Astronomy current events question: Comet Elenin C/2010 X1

Astronomy 210L, fall 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!)
Astronomy.com editors, "Comet Elenin Poses No Threat to Earth," August 18, 2011
When it makes its closest approach to Earth in October, Comet Elenin C/2010 X1 is expected to:
(A) pass between Earth and the moon.
(B) slightly increase the probability of earthquakes.
(C) briefly eclipse part of the sun.
(D) require binoculars at a dark sky location to be visible.
(E) increase the intensity of the northern lights.

Correct answer: (D)

Student responses
Sections 70178, 70186, 70200
(A) : 7 students
(B) : 3 students
(C) : 9 students
(D) : 36 students
(E) : 3 students

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