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# When asteroids collide, some collisions cause an asteroid to spin fast

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When asteroids collide, some collisions cause an asteroid to spin fast  [#permalink]

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Updated on: 28 Jul 2019, 06:58
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When asteroids collide, some collisions cause an asteroid to spin faster; others slow it down. If asteroids are all monoliths—single rocks—undergoing random collisions, a graph of their rotation rates should show a bell-shaped distribution with statistical “tails” of very fast and very slow rotators. If asteroids are rubble piles, however, the tail representing the very fast rotators would be missing, because any loose aggregate spinning faster than once every few hours (depending on the asteroid’s bulk density) would fly apart. Researchers have discovered that all but five observed asteroids obey a strict limit on rate of rotation. The exceptions are all smaller than 200 meters in diameter, with an abrupt cutoff for asteroids larger than that.

The evident conclusion—that asteroids larger than 200 meters across are multicomponent structures or rubble piles—agrees with recent computer modeling of collisions, which also finds a transition at that diameter. A collision can blast a large asteroid to bits, but after the collision those bits will usually move slower than their mutual escape velocity. Over several hours, gravity will reassemble all but the fastest pieces into a rubble pile. Because collisions among asteroids are relatively frequent, most large bodies have already suffered this fate. Conversely, most small asteroids should be monolithic, because impact fragments easily escape their feeble gravity.

(Book Question: 537 RC00524-02)
The passage implies which of the following about the five asteroids mentioned in line 12?

(A) Their rotation rates are approximately the same.
(B) They have undergone approximately the same number of collisions.
(C) They are monoliths.
(D) They are composed of fragments that have escaped the gravity of larger asteroids.
(E) They were detected only recently.

(Book Question: 538 RC00524-04)
The discovery of which of the following would call into question the conclusion mentioned in line 16 [The evident conclusion—that asteroids larger than 200 meters across are multicomponent structures or rubble piles—agrees with recent computer modeling of collisions, which also finds a transition at that diameter.]?

(A) An asteroid 100 meters in diameter rotating at a rate of once per week
(B) An asteroid 150 meters in diameter rotating at a rate of 20 times per hour
(C) An asteroid 250 meters in diameter rotating at a rate of once per week
(D) An asteroid 500 meters in diameter rotating at a rate of once per hour
(E) An asteroid 1,000 meters in diameter rotating at a rate of once every 24 hours

(Book Question: 539 RC00524-06)
According to the passage, which of the following is a prediction that is based on the strength of the gravitational attraction of small asteroids?

(A) Small asteroids will be few in number.
(B) Small asteroids will be monoliths.
(C) Small asteroids will collide with other asteroids very rarely.
(D) Most small asteroids will have very fast rotation rates.
(E) Almost no small asteroids will have very slow rotation rates.

(Book Question: 540 RC00524-07)
The author of the passage mentions “escape velocity” (see line 22) in order to help explain which of the following?

(A) The tendency for asteroids to become smaller rather than larger over time
(B) The speed with which impact fragments reassemble when they do not escape an asteroid’s gravitational attraction after a collision
(C) The frequency with which collisions among asteroids occur
(D) The rotation rates of asteroids smaller than 200 meters in diameter
(E) The tendency for large asteroids to persist after collisions

Originally posted by AbdurRakib on 14 Jun 2017, 02:12.
Last edited by SajjadAhmad on 28 Jul 2019, 06:58, edited 1 time in total.
Updated complete topic (15).
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Re: When asteroids collide, some collisions cause an asteroid to spin fast  [#permalink]

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21 Jul 2017, 19:04
15
5
somtsat99 wrote:
Can Anyone explain the answers to question 2 and 4 in detail. Also what could be the level of this official RC ? I find it very hard. Got only 2 answers correct.

