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  • richardmitnick 9:06 am on March 4, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ESO   

    From Astro Watch: “ESO Remains World’s Most Productive Ground-based Observatory” 

    Astro Watch bloc

    Astro Watch

    1

    A survey of peer-reviewed scientific papers published in 2016 and using data from ESO’s telescopes and instruments has shown that ESO remains the world’s most productive ground-based observatory. Astronomers used observational data from ESO facilities to produce an all-time high of 936 refereed papers last year.

    There were 565 papers credited to ESO in 2016 that used data acquired with either the Very Large Telescope (VLT) or the VLT Interferometer facilities on Cerro Paranal. The three most productive VLT instruments in terms of papers are UVES, FORS2 and VIMOS, which featured in 123, 109 and 75 papers, respectively. The MUSE and SPHERE instruments also saw large increases from the previous year. Data from the VISTA and VST survey telescopes on Cerro Paranal led to 93 and 18 papers, respectively.

    Facilities located at La Silla provided data for almost 200 papers in total. HARPS remains La Silla’s most productive instrument, with 80 papers to its name.

    European observing time with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) accounted for 129 papers in 2016, bringing to 305 the total number of such papers by the end of 2016. Observations made with the Atacama Pathfinder Experiment telescope (APEX) in ESO-APEX observing time led to 46 papers in 2016, taking the total of such papers to 301 by the end of 2016. The continued success of ALMA and APEX contributed significantly to ESO’s record-high number of publications. APEX is a collaboration between the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy, the Onsala Space Observatory and ESO, and is operated by ESO on the Chajnantor Plateau in Chile’s Atacama region.

    A comparison of the number of papers produced using facilities at major observatories worldwide puts ESO’s observatories at the top of the list. Note that the methods used to obtain these numbers differ from one observatory to another, so the figures cannot be compared precisely. Nevertheless, it is clear that ESO continues to significantly surpass any other ground-based observatory and on the available figures has increased its lead over the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope since 2015.

    These results highlight ESO’s major contribution to astronomical research. The publication statistics give an idea of how much scientific work is carried out with data from the individual observatories, but do not address the wider impact they have on science.

    The figures are published in the annual Basic ESO Publication Statistics published by ESO’s Library and calculated using the ESO Telescope Bibliography (telbib), a database containing refereed publications that use ESO data. ESO makes extensive efforts to identify all refereed papers that use ESO data and considers telbib essentially complete. In 2016, the 13 000th paper was added to telbib, published by a former ESO student and using data from the X-shooter and UVES instruments on the VLT.

    Interactive graphs of selected statistics are also available online. These graphs display the entire content of the telbib database, which contains records for publications from the year 1996 to the present. They can be used to explore many aspects of the publication history, including the development of science papers using data from ESO instruments and the use of archival data.

    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
    ESO/Cerro LaSilla 600 km north of Santiago de Chile at an altitude of 2400 metres

    ESO VLT
    VLT at Cerro Paranal, with an elevation of 2,635 metres (8,645 ft) above sea level

    ESO Vista Telescope
    ESO/Vista Telescope at Cerro Paranal, with an elevation of 2,635 metres (8,645 ft) above sea level

    ESO NTT
    ESO/NTT at Cerro LaSilla 600 km north of Santiago de Chile at an altitude of 2400 metres

    ESO VLT Survey telescope
    VLT Survey Telescope at Cerro Paranal with an elevation of 2,635 metres (8,645 ft) above sea level

    ALMA Array
    ALMA on the Chajnantor plateau at 5,000 metres

    ESO E-ELT
    ESO/E-ELT to be built at Cerro Armazones at 3,060 m

    ESO APEX
    APEX Atacama Pathfinder 5,100 meters above sea level, at the Llano de Chajnantor Observatory in the Atacama desert

    See the full article here .

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  • richardmitnick 2:03 pm on February 22, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: A system of seven Earth-sized planets just 40 light-years away, , , ESO, Three of the planets lie in the habitable zone, Ultracool dwarf star known as TRAPPIST-1   

    From ESO: “Ultracool Dwarf and the Seven Planets” 

    ESO 50 Large

    European Southern Observatory

    22 February 2017
    Michaël Gillon
    University of Liege
    Liege, Belgium
    Tel: +32 43 669 743
    Cell: +32 473 346 402
    Email: michael.gillon@ulg.ac.be

    Amaury Triaud
    Kavli Exoplanet Fellow, University of Cambridge
    Cambridge, United Kingdom
    Tel: +44 1223 766 690
    Cell: +44 747 0087 217
    Email: aht34@cam.ac.uk

    Emmanuël Jehin
    University of Liège
    Liège, Belgium
    Tel: +32 495237298
    Email: ejehin@ulg.ac.be

    Brice-Olivier Demory
    University of Bern
    Bern, Switzerland
    Tel: +41 31 631 51 57
    Cell: +44 78 66 476 486
    Email: brice.demory@csh.unibe.ch

    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
    Astronomers have found a system of seven Earth-sized planets just 40 light-years away. Using ground and space telescopes, including ESO’s Very Large Telescope, the planets were all detected as they passed in front of their parent star, the ultracool dwarf star known as TRAPPIST-1. According to the paper appearing today in the journal Nature, three of the planets lie in the habitable zone and could harbour oceans of water on their surfaces, increasing the possibility that the star system could play host to life. This system has both the largest number of Earth-sized planets yet found and the largest number of worlds that could support liquid water on their surfaces.

