Astronomy quiz question: visible planets

Astronomy 210 Quiz 2, fall semester 2011
Cuesta College, San Luis Obispo, CA

Consider Earth, Mars, and Jupiter as shown in the diagram below (not to scale, and orbits have been simplified as circles instead of ellipses).

Which planet(s) will be visible somewhere in the San Luis Obispo, CA sky at midnight (12 AM)?
(A) Mars.
(B) Jupiter.
(C) (Both of the above choices.)
(D) (None of the above choices.)

Correct answer: (B).

At midnight, the observer is located at the middle of the night side of Earth. Jupiter would be visible high up on the sky (to the east of the meridian), while Mars would not be visible, as it would be below the horizon of the observer.

Section 70160
Exam code: quiz02n3rE
(A) : 2 students
(B) : 24 students
(C) : 2 students
(D) : 0 students

Success level: 86% (including partial credit for multiple-choice)
Discrimination index (Aubrecht & Aubrecht, 1983): 0.57

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