Quote:
(Book Question: 538)
The discovery of which of the following would call into question the conclusion mentioned in line 16?
A. An asteroid 100 meters in diameter rotating at a rate of once per week
B. An asteroid 150 meters in diameter rotating at a rate of 20 times per hour
C. An asteroid 250 meters in diameter rotating at a rate of once per week
D. An asteroid 500 meters in diameter rotating at a rate of once per hour
E. An asteroid 1,000 meters in diameter rotating at a rate of once every 24 hours

The conclusion mentioned in line 16 is that "asteroids larger than 200 meters across are multicomponent structures or rubble piles." We are also told that rubble piles would fly apart if they spin faster than once every few hours. Any asteroid spinning faster than once every few hours must not be a rubble pile.

Choice (D) is an example of an asteroid larger than 200 meters that DOES spin faster than once every few hours. That asteroid must not be a rubble pile, going against the conclusion in line 16.

Quote:
(Book Question: 540)
The author of the passage mentions “escape velocity” (see line 22) in order to help explain which of the following?
A. The tendency for asteroids to become smaller rather than larger over time
B. The speed with which impact fragments reassemble when they do not escape an asteroid’s gravitational attraction after a collision
C. The frequency with which collisions among asteroids occur
D. The rotation rates of asteroids smaller than 200 meters in diameter
E. The tendency for large asteroids to persist after collisions

If the bits moved FASTER than their mutual escape velocity, then the bits would "escape" from each other and the large asteroid would remain blown to bits. However, if the bits move SLOWER than their mutual escape velocity, the bits will not escape from each other and, instead, will reassemble due to gravity. Thus, after being blown to bits, most of the bits of the large asteroid will reassemble, explaining the tendency for large asteroids to persist after collisions. (E) is the correct choice.
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Re: When asteroids collide, some collisions cause an asteroid to spin fast  [#permalink]

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12 Jul 2017, 11:39
13
C,D,B,E...Time-9 mins

The passage implies which of the following about the five asteroids mentioned in line 12?
A. Their rotation rates are approximately the same.
B. They have undergone approximately the same number of collisions.
C. They are monoliths.
D. They are composed of fragments that have escaped the gravity of larger asteroids.
E. They were detected only recently.

"five observed asteroids obey a strict limit on
rate of rotation. The exceptions are all smaller than
200 meters in diameter"

"Conversely, most
small asteroids should be monolithic"

The discovery of which of the following would call into question the conclusion mentioned in line 16?
A. An asteroid 100 meters in diameter rotating at a rate of once per week
B. An asteroid 150 meters in diameter rotating at a rate of 20 times per hour
C. An asteroid 250 meters in diameter rotating at a rate of once per week
D. An asteroid 500 meters in diameter rotating at a rate of once per hour
E. An asteroid 1,000 meters in diameter rotating at a rate of once every 24 hours

"If asteroids
are rubble piles, however, the tail representing the
very fast rotators would be missing, because any
loose aggregate spinning faster than once every few
hours (depending on the asteroid’s bulk density)
would fly apart."-This means Ruble piles, which are the big ones are slow; Monolithic's, the small ones are fast. The definition of fast being-Spinning faster than once every few hours.

So the conclusion is---Asteroids>200m would spin slowly..
Option D says just the opposite.

According to the passage, which of the following is a prediction that is based on the strength of the gravitational attraction of small asteroids?
A. Small asteroids will be few in number.
B. Small asteroids will be monoliths.
C. Small asteroids will collide with other asteroids very rarely.
D. Most small asteroids will have very fast rotation rates.
E. Almost no small asteroids will have very slow rotation rates.

