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  • richardmitnick 9:07 am on July 20, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , Impressive Emissions Nebula IC 1396, Manu Garcia at IAC   

    From Manu Garcia at IAC: “IC 1396: Emission Nebula in Cepheus 


    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
    Credit and copyright: Cesar Blanco González

    The Impressive Emissions Nebula IC 1396 mixes the brilliant cosmic gas and dark dust clouds in the high and distant constellation of Cepheus. Energized by the brilliant central star you see here, this star-forming region extends over hundreds of light years, spanning more than three degrees in the sky, about 3.000 Light-years from planet earth. Among the intriguing dark forms within IC 1396, the elephant’s winding trunk nebula is located just below the center. The stars could still be forming within the dark shapes by gravitational collapse. But as the denser clouds are eroded by strong stellar winds and radiation, any star in formation will ultimately be cut off from the star reservoir. The magnificent color view is an image composition of narrow band filters, atomic oxygen emission mapping of the nebula, hydrogen and sulfur in blue, green and red tones.

    See the full article here.

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

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

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

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  • richardmitnick 10:47 am on July 16, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , CALP (Centro de Astrofísica en La Palma), , High-energy astrophysics, , Manu Garcia at IAC, Observatorio del Teide (Tenerife) Canary Islands Astrophysics Institute, Roque de los Muchachos Observatory (La Palma)   

    From IAC via Manu Garcia: “The Instituo Astrophysics of the Canary Islands, the IAC” 


    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

    The IAC.

    The Institute of Astrophysics of the Canary Islands (IAC) is an internationalized Spanish research center and selected by the Spanish government as “Severo Ochoa Center of Excellence”.

    It comprises:
    Headquartered in La Laguna (Tenerife).
    The Institute of Astrophysics is the headquarters of IAC and administrative basis of its International Observatories. Usual place of work of most of its staff, is a meeting place for the international astronomical community, research institute and technological development and training center for researchers, engineers and technicians. It is also a promoter of cultural diffusion core.

    Address:
    c / Milky Way s / n La Laguna on the island of Tenerife (Spain). The city of La Laguna is 9 km from the capital, Santa Cruz de Tenerife in the north of the island.

    INSTITUTO DE ASTROFÍSICA (headquarters) (La Laguna, TENERIFE)

    Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias
    C/ Vía Láctea, s/n
    E38205 – La Laguna (Tenerife). España

    Google map

    General Register hours of opening: 9 to 14 h, Monday to Friday (except public holidays).

    Tel: 34 / 922 605 200
    Fax: 34 / 922 605 210
    E-mail addresses:

    CALP (Centro de Astrofísica en La Palma) (Breña Baja, LA PALMA)
    Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias

    Apdo. Correos 50
    C/ Cuesta de San José, s/n
    San Antonio
    38712 – Breña Baja (La Palma). España

    The Center for Astrophysics in La Palma (CALP).
    2
    CALP IAC.
    The Center for Astrophysics in La Palma (CALP) is another headquarters of the Institute of Astrophysics of the Canary Islands (IAC). Facilities include an area offices and offices for astronomers and staff running the management of telescope facilities, a library, meeting rooms and conference computer and telecommunication facilities. Workshops, laboratories and warehouses allow users to maintenance and development of scientific instrumentation.
    In the CALP, also they have their offices:
    The Gran Telescopio Canarias.
    The Magic Collaboration.

    3
    Supercomputer LaPalma, one of seven nodes of the Spanish Supercomputing Network (RES)
    The LaPalma supercomputer, one of the eight nodes belonging to the RES and financed by the Ministry of Science and Innovation (MICINN), is located in the “Centro de Astrofísica de La Palma (CALP)”, in Breña Baja. The LaPalma supercomputer, along with four other “brother nodes”, is formed from older processors derived from the MareNostrum which were relocated during its last upgrade, and the node is coordinated from the BSC-CNS. The installation of the supercomputer at LaPalma was a strategic step whose objective is to boost the observation activities in the Observatorio del Roque de Los Muchachos – above all through the incorporation of the Gran Telescope CANARIAS (GTC) – and in this way reinforce the telecommunication development on the island.

