Thursday, September 24, 2009

Best Lede from Discover Magazine

My favorite lede this week was from the article Jupiter's Bizarre Moon Our Best Hope for Finding Extraterrestrial Life? by Andrew Lawler.

I like this lede because it creates intense imagery in the mind of the reader; uses startling words like crackling, asphyxiate, and plunge; and finds creative ways to insert important scientific data without disengaging the reader.

The lede is as follows:

The crackling radiation would kill you in 10 minutes--that is, if you did not first asphyxiate in the nearly nonexistent atmosphere, die of exposure to the --300 degree Fahrenheit temperature, or plunge into a thousand-foot-deep icy crevice. Jupiter’s moon Europa is a forbidding world, yet NASA intends to devote billions of dollars over the next decade to getting there. At the center of this effort will be the most complicated orbital explorer ever built, each of its components carefully armored against the deadly stream of particles in Jupiter’s massive wake. The orbiter will require six years to reach its destination. Then, when it arrives at Europa, engineers will consider the mission successful if it survives for just three months of exploration before shorting out.

No comments:

Post a Comment