorphs. Th

Solutions: Chapter 20 Exercises 1. When the composition is the same but the arrangement of atoms is different, the minerals are called polymorphs. Th

Solutions: Chapter 20 Exercises

1. When the composition is the same but the arrangement of atoms is different, the minerals are called polymorphs. They are different minerals and they have different properties.

2. Rock-forming minerals are naturally formed, inorganic, crystalline solids, composed of an ordered arrangement of atoms with a specific chemical composition. Minerals found in dietary supplements are human-made inorganic compounds that contain elements (e.g., calcium, potassium, magnesium, and iron) necessary for life functions. The sources of the elements used to make dietary supplements come from the naturally occurring minerals of the Earth’s crust.

3. In a direct sense no. In an indirect sense, yes. Remember, the tendency of silicon to bond with oxygen is so strong that silicon is never found in nature as a pure element; it is always combined with oxygen. Because quartz is composed only of oxygen and silicon, it is a primary source of silicon for making microchips.

4. Feldspar, the most common and abundant mineral, and quartz, the second most common mineral, make up most of the world’s sand deposits. Both of these minerals are relatively hard.

5. The oxides and sulfides make up the majority of ore minerals.

6. Mineral A, because minerals with high percentages of silica are the first to melt.

7. The first minerals to crystallize from a cooling magma have the lowest percentages of silica and the highest melting points, so mineral B would crystallize first.

8. The strength of the ionic charges (high charge = great attraction = strong bond = hard mineral), the size of the atoms (small atoms pack closer, large atoms have more space between them), and the packing of the different atoms (closely packed atoms have more attractive forces, loosely packed atoms have less attractive forces).

9. The last minerals to crystallize from a cooling magma have the highest percentages of silica and the lowest melting points, so mineral A would crystallize last.

10. Mineral B, because minerals with low percentages silica are the last to melt.

11. Yes. Just as minerals with lower melting points contain higher percentages of silica than higher melting-point minerals, there are other elements that are more prevalent in minerals with lower melting points.

12. “Last to crystallize” means “crystallizes at the lowest temperature,” which means the last crystallizers have the lowest melting/freezing points. Having a low melting/freezing point means that such minerals would melt first.

13. As evaporation proceeds, the minerals that are the most difficult to dissolve (i.e., the lowest solubilities) precipitate first, followed by the minerals that dissolve more easily. Halite dissolves easily (high solubility) and is thus commonly the last mineral to precipitate.

14. Yes, limestone is formed predominantly from the shells of dead marine organisms.

15. Chemical sedimentary rocks are formed from the precipitation of minerals from a water solution. The process can occur directly, as a result of inorganic processes, or indirectly as a result of biochemical reactions. Carbonates are the best example of rocks formed by biochemical reactions, whereas evaporites are good examples of rocks formed by inorganic processes.

16. Chemical impurities affect color. Many minerals come in multiple colors.

17. You could use the hardness test by scratching the mineral onto a common piece of glass or knife blade. If it scratches the knife blade, the mineral has a hardness greater than or equal to 5. If it scratches the glass, the mineral has a hardness greater than or equal to 6. So you proved that it could be a diamond and you have ruled out every mineral with a hardness less than 6. Quartz, the hardest of the common minerals, will also scratch glass, so you cannot yet be positive that you have found a diamond. To continue with the hardness test, you would need a set of reference minerals.

18. Small atoms can pack closer together than large atoms because their electrons are closer to their nucleus. Closely packed atoms have a smaller distance between one another, and thus form stronger bonds than do minerals in which the atoms are not so closely packed. Gold, because of its large atomic size, is relatively soft (hardness less than 3), and diamond, with its small carbon atoms and tightly packed structure, is relatively hard (hardness = 10).

19. The quartz, with a density of 2.65 g/cm3, will float. The chromite, density of 4.6 g/cm3, will sink.

20. No, the planar surfaces we see in cleavage are where a mineral breaks due to a weakness in crystal structure or bond strength. The planar surfaces in a crystal form are the external shape from the crystal’s internal arrangement of atoms.

21. Obsidian is not a mineral because it lacks a crystalline structure, although it is formed naturally by volcanic processes. Glassy volcanic rocks are classified by composition as a whole (not by individual minerals). The rock simply cooled too quickly for individual minerals to grow, but it is still made up of the elements that would have made up minerals.

22. In general, poorly sorted, angular particles of various shapes imply a short transportation distance, whereas well-sorted, well-rounded particles imply a greater transportation distance. Glacial deposits tend to be very poorly sorted and angular, whereas wind-blown deposits tend to be very well sorted with small particles.

23. Although basalt can form on both the oceanic crust and continental crust, basalt is most common on the ocean floor. Granite is common on the continental crust.

24. The amount of pressure placed on a rock and the amount of water to which the rock is exposed. Inside Earth, pressure increases with depth as a result of the increased load of rock above. As pressure increases, melting point increases. The water content of a rock also affects melting point. Rocks with high water content have lower melting points. Rocks with low water content have higher melting points.

25. (a) Melting point decreases as silica percentage increases.

26. The Hawaiian Islands are predominantly made up of volcanic igneous rock.

27. Most magma originates in Earth’s interior from the partial melting of mantle rocks.

28. Increase in crystal size due to recrystallization and changes in water content of the metamorphosed rock. Crystal size is greatest at the contact, and decreases with distance from that point. Water content of the rock also changes with distance from the contact. At the contact, where temperature is high, water content is low. So we find dry, high-temperature minerals such as garnet and pyroxene at the contact. Farther away, we find water-rich, low-temperature minerals such as muscovite and chlorite.

29. Yes. For rock to become metamorphosed it needs to be subjected to increased heat and/or pressure. The heat source on a volcanic island lends itself to produce either contact metamorphism (rocks surrounding magmas are changed by the heat of the igneous body) or hydrothermal metamorphism (hot fluids that percolate through the rock, changing the rock).

30. Yes. Minerals with high silica content have lower melting points and do not require very high temperatures to melt—they are “easier” to melt than minerals with low silica content and higher melting point.

31. Mineralogy (silica content of minerals). Rocks contain a variety of different minerals, and they do not all melt at the same temperature.

32. Smoothness and roundness of rock particles indicate travel time, and hence, distance. If particles are angular, then a short travel time is indicated. Small rounded particles indicate a longer travel time, and hence longer distance. Size is also an indication of distance traveled. Particles become smaller the more distance they travel.

33. Clastic sedimentary rock’s connected pore spaces between individual sediment particles permits the movement of oil.

34. Halite weathers first since it has a high solubility (precipitates last in an evaporating body of water) and so dissolves easily in a humid environment.

35. Compaction and cementation. As the weight of overlying sediments presses down upon deeper layers, sediment particles are squeezed and compacted together. Compaction squeezes water out of the spaces between sediment particles. This water often contains compounds such as silica, calcite, and hematite in solution, which partially fill the pore spaces with mineral matter and thereby act as cementing agents.

36. Granite, predominantly composed of quartz and feldspar minerals, is resistant to chemical weathering. Marble, on the other hand, is metamorphosed limestone that succumbs more easily to chemical weathering. With time, marble may dissolve from the conglomerate. So we find more granite than marble in conglomerates. Also, marble’s hardness of 3 allows it to be worn down by abrasion.

