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地外钚原子在海底出现

Extraterrestrial Plutonium Atoms Turn Up on Ocean Bottom

科学家们在研究从太平洋海床下近一英里处取回的洋壳样本时,发现了一种罕见的钚同位素的踪迹,这种致命的元素一直是原子时代的核心。

Scientists studying a sample of oceanic crust retrieved from the Pacific seabed nearly a mile down have discovered traces of a rare isotope of plutonium, the deadly element that has been central to the atomic age.

他们说,它是在碰撞的恒星中产生的,后来在数百万年前作为宇宙尘埃通过地球的大气层,并像雨一样落到地表。他们的分析打开了一扇了解宇宙的新窗口。

They say it was made in colliding stars and later rained down through Earth’s atmosphere as cosmic dust millions of years ago. Their analysis opens a new window on the cosmos.

在澳大利亚国立大学以及德国德累斯顿的亥姆霍兹中心工作的论文第一作者、核物理学家安东·沃纳尔说:”地球上的几个原子可以帮助我们了解我们宇宙中一半部分的较重元素是在哪里合成的,这真是令人惊讶。”

“It’s amazing that a few atoms on Earth can help us learn about where half of all the heavier elements in our universe are synthesized,” said Anton Wallner, the paper’s first author and a nuclear physicist. Dr. Wallner works at the Australian National University as well as the Helmholtz Center in Dresden, Germany.

Read more at The New York Times

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