ASTR 1P01/02: Introduction to Astronomy I/II
Practice Questions

Please solve the following questions. This is not an assignment, it will not be graded, and you do not need to submit your solutions to anyone. The questions are simply intended to help you practice for the exam.

These questions will not appear in the exam itself. Students who don't genuinely attempt to solve the questions on their own, and only memorize the solutions, will have a very hard time in the actual exam!

These questions are not multiple-choice, to encourage you to think of the answers on your own, but the questions in the actual exam will be multiple-choice.

If you need any clarifications for these questions, you can ask for them on the course Teams channel.

Question 1

What can you find more of in the universe: stars with 1 solar mass or stars with 2 solar masses?

Question 2

What is the Pauli exclusion principle?

Question 3

What causes degeneracy pressure?

Question 4

What is the Chandrasekhar limit?

Question 5

What is a black dwarf? Have any been observed?

Question 6

What is a compact object?

Question 7

Consider a star that is massive enough to fuse iron. At the end of its life, just before nuclear fusion stops, where would you expect to find this iron? What about hydrogen? And other elements?

Question 8

What is electron capture?

Question 9

Compared to white dwarfs, are neutron stars typically larger or smaller?

Question 10

I have 10 cubic centimeters of neutron star material in my pocket. How much do my pants weigh?

Question 11

What is the TOV limit?

Question 12

Tungsten, an element with atomic number 74 (meaning it has 74 protons), is the heaviest element known to have a biological role, as it is used in some bacteria and archaea. Where did that tungsten come from?

Question 13

Consider a star with an initial mass of 0.15 solar masses. What will be this star's final state?

Question 14

What are the nova and supernova types we learned about?

Question 15

Why do neutron stars spin so fast?

Question 16

Can we see all the pulsars in the galaxy?

Question 17

What happens to pulsars over time?

Question 18

What are magnetars?

Question 19

How will aliens who find the Pioneer plaques be able to locate Earth?

Question 20

John Wheeler said: "Matter tells spacetime how to curve; spacetime tells matter how to move." Explain what each part means.

Question 21

What is a geodesic?

Question 22

Why is there no type of stellar remnant between neutron stars and black holes?

Question 23

Why is it impossible to escape a black hole?

Question 24

Let's say I have a spaceship that can reach half the speed of light. Of course, I cannot escape a black hole with my spaceship - since nothing can escape a black hole. But is it possible that there's an object that is NOT a black hole, and yet I cannot escape it either?

Question 25

The Schwarzschild radius of a black hole with 10 solar masses is around 30 km. What is the Schwarzschild radius of a black hole with 20 solar masses?

Question 26

If the Sun was suddenly compressed into a black hole (keeping its mass the same), what would be the radius of the event horizon? What do you think would happen to Earth's orbit?

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