Cuesta College, San Luis Obispo, CA
(Electromagnetic spectrum provided on Midterm 1, with transparency of Earth's atmosphere indicated for different forms of light. Downward lengths of gray bars indicates amount transmitted through atmosphere.)
Based on being able to detect its wavelength, and cost of location, which telescope should be funded?
(A) An x ray detector in space.
(B) A visible light telescope on an aircraft.
(C) A far infrared telescope in Antarctica.
(D) A radio telescope in the mountains of Chile.
Correct answer: (A)
Due to the opacity of the atmosphere, far infrared cannot be detected at ground level, eliminating choice (C). Both visible light and radio waves can be detected at ground level, so choices (B) and (D), while functional, would be unnecessarily expensive. Response (A) is the best answer because x rays cannot be detected unless a detector is in the upper atmosphere or in space, and there is no cheaper location that it would still be functional.
(A) : 17 students
(B) : 7 students
(C): 1 student
(D): 19 students
Success level: 40% (including partial credit for multiple-choice)
Discrimination index (Aubrecht & Aubrecht, 1983): 0.42
(A) : 22 students
(B) : 1 student
(C): 4 students
(D): 10 students
Success level: 59% (including partial credit for multiple-choice)
Discrimination index (Aubrecht & Aubrecht, 1983): -0.21
- Astronomy quiz question: telescope funding proposals
(Fall semester, 2009).