Astronomy and Space Quiz Questions
Astronomy and Space Quiz Part 1
1. What is a supernova?
Answer: Supernovae are exploding stars, or the explosion of a star that is at least ten times larger than the Sun
2. What is a planet?
Answer: A planet is a big body that orbits the sun in space. The most popular planets are named after Roman gods, such as “Jupiter”. Uranus and Neptune are not named after Roman gods, but are called “ice giants”
3. What is a galaxy?
Answer: The galaxies are the large systems of stars, gas and dust. The word galaxy comes from the Greek galaxias which means ‘the milky one’, since when we observe the sky with our naked eyes almost all the stars seems to form a white streak of light formed by a lot of small points.
Facts about galaxies
The largest galaxy in the Universe is Messier 87 (M87), it’s a giant elliptical galaxy located in the center of Virgo Cluster. It is 5 times larger than our galaxy ( Milky Way ), has 10 times more mass and 15 times more luminous than our galaxy. The second-largest galaxy is IC 1101, it’s a giant elliptical galaxy located in Corvus constellation .
4. What are planets made of?
Answer: Planets are made out of rock, gas, and sometimes ice. Giant planets have mostly gas and ice, while smaller ones have a lot more rock. All the planets together added up would make up less than one percent of the solar system!
5. What is Nebula?
Answer: A nebula is a glowing cloud of gas in outer space that is sometimes called “the birthplace of stars”. There is no proof to show why they have this name though, because no one really knows exactly how they are created or why it happens in space.
6. What is a comet?
Answer: A comet is a giant ball of ice and dust that travels in an elliptical orbit around the Sun. There are four kinds of comets: short-period comets, long-period comets, Halley-type comets, and Jupiter-family comets. Sometimes they can be seen from Earth with a telescope if they orbit close enough to Earth. It is possible to see them when they pass by the Sun or even at night in the sky.
7. What happens to comets after they have gone by the sun?
Answer: After they go by the sun, some end up as meteor showers.
8. What are the two most dangerous objects in space?
Answer: The most dangerous objects in space are asteroids and comets. Asteroids and comets are usually too small to be seen by scientists, but sometimes they are big enough to destroy our planet! Some of these may have hit Earth before, like the Meteor Crater in Arizona. An asteroid would be able to cause a lot of damage if it hit us today. All that would be left is glass and dust! A comet could hit Earth too, but it would leave behind even more destruction than an asteroid because the comet’s chunks of ice would melt on their way through our atmosphere creating huge floods when they finally crashed into Earth.
9. What are the four largest planets?
Answer: The four largest planets in order of size are Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune.
10. What is a star?
Answer: Stars are huge balls of gas that produce heat and light by taking in more matter than they give off. They can come in different colors such as white, blue, red or even yellowish orange(called a ‘giant’ star). The Sun is a medium-sized star. These stars have been around for billions of years but eventually, their fuel will run out and they will become cold and black-dead stars called ‘white dwarfs’.
11. What is a black hole?
Answer: A black hole is an object so dense that even light cannot escape its gravitational pull. There are two kinds of black holes, ‘stellar’ and ‘supermassive’. A stellar black hole forms when a star dies and collapses in on itself, while a supermassive black hole forms when several stars collide and create an object so dense that nothing can escape it. They are invisible because the light from the objects behind them cannot reach us. It is impossible to know if one exists in our galaxy but it has been found in other galaxies. (Artist’s concept of a supermassive black hole)
12. What is a binary star system?
Answer: A binary star system is when two stars are close enough to their own orbit that they will live together. They are connected by the glue of gravity and will orbit together as long as they live, which could be millions or even billions of years!
13. What are the main parts of the universe?
Answer: The universe as we know it is made up of three main parts: the solar system, the galaxy, and the universe. The solar system is made up of the Sun, planets and other bodies that orbit around it. Galaxies are small systems that have like thousands of stars in them and can contain a hundred billion to a trillion or more stars! Then there are galaxies that make a group called a cluster, which is made up of groups of clusters. These clusters eventually make up what we call the universe, which has an unknown amount of galaxies in it.
