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# The progress of astronomy has always been closely associated with the

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The progress of astronomy has always been closely associated with the  [#permalink]

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Updated on: 26 Aug 2019, 03:18
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The progress of astronomy has always been closely associated with the development and application of mechanical processes and skill. Before the seventeenth century, the size of the planets could not be measured, the satellites of the planets except the Earth’s moon were unknown, the phases of Mercury and Venus were merely conjectured, and accurate positions of the sun, moon, and planets among the stars, and of the stars among themselves, were impossible all because there were no telescopes. More than a half century elapsed after the invention of the telescope before Picard combined it with a graduated circle in such a way that the measurement of angles was greatly improved. Then arose the necessity for accurate time. Although Galileo had learned the principles governing the pendulum, astronomy had to wait for the mechanical genius of Huygens before a satisfactory clock was invented around 1657.

Nearly all the large reflecting telescopes ever built were constructed by astronomers who possessed great facility in practical mechanics. The rapid and significant advances in nearly all departments of astronomy in the past century would not have been possible except through the skill and patience of glassmakers, opticians, and engineers. The principles of spectrum analysis as formulated by Kirchho allowed for the discovery of the elements composing every heavenly body. The deftness of Wollaston showed that light could not be analyzed unless it first passed through a very narrow slit. Even in our modern day the power of the telescope and spectroscope has been vastly extended by the optical skill and mechanical dexterity of individuals such as Rowland, Hastings and Brashear, all Americans.

An observatory site should have a fairly unobstructed horizon, as much freedom from cloud as possible, good foundations for the instruments, and a very steady atmosphere. To understand the necessity of a steady atmosphere, look at some distant outdoor object through a window on a hot summer day. The object appears blurry and wavering. Similarly, currents of warm air continually rise from the earth to upper regions of the atmosphere, and colder air comes down and rushes underneath. Although these atmospheric movements are often invisible to the eye, their effect is plainly visible in the telescope as a blurry distortion. In order for an ideally-designed telescope to perform perfectly, it must be located in a perfect atmosphere. Otherwise its full power cannot be employed. All hindrances of atmosphere are most advantageously avoided in arid or desert regions of the globe, at elevations of 3000 to 10,000 feet above sea level. Higher mountains have as yet been only partially investigated, and it is not known whether difficulties of occupying them permanently would more than counterbalance the gain which greater elevation would afford.

1. According to the passage, which of the following is NOT true about the telescope?

A. Knowledge about the satellites of the planets was limited to a large extent because of the lack of the knowledge gained from the use of telescopes.

B. A telescope at 10,000 feet in the mountains could work better than a telescope at 5,000 feet in the desert.

C. A climate with frequent variations in the weather would make a telescope potentially less accurate than a climate with monotonous weather.

D. Picard incorporated the graduated circle into the telescope around 1640.

E. A desert such as the Sahara would be an ideal location for a telescope due to its lack of extreme atmospheric movement.

2. The primary purpose of this passage is to

A. detail the advancement of a specific scientific field

B. recontextualize the reader’s understanding of what it takes to develop a successful telescope

C. explore the early contributions made in the field of astronomy, and some of the mechanical processes that contributed to that development

D. advocate for more research into telescope placement and development

E. describe inventions that helped astronomy and the ideal use of the telescope.

3. Which of the following is the function of the first paragraph?

A. To describe the most progressive phase in the history of astronomy.

B. To overview how astronomy has developed in the past 400 years.

C. To emphasize the value of specific inventions in the advancement of a certain scientific field.

D. To discuss some early contributors to the field of astronomy.

E. To explain how far astronomy has come in a relatively short period of time.

4. It can be inferred from the passage that

A. without telescopes, accurate readings of the positions of celestial bodies are currently impossible.

B. even the most superlatively designed telescope possibly functions below its full ability at 2000 feet above sea level.

