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# New observations about the age of some globular clusters in

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20 Dec 2012, 22:09
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New observations about the age of some globular clusters in our Milky Way galaxy have cast doubt on a long-held theory about how the galaxy was formed. The Milky Way contains about 125 globular clusters (compact groups of anywhere from several tens of thousands to perhaps a million stars) distributed in a roughly spherical halo around the galactic nucleus. The stars in these clusters are believed to have been born during the formation of the galaxy, and so may be considered relics of the original galactic nebula, holding vital clues to the way the formation took place.

The conventional theory of the formation of the galaxy contends that roughly 12 to 13 billion years ago the Milky Way formed over a relatively short time (about 200 million years) when a spherical cloud of gas collapsed under the pressure of its own gravity into a disc surrounded by a halo. Such a rapid formation of the galaxy would mean that all stars in the halo should be very nearly the same age.

However, the astronomer Michael Bolte has found considerable variation in the ages of globular clusters. One of the clusters studied by Bolte is 2 billions years older than most other clusters in the galaxy, while another is 2 billion years younger. A colleague of Bolte contends that the cluster called Palomar 12 is 5 billion years younger than most other globular clusters.

To explain the age differences among the globular clusters, astronomers are taking a second look at “renegade” theories. One such newly fashionable theory, first put forward by Richard Larson in the early 1970’s, argues that the halo of the Milky Way formed over a period of a billion or more years as hundreds of small gas clouds drifted about, collided, lost orbital energy, and finally collapsed into a centrally condensed elliptical system. Larson’s conception of a “lumpy and turbulent” protogalaxy is complemented by computer modeling done in the 1970’s by mathematician Alan Toomre, which suggests that closely interacting spiral galaxies could lose enough orbital energy to merge into a single galaxy.
1. The passage is primarily concerned with discussing

(A) the importance of determining the age of globular clusters in assessing when the Milky Way galaxy was formed
(B) recent changes in the procedures used by astronomers to study the formation of the Milky Way galaxy
(C) current disputes among astronomers regarding the size and form of the Milky Way galaxy
(D) the effect of new discoveries regarding globular clusters on theories about the formation of the Milky Way galaxy
(E) the origin, nature, and significance of groups of stars known as globular clusters

[Reveal] Spoiler:
D

2. According to the passage, one way in which Larson's theory and the conventional theory of the formation of the Milky Way galaxy differ is in their assessment of the

(A) amount of time it took to form the galaxy
(B) size of the galaxy immediately after its formation
(C) the particular gases involved in the formation the galaxy
(D) importance of the age of globular clusters in determining how the galaxy was formed
(E) shape of the halo that formed around the galaxy

[Reveal] Spoiler:
A

3. Which of the following, if true, would be most useful in supporting the conclusions drawn from recent observations about globular clusters?

(A) There is firm evidence that the absolute age of the Milky Way galaxy is between 10 and 17 billion years.
(B) A survey reveals that a galaxy close to the Milky Way galaxy contains globular clusters of ages close to the age of Palomar 12.
(C) A mathematical model proves that small gas clouds move in regular patterns.
(D) Space probes indicate that the stars in the Milky Way galaxy are composed of several different types of gas.
(E) A study of over 1,500 individual stars in the halo of the Milky Way galaxy indicates wide discrepancies in their ages.

[Reveal] Spoiler:
E

4. If Bolte and his colleague are both correct, it can be inferred that the globular cluster Palomar 12 is approximately

(A) 5 billion years younger than any other cluster in the galaxy
(B) the same age as most other clusters in the galaxy
(C) 7 billion years younger than another cluster in the galaxy
(D) 12 billion years younger than most other clusters in the galaxy
(E) 2 billion years younger than most other clusters in the galaxy

[Reveal] Spoiler:
C

5. The passage suggests that Toomre's work complements Larson's theory because it

(A) specifies more precisely the time frame proposed by Larson
(B) subtly alters Larson's theory to make it more plausible
(C) supplements Larson's hypothesis with direct astronomical observations
(D) provides theoretical support for the ideas suggested by Larson
(E) expands Larson's theory to make it more widely applicable

[Reveal] Spoiler:
D

6. Which of the following most accurately states a finding of Bolte's research, as described in the passage?

(A) The globular clusters in the Milky Way galaxy are 2 billion years older than predicted by the conventional theory.
(B) The ages of at least some globular clusters in the Milky Way galaxy differ by at least 4 billion years.
(C) One of the globular clusters in the Milky Way galaxy is 5 billion years younger than most others.
(D) The globular clusters in the Milky Way galaxy are significantly older than the individual stars in the halo.
(E) Most globular clusters in the Milky Way galaxy are between 11 and 15 billion years old.

