Cuesta College, San Luis Obispo, CA
Refer below to the minimal qualifications established by the International Astronomical Union for a planet:
I. Orbits the sun.Chiron is an object with an unstable orbit around the sun that passes close to Jupiter's and Uranus' orbit[*], and as of March 2015 is listed as a "possible" dwarf planet.[**] In order to officially qualify as a dwarf planet, Chiron's __________ must be confirmed.
II. Shape "rounded-out" by gravity.
III. Cleared/dominates orbit around sun.
(A) rounded shape.
(B) orbital stability.
(C) influence on solar system debris.
(D) (None of the above choices would confirm Chiron as a dwarf planet.)
Correct answer (highlight to unhide): (A)
Chiron orbits the sun directly, so it is not a moon. If it were irregular in shape, it would classified as solar system debris. However, if Chiron were rounded in shape, it would then be classified as a dwarf planet, as it does not dominate its orbit around the sun.)
Exam code: quiz04s0U7
(A) : 29 students
(B) : 14 students
(C) : 3 students
(D) : 1 student
Success level: 64% (including partial credit for multiple-choice)
Discrimination index (Aubrecht & Aubrecht, 1983): 0.46