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[翻译]SCIENCE IN THE NEWS - Hurricane Maria Hit Puerto Rico’s Giant Telescope

更新时间:2017/10/2 10:18:19 来源:本站原创 作者:佚名

Hurricane Maria severely damaged Puerto Rico’s electricity and communications systems. Millions of people there are without power, water or food.

飓风玛利亚严重破坏了波多黎各的电力和通信系统。这里的数百万人没有水、电和食物。

The storm also caused damage to a well-known scientific tool in the U.S. territory – the Arecibo Observatory. Until last year, it was the largest single telescope of its kind in the world.

这场飓风还给这个美国领地上著名的科学工具阿雷西博天文台造成了破坏。直到去年它都是全球同类最大的单孔望远镜。

Many of the observatory’s instruments appear to be unharmed. Arecibo Deputy Director Joan Schmelz called that “a thing to be thankful for” in an interview with the Associated Press.

该天文台的很多仪器似乎都没有遭到破坏。阿雷西博天文台副台长Joan Schmelz在接受美联社采访时称这要“谢天谢地。”

But a large antenna used to study the Earth’s upper atmosphere broke during the storm, the AP reported. Damage to the observatory is estimated to be in the millions of dollars.

但是美联社报道称,用于研究地球上空大气层的一种大型天线在飓风期间损坏了。天文台的损失估计有数百万美元。

The observatory is home to the Arecibo radio telescope, a 305-meter- wide dish. It collects radio waves and focuses them onto scientific instruments that measure and process them. The instruments are suspended above the dish on towers over 80 meters high.

该天文台是305米口径的阿雷西博射电望远镜的所在地。它能收集无线电波,并将它们集中到用于测量和处理该电波的科学仪器上。这些仪器悬挂在射电望远镜上方80多米高的塔上。

During the storm, a small group of researchers remained at the observatory. They stayed in its concrete buildings. They had some food and water, but, like most in Puerto Rico, were cut off from the rest of the world.

在这场飓风中有一小波研究人员驻守在天文台。他们住在天文台的混凝土建筑物内。他们有一些食物和水,但是像波多黎各大部分地区一样,与世界上其它地方失去了联系。

Perhaps not surprisingly, the first people that the researchers were able to contact after the storm were amateur radio operators.

也许不足为奇的是,研究人员在飓风之后最先能够联系到的是业余无线电操作人员。

Storm costs could threaten future operations

飓风损失可能会威胁到未来继续运营

The storm damage threatens the telescope’s future in several ways. It is supported by the National Science Foundation, or NSF, in Alexandria, Virginia, as well as the U.S. space agency, NASA.

飓风损失从几个方面威胁到了该望远镜的未来。该天文台得到了弗吉尼亚州亚历山大市美国国家科学基金会以及美国太空总署支持。

Funding limitations and the desire to build and operate newer telescopes has made the NSF think about cutting its support for older telescopes. Arecibo could face closure if money cannot be found to repair it and to continue operations.

资金限制以及建造运营更新型望远镜的意愿使得美国国家科学基金会考虑削减对旧的望远镜的支持。如果找不到用于维修和继续运营的资金,阿雷西博天文台可能会面临关闭。

The Arecibo radio telescope has been involved in well-known scientific research since first being used in the 1960s. It was used to find an unusual kind of star system, a binary pulsar, in 1967. The discovery received a Nobel Prize in 1974.

阿雷西博射电望远镜自上世纪60年代以来一直参与了著名科学实验。1967年它被用于发现了一种不寻常的星系,即脉冲星。这一发现于1974年获得了诺贝尔奖。

The telescope can be used to study radio signals coming from space. It also can send out radio waves as radar. Radar can be used to study conditions in the Earth’s atmosphere and detect asteroids that pass dangerously close to Earth.

该望远镜可用于研究太空无线电信号。它也可以像雷达一样发射无线电波。雷达可用于研究地球大气层状况,并检测危险靠近地球的小行星。

The huge dish was also part of the SETI project, an effort to search for signs of extraterrestrial life.

这个巨型望远镜是旨在寻找外星生命迹象的搜寻地外文明(SETI)项目的一部分。

The Arecibo telescope was surpassed in size last July by the Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Telescope in Guizhou, China.

去年7月,阿雷西博射电望远镜在尺寸上被中国贵州五百米口径球面射电望远镜所超过。

Repairs will take time

维修尚需时日

Hurricane Maria, a category four storm, left most of Puerto Rico’s 3.4 million U.S. citizens without power or basic necessities. Telephone communications were nearly wiped out, as the storm destroyed cell phone towers.

飓风玛利亚是四级飓风,它造成了波多黎各340万美国公民中的大部分人失去电力或基本必需品。电话通讯也几乎断了,因为飓风破坏了手机基站。

The observatory is expected to be closed for some time because of the damage. Scientists may be able to carry out some kinds of observations soon, but others will not be possible for a long time.

由于飓风造成的损失,该天文台预计会关闭一段时间。科学家可能很快可以进行某些类型的观测,但是其它观测可能长期都无法进行。

James Ulvestad is acting director for NSF’s math and physics directorate. He said research, like bouncing radar off of other planets, requires a lot of power from the island’s electricity grid, which was severely damaged by the hurricane.

詹姆斯·阿尔维斯塔德(James Ulvestad)是美国科学基金会数学和物理理事会的代理主任。他说研究其他行星发出的反射雷达需要该岛的电网提供大量电力,但是电网被飓风严重破坏。

The recovery response has been slow, as supplies need to be flown in or shipped to the island.

恢复响应十分缓慢,因为供给物资需要用飞机或船只运到该岛上。

President Donald Trump has promised the island aid. Damage is estimated to be in the billions of dollars. Meanwhile, workers with the Federal Emergency Management Agency are trying to set up aid centers across the U.S. territory.

川普总统已经承诺提供援助。预计损失在数十亿美元。与此同时,联邦应急管理局的工作人员正试图在美国境内设立救援中心。

Puerto Rico’s government is also burdened by tens of billions of dollars in debt that it is unable to pay. The island is seeking protection from its creditors in the biggest government bankruptcy in U.S. history.

波多黎各政府还背上了数百亿还不上的债务。该岛正从其债权人那寻求美国历史上最大的政府破产保护。

I’m Mario Ritter.

Words in This Story

dish – n. a round, curved surface

focus – v. bringing light rays or some other electromagnetic radiation closer together to form an image

detect – v. to find, to confirm the presence of

asteroids – n. rocks or planet-like objects that orbit the sun

amateur – n. a person who does something for pleasure and not as a job

extraterrestrial – adj. beyond the Earth, from space

electricity grid – n. the system of generators, transformers and wires designed to provide electricity to a large area

burden – v. to carry or to deal with a heavy or difficult load

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