Tagged: ALMA Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • richardmitnick 5:15 pm on May 11, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Diving Deep into Bright Galaxies with SCUBA-2 COSMOS", , ALMA, Millimeter/sub-millimeter Astronomy   

    From AAS NOVA: “Diving Deep into Bright Galaxies with SCUBA-2 COSMOS” 

    AASNOVA

    From AAS NOVA

    11 May 2022
    Kerry Hensley

    1
    The authors of today’s article examined the properties of galaxies in the 18 fields shown here. [Chen et al. 2022.]

    Early in the history of the universe, huge, dusty galaxies churned out new stars. A new survey performed with a highly sensitive array of radio telescopes is poised to teach us more about this active period in our universe’s history.

    Early Galactic Goings-On

    Galaxies that shine at submillimeter wavelengths — often referred to simply as submillimeter galaxies — offer a window into the evolution of massive galaxies in the distant past. These galaxies generate copious amounts of optical and ultraviolet radiation from their furious star formation, but they’re so dusty that most of the emission that reaches us is longer in wavelength, in the submillimeter range. Submillimeter galaxies are a challenge for observers and modelers alike, as the two groups struggle to agree on how numerous these galaxies are and how their brightness varies over the course of the universe’s history. Can a new, high-resolution survey of the brightest of these galaxies shine a light on the matter?

    Submillimeter Survey

    In a recent publication, a team led by Chian-Chou Chen (陳建州) from The Academia Sinica Institute of Astronomy & Astrophysics [中央研究院天文及天文物理研究所](TW), presented the first results from a new survey of bright submillimeter galaxies from when the universe was 1.2–3.3 billion years old. The sample was drawn from the Cosmological Evolution Survey, which was carried out with the Submillimetre Common-User Bolometer Array 2 instrument, giving the survey the moniker SCUBA-2 COSMOS.

    Using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), the team explored several characteristics of 18 of the brightest galaxies surveyed in SCUBA-2 COSMOS:

    2
    Redshift distribution as a function of flux density at 870 microns for this survey (black circles) and previous works (blue squares and peach diamonds). [Chen et al. 2022]

    Redshift distribution: The median redshift for this sample is z = 3.3, which is higher than that of less luminous galaxies, suggesting that brighter submillimeter galaxies are found at higher redshifts (i.e., earlier in the universe).

    Galaxy pairs: Five of the 18 galaxies investigated in this study are actually two galaxies. Of these, two appear to be physically associated. This implies that 40% of the paired galaxies in the sample are interacting.

    Magnification: By modeling the gravitational field surrounding the galaxies, the team finds that only one is likely to be strongly lensed by a foreground galaxy.
    Mass and number density: The authors estimated the average mass (350 billion solar masses, or about a third of the mass of the Milky Way) and number density (roughly 1 x 10-6 cMpc-3) of the galaxies to compare them to galaxy populations later in the universe.

    Interaction Implications

    3
    Images at a wavelength of 870 microns for the five galaxy pairs in the sample (top row). Spectra of the primary (middle row) and secondary (bottom row) galaxies in each pair. [Chen et al. 2022]

    What do these findings imply about galaxies during this time period? The high proportion of submillimeter galaxies that are paired up suggests that interactions between galaxies play a large role in star formation at this stage in the universe’s development. And the true proportion of interacting galaxies may be higher — future surveys tailored to detecting faint emission lines from companion galaxies might reveal more interactions.

    Given the masses and numbers of the galaxies studied in this work, it’s possible that bright submillimeter galaxies are an important missing link in the lineage of ancient galaxies: they may be the forebears of quiescent (i.e., not star-forming) galaxies that appear later in the universe — a population whose galactic ancestors have been difficult to determine.

    Citation

    An ALMA Spectroscopic Survey of the Brightest Submillimeter Galaxies in the SCUBA-2-COSMOS Field (AS2COSPEC): Survey Description and First Results, Chian-Chou Chen et al 2022 ApJ 929 159.
    https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.3847/1538-4357/ac61df

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.


    Stem Education Coalition

    1

    AAS Mission and Vision Statement

    The mission of the American Astronomical Society is to enhance and share humanity’s scientific understanding of the Universe.

    The Society, through its publications, disseminates and archives the results of astronomical research. The Society also communicates and explains our understanding of the universe to the public.
    The Society facilitates and strengthens the interactions among members through professional meetings and other means. The Society supports member divisions representing specialized research and astronomical interests.
    The Society represents the goals of its community of members to the nation and the world. The Society also works with other scientific and educational societies to promote the advancement of science.
    The Society, through its members, trains, mentors and supports the next generation of astronomers. The Society supports and promotes increased participation of historically underrepresented groups in astronomy.
    The Society assists its members to develop their skills in the fields of education and public outreach at all levels. The Society promotes broad interest in astronomy, which enhances science literacy and leads many to careers in science and engineering.

    Adopted June 7, 2009

    The society was founded in 1899 through the efforts of George Ellery Hale. The constitution of the group was written by Hale, George Comstock, Edward Morley, Simon Newcomb and Edward Charles Pickering. These men, plus four others, were the first Executive Council of the society; Newcomb was the first president. The initial membership was 114. The AAS name of the society was not finally decided until 1915, previously it was the “Astronomical and Astrophysical Society of America”. One proposed name that preceded this interim name was “American Astrophysical Society”.

    The AAS today has over 7,000 members and six divisions – the Division for Planetary Sciences (1968); the Division on Dynamical Astronomy (1969); the High Energy Astrophysics Division (1969); the Solar Physics Division (1969); the Historical Astronomy Division (1980); and the Laboratory Astrophysics Division (2012). The membership includes physicists, mathematicians, geologists, engineers and others whose research interests lie within the broad spectrum of subjects now comprising contemporary astronomy.

    In 2019 three AAS members were selected into the tenth anniversary class of TED Fellows.

    The AAS established the AAS Fellows program in 2019 to “confer recognition upon AAS members for achievement and extraordinary service to the field of astronomy and the American Astronomical Society.” The inaugural class was designated by the AAS Board of Trustees and includes an initial group of 232 Legacy Fellows.

     
  • richardmitnick 10:12 am on April 25, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Scientists Find Elusive Gas Hiding in Plain Sight", A clear understanding of the processes that govern the formation of stars and galaxies is key to providing context to the Universe and our place in it., ALMA, , Scientists discover that post-starburst galaxies condense their gas rather than expelling it.   

    From ALMA (CL): “Scientists Find Elusive Gas Hiding in Plain Sight” 

    From ALMA (CL)

    Nicolás Lira
    Education and Public Outreach Coordinator
    Joint ALMA Observatory, Santiago – Chile
    Phone: +56 2 2467 6519
    Cell phone: +56 9 9445 7726
    Email: nicolas.lira@alma.cl

    Junko Ueda
    Public Information Officer
    NAOJ
    Email: junko.ueda@nao.ac.jp

    Bárbara Ferreira
    ESO Public Information Officer
    Garching bei München, Germany
    Phone: +49 89 3200 6670
    Email: pio@eso.org

    Amy C. Oliver
    Public Information & News Manager
    National Radio Astronomical Observatory (NRAO), USA
    Phone: +1 434 242 9584
    Email: aoliver@nrao.edu

    All general references:
    ALMA Observatory (CL) http://www.almaobservatory.org/

    European Southern Observatory(EU) http://www.eso.org/public/

    National Astronomical Observatory of Japan(JP) http://www.nao.ac.jp/en/

    National Radio Astronomy Observatory(US) https://public.nrao.edu/
    Full identification of an astronomical asset will be presented once in the first instance of that asset.

    1
    Post-starburst galaxies, or PSBs, were previously thought to expel all of their gas in violent outbursts, leading to dormancy, a time when galaxies stop forming stars. But scientists using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) found that instead, PSBs condense and hold onto this turbulent gas, and then don’t use it to form stars. This artist’s impression highlights the compactness of molecular gas in a PSB and its lack of star formation. Credit: ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO)/S. Dagnello (NRAO/AUI/NSF)

    2
    Los científicos descubrieron que las galaxias post brotes estelares (PSB, en su sigla en inglés) que estudiaron no se comportaban como esperaban. Se creía que las galaxias PSB se despojaban de su gas hasta quedar inertes, pero las nuevas observaciones revelaron que estas galaxias en realidad conservan su gas y lo compactan cerca de su centro. La galaxia PSB 0379.579.51789 es la excepción del estudio. En este caso, los datos de radio superpuestos a las imágenes ópticas obtenidas con el telescopio espacial Hubble revelaron que si bien la galaxia conservaba el gas necesario para producir estrellas, este se encontraba fuera de su centro. Créditos: ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO) / S. Dagnello (NRAO/AUI/NSF)

    3
    Post-starburst galaxies were previously believed to expel all of their molecular gas, a behavior that caused them to stop forming stars. New observations have revealed that these galaxies actually hold onto and condense star-forming fuel near their centers and then don’t use it to form stars. Here, radio data of PSB 0570.537.52266 overlaid on optical images from the Hubble Space Telescope show the dense collection of gas near the galaxy’s center. Credit: ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO) / S. Dagnello (NRAO/AUI/NSF)

    Scientists discover that post-starburst galaxies condense their gas rather than expelling it, begging the question: what’s keeping them from forming stars?

    Post-starburst galaxies were previously thought to scatter all of their gas and dust—the fuel required for creating new stars—in violent energy bursts and at extraordinary speed. New data from the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) reveals that these galaxies don’t scatter all of their star-forming fuel. Instead, these dormant galaxies hold onto and compress large amounts of highly-concentrated, turbulent gas after their supposed end. But contrary to expectation, they’re not using it to form stars.

    In most galaxies, scientists expect gas to be distributed similarly to starlight. But for post-starburst galaxies or PSBs, this isn’t the case. PSBs are different from other galaxies because they are born in the aftermath of violent collisions or mergers between galaxies. Galaxy mergers typically trigger massive bursts of star formation, but in PSBs, this outburst slows down and near-completely stops almost as soon as it begins. As a result, scientists previously believed that little or no star-forming fuel was left in these galaxies’ central star-forming factories. And until now, the belief was that the molecular gases had been redistributed to radii well beyond the galaxies, either through stellar processes or by the effects of black holes. The new results challenge this theory.

    “We’ve known for some time that large amounts of molecular gas remains in the vicinity of PSBs but haven’t been able to say where which in turn has prevented us from understanding why these galaxies stopped forming stars. Now, we have discovered a considerable amount of remaining gas within the galaxies. That remaining gas is very compact,” said Adam Smercina, an astronomer at the University of Washington and the principal investigator of the study. “While this compact gas should be forming stars efficiently, it isn’t. In fact, it is less than 10-percent as efficient as similarly compact gas is expected to be.”

    In addition to being compact enough to make stars, the gas in the observed dormant—or quiescent—galaxies had another surprise for the team: it was often centrally-located, though not always, and was surprisingly turbulent. Combined, these two characteristics led to more questions than answers for researchers.

    “The rates of star formation in the PSBs we observed are much lower than in other galaxies, even though there appears to be plenty of fuel to sustain the process,” said Smercina. “In this case, star formation may be suppressed due to turbulence in the gas, much like a strong wind can suppress a fire. However, star formation can also be enhanced by turbulence, just like wind can fan flames, so understanding what is generating this turbulent energy and how exactly it contributes to dormancy is a remaining question of this work.”

    Decker French, an astronomer at the University of Illinois, and a co-author of the research, added, “These results raise the question of what energy sources are present in these galaxies to drive turbulence and prevent the gas from forming new stars. One possibility is energy from the accretion disk of the central supermassive black holes in these galaxies.”

    A clear understanding of the processes that govern the formation of stars and galaxies is key to providing context to the Universe and our place in it. The discovery of turbulent, compact gas in otherwise dormant galaxies gives researchers one more clue to solving the mystery of how galaxies in particular live, evolve and die throughout billions of years. And that means additional future research with the help of ALMA’s 1.3mm receiver, which sees the otherwise invisible with stark clarity.

    J.D. Smith, an astronomer at the University of Toledo, and research co-author, said, “There is much about the evolution of a typical galaxy we don’t understand, and the transition from their vibrant star-forming lives into dormancy is one of the least understood periods. Although post-starbursts were very common in the early Universe, they are quite rare today. This means the nearest examples are still hundreds of millions of light-years away. Still, these events foreshadow the potential outcome of a collision, or merger, between the Milky Way Galaxy and the Andromeda Galaxy several billion years from now. Only with the incredible resolving power of ALMA could we peer deep into the molecular reservoirs left behind ‘after the fall.’”

    Smercina added, “It’s often the case that we as astronomers intuit the answers to our own questions ahead of observations, but this time, we learned something completely unexpected about the Universe.”

    Additional Information

    The study results are published in The Astrophysical Journal.

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) (CL) , 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) (EU), in North America by the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) in cooperation with the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) (CA) 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 European Southern Observatory(EU), on behalf of North America by the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO), which is managed by Associated Universities, Inc. (US) 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 Large

    The antennas can be moved across the desert plateau over distances from 150 m to 16 km, which will give ALMA a powerful variable “zoom”, similar in its concept to that employed at the centimetre-wavelength Very Large Array (VLA) site in New Mexico, United States.

    The high sensitivity is mainly achieved through the large numbers of antenna dishes that will make up the array.

    The telescopes were provided by the European, North American and East Asian partners of ALMA. The American and European partners each provided twenty-five 12-meter diameter antennas, that compose the main array. The participating East Asian countries are contributing 16 antennas (four 12-meter diameter and twelve 7-meter diameter antennas) in the form of the Atacama Compact Array (ACA), which is part of the enhanced ALMA.

    By using smaller antennas than the main ALMA array, larger fields of view can be imaged at a given frequency using ACA. Placing the antennas closer together enables the imaging of sources of larger angular extent. The ACA works together with the main array in order to enhance the latter’s wide-field imaging capability.

    ALMA has its conceptual roots in three astronomical projects — the Millimeter Array (MMA) of the United States, the Large Southern Array (LSA) of Europe, and the Large Millimeter Array (LMA) of Japan.

    The first step toward the creation of what would become ALMA came in 1997, when the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) and the European Southern Observatory (ESO) agreed to pursue a common project that merged the MMA and LSA. The merged array combined the sensitivity of the LSA with the frequency coverage and superior site of the MMA. ESO and NRAO worked together in technical, science, and management groups to define and organize a joint project between the two observatories with participation by Canada and Spain (the latter became a member of ESO later).

    A series of resolutions and agreements led to the choice of “Atacama Large Millimeter Array”, or ALMA, as the name of the new array in March 1999 and the signing of the ALMA Agreement on 25 February 2003, between the North American and European parties. (“Alma” means “soul” in Spanish and “learned” or “knowledgeable” in Arabic.) Following mutual discussions over several years, the ALMA Project received a proposal from the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ) whereby Japan would provide the ACA (Atacama Compact Array) and three additional receiver bands for the large array, to form Enhanced ALMA. Further discussions between ALMA and NAOJ led to the signing of a high-level agreement on 14 September 2004 that makes Japan an official participant in Enhanced ALMA, to be known as the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array. A groundbreaking ceremony was held on November 6, 2003 and the ALMA logo was unveiled.

