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  • richardmitnick 8:20 am on May 27, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Dragonfly telescope array housed in New Mexico,   

    From Dunlap Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics: “2008 – 2018: The Dunlap Institute Celebrates Ten Years of Astronomical Discovery” 

    Dunlap Institute bloc
    From Dunlap Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics

    At U Toronto

    May 24, 2018

    Chris Sasaki
    Communications Coordinator | Press Officer
    Dunlap Institute for Astronomy & Astrophysics
    University of Toronto
    http://www.dunlap.utoronto.ca
    p: 416-978-6613
    e: csasaki@dunlap.utoronto.ca
    http://www.discovertheuniverse.ca

    1

    In May 2018, the Dunlap Institute for Astronomy & Astrophysics at the University of Toronto celebrates ten years of innovation in astronomical technology and instrumentation, astronomical research, training the next generation of astronomers, and sharing the excitement of astronomy with the public.

    “The Dunlap Institute is strongly rooted in traditions associated with the Dunlap name,” says the U of T’s Prof. Peter Martin, who was instrumental in bringing the Institute to life in 2008. “The Institute has touched many, nationally and internationally, through its innovative and ambitious research, training, and education programs. What a wonderful start over the first decade.”

    In 2008, the Dunlap became the third member of the University’s astronomy group, which already included the Department of Astronomy & Astrophysics and the Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics (CITA). The Dunlap’s focus on astronomical technology and instrumentation complemented the existing expertise at U of T, thereby creating the leading centre for astronomical research in Canada, at the leading research university in the country. (The Centre for Planetary Sciences, U of T Scarborough, would become the fourth addition.)

    A Decade of Dunlap Institute Highlights Timeline

    Over the past decade, Dunlap scientists have been involved in developing innovative instruments that are now helping make discoveries on telescopes around the world. Many of those instruments are spectrographs, including the latest, the Wide Integral Field Infrared Spectrograph (WIFIS) which saw “first light” in late 2017.

    The research themes of the Institute have grown over the decade to encompass optical, infrared and radio instrumentation; data analysis; Dark Energy; large-scale structure in the Universe; the Cosmic Microwave Background; the interstellar medium; galaxy evolution; cosmic magnetism; and time-domain science.

    Today, Dunlap scientists play leading roles in Canadian and international collaborations which will be making ground-breaking discoveries for decades to come, including the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment (CHIME), the Dragonfly Telescope Array, the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST), the South Pole Telescope (SPT), and many others.

    CHIME Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment A partnership between the University of British Columbia McGill University, at the Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory in British Columbia

    U Toronto Dunlap Dragonfly telescope Array at its home at high-altitude observing location New Mexico Skies hosting facility

    SKA Square Kilometer Array

    LSST


    LSST Camera, built at SLAC



    LSST telescope, currently under construction on the El Peñón peak at Cerro Pachón Chile, a 2,682-meter-high mountain in Coquimbo Region, in northern Chile, alongside the existing Gemini South and Southern Astrophysical Research Telescopes.

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

    Dunlap scientists also lead two major initiatives which received funding in 2017. The Canadian Initiative for Radio Astronomy Data Analysis (CIRADA) will help astronomers make discoveries using the growing flood of data from next generation telescopes. And, the Gemini Infrared Multi-Object Spectrograph (GIRMOS) will target very distant galaxies to help in the study of their formation and evolution.

    Gemini InfraRed Multi-Object Spectrograph (GIRMOS) for TMT

    Since 2012, one of the Dunlap’s flagship initiatives has been the annual Introduction to Astronomical Instrumentation Summer School, the brainchild of the Dunlap’s first director, Prof. James Graham. With instructors from the Dunlap, U of T, and other Canadian, U.S. and international institutions, the school attracts hundreds of applications every year from students from around the world. Along with many other training and mentoring initiatives, the Summer School delivers on the Institute’s training mandate.

    To a growing number of non-scientists, the Dunlap Institute has meant a decade of exciting and inspiring public events. Over that period, the Dunlap has sparked a love of astronomy in tens of thousands through observing events to view the 2012 transit of the Venus, the 2015 Supermoon total lunar eclipse, and the 2017 solar eclipse. The public have also enjoyed connecting with U of T astronomers at events like the Dunlap’s Astronomy on Tap T.O. and at the Dunlap Prize Lecture in 2014 featuring Neil deGrasse Tyson.

