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The Hardest Space Quiz You'll Take Today

It doesn't matter whether you think Pluto is a planet or not. Do you know how close it is to the sun?

Last updated on July 30, 2015, at 10:57 a.m. ET

Posted on July 30, 2015, at 10:57 a.m. ET

Think you know space? Let's go.

  1. 1. Let's start with a warm up. Which way does Earth spin?

    NASA / Via earthobservatory.nasa.gov
    Correct
    Incorrect
    From west to east.
    Correct
    Incorrect
    From east to west.
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    That's why the sun rises in the east.

  2. 2. Which planet is bigger?

    Correct
    Incorrect
    Earth
    NASA
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Mars
    NASA
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Mars is about half the width of Earth.

    NASA
  3. 3. Which of these planets has no moons?

    Correct
    Incorrect
    Uranus
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Mercury
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Both Mercury and Venus are moon-less.

  4. 4. Right now, which of these is further from the Sun?

    Correct
    Incorrect
    Pluto
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Neptune
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Between February 1979 and February 1999 Pluto's elliptical orbit brought it closer to the sun that Neptune. It will cross over again in just over 200 years from now.

  5. 5. Which of these is a moon of Jupiter?

    Correct
    Incorrect
    Enceladus
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Io
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    It's one of the Galilean moons, along with Europa, Ganymede and Callisto.

  6. 6. Which of these is the largest object in the asteroid belt?

    NASA
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Makemake
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Ceres
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Makemake is a dwarf planet in the Kuiper belt.

  7. 7. Which of these is the distance between Earth and the centre of the Milky Way galaxy?

    Correct
    Incorrect
    250 light years
    Correct
    Incorrect
    25,000 light years
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Pretty far.

  8. 8. Which galaxy is further away from Earth?

    Correct
    Incorrect
    Andromeda
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Large Magellanic Cloud
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    The Large Magellanic Cloud is a satellite of our own galaxy, so its closer. Andromeda is the largest galaxy in the Local Group and is over ten times further away than the LMC.

  9. 9. Which year was the first exoplanet discovered in?

    Correct
    Incorrect
    1995
    Correct
    Incorrect
    2005
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    51 Pegasi b was discovered in 1995.

  10. 10. What type of star is Betelgeuse?

    Correct
    Incorrect
    Main sequence
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Red supergiant
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    It's the ninth brightest star in the night sky.

  11. 11. Which of these is the Crab nebula?

    Correct
    Incorrect
    NASA / Via hubblesite.org
    NASA / Via hubblesite.org
    Correct
    Incorrect
    NASA / Via en.wikipedia.org
    NASA / Via en.wikipedia.org
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    It's the remnant of a supernova. The other nebula above is the Orion nebula.

  12. 12. Which way were all the elements heavier than iron formed?

    Correct
    Incorrect
    In a supernova explosion
    Correct
    Incorrect
    In the big bang
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Hydrogen and helium were formed in the big bang, and everything else was formed in stars.

  13. 13. Which of these is evidence for the big bang theory?

    Correct
    Incorrect
    Observations of the red shift of distant galaxies.
    Correct
    Incorrect
    The abundance of nitrogen in Earth's atmosphere
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    The red shift of distant galaxies shows that galaxies further away from us are moving quicker, suggesting that the universe is expanding.

  14. 14. Which of these can be formed in a supernova?

    Correct
    Incorrect
    White dwarf
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Neutron star
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    A supernova can form a black hole or a neutron star. A white dwarf form when a star doesn't have a large enough mass to go supernova.

  15. 15. Which of these refers to the mass over which a star will become a black hole?

    Correct
    Incorrect
    Chandrasekhar limit
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Planck mass
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    It's named after Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, the physicist who independently calculated the limit at the age of 19 in India. The Planck mass is much, much, much smaller.

  16. 16. Which year did the Spirit and Opportunity rovers land on Mars?

    NASA
    Correct
    Incorrect
    1999
    Correct
    Incorrect
    2004
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    And Opportunity is still roving!

  17. 17. When will the Voyager 1 spacecraft pass by another star system?

    Correct
    Incorrect
    In 400 years
    Correct
    Incorrect
    In 40,000 years
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Voyager 1 is the furthest human-made object from Earth, and it's just left the solar system. It's next stop is a star called AC +79 3888 40,000 years from now.

  18. 18. When was the last time we landed a spacecraft on Venus?

    Correct
    Incorrect
    1985
    Correct
    Incorrect
    1995
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Vega 2 was a Soviet probe that landed on Venus in 1985. There have been flybys of the planet since, but no more landings.

  19. 19. Which of these problems did the Hubble Space Telescope encounter shortly after its launch?

    Correct
    Incorrect
    One of the CCD chips in its Wide Field and Planetary Camera was missing.
    Correct
    Incorrect
    It's primary mirror was ground in the wrong shape.
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    The mirror was two microns too flat, and wasn't able to produce images as good as hoped.

  20. 20. How long did it take New Horizons to reach Pluto?

    Correct
    Incorrect
    Nine years
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Nineteen years
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    All for just a few hours taking data when it got there – though analysis will take a lot longer.

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