    During an early stage of the planning of ALMA, it was decided to employ ALMA antennas designed and constructed by known companies in North America, Europe, and Japan, rather than using one single design. This was mainly for political reasons. Although very different approaches have been chosen by the providers, each of the antenna designs appears to be able to meet ALMA’s stringent requirements. The components designed and manufactured across Europe were transported by specialist aerospace and astrospace logistics company Route To Space Alliance, 26 in total which were delivered to Antwerp for onward shipment to Chile.

    Partners

    European Southern Observatory (EU) and the European Regional Support Centre
    National Science Foundation (US) via the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (US) and the North American ALMA Science Center (US)
    National Research Council Canada [Conseil national de recherches Canada] (CA)
    National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (JP) under the National Institute of Natural Sciences (自然科学研究機構, Shizenkagaku kenkyuukikou) (JP)
    ALMA-Taiwan at the Academia Sinica Institute of Astronomy & Astrophysics [中央研究院天文及天文物理研究所](TW)
    Republic of Chile

    ALMA is a time machine!

    ALMA-In Search of our Cosmic Origins

     
  • richardmitnick 2:12 pm on April 11, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Molecules are stored in ice just before star and planet formation", ALMA, Astronomers at the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics have observed a pre-stellar core - L1544 - in unprecedented resolution with the ALMA radio telescopes., , , The dust grains in such a pre-stellar core thus become surrounded by thick icy mantles rich in water and organic molecules., The MPG Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics [MPG Institut für extraterrestrische Physik] (DE)   

    From The MPG Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics [MPG Institut für extraterrestrische Physik] (DE): “Molecules are stored in ice just before star and planet formation” 

    From The MPG Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics [MPG Institut für extraterrestrische Physik] (DE)

    April 11, 2022

    Caselli, Paola
    acting director
    Tel +49 (0)89 30000-3400
    Fax +49 (0)89 30000-3399
    caselli@mpe.mpg.de

    Pineda Fornerod, Jaime
    scientist
    Tel +49 (0)89 30000-3610
    Tel +49 173 3517084
    Fax +49 (0)89 30000-3950
    jpineda@mpe.mpg.de

    Sipilä, Olli
    postdoc
    Tel +49 (0)89 30000-3646
    Fax +49 (0)89 30000-3950
    osipila@mpe.mpg.de

    Astronomers at the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics have found evidence that just before star formation, in the central region of a pre-stellar cloud, practically all heavy molecules freeze out on top of dust grains. The ALMA observations of the L1544 cloud in the constellation Taurus showed not only a central concentration of dust grains, but also revealed that molecules containing nitrogen as well those containing carbon, oxygen and all elements heavier than helium, are stored in thick icy mantles around the dust grains. These icy mantles are rich in water and organic molecules, precursors of pre-biotic molecules. The abundances are similar to those observed in leftover objects from the formation of our Solar System.

    1
    Herschel’s infrared view of part of the Taurus Molecular Cloud, with the bright, cold pre-stellar cloud L1544 at the lower left. The Taurus Molecular Cloud is about 450 light years from Earth and it is one of the nearest large regions of star formation.
    © ESA/Herschel/SPIRE.

    How do planets and stars form? This is one of the central questions in modern astrophysics. While the broad strokes are clear – a cold molecular cloud collapses under its own gravity, an accretion disk forms, and at its centre a proto-star – the devil is in the detail. One crucial step is the so-called pre-stellar core phase, when the interstellar gas cloud is contracting while flattening (on its way toward the formation of a protoplanetary disk), but before the gravitational pull produces a central proto-star.

    Astronomers at the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics have now observed such a pre-stellar core, called L1544 in the constellation Taurus, in unprecedented resolution with the ALMA radio telescopes. “Studies of pre-stellar cores in nearby clouds have provided clues on their physical and chemical structure, but it was still unclear what happens at the very centre,” points out Paola Caselli, lead author of the paper now published in The Astrophysical Journal. “Now, we can study structures in the central 2000 Astronomical Units (AU), where a future stellar system will form.” For comparison: Neptune, the outermost known planet in our home Solar system, is at a distance of 30 AU from the Sun, while the Kuiper belt and the so-called scattered disk, where short term comets and other icy bodies reside, extend to about 200 AU.

    The observations included both continuum emission of dust grains in this pre-stellar core and spectral line observations of deuterated ammonia, i.e., a molecule made up of nitrogen and hydrogen, where one hydrogen atom is substituted by a deuterium atom (NH2D). While the dust continuum emission revealed a compact central region with a mass of about 1/6 the mass of our Sun, the molecular line analysis was the real surprise. For the first time, the observations provided evidence of almost complete freeze-out: practically all (99.99%) molecules and atoms heavier that helium disappear from the gas and condense on top of dust grains in the central 2000 AU.

    2
    This shows the morphology of the NH2D emission, clearly revealing the flattened envelope (also called a pseudo-disk), precursor to the future protoplanetary disk. The ALMA resolution is the small black circle in the bottom left corner and the bar in the bottom right shows the linear scale. In the central 2000 astronomical units, NH2D and all other species heavier than helium reside on the surface of dust grains, the building blocks of future planets. © MPE/ALMA.

    “This suggests a “complete-depletion zone” in agreement with astrochemical pre-stellar core model predictions,” explains Olli Sipilä, who carried out the theoretical modelling. The state-of-the-art chemical model actually predicts that the freeze-out starts already at 7000 AU and radiative transfer effects cause the emission of some molecules to appear centrally concentrated. “This has prevented the freeze-out to be detected in previous observations, where the centre could not be resolved,” he adds.

    The dust grains in such a pre-stellar core thus become surrounded by thick icy mantles rich in water and organic molecules, which form the building blocks for future planets. A recent study of the comet 67P/CG has indeed shown that it contains molecules with relative abundances similar to pre-stellar cores and young star forming regions.

    “We were able to demonstrate that pre-stellar molecules are “stored in ice” before the formation of a stellar system similar to our own,” explains Jaime Pineda, second author of the paper. Some of this pre-stellar ice, especially icy pebbles in the outer part of the disk, may even survive to later stages of planet formation, preserving the chemical signature of these primordial phases just before the switch on of a new star. “Icy bodies now present in the outskirts of our Solar System may indeed contain the “frozen” chemical history of our pre-Solar core, the cloud out of which all we see today in our Solar System (including us) originated”, concludes Paola Caselli. “As some of the icy pebbles in the young Solar System are known to have drifted toward the Terrestrial planet formation zone, the icy grains in the centre of our pre-Solar core may have even contributed to volatile molecules, including water and organics, in our Earth, i.e., they may have provided precious ingredients for the origin of life on our planet.”

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    For their astrophysical research, The MPG Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics [MPG Institut für extraterrestrische Physik] ( DE) scientists measure the radiation of far away objects in different wavelenths areas: from millimetere/sub-millimetre and infared all the way to X-ray and gamma-ray wavelengths. These methods span more than twelve decades of the electromagnetic spectrum.

    The research topics pursued at MPE range from the physics of cosmic plasmas and of stars to the physics and chemistry of interstellar matter, from star formation and nucleosynthesis to extragalactic astrophysics and cosmology. The interaction with observers and experimentalists in the institute not only leads to better consolidated efforts but also helps to identify new, promising research areas early on.

    The structural development of the institute mainly has been directed by the desire to work on cutting-edge experimental, astrophysical topics using instruments developed in-house. This includes individual detectors, spectrometers and cameras but also telescopes and integrated, complete payloads. Therefore the engineering and workshop areas are especially important for the close interlink between scientific and technical aspects.

    The scientific work is done in four major research areas that are supervised by one of the directors:

    Center for Astrochemical Studies (CAS)
    Director: P. Caselli

    High-Energy Astrophysics
    Director: P. Nandra

    Infrared/Submillimeter Astronomy
    Director: R. Genzel

    Optical & Interpretative Astronomy
    Director: R. Bender

    Within these areas scientists lead individual experiments and research projects organised in about 25 project teams.

    MPG Society for the Advancement of Science [MPG Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Wissenschaften e. V.] is a formally independent non-governmental and non-profit association of German research institutes founded in 1911 as the Kaiser Wilhelm Society and renamed the Max Planck Society in 1948 in honor of its former president, theoretical physicist Max Planck. The society is funded by the federal and state governments of Germany as well as other sources.

    According to its primary goal, the MPG Society supports fundamental research in the natural, life and social sciences, the arts and humanities in its 83 (as of January 2014) MPG Institutes. The society has a total staff of approximately 17,000 permanent employees, including 5,470 scientists, plus around 4,600 non-tenured scientists and guests. Society budget for 2015 was about €1.7 billion.

    The MPG Institutes focus on excellence in research. The MPG Society has a world-leading reputation as a science and technology research organization, with 33 Nobel Prizes awarded to their scientists, and is generally regarded as the foremost basic research organization in Europe and the world. In 2013, the Nature Publishing Index placed the MPG institutes fifth worldwide in terms of research published in Nature journals (after Harvard University, The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University and The National Institutes of Health). In terms of total research volume (unweighted by citations or impact), the Max Planck Society is only outranked by The Chinese Academy of Sciences [中国科学院](CN), The Russian Academy of Sciences [Росси́йская акаде́мия нау́к](RU) and Harvard University. The Thomson Reuters-Science Watch website placed the MPG Society as the second leading research organization worldwide following Harvard University, in terms of the impact of the produced research over science fields.

    The MPG Society and its predecessor Kaiser Wilhelm Society hosted several renowned scientists in their fields, including Otto Hahn, Werner Heisenberg, and Albert Einstein.

    History

    The organization was established in 1911 as the Kaiser Wilhelm Society, or Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gesellschaft (KWG), a non-governmental research organization named for the then German emperor. The KWG was one of the world’s leading research organizations; its board of directors included scientists like Walther Bothe, Peter Debye, Albert Einstein, and Fritz Haber. In 1946, Otto Hahn assumed the position of President of KWG, and in 1948, the society was renamed the Max Planck Society (MPG) after its former President (1930–37) Max Planck, who died in 1947.

    The MPG Society has a world-leading reputation as a science and technology research organization. In 2006, the Times Higher Education Supplement rankings of non-university research institutions (based on international peer review by academics) placed the MPG Society as No.1 in the world for science research, and No.3 in technology research (behind AT&T Corporation and The DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory.

    The domain mpg.de attracted at least 1.7 million visitors annually by 2008 according to a Compete.com study.

    MPG Institutes and research groups

    The MPG Society consists of over 80 research institutes. In addition, the society funds a number of Max Planck Research Groups (MPRG) and International Max Planck Research Schools (IMPRS). The purpose of establishing independent research groups at various universities is to strengthen the required networking between universities and institutes of the Max Planck Society.
    The research units are primarily located across Europe with a few in South Korea and the U.S. In 2007, the Society established its first non-European centre, with an institute on the Jupiter campus of Florida Atlantic University (US) focusing on neuroscience.
    The MPG Institutes operate independently from, though in close cooperation with, the universities, and focus on innovative research which does not fit into the university structure due to their interdisciplinary or transdisciplinary nature or which require resources that cannot be met by the state universities.

    Internally, MPG Institutes are organized into research departments headed by directors such that each MPI has several directors, a position roughly comparable to anything from full professor to department head at a university. Other core members include Junior and Senior Research Fellows.

    In addition, there are several associated institutes:

    International Max Planck Research Schools

    International Max Planck Research Schools

    Together with the Association of Universities and other Education Institutions in Germany, the Max Planck Society established numerous International Max Planck Research Schools (IMPRS) to promote junior scientists:

    • Cologne Graduate School of Ageing Research, Cologne
    • International Max Planck Research School for Intelligent Systems, at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems located in Tübingen and Stuttgart
    • International Max Planck Research School on Adapting Behavior in a Fundamentally Uncertain World (Uncertainty School), at the Max Planck Institutes for Economics, for Human Development, and/or Research on Collective Goods
    • International Max Planck Research School for Analysis, Design and Optimization in Chemical and Biochemical Process Engineering, Magdeburg
    • International Max Planck Research School for Astronomy and Cosmic Physics, Heidelberg at the MPI for Astronomy
    • International Max Planck Research School for Astrophysics, Garching at the MPI for Astrophysics
    • International Max Planck Research School for Complex Surfaces in Material Sciences, Berlin
    • International Max Planck Research School for Computer Science, Saarbrücken
    • International Max Planck Research School for Earth System Modeling, Hamburg
    • International Max Planck Research School for Elementary Particle Physics, Munich, at the MPI for Physics
    • International Max Planck Research School for Environmental, Cellular and Molecular Microbiology, Marburg at the Max Planck Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology
    • International Max Planck Research School for Evolutionary Biology, Plön at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology
    • International Max Planck Research School “From Molecules to Organisms”, Tübingen at the Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology
    • International Max Planck Research School for Global Biogeochemical Cycles, Jena at the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry
    • International Max Planck Research School on Gravitational Wave Astronomy, Hannover and Potsdam MPI for Gravitational Physics
    • International Max Planck Research School for Heart and Lung Research, Bad Nauheim at the Max Planck Institute for Heart and Lung Research
    • International Max Planck Research School for Infectious Diseases and Immunity, Berlin at the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology
    • International Max Planck Research School for Language Sciences, Nijmegen
    • International Max Planck Research School for Neurosciences, Göttingen
    • International Max Planck Research School for Cognitive and Systems Neuroscience, Tübingen
    • International Max Planck Research School for Marine Microbiology (MarMic), joint program of the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology in Bremen, the University of Bremen, the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in Bremerhaven, and the Jacobs University Bremen
    • International Max Planck Research School for Maritime Affairs, Hamburg
    • International Max Planck Research School for Molecular and Cellular Biology, Freiburg
    • International Max Planck Research School for Molecular and Cellular Life Sciences, Munich
    • International Max Planck Research School for Molecular Biology, Göttingen
    • International Max Planck Research School for Molecular Cell Biology and Bioengineering, Dresden
    • International Max Planck Research School Molecular Biomedicine, program combined with the ‘Graduate Programm Cell Dynamics And Disease’ at the University of Münster and the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Biomedicine
    • International Max Planck Research School on Multiscale Bio-Systems, Potsdam
    • International Max Planck Research School for Organismal Biology, at the University of Konstanz and the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology
    • International Max Planck Research School on Reactive Structure Analysis for Chemical Reactions (IMPRS RECHARGE), Mülheim an der Ruhr, at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Energy Conversion
    • International Max Planck Research School for Science and Technology of Nano-Systems, Halle at Max Planck Institute of Microstructure Physics
    • International Max Planck Research School for Solar System Science at the University of Göttingen hosted by MPI for Solar System Research
    • International Max Planck Research School for Astronomy and Astrophysics, Bonn, at the MPI for Radio Astronomy (formerly the International Max Planck Research School for Radio and Infrared Astronomy)
    • International Max Planck Research School for the Social and Political Constitution of the Economy, Cologne
    • International Max Planck Research School for Surface and Interface Engineering in Advanced Materials, Düsseldorf at Max Planck Institute for Iron Research GmbH
    • International Max Planck Research School for Ultrafast Imaging and Structural Dynamics, Hamburg

