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  • richardmitnick 2:08 pm on February 23, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "New data about spiral waves detected in sunspots", , , , , IAC-Institute of Astrophysics of the Canary Islands,   

    From Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias – IAC: “New data about spiral waves detected in sunspots” 

    IAC

    From Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias – IAC

    Jan. 18, 2019

    Tobías Felipe
    tobias@iac.es

    Elena Khomenko
    khomenko@iac.es

    An international study, led by researchers at the IAC, reveal unknown details about the nature of a singular type of oscillatory phenomenon in spiral form detected in sunspots. The research, published in Astronomy & Astrophysics, was carried out using observations with the GREGOR telescope at the Teide Observatory

    KIP telescope GREGOR, on Mount Teide at 2,390 metres (7,840 ft), located on Tenerife, Spain. It is operated by the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias

    GREGOR Solar Telescope at Tiede Observatory on Mount Teide at 2,390 metres 7,840 ft, located on Tenerife, Spain. It is operated by the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias

    Teide Observatory in Tenerife Spain, home of two 40 cm LCO,telescopes, Altitude 2,390 m (7,840 ft)

    1

    There are many oscillatory phenomena in the Sun which show up from the deepest interior layers to the outermost layers of its atmosphere. The study of these waves is a fundamental problema in solar physics. It is believed that the waves play a key role in the energy balance of our star; they are one of the candidates proposed to explain the high temperatures measured in the chromosphere and the corona of the sun. Also studying the oscillations is a way of characterizing the structure of the Sun using seismological analyses.

    Stars like the Sun show different types of waves. Some are acoustic waves, similar to those on Earth, which allow us to hear sound. However the presence of magnetic fields gives rise to new types of waves with different properties.

    A sudy led by researchers at the IAC and published recently , and picked out as a “highlight” by the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics [A&A above], has studied the propagation of these waves in sunspots and has identified the presence of oscillations in spiral form which start out from the darkest part of the sunspot, called the umbra, and spread into the outer regions, the penumbra. Sunspots are caused by strong concentrations of magnetic field, visible on the solar disc as dark regions, so that these waves can be interpreted as evidence for magneto-acoustic waves which propagate from the interior of the sun out to high layes of the atmosphere, along the direction of the magnetic field.

    This work has used data from the GREGOR telesope, at the Teide Observatory [above], which, with its diameter of 1.5 metres, is the biggest solar telescope in Europe. “ The possibility to use several instruments at a time with the GREGOR has allowed us to obtain the variations in velocity in a two dimensional region, and also a spectropolarimetric map of the sunspot observed” explains Tobías Felipe, the first author of the article, an IAC researcher. “The analysis of the polarization of the light is fundamental for the study of solar magnetic fields; we have been able to work out the geometry of the magnetic field of the sunspot, and relate its orientation to the apparent direction of propagation of the waves”.

    Although previous studies had identified the presence of spiral waves in sunspots, this new study permits the interpretation, for the first time, of these wafes in the contex of a full characterization of the topology of the magnetic field of the sunspot where they are observed. This has allowed us to reject the idea that the spiral is a consequence of the twisting of the magnetic field lines. “The new results suggest that this is the visual pattern of the waves which are propagated upwards from interior layers. Although apparently these waves move in the radial direction, towards the exterior of the spot, what actually happens is that in the outermost regions the front of waves arrive later to the atmospheric layer where they were observed”, says Elena Khomenko, a researcher at the IAC and a co-author of the study.

    This work was carried out in the framework of an international collaboration, in which there was participation by researchers from a German institution (Christoph Kuckein, Leibnitz Institut für Astrophysik, Potsdam) and an Israeli institution ( Irina Thaler, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem).

    See the full article here.


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


    Stem Education Coalition

    The Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias(IAC) is an international research centre in Spain which comprises:

    The Instituto de Astrofísica, the headquarters, which is in La Laguna (Tenerife).
    The Centro de Astrofísica en La Palma (CALP)
    The Observatorio del Teide (OT), in Izaña (Tenerife).

    These centres, with all the facilities they bring together, make up the European Northern Observatory(ENO).

    The IAC is constituted administratively as a Public Consortium, created by statute in 1982, with involvement from the Spanish Government, the Government of the Canary Islands, the University of La Laguna and Spain’s Science Research Council (CSIC).

    The International Scientific Committee (CCI) manages participation in the observatories by institutions from other countries. A Time Allocation Committee (CAT) allocates the observing time reserved for Spain at the telescopes in the IAC’s observatories.

    The exceptional quality of the sky over the Canaries for astronomical observations is protected by law. The IAC’s Sky Quality Protection Office (OTPC) regulates the application of the law and its Sky Quality Group continuously monitors the parameters that define observing quality at the IAC Observatories.

    The IAC’s research programme includes astrophysical research and technological development projects.

    The IAC is also involved in researcher training, university teaching and outreachactivities.

    The IAC has devoted much energy to developing technology for the design and construction of a large 10.4 metre diameter telescope, the ( Gran Telescopio CANARIAS, GTC), which is sited at the Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos.

    Gran Telescopio Canarias at the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory on the island of La Palma, in the Canaries, Spain, sited on a volcanic peak 2,267 metres (7,438 ft) above sea level

     
  • richardmitnick 2:28 pm on February 19, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Extreme Radiation Could Strip Exoplanets of their Atmospheres", , , , , , IAC-Institute of Astrophysics of the Canary Islands, The exoplanet WASP-69b   

    From IAC via Discover Magazine: “Extreme Radiation Could Strip Exoplanets of their Atmospheres” 

    IAC

    From Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias – IAC

    via

    DiscoverMag

    Discover Magazine

    December 6, 2018
    Amber Jorgenson

    1
    This artist illustration shows WASP-69b, which sits about 163 light years from Earth, orbiting its host star. (Credit: Gabriel Perez Diaz, SMM (IAC))

    If orbiting just 4 million miles from your fiery host star wasn’t bad enough, things might have just gotten even worse.

    New research shows that stars emitting high levels of ultraviolet (UV) radiation could strip the atmospheres of their ultra-close exoplanets. While observing gas giants that orbit exceptionally close to their host stars, astronomers found that those bombarded with radiation were losing helium from their atmospheres. These results, which were published in multiple studies today in the journals Science and and Astronomy & Astrophysics, could help researchers understand the evolution of planetary atmospheres, and also determine if extreme radiation could be peeling gas giants’ layers of clouds away to leave them as barren, rocky objects.

    Follow the Trail

    Astronomers from the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) in the Canary Islands came across this strange phenomenon when they observed the exoplanet WASP-69b pass in front of its host star. During its transit, which takes just 3.9 days, the Jupiter-sized planet caused the star’s light to briefly dim, allowing researchers to home in on the orbiting object.

    Planet transit. NASA/Ames

    They used the CARMENES instrument at Spain’s Calar Alto Observatory to break down the planet’s light into visible and near infrared wavelengths — revealing the chemical elements that make up its atmosphere. It was then that they noticed a strange, comet-like tail of particles escaping from the planet.

    CARMENES spectrograph, mounted on the Calar Alto 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


    Calar Alto 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

    “We observed a stronger and longer-lasting dimming of the starlight in a region of the spectrum where helium gas absorbs light,” said the WASP-69b study’s lead author, Lisa Nortmann of the IAC, in a news release. “The longer duration of this absorption allows us to infer the presence of a tail.”

