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詹姆斯·韦伯太空望远镜将如何展现宇宙

发布者: 五毒 | 发布时间: 2022-5-14 08:30| 查看数: 100| 评论数: 0|



When I was six, my father told me that I was made out of tiny cells filled with chromosomes that would control my fate. I thought, "That's amazing. There are so many mysterious things in there, and I want to know more." I read about Galileo and Darwin, and I became a scientist. At that time, hardly anything was known. We did not yet know that the chemical elements came from exploded stars, that everything you see around you was recycled from inside of stars. So we did not know we are recycled stars.

当我六岁的时候,父亲告诉我,我是由微小的细胞组成的,这些细胞充满了控制我命运的染色体。我想,“太神奇了。里面有这么多神秘的东西,而我想知道更多。我读了关于伽利略和达尔文的事迹,然后我成为了一名科学家。那时,几乎没有什么已知的东西。我们还不知道化学元素来自爆炸的恒星,你周围看到的一切都是从恒星内部回收来的。所以我们不知道我们是星球回收来的。

But we set off to measure the Big Bang, and we measured the map of the cosmic microwave background radiation, using millimeter waves and it's the entire sky wrapped around on to an oval so you can see it. We see that there are hot and cold spots in this Big Bang material. Now we say, well, that's because those were there in very, very beginning, who knows exactly why, but they led to the existence of galaxies, stars, planets and, eventually, people. No spots, no people. So it turned out to be important. So then how did that work? What happened next?

但我们开始测量大霹雳,我们测量了宇宙微波背景辐射的圆,使用毫米波,把整个天空包裹在一个椭圆形上,这样你就可以看到它。我们看到,在这个大霹雳辐射的圆上有热的和冷的点。现在我们说,嗯,那是因为这些东西在非常非常早的时候就存在了,没人知道确切的原因,但它们导致了星系、恒星、行星的存在,并最终导致了人类的存在。没有这些斑点,就没有人。事实证明这个点很重要。那么,这是怎么一回事?接下来会发生什么?

Well, we said let's take pictures. So, of course, we take pictures of the sky with the Hubble Space Telescope. This picture was taken around 1995, and it shows galaxies far, far, far away. It shows what you can get with the telescope that's about eight feet in diameter and can observe visible light. So we were thrilled to have this picture. And it shows thousands of galaxies.They were unable to include the most distant galaxies, the ones that would be as they were being born, so there are no baby pictures of galaxies in this picture.

嗯,我们说好让我们拍几张照片。当然,我们用哈勃太空望远镜拍摄天空的照片。这张照片拍摄于1995年左右,它展示了很远很远的星系。它展示了你可以用直径约8英尺的可见光望远镜观察到什么。我们很高兴能拍到这张照片。它显示了数千个星系。但无法将最遥远的星系包括在内,那些刚形成星系的模样,因此,这张照片中没有星系最早的模样。

We needed to have an even bigger and more powerful telescope that could pick up the infrared light from the most distant universe that has been stretched out by the expansion of the universe. So we didn't know what we would find. So astronomers wrote a book and they said, "Please build us an even more powerful telescope." And we did. This is the James Webb Space Telescope, you see a gigantic mirror, it's hexagonal, it's coated with gold so it reflects infrared light. It is 21 feet across. It is protected by a five-layer metalized plastic sunshade as large as a tennis court.

我们需要一个更大、更厉害的望远镜,它可以接收到最遥远宇宙的红外线,而那里已经因宇宙的膨胀增长了波长。我们不知道会发现什么。天文学家写了一本书,他们说:“请为我们建造一个更强大的望远镜。”我们做到了。这是詹姆斯·韦伯太空望远镜,你可以看到一面巨大的镜子,它是六角形的,上面有镀金,所以它能反射红外线。它有21英尺宽。它由一个网球场大小的五层金属化塑料遮阳板保护。

This telescope is so large that it could not fit into the rocket without being folded up like origami. It's an incredible engineering accomplishment to be able to even conceive and build this telescope. So we built it. And then we've launched it. It went up into space from French Guiana on Christmas morning, 2021. It was a perfect launch. The Arianespace company sent it straight to where we needed to go. So we think we can have 20 years of operational scientific observations with this great new telescope. And it took only two minutes to go through the tropical clouds up towards the vacuum of outer space.

这个望远镜太大了,都不能放进火箭里,除非像折纸一样折叠起来。构思和建造这个望远镜,这是一项令人难以置信的工程成就。所以我们建造了它。然后我们发射了它。2021年圣诞节早晨,它从法属圭亚那升入太空。这是一次完美的发射。亚利安太空公司把它直接送到了我们需要去的地方。因此,我们认为20年内进行的科学观测,都可以使用这座优秀的新望远镜。它只用了两分钟就穿过热带云层,飞向外太空的真空地带。

Now I want to show you how it unfolded in outer space, this origami telescope. First we unfolded the solar panels. Then we unfold the transmitter antenna so we can talk back and forth. Then we unfold the panels that hold the great sunshade in place. This takes us actually two weeks in real life. You see it compressed here so we can show it to you. This is just a miracle of modern engineering, and it's so complicated. And you'd say, is there any way you could have done this without this great telescope? And the answer seems to be no. You need a big telescope.