    Max Planck Schools

    • Max Planck School of Cognition
    • Max Planck School Matter to Life
    • Max Planck School of Photonics

    Max Planck Center

    • The Max Planck Centre for Attosecond Science (MPC-AS), POSTECH Pohang
    • The Max Planck POSTECH Center for Complex Phase Materials, POSTECH Pohang

    Max Planck Institutes

    Among others:
    • Max Planck Institute for Neurobiology of Behavior – caesar, Bonn
    • Max Planck Institute for Aeronomics in Katlenburg-Lindau was renamed to Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research in 2004;
    • Max Planck Institute for Biology in Tübingen was closed in 2005;
    • Max Planck Institute for Cell Biology in Ladenburg b. Heidelberg was closed in 2003;
    • Max Planck Institute for Economics in Jena was renamed to the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in 2014;
    • Max Planck Institute for Ionospheric Research in Katlenburg-Lindau was renamed to Max Planck Institute for Aeronomics in 1958;
    • Max Planck Institute for Metals Research, Stuttgart
    • Max Planck Institute of Oceanic Biology in Wilhelmshaven was renamed to Max Planck Institute of Cell Biology in 1968 and moved to Ladenburg 1977;
    • Max Planck Institute for Psychological Research in Munich merged into the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in 2004;
    • Max Planck Institute for Protein and Leather Research in Regensburg moved to Munich 1957 and was united with the Max Planck Institute for Biochemistry in 1977;
    • Max Planck Institute for Virus Research in Tübingen was renamed as Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology in 1985;
    • Max Planck Institute for the Study of the Scientific-Technical World in Starnberg (from 1970 until 1981 (closed)) directed by Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker and Jürgen Habermas.
    • Max Planck Institute for Behavioral Physiology
    • Max Planck Institute of Experimental Endocrinology
    • Max Planck Institute for Foreign and International Social Law
    • Max Planck Institute for Physics and Astrophysics
    • Max Planck Research Unit for Enzymology of Protein Folding
    • Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing

     
  • richardmitnick 8:46 am on April 4, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "They confirm that Bernardelli-Bernstein is the largest comet in the Solar System", ALMA, ALMA[The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array](CL), , , , , ,   

    From ALMA [The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array](CL) via The Institute of Astrophysics of Andalusia [Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía] CSIC (ES) Presented by Manu Garcia, a friend from IAC-Institute of Astrophysics of the Canaries[Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias](ES) : “They confirm that Bernardelli-Bernstein is the largest comet in the Solar System”* 

    From ALMA [The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array](CL)

    via

    The Institute of Astrophysics of Andalusia [Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía] CSIC (ES)

    Presented by

    From Manu Garcia, a friend from IAC-Institute of Astrophysics of the Canaries[Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias](ES).

    The universe around us.
    Astronomy, everything you wanted to know about our local universe and never dared to ask.

    Nicolás Lira
    Education and Public Outreach Coordinator
    Joint ALMA Observatory, Santiago – Chile
    Phone: +56 2 2467 6519
    Cell phone: +56 9 9445 7726
    Email: nicolas.lira@alma.cl

    Valeria Foncea
    Education and Public Outreach Officer
    Joint ALMA Observatory Santiago – Chile
    Phone: +56 2 2467 6258
    Cell phone: +56 9 7587 1963
    Email: valeria.foncea@alma.cl

    Daisuke Iono
    Interim EA ALMA EPO officer
    Observatory, Tokyo – Japan
    Email: d.iono@nao.ac.jp

    Bárbara Ferreira
    ESO Public Information Officer
    Garching bei München, Germany
    Phone: +49 89 3200 6670
    Email: pio@eso.org

    Amy C. Oliver
    Public Information & News Manager
    National Radio Astronomical Observatory (NRAO), USA
    Phone: +1 434 242 9584
    Email: aoliver@nrao.edu

    1
    This illustration shows the distant comet Bernardinelli-Bernstein as it might appear in the outer Solar System. Comet Bernardinelli-Bernstein is estimated to be about 1,000 times more massive than a typical comet, making it possibly the largest comet discovered in modern times. It has an extremely elongated orbit, traveling inward from the distant Oort Cloud over millions of years. It is the most distant comet discovered on its incoming path.Credit: LAD Bible.

    4.4.22

    The Institute of Astrophysics of Andalusia (IAA-CSIC) participates in the study with the ALMA radio telescope (Chile) of comet C/2014 UN271 Bernardinelli-Bernstein, which has made it possible to determine its size and albedo, or surface reflectivity. At about 137 kilometers, it is the largest known comet, and perhaps one of the most pristine.

    “Observations with the ALMA radio telescope (Chile) have made it possible to obtain its size, which amounts to about 137 kilometers,” says Pablo Santos-Sanz, a researcher at the Institute of Astrophysics of Andalusia (IAA-CSIC) who is participating in the work. This makes this object the largest comet discovered to date, with a diameter almost twice that of comet Hale-Bopp, and second only to centaur 95P/Chiron, an object that shows characteristics common to asteroids and asteroids. kites”.

    The orbit of comet 2014 UN271 (Bernardinelli-Bernstein) places its origin in the Oort cloud, a spherical cloud that surrounds the Solar System and is believed to be formed by the remains of the nebula that gave rise to the Sun and the planets four thousand six hundred million years ago (estimates suggest that it could extend from 0.03 to 3.16 light years away and contain billions of comets).

    But this comet not only stands out for its size. Comets are small solid icy bodies that acquire their characteristic appearance when they approach the Sun, the ice sublimates and the coma and tail emerge. This, known as cometary activity, shows an increasing evolution as they approach the Sun and does not usually occur at long distances. However, the data suggests that comet Bernardinelli-Bernstein was already active before its detection in 2014, at a distance of about 35 AUs (an astronomical unit, or AU, is the average distance between the Earth and the Sun): that is, it could begin to develop its coma five AUs beyond Neptune, in the icy reaches of the Solar System.

    The comet will not reach the inner regions of the Solar System. Its closest approach to Earth will take place in 2031, when it will be eleven astronomical units from the Sun (it would therefore not cross the orbit of Saturn). “Thus, in the same way that Comet Hale-Bopp is the archetypal comet with an orbit close to the Sun, Bernardelli-Bernstein would be the archetype of distant comets, whose activity is driven by supervolatile ice,” says Pablo Santos-Sanz (IAA -CSIC).

    In addition, the study of the orbit indicates that in the past there was an approach to the Sun, in which the comet reached a distance of between 17 and 21 astronomical units. Thus, this object would never have been closer than that distance since its ejection from the Oort cloud, possibly making it one of the most pristine comets ever observed.

    Finally, the work has made it possible to determine the Bernardinelli-Bernstein albedo, or surface reflectivity. “The surface of the nucleus of this giant comet has characteristics similar to the surfaces of other cometary nuclei, with a very low reflectivity, of the order of 5.3%. This albedo indicates that its surface is very dark, only a little more reflective than that of charcoal –explains Pablo Santos-Sanz (IAA-CSIC)–. It will be very interesting to study if its albedo changes after closest approach to the Sun, since it could gain brightness as happened with the nucleus of Comet Hale-Bopp”.

    Science paper:
    Astronomy & Astrophysics

    *This post is based upon an article from IAA presented by Manu Garcia. If there is an article from ALMA it will be presented here.

    See the full article here.

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Welcome to the Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía (IAA). The IAA is an institute of The Spanish National Research Council[Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC) (ES). The activities of the IAA (CSIC) are related to research in the field of Astrophysics and the development of instruments for telescopes and space vehicles. These webpages are intended to present our activities as well as useful information both for other professional institutions devoted to astrophysics research as well as for those interested in learning something more about the IAA and astrophysics in general.

    From the front page on, an explanation is provided of the structure and organization of the IAA, followed by general information concerning our technological and scientific research in addition to all the activities we consider of general interest.

    The pages of each department provide basic information: the staff, research lines, projects under way and research results. The navigator will also find more specific and varied information on each of the individual pages of the IAA staff.

    Introduction
    The IAA has as its general scientific objective to help increase the bulk of knowledge about our universe, from the closest at hand, our solar system, to an overall scale of the entire universe, improving descriptions and analysing the physical processes that take place there. The nature of this aim demands a multi-disciplinary approach, requiring a combination of theory, observation and technology in different areas of physics and engineering. Although the IAA is a centre for pursuing basic science, we are aware of the role that astrophysics plays as a user and producer of new technologies.

    To achieve our overarching objective, different scientific programmes are being undertaken with specific aims and timetables, encompassing four large areas of astrophysics: the solar system; star formation, structure and evolution; galaxy structure and evolution; and cosmology. Basic science has been and continues to be the motor for training scientific and technical staff, as well as for stimulating the development of other disciplines. The history of the IAA clearly depicts the observational function of the centre.

    The telescopes installed in the Observatorio de Sierra Nevada (OSN), reflect a scientific policy with the clear objective of ensuring continued access to observational means to undertake far-reaching scientific projects.

    This fact adds singularity to the centre and at the same time offers the challenge and incentive for research at the IAA. The design and construction of instruments for the OSN, as well as others to be carried in special space vehicles, not only serve as support for basic research by the different teams of the IAA, but also represent activity of prime importance for the appropriate combination of research and development.

    The Institute of Astrophysics of Andalusia [Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía, IAA-CSIC] is a research institute funded by the High Council of Scientific Research of the Spanish government Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), and is located in Granada, Andalusia, Spain. IAA activities are related to research in the field of astrophysics, and instrument development both for ground-based telescopes and for space missions. Scientific research at the Institute covers the solar system, star formation, stellar structure and evolution, galaxy formation and evolution and cosmology. The IAA was created as a CSIC research institute in July 1975. Presently, the IAA operates the Sierra Nevada Observatory, and (jointly with the also the The MPG Institute for Astronomy [MPG Institut für Astronomie](DE)) the Calar Alto Observatory.

    Calar Alto Astronomical Observatory 3.5 meter Telescope, located in Almería province in Spain on Calar Alto, a 2,168-meter-high (7,113 ft) mountain in Sierra de Los Filabres(ES)
    The Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía is divided in the following departments, each with an (incomplete) outline of research avenues and groups:

    Department of Extragalactic Astronomy
    Violent Stellar Formation Group
    AMIGA Group (Analysis of the interstellar Medium of Isolated Galaxies)
    Department of Stellar Physics
    Department of Radio Astronomy and Galactic Structure
    Stellar Systems Group
    Department of Solar System

    The technological needs of IAA’s research groups are fulfilled by the Instrumental and Technological Developments Unit

    The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) (CL), 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 Large

    ALMA is a time machine!

    ALMA-In Search of our Cosmic Origins

     
  • richardmitnick 1:13 pm on March 28, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ALMA, , , , , , , The carbon-rich star V Hydrae is in its final act.   

    From ALMA (CL): “Hey DUDE: Mysterious Death of Carbon Star Plays Out Like Six-Ring Circus” 

    From ALMA (CL)

    28 March, 2022

    Nicolás Lira
    Education and Public Outreach Coordinator
    Joint ALMA Observatory, Santiago – Chile
    Phone: +56 2 2467 6519
    Cell phone: +56 9 9445 7726
    Email: nicolas.lira@alma.cl

    Daisuke Iono
    Interim EA ALMA EPO officer
    Observatory, Tokyo – Japan
    Email: d.iono@nao.ac.jp

    Bárbara Ferreira
    ESO Public Information Officer
    Garching bei München, Germany
    Phone: +49 89 3200 6670
    Email: pio@eso.org

    Amy C. Oliver
    Public Information & News Manager
    National Radio Astronomical Observatory (NRAO), USA
    Phone: +1 434 242 9584
    Email: aoliver@nrao.edu

    All general references:
    ALMA Observatory (CL) http://www.almaobservatory.org/

    European Southern Observatory(EU) http://www.eso.org/public/

    National Astronomical Observatory of Japan(JP) http://www.nao.ac.jp/en/

    National Radio Astronomy Observatory(US) https://public.nrao.edu/
    Full identification of an astronomical asset will be presented once in the first instance of that asset.

    1
    The carbon-rich star V Hydrae is in its final act, and so far, its death has proved magnificent and violent. Scientists studying the star have discovered six outflowing rings (shown here in composite), and other structures created by the explosive mass ejection of matter into space. Credit: ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO)/S. Dagnello (NRAO/AUI/NSF)

    2
    Scientists have observed, for the first time, the mysterious death throes of a carbon-rich asymptotic branch star (AGB). V Hydrae’s final act is characterized by the mass ejection of matter into space, resulting in the slow expansion of six rings and the formation of two hourglass-shaped structures shown here in this artist’s conception. Credit: ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO)/S. Dagnello (NRAO/AUI/NSF)

    3
    Scientists studying the dying carbon-rich star V Hya have discovered six slowly expanding rings forming as the star expels its matter. Shown here in composite, these outflowing rings and the diffuse arc structure of the sixth ring are moderately visible in the 12CO carbon isotope emission line, and become well-defined in views of the 13CO carbon isotopes. These rings are part of a previously unknown story about the death of stars, and are helping scientists to unravel what happens in the “final act.” Credit: ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO)/S. Dagnello (NRAO/AUI/NSF)

    Scientists studying V Hydrae (V Hya) have witnessed the star’s mysterious death throes in unprecedented detail. Using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) and data from the Hubble Space Telescope (HST), the team discovered six slowly-expanding rings and two hourglass-shaped structures caused by the high-speed ejection of matter out into space.

    The results of the study are published in The Astrophysical Journal.

    V Hya is a carbon-rich asymptotic giant branch (AGB) star located approximately 1,300 light-years from Earth in the constellation Hydra. More than 90-percent of stars with a mass equal to or greater than the Sun evolve into AGB stars as the fuel required to power nuclear processes is stripped away. Among these millions of stars, V Hya has been of particular interest to scientists due to its so-far unique behaviors and features, including extreme-scale plasma eruptions that happen roughly every 8.5 years and the presence of a nearly invisible companion star that contributes to V Hya’s explosive behavior.

    “Our study dramatically confirms that the traditional model of how AGB stars die—through the mass ejection of fuel via a slow, relatively steady, spherical wind over 100,000 years or more—is at best, incomplete, or at worst, incorrect,” said Raghvendra Sahai, an astronomer at NASA-JPL/Caltech, and the principal researcher on the study. “It is very likely that a close stellar or substellar companion plays a significant role in their deaths, and understanding the physics of binary interactions is both important across astrophysics and one of its greatest challenges. In the case of V Hya, the combination of a nearby and a hypothetical distant companion star is responsible, at least to some degree, for the presence of its six rings, and the high-speed outflows that are causing the star’s miraculous death.”

