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让太空设备失效的百慕大三角空间

更新时间:2018-2-21 10:43:19 来源:千亿千亿国际娱乐官网 作者:佚名

What it's like in the Bermuda Triangle of space
让太空设备失效的百慕大三角空间

“Before I became an astronaut, I had seen stories of astronauts who had seen white flashes from radiation while they flew in space,” says Terry Virts, a former Nasa astronaut. On the fifth night of his first flight – a 2010 mission with the Space Shuttle Endeavour – he had just got into bed. “I… closed my eyes and boom! This gigantic white, blinding flash happened in my eyes – and I didn’t hear anything.”

"在我成为宇航员之前,我曾听到过这样的故事:有宇航员在飞越太空时从辐射中看到了白色的闪光," 前NASA(美国国家航空航天局)宇航员特里·维尔特斯(Terry Virts)说。在他首次太空飞行的第五个晚上——即2010年执行"奋进"号(Endeavour)航天飞机的一次任务中——他刚刚睡下。"我……闭上眼睛,倏然间,一道巨大耀眼的白色闪光映入我的眼帘——但我却没有听到任何声响。"

As more entrepreneurs dabble in space flight – like SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, who just launched his new Heavy rocket in Florida – they’ll find they have to contend with these kinds of bizarre phenomena.

随着越来越多的企业家涉足太空飞行——就像刚刚在佛罗里达州发射新型重型火箭的SpaceX首席执行官伊隆·马斯克(Elon Musk)一样——他们会发现他们不得不面对这些奇异的现象。

One of the oddest of all is the one witnessed by Virts. This is the South Atlantic Anomaly (SAA), which combines a massive flash of light without any sound. But the SAA isn’t just a strange sight. It wreaks havoc on computers in the vicinity and exposes nearby humans to higher radiation levels – something that has earned it its nickname ‘the Bermuda Triangle of space’.

其中最离奇的现象当属维尔特斯目击到的那次。当时他处在南大西洋异常区(South Atlantic Anomaly-SAA),同时出现了巨大的闪光,但却没有任何声响。但SAA不只是一个奇怪的景象。它还对邻近的计算机造成严重破坏,并将附近的人类暴露在更高的辐射水平。正因如此,SAA获得了"百慕大三角空间"(Bermuda Triangle)这一绰号。

As manned space flights become more common and astronauts become more reliant on computers, the challenges SAA poses could become only more acute.

随着载人航天飞行变得越来越普遍,宇航员对电脑的依赖越来越大,SAA所带来的挑战因此只会变得越来越棘手。

To understand the SAA, you must first understand the Van Allen radiation belts. These are two doughnut-shaped areas of charged particles that surround the Earth and are held in place by its magnetic field. “The Sun puts out a huge amount of radiation,” says Virts, “and a lot of it is particles like electrons shot off the Sun’s surface… All of this material gets shot out in space and the Sun’s magnetic field can bend it. When it gets to Earth, it gets trapped in our magnetic field and forms these radiation belts out in space.”

要了解SAA,就必须先了解范艾伦(Van Allen)辐射带。这是由两个形如甜甜圈的区域构成的辐射带,其中含有环绕地球的带电粒子,通过其磁场保持其位置。"太阳释放出大量的辐射,"维尔特斯说,"其中很多都是粒子形式,比如从太阳表面射出的电子……所有这些物质都会在太空中被击落,而太阳的磁场可能会令其扭曲。当它们到达地球时,会被围困在地球的磁场中,并在太空中形成辐射带。"

The good news is that the Van Allen belts protect the Earth from these highly charged electronic particles thrown from the Sun. The bad news is that there’s a catch.

好消息是,范艾伦带能保护地球,使之免于受到太阳发射的这些高度带电粒子的攻击。坏消息则是,它并不能完全保护地球。

The Earth is not completely round; it bulges slightly in the middle. The Earth’s magnetic poles also aren’t completely in line with its geographical poles, and so it is tilted, resulting in the Van Allen belts also being tilted. The SAA is where the inner Van Allen radiation belt is at its lowest altitude and so at its closest point to the Earth. Due to the tilt, the magnetic field is strongest in the North, leaving an area above the South Atlantic and Brazil right in the path of the Van Allen belt.

由于地球并不是规则的圆形,而是在中间略微凸起。因此地球的磁极也不完全与其地理位置一致,所以是倾斜的,导致范艾伦带也倾斜。SAA是内范艾伦辐射带处于其最低高度的地方,因此也是内范艾伦辐射带距离地球最近的点。由于倾斜,北方的磁场最强,在范艾伦带的路径上留下了南大西洋和巴西上方的一个空白区域。

It’s not dangerous to the Earth. But it causes havoc to any satellites and other spacecraft such the International Space Station (ISS) that pass through the area, as well as to the people on board – something Virts knows all too well from both his 2010 flight and his time aboard the ISS in 2014.

这对地球并不构成什么危险,但却会给通过该区域的任何人造卫星或千亿国际娱乐空间站(ISS)等其他航天器以及航天器上的人员带来挑战——这是维尔特斯在2010年的飞行任务和2014年的千亿国际娱乐空间站飞行任务中非常了解的情况。

As well as the white flashes that astronauts report seeing, their computers get affected. “We have an acronym for everything at Nasa,” says Virts. “And these are SEU’s – single event upsets. It just means your computer hiccups and it happens fairly often.

