On March 4, a massive piece of space junk reportedly crashed into *the far side of the Moon. Due to its location facing away from the Earth, it may take months to identify the impact site of the object. However, scientists predict the crash will have little effect on the Moon besides forming a new crater.
The junk was initially thought to belong to an old SpaceX rocket after astronomers first noticed the object heading towards the Moon. However, it was later found that the debris was most likely a Chinese-owned rocket. Chinese officials have denied this, saying the rocket in question had burned up when re-entering the Earth’s atmosphere.
While the rocket’s original owner and its impact on the Moon are not significant, the issue does raise an important question about space junk. It’s estimated that there are currently more than 30,000 pieces of space junk larger than 10 centimeters in orbit around the Earth. These objects pose very little threat to us because they burn up in the atmosphere if they start to fall back to the planet.
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However, these objects can be a significant threat to satellites and other devices. These scrap pieces move at speeds of up to eight kilometers per second and cause severe damage if they collide with essential devices in space. As a result, a growing group of scientists are calling for action to resolve this issue before it affects our ability to travel into space.
*the far side of the Moon 指的即是「月球永遠背對地球的那一面」，即「月球背面」。
What Did You Learn?
1. Which of the following is true about the space junk that hit the Moon?
(A) It was visible from the Earth when it struck the Moon.
(B) Astronomers did not notice it until it crashed into the Moon.
(C) A crater might be formed because of the impact of the junk.
(D) It was supposed to burn up in the atmosphere before it reached the Moon.
2. According to the passage, why is space junk a serious concern?
(A) It can threaten important satellites.
(B) It can cost a lot of money to clean it up.
(C) It can cause serious damage to the Moon.
(D) It can fall back down to Earth and harm people.
3. What are an increasing number of scientists asking for?
(A) Construction of more rockets to travel to space.
(B) Further research into the far side of the Moon.
(C) The problem of space trash to be addressed.
(D) Protection of scientific satellites in space.
答案： 1. (C) 2. (A) 3. (C)
Word in Use
1. identify vt. 確定，發現
The engineer still can’t identify the problem that caused the equipment to break down.
2. predict vt. 預測
The typhoon is predicted to make landfall tomorrow morning.
3. initially adv. 最初，起先
The building initially served as a palace, but it has been turned into a museum.
4. issue n. 議題
The novel discussed several issues, including air pollution.
5. estimate vt. 估計，估算
It was difficult to estimate how many people received injuries in the accident.
1. face away from 背對；把臉轉離開
Allison faced away from the blood when the doctor was cleaning her wounds.
2. belong to... 屬於…
The note posted on the fridge door reads, “Do not take food that doesn’t belong to you.”
3. sb / sth in question 正被談論的某人／物
While we were talking about the newcomer, the colleague in question showed up.
4. burn up 燒盡，燒毀
Acres of the forest have burned up because of the wildfires.
5. pose little / no threat to... 對…的威脅不大／沒有威脅
The factory owner claimed that the waste posed no threat to human health, but the residents didn’t believe him.
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