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太阳风暴会摧毁现代文明吗?

Could a solar storm destroy modern civilization? - Fabio Pacucci

它们释放的能量相当于一千万个原子弹爆炸
On September 1st, 1859, miners following the Colorado gold rush woke up
1859年9月1日 追逐淘金热的矿工来到科罗拉多
to another sunny day.
在又一个晴天中醒来
Or so they thought.
或者这只是他们以为如此
To their surprise, they soon discovered it was actually 1 am;
出乎意料的是 他们很快就发现这其实是凌晨一点
and the sky wasn’t lit by the Sun, but rather by brilliant drapes of light.
点亮天空的并不是太阳 而是绝美的光幕
The blazing glow could be seen as far as the Caribbean,
闪耀的光芒远及加勒比都可以看见
leading people in many regions to believe that nearby cities had caught fire.
这让许多地区的人们以为临近的城市着火了
But the true cause of what would come to be known as the Carrington Event
后来被称作卡林顿事件的真实原因
was a solar storm— the largest in recorded history.
是史上有记录以来最强的一次太阳风暴
Solar storms are one of many astrophysical phenomena caused by magnetic fields.
太阳风暴是众多由磁场产生的天文现象中的一种
These fields are generated by movements of electrically charged particles
这些磁场由质子和电子等
like protons and electrons.
带电粒子运动产生
For example, Earth’s magnetic field is generated by charged molten metals
例如 地球磁场就是由带电液态金属
circulating in the planet’s outer core.
绕地球外核不断循环产生的
Similarly, the Sun’s magnetic field is generated by large convective movements
于此类似 太阳磁场是由组成恒星的等离子
in the plasma that composes the star.
的大量对流产生的
As this plasma slowly swirls,
等离子缓慢旋转
it creates areas of intense magnetic activity called sunspots.
产生了强烈的磁场活动区域 称为太阳黑子
The magnetic fields that form near these regions
黑子附近形成的磁场
often become twisted and strained.
通常是扭曲并过度拉扯的
And when they’re stretched too far, they snap into simpler configurations,
磁场被过度拉扯 则会断裂为更简单的形态
releasing energy that launches plasma from the Sun’s surface.
释放出从太阳表面喷射等离子到能量
These explosions are known as coronal mass ejections.
这种爆炸被称为日冕物质抛射
The plasma— mostly made of protons and electrons— accelerates rapidly,
主要由质子和电子组成的等离子体急剧增速
quickly reaching thousands of kilometers per second.
很快达到上千公里每秒
A typical coronal mass ejection covers the distance between the Sun and the Earth
通常日冕物质喷射 从太阳到地球
in just a couple of days,
只需短短几天时间
flowing along the magnetic field that permeates the solar system.
沿着充斥太阳系的磁场行进
And those that cross the Earth’s path are drawn to its magnetic field lines,
那些路过地球轨迹的日冕物质会偏离轨道
falling into the atmosphere around the planet’s magnetic poles.
落入地球磁极附近的大气层
This tidal wave of high-energy particles excites atmospheric atoms
这波高能粒子浪潮激活了大气粒子
such as oxygen and nitrogen,
例如氧和氮
causing them to rapidly shed photons at various energy levels.
致使它们迅速在多个能级上释放光子
The result is a magnificent light show we know as the auroras.
所产生的瑰丽光华 我们称之为极光
And while this phenomenon is usually only visible near the Earth’s poles,
并且这种现象通常仅在极地可见
strong solar storms can bring in enough high energy particles
强烈的太阳风暴会带来足够的高能粒子
to light up large stretches of the sky.
点亮大片天空
The magnetic fields in our solar system are nothing
太阳系的磁场
compared to those found in deep space.
与我们在深空找到的 不可同日而语
Some neutron stars generate fields 100 billion times stronger
一些中子星产生的磁场强度
than those found in sunspots.
是太阳黑子周围的一千亿倍
And the magnetic fields around supermassive black holes
超重黑洞周遭的磁场
expel jets of gas that extend for thousands of light years.
喷射出的气体长达数千光年
However, on Earth, even weak solar storms can be surprisingly dangerous.
但是 在地球上 即使是微弱的太阳风暴也出奇的危险
While the storms that reach us are generally harmless to humans,
尽管到达地球的风暴对人类已基本无害
the high-energy particles falling into the atmosphere
但进入大气层的高能粒子
create secondary magnetic fields,
产生次生磁场
which in turn generate rogue currents that short-circuit electrical equipment.
次生电场会产生使电器短路的即时电流
During the Carrington Event,
在卡林顿事件中
the only widespread electrical technology was the telegraph.
唯一广泛应用的电器就是电报机
But since then, we’ve only become more dependent on electrical systems.
但 那之后 我们更加依赖电力系统
In 1921, another powerful solar storm caused telephones
在1921年 另一场强大的太阳风暴导致
and telegraph equipment around the globe to combust.
全球电话电报设备烧坏
In New York, the entire railway system was shut down and fires broke out
纽约整个铁路系统关闭
in the central control building.
中控大楼发生火灾
Comparatively weak storms in 1989 and 2003
1989年和2003年的较弱太阳风暴
turned off regions of the Canadian power grid
只是关停了加拿大数个地区的电力网
and damaged multiple satellites.
破坏了数个人造卫星
If we were hit by a storm as strong as the Carrington Event today,
如果现在我们遭遇卡林顿事件那样强的太阳风暴
it could devastate our interconnected, electrified planet.
它将摧毁我们全球连通和电气化的星球
Fortunately, we’re not defenseless.
幸运的是 我们并非毫无防备
After centuries of observing sunspots,
历经数个世纪对太阳黑子的观测
researchers have learned the Sun’s usual magnetic activity
研究者发现太阳的磁活动通常
follows an 11-year cycle,
遵循11年一周期的规律
giving us a window into when solar storms are most likely to occur.
这让我们有机会预测太阳风暴何时最有可能爆发
And as our ability to forecast space weather has improved,
我们预测宇宙天气的能力有所进步
so have our mitigation measures.
减轻粒子流影响的手段也在提升
Power grids can be shut off in advance of a solar storm,
电力网将在太阳风暴前被关闭
while capacitors can be installed to absorb the sudden influx of energy.
安装的电容可以吸收突然大量涌入的能量
Many modern satellites and spacecraft are equipped with special shielding
许多现代卫星和宇宙飞船都装有特制保护罩
to absorb the impact of a solar storm.
用于减轻太阳风暴的冲击
But even with these safeguards,
但即使有了这些保护
it’s hard to say how our technology will fare during the next major event.
依然很难说在下次重大事件到来时我们的技术将如何表现
It’s possible we’ll be left with only the aurora overhead
可能我们将只留下头顶的极光
to light the path forward.
照亮前路
from solar flares to asteroid and black holes
从耀斑到小行星或者黑洞
it can sometimes feel like the space
有时让人觉得
is out to get us how will it all end
太空就在嘎吱嘎吱中或只是咻的一声或是咕嘟咕嘟中
with a crunch or whoosh or a slurp
试图让我们明白世界将如何结束
explore the possibilities with these videos
和这些视频一起探索更多可能

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视频概述

太阳风暴形成的原因,对人类社会造成的影响以及人类对此的应对

听录译者

收集自网络

翻译译者

Sushiii

审核员

审核员SRY

视频来源

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8PCHd5banhE

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