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Flashcards in Test 1 Mastering Astronomy Deck (50)
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1

If part of the full Moon passes through Earth's umbra, we will see a(n)

total lunar eclipse.
partial solar eclipse.
annular eclipse.
penumbral lunar eclipse.
partial lunar eclipse.

partial lunar eclipse.

2

The controversial book of this famous person, published in 1543 (the year of his death), suggested that Earth and other planets orbit the Sun.

Ptolemy
Copernicus
Tycho Brahe
Galileo
Kepler

Copernicus

3

What makes the North Star, Polaris, special?

It appears very near the north celestial pole.
It is the star straight overhead.
It is the brightest star in the sky.
It can be used to determine your longitude on Earth.
It is the star directly on your northern horizon.

It appears very near the north celestial pole.

4

The precession of the Moon's nodes means that

there is a solar eclipse every 6 months.
there are never two solar eclipses in the same year.
the eclipse seasons occur less than 6 months apart.
the vernal equinox will be in Aquarius in a few hundred years.
there is a lunar eclipse every 6 months.

the eclipse seasons occur less than 6 months apart.

5

People of central Africa predicted the weather by


recording the seasonal changes in average temperature.
observing the orientation of the crescent Moon relative to the horizon.
observing the location of the Moon relative to the Sun in the sky.
observing the length of the lunar cycle.
observing the path of the planets across the sky.

observing the orientation of the crescent Moon relative to the horizon.

6

What effect or effects would be most significant if the Moon's orbital plane were exactly the same as the ecliptic plane?

Solar eclipses would be much rarer.
Solar eclipses would be much more frequent.
Solar eclipses would last much longer.
both A and C
both B and C

Solar eclipses would be much more frequent.

7

Which of the following best describes the Milky Way Galaxy?

A.a spherically shaped collection of stars including our solar system and about a dozen other solar systems, stretching about 4 light-years in diameter
B. a spherically shaped collection of about 1 million stars that is about 100 light-years in diameter
C. a spiral galaxy with a disk about 100,000 light-years in diameter and containing about 100,000 stars
D. a spiral galaxy with a disk about 100,000 light-years in diameter and containing between 100 billion and 1 trillion stars
E. a spiral galaxy with a disk about 1 billion kilometers in diameter and containing between 100 million and 1 billion stars

D. a spiral galaxy with a disk about 100,000 light-years in diameter and containing between 100 billion and 1 trillion stars

8

What is nuclear fusion?

the process of combining lightweight nuclei to make heavier nuclei
the process of splitting nuclei to produce energy
an explosion caused by putting together two volatile chemicals
a process that only occurs in bombs
the process of turning matter into pure energy

the process of combining lightweight nuclei to make heavier nuclei

9

Which of the following correctly describes the meridian in your sky?

the point directly over your head
a half-circle extending from your horizon due east, through the north celestial pole, to your horizon due west
a half-circle extending from your horizon due north, through your zenith, to your horizon due south
a half-circle extending from your horizon due east, through your zenith, to your horizon due west
the boundary between the portion of the celestial sphere you can see at any moment and the portion that you cannot see

a half-circle extending from your horizon due north, through your zenith, to your horizon due south

10

Why were ancient peoples unable to detect stellar parallax?

They did detect it, but they rejected the observations.
They did not have the ability to measure very small angles.
They could not see distant stars.
They did not observe for long enough periods of time.
They did not look for it.

They did not have the ability to measure very small angles.

11

Why did Carl Sagan say that we are star stuff?

Nearly every atom from which we are made once (before the solar system formed) was inside of a star.
The composition of most stars (mostly hydrogen and helium) is about the same as the composition of our bodies.
Cosmic rays reaching Earth from distant astronomical sources may be one source of mutations that help evolution along.
Sagan thought that all of us have the potential to be movie (or TV) stars like he was.
Nearly every atom from which we are made was once inside our star, the Sun.

Nearly every atom from which we are made once (before the solar system formed) was inside of a star.

12

If you represented each star by a grain of sand, how much sand would it take to represent all the stars in the universe?

all the sand on Miami Beach
all the sand on the beaches of California
all the sand in a typical playground sandlot
all the sand on the beaches in the United States
more than all the sand on all the beaches on Earth

more than all the sand on all the beaches on Earth

13

What is meant by Occam's Razor?

the fine line between science and pseudoscience
a well-designed experiment that clearly shows the differences between two competing theories
the shaving implement of a medieval scholar
the idea that scientists should prefer the simpler of two models that agree equally well with observations
a poorly designed experiment that fails to show the difference between two competing theories

the idea that scientists should prefer the simpler of two models that agree equally well with observations

14

Which of the following best describes the modern definition of a constellation?

a Greek mythological figure
a region of the celestial sphere
a pattern of bright stars in the sky
a group of stars that all lie at about the same distance from Earth
a collection of stars that are near one another in space

a region of the celestial sphere

15

He discovered what we now call Newton's first law of motion.

Galileo
Ptolemy
Copernicus
Tycho Brahe
Kepler

Galileo

16

Why are lunar eclipses more commonly seen than solar eclipses?

