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ASTRO QUIZZES ANSWS

4) The abundance of oxygen and ozone in Earth's atmosphere can be explained only through biology.

Answer: TRUE


5) Even if Martian meteorites contained life, the life could not possibly have survived the journey from Mars to Earth.

Answer: FALSE


6) The habitable zone around a star refers to the places where living organisms are found.

Answer: FALSE


7) We have already launched at least four spacecraft that are bound for interstellar space.

Answer: TRUE


8) The two Voyager spacecraft carry a message from Earth, just in case an alien civilization ever runs across them.

Answer: TRUE


9) We have already launched a spacecraft bound for Alpha Centauri.

Answer: FALSE


10) If the Space Shuttle were given a much larger fuel tank, it could achieve speeds of about 90 percent of the speed of light.

Answer: FALSE


11) One idea for interstellar spacecraft involves harnessing energy from nuclear bombs detonated in space.

Answer: TRUE


12) During the 1960s and 1970s, scientists designed a spacecraft based on nuclear propulsion, but it was never built.

Answer: TRUE


13) Although antimatter is an interesting theoretical idea, there is no evidence that it actually exists.

Answer: FALSE


14) If they existed, and if they were watching, a civilization at the center of the Milky Way could have detected our first TV signals by now.

Answer: FALSE


15) Process of Science: The Fermi paradox shows that there can be no successful theory that predicts how common life is in the Universe.

Answer: FALSE


16) We are unlikely to find fossil evidence of life from more than 3.5 billion years ago because there is no way life existed before then.

Answer: FALSE


17) If the carbon isotope evidence does indicate life 3.85 billion years ago, it suggests that life must have been widespread at that point.

Answer: TRUE


18) Despite being only a medium-size moon, Enceladus may have subsurface habitable zones.

Answer: TRUE


19) It is possible that life exists on orphan planets, even though they do not orbit a star.

Answer: TRUE


20) "Super-Earths" may be habitable at distances much greater from their star than

Earth.

Answer: TRUE


21) It is possible that there are moons within habitable zones that have habitable surfaces in other solar systems.

Answer: TRUE


24.3 Short Answer Questions


1) Why is ozone so crucial to the continued well-being of life on Earth?

Answer: Ozone (O3) absorbs ultraviolet photons from the Sun and prevents them from reaching the ground where these high-energy photons would harm biological life.


2) Suppose a future telescope is able to take a spectrum of a terrestrial planet around another star and reveals the presence of significant amounts of ozone. What would this mean, and why?

Answer: The presence of abundant ozone would probably be an indication of photosynthetic life because ozone is a form of oxygen, which is produced by life.


3) What is the evidence that suggests planetary systems are common in the universe?

Answer: We know that stars form surrounded by disks of gas and dust, that there is enough material in these systems to form many planets, and, theoretically, that planet growth should be common in these disks. Observationally, we have detected Jupiter- (and even Saturn-) mass planets around nearby stars.


4) Why might the presence of a giant planet be both good and bad news for life on a terrestrial planet in another solar system?

Answer: A giant planet can "kick" comets out of the inner solar system out to an Oort-type cloud through gravitational encounters. This is good news because it means that life on the inner planets can evolve without sterilizing giant impacts. The bad news is that if a star does not blow away its surrounding disk of gas and dust soon enough, giant planets may experience drag and migrate inwards, sweeping any inner planets into the central star. Observations of extrasolar planets appear to be examples of this.

5) The Kepler mission searches for Earth-like planets by looking for the dip in the brightness of a star as such a planet transited across it. Why does this technique actually miss the vast majority of planets?

Answer: By searching for transits, Kepler can only detect those planets with orbits that cross our line of sight to the star. This means the orbit must be very close to edge-on. Because planetary systems around other stars will have a random orientation to us, most planets will not cross our line of sight and cause a dip in the star's brightness. Therefore, Kepler will miss the vast majority of planetary systems. Nevertheless, this is the best method of detection using current technology.


6) If we detected an Earth-like planet in the habitable zone around another star, describe how we might learn whether it contained life.