    Astronomers using the TRAPPIST–South telescope at ESO’s La Silla Observatory, the Very Large Telescope (VLT) at Paranal and the NASA Spitzer Space Telescope, as well as other telescopes around the world [1], have now confirmed the existence of at least seven small planets orbiting the cool red dwarf star TRAPPIST-1 [2]. All the planets, labelled TRAPPIST-1b, c, d, e, f, g and h in order of increasing distance from their parent star, have sizes similar to Earth [3].

    ESO Belgian robotic Trappist-South National Telescope at Cerro La Silla, Chile
    ESO Belgian robotic Trappist-South National Telescope at Cerro La Silla, Chile

    NASA/Spitzer Telescope
    “NASA/Spitzer Telescope

    Dips in the star’s light output caused by each of the seven planets passing in front of it — events known as transits — allowed the astronomers to infer information about their sizes, compositions and orbits [4].

    Planet transit. NASA/Ames
    Planet transit. NASA/Ames

    They found that at least the inner six planets are comparable in both size and temperature to the Earth.

    Lead author Michaël Gillon of the STAR Institute at the University of Liège in Belgium is delighted by the findings: “This is an amazing planetary system — not only because we have found so many planets, but because they are all surprisingly similar in size to the Earth!”

    With just 8% the mass of the Sun, TRAPPIST-1 is very small in stellar terms — only marginally bigger than the planet Jupiter — and though nearby in the constellation Aquarius (The Water Carrier), it appears very dim. Astronomers expected that such dwarf stars might host many Earth-sized planets in tight orbits, making them promising targets in the hunt for extraterrestrial life, but TRAPPIST-1 is the first such system to be found.

    Co-author Amaury Triaud expands: “The energy output from dwarf stars like TRAPPIST-1 is much weaker than that of our Sun. Planets would need to be in far closer orbits than we see in the Solar System if there is to be surface water. Fortunately, it seems that this kind of compact configuration is just what we see around TRAPPIST-1!”

    The team determined that all the planets in the system are similar in size to Earth and Venus in the Solar System, or slightly smaller. The density measurements suggest that at least the innermost six are probably rocky in composition.

    The planetary orbits are not much larger than that of Jupiter’s Galilean moon system, and much smaller than the orbit of Mercury in the Solar System. However, TRAPPIST-1’s small size and low temperature mean that the energy input to its planets is similar to that received by the inner planets in our Solar System; TRAPPIST-1c, d and f receive similar amounts of energy to Venus, Earth and Mars, respectively.

    All seven planets discovered in the system could potentially have liquid water on their surfaces, though their orbital distances make some of them more likely candidates than others. Climate models suggest the innermost planets, TRAPPIST-1b, c and d, are probably too hot to support liquid water, except maybe on a small fraction of their surfaces. The orbital distance of the system’s outermost planet, TRAPPIST-1h, is unconfirmed, though it is likely to be too distant and cold to harbour liquid water — assuming no alternative heating processes are occurring [5]. TRAPPIST-1e, f, and g, however, represent the holy grail for planet-hunting astronomers, as they orbit in the star’s habitable zone and could host oceans of surface water [6].

    These new discoveries make the TRAPPIST-1 system a very important target for future study. The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope is already being used to search for atmospheres around the planets and team member Emmanuël Jehin is excited about the future possibilities: “With the upcoming generation of telescopes, such as ESO’s European Extremely Large Telescope and the NASA/ESA/CSA James Webb Space Telescope, we will soon be able to search for water and perhaps even evidence of life on these worlds.”

    NASA/ESA Hubble Telescope
    NASA/ESA Hubble Telescope

    NASA/ESA/CSA Webb Telescope annotated
    NASA/ESA/CSA Webb Telescope annotated

    Notes

    [1] As well as the NASA Spitzer Space Telescope, the team used many ground-based facilities: TRAPPIST–South at ESO’s La Silla Observatory in Chile, HAWK-I on ESO’s Very Large Telescope in Chile, TRAPPIST–North in Morocco, the 3.8-metre UKIRT in Hawaii, the 2-metre Liverpool and 4-metre William Herschel telescopes at La Palma in the Canary Islands, and the 1-metre SAAO telescope in South Africa.

    trappist-north-telescope-in-morocco
    Trappist-North Telescope in Morocco

    UKIRT, located on Mauna Kea, Hawaii, USA as part of Mauna Kea Observatory
    UKIRT, located on Mauna Kea, Hawaii, USA as part of Mauna Kea Observatory

    2-metre Liverpool Telescope at La Palma in the Canary Islands
    2-metre Liverpool Telescope at La Palma in the Canary Islands

    ING  4 meter William Herschel Telescope at Roque de los Muchachos Observatory on La Palma in the Canary Islands
    ING 4 meter William Herschel Telescope at Roque de los Muchachos Observatory on La Palma in the Canary Islands

    1 Meter SAAO Telescope in South Africa
    1 Meter SAAO Telescope in South Africa

    [2] TRAPPIST–South (the TRAnsiting Planets and PlanetesImals Small Telescope–South) is a Belgian 0.6-metre robotic telescope operated from the University of Liège and based at ESO’s La Silla Observatory in Chile. It spends much of its time monitoring the light from around 60 of the nearest ultracool dwarf stars and brown dwarfs (“stars” which are not quite massive enough to initiate sustained nuclear fusion in their cores), looking for evidence of planetary transits. TRAPPIST–South, along with its twin TRAPPIST–North, are the forerunners to the SPECULOOS system, which is currently being installed at ESO’s Paranal Observatory.

