Introduction to Astronomy

Category: Astronomy, Galaxy, Universe
Last Updated: 29 Jul 2021
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Multiple choice

Choose the one alternative that best completes the statement or answers the question.

1) What is the ultimate fate of an isolated pulsar?

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  • A) As gravity overwhelms the neutron degeneracy pressure, it will explode as a supernova.
  • B) It will spin ever faster, becoming a millisecond pulsar.
  • C) The neutron degeneracy pressure will eventually overwhelm gravity and the pulsar will slowly evaporate.
  • D) As gravity overwhelms the neutron degeneracy pressure, it will become a white dwarf.
  • E) It will slow down, the magnetic field will weaken, and it will become invisible.

2) Which of the following statements about globular clusters is false?

  • A) Globular cluster stars are very metal-poor relative to the Sun.
  • B) Globular cluster stars are more than 12 billion years old.
  • C) Globular clusters are distributed spherically around the Milky Way.
  • D) Globular clusters contain many thousands of stars.
  • E) Globular cluster ages increase with distance from the Milky Way.

3) Which of the following characteristics of stars has the greatest range in values?

  • A) mass
  • B) core temperature
  • C) radius
  • D) surface temperature
  • E) luminosity

4) Which statement best describes the solar neutrino problem?

  • A) Solar neutrinos have been detected, but in fewer numbers than predicted by theoretical models.
  • B) No one understands how it can be possible for neutrinos to be produced in the Sun.
  • C) Our current understanding of fusion in the Sun suggests that all neutrinos should be destroyed before they arrive at the earth, yet neutrinos are being detected.
  • D) Theoretical models predict that neutrinos should be produced in the Sun, but no neutrinos have ever been observed to be coming from the Sun.

Refer to this scenario for the following questions: Final Lost in Spacetime. Just when you thought it was safe to take final exams . . . vindictive multi-dimensional being reaches down (up? over? through? ) to Earth and pulls you out of the universe. You are thrown back into the universe at a place of this being's choosing, and she permits you to leave only after you have identified your surroundings. You are subject to several of these tests. Through a scientifically unexplainable miracle, you are able to survive in every one of the places you are tested. (Lest you become too comfortable, however, you certainly are able to feel any associated pain due to high temperature, pressure, gravity, etc. In each case described below, identify your surroundings. In some cases, the surroundings described may exist only during eras of the universe (past or future) other than our own time; in those cases, you should identify both the place and the time where you are located.

5) It sure is bright everywhere; you've been able to travel around a bit, and it's clear that you are not in a star. Yet it is as bright as looking directly at the Sun. In your extensive travels through your current surroundings, you cannot find a single neutral atom anywhere, nor can you find a nucleus besides hydrogen or helium. And, while it is hot (a few thousand degrees Kelvin), it is nowhere near the temperature needed for nuclear fusion. Where are you?

  • A) You are in the central regions of a quasar.
  • B) You are in the universe more than 10100 years in the future.
  • C) You are in the universe during its first 300,000 years.
  • D) You are in an accretion disk around a supermassive black hole.
  • E) You are where the Sun should be located, but about 5 billion years from now.

6) At last you are in a place where the heat and high density are no longer bothering you. However, although the density is very low, the gas around you is extremely high in temperature. In fact, the temperature is so high that it is emitting lots of X rays, which are creating cancer-causing mutations in your body at a rapid rate. Well, at least the view is great! There are no stars anywhere within about 10,000 light-years of you, but at slightly greater distances your sky is brightened by many beautiful, star-filled structures, some with majestic spiral shapes. Where are you?

  • A) You are somewhere between the Andromeda and Milky Way galaxies in the Local Group.
  • B) You are in intergalactic space within a rich cluster of thousands of galaxies.
  • C) You are in the center of the Milky Way Galaxy, looking outward into the Local Group.
  • D) You are in the outskirts of a galaxy whose nucleus is a powerful quasar.
  • E) You are in the universe when it was about 200 million years old, just before galaxies began forming.

7) You are once again in a hot, dense place. You are surrounded by protons and neutrons, some rapidly fusing into helium. You notice that your surroundings are cooling (good, because it's really hot! ) and rapidly dropping in density. Within about 3 minutes, the fusion reactions stop. Where are you?

  • A) You are in the center of a star much smaller than the Sun.
  • B) You are inside a nuclear power plant on Earth.
  • C) You are in the early universe during the era of nucleosynthesis.
  • D) You are in the center of a massive star near the end of its life.
  • E) You are in the center of a star very much like our Sun.

