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TECHNOLOGY REPORT - Astronomers Still Look to Hubble Space Telescope

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Nancy Grace Roman, center, with President John F. Kennedy in the Oval Office at the White House in 1962.
Nancy Grace Roman, center, with President John F. Kennedy in the Oval Office at the White House in 1962.

This is the VOA Special English Technology Report.

The Hubble Space Telescope continues to make valuable discoveries after more than twenty years in orbit around Earth.

Hubble recently showed a fourth moon orbiting Pluto. Astronomers temporarily named it P4. The moon is the smallest to be discovered around the icy dwarf planet.

Astronomers estimate that the moon is from thirteen to thirty-four kilometers across. They first saw it in a Hubble photo taken on June twenty-eighth.

The American space agency NASA launched the Hubble Space Telescope in nineteen ninety. Reaching that day took years of work. Ed Weiler is NASA's chief astronomer. Mr. Weiler has worked closely with the Hubble program since nineteen seventy-nine.

ED WEILER: "The Hubble, when it was launched, represented an increase in capability of other telescopes on the ground by a factor of ten. The last time in human history in astronomy that we leaped a factor of ten, in one step, was when Galileo stopped using his eye and put the first telescope to his eye."

Nancy Grace Roman, 86, was NASA's first chief of astronomy and is considered the 'mother' of the Hubble Space Telescope.
Nancy Grace Roman, 86, was NASA's first chief of astronomy and is considered the 'mother' of the Hubble Space Telescope.

NASA's first chief of astronomy was Nancy Grace Roman. Ms. Roman joined NASA in nineteen fifty-nine. She led the effort that resulted in the creation of the Hubble Space Telescope.

NANCY GRACE ROMAN: "Astronomers had been wanting to get observations from above the atmosphere for a long time. Looking through the atmosphere is somewhat like looking through a piece of old, stained glass. The glass has defects in it, so the image is blurred from that."

The Hubble telescope orbits about five hundred fifty kilometers above Earth. Ms. Roman says she still remembers the first images that it captured.

NANCY GRACE ROMAN: "I think the image that to me was most striking was the center of a globular cluster. You could see each star individually, and see their color, and it was just a fantastic sight."

The Hubble Space Telescope has helped expand our knowledge of the universe. It helped scientists estimate that the universe began about fourteen billion years ago. Earlier estimates had placed it between ten and twenty billion years old.

Ed Weiler says the Hubble telescope also confirmed the existence of black holes. These are extremely dense masses believed to exist at the center of most galaxies. Their gravitational pull is so strong, they absorb light.

Roman helped develop The Hubble Space Telescope, a large, space-based observatory which has revolutionized astronomy by providing unprecedented deep and clear views of the universe.
Roman helped develop The Hubble Space Telescope, a large, space-based observatory which has revolutionized astronomy by providing unprecedented deep and clear views of the universe.

ED WEILER: "Black holes were science fiction. 'Star Trek,' 'Star Wars.' 'Black holes -- nice theory but nobody believes in them, right?' Hubble proved they exist."

The Hubble Space Telescope completed its one millionth scientific observation in July. NASA is building a new space telescope to look even deeper into the beginnings of the universe.

And that's the VOA Special English Technology Report, written by June Simms and Julie Taboh. You can watch a video about the Hubble Space Telescope at www.unsv.com. I'm Steve Ember.

网友的学习评论(11条):
作者:lvjiaying1984
The science is developing quickly in the last two hundred to three hundred years. Long ago, most scientist declared that the earth was a board instead of a round planet orbiting around the Sun. They thought that the center of the polar system is the Earth instead of the Sun. But when one person sailed towards one direction and got to the started place, people began to know that the earth is round instead of a plat as most ancients believed. I don't know exactly how scientists demonstrated
作者:lvjiaying1984
that the center of the solar system is the Sun, not the earth. With the help of the Hubble telescope, scientists can look farther into the universe and get some valuable pictures showing what is like in the universe. Americans set several space-crafts into the space to provide food and water and oxgen and some instruments for the people working there for several years. Perhaps because the space-craft is not that safe, America has abandoned using them any further.
作者:lvjiaying1984
I think because America is the leading science country, they will probably find some other useful inventions that can carry the responsibility to work in the space. In all the space-crafts America sent to the universe, there were several failed cases and great loos of people in the space-crafts. China has also launched several man-made moon orbiting round the earth and China has decided to launch a craft onto the moon where the people can land on the moon and take samples of the minerals
作者:lvjiaying1984
and gases and probably water although perhaps there is no water on the moon. But China's colonizing the outer space is still in its infancy. The gap of technology between China and America is so huge that we cannot catch up with the Americans within several decades. But everyone can see that we are trying our best. The person behind doesn't necessarily that he will also falling behind others. Take the high-speed trains as example. China has used the several year to develop the trains
作者:lvjiaying1984
that can go at about more than four hundred kilometers per hour, whereas the other countries like Japan spent several decades in developing the trains that can go in the speed even a little slower than China's high-speed trains. In fact, the Chinese are the smartest man alive. But because of some historical issues, around the 1990's, China stopped developing its smartest ideas because of the wrong decisions made by some top leaders of the society.
ni ma de ,kan bu dong
作者:Eva
so many words,i don't know
作者:MrLIAO
it is obviously that Hubble made great contribution to our human civilization.
作者:hanhugftj
I am so admiring your english....
作者:lucyjang
不是免费么?到了这里面啥都要收费,而且又不知道效果,应该要给一个免费的试下吧
作者:snowwolfljb
the quality of device made in US is so sophisticated and reliable that our country still a very way to go
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