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, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

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

2. What is the primary distinguishing feature that SETI looks for to identify a communication from an intelligent source?

3. How far out does the solar corona die out?

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

5. Where was NASA's first SETI facility located?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Sagan believe black holes have to offer?

2. What does Sagan want to see on Mars?

3. How is Venus similar to Earth?

4. How well can an asteroid's path be calculated?

5. Why does Sagan suggest that space exploration aids in protecting the planet?

6. How could planetary tides pull a small planet apart?

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

8. What would the process of "terraforming" on Mars be like?

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

10. What types of strategies are most practical for stopping an Earth-bound asteroid?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

Saturn is known for its beautiful ring system, although at the time this book was written, it was not known how or why planets formed rings.

1) Describe the planet Saturn, its ring system, and its moons.

2) Summarize some of the important information that the Voyager probes gleaned from their passage of the planet.

3) Discuss how planetary tidal forces are believed to contribute to the formation of ring systems.

Essay Topic 3

Titan is the largest moon of Saturn and the most Earth-like of all of the moons in the solar system, making it a good candidate for finding extraterrestrial life.

1) Describe the characteristics of the moon Titan, including a discussion of its atmosphere and hydrocarbon lakes.

2) Assess the specific characteristics of the moon that make it suitable for life.

3) Discuss Sagan's personal involvement in the study of Titan, its importance to him, and why he believes the moon warrants further study.

(see the answer keys)

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