37. Sedimentary rock. Petroleum formation begins with the accumulation of sediment from areas rich in plant and animal remains. As buried organic-rich sediment is heated over time, chemical changes take place that create oil. Under pressure of overlying sediments, oil droplets are squeezed out into overlying porous sedimentary rocks that become reservoirs.

38. Shale—fine particle size suggests deposition in relatively quiet waters, such as deep ocean basins, flood plains, deltas, lakes, or lagoons. The color can indicate environment of formation. Gray to black shale indicates buried organic matter preserved in an oxygen-deficient, swampy environment. Conglomerates—large gravels and rock fragments provide information about the area eroded from. Currents must be strong to carry large rock fragments. Roundness of edges and corners indicate distance traveled.

39. Fossils are essentially the remains of ancient life. Fossils are used to interpret Earth’s geologic past. They play an important role as time indicators and in the matching up of rocks from different places of similar age.

40. Rock smashed to pieces is a form of mechanical weathering. Subjecting a rock to acid is chemical weathering.

41. Metamorphic and sedimentary rock. Sedimentary rock does not require high temperature or pressure.

42. The way it breaks—its characteristic rock cleavage, which yields flat, even slabs. Small crystal size also helps to make slate watertight.

43. The micas—muscovite and biotite.

44. Foliation is the alignment of new minerals as they grow so that they are perpendicular to the direction of compressive forces. Sedimentary layering is the laying down of pre-existing sediments one on top of the other.

45. Regional metamorphism is associated with compressive stress and mountain building. Compressive stresses push rocks together. So, as Earth’s crust is compressed, the rock layers become deformed; they become folded and fractured.

46. Lava flows are most common on the ocean floor.

47. (a) Gneiss (b) Quartzite (c) Slate (d) Marble (e) Schist

48. Foliation. Sheet-structured minerals such as the micas orient themselves perpendicular to the direction of maximum pressure. These parallel flakes give schist and gneiss a layered look called foliation. Foliation does not develop if the rock doesn’t have the right chemical composition for micas to form. The chemical compositions found in marbles and quartzites do not favor the formation of micas.

49. Pressure and lack of water in their composition.

1) Pressure increases with depth from the weight of the rock above. As pressure increases, the melting point of the rock increases.

2) The less water contained in the rock’s composition, the higher the melting point. Also, note that as rocks heat up they undergo metamorphism. Metamorphic reactions almost always release water as a product of the reaction. The loss of water from the rock increases the rock’s melting point.

50. No. Most of Earth is actually solid, and the magma is derived from rocks that have melted. Although temperature increases with depth, the increasing temperature is not enough to cause all the rocks to melt. Rocks do not melt because of lack of water and increased pressure increases the melting point of the rock. Increased melting point counters the effect of increased temperature.

51. Granite is a common igneous rock, whereas gneiss is a foliated metamorphic rock. Gneiss has a characteristic banded appearance consisting of alternating layers of dark platy minerals and lighter granular minerals. (Some gneisses are actually metamorphosed granites.)

52. The “schistose” quality makes schist rocks very recognizable. Schistose refers to the rocks shiny quality and obvious foliation. Because schist rocks have large crystals, the mineral assemblage is easy to identify.

53. We can deduce that quartz would melt first, because quartz is pure silica. Minerals with high percentages of silica are the first to melt.

54. The first minerals to crystallize from a cooling magma have the lowest percentage of silica. Because quartz is pure silica, we can deduce that olivine would crystallize first.

55. Recrystallization and mechanical deformation. Recrystallization is a change in mineral assemblage—often accompanied by the loss of H2O or CO2. Fluids often act as a catalyst to aid the reaction. Mechanical deformation occurs when a rock is subjected to stress.

Solution: Chapter 20 Problem

The mass of gold is 19.3 times greater than water. The mass of a pail of gold is 19.3 � 18 kg = 347 kg (772 pounds). It is indeed hard to run with the weight of gold!

Solutions: Chapter 20 Active Exploration

3. Ice, butter, and cheese analogy from the text:

1. Ice (H2O)

2. Cheese, butter

3. It is richer in H2O.

For the partial melting of real rocks:

1. High-silica minerals melt; low-silica minerals don’t melt.

2. It is richer in silica.

3. It is richer in silica.

Solutions: Chapter 22 Exercises

1. The speed of a wave depends on the type of material it travels through. P-waves are the fastest seismic waves and travel through all mediums—solids and fluids. S-waves are slower and can only travel through solids.

2. P-waves travel through both solids and liquids, whereas S-waves travel only through solids. So when S-waves fail to traverse part of Earth’s interior, a liquid phase is indicated. By studying the passage of both P- and S-waves through Earth, solid and liquid layers can be identified.

3. When a seismic wave encounters a boundary between layers with different properties, the wave is reflected and/or refracted. Reflections and refractions of the wave tells us the location of the boundary, and as it continues into that layer, and is once again reflected/refracted, it reveals the boundary at the next layer. Wave reflections and refractions reveal a solid inner core, a liquid outer core, a rocky mantle, and a rigid brittle crust.

4. Earth’s solid inner core is revealed by the differences in P- and S- wave propagation through the core. As these waves encounter the core-mantle boundary at 2900 km, a very pronounced wave shadow develops. P-waves are both reflected and refracted at the boundary, but S-waves are only reflected. S-waves cannot travel through liquids, implying a liquid outer core. At a certain depth, as P-waves propagate through the outer core, they refract and increase in speed as they enter a new medium. The faster-traveling wave indicates a solid inner core.

5. The lower lithosphere is rigid because it is composed of material that has cooled and hardened. The deeper asthenosphere, however, is hotter. It flows as a plastic solid. Hence, the lithosphere rides above and “floats” on the asthenosphere.

6. Although the inner core is very hot, intense pressure from the weight of Earth above prevents the material of the inner core from melting. Because less weight is exerted on the outer core, the pressure is less here, with the result that the iron and nickel are liquid.

7. The P-wave shadow indicates strong refraction P-waves, indicating a significant change in the density of the materials present. The materials that make up the mantle are different than those that make up the core.

8. Part of Earth’s mantle is rigid and part is hot enough to flow as a plastic solid. The crust is embedded in the rigid lithosphere, which floats on the plastic asthenosphere.

9. The mountain requires a large “root” to support the large mass of rock that makes up the mountain. This is somewhat analogous to a floating iceberg. The more ice above the water line, the deeper the iceberg goes underwater.

10. The continental crust stands higher because it is composed of buoyant granitic material. Like an iceberg, the thicker it is the further it extends into the supporting medium. Because the oceanic crust is thinner, it doesn’t extend as deep into the mantle.

11. Just as shaving off the top of an iceberg would lighten the iceberg, and cause it to float higher, the erosion and wearing away of mountains lightens them and causes them to buoyantly float higher on the mantle. Whether the elevation of the mountain increases or decreases depends on the rate of erosion compared to the rate of buoyant adjustment.

12. The apparent path of polar wandering as determined from North American rocks is different from the path determined from European rocks. If North America and Europe had been stationary, the polar wander paths would be the same.

13. Most of the stress that builds up in the lithospheric plates does so where two (or three) plates are touching—at their boundaries. When the stress reaches a critical threshold, rocks/faults break and earthquakes are generated.

14. Compressional force due to oceanic-continental convergence.

15. Convergent boundary. The Appalachian Mountains were produced from a continental-continental collision that ultimately resulted in the formation of the supercontinent Pangaea.