8) Talk about cold, dark, and empty! As far as you look around you, there seems to be nothing at all. Even the nearest electron is light-years away. And, no matter how far you travel, you can find no solid matter, not even a single proton. You do, however, detect a few strong gravitational fields—probably due to black holes—at enormous distances away from you. Where are you?

  • A) You are where the Sun should be located, but about 5 billion years from now.
  • B) You are in the central regions of a quasar.
  • C) You are in the outskirts of a young cluster of galaxies.
  • D) You are in the universe when it is over about 1040 years old.

9) The light radiated from the Sun's surface reaches Earth in about 8 minutes, but the energy of that light was released by fusion in the solar core about

  • A) a thousand years ago.
  • B) a hundred years ago.
  • C) ten years ago.
  • D) one year ago.
  • E) a million years ago.

10) From lowest energy to highest energy, which of the following correctly orders the different categories of electromagnetic radiation?

  • A) gamma rays, X rays, visible light, ultraviolet, infrared, radio
  • B) visible light, infrared, X rays, ultraviolet, gamma rays, radio
  • C) radio, infrared, visible light, ultraviolet, X rays, gamma rays
  • D) infrared, visible light, ultraviolet, X rays, gamma rays, radio
  • E) radio, X rays, visible light, ultraviolet, infrared, gamma rays

11) What is a possible solution to the solar neutrino problem?

  • A) Not all fusion reactions create electron neutrinos.
  • B) The Sun is generating much less energy than we think it is.
  • C) The Sun is generating energy other than by nuclear fusion.
  • D) The electron neutrinos created in the Sun change into another type of neutrino.
  • E) We do not know how to detect electron neutrinos.

12) Newton's second law of motion tells us that the net force applied to an object equals its

  • A) momentum times velocity.
  • B) mass times velocity.
  • C) energy times acceleration.
  • D) mass times energy.
  • E) mass times acceleration.

13) What happens when the gravity of a massive star is able to overcome neutron degeneracy pressure?

  • A) The star explodes violently, leaving nothing behind.
  • B) The core contracts and becomes a black hole.
  • C) The core contracts and becomes a white dwarf.
  • D) The core contracts and becomes a ball of neutrons.
  • E) Gravity is not able to overcome neutron degeneracy pressure.

14) Radiative energy is

  • A) heat energy.
  • B) energy used in home radiators.
  • C) energy of motion.
  • D) energy from nuclear power plants.
  • E) energy carried by light.

15) Most large galaxies in the universe are

  • A) lenticular.
  • B) irregular.

16) Compared to spiral galaxies, elliptical galaxies are

  • A) redder and rounder.
  • B) bluer and rounder.
  • C) bluer and flattened.
  • D) redder and flattened.
  • E) always much smaller.

17) Approximately how long does it take the Sun to orbit the Milky Way Galaxy?

  • A) 23,000 years
  • B) 23 billion years
  • C) 230,000 years
  • D) 2. 3 million years
  • E) 230 million years

18) Approximately how many stars does a dwarf elliptical galaxy have?

  • A) less than a billion
  • B) 10 billion
  • C) 100 billion
  • D) 1 trillion
  • E) less than a million

19) What is the ultimate fate of an isolated white dwarf?

  • A) As gravity overwhelms the electron degeneracy pressure, it will explode as a supernova.
  • B) The electron degeneracy pressure will eventually overwhelm gravity and the white dwarf will slowly evaporate.
  • C) As gravity overwhelms the electron degeneracy pressure, it will become a neutron star.
  • D) As gravity overwhelms the electron degeneracy pressure, it will explode as a nova.
  • E) It will cool down and become a cold black dwarf.

20) What evidence supports the theory that elliptical galaxies come from denser clouds?

  • A) Elliptical galaxies have denser stars than spiral galaxies.
  • B) Elliptical galaxies at high redshifts lack young, blue stars.
  • C) Elliptical galaxies have more gas than spiral galaxies.
  • D) Elliptical galaxies are generally larger than spiral galaxies.
  • E) Elliptical galaxies are denser than spiral galaxies.

21) Which of the following types of galaxies are most spherical in shape?

  • A) lenticulars
  • B) spirals
  • C) irregulars
  • D) ellipticals

22) Roughly how many stars are in the Milky Way Galaxy?

