GRE Reading Comprehension

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Source: OG2

Saturn's giant moon Titan is the only planetary satellite with a significant atmosphere and the only body in the solar system other than Earth that has a thick atmosphere dominated by molecular nitrogen. For a long time, the big question about Titan's atmosphere was how it could be so thick, given that Jupiter's moons Ganymede and Callisto, which are the same size as Titan, have none. The conditions for acquiring and retaining a thick nitrogen atmosphere are now readily understood. The low temperature of the protosaturnian nebula enabled Titan to acquire the moderately volatile compounds methane and ammonia (later converted to nitrogen) in addition to water. The higher temperatures of Jupiter's moons, which were closer to the Sun, prevented them from acquiring such an atmosphere.

Question List: 1

According to the passage, Titan differs atmospherically from Ganymede and Callisto because of a difference in

  • A rate of heat loss
  • B proximity to the Sun
  • C availability of methane and ammonia
  • D distance from its planet
  • E size

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