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我们如何到达半人马座阿尔法星?

How Will We Get to Alpha Centauri?

离我们最近的恒星
About 4.3 light-years from Earth
在距地球4.3光年的地方
lies our closest stellar neighborhood.
半人马座阿尔法星系由三颗已知恒星组成
The Alpha Centauri system consists of three known stars.
半人马座A和半人马座B是一对双星
Alpha Centauri A and Alpha Centauri B are a binary pair,
这意味着它们围绕着同一个质心旋转
which means they orbit a common center of mass.
第三颗星 即半人马座比邻星
The third star, Proxima Centauri,
它距离地球最近 有4.22光年
is the closest to Earth at about 4.22 light-years away.
2016年 天文学家发现了一颗
In 2016, astronomers detected
类地行星
an Earth-sized planet
这颗行星在比邻星的宜居带中围绕它旋转
orbiting Proxima Centauri within the star’s habitable zone
这一距离使行星表面有存在液态水的可能
-the right distance to potentially support liquid water on its surface.
这就是人们将半人马座阿尔法星
Which is why eyes are on Alpha Centauri
作为我们
as our first destination
掌握星际旅行技术后的第一目的地的原因
once we master interstellar travel.
在我们的有生之年 这趟深空之旅可能实现吗
So is this deep space journey possible in our lifetime?
如果能 我们将如何到达那里?
And if so, how will we get there?
外层空间大到超乎我们的想像
Outer space is bigger than we can comprehend
发射宇宙飞船探索深空需要很多时间
and sending a spacecraft into its depths takes a lot of time.
美国宇航局的旅行者1号
NASA’s Voyager 1
是迄今为止飞行距离最长的宇宙飞船
is Earth’s farthest spacecraft to date.
它于1977年发射
It was launched in 1977,
在2012年 它是第一艘
and in 2012, it was the first craft
进入星际空间的飞船
to enter interstellar space.
但如果旅行者1号朝向半人马座α星飞行
If Voyager 1 was pointed in the direction of Alpha Centauri,
仍需要成千上万年
it would still take tens of thousands of years
才能到达那里
to reach the system.
这是因为它的推进系统并不适合深空旅行
And that’s because its propulsion system is not ideal for deep space travel.
因此我们显然要寻找一种更快的方法
So clearly we need a faster way
来到达我们的邻星
to get to our stellar neighbors.
一些科学家认为
Some scientists believe that
进行星际旅行的最佳方式是使用光帆
our best attempt at interstellar travel are lightsails.
这些光帆由超薄片制成
These sails would be made of ultra-thin sheets
它们用光来代替风进行驱动
that will be propelled using light instead of wind.
“突破摄星计划”是研究光帆潜能的
One of the major initiatives researching their potential
主要措施之一
is Breakthrough Starshot.
该计划最初由已故宇宙学家霍金支持
The program, initially backed by late cosmologist Stephen Hawking,
目的是创造一个由光帆和
aims to create a nanocraft
名为”星之芯片”的可容纳大量仪器的
comprised of a lightsail and a gram-scale wafer
克量级薄片组成的纳米飞行器
that hosts a number of instruments called a StarChip.
该纳米飞行器的光帆设计成镜子的样式
The nanocraft has a mirror-like sail design
面积有10平方米
and is measured at 10 square meters
而质量不到1克
with a mass of less than 1 gram.
相比于重达2.5克的一便士
By comparison a penny weighs 2.5 grams,
这些宇宙飞船将是超轻的
so these spacecraft will be ultralight.
据称 光帆将由地球的激光辐射压力
The lightsail will purportedly be accelerated
加速至光速的
by the laser radiation pressure from Earth
百分之二十左右
at about 20 percent the speed of light.
计划中被称为”光型加速器”的激光阵列
The planned laser array, called a Light Beamer,
火力相当于1千亿瓦的
will fire beams as powerful as
特定波长的近红外光所具备的能量
100 gigawatts of specific wavelengths of near-infrared light.
纳米飞行器的光帆需要能够
The nanocraft sail would need to
反射绝大多数的激光
reflect a huge majority of the laser light
以避免接触导致的燃烧
to avoid instantly burning up on contact.
这一想法是发射数以千计的纳米飞行器
The idea is to launch thousands of nanocraft at once
以增加其中至少
to increase the chances
有少量飞行器能克服这些困难
that at least a few will conquer the elements
并到达半人马座阿尔法星的可能性
and reach Alpha Centauri.
如果它们做到了
If they do make it,
估计这趟旅程只需20年左右
it’s estimated, the journey will only take around 20 years.
尽管一些评论家
Though some critics are skeptical
对执行突破摄星计划的能力持怀疑态度
about the ability to execute Breakthrough Starshot,
世上最杰出的一些人
some of the world’s greatest minds
都是通过积极努力使之成为现实的
are actively working to make it a reality.
这个项目正在推进科学的边界
The project is pushing the boundaries of science,
激励人类去创造一种全新的
challenging humans to create an entirely new material
能够满足光帆的所有极端需求的材料
that meets all the extreme needsof the lightsails
并设计有史以来最大的激光发生器
and to design the largest laser ever constructed.
但如果工程师和科学家
But, if engineers and scientists
有能力完美地造出这些微小的飞船
are able perfect these pint-sized spacecraft
使我们得以实现星际旅行
and we achieve interstellar travel,
人类将获得一种对于
humanity will be rewarded with an entirely new understanding
在我们之外的外星世界的全新理解
of the alien worlds beyond our own.
如果你想了解更多
If you’re looking to learn more about
关于太空探索和天文现象的知识
space exploration and astronomical phenomena
一定要看这一期的”宇宙飞船”
be sure to watch this episode of Space Crafts.
还有别忘了订阅《探索新闻台》获取科学知识
And don’t forget to subscribe to Seeker for all things science.
感谢观看!
Thanks for watching!
《探索新闻台》出品

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视频概述

半人马座阿尔法星的奥秘被科学家揭开,可人们如何到半人马座阿尔法星呢?科学家们和工程师们正在不懈地研究中

听录译者

收集自网络

翻译译者

千寻1997

审核员

审核员_DB

视频来源

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9sGI6UkXShQ

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