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  • richardmitnick 8:22 pm on March 17, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , ESO APEX,   

    From ESO: “Astronomers detect matter torn apart by black hole” 2008 


    European Southern Observatory

    18 November 2008
    Contacts

    Andreas Eckart
    University of Cologne
    Cologne, Germany
    Tel: +49 221 470 3546
    Email: eckart@ph1.uni-koeln.de

    Fred Baganoff
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    Cambridge, USA
    Tel: +1 617 253 6892
    Email: fkb@space.mit.edu

    Rainer Schödel
    Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía
    CSIC, Spain
    Tel: +34 958 230 529
    Email: rainer@iaa.es

    Macarena García-Marín
    University of Cologne
    Cologne, Germany
    Tel: +49 221 470 7788
    Email: maca@ph1.uni-koeln.de

    Douglas Pierce-Price
    ESO
    Garching, Germany
    Tel: +49 89 3200 6759
    Email: dpiercep@eso.org

    Valentina Rodriguez
    ESO
    Garching, Germany
    Tel: +56 2 463 3123
    Email: vrodrigu@eso.org

    Astronomers have used two different telescopes simultaneously to study the violent flares from the supermassive black hole in the centre of the Milky Way. They have detected outbursts from this region, known as Sagittarius A*, which reveal material being stretched out as it orbits in the intense gravity close to the central black hole.

    sag a

    Another image of Sag A*, from NASA/Chandra
    sag A*2
    This Chandra image of Sgr A* and the surrounding region is based on data from a series of observations lasting a total of about one million seconds, or almost two weeks. Such a deep observation has given scientists an unprecedented view of the supernova remnant near Sgr A* (known as Sgr A East) and the lobes of hot gas extending for a dozen light years on either side of the black hole. These lobes provide evidence for powerful eruptions occurring several times over the last ten thousand years. The image also contains several mysterious X-ray filaments, some of which may be huge magnetic structures interacting with streams of energetic electrons produced by rapidly spinning neutron stars. Such features are known as pulsar wind nebulas.
    NASA/CXC/MIT/F. Baganoff, R. Shcherbakov et al.
    Date 7 January 2010

    NASA Chandra Telescope
    NASA/Chandra

    The team of European and US astronomers used ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) and the Atacama Pathfinder Experiment (APEX) telescope, both in Chile, to study light from Sagittarius A* at near-infrared wavelengths and the longer submillimetre wavelengths respectively. This is the first time that astronomers have caught a flare with these telescopes simultaneously. The telescopes’ location in the southern hemisphere provides the best vantage point for studying the Galactic Centre.

    ESO VLT
    VLT

    ESO APEX
    APEX

    “Observations like this, over a range of wavelengths, are really the only way to understand what’s going on close to the black hole,” says Andreas Eckart of the University of Cologne, who led the team.

    Sagittarius A* is located at the centre of our own Milky Way Galaxy at a distance from Earth of about 26 000 light-years. It is a supermassive black hole with a mass of about four million times that of the Sun. Most, if not all, galaxies are thought to have a supermassive black hole in their centre.

    “Sagittarius A* is unique, because it is the nearest of these monster black holes, lying within our own galaxy,” explains team member Frederick K. Baganoff of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, USA. “Only for this one object can our current telescopes detect these relatively faint flares from material orbiting just outside the event horizon.”

    The emission from Sagittarius A* is thought to come from gas thrown off by stars, which then orbits and falls into the black hole.

    Making the simultaneous observations required careful planning between teams at the two telescopes. After several nights waiting at the two observatory sites, they struck lucky.

    “At the VLT, as soon as we pointed the telescope at Sagittarius A* we saw it was active, and getting brighter by the minute. We immediately picked up the phone and alerted our colleagues at the APEX telescope,” says Gunther Witzel, a PhD student from the University of Cologne.