C. almost all the great telescopes were built by astronomers who possessed excellent knowledge of practical mechanics.

D. the atmospheric movements that cause blurry distortion in a telescope can never be detected by the naked eye.

E. a telescope requires an observatory site in order to function.

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Originally posted by workout on 15 Aug 2018, 07:30.
Last edited by SajjadAhmad on 26 Aug 2019, 03:18, edited 1 time in total.
Updated - Complete topic (290).
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Re: The progress of astronomy has always been closely associated with the  [#permalink]

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19 Aug 2018, 22:55
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1. According to the passage, which of the following is NOT true about the telescope?

A. Knowledge about the satellites of the planets was limited to a large extent because of the lack of the knowledge gained from the use of telescopes.

Incorrect: Can be Inferred

This IS something that is supported by the passage. The second sentence states that Before the seventeenth …the satellites of the planets except the Earth’s moon were unknown…because there were no telescopes.

B. A telescope at 10,000 feet in the mountains could work better than a telescope at 5,000 feet in the desert.

Incorrect: Can be Inferred

This IS something supported by the passage. The last sentence states it is not known whether difficulties of occupying them permanently would more than counterbalance the gain which greater elevation would afford.

C. A climate with frequent variations in the weather would make a telescope potentially less accurate than a climate with monotonous weather.

Incorrect: Can be Inferred

This IS something supported by the passage. The passage describes the importance of “steady atmosphere” in the third paragraph. Remember that for this question you are looking for the answer choice that does NOT follow from the passage.

D. Picard incorporated the graduated circle into the telescope around 1640.

Correct: Opposite

The development of the telescope is the focus of the first and second paragraphs. In the first paragraph, the author states, “Earlier than the seventeenth century…there were no telescopes.” This means that pre-1600’s, there were no telescopes. So it is logical that the telescope was invented sometime in the 1600’s. In the next sentence, the passage says, “More than a half century elapsed after the invention of the telescope before Picard combined it with a graduated circle.” If MORE than 50+ years went by before Picard combined the telescope with the graduated circle, then it is not possible Picard invented around 1640.

E. A desert such as the Sahara would be an ideal location for a telescope due to its lack of extreme atmospheric movement.

Incorrect: Can be Inferred

This IS supported by the discussion in the final paragraph. The passage states, “All hindrances of atmosphere are most advantageously avoided in arid or desert regions of the globe.”

2. The primary purpose of this passage is to

A. detail the advancement of a specific scientific field

Incorrect: Inconsistent

Although the passage deals with astronomy as a whole but the scope of the passage is concerned with telescopes- their invention and conditions required for their best usage; the advancement of astronomy as a whole is not he focus.

B. recontextualize the reader’s understanding of what it takes to develop a successful telescope

Incorrect: Out of Scope

This choice is too vague. It implies the passage describes a commonly held belief regarding what it takes to develop a telescope and takes steps to correct that misinterpretation. However, no such misconception is described or explored.

C. explore the early contributions made in the field of astronomy, and some of the mechanical processes that contributed to that development

Incorrect: Partial scope

This choice only focuses on the first two paragraphs. Remember that the correct answer to a “Main Idea” question must include ALL of the paragraphs. This answer choice entirely leaves out the third and final paragraph.

D. advocate for more research into telescope placement and development

Incorrect: Out of Scope

The tone of this passage is informational/descriptive. The author does not have a strong enough point of view of the topic to “advocate” for any specific result.

E. describe inventions that helped astronomy and the ideal use of the telescope.

Correct

The passage is really focusing on two things: the mechanical processed that led to the telescope (paragraphs 1 and 2), and the perfect placement of a telescope (paragraph 3). This choice perfectly encapsulates the passage’s dual goals.

3. Which of the following is the function of the first paragraph?

A. To describe the most progressive phase in the history of astronomy.

Incorrect: Out of Scope

The paragraph does state that in the seventeenth century there were some significant advancements in the field of astronomy but gives us no information regarding whether this was the “most” progressive phase ever.

B. To overview how astronomy has developed in the past 400 years.

Incorrect: Inconsistent

The 17th century is mentioned in this paragraph, which certainly focuses on the past and the inventions of the past, but the focus here is a little narrower than this. “How astronomy has developed” is too broad. As the first sentence mentions, it’s really the development of the “mechanical” devices and how they contributed to astronomy that is the true focus of this paragraph.

