"The Almagest" "Dialogue Concerning The Two Chief World Systems"

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Big Quiz - Classical and Renaissance Astronomy
This test is worth 64 points (2 points per question).
1. What is the difference between the Roman and Arabic numbering system? Which is currently used in the U.S.?

2-6 Which classical or renaissance astronomer published the following works?

"The Almagest" ______________________________

"Dialogue Concerning The

Two Chief World Systems" ______________________________
"On Revolutions of

Celestial Spheres" ______________________________
"The Somnium" ______________________________
"Starry Messenger" ______________________________

7. Geocentric means ________________________ centered.

8. Heliocentric means _______________________ centered.
9. Who came up with the concept that when faced with two competing explanations, the

simpler one is probably the correct one.

For questions 10-25, write the letter of the correct astronomer in the blank preceding each statement.
A. Ptolemy F. Copernicus

B. Aristotle G. Brahe

C. Pythagoras H. Keplar

D. Aristarchus I. Galileo

E. Eratosthenes

10. _____ He said the Gods made the Earth, it was a perfect round sphere--but he couldn't

prove it.
11. _____ He used the Earth's shadow during a lunar eclipse to show that Earth was round.
12. _____ He was the first to figure that the Sun was larger than the Earth and thus was

probably at the center of our Solar System.

13. _____ He used simple geometry and shadows to accurately estimate the Earth’s


14. _____ He created a geocentric model of the Solar System that included epicycles which

Actually predicted planetary motion very well.

15. _____ He said the Earth was round because a traveler moving south saw new stars that had

been hidden below the equator.

16. _____ He used the Earth’s shadow on the Moon during an eclipse to estimate that the

Moon’s diameter was about 1/3 that of Earth.

17. _____ Proposed the Geo-Heliocentric model of the Solar System
18. _____ Convicted by the Inquisition and spent the last years of his life under house arrest
19. _____ He developed three laws to describe planetary motion.
20. _____ He observed the phases of Venus and determined it revolved around the Sun.

21. _____ He built Uraniborg, one of the world's first observatories.

22. _____ After seeing Jupiter's moons through a telescope, he coined the term “:satellite”
23. _____ His theory of gravity was proven on the moon during Apollo 15.
24. _____ He was the first to calculate the relative distances of the planets to the Sun with

amazing accuracy.

25. _____ Suggested the heavens were much more changeable and complex than previously


For questions 26-29, circle the letter of the best response.
26. Kepler used data on the orbit of ___________ to conclude that its orbit was elliptical; he then surmised that all the planets moved in elliptical orbits.
a. Mars c. Jupiter

b. Venus d. Mercury

27. Copernicus believed in the heliocentric model of the solar system that came from ________.
a. Ptolemy c. Aristarchus

b. Aristotle d. Erathosthenes

28. Retrograde motion is the apparent _____________ movement of certain planets in the sky as

Earth (and observers on it) passes by during certain months.

a. forward c. faster

b. backward d. slower

29. None of the renaissance astronomers had telescopes or other instruments that could detect

_____________ ____________, although they did correctly surmise it was because the

distances to the stars were so great.
a. black holes c. stellar parallax

b. retrograde motion d. planetary parallax

30-32 Recreate the method Eratosthenes used to calculate the Earth’s circumference.

30. What day during the year did he choose and why?

31. Draw the geometric diagram that shows how the calculation is made.

32. If the circumference is 25,000 miles and the angle you measured was 6.5 degrees, how

far apart (in miles) would your two locations be? (show your work and circle the answer)

a. 351 c. 551

b. 451 d. 651

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