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万物简史(MP3+中英字幕) 第184期:爱因斯坦的宇宙(27)

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Combining Leavitt's cosmic yardstick with Vesto Slipher's handy red shifts, Edwin Hubble now began to measure selected points in space with a fresh eye. In 1923 he showed that a puff of distant gossamer in the Andromeda constellation known as M31 wasn't a gas cloud at all but a blaze of stars, a galaxy in its own right, a hundred thousand light-years across and at least nine hundred thousand light-years away. The universe was vaster—vastly vaster—than anyone had ever supposed. In 1924 he produced a landmark paper, “Cepheids in Spiral Nebulae” (nebulae,from the Latin for “clouds,” was his word for galaxies), showing that the universe consisted not just of the Milky Way but of lots of independent galaxies—“island universes”—many of them bigger than the Milky Way and much more distant.
哈勃把莱维特测量宇宙的标准和维斯托·斯莱弗的红移结合起来,开始以焕然一新的目光有选择地测量空间的点。1923年,他证明,仙女座里一团代号为M31的薄雾状的东西根本不是气云,而是一大堆光华夺目的恒星,其本身就是一个星系,直径有1万光年,离我们至少有90万光年之远。宇宙比任何人想像的还要大——大得多。1924年,哈勃写出了一篇具有划时代意义的论文,题目为《旋涡星云里的造父变星》(“星云”源自拉丁语,意为“云”,哈勃喜欢用这个词来指星系),证明宇宙不仅仅有银河系,还有大量独立的星系——“孤岛宇宙”——其中许多比银河系要大,要远得多。
爱因斯坦珍贵照片This finding alone would have ensured Hubble’s reputation, but he now turned to the question of working out just how much vaster the universe was, and made an even more striking discovery. Hubble began to measure the spectra of distant galaxies—the business that Slipher had begun in Arizona. Using Mount Wilson’s new hundred-inch Hooker telescope and some clever inferences, he worked out that all the galaxies in the sky (except for our own local cluster) are moving away from us. Moreover, their speed and distance were neatly proportional: the further away the galaxy, the faster it was moving.
仅仅这一项发现就足以使哈勃名扬天下,但是,他接着把注意力转向另一个问题,想要计算宇宙到底大了多少,于是有了一个更加令人瞩目的发现。哈勃开始测量远方星系的光谱——斯莱弗已经在亚利桑那州开始做的那项工作。他利用威尔逊山天文台那台新的254厘米天文望远镜,加上一些聪明的推断,到20世纪30年代初已经得出结论:天空中的所有星系(除我们自己的星系以外)都在离我们远去。而且,它们的速率和距离完全成正比:星系距离我们越远,退行速率越快。
重点单词   查看全部解释    
cosmic ['kɔzmik]
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adj. 宇宙的,广大无边的,无限的
联想记忆
rare [rɛə]
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adj. 稀罕的,稀薄的,罕见的,珍贵的
ad
 
profound [prə'faund]
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adj. 深奥的,深邃的,意义深远的
联想记忆
variable ['vɛəriəbl]
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adj. 可变的,易变的
n. 变量,易变的东
联想记忆
devise [di'vaiz]
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vt. 设计,发明,遗赠给
n. 遗赠,
联想记忆
spiral ['spaiərəl]
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n. 旋涡,螺旋形之物
adj. 螺旋形的,盘
 
rhythm ['riðəm,'riθəm]
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n. 节奏,韵律,格律,节拍
 
independent [indi'pendənt]
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adj. 独立的,自主的,有主见的
n. 独立
联想记忆
contribution [.kɔntri'bju:ʃən]
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n. 贡献,捐款(赠)
 
acquaintance [ə'kweintəns]
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n. 熟人,相识,了解
联想记忆
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