    Macarena García-Marín, also from Cologne, was waiting at APEX, where the observatory team had made a special effort to keep the instrument on standby. “As soon as we got the call we were very excited and had to work really fast so as not to lose crucial data from Sagittarius A*. We took over from the regular observations, and were in time to catch the flares,” she explains.

    Over the next six hours, the team detected violently variable infrared emission, with four major flares from Sagittarius A* . The submillimetre-wavelength results also showed flares, but, crucially, this occurred about one and a half hours after the infrared flares.

    The researchers explain that this time delay is probably caused by the rapid expansion, at speeds of about 5 million km/h, of the clouds of gas that are emitting the flares. This expansion causes changes in the character of the emission over time, and hence the time delay between the infrared and submillimetre flares.

    Although speeds of 5 million km/h may seem fast, this is only 0.5% of the speed of light. To escape from the very strong gravity so close to the black hole, the gas would have to be travelling at half the speed of light – 100 times faster than detected – and so the researchers believe that the gas cannot be streaming out in a jet. Instead, they suspect that a blob of gas orbiting close to the black hole is being stretched out, like dough in a mixing bowl, and this is causing the expansion.

    The simultaneous combination of the VLT and APEX telescopes has proved to be a powerful way to study the flares at multiple wavelengths. The team hope that future observations will let them prove their proposed model, and discover more about this mysterious region at the centre of our Galaxy.

    The members of the international team who did this research are: A. Eckart (University of Cologne, Germany), R. Schödel (Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía – CSIC, Spain), M. García-Marín (University of Cologne, Germany), G. Witzel (University of Cologne, Germany), A. Weiss (MPIfR, Germany), F. K. Baganoff (MIT, USA), M. R. Morris (University of California, USA), T. Bertram (University of Cologne, Germany), M. Dovčiak (Astronomical Institute of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic), D. Downes (IRAM, France), W.J. Duschl (Christian-Albrechts-Universität, Germany), V. Karas (Astronomical Institute of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic), S. König (University of Cologne, Germany), T. P. Krichbaum (MPIfR, Germany), M. Krips (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, USA), D. Kunneriath (University of Cologne, Germany), R.-S. Lu (MPIfR, Germany), S. Markoff (Astronomical Institute ‘Anton Pannekoek’, Netherlands), J. Mauerhan (University of California, USA), L. Meyer (University of California, USA), J. Moultaka (LATT, France), K. Mužić (University of Cologne, Germany), F. Najarro (Centro de Astro Biologia, Madrid, Spain), J.-U. Pott (University of California, USA), K. F. Schuster (IRAM, France), L. O. Sjouwerman (NRAO, USA), C. Straubmeier (University of Cologne, Germany), C. Thum (IRAM, France), S. Vogel (University of Maryland, USA), H. Wiesemeyer (IRAM, Spain), M. Zamaninasab (University of Cologne, Germany), J. A. Zensus (MPIfR, Germany)

    [My purpose in listing the complete team as rendered by ESO was to exhibit that there are U.S. scientists able to get on these explorations by attaching to a team which is primarily from countries which do support ESO. It is possible, but, I say, it is probably rare.]

    See the full article, with notes, here.

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  • richardmitnick 4:57 pm on March 10, 2014 Permalink | Reply
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    A Tour of “GOODS” – Video About the Many Telescopes Needed for Great Astronomy 

    Please enjoy the video. Goods is Great Observatories Origins Deep Survey

    ESO VLT
    ESO VLT

    NASA Hubble Space Telescope
    NASA/ESA Hubble

    NASA Spitzer Telescope
    NASA Spitzer

    NASA Chandra Telescope
    NASA Chandra

    ESO APEX
    ESO APEX

    ESO ALMA Array
    ESO/ NAOJ/ NRAO ALMA

    ESO 50 Large

    NASA


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  • richardmitnick 6:26 am on September 25, 2013 Permalink | Reply
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    From ESO: “The Cool Glow of Star Formation” 