    4
    Observatorio del Teide.

    Location: Tenerife (Canary Islands / Spain)
    Extension: 50 hectares
    Altitude: 2,390 m.
    geographical coordinates:
    Length: 16º 30 ’35 “West
    Latitude: 28º 18′ 00 “North

    Astrophysics in the Canaries began (in the early sixties) in the Observatory, in the Izaña (Tenerife), 2,390 m above sea level in a place where presenting the towns of La Orotava, Fasnia and Güímar: the first telescope to study zodiacal light, light scattered by interplanetary matter, began operating in 1964.

    Its geographical location (between the solar observatories of East and West), combined with transparency and excellent astronomical quality of the sky, have contributed to the Observatorio del Teide is preferably reserve to study the Sun, concentrating on the best solar telescopes Europeans.

    Residence of the Observatorio del Teide, in operation since January 1990, has a number of facilities (day and night bedrooms, kitchen and dining room, reception, lounges and games, garages, transformer station, generator and park panels solar), in order to provide a service to all scientific and linked to the Observatory that required technical personnel.

    Among the outreach efforts made by the Institute of Astrophysics of the Canary Islands, for the astronomical knowledge to reach everyone, visits schools and organized groups Observatory. Teide Observatory already has a Visitor Center, resulting from the conversion of an empty dome, which is provided with elements for scientific publication. With a capacity of about forty people, it is used to explain to schoolchildren what constitutes an observatory, how telescopes and astronomy has importance for man work.

    Address:
    Observatorio del Teide (Tenerife), Canary Islands Astrophysics Institute
    C / Milky Way, s / n, 38200 – La Laguna (Tenerife). Spain

    5
    Observatory image Roque de los muchachos.

    Location: La Palma (Canary Islands / Spain)
    Extension: 189 hectares
    Altitude: 2,396 m.
    GTC geographical coordinates:
    Longitude: 17 ° 53 ’33 “West
    Latitude: 28 ° 45 ’25 “North

    In the Roque of the Boys (ORM) the edge of the National Park Caldera, 2,396 m. of altitude, in the municipality of Garafía (La Palma), you are one of the most comprehensive battery of telescopes world.

    While this observatory is ideal for night observation, it is also for Solar Physics. The Observatory also attracts high-energy astrophysics.

    Apart from scientific activities, the Institute of Astrophysics of the Canary Islands conducts numerous outreach efforts astronomical knowledge to reach all audiences. To do this, at certain times of the year, visits schools and groups organize their observatories, both the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory and the Observatorio del Teide.

    The ORM residence consists of a number of facilities (day and night bedrooms, kitchen and dining room, reception, lounges and games, etc.) in order to provide a service to all scientific and technical personnel linked to Observatory you need it.

    Address:
    Roque de los Muchachos Observatory (La Palma)
    PO 36
    38712 Brena Baja, Isla de la Palma. Spain

    Purpose of the IAC.
    The aims of IAC are astrophysical research, development of scientific instruments linked to astronomy, training of research staff, administration Observatorio del Teide and the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory and dissemination of science.

    The IAC is headquartered in La Laguna (Tenerife), which is the usual place of work of most of its scientific, technological and personnel support. Also in the headquarters facilities are concentrated to develop scientific instrumentation. The IAC also has another venue, the Center for Astrophysics in La Palma (CALP).

    Administratively, the IAC is a public consortium composed of the Spanish State Administration, Public Administration of the Autonomous Community of the Canary Islands, University of La Laguna and the Superior Council for Scientific Research (CSIC)

    The participation of institutions of various countries in the Observatories is done through an International Scientific Committee (ICC). A Commission for Time Allocation (CAT) delivers the observation time corresponding to Spain in each of the telescopes in the Observatories of the IAC.

