5) Grass (that is healthy) looks green because
A) it emits
green light and absorbs other colors.
B) it absorbs green light
and emits other colors.
C) it transmits green light and emits
D) it reflects green light and absorbs other colors.
6) Everything looks red through a red filter because
filter emits red light and absorbs other colors.
B) the filter
absorbs red light and emits other colors.
C) the filter
transmits red light and absorbs other colors.
D) the filter
reflects red light and transmits other colors.
7) Which of the following cannot be described by a field?
B) electrical forces
D) radiation pressure
8) The frequency of a wave is
A) the number of peaks passing by
any point each second.
B) measured in cycles per second.
C) measured in hertz (Hz).
D) equal to the speed of the
wave divided by the wavelength of the wave.
E) all of the above
9) The wavelength of a wave is
A) how strong the wave is.
B) the distance between a peak of the wave and the next trough.
C) the distance between two adjacent peaks of the wave.
the distance between where the wave is emitted and where it is
E) equal to the speed of the wave times the wave's frequency.
10) How are wavelength, frequency, and energy related for photons of
A) Longer wavelength means lower frequency and lower
B) Longer wavelength means higher frequency and lower
C) Longer wavelength means higher frequency and higher
D) Longer wavelength means lower frequency and higher
E) There is no simple relationship because different
photons travel at different speeds.
11) From lowest energy to highest energy, which of the following
correctly orders the different categories of electromagnetic
A) infrared, visible light, ultraviolet, X rays,
gamma rays, radio
B) radio, infrared, visible light,
ultraviolet, X rays, gamma rays
C) visible light, infrared, X
rays, ultraviolet, gamma rays, radio
D) gamma rays, X rays,
visible light, ultraviolet, infrared, radio
E) radio, X rays,
visible light, ultraviolet, infrared, gamma rays
12) From shortest to longest wavelength, which of the following
correctly orders the different categories of electromagnetic
A) infrared, visible light, ultraviolet, X rays,
gamma rays, radio
B) radio, infrared, visible light,
ultraviolet, X rays, gamma rays
C) visible light, infrared, X
rays, ultraviolet, gamma rays, radio
D) gamma rays, X rays,
ultraviolet, visible light, infrared, radio
E) gamma rays, X
rays, visible light, ultraviolet, infrared, radio
14) Which of the following statements about X rays and radio waves is
A) Neither X rays nor radio waves can penetrate the
B) X rays have shorter wavelengths than
C) X rays and radio waves are both forms of light,
or electromagnetic radiation.
D) X rays have higher frequency
than radio waves.
E) X rays have higher energy than radio waves.
15) We can see each other in the classroom right now because we
A) emit thermal radiation.
B) emit visible light.
emit infrared light.
D) reflect visible light.
16) Without telescopes or other aid, we can look up and see the Moon
in the night sky because it
A) emits visible light.
emits thermal radiation.
C) reflects infrared light.
reflects visible light.
E) glows through radioactive decay.
17) How many atoms fit across the period at the end of this sentence?
E) more than you could count in a lifetime
18) What is a compound?
A) a group of molecules
molecule containing hydrogen
C) a molecule containing two or
D) an ionized molecule
E) a molecule
19) Compared to the volume of its nucleus, the volume of an atom is
A) the same.
B) a thousand times greater.
million times greater.
D) a billion times greater.
trillion times greater.
20) How much electrical charge does an atom with 6 protons, 6
neutrons, and 5 electrons have?
A) a total charge of +17
B) a negative charge of -5
C) a positive charge of +7
D) a positive charge of +1
E) none of the above
21) Which of the following statements about electrical charge is
A) Two negative charges will attract each other.
Two positive charges will attract each other.
C) A positive
charge and a negative charge will repel each other.
positive charge and a negative charge will attract each other.
26) Each of the following describes an "Atom 1" and an
"Atom 2." In which case are the two atoms isotopes of each
A) Atom 1: nucleus with 6 protons and 8 neutrons,
surrounded by 6 electrons
Atom 2: nucleus with 7 protons and 8
neutrons, surrounded by 7 electrons
B) Atom 1: nucleus with 8
protons and 8 neutrons, surrounded by 8 electrons
nucleus with 8 protons and 8 neutrons, surrounded by 7 electrons
C) Atom 1: nucleus with 92 protons and 143 neutrons, surrounded
by 92 electrons
Atom 2: nucleus with 92 protons and 146
neutrons, surrounded by 92 electrons
D) Atom 1: nucleus with 1
proton and 0 neutrons, surrounded by 1 electron
Atom 2: nucleus
with 2 protons and 2 neutrons, surrounded by 2 electrons
1: nucleus with 4 protons and 5 neutrons, surrounded by 4
Atom 2: nucleus with 5 protons and 5 neutrons,
surrounded by 4 electrons
28) Oxygen has atomic number 8. How many times must an oxygen atom be
ionized to create an O+5 ion, and how many electrons will the ion
A) It must be ionized three times; it now has five
B) It must be ionized five times; it now has five
C) It must be ionized five times; it now has three
D) It doesn't have to be ionized; it just needs to
gain five protons.
E) It doesn't have to be ionized; it already
has only three electrons.
) At extremely high temperatures (e.g., millions of degrees), which
of the following best describes the phase of matter?
A) a gas of
rapidly moving molecules
B) a plasma consisting of positively
charged ions and free electrons
C) a gas consisting of
individual, neutral atoms, but no molecules
D) a plasma
consisting of rapidly moving, neutral atoms
E) none of the above
(At these extremely high temperatures, matter cannot exist.)
30) Sublimation is the process in which
A) molecules go from
the solid phase to the liquid phase.
B) molecules go from the
liquid phase to the gas phase.
C) molecules go from the solid
phase to the gas phase.
D) electrons are stripped from atoms.
E) electrons are captured by ions.
31) Dissociation is the process in which
A) the bonds between
atoms in a molecule are broken.
B) a molecule goes from the
solid phase to the gas phase.
C) the bonds between electrons
around an atomic nucleus are broken.
D) an element changes into
E) an electron is shared between atomic nuclei.
32) When an atom loses an electron, it becomes
D) an isotope.
33) An atom in an excited state contains more of what type of energy
than the same atom in the ground state?
C) thermal energy
E) electric potential energy
34) When an atom absorbs a photon containing energy, any of the
following can happen except which?
A) The atom becomes excited.
B) The atom is ionized.
C) An electron moves from an upper
energy level to a lower one.
D) An electron moves from a lower
energy level to an upper one.
35) The loss of an electron from a neutral helium atom results in
A) neutral hydrogen.
B) ionized hydrogen.
D) neutral deuterium.
E) ionized deuterium.
36) An electron-volt is
A) the charge of one electron.
the energy of one electron.
C) the energy jump between the first
and second energy levels of hydrogen.
D) an amount of energy
much smaller than a joule.
E) an amount of energy much larger
than a joule.
37) The study of energy levels in atoms is called
B) general relativity.
C) quantum mechanics.
D) classical mechanics.
E) particle physics.
38) How can an electron in an atom lose energy to go from a higher
energy level to a lower energy level?
A) It loses kinetic
B) It releases a photon equal in energy to its own
C) It absorbs a photon equal in energy to its own
D) It loses gravitational potential energy.
E) It exchanges gravitational potential energy for kinetic energy.
39) If you heat a gas so that collisions are continually bumping
electrons to higher energy levels, when the electrons fall back to
lower energy levels the gas produces
A) thermal radiation.
B) an absorption line spectrum.
C) an emission line
D) X rays.
E) radio waves.
40) When an electron in an atom goes from a higher energy state to a
lower energy state, the atom
A) emits a photon of a specific
B) absorbs a photon of a specific frequency.
absorbs several photons of a specific frequency.
D) can emit a
photon of any frequency.
E) can absorb a photon of any frequency.
41) When white light passes through a cool cloud of gas, we see
A) visible light.
