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双语:哈佛天文学院发现神秘雪茄状物体 疑似外太空起源新物体

2018-11-08 11:40

来源:CNN

作者:

  A mysterious cigar-shaped object spotted tumbling through our solar system last year may have been an alien spacecraft sent to investigate Earth, astronomers from Harvard University have suggested.

  哈佛大学的天文学家表示,去年他们在太阳系中发现了一个神秘的雪茄状物体,可能是一艘被派来调查地球的外星飞船。

  The object, nicknamed ’Oumuamua, meaning "a messenger that reaches out from the distant past" in Hawaiian, was first discovered in October 2017 by the Pan-STARRS 1 telescope in Hawaii.

  位于夏威夷的Pan-STARRS 1号望远镜在2017年10月首次发现了这个天体。

  Since its discovery, scientists have been at odds to explain its unusual features and precise origins, with researchers first calling it a comet and then an asteroid, before finally deeming it the first of its kind: a new class of "interstellar objects."

  自从它被发现以来,科学家们一直在研究它非同寻常的特征,探索它的来源,并一直为此争论不休。研究人员先称它为彗星,然后称它小行星,最后又称它是一种全新的天体:一种新的“星际物体”。

  Now, a new paper by researchers at the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics raises the possibility that the elongated dark-red object, which is 10 times as long as it is wide and traveling at speeds of 196,000 mph, might have an "artificial origin."

  现在,哈佛史密森天体物理学研究中心研究人员发表了一篇新论文,提出了这个狭长的深红色天体可能是“人工起源”的可能性。

  ’Oumuamua may be a fully operational probe sent intentionally to Earth vicinity by an alien civilization, they wrote in the paper, which has been submitted to the Astrophysical Journal Letters.

  “‘Oumuamua’可能是一个由外星文明有意发射到地球附近的一个可操作探测器,”他们在这篇论文中写道。

  The theory is based on the object’s "excess acceleration," or its unexpected boost in speed as it traveled through and ultimately out of our solar system in January 2018.

  这一理论的提出基于该天体的“超加速度”,即它在2018年1月穿过太阳系并最终离开太阳系时的意外加速。

  Considering an artificial origin, one possibility is that ’Oumuamua is a light sail, floating in interstellar space as a debris from an advanced technological equipment, wrote the paper’s authors, suggesting that the object could be propelled by solar radiation.

  “说到人工起源,一种可能性是‘Oumuamua是一个光帆,是先进技术设备漂浮在星际空间中的碎片。”论文的作者写道。

  The paper, written by Abraham Loeb, professor and chair of astronomy, and Shmuel Bialy, a postdoctoral scholar, at the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, points out that comparable light-sails already exist on earth.

  这篇论文由天文学教授和主席亚伯拉罕·勒布和哈佛史密森天体物理中心的博士后学者Shmuel Bialy共同撰写,指出在地球上已经存在类似的轻型帆。

  Light-sails with similar dimensions have been designed and constructed by our own civilization, including the IKAROS project and the Starshot Initiative. The light-sail technology might be abundantly used for transportation of cargos between planets or between stars.

  “类似尺寸的轻型帆由人类的文明设计并建造,包括IKAROS项目和Starshot计划。光帆技术可能被广泛应用于行星间或恒星间的货物运输。

  In the paper, the pair theorize that the object’s high speed and its unusual trajectory could be the result of it no longer being operational.

  在这篇论文中,两名作者认为物体高速而不寻常的轨迹可能因为它已经结束了运行。

  This would account for the various anomalies of ’Oumuamua, such as the unusual geometry inferred from its light-curve, its low thermal emission, suggesting high reflectivity, and its deviation from a Keplerian orbit without any sign of a cometary tail or spin-up torques.

  “这可以解释‘Oumuamua’的各种异常现象,比如它的光曲线划出的不寻常的几何形状,它的低热发射意味着高反射率,以及它的运行偏离开普勒轨道,没有任何彗星尾巴或旋转力矩的迹象。”

  ’Oumuamua is the first object ever seen in our solar system that is known to have originated elsewhere.

  “Oumuamua是我们已知太阳系中第一个已源于其他地方的物体。”

  At first, astronomers thought the rapidly moving faint light was a regular comet or an asteroid that had originated in our solar system.

  起初,天文学家认为这种快速移动的微弱光线是一颗普通的彗星或一颗起源于太阳系的小行星。

  Multiple telescopes focused on the object for three nights to determine what it was before it moved out of sight.

  多架望远镜连续三个晚上聚焦在这个物体上,希望能在它远离我们的视线之前搞清楚它是什么。

  We are fortunate that our sky survey telescope was looking in the right place at the right time to capture this historic moment, NASA Planetary Defense Officer Lindley Johnson said in a statement last year.

  “幸运的是,我们的天空观测望远镜在正确的时间、正确的地点观测到了这一历史性时刻,”美国宇航局行星防御官员林德利·约翰逊去年在一份声明中表示。

  This serendipitous discovery is bonus science enabled by NASA’s efforts to find, track and characterize near-Earth objects that could potentially pose a threat to our planet.

  “这一发现完全是科学研究中的一个意外,得益于美国国家航空航天局在寻找、追踪和描述可能对地球构成威胁的近地天体方面所做的贡献。”

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