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万物简史(MP3+中英字幕) 第25期:走进太阳系(3)

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One nice touch about Christy's discovery was that it happened in Flagstaff, for it was there in 1930 that Pluto had been found in the first place. That seminal event in astronomy was largely to the credit of the astronomer Percival Lowell.
克里斯蒂的发现有一点妙处:它发生在弗拉格斯塔夫,冥王星就是1930年在那里首次发现的。这个天文学上的重大发现,很大程度上要归功于天文学家珀西瓦尔·洛厄尔。
走进太阳系1.pngLowell, who came from one of the oldest and wealthiest Boston families (the one in the famous ditty about Boston being the home of the bean and the cod, where Lowells spoke only to Cabots, while Cabots spoke only to God), endowed the famous observatory that bears his name, but is most indelibly remembered for his belief that Mars was covered with canals built by industrious Martians for purposes of conveying water from polar regions to the dry but productive lands nearer the equator.
洛厄尔出生于波士顿一个最古老、最富裕的家族(就是那首关于波士顿是豆子和鳕鱼故乡的著名歌谣中提到的家族。歌词中说,洛厄尔家族只跟卡伯特家族说话,卡伯特家族只跟上帝说话)。他捐赠了以他的名字冠名的著名天文台,但人们最不会忘记的是他这样的看法:火星上到处是由勤劳的火星人修建的运河,用来积储来自极地的水,以灌溉赤道附近那干旱而又丰产的土地。
Lowell's other abiding conviction was that there existed, somewhere out beyond Neptune, an undiscovered ninth planet, dubbed Planet X. Lowell based this belief on irregularities he detected in the orbits of Uranus and Neptune, and devoted the last years of his life to trying to find the gassy giant he was certain was out there.
洛厄尔另一个令人不忘的看法是:在海王星以远的某个地方,存在着未被发现的第九颗行星,他给它起名为行星X。洛厄尔的这种看法是基于他在天王星和海王星的轨道上发现的不规律的现象。于是,他把生命的最后几年致力于找到那颗气态巨星。他断定它就在那里。
Unfortunately, he died suddenly in 1916, at least partly exhausted by his quest, and the search fell into abeyance while Lowell's heirs squabbled over his estate. However, in 1929, partly as a way of deflecting attention away from the Mars canal saga (which by now had become a serious embarrassment), the Lowell Observatory directors decided to resume the search and to that end hired a young man from Kansas named Clyde Tombaugh.
不幸的是,他于1916年突然去世。至少在一定程度上,这是他的探索工作过于疲劳所致。洛厄尔的继承人为了遗产争吵不休,探索工作暂时搁置下来。然而,1929年,某种程度上是为了转移对火星运河传说的注意力(到那个时候,它已经成为一件非常令人难堪的事),洛厄尔天文台的负责人决定恢复探索,并为此从堪萨斯州请来了一位名叫克莱德·汤博的年轻人。
重点单词   查看全部解释    
astronomer [ə'strɔnəmə]
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n. 天文学家
 
observatory [əb'zə:və.tri]
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n. 天文台,气象台,了望台
联想记忆
undiscovered
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adj. 未被发现的;未勘探的
 
quest [kwest]
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n. 探索,寻求
v. 寻找,搜索
 
fell [fel]
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动词fall的过去式
n. 兽皮
v
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canal [kə'næl]
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n. 运河,沟渠,气管,食管
vt. 建运河,
 
spoke [spəuk]
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v. 说,说话,演说
 
estate [is'teit]
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n. 财产,房地产,状态,遗产
联想记忆
seminal ['seminəl]
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adj. 精液的,种子的,生殖的,创新的,有创意的
联想记忆
abeyance [ə'beiəns]
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n. 中止,暂搁,停止
联想记忆
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