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EXPLORATIONS - Mauna Kea in Hawaii: Astronomy on the World's

时间:2006-03-16 16:00来源:互联网 提供网友:z75531   字体: [ ]
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EXPLORATIONS - Mauna Kea in Hawaii: Astronomy on the World's Highest Island Mountain
By Shelley Gollust

Broadcast: Wednesday, October 05, 2005

(MUSIC)

VOICE ONE:

I'm Steve Ember.

VOICE TWO:

And I'm Barbara Klein with Explorations in VOA Special English. Today we tell about astronomy on Mauna Kea Observatory1 in the American state of Hawaii.

(MUSIC)

VOICE ONE:

 
The Keck Telescopes form the largest telescopes of their kind in the world
Four thousand years ago, a volcano exploded in a far away area of the Pacific Ocean. Today, the Mauna Kea volcano is inactive. It is on the Big Island in the state of Hawaii. It is the highest mountain on any island in the world. It is also the highest mountain in the Pacific Ocean. And it is one of the best places in the world to study the heavens. This is because the air is clear, dry and generally free from pollution. Astronomers2 from around the world come to the Mauna Kea observatory to explore the universe.

VOICE TWO:

Astronomers must compete for observation time on Mauna Kea. But visitors are welcome anytime. They must either walk up more than four thousand kilometers to the top of the mountain. Or they can join a guided vehicle tour that leaves from the Mauna Kea Visitors Center, about two-thirds of the way up the mountain. Erik West is our guide for the trip up the mountain.

Mister West says visitors who want to drive up the mountain must have a special kind of four-wheel-drive vehicle. He also explains some health and safety issues because of the height of the mountain. Being at such a high elevation3 can affect people's health.

Visitors must not have any heart or breathing problems. They must not have dived deep underwater in the Past twenty-four hours. And visitors must be over the age of sixteen.

VOICE ONE:

Now we are ready to drive our vehicles up the mountain. One behind the other, the cars follow a steep road during the forty-five minute drive. They drive over lava4 rock created by the volcano when it was active.

When we reach the top of the mountain, we get out of our vehicles. We see a group of domed6 observatories7 that look like a garden of giant mushrooms. The air up here is cool. Mister West warns that the air can make people sick because it has forty percent less oxygen than at sea level. He says it has different effects on people. Some people feel light-headed, dizzy or sick to their stomachs. If any people get so sick that they need oxygen, they must leave and go back down the mountain.

(MUSIC)

VOICE TWO:

The first large telescope was built on Mauna Kea in nineteen seventy. Now there are thirteen groups of observatories. One of them is called SMA, or Submillimeter Array. It includes eight different telescopes that operate together. Eleven countries and several universities are involved with the telescopes. The biggest telescopes are the ten-meter Keck telescopes. Mister West says telescopes keep getting bigger because astronomers want to be able to collect as much light as possible.

VOICE ONE:

The Keck One and Keck Two are world's largest optical and infrared8 telescopes. Their mirrors are divided into thirty-six hexagonal parts. They work together as one piece of reflective glass. During the day, Keck One is a sleeping giant of steel devices closed inside a protective covering. The dome5 covering weighs about seven hundred tons. It is about thirty meters to the top of the dome. The whole mirror structure is about twenty-four meters tall.

The real action begins at sundown. The dome opens and starts rotating to where the astronomers need it. The mirror rotates to the place where they will be observing.

Throughout the night, the mirror moves to follow an object as it crosses the sky. But the astronomers are not near the telescopes. They are in the control room keeping warm.

VOICE TWO:

Rolf Kudritzki works in the control room. He is the director of the University of Hawaii's Institute for Astronomy that operates the Mauna Kea Observatory. Mister Kudritzki says astronomers control each movement and device guiding these huge telescopes. Astronomers study the information not by looking through the eyepiece of the telescope but from a desktop9 computer.

Over the years, astronomers have made many important discoveries here. They have discovered new moons around Jupiter. They have taken pictures that help measure the expansion of the universe. They have observed hundreds of small objects orbiting the Sun past the orbit of the planet Neptune10.

Mister Kudritzki says astronomers also look for signs of life in the universe beyond our solar system. He noted11 that Mauna Kea telescopes recently discovered some of the planets orbiting distant stars.

