外语教育网
您的位置:外语教育网 > 行业英语 > 新闻英语 > 报刊选读 正文
  • 站内搜索:

考研英语时文阅读:New Planetary Puzzlers

2006-07-15 17:12张鑫友外语研究网

  A distant, oversize world causes cosmic confusion The discovery of planets around distant stars has become like space-shuttle launches——newsworthy but just barely. With some 50 extrasolar planets under their belt, astronomers have to announce something really strange to get anyone's attention.

  Last week they did just that. Standing in front of colleagues and reporters at the American Astronomical Society's semiannual meeting in San Diego, the world's premier planet-hunting team——astronomer Geoffrey Marcy of the University of California, Berkeley, and his colleagues——presented not one but two remarkable finds. The first is a pair of planets, each about the mass of Jupiter, that whirl around their home star 15 light-years from Earth in perfect lockstep. One takes 30 days to complete an orbit, the other exactly twice as long. Nobody has ever seen such a configuration. But the second discovery is far stranger——a solar system 123 light-years away, in the constellation Serpens, that harbors one "ordinary" planet and another so huge——17 times as massive as Jupiter——that nobody can quite figure out what it can be. It is, says Marcy, "a bit frightening."

  What's frightening is that these discoveries make it clear how little astronomers know about planets, and they add to the dawning realization that our solar system——and by implication Planet Earth——may be a cosmic oddball. For years theorists figured that other stars would have planets more or less like the ones going around the sun. But starting with the 1995 discovery of the first extrasolar planet——a gassy monster like Jupiter but orbiting seven times as close to its star as Mercury orbits around our sun——each new find has seemed stranger than the last. Searchers have found more "hot Jupiters" like that first discovery. These include huge planets that career around their stars not in circular orbits but in elongated ones; their gravity would send any Earthlike neighbors flying off into space. Says Princeton astronomer Scott Tremaine: "Not a single prediction for what we'd find in other systems has turned out to be correct."

  Last week's giant was the most unexpected discovery yet. Conventional theory suggests that it must have formed like a star, from a collapsing cloud of interstellar gas. Its smaller companion, only seven times Jupiter's mass, is almost certainly a planet, formed by the buildup of gas and dust left over from a star's formation. Yet the fact that these two orbs are so close together suggests to some theorists that they must have formed together——so maybe the bigger one is a planet after all.

  Or maybe astronomers will have to rethink their definition of "planet." Just because we put heavenly objects into categories doesn't mean the distinctions are necessarily valid. And as Tremaine puts it, "When your classification schemes start breaking down, you know you're learning something exciting. This is wonderful stuff."

  By Michael D. Lemonick  Time; 01/22/2001, Vol. 157 Issue 3, p51, 2/3p, 1 diagram

  注(1):本文选自Time; 01/22/2001, p51;

  注(2):本文习题命题模仿对象:第1题模仿1998年text5第1题;第2题模仿text4第2题;第3题模仿1993年text2第1题;第4题模仿1999年text1第3题;第5题模仿1997年text4第4题;

  1. The author believes that ____________.

  [A] the discovery of planets is as important as the launch of space shuttles

  [B] astronomers have been making a lot of discoveries of planets

  [C] the public have no interest in astronomical discoveries

  [D] there is little for astronomers to discover now

  2.The two finds are remarkable in that ___________.

  [A] the planets are far from our solar system

  [B] the sizes of the plants are too huge.

  [C] astronomers have never seen similar orbiting pattern and size before

  [D] scientists can not figure out what they can be

  3. By saying that our solar system “may be a cosmic oddball”, the author intends to render

  the idea that ______________.

