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Quiz about The Celestial Cosmos
Quiz about The Celestial Cosmos

The Celestial Cosmos Trivia Quiz


The ancient Greeks saw the universe as a cosmos, which consisted of both the heavens and earth. They pondered the underlying structure of the cosmos to find universal truth, and explain natural phenomena.

A multiple-choice quiz by ponycargirl. Estimated time: 4 mins.
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Author
ponycargirl
Time
4 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
362,830
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
8 / 10
Plays
2014
Awards
Top 20% Quiz
Last 3 plays: Mikeytrout44 (8/10), brenda610 (9/10), misdiaslocos (10/10).
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Question 1 of 10
1. The word "astronomy" comes from the two Greek words meaning what? Hint


Question 2 of 10
2. The ancient Greeks were not the first scientists who made contributions to modern astronomy.


Question 3 of 10
3. The ancient Greek, Pythagoras, who is really more famous in another field, is considered to be the first to recognize that "Hesperus" and "Phosphorus" were actually the same planet. Which planet was that? Hint


Question 4 of 10
4. The ancient Greeks were able to see five planets with the naked eye. Which planet on this list cannot be seen without an optic aid? Hint


Question 5 of 10
5. According to NASA, this planet is the coldest in our solar system, and was named after the Roman counterpart of the Greek god of the sea, Poseidon. What planet is it? Hint


Question 6 of 10
6. An ancient Greek name for Polaris was "Cynosura", which meant what? Hint


Question 7 of 10
7. In the earliest Greek literature, the "Iliad" and the "Odyssey", Homer referred to several celestial objects. Which one of the following did he NOT mention? Hint


Question 8 of 10
8. Sometimes known as the "Greek Copernicus", Aristarchus proposed a theory whereby the Sun, not the Earth, was the center of the universe. What was this theory called? Hint


Question 9 of 10
9. The ancient Greek, Hipparchus, was the first to accurately calculate this event that occurs when one celestial body is partially or totally blocked by another. What is this phenomenon called? Hint


Question 10 of 10
10. The ancient Greek, Hipparchus, also discovered what is called the "precession of the equinoxes". Axial precession is the movement of the rotational axis of an astronomical body, where the axis slowly traces out which shape? Hint



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quiz
Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. The word "astronomy" comes from the two Greek words meaning what?

Answer: Star and Law

The Greek word "astron" means "star", and the suffix "-nomy" means law or culture. Astronomy is not to be confused with astrophysics, as it usually is. Astronomy tends to focus on measurements and positioning of objects, while astrophysics tries to understand how the universe behaves, based on the laws of physics. Since astronomers use astrophysics to support their research, the two fields are quite connected.
2. The ancient Greeks were not the first scientists who made contributions to modern astronomy.

Answer: True

Great strides in astronomy were made centuries before the Greeks by the ancient Mesopotamians, who introduced ideas still used today, such as the 60-minute hour, 60-second minute, and seven-day week; Egyptians, who devised a 12-month calendar based on the appearance of the star Sirius; and Persians, whose astronomical calculations were used more for astrological concerns, but for which accurate astronomical charts were necessary. Because Greece lay at a crossroads between these cultures, as well as those from India, where a calendar had been devised along with mathematical calculations used in astronomy, and China, where the heavens were charted in order to record time accurately, they were able to build on an already-sound foundation of information and knowledge.
3. The ancient Greek, Pythagoras, who is really more famous in another field, is considered to be the first to recognize that "Hesperus" and "Phosphorus" were actually the same planet. Which planet was that?

Answer: Venus

Pythagoras, better know for his mathematical contributions, also believed that if the moon and other celestial bodies were round, then the Earth probably was too. He proposed this idea after noticing that ships disappear below the horizon when they sailed away. "Hesperus" was the evening star that appeared in the west, and "Phosphorus" was the morning star that appeared in the east; both were appearances of the planet Venus.
4. The ancient Greeks were able to see five planets with the naked eye. Which planet on this list cannot be seen without an optic aid?

Answer: Neptune

In the ancient world it was possible to see five planets with the naked eye: Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. Sometimes the Sun and the Moon were added to the list. These planets are the brightest, and therefore, the easiest to see if one knows where to look! It took careful observation to note all of the movements because the planets are not always visible when they approach the Sun.
5. According to NASA, this planet is the coldest in our solar system, and was named after the Roman counterpart of the Greek god of the sea, Poseidon. What planet is it?

Answer: Neptune

After Pluto was declassified as a planet, Neptune became the farthest planet from the sun. Neptune has nineteen moons, and is the densest of the gas planets.
6. An ancient Greek name for Polaris was "Cynosura", which meant what?

Answer: Dog's Tail

When the term was first used, the Little Bear constellation was interpreted as a dog, hence the dog's tail. The use of the word "Polaris" dates back to the 1600s. The star is found 434 light years away from Earth. The estimated surface temperature is between 6000 and 7000 K.
7. In the earliest Greek literature, the "Iliad" and the "Odyssey", Homer referred to several celestial objects. Which one of the following did he NOT mention?

Answer: Arcturus

In addition, Homer also mentioned the constellation, Bootes, and the star clusters, Hyades and Pleiades. The star Arcturus was first mentioned by Hesiod in "Works and Days". Interestingly enough, neither Homer nor Hesiod wrote scientific works, but what they did write indicates at least a basic knowledge of what was known about astronomy at the time.
8. Sometimes known as the "Greek Copernicus", Aristarchus proposed a theory whereby the Sun, not the Earth, was the center of the universe. What was this theory called?

Answer: Heliocentric Theory

Aristarchus opposed the geocentric theory, the idea that the Earth was the center of the universe, which had been proposed earlier by Aristotle and later by Ptolemy. He not only believed that the Earth revolved around the sun, but also that it rotated on an axis. Almost two thousand years later, Copernicus and Galileo proved that his theory was more correct (though the Sun is the center of the solar system, not of the universe).

In addition Aristarchus also put the planets known at the time in their correct order of distance from the Sun.
9. The ancient Greek, Hipparchus, was the first to accurately calculate this event that occurs when one celestial body is partially or totally blocked by another. What is this phenomenon called?

Answer: Eclipse

Although he wasn't the first to notice that eclipses occur, Hipparchus accurately predicted when both the solar eclipse and lunar eclipse would take place. During a solar eclipse the Moon's shadow crosses the Earth's surface; a lunar eclipse is when when the Moon moves into the Earth's shadow.
10. The ancient Greek, Hipparchus, also discovered what is called the "precession of the equinoxes". Axial precession is the movement of the rotational axis of an astronomical body, where the axis slowly traces out which shape?

Answer: Cone

On Earth, the precession of the equinoxes can also be called lunisolar precession, or precession of the equator. One complete precession cycle on Earth takes about 26,000 years! Hipparchus estimated the precession cycle at about one degree a century, however, modern astronomer have calculated it as 1.38 degrees.
Source: Author ponycargirl

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor CellarDoor before going online.
Any errors found in FunTrivia content are routinely corrected through our feedback system.
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