Astronomy quiz question: relocation of the Huan Tran Telescope

Astronomy 210 Quiz 3, spring semester 2015
Cuesta College, San Luis Obispo, CA

"Polarbear experiment.jpg"

The Huan Tran microwave telescope was moved from a location in the Inyo Mountains near Big Pine, CA (7,200' elevation) to the slopes of Cerro Toro in Chile (17,000' elevation)[*][**]. By moving this microwave telescope to a higher altitude location, the amount of microwaves received through the atmosphere:
(A) decreased.
(B) remained the same.
(C) increased.
(D) (Not enough information is given.)

[*] http://bolo.berkeley.edu/polarbear/.
[**] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/POLARBEAR.

Correct answer (highlight to unhide): (C)

Microwaves cannot be detected at sea level (the bottom edge of the graph), due to absorption of those wavelengths by the atmosphere. Since some microwaves will be able to make it down to the higher elevations, moving this telescope higher would allow more microwaves to be received.

Section 30676
Exam code: quiz03SeR0
(A) : 7 students
(B) : 10 students
(C) : 35 students
(D) : 0 students

Success level: 70% (including partial credit for multiple-choice)
Discrimination index (Aubrecht & Aubrecht, 1983): 0.42

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