Tagged: Ground based Optical Astronomy Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • richardmitnick 1:37 pm on February 3, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Astronomers find rare Earth-mass rocky planet suitable for the search for signs of life", , A newly discovered exoplanet could be worth searching for signs of life., A planet that orbits its home star-the red dwarf Wolf 1069 in the habitable zone., , , , Ground based Optical Astronomy, Of the more than 5000 exoplanets they have discovered so far only about a dozen have an Earth-like mass and populate the habitable zone.,   

    From The MPG Institute for Astronomy [MPG Institut für Astronomie] (DE) Via “phys.org” : “Astronomers find rare Earth-mass rocky planet suitable for the search for signs of life” 

    MPG Institut für Astronomie (DE)

    From The MPG Institute for Astronomy [MPG Institut für Astronomie] (DE)

    Via

    “phys.org”

    2.3.23

    Dr. Markus Nielbock
    Press and public relations officer
    Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, Heidelberg
    +49 6221 528-134
    pr@mpia.de

    Dr. Diana Kossakowski
    Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, Heidelberg
    kossakowski@mpia.de

    Dr. Martin Kürster
    Leitung der technischen Abteilungen
    Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, Heidelberg
    +49 6221 528-214
    kuerster@mpia.de

    1
    Artist’s conception of a rocky Earth-mass exoplanet like Wolf 1069 b orbiting a red dwarf star. If the planet had retained its atmosphere, chances are high that it would feature liquid water and habitable conditions over a wide area of its dayside. Credit: Daniel Rutter/NASA/Ames Research Center.

    A newly discovered exoplanet could be worth searching for signs of life. Analyses by a team led by astronomer Diana Kossakowski of the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy describe a planet that orbits its home star-the red dwarf Wolf 1069 in the habitable zone.

    This zone includes distances around the star for which liquid water can exist on the surface of the planet. In addition, the planet named Wolf 1069 b has an Earth-like mass. Very likely, this planet is a rocky planet that may also have an atmosphere. This makes the planet one of the few promising targets to search for signs of life-friendly conditions and biosignatures.

    When astronomers search for planets outside our solar system, they are particularly interested in Earth-like planets. Of the more than 5000 exoplanets they have discovered so far only about a dozen have an Earth-like mass and populate the habitable zone, the range in a planetary system where water can maintain its liquid form on the planet’s surface. With Wolf 1069 b, the number of such exoplanets on which life could have evolved has increased by one candidate.

    A planet with eternal day and night

    Detecting such low-mass planets is still a major challenge. Diana Kossakowski and her team at the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy in Heidelberg have taken on this task. As part of the Carmenes project, an instrument was developed specifically for the search of potentially habitable worlds. The Carmenes team is using this apparatus at the Calar Alto Observatory in Spain.


    “When we analyzed the data of the star Wolf 1069, we discovered a clear, low-amplitude signal of what appears to be a planet of roughly Earth mass,” says Diana Kossakowski. “It orbits the star within 15.6 days at a distance equivalent to one-fifteenth of the separation between the Earth and the sun,” The results of the study have now been published in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics [below].

    2
    Simulated surface temperature map of Wolf 1069 b, assuming an Earth-like atmosphere. The map is centered at point that always faces the star. The temperatures are given in Kelvin. 273.15 Kelvin corresponds to zero degree Celsius. Liquid water would be possible on the planet’s surface inside the red circle. Credit: Kossakowski et al (2023) / MPIA

    According to the study, the surface of the dwarf star is relatively cool and thus appears orange-reddish. “As a result, the so-called habitable zone is shifted inwards,” Kossakowski explains. Despite its close distance to the central star, the planet Wolf 1069 b therefore receives only about 65% of the incident radiant power of what Earth receives from the sun. These special conditions make planets around red dwarf stars like Wolf 1069 potentially friendly to life.

    In addition, they may all share a special property. Their rotation is probably tidally locked to the orbit of its host star. In other words, the star always faces the same side of the planet. So there is eternal day, while on the other side it is always night. This is also the reason why we always face the same side of the moon.

    Climate simulations for exoplanets

    If Wolf 1069 b is assumed to be a bare and rocky planet, the average temperature even on the side facing the star would be just minus 23 degrees Celsius. However, according to existing knowledge, it is quite possible that Wolf 1069 b has formed an atmosphere. Under this assumption its temperature could have increased to plus 13 degrees, as computer simulations with climate models show. Under these circumstances, water would remain liquid and life-friendly conditions could prevail, because life as we know it depends on water.

    An atmosphere is not only a precondition for the emergence of life from a climatic point of view. It would also protect Wolf 1069 b from high-energy electromagnetic radiation and particles that would destroy possible biomolecules. The radiation and particles either stem from interstellar space or from the central star. If the star’s radiation is too intense, it can also strip off a planet’s atmosphere, as it did for Mars. But as red dwarf, Wolf 1069 emits only relatively weak radiation.

    Thus, an atmosphere may have been preserved on the newly discovered planet. It is even possible that the planet has a magnetic field that protects it from charged stellar wind particles. Many rocky planets have a liquid core, which generates a magnetic field via the dynamo effect, similar to planet Earth.

    3
    Illustration that compares three exoplanet systems of red dwarf stars hosting Earth-mass planets. The green rings indicate the individual habitable zones. Credit: J. Neidel/ MPIA graphics department.

    The difficult search for Earth-mass exoplanets

    There has been immense progress in the search for exoplanets since the first of its kind was discovered 30 years ago. Still, the signatures that astronomers look for to detect planets with Earth-like masses and diameters are relatively weak and hard to extract from the data. The Carmenes team is looking for small periodic frequency shifts in the stellar spectra. These shifts are expected to arise when a companion pulls on the host star by its gravity, causing it to wobble. As a result. the frequency of the light measured on Earth changes due to the Doppler effect.

    In the case of Wolf 1069 and its newly discovered planet, these fluctuations are large enough to be measured. One of the reasons is that the mass difference between the star and planet is relatively small, causing the star to wobble around the shared center of mass more prominently than in other cases. From the periodic signal, the mass of the planet can be estimated, as well.

    Only a handful of candidates for future exoplanet characterization

    At a distance of 31 light-years, Wolf 1069 b is the sixth closest Earth-mass planet in the habitable zone around its host star. It belongs to a small group of objects, such as Proxima Centauri b and Trappist-1 e, that are candidates for biosignature searches. However, such observations are currently beyond the capabilities of astronomical research.

    “We will probably have to wait another ten years for this,” Kossakowski points out. The Extremely Large Telescope (ELT), currently under construction in Chile, may be able to study the composition of the atmospheres of those planets and possibly even detect molecular evidence of life.

    Astronomy & Astrophysics

    See the full article here .

    Comments are invited and will be appreciated, especially if the reader finds any errors which I can correct. Use “Reply”.

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

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The MPG Institute for Astronomy campus, Heidelberg (DE)
    The MPG Institute for Astronomy [MPG Institut für Astronomie] (DE) is a research institute of The MPG Society for the Advancement of Science [MPG Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Wissenschaften e. V.] (DE). It is located in Heidelberg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany near the top of the Königstuhl, adjacent to the historic Landessternwarte Heidelberg-Königstuhl astronomical observatory. The institute primarily conducts basic research in the natural sciences in the field of astronomy.

    In addition to its own astronomical observations and astronomical research, the Institute is also actively involved in the development of observation instruments. The instruments or parts of them are manufactured in the institute’s own workshops.

    The founding of the institute in 1967 resulted from the insight that a supra-regional institute equipped with powerful telescopes was necessary in order to conduct internationally competitive astronomical research. Hans Elsässer, an astronomer, became the founding director in 1968. In February 1969, a first group of 5 employees started work in the buildings of the neighbouring Königstuhl State Observatory. The institute, which was completed in 1975, was initially dedicated to the preparation and evaluation of astronomical observations and the development of new measurement methods.

    From 1973 to 1984, it operated the Calar Alto Observatory on Calar Alto near Almería together with Spanish authorities.


    The Calar Alto Astronomical Observatory 3.5 meter Telescope, located in Almería province in Spain on Calar Alto, a 2,168-meter-high (7,113 ft) mountain in Sierra de Los Filabres(ES)

    This largest observatory on the European mainland was used equally by astronomers from both countries until 2019. On 23 May 2019, the regional government of Andalusia and the MPG signed a transfer agreement for the 50% share in the observatory. Since then, it has been owned exclusively by Spain.

    Since 2005, The MPG Institute for Astronomy has been operating the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) together with partners from Germany, Italy and the USA and equipping it with measuring instruments.

    LBT-University of Arizona Large Binocular Telescope Interferometer, or LBTI, is a ground-based instrument connecting two 8-meter class telescopes on Mount Graham, Arizona, Altitude 3,221 m (10,568 ft.) to form the largest single-mount telescope in the world. The interferometer is designed to detect and study stars and planets outside our solar system. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech.

    Two scientific questions are given priority at The MPG Institute for Astronomy. One is the formation and development of stars and planets in our cosmic neighborhood. The resonating question is: Is the Sun with its inhabited planet Earth unique, or are there also conditions in the vicinity of other stars, at least the numerous sun-like ones among them, that are conducive to life? On the other hand, the area of galaxies and cosmology is about understanding the development of today’s richly structured Universe with its galaxies and stars and its emergence from the simple initial state after the Big Bang.

    The research topics at a glance:
    • Star formation and young objects, planet formation, astrobiology, interstellar matter, astrochemistry
    • Structure and evolution of the Milky Way, quasars and active galaxies, evolution of galaxies, galaxy clusters, cosmology

    Together with the Center for Astronomy at The Ruprecht Karl University of Heidelberg [Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg](DE), the Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies (HITS) and the Department of Astro- and Particle Physics of the MPI for Nuclear Physics (MPIK), the MPIA in Heidelberg is a globally renowned centre of astronomical research.

    Since 2015, the MPIA has been running the “Heidelberg Initiative for the Origins of Life” (HIFOL) together with the MPIK, the HITS, the Institute of Geosciences at Heidelberg University and the Department of Chemistry at The Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich [Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München](DE). HIFOL brings together top researchers from astrophysics, geosciences, chemistry and the life sciences to promote, strengthen and combine scientific research towards the prerequisites for the emergence of life.

    Structure
    • Galaxies and Cosmology Department

    • Planet and Star Formation Department

    • Atmospheric Physics of Exoplanets
    • Technical Departments

    Instrumentation
    The MPIA also builds instruments or parts of them for ground-based telescopes and satellites, including the following:
    • Calar Alto Observatory (Spain)[above]
    • La Silla Observatory of the European Southern Observatory (The European Southern Observatory [La Observatorio Europeo Austral] [Observatoire européen austral][Europäische Südsternwarte](EU)(CL))
    European Southern Observatory(EU) La Silla Observatory 600 km north of Santiago de Chile at an altitude of 2400 metres.
    • Paranal Observatory and E-ELT (ESO)

    The Paranal Observatory pictured with Cerro Paranal in the background. The mountain is home to one of the most advanced ground-based telescopes in the world, the VLT. The VLT telescope consists of four unit telescopes with mirrors measuring 8.2 meters in diameter and work together with four smaller auxiliary telescopes to make interferometric observations. Each of the 8.2m diameter Unit Telescopes can also be used individually. With one such telescope, images of celestial objects as faint as magnitude 30 can be obtained in a one-hour exposure. This corresponds to seeing objects that are four billion (four thousand million) times fainter than what can be seen with the unaided eye.

    The European Southern Observatory(EU) ELT 39 meter telescope to be on top of Cerro Armazones in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile at an altitude of 3,060 metres (10,040 ft).

    • Large Binocular Telescope [above]
    • Infrared Space Observatory (The European Space Agency [La Agencia Espacial Europea] [Agence spatiale européenne][Europäische Weltraumorganisation](EU))

    ESA Infrared Space Observatory.

    • Herschel Space Observatory (ESA, The National Aeronautics and Space Agency)

    European Space Agency Herschel spacecraft active from 2009 to 2013.
    • James Webb Space Telescope (NASA, ESA.CSA)

    National Aeronautics Space Agency/European Space Agency [La Agencia Espacial Europea] [Agence spatiale européenne][Europäische Weltraumorganisation](EU)/ Canadian Space Agency [Agence Spatiale Canadienne](CA) James Webb Infrared Space Telescope(US) annotated, finally launched December 25, 2021, ten years late.

    The MPIA is also participating in the Gaia mission.

    European Space Agency [La Agencia Espacial Europea][Agence spatiale européenne][Europäische Weltraumorganisation](EU) GAIA satellite.

    Gaia is a space mission of The European Space Agency [La Agencia Espacial Europea] [Agence spatiale européenne][Europäische Weltraumorganisation](EU), in which the exact positions, distances and velocities of around one billion Milky Way stars are determined.

    The MPG Society for the Advancement of Science [MPG Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Wissenschaften e. V.](DE) is a formally independent non-governmental and non-profit association of German research institutes founded in 1911 as the Kaiser Wilhelm Society and renamed the Max Planck Society in 1948 in honor of its former president, theoretical physicist Max Planck. The society is funded by the federal and state governments of Germany as well as other sources.

    According to its primary goal, the MPG Society supports fundamental research in the natural, life and social sciences, the arts and humanities in its 83 (as of January 2014) MPG Institutes. The society has a total staff of approximately 17,000 permanent employees, including 5,470 scientists, plus around 4,600 non-tenured scientists and guests. Society budget for 2015 was about €1.7 billion.

    The MPG Institutes focus on excellence in research. The MPG Society has a world-leading reputation as a science and technology research organization, with 33 Nobel Prizes awarded to their scientists, and is generally regarded as the foremost basic research organization in Europe and the world. In 2013, the Nature Publishing Index placed the MPG institutes fifth worldwide in terms of research published in Nature journals (after Harvard University, The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University and The National Institutes of Health). In terms of total research volume (unweighted by citations or impact), the Max Planck Society is only outranked by The Chinese Academy of Sciences [中国科学院](CN), The Russian Academy of Sciences [Росси́йская акаде́мия нау́к](RU) and Harvard University. The Thomson Reuters-Science Watch website placed the MPG Society as the second leading research organization worldwide following Harvard University, in terms of the impact of the produced research over science fields.

    The MPG Society and its predecessor Kaiser Wilhelm Society hosted several renowned scientists in their fields, including Otto Hahn, Werner Heisenberg, and Albert Einstein.

    History

    The organization was established in 1911 as the Kaiser Wilhelm Society, or Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gesellschaft (KWG), a non-governmental research organization named for the then German emperor. The KWG was one of the world’s leading research organizations; its board of directors included scientists like Walther Bothe, Peter Debye, Albert Einstein, and Fritz Haber. In 1946, Otto Hahn assumed the position of President of KWG, and in 1948, the society was renamed the Max Planck Society (MPG) after its former President (1930–37) Max Planck, who died in 1947.

    The MPG Society has a world-leading reputation as a science and technology research organization. In 2006, the Times Higher Education Supplement rankings of non-university research institutions (based on international peer review by academics) placed the MPG Society as No.1 in the world for science research, and No.3 in technology research (behind AT&T Corporation and The DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory.

    The domain mpg.de attracted at least 1.7 million visitors annually by 2008 according to a Compete.com study.

    MPG Institutes and research groups

    The MPG Society consists of over 80 research institutes. In addition, the society funds a number of Max Planck Research Groups (MPRG) and International Max Planck Research Schools (IMPRS). The purpose of establishing independent research groups at various universities is to strengthen the required networking between universities and institutes of the Max Planck Society.
    The research units are primarily located across Europe with a few in South Korea and the U.S. In 2007, the Society established its first non-European centre, with an institute on the Jupiter campus of Florida Atlantic University (US) focusing on neuroscience.
    The MPG Institutes operate independently from, though in close cooperation with, the universities, and focus on innovative research which does not fit into the university structure due to their interdisciplinary or transdisciplinary nature or which require resources that cannot be met by the state universities.

    Internally, MPG Institutes are organized into research departments headed by directors such that each MPI has several directors, a position roughly comparable to anything from full professor to department head at a university. Other core members include Junior and Senior Research Fellows.