16. Mountain ranges are the result of plate convergence. Since plate boundaries are typically rather long, the mountains that form near them are long. They are relatively narrow because most of the deformation related to plate interaction does not propagate far from the plate boundary.

17. There are actually two: A convergent boundary coupled with a transform-fault boundary.

18. One could find metamorphic rock at all three types of plate boundaries. At convergent boundaries, we expect regional metamorphism involving mechanical deformation and elevated temperatures and pressures. At divergent boundaries we might expect to find thermally metamorphosed rocks. At transform boundaries, we might find mechanically deformed rocks. By far the majority of metamorphic rocks are associated with convergent boundaries. Metamorphic rocks at the other two types of boundaries represent a small fraction of the total.

19. Magma is generated at both types of boundaries. The thicker continental crust allows more time for crystallization, which produces magma that is very enriched in silica. The magma can also incorporate chunks of silica-rich continental crust. The thinner oceanic crust does not usually allow enough time for crystallization to produce granitic magma. And there is no silica-rich rock to incorporate. The magma instead erupts as andesitic lava.

20. Possible answers include: (1) The granitic Sierra Nevada range, which are the batholiths left over from subduction-derived partial melting and magma crystallization. (2) The occurrence of metamorphic rocks both in the Sierra Nevada and near the trench deposits.

21. Continental drift proposed that continental land was not static—the continents moved. It was proposed that the continents plowed through the oceanic crust. However, no suitable driving mechanism proposed. The theory of plate tectonics states that the lithosphere is broken up into about a dozen rigid plates—that include oceanic and continental crust. Continents don’t plow through the oceanic crust, they move with it.

22. The oceans on our planet have been around since very early in Earth’s history. The present ocean basins, however, are not a permanent feature. The present day Atlantic Ocean did not exist when Pangaea was in existence. It began as a tiny rift area within continental lands. With a spreading center in the middle of the Atlantic, the floor of the Atlantic Ocean continues to grow.

23. The continents themselves are relatively permanent, but they grow over geologic time. The continental crust is made of less-dense granitic rocks. So in general, continental crust is not subducted due to its buoyant nature. The present day arrangement of continents, however, is not a permanent feature.

24. Ocean floors are subducted at convergent plate boundaries, while continental crust is not subducted—it remains at Earth’s surface for us to find old rocks on.

25. As new rock is extruded on the seafloor, the newly formed magnetic minerals are aligned in the direction of the magnetic field. When the field reverses, and new rock is extruded, newly formed minerals align with the new polarity. Thus, paleomagnetic data on pole reversals and the age of the seafloor provides a record of seafloor spreading, which in turn accounts for the motions of the continents and continental drift.

26. There are two supporting theories: Apparent polar wandering and magnetic surveys of the ocean floor. Studies during the 1950s used paleomagnetism to show that the position of the magnetic poles had gradually wandered around the globe. Since the geographic poles do not wander, it is hard to conceive that the related magnetic poles had wandered. To explain the apparent movement of the magnetic poles it was suggested that it was the continents that had moved and not the poles. This idea was supported by magnetic surveys of the ocean floors. The surveys showed alternating strips of normal and reversed polarity, paralleling either side of the spreading rift areas. This showed that the seafloor had been growing when magnetic pole reversals had occurred.

27. Divergent boundaries are the dominant feature associated with seafloor spreading. Transform fault boundaries connect offset segments of the divergent boundary.

28. The polarity of Earth’s magnetic field periodically reverses—the North magnetic pole becomes the South magnetic pole and vice versa. Because certain minerals align themselves with the magnetic field, rocks have a preserved record of Earth’s magnetism. Pole reversals and paleomagnetism provide strong evidence for the concept of seafloor spreading. New basalt extruded at the oceanic ridge, is magnetized according to the existing magnetic field. Ocean floor magnetic surveys show alternating normal and reversed polarity, paralleling both sides of the rift area. So Earth’s magnetic history is recorded in the spreading ocean floors. Because dates of pole reversal can be determined by dating ocean-floor rock, the rate of seafloor spreading can also be determined.

29. As mantle rock oozes upward, new lithosphere is formed. Old lithosphere is simultaneously destroyed in deep ocean trenches at subduction zones. Thus in a conveyor belt fashion new lithosphere forms at a spreading center, and older lithosphere is pushed from the ridge crest to be eventually recycled back into the mantle at a deep-ocean trench.

30. Horizontal movement occurs when two plates slide past one another with little upward or downward movement. This typically occurs along transform faults, which connect offset spreading ridge segments. The most famous fault zone with horizontal movement is the San Andreas Fault in California.

31. The 1964 earthquake in Anchorage, Alaska was caused by a reverse fault at a subduction zone. (The earthquake registered 8.5 on the Richter scale, and caused 131 deaths and $300 million in damage.)

32. The Richter scale is more precise. The Richter scale measures quake severity in terms of the amount of energy released and the amount of ground shaking at a standard distance from the quake. It measures the amplitude of seismic waves recorded on a seismogram.

33. Any magnetic field has its origin in the motion of electric charge. Most likely, convection currents in the liquid outer core produce Earth’s magnetic field.

34. Lithosphere is created at spreading centers (divergent plate boundaries) and destroyed at subduction zones (convergent plate boundaries). They would be in equilibrium if Earth was neither growing nor shrinking, which is believed to be the case. Thus, the rate of production of new lithosphere equals the rate of destruction of old lithosphere.

35. Continental crust is less dense than oceanic crust, so buoyancy inhibits the subduction of continental crust.

36. Mountain ranges, volcanoes, plutonic rocks, metamorphic rocks, folded and faulted rocks are all explained by plate tectonics. Virtually all geologic processes can be tied back to plate tectonics, although sometimes the link is quite indirect. For example, consider the formation of a stream valley. As a mountain is growing, the stream gradient increases, which affects the development of the stream valley. The growth of mountains is a result of plate tectonics. There are many interesting examples!

37. The Pacific Rim, also known as the “Ring of Fire,” has many subduction zones, and thus a high potential for tsunami-generating earthquakes.

38. The Himalayan Mountains are the result of continent-continent collision between the India Plate and the Eurasian Plate. The Andes Mountains are the result of volcanic eruptions and uplift related to the subduction of the Nazca Plate beneath the South American Plate.

39. Horizontal sliding movement between the northwest moving Pacific Plate and the southeast moving North American Plate.

40. Faults and folds are strain that results from stress. Stress builds up in the lithosphere because it is rigid, broken into plates, and is in motion. Just as two cars in a crash become crumpled, colliding plates become crumpled.

41. The Rocky Mountain foreland, the Canadian Rockies, and the Appalachian Mountains, to name a few, were formed in part by reverse faulting.

42. Virtually the entire state of Nevada, and eastern California, southern Oregon, southern Idaho, and western Utah are greatly affected by normal faulting.

43. The San Andreas Fault along the west coast of the United States is a famous strike-slip fault.

44. You would need to know the ages of the different rock layers. If the rocks at the center, or core, of a fold are the youngest, and as you move horizontally away from the axis, they get older, the fold is a syncline. If the rocks in the fold are oldest at the core, and as you move horizontally away from the axis, they get younger, the fold is an anticline.

45. The separation of elements during Earth’s formation resulted in heavier elements migrating toward the center of the planet and lighter elements floating to the surface of the planet. So yes, the greater density of the mantle contributes to its position beneath the crust.

