# Astronomy Practice Test For Students!

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Questions and Answers
• 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

Correct Answer
B. Ptolemy
Explanation
Ptolemy was not a proponent of the heliocentric model of the solar system. He was an astronomer and mathematician who proposed the geocentric model, which stated that the Earth was at the center of the universe and all celestial bodies revolved around it. Newton, Galileo, and Copernicus, on the other hand, were all proponents of the heliocentric model, which placed the Sun at the center of the solar system.

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• 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

Correct Answer
A. Weight
Explanation
When an astronaut is standing on the Moon, their weight changes compared to when they are standing on Earth. Weight is the force exerted on an object due to gravity, and since the Moon has less gravitational pull than Earth, the astronaut's weight on the Moon would be less. However, their mass and inertia remain the same, as these properties are inherent to the astronaut and do not change based on the gravitational environment.

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• 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

Correct Answer
D. 100 billion
Explanation
The Milky Way is a large spiral galaxy, and it is estimated to contain approximately 100 billion stars.

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• 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.

Correct Answer
C. The acceleration of the object is toward the center of motion.
Explanation
In uniform circular motion, the object moves in a circular path with a constant speed. Although the speed is constant, the direction of the object's velocity is constantly changing, which means the object is accelerating. Since the acceleration is always directed towards the center of the circular path, the correct answer is "The acceleration of the object is toward the center of motion."

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• 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.

Correct Answer
C. The distance from Earth to the Sun.
Explanation
The correct answer is the distance from Earth to the Sun. The diameter of Earth and the diameter of the moon are both relatively small compared to the distance from Earth to the Sun. The diameter of the Sun is larger than the distance from Earth to the Sun, but the question is asking for the largest option, not the smallest. Therefore, the distance from Earth to the Sun is the largest option given.

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• 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

Correct Answer
B. The observed phase of the Moon changes over the course of one night
Explanation
The observed phase of the Moon changes over the course of one night because the Moon orbits around the Earth, causing its position relative to the Sun and Earth to change. As a result, the amount of the Moon's illuminated surface visible from Earth changes, leading to different observed phases throughout the night.

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• 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

Correct Answer
C. Earth, Sun, solar system, Galaxy
Explanation
The correct answer is Earth, Sun, solar system, Galaxy. This is the correct order because Earth is the smallest object listed, followed by the Sun which is larger than Earth. The solar system is then listed, which includes both the Earth and the Sun, making it larger than both. Finally, the Galaxy is listed, which is the largest object of all.

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• 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

Correct Answer
C. Exhibits retrograde motion
Explanation
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 exhibits retrograde motion. Retrograde motion refers to the apparent backward motion of a planet in its orbit as observed from Earth. This occurs because the Earth is moving faster in its orbit, causing the outer planet to appear to move backward temporarily before continuing its forward motion.

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• 9.

### When it is winter in the northern hemisphere, it is ____________ in the southern hemisphere.

• A.

Summer

• B.

Spring

• C.

Winter

• D.

Fall

Correct Answer
A. Summer
Explanation
During winter in the northern hemisphere, the southern hemisphere experiences summer. This is because the Earth's axis is tilted, causing one hemisphere to be tilted towards the Sun while the other is tilted away. When the northern hemisphere is tilted away from the Sun during winter, the southern hemisphere is tilted towards the Sun, resulting in warmer temperatures and longer days, which are characteristic of summer.

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• 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

Correct Answer
B. The same time
Explanation
In a vacuum, where there is no air resistance, both the lead weight and the less dense wood ball will experience the same acceleration due to gravity. This means that they will both fall at the same rate and hit the ground at the same time. The density of the objects does not affect their rate of fall in a vacuum.

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• 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.

Correct Answer
A. He developed a theory of gravity that could explain orbital motion.
Explanation
One of Newton's contributions to astronomy was the development of a theory of gravity that could explain orbital motion. This theory, known as Newton's law of universal gravitation, stated that every object in the universe attracts every other object with a force that is directly proportional to the product of their masses and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them. This theory provided a mathematical explanation for the motion of celestial bodies, including the planets in their elliptical orbits around the Sun.

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• 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.

Correct Answer
C. A planet moves at its fastest when it is closest to the Sun.
Explanation
Kepler's second law, also known as the law of equal areas, states that a planet sweeps out equal areas in equal times as it orbits the Sun. This means that a planet moves faster when it is closer to the Sun and slower when it is farther away. Therefore, the correct answer is that a planet moves at its fastest when it is closest to the Sun.

