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科学家们发现两个黑洞合并的间隔只有21分钟

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发表于 7 天前 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
Scientists Detected 2 Black Hole Mergers Just 21 Mins Apart, But It's Not What We Hoped

科学家们发现两个黑洞合并的间隔只有21分钟,但这不是我们所希望的。

Last Wednesday, a gravitational wave detection gave astronomers quite the surprise. As researchers were going about their work at the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO), a pair of gravitational waves rolled in just minutes apart.

上周三,一次引力波探测让天文学家们大吃一惊。当研究人员在激光干涉仪重力波观测站(LIGO)进行他们的工作时,一对引力波在几分钟内相互滚动。

The first, labelled S190828j, was picked up by all three of LIGO's gravitational wave detectors at 06:34 am, coordinated universal time. The second, S190828l, was measured at 06:55 – a mere 21 minutes later.

第一颗名为S190828j的引力波探测器是在协调世界时上午6点34分由LIGO的三个引力波探测器探测到的。第二个是S190828l,测量时间是06:55——仅仅21分钟后。



Both seemed to be the run-of-the-mill dying screams of black holes as they squish together. But here's why it's so surprising: astronomers wouldn't expect to see a pair of signals in such quick succession.

这两种声音似乎都是黑洞挤压在一起时发出的垂死的尖叫声。但令人惊讶的原因是:天文学家们不希望看到一对如此快速连续的信号。

In fact, this is only the second time two detections have rolled in on the same day. What's more, at first glance they also seemed to echo from more or less the same patch of sky.

事实上,这只是第二次两个探测器在同一天出现。而且,乍一看,它们似乎也或多或少地从同一片天空中回声。

"This is a genuine "Uh, wait, what?; We've never seen that before..." moment in gravitational wave astronomy," astrophysicist Robert Routledge from McGill University later tweeted, after openly speculating that it mightn't be a mere coincidence.

“这是真的”嗯,等等,什么?”麦吉尔大学的天体物理学家罗伯特劳特利奇(Robert Routledge)后来在推特上写道:“我们以前从来没有见过……”,他公开猜测这可能不仅仅是巧合。

Nobody can blame Routledge for getting excited. Unexpected events like this are what discoveries are made of, after all. As he said, this is science in real time.

没有人能责怪劳特利奇变得兴奋。毕竟,像这样意想不到的事件才是发现的来源。正如他所说,这是实时科学。

One possibility briefly kicked around was that S190828j and S190828l were actually the same wave, divided by some sort of distortion in space before being roughly thrown together again. This would have been huge.

有一种可能是,S190828J和S190828L实际上是同一个波,被空间中的某种扭曲所分割,然后被粗略地重新组合在一起。这将是巨大的。

Gravitational lensing – the warping effect an intervening mass has on space, as described by general relativity – can divide and duplicate the rays of light from far-off objects. It has become a useful tool for astronomers in the measurement of distances.

引力透镜效应——如广义相对论所描述的,干涉质量对空间的翘曲效应——可以分割和复制来自遥远物体的光线。它已成为天文学家测量距离的有用工具。

If this had indeed been a two-for-one deal, it would be the first time a gravitational wave had been observed through a gravitational lens.

如果这确实是一个二对一的交易,这将是第一次通过引力透镜观测到引力波。



Alas, it's now looking pretty unlikely. As the hours passed, new details emerged indicating the two signals don't overlap enough to be originating from the same source.

唉,现在看来,这种可能性非常小。随着时间的推移,出现了新的细节,表明这两个信号没有重叠到足以表明来自同一个源。

If this were a lensing event, you'd expect the two localizations to sit more or less right on top of each other. They have similar shapes and appear in the same part of the sky, but they don't really overlap:

如果这是一个透镜事件,您会期望两个本地化或多或少地位于彼此之上。它们的形状相似,出现在天空的同一部分,但它们并不真正重叠:

So close, and yet so far. Right now, this twin event is looking more like a coincidence.

如此接近,却如此遥远。现在,这两个事件看起来更像是一个巧合。

To look on the bright side, we now live in an age where the detection of the crash-boom of galactic giants isn't a rare event, but rather an endless peel of thunder we can record and measure with an insane level of accuracy. It's hard to believe the first collision was detected only a few years ago.

往好的方面看,我们现在生活在这样一个时代,探测到星系巨人的撞击爆炸并不罕见,而是我们可以以惊人的精确度记录和测量无尽的雷声。很难相信第一次碰撞是在几年前被发现的。

Scientists face a problem in the wake of freaky events like this one. On the one hand, wild speculations have a habit of taking on a life of their own when discussed so frankly in a public space, transforming into an established fact while barely half baked.

科学家们在类似这样的怪异事件之后面临着一个问题。一方面,当在公共场合如此坦率地讨论这些问题时,胡乱的猜测有一种自成一体的习惯,在半生不熟的情况下就变成了既定事实。

But time can be of the essence when we're scanning a near-infinite amount of sky for clues, too. By throwing ideas out broadly, different groups of researchers can turn their attention to a phenomenon and collect data while it's still hot.

但当我们在无限多的天空中寻找线索时,时间也可能是最重要的。通过广泛地抛开观点,不同的研究小组可以将注意力转移到一种现象上,并在仍然很热的时候收集数据。

This is what scientists do best – stumble across odd events, throw out ideas, and debate which ones deserve to be inspected and which should be abandoned.

这是科学家们最擅长的——偶然发现一些奇怪的事件,抛出一些想法,讨论哪些应该被检查,哪些应该被放弃。

If there's more to S190828j and S190828l than meets the eye, we'll let you know. For now, we can be disappointed that there was no Earth-shaking discovery, while still being amazed that we have the technology to discover it at all.

如果有更多的S190828J和S190828L比符合眼睛,我们会让你知道。到目前为止,我们可能对没有惊天动地的发现感到失望,同时仍然对我们拥有发现它的技术感到惊讶。

We really ought to celebrate the 'disappointments' a little more often.

我们真的应该更经常地庆祝“失望”。


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