    Mark Morris, an astronomer at The University of California-Los Angeles and a co-author on the research added, “V Hydra has been caught in the process of shedding its atmosphere—ultimately most of its mass—which is something that most late-stage red giant stars do. Much to our surprise, we have found that the matter, in this case, is being expelled as a series of outflowing rings. This is the first and only time that anybody has seen that the gas being ejected from an AGB star can be flowing out in the form of a series of expanding ‘smoke rings.’”
    ===
    The six rings have expanded outward from V Hya over the course of roughly 2,100 years, adding matter to and driving the growth of a high-density flared and warped disk-like structure around the star. The team has dubbed this structure the DUDE, or Disk Undergoing Dynamical Expansion.

    “The end state of stellar evolution—when stars undergo the transition from being red giants to ending up as white dwarf stellar remnants—is a complex process that is not well understood,” said Morris. “The discovery that this process can involve the ejections of rings of gas, simultaneous with the production of high-speed, intermittent jets of material, brings a new and fascinating wrinkle to our exploration of how stars die.”

    Sahai added, “V Hya is in the brief but critical transition phase that does not last very long, and it is difficult to find stars in this phase, or rather ‘catch them in the act. We got lucky and were able to image all of the different mass-loss phenomena in V Hya to better understand how dying stars lose mass at the end of their lives.”

    In addition to a full set of expanding rings and a warped disk, V Hya’s final act features two hourglass-shaped structures—and an additional jet-like structure—that are expanding at high speeds of more than half a million miles per hour (240 km/s). Large hourglass structures have been observed previously in planetary nebulae, including MyCn 18 —also known as the Engraved Hourglass Nebula—a young emission nebula located roughly 8,000 light-years from Earth in the southern constellation of Musca, and the more well-known Southern Crab Nebula, an emission nebula located roughly 7,000 light-years from Earth in the southern constellation Centaurus.

    Sahai said, “We first observed the presence of very fast outflows in 1981. Then, in 2022, we found a jet-like flow consisting of compact plasma blobs ejected at high speeds from V Hya. And now, our discovery of wide-angle outflows in V Hya connects the dots, revealing how all these structures can be created during the evolutionary phase that this extra-luminous red giant star is now in.”

    Due to both the distance and the density of the dust surrounding the star, studying V Hya required a unique instrument with the power to clearly see matter that is both very far away and also difficult or impossible to detect with most optical telescopes. The team enlisted ALMA’s Band 6 (1.23mm) and Band 7 (.85mm) receivers, which revealed the star’s multiple rings and outflows in stark clarity.

    “The processes taking place at the end stages of low mass stars, and during the AGB phase in particular, have long fascinated astronomers and have been challenging to understand,” said Joe Pesce, an astronomer and NSF program officer for NRAO/ALMA. “The capabilities and resolution of ALMA are finally allowing us to witness these events with the extraordinary detail necessary to provide some answers and enhance our understanding of an event that happens to most of the stars in the Universe.”

    Sahai added that the incorporation of infrared, optical, and ultraviolet data into the study created a complete multi-wavelength picture of what might be one of the greatest shows in the Milky Way, at least for astronomers. “Each time we observe V Hya with new observational capabilities, it becomes more and more like a circus, characterized by an even bigger variety of impressive feats. V Hydrae has impressed us with its multiple rings and acts, and because our own Sun may one day experience a similar fate, it has us at rapt attention.”

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) (CL) , 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) (EU), in North America by the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) in cooperation with the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) (CA) 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 European Southern Observatory(EU), on behalf of North America by the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO), which is managed by Associated Universities, Inc. (US) 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 Large

    The antennas can be moved across the desert plateau over distances from 150 m to 16 km, which will give ALMA a powerful variable “zoom”, similar in its concept to that employed at the centimetre-wavelength Very Large Array (VLA) site in New Mexico, United States.

    The high sensitivity is mainly achieved through the large numbers of antenna dishes that will make up the array.

    The telescopes were provided by the European, North American and East Asian partners of ALMA. The American and European partners each provided twenty-five 12-meter diameter antennas, that compose the main array. The participating East Asian countries are contributing 16 antennas (four 12-meter diameter and twelve 7-meter diameter antennas) in the form of the Atacama Compact Array (ACA), which is part of the enhanced ALMA.

    By using smaller antennas than the main ALMA array, larger fields of view can be imaged at a given frequency using ACA. Placing the antennas closer together enables the imaging of sources of larger angular extent. The ACA works together with the main array in order to enhance the latter’s wide-field imaging capability.

    ALMA has its conceptual roots in three astronomical projects — the Millimeter Array (MMA) of the United States, the Large Southern Array (LSA) of Europe, and the Large Millimeter Array (LMA) of Japan.

    The first step toward the creation of what would become ALMA came in 1997, when the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) and the European Southern Observatory (ESO) agreed to pursue a common project that merged the MMA and LSA. The merged array combined the sensitivity of the LSA with the frequency coverage and superior site of the MMA. ESO and NRAO worked together in technical, science, and management groups to define and organize a joint project between the two observatories with participation by Canada and Spain (the latter became a member of ESO later).

    A series of resolutions and agreements led to the choice of “Atacama Large Millimeter Array”, or ALMA, as the name of the new array in March 1999 and the signing of the ALMA Agreement on 25 February 2003, between the North American and European parties. (“Alma” means “soul” in Spanish and “learned” or “knowledgeable” in Arabic.) Following mutual discussions over several years, the ALMA Project received a proposal from the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ) whereby Japan would provide the ACA (Atacama Compact Array) and three additional receiver bands for the large array, to form Enhanced ALMA. Further discussions between ALMA and NAOJ led to the signing of a high-level agreement on 14 September 2004 that makes Japan an official participant in Enhanced ALMA, to be known as the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array. A groundbreaking ceremony was held on November 6, 2003 and the ALMA logo was unveiled.

    During an early stage of the planning of ALMA, it was decided to employ ALMA antennas designed and constructed by known companies in North America, Europe, and Japan, rather than using one single design. This was mainly for political reasons. Although very different approaches have been chosen by the providers, each of the antenna designs appears to be able to meet ALMA’s stringent requirements. The components designed and manufactured across Europe were transported by specialist aerospace and astrospace logistics company Route To Space Alliance, 26 in total which were delivered to Antwerp for onward shipment to Chile.

    Partners

    European Southern Observatory (EU) and the European Regional Support Centre
    National Science Foundation (US) via the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (US) and the North American ALMA Science Center (US)
    National Research Council Canada [Conseil national de recherches Canada] (CA)
    National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (JP) under the National Institute of Natural Sciences (自然科学研究機構, Shizenkagaku kenkyuukikou) (JP)
    ALMA-Taiwan at the Academia Sinica Institute of Astronomy & Astrophysics [中央研究院天文及天文物理研究所](TW)
    Republic of Chile

    ALMA is a time machine!

    ALMA-In Search of our Cosmic Origins

     
  • richardmitnick 10:56 am on February 8, 2022 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Passing stars warp star disks and disrupt planets", ALMA, , , , , , ,   

    From The University of Warwick (UK) via EarthSky: “Passing stars warp star disks and disrupt planets” 

    From The University of Warwick (UK)

    via

    1

    EarthSky

    February 8, 2022
    Deborah Byrd

    1
    This animation shows a protoplanetary disk – a planet-forming disk – undergoing a warp from an outside gravitational influence. The warp disrupts the disk’s spiral structure, which, astronomers believe, is needed to form planets. Image via University of Warwick.

    Passing stars warp star disks

    In space, as on Earth, nature loves spirals. For example, our home galaxy, the Milky Way, is a spiral galaxy, made of billions of stars.

    In recent years, astronomical theory has suggested that newly forming individual stars also go through a spiral phase. It happens just as the stars are beginning to form their planets, from great, spinning, primordial wheels of dust and gas. According to theorists, the spiral phase of a young star’s planet-forming disk is a brief but necessary phase for planet formation. So scientists are studying the spiral phase in star-and-planet formation. And a team of scientists at the University of Warwick said this month that they’ve learned that warps in the disks of young solar systems can wipe out the disk’s spiral shape. It can thereby disrupt planet formation. They said their new study demonstrates:

    “… The impact of passing stars, misaligned binary stars and passing gas clouds on the formation of planets in early star systems.”

    The Astrophysical Journal published these scientists’ results on February 4, 2022.

    2
    Image showing a rotating protoplanetary – or planet-forming – disk with a warp, in its initial stages. Such warps in star disks might be caused by passing stars or gas clouds, or in a system where binary stars are misaligned with a star’s disk. The warp appears to wipe out the disk’s spiral structure, disrupting planet formation. Image via University of Warwick.

    The disks are where planets form

    The Warwick astronomers’ statement explained:

    “Solar systems are formed from protoplanetary disks, massive spinning clouds of gas and dust that will eventually coalesce into the array of planets that we see in the universe. When these disks are young, they form spiral structures, with all their dust and material dragged into dense arms by the massive gravitational effect of the disk spinning.

    But astronomers have found a surprising number of protoplanetary disks that, despite being massive enough to have a spiral structure, show no evidence of one. So the University of Warwick team has been investigating what might prevent a disk from forming a spiral structure.”

    3
    This image shows a rotating protoplanetary disk without a warp. Notice the spiral structure.

    4
    Image showing a rotating protoplanetary – or planet-forming – disk with a warp in its later stages. Note: No spiral structure. This is more or less what most observed protoplanetary disks look like. Most look quite similar to each other, much like this image (but without the warp) with discernible gaps in them where the planets are forming. Most lack spiral structure. So the spiral phase of planet-making must be brief, at best. And this new study shows that there are also factors that can destroy the spiral in a planet-forming disk, preventing the crucial spiral stage and so disrupting planet formation.

    No spiral structure = no clumps

    PhD student Sahl Rowther from the University’s Department of Physics created a three-dimensional hydrodynamical simulation. In other words, he used computers to replicate, as best he could, a newly forming solar system. Then he said he added:

    “… Different levels of curvature to the disk to warp it, to study the impact on the disk’s spiral structure. In all but the smallest warps, the spiral structure disappeared.”

    Co-author Rebecca Nealon commented:

    “Warps will inhibit planet formation through gravitational instability, in the sense that these spiral structures, which fragment into clumps that eventually form planets, are where the disk structure will be disrupted. Anything that disturbs that spiral structure makes it harder for that clumping to occur and harder for the planets to form …”

    The scientists said the warp heats up a star-forming disk by causing small perturbations (changes in motion, due to gravity). And they said:

    “The gas needs to be cool in order to clump together, so in heating up the disk the spiral arm structure is wiped out.”

    What causes the warping in the disk. They gave a few examples, such as:

    “… If a large object, such as a star, passes nearby in a flyby encounter; if the disk surrounds a binary star system that orbits out of alignment with the disk; or if a nearby source of gas accretes onto the disk.”

    More star disks with warps

    They said that evidence for warped protoplanetary disks has grown significantly in recent years, providing a potential explanation for the large number of massive protoplanetary disks that don’t show a spiral structure.

    Rebecca Nealon said:

    “Normally we think of these disks forming in isolation, but that’s not really the case. It’s a chaotic neighborhood, with lots of stars nearby, and you might have a star that passes close by and that gravitational interaction is enough to cause this warp.

    Once we started getting observations of warped disks, we had to start considering warps in our modelling. We need a greater consideration of warps in protoplanetary disk evolution and understanding that warps can impact existing disk evolution mechanisms and physics. We need to consider how warps affect all the factors in planetary formation.”

    Sahl Rowther added:

    “This study combines two physical effects that haven’t been combined before, the physics of self-gravitating disks with the warp. This is important because self-gravitating disks have been studied for a while and it’s a well-established field.

    Warps are a much more recent idea.”

    Observed planet-forming disks with spiral structure

    4
    In 2020, the ALMA telescope in Chile captured this image of a massive spiral of gas surrounding the planet-forming disk of the young star RU Lup. The spiral structure around RU Lup extends to nearly 1,000 astronomical units (AU) from the star (1,000 Earth-sun units of distance).

    The European Southern Observatory [La Observatorio Europeo Austral] [Observatoire européen austral][Europäische Südsternwarte](EU)(CL)/National Radio Astronomy Observatory(US)/National Astronomical Observatory of Japan(JP) ALMA Observatory (CL).

    6
    The ALMA telescope saw these spiral arms for the planet-forming star Elias 2-27 in 2016. Looking out into space, astronomers have found a few spiral-shaped planet-forming disks like this one. But the spiral phase must be brief, and some must become disrupted … or we’d see more of them. Image via B. Saxton/ ALMA/ NRAO.

    See the full article here.

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The establishment of the The University of Warwick (UK) was given approval by the government in 1961 and received its Royal Charter of Incorporation in 1965.

    The idea for a university in Coventry was mooted shortly after the conclusion of the Second World War but it was a bold and imaginative partnership of the City and the County which brought the University into being on a 400-acre site jointly granted by the two authorities. Since then, the University has incorporated the former Coventry College of Education in 1978 and has extended its land holdings by the purchase of adjoining farm land.

    The University initially admitted a small intake of graduate students in 1964 and took its first 450 undergraduates in October 1965. In October 2013, the student population was over 23,000 of which 9,775 are postgraduates. Around a third of the student body comes from overseas and over 120 countries are represented on the campus.

    The University of Warwick is a public research university on the outskirts of Coventry between the West Midlands and Warwickshire, England. The University was founded in 1965 as part of a government initiative to expand higher education. The Warwick Business School was established in 1967, the Warwick Law School in 1968, Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG) in 1980, and Warwick Medical School in 2000. Warwick incorporated Coventry College of Education in 1979 and Horticulture Research International in 2004.

    Warwick is primarily based on a 290 hectares (720 acres) campus on the outskirts of Coventry, with a satellite campus in Wellesbourne and a central London base at the Shard. It is organised into three faculties — Arts, Science Engineering and Medicine, and Social Sciences — within which there are 32 departments. As of 2019, Warwick has around 26,531 full-time students and 2,492 academic and research staff. It had a consolidated income of £679.9 million in 2019/20, of which £131.7 million was from research grants and contracts. Warwick Arts Centre is a multi-venue arts complex in the university’s main campus and is the largest venue of its kind in the UK, which is not in London.

    Warwick has an average intake of 4,950 undergraduates out of 38,071 applicants (7.7 applicants per place).

    Warwick is a member of Association of Commonwealth Universities (UK), the Association of MBAs, EQUIS, the European University Association (EU), the Midlands Innovation group, the Russell Group (UK), Sutton 13. It is the only European member of the Center for Urban Science and Progress, a collaboration with New York University (US). The university has extensive commercial activities, including the University of Warwick Science Park and Warwick Manufacturing Group.

    Warwick’s alumni and staff include winners of the Nobel Prize, Turing Award, Fields Medal, Richard W. Hamming Medal, Emmy Award, Grammy, and the Padma Vibhushan, and are fellows to the British Academy, the Royal Society of Literature, the Royal Academy of Engineering, and the Royal Society. Alumni also include heads of state, government officials, leaders in intergovernmental organisations, and the current chief economist at the Bank of England. Researchers at Warwick have also made significant contributions such as the development of penicillin, music therapy, Washington Consensus, Second-wave feminism, computing standards, including ISO and ECMA, complexity theory, contract theory, and the International Political Economy as a field of study.

