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万物简史(MP3+中英字幕) 第45期:埃文斯牧师的宇宙(9)

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So when a hopeful and softspoken minister got in touch to ask if they had any usable field charts for hunting supernovae, the astronomical community thought he was out of his mind. At the time Evans had a ten-inch telescope—a very respectable size for amateur stargazing but hardly the sort of thing with which to do serious cosmology—and he was proposing to find one of the universe's rarer phenomena.
因此,要是有一位满怀希望、说话细声细气的牧师前来联系,问一声他们有没有可用的星场地图,以便寻找超新星,天文学界一定会认为他的脑子出了毛病。当时,埃文斯只有一台5厘米的天文望远镜--这供业余观星之用倒差不多,但用那玩意儿来搞严肃的宇宙研究还远远不够--他却提出要寻找宇宙里比较稀罕的现象。
埃文斯牧师的宇宙.pngIn the whole of astronomical history before Evans started looking in 1980, fewer than sixty supernovae had been found. (At the time I visited him, in August of 2001, he had just recorded his thirty-fourth visual discovery; a thirty-fifth followed three months later and a thirty-sixth in early 2003.)
埃文斯于1980年开始观察,在此之前,整个天文学史上发现的超新星还不到60颗。(到我2001年8月拜访他的时候,他已经记录了他的第34次目视发现;3个月以后,他有了第35次发现;2003年初,第36次。)
Evans, however, had certain advantages. Most observers, like most people generally, are in the northern hemisphere, so he had a lot of sky largely to himself, especially at first. He also had speed and his uncanny memory. Large telescopes are cumbersome things, and much of their operational time is consumed with being maneuvered into position. Evans could swing his little sixteen-inch telescope around like a tail gunner in a dogfight, spending no more than a couple of seconds on any particular point in the sky. In consequence, he could observe perhaps four hundred galaxies in an evening while a large professional telescope would be lucky to do fifty or sixty.
然而,埃文斯有着某些优势。大部分观察者像大部分人口一样身处北半球,因此身处南半球的他在很大程度上独自拥有一大片天空,尤其是在最初的时候。他还拥有速度和超人的记忆力。大型天文望远镜是很笨重的东西,移动到位要花掉好多操作时间。埃文斯可以像近距离空战中的机尾射手那样把5厘米小型望远镜转来转去,用几秒钟时间就可以瞄准天空中任何一个特定的点。因此,他一个晚上也许可以观测400个星系,而一台大型专业天文望远镜能观测五六十个就很不错了。
重点单词   查看全部解释    
astronomical [.æstrə'nɔmikəl]
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adj. 天文学的,巨大的
 
particular [pə'tikjulə]
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adj. 特殊的,特别的,特定的,挑剔的
n.
联想记忆
hemisphere ['hemisfiə]
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n. 半球
联想记忆
community [kə'mju:niti]
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n. 社区,社会,团体,共同体,公众,[生]群落
联想记忆
respectable [ri'spektəbl]
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n. 品格高尚的人
adj. 值得尊重的,人格
联想记忆
observe [əb'zə:v]
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v. 观察,遵守,注意到
v. 评论,庆
联想记忆
amateur ['æmətə:]
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adj. 业余(爱好者)的
n. 业余爱好者,
 
cumbersome ['kʌmbəsəm]
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adj. 笨重的
联想记忆
certain ['sə:tn]
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adj. 确定的,必然的,特定的
pron.
 
universe ['ju:nivə:s]
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n. 宇宙,万物,世界
联想记忆
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