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Science Quiz Questions – ASTRONOMY AND SPACE QUIZ
What makes a planet a “dwarf” planet? How many miles are in a light-year? What exactly is a quasar? Launch into other worlds while testing your knowledge about space, celestial bodies, and the solar system.
1. What two motions do all planets have?
Orbit and spin.
All planets have two types of motion, known as orbit and spin. Planets in our solar system all orbit the Sun.
2. When did the Space Age begin?
The space age began on October 4, 1957, when the Soviet Union launched Sputnik 1, the first man-made Earth satellite.
3. What is the visible part of the Sun called?
The outer region of the Sun that is normally visible from the Earth is called the photosphere, which means “sphere of light.”
4. What makes a planet a dwarf planet?
Size and shape.
In 2006, Pluto, Eris, and Ceres were classified as dwarf planets. Makemake and Haumea were added in 2008.
5. What term describes the alignment of three celestial bodies?
When three celestial bodies appear to be in a straight line, as sometimes happens, this is called a syzygy.
6. Which of these objects is the farthest from the Sun?
A. Saturn B. Neptune C. Kuiper belt D. 90377 Sedna
90377 Sedna lies more than 11 billion kilometers away from our planet, three times farther away from Earth than Neptune.
7. Approximately how many miles are there in a light year?
A light-year is the distance light travels in a year—–about 5.9 trillion miles, or 9.5 trillion kilometers.
8. Which is the name of a radio source that is very far from Earth?
A quasar is a radio source that comes to Earth from somewhere in space. The name means “quasi-stellar radio source.”
9. The day on which the Sun’s direct rays cross the celestial equator is called:
On the equinox, the day on which the Sun’s path crosses the celestial equator, night and day are of equal length.
10. Who invented the telescope?
Hans Lippershey (c. 1570-c. 1619) was a spectacle maker in the Netherlands, who is credited with the invention of the telescope.
SCIENCE QUIZ QUESTIONS
Put your science smarts under the microscope and see how much you know about bloodstones, biomes, buoyancy, and more!
11. For what is the Jurassic period named?
A mountain range.
The Jurassic period, of Jurassic Park fame, is named for the Jura Mountains, where many fossils have been found.
12. Who invented the World Wide Web?
A laboratory in Switzerland.
In the early 1990s, a group of computer scientists at CERN in Switzerland devised a way to send digital information over the Internet so that it could be accessed on a graphic user interface.
13. Which of the following technological developments came first?
A. telegraph B. telescope C. teletype D. telephone
The first telescope is thought to have been built in the Netherlands in the early 1600s, but Italian mathematician Galileo Galilei almost immediately popularized use of the “far seeing” device for scientific purposes.
14. Who invented the geodesic dome?
R. Buckminster Fuller.
R. Buckminster Fuller, an American architect and designer, invented the geodesic dome in the 1940s. Many thousands of domes have been built according to his plans.
15. What airplane has not been flown commercially since 2003?
The first commercial jet to travel faster than the speed of sound was the Concorde. Developed by Great Britain and France, it flew from 1976 until 2003.
16. Moths are a member of what order?
Moths are of the same order as butterflies, the lepidoptera. The name means “with scaly wings.”
17. When was the first plastic made of artificial materials patented?
In 1909 a chemist named Leo H. Baekeland developed the first plastic made completely from synthetic (man-made) materials. Baekeland named the new material Bakelite.
18. A baby blue whale drinks this many liters of milk per day:
A baby blue whale drinks approximately 190 liters of milk each day. By contrast, a baby tiger drinks only about a liter of milk per day.
Science Quiz Questions – FACES OF SCIENCE
Galileo Galilei. Anders Celsius. You may recognize their names, but do you know who they really are? Gather your data and test your knowledge of famous scientists in this quiz.
19. For whom is the centigrade system of temperature measurement named?
Anders Celsius, a Swedish scientist, conceived of the centigrade (also called Celsius) scale of measurement in 1742.
20. Which scientist was born the year Galileo died?
In the year Galileo died, 1642, there was born in England one of the greatest scientists of all time, Isaac Newton.
21. For whom is the Fahrenheit system of temperature measurement named?
Daniel Fahrenheit, a German physicist, proposed the Fahrenheit scale in 1724. By that scale, water freezes at 32º.
22. Who is considered the “father” of the scientific method?
Galileo is considered the father of the experimental, or scientific, method because he devised critical experiments that forced conviction even though the results contradicted earlier authorities.
23. In which field did Marie Curie and her daughter Irene-Joliot Curie both win the Nobel Prize?
Marie Curie, also known as Madame Curie, and her daughter both won Nobel Prizes in chemistry.
24. Who developed the theory of evolution?
Charles Darwin (1809–1882) developed the theory of evolution after studying animals and plants around the world.