    This loss of helium, the second-most abundant element in gas giants, wasn’t an isolated incident, either. Using similar methods, the team studied four other planets that orbit extremely close to their host stars: gas giant KELT-9b, Neptune-sized GJ 436b, and hot Jupiter’s HD 189733b and HD 209458b.

    While helium wasn’t seen leaving the atmospheres of KELT-9b, GJ 436b or HD 209458b, the group did see a balloon of helium surrounding, and escaping from, HD 189733b.

    Wondering why these two planets were losing parts of their outer atmospheres, they turned to ESA’s Multi-Mirror X-Ray Mission (ESA XMM-Newton) for data about their host stars.

    ESA/XMM Newton

    The results showed that both HD 189733b and WASP-69b’s host stars were dangerously active — expelling much more UV radiation than the other host stars.

    And in yet another instance, astronomers from the University of Geneva detected a balloon of helium escaping the atmosphere of HAT-P-11b, whose nearby host star also emits high amounts of UV radiation. Their results were published today in the journal Science.

    Gas Giant Annihilation?

    These correlations lead researchers to believe that massive amounts of UV radiation are energizing helium particles, causing them to escape from the atmosphere and fly out into space. And once these gaseous envelopes have been completely stripped, all that’s left are the dense, rocky corpses of former gas giants. Follow-up studies will be needed to verify this theory, but thankfully, infrared spectrographs like CARMENES are making atmospheric observations a bit easier.

    “In the past, studies of atmospheric escape, like the one we have seen in WASP-69b, were based on space-borne observations of hydrogen in the far ultraviolet, a spectral region of very limited access and strongly affected by interstellar absorption,” said University of Hamburg researcher Michael Salz, who authored the Astronomy & Astrophysics paper about HD 189733b. “Our results show that helium is a very promising new tracer to study atmospheric escape in exoplanets.”

    And if this theory proves true, astronomers could use it to further compare the atmospheres of exoplanets, gain insight into their evolutions and shed light on the peculiar planets that sit a little too close to their host stars.

    See the full article here .

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

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias(IAC) is an international research centre in Spain which comprises:

    The Instituto de Astrofísica, the headquarters, which is in La Laguna (Tenerife).
    The Centro de Astrofísica en La Palma (CALP)
    The Observatorio del Teide (OT), in Izaña (Tenerife).

    These centres, with all the facilities they bring together, make up the European Northern Observatory(ENO).

    The IAC is constituted administratively as a Public Consortium, created by statute in 1982, with involvement from the Spanish Government, the Government of the Canary Islands, the University of La Laguna and Spain’s Science Research Council (CSIC).

    The International Scientific Committee (CCI) manages participation in the observatories by institutions from other countries. A Time Allocation Committee (CAT) allocates the observing time reserved for Spain at the telescopes in the IAC’s observatories.

    The exceptional quality of the sky over the Canaries for astronomical observations is protected by law. The IAC’s Sky Quality Protection Office (OTPC) regulates the application of the law and its Sky Quality Group continuously monitors the parameters that define observing quality at the IAC Observatories.

    The IAC’s research programme includes astrophysical research and technological development projects.

    The IAC is also involved in researcher training, university teaching and outreachactivities.

    The IAC has devoted much energy to developing technology for the design and construction of a large 10.4 metre diameter telescope, the ( Gran Telescopio CANARIAS, GTC), which is sited at the Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos.

    Gran Telescopio Canarias at the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory on the island of La Palma, in the Canaries, Spain, sited on a volcanic peak 2,267 metres (7,438 ft) above sea level

     
  • richardmitnick 11:26 am on January 28, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , IAC-Institute of Astrophysics of the Canary Islands, , NASA Webb MIRI instrument in the future, Stars shrouded in iron dust   

    From Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias – IAC: “Stars shrouded in iron dust” 

    IAC

    From Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias – IAC

    Flavia Dell’Agli
    fdellagli@iac.es

    Aníbal García Hernández
    agarcia@iac.es

    Manu Astrónomus


    From Manu Garcia, a friend from IAC.

    The universe around us.
    Astronomy, everything you wanted to know about our local universe and never dared to ask.

    1
    Infrared image of the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) obtained with the Spitzer Space Telescope.

    NASA/Spitzer Infrared Telescope

    top panel: comparing the spectrum Spitzer / IRS (line solid black) Star SSID 4486 and the theoretical spectrum of best fit of a star AGB 5 solar masses (continuous red line) wrapped by ~ 70% powder iron; green dashed line refers to the theoretical spectrum for the same model but iron powder. lower box: Artistic impression of a giant star ejecting AGB matter to the interstellar medium. Credit: Image LMC: Aladin-color Spitzer software; Artistic Image: Jaxa.

    The Institute de Astrofísica (IAC) in a study presented by the discovery of a group of very poor stars metals and high fraction of iron powder, located in the LMC. To carry out this work have combined theoretical models of dust formation in circumstellar envelopes with infrared observations made with the Spitzer Space Telescope and predictions for the future James Webb Space Telescope.

    The stars with masses between one to eight times the mass of the Sun evolve through the asymptotic giant branch (AGB, the acronym ‘Asymptotic Giant Branch’) before ending their lives as white dwarfs. It is during this evolutionary, rapid but crucial phase, when the stars are expanded to gigantic proportions and cooled, losing almost all of its mass due to strong stellar winds. The low temperature and high density wind provide perfect conditions to favor the condensation of the powder grains in their circumstellar envelopes.

    The powder supplied by AGB stars in its stage the interstellar medium is key to the life of galaxies, as this is essential for the formation of new stars and planets element. Thus, characterizing the type of dust (organic solid compounds against inorganic) and the amount of dust produced by these giant stars is very interesting for the astronomical community.

    The journal The Astrophysical Journal Letters published today a study in which the mystery of a peculiar group of massive AGB stars, located in the Large Magellanic Cloud is resolved. Comparing infrared observations from the Spitzer Space Telescope (and predictions for the future James Webb Space Telescope) with theoretical models developed by this team have discovered that these stars have masses around 5 solar masses, formed about 100 million years ago and are poor metals (metals such as Fe, Mg and Si. Iron, magnesium and silicon). Unexpectedly, the team has found that their spectral energy distributions, in the infrared range, can only be reproduced if the iron powder is the main species of dust in their circumstellar envelopes. This situation is rare around AGB massive stars. It was previously known to produce mainly silicates. That is, powder grains rich in oxygen, magnesium and silicon. But this finding is even more surprising considering the metal – poor environment surrounding the stars studied.

    “We first characterized this kind of star with unique spectral properties. The low metallicity of these giant stars is the essential ingredient that provides a peculiar conditions which allow the formation of larger amounts of iron powder” explains Ester Marini, lead author article and doctoral student at the University Roma Tre. He adds: “In fact, metal-poor environments, complex active stellar nucleosynthesis within the massive AGB stars is so advanced that runs almost all the magnesium and oxygen necessary to form other species such as silicates dust.”

    Under these particular conditions, the iron powder becomes the main component powder consisting of these stars. “This result represents an important theoretical confirmation for the formation of iron powder in poor environments metals, as evoked by independent observational evidence,” the IAC researcher Aníbal García Hernández, co-author and one of the founders of the fruitful collaboration between the IAC and Astronomico Osservatorio di Roma (INAF-OAR) for this type of study in giant stars in the AGB phase.

    “The arrival of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) will open new possibilities to investigate this case in depth,” says Flavia Dell’Agli, postdoctoral researcher at the IAC and second author of the article adds. “This future facility will greatly increase the number of AGB stars extragalactic resolved “and that the MIRI instrument that will be housed on the JWST will be” ideal to identify this class of stars in other galaxies in the Local Group “.

