Astr 2100 Descriptive Astronomy
Spring 2013 - Assignment 1 - Answers


  1. The distance to the Pole Star, also known as Polaris. In which constellation is it located?
    1. 431 lyr (= 2.5 x 1015 miles)
    2. Ursa Minor (= The Little Bear)
  2. The distance to a relatively nearby star, Zuben El Genubi. (Spelling sometimes varies.) In which constellation is it located?
    1. 77 lyr (some other sources give the distance as 65 lyr)
    2. Libra
  3. The approximate diameter of the Milky Way galaxy
    1. 100,000 lyr
  4. The approximate thickness of the disk of the Milky Way galaxy
    1. 1,000 lyr
  5. The distance from the Earth to the center of the Milky Way galaxy. In which constellation is it located?
    1. 26,000 lyr
    2. Sagittarius
  6. The distance from the Earth to the open cluster known as either the Pleiades or the Seven Sisters.
    1. 440 light years
  7. The name and distance to the closest galaxy other than the Milky Way.
    1. Canis Major Dwarf Galaxy
    2. 25,000 lyr (From the Sun. Some sources quote 42,000 lyr, which is the distance from the center of the Milky Way galaxy))
  8. The distance to the Triangulum Galaxy.
    1. 2,592,000 lyr
  9. The approximate distance to the furthest known object in the universe, a quasar, also known as an active galaxy.
    1. 13.4 billion light years