ASTR 135.02 Midterm Exam 2001.10.11 – form A


ID number:___________________________

1)      The distance that light travels in one year is

a)      an astronomical unit

b)      a spectrum

c)      a light year

d)      a tropical year

e)      the distance to the nearest star

2)      What kinds of electromagnetic radiation easily penetrate the earth’s atmosphere?

a)      X-rays and UV radiation

b)      radio and infrared

c)      visible and radio

d)      visible and gamma rays

e)      visible and infrared

3)      A metal wire heated to high temperature will emit what kind of spectrum?

a)      continuous

b)      emission line

c)      absorption line

4)      If light from a blackbody passes through a cool cloud of gas and then into a spectroscope, what kind of spectrum will be observed?

a)      continuous

b)      emission line

c)      absorption line

5)      What situation will not result in an emission line spectrum?

a)      aurorae

b)      neon gas tube light

c)      starlight

d)      a gas cloud in space excited by ultraviolet light from a nearby star

6)      A laboratory blackbody’s peak emission is observed at 5000 Å. If the blackbody’s temperature is subsequently doubled, what is the new wavelength of peak emission?

a)      5000 Å

b)      10000 Å

c)      2500 Å

d)      1000 Å

7)      The atomic model that places electrons in definite orbits around the nucleus but allows only certain orbits to exist is the

a)      Rutherford model

b)      Bohr model

c)      Thomson model

d)      Feynman model


8)      The picture above shows an observer equipped with a spectrograph observing an astronomical object that shows a redshift. Which direction is the one unambiguous direction in which the object must be moving?

a)      direction a

b)      direction b

c)      direction c

d)      direction d

e)      no direction: velocity = 0

9)      The ability to distinguish details or to perceive two adjacent objects as separate and distinct from each other is

a)      resolution

b)      reflection

c)      seeing

d)      magnification

e)      refraction

10)   The kind of electromagnetic radiation with wavelength just longer than that of visible light is

a)      ultraviolet

b)      ultravisible

c)      infrared

d)      microwave

11)   A simple refracting telescope consists of an eyepiece and a(n)

a)      mirror

b)      image plane

c)      aperture

d)      objective lens

e)      focus

12)   A 12-meter telescope will collect ___ times as much light as a 4-meter telescope.

a)      12

b)      3

c)      9

d)      4

e)      16

13)   Recognizable groupings of stars in the sky are called

a)      nebulae

b)      constellations

c)      clusters

d)      mythology

e)      dippers

14)   The Earth and the sun and their relative motion define a plane that we, from our earthbound perspective, call the

a)      equinox

b)      prime meridian

c)      celestial equator

d)      zodiac

e)      ecliptic

15)   Which does not fall on the meridian?

a)      north celestial pole

b)      south celestial pole

c)      the equinoxes

d)      the zenith

e)      the nadir

16)   The sun reaches its maximum declination at

a)      winter solstice

b)      autumnal equinox

c)      summer solstice

d)      vernal equinox

17)   It is March. Approximately, what is the right ascension of the full moon?

a)      0 h

b)      6 h

c)      12 h

d)      18 h

18)   It is late June. Approximately, what is the sun’s right ascension?

a)      0 h

b)      6 h

c)      12 h

d)      18

19)   It is late September. Approximately, what is the sun’s declination?

a)      –66.6°

b)      –23.4°


d)      23.4°

e)      66.6°

20)   At sunset one evening you notice the moon high in the sky directly south. What phase is it in?

a)      new

b)      first quarter

c)      full

d)      last quarter

21)   When does a last-quarter moon rise, approximately?

a)      noon

b)      6 p.m.

c)      midnight

d)      6 a.m.

22)   When less than half of the side of the moon facing Earth is in sunlight it is called a

a)      quarter moon

b)      gibbous moon

c)      full moon

d)      new moon

e)      crescent moon


****For the next 5 questions, choose from the following list:

a) Nicholas Copernicus

b) Tycho Brahe

c) Johannes Kepler

d) Galileo Galilei

e) Isaac Newton


23)   Not long after the death of Nicholas Copernicus, a Danish nobleman used giant instruments to make observations of the planet’s motions with unprecedented accuracy. This was __________.

24)   His book that described the sun-centered universe, de Revolutionibus, was published after his death.

25)   He built telescopes better than anyone shortly after their invention and used them for astronomical observations.

26)   Johannes Kepler’s theory was based upon analysis of planet observations taken by _________.

