ASTR 113 Session 003 Fall 2006

Instructor: Jie Zhang


Sample questions for exam 1. The correct choice is indicated by *.

The real exam will have 50 questions instead of 10, but in the same style.



1 The mean distance of the Earth from the Sun, 149,000,000 km can be written in shorthand notation of power as

A 1.49 106 km

B 1.49 107 km

C *1.49 108 km

D 1.49 109 km

The scientific method is a major force in science and has been developed to ensure that

A theories about physical phenomena are so good and our faith in them is so strong that we never need to test them against observations.

B theories about physical phenomena agree with the wisdom of the ancients

C results from experiments can be adjusted to agree with our carefully developed theories about physical phenomena

D *theories about physical phenomena agree with what we find in experiments and observations.


3 Over the course of one night, an observer at any given location on the Earth sees the constellations gradually move from east to west across the sky. This is caused primarily by the

A inherent rotation of the universe.

B wind.

C motion of the Earth around the Sun.

D *rotation of the Earth around its own axis.


4 In the northern hemisphere, summertime occurs when

A the Earth is closest to the Sun in its elliptical orbit.

B *sunlight falls more directly on this hemisphere, heating it more than at other times of the year.

C the Earth's equator is parallel to the plane of its orbit.

D sunlight falls less directly on this hemisphere, spreading the heat out over a greater area.


5 The equinoxes are located at the intersections of the

A ecliptic and the horizon.

B ecliptic and the Moon's orbit.

C ecliptic and the celestial equator.

D horizon and the celestial equator.

6 Which of the following is the correct sequence of appearances of Moon phases in the sky?

A new moon, full moon, waxing crescent, waning crescent

B *waxing crescent, first quarter, waxing gibbous, full moon

C full moon, waxing gibbous, third quarter, waning crescent

D new moon, waning crescent, first quarter, full moon


7 The Moon rotates around its own axis in the same length of time that it takes to orbit once around the Earth. This equality of rotation period and orbital period, which results in the same side of the Moon facing the Earth at all times, is called

A coincidental rotation.

B *synchronous rotation.

C precession.

D relative motion.


8 A total lunar eclipse is visible in principle (assuming clear skies everywhere)

A only to people in a long narrow and very specific path, much smaller than a hemisphere.

B only to people in a circular area on the Earth having a diameter equal to that of the Moon.

C to everyone on the Earth.

D *to everyone in one hemisphere of the Earth.


9 Retrograde motion of a planet is

A motion away from Earth.

B *westward motion against the star background.

C westward motion with respect to the foreground on Earth.

D eastward motion against the star background.


10 Compared with your mass on Earth, your mass out in space among the stars would be

A negligibly small.

B huge.

C zero.

D *the same.