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  • richardmitnick 1:34 pm on January 23, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ALMA Captured Betelgeuse, , , , , , Millimeter/submillimeter astronomy,   

    From ALMA: “ALMA Captured Betelgeuse” 

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

    ALMA

    2018.01.23

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    ALMA Captured Betelgeuse Credit: ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO) /E. O’Gorman/P. Kervella.

    ALMA captured this image of the bright star Betelgeuse in the constellation Orion at an ultra-high resolution which exceeds 80000/20 vision in terms of eyesight. Betelgeuse is a red supergiant star in the final stage of its life. It has swelled up to about 1400 times bigger than the Sun. In the image taken by ALMA, the radio waves are stronger on a part of the star’s surface (the white part in the image), and it turned out that that part was about 1000 degrees Celsius hotter than its surroundings. Also on the left side of the image, a slightly swollen structure can be seen.

    Investigating the Surface of a Star with Extremely High-resolution Observations

    The stars visible in the night sky are located very far away. Even if you look at the stars with a telescope, you usually can only see them as dots. However, Betelgeuse is located relatively close at 500 light-years from the Earth, and it has expanded to 1400 times as big as the Sun, which is about the same size as Jupiter’s orbit in the Solar System. So, it is one of the few stars where we can investigate the surface pattern with extremely high-resolution observations.

    ALMA captured radio waves radiated slightly above the photosphere, the surface of Betelgeuse which you can see with visible light. The average temperature estimated from the radio intensity is about 2500 degrees Celsius. Since Betelgeuse’s photosphere is about 3400 degrees Celsius, we can say that the temperature of the upper atmosphere is about 1000 degrees Celsius colder than the surface of the photosphere. On the other hand, as shown in the image, some regions captured by ALMA are hotter than the surroundings. Researchers think that this is due to a convection phenomenon in which high temperature matter comes up from inside Betelgeuse. Observing Betelgeuse in extremely high-resolution gives us a clue to understand what is happening inside the giant star at the end of its life.

    See the full article here .

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    The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), an international astronomy facility, is a partnership of Europe, North America and East Asia in cooperation with the Republic of Chile. ALMA is funded in Europe by the European Organization for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere (ESO), in North America by the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) in cooperation with the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) and the National Science Council of Taiwan (NSC) and in East Asia by the National Institutes of Natural Sciences (NINS) of Japan in cooperation with the Academia Sinica (AS) in Taiwan.

    ALMA construction and operations are led on behalf of Europe by ESO, on behalf of North America by the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO), which is managed by Associated Universities, Inc. (AUI) and on behalf of East Asia by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ). The Joint ALMA Observatory (JAO) provides the unified leadership and management of the construction, commissioning and operation of ALMA.

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  • richardmitnick 11:45 am on January 19, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ACA-Atacama Compact Array, , , , , , Millimeter/submillimeter astronomy,   

    From ALMA: “ALMA Board Approved Development of New Spectrometer for Morita Array” 

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

    ALMA

    19 January, 2018
    No writer credit found

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    A group of antennas of the Morita Array in ALMA. Credit: ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO)

    In November 2017, the ALMA Board approved the development of a new spectrometer for the Morita Array designed and developed by Japan for the ALMA telescope. The development will be undertaken by Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute (KASI) and the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ) as part of the ALMA Future Development Program aiming to keep ALMA continuously producing remarkable scientific results for the future.

    A principle investigator of the ACA spectrometer project, Jongsoo Kim, said: “The approval of the ACA spectrometer project by the ALMA board is a recognition of the cost-effective development plan and the successful collaboration between KASI and NAOJ.” He also added that “An ACA spectrometer will become the first instrumental contribution to the ALMA community from Korea through the East Asia partnership.”

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    The new spectrometer under development and GPU boards with the words “GEFORCE GTX” on it. Credit: NAOJ/KASI

    Satoru Iguchi, the East Asian ALMA project manager, said, “This is the first large development project led by the Korean ALMA project. Through the ALMA, we will foster stronger collaborations between KASI and NAOJ.”

    ALMA has achieved ultra-high angular resolution by making a giant virtual telescope with fifty 12-m antennas that can be extended up to 16 km in diameter. On the other hand, the extended antenna configuration has a drawback in capturing radio emissions from astronomical objects that look extended in the sky. To compensate for the shortcoming, ALMA has the Morita Array, also known as the Atacama Compact Array (ACA), which enables a compact configuration with smaller spaces between the antennas.

    The Morita Array developed by Japan is composed of twelve 7-m antennas and four 12-m antennas. The twelve 7-m antennas are operated as an interferometer, while the four 12-m antennas are done as a single-dish telescope. Radio waves collected by all ACA antennas are processed by the ACA Correlator.

