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如何移动太阳:星际引擎

How to Move the Sun: Stellar Engines

Nothing in the universe is static.
宇宙中没有什么是静止的
In the Milky Way,
在银河系中
billions of stars orbit the galactic center.
数十亿颗恒星围绕着银河系中心运转
Some, like our Sun, are pretty consistent,
有些恒星 比如我们的太阳非常稳定
keeping a distance of around 30,000 light years from the galactic center,
与银河系中心保持约三万光年的距离
completing an orbit every 230 million years.
每两亿三千万年绕银河系一圈
This dance is not an orderly ballet,
这种运行并不像有序的芭蕾舞
more like a skating rink filled with drunk toddlers.
更像是一个满是醉醺醺的孩子的滑冰场
This chaos makes the galaxy dangerous.
这种混乱使银河系变得很危险
Our solar neighborhood is constantly changing,
我们太阳系的邻居在不断移动
with stars moving hundreds of kilometers every second.
恒星每秒钟移动数百公里
Only the vast distances between objects
只有物体间的辽阔距离
protect us from the dangers out there.
能保护我们远离危险
But we might get unlucky in the future.
但我们将来可能就没这么好运了
At some point,
在某一时刻
we could encounter a star going supernova
我们可能会遇到一颗超新星
or a massive object passing by
或者一个巨大的天体经过
and showering Earth with asteroids.
带来小行星纷纷撞击地球
If something like this were to happen,
如果发生这样的事情
we would likely know thousands if not millions of years in advance.
我们很可能提前几千甚至几百万年就知道了
But we still couldn’t do much about it.
但我们还是无能为力
Unless, we move our whole solar system out of the way.
除非 我们把整个太阳系移走
[Snazzy Kurzgesagt intro music]
[音乐]
To move the solar system,
要移动太阳系
we need a stellar engine,
我们需要一个恒星引擎
a megastructure used to steer a star through the galaxy.
一个用来引导恒星穿过银河系的巨型结构
It’s the kind of thing
这是一种
that might be built by an advanced civilization with Dyson sphere-level technology
可能由有戴森球水平技术的先进文明建造的东西
that’s thinking about their future millions of years ahead of time.
这种文明提前数百万年为他们的未来做准备
But how do we possibly move the hundreds of thousands of objects in the solar system?
但我们怎么可能移动太阳系中成千上万的物体呢?
The good news is we can ignore all of that.
好消息是我们可以忽略它们
We only need to move the Sun;
只需要移动太阳
all the other stuff is glued to it by gravity
所有其他东西都被它的引力吸附
and will follow it wherever it decides to go.
太阳去哪儿 它们就会去哪儿
There are lots of ideas about what a stellar engine might look like and how it would work.
关于恒星引擎的模型和工作原理的设想有很多
We’ve picked two, grounded in our current understanding of physics,
基于我们目前对物理学的理解
that could be built in theory.
我们选择了两个理论上可以构建的模型
The simplest kind of stellar engine is the Shkadov thruster,
最简单的恒星引擎是Shkadov推进器
a giant mirror.
一个巨大的镜子
It works on the same principle as a rocket.
它的工作原理和火箭一样
Like rocket fuel,
像火箭燃料一样
the photons released as solar radiation carry momentum,
以太阳辐射的形式释放的光子携带着动量
not a lot but a bit.
虽然不多但也有点
For example, if an astronaut turned on a flashlight in space,
例如 如果宇航员在太空中打开手电筒
it would push them backwards very very slowly.
它会非常缓慢地将他们向后推
A stellar engine will work a little better than a flashlight
恒星引擎比手电筒更有效果一些
because the Sun produces a lot of photons.
因为太阳会产生很多光子
The basic idea of the Shkadov thruster
Shkadov推进器的基本原理
is to reflect up to half of the solar radiation to create thrust,
是反射一半的太阳辐射来产生推力
and slowly push the Sun where we want it to go.
然后慢慢地将太阳推向我们想要它去的方向
In order for the Shkadov thruster to work,
为了让Shkadov推进器工作
it must be kept in the same place,
它需要被固定在同一个地方
not orbiting the Sun.
而不是绕着太阳转
Although the Sun’s gravity will try to pull it in,
虽然太阳的引力会试图吸引它
it would be supported by radiation pressure which props the mirror up.
但它会受到辐射压力的支撑向上抬升
