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

      thanks for the info–Richard

      Like this

    • 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 this

    • 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 this

    • 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 this

  • 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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  • 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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  • richardmitnick 1:26 pm on August 21, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , ESO - European Southern Observatory,   

    From ESO: “The European Extremely Large Telescope” – The Future of Astronomy 

    [THIS IS A TRULY AMAZING OVERVIEW OF ASTRONOMY TODAY AND IN THE DAYS AND YEARS TO COME. IT IS NO SURPRISE TO ME THAT SUCH A WONDERFULLY CONSTRUCTED PIECE COMES FROM ESO, THE WORLD'S FOREMOST GROUND BASED ASTRONOMY ORGANIZATION.]

    “The E-ELT is built to address a very broad astrophysical landscape. Predicting what this will look like between 2020 and 2030 can only be incompletely drafted now. However, planned (i.e., not yet existing) facilities always have some degree of uncertainty attached to them and the exact progress in the relevant scientific fields will also depend on the success of upcoming facilities.

    outlool
    Credit ESO

    In 2020, ESO will have operated the VLT for more than two decades. A large fraction of the breakthrough science within the capabilities of the 8–10-metre-class telescopes will have been achieved and consolidation work will dominate. Among the second generation of ESO VLT instruments, MUSE (the wide-field Integral-Field Unit [IFU] optical spectrograph), KMOS (the near-infrared, deployable IFU spectrograph),SPHERE (the planet imager), ESPRESSO (the ultra-stable, high-resolution spectrograph) and potentially one other instrument will have been in use for several years.

    The La Silla Observatory is likely to be operated at low cost and only for specific large programmes (e.g., similar to the HARPS survey).The survey telescopes, the VLT Survey Telescope (VST) and the 4.1-metre Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy (VISTA), will have finished their first set of large surveys delivering follow-up targets, many too faint for the VLT.

    Perhaps more importantly, the Atacama Large Millimetre/submillimeter Array (ALMA) will have been collecting data in full science mode for several years and will have pushed back the frontiers in many scientific areas, predominantly in studies of the high-redshift Universe and star and planet formation. On the ground, no breakthrough facilities beyond the existing 8–10-metre-class telescopes and potentially a few additional, smaller survey telescopes will be operating, but several game-changing facilities are expected to emerge on the same timescale as the E-ELT: the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST), as well as the 24-metre Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT) and the 30-metre Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) optical near-infrared telescopes. The latter two represent some competition to, as well as complementing, the E-ELT and will be discussed further below. The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) is expected to appear in the decade following the E-ELT and to mainly build on breakthroughs in cosmology.

    In space, the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) might be operating within its five-year minimum lifetime and about to enter its anticipated five-year extension. A dedicated workshop highlighted the strong synergy expected between the JWST and the E-ELT. Current missions such as the Hubble Space Telescope (HST), Spitzer, Herschel, Planck, Kepler will have ended, others might still be flying, but reaching the ends of their lifetimes: Chandra, XMM-Newton, etc.

    A few new missions such as BepiColombo and Gaia on the European side will be operating; new ones (such as EUCLID, PLATO and LISA) are likely to be launched in the decade following the E-ELT’s first light.

    Close to the E-ELT science case, many research areas are expected to have progressed significantly by 2020. Thanks to radial velocity surveys (e.g., HARPS, ESPRESSO), but also dedicated imaging surveys (e.g., MEarth, HAT-Net, etc.) and missions such as CoRoT, Kepler and Gaia, the catalogue of exoplanets is likely to have become very extensive. While the discovery of super-Earths in habitable zones is not excluded, it will remain the exception. Neptune- to Jupiter-mass planets will be known in great numbers,enabling progress in planet formation theory. Direct imaging of giant planets distant from their parent stars will be nearly routine.

    Several atmospheres of (mostly transiting) Neptune- to Jupiter-like planets will have been coarsely studied. With the notable exception of Earth-like planets in habitable zones, which
    remain to be found, the emphasis in exoplanet research will turn more towards characterisation than further discovery.