根据宇航员的报告,他们看到了白色闪光,他们的电脑也受到了影响。"在NASA,我们对任何现象都有一个缩写,"维尔特斯说。 "而这些都属于SEU——单一混乱事件。这意味着你的电脑会暂停工作,而且会经常发生。

“This is a well-known area where all different types of satellites – not just a space station with people, but normal communication satellites and others – have problems,” he adds. “You want to kind of get through there as fast as you can on the way to the Moon, or wherever you’re going.”

维尔特斯补充道:"这是一个众所周知的区域,各种不同类型的卫星——不只是载人的空间站,还有普通的通信卫星和其他卫星,都会遇到麻烦。在飞往月球的旅途中,或者前往其他任何你要去的地方,你需要做的就是尽可能快地通过那个区域。"

At the moment, the Hubble Space Telescope, for example, cannot take astronomical observations while flying through the region.

比如哈勃太空望远镜(Hubble Space Telescope)在穿越该区域时就无法进行天文观测。

So how do spacecraft and their passengers protect themselves from this pummelling of radiation? Water is the best shield, says Virts. On the ISS, the astronauts use a “water wall”. “It’s just a bunch of these big 50lb [23kg] water bags,” he says – though they aren’t wrapped around the astronauts’ sleeping quarters.

那么,对于航天器和飞船上的人员而言,如何保护自身免受这种辐射的冲击呢?维尔特斯指出,水是最好的盾牌。在千亿国际娱乐空间站上,宇航员使用"水墙"。"水墙是由大约50磅(23公斤)一只的水袋构成,"他说,尽管在宇航员的卧室中并没有铺设这样的水袋。

The radiation is closely monitored for the duration of space missions. “There are several electronic radiation detectors that just count radiation hits and send the data back to Earth,” says Virts. “We each carry a radiation monitor with us the entire time we’re in space… I kept that in my pocket for my entire mission, on both of my missions. Even when I went outside on my space walks, I brought it with me in my space suit.”

在执行太空任务期间,宇航员会对辐射进行密切监测。维尔特斯说:"有几台电子辐射探测器会对辐射点进行计算并将数据发回地球。我们每个人在太空中都会始终携带一台辐射监视器……在整个任务期间,我会把这台仪器放在我的口袋中,两次任务都是如此。即使当我走出舱外,在太空行走时,我也会将它装在我的太空服中随时带着。"

This fight between the Earth’s magnetic field and the solar wind also has another surprising effect: the Aurora, or the Northern and Southern Lights. This is caused when the highly charged particles from the sun hit the Earth’s atmosphere, causing a glowing green light display.

地球磁场和太阳风暴之间的这场斗争还带来了另一个令人惊叹的现象:极光,也就是北极光和南极光。极光是由太阳发射的高度带电的粒子撞击地球大气层时而引起的闪烁绿光。

On Earth, people travel thousands of miles to see the Aurora. But while on the ISS, Virts had the best view of all. “From space the Northern lights look very different to the Southern lights,” he explains. “The Northern Lights from the Space Station’s point of view were always this thin band off in the distance and the Southern Lights were always this much bigger cloud, much closer to the space station.”

在地球上,人们旅行数千英里去一睹极光的风采。但是,在千亿国际娱乐空间站上,维尔特斯拥有最好的视野。"从太空中观测,北极光与南极光看起来完全不同,"他解释说。 "从太空站的角度来看,北极光始终是远处的这样一个薄带,而南极光始终是这个更硕大的云团,更接近太空站。"

Of his 215 days in space, this sight has stayed with him. “You’re floating and you’re flying through this gigantic green and red dancing cloud,” he says. “There’s nothing like it on Earth.”

在他215天的太空旅行中,这一景象始终陪伴着他。"你是漂浮着的,你正在穿越这片巨大的红绿相间的云团,它正在翩翩起舞,"维尔特斯说。"这在地球上绝对看不到。"

No matter how beautiful the view, as spaceflight becomes more common and missions more distant, spacecraft need to improve their resilience to SAA and its radiation exposure.

无论视野如何美丽,随着航天飞行越来越普遍,任务距离越来越远,航天器需要提高对SAA及其辐射的适应能力。

“As we go deeper into the Solar System and further away from Earth, we won’t have mission control to help us instantly,” Virts says. “We might have to wait a few minutes because of the speed of light to get a reply. So computers need to be better with artificial intelligence, and so on.

维尔特斯说:"当我们更加深入太阳系并远离地球时,我们将无法通过任务控制来获得瞬时的帮助。因为光的速度,我们可能需要等上好几分钟才能得到答复。所以电脑最好需要配备人工智能等功能。

“And the more powerful computer you get, the more susceptible it is to radiation problems.

"不过当电脑的功能变得越强大,它也将越容易受到辐射问题的影响。

“That’ll be a really important thing for future space exploration.”

"解决这一问题对于未来的太空探索将至关重要。"

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