History of Astronomy Trivia Contest

On many recent Monday mornings, I’ve held a trivia contest on my live broadcast on Periscope.  Here are the trivia questions, the correct answers, and the winners of the contest April 2, 2018.

“History of Astronomy” almost covers all the trivia questions for today.


  1. The nebular theory of the origin of the solar system is principally due to what
    Screen Shot 2018-04-26 at 11.31.08 PM
    Gerard Kuiper



  1. Most of the light from the Sun comes from what region of the solar atmosphere?


  1. Who’s major contribution to astronomy was the observations of the apparent motions of the planets in the star field?
iPhoto Library 117
2004 Transit of Venus from South Africa
  1. Name one of the two planets that can ever pass in front of the Sun as viewed from Earth:


  1. What observation of one of the moons of Jupiter can be used to determine the mass of Jupiter?


Correct Answers……..Winners:

  1. Gerard Kuiper…. @catkotcat:  Kuiper was a  Dutch American astronomer (1905-1973).  He suggested a belt of objects beyond Neptune as the source for shirt period comets.

Screen Shot 2018-04-26 at 11.32.06 PM

2.  The photosphere…….speear40: The photosphere is the visible surface of the Sun.  It’s about 500 milers deep, with a temperature of 6400K at the base and 4400K at the chromosphere.

3.  Tycho Brahe….rossm3838:  Tycho wore a nose piece that covered the hole he received in a sword fight. His nose piece is the Featured Image.

4.  Mercury and Venus….. @GandhiJapancy (Mercury) and @rossm3838 (Venus):  The next transit of Mercury is predicted for November 11, 2019.  The next transit of Venus is predicted for December 11, 2117.

5.  The orbital period…. @speear40:  With the orbital period of a moon, and the semi-major axis of that moon’s orbital path, we can calculate the mass of the system (moon and planet combined.) With Newton’s form of Kepler’s third Law, and my measurements and calculations of Ganymede:

Mass = a 3 /p 2

  1.                      Mass equals (Semi-Major axis in AU) 3 / (period in years) 2

    Mass = (0.00742 AU) 3 / (0.01947) 2

    Mass = 0.001078 Solar masses


    My answer has a error of 12.9%

    Leaders: make a contribution in the next 30 days to one of my charities listed and I will match your gift, up to $100. Tell the charity to contact me about your contribution.

    Leaderboard posted April 26

    4/2 Winners Number of correct answers
    @catkotcat one
    @speear40 two
    @rossm3838 two
    @GandhiJapancy one


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