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The supernova event of 1987

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The supernova event of 1987

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The supernova event of 1987 is interesting in that there is still no evidence of the neutron star that current theory says should have remained after a supernova of that size. This is in spite of the fact that many of the most sensitive instruments ever developed have searched for the tell-tale pulse of radiation that neutron stars emit. Thus, current theory is wrong in claiming that supernovas of a certain size always produce neutron stars.

Which one of the following, if true, most strengthens the argument?

A) Most supernova remnants that astronomers have detected have a neutron star nearby.

B) Sensitive astronomical instruments have detected neutron stars much farther away than the location of the 1987 supernova.

C) The supernova of 1987 was the first that scientists were able to observe in progress.

D) Several important features of the 1987 supernova are correctly predicted by the current theory.

E) Some neutron stars are known to have come into existence by a cause other than a supernova explosion.

The OA is B.

Can any expert go option by option telling me why are incorrect (or correct)? Thanks.

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Hello Vincen.

I think options D and E are irrelevant to the argument.

But, with options A and C I don't know how to conclude they are incorrect.

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The conclusion: Supernovas of a certain size do not always produce neutron stars.

The evidence: There is no evidence of the neutron star that current theory says should have remained after the supernova of 1987 even though many of the most sensitive instruments ever developed have searched for the tell-tale pulse of radiation that neutron stars emit.

Assumption: If there was a neutron star, the instruments would have detected it. If this were true, then the argument would hold, the conclusion would be strengthened. This is what Choice B strongly implies. The instruments used were more than capable of detecting the neutron star -- they've even detected stars much farther away.

Choice A mentions supernova events in general, but not specify their size. It does nothing to support the conclusion that supernovas of a certain size don't always produce neutron stars.
Choice C is irrelevant. Whether that supernova was first, second, etc. does not matter.
Choice D leaves out any mention of the neutron star that is central to this argument.
Choice E brings in an "other," something to watch out for. That neutron stars can come about without a supernova explosion doesn't affect the discussion of this supernova explosion.


I'm available if you'd like any follow up.

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