    In addition, there are several associated institutes:

    International Max Planck Research Schools

    International Max Planck Research Schools

    Together with the Association of Universities and other Education Institutions in Germany, the Max Planck Society established numerous International Max Planck Research Schools (IMPRS) to promote junior scientists:

    • Cologne Graduate School of Ageing Research, Cologne
    • International Max Planck Research School for Intelligent Systems, at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems located in Tübingen and Stuttgart
    • International Max Planck Research School on Adapting Behavior in a Fundamentally Uncertain World (Uncertainty School), at the Max Planck Institutes for Economics, for Human Development, and/or Research on Collective Goods
    • International Max Planck Research School for Analysis, Design and Optimization in Chemical and Biochemical Process Engineering, Magdeburg
    • International Max Planck Research School for Astronomy and Cosmic Physics, Heidelberg at the MPI for Astronomy
    • International Max Planck Research School for Astrophysics, Garching at the MPI for Astrophysics
    • International Max Planck Research School for Complex Surfaces in Material Sciences, Berlin
    • International Max Planck Research School for Computer Science, Saarbrücken
    • International Max Planck Research School for Earth System Modeling, Hamburg
    • International Max Planck Research School for Elementary Particle Physics, Munich, at the MPI for Physics
    • International Max Planck Research School for Environmental, Cellular and Molecular Microbiology, Marburg at the Max Planck Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology
    • International Max Planck Research School for Evolutionary Biology, Plön at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology
    • International Max Planck Research School “From Molecules to Organisms”, Tübingen at the Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology
    • International Max Planck Research School for Global Biogeochemical Cycles, Jena at the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry
    • International Max Planck Research School on Gravitational Wave Astronomy, Hannover and Potsdam MPI for Gravitational Physics
    • International Max Planck Research School for Heart and Lung Research, Bad Nauheim at the Max Planck Institute for Heart and Lung Research
    • International Max Planck Research School for Infectious Diseases and Immunity, Berlin at the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology
    • International Max Planck Research School for Language Sciences, Nijmegen
    • International Max Planck Research School for Neurosciences, Göttingen
    • International Max Planck Research School for Cognitive and Systems Neuroscience, Tübingen
    • International Max Planck Research School for Marine Microbiology (MarMic), joint program of the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology in Bremen, the University of Bremen, the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in Bremerhaven, and the Jacobs University Bremen
    • International Max Planck Research School for Maritime Affairs, Hamburg
    • International Max Planck Research School for Molecular and Cellular Biology, Freiburg
    • International Max Planck Research School for Molecular and Cellular Life Sciences, Munich
    • International Max Planck Research School for Molecular Biology, Göttingen
    • International Max Planck Research School for Molecular Cell Biology and Bioengineering, Dresden
    • International Max Planck Research School Molecular Biomedicine, program combined with the ‘Graduate Programm Cell Dynamics And Disease’ at the University of Münster and the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Biomedicine
    • International Max Planck Research School on Multiscale Bio-Systems, Potsdam
    • International Max Planck Research School for Organismal Biology, at the University of Konstanz and the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology
    • International Max Planck Research School on Reactive Structure Analysis for Chemical Reactions (IMPRS RECHARGE), Mülheim an der Ruhr, at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Energy Conversion
    • International Max Planck Research School for Science and Technology of Nano-Systems, Halle at Max Planck Institute of Microstructure Physics
    • International Max Planck Research School for Solar System Science at the University of Göttingen hosted by MPI for Solar System Research
    • International Max Planck Research School for Astronomy and Astrophysics, Bonn, at the MPI for Radio Astronomy (formerly the International Max Planck Research School for Radio and Infrared Astronomy)
    • International Max Planck Research School for the Social and Political Constitution of the Economy, Cologne
    • International Max Planck Research School for Surface and Interface Engineering in Advanced Materials, Düsseldorf at Max Planck Institute for Iron Research GmbH
    • International Max Planck Research School for Ultrafast Imaging and Structural Dynamics, Hamburg

    Max Planck Schools

    • Max Planck School of Cognition
    • Max Planck School Matter to Life
    • Max Planck School of Photonics

    Max Planck Center

    • The Max Planck Centre for Attosecond Science (MPC-AS), POSTECH Pohang
    • The Max Planck POSTECH Center for Complex Phase Materials, POSTECH Pohang

    Max Planck Institutes

    Among others:
    • Max Planck Institute for Neurobiology of Behavior – caesar, Bonn
    • Max Planck Institute for Aeronomics in Katlenburg-Lindau was renamed to Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research in 2004;
    • Max Planck Institute for Biology in Tübingen was closed in 2005;
    • Max Planck Institute for Cell Biology in Ladenburg b. Heidelberg was closed in 2003;
    • Max Planck Institute for Economics in Jena was renamed to the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in 2014;
    • Max Planck Institute for Ionospheric Research in Katlenburg-Lindau was renamed to Max Planck Institute for Aeronomics in 1958;
    • Max Planck Institute for Metals Research, Stuttgart
    • Max Planck Institute of Oceanic Biology in Wilhelmshaven was renamed to Max Planck Institute of Cell Biology in 1968 and moved to Ladenburg 1977;
    • Max Planck Institute for Psychological Research in Munich merged into the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in 2004;
    • Max Planck Institute for Protein and Leather Research in Regensburg moved to Munich 1957 and was united with the Max Planck Institute for Biochemistry in 1977;
    • Max Planck Institute for Virus Research in Tübingen was renamed as Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology in 1985;
    • Max Planck Institute for the Study of the Scientific-Technical World in Starnberg (from 1970 until 1981 (closed)) directed by Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker and Jürgen Habermas.
    • Max Planck Institute for Behavioral Physiology
    • Max Planck Institute of Experimental Endocrinology
    • Max Planck Institute for Foreign and International Social Law
    • Max Planck Institute for Physics and Astrophysics
    • Max Planck Research Unit for Enzymology of Protein Folding
    • Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing

     
  • richardmitnick 11:21 am on February 3, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Into the Maelström", , , , , , , Ground based Optical Astronomy   

    From “Centauri Dreams” At follow.it : “Into the Maelström” 

    From “Centauri Dreams”

    At

    follow.it

    2.3.23
    Paul Gilster

    The European Southern Observatory’s (ESO) GRAVITY instrument is a beam combiner in the infra-red K-band that operates as a part of the Very Large Telescope Interferometer, combining infra-red light received by four different telescopes, out of the eight operated (four 8.2 metre fixed telescopes and four 1.8 metre movable telescopes).

    The latest measurements of the stars orbiting the Milky Way’s Galactic Core Super-Massive Black Hole (SMBH), otherwise known as Sagittarius A* (pronounced as ‘Sagittarius A Star’), by the GRAVITY instrument have determined its mass and distance to new levels of accuracy:

    Ro = 8,275 parsecs (+\-) 9.3 parsecs and a mass of (in 10^6 Msol) 4.297 +\- 0.013.

    1
    Image: The galactic centre in infrared. Credit: NASA.

    In round figures, that’s 27,000 light-years and 4.3 million Solar masses. The closest that light can approach a Black Hole and still escape is the Event Horizon, which is the spherical boundary at the distance of the Schwarzschild Radius, which is a radius of 2.95325 kilometres per solar mass. Thus 4.3 million solar masses is wrapped in an Event Horizon 12.7 million kilometres in radius. In aeons to come, when the Milky Way and Messier 31 have collided and their black holes have coalesced, the combined Super Massive Black Hole (SMBH) will mass 100 million solar masses with an event horizon almost 300 million kilometres in radius.

    Into the Maelström

    Mass-energy, so Albert Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity tells us, puts dents into Space-time. Most concentrations of mass-energy, like stars, planets and galaxies, form shallow dents. Black Holes – like the future SMBH – go deeper, forming an inescapable waterfall of space-time inwards to their centres, the edge of which is the Event Horizon.

    Light follows the curvature of space-time, traveling the shortest pathways (geodesics). At the Event Horizon the available geodesics all point towards the “middle” of the Black Hole. For particles with rest mass, like atoms, dust and space-ships, geodesics can’t be followed, merely approached, so they follow different pathways just as inexorably towards the centre.

    Instead of flying radially inwards towards the future SMBH’s Centre, let’s ponder orbiting it. For most orbital distances from any Black Hole any small mass in orbit will experience nothing different to orbiting around any other large mass. Too close and you’ll experience extreme tidal forces if the black hole is small, so to avoid being torn to shreds when approaching really close a really big Black Hole is needed. The future SMBH massing 100 million solar masses with a Schwarzschild radius of 300 million kilometres has very mild Tidal Forces at the Event Horizon, though potentially significant for things as big as stars and planets.

    We have multi-year ‘movies’ of stars orbiting around our SMBH, though none as close as we will explore. Close orbits get measured in multiples of M – which is half the Schwarzschild radius. At a radius of r = 3M space-time is so curved that the geodesics form a circle around the Black Hole. Light can thus orbit indefinitely, building up to potentially extraordinary energy densities if nothing else gets in its way, forming a so-called Photon Sphere. But the centre of the Galaxy is full of dust and gas, so something is always getting in the way. Eventually even photons get so energetic they perturb each other out of the Sphere.

    For particles that don’t follow geodesics, merely approximate them, the Innermost Stable Circular Orbit (ISCO) is further out, at r = 6M. Objects here travel at half the speed of light. Other shapes of orbits can dip a bit closer in, down to r = 4M. Deeper in and motion near the Black Hole is no longer “orbital”. You must point away from the Black Hole and apply thrust or in-fall is inevitable.

    The equation of orbital motion from the ISCO radius (rI) all the way to the centre was only recently worked out in closed form for rotating and non-rotating (stationary) Black Holes. Previously numerical Relativity methods were used, complicating modelling of Accretion Disks around astrophysical Black Holes. The Equation of Motion of a test particle (i.e. very small mass) around a non-rotating Black Hole, which our future SMBH might approximate, is straightforward:

    3

    Φ is the angular distance traveled, with a range from negative infinity to zero, by convention. I’ve plotted r against Φ here:

    4

    The Red Circle at r = 3 M is the Photon Sphere and the Yellow Circle at r = 2M is the Schwarzschild Radius aka Event Horizon. In this case the plot starts at r = 5.95M with the test particle circling the Black Hole 6 times before hitting the central point. The proper time experienced by an observer spiralling into the Centre is a bit more complicated. We can parameterise x as follows to make the mathematics easier:

    5

    with ψ running from an angle π to 0. Then the Proper-Time τ of the inspiral trajectory is:

    6

    The above equation is true for any black-hole, spinning or stationary. For a stationary Black Hole, rI = 6M, so the equation simplifies to:

    7

    But what is M? It’s the “geometrized” mass of the Black Hole, which is derived by multiplying the mass by G/c2. Similarly the proper time is in units of “geometrized” time, so it needs to be divided by the speed of light, c, to convert to seconds.

    In the case of the fall from r = 5.95M to r = 0, thus ψ = (5.95/6) ∗ (π) to ψ = 0, the total time is τ = 1291.14M. In the case of our Galaxy’s SMBH a proper time of M is 493 seconds. So the inspiral time is 176.6 hours and the Event Horizon is reached with 1.32 hours to go.

    Surviving the Plunge

    Falling into a Black Hole is probably fatal. However, like any fall, it’s not gravity that’ll kill you, but the sudden stop at the end. The final destination is the concentration of mass at the very centre. As the Centre is approached the first derivative of gravitational acceleration with respect to the radial distance vectors – the tidal forces – that will be experienced will become extreme.

    Black holes are the pointy end of a spectrum of astrophysical objects. Stars exist due to their dynamic balance between the outward pressure from their fusion energy production and the inward pressure from their self gravity. When fusion energy production ends, the cores of stars begin collapsing, held above the Abyss of gravitational collapse by successive fusion energy reactions, then electron degeneracy pressure from squeezing free electrons too close together (via the Pauli Exclusion Principle), and when that isn’t enough, neutron degeneracy pressure and beyond.

    Pressure is a measure of the ‘expansive’ energy packed in a volume. Dimensionally we can see that F / m^2 (Pressure) = E / m^3 (Energy per unit volume), so that as the mutual gravitational squeeze pushes inwards on a mass of particles which are pushing back against each other thanks to the Pauli Exclusion Principle for fermions (electrons, protons, neutrons etc) that pressure increases and increases, in a feed-back loop. Too much and equilibrium is never achieved. Thanks to Special Relativity we know that energy has mass, so that Pressure adds to the inward squeeze of gravity as particles are squeezed harder together. When the Gravity Squeeze – Push-Back Pressure process self-amplifies and runs away, the mass collapses ‘infinitely’ inwards forming a Singularity. Such a Singularity cuts itself of from the rest of the Universe when it squeezes inwards past the mass’s Schwarzschild Radius:

    9

    The resulting Event Horizon defines a Black Hole, by being a ‘surface of no return’ for everything, including light. Nothing escapes from within the Event Horizon. The minimum mass to cause such an inwards collapse and form a Black Hole for a mass of fermions (i.e. the same particles that make Stars, humans and space-ships) in the present day Universe is about 3 solar masses, squished into a volume smaller than 18 kilometres across.

    Before we get to that point there are White Dwarfs and Neutron Stars – objects supported against collapse by Electron Degeneracy Pressure and Neutron Degeneracy Pressure, respectively. White Dwarfs are typically composed of carbon and oxygen – the ashes of helium fusion – and have observed masses anywhere between 0.1 and 1.3 Solar masses. Their radius is proportional to the inverse 1/3 power of their mass:

    10

    R* is a reference radius. For a cool white dwarf of 1 solar mass, the radius is about 0.8 Earth’s – 5,600 km. A space vehicle falling from infinity, on a flyby very close to such a star’s surface will rush past the lowest point of its orbit at 6,900 km/s, experiencing over 430,000 gee acceleration. In free-fall however it feels only the first derivative of that acceleration:

    11

    Which in this example is 0.15 gee per metre of radial stretching directed outwards and inwards along the direction of the radial distance to the white dwarf and a squeezing force half that directed laterally inwards from the sides. Easily resisted by small structures, like bodies and space-ships.

    Neutron stars are smaller again – typically 20 km wide for a 1.3 solar mass neutron star. A near surface flyby isn’t recommended, since the tidal forces are thus almost a million times stronger. Close proximity to a magnetic neutron star is probably lethal anyway due to the intense magnetic fields long before the tidal forces rip you to shreds. Heavier neutron stars get smaller – just like white dwarfs – until they totally collapse as a black hole.

    Black holes reverse the trend. The Event Horizon gets bigger linearly with their mass and there’s no upper limit to their mass. Our future Galactic SMBH’s Event Horizon will be 295.325 million kilometres in radius, give or take. Substituting the Schwarzschild Radius equation into the Tidal force equation gives us:

    11

    So the tidal force at the Event Horizon is 0.1 microgee per metre. The Moon could almost enter the Event Horizon peacefully…

    12

    How far into the SMBH can we, as Observers, then fall? If we can brace ourselves against 1,000 gees per metre of squeezing and stretching, then quite a long way…

    13

    Which gives a distance of 139,430 kilometres from the centre. In other words 99.953% of the way to the central Singularity.

    What wonders might we see? Quantum Gravity is yet to give a clear answer. Traditionally an imploding mass ends in the Singularity, which is a geometrical point. But quantum particles can’t be reduced to a singular point and retain quantum information. A possibility, due to the massively distorted space-time around the collapsing mass, is that ultimately the quantum particles all “bounce” after hitting Planck density and explode back outwards. To external Observers this is seen, in time-dilated fashion, as the slow-leak from the Event Horizon that is Hawking Radiation. Or, if the particles “twist” in a higher dimension, so they bounce as a new Big Bang forming another Universe. This can be seen as an emergence from a White Hole, as White Holes must keep expanding else they collapse into another Black Hole.

    None of those options are ‘healthy’ to be around as flesh-and-blood Observer, so presently surviving the plunge is in doubt.

    As we conclude, let’s check back in with Edgar Allan Poe, who knew a few things about terrifying plunges himself. In Descent into the Maelstrom, he gives us a look into what might be considered a 19th Century conception of a black hole and the journey into its bizarre interior.

    References

    Mummery, A. & Balbus, S. “Inspirals from the innermost stable circular orbit of Kerr black holes: Exact solutions and universal radial flow,” Physical Review Letters 129, 161101 (12 October 2022).
    https://doi.org/10.48550/arXiv.2209.03579

    Fragione, G. and Loeb, A., “An Upper Limit on the Spin of SgrA* Based on Stellar Orbits in Its Vicinity” (2020) ApJL 901 L32
    https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.3847/2041-8213/abb9b4/pdf

    See the full article here .

    Comments are invited and will be appreciated, especially if the reader finds any errors which I can correct. Use “Reply”.