    NASA Webb MIRI schematic


    NASA Webb MIRI


    NASA/ESA/CSA Webb Telescope annotated

    See the full article here.


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


    Stem Education Coalition

    The Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias(IAC) is an international research centre in Spain which comprises:

    The Instituto de Astrofísica, the headquarters, which is in La Laguna (Tenerife).
    The Centro de Astrofísica en La Palma (CALP)
    The Observatorio del Teide (OT), in Izaña (Tenerife).

    These centres, with all the facilities they bring together, make up the European Northern Observatory(ENO).

    The IAC is constituted administratively as a Public Consortium, created by statute in 1982, with involvement from the Spanish Government, the Government of the Canary Islands, the University of La Laguna and Spain’s Science Research Council (CSIC).

    The International Scientific Committee (CCI) manages participation in the observatories by institutions from other countries. A Time Allocation Committee (CAT) allocates the observing time reserved for Spain at the telescopes in the IAC’s observatories.

    The exceptional quality of the sky over the Canaries for astronomical observations is protected by law. The IAC’s Sky Quality Protection Office (OTPC) regulates the application of the law and its Sky Quality Group continuously monitors the parameters that define observing quality at the IAC Observatories.

    The IAC’s research programme includes astrophysical research and technological development projects.

    The IAC is also involved in researcher training, university teaching and outreachactivities.

    The IAC has devoted much energy to developing technology for the design and construction of a large 10.4 metre diameter telescope, the ( Gran Telescopio CANARIAS, GTC), which is sited at the Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos.



    Gran Telescopio Canarias at the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory on the island of La Palma, in the Canaries, SpainGran Telescopio CANARIAS, GTC

     
  • richardmitnick 1:54 pm on January 19, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Active galaxies nuclei, , , , , Galaxy ESO 428-G14, IAC-Institute of Astrophysics of the Canary Islands   

    From Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias – IAC: “A faint galaxy that outshines the others” 

    IAC

    From Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias – IAC

    19.1.19
    Manu Astrónomus

    Contacts:
    Almudena Prieto: aprieto@iac.es
    Alberto Ardila Rodríguez: aardila@lna.br

    1
    Image of the active galaxy ESO little light LLAGN 428-G14.

    According to an international investigation which involved scientists from the Institute of Astrophysics of the Canary Islands (IAC) , luminous galaxies with active nuclei have little enough to expel gas quantities similar to those removed galaxies with bright nuclei much energy.

    The gas is essential in the process of formation of a galaxy. During the early stages, the amount of gas present determines the number of stars that will be in it. Active galaxies nucleus (AGN, for its acronym in English) they are those that have a higher brightness region in its center. This bright area is caused by the presence of a massive black hole, the effect of its gravity, accumulated material around a process known as accretion.

    Supermassive black holes heat the surrounding gas and pushing part of it to the outside Galaxy (feedback effect). It was thought that AGN lower luminosity did not have enough to expel large amounts of gas energy. But an international study, in which two researchers from the Institute of Astrophysics of the Canary Islands (IAC) involved, proves otherwise.

    2
    The red dots represent the spatial distribution and morphology due to high
    ionization of the gas cloud, due to the strong emission of the jets hole
    black of this active galaxy. Credit: D.May et al.

    In the article, recently published in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, they analyzed the galaxy ESO 428-G14, which has a slightly luminous AGN. Thanks to the data obtained with integral field spectrograph SINFONI the Very Large Telescope (VLT) , the European Southern Observatory (ESO) detected that this galaxy has the strongest feedback effect seen in one of its class.

    ESO SINFONI

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

    “In this galaxy dim glow explains Daniel May, researcher at the Institute of Astronomy, Geophysics and Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Sao Paulo and first author of the publication-, the jet is responsible for carrying out the work of expulsion gas. However, in the most luminous active nuclei, this task is performed by the radiation emitted by the nucleus itself.”

    3
    a): Image HI Brγ λ21661 Å emission (total flow 24 ± 1 × 10-15 erg s-1 cm-2)
    the dashed ellipses highlight the ‘helix’ into two substructures, b1 and b2. (B): The line
    of [Si VI] of all cubes combined data (DS2), with a smaller FOV and
    greater signal / noise ratio. The contrast shows the fainter structures and b4 b3.
    The cross marks the position of the AGN. The flow bar is in units of
    10 -19 erg s-1 cm-2 A-1. Credit: D.May et al.

    Radio galaxies, which are AGN with powerful jets, expels the material at rates between 1 and 50 solar masses per year. ESO 428-G14, which has a modest jet, it is in the range of 3 to 8 solar masses per year. “With these data -comenta Almudena Prieto, IAC researcher and co-author of the study, is the least luminous galaxy with the strongest feedback observed to date.”

    “Our findings open a debate on the role of supermassive black holes as efficient in the heart of galaxies, regardless of its brightness engines,” says Alberto Ardila Rodríguez, a visiting researcher and co-author IAC.

    Through further studies, the team of scientists attempt to discover the nature of the process makes it possible as little light as ESO 428-G14, core so efficiently removing gaseous matter. “He’s probably related to own source of gas in the galaxy,” said May.

    See the full article here.


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


    Stem Education Coalition

    The Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias(IAC) is an international research centre in Spain which comprises:

    The Instituto de Astrofísica, the headquarters, which is in La Laguna (Tenerife).
    The Centro de Astrofísica en La Palma (CALP)
    The Observatorio del Teide (OT), in Izaña (Tenerife).

    These centres, with all the facilities they bring together, make up the European Northern Observatory(ENO).

    The IAC is constituted administratively as a Public Consortium, created by statute in 1982, with involvement from the Spanish Government, the Government of the Canary Islands, the University of La Laguna and Spain’s Science Research Council (CSIC).

    The International Scientific Committee (CCI) manages participation in the observatories by institutions from other countries. A Time Allocation Committee (CAT) allocates the observing time reserved for Spain at the telescopes in the IAC’s observatories.

    The exceptional quality of the sky over the Canaries for astronomical observations is protected by law. The IAC’s Sky Quality Protection Office (OTPC) regulates the application of the law and its Sky Quality Group continuously monitors the parameters that define observing quality at the IAC Observatories.

    The IAC’s research programme includes astrophysical research and technological development projects.

    The IAC is also involved in researcher training, university teaching and outreachactivities.

    The IAC has devoted much energy to developing technology for the design and construction of a large 10.4 metre diameter telescope, the ( Gran Telescopio CANARIAS, GTC), which is sited at the Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos.



    Gran Telescopio Canarias at the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory on the island of La Palma, in the Canaries, SpainGran Telescopio CANARIAS, GTC

     
  • richardmitnick 10:45 am on December 9, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: A comet-like tail made up of helium particles escaping the planet’s atmosphere due to pressure from ultraviolet radiation from this world’s star, , , , , , IAC-Institute of Astrophysics of the Canary Islands, WASP-69b the exoplanet with a tail   

    From Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias – IAC via EarthSky: “WASP-69b, the exoplanet with a tail” 

    IAC

    From Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias – IAC

    via

    1

    EarthSky

    December 9, 2018
    Paul Scott Anderson

    Astronomers have discovered a Jupiter-sized planet – 163 light-years away – that seems to think it’s a comet. It has a prominent “tail” of helium gas.

    1
    Artist’s concept of exoplanet WASP-69b, thought to orbit its sun with a comet-like helium tail trailing behind. Image via Gabriel Perez Diaz/IAC.