    The exceptional quality of the sky of the Canaries for astronomical observation is protected by law. The IAC has a Technical Office for the Protection of Sky Quality (OTPC) which monitors the ongoing implementation of this law. It also has a scientific group that deals with continuous monitoring of the parameters that determine the quality of astronomical observatories IAC (Sky Quality Group).

    The IAC Research Program includes projects both astrophysical research and technological development. Among the activities of the IAC is also the training of researchers, university teaching and cultural diffusion. The IAC has devoted great efforts to the technological development for the design and construction of a large telescope 10.4 meters in diameter (Gran Telescopio Canarias, GTC), which is located at the Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos.

    The Results Transfer Office (TTO) of the IAC, created under the National R + D, has been a pioneer within the National Network OTRI office.

    To learn more about the Institute of Astrophysics of the Canary Islands visit 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 7:40 am on July 11, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , GTC-Gran Telescopio Canarias, , Manu Garcia at IAC   

    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 9:09 am on July 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Manu Garcia at IAC, ,   

    From Hubble via Manu: “Hubble unveils a galaxy in living colour” 31 May 2001 


    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

    31 May 2001
    Lars Lindberg Christensen
    Hubble European Space Agency Information Centre (Garching, Germany)
    Phone: +49-(0)89-3200-6306
    Cellular (24 hr): +49-(0)173-38-72-621
    lars@eso.org

    Dan Maoz
    School of Physics and Astronomy, and Wise Observatory Tel-Aviv University, Israel
    Temporary address:
    Department of Astronomy, Columbia University, USA Phone: +1-212-854-6899
    dani@astro.columbia.edu

    Ray Villard
    Office of Public Outreach, Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, USA
    Phone: +001 410 338 4514
    villard@stsci.edu

    1
    An extensive, multi-wavelength study with the Hubble Space Telescope has shown the many faces of the galaxy NGC 1512. Hubble’s unique vantage point high above the atmosphere allows scientists to see objects over a broad range of wavelengths from the ultraviolet to the infrared.

    In this view of the centre of the magnificent barred spiral galaxy NGC 1512, the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope’s broad spectral vision reveals the galaxy at all wavelengths from ultraviolet through to infrared. The colours (which indicate differences in light intensity) map where newly born star clusters exist in both ‘dusty’ and ‘clean’ regions of the galaxy.

    This colour composite image was created from seven images, taken with three different Hubble cameras, the Faint Object Camera (FOC), the Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2 (WFPC2) and the Near Infrared Camera and Multi-Object Spectrometer (NICMOS).

    2
    NASA/ESA Hubble ESA/FOC

    NASA/Hubble WFPC2. No longer in service.

    NASA/Hubble NICMOS

    3
    Composite ultraviolet-visible-infrared image of NGC 1512. Credit: NASA, ESA, Dan Maoz (Tel-Aviv University, Israel, and Columbia University, USA)

    NGC 1512 is a barred spiral galaxy in the southern constellation of Horologium. Located 30 million light years away, relatively ‘nearby’ as galaxies go, it is bright enough to be seen with amateur telescopes. The galaxy spans 70 000 light years, nearly as much as our own Milky Way galaxy.

    The galaxy’s core is unique for its stunning 2400 light year wide circle of infant star clusters, called a ‘circumnuclear’ starburst ring. Starbursts are episodes of vigorous formation of new stars and are found in a variety of galaxy environments.

    Taking advantage of Hubble’s sharp vision, as well as its unique wavelength coverage, a team of Israeli and American astronomers performed one of the broadest and most detailed studies ever of such star-forming regions. The results, which will be published in the June issue of the Astronomical Journal, show that in NGC 1512 newly born star clusters exist in both dusty and clean environments. The clean clusters are readily seen in ultraviolet and visible light, appearing as bright, blue clumps in the image. However the dusty clusters are revealed only by the glow of the gas clouds in which they are hidden, as detected in red and infrared wavelengths by the Hubble cameras. This glow can be seen as red light permeating the dark, dusty lanes in the ring.

