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土星冲日,美丽光环肉眼可见

更新时间:2016-6-5 11:09:20 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Watch Saturn Shine on Friday, No Equipment Required
土星冲日,美丽光环肉眼可见

Astronomically speaking, Mars and Mercury dominated May. But now that it’s June, Saturn has a chance to shine.

从天文学的角度来说,火星和水星是5月的主导者。但现在已经到了6月,土星有了展现自己的机会。

Our solar system’s “Lord of the Rings” will be at opposition starting the early morning hours of Friday, meaning it will align with Earth and the sun. This arrangement will provide amateur astronomers with one of their best opportunities this year to see the butterscotch beauty with the naked eye.

我们太阳系的“指环王”会在周五清晨冲日,也就是说它将与地球和太阳连成一条直线。这个位置将为业余天文学爱好者提供今年用肉眼见证黄色星球之美的最佳机会之一。

An image of Saturn from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft.
NASA飞船“卡西尼”号拍摄的土星图片。

It will be visible all night, rising at the exact point in the sky opposite where the sun sets. Saturn reaches opposition around 3 a.m. Eastern time, but the best time to look for it will be after midnight your local time when it is highest in the night sky. You’ll be able to see the ringed planet glow throughout the summer.

土星将从日落点的正对面升起,整夜都肉眼可见。大约在美国东部时间凌晨3点,土星将达到冲日点,但观察它的最佳时刻是在本地时间的午夜后,它运行到夜空中最高点的时候。整个夏天,都能看到这颗带着光环的行星熠熠生辉。

An easy way to spot Saturn is to let Mars be your guide. The red planet, which reached its own opposition earlier this week, will be a hard-to-miss bright crimson dot. Saturn is the golden orb to its left.

有一个很简单的办法找到土星,那就是以火星为向导。红色星球本周早些时候也到达了自己的冲日点,很容易就能看到这个明亮的红色小点。土星在它左侧,是个金色的小球。

With a telescope, you can see the planet’s cream-colored cloud bands, which are caused by ammonia crystals floating in its atmosphere.

可以用望远镜看到这颗行星的奶油色云带。它是由漂浮在土星大气层中的氨晶体形成的。

As a bonus, the planet’s famous disks will be tilted at a 26-degree angle, offering those with backyard telescopes a chance to see them. At this angle you’ll catch a view of a dark gap that separates the rings in two parts called the “Cassini Division.” The gap was discovered in 1675 by Giovanni Domenico Cassini, the namesake of NASA’s Cassini spacecraft, which has been orbiting the planet since 2004.

而且,土星著名的光环也将倾斜26度。如果你在后院里支起望远镜,就有机会看到它们。从这个角度,会看到一条黑暗的缝隙,把众多光环分为两部分,它被称为“卡西尼环缝”(Cassini Division),是乔凡尼·多美尼科·卡西尼(Giovanni Domenico Cassini)在1675年发现的。美国航空航天局(NASA)的同名飞船“卡西尼”号自2004年以来就在土星轨道上运行。

After you ogle Saturn’s regal rings, it’s time to turn toward its moons.

仔细观察土星华丽的光环后,可以再去看看它的卫星。

“When you look at Saturn through a telescope, you can’t help but see several of its four brightest moons — Rhea, Tethys, Dione, Titan — and maybe more,” Linda Spilker, a planetary scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., said in an email. “If you just see one, that’s Titan.”

“用望远镜看土星时,你也会看到它最亮的四颗卫星——土卫五、土卫三、土卫四、土卫六——当中的几颗,也许还有更多,”加州帕萨迪纳NASA喷气推进实验室的行星科学家琳达·施皮尔克(Linda Spilker)通过电子邮件接受采访时表示。“如果只能看到一颗卫星,那就是土卫六。”

Titan is the largest Saturnian satellite, with a diameter that’s about 50-percent larger than our own moon. “Titan is so bright that even if you have a pair of binoculars and look out to Saturn you can see this bright point of light,” said Dr. Spilker.

土卫六是土星最大的卫星,比我们的月亮直径大了差不多50%。施皮尔克博士说:“土卫六非常明亮,就算是用双筒望远镜观察土星,你也可以看到这个明亮的光点。”

When you find Titan, keep its location in mind for next week because on June 7 it will be the sight of Cassini’s next flyby.

当你看到土卫六时,不妨记下它的位置,因为下周的6月7日,“卡西尼”号就会正好飞掠那个位置。

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