Answer: Future technology (large space-based interferometers) will be able to measure the far-infrared spectrum of the planet's atmosphere. Ozone produces a strong feature in the Earth's atmosphere and would be detectable in the hypothetical extrasolar planet with the planned space interferometer. Ozone is related to oxygen, which is highly reactive, and would rapidly disappear (through oxidation) from the atmosphere were it not being constantly replenished. Converting oxides back to oxygen requires energy and is not a chemical reaction that would spontaneously occur otherwise. In the Earth's case, the energy comes from the sun via photosynthesis in plants and the detection of ozone near another planet would therefore be a strong indicator of life.


7) Briefly explain the meaning of each term in the equation

Number of Civilizations = Np × flife × fcivilization × fnow.

Answer: Np is the number of planets in the Milky Way that lie within the habitability zones of their stars. flife is the fraction of these planets with life. fcivilization is the fraction of these planets on which a civilization develops at some time. fnow is the fraction of these planets on which the civilization exists now.


8) Briefly explain the purpose of the equation

Number of Civilizations = Np × flife × fcivilization × fnow.

Answer: This equation is used to estimate the number of civilizations presently living in the Milky Way Galaxy.


9) Briefly summarize current knowledge about the term Np in the equation

Number of Civilizations = Np × flife × fcivilization × fnow.

Answer: We have evidence now for more than a dozen planets around other stars, and evidence for protoplanetary disks around many more stars. Although we cannot yet give a precise value to Np, it now seems likely that it is quite large—perhaps as large as the number of stars in the Milky Way Galaxy.


10) Briefly summarize current knowledge about the term flife in the equation

Number of Civilizations = Np × flife × fcivilization × fnow.

Answer: We know that at least one planet within its star's habitability zone has developed life—Earth. Beyond that, we have no real evidence on which to base an estimate of the value of flife.


11) Briefly explain the paradox of the question "Where are the aliens?"

Answer: If we survive and decide to become interstellar travelers, we are probably capable of it. Because our solar system formed some 5 billion years after the galaxy formed, it therefore seems likely that other civilizations should have evolved and developed interstellar travel long ago. The paradox is that we have not yet had any contact with such civilizations.


12) If you were in charge of NASA and wanted to fund a mission to search for life elsewhere, what type of mission would you choose? Would you travel to someplace in the solar system (what place?), look for evidence remotely in distant solar systems, listen for alien contact, or something else entirely? Explain what you would do, defend why that is your favored approach, and tell what you would hope to find.

Answer: Answers will vary.


13) Process of Science: Since the Drake equation does not give us a clear answer on how many aliens we expect to find, why it is useful scientifically?

Answer: The Drake equation helps us organize our thinking about other worlds and their possible civilizations. It clearly delineates the parameters we would need to understand in order to model the probabilities of finding aliens.


14) Process of Science: Are those who advocate creationism or "intelligent design" following the scientific method? Defend your answer.

Answer: Answers will vary.


15) Process of Science: Explain the phrase used by Carl Sagan, "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence."

Answer: Whenever someone claims to have found or witnessed something, the burden of proof is on them. This is especially true for claims that have a major significance such as a new theory, overturning an established theory or, of particular relevance to this Chapter, of extraterrestrial life.


16) What evidence do we have that life arose quickly?

Answer: Because of the period of heavy bombardment, it would have been difficult for life to exist more than 3.9 billion years ago. Combined with evidence from fossils of life 3.5 billion years ago and carbon isotope evidence dating back to 3.85 billion years, it seems that it only takes a few hundred million years for life to spring into existence.


17) Why is the discovery of ice fountains on Enceladus so important?

Answer: Ice fountains suggest that even medium sized moons may have habitable zones. This greatly increases number of potentially habitable other worlds.


18) How is it possible that orphan planets are potentially habitable, even though they do not orbit a star?

Answer: Even on Earth, there is plenty of life that survives without sunlight in the deep oceans or underground. Some of this energy is traceable to Earth's internal heat alone. Internal heat is retained on Earth-size planets for billions of years, meaning that even in the absence of a host star, the prospect of a subsurface liquid habitable region exists.

19) Explain how it is possible that there are moons within habitable zones that have habitable surfaces in other solar systems given that no such thing exists in our own solar system.

Answer: They may form as a consequence of giant impacts like that which formed our own Moon. Also, planetary migration may allow for large jovian planets and their moons to migrate in to habitable zones.


