ĐỀ THI IELTS READING VÀ ĐÁP ÁN - Venus in Transit
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June 2004 saw the first passage., known as a 'transit` of the planet Venus across the face of the Sun in 122 years. Transits have helped shape our view of the whole Universe, as Heather Cooper and Nigel Henbest explain
On 8 June 2004, more than half the population of the world were treated to a rare astronomical event. For over six hours, the planet Venus steadily inched its way over the surface of the Sun. This “transit` of Venus was the first since 6 December l882. On that occasion, the American astronomer Professor Simon Newcomb led a party to South Africa to observe the event. They were based at a girls' school, where - if is alleged – the combined forces of three schoolmistresses outperformed the professionals with the accuracy of their observations.
He was thwarted by the fact that the British were besieging his observation site at Pondicherry in India. Fleeing on a French warship crossing the Indian Ocean, Le Gentil saw a wonderful transit - but the ship`s pitching and rolling ruled out any attempt at making accurate observations. Undaunted, he remained south of the equator, keeping himself busy by studying the islands of Mauritius and Madagascar before setting off to observe the next transit in the Philippines. Ironically after travelling nearly 50,000 kilometres, his view was clouded out at the last moment, a very dispiriting experience.
While the early transit timings were as precise as instruments would allow the measurements were dogged by the 'black drop' effect. When Venus begins to cross the Sun's disc, it looks smeared not circular - which makes it difficult to establish timings. This is due to diffraction of light. The second problem is that Venus exhibits a halo of light when it is seen just outside the Sun's disc. While this showed astronomers that Venus was surrounded by a thick layer of gases refracting sunlight around it, both effects made it impossible to obtain accurate timings.
G June 2004’s transit of Venus was thus more of an astronomical spectacle than a scientifically important event. But such transits have paved the way for what might prove to be one of the most vital breakthroughs in the cosmos - detecting Earth-sized planets orbiting other stars.
Reading Passage 2 has seven paragraphs, A-G.
Which paragraph contains the following information?
Write the correct letter A-G, in boxes 14-17 on your answer sheet.
14. examples of different ways in which the parallax principle has been applied
15. a description of an event which prevented a transit observation
16. a statement about potential future discoveries leading on from transit observations
17. a description of physical states connected with Venus which early astronomical instruments failed to overcome
Look at the following statements (Questions 18-21) and the list of people below
Match each statement with the correct person, A, B, C or D.
Write the correct letter A, B, C or D. in boxes 18-21 on your answer sheet.
18. He calculated the distance of the Sun from the Earth based on observations of Venus with a fair degree of accuracy.
19. He understood that the distance of the Sun from the Earth could be worked out by comparing observations of a transit.
20. He realized that the time taken by a planet to go round the Sun depends on its distance from the Sun.
21. He witnessed a Venus transit but was unable to make any calculations.
List of People
A. Edmond Halley
B. Johannes Kepler
C. Guillaume Le Gentil
D. Johann Franz Encke
Do the following statements agree with the information given in Reading Passage 2?
Write answers in boxes 22-26 on your answer sheet. write
TRUE it the statement agrees with the information
FALSE if the statement contradicts the information
NOT GIVEN if there is no information on this
22. Halley observed one transit of the planet Venus.
23. Le Gentil managed to observe a second Venus transit.
24. The shape of Venus appears distorted when it starts to pass in front of the Sun.
25. Early astronomers suspected that the atmosphere on Venus was toxic.
26. The parallax principle allows astronomers to work out how far away distant stars are from the Earth.
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25. NOT GIVEN