    SPECULOOS  four 1m-diameter robotic telescopes 2016 in the ESO Paranal Observatory
    SPECULOOS four 1m-diameter robotic telescopes 2016 in the ESO Paranal Observatory

    [3] In early 2016, a team of astronomers, also led by Michaël Gillon announced the discovery of three planets orbiting TRAPPIST-1. They intensified their follow-up observations of the system mainly because of a remarkable triple transit that they observed with the HAWK-I instrument on the VLT.

    ESO HAWK-I
    ESO HAWK-I

    This transit showed clearly that at least one other unknown planet was orbiting the star. And that historic light curve shows for the first time three temperate Earth-sized planets, two of them in the habitable zone, passing in front of their star at the same time!

    [4] This is one of the main methods that astronomers use to identify the presence of a planet around a star. They look at the light coming from the star to see if some of the light is blocked as the planet passes in front of its host star on the line of sight to Earth — it transits the star, as astronomers say. As the planet orbits around its star, we expect to see regular small dips in the light coming from the star as the planet moves in front of it.

    [5] Such processes could include tidal heating, whereby the gravitational pull of TRAPPIST-1 causes the planet to repeatedly deform, leading to inner frictional forces and the generation of heat. This process drives the active volcanism on Jupiter’s moon Io. If TRAPPIST-1h has also retained a primordial hydrogen-rich atmosphere, the rate of heat loss could be very low.

    [6] This discovery also represents the largest known chain of exoplanets orbiting in near-resonance with each other. The astronomers carefully measured how long it takes for each planet in the system to complete one orbit around TRAPPIST-1 — known as the revolution period — and then calculated the ratio of each planet’s period and that of its next more distant neighbour. The innermost six TRAPPIST-1 planets have period ratios with their neighbours that are very close to simple ratios, such as 5:3 or 3:2. This means that the planets most likely formed together further from their star, and have since moved inwards into their current configuration. If so, they could be low-density and volatile-rich worlds, suggesting an icy surface and/or an atmosphere.
    More information

    This research was presented in a paper entitled Seven temperate terrestrial planets around the nearby ultracool dwarf star TRAPPIST-1, by M. Gillon et al., to appear in the journal Nature.

    The team is composed of M. Gillon (Université de Liège, Liège, Belgium), A. H. M. J. Triaud (Institute of Astronomy, Cambridge, UK), B.-O. Demory (University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland; Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge, UK), E. Jehin (Université de Liège, Liège, Belgium), E. Agol (University of Washington, Seattle, USA; NASA Astrobiology Institute’s Virtual Planetary Laboratory, Seattle, USA), K. M. Deck (California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, USA), S. M. Lederer (NASA Johnson Space Center, Houston, USA), J. de Wit (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA), A. Burdanov (Université de Liège, Liège, Belgium), J. G. Ingalls (California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California, USA), E. Bolmont (University of Namur, Namur, Belgium; Laboratoire AIM Paris-Saclay, CEA/DRF – CNRS – Univ. Paris Diderot – IRFU/SAp, Centre de Saclay, France), J. Leconte (Univ. Bordeaux, Pessac, France), S. N. Raymond (Univ. Bordeaux, Pessac, France), F. Selsis (Univ. Bordeaux, Pessac, France), M. Turbet (Sorbonne Universités, Paris, France), K. Barkaoui (Oukaimeden Observatory, Marrakesh, Morocco), A. Burgasser (University of California, San Diego, California, USA), M. R. Burleigh (University of Leicester, Leicester, UK), S. J. Carey (California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, USA), A. Chaushev (University of Leicester, UK), C. M. Copperwheat (Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, UK), L. Delrez (Université de Liège, Liège, Belgium; Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge, UK), C. S. Fernandes (Université de Liège, Liège, Belgium), D. L. Holdsworth (University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK), E. J. Kotze (South African Astronomical Observatory, Cape Town, South Africa), V. Van Grootel (Université de Liège, Liège, Belgium), Y. Almleaky (King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; King Abdullah Centre for Crescent Observations and Astronomy, Makkah Clock, Saudi Arabia), Z. Benkhaldoun (Oukaimeden Observatory, Marrakesh, Morocco), P. Magain (Université de Liège, Liège, Belgium), and D. Queloz (Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge, UK; Astronomy Department, Geneva University, Switzerland).

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.
    STEM Icon

    Stem Education Coalition
    Visit ESO in Social Media-

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    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
    ESO/Cerro LaSilla 600 km north of Santiago de Chile at an altitude of 2400 metres

    ESO VLT
    VLT at Cerro Paranal, with an elevation of 2,635 metres (8,645 ft) above sea level

    ESO Vista Telescope
    ESO/Vista Telescope at Cerro Paranal, with an elevation of 2,635 metres (8,645 ft) above sea level

    ESO NTT
    ESO/NTT at Cerro LaSilla 600 km north of Santiago de Chile at an altitude of 2400 metres

    ESO VLT Survey telescope
    VLT Survey Telescope at Cerro Paranal with an elevation of 2,635 metres (8,645 ft) above sea level

    ALMA Array
    ALMA on the Chajnantor plateau at 5,000 metres

    ESO E-ELT
    ESO/E-ELT to be built at Cerro Armazones at 3,060 m

    ESO APEX
    APEX Atacama Pathfinder 5,100 meters above sea level, at the Llano de Chajnantor Observatory in the Atacama desert

     
  • richardmitnick 12:44 pm on February 20, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , ESO   

    From ALMA via ESO: “ALMA’s Hole in the Universe” 

    ALMA Array

    ALMA

    20 February 2017
    No writer credit

    1
    Credit: ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO)/T. Kitayama (Toho University, Japan)/ESA/Hubble & NASA

    The events surrounding the Big Bang were so cataclysmic that they left an indelible imprint on the fabric of the cosmos. We can detect these scars today by observing the oldest light in the Universe. As it was created nearly 14 billion years ago, this light — which exists now as weak microwave radiation and is thus named the cosmic microwave background (CMB) — has now expanded to permeate the entire cosmos, filling it with detectable photons.

