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Thread: 2nd Annual Astronomy Challenge

  1. #1
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    2nd Annual Astronomy Challenge

    This is another Bricker quiz, much like the last one, with similar rules, with one added feature: this time there are two acceptable answers to each question. Acceptable in what manner, you may ask? Acceptable to me, and just like last time, the answers could change if I am convinced I am wrong. Reviewing that previous quiz will be helpful, and it is also helpful to note that this is a USA-centric quiz (just don't take that too far.)

    1. What is the third largest planet in the solar system?
    2. What is the brightest star in the sky?
    3. What country is closest to the north magnetic pole of the Earth?
    4. What is the altitude of a perfectly geostationary satellite (hint: to the nearest 10,000 km)?
    5. Who was the first human in space?
    6. How many moons does Jupiter have?
    7. In 2003, what is the shortest day of the year?
    8. Who was the last person on the moon?
    9. How long does it take the moon to go around the Earth (to the nearest day)?
    10. How many questions are in this astronomy quiz?

  2. #2
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    Re: 2nd Annual Astronomy Challenge

    1. Pluto
    2. Polaris
    3. Panama
    4. parsec
    5. Al Gore
    6. plenty
    7. leap day
    8. Neil Armstrong
    9. 365 days
    10. 0

    Current scores
    0 kilopi

  3. #3
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    Do we get credit for supplying both answers? I'm going to try, anyway:

    1. Uranus (by diameter), Neptune (by mass).
    2. Sirius (apparent magnitude), Pistol Star (absolute magnitude).
    3. Canada (north the compass points to), Australia (what would be north on a magnet)
    4. 35,000 km (geostationary orbit), 155,822,900 km (Earth-Sun L4/L5 points, which are stable)
    5. Yuri Gagarin (first human in orbit), Alexei Leonov (first space walk)
    6. 61 (current known count), lots (because they're more we haven't found yet).
    7. December 21 (northern hemisphere), June 21 (southern hemisphere), February 6 (day I had the flu and slept till noon, then went to bed at 7)
    8. Gene Cernan (last to step off the Moon), Harrison Schmitt (last to step on the Moon)
    9. 27 days (to same position against background of stars), 29 days (full Moon to full Moon).
    10. 10, 9 (if you don't count this one)
    Everything I need to know I learned through Googling.

  4. #4
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    ToSeek seems to have done very well, but I disagree with him on some answers. For clarity, I'll only provide explanation on the ones that differ from his.

    1. Uranus, Neptune
    2. The Sun (since he didn't exclude it), Sirius (not including Sun)
    3. Canada, Australia
    4. 35,000 (altitude), 40,000 (geocentric distance)
    5. Yuri Gagarin (normal answer) Joseph Kittinger (30 km in 1957)
    6. 61, billions (including ring particles)
    7. December 21, June 21
    8. Gene Cernan, Harrison Schmitt
    9. 27 days, 29 days
    10. 9 or 10

  5. #5
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    Re: 2nd Annual Astronomy Challenge

    1. Neptune
    2. The Sun
    3. Canada
    4. 40,000km
    5. ?
    6. what is it now, 62? I think it's now changing daily.
    7. Whatever day in autumn we turn the clocks back (October 17?)
    8. ?
    9. 28 days
    10. 10 questions

    Rats, didn't have a clue to 20% of the questions.

  6. #6
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    Good answers! Some of them make it difficult to maintain my limit of only two answers for each question. Actually, I'm accepting a range of values for the answer to one question--and I'm uneasy with the response I'm sure to get.

    As in the last challenge, you can change your answers, but if your answer is wrong, your score will decrease. Please don't edit your previous posts. For instance, I could include the line

    6. 4, any answer more than 60

    and my previous answer of "plenty" is superceded. Highest possible score: 20

    Current scores
    15 waynek
    14 ToSeek
    6 TriangleMan
    2 kilopi

  7. #7
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    Hey I didn't realize that you would be scoring both answers, I figured that you just had to name one of the two. Here's the second set:

    1. Uranus
    2. Sirius
    3. Antarctica
    4. ?
    5. ?
    6. millions, counting all of the small rocks that make up the ring
    7. I think I get it now: Dec 21 (northern hemisphere) June 21 (southern hemisphere)
    8. ?
    9. 29 days?
    10. 11 questions (there was one in the opening paragraph)

  8. #8
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    In this case, TriangleMan, I'll accept those answers as in addition to the previous answers, instead of superceding the previous answers, with the exception of your two answers to question 7 (although I will remind everyone of my earlier comment that the answers will be USA-centric).

