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

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Mid-Book Test - Hard

Name: _________________________ Period: ___________________

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

The geocentric theory of the solar system stated that the sun, the moon, and the planets orbit around the Earth. This world-view was formally endorsed for more than fifteen hundred years, but was eventually shattered by the heliocentric theory.

1) Explain the geocentric theory, including the details of its layout for the solar system and how it accounted for some of the abnormalities in the orbits of the planets.

2) Discuss the origin of this theory and how it came to be embraced by scholars and religious leaders alike.

3) Describe some of the shortcomings of this theory, according to Sagan's arguments.

Essay Topic 2

Volcanoes are quite common and relatively active on Earth, and can be observed on solid planetary bodies throughout the solar system.

1) Describe the process of volcanism in general, its causes, and its impact on the environment.

2) Discuss the function and nature of volcanoes on Earth and how they interact with the upper atmosphere and eject particles into space.

3) Describe some of the known active or dormant volcano system observed on other planets and moons.

Essay Topic 3

The program SETI is the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence. Sagan endorses this program whole-heartedly despite its failure to date and many complaints about its cost.

1) Explain the SETI program and its goals, and how it goes about its search for intelligence.

2) Discuss some of the criticisms about the SETI program.

3) Explain why Sagan maintains his support for the program, despite its failure to date.

(see the answer keys)

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