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  • richardmitnick 12:09 am on February 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , ESO - European Southern Observatory, Hubble Witnesses Massive Comet-Like Object Pollute Atmosphere of a White Dwarf,   

    From Hubble: “Hubble Witnesses Massive Comet-Like Object Pollute Atmosphere of a White Dwarf” 

    NASA Hubble Banner

    NASA/ESA Hubble Telescope
    Hubble

    Feb 9, 2017
    Ann Jenkins
    jenkins@stsci.edu
    Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, Maryland
    410-338-4488

    Ray Villard
    villard@stsci.edu
    Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, Maryland
    410-338-4514

    Siyi Xu
    European Southern Observatory, Garching, Germany
    011-49-89-3200-6298
    sxu@eso.org

    1
    Astronomers have found the first evidence of the remains of a comet-like object scattered around a burned-out star. They used NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope to detect the debris, which has polluted the atmosphere of a compact star known as a white dwarf. The icy object, which has been ripped apart, is similar to Halley’s Comet in chemical composition, but it is 100,000 times more massive and has a much higher amount of water. It is also rich in the elements essential for life, including nitrogen, carbon, oxygen, and sulfur. These findings are evidence for a belt of comet-like bodies similar to our solar system’s Kuiper Belt orbiting the white dwarf. This is the first evidence of comet-like material polluting a white dwarf’s atmosphere. The results also suggest the presence of unseen, surviving planets around the burned-out star.
    Illustration Credit: NASA, ESA, and Z. Levy (STScI)

    For the first time, scientists using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope have witnessed a massive object with the makeup of a comet being ripped apart and scattered in the atmosphere of a white dwarf, the burned-out remains of a compact star. The object has a chemical composition similar to Halley’s Comet, but it is 100,000 times more massive and has a much higher amount of water. It is also rich in the elements essential for life, including nitrogen, carbon, oxygen, and sulfur.

    These findings are evidence for a belt of comet-like bodies orbiting the white dwarf, similar to our solar system’s Kuiper Belt. These icy bodies apparently survived the star’s evolution as it became a bloated red giant and then collapsed to a small, dense white dwarf.

    As many as 25 to 50 percent of white dwarfs are known to be polluted with infalling debris from rocky, asteroid-like objects, but this is the first time a body made of icy, comet-like material has been seen polluting a white dwarf’s atmosphere.

    The results also suggest the presence of unseen, surviving planets which may have perturbed the belt and worked as a “bucket brigade” to draw the icy objects into the white dwarf. The burned-out star also has a companion star which may disturb the belt, causing objects from the belt to travel toward the burned-out star.

    Siyi Xu of the European Southern Observatory in Garching, Germany led the team that made the discovery. According to Xu, this was the first time that nitrogen was detected in the planetary debris that falls onto a white dwarf. “Nitrogen is a very important element for life as we know it,” Xu explained. “This particular object is quite rich in nitrogen, more so than any object observed in our solar system.”

    Our own Kuiper Belt, which extends outward from Neptune’s orbit, is home to many dwarf planets, comets, and other small bodies left over from the formation of the solar system. Comets from the Kuiper Belt may have been responsible for delivering water and the basic building blocks of life to Earth billions of years ago.

    The new findings are observational evidence supporting the idea that icy bodies are also present in other planetary systems, and have survived throughout the history of the star’s evolution.

    To study the white dwarf’s atmosphere, the team used both Hubble and the W. M. Keck Observatory. The measurements of nitrogen, carbon, oxygen, silicon, sulfur, iron, nickel, and hydrogen all come from Hubble, while Keck provides the calcium, magnesium, and hydrogen. The ultraviolet vision of Hubble’s Cosmic Origins Spectrograph (COS) allowed the team to make measurements that are very difficult to do from the ground.

    This is the first object found outside our solar system that is akin to Halley’s Comet in composition. The team used the famous comet for comparison because it has been so well studied.

    The white dwarf is roughly 170 light-years from Earth in the constellation Boötes, the Herdsman. It was first recorded in 1974 and is part of a wide binary system, with a companion star separated by 2,000 times the distance that the Earth is from the sun.

    The science paper by S. Xu et al. (PDF document)

    See the full article here .

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

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  • richardmitnick 2:13 pm on January 3, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Drone flight over Cerro Paranal, ESO - European Southern Observatory   

    From ESO: Drone flight Over Paranal – Video 

    ESO 50 Large

    European Southern Observatory

    This short video was captured by a drone flying over the ESO Paranal site in the Chilean Atacama desert, home to the ESO Very Large Telescope (VLT).

