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  • richardmitnick 4:59 pm on November 4, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , ESO,   

    From European Southern Observatory (EU): Subscribe for the ESO Messenger Magazine 

    ESO 50 Large

    From European Southern Observatory (EU)

    The Messenger, a quarterly magazine

    If you want to see and read about the best in Optical Astronomy from the Southern Hemisphere.
    Incredibly exacting text and wonderful graphics and photos.

    If you are an Astronomy fan, you need The Messenger

    Go to ESO.org and subscribe for ESO news.

    You can get the Messenger mailed to you.

    1
    Messenger No 181 Quarter 3|2020
    Price €2.00

    Contents:
    ESPRESSO Science Confirmation

    ESO/ESPRESSO on the VLT, installed at the incoherent combined Coudé facility of the VLT. It is an ultra-stable fibre-fed échelle high-resolution spectrograph (R~140,000, 190,000, or 70,000) which collects the light from either a single UT or the four UTs simultaneously via the so-called UT Coudé trains.

    The VLT-FLAMES Tarantula Survey

    ESO/FLAMES on The VLT. FLAMES is the multi-object, intermediate and high resolution spectrograph of the VLT. Mounted at UT2, FLAMES can access targets over a field of view 25 arcmin in diameter. FLAMES feeds two different spectrograph covering the whole visual spectral range: GIRAFFE and UVES.

    NGTS-Uncovering New Worlds with Ultra-Precise Photometry

    ESO NGTS an array of twelve 20-centimetre telescopes at Cerro Paranel, 2,635 metres (8,645 ft) above sea level.


    Magellanic Clouds-Hisorical Perspectives & A View from VMC, GAIA, and Beyond

    also

    An Era Comes to an END: The Legacy of LABOCA at APEX [APEX is pictured below]

    ESO/LABOCA

    ALMA Data Quality Assyrance and the Products it Delivers – The Contributon of the European ARC

    3

    ESO/NRAO/NAOJ ALMA Array in Chile in the Atacama at Chajnantor plateau, at 5,000 metres.


    The ESO Cosmic Duologues
    Fellows at ESO


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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.


    Stem Education Coalition

    Visit ESO (EU) in Social Media-

    Facebook

    Twitter

    YouTube

    ESO Bloc Icon

    ESO (EU) 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 La Silla HELIOS (HARPS Experiment for Light Integrated Over the Sun).

    ESO/HARPS at La Silla.

    ESO 3.6m telescope & HARPS at Cerro LaSilla, Chile, 600 km north of Santiago de Chile at an altitude of 2400 metres.

    MPG/ESO 2.2 meter telescope at Cerro La Silla, Chile, 600 km north of Santiago de Chile at an altitude of 2400 metres.

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

    ESO VLT at Cerro Paranal in the Atacama Desert, •ANTU (UT1; The Sun ),
    •KUEYEN (UT2; The Moon ),
    •MELIPAL (UT3; The Southern Cross ), and
    •YEPUN (UT4; Venus – as evening star).
    elevation 2,635 m (8,645 ft) from above Credit J.L. Dauvergne & G. Hüdepohl atacama photo.

    2009 ESO VLTI Interferometer image, Cerro Paranal, with an elevation of 2,635 metres (8,645 ft) above sea level, •ANTU (UT1; The Sun ),
    •KUEYEN (UT2; The Moon ),
    •MELIPAL (UT3; The Southern Cross ), and
    •YEPUN (UT4; Venus – as evening star).

    ESO VLT 4 lasers on Yepun.

    Glistening against the awesome backdrop of the night sky above ESO_s Paranal Observatory, four laser beams project out into the darkness from Unit Telescope 4 UT4 of the VLT.

    ESO/NTT at Cerro La Silla, Chile, at an altitude of 2400 metres.

    Part of ESO’s Paranal Observatory, the VISTA Telescope observes the brilliantly clear skies above the Atacama Desert of Chile. Credit: ESO/Y. Beletsky, with an elevation of 2,635 metres (8,645 ft) above sea level.

    ESO/NRAO/NAOJ ALMA Array in Chile in the Atacama at Chajnantor plateau, at 5,000 metres.

    ESO/E-ELT,to be on top of Cerro Armazones in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile. located at the summit of the mountain at an altitude of 3,060 metres (10,040 ft).

    ESO/MPIfR APEX high on the Chajnantor plateau in Chile’s Atacama region, at an altitude of over 4,800 m (15,700 ft).

    Leiden MASCARA instrument, La Silla, located in the southern Atacama Desert 600 kilometres (370 mi) north of Santiago de Chile at an altitude of 2,400 metres (7,900 ft).

    Leiden MASCARA cabinet at ESO Cerro la Silla located in the southern Atacama Desert 600 kilometres (370 mi) north of Santiago de Chile at an altitude of 2,400 metres (7,900 ft).

    ESO Next Generation Transit Survey at Cerro Paranel, 2,635 metres (8,645 ft) above sea level.

    ESO Speculoos telescopes four 1m-diameter robotic telescopes at ESO Paranal Observatory 2635 metres 8645 ft above sea level.

    ESO TAROT telescope at Paranal, 2,635 metres (8,645 ft) above sea level.

    ESO ExTrA telescopes at Cerro LaSilla at an altitude of 2400 metres.

    A novel gamma ray telescope under construction on Mount Hopkins, Arizona. a large project known as the Čerenkov Telescope Array, composed of hundreds of similar telescopes to be situated in the Canary Islands ES and Chile. The telescope on Mount Hopkins will be fitted with a prototype high-speed camera, assembled at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, and capable of taking pictures at a billion frames per second. Credit: Vladimir Vassiliev.

     
  • richardmitnick 10:03 am on October 11, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , ESO, Meet The European Southern Observatory (ESO)   

    Meet The European Southern Observatory (ESO): 

    ESO Bloc Icon

    ESO EU 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 La Silla HELIOS (HARPS Experiment for Light Integrated Over the Sun).

    ESO/HARPS at La Silla.

    ESO 3.6m telescope & HARPS at Cerro LaSilla, Chile, 600 km north of Santiago de Chile at an altitude of 2400 metres.

    MPG/ESO 2.2 meter telescope at Cerro La Silla, Chile, 600 km north of Santiago de Chile at an altitude of 2400 metres.

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

    ESO VLT at Cerro Paranal in the Atacama Desert, •ANTU (UT1; The Sun ),
    •KUEYEN (UT2; The Moon ),
    •MELIPAL (UT3; The Southern Cross ), and
    •YEPUN (UT4; Venus – as evening star).
    elevation 2,635 m (8,645 ft) from above Credit J.L. Dauvergne & G. Hüdepohl atacama photo.

    Latest image available, 2009, ESO VLTI Interferometer image, Cerro Paranal, with an elevation of 2,635 metres (8,645 ft) above sea level, • ANTU (UT1; The Sun ),•KUEYEN (UT2; The Moon ),•MELIPAL (UT3; The Southern Cross ), and•YEPUN (UT4; Venus – as evening star). Old image not including GRAVITY instrument.

    ESO VLT 4 lasers on Yepun.

    Glistening against the awesome backdrop of the night sky above ESO_s Paranal Observatory, four laser beams project out into the darkness from Unit Telescope 4 UT4 of the VLT.

    ESO/NTT at Cerro La Silla, Chile, at an altitude of 2400 metres.

    Part of ESO’s Paranal Observatory, the VISTA Telescope observes the brilliantly clear skies above the Atacama Desert of Chile. Credit: ESO/Y. Beletsky, with an elevation of 2,635 metres (8,645 ft) above sea level.

    ESO/NRAO/NAOJ ALMA Array in Chile in the Atacama at Chajnantor plateau, at 5,000 metres.

    ESO/E-ELT,to be on top of Cerro Armazones in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile. located at the summit of the mountain at an altitude of 3,060 metres (10,040 ft).

    ESO/MPIfR APEX high on the Chajnantor plateau in Chile’s Atacama region, at an altitude of over 4,800 m (15,700 ft).

    Leiden MASCARA instrument, La Silla, located in the southern Atacama Desert 600 kilometres (370 mi) north of Santiago de Chile at an altitude of 2,400 metres (7,900 ft).

    Leiden MASCARA cabinet at ESO Cerro la Silla located in the southern Atacama Desert 600 kilometres (370 mi) north of Santiago de Chile at an altitude of 2,400 metres (7,900 ft).

    ESO Next Generation Transit Survey at Cerro Paranel, 2,635 metres (8,645 ft) above sea level.

    ESO Speculoos telescopes four 1m-diameter robotic telescopes at ESO Paranal Observatory 2635 metres 8645 ft above sea level.

    ESO TAROT telescope at Paranal, 2,635 metres (8,645 ft) above sea level.

    ESO ExTrA telescopes at Cerro LaSilla at an altitude of 2400 metres.

    A novel gamma ray telescope under construction on Mount Hopkins, Arizona. A large project known as the Čerenkov Telescope Array, composed of hundreds of similar telescopes to be situated in the Canary Islands and Chile [at ESO’s Cerro Paranal site. The telescope on Mount Hopkins will be fitted with a prototype high-speed camera, assembled at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, and capable of taking pictures at a billion frames per second. Credit: Vladimir Vassiliev.

    This image illustrates all three classes of the 99 Čerenkov telescopes planned for the southern hemisphere at ESO’s Paranal Observatory, as viewed from the centre of the array. This rendering is not an accurate representation of the final array layout, but it illustrates the enormous scale of the CTA telescopes and the array itself.

     
  • richardmitnick 2:31 pm on April 21, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ALPINE SURVEY-"ALMA Large Program to Investigate C+ at Early Times", , , , , , ESO, , , ,   

    From Caltech: “Rotating Galaxies Galore” 

    Caltech Logo

    From Caltech

    April 21, 2020
    Whitney Clavin
    (626) 395‑1944
    wclavin@caltech.edu

    New results from an ambitious sky survey program, called ALPINE, reveal that rotating disk-shaped galaxies may have existed in large numbers earlier in the universe than previously thought.

