BBC 6 Minute English | THE SUN | English CC | Daily Listening

source: Daily Listening    2016年10月12日

0:05 Hello, Neil, and what a glorious sunny day it is today.
0:07 Not a cloud in the sky!
0:09 Spring is definitely here!
0:10 Now, Neil, you’re a bit of a sun worshipper, aren’t you?
0:14 You like sunbathing…
0:15 I do indeed!
0:16 I love sitting in my deckchair in the garden, catching some rays…
0:20 Hmm, yes, you look a bit orange actually.
0:22 Are you sure that tan's not fake?
0:24 Very cheeky, Rob, very cheeky…
0:26 Now the reason I mentioned sunbathing is because we’re discussing the sun in this programme.
0:31 Yes, that’s right.
0:32 The sun is our nearest star – although it’s a staggering 150 million kilometres away.
0:40 Earth is one of nine planets that orbit – or circle around – the sun.
0:44 And life on Earth couldn’t exist without its warmth and light.
0:49 And we should mention… the sun is absolutely massive.
0:53 Its volume is so large you could fit a million Earths inside it.
0:58 That’s amazing!
1:00 It’s also incredibly hot.
1:03 Hotter than anything you could imagine.
1:05 So Neil, can you answer this question: How hot is the surface of the sun?
1:11 Now I’ll help you out by telling you that the sun’s core – that’s the centre – is
1:16 a blistering five million degrees Celsius.
1:20 But how hot is the sun’s surface?
1:23 Is it ... a) 1.5 billion degrees Celsius
1:26 b) 1.5 million degrees Celsius or c) 5500 degrees Celsius
1:33 Hmm.
1:34 I have no idea.
1:36 They all sound quite warm to me.
1:38 But … I think it must be a bit cooler than the core.
1:42 So I’m going to go for 1.5 million degrees.
1:46 Okay.
1:47 Well, we'll find out if you're right or wrong later on.
1:50 But now let’s listen to Professor of Solar Physics Louise Harra to discover what the
1:56 sun is made of.
1:58 It’s just a big ball of gas.
2:01 And we measure it… it’s made mostly of hydrogen.
2:04 So it’s roughly 90% hydrogen, it’s maybe 8% helium, and the rest of it’s made up
2:10 of things like iron, carbon, oxygen, nickel.
2:14 So the main gas is hydrogen, which accounts for 90% of the sun’s matter.
2:20 Now, 'matter' means what something is made of.
2:24 And hydrogen creates all the sun’s energy.
2:28 Heat and light energy is created all the time in the sun’s core as a result of gas explosions
2:33 or nuclear reactions.
2:36 And this bit is hard to believe – it takes a hundred thousand years for this light energy
2:42 to travel from the sun’s core to the sun’s surface.
2:45 But once it reaches the sun’s surface – the photosphere – it can escape.
2:51 In fact, it takes only eight minutes for light energy from the sun to reach the Earth.
2:56 Scientists these days are able to see the photosphere in fantastic detail using powerful
3:03 telescopes.
3:04 Though Galileo observed dark spots on the sun through his telescope several hundred
3:08 Which brings us on to another question: How old is the sun?
3:13 Well, I happen to know that it came into being around four and a half billion years ago.
3:20 Did you study solar physics at university, Neil?
3:22 No, just… you know, just general knowledge.
3:25 Well, the sun came into being – or was created – a very long time ago!
3:30 We’re going to hear now from Professor of Physics, Yvonne Elseworth.
3:34 What does she say about how long the sun is going to stay the same?
3:39 In terms of its current lifestyle it’s here for as long again, so we’re about half way
3:44 through.
3:45 And then it becomes a different sort of star – it becomes a giant star and that’s probably
3:49 curtains for us, actually.
3:51 It’ll get a bit warm, a bit toasty, and we’ll get enveloped in the sun, and it won’t
3:57 be nice...
3:58 So the sun is going to stay the same for another four and a half billion years.
4:04 But the professor also says that the sun will change.
4:08 When it becomes a giant star, it will becurtains for our planet – and ‘curtains’ means
4:14 the end, I’m afraid!
4:16 Yes, it does.
4:17 And as a giant star, the sun will get hotter – it will make the Earth toasty.
4:22 Now, toasty usually means hot in a nice way.
4:25 That’s right – for example, my toes are warm and toasty in my new slippers.
4:30 But in reality the giant sun will make the Earth unbearably hot.
4:36 It will surround – or envelop – our planet and burn it up.
4:40 Well, I’m glad we’re not going to be around when that happens.
4:44 Now, remember at the beginning of the show I asked you how hot the sun’s surface is?
4:51 Is it a) 1.5 billion b) 1.5 million or c) 5500 degrees Celsius?
4:59 And I said 1.5 million…
5:01 It’s way too hot, I’m afraid you were wrong.
5:03 The answer is actually 5500 degrees Celsius.
5:08 But still, if you’re planning on visiting the sun, remember to take your sunglasses
5:12 and plenty of sunscreen!
5:14 Now, before we go, it’s time to remind ourselves of some of the vocabulary that we’ve heard
5:20 today.
5:21 Neil.
5:22 orbit massive
5:27 core energy
5:30 matter photosphere
5:38 come into being curtains for something
5:45 toasty envelop