46. At divergent boundaries, we find basaltic magma generated by partial melting of rising mantle rock. The melting occurs because the pressure on the rock decreases as the rock rises, which lowers the melting point enough for melting to occur. At convergent boundaries, andesitic magma dominates. Water migrating upward from the descending lithospheric plate lowers the melting point of mantle rock above the sinking slab, causing partial melting. As the magma rises and/or is impeded by overlying lithosphere, crystallization occurs. Assimilation of surrounding rock and crystallization increase the silica content of magma, producing andesitic magma, and, given enough time, granitic magma.

47. The Mid-Atlantic ridge, running essentially north-south in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, is the world’s longest mountain range.

48. It has taken about 190 million years for a mere fracture in an ancient continent to turn into the Southern Atlantic Ocean.

49. Basalt erupts at divergent boundaries. At convergent boundaries, andesite comprises most of the lava erupted. Early on, basalt sometimes erupts. Later on, granitic magma forms, which usually doesn’t erupt but instead solidifies to form granite.

50. Volcanic activity, seismic activity, and mountain building. Compressional forces cause plates to buckle and fold upon each other, making the crust very thick. Intensely compressed and metamorphosed rock defines the zones where plates meet. Tensional forces cause plates to move away from one another allowing magma to extrude upon the surface.

Solutions: Chapter 22 Problems

Solutions: Chapter 24 Exercises

1. It does! The atmosphere is mostly concentrated near the surface because of gravity. Gravity is what holds most of the atmosphere from going off into space. It does, however, thin out as you move away from Earth’s surface until it becomes indistinguishable from the background gas in space. This is why there is no upper limit placed on the atmosphere.

2. Yes, without oceans there would still be weather. Unequal heating of the Earth’s surface is responsible for weather, and this is greatly affected by the presence of oceans, but by no means completely dependent upon oceans. Winds and other weather conditions occur on other planets, all without oceans. And on Earth, far inland away from bodies of water, weather conditions such as Chinook winds and tornadoes occur.

3. High temperature sources radiate short wavelengths and cooler sources radiate longer wavelengths. The hot Sun emits waves of much shorter wavelengths than the waves emitted by Earth (terrestrial radiation). Radiation from the Sun is mainly in the visible region of electromagnetic waves, whereas terrestrial radiation is infrared.

4. The Earth absorbs short-wavelength radiation from the Sun and reradiates it as long-wavelength terrestrial radiation. Incoming short wave-length solar radiation easily penetrates the atmosphere to reach and warm Earth’s surface, but all the outgoing long-wavelength terrestrial radiation cannot penetrate the atmosphere to escape into space. Instead, atmospheric gases (mainly water vapor and carbon dioxide) absorb the long-wave terrestrial radiation, keeping Earth’s surface warmer than it would be if the atmosphere were not present.

5. The air pressure at higher altitudes is less than at the surface. Time is required for your body to adjust to this new pressure, so the air inside your body pushes outward more than the atmosphere pushes inward, producing that popping feeling.

6. The air density would be greater because there is a greater mass of air over a deep mine than at sea level. This greater mass causes the air pressure to be higher, which in turn creates denser air (Pressure is directly proportional to density).

7. In January the Northern Hemisphere on Earth is tilted away from the Sun, so it receives less solar radiation per unit area.

8. The total hours of sunlight (and solar energy) are dependent on the incidence of the Sun’s rays on Earth’s surface. In equatorial regions the Sun’s rays are concentrated as they strike perpendicular to Earth’s surface. As such, these regions receive twice as much solar energy as polar regions. In polar regions, the Sun’s rays are at an angle and solar energy is spread out and dispersed. As such, polar regions are cool. Earth’s tilt allows polar regions to receive nearly 24 hours of sunlight (albeit, dispersed sunlight) for half the year, and nearly 24 hours of darkness the other half of the year.

9. If more terrestrial radiation were able to leave Earth than at present, the average temperature at the surface would be lowered. The opposite would be true if less terrestrial radiation escaped.

10. Cooling by radiation prevents Earth’s temperature from rising indefinitely.

11. The oceans. Excess atmospheric carbon dioxide readily dissolves in the ocean, where it undergoes various chemical reactions, most of which lead to the formation of carbonate precipitates such as limestone.

12. Air temperature is not the factor. Solar radiation is. At high elevations there is less atmosphere above you to filter UV rays, so you are exposed to more high-energy radiation.

13. Although directions are variable, on a non-spinning Earth surface winds would still blow from areas of high pressure to low pressure. On the real Earth at 15� S latitude we are in the region of the doldrums where the air is warm and the winds are light. In this region the light winds blow from east to west.

14. Cell-like circulation patterns set up by atmospheric temperature and pressure differences are responsible for the redistribution of heat across Earth’s surface and global winds. Because the winds set the surface waters into motion, atmospheric circulation and oceanic circulation are interrelated. What affects one affects the other. Ocean currents do not follow the wind pattern exactly however; they spiral in a circular whirl pattern—a gyre. In the Northern Hemisphere as prevailing winds blow clockwise and outward from a subtropical high, the ocean currents move in a more or less circular, but clockwise, pattern. The Gulf Stream, a warm water current in the North Atlantic Ocean, is actually part of a huge gyre.

15. Jet streams are usually found between elevations of 10 and 15 kilometers, although they can occur at higher and lower elevations. As a swiftly flowing westerly wind, the jet streams greatly influence upper-air circulation as they transfer heat from polar regions to tropical regions. As a westerly wind, air travel is faster from west to east and slower from east to west. Thus, flights from San Francisco to New York are shorter in time than the return trip from New York to San Francisco.

16. The jet streams—high-speed winds of the upper troposphere—play an essential role in the global transfer of thermal energy from the equator to the poles. The polar jet and the subtropical jet form in response to temperature and pressure gradients. The polar jet forms as a result of a temperature gradient at the polar front, where cool polar air meets warm subtropical air. The subtropical jet is generated as warm air is carried from the equator toward the poles, producing a sharp temperature gradient along the subtropical front.

17. Water has a high specific heat capacity thus it retains heat longer than a substance with a low specific heat capacity (like rock or soil). The fact that water takes a long time to cool and that it resists changes in temperature affects the climate of areas close to the oceans. Look at a globe and notice the high latitude countries of Europe. If water did not have a high specific heat capacity, the coastal countries of Europe would be as cold as the northeastern regions of Canada, for both are at the same latitude.

18. Large icebergs come from, or calve off of, glaciers on land.

19. Evaporation exceeds precipitation.

20. Like the circulation of atmospheric currents, oceanic currents are driven by the heat of the Sun.

21. The ocean acts to 1) moderate the temperature of coastal lands; and 2) provide a reservoir for atmospheric moisture.

22. When evaporation exceeds precipitation salinity increases. In ocean water it is the water that evaporates, the salt is left behind. When precipitation exceeds evaporation salinity decreases as a new influx of fresh water dilutes the salt solution.

23. The polar ice caps are on land and do not displace any water. If they melt, the water added to the sea is “new” water and sea level will rise as “new” water is added.

24. It will sink until it reaches a point of equilibrium—the point where it encounters water of the same density, or the seafloor, whichever comes first.

25. Seawater does not freeze easily but when it does, only the water freezes, and the salt is left behind. Thus the seawater that does not freeze experiences an increase in salinity.

26. Basically, because headlands stick out from the rest of the shoreline. Thus, they receive the full impact of waves.

27. The breakwater will intercept sand that is being transported by the longshore current. The near-shore currents will also be disrupted, potentially heightening beach erosion on the downstream side of the breakwater.

