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Quiz about Starlight Star Bright
Quiz about Starlight Star Bright

Starlight Star Bright Trivia Quiz


The apparent magnitude of a star (or other celestial object) is a measure of how bright it is as seen from Earth. Here are a few questions for all you bright people out there.

A photo quiz by reedy. Estimated time: 4 mins.
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Author
reedy
Time
4 mins
Type
Photo Quiz
Quiz #
363,892
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
7 / 10
Plays
872
Last 3 plays: bakeryfarm (9/10), linkan (10/10), bernie73 (6/10).
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Question 1 of 10
1. One of the most important stars in our sky, historically, is also the one that acts as the baseline for the scale of stellar magnitude. The principal star of the constellation Lyra and one corner of the Summer Triangle, what is its name? Hint


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Question 2 of 10
2. Also known as Alpha Ursae Minoris, what is the name of this variable magnitude star that also serves as the North Star? Hint


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Question 3 of 10
3. This star's magnitude fluctuates between 0.2 and 1.2, and despite its designation Alpha Orionis, it is actually the second brightest star in the constellation Orion. By what name (you don't have to say it three times) is it known? Hint


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Question 4 of 10
4. The brightest star in our night sky has a magnitude of -1.46. Kidding aside, it's twice as bright as the next brightest star. What is its name? Hint


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Question 5 of 10
5. In the constellation Gemini, two stars sit side by side (the heads of the twins) with the names Castor and Pollux. Which is the brighter of the two, with an apparent magnitude of 1.15?

Answer: (One Word (Castor or Pollux))
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Question 6 of 10
6. With an apparent magnitude of -0.72, this star ranks second on the list of brightest stars in the night sky. What is the name of this star, found in the southern hemisphere constellation Carina? Hint


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Question 7 of 10
7. Another point of the Summer Triangle, Deneb is the brightest star in the constellation Cygnus.


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Question 8 of 10
8. Of the three brightest stars in Orion's Belt (Alnitak, Alnilam and Mintaka), how many of them have a magnitude of greater than 2.00 (closer to zero)? Hint


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Question 9 of 10
9. Proxima Centauri, the closest star to us (exluding the sun), is easily visible to the naked eye.


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Question 10 of 10
10. It's not really a star, despite its nickname 'The Evening Star', but after the sun and the moon, it is the brightest object in the night sky with an apparent magnitude of -4.6. Which planet is it, seen above our moon in this photo? Hint


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Most Recent Scores
Jun 06 2024 : bakeryfarm: 9/10
Jun 01 2024 : linkan: 10/10
May 31 2024 : bernie73: 6/10
May 31 2024 : panagos: 10/10
May 25 2024 : Guest 24: 9/10
May 18 2024 : Linda_Arizona: 9/10
May 08 2024 : Guest 212: 8/10
May 04 2024 : superjodz: 7/10
Apr 25 2024 : slay01: 10/10

Score Distribution

quiz
Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. One of the most important stars in our sky, historically, is also the one that acts as the baseline for the scale of stellar magnitude. The principal star of the constellation Lyra and one corner of the Summer Triangle, what is its name?

Answer: Vega

Vega (or Alpha Lyrae) has historical significance in the field of astronomy for a number of reasons. It was the first star (other than our sun) to be photographed in 1850, and then the first star to have its spectrum photographed in 1872.

Most importantly, as regards this quiz, Vega was chosen to be the baseline (magnitude zero) by which stellar magnitude is measured. The brighter the star, the lower the number (into the negatives), while the more faint a star is, the higher the number.

As an example, the faintest stars visible to the naked eye have a magnitude of six, while stars brighter than Vega have negative magnitude figures.

Vega is only about 25 light years away from Earth, which is relatively close when considering the size of the universe.
2. Also known as Alpha Ursae Minoris, what is the name of this variable magnitude star that also serves as the North Star?

Answer: Polaris

Polaris, due to its prominent position in the sky, was the original choice to be the baseline star in the measurement of stellar magnitude. But after it was discovered that Polaris has a variable magnitude (largely due to the fact that it is a binary star system), the duty was placed upon Vega instead. While its apparent magnitude does fluctuate slightly, it sits at approximately 2 on the scale, making it about 40 times brighter than a sixth magnitude star (the faintest ones visible to the eye).

Polaris is approximately 434 light years away.
3. This star's magnitude fluctuates between 0.2 and 1.2, and despite its designation Alpha Orionis, it is actually the second brightest star in the constellation Orion. By what name (you don't have to say it three times) is it known?

