Cosmic Perspective                             Chapter 1                                             MCQs

 

 

1)What is the meaning of the word cosmos? 1) _______

A)the light from a distant astronomical object

B)the origin of the earth and life upon it

C)the sum total of all matter and energy, that is, everything within and between all galaxies

D)the Milky Way

E)the dark sky

 

 

2)Which of the following has your "address" in the correct order? 2) _______

A)you, Earth, solar system, Milky Way, Local Group, Local Supercluster

B)you, Earth, solar system, Local Group, Local Supercluster, Milky Way

C)you, Earth, solar system, Local Group, Milky Way, Local Supercluster

D)you, Earth, solar system, Milky Way, Local Supercluster, Local Group

E)you, Earth, Local Group, Local Supercluster, solar system, Milky Way

 

 

3)About where is our solar system located within the Milky Way Galaxy? 3) _______

A)about 10 percent of the way from the center of the galaxy to the outskirts of the galactic disk

B)about two-thirds of the way from the center of the galaxy to the outskirts of the galactic disk

C)near the far outskirts of the galactic disk

D)in the halo of the galaxy above the galactic disk

E)at the center of the galaxy

 

 

4)Roughly how many stars are in the Milky Way Galaxy? 4) _______

A)1 billion

B)100 trillion

C)100 billion

D)100 million

E)10 billion

 

 

5)Suppose we imagine the Sun to be about the size of a grapefruit. How big an area would the orbits of the nine planets of the Solar System cover? 5) _______

A)the size of a typical campus

B)the size of a small city

C)the size of a western state (e.g. Colorado)

D)the size of a typical campus building

E)the size of a typical dorm room

 

 

6)What do we mean when we say that the universe is expanding? 6) _______

A)Everything in the universe is gradually growing in size.

B)Individual galaxies are gradually growing in size.

C)The statement is not meant to be literal; rather, it means that our knowledge of the universe is growing.

D)Average distances are increasing between star systems within galaxies.

E)Average distances are increasing between galaxies.

 

 

7)How are galaxies important to our existence? 7) _______

A)Galaxies recycle heavy elements produced in stars into future generations of stars.

B)Galaxies prevent planets from leaving their orbits around stars; e.g., our galaxy prevents the earth from leaving its orbit of the Sun.

C)Without galaxies, the universe could not be expanding.

D)Without galaxies, there could not have been a Big Bang.

E)Galaxies provide the gravity that prevents us from falling off the earth.

 

 

8)The earth is made mostly of metals and rocks. Where did this material come from? 8) _______

A)It was made by our Sun.

B)It was produced in the Big Bang.

C)It was created by chemical reactions in interstellar space.

D)It was produced by nuclear fusion in stars.

E)It was made by nuclear fission of uranium and other radioactive materials.

 

 

9)Why does Carl Sagan say that we are star stuff? 9) _______

A)Nearly every atom from which we are made once (before the solar system formed) was inside of a star.

B)The composition of most stars (mostly hydrogen and helium) is about the same as the composition of our bodies.

C)Cosmic rays reaching the earth from distant astronomical sources may be one source of mutations that help evolution along.

D)Sagan thought that all of us have the potential to be movie (or TV) stars like he was.

E)Nearly every atom from which we are made was once inside our star, the Sun.

 

 

10)Which of the following statements does not use the term light-year in an appropriate way? 10) _______

A)It will take me light-years to complete this homework assignment.

B)It's about 4 light-years from here to Alpha Centauri.

C)It will take the Voyager spacecraft about 20,000 years to travel just 1 light-year.

D)A light-year is about 10 trillion kilometers.

E)The Milky Way Galaxy is about 100,000 light-years in diameter.

 

 

11)One light-hour is the distance that light travels in an hour. How far is this, in kilometers? (Recall that the speed of light is 300,000 km/s.) 11) _______

A)18 million km

B)1.08 billion km

C)300,000 km

D)9.46 trillion km

E)100 million km

 

 

12)Suppose we look at a photograph of many galaxies. Assuming that all galaxies formed at about the same time, which galaxy in the picture is the youngest? 12) _______

A)the one that is bluest in color

B)the one that is closest to us

C)the one that is reddest in color

D)the one that is farthest away

E)the one that appears smallest in size

 

 

13)Suppose we imagine the Sun to be about the size of a grapefruit. Which of the following describes the size and distance of the earth on the same scale? 13) _______

A)The earth is the size of a golf ball about 15 meters away from the Sun.

B)The earth is the size of a point about 1 meter away from the Sun.

C)The earth is the size of a marble about 25 miles away from the Sun.

D)The earth is the size of a golf ball about 1 meter away from the Sun.

E)The earth is the size of a point about 15 meters away from the Sun.

