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Astronomy Test 4

34 Questions
Astronomy Quizzes & Trivia
Questions and Answers
  • 1. 
    The material between the stars is called the
    • A. 

      Interstellar medium

    • B. 

      Giant molecular cloud

    • C. 

      Interstellar nebula

    • D. 

      Protostellar modal formation

    • E. 

      None of the above

  • 2. 
    Compared to the star it evolved from, a white dwarf is
    • A. 

      Hotter and brighter

    • B. 

      Hotter and dimmer

    • C. 

      Cooler and brighter

    • D. 

      Cooler and dimmer

    • E. 

      The same temperature and brightness

  • 3. 
    What kind of objects lie in the halo of our Galaxy?
    • A. 

      Open clusters

    • B. 

      Globular clusters

    • C. 

      O and B stars

    • D. 

      Gas and dust

    • E. 

      All of the above

  • 4. 
    Which of the following statements comparing halo stars to our Sun is NOT true?
    • A. 

      Most stars in the halo have either died or are in their final stages of life, while the Sun is only in the middle of its lifetime

    • B. 

      Most stars in the halo are less luminous than the Sun

    • C. 

      Most stars in the halo have cooler surface temperature than the Sun

    • D. 

      Most stars in the halo contain a much lower percentage of heavy elements than the Sun

    • E. 

      None of the above (they are all true

  • 5. 
    Which of the following is the closest in mass to a white dwarf?
    • A. 

      The Moon

    • B. 

      Earth

    • C. 

      Jupiter

    • D. 

      The Sun

    • E. 

      All of the above (a white dwarf can have any mass)

  • 6. 
    How does the interstellar medium affect our view of most of the Galaxy?
    • A. 

      It has no effect on visible-light observations, but prevents us from studying the galactic center with radio waves or X-rays

    • B. 

      It absorbs all wavelengths of light

    • C. 

      It produces so much visible light that it blocks our view of anything beyond it

    • D. 

      It prevents us from seeing most of the galactic disk with visible and ultraviolet light

    • E. 

      All of the above

  • 7. 
    Fill in the blank: The more massive a white dwarf, the ________. 
    • A. 

      Higher its temperature

    • B. 

      Smaller its radius

    • C. 

      Larger its radius

    • D. 

      Higher its luminosity

    • E. 

      All of the above

  • 8. 
    Why is there an upper limit to the mass of a white dwarf?
    • A. 

      White dwarfs come only from stars smaller than 1.4 solar masses

    • B. 

      Near 1.4 solar masses, the speeds of white dwarf's electrons approach the speed of light, so more mass cannot be added without breaking the white dwarf's degeneracy pressure

    • C. 

      The more massive the white dwarf, the higher its temperature. At about 1.4 solar masses, the temperature become so high that all matter effectively melts

    • D. 

      The upper limit to the masses of white dwarfs was determined through observations of white dwarfs, but no one knows why the limit exists

    • E. 

      None of the above

  • 9. 
    Why are we unlikely to find Earth-like planets around halo stars in the Galaxy?
    • A. 

      Planets around stars are known to be extremely rare

    • B. 

      Any such planets would have been ejected long ago by galactic mergers

    • C. 

      Halo stars do not have enough mass to hold onto planets

    • D. 

      Halo stars formed in an environment where there were few heavy elements to create rocky planets

    • E. 

      Halo stars formed in a different way than disk stars

  • 10. 
    Compared with stars in the disk, orbits of stars in the halo
    • A. 

      Are confined to a relatively thin plane

    • B. 

      Do not have to pass through the plane of the galaxy

    • C. 

      Do not have to be around the galactic center

    • D. 

      Are elliptical, orbiting in the same direction

    • E. 

      Are elliptical, with random orientations

  • 11. 
    Which of the following statements about novae (plural of nova) is NOT true?
    • A. 

      Our sun will probably undergo at least one nova when it becomes a white dwarf about 5 billion years from now

    • B. 

      A star system that undergoes a nova may have another nova sometime in the future

    • C. 

