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 are the differences and similarities between Copernicus's model and Ptolemy's model?

Question 2

What did Copernicus's model get right? What did it not get right?

Question 3

Why do we not feel the Earth move?

Question 4

Does a planet move faster or slower in its orbit if it's closer to the Sun?

Question 5

What is an example of a prediction that scientists can use to determine experimentally whether Copernicus's model or Ptolemy's model is more accurate?

Question 6

If I push an object in empty space with no friction and no other objects to collide with, what will its motion be like?

Question 7

I drop a 1 kg ball and a 2 kg ball to the ground. What does Aristotle predict about the speed in which each of the ball falls? What does Galileo predict? Which one of them is right?

Question 8

Why did the Catholic Church oppose Copernicus's heliocentric model?

Question 9

What were telescopes used for before Galileo started using them for astronomical observations?

Question 10

What are the two reasons that Galileo's discovery of the moons of Jupiter strengthen the heliocentric model?

Question 11

What does the heliocentric model say about humanity's role in the universe?

Question 12

What data did Tycho Brahe collect?

Question 13

What did Kepler discover about the shape of the orbits of the planets that was different from Ptolemy's and even Copernicus's models?

Question 14

How do the foci of an ellipse compare to the center of a circle?

Question 15

What is the difference between the major axis and the semi-major axis of an ellipse?

Question 16

A circle is a special case of an ellipse with a specific eccentricity. What is its eccentricity?

Question 17

According to Kepler's first law, where is the Sun located in relation to a planet's orbit?

Question 18

In simple terms, what does Kepler's second law say?

Question 19

A planet is moving at constant speed along its entire orbit. What can you say about the shape of this planet's orbit?

Question 20

What is the orbital period of the Earth?

Question 21

According to Kepler's third law, is the orbital period of Jupiter longer or shorter than that of Earth?

Question 22

"Kepler's laws explain the fundamental forces of nature responsible for movement in the solar system." True or false?

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