25. Who invented the safety elevator?
The safety elevator, which will not crash even if its cable breaks, was invented by the American Elisha Graves Otis in the 1850s.
26. Which scientist is well known for his work with falling bodies?
Galileo discovered the natural laws that govern falling bodies and the swinging of the pendulum.
27. Who said, “God does not play dice with the universe”?
Albert Einstein, the eminent physicist, said, “God does not play dice with the universe.” He explained that everything in the universe existed for a reason, and not by mere accident.
Science Quiz Questions – EVERYTHING EARTH
If earth is mankind’s first frontier, how will you score on this final exam? Dig into these questions and see what answers you uncover.
28. Earth revolves this many meters per second at the equator:
Earth revolves 1,532 feet per second (467 meters per second) at the equator.
29. What is the reflectivity of Earth’s surface called?
The albedo effect refers to the reflectivity of Earth’s surface. About 30 percent of shortwave radiation is bounced back into space by clouds, dust, snow, and ice.
30. How old is sunlight by the time it reaches Earth?
It takes 8 minutes for sunlight to travel from the Sun to Earth.
31. What is the average surface temperature of Earth?
The average surface temperature on Earth is 57 ºF (14 ºC). It would be well below freezing were it not for greenhouse gases that trap warm air in the atmosphere.
32. What is diatomaceous earth made of?
Diatomaceous earth is made from the fossilized remains of tiny marine organisms, particularly diatoms. It is used as a natural insecticide.
33. What is Earth’s predominant environment?
Most of the world is covered by water, and most of that water is about 13,123 feet deep. Deep ocean is therefore the world’s most common environment.
34. Who was the first person to orbit Earth?
On April 12, 1961, Yuri Gagarin became the first human to circle Earth in space. John Glenn followed on February 20, 1962.
35. How much of the Earth is covered with oceans?
About 71 percent, or nearly three-quarters, of our planet’s surface is covered with oceans.
Science Quiz Questions – SPACE ODYSSEY
“Far out”. “Spacely”. “Out-of-this-world”. You may have heard the slang, but how much do you really know about space…cadet? Launch into this quiz and begin your journey of planets and the universe.
36. How much of the universe is in a plasma state (in percentage)?
About 99 percent of the known matter in the universe is in the plasma state. Some scientists consider plasma to be a fourth state of matter.
37. How many comets are there in the solar system?
Scientists estimate that there are one trillion comets in the solar system. Almost all of them remain within the orbit of Neptune and do not travel beyond it.
38. What planet is closest to Saturn?
The planet Jupiter is Saturn’s nearest neighbor and the closest to it in size and composition. Jupiter is the largest planet in the solar system.
39. What is the most volcanically active body in our solar system?
Jupiter’s moon Io, the fourth largest moon in the solar system, has over 400 active volcanos, making it the most active body in the solar system.
40. What is the name for a space without air, gas, or other matter?
A vacuum is a space that is completely empty. It contains no air, gas, or other substance.
41. On what planet is the Great Red Spot?
A feature of the planet Jupiter, the Great Red Spot is a huge high-pressure storm like a hurricane. Three Earths would fit inside it.
42. What do scientists use to search for life in distant space?
Many scientists assume the best way to detect an advanced civilization is to listen for stray radio signals. The SETI project is one effort to detect signals from space.
Science Quiz Questions – STARS: EXPLOSIONS IN SPACE
What’s your horoscope? Have you ever seen a shooting star? From Orion and The Big Dipper to Star Wars and the Hollywood Walk of Fame, test your knowledge of stars in this quiz.
43. What star is nearest to Earth?
The Sun is closest to Earth—at nearly 93 million miles (150 million kilometers) away!
44. What is the closest star to our Sun?
Proxima Centauri is a star that lies 4.2 light-years from the Sun—that is, the distance light travels in 4.2 years, which is very far away.
45. What is the name for a “pulsating star”?
A pulsar is a pulsating star that emits radio waves, X-rays, and gamma rays. Pulsars are created by neutron stars.
46. How many stars are used in celestial navigation?
A total of 57 stars figure in celestial navigation. Most are very bright, making them easy to locate in the night sky.
Science Quiz Questions – WATER AND ITS VARYING FORMS
Even though water exists in three states, there is only one correct answer to the questions in this quiz. Dive in and test your knowledge of water…and see whether you sink or swim.
47. What ocean receives the most fresh water from rivers?
The Atlantic Ocean receives the waters of several of the world’s largest rivers: the Nile, Amazon, Congo, Mississippi, Niger, Danube, and Orinoco, plus much of the flow from Arctic glaciers.
48. How much of the Earth’s surface is covered with water?
Three-fourths of the Earth’s surface is covered with water.
49. What is a tropical cyclone called in the Atlantic Ocean?
Atlantic tropical cyclonic storms are called hurricanes. The word comes from a Carib Indian phrase meaning “big wind.”
