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  • richardmitnick 9:32 am on July 17, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Danish 1.5m telescope at ESO La Silla Observatory in Chile, Great Barred Spiral Austral, Manu Garcia‎,   

    From Manu Garcia: “Great Barred Spiral Austral” 


    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
    NGC 1365

    Turning 61 million away in the constellation Fornax (the Furnace), light years is the huge galaxy NGC 1365 . Extension of 200,000 light-years is one of the largest galaxies known to astronomers. This, combined with the sharply defined old star bar along its structure also leads to be known as the Great Barred Spiral Galaxy. Astronomers think that the Milky Way must be very similar to this galaxy, but half the size. The bright center of the galaxy is due, it is believed, to huge quantities of superheated gas, ejected from the ring of material rotating about a central black hole. Bright and hot young stars that emerge from interstellar clouds give the arms an outstanding appearance and a blue color. Barred spiral galaxy and the broken one complete revolution in 350 million years.

    This image combining observations performed through three different filters (B, V, R) with the Danish 1.5m telescope at ESO La Silla Observatory in Chile.

    ESO 1.5 m Danish Telescope Interior

    ESO Danish 1.54 meter telescope at La Silla, 600 km north of Santiago de Chile at an altitude of 2400 metres.

    Credit:
    ESO / IDA / Danish 1.5 m / R. Gendler, JE. Ovaldsen, Thöne C., and C. Feron.

    See the full article here .

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  • richardmitnick 9:10 am on July 17, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , Manu Garcia‎,   

    From Manu Garcia of IAC: “NGC 1365, two visions of the same 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.

    An elegant galaxy in an unusual light.

    1
    NGC 1365.

    A new image taken with the powerful HAWK-I camera from the ESO Very Large Telescope at the Paranal Observatory in Chile shows the beautiful barred spiral galaxy NGC 1365 in infrared light. NGC 1365 is a member of the Fornax cluster of galaxies and lies about 60 million light years from Earth.

    ESO HAWK-I the ESO Very Large Telescope at the Paranal Observatory in Chile

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

    NGC 1365 is one of the best known and most studied barred spiral galaxies and is nicknamed sometimes as the Great Barred Spiral Galaxy because of its remarkable perfect form, with the straight bar and two very prominent outer spiral arms. Closer to the center there is also a second spiral structure and the galaxy is shrouded in dust delicate features.

    This galaxy NGC 1365 is an excellent laboratory for astronomers to study how they form and develop barred spiral galaxies. The new infrared images from HAWK-I, previous image, are less affected by the dust that obscures parts of the galaxy, as with visible light images, see next image, and reveal very clearly the glow from vast numbers of stars in both the bar and the spiral arms. This information was obtained to help astronomers understand the complex flow of material into the galaxy and how it affects the gas reserves from which can form new galaxies. The huge bar disturbs the shape of the gravitational field of the galaxy and this affects areas where gas is compressed and star formation triggered. Many huge young star clusters outline the main arm each containing hundreds of thousands of bright young stars that are less than ten million years. Galaxy is very remote as to be able to observe individual stars in this image and most visible tiny spots in this picture are really star clusters. Throughout the galaxy they are forming stars at a rate of about three times the mass of our Sun every year.

    2
    Comparison of images of the galaxy NGC 1365 in visible light (left) and infrared (right).

    While the bar of the galaxy consists mainly of older stars that have already passed its fullness, many new stars are born in “stellar nurseries” of gas and dust in the inner spiral close to the nucleus. The bar also funnels gas and dust gravitationally into the center of the galaxy, where astronomers have found evidence of the presence of a supermassive black hole, well hidden among a large number of new stars glowing same.

    NGC 1365 , including its two huge outer spiral arms, spreads over 200,000 light-years. A different parts of the galaxy take different times they make a full rotation around the center of the galaxy. The outer parts of the bar completing one circuit in about 350 million years. NGC 1365 and other galaxies of its type have gained more notoriety in recent years with new observations indicating that the Milky Way may also be a barred spiral galaxy. Such galaxies are quite common: two – thirds of spiral galaxies are barred according to recent estimates, and studying others can help astronomers understand our own galactic home.

    ESO Bloc Icon

    Additional Information.
    ESO, the European Southern Observatory, is the foremost intergovernmental astronomy organization in Europe and the most productive astronomical observatory in the world. It is supported by 14 countries: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Spain, Finland, France, Holland, Italy, Portugal, the United Kingdom, Czech Republic, Sweden and Switzerland. ESO carries out an ambitious program focused on the design, construction and operation of powerful ground-based observing that allow astronomers to make important scientific discoveries. ESO also plays a leading role in promoting and organizing cooperation in astronomical research. ESO operates three unique observing sites world-class Chile: La Silla, Paranal and Chajnantor. At Paranal, ESO operates the Very Large Telescope, the world’s most advanced optical observatory. ESO is the European partner of a revolutionary astronomical telescope ALMA, the largest astronomical project. ESO is currently planning a European Extremely Large Telescope, the E-ELT, optical and close to 42 meters in diameter, which will become “the world’s biggest eye on the sky” infrared telescope.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    See the full article here .

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  • richardmitnick 9:10 am on July 13, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , Manu Garcia‎, The globular cluster 47 Tucanae   

    From ESO via Manu: “A Jumble of Exotic 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.