[Reveal] Spoiler:
B

7. The author of the passage puts the word "renegade" (line 29) in quotation marks most probably in order to

(A) emphasize the lack of support for the theories in question
(B) contrast the controversial quality of the theories in question with the respectable character of their formulators
(C) generate skepticism about the theories in question
(D) ridicule the scientists who once doubted the theories in question
(E) indicate that the theories in question are no longer as unconventional as they once seemed

[Reveal] Spoiler:
E

[Reveal] Spoiler: Question #1 OA
[Reveal] Spoiler: Question #2 OA
[Reveal] Spoiler: Question #3 OA
[Reveal] Spoiler: Question #4 OA
[Reveal] Spoiler: Question #5 OA
[Reveal] Spoiler: Question #6 OA
[Reveal] Spoiler: Question #7 OA

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Last edited by hazelnut on 28 Jul 2017, 01:49, edited 3 times in total.
Formatted the question & added the timer.

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Re: New observations about the age of some globular clusters in [#permalink]

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22 Dec 2012, 17:55
Brutal Passage. I missed 4 out of 7 questions. My timing was exactly 14 minutes.

DCAEDEE

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Re: New observations about the age of some globular clusters in [#permalink]

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25 Dec 2012, 13:09
Quote:
3. Which of the following, if true, would be most useful in supporting the conclusions drawn from recent observations about globular clusters?
(A) There is firm evidence that the absolute age of the Milky Way galaxy is between 10 and 17 billion years.
(B) A survey reveals that a galaxy close to the Milky Way galaxy contains globular clusters of ages close to the age of Palomar 12.
(C) A mathematical model proves that small gas clouds move in regular patterns.
(D) Space probes indicate that the stars in the Milky Way galaxy are composed of several different types of gas.
(E) A study of over 1,500 individual stars in the halo of the Milky Way galaxy indicates wide discrepancies in their ages.

[Obscure] Spoiler:

Prapon,

This seems wrong.
Answer choice E could, in no way , strengthen the conclusion. In fact its almost a direct rip off from a line in the passage.

IMO B
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Re: New observations about the age of some globular clusters in [#permalink]

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25 Dec 2012, 15:44
2
KUDOS
eaakbari wrote:
Quote:
3. Which of the following, if true, would be most useful in supporting the conclusions drawn from recent observations about globular clusters?
(A) There is firm evidence that the absolute age of the Milky Way galaxy is between 10 and 17 billion years.
(B) A survey reveals that a galaxy close to the Milky Way galaxy contains globular clusters of ages close to the age of Palomar 12.
(C) A mathematical model proves that small gas clouds move in regular patterns.
(D) Space probes indicate that the stars in the Milky Way galaxy are composed of several different types of gas.
(E) A study of over 1,500 individual stars in the halo of the Milky Way galaxy indicates wide discrepancies in their ages.

[Obscure] Spoiler:

Prapon,

This seems wrong.
Answer choice E could, in no way , strengthen the conclusion. In fact its almost a direct rip off from a line in the passage.

IMO B

To address this question, our primary objective is to analyze what findings can help strengthen the conclusion the most.

The conclusion (revealed from the recent observations about globular clusters):-
Inside the same galaxy, there can be considerable variation in the ages of globular clusters. The conventional theory, which states that the "rapid" formation of the galaxy would mean stars in the halo should be nearly the same age, is NOT true.

Choice (B) A survey reveals that a galaxy close to the Milky Way galaxy contains globular clusters of ages close to the age of Palomar 12.
-- This survey can only reveal the age statistics of one edge of the age spectrum. i.e. as Palomar 12 is 5 billion years younger than most of the stars then, these stars are likely to be around the same age, hence will not help to the conclusion by studying the stars having wide spectrum of ages.

Choice (E) A study of over 1,500 individual stars in the halo of the Milky Way galaxy indicates wide discrepancies in their ages.
This study can provide statistics of the stars which have "wide" discrepancies in their ages, hence can help solidify the new observations that these stars can have considerable variation in ages. (phrase "wide" discrepancy in this context means "wide" variations).

HTH
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Re: New observations about the age of some globular clusters in [#permalink]

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01 Mar 2013, 23:07
I got number 2 wrong.