C. To emphasize the value of specific inventions in the advancement of a certain scientific field.

Correct

The first paragraph’s sentence brings up the topic: “mechanical processes,” and each subsequent sentence builds on their importance in advancing astronomy by discussing telescopes, pendulums, and clocks. These are three examples of mechanical devices that helped move astronomy forward. Overall, the author’s attitude towards these devices is positive.

D. To discuss some early contributors to the field of astronomy.

Incorrect: Partial scope

Though some earlier scientists and inventors are mentioned, they themselves are not the true focus of this paragraph. The author is interested in WHAT they invented, not the men themselves. Notice we do not even learn their first names, nor are they described in anything but a cursory manner.

E. To explain how far astronomy has come in a relatively short period of time.

Incorrect: Out of Scope

There is nothing in the passage to indicate the author believes that the time from the 17th century to modern day is “relatively short.”

4. It can be inferred from the passage that

A. without telescopes, accurate readings of the positions of celestial bodies are currently impossible.

Incorrect: Out of Scope

Although the passage does state that accurate positions of the sun, moon, and planets among the stars, and of the stars among themselves, were impossible all because there were no telescopes, it gives us no information to state that presently there are no other devices that are capable of the same.

B. even the most superlatively designed telescope possibly functions below its full ability at 2000 feet above sea level.

Correct

This statement can be derived from the following two statements in the passage:

(1) In order for an ideally-designed telescope to perform perfectly, it must be located in a perfect atmosphere.

(2) All hindrances of atmosphere are most advantageously avoided in arid or desert regions of the globe, at elevations of 3000 to 10,000 feet above sea level.

C. almost all the great telescopes were built by astronomers who possessed excellent knowledge of practical mechanics.

Incorrect: Inconsistent

The passage mentions that nearly all the large reflecting telescopes ever built were constructed by astronomers who possessed great facility in practical mechanics. By no means does “large” translate into “great.”

D. the atmospheric movements that cause blurry distortion in a telescope can never be detected by the naked eye.

Incorrect: Out of Scope

While the passage does say that these atmospheric movements are often invisible to the eye, their effect is plainly visible in the telescope as a blurry distortion, the word “never” here is not justified.

E. a telescope requires an observatory site in order to function.

Incorrect: Out of Scope

While the final paragraph does impress upon the reader the importance of an observatory site to a telescope’s accuracy, it does not go so far as to imply that a telescope is non-functional without one. Its accuracy may be diminished, but presumably it could still “function.”
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Re: The progress of astronomy has always been closely associated with the  [#permalink]

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16 Aug 2018, 19:55
3
Notes:
Para 01: Mechanical helps astronomical study in history.
Para 02: How that is happening to-date
Para 03: T-scope & Obs site ........

1. According to the passage, which of the following is NOT true about the telescope?

A. Knowledge about the satellites of the planets was limited to a large extent because of the lack of the knowledge gained from the use of telescopes. - Point mentioned at the 1st paragraph : the reason was .... the telescope was not invented.

B. A telescope at 10,000 feet in the mountains could work better than a telescope at 5,000 feet in the desert. - - Point mentioned at the 3rd paragraph : we are yet to know the effect of installing a telescope in high mountains

C. A climate with frequent variations in the weather would make a telescope potentially less accurate than a climate with monotonous weather. - This point is mentioned at the 3rd paragraph.

D. Picard incorporated the graduated circle into the telescope around 1640. - The 1st paragraph says ...... "Before the seventeenth century, the size of the planets ........telescopes. More than a half century elapsed after the invention of the telescope before Picard combined ............ improved. " ...... Hence this is definitely after 1650.

E. A desert such as the Sahara would be an ideal location for a telescope due to its lack of extreme atmospheric movement. - This point is mentioned at the 3rd paragraph.

