Tagged: ESO Very Large Survey Telescope (VST) Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • richardmitnick 7:04 am on September 2, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , ESO Very Large Survey Telescope (VST)   

    From ESO: “Cosmic Recycling” 


    European Southern Observatory

    2 September 2015
    Richard Hook
    ESO education and Public Outreach Department
    Garching bei München, Germany
    Tel: +49 89 3200 6655
    Cell: +49 151 1537 3591
    Email: rhook@eso.org

    1

    Dominating this image is part of the gigantic nebula Gum 56, illuminated by the hot bright young stars that were born within it. For millions of years stars have been created out of the gas in this nebula, material which is later returned to the stellar nursery when the aging stars either expel their material gently into space or eject it more dramatically as supernova explosions. This image was taken with the MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope at the La Silla Observatory in Chile as part of ESO’s Cosmic Gems programme.

    ESO 2.2 meter telescope
    MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope

    Deeply immersed in this huge stellar nursery are three clusters of hot young stars — only a few million years old — which glow brightly in ultraviolet light. It is the light from these stars that causes the nebula’s gas clouds to glow. The radiation strips electrons from atoms — a process known as ionisation — and when they recombine they release energy in the form of light. Each chemical element emits light in characteristic colours and the large clouds of hydrogen in the nebula are the cause of its rich red glow.

    Gum 56 — also known as IC 4628 or by its nickname, the Prawn Nebula — is named after the Australian astronomer Colin Stanley Gum, who, in 1955, published a catalogue of H II regions. H II regions such as Gum 56 are huge, low density clouds containing a large amount of ionised hydrogen.

    2
    Another H II region, NGC 604, a giant H II region in the Triangulum Galaxy
    This is a Hubble Space Telescope image of a vast nebula called NGC 604, which lies in the neighboring spiral galaxy M33, located 2.7 million light-years away in the constellation Triangulum. This is a site where new stars are being born in a spiral arm of the galaxy. Though such nebulae are common in galaxies, this one is particularly large, nearly 1,500 light-years across. The nebula is so vast it is easily seen in ground-based telescopic images.

    NASA Hubble Telescope
    NASA/ ESA Hubble

    A large portion of the ionisation in Gum 56 is done by two O-type stars, which are hot blue–white stars, also known as blue giants because of their colour [1]. This type of star is rare in the Universe as the very large mass of blue giants means that they do not live for long. After only roughly a million years these stars will collapse in on themselves and end their lives as supernovae, as will many of the other massive stars within the nebula.

    Besides the many newborn stars nestled in the nebula, this large region is still filled with enough dust and gas to create an even newer generation of stars. The regions of the nebula giving birth to new stars are visible in the image as dense clouds. The material forming these new stars includes the remains of the most massive stars from an older generation that have already ended their lives and ejected their material in violent supernova explosions. Thus the cycle of stellar life and death continues.

    Given the two very unusual blue giants in this area and the prominence of the nebula at infrared and radio wavelengths, it is perhaps surprising that this region has been comparatively little studied as yet by professional astronomers. Gum 56 has a diameter of around 250 light-years, but despite its huge size it has also often been overlooked by visual observers due to its faintness, and because most of the light it emits is at wavelengths not visible to the human eye.

    The nebula is at a distance of about 6000 light-years from Earth. In the sky it can be found in the constellation Scorpius (The Scorpion) where it has a projected size which is four times the size of the full Moon [2].

    This image, which only captures a part of the nebula, was taken with the 2.2-metre MPG/ESO telescope using the Wide Field Imager (WFI) camera as part of the ESO Cosmic Gems programme. The programme makes use of telescope time that cannot be used for science observations to produce images of interesting, intriguing or visually attractive objects. All data collected may also be suitable for scientific purposes, and are made available to astronomers through ESO’s science archive.

    ESO WFI LaSilla
    WFI

    Notes

    [1] Note that these stars fall outside the field of view of this particular image and do not appear in the picture.

    [2] A wide-angle view of the Prawn Nebula taken by the VLT Survey Telescope was published earlier (eso1340a).

    3
    Detailed view of the Prawn Nebula from ESO’s VST

    See the full article here.

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.
    STEM Icon

    Stem Education Coalition
    Visit ESO in Social Media-

    Facebook

    Twitter

    YouTube

    ESO Bloc Icon

    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 8:10 am on August 17, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , ESO Very Large Survey Telescope (VST)   

    From SPACE.com: ” Spiral Galaxy Glows in Breathtaking Telescope Photos, Video” 

    space-dot-com logo

    SPACE.com

    August 08, 2014
    Elizabeth Howell

    Red clouds of gas are speckled among the stars of a relatively nearby galaxy that shines in an incredible new image, one of the most detailed wide-angle views ever taken of the cosmic object.

    tri
    M33, the Triangulum Galaxy, taken by the VLT Survey Telescope at the European Southern Observatory’s Paranal Observatory in Chile. The picture reveals gassy regions, shown in red.

