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Review Questions for Chapter 21 – Stars, Galaxies and the Big Bang


1.      What are constellations?  What are some examples?

2.      What is a circumpolar constellation?  What are some examples?

3.      Explain Earth’s movement and how it relates to the movement of the stars.

4.      What is Polaris, and what is unique about it?

5.      What is the zodiac, and what is the difference between its use by astronomers and astrologers?

6.      What unit of measure is usually used within our solar system, and what is it equal to?

7.      What is meant by light year?

8.      What is one light year?

9.      How do stars differ from each other?

10.  How do we really tell one star from another (what is the “fingerprint”)?

11.  What is apparent magnitude?

12.  What is luminosity? What does it depend on?

13.  What is absolute magnitude?  How does it relate to luminosity?

14.  Which is brighter, an apparent magnitude of -2 or +3?

15.  What is the process in stars that produces light and what are the elements involved?

16.  What is the expected life cycle of our Sun?

17.  What are the characteristics of giants, supergiants, white dwarfs, and main sequence stars?

18.  How are the above star types related to the Hertsprung-Russell (H-R) diagram?

19.  What is each axis in an H-R diagram?

20.  What is a neutron star?

21.  What is a black hole?

22.  What is a super-nova?

23.  What are nebulae?

24.  What is the major factor in determining whether a star dies by becoming a white dwarf, or exploding and becoming a neutron star or black hole?

25.  What is our galaxy, and what type is it?

26.  What are the four evidences supporting the Big Bang Theory?

27.  When did the Big Bang occur, and was our planet created at the same time?  If not, what happened (in general)?