24.4 Mastering Astronomy Reading Quiz


1) According to fossil evidence, how far back in time did life on Earth exist?

A) about 65 million years

B) about 545 million years

C) about 2.0 billion years

D) about 3.5 billion years or more

Answer: D


2) Why do scientists say that evolution is a "theory"?

A) because it explains a great deal about life and is supported by an enormous body of evidence

B) because they are not very confident that it really happened

C) because it's really just a guess about how life developed on Earth

D) because it is supported by only a small amount of evidence

Answer: A


3) What is a mutation?

A) a change in an organism that turns it into a different species

B) a change in the type of food an organism consumes

C) a change in a living cell's DNA

D) a change in the physical appearance of a living organism

Answer: C


4) Based on DNA studies, it seems that all life on Earth

A) belongs to one of just two kingdoms: plants and animals.

B) arose from one of five distinct ancestors that lived about two billion years ago.

C) requires oxygen to survive.

D) shares a common ancestor.

Answer: D


5) Which of the following is considered by biologists to be a likely place where life first arose on Earth?

A) on meteorites that landed on Earth

B) on land surfaces that got moderately heavy rainfall

C) in hot water near undersea volcanoes

D) deep underground

Answer: C



6) How did oxygen (O2) get into Earth's atmosphere?

A) It was captured from the solar nebula.

B) It was outgassed from volcanoes.

C) It came from chemical reactions with surface rocks.

D) It was released by life through the process of photosynthesis.

Answer: D

7) Which of the following is not considered crucial for life to exist on some world?

A) liquid water

B) a source of energy that can be used by life

C) a source of nutrients

D) an atmosphere

Answer: D


8) Which of the following best describes what we mean by a habitable world?

A) a planet or moon that could support life, if any life happened to be on it

B) a planet or moon with life

C) a planet or moon that lies within its star's habitable zone

D) a planet or moon on which humans could survive if we happened to go there

Answer: A


9) Which of the following places is not generally considered a potential home for life in our solar system?

A) Mars

B) Jupiter's atmosphere

C) Europa

D) Titan

Answer: B


10) The Sun's habitable zone

A) extends from some place a little beyond the orbit of Venus to some place near the orbit of Mars.

B) consists only of Earth, since Earth is the only planet known to be inhabited.

C) extends from the orbit of Earth to the orbit of Jupiter.

D) extends from just beyond the orbit of Mercury to just beyond Earth's orbit.

Answer: A


11) Why don't we expect to find life on planets orbiting high-mass stars?

A) The stars are too hot to allow for life.

B) Planets cannot have stable orbits around high-mass stars.

C) The high-mass stars emit too much ultraviolet radiation.

D) The lifetime of a high-mass star is too short.

Answer: D



12) Looking for an Earth-size planet around a nearby star (besides the Sun) is like looking for a pinhead located

A) across the street.

B) thousands of kilometers away.

C) across the length of a football field.

D) a few hundred kilometers away.

Answer: B

13) The "rare Earth hypothesis" holds that Earth-like planets will prove to be quite rare. Which of the following statements best sums up the current status of the debate over this hypothesis?

A) The debate raged for a while, but is now settled. We are now quite certain that Earth-like planets are common.

B) The debate raged for a while, but is now settled. We are now quite certain that Earth-like planets are rare.

C) We do not have enough data to settle the debate, because counterarguments can be made for each argument suggesting Earth-like planets may be rare.

D) It is no longer discussed, because as part of its broad cover-up of UFOs, the United States government has classified all the material relating to this debate as Top Secret.

Answer: C


14) At present, what is the primary way that the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI) is carried out?

A) by using radio telescopes to search for signals from extraterrestrial civilizations

B) by analyzing high-resolution images of nearby stars in search of evidence for structures that could not have developed naturally

C) by searching for planets around distant stars

D) by using X-ray telescopes to search for exhaust from interstellar spacecraft

E) by seeking access to the secret records and alien corpses kept at the military's Area 51 in Nevada

Answer: A


15) In the Drake equation (Number of Civilizations = NHP × flife × fciv × fnow), what do we mean by fnow?