B) infrared light.
D) an absorption line spectrum.
E) an emission
42) Spectra from neutral atoms compared with spectra from ionized
atoms of the same element
A) are the same.
B) are slightly
C) are slightly blueshifted.
D) have different
sets of spectral lines.
E) have the same sets of spectral lines
but different widths for those lines.
43) Which of the following objects is not a close approximation of a
A) hot, thin gas
B) a star
filament in a light bulb
E) a planet
44) Thermal radiation is defined as
A) radiation produced by a
B) radiation in the infrared part of the spectrum.
C) radiation that depends only on the emitting object's
D) radiation in the form of emission lines from an
E) radiation that is felt as heat.
45) A perfectly opaque object that absorbs all radiation and reemits
the absorbed energy as thermal radiation is
A) a hot, dense
cloud of gas.
B) a cold, dense cloud of gas.
infrared radiation emitter.
D) a thermal emitter.
47) Which of the following statements about thermal radiation is
A) A hot object emits photons with a longer
wavelength than a cool object.
B) A hot object emits photons
with a higher average energy than a cool object.
C) A hot object
emits more radio waves than a cool object.
D) A hot object emits
more X rays than a cool object.
48) If two objects are the same size but one object is 3 times hotter
than the other object, the hotter object emits
A) 3 times more
B) 9 times more energy.
C) 12 times more energy.
D) 81 times more energy.
E) none of the above
49) A gas heated to millions of degrees would emit
B) mostly X rays.
C) mostly ultraviolet
D) an equal amount of all wavelengths of light.
no light, because it is too hot.
51) The spectra of most galaxies show redshifts. This means that
their spectral lines
A) always are in the red part of the
B) have wavelengths that are longer than
C) have wavelengths that are shorter than normal.
D) have a higher intensity in the red part of the spectrum.
E) have normal wavelengths, but absorption of light makes them
53) From laboratory measurements, we know that a particular spectral
line formed by hydrogen appears at a wavelength of 121.6 nanometers
(nm). The spectrum of a particular star shows the same hydrogen line
appearing at a wavelength of 121.8 nm. What can we conclude?
The star is moving toward us.
B) The star is moving away from
C) The star is getting hotter.
D) The star is getting
E) The "star" actually is a planet.
54) How does the spectrum of a molecule differ from the spectrum of
A) A molecule does not have spectral lines due to
electrons changing energy levels.
B) A molecule has additional
spectral lines due to changes in its rotational and vibrational
C) Molecules only have spectral lines at ultraviolet
D) Most atoms only have spectral lines at infrared
E) An atom has a wider range of spectral lines than molecules.
55) You observe a distant galaxy. You find that a spectral line
normally found in the visible part of the spectrum is shifted toward
the infrared. What do you conclude?
A) The galaxy is moving away
B) The galaxy is moving toward you.
galaxy has very weak gravity.
D) The galaxy is made purely of
E) The composition of the galaxy is changing.
56) If one object has a large redshift and another object has a small
redshift, what can we conclude about these two objects?
one with the large redshift is moving toward us faster than the one
with the small redshift.
B) The one with the large redshift is
moving away from us, and the one with the small redshift is moving
C) The one with the large redshift is moving away
from us faster than the one with the small redshift.
D) The one
with the large redshift is hotter and therefore is putting out more
E) The one with the large redshift is redder than the
57) If we observe one edge of a planet to be redshifted and the
opposite edge to be blueshifted, what can we conclude about the
A) The planet is actually two bodies, one moving toward
us, the other away from us.
B) The planet is in the process of
C) The planet is in the process of formation.
D) The planet is rotating.
E) The planet's surface is very
different from one side to the other.
58) Suppose you see two stars: a blue star and a red star. Which of
the following can you conclude about the two stars? Assume that no
Doppler shifts are involved. (Hint: Think about the laws of thermal
A) The red star is more massive than the blue star.
B) The blue star is more massive than the red star.
blue star is farther away than the red star.
D) The blue star
has a hotter surface temperature than the red star.
E) The red
star has a hotter surface temperature than the blue star.
59) You observe the same spectral line in two stars that are
identical in every way except that one rotates faster than the other.
How does the spectral line differ between the two?
A) There is
B) The line in the faster rotating star is
C) The line in the faster rotating star is
D) The line in the faster rotating star is broader.
E) The line in the faster rotating star is narrower.
) Energy and power are different words for the same thing.
) Process of Science: I am doing science when I already know the
answer to my scientific question and I am searching for evidence in
the natural world strictly to support what I know.
Grass is green because it absorbs green light, reflecting all other colors.
The shorter the wavelength of light, the higher its frequency.
The greater the wavelength of light, the greater its energy.
X rays, because they have more energy, travel through space faster
than visible light.
X rays are always more intense than radio waves.
8) You are currently emitting electromagnetic waves.
There are more atoms in a glass of water than stars in the observable universe.
Atomic nuclei consist of protons and electrons.
) Electrons orbit an atomic nucleus like planets orbit the Sun.
12) The atomic nuclei of the same element always have the same number
13) The atomic nuclei of the same element always have the same number
The energy levels for electrons vary from one element to another.
The energy levels of an element and its ion are the same.
Lines of a particular element appear at the same wavelength in both
emission and absorption line spectra.
Any object moving relative to Earth will have a Doppler shift.
Emission lines from different ionization states of the same element
appear in the same place in the spectrum.
1) What is the difference between energy and power?
A) Power is
the rate at which energy is used, so its units are a unit of energy
divided by a unit of time.
B) Power is measured in joules and
energy is measured in watts.
C) Power is used to describe energy
of light, while the term energy has a broader meaning.
There's no difference: Energy and power are different names for the
Visible light from a distant star can be spread into a spectrum by
using a glass prism or
A) a diffraction grating.
C) a telescope.
D) a flat glass mirror.
3) Suppose you watch a leaf bobbing up and down as ripples pass it by
in a pond. You notice that it does two full up and down bobs each
second. Which statement is true of the ripples on the pond?
They have a frequency of 4 hertz.
B) They have a frequency of 2
C) We can calculate the wavelength of the ripples from
D) They have a wavelength of two cycles per second.
4) Suppose you know the frequency of a photon and the speed of light.
What else can you determine about the photon?
A) its temperature
B) its acceleration
C) its wavelength and energy
the chemical composition of the object that emitted it
5) When considering light as made up of individual
"pieces," each characterized by a particular amount of
energy, the pieces are called
C) gamma rays.
7) Which forms of light are lower in energy and frequency than the
light that our eyes can see?
A) infrared and radio
ultraviolet and X rays
C) visible light
D) infrared and ultraviolet
8) If we say that a material is opaque to ultraviolet light, we mean
A) absorbs ultraviolet light.
B) emits ultraviolet
C) transmits ultraviolet light.
9) Suppose you built a scale-model atom in which the nucleus is the
size of a tennis ball. About how far would the cloud of electrons
A) a few meters
B) several centimeters
D) to the Sun
10) Which of the following best describes the fundamental difference
between two different chemical elements (such as oxygen and carbon)?
A) They have different atomic mass numbers.
B) They have
different numbers of protons in their nucleus.
C) They have
different numbers of electrons.
D) They have different names.
12) An atom which has 4 protons and 6 neutrons will be electrically
neutral if it contains
A) 4 electrons.
B) 6 electrons.
C) 10 electrons.
D) at least one electron.
14) Which of the following transitions within an atom is not
A) An electron begins in an excited state and then
gains enough energy to jump to the ground state.
B) An electron
begins in the ground state and then gains enough energy to jump to an
C) An electron begins in the ground state and
then gains enough energy to become ionized.
D) An electron
begins in an excited state and then gains enough energy to become ionized.
15) An atom that has fewer electrons than protons is called a/an
16) Suppose you look at a spectrum of visible light by looking
through a prism or diffraction grating. How can you decide whether it
is an emission line spectrum or an absorption line spectrum?
