ACT Science : How to find synthesis of data in earth and space sciences

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for ACT Science

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Example Questions

Example Question #11 : How To Find Synthesis Of Data In Earth And Space Sciences

A scientist observes the motion of stars, planets, and other objects in deep space through a high-powered telescope. She observes that these objects all appear to be moving away from the Earth and graphs her results comparing their velocities, in kilometers per second, and their proper distance, in megaparsecs.

 

 

Hubble_graph

A second scientist observes the results of this experiment and argues we can use the results to determine the age of the universe. Is he correct?

Possible Answers:

No: we have a velocity and a distance, but no time.

No: we need more data points to be able to draw a conclusion.

Yes: however we would need further information to be able to get an accurate conclusion.

Yes: we can work backwards to find the time when the time is zero and compare.

Correct answer:

Yes: we can work backwards to find the time when the time is zero and compare.

Explanation:

This graph is enough information for us to be able to solve. If you follow the units, we have a distance divided by time and then another distance unit. We can use the graph to work backwards to find the time between the beginning of the universe, when time is zero, and the current point -- approximately 14 billion years!

Example Question #12 : How To Find Synthesis Of Data In Earth And Space Sciences

Scientists studying historical trends in climate change have a number of tools at their disposal. One method of analyzing paleoclimate data involves the use of fossilized pollen spores embedded in sediment. Pollen spores are specific to the plant that produced them. Because the spores are resilient and are widely-distributed by wind, they provide a snapshot of the vegetation that was widespread at a particular point in time. By identifying the age of a sample and the composition of the various spores, scientists can identify the prominent vegetation and use this information to gain insight into the climate at the time the spores were deposited.

Scientists took sediment samples from various depths of a lakebed. They found that five types of pollen spores make up the majority of spore deposits in each sample. In Table 1, plants are listed along with the respective temperature ranges and levels of precipitation for the areas in which they are commonly found. Table 2 shows the composition of the assortment of spores in each of the four samples taken by the scientists.

Pollen_table_1

Pollen_table_2

A spore for a new type of plant, Plant X, is found in high concentrations in Sample 3. What is the plant's likely preferred temperature and rate of precipitation?

Possible Answers:

Temperature: 14 - 20 

Precipitation: 105 - 130 cm. per year

Temperature: 6 - 13 

Precipitation: 125 - 155 cm. per year

Temperature: 9 - 14 

Precipitation: 30 - 70 cm. per year

Temperature: 20 - 26 

Precipitation: 40 - 80 cm. per year

Correct answer:

Temperature: 9 - 14 

Precipitation: 30 - 70 cm. per year

Explanation:

Sample 3 has only one type of plant spore in high concentrations: Plant E. Plant X most likely has climate preferences similar to Plant E's. Both temperature and precipitation for Plant X should resemble Plant E's: 8 - 15  for temperature and 45 - 80 cm. per year for precipitation.

Example Question #81 : Earth And Space Sciences

Scientists studying historical trends in climate change have a number of tools at their disposal. One method of analyzing paleoclimate data involves the use of fossilized pollen spores embedded in sediment. Pollen spores are specific to the plant that produced them. Because the spores are resilient and are widely-distributed by wind, they provide a snapshot of the vegetation that was widespread at a particular point in time. By identifying the age of a sample and the composition of the various spores, scientists can identify the prominent vegetation and use this information to gain insight into the climate at the time the spores were deposited.

Scientists took sediment samples from various depths of a lakebed. They found that five types of pollen spores make up the majority of spore deposits in each sample. In Table 1, plants are listed along with the respective temperature ranges and levels of precipitation for the areas in which they are commonly found. Table 2 shows the composition of the assortment of spores in each of the four samples taken by the scientists.

Pollen_table_1

Pollen_table_2

A fifth sample is taken at a different depth. If it contains few spores from any of the 5 plants, which is the most likely explanation for their absence?

Possible Answers:

The spores did not survive from the time they were deposited.

The temperature and/or precipitation at the time was outside of the optimal ranges for each plant.

The spores were poorly distributed. 

The scientists used poor sampling procedures.

Correct answer:

The temperature and/or precipitation at the time was outside of the optimal ranges for each plant.

Explanation:

According to the passage, plant populations and the concentrations of deposited spores are largely dictated by climate conditions. Therefore it is most likely that the absence of spores is also attributable to climate conditions.