50. What is the most common element in water?
Each molecule of water is made up of two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom.
51. What is the largest floating object in the ocean?
Icebergs are made of frozen freshwater, not salt water, so they float. They can drift thousands of miles. The largest can be a kilometer or more across and a hundred meters tall, mostly underwater.
52. From what, besides hydrogen, is water made?
A molecule of water, also known as H2O, is made up of two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom.
53. How many calories does a glass of water contain?
Water contains no calories. This is why dieters are advised to drink plenty of water instead of fluids that contain sugar—which do have calories.
Science Quiz Questions – INVENTORS AND INVENTIONS
Our earliest human ancestors invented the wheel, but who invented the ball bearing that reduces rotational friction? Let the wheels in your head turn while testing your knowledge of inventors and their inventions in this quiz.
54. In what year was the ball bearing patented?
The ball bearing was patented in Wales in 1794. It allowed a wagon wheel to turn smoothly on a wooden axle.
55. In which decade did television become widely available around the world?
Though invented a couple of decades earlier, television became widely available only in the 1950s in the United States and elsewhere in the industrial world.
56. Who invented the diesel engine?
Rudolf Diesel, a German inventor, developed the engine named for him in the early 1900s.
57. Which vehicle was invented about 3000 BCE?
The first chariot was invented about 3000 BCE.
58. Who discovered the X-ray?
Recipient of the first Nobel prize for physics in 1901, German physicist Wilhelm Roentgen was the discoverer of X-rays.
59. When were the first rockets launched?
The Chinese made rockets by filling bamboo tubes with gunpowder, probably in the 13th century. When they lit the gunpowder, the gas from the explosion sent the rocket into the air.
60. Which group invented and developed the early Internet?
The U.S. government.
The U.S. government developed the Internet in the 1970s and 1980s. It allowed people in distant places to communicate through computers.
Science Quiz Questions – MAN-MADE BIRDS IN THE SKY
From zeppelins to jet-powered propellers, launch into this quiz and test your knowledge of aircraft and aviation.
61. What is the name for a jet-powered propeller engine?
One type of jet engine, the turboprop, is used to turn a propeller.
62. For what field of endeavor are the Wright Brothers known?
In 1903 the Wright brothers of Ohio mounted a gasoline engine and a propeller on a specially adapted glider and produced the first successful airplane.
63. Pilots give what name to Universal Time Coordinated (UTC)?
Pilots use the letter Z, coded as Zulu, to indicate Universal Time Coordinated (UTC). This assures that pilots all around the world are not confused by time-zone changes.
64. What is the name for the aircraft body?
The fuselage is the body of the aircraft. It consists of a rigid frame and a covering of aluminum, magnesium, or molded plastic or fiberglass.
Science Quiz Questions – PHYSICS AND NATURAL LAW
What force slows motion? For every action there is an equal and opposite what? There’s nothing E = mc square about taking this physics quiz.
65. Which branch of physics is particularly useful in designing bridges?
Statics is the study of matter at rest. Statics deals with the balancing of forces with appropriate resistances to keep matter at rest. The design of buildings and of bridges are examples of problems in statics.
66. With what phenomenon is the physicist Benjamin Thompson associated?
Benjamin Thompson reasoned that motion is transformed into heat (as when a bullet strikes through a piece of wood) and that heat is not an element or a substance.
67. Who developed the laws of motion?
Sir Isaac Newton (1642–1727) developed the laws of motion, describing the movements of objects in space.
68. In physics, for every action there is an equal and opposite what?
Newton’s third law of motion holds that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.
69. What kind of energy is contained in a rock on a cliff?
Potential energy is stored in a rock on a cliff and in a stretched bowstring. If the cliff crumbles, the rock falls. If the string is let go, it pushes the arrow through the air.
70. In what year was the second theory of relativity published?
In 1916 Albert Einstein published his second (or general) theory of relativity.
71. What theory is Albert Einstein known for?
Einstein’s theory of relativity shows that measurements of space and time are relative—that is, they change when taken by observers who are moving at different speeds.
72. Who received the 1951 Nobel prize in physics?
Ernest Walton received the 1951 Nobel prize in physics for the development of the first nuclear-particle accelerator.
Science Quiz Questions – FUN FACTS OF MEASUREMENT & MATH
What does a barometer measure? During which year do humans grow the fastest? Gather your wits and measure your knowledge by taking this quiz.
73. What unit measures food energy?
A calorie is a measure of the amount of energy a food can produce. The body changes the calories in food to energy.
74. In basic pasteurization, at what temperature is milk heated (in centigrade)?
Milk is heated to 145.4 degrees Fahrenheit (63 degrees centigrade) for 30 minutes to produce basic pasteurization. This kills many bacteria.
