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  • 2012年职称英语理工类阅读理解新增文章(三)
    来源:河北教育考试网  时间:2012-03-20   字号:      

      2012年职称英语理工类阅读理解新增文章(三)

       

       

       

       

          第三十八篇 "Life Form Found" on Saturn's Titan

         Scientists say they have discovered hints of alien life1 on the Saturn's moon2. The discovery of a sort of life was announced after researchers at the US space agency,NASA3,analyzed data from spacecraft Cassini4,which pointed to,the existence of methane-based form of life on Saturn's biggest moon.

          Scientists have reportedly discovered clues showing primitive alien beings are"breathing" in

          Titan's dense atmosphere filled with hydrogen.

          They argue that hydrogen gets absorbed before hitting Titan's planet-like surface covered with methane lakes and rivers. This,they say,points to the existence of some"bugs"5 consuming the hydrogen at the surface of the moon less than half the size of the Earth.

         "We suggested hydrogen consumption because it's the obvious gas for life to consume on Titan,similar to the way we consume oxygen on Earth,"says NASA scientist Chris McKay."If these signs do turn out to be a sign of life,it would be doubly exciting because it would represent a second form of life independent from water-based life on Earth."

          To date,scientists have not yet detected this form of life anywhere,though there are liquid-

          water-based microorganisms on Earth that grow well on methane or produce it as a waste product. On Titan, where temperatures are around 90 Kelvin6(minus 290 degrees Farenheit),a methanebased organism would have to use a substance that is liquid as its medium for living processes, but not water itself. Water is frozen solid on Titan's surface and much too cold to support life as we know it.

         Scientists had expected the Sun's interactions with chemicals in the atmosphere to produce a coating of acetylene on Titan's surface. But Cassini detected no acetylene on the surface.

          The absence of detectable acetylene on the Titan's surface can very well have a non-biological explanation,said Mark Allen,a principal investigator7 of the NASA Titan team.

          "Scientific conservatism suggests that a biological explanation should be the last choice after all non-biological explanations are addressed,"Allen said. "We have a lot of work to do to rule out8 possible non-biological explanations. It is more likely that a chemical process,without biology,can explain these results."

      词汇:

      Saturn /'sætən/ n.土星         methane/'mi:θein/ n.甲烷,沼气

      Titan/'taitən/ n.土卫六        acetylene/ə'setili:n/ n.乙炔

      alien/'eiljən/ n.外星人;adj.外星球的;相异的 

      conservatism/kən'sʒ:vətizəm/ n.保守主义,守旧

       

      注释:

      1.hints of alien life:外星生命迹象。

      2.the Saturn's moon:指土卫六(Titan) 。土卫六又称泰坦星,是土星卫星中最大的一颗。

      3.NASA:美国国家航空航天局的缩写,全称是: National Aeronautics and Space

      Administration。

      4.spacecraft Cassini:卡西尼号探测器,以出生于意大利的法国天文学家卡西尼的名字命名,其任务是环绕土星飞行,对土星及其大气、光环、卫星和磁场进行深人考察。1997 年10 月15日,重六吨的“卡西尼”号星际探测器被发射飞往土星的轨道。这是上世纪发射的最后一艘行星际探测的大飞船。“卡西尼”号用了将近七年时间,在2004 年7月1日飞达土星轨道。

      5.bugs:微生物。非正式口语表达,所以使用了引号。

      6.Kelvin:可翻译成“绝对温度”。Kelvin Scale ,绝对温标,开氏温标,是由Kelvin 勋爵于19世纪中叶发明的温度计量方法,其零度相当于摄氏一273. 15" C ,被认为是宇宙中最低温度。这种温度计量方法多为科学家使用。

      7.principal investigator:研究项目负责人

      8.rule out:排除……的可能性

      练习:

      1 .What have scientists found about Saturn?

      A They have found a new moon orbiting Saturn.

      B They have found methane-based life on Saturn.

      C They have found methane-based life on Titan.

      D They have found earthlike life on a Saturn's moon.

      2. What do scientists say about Titan?

      A There are life clues there.

      B There is acetylene there.

      C Water on Titan exists in the form of ice.

      D Rivers and lakes there contain life formls.

      3. To date,scientists have not yet detected this form of life.(paragraph 5)What does"this form

      of life" refer to?

      A Water-based life.

      B Methane-based life.

      C Liquid-water-based microorganisms.

      D Gas-based life.

      4. What can be inferred from what Allen said?

      A Scientists have different arguments over whether there is life on Titan.

      B Scientists all agree that there is life on Titan.

      C Scientists all suggest that a biological explanation is reasonable.

      D Scientists all agree that a non-biological chemical reaction is a possible explanation.

      5. Which of the following can replace the title of this passage?

      A Earthlike Living Beings Found on Titan.

      B Finding of One More Moon of Saturn.

      C Titan,a New Satellite Found.

      D A different Life Form, a Possibility.

      答案与题解:

      1. C 短文的第一段提供了答案。该段告诉读者,科学家在土星的卫星土卫六( Titan )上发现了生命的迹象,这些生命的存在是以甲烷为基础的。

      2.A根据第二段“Scientists have reportedly discovered clues showing primitive alien beings are

      'breathing' in Titan's dense atmosphere filled with hydrogen.”,说明土卫六(Titan)有生命迹象。因此A是答案。

      3. B this form of life 指的是土卫六( Titan )上以甲烷为生命基础呼吸氢气的生物,即该文讨论的主题。

      4.A科学家至今对土卫六是否存在生物有不同的观点和解释。Allen 说要做出土卫六上有生

      物的结论,首先必须对Titan 上没有生物的观点做出回应;要排除土卫六上可能没有生物的观点,我们还须付出努力。所以只有A是正确选择。

      5.D该短文的主题是,科学家在土卫六( Titan )上发现了一种与地球生物不同的生命形式的迹象,即以甲烷为生命基础呼吸氢气的生物,但科学家还未能最后验证这一发现。第四段中的一个句子能够揭示该短文的主题:“If these signs do turn out to be a sign of life, it would bedoubly exciting because it would represent a second form of life independent from water-based life on Earth.”

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