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Venus in transit
June 2004 saw the first passage, known as a ‘transit’, of the planet Venus across the face of the Sun in 122 years. Transits have helped shape our view of the whole Universe, as Heather Cooper and Nigel Henbest explain
On 8 June 2004, more than half the population of the world were treated to a rare astronomical event. For over six hours, the planet Venus steadily inched its way over the surface of the Sun. This ‘transit’ of Venus was the first since 6 December 1882. On that occasion, the American astronomer Professor Simon Newcomb led a party to South Africa to observe the event. They were based at a girls’ school, where – it is alleged – the combined forces of three schoolmistresses outperformed the professionals with the accuracy of their observations.
For centuries, transits of Venus have drawn explorers and astronomers alike to the four corners of the globe. And you can put it all down to the extraordinary polymath Edmond Halley. In November 1677, Halley observed a transit of the innermost planet, Mercury, from the desolate island of St Helena in the South Pacific. He realised that, from different latitudes, the passage of the planet across the Sun’s disc would appear to differ. By timing the transit from two widely-separated locations, teams of astronomers could calculate the parallax angle – the apparent difference in position of an astronomical body due to a difference in the observer’s position. Calculating this angle would allow astronomers to measure what was then the ultimate goal: the distance of the Earth from the Sun. This distance is known as the astronomical unit’ or AU.
Halley was aware that the AU was one of the most fundamental of all astronomical measurements. Johannes Kepler, in the early 17th century, had shown that the distances of the planets from the Sun governed their orbital speeds, which were easily measurable. But no-one had found a way to calculate accurate distances to the planets from the Earth. The goal was to measure the AU; then, knowing the orbital speeds of all the other planets round the Sun, the scale of the Solar System would fall into place. However, Halley realised that Mercury was so far away that its parallax angle would be very difficult to determine. As Venus was closer to the Earth, its parallax angle would be larger, and Halley worked out that by using Venus it would be possible to measure the Suns distance to 1 part in 500. But there was a problem: transits of Venus, unlike those of Mercury, are rare, occurring in pairs roughly eight years apart every hundred or so years. Nevertheless, he accurately predicted that Venus would cross the face of the Sun in both 1761 and 1769 – though he didn’t survive to see either.
Inspired by Halley’s suggestion of a way to pin down the scale of the Solar System, teams of British and French astronomers set out on expeditions to places as diverse as India and Siberia. But things weren’t helped by Britain and France being at war. The person who deserves most sympathy is the French astronomer Guillaume Le Gentil.
He was thwarted by the fact that the British were besieging his observation site at Pondicherry in India. Fleeing on a French warship crossing the Indian Ocean, Le Gentil saw a wonderful transit – but the ship’s pitching and rolling ruled out any attempt at making accurate observations. Undaunted, he remained south of the equator, keeping himself busy by studying the islands of Mauritius and Madagascar before setting off to observe the next transit in the Philippines. Ironically after travelling nearly 50,000 kilometres, his view was clouded out at the last moment, a very dispiriting experience.
While the early transit timings were as precise as instruments would allow, the measurements were dogged by the ‘black drop’ effect. When Venus begins to cross the Sun’s disc, it looks smeared not circular – which makes it difficult to establish timings. This is due to diffraction of light. The second problem is that Venus exhibits a halo of light when it is seen just outside the Sun’s disc. While this showed astronomers that Venus was surrounded by a thick layer of gases refracting sunlight around it, both effects made it impossible to obtain accurate timings.
But astronomers laboured hard to analyse the results of these expeditions to observe Venus transits. Johann Franz Encke, Director of the Berlin Observatory, finally determined a value for the AU based on all these parallax measurements: 153,340,000 km. Reasonably accurate for the time, that is quite close to today’s value of 149,597,870 km, determined by radar, which has now superseded transits and all other methods in accuracy. The AU is a cosmic measuring rod, and the basis of how we scale the Universe today. The parallax principle can be extended to measure the distances to the stars. If we look at a star in January – when Earth is at one point in its orbit – it will seem to be in a different position from where it appears six months later. Knowing the width of Earth’s orbit, the parallax shift lets astronomers calculate the distance.
