Women in Astronomy Quiz


I wrote this quiz for Sploofus, a trivia game website. If  you like, you can take the quiz here, but logging in is required to play games.

Ten questions, and the answers are at the bottom of the page. Enjoy!


Women in Astronomy  


1. What person holds the current record for discovering the most comets?


Caroline Herschel

Jocelyn Bell Burnell

Cometta Schwarz

Carolyn Shoemaker

Wendee Levy


2. On August 10, 1773, Charles Messier discovered M110, the dwarf galaxy in

Andromeda, but for some unknown reason, he failed to record it in his catalogue. Ten

years after Messier's discovery, what other comet hunter also independently discovered

NGC 205, now better known as M110?


Caroline Herschel

Carolyn Shoemaker

Marina Gamba

Queen Anne

Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar


3. In 1992, what did astronomer and scientific researcher Vera Rubin discover about

galaxy NGC 4550 in Virgo?


It contains very few Population II stars

Half the stars in the galaxy's disk are orbiting in one direction and half in the opposite


It is not an E7/S0 lenticular galaxy

It is the same type of galaxy as the Milky Way

One-third of its planets have no moons


4. While studying the Magellanic Clouds, she discovered the period-luminosity

relationship for Cepheid variable stars.


Mary Jane Cepheus

Henrietta Swan Leavitt

Maria Mitchell

Susan Blackmore

Barbarina Zwicky


5. Sally Ride was the first American woman in space. Who was the first Canadian woman

in space?


Julie Payette

Kim Campbell

Ellen Ochoa

Celine Dion

Roberta Bondar


6. British astrophysicists Jocelyn Bell Burnell and Antony Hewish made this discovery on

November 28, 1967.


Radio pulsars 

Fiber optics

Speed of light in a vacuum

The Doors' new album

Black-body radiation


7. What happened to Svetlana Savitskaya on July 25, 1984?


She became the first woman to drive the Rover on dusty Mars

She became the first woman to walk in space

She discovered radioactive properties of neptunium isotopes

She celebrated her 57th birthday

She discovered the first brown dwarf star.


8. This nuclear physicist was part of the team that discovered nuclear fission. In 1966, she was awarded the Enrico Fermi Award.


Dinah L. Moche

Mary Fairfax Sommerville

Lisa Randall

Lise Meitner

Maria Mitchell


9. When did Eileen Collins become the first woman shuttle pilot?


February, 1995

October, 1983

January, 1978

There has never been a woman shuttle pilot

February, 2007


10 What are the only 2 elements named after (non-mythical) women?


silver and gold

curium and meitnerium

burnellium and leavittium

europium and ytterbium

plutonium and uranium





1 Carolyn Shoemaker 


2 Caroline Herschel 


3 Half the stars in the galaxy's disc are orbiting in one direction and half in the opposite




4 Henrietta Swan Leavitt


5 Roberta Bondar


6 Radio pulsars 


7 She became the first woman to walk in space


8 Lise Meitner


9 February. 1995


10 curium and meitnerium