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Name_____________________________________ Date__________________ Period______
The Universe: “Beyond the Big Bang” Video Questions
1. The Big Bang is the “theory of cosmic evolution.”
2. What is a major problem with the Big Bang theory? It doesn’t explain everything.
3. The Big Bang theory only deals with the aftermath.
4. What is the sun mostly made of? Hydrogen, mostly (and Helium)
5. What is the surface temperature of the Sun? 10,000° F
6. When did our Solar System form? 4.5 billion years ago
7. How many stars in the Milky Way might have planetary systems like ours? 6 billion
8. To explain nature, earlier people described celestial bodies like stars and planets as Gods.
9. The nighttime sky is basically a large clock.
10. To early astronomers, it appeared that Earth was the center of the Universe.
11. What were the 2 types of stars the Greeks observed, with their two main characteristics?
a. stars: small and fixed
b. planets: large and moving
12. How did Aristotle imagine the Universe looked? Each planet existed in a separate glass
sphere that revolved around the Earth.
13. What did Ptolemy figure out and predict? the path of the planets using epicycle model
14. Why didn’t Astronomy progress after the collapse of Rome? Europe was too fractured to
continue scientific discovery
15. How many years lapsed between the fall of Rome and renewed interest in Astronomy? 1000
16. What is the Heliocentric universe? The Sun is the center of the Universe, not the Earth.
17. What two things did Nicolas Copernicus discover about Earth? that Earth rotated on its axis
and that Earth moved, not the stars
18. What were two of Johannes Kepler’s contributions to the understanding of planetary orbits?
Planets move in ellipses and move faster as they approach the Sun.
19. What tool (instrument) was invented that changed Astronomy? telescope
20. Give two examples of discoveries made by Galileo using the telescope. any two of the
following: more stars, craters on moon, Jupiter’s moon, rings of Saturn, phases of Venus
21. Why did Galileo get in trouble with leaders of the Catholic church? He attempted to reinterpret
22. Isaac Newton united the theories of Kepler and Galileo into what new theory? gravity
23. Newton’s Book Principia explained how objects pull on each other.
24. Newton knew that gravity worked but he never explained or understood it.
25. Albert Einstein revolutionized our understanding of time and space.
26. Einstein didn’t like the idea of a dynamic, finite universe. He preferred a static and infinite
27. What did Einstein include as part of his theory of General Relativity? the effects of gravity on
space and time
28. Einstein proposed that gravity worked because space and time were warped in the presence of
29. Despite what Einstein believed, his theories led to the idea of a moment of creation.
30. What was George Lemaître’s profession? Catholic priest
31. What radical idea was Lemaître’s contribution to understanding the universe? The Universe was
32. Lemaître theorized that the universe came from a primeval atom.
33. In 1925 the Milky Way galaxy was considered to be the universe.
34. Edwin Hubble solved the problem of measuring distance between stars by using the
standard candle.
35. How far away is the Andromeda galaxy? 1 million light years away
36. How many light years might the universe be in size? billions of light years across
37. Hubble revealed that the universe was much larger than originally imagined.
38. What was the competing theory of creation of the universe? Steady State
39. Hoyle based that theory on the origin of elements.
40. What is nucleosynthesis? Heavier elements are created in the cores of very hot stars.
41. Everything that forms after Helium is star dust.
42. Hydrogen is what percentage of the detectable universe? 74%
43. What was the problem with Hoyle’s preferred theory? People knew the universe was
44. Who opposed the Steady State theory? George Gamov
45. Alpher and Herman refined Lemaître’s prediction of detectable remnant heat, left over from the
Big Bang.
46. What was a problem for the Big Bang theory in the 1940s? It offered no explanation for the
formation of elements heavier than hydrogen and helium.
47. While conducting satellite communication experiments for Bell Labs, Penzias and Wilson heard
static or noise.
48. Where did the sounds that Penzias and Wilson heard originate? everywhere
49. What was the “smoking gun” that Penzias and Wilson discovered? cosmic background
50. In the end, parts of Gamov’s and Hoyle’s theories were shown to be correct.
51. Why is the temperature uniform in space? Because it was so small at the Big Bang.
52. Guth theorized that the Universe expanded faster than the speed of light.
53. Guth called his theory Inflation.
54. What did the WMAP satellite chart? an early picture of the Universe
55. What is expected to happen to our Sun 5 billion years from now? It will use all of its fuel and
will expand and destroy the Earth.
56. What will happen to the gas giant planets of our solar system, after the Sun’s nebula arrives?
They will be stripped to their rocky cores.
57. What is the newest theory for the destruction of the universe? In the Big Rip, the Universe
expands faster and faster until it rips apart.