It’s the 50th anniversary of the Moon Landing and what better way to celebrate than with thirty Astronomy trivia questions! It’s a massive achievement in human exploration and with the new Artemis missions ramping up, we’re excited to head back to the Moon and beyond.
Once again, we’ve got the one and only Blaine Dowler as the host this week. As always, you’ll have five seconds to answer each of thirty questions. Three rounds (Dorky, Geeky, and Nerdy) get progressively harder as we go on.
Buckle up and check your pre-flight checklist, it’s time to launch.
After coming back to Earth, please take a moment to subscribe and rate us on the podcast directory of your choice. We need to know what you think about Astronomy Trivia. And we really appreciate your support. We’d also love to hear from you on social media. You can find us on Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit.
Don’t lose your research! Get a local back up for quick and easy storage.
More Like This Episode
This is the Dorky Geeky Nerdy podcast. A weekly gameshow to test your inner Dork, Geek, or Nerd. Play it at home, in the car, or at the office. Just geek out whenever and wherever you want. If you want to subscribe, you can find us at dorkygeekynerdy.com. I’m your guest host, Blaine Dowler. Let’s get going!
The Dorky Round
- 1. What shape is the Earth?
- Which planet is closest to the Sun?
- Which planet’s surface can cook a frozen pizza in under 16 seconds?
Venus. Sadly, it will cook you at the same time, so stick to baking them in your oven for half an hour.
- Which planet’s moons are named after women the Greek god Zeus never married, but still had “quality time” with?
Jupiter. 53 of its 79 moons were named with this convention.
- What is the closest star to Earth?
Sol, our Sun.
- Which planet’s axial tilt is 98 degrees, making years and days almost indistinguishable?
- Where on the moon did the Apollo 11 mission land?
The Sea of Tranquility
- Which Apollo mission was forced to abort the lunar landing, as dramatized in a film starring Tom Hanks (among others)?
- Which planet is best known for its beautiful rings, even though other planets have been shown to sport the same feature?
- Which body has not been considered a planet since the 26th International Astronomical Union conference in August 2006?
Pluto. Note that it was not an “anti-Pluto” mission: first, the IAU collaborated on a formal definition of a planet. Then, when the definition was agreed upon, people realized that Pluto did not qualify.
The Geeky Round
- What colour is Pluto?
- Which planet was named “George” by its discoverer?
Uranus. William Herschell, the astronomer, was trying to win favour from King George III.
- Which planet’s orbit helped usher in the adoption of the general theory of relativity?
- Which was the first black hole to be imaged from Earth?
- What is the second closest star to Earth?
Proxima Centauri, aka Alpha Centauri C, approximately 4.22 light years away.
- Which asteroid, the largest in the asteroid belt, used to be considered a planet?
- What astronomical bodies are assigned “LGM” catalog numbers?
Pulsars, which are rapidly rotating neutron stars. At first, the natural radio pulses were thought to be artificial, and the “LGM” designation came about because the astronomers wondered if they were seeing “little green men”.
- Which star, also known as the North Star, is particularly useful in navigation?
- When a sufficiently large star runs out of hydrogen to power its fusion, it becomes a red giant and fuses which element instead?
- Which astronomical body is formed of a thick, hard crust containing a single, massive atomic nucleus?
A neutron star. Said nucleus has no protons, and is a degenerate neutron gas.
Book of the Week
We here at Dorky, Geeky, Nerdy are big readers and we want to share that with our listeners. Every week, we’ll showcase a new book. If you’re interested, you can grab a copy and it’ll support the podcast. This week’s book is Lost Moon, by Jim Lovell and Jeffrey Kluger.
In April 1970, during the glory days of the Apollo space program, NASA sent Navy Captain Jim Lovell and two other astronauts on America’s fifth mission to the moon. Only fifty-five hours into the flight of Apollo 13, disaster struck: a mysterious explosion rocked the ship, and soon its oxygen and power began draining away. Written with all the color and drama of the best fiction, APOLLO 13 (previously published as Lost Moon) tells the full story of the moon shot that almost ended in catastrophe. Minutes after the explosion, the three astronauts are forced to abandon the main ship for the lunar module, a tiny craft designed to keep two men alive for just two days. As the hours tick away, the narrative shifts from the crippled spacecraft to Mission Control, from engineers searching desperately for a way to fix the ship to Lovell’s wife and children praying for his safe return. The entire nation watches as one crisis after another is met and overcome. By the time the ship splashes down in the Pacific, we understand why the heroic effort to rescue Lovell and his crew is considered by many to be NASA’s finest hour.
Now, thirty years after the launch of the mission, Jim Lovell and coauthor Jeffrey Kluger add a new preface and never-before-seen photographs to Apollo 13. In their preface, they offer an incisive look at America’s waxing and waning love affair with space exploration during the past three decades, culminating only recently when the Apollo 13 spacecraft itself, long consigned to an aviation museum outside Paris, was at last returned to its rightful home in the United States. As inspiring today as it was thirty years ago, the story of Apollo 13 is a timeless tribute to the enduring American spirit and sparkling individual heroism.
And now, back to the show.
The Nerdy Round
- Which was the first celestial body to be identified as a black hole?
- What type of celestial body was first observed by Jocelyn Bell Burnell and Antony Hewish?
- What visible cue can you find that would warn you of a nearby black hole?
An accretion disk
- What physical quantity needs to be measured to determine the Schwarzschild radius of a body?
Its mass alone determines the size it would have if it becomes a black hole.
- The “black holes have no hair” theorem says that almost all information about the matter that falls into a black hole is destroyed in the process. What three quantities are exceptions to this rule?
Mass, net electric charge, and net angular momentum.
- Which element has the highest atomic number of all elements created in the Big Bang?
Iron, with atomic number 26. A supernova is the only known natural process to produce any higher elements.
- How would your perception of reality differ if you were inside the event horizon of a black hole, but somehow still alive?
Our uncontrollable travel through time would halt, allowing us to freely move through time, but that uncontrollable travel would shift to the radial direction, drawing us inevitably to the singularity at the core of the black hole.
- The first galaxy ever discovered was originally misidentified as what?
The Andromeda Galaxy was mistaken for a nebula
- What is the Schwarzschild radius of the Earth?
0.887cm, or 0.349 inches. It’s safe to say our planet will not become a black hole any time soon.
- When was the first comet discovered by telescope?
Thanks for listening to Dorky Geeky Nerdy. We’ll be back next week with more questions and answers. Hopefully an equal number of each. If you can answer our bonus question, you’ll know next week’s topic.
If you receive a BFA from your college, you have a degree in what?
That’s it for now. Please subscribe on your podcast provider of choice and give us a five star rating. Share this episode with your friends and follow us on Facebook or Twitter. You also find us at DorkyGeekyNerdy.com where you can help support the podcast. I’m Blaine Dowler, and Brian Rollins will return next week. Thanks for listening.