    CMB per ESA/Planck
    CMB per ESA/Planck

    The CMB can be used to probe the cosmos via something known as the Sunyaev-Zel’dovich (SZ) effect, which was first observed over 30 years ago. We detect the CMB here on Earth when its constituent microwave photons travel to us through space. On their journey to us, they can pass through galaxy clusters that contain high-energy electrons. These electrons give the photons a tiny boost of energy. Detecting these boosted photons through our telescopes is challenging but important — they can help astronomers to understand some of the fundamental properties of the Universe, such as the location and distribution of dense galaxy clusters.

    This image shows the first measurements of the thermal Sunyaev-Zel’dovich effect from the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) in Chile (in blue). Astronomers combined data from ALMA’s 7- and 12-metre antennas to produce the sharpest possible image. The target was one of the most massive known galaxy clusters, RX J1347.5–1145, the centre of which shows up here in the dark “hole” in the ALMA observations. The energy distribution of the CMB photons shifts and appears as a temperature decrease at the wavelength observed by ALMA, hence a dark patch is observed in this image at the location of the cluster.

    See the full article here .

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    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 3:59 pm on January 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ESO   

    From ESO: ESOcast 91 Light: VLT to search for planets around Alpha Centauri 4K UHD” Video 

    ESO 50 Large

    European Southern Observatory

    ESO has signed an agreement with the Breakthrough Initiatives to adapt the Very Large Telescope instrumentation in Chile to conduct a search for planets in the nearby star system Alpha Centauri. Such planets could be the targets for an eventual launch of miniature space probes by the Breakthrough Starshot Initiative.


    Access mp4 video here .

    The video is available in 4K UHD.
    This ESOcast Light takes a quick look at the main facts and why this is an important step for the future.
    More information and download options: http://www.eso.org/public/videos/eso1…
    Subscribe to ESOcast in iTunes! https://itunes.apple.com/podcast/esoc…
    Receive future episodes on YouTube by pressing the Subscribe button above or follow us on Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/esoastronomy
    Watch more ESOcast episodes: http://www.eso.org/public/videos/arch…
    Find out how to view and contribute subtitles for the ESOcast in multiple languages, or translate this video on dotSUB: http://www.eso.org/public/outreach/pa…

    Credit:
    ESO.

    Visual Design and Editing: Martin Kornmesser and Luis Calçada.
    Editing: Herbert Zodet.
    Web and technical support: Mathias André and Raquel Yumi Shida.
    Written by: Lars Lindberg Christensen and Oana Sandu.
    Music: Paulo Raimundo.
    Footage and photos: ESO, Breakthrough Initiatives, Gianluca Lombardi (glphoto.it), Nick Risinger (skysurvey.org), B. Tafreshi (twanight.org), S. Brunier and C. Malin (christophmalin.com).
    Directed by: Herbert Zodet.
    Executive producer: Lars Lindberg Christensen.

    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
    ESO/Cerro LaSilla 600 km north of Santiago de Chile at an altitude of 2400 metres

    ESO VLT
    VLT at Cerro Paranal, with an elevation of 2,635 metres (8,645 ft) above sea level

    ESO Vista Telescope
    ESO/Vista Telescope at Cerro Paranal, with an elevation of 2,635 metres (8,645 ft) above sea level

    ESO NTT
    ESO/NTT at Cerro LaSilla 600 km north of Santiago de Chile at an altitude of 2400 metres

    ESO VLT Survey telescope
    VLT Survey Telescope at Cerro Paranal with an elevation of 2,635 metres (8,645 ft) above sea level

    ALMA Array
    ALMA on the Chajnantor plateau at 5,000 metres

    ESO E-ELT
    ESO/E-ELT to be built at Cerro Armazones at 3,060 m

    ESO APEX
    APEX Atacama Pathfinder 5,100 meters above sea level, at the Llano de Chajnantor Observatory in the Atacama desert

     
  • richardmitnick 2:35 pm on December 7, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , ESO, ESO Supernova exhibition — “The Living Universe”   

    From ESO: “A sneak preview of the images used for the ESO Supernova exhibition — “The Living Universe” 

    ESO 50 Large

    European Southern Observatory

    12.7.16

    This post is dedicated to ESO’s O.S., a great science communicator.

    1
    Solar system black hole

    2
    ESO telescopes and instruments

    3
    The three fates of the universe

    4
    Crowd of ice cores in the Kuiper Belt

    4
    Black hole passing by earth

    5
    Cosmic collapse

    6
    Different shades of shadow

    7
    First ever birthday

    8
    An outside perspective on a solar eclipse

    9
    Probing the early universe

    10
    Creating the star cluster NGC 3532

    11
    The habitable zone (artist’s impression)

    12
    Chemical spectra of a transiting explanet

    13
    Star formation in the Pillars of Creation

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.
    STEM Icon

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    Visit ESO in Social Media-

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    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
    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 8:36 am on December 15, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , ESO, XXL Survey   

    From ESO: “XXL Hunt for Galaxy Clusters” 


    European Southern Observatory

    15 December 2015
    Marguerite Pierre
    CEA
    Saclay, France
    Email: marguerite.pierre@cea.fr

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

    Observations from ESO telescopes provide crucial third dimension in probe of Universe’s dark side

    q

    ESO telescopes have provided an international team of astronomers with the gift of the third dimension in a plus-sized hunt for the largest gravitationally bound structures in the Universe — galaxy clusters. Observations by the VLT and the NTT complement those from other observatories across the globe and in space as part of the XXL survey — one of the largest ever such quests for clusters.

