# Practice Exam #1

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The solar system is a combination of the planets, the sun, moon, stars and other physical features in space. Practice exam #2 is simple multiple-choice quizzes that will help you learn more on the subject. Enjoy.

• 1.

### Our solar system is located in the center of the Milky Way Galaxy.

• A.

(a) True

• B.

(b) False

B. (b) False
Explanation
The statement is false because our solar system is not located in the center of the Milky Way Galaxy. The Milky Way Galaxy is a spiral galaxy, and our solar system is located on one of the spiral arms, about two-thirds of the way from the center to the edge of the galaxy.

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• 2.

### 1 A.U. (1 Astronomical Unit) is:

• A.

(a) any planetâ€™s average distance from the Sun.

• B.

(b) Earthâ€™s average distance from the Sun.

• C.

(c) any large astronomical distance.

B. (b) Earthâ€™s average distance from the Sun.
Explanation
An Astronomical Unit (A.U.) is a unit of measurement used in astronomy to represent the average distance between the Earth and the Sun. It is defined as approximately 149.6 million kilometers or 93 million miles. This distance is used as a reference point to measure distances within our solar system. Therefore, option (b) stating that an A.U. is Earth's average distance from the Sun is the correct answer.

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• 3.

### In winter, Earth’s axis points toward the star Polaris. In spring:

• A.

(a) the axis also points toward Polaris

• B.

(b) the axis points toward Vega

• C.

(c) the axis points toward the Sun

A. (a) the axis also points toward Polaris
Explanation
In winter, Earth's axis points toward the star Polaris, which is also known as the North Star. This is because Polaris is located very close to the Earth's celestial north pole. In spring, the axis of the Earth still points toward Polaris, as the orientation of the axis remains relatively constant throughout the year. Therefore, the correct answer is (a) the axis also points toward Polaris.

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• 4.

### If you are located in the continental U.S. on the first day of July, how will the position of the Sun at noon be different two weeks later?

• A.

(a) It will have moved toward the North.

• B.

(b) It will have moved to a position higher in the sky.

• C.

(c) It will stay in the same position.

• D.

(d) It will have moved to a position closer to the horizon.

• E.

(e) It will have moved toward the west.

D. (d) It will have moved to a position closer to the horizon.
Explanation
The correct answer is (d) It will have moved to a position closer to the horizon. This is because in the continental U.S., the position of the Sun at noon gradually changes throughout the year due to the tilt of the Earth's axis. During the summer months, the Sun is higher in the sky at noon, while during the winter months, it is lower. Two weeks after the first day of July, which is in the summer, the Sun would have moved lower in the sky, closer to the horizon.

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• 5.

### A week after full moon, the Moon’s phase is:

• A.

(a) first quarter.

• B.

(b) third quarter.

• C.

(c) new.

B. (b) third quarter.
Explanation
A week after the full moon, the Moon's phase is the third quarter. This is because the full moon occurs when the Moon is directly opposite the Sun, with the Earth in between. As the Moon continues its orbit around the Earth, it moves towards the third quarter phase, where only half of the Moon is illuminated and visible from Earth. This phase occurs approximately one week after the full moon. Therefore, the correct answer is (b) third quarter.

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• 6.

### If our year were twice as long (that is, if Earth took twice as many days to complete each orbit around the Sun), but Earth’s rotation period and axis tilt were unchanged, then:

• A.

(a) the four seasons would each be twice as long as they are now

• B.

(b) Earth would not have seasons

• C.

(c) stars would take twice as long to rise and set

A. (a) the four seasons would each be twice as long as they are now
Explanation
If our year were twice as long, it would mean that Earth takes twice as many days to complete each orbit around the Sun. This would result in each season being twice as long as they are now because the length of a season is determined by the position of Earth in its orbit around the Sun. The tilt of Earth's axis and its rotation period remain unchanged, so the only factor affecting the length of seasons would be the longer year. Therefore, the correct answer is that the four seasons would each be twice as long as they are now.

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• 7.

### Which of the following statements is true about the location of the Sun at sunrise during the middle of summer?

• A.

(a) The Sun will rise north of West

• B.

(b) The Sun will rise north of East.

• C.

(c) The Sun will rise south of West.

• D.

(d) The Sun will rise south of East.

• E.

(e) None of the above.

B. (b) The Sun will rise north of East.
Explanation
During the middle of summer, the Sun rises in the northeast direction. This means that it rises north of East. This is because during summer, the Earth's tilt causes the Sun to be positioned more directly over the northern hemisphere, resulting in longer days and higher sun angles. As a result, the Sun appears to rise further north of East compared to other times of the year. Therefore, option (b) is the correct statement.

