Challenge Questions

Challenge Questions have been part of P2K projects since the first LIVE FROM ANTARCTICA broadcast when students were asked: "Mike Castellini's outhouse was painted black and shaped like a triangle. Why black? Why triangular?" (Do you know the answer? It's to do with reflectivity but also with mathematics and construction principles!)

CQ's are brainteasers that ask students to think logically and creatively, and to do a little "out of the box" research to answer the question. But you must be careful--the P2K team likes to set little traps that are fun to get around. Sometimes the answer is not as obvious as you think.

Challenge Questions

What force of nature is primarily responsible for the existence of black holes?

Can a smaller object be more massive than a larger one?

Who was the first person to think of what we now call black holes, and in which century did he or she live?

When youíve finished drinking your soda, is the can empty?

Name 4 kinds of light you canít see.

Name two of the "Great Observatories" which see some of that otherwise invisible light?

If we canít see black holes, how can we see them?

If you see a star vary in brightness quickly does that means itís very small or very large?

Stephen Murray says he likes playing "Sherlock Holmes" in search of clues to study black holes: what are some of the clues that make him and Mike Garcia know theyíre seeing black holes?

How far away can Chandra's mirrors let you read a STOP sign?

Are blue stars hotter than yellow stars, or vice versa?

Are X-rays produced at high, or low, temperatures?

How fast does Earth orbit the Sun? (In kilometers per second, please.)

What's the formula with which we can "weigh" a black hole?