    ‘The dust obscuration of clusters appears to be an on-off phenomenon’ says Dan Maoz, who headed the collaboration. ‘The clusters are either completely hidden, enshrouded in their birth clouds, or almost completely exposed.’ The scientists believe that stellar winds and powerful radiation from the bright, newly born stars have cleared away the original natal dust cloud in a fast and efficient ‘cleansing’ process.

    Aaron Barth, a co-investigator on the team, adds: ‘It is remarkable how similar the properties of this starburst are to those of other nearby starbursts that have been studied in detail with Hubble.’ This similarity gives the astronomers the hope that, by understanding the processes occurring in nearby galaxies, they can better interpret observations of very distant and faint starburst galaxies. Such distant galaxies formed the first generations of stars, when the Universe was a fraction of its current age.

    Circumstellar star-forming rings are common in the Universe. Such rings within barred spiral galaxies may in fact comprise the most numerous class of nearby starburst regions. Astronomers generally believe that the giant bar funnels the gas to the inner ring, where massive stars are formed within numerous star clusters. Studies like this one emphasise the need to observe at many different wavelengths to get the full picture of the processes taking place.

    Notes

    Members of the group of scientists involved in these observations are: Dan Maoz (Tel-Aviv University, Israel and Columbia University, USA), Aaron J. Barth (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, USA), Luis C. Ho (The Observatories of the Carnegie Institution of Washington, USA), Amiel Sternberg (Tel-Aviv University, Israel) and Alexei V. Filippenko (University of California, Berkeley, USA).

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    STEM Icon

    Stem Education Coalition

    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.

    ESA50 Logo large

    AURA Icon

    NASA image

     
  • richardmitnick 8:43 am on July 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , GALAXY NGC 2500, Manu Garcia at IAC,   

    From Manu Garcia: ” Just Like at Home” 


    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.

    7.10.17

    1
    Discovered by British Astronomer William Herschel Over 200 years ago, the GALAXY NGC 2500 is about 30 million light-years away in the Northern Constellation of Lynx. As it shows this image of NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, NGC 2500 is a particular type of spiral galaxy known as a spiral, with its fine arms spinning from a bright and elongated nucleus.

    Spiral Galaxies are actually more common than ever before. About Two thirds of all spiral galaxies, including the milky way, exhibit these straight bars cutting through their centers. These cosmic structures act as bright nurseries for newly-Born Stars, and funnel material to the active core of a galaxy. NGC 2500 continues to actively form new stars, although this process seems to be happening in a very uneven way. The Upper Half of the galaxy where spiral arms are slightly better defined houses many more star formation regions than the lower half, as indicated by the bright and dotted islands of light.

    2
    http://www.jwinman.com/starcharts/NGC%202500%20chart.htm

    3

    There is another similarity between NGC 2500 and our galaxy of origin. Along with Andromeda, the triangle and many smaller natural satellites, the milky way is part of the local group of galaxies, a set of about 30 Galaxies United by gravity. NGC 2500 forms a similar group with some of its nearby neighbors, including NGC 2541, NGC 2552, NGC 2537, and the bright, Andromeda-as spiral NGC 2481 (collectively known as the NGC Group 2841).

    Credit:
    NASA/ESA Hubble

    NASA/ESA Hubble Telescope

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    STEM Icon

    Stem Education Coalition

     
  • richardmitnick 10:57 am on July 3, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , Manu Garcia at IAC, , The giant star Zeta Ophiuchi   

    From Spitzer via Manu: “Massive Star Makes Waves” 12.18.12 


    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/Spitzer Telescope

    Spitzer

    12.18.12
    No writer credit

    1

    The giant star Zeta Ophiuchi is having a “shocking” effect on the surrounding dust clouds in this infrared image from NASAs Spitzer Space Telescope. Stellar winds flowing out from this fast-moving star are making ripples in the dust as it approaches, creating a bow shock seen as glowing gossamer threads, which, for this star, are only seen in infrared light.

