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21英语教师网 > 备课资源 > 美文阅读 > 正文
[高三]How safe are we?
作者:21ST    来源:21世纪学生英文报·高三版第371期    日期: 2010-09-17
小行星在印尼上空爆炸,威力堪比原子弹三倍。

词数 325 建议阅读时间 5分钟 教案见网站 测试见7版

SCIENTISTS have worried for a long time over the effect of a seriously large asteroid (小行星) hitting the Earth. After all, it is likely that the force of such an object from space wiped out the dinosaurs (恐龙) 65 million years ago.

These fears were reignited (重新激起) on October 8 when a huge asteroid hit the atmosphere above an island in Indonesia. Scientists at the University of Western Ontario in Canada were able to hear the blast (爆炸) 16,000 km away. A bigger asteroid could well have got through the atmosphere and done great damage.

What really concerns scientists is that our telescopes were unable to detect (发现) the object. If the asteroid had been larger, and hit the Earth’s surface, who knows what the damage could have been? According to the New Scientist, such objects hit the earth about once every 10 years.

The asteroid is estimated to have been about 10 meters across and collided (碰撞) with the atmosphere at 45,000 mph (miles per hour). It caused an explosion three times the size of the atomic bomb (原子弹) dropped on Hiroshima, Japan at the end of the World War II.

There have been surface hits by asteroids in the quite recent past. In 1909 an asteroid 60 meters wide hit Tungusaka, Siberia with the result that 80 million trees were knocked down. It’s said that the explosion lit up the skies for days and could be seen thousands of miles away.

There were news reports from Indonesians who spotted something horrifying in the sky. Some thought it was an air crash, others an earthquake.

What can be done to protect the Earth against such asteroid hits? The Minor Planet Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts, US has records of over 600 large asteroids. Tim Spahr, director of the center told the New Scientist: “If you want to find the smallest objects you have to build more, larger telescopes.”

What is an asteroid?

Asteroids are leftovers from the formation of the planets 4.5 billion years ago. They range in size from the huge to the tiny. However, some are so large that they can be called “minor (小的) planets”.

There are an enormous number of asteroids in the solar system, most between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter.

Teens点金

高考词汇

wipe out 消灭

One bad investment could wipe out your life savings.

concern

vt. (使)担忧;涉及,关系到 n. 关心,关注,担忧

Issues like food poisoning do concern us all.

knock down

击倒,撞到,拆除

We’re planning to knock down a wall to create a bigger room.

leftover n. 剩余物,剩菜 adj. 剩下的

Give the leftovers to the dog.

考点看台

A bigger asteroid could well have got through...

本句使用could have done表示过去未能实现的可能性,意思是“本来可以(可能)”。而can’t/couldn’t have done则表示对过去情况的否定,意思是“不可能已……”。

真题演练

He did not regret saying what he did but felt that he ______ it differently. (09江苏卷)

A. could express

B. would express

C. could have expressed

D. must have expressed

Key: C

21ST



关键词:高三 How safe are we?



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