The sky above

Here's how our players got on in round 2 of the Naked Scientists' science pub quiz...
05 May 2020

Interview with 

Ella Gilbert, Hamish Symington, Eleanor Drinkwater, Sam Virtue


Clouds in the sky


Katie Haylor and Phil Sansom take the players through round 2 of the Naked Scientists science pub quiz!

Phil - This round is called the sky above. So contestants: it's gonna be one point per correct answer. We're going to start with team one. Ella and Sam get ready. Here's your question.

Q - Which constellation is home to Polaris, the North star, the all important navigation star? What do you think?

Ella - Is it near Ursa minor? I always remember it's near the big dipper and then along a bit

Phil -  Straight out the gate! We love to see that kind of performance. Well done Ella. It is indeed Ursa minor. All right, onto team two.

Katie - This question is taken from the Astronaut Selection Test Book by Tim Peak and the European Space Agency. So get ready to think like an astronaut. This is the question.

Q - Another crew member is exercising on the cycle machine when you're scheduled to be using the equipment. Do you: a) go for a run on the treadmill instead, b) speak with mission control to reschedule your activities, c) interrupt the other crew member’s exercise session to discuss the matter, d) just get on with something else until the cycle machine is free. What do you think?

Eleanor - What do you think Hamish?

Hamish - My instinct would be b) because everything on a space station is so totally controlled but you need to be doing your exercise and they might be doing their exercise for a good reason. What do you reckon?

Eleanor - I think for me it would depend how grumpy was feeling at the time, but I think your answer was probably the best one.

Katie - So you go in with (b) yeah?  Speak with mission control? I'm afraid not, I see where you're going and you definitely get credit for trying cause you were kind of near the right answer but the right answer was … c) interrupt the other crew members exercise to discuss the matter and exactly for the reason you say Hamish. Exercise is super important in space and daily activities are coordinated very carefully, and your medical team back on the ground have planned for you to do exercise at particular times. So you didn't get the point. But I feel bad cause you kind of were on the right lines.

Phil -  Yeah I think half a point for that? What do you think?

Katie - You're keeping the scores!

Phil -  Okay half a point, we'll be generous. I love that question. Well let's go back to team one. That's Ella and Sam. You've got a guest question from a celebrity. It's Professor of Planetary Geosciences at the Open University and friend of the show, David Rothery.

David - Q - Now we're all rather concerned about something called a coronavirus at the moment. But where out in space would you not find something referred to as corona? Is it (A) surrounding the sun (B) among the clouds of Jupiter (C) on the surface of Venus or (D) a constellation of stars?

Phil -  Three of those things have corona, one doesn't. What do you think?

Sam: Do you know Ella or should we guess?

Ella - The sun has a corona and I assume other stars have a corona.

Sam: I reckon the clouds of Jupiter probably do so should we give Venus a crack?

Ella - Let's go for it.

Sam: Alright, Venus.

David - Well the answer is (B). There's nothing called a corona in the clouds of Jupiter. The Corona is the sun's really hot outer atmosphere, which you can see during the total solar eclipse. There are features on the surface of Venus, which we call a corona. These are large round features which might be caused by upwelling or downwelling of the crust we don't really know. And there are actually two constellations called corona, one's called Corona Borealis in the Northern sky and Corona Australis in the Southern sky. They're fairly unremarkable, vaguely ring-like arrangements of stars called corona.

Phil -  Well done guys. That was a tough one.

Katie - So team two Eleanor and Hamish. Here's your question from David.

David - Q - Out in space, what do the following have in common? Juliet, Miranda, Titania, and Margaret.

Hamish - Miranda and Titania are moons.

Eleanor - I mean they're all Shakespeare characters but I guess they're not...

Hamish - Yeah, they're all moons of something.

Katie - 'Of something' huh!

Eleanor - Oh, do we have to be specific about what they're moons of? I think the moons angle is a good one!

David - They're all moons of the planet Uranus! The one that sounds rather unexotic and mundane Margaret is a servant in the play 'Much Ado About Nothing', Juliet's from Romeo and Juliet you'd probably get that.

Katie - Sorry, not quite! So Phil, they didn't get the point right?

Phil -  No that leaves us at one point to team one and half a point this round to team two.

Hamish - No halves for that one!

Phil -  Well done for getting they're all Shakespeare characters, I thought that was pretty good. But let's move back to team one. Ella and Sam, here's your question.

Q - Which of the following bird songs is native to the UK? We're going to play three. Ready? Here's (A), and here's (B), and here coming up is (C). What do you think guys? Any aspiring birdwatchers among Sam or Ella?

Ella - I feel like I've heard (B) in a wood somewhere, but then again, I'm a Londoner born and bred, so I'm really not the best person to ask about wildlife.

Katie - We're going to need an answer!

Sam: I was thinking (B) as well, so we'll go with that.

Phil -  Yes. Well done. I'll tell you what, we're going to throw this to both teams, so get ready to answer as quickly as you can. What bird is it?

Katie - Stunned silence.

Phil -  Anyone?

Eleanor - I want to guess a Robin, but I'm not entirely sure. It's quite hard to tell.

Phil -  Okay. It's not a Robin. Team one?

Ella - Nope, no idea!

Phil -  Okay. Well you got it right, anyway, it was a Blackbird but still well done for getting it. It was indeed (B). (A) was some parents over in Australia and (C) was some birds called Cacique, which is a very fun tropical bird.

Katie - Team two:

Q - what phenomenon is named after the Roman goddess of Dawn and the Greek name for North wind?

Hamish - I know this one.

Eleanor - Woo. That's good. Cause I have no clue!

Hamish - It's the Aurora Borealis.

Katie - Correct! That was a very confident answer. Phil, what are the scores on the doors at the end of that round?

Phil -  Well, as we leave round two behind, we wave a fond farewell, we find that team one, have got two points out of that and team two have got one and a half. Which means that team one have cemented their lead by an extra half point.

Katie - Oh, so there is a bit of a difference, but everything could change in round three.

Phil -  Absolutely. It's a close one!


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