    As well, the Dunlap recently partnered with Discover the Universe to provide training and resources—in both French and English—for Canadian teachers to help them teach astronomy to their students.

    “The first ten years of the Dunlap Institute were about figuring out what we want to do and then finding the right people to do it, “ says current Dunlap Director, Prof. Bryan Gaensler.

    “We now have a clear plan for the future and a superb team on board, and we’re ready to put our foot to the floor. Brace yourselves for an upcoming torrent of new discoveries and talented young researchers.”

    Since 2012, one of the Dunlap’s flagship initiatives has been the annual Introduction to Astronomical Instrumentation Summer School, the brainchild of the Dunlap’s first director, Prof. James Graham. With instructors from the Dunlap, U of T, and other Canadian, U.S. and international institutions, the school attracts hundreds of applications every year from students from around the world. Along with many other training and mentoring initiatives, the Summer School delivers on the Institute’s training mandate.

    To a growing number of non-scientists, the Dunlap Institute has meant a decade of exciting and inspiring public events. Over that period, the Dunlap has sparked a love of astronomy in tens of thousands through observing events to view the 2012 transit of the Venus, the 2015 Supermoon total lunar eclipse, and the 2017 solar eclipse. The public have also enjoyed connecting with U of T astronomers at events like the Dunlap’s Astronomy on Tap T.O. and at the Dunlap Prize Lecture in 2014 featuring Neil deGrasse Tyson.

    As well, the Dunlap recently partnered with Discover the Universe to provide training and resources—in both French and English—for Canadian teachers to help them teach astronomy to their students.

    “The first ten years of the Dunlap Institute were about figuring out what we want to do and then finding the right people to do it, “ says current Dunlap Director, Prof. Bryan Gaensler.

    “We now have a clear plan for the future and a superb team on board, and we’re ready to put our foot to the floor. Brace yourselves for an upcoming torrent of new discoveries and talented young researchers.”

    See the full article here .


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

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.
    stem
    Stem Education Coalition

    Dunlap Institute campus

    The Dunlap Institute is committed to sharing astronomical discovery with the public. Through lectures, the web, social and new media, an interactive planetarium, and major events like the Toronto Science Festival, we are helping to answer the public’s questions about the Universe.
    Our work is greatly enhanced through collaborations with the Department of Astronomy & Astrophysics, Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics, David Dunlap Observatory, Ontario Science Centre, Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, the Toronto Public Library, and many other partners.

     
  • richardmitnick 12:53 pm on March 28, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Dark Matter is a No Show in Ghostly Galaxy, , , , , Dragonfly telescope array housed in New Mexico, Gemini Multi Object Spectrograph (GMOS) on Gemini North on Hawai‘i’s Maunakea, , Keck DIEMOS on Keck 2, , , NGC1052-DF2,   

    From Gemini and Keck: “Dark Matter is a No Show in Ghostly Galaxy” 

    NOAO

    Gemini Observatory
    Gemini Observatory

    Keck Observatory, Maunakea, Hawaii, USA.4,207 m (13,802 ft) above sea level, with Subaru and IRTF (NASA Infrared Telescope Facility). Vadim Kurland


    Keck Observatory

    Science Contacts:

    Pieter van Dokkum
    Astronomy Department
    Yale University
    pieter.vandokkum@yale.edu
    Phone: 203-432-5048

    Shany Danieli
    Astronomy Department
    Yale University
    shany.danieli@yale.edu
    Phone: 857-919-3674

    Media Contacts:

    Mari-Ela Chock
    W.M. Keck Observatory
    mchock@keck.hawaii.edu
    Phone: 808-554-0567

    Jasmin Silva
    Gemini Observatory
    jsilva@gemini.edu
    Desk: 808 974-2575

    1
    Composite color image of NGC1052-DF2 constructed from observations using the Gemini Multi Object Spectrograph (GMOS) on Gemini North on Hawai‘i’s Maunakea. The ultra-diffuse galaxy was observed using deep imaging in two filters (g’ and i’). Image credit: Gemini Observatory/NSF/AURA/Keck/Jen Miller.