June 2004’s transit of Venus was thus more of an astronomical spectacle than a scientifically important event. But such transits have paved the way for what might prove to be one of the most vital breakthroughs in the cosmos – detecting Earth-sized planets orbiting other stars.
Answers For Making Every Drop Count
Making Every Drop Count
A - A description of ancient water supplies
The history of human civilisation is entwined with the history of the ways we have learned to manipulate water resources. As towns gradually expanded, water was brought from increasingly remote sources, leading to sophisticated engineering efforts such as dams and aqueducts. At the height of the Roman Empire, nine major systems, with an innovative layout of pipes and well-built sewers, supplied the occupants of Rome with as much water per person as is provided in many parts of the industrial world today.
B - How a global challenge was met
During the industrial revolution and population explosion of the 19th and 20th centuries, the demand for water rose dramatically. Unprecedented construction of tens of thousands of monumental engineering projects designed to control floods, protect clean water supplies, and provide water for irrigation and hydropower brought great benefits to hundreds of millions of people. Food production has kept pace with soaring populations mainly because of the expansion of artificial irrigation systems that make possible the growth of 40 % of the world’s food. Nearly one fifth of all the electricity generated worldwide is produced by turbines spun by the power of falling water.
C - The relevance to health
Yet there is a dark side to this picture: despite our progress, half of the world’s population still suffers, with water services inferior to those available to the ancient Greeks and Romans. As the United Nations report on access to water reiterated in November 2001, more than one billion people lack access to clean drinking water; some two and a half billion do not have adequate sanitation services. Preventable water-related diseases kill an estimated 10,000 to 20,000 children every day, and the latest evidence suggests that we are falling behind in efforts to solve these problems.
D - Environmental effects
The consequences of our water policies extend beyond jeopardising human health. Tens of millions of people have been forced to move from their homes – often with little warning or compensation – to make way for the reservoirs behind dams. More than 20 % of all freshwater fish species are now threatened or endangered because dams and water withdrawals have destroyed the free-flowing river ecosystems where they thrive. Certain irrigation practices degrade soil quality and reduce agricultural productivity. Groundwater aquifers* are being pumped down faster than they are naturally replenished in parts of India, China, the USA and elsewhere. And disputes over shared water resources have led to violence and continue to raise local, national and even international tensions.
*underground stores of water
E - Scientists’ call for a revision of policy
At the outset of the new millennium, however, the way resource planners think about water is beginning to change. The focus is slowly shifting back to the provision of basic human and environmental needs as top priority – ensuring ‘some for all,’ instead of ‘more for some’. Some water experts are now demanding that existing infrastructure be used in smarter ways rather than building new facilities, which is increasingly considered the option of last, not first, resort. This shift in philosophy has not been universally accepted, and it comes with strong opposition from some established water organisations. Nevertheless, it may be the only way to address successfully the pressing problems of providing everyone with clean water to drink, adequate water to grow food and a life free from preventable water-related illness.
F - A surprising downward trend in demand for water
Fortunately – and unexpectedly – the demand for water is not rising as rapidly as some predicted. As a result, the pressure to build new water infrastructures has diminished over the past two decades. Although population, industrial output and economic productivity have continued to soar in developed nations, the rate at which people withdraw water from aquifers, rivers and lakes has slowed. And in a few parts of the world, demand has actually fallen.
