There's nothing quite like staring into a celestial abyss to put your life in perspective. Perhaps that's what we all need in 2020.
沒有什么能比得上凝視深邃的天空正視自己的人生,這可能就是2020年我們所有人需要做的。

On the brink of a new year, NASA's Hubble Space Telescope snapped a swirling mass of star dust and gas, known as spiral galaxy ESO 021-G004, and the resulting image is so gob-smacking, it's an instant reminder of how tiny and fragile our home really is.
新年伊始,NASA的哈勃太空望遠鏡拍到了一團旋轉的星塵和氣體,被稱為螺旋星系ESO 021-G004,捕捉到的圖像令人震驚,提醒著我們地球其實是多么渺小和脆弱。

圖片來源:NASA

Following its halo of illuminated cosmic matter, this neighbouring galaxy draws the eye inward toward a supermassive black hole lurking within. While most black holes are quiet and invisible, this one is wide awake, and scientists say its insatiable appetite is what makes the galaxy's centre burn so bright.
這一鄰近星系被明亮的宇宙物質構成的光暈圍繞,我們的目光被吸引到了它的內部,那里潛伏著超大質量黑洞。雖然大多數黑洞安靜無形,但這個黑洞很亮,科學家說它吸入的東西太多,所以星系中心被燒得如此明亮。

As cosmic material falls back into the hole, pulled by gravity, it is dragged into orbit, superheated and eventually devoured, emitting a ton of high-energy radiation in the process.
宇宙物質受重力影響落回黑洞,被拖進軌道,由于溫度過熱最終被吞噬,整個過程會釋放一噸的高能輻射。

This is what's known as an active galactic nucleus, and some consider it the strongest proof for the existence of supermassive black holes.
這就是所謂的活動星系核,有些人認為這是超大質量黑洞存在的最有力的證據。

Lucky for us, ESO 021-G004 resides a relatively nearby 130 million light-years away, in the small southern constellation of Chamaeleon, which makes it easier for us to keep our eyes on.
我們很幸運,ESO 021-G004距離我們約1.3億光年遠,位于南方的小星座蝘蜓座,所以我們更容易觀測。

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翻譯:菲菲