GRE Reading Comprehension
If a supernova (the explosion of a massive star) triggered star formation from dense clouds of gas and dust, and if the most massive star to be formed from the cloud evolved into a supernova and triggered a new round of star formation, and so on, then a chain of star-forming regions would result. If many such chains were created in a differentially rotating galaxy, the distribution of stars would resemble the observed distribute in a spiral galaxy.
This line of reasoning underlies an exciting new theory of spiral-galaxy structure. A computer simulation based on this theory has reproduced the appearance of many spiral galaxies without assuming an underlying density wave, the hallmark of the most widely accepted theory of the large-scale structure of spiral galaxies. That theory maintains that a density wave of spiral form sweeps through the central plane of a galaxy, compressing clouds of gas and dust, which collapse into stars that form a spiral pattern.
The primary purpose of the passage is to
- A describe what results when a supernova triggers the creation of chains of star-forming regions
- B propose a modification in the most widely accepted theory of spiral-galaxy structure
- C compare and contrast the roles of clouds of gas and dust in two theories of spiral-galaxy structure
- D describe a new theory of spiral-galaxy structure and contrast it with the most widely accepted theory
- E describe a new theory of spiral-galaxy structure and discuss a reason why it is inferior to the most widely accepted theory
Correct Answer: D