      A nova involves fusion taking place on the surface of a white dwarf

    • D. 

      The word nova means "new star" and originally referred to stars that suddenly appeared in the sky, then disappeared again after

    • E. 

      None of the above

  • 12. 
    Compared with our Sun, most stars in the halo are
    • A. 

      Young, red, and dim and have fewer heavy elements

    • B. 

      Young, blue, and bright and have much more heavy element material

    • C. 

      Old, red, and dim and have much more heavy element material

    • D. 

      Old, red, and dim and have fewer heavy elements

    • E. 

      Old, red, and bright and have fewer heavy elements

  • 13. 
    A 10 solar mass main sequence star will produce which of the following remnants?
    • A. 

      White dwarf

    • B. 

      Black hole

    • C. 

      Neutron star

    • D. 

      Planetary nebula

    • E. 

      None of the above

  • 14. 
    Which of the following is the closest in size (radius) to a white dwarf?
    • A. 

      A football field

    • B. 

      A small city

    • C. 

      Earth

    • D. 

      A basketball

    • E. 

      The Sun

  • 15. 
    When the iron core in a star collapses it is transformed into
    • A. 

      Carbon

    • B. 

      Electrons

    • C. 

      Hydrogen

    • D. 

      Helium

    • E. 

      None of the above

  • 16. 
    What kind of objects lie in the disk of our Galaxy?
    • A. 

      Open clusters

    • B. 

      O and B clusters

    • C. 

      Old K and M stars

    • D. 

      Gas and Dust

    • E. 

      All of the above

  • 17. 
    It is difficult to determine the properties of the Milky Way galaxy because 
    • A. 

      Our galaxy is unique in the universe

    • B. 

      We get no information about our own galaxy

    • C. 

      Our Solar System is embedded inside the Milky Way galaxy

    • D. 

      The properties of our galaxy are constantly changing

    • E. 

      All of the above

  • 18. 
    Suppose a white dwarf is gaining mass because of accretion in a binary system. What happens if the mass someday reaches the 1.4-solar-mass-limit?
    • A. 

      The white dwarf immediately collapses into a black hole, disappearing from view

    • B. 

      The white dwarf, which mostly made of carbon, suddenly becomes much hotter in temperature and therefore is able to begin fusing the carbon

    • C. 

      The white dwarf undergoes a catastrophic collapse, leading to a type of supernova that is somewhat different from that which occurs in a massive star

    • D. 

      A white dwarf can never gain enough mass to reach the limit because a strong stellar wind prevents the material from reaching it in the first place

    • E. 

      Any of the above can happen

  • 19. 
    The event horizon of a black hole is
    • A. 

      The radius at which the escape speed equals the speed of light

    • B. 

      The radius at which a photon would "orbit" the black hole

    • C. 

      The smallest region where we receive any direct information about the black hole

    • D. 

      The effective size of a black hole

    • E. 

      All of the above

  • 20. 
    The last "ash" form nuclear burning in a high-mass star is 
    • A. 

      Hydrogen

    • B. 

      Helium

    • C. 

      Carbon

    • D. 

      Iron

  • 21. 
    From an observational standpoint, what is a pulsar?
    • A. 

      A star that slowly changes it brightness, getting dimmer and the brighter, with a period of anywhere from a few hours to a few weeks

    • B. 

      An object that emits flashes of light several times per second or more, with near perfect regularity

    • C. 

      An object that emits random "pulse" o flight that sometimes occur only a fraction of a second apart and other times stop for several days at a time

    • D. 

      A star that changes color rapidly, from blue to red and back again

    • E. 

      None of the above

  • 22. 
    If our galaxy was a spherical system rather than a disk, how would the appearance of the night sky be different?
    • A. 

      Constellations would not exist

    • B. 

      There would be no faint stars in the sky

    • C. 

      The Milky Way band would not exist

    • D. 

      There would be no red stars visible in the sky

    • E. 

      There would be no appreciable difference

  • 23. 
    Which of the following statements about black holes is NOT true?
    • A. 