  • A) 1 billion
  • B) 100 trillion
  • C) 100 million

23) White dwarfs are so called because

  • A) it amplifies the contrast with red giants.
  • B) they are both very hot and very small.
  • C) they are supported by electron degeneracy pressure.
  • D) they are the end-products of small, low-mass stars.
  • E) they are the opposite of black holes.

24) Which of the following is evidence for supermassive black holes in active galaxies?

  • A) quasars emit approximately equal power at all wavelengths from infrared to gamma rays
  • B) rapid changes in the luminosity of the galaxy nucleus
  • C) very high speed orbital motions around galactic nuclei
  • D) the discovery of powerful jets coming from a compact core
  • E) all of the above

25) What happens to the surface temperature and luminosity when a protostar radiatively contracts?

  • A) Its surface temperature remains the same and its luminosity decreases.
  • B) Its surface temperature and luminosity remain the same.
  • C) Its surface temperature decreases and its luminosity increases.
  • D) Its surface temperature and luminosity decrease.
  • E) Its surface temperature and luminosity increase.

26) Sometime within the next million years or so, their planet is likely to be doomed because

  • A) jets of material shot out of the accretion disk will shoot down their planet.
  • B) tidal forces from the black hole will rip the planet apart.
  • C) the red giant will probably undergo a supernova explosion within the next million years.
  • D) their planet receives most of its energy from the red giant. However, this star will soon be completely devoured in the accretion disk and thus will no longer exist.
  • E) the planet's orbit gradually will decay as it is sucked in by the black hole.

27) Through a bizarre (and scientifically unexplainable) fluctuation in the spacetime continuum, a copy of a book titled Iguoonos: How We Evolved appears on your desk. As you begin to read, you learn that the book describes the evolution of the people living in the star system described above. In the first chapter, you learn that these people evolved from organisms that lived 5 billion years ago. Which of the following statements should you expect to find as you continue to read this book?

  • A) As a result of traumatic experiences of their evolutionary ancestors, they dislike television.
  • B) They believe that the presence of two stars in their system was critical to their evolution.
  • C) Their immediate ancestors were chimpanzees.
  • D) They evolved from primitive wormlike creatures that had 13 legs, 4 eyes, and bald heads, thus explaining why such critters are now considered a spectacular delicacy.
  • E) They evolved on a different planet in a different star system and moved to their current location.

The following questions refer to the H-R diagram below that shows the life track of a 1-solar-mass star, with various stages labeled with Roman numerals.

28) Which stage lasts the longest?

  • A) viii
  • B) i
  • C) iv
  • D) iii
  • E) vi

29) In the end, the remaining core of this star will be left behind as

  • A) a supernova.
  • B) a white dwarf made primarily of carbon and oxygen.
  • C) a white dwarf made primarily of silicon and iron.
  • D) a neutron star.
  • E) a black hole.

30) What is the Sun mainly made of?

  • A) hydrogen and oxygen
  • B) oxygen and carbon
  • C) hydrogen and helium
  • D) carbon and nitrogen
  • E) nearly equal portions of all the elements

31) Which of the following comprise the oldest members of the Milky Way?

  • A) red giant stars in spiral arms
  • B) globular clusters
  • C) Cepheid variables
  • D) the Sun and other solar mass stars
  • E) O stars

32) The wavelength of a wave is

  • A) equal to the speed of the wave times the wave's frequency.
  • B) the distance between a peak of the wave and the next trough.
  • C) the distance between two adjacent peaks of the wave.
  • D) how strong the wave is.
  • E) the distance between where the wave is emitted and where it is absorbed.

33) What is the name given to 2H?

  • A) deuterium
  • B) helium
  • C) hydrogen
  • D) tritium 6 AST 101- Introduction to Astronomy

34) Approximately how fast are you moving with the rotation of the earth around its axis?

  • A) 130 km/hr
  • B) 1,300 km/hr
  • C) 13,000 km/hr
  • D) 13 km/hr Final

35) What do astronomers mean by light pollution?

  • A) Light pollution refers to pollution caused by light industry as opposed to heavy industry.
  • B) Light pollution refers to light used for human activities that brightens the sky and hinders astronomical observations.
  • C) Light pollution refers to harmful gases emitted by common street lights.
  • D) Light pollution is another name for sunlight, which makes it impossible to see stars in the daytime.
  • E) Light pollution refers to the lights that must be used inside major observatories and that make it difficult for astronomers' eyes to adapt to darkness.

36) What evidence supports the galactic fountain model?

