Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space Test | Mid-Book Test - Easy

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This test consists of 15 multiple choice questions and 5 short answer questions.

Multiple Choice Questions

1. Where does Neptune fall in the mission plan for the Voyager probes?
(a) They will pass by it only at an immense distance
(b) They will go into decaying orbit around it.
(c) It is their final planetary destination.
(d) They will return to the inner solar system after passing it.

2. What does the Geocentric theory state?
(a) The Earth moves in a perfect circle.
(b) The Earth is a flat disc.
(c) The sun moves around the Earth.
(d) The planets and heavens are all fixed.

3. What visual resolution would be required to determine the existence of intelligent life on Earth?
(a) 1,000 meters.
(b) 1 meter.
(c) 100 meters.
(d) 10 cm.

4. What was the state of the knowledge and belief about life on other planets at the time the book was written?
(a) No signs of life were known to exist.
(b) Scientists expected to find life on most of the planets and moons.
(c) Most believed life on other planets was impossible.
(d) It was believed there was abundant life on Mars.

5. What is the major difference between space exploration and human exploration in the past?
(a) There is much more uncertainty in space.
(b) It is much less costly, in relative terms.
(c) Humans cannot travel to the places they explore.
(d) It takes months or years to get to the destination.

6. What is the most important thing that would immediately be apparent to any alien intelligence that found the Voyager probes?
(a) That the probes were intelligently designed.
(b) The location of Earth.
(c) How to decode the records.
(d) The human DNA sequence.

7. What is notable about the stars in Sagan's distant picture of the Earth?
(a) They have many different colors.
(b) An immense number are visible.
(c) Very few are visible.
(d) They appear very close.

8. What planet did Sagan spend a great deal of time studying when an important space probe passed near it in 1976?
(a) Saturn.
(b) Mercury.
(c) Venus.
(d) Mars.

9. According to Sagan, which of the following was the most notable historical tool that humans used to explore the world?
(a) Roads.
(b) Compasses.
(c) Ships.
(d) The Wheel.

10. What is unusual about Uranus's orientation?
(a) It shifts from time to time.
(b) It wobbles constantly.
(c) It is the only planet that lies perfectly in the ecliptic.
(d) It is laid on its side.

11. What unusual source of energy do the Voyager spacecraft take advantage of?
(a) Vacuum energy.
(b) Solar wind.
(c) Cosmic rays.
(d) Planetary gravity.

12. Titan orbits what planet?
(a) Jupiter.
(b) Uranus.
(c) Neptune.
(d) Saturn.

13. Which of the following is one of the "great demotions" that Sagan cites?
(a) There are planets orbiting other stars.
(b) Light and magnetism are the same thing.
(c) There may have been life on Mars.
(d) The Earth is 6 billion years old.

14. What punishment did Galileo suffer as a result of his works?
(a) He was burned at the stake.
(b) He was put under permanent house arrest.
(c) He was imprisoned for life.
(d) He was beheaded.

15. Einstein's work undermined what concept?
(a) That the Sun is unique.
(b) That humans can travel to distant stars.
(c) That light is the fastest thing in the universe.
(d) That our frame of motion is stationary.

Short Answer Questions

1. How fast was Voyager I moving in 1990?

2. What was Neptune's position in the solar system as of the writing of this book?

3. According to Sagan, when viewed from space, how apparent would the existence of life on Earth be?

4. What criticism does Sagan make of NASA in Chapter 6, "The Triumph of Voyager"?

5. What concept does Sagan suggest that the image of the "pale blue dot" mocks?

(see the answer keys)

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