度假胜地观星—惬意无比

度假胜地观星—惬意无比 Stargazing at a 1)Resort, in Comfort

As the sun sets over the Atacama Desert in Chile each reliably cloudless night, 2)dazzling 3)ruby red and 4)garnet hues paint the volcanic Andes Mountain peaks in the eastern skyline, deepening almost 5)imperceptibly until they are 6)indistinguishable from black. That would be the grand 7)finale at many resort areas. But here, it is merely the opening act.
在每一个晴朗无云的夜晚,当太阳从智利的阿塔卡马沙漠落下时,东方天际的安第斯火山的顶峰笼罩着一片耀眼的红色,这种宝石红与石榴红调和而成的色彩几乎在不知不觉中加深,直到与夜黑融为一体。对于许多度假胜地来说,这将意味着一天的完美结束,而在这里,仅仅是开场表演。

After the nearest star had set one evening last August, I peered through the 8)Meade 16-inch telescope in the 15-foot 9)observatory of the Hotel de Larache in San Pedro de Atacama to see the main attraction: the Alpha Centauri stars that, without the benefit of 10)magnification, look like one; the misty, yellow Swan Nebula; and the Scorpio 11)Constellation’s bi-winged Butterfly Cluster.
去年八月,当最亮的那颗星星挂上天幕时,我正站在圣佩德罗阿塔卡马的拉腊什酒店那15英尺高的望台上,用16英寸长的米德望远镜欣赏夜空最具吸引力的半人马座阿尔法星群(如果没有被望远镜放大的话,它看起来就像只有一颗星星)和朦胧的黄色天鹅星云以及天蝎座的双翼蝴蝶星群景象。

This remote desert, roughly 800 miles north of Santiago, offers some of the clearest views of the Milky Way in the world, making it a natural home to a cluster of high-tech research observatories used by international astronomers. The resorts at Atacama are no 12)outliers. Stargazing has increasingly become an alternative to traditional after-sundown dining and drinking at hotels and resorts. Call it night life for nerds.
在这个距离智利首都圣地亚哥以北约800英里的偏远沙漠,人们可以看到一些世界上最为清晰的银河景观,于是这里便成了望台的聚集地,国际天文学家通过这些高科技研究型望台来研究夜空。阿塔卡马的这些度假胜地也不例外。以前每当日落后,人们在酒店和度假胜地吃饭饮酒消遣,而现在,观星已逐渐成了另一种选择。观星就是书呆子们的夜生活。

“For people who live in the cities, the only way to see the stars in safety and in comfort without worrying about what might happen in the dark is at a resort,” said Rick Fienberg, a spokesman for the American Astronomical Society, based in Washington.
美国天文学会(总部设于华盛顿)发言人里克·弗因伯格说:“现在,对于住在城市的人来说,要安全舒适地观星而不必担心黑夜里会发生什么,就只能在度假胜地观星了。”

I first encountered stargazing tourism several years ago at the Maui Resort and Spa in Hawaii, a 40-acre resort with 13)sweeping views of Kaanapali Beach. Instead of drinking 14)mai tais at the bar or attending a 15)luau, I joined Eddie Mahoney, an astronomer, who led our group of 12 to the roof of the hotel’s nine-story main building. The relatively high perch and resort lighting—designed to 16)angle down rather than shine up—preserved the dark setting for his three 50-minute nightly public stargazing sessions ($25 a person).
几年前,我在夏威夷的毛伊岛水疗度假村首次接触到“观星游”这一概念,在这个40英亩的度假胜地上,卡亚纳帕里海滩的风光可以尽收眼底。我没有在酒吧喝迈代鸡尾酒,也没去参加夏威夷烤猪派对,而是跟随天文学家埃迪·马奥尼带领的12人小组去高达九层的酒店主楼楼顶观星。较高的位置和度假村的照明(该设计使灯光向下投射而非向天上散射)使黑夜的环境得以保存,从而使埃迪·马奥尼主持的三场夜间公开观星活动得以顺利进行,每场活动持续50分钟,费用为每人25美元。

Mr. Mahoney 17)oriented us by pointing out the North Star, the Big and Little Dippers and the constellation Orion, all visible to the naked eye, of course. But what appeared to be a 18)fuzzy cluster in the sky became clear with binoculars: they were the seven stars in the Pleiades Group. And moving to the 16-inch reflector telescope, far-off planets come into the sharp focus you see in Hubble Space Telescope images: Saturn and its rings, as well as a 19)quartet of Jupiter’s moons precisely lined up beside it.
马奥尼先生引导着我们,为我们指出北极星、北斗七星、小熊星座和猎户座,当然,这些星座都是我们肉眼可以看见的。但通过双筒望远镜,这些在肉眼下看似模糊不清的团状物变得清晰起来:他们是昴宿星群的七颗星星。当我们移步至16英寸的反射式望远镜时,映入眼帘的是以哈勃太空望远镜图像呈现的遥远行星:土星及其光环,以及排列在木星旁边的四颗卫星。

