Every week, I create a science quiz for The Hindu newspaper’s In School product. It consists of 10 questions and only developments from the week preceding its day of publication (Monday). The answers are at the end.

(This week’s quiz is astronomy-heavy.)

  1. July 20, 2014, was the 45th anniversary of a landmark incident in the history of exploration: the ______ __ spaceflight landed the first humans on the moon.
  2. Name the NASA spacecraft launched in 2007 to study the two largest asteroids in the belt between Mars and Jupiter. In the week of July 14, 2014, the spacecraft helped scientists discover that the second largest asteroid had an evenly thick crust for unknown reasons.
  3. The European Space Agency probe named Rosetta is getting closer to the comet it will aim to land a probe on in November 2014, at the end of a decade long mission. With 12,000 km between them, Rosetta’s pictures of the comet are starting to show it might actually be two icy bodies stuck together instead of being one round lump. Name the comet.
  4. A very well-preserved fossil of a 520-million year-old predator was found in the Yunnan province of China in the week, of July 14, 2014. In fact, the fossil was so well-preserved that parts of its nervous system and brain are clearly defined. What is the geological period between about 543 million and 486 million years ago called?
  5. The Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 that crashed on July 17 had on board several scientists en route to a conference in Australia. Name the conference, well known because it is the most-attended by scientists studying the disease ____. It was first organized in 1985. Fill in the blank.
  6. On July 16, 2014, which Middle East country announced plans to launch an unmanned probe to Mars in the year 2021?
  7. An 80-meter wide crater was discovered in the Yamal peninsula in northern Siberia on July 16, 2014. What do geologists think caused this “hole” in the ground to appear?
  8. Orbital Sciences, a private spaceflight company, launched its Cygnus cargo spacecraft that arrived at the International Space Station on July 16 carrying supplies. The spacecraft was named ______ ____ in honor of the NASA astronaut who co-holds the record for the most space missions flown by an American woman. She passed away in February 2012. Fill in the blanks with her name,
  9. The Convention on Biological Diversity has been ratified by 51 countries around the world. The conversation brings into force the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization on October 12, 2014. What does this protocol require the 51 countries to do?
  10. Name the American designer, architect and inventor after whom the spherical molecules composed entirely of carbon, called fullerenes or buckyballs, are named. The inventor’s 119th birth anniversary was on July 12.

Answers

  1. The Apollo 11 moon-landing, which saw the USA land the first humans on the Moon in 1969
  2. Dawn
  3. 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko
  4. Cambrian Period
  5. AIDS
  6. United Arab Emirates
  7. A mixture of water, salt and gas may have ignited underground, causing an explosion that blew the hole
  8. Janice Voss
  9. If a company or person uses genetic resources for commercial purposes, it/the person is required to share a part of the earning and profits with the communities involved in protecting those resources
  10. Richard Buckminster Fuller