Astronomy quiz question: evening star Saturn?

Astronomy 210 Quiz 2, spring semester 2019
Cuesta College, San Luis Obispo, CA

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

At sunset, Saturn will be:
(A) low over the east horizon.
(B) somewhere high up in the sky.
(C) low over the west horizon.
(D) not visible in the sky.

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 to that line.

Everything above that line would be above the horizon, such that Saturn will be visible at sunset, and be located low over the west horizon (above the sun setting in the west).

Section 70160
Exam code: quiz02n4rN
(A) : 5 students
(B) : 0 students
(C) : 14 students
(D) : 3 students

Success level: 66% (including partial credit for multiple-choice)
Discrimination index (Aubrecht & Aubrecht, 1983): 0.17

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