These are the suggested answers to the "TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE" quiz on General Sky Knowledge

  1. The three brightest stars in the sky are Sirius, Canopus and Alpha Centauri (also known to mariners as Rigel Kent).
  2. The two basic types of optical telscope are the refractor which uses an objective lens and the reflector which employs a mirror.
  3. The speed of light is about 300,000 kilometres per second.
  4. Most of the asteroids lie between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter.
  5. Saturn is the only solar system planet with a density less than water.
  6. Earth, Mars and the Jovian moon Io all host volcanoes.
  7. A meteor is the visual phenomenon seen when a small solid body called a meteoroid enters the Earth's atmosphere. If portion of the meteoroid survives reentry, it is called a meteorite on reaching the Earth's surface.
  8. Most comets usually travel in near parabolic orbits. Periodic comets travel in highly eccentric elliptical orbits.
  9. The planet Venus is perpetually covered by dense cloud.
  10. The planet Mars looks reddish (sometimes yellow or orange) from Earth.
  11. Mars hosts the largest volcano in the solar system - Olympus Mons.
  12. The 'Earth-like' planets are Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars.
  13. You would weigh the most when standing on the surface of Jupiter.
  14. The moon has many craters. Some of the largest are Tycho, Copernicus, Plato, Clavius, Kepler.
  15. The Sun is approximately 150 million kilometres from the Earth.
  16. Jupiter has the shortest day - just under 10 Earth hours.
  17. The 'Jovian-like' planets are Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune.
  18. The two moons of Mars are named Phobos and Deimos.
  19. Venus is known both as the evening star and as the morning star. It is never more than 43 degrees distant from the Sun in our sky.
  20. Mars has frequent global dust storms.
  21. Halley is a well known periodic comet, but many comets are named each year. Some are West, Hyakutake, Bennett, Kohoutek and Shoemaker-Levy.
  22. The Sun is mostly composed of the element hydrogen.
  23. Light from the Sun takes approximately 8 minutes to reach the Earth.
  24. The nearest star is Alpha Centauri, a triple star system. Of the three, the component known as Proxima Centauri is the closest to the Sun.
  25. A light year is the distance light travels in one Earth year, about 9.5 million million kilometres.
  26. The darker areas on the Moon's surface are called Mare, which is Latin for "sea". However, there is no significant water on the Moon's surface.
  27. Mercury is the closest planet to the Sun.
  28. The nearest star is approximately 4 light years from the Sun.
  29. Saturn is the only planet whose many rings are easily visible from the Earth.
  30. The largest planet in the solar system is Jupiter. It diameter is about ten times that of Earth, and its volume 1000 times Earth's volume.
  31. Pluto is usually the furthest planet from the sun, although its eccentric orbit sometimes brings it within the orbit of Neptune.
  32. Earth has the greatest density of any planet in our solar system.
  33. The brightest star in Scorpius is Antares, a red giant.
  34. The four largest moons of Jupiter are Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto.
  35. The largest moon orbiting Pluto is named Charon.
  36. Vega is the brightest star in the constellation Lyra.
  37. There are 88 named constellations. Some of these are Orion, Scorpius, Centaurus, Crucis (Southern Cross), Taurus, Sagittarius and Canis Major.
  38. The Pleiades are more commonly known as the Seven Sisters.
  39. Arcturus lies in the constellation Bootes (pronounced boot-eze).
  40. The bright north polar star Polaris can never be seen from Australia.

ASAAustralian Space Academy