Astronomy.

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Astronomy Quizzes & Trivia
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  • 1. 
    Who of the following was NOT a proponent of the heliocentric model of the solar system?
    • A. 

      Newton

    • B. 

      Ptolemy

    • C. 

      Galileo

    • D. 

      Copernicus


  • 2. 
    Which of the following properties of an astronaut changes when he/she is standing on the Moon, relative to when the astronaut is standing on Earth?
    • A. 

      Weight

    • B. 

      Mass

    • C. 

      Inertia

    • D. 

      All of the above


  • 3. 
    Which of the following most closely approximtes the number of stras in the Milky Way?
    • A. 

      10 million

    • B. 

      10 billion

    • C. 

      100 million

    • D. 

      100 billion


  • 4. 
    Which of the following is true for an object in uniform circular motion?
    • A. 

      The acceleration of the object is zero.

    • B. 

      The velocity of the object is constant.

    • C. 

      The acceleration of the object is toward the center of motion.

    • D. 

      The angular momentum of the object is zero.

    • E. 

      The speed of the object is changing.


  • 5. 
    Which of the following is the largest?
    • A. 

      The diameter of Earth.

    • B. 

      The diameter of the moon.

    • C. 

      The distance from Earth to the Sun.

    • D. 

      The diameter of the Sun.


  • 6. 
    Which of the following is false?
    • A. 

      The phases of the Moon cycle with a period that is longer than its siderial period

    • B. 

      The observed phase of the Moon changes over the course of one night

    • C. 

      Everyone on Earth observes the same phase of the Moon on a given night

    • D. 

      In some phases, the Moon can be observed during the day


  • 7. 
    Which choice lists the objects in correct size from smallest to largest?
    • A. 

      Sun, Earth, solar system, Galaxy

    • B. 

      Earth, Sun, Galaxy, solar system

    • C. 

      Earth, Sun, solar system, Galaxy

    • D. 

      Earth, Galaxy, Sun, solar system


  • 8. 
    When the Earth catches up to a slower moving outer planet and passes it in its orbit like a faster runner overtakes a slower runner in an outside lane, the planet
    • A. 

      Decreases in brightness as it passes through the Earth's shadow

    • B. 

      Slows down because it feels the Earth's gravitational pull

    • C. 

      Exhibits retrograde motion

    • D. 

      Moves into a more elliptical orbit


  • 9. 
    When it is winter in the northern hemisphere, it is ____________ in the southern hemisphere.
    • A. 

      Summer

    • B. 

      Spring

    • C. 

      Winter

    • D. 

      Fall


  • 10. 
    When dropped from the same height (in a vacuum), when will a lead weight hit the ground compared to a less dense wood ball?
    • A. 

      Much later

    • B. 

      The same time

    • C. 

      Much sooner


  • 11. 
    What was one of Newton's contributions to astronomy?
    • A. 

      He developed a theory of gravity that could explain orbital motion.

    • B. 

      He said that the Earth is not at the center of the universe.

    • C. 

      He discovered that the planets move around the Sun in elliptical orbits.

    • D. 

      He used a telescope to observe the heavens, thereby reinforcing the moiton of heliocentricity.

    • E. 

      He made extensive and detailed observations of the positions of planets.


  • 12. 
    What does Kepler's second law indicate about the orbital speed of a planet?
    • A. 

      The orbital sspeed of each planet is constant.

    • B. 

      The orbital speed of a planet varies in no predictable way.

    • C. 

      A planet moves at its fastest when it is closest to the Sun.

    • D. 

      A planet moves at its slowest when it is closest to the Sun.


  • 13. 
    What did Newton determine is necessary for the force exerted by the Sun on the planets to yield elliptical orbits?
    • A. 

      The force must be attractive.

    • B. 

      The force must be repulsive.

    • C. 

      The force must vary inversely with distance.

    • D. 

      The force must vary inversely with distance squared.

    • E. 

      Both a and d above.


  • 14. 
    What causes summer here in the northern hemisphere? In the summer, at this point
    • A. 

      The Earth's northern hemisphere is tilted toward the Sun

    • B. 

      The Earth's northern hemisphere is tilted away from the Sun

    • C. 

      The Earth is closer to the Sun


  • 15. 
    What are the advantage(s) of placing telescopes in space?
    • A. 

      Better access to high energy radiation such as ultraviolet light and X-rays

    • B. 

      Better access to low energy radiation such as infrared and microwave radiation

    • C. 

      Avoids the blurring of images caused by the Earth's atmosphere

    • D. 

      All of the above


  • 16. 
    The ________________ is the point on the celestial sphere directly above any observer.
    • A. 

      Asterism

    • B. 

      Celestial equator

    • C. 

      South celestial pole

    • D. 

      Zenith


  • 17. 
    The twelve constellations the solar system bodies move through are the
    • A. 

      Stages of heaven

    • B. 

      Galactic equator

    • C. 

      Signs of the zodiac

    • D. 

      Nodes of the ecliptic


  • 18. 
    The shortest day of the year for a person living in the Northen Hemisphere is the
    • A. 

      Winter solstice

    • B. 

      Summer solstice

    • C. 

