Which orbits the Earth?

Via James Randi's newsletter I saw a video clip from the French version of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? The question was "Which of these is in orbit around the Earth: the Moon, the Sun, Mars, or Venus?" The contestant was unsure. This in itself is pretty shocking but when he asked the audience ("au public") I was even more shocked. Only 42% of the studio audience knew that the Moon was the correct answer. The majority - 56% - thought that it was the Sun. I would assume that in France, as in the UK, this is something we learn at the age of about eight. Trying to be positive about this, I noticed that the contestant's younger friend/relative, Sophie, was sat in the audience shaking her head during all this. The presenter even made a point of asking her "Sophie, you're not happy. Why?" to which she replied that the Sun wasn't the correct answer.

Does it matter if the majority of adults in this studio audience don't know as much about the Universe as the average eight year old?

Posted in astro blog by Stuart on Friday 05th Jan 2007 (18:42 GMT) | Permalink
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