The passage also states that pollen spores are resilient and widely-distributed. This makes it unlikely that they did not survive or were poorly distributed. Lastly, no changes in sampling procedures were listed besides the change in depth. Because the scientists did not find similarly low numbers in Samples 1-4, it is unlikely that their sampling procedures were the cause of the absence of spores in Sample 5.

Example Question #14 : How To Find Synthesis Of Data In Earth And Space Sciences

Scientists studying historical trends in climate change have a number of tools at their disposal. One method of analyzing paleoclimate data involves the use of fossilized pollen spores embedded in sediment. Pollen spores are specific to the plant that produced them. Because the spores are resilient and are widely-distributed by wind, they provide a snapshot of the vegetation that was widespread at a particular point in time. By identifying the age of a sample and the composition of the various spores, scientists can identify the prominent vegetation and use this information to gain insight into the climate at the time the spores were deposited.

Scientists took sediment samples from various depths of a lakebed. They found that five types of pollen spores make up the majority of spore deposits in each sample. In Table 1, plants are listed along with the respective temperature ranges and levels of precipitation for the areas in which they are commonly found. Table 2 shows the composition of the assortment of spores in each of the four samples taken by the scientists.

Pollen_table_1

Pollen_table_2

Scientists take a sample of airborne spores at the time of their collection. Assuming all five plant types are still present in the region, which would be most prevalent in the current cool, arid climate?

Possible Answers:

Plant D

Plant B

Plant E

Plant A

Plant C

Correct answer:

Plant E

Explanation:

According to Table 1, the plant most tolerant of low temperatures and low precipitation is Plant E. This is most likely the most prevalent plant.

Example Question #15 : How To Find Synthesis Of Data In Earth And Space Sciences

 

Displaying FotorPhoto.jpg

Above is the deer population of Routt County National Forest between 1905 and 2005. The First White-tail deer were introduced to the forest for hunting in 1905. They are not native to the area, though they thrived in the environment.

White tailed deer eat the seeds of coniferous trees, berries, and an assortment of other plants. They tend to roam in small family herds and stick to areas where water is abundant and is unlikely to freeze completely in the winter.

In 1995, an environmental scientist watched a small herd of deer for ten days, recording their movements and taking note of herd size and stopping place. Below is a chart of his results.

 

Day

Travel distance (mi)

Herd size

Stopping place

1

21

13

Bear Creek

2

15

13

Yampa Valley

5

19

13

Bear Creek

8

11

10

Gilpin Lake

10

22

10

Yampa Valley

 

Which of the following most likely influences where the deer herd stops when it is traveling?

Possible Answers:

Access to drinking water and access to caves.

Access to caves and low ground. 

Access to drinking water and low ground.

High ground and tree coverage.

Correct answer:

Access to drinking water and low ground.

Explanation:

The herd stops at creeks, lakes, and in the valley.These things all share commonalities which are, in this case, a source of water and of low ground, probably as a protection from the elements (creeks and lakes lie and the lowest points in the mountains). It would stand to reason, then, that what they are searching for is both water access as well as low ground. 

Example Question #16 : How To Find Synthesis Of Data In Earth And Space Sciences

 

Displaying FotorPhoto.jpg

Above is the deer population of Routt County National Forest between 1905 and 2005. The First White-tail deer were introduced to the forest for hunting in 1905. They are not native to the area, though they thrived in the environment.

White tailed deer eat the seeds of coniferous trees, berries, and an assortment of other plants. They tend to roam in small family herds and stick to areas where water is abundant and is unlikely to freeze completely in the winter.

In 1995, an environmental scientist watched a small herd of deer for ten days, recording their movements and taking note of herd size and stopping place. Below is a chart of his results.

 

Day

Travel distance (mi)

Herd size

Stopping place

1

21

13

Bear Creek

2

15

13

Yampa Valley

5

19

13

Bear Creek

8

11

10

Gilpin Lake

10

22

10

Yampa Valley

 

What could have caused the herd size to decrease on day 8?

Possible Answers:

The deer were preyed on by a pack of wolves at Gilpin Lake. 

A wildfire started in Yampa Valley.

Hunters arrived at Bear Creek.

It began to snow at Gilpin Lake. 

Correct answer:

The deer were preyed on by a pack of wolves at Gilpin Lake. 

Explanation:

The most correct answers are those that involve Gilpin Lake, as that was where the herd was when three deer were lost. All the other incidents at their other places of travel wouldn't affect them as much as they weren't there. The best answer, though, is that wolves are the cause, for wolves would hunt and kill as many as they could eat and would therefore cause much more damage than snow, something the deer are both used to as well as acclimated to. 

