Astro 120 Fall 2003

Sample multiple choice questions for exam 1

The exam will have a cover sheet that includes all of the forumlae that you might need to answer the questions, so don't worry about memorizing things like the mathematical form of Kepler's laws or Newton's laws.

  1. The point in the sky that is located 90 degrees above the horizon is the
    1. terrestrial horizon.
    2. equator. pole.
    3. zenith.
    4. ascending node.

  2. When the Sun is at Right Ascension (RA) 6 hours, what RA would be due South at midnight in Ames (or anywhere north of the equator)?
    1. 0 hours
    2. 6 hours
    3. 12 hours
    4. 18 hours
    5. not enough information provided to answer this question

  3. Which of the following factors is least important in causing seasonal variations in temperature?
    1. the changing distance between the Earth and the Sun
    2. the length of time the Sun is above the horizon
    3. the length of the night
    4. the maximum height the Sun reaches during the day
    5. all of the above are equally important

  4. If the Moon is high in the sky at midnight, its phase is
    1. first quarter.
    2. new.
    3. full.
    4. third quarter.
    5. upside down and backwards

  5. One day in 1667, Isaac Newton was watching the sunset while sitting next to his apple tree. At the moment of sunset, an apple fell beside him. He looked up at the moon, high in the sky, and had one of those remarkable insights that led to his theory of universal gravitation. What phase of moon did he see?
    1. new moon
    2. first quarter
    3. full moon
    4. third quarter
    5. he could not see any moon at that time.

  6. What kind of eclipse will be seen by an observer located directly within the umbral shadow of the Moon?
    1. partial lunar eclipse
    2. total eclipse of Earth
    3. total lunar eclipse
    4. total solar eclipse
    5. partial solar eclipse

  7. Suppose the same force were applied to objects A and B Object A is twice as massive as object B How do the accelerations of A and B compare?
    1. The accelerations are the same.
    2. The acceleration of A is twice as large.
    3. The acceleration of B is twice as large.|
    4. The accelerations are equal and opposite
    5. More information is needed to find the answer.

  8. Based on Kepler's Laws, we know that the Earth moves fastest in its orbit around the Sun
    1. January 4th, the day the Earth is closest to the Sun
    2. the 4th of July, when the Earth is as far from the Sun as it ever gets
    3. at perihelion for the Earth
    4. at aphelion for the Earth
    5. a) and c)

There will be approximately 25 multiple choice questions on the exam along with a brief (< 1 page) essay. The essay question will be provided in lecture on the Tuesday before the exam.

Good luck!