How Much Do You Know About the Universe?

Can you recognize certain constellations, galaxies, and planets?

Introduction

We owe it to ourselves to learn about the vast and beautiful galaxy that our little blue planet inhabits. Famed astrophysicist Carl Sagan explains this wonderfully in his “Pale Blue Dot” speech, contextualizing Earth’s place in the cosmos:

“Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every ‘superstar,’ every ‘supreme leader,’ every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there-on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.”

At QuizHook, we offer you a new favorite way to get in touch with the night sky: From the comfort of the indoors on your phone or computer, of course. On some questions in this quiz, you will identify celestial bodies, constellations, planets, or galaxies. Other questions will test your knowledge about how the universe works. Ace this quiz, and when you go outside to look at the night sky, you can impress your friends (or that special someone) with your knowledge about outer space, and the processes and objects that make it up. There are apps that help you locate constellations in the night sky, but those can only go so far. They won’t tell you how the constellation Cancer got its name, or which president thought a planet was actually a UFO. And most importantly, they won’t test your knowledge of these facts! So, are you an astronomer-to-be? Take this quiz to find out!

Description

We owe it to ourselves to learn about the vast and beautiful galaxy that our little blue planet inhabits. Famed astrophysicist Carl Sagan explains this wonderfully in his “Pale Blue Dot” speech, contextualizing Earth’s place in the cosmos:

“Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every ‘superstar,’ every ‘supreme leader,’ every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there-on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.”

At QuizHook, we offer you a new favorite way to get in touch with the night sky: From the comfort of the indoors on your phone or computer, of course. On some questions in this quiz, you will identify celestial bodies, constellations, planets, or galaxies. Other questions will test your knowledge about how the universe works. Ace this quiz, and when you go outside to look at the night sky, you can impress your friends (or that special someone) with your knowledge about outer space, and the processes and objects that make it up. There are apps that help you locate constellations in the night sky, but those can only go so far. They won’t tell you how the constellation Cancer got its name, or which president thought a planet was actually a UFO. And most importantly, they won’t test your knowledge of these facts! So, are you an astronomer-to-be? Take this quiz to find out!

Short Description

Identify these celestial bodies and prove you know how our strange and magnificent universe works!


About Quizhook

Welcome to QuizHook, your #1 site for quizzes, brain teasers, and knowledge-testing exercises and your #12 site for fishing-related puns. Our mission is to make education fun! Try your hand at a few quizzes, and you’ll be hooked. Whether you’re studying for a state capitals test, or brushing up on your knowledge of cat breeds for your next trivia night, QuizHook can provide all the right questions and answers to help you flex that brain muscle of yours. And if you just thought, “Hey! The brain is an organ, not a muscle,” then you’ve passed your first quiz already. So go explore our site—we guarantee you'll have a reel-y great time!


Let's Play!

1. What is the speed of light?


1. What is the speed of light?

1. 186,000 miles/hour

2. Infinite

3. 186,000 miles/second

4. 650,000 km/second

The correct answer is 186,000 miles/second. This is the fastest speed in the universe.



2. Who developed the general theory of relativity?


2. Who developed the general theory of relativity?

1. Stephen Hawking

2. Isaac Newton

3. Albert Einstein

4. Neils Bohr

The correct answer is Albert Einstein. It took Einstein six weeks to complete his special theory of relativity. It took him nine years to complete his general theory of relativity.



3. Which type of matter is most plentiful in the universe?


3. Which type of matter is most plentiful in the universe?

1. Protons

2. Electrons

3. Dark matter

4. Neutrinos

The correct answer is dark matter. Dark matter is only perceived by its gravitational effects.



4. How old is the Earth in years?


4. How old is the Earth in years?

1. 4.5 billion

2. 3 billion

3. 400 million

4. 7 billion

The correct answer is 4.5 billion years. The Sun is only slightly older at roughly 4.6 billion.



