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“If the sun is hot how is outer space cold ?”Excellent question, Jacoby Brissett, current quarterback of the Indianapolis Colts.

太陽都那么熱了,為何太空還那么冷?
雅各布·布里塞特這個問題問得好,他現在是印第安納波利斯小馬隊的四分衛。

It turns out that outer space is full of extreme temperatures.

其實外太空的溫度普遍極端

The sun is a ball of gas and fire measuring around 27 million degrees Fahrenheit at its core and 10,000 degrees at its surface.

太陽這個氣體火球,其內核溫度華氏溫度2千7百萬度左右,其表面溫度華氏溫度1萬度。

Meanwhile, the cosmic background temperature—that is, the average temperature of outer space—hovers at negative 455 Fahrenheit.

與此同時,宇宙溫度即外太空平均溫度,華氏455度左右波動。

Heat from the sun travels through the cosmos as radiation, an infrared wave of energy.

太陽熱能以紅外波輻射的形式在宇宙中穿行。

Those waves excite molecules they come into contact with, causing them to heat up.

紅外波輻射派發觸及到的分子,使其升溫。

The catch is that radiation only heats molecules and matter that are directly in its path.

問題是,紅外波輻射只和在其傳播路徑上的分子打得火熱。

Everything else stays chilly.

別的分子該寂寞,寂寞!該空虛,空虛!該冷,冷!



Space, however, is a vacuum—meaning it’s basically empty.

然而,太空是一個真空環境,顧名思義,空空如也。

Gas molecules in space are too few and far apart to regularly collide with one another.

氣體分子空稀,且相距甚遠,彼此之間很難有規律的碰撞傳導。

So even when the sun heats them up with infrared waves, transferring that heat via conduction isn’t possible.

所以即使經受了太陽光波的照熱也很難傳導熱量

Similarly, convection—a cycle where air gets less dense and rises as it heats up, and then sinks and gets more dense as it cools— is important for dispersing warmth across the Earth. But in the zero-g vacuum of space, it simply can’t happen.

同樣,空氣對流循環——空氣受熱密度變小上升,變冷密度增大下降的循環,對分散整個地球的太陽紅外光波熱能也很重要。但在零重力的真空中,空氣對流循環根本不可能發生。

The extreme temperature differentials of space present unique challenges to the missions conducted by space agencies around the world.In April 2019, NASA’s Parker Solar Probe was 15 million miles away from the Sun.

太空中的極端溫差給世界各地的航天機構帶來了嚴峻挑戰,2019年4月美國國家航空航天局的怕克太陽探測器曾逼近太陽1500萬英里之處。

That’s closer than any other spacecraft in history.

仍需指出載入史冊怕克太陽探測器是距離太陽最近的探測器。

The probe’s heat shield protected its internal parts from temperatures around 250 degrees Fahrenheit,while the back side was simultaneously experiencing temperatures of negative 238 degrees Fahrenheit.

怕黑(克)太陽探測器保護其內部零件的熱防護罩正面溫度高至250度華氏溫度,而后方背面的溫度低至負238度華氏溫度。

Preparing for temperature shifts of hundreds of degrees might sound wild,but it’s just how things are out in space.

要應對幾百度的溫度變化聽起來很夸張,但這就是太空中的空情(多情自古空余恨,此恨綿綿無絕期)。