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 was the state of the knowledge and belief about life on other planets at the time the book was written?

2. What punishment did Galileo suffer as a result of his works?

3. How old does Sagan state that "fundamentalist monotheists" believe the Earth to be?

4. What fault does Sagan admit that science has?

5. About how long does Sagan suggest that human beings have been "settled down"?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What does Sagan believe about the intelligence of the Voyager spacecraft.

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

4. What are the distinguishing characteristics of the moon Titan?

5. How was Sagan involved in discoveries about Titan?

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

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

8. How well can an asteroid's path be calculated?

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

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

Uranus was the first new planet discovered, aside from the five known to ancient cultures.

1) Discus the discovery of Uranus and what made this discovery unusual and unique.

2) Describe the planet Uranus, including a discussion of its unique inclination and theories to explain this feature.

3) Discuss Sagan's impression of the planet and the likelihood that it or its moons could harbor life.

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

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.

(see the answer keys)

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