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. Kuiper discovered that Titan has what chemical vital to the development of life?

2. Conditions of what type were extremely important in the creation of early life on Earth?

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

4. Sagan says that which of the following is the most immediately obvious thing about the Earth?

5. What form do the materials that planets emerge from take before they coalesce into proto-planets?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. As of 1990, what had the Voyager spacecraft achieved?

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

4. What are the "great demotions" that Sagan refers to?

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

6. How did ancient people know about the planets?

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

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

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

10. What may have happened to other planets from the early solar system?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Sagan regards the Voyager craft as triumphs of engineering and human ingenuity. These craft were designed to explore most of the planets in the solar system, and then to journey outwards from it to the stars.

1) Describe the Voyager craft, their missions, and capabilities. What planets were these craft intended to explore?

2) Discuss the differences between the Voyager mission and previous efforts in space exploration. How were these craft significantly different?

3) Explain Sagan's particular interest in the Voyager craft and why he believes them each to be a triumph.

4) Summarize some of the important observations that the Voyager craft made.

Essay Topic 2

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 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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