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如果人类移居到比邻星b会怎样? – 译学馆
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如果人类移居到比邻星b会怎样?

What If We Relocated Humanity to Proxima B?

[警报声]
“This is a planetary emergency evacuation.
“这是一次全球紧急疏散
Please remain calm, and board your space shuttles.”
请保持镇静 尽快登上航天飞机”
You know, even though humanity might not have to leave the Earth in your lifetime,
虽说在你有生之年人类或许还不必逃离地球
we should start preparing early on.
但我们应该尽早开始准备
Not only could it take centuries to set up the relocation program,
因为我们不仅要花上几个世纪的时间来预备搬迁项目
it would take generations to move to a potential new home.
还要历经几代人才能抵达某个潜在的新家园
That, right there, is Proxima Centauri b,
这儿就是目的地 这是比邻星b
or just Proxima b.
也可以简称为比邻b
it’s the closest potentially habitable planet out there.
这是离我们最近的宜居星球
Its temperatures are in the bearable range,
它的气温在人类可生存范围内
and it could have just the right breathable atmosphere.
也很可能拥有可供呼吸的大气层
We only have to get there.
总之 那具备一切先天环境
How long would our journey last?
我们的宇宙航程会持续多久?
How many people would we send to populate the new world successfully
我们能成功的送多少人去殖民新的星球?
And what if turned out that Proxima b wasn’t inhabitable as we thought?
如果证实比邻星b不像我们想的那样宜居会怎样?
This is What If
欢迎来到《自然无常》
And here is what would happend
本期我们将探讨
if we relocated humanity to Proxima b
如果人类移居到比邻星b会发生什么?
When astronomers started finding planets outside our Solar System,
当天文学家在太阳系外发现了行星
or exoplanets,
也就是系外行星时
we realized that there are many worlds out there.
我们意识到太阳系外有许多星球
That meant that Earth doesn’t have to be our home forever.
这也意味着地球不一定是我们永恒的家
And that we don’t have to die with our planet when the Sun engulfs it
当大约50亿年后 地球被太阳吞噬时
some 5 billion years from now.
我们不一定和它一起毁灭
Now that we’ve found over 4,100 exoplanets,
至今我们已发现了4100多颗系外行星
we’ve learned something rather disappointing.
亦认识到一些令人失望的事实
Not all exoplanets are good for humans to live on.
并不是所有的系外行星都适合人类居住
Most of the worlds we’ve encountered are
我们发现的多数星球
either ice giants like Neptune,
要么是像海王星一样的冰巨星
or gas giants like Jupiter and Saturn.
要么是像木星和土星这样的气态巨星
Only 161 of those planets are terrestrial,
这些星球中只有161个是类地行星
like Earth.
像地球那样
And when it comes to sustaining human life,
但若要维持人类生存
being terrestrial isn’t quite enough.
仅仅满足类地是不够的
Proxima b is very promising.
而比邻星b则很有希望供给人类生存
It orbits a red dwarf star
它在一个三星系统里
called Proxima Centauri in a system with three stars in it.
围绕着一颗名为比邻星的红矮星运动
Proxima Centauri is small.
比邻星很小
It only has between 7.5% and 50% of our Sun’s mass.
它只有太阳质量的7.5%到50%
That’s a good thing.
这是一件好事
Because the red dwarf Proxima Centauri is so much smaller than our yellow dwarf Sun,
因为红矮星比邻星远比我们的黄矮星太阳小
it burns at a lower temperature.
它以较低的温度燃烧
It takes stars like Proxima Centauri much longer to burn through all of their hydrogen supply.
所以比邻星要过更久才会耗尽它所有氢供应
Because of that, Proxima Centauri has a lifetime of trillions of years,
因此 太阳只有100亿年寿命
while our Sun has a 10-billion-year expiration term.
而比邻星则有数万亿年的寿命
That alone makes Proxima b a good candidate for relocation.
仅这点就使比邻星b成了移居的不二之选
That and the fact that its orbit lies in Proxima Centauri’s habitable zone.
况且由于比邻星b在比邻星的宜居带运行
That means there’s the potential for liquid water
这意味着比邻星b上很可能有液态水
and comfortable surface temperatures.
和适宜的地表温度
If we’re lucky,
若我们足够幸运
Proxima b would have an atmosphere that we could breathe.
或许还会有可供我们呼吸的大气层
If it does, the surface temperatures would be in the range of 30°C (86°F).
若真有的话 其地表温度将会在30°C(86°F)范围内
I don’t know about you, but I’d move there right now.
我不知道你怎么想 但我会立刻搬过去
I just need to warn you that there are a few problems.
我也要提醒你其中会面临的几个问题
A trip to Proxima b would be long and very dangerous.
首先 去比邻星b的旅程长且危险
Proxima b might be the closest habitable exoplanet we’ve got,
比邻星b可能是我们所知最近的宜居系外行星
but that doesn’t mean it’s close.
但是这不意味着其实际距离很近
The red dwarf star, Proxima Centauri,
这颗叫做比邻星的红矮星
is about 4.3 light-years away.
距我们约有4.3光年
That means that if you could travel at the speed of light,
也就是说即使你能以光速旅行
it would take you 4.3 years to get there.
到那儿也要用4.3年
Nothing we’ve built so far can reach that kind of speed.
至今我们还未建造出能达到光速的机械
