新概念英語第三冊55:From the earth: Greetings
 

一、聽力mp3

(請同學們先聽一邊課文聽力,再逐次查看課文與翻譯內容。)
 

 
1.課文
Recent developments in astronomy have made it possible to detect planets in our won Milky Way and in other galaxies. This is a major achievement because, in relative terms, planets are very small and old not emit light. Finding planets is proving hard enough, but finding life on them will prove infinitely more difficult. The first question to answer is whether a planet can actually support life. In our won solar system, for example, Venus is far too hot and Mars is far too cold to support life. Only the Earth provides ideal conditions, and even here it has taken more than four billion years for plant and animal life to evolve.
Whether a planet can support life depends on the size and brightness of its star, that is its 'sun'. Imagine a star up t twenty times larger, brighter, brighter and hotter than our own sun. A planet would have to be a very long way from it to be capable of supporting life. Alternatively, if the star were small, the life-supporting planet would have to have a close orbit round it and also provide the perfect conditions for life forms to develop. But how would we find such a planet? At present, there is no telescope in existence that is capable of detecting the presence of life. The development of such a telescope will be one of the great astronomical projects of the twenty-first century.
It is impossible to look for life on another planet using earth-based telescopes. Our own warm atmosphere and the heat generated by the telescope would make it impossible to detect objects as small as planets. Even a telescope in orbit round the earth, like the very successful Hubble telescope, would not be suitable because of the dust particles iron solar system. A telescope would have to be as far away as the planet Jupiter to look for life in outer space, because the dust becomes thinner the further we travel towards the outer edges of our own solar system. Once we detected a planet, we would have to find a way of blotting out the light from its star, so that we would be able to 'see' the planet properly and analyze its atmosphere. In the first instance, we would be looking for plant life, rather than 'little green men'. The life forms most likely to develop on a planet would be bacteria. It is bacteria that have generated the oxygen we breathe on earth. For most of the earth's history they have been the only form of life on our planet. As Earth-dwellers, we always cherish the hope that we will be visited by little green men and that we will be able to communicate with them. But this hope is always in the realms of science fiction. If we were able to discover lowly forms of life like bacteria on another planet, it would completely change our view of ourselves. As Daniel Goldin of NASA observed, 'Finding life elsewhere would change everything. No human endeavor or thought would be unchanged by it."
 
2.翻譯
天文學方面最新發展使得我們能夠在銀河系和其他星系發現行星。這是一個重要的成就,因為相對來說,行星很小,而且也不發光。尋找行星證明相當困難,但是要在行星上發現生命會變得無比艱難。第一個需要解答的問題是一顆行星是否有能夠維持生命的條件。舉例來說,在我們的太陽系里,對于生命來說,金星的溫度太高,而火星的溫度則太低。只有地球提供理想的條件,而即使在這里,植物和動物的進化也用了40億年的時間。
一顆行星是否能夠維持生命取決于它的恒星——即它的“太陽”——的大小和亮度。設想一下,一顆恒星比我們的太陽還要大,還要亮,還要熱20倍,那么一顆行星為了維持生命就要離開的它的恒星非常遠。反之,如果恒星很小,維持生命的行星就要在離恒星很近的軌道上運行,而且要有極好的條件才能使生命得以發展,但是,我們如何才能找到這樣一顆行星呢?現在,沒有一臺現存的望遠鏡可以發現生命的存在。而開發這樣一臺望遠鏡將會是21世紀天文學的一個重要的研究課題。
使用放置在地球上的望遠鏡是無法觀察到其他行星的生命的。地球周圍溫暖的大氣層和望遠鏡散出的熱量使得我們根本不可能找到比行星更小的物體。即使是一臺放置在圍繞地球的軌道上的望遠鏡——如非常成功的哈勃望遠鏡——也因為太陽系中的塵埃微粒而無法勝任。望遠鏡要放置在木星那樣遙遠的行星上才有可能在外層空間搜尋生命。因為我們越是接近太陽系的邊緣,塵埃就越稀薄。一旦我們找到這樣一顆行星,我們就要想辦法將它的恒星射過來的光線遮暗,這樣我們就能徹底“看見”這顆行星,并分析它的大氣層。首先我們要尋找植物,而不是那種“小綠人”。行星上最容易生存下來的是細菌。正是細菌生產出我們在地球上呼吸的氧氣。在地球上發展的大部分進程中,細菌是地球上唯一的生命形式。作為地球上的居民,我們總存有這樣的希望:小綠人來拜訪我們,而我們可以和他們交流。但是,這種希望總是只在科幻小說中存在。如果我們能夠在另一顆行星上找到諸如細菌的那種低等生命,那么這個發現將徹底改變我們對我們自己的看法。正如美國國家航空和宇宙航空局的丹尼爾.戈爾丁指出的“在其他地方發現生命會改變一切。任何人類的努力和想法都會發生變化。”

二、學習視頻


(手機端無法播放視頻,請用電腦百度搜索"哈嘍英語"進行學習。)
 

三、課文精講

(課文精講根據順序分析課文重點)
 
(Attention: The following points are not covered by the video. It is better for you to watch the video or listen to the MP3 first and try to take notes on your own. Then you may check here to get more details. )
 