28. At times in Earth’s history, shallow seas covered continental land, allowing deposition of carbonate rocks. The shallow seas are now gone, so the carbonate rocks are exposed.

29. Sand-sized fragments from coral reefs and carbonate platforms make up the white-sand beaches in many island areas, such as Hawaii. Look carefully at the sand in such tropical beaches, and you’ll see it is predominantly composed of shell fragments. The shell fragments come from the erosion of the nearby reefs and carbonate platforms.

30. As evaporation occurs over the ocean surface, only the H2O evaporates, the salts are left behind thus making the seawater saltier. Although most of the salt is left behind, minute salt particles in the ocean spray can act as condensation nuclei, which aids in the formation of water vapor droplets. The amount of salt particles, however, is so minute that precipitation is essentially pure fresh water.

31. When water depth approaches half a wave’s wavelength, the bottom of the wave’s circular path flattens, slowing the wave.

32. When seawater in polar regions freezes only the water freezes, and the salt is left behind. The seawater that does not freeze experiences an increase in salinity, which in turn brings about an increase in density.

33. Tropical regions receive greater amounts of solar radiation so one would expect evaporation to exceed precipitation causing an increase in salinity. Although this is a good assumption, in reality evaporation and precipitation tend to pretty much balance each other. In fact, viewing the world as a whole, 85% of the atmosphere’s water vapor is water evaporated from the ocean, with 75% of the atmosphere’s water vapor precipitated back to the oceans. The 10% difference is negligible in its effect on salinity as ocean water is able to circulate worldwide. In a more-or-less closed sea system, such as the Mediterranean Sea, salinity is increasing as the circulation of water is impeded by land barriers.

34. Although salinity varies from one part of the ocean to another, the overall composition of seawater is fairly uniform—a mixture of about 96.5% water and 3.5% salt. With greater amounts of solar energy at the tropics one would expect evaporation to exceed precipitation causing an increase in salinity. Although this is a good assumption, in reality evaporation and precipitation tend to pretty much balance each other.

35. The midlatitudes are noted for their unpredictable weather. Although the winds tend to be westerlies, they are often quite changeable as the temperature and pressure differences between the subtropical and polar air masses at the polar front produce powerful winds.

36. The water level remains the same when the ice melts. Water expands when it turns to ice, which is why part of it sticks above the surface. When it melts, it shrinks back down to its original size, which is why the water level doesn’t change. So when floating chunks of ice in the Great Lakes melt, the water level of the lakes doesn’t change.

37. The gravitational pull of the Sun on Earth is greater than the gravitational pull of the Moon. The tides, however, are caused by the differences in gravitational forces by the Moon on opposite sides of Earth. The difference in gravitational forces by the Moon on opposite sides of Earth is greater than the corresponding difference in forces by the stronger pulling, but much more distant, Sun.

38. No. Tides are caused by differences in gravitational pulls. If there are no differences in pulls, there are no tides.

39. Ocean tides are not exactly 12 hours apart because while Earth spins, the Moon moves in its orbit and appears at its same position overhead every 25 hours, instead of every 24 hours. So the two-high-tide cycle occurs at about 25-hour intervals, making high tides about 12.5 hours apart.

40. Lowest tides occur along with highest tides—spring tides. So the spring tide cycle consists of higher-than-average high tides followed by lower-than-average low tides (best for digging clams).

41. Whenever the ocean tide is unusually high, it will be followed by an unusually low tide. This makes sense, for when one part of the world is having an extra high tide another part must be donating water and experiencing an extra low tide. Conservation of water.

42. Friction is a primary force that sets surface waters into motion. If distances are short, the surface waters move in the same direction as the wind. For longer distances, however, the deflective Coriolis force is influenced by Ekman transport, which causes the water to spiral in a gyre. The circular motion is clockwise in the North Hemisphere and counterclockwise in the South Hemisphere.

43. At the equator, direct heat causes air to flow vertically upward with very little horizontal movement, resulting in a vast low-pressure zone. The rising motion creates a narrow, windless realm of air that is still, hot, and stagnant. When the moist air rises, it cools and releases torrents of rain. Over land areas these frequent rains give rise to the tropical rain forests that characterize the equatorial region.

44. CO2 dissolves in the ocean.

45. It absorbs more solar radiation.

46. Nitrogen and oxygen ions (atoms stripped of electrons).

47. Opposite. When winter in Chicago during January, it is summer in Sydney, also in January.

48. High-speed ions ejected from the Sun stir up the ionosphere.

49. In these cold areas when the seawater freezes, only the water freezes, and the salt is left behind. The seawater that does not freeze experiences an increase in salinity, which in turn brings about an increase in density. The cold, denser, saltier seawater sinks, which sets up a pattern of vertical movement. There is also horizontal movement as the dense water that sinks in the polar regions flows along the bottom to the deeper parts of the ocean floor.

50. Cold water is denser than warm water. Salinity also affects density: The greater the salinity, the greater the density.

Solutions: Chapter 24 Problems

1. The density of the air in the tank is 1.25 kg/m3. The mass of this air is found by multiplying by the tank volume:

1.25 kg/m3 � 0.0100 m3 = 0.0125 kg

2. The mass of the air is found by multiplying the density of the air in the tank by the tank volume:

240 kg/m3 � 0.0100 m3 = 2.4 kg

Solutions: Chapter 25 Exercises

1. Weather is the state of the atmosphere with respect to temperature, moisture content, and atmospheric stability or instability at any given place and time. Climate is the consistent behavior of weather over time.

2. Although precipitation can fall from a descending moist air mass, the production of rain (or snow) requires both descending and rising air or, downdrafts and updrafts. Recall that water droplets in clouds are so small that they evaporate before reaching the ground. Updrafts allow the water droplets more time in the cloud where they can grow in size. Once the weight of the drop is greater than the force of the updraft, the drop descends growing larger as it falls through the moist air. As the drops descend they create a downdraft, which, once created, yields precipitation.

3. As moist air is lifted or pushed upslope against a mountain it cools adiabatically. As rising air cools, its capacity for accommodating water vapor decreases, increasing the relative humidity of the rising air. If the air cools to its dew point, the water vapor condenses and a cloud forms. Stable air that is forced upward forms stratus type clouds whereas unstable air tends to form cumulus type clouds.

4. Warm air is able to accommodate more water vapor before becoming saturated than can cold air. As warm moist air blows over cold water it cools which causes the water vapor to condense into tiny droplets of fog.

5. The ground and objects on the ground are often cooler than the surrounding air. As air comes into contact with these cold surfaces it cools and its ability to accommodate water vapor decreases. As the air cools below its dew point, water vapor condenses onto the nearest available surface.

6. The air around the Gulf of Mexico is more humid. Arizona, in contrast, has no large body of water to wet the air. Even though both regions may have the same temperature, the inhibiting effect of humidity on bodily evaporation finds one feeling considerably warmer in the Gulf States.

7. Warm, dry air holds more water vapor than cold dry air. The wind keeps the air above the glass dry by blowing away the moist air formed from evaporation. Hence, a glass of water will evaporate more readily on a windy, warm, dry summer day.

8. The low cloud cover acts as an insulation blanket inhibiting the outflow of terrestrial radiation.

9. The change in environment from cold to warm. As you leave the air-conditioned room the warm air outside comes into contact with the cold surface of the sunglasses. During contact, the cold surface cools the air by conduction and the warm air’s ability to hold water vapor decreases. As the air cools to its dew point water vapor condenses onto the sunglasses.

