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TED演讲:创造历史的黑洞图像(3)

We had to get lucky in a lot of different ways. And sometimes, it's better to be lucky than good.

在很多方面我们都需要幸运的眷顾。有时,运气比正确操作更重要。

In this case, we were both, I like to think. But light had to come from the black hole.

我认为这一次,我们不但操作正确,运气也很好。但我们需要接收来自黑洞的光线。

It had to come through intergalactic space, through the Earth's atmosphere, where water vapor can absorb it,

它必须穿过星际空间。穿过地球的大气层,中途还有可能被水蒸气吸收,

and everything worked out perfectly, the size of the Earth at that wavelength of light, one millimeter wavelength,

但一切都非常完美。地球的大小,在波长一毫米的光线下,

was just right to resolve that black hole, 55 million light-years away. The universe was telling us what to do.

正好能够展现5500万光年外那个黑洞的样子。宇宙正在告诉我们应该做什么。

So you started capturing huge amounts of data. I think this is like half the data from just one telescope.

所以你们开始收集海量的数据。这些只是其中一台望远镜所收集的数据的一半?

Yeah, this is one of the members of our team, Lindy Blackburn,

是的,这是我们小组的一员,林迪·布莱克本,

and he's sitting with half the data recorded at the Large Millimeter Telescope, which is atop a 15,000-foot mountain in Mexico.

在他旁边的是大型毫米波望远镜记录下的一半的数据,这架望远镜位于墨西哥一座近5000米高的山上。

And what he's holding there is about half a petabyte.

他手上拿着的数据大约有拍字节的一半。

Which, to put it in terms that we might understand, it's about 5,000 people's lifetime selfie budget.

用易于想象的东西来比喻的话,大约能存放5千人一辈子的自拍照。

It's a lot of data. So this was all shipped, you couldn't send this over the internet.

数据非常多。所以只能通过线下运输,你们没办法在互联网上传输。

All this data was shipped to one place and the massive computer effort began to try and analyze it.

所有的数据都被运送到一个地方,然后计算机开始解析这些数据。

And you didn't really know what you were going to see coming out of this.

当时你并不知道最终的结果是什么样的。

The way this technique works that we used —

我们是这么工作的。

imagine taking an optical mirror and smashing it and putting all the shards in different places.

想象打碎一面镜子,然后把所有的碎片四散开来。

The way a normal mirror works is the light rays bounce off the surface,

普通镜子的工作原理是通过镜面反射,

which is perfect, and they focus in a certain point at the same time.

所有的光在同时聚焦在某个特定的点。

We take all these recordings, and with atomic clock precision we align them perfectly, later in a supercomputer.

我们有了所有的数据,在原子钟精度的帮助下,我们将这些数据准确输入超级计算机。

And we recreate kind of an Earth-sized lens. And the only way to do that is to bring the data back by plane.

然后我们重构了一个地球大小的透镜。只能通过飞机运送数据。


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《TED演讲:创造历史的黑洞图像(3)》

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