  • A) We see a jet of ionized gas shooting out of the bulge of our galaxy.
  • B) We have mapped several spiral arms of the Milky Way Galaxy.
  • C) We have observed a lot of water molecules in the interstellar medium.
  • D) We see hot gas above the disk of the galaxy and cool gas that appears to be raining down from the halo.
  • E) We have no evidence yet for the galactic fountain model.

37) How do we know what happens at the event horizon of a black hole?

  • A) Astronomers have analyzed the light from matter within the event horizon of many black holes.
  • B) Astronomers have detected X rays from accretion disks around black holes.
  • C) Astronomers have sent spacecraft through the event horizon of a nearby black hole.
  • D) Physicists have created miniature black holes in the lab.
  • E) We don't know for sure: we only know what to expect based on the predictions of general relativity.

38) What is a central dominant galaxy?

  • A) a giant spiral galaxy that exerts large tidal forces on other nearby galaxies
  • B) a galaxy around which many other smaller galaxies orbit
  • C) a hypothesized galaxy type that no longer exists but once dominated the structure of the universe
  • D) a spiral galaxy from which many smaller galaxies form when it is stripped apart by tidal forces
  • E) a giant elliptical galaxy at the center of a dense cluster

39) The study of energy levels in atoms is called

  • A) particle physics.
  • B) quantum mechanics.
  • C) classical mechanics.
  • D) general relativity.
  • E) special relativity.

40)Why did the era of nuclei end when the universe was about 300,000 years old?

  • A) All the free particles had combined to form the nuclei of atoms.
  • B) Neutrinos and electrons were finally able to escape the plasma of the early universe and no longer heated the other particles.
  • C) Photons were finally able to escape the plasma of the early universe and no longer heated the hydrogen and helium ions.
  • D) The universe had expanded and cooled to a temperature of about 3,000 K, cool enough for stable, neutral atoms to form.
  • E) No theory can explain this.

41) What causes the radio pulses of a pulsar?

  • A) A black hole near the star absorbs energy and re-emits it as radio waves.
  • B) The star vibrates.
  • C) The star undergoes periodic explosions of nuclear fusion that generate radio emission.
  • D) The star's orbiting companion periodically eclipses the radio waves emitted by the main pulsar.
  • E) As the star spins, beams of radio radiation sweep through space. If one of the beams crosses the earth, we observe a pulse.

42) If we represent the Milky Way Galaxy as the size of a grapefruit (10-cm diameter), the distance to the Andromeda Galaxy would be about

  • A) 3 m.
  • B) 100 km.
  • C) 1 km.
  • D) 10 cm.
  • E) 30 m.

43) About where is our solar system located within the Milky Way Galaxy?

  • A) at the center of the galaxy
  • B) about two-thirds of the way from the center of the galaxy to the outskirts of the galactic disk
  • C) about 10 percent of the way from the center of the galaxy to the outskirts of the galactic disk
  • D) near the far outskirts of the galactic disk E) in the halo of the galaxy above the galactic disk

44) What is an astronomical unit?

  • A) any basic unit used in astronomy
  • B) the average speed of the earth around the Sun
  • C) the diameter of the earth's orbit around the Sun
  • D) the average distance from the earth to the Sun
  • E) the length of time it takes the earth to revolve around the Sun

45) How did the Ptolemaic model explain the apparent retrograde motion of the planets?

  • A) It varied the motion of the celestial sphere so that it sometimes moved backward.
  • B) It held that the planets moved along small circles that moved on larger circles around the Sun.
  • C) It held that the planets moved along small circles that moved on larger circles around the earth.
  • D) It held that sometimes the planets moved backward along their circular orbits.
  • E) It placed the Sun at the center so that the planets' apparent retrograde motion was seen as the earth passed each one in its orbit.

46) What is meant by spectral resolution?

  • A) It is the same as angular resolution when applied to telescopes operating at different wavelengths.
  • B) It is a measure of how close two point sources can be distinguished.
  • C) It is a measure of how much energy an object emits in different parts of the electromagnetic spectrum.
  • D) It is a measure of how close two spectral lines can be distinguished.

47) The tides on Earth are an example of

  • A) Newton's third law of motion.
  • B) Newton's second law of motion.
  • C) Newton's first law of motion.
  • D) the universal law of gravitation.
  • E) none of the above

48) What might be causing the universe to accelerate?

  • A) WIMPs
  • B) dark gravity
  • C) we don't know! —it's a subject of continuing research
  • D) MACHOs
  • E) white-dwarf supernovae

49) White-dwarf supernovae are good standard candles for distance measurements for all the following reasons except which?