27)   He invented calculus, laws of physical motion, and a law of universal gravitation.



28)   When viewed from the north, all planets revolve ____ around the sun. Most of them rotate in this sense and have most of their satellites revolving in this sense as well.

a)      clockwise

b)      counterclockwise

29)   When planets drift westward against the background of stars, this motion is called

a)      retrograde motion

b)      wandering

c)      heliacal rising

d)      prograde motion

e)      drift

30)   Kepler’s first law says that planets move

a)      in circular orbits around the Earth

b)      in circular orbits around the sun

c)      in elliptical orbits around the Earth

d)      in elliptical orbits around the sun

31)   Kepler’s second law says that

a)      there is no physical object at the center of a planet’s elliptical orbit.

b)      P2=a3

c)      a planet will move faster when near the sun in its orbit compared to when it is farther from the sun.

d)      a planet travels in an elliptical path

32)   What discovery of Galileo’s most directly proved that Ptolemy’s geocentric model was incorrect?

a)      the existence of craters on the moon

b)      the phases of Venus

c)      the existence of sunspots

d)      the Milky Way is made of stars

33)   A new asteroid is discovered in a near-circular orbit at a distance of 4 A.U. from the sun. What is its orbital period?

a)      2 years

b)      4 years

c)      8 years

d)      16 years

34)   If the asteroid of the previous question was moved into a 1-A.U. orbit, how much stronger would the force of gravity exerted on the asteroid by the sun be?

a)      2 times stronger

b)      4 times stronger

c)      8 times stronger

d)      16 times stronger

35)   If the Earth had an axial tilt like that of Uranus, would our hot/cold seasonal cycle be more intense or less intense?

a)      more

b)      less

c)      it would stay the same

36)   The process of forming layers within a self-gravitating sphere because of differences in density between materials is called

a)      plate tectonics

b)      buoyancy

c)      gravity

d)      internal heat

e)      differentiation

37)   The theory of the formation of the solar system is called the

a)      capture theory

b)      solar nebula hypothesis

c)      big bang

d)      accretion disk theory

38)   Which is not a tidal effect??

a)      ocean level fluctuations on Earth

b)      the formation of rings from disrupted moons

c)      the zones and bands of Jupiter are at different altitudes

d)      one side of the moon faces Earth all the time

39)   The ozone hole is caused by elevated levels of

a)      carbon dioxide from fossil fuel burning

b)      chlorine from refrigerants

c)      nitrates from agriculture

d)      methane from herd animals

40)   A heavily cratered moon or asteroid must have a surface that is

a)      dense

b)      old

c)      young

d)      fluffy

e)      volcanic

41)   Global  warming on earth is now considered a real threat, probably caused by

a)      carbon dioxide from fossil fuel burning

b)      chlorine from refrigerants

c)      nitrates from agriculture

d)      methane from herd animals

42)   Venus has an atmospheric pressure about

a)      half that of Earth

b)      twice that of Earth

c)      40 times that of Earth

d)      90 times that of Earth

43)   Mars has an atmospheric pressure about

a)      half that of Earth

b)      twice that of Earth

c)      one eighth that of Earth

d)      one one-hundredth that of Earth

44)   The youngest surface in the solar system probably belongs to

a)      Callisto

b)      Triton

c)      Earth

d)      Titan

e)      Io

45)   The satellite with the thickest atmosphere is

a)      Io

b)      Europa

c)      Triton

d)      Titan

e)      Deimos

46)   Which is the largest in size?

a)      Ganymede

b)      Titan

c)      Triton

d)      the moon

e)      Europa

47)   The primary constituent(s) of Saturn’s atmosphere is/are

a)      carbon dioxide

b)      nitrogen and oxygen

c)      nitrogen and methane

d)      methane and ammonia

e)      hydrogen and helium

48)   Neptune was discovered

a)      by William Herschel

b)      mathematically

c)      by Galileo

d)      by accident, with a telescope

49)   Close-up pictures of the outer planets were first returned in the ‘70s and ‘80s by a pair spacecraft named

a)      Viking

b)      Voyager

c)      Galileo

d)      Cassini

e)      Hubble

50)   Which planet detection method has so far yielded the most confirmed candidates for extrasolar planets?

a)      Light dimming from planetary transits across the face of the star.

b)      Gravitational lens amplification of foreground stars by background planets.

c)      Tracking the spatial wobble of the star by position (astrometric) measurements.

d)      Tracking the spatial wobble of the star in a partial way by measuring the star’s Doppler shift.