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「說故事、說天文:太空船『羅賽塔號』的冒險最終章」- Once Upon a Time… Rosetta's Grand Finale


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Once upon a time...
從前...

Rosetta had spent over two years at Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, but her time there was already coming to an end. She had made millions of measurements, and by now, knew the comet inside out. She had taken photos from all angles, collected dust grains, and sampled the gases in the comet's atmosphere, especially water vapor, which was not quite the same as water on Earth. She had measured the gravity of the comet, the magnetic field in its surroundings, and how the comet interacts with the solar wind.
羅賽塔號在 67P/丘留莫夫-格拉西緬科彗星度過超過兩年的時光,但她在那的時間就要結束了。她完成無數次測量,到現在已經透徹了解這顆彗星。她從各個角度拍攝照片、收集塵粒,還有對彗星大氣中的氣體進行採樣,特別是水蒸氣,那和地球上的大不相同。她測量彗星的重力、周遭磁場,以及彗星與太陽風的互動。

During the two years, Rosetta had monitored how the comet changed as they moved closer to the sun and then away again. With all this information, scientists back home had learned many things about how comets formed and evolved. They also established that comets were made of the dusty and icy material left over after the planets were formed. And so, they contain some of the oldest and best-preserved material from the birth of our solar system. Rosetta had made even more remarkable discoveries. She found ingredients that were crucial for the origin of life on Earth. Perhaps comets had helped seed the earth with these important ingredients when our planet was still very young.
這兩年間,羅賽塔監測彗星在靠近然後再度遠離太陽時會有什麼變化。有了這所有資料,地球的科學家了解到許多關於彗星如何形成及發展的知識。他們也證實彗星是由粉塵及冰物質組成,那些是在星球生成時遺留下的。因此,彗星內含一些我們的太陽系誕生時最古老且保存最完整的物質。羅賽塔還有更重大的發現。她找到對地球生命起源很關鍵的要素。或許彗星曾幫助在地球上灑下這些重要的成份,在我們的星球仍十分年輕那時。

Scientists would definitely be busy analyzing Rosetta's findings for decades. Her mission had been a huge success. After a long search, she had even managed to find the strange place where Philae had ended up—fast asleep in a dark corner of the comet. But now, once again far from the sun, Rosetta was not generating as much power, and soon would not have enough to carry out her investigations.
科學家們肯定會忙著分析羅賽塔的發現好幾十年。她的任務非常成功。在長久的搜索後,她甚至成功找到菲萊最後落腳的奇怪地方--在彗星上一個黑暗的角落熟睡著。不過現在,又一次離太陽很遠,羅賽塔不能產生一樣多的能量,很快就會沒有足夠力氣執行她的調查了。

She could go back to sleep right away, but instead, decided to undertake one last ambitious challenge. She was going to follow in Philae's footsteps and land on the comet!
她可以馬上回去睡覺,但她沒有,她反而決定接受最後一項野心勃勃的挑戰。她要跟隨菲萊的腳步登陸彗星!

Rosetta was tired after 12 and a half years traveling through space, but she was very excited about her last tasks. She would finally see up close some of the amazing sights she had been observing from a distance for the past two years. And she'd get to sample the comet's gases closer than she had ever dared to go before. It would not be easy, but the experts back home had everything figured out, and the date was set. Rosetta would be targeting a really interesting place on the head of the comet.
在太空旅行十二年半後,羅賽塔累了,但她對自己最後的任務感到非常興奮。她總算能近看,近看她過去兩年來遠遠觀察的那其中一些驚人景色。而且她可以到之前從不敢那麼近的距離採集彗星氣體的樣本。這不會是件簡單的事,但地球上的專家們已經解決一切,而且任務日期已經定下。羅賽塔會瞄準彗星頂端一個很有趣的地方。

She wasn't going to be able to talk to Earth ever again once she was on the comet's surface. After all, she was never designed to land. So, she would have to send back her last images and data as quickly as possible before saying her final goodbyes.
一旦她到彗星表面,她將永遠無法再和地球通話。畢竟,她從來就不是設計來著陸的。所以,她得盡快送回她最後的畫面及數據,在最後道別前。

Even though her incredible journey was nearly complete, she knew that just like the other comet explorers that had gone before her, the legacy of her amazing mission would live on forever. She felt lucky to have had so many friends and hoped they would still think about her and Philae from time to time.
即使她不可思議的旅程即將完結,她知道,就像在她之前出發的其他彗星探險家一樣,她傑出的任務的成果將會永遠留存。她為自己有那麼多朋友感到幸運,而且希望他們時不時仍會想起自己和菲萊。

Finally, after 786 days at the comet, the last day of her extraordinary adventure had arrived.
終於,在彗星度過 786 天後,她非凡的旅程的最後一天到來了。

To be continued...
未完待續...

  • 「完結、結束」- Come To An End

    Rosetta had spent over two years at Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, but her time there was already coming to an end.
    羅賽塔號在 67P/丘留莫夫-格拉西緬科彗星度過超過兩年的時光,但她在那的時間就要結束了。

  • 「對...瞭若指掌」- Know Something Inside Out

    She had made millions of measurements, and by now, knew the comet inside out.
    她完成無數次測量,到現在已經透徹了解這顆彗星。

  • 「最後處於、結果」- End Up

    After a long search, she had even managed to find the strange place where Philae had ended up—fast asleep in a dark corner of the comet.
    在長久的搜索後,她甚至成功找到菲萊最後落腳的奇怪地方--在彗星上一個黑暗的角落熟睡著。

  • 「執行、完成」- Carry Out

    But now, once again far from the sun, Rosetta was not generating as much power, and soon would not have enough to carry out her investigations.
    不過現在,又一次離太陽很遠,羅賽塔不能產生一樣多的能量,很快就會沒有足夠力氣執行她的調查了。

  • 「立刻、馬上」- Right Away

    She could go back to sleep right away, but instead, decided to undertake one last ambitious challenge.
    她可以馬上回去睡覺,但她沒有,她反而決定接受最後一項野心勃勃的挑戰。

  • 「想出、弄明白」- Figure Out

    It would not be easy, but the experts back home had everything figured out, and the date was set.
    這不會是件簡單的事,但地球上的專家們已經解決一切,而且任務日期已經定下。

  • 「畢竟」- After All

    After all, she was never designed to land.
    畢竟,她從來就不是設計來著陸的。

  • 「偶爾、有時」- From Time To Time

    She felt lucky to have had so many friends and hoped they would still think about her and Philae from time to time.
    她為自己有那麼多朋友感到幸運,而且希望他們時不時仍會想起自己和菲萊。

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