Astronomy current events question: billions of inhabitable 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!)
Clara Moskowitz, "Billions of Alien Habitable Planets, Right Here in Our Galaxy," March 28, 2012
An estimated tens of billions of habitable planets may exist in the Milky Way, based on observations by the European Southern Observatory in Chile of:
(A) dark matter clouds.
(B) extraterrestrial radio transmissions.
(C) reflections from exoplanets with oceans.
(D) slowly rotating medium-mass main-sequence stars.
(E) super-Earths orbiting red dwarfs.

Correct answer: (E)

Student responses
Sections 30678, 30679, 30680
(A) : 2 students
(B) : 2 students
(C) : 1 student
(D) : 4 students
(E) : 16 students

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