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万物简史(MP3+中英字幕) 第26期:走进太阳系(4)

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Tombaugh had no formal training as an astronomer, but he was diligent and he was astute, and after a year's patient searching he somehow spotted Pluto, a faint point of light in a glittery firmament.
汤博没有受过成为天文学家的专门训练,但他既勤奋又聪明。经过一年的搜索以后,他在明亮的天空里终于看到了一个暗淡的光点:冥王星。
It was a miraculous find, and what made it all the more striking was that the observations on which Lowell had predicted the existence of a planet beyond Neptune proved to be comprehensively erroneous. Tombaugh could see at once that the new planet was nothing like the massive gasball Lowell had postulated, but any reservations he or anyone else had about the character of the new planet were soon swept aside in the delirium that attended almost any big news story in that easily excited age.
这是个奇迹般的发现。这个发现更引人注目的是,它证明洛厄尔的观测结果是错误的。虽然是可以理解的,洛厄尔曾根据这些观测结果来预言海王星以远的地方存在一颗行星。汤博马上意识到,这颗新的行星根本不是像洛厄尔所预料的那样是个巨大的气球--但是,他或别人有关这颗新行星的性质所持的任何保留,在极其兴奋之中很快就一扫而光。在那个容易激动的时代,差不多任何重大的新闻故事都会激起这种情绪。
走进太阳系2.jpgThis was the first American-discovered planet, and no one was going to be distracted by the thought that it was really just a distant icy dot. It was named Pluto at least partly because the first two letters made a monogram from Lowell's initials. Lowell was posthumously hailed everywhere as a genius of the first order, and Tombaugh was largely forgotten, except among planetary astronomers, who tend to revere him.
这是第一颗由美国人发现的行星。有人认为它其实只不过是远方的一颗冰粒,但谁也不会被这种看法转移视线。它被命名为冥王星,至少一定程度上是因为它的头两个字母是由洛厄尔姓名的首字母组成的交织字母。已经不在人世的洛厄尔到处被颂扬为一流的天才人物,而汤博在很大程度上已被人们忘得一干二净,除了在研究行星的天文学家当中,他们往往对他怀有崇敬之情。
A few astronomers continue to think there may be a Planet X out there—a real whopper, perhaps as much as ten times the size of Jupiter, but so far out as to be invisible to us. (It would receive so little sunlight that it would have almost none to reflect.) The idea is that it wouldn't be a conventional planet like Jupiter or Saturn—it's much too far away for that; we're talking perhaps 4.5 trillion miles—but more like a sun that never quite made it. Most star systems in the cosmos are binary (double-starred), which makes our solitary sun a slight oddity.
现在,有的天文学家继续认为,冥王星之外也许还有行星X--一颗真正的庞然大物,也许有木星的10倍之大,只是它太遥远,我们看不见。(它被照到的阳光太少,几乎没有反射的光。)他们认为,它不会是像木星或土星这样的普通行星--它太远,不可能是那个样子;我们推测也许有7.2万亿公里之远--而更会像一个没有形成的太阳。宇宙中的大多数恒星体系都是成双的(双星体),这就使我们孤零零的太阳显得有点儿怪。
重点单词   查看全部解释    
planetary ['plænitəri]
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adj. 行星的,有轨道的
 
planet ['plænit]
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n. 行星
 
comprehensively [kɔmpri'hensivli]
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adv. 包括地;包括一切地
 
except [ik'sept]
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vt. 除,除外
prep. & conj.
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conventional [kən'venʃənl]
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adj. 传统的,惯例的,常规的
 
striking ['straikiŋ]
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adj. 吸引人的,显著的
n. 打击
 
massive ['mæsiv]
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adj. 巨大的,大规模的,大量的,大范围的
 
faint [feint]
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n. 昏厥,昏倒
adj. 微弱的,无力的,模
 
revere [ri'viə]
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v. 尊敬,敬畏,崇敬 里维尔(美国马萨诸塞州城市,避暑
联想记忆
delirium [di'liriəm]
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n. 精神错乱,说谵语状态,热狂
联想记忆
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