Astronomy Ultimate Trivia Quiz! MCQ

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Astronomy Quizzes & Trivia

Astronomy is a branch of science that studies the laws of the star's celestial objects and phenomena. The origin and evolution are explained by using mathematics, physics, and chemistry. It is one of the oldest natural science. Take this quiz to test your knowledge about astronomy and explore interesting facts.


Questions and Answers
  • 1. 

    Initially, a filament's temperature is 4000K. Then a knob is turned to make the Filament temperature 5000K. The amount of red light coming from the filament is higher.

    • A.

      Initially, when it is at 4000K.

    • B.

      Finally, when it is at 5000K

    • C.

      The same for these two cases

    • D.

      Not enough information to solve

    Correct Answer
    B. Finally, when it is at 5000K
    Explanation
    When the filament's temperature is increased from 4000K to 5000K, the amount of red light coming from the filament is higher. This is because as the temperature of an object increases, the object emits more thermal radiation. At higher temperatures, the peak wavelength of the emitted radiation shifts towards shorter wavelengths, which includes the red light spectrum. Therefore, the increase in temperature causes an increase in the amount of red light emitted by the filament.

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  • 2. 

    Consider a star with twice the surface area of the sun with the same surface temperature as the sun. If the energy flux at the sun's surface is Fsun, what is the energy flux at the surface of that star?

    • A.

      Fsun

    • B.

      2 Fsun

    • C.

      16 Fsun

    • D.

      Fsun/2

    Correct Answer
    A. Fsun
    Explanation
    The energy flux at the surface of the star would be the same as the energy flux at the surface of the sun, which is Fsun. This is because the surface temperature of the star is the same as the sun, and the surface area of the star is twice that of the sun. Since the energy flux is defined as the energy radiated per unit area, the larger surface area of the star compensates for its larger size, resulting in the same energy flux as the sun.

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  • 3. 

    Consider a star with twice the sun's surface area with the same surface temperature as the sun. If the total energy emitted by the sun per second is P watts, what is the total energy emitted by tat star per second? 

    • A.

      P Watts

    • B.

      2 P Watts

    • C.

      4 P Watts

    • D.

      P/2 Watts

    Correct Answer
    B. 2 P Watts
    Explanation
    The total energy emitted by a star is directly proportional to its surface area and surface temperature. Since the star in question has twice the surface area of the sun and the same surface temperature, it will emit twice as much energy as the sun. Therefore, the total energy emitted by that star per second is 2P watts.

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  • 4. 

    If the sun's temperature doubles, how much more total radiated power per square meter (energy Flux) would we receive on earth?

    • A.

      Twice 

    • B.

      Four times (2^2)

    • C.

      Eight times (2^3)

    • D.

      Sixteen times (2^4)

    Correct Answer
    D. Sixteen times (2^4)
    Explanation
    If the sun's temperature doubles, the total radiated power per square meter (energy flux) received on Earth would increase by a factor of 2 raised to the power of 4, which is 16. This is because the total radiated power is directly proportional to the fourth power of the temperature. Therefore, if the temperature doubles, the radiated power would increase by a factor of 2^4, resulting in a sixteen-fold increase.

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  • 5. 

    The sun's surface is a good approximation to a black body. Suppose the sun's temperature suddenly doubled. Which of the following statements would be true then?

    • A.

      The sun would look bluer and radiate more power

    • B.

      The sun would look redder and radiate more power

    • C.

      The sun would look bluer but radiate less power

    • D.

      The sun would look redder and radiate less power

    Correct Answer
    A. The sun would look bluer and radiate more power
    Explanation
    When the sun's temperature doubles, it means that its surface becomes hotter. According to Wien's Law, as the temperature increases, the peak wavelength of radiation emitted by an object decreases. This means that the sun would look bluer because the peak of its radiation would shift towards the blue end of the spectrum. Additionally, according to Stefan-Boltzmann Law, the total power radiated by a black body is proportional to the fourth power of its temperature. Therefore, when the sun's temperature doubles, it would radiate more power.

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  • 6. 

