Astronomy current events question: Makemake atmosphere

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!)
José Luis Ortiz, Bruno Sicardy, Noemi Pinilla-Alonso, Emmanuel Jehin, and Richard Hook, "Dwarf Planet Makemake Lacks Atmosphere," November 21, 2012
Astronomers at the European Southern Observatory in Chile have determined that dwarf planet Makemake does not have an atmosphere by:
(A) counting impact craters.
(B) how it eclipsed a star.
(C) using adaptive optics.
(D) detecting no polar ice caps.
(E) tracking its five moons.

Correct answer: (B)

Student responses
Sections 70178, 70186, 70200
(A) : 7 students
(B) : 23 students
(C) : 9 students
(D) : 2 students
(E) : 1 student

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