    The ALPINE program, formally named “ALMA Large Program to Investigate C+ at Early Times,” uses data obtained from 70 hours of sky observations with the ALMA observatory (Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array) in Chile, in combination with data from previous observations by a host of other telescopes, including the W. M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii and NASA’s Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes. Specifically, the survey looked at a patch of sky containing dozens of remote galaxies.

    ESO/NRAO/NAOJ ALMA Array in Chile in the Atacama at Chajnantor plateau, at 5,000 metres

    Keck Observatory, operated by Caltech and the University of California, Maunakea Hawaii USA, 4,207 m (13,802 ft)

    NASA/ESA Hubble Telescope

    NASA/Spitzer Infrared Telescope. No longer in service.

    “This is the first multi-wavelength study from ultraviolet to radio waves of distant galaxies that existed between 1 billion and 1.5 billion years after the Big Bang,” says Andreas Faisst, a staff scientist at IPAC, an astronomy center at Caltech, and a principal investigator of the ALPINE program, which includes scientists across the globe.

    One of ALPINE’s key functions is using ALMA to observe the signature of an ion known as C+, which is a positively charged form of carbon. When ultraviolet light from newborn stars hits clouds of dust, it creates the C+ atoms. By measuring the signature of this atom, or “emission line,” in galaxies, astronomers can see how the galaxies are rotating; as the gas containing C+ in the galaxies spins toward us, its light signature shifts to bluer wavelengths, and as it spins away, the light shifts to redder wavelengths. This is similar to a police car’s siren increasing in pitch as it races toward you and decreasing as it moves away.

    The ALPINE team made the C+ measurements on 118 remote galaxies to create a catalog of not only their rotation speeds but also other features such as gas density and the number of stars that are formed.

    The survey revealed rotating mangled galaxies that were in the process of merging, in addition to seemingly perfectly smooth spiral-shaped galaxies. About 15 percent of the galaxies observed had a smooth, ordered rotation that is expected for spiral galaxies. However, the authors note, the galaxies may not be spirals but rotating disks with clumps of material. Future observations with the next generation of space-based telescopes will pinpoint the detailed structure of these galaxies.

    “We are finding nicely ordered rotating galaxies at this very early and quite turbulent stage of our universe,” says Faisst. “That means they must have formed by a smooth process of gathering gas and haven’t collided with other galaxies yet, as many of the other galaxies have.”

    By combining the ALMA data with measurements from other telescopes, including the now-retired Spitzer, which specifically helped measure the masses of the galaxies, the scientists are better able to study how these young galaxies evolve over time.

    “How do galaxies grow so much so fast? What are the internal processes that let them grow so quickly? These are questions that ALPINE is helping us answer,” says Faisst. “And with the upcoming launch of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, we will be able to follow-up on these galaxies to learn even more.”

    The study, led by Faisst, titled, “The ALPINE-ALMA [CII] Survey: Multi-Wavelength Ancillary Data and Basic Physical Measurements,” [The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series] was funded by NASA and the European Southern Observatory.

    A brief overview of the survey, produced by a team led by Olivier LeFèvre of the Laboratoire d’Astrophysique de Marseille (LAM), is at https://ui.adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2019arXiv191009517L/abstract; the ALMA data is detailed in another paper by a team led by Matthieu Béthermin of LAM, available at https://ui.adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2020arXiv200200962B/abstract.

    ALMA is a partnership of ESO (representing its Member States), NSF (USA) and NINS (Japan), together with NRC (Canada), MOST and ASIAA (Taiwan), and KASI (South Korea), in cooperation with the Republic of Chile. The Joint ALMA Observatory is operated by ESO, AUI/NRAO and NAOJ. More information about ALMA is at
    https://www.almaobservatory.org/.

    1
    A collage of 21 galaxies imaged by the ALPINE survey. The images are based on light emitted by singly ionized carbon, or C+. These data show the variety of different galaxy structures already in place less than 1.5 billion years after the Big Bang (our universe is 13.8 billion years old). Some of the images actually contain merging galaxies; for example, the object in the top row, second from left, is actually three galaxies that are merging. Other galaxies appear to be more smoothly ordered and may be spirals; a clear example is in the second row, first galaxy from the left. Our Milky Way galaxy is shown to scale to help visualize the small sizes of these infant galaxies. Credit: Michele Ginolfi (ALPINE collaboration); ALMA(ESO/NAOJ/NRAO); NASA/JPL-Caltech/R. Hurt (IPAC)

    2
    Using ALMA, scientists can measure the rotation of galaxies in the early universe with a precision of several 10 kilometers per second. This is made possible by observing light emitted by singly ionized carbon in the galaxies, also known as C+. The C+ emission from gas clouds rotating toward us is shifted to bluer, shorter wavelengths, while the clouds rotating away from us emit light shifted to longer, redder wavelengths. By measuring this shift in light, astronomers can determine how fast the galaxies are rotating.
    Credit: Andreas Faisst (ALPINE collaboration)

    3
    The object pictured above is DC-818760, which consists of three galaxies that are likely on collision course. Like all the galaxies in the ALPINE survey, it has been imaged by different telescopes. This “multi-wavelength” approach allows astronomers to study in detail the structure of these galaxies. NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope (blue) reveals regions of active star formation not obscured by dust; NASA’s now-retired Spitzer Space Telescope (green) shows the location of older stars that are used to measure the stellar mass of galaxies; and ALMA (red) traces gas and dust, allowing the amount of star formation hidden by dust to be measured. The picture at the top of the image combines light from all three telescopes. The velocity map on the bottom shows gas in the rotating galaxies approaching us (blue) or receding (red).
    Credit: Gareth Jones & Andreas Faisst (ALPINE collaboration); ALMA(ESO/NAOJ/NRAO); NASA/STScI; JPL-Caltech/IPAC (R. Hurt)

    See the full article here .


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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.


    Stem Education Coalition

    The California Institute of Technology (commonly referred to as Caltech) is a private research university located in Pasadena, California, United States. Caltech has six academic divisions with strong emphases on science and engineering. Its 124-acre (50 ha) primary campus is located approximately 11 mi (18 km) northeast of downtown Los Angeles. “The mission of the California Institute of Technology is to expand human knowledge and benefit society through research integrated with education. We investigate the most challenging, fundamental problems in science and technology in a singularly collegial, interdisciplinary atmosphere, while educating outstanding students to become creative members of society.”

    Caltech campus

     
  • richardmitnick 11:57 pm on February 12, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , "VLT observations detect a low-mass companion of the young massive star MWC 297", , , , , ESO   

    From European Southern Observatory via phys.org: “VLT observations detect a low-mass companion of the young massive star MWC 297” 

    ESO 50 Large

    From European Southern Observatory

    via


    phys.org

    February 12, 2020
    Tomasz Nowakowski

    1
    MWC 297 B detected with SADI in 2015 (left) and 2018 (right) combining all wavelengths. Credit: Ubeira-Gabellini et al., 2020.

    Using ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) [below] in Chile, astronomers have discovered a low-mass stellar companion embedded in the disk of the young pre-main-sequence (PMS) massive star designated MWC 297. The finding is detailed in a paper published February 5 on the arXiv pre-print server.

    MWC 297 is classified as a PMS Hebrig Be star of spectral type B1.5, with an effective temperature of around 23,700 K. The star, estimated to be less than 1 million years old, has a radius of about 9.17 solar radii and is almost 17 times more massive than our sun.

    Previous observations of MWC 297 have revealed that it has a compact two-component circumstellar disk. The disk’s inner part is located from 7.5 to 43.5 AU from the star, while its outer part extends from 300 to 450 AU. One of the scenarios that could explain the presence of such huge gap between the two parts of the disk is the presence of a companion object that may be lurking somewhere between 43.5 and 300 AU from the host star.

    New observations of MWC 297 conducted by a group of astronomers led by Maria Giulia Ubeira-Gabellini of the University of Milan, Italy, seem to confirm the companion object theory. Using the Spectro-Polarimetric High-contrast Exoplanet REsearch (SPHERE) instrument on VLT, the scientists found a low-mass star in the gap between the disk’s two components.

    “In this letter, we report the discovery of a low-mass companion in the disk around Herbig Be star MWC 297 using high-contrast observations with VLT/SPHERE-IFS,” the astronomers wrote in the paper [below].

    ESO SPHERE extreme adaptive optics system and coronagraphic facility on the extreme adaptive optics system and coronagraphic facility on the VLT MELIPAL UT3, Cerro Paranal, Chile, with an elevation of 2,635 metres (8,645 ft) above sea level

    The newly discovered object, designated MWC 297 B, was found at a projected separation of 244.7 AU and a position angle of 176.4 degrees. According to the researchers, such large separation suggests that it formed via gravitational instability.

    The astronomers assume that MWC 297 B is most likely a young M-dwarf, early embedded in the disk. The spectral characterization shows that the companion is less than 1 million years old, has a mass of around 0.25 solar masses, and high excitation of about 11.9 mag. Therefore, the mass ratio of the MWC 297 binary (MWC 297 B/MWC 297 A) was calculated to be about 0.01.

    The authors of the study added that MWC 297 B turns out to be one of only few stellar companions discovered around young host stars. To date, most companions with ages below 10 million years found with direct imaging are yet to be confirmed.

    Although the basic parameters of MWC 297 B have been derived, follow-up observations at longer wavelengths are required to better refine the characteristics of this object. Furthermore, the astronomers suppose that the companion may host a hot circumsecondary disk, so further investigation of the MWC 297 system would verify this assumption.

    Science paper:
    Discovery of a low-mass companion embedded in the disk of the young massive star MWC 297 with VLT/SPHERE,

    See the full article here .


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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.