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

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Tracking Research into Deep Space Exploration
    Alpha Centauri and other nearby stars seem impossible destinations not just for manned missions but even for robotic probes like Cassini or Galileo. Nonetheless, serious work on propulsion, communications, long-life electronics and spacecraft autonomy continues at NASA, ESA and many other venues, some in academia, some in private industry. The goal of reaching the stars is a distant one and the work remains low-key, but fascinating ideas continue to emerge. This site will track current research. I’ll also throw in the occasional musing about the literary and cultural implications of interstellar flight.
    Centauris Alpha Beta Proxima, 27 February 2012. Skatebiker.


    National Aeronautics and Space Administration Galileo Spacecraft 1989-2003.
    Ultimately, the challenge may be as much philosophical as technological: to reassert the value of the long haul in a time of jittery short-term thinking.

     
  • richardmitnick 3:13 pm on February 1, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "First Kilonova Progenitor System Identified", , , , Ground based Optical Astronomy, The NSF/ NOAO/ NOIRLab (National Optical-Infrared Astronomy Research Laboratory)   

    From The NSF/ NOAO/ NOIRLab (National Optical-Infrared Astronomy Research Laboratory) : “First Kilonova Progenitor System Identified” 

    From The NSF/ NOAO/ NOIRLab (National Optical-Infrared Astronomy Research Laboratory)

    2.1.23
    Noel D. Richardson
    Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
    Email: noel.richardson@erau.edu

    André-Nicolas Chené
    NSF’s NOIRLab
    Email: andre-nicolas.chene@noirlab.edu

    Todd Henry
    SMARTS Consortium Director
    Email: thenry@astro.gsu.edu

    Tyler Linder
    SMARTS Consortium Deputy Director
    Email: tlinder34@gmail.com

    Charles Blue
    Public Information Officer
    NSF’s NOIRLab
    Tel: +1 202 236 6324
    Email: charles.blue@noirlab.edu

    1
    Astronomers using data from the SMARTS 1.5-meter Telescope at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO) [below], a Program of NSF’s NOIRLab, have made the first confirmed detection of a star system that will one day form a kilonova — the ultra-powerful, gold-producing explosion created by merging neutron stars. These systems are so phenomenally rare that only about 10 such systems are thought to exist in the entire Milky Way.

    Astronomers using the SMARTS 1.5-meter Telescope at Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile, a Program of NSF’s NOIRLab, have uncovered the first example of a phenomenally rare type of binary star system, one that has all the right conditions to eventually trigger a kilonova — the ultra-powerful, gold-producing explosion created by colliding neutron stars. Such an arrangement is so vanishingly rare that only about 10 such systems are thought to exist in the entire Milky Way Galaxy. The findings are published today in the journal Nature [below].

    This unusual system, known as CPD-29 2176, is located about 11,400 light-years from Earth. It was first identified by NASA’s Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory. Later observations with the SMARTS 1.5-meter Telescope allowed astronomers to deduce the orbital characteristics and types of stars that make up this system — a neutron star created by an ultra-stripped supernova and a closely orbiting massive star that is in the process of becoming an ultra-stripped supernova itself.

    An ultra-stripped supernova is the end-of-life explosion of a massive star that has had much of its outer atmosphere stripped away by a companion star. This class of supernova lacks the explosive force of a traditional supernova, which would otherwise “kick” a nearby companion star out of the system.

    “The current neutron star would have to form without ejecting its companion from the system. An ultra-stripped supernova is the best explanation for why these companion stars are in such a tight orbit,” said Noel D. Richardson at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and lead author of the paper. “To one day create a kilonova, the other star would also need to explode as an ultra-stripped supernova so the two neutron stars could eventually collide and merge.”

    As well as representing the discovery of an incredibly rare cosmic oddity, finding and studying kilonova progenitor systems such as this can help astronomers unravel the mystery of how kilonovae form, shedding light on the origin of the heaviest elements in the Universe.

    “For quite some time, astronomers speculated about the exact conditions that could eventually lead to a kilonova,” said NOIRLab astronomer and co-author André-Nicolas Chené. “These new results demonstrate that, in at least some cases, two sibling neutron stars can merge when one of them was created without a classical supernova explosion.”

    Producing such an unusual system, however, is a long and unlikely process. “We know that the Milky Way contains at least 100 billion stars and likely hundreds of billions more. This remarkable binary system is essentially a one-in-ten-billion system,” said Chené. “Prior to our study, the estimate was that only one or two such systems should exist in a spiral galaxy like the Milky Way.”

    Though this system has all the right stuff to eventually form a kilonova, it will be up to future astronomers to study that event. It will take at least one million years for the massive star to end its life as a titanic supernova explosion and leave behind a second neutron star. This new stellar remnant and the pre-existing neutron star will then need to gradually draw together in a cosmic ballet, slowly losing their orbital energy as gravitational radiation.

    When they eventually merge, the resulting kilonova explosion will produce much more powerful gravitational waves and leave behind in its wake a large amount of heavy elements, including silver and gold.

    “This system reveals that some neutron stars are formed with only a small supernova kick,” concluded Richardson. “As we understand the growing population of systems like CPD-29 2176 we will gain insight into how calm some stellar deaths may be and if these stars can die without traditional supernovae.”

    More information

    This research was presented in the journal Nature [below].

    The team is composed of Noel D. Richardson (Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University), Clarissa Pavao (Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University), Jan J. Eldridge (University of Auckland), Herbert Pablo (American Association of Variable Star Observers), André-Nicolas Chené (NSF’s NOIRLab/Gemini Observatory), Peter Wysocki (Georgia State University), Douglas R. Gies (Georgia State University), Georges Younes (The George Washington University), and Jeremy Hare (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center).

    Nature

    See the full article here.

    Comments are invited and will be appreciated, especially if the reader finds any errors which I can correct. Use “Reply”.

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

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    What is NOIRLab?

    NSF’s NOIRLab (National Optical-Infrared Astronomy Research Laboratory), the US center for ground-based optical-infrared astronomy, operates the international Gemini Observatory (a facility of National Science Foundation, NRC–Canada, ANID–Chile, MCTIC–Brazil, MINCyT–Argentina, and Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute [한국천문연구원] (KR)), NOAO Kitt Peak National Observatory (KPNO), Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory(CL) (CTIO), the Community Science and Data Center (CSDC), and Vera C. Rubin Observatory (in cooperation with DOE’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory). It is managed by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) under a cooperative agreement with NSF and is headquartered in Tucson, Arizona. The astronomical community is honored to have the opportunity to conduct astronomical research on Iolkam Du’ag (Kitt Peak) in Arizona, on Mauna Kea in Hawaiʻi, and on Cerro Tololo and Cerro Pachón in Chile. We recognize and acknowledge the very significant cultural role and reverence that these sites have to the Tohono O’odham Nation, to the Native Hawaiian community, and to the local communities in Chile, respectively.

    National Science Foundation NOIRLab’s Gemini North Frederick C Gillett telescope at Mauna Kea Observatory in Hawai’i Altitude 4,213 m (13,822 ft).

    The National Science Foundation NOIRLab National Optical Astronomy Observatory Gemini South telescope on the summit of Cerro Pachón at an altitude of 7200 feet. There are currently two telescopes commissioned on Cerro Pachón, Gemini South and the SOAR Telescope — Southern Astrophysics Research Telescope. A third, the Vera C. Rubin Observatory, is under construction.

    The National Science Foundation NOIRLab National Optical Astronomy Observatory Vera C. Rubin Observatory [LSST] Telescope currently under construction on the El Peñón peak at Cerro Pachón Chile, a 2,682-meter-high mountain in Coquimbo Region, in northern Chile, alongside the existing NSF NOIRLab NOAO The Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) Gemini South Telescope and Southern Astrophysical Research Telescope.

    National Science Foundation NOIRLab National Optical Astronomy Observatory Kitt Peak National Observatory on Kitt Peak of the Quinlan Mountains in the Arizona-Sonoran Desert on the Tohono O’odham Nation, 88 kilometers (55 mi) west-southwest of Tucson, Arizona, Altitude 2,096 m (6,877 ft), annotated.

    NSF NOIRLab NOAO Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory(CL) approximately 80 km to the East of La Serena, Chile, at an altitude of 2200 meters.

    The NOAO-Community Science and Data Center

    This work is supported in part by The Department of Energy Office of Science.
    The Dark Energy Survey is a collaboration of more than 400 scientists from 26 institutions in seven countries. Funding for the DES Projects has been provided by the US Department of Energy Office of Science, The National Science Foundation, Ministry of Science and Education of Spain, The Science and Technology Facilities Council (UK), The Higher Education Funding Council for England (UK), The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology ETH Zürich [Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich)](CH), The National Center for Supercomputing Applications at The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, The Kavli Institute of Cosmological Physics at The University of Chicago, Center for Cosmology and AstroParticle Physics at The Ohio State University, Mitchell Institute for Fundamental Physics and Astronomy at The Texas A&M University, Brazil Funding Authority for Studies and Projects for Scientific and Technological Development [Financiadora de Estudos e Projetos ](BR) , Carlos Chagas Filho Foundation for Research Support of the State of Rio de Janeiro [Fundação Carlos Chagas Filho de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado do Rio de Janeiro](BR), Ministry of Science, Technology, Innovation and Communications [Ministério da Ciência, Tecnolgia, Inovação e Comunicações](BR), German Research Foundation [Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft](DE), and the collaborating institutions in the Dark Energy Survey.

    The National Center for Supercomputing Applications at The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign provides
    supercomputing and advanced digital resources for the nation’s science enterprise. At NCSA, The University of Illinois faculty, staff, students, and collaborators from around the globe use advanced digital resources to address research grand challenges for the benefit of science and society. NCSA has been advancing one-third of the Fortune 50® for more than 30 years by bringing industry, researchers, and students together to solve grand challenges at rapid speed and scale.
    The DOE Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time.

     
  • richardmitnick 10:08 am on February 1, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "New data release of MUSE data cubes of the Fornax3D Survey", , , , Ground based Optical Astronomy,   

    From The European Southern Observatory [La Observatorio Europeo Austral] [Observatoire européen austral] [Europäische Südsternwarte](EU)(CL) : “New data release of MUSE data cubes of the Fornax3D Survey” 

    1

    The Fornax3D survey is an integral field spectroscopic survey of the Fornax cluster of galaxies. This new data release contains mosaiced IFS MUSE cubes with their white lamp images for the 31 galaxies brighter than mB=15 within the virial radius of the cluster. The total data volume is 121.5 Gb. The survey was conducted under the ESO programme 296.B-5054(A), PI M. Sarzi and E. Iodice, with MUSE at the ESO VLT in wide-field mode. This instrument configuration ensures a spatial sampling of 0.2×0.2 arcsec2, a wavelength coverage from 4650 to 9300 Å with a spectral sampling of 1.25 Å/pixel, and a nominal spectral resolution of FWHM = 2.5 Å at 7000 Å. The main science goals of the survey are to understand the assembly history of the Fornax cluster and of the early-type galaxies, study the formation of substructures in galaxies and the properties of globular cluster and planetary nebulae population. For more information on the background and goals, please consult the latest paper by Sarzi, Iodice et al. in The Messenger.

    Several targeted galaxies were observed with multiple pointings, up to three, depending on their angular extent. Whenever multiple pointings are available, they are merged together into a final mosaic. The total integration times for the central and middle fields are about 1 hour, while a total integration of 1.5 hours was required in the outer regions to reach the limiting surface brightness of mB= 25 mag/arcsec2. The observations were taken in good seeing conditions with a median FWHM = 0.72’’. For more information on the data of this release, please consult the comprehensive release description.

    The data products are available either from the Science Portal or via Table Access Protocol. The DOI assigned to the data collection is 10.18727/archive/82.

    See the full article here .

    Comments are invited and will be appreciated, especially if the reader finds any errors which I can correct. Use “Reply”.


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

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Visit ESO (EU) in Social Media-

    Facebook

    Twitter

    YouTube

    ESO Bloc Icon

    The European Southern Observatory [La Observatorio Europeo Austral] [Observatoire européen austral][Europäische Südsternwarte] (EU)(CL) is the foremost intergovernmental astronomy organization in Europe and the world’s most productive ground-based astronomical observatory by far. today ESO is supported by 16 Member States (Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom), along with the host state of Chile and with Australia as a Strategic Partner. ESO carries out an ambitious program 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 organizing cooperation in astronomical research. ESO operates three unique world-class observing sites in Chile: Cerro La Silla, Cerro Paranaland Chajnantor. At Paranal, ESO operates the Very Large Telescope, the world’s most advanced visible-light astronomical observatory and two survey telescopes. VISTA works in the infrared and is the world’s largest survey telescope and the VLT Survey Telescope is the largest telescope designed to exclusively survey the skies in visible light. ESO is a major partner in ALMA, the largest astronomical project in existence. And on Cerro Armazones, close to Paranal, ESO is building the 39-metre European Extremely Large Telescope, the E-ELT, which will become “the world’s biggest eye on the sky”.

    The European Southern Observatory (ESO) enables scientists worldwide to discover the secrets of the Universe for the benefit of all. We design, build and operate world-class observatories on the ground — which astronomers use to tackle exciting questions and spread the fascination of astronomy — and promote international collaboration in astronomy. Established as an intergovernmental organization in 1962, ESO’s headquarters and its visitor centre and planetarium, the ESO Supernova, are located close to Munich in Germany, while the Chilean Atacama Desert, a marvellous place with unique conditions to observe the sky, hosts our telescopes. At Paranal ESO will host and operate the Čerenkov Telescope Array South, the world’s largest and most sensitive gamma-ray observatory.


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

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

    MPG Institute for Astronomy [MPG-Institut für Astronomie](DE) European Southern Observatory(EU)(CL) 2.2 meter telescope at Cerro La Silla, 600 km north of Santiago de Chile at an altitude of 2400 metres.

    European Southern Observatory (EU)(CL)Cerro La Silla Observatory 600 km north of Santiago de Chile at an altitude of 2400 metres.

    European Southern Observatory(EU)(CL) , Very Large Telescope 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.


    European Southern Observatory(EU) (CL) 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 Survey telescope.

    ESO Very Large Telescope 4 lasers on Yepun (CL).

    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, a major asset of the Adaptive Optics system.

    ESO New Technology Telescope at Cerro La Silla, at an altitude of 2400 metres.

    Part of ESO’s Paranal Observatory the VLT Survey Telescope (VISTA) observes the brilliantly clear skies above the Atacama Desert of Chile. It is the largest survey telescope in the world in visible light, with an elevation of 2,635 metres (8,645 ft) above sea level.

    European Southern Observatory (EU)(CL)National Radio Astronomy ObservatoryNational Astronomical Observatory of Japan(JP) ALMA Array in Chile in the Atacama at Chajnantor plateau, at 5,000 metres.

    European Southern Observatory(EU) (CL) ELT 39 meter telescope 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).

    European Southern Observatory(EU)(CL)/MPG Institute for Radio Astronomy [MPG Institut für Radioastronomie](DE) ESO’s Atacama Pathfinder Experiment(CL) high on the Chajnantor plateau in Chile’s Atacama region, at an altitude of over 4,800 m (15,700 ft).

    The Leiden Observatory [Sterrewacht Leiden](NL) MASCARA instrument cabinet at 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 telescopes, an array of twelve robotic 20-centimetre telescopes at Cerro Paranal, 2,635 metres (8,645 ft) above sea level.


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

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

    European Southern Observatory (EU)(CL) 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 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.

    European Space Agency [La Agencia Espacial Europea] [Agence spatiale européenne][Europäische Weltraumorganization](EU)(CL), The new Test-Bed Telescope 2 is housed inside the shiny white dome shown in this picture, at ESO’s Cerro LaSilla Facility in Chile. The telescope has now started operations and will assist its northern-hemisphere twin in protecting us from potentially hazardous, near-Earth objects. The domes of ESO’s 0.5 m and the Danish 0.5 m telescopes are visible in the background of this image.Part of the world-wide effort to scan and identify near-Earth objects, the European Space Agency’s Test-Bed Telescope 2 (TBT2), a technology demonstrator hosted at ESO’s La Silla Observatory, has now started operating. Working alongside its northern-hemisphere partner telescope, TBT2 will keep a close eye on the sky for asteroids that could pose a risk to Earth, testing hardware and software for a future telescope network.

