Astronomy current events question: Mars solar conjunction

Astronomy 210L, spring semester 2013
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, "Sun in the Way Will Affect Mars Missions in April," March 20, 2013
Early next month, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory will suspend sending commands to spacecraft at Mars because:
(A) Mars is nearly behind the sun.
(B) of massive winter dust storms.
(C) daylight saving time starts on Mars.
(D) they are listening for possible extraterrestrial radio signals.
(E) of loss of government funding.

Correct answer: (A)

Student responses
Sections 30678, 30679, 30680
(A) : 50 students
(B) : 2 students
(C) : 1 student
(D) : 0 students
(E) : 2 students

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