Earth Day Webquest Online Quiz

Test your knowledge from the Earth Day at Home Webquest to see how much you’ve learned!

More Info / References


1. Bright Nights and City Lights

The bright lights of cities are detected in the Earth at night satellite image. The lights seen in the image may also include light from wildfires, lightning, reflected moonlight, and gas flares. True or False?

The Suomi NPP VIIRS instrument collects data from various light sources including city lights, wildfires, gas flares, moonlight reflected off snow, water, clouds and deserts, and other sources of light. Because city lights glow in different wavelengths than other light sources, researchers can study different phenomena by filtering out different light sources.

2. Finding Adelie Penguins

Adelie penguin populations nest in large, densely packed colonies in the same place each year. How can satellite images help scientists find penguin populations in remote areas?

Computer programs scan for shades of pink that are the same color as penguin poop. The color of poop is determined by what the penguins eat. Penguins eat krill and fish, which makes their poop varying shades from pink to white. The more krill penguins eat, the pinker the guano. More fish makes the guano whiter. While satellites cannot detect the penguins' body heat from space, aircraft can. Satellites also cannot detect the white bellies of penguins. Adelie penguin colonies nest along the rocky Antarctic coastline, not among jagged peaks.

3. NASA Aero Lowering Emissions

NASA’s goal is to help industry reduce emissions from aircraft by how much by 2050 compared to 2005?

NASA is developing technologies to reduce aircraft emissions 50% by the year 2050. To accomplish this goal, NASA is creating new aircraft designs, finding ways to use alternate fuels, and more.

4. NASA In Your Life

Cleaning polluted areas across the world is easier because of NASA’s role creating a biodegradable environmental cleanup technology call EZVI, which stands for Emulsified Zero-Valent Iron. How does EZVI technology work?

Injected into soil, EZVI neutralizes toxic chemicals in groundwater, leaving only nontoxic byproducts. While A) is the correct answer for how EZVI works, the other options are all other examples of different NASA spinoffs that protect coastal environmental and water, like pollution remediation technology, environmentally safe ship cleaning, and environmentally safe sewage treatment.

5. Seeing Wildfire from Space

Which of the following is NOT one of the factors scientists observe with a satellite to help detect wildfires?

Burning trees do not emit oxygen. Fires are chemical reactions that use oxygen from the surrounding air and trees and other burnable elements in the forest environment. Satellites detect wildfires by measuring the emission of infrared radiation from the fire. Scientists can distinguish between areas of burned vegetation, or burn scars, and areas of unburned vegetation by passing satellite imagery through sophisticated computer programs. Smoke can readily be seen in true color satellite images of wildfires. Aerosols found in smoke from wildfires can also be detected in satellite images.

6. Supersonic Flight

What is the top speed for the X-59 QueSST aircraft?

The X-59 (QueSST) is designed to fly at Mach 1.4 (about 1,075 miles per hour). Usually at this speed, an airplane would create a very loud sonic boom. The X-59 has a unique design so it will produce much less noise when flying at this speed.

7. Scale in the Sky

Which statement is true about Earth's gravity?

If the Earth were a perfectly round, uniform sphere, every location would have the same mass and the same gravity. The real Earth, with mountains and flatlands, ocean trenches and seamounts, iron ore and sand, does not have the same mass at every location. Most of Earth's land mass does not change much from month to month, but water is always moving, constantly causing changes in Earth's mass and gravity field. By using data from the GRACE-FO satellite mission, we can track movements of water and ice, even underground water in reservoirs. GRACE-FO, which stands for Gravity Recovery and Follow-On mission, is a partnership between NASA and the German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ).

8. Looking Back at Earth

The International Space Station provides a unique perspective from which to observe Earth. Which of the following have astronauts observed from the space station?

From the space station, the crew is able to observe coral reefs, volcanic eruptions, urban growth and pollution, and many other natural and man-made phenomena on Earth. NASA uses these observations, along with images and other data from sensors and cameras aboard the space station and many satellites, to learn about our planet and how it is changing over time.

9. A World of Data From Space

What can we monitor from space?

Satellites can monitor and measure many aspects of Earth from space. Satellites use remote sensing to provide a wealth of information about clouds, the ocean, land and ice, as well as measure gases in the atmosphere and the amount of energy that Earth absorbs and emits.

10. Arctic Sea Ice

By how much do you think the minimum extent of Arctic sea ice has changed between 1980 and 2019? Hint: Use the Arctic Sea Ice Observer to estimate size.

Between 1979 and 2019 minimum sea ice extent decreased by about 40-50%. Each year, sea ice expands and thickens during the fall and winter and grows smaller and thinner during the spring and summer. Based on satellite data, NASA estimates Arctic sea ice extent has been declining at a rate of 12.85% per decade. The minimum value for Arctic sea ice was observed in 2012. The years 2019, 2016 and 2007 tie for the second lowest minimum value.

11. I'm Drinking What?

After filtration, water on the International Space Station is tested to meet safety and quality standards. The recycled water is clean and pure, with no bad taste or odor. What pH range must water be in for astronauts to drink it?

Water must be between 6.0 and 8.5 on the pH scale to meet quality standards for astronaut use. The system also removes contaminants including bacteria and other pollutants. NASA’s water filtration technology has helped improve similar systems on the ground to make water safe for people around the world.