    European Space Agency [La Agencia Espacial Europea][Agence spatiale européenne][Europäische Weltraumorganization](EU)(CL) ‘s The open dome of The black telescope structure of the European Space Agency Test-Bed Telescope 2 peers out of its open dome in front of the rolling desert landscape. The telescope is located at ESO’s Cerro La Silla Observatory, which sits at a 2400 metre altitude in the Chilean Atacama Desert.

     
  • richardmitnick 11:09 pm on January 31, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Scientists release newly accurate map of all the matter in the universe", , , , , Ground based Optical Astronomy, , ,   

    From The University of Chicago: “Scientists release newly accurate map of all the matter in the universe” 

    U Chicago bloc

    From The University of Chicago

    1.31.23
    Louise Lerner

    1
    Scientists have released a new survey of all the matter in the universe, using data taken by the Dark Energy Survey in Chile (above)[? as far as I know, only DECam (below) was used in this survey] and the South Pole Telescope. Photo by Andreas Papadopoulos.

    ___________________________________________________________________
    The Dark Energy Survey

    Dark Energy Camera [DECam] built at The DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory.

    NOIRLab National Optical Astronomy Observatory Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CL) Victor M Blanco 4m Telescope which houses the Dark-Energy-Camera – DECam at Cerro Tololo, Chile at an altitude of 7200 feet.

    NOIRLabNSF NOIRLab NOAO Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory(CL) approximately 80 km to the East of La Serena, Chile, at an altitude of 2200 meters.

    The Dark Energy Survey is an international, collaborative effort to map hundreds of millions of galaxies, detect thousands of supernovae, and find patterns of cosmic structure that will reveal the nature of the mysterious dark energy that is accelerating the expansion of our Universe. The Dark Energy Survey began searching the Southern skies on August 31, 2013.

    According to Albert Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity, gravity should lead to a slowing of the cosmic expansion. Yet, in 1998, two teams of astronomers studying distant supernovae made the remarkable discovery that the expansion of the universe is speeding up.

    Nobel Prize in Physics for 2011 Expansion of the Universe

    4 October 2011

    The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has decided to award the Nobel Prize in Physics for 2011

    with one half to

    Saul Perlmutter
    The Supernova Cosmology Project
    The DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and The University of California-Berkeley,

    and the other half jointly to

    Brian P. Schmidt
    The High-z Supernova Search Team,
    The Australian National University, Weston Creek, Australia.

    and

    Adam G. Riess
    The High-z Supernova Search Team,The Johns Hopkins University and
    The Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, MD.
    Written in the stars

    “Some say the world will end in fire, some say in ice…” *

    What will be the final destiny of the Universe? Probably it will end in ice, if we are to believe this year’s Nobel Laureates in Physics. They have studied several dozen exploding stars, called supernovae, and discovered that the Universe is expanding at an ever-accelerating rate. The discovery came as a complete surprise even to the Laureates themselves.

    In 1998, cosmology was shaken at its foundations as two research teams presented their findings. Headed by Saul Perlmutter, one of the teams had set to work in 1988. Brian Schmidt headed another team, launched at the end of 1994, where Adam Riess was to play a crucial role.

    The research teams raced to map the Universe by locating the most distant supernovae. More sophisticated telescopes on the ground and in space, as well as more powerful computers and new digital imaging sensors (CCD, Nobel Prize in Physics in 2009), opened the possibility in the 1990s to add more pieces to the cosmological puzzle.

    The teams used a particular kind of supernova, called Type 1a supernova. It is an explosion of an old compact star that is as heavy as the Sun but as small as the Earth. A single such supernova can emit as much light as a whole galaxy. All in all, the two research teams found over 50 distant supernovae whose light was weaker than expected – this was a sign that the expansion of the Universe was accelerating. The potential pitfalls had been numerous, and the scientists found reassurance in the fact that both groups had reached the same astonishing conclusion.

    For almost a century, the Universe has been known to be expanding as a consequence of the Big Bang about 14 billion years ago. However, the discovery that this expansion is accelerating is astounding. If the expansion will continue to speed up the Universe will end in ice.

    The acceleration is thought to be driven by dark energy, but what that dark energy is remains an enigma – perhaps the greatest in physics today. What is known is that dark energy constitutes about three quarters of the Universe. Therefore the findings of the 2011 Nobel Laureates in Physics have helped to unveil a Universe that to a large extent is unknown to science. And everything is possible again.

    *Robert Frost, Fire and Ice, 1920
    ___________________________________________________________________
    To explain cosmic acceleration, cosmologists are faced with two possibilities: either 70% of the universe exists in an exotic form, now called Dark Energy, that exhibits a gravitational force opposite to the attractive gravity of ordinary matter, or Albert Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity must be replaced by a new theory of gravity on cosmic scales.

    The Dark Energy Survey is designed to probe the origin of the accelerating universe and help uncover the nature of Dark Energy by measuring the 14-billion-year history of cosmic expansion with high precision. More than 400 scientists from over 25 institutions in the United States, Spain, the United Kingdom, Brazil, Germany, Switzerland, and Australia are working on the project. The collaboration built and is using an extremely sensitive 570-Megapixel digital camera, DECam, mounted on the Blanco 4-meter telescope at Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory, high in the Chilean Andes, to carry out the project.

    Over six years (2013-2019), the Dark Energy Survey collaboration used 758 nights of observation to carry out a deep, wide-area survey to record information from 300 million galaxies that are billions of light-years from Earth. The survey imaged 5000 square degrees of the southern sky in five optical filters to obtain detailed information about each galaxy. A fraction of the survey time is used to observe smaller patches of sky roughly once a week to discover and study thousands of supernovae and other astrophysical transients.
    ___________________________________________________________________

    Sometimes to know what the matter is, you have to find it first.

    When the universe began, matter was flung outward and gradually formed the planets, stars and galaxies that we know and love today. By carefully assembling a map of that matter today, scientists can try to understand the forces that shaped the evolution of the universe.

    A group of scientists, including several with the University of Chicago and The DOE Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, have released one of the most precise measurements ever made of how matter is distributed across the universe today.

    Combining data from two major telescope surveys of the universe, the Dark Energy Survey and the South Pole Telescope, the analysis involved more than 150 researchers and is published as a set of three articles Jan. 31 in Physical Review D [below].

    Among other findings, the analysis indicates that matter is not as “clumpy” as we would expect based on our current best model of the universe, which adds to a body of evidence that there may be something missing from our existing standard model of the universe.

    Cooling and clumps

    After the Big Bang created all the matter in the universe in a very hot, intense few moments about 13 billion years ago, this matter has been spreading outward, cooling and clumping as it goes. Scientists are very interested in tracing the path of this matter; by seeing where all the matter ended up, they can try to recreate what happened and what forces would have had to have been in play.

    2
    By comparing maps of the sky from the Dark Energy Survey telescope [above] (at left) with data from the South Pole Telescope [above] and the Planck satellite (at right), the team could infer how the matter is distributed. Image courtesy Yuuki Omori.

    The first step is collecting enormous amounts of data with telescopes.

    In this study, scientists combined data from two very different telescope surveys: The Dark Energy Survey, which surveyed the sky over six years from a mountaintop in Chile, and the South Pole Telescope, which looks for the faint traces of radiation that are still traveling across the sky from the first few moments of the universe.

    Combining two different methods of looking at the sky reduces the chance that the results are thrown off by an error in one of the forms of measurement. “It functions like a cross-check, so it becomes a much more robust measurement than if you just used one or the other,” said UChicago astrophysicist Chihway Chang, one of the lead authors of the studies.

    In both cases, the analysis looked at a phenomenon called gravitational lensing.

    As light travels across the universe, it can be slightly bent as it passes objects with lots of gravity, like galaxies.

    This method catches both regular matter and dark matter—the mysterious form of matter that we have only detected due to its effects on regular matter—because both regular and dark matter exert gravity.

    By rigorously analyzing these two sets of data, the scientists could infer where all the matter ended up in the universe. It is more precise than previous measurements—that is, it narrows down the possibilities for where this matter wound up—compared to previous analyses, the authors said.

    The majority of the results fit perfectly with the currently accepted best theory of the universe.

    But there are also signs of a crack—one that has been suggested in the past by other analyses, too.

    “It seems like there are slightly less fluctuations in the current universe, than we would predict assuming our standard cosmological model anchored to the early universe,” said analysis coauthor and University of Hawaii astrophysicist Eric Baxter (UChicago PhD’14).

    That is, if you make a model incorporating all the currently accepted physical laws, then take the readings from the beginning of the universe and extrapolate it forward through time, the results look slightly different from what we actually measure around us today.

    Specifically, today’s readings find the universe is less “clumpy”—clustering in certain areas rather than evenly spread out—than the model would predict.

    If other studies continue to find the same results, scientists say, it may mean there is something missing from our existing model of the universe, but the results are not yet to the statistical level that scientists consider to be ironclad. That will take further study.

    However, the analysis is a landmark as it yielded useful information from two very different telescope surveys. This is a much-anticipated strategy for the future of astrophysics, as more large telescopes come online in the next decades, but few had actually been carried out yet.

    “I think this exercise showed both the challenges and benefits of doing these kinds of analyses,” Chang said. “There’s a lot of new things you can do when you combine these different angles of looking at the universe.”

    University of Chicago Kavli Associate Fellow Yuuki Omori was also a lead co-author for the papers. The full studies and authorships, “Joint analysis of Dark Energy Survey Year 3 data and CMB lensing from SPT and Planck,” can be found in three papers selected as the editor’s suggestion at Physical Review D.

    The South Pole Telescope is primarily funded by the National Science Foundation and the Department of Energy and is operated by a collaboration led by the University of Chicago. The Dark Energy Survey was an international collaboration coordinated through Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and funded by the Department of Energy, the National Science Foundation, and many institutions around the world.

    Physical Review D

    Physical Review D

    Physical Review D

    See the full article here .

    Comments are invited and will be appreciated, especially if the reader finds any errors which I can correct. Use “Reply”.

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

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    U Chicago Campus

    The University of Chicago is an urban research university that has driven new ways of thinking since 1890. Our commitment to free and open inquiry draws inspired scholars to our global campuses, where ideas are born that challenge and change the world.

    We empower individuals to challenge conventional thinking in pursuit of original ideas. Students in the College develop critical, analytic, and writing skills in our rigorous, interdisciplinary core curriculum. Through graduate programs, students test their ideas with University of Chicago scholars, and become the next generation of leaders in academia, industry, nonprofits, and government.

    University of Chicago research has led to such breakthroughs as discovering the link between cancer and genetics, establishing revolutionary theories of economics, and developing tools to produce reliably excellent urban schooling. We generate new insights for the benefit of present and future generations with our national and affiliated laboratories: The DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory, The DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory , and the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts.
    The University of Chicago is enriched by the city we call home. In partnership with our neighbors, we invest in Chicago’s mid-South Side across such areas as health, education, economic growth, and the arts. Together with our medical center, we are the largest private employer on the South Side.

    In all we do, we are driven to dig deeper, push further, and ask bigger questions—and to leverage our knowledge to enrich all human life. Our diverse and creative students and alumni drive innovation, lead international conversations, and make masterpieces. Alumni and faculty, lecturers and postdocs go on to become Nobel laureates, CEOs, university presidents, attorneys general, literary giants, and astronauts. The University of Chicago is a private research university in Chicago, Illinois. Founded in 1890, its main campus is located in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood. It enrolled 16,445 students in Fall 2019, including 6,286 undergraduates and 10,159 graduate students. The University of Chicago is ranked among the top universities in the world by major education publications, and it is among the most selective in the United States.

    The university is composed of one undergraduate college and five graduate research divisions, which contain all of the university’s graduate programs and interdisciplinary committees. Chicago has eight professional schools: the Law School, the Booth School of Business, the Pritzker School of Medicine, the School of Social Service Administration, the Harris School of Public Policy, the Divinity School, the Graham School of Continuing Liberal and Professional Studies, and the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering. The university has additional campuses and centers in London, Paris, Beijing, Delhi, and Hong Kong, as well as in downtown Chicago.

    University of Chicago scholars have played a major role in the development of many academic disciplines, including economics, law, literary criticism, mathematics, religion, sociology, and the behavioralism school of political science, establishing the Chicago schools in various fields. Chicago’s Metallurgical Laboratory produced the world’s first man-made, self-sustaining nuclear reaction in Chicago Pile-1 beneath the viewing stands of the university’s Stagg Field. Advances in chemistry led to the “radiocarbon revolution” in the carbon-14 dating of ancient life and objects. The university research efforts include administration of The DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and The DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory, as well as the U Chicago Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts (MBL). The university is also home to the University of Chicago Press, the largest university press in the United States. The Barack Obama Presidential Center is expected to be housed at the university and will include both the Obama presidential library and offices of the Obama Foundation.

    The University of Chicago’s students, faculty, and staff have included 100 Nobel laureates as of 2020, giving it the fourth-most affiliated Nobel laureates of any university in the world. The university’s faculty members and alumni also include 10 Fields Medalists, 4 Turing Award winners, 52 MacArthur Fellows, 26 Marshall Scholars, 27 Pulitzer Prize winners, 20 National Humanities Medalists, 29 living billionaire graduates, and have won eight Olympic medals.

    The University of Chicago is enriched by the city we call home. In partnership with our neighbors, we invest in Chicago’s mid-South Side across such areas as health, education, economic growth, and the arts. Together with our medical center, we are the largest private employer on the South Side.

    Research

    According to the National Science Foundation, University of Chicago spent $423.9 million on research and development in 2018, ranking it 60th in the nation. It is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity” and is a founding member of The Association of American Universities and was a member of the Committee on Institutional Cooperation from 1946 through June 29, 2016, when the group’s name was changed to the Big Ten Academic Alliance. The University of Chicago is not a member of the rebranded consortium, but will continue to be a collaborator.

    The university operates more than 140 research centers and institutes on campus. Among these are the Oriental Institute—a museum and research center for Near Eastern studies owned and operated by the university—and a number of National Resource Centers, including the Center for Middle Eastern Studies. Chicago also operates or is affiliated with several research institutions apart from the university proper. The university manages The DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory, part of the United States Department of Energy’s national laboratory system, and co-manages The DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, a nearby particle physics laboratory, as well as a stake in the Apache Point Observatory in Sunspot, New Mexico.
    ___________________________________________________________________

    SDSS Telescope at Apache Point Observatory, near Sunspot NM, USA, Altitude 2,788 meters (9,147 ft).

    Apache Point Observatory, near Sunspot, New Mexico Altitude 2,788 meters (9,147 ft).
    ___________________________________________________________________
    Faculty and students at the adjacent Toyota Technological Institute at Chicago collaborate with the university. In 2013, the university formed an affiliation with the formerly independent Marine Biological Laboratoryin Woods Hole, Mass. Although formally unrelated, the National Opinion Research Center is located on Chicago’s campus.

     
  • richardmitnick 10:25 pm on January 31, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "New protocluster of massive quiescent galaxies discovered", , , , , Ground based Optical Astronomy, Keck I telescope,   

    From The University of Tokyo [(東京大学](JP) Via “phys.org” : “New protocluster of massive quiescent galaxies discovered” 

    From The University of Tokyo [(東京大学](JP)

    Via

    “phys.org”

    1.32.23

    1
    Spectra of four quiescent galaxies in the protocluster QO-1000 with significant absorption lines. Credit: Ito et al, 2023
    Figure 2. Left panel: Spectra of four quiescent galaxies with significant absorption lines. The object spectra are shown with orange shading, and the noise spectra are shown in dark shading on each panel. In addition to QG301560 and QG280611, whose spectral analyses were conducted with binned spectra, the others’ spectra are also re-binned over 4 pixels just for illustrative purposes. The blue lines are the best fit from SLINEFIT. The gray-masked regions are not observed or largely affected by the skylines and not used for the fitting. Right panel: Blue and black lines indicate the probability distribution of the spectroscopicredshift from SLINEFIT and the photometric redshift from MIZUKI, respectively.

    An international team of astronomers reports the detection of a new protocluster of galaxies. The newfound protocluster, designated QO-1000, contains at least 14 massive quiescent galaxies. The finding was detailed in a paper published January 21 for The Astrophysical Journal Letters [below].

    Galaxy clusters contain from hundreds to thousands of galaxies bound together by gravity. They are the largest known gravitationally bound structures in the universe, and could serve as excellent laboratories for studying galaxy evolution and cosmology.

