つい最近の太陽系外からの訪問者はエイリアンの宇宙船かもしれない。 多分違うだろう。でもチェックする価値はある。

Might a recent extrasolar visitor be an alien spacecraft?
Probably not. But it is worth checking
Dec 14th 2017



’OUMUAMUA, an object tumbling through space that was discovered on October 19th, has already made history. The speed at which it is moving relative to the sun means that it cannot be native to the solar system. Its official designation is thus 1I/2017 U1, with the “I” standing for “interstellar”—the first time this designation has ever been used. 

chance to make history:歴史を変えるチャンス
interstellar:星の間の, 恒星間の.

That is exciting. Some scientists, though, entertain an even more exciting possibility: what if ’Oumuamua is not an asteroid, as most think, but an alien spacecraft? Asteroids come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, but ’Oumuamua seems particularly odd. As best as astronomers can tell, it is cigarlike, being roughly 180 metres long but only about 30 metres wide. That makes it more elongated than anything known of in the solar system. Such a shape would be a sensible choice for a spaceship, since it would minimise the scouring effect of interstellar dust. 

astronomers:天文学者; 天体観測者.

With that in mind the Breakthrough Listen project, an organisation dedicated to hunting for alien life, plans to turn the world’s biggest steerable radio telescope, the Green Bank instrument in Virginia, towards ’Oumuamua to see if it can hear anything interesting. ’Oumuamua is currently about twice as far from Earth as Earth is from the sun. At that range, the telescope should be sensitive enough to pick up a transmitter about as powerful as a mobile phone after just a few seconds-worth of observations. 

transmitter :(電波などの)送信機, 放送機; (電話の)送話器.
worth taking a second look at:〜の見直しは検討に値する

Will it find anything? Almost certainly not. ’Oumuamua has the same reddish colour as many asteroids, so presumably has a similar composition. And, if it really is a spaceship, it is odd that signs of its artificial origin have not been seen already—and also odd that it is tumbling. It could, in theory, be a derelict. But in that case the telescope is unlikely to hear anything. By far the most likely option is that it is exactly what it seems to be: an itinerant hunk of space rock, albeit one that has come to the solar system from the vast voids between the stars. 

derelict:遺棄[放置]されたもの, 廃棄船.
By far:間違いなく
itinerant:仕事を求めて旅をする, 渡り歩く
hunk :a hunk of cheese チーズの厚切り.


Vladimir Putin’s former economy minister claims his bribery sting was a set-up
Alexei Ulyukayev says he was not powerful enough to demand a bribe from the boss of Rosneft
Dec 16th 2017 | MOSCOW

Vladimir Putinの前経済大臣は彼の収賄のおとり捜査はでっちあげだと主張している。
Alexei Ulyukayevはロスネフチのトップから賄賂を要求するほど権力は持っていなかったと言っている。

sting:詐欺(swindle); おとり捜査(sting operation).

LAST November Igor Sechin, the powerful head of Rosneft, the Russian state oil giant, summoned Alexei Ulyukayev, Russia’s economy minister, for a meeting. Mr Sechin chastised Mr Ulyukayev for not wearing a coat, for he knew it would be cold where the minister was headed. Mr Ulyukayev left Mr Sechin’s office with a heavy briefcase—a gift, he thought, of rare wine. Instead, packed inside was $2m in cash, and waiting outside were agents with handcuffs. “It was said long ago: send not to know for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee,” Mr Ulyukayev declared during his closing statement in court last week, seemingly addressing his peers in power. “I want to say now that the bell could begin tolling for any of you.” 

summoned:summon A to a meeting A〈人〉に会議に出席するよう求める.
chastised:〈人〉を厳しく非難する; …を懲らしめる
For Whom the Bell Toll:【映画 誰が為に鐘は鳴る

The court’s verdict will ring out for Mr Ulyukayev on December 15th. No matter the outcome, the ruling will only fuel tensions within the Russian elite. The case is seen not as a good-faith anti-corruption effort, but the result of clan warfare. Mr Ulyukayev was a stalwart of the government’s technocratic bloc; Mr Sechin is a committed statist and a longtime confidant of Vladimir Putin who wields outsize influence among the siloviki (former and current members of the security services). 

stalwart:(政党・クラブなどの)熱心な支持者, 信奉者.
confidant:(何でも打ち明けられる)親友, 腹心の友.
wields:〈権力・影響力など〉を握る, ふるう

The prosecution alleges that Mr Ulyukayev demanded $2m from Mr Sechin to approve Rosneft’s purchase of Bashneft, a mid-sized oil producer. Mr Ulyukayev had opposed the deal, arguing that Rosneft should not participate in a privatisation effort meant to reduce state participation in the economy. Prosecutors claim that while playing billiards with Mr Sechin during a summit in India, Mr Ulyukayev held up two fingers, a signal meant to indicate the sum he desired. Mr Sechin ignored four summonses to testify.

summonses:(裁判所への)召喚, 出頭命令; 召喚状

Mr Ulyukayev and his allies insist that he could never demand a bribe from Mr Sechin, whose political ves, or weight, in Russia’s Byzantine system far exceeds that of the minister. Mr Ulyukayev calls the case a set-up led by Mr Sechin and Oleg Feoktistov, an FSB general who ran Rosneft’s security division at the time. The defence argued that neither money nor a bribe were discussed directly in wiretapped conversations between the men.

FSB:Federalnaja Sluschba Bezopasnosti ロシアの連邦保安局。KGB 解体後の後身の一部である連邦防諜局を 1995 年改組改称。

The proceedings have provided a unique window onto the inner life of Russian power. Transcripts of bugged calls and conversations have been read aloud in court, revealing details such as Mr Sechin’s practice of giving favoured people baskets of sausages, produced from creatures reportedly slain by Mr Sechin himself.


Perhaps the most telling moment came in Mr Ulyukayev’s closing statement, when he admitted his guilt—though not of the crime for which he is accused. “I’m guilty of compromising too often, choosing the easy way out, and I all too often put my career and welfare ahead of my principles,” he said. “I got caught up in a senseless bureaucratic ring dance, I received some gifts and I gave them myself too.” On December 15th Mr Ulyukayev was found guilty and sentenced to eight years in a penal colony. 

senseless:非常識な, 愚かな.
penal colony:囚人(の)流刑地

Vladimir Putinの前経済大臣であるUlyukayevは秘密警察にはめられて、200万ドルを受け取ってしまった。そのため、8年の有罪判決を受けた。国有石油企業のロズネフチのSechinに騙されたのだが、彼が私有企業への買収に対してUlyukayevが反対したからだった。Sechinに反対すると人のソーセージになってしまうらしい。やっぱりロシアはやばい国だな。


swingby_blog at 20:23コメント(0) 


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