Astronomy current events question: methanol molecules and fundamental constants

Astronomy 210L, fall semester 2014
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!)
Gabby Russell, "Alcohol Points to Something Fundamental," (September 17, 2014)
Australian scientists proposed radio waves emitted by methanol molecules in the Sculptor (NGC 253) galaxy could test whether the _________ of the universe changed over time.
(A) number of atoms.
(B) fundamental constants.
(C) radioactivity.
(D) conditions for life.
(E) expansion of space.

Correct answer: (B)

Student responses
Sections 70178, 70186
(A) : 2 students
(B) : 24 students
(C) : 7 students
(D) : 5 students
(E) : 3 students

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