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    《考研英语阅读理解100篇 高分版》 Unit 21 - TEXT THREE

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    2019年02月21日

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    The dinosaurs fell victim to an asteroid smashing into the Earth, but people have no plans to allow such a calamity to befall them. For the past decade or so, astronomers have been watching the skies to identify dangerous flying objects. One lump of rock, called Apophis, the Greek name for an Egyptian god of destruction, alarmed astronomers when it was first spotted in 2004. They now think it is extremely unlikely to hit the planet. Even so, a private company has just unveiled plans to visit it, in case Apophis does decide to pop in on Earth sometime soon.
    The reason for the trip is that the orbits of asteroids are difficult to predict. Apophis is expected to sweep close enough to the Earth in 2029 to pass below the altitude of communications satellites. Depending on its exact path, it could pass through what is known as a keyhole—a narrow range of orbits—that would deflect it and cause it to crash into the planet when it comes round again exactly seven years later.
    Hence the bid to launch a probe by Astrium, a spacecraft subsidiary of EADS, a European aerospace and defence giant. It would study the way in which Apophis is drifting because of the effects of sunlight and that would enable astronomers to plot its course more accurately. The probe would also map the details of Apophis's surface and determine its thermal properties, which would help identify the composition of the asteroid. Such information could prove invaluable if it became necessary to nudge the projectile from its path.
    The idea is to launch the mission, called Apex, in 2013 and for it to rendezvous with the asteroid in January 2014. The probe would spend three years stalking Apophis so that, if it did appear to be heading towards the keyhole, action could be taken to divert it well before 2029. Improbable though astronomers think this particular impact may be, it would be good to know more about nearby asteroids so that when one does threaten to strike, its route can be changed. Apophis is some 350 metres across, considerably larger than the object that is thought to have flattened 2,000 square kilometres of Siberian forest as it vaporised in the atmosphere above Tunguska in 1908.
    Smashing such an object to smithereens, a technique championed by Hollywood films, would be silly because the Earth would be pelted with lots of smaller bits of debris that could prove just as destructive, particularly near a city. Better to knock it off course or tow it away using the gravitational attraction of a spacecraft sent to divert it. The success of this approach would depend not only on the path the asteroid is expected to take, but also on how the material that forms it is bound together.
    Astrium's plans have been submitted to the Planetary Society, a group of space enthusiasts that has stumped up $50,000 in prize money to inspire interest in a mission to Apophis. Given that the actual cost for such a mission would be more like $50m, both the American space agency, NASA, and its European counterpart are taking a close interest. It is they, after all, who would be footing most of the bill.
    1. Apophis would probably hit on the Earth when _____.
    [A] it passes through a narrow range of orbits which are equivalent of a keyhole
    [B] it is forced to deviate from its original course when passing through the keyhole
    [C] it passes below the altitude of communications satellites because of Earth's gravitation
    [D] it comes round the Earth seven years later
    2. The word “stalking” (Line 2, Paragraph 4) most probably means _____.
    [A] investigating
    [B] tracking
    [C] approaching
    [D] foregoing
    3. Which one of the following statements is TRUE of the case of the object in 1908?
    [A] The object threatened but failed to destroy 2,000 square kilometers of Siberian forest.
    [B] The object dissolved in the air because it was too small to hit upon the Earth.
    [C] The object turned out to be Apophis which visited the Earth seven years ago.
    [D] The route of the object was thought by scientists to be impossible to head towards the Earth.
