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# While popular science tends to favor extra galactic astronomical resea

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While popular science tends to favor extra galactic astronomical resea  [#permalink]

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Updated on: 11 Sep 2019, 06:31
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New Project RC Butler 2019 - Practice 2 RC Passages Everyday
Passage # 223, Date : 23-Jul-2019
This post is a part of New Project RC Butler 2019. Click here for Details

While popular science tends to favor extra galactic astronomical research that emphasizes current challenges to physics, such as the existence of dark matter, dark energy, and Cosmic inflation, significant research continues to take place in the field of planetary astronomy on the formation of our own solar system. In early attempts to explain this phenomenon, astronomers believed in the encounter, or “rogue star,” hypothesis, which suggests that matter was tidally stripped away from our sun as a larger star passed within a gravitationally significant distance some billions of years ago. The encounter hypothesis postulates that after being stripped away, the matter cooled as it spun farther from the sun, and formed planets with their own centers of gravity. This hypothesis conveniently accounts for the fact that all planets in the solar system revolve in the same direction around the sun; it is also consistent with the denser planets remaining closer to the sun, and the more gaseous planets traveling further away.

The encounter hypothesis explained the phenomenon sufficiently enough that it allowed scientists to focus on more immediately rewarding topics in physics and astronomy for most of the first half of the 20th century. Closer investigation, however, found several significant problems with the encounter hypothesis, most notably that the hot gas pulled from the sun would not condense to form dense planets, but rather would expand in the absence of a central, gravitational force. Furthermore, the statistical unlikelihood of a star passing in the (astronomically speaking) short time of the sun’s existence required scientists to abandon the encounter hypothesis in search of a new explanation. Soon after, astronomers formed a second theory, the nebular hypothesis, which submits that the solar system began as a large cloud of gas containing the matter that would form the sun and its orbiting planets. The nebular hypothesis suggests that when the cloud reached a critical mass, it collapsed under its own gravity. The resulting angular momentum would have morphed the nebula into a protoplanetary disc, with a dense center that generated intense heat and pressure, and a cooler, thinner mass that revolved around it. The central mass would have continued to build in density and heat, forming the sun, while the centrifugal force around the disc’s edge kept smaller masses from being pulled in to the sun; those masses, upon cooling, would break off to become planets held in orbit by the competing gravitational force of the sun and centrifugal force of their orbital inertia.

The nebular hypothesis, however well it explained the sun’s formation, remained problematic in its ability to account for the formation of several planets with differing physical and chemical properties. Encouraged by their advance toward a provable hypothesis for the solar system, scientists have recently come to adopt a third hypothesis, the protoplanet hypothesis. This currently accepted theory holds that the gaseous cloud that would form the solar system was composed of particles so cold that even the heat of the forming sun could not significantly impact the temperature of the outer reaches of the cloud. Gas in the inner region, within what scientists refer to as the frost line, was quickly either burned or dispersed, leaving a small amount of metallic matter, such as nickel and iron, to form the inner planets. Such matter would need to have an extremely high melting point to avoid becoming liquefied, ensuring that Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars would remain small and dense. Outside the frost line, however, gas was kept cool enough to remain in solid, icy states. Over time, planets such as Jupiter and Saturn would amass large quantities of frozen gas, enough to grow to hundreds of times the size of the Earth.

OA:C

1. The passage is primarily concerned with which of the following?

(A) Describing the manner in which our sun was formed from gaseous material
(B) Criticizing the encounter hypothesis and its explanation of the formation of the solar system
(C) Explaining three theories for the formation of our solar system
(D) Proving that the planets of the solar system have similar compositions
(E) Detailing a research study regarding the origins of the solar system

OA:B

2) According to the nebular hypothesis, a protoplanetary disc formed in the early stages of the solar system because _______.

(A) cold gases in the outer reaches of the nebula were repelled from the hot center of the spiraling mass
(B) gravity forced the nebular cloud to contract upon itself, creating significant angular momentum
(C) cooling matter held safely from the center of the mass could eventually form planets
(D) matter with a high melting point could not be consumed by the heat in the center of the disc
(E) gravity from a passing star pulled matter away from the sun, allowing planets to form around it

OA:C

3) Which of the following discoveries, if true, would best support the protoplanet hypothesis that the temperature difference is responsible for the different sizes of planets on either side of the frost line?

(A) The core of Saturn and the core of Mercury are found to be 98% composed of the same materials.
(B) The cores of Saturn and Jupiter are found to each contain at least five chemical elements not found in the other.
(C) The core of the Earth and the core of Mars are found to be comprised of the same mix of chemical elements.
(D) A nearby star is found to be orbited by six planets, and the size of each is inversely proportional to its distance from the star.
(E) The Earth’s moon is found to have a vastly different composition from that of the moons of Jupiter.

OA:C

4) The author most likely believes that the nebular hypothesis _______.

(A) is incorrect
(B) was accepted without adequate research
(C) is a partial explanation
(D) is the most complete of the three hypotheses
(E) does not properly explain the presence of a “rogue star”

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Originally posted by carcass on 10 Nov 2012, 09:11.
Last edited by SajjadAhmad on 11 Sep 2019, 06:31, edited 2 times in total.
Updated - Complete topic (518).
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Re: While popular science tends to favor extra galactic astronomical resea  [#permalink]

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26 Aug 2014, 23:39
1
(B) Gravity forced the nebular cloud to contract upon itself, creating significant angular momentum.

