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need help of couple of Questions

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vaivish Master | Next Rank: 500 Posts Default Avatar
29 Apr 2008
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need help of couple of Questions

Post Mon May 26, 2008 12:09 pm
Passage 33
Until recently most astronomers believed that the
space between the galaxies in our universe was a near-
perfect vacuum. This orthodox view of the universe is
now being challenged by astronomers who believe that a
(5) heavy "rain" of gas is falling into many galaxies from
the supposedly empty space around them. The gas
apparently condenses into a collection of small stars,
each a little larger than the planet Jupiter. These stars
vastly outnumber the other stars in a given galaxy. The
(10) amount of "intergalactic rainfall" into some of these
galaxies has been enough to double their mass in the
time since they formed. Scientists have begun to suspect
that this intergalactic gas is probably a mixture of gases
left over from the "big bang" when the galaxies were
(15) formed and gas was forced out of galaxies by supernova
It is well known that when gas is cooled at a constant
pressure its volume decreases. Thus, the physicist Fabian
reasoned that as intergalactic gas cools, the cooler gas
(20) shrinks inward toward the center of the galaxy. Mean-
while its place is taken by hotter intergalactic gas from
farther out on the edge of the galaxy, which cools as it is
compressed and flows into the galaxy. The net result is a
continuous flow of gas, starting as hot gases in inter-
(25) galactic space and ending as a drizzle of cool gas called a
"cooling flow," falling into the central galaxy.
A fairly heretical idea in the 1970's, the cooling-flow
theory gained support when Fabian observed a cluster
of galaxies in the constellation Perseus and found the
(30) central galaxy, NGC 1275, to be a strange-looking object
with irregular, thin strands of gas radiating from it.
According to previous speculation, these strands were
gases that had been blown out by an explosion in the
galaxy. Fabian, however, disagreed. Because the strands
(35) of gas radiating from NGC 1275 are visible in optical
photographs, Fabian suggested that such strands consisted
not of gas blown out of the galaxy but of cooling flows
of gas streaming inward. He noted that the wavelengths
of the radiation emitted by a gas would changes as the
(40) gas cooled, so that as the gas flowed into the galaxy and
became cooler, it would emit not x-rays, but visible light,
like that which was captured in the photographs. Fabian's
hypothesis was supported by Canizares' determination in
1982 that most of the gas in the Perseus cluster was at a
(45) temperature of 80 million degrees Kelvin, whereas the
gas immediately surrounding NGC 1275 (the subject of
the photographs) was at one-tenth this temperature.

7. It can be inferred from the passage that which of the
following is true of Fabian's theory?
(A) It did not receive approval until Canizares' work
was published.
(B) It was not widely accepted in the 1970's.
(C) It did not receive support initially because
technology was not available to confirm its tenets.
(D) It supports earlier speculation that intergalactic gas
was largely the result of explosions outside the
(E) It was widely challenged until x-ray evidence of gas
temperatures in NGC 1275 had been presented.

The ans to this is B...but if you c line 28-29 it says that the theory received the support in 1970's.....i marked C...can somebody pl explain....

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Stacey Koprince GMAT Instructor
27 Dec 2006
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Post Tue Jul 22, 2008 8:50 am
This might be a vocab issue. The sentence says " A fairly heretical idea in the 1970's"

"heretical" means it was NOT accepted by the mainstream at the time - it was considered a radical idea.

The sentence goes on to say "the cooling-flow theory gained support when Fabian observed..."

but note that it does not tell us WHEN Fabian observed (etc) or how much support it gained. All we know so far is that people did not accept the idea in the 1970s and sometime after that (who knows when?) Fabian observed something which caused people to start to support the theory at least a little bit. The choice says that it wasn't widely accepted in the 70s - and that goes along with what this sentence says.

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