    GEMINI North GMOS

    2
    Left: The ultra-diffuse galaxy is swarming with globular clusters, which hold the key to understanding this mysterious object’s origin and mass.
    Right: A closer look at one of the globular clusters within the galaxy, which are all much brighter than typical, the brightest emitting almost as much light as the brightest within the Milky Way. The spectrum, obtained by Keck Observatory shows the absorption lines used to determine the velocity of this object. Ten clusters were observed, providing the information needed to determine the mass of the galaxy, revealing its lack of dark matter. Image credit: Gemini Observatory/NSF/AURA/Keck/Jen Miller/Joy Pollard.

    Astronomers using data from the Gemini and W. M. Keck Observatories in Hawai‘i have encountered a galaxy that appears to have almost no dark matter. Since the Universe is dominated by dark matter, and it is the foundation upon which galaxies are built, “…this is a game changer,” according to Principal Investigator Pieter van Dokkum of Yale University.

    Galaxies and dark matter go hand in hand; you typically don’t find one without the other. So when researchers uncovered a galaxy, known as NGC1052-DF2, that is almost completely devoid of the stuff, they were shocked.

    “Finding a galaxy without dark matter is unexpected because this invisible, mysterious substance is the most dominant aspect of any galaxy,” said lead author Pieter van Dokkum of Yale University. “For decades, we thought that galaxies start their lives as blobs of dark matter. After that everything else happens: gas falls into the dark matter halos, the gas turns into stars, they slowly build up, then you end up with galaxies like the Milky Way. NGC1052-DF2 challenges the standard ideas of how we think galaxies form.”

    The research, published in the March 29th issue of the journal Nature, amassed data from the Gemini North and W. M. Keck Observatories, both on Maunakea, Hawai‘i, the Hubble Space Telescope, and other telescopes around the world.

    NASA/ESA Hubble Telescope

    Given its large size and faint appearance, astronomers classify NGC1052-DF2 as an ultra-diffuse galaxy, a relatively new type of galaxy that was first discovered in 2015. Ultra-diffuse galaxies are surprisingly common. However, no other galaxy of this type yet-discovered is so lacking in dark matter.

    “NGC1052-DF2 is an oddity, even among this unusual class of galaxy,” said Shany Danieli, a Yale University graduate student on the team.

    To peer even deeper into this unique galaxy, the team used the Gemini Multi Object Spectrograph (GMOS) to capture detailed images of NGC1052-DF2, assess its structure, and confirm that the galaxy had no signs of interactions with other galaxies.

    “Without the Gemini images dissecting the galaxy’s morphology we would have lacked context for the rest of the data,” said Danieli. “Also, Gemini’s confirmation that NGC1052-DF2 is not currently interacting with another galaxy will help us answer questions about the conditions surrounding its birth.”

    Van Dokkum and his team first spotted NGC1052-DF2 with the Dragonfly Telephoto Array, a custom-built telescope in New Mexico that they designed to find these ghostly galaxies.

    U Toronta Dragon Fly Telescope Array housed in New Mexico

    NGC1052-DF2 stood out in stark contrast when comparisons were made between images from the Dragonfly Telephoto Array and the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS).

    SDSS Telescope at Apache Point Observatory, near Sunspot NM, USA, Altitude 2,788 meters (9,147 ft)

    The Dragonfly images show a faint “blob-like” object, while SDSS data reveal a collection of relatively bright point-like sources.

    In addition to the Gemini observations, to further assess this inconsistency the team dissected the light from several of the bright sources within NGC1052-DF2 using Keck’s Deep Imaging Multi-Object Spectrograph (DEIMOS) and Low-Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (LRIS), identifying 10 globular clusters. These clusters are large compact groups of stars that orbit the galactic core.

    Keck/DEIMOS on Keck 2

    Keck LRIS

    The spectral data obtained on the Keck telescopes revealed that the globular clusters were moving much slower than expected. The slower the objects in a system move, the less mass there is in that system. The team’s calculations show that all of the mass in the galaxy could be attributed to the mass of the stars, which means there is almost no dark matter in NGC1052-DF2.