    The photo, taken by a telescope in Chile, puts the Triangulum Galaxy (also called M33, or NGC 598) on display. Embedded in the spiral galaxy is a giant nebula, or gas cloud, called NGC 604. The nebula is about 1,500 light-years across and is about 40 times larger than the Orion Nebula — a well-known star forming hotspot that is closer to Earth.

    “A closer look at this beautiful new picture not only allows a very detailed inspection of the star-forming spiral arms of the galaxy, but also reveals the very rich scenery of the more distant galaxies scattered behind the myriad stars and glowing clouds of NGC 598,” representatives of the European Southern Observatory said in a statement.

    The new image, released by ESO, was taken by the VLT Survey Telescope located at ESO’s Paranal Observatory in Chile. Star clusters and dust also glow in the newly-released picture.

    M33 is 3 million light-years from Earth and is the second-closest large galaxy to Earth. (The Andromeda Galaxy is the closest large one.) NGC 598 is located in the northern constellation Triangulum and is just visible to the naked eye during a dark night. The galaxy is also speeding towards our own Milky Way at 62,000 mph (100,000 km/h) .

    m33a
    A wide view of the Triangulum Galaxy more than 3 million light-years from the Milky Way.
    Credit: ESO/Digitized Sky Survey 2. Acknowledgement: Davide De Martin

    “This picture was created from many individual exposures, including some taken through a filter passing just the light from glowing hydrogen, which make the red gas clouds in the galaxies spiral arms especially prominent,” ESO representatives said in a statement.

    The letter “M” stands for “Messier”, after the catalog by French astronomer Charles Messier who created a database of objects to help him distinguish them from comets. Astronomers believe M33 was first documented in the 1600s by Sicilian astronomer Giovanni Battista Hodierna.

    See the full article here.

    NGC 604
    This is a Hubble Space Telescope image (right) of a vast nebula called NGC 604, which lies in the neighboring spiral galaxy M33, located 2.7 million light-years away in the constellation Triangulum. This is a site where new stars are being born in a spiral arm of the galaxy. Though such nebulae are common in galaxies, this one is particularly large, nearly 1,500 light-years across. The nebula is so vast it is easily seen in ground-based telescopic images (left). At the heart of NGC 604 are over 200 hot stars, much more massive than our Sun (15 to 60 solar masses). They heat the gaseous walls of the nebula making the gas fluoresce. Their light also highlights the nebula’s three-dimensional shape, like a lantern in a cavern. By studying the physical structure of a giant nebula, astronomers may determine how clusters of massive stars affect the evolution of the interstellar medium of the galaxy. The nebula also yields clues to its star formation history and will improve understanding of the starburst process when a galaxy undergoes a “firestorm” of star formation. The image was taken on January 17, 1995 with Hubble’s Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2. Separate exposures were taken in different colors of light to study the physical properties of the hot gas (17,000 degrees Fahrenheit, 10,000 degrees Kelvin.

    NASA Hubble Telescope
    NASA/ESA Hubble

    NASA Hubble WFPC2
    HUbble’s WFPC2, no longer in service

    ScienceSprings relies on technology from

    MAINGEAR computers

    Lenovo
    Lenovo

    Dell
    Dell

     
  • richardmitnick 12:35 pm on October 14, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , ESO Very Large Survey Telescope (VST)   

    From ESO: “Surprise Cloud Around Vast Star” 


    European Southern Observatory

    This new picture from the VLT Survey Telescope (VST) at ESO’s Paranal Observatory shows the remarkable super star cluster Westerlund 1 (eso1034). This exceptionally bright cluster lies about 16 000 light-years from Earth in the southern constellation of Ara (The Altar). It contains hundreds of very massive and brilliant stars, all of which are just a few million years old — babies by stellar standards. But our view of this cluster is hampered by gas and dust that prevents most of the visible light from the cluster’s stars from getting to Earth.

    cloud
    Release date: 14 October 2013, 10:00

    Now, astronomers studying images of Westerlund 1 from a new survey of the southern skies have spotted something unexpected in this cluster. Around one of the stars — known as W26, a red supergiant and possibly the biggest star known— they have discovered clouds of glowing hydrogen gas, shown as green features in this new image.