    Planets and comets are two quite different things. Planets are massive enough to have strong-enough self-gravity to have pulled themselves into the shape of round balls. The cores of comets are tiny in comparison; they are small chunks irregular of rock and ice, whose characteristic long “tails” of gas and dust only appear as they swing in near the sun. Planets don’t typically have tails as comets do … except that now astronomers have found one that does. Scientists at the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) in the Canary Islands have shown that the giant exoplanet WASP-69b has a comet-like tail made up of helium particles. The new results were published on December 6, 2018 in the peer-reviewed journal Science.

    The helium particles in the tail of WASP-69b are escaping the planet’s atmosphere due to pressure from ultraviolet radiation from this world’s star. The tail trails behind the planet as it orbits its star. WASP-69b is a gas giant planet 163 light-years from our sun. It is about the size of Jupiter, but with a similar mass to Saturn.

    How did astronomers make this discovery? When they observed the planet transit in front of its star, they noticed something interesting.

    Planet transit. NASA/Ames

    As explained by Lisa Nortmann of IAC, lead author of the new paper:

    “We observed a stronger and longer-lasting dimming of the starlight in a region of the spectrum where helium gas absorbs light. The longer duration of this absorption allows us to infer the presence of a tail.

    This is the first time we can actually observe a helium tail. Before, it was assumed that if helium is in the [outermost atmospheric layer of a] planet, it might escape and form a tail.

    That was based on models, but this is the first time we can actually observe it while it’s still in front of the star, when the planet is not in front of the star anymore.”

    2
    Comets – as in this view of comet 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdušáková, which zipped past Earth in 2017 – are famous for their beautiful long tails. The tails can be millions of miles long. They are made of dust and gases. Image via Gerald Rhemann/NASA.

    The observations were made using the CARMENES instrument – a spectrograph – on the 3.5-meter telescope of the Calar Alto Observatory in Almería, Spain. The spectrograph simultaneously covered both the visible wavelength range and the near infrared range at high spectral resolution. THerefore it revealed the composition of the atmosphere of the planet, and the astronomers were able to determine the speed of the helium particles that leave the gravitational field of the planet and the length of the tail they produce.

    CARMENES spectrograph, mounted on the Calar Alto 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


    Calar Alto 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

    How cool is that? Apparently even planets can sport tails, if conditions are just right.

    The new paper also announces some additional results in addition to the planetary tail. Four other exoplanets were also studied in the same way – hot Jupiter exoplanets HD 189733b and HD 209458b, the extremely hot giant planet KELT-9b and the warm Neptune-sized exoplanet Gliese 436b. Surprisingly, the last three of those planets also have helium exospheres, which is unexpected. HD 189733b is absorbing helium, but the helium envelope around the planet is more compact and does not form a tail in this case.

    All five planets were also observed using the European Space Agency’s Multi-Mirror X-Ray Mission (XMM-Newton).

    ESA/XMM Newton

    Helium was found in the atmosphere of the planets that receive the most X-ray and extreme ultraviolet radiation from their host stars. As Enric Pallé, IAC researcher and paper co-author, said:

    “This is a first big step toward finding out how exoplanet atmospheres evolve over time and what the distribution of masses and radii of the observed population of super-Earth and mini-Neptune planets could result from.”

    3
    In 2011, the Neptune-sized exoplanet Gliese 436b had also been found to have a tail – shown in this artist’s concept – composed of hydrogen. Image via NASA/ESA/STScI/G. Bacon.

    These additional observations are useful for how showing how extreme radiation from a star can strip away the thick atmospheres of giant planets, leaving behind their smaller rocky cores – those planets could then resemble Earth or Venus. According to Michael Salz, a researcher at the University of Hamburg and first author of a companion publication by the same research team:

    “In the past, studies of atmospheric escape, like the one we have seen in WASP-69b, were based on space-borne observations of hydrogen in the far ultraviolet, a spectral region of very limited access and strongly affected by interstellar absorption. Our results show that helium is a very promising new tracer to study atmospheric escape in exoplanets.”

    WASP69b isn’t the first exoplanet to be found with a tail. In 2014, astronomers discovered that Gliese 436b – about the size and mass of Neptune and 30 light-years away – appeared to also have a comet-like tail, but composed of hydrogen instead of helium. While such planetary tails may not be all that common, that discovery – and now the new one – shows that they can occur.

    Bottom line: Comets are famous for their beautiful, long, glowing tails. New research confirms that even planets – like WASP-69b – can sometimes have tails, too.

    See the full article here.


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


    Stem Education Coalition

    The Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias(IAC) is an international research centre in Spain which comprises:

    The Instituto de Astrofísica, the headquarters, which is in La Laguna (Tenerife).
    The Centro de Astrofísica en La Palma (CALP)
    The Observatorio del Teide (OT), in Izaña (Tenerife).

    These centres, with all the facilities they bring together, make up the European Northern Observatory(ENO).

    The IAC is constituted administratively as a Public Consortium, created by statute in 1982, with involvement from the Spanish Government, the Government of the Canary Islands, the University of La Laguna and Spain’s Science Research Council (CSIC).

    The International Scientific Committee (CCI) manages participation in the observatories by institutions from other countries. A Time Allocation Committee (CAT) allocates the observing time reserved for Spain at the telescopes in the IAC’s observatories.

    The exceptional quality of the sky over the Canaries for astronomical observations is protected by law. The IAC’s Sky Quality Protection Office (OTPC) regulates the application of the law and its Sky Quality Group continuously monitors the parameters that define observing quality at the IAC Observatories.

    The IAC’s research programme includes astrophysical research and technological development projects.

    The IAC is also involved in researcher training, university teaching and outreachactivities.

    The IAC has devoted much energy to developing technology for the design and construction of a large 10.4 metre diameter telescope, the ( Gran Telescopio CANARIAS, GTC), which is sited at the Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos.



    Gran Telescopio Canarias at the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory on the island of La Palma, in the Canaries, SpainGran Telescopio CANARIAS, GTC

     
  • richardmitnick 9:41 am on December 4, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , CLASP-Chromospheric Lyman-Alpha Spectro-Polarimeter, , IAC-Institute of Astrophysics of the Canary Islands, , Solar chromosphere,   

    From Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias – IAC via Manu Garcia: “A Sun more complex than expected” 


    From Manu Garcia, a friend from IAC.

    The universe around us.
    Astronomy, everything you wanted to know about our local universe and never dared to ask.

    IAC

    From Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias – IAC

    Nov. 28, 2018

    Contacts at the IAC:
    Javier Trujillo Bueno
    jtb@iac.es

    Jiri Stepan
    jiri.stepan@asu.cas.cz

    Andrés Asensio Ramos
    aasensio@iac.es

    Tanausú del Pino Alemán:
    tanausu@iac.es

    1
    FIGURE 1: View of the structure of temperature via a vertical section in a three – dimensional (3D) model of the solar atmosphere resulting from a magneto-hydrodynamic simulation chromosphere (see Carlsson et al 2016. A & A, 585, A4 ). The solid curve shows the heights (Z) in this model from which the photons from the center of the Lyman-α observed by CLASP (note that almost coincides with the transition region between the chromosphere and the crown model) line. The summary in this press release research shows that in the solar atmosphere the geometry of the transition region is much more complex. For more details see Trujillo Good and the CLASP team (2018; The Astrophysical Journal Letters, 866, L15).

