Aiming for the Stars 瞄准星星

The script from this programme:

Helen: (Almost whispering) Hello and welcome to On the Town, I'm Helen. And I'm here with Neil.

Neil: (Whispering) Hello.

Neil: (Still whispering) Helen, tell me something… Why are we whispering?

Helen: 啊,你還不知道我為什麼說悄悄話?I'll tell you…

Neil: (Whispering) … Yeah and why have you switched off all the lights in the studio? …

(Sound of owl, crickets)

Neil … And, Helen, switch off these sound effects, please! This owl and these crickets are getting on my nerves.

Helen: Oh all right. Sorry, about that. 你覺得我的聲響效果惹得你心煩?可是一聽到貓頭鷹owls和蟋蟀crickets 的叫聲,就能讓我們聯想到郊外寧靜的夜晚。你看我把燈關了, so we can imagine we can look up and see the stars, 我們抬頭就能看星星了。

Neil: Why do you want to see stars?

Helen: 那是因為在今天的都市掠影里我們一起帶大家看愛丁堡的天空。It's said that there are areas where the sky is so clear at night that they are great to see stars. 當地政府鼓勵老百姓參與評選看星星的最佳去處,nominate 就是推薦的意思。請聽皇家天文台天文學家 Dan Hillier 對這個活動的介紹。

Image copyright PA
Image caption Galloway Forest park in Scotland.

Dan Hillier:

What we are looking for now is to people to look around their local community and to nominate new places that are great for stargazing. They can visit our website, dark sky discovery, to find how to do that there and we really hope with this network of dark sky discovery sites is really going to mushroom.

Helen: This is the Royal Observatory astronomer Dan Hillier. And he used another expression inspired by vegetation.

Neil: Yes, he hopes that the network of good sites to see stars at night is going to mushroom.

Helen: Network 網絡,Dan 希望能望星星的地方會越來越多。To mushroom 在這里的意思是形容某事的發展速度像 mushroom 蘑菇生長那樣快。

Neil: Stargazing is fun! People in Edinburgh must be enthusiastic about this initiative.

Helen: Yes, they are. 而且當地企業也很支持這個活動。Listen to what Kevin Reid, a hotel owner, said about the so-called dark skies initiative.

Kevin Reid:

I think very much the dark skies initiative is a great initiative for us because it will draw business to the area in what traditionally is the off-season. And that can only be of help to all businesses in the area.

Helen: 酒店老板Kevin Reid 說這個活動會吸引更多的人到這里來看星星。

Neil: Yes, he thinks it will draw business to the area, especially when there are not many people around.

Helen: 淡季 off-season. 平時在旅游淡季的時候這里人很少。不過相信只要能在夜里看到明亮的星星,就算是淡季,也會有游客到這里來, 這樣對當地的企業也很有幫助。It will be very good for him. Listen to what this astronomer has to say.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Andromeda Galaxy


Binoculars are a wonderful way to start because you get a really wide view of everything so you can see whole constellations in them and you can see really simple things like star patterns, double stars, variable stars. But you can even use your naked eye to see things like meteors and the Andromeda galaxy.

Helen: 這位天文學家說望遠鏡 binoculars 可是必備品。有了它,你可以看到很多東西。 Let's think about ….

Neil: …yes, she said that we can see whole constellations…

Helen: …整個星座 whole constellations …

Neil: …meteors…

Helen: … 流星…

Neil: …and even the Andromeda galaxy!

Helen: Yes, the Andromeda galaxy! 仙女座星系! That's a lot to see!

And many people in Britain are keen to see stars. So much so that the town of Dulverton in Somerset decided to do last week what I did in the studio.

Neil: What was that?

Helen: Dulverton 鎮上的居民晚上把燈都關了,這樣在看星星的時候就沒有光污染了。

Neil: With urban lights on it's difficult to see the stars properly. It's what we call light pollution.

Helen: 光污染 light pollution.

Neil: That's all very inspiring but I am starving. I am going to the canteen to eat something. Aren't you coming with me?

Helen: No, 你先去吧,我想在這兒待一會兒,聽聽貓頭鷹和蟋蟀的叫聲。我能想象到constellations, meteors and the Andromeda galaxy.

Neil: You've always had your head in the clouds, Helen! Bye.

Helen: See you!

(Sound of owl, crickets)