Astronomy current events question: Viking lander results

Astronomy 210L, Fall Semester 2010
Cuesta College, San Luis Obispo, CA

Students are assigned to read online articles on current astronomy events, and take a short current events quiz during the first 10 minutes of lab. (This motivates students to show up promptly to lab, as the time cut-off for the quiz is strictly enforced!)
Astronomy.com editors, "Missing Piece Inspires New Look at Mars Puzzle," September 7, 2010
Scientists recently proposed that the NASA Viking landers had detected organic compounds in martian soil, rather than from:
(A) self contamination.
(B) solar flares.
(C) cosmic rays.
(D) dry ice geysers.
(E) acid rain chemicals.

Correct answer: (A)

Student responses
Sections 70178, 70186, 70200
(A) : 46 students
(B) : 5 students
(C) : 3 students
(D) : 7 students
(E) : 3 students

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