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[翻译字幕]Technology Report - Is NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope a Time Machine?

来源:慢速英语   时间:2011-05-23 09:21:52

科技报道 - 詹姆斯·韦伯太空望远镜,时光机器?

This is the VOA Special English Technology Report.

这里是美国之音慢速英语科技报道。

If you could build a time machine, what would it look like? Maybe, it should look like a telescope. American scientists are building a space telescope, they hope, will look back over unimaginable distances and time to show the universe close to its beginning.

如果你能建造一台时光机器,它会是什么样子?也许,它应该看起来像一台望远镜。美国科学家正在建造一台太空望远镜,他们希望这台望远镜能够够超越无法想象的时空距离,观测到宇宙的初始状态。

But this distant past will mainly be seen in infrared light. Visible light is just one form of radiation. Today, telescopes take pictures using forms of light hidden from the human eye.

但这段遥远的历史主要表现为红外线。可见光仅是辐射的其中一种形式。今天的望远镜使用一种肉眼无法看到的光线拍摄图片。

The American space agency, NASA, is now building the largest space telescope ever. The James Webb Space Telescope, named after NASA’s second director, will have a mirror seven times the size of the Hubble Space Telescope.

美国宇航局现在正在兴建有史以来最大的太空望远镜。詹姆斯·韦伯太空望远镜以美国宇航局第2任局长的名字命名,其主反射镜尺寸将达到哈勃太空望远镜的7倍。

But it will mainly study the universe in infrared light. We usually experience infrared light as heat. But, if you have ever used a TV remote control, you know there are many uses for it.
但它将主要使用红外线探测宇宙。我们通常认为红外线是热量。但是,如果你曾使用过电视遥控器,你就知道红外线有很多用途。

An artist's picture of what the James Webb Space Telescope will look like in orbit

The James Webb Space Telescope is a complex engineering project. It will be huge -- about the size of a passenger jet. And it will have to be super-cooled. Because the telescope studies infrared heat, its mirror must be kept very close to absolute zero. That is minus two hundred seventy-three degrees Celsius.

詹姆斯·韦伯太空望远镜是一项复杂的系统工程。它体积巨大,堪比一家喷气式客机。同时它必须保持超级低温。由于这台望远镜用于探测红外线,其反射镜必须无限接近绝对零度。也就是零下273摄氏度。

NASA is building the Webb telescope at the Goddard Space Center, outside Washington DC. The agency hopes to launch it in twenty-fourteen.

美国宇航局正在华盛顿特区外的戈达德航天中心建造这台韦伯望远镜。该机构希望在2014年将其发射升空。

Jonathan Gardner is a project scientist for the telescope. We asked him how the device can look back in time.

乔纳森·加德纳(Jonathan Gardner)是该望远镜的一位项目专家。我们向他请教这台设备如何能够看到时光倒流。

JONATHAN GARNER: “We can see back in time because light takes time to get from there to here. So, as we look further and further away, it takes longer and longer for the light to get from where it’s emitted to here and we can actually see backwards in time.

加德纳:“我们能够看到时光倒流,是因为光线传播需要时间。因此,当我们观测的距离越远,光线传播到那里花费的时间也越长。因此我们能够看到时光倒流。”
 

The "clean room" where scientists at NASA's Goddard Space Center near Washington

And if you look far enough, you start to approach the event scientists believe gave birth to everything.

如果你看得足够远,你开始接近科学家认为导致万物诞生的大事件(即宇宙初始)。

JONATHAN GARNER: “We’re looking at the universe when it was much younger and we’re looking back most of the way to the Big Bang.”

加德纳:“我们将看到宇宙最为年轻时的状态,而且也将看到宇宙大爆炸的情景。”

The telescope has three highly sensitive infrared cameras. But perhaps its most interesting part is the six-point-five meter wide mirror. Made of light-weight beryllium, the mirror is covered in gold, and divided into eighteen linked parts.

这台望远镜拥有三台高灵敏度的红外照相机。但可能最有趣的部分是其6.5米口径的主反射镜,它由轻质铍制成,镀以黄金,并被分割为18个相互连接的部分。(注:6.5米口径的主反射镜镜面积过大无法直接发射升空,因此分割为18部分,发射到太空后再自动拼接。)

This powerful scientific instrument will be available to scientists all over the world.

这台功能强大的科学仪器将提供给世界各地的科学家使用。

JONATHAN GARNER: “Any astronomer, at any university, in any country can write a proposal for what they want to do with the telescope.”

加德纳:“任何国家和大学的任何天文学家都可以就他们要使用这台望远镜做什么研究递交申请。”

Jonathan Gardner says the Jim Webb Space Telescope will help scientists learn how the first galaxies formed and what they looked like. It may even show things scientists never predicted.

加德纳表示,詹姆士·韦伯太空望远镜可以帮助科学家了解到最初星系的形成及其状态。甚至可能展现出科学家从未预测过的东西。

And that’s the VOA Special English Technology Report written by George Putic and Mario Ritter. Watch video about the James Webb Space Telescope at voaspecialenglish.com. I’m Mario Ritter.
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Contributing: Mario Ritter

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