5. Einstein received the Nobel Prize for what discovery?


5. Einstein received the Nobel Prize for what discovery?

1. Theory of Relativity

2. Compton effect

3. Photoelectric effect

4. Gravitational lensing

The correct answer is the photoelectric effect. This led to the beginning of Quantum Physics, called the Quantum Revolution.



6. Which constellation is this?


6. Which constellation is this?

1. Orion

2. Scorpio

3. Cancer

4. Ursa Minor

The correct answer is Orion, also known as the Great Hunter.



7. Which of these planets rotates in the opposite direction of the others?


7. Which of these planets rotates in the opposite direction of the others?

1. Jupiter

2. Mars

3. Saturn

4. Venus

The correct answer is Venus. Scientists cannot explain this phenomenon.



8. What makes up 70% of the universe?


8. What makes up 70% of the universe?

1. Dark energy

2. Dark matter

3. Empty space

4. Gravitational fields

Dark energy makes up the majority of the universe and causes it to expand.



9. How old is the universe in years?


9. How old is the universe in years?

1. 14.5 billion

2. 10 billion

3. 50 billion

4. 500 million

The universe is 14.5 billion years old. The speed of light is used to date the universe.



10. Which planet is tilted on its side?


10. Which planet is tilted on its side?

1. Venus

2. Uranus

3. Mercury

4. Neptune

The correct answer is Uranus. This tilt was likely caused by a collision with another planet.



11. Which constellation is this?


11. Which constellation is this?

1. Little Dipper

2. Big Dipper

3. Ledalis Major

4. Cornu

The correct answer is the Big Dipper. It is one of the most widely recognized semi-constellations.



12. Most stars in the universe are which of the following types?


12. Most stars in the universe are which of the following types?

1. Singular

2. Binary

3. Trinary

4. Unbound rogues

The correct answer is binary. Most stars are gravitationally bound to another star, but our sun flies solo.



13. Supernova remnants may collapse into which of the following?


13. Supernova remnants may collapse into which of the following?

1. Red dwarfs

2. Brown dwarfs

3. Black holes

4. Quasars

The correct answer is black holes. This is only true of some supernovas, however.



14. What is the speed of gravity?


14. What is the speed of gravity?

1. Infinite

2. Speed of light

3. Zero

4. 1/distance squared

The correct answer is the speed of light. If our sun disappeared, the Earth would continue in its orbit for 8 minutes and would then fly off into space.



15. What is a pulsar?


15. What is a pulsar?

1. A star that glows and dims

2. A rotating neutron star

3. A pulsating galaxy

4. A type IIA supernova

A pulsar is a rotating neutron star. Neutron stars can rotate several hundred times per second.



16. Relative to time on Earth, what happens to time in a strong gravitational field?


16. Relative to time on Earth, what happens to time in a strong gravitational field?

1. It accelerates

2. It stops

3. It remains the same

4. It slows down

The correct answer is that it slows down. Velocity has the same effect. The faster you go, the slower your time moves relative to "still" observers.



17. The point of no return surrounding a black hole is called what?


17. The point of no return surrounding a black hole is called what?

1. The event horizon

2. The cosmic censorship boundary

3. The superstellar envelope

4. The Einstein limit

This point of no return is known as the event horizon. Once you cross the event horizon, there is no escape—you will fall into the black hole!



18. If the Sun suddenly collapsed into a black hole, what would happen to Earth's orbit?


18. If the Sun suddenly collapsed into a black hole, what would happen to Earth

1. It would spiral into the black hole

2. Nothing

3. It would fly off into a random direction

4. It would collide with Venus

Nothing would happen. The Sun's mass would not change, even as a black hole. Since orbits are based on mass, which creates gravity, our orbit would remain unchanged.



19. Which constellation is this?


19. Which constellation is this?

1. Cancer

2. Leo

3. Sagittarius

4. Capricorn

The correct answer is Cancer. Doctors originally found that cancers in the human body looked like crabs; thus, Cancer is the crab constellation.