    Stem Education Coalition

    About Science X in 100 words

    Science X™ is a leading web-based science, research and technology news service which covers a full range of topics. These include physics, earth science, medicine, nanotechnology, electronics, space, biology, chemistry, computer sciences, engineering, mathematics and other sciences and technologies. Launched in 2004 (Physorg.com), Science X’s readership has grown steadily to include 5 million scientists, researchers, and engineers every month. Science X publishes approximately 200 quality articles every day, offering some of the most comprehensive coverage of sci-tech developments world-wide. Science X community members enjoy access to many personalized features such as social networking, a personal home page set-up, article comments and ranking, the ability to save favorite articles, a daily newsletter, and other options.
    Mission 12 reasons for reading daily news on Science X Organization Key editors and writersinclude 1.75 million scientists, researchers, and engineers every month. Phys.org publishes approximately 100 quality articles every day, offering some of the most comprehensive coverage of sci-tech developments world-wide. Quancast 2009 includes Phys.org in its list of the Global Top 2,000 Websites. Phys.org community members enjoy access to many personalized features such as social networking, a personal home page set-up, RSS/XML feeds, article comments and ranking, the ability to save favorite articles, a daily newsletter, and other options.

    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 EEuropean Extremely Large Telescope, the E-ELT, which will become “the world’s biggest eye on the sky”.

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

    ESO VLT at Cerro Paranal in the Atacama Desert

    ESO VLT 4 lasers on Yepun

    Glistening against the awesome backdrop of the night sky above ESO_s Paranal Observatory, four laser beams project out into the darkness from Unit Telescope 4 UT4 of the VLT.

    ESO/NRAO/NAOJ ALMA Array in Chile in the Atacama at Chajnantor plateau, at 5,000 metres

    ESO/E-ELT,to be on top of Cerro Armazones in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile. located at the summit of the mountain at an altitude of 3,060 metres (10,040 ft).


    ESO APEXESO/MPIfR APEX high on the Chajnantor plateau in Chile’s Atacama region, at an altitude of over 4,800 m (15,700 ft)at the Llano de Chajnantor Observatory in the Atacama desert.

    A novel gamma ray telescope under construction on Mount Hopkins, Arizona. a large project known as the Cherenkov Telescope Array, composed of hundreds of similar telescopes to be situated in the Canary Islands and Chile. The telescope on Mount Hopkins will be fitted with a prototype high-speed camera, assembled at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, and capable of taking pictures at a billion frames per second. Credit: Vladimir Vassiliev

     
  • richardmitnick 11:45 am on December 16, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "ESO Telescope Images Stunning Central Region of Milky Way, , , , , ESO, Finds Ancient Star Burst"   

    From European Southern Observatory: “ESO Telescope Images Stunning Central Region of Milky Way, Finds Ancient Star Burst” 

    ESO 50 Large

    From European Southern Observatory

    12.16.19

    Francisco Nogueras-Lara
    Max Planck Institute for Astronomy
    Heidelberg, Germany
    Tel: +49 6221 528-393
    Email: nogueras@mpia.de

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

    Bárbara Ferreira
    ESO Public Information Officer
    Garching bei München, Germany
    Tel: +49 89 3200 6670
    Cell: +49 151 241 664 00
    Email: pio@eso.org

    1
    ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) [below] has observed the central part of the Milky Way with spectacular resolution and uncovered new details about the history of star birth in our galaxy. Thanks to the new observations, astronomers have found evidence for a dramatic event in the life of the Milky Way: a burst of star formation so intense that it resulted in over a hundred thousand supernova explosions.

    Details of the HAWK-I view of the Milky Way’s central region
    2
    This beautiful image of the Milky Way’s central region, taken with the HAWK-I instrument on ESO’s Very Large Telescope, shows interesting features of this part of our galaxy. This image highlights the Nuclear Star Cluster (NSC) right in the centre and the Arches Cluster, the densest cluster of stars in the Milky Way. Other features include the Quintuplet cluster, which contains five prominent stars, and a region of ionised hydrogen gas (HII). Credit: ESO/Nogueras-Lara et al.

    “Our unprecedented survey of a large part of the Galactic centre has given us detailed insights into the formation process of stars in this region of the Milky Way,” says Rainer Schödel from the Institute of Astrophysics of Andalusia in Granada, Spain, who led the observations. “Contrary to what had been accepted up to now, we found that the formation of stars has not been continuous,” adds Francisco Nogueras-Lara, who led two new studies of the Milky Way central region while at the same institute in Granada.

    K2 against the Milky Way background

    Milky Way NASA/JPL-Caltech /ESO R. Hurt. The bar is visible in this image

    In the study, published today in Nature Astronomy, the team found that about 80% of the stars in the Milky Way central region formed in the earliest years of our galaxy, between eight and 13.5 billion years ago. This initial period of star formation was followed by about six billion years during which very few stars were born. This was brought to an end by an intense burst of star formation around one billion years ago when, over a period of less than 100 million years, stars with a combined mass possibly as high as a few tens of million Suns formed in this central region.

    “The conditions in the studied region during this burst of activity must have resembled those in ‘starburst’ galaxies, which form stars at rates of more than 100 solar masses per year,” says Nogueras-Lara, who is now based at the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy in Heidelberg, Germany. At present, the whole Milky Way is forming stars at a rate of about one or two solar masses per year.

    “This burst of activity, which must have resulted in the explosion of more than a hundred thousand supernovae, was probably one of the most energetic events in the whole history of the Milky Way,” he adds. During a starburst, many massive stars are created; since they have shorter lifespans than lower-mass stars, they reach the end of their lives much faster, dying in violent supernova explosions.

    This research was possible thanks to observations of the Galactic central region done with ESO’s HAWK-I instrument on the VLT in the Chilean Atacama Desert.

    HAWK-I on the ESO Very Large Telescope at the Nasmyth A focus of Unit Telescope 4 (UT4) at the Paranal Observatory in Chile, with an elevation of 2,635 metres (8,645 ft) above sea level

    This infrared-sensitive camera peered through the dust to give us a remarkably detailed image of the Milky Way’s central region, published in October in Astronomy & Astrophysics by Nogueras-Lara and a team of astronomers from Spain, the US, Japan and Germany. The stunning image shows the galaxy’s densest region of stars, gas and dust, which also hosts a supermassive black hole, with an angular resolution of 0.2 arcseconds. This means the level of detail picked up by HAWK-I is roughly equivalent to seeing a football (soccer ball) in Zurich from Munich, where ESO’s headquarters are located.

    This image is the first release of the GALACTICNUCLEUS survey. This programme relied on the large field of view and high angular resolution of HAWK-I on ESO’s VLT to produce a beautifully sharp image of the central region of our galaxy. The survey studied over three million stars, covering an area corresponding to more than 60 000 square light-years at the distance of the Galactic centre (one light-year is about 9.5 trillion kilometres).


    Pan across the Milky Way’s central region

    More information

    This research was presented in the paper “GALACTICNUCLEUS: A high angular resolution JHKs imaging survey of the Galactic Centre: II. First data release of the catalogue and the most detailed CMDs of the GC” published in Astronomy & Astrophysics and in “Early formation and recent starburst activity in the nuclear disc of the Milky Way” to appear in Nature Astronomy (doi: 10.1038/s41550-019-0967-9).

    The team of the Astronomy & Astrophysics paper is composed of F. Nogueras-Lara (Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía, Granada, Spain [IAA-CSIC]), R. Schödel (IAA-CSIC), A. T. Gallego-Calvente (IAA-CSIC), H. Dong (IAA-CSIC), E. Gallego-Cano (IAA and Centro Astronómico Hispano-Alemán, Almería, Spain), B. Shahzamanian (IAA-CSIC), J. H. V. Girard (Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, USA), S. Nishiyama (Miyagi University of Education, Sendai, Japan), F. Najarro (Departamento de Astrofísica, Centro de Astrobiología CAB (CSIC-INTA), Torrejón de Ardoz, Spain), N. Neumayer (Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, Heidelberg, Germany).

    The team of the Nature Astronomy paper is composed of F. Nogueras-Lara (Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía, Granada, Spain [IAA-CSIC]), R. Schödel (IAA-CSIC), A. T. Gallego-Calvente (IAA-CSIC), E. Gallego-Cano (IAA-CSIC), B. Shahzamanian (IAA-CSIC), H. Dong (IAA-CSIC), N. Neumayer (Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, Heidelberg, Germany), M. Hilker (European Southern Observatory, Garching bei München, Germany), F. Najarro (Departamento de Astrofísica, Centro de Astrobiología, Torrejón de Ardoz, Spain), S. Nishiyama (Miyagi University of Education, Sendai, Japan), A. Feldmeier-Krause (The Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics. The University of Chicago, Chicago, US), J. H. V. Girard (Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, USA) and S. Cassisi (INAF-Astronomical Observatory of Abruzzo, Teramo, Italy).

    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 EEuropean Extremely Large Telescope, the E-ELT, which will become “the world’s biggest eye on the sky”.

    ESO La Silla HELIOS (HARPS Experiment for Light Integrated Over the Sun)

    ESO/HARPS at La Silla

    ESO 3.6m telescope & HARPS at Cerro LaSilla, Chile, 600 km north of Santiago de Chile at an altitude of 2400 metres.

    MPG/ESO 2.2 meter telescope at Cerro La Silla, Chile, 600 km north of Santiago de Chile at an altitude of 2400 metres

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

    ESO VLT at Cerro Paranal in the Atacama Desert, •ANTU (UT1; The Sun ),
    •KUEYEN (UT2; The Moon ),
    •MELIPAL (UT3; The Southern Cross ), and
    •YEPUN (UT4; Venus – as evening star).
    elevation 2,635 m (8,645 ft) from above Credit J.L. Dauvergne & G. Hüdepohl atacama photo,

    2009 ESO VLTI Interferometer image, Cerro Paranal, with an elevation of 2,635 metres (8,645 ft) above sea level, •ANTU (UT1; The Sun ),
    •KUEYEN (UT2; The Moon ),
    •MELIPAL (UT3; The Southern Cross ), and
    •YEPUN (UT4; Venus – as evening star).

