Read an article about life on Mars to practise and improve your reading skills.
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There is undeniable proof of organic stuff on Mars' surface, according to a recent study that was published in the journal Science. The information was gathered by NASA's Curiosity nuclear-powered rover. It supports past results that carbon-based chemicals were formerly present on the Red Planet. These substances, also known as organic molecules, are necessary building blocks for life as we know it.
The organic compounds were discovered in Gale Crater on Mars, a sizable region that might have been a lake three billion years ago. In rocks taken out of the area, the rover found signs of the chemical. The presence of sulphur in the rocks may have contributed to the preservation of the organic materials even after exposure to the planet's harsh radiation, according to scientists.
The discovery of these organic compounds, according to scientists, is insufficient proof that there was once life on Mars because the chemicals may have been created by non-living processes. However, it's still one of the most astounding findings, and it might lead to other discoveries. especially when taking into account the other shocking discovery that Curiosity made almost five years ago.
The rover frequently examines the atmosphere surrounding it, and in 2014 it discovered methane, one of the most fundamental organic compounds and an essential component of natural gas. Methane's short lifespan (a few hundred years) is one of its properties.This indicates that there is a replenishment mechanism operating on Mars. NASA claims that Mars periodically releases thousands of tonnes of methane. The amount of methane fluctuates throughout the year at regular seasonal intervals, almost as if the globe were breathing it.
NASA believes that the planet's surface is where the methane is believed to originate. The molecule flows upward at greater or lower levels due to the changes in surface temperature on Mars. For instance, the gas might become trapped in subsurface frozen crystals during the Martian winter. In the summer, the clathrate crystals melt and release the gas. The methane's origin, however, is still completely unknown.
Both of these investigations are seen as historical turning points in the field of astrobiology. These facts suggest that Mars is not a planet in a state of dormancy. Contrarily, it is incredibly dynamic and might be evolving and becoming more livable.
Of course, this calls for additional study. According to scientists, new equipment that can more precisely measure the air and soil has to be sent to Mars. Missions have already started. When the ExoMars spacecraft touches down on Mars in 2020, it will be able to drill into the surface and analyse what it discovers. In addition, NASA will launch a second Mars Rover in the same year to gather and bring back soil samples from Mars.
Humans have been captivated by the prospect of life on Mars for many years. It has been featured in countless science fiction books and movies. Are there additional life forms in our Solar System or are we the only species in the universe? If the current missions to the Red Planet go, it appears that we might learn the solution very soon.
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