I. Read and translate the text in written form. Answer the questions:
Quick quiz: How many planets orbit our Sun? If you said nine, you´re shy by
several thousand. Scientists consider asteroids to be minor planets - some are
hundreds of miles wide (and seldom round). Most, but not all, orbit the sun in an
asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. The huge gravitational pull of Jupiter
accelerated these asteroids to more than three miles per second - too fast to prevent
violent collisions. Otherwise, they might have joined up to form "real" planets.
When asteroids collide, fragments sometimes are sent on a collision course
with Earth and become meteors. The vast majority of asteroids are small, compared
with a large one like Ida, this 32-mile-long chunk of stone and iron that was
photographed in 1993 by the Galileo spacecraft. Though we normally think of
asteroids as crater-makers, they are typically pockmarked with their own impact
craters. Scientists divide asteroids into two groups, based on how they appear in
infrared images: light and dark. The lightest-looking asteroids are rocky bodies with
lots of iron and nickel, and they resemble lunar rocks. The darkest asteroids have
high quantities of hydrated minerals and carbon. When an asteroid, or a part of it,
crashes into Earth, it´s called a meteorite.
There are two hypotheses about how most of the asteroids formed. One says
they broke off of a mother planet that existed between Mars and Jupiter. More likely,
however, they represent what space was like before the planets formed, and they are
the remnants of that process - bits and pieces that never quite joined together.
Since the Earth was formed more than four billion years ago, asteroids and
comets have routinely slammed into the planet. The most dangerous asteroids are
extremely rare, according to NASA. An asteroid capable of global disaster would
have to be more than a quarter-mile wide. Researchers have estimated that such an
impact would raise enough dust into the atmosphere to effectively create a "nuclear
winter," severely disrupting agriculture around the world. Asteroids that large strike
Earth only once every 1,000 centuries on average, NASA officials say. Smaller
asteroids that are believed to strike Earth every 1,000 to 10,000 years could destroy a
city or cause devastating tsunamis. More than 160 asteroids have been classified as
"potentially hazardous" by the scientists who track them. Some of these, whose orbits
come close enough to Earth, could potentially be perturbed in the distant future and
sent on a collision course with our planet. Scientists point out that if an asteroid is
found to be on a collision course with Earth 30 or 40 years down the road, there is
time to react. Though the technology would have to be developed, possibilities
include exploding the object or diverting it. For every known asteroid, however, there
are many that have not been spotted, and shorter reaction times could prove more
1. What is a meteor?
2. How did most of the asteroids form?
3. What do scientists say about the danger of asteroids?
II. Translate the following sentences. Pay attention to the usage of
Complex Object and Complex Subject.
1. That power station is known to be situated on the Angara River. 2. The
engineers wanted this phenomenon to be investigated in their laboratory. 3. We
watched the planes circling above us.4. There is no fire in the grate and hunger has
made him faint. 5. This type of rocket is supposed to have many advantages.
III. Translate the following sentences. Pay attention to the tense- form in
1. Two new engineers have just been introduced to the head of the department.
2. This research was given particular attention because of its prime importance for the
development of this branch of physics. 3. The radiations (излучение, радиация)
were discovered long before anyone thought of electromagnetism.