    ESO 50 Large

    European Southern Observatory

    10 January 2013
    Richard Hook
    ESO, La Silla, Paranal, E-ELT & Survey Telescopes Press Officer
    Garching bei München, Germany
    Tel: +49 89 3200 6655
    Cell: +49 151 1537 3591
    Email: rhook@eso.org

    1
    This new infrared image from ESO’s VISTA telescope shows the globular cluster 47 Tucanae in striking detail. This cluster contains millions of stars, and there are many nestled at its core that are exotic and display unusual properties. Studying objects within clusters like 47 Tucanae may help us to understand how these oddballs form and interact. This image is very sharp and deep due to the size, sensitivity, and location of VISTA, which is sited at ESO’s Paranal Observatory in Chile.

    Globular clusters are vast, spherical clouds of old stars bound together by gravity. They are found circling the cores of galaxies, as satellites orbit the Earth. These star clumps contain very little dust and gas — it is thought that most of it has been either blown from the cluster by winds and explosions from the stars within, or stripped away by interstellar gas interacting with the cluster. Any remaining material coalesced to form stars billions of years ago.

    These globular clusters spark a considerable amount of interest for astronomers — 47 Tucanae, otherwise known as NGC 104, is a huge, ancient globular cluster about 15 000 light-years away from us, and is known to contain many bizarre and interesting stars and systems.

    Located in the southern constellation of Tucana (The Toucan), 47 Tucanae orbits our Milky Way. At about 120 light-years across it is so large that, despite its distance, it looks about as big as the full Moon. Hosting millions of stars, it is one of the brightest and most massive globular clusters known and is visible to the naked eye [1]. In amongst the swirling mass of stars at its heart lie many intriguing systems, including X-ray sources, variable stars, vampire stars, unexpectedly bright “normal” stars known as blue stragglers (eso1243), and tiny objects known as millisecond pulsars, small dead stars that rotate astonishingly quickly [2].

    Red giants, stars that have exhausted the fuel in their cores and swollen in size, are scattered across this VISTA image and are easy to pick out, glowing a deep amber against the bright white-yellow background stars. The densely packed core is contrasted against the more sparse outer regions of the cluster, and in the background huge numbers of stars in the Small Magellanic Cloud are visible.

    This image was taken using ESO’s VISTA (Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy) as part of the VMC survey of the region of the Magellanic Clouds, two of the closest known galaxies to us. 47 Tucanae, although much closer than the Clouds, by chance lies in the the foreground of the Small Magellanic Cloud (eso1008), and was snapped during the survey.

    VISTA is the world’s largest telescope dedicated to mapping the sky. Located at ESO’s Paranal Observatory in Chile, this infrared telescope, with its large mirror, wide field of view and sensitive detectors, is revealing a new view of the southern sky. Using a combination of sharp infrared images — such as the VISTA image above — and visible-light observations allows astronomers to probe the contents and history of objects like 47 Tucanae in great detail.

    Notes

    [1] There are over 150 globular clusters orbiting our galaxy. 47 Tucanae is the second most massive after Omega Centauri (eso0844).

    [2] Millisecond pulsars are incredibly quickly rotating versions of regular pulsars, highly magnetised, rotating stellar remnants that emit bursts of radiation as they spin. There are 23 known millisecond pulsars in 47 Tucanae — more than in all other globular clusters bar one, Terzan 5 (eso0945).

    See the full article here .

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    ESO is the foremost intergovernmental astronomy organisation in Europe and the world’s most productive ground-based astronomical observatory by far. It is supported by 16 countries: Austria, Belgium, Brazil, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, along with the host state of Chile. ESO carries out an ambitious programme focused on the design, construction and operation of powerful ground-based observing facilities enabling astronomers to make important scientific discoveries. ESO also plays a leading role in promoting and organising cooperation in astronomical research. ESO operates three unique world-class observing sites in Chile: La Silla, Paranal and Chajnantor. At Paranal, ESO operates the Very Large Telescope, the world’s most advanced visible-light astronomical observatory and two survey telescopes. VISTA works in the infrared and is the world’s largest survey telescope and the VLT Survey Telescope is the largest telescope designed to exclusively survey the skies in visible light. ESO is a major partner in ALMA, the largest astronomical project in existence. And on Cerro Armazones, close to Paranal, ESO is building the 39-metre European Extremely Large Telescope, the E-ELT, which will become “the world’s biggest eye on the sky”.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     
  • richardmitnick 1:26 pm on July 11, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Black hole found in enigmatic Omega Centauri, , Manu Garcia‎,   

    From Hubble via Manu: “Black hole found in enigmatic Omega Centauri” 2008 


    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.

    NASA Hubble Banner

    NASA/ESA Hubble Telescope

    NASA/ESA Hubble Telescope

    2 April 2008
    Eva Noyola
    Max-Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics in Garching, Germany
    Tel: +49-89-30000-3890
    Cell: +49- 157-7252-2109
    noyola@mpe.mpg.de

    Lars Lindberg Christensen
    Hubble/ESA, Garching, Germany
    Tel: +49-(0)89-3200-6306
    Cellular: +49-(0)173-3872-621
    lars@eso.org

    Ray Villard
    Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, USA
    Tel: +1-410-338-4514
    villard@stsci.edu

    Peter Michaud
    Gemini Observatory, Hilo, Hawaii, USA
    Tel: +1-808-974-2510
    pmichaud@gemini.edu

    1
    Omega Centauri has been known as an unusual globular cluster for a long time. A new result obtained by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope and the Gemini Observatory reveals that the explanation behind Omega Centauri’s peculiarities may be a black hole hidden in its centre. One implication of the discovery is that it is very likely that Omega Centauri is not a globular cluster at all, but a dwarf galaxy stripped of its outer stars, as some scientists have suspected for a few years.