"Conversely, most
small asteroids should be monolithic"

The author of the passage mentions “escape velocity” (see line 22) in order to help explain which of the following?
A. The tendency for asteroids to become smaller rather than larger over time
B. The speed with which impact fragments reassemble when they do not escape an asteroid’s gravitational attraction after a collision
C. The frequency with which collisions among asteroids occur
D. The rotation rates of asteroids smaller than 200 meters in diameter
E. The tendency for large asteroids to persist after collisions

"A collision can blast a large asteroid to bits,
but after the collision those bits will usually move
slower than their mutual escape velocity. Over several
hours, gravity will reassemble all but the fastest
pieces into a rubble pile."
##### General Discussion
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Re: When asteroids collide, some collisions cause an asteroid to spin fast  [#permalink]

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03 Jul 2017, 04:40
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Re: When asteroids collide, some collisions cause an asteroid to spin fast  [#permalink]

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11 Jul 2017, 14:43
2
1
1
somtsat99 wrote:
Can Anyone explain the answers to question 2 and 4 in detail. Also what could be the level of this official RC ? I find it very hard. Got only 2 answers correct.

Although I too got Q4 wrong, but This is what I can relate to after seeing the correct answer.

The author of the passage mentions “escape velocity” (see line 22) in order to help explain which of the following?
A. The tendency for asteroids to become smaller rather than larger over time
B. The speed with which impact fragments reassemble when they do not escape an asteroid’s gravitational attraction after a collision
C. The frequency with which collisions among asteroids occur
D. The rotation rates of asteroids smaller than 200 meters in diameter
E. The tendency for large asteroids to persist after collisions

Refer to these lines from passage:
A collision can blast a large asteroid to bits,
but after the collision those bits will usually move
slower than their mutual escape velocity.

Collision -> Large to Bits (small ones)
After collision -> Bits slower than mutual escape velocity.

Small ones (bits) will move slower than what? Large ones i guess.
So, mutual escape velocity is associated to large ones only.

Thus, look for options that talk about large ones only!

Thanks,
Ashygoyal
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Re: When asteroids collide, some collisions cause an asteroid to spin fast  [#permalink]

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12 Jul 2017, 09:37
3
1
somtsat99 wrote:
Can Anyone explain the answers to question 2 and 4 in detail. Also what could be the level of this official RC ? I find it very hard. Got only 2 answers correct.

Btw, hi ashygoyal, I can read Q2 only, so I will post its explanation. But I will not type as exact as what's written in OG, because I believe that the following (in my own words) will better help test takers understand how to understand the question and how to drive to the correct answer.

My 2 cents on Q2.

The discovery of which of the following would call into question the conclusion mentioned in line 16?

According to the passage, the conclusion is "that asteroids larger than 200 meters across are multicomponent structures or rubble piles".
--> We're talking about "asteroids larger than 200 meters across", so eliminate (A) and (B) as these options mention asteroids smaller than 200 meters in diameter.

A. An asteroid 100 meters in diameter rotating at a rate of once per week
B. An asteroid 150 meters in diameter rotating at a rate of 20 times per hour[/color
]

In order to weaken the above conclusion, we need to prove that asteroids larger than 200 meters across are NOT multicomponent structures or rubble piles.
Now, let's ask "what evidence does the author use to reach the conclusion??" --> The author argues earlier in the 1st paragraph that "If asteroids are rubble piles, however, the tail representing the very fast rotators would be missing, because any loose aggregate spinning faster than once every few hours (depending on the asteroid’s bulk density) would fly apart."
. In other words, rubble piles don't rotate faster than once every few hours, because if they do, they would fly apart.

It seems to be quite clear now, right? In order claim that asteroids larger than 200 meters across are NOT multicomponent structures or rubble piles, we just need to prove that these asteroids rotate faster than once every few hours, a character that is totally contrary to that of rubble piles!

[color=#ec008c]C. An asteroid 250 meters in diameter rotating at a rate of once per week
--> Still slower than "once every few hours". OUT

D. An asteroid 500 meters in diameter rotating at a rate of once per hour
--> Yes, that's it! "a rate of once per hour" demonstrates that the asteroid rotates faster than once every few hours. CORRECT!

