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万物简史(MP3+中英字幕) 第46期:埃文斯牧师的宇宙(10)

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Looking for supernovae is mostly a matter of not finding them. From 1980 to 1996 he averaged two discoveries a year—not a huge payoff for hundreds of nights of peering and peering. Once he found three in fifteen days, but another time he went three years without finding any at all.
寻找超新星的工作大多一无所获。从1980年到1996年,他平均每年有两次发现--那要花几百个夜晚来观测呀观测呀,真不划算。有一回他15天里有3次发现,但另一回3年里也没有发现1次。
"There is actually a certain value in not finding anything," he said. "It helps cosmologists to work out the rate at which galaxies are evolving. It's one of those rare areas where the absence of evidenceis evidence."
"实际上,一无所获也有一定价值,"他说,"它有利于宇宙学家计算出星系演变的速度。在那种极少有所发现的区域,没有迹象就是迹象。"
埃文斯牧师的宇宙.pngOn a table beside the telescope were stacks of photos and papers relevant to his pursuits, and he showed me some of them now. If you have ever looked through popular astronomical publications, and at some time you must have, you will know that they are generally full of richly luminous color photos of distant nebulae and the like—fairy-lit clouds of celestial light of the most delicate and moving splendor.
在望远镜旁边的一张桌子上,堆放着跟他的研究有关的照片和文献。现在,他把其中一些拿给我看。要是你翻阅过天文学的通俗出版物,你就会知道,上面大多是远处星云之类的色彩鲜艳的照片--那是由天光形成的彩色云团,华美动人,异常壮观。
Evans's working images are nothing like that. They are just blurry black-and-white photos with little points of haloed brightness. One he showed me depicted a swarm of stars with a trifling flare that I had to put close to my face to see. This, Evans told me, was a star in a constellation called Fornax from a galaxy known to astronomy as NGC1365. (NGC stands for New General Catalogue, where these things are recorded.
埃文斯拍下的形象根本无法与之相比。它们只是模模糊糊的黑白照片,上面有带有光环的小亮点。他让我看一幅照片,它描述了一大群恒星,上面有一点儿光焰,我不得不凑近了才看得清楚。埃文斯对我说,这是天炉星座的一颗恒星,天文学上称之为NGC1365。(NGC代表"新编总目录",上面记录着这些材料。
Once it was a heavy book on someone's desk in Dublin; today, needless to say, it's a database.) For sixty million silent years, the light from the star's spectacular demise traveled unceasingly through space until one night in August of 2001 it arrived at Earth in the form of a puff of radiance, the tiniest brightening, in the night sky. It was of course Robert Evans on his eucalypt-scented hillside who spotted it.
过去是都柏林某人书桌上的一本笨重的书;不用说,如今是一个数据库。)在6000万年时间里,这颗恒星的壮丽死亡时所发出的光,不停地越过太空,最后在2001年8月的一天夜里以一点微光的形式抵达了地球。当然是身处桉树芬芳的山坡上的罗伯特•埃文斯发现了它。
重点单词   查看全部解释    
delicate ['delikit]
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n. 精美的东西
adj. 精美的,微妙的,美
 
popular ['pɔpjulə]
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adj. 流行的,大众的,通俗的,受欢迎的
联想记忆
relevant ['relivənt]
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adj. 相关的,切题的,中肯的
联想记忆
galaxy ['gæləksi]
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n. 银河,一群显赫之人
联想记忆
demise [di'maiz]
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n. 死亡,转让房产,让位 vt. 让渡,遗赠,转让 v
联想记忆
astronomy [əst'rɔnəmi]
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n. 天文学
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rare [rɛə]
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adj. 稀罕的,稀薄的,罕见的,珍贵的
ad
 
luminous ['lu:minəs]
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adj. 发光的,发亮的,清楚的,明白易懂的
联想记忆
needless ['ni:dlis]
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adj. 不需要的,无用的
 
splendor ['splendə]
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n. 光辉,壮丽,显赫
 
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