G - An explanation for reduced water use
What explains this remarkable turn of events? Two factors: people have figured out how to use water more efficiently, and communities are rethinking their priorities for water use. Throughout the first three-quarters of the 20th century, the quantity of freshwater consumed per person doubled on average; in the USA, water withdrawals increased tenfold while the population quadrupled. But since 1980, the amount of water consumed per person has actually decreased, thanks to a range of new technologies that help to conserve water in homes and industry. In 1965, for instance, Japan used approximately 13 million gallons* of water to produce $1 million of commercial output; by 1989 this had dropped to 3.5 million gallons (even accounting for inflation) – almost a quadrupling of water productivity. In the USA, water withdrawals have fallen by more than 20 % from their peak in 1980.
H - The need to raise standards
On the other hand, dams, aqueducts and other kinds of infrastructure will still have to be built, particularly in developing countries where basic human needs have not been met. But such projects must be built to higher specifications and with more accountability to local people and their environment than in the past. And even in regions where new projects seem warranted, we must find ways to meet demands with fewer resources, respecting ecological criteria and to a smaller budget.
* 1 gallon: 4.546 litres
Reading Challenge 1 2Nd – Answer Key / Reading
1 Reading Challenge 1 2nd Answer Key Unit 1 1. I would like to stay in the Ice Hotel. I think it is The Ice Hotel a unique place. 2. The most unusual place that I have heard of Pre- Reading ( answers will vary) is this Ice Hotel. 1. It is winter in the photo. I know that because I 3. An interesting place I have visited is Bangkok can see a lot of ice. in Thailand. I saw many amazing palaces and 2. I think this hotel must be in a cold place. temples there. 3. I think this hotel is special because it is made of ice. Grammar Are you into skiing? Vocabulary Preview Of course, all of these hotels are made of ice. 1. c 2. f 3. b 4. e 5. d 6. a Vocabulary and Idiom Review Reading Comprehension 1. b 2. b 3. d 4. a 5. b 1. b 2. d 3. c 4. b 5. b 6. a 7. d 8. b 9. c 10. b Idiomatic Expressions 1. check in 2. am into 3. made (out) of Summary 1. unique 2. freezing 3. Surprisingly 4. fantastic 5. cozy Listening 1. d 2. d 3. b Discussion ( answers will vary). 1 Reading Challenge 1 2nd Answer Key 3.
2 The first sandwich was made with bread and Unit 2 meat. Food Firsts Discussion ( answers will vary). Pre- Reading ( answers will vary) 1. My favorite foods from other countries are 1. My favorite food is Cajun chicken salad. Tom Yang soup and fried noodles. Tom Yang 2. The most unusual food I have eaten is fried soup is from Thailand and fried noodles are from insects. Hong Kong. 3. I can cook many kinds of dishes, from 2. Some traditional foods from Canada are spaghetti to steak. barbequed salmon and steak. 3. One untrue story people believe is that Vocabulary Preview spaghetti was first made in Italy. In fact, noodles 1. f 2. c 3. b 4. a 5. e 6. d were first made in China. Reading Comprehension Grammar 1. d 2. b 3. a 4. d 5. b Cooks of wealthy English families during the time of Richard I were making curry dishes. Idiomatic Expressions The Persians were eating round, flat bread with 1. Dig in cheese in the 500s. 2. find out 3. catching on Vocabulary and Idiom Review 1. d 2. d 3.
3 C 4. a 5. d Summary 6. d 7. b 8. a 9. c 10. b 1. 1377 2. Wealthy 3. Created 4. 500s 5. Introduced 6. 1891. Listening 1. Mike found Janet surfing the Internet. 2. Lord Montagu was the Earl of Sandwich. 2 Reading Challenge 1 2nd Answer Key 1. Using the letters of the alphabet, the WMO. makes a list of names that includes both male and female names. Unit 3 2. The lists are made of names that start with Hurricane Who? different letters, but the lists do not include names beginning with the letters Q, U, X, Y, and Pre- Reading ( answers will vary) Z. 1. A hurricane is a big storm with high winds and 3. Asian countries name hurricanes using a list lots of rain. of words that includes flowers, animals, trees, 2. I think hurricanes usually occur along the and other similar things. coasts of continents. They always start out in the ocean. Listening 3. We usually get hurricanes in my country in the 1. [ ] True [ ] False spring and in the fall. There may be five or six 2. [ ] True [ ] False each season.
