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. According to Sagan, how do early Earth and Titan compare?

2. What does the Geocentric theory state?

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

4. What is notable about the Sun's light in Sagan's distant picture of the Earth?

5. William Herschel, the discoverer of Uranus, had what unusual profession?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Describe the planet Neptune.

3. What aspects of science make it unappealing to some?

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

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

6. What planets had been explored by human beings, at the time of the writing of this book?

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

8. What contributed to the formation of the first microbes on Earth?

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

10. Why does Sagan believe that the image of the "pale blue dot" undermined the "imagined self-importance" of humanity?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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.

Essay Topic 2

Sagan presents a thought experiment in Chapter 5, "Is There Intelligent Life on Earth?" He suggests that the observations that a visiting alien might make of Earth would not necessarily reveal the presence of intelligent life.

1) Discuss the thought experiment that Sagan proposes in Chapter 5, and describe the obvious characteristics of the Earth from the perspective of this visitor.

2) Describe the types of observations a visitor to Earth would have to make in order to determine the presence of intelligent life on the planet.

3) Explain how this thought experiment demonstrates Sagan's point about "missing" important details in the search for life in the solar system.

Essay Topic 3

Sagan suggests that the colonization of distant worlds is both feasible and critical to humanity.

1) Explain how does Sagan envisions colonization of distant worlds occurring. What would be the motive for such efforts?

2) Discuss some of the targets that Sagan suggests for colonization, including non-planets.

3) Describe why Sagan believes that colonization is critical to securing the safety of the human race.

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