E. An asteroid 1,000 meters in diameter rotating at a rate of once every 24 hours
--> Still slower than "once every few hours". OUT

Hope this helps!
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Re: When asteroids collide, some collisions cause an asteroid to spin fast  [#permalink]

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31 Jul 2017, 01:04
1
Q2:
The discovery of which of the following would call into question the conclusion mentioned in line 16?
A. An asteroid 100 meters in diameter rotating at a rate of once per week
B. An asteroid 150 meters in diameter rotating at a rate of 20 times per hour
C. An asteroid 250 meters in diameter rotating at a rate of once per week
D. An asteroid 500 meters in diameter rotating at a rate of once per hour
E. An asteroid 1,000 meters in diameter rotating at a rate of once every 24 hours

For me, the explanation for this question is the following evidence:
The evident conclusion—that asteroids larger than 200 meters across are multicomponent structures or rubble piles—agrees with recent computer modeling of collisions, which also finds a transition at that diameter. A collision can blast a large asteroid to bits, but after the collision those bits will usually move slower than their mutual escape velocity. Over several hours, gravity will reassemble all but the fastest pieces into a rubble pile
conclution: large asteroids >= 200m are multicomponent structures.
Reasoning: after collision, asteroids become bits. velocity of these bit < escape velocity. therefore, these bits remain and gravity reassemble over several hours to become rubble pile.

In D: An asteroid 500 meters in diameter rotating at a rate of once per hour
the large asteroid rotates once per hour. so gravity cannot reassemble and asteroids are not rubble piles. So weaken the argument.
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Re: When asteroids collide, some collisions cause an asteroid to spin fast  [#permalink]

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31 Jul 2017, 01:13
Q4
The author of the passage mentions “escape velocity” (see line 22) in order to help explain which of the following?
A. The tendency for asteroids to become smaller rather than larger over time
B. The speed with which impact fragments reassemble when they do not escape an asteroid’s gravitational attraction after a collision
C. The frequency with which collisions among asteroids occur
D. The rotation rates of asteroids smaller than 200 meters in diameter
E. The tendency for large asteroids to persist after collisions

For me, choice B tell the opposite.
In the passage: "A collision can blast a large asteroid to bits,but after the collision those bits will usually moveslower than their mutual escape velocity"
it means velocity of these bit is slower than escape velocity, so they remain.
In choice B:The speed with which impact fragments reassemble when they do not escape an asteroid’s gravitational attraction after a collision
the fragments will reassemble with escape velocity. so its incorrect.
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Re: When asteroids collide, some collisions cause an asteroid to spin fast  [#permalink]

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08 Oct 2017, 12:59
1
1
somtsat99 wrote:
Can Anyone explain the answers to question 2 and 4 in detail. Also what could be the level of this official RC ? I find it very hard. Got only 2 answers correct.

Time Taken: 10mins 34seconds.
I got 1 question wrong (~Q4); Although I got it wrong as I fell for Option B, I didn't have a clear reason to rule our option E either. I should have been more diligent here.

Although people have spoken at large here, I would like to share my 2 cents here out of my analysis:

The author of the passage mentions “escape velocity” (see line 22) in order to help explain which of the following?
A. The tendency for asteroids to become smaller rather than larger over time
B. The speed with which impact fragments reassemble when they do not escape an asteroid’s gravitational attraction after a collision
C. The frequency with which collisions among asteroids occur
D. The rotation rates of asteroids smaller than 200 meters in diameter
E. The tendency for large asteroids to persist after collisions

Option B: The speed with which....Blah blah.
This option should have been ruled out of contention. The author mentions the escape velocity not to describe the speed with which the remaining parts are reassembled along side the asteriod but the speed which remaining parts don't achieve and hence remain part of the asteroid's gravitational pull.

A subtle but vast change in context here. Loved it!!
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Re: When asteroids collide, some collisions cause an asteroid to spin fast  [#permalink]

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17 Nov 2017, 09:46
Time taken 7:30 min.
Got 1st wrong. How can the answer be C

I think only the small ones i.e below 200 are Monoliths not all 5!

And if it's c then why D is wrong?
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Re: When asteroids collide, some collisions cause an asteroid to spin fast  [#permalink]

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21 Nov 2017, 09:16
1
Time taken - 8 mins

Got the last two questions wrong.