10. The change in environment from cold to warm. As we leave the cold outdoors the warm air inside comes into contact with the cold surface of the eyeglasses. As the air touching the eyeglasses cools to its dew point, water vapor condenses onto the eyeglasses.

11. Yes! The temperature of an air mass can change without the addition or subtraction of thermal energy— this is adiabatic expansion or compression.

12. Recall that water droplets in clouds are so small that they evaporate before reaching the ground. Rising air allows the water droplets more time in the cloud where they can grow in size. Once the weight of the drop is greater than the force of the rising air, the drop descends growing larger as it falls through the moist air, yielding precipitation.

13. As an air mass is pushed upward over a mountain the rising air cools, and if the air is humid, clouds form and precipitation occurs. As the air mass moves down the other side of the mountain (the leeward slope), it warms. This descending air is dry because most of its moisture was removed in the form of clouds and precipitation on the windward (upslope) side of the mountain.

14. Because cool air has slower moving molecules, and warm air can hold more water vapor than cold air.

15. Nimbostratus. Nimbostratus clouds are a wet-looking low cloud layer associated with light to moderate rain or snow. They are generally dark gray, which makes visibility of the Sun or Moon quite difficult. Although cumulonimbus clouds are also associated with precipitation, they do not produce an overcast sky. You can generally see the top of a cumulonimbus cloud.

16. Dew forms when air at Earth’s surface becomes saturated and condensation occurs on any available surface. Frost forms by the process of deposition—water vapor directly to ice. Frost may resemble frozen dew, but the process of formation is completely different.

17. The fact that warm air rises and cool air sinks. As cool air sinks, the expansion of warm air beneath it is inhibited, so we usually see single cumulus cloud with a great deal of blue sky between them.

18. The formation of cumulus clouds requires hot-spots of rising air. Without updrafts, there are no cumulus clouds.

19. Stable air forced to rise spreads out horizontally. When clouds develop, they too spread out into thin horizontal layers having flat tops and bottoms. Thus, we see stratus type clouds—cirrostratus, altostratus, nimbostratus, or stratus—forming in stable air.

20. Cumulonimbus.

21. The saturation vapor pressure is the upper limit of humidity. When this level is reached the humidity cannot increase, the air is saturated.

22. The air becomes saturated. The excess water vapor condenses to form liquid.

23. Present weather conditions including temperature, air pressure, humidity, types of clouds, level of precipitation, and wind direction and wind speed.

24. The more data, the better the forecast. So yes, accuracy would decrease.

25. In a warm front, warm air slides upward over a wedge of cooler air near the ground. Gentle lifting of the warm moist air produces stratus and nimbostratus clouds and drizzly rain showers. In contrast, cold fronts occur as warm moist air is forced upward more quickly by advancing cold air. As the air lifts, it expands and cools to the dew-point temperature to a level of active condensation and cloud formation. This abrupt lifting produces cumulonimbus clouds, which are often, accompanied by heavy showers, lightning, thunder, and hail.

26. As air rises, it expands and cools. As air sinks, it is compressed and it warms.

27. By a change in atmospheric stability. Altostratus clouds, although varying in thickness, are a layered type cloud that often covers the sky for hundreds of kilometers. Layered clouds are generally stable. If the top of an altostratus cloud cools as the bottom warms, the cloud becomes unstable to the point that small convection currents develop within the cloud. The up and down motions make the cloud develop a puffy appearance—the transformation into an altocumulus cloud.

28. Snowfall in Antarctica is very light. The polar cell sits over Antarctica where air tends to sink. Also, the air itself doesn’t contain much moisture because it is so cold. So snowfall is usually scarce in the polar regions.

29. When two air masses make contact, differences in temperature, moisture, and pressure can cause one air mass to ride over the other, forming clouds and causing precipitation.

30. The gradual rise of air means an extended period for the generation of different types of precipitation. In a warm front, less-dense warm air gradually rides up and over colder, denser air producing widespread cloudiness and precipitation way before the actual front. In many respects, a warm front is like a temperature inversion. Precipitation from the warmer air above falls through colder air below, where it can freeze.

31. The collision-coalescence process:

1) condensation nuclei

2) water vapor to cloud droplets

3) updrafts

4) droplet bombardment

5) droplet growth.

There needs to be sufficient vertical development of the cloud, otherwise there are not enough droplet collisions for individual droplets to grow. Thicker clouds means a higher chance of rain since droplets have more time and space to coalesce into heavy-enough-to-fall drops. Raindrops form because the condensation rate exceeds the evaporation rate.

32. In simplest terms, an occluded front forms when a cold front and a warm front merge.

33. When an air mass is pushed upward over a mountain range the rising air expands and cools, and if it is humid, clouds form. As the air mass moves down the leeward slope of the mountain, it warms as it is compressed. This descending air is dry because most of its moisture was removed in the form of clouds and precipitation on the windward side of the mountain. Because the dry leeward sides of mountain ranges are sheltered from rain and moisture, rain shadow deserts often form.

34. The birth of a thunderstorm begins with humid air rising, cooling, and condensing into a single cumulus cloud. As the cloud grows upward, it is fed by an updraft of rising warm air from below. Precipitation particles grow larger and heavier within the cloud until they eventually begin to fall as rain. The falling rain drags some of the cool dry air from above along with it, creating a downdraft. The downdraft strengthens as dry air is drawn into the cloud causing some of the raindrops to evaporate. Recall that evaporation is a cooling process: as such the air chills making it colder and denser than the air around it. Thus, although sinking air is generally associated with warming, in a thunderstorm a downdraft is cold.

35. Tornadoes evolve from thunderstorms that form in regions of strong vertical wind shear. Rapidly increasing wind speed and changing wind direction with height cause the updraft within the storm to rotate. Rotation begins in the middle of the thunderstorm and then works its way downward. As air rushes into the low-pressure vortex, it expands, cools, and condenses into a funnel cloud. As air beneath the funnel is drawn into the core, the funnel cloud descends toward the surface. When the funnel cloud reaches the ground surface, it is called a tornado.

36. Hurricanes are a subtropical weather system that occurs between 5� and 20� latitude. Hurricanes need warm water. The warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean provide fuel for the development of hurricanes on the eastern coast of the United States. Although hurricanes do occur on the western coast, the Pacific Ocean is much cooler than the Gulf and the Caribbean. As such, it does not provide the proper fuel for a hurricane.

37. They simply have more moisture.

38. Moisture from the warm ocean provides the reservoir of energy. When the moisture condenses it releases heat, which is the energy that drives the hurricane. This is why hurricanes die out over land—they are cut off from their fundamental source of energy—warm, moist air.

39. Texas through Oklahoma, Kansas, and Missouri, a zone known as Tornado Alley.

40. All of our Earth’s weather occurs in the troposphere.

Solutions: Chapter 25 Problems

Solutions: Chapter 26 Exercises

1. As the particles get closer together, the force of gravity increases, which assures that the particles become more compact. As collisions increase, the particles heat up so that gravitational potential energy is converted to thermal energy. Eventually the center becomes so compact and hot that it can ignite thermonuclear fusion and a star is born.

2. As a nebular contracts and spins faster it flattens out into a disc.

3. The Sun’s output of energy is that of thermonuclear fusion. Because fusion in the Sun is the result of gravitational pressure, we can say the prime source of solar energy is gravity. Without the strong gravity, fusion wouldn’t occur.

