When it comes to telescopes, bigger is better. But it's not always that much better. A new analysis shows that many of the highest-profile astronomy findings come from giant, world-class mountaintop telescopes—but the little guys are making surprising contributions, too.
提到望远镜，当然是体积越大越好 。但情况并不总是这样 。一项新的分析指出许多最引人注目的天文发现都来自于世界级的巨型山顶望远镜，但小型望远镜也能做出令人惊异的贡献 。
The typical study using the largest observatories goes on to receive 29 percent more citations in subsequent research, when compared to studies utilizing more modest two- to four-meter telescopes. But those big-scope studies cost about four times as much. The analysis applies only to ground-based observatories.
在后续研究中，相比利用2至4米长的望远镜所作的研究，这项在使用世界上最大天文台所作的典型研究多接收了29%的讯息 。然而那些大望远镜的成本却是小望远镜的4倍 。这项分析只适用于地表观测站 。
The study, which appeared in the Astronomical Journal, notes that large, expensive observatories aren't exactly a waste of money. Only big telescopes can observe the faint, distant objects that existed just after the big bang. But those telescopes are also so sought-after that it can be a challenge just to get in the door.
这项研究刊登在《天文期刊》上，它指出庞大，昂贵的天文台并非完全是浪费金钱 。只有巨型的望远镜才能观测到宇宙大爆炸之后存在的模糊而又遥远的星球 。但那些小型望远镜也广受欢迎，因为这也是跨入门槛的不小的挑战 。
Smaller observatories often have greater availability, so they can grant observing time to riskier projects that might fizzle out—or produce a breakthrough discovery.
规模小的观测站常常可用性更高，因此能保证有足够的时间来观测稍纵即逝的高风险项目 。或许也有可能产生突破性的发现 。
So small telescopes give you more bang for your buck. But some bangs are just too big for them to handle.
因此小型望远镜会给你带来意想不到的惊喜 。然而对于那些规模庞大的天文现象，小型望远镜就不适用了 。