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 does Sagan suggest that cavemen were usually looking for when they wandered?

2. Where does Sagan think that life will most likely be eventually found?

3. What did Galileo demonstrate?

4. Sagan compares the human need for religion to what?

5. Which of the following is a major point opponents of space exploration raise?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why is it difficult to detect intelligent life on Earth?

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

3. What does Sagan think about the failure of the Voyager probes to find life in the solar system?

4. What advantage make it more likely that the Voyager records will eventually be found?

5. What planets had been explored by human beings, at the time of the writing of this book?

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

7. What contributed to the formation of the first microbes on Earth?

8. What are the distinguishing characteristics of the planet Uranus?

9. Why did ancient people believe there could not be any other planets beyond the ones they knew about?

10. What aspects of science make it unappealing to some?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Neptune is the most distant planet in the solar system.

1) Describe how Neptune was discovered.

2) Discuss and explain some of Neptune's distinguishing characteristics, including its warmth and Jupiter-like atmosphere.

3) Summarize Sagan's assessment of the planet an its importance in the field of space exploration. Why was it visited by the Voyager probes?

Essay Topic 2

Mars is Earth's nearest neighbor and the best candidate for human exploration and settlement.

1) Explain some of the characteristics of the planet Mars, including those that make it a good candidate for human colonization.

2) Discuss the indicators on Mars that suggest to Sagan that life could be found on the planet.

3) Describe the process that Sagan discusses which would be necessary to terraform Mars.

Essay Topic 3

Saturn is known for its beautiful ring system, although at the time this book was written, it was not known how or why planets formed rings.

1) Describe the planet Saturn, its ring system, and its moons.

2) Summarize some of the important information that the Voyager probes gleaned from their passage of the planet.

3) Discuss how planetary tidal forces are believed to contribute to the formation of ring systems.

(see the answer keys)

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