75. In kilometers per second, what is the escape velocity needed for a rocket to leave Earth?
No matter what its size, a spacecraft or rocket has to go 6.96 miles per second (11.2 kilometers per second) or faster to leave Earth. This is called “escape velocity.”
76. What is the ratio of sand to water for the best sandcastle?
According to a scientific study published in Europe in 2005, the sturdiest sandcastle is 8 parts sand to 1 part water.
77. When do humans grow fastest?
1 year old.
During the first year of life, healthy babies triple their weight. Babies have to eat a great deal to keep up this fast growth!
78. How many kilometers is a nautical mile?
A nautical mile is one minute of arc on Earth. It corresponds to slightly more than 1.1 miles (1.8 kilometers).
79. How many kilometers is Uranus from the Sun?
Uranus is approximately 2,870,972,200 kilometers (1,783,940,000 miles) from the Sun. It lies on the far edges of the solar system.
80. How far is Betelgeuse from Earth?
Orion’s second brightest star, and the eleventh brightest star in the sky, is Betelgeuse. A red supergiant, it is about 520 light-years away from Earth.
81. What does a barometer measure?
A barometer measures air pressure. This allows scientists to predict changes in weather.
Science Quiz Questions – LANETS AND THE EARTH’S MOON
What’s the relationship between distant planets and supposed extraterrestrial life? What is our solar system’s hottest planet? Strap on your thinking caps–and seat belts–and test your astronomy knowledge in this quiz.
82. Why is the Moon not considered a planet?
It orbits Earth.
A moon is any natural satellite orbiting another body.
83. What is the hottest planet?
Venus is farther from the Sun than is Mercury, but it has greenhouse gases that keep it at 878 ºF (470 ºC)—hotter than glowing coals!
84. Why are exoplanets thought to be the most likely host for extraterrestrial life?
They may be like Earth.
Logically, scientists are looking for life in places that might be like Earth. Life on these recently discovered and unexplored distant planets has not yet been ruled out.
85. What is thought to cause those spots on Uranus?
The spots observed on Uranus are thought to be storms, but they are smaller and fewer than those seen on Jupiter, Saturn, and Neptune.
86. At 1,000 kilometers an hour, how long would it take to go from Venus to the Sun?
If a spacecraft were to move at 621 miles per hour (1,000 kilometers per hour), it would take 12.3 years to travel from Venus to the Sun.
87. How fast does the Moon revolves around Earth (in kilometers per second)?
The Moon revolves around Earth at 2,281.68 miles per hour (1.02 kilometers per second).
88. What is the sixth planet from the Sun?
Saturn is the sixth planet from the Sun. The average distance between the Sun and Saturn is about 0.87 billion miles (1.4 billion kilometers).
89. Which planet is named for an ancient messenger?
Mercury is named for the ancient Roman messenger of the gods. The smallest planet of the solar system also shares its name with a liquid metal.
90. What is the name for planets outside our solar system?
In the 1990s astronomers found the first evidence of planets outside our solar system. These planets are called extrasolar planets or exoplanets.
Science Quiz Questions – ELECTRICITY: SHORT CIRCUITS & DIRECT CURRENTS
What’s the difference between an electrical conductor and an insulator? Who invented the battery? Feel your cells burn as you recharge your mental battery by answering the questions in this quiz.
91. What do we call a material that heat or electricity can move through?
A conductor is a material that heat or electricity can move through, such as copper.
92. Who invented the battery?
Alessandro Volta, for whom the volt is named, invented the first battery in 1800. It was called the Voltaic pile.
93. A lead acid battery stores what kind of electricity?
Direct current (DC).
Batteries produce direct current, which flows in one direction.
94. Who discovered the law of electrolysis?
Michael Faraday discovered the laws of electrolysis by measuring how much material was transported by known amounts of electric current in an electrolytic cell.
95. Electricity that reaches our homes through cables is called:
Electricity that flows through cables as a current flows through a river is called current electricity.
Science Quiz Questions – SOUND WAVES CALLING
What is pitch? What is the name for a speed greater than that of sound? Is the sound of a sonic boom too high for humans to hear? Find out the answers by plugging into this acoustics quiz.
96. What is another name for the voice box?
At the base of the throat is the larynx, or voice box. Inside the larynx are the vocal cords.
97. What is the name for a speed greater than that of sound?
Speed that just exceeds the speed of sound is called Mach 1, and faster speeds are measured as multiples of this speed. Mach 2 is twice the speed of sound.
98. What kind of sound is too high for humans to hear?
Ultrasound is sound of a frequency so high that a human ear cannot hear it.
99. What is pitch?
The highness or lowness of a sound.
Pitch is the highness or lowness of a sound, measured by the frequency of its waves in hertz (cycles per second).
100. The relative loudness of a sound is measured by:
Decibels are units used to measure relative loudness.