Define the Following Terms in the Space Provided

SCI-103 Introductory Astronomy Exam #1 Spring 2012

This is a take home exam. You must turn the exam in at the very beginning of your class on Tuesday, Feb 12. No late exams will be accepted unless authorized prior to the due date/time.

Name______Class Meeting Time______

Grade Summary (To be completed by the Instructor)

HW #1______(out of 20 points)

HW #2______(out of 20 points)

HW #3______(out of 20 points)

Extra-Credit Work ______

Exam #1 ______(54 points total)

Grade So Far ______

Answer the following Multiple Choice Questions by circling the correct response.

1)  Imagine that you are visiting Antarctica on a cruise to see penguins. You step outside at night and look at the stars. Where would you look to see the South Celestial Pole?

A)  North, near the horizon (0° altitude)

B)  Near the zenith (90°altitude)

C)  North, near 43° altitude

D)  Northwest, in the direction towards the U.S.A.

E)  The SCP cannot be seen from this location.

2)  During Spring Break you and your friends plan to travel south to Cancun, Mexico for a week of sun and fun. You arrive in Cancun on a clear night. You look up at the stars and notice that they appear different that the stars you see in Syracuse, NY. Which of the statements below is true regarding the appearance of the stars in Cancun? Circle all that are true.

A)  Polaris will appear higher in the sky than as seen in Syracuse.

B)  The circumpolar region will appear smaller compared to its size in Syracuse.

C)  Stars will complete one cycle in the same time as seen in Syracuse.

D)  You can see stars in the southern sky that are not visible from Syracuse.

3)  The long exposure image of star trails shown below was taken while looking toward the east. From which of the locations listed below was the image obtained?

A)  Sydney, Australia (Latitude 34° S)

B)  Lima, Peru (Latitude 12° S)

C)  Quito, Equador (Latitude 0° N)

D)  Canary Islands (Latitude 29° N)

E)  Berlin, Germany (Latitude 52° N)

4)  Which of the following locations is closest to the north celestial pole?

A)  RA = 14 h dec = -85°

B)  RA = 0 h dec = -43°

C)  RA = 23 h dec = +43°

D)  RA = 14 h dec = +85°

E)  RA = 8 h dec = -2°

5)  Which of the following coordinates in your local horizon system (in Syracuse, NY at 43° N) is closest to the zenith?

A)  Az. = 180°, Al. =43°

B)  Az. = 273°, Al. =52°

C)  Az. = 90°, Al. = 90°

D)  Az. = 35°, Al. = 2°

E)  Az. = 3°, Al. = 48°

6)  Imagine that you are observing the stars at an observatory located outside El Paso, Texas (latitude = 32°N). You may find the diagram below helpful.

A)  At what altitude would Polaris appear above the northern horizon?

B)  Would a star with a declination of +60° be circumpolar? Explain.

C)  What would be altitude of the Celestial Equator looking south?

D)  Would you be able to observe stars as far south as -50° declination? Explain.

E)  Where would the celestial equator intersect the horizon?

Questions 7 and 8 below address the apparent motion of the stars as seen by an observer in El Paso, Texas. A map of the United States below indicates the location of this city.

7)  If a particular star passed through the meridian in Syracuse, NY, how many hours before that same star crossed the meridian in El Paso TX (see map at the beginning of the problem)?

A)  1 hr

B)  2 hr

C)  3 hr

D)  4 hr

E)  5 hr

8)  In each of the boxes below, sketch carefully the apparent motion of the stars as seen in El Paso Texas looking north, east and south. Include all quantitative information and timescales regarding the apparent motions. Use the margins to record any notes regarding the apparent motions you think are relevant.

Answer the following six questions referring to the Whole Sky Map below.

9)  What is the name of the point labeled C? ______

10) When the Sun is at point B where will it rise along the local observer’s horizon? (Assume a northern hemisphere observer.) Justify your answer using properties (rules) of the celestial sphere.

11) At which of the labeled points A through D will the Sun be above the horizon for the shortest time for an observer at Syracuse, NY?

12) What is the declination of the Sun at the point labeled D? ______

13) At which of the labeled points will the Sun set to the south of west?______

The date is Dec 22. You observe that the Sun sets that day along the horizon as shown in figure below.

14) One week later will the Sun set at

A.  the same location along the horizon,

B.  to the right of the location shown above, or

C.  to the left of the location shown above?

The image below illustrates the path of the Sun across the sky on three different days as seen from Syracuse, NY.

15) Which of the paths labeled A, B or C, could represent the path of the Sun on Mar 22?

A)  A

B)  B

C)  C

D)  More information is needed to answer the question

E)  None of the above.

16) Which of the paths labeled A, B or C, could represent the path of the Sun the Winter Solstice?

A)  A

B)  B

C)  C

D)  More information is needed to answer the question

E)  None of the above.

17) Which of the paths labeled A, B or C, could represent a day with 9 hours of daylight?

A)  A

B)  B

C)  C

D)  More information is needed to answer the question

E)  None of the above.


18) The image to the right illustrates the shadow cast by a vertical pole placed in the northern hemisphere of the Earth at noon on September 22. One week later, would the shadow cast by the pole be shorter, the same length or longer? Explain in a few sentences.

The image below shows the Sun at the meridian.

19) What constellation did the Sun rise in on the day the image above was taken?


A.  Virgo

B.  Libra

C.  Scorpius

D.  Ophiuchus

E.  Sagittarius


20) We have presented in the class the concept of the Sun as a moving star to explain its apparent annual motion. Equivalently, the apparent annual motion of the Sun could be explained by the real motion of the Earth. In a few sentences explain why the solar day is a different length from the sidereal day using the aspects of the real motion of the Earth.

21) The concept of the celestial sphere is ancient appearing in the oldest records of astronomical writings. In spite of its ancient beginnings, the celestial sphere concept is still taught today as a core component in celestial navigation classes for mariners and pilots. In a brief essay (10 to 20 sentences), describe the celestial sphere. Include its “geography”, its relation to the Earth’s geography, its apparent motion and any quantitative information pertaining to the apparent motion of the celestial sphere. Use the next page to write your essay on.

Astronomy Formula and Constants Sheet for Exams