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小行星,系外卫星,以及对卫星的着迷 – 译学馆
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小行星,系外卫星,以及对卫星的着迷

Asteroids, Exomoons, and a Crash on the Moon

超新星 黑洞 系外行星我们对它们是如此的着迷
Supernovas, black holes, exoplanets. We’re fascinated with them, and who can blame us?
以至于有时我们会忽略了对了解宇宙至关重要的
But sometimes we forget to talk about the littler things out there like asteroids and
小行星和卫星事实上 探索小天体可能是
moons which are critical to our understanding of the universe. The fact is, exploring small
探索太阳系起源寻找太空适宜居住地
stuff might be the key to some of our greatest missions in space, like discovering the origins
以及探索资源丰富天体这些航天任务中的关键一环
of the solar system, finding habitability and locating resources for future space travel.
那么这周我将给各位讲解三则研究太空天体的新闻
So this week, I bring you news from three missions dedicated to studying the little
我是主持人Caitlin Hofmeister欢迎收看SciShow太空新闻
guys of space. I’m Caitlin Hofmeister and welcome to SciShow Space News.
(简介)
(Intro)
上周 NASA开始制造一架用来取样小行星的航天器
Last week, NASA officially began construction on its first spacecraft designed to sample
这被称作OSIRIS-REx的任务将计划前往一直径500米的小行星的近地轨道
an asteroid. The mission, called OSIRIS-REx, will travel to a 500 meter-wide asteroid in
并采样带回地球 目标小行星将是
near-Earth orbit and steal a quick scoop of it to bring back to Earth. Its target will
Bennu星 一个可追溯到诞生之日已有45亿岁的时间胶囊
be the asteroid Bennu, a 4.5 billion year old time capsule dating back to the creation
NASA希望通过对Bennu岩石的化学分析可以回答在太阳系形成之时
of the solar system. NASA’s hoping that Bennu’s chemistry will answer a lot of questions
水和有机分子这类生命基石是否存在的问题
like whether water and organic molecules, the building blocks of life, were present
除此之外 在我们开始寻找小行星作为后续太空任务的空间站之后
at the time of the solar system’s formation. Plus, finding water on Bennu would be incredibly
在Bennu上寻找水资源将会变得非常容易
handy as we begin to look to asteroids as possible way stations for future space missions,
除此以外我们还可能找到大量烙铁 镍 钛等材料
and we might find a wealth of materials like iron, nickel or titanium to boot. OSIRIS-REx
OSIRIS-REx计划估计会在2019年的九月启动并在两年后进入绕Bennu轨道
will launch in September of 2016 and it’ll enter orbit around Bennu two years later.
然后使用三种分光仪扫描Bennu表面并确定Bennu的化学元素构成
Then it’ll begin scanning its surface with three spectrometers to determine its chemical
Bennu上的引力场比地球的小所以太空船不可能着陆
composition. Bennu’s gravity is much lower than that of Earth’s, so the craft won’t
因此在2019年之前会选择一个最佳点采集一些小行星土壤
be able to land. So by 2019 it’ll choose the perfect point to snatch up some asteroid
通过使用一种名称挺喜庆的仪器叫“碰下走样本采集仪”
dust using a delightfully named instrument called a Touch-And-Go Sample Acquisition Mechanism,
简称TAGSAM 然后这个太空船会快速返航把岩石样品带回地球
or TAGSAM. Then the little craft will hightail it back to Earth, releasing its sample return
飞行器应该是在2023年返回地球
capsule which should arrive in 2023.
现在看看离家更远的太空新闻在塔斯马尼亚岛和新西兰的天文学家
Now looking at space news much farther from home, astronomers in New Zealand and Tasmania
声称上周他们观测到一颗新的外卫星
said last week that they’ve observed what they think is the first known exomoon, that
这是个环绕外行星的卫星然而在细节上还比较粗略 粗略到
is, a moon orbiting an exoplanet. Details, however, are kind of sketchy, like so sketchy
天文学家说他们可能弄错了他们本认为自己可以看到
that the astronomers say they might be wrong. They think they could’ve seen either an
