英语晨读精华 Week 7 Day 6 New Pictures of all Old Universe 宇宙初生

更新日期:2012-03-02     浏览:2191次    所属教程:英语晨读精华
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New Pictures of an Old Universe


这段科技文章看似复杂难懂,其实不难。读的同时不妨仔细分析这类文章的特点,这对于在考试中阅读理解同类文章一定有帮助。

 

For thousands of years humans have wondered how and when the universe first began. Now, thanks to some photographs taken by Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP), scientists are much closer to understanding, even seeing, the universe in its beginning years.

This is all possible thanks to the WMAP satellite in orbit about one million miles above Earth. The satellite is specially designed to record one kind of cosmic energy: microwave radiation. It can use this radiation to show us what the universe looked like 13.3 billion years ago!

Wait a minute ... how can this satellite show us a picture of the universe billions of years ago? The Big Bang created the universe in a huge explosion, and at the same time it created a specific field of radiation—called the cosmic microwave background, or CMB. This CMB still lingers in the universe today. What the satellite actually does is take pictures of the CMB. 

So what did scientists learn from these new pictures? First, they learned that stars formed very soon— merely 200 million years— after the Big Bang. And they were able to confirm estimates of the universe’s age: it was born about 13.7 billion years ago. This is the age that scientists long suspected to be true, but now they have the birthday pictures to prove it! 


[注释]:
microwave: a high-frequency electromagnetic wave, one millimeter to one meter in wavelength,
intermediate between infrared and short-wave radio wavelengths 微波 
probe: an exploratory action, expedition, or device, especially one designed to investigate and
obtain information on a remote or unknown region 探测(器、卫星、宇宙飞船) 
satellite: a celestial body that orbits a planet; a moon 卫星 
orbit: the path of a celestial body or an artificial satellite as it revolves around another body(运
转)轨道 
cosmic: of or relating to the universe, especially as distinct from Earth 宇宙的 
radiation: energy radiated or transmitted in the form of rays, waves, or particles 辐射 
explosion: a release of mechanical, chemical, or nuclear energy in a sudden and often violent
manner with the generation of high temperature and usually with the release of gases 爆炸 
specific: special, distinctive, or unique 特定的,明确的 
linger: to be slow in leaving, especially out of reluctance; tarry 徘徊 
suspect: to have doubts about; distrust 怀疑,猜测