    A new discovery has resolved some of the mystery surrounding Omega Centauri, the largest and brightest globular cluster in the sky. Images obtained with the Advanced Camera for Surveys onboard the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope and data obtained by the GMOS spectrograph on the Gemini South telescope in Chile show that Omega Centauri appears to harbour an elusive intermediate-mass black hole in its centre.

    NASA/ESA Hubble ACS

    Gemini South telescope, Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO) campus near La Serena, Chile

    2
    GMOS on Gemini South

    “This result shows that there is a continuous range of masses for black holes, from supermassive, to intermediate-mass, to small stellar mass types”, explained astronomer Eva Noyola of the Max-Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics in Garching, Germany, and leader of the team that made the discovery.

    Omega Centauri is visible from Earth with the naked eye and is one of the favourite celestial objects for stargazers from the southern hemisphere. Although the cluster is 17 000 light-years away, located just above the plane of the Milky Way, it appears almost as large as the full Moon when the cluster is seen from a dark rural area. Exactly how Omega Centauri should be classified has always been a contentious topic. It was first listed in Ptolemy’s catalogue nearly two thousand years ago as a single star. Edmond Halley reported it as a nebula in 1677. In the 1830s the English astronomer John Herschel was the first to recognise it as a globular cluster. Now, more than a century later, this new result suggests Omega Centauri is not a globular cluster at all, but a dwarf galaxy stripped of its outer stars.

    Globular clusters consist of up to one million old stars tightly bound by gravity and are found in the outskirts of many galaxies including our own. Omega Centauri has several characteristics that distinguish it from other globular clusters: it rotates faster than a run-of-the-mill globular cluster, its shape is highly flattened and it consists of several generations of stars — more typical globulars usually consist of just one generation of old stars.

    Moreover, Omega Centauri is about 10 times as massive as other big globular clusters, almost as massive as a small galaxy. These peculiarities have led astronomers to suggest that Omega Centauri may not be a globular cluster at all, but a dwarf galaxy stripped of its outer stars by an earlier encounter with the Milky Way. “Finding a black hole at the heart of Omega Centauri could have profound implications for our understanding of its past interaction with the Milky Way”, said Noyola.

    Eva Noyola and her colleagues measured the motions and brightnesses of the stars at the centre of Omega Centauri. The measured velocities of the stars in the centre are related to the total mass of the cluster and were far higher than expected from the mass deduced from the number and type of stars seen. So, there had to be something extraordinarily massive (and invisible) at the centre of the cluster responsible for the fast-swirling dance of stars — almost certainly a black hole with a mass of 40 000 solar masses. “Before this observation, we had only one example of an intermediate-mass black hole — in the globular cluster G1, in the nearby Andromeda Galaxy”, said astronomer Karl Gebhardt of the University of Texas at Austin, USA, and a member of the team that made the discovery.

    Although the presence of an intermediate-mass black hole is the most likely reason for the stellar speedway near the cluster’s centre, astronomers have analysed a couple of other possible causes: a collection of unseen burnt-out stars such as white dwarfs or neutron stars adding extra mass, or a group of stars with elongated orbits that would make the stars closest to the centre appear to speed up.

    According to Noyola these alternative scenarios are unlikely: “The normal evolution of a star cluster like Omega Centauri should not end up with stars behaving in those ways. Even if we assume that either scenario did happen somehow, both configurations are expected to be very short-lived. A clump of burnt-out stars, for example, is expected to move farther away from the cluster centre quickly. For stars with elongated orbits, these orbits are expected to become circular very quickly.”

    According to scientists, these intermediate-mass black holes could turn out to be “baby” supermassive black holes. “We may be on the verge of uncovering one possible mechanism for the formation of supermassive black holes. Intermediate-mass black holes like this could be the seeds of full-sized supermassive black holes.” Astronomers have debated the existence of intermediate-mass black holes because they have not found strong evidence for them and there is no widely accepted mechanism for how they could form. They have ample evidence that small black holes of a few solar masses are produced when giant stars die. There is similar evidence that supermassive black holes weighing the equivalent of millions to billions of solar masses sit at the heart of many galaxies, including our own Milky Way.

    Intermediate-mass black holes may be rare and exist only in former dwarf galaxies that have been stripped of their outer stars, but they could also be more common than expected, existing at the centres of globular clusters as well. A previous Hubble survey of supermassive black holes and their host galaxies showed a correlation between the mass of a black hole and that of its host. Astronomers estimate that the mass of the dwarf galaxy that may have been the precursor of Omega Centauri was roughly 10 million solar masses. If lower mass galaxies obey the same rule as more massive galaxies that host supermassive black holes, then the mass of Omega Centauri does match that of its black hole.

    The team will use the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope in Paranal, Chile to conduct follow-up observations of the velocity of the stars near the cluster’s centre to confirm the discovery.

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

    The finding will be published in the April 10 issue of the Astrophysical Journal in a paper titled Gemini and Hubble Space Telescope Evidence for an Intermediate Mass Black Hole in Omega Centauri by Eva Noyola (Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics in Germany & University of Texas, USA), Karl Gebhardt (University of Texas) and Marcel Bergmann (Gemini Observatory).