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• 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.

Correct Answer
E. Both a and d above.
Explanation
Newton determined that for the force exerted by the Sun on the planets to yield elliptical orbits, the force must be attractive (option a) and it must vary inversely with distance squared (option d). These two conditions are necessary to explain the observed motion of planets in elliptical orbits around the Sun. The attractive force ensures that the planets are pulled towards the Sun, while the inverse square law of distance accounts for the changing strength of the force as the distance between the Sun and the planets changes.

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• 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

Correct Answer
A. The Earth's northern hemisphere is tilted toward the Sun
Explanation
During summer in the northern hemisphere, the Earth's northern hemisphere is tilted toward the Sun. This tilt causes the Sun's rays to hit the northern hemisphere at a more direct angle, leading to longer daylight hours and more concentrated solar energy. As a result, the temperature increases, leading to warmer weather and the characteristic summer season.

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• 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

Correct Answer
D. All of the above
Explanation
Placing telescopes in space offers several advantages. Firstly, it allows better access to high energy radiation like ultraviolet light and X-rays, which are typically absorbed by the Earth's atmosphere. Secondly, it also provides better access to low energy radiation such as infrared and microwave radiation, which can be affected by atmospheric interference. Lastly, by being above the Earth's atmosphere, telescopes in space avoid the blurring of images caused by atmospheric turbulence, resulting in sharper and clearer observations. Therefore, all of the mentioned advantages are valid reasons for placing telescopes in space.

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• 16.

### The ________________ is the point on the celestial sphere directly above any observer.

• A.

Asterism

• B.

Celestial equator

• C.

South celestial pole

• D.

Zenith

Correct Answer
D. Zenith
Explanation
The zenith is the point on the celestial sphere directly above any observer. It is the highest point in the sky that an observer can see, directly overhead. It is the point where the plumb line from the observer's position intersects the celestial sphere. The zenith is an important concept in astronomy and navigation, as it helps determine the position of celestial objects in relation to the observer.

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• 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

Correct Answer
C. Signs of the zodiac
Explanation
The correct answer is "signs of the zodiac." The twelve constellations that the solar system bodies move through are commonly known as the signs of the zodiac. These signs are based on the apparent path of the Sun across the celestial sphere throughout the year. Each sign is associated with specific dates and is believed to have an influence on a person's personality traits and destiny according to astrology.

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• 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

Correct Answer
A. Winter solstice
Explanation
The winter solstice is the correct answer because it is the day with the shortest period of daylight and the longest night of the year for people living in the Northern Hemisphere. This occurs around December 21st each year. During the winter solstice, the Earth's axis is tilted furthest away from the sun, causing the sun to be at its lowest point in the sky and resulting in the shortest day.

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• 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

Correct Answer
B. Earth is far more massive than the Moon
Explanation
The rotation of the Moon is tidally locked to its orbital motion around Earth because Earth is far more massive than the Moon. The gravitational force between the two celestial bodies causes the Moon to always show the same face to Earth as it orbits around it. This gravitational interaction has gradually slowed down the Moon's rotation until it became tidally locked, meaning that the time it takes for the Moon to rotate once on its axis is the same as the time it takes to complete one orbit around Earth.

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• 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

Correct Answer
A. Inside stars and supernovae
Explanation
The answer is "inside stars and supernovae" because the most massive elements, like those found in rocky planets such as Earth, are formed through nuclear fusion reactions inside the cores of stars. When these massive stars reach the end of their life and explode in a supernova, they release these elements into space. These elements then become part of interstellar clouds, which can eventually collapse to form new stars and planets, including rocky planets like Earth. Therefore, the formation of the most massive elements occurs inside stars and supernovae.

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• 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

Correct Answer
D. The Earth moves significantly in its orbit around the Sun during that time
Explanation
The correct answer is that the Earth moves significantly in its orbit around the Sun during the time when the Moon's phases change. This is because the Moon's phases are determined by the relative positions of the Sun, Earth, and Moon. As the Earth orbits the Sun, the angle between the Sun and the Moon changes, causing the Moon's phases to change. The Moon's sidereal period, on the other hand, is determined by the Moon's orbit around the Earth, which is not directly affected by the Earth's orbit around the Sun.