A) the fraction of planets in the galaxy on which a civilization could theoretically develop right now

B) the fraction of planets with civilizations at the present time (as opposed to only in the past or future)

C) the fraction of civilizations in the universe that currently are sending messages to us

D) the fraction of all species ever to exist that we currently are aware of

Answer: B



16) We have sent several spacecraft on trajectories that will ultimately take them into interstellar space (Pioneer 10 and 11, Voyager 1 and 2, New Horizons). How long will it take these spacecraft to travel as far as the nearest stars?

A) a few decades

B) a few hundred years

C) about a thousand years

D) tens of thousands of years

Answer: D


17) Einstein's theory of relativity tells us that travelers who make a high-speed trip to a distant star and back will

A) age more than people who stay behind on Earth.

B) have more fun than people who stay behind on Earth.

C) age less than people who stay behind on Earth.

D) never be able to make the trip within their lifetimes.

Answer: C

18) If there are other civilizations at present in the Milky Way Galaxy, which statement is almost undoubtedly true?

A) They are far more technologically advanced than we are.

B) They are anatomically much like us, with two arms, two legs, two eyes, and two ears.

C) They have social structures that are completely different from our own; for example, different types of "family" units, and so on.

D) For fun, they enjoy "buzzing" to Earth and temporarily abducting people, showing a clear preference for people located in less-developed rural areas.

Answer: A


24.5 Mastering Astronomy Concept Quiz


1) Why are fossils of early life on Earth more rare than fossils of plants and animals from the past few hundred million years?

A) Life was far less abundant prior to a few hundred million years ago.

B) Early organisms lacked skeletons and other hard structures that are most likely to be fossilized.

C) Fossils could not form before there was oxygen in the atmosphere.

D) We find fossils in sedimentary layers, and no sediments were deposited until just a few hundred million years ago.

Answer: B


2) Which of the following best describes natural selection?

A) It is the idea that the strong survive and the weak die off.

B) It is a guess made by scientists about how life develops, but it has no hard evidence to support it.

C) It is the idea that organisms with genetic traits that improve their ability to reproduce are more likely to pass those traits on to future generations.

D) It is the idea that organisms naturally increase in complexity and intelligence with time.

Answer: C


3) Which of the following is not key evidence in support of the idea that all life today shares a common ancestor?

A) We have identified fossils of the first life forms that ever existed on Earth.

B) All life uses DNA and the same genetic code.

C) Mapping of gene sequences shows how life is all related.

D) All life builds proteins from the same amino acids and uses ATP to store energy in cells.

Answer: A


4) Which of the following best describes the predominant scientific view of the origin of life on Earth?

A) Life probably migrated to Earth from some other world.

B) We may never know precisely how life arose, but current evidence suggests that life probably can arise naturally under the conditions that prevailed on the early Earth.

C) Life arose through a series of extremely unlikely chemical coincidences, making it seem almost miraculous that life ever came to exist at all.

D) We can describe with great certainty the precise steps by which life arose on Earth.

Answer: B

5) According to current science, why didn't oxygen begin to accumulate in the atmosphere for more than a billion years after life appeared on Earth?

A) Early forms of animal life consumed the oxygen released by plants during the first billion years of life on Earth.

B) Early life did not release oxygen, and oxygen releasing organisms didn't evolve for a billion years after the earliest life.

C) Oxygen was removed from the atmosphere by dissolving in the ocean as quickly as it was released by life.

D) Oxygen was removed from the atmosphere by chemical reactions with surface rocks as quickly as it was released by life.

Answer: D


6) When we analyze whether a world is a possible home to life, the key thing we look for is

A) the past or present existence of liquid water.

B) evidence of atmospheric oxygen.

C) the presence of organic molecules such as amino acids.

D) surface coloration changes that could indicate vegetative growth.

Answer: A



7) Which of the following best describes the current status of the debate over evidence for life in the Martian meteorite ALH84001?

A) Most scientists now agree that the meteorite shows clear evidence of past life on Mars.

B) Most scientists now agree that the meteorite shows no evidence for past life on Mars.

C) Most scientists agree that the evidence would support life if the meteorite truly comes from Mars, but few scientists accept that the meteorite is from Mars and instead think it is an ordinary Earth rock.

D) Most scientists find the evidence intriguing but suspect that it can be explained without requiring past life on Mars.

Answer: D


8) Why is Europa considered a good candidate for the possible existence of life?

A) Strong evidence suggests that it has a deep, subsurface ocean of liquid water.