    Zeta Ophiuchi is a young, large and hot star located around 370 light-years away. It dwarfs our own sun in many ways — it is about six times hotter, eight times wider, 20 times more massive, and about 80,000 times as bright. Even at its great distance, it would be one of the brightest stars in the sky were it not largely obscured by foreground dust clouds.

    This massive star is travelling at a snappy pace of about 54,000 mph (24 kilometers per second), fast enough to break the sound barrier in the surrounding interstellar material. Because of this motion, it creates a spectacular bow shock ahead of its direction of travel (to the left). The structure is analogous to the ripples that precede the bow of a ship as it moves through the water, or the sonic boom of an airplane hitting supersonic speeds.

    The fine filaments of dust surrounding the star glow primarily at shorter infrared wavelengths, rendered here in green. The area of the shock pops out dramatically at longer infrared wavelengths, creating the red highlights.

    A bright bow shock like this would normally be seen in visible light as well, but because it is hidden behind a curtain of dust, only the longer infrared wavelengths of light seen by Spitzer can reach us.

    Bow shocks are commonly seen when two different regions of gas and dust slam into one another. Zeta Ophiuchi, like other massive stars, generates a strong wind of hot gas particles flowing out from its surface. This expanding wind collides with the tenuous clouds of interstellar gas and dust about half a light-year away from the star, which is almost 800 times the distance from the sun to Pluto. The speed of the winds added to the stars supersonic motion result in the spectacular collision seen here.

    Our own sun has significantly weaker solar winds and is passing much more slowly through our galactic neighborhood so it may not have a bow shock at all. NASAs twin Voyager spacecraft are headed away from the solar system and are currently about three times farther out than Pluto. They will likely pass beyond the influence of the sun into interstellar space in the next few years, though this is a much gentler transition than that seen around Zeta Ophiuchi.

    For this Spitzer image, infrared light at wavelengths of 3.6 and 4.5 microns is rendered in blue, 8.0 microns in green, and 24 microns in red.

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    STEM Icon

    Stem Education Coalition

    The Spitzer Space Telescope is a NASA mission managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory located on the campus of the California Institute of Technology and part of NASA’s Infrared Processing and Analysis Center.

    NASA image

    NASA JPL Icon

    Caltech Logo

     
  • richardmitnick 6:39 am on July 3, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Manu Garcia at IAC, , NGC 3314A and NGC 3314B   

    From Hubble via Manu: “A trick of perspective — chance alignment mimics a cosmic collision” 14 June 2012 


    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.

    14 June, 2012

    Oli Usher
    Hubble/ESA
    Garching bei München, Germany
    Tel: +49-89-3200-6855
    Email: ousher@eso.org

    NASA Hubble Banner

    NASA/ESA Hubble Telescope

    NASA/ESA Hubble Telescope

    1
    The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has produced a highly detailed image of a pair of overlapping galaxies called NGC 3314. While the two galaxies look as if they are in the midst of a collision, this is in fact a trick of perspective: the two just happen to appear in the same direction from our vantage point. NGC 3314A and B might look like they are in the midst of a galactic pile-up, but they are in fact separated by tens of millions of light years of void. Their apparent proximity is simply a trick of perspective.

    How do we know this? The biggest hint as to whether galaxies are interacting is usually their shapes. The immense gravitational forces involved in galactic mergers are enough to pull a galaxy out of shape long before it actually collides. Deforming a galaxy like this does not just warp its structure, but it can trigger new episodes of star formation, usually visible as bright blue stars and glowing nebulae.

    In the case of NGC 3314, we do indeed see deformation in the foreground galaxy (called NGC 3314A, NGC 3314B lies in the background), but this is almost certainly misleading. NGC 3314A’s deformed shape, particularly visible below and to the right of the core, where streams of hot blue-white stars extend out from the spiral arms, is not due to interaction with the galaxy in the background.