GMATNinja - Could you please explain the options B and E in the 4th question. Although i understood the option E explained by you in the earlier posts , however what is wrong with option B.
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Re: When asteroids collide, some collisions cause an asteroid to spin fast  [#permalink]

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22 Nov 2017, 19:46
3
Kritesh wrote:
GMATNinja - Could you please explain the options B and E in the 4th question. Although i understood the option E explained by you in the earlier posts , however what is wrong with option B.

Quote:
(Book Question: 540)
The author of the passage mentions “escape velocity” (see line 22) in order to help explain which of the following?
A. The tendency for asteroids to become smaller rather than larger over time
B. The speed with which impact fragments reassemble when they do not escape an asteroid’s gravitational attraction after a collision
C. The frequency with which collisions among asteroids occur
D. The rotation rates of asteroids smaller than 200 meters in diameter
E. The tendency for large asteroids to persist after collisions

The "escape velocity" is the speed at which the fragments would escape an asteroid's gravitational attraction after a collision. But this has nothing to do with HOW LONG it would take the fragments to reassemble.

We are told that gravity will reassemble all but the fastest pieces over several hours, but does the author mention "escape velocity" in order to explain how long that reassembly takes? No, the author is not concerned with explaining the reassembly time (or, for that matter, with explaining what determines the escape velocity itself).

What matters is that large asteroids will reassemble after collisions, not the speed at which they will do so. Thus, choice (B) should be eliminated.

I hope that helps!
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Re: When asteroids collide, some collisions cause an asteroid to spin fast  [#permalink]

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21 Nov 2018, 00:31
2
thingocanhnguyen wrote:
It took me 8 minutes to finish and I chose wrong answer for 1st question, the remaining are correct. Anyone can help me explain the 1st question. THanks.

Hey! :D
Probably too late to the party but here we go..

Quote:
Researchers have discovered that
all but five observed asteroids obey a strict limit on
rate of rotation. The exceptions are all smaller than
200 meters in diameter, with an abrupt cutoff for
asteroids larger than that.
The evident conclusion—that asteroids larger than
200 meters across are multicomponent structures or
rubble piles—agrees with recent computer modeling
of collisions, which also finds a transition at that
diameter.

QUESTION 1 - The passage implies which of the following about the five asteroids mentioned in line 12?

A. Their rotation rates are approximately the same.
The passage only talks about the strict limits on rotation these asteroids have. These limits might be common for all of these asteroids but does that mean they have same rotation rates? Not at all.
So strike A

B. They have undergone approximately the same number of collisions.

Okay this talks about number of collisions being same. Do we see anything about the "number of collisions" in the passage?
So strike B

C. They are monoliths.
Read the part of passage i have quoted above!
"all but five observed asteroids..." stated in first line.
Next they say about these 5 exceptions! They say they are smaller than 200m.
Next paragraph first line says asteroids smaller than 200m are monoliths.
So keep C!

D. They are composed of fragments that have escaped the gravity of larger asteroids.

We just read above that these are small asteroids which are monolits. Why would they be having fragments?
Strike D confidently!

E. They were detected only recently.
STRIKE EEEEE

Hope this helps!
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Re: When asteroids collide, some collisions cause an asteroid to spin fast  [#permalink]

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04 Jan 2019, 07:08
1
GMATNinja need your help with Q3,

The passage says"most small asteroids should be monolithic" , While the answer choice states "Small asteroids will be monolith", Is it safe to assume it always will be monolithic? because the passage clearly uses a should & the answer choice uses a will, kind of extreme.
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Re: When asteroids collide, some collisions cause an asteroid to spin fast  [#permalink]

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Updated on: 04 Jan 2019, 08:51
3
1
Hey Manat

I think that's a nice doubt. Just my take on it.

