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D Period Astronomy


Practice quiz

Part 1: Choose the word that best fits the description. Words maybe used more than once

_____ 1. The amount of distance light travels in one year

_____ 2. The average distance from the Earth to the Sun

____ 3. Named after the ancient greek word for wanderers because they move more quickly
across the celestial sphere and appear to move backwards at times

____ 4. The phenomenon that distant objects seem to be in different locations when viewed
from different positions

____ 5. An imaginary sphere that surrounds the Earth where all the stars, planets, galaxies etc.
appear to lie when viewed from the Earth.

____ 6. The apparent backward motion of planets against the celestial sphere when viewed
over a period of months

____ 7. This distance is equivalent to about 93 million, 93,000,000 or 9.3 •106 miles

____ 8. This distance is equivalent to about 6 trillion, 6,000,000,000,000 or 6•1012 miles.

____ 9. I can use this to calculate distances to nearby stars based on the fact that they seem to
shift their position in the sky as the Earth goes around the sun.

____ 10. The three laws that describe the motion of planets around the sun.

A. celestial sphere B. retrograde motion C. light year D. astronomical unit

E. parallax F. planets G. Kepler’s Laws
Part 2.

a) Explain what is meant by retrograde motion in terms of the picture above.

b) Use the diagram to explain retrograde motion

Part 3.

The following formulas may be useful

D = R•t D = distance, R = rate or speed

t = time

1 year = 365.25 days

1 day = 24 hours

1 hour = 60 minutes

1 minute = 60 seconds

a. The Concorde was a luxury plane that boasted a cruising speed nearly twice the speed of
sound. It’s cruising speed was 1350 miles per hour. this allowed it to fly from NY to Paris in
about 3 hours.

i. How many hours would it take to fly 1 AU, the distance from the Earth to the Sun?
(Note 1 AU = 93,000,000 miles)

ii. How many days would this be?

iii. How many years would this be?

b. The Voyager Space crafts are moving at about 11 miles/sec.

i. How many seconds would it take them to travel one light year? (note a light year is
6,000,000,000,000 or 6•1012 miles)

ii. How many minutes is this?

iii. How many hours is this?

iv. How many days is this?

v. How many years is this?

c. Mars is about 0.52 AU away from Earth at it’s closest.

i. If we launch a spacecraft at Mars at a speed of 20,000 miles per hour. How many
months will it take to get to Mars.

ii. How many months would it take this same spacecraft to travel 1 LY?

d. Use your answer to part C to explain why current technology would make it very difficult for
humans to colonize anywhere outside the solar system.

e. The speed of light is 186,000 miles per second.

i How much time does it take the light to reach the Earth from the sun in seconds?

ii. in minutes?

iii. Neptune is about 30 AU away from Earth. How many seconds does it take light to
reach Neptune? How many minutes? How many hours?

Part 4

a. Explain how this parallax diagram illustrates how astronomers can use parallax to calculate
the distance to a nearby star.

b. Why does the moon seem to follow us when we drive in a car at night?

Part 5. (Kepler’s Laws)

a. Earth is 1 AU away from the Sun and takes 1 year to orbit the sun. Mars is 1.52 AU away
from the Sun. How many years does it take to orbit the sun? How many days?

b. If Saturn takes 28.5 years to orbit the sun, How far away from the sun is it in AU. in miles?