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  • richardmitnick 3:17 pm on April 16, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , ESO APEX,   

    From ESO: “Close look at the ATLASGAL image of the plane of the Milky Way” Video 

    ESO 50 Large

    European Southern Observatory


    Access mp4 video here .
    Credit: ESO/APEX/ATLASGAL consortium/NASA/GLIMPSE consortium/ESA/Planck. Music: Johan B. Monell (www.johanmonell.com)

    This video takes a close look at a new image of the Milky Way released to mark the completion of the APEX Telescope Large Area Survey of the Galaxy (ATLASGAL). The APEX telescope in Chile has mapped the full area of the Galactic Plane visible from the southern hemisphere for the first time at submillimetre wavelengths — between infrared light and radio waves — and in finer detail than recent space-based surveys.

    The APEX data, at a wavelength of 0.87 millimetres, shows up in red and the background blue image was imaged at shorter infrared wavelengths by the NASA Spitzer Space Telescope as part of the GLIMPSE survey.

    NASA/Spitzer Telescope
    NASA/Spitzer Telescope

    The fainter extended red structures come from complementary observations made by ESA’s Planck satellite.
    ESA/Planck
    ESA/Planck

    See the full article here .

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    ESO is the foremost intergovernmental astronomy organisation in Europe and the world’s most productive ground-based astronomical observatory by far. It is supported by 16 countries: Austria, Belgium, Brazil, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, along with the host state of Chile. ESO carries out an ambitious programme focused on the design, construction and operation of powerful ground-based observing facilities enabling astronomers to make important scientific discoveries. ESO also plays a leading role in promoting and organising cooperation in astronomical research. ESO operates three unique world-class observing sites in Chile: La Silla, Paranal and Chajnantor. At Paranal, ESO operates the Very Large Telescope, the world’s most advanced visible-light astronomical observatory and two survey telescopes. VISTA works in the infrared and is the world’s largest survey telescope and the VLT Survey Telescope is the largest telescope designed to exclusively survey the skies in visible light. ESO is a major partner in ALMA, the largest astronomical project in existence. And on Cerro Armazones, close to Paranal, ESO is building the 39-metre European Extremely Large Telescope, the E-ELT, which will become “the world’s biggest eye on the sky”.

    ESO LaSilla
    LaSilla

    ESO VLT
    VLT

    ESO Vista Telescope
    VISTA

    ESO NTT
    NTT

    ESO VLT Survey telescope
    VLT Survey Telescope

    ALMA Array
    ALMA

    ESO E-ELT
    E-ELT

    ESO APEX
    Atacama Pathfinder Experiment (APEX) Telescope

     
  • richardmitnick 6:55 am on February 24, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ATLASGAL Survey, , ESO APEX   

    From ESO: “ATLASGAL Survey of Milky Way Completed” 

    ESO 50 Large

    European Southern Observatory

    24 February 2016
    Carlos De Breuck
    ESO APEX Programme Scientist
    Garching bei München, Germany
    Tel: +49 89 3200 6613
    Email: cdebreuc@eso.org

    Frederic Schuller
    ATLASGAL Principal Investigator – Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy
    Bonn, Germany
    Email: fschulle@apex-telescope.org

    Friedrich Wyrowski
    APEX Project Scientist – Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy
    Bonn, Germany
    Tel: +49 228 525 383
    Email: fwyrowski@mpifr-bonn.mpg.de

    Norbert Junkes
    Press and Public Outreach – Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy
    Bonn, Germany
    Tel: +49 228 525 399
    Email: njunkes@mpifr-bonn.mpg.de

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

    ESO APEX Telescope ATLASGAL Large Area Survey of the Galaxy

    A spectacular new image of the Milky Way has been released to mark the completion of the APEX Telescope Large Area Survey of the Galaxy (ATLASGAL). The APEX telescope in Chile has mapped the full area of the Galactic Plane visible from the southern hemisphere for the first time at submillimetre wavelengths — between infrared light and radio waves — and in finer detail than recent space-based surveys. The pioneering 12-metre APEX telescope allows astronomers to study the cold Universe: gas and dust only a few tens of degrees above absolute zero.

    APEX, the Atacama Pathfinder EXperiment telescope, is located at 5100 metres above sea level on the Chajnantor Plateau in Chile’s Atacama region. The ATLASGAL survey took advantage of the unique characteristics of the telescope to provide a detailed view of the distribution of cold dense gas along the plane of the Milky Way galaxy [1]. The new image includes most of the regions of star formation in the southern Milky Way [2].