    Galaxy clusters are massive congregations of galaxies that host huge reservoirs of hot gas — the temperatures are so high that X-rays are produced. These structures are useful to astronomers because their construction is believed to be influenced by the Universe’s notoriously strange components — dark matter and dark energy. By studying their properties at different stages in the history of the Universe, galaxy clusters can shed light on the Universe’s poorly understood dark side.

    The team, consisting of over 100 astronomers from around the world, started a hunt for the cosmic monsters in 2011. Although the high-energy X-ray radiation that reveals their location is absorbed by the Earth’s atmosphere, it can be detected by X-ray observatories in space. Thus, they combined an ESA XMM-Newton survey — the largest time allocation ever granted for this orbiting telescope — with observations from ESO and other observatories.

    ESA XMM Newton
    ESA/XMM-Newton

    The result is a huge and growing collection of data across the electromagnetic spectrum [1], collectively called the XXL survey.

    “The main goal of the XXL survey is to provide a well-defined sample of some 500 galaxy clusters out to a distance when the Universe was half its current age,” explains XXL principal investigator Marguerite Pierre of CEA, Saclay, France.

    The XMM-Newton telescope imaged two patches of sky — each one hundred times the area of the full Moon — in an attempt to discover a huge number of previously unknown galaxy clusters. The XXL survey team have now released their findings in a series of papers using the 100 brightest clusters discovered [2].

    Observations from the EFOSC2 instrument installed on the New Technology Telescope (NTT), along with the FORS instrument attached to ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT), also were used to carefully analyse the light coming from galaxies within these galaxy clusters.

    ESO EFOSC2
    EFOSC2 instrument

    ESO FORS1
    FORS1

    Crucially, this allowed the team to measure the precise distances to the galaxy clusters, providing the three-dimensional view of the cosmos required to perform precise measurements of dark matter and dark energy [3].

    The XXL survey is expected to produce many exciting and unexpected results, but even with one fifth of the final expected data, some surprising and important findings have already appeared.

    One paper reports the discovery of five new superclusters — clusters of galaxy clusters — adding to those already known, such as our own, the Laniakea Supercluster.

    2
    The Laniakea Supercluster

    Another reports followup observations of one particular galaxy cluster (informally known as XLSSC-116), located over six billion light-years away [4]. In this cluster unusually bright diffuse light was observed using MUSE on the VLT.

    ESO MUSE
    MUSE

    “This is the first time that we are able to study in detail the diffuse light in a distant galaxy cluster, illustrating the power of MUSE for such valuable studies,” explained co-author Christoph Adami of the Laboratoire d’Astrophysique, Marseille, France.

    The team have also used the data to confirm the idea that galaxy clusters in the past are scaled down versions of those we observe today — an important finding for the theoretical understanding of the evolution of clusters over the life of the Universe.

    The simple act of counting galaxy clusters in the XXL data has also confirmed a strange earlier result — there are fewer distant clusters than expected based on predictions from the cosmological parameters measured by ESA’s Planck telescope.

    ESA Planck
    ESA/Planck

    The reason for this discrepancy is unknown, however the team hope to get to the bottom of this cosmological curiosity with the full sample of clusters in 2017.

    These four important results are just a foretaste of what is to come in this massive survey of some of the most massive objects in the Universe.

    Notes

    [1] The XXL survey has combined archival data as well as new observations of galaxy clusters covering the wavelength range from 1 × 10—4 μm (X-ray, observed with XMM) to 492 μm (submillimetre range, observed with the Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope [GMRT]).

    Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope
    GMRT

    [2] The galaxy clusters reported in the thirteen papers are found at redshifts between z = 0.05 and z = 1.05, which correspond to when the Universe was approximately 13 and 5.7 billion years old, respectively.

    [3] Probing the galaxy clusters required their precise distances to be known. While approximate distances — photometric redshifts — can be measured by analysing their colours at different wavelengths, more accurate spectroscopic redshifts are needed. Spectroscopic redshifts were also sourced from archival data, as part of the VIMOS Public Extragalactic Redshift Survey (VIPERS), the VIMOS-VLT Deep Survey (VVDS) and the GAMA survey.

    Temp 1
    From VIPERS

    3

    5
    From GAMA

    [4] This galaxy cluster was found to be at a redshift of z = 0.543.

    More information

    A description of the survey, and some of the early science results, will be presented in a series of papers to appear in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics on 15 December 2015.

    XXL is an international project based around an XMM Very Large Programme surveying two 25 square degrees extragalactic fields at a depth of ~5 × 10–15 erg cm—2 s—1 in the [0.5—2] keV band for point-like sources. The XXL website is found here. Multi-band information and spectroscopic follow-up of the X-ray sources are obtained through a number of survey programmes is summarised here.