    ESO/ Liam Young


    Access mp4 video here .
    Credit: ESO/ Liam Young

    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 8:38 am on December 24, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , ESO - European Southern Observatory,   

    From ESO: “Orbit of Proxima Centauri Determined After 100 Years” 

    ESO 50 Large

    European Southern Observatory

    22 December 2016
    Pierre Kervella
    Universidad de Chile, CNRS UMI 3386 & LESIA, Paris Observatory
    Camino El Observatoria 1515, Las Condes
    Santiago, Chile
    Email:
    pkervell@das.uchile.cl

    Frédéric Thévenin
    Observatoire de la Côte d’Azur
    Boulevard de l’Observatoire
    Nice, France
    Email:
    Frederic.Thevenin@oca.eu

    Tel: +33 4 92 00 30 26

    Christophe Lovis
    Observatoire astronomique de l’Université de Genève,
    51 Ch. des Maillettes,
    1290 Versoix, Switzerland
    Email:
    christophe.lovis@unige.ch

    Peter Grimley
    ESO Assistant Public Information Officer
    Garching bei München, Germany
    Tel: +49 89 3200 6383
    Email:
    pgrimley@partner.eso.org

    1
    Interest in our neighbouring Alpha Centauri star system has been particularly high since the recent discovery of an Earth-mass planet, known as Proxima b, orbiting the system’s third star — and the closest star to the Sun — Proxima Centauri. While the system’s larger stellar pair, Alpha Centauri A and B, appear to have a proper motion on the sky that is very similar to that of the smaller, fainter Proxima Centauri, it has not been possible to demonstrate that the three stars do actually form a single, gravitationally bound, triple system.

    Centauris Alpha Beta Proxima 27, February 2012. Skatebiker
    Centauris Alpha Beta Proxima 27, February 2012. Skatebiker

    Now three astronomers, Pierre Kervella, Frédéric Thévenin and Christophe Lovis, have concluded that the three stars do indeed form a bound system. In the century since it was discovered, Proxima Centauri’s faintness has made it extremely difficult to reliably measure its radial velocity — the speed at which it moves towards and away from Earth. But now ESO’s planet-hunting HARPS instrument has provided an extremely precise measurement of Proxima Centauri’s radial velocity, and even greater accuracy has been achieved by accounting for other subtle effects [1].

    ESO/HARPS
    ESO 3.6m telescope & HARPS at LaSilla
    ESO 3.6m telescope & HARPS at Cerro LaSilla, Chile

    As a result, the astronomers have been able to deduce very similar values for the radial velocities of the Alpha Centauri pair and Proxima Centauri, lending credence to the idea that they form a bound system. Taking account of these new measurements, calculations of the orbits of the three stars indicate that the relative velocity between Proxima Centauri and the Alpha Centauri pair is well below the threshold above which the three stars would not be bound together by gravity.

    This result has significant implications for our understanding of the Alpha Centauri system and the formation of planets there. It strongly suggests that Proxima Centauri and the Alpha Centauri pair are the same age (about 6 billion years), and that in turn provides a good estimate of the age of the orbiting planet, Proxima b.

    The astronomers speculate that the planet may have formed around Proxima Centauri on a more extended orbit and then been brought to its current position, very close to its parent star, as a result of the close passage of Proxima Centauri to its cousins in the Alpha Centauri pair. Alternatively, the planet may have formed around the Alpha Centauri pair, and was later captured by the gravity of Proxima Centauri. If one of these hypotheses is correct, it is possible that the planet was once an icy world that underwent a meltdown and now has liquid water on its surface.

    Notes

    [1] Measurements of the stars’ velocities were made by observing specific features in their light known as spectral lines. Certain physical effects can shift the observed wavelengths of these lines, leading to incorrect measurements of the velocities. If a star has an unstable surface, it can cause what is known as convectiveblueshift of the spectral lines, while its gravity can lead to a gravitational redshift.
    More Information

    This research is presented in a paper to appear in the journal Astronomy and Astrophysics.

    The team is composed of P. Kervella, CNRS UMI 3386, University of Chile and LESIA, Paris Observatory; F. Thévenin, Côte d’Azur Observatory, France; and Christophe Lovis, Observatoire astronomique de l’Université de Genève, Switzerland.

