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Stunning 'Postcard' Sent from Mars

时间:2005-05-22 16:00来源:互联网 提供网友:yoyo530521   字体: [ ]

Stunning1 'Postcard' Sent from Mars

The U.S. Spirit spacecraft has sent its first color postcard from Mars. It is the sharpest image ever taken of Mars or any other planet.

The image from the color panoramic2 camera mounted on the Spirit rover shows in far greater resolution the rock-covered view first transmitted by a low resolution black and white camera on Monday.

"This is it. This is the day we've been waiting for." Cornell University scientist Jim Bell, who led the camera's development, says it reveals details of rocks of a variety of shapes and sizes. "My reaction has been one of shock and awe3! You have to understand, we designed it to do this, so we shouldn't be surprised, but, boy, it's spectacular looking at the details."

The fine detail of the rocks and Martian surface will help investigators4 decide where to send the rover next week to search for signs of water they believe once flowed in this ancient crater5.

Even better, three-dimensional images are yet to come. They will allow researchers to judge rock sizes and distances more accurately6.

The scientists say this picture shows angular rocks whose edges have been rounded - a sign that wind-blown dust sandblasted them over the eons. Jim Bell says it means less work for the rover's scraping tool, which was designed to remove the weathered exterior7 of rocks to expose their true composition. "Some of these things, except where they have been coated with dust, may be very, very clean and we may not have to struggle very hard to get a look at the nature of these rocks at all because I think Mars may have cleaned them off for us."

The scientists point out that the color picture reveals a strange new type of Martian soil with unusual textures9. They describe it as a material they call "duracrust" because it held together and even folded over itself when the spacecraft's cushioning airbags dragged it as they retracted10.

Mr. Bell speculates that salts left over when water percolated12 up from the ground are the cement that holds the dirt together. "We're trying to figure out what it means for the physical properties of this material. I think trenching into this stuff is going to be an absolute blast [fun] once we get the rover down on to the surface."

Engineers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California took a step to prepare for moving the rover off the lander next week. They remotely set off explosive charges that released a blade to cut through the second of three restraining cables.

They are trying to solve a minor14 heat problem with the rover. Although Mars is extremely frigid15 at about minus 85 degrees Celsius16, it is warmer than expected and the rover is getting warmer than planned. To avoid overheating its circuits, they are letting it rest more and having it communicate less.

In Washington, President Bush called the mission team in California to congratulate it for its success. A White House spokesman says Mr. Bush suggested that their work helped heal wounds from the space shuttle Columbia disaster.




