Astronomy quiz question: condensation sequence hypothesis

Astronomy 210 Quiz 7, Spring Semester 2011
Cuesta College, San Luis Obispo, CA

The inner planets of the solar system are composed of metals/rocks, while the outer planets are composed of ices/gases because of the sun's:
(A) gravity.
(B) strong winds.
(C) heat.
(D) magnetic fields.

Correct answer: (C)

Heat generated by the sun means that volatiles cannot condense to start forming the cores of the inner terrestrial planets, while further out, where it is cooler, volatiles can condense to start forming the outer jovian planets.

Section 30676
Exam code: quiz07Sq5h
(A) : 7 students
(B) : 0 students
(C) : 23 students
(D) : 9 students
(No response: 1 student)

"Success level": 61% (including partial credit for multiple-choice)
Discrimination index (Aubrecht & Aubrecht, 1983): 0.64

Compare to an older version of this question from Spring 2010.

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