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• 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

Correct Answer
A. Rotational period of the Moon equals the orbital period of the Moon around the Earth
Explanation
The Moon undergoes synchronous rotation, which means that it takes the same amount of time for the Moon to rotate on its axis as it does for the Moon to orbit around the Earth. This is why the rotational period of the Moon equals the orbital period of the Moon around the Earth.

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• 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.

Correct Answer
C. Ecliptic.
Explanation
The five naked-eye planets and two telescopic planets, also known as the wanderers, move along a path in the sky called the ecliptic. The ecliptic is the apparent path that the Sun appears to follow throughout the year. Since the planets are always near the ecliptic, this is the correct answer. The celestial equator is a projection of the Earth's equator onto the celestial sphere and is not relevant to the planets' movements. The Moon and the horizon are also not directly related to the planets' positions in the sky.

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• 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

Correct Answer
D. 0
Explanation
The eccentricity of an orbit refers to how elliptical or circular the orbit is. An eccentricity of 0 means the orbit is perfectly circular, while an eccentricity of 1 means the orbit is highly elliptical. Therefore, an eccentricity of 0 indicates that the majority of the planetary orbits in our Solar System are nearly circular.

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• 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

Correct Answer
B. The universe looks the same everywhere as long as you look on large enough spatial scales
Explanation
The cosmological principle states that the universe looks the same everywhere as long as you look on large enough spatial scales. This means that on a large enough scale, the distribution of matter and the overall structure of the universe are homogeneous and isotropic. In other words, there are no preferred locations or directions in the universe. This principle is supported by observations such as the uniformity of the cosmic microwave background radiation and the large-scale distribution of galaxies.

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• 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.

Correct Answer
D. A convenient model that can be used to explain the motion of the stars on a daily basis.
Explanation
The celestial sphere is a convenient model that can be used to explain the motion of the stars on a daily basis. It assumes that all of the stars are at different distances from the Earth. This model simplifies the complex three-dimensional nature of the universe into a two-dimensional representation, making it easier to understand and predict the apparent motion of the stars as observed from Earth. It is not an accurate model for predicting the motion of the planets or the position of the stars and planets for long periods of time in the future.

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• 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

Correct Answer
C. 8 years
Explanation
The semimajor axis of an orbit is the average distance between the object and the center of its orbit. In this case, the asteroid has a semimajor axis of 4 AU. The period of an orbit can be calculated using Kepler's third law, which states that the square of the period is proportional to the cube of the semimajor axis. Therefore, if the semimajor axis is 4 AU, the period would be the square root of 4 cubed, which is 8 years.

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• 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

Correct Answer
A. The Earth's axis of rotation is tilted from its orbital axis
Explanation
The correct answer is that seasons occur because the Earth's axis of rotation is tilted from its orbital axis. This tilt causes different parts of the Earth to receive varying amounts of sunlight throughout the year, resulting in the changing seasons. When one hemisphere is tilted towards the Sun, it experiences summer, while the other hemisphere is tilted away and experiences winter. As the Earth orbits the Sun, the tilt causes the angle and intensity of sunlight to change, leading to the transition of seasons. The Earth's movement closer or farther from the Sun and its spherical shape do not directly cause seasons, although they do play a role in the overall climate patterns.

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• 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.

Correct Answer
A. Contained epicycles.
Explanation
Ptolemy's model of the universe is known for its inclusion of epicycles. In this model, the planets were believed to move in small circles called epicycles, which were themselves moving along larger circles called deferents. This complex system was used to explain the observed retrograde motion of the planets. However, Ptolemy's model was geocentric, meaning it placed the Earth at the center of the universe, not heliocentric like the Copernican model. Additionally, Ptolemy's model did not include elliptical orbits, which were later introduced by Johannes Kepler. Therefore, the correct answer is that Ptolemy's model contained epicycles.

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• 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

Correct Answer
E. 26,000 years
Explanation
The precession of the rotation axis of Earth takes 26,000 years to complete a cycle. Precession refers to the slow, cyclic movement of the Earth's axis of rotation. This movement causes the position of the Earth's axis to change over time, resulting in a shift in the orientation of the Earth's rotational axis with respect to the stars. This cycle takes approximately 26,000 years to complete, during which the Earth's axis traces out a circular path on the celestial sphere.

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• 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.

