AST101 2011 Midterm questions with solutions

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University of Toronto St. George
Astronomy & Astrophysics
Michael Reid

UNIVERSITY OFTORONTO ASTRONOMY 101H1F MIDTERM TEST--SOLUTIONS THURSDAY, OCTOBER 6, 2011 DURATION: 45 MINUTES TOTAL MARKS: 35 NOAIDS ALLOWED UTORID: _________________________________ CIRCLE YOUR TUTORIALSECTION BELOW: Monday Tuesday Wednesday 10:00 0101 -- Yevgeni 0102 -- Stephen 0701 -- JD 0702 -- Eric 1201 -- Stephanie1202 – Nick 11:00 0201 -- Yevgeni 0202 -- Stephen 0801 -- Nathan 0802 -- Eric 1301 -- Stephanie1302 – Nick 12:00 0301 -- Charles 0302 -- Eve 0901 -- Nathan 0002 -- Eve 1401 – JD 1402 – Nick 13:00 0401 -- Charles 0402 -- Eve 1001 --Adam 1002 -- Dan 1501 – Stephanie 1502 – Dan 14:00 0501 -- Yevgeni 0502 -- Stephen - - 1601 – JD 1602 – Dan 15:00 601 -- Charles 602 -- Eric 1101 -- Nathan 1102 --Adam - - Instructions: 1. ON THIS PAGE: Fill in your UTorID (e.g. smithm1) and circle your tutorial section. 2. ON THE NEXT PAGE: Fill in your name (as it appears on ROSI), your student number, and your UTorID (e.g. smithm1). 3. ON THE SCANTRON CARD: Fill in your last name, first initial, and student number in the spaces given and, using pencil, darkly shade in the corresponding bubbles. Then sign the card. 4. For each multiple choice question, mark your answer in pencil on the Scantron card by darkly shading the appropriate bubble. All answers to multiple choice questions must be transferred to the Scantron card. Under no circumstances will answers to multiple choice questions written on this paper be accepted. 5. Answer short answer questions in the spaces provided. Answers written in pencil will not be re- marked. 6. Mark values are indicated with each question. 7. Make sure that your midterm has 9 pages. AST 101 MIDTERM 1, FALL 2011 PAGE 1 OF 9 NAME: __________________________________ UTORID: ________________________________ STUDENT NUMBER: _____________________ Question Marks A1-A20 (MC) /20 B1 /4 B2 /1 B3 /5 B4 /5 Total /35 AST 101 MIDTERM 1, FALL 2011 PAGE 2 OF 9 PARTA: Multiple choice questions. CIRCLE THE MOST CORRECTANSWER (1 mark each) 1. One hundred light-minutes is approximately: (a) The distance between the Sun and the nearest star. (b) The diameter of the Earth. (c) The distance between the Earth and the Moon. (d) The distance between the Sun and Jupiter. (e) The time it takes light to go from the Sun to the Earth. 2. Seen from outside the solar system, the arrangement of the planets in our solar system most closely resembles: (a) a straight line (b) a sphere (c) a cylinder (d) a disk (e) a cube 3. In addition to having orbits filled with many small bodies, dwarf planets often have: (a) Orbits which are tilted relative to those of the rest of the planets. (b) Very thick atmospheres. (c) Bumps and bulges, like potatoes. (d) Orbits which pass very close to the Sun. (e) Dozens of moons. 4. Let's say we look at two distant galaxies, GalaxyAand Galaxy B. Galaxy B is twice as far away as GalaxyA. In that case, we see: (a) Galaxy B looking twice as young as GalaxyA (b) Galaxy B at an earlier time in the history of the universe than GalaxyA (c) Galaxy B looking twice as old as GalaxyA (d) Galaxy B looking two times dimmer than GalaxyA. (e) None of the above. 5. Which of the following is NOT a falsifiable hypothesis: (a) The number of stars in the Galaxy is more than the number of grains of sand on an average beach volleyball court. (b) Most people would say that they enjoy eating pizza. (c) 70% of people injected with the influenza virus will become ill. (d) Stars are made of hydrogen gas. (e) The Milky Way galaxy is very large. AST 101 MIDTERM 1, FALL 2011 PAGE 3 OF 9 6. Which of the following is NOT part of a good scientific theory? (a) Ascientific theory cannot be accepted until it has been proven true beyond all doubt. (b) Ascientific theory must make testable predictions that, if found to be incorrect, could lead to its own modification or demise. (c) Ascientific theory must explain a wide variety of phenomena observed in the natural world. (d) Ascientific theory should be based on natural processes and should not invoke the supernatural or divine. 7. Earth's distance from the Sun varies slightly as it completes its orbit. Earth is farthest from the Sun in July and closest to the Sun in January. During which Northern Hemisphere season is Earth moving fastest in its orbit? (a) Spring (b) Summer (c) Fall (d) Winter 8. Suppose a comet orbits the Sun in an elliptical (i.e. eccentric) orbit at an average distance of 1AU. How long does it take to complete each orbit, and how do we know? (a) Each orbit takes about 1 year, which we know from Kepler's third law. (b) It depends on the eccentricity of the orbit, as described by Kepler's second law. (c) It depends on the eccentricity of the orbit, as described by Kepler's first law. (d) Each orbit should take about 2 years, because the eccentricity is so large. 9. What makes the North Star, Polaris, special? (a) It is the brightest star in the sky. (b) It is the star straight overhead. (c) It appears very near the north celestial pole. (d) It is the star directly on your northern horizon. (e) It can be used to determine your longitude on Earth. 10. Earth's rotation axis is tilted at an angle of about 23.5 degrees. If Earth's axis were tilted twice as much as it is, then: (a) days in Toronto would be twice as long—about 48 hours in total. (b) magnets would no longer work on Earth (c) we would never see the Moon from Toronto (d) it would snow in July in Toronto (e) summers would be hotter and winters would be colder in Toronto AST 101 MIDTERM 1, FALL 2011 PAGE 4 OF 9 11. When someone on Earth observes the Moon in its new phase, someone on the Moon facing Earth observes Earth in the (a) new Earth phase. (b) first-quarter Earth phase. (c) crescent Earth phase. (d) third-quarter Earth phase. (e) full Earth phase. 12. When the Moon rises at sunrise, the phase of the Moon must be: (a) third quarter (b) first quarter (c) full (d) waxing crescent (e) new 13. Why does the Moon rise and set every day? (a) Because the Moon is orbiting the Earth. (b) Because Earth is rotating on its axis. (c) Because Earth is orbiting the Sun. (d) Because the Moon is rotating on its axis. (e) Because Earth and the Moon orbit the Sun together. 14. Which of the following statements about the Moon is true? (a) The Moon goes through a cycle of phases because it always has the same side facing Earth. (b) If you see a full Moon from NorthAmerica, someone in SouthAmerica would see a new moon. (c) The Moon's distance from Earth varies dur
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