Astronomy quiz question: accurately describing planetary motion

Astronomy 210 Quiz 2, Spring Semester 2009
Cuesta College, San Luis Obispo, CA

__________ solved the problem of accurately describing planetary motion.
(A) Copernicus.
(B) Tycho.
(C) Kepler.
(D) Galileo.

Correct answer: (C)

While Copernicus placed the sun at the center of the planetary orbits, these orbits were circular, and thus could neither accurately describe nor predict planetary motion. Kepler analyzed Tycho's observations to come with empirical laws that accurately described planetary motion along elliptical orbits.

Section 30676
(A) : 13 students
(B) : 5 students
(C) : 39 students
(D) : 10 students

"Success level": 59% (including partial credit for multiple-choice)
Discrimination index (Aubrecht & Aubrecht, 1983): 0.77

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