Astronomy quiz question: visibility of belts and zones on Jupiter, Saturn

Astronomy 210 Quiz 7, fall semester 2012
Cuesta College, San Luis Obispo, CA

Belts and zones on Saturn are less visible than on Jupiter because they:
(A) are periodically impacted by Saturn's ring particles.
(B) have light reflected from Saturn's rings.
(C) have a metal-poor composition.
(D) lie deeper down in Saturn's atmosphere.

Correct answer: (D)

The topmost cloud layers of Jupiter and Saturn's belts and zones are warmed by sunlight; these layers are warmer for Jupiter and cooler for Saturn, such that Saturn's clouds are less buoyant and lie lower, obscured by haze.

Section 70158
Exam code: quiz07sEcn
(A) : 1 student
(B) : 6 students
(C) : 10 students
(D) : 17 students

Success level: 53% (including partial credit for multiple-choice)
Discrimination index (Aubrecht & Aubrecht, 1983): 0.67

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