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如果地球有个行星环会怎样? – 译学馆
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如果地球有个行星环会怎样?

What if Earth Had Rings Like Saturn?

Jupiter.
木星
Uranus.
天王星
Saturn.
土星
Earth?
地球?
Sadly the Earth didn’t make it onto the list of the Solar System’s ringed planets.
可惜地球不在太阳系的有环行星名单中
If it did, what’d it still be able to host life?
如果有的话 地球上还能延续生命吗?
This is What If.
这里是《自然无常》
And here’s what would happen
本期将介绍
if the earth had rings like Saturn.
如果地球有类似土星的行星环的情况
When the Earth was young,
地球初生时
it most likely had a ring of rock debris around it.
它很可能被一个岩屑环包围着
4.5 billion years ago,
45亿年前
another planet, Theia, hit the Earth.
另一个行星忒亚与地球相撞
The giant impact sent a ring of matter hurtling into the Earth’s orbit.
激撞使得一圈物质飞溅到地球的轨道上
But it didn’t stay like that for long.
但那并没有持续太久
The rocky debris soon formed another celestial body-
这些岩石碎片不久便形成了另一个天体
the one we now call the Moon.
我们现在称之为月球
Having planetary rings visible in the sky
仰望空中的行星环
would look way more spectacular than just one grey rock, right?
会比看到一块灰暗的石头更壮观 对吗?
Maybe.
或许是
But if our planet got beautiful rings like these tomorrow,
但若将来地球有这些美丽的行星环的话
much of life on Earth might not survive the renovation process.
地球上众多生物就可能活不过更替过程
It wouldn’t necessarily take another collision
没必要通过发生另一次碰撞
to form rings around the Earth.
来形成环绕地球的行星环
We could just crumble the Moon.
我们只需弄碎月亮
And for that, we’d only need to move it a little closer.
为此 我们仅需将它移近一点
The gravitational pull that our planet exerts on the Moon isn’t equal everywhere.
地球作用在月球上的引力并非处处相等
It’s much stronger on the side of the Moon that is closest to us.
它在最靠近我们的月球侧要强的多
There is a limit on how close celestial bodies can be to each other.
天体之间的距离存在一个限度
It’s called the Roche limit.
叫做洛希极限
If they get any closer than that limit,
如果它们的距离比洛希极限还近
the larger body shreds the smaller one into pieces.
较大的天体会把较小的天体撕成碎片
The distance of the Roche Limit depends on
洛希极限的距离取决于
the size, mass and density of the two objects.
两个天体的大小 质量和密度
For instance, the Sun rips up comets
例如 太阳会撕毁
that come within 1.3 million km of it.
进入其130万公里内的彗星
The Earth will tear apart an average-sized comet
地球会撕碎一颗约18000公里外的
from approximately 18,000 km away.
普通大小的彗星
For the Moon, the Roche limit would be 9,500 km.
对月球而言 洛希极限是9500公里
The rings we might get from something the size of the Moon
由月球大小的天体产生的行星环
would be about 5,000 km wide
宽约5000公里
and around 9.5 km thick.
厚约9.5公里
But unlike Saturn’s icy rings,
但与土星的冰环不同
ours would be made of nothing but rock.
地球的行星环将仅由岩石构成
The Earth is just too close to the Sun to keep the debris iced.
地球离太阳太近而无法保持岩屑结冻
Looking out at the sky,
仰望天空
you’d be able to see these rings from Earth at all times.
你将能时刻在地球上看到这些行星环
Because of the brightness of the rings,
因为闪亮的行星环
the Moon wouldn’t seem as bright anymore.
月球似乎不再明亮
That is if we still had the Moon.
前提是月球还存在
If the Moon crumbled up and became our rings,
如果月球碎裂并形成了我们的行星环
well, there’d be nothing else up there to look at.
那上面就没别的东西可看了
And there would be some other consequences.
并且还会有其他后果
The rings suddenly hugging Earth
突然出现的环绕地球的行星环
would disrupt internal navigation systems of some animals.
会破坏某些动物的内部导航系统
If not enough direct sunlight was making it through the rings,
如果没有充足的直射阳光穿过行星环
they would also affect photosynthesis
这也会影响光合作用
and our oxygen supply.
和我们的氧气供应
In the shadow of the rings,
在行星环的阴影中
with no contact from the Sun’s rays,
由于缺乏阳光的直射
the temperature would get so cold
温度会变得异常低
that it would make the shadowed areas of the Earth almost uninhabitable.
以致地球上的阴影区域几乎无法居住
Communications satellites, generally placed around the Earth’s equator,
通信卫星 通常放置在地球赤道附近
would find themselves right in the middle of a rock storm.
会发现自己正处于一场岩石风暴中
We’d need to find another way to keep the internet alive
如果希望继续在有环的地球上发自拍
if we want to keep posting selfies on a ringed Earth.
我们就得另想办法确保互联网的存在
We’d be better off
我们会过得更好

in a scenario where the Earth has always been like this.
在地球一直是这样的情况下
Provided we didn’t lose sunlight and oxygen,
只要我们没有失去阳光和氧气

we’d evolve just fine.
我们就会进化得很好
But we’d have to develop other means of communication
但我们得发展其他通信手段

since we wouldn’t be able to send satellites into an orbit full of rocks.
因为卫星无法被送入充满岩石的轨道
Space would never become our final frontier.
太空绝不会成为我们最后的边界
The rocky rings around the planet
围绕这个星球的岩石环
would be a sort of orbital barbed wire fence
就像是轨道上的铁栅栏
keeping us all grounded.
把我们都困在大地上
And just like the rings of Saturn,
并且就像土星环一样

Earth’s rings wouldn’t last forever.
地球的行星环不会永存
One day they’d start to feel their age and drop from the sky.
某日它们会感到气数已尽 从天降落
Make sure to wear a helmet,
记得戴安全帽

and don’t forget to look up and enjoy the show.
并且别忘了抬头欣赏这个节目
If the multiverse is real,
如果多元宇宙存在
there might be a ringed Earth somewhere out there,
那么某处可能存在拥有行星环的地球
with people on it wondering
上面的人都在想

what it would be like to live on a planet with no rings.
在一个没有行星环的星球上生活是什么样子
But we’ll leave that story for another WHAT IF.
但那个故事将留给另一个《自然无常》

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视频概述

存在行星环的天空将会给我们的世界带来什么影响?尽情期待本期视频。

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视频来源

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=an7FRVPPpW8

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