DDECDBE
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Re: New observations about the age of some globular clusters in [#permalink]

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01 Mar 2013, 23:19
1. The passage is primarily concerned with discussing
(A) the passage is about how the variation of age of globular clusters change view about the formation of galaxy... Anything less than the formation of galaxy is wrong...
(B) the passage is not about procedures takes... Anything less than formation of galaxy is wrong...
(C) there is no dispute... This is about a new discovery as opposed to what was conventionally thought about the formation of galaxy...
(D) CORRECT. this passage is about the theories on formation of galaxy.
(E) this totally miss the purpose of the passage... Out!

2. According to the passage, one way in which Larson's theory and the conventional theory of the formation of the Milky Way galaxy differ is in their assessment of the
(A) amount of time it took to form the galaxy.. Correct... If the Milky Way is composed of clusters then the age of its composition shows the age of Milky Way... Also it's time of for action.... I got this wrong but by Poe... It sticks out...
(B) size ... Definitely not the concern of these opposing theories..
(C) heck no! No discussion about types of gases...
(D) both theories base it on their believed age of clusters.. False...
(E) the passage discusses that the conventional theories believe that the stars are as old as the formation of the galaxy while the new theory shows that there is billions of years variation in age of starts or clusters... It is implied that the formation took longer...

3. Which of the following, if true, would be most useful in supporting the conclusions drawn from recent observations about globular clusters?
the recent theory is backed by data about variation in age of globular clusters... Hence, e

(E) A study of over 1,500 individual stars in the halo of the Milky Way galaxy indicates wide discrepancies in their ages.
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Re: New observations about the age of some globular clusters in [#permalink]

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01 Mar 2013, 23:32
4. If Bolte and his colleague are both correct, it can be inferred that the globular cluster Palomar 12 is approximately

(A) it is clear. The passage says 5 billion years younger than most and not all. False.
(B) false also. It is 5 billion yrs younger than most.
(C) correct. If the Palomar 12 is 5 billion years younger than most. Then there is one cluster 2 billion years older and another 2 billion yrs younger than most. Thenit follows that Palomar is 7 billion yrs older than another cluster.
(D) 12 billion years younger... Heck no!
(E) 5 billion younger than most and not 2 billion years. False again.

5. The passage suggests that Toomre's work complements Larson's theory because it
(A) no precise time frame discussed in the passage
(B) no subtle alteration by Toomre's work...
(C) the support given was through a computer model not astronomical ...
(D) provides theoretical support for the ideas suggested by Larson ... correct.
(E) no applicability discussed

6. Which of the following most accurately states a finding of Bolte's research, as described in the passage?

(B) The ages of at least some globular clusters in the Milky Way galaxy differ by at least 4 billion years.

I did not go through all the answers but B is obviously correct. There are some 2 billion years older than most or 2 billion yrs younger than most. Thus, gap is 4 billion years. At least some is safe wording.

7. The author of the passage puts the word "renegade" (line 29) in quotation marks most probably in order to

Renegade to me I thought since they find some findings against conventional theory. They look to renegade theory. Perhaps, what once thought wrong old be actually right.

(E) indicate that the theories in question are no longer as unconventional as they once seemed
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Re: New observations about the age of some globular clusters in [#permalink]

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02 Mar 2013, 00:08
mbaiseasy wrote:
4. If Bolte and his colleague are both correct, it can be inferred that the globular cluster Palomar 12 is approximately

(A) it is clear. The passage says 5 billion years younger than most and not all. False.
(B) false also. It is 5 billion yrs younger than most.
(C) correct. If the Palomar 12 is 5 billion years younger than most. Then there is one cluster 2 billion years older and another 2 billion yrs younger than most. Thenit follows that Palomar is 7 billion yrs older than another cluster.
(D) 12 billion years younger... Heck no!
(E) 5 billion younger than most and not 2 billion years. False again.

5. The passage suggests that Toomre's work complements Larson's theory because it
(A) no precise time frame discussed in the passage
(B) no subtle alteration by Toomre's work...
(C) the support given was through a computer model not astronomical ...
(D) provides theoretical support for the ideas suggested by Larson ... correct.
(E) no applicability discussed

6. Which of the following most accurately states a finding of Bolte's research, as described in the passage?

(B) The ages of at least some globular clusters in the Milky Way galaxy differ by at least 4 billion years.

I did not go through all the answers but B is obviously correct. There are some 2 billion years older than most or 2 billion yrs younger than most. Thus, gap is 4 billion years. At least some is safe wording.