    European Southern Observatory

    First Light of Powerful New Camera on APEX

    25 September 2013
    Contacts

    Michel Talvard
    Project Manager for ArTeMiS / CEA
    Saclay, France
    Tel: +33 1 6908 8352
    Email: michel.talvard@cea.fr

    Carlos De Breuck
    ESO APEX Project Manager
    Garching, Germany
    Tel: +49 89 3200 6613
    Email: cdebreuc@eso.org

    Richard Hook
    ESO Public Information Officer
    Garching bei München, Germany
    Tel: +49 89 3200 6655
    Cell: +49 151 1537 3591
    Email: rhook@eso.org

    A new instrument called ArTeMiS has been successfully installed on APEX — the Atacama Pathfinder Experiment. APEX is a 12-metre diameter telescope located high in the Atacama Desert, which operates at millimetre and submillimetre wavelengths — between infrared light and radio waves in the electromagnetic spectrum — providing a valuable tool for astronomers to peer further into the Universe. The new camera has already delivered a spectacularly detailed view of the Cat’s Paw Nebula.

    image

    artemis
    ArTeMiS

    ESO APEX
    APEX

    ArTeMiS is a new wide-field submillimetre-wavelength camera that will be a major addition to APEX’s suite of instruments and further increase the depth and detail that can be observed. The new generation detector array of ArTeMIS acts more like a CCD camera than the previous generation of detectors. This will let wide-field maps of the sky be made faster and with many more pixels.

    The commissioning team that installed ArTeMIS had to battle against extreme weather conditions to complete the task. Very heavy snow on the Chajnantor Plateau had almost buried the APEX control building. With help from staff at the ALMA Operations Support Facility and APEX, the team transported the ArTeMiS boxes to the telescope via a makeshift road, avoiding the snowdrifts, and were able to install the instrument, manoeuvre the cryostat into position, and attach it in its final location.

    To test the instrument, the team then had to wait for very dry weather as the submillimetre wavelengths of light that ArTeMiS observes are very strongly absorbed by water vapour in the Earth’s atmosphere. But, when the time came, successful test observations were made. Following the tests and commissioning observations, ArTéMiS has already been used for several scientific projects. One of these targets was the star formation region NGC 6334, (the Cat’s Paw Nebula), in the southern constellation of Scorpius (The Scorpion). This new ArTeMiS image is significantly better than earlier APEX images of the same region.

    NGC6334
    NGC 6334

    The testing of ArTeMiS has been completed and the camera will now return to Saclay in France in order to install additional detectors in the instrument. The whole team is already very excited by the results from these initial observations, which are a wonderful reward for many years of hard work and could not have been achieved without the help and support of the APEX staff.

    The commissioning team from CEA consists of Philippe André, Laurent Clerc, Cyrille Delisle, Eric Doumayrou, Didier Dubreuil, Pascal Gallais, Yannick Le Pennec, Michel Lortholary, Jérôme Martignac, Vincent Revéret, Louis Rodriquez, Michel Talvard and François Visticot.

    APEX is a collaboration between the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy (MPIfR), the Onsala Space Observatory (OSO) and ESO. Operation of APEX at Chajnantor is entrusted to ESO.

    See the full article, with notes and images, here.

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  • richardmitnick 12:35 pm on May 15, 2013 Permalink | Reply
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    From ESO: “Orion’s Hidden Fiery Ribbon” 

    15 May 2013
    Contacts

    Amelia Stutz
    Max Planck Institute for Astronomy
    Heidelberg, Germany
    Tel: +49 6221 528 412
    Email: stutz@mpia.de

    Thomas Stanke
    ESO
    Garching bei München, Germany
    Tel: +49 89 3200 6116
    Email: tstanke@eso.org

    Richard Hook
    ESO Public Information Officer
    Garching bei München, Germany
    Tel: +49 89 3200 6655
    Cell: +49 151 1537 3591
    Email: rhook@eso.org

