Astronomy current events question: UARS crash

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!)
Alan Boyle, "Satellite's Doom Coming Sooner," September 15, 2011
NASA's defunct Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite is expected to fall to Earth sooner than expected, because of increased drag from the upper atmosphere caused by:
(A) smoke from the Texas wildfires.
(B) multiple hurricanes.
(C) failure to retract its solar sails.
(D) greenhouse gases.
(E) increased solar activity.

Correct answer: (E)

Student responses
Sections 70178, 70186, 70200
(A) : 0 students
(B) : 3 students
(C) : 9 students
(D) : 3 students
(E) : 37 students

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