Correct Answer
C. It lies approximately over the northern axis of the Earth
Explanation
Polaris, the North Star, does not appear to move in the sky because it lies approximately over the northern axis of the Earth. As the Earth rotates on its axis, Polaris remains almost stationary in the sky while all the other stars appear to move around it. This is because Polaris is located very close to the celestial north pole, which is the point directly above the Earth's geographic North Pole. Due to its alignment with the Earth's axis, Polaris remains in the same position relative to the observer, giving the illusion of being fixed in the sky.

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• 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

Correct Answer
D. Stay in motion
Explanation
Newton's first law states that objects in motion stay in motion. This means that if an object is already moving, it will continue to move at a constant velocity unless acted upon by an external force. This is also known as the law of inertia. Inertia is the tendency of an object to resist changes in its motion. Therefore, the correct answer is "stay in motion."

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• 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

Correct Answer
B. At first quarter and third quarter moons
Explanation
Neap tides occur at first quarter and third quarter moons. During these moon phases, the gravitational forces of the moon and the sun partially cancel each other out, resulting in weaker tidal bulges. This leads to lower high tides and higher low tides, creating neap tides.

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• 34.

### Io's volcanic activity is due to tidal forces exerted by

• A.

A moon named Europa

• B.

Saturn

• C.

The Sun

• D.

Jupiter

Correct Answer
D. Jupiter
Explanation
Io's volcanic activity is due to tidal forces exerted by Jupiter. Jupiter's gravity creates tidal forces on Io, causing its interior to flex and heat up, resulting in volcanic activity. These tidal forces are caused by the gravitational pull of Jupiter on Io, which causes the moon to experience tidal bulges that generate heat through friction. This heat leads to the intense volcanic activity observed on Io.

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• 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

Correct Answer
D. Full phase
Explanation
If the Moon is in the waxing gibbous phase tonight, it means that it is increasing in illumination and moving towards a full moon. In three days, it is likely that the Moon will complete its waxing phase and reach the full phase, where it appears fully illuminated. Therefore, the correct answer is full phase.

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• 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)

Correct Answer
A. 4
Explanation
If the mass of the Earth is four times greater, then according to Newton's law of universal gravitation, the force of gravity between the Earth and the Moon will also be four times greater. This means that the pull of the Moon on the Earth will be changed by a factor of 4.

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• 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

Correct Answer
D. Increase by 4
Explanation
If the distance between the Earth and Sun were cut in half, the gravitational force between these two objects would increase by 4. This is because the gravitational force between two objects is inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them. Therefore, if the distance is halved, the force would increase by a factor of (1/0.5)^2, which is 4.

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• 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

Correct Answer
A. Inner planets orbit the Sun faster and pass outer planets as they orbit around the Sun
Explanation
Nicolaus Copernicus accounted for the retrograde motion of the planets by proposing that the inner planets orbit the Sun faster than the outer planets. As the inner planets move in their orbits, they eventually catch up to and pass the slower-moving outer planets, creating the appearance of retrograde motion. This explanation is consistent with Copernicus' heliocentric model of the solar system, where the Sun is at the center and the planets revolve around it.

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• 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.

Correct Answer
D. Answers a and c above.
Explanation
Kepler's first law of planetary motion altered the Copernican system by changing the perfect circles to ellipses and placing the Sun at one focus of each orbit. This means that instead of the planets moving in perfect circles around the Earth, they move in elliptical orbits with the Sun at one of the foci. This was a significant change as it provided a more accurate description of the motion of the planets and helped to explain various observations that could not be explained by the previous circular model.

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• 40.

### Earth is closest to the Sun when the Northern Hemisphere experiences

• A.

Summer

• B.

Winter

• C.

Spring

• D.

Fall

Correct Answer
B. Winter
Explanation
Earth is closest to the Sun during the winter season in the Northern Hemisphere. This may seem counterintuitive since winter is associated with colder temperatures, but the Earth's tilt on its axis is the reason for this phenomenon. During the winter solstice, which occurs around December 21st, the Northern Hemisphere is tilted away from the Sun. This tilt causes sunlight to be spread over a larger area, resulting in less direct sunlight and colder temperatures. Despite being closest to the Sun, the tilt of the Earth's axis causes the Northern Hemisphere to experience winter during this time.

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• 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

Correct Answer
D. Toward the center of the Earth
Explanation
The tidal force at the Earth's North Pole due to the Moon is pointed toward the center of the Earth. This is because the Moon's gravitational pull on the Earth is stronger on the side facing the Moon, causing a bulge of water towards the Moon. However, the Earth's rotation causes a centrifugal force that opposes this bulge, resulting in a net force directed towards the center of the Earth. Therefore, the tidal force at the North Pole is pointed towards the center of the Earth.