    The new ATLASGAL maps cover an area of sky 140 degrees long and 3 degrees wide, more than four times larger than the first ATLASGAL release [3]. The new maps are also of higher quality, as some areas were re-observed to obtain a more uniform data quality over the whole survey area.

    The ATLASGAL survey is the single most successful APEX large programme with nearly 70 associated science papers already published, and its legacy will expand much further with all the reduced data products now available to the full astronomical community [4].

    At the heart of APEX are its sensitive instruments. One of these, LABOCA (the LArge BOlometer Camera) was used for the ATLASGAL survey.

    ESO LABOCA
    ESO/LABOCA

    LABOCA measures incoming radiation by registering the tiny rise in temperature it causes on its detectors and can detect emission from the cold dark dust bands obscuring the stellar light.

    The new release of ATLASGAL complements observations from ESA’s Planck satellite [5].

    ESA Planck
    ESA/Planck

    The combination of the Planck and APEX data allowed astronomers to detect emission spread over a larger area of sky and to estimate from it the fraction of dense gas in the inner Galaxy. The ATLASGAL data were also used to create a complete census of cold and massive clouds where new generations of stars are forming.

    “ATLASGAL provides exciting insights into where the next generation of high-mass stars and clusters form. By combining these with observations from Planck, we can now obtain a link to the large-scale structures of giant molecular clouds,” remarks Timea Csengeri from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy (MPIfR), Bonn, Germany, who led the work of combining the APEX and Planck data.

    The APEX telescope recently celebrated ten years of successful research on the cold Universe. It plays an important role not only as pathfinder, but also as a complementary facility to ALMA, the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array, which is also located on the Chajnantor Plateau. APEX is based on a prototype antenna constructed for the ALMA project, and it has found many targets that ALMA can study in great detail.

    Leonardo Testi from ESO, who is a member of the ATLASGAL team and the European Project Scientist for the ALMA project, concludes: “ATLASGAL has allowed us to have a new and transformational look at the dense interstellar medium of our own galaxy, the Milky Way. The new release of the full survey opens up the possibility to mine this marvellous dataset for new discoveries. Many teams of scientists are already using the ATLASGAL data to plan for detailed ALMA follow-up.”
    Notes

    [1] The map was constructed from individual APEX observations of radiation with a wavelength of 870 µm (0.87 millimetres).

    [2] The northern part of the Milky Way had already been mapped by the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope (JCMT) and other telescopes, but the southern sky is particularly important as it includes the Galactic Centre, and because it is accessible for detailed follow-up observations with ALMA.

    James Clerk Maxwell Telescope
    James Clerk Maxwell Telescope interior
    JCMT

    [3] The first data release covered an area of approximately 95 square degrees, a very long and narrow strip along the Galactic Plane two degrees wide and over 40 degrees long. The final maps now cover 420 square degrees, more than four times larger.

    [4] The data products are available through the ESO archive.

    [5] The Planck data cover the full sky, but with poor spatial resolution. ATLASGAL covers only the Galactic plane, but with high angular resolution. Combining both provides excellent spatial dynamic range.

    More information

    ATLASGAL is a collaboration between the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy (MPIfR), the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy (MPIA), ESO, and the University of Chile.

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

    ALMA is a partnership of the ESO, the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) [NRAO] and the National Institutes of Natural Sciences (NINS) of Japan [NAOJ] 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 (NRC) and the National Science Council of Taiwan (NSC) and by NINS in cooperation with the Academia Sinica (AS) in Taiwan and the Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute (KASI).

    See the full article here .

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    ESO is the foremost intergovernmental astronomy organisation in Europe and the world’s most productive ground-based astronomical observatory by far. It is supported by 16 countries: Austria, Belgium, Brazil, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, along with the host state of Chile. ESO carries out an ambitious programme focused on the design, construction and operation of powerful ground-based observing facilities enabling astronomers to make important scientific discoveries. ESO also plays a leading role in promoting and organising cooperation in astronomical research. ESO operates three unique world-class observing sites in Chile: La Silla, Paranal and Chajnantor. At Paranal, ESO operates the Very Large Telescope, the world’s most advanced visible-light astronomical observatory and two survey telescopes. VISTA works in the infrared and is the world’s largest survey telescope and the VLT Survey Telescope is the largest telescope designed to exclusively survey the skies in visible light. ESO is a major partner in ALMA, the largest astronomical project in existence. And on Cerro Armazones, close to Paranal, ESO is building the 39-metre European Extremely Large Telescope, the E-ELT, which will become “the world’s biggest eye on the sky”.

