中英對照讀新聞》New Mars discoveries advance case for possible life 新發現增強火星可能有生命的論點
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2018-11-28

◎魏國金

New Mars discoveries are advancing the case for possible life on the red planet, past or even present.

火星新發現增強了這枚紅色行星在過去、甚或現在可能有生命的論點。

Scientists reported that NASA’s Curiosity rover has found potential building blocks of life in an ancient Martian lakebed. The organic molecules preserved in 3.5 billion-year-old bedrock in Gale Crater _ believed to once contain a shallow lake_ suggest conditions back then may have been conducive to life.

科學家報告指出,美國國家航空暨太空總署(NASA)的「好奇號」探測車,在一個火星古湖床上發現生命的可能構成要素。保存在「蓋爾衝擊坑」—據信一度包含一座淺湖—有35億年歷史的湖床的有機分子,顯示當時的條件或許有助於生命存在。

Curiosity also has confirmed sharp seasonal increases of methane in the Martian atmosphere. Most of Earth’s atmospheric methane comes from animal and plant life, and the environment itself.

好奇號也證實,火星大氣層的甲烷呈現劇烈的季節性增加。地球大氣層的甲烷多半來自動植物生命,以及環境本身。

Kirsten Siebach, a Rice University geologist who was not involved in the studies, said the discoveries break down some of the strongest arguments put forward by life-on-Mars skeptics, herself included. "The big takeaway is that we can find evidence. We can find organic matter preserved in mudstones that are more than 3 billion years old," Siebach said.

沒有參與研究的(德州)萊斯大學地質學家希巴赫說,該發現瓦解了火星有生命的懷疑論者,包括她自己,提出的若干最強論證。「重要訊息是我們可以發現證據。我們可以發現保存在逾30億年泥岩的有機物,」希巴赫說。

新聞辭典

building block:基礎材料、構成要素。例句:Those facts are the building blocks of her argument.(那些事實是她的基本論據。)

back then:那時、當時。例句:Back then, sugar surpassed grain as the most valuable commodity in European trade.(當時,在歐洲貿易中,糖超越穀物,是最有價值的商品。)

takeaway:主要訊息或資訊。例句:The takeaway from the conference was how urgent the problem of long-term care services has become.(該會議的主要訊息是長照已變成非常急迫的問題。)

中英對照讀新聞# 火星# 好奇號# NASA

  • 好奇號探測車在火星上執行任務模擬圖。好奇號的新發現增強了火星上可能有生命的論點。(法新社)

    好奇號探測車在火星上執行任務模擬圖。好奇號的新發現增強了火星上可能有生命的論點。(法新社)

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