    2
    FIGURE 2: Negative high image resolution chromosphere obtained
    with an instrument selected central radiation of a cromosférica line,
    which gives information about the structure of the plasma around 300 km
    below the transition region. Credit: J. Harvey (NSO, USA..).

    The CLASP experiment (Chromospheric Lyman-Alpha Spectro-Polarimeter) was launched on 2015 September 3. The instrument, onboard a NASA suborbital rocket, measured with great success and for the first time the linear polarization of the strongest spectral line of the solar ultraviolet spectrum, the hydrogen Lyman-α line.

    IAC CLASP Chromospheric Lyman-Alpha Spectro-Polarimeter

    This international experiment (Japan, USA and Europe) was motivated by theoretical investigations carried out in 2011 at the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC). Thanks to the unprecedented observations provided by the CLASP instrument, the scientific team was able to confirm most of the theoretical predictions. However, the observed polarization signals, contrary to those calculated in today’s theoretical models of the solar atmosphere, do not show any significant variation in their line-center amplitude when the line of sight goes from the center to the edge of the solar disk. “This was a very interesting surprise that aroused great scientific interest, because the spectral lines of the solar visible spectrum (which can be observed with ground-based telescopes) show such a variation”, says Javier Trujillo Bueno, professor of the Spanish Research Council at the IAC and one of the principal investigators of CLASP.

    The radiation of the Lyman-α line encodes information about the physical properties of the transition region, an enigmatic geometrically thin region where in less than 100 km the temperature suddenly jumps from the ten thousand degrees of the chromosphere to the million degrees of the corona. It is in these regions of the outer solar atmosphere where the explosive phenomena that can affect the Earth’s magnetosphere takes place. “The puzzling lack of a clear variation in the amplitude of the polarization signal when going from the center to the edge of the solar disk hides clues about the structure of the transition region”, says Jiri Stepan of the Astronomical Institute of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic and one of the members of CLASP, presently on a working visit at the IAC.

    The fact that the CLASP observations cannot be reproduced by today’s models of the solar atmosphere suggests that the 3D structure of the chromosphere-corona transition region is much more complex than previously thought. In order to confirm this idea, the scientific team has carried out a complex theoretical investigation in order to determine the magnetization and geometrical complexity of the transition region that best explains the experimental data.

    With the help of the MareNostrum supercomputer of the National Supercomputing Center in Barcelona, the researchers have calculated what would be the expected polarization signals for a large number of 3D atmospheric models, constructed by changing the degree of magnetization and geometrical complexity of the 3D solar model atmosphere illustrated in Figure 1.

    MareNostrum Lenovo supercomputer of the National Supercomputing Center in Barcelona

    Such study has led to two important conclusions, namely, the transition region of the atmospheric model that most likely explains the CLASP observations has a significantly larger degree of geometrical complexity and a smaller degree of magnetization. The results of this investigation make it evident the need to develop more realistic 3D models of the solar atmosphere, by including phenomena such as spicules, ubiquitous in high-resolution observations of the line-core intensity in strong chromospheric lines (see Figure 2), but not present in today’s 3D models of the solar atmosphere.

    The Principal Investigators of the CLASP project are:

    Amy Winebarger (NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, NASA/MSFC)
    Ryouei Kano (National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, NAOJ)
    Frédéric Auchère (Institut d’Astrophysique Spatiale, IAS)
    Javier Trujillo Bueno (Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, IAC)

    Related press releases:

    CLASP has a successful mission
    A new research window in Solar Physics: Ultraviolet Spectropolarimetry

    See the full article here.


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


    Stem Education Coalition

    The Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias(IAC) is an international research centre in Spain which comprises:

    The Instituto de Astrofísica, the headquarters, which is in La Laguna (Tenerife).
    The Centro de Astrofísica en La Palma (CALP)
    The Observatorio del Teide (OT), in Izaña (Tenerife).

    These centres, with all the facilities they bring together, make up the European Northern Observatory(ENO).

    The IAC is constituted administratively as a Public Consortium, created by statute in 1982, with involvement from the Spanish Government, the Government of the Canary Islands, the University of La Laguna and Spain’s Science Research Council (CSIC).

    The International Scientific Committee (CCI) manages participation in the observatories by institutions from other countries. A Time Allocation Committee (CAT) allocates the observing time reserved for Spain at the telescopes in the IAC’s observatories.

    The exceptional quality of the sky over the Canaries for astronomical observations is protected by law. The IAC’s Sky Quality Protection Office (OTPC) regulates the application of the law and its Sky Quality Group continuously monitors the parameters that define observing quality at the IAC Observatories.

    The IAC’s research programme includes astrophysical research and technological development projects.

    The IAC is also involved in researcher training, university teaching and outreachactivities.

    The IAC has devoted much energy to developing technology for the design and construction of a large 10.4 metre diameter telescope, the ( Gran Telescopio CANARIAS, GTC), which is sited at the Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos.



    Gran Telescopio Canarias at the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory on the island of La Palma, in the Canaries, SpainGran Telescopio CANARIAS, GTC

     
  • richardmitnick 9:15 am on November 15, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA), , CTA's first Large Size Telescope (LST-1), Gamma-ray emitting binary systems, IAC-Institute of Astrophysics of the Canary Islands, MAGIC telescopes at the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory (ORM, PSR J2032+4127/MT91 213 binary system, , VERITAS array at the Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory (FLWO)   

    From IAC via Manu: “Cosmic fireworks from a new gamma-ray binary” 


    From Manu Garcia, a friend from IAC.

    The universe around us.
    Astronomy, everything you wanted to know about our local universe and never dared to ask.

    IAC

    From Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias – IAC

    Nov. 13, 2018

    Alicia López Oramas
    alicia.lopez@iac.es

    Javier Herrera Llorente
    jaherllo@iac.es

    A joint observational campaign with the MAGIC telescopes at the Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos (Garafía, La Palma) and the VERITAS array at the Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory (Tucson, Arizona), has detected a new source emitting very-high-energy gamma rays from an unusual system consisting of a massive star and a pulsar. The study has just been published in the prestigious The Astrophysical Journal Letters.

    1
    The PSR J2032 + 4127 pulsar at the time of closest approach to the star MT91 213, a blue star with a disk of matter around. Credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.

    MAGIC Cherenkov telescopes at the Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos (Garfia, La Palma, Spain))

    2
    Binary emission according MAGIC on different days during the approach in November 2017. Credit: MAGIC Collaboration.

    CfA/VERITAS, a major ground-based gamma-ray observatory with an array of four 12m optical reflectors for gamma-ray astronomy in the GeV – TeV energy range. Located at Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory,Mount Hopkins, Arizona, US in AZ, USA, Altitude 2,606 m (8,550 ft)

    An international collaboration between the MAGIC telescopes at the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory (ORM) and the VERITAS array at the Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory (FLWO) has discovered very-high-energy gamma ray emission from the PSR J2032+4127/MT91 213 binary system, an eccentric pair of gravitationally linked stars with an orbital period of 50 years.

    Gamma-ray emitting binary systems are rare objects, likely corresponding to a relatively brief period in the evolution of some massive star binaries. In these systems, a neutron star or black hole, the remaining products of stellar evolution and death, orbits a massive star. Few binaries have been detected within the very-high-energy gamma-ray domain. Up to now, less than 10 have been discovered, and the nature of the compact object or stellar remnant – whether it is a neutron star or a black hole – remains hidden for most of them.