现在我想向你们展示这座折起来的望远镜是如何在外太空展开的。首先,我们展开了遮光板。然后我们展开发射机天线,这样我们就可以来往通讯了。然后,我们展开将巨大的遮阳板固定在适当位置的面板。这实际上花了我们两个星期的时间。你可以在这里看到的是它的缩时版本,这是为了方便你们观看。这只是现代工程学的一个奇迹,它是如此复杂。你会说,如果没有这个伟大的望远镜,你有没有可能做到?答案似乎是否定的。你需要一个大望远镜。

It needs to be in outer space. It needs to be cold, so it doesn't glow and emit its own infrared. And third is, being very carefully unrolled all by commands from here. So you ask, how could you possibly make such a complicated thing work? Well, number one, practice, practice, practice, rehearse and test, fix it when it's not quite right. And then, of course, have two of everything, if you possibly can. And third, have arguments with all of your friends to say, is this really right? Can you think of anything that's a mistake that we might be making that we should fix before we launch it?

它需要在外太空。必须很冷,这样它就不会发热而射出自己的红外线。第三点是,按照来自地球的指示,非常小心的展开这一切。所以你会问,你怎么可能让这么复杂的东西工作呢?嗯,首先,演练,演练,演练,排练和测试,不太正确时就修好。然后,当然,如果可能的话,每样东西都要准备两件。第三,和你所有的朋友争论,这真的是对的吗?你能想到任何我们可能犯的错误,我们应该在发射它之前纠正吗?

So the last step is finally to unfold the telescope itself. And there it is in outer space, not quite ready to use because it's still warm and has not yet been focused. So we had to wait for several weeks for it to start to cool down to a low enough temperature that we could do the next steps. We send it to a place called Lagrange Point 2, about a million miles farther out from the Sun than we are. This is a place that moves around the Sun with us every year, so the telescope does not get any farther away. It is the only place that we can put a telescope where this is the setup, and you can have the one-sided umbrella that protects the telescope from the Sun and the Earth and the Moon.

因此,最后一步是打开望远镜本身。它在外太空,还没有完全准备好使用,因为它仍然很温暖,还没有聚焦。所以我们不得不等了几个星期,直到它开始冷却到足够低的温度,我们才能进行下一步的工作。我们把它送到一个叫做第二拉格朗日点的地方,那里距离太阳比我们现在要远一百万英里。这是一个每年都和我们一起绕太阳公转而移动的地点,望远镜不会去更远的地方。这是我们唯一可以依靠这种方法放置望远镜的地方,你还可以用一侧的遮光板保护望远镜免于太阳、地球,月球。

So the next thing is, what did we see? We focused the telescope and took some pictures of the same star we looked at with the Webb. So the fuzzy picture is the Spitzer Space Telescope launched in 2003. The sharp picture is the new Webb telescope. We were so thrilled that it worked. We got a nice, sharp image of the star, and we can calculate now the sensitivity of this object, that if you were a bumblebee, a square centimeter object hovering at the distance of the Moon from the Earth, away from the telescope, we would be able to see you, both the sunlight you reflect and the heat you emit.

下一件事是,我们看到了什么?我们将望远镜对焦,拍了张相同恒星的照片,用韦伯望远镜观测。这张模糊的图片是2003年发射的史匹哲太空望远镜拍摄的。这张清晰的照片是新的韦伯望远镜拍的。我们很高兴它成功了。我们得到了一张很好的、清晰的恒星图像,现在我们可以计算这个望远镜的灵敏度,如果你是一只大黄蜂,一个一平方厘米的物体,跟望远镜相当于从地球到月球的距离,我们会看得见你,还有你反射的太阳光和释放的热。

So there are no bumblebees in space, but there's something out there that we don't know. And I'm so sure that we're going to get a great surprise from this telescope. So I'll show you what we look at. Here is an example of a place where stars are being born as we speak. Now we know, more or less, that stars explode and produce dust, which goes and is recycled into new stars. This is a place where the recycling is happening. Stars are being born in this beautiful cloud of glowing gas and dust.

太空中没有大黄蜂,但那里有一些我们不知道的东西。我非常肯定我们会从这台望远镜中得到一个巨大的惊喜。所以我会给你看我们看到的东西。正如我们所说,这是一个恒星正在诞生的例子。现在我们大概知道,恒星会爆炸并产生尘埃,散出去并回收成新的恒星。这是一个正在进行回收的地方。恒星正在这团发光的气体和尘埃组成的美丽云层中诞生。

On the left-hand side shows you what we see with visible light with the Hubble Space Telescope. The right-hand side shows you that you can begin to see through the dust with an infrared camera that we also have on the Hubble telescope. It's beautiful. Astronomers want to see inside and we will with the Webb telescope. We can look at everything in the solar system from Mars on out. So this is a pretty interesting one, everybody knows Mars might be alive. What about Europa? Europa is a satellite of Jupiter. It has a liquid ocean covered with ice.

