# Intro To Astronomy Pre-test

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• 1.

### The length of an Earth day is determined by the time required for approximately one...

• A.

Earth Rotation

• B.

Earth Revolution

• C.

Sun Rotation

• D.

Sun Revolution

A. Earth Rotation
Explanation
The length of an Earth day is determined by the time required for approximately one Earth rotation. This means that it takes approximately 24 hours for the Earth to complete one full rotation on its axis. This rotation is what causes the cycle of day and night on Earth. The other options, Earth Revolution, Sun Rotation, and Sun Revolution, are not directly related to the length of an Earth day. Earth Revolution refers to the time it takes for the Earth to complete one orbit around the Sun, Sun Rotation refers to the rotation of the Sun on its axis, and Sun Revolution refers to the Sun's movement within the Milky Way galaxy.

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• 2.

### To an observer in Buffalo, New York, the North Star, Polaris, is always located above the northern horizon at an altitude of approximately...

• A.

23½°

• B.

43°

• C.

66½°

• D.

90°

B. 43°
Explanation
The correct answer is 43° because Buffalo, New York is located at a latitude of approximately 43°N. The North Star, Polaris, is located very close to the celestial north pole, so its altitude above the northern horizon is equal to the observer's latitude. Therefore, an observer in Buffalo would see Polaris at an altitude of approximately 43° above the northern horizon.

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• 3.

### Which planet is approximately thirty times farther from the Sun than Earth is?

• A.

Jupiter

• B.

Saturn

• C.

Uranus

• D.

Neptune

D. Neptune
Explanation
Neptune is approximately thirty times farther from the Sun than Earth is.

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• 4.

### Which object is located at one foci of the elliptical orbit of Mars?

• A.

The Sun

• B.

Betelgeuse

• C.

Earth

• D.

Jupiter

A. The Sun
Explanation
The object located at one focus of the elliptical orbit of Mars is the Sun. This is because the Sun is the primary gravitational body around which Mars revolves. The elliptical shape of Mars' orbit means that Mars is closer to the Sun at one point (perihelion) and farther away at another point (aphelion). The Sun being at one focus of the ellipse ensures that Mars follows its elliptical path around the Sun.

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• 5.

### What is the basic difference between ultraviolet, visible, and infrared radiation?

• A.

Half-life

• B.

Temperature

• C.

Wavelength

• D.

Wave velocity

C. Wavelength
Explanation
The basic difference between ultraviolet, visible, and infrared radiation lies in their wavelengths. Ultraviolet radiation has shorter wavelengths than visible light, while infrared radiation has longer wavelengths. The wavelength determines the energy and properties of the radiation, with shorter wavelengths having higher energy and longer wavelengths having lower energy. Therefore, the difference in wavelengths between these types of radiation affects their interaction with matter and their applications in various fields such as medicine, communication, and energy.

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• 6.

### The apparent daily path of the Sun changes with the seasons because...

• A.

Earth's axis is tilted

• B.

Earth's distance from the Sun changes

• C.

The Sun revolves

• D.

The Sun rotates

A. Earth's axis is tilted
Explanation
The apparent daily path of the Sun changes with the seasons because Earth's axis is tilted. This tilt causes the angle at which the Sun's rays hit different parts of the Earth to vary throughout the year, resulting in the changing seasons. As Earth orbits the Sun, the tilt causes different hemispheres to receive varying amounts of sunlight, leading to the observed changes in the Sun's path in the sky.

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• 7.

### This object orbits Earth in both the Earth-centered (geocentric) and Sun-centered (heliocentric) models of our solar system?

• A.

The Moon

• B.

Venus

• C.

The Sun

• D.

Polaris

A. The Moon
Explanation
The Moon is the correct answer because it orbits both the Earth and the Sun. In the geocentric model, the Moon orbits the Earth, while in the heliocentric model, the Moon orbits the Sun along with the Earth. This makes the Moon unique as it is the only celestial object that orbits both the Earth and the Sun in both models of our solar system.

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• 8.

### Predictable changes in the direction of swing of a Foucault pendulum provide evidence that...

• A.

Earth is tilted on its axis

• B.

Earth rotates on its axis

• C.

Earth’s orbit is slightly elliptical

• D.