An emission line spectrum consists of bright lines on a dark
background, while an absorption line spectrum consists of dark lines
on a rainbow background.
B) An emission line spectrum consists
of a long bright line, while an absorption line spectrum consists of a
long dark line.
C) The only way to decide is to make a graph of
the intensity of the light at every wavelength, and then analyze the
D) The emission line spectrum is produced by
electrons jumping up in energy level, while the absorption line
spectrum is produced by electrons jumping down in energy level.
18) According to the laws of thermal radiation, hotter objects emit
A) a lower average frequency.
B) a shorter
C) a lower average energy.
D) a higher
19) Suppose you want to know the chemical composition of a distant
star. Which piece of information is most useful to you?
peak energy of the star's thermal radiation.
B) The Doppler
shift of the star's spectrum.
C) The wavelengths of spectral
lines in the star's spectrum.
D) Whether the star's spectrum has
more emission lines or more absorption lines.
21) You observe a distant galaxy. You find that a spectral line of
hydrogen that is shifted from its normal location in the visible part
of the spectrum into the infrared part of the spectrum. What can you
A) The galaxy is moving away from you.
galaxy is moving towards you.
C) The galaxy has very weak
D) The galaxy is made purely of hydrogen.
Suppose you are listening to a radio station that broadcasts at a
frequency of 97 Mhz (megahertz). Which of the following statements is
A) The radio waves from the radio station are causing
electrons in your radio's antenna to move up and down 97 million times
B) The radio waves from the radio station have a
wavelength of 97 million meters.
C) The "radio waves"
received by your radio are not light waves like those we talk about in
astronomy, but rather are a special type of sound wave.
radio station broadcasts its signal with a power of 97 million watts.
4) Gamma rays have a very small
5) Suppose a photon has a frequency of 300 million hertz (300
megahertz). What is its wavelength?
A) 1 meter
C) 300 million meters
D) A photon's
wavelength cannot be determined from its frequency.
6) Which of the following best describes why we say that light is an
A) Light can be produced only by electric
or magnetic appliances.
B) Light is produced only when massive
fields of electric and magnetic energy collide with one another.
C) The passage of a light wave can cause electrically charged
particles to move up and down.
D) The term electromagnetic wave
arose for historical reasons, but we now know that light has nothing
to do with either electricity or magnetism.
7) Which of the following statements about X rays and radio waves is
A) X rays travel through space faster than radio
B) X rays have shorter wavelengths than radio waves.
C) X rays and radio waves are both forms of light, or
D) X rays have higher frequency than
8) Each of the following describes an "Atom 1" and an
"Atom 2." In which case are the two atoms different isotopes
of the same element?
A) Atom 1: nucleus with 6 protons and 8
neutrons, surrounded by 6 electrons;
Atom 2: nucleus with 7
protons and 8 neutrons, surrounded by 7 electrons.
B) Atom 1:
nucleus with 7 protons and 8 neutrons, surrounded by 7
Atom 2: nucleus with 7 protons and 7 neutrons,
surrounded by 7 electrons.
C) Atom 1: nucleus with 8 protons and
8 neutrons, surrounded by 8 electrons;
Atom 2: nucleus with 8
protons and 8 neutrons, surrounded by 7 electrons.
D) Atom 1:
nucleus with 4 protons and 5 neutrons, surrounded by 4
Atom 2: nucleus with 5 protons and 5 neutrons,
surrounded by 4 electrons.
9) Suppose you had molecular oxygen (O2) chilled enough so that it
was in liquid form. Which of the following best describes the phase
changes that would occur as you heated the liquid oxygen to high
A) It would evaporate into a gas, then the
molecules would dissociate into individual oxygen atoms, then the
atoms would become increasingly ionized as you continued to raise the
B) The liquid molecules would quickly dissociate
into a liquid of individual oxygen atoms. These atoms would then
evaporate into a gas, and then become ionized to make a plasma.
C) It would sublimate into a gas, then the molecules would lose
electrons until no electrons were left, then the molecules would
dissociate into individual oxygen nuclei.
D) The cold
temperature would first cause the oxygen to solidify. The solid would
then sublimate into a gas, which would then become a plasma as the
molecules lost their electrons, until finally it consisted of bonded
pairs of oxygen nuclei stripped bare of any electrons.
10) Consider an atom of oxygen in which the nucleus contains 8
protons and 8 neutrons. If it is doubly ionized, what is the charge of
the oxygen ion and how many electrons remain in the ion?
Charge = +2; number of remaining electrons = 8.
B) Charge = -2;
number of remaining electrons = 10.
C) Charge = +2; number of
remaining electrons = 6.
D) Charge = +2; number of remaining
electrons = 2.
11) Which of the following statements about electrons is not true?
A) Electrons orbit the nucleus rather like planets orbiting the
B) Within an atom, an electron can have only particular
C) An electron has a negative electrical charge.
D) Electrons have very little mass compared to protons or
E) Electrons can jump between energy levels in an atom
only if they receive or give up an amount of energy equal to the
difference in energy between the energy levels.
12) Which of the following conditions lead you to see an absorption
line spectrum from a cloud of gas in interstellar space?
cloud is extremely hot.
B) The cloud is visible primarily
because it reflects light from nearby stars.
C) The cloud is
cool and very dense, so that you cannot see any objects that lie
D) The cloud is cool and lies between you and a hot star.
13) No object produces a perfect thermal radiation spectrum, but many
objects produce close approximations. Which of the following would not
produce a close approximation to a thermal radiation spectrum?
A) a hot, thin (low-density, nearly transparent) gas
filament in a standard (incandescent) light bulb
C) a star
14) Which of the following statements about thermal radiation is
A) A hot object emits more radiation per unit
surface area than a cool object.
B) A cold object produces more
total infrared and radio emission per unit surface area than a hot
C) A hot object produces more total infrared emission
than a cooler object.
D) All the light emitted by hot object has
higher energy than the light emitted by a cooler object.
15) Betelgeuse is the bright red star representing the left shoulder
of the constellation Orion. All the following statements about
Betelgeuse are true. Which one can you infer from its red color?
A) It is much brighter than the Sun.
B) Its surface is
cooler than the surface of the Sun.
C) It is much more massive
than the Sun.
D) It is moving away from us.
16) The planet Neptune is blue in color. How would you expect the
spectrum of visible light from Neptune to be different from the
visible-light spectrum of the Sun?
A) The two spectra would have
similar shapes, except Neptune's spectrum would be missing a big chunk
of the red light that is present in the Sun's spectrum.
two spectra would have similar shapes, except Neptune's spectrum would
be missing a big chunk of the blue light that is present in the Sun's
C) Neptune's spectrum would peak at a much longer
wavelength than the Sun's spectrum.
D) There is no way to
predict the answer to this question, since planets and stars are made
of such different things.
17) All of the following statements about the Sun's corona are true.
Which one explains why it is a source of X rays?
temperature of the corona's gas is some 1 to 2 million Kelvin.
B) The corona lies above the visible surface of the Sun.
C) The corona's gas consists mostly of hydrogen and helium.
D) The corona's structure is largely shaped by magnetic fields.
18) Laboratory measurements show hydrogen produces a spectral line at
a wavelength of 486.1 nanometers (nm). A particular star's spectrum
shows the same hydrogen line at a wavelength of 486.0 nm. What can we
A) The star is moving away from us.
B) The star
is getting hotter.
C) The star is moving toward us.
star is getting colder.
19) Suppose that Star X and Star Y both have redshifts, but Star X
has a larger redshift than Star Y. What can you conclude?
Star X is moving away from us faster than Star Y.
B) Star Y is
moving away from us faster than Star X.
C) Star X is hotter than
D) Star X is moving away from us and Star Y is moving
20) If we observe one edge of a planet to be redshifted and the
opposite edge to be blueshifted, what can we conclude about the
A) We must actually be observing moons orbiting the
planet in opposite directions, not the planet itself.
planet is rotating.