    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 11:11 am on December 21, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , ESO - European Southern Observatory, First Light for Band 5 at ALMA   

    From ALMA and ESO: “First Light for Band 5 at ALMA” 

    ALMA Array

    ALMA

    ESO 50 Large

    European Southern Observatory

    21 December 2016
    Leonardo Testi
    European ALMA Programme Scientist, ESO
    Garching bei München, Germany
    Tel: +49 89 3200 6541
    Email: ltesti@eso.org

    Robert Laing
    ESO ALMA Scientist
    Garching bei München, Germany
    Tel: +49 89 3200 6625
    Email: rlaing@eso.org

    Nicolás Lira T.
    Education and Public Outreach Coordinator
    Joint ALMA Observatory
    Santiago, Chile
    Tel: +56 2 24 67 65 19
    Cell: +56 9 94 45 77 26
    Email: nicolas.lira@alma.cl

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

    Masaaki Hiramatsu
    Education and Public Outreach Officer, NAOJ Chile
    Observatory Tokyo, Japan
    Tel: +81 422 34 3630
    E-mail: hiramatsu.masaaki@nao.ac.jp

    Charles E. Blue
    Public Information Officer
    National Radio Astronomy Observatory
    Charlottesville, Virginia, USA
    Tel: +1 434 296 0314
    Cell: +1 202 236 6324
    E-mail: cblue@nrao.edu

    With the First Light for Band 5, the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) has begun observing in a new range of the electromagnetic spectrum. This has been made possible thanks to new receivers installed at the telescope’s antennas, which can detect radio waves with wavelengths from 1.4 to 1.8 millimeters — a range previously untapped by ALMA. This upgrade allows astronomers to detect faint signals of water in the nearby Universe.

    The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) in Chile has begun observing in a new range of the electromagnetic spectrum. This has been made possible thanks to new receivers installed at the telescope’s antennas, which can detect radio waves with wavelengths from 1.4 to 1.8 millimetres — a range previously untapped by ALMA. This upgrade allows astronomers to detect faint signals of water in the nearby Universe.

    ALMA observes radio waves from the Universe, at the low-energy end of the electromagnetic spectrum. With the newly installed Band 5 receivers, ALMA has now opened its eyes to a whole new section of this radio spectrum, creating exciting new observational possibilities.

    The European ALMA Programme Scientist, Leonardo Testi, explains the significance: “The new receivers will make it much easier to detect water, a prerequisite for life as we know it, in our Solar System and in more distant regions of our galaxy and beyond. They will also allow ALMA to search for ionised carbon in the primordial Universe.”

    2
    The compound view shows a new ALMA Band 5 view of the colliding galaxy system Arp 220 (in red) on top of an image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope (blue/green). With the newly installed Band 5 receivers, ALMA has now opened its eyes to a whole new section of this radio spectrum, creating exciting new observational possibilities and improving the telescope’s ability to search for water in the Universe. This image is one of the first taken using Band 5 and was intended to verify the scientific capability of the new receivers. Credit: ALMA(ESO/NAOJ/NRAO)/NASA/ESA and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

    It is ALMA’s unique location, 5000 metres up on the barren Chajnantor plateau in Chile, that makes such an observation possible in the first place. As water is also present in Earth’s atmosphere, observatories in less elevated and less arid environments have much more difficulty identifying the origin of the emission coming from space. ALMA’s great sensitivity and high angular resolution mean that even faint signals of water in the local Universe can now be imaged at this wavelength [1].

    The Band 5 receiver, which was developed by the Group for Advanced Receiver Development (GARD) at Onsala Space Observatory, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, has already been tested at the APEX telescope in the SEPIA instrument. These observations were also vital to help select suitable targets for the first receiver tests with ALMA.

    The first production receivers were built and delivered to ALMA in the first half of 2015 by a consortium consisting of the Netherlands Research School for Astronomy (NOVA) and GARD in partnership with the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO), which contributed the local oscillator to the project. The receivers are now installed and being prepared for use by the community of astronomers.

    6
    Band 5 receiver integrated with receivers for all the other current ALMA Bands (3 to 10). Credit: N. Tabilo – ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO).

    To test the newly installed receivers observations were made of several objects including the colliding galaxies Arp 220, a massive region of star formation close to the centre of the Milky Way, and also a dusty red supergiant star approaching the supernova explosion that will end its life [2].