    In the domain of star formation, ALMA and JWST will follow on from Spitzer, SOFIA and Herschel, and will be making enormous progress. Yet, the picture will remain incomplete as the inner few astronomical units of protoplanetary discs — including the habitable zone and inner rim of the protostellar disc — will await the insights to be generated by the E-ELT’s high spatial resolution. The study of galaxy formation and evolution is the declared strength of the JWST. The JWST will enable the study of mass assembly and chemical evolution of high-redshift galaxies by observing their stars and ionised gas. ALMA will complement these studies by observing the cold gas in these galaxies. Yet again,both facilities will have outstanding sensitivity but lower spatial and spectral resolution, which are the strengths of the E-ELT.

    While a census and general picture of the formation of the highest redshift galaxies will be in place, a detailed understanding of these objects, which are anticipated to be of small size,
    will await the E-ELT.”

    Please visit the E-ELT Facebook Fan page. This essay is taken in its entirety from that page.

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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)

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  • richardmitnick 4:55 pm on August 13, 2013 Permalink | Reply
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    From ESO: Annual Report 2012 

    For all ESO fans, and Astronomy junkies the world over. The 2012 Annual Report from ESO is now available.

    ap
    Price: € 3,99 at the ESOshop

    This issue is filled with interesting articles and wonderful graphics. Start on page 2 for an overview of this most dynamic astronomical organization. Read Director General Tim de Zeeuw’s Introduction. Then, feast on Research Highlights about the birth and evolution of massive stars. Next is an article about the Offices for Science in Garching, Germany, the home base of ESO, and Santiago, Chile, on the scene where the excitment takes place. Next is an article about the LaSilla and Paranal locations, the VLT, Vista, NTT, and APEX telescopes, and the use of the interferometer at Paranal. This is followed by a very deep exploration of the Data Management and Operations. There is a short piece on the European ALMA Support Centre, followed by an essay on Instrumentation at Paranal.

    Next is a massive article about ALMA, and its correlator. This is followed by a short piece on the E-ELT, ESO’s next great adventure.

    If you get this far before the next annual report comes out, there are articles on Technology, Software, and Administration. This is an annual report, so there is financial data, and a short piece on Human Resources.

    If you are looking for something great to read, get this report.

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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 11:17 am on July 29, 2013 Permalink | Reply
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    From ESO: “Messier 100 — Grand Design Splendour” 

    “Spiral galaxies are usually very aesthetically appealing objects, and never more so than when they appear face-on. And this image is a particularly splendid example: it is the grand design spiral galaxy Messier 100, located in the southern part of the constellation of Coma Berenices, and lying about 55 million light-years from Earth.

    m100
    Release date: 29 July 2013, 10:00 VLT

    While Messier 100 shows very well defined spiral arms, it also displays the faintest of bar-like structures in the centre, which classifies this as type SAB. Although it is not easily spotted in the image, scientists have been able to confirm the bar’s existence by observing it in other wavelengths.

    This very detailed image shows the main features expected in a galaxy of this type: huge clouds of hydrogen gas, glowing in red patches when they re-emit the energy absorbed from newly born, massive stars; the uniform brightness of older, yellowish stars near the centre; and black shreds of dust weaving through the arms of the galaxy.

    Messier 100 is one of the brightest members of the Virgo Cluster, which is the closest cluster of galaxies to our galaxy, the Milky Way, containing over 2000 galaxies, including spirals, ellipticals, and irregulars. This picture is a combination of images from the FORS instrument on ESO’s Very Large Telescope at Paranal Observatory in Chile, taken with red (R), green (V) and blue (B) filters.”

    fors
    FORS

    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
    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 12:53 pm on July 24, 2013 Permalink | Reply
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    From ALMA: "Starburst to Star Bust" 

    ESO ALMA Array

    ALMA

    24 July 2013
    ALMA Sheds Light on Mystery of Missing Massive Galaxies

    Contacts

    Alberto Bolatto
    University of Maryland
    USA
    Tel: +49 6221 528 493
    Email: bolatto@astro.umd.edu

    Martin Zwaan
    ESO
    Garching bei München, Germany
    Tel: +49 89 3200 6834
    Email: mzwaan@eso.org

    Fabian Walter
    Max-Planck Institut für Astronomie
    Heidelberg, Germany
    Tel: +49 6221 528 225
    Email: walter@mpia.de

