Moon and Saturn II土星及其卫星(二)

Amateur Astronomer - - 宇宙奥秘 -

In all the universe, we know of exactly one world with life: our own planet Earth. Yet we’re finding more and more possible homes for life all the time. Many of them are planets in other solar systems. But some of them are right here in our own solar system. In fact, two of them orbit the planet Saturn. 整个宇宙之中,我们只确切知道一个有生命的世界:我们的地球。然而,一直以来,我们正在发现越来越多可能适宜生命存在的家园。它们之中,很多是其他的“太阳系”中的行星。但其中也有些就在我们的太阳系中。实际上,它们中有两颗围绕着土星运行。

Enceladus and Titan are among Saturn’s most intriguing moons. Both appear to have all the ingredients for life. 土卫二和土卫六都属于土星最有趣的卫星。两者都显现出拥有组成生命的成分。

Enceladus, for example, has a possible ocean of liquid water beneath its icy crust. The water stays liquid because the moon’s interior is heated by Saturn’s gravitational pull. And it contains chemical elements that are important for life. So this cold little moon has everything needed for life as we know it: water, energy, and the right chemistry. 例如,土卫二可能在其表面冰层下有液态水的海洋。水能保持液态是因为卫星内部由于受到土星引力的牵引而被加热。与此同时,土卫二也含有对于生命来说至关重要的化学元素。那么这颗又冷又小的卫星就具备了我们所知道的、生命需要的一切东西:水、能量,还有合适的化学元素。

Titan is much bigger, but it has those same ingredients. It may have a subsurface ocean that contains far more water than all the oceans on Earth. Its surface is awash in organic compounds — the chemistry of life. And like Enceladus, its ocean is kept warm by the heat generated by Saturn’s pull. 土卫六要大得多,但是它含有同样的成分。它可能也有一个地下海洋,比地球上所有大洋的水都多。它的表面充斥着有机化合物——生命的化学成分。和土卫二一样,它的海洋也因为土星的引力而保持温暖。

Of course, no one has spotted life on these moons or anywhere else. And we don’t know if life would form on other worlds even under the best of conditions. All we know is that the conditions for life can be found right here in own solar system. 当然,没有人在这些卫星或是其他任何地方发现生命。我们也不知道即使有了最好的条件,生命能否在其他世界中形成。我们所知道的是,我们能在太阳系中找到适宜生命存在的条件。

图片是土星众多卫星中的两颗,左侧较小的是土卫二,右侧较大的是土卫六。这两颗卫星都可能含有液态水、热源和有机物。图片来源:N A S A /JP L/S S I

Newspapers in Chinese (Simplified)

Newspapers from China

© PressReader. All rights reserved.