经济学人:系外行星的卫星探索之旅 (02)

That was intriguing enough for them to be awarded a chunk of coveted observing time on the Hubble Space Telescope, to take a closer look.

这对他们来说足够令人着迷,因为他们可以获得大量观测时间,用哈勃空间望远镜进行更近距离的观测。

The Hubble has a much bigger mirror than Kepler, and so should be able to generate a firmer signal.

哈勃的镜面比开普勒大得多,因此应该能够产生一种更强的信号。

After 40 hours of observation, and after putting their data through the statistical wringer to try to remove any possible sources of bias,

进行了40个小时的观察后,并在进行了大量的数据筛选排除了任何可能的偏见后,

such a signal is exactly what they think they have found.

这样一种信号正是他们认为他们所发现的。

Only big moons would cause enough of a dip in brightness to be detectable with today's instruments.

只有大卫星才会造成足够的光亮倾角,从而被现在的仪器探测到。

And, with the important caveat that the room for uncertainty is large, Kepler-1625b's proposed moon seems indeed to be a real whopper.

有了这个重要的警示—不确定的空间非常巨大,Kepler-1625b的拟议卫星似乎确实是真实存在的巨物。

Dr Kipping thinks it is at least as massive as Earth itself. Its diameter seems to be about four times greater, roughly that of Neptune.

基平博士认为其至少和地球一样巨大。其直径似乎约有海王星的四倍之大。

Its parent planet is comparably hefty—more massive even than Jupiter, the solar system's biggest world.

其母行星相对更大—甚至比木星还大,木星是太阳系中体积最大的。

Intriguingly, there are hints that the newly found moon's orbital plane may be tilted with respect to its parent planet's orbit around the system's star.

有趣的是,有暗示表明,关于其环绕星系恒星的周围的母行星轨道,这颗新发现的卫星的轨道平面或许是倾斜的。

The only moon in Earth's solar system with a similar arrangement is Triton, a satellite of Neptune.

地球太阳系中唯一一个有类似情况的卫星是海卫一,一颗环绕海王星运行的卫星。

Rather than forming in place, Triton is thought to have been captured by Neptune from the Kuiper Belt, a sort of cosmic junkyard beyond Neptune's orbit.

海卫一的形成地并不在这里,普遍认为海卫一是被海王星从柯伊伯带俘获过来的,柯伊伯带是在海王星轨道另一边的宇宙垃圾场。

And it is just possible that things are stranger still. The moon's parent star is elderly, and is in the process of swelling into a red giant.

事情可能还是很奇怪。这个卫星的母恒星年岁较大,并且还在向红巨星膨胀的过程中。

Dr Kipping speculates that one explanation for the moon's giant size might be that the dying star is heating the moon's atmosphere,

基平博士推测卫星巨大体积的解释之一或是因为这个枯萎的恒星加热了卫星的大气,

causing it to expand and increasing the moon's effective diameter.

导致其扩张并使卫星的有效直径增长。

Assuming, that is, that the moon is real at all. To nail this question down, Dr Teachey and Dr Kipping hope to be granted more time on the Hubble next May,

假设这颗卫星真实存在。为了得到确定答案,提奇和基平博士希望明年五月能有更多时间利用哈勃空间望远镜进行观测,

when—if their previous observations were correct— the planet and its putative moon are next due to swing in front of their star.

那时—如果他们之前的观察没错的话—行星及其假定卫星就是下一个在恒星前边晃动的物体。

Separately, they are hoping to use the Keck telescope, in Hawaii, to try to measure the wobble that the moon's parent planet induces in its star.

他们希望在夏威夷使用凯克望远镜测量该卫星的母星在其恒星中引发的摇晃度。

相关信息

使用搜索工具,可以更快找到你想要的资料!

特别推荐
最新资料