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《考研英语阅读理解100篇 基础版》第4章 科学研究类 Unit 61

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2019年01月16日

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Launching people into space may make headlines but it does little useful science.So when George Bush redirected America's space agency,NASA,away from scientific research and towards a manned return to the moon in 2004,many scientists were disappointed.Now the agency has finally offered some small morsels of comfort in the form of four projects that could accompany efforts for a lunar return. 
The most exciting of these is the plan for a radio telescope that could be placed on the far side of the moon.Such a device would look back at the early universe to the time when large-scale structures such as galaxies and stars formed.A lunar-based radio telescope would be able to detect long wavelengths that cannot be sensed on Earth because they are absorbed by the outermost layers of the planet's atmosphere.Moreover by pointing the telescope away from the din of shorter-wavelength radio waves that are used for communication on Earth,astrophysicists would be able to see the early universe in unprecedented detail. 
Finding alien life might also be possible with such a telescope.It would be able to map the magnetic fields of stars and exoplanets(planets that circle stars outside the solar system).It is the magnetic field of the Earth that protects its inhabitants from being bombarded by high-energy particles from space that would otherwise leave the planet sterile.Detecting a magnetic field surrounding an Earth-like exoplanet would prove a promising sign for finding extraterrestrial life.The proposal,led by Joseph Lazio,of the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington.D.C.,is to create an array of three arms arranged in a Y-shape,each of which would be 500 metres long and contain 16 antennae. Each arm would be made of a plastic film that could be rolled out onto the surface of the moon,either by robots or by astronauts. 
A second project,headed by Michael Collier,of the NASA Goddard Space Flight Centre,would examine how the solar wind—a stream of charged particles ejected from the sun—interacts with the tenuous lunar atmosphere close to the moon's surface.Such bombardment produces low-energy X-rays that would be detected on the surface of the moon.The third and fourth projects are similar both to each other and to earlier ventures dropped on the moon by the Apollo and the Soviet Luna missions in the late 1960s and 1970s.Some 35 years on,reflectors placed on the lunar surface are still used by scientists interested in geophysics and geodesy(for example,how the moon's gravitational field shifts over time).Most of the reflectors are clustered close to the lunar equator.The proposals,led by Stephen Merkowitz,also of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Centre,and Douglas Currie,of the University of Maryland,are to sprinkle some more sophisticated versions over more of the moon's surface. 
Such efforts may attract little attention compared with the launch of the space shuttle Endeavour this week.Nevertheless,when NASA argues that putting people into space inspires young people to study science,it is precisely these endeavours that it wishes to encourage. 
注(1):本文选自Economist; 
注(2):本文习题命题模仿对象为2004年真题Text 3(题目顺序稍微调整)。 
1.By saying“Launching people into space may make headlines but it does little useful science” (Line 1,Paragraph 1),the author means that _______. 
A) launching people into space is very important in terms of the future development of science 
B) newspaper only cares about eyecatching news such as whether humans can travel into space 
C) human's travel to outside space is against scientific rules,and the effort will be wasting and futile 
D) launching people into space is of little scientific value but would arouse great public enthusiasm 
2.The most distinctive feature of a lunar-based radio telescope mentioned in the second paragraph is that _______. 
A) it is able to capture long wavelengths 
B) it possesses better functions than those telescopes on Earth 
C) it can escape from the magnetic field of the Earth 
D) it can avoid the influence of the short-wavelength radio waves 
3.How does the author feel about the four new moon plans? 
A) Objective. 
B) Affirmative. 
C) Carefree. 
D) Panicked. 
4.Which of the following is NOT a feature of the last two projects discussed in the fourth paragraph? 
A) The two projects are of less importance than the other two. 
B) The two plans are of similar nature with each other. 
C) The purpose of the plans is to add some equipment on the moon. 
D) These plans are a continuance of previous studies carried out decades ago. 
5.To which of the following is the author likely to agree? 
A) The radio telescope will be able to find extraterrestrial life. 
B) The second project focuses on the interaction between solar wind and Earth atmosphere. 
C) Joseph Lazio's proposal is part of the radio telescope project. 
D) The four projects are closely related to the recently launched space shuttle Endeavour. 

把人送入太空也许能成为头条新闻,但是对科学研究却没有多大帮助。因此,当乔治·布什在2004年要求美国宇航局将重点从科学研究转移到载人回归月球时,很多科学家都备感失望。现在,美国宇航局为回归月球计划增加了四项科研项目,总算给大家带来了些许安慰。 
这些项目中最激动人心的是一种可以安装在月球背面的无线电天文望远镜。通过这种望远镜,人们可以了解到从宇宙早期直到大规模天体结构如星云和恒星形成的时期。安装在月球上的无线电天文望远镜可以探测到那些无法在地球表面被检测到的长波,因为这些长波都被地球大气层的最外层吸收了。此外,天体物理学家们使该望远镜远离在地球上频繁地用于通信的较短波长的无线电波,从而能够史无前例地细致观察早期的宇宙。 
使用这台望远镜也许还可以寻找外星生物。因为它能够描绘出恒星和太阳系外行星(太阳系之外围绕恒星运动的行星)的磁场图。正是由于地球磁场的保护,地球上居住着的生物才能幸免于来自太空中高能量粒子的袭击,否则这个星球就会变成一片不毛之地。如果能够检测到某个太阳系外行星也像地球一样被磁场包围,就有希望找到地球以外的生命。该计划由美国华盛顿特区海军研究实验室的约瑟夫·拉齐奥领导,目标是创造出一个以三臂状构成Y字形的天线阵,其中每只臂长500米,含16根天线,用塑料薄膜制成,以便由机器人或宇航员平铺在月球表面。 
第二项计划的负责人是美国宇航局戈达德太空飞行中心的迈克尔·克里尔,该计划将研究太阳风——太阳喷发出的一束带电粒子流——如何与月球表面附近稀薄的大气相互作用。这种作用产生的低能量X射线可以在月球表面探测到。第三和第四项计划相似,并与早前于20世纪60年代末和70年代进行的阿波罗计划和前苏联的登月计划大同小异。现在那些放置于月球表面的反射器已差不多工作了35年,且仍然为那些对地球物理学和测地学(如研究月球引力场如何随时间而变化)感兴趣的科学家们服务着。大多数反射器都安装在靠近月球赤道的地方。这两项计划的主管人是美国宇航局戈达德太空飞行中心的史蒂芬·默克维茨以及马里兰大学的道格拉斯·奎瑞,其目标是在月球上更大范围地布置一些更加尖端的反射器。 
与本周发射的奋进号航天飞机相比,这些月球计划可能不会引起多大关注,但是,当美国宇航局极力主张载人航天可以激励年轻人学习科学时,为月球计划而“奋进”的精神也正是它所要鼓舞的。 
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