What's Up, Astronomer?

1. What is the common name for the star Alpha Virginis?
(a) Alpheratz
(b) Arcturus
(c) Spica
(d) Virginia

2. The largest object in the Asteroid Belt, recently reclassified as a "dwarf planet," is
(a) Ceres
(b) Pallas
(c) Pluto
(d) Vesta

3. Which of the following is not the English name of a constellation?
(a) The Anchor
(b) The Compass
(c) The Keel
(d) The Sails

4. The Horsehead Nebula is an example of
(a) a dark nebula
(b) an emission nebula
(c) a planetary nebula
(d) a reflection nebula

5. "The Leonids" refers to
(a) a cluster of stars in Leo
(b) a cluster of galaxies in Leo
(c) a meteor shower whose radiant is in Leo
(d) the stars of the constellation Leo Minor

6. Which of the following is not a correct statement about lunar libration?
(a) Libration in longitude results from the eccentricity of the Moon's orbit.
(b) Libration in latitude results from the inclination of the Moon's axis of rotation.
(c) Diurnal libration results from the Earth's daily rotation.
(d) Calendrical libration results from the uneven length of our calendar months.

7. A green flash may occur
(a) during an aurora when oxygen molecules become ionized
(b) at sunset, just as the Sun disappears below the horizon
(c) when an iron-rich star goes supernova
(d) when a nickel-iron meteorite partially melts in the atmosphere

8. If there were a southern pole star, in what constellation would it lie?
(a) Centaurus
(b) Crux
(c) Dorado
(d) Octans

9. Which of the following belts is farthest from Earth?
(a) Asteroid Belt
(b) Kuiper Belt
(c) Orion's Belt
(d) Van Allen Belt

10. The Crab Nebula is in which constellation?
(a) Cancer
(b) Orion
(c) Perseus
(d) Taurus

11. Right ascension is measured
(a) westward from the point of the northern vernal equinox
(b) eastward from the point of the northern vernal equinox
(c) westward from the meridian through Greenwich
(d) eastward from the meridian through Greenwich

12. An Einstein ring is
(a) light from a distant source distorted by an intervening gravitational field
(b) a disk of material spiraling into a black hole
(c) a spacetime singularity surrounding a rotating black hole
(d) a halo of dark matter surrounding a galaxy of visible stars

13. Which of the following is not a red giant?
(a) Antares
(b) Betelgeuse
(c) Mira
(d) Sirius

14. The great square of Pegasus actually contains three stars of Pegasus and one star of which other constellation?
(a) Andromeda
(b) Aquarius
(c) Cygnus
(d) Pisces

15. The California Nebula got its name because
(a) It was first observed by Spanish sailors off the coast of California
(b) It was jointly discovered by astronomers at Mt. Palomar and Mt. Wilson Observatories
(c) Its outline resembles a map of California
(d) Its spectrum contains absorption lines of the element californium