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

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    The Hubble Space Telescope is a project of international cooperation between NASA and the European Space Agency. NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center manages the telescope. The Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI), is a free-standing science center, located on the campus of The Johns Hopkins University and operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) for NASA, conducts Hubble science operations.

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  • richardmitnick 10:29 am on July 2, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Manu Garcia‎, , Starry-eyed Hubble celebrates 20 Years of awe and discovery   

    From Hubble via Manu: “Starry-eyed Hubble celebrates 20 Years of awe and discovery” 


    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.

    NASA Hubble Banner

    NASA/ESA Hubble Telescope

    NASA/ESA Hubble Telescope

    23 April 2010
    Colleen Sharkey
    Hubble/ESA
    Garching, Germany
    Tel: +49-89-3200-6306
    Cell: +49-15115373591
    csharkey@eso.org

    1
    This craggy fantasy mountaintop enshrouded by wispy clouds looks like a bizarre landscape from Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image, which is even more dramatic than fiction, captures the chaotic activity atop a pillar of gas and dust, three light-years tall, which is being eaten away by the brilliant light from nearby bright stars. The pillar is also being assaulted from within, as infant stars buried inside it fire off jets of gas that can be seen streaming from towering peaks.

    This turbulent cosmic pinnacle lies within a tempestuous stellar nursery called the Carina Nebula, located 7500 light-years away in the southern constellation of Carina. The image celebrates the 20th anniversary of Hubble’s launch and deployment into an orbit around the Earth.

    Scorching radiation and fast winds (streams of charged particles) from super-hot newborn stars in the nebula are shaping and compressing the pillar, causing new stars to form within it. Streamers of hot ionised gas can be seen flowing off the ridges of the structure, and wispy veils of gas and dust, illuminated by starlight, float around its towering peaks. The denser parts of the pillar are resisting being eroded by radiation.

    Nestled inside this dense mountain are fledgling stars. Long streamers of gas can be seen shooting in opposite directions from the pedestal at the top of the image. Another pair of jets is visible at another peak near the centre of the image. These jets, (known as HH 901 and HH 902, respectively, are signposts for new star birth and are launched by swirling gas and dust discs around the young stars, which allow material to slowly accrete onto the stellar surfaces.

    Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3 observed the pillar on 1-2 February 2010.

    NASA/ESA Hubble WFC3

    The colours in this composite image correspond to the glow of oxygen (blue), hydrogen and nitrogen (green), and sulphur (red). Credit: NASA, ESA, M. Livio and the Hubble 20th Anniversary Team (STScI)

    The best recognised, longest-lived and most prolific space observatory zooms past a milestone of 20 years of operation. On 24 April 1990, the Space Shuttle and crew of STS-31 were launched to deploy the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope into a low-Earth orbit. What followed was one of the most remarkable sagas of the space age.

    Hubble’s unprecedented capabilities have made it one of the most powerful science instruments ever conceived by humans, and certainly the one most embraced by the public. Hubble’s discoveries have revolutionised nearly all areas of current astronomical research, from planetary science to cosmology. And, its pictures are unmistakably out of this world.

    At times Hubble’s starry odyssey has played out like a space soap opera: with broken equipment, a bleary-eyed primary mirror and even a Space Shuttle rescue/repair mission cancellation. But the ingenuity and dedication of Hubble scientists, engineers, and NASA and ESA astronauts have allowed the observatory to rebound time and time again. Its crisp vision continues to challenge scientists with exciting new surprises and to enthral the public with ever more evocative colour images.

    NASA, ESA and the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) are celebrating Hubble’s journey of exploration with a stunning new picture. Another exciting component of the anniversary will be the launch of the revamped European website for Hubble, spacetelescope.org. ESA will also be sponsoring the Hubble Pop Culture Contest that calls for fans to search for examples of the observatory’s presence in everyday life (http://www.spacetelescope.org/hubblepopculture).

    The brand new Hubble anniversary image highlights a small portion of one of the largest observable regions of starbirth in the galaxy, the Carina Nebula. Towers of cool hydrogen laced with dust rise from the wall of the nebula. The scene is reminiscent of Hubble’s classic Pillars of Creation photo from 1995, but even more striking in appearance. The image captures the top of a pillar of gas and dust, three light-years tall, which is being eaten away by the brilliant light from nearby bright stars. The pillar is also being pushed apart from within, as infant stars buried inside it fire off jets of gas that can be seen streaming from towering peaks like arrows sailing through the air.

    Hubble fans worldwide are being invited to share the ways in which the telescope has affected them. They can send an e-mail, post a Facebook message (to http://www.facebook/hubblespacetelescope) or use the Twitter hashtag #hst20. Or, they can visit the “Messages to Hubble” page on http://hubblesite.org, type in their entry and read selections from other messages that have been received. Fan messages will be stored in the Hubble data archive along with the telescope’s many terabytes of science data. Future researchers will be able to read these messages and understand how Hubble had such an impact on the world.

    To date, Hubble has looked at over 30 000 celestial targets and amassed over half a million pictures in its archive. The last heroic astronaut-servicing mission to Hubble in May 2009 made the telescope 100 times more powerful than when it was launched. In addition to its irreplaceable scientific importance, Hubble brings cosmic wonders into millions of homes and schools every day. For the past 20 years the public has become co-explorers with this wondrous observatory.

