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

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 2

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 3

Sagan discusses the a manned mission to Mars as a desirable first step in extending the human race out beyond the Earth but identifies many practical problems with any proposed plan.

1) Explain why Sagan believes that a manned mission should be sent to the planet Mars.

2) Discuss some of the proposals for such a mission, what their aims would be, and how they would be carried out technically.

3) Describe the practical difficulties that Sagan outlines and how they could be overcome.

(see the answer keys)

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