C) The planet is in the process of falling
D) The planet is in the process of formation.
21) Studying a spectrum from a star can tell us a lot. All of the
following statements are true except one. Which statement is not true?
A) The total amount of light in the spectrum tells us the star's
B) The peak of the star's thermal emission tells us its
temperature: hotter stars peak at shorter (bluer) wavelengths.
C) We can identify chemical elements present in the star by
recognizing patterns of spectral lines that correspond to particular
D) Shifts in the wavelengths of spectral lines
compared to the wavelengths of those same lines measured in a
laboratory on Earth can tell us the star's speed toward or away from us.
22) Suppose that two stars are identical in every way—for example,
same distance, same mass, same temperature, same chemical composition,
and same speed relative to Earth—except that one star rotates faster
than the other. Spectroscopically, how could you tell the stars apart?
A) The faster rotating star has wider spectral lines than the
slower rotating star.
B) The faster rotating star will have an
emission line spectrum while the slower rotating star will have an
absorption line spectrum.
C) The peak of thermal emission will
be at a shorter wavelength for the faster rotating star than for the
slower rotating star.
D) There is no way to tell the stars apart
spectroscopically, because their spectra will be identical.
1) Which of the following statements about light focusing is not
A) In a healthy eye, light is focused on the retina.
B) Film should be placed at the focal plane in a camera.
C) If you try to look at an image that is not formed at the
focal plane, it will be blurry.
D) The focal plane of a
reflecting telescope is always located within a few inches of the
2) Suppose the angular separation of two stars is smaller than the
angular resolution of your eyes. How will the stars appear to your
A) You will not be able to see these two stars at all.
B) The two stars will look like a single point of light.
C) The two stars will appear to be touching, looking rather like
a small dumbbell.
D) You will see two distinct stars.
You will see only the larger of the two stars, not the smaller one.
3) Which of the following is a principal advantage of CCDs over
A) CCDs allow long exposures (e.g., minutes
or hours), and film does not.
B) CCDs can record the colors of
astronomical objects accurately, while film cannot.
capture a much higher percentage of the incoming photons than does
D) Images recorded with CCDs never require any image
processing, while images recorded by film often do.
E) CCDs can
be attached to modern telescopes more easily than cameras.
4) Order the following in order of increasing efficiency of detecting
photons of visible light.
A) eye, photographic film, CCD
B) photographic film, CCD, eye
C) CCD, eye, photographic
D) CCD, photographic film, eye
E) eye, CCD,
5) Which of the following statements best describes the two principal
advantages of telescopes over eyes?
A) Telescopes can collect
far more light with far better angular resolution.
can collect far more light with far greater magnification.
Telescopes have much more magnification and better angular resolution.
D) Telescopes collect more light and are unaffected by
E) Telescopes can see farther without image
distortion and can record more accurate colors.
6) Currently, the largest optical telescope mirrors have a diameter
A) 1 m.
B) 2 m.
C) 5 m.
D) 10 m.
8) Which of the following could not be measured by an observation
that uses only imaging?
A) the rate at which a variable star
brightens and dims
B) the general shape of an interstellar cloud
C) the color of a planet
D) the brightness of a
star in our sky
E) the number of bright stars in a nearby star cluster
9) Which of the following could not be determined by an observation
that uses only spectroscopy?
A) the chemical composition of a
B) the speed at which a distant galaxy is moving
away from us
C) the surface temperature of a distant star
D) the rotation rate of a distant star
E) the size of a
10) What is meant by spectral resolution?
A) It is a measure of
how much energy an object emits in different parts of the
B) It is a measure of how close two
spectral lines can be distinguished.
C) It is a measure of how
close two point sources can be distinguished.
D) It is the same
as angular resolution when applied to telescopes operating at
11) Which of the following studies is best suited to a time
A) studying how different stars differ in
their chemical compositions
B) studying whether a particular
star's brightness is steady or variable
C) determining the age
of the solar system
D) measuring the rotation rate of a distant
E) estimating the time since the Big Bang
12) Which of the following is always true about images captured with
A) They are always very pretty.
are always displayed with the highest possible angular resolution.
C) They are always useful for seeing through things.
They are always displayed in false color.
E) They are always
displayed with north pointing upward in the images.
13) What do astronomers mean by light pollution?
pollution refers to pollution caused by light industry as opposed to
B) Light pollution refers to harmful gases
emitted by common street lights.
C) Light pollution refers to
light used for human activities that brightens the sky and hinders
D) 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.
pollution is another name for sunlight, which makes it impossible to
see stars in the daytime.
14) What causes stars to twinkle?
A) It is intrinsic to the
stars–their brightness varies as they expand and contract.
variations in the absorption of the atmosphere
absorption by interstellar gas along the line of sight to the star
D) bending of light rays by turbulent layers in the atmosphere
E) the inability of the human eye to see faint objects
15) What is the purpose of adaptive optics?
A) to improve the
angular resolution of telescopes in space
B) to eliminate the
distorting effects of atmospheric turbulence for telescopes on the
C) to increase the collecting area of telescopes on the
D) to increase the magnification of telescopes on the
E) to allow several small telescopes to work together
like a single larger telescope
16) What is an artificial star?
A) a point of light in Earth's
atmosphere created by a laser for the purpose of monitoring
B) a satellite orbiting Earth
D) a possible source of dark matter in the universe
E) the unseen member of a binary star system
17) Which of the following is not a good reason to place
observatories on remote mountain tops?
A) to reduce light
B) to reduce light distortion
C) to reduce light
D) to be able to observe at radio wavelengths
E) to be able to observe at infrared wavelengths
18) Why do astronomers need different telescope designs to observe
across the electromagnetic spectrum?
A) New telescopes
incorporate new technology to increase their efficiency.
Telescopes have to adapt to the greater distortion of the atmosphere
at shorter wavelengths.
C) Photons of different energy behave
differently and require different collection strategies.
Light pollution is worse at radio wavelengths than visible
E) Astronomers and engineers enjoy the challenge of
21) Telescopes operating at this wavelength must be cooled to observe
faint astronomical objects.
B) extreme infrared
22) At which wavelength range is there no current or planned space
23) In what part of the electromagnetic spectrum do the biggest
telescopes on Earth operate?
24) What does the technique of interferometry allow?
allows two or more telescopes to obtain a total light-collecting area
much larger than the total light-collecting area of the individual
B) It allows two or more telescopes to obtain the
angular resolution of a single telescope much larger than any of the
C) It allows us to determine the chemical
composition of stars.
D) It allows astronomers to make
astronomical observations without interference from light pollution.
E) It allows the same telescope to make images with both radio
waves and visible light.
25) The largest effective telescope, created by radio interferometry,
is the size of
A) several football fields, in a natural
depression in Puerto Rico.
B) tens of miles across, in the
deserts of New Mexico.
C) the state of New Mexico.
continental United States.
26) In what wavelength range was interferometry first routinely used?
The lens in your eye forms an upside-down image of the world.
) A radio telescope and an optical telescope of the same size have
the same angular resolution.
The angular resolution of a telescope is never less than its
Professional astronomical telescopes generally have a much greater
magnification than the telescopes you can buy in stores.
A larger telescope will always have a higher spectral resolution than
a smaller telescope when observing at the same wavelength.
Most astronomical objects emit light over a broad range of wavelengths.
Improvements in technology will eventually allow the entire
electromagnetic spectrum to be observed from high mountaintop observatories.
X rays from astronomical objects can only be detected from telescopes
X-ray telescope mirrors are very similar to optical telescope mirrors.
) The Hubble Space Telescope is famous because, at least at the time
of its launch, it was the largest visible light telescope ever built.
Process of Science: If any single test of a scientific hypothesis
contradicts it, the hypothesis must be revised.