  • A) All white-dwarf supernovae involve the explosion of stars of nearly the same mass.
  • B) White-dwarf supernovae occur only among young and extremely bright stars.
  • C) White-dwarf supernovae are common enough that we detect several every year.
  • D) All white-dwarf supernovae have similar light curves, which makes them easy to distinguish from massive-star supernovae.
  • E) White-dwarf supernovae are so bright that they can be detected even in very distant galaxies.

50) What do we mean by the singularity of a black hole?

  • A) It is the center of the black hole, a place of infinite density where the known laws of physics cannot describe the conditions.
  • B) An object can become a black hole only once, and a black hole cannot evolve into anything else.
  • C) There are no binary black holes? each one is isolated.
  • D) It is the "point of no return" of the black hole; anything closer than this point will not be able to escape the gravitational force of the black hole.
  • E) It is the edge of the black hole, where one could leave the observable universe.

51) Which of the following is an example in which you are traveling at constant speed but not at constant velocity?

  • A) driving around in a circle at exactly 100 km/hr
  • B) rolling freely down a hill in a cart, traveling in a straight line
  • C) jumping up and down, with a period of exactly 60 hops per minute
  • D) driving backward at exactly 50 km/hr
  • E) none of the above

52) What is a superbubble?

  • A) the region of space cleared by a powerful supernova
  • B) a very low-density region of interstellar space, formed by the merger of several bubbles
  • C) a very high-density region of interstellar space, filled with gas ejected from nearby star systems
  • D) a bubble so large that it fills much of the galactic halo
  • E) a cloud of gas that can form a million or more stars

53) No stars have been found with masses greater than 100 times our Sun because

  • A) they would fragment into binary stars because of their rapid rotation.
  • B) molecular clouds do not have enough material to form such massive stars.
  • C) they would generate so much power that they would blow themselves apart.
  • D) they are not bright enough to be seen nearby.
  • E) they shine exclusively at X-ray wavelengths and become difficult to detect.

54) All of the following are involved in carrying energy outward from a star's core except

  • A) conduction.
  • B) radiative diffusion.
  • C) neutrinos.
  • D) convection.

55) In what part of the electromagnetic spectrum do the biggest telescopes on Earth operate?

  • A) ultraviolet
  • B) radio
  • C) infrared
  • D) X-ray
  • E) visible

56) Which is the strongest of the fundamental forces in the universe?

  • A) weak force
  • B) electromagnetic force
  • C) strong force
  • D) gravitational force
  • E) none of the above

57) The path that led to modern science emerged from ancient civilizations in which part of the world?

  • A) China
  • B) North America
  • C) Southern Asia
  • D) the Mediterranean and the Middle East
  • E) Central and South America

58) Most of the energy produced in the Sun is released in the form of visible light from the photosphere. However, some energy is released from the upper layers of the solar atmosphere. Which of the following best describes where other forms of light are released?

  • A) The convection zone is the source of ultraviolet light, and the upper photosphere is the source of X rays.
  • B) The chromosphere is the source of infrared light, and the corona is the source of ultraviolet light.
  • C) The chromosphere is the source of X rays, and the corona is the source of radio waves.
  • D) The chromosphere is the source of ultraviolet light, and the corona is the source of X rays.

59) How did Edwin Hubble measure the distance to the Andromeda Galaxy?

  • A) He applied the period-luminosity relation to Cepheid variables.
  • B) He used white dwarf supernovae.
  • C) He deduced it from its redshift.
  • D) He used main-sequence fitting.
  • E) He measured its parallax.

60) Dr. Smith believes that the Hubble constant is H0 = 70 km/s/Mpc. Dr. Jones believes it is H0 = 50 Final km/s/Mpc. Which statement below automatically follows?

  • A) Dr. Smith believes that the universe is younger than Dr. Jones believes.
  • B) Dr. Smith believes that the Andromeda Galaxy (a member of our Local Group) is moving away from us at a faster speed than Dr. Jones believes.
  • C) Dr. Smith believes that the universe is expanding, but Dr. Jones does not.
  • D) Dr. Smith believes that the universe will someday stop expanding, while Dr. Jones believes it will expand forever.
  • E) Dr. Smith believes that the universe is older than Dr. Jones believes.

61) What is an artificial star?

