Astronomy quiz question: planet(s) visible at sunrise?

Astronomy 210 Quiz 2, spring semester 2017
Cuesta College, San Luis Obispo, CA

The locations of Venus, Earth and Mars are shown in the diagram below (not to scale, and orbits have been simplified as circles instead of ellipses).

Which planet(s) will be visible at sunrise?
(A) Venus.
(B) Mars.
(C) (Both of the above choices.)
(D) (Neither of the above choices.)

Correct answer (highlight to unhide): (A)

If a line is drawn from Earth to the sun, the observer at sunrise (6 AM) is located perpendicular to that line. Since Mars is below that horizon line, it would not be visible at that time; while Venus is above that horizon line, it would be visible low over the east horizon at that time.

Section 30674
Exam code: quiz02n1hT
(A) : 19 students
(B) : 0 students
(C) : 2 students
(D) : 2 students

Success level: 84% (including partial credit for multiple-choice)
Discrimination index (Aubrecht & Aubrecht, 1983): 0.17

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