14. What are the planets’ colors?
Answer: The Solar System is made up of eight planets and their moons. They are: Mercury is Greenish-Black, Venus is a bright yellowish color, Earth is Burnt Orange, Mars a powdery red sand color, Jupiter a medium brown color, Saturn a light blue with many rings around it. Uranus Purple with many rings around it. And Neptune very whitish-blueish-green and has many dark blue rings around it.
15. What are the planets’ sizes and how long do they take to orbit the sun?
Answer: Mercury and Venus are closest to the Sun at 36 million km (24.8 million mi) from the Sun. Earth is at 150 million km (93 million mi). Mars is at 228,000,000 km. Jupiter is at 778 million km. Saturn at 1,433million km Neptune is a very large planet that takes almost 165 years to orbit the sun and Pluto has an orbit of 3,600 years.
16. What are the sun’s colors?
Answer: Technically, the Sun is “White”. The Sun actually gives off all the colors in the rainbow. That is why you can see a rainbow right after it rains. When all of its colors are blended together, we see white.
17. Do the planets have moons?
Answer: The planets in our solar system that have moons are Jupiter, Earth, Mars, Saturn and Neptune.
18. What are the differences between a planet and a star?
Answer: Planets orbit around stars (called suns). The planets we know of orbit the sun in an oval or circular path. Moons also orbit around planets. Planets are made out of matter that is heavier than gas. A star is made out of gases such as hydrogen, helium and oxygen. A planet can also be smaller than a star at times.
19. Why do some people think that Pluto is not a planet?
Answer: Pluto was originally thought to be the planet farthest from the Sun. However, in 2005, scientists discovered another planet farther away from the sun than Pluto. Now astronomers are debating whether or not to make Pluto one of the smaller bodies orbiting the sun instead of a planet. Some people say that Pluto does not go around (or orbit) the Sun because it is too small to do so and that it should be put with other smaller bodies such as comets, asteroids and meteoroids instead of planets.
20. What was the first planet discovered?
Answer: William Hershel, an English astronomer, discovered Uranus while stargazing through a telescope in 1781.
21. What year did people know that there were three planets?
Answer: People did not know there were three planets until 1845 when they noticed Neptune through a telescope.
22. Is Pluto a planet or a comet? Why?
Answer: Pluto is a comet because it travels around our Sun and orbits very far away from the Sun. Because of this, some people say that Pluto should not be associated with other planets but with comets instead.
23. What is a nebula and what is the difference between a nebula and a galaxy?
Answer: A nebula is a large cloud of gas and dust that floats in outer space. Its name came from the Latin word ‘nebulus’ meaning ‘fuzzy’ or ‘hazy’. Nebulas are different from galaxies because they are smaller, have shorter lives, and have fewer stars than galaxies.
24. Why do stars radiate energy?
Answer: Stars emit radiation because they are made of gases that are compressed together tightly. The more gas there is crammed into the star, the more intense its radiation will be. We see these gases as light when they are released and we call these stars hot. The hotter the star, the more radiation it gives off. This radiation is what makes a star shine.
25. How does gravity act upon a planet?
Answer: Gravity holds all of the planets in place as they orbit around the Sun. If it were not for gravity, the planets would fly off into space and leave our solar system because there is nothing to hold them in place but themselves and other planets’ gravity.
26. What are dwarf planets?
Answer: Dwarf planets are not fully-developed bodies like moons or comets; instead they are smaller bodies that have a shape that resembles a true planetary body (spherical). They have a solid shell of material around them that is thousands to millions of kilometers thick. Some dwarf planets may not have a shell at all. The dwarf planets that do exist are: Ceres, Pluto, Eris, Makemake, Haumea and Sedna.
27. What are the planets in order from closest to farthest from the sun?
Answer: Mercury (the closest planet to the Sun), Venus (The second closest planet to the Sun), Earth (Third), Mars (Fourth) and Jupiter (Fifth)
28. What are some facts about Earth?
Answer: The Earth is the third planet from the Sun, and is at an average distance of 150 Million km (93 Million Miles) away from it. It takes approximately a year for our planet to complete one rotation on its axis, and a day to complete one rotation around the Sun (known as a sidereal day). The Earth has one moon and rotates counterclockwise when viewed from above the North Pole.