  • A) a meteor
  • B) the unseen member of a binary star system
  • C) a satellite orbiting the earth
  • D) a point of light in the earth's atmosphere created by a laser for the purpose of monitoring atmospheric fluctuations
  • E) a possible source of dark matter in the universe

62) When we see X rays from an accretion disk in a binary system, we can't immediately tell whether the accretion disk surrounds a neutron star or a black hole. Suppose we then observe each of the following phenomena in this system. Which one would force us to immediately rule out the possibility of a black hole?

  • A) bright X-ray emission that varies on a time scale of a few hours
  • B) spectral lines from the companion star that alternately shift to shorter and longer wavelengths
  • C) visible and ultraviolet light from the companion star
  • D) sudden, intense X-ray bursts

63) On a Hertzsprung-Russell diagram, where would we find white dwarfs?

  • A) upper left
  • B) lower right
  • C) lower left
  • D) upper right

64) On a cosmic calendar, in which the history of the universe is compressed into 1 year, when did Kepler and Galileo first discover that we live on a planet in a solar system?

  • A) 1 second ago
  • B) December 30
  • C) 1 week ago
  • D) December 25
  • E) 1 day ago

65) Why does the Big Bang theory predict that the cosmic background radiation should have a perfect thermal radiation spectrum?

  • A) It doesn't predict that the cosmic background radiation should have a perfect thermal radiation spectrum.
  • B) The spectrum of 75 percent hydrogen and 25 percent helium is a perfect thermal radiation spectrum.
  • C) The light from all the stars and gas in the sky averaged over the entire universe is a perfect thermal radiation spectrum.
  • D) The spectrum of pure hydrogen is a perfect thermal radiation spectrum.
  • E) The background radiation came from the heat of the universe, with a peak corresponding to the temperature of the universe.

66) If a material is transparent, then it

  • A) scatters light well.
  • B) emits light well.
  • C) transmits light well.
  • D) absorbs light well.
  • E) reflects light well.

67) He discovered what we now call Newton's first law of motion.

  • A) Ptolemy
  • B) Galileo
  • C) Tycho Brahe

68) Where was the Sun in Ptolemy's model of the universe?

  • A) slightly offset from the center
  • B) between the earth and the Moon's orbit
  • C) at the outer edge, beyond Saturn's orbit
  • D) between the orbits of Venus and Mars
  • E) at the center Final
  • D) Kepler
  • E) Copernicus

69) Why do we expect the cosmic background radiation to be almost, but not quite, the same in all directions?

  • A) The overall structure of the universe is very uniform, but the universe must have contained some regions of higher density in order for galaxies to form.
  • B) The temperature of the universe can be found by taking an average over the entire sky, but individual stars will create peaks in the spectrum over small angles.
  • C) The overall structure of the universe is very uniform, but the synthesis of different elements produces varying signatures within the background spectrum.
  • D) The overall structure of the universe is very uniform, but intervening gas between us and the era of nuclei absorbs wavelengths depending on the composition and redshift of the gas.
  • E) Dark matter consisting of WIMPs greatly smooths out the spectrum, but the small patches of "light" matter create peaks in the spectrum.

70) A star of spectral type O lives approximately how long on the main sequence?

  • A) 10,000 years
  • B) 1 million years
  • C) 1,000 years
  • D) 1 billion years
  • E) 100 million years

71) If you wanted to observe a molecular cloud, in which of the ranges of the electromagnetic spectrum would you most likely observe? (There are additional possibilities. )

  • A) infrared
  • B) gamma-ray
  • C) X-ray
  • D) ultraviolet
  • E) visible

72) How do we learn about what is going on in the center of our own galaxy (the Milky Way)?

  • A) We cannot see the galactic center with visible or ultraviolet light, but radio and X rays from the center can be detected.
  • B) The gas and dust in the Milky Way prevent any type of direct observation of the galactic center, but theoretical models allow us to predict what is happening there.
  • C) We have learned it only recently, thanks to the great photographs obtained by the Hubble Space Telescope.
  • D) We must look at the centers of other galaxies and hope that ours is just like others.

73) The age of the universe is

  • A) between 100 billion and 160 billion years.
  • B) between 100 million and 160 million years.
  • C) between 1 billion and 1. 6 billion years.
  • D) between 10 billion and 16 billion years.
  • E) between 10 million and 16 million years.

74) Which forces have physicists shown to be the same force under conditions of very high temperature or energy, as confirmed by experiments in particle accelerators?

