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PEOPLE IN AMERICA - Percival Lowell

时间:2005-09-29 16:00来源:互联网 提供网友:wbnewbie   字体: [ ]
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PEOPLE IN AMERICA -February 10, 2002: Percival Lowell

By Mario Ritter
VOICE ONE:
I’m Mary Tillotson.
VOICE TWO:
And I’m Bob Doughty1 with the VOA Special English program People in America. Today, we tell about


Percival Lowell whose work led to the discovery of the planet Pluto2. His efforts and imagination helped change
the history of astronomy in America.
((THEME)
)


VOICE ONE:
Percival Lowell came from a New England family with a long history in America. The Lowell family first came
to the colony of Massachussetts in Sixteen-Thirty-Nine. One of Percival Lowell’s ancestors, John Cabot
Lowell, manufactured cloth. He became an important American industrialist3 in the late Eighteenth and early
Nineteenth Centuries.

 

Percival’s father, Augustus Lowell, worked in the family cloth business. He settled his
family in Boston, Massachusetts. Percival was born there in Eighteen-Fifty-Five. He had a
younger brother, Abbott Lawrence and a younger sister, Amy.

VOICE TWO:

Percival Lowell attended American and European private schools as a young man. He studied
mathematics at Harvard University. After he finished his studies at Harvard in Eighteen-
Seventy-Six, he traveled in Europe and the Middle East for a year. Then he worked as a

financial officer in the cloth business of his grandfather. After several years, Percival realized he was not happy
as a businessman. So he decided4 to travel to Japan to study its culture and language. While there, he was asked to
go with a special trade group from Korea to establish trade relations with the United States.

In Eighteen-Eighty -Three, Mister Lowell traveled to Korea as a diplomat5. He reported on a clash there between
Korean and Japanese troops. Mister Lowell remained in East Asia for ten years. He returned home when each of
his six books about East Asian subjects was published.

((MUSIC BRIDGE))

VOICE ONE:

Percival Lowell also had an intense interest in astronomy and mathematics. In Eighteen-Ninety-Three he left
Tokyo for the last time and returned to the United States. He decided to spend more time observing the planet
Mars. He had studied observations by the famous Italian astronomer6 Giovanni Schiaparelli. He found notes that
described markings on Mars that Mister Schiaparelli called “canali”
(can-AL-ee). Mister Lowell came to
believe that intelligent life created the markings on Mars.

In Eighteen-Ninety Four, he built an observatory7 near Flagstaff, Arizona. He had the world -famous telescope-
maker Alvan Clark and Sons make a telescope for his observatory. He began a program of observing not only
Mars, but also Venus and Mercury.

VOICE TWO:

Mister Lowell published his first book about Mars in Eighteen-Ninety-Five. In it, he developed a theory that


intelligent life had created waterways all over the surface of Mars. His theory was that Martians were trying to
bring water to the warm areas near the equator of the planet.

Mister Lowell’s theories were based on what were serious scientific studies of that time. Yet his theories about

life on Mars may have had more lasting8 influence on many writers of imaginary stories. Three years after Mister
Lowell’s book was published, H-G Wells published his famous book “War of the Worlds.

Mister Wells’
story told of a Martian invasion of Earth. The Martians that he imagined lived on a dry and wasted planet. This is
very similar to Mister Lowell’s description of Mars.

Mister Lowell’s theories about Mars also influenced Edgar Rice Burroughs. Mister Burroughs is best known for
stories about “Tarzan.

He also wrote a series of books about an American who traveled to Mars and fell in
love with a beautiful princess. The popular series began in Nineteen Twelve with “The Princess of Mars.

VOICE ONE:

Mister Lowell’s book, “Mars and Its Canals,

was published in Nineteen-Oh -Six. In that book, he expanded

his theory about Martian life. He said he could see changes in the seasons on the surface of Mars. He said the
darkening of the Martian surface during some times of the year was caused by the growth of plants. His theory of
Martian life became so complex that he made maps of cities and waterways on the planet.

Percival Lowell did not know that his eyes played a part in the markings he saw on Mars. Experts explain that the
movement of air in the atmosphere and natural qualities of the human eye caused him to see markings that were
not there.

VOICE TWO:

Percival Lowell also studied the effect of gravity on the planet Neptune9. Small changes in the movement of
Neptune led several astronomers10 to believe that an undiscovered planet was affecting Neptune ’s orbit. Mister
Lowell called it Planet X.

