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 material that humans have added to the environment would be easily detectable from space?

2. Which of the following is NOT one of the ways that Sagan says life seems to be?

3. Who helped Sagan calculate that Titan should be host to oceans?

4. In Chapter 5 Sagan asks the reader to imagine that they are which of the following?

5. Uranus has an unusual field around it of what type?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. How could Dermott's calculations about Titan be confirmed?

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

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

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

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

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

8. When this book was written, what was known about planets in other solar systems?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The Apollo Missions had an enormous impact on the field of space exploration, on the international status of the United States, and on the public's interest in space and science in general.

1) Describe the Apollo moon landings, their operation, mission, and the scientific information gained from them.

2) Discuss the effect that Sagan says the landings had on the international standing of the United States.

3) Explain how the moon landings impacted the field of space exploration and sparked the public's interest in the field. Cite Sagan's arguments to explain specific ways that this occurred.

Essay Topic 2

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.

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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