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2005年NPR美国国家公共电台七月-NASA Space Probe Rea

时间:2007-07-17 07:28来源:互联网 提供网友:atm009e   字体: [ ]
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The Fourth of July fireworks started early. Scientists wearing red-and-blue shirts jumped up and down at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory here in California, upon receiving word from 83 million miles away that a comet had smashed into a NASA probe. The first pictures of the impact show a giant explosion throwing debris1 over a mile into space. Scientists hope data from the experiment will shed some light on how the planets in our solar system formed billions of years ago. NPR's science correspondent David Kestenbaum joins me now, good morning.
Good morning.

So, pretty big excitement in the control room there.
It's really dramatic because they had pictures going all the way up till the final seconds before the probe was destroyed, so the probe has this camera on it. And you'll see the comet getting bigger and bigger and bigger, and when it's really close, you can actually see it looks somewhat like, it looks like a stone you might pick up off the beach sort of partially2 weathered but not entirely3 smooth. And then that's the last picture, because the craft gets vaporized. And but they had a second spacecraft nearby that was watching the whole thing and that's in fact a picture that was just the whole room erupted in applause. It looks like an artist drawing or a painting, you could see the comet and the bottom 3rd of it or so was completely obscured by a giant explosion.

Now I have seen this described, this event described as a speeding bullet managing to hit another speeding bullet. Was it really that hard?
The hard part was that the comet, it doesn't really just go straight, it has these little outbursts where some gas will burst off in one direction. One scientist called them sneezes. And that causes the comet to wander around a bit. It's sort of like a knuckle4 ball pitch. So the probe that, its job was to get run over to stay in the path of the comet, had actually to do some course corrections to make sure it stayed in the right place.

Now scientists had predicted that this would create a crater5 some said as small as a house or as big as a football field. The how, what did it turn out to be?
It was clearly a really big explosion; I think they don't quite know the size of the crater at this point. But that's the sort of thing they wanna look at, the idea here is that comets have inside them, material that hasn't literally6 seen the sun for 4.5 billion years. The comets were put together at the same time as the planets were, but the comets have been really unchanged over all these years. And so, by looking at the shape of the crater and by studying the debris that comes out, they hope to understand what that early material was like. One scientist said that we have a wealth of data here that's gonna take me into my retirement7.

Well, did the collision change, eh the course of the comet?
The head of JPL said this morning that there is a comet out there in the sky wondering what in the heck hit it, but really it's the probe that got run over and got vaporized. The probe weighs something like 800 pounds, the comet is much bigger, it's 10 miles across. So in the scheme of things were pretty small. And if a comet were heading toward the earth, you'd have to do something pretty dramatic to deflect8 it. Although one scientist was saying that this, the Impactor created what they call a jet, so a small, a bursting of material out to one side that over the long long period, that would actually deflect the comet slightly, so in the sense this is a sort of thing you could do if you had a comet you caught it early enough and realized that it was eventually gonna in many orbits hit the earth you could deflect it slightly by something like this.

NPR science correspondent David Kestenbaum, thanks very much.
You are welcome.
And you can see pictures of the comet's collision with the space probe at npr.org.


点击收听单词发音收听单词发音  

1 debris debris     
n.瓦砾堆,废墟,碎片
参考例句:
  • After the bombing there was a lot of debris everywhere.轰炸之后到处瓦砾成堆。
  • Bacteria sticks to food debris in the teeth,causing decay.细菌附着在牙缝中的食物残渣上,导致蛀牙。
2 partially yL7xm     
adv.部分地,从某些方面讲
参考例句:
  • The door was partially concealed by the drapes.门有一部分被门帘遮住了。
  • The police managed to restore calm and the curfew was partially lifted.警方设法恢复了平静,宵禁部分解除。
3 entirely entirely     
ad.全部地,完整地;完全地,彻底地
参考例句:
  • The fire was entirely caused by their neglect of duty. 那场火灾完全是由于他们失职而引起的。
  • His life was entirely given up to the educational work. 他的一生统统献给了教育工作。
4 knuckle r9Qzw     
n.指节;vi.开始努力工作;屈服,认输
参考例句:
  • They refused to knuckle under to any pressure.他们拒不屈从任何压力。
  • You'll really have to knuckle down if you want to pass the examination.如果想通过考试,你确实应专心学习。
5 crater WofzH     
n.火山口,弹坑
参考例句:
  • With a telescope you can see the huge crater of Ve-suvius.用望远镜你能看到巨大的维苏威火山口。
  • They came to the lip of a dead crater.他们来到了一个死火山口。
6 literally 28Wzv     
adv.照字面意义,逐字地;确实
参考例句:
  • He translated the passage literally.他逐字逐句地翻译这段文字。
  • Sometimes she would not sit down till she was literally faint.有时候,她不走到真正要昏厥了,决不肯坐下来。
7 retirement TWoxH     
n.退休,退职
参考例句:
  • She wanted to enjoy her retirement without being beset by financial worries.她想享受退休生活而不必为金钱担忧。
  • I have to put everything away for my retirement.我必须把一切都积蓄起来以便退休后用。
8 deflect RxvxG     
v.(使)偏斜,(使)偏离,(使)转向
参考例句:
  • Never let a little problem deflect you.决不要因一点小问题就半途而废。
  • They decided to deflect from the original plan.他们决定改变原计划。
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TAG标签:   npr  公共电台  space  reach  comet
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