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Our Solar System was recently introduced to the first interstellar object in late October.

我们的太阳系最近在10月下旬引入了第一个星际物体。

The object, called 'Oumuamua (a Hawaiian word for messenger), has caught the attention of astronomers and space enthusiasts who are toying with the possibility of it being an interstellar space probe sent by an advanced civilisation elsewhere in the universe.

这个名为“Oumuamua”(一个夏威夷语的使者)的对象引起了天文学家和太空爱好者的注意,他们正在探索宇宙中其他地方的先进文明发出的星际空间探测器的可能性。

Yuri Milner, the Russian billionaire behind the Breakthrough Listen research program, is intrigued by this possibility.

俄罗斯亿万富翁Breakthrough Listen研究计划背后的尤里·米尔纳(Yuri Milner )对这种可能性很感兴趣。

Shortly after meeting with Harvard's astronomy department chair, Avi Loeb, Breakthrough Listen announced it will be focusing on 'Oumuamua to investigate if the object is transmitting radio signals, a telltale sign that it's not just a space rock.

在与哈佛大学天文系主任阿维·勒布(Avi Loeb)见面后不久,“Breakthrough Listen”收听宣布,将专注于“Oumuamua”,以调查该物体是否在发射无线电信号,这是一个迹象,表明它不只是一块太空岩石。

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(Brooks Bays/SOEST Publication Services/Univ. of Hawaii)

In an email to Milner, Loeb says, "The more I study this object, the more unusual it appears, making me wonder whether it might be an artificially made probe which was sent by an alien civilisation," which put a great deal of heft behind such a claim.

在一封给米尔纳的电子邮件中,勒布说:“我研究这个物体的次数越多,它的出现就越不寻常,这让我怀疑它是否可能是由外星文明发送的人造探测器,”它对这种说法进行了大量的研究。

The object was first spotted by the Pan-STARRS survey telescope in Hawaii and has since been discovered to have some uncharacteristic qualities of a typical asteroid or comet. 'Oumuamua was first thought to be a comet but since it lacked a coma, or tail of evaporated material, that was quickly ruled out.

这个物体最初是在夏威夷的泛星测量望远镜上发现的,后来被发现有一些典型的小行星或彗星的不典型特征。“Oumuamua最初被认为是一颗彗星,但由于它缺乏惰性,或被蒸发的物质的尾部,这很快就被排除了。”

The shape of the object also is peculiar as it is much longer than it is wide, while most asteroids are rounder in shape. This certainly doesn't disqualify it as an asteroid - as the lack of a coma did for its prospects of being a comet - but it still raises some questions.

这个物体的形状也很奇特,因为它比宽得多,而大多数的小行星都是圆形的。当然,这并没有使它成为一颗小行星——因为它的前景并不像一颗彗星——但它仍然提出了一些问题。

Breakthrough Listen will begin listening to the object using the Green Bank Telescope starting this Wednesday, December 13, at 3 pm Eastern time.

Breakthrough Listen将于12月13日(周三)东部时间下午3点开始使用望远镜开始聆听。

The telescope will look at the asteroid for ten hours across four bands of radio frequency in the hopes of intercepting a radio signal transmitted from the object. The technology could allow for a rapid turn-around time of just days.

这架望远镜将会在四个波段的无线电频率上观测这颗小行星10个小时,希望能拦截从物体发射的无线电信号。这项技术可以在短短几天内实现快速周转。

Scientists do admit that the likelihood of this object being anything other than naturally occurring is very small. However, science does not tend to work in the realm of absolute impossibility.

科学家们承认,除了自然发生外,这种物体的可能性很小。然而,科学并没有在绝对不可能的领域工作。

Andrew Siemion the director of the Berkeley SETI Research Center and leader of the centre's Breakthrough Listen Initiative told The Atlantic, "It would be difficult to work in this field if you thought that every time you looked at something, you weren't going to succeed," a sentiment that is likely to be common in other SETI pursuits.

伯克利SETI研究中心主任,该中心的突破性听力计划负责人安德鲁·西米恩(Andrew Siemion)告诉大西洋公司:“如果你认为每次看到某个东西都不会成功的话, ,“在其他SETI追求中可能是常见的情绪。

'Oumuamua is just the latest development to excite SETI enthusiasts. Its appearance in our solar system is just one of the closest objects of potential extraterrestrial influence.

Oumuamua是激发SETI爱好者的最新发展。它在我们的太阳系中的出现只是潜在地外影响的最接近的物体之一。

The Kepler Space Telescope has noticed a distant star, known as KIC 8462852, which also exhibits some uncharacteristic qualities, leading to observers questioning whether an advanced civilisation is present.

开普勒太空望远镜发现了一颗名为KIC 8462852的遥远恒星,它也表现出一些不寻常的特质,让观察家们怀疑是否存在先进的文明。

Many humans seem to be eager to prove that we are not alone in the universe. To that end, they can tend to cling to any remote possibility more than the evidence should afford.

许多人似乎都渴望证明我们并不孤单。为此,他们可能倾向于坚持任何远远超出证据承受范围的可能性。

While mysterious signals or strange objects should absolutely pique our interests, we shouldn't focus on the answer being aliens.

神秘的信号或奇怪的东西绝对会激起我们的兴趣,我们不应该把焦点放在外星人的答案上。

There is plenty we have yet to learn about the universe around us, and yes, intelligent life elsewhere in the universe might be part of that elusive knowledge.

我们还有很多东西需要了解我们周围的宇宙,是的,宇宙中其他地方的智慧生命可能是这种难以捉摸的知识的一部分。

We can get just as excited about learning more about the mechanics of the universe which can help us gain important insight on just how we got here, and on a cosmic scale, where we are headed.

我们能够更加了解宇宙的力学,能够帮助我们获得关于我们如何到达这里以及在宇宙尺度上的重要洞察力。

This article was originally published by Futurism.

这篇文章最初是由未来主义出版的。

本篇中文为爱思英语翻译内容,如有错误欢迎指正,转载文章请注明来源。