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[Copy] From 1 billion light-years to 0.1 fermi

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http://www.wensh.net/up/2/img/780/01p.jpg
about 1 billion light-years, 1025 meters
约10亿光年,1025

Most of space looks as empty as this, the glow of distant galaxies like dotted dust. This emptiness is normal; our own bright home-world is the exception. A tenfold larger view would show no new structure, no new void; the universe is roughly uniform at such dimensions. Novelty on so grand a scale is to be sought over time rather than from place to place. All swift change is in the past. This view will dim slowly, for a few billion years at least, as the faint clusters drift still farther apart.

大部分的(宇宙)空间就跟这幅图一般空旷,远处星系发出的光就像点点尘埃。这种空旷是正常的;我们自己的明亮世界除外。比这幅图大十倍的视图不会有新的结构,也没有新的空旷;宇宙在这个尺度上是大致均匀的。在如此大的尺度上,新奇的事物要通过历经时间来寻求,而不是从一个地方到另一个地方。所有的快速变化都在过去。至少再过数十亿年,这个视图会慢慢变得模糊,由于图上模糊的团簇会逐渐飘散(以至于变得更模糊)。

http://www.wensh.net/up/2/img/780/02p.jpg
about 100 million light-years, 1024 meters
约1亿光年,1024

We look toward our distant home in the Milky Way. But we see mostly one large intervening cluster of galaxies, called the Virgo Cluster. Galaxies as a rule associate into orbiting clusters and groups. There is reason to believe that our Milky Way is itself an outlier of the big Virgo Cluster, responsive to its steady gravitational pull: part of a supercluster. Out there beyond the Milky Way is a good-sized volume nearly devoid of noticeable galaxies.

朝远处我们的银河系里的家的方向看。但是我们只看到一团相互作用的星系,成为室女座星系团。星系通常围着(星系)团簇或群组而轨道绕行。有理由相信我们的银河系是大室女座星系团的外层星系,响应着一个超星系团的一部分的稳定的引力。在银河系之外相当大的空间内几乎没有明显的星系了。

http://www.wensh.net/up/2/img/780/03p.jpg
about 10 million light-years, 3 megaparsecs, 1023 meters
约1000万光年,或3兆秒差距,1023

These are the galaxies of our own cosmic region, each single bright spot made by the summed light of stars by the billion. Their mutual gravity binds stars into galaxies, every one a complex swarm of moving stars.

这些(亮点)都是在我们空间区域附近的星系,每一个亮点都是由数十亿颗恒星的光聚集而成。它们相互的引力把它们约束成星系,每一个(星系)都是一个复杂的运动恒星集团。

http://www.wensh.net/up/2/img/780/04p.jpg
about 1 million light-years, 1022 meters
约100万光年,1022

This flat circular disk is our own Galaxy, the Milky Way, with its spiral structure. It travels in space with two satellite galaxies, the irregular little Clouds of Magellan. Not many galaxies are larger than ours; nor are many seen that are smaller than the Clouds.

这个圆盘就是我们的星系,银河系,带着旋涡的结构。它带着两个卫星星系在空间穿梭,卫星星系是不规则的小麦哲伦星云。很少星系比我们的银河系大,也没有多少星系见得比麦哲伦星云小。

http://www.wensh.net/up/2/img/780/05p.jpg
about 100 thousand light-years, 1021 meters
约10万光年,1021

We look face-on directly at the Milky Way spiral. A hundred billion stars mutually bound by gravity encircle the central region, some passing close in, some in wider orbits. Our own sun swings with the rest in dignified passage clockwise about the distant galactic center, once every three hundred million years. External galaxies akin to our own are scattered throughout space as far as we can see. They too rotate slowly as they drift.

我们直接面对银河系的旋涡。一千亿恒星被引力相互联结着,束缚在中心区域,有些更靠近中心,有些(在外围)有着更宽阔的轨道。我们的太阳连同此轨道上的其它恒星,在围着遥远巨大的(银河系)中心绕行,每亿年绕一圈。银河系附近的星系在空间中飘散,正如我们所见到的。它们在漂移的同时也在缓慢地自转。

http://www.wensh.net/up/2/img/780/06p.jpg
about 10 thousand light-years, 1020 meters
约1万光年,1020

Clouds of stars and glowing gas, with patches of darkening dust, mark the slow-changing spiral patterns of the Galaxy disk. Our distant sun cannot be seen here, but it is in the center of the image, near the border of one spiral arm.