    ESO VLT 4 lasers on Yepun

    Glistening against the awesome backdrop of the night sky above ESO_s Paranal Observatory, four laser beams project out into the darkness from Unit Telescope 4 UT4 of the VLT.

    ESO/NTT at Cerro La Silla, Chile, at an altitude of 2400 metres

    ESO VLT Survey telescope

    Part of ESO’s Paranal Observatory, the VISTA Telescope observes the brilliantly clear skies above the Atacama Desert of Chile. Credit: ESO/Y. Beletsky, with an elevation of 2,635 metres (8,645 ft) above sea level

    ESO/NRAO/NAOJ ALMA Array in Chile in the Atacama at Chajnantor plateau, at 5,000 metres

    ESO/E-ELT,to be on top of Cerro Armazones in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile. located at the summit of the mountain at an altitude of 3,060 metres (10,040 ft).

    ESO APEXESO/MPIfR APEX high on the Chajnantor plateau in Chile’s Atacama region, at an altitude of over 4,800 m (15,700 ft)at the Llano de Chajnantor Observatory in the Atacama desert.

    Leiden MASCARA instrument, La Silla, located in the southern Atacama Desert 600 kilometres (370 mi) north of Santiago de Chile at an altitude of 2,400 metres (7,900 ft)

    Leiden MASCARA cabinet at ESO Cerro la Silla located in the southern Atacama Desert 600 kilometres (370 mi) north of Santiago de Chile at an altitude of 2,400 metres (7,900 ft)

    ESO Next Generation Transit Survey at Cerro Paranel, 2,635 metres (8,645 ft) above sea level

    ESO Speculoos telescopes four 1m-diameter robotic telescopes at ESO Paranal Observatory 2635 metres 8645 ft above sea level

    ESO TAROT telescope at Paranal, 2,635 metres (8,645 ft) above sea level

    ESO ExTrA telescopes at Cerro LaSilla at an altitude of 2400 metres

    A novel gamma ray telescope under construction on Mount Hopkins, Arizona. a large project known as the Cherenkov Telescope Array, composed of hundreds of similar telescopes to be situated in the Canary Islands and Chile. The telescope on Mount Hopkins will be fitted with a prototype high-speed camera, assembled at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, and capable of taking pictures at a billion frames per second. Credit: Vladimir Vassiliev

     
  • richardmitnick 1:27 pm on December 4, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "First Giant Planet around White Dwarf Found", , , , , ESO   

    From European Southern Observatory: “First Giant Planet around White Dwarf Found” 

    ESO 50 Large

    From European Southern Observatory

    4 December 2019
    Boris Gänsicke
    University of Warwick
    UK
    Tel: +44 247 657 4741
    Email: boris.gaensicke@warwick.ac.uk

    Matthias Schreiber
    Valparaiso University
    Chile
    Tel: +56 32 299 5518
    Email: matthias.schreiber@uv.cl

    Odette Toloza
    University of Warwick
    UK
    Email: odette.toloza@warwick.ac.uk

    Nicola Gentile Fusillo (study co-author)
    European Southern Observatory and University of Warwick
    Germany
    Tel: +49 8932 0067 50
    Cell: +44 7476 9595 49
    Email: ngentile@eso.org

    Christopher Manser (study co-author)
    University of Warwick
    UK
    Tel: +44 7516 8167 53
    Email: c.manser@warwick.ac.uk

    Bárbara Ferreira
    ESO Public Information Officer
    Garching bei München, Germany
    Tel: +49 89 3200 6670
    Email: pio@eso.org

    ESO observations indicate the Neptune-like exoplanet is evaporating.

    1
    Researchers using ESO’s Very Large Telescope [below]have, for the first time, found evidence of a giant planet associated with a white dwarf star. The planet orbits the hot white dwarf, the remnant of a Sun-like star, at close range, causing its atmosphere to be stripped away and form a disc of gas around the star. This unique system hints at what our own Solar System might look like in the distant future.

    “It was one of those chance discoveries,” says researcher Boris Gänsicke, from the University of Warwick in the UK, who led the study, published today in Nature. The team had inspected around 7000 white dwarfs observed by the Sloan Digital Sky Survey and found one to be unlike any other.

    SDSS Telescope at Apache Point Observatory, near Sunspot NM, USA, Altitude2,788 meters (9,147 ft)

    By analysing subtle variations in the light from the star, they found traces of chemical elements in amounts that scientists had never before observed at a white dwarf. “We knew that there had to be something exceptional going on in this system, and speculated that it may be related to some type of planetary remnant.”

    To get a better idea of the properties of this unusual star, named WDJ0914+1914, the team analysed it with the X-shooter instrument on ESO’s Very Large Telescope in the Chilean Atacama Desert.

    ESO X-shooter on VLT on UT2 at Cerro Paranal, Chile

    These follow-up observations confirmed the presence of hydrogen, oxygen and sulphur associated with the white dwarf. By studying the fine details in the spectra taken by ESO’s X-shooter, the team discovered that these elements were in a disc of gas swirling into the white dwarf, and not coming from the star itself.

    “It took a few weeks of very hard thinking to figure out that the only way to make such a disc is the evaporation of a giant planet,” says Matthias Schreiber from the University of Valparaiso in Chile, who computed the past and future evolution of this system.

    The detected amounts of hydrogen, oxygen and sulphur are similar to those found in the deep atmospheric layers of icy, giant planets like Neptune and Uranus. If such a planet were orbiting close to a hot white dwarf, the extreme ultraviolet radiation from the star would strip away its outer layers and some of this stripped gas would swirl into a disc, itself accreting onto the white dwarf. This is what scientists think they are seeing around WDJ0914+1914: the first evaporating planet orbiting a white dwarf.

    Combining observational data with theoretical models, the team of astronomers from the UK, Chile and Germany were able to paint a clearer image of this unique system. The white dwarf is small and, at a blistering 28 000 degrees Celsius (five times the Sun’s temperature), extremely hot. By contrast, the planet is icy and large—at least twice as large as the star. Since it orbits the hot white dwarf at close range, making its way around it in just 10 days, the high-energy photons from the star are gradually blowing away the planet’s atmosphere. Most of the gas escapes, but some is pulled into a disc swirling into the star at a rate of 3000 tonnes per second. It is this disc that makes the otherwise hidden Neptune-like planet visible.

    “This is the first time we can measure the amounts of gases like oxygen and sulphur in the disc, which provides clues to the composition of exoplanet atmospheres,” says Odette Toloza from the University of Warwick, who developed a model for the disc of gas surrounding the white dwarf.

    “The discovery also opens up a new window into the final fate of planetary systems,” adds Gänsicke.

    Stars like our Sun burn hydrogen in their cores for most of their lives. Once they run out of this fuel, they puff up into red giants, becoming hundreds of times larger and engulfing nearby planets. In the case of the Solar System, this will include Mercury, Venus, and even Earth, which will all be consumed by the red-giant Sun in about 5 billion years. Eventually, Sun-like stars lose their outer layers, leaving behind only a burnt-out core, a white dwarf. Such stellar remnants can still host planets, and many of these star systems are thought to exist in our galaxy. However, until now, scientists had never found evidence of a surviving giant planet around a white dwarf. The detection of an exoplanet in orbit around WDJ0914+1914, located about 1500 light years away in the constellation of Cancer, may be the first of many orbiting such stars.

    According to the researchers, the exoplanet now found with the help of ESO’s X-shooter orbits the white dwarf at a distance of only 10 million kilometres, or 15 times the solar radius, which would have been deep inside the red giant. The unusual position of the planet implies that at some point after the host star became a white dwarf, the planet moved closer to it. The astronomers believe that this new orbit could be the result of gravitational interactions with other planets in the system, meaning that more than one planet may have survived its host star’s violent transition.

    “Until recently, very few astronomers paused to ponder the fate of planets orbiting dying stars. This discovery of a planet orbiting closely around a burnt-out stellar core forcefully demonstrates that the Universe is time and again challenging our minds to step beyond our established ideas,” concludes Gänsicke.

    More information

    The team is composed of Boris Gänsicke (Department of Physics & Centre for Exoplanets and Habitability, University of Warwick, UK), Matthias Schreiber (Institute of Physics and Astronomy, Millennium Nucleus for Planet Formation, Valparaiso University, Chile), Odette Toloza (Department of Physics, University of Warwick, UK), Nicola Gentile Fusillo (Department of Physics, University of Warwick, UK), Detlev Koester (Institute for Theoretical Physics and Astrophysics, University of Kiel, Germany), and Christopher Manser (Department of Physics, University of Warwick, UK).

    See the full article here .


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

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.


    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 EEuropean Extremely Large Telescope, the E-ELT, which will become “the world’s biggest eye on the sky”.

    ESO/HARPS at La Silla

    ESO 3.6m telescope & HARPS at Cerro LaSilla, Chile, 600 km north of Santiago de Chile at an altitude of 2400 metres.

    MPG/ESO 2.2 meter telescope at Cerro La Silla, Chile, 600 km north of Santiago de Chile at an altitude of 2400 metres

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

    ESO VLT at Cerro Paranal in the Atacama Desert, •ANTU (UT1; The Sun ),
    •KUEYEN (UT2; The Moon ),
    •MELIPAL (UT3; The Southern Cross ), and
    •YEPUN (UT4; Venus – as evening star).
    elevation 2,635 m (8,645 ft) from above Credit J.L. Dauvergne & G. Hüdepohl atacama photo,

    2009 ESO VLTI Interferometer image, Cerro Paranal, with an elevation of 2,635 metres (8,645 ft) above sea level, •ANTU (UT1; The Sun ),
    •KUEYEN (UT2; The Moon ),
    •MELIPAL (UT3; The Southern Cross ), and
    •YEPUN (UT4; Venus – as evening star).

    ESO VLT 4 lasers on Yepun

    Glistening against the awesome backdrop of the night sky above ESO_s Paranal Observatory, four laser beams project out into the darkness from Unit Telescope 4 UT4 of the VLT.