    A unique opportunity

    Back in 2002, gamma-ray emission was detected from an extended source of unidentified nature: TeV J2032+4130. It was not until 2008 that the Fermi-LAT satellite discovered a highly-magnetized neutron star or pulsar, named PSR J2032+4127, which seems to be the cause of the emission of this unknown source.

    NASA/Fermi LAT


    NASA/Fermi Gamma Ray Space Telescope

    But the final surprise came in 2015, when it was discovered that this pulsar is coupled with the star MT91 213, taking 50 years to complete a full orbit around it. However, the most interesting event for the gamma ray community was that the closest approach between the pulsar and the star was going to happen in November 2017. According to Alicia López Oramas, researcher at the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) and one of the main authors of the study, “such a unique system was expected to emit very-high-energy gamma rays during this approach, and this opportunity could not be missed”.

    A joint observation campaign was immediately launched to look for some cosmic fireworks from this binary system. During 2016, both observatories started searching for emission from this source, but all they could detect was the extended emission from TeV J2032+4130. “This source is most likely a nebula, the shell of a supernova remnant, which is being powered by the pulsar” -explains Ralph Bird, researcher at the University of California Los Angeles – “during 2016, all we could see was the emission of this weak source, which is detected after 50 hours of observations”.

    The true excitement arrived in 2017. In September of that year, before the planned approach, astronomers detected an enhancement in the emission of the new binary gamma-ray system. “The gamma-ray flux doubled the value measured from the extended source”, says Tyler Williamson, a graduate student at the University of Delaware (UD). However, the most amazing event took place in November. “During the closest approach between the star and the pulsar, the flux increased 10 times in just a single night” says Jamie Holder, a Professor in UD’s Department of Physics and Astronomy.

    A promising future

    Prior to this detection, only one other gamma-ray binary with a known pulsar had been detected. In both cases, particles are accelerated in the shock created between the stellar wind and the pulsar wind and produce the gamma-ray emission. “The knowledge of the nature of the compact object allows to properly study particle acceleration mechanisms and gamma-ray emission models”, explains Oscar Blanch Bigas, researcher at the Institut de Física d’Altes Energies (IFAE).

    The Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA), the next-generation Cherenkov observatory that has just inaugurated the prototype of what may be its first Large Size Telescope (LST-1) at the ORM, will help detect new gamma-ray binaries.

    MAGIC Cherenkov Large Size Telescope LST-1gamma ray telescope on the Canary island of La Palma, Spain, Altitude 2,200 m (7,200 ft)

    “With an estimated population of about 100-200 gamma-ray binaries in the Galaxy, CTA will probably unveil the nature of these systems and reveal new insights into the evolution of binaries”, concludes Javier Herrera Llorente, a researcher who participated in the study and manager of the CTA project at the IAC.

    The Spanish scientific community has been participating in MAGIC since its inception through a number of public research centres, among them the IAC, the IFAE, the Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona (UAB), the Universidad de Barcelona (UB) and the Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM). In addition the data centre for MAGIC is the Port d’Informació Científica (PIC), a collaboration between the IFAE and the Centro de Investigaciones Energéticas, Medioambientales y Tecnológicas (CIEMAT).

    See the full article here.


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


    Stem Education Coalition

    The Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias(IAC) is an international research centre in Spain which comprises:

    The Instituto de Astrofísica, the headquarters, which is in La Laguna (Tenerife).
    The Centro de Astrofísica en La Palma (CALP)
    The Observatorio del Teide (OT), in Izaña (Tenerife).

    These centres, with all the facilities they bring together, make up the European Northern Observatory(ENO).

    The IAC is constituted administratively as a Public Consortium, created by statute in 1982, with involvement from the Spanish Government, the Government of the Canary Islands, the University of La Laguna and Spain’s Science Research Council (CSIC).

    The International Scientific Committee (CCI) manages participation in the observatories by institutions from other countries. A Time Allocation Committee (CAT) allocates the observing time reserved for Spain at the telescopes in the IAC’s observatories.

    The exceptional quality of the sky over the Canaries for astronomical observations is protected by law. The IAC’s Sky Quality Protection Office (OTPC) regulates the application of the law and its Sky Quality Group continuously monitors the parameters that define observing quality at the IAC Observatories.

    The IAC’s research programme includes astrophysical research and technological development projects.

    The IAC is also involved in researcher training, university teaching and outreachactivities.

    The IAC has devoted much energy to developing technology for the design and construction of a large 10.4 metre diameter telescope, the ( Gran Telescopio CANARIAS, GTC), which is sited at the Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos.



    Gran Telescopio Canarias at the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory on the island of La Palma, in the Canaries, Spain Gran Telescopio CANARIAS, GTC

     
  • richardmitnick 8:47 am on November 14, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , IAC-Institute of Astrophysics of the Canary Islands, NGC 1291   

    From Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias – IAC: “Galaxies like Russian dolls” 

    IAC

    From Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias – IAC

    Nov. 12, 2018

    Jairo Méndez Abreu and Adriana de Lorenzo-Cáceres, researchers at the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC), have discovered a peanut-shaped structure in the inner bar of a double-barred galaxy close to the Milky Way. Structures of this type, previously detected only in outer, or single, bars are useful tracers of the evolution of the galaxies.

    1

    The complexity of the shapes and structures found within spiral galaxies has fascinated astronomers for decades, and is a key to the understanding of their evolution. One example of this complexity is the galaxy NGC 1291.

    2

    This composite image of NGC 1291 is processed primarily from data collected by NASA’s Galaxy Evolution Explorer in December 2003.

    NASA/Galex telescope

    The blue in this image is ultraviolet light captured by GALEX’s long wavelength detector, the green is ultraviolet light detected by its short wavelength detector, and the red in the image is visible light courtesy of data from the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile.

    Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory on Cerro Tololo in the Coquimbo Region of northern Chile Altitude 2,207 m (7,241 ft)

    NGC 1291 , also known as NGC 1269, is a ring galaxy with an unusual inner bar and outer ring structure located about 33 million light-years away in the constellation Eridanus. It was discovered by James Dunlop in 1826 and subsequently entered into the New General Catalogue as NGC 1291 by Johan Ludvig Emil Dreyer. John Herschel then observed the same object in 1836 and entered it into the catalog as NGC 1269 without realizing that it was a duplicate. This galaxy was cited as an example of a “transitional galaxy” by NASA’s Galaxy Evolution Explorer team in 2007.

    The French astronomer Gerard de Vaucouleurs discovered in this galaxy for the first time a system in which there are two stellar bars, and he identified a pattern, which he termed “lens-bar-nucleus”, which is repeated in the outer and the inner part of the galaxy. This structure in the form of a Russian doll composed of two bars is basic for understanding the internal evolution of the galaxies, and how they fuel the supermassive black holes at their centres.

    It is in this same galaxy where it has been shown for the first time that there is a peanut-shaped structure in the inner bar. These structures are caused by vertical motions of the stars in the bar, and they are so called because of their boxy or peanut shape when the galaxy is observed sideways on. However until now this type of structures had been detected only in the outer bars of double-barred galaxies, or in individual bars such as that in the Milky Way.

    This work has been carried out within the international TIMER project, in which three IAC researchers are participating. The observations have been performed on the MUSE spectrograph on the Very Large Telescope (VLT) at the European Southern Observatory (ESO), and have shown that peanut-shaped structures can also form inside inner bars.