Earth’s magnetic poles reverse over time

B. Earth rotates on its axis
Explanation
The predictable changes in the direction of swing of a Foucault pendulum provide evidence that the Earth rotates on its axis. The Foucault pendulum is a device that demonstrates the rotation of the Earth by exhibiting a change in the plane of its swing over time. As the Earth rotates, the pendulum's swing appears to change direction, which is a result of the Earth's rotation underneath it. This phenomenon is a clear indication that the Earth is indeed rotating on its axis.

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• 9.

### Summer days in New York State are likely to be hotter than winter days because in summer...

• A.

Earth is closer to the Sun

• B.

The number of sunspots increases

• C.

Earth’s northern axis is tilted toward the Sun

• D.

The Sun gives off more energy

C. Earth’s northern axis is tilted toward the Sun
Explanation
During the summer, the Earth's northern axis is tilted toward the Sun. This means that the Sun's rays hit the northern hemisphere more directly, resulting in more concentrated heat and higher temperatures. In contrast, during winter, the northern axis is tilted away from the Sun, causing the Sun's rays to be spread out and less concentrated, leading to cooler temperatures. Therefore, the tilt of Earth's northern axis toward the Sun is the reason why summer days in New York State are likely to be hotter than winter days.

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• 10.

### Which planet takes more time to complete one rotation on its axis than to complete one revolution around the Sun?

• A.

Mercury

• B.

Venus

• C.

Mars

• D.

Jupiter

B. Venus
Explanation
Venus takes more time to complete one rotation on its axis than to complete one revolution around the Sun. This is because Venus has a very slow rotation period, taking approximately 243 Earth days to complete one rotation. In contrast, it takes Venus about 225 Earth days to complete one revolution around the Sun. This means that a day on Venus (one rotation) is longer than a year on Venus (one revolution around the Sun).

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• 11.

### Which observation provides the best evidence that Earth rotates?

• A.

The position of the planets among the stars changes during the year.

• B.

The location of the constellations in relationship to Polaris changes from month to month.

• C.

The length of the shadow cast by a flagpole at noontime changes from season to season.

• D.

The direction of swing of a freely swinging pendulum changes during the day.

D. The direction of swing of a freely swinging pendulum changes during the day.
Explanation
The direction of swing of a freely swinging pendulum changing during the day provides evidence that Earth rotates. As the Earth rotates, it causes the pendulum to appear to change its direction of swing due to the Coriolis effect. This effect is caused by the rotation of the Earth and is responsible for the apparent deflection of moving objects, such as the pendulum, as observed from a rotating reference frame. Therefore, the changing direction of swing of a pendulum throughout the day is a result of Earth's rotation.

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• 12.

### At which location will the highest altitude of the star Polaris be observed?

• A.

Equator

• B.

Tropic of Cancer

• C.

Arctic Circle

• D.

Central New York State

C. Arctic Circle
Explanation
Polaris, also known as the North Star, is located very close to the North Celestial Pole. The Arctic Circle is a region that lies within the polar region, and it is the area where the highest altitude of Polaris can be observed. This is because the closer one gets to the North Pole, the higher Polaris appears in the sky. Therefore, the highest altitude of Polaris will be observed at the Arctic Circle.

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• 13.

### Which planet has an orbit with an eccentricity most similar to the eccentricity of the Moon’s orbit around Earth?

• A.

Earth

• B.

Mercury

• C.

Pluto

• D.

Saturn

D. Saturn
Explanation
Saturn has an orbit with an eccentricity most similar to the eccentricity of the Moon's orbit around Earth. The eccentricity of an orbit determines how elongated or circular it is. The Moon's orbit around Earth is slightly elliptical, meaning it is not a perfect circle. Similarly, Saturn's orbit also has a slightly elliptical shape, making it the planet with an orbit closest in eccentricity to the Moon's orbit around Earth.

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• 14.

D.
• 15.

### What is the latitude of location A?

• A.

• B.

23½° N

• C.

63½° N

• D.

90° N

D. 90° N
Explanation
The latitude of a location refers to its distance from the equator. The equator is at 0 degrees latitude, and as you move north or south from the equator, the latitude increases. Therefore, a latitude of 90° N means that location A is at the North Pole, which is the farthest point north on Earth.

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• Current Version
• Mar 18, 2023
Quiz Edited by
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• Apr 27, 2015
Quiz Created by
Alyssatepper