Astronomy current events question: Rhea's thin atmosphere

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!)
Jia-Rui C. Cook, "Thin Air--Cassini Finds Ethereal Atmosphere at Rhea," November 26, 2010
The NASA Cassini spacecraft has detected a thin atmosphere around Saturn's moon Rhea, containing oxygen that may be released from:
(A) pockets containing pristine solar nebula gas.
(B) high energy particles bombarding its icy surface.
(C) subsurface organisms capable of photosynthesis.
(D) chemical processes that may eventually evolve into life.
(E) radioactive decay processes.

Correct answer: (B)

Student responses
Sections 70178, 70186, 70200
(A) : 4 students
(B) : 22 students
(C) : 7 students
(D) : 14 students
(E) : 8 students

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