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万物简史(MP3+中英字幕) 第415期:生命的起源(9)

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Life emerged so swiftly, in fact, that some authorities think it must have had help—perhaps a good deal of help. The idea that earthly life might have arrived from space has a surprisingly long and even occasionally distinguished history. The great Lord Kelvin himself raised the possibility as long ago as 1871 at a meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science when he suggested that "the germs of life might have been brought to the earth by some meteorite." But it remained little more than a fringe notion until one Sunday in September 1969 when tens of thousands of Australians were startled by a series of sonic booms and the sight of a fireball streaking from east to west across the sky. The fireball made a strange crackling sound as it passed and left behind a smell that some likened to methylated spirits and others described as just awful.
实际上,生命出现得太快,有的权威人士认为肯定有什么东西帮了忙——也许是帮了大忙。关于早期生命来自太空的观点已经存在很长时间,偶尔甚至使历史生辉。早在1871年,开尔文勋爵本人在英国科学促进协会的一次会议上也提出过这种可能性。他认为:“生命的种子可能是陨石带到地球上的。”但是,这种看法一直不过是一种极端的观点,直到1969年9月的一个星期天。那天,成千上万的澳大利亚吃惊地听到一连串轰隆隆的声音,只见一个火球从东到本划过天空。火球发出一种古怪的格格声,还留下了一种气味,有的人认为像是甲基化酒精,有的人只是觉得难闻极了。
meteoriteThe fireball exploded above Murchison, a town of six hundred people in the Goulburn Valley north of Melbourne, and came raining down in chunks, some weighing up to twelve pounds. Fortunately, no one was hurt. The meteorite was of a rare type known as a carbonaceous chondrite, and the townspeople helpfully collected and brought in some two hundred pounds of it. The timing could hardly have been better. Less than two months earlier, the Apollo 11 astronauts had returned to Earth with a bag full of lunar rocks, so labs throughout the world were geared up—indeed clamoring—for rocks of extraterrestrial origin.
火球在默奇森上空爆炸,接着石块似雨点般地落下来,有的重达5千克以上。默奇森是个600人的不镇,位于墨尔本以北的古尔本峡谷。幸亏没有人受伤。那种陨石是罕见的,名叫碳质球粒陨石。镇上的人很帮忙,捡了90千克左右回来。这个时间真是最合适不过。不到两个月以前,“阿波罗11号”刚刚回到地球,带回来一满袋子月球岩石,因此全世界的实验室都在焦急地等着要——实际上是吵着要——天外来的石头。
重点单词   查看全部解释    
association [ə.səusi'eiʃən]
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n. 联合,结合,交往,协会,社团,联想
联想记忆
distinguished [di'stiŋgwiʃt]
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adj. 卓著的,尊敬的 动词distinguish的过
联想记忆
occasionally [ə'keiʒənəli]
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adv. 偶尔地
 
earthly ['ə:θli]
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adj. 地球的,俗世的,可能的
 
rare [rɛə]
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adj. 稀罕的,稀薄的,罕见的,珍贵的
ad
 
fringe [frindʒ]
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n. 流苏,次要,边缘,额外补贴
vt. 用流
 
swiftly ['swiftli]
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adv. 迅速地,敏捷地
 

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