This means the mirror would have to be very light,
这意味着镜子必须非常轻
made of micron thin reflecting foil from materials like aluminium alloys.
由微米级的薄反射膜材料 如铝合金制成
The mirror’s shape is important too,
镜子的形状也很重要
enveloping the Sun in a giant spherical shell wouldn’t work
用一个巨大的球形外壳将太阳包裹起来是行不通的
because that would refocus light back to the Sun,
因为这将使光线重新聚焦到太阳上
heating it up and creating all sorts of unpleasant problems.
使其升温 产生各种令人不快的问题
Instead we use a parabola,
相反 我们用一个抛物面反射器
which sends most of the photons around the Sun and in the same direction,
将大部分光子绕太阳一圈射向相同方向
which maximizes thrust.
从而最大限度地增加推力
To prevent accidentally burning or freezing Earth
为了防止因阳光过多而意外烧毁地球
with too much or too little sunlight,
或阳光过少而冻结地球
the only safe place to build a Shkadov thruster is over the Sun’s poles.
建造Shkadov推进器的唯一安全的地方是太阳的两极
This means we can only move the Sun vertically in the plane of the solar system
这意味着我们只能让太阳垂直于太阳系平面移动
and one direction in the Milky Way,
在银河系里沿一个方向移动
which limits our travel options abate.
这限制了我们对方向的选择
But that is basically it.
但基本上就是这样
For a civilization capable of building a Dyson Sphere,
对于一个能够建造戴森球的文明来说
this is a relatively simple endeavor.
这是一个相对简单的尝试
Not complicated, just very hard to build.
不复杂 只是很难构建
At full throttle,
在全速运行的情况下
the solar system could probably be moved by about a hundred light years
太阳系每两亿三千万年
over 230 million years.
可能会被移动大约一百光年
Over a few billion years,
在几十亿年的时间里
it gives us near complete control over the sun’s orbit in the galaxy.
它能使我们几乎完全控制银河系中太阳的轨道
But in the short term,
但短期内
this might not be fast enough to dodge a deadly supernova.
这样的速度不足以躲开致命的超新星
That’s why we thought we could do better.
所以我们认为我们可以做得更好
So we asked our astrophysicist friend
所以我们问我们的天体物理学家朋友
if he could design a faster stellar engine for this video.
能否为这个视频设计一个更快的恒星引擎
He did and wrote a paper about it
他这样做了 并就此写了一篇论文
that’s been published in a peer-reviewed journal.
发表在同行评议的期刊上
You can find it in our sources document.
你可以在我们的源文件里找到它
We’re going to call at our new stellar engine the Caplan thruster.
我们要调用我们的新恒星引擎Caplan推进器
It works a lot like a traditional rocket:
它的工作原理很像传统的火箭:
shoot exhaust one way to push yourself the other.
把自己推向废气发射方向的反方向
It’s a large space station platform powered
它是一个大型空间站平台
by a Dyson sphere
由戴森环供能
that gathers matter from the Sun to power nuclear fusion.
收集太阳物质进行核聚变
It shoots out a very fast jet of particles
它以接近1%光速
at nearly 1 percent the speed of light out of the solar system.
向太阳系外喷射出非常快速的粒子射流
A second jet pushes the Sun along like a tugboat.
第二条射流像拖船一样推动太阳前进
The Caplan thruster requires a lot of fuel,
Caplan推进器需要大量燃料
millions of tons per second.
每秒消耗数百万吨
To gather this fuel,
为了收集这些燃料
our thruster uses very large electromagnetic fields
我们的推进器使用非常大的电磁场
to funnel hydrogen and helium from the solar wind into the engine.
将太阳风中的氢和氦吸入发动机
The solar wind alone doesn’t provide enough fuel though,
然而 太阳风本身并不能提供足够的能量
and that’s where the Dyson sphere comes in.
这就是戴森球体的作用所在
Using its power,
利用它的能量
sunlight can be refocused to the surface of the Sun.
太阳光可以重新聚焦到太阳表面
This heats small regions to extreme temperatures,
它能把很小区域加热到极高温度
lifting billions of tons of mass off the Sun.
使数十亿吨物质从太阳上脱落
This mass can be collected and separated into hydrogen and helium.
这些物质可以被收集并分解成氢和氦
The helium is burned explosively in thermonuclear fusion reactors.
氦在热核聚变反应堆中爆炸燃烧
