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【科学种子科技英语】宇宙大爆炸的古老遗留物被W. M. Keck天文台发现


Within the gas in the (blue) filaments connecting the(orange) galaxies lurk rare pockets of pristine gas -- vestiges of the Big Bangthat have somehow been orphaned from the explosive, polluting deaths of stars,seen here as circular shock waves around some orange points.




A reliccloud of gas, orphaned after the Big Bang, has been discovered in the distantuniverse by astronomers using the world's most powerful optical telescope, theW. M. Keck Observatory on Maunakea, Hawaii.

天文学家利用世界上最强大的光学望远镜——位于夏威夷Maunakea的W. M.Keck天文台里——发现了在遥远的宇宙中大爆炸后孤立的遗留气体云。

The discovery of such a rare fossil, led by PhD studentFred Robert and Professor Michael Murphy at Swinburne University of Technology,offers new information about how the first galaxies in the universe formed.

由Swinburne科技大学的博士生Fred Robert和Michael Murphy教授是这种稀有化石的主要发现者,他们提供了关于宇宙中第一个星系是如何形成的新信息。

"Everywhere we look, the gas in the universe ispolluted by waste heavy elements from exploding stars," says Robert."But this particular cloud seems pristine, unpolluted by stars even 1.5billion years after the Big Bang."

罗伯特说:“不论看哪个地方,宇宙中的气体都被爆炸恒星中的废弃重元素所污染。” “但这个特殊的云似乎是原始的,甚至在大爆炸后的15亿年内也没有受到恒星的影响。”

"If it has any heavy elements at all, it must beless than 1/10,000th of the proportion we see in our Sun. This is extremelylow; the most compelling explanation is that it's a true relic of the BigBang."

“如果它有任何重元素,它比值必须小于我们在太阳系中的 1 / 10,000。这个比值非常低,而其最引人注目的解释是它是宇宙大爆炸的真实遗留物。”

The results will be published in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

这些研究结果将发表在“Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society”期刊上。


Robert and his team used two of Keck Observatory'sinstruments -- the Echellette Spectrograph and Imager (ESI) and theHigh-Resolution Echelle Spectrometer (HIRES) -- to observe the spectrum of aquasar behind the gas cloud.


The quasar, which emits a bright glow of material fallinginto a supermassive black hole, provides a light source against which thespectral shadows of the hydrogen in the gas cloud can be seen.


"We targeted quasars where previous researchers hadonly seen shadows from hydrogen and not from heavy elements in lower-qualityspectra," says Robert. "This allowed us to discover such a rarefossil quickly with the precious time on Keck Observatory's twintelescopes."


The only two other fossil clouds known were discovered in2011 by Professor Michele Fumagalli of Durham University, John O'Meara, formerly a professor at St. Michael'sCollege and now the new Chief Scientist at Keck Observatory, and Professor J.Xavier Prochaska of the University of California, Santa Cruz; both Fumagalliand O'Meara are co-authors of this new research on the third fossil cloud.

2011年,由达勒姆大学的教授Michele Fumagalli,圣迈克尔学院的前任教授及Keck天文台的新任首席科学家John O'Meara,以及加州大学圣克鲁兹分校教授J. Xavier Prochaska发现了其他两种化石云。Fumagalli和O'Meara也是关于第三个化石云的新研究的共同作者。

"The first two were serendipitous discoveries, andwe thought they were the tip of the iceberg. But no one has discovered anythingsimilar -- they are clearly very rare and difficult to see. It's fantastic tofinally discover one systematically," says O'Meara.

“前两个是偶然的发现,我们认为它们是冰山一角。但是没有人发现任何类似的东西,显然它们非常罕见且很难看到。最终能够如此系统地发现了它真的太棒了,” O'Meara说道。

"It's now possible to survey for these fossil relicsof the Big Bang," says Murphy. "That will tell us exactly how rarethey are and help us understand how some gas formed stars and galaxies in theearly universe, and why some didn't."

“现在可以对这些大爆炸的化石遗留物进行调查,”墨菲说。 “这将告诉我们它们究竟有多么稀有,并会帮助我们了解一些气体如何形成早期宇宙中的恒星和星系,同时为什么有些气体没有形成。”


Filament 细丝、单纤维

Lurk 潜伏

Pristine 原始的

Circular 圆形的

Relic 遗物、残骸

Optical 光学的

Fossil 化石

Heavy elements 重元素

Compel 强迫

Quasar 类星体

Supermassive 超质量的

Serendipitous 偶然发现的

Iceberg 冰山








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