    Astronomers are especially interested in studies of protoclusters of galaxies, the progenitors of clusters. Such objects, found at high redshifts (over 2.0), could provide essential information about the universe at its early stages.

    Now, a new high-redshift protocluster has been found by a group of astronomers led by Kei Ito of the University of Tokyo, Japan. The discovery is a result of an analysis of the data from the Cosmic Evolution Survey (COSMOS) and spectroscopic observations using the Keck I telescope.

    “We search overdense structures of quiescent galaxies at z ∼ 3 in the COSMOS field in ∼ 2 deg2 based on the projected distribution of quiescent galaxies,” the researchers explained.

    In result, they found such an overdensity of 14 quiescent galaxies at a redshift of 2.77. The protocluster, which received designation QO-1000, includes four massive galaxies with low specific star formation rates. The results suggest that this structure is at least 68 times denser in quiescent galaxies than in the general field and that its quiescent fraction is about three times higher than the average value at this redshift.

    The astronomers noted that the high stellar mass of spectroscopically confirmed quiescent galaxies of QO-1000 indicates they are hosted in a massive halo. They added that the structure is likely to be hosted by a much more massive halo than the other typical quiescent galaxies with the same stellar mass.

    The researchers assume that QO-1000 is therefore a more mature protocluster than most known protoclusters and is likely in a transition phase from star-forming protoclusters to local quenched clusters. According to the authors of the paper, their finding proves that even at a redshift of almost 3.0, protocluster galaxies can be quenched, and quiescent galaxies can form an overdense structure. They hope that further studies of QO-1000 will help us advance our knowledge regarding the evolution of protoclusters.

    “This structure will be an ideal laboratory to explore the evolutionary history of (proto)clusters and galaxies therein. More detailed investigations of member quiescent galaxies in this structure will be conducted in our future studies, such as constraining star formation history based on the spectra and multi-band photometry, investigating morphology using HST/F160W images (3D-DASH Mowla et al. 2022), estimating dynamical mass, and comparing them with simulations,” the scientists concluded.

    The Astrophysical Journal Letters

    See the full article here .

    Comments are invited and will be appreciated, especially if the reader finds any errors which I can correct. Use “Reply”.

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

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The University of Tokyo [(東京大学](JP) aims to be a world-class platform for research and education, contributing to human knowledge in partnership with other leading global universities. The University of Tokyo aims to nurture global leaders with a strong sense of public responsibility and a pioneering spirit, possessing both deep specialism and broad knowledge. The University of Tokyo aims to expand the boundaries of human knowledge in partnership with society. Details about how the University is carrying out this mission can be found in the University of Tokyo Charter and the Action Plans.

    The university has ten faculties, 15 graduate schools and enrolls about 30,000 students, 2,100 of whom are international students. Its five campuses are in Hongō, Komaba, Kashiwa, Shirokane and Nakano. It is among the top echelon of the select Japanese universities assigned additional funding under the MEXT’s Top Global University Project to enhance Japan’s global educational competitiveness.

    University of Tokyo is considered to be the most selective and prestigious university in Japan and is counted as one of the best universities in the world. As of 2018, University of Tokyo’s alumni, faculty members and researchers include seventeen Prime Ministers, sixteen Nobel Prize laureates, three Pritzker Prize laureates, three astronauts, and a Fields Medalist.

    The university was chartered by the Meiji government in 1877 under its current name by amalgamating older government schools for medicine, various traditional scholars and modern learning. It was renamed “the Imperial University [帝國大學]” in 1886, and then Tokyo Imperial University [東京帝國大學]] in 1897 when the Imperial University system was created. In September 1923, an earthquake and the following fires destroyed about 700,000 volumes of the Imperial University Library. The books lost included the Hoshino Library [星野文庫], a collection of about 10,000 books. The books were the former possessions of Hoshino Hisashi before becoming part of the library of the university and were mainly about Chinese philosophy and history.

    In 1947 after Japan’s defeat in World War II it re-assumed its original name. With the start of the new university system in 1949, Todai swallowed up the former First Higher School (today’s Komaba campus) and the former Tokyo Higher School, which thenceforth assumed the duty of teaching first- and second-year undergraduates, while the faculties on Hongo main campus took care of third- and fourth-year students.

    Although the university was founded during the Meiji period, it has earlier roots in the Astronomy Agency [天文方] 1684), Shoheizaka Study Office [昌平坂学問所] 1797), and the Western Books Translation Agency [蕃書和解御用] 1811). These institutions were government offices established by the Tokugawa shogunate [徳川幕府] (1603–1867), and played an important role in the importation and translation of books from Europe.

    In the fall of 2012 and for the first time, the University of Tokyo started two undergraduate programs entirely taught in English and geared toward international students—Programs in English at Komaba (PEAK)—the International Program on Japan in East Asia and the International Program on Environmental Sciences. In 2014, the School of Science at the University of Tokyo introduced an all-English undergraduate transfer program called Global Science Course (GSC).

    Research

    The University of Tokyo is considered a top research institution of Japan. It receives the largest amount of national grants for research institutions, Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research, receiving 40% more than the University with 2nd largest grants and 90% more than the University with 3rd largest grants. This massive financial investment from the Japanese government directly affects Todai’s research outcomes. According to Thomson Reuters, Todai is the best research university in Japan. Its research excellence is especially distinctive in Physics (1st in Japan, 2nd in the world); Biology & Biochemistry (1st in Japan, 3rd in the world); Pharmacology & Toxicology (1st in Japan, 5th in the world); Materials Science (3rd in Japan, 19th in the world); Chemistry (2nd in Japan, 5th in the world); and Immunology (2nd in Japan, 20th in the world).

    In another ranking, Nikkei Shimbun on 16 February 2004 surveyed about the research standards in Engineering studies based on Thomson Reuters, Grants in Aid for Scientific Research and questionnaires to heads of 93 leading Japanese Research Centers. Todai was placed 4th (research planning ability 3rd/informative ability of research outcome; 10th/ability of business-academia collaboration 3rd) in this ranking. Weekly Diamond also reported that Todai has the 3rd highest research standard in Japan in terms of research fundings per researchers in COE Program. In the same article, it is also ranked 21st in terms of the quality of education by GP funds per student.

    Todai also has been recognized for its research in the social sciences and humanities. In January 2011, Repec ranked Todai’s Economics department as Japan’s best economics research university. And it is the only Japanese university within world top 100. Todai has produced 9 presidents of the Japanese Economic Association, the largest number in the association. Asahi Shimbun summarized the number of academic papers in Japanese major legal journals by university, and Todai was ranked top during 2005–2009.

    Research institutes

    Institute of Medical Science
    Earthquake Research Institute
    Institute of Advanced Studies on Asia
    Institute of Social Science
    Institute of Industrial Science
    Historiographical Institute
    Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences
    Institute for Cosmic Ray Research
    Institute for Solid State Physics
    Atmosphere and Ocean Research Institute
    Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology

    The University’s School of Science and the Earthquake Research Institute are both represented on the national Coordinating Committee for Earthquake Prediction.

     
  • richardmitnick 12:25 pm on January 31, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Watch distant worlds dance around their sun", , , , , , Ground based Optical Astronomy, ,   

    From The Judd A. and Marjorie Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences At Northwestern University: “Watch distant worlds dance around their sun” 

    From The Judd A. and Marjorie Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences

    At

    Northwestern U bloc

    Northwestern University

    1.30.23
    Amanda Morris

    Jason Wang
    Assistant professor of physics and astronomy
    jason.wang@northwestern.edu


    Footage of 4 Planets Orbiting HR 8799 (12-Year Time Lapse)

    In 2008, HR8799 was the first extrasolar planetary system ever directly imaged. Now, the famed system stars in its very own video.

    Using observations collected over the past 12 years, Northwestern University astrophysicist Jason Wang has assembled a stunning time lapse video of the family of four planets — each more massive than Jupiter — orbiting their star. The video gives viewers an unprecedented glimpse into planetary motion.

    “It’s usually difficult to see planets in orbit,” Wang said. “For example, it isn’t apparent that Jupiter or Mars orbit our sun because we live in the same system and don’t have a top-down view. Astronomical events either happen too quickly or too slowly to capture in a movie. But this video shows planets moving on a human time scale. I hope it enables people to enjoy something wondrous.”

    An expert in exoplanet imaging, Wang is an assistant professor of physics and astronomy in Northwestern’s Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences and a member of the Center for Interdisciplinary Exploration and Research in Astrophysics (CIERA).

    HR8799 is a compact star located 133.3 light-years away from Earth in the Pegasus constellation. Although this seems unfathomably far away, HR8799 is considered within our “solar neighborhood.” Compared to our sun, HR8799 is 1.5 times more massive and roughly 5 times more luminous. It also is much younger. At around 30 million years young, the system formed after the dinosaurs went extinct.

    In November 2008, HR8799 made history as the first system to have its planets directly imaged. Wang, who was instantly fascinated by the system, has been watching it ever since. He and his colleagues applied for time on the W. M. Keck Observatory, located on the top of Mauna Kea in Hawaii, to observe the system each year.

    After seven years of observations, Wang put together imaging data to create his first time lapse video of the system. Now, armed with 12 years of imaging data, Wang released the updated video, which shows the entire time period in a condensed 4.5-second time lapse.

    “There’s nothing to be gained scientifically from watching the orbiting systems in a time lapse video, but it helps others appreciate what we’re studying,” Wang said. “It can be difficult to explain the nuances of science with words. But showing science in action helps others understand its importance.”

    To construct the video, Wang used technology called “adaptive optics” to correct image blurring caused by Earth’s atmosphere.

    He also used specialized instrumentation, called a “coronagraph,” and processing algorithms to suppress the glare from the system’s central star. (This is why the video has a black circle in the middle. Without this, the glare would be too intense to see the planets dancing around it.) Finally, Wang used a form of video processing to fill in data gaps and smooth out the planets’ motion. Otherwise, the planets would appear to jump around instead of smoothly orbit through space.

    The final product shows four faint dots sailing around their central star. Although they look like mere fireflies, the planets are actually massive gas giants. Wang compares them to “scaled up versions” of Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune and Uranus. The planet nearest the star takes about 45 Earth years to make one revolution. The farthest planet, on the other hand, takes nearly 500 years to trace the same path.

    For Wang, exploring space through videos is the best part of his job. Next, Wang and his collaborators are examining the light emitted from the star and its planets in order to better understand what they are made of.

    “In astrophysics, most of the time we are doing data analysis or testing hypotheses,” he said. “But this is the fun part of science. It inspires awe.”

    See the full article here .

    Comments are invited and will be appreciated, especially if the reader finds any errors which I can correct. Use “Reply”.

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

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The Judd A. and Marjorie Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences is the largest of the twelve schools comprising Northwestern University, located in Evanston, Illinois and downtown Chicago, Illinois.

    It was established in 1851 and today comprises 25 departments and many specialty programs. Weinberg also has special agreements with Chicago’s major cultural institutions, including the Field Museum, Art Institute of Chicago, Adler Planetarium, Chicago Botanic Garden, and American Bar Foundation, to offer courses taught by Chicago-area experts.

    Northwestern South Campus
    South Campus

    Northwestern University is a private research university in Evanston, Illinois. Founded in 1851 to serve the former Northwest Territory, the university is a founding member of the Big Ten Conference.

    On May 31, 1850, nine men gathered to begin planning a university that would serve the Northwest Territory.

    Given that they had little money, no land and limited higher education experience, their vision was ambitious. But through a combination of creative financing, shrewd politicking, religious inspiration and an abundance of hard work, the founders of Northwestern University were able to make that dream a reality.

    In 1853, the founders purchased a 379-acre tract of land on the shore of Lake Michigan 12 miles north of Chicago. They established a campus and developed the land near it, naming the surrounding town Evanston in honor of one of the University’s founders, John Evans. After completing its first building in 1855, Northwestern began classes that fall with two faculty members and 10 students.
    Twenty-one presidents have presided over Northwestern in the years since. The University has grown to include 12 schools and colleges, with additional campuses in Chicago and Doha, Qatar.

    Northwestern is known for its focus on interdisciplinary education, extensive research output, and student traditions. The university provides instruction in over 200 formal academic concentrations, including various dual degree programs. The university is composed of eleven undergraduate, graduate, and professional schools, which include the Kellogg School of Management, the Pritzker School of Law, the Feinberg School of Medicine, the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, the Bienen School of Music, the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science, the Medill School of Journalism, the School of Communication, the School of Professional Studies, the School of Education and Social Policy, and The Graduate School. As of fall 2019, the university had 21,946 enrolled students, including 8,327 undergraduates and 13,619 graduate students.

    Valued at $12.2 billion, Northwestern’s endowment is among the largest university endowments in the United States. Its numerous research programs bring in nearly $900 million in sponsored research each year.

    Northwestern’s main 240-acre (97 ha) campus lies along the shores of Lake Michigan in Evanston, 12 miles north of Downtown Chicago. The university’s law, medical, and professional schools, along with its nationally ranked Northwestern Memorial Hospital, are located on a 25-acre (10 ha) campus in Chicago’s Streeterville neighborhood. The university also maintains a campus in Doha, Qatar and locations in San Francisco, California, Washington, D.C. and Miami, Florida.

    As of October 2020, Northwestern’s faculty and alumni have included 1 Fields Medalist, 22 Nobel Prize laureates, 40 Pulitzer Prize winners, 6 MacArthur Fellows, 17 Rhodes Scholars, 27 Marshall Scholars, 23 National Medal of Science winners, 11 National Humanities Medal recipients, 84 members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 10 living billionaires, 16 Olympic medalists, and 2 U.S. Supreme Court Justices. Northwestern alumni have founded notable companies and organizations such as the Mayo Clinic, The Blackstone Group, Kirkland & Ellis, U.S. Steel, Guggenheim Partners, Accenture, Aon Corporation, AQR Capital, Booz Allen Hamilton, and Melvin Capital.

    The foundation of Northwestern University can be traced to a meeting on May 31, 1850, of nine prominent Chicago businessmen, Methodist leaders, and attorneys who had formed the idea of establishing a university to serve what had been known from 1787 to 1803 as the Northwest Territory. On January 28, 1851, the Illinois General Assembly granted a charter to the Trustees of the North-Western University, making it the first chartered university in Illinois. The school’s nine founders, all of whom were Methodists (three of them ministers), knelt in prayer and worship before launching their first organizational meeting. Although they affiliated the university with the Methodist Episcopal Church, they favored a non-sectarian admissions policy, believing that Northwestern should serve all people in the newly developing territory by bettering the economy in Evanston.

    John Evans, for whom Evanston is named, bought 379 acres (153 ha) of land along Lake Michigan in 1853, and Philo Judson developed plans for what would become the city of Evanston, Illinois. The first building, Old College, opened on November 5, 1855. To raise funds for its construction, Northwestern sold $100 “perpetual scholarships” entitling the purchaser and his heirs to free tuition. Another building, University Hall, was built in 1869 of the same Joliet limestone as the Chicago Water Tower, also built in 1869, one of the few buildings in the heart of Chicago to survive the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. In 1873 the Evanston College for Ladies merged with Northwestern, and Frances Willard, who later gained fame as a suffragette and as one of the founders of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU), became the school’s first dean of women (Willard Residential College, built in 1938, honors her name). Northwestern admitted its first female students in 1869, and the first woman was graduated in 1874.

    Northwestern fielded its first intercollegiate football team in 1882, later becoming a founding member of the Big Ten Conference. In the 1870s and 1880s, Northwestern affiliated itself with already existing schools of law, medicine, and dentistry in Chicago. Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law is the oldest law school in Chicago. As the university’s enrollments grew, these professional schools were integrated with the undergraduate college in Evanston; the result was a modern research university combining professional, graduate, and undergraduate programs, which gave equal weight to teaching and research. By the turn of the century, Northwestern had grown in stature to become the third largest university in the United States after Harvard University and the University of Michigan.

    Under Walter Dill Scott’s presidency from 1920 to 1939, Northwestern began construction of an integrated campus in Chicago designed by James Gamble Rogers, noted for his design of the Yale University campus, to house the professional schools. The university also established the Kellogg School of Management and built several prominent buildings on the Evanston campus, including Dyche Stadium, now named Ryan Field, and Deering Library among others. In the 1920s, Northwestern became one of the first six universities in the United States to establish a Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC). In 1939, Northwestern hosted the first-ever NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Championship game in the original Patten Gymnasium, which was later demolished and relocated farther north, along with the Dearborn Observatory, to make room for the Technological Institute.