 

 

14)What is the Sun mainly made of? 14) _______

A)hydrogen and helium

B)oxygen and carbon

C)carbon and nitrogen

D)hydrogen and oxygen

E)nearly equal portions of all the elements

 

 

15)Which of the following is smallest? 15) _______

A)1 light-second B) 1 AU

C)size of a typical planet D) size of a typical star

 

 

16)Which of the following is largest? 16) _______

A)1 light-year

B)size of a typical galaxy

C)size of Pluto's orbit

D)distance to the nearest star (other than our Sun)

 

 

17)Suppose we imagine the Sun to be about the size of a grapefruit. How far away are the nearest stars (the three stars of Alpha Centauri)? 17) _______

A)the length of a football field

B)250 miles

C)2,500 miles

D)25,000 miles

E)2.5 miles

 

 

18)Which of the following best describes the Milky Way Galaxy? 18) _______

A)a spiral galaxy with a disk about 100,000 light-years in diameter and containing between 100 billion and 1 trillion stars

B)a spiral galaxy with a disk about 100,000 light-years in diameter and containing about 100,000 stars

C)a spherically shaped collection of about 1 million stars that is about 100 light-years in diameter

D)a spiral galaxy with a disk about a billion kilometers in diameter and containing between 100 million and 1 billion stars

E)a spherically shaped collection of stars including our solar system and about a dozen other solar systems, stretching about 4 light-years in diameter

 

 

19)How long would it take to count all the stars in the Milky Way Galaxy at a rate of one star per second? 19) _______

A)several days

B)several weeks

C)several years

D)several thousand years

E)hundreds of thousands of years

 

 

20)How many galaxies are there in the observable universe? 20) _______

A)about as many as the number of grains of sand on all the beaches on Earth

B)roughly (within a factor of 10) the same as the number of stars in our galaxy

C)roughly a thousand times more than the number of stars in our galaxy

D)about as many as the number of stars we see in the sky with our naked eyes

E)infinity

 

 

21)On the scale of the cosmic calendar, in which the history of the universe is compressed to 1 year, how long has human civilization (i.e., since ancient Egypt) existed? 21) _______

A)about half the year

B)a few seconds

C)a few hours

D)less than a millionth of a second

E)about a month

 

 

22)Approximately how fast are you moving with the rotation of the earth? 22) _______

A)1,300 km/hr

B)130 km/hr

C)13 km/hr

D)13,000 km/hr

E)not moving at all

 

 

23)On a cosmic calendar, in which the history of the universe is compressed into one year, how long is the average human life span? 23) _______

A)2 seconds

B)2 minutes

C)0.2 second

D)0.2 millisecond

E)2 hours

 

 

24)What is an astronomical unit? 24) _______

A)the length of time it takes the earth to revolve around the Sun

B)any basic unit used in astronomy

C)the average speed of the earth around the Sun 

D)the average distance from the earth to the Sun

E)the diameter of the earth's orbit around the Sun

 

 

25)Which of the following statements about the ecliptic plane is not true? 25) _______

A)It is the plane of the Moon's orbit around the earth.

B)During a solar eclipse, the Moon lies in the ecliptic plane.

C)The nodes of the Moon's orbit lie in the ecliptic plane.

D)During a lunar eclipse, the Moon lies in the ecliptic plane.

E)It is the plane of the earth's orbit around the Sun.

 

 

26)How long does it take our solar system to complete one orbit around the Milky Way Galaxy? 26) _______

A)10 thousand years

B)100 million years

C)1 million years

D)230 thousand years

E)230 million years

 

 

27)Which of the following statements about the Milky Way Galaxy is not true? 27) _______

A)Our solar system is located very close to the center of the Milky Way Galaxy.

B)One rotation of the galaxy takes about 200 million years.

C)The galaxy is about 100,000 light-years in diameter.

D)Our view of distant objects is obscured by gas and dust when we look into the galactic plane.

E)It contains between 100 billion and 1 trillion stars.

 

 

28)From the fact that virtually every galaxy is moving away from us and more distant galaxies are moving away from us at a faster rate than closer ones, we conclude that 28) _______

A)the Milky Way Galaxy is expanding.

B)the farthest galaxies will eventually be moving faster than the speed of light.

C)the universe is shrinking.

D)we are located at the center of the universe.

E)the universe is expanding.

 

 

29)By studying distant galaxies in the 1920s, Hubble made the following important discovery that led us to conclude that the universe is expanding: 29) _______

A)all galaxies outside the Local Group are orbiting the Local Group.

B)all galaxies contain billions of stars, and all galaxies have spiral shapes.

C)all galaxies outside the Local Group are moving away from us, and all are moving away at nearly the same speed.

D)all galaxies were born at the same time, and all will die at the same time.

E)all galaxies outside the Local Group are moving away from us, and the farther away they are, the faster they're going.

 

 

30)Imagine that we put a raisin cake into the oven, with each raisin separated from the others by 1 cm. An hour later, we take it out and the distances between raisins are 3 cm. If you lived in one of the raisins and watched the other raisins as the cake expanded, which of the following would you conclude? 30) _______

A)It depends: If you lived in a raisin near the left side of the cake, you'd see other raisins moving away from you, but they'd be coming toward you if you lived in a raisin near the right side of the cake.

B)More distant raisins would be moving away from you faster.

C)All raisins would be moving away from you at the same speed.

D)More distant raisins would be moving away from you more slowly.

 

 

 

 

 



ANSWERS

 

1)C

 

 

2)A

 

 

3)B

 

 

4)C

 

 

5)A

 

 

6)E

 

 

7)A

 

 

8)D

 

 

9)A

 

 

10)A

 

 

11)B

 

 

12)D

 

 

13)E

 

 

14)A

 

 

15)C

 

 

16)B

 

 

17)C

 

 

18)A

 

 

19)D

 

 

20)B

 

 

21)B

 

 

22)A

 

 

23)C

 

 

24)D

 

 

25)A

 

 

26)E

 

 

27)A

 

 

28)E

 

 

29)E

 

 

30)B