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• 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

Correct Answer
C. Two weeks
Explanation
A spring tide occurs when the Sun, Moon, and Earth are aligned, causing the highest tidal range. The lunar cycle, which is the time it takes for the Moon to go through all its phases, lasts approximately 29.5 days. Since spring tides occur twice during this cycle, they are roughly two weeks apart. Therefore, the next spring tide will occur in about two weeks.

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• 43.

### An unbound orbit results when a satellite has a velocity greater than the escape velocity.

• A.

True

• B.

False

Correct Answer
A. True
Explanation
An unbound orbit occurs when a satellite's velocity exceeds the escape velocity, which is the minimum velocity required for an object to escape the gravitational pull of another object. In this case, since the satellite's velocity is greater than the escape velocity, it will not be bound to the gravitational field and will continue to move away from the object it was orbiting. Therefore, the statement is true.

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• 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

Correct Answer
A. Counter clockwise
Explanation
The observer in the Northern Hemisphere notices that the stars near the north celestial pole appear to move counter clockwise. This is because of the rotation of the Earth on its axis from west to east. As the Earth rotates, it gives the illusion that the stars are moving in the opposite direction, which is counter clockwise. This phenomenon is known as the apparent motion of the stars due to the rotation of the Earth.

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• 45.

### An empirical science is one that is based on

• A.

Assumptions

• B.

Observed data

• C.

Calculus

• D.

Computer models

Correct Answer
B. Observed data
Explanation
An empirical science is a type of science that relies on observed data. This means that scientists gather information through observation and experimentation rather than relying solely on assumptions or theoretical models. By studying and analyzing real-world data, empirical scientists can make conclusions and develop theories that are grounded in evidence. This approach allows for the testing and refinement of hypotheses, leading to a better understanding of the natural world.

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• 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.

Correct Answer
B. Away from her hand along a tangent in a straight line.
Explanation
When the astronaut cuts the string, the ball will continue to move in a straight line along the tangent of its circular path. This is because an object in motion will continue to move in a straight line unless acted upon by an external force. The ball was already moving in a circular path due to the tension in the string, but once the string is cut, there is no longer any force acting on the ball to keep it in that circular path. Therefore, it will move in a straight line along the tangent of the circle at the point where the string was cut.

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• 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

Correct Answer
A. True
Explanation
The statement is true because the tidal effect is not solely determined by the strength of the gravitational pull, but also by the distance between the two objects. The Moon is much closer to Earth than the Sun, so even though the Sun's gravitational pull is stronger, its tidal effect is less than that of the Moon.

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• 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.

Correct Answer
C. The amount of force on the Sun by Earth is the same as the amount of force on Earth by the Sun.
Explanation
According to Newton's laws, the gravitational force between two objects depends on their masses and the distance between them. The formula for gravitational force is F = G * (m1 * m2) / r^2, where F is the force, G is the gravitational constant, m1 and m2 are the masses of the two objects, and r is the distance between them. In this case, the masses of the Sun and Earth are significantly different, but the distance between them remains the same. Therefore, the force on the Sun by Earth and the force on Earth by the Sun are equal.

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• 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

Correct Answer
C. Hypothesis; theory
Explanation
A hypothesis is an educated guess or a proposed explanation for a phenomenon. It becomes a theory when repeated testing of its predictions does not disprove it. This means that a hypothesis is initially proposed, and through rigorous testing and experimentation, if it consistently holds true and is supported by evidence, it can be elevated to the status of a theory. Theories are well-established explanations that have withstood extensive testing and are widely accepted in the scientific community.

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• 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

Correct Answer
A. When the sun is near the line of nodes of the Moon and the Moon is new or full
Explanation
A solar or lunar eclipse occurs when the sun is near the line of nodes of the Moon and the Moon is either new or full. The line of nodes refers to the intersection of the orbital planes of the Earth and the Moon. During a new moon, the Moon is between the Earth and the Sun, and during a full moon, the Earth is between the Sun and the Moon. When the Sun aligns with the line of nodes during these phases, it can cast a shadow on the Moon (lunar eclipse) or the Moon can cast a shadow on the Earth (solar eclipse). Therefore, the correct answer is when the sun is near the line of nodes of the Moon and the Moon is new or full.

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• Current Version
• Nov 16, 2023
Quiz Edited by
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• Sep 28, 2011
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