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Liquid water 'lake' revealed on Mars 科学家在火星上发现液态水体

 

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研究人员们发现了火星上存在液态水体的证据。这片被科学家认作是湖的水体位于该行星南极的冰盖底部,横跨约二十公里(十二英里)。

文字稿

Since Nasa's Viking Mission tested Martian soil samples back in the 1970s, we've known the surface of Mars to be a desertinhospitable to life as we know it. But as missions to Mars focussed on what lies beneath the surface, a different picture has started to emerge.

自美国航空航天局(Nasa)在1970年代检测了由维京号计划从火星带回的土壤以来,火星表面一片荒芜且不适于生命生存这一道理就已为人熟知。但当火星勘探任务重点转向地表之下的时候,就有另一番景象开始浮出水面。

This discovery of water beneath the planet's South Pole is the result of radar echoes that were picked up by an instrument on a spacecraft that's been orbiting Mars for 15 years. To stay liquid beneath the long-frozen surface of Mars, the researchers say this sub-glacial lake must have huge amounts of salts dissolved in it. 

科学家之所以在该行星南极发现了水是因为一艘宇宙飞船在环行火星十五年后,其舱内的仪器收到了来自水体的雷达回拨。这些研究人员说,能在长期处于冰冻状态的火星表面下保持液态,这片冰下湖泊内一定溶有大量盐分。

Its extreme cold and saltiness would make it a very harsh environment for any living thing. But the lead researcher, Professor Roberto Orosei from the Italian National Institute for Astrophysics, said the existence of organisms there, was not impossible.

这片水体的极度低温和极高的盐分使任何生命都难以在这个极为严酷的环境中生存。但来自意大利国家天体物理研究所的首席研究员罗伯特·奥罗赛说在这里发现有机体的存在并不是不可能的。

To search for life in this newly discovered lake though, scientists will need to send a robot that's able to drill through the mile of ice encapsulating it.  But at least the teams looking for life on the Red Planet will now know where to start their search.

不过,为了在这片新发现的湖泊里寻找生命,科学家们需要派出一个机器人,它要能钻入水体上方厚一英里(1.6公里)的冰盖。但是对于这些在这颗红色星球上寻找生命的研究团队来说,他们现在已经知道应从哪里开始他们的搜索。

1. 词汇表

Martian 火星的
desert 荒漠
inhospitable 条件恶劣的,不适合生存的
emerge (真相)显露、浮现
radar echoes 雷达回波
instrument 仪器
sub-glacial 冰川下的
harsh (环境)严酷的
organisms 有机体
robot 机器人
encapsulating 压住、盖住
the Red Planet “红色星球”,指火星

2. 阅读理解:请在读完上文后,回答下列问题 。 

1. How have missions to Mars changed over time?

2. How has this newly-discovered underground lake been able to stay liquid for so long?

3. What would a robot need to be able to do in order to see if life exists in the lake?

4. True or false? It has taken 15 years for a spacecraft to identify this water on Mars.

3. 答案

1. How have missions to Mars changed over time?
Missions to Mars have started to focus on what lies beneath the surface.

2. How has this newly-discovered underground lake been able to stay liquid for so long?
Researchers believe it must have huge amounts of salt dissolved in it.

3. What would a robot need to be able to do in order to see if life exists in the lake?
A robot would need to drill through a mile of ice encapsulating the lake.

4. True or false? It has taken 15 years for a spacecraft to identify this water on Mars.
True. A spacecraft that's been orbiting Mars for 15 years has only just discovered water beneath the planet's South Pole.

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