    ESO LaSilla
    LaSilla

    ESO VLT
    VLT

    ESO Vista Telescope
    VISTA

    ESO NTT
    NTT

    ESO VLT Survey telescope
    VLT Survey Telescope

    ALMA Array
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    ESO E-ELT
    E-ELT

    ESO APEX
    Atacama Pathfinder Experiment (APEX) Telescope

     
  • richardmitnick 7:22 am on November 5, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , ESO APEX, SEPIA   

    From ESO: “First Observations from SEPIA” 


    European Southern Observatory

    4 November 2015
    Carlos De Breuck
    ESO APEX Programme Scientist
    Garching bei München, Germany
    Tel: +49 89 3200 6613
    Email: cdebreuc@eso.org

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

    New APEX instrument for finding water in the Universe

    1

    A new instrument attached to the 12-metre Atacama Pathfinder Experiment (APEX) telescope at 5000 metres above sea level in the Chilean Andes is opening up a previously unexplored window on the Universe. The Swedish–ESO PI receiver for APEX (SEPIA) will detect the faint signals from water and other molecules within the Milky Way, other nearby galaxies and the early Universe.

    ESO APEX SEPIA
    SEPIA

    Installed on APEX earlier this year, SEPIA [1] is sensitive to light with wavelengths in the range 1.4–1.9 millimetres [2]. The exceptional observing conditions on the extremely dry Chajnantor Plateau in northern Chile mean that, although this light is blocked by water vapour in the atmosphere at most places on Earth, SEPIA is still able to detect the faint signals coming from space.

    This wavelength region is of great interest to astronomers as signals from water in space are found here. Water is an important indicator of many astrophysical processes, including the formation of stars, and is believed to play an important role in the origin of life. Studying water in space — in molecular clouds, in star-forming regions and even in comets within the Solar System — is expected to provide critical clues to the role of water in the Milky Way and in the history of the Earth. In addition, SEPIA’s sensitivity makes it a powerful tool for also detecting carbon monoxide and ionised carbon in galaxies in the early Universe.

    The new SEPIA receiver has been used to make test astronomical observations at APEX during 2015. Identical receivers are being installed in the ALMA antennas. Results from the new detector on APEX have shown it to be working well. With this validation, SEPIA is being made available to the wider scientific community. Observations with SEPIA can now be proposed by astronomers in the community.

    “The first measurements with SEPIA on APEX show that we really are opening up a new window, including looking at water in interstellar space — SEPIA will give astronomers a chance to search for objects that can be followed up at higher spatial resolution when the same receiver becomes operational on the ALMA array,” says John Conway, director of Onsala Space Observatory, Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden.

    Just as dark skies are essential to see faint objects in visible light, a very dry atmosphere is needed to pick up the signals from water in the cosmos at longer wavelengths. But dry conditions are not the only requirement, the detectors need to be cooled to a very low temperature of –269 degrees Celsius — just 4 degrees above absolute zero — for them to work. Recent technological advancements have only now made these detectors possible and practical.

    APEX, which is a collaboration between the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy (MPIfR), the Onsala Space Observatory (OSO) and ESO, is the largest single-dish submillimetre telescope operating in the southern hemisphere and is based on a prototype antenna constructed for the ALMA project.
    Notes

    [1] SEPIA stands for “Swedish ESO PI receiver for APEX”. SEPIA was designed and built by Onsala Space Observatory’s Group for Advanced Receiver Development (GARD) at Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden, and supported by ESO. SEPIA has room for three receivers and currently one receiver is in position. The receiver cartridge was originally developed and tested for ALMA Band 5 as part of a project under the European Commission supported Framework Programme FP6 (ALMA Enhancement). ESO delivered the local oscillator source and the room temperature electronics were produced by NRAO. (ann15059).

    Sepia is also a colour with a close connection to water. The reddish-brown shade, characteristic of pigment collected from the cuttlefish of genus Sepia (found in the waters of both Sweden and Chile), has been used in ink since ancient times and sepia toning is a well-known way of giving photographic prints a longer life.

    [2] Frequencies between 158 and 211 GHz.

