Astronomy quiz question: parallax of Tycho's supernova

Astronomy 210 Quiz 2, spring semester 2012
Cuesta College, San Luis Obispo, CA

Tycho disproved that the heavens were perfect and unchanging by:
(A) explaining how the moon creates ocean tides.
(B) seeing no parallax for a new star.
(C) observing the motion of Jupiter's satellites.
(D) losing his nose in a duel defending the principles of science.

Correct answer: (B)

Tycho could not discern any parallax for a supernova in 1572, and thus concluded that it was distant enough to be part of the supposedly perfect, unchanging celestial sphere of stars.

Section 30676
Exam code: quiz02SnT4
(A) : 12 students
(B) : 20 students
(C) : 10 students
(D) : 0 students

Success level: 51% (including partial credit for multiple-choice)
Discrimination index (Aubrecht & Aubrecht, 1983): 0.73

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