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  • richardmitnick 3:37 pm on January 3, 2014 Permalink | Reply
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    From ESO: “Caught in the Cobweb” 2004 


    European Southern Observatory

    Turbulent and Colourful LMC Region Imaged from La Silla.

    10 December 2004

    The Tarantula Nebula (also known as 30 Doradus, or NGC 2070) is one of the most impressive views in the Southern sky. Visible to the unaided eye in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), a satellite galaxy of the Milky Way that is located in the direction of the southern constellation Doradus at a distance of about 170,000 light-years, this huge nebula is the prototype of what astronomers refer to as a “Giant HII region“. In this complex of glowing gas and very hot and luminous stars, the gas is mainly composed of protons and electrons, which are kept apart by energetic photons emitted by the stars in this area.

    lmc
    Ultraviolet
    Optical VLT
    LaSilla MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope
    Release date: 10 December 2004

    The Tarantula Nebula (also designated 30 Doradus) owes its name to the arrangement of its brightest patches of nebulosity that somewhat resemble the legs of a spider. They extend from a central “body” where a cluster of hot stars (designated “R136″) resides that illuminate the nebula. This name, of the biggest spiders on the Earth, is also very fitting in view of the gigantic proportions of the celestial nebula – it measures nearly 1,000 light years across!

    While the central regions of 30 Doradus may be compared to a tarantula, the entangled filaments in the outskirts of this nebula could well be likened with its cobweb. They testify to an ongoing history of very vigorous activity and make this spectacular sky region a showcase of dramatic effects caused by the tremendous output of energy from the most massive stars known.
    Intricate colours

    The marvellous richness of the filament colours is due to the varying conditions in the interstellar gas in this region. The red in these images is caused by emission of excited hydrogen atoms, the green shades correspond to emission from oxygen atoms from which two electrons (“doubly-ionized oxygen”) have been “knocked off” by the energetic radiation of hot stars in the R136 cluster, that is located beyond the lower right corner of this photo. The intensity of this emission increases towards R136, explaining the yellowish colour near the edge of the photo.

    A blue colour is contributed by singly-ionized atoms of oxygen. Other atoms like nitrogen and sulfur at different levels of ionization also add to the emission of the nebula at specific wavelengths. The observed colours thus probe the physical condition of the emitting gas and the temperature of the star(s) that excite(s) it. The intricate appearance of the filaments is mostly a consequence of turbulence in the interstellar gas, of the magnetic fields, and of the energy input by the massive stars in the neighbourhood.
    Supernovae blow interstellar “bubbles”

    The large ring-shaped nebula slightly to the lower-left (South-East) of the centre of the first image is known as DEM L 299 [1] Detailed investigations show that it represents an “interstellar bubble” which was “blown” by supernovae explosions, most probably happening millions of years ago, as massive stars near the centre of this structure ended their comparatively short lives in glorious flashes.

    A closer inspection shows that another supernova exploded somewhat later near the rim, forming a bright and more compact nebula known as SNR 0543-689 (ESO Press Release eso0437). Other supernovae in this general field exploded even more recently, such as the one that created the remnant B0544-6910 (ESO Press Release eso0437) only a few tens of thousands of years ago, a blink of an eye by all astronomical standards.
    Nebulae with built-in powerhouses

    Not all the nebulae seen in this region are caused by supernovae, however. The glow of N 164 [1], a bright, extended red-yellow nebula just below DEM L 299, is mostly due to its own “private” powerhouse, that consists of several massive stars deeply embedded in its interior.

    The same holds for DEM L 297, the somewhat smaller and fainter nebula to the right of DEM L 299. It is divided into two half-circle formed segments by a dark lane of interstellar dust in front of it. Indeed, within the Tarantula complex many such dark and dusty clouds are seen in silhouette as they obscure bright nebulosity behind them.

