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  • Two years ago here at TED

    譯者: Bill Hsiung 審譯者: Curtis Lo

  • I reported that we had discovered

    兩年前在 TED 大會上,

  • at Saturn, with the Cassini Spacecraft,

    我曾向各位報告我們藉由

  • an anomalously warm and geologically active region

    卡西尼探測器於土星探測到了

  • at the southern tip of the small Saturnine moon

    一個異常溫暖及地質活動頻繁的區域。

  • Enceladus, seen here.

    這個區域位在土星其中一個小衛星(土衛二)的南端,

  • This region seen here for the first time

    現在在投影片上可以看到。

  • in the Cassini image taken in 2005. This is the south polar region,

    卡西尼探測器於 2005 年拍攝了這個區域

  • with the famous tiger-stripe fractures crossing the south pole.

    的照片後,我們才得見其廬山真面目。這是其南極區域。

  • And seen just recently in late 2008,

    有名的虎班裂痕遍佈南極區域。

  • here is that region again,

    最近於 2008 下半年,

  • now half in darkness because the southern hemisphere

    我們又再一次的看到了這個區域,

  • is experiencing the onset of August

    現在有一半處於黑暗之中,

  • and eventually winter.

    因為南半球正在邁入秋季,

  • And I also reported that we'd made this mind-blowing discovery --

    冬季隨後即將來臨。

  • this once-in-a-lifetime discovery

    我也曾經報告過,我們有一個驚人的發現 —

  • of towering jets

    這個一生難得的發現,

  • erupting from those fractures at the south pole,

    一個巨型風暴

  • consisting of tiny water ice crystals

    從南極這些裂痕上噴發而出,

  • accompanied by water vapor

    這風暴是由細小的水冰晶伴隨著

  • and simple organic compounds like carbon dioxide and methane.

    水蒸氣所組成,

  • And at that time two years ago

    其中還有像二氧化碳和甲烷等簡單有機化合物。

  • I mentioned that we were speculating

    而在兩年前的那個時候,

  • that these jets might in fact be geysers,

    我曾提到我們懷疑

  • and erupting from pockets

    這些風暴其實是間歇性噴泉,

  • or chambers of liquid water underneath the surface,

    從地表下方富含液態水的礦囊

  • but we weren't really sure.

    或是密閉空間中噴發而出。

  • However, the implications of those results --

    但是我們那時不是非常確定。

  • of a possible environment within this moon

    然而,這些結果暗示著

  • that could support prebiotic chemistry,

    在這個衛星上,存在著一個環境

  • and perhaps life itself --

    可能可以維持生命起源前的化學反應,

  • were so exciting that, in the intervening two years,

    甚至可能有生命存在,

  • we have focused more on Enceladus.

    非常令人興奮的,在這兩年中

  • We've flown the Cassini Spacecraft

    我們更關注在調查土衛二。

  • by this moon now several times,

    我們已經使卡西尼探測器飛越

  • flying closer and deeper into these jets,

    這顆衛星數次。

  • into the denser regions of these jets,

    飛行與風暴更靠近,進入更深層的風暴中,

  • so that now we have come away with some

    進入更濃厚的風暴中,

  • very precise compositional measurements.

    因此現在我們得到了一些

  • And we have found

    非常珍貴的組成探測資訊。

  • that the organic compounds coming from this moon

    我發現了

  • are in fact more complex than we previously reported.

    從這顆衛星上得到的有機化合物,

  • While they're not amino acids,

    比我們之前所公佈的報告更為複雜。

  • we're now finding things like

    它們還不是胺基酸,

  • propane and benzene,

    我們現在可以發現像是

  • hydrogen cyanide, and formaldehyde.

    丙烷、苯環、

  • And the tiny water crystals here

    氰化氫和甲醛。

  • now look for all the world

    而它的小水冰晶

  • like they are frozen droplets of salty water,

    現在被世界公認為

  • which is a discovery that suggests

    類似鹹水滴被凝結的狀態。

  • that not only do the jets come from

    這個發現暗示著

  • pockets of liquid water,

    這個風暴不只來自

  • but that that liquid water is in contact with rock.

    液態水的礦囊空間,

  • And that is a circumstance

    而且液態水與岩石是有接觸的。

  • that could supply the chemical energy

    這是一個能夠

  • and the chemical compounds needed to sustain life.

    提供化學反應能量

  • So we are very encouraged by these results.

    及生命所需的化合物的環境。

  • And we are much more confident now than we were two years ago

    我們受到這些調查結果鼓舞良多。

  • that we might indeed

    而且我們現在比兩年前更有信心,

  • have on this moon, under the south pole,

    在這個衛星

  • an environment or a zone that is hospitable to living organisms.

    的南極下方

  • Whether or not there are living organisms there, of course,

    可能真的有一個區域環境是適合生命生存的。

  • is an entirely different matter.

    當然,不論是否真的已經有生命存在在那邊,

  • And that will have to await the arrival,

    那是完全不同的課題。

  • back at Enceladus,

    而那將會需要等到,

  • of the spacecrafts, hopefully some time in the near future,

    配備能夠解答這個問題

  • specifically equipped to address that particular question.

    特殊設備的探測器,再次回到土衛二,才能夠解答。

  • But in the meantime I invite you to imagine the day

    希望這能在未來的數年中實現。

  • when we might journey to the Saturnine system,

    在此同時,我請你們想像那一天,

  • and visit the Enceladus interplanetary geyser park,

    當我們能夠旅行至土衛系統時,

  • just because we can.

    並參觀土衛二星際間歇泉公園,

  • Thank you.

    只因為我們有能力做到。

  • (Applause)

    謝謝各位

Two years ago here at TED

譯者: Bill Hsiung 審譯者: Curtis Lo

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