外行星和一个卫星或是环绕一个又小又暗的恒星的行星 但不管怎样
exoplanet with a moon or a small, dim star being orbited by a planet. But either way,
他们的观测是为未来发现外卫星的一大步外卫星的确是
their observation was a big step toward finding exomoons in the future. Exomoons are really
难以发现的 因为它们又小又暗小型外行星几乎是
hard to find because they’re so small and faint. Even small exoplanets can be nearly
不可能找到的 因为它们被耀眼的恒星掩藏了但有一种方法叫做
impossible to spot because they get lost in the glare of their stars. But a method called
引力透镜 将其与好的计划相结合也许能让我们观测到遥远的卫星
gravitational lensing combined with good planning may allow us to observe distant moons in the
在未来 通过引力透镜法一个巨大的天体能作为极佳的透镜
future. With gravitational lensing, a massive body in space can act as a really good lens
光能从它的后面穿过大气层这种神秘的
for light that passes through its atmosphere from behind. That’s how this mysterious
天体将首先被发现更大的天体将放大微弱恒星的光
body was spotted in the first place. The larger body magnified light from a distant star,
然后从这个角度能看到大气层后的小天体但是更大的天体可能也
and in that light the astronomers saw a smaller body. But the bigger body could’ve either
已形成了行星或非常微弱的恒星或是它们比天文学家们设想的还要远
been a planet or a very dim star of its own that’s actually farther away than they thought.
如果我们一旦知道它有多远我们就几乎可以确定它的存在了 就像优秀的科学家一样
If only we knew how far away it was we’d be able to tell for sure. So like good scientists,
天文学家们准备再试一次使用两座遥远的望远镜进行技术修正
the astronomers are gearing up to try it again. Using two distant telescopes fixed on the
在相同地点观测相同的透镜影响他们计算天体确定的距离
same point and observing the same lensing effect, they plan to triangulate the distance
并测量出它的大小这个叫做视差的简单解决方法
to the body and figure out how big it is. It’s a simple solution called parallax that’s
对于我们而言在一世纪内都适用而且这也许是发现外卫星的关键
served us well for more than a century, and it just maybe the key to discovering exomoons
我们对未来充满信心
with confidence in the future.
最终 另一个卫星任务将画上句号上周 NASA声称他们期望
And finally, another moon mission is drawing to an end. Last week, NASA said it expects
四月21日星期一著名航空器月球气尘检测器将能登陆月球
the spacecraft known as LADEE to crash into the surface of the moon this Monday, April
十一月始 月球气尘检测器又称月球大气与粉尘环境
21st. Since November, LADEE, also known as the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment
探索者 将收集月球大气的图像与测量数据并且现在准备
Explorer, has been collecting photos and measurements of the lunar atmosphere and now is ready to
某一天调用它 也许要运行140天或更久在地球密度的一百万亿倍的状态下
call it a day, or rather 140 or so days. At 100 trillionth of the density of the Earth’s,
月球大气可能就像其它的卫星 小行星一样了
the lunar atmosphere is probably like that of many other moons, small planets, and asteroids.
所以月尘器已经观察了发送大量的数据传回地球以供分析 最显著的是
So LADEE has been observing away sending loads of data back to Earth for analysis. Most notably,
似乎解释了日出时奇怪的神秘彩色辉光那是1970年代阿波罗
it seems to have solved the mystery of the strange streaky glow at sunrise that Apollo
宇航员报告说观测到的 根据月尘器的观测这归因于
astronauts reported seeing in the 1970s. According to LADEE’s observations, it was caused by
我们甚至还不太确定的机载月球尘埃月尘器真是个好孩子 感谢你
airborne lunar dust that we weren’t even sure was there. Good boy LADEE, thank you
这完美的六个月
for a good six months.
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视频概述

我们对行星与卫星任然知之甚少,而对它们的好奇心却与日俱增。天文学家们对它们是如此的着迷,探索与发现,从未停止。

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