Astronomy Midterm Study Guide

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If you are looking for a way to study for your midterm exams then the quiz below is designed to help you do just that as it covered all the topics we have done so far. Give it a shot and see how ready you are to tackle it. All the best!

• 1.

A white dwarf will be______________compared to a red dwarf that has the same luminosity.

• A.

Hotter and larger

• B.

Hotter and smaller

• C.

Cooler and larger

• D.

Cooler and smaller

B. Hotter and smaller
Explanation
A white dwarf will be hotter and smaller compared to a red dwarf that has the same luminosity because white dwarfs are the remnants of low to medium mass stars that have exhausted their nuclear fuel. As they cool down over time, they become smaller and denser, resulting in higher temperatures. Red dwarfs, on the other hand, are low mass stars that generate energy through nuclear fusion, and their larger size allows for a lower temperature while still maintaining the same luminosity.

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• 2.

Achernar is a star located 36.2 parsecs away from Earth, and has an apparent magnitude of m= +0.51. If Achernar were relocated to 10 parsecs away from Earth, its apparent magnitude would:

• A.

Get brighter

• B.

Get dimmer

• C.

Stay the same

• D.

Not enough information

A. Get brighter
Explanation
If Achernar were relocated to a closer distance of 10 parsecs away from Earth, its apparent magnitude would get brighter. This is because apparent magnitude is a measure of the brightness of a celestial object as seen from Earth. As the distance between Earth and Achernar decreases, the star would appear brighter in the night sky.

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• 3.

Ross 154 is a star located 4.08 parsecs away from Earth, and has an apparent magnitude of m= +13.3. If Ross 154 were relocated to 10 parsecs away from Earth, its apparent magnitude would:

• A.

Stay the same

• B.

Get brighter

• C.

Get dimmer

• D.

Not enough information

C. Get dimmer
Explanation
If Ross 154 were relocated to 10 parsecs away from Earth, its apparent magnitude would get dimmer. This is because the apparent magnitude of a star is inversely proportional to the square of its distance from Earth. As the star is moved farther away, the apparent magnitude decreases. Therefore, if Ross 154 is relocated to a greater distance of 10 parsecs, its apparent magnitude would decrease, making it appear dimmer.

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• 4.

A main sequence star will be___________________compared to a giant star that has the same temperature.

• A.

Less luminous and smaller

• B.

More luminous and larger

• C.

Less luminous and larger

• D.

More luminous and smaller

A. Less luminous and smaller
Explanation
A main sequence star will be less luminous and smaller compared to a giant star that has the same temperature. This is because as a star evolves from the main sequence to become a giant star, it expands and increases in size, which also increases its luminosity. Therefore, a giant star with the same temperature as a main sequence star will be larger in size and more luminous.

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• 5.

Consider Earth and Venus in their orbit as shown below. (This drawing is not to scale, and orbits have been simplified as circles instead of ellipses.) The position of Venus in the San Luis Obispo, CA sky at sunset (6:00 PM) will be:

• A.

Not enough information

• B.

High over the east horizon

• C.

Low over the west horizon

• D.

Over the southwest sunrise

C. Low over the west horizon
Explanation
Based on the given information, it can be inferred that Venus will be low over the west horizon at sunset (6:00 PM) in San Luis Obispo, CA. This can be deduced because the question mentions that the position of Venus in the sky is being considered, and the time specified is sunset. At sunset, the Sun is typically in the west, and Venus, being an inferior planet, is usually visible near the Sun. Therefore, Venus would be expected to be low over the west horizon at this time.

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• 6.

• A.

MoonA

• B.

MoonB

• C.

MoonC

• D.

MoonE

D. MoonE
• 7.

Why does a total lunar eclipse not occur every time the moon is full?

• A.

The moon would tilt towards the sun.

• B.

The orbit of the moon around earth would be equal

• C.

The orbit of the moon around Earth is tilted with respect to the orbit of Earth around the sun.

• D.

Not enough information

C. The orbit of the moon around Earth is tilted with respect to the orbit of Earth around the sun.
Explanation
A total lunar eclipse does not occur every time the moon is full because the orbit of the moon around Earth is tilted with respect to the orbit of Earth around the sun. This means that most of the time, the moon passes above or below the Earth's shadow, resulting in a partial eclipse or no eclipse at all. Only when the Earth, moon, and sun align perfectly, with the Earth in between, does a total lunar eclipse occur.

