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万物简史 第351期:孤独的行星(16)

Apart from much else, our lively interior created the outgassing that helped to build an atmosphere and provided us with the magnetic field that shields us from cosmic radiation. It also gave us plate tectonics, which continually renews and rumples the earth. If Earth were perfectly smooth, it would be covered everywhere with water to a depth of four kilometers. There might be life in that lonesome ocean, but there certainly wouldn't be baseball. 不说别的,我们活跃的内部使大量气体喷涌而出,帮助建立了大气层,还为我们提供了磁场,保护我们不受宇宙辐射。它还给了我们板块构造,不停的更新地面和使地面褶皱。要是地球完全平坦,到处都会覆盖着4公里深的水。那寂寞的海洋里也或许有生命,但肯定不会有足球比赛。 In addition to having a beneficial interior, we also have the right elements in the correct proportions. In the most literal way, we are made of the right stuff. This is so crucial to our well-being that we are going to discuss it more fully in a minute, but first we need to consider the two remaining factors, beginning with another one that is often overlooked: 除了有个大有好处的内部以外,我们还有合适数量的合适元素。我们完全是以合适的材料组成的。这对我们的健康是极其重要的,我们过一会更加充分地讨论这个问题,但我们先来考虑以下剩下的两个因素,首先是我们往往忽略的那个因素: We're a twin planet. Not many of us normally think of the Moon as a companion planet, but that is in effect what it is. Most moons are tiny in relation to their master planet. The Martian satellites of Phobos and Deimos, for instance, are only about ten kilometers in diameter. Our Moon, however, is more than a quarter the diameter of the Earth, which makes ours the only planet in the solar system with a sizeable moon in comparison to itself (except Pluto, which doesn't really count because Pluto is itself so small), and what a difference that makes to us. 我们是个双子行星。通常,把月球看成是伴星的人为数不多,但它实际上就是——火卫一和火卫二——直径只有大约10公里。然而,我们的月亮的直径是地球直径的四分之一以上。这就使得我们的行星成为太阳系里独一无二的行星,拥有一个与自身相比称得上是很大的月球(除了冥王星,但冥王星其实不算,因为它本身很小)——这对我们来说至关重要。 Without the Moon's steadying influence, the Earth would wobble like a dying top, with goodness knows what consequences for climate and weather. 没有月球的持久影响,地球会像个快要停转的陀螺那样摇摇摆摆,天知道会对气候和天气产生什么后果。 来自:VOA英语网 文章地址: http://www.tingvoa.com/html/20180113/527977.html