1.SS began as a large cloud of gas .
2.when the cloud reached a critical mass, it collapsed under its own gravity.
3.The resulting angular momentum would have morphed the nebula into a protoplanetary disc.
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Re: While popular science tends to favor extra galactic astronomical resea  [#permalink]

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27 Aug 2014, 06:17
1
(A) Cold gases in the outer reaches of the nebula were repelled from the hot center of the spiraling mass.
(B) Gravity forced the nebular cloud to contract upon itself, creating significant angular momentum.
(C) Cooling matter held safely from the center of the mass could eventually form planets.
(D) Matter with a high melting point could not be consumed by the heat in the center of the disc.
(E) Gravity from a passing star pulled matter away from the sun, allowing planets to form around it.

Can we please have the OA
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Re: While popular science tends to favor extra galactic astronomical resea  [#permalink]

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02 Oct 2017, 00:54
Hey,

Can someone point out how they eliminated option E?

I feel option E compares moons of planets on both sides of the Frost line. I think this option explains the theory in a better way than option C as option C just talks about on one side of the Frost line.

I being an engineer know astrophysics concepts well and i am afraid, I may have gotten too much into the technical aspect i.e. Is planet's moon a jargon and not common knowledge and thus out of scope? Let me know if that is the case!

Thanks in advance for the help!

Cheers,
Shashank
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Re: While popular science tends to favor extra galactic astronomical resea  [#permalink]

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21 Aug 2018, 09:22
I wonder why E is incorrect for the 3rd question. The text says that the planets close to the sun are denser and have mixed elements, which other ones, the far planets do not. So the answer choice E states that Earth's moon has a different composition than the moon of Jupiter. Perhaps the word "vastly" is a trap. Even though the author refers to the compositional difference of the closer planets and far ones, he/she does not explicitly state the vast compositional difference.
mikemcgarry GMATNinja , please let me know where I got into a trap.

Thanks
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Re: While popular science tends to favor extra galactic astronomical resea  [#permalink]

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22 Aug 2018, 20:44
8 mins all correct

1. C
Easy and straight : 3 theories explained
2. B
The nebular hypothesis suggests that when the cloud reached a critical mass, it collapsed under its own gravity. The resulting angular momentum would have morphed the nebula into a protoplanetary disc
straight from the passage and direct
3. C
From the passage we have : Gas in the inner region was quickly either burned or dispersed, leaving a small amount of metallic matter, such as nickel and iron, to form the inner planets.
This gives us the indication that core elements of the inner planets must have the same mix of chemical elements.
Quote:
Seryozha
: In the passage, there is no reference to the moon or any other satellites, so this cannot be inferred. In RC passages extraneous information is not accepted.
4. C
Nebular hypothesis explained the formation of the sun but fails to explain the formation of planets. The protoplanet hypothesis explains the formation of planets, and thus the author most likely believes that the nebular hypothesis is a partial explanation.
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Re: While popular science tends to favor extra galactic astronomical resea  [#permalink]

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23 Aug 2018, 23:05
Which of the following discoveries, if true, would best support the protoplanet hypothesis that the temperature difference is responsible for the different sizes of planets on either side of the frost line?

(A) The core of Saturn and the core of Mercury are found to be 98% composed of the same materials.
(B) The cores of Saturn and Jupiter are found to each contain at least five chemical elements not found in the other.
(C) The core of the Earth and the core of Mars are found to be comprised of the same mix of chemical elements.
(D) A nearby star is found to be orbited by six planets, and the size of each is inversely proportional to its distance from the star.
(E) The Earth’s moon is found to have a vastly different composition from that of the moons of Jupiter.

we know that the temp difference between earth and jupiter is higher than earth and mars we also know that jupiter is much bigger than earth than is mars.
now the hypothesis is that the temperature difference is responsible for the different sizes of planets on either side of the frost line. from which we can reason that b would support this.
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Re: While popular science tends to favor extra galactic astronomical resea  [#permalink]

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03 Oct 2018, 00:14
3) Which of the following discoveries, if true, would best support the protoplanet hypothesis that the temperature difference is responsible for the different sizes of planets on either side of the frost line?

(A) The core of Saturn and the core of Mercury are found to be 98% composed of the same materials.
(B) The cores of Saturn and Jupiter are found to each contain at least five chemical elements not found in the other.
(C) The core of the Earth and the core of Mars are found to be comprised of the same mix of chemical elements.
(D) A nearby star is found to be orbited by six planets, and the size of each is inversely proportional to its distance from the star.
(E) The Earth’s moon is found to have a vastly different composition from that of the moons of Jupiter

can someone explain why option A is wrong?
As the question talks of different size of planet on either side of frost line....which is stated in passage to be between mars and jupiter.
the Relative answer should take into account the frost line...which is not taken into account in option C.

thanks
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Re: While popular science tends to favor extra galactic astronomical resea  [#permalink]

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23 Jul 2019, 23:54
2
1) (C) Explaining three theories for the formation of our solar system
1st paragraph: introduction and the explanation of 1st encounter hypothesis
2nd paragraph: the disadvantages of 1st hypothesis and the explanation of 2nd the nebular hypothesis
3d paragraph: the disadvantages of 2st hypothesis and the explanation of the 3d protoplanet hypothesis

2) (B) gravity forced the nebular cloud to contract upon itself, creating significant angular momentum
2nd paragraph 15 line
The nebular hypothesis suggests that when the cloud reached a critical mass, it collapsed under its own gravity

3) (C) The core of the Earth and the core of Mars are found to be comprised of the same mix of chemical elements.
3d paragraph
[i] Such matter would need to have an extremely high melting point to avoid becoming liquefied, ensuring that Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars
- so, it meants that if the core of the earth and the core of Mars contain the same participles in the inner part they have the same way how they were produced and the same reason why they are so small

4) (C) is a partial explanation -
3d paragraph - however well it explained the sun’s formation, remained problematic
Re: While popular science tends to favor extra galactic astronomical resea   [#permalink] 23 Jul 2019, 23:54
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