7. The author of the passage puts the word "renegade" (line 29) in quotation marks most probably in order to

Renegade to me I thought since they find some findings against conventional theory. They look to renegade theory. Perhaps, what once thought wrong old be actually right.

(E) indicate that the theories in question are no longer as unconventional as they once seemed

Good try. It was a tricky passage.
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Re: New observations about the age of some globular clusters in [#permalink]

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16 Mar 2013, 12:24
Got all 7 right in under 12 minutes.
Very interesting content!!

Regards,
Chechaxo

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Re: New observations about the age of some globular clusters in [#permalink]

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30 Mar 2013, 02:28
two wrongs 5 and 6.
5- should have gone back and read the lines once again, clearly states the answer option.
6- still confused .. how does it provide theoretical support?? but by POE only that answer sticks out!!
read the passage in 3.40 min and completed in 11.50 min
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Re: New observations about the age of some globular clusters in [#permalink]

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10 Apr 2013, 04:59
All correct.. 7 minutes.. But then i love astronomy.
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Re: New observations about the age of some globular clusters in [#permalink]

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19 May 2013, 10:54
took me long 15 minutes still got one wrong....
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Re: New observations about the age of some globular clusters in [#permalink]

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20 Jun 2013, 13:05
15mins and got 1 wrong. Good read and tricky questions.
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Re: New observations about the age of some globular clusters in [#permalink]

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21 Jun 2013, 00:03
good reading, as I see I did one wrong in 14 minutes

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Re: New observations about the age of some globular clusters in [#permalink]

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17 Mar 2015, 09:46
I chime with you boys, good read indeed. 15 minutes DAECDEE one wrong.
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Re: New observations about the age of some globular clusters in [#permalink]

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05 Oct 2016, 00:58
Hi,

Can someone please explain the relevance of the word 'renegade' in question 7?

Thanks,

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Re: New observations about the age of some globular clusters in [#permalink]

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12 Oct 2016, 05:14
v2rfrendz wrote:
Hi,

Can someone please explain the relevance of the word 'renegade' in question 7?

Thanks,

v2rfrendz

Posted from my mobile device

The author is saying the conventional theory is actually not as conventional as thought to be. We need to revisit the theory and find out whether it is actually true keeping in mind the new research that has been done.
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Re: New observations about the age of some globular clusters in [#permalink]

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26 Mar 2017, 23:33
mbaiseasy wrote:
4. If Bolte and his colleague are both correct, it can be inferred that the globular cluster Palomar 12 is approximately

(A) it is clear. The passage says 5 billion years younger than most and not all. False.
(B) false also. It is 5 billion yrs younger than most.
(C) correct. If the Palomar 12 is 5 billion years younger than most. Then there is one cluster 2 billion years older and another 2 billion yrs younger than most. Thenit follows that Palomar is 7 billion yrs older than another cluster.
(D) 12 billion years younger... Heck no!
(E) 5 billion younger than most and not 2 billion years. False again.

5. The passage suggests that Toomre's work complements Larson's theory because it
(A) no precise time frame discussed in the passage
(B) no subtle alteration by Toomre's work...
(C) the support given was through a computer model not astronomical ...
(D) provides theoretical support for the ideas suggested by Larson ... correct.
(E) no applicability discussed

6. Which of the following most accurately states a finding of Bolte's research, as described in the passage?

(B) The ages of at least some globular clusters in the Milky Way galaxy differ by at least 4 billion years.

I did not go through all the answers but B is obviously correct. There are some 2 billion years older than most or 2 billion yrs younger than most. Thus, gap is 4 billion years. At least some is safe wording.

7. The author of the passage puts the word "renegade" (line 29) in quotation marks most probably in order to

Renegade to me I thought since they find some findings against conventional theory. They look to renegade theory. Perhaps, what once thought wrong old be actually right.

(E) indicate that the theories in question are no longer as unconventional as they once seemed

I agree with your answer and explanation provided to question no 6 but i wanna know on what basis do I eliminate "option c" of question 6. The findings stated in question stem is exactly similar to that stated in the passage so i prefer option c over option b.

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Re: New observations about the age of some globular clusters in [#permalink]

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13 Apr 2017, 08:08
DABCDBE

Got 1 wrong. But I want to know how the level of the passage was compared to a GMAT passage. Would this qualify to be a 700-800 type passage?

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Re: New observations about the age of some globular clusters in [#permalink]

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11 Sep 2017, 22:05
Took 12 mins, including 3 mins to read. Got 6th question incorrect
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Re: New observations about the age of some globular clusters in   [#permalink] 11 Sep 2017, 22:05

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