1) Which of the following best describes what we mean by the focal
plane of a telescope?
A) It is the upper surface of the
telescope's primary lens or mirror.
B) It is the place where, if
we mounted film or an electronic detector, we could get a clear (not
blurry) image of an object viewed through the telescope.
is the lower surface of the telescope's primary lens or mirror.
D) It is the surface of the lens on the eyepiece, through which
you would look to see objects in the telescope's field of view.
) What does angular resolution measure?
A) the angular size of
the smallest features that the telescope can see
brightness of an image
C) the size of an image
number of electromagnetic waves captured by an image
3) What is the angular resolution of the human eye?
A) about 1
B) about 1 arcsecond (1/3600 of a degree)
1 arcminute, or 1/60 of a degree
D) about 1 milliarcsecond
4) What is a CCD?
A) It is an electronic detector that can be
used in place of photographic film for making images.
B) It is
an abbreviation for the world's largest operating telescope.
It refers to any kind of instrument that can be hooked up to a
D) It is a unit used by astronomers to measure
6) Which of the following statements best describes the difference
between a refracting telescope and a reflecting telescope?
refracting telescope uses a transparent glass lens to focus light
while a reflecting telescope uses a mirror to focus light.
refracting telescope produces refracted images while a reflecting
telescope produces reflected images.
C) Reflecting telescopes
make much clearer images than can refracting telescopes of the same
D) It is much easier to make a large refracting telescope
than a large reflecting telescope.
) What do we mean by the diffraction limit of a telescope?
It describes the farthest distance to which the telescope can see.
B) It is the angular resolution the telescope could achieve if
nothing besides the size of its light-collecting area affected the
quality of its images.
C) It is the maximum size to which any
telescope can be built.
D) It describes the maximum exposure
time for images captured with the telescope.
8) Which of the following is not one of the three main categories of
observation generally used by astronomers?
A) filtering to look
at just a single color from an object
B) timing to track how an
object's brightness varies with time
C) spectroscopy to spread
an object's light into a spectrum
D) imaging to get a picture of
an astronomical objects
9) Suppose you want to determine the chemical composition of a
distant planet or star. Which of the following will be most useful to
A) high angular resolution
B) high turbulence
C) a radio telescope
D) high spectral resolution
14) Which of the following wavelength regions can be studied with
telescopes on the ground?
A) radio, visible, and very limited
portions of the infrared and ultraviolet regions
B) all light
with wavelengths longer than ultraviolet wavelengths
light with wavelengths shorter than infrared wavelengths
infrared, visible, and ultraviolet light
1) Suppose you have two small photographs of the Moon. Although both
look the same at small size, when you blow them up to poster size one
of them still looks sharp while the other one becomes fuzzy (grainy)
looking. Which of the following statements is true?
A) The one
that still looks sharp at large size has better (smaller) angular
resolution than the one that looks fuzzy.
B) The one that looks
fuzzy at large size has better angular resolution (smaller) than the
one that looks sharp.
C) Both photographs have the same angular
resolution, because they were both printed at the same sizes in each
D) Both photographs have the same angular resolution,
because they are both photographs of the same object.
2) The angular separation of two stars is 0.1 arcseconds and you
photograph them with a telescope that has an angular resolution of 1
arcsecond. What will you see?
A) The two stars will appear to be
touching, looking rather like a small dumbbell.
B) The stars
will not show up at all in your photograph.
C) The photo will
seem to show only one star rather than two.
D) You will see two
distinct stars in your photograph.
3) Suppose you point your telescope at a distant object. Which of the
following is not an advantage of taking a photograph of the object
through the telescope as compared to just looking at the object
through the telescope?
A) The photograph will have far better
angular resolution than you can see with your eye.
B) By using a
long exposure time, the photograph can allow you to see objects that
would be too dim to see with your eye.
C) If taken with a camera
with a sensitive detector such as a CCD, the photograph can capture a
much larger percentage of the incoming photons than can your eye.
D) The photograph provides a more reliable record of what is
seen through the telescope than can a drawing made by eye.
4) Which of the following best describes the principle advantage of
CCDs over photographic film?
A) CCDs allow long exposures (e.g.,
minutes or hours) and film does not.
B) CCDs capture a much
higher percentage of the incoming photons than film.
C) CCDs can
record the colors of astronomical objects accurately while film
D) CCDs can be attached to modern telescopes more easily
than can photographic film.
5) How does the light-collecting area of an 8-meter telescope compare
to that of a 2-meter telescope?
A) The 8-meter telescope has 16
times the light-collecting area of the 2-meter telescope.
8-meter telescope has 4 times the light-collecting area of the 2-meter
C) The 8-meter telescope has 8 times the
light-collecting area of the 2-meter telescope.
D) The answer
cannot be determined from the information given in the question.
6) Which of the following best describes the development of
astronomical telescopes over the past 60 years?
A) Over the
60-year period, telescopes have gradually gotten bigger and more
B) Although there have been advances in cameras and
computing power, telescopes themselves have not changed much in the
last 60 years.
C) The world's most powerful telescope remained
the same for most of this period, but in the past 20 years many new
and more powerful telescopes have been built.
D) The only major
change in telescope power has occurred because of our ability to
launch telescopes into space rather than operating them only from the ground.
7) Which of the following best describes why radio telescopes are
generally much larger in size than telescopes designed to collect
A) Getting an image of the same angular
resolution requires a much larger telescope for radio waves than for
B) Radio telescopes are designed to collect sound
rather than light.
C) It is because radio telescopes are used in
the daytime and visible light telescopes are used at night.
Objects that emit radio waves are always much larger than objects that
emit visible light, and therefore require larger telescopes.
8) Which of the following studies is best suited to astronomical
observations that fall into the category called timing?
studying how different planets differ in their surface compositions
B) studying how a star's brightness varies over a period of 3
C) measuring the rotation rate of a distant star
determining the age of the solar system
9) Which of the following is not a reason why telescopes tend to be
built on mountaintops that are relatively far from cities and are in
regions with dry climates?
A) The thin air on mountaintops makes
the glass in telescope mirrors less susceptible to warping.
Being on a high mountain top means being relatively high in the
atmosphere, which tends to limit turbulence.
C) Dry regions mean
less rain and clouds, and mountaintops in dry regions may even allow
some infrared observations.
D) Mountaintops far from cities are
generally subject to less light pollution than locations nearer to cities.
11) Which of the following is not an advantage of the Hubble Space
Telescope over ground-based telescopes?
A) It is closer to the
B) Stars do not twinkle when observed from space.
C) It can observe infrared and ultraviolet light, as well as
D) It never has to close because of cloudy skies.
12) The Chandra X-Ray Observatory must operate in space because
A) X rays are too dangerous to be allowed on the ground.
B) X rays do not penetrate Earth's atmosphere.
telescopes require the use of grazing incidence mirrors.
was built by NASA.
13) Which of the following telescopes would benefit most from
A) The Keck I Telescope on Mauna Kea.
The Hubble Space Telescope.
C) The Arecibo Radio Telescope in
D) The Chandra X-Ray Observatory.
14) Consider two future observatories in space. Observatory X
consists of a single 50-meter telescope. Observatory Y is an
interferometer consisting of five 10-meter telescopes, spread out over
a region 100 meters across. Which observatory can detect dimmer stars,
and which one can see more detail in its images? (Assume all else is
equal, such as quality of optics, types of instruments, and so on.)
A) Observatory X can detect dimmer stars and Observatory Y
reveals more detail in images.
B) Observatory Y can detect
dimmer stars and Observatory X reveals more detail in images.
Observatory X both detects dimmer stars and reveals more detail in
D) Observatory Y both detects dimmer stars and reveals
more detail in images.
15) Which of the following is not a major reason why astronomers
would like an observatory on the far side of the Moon?
Telescopes on the Moon could see objects in all parts of the sky
equally well, whereas telescopes on Earth can see only portions of the
sky that depend on their latitude.