    Twentieth century

    The idea for a university in Warwickshire was first mooted shortly after World War II, although it was not founded for a further two decades. A partnership of the city and county councils ultimately provided the impetus for the university to be established on a 400-acre (1.6 km^2) site jointly granted by the two authorities. There was some discussion between local sponsors from both the city and county over whether it should be named after Coventry or Warwickshire. The name “University of Warwick” was adopted, even though Warwick, the county town, lies some 8 miles (13 km) to its southwest and Coventry’s city centre is only 3.5 miles (5.6 km) northeast of the campus. The establishment of the University of Warwick was given approval by the government in 1961 and it received its Royal Charter of Incorporation in 1965. Since then, the university has incorporated the former Coventry College of Education in 1979 and has extended its land holdings by the continuing purchase of adjoining farm land. The university also benefited from a substantial donation from the family of John ‘Jack’ Martin, a Coventry businessman who had made a fortune from investment in Smirnoff vodka, and which enabled the construction of the Warwick Arts Centre.

    The university initially admitted a small intake of graduate students in 1964 and took its first 450 undergraduates in October 1965. Since its establishment Warwick has expanded its grounds to 721 acres (2.9 km^2), with many modern buildings and academic facilities, lakes, and woodlands. In the 1960s and 1970s, Warwick had a reputation as a politically radical institution.

    Under Vice-Chancellor Lord Butterworth, Warwick was the first UK university to adopt a business approach to higher education, develop close links with the business community and exploit the commercial value of its research. These tendencies were discussed by British historian and then-Warwick lecturer, E. P. Thompson, in his 1970 edited book Warwick University Ltd.

    The Leicester Warwick Medical School, a new medical school based jointly at Warwick and University of Leicester (UK), opened in September 2000.

    On the recommendation of Tony Blair, Bill Clinton chose Warwick as the venue for his last major foreign policy address as US President in December 2000. Sandy Berger, Clinton’s National Security Advisor, explaining the decision in a press briefing on 7 December 2000, said that: “Warwick is one of Britain’s newest and finest research universities, singled out by Prime Minister Blair as a model both of academic excellence and independence from the government.”

    Twenty-first century
    The university was seen as a favoured institution of the Labour government during the New Labour years (1997 to 2010). It was academic partner for a number of flagship Government schemes including the National Academy for Gifted and Talented Youth and the NHS University (now defunct). Tony Blair described Warwick as “a beacon among British universities for its dynamism, quality and entrepreneurial zeal”. In a 2012 study by Virgin Media Business, Warwick was described as the most “digitally-savvy” UK university.

    In February 2001, IBM donated a new S/390 computer and software worth £2 million to Warwick, to form part of a “Grid” enabling users to remotely share computing power. In April 2004 Warwick merged with the Wellesbourne and Kirton sites of Horticulture Research International. In July 2004 Warwick was the location for an important agreement between the Labour Party and the trade unions on Labour policy and trade union law, which has subsequently become known as the “Warwick Agreement”.

    In June 2006 the new University Hospital Coventry opened, including a 102,000 sq ft (9,500 m^2) university clinical sciences building. Warwick Medical School was granted independent degree-awarding status in 2007, and the School’s partnership with the University of Leicester was dissolved in the same year. In February 2010, Lord Bhattacharyya, director and founder of the WMG unit at Warwick, made a £1 million donation to the university to support science grants and awards.

    In February 2012 Warwick and Melbourne-based Monash University (AU) announced the formation of a strategic partnership, including the creation of 10 joint senior academic posts, new dual master’s and joint doctoral degrees, and co-ordination of research programmes. In March 2012 Warwick and Queen Mary, University of London announced the creation of a strategic partnership, including research collaboration, some joint teaching of English, history and computer science undergraduates, and the creation of eight joint post-doctoral research fellowships.

    In April 2012 it was announced that Warwick would be the only European university participating in the Center for Urban Science and Progress, an applied science research institute to be based in New York consisting of an international consortium of universities and technology companies led by a href=”http://www.nyu.edu/”> New York University (US) and NYU Tandon School of Engineering (US). In August 2012, Warwick and five other Midlands-based universities — Aston University (UK), the University of Birmingham (UK), the University of Leicester (UK), Loughborough University (UK) and the University of Nottingham — formed the M5 Group, a regional bloc intended to maximise the member institutions’ research income and enable closer collaboration.

    In September 2013 it was announced that a new National Automotive Innovation Centre would be built by WMG at Warwick’s main campus at a cost of £100 million, with £50 million to be contributed by Jaguar Land Rover and £30 million by Tata Motors.

    In July 2014, the government announced that Warwick would be the host for the £1 billion Advanced Propulsion Centre, a joint venture between the Automotive Council and industry. The ten-year programme intends to position the university and the UK as leaders in the field of research into the next generation of automotive technology.

    In September 2015, Warwick celebrated its 50th anniversary (1965–2015) and was designated “University of the Year” by The Times and The Sunday Times.

    Research

    In 2013/14 Warwick had a total research income of £90.1 million, of which £33.9 million was from Research Councils; £25.9 million was from central government, local authorities and public corporations; £12.7 million was from the European Union; £7.9 million was from UK industry and commerce; £5.2 million was from UK charitable bodies; £4.0 million was from overseas sources; and £0.5 million was from other sources.

    In the 2014 UK Research Excellence Framework (REF), Warwick was again ranked 7th overall (as 2008) amongst multi-faculty institutions and was the top-ranked university in the Midlands. Some 87% of the University’s academic staff were rated as being in “world-leading” or “internationally excellent” departments with top research ratings of 4* or 3*.

    Warwick is particularly strong in the areas of decision sciences research (economics, finance, management, mathematics and statistics). For instance, researchers of the Warwick Business School have won the highest prize of the prestigious European Case Clearing House (ECCH: the equivalent of the Oscars in terms of management research).

    Warwick has established a number of stand-alone units to manage and extract commercial value from its research activities. The four most prominent examples of these units are University of Warwick Science Park; Warwick HRI; Warwick Ventures (the technology transfer arm of the University); and WMG.

     
  • richardmitnick 10:11 pm on December 30, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Three rings to bind them all-The inner planets- Cosmic history can explain the properties of Mercury; Venus; Earth and Mars", ALMA, , , How to build an asteroid belt, , Outer planets and Kuiper belt, The first image taken by the ALMA observation after its completion in 2014., The formation of planetesimals – the small objects between 10 and 100 kilometers in diameter that are believed to be the building blocks for planets., The results suggest a direct link between the appearance of our solar system and the ring structure of its protoplanetary disk., The young star HL Tauri, There are pressure bumps associated with particularly important transitions in the disk that can be linked directly to fundamental physics [described in the post].   

    From MPG Institute for Astronomy [MPG Institut für Astronomie] (DE) : “Three rings to bind them all-The inner planets- Cosmic history can explain the properties of Mercury; Venus; Earth and Mars” 

    Max Planck Institut für Astronomie (DE)

    From MPG Institute for Astronomy [MPG Institut für Astronomie] (DE)

    December 30, 2021

    Dr. Markus Pössel
    Head of press and public relations
    MPG Institute for Astronomy, Heidelberg
    +49 6221 528-261
    pr@mpia.de
    Bertram Bitsch
    MPG Institute for Astronomy, Heidelberg
    +49 6221 528-427
    bitsch@mpia.de

    Astronomers have managed to link the properties of the inner planets of our solar system with our cosmic history: with the emergence of ring structures in the swirling disk of gas and dust in which these planets were formed. The rings are associated with basic physical properties such as the transition from an outer region where ice can form where water can only exist as water vapor. The astronomers made use of a spread of simulation to explore different possbilities of inner planet evolution. Our solar system’s inner regions are a rare, but possible outcome of that evolution. The results have been published in Nature Astronomy.

    1
    This image, taken with the ALMA Observatory in 2014, was the first to reveal a ring-like structure in a protoplanetary disk – in this case, the disk around the young star HL Tauri.

    The visible disk has a radius of a bit over 100 astronomical units, that is, over 100 times the average Earth-Sun distance. For comparison: In our solar system, the maximal distance of Pluto from the Sun amounts to about 50 astronomical units. The research described here shows the key role ring-like structures like this are likely to have played in the genesis of our Solar System.

    © ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO)

    The broad-stroke picture of planet formation around stars has been unchanged for decades. But many of the specifics are still unexplained – and the search for explanations an important part of current research. Now, a group of astronomers led by Rice University(US)’s Andre Izidoro, which includes Bertram Bitsch from the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, has found an explanation for why the inner planets in our solar system have the properties we observe.

    A swirling disk and rings that change everything

    The broad-stroke picture in question is as follows: Around a young star, a “protoplanetary disk” of gas and dust forms, and inside that disk grow ever-larger small bodies, eventually reaching diameters of thousands of kilometers, that is: becoming planets. But in recent years, thanks to modern observational methods, the modern picture of planet formation has been refined and changed in very specific directions.

    The most striking change was triggered by a literal picture: The first image taken by the ALMA observation after its completion in 2014. The image showed the protoplanetary disk around the young star HL Tauri in unprecedented detail, and the most stunning details amounted to a nested structure of clearly visible rings and gaps in that disk.

    As the researchers involved in simulating protoplanetary disk structures took in these new observations, it became clear that such rings and gaps are commonly associated with “pressure bumps”, where the local pressure is somewhat lower than in the surrounding regions. Those localized changes are typically associated with changes in disk composition, mostly in the size of dust grains.

    Three key transitions that produce three rings

    In particular, there are pressure bumps associated with particularly important transitions in the disk that can be linked directly to fundamental physics. Very close to the star, at temperatures higher than 1400 Kelvin, silicate compounds (think “sand grains”) are gaseous – it is simply too hot for them to exist in any other state. Of course, that means that planets cannot form in such a hot region. Below that temperature, silicate compounds “sublimate”, that is, any silicate gases directly transition to a solid state. This pressure bump defines an overall inner border for planet formation.

    Farther out, at 170 Kelvin (–100 degrees Celsius), there is a transition between water vapour on the one hand and water ice on the other hand, known as the water snowline. (The reason that temperature is so much lower than the standard 0 degrees Celsius where water freezes on Earth is the much lower pressure, compared to Earth’s atmosphere.) At even lower temperatures, 30 Kelvin (–240 degrees Celsius), is the CO snowline; below that temperature, carbon monoxide forms a solid ice.

    Pressure bumps as pebble traps

    What does this mean for the formation of planetary systems? Numerous earlier simulations had already shown how such pressure bumps facilitate the formation of planetesimals – the small objects, between 10 and 100 kilometers in diameter, that are believed to be the building blocks for planets. After all, the formation process starts much, much smaller, namely with dust grains. Those dust grains tend to collect in the low-pressure region of a pressure bump, as grains of a certain size drift inwards (that is, towards the star) until they are stopped by the higher pressure at the inner boundary of the bump.

    As the grain concentration at the pressure bump increases, and in particular the ratio of solid material (which tends to aggregate) to gas (which tends to push grains apart) increases, it becomes easier for those grains to form pebbles, and for those pebbles to aggregate into larger objects. Pebbles are what astronomers call solid aggregates with sizes between a few millimeters and a few centimeters.

    The role of pressure bumps for the (inner) solar system

    But what had still be an open question was the role of those sub-structures in the overall shape of planetary systems, like our own Solar system, with its characteristic distribution of rocky, terrestrial inner planets and outer gaseous planets. This is the question that Andre Izidoro (Rice University), Bertram Bitsch of the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy and their colleagues took on. In their search for answers, they combined several simulations covering different aspects and different phases of planet formation.

    Specifically, the astronomers constructed a model of a gas disk, with three pressure bumps at the silicates-become-gaseous boundary and the water and CO snow lines. They then simulated the way that dust grains grow and fragment in the gas disk, the formation of planetesimals, the growth from planetesimals to planetary embryos (from 100 km in diameter to 2000 km) near the location of our Earth (“1 astronomical unit” distance from the Sun), the growth of planetary embryos to planets for the terrestrial planets, and the accumulation of planetesimals in a newly-formed asteroid belt.

    In our own solar system, the asteroid belt between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter is home to hundreds of smaller bodies, which are believed to be remnants or collision fragments of planetesimals in that region that never grew to form planetary embryos, let alone planets.

    Variations on a planetary theme

    An interesting question for simulations is this: If the initial setup were just a little bit different, would the end result still be somewhat similar? Understanding these kinds of variations is important for understanding which of the ingredients are the key to the outcome of the simulation. That is why Bitsch and his colleagues analyzed a number of different scenarios with varying properties for the composition and for the temperature profile of the disk. In some of the simulations, they only the silicate and water ice pressure bumps, in others all three.

    The results suggest a direct link between the appearance of our solar system and the ring structure of its protoplanetary disk. Bertram Bitsch of the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, who was involved both in planning this research programme and in developing some of the methods that were used, says: “For me, it was a complete surprise how well our models were able to capture the development of a planetary system like our own – right down to the slightly different masses and chemical compositions of Venus, Earth and Mars.”

    As expected, in those models, planetesimals in those simulations formed naturally near the pressure bumps, as a “cosmic traffic jam” for pebbles drifting inwards, which would then be stopped by the higher pressure at the inner boundary of the pressure bump.

    Recipe for our (inner) solar system

    For the inner parts of the simulated systems, the researchers identified the right conditions for the formation of something like our own solar system: If the region right outside the innermost (silicate) pressure bump contains around 2.5 Earth masses’ worth of planetesimals, these grow to form roughly Mars-sized bodies – consistent with the inner planets within the solar system.

    A more massive disk, or else a higher efficiency of forming planetesimals, would instead lead to the formation of “Super-Earths,” that is, considerably more massive rocky planets. Those Super-Earths would be in close orbit around the host star, right up against that innermost pressure bump boundary. The existence of that boundary can also explain why there is no planet closer to the Sun than Mercury – the necessary material would simply have evaporated that close to the star.

    The simulations even go so far as to explain the slightly different chemical compositions of Mars on the one hand, Earth and Venus on the other: In the models, Earth and Venus indeed collect most of the material that will form their bulk from regions closer to the Sun than the Earth’s current orbit (one astronomical unit). The Mars-analogues in the simulations, in contrast, were built mostly from material from regions a bit farther away from the Sun.

    How to build an asteroid belt

    Beyond the orbit of Mars, the simulations yielded a region that started out as sparsely populated with or, in some cases, even completely empty of planetesimals – the precursor of the present-day asteroid belt of our solar systems. However, some planetesimals from the zones inside of or directly beyond would later stray into the asteroid belt region and become trapped.

    As those planetesimals collided, the resulting smaller pieces would form what we today observe as asteroids. The simulations are even able to explain the different asteroid populations: What astronomers call S-types asteroids, bodies that are made mostly of silica, would be the remnants of stray objects originating in the region around Mars, while C-type asteroids, which predominantly contain Carbon, would be the remnants of stray objects from the region directly outside the asteroid belt.

    Outer planets and Kuiper belt

    In that outer region, just outside the pressure bump that marks the inner limit for the presence of water ice, the simulations show the beginning of the formations of giant planets – the planetesimals near that boundary typically have a total mass of between 40 and 100 times the mass of the Earth, consistent with estimates of the total mass of the cores of the giant planets in our solar system: Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune.

