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[翻译]SCIENCE IN THE NEWS - Scientists Observe Birth of Huge Galaxy Cluster

更新时间:2018/5/7 6:30:43 来源:本站原创 作者:佚名

For the first time ever, astronomers have observed the birth of a galaxy cluster, known as a protocluster. The event, billions of light-years away, could form one of the largest-known structures in today’s universe.

天文学家有史以来首次观测到星系团的诞生,这就是所谓的原星系团(protocluster)。这起发生在数十亿光年之外的事件可能会形成当今宇宙中已知最庞大的结构之一。

Using the most powerful telescopes on Earth, the scientists have observed a group of 14 galaxies in the early stages of crashing into one another. The galaxies are forming stars at a rate 1,000 times faster than our own Milky Way galaxy. Yet all 14 galaxies fit into an area just about four times the size of our galaxy.

科学家们利用地球上功能最强大的望远镜观测到了一组14个星系处于相互碰撞的早期阶段。该星系正以比我们银河系快1000倍的速度形成恒星。然而,所有14个星系所在区域只比我们银河系大四倍左右。

The gathering of galaxies is 12.4 billion light-years away from Earth. Because of the length of time it takes for light to travel, the scientists are actually looking back in history.

这些星系的聚集发生在距离地球大约124亿光年之外。因为光线传播所花费的漫长时间,科学家们实际上是在回顾历史。

The protocluster, named SPT2349-56, appeared when the universe was about a tenth of its current age.

这个原星系团被命名为SPT2349-56,它是在宇宙只有目前年龄的十分之一时出现的。

They say it happened 1.4 billion years after the Big Bang. The Big Bang is the explosive force that gave rise to the universe about 13.8 billion years ago.

科学家们表示,它发生在宇宙大爆炸14亿年之后。宇宙大爆炸是大约138亿年前形成宇宙的爆炸力量。

Chris Hayward is a scientist with the Flatiron Institute in New York. He told the Simons Foundation, “This is the missing link in our understanding of how clusters form.”

克里斯·海沃德(Chris Hayward)是纽约Flatiron研究所的一名科学家。他对美国西蒙斯基金会表示,“这是我们了解星系团如何形成的缺失环节。”

The astronomers reported this galactic gathering in the journal Nature in late April.

天文学家们在四月下旬的《自然》杂志上报告了这次星系的聚集。

History of the universe

宇宙的历史

Scott Chapman of Dalhousie University in Canada is one of the authors of the report. Chapman, Hayward, Tim Miller of Yale University and others observed the protocluster using the South Pole Telescope in Antarctica.

加拿大达尔豪斯大学的斯科特·查普曼(Scott Chapman)是该报告的作者之一。查普曼、海沃德、耶鲁大学的蒂姆·米勒(Tim Miller)等人在南极洲使用南极望远镜观测到了这个原星系团。

Chapman said how the group of galaxies got so big so fast "is a bit of a mystery.”

查普曼表示, 这组星系怎样如此迅速地变得如此之大“有点令人费解。”

"It just hit you in the face because all of a sudden there are all these galaxies there," Chapman said. "We went from three to 14 in one fell swoop. It instantly became obvious this was a very interesting, massive structure forming and not just a flash in the pan.”

查普曼表示:“突然之间就出现了3个星系,”查普曼说,“我们发现的星系数量刹那之间就从3个变成14个。很明显,这是一次非常有趣的庞大结构的行成,而并非浩瀚宇宙中一次闪光。”

The protocluster was formed before the more mature galaxy clusters seen in the modern universe. That makes the protocluster an excellent test bed for learning more about how present-day clusters formed and evolved.

该原星系团是在现代宇宙更成熟的星系团之前形成的。这使得原星系团成为更多了解当今星系团如何形成和演化的最佳测试平台。

I’m Pete Musto.

Words in This Story

cluster – n. a group of things or people that are close together

light-year(s) – n. a unit of distance equal to the distance that light travels in one year, about 9.46 trillion kilometers

galaxies – n. the very large groups of stars that make up the universe

journal – n. a magazine that reports on things of special interest to a particular group of people

author(s) – n. a person who has written something

in one fell swoop – idm. done all at once or all together

obvious – adj. easy to see or notice

flash in the pan – idm. a brief, intense effort that produces no really major result

mature – adj. grown to full size

evolve(d) – v. to change or develop slowly often into a better, more complex, or more advanced state

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