PTE真题阅读训练:Y 矮星

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Scientists have discovered the coldest type of star-like bodies known, which at times can be cooler than the human body.

Astronomers had unsuccessfully pursued these dark entities, called Y dwarfs, ever since their existence was theorized more than a decade ago. They are nearly impossible to see relying on visible light, but with the infrared vision of NASA’s WISE space telescope, researchers finally detected the faint glow of six Y dwarfs relatively close to our sun, within a distance of about 40 light-years.

Y dwarfs are the coldest members of star-like bodies known as brown dwarfs, which are odd objects sometimes known as failed stars.

Brown dwarfs are too puny to force atoms to fuse together and release nuclear energy, and so they have only the little heat they were born with. This heat fades over time until all the light they do emit is at infrared wavelengths.

So far, WISE has helped find 100 new brown dwarfs.

“Brown dwarfs in general, and Y dwarfs specifically, are a wonderful bridge between stellar and planetary astrophysics, because we think brown dwarfs form like stars, but in many respects look more like gas giant planets like Jupiter,” Cushing told SPACE.com. “So when we study Y dwarfs, we are not only learning about stars, but also about the conditions of gas giant exoplanets.

infrared:/ɪnfrə’red/    adj. 〈物〉红外线的

puny:/’pjuːnɪ/    adj. 弱小的;微小的;微不足道的

fuse:/fjuːz/    vt. & vi. 熔化; 融合      n. 保险丝, 熔丝

stellar:/’stelə/    adj. 星的,星球的

astrophysics:/æstrə(ʊ)’fɪzɪks/   n. 天体物理学

exoplanets:n. 外行星

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