20. The Big Dipper is part of which constellation?


20. The Big Dipper is part of which constellation?

1. Ursa Major

2. Virgo

3. Southern Cross

4. Ursa Minor

The correct answer is that it is part of Ursa Major. Most people think the Big Dipper is a full constellation, but it's not.



21. Which constellation is this?


21. Which constellation is this?

1. Virgo

2. Scorpio

3. Capricorn

4. Taurus

The correct answer is Capricorn. It is also known as the Christmas constellation, since December 25 falls within the corresponding dates of Capricorn in astrology.



22. Why do stars twinkle?


22. Why do stars twinkle?

1. Because they expand and contract

2. Because they brighten and dim

3. Because of Earth's atmosphere

4. Planets pass in front of them

They twinkle because of Earth's atmosphere. Our atmosphere fluctuates, bending starlight.



23. What are sunspots?


23. What are sunspots?

1. Magnetic storms

2. Coronal ejections

3. Superheated convection currents

4. Planetary shadows

The correct answer is that they are magnetic storms. Sunspots are much cooler than the rest of the Sun; that's why they appear darker to our eyes.



24. How many stars are in our solar system?


24. How many stars are in our solar system?

1. Infinite

2. Unknown

3. One

4. 100 billion

The correct answer is one, our sun.



25. Which constellation is this?


25. Which constellation is this?

1. Ursa Major

2. Leo

3. Orion

4. Cancer

The correct answer is Leo, also known as the Great Lion.



26. Besides the Sun and moon, what is the third brightest luminary in our night sky?


26. Besides the Sun and moon, what is the third brightest luminary in our night sky?

1. North Star

2. Jupiter

3. Venus

4. International Space Station

The correct answer is Venus. U.S. President Jimmy Carter once reported the presence of an alien spacecraft to the armed forces... It was just Venus.



27. How does the Sun produce light and heat?


27. How does the Sun produce light and heat?

1. Nuclear fission

2. Nuclear fusion

3. Photonic coupling

4. Quantum tunneling

The Sun produces light and heat through nuclear fusion. The sun fuses hydrogen into helium. This is also how a hydrogen bomb works. It produces temperatures of up to 15 million degrees!



28. The outer planets are known as what?


28. The outer planets are known as what?

1. Gas giants

2. Terrestrial giants

3. Protoplanets

4. Accretion spheres

They are known as gas giants. These planets are made of mostly hydrogen. They do not have a solid surface like the Earth.



29. Galaxies that shoot jets of matter and energy from their cores are called what?


29. Galaxies that shoot jets of matter and energy from their cores are called what?

1. Pulsars

2. Quasars

3. Emission galaxies

4. Ejection galaxies

The correct answer is quasars. Some of these particles reach speeds of 99.99999% the speed of light. That's pretty fast!



30. Which planet is the largest in our solar system?


30. Which planet is the largest in our solar system?

1. Saturn

2. Uranus

3. Neptune

4. Jupiter

The correct answer is Jupiter. In fact, it's so much bigger that all of the other planets in our solar system could fit inside of it!



31. What is Jupiter's red spot?


31. What is Jupiter

1. Methane clouds

2. A storm

3. A moon

4. Rust

The correct answer is that it is a storm. It is 3 times the size of the Earth and is millions of years old.



32. The nearest spiral galaxy to the Milky Way Galaxy is which of the following?


32. The nearest spiral galaxy to the Milky Way Galaxy is which of the following?

1. Andromeda

2. Sumitryptus

3. Comet

4. Triangulum

The correct answer is the Andromeda Galaxy. It is 2 million light-years away.



33. What escapes from a black hole?


33. What escapes from a black hole?

1. Nothing

2. Gravity

3. Hawking radiation

4. Electromagnetic radiation

Hawking radiation escapes from black holes. It is composed of virtual particles. Because of this, black holes eventually evaporate and explode.