点缀着暗淡尘埃的团团恒星和发光星云,标记着银河系缓慢变化的旋涡外形。我们遥远的太阳在这里还看不到,但它在这幅图的中心,靠近一条旋臂的边缘。

http://www.wensh.net/up/2/img/780/07p.jpg
about 1 thousand light-years, 1019 meters
约1000光年,1019

In this view we are within the disk of the Galaxy, right among a host of stars visible here as individuals. Almost every star of the thousand mapped by the old watchers of the sky, those who first gathered stars into constellations, lies within this square, our own galactic neighborhood. There are many other stars as well, too faint for the eye to see.

此视图是我们在银河系的圆盘中所看到的,我们正处在一个个可见的恒星之中。

http://www.wensh.net/up/2/img/780/08p.jpg
about 100 light-years, 1018 meters
约100光年,1018

A skyful of distinct stars; One among them, central, but too faint to pick out, is our sun. The star Arcturus, prominent in the northern sky of earth, shines brightly. Arcturus is intrinsically more luminous than our sun, and here we are nearer to it as well.

http://www.wensh.net/up/2/img/780/09p.jpg
about 10 light-years, 3 parsecs, 1017 meters
约10光年,3秒差距,1017

Most of the matter we know is formed into stars, spheres of gas nourished by central nuclear fires that often maintain the glow for a very long time. At this point in the journey, with no star nearby, we see the realm of the stars chiefly as a distant background, no different from the night sky we view from earth. For several frames the star background remains unchanged; The visible stars are strewn so deep in space that these steps are small in comparison. Hence they cause no noticeable shifts.

http://www.wensh.net/up/2/img/780/10p.jpg
about 1 light-year, 10 trillion kilometers, 1016 meters
约1光年,10万亿公里,1016

Here one central star is brighter than the rest, only because it is so much nearer. That star is the sun. The contrast between night and day, between the cold glitter of the starry sky and life-giving warmth, is the consequence simply of our planet's location next to one modest star. Once we have drawn away from the sun, we can recognize that it is one star among many stars, and all distant stars are in some way suns.

http://www.wensh.net/up/2/img/780/11p.jpg
1 trillion kilometers, 1015 meters
1万亿公里,1015

Only the sun is to be seen, against a background of fainter stars beyond. Once that was all we knew of the frontier of the sun's system. We know now that a great cloud of icy comets orbits slowly here, though invisible in the weak sunlight. We see comets only as year after year a few fall into the brighter regions near earth. There we catch sight of them, moving in the sky like temporary planets, the sun's fires boiling out their long faint tails.

http://www.wensh.net/up/2/img/780/12p.jpg
All the sun's planets circulate within the small square. From earth the planets have always stood out, a few strange bright stars restlessly wandering in a skyful of unchanging patterns. Seen here from outside, the planets take on their Copernican aspect; they move around the sun on these nested ellipses, mapped by colored lines.

http://www.wensh.net/up/2/img/780/13p.jpg
The paths of the outer planets fill this picture. That strongly tilted orbit belongs to little, awry Pluto. The four others are those of big Neptune, Uranus, Saturn, and Jupiter, with their many satellites. Between Jupiter's path and the sun run the inner planets in their smaller orbits. The planets circulate counterclockwise here, all in nearly the same plane, which we view at an angle; The planetary system, apart from Pluto, is flat as a pancake.

http://www.wensh.net/up/2/img/780/14p.jpg
Enclosed in the path of massive Jupiter, these are the orbits of the smaller earthlike inner planets: Mars, Earth, Venus, Mercury. Another swarm of objects too small and faint to make out without telescopic aid is present as well: asteroids and meteors ply this darkness in the belt between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter.

http://www.wensh.net/up/2/img/780/15p.jpg
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Last edited by Wen at 2008-01-17 23:34:08

Posted at 2005-11-03 19:41:07
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