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Academic English

“A Visitor from Space – Script”

Listening Exercise

Listen to the recording about a meteor strike and read along with the conversation. Review the key vocabulary and the sample sentences.

Hello. This is Greg Rice reporting for TBC News in blizzard conditions in the freezing state of Alaska. I’ve just arrived in Barrow, Alaska, to bring you live coverage of what appears to be the results of a huge meteorite impact, perhaps the largest in recent history, that occurred just twelve hours ago. The exact location of the impact is unknown, but estimates put it about 20 kilometers south of Barrow based on shock waves felt throughout the region.

Some witnesses say they saw a bright light streaking through the sky, accompanied by a roaring boom, moments before the impact. It’s unknown whether there are any casualties, but it’s unlikely considering this sparsely populated area.

Such impacts were commonplace during the formation of our solar system, and many believe that a meteorite 10 kilometers in diameter crashed into Earth 65 million years ago which led to the mass extinction of many animal species including the dinosaurs. It’s often difficult to calculate the number of such large impacts on earth because erosion and vegetation make it difficult to spot them.

In recent years, astronomers have focused more of their attention on the paths of many uncharted space rocks or asteroids floating out there in space in the hope that we might be able to determine the threat they pose on mankind.

We’ll keep you up-to-date on any developments here. This is Greg Rice reporting from Alaska.

Vocabulary and Sample Sentences

  • blizzard (noun): a severe snowstorm with a lot of wind 
    – We couldn’t reach our family’s house because of the blizzard.
  • casualties (noun): people who are injured or killed in military action or accidents 
    – There were many casualties to due to intense bombing in that region.
  • erosion (noun): the process of wearing something down due to wind and rain
    – Erosion of the soil can become a real environmental problem.
  • vegetation (noun): plants in general
    – Having vegetation in some areas can slow down the process of erosion.
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