    Studies of the motion of the two galaxies indicate that they are both relatively undisturbed, and that they are moving independently of each other. This indicates in turn that they are not, and indeed have never been, on any collision course. NGC 3314A’s warped shape is likely due instead to an encounter with another galaxy, perhaps nearby NGC 3312 (visible to the north in wide-field images) or another nearby galaxy.

    The chance alignment of the two galaxies is more than just a curiosity, though. It greatly affects the way the two galaxies appear to us.

    NGC 3314B’s dust lanes, for example, appear far lighter than those of NGC 3314A. This is not because that galaxy lacks dust, but rather because they are lightened by the bright fog of stars in the foreground. NGC 3314A’s dust, in contrast, is backlit by the stars of NGC 3314B, silhouetting them against the bright background.

    Such an alignment of galaxies is also helpful to astronomers studying gravitational microlensing, a phenomenon that occurs when stars in one galaxy cause small perturbations in the light coming from a more distant one.

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

    Indeed, the observations of NGC 3314 that led to this image were carried out in order to investigate this phenomenon.

    This mosaic image covers a large field of view (several times the size of an individual exposure from Hubble’s Advanced Camera for Surveys [ACS]).

    NASA/ESA Hubble ACS

    Thanks to a long exposure time of more than 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 colour composite was produced from exposures taken in blue and red light.

    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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    NASA image

     
  • richardmitnick 9:05 am on June 28, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Manu Garcia at IAC, Messier 20 and Messier 21   

    From Manu Garcia at IAC: “Composite image of Messier 20 and 21” 


    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

    The Beautiful Nebula, also known as Messier 20, is about 5.000 Light-years away, a colorful study in cosmic contrasts. Share this field of almost 1 degree wide with the set of open stars messier 21 (top to the left). Trisected by the dust lanes the nebula has a size of 40 Light-years through and barely 300.000 years. That makes it one of the youngest star formation regions in our sky, with newly born and embryonic stars embedded in their native dust and gas clouds. Estimates of distance to open star group Messier 21 are similar to but although they share this magnificent telescopic scenario there is no apparent connection between the two. The Stars of Messier 21 are much older, about 8 million years old. Messier 20 and Messier 21 are easy to find even with a small telescope in the rich constellation Sagittarius. In fact, this well-composed scene is a compound of two different telescopes. Using narrow band data, mix a high resolution image of Messier 20 with a wider field image extending to Messier 21.

    Image Credit and copyright: Martin Pugh

    See the full article here .

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  • richardmitnick 8:19 am on June 26, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: A Deeper Look at Centaurus A" From 2012, , , , , , Manu Garcia at IAC, MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope at ESO’s La Silla Observatory in Chile 600 km north of Santiago de Chile at an altitude of 2400 metres   

    From ESO via Manu: “A Deeper Look at Centaurus A” From 2012 


    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.

    16 May 2012
    Richard Hook
    ESO, La Silla, Paranal, E-ELT and Survey Telescopes Public Information Officer
    Garching bei München, Germany
    Tel: +49 89 3200 6655
    Cell: +49 151 15 37 35 91
    Email: rhook@eso.org

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    European Southern Observatory

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    The strange galaxy Centaurus A is pictured in a new image from the European Southern Observatory. With a total exposure time of more than 50 hours this is probably the deepest view of this peculiar and spectacular object ever created. The image was produced by the Wide Field Imager of the MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope at ESO’s La Silla Observatory in Chile.

    ESO WFI LaSilla 2.2-m MPG/ESO telescope at La Silla, 600 km north of Santiago de Chile at an altitude of 2400 metres

    Centaurus A, also known as NGC 5128 [1], is a peculiar massive elliptical galaxy with a supermassive black hole at its heart. It lies about 12 million light-years away in the southern constellation of Centaurus (The Centaur) and has the distinction of being the most prominent radio galaxy in the sky. Astronomers think that the bright nucleus, strong radio emission and jet features of Centaurus A are produced by a central black hole with a mass of about 100 million times that of the Sun. Matter from the dense central parts of the galaxy releases vast amounts of energy as it falls towards the black hole.

