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两年前我们对冥王星所知的最酷的事情 – 译学馆
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两年前我们对冥王星所知的最酷的事情

The Coolest Things We Didn't Know About Pluto Two Years Ago

当2006年新地平线号探测器出发前往冥王星时
When New Horizons set off toward Pluto in 2006,
我们对我们将会在那里发现什么一无所知
we had almost no idea what we would find there.
对于它的大小和组成我们有一点儿了解 但我们也就知道这么点
We knew a little about its size and composition, but that was mostly it.
我们甚至都不知道它长什么样
We didn’t even really know what it looked like.
2015年的7月14日 新地平线号抵达了冥王星 着实让我们开了眼
Then, on July 14, 2015, New Horizons showed up at Pluto, and totally blew our minds.
我们发现冥王星系统是我们探索过的最酷的地方之一
We found out the Pluto system is one of the coolest places we’ve ever explored.
所以为了庆祝探测飞行两周年纪念日
So to celebrate the fly-by’s two-year anniversary,
这里有我们了解到的一些最令人兴奋的事情
here are some of the most exciting things that we’ve learned.
第一个就是 上面有一个巨大的 超级可爱的心形
First, there’s that giant, super cute heart,
科学家非正式地将它称为斯普特尼克平原
which scientists informally called Sputnik Planum.
这个区域主要由缓慢流动的 冻结的氮气组成
That area is made up mostly of slowly flowing, frozen nitrogen.
其中移动的冰块是太阳系最大的冰川之一
The mass of moving ice is one of the largest glaciers in the solar system!
但最特别的是氮冰正在进行运流
But what’s especially neat is that the nitrogen ice is undergoing convection,
作为材料的环流不断加热并冷却
the circular current that forms as material heats up and cools down.
冥王星上十分寒冷 大概平均零下230摄氏度
Pluto is pretty cold, at around -230 degrees Celsius on average.
但在冥王星核心处缓慢衰变的元素能创造出足够的热量
But the elements slowly decaying in Pluto’s core create just enough heat
使得地下氮冰都变成软糊状
to make underground nitrogen ice all soft and mushy.
然后 松软的冰上升到表面 冷却下来 接着再次沉入地下
Then, that soft ice rises to the surface, cools down, and sinks underground again,
有点像一个巨大巧妙的熔岩灯
kinda like a gigantic, groovy lava lamp.
许多科学家都没想到冥王星上会有如此活跃的地质运动
A lot of scientists didn’t expect to see active geology on Pluto,
这也使得这次的发现令人惊叹不已
which made this discovery an awesome surprise.
新地平线号还发现冥王星拥有大量的山脉
New Horizons found that Pluto has plenty of mountains, too,
其中一些被甲烷冰所覆盖
including some covered in methane ice.
还有一些山脉 比如一个叫做赖特山的
And some of those mountains, like one called Wright Mons,
甚至可能是一座冰火山
even look like they could be cryovolcanoes, or ice volcanoes.
当新地平线号飞掠的时候 我们没有看到任何活跃喷发的东西
We didn’t see anything actively erupting when New Horizons flew by,
所以我们也不能确定 但是这些火山是有可能喷发出
so we don’t know for sure, but these volcanoes might erupt
冰 氨 甲烷或氮冰的混合物的
with a mixture of water ice, ammonia, methane, or frozen nitrogen.
对于一个如此遥远的小世界来说 这是相当奇妙的
Which is pretty neat for a little world so far away.
有关冥王星的探索并没有局限于地面
And the discoveries about Pluto weren’t limited to the ground,
或者它能喷发出什么东西
or what could potentially erupt out of it.
新地平线号还发现了冥王星的天空是蓝色的
New Horizons also found out that Pluto’s sky is blue.
就像我们的家园一样!
It’s just like home!
除了低温 缺少阳光和有毒的空气以外
That is, besides the freezing temperatures, lack of sunlight, and toxic air.
在地球上 天空之所以是蓝色的是因为大气中像氮气这样的分子会散射阳光
Here on Earth, the sky is blue because molecules like nitrogen in the atmosphere scatter sunlight,
但在冥王星上是一种叫做索林的分子在进行散射
but on Pluto, molecules called tholins do the scattering.
索林是一种复杂有机的分子 是由来自太阳的紫外线与冥王星大气中的
Tholins are complex, organic molecules that form when UV light from the Sun reacts with
氮和甲烷发生反应而产生
the nitrogen and methane in Pluto’s atmosphere.
索林本身是灰色或红色
The tholins themselves are probably grey or red,
这会让冥王星表面蒙上一些它们的颜色
and they help give Pluto’s surface some of its color.
但微小的体积让它们更容易散射蓝色光
But their small size makes them perfect for scattering blue light.
噢 几十亿公里之外还有东西能让我们想到家乡 这真是太棒了
Aww! There’s nothing like finding little reminders of home billions of kilometers away.
当飞掠冥王星的时候 新地平线号也对它的卫星进行了近距离的观测
While it was flying past Pluto, New Horizons also got our closest look at Pluto’s moons:
卡戎 许德拉 尼克斯 斯蒂克斯以及克伯勒斯
Charon, Hydra, Nix, Styx, and Kerberos.
在其中最大的卫星卡戎上有一些有趣的发现