  [A] other stars have planets more or less like the one going around the sun

  [B] the orbits of extrasolar planets around their stars are elongated ones

  [C] the way planets orbiting around the sun in our solar system is quite unique

  [D] planets in other systems are generally huger than the ones in ours

  4. The case of the giant heavenly body demonstrates that _________.

  [A] conventional theory can not explain such astronomical phenomenon satisfactorily

  [B] it is either a star or a planet

  [C] it was formed like a star and orbits like a planet

  [D] theorists give a wrong definition of “planet”

  5. The best title for this passage could be ___________.

  [A] New Planetary Puzzlers

  [B] Two Remarkable Finds

  [C] A Redefinition of “Planet”

  [D] “Hot Jupiters” Challenging Conventional Theory

  答案:B C C A A

  篇章剖析:

  本篇文章讲述了安第斯山区的最新考古发现以及这一发现的重大意义。第一段想象了当年印加人参加活人祭祀前后的场景,引出话题;第二段简要介绍考古学家莱茵哈德及他这次发现的三具印加儿童遗体。第三段、第四段描述了同时发现的陪葬品,最后一段则说明这次发现对于考古学家的重要意义。文章层次分明,结构清晰。

  词汇注释:

  semiannual: [5semi5AnjuEl] adj. 半年一次的

  premier: [5premjE] adj. 第一的, 首要的

  Jupiter: [5dVu:pitE] n. 木星

  lockstep: [`lCkstep] n. 前后紧接, 步伐一致

  configuration: [kEn7fi^ju5reiFEn] n. 「天」(行星等的)相对位置, 方位

  constellation: [kCnstE5leiFEn] n. [天]星群, 星座

  Serpens: [5sE:penz] n. [天]巨蛇座

  oddball:[ 5RdbC:l] n. 古怪的人;古怪的事物

  Mercury: [5mE:kjuri] n.〈天〉水星

  elongate: [5i:lCN^eit] v. 拉长, (使)伸长, 延长

  interstellar: [5intE(:)5stelE] adj. 星际的

  orb: [C:b] n. 球, 天体, 圆形物

  难句突破:

  What‘s frightening is that these discoveries make it clear how little astronomers know about planets, and they add to the dawning realization that our solar system —— and by implication Planet Earth —— may be a cosmic oddball.

  主体句式:what‘s frightening is that …

  结构分析:本句是个复杂句,包含主语从句(what‘s frightening),表语从句(is 后面的部分),宾语从句(how little引导的部分),同位语从句(realization后面that引导的部分),插入语等,另外一些成语词组的出现也增加了句子的难度,比如dawning realization(渐渐认识到),by implication(含蓄地, 用寓意)等。阅读本句的时候应该先看各个分句在句中的成分以及相互之间的关系,然后再看各部分具体的意义。

  句子译文:真正令人震惊的是,这些发现说明天文学家对于行星的了解十分有限,并且让人们清醒地认识到我们的太阳——不言而喻,还有地球这颗行星——也许是宇宙中的异数。

  题目分析:

  1. 答案是B,属事实细节题。文章中提到“with some 50 extrasolar planets under their belt” 来说明为什么天文发现已经很多,难以吸引公众,所以应该选B.

  2. 答案是C,属事实细节题。文中第二段指出第一个发现里的两颗行星的运行轨道排列方式前所未见,第二个发现里面有一颗是木星体积17倍的巨大星体。其它各项在原因方面都罗列的过于简单,只有C把这两点都包括了,所以是正确答案。

  3. 答案是C,属推理判断题。文中第三段举了几个例子说明1995年之后天文发现的太阳系外行星围绕母星运行的方式跟太阳系行星的运行方式大不相同,由此解释我们的太阳系是一个宇宙中的异数。

  4. 答案是A,属推理判断题。文中介绍了传统理论解释该天文发现时所面临的困境。它看似像恒星,但运行轨道又接近行星,因此难以确定它究竟是什么。显然,传统理论无法令人满意地解释这种天体。

  5. 答案是A,属推理判断题。文章重点写这次天文发现的奇异之处,以及它们带给天文学家的困惑。文章最后一段说maybe astronomers will have to rethink their definition of "planet.",所以答案A最为合适。