    “This dramatic new image of cosmic clouds in the constellation of Orion reveals what seems to be a fiery ribbon in the sky. This orange glow represents faint light coming from grains of cold interstellar dust, at wavelengths too long for human eyes to see. It was observed by the ESO-operated Atacama Pathfinder Experiment (APEX) in Chile.

    glow

    Clouds of gas and interstellar dust are the raw materials from which stars are made. But these tiny dust grains block our view of what lies within and behind the clouds — at least at visible wavelengths — making it difficult to observe the processes of star formation.

    This is why astronomers need to use instruments that are able to see at other wavelengths of light. At submillimetre wavelengths, rather than blocking light, the dust grains shine due to their temperatures of a few tens of degrees above absolute zero. The APEX telescope with its submillimetre-wavelength camera LABOCA, located at an altitude of 5000 metres above sea level on the Chajnantor Plateau in the Chilean Andes, is the ideal tool for this kind of observation.

    This spectacular new picture shows just a part of a bigger complex called the Orion Molecular Cloud, in the constellation of Orion (The Hunter). A rich melting pot of bright nebulae, hot young stars and cold dust clouds, this region is hundreds of light-years across and located about 1350 light-years from us. The submillimetre-wavelength glow arising from the cold dust clouds is seen in orange in this image and is overlaid on a view of the region taken in the more familiar visible light.

    barn
    A picture of Barnard’s Loop, which is a primary component of the nebula complex. Also seen in the image are the locations of other nebulae in the complex such as M42.

    The large bright cloud in the upper right of the image is the well-known Orion Nebula, also called Messier 42. It is readily visible to the naked eye as the slightly fuzzy middle “star” in the sword of Orion. The Orion Nebula is the brightest part of a huge stellar nursery where new stars are being born, and is the closest site of massive star formation to Earth.

    The APEX observations used in this image were led by Thomas Stanke (ESO), Tom Megeath (University of Toledo, USA), and Amelia Stutz (Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, Heidelberg, Germany). APEX is a collaboration between the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy (MPIfR), the Onsala Space Observatory (OSO) and ESO. Operation of APEX at Chajnantor is entrusted to ESO.”

    See the full article here.

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    THE BASIC TOOLS OF E.S.O.
    i1
    Paranal Platform The VLT

    ESO NTT

    NTT – New Technology Telescope


    La Silla


    ALMA Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array

    i2
    The European Extremely Large Telescope
    VISTAVISTA (the Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy)


    Atacama Pathfinder Experiment telescope (APEX)

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  • richardmitnick 2:32 pm on March 28, 2013 Permalink | Reply
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    From ESO, Besutiful New Image: “Sifting through Dust near Orion’s Belt” 

    A new image of the region surrounding the reflection nebula Messier 78, just to the north of Orion’s Belt, shows clouds of cosmic dust threaded through the nebula like a string of pearls. The observations, made with the Atacama Pathfinder Experiment (APEX) telescope[1], use the heat glow of interstellar dust grains to show astronomers where new stars are being formed.

    dust

    Dust may sound boring and uninteresting — the surface grime that hides the beauty of an object. But this new image of Messier 78 and surroundings, which reveals the submillimetre-wavelength radiation from dust grains in space, shows that dust can be dazzling. Dust is important to astronomers as dense clouds of gas and dust are the birthplaces of new stars.

    In the centre of the image is Messier 78, also known as NGC 2068. When seen in visible light, this region is a reflection nebula, meaning that we see the pale blue glow of starlight reflected from clouds of dust. The APEX observations are overlaid on the visible-light image in orange. Sensitive to longer wavelengths, they reveal the gentle glow of dense cold clumps of dust, some of which are even colder than -250ºC. In visible light, this dust is dark and obscuring, which is why telescopes such as APEX are so important for studying the dusty clouds in which stars are born.