B) The Galileo spacecraft found strange seasonal changes on its surface that look like they could be due to life.

C) It is located within our Sun's habitable zone.

D) It has a thick atmosphere with a surface pressure greater than that on Earth.

Answer: A


9) In general, how does the size and location of a star's habitable zone depend on the star's mass?

A) The smaller (less massive) the star, the larger and the closer-in the habitable zone.

B) The smaller (less massive) the star, the smaller and the closer-in the habitable zone.

C) The smaller (less massive) the star, the larger and the farther-out the habitable zone.

D) The habitable zone is always about the same size, but its location moves inward for smaller stars.

Answer: B

10) We are not yet capable of detecting life on planets around other stars. But as our technology develops, our first real chance of detecting such life will probably come from

A) sending spacecraft to study the planets up close.

B) examining spectral lines from the atmospheres of distant planets.

C) examining high-resolution images of the planets made by orbiting telescopes.

D) determining the orbital properties of the planets.

Answer: B


11) Suppose that Jupiter had never existed, and there was no planet in our solar system between Mars and Saturn. How would we expect this to have affected Earth?

A) Earth's orbit would have been unstable, and our planet would have spiraled into the Sun.

B) There would not have been any effect, since Jupiter is in the outer solar system and Earth is in the inner solar system.

C) Earth would have been hit by many more comet impacts.

D) There would be no water on Earth.

Answer: C



12) Which of the following best describes how the Drake equation is useful?

A) It has allowed us to determine the number of civilizations in the Milky Way Galaxy.

B) It allows us to calculate the masses of planets orbiting other stars.

C) It tells us what wavelengths of light will be most useful to examine in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence.

D) It helps us understand what we need to know in order to determine the likelihood of finding other civilizations.

Answer: D


13) In the Drake equation (Number of Civilizations = NHP × flife × fciv × fnow), we expect the term fciv to be small if

A) most civilizations destroy themselves within just a few hundred years of arising.

B) most of the civilizations that have ever existed are still out and about in the galaxy.

C) primitive life is common but intelligent life is rare.

D) most habitable planets never actually get life on them.

Answer: C


14) Suppose it turns out that one in 1 million stars has a planet that at some point in its history is home to an advanced civilization. Then the total number of civilizations that have arisen in our galaxy would be closest to

A) 4.

B) 40.

C) 400.

D) 4,000.

E) 40,000.

F) 400,000.

Answer: F


15) Which of the following describes a major danger of interstellar travel at near-light speed?

A) Atoms and ions in interstellar space will hit a fast-moving spacecraft like a flood of dangerous cosmic rays.

B) Any interstellar journey will take much longer than the lives of the crew members.

C) Time dilation will slow the heart beats of the crew to a dangerously low rate.

D) Asteroid fields floating in interstellar space will present a navigational challenge.

Answer: A

16) Which of the following statements about matter-antimatter engines is not true?

A) Matter-antimatter engines would be great in theory, but to date we have no evidence that antimatter even exists.

B) Matter-antimatter reactions represent the most efficient possible reactions in terms of energy release.

C) Spacecraft powered by matter-antimatter engines could probably reach speeds of more than half the speed of light.

D) One of the major challenges to developing matter-antimatter engines is finding a way to store antimatter after it is produced.

Answer: A


17) Which of the following is not considered a potential solution to the question of why we lack any evidence of a galactic civilization?

A) There is no galactic civilization because we are the first species ever to achieve the ability to study the universe.

B) The galactic civilization probably is undetectable because they operate under different laws of physics from the ones we know.

C) The galactic civilization is deliberately avoiding contact with us.

D) There is no galactic civilization because all civilizations destroy themselves before they achieve the ability to colonize the galaxy.

Answer: B


18) Why is Titan considered a good candidate for life?

A) It has lakes and rivers of liquid methane and ethane that could support life as water does on Earth.

B) Cassini measurements suggest it has an ocean of liquid water beneath its surface.

C) There is evidence for several volcanic cones that likely erupt liquid water that is below Titan's frozen crust.

D) All of the above

Answer: D


19) Suppose we discover a "super-Earth" at a distance of 10AU from its star. Should we consider it to be potentially habitable?

