Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space Test | Final Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What hazard from nuclear weapons causes "nuclear winter"?

2. What is the primary way that humans add carbon dioxide to the atmosphere?

3. According to the plans Sagan discussed, how would nuclear weapons typically be used to stop an asteroid from colliding with the Earth?

4. What did Steven Hawking worry about with regard to black holes?

5. When does Sagan predict that anti-matter will be mass-manufactured?

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

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

Mars is Earth's nearest neighbor and the best candidate for human exploration and settlement.

1) Explain some of the characteristics of the planet Mars, including those that make it a good candidate for human colonization.

2) Discuss the indicators on Mars that suggest to Sagan that life could be found on the planet.

3) Describe the process that Sagan discusses which would be necessary to terraform Mars.

(see the answer keys)

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