    7
    This picture shows one of the Band 5 receiver cartridges built for the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA). Extremely weak signals from space are collected by the ALMA antennas and focussed onto the receivers, which transform the faint radiation into an electrical signal. The Band 5 receivers detect electromagnetic radiation with wavelengths between about 1.4 and 1.8 millimeters (211 and 163 gigahertz). The receivers were originally designed, developed, and prototyped by Onsala Space Observatory’s Advanced Receiver Development group, based at Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden, in collaboration with the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, UK, and the European southern Observatory (ESO), under the European Commission (EC) supported Framework Programme FP6 (ALMA Enhancement). Band 5 of ALMA achieved first fringes in July 2015 and first science observations were made in late 2016. Credit: Onsala Space Observatory/Alexey Pavolotsky

    To process the data and check its quality, astronomers, along with technical specialists from ESO and the European ALMA Regional Centre (ARC) network, gathered at the Onsala Space Observatory in Sweden, for a “Band 5 Busy Week” hosted by the Nordic ARC node [3]. The final results have just been made freely available to the astronomical community worldwide.

    7
    This picture shows one of the Band 5 receiver cartridges built for the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA). Extremely weak signals from space are collected by the ALMA antennas and focussed onto the receivers, which transform the faint radiation into an electrical signal. The Band 5 receivers detect electromagnetic radiation with wavelengths between about 1.4 and 1.8 millimeters (211 and 163 gigahertz). The receivers were originally designed, developed, and prototyped by Onsala Space Observatory’s Advanced Receiver Development group, based at Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden, in collaboration with the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, UK, and ESO, under the European Commission (EC) supported Framework Programme FP6 (ALMA Enhancement). Band 5 of ALMA achieved first fringes in July 2015 and the first science observations were made in late 2016. Credit: Onsala Space Observatory/B. Billade

    Team member Robert Laing at ESO is optimistic about the prospects for ALMA Band 5 observations: “It’s very exciting to see these first results from ALMA Band 5 using a limited set of antennas. In the future, the high sensitivity and angular resolution of the full ALMA array will allow us to make detailed studies of water in a wide range of objects including forming and evolved stars, the interstellar medium and regions close to supermassive black holes.”
    Notes

    [1] A key spectral signature of water lies in this expanded range — at a wavelength of 1.64 millimetres.

    [2] The observations were performed and made possible by the ALMA Extension of Capabilities team in Chile.

    [3] The ESO Band 5 Science Verification team includes: Elizabeth Humphreys, Tony Mroczkowski, Robert Laing, Katharina Immer, Hau-Yu (Baobab) Liu, Andy Biggs, Gianni Marconi and Leonardo Testi. The team working on processing the data included: Tobia Carozzi, Simon Casey, Sabine König, Ana Lopez-Sepulcre, Matthias Maercker, Iván Martí-Vidal, Lydia Moser, Sebastien Muller, Anita Richards, Daniel Tafoya and Wouter Vlemmings.

    See the full ESO article here .
    Seethe full CfA article here .
    See the full ALMA article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.
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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”.

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

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

    NRAO Small

    ESO 50 Large

    NAOJ

     
  • richardmitnick 11:22 am on December 16, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , ESO - European Southern Observatory,   

    From ESO: “3D Map of Distant Galaxies Completed” 

    ESO 50 Large

    European Southern Observatory

    15 December 2016
    Luigi Guzzo
    Dipartimento di Fisica, Università Statale di Milano
    & INAF – Osservatorio Astronomico di Brera
    Milano, Italy
    Mobile: +39 366 773 9704
    Email: luigi.guzzo@unimi.it

    Peter Grimley
    ESO Assistant Public Information Officer
    Garching bei München, Germany
    Tel: +49 89 3200 6383
    Email: pgrimley@partner.eso.org

    VLT survey shows distribution in space of 90 000 galaxies

    1

    For nearly eight years, the VIsible MultiObject Spectrograph (VIMOS) on ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile has been piecing together a three-dimensional map of galaxies in two patches of the southern sky. A total of 440 hours of observing time has gone into measuring the spectra of more than 90 000 distant galaxies, producing a map of a 24-square-degree region on the sky, out to a distance corresponding to when the Universe was around half its current age [1].

    ESO VIMOS
    ESO VIMOS

    In 2013, ESO reported that the international team of astronomers behind the VIMOS Public Extragalactic Survey (VIPERS) had collected data for around 60% of their target galaxies. With the full set of observations now completed, this is the largest redshift survey ever undertaken with ESO telescopes [2] and it provides a view of structures in the younger Universe with an unprecedented combination of detail and spatial extent. By surveying how galaxies were distributed in space several billion years ago, astronomers are able to learn more about the distribution of matter on the largest scales in the cosmos, as well as to further probe the effect that the mysterious dark energy had on the young Universe, when it acquired some of the properties we see today.

    Using these unique data, astronomers are already obtaining exciting new results concerning how galaxies have evolved since the Universe was much younger, and how this connects to the details of large-scale structures, such as filaments, clusters and voids. The full set of data from the survey was released to the public in November 2016 and is now available in standard form on the ESO archive.

