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

7 Earth-Sized Planets Discovered

Listen to the news in English with Tara Benwell

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.

5 Comments on 7 Earth-Sized Planets Discovered

  1. Olesea says:

    I think the life will not be discovered on another planet nither within next century. It is always supposed. In my opinion humans never will be able to comprehend that. Our desire pushes us to imagine that the life could be on another planets.

  2. alex says:

    Its very good helps improve listening

  3. Alberto says:

    I am not sure if we will find life in another planet in 10 years time but I am sure that we are very close to do it.

    One of the reasons we didn´t find life in the planets around the Earth is that we haven´t found water yet. But the case of these seven planets is different. They have water…

    We need only a few years to find the first alien…

  4. Valentina says:

    Thank you, Tara. Yes, it’s an exciting news. First, I heard it on TV and as far as I understand, not all of them are eath-sized, at least one of them is considerably (30%) bigger than the Earth. A very useful activity. I will use it with my students today. Thanks again and may God bless you:)

  5. Bijan says:

    Hi, dear Tara,

    Thank you for the nice news.
    Have a great time and best wishes.
    Bijan from the persian gulf,

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