    4. The technique of smashing the object to smithereens would be silly because _____.
    [A] it is only a fictitious technique that people created for Hollywood films
    [B] the smithereens may result in fatal damage to human habitats
    [C] lots of dangerous debris would fly around the Earth under the gravitational attraction
    [D] the asteroid would change its orbit and pose threat to the Earth when the object is smashed
    5. Astrium's plans would be sponsored by _____.
    [A] the Planetary Society which is supported by NASA
    [B] the American and European space agencies
    [C] space enthusiasts who donate prize money
    [D] a private company called Astrium

    1. Apophis would probably hit on the Earth when _____.
    [A] it passes through a narrow range of orbits which are equivalent of a keyhole
    [B] it is forced to deviate from its original course when passing through the keyhole
    [C] it passes below the altitude of communications satellites because of Earth's gravitation
    [D] it comes round the Earth seven years later
    1. Apophis可能会在 _____ 的时候撞击地球。
    [A] 通过锁眼大小的狭窄轨道区
    [B] 通过锁眼时被迫改变自己原来的路线
    [C] 由于地球的重力而从通信卫星下方通过
    [D] 七年后环?#39057;?#29699;
    答?#31119;築 ?#35759;?#31995;数:☆☆☆
    分析:细节题。根据第二段,小行星撞击地球需要满足几个条件,在七年后返回时经过狭窄的轨道区时改变自己的路线,从而撞击地球。因此,选项B最为符合。
    2. The word “stalking” (Line 2, Paragraph 4) most probably means _____.
    [A] investigating
    [B] tracking
    [C] approaching
    [D] foregoing
    2. stalking这个词(第四段第二行) 最有可能的意思是 _____。
    [A] 研究
    [B] 追踪
    [C] 接近
    [D] 居先
    答?#31119;築 ?#35759;?#31995;数:☆
    分析:猜词题。根据上下文:The probe would spend three years stalking Apophis so that, if it did appear to be heading towards the keyhole, action could be taken to divert it well before 2029. 即该研究用三年的时间主要是追踪该小行星,随时注意其路线的变化。因此,选项B最为符合。
    3. Which one of the following statements is TRUE of the case of the object in 1908?
    [A] The object threatened but failed to destroy 2,000 square kilometers of Siberian forest.
    [B] The object dissolved in the air because it was too small to hit upon the Earth.
    [C] The object turned out to be Apophis which visited the Earth seven years ago.
    [D] The route of the object was thought by scientists to be impossible to head towards the Earth.
    3. 关于1908年的星体?#24405;?#19979;列哪个陈述是正确的?
    [A] 该星体有可能摧毁2,000平方公里的西伯利亚森林,但最后没有发生。
    [B] 由于体积太小无法撞到地球,该星体在空气中就消融了。
    [C] 该星体就是七年前访问过地球的Apophis。
    [D] 科学家认为该星体的运行轨道不可能到达地球。
    答?#31119;篈 ?#35759;?#31995;数:☆☆☆☆
    分析:细节题。根据第四段:Apophis is some 350 metres across, considerably larger than the object that is thought to have flattened 2,000 square kilometres of Siberian forest as it vaporised in the atmosphere above Tunguska in 1908. 可见,该星体本来要摧毁西伯利亚森林的,但在撞到地球之前就在空气中蒸发了。所以,正确答案为A。选项B的错误在于颠倒了这个因果关系,因此是不成立的,没有文章中的证据支持。选项C显然是错误的,因此该星体并不是Apophis。选项D的结论则过于绝对,也没有文章的内容与之对应。
    4. The technique of smashing the object to smithereens would be silly because _____.
    [A] it is only a fictitious technique that people created for Hollywood films
    [B] the smithereens may result in fatal damage to human habitats
    [C] lots of dangerous debris would fly around the Earth under the gravitational attraction
    [D] the asteroid would change its orbit and pose threat to the Earth when the object is smashed
    4. 将星体击为碎片的技术是很愚蠢的,因为 _____。
    [A] 这只是人们专门为?#32654;?#22366;电影设?#39057;?#19968;?#20013;?#25311;技术
    [B] 这些碎片可能会撞击到地球上,给人类的?#24188;?#22320;带来毁灭性的灾难
    [C] 许多危险的碎片可能在重力的作用下环?#39057;?#29699;飞行
    [D] 该小行星被摧毁后会改变自己的轨道,并给地球带来威胁
    答?#31119;築 ?#35759;?#31995;数:☆☆☆
    分析:细节题。根据第五段:Smashing such an object to smithereens, a technique championed by Hollywood films, would be silly because the Earth would be pelted with lots of smaller bits of debris that could prove just as destructive, particularly near a city. 可见,这样的想法很愚蠢,因为小碎片飞落到地球上同样会造成毁灭性的后果。因此,选项B最为符合题意。