4 3. [ ] True [ ] False Vocabulary Preview Discussion ( answers will vary). 1. d 2. b 3. c 4. e 5. a 6. f 1. I think non-human names are better for cyclones. It’s more interesting that way. Reading Comprehension 2. I have never experienced a tropical cyclone. 1. c 2. c 3. c 4. d 5. b 3. Winter is the worst season in my country, and summer is the best season. Idiomatic Expressions 1. make up Grammar 2. keeps up with Tropical cyclones are called typhoons in Asia 3. keep an eye out for and hurricanes in North and South America. The World Meteorological Organization decides Summary what names will be used. (Possible answers ). Vocabulary and Idiom Review 3 Reading Challenge 1 2nd Answer Key 1. c 2. a 3. d 4. a 5. c 3. produces 4. shut down 6. c 7. a 8. b 9. a 10. b 5. butterflies Listening 1. c 2. b 3. d Unit 4 Discussion ( answers will vary). How Did Those Get in There? 1. The last time I was nervous was during a piano performance for a contest. My body Pre- Reading ( answers will vary) reacted to my nervousness by making me go to 1.
5 When I have to speak in front of my class, I the bathroom a lot before my performance. get very nervous. 2. To reduce stress, I read comic books or listen 2. My legs are affected by this feeling. They to music. become very weak and shaky. 3. Any situation where I have to do something or 3. Related to this feeling, I think of rabbits say something in front of a lot of people gives because they always seem nervous to me. me butterflies in my stomach. Vocabulary Preview Grammar 1. f 2. a 3. b 4. e 5. d 6. c Cortisol speeds up the way the stomach works, which makes these people feel sick. Reading Comprehension Stepping out onto the stage will also help those 1. c 2. c 3. b 4. c 5. a butterflies fly away. Idiomatic Expressions Vocabulary and Idiom Review 1. get rid of 1. d 2. c 3. a 4. a 5. b 2. play a role in 6. c 7. b 8. b 9. c 10. a 3. shut down Summary 1. respond 2. normal 4 Reading Challenge 1 2nd Answer Key Summary 1. position 2. wake up 3. still 4. antennae 5. respond to 6. loud Listening 1.
6 An interesting thing about the New Zealand weta is that it freezes every night. Unit 5 2. The man learned that the New Zealand weta A Bug’s Sleep is related to crickets. 3. The man found out about the New Zealand Pre- Reading ( answers will vary) weta in his biology class. 1. I don’t think insects sleep. They don’t have a big enough brain to need sleep. Discussion ( answers will vary). 2. Maybe an insect is very still and quiet if it 1. I think we need sleep to rest our brains and sleeps. bodies. 3. I usually need 7-8 hours of sleep. If I don’t get 2. One experiment could be to measure enough sleep, I get angry very easily. changes in the brain activity of insects. If their brain activity changes when they are still, maybe Vocabulary Preview they are sleeping. 1. a 2. c 3. d 4. e 5. f 6. b 3. I know that insects have no bones or lungs. Reading Comprehension Grammar 1. c 2. d 3. c 4. c 5. a Additionally, they don’t wake up easily when hearing noises or seeing light. Idiomatic Expressions However, they start to move around when louder 1.