    Stars like our sun have low-density gaseous atmospheres surrounding their hot, dense cores. If you were looking at the spectrum of light coming from the sun (or any star), which type of spectrum would you see?

    • A.

      Continuous

    • B.

      Emission line

    • C.

      Absorption line

    Correct Answer
    C. Absorption line
    Explanation
    Stars like our sun have low-density gaseous atmospheres that surround their hot, dense cores. When observing the spectrum of light coming from the sun or any star, one would see an absorption line spectrum. This is because the cooler gases in the star's atmosphere absorb specific wavelengths of light, creating dark lines or gaps in the spectrum. These absorption lines are unique to each element present in the star's atmosphere, allowing scientists to identify the elements and study their properties.

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  • 7. 

    The moon's diameter (or radius) is about 1/4 of the earth's diameter (or radius). If the density of the moon were the same as the density of the Earth, the moon's mass would be what fraction of the Earth's mass?

    • A.

      1/4

    • B.

      1/8

    • C.

      1/16

    • D.

      1/64

    Correct Answer
    D. 1/64
    Explanation
    If the moon's diameter or radius is 1/4 of the Earth's diameter or radius, then its volume would be (1/4)^3 = 1/64 of the Earth's volume. Since density is mass divided by volume, if the moon's density were the same as the Earth's, then its mass would also be 1/64 of the Earth's mass. Therefore, the correct answer is 1/64.

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  • 8. 

    "Spring Tides" occur on the new moon and full moon days. What is the period between spring tides?

    • A.

      1/2 Days

    • B.

      27.32/2 days

    • C.

      29.53/2 days

    • D.

      365/2 days

    Correct Answer
    C. 29.53/2 days
    Explanation
    Spring tides occur on the new moon and full moon days. The period between spring tides is approximately 29.53/2 days. This is because it takes approximately 29.53 days for the moon to complete one orbit around the Earth, which is known as a lunar month. Half of this time, or 29.53/2 days, represents the period between two consecutive new moon or full moon phases when spring tides occur.

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  • 9. 

    List these planets in increasing order of mass.

    • A.

      Earth, Mercury, Jupiter, Neptune

    • B.

      Mercury, Neptune, Earth, Jupiter

    • C.

      Mercury, Earth, Neptune, Jupiter

    • D.

      Earth, Neptune, Mercury, Jupiter

    Correct Answer
    C. Mercury, Earth, Neptune, Jupiter
    Explanation
    The correct answer is Mercury, Earth, Neptune, Jupiter. This is because Mercury is the smallest planet and has the lowest mass out of the four. Earth is the second smallest and has a slightly higher mass than Mercury. Neptune is larger than both Mercury and Earth, so it has a higher mass. Jupiter is the largest planet and has the highest mass out of all the planets listed.

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  • 10. 

    Which of these planets has the lowest density?

    • A.

      Venus

    • B.

      Mars

    • C.

      Uranus

    • D.

      Mercury

    Correct Answer
    C. Uranus
    Explanation
    Uranus has the lowest density among the given planets. This is because Uranus is a gas giant composed mostly of hydrogen and helium, which have low densities. It is believed to have a solid core surrounded by a thick atmosphere. Venus, Mars, and Mercury are all rocky planets with higher densities compared to Uranus.

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  • 11. 

    If an object is in a highly eccentric orbit with a high tilt relative to the ecliptic and gets very close to the sun during its orbit, it is likely to be a 

    • A.

      Asteroid

    • B.

      Comet

    • C.

      Planet

    • D.

      Trans-Neptunian object

    Correct Answer
    B. Comet
    Explanation
    An object in a highly eccentric orbit with a high tilt relative to the ecliptic and getting very close to the sun during its orbit is likely to be a comet. Comets are known for their highly elliptical orbits that bring them close to the sun, causing them to heat up and release gas and dust, creating a visible coma and sometimes a tail. This behavior is not typically observed in asteroids, planets, or trans-Neptunian objects.

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  • 12. 

    The temperature of an object is a measure of:

    • A.

      How fast the microscopic particles that make up the object are moving

    • B.

      How fast the object is moving

    • C.