29. What is the farthest planet from the Sun?
Answer: The farthest planet from the Sun is Neptune. It takes approximately 165 years to make one orbit around our sun. The next farthest planet is Pluto, which has an orbit of over 3,600 years.
30. What are the biggest planets?
Answer: The biggest planets are Jupiter and Saturn. Jupiter is big because it’s so close to the sun and far away from all other planets. Saturn is big because it is made of gas and liquid.
31. What are the closest planets to the Sun?
Answer: The closest planets to the Sun are Mercury and Venus. Mercury is closest to the Sun during some parts of its orbit, and Venus is closest for other parts of its orbit.
32. Why do stars disappear every night?
Answer: Every night, stars go away because they get covered by clouds in the sky. At sunset, you can see all the stars because you have no clouds blocking them out!
33. What are constellations?
Answer: Constellations are groups of stars. The stars look like shapes in the sky and they have been seen like this for thousands of years. One of the oldest constellations is the Big Dipper, which people have been seen for over 4,000 years.
34. What are the three main types of galaxies?
Answer: The three main types of galaxies are: spirals, ellipticals, and irregulars. Spirals have arms that come off of the center, and they have many stars in them. Ellipticals have no arms and very few stars in them. Irregulars have no shape to them at all, and they form when smaller galaxies merge together.
35. What is an aurora?
Answer: An aurora is a display of light in the sky caused by the collision of charged particles with atoms high up in our atmosphere. The charged particles come in from the Sun and get “caught” by the Earth’s magnetic field, and we see this as an aurora.
36. What is a solar system?
Answer: A solar system is a group of stars, planets, and other objects that move around one star. Our solar system has the sun and all the planets in our solar system. There are billions of stars out there, but not all systems have multiple stars or planets.
37. What type of galaxies do we live in?
Answer: We live in an irregular galaxy called the Milky Way galaxy. It has more gas and dust than normal galaxies and contains over 100 billion stars! Stars in our galaxy are mostly older than younger ones because they are closer to the center of our galaxy where the gravity pulls them down faster, so they die faster too. We can see this by looking at other galaxies.
Astronomy and Space Quiz Part 2
38. One rotation of the moon takes about:
Answer: 27 days.
39. Mare means sea, but are found on rocky planets and the moon. True or False?
40. Craters on the moon’s surface are formed by:
41. Approximately how many high and low tides are there in a period of 24 hours?
Answer: 2 high and 2 low.
42. Centaurs are half asteroid-half comet objects in orbits between Jupiter and Neptune. True or False?
43. In what order of alignment are the sun, the earth and the moon in a solar eclipse?
Answer: Sun, moon, earth.
44. To find an object in the sky, which two coordinates are needed?
Answer: Altitude and azimuth.
45. The tilt of the earth on its axis causes:
Answer: Day and night to be of different lengths in different parts of the world.
46. ____ can be described as large dirty, icy snowballs.
47. The constellations that travel directly overhead in the same path as the sun are the:
Answer: Zodiac constellations.
48. The number of degrees that a star is positioned above the horizon is its:
49. The colour of the coolest stars is:
50. The most likely final form of our sun in its life cycle is a:
Answer: Black dwarf.
51. The light and heat generated by stars is the result of:
Answer: Nuclear fusion.
52. The seasons depend on:
Answer: The angle of sunlight at different parts of the world.
53. A lunar eclipse occurs when people on earth cannot see the:
54. The tides which cause the most damages to our beaches and occur at full and new moon phases are:
Answer: Spring tides.
55. Full Moon occurs when the sun, the earth and the moon are:
Answer: In a line.
56. The ‘seas’ on the moon are actually:
Answer: Smooth rock plains probably formed from volcanic activity.
57. “Moonlight” is an incorrect term because:
Answer: The moon reflects light from the sun.
58. The horned shape of the moon is called a:
59. The tides that occur at the first and last quarter phases are:
60. At any one time, the amount of the earth illuminated by sunlight is:
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