Happy World Gratitude Day (21 September)! Our world definitely rocks and we’re celebrating it with this life-sustaining quiz. Can you get into the ozone and score a high five?
#1. We are really lucky that Earth can host life. Which of the following solar system characteristics contributed to Earth’s habitability?
We’re just the right distance from our Sun to have liquid water on the surface, orbiting in the ‘Goldilocks zone’. Jupiter’s gravity helps to deflect asteroids away from Earth, and our location in the Milky Way avoids heavy radiation from the galactic centre.
#2. Why did Mars lose most of its atmosphere?
Mars used to have a strong magnetic field like Earth, which protects the atmosphere from the intense solar wind ejected by the Sun. When the strong magnetic field stopped working, Mars’s atmosphere got stripped away by the solar wind.
#3. Scientists consider 6 elements to be the fundamental building blocks of life, required for life to start. Which of the following elements is a fundamental building block?
Carbon can have up to 4 bonds with other atoms, making it the backbone of the organic molecules making life possible. The 6 fundamental building blocks are sulfur, phosphorus, oxygen, nitrogen, carbon, and hydrogen.
#4. Which of the following gases directly damages the ozone layer?
Chlorofluorocarbons, before they were banned, were used in aerosol cans and refrigeration. The chloride atoms in these gases destroyed ozone (O3) molecules.
#5. Which of the following spectacular events is not caused by our Sun?
Our sun powers almost all the weather on Earth, but it doesn’t power everything. Deep sea thermal vents get their heat from magma seeping up through Earth’s crust. Scientists think thermal vents might support life on moons further away from the sun, like Jupiter’s Europa.
Congratulations! You are a real science whiz!
Oh dear! Better brush up before the next quiz!