Mister Lowell himself searched for Planet X for two years starting in Nineteen-Oh -Five. He made the search by
comparing two pictures of the same part of the sky. The photographs would be taken several weeks apart. The
astronomer would then check both photographs. An object in the solar system could be identified if it appeared to
move from its place in the earlier photograph.

However, the first search failed. In fact, he failed to recognize Planet X in a few photographs. He searched again
for it several years later. Percival Lowell did not have the chance to discover Planet X. He died suddenly in
November, Nineteen-Sixteen.

((MUSIC BRIDGE))

VOICE ONE:

The search for Planet X did not restart at Lowell Observatory for years. Then in Nineteen-Twenty-Five, Guy
Lowell a relative of Percival, gained control of the observatory. He decided to seriously search for Planet X. He
wanted to continue the work Percival had started.

In the following years, Percival’s brother, Abbott Lawrence, provided money to build a special photographic
telescope. The new telescope was completed in early Nineteen -Twenty-Nine.

That year, an observatory official, V-M Slipher, offered a young man a job working with the new telescope. The
young man ’s name was Clyde Tombaugh (TOM-baw).

VOICE TWO

Mister Tombaugh got a job a Lowell Observatory after he sent drawings of his observations of Jupiter and Mars.
He quickly learned how best to use the new photographic telescope at the observatory. He carefully planned his
research to make the most of his time. On February Eighteenth, Nineteen-Thirty, he discovered an unusual object
after less than one year of searching. The object moved slowly in the sky like a distant planet. Percival Lowell ’s
Planet X had been found!


On March thirteenth, Clyde Tombaugh and V-M Slipher announced the discovery of a new planet. The date was
the seventy-fifth anniversary of Mister Lowell’s birth.

Mister Tombaugh continued to record the motion of the new planet for thirteen years. He found more than seven-
hundred small bodies that orbit the sun, called asteroids11. He also discovered a number of star systems called
galaxies12.

((MUSIC BRIDGE))

VOICE ONE:

During his life, Percival Lowell did not enjoy the success he hoped to find in astronomy. He died long before the
search for Planet X resulted in the discovery of Pluto. And his theories about waterways and complex life on
Mars have been disproved. In Nineteen-Sixty-Five, NASA’s Mariner13 Four spacecraft showed that no
waterways existed on Mars.

Yet, the institution Mister Lowell established in Flagstaff, Arizona, has made many
discoveries in addition to that of Pluto. Evidence that the universe is expanding was
first discovered at Lowell Observatory by V-M Slipher. Also, the rings around the
planet Uranus14 were discovered there.

Lowell Observatory now has four telescopes and is continuing to expand. It supports
programs that bring astronomy to the public.

Astronomers at Lowell and many other observatories15 continue to search for life
beyond our planet. Their efforts continue Percival Lowell’s tradition of scientific
investigation16.

((THEME))

VOICE TWO:

This Special English program was written by Mario Ritter. It was produced by Caty Weaver17. I’m Bob Doughty.

VOICE ONE:

And I’m Mary Tillotson. Join us again next week for another PEOPLE IN AMERICA program on the Voice of
America.