    This Wide Field Imager (WFI) picture allows us to appreciate the galaxy’s elliptical nature, which shows up as the elongated shape of the fainter outer parts. The glow that fills much of the picture comes from hundreds of billions of cooler and older stars. Unlike most elliptical galaxies, however, Centaurus A’s smooth shape is disturbed by a broad and patchy band of dark material that obscures the galaxy’s centre.

    The dark band harbours large amounts of gas, dust and young stars. Bright young star clusters appear at the upper-right and lower-left edges of the band along with the red glow of star-forming clouds of hydrogen, whilst some isolated dust clouds are silhouetted against the stellar background. These features, and the prominent radio emission, are strong evidence that Centaurus A is the result of a merger between two galaxies. The dusty band is probably the mangled remains of a spiral galaxy in the process of being ripped apart by the gravitational pull of the giant elliptical galaxy.

    The new set of images from WFI include long exposures through red, green and blue filters as well as filters specially designed to isolate the light from glowing hydrogen and oxygen. The latter help us to spot the known optical jet features around Centaurus A, which were barely visible in a previous image from the Wide Field Imager (eso0315a).

    Extending from the galaxy to the upper left corner of the image are two groups of reddish filaments, which are roughly lined up with the huge jets that are prominent in radio images. Both sets of filaments are stellar nurseries, containing hot young stars [2]. Above the left side of the dusty band, we find the inner filaments, lying about 30 000 light-years away of the nucleus. Further out, around 65 000 light-years away from the galaxy’s nucleus and close to the upper left corner of the image, the outer filaments are visible. There is also possibly a very much fainter trace of a counter jet extending to the lower right.

    Centaurus A has been extensively studied at wavelengths ranging from radio all the way to gamma-rays. In particular, radio and X-ray observations have been crucial for studying the interaction between the energetic output of the central supermassive black hole and its surroundings, see eso0903. Studies of Centaurus A with ALMA are just beginning.

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

    Many of the observations of Centaurus A used to make this image were taken to see whether it was possible to use ground-based surveys to detect and study variable stars in galaxies like Centaurus A outside the local group [3]. More than 200 new variable stars in Centaurus A were discovered.
    Notes

    [1] The galaxy was first documented by British astronomer James Dunlop at the Parramatta observatory in Australia on August 4, 1826. This galaxy is often called Centaurus A because was the first major source of radio waves discovered in the constellation of Centaurus back in the 1950s.

    [2] The origin of both filaments is not clear and astronomers still debate whether they are the result of the ionisation produced by radiation from the nucleus or the result of shocks within the gas clumps.

    [3] More information is presented in the paper by J.T.A. de Jong et al. 2008 [Astronomy & Astrophysics].

    More information

    The year 2012 marks the 50th anniversary of the founding of the European Southern Observatory (ESO).

    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 10:11 am on June 25, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Manu Garcia at IAC, N44 in the LMC   

    From Manu: “the superbubble n44” 


    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
    N44 Copyright and copyright credit: Gemini Obs., Aura, NSF

    The immense emission nebula N44 in our neighboring galaxy, the great Large Magellanic Cloud, has a great 250-Light-year hole and astronomers are trying to figure out why. One possibility is that the particle winds driven out by mass stars inside the bubble that push out the gas that shines brightly.

    Large Magellanic Cloud. Adrian Pingstone December 2003

    However, this response was found to be inconsistent with wind speeds. Another possibility is that the expanding shells of old supernovas have sculpted the unusual space cavern. Recently detected an unexpected runway of x-Ray Hot gas that escaped from the superbubble N44. The featured image was taken in three very specific colors by the GIANT GEMINI 8-metre telescope at cerro pachón in Chile.

    NOAO Gemini Planet Imager on Gemini South


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

    See the full article here .

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