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This is from the transcript of a podcast:

Now, these pictures can be a bit messy. So scientists say they could use plenty of eyes to help scan the pics for things that move—the same way Tombaugh first found Pluto. The winning object could become the most distant ever visited by a spacecraft from Earth.

I can read the sentence in bold literally. But I think it supposed to be like this:

The winning object could become the most distant one that has been ever visited by a spacecraft from Earth.

What is the grammar phenomenon in the sentence? And how should I understand it?

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I think there is an implicit object in the sentence: "The winning object could become the most distant object ever visited by a spacecraft from Earth." –  kiamlaluno Jun 26 '11 at 18:43
    
The headline, “The most distant ever visited by a spacecraft from Earth” is a fragment and cannot stand alone, but requires context as well as a verb (as it has in the actual quote). –  mgkrebbs Jun 26 '11 at 21:16
    
Instead of "has been ever visited" I would prefer "has ever been visited". –  GEdgar Jun 26 '11 at 23:52
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2 Answers

up vote 7 down vote accepted

It's called ellipsis. Your interpretation of the sentence is, I believe, correct.

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OP's interpretation of the meaning is indeed correct, but I think you should make the point that grammatically speaking the word being elided is simply object. OP's "one that has been" is a rephrasing that conveys the same sense, although it sounds odd to me unless you move the word "ever" back to before "been". –  FumbleFingers Jun 26 '11 at 19:00
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I think there is an implicit object in the sentence: "The winning object could become the most distant object ever visited by a spacecraft from Earth."

That is called ellipsis:

the omission from speech or writing of a word or words that are superfluous or able to be understood from contextual clues.

[Reference: the New Oxford American Dictionary.]

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