Friday, March 16, 2007

Sickness, Snow, and Space Science Quiz

Hi all:

I've been under the weather for the past 2 weeks with a cold that won't quit, but I think it's finally quitting now! Speaking of weather, we're in the midst of a 24-hour Nor'Easter here and the snow is lovely! Especially blowing around in the blustery winds. It's a good thing I like snow since it may be falling through tomorrow morning ...

Anyhoo, I did manage to turn in a graphic novel review, but I don't think it's been published yet. I'll let ya' know when, 'cause it's a fun one.

In the meantime, here's a space science quiz to see if you're smarter than a 5th grader! BTW, does anyone watch that show? Of all the reality shows, that's the only one that peaks my interest, though I suppose, technically, it's a game show.

On to the quiz from

The following 10 statements straddle the line between fact and fiction in space science. If you haven't been paying very close attention, the truthfulness of some might be hard to gauge. Jot down which side of the fact-fiction line you think each falls.

1. We have strong evidence that our solar system is not the only one; we know there are many other Suns with planets orbiting them.

2. Some organisms can survive in space for years -- without any kind of protective enclosure.

3. Organisms have been found thriving in scalding water with temperatures as high as 235 degrees Fahrenheit.

4. We now have evidence that some form of life exists beyond Earth, at least in primitive form.

5. We currently have the technology necessary to send astronauts to another star system within a reasonable time span. The only problem is that such a mission would be overwhelmingly expensive.

6. All of the gas giant planets in our solar system (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune) have rings.

7. In the "Star Wars" films, the Imperial TIE Fighters are propelled by ion engines (TIE stands for Twin Ion Engine). While these spacecraft are fictional, real ion engines power some of today's spacecraft.

8. There is no gravity in deep space.

9. The basic premise of teleportation -- made famous in TV's "Star Trek" -- is theoretically sound. In fact, scientists have already "teleported" the quantum state of individual atoms from one location to another.

10. Tatooine, Luke Skywalker's home planet in the "Star Wars" films, has two Suns -- what astronomers would call a binary star system. Scientists have discovered recently that planets really can form within such systems.

I'll post the answers tomorrow ...



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