Space Trivia Questions (and Answers)

Rhett Allain
5 min readOct 13, 2023
Photo: Rhett Allain. Some stars and stuff.

So, we had this homecoming event with a “space” theme. Since I have a show on the university radio station, they asked if I would participate in the event and ask students space trivia questions (for candy). Of course I would.

Since I had to come up with questions, I figured I should share them. There were some that didn’t work so well, I will include those at the end. I’m going to include short answers to these questions, but it’s going to be difficult since I love talking about science.

Let’s get to it.

Name a planet that has a name related to a day of the week.

Answer: You can pick one of the following: Mercury (Wednesday), Venus (Friday), Mars (Tuesday), Jupiter (Thursday), Saturn (Saturday). Here’s a more detailed explanation of these days-planets names.

This was a fun question. Most students came up with the answer Saturn — that’s the obvious one. But it wasn’t impossible.

Name a planet that does NOT have a name related to a day of the week.

Answer: Yes, this is basically the same as the previous question, but I didn’t ask students both of these questions. The planets that would work for this question are Earth, Neptune, Uranus, Pluto (you can have an argument about Pluto if you like). Also acceptable would be any extrasolar planet.

How long does it take light to travel from the Sun to the Earth?

Answer: 8 minutes. This is a REAL trivial question. There were a few students that answered this one correctly, but many did not. The most common incorrect answer was “1 light year” (which is wrong for two reasons).

What was first detected in Livingston Parish (Louisiana) in 2015?

In case you didn’t know, this university is RIGHT next to Livingston parish. Many students (but not all) know that LIGO is in Livingston — and that’s the answer. Gravitational waves were first detected in 2015. Technically, the wave passed through LIGO-Livingston before getting to the other detector, LIGO-Hanford.

Name a planet.

Answer: Come on….this one is easy. The Earth? Any of the other planets. I think everyone answered this one correctly. I like having some low hanging fruit…

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Rhett Allain

Physics faculty, science blogger of all things geek. Technical Consultant for CBS MacGyver and MythBusters. WIRED blogger.