    ESO/NTT at Cerro La Silla, Chile, at an altitude of 2400 metres

    ESO VLT Survey telescope

    Part of ESO’s Paranal Observatory, the VISTA Telescope observes the brilliantly clear skies above the Atacama Desert of Chile. Credit: ESO/Y. Beletsky, with an elevation of 2,635 metres (8,645 ft) above sea level

    ESO/NRAO/NAOJ ALMA Array in Chile in the Atacama at Chajnantor plateau, at 5,000 metres

    ESO/E-ELT,to be on top of Cerro Armazones in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile. located at the summit of the mountain at an altitude of 3,060 metres (10,040 ft).

    ESO/APEX high on the Chajnantor plateau in Chile’s Atacama region, at an altitude of over 4,800 m (15,700 ft)

     
  • richardmitnick 11:16 am on October 28, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , ESO, Hygiea-"...What Could be the Smallest Dwarf Planet Yet in the Solar System"   

    From European Southern Observatory: “ESO Telescope Reveals What Could be the Smallest Dwarf Planet Yet in the Solar System” 

    ESO 50 Large

    From European Southern Observatory

    28 October 2019

    Pierre Vernazza
    Laboratoire d’Astrophysique de Marseille
    Marseille, France
    Tel: +33 4 91 05 59 11
    Email: pierre.vernazza@lam.fr

    Miroslav Brož
    Charles University
    Prague, Czech Republic
    Email: mira@sirrah.troja.mff.cuni.cz

    Pavel Ševeček
    Charles University
    Prague, Czech Republic
    Email: pavel.sevecek@gmail.com

    Bárbara Ferreira
    ESO Public Information Officer
    Garching bei München, Germany
    Tel: +49 89 3200 6670
    Email: pio@eso.org

    1
    Astronomers using ESO’s SPHERE instrument at the Very Large Telescope (VLT) have revealed that the asteroid Hygiea could be classified as a dwarf planet.

    ESO SPHERE extreme adaptive optics system and coronagraphic facility on the extreme adaptive optics system and coronagraphic facility on the VLT UT3, Cerro Paranal, Chile, with an elevation of 2,635 metres (8,645 ft) above sea level

    The object is the fourth largest in the asteroid belt after Ceres, Vesta and Pallas. For the first time, astronomers have observed Hygiea in sufficiently high resolution to study its surface and determine its shape and size. They found that Hygiea is spherical, potentially taking the crown from Ceres as the smallest dwarf planet in the Solar System.

    As an object in the main asteroid belt, Hygiea satisfies right away three of the four requirements to be classified as a dwarf planet: it orbits around the Sun, it is not a moon and, unlike a planet, it has not cleared the neighbourhood around its orbit. The final requirement is that it has enough mass for its own gravity to pull it into a roughly spherical shape. This is what VLT observations have now revealed about Hygiea.

    “Thanks to the unique capability of the SPHERE instrument on the VLT, which is one of the most powerful imaging systems in the world, we could resolve Hygiea’s shape, which turns out to be nearly spherical,” says lead researcher Pierre Vernazza from the Laboratoire d’Astrophysique de Marseille in France. “Thanks to these images, Hygiea may be reclassified as a dwarf planet, so far the smallest in the Solar System.”

    The team also used the SPHERE observations to constrain Hygiea’s size, putting its diameter at just over 430 km. Pluto, the most famous of dwarf planets, has a diameter close to 2400 km, while Ceres is close to 950 km in size.

    Surprisingly, the observations also revealed that Hygiea lacks the very large impact crater that scientists expected to see on its surface, the team report in the study published today in Nature Astronomy. Hygiea is the main member of one of the largest asteroid families, with close to 7000 members that all originated from the same parent body. Astronomers expected the event that led to the formation of this numerous family to have left a large, deep mark on Hygiea.

    “This result came as a real surprise as we were expecting the presence of a large impact basin, as is the case on Vesta,” says Vernazza. Although the astronomers observed Hygiea’s surface with a 95% coverage, they could only identify two unambiguous craters. “Neither of these two craters could have been caused by the impact that originated the Hygiea family of asteroids whose volume is comparable to that of a 100 km-sized object. They are too small,” explains study co-author Miroslav Brož of the Astronomical Institute of Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic.

    The team decided to investigate further. Using numerical simulations, they deduced that Hygiea’s spherical shape and large family of asteroids are likely the result of a major head-on collision with a large projectile of diameter between 75 and 150 km. Their simulations show this violent impact, thought to have occurred about 2 billion years ago, completely shattered the parent body. Once the left-over pieces reassembled, they gave Hygiea its round shape and thousands of companion asteroids. “Such a collision between two large bodies in the asteroid belt is unique in the last 3–4 billion years,” says Pavel Ševeček, a PhD student at the Astronomical Institute of Charles University who also participated in the study.

    Studying asteroids in detail has been possible thanks not only to advances in numerical computation, but also to more powerful telescopes. “Thanks to the VLT and the new generation adaptive-optics instrument SPHERE, we are now imaging main belt asteroids with unprecedented resolution, closing the gap between Earth-based and interplanetary mission observations,” Vernazza concludes.

    More information

    This research was presented in a paper to appear in Nature Astronomy on 28 October.

    The team is composed of P. Vernazza (Aix Marseille Université, CNRS, Laboratoire d’Astrophysique de Marseille, Marseille, France), L. Jorda (Aix Marseille Université, CNRS, Laboratoire d’Astrophysique de Marseille, Marseille, France), P. Ševeček (Institute of Astronomy, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic), M. Brož (Institute of Astronomy, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic), M. Viikinkoski (Mathematics and Statistics, Tampere University, Tampere, Finland), J. Hanuš (Institute of Astronomy, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic), B. Carry (Université Côte d’Azur, Observatoire de la Côte d’Azur, CNRS, Laboratoire Lagrange, Nice, France), A. Drouard (Aix Marseille Université, CNRS, Laboratoire d’Astrophysique de Marseille, Marseille, France), M. Ferrais (Space Sciences, Technologies and Astrophysics Research Institute, Université de Liège, Liège, Belgium), M. Marsset (Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, MIT, Cambridge, MA, USA), F. Marchis (Aix Marseille Université, CNRS, Laboratoire d’Astrophysique de Marseille, Marseille, France, and SETI Institute, Carl Sagan Center, Mountain View, USA), M. Birlan (Observatoire de Paris, Paris, France), E. Podlewska-Gaca (Astronomical Observatory Institute, Faculty of Physics, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań, Poland, and Institute of Physics, University of Szczecin, Poland), E. Jehin (Space Sciences, Technologies and Astrophysics Research Institute, Université de Liège, Liège, Belgium), P. Bartczak (Astronomical Observatory Institute, Faculty of Physics, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań, Poland), G. Dudzinski (Astronomical Observatory Institute, Faculty of Physics, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań, Poland), J. Berthier (Observatoire de Paris, Paris, France), J. Castillo-Rogez (Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California, USA), F. Cipriani (European Space Agency, ESTEC – Scientific Support Office, The Netherlands), F. Colas (Observatoire de Paris, Paris, France), F. DeMeo (Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, MIT, Cambridge, MA, USA), C. Dumas (TMT Observatory, Pasadena, USA), J. Durech (Institute of Astronomy, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic), R. Fetick (Aix Marseille Université, CNRS, Laboratoire d’Astrophysique de Marseille, Marseille, France and ONERA, The French Aerospace Lab, Chatillon Cedex, France), T. Fusco (Aix Marseille Université, CNRS, Laboratoire d’Astrophysique de Marseille, Marseille, France and and ONERA, The French Aerospace Lab, Chatillon Cedex, France), J. Grice (Université Côte d’Azur, Observatoire de la Côte d’Azur, CNRS, Laboratoire Lagrange, Nice, France and Open University, School of Physical Sciences, The Open University, Milton Keynes, UK), M. Kaasalainen (Mathematics and Statistics, Tampere University, Tampere, Finland), A. Kryszczynska (Astronomical Observatory Institute, Faculty of Physics, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań, Poland), P. Lamy (Aix Marseille Université, CNRS, Laboratoire d’Astrophysique de Marseille, Marseille, France), H. Le Coroller (Aix Marseille Université, CNRS, Laboratoire d’Astrophysique de Marseille, Marseille, France), A. Marciniak (Astronomical Observatory Institute, Faculty of Physics, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań, Poland), T. Michalowski (Astronomical Observatory Institute, Faculty of Physics, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań, Poland), P. Michel (Université Côte d’Azur, Observatoire de la Côte d’Azur, CNRS, Laboratoire Lagrange, Nice, France), N. Rambaux (Observatoire de Paris, Paris, France), T. Santana-Ros (Departamento de Fı́sica, Universidad de Alicante, Alicante, Spain), P. Tanga (Université Côte d’Azur, Observatoire de la Côte d’Azur, CNRS, Laboratoire Lagrange, Nice, France), F. Vachier (Observatoire de Paris, Paris, France), A. Vigan (Aix Marseille Université, CNRS, Laboratoire d’Astrophysique de Marseille, Marseille, France), O. Witasse (European Space Agency, ESTEC – Scientific Support Office, The Netherlands), B. Yang (European Southern Observatory, Santiago, Chile), M. Gillon (Space Sciences, Technologies and Astrophysics Research Institute, Université de Liège, Liège, Belgium), Z. Benkhaldoun (Oukaimeden Observatory, High Energy Physics and Astrophysics Laboratory, Cadi Ayyad University, Marrakech, Morocco), R. Szakats (Konkoly Observatory, Research Centre for Astronomy and Earth Sciences, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest, Hungary), R. Hirsch (Astronomical Observatory Institute, Faculty of Physics, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań, Poland), R. Duffard (Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía, Glorieta de la Astronomía S/N, Granada, Spain), A. Chapman (Buenos Aires, Argentina), J. L. Maestre (Observatorio de Albox, Almeria, Spain).