Newly in possession of a 14-inch computerized telescope, Mr. Mahoney still leads stargazing sessions, which he started 10 years ago. Some 6,000 gazers a year take his sky tour, according to the resort management. “I remind them that Earth is a starship, and we are just passing through,” said Mr. Mahoney, who distributes Starburst or Milky Way candies after the show.
马奥尼先生最近拥有了一台14英寸电脑控制望远镜,他依然继续着自己10年前就开始从事的观星向导的工作。度假村管理部门称,每年有6000人参加马奥尼先生的“星空之旅”。“我提醒他们,地球是一艘星际飞船,我们只是匆匆过客,”马奥尼先生说。观星活动结束后,马奥尼先生为大家分发“星爆”牌或银河牌糖果。

That sense of floating through the galaxy is 20)underscored in the western United States, where low population density and favorable weather combine to make for particularly starry skies. Near Scottsdale, Arizona, the Boulders Resort 21)abjures the science of astronomy in favor of the lore of 22)astrology in its “Dining With the Stars” dinners held three times each year, on the 23)summer solstice and the spring and fall 24)equinox dates.
人口稀疏加上天气条件得天独厚,造就了美国西部别样的星空。在这里,人们最能体会到那种漂浮于星际之中的感觉。伯德斯度假村临近亚利桑那州的斯科茨代尔市,这里的人们分别在夏至、春分和秋分时举行三次“与星星共餐”的活动,意在显示这里的人们不爱天文科学,爱占星学。

I had a chance to stargaze out west firsthand this spring during a visit to Colorado. After a day of 25)white water 26)kayaking I took part in a decidedly low-tech session at the new Viceroy Snowmass, an 27)opulent 173-room resort on the Snowmass ski slopes near Aspen. Instead of using an observatory or even a telescope, guests sat around a 28)bonfire on the pool deck, faces facing heavenward as the leader, Marieta Bialek, pointed out constellations and planets visible above the mountains.
今年春天去科罗拉多州参观期间,我获得了一次在西部户外观星的机会。经过一天的皮艇漂流后,我在新总督斯诺马斯参加了一个显然是科技含量不高的观星活动。新总督斯诺马斯是一个有着173间客房的豪华度假村,靠近阿斯彭附近的斯诺马斯滑雪场。在这里观星,人们不使用望台或者望远镜,而是围坐在游泳池边的篝火旁,面朝夜空,领队玛丽塔·巴雷克会向众人指出山脉上空肉眼可见的星座和行星。

With the planet Venus shining in the west, the overall order of the night sky emerged as the evening progressed. Taking in the 29)panoramic view of the sky was more 30)meditative than scientific, but rewarding nonetheless, especially when a 31)shooting star 32)streaked by.
当金星在西方天空闪耀时,夜空的总体秩序随着夜幕的来临而变得清晰。纵观整个夜空与其说是科学观测,倒不如说只是一种哲学静思,但即使这样也是值得的,尤其是当流星划过天际时。

“There’s a mystery and wonder about it,” said Ms. Bialek, leaning back in her chair to point out the constellation Cassiopeia. “Many people find comfort in the stars. As things are changing around them, the stars stay steady.”
巴雷克女士靠在椅子上指着仙后座说:“它挺神秘的,富有传奇色彩,许多人觉得在星星那里能找到安慰。因为周围的事物在变化,而星星却稳定不变。”

That steadiness was evident in the Atacama region of Chile, where there is little night life to compete with the twinkling sky after dark. Nearby resorts that feature stargazing include Tierra Atacama, 33)a stone’s throw from Hotel de Larache, and Alto Atacama lodge, which offers guided stargazing nightly, except during full moon phases that 34)wash out the viewing.
这种稳定性在智利的阿塔卡马地区是显而易见的,在那里,天黑后能与星光闪闪的夜空相媲美的夜生活不多。附近以观星为特色的度假村包括离拉腊什酒店一箭之遥的阿塔卡马高地和阿塔卡马女低音旅店,后者为夜间观星提供指导,但出现满月时除外,因为月明星稀,无法观赏到理想景观。

Stargazing at Hotel de Larache is no mere 35)add-on. On my tour there, several gazers took along 36)Pisco sours from the bar to the fireside orientation involving charts and diagrams before navigating paths to the observatory marked in dim red to minimize light pollution. Inside, the 37)dome opened and 38)swiveled under the computerized direction of the scope as it lined up stars and constellations, which the six of us took turns viewing over the next hour, 39)murmuring oohs and aahs normally associated with fireworks and giving us plenty to marvel at over dinner after the show.
在拉腊什酒店观星不只是一个余兴节目。我在那里旅行期间,几个观星者在出发去望台之前,带着酒吧里的皮斯科白兰地,在火炉边听包括许多图标和图表的指导性介绍。为了使灯光污染降到最小,望台只有微弱的红光加以标示。望台内,当由电脑控制的方向范围对准星星和星座时,圆屋顶打开并旋转。我们六个人在接下来的一个小时里轮流观看这些星星和星座,发出平时只在看烟花汇演时才发出的
“噢……”、“啊……”之类的赞叹声。在观星之后用餐时,方才的美景依然让我们啧啧称奇。