B) Radio astronomy would be
advantageous on the Moon because human radio transmissions are less
likely to cause interference, especially on the far side of the Moon.
C) It would be possible to put telescopes for ultraviolet and
X-ray astronomy on the surface, unlike the case on the surface of the
D) Telescopes on the Moon could observe stars even when
it is daytime on the Moon.
1) In the late 1800s, Kelvin and Helmholtz suggested that the Sun
stayed hot thanks to gravitational contraction. What was the major
drawback of this idea?
A) It predicted that the Sun could last
only about 25 million years, which is far less than the age of Earth.
B) It predicted that the Sun would shrink noticeably as we
watched it, and the Sun appears to be stable in size.
C) It is
physically impossible to generate heat simply by making a star shrink
D) It predicted that Earth would also shrink, which
would make it impossible to have stable geology on our planet.
E) It was proposed before Einstein's theory of general
relativity and was therefore incorrect.
5) What is the Sun made of?
A) 100 percent hydrogen and helium
B) 50 percent hydrogen, 25 percent helium, 25 percent other
C) 70 percent helium, 28 percent hydrogen, 2 percent
D) 70 percent hydrogen, 28 percent helium, 2
percent other elements
E) 98 percent hydrogen, 2 percent helium
and other elements
6) The phase of matter in the Sun is
E) a mixture of all of the above
7) What are the appropriate units for the Sun's luminosity?
8) What is the average temperature of the surface of the Sun?
A) 1 million K
B) 100,000 K
C) 10,000 K
E) 1,000 K
9) Which is closest to the temperature of the core of the Sun?
A) 10,000 K
B) 100,000 K
C) 1 million K
E) 100 million K
D, or it could be 15 million K be prepared for both
11) Which layer of the Sun do we normally see?
D) convection zone
E) radiation zone
12) The core of the Sun is
A) at the same temperature and
density as the surface.
B) at the same temperature but denser
than the surface.
C) hotter and denser than the surface.
D) constantly rising to the surface through convection.
composed of iron.
13) Based on its surface temperature of 5,800 K, what color are most
of the photons that leave the Sun's surface?
15) Sunspots are cooler than the surrounding solar surface because
A) they are regions where convection carries cooler material
B) strong magnetic fields slow convection and prevent
hot plasma from entering the region.
C) magnetic fields trap
ionized gases that absorb light.
D) there is less fusion
E) magnetic fields lift material from the
surface of the Sun, cooling off the material faster.
18) Hydrogen fusion in the Sun requires a temperature (in Kelvin) of
A) thousands of degrees.
B) millions of degrees.
billions of degrees.
D) trillions of degrees.
temperature, as long as gravity is strong enough.
19) At the center of the Sun, fusion converts hydrogen into
C) radiation and elements
like carbon and nitrogen.
D) radioactive elements like uranium
E) helium, energy, and neutrinos.
20) How much mass does the Sun lose through nuclear fusion per
A) 4 tons
B) 4 million tons
C) 600 tons
D) 600 million tons
E) Nothing: mass is conserved.
) Suppose you put two protons near each other. Because of the
electromagnetic force, the two protons will
C) attract each other.
D) repel each
E) join together to form a nucleus.
22) Which is the strongest of the fundamental forces in the universe?
A) strong force
B) weak force
D) gravitational force
E) none of the above
23) The first step in the proton-proton chain produces an
antielectron, or positron. What happens to the positron?
slowly works its way to the Sun's surface, where it escapes into
B) It rapidly escapes from the Sun, traveling into space
at nearly the speed of light.
C) It is rapidly converted to
energy when it meets an ordinary electron, resulting in
D) It quickly meets an ordinary
electron, forming an electron-positron pair that remains stable.
E) It joins with a nearby neutron to form a proton.
24) The overall fusion reaction by which the Sun currently produces
A) 3 H ⇒ 1 Li + energy.
B) 3 He ⇒ 1 C + energy.
C) 4 H ⇒ 4 He + energy.
D) 6 H ⇒ 1 He + energy.
H ⇒ 1 He + energy.
25) Why must the Sun's rate of fusion gradually rise over billions of
A) The Sun becomes less efficient and must increase the
rate of fusion to produce the same amount of energy.
reactions decrease the overall number of particles in the core,
causing the core to shrink, converting gravitational potential energy
into thermal energy, and increasing the rate of fusion.
radiation produced by fusion reactions that is trapped in the core
gradually raises the temperature, increasing the rate of fusion.
D) The Sun gets heavier as it gets older, and the stronger
inward pull of gravity increases the fusion rate.
E) The rate of
fusion is not rising; it is actually decreasing over time.
26) Suppose that, for some unknown reason, the core of the Sun
suddenly became hotter. Which of the following best describes what
A) Higher temperature would cause the rate of
nuclear fusion to rise, which would increase the internal pressure,
causing the core to expand and turn the Sun into a giant star.
B) Higher temperature would cause the rate of nuclear fusion to
rise, which would increase the internal pressure, causing the core to
expand and cool until the fusion rate returned to normal.
Higher temperature would cause the rate of fusion to fall, decreasing
the internal pressure and causing the core to collapse until the rate
of fusion returned to normal.
D) The higher temperature would
not affect the fusion rate but would cause the core to expand and cool
until the temperature returned to normal, with the core at a new,
slightly larger size.
27) How do we know what goes on under the surface of the Sun?
A) We have X-ray images from satellites of the interior of the
B) Astronomers create mathematical models that use the laws
of physics, the Sun's observed composition and mass, and computers to
predict internal conditions.
C) We have sent probes below the
surface of the Sun.
D) By measuring Doppler shifts, we observe
vibrations of the Sun's surface that are created deep within the Sun.
E) both B and D
28) Studies of sunquakes, or helioseismology, have revealed that
A) the Sun vibrates only on the surface.
"sunquakes" are caused by similar processes that create
earthquakes on Earth.
C) the Sun generates energy by nuclear
D) our mathematical models of the solar interior are
E) neutrinos from the solar core reach the
solar surface easily.
29) Which statement best describes the solar neutrino problem?
A) Theoretical models predict that neutrinos should be produced
in the Sun, but no neutrinos have ever been observed to be coming from
B) Solar neutrinos have been detected, but in fewer
numbers than predicted by theoretical models.
C) No one
understands how it can be possible for neutrinos to be produced in the
D) Our current understanding of fusion in the Sun suggests
that all neutrinos should be destroyed before they arrive at Earth,
yet neutrinos are being detected.
E) The term solar neutrino
problem refers to the fact that neutrinos are extremely difficult to detect.
30) Why are neutrinos so difficult to detect?
A) because there
are so rare
B) because they have no mass
C) because they
move at nearly the speed of light
D) because they rarely
interact with matter
E) because they are so small
31) Which of the following statements about neutrinos is not true?
A) About a thousand trillion neutrinos are passing through your
body every second.
B) Neutrinos are created as a by-product of
the proton-proton chain.
C) Neutrinos have no electrical charge.
D) Neutrinos have a tendency to pass through just about anything
without interactions, making them very difficult to detect.
The mass of a neutrino is 30 percent of the mass of an electron.
32) What is a possible solution to the solar neutrino problem?
A) The Sun is generating energy other than by nuclear fusion.
B) The Sun is generating much less energy than we think it is.
C) We do not know how to detect electron neutrinos.
all fusion reactions create electron neutrinos.
E) The electron
neutrinos created in the Sun change into another type of neutrino that
we do not detect.
33) 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) one year ago.
B) ten years ago.
C) a hundred years ago.
D) a thousand years ago.
a million years ago.
34) What happens to energy in the convection zone of the Sun?
A) Energy slowly leaks outward through the diffusion of photons
that repeatedly bounce off ions and electrons.
B) Energy is
produced in the convection zone by nuclear fusion.