It is very important to pay attention to every word in the question stem as well.
When we read the question stem carefully - '' which of the following is a prediction .. ''
So according to the passage '' most small asteroids should be monolithic. ''
And according to question what is the '' prediction '' from this part of the passage?
That the small asterdiods will be monoliths.

I think the word '' prediction'' changes everything. It removes the extreme use of "will" that you have stated.

Hope this helped!

GMATNinja please correct me if I'm wrong!

Originally posted by blitzkriegxX on 04 Jan 2019, 08:35.
Last edited by blitzkriegxX on 04 Jan 2019, 08:51, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: When asteroids collide, some collisions cause an asteroid to spin fast  [#permalink]

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10 Jan 2019, 16:05
1
1
Manat wrote:
GMATNinja need your help with Q3,

The passage says"most small asteroids should be monolithic" , While the answer choice states "Small asteroids will be monolith", Is it safe to assume it always will be monolithic? because the passage clearly uses a should & the answer choice uses a will, kind of extreme.

blitzkriegxX wrote:
Hey Manat

I think that's a nice doubt. Just my take on it.

It is very important to pay attention to every word in the question stem as well.
When we read the question stem carefully - '' which of the following is a prediction .. ''
So according to the passage '' most small asteroids should be monolithic. ''
And according to question what is the '' prediction '' from this part of the passage?
That the small asterdiods will be monoliths.

I think the word '' prediction'' changes everything. It removes the extreme use of "will" that you have stated.

Hope this helped!

GMATNinja please correct me if I'm wrong!

Great analysis, blitzkriegxX! Manat, please see @BlitzkriegxX's post. He's spot on. (And he also kinda looks like that guy who was smooching Kate Winslet when the Titanic sunk. He recovered nicely from that whole situation, apparently...)

[Edit: ack, I didn't see your response until just now, Manat! Sorry for the totally unnecessary post.]
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Re: When asteroids collide, some collisions cause an asteroid to spin fast  [#permalink]

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09 Aug 2019, 00:29
Was little bit in a quandary for choosing the answer for question 1 . Could any one please help the POE for option D ?

" The passage implies which of the following about the five asteroids mentioned in line 12? "

(C) They are monoliths. ( Explicitly mentioned )
(D) They are composed of fragments that have escaped the gravity of larger asteroids. ( ' Conversely, most small asteroids should be monolithic, because impact fragments easily escape their feeble gravity. [ Though it hasn't been mentioned explicitly that the gravity is of the larger asteroids - but I 've chosen this 1 ]
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Re: When asteroids collide, some collisions cause an asteroid to spin fast  [#permalink]

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19 Aug 2019, 20:53
soumya170293 wrote:
Was little bit in a quandary for choosing the answer for question 1 . Could any one please help the POE for option D ?

" The passage implies which of the following about the five asteroids mentioned in line 12? "

(C) They are monoliths. ( Explicitly mentioned )
(D) They are composed of fragments that have escaped the gravity of larger asteroids. ( ' Conversely, most small asteroids should be monolithic, because impact fragments easily escape their feeble gravity. [ Though it hasn't been mentioned explicitly that the gravity is of the larger asteroids - but I 've chosen this 1 ]

Let's walk through the meaning of (D):
Quote:
(D) [The five asteroids mentioned in line 12] are composed of fragments that have escaped the gravity of larger asteroids.

By saying that the asteroids are "composed of fragments," this answer choice is telling us that each one is NOT monolithic -- which is the opposite of what the passage implies! We know that these five asteroids are exceptional in that they rotate quickly, which is impossible for rubble piles because the fragments would fly apart.

The sentence that you've quoted ("most small asteroids should be monolithic, because impact fragments easily escape their feeble gravity") again tells us that fragments would easily fly apart. This is further confirmation that the five quickly-rotating asteroids are NOT composed of fragments.

Finally, (D) specifies that five exception are composed of fragments that "have escaped the gravity of larger asteroids." There is simply no support for this claim in the passage -- while the last sentence does imply that fragments disperse after an asteroid impact, we are not given any information about the specific origin stories of the five asteroids in question. Maybe they were formed from an earlier asteroid impact, but maybe not.