    In that situation, the most massive planetesimals would quickly gather more mass. The present simulations did not follow up on the (already well-studied) later evolution of those giant planets, which involves an initially rather tight group, from which Uranus and Neptune later migrated outwards to their present positions.

    Last but not least, the simulations can explain the final class of objects, and its properties: so-called Kuiper-belt objects, which formed outside the outermost pressure bump, which marks the inner boundary for the existence of carbon monoxide ice.

    Kuiper Belt. Minor Planet Center.

    It even can explain the slight differences in composition between known Kuiper-belt objects: again as the difference between planetesimals that formed originally outside the CO snowline pressure bump and stayed there, and planetesimals that strayed into the Kuiper belt from the adjacent inner region of the giant planets.

    Two basic outcomes and our rare solar system

    Overall, the spread of simulations led to two basic outcomes: Either a pressure bump at the water-ice snowline formed very early; in that case, the inner and outer regions of the planetary system went their separate ways rather early on within the first hundred thousand years. This led to the formation of low-mass terrestrial planets in the inner parts of the system, similar to what happened in our own solar system.

    Alternatively, if the water-ice pressure bump forms later than that or is not as pronounced, more mass can drift into the inner region, leading instead to the formation of Super-Earths or mini-Neptunes in the inner planetary systems. Evidence from the observations of those exoplanetary systems astronomers have found so far shows that case is by far the more probable – and our own Solar system a comparatively rare outcome of planet formation.

    Outlook

    In this research, the focus of the astronomers was on the inner solar system and the terrestrial planets. Next, they want to run simulations that include details of the outer regions, with Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. The eventual aim is to arrive at a complete explanation for the properties of ours and other solar systems.

    For the inner solar system, at least, we now know that key properties of Earth and its nearest neighbouring planet can be traced to some rather basic physics: the boundary between frozen water and water vapour and its associated pressure bump in the swirling disk of gas and dust that surrounded the young Sun.
    Background information

    The results described here have been published in Nature Astronomy.

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition


    The MPG Institute for Astronomy [MPG Institut für Astronomie] (DE), MPIA) is a research institute of the MPG Society for the Advancement of Science [MPG Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Wissenschaften e. V.] (DE). It is located in Heidelberg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany near the top of the Königstuhl, adjacent to the historic Landessternwarte Heidelberg-Königstuhl astronomical observatory. The institute primarily conducts basic research in the natural sciences in the field of astronomy.

    In addition to its own astronomical observations and astronomical research, the Institute is also actively involved in the development of observation instruments. The instruments or parts of them are manufactured in the institute’s own workshops.

    MPG Society for the Advancement of Science [MPG Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Wissenschaften e. V.] is a formally independent non-governmental and non-profit association of German research institutes founded in 1911 as the Kaiser Wilhelm Society and renamed the Max Planck Society in 1948 in honor of its former president, theoretical physicist Max Planck. The society is funded by the federal and state governments of Germany as well as other sources.

    According to its primary goal, the Max Planck Society supports fundamental research in the natural, life and social sciences, the arts and humanities in its 83 (as of January 2014) Max Planck Institutes. The society has a total staff of approximately 17,000 permanent employees, including 5,470 scientists, plus around 4,600 non-tenured scientists and guests. Society budget for 2015 was about €1.7 billion.

    The Max Planck Institutes focus on excellence in research. The Max Planck Society has a world-leading reputation as a science and technology research organization, with 33 Nobel Prizes awarded to their scientists, and is generally regarded as the foremost basic research organization in Europe and the world. In 2013, the Nature Publishing Index placed the Max Planck institutes fifth worldwide in terms of research published in Nature journals (after Harvard (US), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US), Stanford (US) and the National Institutes of Health (US)). In terms of total research volume (unweighted by citations or impact), the Max Planck Society is only outranked by the Chinese Academy of Sciences [中国科学院] (CN), the Russian Academy of Sciences [Росси́йская акаде́мия нау́к](RU) and Harvard University. The Thomson Reuters-Science Watch website placed the Max Planck Society as the second leading research organization worldwide following Harvard University, in terms of the impact of the produced research over science fields.

    The Max Planck Society and its predecessor Kaiser Wilhelm Society hosted several renowned scientists in their fields, including Otto Hahn, Werner Heisenberg, and Albert Einstein.

    History
    The organization was established in 1911 as the Kaiser Wilhelm Society, or Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gesellschaft (KWG), a non-governmental research organization named for the then German emperor. The KWG was one of the world’s leading research organizations; its board of directors included scientists like Walther Bothe, Peter Debye, Albert Einstein, and Fritz Haber. In 1946, Otto Hahn assumed the position of President of KWG, and in 1948, the society was renamed the Max Planck Society (MPG) after its former President (1930–37) Max Planck, who died in 1947.
    The Max Planck Society has a world-leading reputation as a science and technology research organization. In 2006, the Times Higher Education Supplement rankings of non-university research institutions (based on international peer review by academics) placed the Max Planck Society as No.1 in the world for science research, and No.3 in technology research (behind AT&T Corporation and the DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory (US).
    The domain mpg.de attracted at least 1.7 million visitors annually by 2008 according to a Compete.com study.
    Max Planck Institutes and research groups
    The Max Planck Society consists of over 80 research institutes. In addition, the society funds a number of Max Planck Research Groups (MPRG) and International Max Planck Research Schools (IMPRS). The purpose of establishing independent research groups at various universities is to strengthen the required networking between universities and institutes of the Max Planck Society.
    The research units are primarily located across Europe with a few in South Korea and the U.S. In 2007, the Society established its first non-European centre, with an institute on the Jupiter campus of Florida Atlantic University (US) focusing on neuroscience.
    The Max Planck Institutes operate independently from, though in close cooperation with, the universities, and focus on innovative research which does not fit into the university structure due to their interdisciplinary or transdisciplinary nature or which require resources that cannot be met by the state universities.
    Internally, Max Planck Institutes are organized into research departments headed by directors such that each MPI has several directors, a position roughly comparable to anything from full professor to department head at a university. Other core members include Junior and Senior Research Fellows.
    In addition, there are several associated institutes:
    International Max Planck Research Schools

    Together with the Association of Universities and other Education Institutions in Germany, the Max Planck Society established numerous International Max Planck Research Schools (IMPRS) to promote junior scientists:
    Cologne Graduate School of Ageing Research, Cologne
    International Max Planck Research School for Intelligent Systems, at the MPG Institute for Intelligent Systems (DE) located in Tübingen and Stuttgart
    International Max Planck Research School on Adapting Behavior in a Fundamentally Uncertain World (Uncertainty School), at the Max Planck Institutes for Economics, for Human Development, and/or Research on Collective Goods
    International Max Planck Research School for Analysis, Design and Optimization in Chemical and Biochemical Process Engineering, Magdeburg
    International Max Planck Research School for Astronomy and Cosmic Physics, Heidelberg at the MPG for Astronomy
    International Max Planck Research School for Astrophysics, Garching at the MPG Institute for Astrophysics
    International Max Planck Research School for Complex Surfaces in Material Sciences, Berlin
    International Max Planck Research School for Computer Science, Saarbrücken
    International Max Planck Research School for Earth System Modeling, Hamburg
    International Max Planck Research School for Elementary Particle Physics, Munich, at the MPG Institute for Physics
    International Max Planck Research School for Environmental, Cellular and Molecular Microbiology, Marburg at the MPG Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology
    International Max Planck Research School for Evolutionary Biology, Plön at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology
    International Max Planck Research School “From Molecules to Organisms”, Tübingen at the MPG Institute for Developmental Biology
    International Max Planck Research School for Global Biogeochemical Cycles, Jena at the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry
    International Max Planck Research School on Gravitational Wave Astronomy, Hannover and Potsdam MPG Institute for Gravitational Physics
    International Max Planck Research School for Heart and Lung Research, Bad Nauheim at the MPG Institute for Heart and Lung Research
    International Max Planck Research School for Infectious Diseases and Immunity, Berlin at the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology
    International Max Planck Research School for Language Sciences, Nijmegen
    International Max Planck Research School for Neurosciences, Göttingen
    International Max Planck Research School for Cognitive and Systems Neuroscience, Tübingen
    International Max Planck Research School for Marine Microbiology (MarMic), joint program of the MPG Institute for Marine Microbiology in Bremen, the University of Bremen (DE), the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in Bremerhaven, and the Jacobs University Bremen
    International Max Planck Research School for Maritime Affairs, Hamburg
    International Max Planck Research School for Molecular and Cellular Biology, Freiburg
    International Max Planck Research School for Molecular and Cellular Life Sciences, Munich[
    International Max Planck Research School for Molecular Biology, Göttingen
    International Max Planck Research School for Molecular Cell Biology and Bioengineering, Dresden
    International Max Planck Research School Molecular Biomedicine, program combined with the ‘Graduate Programm Cell Dynamics And Disease’ at the University of Münster (DE) and the MPG Institute for Molecular Biomedicine (DE)
    International Max Planck Research School on Multiscale Bio-Systems, Potsdam
    International Max Planck Research School for Organismal Biology, at the University of Konstanz (DE) and the MPG Institute for Ornithology (DE)
    International Max Planck Research School on Reactive Structure Analysis for Chemical Reactions (IMPRS RECHARGE), Mülheim an der Ruhr, at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Energy Conversion (DE)
    International Max Planck Research School for Science and Technology of Nano-Systems, Halle at MPG Institute of Microstructure Physics (DE)
    International Max Planck Research School for Solar System Science[49] at theUniversity of Göttingen – Georg-August-Universität Göttingen (DE) hosted by MPG Institute for Solar System Research [Max-Planck-Institut für Sonnensystemforschung] (DE)
    International Max Planck Research School for Astronomy and Astrophysics, Bonn, at the MPG Institute for Radio Astronomy [MPG Institut für Radioastronomie](DE) (formerly the International Max Planck Research School for Radio and Infrared Astronomy)
    International Max Planck Research School for the Social and Political Constitution of the Economy, Cologne
    International Max Planck Research School for Surface and Interface Engineering in Advanced Materials, Düsseldorf at MPG Institute for Iron Research [MPG Institut für Eisenforschung] (DE)
    International Max Planck Research School for Ultrafast Imaging and Structural Dynamics, Hamburg

    International Max Planck Research Schools
    Together with the Association of Universities and other Education Institutions in Germany, the Max Planck Society established numerous International Max Planck Research Schools (IMPRS) to promote junior scientists:
    Cologne Graduate School of Ageing Research, Cologne
    International Max Planck Research School for Intelligent Systems, at the MPG Institute for Intelligent Systems (DE) located in Tübingen and Stuttgart
    International Max Planck Research School on Adapting Behavior in a Fundamentally Uncertain World (Uncertainty School), at the Max Planck Institutes for Economics, for Human Development, and/or Research on Collective Goods
    International Max Planck Research School for Analysis, Design and Optimization in Chemical and Biochemical Process Engineering, Magdeburg
    International Max Planck Research School for Astronomy and Cosmic Physics, Heidelberg at the MPG for Astronomy
    International Max Planck Research School for Astrophysics, Garching at the MPG Institute for Astrophysics
    International Max Planck Research School for Complex Surfaces in Material Sciences, Berlin
    International Max Planck Research School for Computer Science, Saarbrücken
    International Max Planck Research School for Earth System Modeling, Hamburg
    International Max Planck Research School for Elementary Particle Physics, Munich, at the MPG Institute for Physics
    International Max Planck Research School for Environmental, Cellular and Molecular Microbiology, Marburg at the MPG Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology
    International Max Planck Research School for Evolutionary Biology, Plön at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology
    International Max Planck Research School “From Molecules to Organisms”, Tübingen at the MPG Institute for Developmental Biology
    International Max Planck Research School for Global Biogeochemical Cycles, Jena at the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry
    International Max Planck Research School on Gravitational Wave Astronomy, Hannover and Potsdam MPG Institute for Gravitational Physics
    International Max Planck Research School for Heart and Lung Research, Bad Nauheim at the MPG Institute for Heart and Lung Research
    International Max Planck Research School for Infectious Diseases and Immunity, Berlin at the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology
    International Max Planck Research School for Language Sciences, Nijmegen
    International Max Planck Research School for Neurosciences, Göttingen
    International Max Planck Research School for Cognitive and Systems Neuroscience, Tübingen
    International Max Planck Research School for Marine Microbiology (MarMic), joint program of the MPG Institute for Marine Microbiology in Bremen, the University of Bremen (DE), the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in Bremerhaven, and the Jacobs University Bremen
    International Max Planck Research School for Maritime Affairs, Hamburg
    International Max Planck Research School for Molecular and Cellular Biology, Freiburg
    International Max Planck Research School for Molecular and Cellular Life Sciences, Munich[
    International Max Planck Research School for Molecular Biology, Göttingen
    International Max Planck Research School for Molecular Cell Biology and Bioengineering, Dresden
    International Max Planck Research School Molecular Biomedicine, program combined with the ‘Graduate Programm Cell Dynamics And Disease’ at the University of Münster (DE) and the MPG Institute for Molecular Biomedicine (DE)
    International Max Planck Research School on Multiscale Bio-Systems, Potsdam
    International Max Planck Research School for Organismal Biology, at the University of Konstanz (DE) and the MPG Institute for Ornithology (DE)
    International Max Planck Research School on Reactive Structure Analysis for Chemical Reactions (IMPRS RECHARGE), Mülheim an der Ruhr, at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Energy Conversion (DE)
    International Max Planck Research School for Science and Technology of Nano-Systems, Halle at MPG Institute of Microstructure Physics (DE)
    International Max Planck Research School for Solar System Science[49] at theUniversity of Göttingen – Georg-August-Universität Göttingen (DE) hosted by MPG Institute for Solar System Research [Max-Planck-Institut für Sonnensystemforschung] (DE)
    International Max Planck Research School for Astronomy and Astrophysics, Bonn, at the MPG Institute for Radio Astronomy [MPG Institut für Radioastronomie](DE) (formerly the International Max Planck Research School for Radio and Infrared Astronomy)
    International Max Planck Research School for the Social and Political Constitution of the Economy, Cologne
    International Max Planck Research School for Surface and Interface Engineering in Advanced Materials, Düsseldorf at MPG Institute for Iron Research [MPG Institut für Eisenforschung] (DE)
    International Max Planck Research School for Ultrafast Imaging and Structural Dynamics, Hamburg

     
  • richardmitnick 8:47 am on December 15, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Stellar cocoon with organic molecules on the edge of our galaxy", , A newborn star (protostar) in the WB89-789 region., ALMA, , , , , ,   

    From Manu Garcia- a friend from IAC-Institute of Astrophysics of the Canaries[Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias](ES): “Stellar cocoon with organic molecules on the edge of our galaxy” 

    From Manu Garcia- a friend from IAC-Institute of Astrophysics of the Canaries[Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias](ES).

    The universe around us.
    Astronomy, everything you wanted to know about our local universe and never dared to ask.