      Vernal equinox

    • D. 

      Autumnal equinox


  • 19. 
    The rotation of the Moon is tidally locked to its orbital motion around Earth because
    • A. 

      The Moon's orbit is elliptical

    • B. 

      Earth is far more massive than the Moon

    • C. 

      The Sun is far more massive than the Moon

    • D. 

      Earth's orbit around the Sun is elliptical


  • 20. 
    The most massive elements (such as those that make up rocky planets like Earth) were formed
    • A. 

      Inside stars and supernovae

    • B. 

      In the early universe

    • C. 

      In the core of Earth


  • 21. 
    The Moon's sidereal period is 2.2 days shorter than the period during which the Moon's phases change because
    • A. 

      The Moon always keeps the same side turned toward the Earth

    • B. 

      The Moon's orbit is tilted with respect to the Earth's rotational axis

    • C. 

      The Earth must rotate so an observer can see the Moon

    • D. 

      The Earth moves significantly in its orbit around the Sun during that time


  • 22. 
    The Moon undergoes synchronous rotation, and as a consequence the
    • A. 

      Rotational period of the Moon equals the orbital period of the Moon around the Earth

    • B. 

      Rotational period of the Moon equals the rotational period of the Earth

    • C. 

      Rotational period of the Moon equals the orbital period of the Earth around the Sun

    • D. 

      Moon does not rotate as it orbits the Earth


  • 23. 
    The five naked-eye planets and two telescopic planets that wander among the stars in the sky are always near the
    • A. 

      Celestial equator

    • B. 

      Sun.

    • C. 

      Ecliptic.

    • D. 

      Moon

    • E. 

      Horizon.


  • 24. 
    The eccentricity of the majority of the planetary orbits in our Solar System is approximately
    • A. 

      1

    • B. 

      0.2

    • C. 

      0.5

    • D. 

      0


  • 25. 
    The cosmological principle states that
    • A. 

      A unique center of the universe exists

    • B. 

      The universe looks the same everywhere as long as you look on large enough spatial scales

    • C. 

      Physical laws may change from place to place in the universe

    • D. 

      The universe is expanding in all directions at the same rate


  • 26. 
    The celestial sphere is:
    • A. 

      An accurate model that can be used to predict the motion of the planets.

    • B. 

      Can be used to predict the position of the stars and planets for up to 1000 years in the future.

    • C. 

      Assumes that all of the stars are at different distances from the Earth.

    • D. 

      A convenient model that can be used to explain the motion of the stars on a daily basis.

    • E. 

      None of the above.


  • 27. 
    Suppose an asteroid had an orbit with a semimajor axis of 4 AU. How long would it take for it to orbit once around the Sun?
    • A. 

      4 years

    • B. 

      16 years

    • C. 

      8 years

    • D. 

      2 years


  • 28. 
    Seasons occur because
    • A. 

      The Earth's axis of rotation is tilted from its orbital axis

    • B. 

      The Earth moves closer and farther from the Sun

    • C. 

      The Earth is a sphere

    • D. 

      The Earth spins on its axis


  • 29. 
    Ptolemy's model of the universe
    • A. 

      Contained epicycles.

    • B. 

      Was heliocentric.

    • C. 

      Included elliptical orbits.

    • D. 

      All of the above.

    • E. 

      None of the above.


  • 30. 
    Precession of the rotation axis of Earth takes ________________ to complete a cycle.
    • A. 

      24 hours

    • B. 

      260 years

    • C. 

      260,000 years

    • D. 

      One year

    • E. 

      26,000 years


  • 31. 
    Polaris, the North Star, does not appear to move in the sky because:
    • A. 

      It is located directly overhead for everyone on Earth.

    • B. 

      It is too nearby for its motion to be discernible.

    • C. 

      It lies approximately over the northern axis of the Earth

    • D. 

      The stars are fixed relative to each other.


  • 32. 
    Newton's first law states that objects in motion
    • A. 

      Eventually come to rest

    • B. 

      Experience a nonzero acceleration

    • C. 

      Experience an unbalanced force

    • D. 

      Stay in motion


  • 33. 
    Neap tides occur
    • A. 

      At third quarter and full moons

    • B. 

      At first quarter and third quarter moons

    • C. 

      At noon and midnight

    • D. 

      At new moon and first quarter moon

    • E. 

      At new moon and full moon


  • 34. 
    Io's volcanic activity is due to tidal forces exerted by
    • A. 

      A moon named Europa

    • B. 

      Saturn

    • C. 

      The Sun

    • D. 

      Jupiter


  • 35. 
    If tonight the Moon is in the waxing gibbous phase, in three days the Moon will most likely be in the
    • A. 

      First quarter phase

    • B. 

      Third quarter phase

    • C. 

      New phase

    • D. 

      Full phase


  • 36. 
    If the mass of the Earth is four times greater, then the pull of the Moon on the Earth is changed by a factor of
    • A. 

      4

    • B. 

      1/2

    • C. 

      None of these

    • D. 

      1 (no change)


  • 37. 
    If the distance between the Earth and Sun were cut in half, the gravitational force between these two objects would
    • A. 