    Many stellar clusters

    The outskirts of the Tarantula Nebula are also rich in stellar clusters. One of them, NGC 2093 [1], has relatively few stars and is relatively young, just a few tens of millions of years. It appears that its stars have already excavated a sizeable cavity around them that is now relatively void of gas.

    An older and much more compact cluster, NGC 2108, is seen near the bottom of the first image. It resembles the globular clusters in our own Galaxy, but it formed much more recently, about 600 million years ago. Still, NGC 2108 is much older than the Tarantula complex and it is quite possible that in its “youth” it was the core of another giant HII region that has since dissolved into interstellar space.

    The images for this release were produced by two ESO astronomers who are impressed by this sky region. Nausicaa Delmotte did the observations for her thesis and notes that: “many of the nebulae and clusters seen in these photos would stand out prominently if they were located elsewhere in the sky and not this close to the core of the spectacular Tarantula complex.”. She is echoed by her colleague, Fernando Comeron: “This amazing concentration of clusters, HII regions, supernova remnants, and extremely hot and luminous stars in a single region makes the Tarantula in the LMC a unique celestial object, unrivalled in our own Galaxy and other nearby galaxies!”.
    Notes

    [1]: The designation “DEM L 299″ indicates that this object is no. 299 in the list of nebulae in the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds published in 1976 by astronomers R.D.Davies, K.H.Elliott and J.Meaburn. “N” refers to a list of bright nebulae in these galaxies that was compiled in 1956 by K.G.Henize. “NGC” stands for the “New General Catalogue” published in 1888 by J.L.E. Dreyer.
    More information

    The present colour photo of the Northeastern outskirts of the Tarantula nebula in the Large Magellanic Cloud is based on three monochromatic images taken on 6 and 7 December 2001 with the Wide-Field-Imager (WFI) at the ESO/MPG 2.2-m telescope, through an U-band filter (with the forbidden emission line of singly-ionised oxygen, [OII], at wavelength 372.7 nm) and two narrow-band filters centred on the wavelengths of the forbidden line of doubly-ionised oxygen ([OIII], at 500.7 nm) and hydrogen (H-alpha line, at 656.2 nm), respectively. Each single-colour image is in turn composed of four individual frames of 20 minutes of exposure time each.

    wfi
    WFI at ESO/MPG 2.2m at La Silla

    The WFI detector system is composed of eight individual 2k x 4k CCDs with small gaps between them; for this reason, the individual frames in each filter were obtained with the telescope pointing at slightly different positions in the sky, so that the parts of the sky falling in the detector gaps in any given frame are recorded on the others. A problem with one of the detector chips causes double stellar images to appear over a small, narrow strip near the upper left edge of the full field image. The monochromatic images were produced by superimposing the individual frames, correcting for the telescope offsets. Finally, the combined images in each filter were aligned and colour-coded to produce the resulting colour picture. North is up and East is left. The extensive image processing was performed by ESO-astronomers Fernando Comeron and Nausicaa Delmotte.

    See the full article here.

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


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  • richardmitnick 2:27 pm on December 25, 2013 Permalink | Reply
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    From ESO: The 1000 Flicker views 


    European Southern Observatory

    Check out the ESO 1000 views at Flicker.

    See the full article here.

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  • richardmitnick 4:57 pm on December 19, 2013 Permalink | Reply
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    From ESO: “Reaching New Heights in Astronomy” 


    European Southern Observatory

    New ESO brochure published
    19 December 2013

    brochure

    Available at the ESOshop
    Price: € 1,99

    See the full article here, especilly for the pdf download.

    Don’t miss out.

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


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  • richardmitnick 9:24 am on December 10, 2013 Permalink | Reply
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    ESO 2014 Calendar is a Thing of Incomparable Beauty 


    European Southern Observatory

    If you want to see some of the results of ESO’s awesome science, avail yourself of the ESO 2014 Calendar.

    eso2014
    ESO Calendar 2014

    The graphics from the work of the various telescopes and from ESO Photographic Ambassadors is incomparably beautiful.