      If you watch someone else fall into a black hole, you will never see him or her cross the event horizon

    • B. 

      If we watch a clock fall toward a black hole, we will see it tick slower and slower as it falls nearer the black hole

    • C. 

      A black hole is truly a hole in spacetime, through which we could leave the observable universe

    • D. 

      If you fell into a black hole, you would experience time to be running normally as you plunged rapidly across the event horizon

    • E. 

      If the Sun magically disappeared and was replaced by a black hole of the same mass, Earth would soon be sucked into the black hole

  • 24. 
    The helium fusion process results in the production of 
    • A. 

      Hydrogen

    • B. 

      Oxygen

    • C. 

      Nitrogen

    • D. 

      Iron

    • E. 

      Carbon

  • 25. 
    Which of the following is closest in size (radius) to a neutron star?
    • A. 

      Earth

    • B. 

      A basketball

    • C. 

      A football stadium

    • D. 

      A city

    • E. 

      The Sun

  • 26. 
    What evidence supports the theory that there is a black hole at the center of our Galaxy? 
    • A. 

      X-rays originating at the center of the galaxy have not been observed

    • B. 

      We can see gas falling into an accretion disk and central masses at the center of our Galaxy

    • C. 

      The motions of the gas and stars at the center indicate that it contains a million solar masses within a very small region

    • D. 

      We observe a large, dark object that observes all light at the center of our Galaxy

    • E. 

      All of the above

  • 27. 
    Which of the following stages of stellar evolution does a high-mass star NOT experience?
    • A. 

      Red supergiant

    • B. 

      Neutron star

    • C. 

      Planetary nebula

    • D. 

      Supernova

    • E. 

      None of the above (a high-mass star experiences all these stages)

  • 28. 
    How do we know that pulsars are neutron stars?
    • A. 

      No massive object, other than a neutron star, could spin as fast as we observe pulsars spin

    • B. 

      We have observes massive-star supernovae produce pulsars

    • C. 

      Pulsars and neutron stars look exactly the same

    • D. 

      Pulsars have the same upper mass limit as neutrons stars do

    • E. 

      None of the above

  • 29. 
    Which of the following is true about the origin of the Milky Way Galaxy
    • A. 

      It is formed in a very similar fashion to our Solar System

    • B. 

      Star formation began before the disk of the galaxy was formed

    • C. 

      More than one generation of stars lived and died before the galaxy was fully formed

    • D. 

      It began as a slowly rotating giant cloud

    • E. 

      All of the above

  • 30. 
    Which of the following statements about a white dwarf is NOT true?
    • A. 

      A white dwarf is made of very dense material

    • B. 

      A white dwarf is primarily made of carbon

    • C. 

      A white dwarf can have any mass

    • D. 

      Nuclear fusion can occur on the surface of a white dwarf in a binary system

    • E. 

      None of the above (they are all true)

  • 31. 
    Which of the following is NOT an indicator of recent star formation?
    • A. 

      A ionization nebula

    • B. 

      A reflection nebula

    • C. 

      A very blue star

    • D. 

      A very hot main sequence star

    • E. 

      None of the above (they are all indicator of recent star formation)

  • 32. 
    A high-mass star CANNOT produce which of the following?
    • A. 

      Planetary nebula

    • B. 

      Supernova remnant

    • C. 

      Neutron star

    • D. 

      Yellow giant

    • E. 

      None of the above (a high-mass star can produce all of these)

  • 33. 
    Where does most star formation occur in the Milk Way today?
    • A. 

      In the halo

    • B. 

      In the spiral arms

    • C. 

      In the globular clusters

    • D. 

      In the Galactic center

    • E. 

      Uniformly throughout the galaxy

  • 34. 
    Where are most heavy elements (all elements other than hydrogen and helium) made?
    • A. 

      In the interstellar medium

    • B. 

      In the Big Bang, when the Universe first began

    • C. 

      In the stars and supernovae

    • D. 

      Inside the molecular clouds

    • E. 

      None of the above