Astronomy quiz question: planets visible at sunset?

Astronomy 210 Quiz 2, spring semester 2018
Cuesta College, San Luis Obispo, CA

The locations of Saturn, Earth, and Jupiter 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 sunset?
(A) Saturn.
(B) Jupiter.
(C) (Both of the above choices.)
(D) (Neither of the above choices.)

Correct answer (highlight to unhide): (C)

If a line is drawn from Earth to the sun, the observer at sunset (6 PM) is located perpendicular that line. Since Saturn and Jupiter are both above that horizon line, they will both be visible at that time, where Saturn would be low over the east horizon, and Jupiter would be low over the west horizon.)

Section 30676
Exam code: quiz02sn4E
(A) : 17 students
(B) : 4 students
(C) : 13 students
(D) : 6 students

Success level: 35% (including partial credit for multiple-choice)
Discrimination index (Aubrecht & Aubrecht, 1983): 0.45

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