For these reasons, (D) is out.

I hope that helps!
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Re: When asteroids collide, some collisions cause an asteroid to spin fast  [#permalink]

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03 Dec 2019, 02:35
Quote:
When asteroids collide, some collisions cause an asteroid to spin faster; others slow it down. If asteroids are all monoliths—single rocks—undergoing random collisions, a graph of their rotation rates should show a bell-shaped distribution with statistical “tails” of very fast and very slow rotators. If asteroids are rubble piles, however, the tail representing the very fast rotators would be missing, because any loose aggregate spinning faster than once every few hours (depending on the asteroid’s bulk density) would fly apart. Researchers have discovered that all but five observed asteroids obey a strict limit on rate of rotation. The exceptions are all smaller than 200 meters in diameter, with an abrupt cutoff for asteroids larger than that.

(Book Question: 537 RC00524-02)
The passage implies which of the following about the five asteroids mentioned in line 12?

(A) Their rotation rates are approximately the same.
(B) They have undergone approximately the same number of collisions.
(C) They are monoliths.
(D) They are composed of fragments that have escaped the gravity of larger asteroids.
(E) They were detected only recently.

Hi GMATNinja MartyTargetTestPrep jennpt
I am confused in this question. Could you share insights, please?
Here, the feature of five observed asteroids are:
1/ They don't obey a strict limit on rate of rotation.
2/ They're all SMALLER THAN 200 meters in diameter.
So, if this is the case, HOW do we know that five observed asteroids are "monoliths"?
Thanks__
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Re: When asteroids collide, some collisions cause an asteroid to spin fast  [#permalink]

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04 Jan 2020, 09:12
1
Quote:
When asteroids collide, some collisions cause an asteroid to spin faster; others slow it down. If asteroids are all monoliths—single rocks—undergoing random collisions, a graph of their rotation rates should show a bell-shaped distribution with statistical “tails” of very fast and very slow rotators. If asteroids are rubble piles, however, the tail representing the very fast rotators would be missing, because any loose aggregate spinning faster than once every few hours (depending on the asteroid’s bulk density) would fly apart. Researchers have discovered that all but five observed asteroids obey a strict limit on rate of rotation. The exceptions are all smaller than 200 meters in diameter, with an abrupt cutoff for asteroids larger than that.

(Book Question: 537 RC00524-02)
The passage implies which of the following about the five asteroids mentioned in line 12?

(A) Their rotation rates are approximately the same.
(B) They have undergone approximately the same number of collisions.
(C) They are monoliths.
(D) They are composed of fragments that have escaped the gravity of larger asteroids.
(E) They were detected only recently.

Hi GMATNinja MartyTargetTestPrep jennpt
I am confused in this question. Could you share insights, please?
Here, the feature of five observed asteroids are:
1/ They don't obey a strict limit on rate of rotation.
2/ They're all SMALLER THAN 200 meters in diameter.
So, if this is the case, HOW do we know that five observed asteroids are "monoliths"?
Thanks__

Earlier in the passage, the author sets up a comparison between monoliths and "rubble piles":

• A graph of monolith rotation rates would be bell-shaped, with "tails" of both very fast and very slow rotators.
• A graph of rubble pile rotation rates, on the other hand, would NOT have a "tail" for very fast rotators. This is because any rubble pile rotating that quickly would fly apart.

As you pointed out, the five observed asteroids do not "obey a strict limit on rate of rotation." In other words, these five asteroids are rotating faster than other asteroids. On a graph, they would be in the "tail" representing very fast rotation.

Based on the earlier comparison we can infer that these five asteroids must be monoliths, because any rubble pile rotating that quickly would fly apart. (C) is the correct answer to question #1.

I hope that helps!
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Re: When asteroids collide, some collisions cause an asteroid to spin fast   [#permalink] 04 Jan 2020, 09:12

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