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When astronomers observed the comet Schwassman- Wachmann 3

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When astronomers observed the comet Schwassman- Wachmann 3 [#permalink]

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New post 12 Jul 2014, 10:50
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When astronomers observed the comet Schwassman- Wachmann 3 becoming 1,000 times brighter in September 1995, they correctly hypothesized that its increased brightness was a result of the comet's breaking up-when comets break up, they emit large amounts of gas and dust, becoming visibly brighter as a result. However, their observations did not reveal comet Schwassman-Wachmann 3 actually breaking into pieces until November 1995, even though telescopes were trained on it throughout the entire period.

Which one of the following, if true, most helps to resolve the apparent conflict in the statements above?
(A) Comets often do not emit gas and dust until several weeks after they have begun to break up.
(B) The reason comets become brighter when they break up is that the gas and dust that they emit refract light.
(C) Gas and dust can be released by cracks in a comet even if the comet is not broken all the way through.
(D) The amount of gas and dust emitted increased during the period from September through November.
(E) The comet passed close to the sun during this period and the gravitational strain caused it to break up.

Please explain your reasoning..Will post OA soon.
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

Last edited by mba1382 on 12 Jul 2014, 17:47, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: When astronomers observed the comet Schwassman- Wachmann 3 [#permalink]

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New post 12 Jul 2014, 11:30
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mba1382 wrote:
When astronomers observed the comet Schwassman- Wachmann 3 becoming 1,000 times brighter in September 1995, they correctly hypothesized that its increased brightness was a result of the comet's breaking up-when comets break up, they emit large amounts of gas and dust, becoming visibly brighter as a result. However, their observations did not reveal comet Schwassman-Wachmann 3 actually breaking into pieces until November 1995, even though telescopes were trained on it throughout the entire period.

Which one of the following, if true, most helps to resolve the apparent conflict in the statements above?
(A) Comets often do not emit gas and dust until several weeks after they have begun to break up.
(B) The reason comets become brighter when they break up is that the gas and dust that they emit refract light.
(C) Gas and dust can be released by cracks in a comet even if the comet is not broken all the way through.
(D) The amount of gas and dust emitted increased during the period from September through November.
(E) The comet passed close to the sun during this period and the gravitational strain caused it to break up.

Please explain your reasoning..Will post OA soon.


C for me. Comet need not be entirely broken for the release of gas and dust. If gas and dust can come out of cracks on comet then conflict can be resolved. Release of gas and dust through cracks before comet went into bust made it look brighter.

OA please

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Re: When astronomers observed the comet Schwassman- Wachmann 3 [#permalink]

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New post 13 Jul 2014, 11:40
Why A cannot be the answer??
I am unable to skip A.

Thanks.

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Re: When astronomers observed the comet Schwassman- Wachmann 3 [#permalink]

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New post 13 Jul 2014, 12:09
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The apparent contradiction is

the increased brightness is caused by gas and dust produced when the comet is breaking up -- > this happens in September, but the comet has not actually broken up into pieces until November.

Only option C accounts for both these ... it correctly says how gas and heat were produced( through cracks) , even though the comet actually broke into pieces much later.

@amitsurana : Option A is wrong because, it says the gas and heat were only released much later ( in November). But we know that the increased brightness was observed in September and that it was caused by gas and dust. If the gases were emitted much later than September, as suggested in option A, the scientists would not have observed increased brightness in September. Hope its clear.

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Re: When astronomers observed the comet Schwassman- Wachmann 3 [#permalink]

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New post 05 Jul 2016, 05:33
(A) Comets often do not emit gas and dust until several weeks after they have begun to break up- intensifies the paradox, does not resolve it .
(B) The reason comets become brighter when they break up is that the gas and dust that they emit refract light. -provides new information, but does nothing to bridge the gap between the two contradictory observations .
(C) Gas and dust can be released by cracks in a comet even if the comet is not broken all the way through.- bridges the gap and explains how gas and dust – which cause increased brightness – can be emitted before a comet completely disintegrates.
(D) The amount of gas and dust emitted increased during the period from September through November. - Irrelevant and does not resolve the paradox .
(E) The comet passed close to the sun during this period and the gravitational strain caused it to break up.- provides new background information and does not resolve the paradox .

Answer C
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Re: When astronomers observed the comet Schwassman- Wachmann 3 [#permalink]

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New post 27 Nov 2017, 01:22
stuck with A and C.
A is exactly opposite to C.
test takers must train their nerves to become steel so that test takers are able to choose the choice quickly in the actual test.

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Re: When astronomers observed the comet Schwassman- Wachmann 3   [#permalink] 27 Nov 2017, 01:22
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