    See the full article here .


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

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.


    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 EEuropean Extremely Large Telescope, the E-ELT, which will become “the world’s biggest eye on the sky”.

    ESO/HARPS at La Silla

    ESO 3.6m telescope & HARPS at Cerro LaSilla, Chile, 600 km north of Santiago de Chile at an altitude of 2400 metres.

    MPG/ESO 2.2 meter telescope at Cerro La Silla, Chile, 600 km north of Santiago de Chile at an altitude of 2400 metres

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

    ESO VLT at Cerro Paranal in the Atacama Desert, •ANTU (UT1; The Sun ),
    •KUEYEN (UT2; The Moon ),
    •MELIPAL (UT3; The Southern Cross ), and
    •YEPUN (UT4; Venus – as evening star).
    elevation 2,635 m (8,645 ft) from above Credit J.L. Dauvergne & G. Hüdepohl atacama photo,

    2009 ESO VLTI Interferometer image, Cerro Paranal, with an elevation of 2,635 metres (8,645 ft) above sea level, •ANTU (UT1; The Sun ),
    •KUEYEN (UT2; The Moon ),
    •MELIPAL (UT3; The Southern Cross ), and
    •YEPUN (UT4; Venus – as evening star).

    ESO VLT 4 lasers on Yepun

    Glistening against the awesome backdrop of the night sky above ESO_s Paranal Observatory, four laser beams project out into the darkness from Unit Telescope 4 UT4 of the VLT.

    ESO/NTT at Cerro La Silla, Chile, at an altitude of 2400 metres

    ESO VLT Survey telescope

    Part of ESO’s Paranal Observatory, the VISTA Telescope observes the brilliantly clear skies above the Atacama Desert of Chile. Credit: ESO/Y. Beletsky, with an elevation of 2,635 metres (8,645 ft) above sea level

    ESO/NRAO/NAOJ ALMA Array in Chile in the Atacama at Chajnantor plateau, at 5,000 metres

    ESO/E-ELT,to be on top of Cerro Armazones in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile. located at the summit of the mountain at an altitude of 3,060 metres (10,040 ft).

    ESO/APEX high on the Chajnantor plateau in Chile’s Atacama region, at an altitude of over 4,800 m (15,700 ft)

     
  • richardmitnick 1:13 pm on October 23, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "First identification of a heavy element born from neutron star collision", , , , , ESO   

    From European Southern Observatory: “First identification of a heavy element born from neutron star collision” 

    ESO 50 Large

    From European Southern Observatory

    23 October 2019

    Darach Watson
    Cosmic Dawn Center (DAWN), Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    Cell: +45 24 80 38 25
    Email: darach@nbi.ku.dk

    Camilla J. Hansen
    Max Planck Institute for Astronomy
    Heidelberg, Germany
    Tel: +49 6221 528-358
    Email: hansen@mpia.de

    Jonatan Selsing
    Cosmic Dawn Center (DAWN), Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    Cell: +45 61 71 43 46
    Email: jselsing@nbi.ku.dk

    Bárbara Ferreira
    ESO Public Information Officer
    Garching bei München, Germany
    Tel: +49 89 3200 6670
    Email: pio@eso.org

    Newly created strontium, an element used in fireworks, detected in space for the first time following observations with ESO telescope.

    1
    For the first time, a freshly made heavy element, strontium, has been detected in space, in the aftermath of a merger of two neutron stars. This finding was observed by ESO’s X-shooter spectrograph on the Very Large Telescope (VLT) and is published today in Nature. The detection confirms that the heavier elements in the Universe can form in neutron star mergers, providing a missing piece of the puzzle of chemical element formation.

    In 2017, following the detection of gravitational waves passing the Earth, ESO pointed its telescopes in Chile, including the VLT, to the source: a neutron star merger named GW170817. Astronomers suspected that, if heavier elements did form in neutron star collisions, signatures of those elements could be detected in kilonovae, the explosive aftermaths of these mergers. This is what a team of European researchers has now done, using data from the X-shooter instrument on ESO’s VLT.

    ESO X-shooter on VLT on UT2 at Cerro Paranal, Chile


    ESO X-shooter on VLT on UT2 at Cerro Paranal, Chile

    Following the GW170817 merger, ESO’s fleet of telescopes began monitoring the emerging kilonova explosion over a wide range of wavelengths. X-shooter in particular took a series of spectra from the ultraviolet to the near infrared. Initial analysis of these spectra suggested the presence of heavy elements in the kilonova, but astronomers could not pinpoint individual elements until now.

    “By reanalysing the 2017 data from the merger, we have now identified the signature of one heavy element in this fireball, strontium, proving that the collision of neutron stars creates this element in the Universe,” says the study’s lead author Darach Watson from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark. On Earth, strontium is found naturally in the soil and is concentrated in certain minerals. Its salts are used to give fireworks a brilliant red colour.

    Astronomers have known the physical processes that create the elements since the 1950s. Over the following decades they have uncovered the cosmic sites of each of these major nuclear forges, except one. “This is the final stage of a decades-long chase to pin down the origin of the elements,” says Watson. “We know now that the processes that created the elements happened mostly in ordinary stars, in supernova explosions, or in the outer layers of old stars. But, until now, we did not know the location of the final, undiscovered process, known as rapid neutron capture, that created the heavier elements in the periodic table.”

    Rapid neutron capture is a process in which an atomic nucleus captures neutrons quickly enough to allow very heavy elements to be created. Although many elements are produced in the cores of stars, creating elements heavier than iron, such as strontium, requires even hotter environments with lots of free neutrons. Rapid neutron capture only occurs naturally in extreme environments where atoms are bombarded by vast numbers of neutrons.

    “This is the first time that we can directly associate newly created material formed via neutron capture with a neutron star merger, confirming that neutron stars are made of neutrons and tying the long-debated rapid neutron capture process to such mergers,” says Camilla Juul Hansen from the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy in Heidelberg, who played a major role in the study.

    Scientists are only now starting to better understand neutron star mergers and kilonovae. Because of the limited understanding of these new phenomena and other complexities in the spectra that the VLT’s X-shooter took of the explosion, astronomers had not been able to identify individual elements until now.

    “We actually came up with the idea that we might be seeing strontium quite quickly after the event. However, showing that this was demonstrably the case turned out to be very difficult. This difficulty was due to our highly incomplete knowledge of the spectral appearance of the heavier elements in the periodic table,” says University of Copenhagen researcher Jonatan Selsing, who was a key author on the paper.

    The GW170817 merger was the fifth detection of gravitational waves, made possible thanks to the NSF’s Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) in the US and the Virgo Interferometer in Italy.

    MIT /Caltech Advanced aLigo


    VIRGO Gravitational Wave interferometer, near Pisa, Italy

    Located in the galaxy NGC 4993, the merger was the first, and so far the only, gravitational wave source to have its visible counterpart detected by telescopes on Earth.

    With the combined efforts of LIGO, Virgo and the VLT, we have the clearest understanding yet of the inner workings of neutron stars and their explosive mergers.

    Notes

    [1] The LIGO–Virgo detection localised the source to an area on the sky of about 35 square degrees.

    Caltech/MIT Advanced aLigo Hanford, WA, USA installation

    Caltech/MIT Advanced aLigo detector installation Livingston, LA, USA

    VIRGO Gravitational Wave interferometer, near Pisa, Italy

    [2 The galaxy was only observable in the evening in August and then was too close to the Sun in the sky to be observed by September.

    [3] On the VLT, observations were taken with: the X-shooter spectrograph located on Unit Telescope 2 (UT2); the FOcal Reducer and low dispersion Spectrograph 2 (FORS2) and Nasmyth Adaptive Optics System (NAOS) – Near-Infrared Imager and Spectrograph (CONICA) (NACO) on Unit Telescope 1 (UT1); VIsible Multi-Object Spectrograph (VIMOS) and VLT Imager and Spectrometer for mid-Infrared (VISIR) located on Unit Telescope 3 (UT3); and the Multi Unit Spectroscopic Explorer (MUSE) and High Acuity Wide-field K-band Imager (HAWK-I) on Unit Telescope 4 (UT4). The VST observed using the OmegaCAM and VISTA observed with the VISTA InfraRed CAMera (VIRCAM). Through the ePESSTO programme, the collected visible spectra with the ESO Faint Object Spectrograph and Camera 2 (EFOSC2) spectrograph and infrared spectra with the Son of ISAAC (SOFI) spectrograph. The MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope observed using the Gamma-Ray burst Optical/Near-infrared Detector (GROND) instrument.

    ESO FORS2 VLT mounted on Unit Telescope 1 (Antu)

    ESO/NACO on Unit Telescope 1 (UT1); VIsible Multi-Object Spectrograph (VIMOS) and VLT Imager and Spectrometer for mid-Infrared (VISIR) located on Unit Telescope 3 (UT3

    ESO/VISIR on UT3 of the VLT

    ESO MUSE on the VLT on Yepun (UT4)

    ESO HAWK-I on the ESO VLT on Unit Telescope 4 (UT4)

    ESO OmegaCAM on VST at ESO’s Cerro Paranal observatory,with an elevation of 2,635 metres (8,645 ft) above sea level

    VIRCAM on the VISTA telescope

    ESO Faint Object Spectrograph and Camera 2 (EFOSC2) on the NTT

    ESO SofI Instrument is the infrared imaging camera on the VST

    ESO GROND imager on 2.2 meter MPG/ESO telescope at LaSilla

    [4] The comparatively small distance between Earth and the neutron star merger, 130 million light-years, made the observations possible, since merging neutron stars create weaker gravitational waves than merging black holes, which were the likely case of the first four gravitational wave detections.

    [5] When neutron stars orbit one another in a binary system, they lose energy by emitting gravitational waves. They get closer together until, when they finally meet, some of the mass of the stellar remnants is converted into energy in a violent burst of gravitational waves, as described by Einstein’s famous equation E=mc2.