    Current scores
    15 waynek
    14 ToSeek
    9 TriangleMan
    2 kilopi

    PS: everyone is allowed to look at everyone else's paper

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by TriangleMan
    3. Antarctica
    Silly boy, Antarctica isn't a country!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by tracer
    Quote Originally Posted by TriangleMan
    3. Antarctica
    Silly boy, Antarctica isn't a country!
    The CIA seem to think it is. :P

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by TriangleMan
    The CIA seem to think it is.
    I dunno, this page at that CIA site seems to say differently.

  12. #12
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    I guess its moot anyway - a portion of it is set to become part of the Dominion of Melchizedek! Can I change my answer? :wink:

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by TriangleMan
    Can I change my answer?
    Absolutely! Just remember to include both answers to the question, so that there's no confusion about which answer you are replacing.

  14. #14
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    That's okay, I won't change my answer. It's too tempting to change the answer to the Dominion of Melchizedek!

    (Thread's starting to go OT so I'll just go away now.) Back to the Quiz everyone!

  15. #15
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    Ah, go ahead. The Bricker challenges are meant to be iterative, and cumulative, and you're supposed to borrow from others answers. Just look at Wiley's acceptance speech from last year.

  16. #16
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    1. What is the third largest planet in the solar system?

    a) Uranus (diameter)
    b) Neptune (Mass)

    2. What is the brightest star in the sky?

    a) The Sun
    b) Sirius (assuming that star means non-solar?)

    3. What country is closest to the north magnetic pole of the Earth?

    a) Canada (holds UN membership)
    b) Nunavat (self-governing area of above - could be accounted a country in the same sense as Scotland)

    4. What is the altitude of a perfectly geostationary satellite (hint: to the nearest 10,000 km)?

    Well...

    a) 35,700km (standard equatorial, zero eccentricity)
    b) There is no such thing as a perfectly geostationary satellite due to lunar and solar perturbations

    But I also considered:

    Indefinite - if thrust can be applied to the satellite. (But only works while your fuel holds out)
    Any distance less than 35,700 km if satellite is tethered to a body in a higher orbit and the masses balance just right
    Any distance less than 35,700 km if satellite is attached to a space elevator

    5. Who was the first human in space?

    a) By internationally accepted definition of space: Yuri Gagarin
    b) By USAF definition of space (>50 miles): Robert White (X-15) [but I'm not at all certain here]

    6. How many moons does Jupiter have?

    a) We don't know
    b) We've found 61

    7. In 2003, what is the shortest day of the year?

    a) December 22 (northern hemisphere)
    b) June 21 (southern hemisphere)

    8. Who was the last person on the moon?

    a) Gene Cernan (last living person - Apollo astronaut)
    b) Eugene Shoemaker (posthumously - ashes carried on Lunar Prospector)

    9. How long does it take the moon to go around the Earth (to the nearest day)?

    a) Time between full moons (Synodic period): 29.5 days
    b) Sidereal period (with respect to the stars): 27 days

    (difference due to the earth-moon system moving along in its orbit in that time)

    10. How many questions are in this astronomy quiz?

    a) 10
    b) 11 - if you count the preamble

  17. #17
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    Well, I didn't realise I could read other posts and change my answers. So...

    2 (actually has three answers)

    Canada (designated north due to geographical position)
    Australia (actual north pole in electromagnetic terms - Tasmania looks like the nearest large land mass to me, anyway)

    But instead of Australia, one could put France, since they have a territorial claim on Adelie Land in Antarctica. This, like all such claims is not internationally recognised, but neither is the USAF's definition of space...

    3 I won't actually change, but has a potential 3rd answer - c) we don't know (if we are talking absolute magnitude)

  18. #18
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    Excellent post, Grand Vizier, I'm scoring it a 13 (oops, 14, our posts crossed).

    I can see that I'm setting myself up for some arguments! Ah, well, it's my contest, and part of the contest is you have to read my mind. I gave away a couple answers just because I figured my answers would not be popular--but now you have to include those answers in your answers, to get credit.

