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Flashcards in Test 1 Mastering Astronomy Deck (50):
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.

31

By studying distant galaxies in the 1920s, Hubble made which of the following important discoveries that led us to conclude that the universe is expanding?

All galaxies contain billions of stars, and all galaxies have spiral shapes.
All galaxies outside the Local Group are moving away from us, and all are moving away at nearly the same speed.
All galaxies outside the Local Group are orbiting the Local Group.
All galaxies were born at the same time, and all will die at the same time.
All galaxies outside the Local Group are moving away from us, and the farther away they are, the faster they're going.

All galaxies outside the Local Group are moving away from us, and the farther away they are, the faster they're going.

32

Ptolemy was important in the history of astronomy because he

was the first to believe that all orbits are perfect circles.
was the first to create a model of the solar system that placed the Sun rather than Earth at the center.
developed a model of the solar system that made sufficiently accurate predictions of planetary positions to remain in use for many centuries.
was the first to believe in an Earth-centered universe.
developed a scientifically accurate model of the universe.

developed a model of the solar system that made sufficiently accurate predictions of planetary positions to remain in use for many centuries.

33

Which of the following best explains the success of the central African rainfall-prediction technique of observing the waxing crescent Moon?

The Moon's orientation varies seasonally, and so does the weather.
Clouds cover part of the Moon's surface, so the smaller the crescent, the more likely it is to rain.
When the Moon is in Capricorn, there is always more tempestuous weather, while when in Pisces, it is just plain rainy.
The Moon causes the tides and affects the weather.
When the Moon is aligned in a U-shape, it can hold more water, so there is more rain. When it is tilted, it can hold less, so the weather is drier.

The Moon's orientation varies seasonally, and so does the weather.

34

Earth is made mostly of metals and rocks. Where did this material come from?

It was created by chemical reactions in interstellar space.
It was made by nuclear fission of uranium and other radioactive materials.
It was produced in the Big Bang.
It was produced by nuclear fusion in stars.
It was made by our Sun.

It was produced by nuclear fusion in stars.

35

The names of the seven days of the week are based on the

seven brightest stars in the prominent constellation Orion.
seven planets closest to the Sun.
most popular Norse gods.
seven largest constellations of the ancient world.
seven naked-eye objects that appear to move among the constellations.

seven naked-eye objects that appear to move among the constellations.

36

Why do we have seasons on Earth?

The tilt of Earth's axis constantly changes between 0 and 23 1/2°, giving us summer when Earth is tilted more and winter when it is straight up.
Earth's distance from the Sun varies, so that it is summer when we are closer to the Sun and winter when we are farther from the Sun.
As Earth goes around the Sun and Earth's axis remains pointed toward Polaris, the Northern and Southern hemispheres alternately receive more and less direct sunlight.
Seasons are caused by the influence of the planet Jupiter on our orbit.

As Earth goes around the Sun and Earth's axis remains pointed toward Polaris, the Northern and Southern hemispheres alternately receive more and less direct sunlight.

37

From Kepler's third law, an asteroid with an orbital period of 8 years lies at an average distance from the Sun equal to

4 astronomical units.
8 astronomical units.
2 astronomical units.
16 astronomical units.
It depends on the asteroid's mass.

4 astronomical units.

38

Which of the following is not one of, nor follows directly from, Kepler's laws?

The orbit of each planet about the Sun is an ellipse with the Sun at one focus.
A planet travels faster when it is nearer to the Sun and slower when it is farther from the Sun.
More distant planets move at slower speeds.
The force of attraction between any two objects decreases with the square of the distance between their centers.
As a planet moves around its orbit, it sweeps out equal areas in equal times.

The force of attraction between any two objects decreases with the square of the distance between their centers.

39

Which of the following never goes in retrograde motion?

Jupiter
Saturn
Venus
the Sun
Mars

the Sun

40

Ashen light (or earthshine) is

the light from the Moon that illuminates Earth's surface at night.
sunlight reflected by Earth that illuminates the "dark" portion of the Moon.
the light we see at dawn just before the Sun rises.
the light we see at dusk just after the Sun sets.
the sunlight that shines on the face of the Moon that we never see.

sunlight reflected by Earth that illuminates the "dark" portion of the Moon.

41

Historians trace the origins of a 24-hour day to

the ancient Egyptians.
the Babylonian astronomer, Meton.
the druids of Stonehenge.
the Aztecs.
the Mayans.

the ancient Egyptians.

42

Process of Science: What is Occam's razor?

The principal that any theory can be verified by others.
The principle that everyone should agree on a theory before it is considered correct.
The idea that scientists should prefer the simpler of two models that agree equally well with observations.
An unusual implement that Professor Occam uses to remove facial hair.
A long, steep cliff on Mercury that may have been produced as the planet contracted as it formed.

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

43

When are eclipse seasons?

when the nodes of the Moon's orbit are nearly aligned with the Sun
in the summer and winter
in the spring and fall
when Earth, the Sun, and the Moon are exactly aligned for an eclipse
during an eclipse

when the nodes of the Moon's orbit are nearly aligned with the Sun

44

Which of the following statements about lunar phases is true?

It is possible to have two full Moons during January, but not during February.
The full Moon sometimes rises around midnight.
It is possible to have two full Moons during November, but not during December.
The time between new Moons is two weeks.
The time from one new Moon to the next new Moon is the same as the time from first-quarter Moon to third-quarter Moon.

It is possible to have two full Moons during January, but not during February.

45

What happens during the apparent retrograde motion of a planet?

The planet moves backward through the sky over the course of a night.
The planet rises in the west and sets in the east.
The planet moves through constellations that are not part of the zodiac.
The planet moves backward in its orbit around the Sun.
The planet appears to move westward with respect to the stars over a period of many nights.

The planet appears to move westward with respect to the stars over a period of many nights.

46

All the following statements are true. Which one follows directly from Kepler's third law?

Venus is more massive than Mercury.
Venus has a thicker atmosphere than Mercury.
Venus orbits the Sun at a slower average speed than Mercury.
Venus is larger than Mercury.

Venus orbits the Sun at a slower average speed than Mercury.

47

Which of the following statements about the celestial sphere is not true?

The "celestial sphere" is just another name for our universe.
When we look in the sky, the stars all appear to be located on the celestial sphere.
Earth is placed at the center of the celestial sphere.
The celestial sphere does not exist physically.
From any location on Earth, we can see only half the celestial sphere at any one time.

The "celestial sphere" is just another name for our universe.

48

Which of the following statements about stellar parallax is true?

The amount of parallax we see depends on how fast a star is moving relative to us.
The closer a star is to us, the more parallax it exhibits.
It takes at least 10 years of observation to measure a star's parallax.
We observe all stars to exhibit at least a slight amount of parallax.
Stellar parallax was first observed by ancient Greek astronomers.

The closer a star is to us, the more parallax it exhibits.

49

Kepler's second law, which states that as a planet moves around its orbit it sweeps out equal areas in equal times, means that

the period of a planet does not depend on its mass.
a planet travels faster when it is nearer to the Sun and slower when it is farther from the Sun.
planets that are farther from the Sun move at slower average speeds than nearer planets.
planets have circular orbits.
a planet's period does not depend on the eccentricity of its orbit.

a planet travels faster when it is nearer to the Sun and slower when it is farther from the Sun.

50

Which of the following was not observed by Galileo?

Jupiter's moons
sunspots
stellar parallax
craters on the Moon
phases of Venus

stellar parallax