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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?

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! 
    Wrong! 

    That's why the sun rises in the east.

  2. 2. Which planet is bigger?

    Correct! 
    Wrong! 

    Mars is about half the width of Earth.

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

    Correct! 
    Wrong! 

    Both Mercury and Venus are moon-less.

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

    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! 
    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! 
    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! 
    Wrong! 

    Pretty far.

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

    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! 
    Wrong! 

    51 Pegasi b was discovered in 1995.

  10. 10. What type of star is Betelgeuse?

    Correct! 
    Wrong! 

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

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

    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! 
    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! 
    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! 
    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! 
    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! 
    Wrong! 

    And Opportunity is still roving!

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

    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! 
    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! 
    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! 
    Wrong! 

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

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