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

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What is the most important thing that would immediately be apparent to any alien intelligence that found the Voyager probes?

2. What does Neptune's moon have less of compared to Titan?

3. Sagan suggests that throughout history, many have claimed that our species is what?

4. What is Neptune's largest moon?

5. Who was the first to discover moons around another planet?

Short Essay Questions

1. How has the attitude of the Catholic church towards Galileo changed over time?

2. What location in the solar system either have or are believed to have once had volcanoes?

3. What is the problem of perspective in estimating the importance of human beings?

4. What is the purpose of SETI and how does it operate?

5. What does Sagan believe would be necessary for the safety of the human race to be secured?

6. What does Sagan believe black holes have to offer?

7. What would be the first things an alien visitor to Earth would notice about the planet?

8. Briefly describe the progress made to undermine the geocentric theory.

9. What does the image of the "pale blue dot" suggest to Sagan?

10. How did ancient people know about the planets?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

Terraforming is the process of modifying and entire planet to make it more hospitable for human life.

1) Describe the processes of terraforming that Sagan outlines for Mars and the moon Titan.

2) Discuss the moral aspects of the effort of terraforming, and summarize Sagan's views on the issue.

3) Describe, according to information and arguments from the book, some of the benefits that the human species as a whole would reap through the wholesale terraforming of another planet.

Essay Topic 2

In Chapter 1, Sagan discusses in detail the photo of the "pale blue dot" for which he named this book. He regards it as a singular and impressive symbol of man's place in the universe.

1) Describe how the photo of the "pale blue dot" was taken, the risks involved, and how Sagan was personally involved in its creation.

2) Describe the photo itself, using details from the book.

3) Explain how Sagan thinks that this photo demonstrates part of the triumph of the Voyager spacecraft.

4) Discuss in detail the meaning of this photo to Sagan and what it says to him about man's place in the universe.

Essay Topic 3

At the time this book was written, about 200 large asteroids were known to have orbits that would take them close to Earth. Asteroids have caused major catastrophes in the past and could be a threat in the future.

1) Describe how Earth-bound asteroids are identified and tracked.

2) Discuss the danger that asteroids pose to the Earth and some of the catastrophes that major impacts have brought about in the past.

3) Explain some of the methods that Sagan discusses in the book for dealing with Earth-bound asteroids.

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