    Links:

    XXL Survey
    Scientific Papers in Astronomy & Astrophysics

    The full XXL CONSORTIUM:
    C. Adami (Laboratoire d’Astrophysique, Marseille, FR)
    S. Alis (Observatoire de la Cote d’Azur, Nice, FR)
    A. Alshino (University of Bahrain, BH)
    B. Altieri (European Space Astronomy Center, Madrid, SP)
    N. Baran (University of Zagreb, HR)
    S. Basilakos (Research Center for Astronomy, Academy of Athens, GR)
    C. Benoist (Observatoire de la Cote d’Azur, Nice, FR)
    M. Birkishaw (University of Bristol, UK)
    A. Bongiorno (Rome Observatory, Italy)
    V. Bouillot (Observatoire de Paris, FR)
    M. Bremer (University of Bristol, UK)
    T. Broadhurst (Basque University, Bilbao, SP)
    M. Brusa (INAF-OABO, Bologna, IT)
    A. Butler (University of Western Austalia, AU)
    N. Cappelluti (INAF-OABO, Bologna, IT)
    A. Cappi (INAF-OABO, Bologna, IT)
    T. Chantavat (Naresuan University, TH)
    L. Chiappetti (INAF-IASF, Milano, IT)
    P. Ciliegi (INAF-OABO, Bologna, IT)
    F. Civano (H. S. Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, US)
    A. Comastri (INAF-OABO, Bologna, IT)
    P. S. Corasaniti (Observatoire de Paris, FR)
    J. Coupon (ASIAA, Taipei, TW)
    N. Clerc (Service d’Astrophysique CEA, Saclay, FR)
    C. De Breuck (ESO Garching, DE)
    J. Delhaize (University of Zagreb, HR)
    J. Democles (University of Birmingham, UK)
    Sh. Desai (University of Illinois, US)
    J. Devriendt (University of Oxford, UK)
    O. Dore (JPL Caltech, Pasadena, US)
    Y. Dubois (University of Oxford, UK)
    D. Eckert (ISCD, Geneva Observatory, CH)
    L. Edwards (Mount Allison Observatory, CA)
    D. Elbaz (Service d’Astrophysique CEA, Saclay, FR)
    A. Elyiv (University of Liege, BE)
    S. Ettori (INAF-OABO, Bologna, IT)
    A. E. Evrard (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, US)
    L. Faccioli (Service d’Astrophysique CEA, Saclay, FR)
    A. Farahi (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, US)
    C. Ferrari (Observatoire de la Cote d’Azur, FR)
    F. Finet (Aryabhatta Research institute for Observational Science, IN)
    F. Fiore (Observatory of Roma, IT)
    S. Fotopoulou (ISCD, Geneva Observatory, CH)
    W. Forman (H. S. Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, US)
    E. Freeland (Stockholm University)
    P. Gandhi (ISAS, JAXA, Sagamihara, JP)
    F. Gastadello (INAF-IASF, Milan, IT)
    I. Georgantopoulos (Observatory of Athens, GR)
    P. Gilles (University of Bristol, UK)
    R. Gilli (INAF-OABO, Bologna, IT)
    A. Goulding (H. S. Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, US)
    Ch. Gordon (University of Oxford, UK)
    L. Guennou (University of Kwazulu-Natal, ZA)
    V. Guglielmo (Observatory of Padova, IT)
    R. C. Hickox (Durham University, UK)
    C. Horellou (Chalmers University of Technology, Onsala, SE)
    K. Husband (University of Bristol, UK)
    M. Huynh (University of Western Austalia, AU)
    A. Iovino (INAF-OAB, Brera, IT)
    Ch. Jones (H. S. Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, US)
    S. Lavoie (University of Victoria, CA)
    A. Le Brun (Service d’Astrophysique CEA, Saclay, FR)
    J.-P. Le Fevre (Service d’Informatique CEA, Saclay, FR)
    M. Lieu (University of Birmingham, UK)
    C.A Lin (Service d’Astrophysique CEA, Saclay, FR)
    M. Kilbinger (Service d’Astrophysique CEA, Saclay, FR)
    E. Koulouridis (Service d’Astrophysique CEA, Saclay, FR)
    Ch. Lidman (Australian Astronomical Observatory, Epping, AU)
    M. Matturi (ITA/ZAH Heildelberg, DE)
    B. Maughan (University of Bristol, UK)
    A. Mantz (University of Chicago, US)
    S. Maurogordato (Observatoire de la Cote d’Azur, Nice, FR)
    I. McCarthy (University of Liverpool, UK)
    S. McGee (Leiden Univeristy, NL)
    F. Menanteau (University of Illinois, US)
    J.-B. Melin (Service de Physique des Particules CEA, Saclay, FR)
    O. Melnyk (University of Liege, BE)
    J. Mohr (University of Munich, DE)
    S. Molnar (ASIAA, Taipei, TW)
    E. Mörtsell (Stockholm University, SE)
    L. Moscardini (University of Bologna, IT)
    S. S. Murray (Jon Hopkins, Baltimore, US)
    M. Novak (University of Zagreb, HR)
    F. Pacaud (Argelander-Institut fur Astronomie, Bonn, DE)
    S. Paltani (ISCD, Geneva Observatory, CH)
    S. Paulin-Henriksson (Service d’Astrophysique CEA, Saclay, FR)
    E. Piconcelli (INAF, Roma Observatory, IT)
    M. Pierre (Service d’Astrophysique CEA, Saclay, FR)
    T. Plagge (University of Chicago, US)
    M. Plionis (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Department of Physics, GR)
    B. Poggianti (Observatory of Padova, IT)
    D. Pomarede (Service d’Informatique CEA, Saclay, FR)
    E. Pompei (European Souhern Observatory, Garching, DE)
    T. Ponman (University of Birmingham, UK)
    M. E. Ramos Ceja (Argelander-Institut fur Astronomie, Bonn, DE)
    P. Ranalli (Observatory of Athens, GR)
    D. Rapetti (Copenhagen University, DK)
    S. Raychaudhury (University of Birmingham, UK)
    T. Reiprich (Argelander-Institut fur Astronomie, Bonn, DE)
    H. Rottgering (Leiden Observatory, NL)
    E. Rozo (SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, US)
    E. Rykoff (SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, US)
    T. Sadibekova (Service d’Astrophysique CEA, Saclay, FR)
    M. Sahlén (University of Oxford, UK)
    J. Santos (INAF – Osservatorio Astronomico di Arcetri, IT)
    J.-L. Sauvageot (Service d’Astrophysique CEA, Saclay, FR)
    C. Schimd (Laboratoire d’Astrophysique, Marseille, FR)
    M. Sereno (University of Bologna, IT)
    J. Silk (University of Oxford, UK)
    G.P. Smith (University of Birmingham, UK)
    V. Smolcic (University of Zagreb, HR)
    S. Snowden (NASA, GSFC, US)
    D. Spergel (Princeton University, US)
    A. Stanford (University of California, Davis, US)
    J. Surdej (University of Liege, BE)
    K. Umetsu (ASIAA, Taipei, TW)
    P. Valageas (Institut de Physique Theorique du CEA, Saclay, FR)
    A. Valotti (Service d’Astrophysique CEA, Saclay, FR)
    I. Valtchanov (European Space Astronomy Center, Madrid, SP)
    C. Vignali (University of Bologna, IT)
    J. Willis (University of Victoria, CA)
    F. Ziparo (University of Birmingham, UK)