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• 8.

### Based on the locations of the constellations described below, what would be the horoscope sign of a person born on this day (i.e. the constellation behind the Sun)? - Taurus is high in the southern sky at sunset. - Aquarius is on the eastern horizon at sunrise. - Scorpius is on the western horizon at noon. - Leo is high in the southern sky at midnight.

• A.

(a) Taurus

• B.

(b) Aquarius

• C.

(c) Scorpius

• D.

(d) Leo

B. (b) Aquarius
Explanation
Based on the given information, the constellation that would be behind the Sun on this day is Aquarius. This is because Aquarius is on the eastern horizon at sunrise, and the Sun rises in the east. Therefore, a person born on this day would have Aquarius as their horoscope sign.

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• 9.

### Which of the following groups of moon phases is above the horizon at 9:00 am?

• A.

(a) Third Quarter, Waning Crescent, and Waxing Gibbous

• B.

(b) New Moon, Third Quarter, and Waning Gibbous

• C.

(c) Waxing Gibbous, Full Moon, Waning Gibbous

• D.

(d) Waxing Crescent, First Quarter, Waxing Gibbous

• E.

(e) None. The moon can only been seen above the horizon during the night time.

B. (b) New Moon, Third Quarter, and Waning Gibbous
• 10.

### Consider the five situations shown below (A—E) in which Earth is drawn along with the light coming from the Sun. How many of the situations shown above are physically possible in terms of how the Earth’s tilt is represented relative to daytime, nighttime, and the direction of sunlight.

• A.

(a) only one

• B.

(b) two

• C.

(c) three

• D.

(d) four

• E.

(e) all of the above are possible.

B. (b) two
Explanation
The Earth's tilt determines the seasons and the length of daylight and darkness in different parts of the world. In situation A, the tilt is such that it is daytime on the left side of the Earth and nighttime on the right side, which is possible. In situation B, the tilt is such that it is daytime on the top half of the Earth and nighttime on the bottom half, which is also possible. However, situations C, D, and E show tilts that are not physically possible in terms of how the Earth's tilt affects daytime, nighttime, and the direction of sunlight. Therefore, only two of the situations shown are physically possible.

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• 11.

### In what phase and location described below will the Moon be, when a lunar eclipse occurs?

• A.

(a) Full phase and below the plane of Earths orbit.

• B.

(b) Full phase and crossing Earths orbital plane.

• C.

(c) New phase and below the plane of Earths orbit.

• D.

(d) New phase and crossing Earths orbital plane.

• E.

(e) None of the above.

B. (b) Full phase and crossing Earths orbital plane.
Explanation
During a lunar eclipse, the Moon is in the full phase, meaning it is completely illuminated by the Sun. It is also crossing Earth's orbital plane, which is the path that Earth follows around the Sun. This allows Earth's shadow to fall on the Moon, causing the eclipse. Therefore, option (b) is the correct answer.

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• 12.

### USE DIAGRAM below to answer the next question. In this Earth-Sun system drawing we have indicated the direction of both the daily rotation of Earth about its own axis and its annual orbit about the Sun. Imagine you are the observer shown on Earth in the northern hemisphere.   11. For the time of year shown, which constellation will be highest in the sky at noon?

• A.

(a) Aquarius

• B.

(b) Pisces

• C.

(c) Leo

• D.

(d) Taurus

• E.

(e) Scorpius

E. (e) Scorpius
• 13.

### What time is it when the moon phase shown at below first begins to set below the horizon?

• A.

(a) in the late morning

• B.

(b) at noon

• C.

(c) in the mid-afternoon

• D.

(d) at midnight

• E.

(e) in the early morning

D. (d) at midnight
Explanation
The moon phase shown below is a crescent moon, which is visible in the evening sky. As the moon sets below the horizon, it moves from the western sky to the eastern sky. Since midnight is the middle of the night, it is the time when the moon phase shown below would begin to set below the horizon.

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• 14.

### If you could see stars during the day, the drawing above shows what the sky would look like at noon on a given day. The Sun is near the stars of the constellation Taurus. Near which constellation would you expect the Sun to be located at sunset on this day?

• A.

(a) Pisces

• B.

(b) Taurus

• C.

(c) Aries

• D.

(d) Cancer

• E.