      How much current is generated due to the motion of the charged particles (e.g. electrons, protons) within it 

    Correct Answer
    A. How fast the microscopic particles that make up the object are moving
    Explanation
    The temperature of an object is a measure of how fast the microscopic particles that make up the object are moving. This is because temperature is a measure of the average kinetic energy of the particles. When the particles move faster, they have higher kinetic energy and therefore a higher temperature.

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  • 13. 

    Which of the following properties is special to light and not true of other types of signal such as sound or seismic waves?

    • A.

      Can be produced by man-made deceives

    • B.

      Has properties such as wavelength, and frequency

    • C.

      Carries information

    • D.

      Does not need a medium. i.e. it can travel through the vacuum

    Correct Answer
    D. Does not need a medium. i.e. it can travel through the vacuum
    Explanation
    Light is unique in that it does not require a medium to travel through, meaning it can propagate through empty space or a vacuum. This property is not true of other types of signals such as sound or seismic waves, which require a medium (such as air or water) to travel through. Light can also be produced by man-made devices, has properties like wavelength and frequency, and carries information, but the ability to travel through a vacuum is what sets it apart from other types of signals.

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  • 14. 

    Which of the following forms of light has a shorter wavelength (higher frequency) than visible light?

    • A.

      Microwaves

    • B.

      Infrared light

    • C.

      Ultraviolet light

    • D.

      Radio waves

    Correct Answer
    C. Ultraviolet light
    Explanation
    Ultraviolet light has a shorter wavelength (higher frequency) than visible light. Ultraviolet light falls just outside the visible light spectrum, with shorter wavelengths ranging from 10 nm to 400 nm. It is more energetic than visible light and can cause damage to the skin and eyes with prolonged exposure.

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  • 15. 

    Which of the following is not true about a blackbody?

    • A.

      It always appears completely black no matter what its temperature

    • B.

      It absorbs all radiation that falls on it no matter what the wavelength

    • C.

      It is an idealization that is only an approximation to real objects

    Correct Answer
    A. It always appears completely black no matter what its temperature
    Explanation
    A blackbody is an idealization that is only an approximation to real objects. Real objects may not absorb all radiation that falls on them, and their appearance may vary depending on their temperature.

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  • 16. 

    The intensity of light coming from a blackbody peak at a wavelength

    • A.

      That is constant (i.e. is the same for all black bodies)

    • B.

      That is independent of its temperature but depend on other properties of the black body

    • C.

      That is proportional to its temperature

    • D.

      That is inversely proportional to its temperature

    Correct Answer
    D. That is inversely proportional to its temperature
    Explanation
    The intensity of light coming from a blackbody is inversely proportional to its temperature. This is known as Wien's displacement law, which states that the wavelength at which the intensity of radiation is maximum is inversely proportional to the temperature of the blackbody. As the temperature increases, the peak wavelength shifts towards shorter wavelengths, indicating higher energy radiation. Conversely, as the temperature decreases, the peak wavelength shifts towards longer wavelengths, indicating lower energy radiation. Therefore, the intensity of light from a blackbody is inversely proportional to its temperature.

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  • 17. 

    The amount of energy radiated by hot coal (which is a good approximation to a blackbody)

    • A.

      Decreased with increasing temperature

    • B.

      Is independent of its temperature

    • C.

      Increases rapidly with increasing temperature

    • D.

      Depend only slightly on its temperature

    Correct Answer
    C. Increases rapidly with increasing temperature
    Explanation
    As the temperature of hot coal increases, the amount of energy it radiates also increases rapidly. This is because hot coal behaves like a blackbody, which means it absorbs and emits all wavelengths of radiation. According to Planck's law, the intensity of radiation emitted by a blackbody is directly proportional to the fourth power of its temperature. Therefore, as the temperature of the coal increases, the amount of energy it radiates increases exponentially.

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  • 18. 

    A hydrogen atom emits a photon when

    • A.

      The electron in the atom jumps from a higher orbital to a lower orbital

    • B.

      The electron in the atom jumps from a lower orbital to a higher orbital

    • C.

      The atom's temperature drops

    • D.

      The atom experiences a collision with another atom

    • E.