    More information

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

    ALMA is a partnership of ESO (representing its Member States), NSF (USA) and NINS (Japan), together with NRC (Canada), NSC and ASIAA (Taiwan), and KASI (South Korea), in cooperation with the Republic of Chile. The Joint ALMA Observatory is operated by ESO, AUI/NRAO and NAOJ.

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.
    STEM Icon

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    ESO is the foremost intergovernmental astronomy organisation in Europe and the world’s most productive ground-based astronomical observatory by far. It is supported by 16 countries: Austria, Belgium, Brazil, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, along with the host state of Chile. ESO carries out an ambitious programme focused on the design, construction and operation of powerful ground-based observing facilities enabling astronomers to make important scientific discoveries. ESO also plays a leading role in promoting and organising cooperation in astronomical research. ESO operates three unique world-class observing sites in Chile: La Silla, Paranal and Chajnantor. At Paranal, ESO operates the Very Large Telescope, the world’s most advanced visible-light astronomical observatory and two survey telescopes. VISTA works in the infrared and is the world’s largest survey telescope and the VLT Survey Telescope is the largest telescope designed to exclusively survey the skies in visible light. ESO is a major partner in ALMA, the largest astronomical project in existence. And on Cerro Armazones, close to Paranal, ESO is building the 39-metre European Extremely Large Telescope, the E-ELT, which will become “the world’s biggest eye on the sky”.

    ESO LaSilla
    LaSilla

    ESO VLT Interferometer
    VLT

    ESO Vista Telescope
    VISTA

    ESO VLT Survey telescope
    VLT Survey Telescope

    ALMA Array
    ALMA

    ESO E-ELT
    E-ELT

    ESO APEX
    Atacama Pathfinder Experiment (APEX) Telescope

     
  • richardmitnick 12:21 pm on March 23, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , ESO APEX   

    From ESO: “Colliding Stars Explain Enigmatic Seventeenth Century Explosion” 


    European Southern Observatory

    23 March 2015

    Tomasz Kamiński
    ESO / Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie
    Santiago / Bonn, Chile / Germany
    Tel: +56 02 2463 3277
    Email: tkaminsk@eso.org

    Karl Menten
    Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie
    Bonn, Germany
    Tel: +49 228 525 297
    Email: kmenten@mpifr-bonn.mpg.de

    Romuald Tylenda
    Nicolaus Copernicus Astronomical Centre
    Toruń, Poland
    Tel: +48 56 6219319 ext. 11
    Cell: +48 600 286 131
    Email: tylenda@ncac.torun.pl

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

    APEX observations help unravel mystery of Nova Vulpeculae 1670

    Temp 0

    New observations made with APEX and other telescopes reveal that the star that European astronomers saw appear in the sky in 1670 was not a nova, but a much rarer, violent breed of stellar collision.

    ESO APEX
    Atacama Pathfinder Experiment (APEX) Telescope

    It was spectacular enough to be easily seen with the naked eye during its first outburst, but the traces it left were so faint that very careful analysis using submillimetre telescopes was needed before the mystery could finally be unravelled more than 340 years later. The results appear online in the journal Nature on 23 March 2015.

    Some of seventeenth century’s greatest astronomers, including Hevelius — the father of lunar cartography — and Cassini, carefully documented the appearance of a new star in the skies in 1670. Hevelius described it as nova sub capite Cygni — a new star below the head of the Swan — but astronomers now know it by the name Nova Vulpeculae 1670 [1]. Historical accounts of novae are rare and of great interest to modern astronomers. Nova Vul 1670 is claimed to be both the oldest recorded nova and the faintest nova when later recovered.

    The lead author of the new study, Tomasz Kamiński (ESO and the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy, Bonn, Germany) explains: “For many years this object was thought to be a nova, but the more it was studied the less it looked like an ordinary nova — or indeed any other kind of exploding star.”

    When it first appeared, Nova Vul 1670 was easily visible with the naked eye and varied in brightness over the course of two years. It then disappeared and reappeared twice before vanishing for good. Although well documented for its time, the intrepid astronomers of the day lacked the equipment needed to solve the riddle of the apparent nova’s peculiar performance.

    During the twentieth century, astronomers came to understand that most novae could be explained by the runaway explosive behaviour of close binary stars. But Nova Vul 1670 did not fit this model well at all and remained a mystery.

    Even with ever-increasing telescopic power, the event was believed for a long time to have left no trace, and it was not until the 1980s that a team of astronomers detected a faint nebula surrounding the suspected location of what was left of the star. While these observations offered a tantalising link to the sighting of 1670, they failed to shed any new light on the true nature of the event witnessed over the skies of Europe over three hundred years ago.

