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 innovation was crucial in discovering Titan?

2. How much bigger is Neptune than Earth?

3. What does Sagan claim is the key element of humanity's future?

4. Which other nation besides the United States led the way in space exploration?

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

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Sagan want to see on Mars?

2. What is the purpose of SETI and how does it operate?

3. What message do the Voyager craft carry with them from Earth?

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

5. Why does Sagan believe it is unlikely that a manned mission to Mars will be carried out in the near future?

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

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

8. What location in the solar system either have or are believed to have once had volcanoes?

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

10. What does Sagan believe would be necessary for the safety of the human race to be secured?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

At the time this book was written, about 200 large asteroids were known to have orbits that would take them close to Earth. Asteroids have caused major catastrophes in the past and could be a threat in the future.

1) Describe how Earth-bound asteroids are identified and tracked.

2) Discuss the danger that asteroids pose to the Earth and some of the catastrophes that major impacts have brought about in the past.

3) Explain some of the methods that Sagan discusses in the book for dealing with Earth-bound asteroids.

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

The heliocentric theory was developed by Copernicus, Galileo, and others, and uprooted the dogmatically endorsed geocentric theory, forever changing the nature of scientific thought in the West.

1) Describe heliocentric theory and the scientists who proposed and developed it.

2) Explain some of the abnormalities and observations that lent support to the heliocentric theory.

3) Discuss the reasons that Sagan believes heliocentric theory was opposed by the church.

4) Describe the impact of the victory of the heliocentric theory over the geocentric model on scientific thinking in the West.

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