Tue, Oct 14, 2008 - Page 14 News List

NASA spacecraft soars past Mercury 美國太空船勘測水星

This NASA handout image received on Oct. 7, 2008 shows the surface of Mercury. The bright crater just south of the center of the image is known as Kuiper. It was first identified on images from the Mariner 10 mission in the 1970s.PHOTO: AFP
美國航太總署於十月七日公佈的水星表面圖片。圖中央偏南的亮點坑洞處就是著名的庫伊伯。庫伊伯於一九七零年代,透過水手十號傳回來的照片首度見世。照片:法新社

A US space probe successfully flew by Mercury earlier this month to photograph the Solar System’s smallest planet, in the second of three planned passes, the US space agency NASA said.

The spacecraft MESSENGER (MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry and Ranging) flew past the innermost planet at an altitude of 201 kilometers at a speed of 23,818 kilometers per hour.

“Everything went according to plan,” said spokeswoman Helen Johnson of the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, which is running the project.

MESSENGER first flew past Mercury on Jan. 14 this year, and will make its final pass in Sept. 2009.

This month’s trip aims to investigate the opposite side of the planet to the one seen on the first visit, said Louise Prockter, instrument scientist for the spacecraft’s Mercury Dual Imaging System at the Johns Hopkins University.

Mercury is the closest of all the planets to the Sun, but because of the high risks of its proximity to the Sun, it is one of the most mysterious bodies in the solar system, even though it is relatively close to Earth.

(AFP)

美國航空暨太空總署NASA日前宣布,一架美國太空探測器本月稍早已成功地飛越水星上空,並拍攝到這個太陽系中最小行星的樣貌。

這艘太空船「信使號」(水星表面、太空環境、地球化學和測距的縮寫)飛越太陽系最內部的這顆行星上空時,飛行高度為兩百零一公里,每小時時速為兩萬三千八百一十八公里。

負責此計畫的約翰霍普金斯大學應用物理實驗室女發言人海倫.強森說:「一切都如預期般進行。」

信使號在今年元月十四日首次航經水星,並將於二OO九年九月最後一次進行此任務。

約翰霍普金斯大學負責這艘太空船的水星雙面影像系統的儀器科學家路易斯.波克特說,本月的行程旨在調查首次探勘水星時未見到的另一面。

水星是眾行星中最接近太陽的一顆,但因其接近太陽,探勘的風險也相當高;雖然它相對地鄰近地球,但它仍是太陽系中最神秘的星體之一。(法新社�翻譯:袁星塵)

OUT LOUD 對話練習

Paul: What have you bought this time, Mavis?

Mavis: It’s a certificate of ownership. I’ve just bought some property on the moon.

Paul: How did you do that?

Mavis: I bought it on a Web site. It only cost $100.

Paul: You’re an idiot. You have to stop spending money like it’s going out of fashion.

Mavis: You’re probably right.

保羅:梅維斯,你這次又買了什麼啊?

梅維斯:這是一紙產權,我剛買了一些月球上的土地。

保羅:你怎麼買的?

梅維斯:我在一個網站上買的,只花了我一百元。

保羅:你這個大白痴!你不能再這樣花錢如流水了。

梅維斯:我想你是對的。

spend money like it’s going out of fashion

花錢如流水

If somebody spends money like it’s going out of fashion, they are very wasteful and spend a lot of money all the time.

如果某人「spends money like it’s going out of fashion」,就表示他們非常揮霍,且總是花大錢買東西。


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