Example Question #17 : How To Find Synthesis Of Data In Earth And Space Sciences

 

Displaying FotorPhoto.jpg

Above is the deer population of Routt County National Forest between 1905 and 2005. The First White-tail deer were introduced to the forest for hunting in 1905. They are not native to the area, though they thrived in the environment.

White tailed deer eat the seeds of coniferous trees, berries, and an assortment of other plants. They tend to roam in small family herds and stick to areas where water is abundant and is unlikely to freeze completely in the winter.

In 1995, an environmental scientist watched a small herd of deer for ten days, recording their movements and taking note of herd size and stopping place. Below is a chart of his results.

 

Day

Travel distance (mi)

Herd size

Stopping place

1

21

13

Bear Creek

2

15

13

Yampa Valley

5

19

13

Bear Creek

8

11

10

Gilpin Lake

10

22

10

Yampa Valley

 

If the scientist were to lose the herd of deer at Bear Creek, what would be his best course of action for finding them again?

Possible Answers:

Wait for the herd to return to Bear Creek in a few days.

Give up and return home.

None of the answers.

Track the deer's footprints and try to catch up. 

Correct answer:

Wait for the herd to return to Bear Creek in a few days.

Explanation:

Notice the deer travel a large number of miles every day, most likely too far for a human on foot to keep up with. However, the deer return to the same places to rest and drink, and appear to do so in cycles that include all three places of rest regularly. It stands to reason, then, that if the scientist waits at whichever spot he lost them, he will see the herd again in a few days.

Example Question #11 : How To Find Synthesis Of Data In Earth And Space Sciences

A scientist has observed a new planet, Planet H. It was discovered that Planet H has water on its surface. As a result, it is being investigated to determine if it is possible for Planet H to sustain human life. Futhermore, observations revealed that Planet H has four moons: Moon J, Moon K, Moon L, and Moon M. Each moon's radius, distance to Planet H, and time to orbit Planet H have been recorded in the provided table. 

Act 2

Which moon has the largest mass? 

Possible Answers:

It cannot be determined from the given information

Moon L

Moon K

Moon J

Moon M

Correct answer:

It cannot be determined from the given information

Explanation:

Although Moon K has the largest radius, there is nothing stated about the composition of each of the moons. For example, Moon J has the smallest radius, but could be composed of a high mass material that would make its mass higher than the other moons. 

Example Question #19 : How To Find Synthesis Of Data In Earth And Space Sciences

A scientist has observed a new planet, Planet H. It was discovered that Planet H has water on its surface. As a result, it is being investigated to determine if it is possible for Planet H to sustain human life. Futhermore, observations revealed that Planet H has four moons: Moon J, Moon K, Moon L, and Moon M. Each moon's radius, distance to Planet H, and time to orbit Planet H have been recorded in the provided table. 

Act 2

According to NASA, it takes Earth's Moon 27.3 or 29.5 Earth days to orbit the Earth depending upon the period. If the first settlers on Planet H established a lunar calendar similar to Earth's lunar calendar, then which moon would be the best to use (assume all of the moons go through the same cycles as the Earth's Moon)?

Possible Answers:

Moon L

Moon M

Moon J

Moon K

It cannot be determined from the given information

Correct answer:

Moon L

Explanation:

The lunar calendar is based on the phases of the moon, which depends upon the time it takes the moon to orbit its respective planet. Moon L has an orbit time of 29.6 days, which is most similar to the given orbit time for Earth's Moon. Therefore Moon L is the best moon to base the lunar calendar on so that it is the most similar to Earth's lunar calendar.

Example Question #1031 : Act Science

Researchers have discovered a new planet, Planet Z. This planet is orbited by several comets, A, B, C and D. Researchers have calculated the time it takes each comet to orbit Planet Z, the closest the comet gets to Planet Z and the diameter of the comet.

Act 1

Which comet, at its closet point to Planet Z, is viewable from the surface of Planet Z? 

Possible Answers:

Comets A and D

Cannot be determined from the given information

Comets C and D

All of the comets are viewable

Correct answer:

Cannot be determined from the given information

Explanation:

The size of each comet and the closest distance to Planet Z for each comet is given. However it is not stated that the diameter or distance to Planet Z is more important for viewing the comets. Additionally there is nothing stated about the atmosphere of Planet Z. The atmosphere could be cloudy all the time and cause zero visibility of the night sky. 

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