C) Energy is
transported outward by the rising of hot plasma and the sinking of
D) Energy is consumed in the convection zone by
the creation of electrons and positrons.
E) Energy is conserved
so while the gas moves up and down, there is no net transport of energy.
35) 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?
chromosphere is the source of ultraviolet light, and the corona is the
source of X rays.
B) The chromosphere is the source of infrared
light, and the corona is the source of ultraviolet light.
chromosphere is the source of X rays, and the corona is the source of
D) The convection zone is the source of ultraviolet
light, and the upper photosphere is the source of X rays.
Radio waves can pass directly through the gas which allows us to see
36) What is granulation in the Sun?
A) the bubbling pattern on
the photosphere produced by the underlying convection
name for the way sunspots look on the surface of the Sun
elements in the Sun other than hydrogen and helium
particles in the Sun that haven't been turned into plasma
lumps of denser material in the Sun
37) What are coronal holes?
A) regions on the photosphere where
magnetic lines poke through, creating the cooler areas of the sunspots
B) areas of the corona where magnetic field lines project into
space, allowing charged particles to escape the Sun, becoming part of
the solar wind
C) holes in the corona of the Sun that allow us
to see the photosphere
D) tunnels in the outer layers of the Sun
through which photons can escape more quickly than through the
E) all of the above
38) Which of the following statements about the sunspot cycle is not
A) The number of sunspots peaks approximately every 11
B) With each subsequent peak in the number of sunspots,
the magnetic polarity of the Sun is the reverse of the previous peak.
C) The rate of nuclear fusion in the Sun peaks about every 11
D) The cycle is truly a cycle of magnetic activity, and
variations in the number of sunspots are only one manifestation of the
E) The number of solar flares peaks about every 11 years.
39) What processes are involved in the sunspot cycle?
gravitational contraction of the Sun
B) wave motions in the
C) variations of the solar thermostat
the winding of magnetic field lines due to differential rotation
E) the interaction of the Earth's magnetic field with that of
40) What observations characterize solar maximum?
A) The Sun
becomes much brighter.
B) The Sun emits light of longer average
C) The Sun rotates faster at the equator.
We see many sunspots on the surface of the Sun.
E) all of the above
41) Humans have not sent a spacecraft into the interior of the Sun to
confirm any models of the interior. What evidence then do we have to
support our current ideas about the solar interior?
B) solar flares
C) sun spots
observations that penetrate the gas
E) We have no evidence, just
) Gravitational equilibrium means that the surface and the core of
the Sun are at the same pressure.
Although the Sun does not generate energy by gravitational
contraction today, this energy-generation mechanism was important when
the Sun was forming.
The Sun generates energy primarily by nuclear fission.
Nuclear power plants on Earth create energy in the same way as the Sun.
The corona and chromosphere are hotter than the photosphere.
The chromosphere is the layer of the Sun that we see as its visible surface.
Energy from the core of the Sun first travels slowly through the
convection zone and then much faster through the radiation zone.
Sunspots are cooler than the surrounding region of the Sun's surface.
The core of the Sun is at a temperature of about 20,000 K.
) The Sun's rate of fusion is gradually increasing over time.
The Sun is a relatively young star, near the beginning of its life.
1) According to modern science, approximately how old is the Sun?
A) 4.5 billion years
B) 25 million years
D) 400 million years
2) The Sun will exhaust its nuclear fuel in about
B) 5 million years.
C) 5 billion years.
3) Which of the following correctly describes how the process of
gravitational contraction can make a star hot?
contraction involves nuclear fusion, which generates a lot of heat.
B) When a star contracts in size, gravitational potential energy
is converted to thermal energy.
C) Heat is generated when
gravity contracts, because gravity is an inverse square law force.
D) Gravitational contraction involves the generation of heat by
chemical reactions, much like the burning of coal.
5) The source of energy that keeps the Sun shining today is
B) gravitational contraction.
D) nuclear fusion.
6) When we say that the Sun is a ball of plasma, we mean that
A) the Sun is made of material that acts like a liquid acts on
B) the Sun is made of atoms and molecules.
C) the Sun
consists of gas in which many or most of the atoms are ionized
D) the Sun is roughly the same color as blood.
7) What is the Sun made of (by mass)?
A) 70% hydrogen, 28%
helium, 2% other elements
B) 100% hydrogen and helium
50% hydrogen, 25% helium, 25% other elements
D) 90% dark matter,
10% ordinary matter
8) From center outward, which of the following lists the
"layers" of the Sun in the correct order?
radiation zone, convection zone, corona, chromosphere, photosphere
B) core, convection zone, radiation zone, corona, chromosphere,
C) core, radiation zone, convection zone,
photosphere, chromosphere, corona
D) core, corona, radiation
zone, convection zone, photosphere, chromosphere
10) The Sun's surface, as we see it with our eyes, is called
11) The Sun's average surface (photosphere) temperature is about
A) 1,000,000 K.
B) 5,800 K.
C) 1,000 K.
D) 37,000 K.
What is the solar wind?
A) the uppermost layer of the Sun,
lying just above the corona
B) the strong wind that blows
sunspots around on the surface of the Sun
C) the wind that
causes huge arcs of gas to rise above the Sun's surface
stream of charged particles flowing outward from the surface of the Sun
13) The fundamental nuclear reaction occurring in the core of the Sun
A) nuclear fission.
B) radioactive decay.
fusion of hydrogen into helium.
D) nuclear fusion of helium to carbon.
14) The proton-proton chain is
A) the specific set of nuclear
reactions through which the Sun fuses hydrogen into helium.
the linkage of numerous protons into long chains.
C) another name
for the force that holds protons together in atomic nuclei.
alternative way of generating energy that is different from the fusion
of hydrogen into helium.
16) To estimate the central temperature of the Sun,
A) send probes to measure the temperature.
hot gas to create a small Sun in a laboratory.
C) monitor changes
in Earth's atmosphere.
D) use computer models to predict interior conditions.
18) Which statement best describes what was called the solar neutrino
A) Early experiments designed to detect solar neutrinos
found them, but in fewer numbers than had been expected.
referred to the fact that neutrinos are extremely difficult to detect.
C) Our understanding of fusion in the Sun suggested that
neutrinos should be destroyed before they arrive at Earth, yet
neutrinos were being detected.
D) No one understood how it could
be possible for neutrinos to be
19) 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) three days ago.
B) one hundred years
C) one thousand years ago.
D) a few hundred thousand
20) What happens to energy in the Sun's convection zone?
Energy is produced in the convection zone by thermal radiation.
B) Energy is transported outward by the rising of hot plasma and
sinking of cooler plasma.
C) Energy slowly leaks outward through
the radiative diffusion of photons that repeatedly bounce off ions and
D) Energy is produced in the convection zone by
21) What do sunspots, solar prominences, and solar flares all have in
A) They all have about the same temperature.
They are all shaped by the solar wind.
C) They are all strongly
influenced by magnetic fields on the Sun.
D) They all occur only
in the Sun's photosphere.
22) Which of the following is not a characteristic of the 11-year
A) The sunspot cycle is very steady, so that each
11-year cycle is nearly identical to every other 11-year cycle.
B) The likelihood of seeing solar prominences or solar flares is
higher when sunspots are more common and lower when they are less
C) The Sun's entire magnetic field flip-flops at the end
of each cycle (at solar minimum).
D) The number of sunspots on
the Sun at any one time gradually rises and falls, with an average of
11 years between the times when sunspots are most numerous.
23) How is the sunspot cycle directly relevant to us here on Earth?
A) The sunspot cycle strongly influences Earth's weather.
B) The Sun's magnetic field, which plays a major role in the
sunspot cycle, affects compass needles that we use on Earth.
The brightening and darkening of the Sun that occurs during the
sunspot cycle affects plant photosynthesis here on Earth.