    More information

    This research was presented in a paper to appear in Nature on 24 October 2019.

    The team is composed of D. Watson (Niels Bohr Institute & Cosmic Dawn Center, University of Copenhagen, Denmark), C. J. Hansen (Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, Heidelberg, Germany), J. Selsing (Niels Bohr Institute & Cosmic Dawn Center, University of Copenhagen, Denmark), A. Koch (Center for Astronomy of Heidelberg University, Germany), D. B. Malesani (DTU Space, National Space Institute, Technical University of Denmark, & Niels Bohr Institute & Cosmic Dawn Center, University of Copenhagen, Denmark), A. C. Andersen (Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, Denmark), J. P. U. Fynbo (Niels Bohr Institute & Cosmic Dawn Center, University of Copenhagen, Denmark), A. Arcones (Institute of Nuclear Physics, Technical University of Darmstadt, Germany & GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung, Darmstadt, Germany), A. Bauswein (GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung, Darmstadt, Germany & Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies, Germany), S. Covino (Astronomical Observatory of Brera, INAF, Milan, Italy), A. Grado (Capodimonte Astronomical Observatory, INAF, Naples, Italy), K. E. Heintz (Centre for Astrophysics and Cosmology, Science Institute, University of Iceland, Reykjavík, Iceland & Niels Bohr Institute & Cosmic Dawn Center, University of Copenhagen, Denmark), L. Hunt (Arcetri Astrophysical Observatory, INAF, Florence, Italy), C. Kouveliotou (George Washington University, Physics Department, Washington DC, USA & Astronomy, Physics and Statistics Institute of Sciences), G. Leloudas (DTU Space, National Space Institute, Technical University of Denmark, & Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, Denmark), A. Levan (Department of Physics, University of Warwick, UK), P. Mazzali (Astrophysics Research Institute, Liverpool John Moores University, UK & Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics, Garching, Germany), E. Pian (Astrophysics and Space Science Observatory of Bologna, INAF, Bologna, Italy).

    See the full article here .


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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.


    Stem Education Coalition

    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 EEuropean Extremely Large Telescope, the E-ELT, which will become “the world’s biggest eye on the sky”.

    ESO La Silla HELIOS (HARPS Experiment for Light Integrated Over the Sun)

    ESO/HARPS at La Silla

    ESO 3.6m telescope & HARPS at Cerro LaSilla, Chile, 600 km north of Santiago de Chile at an altitude of 2400 metres.

    MPG/ESO 2.2 meter telescope at Cerro La Silla, Chile, 600 km north of Santiago de Chile at an altitude of 2400 metres

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

    ESO VLT at Cerro Paranal in the Atacama Desert, •ANTU (UT1; The Sun ),
    •KUEYEN (UT2; The Moon ),
    •MELIPAL (UT3; The Southern Cross ), and
    •YEPUN (UT4; Venus – as evening star).
    elevation 2,635 m (8,645 ft) from above Credit J.L. Dauvergne & G. Hüdepohl atacama photo,

    2009 ESO VLTI Interferometer image, Cerro Paranal, with an elevation of 2,635 metres (8,645 ft) above sea level, •ANTU (UT1; The Sun ),
    •KUEYEN (UT2; The Moon ),
    •MELIPAL (UT3; The Southern Cross ), and
    •YEPUN (UT4; Venus – as evening star).

    ESO VLT 4 lasers on Yepun

    Glistening against the awesome backdrop of the night sky above ESO_s Paranal Observatory, four laser beams project out into the darkness from Unit Telescope 4 UT4 of the VLT.

    ESO/NTT at Cerro La Silla, Chile, at an altitude of 2400 metres

    ESO VLT Survey telescope

    Part of ESO’s Paranal Observatory, the VISTA Telescope observes the brilliantly clear skies above the Atacama Desert of Chile. Credit: ESO/Y. Beletsky, with an elevation of 2,635 metres (8,645 ft) above sea level

    ESO/NRAO/NAOJ ALMA Array in Chile in the Atacama at Chajnantor plateau, at 5,000 metres

    ESO/E-ELT,to be on top of Cerro Armazones in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile. located at the summit of the mountain at an altitude of 3,060 metres (10,040 ft).

    ESO/APEX high on the Chajnantor plateau in Chile’s Atacama region, at an altitude of over 4,800 m (15,700 ft)

    Leiden MASCARA instrument, La Silla, located in the southern Atacama Desert 600 kilometres (370 mi) north of Santiago de Chile at an altitude of 2,400 metres (7,900 ft)

    Leiden MASCARA cabinet at ESO Cerro la Silla located in the southern Atacama Desert 600 kilometres (370 mi) north of Santiago de Chile at an altitude of 2,400 metres (7,900 ft)

    ESO Next Generation Transit Survey at Cerro Paranel, 2,635 metres (8,645 ft) above sea level

    ESO Speculoos telescopes four 1m-diameter robotic telescopes at ESO Paranal Observatory 2635 metres 8645 ft above sea level

    ESO TAROT telescope at Paranal, 2,635 metres (8,645 ft) above sea level

    ESO ExTrA telescopes at Cerro LaSilla at an altitude of 2400 metres

    A novel gamma ray telescope under construction on Mount Hopkins, Arizona. a large project known as the Cherenkov Telescope Array, composed of hundreds of similar telescopes to be situated in the Canary Islands and Chile. The telescope on Mount Hopkins will be fitted with a prototype high-speed camera, assembled at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, and capable of taking pictures at a billion frames per second. Credit: Vladimir Vassiliev

     
  • richardmitnick 2:46 pm on September 26, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Enigmatic radio burst illuminates a galaxy’s tranquil ​halo", , , , , ESO,   

    From European Southern Observatory: Science Release “Enigmatic radio burst illuminates a galaxy’s tranquil ​halo” 

    ESO 50 Large

    From European Southern Observatory

    26 September 2019

    J. Xavier Prochaska
    UCO/Lick Observatory — UC Santa Cruz
    USA
    Tel: +1 (831) 295-0111
    Email: xavier@ucolick.org

    Cherie Day
    Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing — Swinburne University of Technology
    Australia
    Tel: +61 4 5946 3110
    Email: cday@swin.edu.au

    Mariya Lyubenova
    ESO Head of Media Relations
    Garching bei München, Germany
    Tel: +49 89 3200 6188
    Email: pio@eso.org

    1
    Astronomers using ESO’s Very Large Telescope [below] have for the first time observed that a fast radio burst passed through a galactic halo. Lasting less than a millisecond, this enigmatic blast of cosmic radio waves came through almost undisturbed, suggesting that the halo has surprisingly low density and weak magnetic field. This new technique could be used to explore the elusive halos of other galaxies.

    Using one cosmic mystery to probe another, astronomers analysed the signal from a fast radio burst to shed light on the diffuse gas in the halo of a massive galaxy [1]. In November 2018 the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) radio telescope pinpointed a fast radio burst, named FRB 181112.

    Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) is a radio telescope array located at Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory (MRO) in the Australian Mid West. ASKAP consists of 36 identical parabolic antennas, each 12 metres in diameter, working together as a single instrument with a total collecting area of approximately 4,000 square metres.

    Follow-up observations with ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) and other telescopes revealed that the radio pulses have passed through the halo of a massive galaxy on their way toward Earth. This finding allowed astronomers to analyse the radio signal for clues about the nature of the halo gas.

    “The signal from the fast radio burst exposed the nature of the magnetic field around the galaxy and the structure of the halo gas. The study proves a new and transformative technique for exploring the nature of galaxy halos,” said J. Xavier Prochaska, professor of astronomy and astrophysics at the University of California Santa Cruz and lead author of a paper presenting the new findings published today​ in the journal ​Science.​

    Astronomers still don’t know what causes fast radio bursts and only recently have been able to trace some of these very short, very bright radio signals back to the galaxies in which they originated. “When we overlaid the radio and optical images, we could see straight away that the fast radio burst pierced the halo of this coincident foreground galaxy and, for the first time, we had a direct way of investigating the otherwise invisible matter surrounding this galaxy,” said coauthor Cherie Day, a PhD student at Swinburne University of Technology, Australia.

    A galactic halo contains both dark and ordinary—or baryonic—matter that is primarily in the form of a hot ionised gas. While the luminous part of a massive galaxy might be around 30 000 light years across, its roughly spherical halo is ten times larger in diameter. Halo gas fuels star formation as it falls towards the centre of the galaxy, while other processes, such as supernova explosions, can eject material out of the star-forming regions and into the galactic halo. One reason astronomers want to study the halo gas is to better understand these ejection processes which can shut down star formation.

    “This galaxy’s halo is surprisingly tranquil,” Prochaska said. “The radio signal was largely unperturbed by the galaxy, which is in stark contrast to what previous models predict would have happened to the burst.”

    The signal of FRB 181112 was comprised of a few pulses, each lasting less than 40 microseconds (10 000 times shorter than the blink of an eye). The short duration of the pulses puts an upper limit on the density of the halo gas because passage through a denser medium would broaden the duration of the radio signal. The researchers calculated that the density of the halo gas must be less than 0.1 atoms per cubic centimeter (equivalent to several hundred atoms in a volume the size of a child’s balloon) [2].

    “Like the shimmering air on a hot summer’s day, the tenuous atmosphere in this massive galaxy should warp the signal of the fast radio burst. Instead we received a pulse so pristine and sharp that there is no signature of this gas at all,” said coauthor Jean-Pierre Macquart, an astronomer at the International Center for Radio Astronomy Research at Curtin University, Australia.

    The study found no evidence of cold turbulent clouds or small dense clumps of cool halo gas. The fast radio burst signal also yielded information about the magnetic field in the halo, which is very weak—a billion times weaker than that of a refrigerator magnet.

    At this point, with results from only one galactic halo, the researchers cannot say whether the low density and low magnetic field strength they measured are unusual or if previous studies of galactic halos have overestimated these properties. Prochaska said he expects that ASKAP and other radio telescopes will use fast radio bursts to study many more galactic halos and resolve their properties.