    After the golden years of the 1920s, the Great Depression in the United States (1929–1941) had a severe impact on the university’s finances. Its annual income dropped 25 percent from $4.8 million in 1930-31 to $3.6 million in 1933-34. Investment income shrank, fewer people could pay full tuition, and annual giving from alumni and philanthropists fell from $870,000 in 1932 to a low of $331,000 in 1935. The university responded with two salary cuts of 10 percent each for all employees. It imposed hiring and building freezes and slashed appropriations for maintenance, books, and research. Having had a balanced budget in 1930-31, the university now faced deficits of roughly $100,000 for the next four years. Enrollments fell in most schools, with law and music suffering the biggest declines. However, the movement toward state certification of school teachers prompted Northwestern to start a new graduate program in education, thereby bringing in new students and much needed income. In June 1933, Robert Maynard Hutchins, president of the University of Chicago, proposed a merger of the two universities, estimating annual savings of $1.7 million. The two presidents were enthusiastic, and the faculty liked the idea; many Northwestern alumni, however, opposed it, fearing the loss of their Alma Mater and its many traditions that distinguished Northwestern from Chicago. The medical school, for example, was oriented toward training practitioners, and alumni feared it would lose its mission if it were merged into the more research-oriented University of Chicago Medical School. The merger plan was ultimately dropped. In 1935, the Deering family rescued the university budget with an unrestricted gift of $6 million, bringing the budget up to $5.4 million in 1938-39. This allowed many of the previous spending cuts to be restored, including half of the salary reductions.

    Like other American research universities, Northwestern was transformed by World War II (1939–1945). Regular enrollment fell dramatically, but the school opened high-intensity, short-term programs that trained over 50,000 military personnel, including future president John F. Kennedy. Northwestern’s existing NROTC program proved to be a boon to the university as it trained over 36,000 sailors over the course of the war, leading Northwestern to be called the “Annapolis of the Midwest.” Franklyn B. Snyder led the university from 1939 to 1949, and after the war, surging enrollments under the G.I. Bill drove dramatic expansion of both campuses. In 1948, prominent anthropologist Melville J. Herskovits founded the Program of African Studies at Northwestern, the first center of its kind at an American academic institution. J. Roscoe Miller’s tenure as president from 1949 to 1970 saw an expansion of the Evanston campus, with the construction of the Lakefill on Lake Michigan, growth of the faculty and new academic programs, and polarizing Vietnam-era student protests. In 1978, the first and second Unabomber attacks occurred at Northwestern University. Relations between Evanston and Northwestern became strained throughout much of the post-war era because of episodes of disruptive student activism, disputes over municipal zoning, building codes, and law enforcement, as well as restrictions on the sale of alcohol near campus until 1972. Northwestern’s exemption from state and municipal property-tax obligations under its original charter has historically been a source of town-and-gown tension.

    Although government support for universities declined in the 1970s and 1980s, President Arnold R. Weber was able to stabilize university finances, leading to a revitalization of its campuses. As admissions to colleges and universities grew increasingly competitive in the 1990s and 2000s, President Henry S. Bienen’s tenure saw a notable increase in the number and quality of undergraduate applicants, continued expansion of the facilities and faculty, and renewed athletic competitiveness. In 1999, Northwestern student journalists uncovered information exonerating Illinois death-row inmate Anthony Porter two days before his scheduled execution. The Innocence Project has since exonerated 10 more men. On January 11, 2003, in a speech at Northwestern School of Law’s Lincoln Hall, then Governor of Illinois George Ryan announced that he would commute the sentences of more than 150 death-row inmates.

    In the 2010s, a 5-year capital campaign resulted in a new music center, a replacement building for the business school, and a $270 million athletic complex. In 2014, President Barack Obama delivered a seminal economics speech at the Evanston campus.

    Organization and administration

    Governance

    Northwestern is privately owned and governed by an appointed Board of Trustees, which is composed of 70 members and, as of 2011, has been chaired by William A. Osborn ’69. The board delegates its power to an elected president who serves as the chief executive officer of the university. Northwestern has had sixteen presidents in its history (excluding interim presidents). The current president, economist Morton O. Schapiro, succeeded Henry Bienen whose 14-year tenure ended on August 31, 2009. The president maintains a staff of vice presidents, directors, and other assistants for administrative, financial, faculty, and student matters. Kathleen Haggerty assumed the role of interim provost for the university in April 2020.

    Students are formally involved in the university’s administration through the Associated Student Government, elected representatives of the undergraduate students, and the Graduate Student Association, which represents the university’s graduate students.

    The admission requirements, degree requirements, courses of study, and disciplinary and degree recommendations for each of Northwestern’s 12 schools are determined by the voting members of that school’s faculty (assistant professor and above).

    Undergraduate and graduate schools

    Evanston Campus:

    Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences (1851)
    School of Communication (1878)
    Bienen School of Music (1895)
    McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science (1909)
    Medill School of Journalism (1921)
    School of Education and Social Policy (1926)
    School of Professional Studies (1933)

    Graduate and professional

    Evanston Campus

    Kellogg School of Management (1908)
    The Graduate School

    Chicago Campus

    Feinberg School of Medicine (1859)
    Kellogg School of Management (1908)
    Pritzker School of Law (1859)
    School of Professional Studies (1933)

    Northwestern University had a dental school from 1891 to May 31, 2001, when it closed.

    Endowment

    In 1996, Princess Diana made a trip to Evanston to raise money for the university hospital’s Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center at the invitation of then President Bienen. Her visit raised a total of $1.5 million for cancer research.

    In 2003, Northwestern finished a five-year capital campaign that raised $1.55 billion, exceeding its fundraising goal by $550 million.

    In 2014, Northwestern launched the “We Will” campaign with a fundraising goal of $3.75 billion. As of December 31, 2019, the university has received $4.78 billion from 164,026 donors.

    Sustainability

    In January 2009, the Green Power Partnership (sponsored by the EPA) listed Northwestern as one of the top 10 universities in the country in purchasing energy from renewable sources. The university matches 74 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of its annual energy use with Green-e Certified Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs). This green power commitment represents 30 percent of the university’s total annual electricity use and places Northwestern in the EPA’s Green Power Leadership Club. The Initiative for Sustainability and Energy at Northwestern (ISEN), supporting research, teaching and outreach in these themes, was launched in 2008.

    Northwestern requires that all new buildings be LEED-certified. Silverman Hall on the Evanston campus was awarded Gold LEED Certification in 2010; Wieboldt Hall on the Chicago campus was awarded Gold LEED Certification in 2007, and the Ford Motor Company Engineering Design Center on the Evanston campus was awarded Silver LEED Certification in 2006. New construction and renovation projects will be designed to provide at least a 20% improvement over energy code requirements where feasible. At the beginning of the 2008–09 academic year, the university also released the Evanston Campus Framework Plan, which outlines plans for future development of the university’s Evanston campus. The plan not only emphasizes sustainable building construction, but also focuses on reducing the energy costs of transportation by optimizing pedestrian and bicycle access. Northwestern has had a comprehensive recycling program in place since 1990. The university recycles over 1,500 tons of waste, or 30% of all waste produced on campus, each year. All landscape waste at the university is composted.

    Academics

    Education and rankings

    Northwestern is a large, residential research university, and is frequently ranked among the top universities in the United States. The university is a leading institution in the fields of materials engineering, chemistry, business, economics, education, journalism, and communications. It is also prominent in law and medicine. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and the respective national professional organizations for chemistry, psychology, business, education, journalism, music, engineering, law, and medicine, the university offers 124 undergraduate programs and 145 graduate and professional programs. Northwestern conferred 2,190 bachelor’s degrees, 3,272 master’s degrees, 565 doctoral degrees, and 444 professional degrees in 2012–2013. Since 1951, Northwestern has awarded 520 honorary degrees. Northwestern also has chapters of academic honor societies such as Phi Beta Kappa (Alpha of Illinois), Eta Kappa Nu, Tau Beta Pi, Eta Sigma Phi (Beta Chapter), Lambda Pi Eta, and Alpha Sigma Lambda (Alpha Chapter).

    The four-year, full-time undergraduate program comprises the majority of enrollments at the university. Although there is no university-wide core curriculum, a foundation in the liberal arts and sciences is required for all majors; individual degree requirements are set by the faculty of each school. The university heavily emphasizes interdisciplinary learning, with 72% of undergrads combining two or more areas of study. Northwestern’s full-time undergraduate and graduate programs operate on an approximately 10-week academic quarter system with the academic year beginning in late September and ending in early June. Undergraduates typically take four courses each quarter and twelve courses in an academic year and are required to complete at least twelve quarters on campus to graduate. Northwestern offers honors, accelerated, and joint degree programs in medicine, science, mathematics, engineering, and journalism. The comprehensive doctoral graduate program has high coexistence with undergraduate programs.

    Despite being a mid-sized university, Northwestern maintains a relatively low student to faculty ratio of 6:1.

    Research

    Northwestern was elected to the Association of American Universities in 1917 and is classified as an R1 university, denoting “very high” research activity. Northwestern’s schools of management, engineering, and communication are among the most academically productive in the nation. The university received $887.3 million in research funding in 2019 and houses over 90 school-based and 40 university-wide research institutes and centers. Northwestern also supports nearly 1,500 research laboratories across two campuses, predominately in the medical and biological sciences.

    Northwestern is home to the Center for Interdisciplinary Exploration and Research in Astrophysics, Northwestern Institute for Complex Systems, Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center, Materials Research Center, Center for Quantum Devices, Institute for Policy Research, International Institute for Nanotechnology, Center for Catalysis and Surface Science, Buffet Center for International and Comparative Studies, the Initiative for Sustainability and Energy at Northwestern, and the Argonne/Northwestern Solar Energy Research Center among other centers for interdisciplinary research.

    Student body

    Northwestern enrolled 8,186 full-time undergraduate, 9,904 full-time graduate, and 3,856 part-time students in the 2019–2020 academic year. The freshman retention rate for that year was 98%. 86% of students graduated after four years and 92% graduated after five years. These numbers can largely be attributed to the university’s various specialized degree programs, such as those that allow students to earn master’s degrees with a one or two year extension of their undergraduate program.

    The undergraduate population is drawn from all 50 states and over 75 foreign countries. 20% of students in the Class of 2024 were Pell Grant recipients and 12.56% were first-generation college students. Northwestern also enrolls the 9th-most National Merit Scholars of any university in the nation.

    In Fall 2014, 40.6% of undergraduate students were enrolled in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, 21.3% in the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science, 14.3% in the School of Communication, 11.7% in the Medill School of Journalism, 5.7% in the Bienen School of Music, and 6.4% in the School of Education and Social Policy. The five most commonly awarded undergraduate degrees are economics, journalism, communication studies, psychology, and political science. The Kellogg School of Management’s MBA, the School of Law’s JD, and the Feinberg School of Medicine’s MD are the three largest professional degree programs by enrollment. With 2,446 students enrolled in science, engineering, and health fields, the largest graduate programs by enrollment include chemistry, integrated biology, material sciences, electrical and computer engineering, neuroscience, and economics.

    Athletics

    Northwestern is a charter member of the Big Ten Conference. It is the conference’s only private university and possesses the smallest undergraduate enrollment (the next-smallest member, the University of Iowa, is roughly three times as large, with almost 22,000 undergraduates).

    Northwestern fields 19 intercollegiate athletic teams (8 men’s and 11 women’s) in addition to numerous club sports. 12 of Northwestern’s varsity programs have had NCAA or bowl postseason appearances. Northwestern is one of five private AAU members to compete in NCAA Power Five conferences (the other four being Duke, Stanford, USC, and Vanderbilt) and maintains a 98% NCAA Graduation Success Rate, the highest among Football Bowl Subdivision schools.

    In 2018, the school opened the Walter Athletics Center, a $270 million state of the art lakefront facility for its athletics teams.

    Nickname and mascot

    Before 1924, Northwestern teams were known as “The Purple” and unofficially as “The Fighting Methodists.” The name Wildcats was bestowed upon the university in 1924 by Wallace Abbey, a writer for the Chicago Daily Tribune, who wrote that even in a loss to the University of Chicago, “Football players had not come down from Evanston; wildcats would be a name better suited to “[Coach Glenn] Thistletwaite’s boys.” The name was so popular that university board members made “Wildcats” the official nickname just months later. In 1972, the student body voted to change the official nickname to “Purple Haze,” but the new name never stuck.

    The mascot of Northwestern Athletics is “Willie the Wildcat”. Prior to Willie, the team mascot had been a live, caged bear cub from the Lincoln Park Zoo named Furpaw, who was brought to the playing field on game days to greet the fans. After a losing season however, the team decided that Furpaw was to blame for its misfortune and decided to select a new mascot. “Willie the Wildcat” made his debut in 1933, first as a logo and then in three dimensions in 1947, when members of the Alpha Delta fraternity dressed as wildcats during a Homecoming Parade.

    Traditions

    Northwestern’s official motto, “Quaecumque sunt vera,” was adopted by the university in 1890. The Latin phrase translates to “Whatsoever things are true” and comes from the Epistle of Paul to the Philippians (Philippians 4:8), in which St. Paul admonishes the Christians in the Greek city of Philippi. In addition to this motto, the university crest features a Greek phrase taken from the Gospel of John inscribed on the pages of an open book, ήρης χάριτος και αληθείας or “the word full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).
    Alma Mater is the Northwestern Hymn. The original Latin version of the hymn was written in 1907 by Peter Christian Lutkin, the first dean of the School of Music from 1883 to 1931. In 1953, then Director-of-Bands John Paynter recruited an undergraduate music student, Thomas Tyra (’54), to write an English version of the song, which today is performed by the Marching Band during halftime at Wildcat football games and by the orchestra during ceremonies and other special occasions.
    Purple became Northwestern’s official color in 1892, replacing black and gold after a university committee concluded that too many other universities had used these colors. Today, Northwestern’s official color is purple, although white is something of an official color as well, being mentioned in both the university’s earliest song, Alma Mater (1907) (“Hail to purple, hail to white”) and in many university guidelines.
    The Rock, a 6-foot high quartzite boulder donated by the Class of 1902, originally served as a water fountain. It was painted over by students in the 1940s as a prank and has since become a popular vehicle of self-expression on campus.
    Armadillo Day, commonly known as Dillo Day, is the largest student-run music festival in the country. The festival is hosted every Spring on Northwestern’s Lakefront.
    Primal Scream is held every quarter at 9 p.m. on the Sunday before finals week. Students lean out of windows or gather in courtyards and scream to help relieve stress.
    In the past, students would throw marshmallows during football games, but this tradition has since been discontinued.

    Philanthropy

    One of Northwestern’s most notable student charity events is Dance Marathon, the most established and largest student-run philanthropy in the nation. The annual 30-hour event is among the most widely-attended events on campus. It has raised over $1 million for charity every year since 2011 and has donated a total of $13 million to children’s charities since its conception.

    The Northwestern Community Development Corps (NCDC) is a student-run organization that connects hundreds of student volunteers to community development projects in Evanston and Chicago throughout the year. The group also holds a number of annual community events, including Project Pumpkin, a Halloween celebration that provides over 800 local children with carnival events and a safe venue to trick-or-treat each year.

    Many Northwestern students participate in the Freshman Urban Program, an initiative for students interested in community service to work on addressing social issues facing the city of Chicago, and the university’s Global Engagement Studies Institute (GESI) programs, including group service-learning expeditions in Asia, Africa, or Latin America in conjunction with the Foundation for Sustainable Development.

    Several internationally recognized non-profit organizations were established at Northwestern, including the World Health Imaging, Informatics and Telemedicine Alliance, a spin-off from an engineering student’s honors thesis.
    Media

    Print

    Established in 1881, The Daily Northwestern is the university’s main student newspaper and is published on weekdays during the academic year. It is directed entirely by undergraduate students and owned by the Students Publishing Company. Although it serves the Northwestern community, the Daily has no business ties to the university and is supported wholly by advertisers.
    North by Northwestern is an online undergraduate magazine established in September 2006 by students at the Medill School of Journalism. Published on weekdays, it consists of updates on news stories and special events throughout the year. It also publishes a quarterly print magazine.
    Syllabus is the university’s undergraduate yearbook. It is distributed in late May and features a culmination of the year’s events at Northwestern. First published in 1885, the yearbook is published by Students Publishing Company and edited by Northwestern students.
    Northwestern Flipside is an undergraduate satirical magazine. Founded in 2009, it publishes a weekly issue both in print and online.
    Helicon is the university’s undergraduate literary magazine. Established in 1979, it is published twice a year: a web issue is released in the winter and a print issue with a web complement is released in the spring.
    The Protest is Northwestern’s quarterly social justice magazine.