      The atom's temperature rises

    Correct Answer
    A. The electron in the atom jumps from a higher orbital to a lower orbital
    Explanation
    When the electron in a hydrogen atom jumps from a higher orbital to a lower orbital, it releases energy in the form of a photon. This is because electrons in higher energy levels have more energy than electrons in lower energy levels. When an electron transitions to a lower energy level, it must release the excess energy, which is emitted as a photon. This phenomenon is known as an emission line and is commonly observed in spectroscopy.

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  • 19. 

    In a line spectrum produced by a gas, the wavelengths of the specific lines can be used to find

    • A.

      The chemical elements that make up the gas

    • B.

      The temperature of the gas

    • C.

      The pressure of the gas

    • D.

      How transparent the gas is

    Correct Answer
    A. The chemical elements that make up the gas
    Explanation
    The specific wavelengths of the lines in a gas's line spectrum correspond to the energy levels of the electrons transitioning between different states within the atoms or molecules of the gas. Each element has a unique set of energy levels, so by analyzing the wavelengths of the lines, it is possible to determine the chemical elements present in the gas.

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  • 20. 

    A cloud of gas in space is excited by light from nearby stars. If you point a spectrometer at the could itself (not the stars), what type of spectrum would you see?

    • A.

      A continuous spectrum

    • B.

      A blackbody spectrum

    • C.

      An absorption line spectrum

    • D.

      An emission line spectrum

    Correct Answer
    D. An emission line spectrum
    Explanation
    When a cloud of gas in space is excited by light from nearby stars, it causes the electrons in the gas atoms to jump to higher energy levels. As these electrons return to their original energy levels, they emit light of specific wavelengths, creating an emission line spectrum. This spectrum consists of bright, narrow lines at specific wavelengths corresponding to the energy differences between the electron energy levels in the gas atoms. Therefore, when pointing a spectrometer at the cloud itself, we would observe an emission line spectrum.

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  • 21. 

    The energy of a photon is higher if

    • A.

      It travels at a slower speed than c

    • B.

      Its wavelength is lower

    • C.

      It travels at a faster speed than c

    • D.

      Its frequency is lower

    Correct Answer
    B. Its wavelength is lower
    Explanation
    The energy of a photon is directly proportional to its frequency and inversely proportional to its wavelength. A lower wavelength corresponds to a higher frequency, which in turn leads to a higher energy. Therefore, if the wavelength of a photon is lower, its energy will be higher.

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  • 22. 

    The Doppler effect occurs only when

    • A.

      The emitter of a wave is moving away from the observer/reciever

    • B.

      The observer/receiver of a wave is in motion

    • C.

      There is relative motion between the observer/receiver and the emitter of the wave

    • D.

      The emitter of a wave is moving toward the observer/receiver

    Correct Answer
    C. There is relative motion between the observer/receiver and the emitter of the wave
    Explanation
    The Doppler effect occurs when there is relative motion between the observer/receiver and the emitter of the wave. This means that either the emitter or the observer/receiver, or both, are in motion. The effect is observed as a change in frequency or wavelength of the wave as it is perceived by the observer. When the emitter is moving towards the observer, the perceived frequency increases (blue shift), and when the emitter is moving away from the observer, the perceived frequency decreases (red shift). Therefore, the correct answer is that the Doppler effect occurs when there is relative motion between the observer/receiver and the emitter of the wave.

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  • 23. 

    The term redshift refers to 

    • A.

      The wavelength of light from a source becoming longer than its natural wavelength

    • B.

      The wavelength of light from a source becoming shorter than its natural wavelength

    • C.

      The speed of light from a source becoming faster than c

    • D.

      The speed of light from a source becoming shower than c

    Correct Answer
    A. The wavelength of light from a source becoming longer than its natural wavelength
    Explanation
    Redshift refers to the phenomenon where the wavelength of light from a source becomes longer than its natural wavelength. This occurs when an object is moving away from an observer, causing the light waves to stretch and shift towards the red end of the electromagnetic spectrum. The greater the redshift, the faster the object is moving away. This concept is a key component in the study of cosmology and has provided evidence for the expansion of the universe.

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  • 24. 

