Astronomy current events question: microlensing unbound planets

Astronomy 210L, spring semester 2012
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!)
Monica Young, "How Many Unbound Planets in Milky Way?," February 29, 2012
Unbound planets can be imaged by "microlensing" when the planet causes:
(A) visible light to be converted to infrared, and vice versa.
(B) ripples in the Milky Way disk.
(C) earthshine fluctuations.
(D) wobbles in the star it orbits.
(E) the brightening and fading of a background star.

Correct answer: (E)

Student responses
Sections 30678, 30679, 30680
(A) : 18 students
(B) : 4 students
(C) : 5 students
(D) : 9 students
(E) : 12 students

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