A) Yes, its atmosphere may contain substantial amounts of greenhouse-type gases that can keep the planet warm beyond the usual boundaries assumed for habitable zones.

B) Yes, because its host star must be much bigger in order to have a super-Earth, so it will be much hotter there.

C) No, only planets at approximately 1AU will ever be potentially habitable.

D) No, greenhouse gases "freeze-out" at those distances.

Answer: A

The Cosmic Perspective, 8e (Bennett)

Supplement 1: Celestial Timekeeping and Navigation


S1.1 Multiple-Choice Questions


1) The amount of time between successive passes of any given star across the meridian is

A) 23 hours 56 minutes.

B) 24 hours.

C) 365.25 days.

D) 12 years.

E) 26,000 years.

Answer: A


2) Which of the following statements about sidereal and solar days is not true?

A) A solar day is 4 minutes longer than a sidereal day.

B) A solar day represents more than 360° of rotation for Earth.

C) The time it takes for a star to make one circuit of our sky is one sidereal day.

D) The time it takes for the Sun to make one circuit of our sky is one solar day.

E) The time it takes for the Moon to make one circuit of our sky is one solar day.

Answer: E


3) Which of the following is the reason for the solar day being longer than a sidereal day?

A) precession of Earth's axis

B) the tilt of Earth's axis

C) the combined effect of the rotation of Earth and its orbit about the Sun

D) Earth year being a non-integer number of Earth days

E) the non-circular orbit of Earth around the Sun

Answer: C


4) The average length of a solar day is

A) 23 hours 56 minutes.

B) 24 hours.

C) 365.25 days.

D) 12 years.

E) 26,000 years.

Answer: B


5) The lunar month is longer than the sidereal month because

A) the Moon completes the cycle of lunar phases before it completes a full orbit around Earth.

B) the Moon has to complete more than one full orbit around Earth to complete the cycle of lunar phases.

C) the Moon orbits Earth faster than Earth orbits the Sun.

D) the Moon orbits Earth faster than Earth rotates.

E) the lunar month is based on the Moon's orbit, while the sidereal month is based on Earth's orbit.

Answer: B

6) What kind of time can be read directly from a sundial?

A) apparent solar time

B) mean solar time

C) standard time

D) daylight saving time

E) sidereal time

Answer: A


7) All the following statements are true. Which one explains why mean solar time differs from apparent solar time?

A) The length of a solar day is not always exactly 24 hours.

B) Earth's rotation period is actually about 23 hours 56 minutes, not 24 hours.

C) Earth's axis precesses with a period of 26,000 years.

D) The Sun reaches the meridian at different times at different longitudes within the same time zone.

E) The path of the Sun through the sky depends on both latitude and date.

Answer: A


8) Which of the following is the reason for the leap years?

A) precession of Earth's axis

B) the tilt of Earth's axis

C) the combined effect of the rotation of Earth and its orbit about the Sun

D) Earth year being a non-integer number of Earth days

E) the non-circular orbit of Earth around the Sun

Answer: D


9) Our calendar has leap years because

A) there is one more sidereal day in a year than solar days.

B) a tropical year is slightly more than 365 days.

C) there is a difference between a sidereal year and a tropical year.

D) the perihelion of Earth's orbit is slowly advancing.

Answer: B


10) Based on our current Gregorian calendar, which of the following years is not a leap year?

A) 2000

B) 2004

C) 2008

D) 2012

E) All of the above are leap years.

Answer: E



11) The Sun is rising in the east and will be on your meridian in 2 hours. What time is it?

A) 2 A.M.

B) 2 P.M.

C) 10 A.M.

D) 10 P.M.

E) noon

Answer: C

12) What is the hour angle of a star crossing your meridian?

A) -6 hours

B) 0 hours

C) 6 hours

D) It depends on your latitude.

E) It depends on the right ascension of the star.

Answer: B


13) Suppose you lived at Earth's equator. Which of the following statements would not be true?

A) The north celestial pole is directly on your horizon, due north (with Polaris quite nearby).

B) The south celestial pole is directly on your horizon, due south.

C) Every day of the year, the Sun is above your horizon for 12 hours and below it for 12 hours.

D) The celestial equator goes through your sky from due east on your horizon, through 50° altitude in the south, to due west on the horizon.

E) No stars are circumpolar.

