Name: _______________________________________________________                                                      

                                                        Astronomy Test 1


Select the best answer to the following.

1.        Constellations appear to move across the sky at night because

a.       the Earth orbits the Sun

b.      the Earth spins on its axis

c.       the stars move through the constellations


2.       What is the apparent path that the Sun follows through the constellations as viewed from Earth?

a.       the celestial equator

b.      the horizon

c.       the ecliptic


3.       How long does it take the Sun to complete one circuit of the ecliptic?

a.       one month

b.      one day

c.       one year


4.       What causes Earth to experience seasons?

a.       Earth’s rotational axis

b.      Earth wobbles on its axis

c.       Earth is tilted 23.5 degrees on its axis


5.       The vernal equinox marks the beginning of

a.       spring

b.      summer

c.       fall


6.       Precession is caused by

a.       the gravitational pull of the Moon

b.      the gravitational pull of the Sun and Moon

c.       the gravitational pull towards the center of Earth


7.       Stars in a constellation are

a.       about the same distance apart

b.      about the same distance from Earth

c.       in the same region of the sky


8.       The length of a solar day is measured by

a.       noon to noon (24 hours)

b.      23 hours,  56 minutes, 4 seconds

c.       one rotation on Earth’s axis


9.       The length of a tropical year is

a.       365 days

b.      about 20 minutes shorter than a tropical year

c.       from sun rise to sun set


10.   Our galaxy belongs to a group of galaxies called the

a.       Andromeda

b.      Local Group

c.       Greenhouse Effect

                                Draw and label the celestial sphere with the following terms:  celestial equator, horizon, zenith, nadir, ecliptic, north celestial pole, south celestial pole, lines of declination, lines of right ascension, vernal equinox. (10 points)

                Match the following terms with their definition. Write the letter in front of each number.

1.       altitude                                                                a. Latin meaning is “equal night”

2.       azimuth                                                b. Earth’s spin around its axis

3.       equinox                                                               c. circumference of Earth

4.       solstice                                                 d. apparent daily motion from east to west of celestial objects

5.       autumnal equinox                           e. diameter of Milky Way

6.       vernal equinox                                  f. the study of the universe

7.       winter solstice                                   g. the path of orbit of one celestial body around another

8.       summer solstice                               h. September 21

9.       diurnal motion                                  i. Latin meaning is “sun to stand”

10.   100,000 light years                           j. the longest day of the year

11.   universe                                              k. the shortest day of the year

12.   astronomy                                          l. March 21

13.   rotation                                                m. angular distance measured up from the horizon

14.   revolution                                           n. angular distance measured along the horizon

15.   24,000 miles                                       o. totality of all space, time, matter, and energy


                Answer the following with as much detail as you can. 

1.        Explain why and how we adjust our calendars for leap year.

2.       Explain why the Sun appears to rise in the east and set in the west.

3.       Explain why we can see the Milky Way stars in the summer nighttime sky.

4.       Name our “northern star” and explain how you can find it in the night sky.

5.       Draw, label, and explain why there is a difference in a solar day and a sidereal day.

6.       Give the degrees of the circumference of a circle, an arc degree, an arc minute, and an arc second.

7.       What is the speed of light?

8.       Name the stars that make up the “Summer Triangle” and are the brightest stars in the summer night time sky.

9.       Name the star that is brightest in the winter night time sky.

10.   Tell how many total stars can be viewed in the night time sky when considering both the Northern Hemisphere and the Southern Hemisphere.

11.   How many constellations are there?

12.   What type of galaxy is our Milky Way?


Bonus:  Draw a constellation of your choice and relate an ancient myth associated with the constellation. (10 pts.)