    Tha Clanedar is available at ESOshop, Price: € 9,99

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  • richardmitnick 4:04 pm on December 3, 2013 Permalink | Reply
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    Hubblecast is Worth Your Time 

    Hubblecast is produced by ESA/Hubble at [the] European Southern Observatory (ESO).It is definitely worth your time.

    Here is Hubblecast 69.

    The Hubble Space Telescope is a project of international cooperation between NASA and the European Space Agency. NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center manages the telescope. The Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI), is a free-standing science center, located on the campus of The Johns Hopkins University and operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) for NASA, conducts Hubble science operations.

    ESO 50


    ESA Icon II


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  • richardmitnick 9:18 am on October 22, 2013 Permalink | Reply
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    From ESO: “The radio galaxy Centaurus A, as seen by ALMA” 


    European Southern Observatory

    This new image of Centaurus A combines ALMA and near-infrared observations of the massive elliptical radio galaxy. The new ALMA observations, shown in a range of green, yellow and orange colours, reveal the position and motion of the clouds of gas in the galaxy. They are the sharpest and most sensitive such observations ever made.

    ESO ALMA Array
    ALMA

    rg
    Release date: 31 May 2012, 17:00

    ALMA was tuned to detect signals with a wavelength around 1.3 millimetres, emitted by molecules of carbon monoxide gas. The motion of the gas in the galaxy causes slight changes to this wavelength, due to the Doppler effect. The motion is shown in this image as changes in colour. Greener features trace gas coming towards us while more orange features depict gas moving away. We can see that the gas to the left of the centre is moving towards us, while the gas to the right of the centre is moving away from us, indicating that the gas is orbiting around the galaxy.

    The ALMA observations are overlaid on a near-infrared image of Centaurus A obtained with the SOFI instrument attached to the ESO New Technology Telescope (NTT).

    ESO NTT

    See the full article here.

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


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  • richardmitnick 11:48 am on October 8, 2013 Permalink | Reply
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    From ESO: “ESO Calendar 2014 Now Available” 


    European Southern Observatory

    The European Southern Observatory’s 2014 calendar is now available to buy from the ESO online shop, or to download as a free PDF file.

    calendar

    See the full article here.

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


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    • jaksichja 12:14 pm on October 8, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      thanks for the info–Richard

      Like

    • jaksichja 12:16 pm on October 8, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      If would like to re-blog the post—let me know if you disapprove?

      Like

    • jaksichja 12:18 pm on October 8, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Reblogged this on The Silent Astronomer and commented:
      One of the daily posts that I follow has found a good source for a 2014 astronomical calendar—Thanks Science Springs—-

      Like

    • richardmitnick 4:18 pm on October 8, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      jaksichja- You know, re-blogging is the highest form of flattery. I would never object. It lets all of your readers see my stuff and maybe they might come to my blog.

      Like

  • richardmitnick 1:14 pm on October 7, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , ESO - European Southern Observatory, ESO Messenger   

    From ESO: “ESO Releases The Messenger No. 153″ 


    European Southern Observatory

    7 October 2013

    messenger

    If you are an optical Astronomy buff, this is for you.

    The latest edition of ESO’s quarterly journal, The Messenger, is now available online. Find out the latest news from ESO on topics ranging from new instruments to the latest science discoveries.

    Highlights of this edition include:
    ESPRESSO — An Echelle SPectrograph for Rocky Exoplanets and Stable Spectroscopic Observation
    HARPS observations of the Transit of Venus 2012
    Following the G2 Gas Cloud towards the Galactic Centre
    The Magellanic Stream — A Tail of Two Galaxies
    Science Days at ESO

    Download The Messenger as a pdf, or visit The Messenger website to subscribe and receive a free printed copy.

    See the full article here.