4. Both look black due to the large contrast between the bright and dark parts.

5. It has more surface area in the disk shape which allows it to radiate more energy not re-radiated.

6. If the Earth didn’t spin and only revolved around the Sun, then a day would last a year. Think of it this way: Place a beach ball to represent the Sun in the middle of a large room. Now stand away from this solar beach ball and face it. Because you are facing directly to this Sun, the time on your solar clock is high noon. Now move around the ball in a counterclockwise direction without turning your head. As you do this, you will note that the Sun sets to your left after 90�. After 180�, the Sun is to your back and it is nighttime. After 270� the Sun is rising to your right. After 360�, you are back were you started and it is once again high noon. A full day has past and it took you a whole revolution around the Sun, which is one year.

7. If the Earth didn’t spin on its axis and only revolved around the Sun, the Sun would set in the east and rise in the west. To understand how so, you will need to read the answer to the previous exercise. As you read this answer and act out your movement around the solar beach ball, envision writing “New York City” on your left arm and “Los Angeles” on your right arm. You will see that after 90� that the Sun is setting over New York City, which is to the east of Los Angeles. So the revolution of Earth causes the Sun to appear to move backwards across the sky. Our rate of rotation is much faster so the Sun appears to move towards the west. The eastward moving effect of revolution, however, is enough to push the Sun eastward by 3 minutes 57 seconds every day. One Earth rotation actually takes 24 hours 3 minutes and 57 seconds. Subtract the eastward movement of the Sun and the solar day we experience becomes 24 hours. So it takes the Earth longer than a day to spin around once!

8. Mercury is too small and too hot to hold any appreciable atmosphere.

9. In star interiors.

10. Unequal heating of the surface and therefore the atmosphere.

11. Venus is covered with a thick blanket of carbon dioxide that helps to contain heat throughout the planet so that there is near equal heating nearly everywhere, even at the poles. Furthermore, Venus spins slowly on its axis, which means that the Coriolis effect is minimum. Recall from Chapter 24 how the Coriolis effect is responsible for the wind patterns on Earth.

12. No, because the water from Venus has already been lost.

13. The jovian planets are large gaseous low-density worlds, and have rings. The terrestrial planets are rocky and have no rings.

14. Its composition resembles that of the Sun. It differs from a star in that nuclear fusion doesn’t occur at its core.

15. Adding more mass means stronger gravitational forces that compress the volume. A more massive object, therefore, can have a smaller volume. In Chapter 27 we’ll be exploring black holes, which are very very massive, yet quite small.

16. A planet like Earth rotates through an axis that is slightly non-perpendicular to the orbital plane. This means that the angle that the Sun’s rays make with a given part of its surface depends on the time of the planet’s year. A slight tilt results in slight changes of season. Uranus, however, is enormously tilted, with its polar axis nearly in the plane of its orbit. Its seasons are very exaggerated, so that when the polar axis is aligned with the Sun, a full summer is at one pole and a full winter at the opposite pole.

17. Neptune and Pluto were both discovered via scientific investigation, first Neptune, then Pluto. Similarly, neptunium and plutonium were also discovered by scientific investigation, first neptunium, then plutonium.

18. The impacting object must have hit the young Earth not dead-on, but askew, which gave the Earth a fast rotation.

19. Erosion hasn’t occurred on the Moon, so craters have not been covered up. Another way of saying the same thing is that the Moon wears no makeup.

20. Gravitation at the Moon’s surface is too small; escape velocity at the Moon’s surface is less than the speeds that molecules of gas would have at regular Moon temperatures, so any gases on the Moon escape.

21. The fact we see one side is evidence that it rotates; if it didn’t rotate, we’d need only wait till it completed a half orbit to see its opposite side.

22. In both photos the Sun is off to the right, at about 2:30 o’clock, slightly in back. If it were exactly to the right the Moon and ball would be half lit.

23. An observer from the Moon looking to Earth would see the Earth slowly spinning so that it’s face was always changing. The Earth, however, is slowing down in its rate of rotation. In about a billion years, the rate at which Earth rotates will match the revolution of the Moon. At this point an observer on the Moon will see only one face of the Earth, just as we on Earth now only see one face of the Moon. At this point, a day on Earth will last 47 days.

24. An observer on the back side of the Moon would never see the Earth. To see the Earth, the observer would need to travel to the front side of the Moon. As she did so, she would finally reach a point where she would see the Earth coming up from the horizon. She is midway between the back and front sides. If she stopped at this point for a picnic, would the Earth continue to rise? No, it wouldn’t. In fact, on the Moon, as long as you don’t move about, the Earth remains in the same place in the sky for the same reason we only ever see one face of the Moon. When the astronauts walked on the Moon, they could count on Earth being in the same place in the sky for their entire stay. What does change, however, is the Earth’s phase, which takes a month to cycle from full Earth to new Earth back to full Earth.

25. When all three are aligned with the Moon between the Sun and Earth.

26. When all three are aligned with the Earth between the Sun and Moon.

27. They both tend to line up with their respective fields, gravitation for the Moon, magnetic for the compass needle.

28. It would be nighttime because you would be located directly between the Earth and the Sun. The Earth would be so bright, however, that you could clearly see your shadow. From Earth people would look up and see a dark new Moon. But it would be daytime on the Earth and the sky would be so bright and the new Moon so dim, that people wouldn’t see a thing. Unless, of course, it was during a spectacular solar eclipse.

29. It would be daytime because the Earth is between you and the Sun. If the Moon happened to be passing through the ecliptic than it would be possible that you would view the Sun being eclipsed by the new Earth. What a view that would be!

30. The Sun would always appear in the same location in the sky. One side of Earth would have constant light, while the other side of Earth would have constant dark.

31. Observations are made during the new Moon part of the month, when the sky is moonless. It makes a difference because moonlight is not there to be scattered and obscure a good view.

32. A lunar eclipse is in view of the whole hemisphere of the Earth facing the Moon. But a solar eclipse is in view only on a small part of the hemisphere that faces the Sun at that time, so few see it.

33. Extend the bite to complete a circle, and the patch of the Earth’s shadow appears to be a circle with a diameter of 2.5 Moon diameters. Does this mean the Earth’s diameter is 2.5 Moon diameters? No, because the Earth’s shadow at the distance of the Moon has tapered. How much? According to the tapering that is evident during a solar eclipse, by 1 Moon diameter. So add that to the 2.5 and we find the Earth is 3.5 times wider than the Moon.

34. Comets are icy bodies that orbit the Sun. When they get close to the Sun, they lose volatile compounds, such as water, which escape and appear as the comet’s tail. Pluto is an ice body. If it were somehow knocked off its orbit (unlikely because it’s so massive) then it too would show a tail as it came closer to the Sun. Because of its great mass, it would be a most spectacular and potentially dangerous tail for those viewing from Earth.

35. The smaller meteoroids have less inertia and so their orbital paths are easier to disturb.

36. Antarctica, because so many would be imbedded in ice. On regular ground, they are not so obvious. Found on the surface of ice indicates they came from above.

37. A comet continually orbits the Sun.

38. Almost none except for spectacular meteor showers high in the atmosphere.

39. Quite simply, the sky is BIG. A far-away comet occupies a pinpoint in the sky, and there are oodles of pinpoints!

40. On each pass around the Sun, material and the energy that is associated with it is swept away. This material and energy comprise the comet tails. Since the comet is composed of a finite amount of material, sooner or later it is dissipated entirely.