    Atacama Compact Array, in Chile in the Atacama at Chajnantor plateau, at 5,000 metres

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    The newly-developed DRXP board for the new spectrometer with the function to receive digital optical signals transmitted from the antenna. Credit: NAOJ/KASI

    As the present ACA Correlator is optimized to process signals from twelve 7-m antennas as an interferometer, the signal processing system is not optimized for four 12-m antennas as a single-dish telescope. In this situation, KASI and NAOJ started discussions on the development of a dedicated digital spectrometer for the Morita Array 12-m antennas. The system is called “spectrometer” instead of “correlator” because spectroscopy function (to divide radio waves into different frequency ranges as light is dispersed into different colors by a prism) is needed in data processing for the ACA 12-m antennas but correlation function (to combine data from the antennas) is not necessary. With this development, signals from the 7-m antennas will be continuously processed by the ACA Correlator, while signals from the 12-m antennas will be separately processed by the new spectrometer, which makes it possible to maximize the capability of the Morita Array, especially in measuring the radio intensity very accurately.

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    Spectra of SiO emission lines in an old star T Cephei, obtained with the new spectrometer under development which was tentatively mounted on the Nobeyama 45-m radio telescope. Credit: NAOJ

    In the development of the new digital spectrometer with GPU, KASI is responsible for the design, development, verification and shipping to Chile, while NAOJ assumes the development and system design of software and hardware and integration into the entire ALMA system. The collaborative development has already been started, and the Preliminary Design Review (PDR) for the spectrometer was held in February 2017. In response to the results of the review, the development plan was endorsed by the ALMA Scientific Advisory Committee (ASAC) and then officially approved by the ALMA Board. The development project is moving forward toward the Critical Design Review (CDR) scheduled for the end of 2018 and delivery to ALMA in 2020.

    See the full article here .

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    The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), an international astronomy facility, is a partnership of Europe, North America and East Asia in cooperation with the Republic of Chile. ALMA is funded in Europe by the European Organization for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere (ESO), in North America by the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) in cooperation with the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) and the National Science Council of Taiwan (NSC) and in East Asia by the National Institutes of Natural Sciences (NINS) of Japan in cooperation with the Academia Sinica (AS) in Taiwan.

    ALMA construction and operations are led on behalf of Europe by ESO, on behalf of North America by the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO), which is managed by Associated Universities, Inc. (AUI) and on behalf of East Asia by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ). The Joint ALMA Observatory (JAO) provides the unified leadership and management of the construction, commissioning and operation of ALMA.

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  • richardmitnick 12:36 pm on January 16, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , Millimeter/submillimeter astronomy,   

    From ESO: “Introduction to ALMA – In search of our cosmic origins” 

    ESO 50 Large

    European Southern Observatory

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

    What is the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA)?

    High on the Chajnantor plateau in the Chilean Andes, the European Southern Observatory (ESO), together with its international partners, is operating the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) — a state-of-the-art telescope to study light from some of the coldest objects in the Universe. This light has wavelengths of around a millimetre, between infrared light and radio waves, and is therefore known as millimetre and submillimetre radiation. ALMA comprises 66 high-precision antennas, spread over distances of up to 16 kilometres. This global collaboration is the largest ground-based astronomical project in existence.

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    ALMA roadmap. Credit: ESO

    _____________________________________________________________
    ALMA
    Name: Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array
    Site: Chajnantor
    Altitude: 4576 to 5044m (most above 5000 m)
    Enclosure: Open air
    Type: Sub-millimeter interferometer antenna array
    Optical design: Cassegrain
    Diameter. Primary M1: 54 x 12.0 m (AEM, Vertex, and MELCO) and 12 x 7.0 m (MELCO)
    Material. Primary M1: CFRP and Aluminium (12-metre),Steel and Aluminium (7-metre)
    Diameter. Secondary M2: 0.75 m (for 12-metre antennas); 0.457 m (for 7-metre antennas)
    Material. Secondary M2: Aluminium
    Mount: Alt-Azimuth mount
    First Light date: 30 September 2011
    Interferometry: Click on the image to take a Virtual Tour in and nearby Chajnantor.Click on the image to take a Virtual Tour in and nearby Chajnantor.Baselines from 150 m to 16 km

    _____________________________________________________________

    What is submillimetre astronomy?

    Light at these wavelengths comes from vast cold clouds in interstellar space, at temperatures only a few tens of degrees above absolute zero, and from some of the earliest and most distant galaxies in the Universe. Astronomers can use it to study the chemical and physical conditions in molecular clouds — the dense regions of gas and dust where new stars are being born. Often these regions of the Universe are dark and obscured in visible light, but they shine brightly in the millimetre and submillimetre part of the spectrum.