Realistically, a trip to Proxima Centauri in a space shuttle
如果你乘坐航天飞机前往比邻星
would take 165,000 years, give or take.
那你大约要用165000年才能到那儿
That’s right, some of the colonists would be born in transit.
一些殖民者将在途中出生
Some of them would never see the Earth.
他们中的一些人永远见不到地球
Some of them would never see Proxima b.
也有一些人永远见不到比邻星b
They’d just live their lives aboard the spaceship and die in space.
他们在宇宙飞船上生活 在太空中死去
How many humans would we need to send on the mission exactly?
我们需要多少人来执行本次任务?
Well, according to some calculations, 98 people would be just enough.
根据计算 有98人就足够了
Their descendants would arrive at Proxima b with enough genetic diversity
其后代将具有丰富的遗传多样性
to populate the entire planet.
在比邻星b上繁衍生息
And that’s accounting for possible cases of infertility, inbreeding and sudden deaths.
不孕 近亲繁殖和突然死亡等概率事件也被考虑在内
In those calculations, the crew would be traveling on something
该计算假设其成员的航行速度
faster than a space shuttle.
比航天飞机快
Their mission to Proxima b would take only 6,300 years.
他们只需6300年便能抵达比邻星b
But don’t be surprised.
不必惊讶
Technology is constantly improving.
要知道科技在不断进步
Right now, a scientific and technological program called Breakthrough Initiatives
当下 一个名为突破计划的科技项目
is looking at how we can get in the neighborhood of Proxima Centauri within one generation.
正研究如何以一代人的时间到达比邻星系
Their Project Starshot is working on
他们的突破摄星计划正在研制
an ultra-light, unmanned probe
一种超轻无人探测器
that would reach the star system in just 20 years.
该探测器将能在20年内抵达比邻星系
Now I definitely need to sign up.
现在我一定要报名移居
But, again, Proxima b is really far away.
但再提醒一遍 比邻星b真的很遥远
It’s so far that we can’t even see if it has an atmosphere.
远到我们甚至看不见它是否有大气层
It might just happen that we would arrive at a frozen planet
我们将到达的星球也可能是
with surface temperatures of -40°C (-40°F).
一个地表温度为-40°C(-40°F)的冰冻星球
And even if it has an atmosphere, it might not be the right one.
即便有大气层 其地表温度也未必适宜
We might still enjoy warm temperatures, but we’d be doing that in space suits with oxygen tanks.
只有穿着供氧太空服我们才能感受到温暖
Or, Proxima b could be tidally locked to Proxima Centauri,
比邻星b也可能会被潮汐锁定在比邻星旁
meaning one of the planet’s sides would always face its star,
这意味着这颗行星的一侧将永远处于白昼
and the other side would be plunged into darkness.
而另一侧则会永远陷入黑暗
Space flight itself could bring some unpleasant surprises.
太空飞行本身也会带来一些不好的意外
Spending an entire lifetime in a zero-gravity environment
在失重环境中度过一生
would lead the crew members to lose muscle and bone density.
会导致船员肌肉退化和骨骼密度下降
They’d be constantly exposed to space radiation.
长期暴露在太空辐射中
Their microbiomes, immune systems and physiology would all be different from ours.
其微生物群 免疫系统和生理机能也都会发生变化
They wouldn’t be the same kind of humans as we are.
他们会变得和我们不一样
They would change their values and culture.
他们的价值观和文化会改变
They might forget all the farming techniques we’d teach them
可能会忘记我们传授的
to sustain themselves in space and on their new planet.
用以在太空和新星球上维生的农业技术
They might change their mind about the mission altogether
也可能会彻底改变其对此次任务的想法
and just turn their spaceship in a different direction.
把宇宙飞船转向一个不同的方向
Who knows — they might even come back to Earth
谁知道呢-他们甚至可能返回地球
and take revenge for all those years they were forced to spend in space.
为他们被迫在太空中度过的那些年复仇
If that happens, I’ll be asking for a refund.
如果发生这种情况 我将要求退款
Sending anyone on a mission like this is a huge risk.
派任何人去执行这次任务都是一次大冒险
We’d need to design and build a vehicle,
我们需要设计和制造一个飞行器
choose the space travelers very carefully,
谨慎选择太空旅行者
supply them with all the food and water,
为他们提供充足的食物和水
and make sure they could become self-sustaining.
并确保它们能够自给自足
We’d have to design new propulsion, navigation, hibernation and life support systems.
我们须设计新的推进 导航 冬眠和生命支持系统
And we have no way of knowing if Proxima b is actually habitable.
我们无法知道比邻星b是否适合人类居住
Now I don’t really feel like going there. Do you?
现在我不想去了 你呢?
Maybe a better idea would be to build a megastructure somewhere closer to the Solar System.
也许在离太阳系更近的地方建一个超级建筑更好
But that’s a story for another What If.
但这就是另一期《自然无常》的内容了

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如果人类移居到比邻星b会怎样?有哪些问题需要考虑?

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