    ESO MUSE on the VLT on Yepun (UT4),

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

    “This is important” explains Jairo Méndez Abreu, an IAC researcher and the first author of this work published today in the prestigious scientific journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (MNRAS), “because it shows that some galaxies are like Russian dolls, with internal structures the same as external structures except for their smaller size” These results also show that the inner bar is following the same evolutionary path as the outer bar.

    “The presence of an X-shaped structure in the inner bar of NGC 1291 implies that these can be stable structures which last for thousands of millions of years” explains Adriana de Lorenzo-Cáceres, also a researcher at the IAC and the second author of the article. This means that they have a long time in which to take gas into the centre of the galaxy, and supports the idea that they “feed” supermassive black holes, although this has not been confirmed by observations.

    See the full article here.


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


    Stem Education Coalition

    The Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias(IAC) is an international research centre in Spain which comprises:

    The Instituto de Astrofísica, the headquarters, which is in La Laguna (Tenerife).
    The Centro de Astrofísica en La Palma (CALP)
    The Observatorio del Teide (OT), in Izaña (Tenerife).

    These centres, with all the facilities they bring together, make up the European Northern Observatory(ENO).

    The IAC is constituted administratively as a Public Consortium, created by statute in 1982, with involvement from the Spanish Government, the Government of the Canary Islands, the University of La Laguna and Spain’s Science Research Council (CSIC).

    The International Scientific Committee (CCI) manages participation in the observatories by institutions from other countries. A Time Allocation Committee (CAT) allocates the observing time reserved for Spain at the telescopes in the IAC’s observatories.

    The exceptional quality of the sky over the Canaries for astronomical observations is protected by law. The IAC’s Sky Quality Protection Office (OTPC) regulates the application of the law and its Sky Quality Group continuously monitors the parameters that define observing quality at the IAC Observatories.

    The IAC’s research programme includes astrophysical research and technological development projects.

    The IAC is also involved in researcher training, university teaching and outreachactivities.

    The IAC has devoted much energy to developing technology for the design and construction of a large 10.4 metre diameter telescope, the ( Gran Telescopio CANARIAS, GTC), which is sited at the Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos.



    Gran Telescopio Canarias at the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory on the island of La Palma, in the Canaries, SpainGran Telescopio CANARIAS, GTC

     
  • richardmitnick 1:56 pm on November 8, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Aluminum oxide in ultrahot Jupiter, , , , , , IAC-Institute of Astrophysics of the Canary Islands   

    From Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias – IAC: “aluminum oxide in ultrahot Jupiter” 

    IAC

    From Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias – IAC

    11/8/18
    Manu Garcia

    The exoplanet WASP-33b

    1
    Artistic simulation of a “hot Jupiter”. Credit: Gabriel Perez Diaz, SMM (IAC).

    An international team led by astrophysicist Carolina von Essen, has used the OSIRIS, the Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC) instrument to study the chemical composition of a planet whose temperature is around 3,200 ° C.

    IAC Gran Telescopio Canarias OSIRIS spectrograph

    IAC GTC OSIRIS instrument assembled in the simulator IAC Nasmyth rotator during the testing phase. Credit IAC.

    WASP-33 star has a planet orbiting around the exoplanet WASP-33b. Both are about 380 light years from Earth. This star is a Delta Scuti, which means that presents pulsations completely distorted planetary transits, one of the methodologies used by astrophysicists to detect planets orbiting their stars, making it extremely difficult detailed characterization of the exoplanet.

    The exoplanet WASP-33b, the protagonist of this study presents a number of features that make it unique and interesting. Its equilibrium temperature is around 3,200 ° C, which means it is a ultrahot Jupiter . In addition, this planet goes around its star every 1.22 days. Interestingly, its orbit is nearly perpendicular to the plane of rotation of the star and also the direction of translation of exoplaneta is contrary to the rotation of the star.

    The study published in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics analyzes its chemical composition. This is important because “what models predict exoplanet atmospheres available to us today is that the ultra -hot Júpiteres should be free of clouds and present a variety of oxides in the visible, such as vanadium oxide, titanium oxide and aluminum oxide , “says Carolina von Essen, the University of Aarhus (Denmark), principal investigator of this study. “However , he adds, there are a limited number of exoplanets where these molecules have been detected significantly, which makes us question our models.”

    The detailed characterization of the chemical composition of such exoplanets help determine whether exoplanet atmospheres models correctly predict their chemical composition or whether we should correct them as we carrying out new discoveries. There is an important symbiosis between models and observations; and a good example is the work, in which the first sign of aluminum oxide present in the atmosphere of WASP-33b is notified, which would confirm the presence of this oxide in exoplanet atmospheres, as predicted by theory.

    the testing phase. Credit: IAC.
    To carry out this research has used the OSIRIS spectrograph, installed in the Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC), the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory (Garafía, La Palma).

    “The sensitivity and performance of GTC and OSIRIS have been key to the success of these observations,” says Herve Bouy, co-author of this article, “It is precisely this combination that makes the GTC is being in recent years a reference in studying exoplanet atmospheres, “adds Antonio Cabrera Lavers, Head of Scientific Operations of GTC.

    With this instrumentation data collected have allowed to create a physical model of the planet taking into account the pulsations of the star and its amplitude as a function of wavelength. “Using modern methods and detailed to determine the chemical composition of WASP-33b He points von Essen- found that the feature observed in the transmission spectrum between 450 and 550 nm may be better represented with aluminum oxide exoplanet atmosphere” . The computer has not found significant evidence of other molecules and a high abundance of aluminum oxide, so that new observations of its spectrum with both ground-based telescopes and instruments in the space to confirm this detection will be needed.

    See the full article here.


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


    Stem Education Coalition

    The Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias(IAC) is an international research centre in Spain which comprises:

    The Instituto de Astrofísica, the headquarters, which is in La Laguna (Tenerife).
    The Centro de Astrofísica en La Palma (CALP)
    The Observatorio del Teide (OT), in Izaña (Tenerife).

    These centres, with all the facilities they bring together, make up the European Northern Observatory(ENO).

    The IAC is constituted administratively as a Public Consortium, created by statute in 1982, with involvement from the Spanish Government, the Government of the Canary Islands, the University of La Laguna and Spain’s Science Research Council (CSIC).

    The International Scientific Committee (CCI) manages participation in the observatories by institutions from other countries. A Time Allocation Committee (CAT) allocates the observing time reserved for Spain at the telescopes in the IAC’s observatories.

    The exceptional quality of the sky over the Canaries for astronomical observations is protected by law. The IAC’s Sky Quality Protection Office (OTPC) regulates the application of the law and its Sky Quality Group continuously monitors the parameters that define observing quality at the IAC Observatories.

    The IAC’s research programme includes astrophysical research and technological development projects.

    The IAC is also involved in researcher training, university teaching and outreachactivities.

    The IAC has devoted much energy to developing technology for the design and construction of a large 10.4 metre diameter telescope, the ( Gran Telescopio CANARIAS, GTC), which is sited at the Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos.



    Gran Telescopio Canarias at the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory on the island of La Palma, in the Canaries, SpainGran Telescopio CANARIAS, GTC

     
  • richardmitnick 12:26 pm on October 14, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Cherenkov Telescope Network (CTA acronym), IAC-Institute of Astrophysics of the Canary Islands, , Telescope LST-1 in the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory (ORM) La Palma, This network will be dedicated to the observation of high energy gamma and consist very over 100 telescopes three different sizes located in the two hemispheres   

    From Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias via Manu Garcia at IAC: “Opening telescope LST-1 in La Palma” 


    From Manu Garcia, a friend from IAC.