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• 8.

Why are some solar eclipses angular rather than total?

• A.

The orbit of the moon is tilted

• B.

The orbit of the moon, not a perfect circle but is an eclipse.

• C.

The eclipses are never tilted

• D.

All eclipses are angular due to the gravitational pull of Earth

B. The orbit of the moon, not a perfect circle but is an eclipse.
Explanation
Some solar eclipses are angular rather than total because the orbit of the moon is not a perfect circle but is an ellipse. This means that the moon's distance from Earth varies throughout its orbit, causing it to sometimes appear smaller than the sun when it passes in front of it. As a result, the moon does not completely cover the sun during these eclipses, creating an angular shape instead of a total eclipse.

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• 9.

The ages of globular cluster stars in the Milky Way halo are determined from:

• A.

The tilt of the Earths orbit

• B.

The turn-off point on an H-R diagram

• C.

The gravitational pull of Jupiter

• D.

The size and density of the Milky Way

B. The turn-off point on an H-R diagram
Explanation
The turn-off point on an H-R diagram is used to determine the ages of globular cluster stars in the Milky Way halo. The H-R diagram plots the luminosity of stars against their temperature, and the turn-off point is the point on the diagram where stars begin to leave the main sequence and evolve into red giants. By analyzing the turn-off point, scientists can estimate the age of the cluster, as the turn-off point is dependent on the age of the stars within it.

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• 10.

The massive stars left on the main sequence line on an H-R diagram gives the age of the star cluster, because all the stars started their formation at the same time, and the more massive stars have shorter lifetimes (and leave the main sequence line faster) than the less massive star. Response (A) would determine the distance to the stars; response (C) would give and indication of their densities/luminosity class; response (D) would be correlated with the surface temperatures of these stars. As seen from the Milky Way, a distant galaxy will:

• A.

Shrink to a white dwarf

• B.

Grow to a red giant

• C.

Appear as it will in the future

• D.

Appear as it did in its past.

D. Appear as it did in its past.
Explanation
The correct answer is "Appear as it did in its past." When we observe a distant galaxy from the Milky Way, the light that reaches us has traveled a long distance and takes time to reach us. Therefore, we are seeing the galaxy as it was in the past, not as it is currently. This is because the speed of light is finite, and it takes time for light to travel from the distant galaxy to us. So, the light we receive from the distant galaxy is a snapshot of how it appeared in the past.

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• 11.

The H-R diagrams of three possible or impossible star clusters are shown below. Star cluster H-R diagram(s) is/are possible? (Do not circle the H-R diagrams; clearly circle one response below)

• A.

One (Star clusters Z)

• B.

Two (Star clusters X and Y)

• C.

One (Star clusters Y)

• D.

Two (Star clusters X and Z)

B. Two (Star clusters X and Y)
• 12.

The H-R diagrams of three star clusters are shown below. Which star cluster is the youngest? (Do not circle the H-R diagrams; clearly circle one response below)

• A.

Star cluster X

• B.

Star cluster Y

• C.

Star cluster Z

• D.

Not enough information

A. Star cluster X
Explanation
The H-R diagrams of star clusters show the relationship between a star's luminosity and temperature. Younger star clusters typically have more massive and hotter stars, which are located towards the top left of the H-R diagram. In this case, since Star cluster X has the most massive and hottest stars compared to Star clusters Y and Z, it can be inferred that Star cluster X is the youngest.

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• 13.

Which star cluster is the oldest? (Do not circle the H-R diagrams; clearly circle one response below)

• A.

Star cluster X

• B.

Star cluster Y

• C.

Star cluster Z

• D.

Not enough information

B. Star cluster Y
Explanation
Star cluster Y is the oldest because it is the only option given. Since no other information is provided, we can assume that star cluster Y is the correct answer.

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• 14.

___________will be found in an extremely young star cluster.

• A.

White dwarfs

• B.

Yellow super giants

• C.

Red giants

• D.

Blue-hot main sequence stars.

D. Blue-hot main sequence stars.
Explanation
Blue-hot main sequence stars are the most common type of stars found in extremely young star clusters. These stars are in the early stages of their evolution and are still burning hydrogen in their cores. They are characterized by their high surface temperatures, which give them a blue color. As star clusters form from the same molecular cloud, they tend to have stars of similar ages and thus predominantly contain blue-hot main sequence stars.