VOICE ONE:

Space telescopes, such as the Hubble, are different from land-based telescopes. The Hubble works outside the earth's atmosphere to capture finely detailed12 views of the universe. But the small size of space telescopes limits their light-collecting power. Mister Kudritzki says land-based observatories can often provide more details about objects in the universe. These include the distance, size, mass and the chemicals that make up an object in space.

He says that land-based observatories, like those on Mauna Kea, are in some ways better than space telescopes. These observatories provide astronomers with less costly13 observing time and many different kinds of tools for observing objects in space. He says the Mauna Kea observatories will continue to be a valuable addition to earth-orbiting telescopes for many years to come.

(MUSIC)

VOICE TWO:

Mauna Kea is important to astronomers who study the universe. But for Native Hawaiians, the mountain is a religious place. Mauna Kea is home to their most important gods. And it is the burial place of their ancestors. Kealoha Pisciotta comes to Mauna Kea to worship her ancestors. She leaves her car on the side of a road that leads to the top of the mountain. Her friend, Paul Neves, blows a note from a conch shell to announce their arrival. They ask permission from the mountain spirit to enter this holy place.

VOICE ONE:

Kealoha Pisciotta looks at the setting sun. She walks off the road to gather some stones. She and Paul Neves begin placing the stones on top of each other to create a family shrine14, a place where Hawaiians honor their ancestors. She says all of their families connect here. It is the place where Hawaiians mark their beginning.

VOICE TWO:

The Hawaiian tradition says Mauna Kea is the mountain of the gods. Tradition says Wakea, the sky father, and Papa, his wife, gave birth to the Hawaiian Islands on Mauna Kea.

Miz Pisciotta says building on top of the mountain has harmed the land, polluted the water, and cut into the volcanic15 rock. She says it also has violated the holiness of ancient burial grounds. She says her historical family shrine was taken away and has never been recovered.

VOICE ONE:

The Office of Mauna Kea Management was started in two thousand. It helps the University of Hawaii supervise the mountain as a science center and cultural center. Bill Stormont is director of the office. He says it seeks to balance the interests of astronomers, native Hawaiians and environmentalists. He says that it is important that the native Hawaiians have a voice in the future development of Mauna Kea.

VOICE TWO:

Kealoha Pisciotta is among a group of Native Hawaiian activists16 who have taken legal action to halt a plan to build four to six small telescopes on the mountain. The American space agency, NASA, supports the project.

It says it will do little harm to the environment. Miz Pisciotta does not dismiss the value of astronomy. She is a former telescope operator herself. But she wants greater control over protecting her culture and traditions in the future.

She says she supports the idea that astronomy is necessary to search for life in the universe. But she also believes that good science would want to protect traditions that are thousands of years old.

Rolf Kudritzki says science and culture can exist together on Mauna Kea. He says both sides must be willing to discuss the issues. Kealoha Pisciotta hopes that she has a voice in deciding a future that protects the past.

(MUSIC)

VOICE ONE:

This program was written by Rosanne Skirble and adapted by Shelley Gollust. It was produced by Mario Ritter. I'm Steve Ember.

VOICE ONE:

And I'm Barbara Klein. Join us again next week for Explorations in VOA Special English.