    One filament seen by APEX appears in visible light as a dark lane of dust cutting across Messier 78. This tells us that the dense dust lies in front of the reflection nebula, blocking its bluish light. Another prominent region of glowing dust seen by APEX overlaps with the visible light from Messier 78 at its lower edge. The lack of a corresponding dark dust lane in the visible light image tells us that this dense region of dust must lie behind the reflection nebula.

    Observations of the gas in these clouds reveal gas flowing at high velocity out of some of the dense clumps. These outflows are ejected from young stars while the star is still forming from the surrounding cloud. Their presence is therefore evidence that these clumps are actively forming stars.

    [1] APEX is a collaboration between the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy (MPIfR), the Onsala Space Observatory (OSO) and ESO. Operation of APEX at Chajnantor is entrusted to ESO. APEX is a pathfinder for the next-generation submillimetre telescope, the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), which is being built and operated on the same plateau.

    Visit ESO in Social Media-

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    THE BASIC TOOLS OF E.S.O.
    i1
    Paranal Platform The VLT
    ESO NTT

    NTT – New Technology Telescope


    La Silla

    alma
    ALMA Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array

    i2
    The European Extremely Large Telescope
    VISTAVISTA (the Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy)


    Atacama Pathfinder Experiment telescope (APEX)

    ESO, European Southern Observatory, builds and operates a suite of the world’s most advanced ground-based astronomical telescopes.


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  • richardmitnick 7:09 am on January 23, 2013 Permalink | Reply
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    From ESO: “Setting the Dark on Fire” 


    ESO

    A new image from the Atacama Pathfinder Experiment (APEX) telescope in Chile shows a beautiful view of clouds of cosmic dust in the region of Orion. While these dense interstellar clouds seem dark and obscured in visible-light observations, APEX’s LABOCA camera can detect the heat glow of the dust and reveal the hiding places where new stars are being formed. But one of these dark clouds is not what it seems.

    stars

    Located in the constellation of Orion (The Hunter), 1500 light-years away from Earth, the Orion Molecular Cloud Complex is the closest region of massive star formation to Earth, and contains a treasury of bright nebulae, dark clouds and young stars. The new image shows just part of this vast complex in visible light, with the APEX observations overlaid in brilliant orange tones that seem to set the dark clouds on fire. Often, the glowing knots from APEX correspond to darker patches in visible light — the tell-tale sign of a dense cloud of dust that absorbs visible light, but glows at submillimetre wavelengths, and possibly a site of star formation.

    The APEX observations used in this image were led by Thomas Stanke (ESO), Tom Megeath (University of Toledo, USA), and Amy Stutz (Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, Heidelberg, Germany). APEX is a collaboration between the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy (MPIfR), the Onsala Space Observatory (OSO) and ESO. Operation of APEX at Chajnantor is entrusted to ESO.”

    Contacts

    Thomas Stanke
    ESO
    Garching, Germany
    Tel: +49 89 3200 6116
    Email: tstanke@eso.org

    Douglas Pierce-Price
    ESO ALMA/APEX Public Information Officer
    Garching, Germany
    Tel: +49 89 3200 6759
    Email: dpiercep@eso.org

    See the full article here.

    camera
    The LABOCA Camera installed on the APEX telescope at the 5100m high Chajnantor site in Chile. LABOCA is a ‘thermometer camera’ with 295 detectors and a field of view of 11.4 arcmin. This image was obtained in March 2009

    Visit ESO in Social Media-

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    THE BASIC TOOLS OF E.S.O.
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    NTT – New Technology Telescope

    La Silla

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    ALMA Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array

    i2
    The European Extremely Large Telescope
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    Atacama Pathfinder Experiment telescope (APEX)

    ESO, European Southern Observatory, builds and operates a suite of the world’s most advanced ground-based astronomical telescopes.

