Quiz Yourself!

1. The planet Mars appears red because of
(a) refraction of light in Mars's atmosphere
(b) refraction of light in Earth's atmosphere
(c) iron oxide on its surface
(d) its cool temperature

2. The northern constellation sometimes described as an "ice cream cone" is
(a) Auriga
(b) Boötes
(c) Cepheus
(d) Perseus

3. Which of these is not the English name of a constellation?
(a) Berenice's Hair
(b) The Coalsack
(c) The Fly
(d) The Flying Fish

4. When you observe the stars around Polaris, in what direction does the rotation of the Earth make these stars appear to rotate?
(a) clockwise
(b) counterclockwise
(c) clockwise before midnight and counterclockwise after midnight
(d) counterclockwise before midnight and clockwise after midnight

5. Which of the following is not a factor in the production of the auroras on Earth?
(a) charged particles in the solar wind
(b) the Earth's magnetic field
(c) solar ultraviolet radiation
(d) molecules in the Earth's atmosphere

6. The Dumbbell Nebula and the Ring Nebula are examples of
(a) Messier objects
(b) emission nebulae
(c) planetary nebulae
(d) all of the above

7. Which of the following is true, regarding the average surface temperatures of Mercury and Venus?
(a) Mercury is hotter because it is closer to the Sun
(b) Mercury is hotter because its rotation rate is faster
(c) Venus is hotter because its thick atmosphere traps the Sun's heat
(d) Venus is hotter because its rotation rate is faster

8. The Geminid Meteor Shower is so called because its meteors
(a) always appear in pairs
(b) can be seen only between May 21 and June 20
(c) can be seen only within the boundaries of the constellation Gemini
(d) appear to radiate from a point in the constellation Gemini

9. In 10,000 years, Polaris will no longer be the Earth's north pole star because
(a) continental drift will carry the north pole out from under Polaris
(b) precession will cause the Earth's axis to point elsewhere
(c) proper motion will carry Polaris to a different part of the sky
(d) the International Astronomical Union will demote Polaris to a "dwarf star"

10. What is the largest satellite, or companion, of the dwarf planet Pluto?
(a) Charon
(b) Nix
(c) Persephone
(d) Styx

11. The ultimate fate of the Sun is to become a
(a) supernova
(b) black hole
(c) white dwarf
(d) neutron star

12. Elements heavier than iron are synthesized in
(a) the big bang
(b) supernovae
(c) the cores of rocky planets
(d) the cores of brown dwarfs

13. Which planet could never be seen at midnight from 40o north latitude?
(a) Venus
(b) Mars
(c) Saturn
(d) Uranus

14. The phase of the Moon generally depends on
(a) the observer's latitude
(b) the observer's longitude
(c) the Moon's right ascension
(d) the angular separation of the Moon and the Sun

15. Jupiter's moon Io is noted for being
(a) the most volcanically active body in the Solar System
(b) covered with a thick layer of water ice
(c) covered with a thick layer of carbon dioxide ice
(d) larger than the planet Mercury