  参考译文:

  对围绕着遥远的恒星运行的行星的发现就好像发射航天飞机一样——有新闻价值但仅此而已。现在天文学家已经在太阳系之外发现了50多颗行星,他们只有发现一些真正奇怪的东西才能吸引人们的注意力。

  上周的发现就属于此类。在圣迭戈举行的美国天文学会半年一度的会议上,来自加州大学伯克利分校的世界顶级行星搜寻小组天文学家杰弗里。马西和他的同事们向同行和新闻记者展示了两项惊人的发现。第一项是一对行星,每个大小和木星相仿,它们一前一后绕着距离地球15光年的一颗恒星运行。其中一颗三十天沿轨道运行一周,而另一颗所需时间恰好是它的运行周期的两倍。这种相对位置以前从未有人见过。但第二项发现更令人称奇——在巨蛇座内距离地球123光年的地方有一个太阳系,它拥有一颗“普通”行星和一颗体积足有木星的17倍那么大的行星——这么巨大的体积叫人不知道它会是什么。马西说它“有点惊人。”

  真正令人震惊的是,这些发现说明天文学家对于行星的了解十分有限,并且让人们开始认识到我们的太阳——不言而喻,还有地球这颗行星——也许是宇宙中的异数。很多年来理论学家们都一直认为其它恒星的行星和围绕太阳运行的行星多少有些相似。但1995年发现了第一颗太阳系之外的行星——一颗像木星一样的巨大气态星球,它围绕自己的母星运行的距离比水星绕着太阳运行时的距离还近7倍。从这一发现开始,每一个新发现似乎都比上一次发现更令人惊奇。搜寻者们已经发现了更多第一次发现中的那种“热木星”。这些发现中有一些巨大的行星,它们围绕母星运行的轨道不是圆形的,而是延长的;它们的重力会让周围像地球这样的星体逃逸到太空中去。普林斯顿的天文学家斯科特。特里梅因说:“我们对于会在其它星系里的发现所作的预测没有一次是准确的。”

  上周发现的这颗巨星是目前为止最出人意料的发现。传统的理论认为它一定像一颗恒星那样是由一团星际气体形成的压缩星云组成的。它那体积较小的伴侣只有木星体积的7倍,几乎可以确定是一颗行星,是由恒星形成时留下的气体和灰尘累积形成的。不过这两个天体如此接近,一些理论家认为它们一定是一起形成的——那样的话,较大的那一颗也是一颗行星。

  也许天文学家们必须重新思考他们对于“行星”的定义。我们把天体进行分类并不意味着我们的这种区分必然有效。正如特里梅因所说:“当你的分类模式开始不起作用的时候,你就知道你正在了解某些令人激动的事情。这是很有趣的。”

相关热词:新闻 阅读
行业英语辅导课程
李 健协和医科大学医学博士,美国国立卫生研究院博士后……详情>>
李健:医学英语网上辅导名师
高 云澳大利亚注册会计师协会会员,会计专业硕士……详情>>
高云:财会英语网上辅导名师
李文沛中国政法大学博士,师从著名法学家周忠海教授……详情>>
李文沛:法律英语网上辅导名师

  1、凡本网注明 “来源:外语教育网”的所有作品,版权均属外语教育网所有,未经本网授权不得转载、链接、转贴或以其他方式使用;已经本网授权的,应在授权范围内使用,且必须注明“来源:外语教育网”。违反上述声明者,本网将追究其法律责任。
  2、本网部分资料为网上搜集转载,均尽力标明作者和出处。对于本网刊载作品涉及版权等问题的,请作者与本网站联系,本网站核实确认后会尽快予以处理。本网转载之作品,并不意味着认同该作品的观点或真实性。如其他媒体、网站或个人转载使用,请与著作权人联系,并自负法律责任。
  3、联系方式
  编辑信箱:for68@chinaacc.com
  电话:010-82319999-2371