    Tomasz Kamiński continues the story: “We have now probed the area with submillimetre and radio wavelengths. We have found that the surroundings of the remnant are bathed in a cool gas rich in molecules, with a very unusual chemical composition.”

    As well as APEX, the team also used the Submillimeter Array (SMA) and the Effelsberg radio telescope to discover the chemical composition and measure the ratios of different isotopes in the gas. Together, this created an extremely detailed account of the makeup of the area, which allowed an evaluation of where this material might have come from.

    SMA Submillimeter Array
    SMA

    Effelsberg Radio Telescope

    What the team discovered was that the mass of the cool material was too great to be the product of a nova explosion, and in addition the isotope ratios the team measured around Nova Vul 1670 were different to those expected from a nova. But if it wasn’t a nova, then what was it?

    The answer is a spectacular collision between two stars, more brilliant than a nova, but less so than a supernova, which produces something called a red transient. These are a very rare events in which stars explode due to a merger with another star, spewing material from the stellar interiors into space, eventually leaving behind only a faint remnant embedded in a cool environment, rich in molecules and dust. This newly recognised class of eruptive stars fits the profile of Nova Vul 1670 almost exactly.

    Co-author Karl Menten (Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy, Bonn, Germany) concludes: “This kind of discovery is the most fun: something that is completely unexpected!”

    Notes

    [1] This object lies within the boundaries of the modern constellation of Vulpecula (The Fox), just across the border from Cygnus (The Swan). It is also often referred to as Nova Vul 1670 and CK Vulpeculae, its designation as a variable star.
    More information

    This research was presented in a paper entitled Nuclear ashes and outflow in the oldest known eruptive star Nova Vul 1670 by T. Kamiński et al., to appear online in the journal Nature on 23 March 2015.

    The team is composed of Tomasz Kamiński (ESO, Santiago, Chile; Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy, Bonn, Germany [MPIfR]), Karl M. Menten (MPIfR), Romuald Tylenda (N. Copernicus Astronomical Center, Toruń, Poland), Marcin Hajduk (N. Copernicus Astronomical Center), Nimesh A. Patel (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA) and Alexander Kraus (MPIfR).

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

    See the full article here.

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.
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    ESO Main

    ESO is the foremost intergovernmental astronomy organisation in Europe and the world’s most productive ground-based astronomical observatory by far. It is supported by 16 countries: Austria, Belgium, Brazil, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, along with the host state of Chile. ESO carries out an ambitious programme focused on the design, construction and operation of powerful ground-based observing facilities enabling astronomers to make important scientific discoveries. ESO also plays a leading role in promoting and organising cooperation in astronomical research. ESO operates three unique world-class observing sites in Chile: La Silla, Paranal and Chajnantor. At Paranal, ESO operates the Very Large Telescope, the world’s most advanced visible-light astronomical observatory and two survey telescopes. VISTA works in the infrared and is the world’s largest survey telescope and the VLT Survey Telescope is the largest telescope designed to exclusively survey the skies in visible light. ESO is a major partner in ALMA, the largest astronomical project in existence. And on Cerro Armazones, close to Paranal, ESO is building the 39-metre European Extremely Large Telescope, the E-ELT, which will become “the world’s biggest eye on the sky”.

    ESO LaSilla
    LaSilla

    ESO VLT Interferometer
    VLT

    ESO Vista Telescope
    VISTA

    ESO VLT Survey telescope
    VLT Survey Telescope

    ALMA Array
    ALMA

    ESO E-ELT
    E-ELT

    ESO APEX
    Atacama Pathfinder Experiment (APEX) Telescope

     
  • richardmitnick 9:04 am on March 10, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , ESO APEX   

    From ESO: “Astronomer’s new guide to the galaxy: largest map of cold dust revealed” 


    European Southern Observatory

    1 July 2009
    Frederic Schuller
    Max-Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy
    Garching, Germany
    Tel: +49 228 525 126
    Email: schuller@mpifr-bonn.mpg.de

    Leonardo Testi
    ESO
    Garching, Germany
    Tel: +49 89 3200 6541
    Email: ltesti@eso.org

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

    1

    Astronomers have unveiled an unprecedented new atlas of the inner regions of the Milky Way, our home galaxy, peppered with thousands of previously undiscovered dense knots of cold cosmic dust — the potential birthplaces of new stars. Made using observations from the APEX telescope in Chile, this survey is the largest map of cold dust so far, and will prove an invaluable map for observations made with the forthcoming ALMA telescope, as well as the recently launched ESA Herschel space telescope.

