美国航天局在2015年7月24日凌晨宣布发现了另一个地球,在太阳系中是否存在与地球同样适合生命存在的星球呢?为大家带来托福阅读素材之寻找外星生命 2,希望对大家的托福阅读背景知识提升有所帮助: 

  TOPIC:天文;宇宙;科技

  场景:

  科技进步;航天;外星生命;

  思维方式:理论的推测和限制性;

  【阅读】科普文

  It is biochemistry—evidence of molecules made by life—that Mars has failed to provide. Four decades ago two Viking probes landed and subjected samples of its surface to various chemical tests as a way of looking for life. The results were frustrating; not quite what was expected from lifelessness, but not seemingly compatible with life. For all the satellitesand rovers that have studied Mars since, there has been no sign of so much as a bacterium.

  没有证据证明火星上有生物产生的分子,因而(对)火星(的探测)并未证明生命的存在。40年前,两架海盗号探测器在火星着陆,并对表面物质进行了取样和化学测试以寻找生命体的存在。结果让人沮丧:(火星)并不是像我们所预期的那样没有生命存在,而是似乎并未提供适宜生命生存的条件。自那之后研究火星的卫星和探测器均没有发现生命,就连细菌都没有发现。

  【经典句式】

  probe探测器

  land着陆

  subject A to B 让A遭受B

  frustrating让人沮丧的

  seemingly看似……地

  compatible with sth 跟……兼容的

  satellite卫星

  rover漫游车

  there has been no sign of … 全无迹象

  bacterium细菌

  It is thus hardly surprising that interest in water elsewhere has risen. And it hasturned out that Enceladus, a small moon of Saturn (illustrated above) and Europa have it in abundance: Enceladus may have as much as Lake Superior. Europa may have more than the whole Earth.

  所以科学家对于其他含水卫星的兴趣大增也就不足为奇了。据证实,土星的一颗小卫星,土卫二(上图所示)以及木卫二有充足的水:土卫二的水量可能有苏必利尔湖那么多。而木卫二的水量可能比整个地球加起来还多。

  【大作文万用句式】

  It is thus hardly surprising that ………也就不足为奇了。

  It has turned out that … 结果……

  【经典句式】

  interest in … has risen(人们)对……兴趣大增

  moon卫星

  Saturn土星

  have… in abundance 有大量……

  Lake Superior 苏必利尔湖【闻夕注】美国五大湖之一

  That may sound odd. Jupiter and Saturn are much farther from the sun than Mars is. The average temperature on Europa is a chilly -171°C. But sunlightis not the only way to heat an astronomical body. Gravity can do it, too. To most Earthlings,the tides produced by the gravity of the moon and sun matter only to sea levels. But the tides that a huge planet like Jupiter or Saturn can produce in an orbiting moon are powerful enough to knead the rocks of the moon’s core, warming them up via friction. Such heating frombelow allows both Enceladus and Europa to harbour oceans under their cold, icy surfaces.

  这听起来可能很奇怪。木星和土星距离太阳的距离比火星远得多。木卫二的平均温度为零下171°C,非常寒冷。但太阳光并非让一个天体热起来的唯一途径,引力也可以。对大多数地球人来说,由于卫星和太阳的重力作用产生的潮汐只会对海平面产生作用。但对木星或土星这种大行星来说,其引力在绕其运转的卫星上产生的潮汐力量很大,甚至可以使卫星核内的岩石相互摩擦,导致卫星升温。这种由下而上的加热使土卫二和木卫二都能在其冰凉寒冷的表面下蕴藏海洋。

  【经典句式】

  odd奇怪的

  Jupiter木星

  Saturn土星

  average平均的

  chilly寒冷的

  astronomical body天体

  gravity引力;重力

  Earthling地球人

  tide浪潮;潮汐

  sea level海平面;海拔

  planet行星

  knead揉捏

  core核

  via通过

  friction摩擦