Astronomy current events question: "Jake Matijevic" rock

Astronomy 210L, fall 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!)
Guy Webster, Dwayne Brown, "NASA Mars Rover Targets Unusual Rock on Its Journey," September 19, 2012
NASA's Mars Curiosity rover is using both its arm-mounted x-ray and mast-mounted laser on the recently-named "Jake Matijevic" rock in order to:
(A) compare the strength of martian rocks against x-rays versus lasers.
(B) engrave a memorial to the former NASA engineer it was named after.
(C) cross-check the chemical analysis results of the two instruments.
(D) use up excess power from its thermoelectric generator.
(E) vaporize any volatile water-bearing compounds that may be present.

Correct answer: (C)

Student responses
Sections 70178, 70186, 70200
(A) : 5 students
(B) : 3 students
(C) : 39 students
(D) : 2 students
(E) : 6 students

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