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

    “New observations from the ALMA telescope in Chile have given astronomers the best view yet of how vigorous star formation can blast gas out of a galaxy and starve future generations of stars of the fuel they need to form and grow. The dramatic images show enormous outflows of molecular gas ejected by star-forming regions in the nearby Sculptor Galaxy. These new results help to explain the strange paucity of very massive galaxies in the Universe. The study is published in the journal Nature on 25 July 2013.

    sculp
    The Sculptor Galaxy taken with the ESO VISTA telescope at the Paranal Observatory in Chile.

    alma
    Today’s release

    Galaxies — systems like our own Milky Way that contain up to hundreds of billions of stars — are the basic building blocks of the cosmos. One ambitious goal of contemporary astronomy is to understand the ways in which galaxies grow and evolve, a key question being star formation: what determines the number of new stars that will form in a galaxy?

    The Sculptor Galaxy, also known as NGC 253, is a spiral galaxy located in the southern constellation of Sculptor. At a distance of around 11.5 million light-years from our Solar System it is one of our closer intergalactic neighbours, and one of the closest starburst galaxies visible from the southern hemisphere. Using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) astronomers have discovered billowing columns of cold, dense gas fleeing from the centre of the galactic disc.

    ‘With ALMA’s superb resolution and sensitivity, we can clearly see for the first time massive concentrations of cold gas being jettisoned by expanding shells of intense pressure created by young stars,’ said Alberto Bolatto of the University of Maryland, USA lead author of the paper. ‘The amount of gas we measure gives us very good evidence that some growing galaxies spew out more gas than they take in. We may be seeing a present-day example of a very common occurrence in the early Universe.’

    These results may help to explain why astronomers have found surprisingly few high-mass galaxies throughout the cosmos. Computer models show that older, redder galaxies should have considerably more mass and a larger number of stars than we currently observe. It seems that the galactic winds or outflow of gas are so strong that they deprive the galaxy of the fuel for the formation of the next generation of stars.

    The researchers determined that vast quantities of molecular gas — nearly ten times the mass of our Sun each year and possibly much more — were being ejected from the galaxy at velocities between 150 000 and almost 1 000 000 kilometres per hour [3]. The total amount of gas ejected would add up to more gas than actually went into forming the galaxy’s stars in the same time. At this rate, the galaxy could run out of gas in as few as 60 million year.

    More studies with the full ALMA array will help determine the ultimate fate of the gas carried away by the wind, which will reveal whether the starburst-driven winds are recycling or truly removing star forming material.”

    The team is composed of A. D. Bolatto (Department of Astronomy, Laboratory for Millimeter-wave Astronomy, and Joint Space Institute, University of Maryland, USA), S. R. Warren (University of Maryland), A. K. Leroy (National Radio Astronomy Observatory, Charlottesville, USA), F. Walter (Max-Planck Institut für Astronomie, Heidelberg, Germany), S. Veilleux (University of Maryland), E. C. Ostriker (Department of Astrophysical Sciences, Princeton University, USA), J. Ott (National Radio Astronomy Observatory, New Mexico, USA), M. Zwaan (European Southern Observatory, Garching, Germany), D. B. Fisher (University of Maryland), A. Weiss (Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie, Bonn, Germany), E. Rosolowsky (Department of Physics, University of Alberta, Canada) and J. Hodge (Max-Planck Institut für Astronomie, Heidelberg, Germany).”

    See the full article from ESO with notes here.
    See the press release from NRAO here.

    The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), an international astronomy facility, is a partnership of Europe, North America and East Asia in cooperation with the Republic of Chile. ALMA is funded in Europe by the European Organization for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere (ESO), in North America by the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) in cooperation with the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) and the National Science Council of Taiwan (NSC) and in East Asia by the National Institutes of Natural Sciences (NINS) of Japan in cooperation with the Academia Sinica (AS) in Taiwan.

    ALMA construction and operations are led on behalf of Europe by ESO, on behalf of North America by the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO), which is managed by Associated Universities, Inc. (AUI) and on behalf of East Asia by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ). The Joint ALMA Observatory (JAO) provides the unified leadership and management of the construction, commissioning and operation of ALMA.

    NRAO Small

    ESO 50

    NAOJ


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