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爱因斯坦 神般的预言 – 译学馆
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爱因斯坦 神般的预言

Astronomers spot celestial warping that Einstein thought we’d never see

天文学家 史上首次发现
For the first time ever, astronomers have seen (that)
一颗遥远的星体 扭曲了另一颗星体的光线
a distant star warps the light of another star,
导致其在天空的位置 看起来好像有所改变
making it seem as though it changed its position in the sky.
这种现象 颇为罕见 称为“微重力透镜效应”
It’s a rare phenomenon known as gravitational microlensing
这种现象 阿尔伯特·爱因斯坦 甚至都认为 人们不能观测到
that even Albert Einstein thought we’d never be able to see.
不过
But,
既然 这种认为 已证实是错误的
now that we’ve proven him wrong,
天文学家就希望
astronomers hope to
像这样的现象 还能观测到更多
spot even more events just like this one
以求 借此对宇宙的星体 能了解得更多
and use them to learn more about the stars in our Universe.
“微重力透镜效应” 在爱因斯坦《广义相对论》的章节中 首次被预言出来
Gravitational microlensing was first predicted as part of Einstein’s theory of generalrelativity.
“微重力透镜效应” 作用 闻如其名:
And it works exactly like it sounds:
重力 如同透镜般 对天体光线 造成影响
it’s gravity acting like a lens to manipulate the light of objects.
大致来说 超大质量的星体 如恒星和黑洞
Basically, super massive objects, such as stars and black holes,
其周围的时间和空间 的确都发生了扭曲
actually warp space and time around them.
这种时空扭曲的作用 继而如同放大镜
And this warped space-time can then act like a magnifying glass,
对穿行宇宙的光线 造成了路径的改变
changing the paths that light takes through the Universe.
我们从地球上看去 当一颗天体运行到另一颗的正后方时 “微重力透镜效应”就会出现
Microlensing occurs when a star passes behind another star along our line of sight from Earth.
“前景星体”的时空扭曲 继而会放大 “背景星体”散发的光线
The warping from the foreground star then amplifies the light from the background star,
因此“背景星体”显得 既愈发明亮 又扭曲异常
making it appear brighter and distorted.
确切地说
In fact,
爱因斯坦曾预言过
Einstein predicted that ,
两个星体对齐成直线时
when two stars align,
“背景星体”会围绕着“前景星体” 呈现成明亮的光环
the background star would appear as a bright ring around the star in the front.
这样完整的光环 尽管 我们在太阳系外未能观测到
We haven’t seen this perfect ring from two stars outside our Solar System.
不过 较之完整的光环 我们这一次所发现的 比以往任何时候观测的 都要接近
But this discovery is the closest thing we’ve ever observed
这次 由于两个星体 对齐排列 不够完美
— the stars weren’t perfectly aligned,
因此 我们相对而言 只能观测到星体位置 产生了奇异的偏移
so we saw this weird shift in position instead.
这种现象 只有两颗星体 既相距甚远 又彼此对齐 才能够得以发生
These events can only happen when stars very far apart line up just right.
这就是为什么 爱因斯坦曾经写道 “这种现象 要正好观测到 是没有希望的”
That’s why Einstein once wrote that “there is no hope of observing this phenomenon directly.”
这种现象的星体运行 事实上直到现在 只有从太阳那里 我们曾经观测到过
In fact, up until now we’ve only ever seen this type of movement before with our own Sun,
比如 1919年的日全食
during an eclipse in 1919.
不过 爱因斯坦没有完全认识到 望远镜技术会变得多么先进
But Einstein didn’t quite know how sophisticated our telescope technology would become.
凭借美国航空航天局哈勃望远镜 天文学家们 在2014年观测到了 罕见的“微重力透镜效应”
In 2014, a group of astronomers using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope spotted this rare type of microlensing,
当时 一颗高密度的的白矮星在前 一颗距其数千光年的恒星在后 彼此前后对应
when a dense white dwarf star passed in front of another star thousands of light years away.
这两颗星体 虽然没有完全对齐
The stars weren’t exactly aligned,
不过 也已经足以 通过白矮星
but close enough that the white dwarf made it seem like
让“背景星体”在星空中 以小光环的形态呈现出来
the background star performed a little loop in the sky.
“微重力透镜效应” 之所以最近几十年 在寻找系外行星和暗物质的领域 变得颇受欢迎
Microlensing has become popular in recent decades to search for exoplanets and dark matter,
是因为 这个效应能够 让原本遥远黯淡的星体 短时间变得明亮耀眼
since the effect can temporarily brighten distant objects that would otherwise seem dim.
而现在 利用这项科学技术 天文学家对星体的质量 能测量得更加精准
But now, astronomers say they can use this technique to measure the masses of stars more accurately.
对于这次的观测 就能够利用 “背景星体”的相对运动
For this discovery, they were able to use the relative movement of the background star
将那个白矮星的质量 计算出来
to figure out the mass of the white dwarf.
这种星体质量的测量方式 之所以比起其他技术 准确许多
Measuring the masses of stars this way could be much more precise than other techniques,
是因为 一颗星体对另一颗的影响 被观测并包含了进去
since it involves observing the effect one star has on another.
而且如同这样的测量 天文学家们会继续做下去
And this isn’t the last time these astronomers will make measurements like this either.
天文学家 对“微重力透镜效应”如何观测 既然已经弄清楚了
Now that they’ve figured out how to spot this type of microlensing,
就期待着这种效应 通过即将上线的地面及空间望远镜 能更多地被观测到
they’re hoping to find even more events with new ground- and space-based telescopes that are coming online soon.
这么说 爱因斯坦犯了些小错
So, Einstein got it a bit wrong,
这种效应现象 我们将更多地会观测到
we are going to be seeing a lot more of this.
不过 爱因斯坦当初 能弄明白这个现象 就这件事情而言 还是必须予以认可的
– but you’ve got to give him credit for figuring all this stuff out in the first place.
#口误NG花絮#
And this isn’t the last time these astronimals…. astronimals… ANIMAL ASTRONOMERS!

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天文学家观测到了爱因斯坦预言的微重力透镜现象,并加以应用。

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