Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | September 18, 2013

14. Evidence for God – Astronomy Quiz Answers 3

Design is inescapable. From a cell’s intricate molecular machinery to the large-scale structure of the universe with trillions of stars organized into clustered galaxies—everything shouts “Design.”

Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC) Galaxy

Small Magellanic Cloud Galaxy
The heavens are telling of the glory of God;
And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.
(Psalm 19:1)

Astronomers say the SMC galaxy orbits our galaxy, the Milky Way. It’s one of our closest galactic neighbors, only about 200,000 light-years away. Much more distant galaxies can be seen sprinkled around the picture’s edge. Even though SMC is a small galaxy, it is so bright that it is visible by unaided eye near the equator and from the Southern Hemisphere. Ferdinand Magellan used it to find his way across the oceans.

The recent Astronomy Quiz highlighted interesting features of the universe.
Astronomy Quiz Answers 1 has answers for the first 10 questions.
Astronomy Quiz Answers 2 has answers for questions 11-18.
Below is the third and final group of answers (in red) for questions 19-27.

If you haven’t taken the Astronomy Quiz yet, then I suggest you take it before looking at the answers below.

Astronomy Quiz Answers 19–27

19. T or F: Polaris, the North Star, is the brightest star in the night sky.
False. It’s the 45th brightest. Sirius is the brightest. Canopus is second. Alpha Centauri is third.

20. T or F: A “shooting star” is a star falling through space.
False. Shooting stars are meteors burning up as they fall through the earth’s atmosphere. Shooting stars are often seen when the earth passes through the tail of a comment. The annual Orionid Meteor Shower results from passing through the tail of Halley’s comet. These “shooting stars,” around 15 per hour, appear to come out of the constellation Orion – thus the name.
Some meteors hit the moon. With no atmosphere to burn them up, some moon-meteor collisions cause explosions visible from earth comparable to hundreds of pounds of TNT exploding. This is another reason to give thanks to Yahweh for earth’s protective atmosphere!

21. T or F: Microscopium is the name of a constellation.
True. Microscopium is a small constellation in the southern sky. It was so named in the 18th century due to its visual similarity to microscopes of the time. Its stars are very faint and barely visible from most of the non-tropical northern hemisphere.

22. How many stars are in our Milky Way galaxy?
a) 1 million
b) 10 million
c) 100 million
d) 100 billion
Astronomers say the Milky Way is a barred spiral galaxy some 100,000–120,000 light-years in diameter which contains 100–400 billion stars.

23. How many galaxies are there?
a) 1,000
b) 10 million
c) 100 million
d) 100 billion
Groups of stars that orbit a common center are called galaxies. Astronomers say there are between 100 billion and 400 billion galaxies in the observable universe, and each one is different.
Galaxies have from 10 million stars in dwarf galaxies to over 100 trillion stars in giant galaxies.
Thus the number of stars in the universe is incomprehensibly enormous. And that’s just the stars we know about. We don’t know about the stars we don’t know about. There could be many times more unknown stars than known stars.
Yet the Almighty knows the exact count of the stars, knows each by specific name, and due to the greatness of His might and the strength of His power, none are missing. (Psalm 147:4; Isaiah 40:26)
Moreover, the Bible seems to imply that each star is unique when it says, “star differs from star in glory” (1 Cor 15:41).
Yet on the other hand He knows when even a sparrow dies (Matthew 10:29).
Consider the enormous energy that any single one of these stars produces. Multiply it by some 40,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 stars that the Almighty energizes and upholds by the Word of His power (Hebrews 1:3; Col 1:17). Such thoughts should generate worship of the One who created, sustains, and rules the universe.

24. Why is summer warmer than winter?
The earth receives more direct sunlight in the summer due to the tilt of the earth’s axis toward the sun in summer.

25. Why is Venus called both the Evening Star and the Morning Star?
Venus is sometimes bright and noticeable after sunset, and sometimes beautiful and shining before sunrise. This is because Venus orbits the sun faster than Earth, taking just under 225 days to complete its trip around the sun. It completes about 1.6 orbits for every orbit of Earth. Because of its shorter year, Venus “passes” the earth every 584 days as it orbits the sun. As Venus passes, it switches from the “Evening Star”, visible after sunset, to the “Morning Star”, visible before sunrise.
Some ancient civilizations thought Venus was two separate entities, a morning star and an evening star. Until the time of Pythagoras in the 6th century BC, the Greeks believed Venus was two separate stars, Phosphorus (morning star) and Hesperus (evening star). The Romans called these “two” stars Lucifer and Vesper respectively. However, according to the Venus tablet of Ammisaduqa (1581 BC), the Babylonians knew that both the morning and evening stars were the same entity.