    ESO APEX
    ESO/APEX

    ALMA Array
    ALMA

    ESA Herschel
    Herschel

    This new guide for astronomers, known as the APEX Telescope Large Area Survey of the Galaxy (ATLASGAL) shows the Milky Way in submillimetre-wavelength light (between infrared light and radio waves [1]). Images of the cosmos at these wavelengths are vital for studying the birthplaces of new stars and the structure of the crowded galactic core.

    “ATLASGAL gives us a new look at the Milky Way. Not only will it help us investigate how massive stars form, but it will also give us an overview of the larger-scale structure of our galaxy”, said Frederic Schuller from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy, leader of the ATLASGAL team.

    The area of the new submillimetre map is approximately 95 square degrees, covering a very long and narrow strip along the galactic plane two degrees wide (four times the width of the full Moon) and over 40 degrees long. The 16 000 pixel-long map was made with the LABOCA submillimetre-wave camera on the ESO-operated APEX telescope. APEX is located at an altitude of 5100 m on the arid plateau of Chajnantor in the Chilean Andes — a site that allows optimal viewing in the submillimetre range. The Universe is relatively unexplored at submillimetre wavelengths, as extremely dry atmospheric conditions and advanced detector technology are required for such observations.

    The interstellar medium — the material between the stars — is composed of gas and grains of cosmic dust, rather like fine sand or soot. However, the gas is mostly hydrogen and relatively difficult to detect, so astronomers often search for these dense regions by looking for the faint heat glow of the cosmic dust grains.

    Submillimetre light allows astronomers to see these dust clouds shining, even though they obscure our view of the Universe at visible light wavelengths. Accordingly, the ATLASGAL map includes the denser central regions of our galaxy, in the direction of the constellation of Sagittarius — home to a supermassive black hole (eso0846) — that are otherwise hidden behind a dark shroud of dust clouds.

    The newly released map also reveals thousands of dense dust clumps, many never seen before, which mark the future birthplaces of massive stars. The clumps are typically a couple of light-years in size, and have masses of between ten and a few thousand times the mass of our Sun. In addition, ATLASGAL has captured images of beautiful filamentary structures and bubbles in the interstellar medium, blown by supernovae and the winds of bright stars.

    Some striking highlights of the map include the centre of the Milky Way, the nearby massive and dense cloud of molecular gas called Sagittarius B2, and a bubble of expanding gas called RCW120, where the interstellar medium around the bubble is collapsing and forming new stars (see eso0840).

    “It’s exciting to get our first look at ATLASGAL, and we will be increasing the size of the map over the next year to cover all of the galactic plane visible from the APEX site on Chajnantor, as well as combining it with infrared observations to be made by the ESA Herschel Space Observatory. We look forward to new discoveries made with these maps, which will also serve as a guide for future observations with ALMA”, said Leonardo Testi from ESO, who is a member of the ATLASGAL team and the European Project Scientist for the ALMA project.
    Notes

    [1] The map was constructed from individual APEX observations in radiation at 870 µm (0.87 mm) wavelength.
    More information

    The ATLASGAL observations are presented in a paper by Frederic Schuller et al., ATLASGAL — The APEX Telescope Large Area Survey of the Galaxy at 870 µm, published in Astronomy & Astrophysics. ATLASGAL is a collaboration between the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy, the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, ESO, and the University of Chile.

    LABOCA (Large APEX Bolometer Camera), one of APEX’s major instruments, is the world’s largest bolometer camera (a “thermometer camera”, or thermal camera that measures and maps the tiny changes in temperature that occur when sub-millimetre wavelength light falls on its absorbing surface; see (eso0735). LABOCA’s large field of view and high sensitivity make it an invaluable tool for imaging the “cold Universe”. LABOCA was built by the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy.

    The Atacama Pathfinder Experiment (APEX) telescope is a 12-metre telescope, located at 5100 m altitude on the arid plateau of Chajnantor in the Chilean Andes. APEX operates at millimetre and submillimetre wavelengths. This wavelength range is a relatively unexplored frontier in astronomy, requiring advanced detectors and an extremely high and dry observatory site, such as Chajnantor. APEX, the largest submillimetre-wave telescope operating in the southern hemisphere, is a collaboration between the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy, the Onsala Space Observatory and ESO. Operation of APEX at Chajnantor is entrusted to ESO. APEX is a “pathfinder” for ALMA — it is based on a prototype antenna constructed for the ALMA project, it is located on the same plateau and will find many targets that ALMA will be able to study in extreme detail.

