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# Type 1a supernovae, caused by the detonation of matter accreted onto w

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Manager
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Type 1a supernovae, caused by the detonation of matter accreted onto w  [#permalink]

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09 Oct 2018, 12:01
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25% (medium)

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76% (01:55) correct 24% (02:00) wrong based on 145 sessions

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Type 1a supernovae, caused by the detonation of matter accreted onto white dwarf stars, explode with a highly predictable brightness. Since the brightness of these explosions fades over distance in a highly predictable way, scientists have long used images measuring the brightness of type 1a supernovae to determine the distance to distant galaxies.

Which of the following discoveries, if true, would most jeopardize scientists' reliance on images of type 1a supernovae as tools for measuring distances to distant galaxies?

A. Models explaining the causes of type 1a supernovae are altered to include an updated understanding of the role played by carbon fusion.
B. Type 2 supernovae are discovered to be even more dramatically variable in their brightness than previously thought.
C. Large clouds of interstellar dust and ionized hydrogen can absorb the light emitted by type 1a supernovae.
D. Some supernovae exhibit very unusual spectral classifications and changes in brightness, and do not fit into the existing categories.
E. A new telescope is able to measure the brightness of several thousand type 1a supernovae with an unprecedented level of precision.

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Re: Type 1a supernovae, caused by the detonation of matter accreted onto w  [#permalink]

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10 Oct 2018, 08:24
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GMATYoda wrote:
Type 1a supernovae, caused by the detonation of matter accreted onto white dwarf stars, explode with a highly predictable brightness. Since the brightness of these explosions fades over distance in a highly predictable way, scientists have long used images measuring the brightness of type 1a supernovae to determine the distance to distant galaxies.

Which of the following discoveries, if true, would most jeopardize scientists' reliance on images of type 1a supernovae as tools for measuring distances to distant galaxies?

A. Models explaining the causes of type 1a supernovae are altered to include an updated understanding of the role played by carbon fusion.
B. Type 2 supernovae are discovered to be even more dramatically variable in their brightness than previously thought.
C. Large clouds of interstellar dust and ionized hydrogen can absorb the light emitted by type 1a supernovae.
D. Some supernovae exhibit very unusual spectral classifications and changes in brightness, and do not fit into the existing categories.
E. A new telescope is able to measure the brightness of several thousand type 1a supernovae with an unprecedented level of precision.

IMO C.

Premise: Type 1a supernovae explode with a highly predictable brightness.
Premise: The brightness of these explosions fades over distance in a highly predictable way.
Conclusion: Measure the brightness of type 1a supernovae to determine the distance to distant galaxies.

Pre-thinking: What if the scientists are not able to measure the brightness accurately, then the measuring distance result will be inaccurate.

Option C matches our pre-thinking and hence is the answer. It basically says that the brightness measured by the scientists doesn't constitute the exact amount of brightness of the explosions, some part of it gets lost in midway. So, the scientists will not be able to measure the distance since they can't measure the lost brightness through the images.
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Re: Type 1a supernovae, caused by the detonation of matter accreted onto w  [#permalink]

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10 Oct 2018, 08:57
GMATYoda wrote:
Type 1a supernovae, caused by the detonation of matter accreted onto white dwarf stars, explode with a highly predictable brightness. Since the brightness of these explosions fades over distance in a highly predictable way, scientists have long used images measuring the brightness of type 1a supernovae to determine the distance to distant galaxies.

Which of the following discoveries, if true, would most jeopardize scientists' reliance on images of type 1a supernovae as tools for measuring distances to distant galaxies?

A. Models explaining the causes of type 1a supernovae are altered to include an updated understanding of the role played by carbon fusion.
B. Type 2 supernovae are discovered to be even more dramatically variable in their brightness than previously thought.
C. Large clouds of interstellar dust and ionized hydrogen can absorb the light emitted by type 1a supernovae.
D. Some supernovae exhibit very unusual spectral classifications and changes in brightness, and do not fit into the existing categories.
E. A new telescope is able to measure the brightness of several thousand type 1a supernovae with an unprecedented level of precision.

Correct Answer must be (C) for the highlighted errors in other options, as (C) directly attacks the highlighted part of the stimulus, questioning the PRedictability of the light waves...
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Re: Type 1a supernovae, caused by the detonation of matter accreted onto w  [#permalink]

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10 Oct 2018, 18:45
Can anyone explain why D is not the correct answer?

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Re: Type 1a supernovae, caused by the detonation of matter accreted onto w  [#permalink]

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10 Oct 2018, 20:05
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Naireeta wrote:
Can anyone explain why D is not the correct answer?

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Hi Naireeta,

Happy to help here:

Quote:
Option D. Some supernovae exhibit very unusual spectral classifications and changes in brightness, and do not fit into the existing categories.

The sentence starts with Some supernovae exhibit very unusual spectral classifications and changes in brightness - great that some supernovae do out of box stuff- and the second half of the sentence mentions: do not fit into the existing categories. -Then why should I care about them- This clearly says that this isn't Type 1a supernovae, but in the argument we are only concerned about the "Type 1a supernovae". Hence this is out of scope.
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Re: Type 1a supernovae, caused by the detonation of matter accreted onto w   [#permalink] 10 Oct 2018, 20:05
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