Choose the most correct answer for the following multiple-choice questions and record your answer on the answer sheet. Make sure to read all the choices carefully before choosing an answer.
1. The north celestial pole is a point in the sky
a. directly over Earth’s equator.
b. directly over Earth’s south pole.
c. around which the stars in the northern hemisphere appear to revolve.
d. that follows the daily motion of the stars.
2. The celestial sphere is divided into two equal halves by a great circle called the
a. celestial equator.
b. line of seconds of arc.
d. celestial daily motion.
3. The scientist who came up with the special and general theories of relativity was
4. The statement “The Mona Lisa is beautiful” is not a scientific statement because it is not
c. popular enough.
d. Correction: the statement is scientific.
5. The sun’s apparent path around the celestial sphere over the year is called the
c. celestial equator
6. Summer begins in the northern hemisphere on the summer solstice, which occurs when the
a. sun rises on the celestial equator.
b. sun reaches its most northerly point and rises to its highest point in the sky.
c. setting sun is seen below the horizon.
d. sun makes a complete daily cycle without dipping below the horizon.
7. Which of the following is the most fundamental?
a. Kepler’s First Law
b. Kepler’s Second Law
c. Kepler’s Third Law
d. Newton’s Law of Gravity.
8. Because Earth rotates on its axis, the
a. sun appears to rise in the east and set in the west.
b. stars appear to rise in the east and set in the west.
c. plane of motion of a pendulum changes.
d. all of the above
9. When the moon is located between Earth and the sun, the phase of the moon is said to be new. A new moon is
a. visible from Earth during the daylight hours.
b. visible from Earth at midnight.
c. not visible at all.
d. only visible just before sunset by observers at high latitudes.
10. A “phase” of the moon is determined by the
a. amount of sunlight reflected off the lunar surface reaching Earth.
b. rate of Earth’s rotation.
c. speed of the moon in orbit about Earth.
d. rate at which the moon rates on its axis.
11. The gibbous waxing and crescent waxing phases occur when the moon
a. is rotating on its axis.
b. appears to be growing.
c. appears to be shrinking.
d. is observed through obscuring clouds.
12. As the moon orbits Earth, the moon rotates on its axis
c. 5 times.
d. 24 times.
13. A lunar eclipse occurs when
a. a full moon passes through Earth’s shadow.
b. a full moon passes through the sun’s shadow.
c. Earth passes through the moon’s shadow.
d. a new moon passes through Earth’s shadow.
14. A solar eclipse occurs when the
a. new moon crosses in front of the sun and the moon’s shadow reaches Earth.
b. full moon crosses in front of the sun and the moon’s shadow reaches Earth.
c. line of nodes points toward the sun.
d. observer is within the Earth’s shadow.
15. Although new and full moons occur each month, eclipses do not occur each month because
a. the moon’s orbit is tipped with respect to the plane of the ecliptic.
b. Earth’s shadow is not always long enough to fall on the moon.
c. the moon’s shadow is too short.
d. the moon’s orbit is fixed in space.
16. Eratosthenes measured the
a. length of a lunar eclipse.
b. synodic period of the moon.
c. sidereal period of the moon.
d. circumference of Earth.
17. Aristotle view, that Earth was the center of the universe, which was held for roughly 2000 years, is called a
a. geocentric universe.
b. heliocentric universe.
c. Pythagorean universe.
d. Platonic universe.
18. Ptolemy’s model of the universe
a. was heliocentric.
b. included elliptical orbits.
c. contained epicycles.
d. assumed retrograde motion.
19. As observed from Earth, the planets
a. speed up, slow down, stop, and move backward with respect to the background stars.
b. travel around Earth from west to east at constant speed.
c. only move east to west with respect to the background stars.
d. do not move at all.
20. Retrograde motion describes the
a. backward motion of the stars relative to Earth.
b. uniform circular motion exhibited by the planets.
c. irregular speeds at which the planets travel.
d. backward motion of the planets with respect to the stars.
21. The heliocentric system of Copernicus placed
a. the sun at the center of the universe.
b. the sun at the center of the solar system but Earth at the center of the universe.
c. Earth at the center of the solar system but the sun at the center of the universe.
d. Earth outside the solar system.
22. According to the Tychonic model of the universe, Earth
a. orbited the sun, while the rest of the planets and moon orbited Earth.
b. was immobile, while the planets orbited the sun and the sun and the moon orbited Earth.
c. and all the other planets, along with the moon, orbited the sun.
d. was immobile while the moon, sun, and planets went around Earth in elliptical orbits.
23. According to Kepler, the orbits of the planets are
a. ellipses with the sun at the center.
b. ellipses with the sun at one of the foci.
c. circles with the sun at the center.
d. circles with the sun at the equant.
24. In its orbit around the sun, a planet’s speed is
a. slowest at aphelion.
b. slowest at perihelion.
c. fastest at aphelion.
d. constant in its orbit around the sun.
25. Galileo’s telescopic discovery of moons orbiting Jupiter was important because it showed
a. that the universe could contain centers of motion other than Earth.
b. that Earth could move in an orbit and not leave the moon behind.
c. both of these.
d. neither of these.
26. The observation by Galileo that Venus went through a complete set of phases demonstrated that
a. Venus orbited Earth.
b. Venus orbited the sun.
c. Earth moved along an epicycle.
d. Venus moved along an epicycle between Earth and the sun.
27. Galileo observed and recorded
a. sunspots, moons of Saturn, and faint stars in the Milky Way.
b. craters on Mars, sunspots, and moons of Jupiter.
c. sunspots, faint stars in the Milky Way, and phases of Mars.
d. phases of Venus, craters on the moon, and sunspots.
e. None of the above
28. The unit of time we use that is based on the earth’s revolution around the sun is
a. The day
b. The week
c. The month
d. The year
29. Earth exerts a force on an object equal to the object’s weight. The object exerts a force on Earth
a. equal to zero.
b. equal to the object’s weight.
c. less than the object’s weight.
d. greater than the object’s weight.
30. The amount of time between full moons is roughly
a. 24 hours.
b. one week.
c. two weeks.
d. one month.
e. one year.
Problems (5 points)
Answer TWO of the following problems on the Quiz 1 Answer Sheet. Show all work for full credit. Please do not answer them out of order, and please do not answer more than three.
1. Suppose you were an alien living on the fictitious warlike planet Myrmidion and you wanted to measure its size. The sun is shining directly down a missile silo 1000 miles to your south, while at your location, the sun is 36 degrees from straight overhead. What is the circumference of Myrmidion? What is its radius?
2. Suppose you received a message from aliens living on a planet orbiting a star identical to our Sun. They say they live 4 times farther from their star than the Earth is from the Sun. What is the length of their year compared to ours?
3. . If the separation between two massive objects is doubled, how will that affect the gravity felt between the two objects?
Short Answer (5 points each)
Answer TWO of the following questions on the Quiz 1 Answer Sheet. Show all work for full credit. Please do not answer them out of order, and please do not answer more than three.
1. Suppose we have a space station in deep space, very far from any planets or stars, and we wanted to send a probe from there out into space. Once we blast the probe off (i.e., after it’s away from the station and moving), how many forces would be required to keep the probe going at a constant velocity?
2. Explain the scientific usage of the word “theory,” compared to its colloquial usage by the public.
3. Discuss the precession of the Earth: its definition, its cause, and at least one of its ramifications.