Site MapHelpFeedbackMultiple Choice Quiz
Multiple Choice Quiz
(See related pages)


On a very clear night you can see a band of misty light. This is
A)the aurora.
B)the Milky Way, composed of the other stars in our galaxy.
C)due to modern air pollution and stratospheric ozone destruction.
D)an optical illusion, known as the Milky Way, caused by the refraction of starlight in the atmosphere.

The size of our galaxy
A)has never been measured.
B)is equal to that of the largest galaxies known.
C)is about 130,000 light-years across but only about 10,000 light-years thick.
D)can be measured fairly accurately using parallax techniques aimed at the most distant stars.

Most of the stars in our galaxy
A)are located in the spiral arms extending from the galactic nucleus.
B)are found in the nucleus of the galaxy.
C)are much smaller than our sun.
D)are definitely known to have earthlike planets orbiting around them.

The Milky Way is composed of
A)a huge cluster of stars that are all approximately the same age.
B)a gaseous nebula found on the edge of the known universe.
C)on the order of 100 billion stars.
D)the remains of three small galaxies that collided about two billion years ago.

If the stars of our galaxy did not revolve around its center
A)the galaxy would collapse due to gravitational attraction.
B)the stars would be flung out into space due to centripetal force.
C)they would collide with one another.
D)they would quickly overheat and burn out.

The center of our galaxy
A)appears to lack any form of radiation, such as X-rays and gamma rays.
B)is opposite to the point referred to as Sagittarius A.
C)apparently contains an object of huge mass.
D)gives off a bright blue-white light that can even be seen from the earth.

Which of the following is not a significant source of radio waves from space?
B)spinning comets and asteroids
C)motion of ions and electrons in very hot gases
D)high-speed electrons moving in magnetic fields

Ammonia and formaldehyde
A)have been detected in galactic space.
B)are known to occur only on the earth and moon.
C)can be detected in the photosphere and core of the sun.
D)are both compounds that must be produced artificially.

Dark matter in the universe is composed of
A)burned out white dwarfs and black holes.
C)huge dust clouds.
D)no one knows, and this is a major scientific mystery.

Cosmic radiation is a form of
A)ionizing radiation.
B)fast moving iron atom nuclei.
C)ultraviolet radiation.
D)gamma rays.

Primary cosmic rays
A)are undetectable by humans and thus have defined definition.
B)are found only on the dark side of the moon.
C)were first discovered by William Herschel in 1781.
D)passing through the retinas of astronauts have the appearance of flashes of light.

The hypothesis that galaxies are moving apart is supported by
A)the blue shift in the spectral lines of light reaching us.
B)the progressive dimming of light from faraway galaxies.
C)trace elements found in interstellar space.
D)the red shift in the spectral lines of light reaching us.

According to Hubble's Law,
A)the speed of travel of all stars is increasing over time.
B)the speed of travel of all stars is decreasing over time.
C)the universe once was expanding, but is now contracting.
D)the galaxies the farthest away from us are traveling the fastest.

The name quasar
A)was made up based on a line in a James Joyce novel.
B)is derived from the country where they were first discovered, Quastar.
C)is a contraction of quasi-stellar radio sources.
D)has dropped out of general use among professional astronomers.

Quasars are generally characterized by
A)a very low-density core
B)rapidly fluctuating energy outputs.
C)very small red shifts.
D)the absorption of surrounding energy.

Studies based on cosmic background radiation suggest that the universe is about
A)3700 million years old.
B)3.7 billion years old.
C)13.7 billion years old.
D)37 billion years old.

The concept of the big bang
A)is a beautiful theory but lacks any empirical evidence.
B)was designed to appeal to scientists and religious leaders alike.
C)is supported by Hubble's Law.
D)depends on large amounts of antimatter being continuously converted to matter.

Cosmic background radiation corresponding to 2.7 K
A)has never been found beyond the bounds of our present galaxy.
B)was discovered in 1965 and hailed as the first evidence that supports the big bang theory.
C)accounts for 99 percent of the radiation in the universe.
D)demonstrates that the universe continues to heat up and gain energy over time.

The hydrogen to helium ratio of the universe
A)is approximately 15 to 1, as found in our sun.
B)came into being about three minutes after the universe's origin, according to the big bang theory.
C)cannot yet be determined, although it is hoped that the next generation of radio telescopes will resolve this issue.
D)is responsible for the development of life on the earth.

Particles and antiparticles
A)can materialize from photons.
B)will only annihilate each other under low pressure conditions.
C)existed in equal amounts in the early universe.
D)are never found outside of the core of a massive star.

The inner planets of our solar system
A)are rocky because it was too warm near the protosun for gaseous elements to collect.
B)formed much later than the outer planets.
C)are the only planets that can sustain water in any form.
D)are believed to have originally been asteroids from interstellar space.

Many newly formed stars
A)are known to lack any planets, thus suggesting that planetary material in the universe has become quite rare.
B)lack planets due to the gravitation pressure that tends to force them into interstellar space.
C)are surrounded by disks of dust and gas.
D)are composed primarily of helium, carbon, and iron.

Concerning extrasolar planets,
A)over 100 have been detected since 1995.
B)most found so far are larger than earth, but this is simply due to the fact that smaller extrasolar planets are more difficult to detect.
C)the discovery of numerous extrasolar planets makes it increasingly likely that life may exist elsewhere in the universe.
D)all of the above are true.

The possibility of interstellar space travel
A)is limited purely by our imagination.
B)would be practical if only we decided to devote the time and resources to it.
C)is extremely unlikely due to the fundamental laws of physics.
D)is limited by the inability of humans to survive in a weightless condition for more than several years.

The SETI (Search for extraterrestrial intelligence) program
A)uses radio telescopes around the world to look for extraterrestrial messages.
B)has had limited success, detecting only two unambiguous messages in forty years.
C)is entirely funded by the government grants.
D)is actively broadcasting a signal to anyone out there who might be listening.

The Physical Universe, 11eOnline Learning Center

Home > Chapter 18 > Multiple Choice Quiz