A jet of Radioactive oxygen at a temperature of nearly a billion degrees is expelled
一股温度近十亿度的放射性氧射流被喷出
and becomes our primary source of propulsion from our stellar engine.
并成为我们恒星引擎的主要推进力来源
To prevent the engine from just crashing into the Sun,
为了防止引擎直接撞向太阳
it needs to balance itself.
它需要保持自身平衡
To do this,
要做到这一点
We accelerate the collected hydrogen with electromagnetic fields using particle accelerators
我们用粒子加速器的电磁场使收集到的氢加速
and shoot a jet back at the Sun.
并向太阳喷射射流
This balances the thruster
这就平衡了推进器
and transfers the thrust of our engine back to the Sun.
并将引擎的推力传递给太阳
In as little as a million years,
在不到一百万年的时间里
this engine can move the Sun by 50 light years,
这个引擎可以将太阳移动50光年
more than enough to dodge a supernova.
足以避开一颗超新星
At full throttle,
在全速运转的情况下
the solar system can be completely redirected in its galactic orbit in 10 million years.
太阳系能在1000万年内把它的银河系轨道完全调个方向
But wait, will we use up the Sun this way?
但是等等 我们会把太阳用光吗?
Fortunately the Sun is so massive
幸运的是 太阳的质量如此之大
that even billions of tons of material will barely scratch the surface.
数十亿吨的物质也只是九牛一毛
In fact, this megastructure will actually extend our Sun’s life,
事实上 这个巨型结构能延长我们太阳的寿命
since lower mass stars burn slower,
因为低质量的恒星燃烧得更慢
keeping the solar system inhabitable for many more billions of years.
这使得太阳系在几十亿年里都是宜居的
With a Caplan thruster,
有了Caplan推进器
we could turn the entire solar system into our spaceship.
我们可以把整个太阳系变成宇宙飞船
For example, by orbiting backwards in the galaxy
例如 在银河系中反向运行
and colonizing hundreds or thousands of stars as we pass by them.
并且殖民我们经过的成百上千的星系
It may even be possible to escape the galaxy entirely
甚至有可能完全脱离银河系
and expand beyond the Milky Way.
到银河系之外扩张
Stellar engines are the kind of machines built by civilizations
建造恒星引擎的文明
thinking not in terms of years or decades but eons.
思考的不是几年或几十年 而是亿万年后的未来
Since we know that our Sun will die one day,
因为我们知道太阳有一天会灭亡
a stellar engine could allow the far future descendants of humans
恒星引擎可以让生活在遥远未来的人类后代
to travel to other stars
向其他恒星进发
without ever having to venture into the terrifying dark abyss of interstellar space.
而不必冒险进入星际空间的可怕又黑暗的深渊
Until we build a stellar engine,
在我们造出恒星引擎之前
we’re adrift and subject to the whims of the Galactic sea.
我们只能在银河之海中漂流 受其摆布
We may not like where it leads us.
我们可能不喜欢它的引导
Maybe our descendants will set sail
也许我们的子孙后代会扬帆起航
and become an interstellar species for millions of years to come.
在未来的数百万年间成为星际物种
This was our last video for the year 12,019 of the human era,
这是我们关于人类纪元12019年的最后一个视频
and what a year it was.
多棒的一年啊
So much stuff happened everywhere, to so many different people.
在世界各地的不同人身上发生了很多事
Calendars and holidays are just imaginary,
日历和假期只是想象出来的
but they help us to cut our lives into pieces that our brains can handle.
但它把我们的生活切割成我们的大脑可以处理的碎片
We’re leaving 12,019 behind with a weird mixture of disillusion and hope.
我们将带着一种混杂着失望和希望的奇怪情绪结束12019年
The world is screwed up, but we can fix it.
这个世界一团糟 但我们可以修复它
In a few days, this year will be over,
再过几天 今年就结束了
and we’ll get to try again.
我们可以再试一次
Thank you for watching our videos,
感谢你观看我们的视频
and for sticking around for so many years.
也感谢你多年以来的支持
See you all in 12,020.
12020年再见

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视频概述

在遥远的未来,人们带着太阳系去流浪,试图在星际间甚至银河系外找到新的宜居之地

听录译者

收集自网络

翻译译者

Hlq

审核员

审核员 V

视频来源

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v3y8AIEX_dU

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