Spirit spacecraft  勇气号火星车。勇气号和机遇号(Opportunity rover)在火星不同区域着陆,主要任务是探水

sharp [FB:p] adj. 清晰的

panoramic camera  全景照相机

mount [maunt] vt. 安置,安放

rover [5rEuvE] n. 飞行器,尤指用于探测行星及其卫星上地形的载人或未载人的飞行器

resolution [rezE5lu:F(E)n] n. 分辨率

transmit [trAnz5mit] vt. 传输,转送

Cornell University (美国)康纳尔大学

awe [C:] n. 敬畏

spectacular [spek5tAkjulE] adj. 引人入胜的,壮观的

Martian [5mB:FiEn] adj. 火星的

crater [5kreItE(r)] n. 环形山

angular [5AN^julE] adj. 有角的

sandblast [5sAndblB:st] v. 喷沙

eon [5i:En] n. 极长的时间

weathered [5weTEd] adj. 风化的

coated [5kEJtId] adj. 涂上一层的

texture8 [5tekstFE] n. 质地,纹理

duracrust   粘合泥土,这种物质是在探测车降落火星后,收回充气囊时从地表翻起的,类似于1976年维京号登陆器所发现的物质。

cushioning [5kuFEniN] 减震, 缓冲

airbag [5ZEbA^] n. 安全气袋

speculate [5spekju7leit] vi. 推测

leave over 留下,剩下

percolate11 [5pE:kEleit] v. 过滤

trench13 [trentF] v. 挖掘,掘沟

Jet Propulsion Laboratory  喷气推进实验室,隶属于美国宇航局

charge [tFB:dV] n. 装料

blade [bleid] n. 刀刃,(推进器的)翼

restraining [rI`streInIN] adj. 抑制的,控制的

frigid [5fridVid] adj. 寒冷的

Celsius [5selsIEs] n. 摄氏度

circuit [5sE:kit] n. 电路

the Space Shuttle Columbia  哥伦比亚号航天飞船,在返回地面时坠毁,机上七名宇航员全部遇难。


1 stunning NhGzDh     
  • His plays are distinguished only by their stunning mediocrity.他的戏剧与众不同之处就是平凡得出奇。
  • The finished effect was absolutely stunning.完工后的效果非常美。
2 panoramic LK3xM     
adj. 全景的
  • Most rooms enjoy panoramic views of the sea. 大多数房间都能看到海的全景。
  • In a panoramic survey of nature, speed is interesting because it has a ceiling. 概观自然全景,速率是有趣的,因为它有一个上限。
3 awe WNqzC     
  • The sight filled us with awe.这景色使我们大为惊叹。
  • The approaching tornado struck awe in our hearts.正在逼近的龙卷风使我们惊恐万分。
4 investigators e970f9140785518a87fc81641b7c89f7     
n.调查者,审查者( investigator的名词复数 )
  • This memo could be the smoking gun that investigators have been looking for. 这份备忘录可能是调查人员一直在寻找的证据。
  • The team consisted of six investigators and two secretaries. 这个团队由六个调查人员和两个秘书组成。 来自《简明英汉词典》
5 crater WofzH     
  • 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 accurately oJHyf     
  • It is hard to hit the ball accurately.准确地击中球很难。
  • Now scientists can forecast the weather accurately.现在科学家们能准确地预报天气。
7 exterior LlYyr     
  • The seed has a hard exterior covering.这种子外壳很硬。
  • We are painting the exterior wall of the house.我们正在给房子的外墙涂漆。
8 texture kpmwQ     
  • We could feel the smooth texture of silk.我们能感觉出丝绸的光滑质地。
  • Her skin has a fine texture.她的皮肤细腻。
9 textures c5e62798e528da9080811018cbb27cd3     
n.手感( texture的名词复数 );质感;口感;(音乐或文学的)谐和统一感
  • I'm crazy about fabrics textures and colors and designs. 我喜欢各式各样的纺织物--对它的质地,色彩到花纹图案--简直是入了迷。 来自辞典例句
  • Let me clear up the point about the textures. 让我明确了一点有关的纹理。 来自互联网
10 retracted Xjdzyr     
v.撤回或撤消( retract的过去式和过去分词 );拒绝执行或遵守;缩回;拉回
  • He made a false confession which he later retracted. 他作了假供词,后来又翻供。
  • A caddy retracted his statement. 一个球童收回了他的话。 来自辞典例句
11 percolate RMSxh     
  • The rain will percolate through the soil.雨水渗入土中。
  • New fashions took a long time to percolate down.新时尚要很长时间才能在大众中流行起来。
12 percolated 14372ed82b1fd958f4ba15543382a575     
v.滤( percolate的过去式和过去分词 );渗透;(思想等)渗透;渗入
  • Water had percolated down through the rocks. 水从岩缝间渗漏下去。
  • The rumour percolated through the firm. 那谣言在公司里慢慢流传开来。 来自辞典例句
13 trench VJHzP     
  • The soldiers recaptured their trench.兵士夺回了战壕。
  • The troops received orders to trench the outpost.部队接到命令在前哨周围筑壕加强防卫。
14 minor e7fzR     
  • The young actor was given a minor part in the new play.年轻的男演员在这出新戏里被分派担任一个小角色。
  • I gave him a minor share of my wealth.我把小部分财产给了他。
15 frigid TfBzl     
  • The water was too frigid to allow him to remain submerged for long.水冰冷彻骨,他在下面呆不了太长时间。
  • She returned his smile with a frigid glance.对他的微笑她报以冷冷的一瞥。
16 Celsius AXRzl     
  • The temperature tonight will fall to seven degrees Celsius.今晚气温将下降到七摄氏度。
  • The maximum temperature in July may be 36 degrees Celsius.七月份最高温度可能达到36摄氏度。
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