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    ESO Main

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


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  • richardmitnick 7:47 am on September 12, 2013 Permalink | Reply
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    From ESO: “The Peanut at the Heart of our Galaxy” 


    European Southern Observatory

    ESO telescopes create the best 3D map yet of central bulge of the Milky Way

    12 September 2013
    Contacts

    Christopher Wegg
    Max-Planck-Institut für Extraterrestrische Physik
    Garching bei München, Germany
    Tel: +49 89 30000 3715
    Email: wegg@mpe.mpg.de

    Gerhard Ortwin
    Max-Planck-Institut für Extraterrestrische Physik
    Garching bei München, Germany
    Tel: +49 89 30000 3539
    Email: gerhard@mpe.mpg.de

    Sergio Vásquez
    Instituto de Astrofísica — P. Universidad Católica
    Santiago, Chile
    Tel: +56 2 2354 4940
    Email: svasquez@astro.puc.cl

    Manuela Zoccali
    Instituto de Astrofísica — P. Universidad Católica
    Santiago, Chile
    Tel: +56 2 2354 4940
    Email: mzoccali@astro.puc.cl

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

    Two groups of astronomers have used data from ESO telescopes to make the best three-dimensional map yet of the central parts of the Milky Way. They have found that the inner regions take on a peanut-like, or X-shaped, appearance from some angles. This odd shape was mapped by using public data from ESO’s VISTA survey telescope along with measurements of the motions of hundreds of very faint stars in the central bulge.

    bulge

    One of the most important and massive parts of the galaxy is the galactic bulge. This huge central cloud of about 10 000 million stars spans thousands of light-years, but its structure and origin were not well understood.

    Unfortunately, from our vantage point from within the galactic disc, the view of this central region — at about 27 000 light-years’ distance — is heavily obscured by dense clouds of gas and dust. Astronomers can only obtain a good view of the bulge by observing longer wavelength light, such as infrared radiation, which can penetrate the dust clouds.

    Earlier observations from the 2MASS infrared sky survey had already hinted that the bulge had a mysterious X-shaped structure. Now two groups of scientists have used new observations from several of ESO’s telescopes to get a much clearer view of the bulge’s structure.

    The first group, from the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics (MPE) in Garching, Germany, used the VVV near-infrared survey from the VISTA telescope at ESO’s Paranal Observatory in Chile (eso1101, eso1128, eso1141, eso1242, eso1309). This new public survey can pick up stars thirty times fainter than previous bulge surveys. The team identified a total of 22 million stars belonging to a class of red giants whose well-known properties allow their distances to be calculated.

    ESO Vista Telescope
    Vista

    “The depth of the VISTA star catalogue far exceeds previous work and we can detect the entire population of these stars in all but the most highly obscured regions,” explains Christopher Wegg (MPE), who is lead author of the first study. “From this star distribution we can then make a three-dimensional map of the galactic bulge.This is the first time that such a map has been made without assuming a model for the bulge’s shape.”

    The second international team, led by Chilean PhD student Sergio Vásquez (Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, Chile and ESO, Santiago, Chile) took a different approach to pin down the structure of the bulge. By comparing images taken eleven years apart with the MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope they could measure the tiny shifts due to the motions of the bulge stars across the sky. These were combined with measurements of the motions of the same stars towards or away from the Earth to map out the motions of more than 400 stars in three dimensions.

    2.2
    MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope

    See the full article, with notes and additional material here.

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  • richardmitnick 5:59 am on September 10, 2013 Permalink | Reply
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    From ESO: “The bright star Alpha Centauri and its surroundings” 

    ac
    Credit: ESO/Digitized Sky Survey 2
    Acknowledgement: Davide De Martin

    This wide-field view of the sky around the bright star Alpha Centauri was created from photographic images forming part of the Digitized Sky Survey 2. The star appears so big just because of the scattering of light by the telescope’s optics as well as in the photographic emulsion. Alpha Centauri is the closest star system to the Solar System.

    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

    ESO ALMA Array

    ALMA

    ESO E-ELT
    The European Extremely Large Telescope
    ESO Vista Telescope
    VISTA (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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