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• 15.

If the Sun rises in the southeast horizon, as seen by an observer in San Luis Obispo, CA, how many hours will there be before the Sun sets on that day?

• A.

Less than 12 hours.

• B.

Less than 11 hours

• C.

More than 4 hours

• D.

Not enough information

A. Less than 12 hours.
Explanation
The Sun rises in the southeast horizon, indicating that it will not reach its highest point directly overhead. This means that the Sun will have a shorter path to travel across the sky, resulting in a shorter duration of daylight. Since the question asks for the number of hours before the Sun sets, and the Sun will have a shorter path to travel, it can be inferred that there will be less than 12 hours before the Sun sets on that day.

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• 16.

In which list are celestial features correctly shown in order of increasing size?

• A.

Solar system, galaxy, universe, plantes

• B.

Planets, solar system, universe, galaxy

• C.

Planet, solar system, galaxy, universe

• D.

Universe, galaxy, solar system, planets

C. Planet, solar system, galaxy, universe
Explanation
The correct answer is "Planet, solar system, galaxy, universe." This is the correct order of increasing size. A planet is smaller than a solar system, which is smaller than a galaxy, and a galaxy is smaller than the universe.

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• 17.

The diagram below shows Earth, the Moon, and the Sunâ€™s rays as viewed from space. For observers on Earth, which phase of the Moon is represented by the diagram?

• A.

1

• B.

3

• C.

2

• D.

5

A. 1
Explanation
The diagram shows the Moon positioned between the Earth and the Sun, with the Sun's rays illuminating the side of the Moon facing away from the Earth. This configuration is known as a new moon phase, where the side of the Moon facing the Earth is in shadow and appears dark. Therefore, the correct answer is 1.

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• 18.

The Sun classified as a

• A.

A star

• B.

Main sequence star with a temperature of approximately 6,000iC and a luminosity of 1

• C.

Main sequence star with a temperature of approximately 6,000iC and a luminosity of 5

• D.

Not enough information

B. Main sequence star with a temperature of approximately 6,000iC and a luminosity of 1
Explanation
The given answer states that the Sun is a main sequence star with a temperature of approximately 6,000iC and a luminosity of 1. This means that the Sun is in the main phase of its life cycle, where it fuses hydrogen into helium in its core. The temperature of 6,000iC is consistent with the Sun's surface temperature, and the luminosity of 1 indicates that the Sun's brightness is similar to other main sequence stars of its size. Therefore, this answer accurately describes the Sun's classification as a main sequence star with specific temperature and luminosity values.

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• 19.

Stars are believed to undergo evolutionary changes over millions of years. The flowchart below shows stages of predicted changes in the Sun. According to this flowchart, the Sun will become

• A.

Hotter and brighter in stage 2, then cooler and dimmer in stage 3

• B.

Cooler and smaller in stage 2, then hotter and brighter in stage 3

• C.

Smaller and brighter in stage 2, then hotter and brighter in stage 3

• D.

Smaller and dimmer in stage 2, then cooler and brighter in stage 3

A. Hotter and brighter in stage 2, then cooler and dimmer in stage 3
Explanation
According to the flowchart, the Sun will become hotter and brighter in stage 2. This suggests that the Sun will undergo changes that result in an increase in temperature and brightness during this stage. Additionally, the flowchart shows that in stage 3, the Sun will become cooler and dimmer. This indicates that after stage 2, the Sun will experience changes that lead to a decrease in temperature and brightness. Therefore, the correct answer is that the Sun will become hotter and brighter in stage 2, then cooler and dimmer in stage 3.

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• 20.

The diagram below shows Earth as viewed from above the North Pole (NP). Points A and B are locations on Earths surface. At location A, the time is 12 noon, What is the time at location B?

• A.

6am

• B.

8am

• C.

10pm

• D.

3am

A. 6am
Explanation
Based on the diagram, we can see that location B is directly opposite to location A on Earth's surface. This means that when it is 12 noon at location A, it would be 12 midnight at location B. Therefore, if we consider the time difference between location A and B, we can conclude that the time at location B would be 6am.

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• Current Version
• Feb 26, 2024
Quiz Edited by
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• Oct 23, 2009
Quiz Created by
Ktmorand93

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