    “If there is any dark matter at all, it’s very little,” van Dokkum explained. “The stars in the galaxy can account for all of the mass, and there doesn’t seem to be any room for dark matter.”

    The team’s results demonstrate that dark matter is separable from galaxies. “This discovery shows that dark matter is real – it has its own separate existence apart from other components of galaxies,” said van Dokkum.

    NGC1052-DF2’s globular clusters and atypical structure has perplexed astronomers aiming to determine the conditions this galaxy formed under.

    “It’s like you take a galaxy and you only have the stellar halo and globular clusters, and it somehow forgot to make everything else,” van Dokkum said. “There is no theory that predicted these types of galaxies. The galaxy is a complete mystery, as everything about it is strange. How you actually go about forming one of these things is completely unknown.”

    However, researchers do have some ideas. NGC1052-DF2 resides about 65 million light years away in a collection of galaxies that is dominated by the giant elliptical galaxy NGC 1052. Galaxy formation is turbulent and violent, and van Dokkum suggests that the growth of the fledgling massive galaxy billions of years ago perhaps played a role in NGC1052-DF2’s dark-matter deficiency.

    Another idea is that a cataclysmic event within the oddball galaxy, such as the birth of myriad massive stars, swept out all the gas and dark matter, halting star formation.

    These possibilities are speculative, however, and don’t explain all of the characteristics of the observed galaxy, the researchers add.

    The team continues the hunt for more dark-matter-deficient galaxies. They are analyzing Hubble images of 23 other diffuse galaxies. Three of them appear to share similarities with NGC1052-DF2, which van Dokkum plans to follow up on in the coming months at Keck Observatory.

    “Every galaxy we knew about before has dark matter, and they all fall in familiar categories like spiral or elliptical galaxies,” van Dokkum said. “But what would you get if there were no dark matter at all? Maybe this is what you would get.”

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    STEM Icon

    Stem Education Coalition

    The W. M. Keck Observatory operates the largest, most scientifically productive telescopes on Earth. The two, 10-meter optical/infrared telescopes on the summit of Mauna Kea on the Island of Hawaii feature a suite of advanced instruments including imagers, multi-object spectrographs, high-resolution spectrographs, integral-field spectrometer and world-leading laser guide star adaptive optics systems. Keck Observatory is a private 501(c) 3 non-profit organization and a scientific partnership of the California Institute of Technology, the University of California and NASA.

    Today Keck Observatory is supported by both public funding sources and private philanthropy. As a 501(c)3, the organization is managed by the California Association for Research in Astronomy (CARA), whose Board of Directors includes representatives from the California Institute of Technology and the University of California, with liaisons to the board from NASA and the Keck Foundation.


    Keck UCal

    Gemini/North telescope at Maunakea, Hawaii, USA,4,207 m (13,802 ft) above sea level

    Gemini South telescope, Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO) campus near La Serena, Chile, at an altitude of 7200 feet

    AURA Icon

    Gemini’s mission is to advance our knowledge of the Universe by providing the international Gemini Community with forefront access to the entire sky.

    The Gemini Observatory is an international collaboration with two identical 8-meter telescopes. The Frederick C. Gillett Gemini Telescope is located on Mauna Kea, Hawai’i (Gemini North) and the other telescope on Cerro Pachón in central Chile (Gemini South); together the twin telescopes provide full coverage over both hemispheres of the sky. The telescopes incorporate technologies that allow large, relatively thin mirrors, under active control, to collect and focus both visible and infrared radiation from space.

    The Gemini Observatory provides the astronomical communities in six partner countries with state-of-the-art astronomical facilities that allocate observing time in proportion to each country’s contribution. In addition to financial support, each country also contributes significant scientific and technical resources. The national research agencies that form the Gemini partnership include: the US National Science Foundation (NSF), the Canadian National Research Council (NRC), the Chilean Comisión Nacional de Investigación Cientifica y Tecnológica (CONICYT), the Australian Research Council (ARC), the Argentinean Ministerio de Ciencia, Tecnología e Innovación Productiva, and the Brazilian Ministério da Ciência, Tecnologia e Inovação. The observatory is managed by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc. (AURA) under a cooperative agreement with the NSF. The NSF also serves as the executive agency for the international partnership.

     
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