      Increase by 2

    • B. 

      Decrease by 2

    • C. 

      Decrease by 4

    • D. 

      Increase by 4


  • 38. 
    How did Nicolaus Copernicus account for the retrogade motion of the planets?
    • A. 

      Inner planets orbit the Sun faster and pass outer planets as they orbit around the Sun

    • B. 

      Each planet moves on an epicycle, that in turn moves on a deferent that circles around Earth

    • C. 

      None of these

    • D. 

      The Sun and Moon orbit Earth, whereas all the other planets orbit the Sun

    • E. 

      Planets slow down, stop, and then reverse their orbital direction around the Earth


  • 39. 
    How did Kepler's first law of planetary motion alter the Copernican system?
    • A. 

      It changed the perfect circles to ellipses.

    • B. 

      It added epicycles to the perfect circles.

    • C. 

      It placed the Sun at one focus of each orbit.

    • D. 

      Answers a and c above.

    • E. 

      Answers b and c above.


  • 40. 
    Earth is closest to the Sun when the Northern Hemisphere experiences
    • A. 

      Summer

    • B. 

      Winter

    • C. 

      Spring

    • D. 

      Fall


  • 41. 
    Consider the tidal force at the Earth's North Pole due to the Moon. The tidal force is pointed directly
    • A. 

      Toward the Moon

    • B. 

      Away from the center of the Earth

    • C. 

      Away from the Moon

    • D. 

      Toward the center of the Earth


  • 42. 
    Based on the length of a lunar cycle, if there is a spring tide today, how long will it be until the next spring tide?
    • A. 

      One month

    • B. 

      About three to four days

    • C. 

      Two weeks

    • D. 

      One week


  • 43. 
    An unbound orbit results when a satellite has a velocity greater than the escape velocity.
    • A. 

      True

    • B. 

      False


  • 44. 
    An observer in the Northern Hemisphere watches the sky for several hours. Due to the motion of Earth, this observer notices that the stars near the north celestial pole appear to move
    • A. 

      Counter clockwise

    • B. 

      Clockwise

    • C. 

      Nearly vertically upward nearly vertically upward

    • D. 

      From left to right

    • E. 

      From right to left


  • 45. 
    An empirical science is one that is based on
    • A. 

      Assumptions

    • B. 

      Observed data

    • C. 

      Calculus

    • D. 

      Computer models


  • 46. 
    An astronaut in free space (away from all objects) whirls a ball on a string in circular motion. If she cuts the string, the ball will move
    • A. 

      Away from her hand along a radius in a curved path.

    • B. 

      Away from her hand along a tangent in a straight line.

    • C. 

      Away from her hand along a radius in a straight line.

    • D. 

      Away from her hand along a tangent in a curved path.


  • 47. 
    Although the Sun's gravitational pull on Earth is nearly 200 times greater than the Moon's, its tidal effect is only about 50 percent of the Moon's tidal effect.
    • A. 

      True

    • B. 

      False


  • 48. 
    According to Newton's laws, how does the amount of gravitational force on Earth by the Sun compare to the amount of gravitational force on the Sun by Earth?
    • A. 

      The amount of force on Earth by the Sun is greater by the ratio of the Sun's mass to Earth's mass.

    • B. 

      It is impossible to compare these two vastly different amounts of force.

    • C. 

      The amount of force on the Sun by Earth is the same as the amount of force on Earth by the Sun.

    • D. 

      The amount of force on the Sun by Earth is greater by the ratio of the Sun's mass to Earth's mass.

    • E. 

      The amount of force on the Sun by Earth is negligible.


  • 49. 
    A _____________ becomes a _____________ when repeated testing of its predictions does not disprove it.
    • A. 

      Hypothesis; scientific method

    • B. 

      Theory; scientific revolution

    • C. 

      Hypothesis; theory

    • D. 

      Phenomenon; theory


  • 50. 
    A solar or lunar eclipse will occur
    • A. 

      When the sun is near the line of nodes of the Moon and the Moon is new or full

    • B. 

      When the sun is near the solstice and the Moon is new or full

    • C. 

      When the sun is near the equinox and the Moon is new or full

    • D. 

      Half-way through an eclipse year

    • E. 

      Any time the Moon is new or full


  • 51. 
    A solar eclipse that occurs when the Moon's umbra does not reach Earth's surface is called
    • A. 

      An annular solar eclipse

    • B. 

      A penumbral solar eclipse

    • C. 

      A total solar eclipse

    • D. 

      A partial solar eclipse


  • 52. 
    A light-year is defined as the
    • A. 

      Time required for light to travel from Earth to Sun

    • B. 

      Distance from the Earth to the Sun

    • C. 

      Distance light travels in one year

    • D. 

      Distance around the Earth's orbit


  • 53. 
    A galaxy contains
    • A. 

      A single star and planets

    • B. 

      Large amounts of gas, dust, and stars

    • C. 

      Thousands of superclusters

    • D. 

      Large amounts of gas and dust but very few stars


  • 54. 
    2.9x107 is the same as
    • A. 

      29 thousand

    • B. 

      2.9 million.

    • C. 

      290 thousand.

    • D. 

      29 million.


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