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. At the time this book was written, how many planets were known to exist around other stars?

2. What major change have humans made to the environment that would be easily detectable from space?

3. What is the constituent particle of light?

4. As of 1990, how many moons did the Voyager craft explore?

5. As of 1990, how many planets did the Voyager craft explore?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What does the Strong Anthropomorphic principle suggest?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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.

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

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.

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