34. How often do we see the back side of the moon?


34. How often do we see the back side of the moon?

1. Never

2. Every 2 weeks

3. Every 4 weeks

4. Every 6 months

The correct answer is that we never see it; the same side of the moon faces Earth at all times. Only astronauts get to see the back side.



35. Which constellation is this?


35. Which constellation is this?

1. Perseus

2. Pegasus

3. Orion

4. Lyra

The correct answer is Lyra, known even to the ancient Babylonians.



36. Which of these planets have rings?


36. Which of these planets have rings?

1. Saturn

2. Jupiter

3. Neptune

4. All of the above

The correct answer is that all of these planets have rings. All of the gas giants have rings, though they are very faint.



37. How far is the Sun from the Earth?


37. How far is the Sun from the Earth?

1. 40 million miles

2. 76 million miles

3. 93 million miles

4. 130 million miles

It is 93 million miles away. This is the perfect distance at which life can be sustained (known as the habitable zone). If Earth was closer to the Sun, we would burn up. Conversely, if we were too far away, Earth would be too cold sustain life.



38. How far into the universe, in any given direction, can our most powerful telescopes see?


38. How far into the universe, in any given direction, can our most powerful telescopes see?

1. 5 billion light-years

2. 10 billion light-years

3. 20 billion light-years

4. 40 billion light-years

The correct answer is that they can see up to 20 billion light-years away. Because space itself is expanding, and because galaxies travel away from each other through space, galaxies can move away from each other faster than the speed of light.



39. What is the name of this structure?


39. What is the name of this structure?

1. Crab Nebula

2. Hourglass Nebula

3. Horsehead Nebula

4. Cat's Eye Nebula

This is the Horsehead Nebula. Nebulas are remnants of supernova explosions.



40. Which constellation is this?


40. Which constellation is this?

1. Scorpio

2. Aries

3. Cygnus

4. Gemini

The correct answer is Aries. This name comes from Arabic and means "head of the ram."



41. Which constellation is this?


41. Which constellation is this?

1. Fornax

2. Pegasus

3. Lybra

4. Indus

The correct answer is Pegasus. Pegasus is the winged horse of Greek mythology.



42. What is the name of this structure?


42. What is the name of this structure?

1. Eagle Nebula

2. Hercules Nebula

3. Phoenix Nebula

4. Gesher Nebula

The correct answer is the Eagle Nebula. This star nursery (where new stars are forming) has an area that's been called the "Pillars of Creation."



43. What is the diameter of the Milky Way Galaxy?


43. What is the diameter of the Milky Way Galaxy?

1. 100,000 light-years

2. 1,000,000 light-years

3. 500,000 light-years

4. 35,000 light-years

It is 100,000 light-years in diameter. While larger than most galaxies, this size is typical for spiral galaxies like our own.



44. Approximately how long does it take for sunlight to reach Earth?


44. Approximately how long does it take for sunlight to reach Earth?

1. 8 hours

2. 8 minutes

3. 45 minutes

4. 30 minutes

The correct answer is 8 minutes. That means that if the Sun suddenly disappeared, we would still see sunlight for another 8 minutes.



45. If Betelgeuse, a red supergiant, replaced our sun, how far out would it extend?


45. If Betelgeuse, a red supergiant, replaced our sun, how far out would it extend?

1. Beyond Venus

2. Beyond Earth

3. Beyond Jupiter

4. Beyond Uranus

The correct answer is that it would extend beyond Jupiter. Supergiants burn out in only 10 million years. For comparison, the life span of our sun is 7 billion years.



46. How much does one teaspoon of a neutron star weigh?


46. How much does one teaspoon of a neutron star weigh?

1. 1 ton

2. 10 tons

3. 1 million tons

4. 10 million tons

The correct answer is 10 million tons. This is the densest form of visible matter in the universe. To put this into perspective, one teaspoon weighs as much as 100 cruise liners!




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