    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 Interferometer
    VLT

    ESO Vista Telescope
    VISTA

    ESO VLT Survey telescope
    VLT Survey Telescope

    ESO NTT
    NTT

    ALMA Array
    ALMA

    ESO E-ELT
    E-ELT

    ESO APEX
    Atacama Pathfinder Experiment (APEX) Telescope

     
  • richardmitnick 8:22 pm on September 15, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Active Optics, , , ESO   

    From ESO: “Active Optics – Inventing a game changer” Nothing Really New, but Important Thanks to ESO 


    European Southern Observatory

    9.15.15
    No Writer Credit

    VLT Active Optics System
    1
    The VLT Active Optics System provides complete control of the VLT optics and optimizes its performance in all telescope positions. This is achieved by changing the shape of the primary 8.2-m Zerodur mirror and also shifting the position of the secondary 1.1-m beryllium mirror at the top of the telescope structure. A stellar image is registered by the “wavefront sensor” and analysed, where after corresponding correction signals are generated to move the mirror supports. Credit: ESO

    The VLT Writes Its Name
    Wonders of Active Optics

    2
    A computer-controlled “Active Optics” system was first developed at ESO in the 1980’s. It allows the continuous tuning of the optical system of an astronomical telescope, thus ensuring that it always produces the sharpest possible images of astronomical objects. The first major telescope to profit from this revolution in telescope techniques was the ESO New Technology Telescope (NTT) at the La Silla observatory. Since it began operation in 1990, 75 adjustable supports below the 3.58-m primary mirror, coupled with advanced image analysis and control software, have made this prototype telescope one of the best in the world. Each of the four ESO Very Large Telescope (VLT) Unit Telescopes is equipped with the latest, improved active optics system that controls the primary 8.2-m Zerodur mirror as well as the secondary 1.1-m lightweight beryllium mirror at the top of the telescope structure. This system offers complete control of the optical quality, allowing the VLT to take full advantage of the exceptional atmospheric conditions at Paranal. This is amply confirmed by fine quality of the astronomical observations now performed with the first Unit Telescope, ANTU. In the course of the one-year commissioning period (May 1998 – March 1999), ESO’s opticians performed extensive tests and further improvements of the active optics system at ANTU. Here are some interesting examples that illustrate the amazing versatility of this front-line technological system.

    Size really does matter and so does shape. Both are important when it comes to constructing more powerful telescopes. Bigger primary mirrors allow astronomers to capture more light and a perfectly shaped mirror surface is needed to avoid distortions; the effective combination of the two makes it possible to observe fainter objects. Unfortunately, this has never been easy, as maintaining a perfect shape becomes harder as telescope mirrors become larger.

    This challenge became important in the sixties and seventies. The technology available at the time did not allow astronomers and engineers to build telescopes with primary mirrors over 5 metres in diameter. Over that size, the image quality decreased enormously as gravity pulled on the mirrors out of shape. Using the technology of the time to build mirrors over 5 metres in diameter would have required huge structures to support the mirrors and higher construction costs, resulting in a prohibitively heavy structure without the promise of a better view. A new way had to be found to ensure optical accuracy.

    That’s when ESO engineer Raymond Wilson came along with a brilliant and “simple” idea called active optics. A thin and deformable primary mirror would be controlled by an active support system that would apply the necessary force to correct for gravitationally-induced deformations as the telescope changes its orientation (read more in the free book [?] Jewel on the Mountaintop by Claus Madsen).

    1-m Telescope Experiment
    3
    On the New Technology Telescope (see image below)
    Credit: ESO

    When ESO’s 3.6-metre telescope was inaugurated in 1976, active optics was still just an idea in Wilson’s head. That is why its primary mirror is half a metre thick and weighs an incredible 11 tonnes.