    ESO is the foremost intergovernmental astronomy organisation in Europe and the world’s most productive ground-based astronomical observatory by far. It is supported by 15 countries: Austria, Belgium, Brazil, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. ESO carries out an ambitious programme focused on the design, construction and operation of powerful ground-based observing facilities enabling astronomers to make important scientific discoveries. ESO also plays a leading role in promoting and organising cooperation in astronomical research. ESO operates three unique world-class observing sites in Chile: La Silla, Paranal and Chajnantor. At Paranal, ESO operates the Very Large Telescope, the world’s most advanced visible-light astronomical observatory and two survey telescopes. VISTA works in the infrared and is the world’s largest survey telescope and the VLT Survey Telescope is the largest telescope designed to exclusively survey the skies in visible light. ESO is the European partner of a revolutionary astronomical telescope ALMA, the largest astronomical project in existence. ESO is currently planning the 39-metre European Extremely Large optical/near-infrared Telescope, the E-ELT, which will become ‘the world’s biggest eye on the sky’.


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  • richardmitnick 3:34 pm on November 28, 2012 Permalink | Reply
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    ESO’s APEX Pathfinder Telescope “Reaching new heights in submillimetre astronomy” 

    So, how much do you know about Apex?

    ESO operates the Atacama Pathfinder Experiment telescope, APEX, at one of the highest observatory sites on Earth, at an elevation of 5100 metres, high on the Chajnantor plateau in Chile’s Atacama region.

    apex
    APEX – The Atacama Pathfinder Experiment telescope

    apex2
    Another view of APEX

    APEX is a 12-metre diameter telescope, operating at millimetre and submillimetre wavelengths — between infrared light and radio waves. Submillimetre astronomy opens a window into the cold, dusty and distant Universe, but the faint signals from space are heavily absorbed by water vapour in the Earth’s atmosphere. Chajnantor is an ideal location for such a telescope, as the region is one of the driest on the planet and is more than 750 m higher than the observatories on Mauna Kea, and 2400 m higher than the Very Large Telescope (VLT) on Cerro Paranal.

    Here is a neat little 4 minute video to introduce APEX.

    Enjoy and learn.

    Visit ESO in Social Media-

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    THE BASIC TOOLS OF E.S.O.
    i1
    Paranal Platform The VLT


    La Silla

    alma
    ALMA Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array

    i2
    The European Extremely Large Telescope
    VISTAVISTA (the Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy)


    Atacama Pathfinder Experiment telescope (APEX)

    ESO, European Southern Observatory, builds and operates a suite of the world’s most advanced ground-based astronomical telescopes.


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  • richardmitnick 11:13 am on July 18, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , ESO APEX   

    From ESO: “APEX takes part in sharpest observation ever” 

    Telescopes in Chile, Hawaii, and Arizona reach sharpness two million times finer than human vision

    An international team of astronomers has observed the heart of a distant quasar with unprecedented sharpness, two million times finer than human vision. The observations, made by connecting the Atacama Pathfinder Experiment (APEX) telescope to two others on different continents for the first time, is a crucial step towards the dramatic scientific goal of the “Event Horizon Telescope” project: imaging the supermassive black holes at the centre of our own galaxy and others.

    image

    Astronomers connected APEX, in Chile, to the Submillimeter Array (SMA) in Hawaii, USA, and the Submillimeter Telescope (SMT)in Arizona, USA. They were able to make the sharpest direct observation ever, of the centre of a distant galaxy, the bright quasar 3C 279, which contains a supermassive black hole with a mass about one billion times that of the Sun, and is so far from Earth that its light has taken more than 5 billion years to reach us. APEX is a collaboration between the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy (MPIfR), the Onsala Space Observatory (OSO) and ESO. APEX is operated by ESO.

    See the full article here, complete with explanatory notes.