    More images:

    Comparison views of “Mystic Mountain”
    2
    Credit: NASA, ESA, M. Livio and the Hubble 20th Anniversary Team (STScI)
    These two images of a pillar of star birth, three light-years high, demonstrate how observations taken in visible and infrared light by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope reveal dramatically different and complementary views of an object. The pair of images demonstrates how Hubble’s new panchromatic view of the Universe shows striking differences between visible and infrared wavelengths. This turbulent cosmic pinnacle lies within a tempestuous stellar nursery called the Carina Nebula, located 7500 light-years away in the southern constellation of Carina. The images mark the 20th anniversary of Hubble’s launch and deployment into an orbit around Earth.

    [Left] This visible-light view shows how scorching radiation and fast winds (streams of charged particles) from super-hot newborn stars in the nebula are shaping and compressing the pillar, causing new stars to form within it. Infant stars buried inside fire off jets of gas that can be seen streaming from towering peaks. Streamers of hot ionised gas can be seen flowing from the ridges of the structure, and wispy veils of gas and dust, illuminated by starlight, float around it.

    The dense parts of the pillar are resisting being eroded by radiation. The colours in this composite image correspond to the glow of oxygen (blue), hydrogen and nitrogen (green), and sulphur (red).

    [Right] This near-infrared image shows a myriad of stars behind the gaseous veil of the nebula’s background wall of hydrogen, laced with dust. The foreground pillar becomes semi-transparent because infrared light from the background stars penetrates through much of the dust. A few stars inside the pillar also become visible. Representative colours are assigned to three different infrared wavelength ranges.

    Wide view of “Mystic Mountain”
    4

    Details in a cosmic pinnacle
    4
    This is a series of close-up views of the complex gas structures in a small portion of the Carina Nebula. The nebula is a cold cloud of predominantly hydrogen gas. It is laced with dust, which makes the cloud opaque. The cloud is being eroded by a gusher of ultraviolet light from young stars in the region. They sculpt a variety of fantasy shapes, many forming tadpole-like structures. In some frames, smaller pieces of nebulosity can be seen freely drifting, such as the structure, four trillion kilometres long, at upper right. The most striking feature is a horizontal jet 5.5 trillion kilometres long in the upper left frame. It is being blasted into space by a young star hidden in the tip of the pillar-like structure. A bowshock has formed near the tip of the jet. Credit: NASA, ESA, M. Livio and the Hubble 20th Anniversary Team (STScI)

    Hubble captures spectacular “landscape” in the Carina Nebula
    6
    Credit: NASA, ESA, and M. Livio, The Hubble Heritage Team and the Hubble 20th Anniversary Team (STScI)

    The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope captured this billowing cloud of cold interstellar gas and dust rising from a tempestuous stellar nursery located in the Carina Nebula, 7500 light-years away in the southern constellation of Carina. This pillar of dust and gas serves as an incubator for new stars and is teeming with new star-forming activity.
    Hot, young stars erode and sculpt the clouds into this fantasy landscape by sending out thick stellar winds and scorching ultraviolet radiation. The low density regions of the nebula are shredded while the denser parts resist erosion and remain as thick pillars. In the dark, cold interiors of these columns new stars continue to form.
    In the process of star formation, a disc around the proto-star slowly accretes onto the star’s surface. Part of the material is ejected along jets perpendicular to the accretion disc. The jets have speeds of several hundreds of miles per second. As these jets plough into the surrounding nebula, they create small, glowing patches of nebulosity, called Herbig-Haro (HH) objects.
    Long streamers of gas can be seen shooting in opposite directions off the pedestal on the upper right-hand side of the image. Another pair of jets is visible in a peak near the top-centre of the image. These jets (known as HH 901 and HH 902, respectively) are common signatures of the births of new stars.
    This image celebrates the 20th anniversary of Hubble’s launch and deployment into an orbit around Earth. Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3 observed the pillar on 1-2 February 2010. The colours in this composite image correspond to the glow of oxygen (blue), hydrogen and nitrogen (green) and sulphur (red).

    Hubble’s wide view of “Mystic Mountain” in the infrared
    6
    Credit: NASA, ESA, M. Livio and the Hubble 20th Anniversary Team (STScI)
    This is a NASA Hubble Space Telescope near-infrared image of a pillar of gas and dust, three light-years tall, that is being eaten away by the brilliant light from nearby stars in the tempestuous stellar nursery called the Carina Nebula, located 7500 light-years away in the southern constellation of Carina. The image marks the 20th anniversary of Hubble’s launch and deployment into an orbit around Earth.
    The image reveals a myriad of stars behind the gaseous veil of the nebula’s wall of hydrogen, laced with dust. The foreground pillar becomes semi-transparent because infrared light from background stars penetrates through much of the dust. A few stars inside the pillar also become visible. The false colours are assigned to three different infrared wavelength ranges.
    Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3 observed the pillar in February/March 2010.

    Thanks, Manu.

    See the full article here .

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    The Hubble Space Telescope is a project of international cooperation between NASA and the European Space Agency. NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center manages the telescope. The Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI), is a free-standing science center, located on the campus of The Johns Hopkins University and operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) for NASA, conducts Hubble science operations.

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  • richardmitnick 10:12 am on June 28, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Manu Garcia‎, Messier 17,   

    From Hubble via Manu: “A perfect storm of turbulent gases” 24 April 2003, Thanks, Manu 


    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.

