Astronomy Quiz – True Or False?

It’s quiz time!

This week we will do a true-or-false astronomy edition here on my blog! Below you will find 10 statements that are either true or false. Click each statement to read the answer and see if you got it right.

Are you up for it? Let’s go!

It’s space quiz time!

1: There are more stars in the universe than grains of sand on all beaches on Earth.

True.

The universe is estimated to contain some 100 billion trillion stars (that’s 100,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 stars).

The world’s beaches is estimated to contain some 5 billion trillion sand grains.

These numbers are of course very rough, but the sheer fact that those numbers are even comparable is enough to blow my mind. And maybe also yours?

2: A spoon of neutron star weighs the same as Mount Everest.

True.

A spoon of neutron star weighs 900 billion kg. For comparison, a spoon from the Sun’s core would weigh around 1 kg here on Earth. Neutron stars are mind-boggling!

3: Earth is the only place where we have found normal water.

False.

Water, H2O, is found many places in space, e.g. in nebula, throughout dust clouds, as traces on Mars and even around a black hole. Water is everywhere.

4: When the solar system was less than 800 million years old, the Sun would rise in the West when viewed from Earth.

Total lie. I just made that up.

Did you believe it was true? With all the other weird stuff that goes on in space, then it very well could be! But it’s not.

5: The radius of the observable universe is 46 billion light-years.

True. Yes, really, it is!

46 billion light-years is the distance a photon will travel if it propagates freely for 46 billion years.

The universe is only 14 billion years old, so the photons in space only had 14 billion years to propagate freely. Yet, they seem to have managed to travel 46 billion light-years.

This is because of the expansion of the universe.

6: Earth is the only known place where people play golf.

False.

In 1971, a NASA astronaut played a short round of golf on the Moon. He hit two golf balls with his club, the furthest landing 37 meters away. On Earth a golf ball easily travels over 100 meters, so it will be a while before our Earthly golf sport is threatened by space golfers.

7: Every planet in the solar system has been visited by an Earthly spacecraft.

True.

Mercury was visited for the first time in 1974 when NASA’s Mariner 10 made a flyby, but no spacecraft ever landed on the surface. The planet is simply not as interesting as some of its neighbors from a space mission perspective.

Venus had its first flyby in 1961 from Soviet’s Venera 1. The first crash-landing was a few years later by Venera 3.

Mars had its first flyby in 1965 from NASA’s Mariner 4. The first successful surface landing was in 1971 by Soviet’s Mars 3.

Jupiter had its first flyby in 1973 by NASA’s Pioneer 10. (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune all have gaseous surfaces so it is not possible to land there.)

Saturn had its first flyby in 1979 by NASA’s Pioneer 11.

Uranus was viewed up close for the first time in 1986 when NASA’s Voyager 2 flew by.

Neptune later got its first visit, in 1989, by the same spacecraft, Voyager 2.

8: There are more trees on Earth than stars in the Milky Way.

True.

There are a few trillion trees on Earth, but “only” a few hundred billion stars in our galaxy.

9: Stars, dust, planets, comets, galaxies and gas make up most of the content in the universe.

False.

All the normal stuff we know is called baryonic matter. Adding all this together only makes up 5% of the content in the universe.

The remaining 95% is dark matter and dark energy – and no one has really figured either of those out yet.

10: A day on Venus is longer than a year.

True.

It takes Venus less time to orbit the Sun once, than it takes Venus to spin once around its own axis.


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