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 other medium was used to express the desire to wander, according to Sagan, as human civilization developed?

2. What is notable about the stars in Sagan's distant picture of the Earth?

3. Conditions of what type were extremely important in the creation of early life on Earth?

4. What planet did Sagan spend a great deal of time studying when an important space probe passed near it in 1976?

5. What does Sagan say that philosophy and religion should provide?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe the planet Neptune.

2. What questions does Sagan say he intends to address in this book?

3. What may have happened to other planets from the early solar system?

4. Why does Saga say he is optimistic about the "human prospect"?

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

6. What "malevolent" theology does Sagan describe in Chapter 3, "The Great Demotions"?

7. What are the "great demotions" that Sagan refers to?

8. What seemingly important features of humanity does Sagan deny to be distinguishing?

9. How was Sagan involved in discoveries about Titan?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Sagan suggests that the colonization of distant worlds is both feasible and critical to humanity.

1) Explain how does Sagan envisions colonization of distant worlds occurring. What would be the motive for such efforts?

2) Discuss some of the targets that Sagan suggests for colonization, including non-planets.

3) Describe why Sagan believes that colonization is critical to securing the safety of the human race.

Essay Topic 2

Titan is the largest moon of Saturn and the most Earth-like of all of the moons in the solar system, making it a good candidate for finding extraterrestrial life.

1) Describe the characteristics of the moon Titan, including a discussion of its atmosphere and hydrocarbon lakes.

2) Assess the specific characteristics of the moon that make it suitable for life.

3) Discuss Sagan's personal involvement in the study of Titan, its importance to him, and why he believes the moon warrants further study.

Essay Topic 3

Venus was once considered to be a "sister planet" to Earth, but is now known to be dramatically different from our own planet.

1) Discuss the characteristics of Venus, including the oddities in its climate, atmosphere, and surface.

2) Explain some of the similarities and differences between Earth and Venus and explain why this planet was once considered a "sister planet" to Earth.

3) Discuss Venus' unique place in the mythologies of ancient cultures around the world, as well as its unique positioning in the night sky as seen from Earth.

(see the answer keys)

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