Monday, September 21, 2009

The Lede

It is twilight time on Saturn.

Shadows lengthened to stretch thousands of miles across the planet’s famous rings this summer as they slowly tilted edge-on to the Sun, which they do every 15 years, casting into sharp relief every bump and wiggle and warp in the buttery and wafer-thin bands that are the solar system’s most popular scenic attraction.

From her metaphorical perch on the bridge of the Cassini spacecraft, which has been orbiting Saturn for five years, Carolyn Porco, who heads the camera team, is ecstatic about the view. “It’s another one of those things that make you pinch yourself and say, ‘Boy am I lucky to be around now,’ ” Dr. Porco said. “For the first time in 400 years, we’re seeing Saturn’s rings in three dimensions.”

I like this lede for a couple of reasons. First, the structure is very good with a nice variety. It starts with a catchy one-liner to get the reader an idea of what they're reading. The second graf has a very vivid description of the rings, and the third has a good quote, setting the reader up for the remainder of the story. The topic itself intrigues me, making this lede even better.

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