    The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), an international astronomy facility, is a partnership of Europe, North America and East Asia in cooperation with the Republic of Chile. ESO is the European partner in ALMA. ALMA, the largest astronomical project in existence, is a revolutionary telescope, comprising an array of 66 giant 12-metre and 7-metre diameter antennas observing at millimetre and submillimetre wavelengths. ALMA will start scientific observations in 2011.

    See the full article here.

    Further to this subject:

    The Galactic Centre and Sagittarius B2

    3
    Credit: ESO/APEX & MSX/IPAC/NASA

    Colour-composite image of the Galactic Centre and Sagittarius B2 as seen by the ATLASGAL survey. The centre of the Milky Way is home to a supermassive black hole more than four million times the mass of our Sun. It is about 25 000 light years from Earth. Sagittarius B2 (Sgr B2) is one of the largest clouds of molecular gas in the Milky Way. This dense region lies close to the Galactic Centre and is rich in many different interstellar molecules.

    In this image, the ATLASGAL submillimetre-wavelength data are shown in red, overlaid on a view of the region in infrared light, from the Midcourse Space Experiment (MSX) in green and blue. Sagittarius B2 is the bright orange-red region to the middle left of the image, which is centred on the Galactic Centre.

    See the associated full article here.

    4

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  • richardmitnick 6:04 am on October 15, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , ESO APEX,   

    From ESO: “Construction Secrets of a Galactic Metropolis” 


    European Southern Observatory

    15 October 2014
    Contacts

    Helmut Dannerbauer
    University of Vienna
    Vienna, Austria
    Tel: +43 1 4277 53826
    Email: helmut.dannerbauer@univie.ac.at

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

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

    Astronomers have used the APEX telescope to probe a huge galaxy cluster that is forming in the early Universe and revealed that much of the star formation taking place is not only hidden by dust, but also occurring in unexpected places. This is the first time that a full census of the star formation in such an object has been possible.

    ESO APEX
    ESO/APEX

    cloud

    Galaxy clusters are the largest objects in the Universe held together by gravity but their formation is not well understood. The Spiderweb Galaxy (formally known as MRC 1138-262 [1]) and its surroundings have been studied for twenty years, using ESO and other telescopes [2], and is thought to be one of the best examples of a protocluster in the process of assembly, more than ten billion years ago.

    But Helmut Dannerbauer (University of Vienna, Austria) and his team strongly suspected that the story was far from complete. They wanted to probe the dark side of star formation and find out how much of the star formation taking place in the Spiderweb Galaxy cluster was hidden from view behind dust.

    The team used the LABOCA camera on the APEX telescope in Chile to make 40 hours of observations of the Spiderweb Cluster at millimetre wavelengths — wavelengths of light that are long enough to peer right through most of the thick dust clouds. LABOCA has a wide field and is the perfect instrument for this survey.

    ESO LABOCA
    ESO/ LABOCA Camera on APEX

    Carlos De Breuck (APEX project scientist at ESO, and a co-author of the new study) emphasises: “This is one of the deepest observations ever made with APEX and pushes the technology to its limits — as well as the endurance of the staff working at the high-altitude APEX site, 5050 metres above sea level.”

    The APEX observations revealed that there were about four times as many sources detected in the area of the Spiderweb compared to the surrounding sky. And by carefully comparing the new data with complementary observations made at different wavelengths they were able to confirm that many of these sources were at the same distance as the galaxy cluster itself and must be parts of the forming cluster.

    Helmut Dannerbauer explains: “The new APEX observations add the final piece needed to create a complete census of all inhabitants of this mega star city. These galaxies are in the process of formation so, rather like a construction site on Earth, they are very dusty.”

    But a surprise awaited the team when they looked at where the newly detected star formation was taking place. They were expecting to find this star formation region on the large filaments connecting galaxies. Instead, they found it concentrated mostly in a single region, and that region is not even centred on the central Spiderweb Galaxy in the protocluster [3].

    Helmut Dannerbauer concludes: “We aimed to find the hidden star formation in the Spiderweb cluster — and succeeded — but we unearthed a new mystery in the process; it was not where we expected! The mega city is developing asymmetrically.”