    Why build ALMA in the high Andes?

    Millimetre and submillimetre radiation opens a window into the enigmatic cold Universe, but the signals from space are heavily absorbed by water vapour in the Earth’s atmosphere. Telescopes for this kind of astronomy must be built on high, dry sites, such as the 5000-m high plateau at Chajnantor, one of the highest astronomical observatory sites on Earth.

    The ALMA site, some 50 km east of San Pedro de Atacama in northern Chile, is in one of the driest places on Earth. Astronomers find unsurpassed conditions for observing, but they must operate a frontier observatory under very difficult conditions. Chajnantor is more than 750 m higher than the observatories on Mauna Kea, and 2400 m higher than the VLT on Cerro Paranal.

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    Click on the image to take a Virtual Tour in and nearby Chajnantor [in the full article].

    Why is ALMA an interferometer?

    ALMA is a single telescope of revolutionary design, composed initially of 66 high-precision antennas, and operating at wavelengths of 0.32 to 3.6 mm. Its main 12-metre array has fifty antennas, 12 metres in diameter, acting together as a single telescope — an interferometer. An additional compact array of four 12-metre and twelve 7-metre antennas complements this. The 66 ALMA antennas can be arranged in different configurations, where the maximum distance between antennas can vary from 150 metres to 16 kilometres, which give ALMA a powerful variable “zoom”. It is be able to probe the Universe at millimetre and submillimetre wavelengths with unprecedented sensitivity and resolution, with a vision up to ten times sharper than the Hubble Space Telescope, and complementing images made with the VLT Interferometer.

    Science with ALMA

    3

    ALMA is the most powerful telescope for observing the cool Universe — molecular gas and dust. ALMA studies the building blocks of stars, planetary systems, galaxies and life itself. By providing scientists with detailed images of stars and planets being born in gas clouds near our Solar System, and detecting distant galaxies forming at the edge of the observable Universe, which we see as they were roughly ten billion years ago, it lets astronomers address some of the deepest questions of our cosmic origins.

    ALMA was inaugurated in 2013, but early scientific observations with a partial array began in 2011. See press release eso1137 for more information.

    ALMA has consistenly produced unique and spectacular results. The fields in which it has delivered its most outstanding results include:

    Providing images of protoplanetary disks such as HL Tau (see eso1436) which transformed the previously accepted theories about the planetary formation.
    Observing phenomena such as Einstein Rings in extraordinary detail (see eso1522), providing a level of resolution not acheived by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope.
    The detection of complex organic molecules — carbon-based, pre-biotic structures, necessary for building life — in distant protoplanetary disks (see eso1513), comfirming that our Solar System is not unique in potentially fostering life.

    For more information on discoveries made with ALMA, explore the Science with ESO Telescopes page.

    ALMA is a partnership of the ESO, the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institutes of Natural Sciences (NINS) of Japan in cooperation with the Republic of Chile. ALMA is funded by ESO on behalf of its Member States, by NSF in cooperation with the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) and the National Science Council of Taiwan (NSC) and by NINS in cooperation with the Academia Sinica (AS) in Taiwan and the Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute (KASI).

    ALMA construction and operations are led by ESO on behalf of its Member States; by the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO), managed by Associated Universities, Inc. (AUI), on behalf of North America; and by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ) on behalf of East Asia. The Joint ALMA Observatory (JAO) provides the unified leadership and management of the construction, commissioning and operation of ALMA.

    Science goals

    Star formation, molecular clouds, early Universe.

    More about the ALMA Observatory

    ALMA Antennas
    ALMA Transporters
    ALMA and Interferometry
    ALMA Residencia
    More interesting facts are available on the FAQs page
    Read more about this observatory on the ALMA Handout in PDF format
    More ALMA Image Archive and ALMA Video Archive are available in the ESO multimedia archive
    For scientists: for more detailed information, please visit our technical pages
    Visit the ALMA Observatory website

    The ALMA Planetarium Show

    “In search of our Cosmic Origins” is an inspiring show, introducing ALMA, the largest astronomical project in existence. Read more at the Cosmic Origins website.

    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.

