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. The Anthropic Principle is divided into two theories that are termed what?

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

3. Which of the following is NOT one of the major unknowns that Sagan says he will address in this book?

4. In the analogy Sagan makes in Chapter 5 the reader is asked to imagine they are seeing Earth from what perspective?

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

Short Essay Questions

1. What was Sagan's involvement in the passage of Mars by the Viking probe?

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

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

4. Describe the planet Neptune.

5. What dangers did the Voyager I spacecraft face in taking a distant picture of Earth?

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

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

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

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

10. What undesirable features of human activity might be easily noticed from space?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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.

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

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.

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