Test your knowledge!

1. The term "terrestrial planets" refers to which planets?
(a) Earth and Mars
(b) Earth and Venus
(c) Mercury, Venus, and Mars
(d) Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars

2. Regulus is in which constellation?
(a) Boötes
(b) Cepheus
(c) Leo
(d) Orion

3. Since 2006 the dwarf planet Pluto is considered to be
(a) a Kuiper Belt object
(b) a satellite of Neptune
(c) an asteroid
(d) a dormant comet

4. Which of the following is not the English name of a constellation?
(a) The Air Pump
(b) Berenice's Hair
(c) The Big Dipper
(d) The Giraffe

5. The four largest moons of Jupiter, discovered by Galileo, are
(a) Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto
(b) Io, Europa, Titan, and Oberon
(c) Ganymede, Callisto, Titan, and Oberon
(d) Io, Titan, Ganymede, and Oberon

6. Nineteenth century navigators could determine their longitude by measuring
(a) the azimuth of the Sun at local sunrise
(b) the azimuth of the Sun at local noon
(c) the altitude of the Sun at local noon
(d) the time of local noon, relative to Greenwich Mean Time

7. Before entering the inner Solar System, long-period comets inhabit a region known as the
(a) Kuiper Belt
(b) Oort Cloud
(c) Asteroid Belt
(d) Magellanic Cloud

8. One hour of right ascension corresponds to an angle of
(a) 15 degrees
(b) 20 degrees
(c) 24 degrees
(d) 30 degrees

9. The existence of dark energy has been postulated by cosmologists because
(a) it explains how space is warped around black holes
(b) intergalactic space is filled with stars that do not emit visible light
(c) observations of distant supernovae suggest that the expansion of the universe is accelerating
(d) observations of galaxies suggest that they have greater mass than can otherwise be accounted for

10. Which planet rotates on an axis that lies very nearly in its orbital plane?
(a) Mercury
(b) Venus
(c) Saturn
(d) Uranus

11. How long does it take light from the Sun to reach Earth?
(a) 2 seconds
(b) 8 seconds
(c) 2 minutes
(d) 8 minutes

12. A lunar eclipse can occur only when the Moon is
(a) new
(b) full
(c) at first quarter
(d) at last quarter

13. The redshift of light from distant galaxies, confirming the expansion of the Universe, was first observed by
(a) Arthur Eddington
(b) Percival Lowell
(c) Edwin Hubble
(d) Lyman Spitzer

14. A red giant is
(a) a newly formed star that is just beginning to heat up
(b) a middle-aged star with a lot of carbon in its atmosphere
(c) a middle-aged star surrounded by a dusty nebula
(d) an old star that has burned up all of its hydrogen fuel

15. Comets have been described as
(a) blazing fireballs
(b) dirty snowballs
(c) fuzzy hairballs
(d) outer spaceballs