Stars and Nebulae Practice Problems

By — McGraw-Hill Professional
Updated on Sep 17, 2011

Review the following concepts if needed:

Stars and Nebulae Practice Problems

A good score is 8 correct. Answers are provided at the end.

1. Energy from a certain star is observed at a wavelength of 10 –8 m. This is

(a) between utility ac and shortwave radio.

(b) microwave energy.

(c) visible light.

(d) between visible light and x-rays.


2. A galaxy is 100 million pc distant. Approximately how far is this in light-years?

(a) 326 million

(b) 30 million

(c) 100 million

(d) It can’t be calculated from this information.


3. If the Sun were viewed from a distance of 32.6 light-years, what would be its apparent visual magnitude?

(a) +4.8

(b) –4.4

(c) 0

(d) It can’t be calculated from this information.


4. Red-dwarf stars

(a) burn out more quickly than blue giants.

(b) live for about the same length of time as blue giants.

(c) live much longer than blue giants.

(d) never get hot enough for nuclear fusion to occur.


5. A certain stellar object has brightness that is constant, except for dips that occur at uniform intervals. There are two sets of spectral lines; one shifts toward the red, and the other shifts toward the blue. We can say with confidence that this is

(a) a Mira variable.

(b) a Cepheid variable.

(c) an RR Lyrae variable.

(d) an eclipsing binary.


6. Stars in the extreme lower right portion of the H-R diagram are

(a) red giants.

(b) red dwarfs.

(c) white dwarfs.

(d) supernovae.


7. When an object’s spectrum is red-shifted, this means that the spectral lines appear

(a) smeared out.

(b) invisible.

(c) longer in wavelength than normal.

(d) shorter in wavelength than normal.


8. A metal-deficient star consists almost entirely of

(a) all elements except the metals.

(b) helium.

(c) gas and dust.

(d) hydrogen and helium.


9. It is believed that someday the Sun’s core will

(a) explode.

(b) shrink because its hydrogen fuel has been spent.

(c) collapse down to a geometric point.

(d) condense into liquid water and then freeze into water ice.


10. The absolute visual magnitude of a star is the same as the apparent magnitude at a distance of

(a) 3.26 pc.

(b) 10.0 pc.

(c) 32.6 pc.

(d) 100 pc.



1. D

2. A

3. A

4. C

5. D

6. B

7. C

8. D

9. B

10. B

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