Extra Credit Bonus Questions

26. Year, Month, and Day all have definitions related to astronomy. Where do we get the idea of a Week? What is its astronomical definition?
A Year is the length of time it takes the earth to orbit the sun. A Month is the length of time it takes the moon to orbit the earth. A Day is the length of time it takes the earth to revolve once on its axis. There is no comparable astronomical definition of a Week. The Week comes from Creation when God created the universe in Six Days and rested on the seventh. He prescribed for mankind this same pattern of six days of work followed by one day of rest in the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:8-11).

27. In colloquial speech, “once in a blue moon” refers to a rare event. What is a Blue Moon?
A Blue Moon is the third full moon in a season in which there are four full moons (instead of the usual three). Names were given to a season’s Full Moons, so the third full moon in a season with four was called the Blue Moon so that the last could continue to be called by the proper name for that season.
The second full moon in a month has also come to be called a Blue Moon because it necessarily results in four full moons for that season, although it may not be the third one. A Blue Moon happens once every two to three years.
The last Blue Moon (third full moon in a season with four) was August 20, 2013. The next ones will be May 21, 2016, May 18, 2019, and August 22, 2021.
A Blue Moon may also, but less commonly, refer to any moon with a bluish tint. This rare color effect can be caused by smoke or dust particles in the atmosphere due to volcanoes or forest fires.

Grade Your Quiz

Tally your scores from each of the three sections of answers. Each of questions 1-25 is worth 4 points and the two extra credit bonus questions are worth 5 points each for a maximum of 110 points.
Now check to see what kind of astronomer you are:
A+: 100-110 (Super astronomer)
A: 90-99 (Good astronomer)
B: 80-89 (Adequate astronomer)
C: 70-79 (Almost an astronomer)
D: 60-69 (Passing, but not an astronomer)

Report how you did in the comments below (anonymously if you prefer).

Questions to Ponder
  1. How can astronomy help us increase our awe, respect, and worship of God?
  2. How many stars or constellations can you name and locate in the night sky?
  3. “We don’t know about the stars we don’t know about.” What is your reaction to this statement in the answer to Question 23?
  4. Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

Want More Astronomy?

For more from the BibleScienceGuy on astronomy, click Astronomy Articles.

Soli Deo Gloria.

This is the fourteenth article in the Evidence for God series that discusses the question,
“Is There Evidence for God?”
Read the prequels:
1. Evidence for God – Can You Answer a 6th-Grader?
2. Evidence for God – Design
3. Evidence for God – Experience
4. Evidence for God – Can You Prove God Exists?
5. Evidence for God – Design Is Best Argument for God – Simple
6. Evidence for God – Design Is Best Argument for God – Logical
7. Evidence for God – Design Is Best Argument for God – Biblical
8. Evidence for God – Design Is Best Argument for God – Old Testament
9. Evidence for God – Design Is Best Argument for God – New Testament
10. Evidence for God – Stephen King & the Argument from Design
11. Evidence for God – Astronomy Quiz
12. Evidence for God – Astronomy Quiz Answers 1
13. Evidence for God – Astronomy Quiz Answers 2

Read the sequel:
15. Evidence for God – Design Convinces Scientists 1

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©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:4)
Wednesday September 18, 2013 A.D.

O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is Thy name in all the earth, Who hast displayed Thy splendor above the heavens! … When I consider Thy heavens, the work of Thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which Thou hast ordained; what is man, that Thou dost take thought of him? And the son of man, that Thou dost care for him? Yet Thou hast made him a little lower than God, and dost crown him with glory and majesty! (Psalm 8:1,3-5)

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Responses

  1. Regarding this…

    >>24. Why is summer warmer than winter?
    >>The earth is closer to the sun in the summer portion of its orbit than it is in the winter….

    Are you certain about this answer? Don’t forget that when it’s summer in the Northern Hemisphere, it’s Winter in the Southern Hemisphere. How is the northern half of our planet somehow “closer” to the sun than the southern?

    The second part is correct. The hemisphere experiencing summer is directly receiving the sun’s rays (and thus receives more heat), while the other hemisphere receives the rays more obliquely. This is due to the tilt of the Earth’s axis, not to any greater distance between the hemispheres.

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    • Yes, you are right. The tilt of the earth’s axis is the only reason summer is warmer than winter.

      Summer for the northern hemisphere actually occurs when the earth is farther from the sun than it is in winter due to the north pole being tilted toward the sun at that point. This year (2013) perihelion (closest point of earth’s orbit to the sun) occurred on Jan 2 (winter) and aphelion (farthest point of earth’s orbit from the sun) occurred on July 5 (summer). The north pole is pointed away from the sun at perihelion causing winter in the northern hemisphere and summer in the southern hemisphere. It is pointed toward the sun at aphelion causing summer for the northern hemisphere and winter for the southern hemisphere. I corrected the answer for #24 above.

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