    The universe around us.
    Astronomy, everything you wanted to know about our local universe and never dared to ask.

    IAC

    From Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias – IAC

    1
    Telescope LST-1 in the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory (ORM), La Palma. Credit: Ivan Jimenez Montalvo.

    The prototype of the four large telescopes that will be part of the North CTA network, called LST-1, is inaugurated at the Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos on 10 October 2,018 at the Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos. The event will be attended by political authorities and senior representatives of scientific institutions from Japan, Germany and Spain, the main countries involved in its construction.

    On 10 October 2018 at 14:00 hours, at the Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos (Garafía, La Palma), a new scientific infrastructure, the LST-1, a prototype telescope large (will open Size Large Telescopes) is expected to be part of the Cherenkov Telescope Network (CTA acronym). This network will be dedicated to the observation of high energy gamma and consist very over 100 telescopes, three different sizes, located in the two hemispheres rays. Simultaneously with the opening throughout the week various scientific meetings related to astrophysics that studies the most energetic phenomena in the Universe they will be held.

    Among the 200 guests attending the opening ceremony are representatives of the various centers that are part of the CTA consortium and sub-consortium building the LST, members of institutions using the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory (ORM) and a broad representation of political authorities.

    The ceremony will be conducted by the administrator ORM, Juan Carlos Pérez Arencibia, start with opening speeches. The event will intervene (in this order): Rafael Rebolo, director of the Institute of Astrophysics of the Canary Islands (IAC); Federico Ferrini, managing director of LtOrd; Masahiro Teshima, director of the Max Planck Institute for Physics in Munich, principal investigator and spokesman collaboration LST; Takaaki Kajita, director of the Institute for Cosmic Ray Research (ICRR Tokyo) and 2015 Nobel Prize in Physics; Masashi Haneda, vice president of the University of Tokyo; Takeshi Nakajima, Consul General of Japan in the Canary Islands; Anselmo Pestana, President of the Cabildo Insular de La Palma; Lady Nieves Barreto, Minister of Territorial Policy of the Government of the Canary Islands; and Pedro Duque, Minister for Science, Innovation and Universities of the Government of Spain.

    2
    Roque de los Muchachos Observatory in Garafia, La Palma (Gran Canaria) Spain.
    Credit: IAC.

    After the speeches, there will be cutting ceremony to multiple tape, which the mayor of the municipality of Garafía, Yeray Rodriguez will be invited. President of the Steering Committee of the LST, Manel Martinez, will be in charge of conducting the event, to be held following a Japanese ritual in which participants, armed with scissors and white gloves shall stand and line in front of a tape red with rosettes and cut at the same time, each of the sections.

    A telescope unprecedented.

    The LST, a mirror 23 m in diameter, are the largest telescopes CTA network. The LST-1 is the prototype of such four telescopes to be installed in the North observatory, located in ORM, and are surrounded by various telescopes 12 m diameter or Medium Size Telescopes (MST). In Southern Observatory in Chile, and these two types of telescopes, it is installed a third type of 6 m in diameter called Small Size Telescopes (SST). Altogether, CTA can detect with accuracy and sensitivity unprecedented gamma in a wide range of energy rays, which will provide a whole new view of the sky.

    The LST-1 has a reflective surface 400 m2 sustained by a structure of tubes carbon fiber and steel. It is 45 m tall and weighs about 100 tonnes. However, it is extremely agile, with the ability to reposition itself in 20 seconds to capture signals gamma-ray bursts (GRB, its acronym in English). Gamma rays generally very high energy that will detect the LST come from distant objects beyond our galaxy, as active galaxy nuclei (AGN, for its acronym in English).

    3
    nother perspective Telescope LST-1 in the Roque of the
    Boys (ORM), La Palma. Credit: Ivan Jimenez Montalvo.

    The LST project team consists of more than 200 scientists from ten countries. Japan, Germany and Spain are the largest contributors of LST consortium, which also includes France, Italy, Brazil, Sweden, India and Croatia. In Spain are part of the collaboration the Institute of Astrophysics of the Canary Islands (IAC), the Institut d’Altes Energies Physics (IHEP), the Center for Environmental and Technological Research (CIEMAT), the Institut de Ciències de l’Espai (ICE ), the Complutense University of Madrid (High Energy Group, UCM-GAE and Electronics, UCM-ELEC), the University of Barcelona (Departament d’Astronomia i Meteorologia, ICC-UB), the Port de Informació Científica (PIC) and the University of Jaen.

    Scientific meetings.

    In addition to the opening of the LST-1, and taking advantage of the presence in the palm of a large number of scientists from around the world dedicated to the study of astrophysics of high energies, they have organized various specialized meetings in this area of ​​research They will celebrate, throughout the week at the Hotel H10 Taburiente Playa de Santa Cruz de La Palma. On Thursday, 11 October, will take place on “Frontiers of Astroparticle Physics” symposium, with the participation of renowned experts, such as Nobel Prize in Physics 2015, Takaaki Kajita and scientist Planck project at the European Space Research and Technology Center (ESTEC), Jan Tauber, and the principal investigator of the CTA network in the IAC, Ramon Garcia Lopez, and the director of GTC, Romano Corradi.

    In addition, on Friday, October 12, will begin the course “Extreme Universe seen in gamma very high energy 2018 rays”, organized by the ICRR and the University of Tokyo, which will discuss the important role they play network CTA in the development of multimensajero astronomy and theoretical and observational aspects related to the study of the most energetic universe will be displayed. also, on 12 and 13 October, the meeting of the International Forum of Astroparticle Physics (APIF will be held for their acronym in English), organized by the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology (KIPAC), the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University.

    Contacts:

    Ramón García López, Principal Investigator of the CTA network in the IAC: rgl@iac.es
    Monica Vazquez Acosta, senior scientist at the IAC in the LST project: monicava@iac.es

    See the full article here.


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    Stem Education Coalition

    The Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias(IAC) is an international research centre in Spain which comprises:

    The Instituto de Astrofísica, the headquarters, which is in La Laguna (Tenerife).
    The Centro de Astrofísica en La Palma (CALP)
    The Observatorio del Teide (OT), in Izaña (Tenerife).


    Roque de los Muchachos Observatory is an astronomical observatory located in the municipality of Garafía on the island of La Palma in the Canary Islands, at an altitude of 2,396 m (7,861 ft)

    These centres, with all the facilities they bring together, make up the European Northern Observatory(ENO).

    The IAC is constituted administratively as a Public Consortium, created by statute in 1982, with involvement from the Spanish Government, the Government of the Canary Islands, the University of La Laguna and Spain’s Science Research Council (CSIC).

    The International Scientific Committee (CCI) manages participation in the observatories by institutions from other countries. A Time Allocation Committee (CAT) allocates the observing time reserved for Spain at the telescopes in the IAC’s observatories.

    The exceptional quality of the sky over the Canaries for astronomical observations is protected by law. The IAC’s Sky Quality Protection Office (OTPC) regulates the application of the law and its Sky Quality Group continuously monitors the parameters that define observing quality at the IAC Observatories.

    The IAC’s research programme includes astrophysical research and technological development projects.

    The IAC is also involved in researcher training, university teaching and outreachactivities.

    The IAC has devoted much energy to developing technology for the design and construction of a large 10.4 metre diameter telescope, the ( Gran Telescopio CANARIAS, GTC), which is sited at the Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos.



    Gran Telescopio Canarias at the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory on the island of La Palma, in the Canaries, SpainGran Telescopio CANARIAS, GTC

     
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