    One more hint: in a couple questions, I mention that the answer is to be to the nearest day, or nearest 10,000 km. I've been giving credit for any answers which are higher precision, and closer to an actual answer than my answer.

  19. #19
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    All right, I'm going to try to take advantage of accumulated knowledge to up my score:

    2. Sun (apparent magnitude), Pistol Star (absolute magnitude)
    7. December 22 (winter solstice - I had the wrong day before), April 6 (daylight savings time begins)
    8. Gene Cernan, Gene Shoemaker (someone had the reasons above)
    Everything I need to know I learned through Googling.

  20. #20
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    Current scores
    15 waynek
    14 ToSeek
    14 Grand Vizier
    9 TriangleMan
    2 kilopi

    [Oops, the nine fell over when I was carting it over]

  21. #21
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    Huh? I dropped three points without changing any answers :-?

    [edited to add: Okay, fixed now, thanks kilopi.]

  22. #22
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    Just a quick question, but isn't there only one answer for third largest planet in the solar system. The answers given by mass would answer the question 'What is the third most massive planet in the solar system?'

    Or am I being really over picky...?

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mainframes
    Just a quick question, but isn't there only one answer for third largest planet in the solar system. The answers given by mass would answer the question 'What is the third most massive planet in the solar system?'

    Or am I being really over picky...?
    I must admit that I get muddled as to what 'largest' implies. I think I've settled for it meaning - by default (if unqualified) - 'largest in extent' (usually area or volume) but acknowledge that it can refer to another associated property. If I were writing an astronomy piece, I'd use 'most massive' if I was referring to mass to avoid ambiguity.

    But from www.dictionary.com...

    large ( P )
    adj. larg·er, larg·est
    Of greater than average size, extent, quantity, or amount; big. [...]
    So kilopi is following good usage by these criteria.

  24. #24
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    1) Neptune (Mass), Uranus (Diamter)

    2) The Sun

    3) Greenland, Chile

    4) 37,000 km

    5) ? sputnik :P

    6) 61 so far... or billions depends on what classifies as a moon

    7) All of my days off

    8) Tommy Lee Jones ( Space Cowboys ) That was real right :P

    9) 28 days

    10) 10

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mainframes
    Or am I being really over picky...?
    No, picky is good. This is the BABB after all.

    And congratulations everyone, we've matched the record number of players set in the last contest.

    Current scores
    15 waynek
    14 ToSeek
    14 Grand Vizier
    9 TriangleMan
    6 logicboy
    2 kilopi

    Sorry about the foulup TriangleMan. I'll make sure and do it again.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by kilopi
    For instance, I could include the line

    6. 4, any answer more than 60

    and my previous answer of "plenty" is superceded.
    Is this a hypothetical or is this part of your revised set of answers?
    Everything I need to know I learned through Googling.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by ToSeek
    Is this a hypothetical or is this part of your revised set of answers?
    I know I've screwed up TriangleMan's score, but I've fixed that--and my score is now 2!

  28. #28
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    OK, time to play catch-up.

    Changing 5b to Joseph Kittinger (I just wouldn't have thought of that programme)

    Moons of Jupiter:

    6. How many moons does Jupiter have?

    a) 61 (assuming all satellites are termed moons)
    b) 4 - the Galilean satellites (defining a 'moon' as a spheroidal satellite)

    [We had a recent thread about this, and some felt that 'satellite and 'moon' were synonyms, others (can't find the thread, but I'm trying to read Kilopi's mind here), that definition b) applied]

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by kilopi
    Quote Originally Posted by ToSeek
    Is this a hypothetical or is this part of your revised set of answers?
    I know I've screwed up TriangleMan's score, but I've fixed that--and my score is now 2!
    That doesn't answer my question.
    Everything I need to know I learned through Googling.

  30. #30
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    1. Uranus, Neptune
    2. The Sun , Pistol Star
    3. Canada, Australia
    4. 35,700, no perfectly stable geostationary orbit is possible (nothing is perfect)
    5. Yuri Gagarin, Joseph Kittinger
    6. 4, any answer larger than 60
    7. December 21, June 21
    8. Gene Cernan, Gene Shoemaker
    9. 27 days, 29 days
    10. 10 0r 20

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