Coronal mass ejections and other activity associated with the sunspot
cycle can disrupt radio communications and knock out sensitive
E) The sunspot cycle is the cause of
2) When is/was gravitational contraction an important energy
generation mechanism for the Sun?
A) It was important when the
Sun was forming from a shrinking interstellar cloud of gas.
It is the primary energy generation mechanism in the Sun today.
C) It has played a role throughout the Sun's history, but it was
most important right after nuclear fusion began in the Sun's core.
D) It is important during periods when the Sun is going from
solar maximum to solar minimum.
3) What do we mean when we say that the Sun is in gravitational
A) The Sun maintains a steady temperature.
There is a balance within the Sun between the outward push of pressure
and the inward pull of gravity.
C) The hydrogen gas in the Sun
is balanced so that it never rises upward or falls downward.
The Sun always has the same amount of mass, creating the same
5) How does the Sun's mass compare to Earth's mass?
Sun's mass is about 300 times the mass of Earth.
B) The Sun's
mass is about 30 times the mass of Earth.
C) The Sun's mass is
about 300,000 times the mass of Earth.
D) Both have
approximately the same mass.
6) Which of the following best describes why the Sun emits most of
its energy in the form of visible light?
A) Nuclear fusion in
the Sun's core produces visible light photons.
B) The visible
light comes from energy level transitions as electrons in the Sun's
hydrogen atoms jump between level 1 and level 2.
C) Like all
objects, the Sun emits thermal radiation with a spectrum that depends
on its temperature, and the Sun's surface temperature is just right
for emitting mostly visible light.
D) The Sun's gas is on fire
like flames from wood or coal, and these flames emit visible light.
7) The Sun's surface seethes and churns with a bubbling pattern. Why?
A) The Sun's surface is boiling.
B) The churning gas is
being stirred up by the strong solar wind.
C) The churning is an
illusion created by varying radiation, as the gas on the Sun's surface
is actually quite still.
D) We are seeing hot gas rising and
cool gas falling due to the convection that occurs beneath the surface.
8) Which of the following correctly compares the Sun's energy
generation process to the energy generation process in human-built
nuclear power plants?
A) The Sun generates energy by fusing
small nuclei into larger ones, while our power plants generate energy
by the fission (splitting) of large nuclei.
B) Both processes
involve nuclear fusion, but the Sun fuses hydrogen while nuclear power
plants fuse uranium.
C) The Sun generates energy through nuclear
reactions while nuclear power plants generate energy through chemical
D) The Sun generates energy through fission while
nuclear power plants generate energy through fusion.
9) Every second, the Sun converts about 600 million tons of hydrogen
into 596 million tons of helium. The remaining 4 million tons of mass
A) ejected into space in a solar wind.
B) ejected into
space by solar flares.
C) converted to an amount of energy equal
to 4 million tons times the speed of light squared.
as molecular hydrogen.
10) Which of the following best explains why nuclear fusion requires
bringing nuclei extremely close together?
A) Nuclei normally
repel because they are all positively charged and can be made to stick
only when brought close enough for the strong force to take hold.
B) Nuclei are attracted to each other by the electromagnetic
force, but this force is only strong enough to make nuclei stick when
they are very close together.
C) Nuclei have to be very hot in
order to fuse, and the only way to get them hot is to bring them close
D) Fusion can proceed only by the proton-proton chain,
and therefore requires that protons come close enough together to be
linked up into a chain.
If the Sun's core suddenly shrank a little bit, what would happen in
A) The core would cool off and continue to shrink as
its density increased.
B) The density of the core would
decrease, causing the core to cool off and expand.
C) The core
would heat up, causing it to radiate so much energy that it would
shrink even more.
D) The core would heat up, fusion rates would
increase, and the core would re-expand.
12) Why does the Sun emit neutrinos?
A) Solar flares create
neutrinos with magnetic fields.
B) Fusion in the Sun's core
C) Convection releases neutrinos, which
random walk through the radiation zone.
D) The Sun was born with
a supply of neutrinos that it gradually emits into space.
Sun does not emit neutrinos.
13) If the Sun suddenly stopped emitting neutrinos, what might we
infer (after checking that our neutrino detectors were still
A) Fusion reactions in the Sun ceased a few
hundred thousand years ago.
B) Fission reactions in the Sun have
C) Fusion reactions in the Sun have ceased.
Sun has exhausted its supply of neutrinos.
14) Which of the following best explains why the Sun's luminosity
gradually rises over billions of years?
A) Fusion gradually
decreases the number of independent particles in the core, allowing
gravity to compress and heat the core, which in turn increases the
fusion rate and the Sun's luminosity.
B) Nuclear reactions in
the Sun become more efficient with time, so that each fusion reaction
releases more energy when the Sun is old than when it is young; this
in turn raises the Sun's luminosity.
C) The Sun's core gradually
expands with time, and this expansion means there is more room for
energy to be generated and hence increases the Sun's luminosity.
D) The planets need more and more energy to maintain any life on
them as time goes on, and therefore the Sun must bet hotter.
15) Why do sunspots appear dark in pictures of the Sun?
are too cold to emit any visible light.
B) They are holes in the
solar surface through which we can see through to deeper, darker
layers of the Sun.
C) They are extremely hot and emit all their
radiation as X rays rather than visible light.
D) They actually
are fairly bright, but appear dark against the even brighter
background of the surrounding photosphere.
6) Which of the following best describes the current status of our
understanding of the solar neutrino problem?
evidence indicates that the problem is solved and the expected number
of solar neutrinos are indeed being produced by the Sun.
problem arose only because experimental data were being
misinterpreted; on re-examination, the old data showed that the
expected number of neutrinos were being detected.
C) We have
learned that the Sun's interior undergoes fusion at a lower rate than
we had expected, and that is why we had observed fewer neutrinos than
D) The solar neutrino problem remains as perplexing as
ever, and indeed makes everything we think we know about stars suspect.
17) How can we best observe the Sun's chromosphere and corona?
A) The chromosphere is best observed with infrared telescopes
and the corona is best observed with ultraviolet telescopes.
The chromosphere is best observed with ultraviolet telescopes and the
corona is best observed with X-ray telescopes.
chromosphere and corona are both best studied with visible light.
D) The chromosphere and corona are both best studied with radio telescopes.
18) The intricate patterns visible in an X-ray image of the Sun
A) helioseismological fluctuations.
bubbling pattern on the photosphere.
C) extremely hot plasma
flowing along magnetic field lines.
D) structure within sunspots.
19) How can we measure the strength of magnetic fields on the Sun?
A) by looking for the splitting of spectral lines in the Sun's
B) by observing the sizes of sunspots: Bigger sunspots
mean a stronger field
C) by observing auroras here on Earth
D) only by using sophisticated computer models, because there
are no observational ways of measuring magnetic field strength
satellites in low-Earth orbits are more likely to crash to Earth when
the sunspot cycle is near solar maximum because
A) it is too
dangerous to send the Space Shuttle to service satellites during solar
B) Earth's upper atmosphere tends to expand during solar
maximum, exerting drag on satellites in low orbits.
increased magnetic interference.
D) they are more likely to have
their electronics "fried" by a solar flare during solar maximum.
21) Which of the following choices is not a way by which we can study
the inside of the Sun?
A) We can probe the interior of the Sun
by studying the vibrations in its photosphere.
B) We can make a
computer model of the Sun's interior that allow us to predict the
observable properties of the Sun.
C) We can send a space probe
into the Sun's photosphere.
D) We can study solar neutrinos.
22) A computer accessory salesman attempts to convince you to
purchase a "solar neutrino" shield for your new computer.
(It's even "on sale"!) Why do you turn down this excellent
A) There's no such thing as a solar neutrino.
Solar neutrinos are generated by solar winds, but we're in a solar
minimum now, so the risk of damage is very low.
C) The Earth's
natural magnetic field already offers excellent protection against the
onslaught of solar neutrinos.
D) Neutrinos rarely, if ever,
interact with your computer.