Collegepond Counsellors (Jimeet Sanghavi)
5 years ago
Question No 7: Reading Comprehension A supernova is a brief stellar explosion so luminous that i
A supernova is a brief stellar explosion so luminous that it can briefly outshine an entire galaxy. While the explosion itself takes less than fifteen seconds, supernovae take weeks or months to fade from view; during that time, a supernova can emit an amount of energy equivalent to the amount of energy the sun is expected to radiate over its entire lifespan. Supernovae generate enough heat to create heavy elements, such as mercury, gold, and silver. Although supernovae explode frequently, few of them are visible (from Earth) to the naked eye.
In 1604 in Padua, Italy, a supernova became visible, appearing as a star so bright that it was visible in daylight for more than a year. Galileo, who lectured at the university, gave several lectures widely attended by the public. The lectures not only sought to explain the origin of the “star” (some posited that perhaps it was merely “vapour near the earth”), but seriously undermined the views of many philosophers that the heavens were unchangeable. This idea was foundational to a worldview underpinned by a central and all-important Earth, with celestial bodies merely rotating around it.
Q. The primary purpose of the passage is to
(A) give the history of supernovae
(B) describe a shift in thought as a result of a natural event
(C) juxtapose two opposing views about supernovae
(D) corroborate the view that the earth is not central to the universe
(E) explain how science and philosophy interrelate Consider each of the answer choices separately and indicate all that apply.
Collegepond Counsellors (Jimeet Sanghavi) Author
EXPLANATION: Before reading the choices, it is helpful to determine for yourself what the main idea is. Is the passage really about supernovae, or is it about Galileo, the philosophers, and the ideas being discussed? The fact that the “twist” occurs in the second paragraph (you’re not talking just about science — now you’re talking about history and philosophy) supports the position... See more