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USA Astronomy and Astrophysics Olympiad 2014 Problems USA Astronomy Olympiad 2014
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    United States Astronomy and Astrophysics Olympiad Problems 2014    National Astronomy Olympiad 2013-2014 Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes Maximum Points: 66 (Multiple Choice: 32 points, Long Questions: 34 points) This test is designed to be taken with an answer sheet and scantron sheet on which the student records his or her responses. All answers are to be marked on these sheets, not written in the  booklet. Anything written in the test booklet will not be scored. Students must begin each Long Answer on a new sheet, clearly indicating the question number. Each student should be  provided with an answer sheet and scratch paper, both of which must be turned in with the test booklet at the end of the examination. The full examination consists of 16 multiple-choice questions and 3 Long Answer questions representing a fairly wide range of difficulty. Students should be permitted to use scientific calculators. A table of physical constants other useful information are provided as an attached  booklet. Do not discuss this examination with anyone after its completion. Your results will be emailed to you by March 20 th . I hereby affirm that all work on this exam is mine, and that I took this test under a proctor's supervision, with no outside aids beyond the materials provided and allowed. Furthermore, I also affirm to not discuss the test with others or provide any sort of aid to other examiners through the course of the examination. I understand that failure to do so may result in your disqualification from the exam. Signature: _______________________________ Date:_________________    Section A: Multiple Choice  [32 points]  1.   Which of the following constellations are visible during the summer? A.   Delphinus B.   Taurus C.   Monoceros D.   Eridanus 2.   Which stars make up the Winter Triangle asterism? A.   Regulus, Spica, Arcturus B.   Sirius, Procyon, Betelgeuse C.   Vega, Altair, Deneb D.   Alpheratz, Algenib, Markab 3.   The moon is at its upper culmination at 8pm, mean solar time. Estimate the phase of the moon. A.   Waning Gibbous B.   Waning Crescent C.   Waxing Gibbous D.   Waxing Crescent 4.   Arrange the following stages of the life cycle of a star of one solar mass in chronological order - Red-giant branch, Planetary nebula, White dwarf, Main sequence star, Helium Flash. A.   Main sequence star, Red-giant branch, Helium Flash, Planetary nebula, White dwarf B.   Main sequence star, Helium Flash, Red-giant branch, Planetary nebula, White dwarf C.   Main sequence star, Red-giant branch, Helium Flash, White dwarf, Planetary nebula D.   Main sequence star, Helium Flash, Red-giant branch, White dwarf, Planetary nebula  5.   How are the rings of Saturn thought to be formed? A.   They coalesced during the formation of the Solar System B.   They were ejected from the surface of Saturn by a massive meteor impact. C.   They are the disintegrated remains of some of Saturn's moons and captured meteorites D.   They were gravitationally captured from the interstellar medium 6.   The James Webb Space Telescope is to be sent to the second Lagrange point of the Earth-Sun system. What is the significance of doing so? A.   The telescope would require little expenditure of energy to maintain its orbit B.   The Earth would shield the telescope from the intense solar radiation C.   The Moon would shield the telescope from the intense solar radiation D.   It allows for ground control to communicate easily with the telescope 7.   Which of the following is not a possible method of detecting exoplanets? A.   To observe the wobbling of the parent star due to the gravitational influence of the  planet B.   To observe the doppler shift of light emitted by the parent star due to the gravitational influence of the planet C.   To observe the periodic dips in the brightness of the parent star due to planetary transits D.   All of the above are possible methods for detecting exoplanets 8.   An 8 inch Dobsonian telescope with a focal ratio of f/6 is used with a 12mm Plossel eyepiece. Calculate the magnifying power of the telescope. (1 inch = 25.4mm)  A.   30x B.   50x C.   100x D.   200x 9.   Approximately how much higher is the limiting magnitude of a telescope than that of the human eye? Assume that the telescope has an aperture of 200mm and the diameter of the human iris is 5mm. (A magnitude difference of 5 corresponds to a 100-fold difference in luminosity).  A.   6.0 B.   7.0 C.   8.0 D.   9.0
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