    NASA Hubble Banner

    NASA/ESA Hubble Telescope

    NASA/ESA Hubble Telescope

    24 April 2003
    Lars Lindberg Christensen
    Hubble European Space Agency Information Centre
    Garching, Germany
    Tel: +49 89 3200 6306 (089 within Germany)
    Cellular (24 hr): +49 173 3872 621 (0173 within Germany)
    lars@eso.org

    Ray Villard
    Space Telescope Science Institute
    Baltimore, United States
    Tel: +1 410 338 4514
    villard@stsci.edu

    1
    Like the fury of a raging sea, this anniversary image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope shows a bubbly ocean of glowing hydrogen, oxygen, and sulphur gas in the extremely massive and luminous molecular nebula Messier 17. Image credit:NASA. ESA and J. Hester (Arizona State University, United States)

    2
    This is a ground-based overview of the Omega or Swan Nebula. The outline of the field observed by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope is shown. Credit: NOAO/AURA/NSF

    This Hubble photograph captures a small region within Messier 17 (M17), a hotbed of star formation. M17, also known as the Omega or Swan Nebula, is located about 5500 light-years away in the Sagittarius constellation. The release of this image commemorates the thirteenth anniversary of Hubble’s launch on 24 April 1990.

    The wave-like patterns of gas have been sculpted and illuminated by a torrent of ultraviolet radiation from young, massive stars (which lie outside the picture to the upper left). The glow of these patterns highlights the 3D structure of the gases. The ultraviolet radiation is carving and heating the surfaces of cold hydrogen gas clouds.

    The warmed surfaces glow orange and red in this image. The intense heat and pressure cause some material to stream away from the surface, creating the glowing veil of even hotter green-coloured gas that masks background structures. The pressure on the tips of the waves may trigger new star formation within them.

    The image, roughly 3 light-years across, was taken on 29-30 May 1999, with Hubble’s Wide Field Planetary Camera 2.

    NASA/Hubble WFPC2. No longer in service.

    The colours in the image represent various gases. Red represents sulphur; green, hydrogen; and blue, oxygen.


    The zoom on this anniversary image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope shows a bubbly ocean of glowing hydrogen, oxygen, and sulphur gas in the extremely massive and luminous molecular nebula Messier 17. This Hubble photograph captures a small region within Messier 17 (M17), a hotbed of star formation. M17, also known as the Omega or Swan Nebula, is located about 5500 light-years away in the Sagittarius constellation. The release of this image commemorates the thirteenth anniversary of Hubble’s launch on 24 April 1990. The wave-like patterns of gas have been sculpted and illuminated by a torrent of ultraviolet radiation from young, massive stars (which lie outside the picture to the upper left). The glow of these patterns highlights the 3D structure of the gases. The ultraviolet radiation is carving and heating the surfaces of cold hydrogen gas clouds. The warmed surfaces glow orange and red in this image. The intense heat and pressure cause some material to stream away from the surface, creating the glowing veil of even hotter green-coloured gas that masks background structures. The pressure on the tips of the waves may trigger new star formation within them. The image, roughly 3 light-years across, was taken on 29-30 May 1999, with Hubble’s Wide Field Planetary Camera 2. The colours in the image represent various gases. Red represents sulphur; green, hydrogen; and blue, oxygen.
    Credit:ESA/Hubble (M. Kornmesser & L. L. Christensen)
    Notes

    More information about Messier 17.

    See the full article here .

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    The Hubble Space Telescope is a project of international cooperation between NASA and the European Space Agency. NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center manages the telescope. The Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI), is a free-standing science center, located on the campus of The Johns Hopkins University and operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) for NASA, conducts Hubble science operations.

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  • richardmitnick 7:26 am on June 14, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Manu Garcia‎, Messier 42 and Messier 43, , , the Orion Nebula   

    From Manu: “Messier 42 and Messier 43, the Orion Nebula” 


    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.

    6.14.17
    Hubble panoramic view of Orion Nebula reveals thousands of stars.

    1
    Messier 42 and Messier 43

    NASA/ESA Hubble Telescope

    In one of the most detailed astronomical images ever produced, NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope NASA / ESA is offering an unprecedented look at the Orion Nebula.

    This turbulent star formation region is one of the most fantastic and photogenic celestial objects of astronomy.

    The sharp image reveals a tapestry of star formation, from the dense pillars of gas and dust that may be the homes of stars emerging to hot stars, young and massive stars that have emerged from their cocoons of gas and dust and are shaping the nebula with their powerful ultraviolet light.

    The new picture reveals large-scale structures never seen before, according to C. Robert O’Dell of Vanderbilt University in Nashville, United States. “Only with the Hubble Space Telescope can begin to understand them,” O’Dell said.

    In a mosaic containing a billion pixels, the Advanced Camera of Hubble images (ACS) uncovered 3,000 stars of various sizes. Some of them have never been seen in visible light. Some are merely 1/100 the brightness of stars seen previously in the nebula.

    Among the stars found in Hubble are possible young brown dwarfs, the first time these objects have been seen in the Orion Nebula in visible light. Brown dwarfs are so -called “failed stars”. These cool objects are too small to be ordinary stars because they can not sustain nuclear fusion in their cores as does our sun.

    The Hubble Space Telescope also saw for the first time a small population of possible binary brown dwarfs, two brown dwarfs orbiting each other. Comparing the characteristics of newborn stars and brown dwarfs in their natal environment provides unique information about how they form.

    “The wealth of information on this survey Hubble, including seeing stars of all sizes in one dense place, provides an extraordinary opportunity to study star formation,” said Massimo Robberto of the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Institute Space Telescope science Baltimore, USA, and leader of the observations. “Our goal is to calculate the masses and ages for these young stars so that we can map their history and get a general census of the star formation in that region, we can sort the stars by mass and age and look for trends.”

    Robberto present its results on January 11 at the 207th meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Washington DC, USA

    The Orion Nebula is a perfect place to study how stars are born because it is 1,500, a relatively short distance within our galaxy 100,000 light years light years distant laboratory. Astronomers have a clear view into this crowded stellar maternity ward because massive stars in the center of the nebula have blown most of the dust and gas in which they formed, carving a cavity in the dark cloud.

    “In this bowl of stars we see the entire star formation history of Orion printed into the features of the nebula: arcs, blobs, pillars, and rings of dust that resemble cigar smoke,” said Robberto. “Each one tells a story of stellar winds from young stars that impact the stellar environment and the material ejected from other estrellas.Esto is a typical training environment estrellas.Nuestro Sun was probably born 4,500 million years ago in a cloud like this. ”

    This extensive study took 105 Hubble orbits to complete (each orbit takes 96 minutes). All imaging instruments aboard the telescope, the ACS, the Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2, and near infrared camera and multi-object spectrometer, were used simultaneously to study the nebula. The ACS mosaic covers approximately the apparent angular size of the full moon.

    NASA/ESA Hubble ACS

    NASA/Hubble WFPC2. No longer in service.

    More comments on the Orion Nebula.

    The magnificent superior image offers a peek inside a cavern of dust and gas where thousands of stars are forming. The image, taken by the Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) aboard the Hubble Space Telescope , NASA / ESA represents the sharpest view ever seen of this region, called the Orion Nebula . More than 3,000 stars of various sizes appear in this image. Some of them have never been seen in visible light. These stars reside in a spooky landscape of dust and gas plateaus, mountains and valleys reminiscent of the Grand Canyon.

    The Orion Nebula is a picture book of star formation, from the massive, young stars that are shaping the nebula to the pillars of dense gas that may be the homes of budding stars is. The bright central region is home to the four strongest stars of the nebula. The stars are called Trapezium because they are arranged in a trapezoidal pattern. Triggered by ultraviolet light these stars is carving a cavity in the nebula and disrupting the growth of hundreds of smaller stars. Located near the Trapezium stars, the stars are still young enough to have discs of material around them . These discs are called protoplanetary disks and are too small to be clearly seen in this picture. The discs are the building blocks of solar systems.

    The bright glow on the top left is Messier 43 , a small region being shaped by the ultraviolet light of a young, massive star. Astronomers call the region a miniature Orion Nebula because only one star is sculpting the landscape. The Orion Nebula has four stars. Next to Messier 43 are dense, dark pillars of dust and gas pointing Trapeze. These pillars resist the erosion of the Trapezium intense ultraviolet light. The bright region on the right reveals arcs and bubbles formed when stellar winds – streams of charged particles ejected from the Trapezium stars – collide with material.

    The faint red stars near the bottom are numerous brown dwarfs that Hubble spied for the first time in the nebula in visible light. Sometimes called “failed stars,” brown dwarfs are cold objects that are too small to be ordinary stars because they can not sustain nuclear fusion in their cores as does our sun. The column dark red, below, left , shows an illuminated edge of the cavity wall.

    The Orion Nebula is 1,500 light years away, the star – forming region closest to Earth. Astronomers used 520 Hubble images, taken in five colors, to make this image. They also added land pictures to fill the nebula. The ACS mosaic covers approximately the apparent angular size of the full moon.

    Orion observations were taken between 2004 and 2005.

    Notes

    The Hubble Space Telescope is a project of international cooperation between ESA and NASA.

    Photo credit :
    NASA, ESA, M. Robberto (Institute of Space / ESA Telescope Science) and Orion Hubble Space Telescope Treasury Project Team

    Published in Hubble on January 11, 2006.

    See the full article here .

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  • richardmitnick 9:54 am on June 11, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Manu Garcia‎, Merging galaxies has concealed black holes   

    From Manu: “Merging galaxies has concealed black holes.” 


    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.

    11.6.17

    1
    Credit: NASA / CXC / M.Weiss / NAOJ
    This illustration compares the growth of supermassive black holes in two different types of galaxies. A growing massive black hole in a normal galaxy would have a donut – shaped structure of gas and dust around it (left). In a galaxy fusion, a sphere material obscures the black hole (right).

    Black holes have a bad reputation in popular culture swallow everything nearby. Actually, the stars, the gas and dust can orbit black holes for long periods of time, until a disturbance pushes the material inward.

    A fusion of two galaxies is one of those disturbances. As galaxies are combined and their central black holes are close, the gas and dust in the vicinity are pushed their black holes. A huge amount of high energy radiation is released as material quickly spirals into the black hole hungry, it becomes what astronomers call an active galactic nucleus (AGN).

    A study using the telescope NuSTAR NASA shows that in the later stages of galaxy mergers, both gas and dust fall into a black hole where the very bright AGN is wrapped. The combined effect of gravity of the two galaxies slows the rotation speeds of gas and dust that would otherwise be orbiting freely. This energy loss drops the material onto the black hole.

    “The later fusion to occur, the AGN be more covert,” said Claudio Ricci, lead author of the study published in the Royal Astronomical Society Monthly Notices. “Galaxies that are far away in the melting process are completely covered in a cocoon of gas and dust”.

    Ricci and his colleagues observed penetrating X – ray emission of high energy of 52 galaxies. About half of them were in the final stages of the merger. Because NuSTAR is very sensitive to the detection of X – rays of higher energy, was instrumental in setting the amount of light which escapes the field of gas and dust covers an AGN.

    2
    NASA/NuSTAR

    The study was published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. The researchers compared the observations of NuSTAR of galaxies with data from observatories NASA Swift and Chandra and ESA ‘s XMM-Newton , who observe lower energy components of the X-ray spectrum If high energy X rays are detected in a galaxy, but low energy X – rays are not, that’s a sign that an AGN is very dark.

    NASA/Chandra Telescope

    NASA/SWIFT Telescope

    ESA/XMM Newton

    The study helps confirm the long-standing idea that an AGN black hole does most of its consumption while involved in the latter stages of a merger.

    “A supermassivo black hole grows rapidly during these mergers,” Ricci said. “The results improve our understanding of the mysterious origins of the relationship between a black hole and its host galaxy.”

    Credit:
    NuSTAR is a small scouting mission led by Caltech and managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington. NuSTAR was developed in collaboration with the Technical University of Denmark and the Italian Space Agency (ASI). The spacecraft was built by Orbital Sciences Corp., Dulles, Virginia. The mission operations center of NuSTAR is at UC Berkeley, and file official data is at the Scientific Research Center Archives High Energy Astrophysics NASA. ASI provides the ground station of the mission and a mirror file. JPL is managed by Caltech for NASA.

    Published in NuSTAR on 9 May 2017.

    See the full article here .

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  • richardmitnick 9:32 am on June 11, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , IC 418, Manu Garcia‎, planetary nebula   

    From MANU: “IC 418, planetary nebula.” 


    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.

    11.6.17

    1
    IC 418.

    Dubbed the Espirógrafa Nebula for its resemblance to drawings from a cyclical drawing tool, planetary nebula IC 418 shows patterns that are not well understood. Perhaps they are related to chaotic winds from the variable central star, which changes the brightness unpredictably in few hours. On the contrary, the evidence indicates that a few million years ago, IC 418 was probably similar to our sun well understood star. Only a few thousand years ago, IC 418 was certainly a common red giant star, however , as the nuclear fuel is exhausted, the outer envelope has begun expanding outward leaving a hot remnant core destined to become visible in the center of the image as the white dot white dwarf,. The light excites the core surrounding atoms in the nebula causing shine. IC 418 lies about 2000 light – years away in the constellation Lepus and spans 0.3 light-years across. This false – color image taken from the Hubble Space Telescope reveals some unusual details.

    Photo credit:
    NASA/ESA, and equipment Hubble Heritage (STScI / AURA); Recognition: R. Sahai (JPL) et al.

    NASA/ESA Hubble Telescope

    See the full article here .

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  • richardmitnick 1:48 pm on June 9, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Manu Garcia‎, N49, , , supernova remnant in the LMC   

    From Manu: ” N49, supernova remnant in the LMC.” 


    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.

    Stellar Shrapnel taken with the aftermath of the explosion.

    1
    This beautiful composite image shows N49 , the aftermath of a supernova explosion in the Large Magellanic Cloud, LMC . A new observation over from X-ray Observatory Chandra NASA , shown in blue , reveals evidence of a shaped object bullet goes out of a field of debris remaining an exploded star, BULLET in image.

    NASA/Chandra Telescope

    To detect this bullet, a team of researchers led by Sangwook Park Pennsylvania State University used Chandra to observe N49 for over 30 hours. This bullet can be seen in the lower right corner of the image and is rich in silicon, sulfur and neon. The detection of this bullet shows that the explosion that destroyed the star was highly asymmetric.

    The bullet is traveling at a high speed of about 5 million miles per hour from a bright point source in the upper left part of N49 . This light source may be a so – called soft gamma ray repeater (SGR), a source that emits bursts of gamma rays and X-rays. A major explanation for these objects is that they are neutron stars with extremely powerful magnetic fields. Since neutron stars are often created in supernova explosions, an association between the SGR and supernova remnants is not unexpected. This case is enhanced by the apparent alignment between the bullet trajectory and bright source of X – rays. However, new data from Chandra also shows that the light source is more obscured by gas than expected if it really lies inside the supernova remnant. In other words, it is possible that the bright X-ray source actually lies beyond the remnant and is projected along the line of sight. Another possible bullet is on the opposite side of the remnant, but is more difficult to see the image because it overlaps with the light emission of shock interaction cloud.

    Optical data space telescope Hubble ( yellow and purple ) shows bright filaments where the shock wave generated by the supernova is interacting with the densest regions near cold clouds, molecular gas.

    NASA/ESA Hubble Telescope

    Using new data from Chandra , the age of N49, as it appears in the image, is believed to be about 5,000 years and the energy of the explosion is estimated to be approximately twice that of a normal supernova. These preliminary results suggest that the original explosion was caused by the collapse of a massive star, Type II supernova.

    Credits for N49:
    X ray (NASA / CXC / Penn State / S.Park et al.);
    Optical: NASA / STScI / UIUC / YHChu and R.Williams et al

    See the full article here .

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