(e) Gemini

B. (b) Taurus
Explanation
The drawing shows the stars of the constellation Taurus near the Sun at noon. Since the Earth rotates throughout the day, the Sun appears to move across the sky. Therefore, if the Sun is near Taurus at noon, it would be expected to be near Taurus at sunset as well. Therefore, the correct answer is (b) Taurus.

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• 15.

### Consider the Earth labeled C in the figure above. For a person at the location marked with an X, what season is it?

• A.

(a) Summer

• B.

(b) Winter

A. (a) Summer
Explanation
Based on the information given in the question, the person is located at the Earth labeled C. Since the person is located in the Northern Hemisphere, and the location marked with an X is tilted towards the sun, it indicates that it is summer.

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• 16.

### The figure below shows the evening sky as it would appear for an observer in the northern hemisphere. Notice that Polaris, the North Star, appears fairly high in the sky while other stars (labeled A—E) appear to slowly move around the North Star.   Which of the following is the best ranking for the amount of time that each of the stars shown above (A—E), will be above the horizon during a 24 hour period, from least amount of time to greatest.

• A.

(a) C < A < B < D < E

• B.

(b) E < D < B < A < C

• C.

(c) B = D < A < C = E

• D.

(d) A < B = C < D < E

• E.

(e) A = E < C = B = D

E. (e) A = E < C = B = D
Explanation
The question is asking for the ranking of the amount of time each star will be above the horizon during a 24 hour period. The figure shows that stars A and E are closest to Polaris, the North Star, and therefore will be above the horizon for the longest amount of time. Stars C, B, and D are further away from Polaris and will be above the horizon for a shorter amount of time. Therefore, the correct ranking is A = E < C = B = D.

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• 17.

### The figure below shows the evening sky as it would appear for an observer in the northern hemisphere. Notice that Polaris, the North Star, appears fairly high in the sky while other stars (labeled A—E) appear to slowly move around the North Star. Which direction would the stars appear to be moving about Polaris?

• A.

(a) Clockwise

• B.

(b) Counter-clockwise

B. (b) Counter-clockwise
Explanation
The stars would appear to be moving counter-clockwise around Polaris. This is because Polaris is located near the North Celestial Pole, which is the point in the sky that all other stars appear to rotate around due to the rotation of the Earth. In the northern hemisphere, as the Earth rotates counterclockwise, it gives the illusion that the stars are moving in a clockwise direction. Therefore, the correct answer is counter-clockwise.

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• 18.

### For an observer in the continental U.S., which of the three shadow plots, shown below, correctly depicts the Suns motion for one day?

• A.

• B.

• C.

• D.

(d) All three plots are possible, on different days of the year.

• E.

(e) None of the plots are possible

• 19.

### Which of the following describes one reason that the northern and the southern hemispheres have different seasons at the same time?

• A.

(a) The Earth is closer to the Sun during summer in the southern hemisphere and is farther from the sun during winter in the northern hemisphere.

• B.

(b) During the time of the year when the Sun is high in the sky in the northern hemisphere it will be low in the sky in the southern hemisphere.

• C.

(c) The Earth is tilted, so the Sun is closer to one hemisphere than the other, which causes one hemisphere to be in winter and the other in summer.

• D.

(d) The energy received at Earth from the Sun changes throughout the year providing more energy to one hemisphere than the other.

• E.

(e) The amount the Earth is tilted changes over the course of the year and causes the amount of sunlight that reaches each hemisphere to be different which causes the seasons to be opposites.

B. (b) During the time of the year when the Sun is high in the sky in the northern hemisphere it will be low in the sky in the southern hemisphere.
Explanation
During different times of the year, the position of the Sun in the sky varies in the northern and southern hemispheres. When the Sun is high in the sky in the northern hemisphere, it will be low in the sky in the southern hemisphere. This difference in the angle of the Sun's rays leads to different amounts of sunlight reaching each hemisphere, resulting in different seasons at the same time.

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• 20.

### Which of the following could be true about shadow plot B from question 19?

• A.

(a) It was made by an observer on the Equator on the summer soltice (June 21).

• B.

(b) It was made by an observer on the Equator on the equinoxes (March 21 or September 21).

• C.

(c) It was made by an observer on the Tropic of Cancer (23.5 North) on the summer solstice (December 21).

• D.

(d) It was made by an observer on the Tropic of Cancer (23.5 North) on the equinoxes (March 21 or September 21).

• E.

(e) Both B and C.

B. (b) It was made by an observer on the Equator on the equinoxes (March 21 or September 21).

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• Current Version
• Mar 22, 2023
Quiz Edited by
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• Dec 09, 2013
Quiz Created by
Emhook