点击收听单词发音收听单词发音  

1 observatory hRgzP     
n.天文台,气象台,瞭望台,观测台
参考例句:
  • Guy's house was close to the observatory.盖伊的房子离天文台很近。
  • Officials from Greenwich Observatory have the clock checked twice a day.格林威治天文台的职员们每天对大钟检查两次。
2 astronomers 569155f16962e086bd7de77deceefcbd     
n.天文学者,天文学家( astronomer的名词复数 )
参考例句:
  • Astronomers can accurately foretell the date,time,and length of future eclipses. 天文学家能精确地预告未来日食月食的日期、时刻和时长。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • Astronomers used to ask why only Saturn has rings. 天文学家们过去一直感到奇怪,为什么只有土星有光环。 来自《简明英汉词典》
3 elevation bqsxH     
n.高度;海拔;高地;上升;提高
参考例句:
  • The house is at an elevation of 2,000 metres.那幢房子位于海拔两千米的高处。
  • His elevation to the position of General Manager was announced yesterday.昨天宣布他晋升总经理职位。
4 lava v9Zz5     
n.熔岩,火山岩
参考例句:
  • The lava flowed down the sides of the volcano.熔岩沿火山坡面涌流而下。
  • His anger spilled out like lava.他的愤怒像火山爆发似的迸发出来。
5 dome 7s2xC     
n.圆屋顶,拱顶
参考例句:
  • The dome was supported by white marble columns.圆顶由白色大理石柱支撑着。
  • They formed the dome with the tree's branches.他们用树枝搭成圆屋顶。
6 domed e73af46739c7805de3b32498e0e506c3     
adj. 圆屋顶的, 半球形的, 拱曲的 动词dome的过去式和过去分词形式
参考例句:
  • I gazed up at the domed ceiling arching overhead. 我抬头凝望着上方弧形的穹顶。
  • His forehead domed out in a curve. 他的前额呈弯曲的半球形。
7 observatories d730b278442c711432218e89314e2a09     
n.天文台,气象台( observatory的名词复数 )
参考例句:
  • John Heilbron, The Sun in the Church: Cathedrals as Solar Observatories, 3-23. 约翰.海耳布隆,《教会里的太阳:教堂即太阳观测台》,第3-23页。 来自互联网
  • Meteorologists use satellites, land observatories and historical data to provide information about the weather. 气象学家使用卫星、上天文台和历史资料来提供有关天气的信息。 来自互联网
8 infrared dx0yp     
adj./n.红外线(的)
参考例句:
  • Infrared is widely used in industry and medical science.红外线广泛应用于工业和医学科学。
  • Infrared radiation has wavelengths longer than those of visible light.红外辐射的波长比可见光的波长长。
9 desktop sucznX     
n.桌面管理系统程序;台式
参考例句:
  • My computer is a desktop computer of excellent quality.我的计算机是品质卓越的台式计算机。
  • Do you know which one is better,a laptop or a desktop?你知道哪一种更好,笔记本还是台式机?
10 Neptune LNezw     
n.海王星
参考例句:
  • Neptune is the furthest planet from the sun.海王星是离太阳最远的行星。
  • Neptune turned out to be a dynamic,stormy world.海王星原来是个有生气、多风暴的世界。
11 noted 5n4zXc     
adj.著名的,知名的
参考例句:
  • The local hotel is noted for its good table.当地的那家酒店以餐食精美而著称。
  • Jim is noted for arriving late for work.吉姆上班迟到出了名。
12 detailed xuNzms     
adj.详细的,详尽的,极注意细节的,完全的
参考例句:
  • He had made a detailed study of the terrain.他对地形作了缜密的研究。
  • A detailed list of our publications is available on request.我们的出版物有一份详细的目录备索。
13 costly 7zXxh     
adj.昂贵的,价值高的,豪华的
参考例句:
  • It must be very costly to keep up a house like this.维修这么一幢房子一定很昂贵。
  • This dictionary is very useful,only it is a bit costly.这本词典很有用,左不过贵了些。
14 shrine 0yfw7     
n.圣地,神龛,庙;v.将...置于神龛内,把...奉为神圣
参考例句:
  • The shrine was an object of pilgrimage.这处圣地是人们朝圣的目的地。
  • They bowed down before the shrine.他们在神龛前鞠躬示敬。
15 volcanic BLgzQ     
adj.火山的;象火山的;由火山引起的
参考例句:
  • There have been several volcanic eruptions this year.今年火山爆发了好几次。
  • Volcanic activity has created thermal springs and boiling mud pools.火山活动产生了温泉和沸腾的泥浆池。
16 activists 90fd83cc3f53a40df93866d9c91bcca4     
n.(政治活动的)积极分子,活动家( activist的名词复数 )
参考例句:
  • His research work was attacked by animal rights activists . 他的研究受到了动物权益维护者的抨击。
  • Party activists with lower middle class pedigrees are numerous. 党的激进分子中有很多出身于中产阶级下层。 来自《简明英汉词典》
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TAG标签:   exploration  hawaii  astronomy
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