    Notes

    [1] Light has a finite speed limit, so the more distant an object, the more time it has taken for the light from it to reach us. This means that we see distant objects as they were long in the past.

    [2] The light from each galaxy is spread out into its component colours within the VIMOS instrument. Careful analysis allows astronomers to work out how fast the galaxy is moving away from us — usually expressed as its redshift. This in turn reveals its distance from us and, when combined with its position on the sky, its location in the Universe.
    More information

    The team is composed of astronomers in Italy, France, Poland and the UK. Full details are available on the VIPERS website.

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.
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    Visit ESO in Social Media-

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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 1:10 pm on December 9, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 57, ESO - European Southern Observatory, the next Director General of ESO, Xavier Barcons   

    From ESO: “Xavier Barcons Appointed as Next ESO Director General” 

    ESO 50 Large

    European Southern Observatory

    9 December 2016
    Richard Hook
    ESO Public Information Officer
    Garching bei München, Germany
    Tel: +49 89 3200 6655
    Cell: +49 151 1537 3591
    Email: rhook@eso.org

    1

    The ESO Council has appointed Xavier Barcons, 57, as the next Director General of ESO. He will take up his position on 1 September 2017, when Tim de Zeeuw, the current Director General, completes his mandate.

    On behalf of Council, I am delighted to appoint Xavier Barcons as Tim de Zeeuw’s successor as Director General,” says Patrick Roche, President of ESO Council. “Xavier is ideally placed to lead the further development of the organisation in the next phase of its programme, including the construction of the European Extremely Large Telescope, the most powerful and ambitious telescope of its kind. We thank Tim for his exemplary leadership of ESO through a remarkably successful decade, which has firmly established ESO as the leading astronomical observatory on Earth.”

    Professor Xavier Barcons is Spanish and has had a distinguished career both in the academic world and also as an expert in science policy. He is also well known at ESO after his active and successful term as Council President between 2012 and 2014, a period that included the approval of the E-ELT Programme and the start of Phase 1 of the telescope’s construction. He has also served as an active member and chair of many other ESO committees, most recently being chair of the Observing Programmes Committee.

    Tim de Zeeuw comments: “I am very pleased to hand the baton to Xavier, who I have had the great pleasure of working closely with for many years. The scope of ESO’s programme has expanded a lot and the future looks bright — ALMA is producing fascinating science, the E-ELT is under construction and new projects and Member States are on the horizon. But there are also undoubtedly many challenges to come, and I can’t think of a better captain to steer the ship than Xavier!”

    Xavier Barcons adds: “I feel very honoured to take on the leadership of ESO at this exciting time. During Tim’s leadership the organisation has flourished and grown. I look forward to seeing the E-ELT come to fruition and overseeing the further development of the Very Large Telescope, ALMA and many other projects at ESO. I also look forward to working with ESO’s world-class staff.”

    Xavier Barcons began his career as a physicist and completed his PhD at the University of Cantabria in 1985 on the subject of hot plasmas and the intergalactic medium. This led to an interest in X-ray astronomy and the study of the spectra of distant quasars. After a period working in Cambridge, UK, he returned to Spain and was instrumental in establishing the first X-ray astronomy group in his country. Since 2002 has has been Research Professor at the Spanish Council for Scientific Research (CSIC).

    Xavier’s subsequent research has focussed on X-ray astronomy and he has used data from many space observatories, including Einstein, ROSAT and XMM-Newton, as well as arranging many coordinated ground-based observing campaigns at ESO and elsewhere. During the last 15 years he has been promoting a next generation European X-ray observatory, now selected by ESA as the Athena mission. A particular area of scientific interest is the nature of active galactic nuclei in the distant Universe and how observing both from space and the ground can lead to a better understanding of their properties and evolution.

    Xavier Barcons is married and has two children.

    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
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    ESO Vista Telescope
    VISTA

    ESO NTT
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  • richardmitnick 2:52 pm on October 20, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Alpha Centauri A, , , , ESO - European Southern Observatory, Gravitational lensing event, The Future of Alpha Centauri   

    From ESO: “The Future of Alpha Centauri” 

    ESO 50 Large

    European Southern Observatory

    20 October 2016
    Richard Hook
    ESO Public Information Officer
    Garching bei München, Germany
    Tel: +49 89 3200 6655
    Cell: +49 151 1537 3591
    Email: rhook@eso.org

    Pierre Kervella
    Departamento de Astronomía, Universidad de Chile
    Camino El Observatorio 1515
    Las Condes
    Santiago, Chile
    Email: pkervell@das.uchile.cl

    Frédéric Thévenin
    Observatoire de la Côte d’Azur
    Boulevard de l’Observatoire
    Nice, France
    Email: Frederic.Thevenin@oca.eu
    Tel: +33 4 92 00 30 26

    A rare opportunity for planet hunting in Alpha Centauri A predicted for 2028

    1

    A very rare gravitational lensing event, set to occur in 2028, has been predicted by a team of French astronomers led by Pierre Kervella of the CNRS/Universidad de Chile. It will provide an ideal opportunity to look for evidence of a planet around a nearby star.