Answer: D


14) The south celestial pole appears on your meridian at an altitude of 30° in the south. Where are you?

A) latitude = 30°S

B) latitude = 60°S

C) latitude = 30°N

D) latitude = 60°N

E) the South Pole

Answer: A


15) Suppose you live at latitude 40°N. Which of the following describes the path of the celestial equator through your sky?

A) It goes from due south on your horizon, to your zenith, to due north on your horizon.

B) It goes from due east on your horizon, to your zenith, to due west on your horizon.

C) It goes from due east on your horizon, to an altitude of 50° in the south, to due west on your horizon.

D) It goes from due east on your horizon, to an altitude of 40° in the south, to due west on your horizon.

E) It goes from due east on your horizon, to an altitude of 40° in the north, to due west on your horizon.

Answer: C



16) The time between rising and setting of a star

A) is always 12 hours.

B) depends on the star's declination.

C) depends on the star's right ascension.

D) depends on the observer's latitude.

E) depends on the observer's longitude.

Answer: D

17) Suppose you live at latitude 40°N. Which of the following describes the conditions that make a star circumpolar?

A) Stars are circumpolar if they have declination > +50°.

B) Stars are circumpolar if they have declination > +40°.

C) Stars are circumpolar if they have right ascension > 6 hr.

D) Stars are circumpolar if they have right ascension < 6 hr.

E) No stars are circumpolar at this latitude.

Answer: A


18) Which of the following best describes the Tropic of Cancer?

A) It is any place where it is always very warm.

B) It is another name for the equator.

C) It is a place where the Sun appears to remain stationary in the sky.

D) It is a place where the Sun is directly overhead at noon on the summer solstice.

E) It is a place where the Sun is directly overhead at noon on the spring equinox.

Answer: E


19) Suppose the date is March 21 and the Sun passes through your zenith at noon. Where are you?

A) the equator

B) the Tropic of Cancer

C) the Tropic of Capricorn

D) the Arctic Circle

E) the Antarctic Circle

Answer: A


20) Suppose the date is March 21 and the Sun crosses your meridian at an altitude of 23.5° in the north. Where are you?

A) the equator

B) the Tropic of Cancer

C) the Tropic of Capricorn

D) the Arctic Circle

E) the Antarctic Circle

Answer: E



21) Suppose the date is June 21 and the Sun never sets, just touching your northern horizon at midnight. Where are you?

A) the equator

B) the Tropic of Cancer

C) the Tropic of Capricorn

D) the Arctic Circle

E) the Antarctic Circle

Answer: D


22) Which of the following explains why navigators a few hundred years ago found it much more difficult to determine their longitude than their latitude?

A) Determining longitude requires mathematical techniques that were not known at the time.

B) Determining longitude without modern instruments requires being able to see the Moon.

C) Determining longitude requires much more precise measurements of angles in the sky than does latitude.

D) Determining longitude requires having an accurate clock.

Answer: D

23) The Sun is on your meridian, and you have a UT clock that tells you it is 3 P.M. in Greenwich. What is your longitude?

A) 3° west of Greenwich

B) 3° east of Greenwich

C) 45° west of Greenwich

D) 45° east of Greenwich

E) 30° west of Greenwich

Answer: C


24) The Sun is on your meridian, and you have a UT clock that tells you it is midnight in Greenwich. What is your longitude?

A) 12° west of Greenwich

B) 12° east of Greenwich

C) 60° west of Greenwich

D) 60° east of Greenwich

E) 180° of longitude from Greenwich

Answer: E


25) The constellation shaped like a big square (the "great square of . . . ") is

A) Cassiopeia.

B) Pegasus.

C) Canis Major.

D) Taurus.

E) Andromeda.

Answer: B



26) The constellation shaped like a W is

A) Cassiopeia.

B) Pegasus.

C) Canis Major.

D) Taurus.

E) Andromeda.

Answer: A


27) Which of the following statements about Betelgeuse is not true?

A) It is distinctly red in color.

B) We now know that it is a very massive star near the end of its life.

C) Its Arabic name means "the demon star."

D) It is one star of the three stars of the Winter Triangle, along with Procyon and Sirius.

E) It is the upper left shoulder star of the constellation Orion.

Answer: C


28) The three bright stars