  • A) the strong and electromagnetic forces
  • B) the electromagnetic and weak forces
  • C) gravity and the strong force
  • D) the strong and weak forces
  • E) gravity and the weak force

75) Cluster ages can be determined from

  • A) main sequence fitting.
  • B) pulsating variable stars.
  • C) visual binaries.
  • D) main sequence turnoff.
  • E) spectroscopic binaries.

76) The spectral sequence sorts stars according to

  • A) radius.
  • B) mass.
  • C) luminosity.
  • D) surface temperature.
  • E) core temperature.

77) Why wasn't the intracluster medium in galaxy clusters discovered until the 1970s?

  • A) The medium emits X rays, which are blocked by the earth's atmosphere and require X-ray satellites in space in order to be observed.
  • B) We didn't have the resolution to observe galaxy clusters until then.
  • C) We did not know how much dark matter existed before then.
  • D) Radiation emitted by the medium was so dim that we couldn't detect it until we built much larger telescopes.
  • E) The Milky Way was blocking our view of distant galaxy clusters.

78) The most active galactic nuclei are usually found at large distances from us; relatively few nearby galaxies have active galactic nuclei. What does this imply?

A) Active galactic nuclei tend to become less active as they age.

  • B) Active galactic nuclei can form only at large distances from the Milky Way.
  • C) The jets seen in many active galactic nuclei must cause them to move far away from us.
  • D) Massive black holes existed only when the universe was young and no longer exist today.

79) Which of the following is an example of baryonic matter?

  • A) neutrinos
  • B) you
  • C) mesons produced by physicists in particle accelerators
  • D) electrons and positrons produced by pair production
  • E) WIMPs Final

80) How can we see through the interstellar medium?

  • A) by using only the biggest telescopes
  • B) by observing only the brightest visible sources
  • C) by using telescopes above the earth's atmosphere
  • D) by observing in high-energy wavelengths such as X rays and long wavelengths of light such as radio waves
  • E) We cannot see through the interstellar medium.

81) On a Hertzsprung-Russell diagram, where on the main sequence would we find stars that have the greatest mass?

  • A) upper right
  • B) lower left
  • C) lower right
  • D) upper left

82) What is nuclear fusion?

  • A) an explosion caused by putting together two volatile chemicals
  • B) a process that only occurs in bombs
  • C) the process of splitting nuclei to produce energy
  • D) the process of combining lightweight nuclei to make heavier nuclei
  • E) the process of turning matter into pure energy

83) He developed a system for predicting planetary positions that remained in use for some 1,500 years.

  • A) Copernicus
  • B) Tycho Brahe
  • C) Kepler
  • D) Galileo
  • E) Ptolemy

84) What causes stars to twinkle?

  • A) variable absorption by interstellar gas along the line of sight to the star
  • B) the inability of the human eye to see faint objects
  • C) bending of light rays by turbulent layers in the atmosphere
  • D) variations in the absorption of the atmosphere
  • E) It is intrinsic to the stars—their brightness varies as they expand and contract.

85) The controversial book of this famous person, published in 1543 (the year of his death), suggested that the earth and other planets orbit the Sun.

  • A) Copernicus
  • B) Kepler
  • C) Tycho Brahe
  • D) Galileo
  • E) Ptolemy

86) What is a typical mass-to-light ratio for the inner region of a spiral galaxy, in units of solar masses per solar luminosity?

  • A) 6
  • B) 0. 1
  • C) 1,000
  • D) 600
  • E) 100

87) In the formula E = mc2, what does E represent?

  • A) the mass-energy, or potential energy stored in an object's mass
  • B) the radiative energy carried by light
  • C) the electric charge of the object
  • D) the kinetic energy of a moving object

88) Based on its main-sequence turnoff point, the age of this cluster is

  • A) about 10 billion years.
  • B) less than 1 billion years.
  • C) more than 15 billion years.
  • D) about 2 billion years.
  • E) about 1 billion years.

89) What percentage of a molecular cloud's mass is interstellar dust?

  • A) 1%
  • B) 28%
  • C) 50%
  • D) 12%
  • E) 1-50%, depending on the mass of the molecular cloud

90) Which of the following correctly states the luminosity-distance formula? luminosity

  • A) distance = 4? ? (apparent brightness)2
  • B) apparent brightness = luminosity ? 4? ? (distance)2 apparent brightness
  • C) luminosity = 4? ? (distance)2
  • D) apparent brightness = luminosity 4? ? (distance)2
  • 15 AST 101- Introduction to Astronomy

91) Harlow Shapley concluded that the Sun was not in the center of the Milky Way Galaxy by

  • A) looking at the shape of the "milky band" across he sky.
  • B) mapping the distribution of globular clusters in the galaxy.
  • C) mapping the distribution of stars in the galaxy.
  • D) looking at other nearby spiral galaxies.
  • E) mapping the distribution of gas clouds in the spiral arms.