    Using both new and archive data obtained with a range of ESO telescopes [1], the team has predicted the trajectories of the fast-moving stellar duo known as the Alpha Centauri A and B, with negligible error. That has allowed them to predict every close alignment until 2050 between the Alpha Centauri pair and the stars which lie close to them on the sky — but which are in fact a great deal further away in space [2].

    Whilst it is satisfying to see into the future with such impressive accuracy, that is not the real prize in these results; they provide a unique opportunity for planet hunting in the Alpha Centauri system, by allowing us to search for secondary gravitational lensing events. Gravitational lensing occurs because a massive object, such as a star, warps the very fabric of the space around it. Light — coming from a distant object — that passes close to the star on its way to us follows a curved path through the warped space. The nearer star acts like a lens, bending the light from the distant object. In the most impressive cases, this can generate an Einstein ring, a circle of light around the foreground star. Because the amount of mass in this nearby star determines exactly how the light deflection occurs, deviations from the expected gravitational lensing effect can be used to determine the presence, and the masses, of planets.

    One of the most exciting alignments predicted by this study is between the more massive star in the Alpha Centauri pair, named Alpha Centauri A, and a distant background star — probably a red giant — nicknamed S5. In May 2028, there is a strong chance that the light from S5 will create an Einstein ring around Alpha Centauri A, observable with ESO’s telescopes [3]. This would provide a unique opportunity to look for planetary or low-mass objects in our nearest star system. This is particularly exciting in the light of the recent discovery of the planet Proxima b, which orbits the third star in the same star system, known as Proxima Centauri.

    Notes

    [1] Because of the vast distances involved, measuring the true motions of most stars is extremely difficult and requires incredibly precise measurements and extensive observations. The team of astronomers used data collected in 2007 from the New Technology Telescope (NTT) and new observations from the NACO instrument on the Very Large Telescope (VLT). This was complemented with data from the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) to obtain high-precision measurement of the relative positions of Alpha Centauri A and B.

    [2] Because of the Alpha Centauri system’s proximity to the plane of the Milky Way, the distant star field is very densely populated; this gave the team a good chance of finding a background star which would almost perfectly align with one of the Alpha Centauri binary pair.

    [3] The event will be observable by the GRAVITY instrument on the Very Large Telescope Interferometer (VLTI), Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), and the forthcoming European-Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT), providing a good chance of ascertaining the mass of any planet to a high degree of accuracy.

    ALMA, an international astronomy facility, is a partnership of ESO, the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institutes of Natural Sciences (NINS) of Japan in cooperation with the Republic of Chile.

    More Information

    This research was presented in a paper to appear on 19 October 2016 in the journal Astronomy and Astrophysics (Kervella et al. 2016, A&A, 594, A107)

    The team is composed of: P. Kervella, CNRS UMI 3386, University of Chile and LESIA, Paris Observatory; F. Mignard, Côte d’Azur Observatory, France; A. Mérand, ESO; and F. Thévenin, Côte d’Azur Observatory, France.

    Links

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.
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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 7:25 am on October 12, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , ESO - European Southern Observatory, , The Milky Way’s Ancient Heart, VISTA telescope   

    From ESO: “The Milky Way’s Ancient Heart” 

    ESO 50 Large

    European Southern Observatory

    12 October 2016
    Dante Minniti
    Universidad Andrés Bello
    Santiago, Chile
    Email: dante@astrofisica.cl

    Rodrigo Contreras Ramos
    Instituto Milenio de Astrofísica
    Santiago, Chile
    Email: rcontrer@astro.puc.cl

    Mathias Jäger
    Public Information Officer
    Garching bei München, Germany
    Cell: +49 176 62397500
    Email: mjaeger@partner.eso.org

    1
    Ancient stars, of a type known as RR Lyrae, have been discovered in the centre of the Milky Way for the first time, using ESO’s infrared VISTA telescope. RR Lyrae stars typically reside in ancient stellar populations over 10 billion years old. Their discovery suggests that the bulging centre of the Milky Way likely grew through the merging of primordial star clusters. These stars may even be the remains of the most massive and oldest surviving star cluster of the entire Milky Way.