    “This galaxy may be special,” he said. “We will need to use fast radio bursts to study tens or hundreds of galaxies over a range of masses and ages to assess the full population.” Optical telescopes like ESO’s VLT play an important role by revealing how far away the galaxy that played host to each burst is, as well as whether the burst would have passed through the halo of any galaxy in the foreground.

    Notes

    [1] A vast halo of low-density gas extends far beyond the luminous part of a galaxy where the stars are concentrated. Although this hot, diffuse gas makes up more of a galaxy’s mass than stars do, it is very difficult to study.

    [2] The density constraints also limit the possibility of turbulence or clouds of cool gas within the halo. Cool here is a relative term, referring to temperatures around 10 000°C, versus the hot halo gas at around 1 million degrees.

    More information

    The team is composed of J. Xavier Prochaska (University of California Observatories-Lick Observatory, University of California, USA and Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe, Japan), Jean-Pierre Macquart (International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research, Curtin University, Australia), Matthew McQuinn (Astronomy Department, University of Washington, USA), Sunil Simha (University of California Observatories-Lick Observatory, University of California, USA), Ryan M. Shannon (Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing, Swinburne University of Technology, Australia), Cherie K. Day (Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing, Swinburne University of Technology, Australia and Commonwealth Science and Industrial Research Organisation, Australia Telescope National Facility, Australia), Lachlan Marnoch (Commonwealth Science and Industrial Research Organisation, Australia Telescope National Facility, Australia and Department of Physics and Astronomy, Macquarie University, Australia), Stuart Ryder (Department of Physics and Astronomy, Macquarie University, Australia), Adam Deller (Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing, Swinburne University of Technology, Australia), Keith W. Bannister (Commonwealth Science and Industrial Research Organisation, Australia Telescope National Facility, Australia), Shivani Bhandari (Commonwealth Science and Industrial Research Organisation, Australia Telescope National Facility, Australia), Rongmon Bordoloi (North Carolina State University, Department of Physics, USA), John Bunton (Commonwealth Science and Industrial Research Organisation, Australia Telescope National Facility, Australia), Hyerin Cho (School of Physics and Chemistry, Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology, Korea), Chris Flynn (Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing, Swinburne University of Technology, Australia), Elizabeth Mahony (Commonwealth Science and Industrial Research Organisation, Australia Telescope National Facility, Australia), Chris Phillips (Commonwealth Science and Industrial Research Organisation, Australia Telescope National Facility, Australia), Hao Qiu (Sydney Institute for Astronomy, School of Physics, University of Sydney, Australia), Nicolas Tejos (Instituto de Fisica, Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Valparaiso, Chile).

    See the full article here .


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

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.


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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 EEuropean Extremely Large Telescope, the E-ELT, which will become “the world’s biggest eye on the sky”.

    ESO/HARPS at La Silla

    ESO 3.6m telescope & HARPS at Cerro LaSilla, Chile, 600 km north of Santiago de Chile at an altitude of 2400 metres.

    MPG/ESO 2.2 meter telescope at Cerro La Silla, Chile, 600 km north of Santiago de Chile at an altitude of 2400 metres

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

    ESO VLT at Cerro Paranal in the Atacama Desert, •ANTU (UT1; The Sun ),
    •KUEYEN (UT2; The Moon ),
    •MELIPAL (UT3; The Southern Cross ), and
    •YEPUN (UT4; Venus – as evening star).
    elevation 2,635 m (8,645 ft) from above Credit J.L. Dauvergne & G. Hüdepohl atacama photo,

    2009 ESO VLTI Interferometer image, Cerro Paranal, with an elevation of 2,635 metres (8,645 ft) above sea level, •ANTU (UT1; The Sun ),
    •KUEYEN (UT2; The Moon ),
    •MELIPAL (UT3; The Southern Cross ), and
    •YEPUN (UT4; Venus – as evening star).

    ESO VLT 4 lasers on Yepun

    Glistening against the awesome backdrop of the night sky above ESO_s Paranal Observatory, four laser beams project out into the darkness from Unit Telescope 4 UT4 of the VLT.

    ESO/NTT at Cerro La Silla, Chile, at an altitude of 2400 metres

    ESO VLT Survey telescope

    Part of ESO’s Paranal Observatory, the VISTA Telescope observes the brilliantly clear skies above the Atacama Desert of Chile. Credit: ESO/Y. Beletsky, with an elevation of 2,635 metres (8,645 ft) above sea level

    ESO/NRAO/NAOJ ALMA Array in Chile in the Atacama at Chajnantor plateau, at 5,000 metres

    ESO/E-ELT,to be on top of Cerro Armazones in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile. located at the summit of the mountain at an altitude of 3,060 metres (10,040 ft).

    ESO/APEX high on the Chajnantor plateau in Chile’s Atacama region, at an altitude of over 4,800 m (15,700 ft)

     
  • richardmitnick 9:02 am on September 13, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , ESO, , New VST image of the Large Magellanic Cloud   

    From European Southern Observatory: “VISTA unveils a new image of the Large Magellanic Cloud” 

    ESO 50 Large

    From European Southern Observatory

    13 September 2019
    Maria-Rosa Cioni
    Leibniz-Institut für Astrophysik Potsdam (AIP)
    Potsdam, Germany
    Tel: +49 331 7499 651
    Email: mcioni@aip.de

    Mariya Lyubenova
    ESO Head of Media Relations
    Garching bei München, Germany
    Tel: +49 89 3200 6188
    Email: pio@eso.org

    1
    The Large Magellanic Cloud revealed by VISTA


    ESOcast 206 Light: VISTA Unveils the Large Magellanic Cloud (4K UHD)


    Zooming on the Large Magellanic Cloud


    Comparison of the Large Magellanic Cloud in infrared and visible light


    Comparison of the Tarantula nebula in infrared and visible light

    The Large Magellanic Cloud, or LMC, is one of our nearest galactic neighbors, at only 163 000 light years from Earth. With its sibling the Small Magellanic Cloud, these are among the nearest dwarf satellite galaxies to the Milky Way. The LMC is also the home of various stellar conglomerates and is an ideal laboratory for astronomers to study the processes that shape galaxies.

    ESO’s VISTA telescope [below], has been observing these two galaxies for the last decade. The image presented today is the result of one of the many surveys that astronomers have performed with this telescope. The main goal of the VISTA Magellanic Clouds (VMC) Survey has been to map the star formation history of the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds, as well as their three-dimensional structures.

    VISTA was key to this image because it observes the sky in near-infrared wavelengths of light. This allows it to see through clouds of dust that obscure parts of the galaxy. These clouds block a large portion of visible light but are transparent at the longer wavelengths VISTA was built to observe. As a result, many more of the individual stars populating the centre of the galaxy are clearly visible. Astronomers analysed about 10 million individual stars in the Large Magellanic Cloud in detail and determined their ages using cutting-edge stellar models[1]. They found that younger stars trace multiple spiral arms in this galaxy.

    For millennia, the Magellanic Clouds have fascinated people in the Southern Hemisphere, but they were largely unknown to Europeans until the Age of Discovery. The name we use today harkens back to the explorer Ferdinand Magellan, who 500 years ago began the first circumnavigation of the Earth. The records the expedition brought back to Europe revealed many places and things to Europeans for the first time. The spirit of exploration and discovery is ever more live today in the work of astronomers around the world, including the VMC Survey team whose observations led to this stunning image of the LMC.
    Notes

    [1] Stellar models allow astronomers to predict the life and death of stars, providing insights into properties like their ages, mass, and temperature.

    More information

    The stars revealed by this image were discussed in the paper “The VMC Survey – XXXIV. Morphology of Stellar Populations in the Magellanic Clouds” to appear in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

    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 EEuropean Extremely Large Telescope, the E-ELT, which will become “the world’s biggest eye on the sky”.

    ESO/HARPS at La Silla

    ESO 3.6m telescope & HARPS at Cerro LaSilla, Chile, 600 km north of Santiago de Chile at an altitude of 2400 metres.

    MPG/ESO 2.2 meter telescope at Cerro La Silla, Chile, 600 km north of Santiago de Chile at an altitude of 2400 metres

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

    ESO VLT at Cerro Paranal in the Atacama Desert, •ANTU (UT1; The Sun ),
    •KUEYEN (UT2; The Moon ),
    •MELIPAL (UT3; The Southern Cross ), and
    •YEPUN (UT4; Venus – as evening star).
    elevation 2,635 m (8,645 ft) from above Credit J.L. Dauvergne & G. Hüdepohl atacama photo,

    2009 ESO VLTI Interferometer image, Cerro Paranal, with an elevation of 2,635 metres (8,645 ft) above sea level, •ANTU (UT1; The Sun ),
    •KUEYEN (UT2; The Moon ),
    •MELIPAL (UT3; The Southern Cross ), and
    •YEPUN (UT4; Venus – as evening star).

    ESO VLT 4 lasers on Yepun

    Glistening against the awesome backdrop of the night sky above ESO_s Paranal Observatory, four laser beams project out into the darkness from Unit Telescope 4 UT4 of the VLT.

    ESO/NTT at Cerro La Silla, Chile, at an altitude of 2400 metres

    ESO VLT Survey telescope

    Part of ESO’s Paranal Observatory, the VISTA Telescope observes the brilliantly clear skies above the Atacama Desert of Chile. Credit: ESO/Y. Beletsky, with an elevation of 2,635 metres (8,645 ft) above sea level

    ESO/NRAO/NAOJ ALMA Array in Chile in the Atacama at Chajnantor plateau, at 5,000 metres

    ESO/E-ELT,to be on top of Cerro Armazones in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile. located at the summit of the mountain at an altitude of 3,060 metres (10,040 ft).

    ESO/APEX high on the Chajnantor plateau in Chile’s Atacama region, at an altitude of over 4,800 m (15,700 ft)

     
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