    Visit ESO in Social Media-

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    THE BASIC TOOLS OF ESO
    i1
    Paranal Platform The VLT


    La Silla

    i1
    ALMA Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array

    i2
    The European Extremely Large Telescope
    VISTAVISTA (the Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy)


    Atacama Pathfinder Experiment telescope (APEX)

    ESO, the European Southern Observatory, builds and operates a suite of the world’s most advanced ground-based astronomical telescopes.

     
  • richardmitnick 6:45 am on May 2, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , ESO APEX   

    From ESO APEX: “Sifting through Dust near Orion’s Belt” 

    2 May 2012
    No writer credit

    “A new image of the region surrounding the reflection nebula Messier 78, just to the north of Orion’s Belt, shows clouds of cosmic dust threaded through the nebula like a string of pearls. The observations, made with the Atacama Pathfinder Experiment (APEX) telescope use the heat glow of interstellar dust grains to show astronomers where new stars are being formed.

    APEX is a collaboration between the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy (MPIfR), the Onsala Space Observatory (OSO) and ESO. Operation of APEX at Chajnantor is entrusted to ESO. APEX is a pathfinder for the next-generation submillimetre telescope, the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), which is being built and operated on the same plateau.

    orion

    Dust may sound boring and uninteresting — the surface grime that hides the beauty of an object. But this new image of Messier 78 and surroundings, which reveals the submillimetre-wavelength radiation from dust grains in space, shows that dust can be dazzling. Dust is important to astronomers as dense clouds of gas and dust are the birthplaces of new stars.

    In the centre of the image is Messier 78, also known as NGC 2068. When seen in visible light, this region is a reflection nebula, meaning that we see the pale blue glow of starlight reflected from clouds of dust. The APEX observations are overlaid on the visible-light image in orange. Sensitive to longer wavelengths, they reveal the gentle glow of dense cold clumps of dust, some of which are even colder than -250ºC. In visible light, this dust is dark and obscuring, which is why telescopes such as APEX are so important for studying the dusty clouds in which stars are born.”

    See the full article here.

    THE BASIC TOOLS OF THE E.S.O.

    i1
    Paranal Platform The VLT


    La Silla

    i1
    ALMA Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array

    i2
    The European Extremely Large Telescope

    ESO Very Large Survey Telescope

    i3
    VISTA (the Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy)


    Atacama Pathfinder Experiment telescope (APEX)

    ESO, the European Southern Observatory, builds and operates a suite of the world’s most advanced ground-based astronomical telescopes.

     
  • richardmitnick 2:07 pm on February 15, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , ESO APEX   

    From ESO: “APEX Turns its Eye to Dark Clouds in Taurus” 

    15 February 2012

    Star formation in “dark markings of the sky”

    “A new image from the APEX (Atacama Pathfinder Experiment) telescope in Chile shows a sinuous filament of cosmic dust more than ten light-years long. In it, newborn stars are hidden, and dense clouds of gas are on the verge of collapsing to form yet more stars. It is one of the regions of star formation closest to us. The cosmic dust grains are so cold that observations at wavelengths of around one millimetre, such as these made with the LABOCA camera on APEX, are needed to detect their faint glow.

    i1

    The Taurus Molecular Cloud, in the constellation of Taurus (The Bull), lies about 450 light-years from Earth. This image shows two parts of a long, filamentary structure in this cloud, which are known as Barnard 211 and Barnard 213. Their names come from Edward Emerson Barnard’s photographic atlas of the ‘dark markings of the sky’, compiled in the early 20th century. In visible light, these regions appear as dark lanes, lacking in stars. Barnard correctly argued that this appearance was due to ‘obscuring matter in space’”.

    See the full article here.

    THE BASIC TOOLS OF THE E.S.O.

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    Paranal Platform The VLT


    La Silla

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    ALMA Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array

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    The European Extremely Large Telescope

    ESO Very Large Survey Telescope

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    VISTA (the Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy)

    ESO, the European Southern Observatory, builds and operates a suite of the world’s most advanced ground-based astronomical telescopes.

     
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