Astronomy current events question: Gemini South telescope laser guide stars

Astronomy 210L, Spring Semester 2011
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!)
Kelly Beatty, "Gemini Telescope's 'Bad-Seeing Blaster'," February 1, 2011
The Gemini South telescope in Chile tested a laser to create a five-star pattern in the sky in order to:
(A) clear out water vapor in the atmosphere.
(B) create artificial guide stars for adaptive optics.
(C) warn nearby aircraft during observations.
(D) vaporize incoming micrometeorites.
(E) disrupt raincloud formation.

Correct answer: (D)

Student responses
Sections 30678, 30679, 30680
(A) : 8 students
(B) : 4 students
(C) : 6 students
(D) : 32 students
(E) : 3 students

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