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Pluto


点击收听单词发音收听单词发音  

1 doughty Jk5zg     
adj.勇猛的,坚强的
参考例句:
  • Most of successful men have the characteristics of contumacy and doughty.绝大多数成功人士都有共同的特质:脾气倔强,性格刚强。
  • The doughty old man battled his illness with fierce determination.坚强的老人用巨大毅力与疾病作斗争。
2 Pluto wu0yF     
n.冥王星
参考例句:
  • Pluto is the furthest planet from the sun.冥王星是离太阳最远的行星。
  • Pluto has an elliptic orbit.冥王星的轨道是椭圆形的。
3 industrialist JqSz4Y     
n.工业家,实业家
参考例句:
  • The industrialist's son was kidnapped.这名实业家的儿子被绑架了。
  • Mr.Smith was a wealthy industrialist,but he was not satisfied with life.史密斯先生是位富有的企业家,可他对生活感到不满意。
4 decided lvqzZd     
adj.决定了的,坚决的;明显的,明确的
参考例句:
  • This gave them a decided advantage over their opponents.这使他们比对手具有明显的优势。
  • There is a decided difference between British and Chinese way of greeting.英国人和中国人打招呼的方式有很明显的区别。
5 diplomat Pu0xk     
n.外交官,外交家;能交际的人,圆滑的人
参考例句:
  • The diplomat threw in a joke, and the tension was instantly relieved.那位外交官插进一个笑话,紧张的气氛顿时缓和下来。
  • He served as a diplomat in Russia before the war.战前他在俄罗斯当外交官。
6 astronomer DOEyh     
n.天文学家
参考例句:
  • A new star attracted the notice of the astronomer.新发现的一颗星引起了那位天文学家的注意。
  • He is reputed to have been a good astronomer.他以一个优秀的天文学者闻名于世。
7 observatory hRgzP     
n.天文台,气象台,瞭望台,观测台
参考例句:
  • Guy's house was close to the observatory.盖伊的房子离天文台很近。
  • Officials from Greenwich Observatory have the clock checked twice a day.格林威治天文台的职员们每天对大钟检查两次。
8 lasting IpCz02     
adj.永久的,永恒的;vbl.持续,维持
参考例句:
  • The lasting war debased the value of the dollar.持久的战争使美元贬值。
  • We hope for a lasting settlement of all these troubles.我们希望这些纠纷能获得永久的解决。
9 Neptune LNezw     
n.海王星
参考例句:
  • Neptune is the furthest planet from the sun.海王星是离太阳最远的行星。
  • Neptune turned out to be a dynamic,stormy world.海王星原来是个有生气、多风暴的世界。
10 astronomers 569155f16962e086bd7de77deceefcbd     
n.天文学者,天文学家( astronomer的名词复数 )
参考例句:
  • Astronomers can accurately foretell the date,time,and length of future eclipses. 天文学家能精确地预告未来日食月食的日期、时刻和时长。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • Astronomers used to ask why only Saturn has rings. 天文学家们过去一直感到奇怪,为什么只有土星有光环。 来自《简明英汉词典》
11 asteroids d02ebba086eb60b6155b94e12649ff84     
n.小行星( asteroid的名词复数 );海盘车,海星
参考例句:
  • Asteroids,also known as "minor planets",are numerous in the outer space. 小行星,亦称为“小型行星”,在外太空中不计其数。
  • Most stars probably have their quota of planets, meteorids, comets, and asteroids. 多数恒星也许还拥有若干行星、流星、彗星和小行星。
12 galaxies fa8833b92b82bcb88ee3b3d7644caf77     
星系( galaxy的名词复数 ); 银河系; 一群(杰出或著名的人物)
参考例句:
  • Quasars are the highly energetic cores of distant galaxies. 类星体是遥远星系的极为活跃的核心体。
  • We still don't know how many galaxies there are in the universe. 我们还不知道宇宙中有多少个星系。
13 mariner 8Boxg     
n.水手号不载人航天探测器,海员,航海者
参考例句:
  • A smooth sea never made a skillful mariner.平静的大海决不能造就熟练的水手。
  • A mariner must have his eye upon rocks and sands as well as upon the North Star.海员不仅要盯着北极星,还要注意暗礁和险滩。
14 Uranus 3pZyA     
n.天王星
参考例句:
  • Uranus is unusual because it is tilted.天王星非常特殊,因为它是倾斜的。
  • Uranus represents sudden change and rebellion.天王星代表突然性的改变和反叛。
15 observatories d730b278442c711432218e89314e2a09     
n.天文台,气象台( observatory的名词复数 )
参考例句:
  • John Heilbron, The Sun in the Church: Cathedrals as Solar Observatories, 3-23. 约翰.海耳布隆,《教会里的太阳:教堂即太阳观测台》,第3-23页。 来自互联网
  • Meteorologists use satellites, land observatories and historical data to provide information about the weather. 气象学家使用卫星、上天文台和历史资料来提供有关天气的信息。 来自互联网
16 investigation MRKzq     
n.调查,调查研究
参考例句:
  • In an investigation,a new fact became known, which told against him.在调查中新发现了一件对他不利的事实。
  • He drew the conclusion by building on his own investigation.他根据自己的调查研究作出结论。
17 weaver LgWwd     
n.织布工;编织者
参考例句:
  • She was a fast weaver and the cloth was very good.她织布织得很快,而且布的质量很好。
  • The eager weaver did not notice my confusion.热心的纺织工人没有注意到我的狼狈相。
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TAG标签:   America  Percival  Lowell
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