    The Northwestern division of Student Multicultural Affairs supports a number of publications for particular cultural groups including Ahora, a magazine about Hispanic and Latino/a culture and campus life; Al Bayan, published by the Northwestern Muslim-cultural Student Association; BlackBoard Magazine, a magazine centered around African-American student life; and NUAsian, a magazine and blog on Asian and Asian-American culture and issues.
    The Northwestern University Law Review is a scholarly legal publication and student organization at Northwestern University School of Law. Its primary purpose is to publish a journal of broad legal scholarship. The Law Review publishes six issues each year. Student editors make the editorial and organizational decisions and select articles submitted by professors, judges, and practitioners, as well as student pieces. The Law Review also publishes scholarly pieces weekly on the Colloquy.
    The Northwestern Journal of Technology and Intellectual Property is a law review published by an independent student organization at Northwestern University School of Law.
    The Northwestern Interdisciplinary Law Review is a scholarly legal publication published annually by an editorial board of Northwestern undergraduates. Its mission is to publish interdisciplinary legal research, drawing from fields such as history, literature, economics, philosophy, and art. Founded in 2008, the journal features articles by professors, law students, practitioners, and undergraduates. It is funded by the Buffett Center for International and Comparative Studies and the Office of the Provost.

    Web-based

    Established in January 2011, Sherman Ave is a humor website that often publishes content on Northwestern student life. Most of its staff writers are current Northwestern undergraduates writing under various pseudonyms. The website is popular among students for its interviews of prominent campus figures, Freshman Guide, and live-tweeting coverage of football games. In Fall 2012, the website promoted a satiric campaign to end the Vanderbilt University football team’s custom of clubbing baby seals.
    Politics & Policy is dedicated to the analysis of current events and public policy. Established in 2010 by students at the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, School of Communication, and Medill School of Journalism, the publication reaches students on more than 250 college campuses around the world. Run entirely by undergraduates, it is published several times a week and features material ranging from short summaries of events to extended research pieces. The publication is financed in part by the Buffett Center.
    Northwestern Business Review is a campus source for business news. Founded in 2005, it has an online presence as well as a quarterly print schedule.
    TriQuarterly Online (formerly TriQuarterly) is a literary magazine published twice a year featuring poetry, fiction, nonfiction, drama, literary essays, reviews, blog posts, and art.
    The Queer Reader is Northwestern’s first radical feminist and LGBTQ+ publication.

    Radio, film, and television

    WNUR (89.3 FM) is a 7,200-watt radio station that broadcasts to the city of Chicago and its northern suburbs. WNUR’s programming consists of music (jazz, classical, and rock), literature, politics, current events, varsity sports (football, men’s and women’s basketball, baseball, softball, and women’s lacrosse), and breaking news on weekdays.
    Studio 22 is a student-run production company that produces roughly ten films each year. The organization financed the first film Zach Braff directed, and many of its films have featured students who would later go into professional acting, including Zach Gilford of Friday Night Lights.
    Applause for a Cause is currently the only student-run production company in the nation to create feature-length films for charity. It was founded in 2010 and has raised over $5,000 to date for various local and national organizations across the United States.
    Northwestern News Network is a student television news and sports network, serving the Northwestern and Evanston communities. Its studios and newsroom are located on the fourth floor of the McCormick Tribune Center on Northwestern’s Evanston campus. NNN is funded by the Medill School of Journalism.

     
  • richardmitnick 9:41 pm on January 11, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "A Pair of Black Holes Dining Together in Nearby Galaxy Merger", , , , Ground based Optical Astronomy, , , , UGC 4211 is an ideal candidate for studying the end stages of galaxy mergers.   

    From The W.M. Keck Observatory: “A Pair of Black Holes Dining Together in Nearby Galaxy Merger” 

    W.M. Keck Observatory two ten meter telescopes operated by California Institute of Technology and The University of California, at Mauna Kea Observatory, Hawai’i, altitude 4,207 m (13,802 ft). Credit: Caltech.

    Keck Laser Guide Star Adaptive Optics on two 10 meter Keck Observatory telescopes, Mauna Kea Hawai’i, altitude 4,207 m (13,802 ft). Credit: Caltech.

    Mauna Kea Observatories Hawai’i altitude 4,213 m (13,822 ft).

    From The W.M. Keck Observatory

    1.9.23
    Mari-Ela Chock
    Communications Officer
    808.554.0567
    mchock@keck.hawaii.edu

    1
    The Keck II telescope’s adaptive optics paired with NIRC-2 captured a high-resolution near-infrared image of UGC 4211, unveiling the dual nuclei of the two merging galaxies. Credit: M. Koss (Eureka Scientific) et al./W. M. Keck Observatory.

    While studying a nearby pair of merging galaxies, scientists discovered two supermassive black holes growing simultaneously near the center of the newly coalescing galaxy, dubbed UGC 4211. These super-hungry giants are the closest together that scientists have ever observed in multiple wavelengths. What’s more, the new research reveals that binary black holes and the galaxy mergers that create them may be surprisingly common in the universe.

    The study, which includes data from W. M. Keck Observatory on Mauna Kea, Hawaiʻi, is published in today’s issue of The Astrophysical Journal Letters [below] and presented in a press conference at the 241st meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Seattle, Washington.

    At just 500 million light-years away from Earth in the constellation Cancer, UGC 4211 is an ideal candidate for studying the end stages of galaxy mergers, which occur more frequently in the distant universe, and as a result, can be difficult to observe.

    When scientists looked deep into the merger’s active galactic nuclei— compact, highly luminous areas in galaxies caused by the accretion of matter around central black holes— they found not one, but two black holes gluttonously devouring the byproducts of the merger. Surprisingly, they were dining side-by-side with just 750 light-years between them.

    “Simulations suggested that most of the population of black hole binaries in nearby galaxies would be inactive because they are more common, not two growing black holes like we found,” said Michael Koss, a senior research scientist at Eureka Scientific and the lead author of the study.

    If close-paired binary black hole pairs are indeed common, as Koss and the team posit, there could be significant implications for future detections of gravitational waves.

    “There might be many pairs of growing supermassive black holes in the centers of galaxies that we have not been able to identify so far. If this is the case, in the near future we will be observing frequent gravitational wave events caused by the mergers of these objects across the universe,” said Ezequiel Treister, an astronomer at Universidad Católica de Chile and a co-author of the research.

    2
    Artist’s conception of UGC 4211, a pair of merging galaxies with two central black holes growing side by side, just 750 light-years apart. The binary black holes are the closest together ever observed in multiple wavelengths. Credit:M. Weiss (NRAO/AUI/NSF); ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO).

    The team observed UGC 4211 in multiple wavelengths using various telescopes around the world and in space; in addition to using Keck Observatory’s adaptive optics system paired with its Near-Infrared Camera, second generation (NIRC-2) [below] and OH-Suppressing Infrared Imaging Spectrograph (OSIRIS) [below], the researchers also studied the galaxy merger with the Hubble Space Telescope, European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope, Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array [above], NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory, and the Victor M. Blanco 4-meter Telescope at Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory.

    “All of these data together have given us a clearer picture of how galaxies such as our own turned out to be the way they are, and what they will become in the future,” said Treister.

    So far, scientists have mostly studied only the earliest stages of galaxy mergers. The new research could have a profound impact on our understanding of the Milky Way’s own impending merger with the nearby Andromeda Galaxy.

    “The Milky Way-Andromeda collision is in its very early stages and is predicted to occur in about 4.5 billion years. What we’ve just studied is a source in the very final stage of collision, so what we’re seeing presages that merger and also gives us insight into the connection between black holes merging and growing and eventually producing gravitational waves,” said Koss.

    Science paper:
    The Astrophysical Journal Letters
    See the science paper for instructive material with images.

    ABOUT NIRC-2

    The Near-Infrared Camera, second generation (NIRC2) works in combination with the Keck II adaptive optics system to obtain very sharp images at near-infrared wavelengths, achieving spatial resolutions comparable to or better than those achieved by the Hubble Space Telescope at optical wavelengths. NIRC2 is probably best known for helping to provide definitive proof of a central massive black hole at the center of our galaxy. Astronomers also use NIRC2 to map surface features of solar system bodies, detect planets orbiting other stars, and study detailed morphology of distant galaxies.

    ABOUT OSIRIS

    The OH-Suppressing Infrared Imaging Spectrograph (OSIRIS) is one of W. M. Keck Observatory’s “integral field spectrographs.” The instrument works behind the adaptive optics system, and uses an array of lenslets to sample a small rectangular patch of the sky at resolutions approaching the diffraction limit of the 10-meter Keck Telescope. OSIRIS records an infrared spectrum at each point within the patch in a single exposure, greatly enhancing its efficiency and precision when observing small objects such as distant galaxies. It is used to characterize the dynamics and composition of early stages of galaxy formation. Support for this technology was generously provided by the Heising-Simons Foundation and the National Science Foundation.

    See the full article here .

    Comments are invited and will be appreciated, especially if the reader finds any errors which I can correct. Use “Reply”.


    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings
    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.


    Stem Education Coalition

    Mission
    To advance the frontiers of astronomy and share our discoveries with the world.

    The W. M. Keck Observatory operates the largest, most scientifically productive telescopes on Earth. The two, 10-meter optical/infrared telescopes on the summit of Mauna Kea on the Island of Hawaii feature a suite of advanced instruments including imagers, multi-object spectrographs, high-resolution spectrographs, integral-field spectrometer and world-leading laser guide star adaptive optics systems. Keck Observatory is a private 501(c) 3 non-profit organization and a scientific partnership of the California Institute of Technology, the University of California and NASA.

    Today Keck Observatory is supported by both public funding sources and private philanthropy. As a 501(c)3, the organization is managed by The California Association for Research in Astronomy(CARA), whose Board of Directors includes representatives from the California Institute of Technologyand the University of California with liaisons to the board from The National Aeronautics and Space Agency and the Keck Foundation.


    Keck UCal

    Instrumentation

    Keck 1

    HIRES – The largest and most mechanically complex of the Keck’s main instruments, the High Resolution Echelle Spectrometer breaks up incoming starlight into its component colors to measure the precise intensity of each of thousands of color channels. Its spectral capabilities have resulted in many breakthrough discoveries, such as the detection of planets outside our solar system and direct evidence for a model of the Big Bang theory.

    Keck High-Resolution Echelle Spectrometer (HIRES), at the Keck I telescope.
    LRIS – The Low Resolution Imaging Spectrograph is a faint-light instrument capable of taking spectra and images of the most distant known objects in the universe. The instrument is equipped with a red arm and a blue arm to explore stellar populations of distant galaxies, active galactic nuclei, galactic clusters, and quasars.

    UCO Keck LRIS on Keck 1.

    VISIBLE BAND (0.3-1.0 Micron)

    MOSFIRE – The Multi-Object Spectrograph for Infrared Exploration gathers thousands of spectra from objects spanning a variety of distances, environments and physical conditions. What makes this huge, vacuum-cryogenic instrument unique is its ability to select up to 46 individual objects in the field of view and then record the infrared spectrum of all 46 objects simultaneously. When a new field is selected, a robotic mechanism inside the vacuum chamber reconfigures the distribution of tiny slits in the focal plane in under six minutes. Eight years in the making with First Light in 2012, MOSFIRE’s early performance results range from the discovery of ultra-cool, nearby substellar mass objects, to the detection of oxygen in young galaxies only 2 billion years after the Big Bang.

    Keck/MOSFIRE on Keck 1.

    OSIRIS – The OH-Suppressing Infrared Imaging Spectrograph is a near-infrared spectrograph for use with the Keck I adaptive optics system. OSIRIS takes spectra in a small field of view to provide a series of images at different wavelengths. The instrument allows astronomers to ignore wavelengths where the Earth’s atmosphere shines brightly due to emission from OH (hydroxl) molecules, thus allowing the detection of objects 10 times fainter than previously available.
    Keck OSIRIS on Keck 1.

    Keck 2

    DEIMOS – The Deep Extragalactic Imaging Multi-Object Spectrograph is the most advanced optical spectrograph in the world, capable of gathering spectra from 130 galaxies or more in a single exposure. In ‘Mega Mask’ mode, DEIMOS can take spectra of more than 1,200 objects at once, using a special narrow-band filter.

    Keck/DEIMOS on Keck 2.

    NIRSPEC – The Near Infrared Spectrometer studies very high redshift radio galaxies, the motions and types of stars located near the Galactic Center, the nature of brown dwarfs, the nuclear regions of dusty starburst galaxies, active galactic nuclei, interstellar chemistry, stellar physics, and solar-system science.

    NIRSPEC on Keck 2.

    ESI – The Echellette Spectrograph and Imager captures high-resolution spectra of very faint galaxies and quasars ranging from the blue to the infrared in a single exposure. It is a multimode instrument that allows users to switch among three modes during a night. It has produced some of the best non-AO images at the Observatory.

    KECK Echellette Spectrograph and Imager (ESI).

    KCWI – The Keck Cosmic Web Imager is designed to provide visible band, integral field spectroscopy with moderate to high spectral resolution, various fields of view and image resolution formats and excellent sky-subtraction. The astronomical seeing and large aperture of the telescope enables studies of the connection between galaxies and the gas in their dark matter halos, stellar relics, star clusters and lensed galaxies.

    Keck Cosmic Web Imager on Keck 2 schematic.

    Keck Cosmic Web Imager on Keck 2.

    NEAR-INFRARED (1-5 Micron)

    ADAPTIVE OPTICS – Adaptive optics senses and compensates for the atmospheric distortions of incoming starlight up to 1,000 times per second. This results in an improvement in image quality on fairly bright astronomical targets by a factor 10 to 20.

    LASER GUIDE STAR ADAPTIVE OPTICS [pictured above] – The Keck Laser Guide Star expands the range of available targets for study with both the Keck I and Keck II adaptive optics systems. They use sodium lasers to excite sodium atoms that naturally exist in the atmosphere 90 km (55 miles) above the Earth’s surface. The laser creates an “artificial star” that allows the Keck adaptive optics system to observe 70-80 percent of the targets in the sky, compared to the 1 percent accessible without the laser.

    NIRC-2/AO – The second generation Near Infrared Camera works with the Keck Adaptive Optics system to produce the highest-resolution ground-based images and spectroscopy in the 1-5 micron range. Typical programs include mapping surface features on solar system bodies, searching for planets around other stars, and analyzing the morphology of remote galaxies.

    Keck NIRC2 Camera on Keck 2.
    ABOUT NIRES
    The Near Infrared Echellette Spectrograph (NIRES) is a prism cross-dispersed near-infrared spectrograph built at the California Institute of Technology by a team led by Chief Instrument Scientist Keith Matthews and Prof. Tom Soifer. Commissioned in 2018, NIRES covers a large wavelength range at moderate spectral resolution for use on the Keck II telescope and observes extremely faint red objects found with the Spitzer and WISE infrared space telescopes, as well as brown dwarfs, high-redshift galaxies, and quasars.


    Future Instrumentation

    KCRM – The Keck Cosmic Reionization Mapper will complete the Keck Cosmic Web Imager (KCWI), the world’s most capable spectroscopic imager. The design for KCWI includes two separate channels to detect light in the blue and the red portions of the visible wavelength spectrum. KCWI-Blue was commissioned and started routine science observations in September 2017. The red channel of KCWI is KCRM; a powerful addition that will open a window for new discoveries at high redshifts.

    KCRM – Keck Cosmic Reionization Mapper KCRM on Keck 2.

    KPF – The Keck Planet Finder (KPF) will be the most advanced spectrometer of its kind in the world. The instrument is a fiber-fed high-resolution, two-channel cross-dispersed echelle spectrometer for the visible wavelengths and is designed for the Keck II telescope. KPF allows precise measurements of the mass-density relationship in Earth-like exoplanets, which will help astronomers identify planets around other stars that are capable of supporting life.

    KPF Keck Planet Finder on Keck 2.

