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人类首次“看到”引力波 终于找到金子的源头了

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本文摘要:On Monday, scientists who won a Nobel Prize for their discovery of gravitational waves announced the first detection of the collision of two neutron stars.10月16日,因找到引力波而取得诺贝尔奖的科学家团队宣告,他们首次观测到了中子星拆分。

On Monday, scientists who won a Nobel Prize for their discovery of gravitational waves announced the first detection of the collision of two neutron stars.10月16日,因找到引力波而取得诺贝尔奖的科学家团队宣告,他们首次观测到了中子星拆分。Astronomers detected the merger from 130 million light-years away, in the galaxy NGC 4993, on the morning of August 17.天文学家在8月17日晨间观测到的此次拆分来自1.3亿光年之外的NGC 4993星系。The team alerted astronomers all over the world to the event right after it happened, helping them point telescopes directly at the scene of the crash.在观测到这一天文事件后,科学家团队警告全球的天文学家观测这一现象,协助他们把望远镜对准拆分现场。The collision created the first observed instance of a single source emitting ripples in space-time, known as gravitational waves, as well as light, which was released in the form of a two-second gamma ray burst.通过这次拆分,科学家首次观测到太空中单源升空的引力波,并观测到了以两秒钟的伽马射线暴形式释放出来的红外线。

It is being hailed as the first known instance of multi-messenger astrophysics: one source in the universe emitting two kinds of waves, gravitational and electromagnetic.这伴随着天体物理学首次转入多信使阶段:宇宙中的同一来源升空出有两种形式的波,引力波和电磁波。These images revealed a radioactive soup giving birth to unfathomable amounts of platinum, gold, and silver — not to mention elements like the iodine found in our bodies, the uranium in nuclear weapons, and the bismuth in Pepto-Bismol — while shooting those materials deep into space.观测图像表明出有了两个中子星的放射性撞击场景,而这也产生了数量可观的铂、金和银,以及我们身体中的碘、核武器中的铀、可以减低肠胃呼吸困难的铋。中子星拆分将这些物质四散入宇宙深处。

The two neutron stars most likely merged to form a black hole, though the tiny bit of neutron star that escaped — and formed new elements — could get recycled into planets like Earth where aliens may eventually dig up the metals as we have.两个中子星最有可能拆分成一个黑洞,但拆分中四散出有的碎块不会构成新的元素,循环转入类似于地球的星体,或许外星人只不过我们一样挖出这些金属矿藏。Gravitational waves were first directly detected two years ago, proving Albert Einsteins theory of general relativity, and recently, three scientists were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for their work on that first detection. Those gravitational waves were the result of two black holes colliding, and the signal lasted for only a fraction of a second. Because black holes dont emit light, these waves were invisible and only heard as thumps.引力波于两年前首次被找到,证实了爱因斯坦的广义相对论。最近,三位科学家因首次观测到引力波被颁发诺贝尔物理学奖。

他们顺利观测到来自于两个黑洞拆分的引力波信号,信号仅有持续几毫秒。因为黑洞并不升空出光,因此引力波不可见,不能以急速跳动的形式被“听见”。1. For the first time, telescopes and gravitational wave observatories together witnessed the same astronomical event.这是人类历史上第一次用于电磁波望远镜和引力波天文台同时观测到同一个天体物理事件。

2. This is the first time gravitational waves from the merger of binary neutron stars have been observed.这是首次观测到双中子星拆分产生出有引力波。3. This observation is the first to definitively identify binary neutron star collisions as a source of short gamma-ray bursts. Theorized for many years, this is the first direct link between those phenomena.这次观测首次为中子星拆分可产生伽马射线较短暴给与了确凿证据。

这一理论有数多年历史,而此次观测首次证实了这两种现象之间有直接联系。4. This discovery is the first verification of a kilonova explosion, confirming binary neutron star collisions as one source for the universes heaviest elements, such as gold and uranium.这次找到首次证实了“千新星”发生爆炸,证实了双中子星拆分是宇宙中最轻的元素的来源之一,比如金和铀。5. This is the first binary neutron star pair confirmed outside of our own Milky Way galaxy, and this is the closest to Earth that astronomers have seen a gamma ray burst.这是银河系外首次以求证实的一对中子星,也是天文学家观测到伽马射线暴距离地球最近的一次。

6. The gravitational wave signals from GW170817 have enabled scientists to measure the expansion rate of the universe in a completely new way.来自此次GW170817观测的引力波使科学家可以用全新的方式测量宇宙的膨胀率。7. The partnership between LIGO and Italy-based Virgo allowed telescopes to rapidly turn their attention towards the area of sky where the neutron stars collided.激光干预引力波天文台(LIGO)和意大利的处女座引力波探测器(Virgo)让无数望远镜很快调转方向,对准这一片天空,观测两个中子星拆分。8. This event presents the strongest evidence to date for the detection of a gamma-ray burst off-axis, which means the cone emission from the explosion is not pointed directly at Earth.此次观测为伽马射线暴轴位移获取了有史以来最强有力的证据,也就是说伽马射线暴产生的锥状升空不是必要对准地球的。9. The gravitational waves and light waves arrived within seconds of each other, suggesting they may travel at the same speed and confirming a prediction of Albert Einstein. The difference in detection time is likely a reflection of what happens during the explosion process.引力波和光波抵达地球的时间差距只有几秒钟,这意味著两者传播速度一样,证实了爱因斯坦的庞加莱。

观测时间的差异很有可能体现出有拆分过程中再次发生了什么。10. Only gravitational wave observatories can directly detect unexploded binary neutron stars outside of our local galactic neighborhood, or directly observe the stars pre-collison, albeit only briefly before impact.只有引力波天文台需要观测到银河系外并未发生爆炸的双中子星,或者必要观测拆分前的双中子星,不过只是在拆分或发生爆炸前很短的时间内。