    1
    Artist’s image of the protostar discovered at the outermost edge of the Galaxy. Credit: Niigata University [新潟大学](JP).

    12.15.21

    For the first time, a science team has detected a newborn star and the surrounding cocoon of complex organic molecules at the edge of our galaxy, which is known as the extreme outer galaxy. The discovery, which revealed the hidden chemical complexity of our Universe, appears in an article in The Astrophysical Journal.

    2
    Above: Radio spectrum of a protostar at the outer edge of the Galaxy discovered with ALMA. Bottom: Distributions of radio emissions from the protostar. Emissions of dust, formaldehyde (H2CO), ethynyl radical (CCH), carbon monosulfide (CS), sulfur monoxide (SO), silicon monoxide (SiO), acetonitrile (CH3CN), formamide (NH2CHO), propanonitrile (C2H5CN), Methyl formate (HCOOCH3), ethanol (C2H5OH), acetaldehyde (CH3CHO), deuterated water (HDO) and methanol (CH3OH) are shown as examples. In the lower right panel, a 2-color infrared composite image of the surrounding region is displayed (red: 2.16m and blue: 1.25m, based on 2MASS data). Credit: ALMA (ESO / NAOJ / NRAO), T. Shimonishi (Niigata University)


    Caltech 2MASS Telescopes Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics(US) Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory(US), located near Amado, Arizona on the slopes of Mount Hopkins, Altitude 2,606 m (8,550 ft) and at CTIO in Chile.

    Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory located near Amado, Arizona on the slopes of Mount Hopkins, Altitude 2,606 m (8,550 ft)

    European Southern Observatory/National Radio Astronomy Observatory(US)/National Astronomical Observatory of Japan(JP) ALMA Observatory (CL).

    The Atacama Large Millimeter / submillimeter Array (ALMA), an international astronomical facility, is a partnership between The European Southern Observatory [Observatoire européen austral][Europäische Südsternwarte](EU)(CL), The National Science Foundation (US), and The National Institutes of Natural Sciences [NINS] [自然科学研究機構] (JP). (NINS) in cooperation with the Republic of Chile. ALMA is funded by ESO on behalf of its member states, by NSF in cooperation with The National Research Council of Canada [Conseil national de recherches Canada] (CA) and The Ministry of Science and Technology[科技部](TW), and by NINS in cooperation with Academia Sinica ( AS) of Taiwan and The Korea Institute of Science and Technology [ 한국과학기술연구](KR).
    ===
    Scientists from the University of Niigata (Japan), The Academia Sinica Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics(TW) and The National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (JP), used the Atacama Large Millimeter / submillimeter Array (ALMA) in Chile [above] to observe a newborn star (protostar) in the WB89-789 region, located at the outermost edge of the galaxy. A variety of carbon, oxygen, nitrogen, sulfur and silicon carrier molecules were detected, including complex organic molecules containing up to nine atoms. Such a protostar, as well as the associated cocoon of chemically rich molecular gas, were first detected at the edge of our galaxy.

    The ALMA observations reveal that several types of complex organic molecules, such as methanol (CH3OH), ethanol (C2H5OH), methyl formate (HCOOCH3), dimethyl ether (CH3OCH3), formamide (NH2CHO), propanonitrile (C2H5CN), etc., are present even in the primordial environment of the extreme outer galaxy. These complex organic molecules potentially act as raw materials for larger prebiotic molecules.

    Interestingly, the relative abundance of complex organic molecules in this newly discovered object remarkably resembles what is found in similar objects in the interior of the galaxy. Observations suggest that complex organic molecules form with similar efficiency even at the edge of our galaxy, where the environment is very different from that in the solar neighborhood.

    The outer part of our galaxy is believed to still host a primordial environment that existed in the early age of galaxy formation. The environmental characteristics of the extreme outer galaxy, for example, low abundance of heavy elements, little or no disturbance of the galactic spiral arms, are very different from those seen in the current solar neighborhood. Due to its unique characteristics, the extreme outer galaxy is an excellent laboratory for studying star formation and the interstellar medium in the past galactic environment.

    “With ALMA we were able to see a star in formation and the surrounding molecular cocoon at the edge of our galaxy,” says Takashi Shimonishi, an astronomer at Niigata University, Japan, and lead author of the paper. ‘To our surprise, there are a variety of complex organic molecules that are abundant in the primordial environment of the extreme outer galaxy. The interstellar conditions to form chemical complexity could have persisted since the early history of the Universe, “adds Shimonishi.

    ‘These observations have revealed that complex organic molecules can be formed efficiently even in low metallicity environments such as the outermost regions of our galaxy. This finding provides an important piece of the puzzle for understanding how complex organic molecules form in the Universe, ”says Kenji Furuya, an astronomer at the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan and a co-author of the paper.

    However, it is not yet clear whether such chemical complexity is common in the outer part of the galaxy. Complex organic molecules are of special interest, because some of them are connected to prebiotic molecules formed in space. The team plans to observe a greater number of star-forming regions in the future and hopes to clarify whether chemically rich systems, as seen in our Solar System, are ubiquitous throughout the history of the Universe.

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    The Instituto de Astrofísica the headquarters, which is in La Laguna (Tenerife).

    Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos at La Palma (ES) at an altitude of 2400m.

    The seeing statistics at ORM make it the second-best location for optical and infrared astronomy in the Northern Hemisphere, after Mauna Kea Observatory Hawaii (US).

    Maunakea Observatories Hawai’i (US) altitude 4,213 m (13,822 ft).

    The site also has some of the most extensive astronomical facilities in the Northern Hemisphere; its fleet of telescopes includes the 10.4 m Gran Telescopio Canarias, the world’s largest single-aperture optical telescope as of July 2009, the William Herschel Telescope (second largest in Europe), and the adaptive optics corrected Swedish 1-m Solar Telescope.

    Gran Telescopio Canarias [Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias ](ES) sited on a volcanic peak 2,267 metres (7,438 ft) above sea level.

    Isaac Newton Group 4.2 meter William Herschel Telescope at Roque de los Muchachos Observatory on La Palma in the Canary Islands(ES), 2,396 m (7,861 ft).

    The Swedish 1m Solar Telescope SST at the Roque de los Muchachos observatory on La Palma Spain, Altitude 2,360 m (7,740 ft).

    The observatory was established in 1985, after 15 years of international work and cooperation of several countries with the Spanish island hosting many telescopes from Britain, The Netherlands, Spain, and other countries. The island provided better seeing conditions for the telescopes that had been moved to Herstmonceux by the Royal Greenwich Observatory, including the 98 inch aperture Isaac Newton Telescope (the largest reflector in Europe at that time). When it was moved to the island it was upgraded to a 100-inch (2.54 meter), and many even larger telescopes from various nations would be hosted there.

    Tiede Observatory, Tenerife, Canary Islands (ES)

    Teide Observatory [Observatorio del Teide], IAU code 954, is an astronomical observatory on Mount Teide at 2,390 metres (7,840 ft), located on Tenerife, Spain. It has been operated by the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias since its inauguration in 1964. It became one of the first major international observatories, attracting telescopes from different countries around the world because of the good astronomical seeing conditions. Later the emphasis for optical telescopes shifted more towards Roque de los Muchachos Observatory on La Palma.

     
  • richardmitnick 12:32 pm on December 4, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Exoplanets in Debris Disks", ALMA, , , , , , , , , The star HD 206893   

    From The Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (US): “Exoplanets in Debris Disks” 

    From The Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (US)

    12.03.21

    1
    An artist’s impression of a star’s dusty debris disk, thought to be produced when asteroids or other planetesimals collide and fragment. Astronomers studying the debris disk around the star HD 206893 have imaged a wide gap in the disk extending from about 50 to 185 au from the star. After modeling the system, they conclude it contains a 1.4 Jupiter-mass planet orbiting about 79 au from the central star.

    The National Astronomical Observatory of Japan[[国立天文台](JP)

    Debris disks around main-sequence stars are tenuous belts of dust thought to be produced when asteroids or other planetesimals collide and fragment. They are common: more than about a quarter of all main-sequence stars have debris disks and, since these disks can be hard to detect, it is likely that the fraction is even higher. Current instruments are only able to detect debris disks in systems that are at least an order of magnitude more luminous than the disk generated by the solar system’s Kuiper Belt (the region extending from the orbit of Neptune at about thirty astronomical units out to about fifty au).

    The dust in debris disks is worthy of study in its own right but also offers an opportunity to trace the properties of planetary systems. The largest dust grains (those as big as a millimeter), whose collective thermal emission is measured with telescopes like ALMA (Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array), are relatively unaffected by stellar winds or radiation pressure.

    European Southern Observatory/National Radio Astronomy Observatory(US)/National Astronomical Observatory of Japan(JP) ALMA Observatory (CL)

    Rather, their distribution reveals the effects of gravity and collisions. The “chaotic zone” is the extended region around a planet within which dust has no stable gravitational orbits, resulting in a gap whose width depends among other things on the planet’s mass. A planet in a debris disk can create such a gap, and measurements of the gap’s dimensions can thus be used to deduce the mass of the planet – a key exoplanet parameter that is otherwise difficult to obtain.

    CfA astronomers Sean Andrews and David Wilner were members of a team that used ALMA to study the known debris disk around the star HD 206893 about 135 light-years away from us. The star also has a brown dwarf binary companion orbiting at about 10au and whose mass is about 15-30 Jupiter-masses. The ALMA images spatially resolve the disk – it extends from about 50 -185 au – and the astronomers find evidence for a gap stretching from about 63 – 94 au. If the gap was carved by a single planet in a circular orbit, chaotic zone theory implies the planet should have a mass of about 1.4 Jupiter-masses and orbit at about 79 au. Future, higher resolution ALMA observations have the potential to help constrain the dynamical behavior of the brown dwarf as well as to improve the characterization of the inferred new planet.

    Science paper:
    The Astrophysical Journal

    See the full article here .


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings
    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.


    Stem Education Coalition

    The The Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (US) combines the resources and research facilities of the Harvard College Observatory(US) and the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory(US) under a single director to pursue studies of those basic physical processes that determine the nature and evolution of the universe. The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory(US) is a bureau of the Smithsonian Institution(US), founded in 1890. The Harvard College Observatory, founded in 1839, is a research institution of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Harvard University(US), and provides facilities and substantial other support for teaching activities of the Department of Astronomy.

    Founded in 1973 and headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the CfA leads a broad program of research in astronomy, astrophysics, Earth and space sciences, as well as science education. The CfA either leads or participates in the development and operations of more than fifteen ground- and space-based astronomical research observatories across the electromagnetic spectrum, including the forthcoming Giant Magellan Telescope(CL) and the Chandra X-ray Observatory(US), one of NASA’s Great Observatories.

    GMT Giant Magellan Telescope(CL) 21 meters, to be at the Carnegie Institution for Science’s(US) NSF (US) NOIRLab(US) NOAO(US) Las Campanas Observatory(CL) some 115 km (71 mi) north-northeast of La Serena, Chile, over 2,500 m (8,200 ft) high.

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration(US) Chandra X-ray telescope(US).

    Hosting more than 850 scientists, engineers, and support staff, the CfA is among the largest astronomical research institutes in the world. Its projects have included Nobel Prize-winning advances in cosmology and high energy astrophysics, the discovery of many exoplanets, and the first image of a black hole. The CfA also serves a major role in the global astrophysics research community: the CfA’s Astrophysics Data System(ADS)(US), for example, has been universally adopted as the world’s online database of astronomy and physics papers. Known for most of its history as the “Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics”, the CfA rebranded in 2018 to its current name in an effort to reflect its unique status as a joint collaboration between Harvard University and the Smithsonian Institution. The CfA’s current Director (since 2004) is Charles R. Alcock, who succeeds Irwin I. Shapiro (Director from 1982 to 2004) and George B. Field (Director from 1973 to 1982).

    The Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian is not formally an independent legal organization, but rather an institutional entity operated under a Memorandum of Understanding between Harvard University and the Smithsonian Institution. This collaboration was formalized on July 1, 1973, with the goal of coordinating the related research activities of the Harvard College Observatory (HCO) and the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) under the leadership of a single Director, and housed within the same complex of buildings on the Harvard campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The CfA’s history is therefore also that of the two fully independent organizations that comprise it. With a combined lifetime of more than 300 years, HCO and SAO have been host to major milestones in astronomical history that predate the CfA’s founding.

    History of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO)

    Samuel Pierpont Langley, the third Secretary of the Smithsonian, founded the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory on the south yard of the Smithsonian Castle (on the U.S. National Mall) on March 1,1890. The Astrophysical Observatory’s initial, primary purpose was to “record the amount and character of the Sun’s heat”. Charles Greeley Abbot was named SAO’s first director, and the observatory operated solar telescopes to take daily measurements of the Sun’s intensity in different regions of the optical electromagnetic spectrum. In doing so, the observatory enabled Abbot to make critical refinements to the Solar constant, as well as to serendipitously discover Solar variability. It is likely that SAO’s early history as a solar observatory was part of the inspiration behind the Smithsonian’s “sunburst” logo, designed in 1965 by Crimilda Pontes.

    In 1955, the scientific headquarters of SAO moved from Washington, D.C. to Cambridge, Massachusetts to affiliate with the Harvard College Observatory (HCO). Fred Lawrence Whipple, then the chairman of the Harvard Astronomy Department, was named the new director of SAO. The collaborative relationship between SAO and HCO therefore predates the official creation of the CfA by 18 years. SAO’s move to Harvard’s campus also resulted in a rapid expansion of its research program. Following the launch of Sputnik (the world’s first human-made satellite) in 1957, SAO accepted a national challenge to create a worldwide satellite-tracking network, collaborating with the United States Air Force on Project Space Track.

    With the creation of National Aeronautics and Space Administration(US) the following year and throughout the space race, SAO led major efforts in the development of orbiting observatories and large ground-based telescopes, laboratory and theoretical astrophysics, as well as the application of computers to astrophysical problems.

    History of Harvard College Observatory (HCO)

    Partly in response to renewed public interest in astronomy following the 1835 return of Halley’s Comet, the Harvard College Observatory was founded in 1839, when the Harvard Corporation appointed William Cranch Bond as an “Astronomical Observer to the University”. For its first four years of operation, the observatory was situated at the Dana-Palmer House (where Bond also resided) near Harvard Yard, and consisted of little more than three small telescopes and an astronomical clock. In his 1840 book recounting the history of the college, then Harvard President Josiah Quincy III noted that “…there is wanted a reflecting telescope equatorially mounted…”. This telescope, the 15-inch “Great Refractor”, opened seven years later (in 1847) at the top of Observatory Hill in Cambridge (where it still exists today, housed in the oldest of the CfA’s complex of buildings). The telescope was the largest in the United States from 1847 until 1867. William Bond and pioneer photographer John Adams Whipple used the Great Refractor to produce the first clear Daguerrotypes of the Moon (winning them an award at the 1851 Great Exhibition in London). Bond and his son, George Phillips Bond (the second Director of HCO), used it to discover Saturn’s 8th moon, Hyperion (which was also independently discovered by William Lassell).