    Such glowing clouds around massive stars are very rare, and are even rarer around a red supergiant— this is the first ionised nebula discovered around such a star. W26 itself would be too cool to make the gas glow; the astronomers speculate that the source of the ionising radiation may be either hot blue stars elsewhere in the cluster, or possibly a fainter, but much hotter, companion star to W26.

    W26 will eventually explode as a supernova. The nebula that surrounds it is very similar to the nebula surrounding SN1987A, the remnants of a star that went supernova in 1987. SN1987A was the closest observed supernova to Earth since 1604, and as such it gave astronomers a chance to explore the properties of these explosions. Studying objects like this new nebula around W26 will help astronomers to understand the mass loss processes around these massive stars, which eventually lead to their explosive demise.

    sn1987A
    ESA image of SN1987A

    See the full article here.

    Visit ESO in Social Media-

    Facebook

    Twitter

    YouTube

    ESO Main

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


    ScienceSprings is powered by MAINGEAR computers

     
  • richardmitnick 8:01 am on January 4, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , ESO Very Large Survey Telescope (VST)   

    From ESO: “The Smoky Pink Core of the Omega Nebula” 

    A new image of the Omega Nebula, captured by ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT), is one of the sharpest of this object ever taken from the ground. It shows the dusty, rose-coloured central parts of this famous stellar nursery and reveals extraordinary detail in the cosmic landscape of gas clouds, dust and newborn stars.

    eso

    The colourful gas and dark dust in the Omega Nebula serve as the raw materials for creating the next generation of stars. In this particular section of the nebula, the newest stars on the scene — dazzlingly bright and shining blue-white — light up the whole ensemble. The nebula’s smoky-looking ribbons of dust stand in silhouette against the glowing gas. The dominant reddish colours of this portion of the cloud-like expanse, arise from hydrogen gas, glowing under the influence of the intense ultraviolet rays from the hot young stars.

    The image was taken with the FORS (FOcal Reducer and Spectrograph) instrument on Antu, one of the four Unit Telescopes of the VLT. In addition to the huge telescope, exceptionally steady air during the observations, despite some clouds, also helped make the crispness of this image possible. As a result this new picture is among the sharpest of this part of the Omega Nebula ever taken from the ground.

    This image is one of the first to have been produced as part of the ESO Cosmic Gems programme.

    THE BASIC TOOLS OF THE E.S.O.

    i1
    Paranal Platform The VLT


    La Silla

    i1
    ALMA Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array

    i2
    The European Extremely Large Telescope

    ESO Very Large Survey Telescope

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

     
  • richardmitnick 7:00 am on December 15, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , ESO Very Large Survey Telescope (VST)   

    From ESO: “A Galaxy Blooming with New Stars” 

    VLT Survey snaps wide-field view of NGC 253
    15 December 2011

    ESO’s VLT Survey Telescope (VST)

    “The VLT Survey Telescope (VST) has captured the beauty of the nearby spiral galaxy NGC 253. The new portrait is probably the most detailed wide-field view of this object and its surroundings ever taken. It demonstrates that the VST, the newest telescope at ESO’s Paranal Observatory, provides broad views of the sky while also offering impressive image sharpness.

    i1

    “NGC 253 gleams about eleven and a half million light-years away in the southern constellation of Sculptor. It is often just called the Sculptor Galaxy, although other descriptive names include the Silver Coin or Silver Dollar Galaxy. It is easy to get a good look at NGC 253 through binoculars as it is one of the brightest galaxies in the sky after the Milky Way’s closest, big galactic neighbour, the Andromeda Galaxy.

    Astronomers have noted the widespread active star formation in NGC 253 and labelled it a ‘starburst’ galaxy. The many bright clumps dotting the galaxy are stellar nurseries where hot young stars have just ignited. The radiation streaming from these giant blue-white babies makes the surrounding hydrogen gas clouds glow brightly (green in this image).

    The VST is a 2.6-metre wide-field survey telescope with a one-degree field of view — twice as broad as the full Moon. The VST programme is a joint venture between the INAF–Osservatorio Astronomico di Capodimonte, Naples, Italy and ESO (eso1119). The 268-megapixel camera OmegaCAM at its heart is designed to map the sky both quickly and with very fine image quality. VST is the largest telescope in the world designed to exclusively survey the sky in visible light, complementing ESO’s VISTA infrared survey telescope, also located at Paranal.”

    See the full post here.

    THE BASIC TOOLS OF THE E.S.O.

    i1
    Paranal Platform The VLT


    La Silla

    i1
    ALMA Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array

    i2
    The European Extremely Large Telescope

    ESO Very Large Survey Telescope

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

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