2. The primary purpose of this passage is to

A. detail the advancement of a specific scientific field - partial 1st & 2nd ..... 3rd para is not about advancement.

B. recontextualize the reader’s understanding of what it takes to develop a successful telescope - partial & stretch 1st & 2nd para

C. explore the early contributions made in the field of astronomy, and some of the mechanical processes that contributed to that development - partial 1st & 2nd para

D. advocate for more research into telescope placement and development -partial ( 3rd para - last 1-2 lines)

E. describe inventions that helped astronomy and the ideal use of the telescope. This aligns with my understanding :
Para 01: Mechanical helps astronomical study in history.
Para 02: How that is happening to-date
Para 03: T-scope & Obs site ........

3. Which of the following is the function of the first paragraph?

A. To describe the most progressive phase in the history of astronomy. - It is only a depiction of historical astronomical issues & contribution of physics eka mechanics to solve them. By no strech i can classify the same as most progressive phase... according to the passage.

B. To overview how astronomy has developed in the past 400 years. - Definitely not. The passage tell till 1657.....almost 360 yrs missing!!

C. To emphasize the value of specific inventions in the advancement of a certain scientific field. - Yes .... it is about how the inventions in mechanical fields and or the application of mechanical theories helps to make progress in early astronomy.

D. To discuss some early contributors to the field of astronomy. -- This answer would be partial ( may be the 2nd best choice)

E. To explain how far astronomy has come in a relatively short period of time. --- No No No No.... its about astronomy's progressin till 1657.

4. It can be inferred from the passage that - ( Very special Q ..... Really loved some aspect for sure)

A. without telescopes, accurate readings of the positions of celestial bodies are currently impossible. - The 1st para mentions it was impossible before the 2nd half of seventeenth century "Before the seventeenth century, the size of the planets could not be measured,..........because there were no telescopes. More than a half century elapsed after the invention of the telescope before Picard ....... the measurement of angles was greatly improved."
This might be true...... but then it have to be a outside common knowledge wrt the passages.

B. even the most superlatively designed telescope possibly functions below its full ability at 2000 feet above sea level.

C. almost all the great telescopes were built by astronomers who possessed excellent knowledge of practical mechanics. - This is not inference , as mentioned directly at para 02 : "Nearly all the large reflecting telescopes ever built were constructed by astronomers who possessed great facility in practical mechanics. "

D. the atmospheric movements that cause blurry distortion in a telescope can never be detected by the naked eye. - The 3rd para mentions : "Although these atmospheric movements are often invisible to the eye,....."

E. a telescope requires an observatory site in order to function. - Not an inference....Any object needs a place to be held(common knowledge)

workout ..... and all other experts......... Please validate if my analysis correct for rejecting the incorrect choices .
Thanks in appreciation
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Re: The progress of astronomy has always been closely associated with the  [#permalink]

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29 Sep 2018, 00:38
I did not understand the answer for question 4. According to me the question is asking for the inference of the passage and not a specific paragraph. B is only given in para 3, whereas C is something which is inferred from para 1 and 2 and partially in 3.
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Re: The progress of astronomy has always been closely associated with the  [#permalink]

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08 Dec 2018, 20:53
for Q1 , option E is poorly worded :
reasons-
"All hindrances of atmosphere are most advantageously avoided in arid or desert regions of the globe, at elevations of 3000 to 10,000 feet above sea level."
1) we do not know at what elevation does the sahara desert lie
2) the question does not explicitly state "which option can be INFERRED" , the question is very strong : "which of the following is not TRUE" ...it is not MAY NOT BE TRUE"
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Re: The progress of astronomy has always been closely associated with the  [#permalink]

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02 Oct 2019, 04:46
for Q1 , option E is poorly worded :
reasons-
"All hindrances of atmosphere are most advantageously avoided in arid or desert regions of the globe, at elevations of 3000 to 10,000 feet above sea level."
1) we do not know at what elevation does the sahara desert lie
2) the question does not explicitly state "which option can be INFERRED" , the question is very strong : "which of the following is not TRUE" ...it is not MAY NOT BE TRUE"

It is mentioned in option E that 'there is no atmospheric movement' , which is a sufficient condition to use the telescope.
Re: The progress of astronomy has always been closely associated with the   [#permalink] 02 Oct 2019, 04:46
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