92) Which of the following statements about stages of nuclear burning (i. e. , first-stage hydrogen burning, second-stage helium burning, etc. ) in a massive star is not true?

  • A) Each successive stage creates an element with a higher atomic weight.
  • B) As each stage ends, the core shrinks further.
  • C) Each successive stage of fusion requires higher temperatures than the previous stages.
  • D) Each successive stage lasts for approximately the same amount of time.

93) Which of the following is not true of quasars?

  • A) Some quasars are more than a thousand times more luminous than the Milky Way.
  • B) Some quasars can change their brightness every few hours.
  • C) Quasars are powered by the energy radiated by matter falling into a central black hole.
  • D) Quasars are powered by the intense production of large numbers of stars that can only be sustained for a relatively short time.
  • E) Quasars were more common in the past.

94) How does the spectrum of a molecule differ from the spectrum of an atom?

  • A) Molecules only have spectral lines at ultraviolet wavelengths.
  • B) Most atoms only have spectral lines at infrared wavelengths.
  • C) A molecule does not have spectral lines due to electrons changing energy levels.
  • D) A molecule has additional spectral lines due to changes in its rotational and vibrational energies.
  • E) An atom has a wider range of spectral lines than molecules.

95) We can learn a lot about the properties of a star by studying its spectrum. All of the following statements are true except one. Which one?

  • A) We can identify chemical elements present in the star by recognizing patterns of spectral lines that correspond to particular chemicals.
  • B) We can look at Doppler shifts of spectral lines to determine the star's speed toward or away from us.
  • C) The total amount of light in the spectrum tells us the star's radius.
  • D) The peak of the star's thermal emission tells us its temperature: Hotter stars peak at shorter (bluer) wavelengths.

96) Where does the energy come from that your body uses to keep you alive?

  • A) It is produced from the radiative energy of the Sun on your skin.
  • B) It comes from the foods you eat.
  • C) It is created during the time that you rest or sleep.
  • D) It is in the air that you breathe.
  • E) It comes from the water you drink.

97) Which of the following statements best describes the two principal advantages of telescopes over eyes?

  • A) Telescopes have much more magnification and better angular resolution.
  • B) Telescopes can collect far more light with far better angular resolution.
  • C) Telescopes can collect far more light with far greater magnification.
  • D) Telescopes collect more light and are unaffected by twinkling.
  • E) Telescopes can see farther without image distortion and can record more accurate colors.

98) According to the universal law of gravitation, if you triple the distance between two objects, then the gravitational force between them will

  • A) decrease by a factor of 9.
  • B) decrease by a factor of 6.
  • C) decrease by a factor of 3.
  • D) increase by a factor of 3.
  • E) increase by a factor of 9.

99) Degeneracy pressure is the source of the pressure that stops the crush of gravity in all the following except

  • A) a neutron star.
  • B) a brown dwarf.
  • C) the central core of the Sun after hydrogen fusion ceases but before helium fusion begins.
  • D) a very massive main-sequence star.
  • E) a white dwarf.

100) Which of the following is not a conserved quantity?

  • A) momentum
  • B) energy
  • C) angular momentum
  • D) radiation

Answer Key Testname

1) E 2) E 3) E 4) A 5) C 6) B 7) C 8) D 9) E 10) C 11) D 12) E 13) B 14) E 15) C 16) A 17) E 18) A 19) E 20) B 21) D 22) D 23) B 24) E 25) E 26) C 27) E 28) D 29) B 30) C 31) B 32) C 33) A 34) B 35) B 36) D 37) E 38) E 39) B 0) D 41) E 42) A 43) B 44) D 45) C 46) D 47) D 48) C  49) 50) 51) 52) 53) 54) 55) 56) 57) 58) 59) 60) 61) 62) 63) 64) 65) 66) 67) 68) 69) 70) 71) 72) 73) 74) 75) 76) 77) 78) 79) 80) 81) 82) 83) 84) 85) 86) 87) 88) 89) 90) 91) 92) 93) 94) 95) 96) B A A B C A B C D D A A D D C A E C B D A B A A D B D D A A B D D D E C A A A A A D B D D D C B 97) B 98) A 99) D 100) D 20

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