1. This is a major achievement because, in relative terms, planets are very small and old not emit light.
in relative terms: relatively;relative: comparing to other things, 相對的。如:
Since I got a job, I have been living in relative comfort.
In relative terms, Britain was weak in the 20th century. (It was stronger before, but weaker in the 20th century.)
Relatively few people are prepared to sacrifice up to a third of their holidays for the pleasure of traveling on a ship. (NCE3 Lesson44)
 
2. Finding planets is proving hard enough, but finding life on them will prove infinitely more difficult.
infinitely more difficult: a lot more difficult。我們再來看infinitely的一些用法:
infinitely great: extremely great infinitely better: much better
Wives tend to believe that their husbands are infinitely resourceful and versatile. 妻子傾向于認為丈夫足智多謀、多才多藝。(NCE3 Lesson46)
 
3. The first question to answer is whether a planet can actually support life.
support:to provide the necessary conditions so that life can exist(本文中)。More examples:
His brother supported him while he was at college. (support: to provide a living for sb, 養活某人)
The land is so poor that it cannot support any crops. (support: to provide the necessary conditions for crops to grow)
 
4. Imagine a star up to twenty times larger, brighter and hotter than our own sun.
up to: as much as or no more than,至多,多達,直到。More examples:
Up to three hundred people were on board the ship. 船上多達300人。
We teach learners up to intermediate level in our centre. 我們中心將初學者教到中級水平。
I know nothing about it up to now. 直到現在我對此事還一無所知。
Relatively few people are prepared to sacrifice up to a third of their holidays for the pleasure of travelling on a ship. (NCE3 Lesson44)
 
5. A planet would have to be a very long way from it to be capable of supporting life.
be capable of: having the ability to do sth. More examples:
His wife is a very capable woman.
When he's drunk he's capable of saying rude things. ( He is more likely to say rude things.)
 
6. At present, there is no telescope in existence that is capable of detecting the presence of life.
in existence: that exists now. 現存的。如:
這張照片是那個事件的現存唯一記錄。(練習(3),漢譯英)
presence: being present in a place, 出席,到場,存在。如:
He is usually quite polite in my presence.
The contract was signed in the presence of two witnesses.
 
7. Once we detected a planet, we would have to find a way of blotting out the light from its star, so that we would be able to 'see' the planet properly and analyze its atmosphere.
blot sth out: cover or hide (writing, etc), 涂去(字跡等);hide sth completely, 庶蔽;remove or destroy (thoughts, memories, etc) completely, 消除或抹掉(思想,記憶等)。如:
Several words in the letter had been blotted out.
A dark cloud suddenly blotted out the sun.
她盡力抹掉對那次事故的所有記憶。(練習(4),漢譯英)
analyse v. 分析,分解 analysis n. 分析,分解 analytical adj. 分析的,分解的。如:
His report analyses the effect of the policy upon middle class families.
 
8. In the first instance, we would be looking for plant life, rather than 'little green men'.
in the first instance: in the first place, 首先 for instance: for example. 如:
In the first instance, we had better make sure the calculations are correct.
A Frenchman, for instance, might find it hard to laugh at a Russian joke. (NCE3 Lesson29)
We hope you would meet our requirements in this instance. ( in this instance: in this case, in this situation)
 
9. As Earth-dwellers, we always cherish the hope that we will be visited by little green men and that we will be able to communicate with them. But this hope is always in the realms of science fiction.
cherish the hope: 抱有......希望,如:
Like a scientist bent on making a discovery, he must cherish the hope that one day he will be amply rewarded. 就象一個決心要有所發現的科學家一樣,他必須抱有有朝一日能如愿以償的希望。(NCE3 Lesson34)
the realms of science fiction: the fields covered in since fiction
realm: kingdom, 王國;a certain field or area, 領域。如:
In a realm as large as medieval Germany, the king faced a huge task.
She found great pleasures in the realm of history.
人們在態度上的變化將逐漸從理論領域轉向實踐領域。(練習(5),漢譯英)
 
10. No human endeavor or thought would be unchanged by it.
endeavor: n. effort or attempt, 企圖,努力;v. try, 試圖,竭力。如:
Crossing the North Pole on foot was an amazing feat of human endeavor.
Engineers are still endeavoring to locate the source of this problem.
 

四、單詞學習

1、提示:n.名詞、adj.形容詞、vi.不及物動詞、vt.及物動詞、adv.副詞、prep.介詞、pron.代詞、int.感嘆詞、num.數詞、abbr.短語縮寫
2、雙擊或選中某個單詞可劃詞查字典,如下圖:(手機端無法使用此功能)

劃詞工具示意圖

劃詞工具示意圖

3、單詞列表:
astronomy
n. 天文學
relative
adj. 相對的
infinitely
adv. 無限地,無窮地
solar
adj. 太陽系的
Venus
n. 金星
Mars
n. 火星
orbit
n. 運行軌道
astronomical
adj. 天文學的
generate
v. 產生
particle
n. 微粒,粒子
Jupiter
n. 木星
blot
v. 遮暗
analyse
v. 分析
bacteria
n. 細菌
oxygen
n. 氧氣
realm
n. 領域
endeavour
v. 努力
 

五、課后練習答案

1b 2c 3a 4b 5c 6a 7a 8c 9a 10c 11b 12a