Solutions: Chapter 26 Problems

Solutions: Chapter 27 Exercises

1. He did not know that the stars above his head were a small portion of a much larger conglomeration of stars called a galaxy. Nor did he know that our galaxy is just one of billions and billions. What would he have given to have access to the science textbooks of the 21st century? Please don’t take our modern day understandings of the universe for granted. Likewise, have respect for all that we will surely be learning in the future.

2. Yes, the Sun is a star bright enough for us to see in the day. In fact, it is so bright that it lightens up our atmosphere to the point we are not able to see the relatively dim light of other stars. An exception to this is the formation of a rare supernova, which can be seen during the day.

3. On Earth, the Sun lightens up our atmosphere to the point we are not able to see the relatively dim light of stars. On the Moon, however, there is no atmosphere. The sky therefore appears black and stars are visible.

4. Figure 27.2, which shows that the background of a solar eclipse is the nighttime sky normally viewed 6 months earlier or later.

5. Both near and faraway stars appear as if on the inner surface of one great sphere, with us at the center. Two stars that appear very close together are on the same line of sight, but may actually be an enormous distance apart, and would not appear close together at all when viewed from the side. Astronomers distinguish between double stars and binary stars. Double stars are on the same line of sight, yet are actually far apart. Binaries are stars that are both on the same line of sight and are in close interaction.

6. Twelve hours. In 24 hours it makes a complete cycle.

7. Within the celestial sphere, Polaris is closely aligned with the north pole, which marks the axis of Earth’s spin.

8. At the North Pole, you would see Polaris directly overhead at zenith, which is straight up.

9. A planetary nebula is a shell of interstellar material put forth by a medium-mass star in the process of transforming into a white dwarf.

10. When they are equal they determine the size of the star.

11. A nova is the thermonuclear fusion of material collected by white dwarf from a neighboring star.

12. A star is born upon the ignition of thermonuclear fusion in its the core.

13. A star “dies” when it is no longer able to burn thermonuclear fuel.

14. The color of a star tells us much about the star, including its temperature, size, and age. A yellow star is of medium size, temperature, and age. Red stars are relatively cool, large, and close to the end of their life cycle. The blue stars are also large but much hotter and even closer to their ends.

15. The largest stars are either red or blue.

16. The Sun will expand into a red giant before ultimately turning into a white dwarf.

17. When a burnt-out collapsing star has sufficient gravity, the heat created from contraction can be sufficient to ignite the fusion of heavier elements.

18. The nuclei of atoms that compose our bodies were once parts of stars. All nuclei beyond iron in atomic number, were in fact manufactured in supernovae.

19. The gold in any ring was made in the death throes of stars during supernovae explosions.

20. Since all the heavy elements are manufactured in supernovae, the newer the star, the greater percentage of heavy elements available for its construction. Very old stars were made when heavy elements were less abundant.

21. The mass, volume, color, and luminosity of our Sun tells us that it is about halfway through its estimated 10 billion year life span. Also, the Sun contains heavier elements that it could not possibly have produced. Our star, therefore, must have form from interstellar gas that already contained the remnants of stars long since expired.

22. Too low a mass and gravitational pressure in the inner core is insufficient to provoke thermonuclear fusion. No fusion, no star.

23. Thermonuclear fusion reactions produce an outward pressure that counteracts the inward pressure that would lead to collapse due to gravity.

24. A protostar is not yet a star, and is made up of an aggregation of matter many times more massive than the Sun and much larger in size than the solar system.

25. Thermonuclear fusion powers a star. Only non-fusion energy exists within a protostar.

26. Thermonuclear fusion is caused by gravitational pressure, wherein hydrogen nuclei are squashed together. Gravitational pressures in the outer layers are insufficient to produce fusion.

27. The more massive a star, the greater the gravitational forces. This translates into a hotter core temperature, which helps the fusion reactions to burn faster. So, while a more massive star begins with more fuel, it burns that fuel at a faster rate; hence, the duration of its life tends to be shorter.

28. One reason for the rarity of supermassive stars is that the more massive a star, the quicker it burns. Supermassive stars, therefore, burn out in short periods of time, such as a few million years. If there were once many supermassive stars, they have long since died out. A second reason is that the matter within a typical galaxy just isn’t “clumpy” enough to allow for the frequent formation of supermassive stars. So supermassive stars are born in smaller numbers to begin with.

29. Just as a spinner skater slows down when arms are extended, a spinning star in formation similarly slows down when material that forms planets is extended. Thus, a slow-spinning star has more likely extended material as planets than a fast-spinning star.

30. Bigger stars live faster, and collapse more energetically when they burn out.

31. There is insufficient gravitational pressure within the Sun to initiate carbon fusion, which requires greater squashing than hydrogen to fuse.

32. Stars with fewer heavier elements formed at an earlier time than the Sun.

33. Blue stars are hottest, red stars are coolest. White hot stars have surface temperatures in between.

34. The Sun will eventually run out of hydrogen nuclei for the fusion synthesis of helium. At this point, gravity will cause the Sun to collapse. This, in turn, will provide energy to allow the fusion of helium nuclei into carbon. As this happens the Sun will grow in size to become a red giant, which will bake the surface of Earth causing it to lose its atmosphere and hydrosphere. No air or water, no life.

35. Elements heavier than iron are created within the moments of a supernova blast when there is abundant energy to allow the endothermic fusion of iron into heavier elements.

36. Gravitational force on you would be enormous, but more important, the differences in gravitational forces between your near part to the hole and your far part would also be enormous and stretch you apart before you’d make impact.

37. You are simply closer to the center of gravity of the star, in accord with Newton’s law of gravitation.

38. The radius decreases as the mass of the hole increases. The reason for this is because the increased mass, hence, gravity makes it that much harder for light to escape.

39. The photon sphere is farther away from the black hole than the event horizon. The photon sphere is where tangential light rays can get caught within a continual orbit around the black hole. Beneath the photon sphere, light rays can still escape provided they are directed upwards away from the black hole. Closer to the black hole is a boundary where light cannot escape no matter what direction it is pointed. The boundary is called the event horizon.

40. The event horizon surrounding a black hole is often called the black hole’s surface. The black hole itself, however, is the point of singularity down below the event horizon. This is the point of gravity’s ultimate victory—where the entire mass of the black hole is reduced to zero volume.

41. The Sun does not have sufficient mass to supernova or to transform into a black hole.

42. Yes, the central bulge of the Andromeda Galaxy, which covers an area about five times that of the full Moon, can be seen with the naked eye on a clear night. The Magellanic clouds are two galaxies visible to the naked eye in the Southern Hemisphere.

43. A quasar releases its energy from its active galactic nucleus.

44. There is likely a supermassive black hole at the core of most, if not all, spiral galaxies, including the Milky Way. When relatively large amounts of matter are falling into that black hole, large amounts of energy are produced and we classify the core as an active galactic nucleus, AGN. Our Sun’s core produces ample energy, but not on the scale of an AGN.

45. The edge of this illustration would represent the beginning of time and so should measure about 14 billion light-years from the center. Galaxies didn’t form right away, so the network of superclusters shouldn’t start from the edge. Instead, the network should be shown starting to take form several billion light-years from the edge. Quasars might also be shown in these early stages.

Solutions: Chapter 27 Problems

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