     
  • richardmitnick 12:29 pm on January 11, 2023 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Setting the table for a pair of hungry black holes", , At just 500 million light-years away from Earth in the constellation Cancer UGC4211 is an ideal candidate for studying the end stages of galaxy mergers., , , , Ground based Optical Astronomy, Pairing ALMA data with multi-wavelength observations from other powerful telescopes like Chandra and Hubble and ESO’s Very Large Telescope and Keck added fine details., Scientists discovered two supermassive black holes growing simultaneously near the center of the newly coalescing galaxy., , , , The new research could have a profound impact on our understanding of the Milky Way Galaxy’s own impending merger with the nearby Andromeda Galaxy., These super-hungry giants are the closest together that scientists have ever observed in multiple wavelengths., Wavelengths from each of the astronomical assets used in the work tells a different part of the story.,   

    From Yale University And The National Radio Astronomy Observatory: “Setting the table for a pair of hungry black holes” 

    From Yale University

    And

    NRAO Banner

    The National Radio Astronomy Observatory

    1.9.23

    For Yale University Jim Shelton
    Media Contact
    Fred Mamoun
    fred.mamoun@yale.edu
    203-436-2643

    For NRAO
    Amy C. Oliver
    Public Information Officer, ALMA
    Public Information & News Manager, NRAO
    +1 434 242 9584
    aoliver@nrao.edu

    1
    Credit: M. Weiss (NRAO/AUI/NSF); ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO).

    While studying a nearby pair of merging galaxies using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) [below]— an international observatory co-operated by the U.S. National Science Foundation’s National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO)— scientists discovered two supermassive black holes growing simultaneously near the center of the newly coalescing galaxy. These super-hungry giants are the closest together that scientists have ever observed in multiple wavelengths. What’s more, the new research reveals that binary black holes and the galaxy mergers that create them may be surprisingly commonplace in the Universe. The results of the new research were published today in The Astrophysical Journal Letters [below], and presented in a press conference at the 241st meeting of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) in Seattle, Washington.

    At just 500 million light-years away from Earth in the constellation Cancer, UGC4211 is an ideal candidate for studying the end stages of galaxy mergers, which occur more frequently in the distant Universe, and as a result, can be difficult to observe. When scientists used the highly sensitive 1.3mm receivers at ALMA to look deep into the merger’s active galactic nuclei— compact, highly luminous areas in galaxies caused by the accretion of matter around central black holes— they found not one, but two black holes gluttonously devouring the byproducts of the merger. Surprisingly, they were dining side-by-side with just 750 light-years between them.

    “Simulations suggested that most of the population of black hole binaries in nearby galaxies would be inactive because they are more common, not two growing black holes like we found,” said Michael Koss, a senior research scientist at Eureka Scientific and the lead author of the new research. 

    Koss added that the use of ALMA was a game-changer, and that finding two black holes so close together in the nearby Universe could pave the way for additional studies of the exciting phenomenon. “ALMA is unique in that it can see through large columns of gas and dust and achieve very high spatial resolution to see things very close together. Our study has identified one of the closest pairs of black holes in a galaxy merger, and because we know that galaxy mergers are much more common in the distant Universe, these black hole binaries too may be much more common than previously thought.” 

    If close-paired binary black hole pairs are indeed commonplace, as Koss and the team posit, there could be significant implications for future detections of gravitational waves.

    Ezequiel Treister, an astronomer at Universidad Católica de Chile and a co-author of the research said, “​​There might be many pairs of growing supermassive black holes in the centers of galaxies that we have not been able to identify so far. If this is the case, in the near future we will be observing frequent gravitational wave events caused by the mergers of these objects across the Universe.”

    Pairing ALMA data with multi-wavelength observations from other powerful telescopes like Chandra, Hubble, ESO’s Very Large Telescope, and Keck added fine details to an already-compelling tale.

    “Each wavelength tells a different part of the story. While ground-based optical imaging showed us the whole merging galaxy, Hubble showed us the nuclear regions at high resolutions. X-ray observations revealed that there was at least one active galactic nucleus in the system,” said Treister. “And ALMA showed us the exact location of these two growing, hungry supermassive black holes. All of these data together have given us a clearer picture of how galaxies such as our own turned out to be the way they are, and what they will become in the future.” 

    So far, scientists have mostly studied only the earliest stages of galaxy mergers. The new research could have a profound impact on our understanding of the Milky Way Galaxy’s own impending merger with the nearby Andromeda Galaxy.

    Koss said, “The Milky Way-Andromeda collision is in its very early stages and is predicted to occur in about 4.5 billion years. What we’ve just studied is a source in the very final stage of collision, so what we’re seeing presages that merger and also gives us insight into the connection between black holes merging and growing and eventually producing gravitational waves.”

    “This fascinating discovery shows the power of ALMA and how multi-wavelength astronomy can generate important results that expand our understanding of the universe, including black holes, active galactic nuclei, galaxy evolution and more,” says Joe Pesce, NSF program director for the National Radio Astronomy Observatory. “With the advent of gravitational wave detectors, we have an opportunity to expand our observational powers even further by combining all these capabilities. I don’t think there’s really a limit to what we can learn.”

    Science paper:
    The Astrophysical Journal Letters
    See the science paper for instructive material with images.

    See the full Yale University article here .

    See the full NRAO article here .

    Comments are invited and will be appreciated, especially if the reader finds any errors which I can correct. Use “Reply”.

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

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The National Radio Astronomy Observatory is a facility of The National Science Foundation, operated under cooperative agreement by The Associated Universities, Inc.


    National Radio Astronomy Observatory Karl G Jansky Very Large Array located in central New Mexico on the Plains of San Agustin, between the towns of Magdalena and Datil, ~50 miles (80 km) west of Socorro. The VLA comprises twenty-eight 25-meter radio telescopes.

    ngVLA, to be located near the location of the NRAO Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array site on the plains of San Agustin, fifty miles west of Socorro, NM, at an elevation of 6970 ft (2124 m) with additional mid-baseline stations currently spread over greater New Mexico, Arizona, Texas, and Mexico.

    National Radio Astronomy Observatory Very Long Baseline Array.

    The European Southern Observatory [La Observatorio Europeo Austral][Observatoire européen austral][Europäische Südsternwarte](EU)(CL))/National Radio Astronomy Observatory/National Astronomical Observatory of Japan(JP) ALMA Array in Chile in the Atacama at Chajnantor plateau, at 5,000 metres.

    Access to ALMA observing time by the North American astronomical community will be through the North American ALMA Science Center (NAASC).

    *The Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA) comprises ten radio telescopes spanning 5,351 miles. It’s the world’s largest, sharpest, dedicated telescope array. With an eye this sharp, you could be in Los Angeles and clearly read a street sign in New York City!

    Astronomers use the continent-sized VLBA to zoom in on objects that shine brightly in radio waves, long-wavelength light that’s well below infrared on the spectrum. They observe blazars, quasars, black holes, and stars in every stage of the stellar life cycle. They plot pulsars, exoplanets, and masers, and track asteroids and planets.

    Yale University is a private Ivy League research university in New Haven, Connecticut. Founded in 1701 as the Collegiate School, it is the third-oldest institution of higher education in the United States and one of the nine Colonial Colleges chartered before the American Revolution. The Collegiate School was renamed Yale College in 1718 to honor the school’s largest private benefactor for the first century of its existence, Elihu Yale. Yale University is consistently ranked as one of the top universities and is considered one of the most prestigious in the nation.

    Chartered by Connecticut Colony, the Collegiate School was established in 1701 by clergy to educate Congregational ministers before moving to New Haven in 1716. Originally restricted to theology and sacred languages, the curriculum began to incorporate humanities and sciences by the time of the American Revolution. In the 19th century, the college expanded into graduate and professional instruction, awarding the first PhD in the United States in 1861 and organizing as a university in 1887. Yale’s faculty and student populations grew after 1890 with rapid expansion of the physical campus and scientific research.

    Yale is organized into fourteen constituent schools: the original undergraduate college, the Yale Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and twelve professional schools. While the university is governed by the Yale Corporation, each school’s faculty oversees its curriculum and degree programs. In addition to a central campus in downtown New Haven, the university owns athletic facilities in western New Haven, a campus in West Haven, Connecticut, and forests and nature preserves throughout New England. As of June 2020, the university’s endowment was valued at $31.1 billion, the second largest of any educational institution. The Yale University Library, serving all constituent schools, holds more than 15 million volumes and is the third-largest academic library in the United States. Students compete in intercollegiate sports as the Yale Bulldogs in the NCAA Division I – Ivy League.

    As of October 2020, 65 Nobel laureates, five Fields Medalists, four Abel Prize laureates, and three Turing award winners have been affiliated with Yale University. In addition, Yale has graduated many notable alumni, including five U.S. Presidents, 19 U.S. Supreme Court Justices, 31 living billionaires, and many heads of state. Hundreds of members of Congress and many U.S. diplomats, 78 MacArthur Fellows, 252 Rhodes Scholars, 123 Marshall Scholars, and nine Mitchell Scholars have been affiliated with the university.

    Research

    Yale is a member of the Association of American Universities (AAU) and is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity”. According to the National Science Foundation , Yale spent $990 million on research and development in 2018, ranking it 15th in the nation.

    Yale’s faculty include 61 members of the National Academy of Sciences , 7 members of the National Academy of Engineering and 49 members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences . The college is, after normalization for institution size, the tenth-largest baccalaureate source of doctoral degree recipients in the United States, and the largest such source within the Ivy League.

    Yale’s English and Comparative Literature departments were part of the New Criticism movement. Of the New Critics, Robert Penn Warren, W.K. Wimsatt, and Cleanth Brooks were all Yale faculty. Later, the Yale Comparative literature department became a center of American deconstruction. Jacques Derrida, the father of deconstruction, taught at the Department of Comparative Literature from the late seventies to mid-1980s. Several other Yale faculty members were also associated with deconstruction, forming the so-called “Yale School”. These included Paul de Man who taught in the Departments of Comparative Literature and French, J. Hillis Miller, Geoffrey Hartman (both taught in the Departments of English and Comparative Literature), and Harold Bloom (English), whose theoretical position was always somewhat specific, and who ultimately took a very different path from the rest of this group. Yale’s history department has also originated important intellectual trends. Historians C. Vann Woodward and David Brion Davis are credited with beginning in the 1960s and 1970s an important stream of southern historians; likewise, David Montgomery, a labor historian, advised many of the current generation of labor historians in the country. Yale’s Music School and Department fostered the growth of Music Theory in the latter half of the 20th century. The Journal of Music Theory was founded there in 1957; Allen Forte and David Lewin were influential teachers and scholars.

    In addition to eminent faculty members, Yale research relies heavily on the presence of roughly 1200 Postdocs from various national and international origin working in the multiple laboratories in the sciences, social sciences, humanities, and professional schools of the university. The university progressively recognized this working force with the recent creation of the Office for Postdoctoral Affairs and the Yale Postdoctoral Association.

    Notable alumni

    Over its history, Yale has produced many distinguished alumni in a variety of fields, ranging from the public to private sector. According to 2020 data, around 71% of undergraduates join the workforce, while the next largest majority of 16.6% go on to attend graduate or professional schools. Yale graduates have been recipients of 252 Rhodes Scholarships, 123 Marshall Scholarships, 67 Truman Scholarships, 21 Churchill Scholarships, and 9 Mitchell Scholarships. The university is also the second largest producer of Fulbright Scholars, with a total of 1,199 in its history and has produced 89 MacArthur Fellows. The U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs ranked Yale fifth among research institutions producing the most 2020–2021 Fulbright Scholars. Additionally, 31 living billionaires are Yale alumni.

    At Yale, one of the most popular undergraduate majors among Juniors and Seniors is political science, with many students going on to serve careers in government and politics. Former presidents who attended Yale for undergrad include William Howard Taft, George H. W. Bush, and George W. Bush while former presidents Gerald Ford and Bill Clinton attended Yale Law School. Former vice-president and influential antebellum era politician John C. Calhoun also graduated from Yale. Former world leaders include Italian prime minister Mario Monti, Turkish prime minister Tansu Çiller, Mexican president Ernesto Zedillo, German president Karl Carstens, Philippine president José Paciano Laurel, Latvian president Valdis Zatlers, Taiwanese premier Jiang Yi-huah, and Malawian president Peter Mutharika, among others. Prominent royals who graduated are Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden, and Olympia Bonaparte, Princess Napoléon.

    Yale alumni have had considerable presence in U.S. government in all three branches. On the U.S. Supreme Court, 19 justices have been Yale alumni, including current Associate Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas, and Brett Kavanaugh. Numerous Yale alumni have been U.S. Senators, including current Senators Michael Bennet, Richard Blumenthal, Cory Booker, Sherrod Brown, Chris Coons, Amy Klobuchar, Ben Sasse, and Sheldon Whitehouse. Current and former cabinet members include Secretaries of State John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, Cyrus Vance, and Dean Acheson; U.S. Secretaries of the Treasury Oliver Wolcott, Robert Rubin, Nicholas F. Brady, Steven Mnuchin, and Janet Yellen; U.S. Attorneys General Nicholas Katzenbach, John Ashcroft, and Edward H. Levi; and many others. Peace Corps founder and American diplomat Sargent Shriver and public official and urban planner Robert Moses are Yale alumni.

    Yale has produced numerous award-winning authors and influential writers, like Nobel Prize in Literature laureate Sinclair Lewis and Pulitzer Prize winners Stephen Vincent Benét, Thornton Wilder, Doug Wright, and David McCullough. Academy Award winning actors, actresses, and directors include Jodie Foster, Paul Newman, Meryl Streep, Elia Kazan, George Roy Hill, Lupita Nyong’o, Oliver Stone, and Frances McDormand. Alumni from Yale have also made notable contributions to both music and the arts. Leading American composer from the 20th century Charles Ives, Broadway composer Cole Porter, Grammy award winner David Lang, and award-winning jazz pianist and composer Vijay Iyer all hail from Yale. Hugo Boss Prize winner Matthew Barney, famed American sculptor Richard Serra, President Barack Obama presidential portrait painter Kehinde Wiley, MacArthur Fellow and contemporary artist Sarah Sze, Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist Garry Trudeau, and National Medal of Arts photorealist painter Chuck Close all graduated from Yale. Additional alumni include architect and Presidential Medal of Freedom winner Maya Lin, Pritzker Prize winner Norman Foster, and Gateway Arch designer Eero Saarinen. Journalists and pundits include Dick Cavett, Chris Cuomo, Anderson Cooper, William F. Buckley, Jr., and Fareed Zakaria.

    In business, Yale has had numerous alumni and former students go on to become founders of influential business, like William Boeing (Boeing, United Airlines), Briton Hadden and Henry Luce (Time Magazine), Stephen A. Schwarzman (Blackstone Group), Frederick W. Smith (FedEx), Juan Trippe (Pan Am), Harold Stanley (Morgan Stanley), Bing Gordon (Electronic Arts), and Ben Silbermann (Pinterest). Other business people from Yale include former chairman and CEO of Sears Holdings Edward Lampert, former Time Warner president Jeffrey Bewkes, former PepsiCo chairperson and CEO Indra Nooyi, sports agent Donald Dell, and investor/philanthropist Sir John Templeton.

    Yale alumni distinguished in academia include literary critic and historian Henry Louis Gates, economists Irving Fischer, Mahbub ul Haq, and Nobel Prize laureate Paul Krugman; Nobel Prize in Physics laureates Ernest Lawrence and Murray Gell-Mann; Fields Medalist John G. Thompson; Human Genome Project leader and National Institutes of Health director Francis S. Collins; brain surgery pioneer Harvey Cushing; pioneering computer scientist Grace Hopper; influential mathematician and chemist Josiah Willard Gibbs; National Women’s Hall of Fame inductee and biochemist Florence B. Seibert; Turing Award recipient Ron Rivest; inventors Samuel F.B. Morse and Eli Whitney; Nobel Prize in Chemistry laureate John B. Goodenough; lexicographer Noah Webster; and theologians Jonathan Edwards and Reinhold Niebuhr.

    In the sporting arena, Yale alumni include baseball players Ron Darling and Craig Breslow and baseball executives Theo Epstein and George Weiss; football players Calvin Hill, Gary Fenick, Amos Alonzo Stagg, and “the Father of American Football” Walter Camp; ice hockey players Chris Higgins and Olympian Helen Resor; Olympic figure skaters Sarah Hughes and Nathan Chen; nine-time U.S. Squash men’s champion Julian Illingworth; Olympic swimmer Don Schollander; Olympic rowers Josh West and Rusty Wailes; Olympic sailor Stuart McNay; Olympic runner Frank Shorter; and others.

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