    A team led by Dante Minniti (Universidad Andrés Bello, Santiago, Chile) and Rodrigo Contreras Ramos (Instituto Milenio de Astrofísica, Santiago, Chile) used observations from the VISTA infrared survey telescope, as part of the Variables in the Via Lactea (VVV) ESO public survey, to carefully search the central part of the Milky Way. By observing infrared light, which is less affected by cosmic dust than visible light, and exploiting the excellent conditions at ESO’s Paranal Observatory, the team was able to get a clearer view of this region than ever before. They found a dozen ancient RR Lyrae stars at the heart of the Milky Way that were previously unknown.

    Our Milky Way has a densely populated centre — a feature common to many galaxies, but unique in that it is close enough to study in depth. This discovery of RR Lyrae stars provides compelling evidence that helps astronomers decide between two main competing theories for how these bulges form.

    RR Lyrae stars are typically found in dense globular clusters. They are variable stars, and the brightness of each RR Lyrae star fluctuates regularly. By observing the length of each cycle of brightening and dimming in an RR Lyrae, and also measuring the star’s brightness, astronomers can calculate its distance [1].

    Unfortunately, these excellent distance-indicator stars are frequently outshone by younger, brighter stars and in some regions they are hidden by dust. Therefore, locating RR Lyrae stars right in the extremely crowded heart of the Milky Way was not possible until the public VVV survey was carried out using infrared light. Even so, the team described the task of locating the RR Lyrae stars in amongst the crowded throng of brighter stars as “daunting”.

    Their hard work was rewarded, however, with the identification of a dozen RR Lyrae stars. Their discovery indicate that remnants of ancient globular clusters are scattered within the centre of the Milky Way’s bulge.

    Rodrigo Contreras Ramos elaborates: “This discovery of RR Lyrae Stars in the centre of the Milky Way has important implications for the formation of galactic nuclei. The evidence supports the scenario in which the bulge was originally made out of a few globular clusters that merged.”

    The theory that galactic bulges form through the merging of globular clusters is contested by the competing hypothesis that these bulges are actually due to the rapid accretion of gas. The unearthing of these RR Lyrae stars — almost always found in globular clusters — is very strong evidence that the Milky Way bulge did in fact form through merging. By extension, all other similar galactic bulges may have formed the same way.

    Not only are these stars powerful evidence for an important theory of galactic evolution, they are also likely to be over 10 billion years old — the dim, but dogged survivors of perhaps the oldest and most massive star cluster within the Milky Way.
    Notes

    [1] RR Lyrae stars, like some other regular variables such as Cepheids, show a simple relationship between how quickly they change in brightness and how luminous they are. Longer periods mean brighter stars. This period-luminosity relationship can be used to deduce the distance of a star from its period of variation and its apparent brightness.
    More information

    This research was presented in a paper to appear in The Astrophysical Journal Letters.

    The team is composed of D. Minniti (Instituto Milenio de Astrofísica, Santiago, Chile; Departamento de Física, Universidad Andrés Bello, Santiago, Chile; Vatican Observatory, Vatican City State; Centro de Astrofisica y Tecnologias Afines – CATA), R. Contreras Ramos (Instituto Milenio de Astrofísica, Santiago, Chile; Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Instituto de Astrofísica, Santiago, Chile), M. Zoccali (Instituto Milenio de Astrofísica, Santiago, Chile; Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Instituto de Astrofísica, Santiago, Chile), M. Rejkuba (European Southern Observatory, Garching bei München, Germany; Excellence Cluster Universe, Garching, Germany), O.A. Gonzalez (UK Astronomy Technology Centre, Royal Observatory, Edinburgh, UK), E. Valenti (European Southern Observatory, Garching bei München, Germany), F. Gran (Instituto Milenio de Astrofísica, Santiago, Chile; Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Instituto de Astrofísica, Santiago, Chile)

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.
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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 9:55 am on October 5, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , ESO - European Southern Observatory, Messier 78   

    From ESO: “ESO’s Dustbuster Reveals Hidden Stars” 

    ESO 50 Large

    European Southern Observatory

    5 October 2016
    Richard Hook
    ESO Public Information Officer
    Garching bei München, Germany
    Tel: +49 89 3200 6655
    Cell: +49 151 1537 3591
    Email: rhook@eso.org

    1
    In this new image of the nebula Messier 78, young stars cast a bluish pall over their surroundings, while red fledgling stars peer out from their cocoons of cosmic dust. To our eyes, most of these stars would be hidden behind the dust, but ESO’s Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy (VISTA) sees near-infrared light, which passes right through dust. The telescope is like a giant dustbuster that lets astronomers probe deep into the heart of the stellar environment.