左手边是我们用哈勃太空望远镜在可见光下看到的。右手你可以用我们哈勃望远镜上的红外摄像机透视尘埃。它很美。天文学家想要看到里面,我们可以用韦伯望远镜做到这点。我们可以从火星开始观察太阳系中的一切。这是一共很有趣的星体,大家都知道火星上可能有生命。那木卫二呢?木卫二是木星的卫星之一。它有一个被冰覆盖的液态海洋。

We know because we sent a probe out there named after Galileo himself, and we saw this and took this picture. Now we know that there is water coming out from the cracks between the ice blocks and once in a while, they can be watched from here. And we are planning to send a probe to fly through the water jets and see if there might be any organic molecules in them. Is it alive? Well, maybe. We'll be watching this satellite with the Webb telescope as well. Farther on out in the solar system, we've been watching Titan. Titan is the only moon in the solar system that has oceans and lakes and rain and rivers and an atmosphere on the surface.

我们知道,因为我们发射了一个以伽利略的名字命名的探测器到那里,我们看到了这个,并拍摄了这张照片。现在我们知道有水从层之间的裂缝中流出来,偶尔能从这里观测到。我们正计划发射一个探测器,穿过喷出的水流,看看其中是否可能有有机分子。它有生命吗?嗯,也许吧。我们也将用韦伯望远镜观察这颗卫星。在太阳系更远的地方,我们一直在观察土卫六。土卫六是太阳系中唯一一颗表面有海洋、湖泊、雨水、河流和大气的卫星。

It is so cold, though, that its liquid hydrocarbons, methane and ethane, that you would use for fuel here on Earth. So we'll be examining this with the Webb telescope and we'll be sending a probe out there to land with even a helicopter to go exploring. So is this a place that's interesting for life? Possibly. People ask me all the time, are we sure that the kind we have here is the only kind? Well, maybe not. And if not, this is a good place to look because it's different, but it still has solids, liquids and gases, and it has a liquid hydrocarbon, which might be a possible solvent. We'll see.

不过它很冷,使甲烷、乙烷等碳氢化合物呈液态,在地球上你会把那些物质当成燃料。因此,我们将用韦伯望远镜来观测它,我们将发射一个探测器降落在那里,甚至还有一架直升机降落在那去探索。那么,这对生命而言是有趣的地方吗?有可能。人们总是问我,我们能不能确定地球的生命是唯一一种生命?嗯,也许不是。若是这样,土卫六就适合调查,因为它不一样,但它仍然有固体,液体和气体,而且它有一种液态碳氢化合物,这可能是一种溶剂。我们会知道的。

Next thing we want to look at is, are there planets around other stars that might have life? So we will be looking in this way at small stars that have Earth-sized planets. When a planet goes in front of the star, it can block some starlight, some of the starlight goes through the atmosphere of the planet, if it has one, and on its way to our telescope, and we can analyze that and look for the chemistry of such an atmosphere. So, number one, does a little Earth-like planet out there have an atmosphere? Number two, does it have any molecules in the atmosphere?

接下来我们想看看的是,其他恒星周围是否存在可能存在生命的行星?因此,我们将以这种方式观察在所属行星和地球大小相近的小型恒星。当一颗行星从恒星前方通过时,它可以挡住一些光线,一些光线穿过行星的大气层,如果它有大气层的话,然后朝望远镜前进,我们可以对此进行分析,寻找这种大气层的化学成分。那么,第一点,一颗小小的类地行星,有没有大气层?第二点,大气层中有任何分子吗?

And number three, could they be water? Is there enough water out there so that there could be a liquid ocean? Well, maybe. We will find out and we'll tell you. So are we alone? Well, I don't know. But we'll be going on after this project to even more powerful telescopes that can examine little Earths around stars like the Sun. And then we'll be able to say, "Really, really, are they like home?" And maybe yes.

第三点,那些分子会是水吗?那里有足够的水来形成液态海洋吗?嗯,也许吧。我们会找到答案的,然后告诉你们。宇宙中只有我们这些生命吗?我不知道。但在这个项目之后,我们将继续使用更厉害的望远镜来检查像太阳这样的恒星周围的小型行星。然后我们就可以说,“它们真的像生命的家园吗?”也许是的。

We will be telling you all about what we find out, beginning with our first scientific observations this summer. So please stay tuned. Astronomers travel with the speed of light and the speed of imagination.

我们将从今年夏天的第一次科学观测开始,告诉你我们所发现的一切。所以请继续关注。天文学家以光速行进,也和想象力的速度前进。


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