    To continue the story further observations are needed — and ALMA will be the perfect instrument to take the next steps and study these dusty regions in far greater detail.

    ALMA Array
    ALMA
    Notes

    [1] The Spiderweb Galaxy contains a supermassive black hole and is a powerful source of radio waves — which is what led astronomers to notice it in the first place.

    [2] This region had been intensively observed by a variety of ESO telescopes since the mid-1990s. The redshift (and hence the distance) of the radio galaxy MRC1138-262 (the Spiderweb Galaxy) was first measured at La Silla. The first visitor mode FORS observations on the VLT discovered the protocluster and afterwards further observations were made with ISAAC, SINFONI, VIMOS and HAWK-I. The APEX LABOCA data complement optical and near-infrared datasets from ESO telescopes. The team also used a 12-hour VLA image to cross-identify the LABOCA sources in the optical images.

    ESO LaSilla Long View
    ESO/LaSilla

    ESO FORS1
    ESO/FORS

    ESO VLT Interferometer
    ESO/VLT

    ESO ISAAC
    ESO/ISAAC

    ESO SINFONI
    ESO/SINFONI

    ESO VIMOS
    ESO VIMOS

    ESO HAWK-I
    ESO HAWK-I

    [3] These dusty starbursts are thought to evolve into elliptical galaxies like those seen around us today in nearby galaxy clusters.
    More information

    This research was presented in a paper, An excess of dusty starbursts related to the Spiderweb galaxy, by Dannerbauer, Kurk, De Breuck et al., to appear online in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics on 15 October 2014.

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

    The team is composed of H. Dannerbauer (University of Vienna, Austria), J. D. Kurk (Max-Planck-Institut für extraterrestrische Physik, Garching, Germany), C. De Breuck (ESO, Garching, Germany), D. Wylezalek (ESO, Garching, Germany), J. S. Santos (INAF–Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri, Florence, Italy), Y. Koyama (National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, Tokyo, Japan [NAOJ]; Institute of Space Astronomical Science, Kanagawa, Japan), N. Seymour (CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science, Epping, Australia), M. Tanaka (NAOJ; Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe, The University of Tokyo, Japan), N. Hatch (University of Nottingham, United Kingdom), B. Altieri (Herschel Science Centre, European Space Astronomy Centre, Villanueva de la Cañada, Spain [HSC]), D. Coia (HSC), A. Galametz (INAF–Osservatorio di Roma, Italy), T. Kodama (NAOJ), G. Miley (Leiden Observatory, the Netherlands), H. Röttgering (Leiden Observatory), M. Sanchez-Portal (HSC), I. Valtchanov (HSC), B. Venemans (Max-Planck Institut für Astronomie, Heidelberg, Germany) and B. Ziegler (University of Vienna).

    See the full article here.

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

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


    European Southern Observatory

    18 November 2008
    Contacts

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    sag a

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

    NASA Chandra Telescope
    NASA/Chandra

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

    ESO VLT
    VLT

    ESO APEX
    APEX

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    See the full article, with notes, here.

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  • richardmitnick 4:57 pm on March 10, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , ESO APEX, , , ,   

    A Tour of “GOODS” – Video About the Many Telescopes Needed for Great Astronomy 

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

    ESO VLT
    ESO VLT

    NASA Hubble Space Telescope
    NASA/ESA Hubble

    NASA Spitzer Telescope
    NASA Spitzer

    NASA Chandra Telescope
    NASA Chandra

    ESO APEX
    ESO APEX

    ESO ALMA Array
    ESO/ NAOJ/ NRAO ALMA

    ESO 50 Large

    NASA


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  • richardmitnick 6:26 am on September 25, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , ESO APEX   

    From ESO: “The Cool Glow of Star Formation” 


    European Southern Observatory

    First Light of Powerful New Camera on APEX

    25 September 2013
    Contacts

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

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

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

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

    image

    artemis
    ArTeMiS

    ESO APEX
    APEX

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

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

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

    NGC6334
    NGC 6334

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

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

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

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

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  • richardmitnick 12:35 pm on May 15, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , ESO APEX   

    From ESO: “Orion’s Hidden Fiery Ribbon” 

    15 May 2013
    Contacts

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

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

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

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

    glow

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

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

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

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

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

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

    See the full article here.

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

    ESO NTT

    NTT – New Technology Telescope


    La Silla


    ALMA Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array

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


    Atacama Pathfinder Experiment telescope (APEX)

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


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