Cuesta College, San Luis Obispo, CA
[20 points.] Suppose Mars had instead formed closer to the sun, in Venus' orbit. Explain the expected characteristics of this closer-to-the-sun Mars, in terms of its internal heat and geological activity, compared to Mars today in its current orbit.
Solution and grading rubric:
- p = 20/20:
Correct. Extent of internal heat and geological activity of a terrestrial planet depends on its mass, thus Mars would essentially have the same amount of internal heat and geological activity at any distance from the sun.
- r = 16/20:
Nearly correct (explanation weak, unclear or only nearly complete); includes extraneous/tangential information; or has minor errors.
- t = 12/20:
Contains right ideas, but discussion is unclear/incomplete or contains major errors. At least recognizes that internal heat and geological activity is correlated with mass.
- v = 8/20:
Limited relevant discussion of supporting evidence of at least some merit, but in an inconsistent or unclear manner. Discussion based closer proximity to the sun creating more greenhouse effect and/or more geological activity.
- x = 4/20:
Implementation/application of ideas, but credit given for effort rather than merit. Decides on same/different relative amount of internal heat and geological activity without supporting statements.
- y = 2/20:
Irrelevant discussion/effectively blank.
- z = 0/20:
p: 4 students
r: 3 students
t: 2 students
v: 29 students
x: 3 students
y: 0 students
z: 1 student
A sample "p" response (from student 1122):
A sample "v" response (from student 4321), discussing how more heat from the sun would cause more volcanic activity:
Another sample "v" response (from student 1986), again discussing how more heat from the sun would cause more volcanic activity: