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  • richardmitnick 5:21 pm on January 18, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , IAC-Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, , The observation of a rare hypernova   

    From Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias – IAC: “The observation of a rare hypernova, complete the story of the death of the most massive stars. 

    IAC

    From Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias – IAC

    8/1/19
    Manu Astrónomus

    Contact:
    Institute of Astrophysics of Andalusia (IAA-CSIC)
    Dissemination and Communication Unit
    Silbia Lopez de Lacalle – sll@iaa.es – 958230676
    https://www.iaa.csic.es
    https://divulgacion.iaa.csic.es

    [I have done my best to correct the translation.]

    1
    Explosion image obtained by the Gran Telescopio Canarias in the period of maximum brightness of the event.

    A study led by the Institute of Astrophysics of Andalusia (IAA-CSIC) and published in Nature, studied in detail to the life of a star, which produces a gamma – ray burst (GRB) and a hypernovae.

    The end of the life of stars holds placid scenarios in the case of low-mass stars like the sun. Not so in the case of very massive stars, which undergo explosive events so intense that they can get to outshine all the galaxy that hosts. An international group of astronomers has studied in detail the end of a massive star that has been a gamma-ray burst (GRB) and hypernovae, which has detected a new component in this type of phenomena. The study, published in the journal Nature [above], provides the link to complete the story that links hypernovae with GRBs.

    “In 1998 the first hypernovae was detected, a version of the very energy supernovae, which followed a burst of gamma rays and which was the first evidence of the connection between the two phenomena” says Luca Izzo Institute investigator Andalusia Astrophysics (IAA-CSIC) headed the study.

    The proposed scenario to explain the phenomenon involved a star of more than twenty solar masses, to exhaust their fuel undergoes a process of core collapse. To collapse on itself, the core generates a black hole or neutron stars, while two polar jets of matter that cross the outer layers of the star and, emerging into the medium, produce gamma ray bursts occur ( GRBs). Hypernovae finally burst, which can be tens of times more intense than a supernova occurs.

    2
    Hypernovae artistic representation. The interaction of the jet
    with the outer layers of the star forms a sheath around
    the jet head and begins to spread laterally with respect
    to the jet direction. The jet is able to completely pierce the
    shell of the parent star, issue the issuance of a type of high – energy,
    responsible for GRB. Source: Anna Serena Esposito.

    But, even after twenty years of studying the relationship between GRBs and hypernovae seems clear, it is not met in the opposite direction, as they have detected several hypernovae not have associated gamma-ray bursts. “This work has allowed us to identify the missing link between these two subtypes hypernovae in the form of a new component: a kind of hot envelope is formed around the jet according propagates through the parent star -apunta Izzo (IAA CSIC) -. The jet transfers a significant part of its energy to the shell and, if it goes through the surface of the star will produce gamma ray emission we identify as GRB “.

    However, the jet may spoil within the star and not emerge to medium lacking sufficient energy, a circumstance occurs hypernovae but not a GRB. Thus, the casing detected in this investigation represents the link between the two subtypes hypernovae studied so far, and these “jets damped” (English choked-jets) naturally explain the differences.

    EVENT HISTORY

    On December 5 the GRB171205A outbreak was detected in a galaxy located just five hundred million light years from Earth, making it the fourth GRB nearest known. “Phenomena of this kind occur on average once every ten years, so immediately began an intense campaign observation with the Gran Telescopio Canarias to observe the emerging hypernovae from the early stages -apunta Christina Thöne, researcher at the Institute of Astrophysics of Andalusia ( IAA-CSIC) participating in the hallazgo-. In fact, it is the earliest detection of a hypernovae to date, less than a day after the collapse of the star. ”

    And indeed, once the first evidence of the presence of a hypernovae were observed. “This was possible because the luminosity of the jets was much weaker than normal because usually outshine the emission of the supernova He points during the first week Antonio de Ugarte Postigo, researcher at the Institute of Astrophysics of Andalusia (IAA-CSIC) participating in the hallazgo-. However, a peculiar hypernovae, was already showing very high growth rates and a different chemical abundances to those recorded in similar events “.

    This unique chemical composition and velocities associated fit the existence of a jet surrounded by an envelope that cuts on the surface of the star, which had been predicted earlier but had not yet observed. Sheath accompanying the jet during the first days drag material from the interior of the star, and in the case study allowed us to determine its chemical structure. After a few days, this comoponent disappeared and hypernovae evolved similarly to those observed previously.

    The total energy emitted by the envelope was higher than the GRB, which implies that the jet deposited much of its energy in it. But also it shows that the energy of GRB depends on the interaction of the jet with stellar material and this new component, the wrapper. And also highlights the need to review the model: “While the standard model supernovae core collapse leads to nearly spherical explosions, evidence of such energy emission produced by a sheath of this type suggests that the jet plays an important role in central collapse supernovae, and we need to take into account the role of the jet explosion models of supernovae, “says Izzo (IAA-CSIC).

    This study was coordinated by researchers from the group Phenomena Transients High Energy and Environment (High-Energy Transients and Their Hosts, HETH) of the IAA-CSIC. Christina headed by Thöne, studying the physics of transient astronomical phenomena, the environment in which they occur and the galaxies that host them.

    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

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  • richardmitnick 10:44 am on January 14, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: A giant interstellar bubble being grown in the Andromeda Galaxy, , , ‘M31N 2008–12a’ a recurrent nova located in our neighbouring Andromeda Galaxy, , , IAC-Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, ,   

    From Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias – IAC via Manu Garcia: “A giant interstellar bubble being grown in the Andromeda Galaxy” 


    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

    Jan. 9, 2019
    Pablo Rodríguez-Gil
    prguez@iac.es

    An international team of astrophysicists that includes researchers at the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) and the University of La Laguna (ULL) has uncovered an enormous bubble current being ‘blown’ by the regular eruptions from a binary star system within the Andromeda Galaxy. The results have been published today in Nature.

    1

    Observations with the Liverpool Telescope and Hubble Space Telescope, supported by spectroscopy from the Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC) and the Hobby–Eberly Telescope (some of the largest astronomy facilities on Earth), discovered this enormous shell-like nebula surrounding ‘M31N 2008–12a’, a recurrent nova located in our neighbouring Andromeda Galaxy.

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


    Liverpool Telescope at the Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos, altitude 2,363 m (7,753 ft)

    NASA/ESA Hubble Telescope

    At almost 400 light years across ––and still growing, this shell is far bigger than a typical nova remnant (usually around a light year in size) and even larger than most supernova remnants.

    Lead author Dr Matt Darnley, Reader in Time Domain Astrophysics at Liverpool John Moores University’s (LJMU) Astrophysics Research Institute explains: “Each year ‘12a’ (as we lovingly refer to it) undergoes a thermonuclear eruption on the surface of its white dwarf. These are essentially hydrogen bombs, which eject material equivalent to about the mass of the Moon in all directions at a few 1000 kilometres per second. These ejecta act like a snow plough, piling the surrounding interstellar medium up to form the shell we observe ––the outer ‘skin’ of the bubble, or the ‘super-remnant’ as we have named it.”

    These new observations coupled with state-of-the-art hydrodynamic simulations (carried out at LJMU and the University of Manchester) have revealed that this vast shell is in fact the remains of not just one nova eruption but possibly millions ––all from the same system.

    Despite its uniqueness and staggering scale, the discovery of this super-remnant may have further significance. Dr Matt Darnley continued: “Studying 12a and its super-remnant could help us to understand how some white dwarfs grow to their critical upper mass and how they actually explode once they get there as a ‘type Ia supernova’. Type Ia supernovae are critical tools used to work out how the universe expands and grows.”

    Dr Rebekah Hounsell, second author of this study and a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Pennsylvania, was at the Space Telescope Science Institute when she took part in the research. She explains: “Type Ia supernovae are some of the largest explosions in the Universe and our most mature cosmological probes. The recurrent novae M31N 2008–12a is the most likely type Ia supernova progenitor to date and provides us with the unique opportunity to study such a system before its final demise. Lying within our nearest galactic spiral neighbour, Andromeda, the explosion of 12a would be one of the closest supernovae observed by telescopes. The last observed supernova within our own galaxy occurred in 1604.”

    “In a previous work we predicted that 12a will ultimately explode as a type Ia supernova in less than 20,000 years ––a very short time in cosmological terms. But, in the meantime, we will continue to monitor the next nova eruptions of this system”, explains Dr Pablo Rodríguez-Gil, co-author of the paper, researcher at the IAC, and associate professor at the ULL. “A missing piece of the puzzle is the nature of the companion star that provides the material to the white dwarf. It is extremely faint, but its detection is within the reach of the largest telescopes, such as GTC. This is a crucial next step toward our understanding and ultimate fate of this recurrent nova”.

    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 10:27 am on January 3, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , IAC-Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, The Saturn Nebula NGC 7009 reveals its complexity   

    From Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias – IAC: “The Saturn Nebula reveals its complexity” 

    IAC

    From Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias – IAC

    Dec. 18, 2018

    The IAC has participated in a study that shows unexpected complexity in the distribution of gas and dust in one of the brightest planetary nebulae in the sky.

    1

    A planetary nebula is the corpse that remains when a star, like our Sun, dies. When planetary nebulae were observed for the first time with a telescope, they presented a roughly circular shape, resembling that of the gas giant planets. Hence their name, which remains in use even though they are very different from planets. The article published recently by Astronomy & Astrophysics, and tagged such a “highlight”, is the first detailed study of a galactic planetary nebula with the MUSE integral field spectrograph on ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT).

    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 work has revealed an unexpected complexity in the gas and dust expelled by a giant red star at the end of its life. The distribution of temperatures and densities within the nebula challenges current techniques to unravel the history of the formation processes and demonstrates the potential of the MUSE instrument to revise research concerning planetary nebulae.

    The appearance of the nebula NGC 7009, known as the Saturn Nebula because of its resemblance to the ringed planet, hints at its complexity. This nebula shows a series of structures, associated with different atoms and ions. “The study revealed that these structures represent real differences in properties within the nebula, such as higher and lower density, as well as higher and lower temperatures,” explains Jeremy Walsh, researcher at the European Southern Observatory (ESO) and first author of the study. Walsh reports one of the implications is that “historical – and simpler – studies based on the morphological appearance of planetary nebulae seem to signal important links to the underlying conditions within the gas.”

    With a single shot, MUSE can obtain 900000 spectra of tiny patches of the sky, which can provide enough data for years of analysis. By disentangling the information buried in this huge amount of spectra, the team responsible for the investigation has obtained maps of up to four temperatures and three densities, all of them different, showing that the gas inside this nebula is by no means uniform.

    “The presence of dust within a nebula could also be deduced from the change in color between different emission lines of hydrogen, whose expected color can be determined by atomic theory,” says Ana Monreal Ibero, second author of the article and researcher at the IAC. She adds: “Our team found that the distribution of dust in the nebula is not uniform, but shows a drop at the rim of the inner gas shell. This result suggests sharp changes in the ejection of dust during the last death rattles of the solar-type star or, alternatively, of local dust formation and destruction.

    On the other hand, helium is an element which is expected to be uniformly ejected from the old star. This expectation was tested by the authors who mapped the amount of this element in NGC 7009. Interestingly, they found apparent variations following the shell morphology of the nebula. “This implies that current methods of determining helium need improvement, or that the assumption that the abundance is uniform should be rejected.” says Monreal Ibero.

    These conclusions show the important role for MUSE in the study of planetary nebulae and opens the door for similar work on more nebulae. Such studies should allow for more general conclusions leading to improvements in understanding of nebulae throughout the Universe.

    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 8:48 am on August 20, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , IAC-Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, KELT-9b   

    From IAC via COSMOS: “The planet KELT-9b literally has an iron sky” 

    IAC

    From Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias – IAC

    via

    COSMOS

    20 August 2018
    Ben Lewis

    1
    The Gran Telescopio Canarias on Las Palma in the Canary Islands was instrumental in determining the constituents of the exoplanet’s atmosphere. Dominic Dähncke/Getty Images

    KELT-9b, one of the most unlikely planets ever discovered, has surprised astronomers yet again with the discovery that its atmosphere contains the metals iron and titanium, according to research published in the journal Nature.

    2
    NASA/JPL-Caltech

    The planet is truly like no other. Located around 620 light-years away from Earth in the constellation Cygnus, it is known as a Hot Jupiter – which gives a hint to its nature. Nearly three times the size of Jupiter, its surface temperature tops 3780 degrees Celsius – the hottest exoplanet ever discovered. It is even hotter than the surface of some stars. In some ways it straddles the line between a star and a gas-giant exoplanet.

    And it’s that super-hot temperature, created by a very close orbit to its host star, that allows the metals to become gaseous and fill the atmosphere, say the findings from a team led by Jens Hoeijmakers of the University of Geneva in Switzerland.

    On the night of 31 July 2017, as KELT-9b passed across the face of its star, the HARPS-North spectrograph attached to the Telescopio Nazionale Galileo, located the Spanish Canary Island of La Palma, began watching. The telescope recorded changes in colour in the planet’s atmosphere, the result of chemicals with different light-filtering properties.

    Telescopio Nazionale Galileo – Harps North


    Telescopio Nazionale Galileo a 3.58-meter Italian telescope, located at the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory on the island of La Palma in the Canary Islands, Spain, Altitude 2,396 m (7,861 ft)

    By subtracting the plain starlight from the light that had passed through the atmosphere, the team were left with a spectrograph of its chemical make-up.

    They then homed in on titanium and iron, because the relative abundances of uncharged and charged atoms tend to change dramatically at the temperatures seen on KELT-9b. After a complex process of analysis and cross-correlation of results, they saw dramatic peaks in the ionised forms of both metals.

    It has been long suspected that iron and titanium exist on some exoplanets, but to date they have been difficult to detect. Somewhat like Earth, where the two elements are mostly found in solid form, the cooler conditions of most exoplanets means that the iron and titanium atoms are generally “trapped in other molecules,” as co-author Kevin Heng from the University of Bern in Switzerland recently told Space.com.

    However, the permanent heatwave on KELT-9b means the metals are floating in the atmosphere as individual charged atoms, unable to condense or form compounds.

    While this is the first time iron has been detected in an exoplanet’s atmosphere, titanium has previously been detected in the form of titanium dioxide on Kepler 13Ab, another Hot Jupiter. The discovery on KELT-9b however, is the first detection of elemental titanium in an atmosphere.

    KELT-9b’s atmosphere is also known to contain hydrogen, which was easily identifiable without requiring the type of complex analysis needed to identify iron and titanium. However, a study in July [Nature Astronomy] found that the hydrogen is literally boiling off the planet, leading to the hypothesis that its escape could also be dragging the metals higher into the atmosphere, making their detection easier.

    Further studies into KELT-9b’s atmosphere are continuing, with suggestions that announcements of other metals could be forthcoming. In addition, the complex analysis required in this study could be useful for identifying obscure components in the atmospheres of other planets.

    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).
    The Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos (ORM), in Garafía (La Palma).

    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

     
  • richardmitnick 7:29 pm on April 11, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Daniel Lopez / IAC, IAC-Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, , The Seven Sisters- Pleiades   

    From IAC via Manu: “The splendor of the Seven Sisters” 


    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

    Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias – IAC

    1
    Pleiades labeled. Credit: Daniel López.
    This image of star cluster of the Pleiades is the fifth photograph obtained with Astrograph of the Communication and Scientific Culture of the IAC, installed in the Obsevatorio del Teide, under the “Niépce: from negative to positive” Project and will be part of the exhibition “100 square Moons”

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

    “And it came to going by where the seven goats are, and God and my soul like me in my childhood went on my cabrerizo earth, and saw them, gave me a desire to entertain them for a while, that If you do not comply I think that burst “- Chapter XLI of the Second Part of Don Quixote in which Sancho describes the Pleiades, during his imaginary journey through the sky with Don Quixote astride Clavileño.

    The stars are not born alone, but families of hundreds, thousands or millions of members from a colossal cloud of gas and dust that are forming clumps of matter will eventually resulting in bodies of all sizes, from stars giants, dozens of times larger than the Sun, small asteroids or tiny clumps of dust, through all kinds of exoplanets.

    These groups are a critical clue to understanding the universe, as the star of a star cluster have the same chemical composition, the same age and a similar location among them being exceptional laboratory to confirm theories of stellar evolution, determine distances Cosmos and define with great precision many other physical properties.

    Stars are spheres of material (plasma) in balance between two opposing forces: the gravity (which is contracting) and nuclear fusion energy (that is expand). Throughout life, stars fuse light atoms (such as hydrogen) into heavier (helium, carbon, nitrogen, oxygen), producing a large amount of energy at high temperatures allows them to shine. But bigger stars burn their fuel at a much faster rate than smaller, so they die earlier. Thus, determine the mass of the larger star who still lives in a star cluster allows us to date his age.

    The Pleiades are one of the star groups or asterisms nearest and easily identifiable in the sky, located in the constellation Taurus. They are also known as “The Seven Sisters” or the Seven Sisters (M45, Messier 45) , because they are the seven daughters of Atlas and Pleione, converted by Zeus in pigeons and then into stars to escape the constant harassment of Orion as Greek mythology. Although this cluster owns more than a thousand stars of all sizes, we can only identify between seven and nine stars with the naked eye, depending on the visual sensitivity of each observer and sky light pollution. The Pleiades are about eight times higher than the sun and its brightness is a thousand times greater than our star. However, using telescopes we can see much fainter stars because of its proximity (about 440 light years away), and even objects to the boundary between what is a very small star and a giant planet. In 1995, it was confirmed for the first time since the Observatorio del Teide (Izaña, Tenerife) the existence of a brown dwarf star in this star cluster, which Teide-1 was called in recognition of the place where it was discovered. Today we believe that 25% of existing stars can share these features, but only represent 2% of the total mass of the stars.

    The mass of the biggest stars present in the star cluster Messier 45 indicate a relative young age, about 120 million years. When the triple, the cluster stars have left the nest where they were born, going to blend into the anonymity offered by the hundred billion stars that make up our galaxy, the Milky Way.

    Credit:
    Daniel Lopez / IAC.

    See the full article here.

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    STEM Icon

    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).
    The Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos (ORM), in Garafía (La Palma).

    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

     
  • richardmitnick 8:37 am on April 4, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , GALÁCTICA, IAC-Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias   

    From IAC: “GALÁCTICA: The largest photo of the Milky Way available on the web” 

    My work for IAC would not be possible without the help of Manu Garcia.


    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

    Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias – IAC

    Apr. 3, 2018
    Miquel Serra-Ricart:
    mserra@iac.es.y
    922 605 750

    This FECYT-funded project of the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) has produced the largest panoramic view of our galaxy without using professional telescopes.

    1

      A digital reflex camera, a telephoto lens, and a night sky renowned worldwide for its quality and darkness. These are the ingredients of GALÁCTICA, an IAC project whose aim is to obtain a gigapan (a giant mosaic) of the Milky Way to be used for outreach. What makes it different from other similar maps of our galaxy is that this is the first time such a map has been produced without relying on the telescopes of large professional observatories.

      ‘Because of the exceptional atmospheric conditions of Teide Observatory, we were able to acquire high quality images,’ notes Doctor Miquel Serra Ricart, the project’s coordinator, as well as being Manager of the Teide Observatory and an IAC researcher. ‘We’re still analysing the final mosaic in search of small objects that we haven’t yet labelled,’ he adds.

      For a year, with a digital camera equipped with a telephoto lens, the team obtained the images that make up the final gigapan. The team has also published 50 images at high resolution of the main objects that form part of our galaxy’s fauna. Serra and his team are, ‘Very enthusiastic about the second part of the project, which take us to the dark skies of Namibia from where we shall complete GALÁCTICA.’

      Instrumentation and observing procedure

      A DSLR full-frame camera (a modified SONY A7S) equipped with a fast telephoto lens (Canon 200 mm f/1.8)was used to build up the panorama. A second camera, a modified SONY A7S (with a 400 mm f/2.8 telephoto lens) was used at the same time to make high resolution observations of 50 objects that form part of the galactic fauna catalogue.

      The two cameras mounted in tracking mode on the Open Outreach Telescope (Telescopio Abierto Divulgación, TAD).

      Open Outreach Telescope Telescopio Abierto Divulgación TAD on Mount Teide at 2,390 metres (7,840 ft), located on Tenerife, Spain.

      This robotic telescope is equipped with a Losmany Titan equatorial mount to compensate for motion caused by the Earth’s rotation and is located at Teide Observatory (Izaña, Tenerife)

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

      A total of seven months was dedicated to the work, and observations were made only on nights close to new moon. This required 50 nights’ observing, in which 186 hours were needed to produce the panoramic view and 50 hours for galactic fauna objects. The images acquired so far cover 70% of the Milky Way, from the molecular cloud complex of Orion to Antares in the constellation Scorpius. During the second half of 2018, the GALACTICA-S project, funded by FECYT, will map the remaining 30% of our galaxy.

      The GALÁCTICA project has been funded by the Fundación Española para la Ciencia y la Tecnología (FECYT) of Spain’s Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness.

      The IAC Observatories form part of Spain’s network of Special Scientific and Technical Infrastructures (Infraestructuras Científicas y Técnicas Singulares, ICTS).

      See the full article here.

      Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

      STEM Icon

      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).
      The Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos (ORM), in Garafía (La Palma).

      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

     
  • richardmitnick 12:36 pm on December 3, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , IAA-Institute of Astrophysics of Andalusia, IAC-Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, , New progress in determining the lifetime of massive stars   

    From Manu at IAC: ” New progress in determining the lifetime of massive stars” 


    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

    Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias – IAC

    25 October 2016

    The size of the core of the stars determines how much fuel is available and, therefore, how long will evolve and the lives of stars.

    1
    Determined the lifetime of massive stars. Credit: IAA.

    The stars draw their energy from fusion reactions taking place at its core, a region of extreme density and temperature. And in the nuclei of the most massive stars a phenomenon called “core overflow” which dramatically changes its evolutionary path, especially as regards their lifetime may occur. Now, a study led by the Institute of Astrophysics of Andalusia (IAA-CSIC) has measured the intensity of this effect and established a clear dependence on the mass of the star.

    2

    To determine how long a star lives need to know the type of stellar nuclear boiler and the type of thermonuclear reactions that occur in it. Stars produce energy through the fusion of hydrogen into helium, but the conditions for this reaction only are present in the core so occurs that the size of this will determine how much fuel is available star and, by extension, how live. And the size of the nucleus of stars depends on how energy is transported to the outer regions.

    In stars with more than 1.3 times the mass of the sun the energy produced in the core moves outwards by convection, similar to bubbling of boiling water. Are convective cells which carry the energy and traditionally has resorted to estimate the size of the core by a criterion based on the acceleration of the same: when this is zero, the motion ceases, which would set the limit core.

    “However, by inertia, these cells can still go a greater way than dictated by this criterion, resulting in increased core. As a result there will be more fuel available, extending the life of the stars, among other details,” said Antonio Claret , IAA-CSIC researcher who has conducted research.

    We can find an analogy of this phenomenon, called “overflow core” (English core overshooting ), in a bonfire in the field: in principle, the stake will only take place where firewood is but due to thermal movements or wind, fire can reach the foliage in the vicinity of the fire.

    3
    Eclipsing binary star system. Credit: IAA.

    “Since the overflow of the core alters both evolution and the lifetime of massive stars, determining its intensity and its possible dependence on the mass of the star is one of the challenges of modern astrophysics, said Claret (IAA-CSIC). to do this we must have very accurate data we can compare with theoretical calculations. in the past there have been some attempts but no conclusive results have been obtained mainly due to the scarcity of reliable observational data. ”

    A recent study by Claret & Torres (2017), published in The Astrophysical Journal, has examined the magnitude of core overshooting (overflow convective core) and was able to determine how depends on the mass of the star. The research focused on the diffusive approximation. In this process the convective elements dissolve by a diffusion process and, therefore, the region is not fully mixed. Article completes the previous study by the same authors examined the prescription ” step-function “. This latest analysis is based on a sample of twenty eclipsing binary stars located in the solar neighborhood and in the Magellanic Clouds. The researchers were able to infer the overflow of the core of the two stars in the binary system.

    Claret and Torres found that the magnitude of this effect increases for stars with between 1.2 and 2 times the mass of the sun, and then remains approximately constant for the most massive stars to about 4.5 solar masses, the upper limit of your sample. Behavior beyond 4.5 solar masses is not yet known. The general trend in terms of the mass is qualitatively similar to that found in the previous study using the approach ” step-function “. This allowed them to establish a connection between the two mechanisms.

    The study also examined the influence of two different mixtures of chemicals (opacities) in intensity overflow core and its dependence on the mass, and found that lead to essentially identical results. Similarly, Claret and Torres found that the proportion of primordial helium enrichment galactic law, describing how the abundance of helium in stars depends on the content of heavy elements, has little or no impact. Together with the results of the previous study, these new findings indicate that dependence on the mass phenomenon does not appear to be greatly affected by the basic physics adopted in the theoretical models of stellar evolution. Furthermore, through an analytical model, it has also failed to explain the pattern of changes in the size of convective cells due to the ” core overshooting ” establishing a connection with the stellar mass, the type of nuclear reactions, opacities and the state equation.

    The study represents an important step in our understanding of the convective core overflow forward and provides a much needed to develop future models of stellar evolution empirical guide. This has potential implications for ages inferred from the stars, and other physical properties depending on the models.

    See the full article here.

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    STEM Icon

    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).
    The Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos (ORM), in Garafía (La Palma).

    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 7:40 am on July 11, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , IAC-Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias,   

    From IAC via Manu Garcia: “A lens galaxy” 


    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

    Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias – IAC

    1
    Lensing galaxy. IAC.

    Thanks to the amplified image produced by a gravitational lens and the Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC), a scientific team from the Polytechnic University of Cartagena and the Institute of Astrophysics of the Canary Islands (IAC) discovers one of the brightest galaxies to date when the Universe was 20% of its current age.

    Gravitational Lensing NASA/ESA

    According to the theory of General Relativity Einstein, when a ray of light passes near a massive object, the severity of that object attracts photons and deviates from its initial course. This phenomenon, called gravitational lens is the same producing lenses on light rays and acts as a magnifying glass, increasing the size of the object.

    Using this effect, a scientific team from the Institute of Astrophysics of the Canary Islands (IAC), led by researcher Anastasio Diaz-Sanchez, of the Polytechnic University of Cartagena (UPCT) has discovered a distant galaxy, about 10 billion years light and about 1,000 times brighter than the Milky Way. It is the brightest known submillimeter galaxies called strong emission present in the far infrared. In his characterization he has participated the Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC) located at the Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos (Garafía, La Palma).

    “Thanks to the gravitational lens -said Anastasio Diaz Sánchez, researcher UPCT and first author of the study consists of a cluster of galaxies, which acts like a telescope, the galaxy is 11 times bigger and brighter than which it is actually and produce different images of the same on an arc centered on the mass of the cluster, known as “Einstein ring”. The advantage of this type of amplification is not distorted the spectral properties of light can be studied very distant objects as if they were closer. ”

    To find this galaxy, whose discovery was recently published in an article in Astrophysical Journal Letters, a search was realized across the sky combining databases of WISE (NASA) and Planck (ESA) satellites to identify brightest submillimeter galaxies.

    NASA/WISE Telescope

    ESA/Planck

    This light, amplified by a cluster of nearby galaxies that acts as a lens, gives an even greater apparent brightness of it actually has, and because of this effect might characterize their nature and properties spectroscopy using the GTC.

    2
    Roque de los Muchachos Observatory, Garafía, La Palma, Canary I slands, Spain.

    Forming stars at high speed.

    This galaxy stands out as having a high rate of star formation, ie, is generating stars whose total mass is about 1,000 times the mass of the sun. By way of comparison, the Milky Way form each year stars with a total mass of twice the Sun. In this regard, Susana Iglesias-Groth, astrophysics IAC and co-author, adds: “These types of objects are home to the most powerful star-forming regions known in the universe and the next step will be to study their molecular wealth”.

    The fact that the galaxy is so bright, is amplified and has multiple images will delve into its gut, something impossible to carry out otherwise in such remote galaxies.

    “In the future, we can do more detailed studies of stellar formation using interferometers as the Northern Extended Millimeter Array (NOEMA / IRAM) in France and the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA) in Chile,” says Helmut Dannerbahuer, researcher IAC has also contributed to this discovery.

    IRAM NOEMA interferometer, Located in the French Alpes on the wide and isolated Plateau de Bure at an elevation of 2550 meters

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

    Science paper: Discovery of a very bright submillimeter galaxy at z = 2.0439 by Anastasio Diaz Sanchez, Susana Iglesias Groth, Rafael Rebolo and Helmut Dannerbauer, 2017, ApJ Letter.

    See the full article here.

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    STEM Icon

    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).
    The Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos (ORM), in Garafía (La Palma).

    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 10:42 am on June 8, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , IAC-Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, , The globular cluster Messier 4   

    From Manu Garcia at IAC: “The heart of the scorpion” 

    IAC

    Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias – IAC


    Manu Garcia, a friend from IAC.

    1
    The globular cluster Messier 4, Credits: Daniel López / IAC.

    This Photograph, obtained with the remote astrograph of the iac’s scientific communication and culture unit in the framework of the project “Niépce: from negative to positive”, shows the beautiful palette of colors in the central region of this constellation.

    Few places in the sky, seen from the earth, have as many chromatic variety as the heart of the scorpion heart, whose brightest star is antares, the yellow star from the top slightly to the left of the image. The location of this constellation, close to the core of our galaxy, the milky way, is clear among the hundreds of thousands of stars that appear distributed evenly throughout the image. The color is given by the different types of dust and gas clouds present. The Red corresponds to the hydrogen regions aroused by the stars, emission nebulae. Blue and yellow, to star light reflected by gas and dust, reflection nebulae. The dark regions are dusty clouds retroiluminadas, so dense, they don’t let the light pass, Dark Nebulae.

    It highlights a particular object, fossil of the formation of our galaxy, the globular cluster Messier 4, a swarm of hundreds of thousands of stars surviving from the origin of the milky way, more than 12 billion years ago. A more detailed inspection of the image allows us to detect two more globular clusters: M 80 and NGC 6144. As almost always, we see objects located at different planes: the brightest stars and are the closest objects, in the first Flat, located about 500 Light-years away. The other stars of our galaxy’s record create a thick, Starry Mantle, while globular clusters are at various distances. M4 is the closest of the 150 Globular Clusters (old) known to orbit the milky way, finding some 7.000 Light-years away. M 80 and NGC 6144 are 4 OR 5 times further away, which is why they do not stand out in the image.

    Credits:
    Daniel López / IAC.

    See the full article here.

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    STEM Icon

    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).
    The Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos (ORM), in Garafía (La Palma).

    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 9:23 am on May 28, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , IAC-Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, , NGC 3314   

    From Manu Garcia: “A trick of perspective, a random lineup mimics a cosmic collision, NGC 3314 

    Manu Garcia

    1
    NGC 3314

    The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope at has produced a very detailed picture of a pair of overlapping galaxies, called NGC 3314. The two galaxies appear to be in the middle of a collision, this is just a trick of perspective, as it happens The two appear in the same direction from our point of view.

    NGC 3314 a and b can look like they’re in the middle of a galactic accumulation, but are actually separated by tens of millions of light years of emptiness. Apparent proximity is just a trick of perspective.

    How do we know this? The biggest suggestion about if the galaxies are interacting is usually their forms. The immense gravitational forces involved in galactic mergers are enough to get a galaxy out of shape long before that really. Skew a galaxy like this not only distorts their structure, but can trigger new episodes of star formation, usually visible as bright blue stars and nebulas. Brilliant.

    In the case of NGC 3314, we actually see deformation in the foreground galaxy (called NGC 3314, NGC 3314 b is on the bottom), but this is almost certainly misleading. THE DEFORMED SHAPE OF NGC 3314 a particularly visible below and to the right of the nucleus, where streams of white stars stretches and hot out of the spiral arms, is not due to the interaction with the galaxy at the bottom.

    Study of motion of the two galaxies indicates that they are both relatively undisturbed and that move independently of each other. This indicates that they are not, and in fact have never been in any collision course. How crooked of NGC 3314 is probably due to an encounter with another galaxy, maybe near NGC 3312 (visible north in wide field imaging) or another nearby galaxy.

    The alignment of the two galaxies is more than just a curiosity. Much affects the way in which the two galaxies we appear.

    Dust Lanes of NGC 3314 b, for example, they seem much lighter than those of NGC 3314 a. This is not because that galaxy lacks dust, but because they are illuminated by the bright fog of stars in the foreground. The dust of NGC 3314, by contrast, is backlit by the stars of NGC 3314 b siluciendo against the bright background.

    Such a lineup of galaxies is also useful for astronomers who study the gravitational microlensing, a phenomenon that occurs when the stars in a galaxy cause small disturbances in the light from a more distant.

    Gravitational microlensing, S. Liebes, Physical Review B, 133 (1964): 835

    In fact, the observations of the NGC 3314 which led to this image were carried out in order to investigate this phenomenon.

    This image in mosaic covers a wide field of view (several times the size of a solo exhibition of Hubble’s advanced camera for surveys). Thanks to a long exposure time of over an hour in total exposure time for every frame, the image shows not only NGC 3314, but also many other more distant galaxies in the background. The Color Composite was produced from exposures taken in blue and red light.

    Notes
    The Hubble Space Telescope is a project of international cooperation between ESA [15%] and NASA.

    Photo Credit:
    Hubble Heritage (STScI / Aura)-Esa / Hubble collaboration, and w. Keel (University of Alabama)

    The data in this image of NGC 3314 were incorporated in the hidden treasures of Hubble processing processing contestants Andre you Hoeven and N. Moushon. Hidden Treasures is an initiative to invite the astronomy enthusiasts to search the archive of hubble stunning images that have never been seen by the general public. The competition is now closed and the winners will be announced soon.

    See the full article here.

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    STEM Icon

    Stem Education Coalition

     
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