    Eugene Shoemaker was a

    • A.

      Philosopher

    • B.

      Geologist

    • C.

      Chemist

    • D.

      Physicist

    Correct Answer
    B. Geologist
    Explanation
    Eugene Shoemaker was a geologist because his work and contributions were primarily focused on the field of geology. He made significant contributions to the study of impact craters on Earth and the moon, which are geological phenomena. He also played a key role in the establishment of the field of planetary science. His expertise and research in the geological aspects of celestial bodies make him best categorized as a geologist.

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  • 25. 

    The moon has a better record of impact incidents than the Earth. Which of the following is NOT a reason for this?

    • A.

      The crater caused by large asteroids/meteoroids are "erased" over time by Earth's geological activity

    • B.

      The craters caused by large asteroids/meteoroids are eroded over time by liquid water and wind on Earth

    • C.

      Over the course of history, more asteroids/meteoroids have struck the moon than the Earth

    • D.

      Smaller asteroids/meteoroids burn up in Earth's atmosphere before they reach the surface

    Correct Answer
    C. Over the course of history, more asteroids/meteoroids have struck the moon than the Earth
    Explanation
    The reason given in the correct answer is not true. The statement that more asteroids/meteoroids have struck the moon than the Earth over the course of history is false. In reality, the Earth experiences a higher number of impact incidents due to its larger size and gravitational pull. The moon, on the other hand, has a weaker gravitational pull and a lack of atmosphere to burn up smaller asteroids/meteoroids, resulting in a better record of impact incidents.

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  • 26. 

    What is a strong indicator (strong piece of evidence) that a certain crater on Earth was created by an impact rather than volcanic activity? Keep in mind that impact results in higher temperatures and pressures. 

    • A.

      The absence of vegetation near the crater

    • B.

      The presence of coesite (shocked quarts) near the crater

    • C.

      The crater being very deep

    • D.

      The crater having a circular shape

    Correct Answer
    B. The presence of coesite (shocked quarts) near the crater
    Explanation
    The presence of coesite (shocked quartz) near the crater is a strong indicator that the crater was created by an impact rather than volcanic activity. Coesite is a form of quartz that is only formed under high pressures and temperatures, such as those caused by a meteorite impact. Its presence near the crater suggests that the intense heat and pressure from the impact transformed the quartz into coesite, providing evidence of an impact event.

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  • 27. 

    What planet did comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 collide with in 1994?

    • A.

      Jupiter

    • B.

      Saturn

    • C.

      Mars

    • D.

      Uranus

    Correct Answer
    A. Jupiter
    Explanation
    Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 collided with Jupiter in 1994. This event was significant because it was the first observed collision between two solar system objects. The impact created a series of large fireballs and caused massive explosions on Jupiter's surface. The collision provided valuable insights into the dynamics of planetary impacts and the composition of comets.

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  • 28. 

    If we spot a large asteroid that is clearly on a collision course with the Earth, what is a step that we can take with the technology available to us today?

    • A.

      Launch a large enough rocket to impact the asteroid so that the asteroid's path will be slightly altered by the impact causing it to miss the Earth

    • B.

      Launch a large enough rocket to impact the asteroid so that it will stop in its tracks to turn back around

    • C.

      Launch a massive rocket carrying enough explosives to blow up the approaching asteroid

    • D.

      Use enough nuclear power to propel the Earth in one direction just enough to get "out of the way" of the asteroid

    Correct Answer
    A. Launch a large enough rocket to impact the asteroid so that the asteroid's path will be slightly altered by the impact causing it to miss the Earth
    Explanation
    By launching a large enough rocket to impact the asteroid, its path can be altered slightly, causing it to miss the Earth. This approach relies on the principle of momentum transfer, where the force exerted by the rocket alters the asteroid's trajectory. By calculating the necessary timing and trajectory of the rocket, it is possible to divert the asteroid away from Earth, mitigating the potential collision threat. This method is a feasible option with the current technology available to us today.

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  • Current Version
  • Mar 21, 2023
    Quiz Edited by
    ProProfs Editorial Team
  • Mar 10, 2021
    Quiz Created by
    Catherine Halcomb
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