Nasa spacecraft speeds past Pluto 美國宇航局「新視野號」飛掠冥王星

媒體英語會帶大家一起學習 BBC 撰稿人在報道世界大事時常用到的單詞和短語。

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Image caption What more will we find out about our solar system?

美國宇航局的「新視野號」探測器與冥王星成功相遇。「新視野號」探測器本周二(7月14日)以每秒十四公里的速度飛過冥王星。科學家稱「新視野號」收集的資料信息將改變人類對距離太陽最遠的太陽系行星的認識。請聽 Jonathan Amos 的報道。


For those of us who grew up with the idea that there were nine planets, this is the moment we get to complete the set. Robotic probes have been to all the others - even the distant Uranus and Neptune. Pluto is the last of the familiar nine to get a visit.

Of course, it was demoted to dwarf status in 2006, but this doesn't seem to have dulled anyone's enthusiasm. The New Horizons probe will sweep by at high speed, grabbing as many pictures and other types of science data as it can. Not just of Pluto but also its five moons: Charon, Styx, Nix, Kerberos and Hydra.

Unfortunately, the vast distance from Earth makes for very weak radio signals, and it's going to take many months to get all the images back. Nonetheless, the lead researcher, Alan Stern, says we should be prepared for some remarkable discoveries...

Alan Stern, NASA lead researcher I like to say that this is in a sense, a return to the kind of space exploration in the sixties and seventies, when everything was completely new - first mission to Venus, first mission to Mars, first mission to everywhere. And although new missions, for example to the surface of Mars, teach us tremendous amounts, where people say we re-write the textbook. This is an example of not re-writing the textbook - we're gonna write the textbook.