    Under the directorship of Edward Charles Pickering from 1877 to 1919, the observatory became the world’s major producer of stellar spectra and magnitudes, established an observing station in Peru, and applied mass-production methods to the analysis of data. It was during this time that HCO became host to a series of major discoveries in astronomical history, powered by the Observatory’s so-called “Computers” (women hired by Pickering as skilled workers to process astronomical data). These “Computers” included Williamina Fleming; Annie Jump Cannon; Henrietta Swan Leavitt; Florence Cushman; and Antonia Maury, all widely recognized today as major figures in scientific history. Henrietta Swan Leavitt, for example, discovered the so-called period-luminosity relation for Classical Cepheid variable stars, establishing the first major “standard candle” with which to measure the distance to galaxies. Now called “Leavitt’s Law”, the discovery is regarded as one of the most foundational and important in the history of astronomy; astronomers like Edwin Hubble, for example, would later use Leavitt’s Law to establish that the Universe is expanding, the primary piece of evidence for the Big Bang model.

    Upon Pickering’s retirement in 1921, the Directorship of HCO fell to Harlow Shapley (a major participant in the so-called “Great Debate” of 1920). This era of the observatory was made famous by the work of Cecelia Payne-Gaposchkin, who became the first woman to earn a Ph.D. in astronomy from Radcliffe College (a short walk from the Observatory). Payne-Gapochkin’s 1925 thesis proposed that stars were composed primarily of hydrogen and helium, an idea thought ridiculous at the time. Between Shapley’s tenure and the formation of the CfA, the observatory was directed by Donald H. Menzel and then Leo Goldberg, both of whom maintained widely recognized programs in solar and stellar astrophysics. Menzel played a major role in encouraging the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory to move to Cambridge and collaborate more closely with HCO.

    Joint history as the Center for Astrophysics (CfA)

    The collaborative foundation for what would ultimately give rise to the Center for Astrophysics began with SAO’s move to Cambridge in 1955. Fred Whipple, who was already chair of the Harvard Astronomy Department (housed within HCO since 1931), was named SAO’s new director at the start of this new era; an early test of the model for a unified Directorship across HCO and SAO. The following 18 years would see the two independent entities merge ever closer together, operating effectively (but informally) as one large research center.

    This joint relationship was formalized as the new Harvard–Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics on July 1, 1973. George B. Field, then affiliated with UC Berkeley(US), was appointed as its first Director. That same year, a new astronomical journal, the CfA Preprint Series was created, and a CfA/SAO instrument flying aboard Skylab discovered coronal holes on the Sun. The founding of the CfA also coincided with the birth of X-ray astronomy as a new, major field that was largely dominated by CfA scientists in its early years. Riccardo Giacconi, regarded as the “father of X-ray astronomy”, founded the High Energy Astrophysics Division within the new CfA by moving most of his research group (then at American Sciences and Engineering) to SAO in 1973. That group would later go on to launch the Einstein Observatory (the first imaging X-ray telescope) in 1976, and ultimately lead the proposals and development of what would become the Chandra X-ray Observatory. Chandra, the second of NASA’s Great Observatories and still the most powerful X-ray telescope in history, continues operations today as part of the CfA’s Chandra X-ray Center. Giacconi would later win the 2002 Nobel Prize in Physics for his foundational work in X-ray astronomy.

    Shortly after the launch of the Einstein Observatory, the CfA’s Steven Weinberg won the 1979 Nobel Prize in Physics for his work on electroweak unification. The following decade saw the start of the landmark CfA Redshift Survey (the first attempt to map the large scale structure of the Universe), as well as the release of the Field Report, a highly influential Astronomy & Astrophysics Decadal Survey chaired by the outgoing CfA Director George Field. He would be replaced in 1982 by Irwin Shapiro, who during his tenure as Director (1982 to 2004) oversaw the expansion of the CfA’s observing facilities around the world.

    Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics(US) Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory(US) located near Amado, Arizona on the slopes of Mount Hopkins, Altitude 2,606 m (8,550 ft)

    European Space Agency [Agence spatiale européenne](EU)/National Aeronautics and Space Administration(US) SOHO satellite. Launched in 1995.

    National Aeronautics Space Agency(US) NASA Kepler Space Telescope (US)

    CfA-led discoveries throughout this period include canonical work on Supernova 1987A, the “CfA2 Great Wall” (then the largest known coherent structure in the Universe), the best-yet evidence for supermassive black holes, and the first convincing evidence for an extrasolar planet.

    The 1990s also saw the CfA unwittingly play a major role in the history of computer science and the internet: in 1990, SAO developed SAOImage, one of the world’s first X11-based applications made publicly available (its successor, DS9, remains the most widely used astronomical FITS image viewer worldwide). During this time, scientists at the CfA also began work on what would become the Astrophysics Data System (ADS), one of the world’s first online databases of research papers. By 1993, the ADS was running the first routine transatlantic queries between databases, a foundational aspect of the internet today.

    The CfA Today

    Research at the CfA

    Charles Alcock, known for a number of major works related to massive compact halo objects, was named the third director of the CfA in 2004. Today Alcock overseas one of the largest and most productive astronomical institutes in the world, with more than 850 staff and an annual budget in excess of $100M. The Harvard Department of Astronomy, housed within the CfA, maintains a continual complement of approximately 60 Ph.D. students, more than 100 postdoctoral researchers, and roughly 25 undergraduate majors in astronomy and astrophysics from Harvard College. SAO, meanwhile, hosts a long-running and highly rated REU Summer Intern program as well as many visiting graduate students. The CfA estimates that roughly 10% of the professional astrophysics community in the United States spent at least a portion of their career or education there.

    The CfA is either a lead or major partner in the operations of the Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory, the Submillimeter Array, MMT Observatory, the South Pole Telescope, VERITAS, and a number of other smaller ground-based telescopes. The CfA’s 2019-2024 Strategic Plan includes the construction of the Giant Magellan Telescope as a driving priority for the Center.

    CFA Harvard Smithsonian Submillimeter Array on MaunaKea, Hawaii, USA, Altitude 4,205 m (13,796 ft).

    South Pole Telescope SPTPOL. The SPT collaboration is made up of over a dozen (mostly North American) institutions, including The University of Chicago (US); The University of California Berkeley (US); Case Western Reserve University (US); Harvard/Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (US); The University of Colorado, Boulder; McGill(CA) University, The University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign;The University of California, Davis; Ludwig Maximilians Universität München(DE); DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory; and The National Institute for Standards and Technology. The University of California, Davis; Ludwig Maximilians Universität München(DE); DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory; and The National Institute for Standards and Technology. It is funded by the National Science Foundation(US).

    Along with the Chandra X-ray Observatory, the CfA plays a central role in a number of space-based observing facilities, including the recently launched Parker Solar Probe, Kepler Space Telescope, the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), and HINODE. The CfA, via the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, recently played a major role in the Lynx X-ray Observatory, a NASA-Funded Large Mission Concept Study commissioned as part of the 2020 Decadal Survey on Astronomy and Astrophysics (“Astro2020”). If launched, Lynx would be the most powerful X-ray observatory constructed to date, enabling order-of-magnitude advances in capability over Chandra.

    NASA Parker Solar Probe Plus named to honor Pioneering Physicist Eugene Parker.

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration(US)Solar Dynamics Observatory(US)

    Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) (国立研究開発法人宇宙航空研究開発機構] (JP)/National Aeronautics and Space Administration(US) HINODE spacecraft.

    SAO is one of the 13 stakeholder institutes for the Event Horizon Telescope Board, and the CfA hosts its Array Operations Center. In 2019, the project revealed the first direct image of a black hole.

    Messier 87*, The first image of the event horizon of a black hole. This is the supermassive black hole at the center of the galaxy Messier 87. Image via The Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration released on 10 April 2019 via National Science Foundation(US).

    The result is widely regarded as a triumph not only of observational radio astronomy, but of its intersection with theoretical astrophysics. Union of the observational and theoretical subfields of astrophysics has been a major focus of the CfA since its founding.

    In 2018, the CfA rebranded, changing its official name to the “Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian” in an effort to reflect its unique status as a joint collaboration between Harvard University and the Smithsonian Institution. Today, the CfA receives roughly 70% of its funding from NASA, 22% from Smithsonian federal funds, and 4% from the National Science Foundation. The remaining 4% comes from contributors including the United States Department of Energy, the Annenberg Foundation, as well as other gifts and endowments.

     
  • richardmitnick 5:50 pm on December 1, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Stellar Cocoon with Organic Molecules at the Edge of our Galaxy", ALMA, , , , , , ,   

    From ALMA Observatory (CL) : “Stellar Cocoon with Organic Molecules at the Edge of our Galaxy” 

    European Southern Observatory [Observatoire européen austral][Europäische Südsternwarte](EU)(CL)/National Radio Astronomy Observatory(US)/National Astronomical Observatory of Japan(JP)

    From ALMA Observatory (CL)

    1 December, 2021

    Nicolás Lira
    Education and Public Outreach Coordinator
    Joint ALMA Observatory, Santiago – Chile
    Phone: +56 2 2467 6519
    Cell phone: +56 9 9445 7726
    Email: nicolas.lira@alma.cl

    Masaaki Hiramatsu
    Education and Public Outreach Officer, NAOJ Chile
    Observatory
, Tokyo – Japan
    Phone: +81 422 34 3630
    Email: hiramatsu.masaaki@nao.ac.jp

    Bárbara Ferreira
    ESO Public Information Officer
    Garching bei München, Germany
    Phone: +49 89 3200 6670
    Email: pio@eso.org

    Amy C. Oliver
    Public Information & News Manager
    National Radio Astronomical Observatory (NRAO), USA
    Phone: +1 434 242 9584
    Email: aoliver@nrao.edu

    All general references:
    ALMA Observatory (CL)
    European Southern Observatory(EU)
    National Astronomical Observatory of Japan(JP)
    National Radio Astronomy Observatory(US)

    1
    Top: Radio spectrum of a protostar in the extreme outer Galaxy discovered with ALMA. Bottom: Distributions of radio emissions from the protostar. Emissions from dust, formaldehyde (H2CO), ethynylradical (CCH), carbon monosulfide (CS), sulfur monoxide (SO), silicon monoxide (SiO), acetonitrile (CH3CN), formamide (NH2CHO), propanenitrile (C2H5CN), methyl formate (HCOOCH3), ethanol (C2H5OH), acetaldehyde (CH3CHO), deuterated water (HDO), and methanol (CH3OH) are shown as examples. In the bottom right panel, an infrared 2-color composite image of the surrounding region is shown (red: 2.16 m and blue: 1.25 m, based on Caltech 2MASS(US) data). Credit: T. Shimonishi (Niigata University [新潟大学](JP)) ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO).

    2
    Artist’s conceptual image of the protostar discovered in the extreme outer Galaxy. Credit: Niigata University.

    For the first time, astronomers have detected a newborn star and the surrounding cocoon of complex organic molecules at the edge of our Galaxy, which is known as the extreme outer Galaxy.

    Credit: R. Hurt/NASA JPL-Caltech(US) Milky Way. The bar is visible in this image.

    The discovery, which revealed the hidden chemical complexity of our Universe, appears in a paper in The Astrophysical Journal.

    The scientists from Niigata University [新潟大学](JP), The Academia Sinica Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics (TW), and The National Astronomical Observatory of Japan [国立天文台](JP), used the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) in Chile to observe a newborn star (protostar) in the WB89-789 region, located in the extreme outer Galaxy. A variety of carbon-, oxygen-, nitrogen-, sulfur-, and silicon-bearing molecules, including complex organic molecules containing up to nine atoms, were detected. Such a protostar, as well as the associated cocoon of chemically-rich molecular gas, were for the first time detected at the edge of our Galaxy.

    The ALMA observations reveal that various kinds of complex organic molecules, such as methanol (CH3OH), ethanol (C2H5OH), methyl formate (HCOOCH3), dimethyl ether (CH3OCH3), formamide (NH2CHO), propanenitrile (C2H5CN), etc., are present even in the primordial environment of the extreme outer Galaxy. Such complex organic molecules potentially act as the feedstock for larger prebiotic molecules.

    Interestingly, the relative abundances of complex organic molecules in this newly discovered object resemble remarkably well what is found in similar objects in the inner Galaxy. The observations suggest that complex organic molecules are formed with similar efficiency even at the edge of our Galaxy, where the environment is very different from the solar neighborhood.

    It is believed that the outer part of our Galaxy still harbors a primordial environment that existed in the early epoch of galaxy formation. The environmental characteristics of the extreme outer Galaxy, e.g., low abundance of heavy elements, small or no perturbation from Galactic spiral arms, are very different from those seen in the present-day solar neighborhood. Because of its unique characteristics, the extreme outer Galaxy is an excellent laboratory to study star formation and the interstellar medium in the past Galactic environment.

    “With ALMA we were able to see a forming star and the surrounding molecular cocoon at the edge of our Galaxy,” says Takashi Shimonishi, an astronomer at Niigata University, Japan, and the paper’s lead author. “To our surprise, a variety of abundant complex organic molecules exists in the primordial environment of the extreme outer Galaxy. The interstellar conditions to form the chemical complexity might have persisted since the early history of the Universe,” Shimonishi adds.

    “These observations have revealed that complex organic molecules can be efficiently formed even in low-metallicity environments like the outermost regions of our Galaxy. This finding provides an important piece of the puzzle to understand how complex organic molecules are formed in the Universe,” says Kenji Furuya, an astronomer at the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, and the paper’s co-author.

    It is not yet clear, however, if such a chemical complexity is common in the outer part of the Galaxy. Complex organic molecules are of special interest, because some of them are connected to prebiotic molecules formed in space. The team is planning to observe a larger number of star-forming regions in the future, and hopes to clarify whether chemically-rich systems, as seen in our Solar System, are ubiquitous through the history of the Universe.

    Enumerated science team:

    Takashi Shimonishi,1, 2; Natsuko Izumi,3; Kenji Furuya,4; and Chikako Yasui,5.

    1. Center for Transdisciplinary Research, Niigata University, Ikarashi-ninocho 8050, Nishi-ku, Niigata, 950-2181, Japan.

    2. Environmental Science Program, Department of Science, Faculty of Science, Niigata University, Ikarashi-ninocho 8050, Nishi-ku, Niigata, 950-2181, Japan.
    3. Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Academia Sinica, No. 1, Section 4, Roosevelt Road, Taipei 10617, Taiwan.

    4. National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, Osawa 2-21-1, Mitaka, Tokyo 181-8588, Japan.

    5. National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, California Office, 100 W. Walnut St., Suite 300, Pasadena, CA 91124, US.

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA)(CL) , 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 European Southern Observatory(EU), on behalf of North America by the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO), which is managed by Associated Universities, Inc. (US) 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 Large

    ALMA is a time machine!

    ALMA-In Search of our Cosmic Origins

     
c
Compose new post
j
Next post/Next comment
k
Previous post/Previous comment
r
Reply
e
Edit
o
Show/Hide comments
t
Go to top
l
Go to login
h
Show/Hide help
shift + esc
Cancel
%d bloggers like this: