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考研英語時文賞讀(137):“地球二號”會成為人類的下一個家園嗎?

  Scientists discover ‘habitable’ new planet 11 light-years from Earth

  科學家在距離地球11光年外發現了“宜居”新行星

  An Earth-sized planet has been discovered only 11 light-years away from the Solar System- and it could be inhabitable.

  科學家在距離太陽系僅11光年外發現了一顆大小近似于地球的、并且可能適合人類居住的星球。

  Scientists in Chile found the planet orbiting Ross 128, a red dwarf star, which is among the coolest stars in the universe.

  智利科學家發現了一顆圍繞紅矮星“羅斯128”(宇宙中溫度最低的恒星之一)旋轉的行星。

  The planet, known as Ross 128 b, has a surface temperature that may be close to that of Earth, meaning it has the potential to sustain life. It is also expected to become Earth’s closest stellar neighbour in just under 80,000 years as Ross 128 moves towards our planet.

  科學家將這顆行星命名為“羅斯128b”,其表面溫度可能接近于地球,這就意味著它可能適宜生命生存。“羅斯128”目前正在朝著地球方向運動,在8萬年內,它將有望成為距離地球最近的星際鄰居。

  Scientists at the La Silla Observatory in Chile scoured the sky using the European Southern Observatory’s large planet-searching telescope for more than a decade in mission to find the new planet.

  智利拉斯拉天文臺的科學家們使用歐洲南方天文臺的大型行星搜尋望遠鏡對天空持續進行了十多年的搜索,最終發現了這顆新行星。

  They discovered the star Ross 128, which is orbited by a low mass exoplanet - a planet outside of our solar system that orbits a star. The planet has a temperate climate that makes it ideal for supporting life.

  科學家們在搜索中發現了恒星“羅斯128”,一顆質量較小的系外行星圍繞其運行。這顆行星氣候溫和,適宜生命生存。

  Red dwarfs are some of the coolest, faintest and most common stars in the universe. Many red dwarfs, including our nearest-known star to the Sun, Proximi Centauri, are subject to deadly flares that hit their orbiting planets with ultraviolet and X-ray radiation.

  紅矮星是宇宙中最為寒冷、昏暗的恒星,也是最為常見的一種恒星。包括距離太陽最近的比鄰星在內的許多紅矮星都會激發致命耀斑,這些耀斑會對其軌道行星造成紫外線和X射線的輻射。

  But the newly-discovered Ross 128 is less prone to flares, allowing its planets to potentially foster life unharmed.

  但這顆新發現的“羅斯128”并不存在活躍耀斑,這使得它的行星可能會孕育出生命而不受侵害。

  Data from ESO’s High Accuracy Radial velocity Planet Searcher (HARPS) showed that Ross 128 b orbits 20 times closer than the Earth orbits the Sun. However, Ross 128 only receives 1.38 times more irradiation than the Earth. The new planet’s temperate is estimated to lie between -60 and 20 degrees.

  據歐洲南方天文臺的高精度徑向速度行星搜索器的數據顯示,“羅斯128b”的軌道要比日地軌道近20倍,但“羅斯128b”所受到的輻射僅比地球多1.38倍。據估計,這顆新行星的溫度在-60℃至20℃之間。

  Although it is currently 11 light-years from Earth, Ross 128 is moving towards the Solar System and researchers expect it will become our nearest stellar neighbour in just 79,000 years.

  Ross 128 will then overtake Proxima, which is around 4.25 light-years from the Sun, as the closest neighbour to Earth.

  盡管“羅斯128”目前距離地球11光年,但它正在朝著太陽系運動,科學家預計它將在7.9萬年內成為距離我們最近的星際鄰居。屆時,“羅斯128”將取代距太陽約4.25光年的比鄰星,成為距離地球最近的鄰居。

  While scientists consider Ross 128 b to be a temperate planet, they remain unsure as to whether liquid water exists on the planet’s surface. Water would make the planet habitable.

  雖然科學家認為“羅斯128b”是一顆宜居行星,但他們并不確定該行星表面是否存在液態水。而水是決定行星是否宜居的關鍵條件。

  (全文共361個詞)

  重難點詞匯:

  faintest  adj. 一點也不的;極小的

  radiation  n. 輻射;放射物

  prone  adj. 俯臥的;有…傾向的,易于…的

  irradiation  n. 照射;發光,放射

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