BEST IELTS General Reading Test 443

BEST IELTS General Reading Test 443

IELTS General Reading Test


People have pondered the movements of planets and stars for as long as life of humans on earth. Long ago it was noticed that some lights in the sky looked permanent in relation to each other and these were called ‘Fixed stars’, whereas other lights moved about much more independently and were called ‘Wanderers’.

We know the latter as planets and we also know that stars are not fixed in fact move in predictable manner. That both stars and planets circled the sky over 24 hours was supposed to be because they revolved around the earth. One early theory explained the ‘music of spheres’. It was believed that the stars/planets were fixed on the glass like spheres that were centred on the earth and created high-pitched music as they moved, this latter belief originated from humming in the ears at high altitudes.

IELTS General Reading Test

The Greek astronomer, Ptolemy was the first to suggest a pattern to these movements and in his Ptolemaic system the Sun, Moon and the Planets each had a sphere moving freely from others, and the stars were all fixed on the outer sphere. The system was thus able to account for the differing movements then witnessed.

By the 16th century, more accurately measuring instruments were available, even before Telescope was developed. Nicolas, a Polish monk, spent his life making accurate observation of heavens. He tried to explain the logic behind the movement of planets but found that the circular movement of a sphere could not explain why, for instance, Mars stopped apparently and gone backwards for a while.

IELTS General Reading Test

He discovered that the planets move far more predictably, and circle the Sun rather than the Earth. Now the problem is that, many people believed man was the epicentre of the universe, and so not everyone accepted it. Copernicus avoided this problem by suggesting the theory as a method of accurately finding dates of important festivals. The theory was widely supported in the 17th century, when Galileo taught Copernican system to his students.

The telescope was invented in the Netherlands to accurately measure planetary motion. The German astronomer, Johan Kepler used it to discover that the Copernican observations were inaccurate and so could not predict the planet orbits. Copernicus assumed that the planets had circular movements around the Sun, but Kepler found they didn’t, in fact they moved in ellipses. He then developed his three laws of planetary motion.

IELTS General Reading Test

Tycho Brahe, Danish astronomer had been appointed as the court astronomer to the Romans and had made important observations that Kepler needed for his theories. However, although Kepler already had three laws explaining the movement of planets, Isaac Newton explained WHY they move in 18th century.

Isaac’s invention of reflecting telescope is often seen as a defining moment in astronomical discoveries, but in fact he only enhanced it; the original telescope was invented by Lippershey in 1608. He used convex lens in a tube, focusing light into an eyepiece. The first telescopes were seen as vital military instrument to detect the distant approach of the enemy before Galileo used one to see night sky.

IELTS General Reading Test

Newton discovered that a concave mirror reflecting light onto a flat mirror gave an accurately enhanced image of the heavens. Furthermore, mirrors were easier to produce than lenses and could be made larger, thus increasing the ability of astronomers to trace the star movements. Yet it was Newton’s laws of gravitation that explained the the accurate movement of planets.

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Match each statement with the correct persons, A-E. You may use any letter more than once.

A.  Ptolemy

B.  Nicolaus Copernicus

C.  Galileo Galilei

D.  John Kepler

E.  Isaac Newton

IELTS General Reading Test

14. A change in the design led to an improvement in scientific instrument –

15. The planets took an egg-shaped trajectory –

16. The science at the time did not agree with what was observed in the sky –

17. The planets revolved around a different object in contrast to what was believed earlier –

18. A revolutionary theory provided reasons for the pattern in which the planets moved –

19. The use of a telescope provided evidence that amended the earlier observations –

IELTS General Reading Test

Choose NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS from the paragraph.

20. Early observers used the terminology ………………….. to refer to motionless features in the sky.

21. Objects that appeared to be mobile are now called as …………………..

22. According to an early thinking, ………………….. was made by the motion of celestial bodies.

23. Ptolemy believed that every planet moved within its own …………………..

IELTS General Reading Test

The diagrams show the basic differences between Lippershey’s and Newton’s telescopic designs.

Label the diagrams below.

Choose NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS from the passage.

IELTS General Reading Test

IELTS General Reading Test


BEST IELTS General Reading Test 443

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IELTS General Reading Test

14. E

15. D

16. B

17. B

18. E

19. D









IELTS General Reading Test

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