7 Come out of noised are made. 2. moves around 3. For example Vocabulary and Idiom Review 1. c 2. a 3. b 4. d 5. c 5 Reading Challenge 1 2nd Answer Key 6. b 7. b 8. b 9. a 10. b Summary (Possible answers ). 1. Tiger won the World Golf Championships before he turned 25, setting the record as the youngest player to ever win all four championships. 2. Tiger wants to help others who can’t play golf because he was helped by so many people as a child. Unit 6 3. Tiger created the Tiger Woods Foundation so Tiger’s Tale that golf would be open to everyone. Pre- Reading ( answers will vary) Listening 1. Jack Nicklaus is a famous golfer. 1. [ ] True [ ] False 2. The special thing about Tiger Woods is that 2. [ ] True [ ] False he is very young, but successful. 3. [ ] True [ ] False 3. A role model is someone who I want to act like. Discussion ( answers will vary). 1. I don’t like to play golf. I think it is a little Vocabulary Preview boring. 1. a 2. b 3. e 4. c 5. f 6. d 2. I enjoy playing badminton or basketball.
8 3. If I had lots of money, I would give some to Reading Comprehension my family, give some to charity, and put the rest 1. b 2. c 3. a 4. c 5. c in the bank. Idiomatic Expressions Grammar 1. lend, a hand Tiger Woods started playing golf professionally 2. holds the record for in 1996. 3. looks up to Because many people helped Tiger as a child, he wants to lend a hand to others now. 6 Reading Challenge 1 2nd Answer Key 1. on a daily basis Vocabulary and Idiom Review 2. agree with 1. c 2. d 3. b 4. a 5. c 3. set up 6. d 7. d 8. b 9. b 10. a Summary 1. set up 2. reports 3. balanced 4. responsibility 5. agrees with Listening Unit 7 1. b 2. c 3. d Not the Normal News Discussion ( answers will vary). Pre- Reading ( answers will vary) 1. I usually read news reports online. 1. One thing in the news over the past few days 2. My favorite news magazine is News Today was the death of a famous singer in my country. because its articles are easy to read. 2. The information in this article was sad and a 3.
9 I know about a television program that only little scary because the singer died from a reports entertaining stories, mostly about the medical accident. lives of movie stars. 3. One funny story that I heard recently was about some research related to pets and how Grammar pets can control their owners. Newspapers always seem to report about the bad things happening in society. Vocabulary Preview HappyNews gets fan mail from its readers on a 1. f 2. a 3. c 4. d 5. e 6. b daily basis. Reading Comprehension Vocabulary and Idiom Review 1. b 2. c 3. a 4. d 5. a 1. a 2. b 3. d 4. b 5. a 6. c 7. c 8. c 9. b 10. b Idiomatic Expressions 7 Reading Challenge 1 2nd Answer Key Summary 1. finishes 2. start up 3. perfect 4. machine 5. give up 6. successfully Listening 1. The speaker says that the older brother flew in the Wright Flyer. 2. The distance that the Wright Flyer went was 51 meters. Unit 8 3. That is about the distance from the front of the The Wright Way to Fly plane to the back. Pre- Reading ( answers will vary) Discussion ( answers will vary).
10 1. I think that the Wright brothers made the first 1. Thomas Edison is also a famous inventor. airplane. They are famous because they flew. 2. My father enjoys making things. He likes to 2. The Wright brothers were from the US. make furniture. 3. I think they lived about 100 years ago. 3. I last flew in an airplane last summer. I visited my family in New Zealand. Vocabulary Preview 1. f 2. b 3. c 4. d 5. e 6. a Grammar Instead of sitting in class and Reading , they Reading Comprehension wanted to work and make things, like machines. 1. c 2. d 3. c 4. d 5. b Then the brothers decided to make their glider into a flying machine. Idiomatic Expressions 1. give up Vocabulary and Idiom Review 2. break down 1. b 2. a 3. c 4. a 5. a 3. start up 6. a 7. c 8. c 9. a 10. c 8 Reading Challenge 1 2nd Answer Key 1. got around 2. posing as 3. in the hands of Summary (Possible answers ). 1. Mitnick, who was sent to prison, decided to use his skills to set up a computer security firm. 2. Mitnick believes the biggest danger to security these days is the people using the programs.
Hsk4 Chinese Exam Incl Audio And Answers # H41330
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