经济学人:系外行星的卫星探索之旅 (03)

That would give them a better sense of just how massive it is.

这将让他们更好的感知这个物体有多么的巨大。

There maybe more to come. The two researchers think they have found a second promising target lurking in Kepler's data.

或许还能得到更多。两位研究人员认为他们发现了隐藏在开普勒数据中的第二个有希望的目标。

And theory can offer a useful guide as to where else to look.

并且理论可以作为观测的有效指导。

Many of the exoplanets discovered so far are so-called "hot Jupiters"—gas giants that orbit close to their stars (a configuration unknown in Earth's solar system).

目前所发现的很多系外行星都是所谓的“热木星”,即气态巨行星,绕它们的恒星的轨道而行(地球太阳系中的一种未知结构)。

Theorists believe such worlds must have formed farther out from their stars before being flung inward, perhaps by a close encounter with another planet.

理论学家认为这种世界一定是在被向内推进之前就在遥远的恒星中成型了,或许是通过于另一个行星近距离接触形成的。

That game of gravitational billiards would also strip any moons away from such a planet.

引力撞球的游戏也会让卫星脱离该行星。

Better to look at "cool Jupiters"—those planets that, like Jupiter itself, orbit their stars at more sensible distances.

最好是看看“冷木星”—和木星本身一样,那些行星会更近距离的围绕着它们的恒星。

Only a handful of these are known from the Kepler data, says Dr Kipping, but "we'd like to use the Hubble to observe all of them, every time they transit."

开普勒数据中已知的仅有一小部分,基平博士表示,但“我们会利用哈博望远镜观测所有,观测它们每一次的移动。”

If everything goes according to plan, the study of exomoons may follow the pattern seen with exoplanets, where an initial trickle turns rapidly into a flood.

如果一切按计划进行,系外行星的研究或许会遵循系外行星的模式—在这些系外行星上,最初的微妙移动迅速扩大。

A probe called the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) was launched in April.

一个名为凌日系外行星勘测卫星(TESS)的探测器于四月发射。

TESS is designed to observe stars much closer to Earth than those watched by Kepler.

TESS旨在观测那些距离地球更近的恒星(与开普勒观测到的相比)。

If it can observe for long enough, it may turn up more candidate exomoons.

如果TESS的观测时间够长,或许可以发现更多候选系外行星。

Follow-up observations of anything that TESS finds would be greatly aided by its comparative nearness.

对TESS所发现的任何物体的后续观测都将受到其相对近距离的极大辅助。

And the Hubble is expected to be joined in 2020 by the budget-bustingly expensive, extremely late and very capable James Webb Space Telescope,

2020年,一种更加昂贵、先进且非常得力的詹姆斯·韦伯空间望远镜会加入哈博望远镜行列,

which will carry the largest mirror ever flown into space. The moons are out there. Finding them is only a matter of time.

前者载有最大的镜面,比送入太空的任何一个都大。卫星就在那里,发现它们只是时间问题。

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