DSST Astronomy Exam
Do you know more than the average person about celestial mechanics and the solar system? Maybe you’ve read numerous books about it during your free time or watched documentaries on public television. Whatever the reason, you just can’t see yourself spending the money and time to take a college course about astronomy, because you feel like you’re ready for the next step.
If this describes you, the DSST Astronomy exam might be your best option. DSST is a prior learning assessment program designed to help college students test out of courses they already understand and earn college credit at the same time. The DSST exam costs far less than a three-hour college course, qualifies as the same credit on your transcript, and will help you graduate faster.
The DSST Astronomy exam covers the following areas:
- History of Astronomy
- Celestial Mechanics, Including Gravitation and Relativity
- Celestial Systems
- Astronomical Instruments
- The Solar System
- The Sun and Stars: Nature and Evolution
- Our Galaxy: Contents and Structure
- The Universe: Contents, Structure, and Evolution
- Determining Astronomical Distances
- Life in the Universe.
For a detailed outline of the DSST Astronomy exam, you may want to check out a DSST Astronomy study guide.
DSST Astronomy Practice Questions
1. The Earth’s magnetic field protects it from:
A. Excess heat from the Sun.
B. Radio waves from black holes.
C. Solar wind.
D. Impacts from space debris.
2. Which of the following statements best describes the physical structure of the universe?
A. Galaxies are the largest structures in the universe, and they are distributed evenly throughout space.
B. Superclusters are the largest structures in the universe, and they are distributed evenly throughout space.
C. Superclusters are the largest structures in the universe, and they are unevenly distributed so that large voids exist in space.
D. Filaments are the largest structures in the universe, and they surround large, bubble-like voids.
3. The Hertzsprung-Russell (H-R) Diagram is used primarily to:
A. Determine a star’s age by comparing its temperature and luminosity.
B. Measure a star’s size by estimating its luminosity.
C. Determine a galaxy’s luminosity when its size is known.
D. Group galaxies by their morphological types.
4. The distance from the Earth to the Sun is equal to one:
A. Astronomical unit.
B. Light year.
5. The energy radiated by stars is produced by:
B. Nuclear fusion.
C. Nuclear fission.
D. Gravitational confinement.
6. The stream of charged particles that escape the Sun’s gravitational pull is best described by which of the following terms?
A. Solar wind
B. Solar flare
C. Solar radiation
7. Which of the following planets in our solar system is NOT a gas giant?
8. The asteroid belt in our solar system is located between:
A. Earth and Mars.
B. Neptune and Pluto.
C. Uranus and Saturn.
D. Mars and Jupiter.
9. Which of the following is a proposed explanation for the formation of black holes?
A. High-energy collisions
B. Gravitational collapse
C. Accretion of matter
D. A and B
10. What is the major difference between the two paradigms of Earth’s geologic past: catastrophism and uniformitarianism?
A. The first implies that the Earth was shaped by destructive processes, while the second implies it was shaped by constructive processes.
B. The first implies that the Earth has changed shape drastically several times, while the second implies it has not changed much over time.
C. The first implies that the same natural catastrophes occur on Earth today that occurred in the past, while the second implies that catastrophes did not occur in the past like they do today.
D. The first implies that the Earth was shaped by a series of quick, violent events, while the second implies that it changed slowly and incrementally.