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Astrophysics Quiz

Quiz Questions: cosmic objects and the universe

  1. What wildely held theory describes how the universe expanded and evolved?
  2. What is the outermost layer of a star's atmosphere called?
  3. What element is the most abundant resource in the galaxy?
  4. What highly luminous objects in the early universe are thought to be powered by supermassive black holes?
  5. Which gas giant has a mass more than two and a half times that of all the other planets in the Solar System combined?

  6. Because of its shape, our Milky Way is decribed as what sort of galaxy?
  7. What word comes from the Latin term meaning "set of stars"?
  8. By what name do we know the large pattern of seven bright stars of the constellation Ursa Major?
  9. Which small star discovered in 1915 by Robert Innes, is the nearest-known star to the Sun?
  10. The asteroid belt is a region of space between the orbits of which two planets?
  11. What is formed when a low-mass star has exhausted all its central nuclear fuel and lost its outer layers as a planetary nebula?
  12. What is the nearest major galaxy to the Milky Way?
  13. Pluto, Eris, and the asteroid Ceres were the first members of the category in 2006?
  14. What is the coldest planet in our solar system?
  15. Located beyond low-Earth orbit, name the radiation belts first discovered in 1958?
  16. In astronomy, what is a syzygy?
  17. What is a cloud of dust and gas in space called?
  18. What unit used by astronomers is equal to 3.26 light-years?
  19. What name is given to star which suddenly increases in brightness by a factor of more than hundred?
  20. What comes in six flavors: up, down, charm, strange, top and bottom?


  1. Big Bang Theory
  2. Corona
  3. Hydrogen is the most abundant element (Helium is second)
  4. Quasars
  5. Jupiter
  6. A spiral galaxy
  7. Constellation
  8. The Plough (UK, Ireland), or the Big Dipper (US, Canada)
  9. Proxima Centauri
  10. Mars and Jupiter
  11. A white dwarf
  12. The Andromeda Galaxy (2.5 million light years away from Earth)
  13. Dwarf planet category
  14. Uranus (even though neptune is further away from the Sun)
  15. Van Allen radiation belt
  16. Straight-line configuration of three or more celestial bodies
  17. Nebula
  18. Parsec
  19. Nova
  20. Quarks