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6a Reading Skills

Гипермаркет знаний>>Английский язык>>Английский язык 11 класс>> 6a Reading Skills

Reading Skills
1 Complete the sentences with: planets, moons, comet, galaxy, solar system, satellite. Chek in the Word List.

Did you khow?

(1) All the........ in our......... are 4.5 billion years old.
(2) Jupiter has 63 ... .The largest, Ganymede, is bigger than Mercury.
(3) The stars in the Milky Way, the ........... to which the sun belongs, number in hundreds of billions.
(4)    The gas tail of a ............. always points away from the sun.
(5)    The first communications .......... orbited the earth every 2 hours and 37 minutes.

2  Close your eyes and imagine you are in a spaceship. Listen to the music. What can you see? How do you feel?

> I can see planets and millions of stars. I feel amazed.


3  a Read the title of the text and the first sentence in each paragraph. What is the text about? Read through and check.

b RNE   Read and match each sentence (A-H) to a gap (1-7). There is one extra sentence you do not need to use. Compare with your partner.

A They also comb the skies looking for flashes of laser light that alien civilisations might be beaming across space.

B Well, simply because it's just not that interesting for us.

C It was directed to a group of stars in our galaxy 25,000 light years away.

D The fact that we have found nothing after decades of looking is pretty discouraging.

E We want to talk to the aliens all right, but do the aliens want to talk to us?

F But for some people, wondering is just not enough.


Have you ever read a story about someone who says they have been abducted by aliens? Or perhaps they claim to have seen a UFO? Most people don't take these tales seriously, but let's face it... most of us have at some point found ourselves gazing up into the starry night sky, wondering if we are alone in the universe or not. I 1 I I

They point out that there are more stars in the cosmos than grains of sand on all the beaches of the world. They are convinced that ET1 and his friends are indeed out there and if so, they are determined to establish contact!

In the 1960s, astronomers of the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) programme began their high-tech hunt for extraterrestrial life that continues to this day. The scientists listen to radio waves by sweeping the skies with huge radio telescopes such as 'Arecibo' in Puerto Rico. I 2 I I The searches are based on the hypothesis that aliens may be intentionally sending communication signals out across the universe, or that signals from their worlds could be escaping into space - just as our own radio, television and military broadcast signals escape into the cosmos.

Unfortunately, the scientists may have to face the fact that the possibility of finding what they are looking for is very small. For

1extra-terrestrial; name given to alien being

G Millions of piople in over 200 countries have already taken part.

H  If they don't have radio, SETI won't findthem!

4  Listen and read the text again. Math the underlined words/phrases in the text to their meanings below, then explain the words in bold.

•    at a particular time    •    on purpose
•    absolutely sure   •    accept
•    draw attention to the fact   •    small amount
•    wait  doing nothing   •    taken away


a start, even if these 'alien civilisations' do exist, they might not be technologically advanced enough to communicate over long distances.  I 3 I I Also, with a hundred billion stars in our galaxy alone, and a billion possible radio channels to choose from, it might take a very long time for us to tune in to ET! So, why don't we send our own messages instead?  I 4 I I Even if the nearest civilisation was as close as 500 light-years2 away, we would have to sit around for 1000 years waiting for a reply! All the same, in 1974, we did broadcast a radio message containing basic information about the human race.  I 5 I I if there is intelligent life there, we will hear from them around the year 52,000!

So, how do you fancy joining in the search for intelligent life yourself? Well, the 'SETI@home' project allows you to do exactly that. After downloading a clever screensaver, your computer will analyse unknown or unusual signals from radio telescopes whenever you are not using it. I 6 I I So far, however, ET is not 'phoning home'!

So where do we go from here? Well, despite the fact that we have not yet found a shred of convincing evidence that alien life exists, one thing is for sure - the search will go on! But perhaps we're forgetting one important thing.  I 7 I I Only time, perhaps thousands of years, will tell!

2 the distance light travels in a year


Space technology

5  Complete the sentences with the words below. Are any of these words similar to ones in your language?

•    telescope • orbit • radio waves • antenna
•    laser • beam • signals • satellite • cosmos

1    Can you see that............. of light? I think it's coming from a ........... .    
2    The first ................. was put into ................. by the Russians in 1957.
3    The moon seemed so near when I looked at it through the    ...............
4    That radio doesn't work any more. The    ......... has broken off.
5    Can you see that flashing light in the distance? Maybe someone is sending ...........    
6 ........... enable us to transport information through the atmosphere without wires.
7    No one can really know the size of the    ................ we live in. It's so huge!

6  Match the words to form collocations, then use the phrases in sentences of your own.   

I 1 I I  establish                                          a   a message
I 2 I I extra-terrestrial                                  b   advanced
I 3 I I sweep                                               c   race
I 4 I I  send communication                         d   life
I 5 I I technologically                                   e  signals
I 6 I I human                                               f   the skies
I 7 I I broadcast                                          g   contact


7 a REN   Use the text to make notes under the headings below. Use your notes to give a 2-minute talk about searching for aliens.

•    The SETI programme
•    Problems of the SETI programme
•    How you can take part

b  In pairs, discuss whether or not you believe there is any point to SETI's activities. Give reasons.


8  Imagine you are a scientist working for the SETI programme. Write a description of the day that you finally made contact with aliens. Write:
how it happened, what happened next, how you felt (60-100 words).

THINK! Do you agree with the statement? Discuss in groups.

! Words of Wisdom

"To confine our attention to terrestrial matters would be to limit the human spirit."
                                                 Professor Stephen Hawking (British physicist)

Английский язык. 11 класс : учеб. для общеобразоват. учреждений / [О.В. Афанасьева, Дж.Дули, И.В. Михеева и др.]. - 2-е изд., доп. и перераб. - М.: Express Publishing : Просвещение, 2009. - 244 с. : ил. - (Английский в фокусе).

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