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photo Tara Benwell Listen to News with Tara Benwell - Instructions:
1. Preview the vocabulary and read the gapfill text.
2. Play the news report and try to fill in the blanks.
3. Answer the comprehension questions by writing full sentences.
4. Use the discussion question to write an essay or discuss the story with other students.
5. Click "show Answers" to see the full text.
6. Pretend to be a news anchor by reading each story out loud.

dateline: 22 February 2017

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7 Earth-Sized Planets Discovered

Pre-Listening Vocabulary

  • astronomer: a person who studies space (stars, planets, etc.)
  • orbit: to go around
  • dwarf star: a relatively small star with low brightness (e.g. the Sun)
  • proximity: closeness
  • mass: size

7 Earth-Sized Planets Discovered

Astronomers have discovered 7 earth-sized orbiting a dwarf star outside of our solar system. Researchers believe that at least three of the planets could be suitable for life because of their size and proximity to their star. The red star, named TRAPPIST-1, is half the of the Sun and only of its mass. Researchers discovered the planets after small shadows interrupting TRAPPIST-1’s starlight. The next step is to investigate the atmosphere of each planet and find out if any of them have signs of life, such as water on the surface. The planets are 40 light years away from Earth.

Comprehension Questions

  1. What did astronomers discover?
  2. What is TRAPPIST-1?
  3. Why is the final statement in the report important?

Discussion Questions: Do you think life will be discovered on another planet within the next decade? Why or why not?

show Answers

Written by Tara Benwell for EnglishClub
Tara Benwell is a Canadian freelance writer and editor who specializes in materials and articles for the ELT industry.
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