Answer: Betelgeuse

While its apparent magnitude is variable, on average, Betelgeuse sits at 0.42 on the chart. Located at the 'right shoulder' of Orion (assuming the Hunter is facing you), Betelgeuse is approximately 643 light years from Earth.
4. The brightest star in our night sky has a magnitude of -1.46. Kidding aside, it's twice as bright as the next brightest star. What is its name?

Answer: Sirius

Sirius is another binary star system (Sirius B is visible in the lower left of the picture), but it is Sirius A that is the bright one. Because of its designation as Alpha Canis Majoris, Sirius has become known as the 'Dog Star'.

It is quite close to Earth, only 8.6 light years away.
5. In the constellation Gemini, two stars sit side by side (the heads of the twins) with the names Castor and Pollux. Which is the brighter of the two, with an apparent magnitude of 1.15?

Answer: Pollux

Castor and Pollux are the two brightest stars in the constellation Gemini, but Pollux is the brighter of the two (the head of the figure on the left). Pollux has an apparent magnitude of 1.15, while twin Castor's is 1.58.

In Greek mythology, after Castor was killed, Pollux asked Zeus if he could share his immortality with his brother, so that they could still be together. In response, Zeus transformed them into the constellation Gemini.

Castor (Alpha Geminorum) is a sextuple star system 52 light years from Earth, while twin Pollux (Beta Geminorum) is 34 light years away.
6. With an apparent magnitude of -0.72, this star ranks second on the list of brightest stars in the night sky. What is the name of this star, found in the southern hemisphere constellation Carina?

Answer: Canopus

The constellation Carina was originally considered part of the larger constellation Argo Navis. In 1763 Nicolas Louis de Lacaille broke the mythological Argo down into three parts: Vela (the sails), Puppis (the poop deck), and Carina (the keel).

Canopus (designated Alpha Carinae) is easily visible in the photo, which was taken from the International Space Station. The star is 313 light years from Earth.
7. Another point of the Summer Triangle, Deneb is the brightest star in the constellation Cygnus.

Answer: True

Along with Vega (constellation Lyra) and Altair (constellation Aquila), Deneb completes the three points of the Summer Triangle. Designated Alpha Cygni, Deneb has an apparent magnitude of 1.25 and is the brightest star in the constellation Cygnus.

Astronomers have been unable to pinpoint Deneb's distance from Earth, but estimates place it at roughly 2,600 light years away, the furthest of the stars that have a magnitude brighter than 1.5. It is estimated that it has a luminosity approximately 200,000 times greater than that of our own sun.
8. Of the three brightest stars in Orion's Belt (Alnitak, Alnilam and Mintaka), how many of them have a magnitude of greater than 2.00 (closer to zero)?

Answer: Two

Alnitak (designated Zeta Orionis) is a triple star system with a combined apparent magnitude of 1.72. It is at the eastern end of the belt, and is 736 light years from Earth.

Alnilam (designated Epsilon Orionis) has an apparent magnitude of 1.70. It is the center star of the belt, and is 1,300 light years away.

Mintaka (designated Delta Orionis) is a multiple star (A/B/C/D) with a combined apparent magnitude of 2.23. Separately, its four stars have apparent magnitudes of 3.2, 3.3, 6.85, and 14.0. They make up the westernmost of the stars of Orion's Belt, and are approximately 690 light years from us.
9. Proxima Centauri, the closest star to us (exluding the sun), is easily visible to the naked eye.

Answer: False

Proxima Centauri is a mere 4.24 light years from Earth, but its apparent magnitude is 11.05, well outside the visible range. It is, however, believed to be part of the (once) binary star system Alpha Centauri, whose stars A (-0.01) and B (1.33) combine to give an apparent magnitude of -0.27, making it the third-brightest star in the sky.
10. It's not really a star, despite its nickname 'The Evening Star', but after the sun and the moon, it is the brightest object in the night sky with an apparent magnitude of -4.6. Which planet is it, seen above our moon in this photo?

Answer: Venus

An apparent magnitude of -4.6 is actually bright enough to cast shadows on Earth. Venus is the second planet from the sun, and is at its brightest shortly before sunrise and shortly after sunset. Thus, in addition to being known as 'The Evening Star', it is also sometimes known as 'The Morning Star'.

Venus is sometimes called Earth's sister planet, because it is both the closest planet to Earth, and it is also the closest in size to the Earth.
Source: Author reedy

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor WesleyCrusher before going online.
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