    Messier 78, or M78, is a well-studied example of a reflection nebula. It is located approximately 1600 light-years away in the constellation of Orion (The Hunter), just to the upper left of the three stars that make up the belt of this familiar landmark in the sky.

    Orion Nebula M. Robberto NASA ESA Space Telescope Science Institute Hubble
    Orion Nebula M. Robberto NASA ESA Space Telescope Science Institute Hubble

    In this image, Messier 78 is the central, bluish haze in the centre; the other reflection nebula towards the right goes by the name of NGC 2071. The French astronomer Pierre Méchain is credited with discovering Messier 78 in 1780. However, it is today more commonly known as the 78th entry in French astronomer Charles Messier’s catalogue, added to it in December of 1780.

    When observed with visible light instruments, like ESO’s Wide Field Imager at the La Silla Observatory, Messier 78 appears as a glowing, azure expanse surrounded by dark ribbons (see eso1105).

    ESO WFI LaSilla 2.2-m MPG/ESO telescope at La Silla
    ESO WFI LaSilla 2.2-m MPG/ESO telescope at La Silla

    Cosmic dust reflects and scatters the light streaming from the young, bluish stars in Messier 78’s heart, the reason it is known as a reflection nebula.

    The dark ribbons are thick clouds of dust that block the visible light originating behind them. These dense, cold regions are prime locations for the formation of new stars. When Messier 78 and its neighbours are observed in the submillimetre light between radio waves and infrared light, for example with the Atacama Pathfinder Experiment (APEX) telescope, they reveal the glow of dust grains in pockets just barely warmer than their extremely cold surroundings (see eso1219). Eventually new stars will form out of these pockets as gravity causes them to shrink and heat up.

    In between visible and submillimetre light lies the near-infrared part of the spectrum, where the Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy (VISTA) provides astronomers with crucial information. Beyond dusty reflections and through thinner portions of obscuring material, the luminous stellar sources within Messier 78 are visible to VISTA’s eyes. In the centre of this image, two blue supergiant stars, called HD 38563A and HD 38563B, shine brightly. Towards the right of the image, the supergiant star illuminating NGC 2071, called HD 290861, is also seen.

    Besides big, blue, hot stars, VISTA can also see many stars that are just forming within the cosmic dust strewn about this region, their reddish and yellow colours shown clearly in this image. These colourful fledgling stars can be found in the dust bands around NGC 2071 and along the trail of dust running towards the left of the image. Some of these are T Tauri stars. Although relatively bright, they are not yet hot enough for nuclear fusion reactions to have commenced in their cores. In several tens of millions of years, they will attain full “starhood”, and will take their place alongside their stellar brethren lighting up the Messier 78 region.

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.
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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 11:11 am on September 19, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Anything But Black, , , ESO - European Southern Observatory   

    From ESO: “Anything But Black” 

    ESO 50 Large

    European Southern Observatory

    1
    Credit: Y. Beletsky (LCO)/ESO

    ESO’s various observatory sites in Chile — Paranal, La Silla, Chajnantor — boast enviably low levels of light pollution. However, the skies overhead are rarely pitch-black!

    As shown in this image of Paranal Observatory, the skies regularly display a myriad of colours and astronomical sights, from the plane of the Milky Way shining brightly overhead to the orange-hued speck of Mars (left), the starry constellations of Scorpius and Orion, and the magenta splash of the Carina Nebula (upper middle). Despite the remote location there are also occasional signs of human activity, for example the sequence of lamps seen in the centre of the frame. These faint lights illuminate the route from the Very Large Telescope (VLT) to the Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy (VISTA) where this image was taken.

    Due to the highly sensitive camera this photograph also showcases a mysterious phenomenon called airglow. The night sky is ablaze with deep red and eerie green hues, caused by the faint glow of Earth’s atmosphere. Because of airglow, no observatory site on Earth could ever be absolutely, completely dark — although ESO’s do come pretty close.

    This image was taken by talented astronomer and photographer Yuri Beletsky, a member of the 2016 ESO Fulldome Expedition team. This team visited Chile to gather spectacular images for use in the ESO Supernova Planetarium & Visitor Centre.

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.
    STEM Icon

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    Visit ESO in Social Media-

    Facebook

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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

     
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