And the largest moon, Charon, had some fun surprises.
首先 它的北极呈现暗红色 新地平线号团队称它为“摩多”
For one thing, its north pole, which the New Horizons team dubbed Mordor, is dark red,
冥王星可能和这种现象的形成有关
and Pluto might have had something to do with that.
去年发表在《自然》杂志上的一篇文章上 科学家们提出
In a paper published in the journal Nature last year, scientists suggested Charon’s
卡戎的北极呈现暗红色是冥王星的大气一直浸染所致
pole is red because Pluto’s atmosphere is staining it.
冥王星大气中的甲烷逃逸而出 然后被由卡戎的重力所吸引
After methane escapes from Pluto’s atmosphere, it’s caught by Charon’s gravity and then
然后聚集并冻结在了卫星的北极 这里也是卡戎卫星上面为数不多的
collects and freezes on the moon’s north pole, one of the only places on Charon
温度低到可以常年冻结甲烷的地方之一
cold enough to have frozen methane all year.
然后 来自太阳的紫外线会引起甲烷的化学反应
Then, ultraviolet rays from the Sun cause a chemical reaction in the methane,
将其转变为索林 而这些红色的有机分子
which turns it into tholins, those same reddish, organic molecules
让冥王星的天空变成了蓝色
that make Pluto’s sky blue.
我们从来没有见过像卡戎一样的颜色
We’ve never seen coloring like Charon’s before,
这貌似还要感谢冥王星
and it looks like we can thank Pluto for that, too.
但这也归功于卡戎自身的一些很酷的特性
But Charon can also take credit for some of its awesome features.
比如它拥有壮观的峡谷系统 长1800公里 深7.5公里
Like its gigantic canyon system that’s 1800 kilometers long and up to 7.5 kilometers deep.
长度和深度都是科罗拉多大峡谷的四倍
That’s four times as long and four times as deep as the Grand Canyon,
而卡戎的直径却比地球的十分之一还小
even though Charon’s diameter is less than 10% of Earth’s.
峡谷可能延伸占据了卡戎外表面的很大一部分
The canyon probably stretches around most of Charon’s surface, and there are also
在这个我们本以为平凡无趣的小卫星上 还有着大量的山脉
plenty of mountains on what we thought was going to be a boring, little moon.
卡戎应该会继续保持这种奇怪的不均匀地质
Charon might have ended up with that weirdly uneven geology because of a subsurface ocean
因为自从卫星形成以后 地下海洋已经冻结了几亿年了
that froze a few hundred million years after the moon formed.
卡戎表面绝大部分都是冰 但是天文学家认为
Most of Charon’s surface is made up of water ice, but astronomers think that right after
卡戎形成之初 可能还是足够热能够把地下坚冰融化的
Charon formed, it might have been hot enough to melt some of the ice underground.
然后 随着时间的的推移 地下的海洋会冻结延展
Then, over time, the underground ocean could have frozen, expanded,
然后在卡戎的表面造成巨大的断裂面
and created that huge fracture in Charon’s surface.
我们不确定这是否真的发生了 但太阳系中出现了另一个海洋的可能
We’re not positive that’s exactly what happened, but the possibility of another ocean
这真是让人感觉棒极了
in the solar system is just plain awesome.
从冰火山的顶端到超级峡谷的底部
So from the tip top of ice volcanoes to the bottom of super canyons,
新地平线号向我们展现了柯伊伯带比我们想象中的要更加精彩
New Horizons has shown us that the Kuiper Belt is way more fascinating than we thought.
两年过去了 科学家们还有很多数据要分析
And two years later, scientists still have plenty of data to analyze,
所以我们在以后还会了解到更多有关冥王星及其卫星的信息
so we’ll be learning a lot more about Pluto and its moons in the future.
同时 新地平线号正沿着正轨去拜访柯伊伯带中叫做2014 MU69 的另一对象
Meanwhile, New Horizons is on track to visit another object in the Kuiper Belt,
它被称为2014 MU69 预计到达时间为2019年的元旦
called 2014 MU69, on New Year’s Day, 2019.
所以这个小型的宇宙飞船还在源源不断地向我们传授有关太阳系的知识
So this little spacecraft isn’t done teaching us about the solar system yet.
当然我们也没有停下学习探索的脚步
And neither are we!
SciShow Space 的生存离不开我们在Patreon上的赞助者 比如我们的太空总统
SciShow Space exists because of support from our Patreon patrons like SR Foxley,
老福克斯利
our president of space!
如果你想当太空总统 或者想做些有趣的事情 比如参加我们每月的聚会
If want to be president of space, or do fun stuff like join our monthly hangout,
去patreon.com/scishow上支持SciShow吧
while helping to support SciShow, go to patreon.com/scishow.
谢谢你们!你们太棒了!
Thanks! You guys are awesome!

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视频概述

新地平线号探测器传回了冥王星的信息,让我们一起了解一下这个神秘遥远的星球吧

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翻译译者

jameschan

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嘉言先森

视频来源

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W805Is6KZ0Q

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