The Moon goes around the Earth faster than the Earth goes around the Sun.
The Earth casts a bigger shadow than the Moon.
The tilt of the Moon's axis is smaller than the Earth's.
The Moon is much closer to the Earth than the Sun.
Lunar eclipses occur at night and are easier to see.

The Earth casts a bigger shadow than the Moon.

17

Which of the following is not a phase of the Moon?


half Moon
new Moon
first-quarter Moon
full Moon
third-quarter Moon

half Moon

18

How many stars can you see with your naked eye on a clear, moonless night from a dark location?

more than you could count in your lifetime
about a hundred thousand
a few thousand
fewer than a thousand
about ten thousand

a few thousand

19

What is the Saros cycle?

the roughly 6-month period between eclipse seasons
the period between a total solar eclipse and a total lunar eclipse
the 18-year cycle over which the pattern of eclipses repeats
the period between eclipses
the period between total solar eclipses

the 18-year cycle over which the pattern of eclipses repeats

20

Which of the following has your "address" in the correct order?

you, Earth, solar system, Milky Way, Local Group, Local Supercluster
you, Earth, solar system, Local Group, Local Supercluster, Milky Way
you, Earth, solar system, Milky Way, Local Supercluster, Local Group
you, Earth, Local Group, Local Supercluster, solar system, Milky Way
you, Earth, solar system, Local Group, Milky Way, Local Supercluster

you, Earth, solar system, Milky Way, Local Group, Local Supercluster

21

He discovered that the orbits of planets are ellipses.

Copernicus
Kepler
Ptolemy
Tycho Brahe
Galileo

Kepler

22

Why is it summer in the Northern Hemisphere when it is winter in the Southern Hemisphere?

The Northern Hemisphere is tilted toward the Sun and receives more direct sunlight.
The Northern Hemisphere is tilted away from the Sun and receives more indirect sunlight.
The Northern Hemisphere is closer to the Sun than the Southern Hemisphere.
The Northern Hemisphere is "on top" of Earth and therefore receives more sunlight.
It isn't: both hemispheres have the same seasons at the same time.

The Northern Hemisphere is tilted toward the Sun and receives more direct sunlight.

23

Which of the following statements does not use the term angular size or angular distance correctly?

The angular distance between those two bright stars in the sky is about 2 meters.
The angular size of the Moon is about 1/2 degree.
The angular distance between those two houses in the distance is 30°.
The angular size of the Sun is about the same as that of the Moon.
You can use your outstretched hand to estimate angular sizes and angular distances.

The angular distance between those two bright stars in the sky is about 2 meters.

24

What is meant by a scientific paradigm?

a radical change in scientific thought
a conundrum or unexplained set of facts
a historical theory that has been proved inaccurate
a generally well-established scientific theory or set of theories
a pseudoscientific idea

a generally well-established scientific theory or set of theories

25

By locating the north celestial pole (NCP) in the sky, how can you determine your latitude?

The azimuth of the NCP is the angular distance from the North Pole.
The altitude of the NCP is your angular distance from the North Pole.
The azimuth of the NCP is the same as your latitude.
The altitude of the NCP is the same as your latitude.
The altitude of the NCP is the same as your distance from the North Pole.

The altitude of the NCP is the same as your latitude.

26

Suppose you live on the Moon. How long is a day (i.e., from sunrise to sunrise)?

a year
a lunar month
24 hours
23 hours 56 minutes
about 18 years

a lunar month

27

What do scientists mean by verifiable observations?

observations that a model does not have to predict
observations that support a scientific theory
statements that a person can, in principle, verify for himself or herself
observations that can be interpreted in only one way
statements that anyone would agree are obvious

statements that a person can, in principle, verify for himself or herself

28

The distribution of the mass of the Milky Way Galaxy is determined by

studying the rotation of the galaxy.
studying how stars are distributed in the Milky Way.
counting the number of stars.
weighing various parts of the Milky Way.
determining the amount of gas and dust.

studying the rotation of the galaxy.

29

What conditions are required for a solar eclipse?

The phase of the Moon must be full, and the Moon's orbital plane must lie in the ecliptic.
The phase of the Moon can be new or full, and the nodes of the Moon's orbit must be nearly aligned with Earth and the Sun.
The phase of the Moon must be new, and the nodes of the Moon's orbit must be nearly aligned with Earth and the Sun.
The phase of the Moon must be full, and the nodes of the Moon's orbit must be nearly aligned with Earth and the Sun.
The phase of the Moon must be new, and the Moon's orbital plane must lie in the ecliptic.

The phase of the Moon must be new, and the nodes of the Moon's orbit must be nearly aligned with Earth and the Sun.

30

Which of the following statements about the ecliptic plane is not true?

It is the plane of the Moon's orbit around Earth.
It is the plane of Earth's orbit around the Sun.
During a lunar eclipse, the Moon lies in the ecliptic plane.
During a solar eclipse, the Moon lies in the ecliptic plane.
The nodes of the Moon's orbit lie in the ecliptic plane.

It is the plane of the Moon's orbit around Earth.