    The new concept was tested with a thin 1-metre mirror with an active support made by 75 actuators at ESO Headquarters. The actuators are motors that move very accurately and can be controlled precisely: by pushing the mirror, they correct its shape and compensate for the distortion produced by gravity. As the telescope moves, this active system can maintain the correct shape of the mirror. The corrections applied by the actuators are calculated in real time thanks to a computer with an image analyser that detects even the smallest deviations from the ideal mirror shape. Active optics was developed internally at ESO and after this successful trial became the main feature of the New Technology Telescope (NTT). Thanks to active optics, the 3.58-metre primary mirror of the NTT is only 24 centimetres thick and weighs 6 tonnes.

    NTT – Active Optics Support
    4
    The New Technology Telescope (NTT) pioneered the Active Optics : its 3.56m diameter mirror is thin and flexible, its shape is kept perfect thanks to the actuators supporting it. Credit: ESO/C.Madsen

    Since the NTT began operating in 1990, active optics has been applied to all major telescopes, including ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT). Wilson was honoured with multiple prizes for his invention, which proved to be a game changer for astronomy.

    Each of the four VLT Unit Telescopes (UTs) is equipped with the best active optics system constructed to date.

    ESO VLT Interferometer
    ESO VLT Interior
    VLT at Cerro Paranal

    The system controls the primary 8.2-metre Zerodur mirror as well as the secondary 1.1-metre lightweight beryllium mirror at the top of the telescope structure. Based on the corresponding signals from this device, the telescope mirrors are then automatically adjusted at regular intervals.

    Thanks to this technology, the primary mirrors of the four UTs each weigh 22 tonnes, measure 8.2 metres across and yet are only 17 centimetres thick — the shape of a giant pancake! Each of the mirrors rests on 150 computer-controlled supports (the actuators) that are installed in an exceedingly rigid cell that weighs about 11 tonnes. The VLT active optics system ensures that these large mirrors always have the optimal shape and will always deliver top-notch images of the Universe.

    Now, the active optics technique faces its next great challenge with the 39-metre primary mirror of the planned European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT).

    ESO E-ELT

    E-ELT at Cerro Armazones
    The E-ELT main mirror will consist of 798 individual segments. Each segment can be moved by a piston and tip-tilt mechanism, making this mosaic work as a single giant mirror by compensating for the effects of temperature fluctuations and gravity.

    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 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 9:06 am on August 20, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , ESO, From Earth to the Universe Video   

    From ESO: ” From Earth to the Universe” video 


    European Southern Observatory

    Published on Jun 9, 2015

    Film Webpage: http://supernova.eso.org/programme/pl…
    Free Download in 4K FullDome: http://www.eso.org/public/videos/eso-…

    Directed by: Theofanis Matsopoulos
    Soundtrack & sound effects: Johan B. Monell
    Producer: Theofanis Matsopoulos & European Southern Observatory (ESO)
    Planetarium production: Theofanis Matsopoulos
    3D animation and graphics: Theofanis Matsopoulos, Luis Calçada & Martin Kornmesser
    Script and scientific advice: Nicolas Matsopoulos, Lars Lindberg Christensen & Anne Rhodes
    Narration: Sara da Costa Mendes
    Audio mix: Theofanis Matsopoulos
    Executive producer: Lars Lindberg Christensen


    Download here.

    Watch, enjoy, learn.

    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 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 2:27 pm on February 10, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , ESO   

    From ESO: “First Light for Laser Guide Star Technology Collaboration” 


    European Southern Observatory

    10 February 2015
    Domenico Bonaccini Calia
    ESO
    Garching bei München, Germany
    Tel: +49 89 3200 6567
    Email: dbonacci@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

    1

    A team of astronomers and engineers from ESO, the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC), the Gran Telescopio CANARIAS (GTC) and INAF Osservatorio Astronomico di Roma has achieved first light and successful commissioning of the ESO Wendelstein Laser Guide Star system [1] at the IAC’s Observatorio del Teide on Tenerife in Spain.

    IAC Observatorio del Tiede
    IAC Observatorio del Tiede

    Following an agreement in April 2014 between ESO and the IAC, the required infrastructure for the experiment was built at the observatory. The team carried out the installation and commissioning of the ESO Wendelstein Laser Guide Star Unit laser, the receiver system and the automated observing software.

    These joint activities are research and development studies to optimise the laser guide star return brightness from the upper atmosphere with special attention being paid to the influence of the geomagnetic field on the performance.

    The experimental setup uses fibre laser technologies developed at ESO to produce a 20-watt continuous wave laser that is capable of varying laser parameters such as frequency, spectral lines, linewidth, polarisation and intensity. The setup allows laser guide stars to be acquired automatically while switching the laser parameters and the pointing. Observational campaigns will start in February 2015 and continue at a rate of one week per quarter for a period of 15 months.

    This work is part of a larger laser guide star and adaptive optics technology research and development programme at ESO in collaboration with Member State institutes and companies, in the context of current and future large telescope projects including the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT).

    ESO E-ELT
    ESO/E-ELT

    These experiments are also a step towards the development of the laser guide star system for the GTC and could be adopted to upgrade existing systems at other telescopes such as the Large Binocular Telescope.

    Large Binocular Telescope
    LBT
    Notes

    [1] These laser systems are some of the technology used in the technique of adaptive optics, which compensates for the atmospheric turbulence that affects ground-based observations. An artificial guide star is produced by shining a powerful laser into the sky — which acts as an artificial reference point from which light is returned back to Earth — helping to create images of astronomical objects as sharp as if the telescope were in space.

    See the full article here.

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    ESO Main

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

     
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