A Quiz for Astronomers – Question Four

A Quiz for Astronomers - Question Four

Please study the Virgin Galactic network map [below] which clearly displays the straight line routes that connect Planet Earth with Arcturus and Procyon.

Virgin Galactic network map

All spaceships on these straight line routes may stop at any of the intervening space stations so that passengers may board or leave the spaceship.
All spaceships on these straight line routes can carry the same [maximum] number of passengers.

The distance between Arcturus and Planet Earth is approximately 36.7 light years.
The distance between Procyon and Planet Earth is approximately 11.46 light years.

Procyon and Arcturus Sectra

Recent surveys produced colour coded graphics indicating how many passengers arrived at Planet Earth on the last Virgin Galactic spaceships from Procyon and Arcturus.

A black rectangle in the graphic represents an empty seat on the spaceship when it arrived at Planet Earth. The coloured rectangles represent passengers who arrived at Planet Earth on the spaceship.

An observant researcher noticed that fewer passengers arrived at Planet Earth from Arcturus than arrived from Procyon.

Question 4a)

Should the researcher simply assume that more passengers boarded the spacecraft at Procyon?

Question 4b)

Should the researcher simply assume that more passengers left the Arcturus spaceship en route before it arrived at Planet Earth?

Question 4c)

Should the researcher simply assume that more passengers boarded the Procyon spaceship en route before it arrived at Planet Earth?

Question 4d)

Would it be statistically safer for the researcher to assume that more passengers diverted en route due to unforeseen personal circumstances [such as dying in transit] on the longer Arcturus route?

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