    5. Astrium's plans would be sponsored by _____.
    [A] the Planetary Society which is supported by NASA
    [B] the American and European space agencies
    [C] space enthusiasts who donate prize money
    [D] a private company called Astrium
    5. Astrium的计划可能会得到 _____ 的?#25163;?br> [A] 由美国航空?#25945;?#23616;支持的行星学会
    [B] 美国和?#20998;?#30340;太空机构
    [C] 捐钱的航空爱好者们
    [D] 一家名叫Astrium的私人公司
    答?#31119;築 ?#35759;?#31995;数:☆☆
    分析:细节题。根据最后一段:Given that the actual cost for such a mission would be more like $50m, both the American space agency, NASA, and its European counterpart are taking a close interest. It is they, after all, who would be footing most of the bill. 可见,支付大部分费用的将是美国空间局、美国航空?#25945;?#23616;和?#20998;?#30340;相关部门,因此,选项B是正确答案。

    恐龙因为一颗小行星撞击地球而灭绝了,不过人类可不会让这种灾难降临到他们身上。过去的十几年中,天文学家一直在观测天空,以辨明危险的飞行物。其中有一块巨石叫做Apophis,这是个希腊名字,指的是埃及的破坏之神。这块巨石于2004年被天文学家首次观测?#21073;?#24341;起了他们的警觉。目前他们认为Apophis不太可能撞到地球。?#35789;?#26377;这样的论?#24076;?#19968;家私人公司已经公开发布了要探索这块巨石的计划,以备它哪天忽然要撞击地球。
    展开这次行动,是因为小行星的运行轨道很难预测。Apophis可能于2029年运行到最接近地球的位置,比通信卫星离地球还要近。从它的确?#26032;?#32447;来看,七年后再次返回时,它可能要经过一个锁眼——狭窄的轨道区,这会导致这颗小行星偏离轨道,然后撞击地球。
    正因为如此,?#20998;?#33322;空和防卫巨头EADS的一个太空船子公司Astrium才决定要进行一次探索。它将研究Apophis在阳光的作用下的移动轨道,这可以让天文学家更为精确地计算它的路线。该研究也会发现Apophis表面的详细信息,确定其热量的特性,这有助于判定该小行星的组成。如果这样的信息对于改变其运行轨道非常有用的?#22467;?#37027;就是很宝贵的信息了。
    目前的计划就是在2013年启动Apex行动,并于2014年与这颗小行星相会。该研究将用三年的时间来追踪Apophis,如果它确实朝锁眼进发,那么就展开行动,在2029年前让它改变轨道。尽管天文学家认为这颗小行星不太可能撞击地球,但是如果能更好地了解地球附近的小行星,从而在其可能要撞击地球时改变其轨道,这样做还是很好的。Apophis的?#26412;对?#20026;350米,要比本来可能将面积为2,000平方公里的西伯利亚森林夷为平地的那个星体更大,该星体于1908年在通古斯卡河上空的大气层蒸发了。
    将这样的物体击为碎片,这是?#32654;?#22366;电影中才有的特技,这种想法很傻,因为无数小碎片飞落到地球上同样会造成毁灭性的后果,?#32469;?#33853;在城市附近就更是如此。最好让其改变运行轨道或者利用太空飞船的万有引力来将它拖走。这种方法要想取得成功,不仅要看小行星的运行轨道,还要看组成该行星的物质是如何结?#26174;?#19968;起的。
    Astrium公司的计划已经提交到行星学会,该学会由一?#27827;?#23449;爱好者组成,他们设立了五万美元的奖金来刺激人们对Apophis行动的兴趣。因为这样的行动?#23548;?#33457;费是五亿美元,因此美国空间局、美国航空?#25945;?#23616;以及?#20998;?#30340;相关部门都非常关注,因为他们得支付大部分的费用。
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