    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)

    ESO Next Generation Transit Survey at Cerro Paranel, 2,635 metres (8,645 ft) above sea level

    SPECULOOS four 1m-diameter robotic telescopes 2016 in the ESO Paranal Observatory, 2,635 metres (8,645 ft) above sea level

    ESO TAROT telescope at Paranal, 2,635 metres (8,645 ft) above sea level

     
  • richardmitnick 5:09 pm on December 26, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 'Direct Collapse' Black Holes May Explain Our Universe's Mysterious Quasars, , , , , , , Millimeter/submillimeter astronomy, , , , Star formation is a violent process, ,   

    From Ethan Siegel: “‘Direct Collapse’ Black Holes May Explain Our Universe’s Mysterious Quasars” 

    From Ethan Siegel
    Dec 26, 2017

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    The most distant X-ray jet in the Universe, from quasar GB 1428, is approximately the same distance and age, as viewed from Earth, as quasar S5 0014+81; both are over 12 billion light years away. X-ray: NASA/CXC/NRC/C.Cheung et al; Optical: NASA/STScI; Radio: NSF/NRAO/VLA

    NASA/Chandra Telescope


    NASA/ESA Hubble Telescope


    NRAO/Karl V Jansky VLA, on the Plains of San Agustin fifty miles west of Socorro, NM, USA, at an elevation of 6970 ft (2124 m)

    There’s a big problem when we look at the brightest, most energetic objects we can see in the early stages of the Universe. Shortly after the first stars and galaxies form, we find the first quasars: extremely luminous sources of radiation that span the electromagnetic spectrum, from radio up through the X-ray. Only a supermassive black hole could possibly serve as the engine for one of these cosmic behemoths, and the study of active objects like quasars, blazars, and AGNs all support this idea. But there’s a problem: it may not be possible to make a black hole so large, so quickly, to explain these young quasars that we see. Unless, that is, there’s a new way to make black holes beyond what we previously thought. This year, we found the first evidence for a direct collapse black hole, and it may lead to the solution we’ve sought for so long.

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    While distant host galaxies for quasars and active galactic nuclei can often be imaged in visible/infrared light, the jets themselves and the surrounding emission is best viewed in both the X-ray and the radio, as illustrated here for the galaxy Hercules A. It takes a black hole to power an engine such as this. NASA, ESA, S. Baum and C. O’Dea (RIT), R. Perley and W. Cotton (NRAO/AUI/NSF), and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA).

    Generically known as ‘active galaxies,’ almost all galaxies posses supermassive black holes at their center, but only a few emit the intense radiation associated with quasars or AGNs. The leading idea is that supermassive black holes will feed on matter, accelerating and heating it, which causes it to ionize and give off light. Based on the light we observe, we can successfully infer the mass of the central black hole, which often reaches billions of times the mass of our Sun. Even for the earliest quasars, such as J1342+0928, we can get up to a mass of 800 million solar masses just 690 million years after the Big Bang: when the Universe was just 5% of its current age.

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    This artist’s concept shows the most distant supermassive black hole ever discovered. It is part of a quasar from just 690 million years after the Big Bang. Robin Dienel/Carnegie Institution for Science.

    If you try to build a black hole in the conventional way, by having massive stars go supernova, form small black holes, and have them merge together, you run into problems. Star formation is a violent process, as when nuclear fusion ignites, the intense radiation burns off the remaining gas that would otherwise go into forming progressively more and more massive stars. From nearby star-forming regions to the most distant ones we’ve ever observed, this same process seems to be in place, preventing stars (and, hence, black holes) beyond a certain mass from ever forming.

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    An artist’s conception of what the Universe might look like as it forms stars for the first time. While stars might reach many hundreds or even a thousand solar masses, it’s very difficult to see how you could get a black hole of the mass the earliest quasars are known to possess. NASA/JPL-Caltech/R. Hurt (SSC).

    We have a standard scenario that’s very powerful and compelling: of supernova explosions, gravitational interactions, and then growth by mergers and accretion. But the early quasars we see are too massive too quickly to be explained by this. Our other known pathway to create black holes, from merging neutron stars, provides no further help. Instead, a third scenario of direct collapse may be responsible. This idea has been helped along by three pieces of evidence in the past year:

    1.The discovery of ultra-young quasars like J1342+0928, in possession of black holes many hundred of millions of solar masses.
    2.Theoretical advances that show how, if the direct collapse scenario is true, we could form early “seed” black holes a thousand times as massive as the ones formed by supernova.
    3.And the discovery of the first stars that become black holes via direct collapse, validating the process.

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    In addition to formation by supernovae and neutron star mergers, it should be possible for black holes to form via direct collapse. Simulations such as the one shown here demonstrate that, under the right condition, seed black holes of 100,000 to 1,000,000 solar masses could form in the very early stages of the Universe. Aaron Smith/TACC/UT-Austin.

    Normally, it’s the hottest, youngest, most massive, and newest stars in the Universe that will lead to a black hole. There are plenty of galaxies like this in the early stages of the Universe, but there are also plenty of proto-galaxies that are all gas, dust, and dark matter, with no stars in them yet. Out in the great cosmic abyss, we’ve even found an example of a pair of galaxies just like this: where one has furiously formed stars and the other one may not have formed any yet. The ultra-distant galaxy, known as CR7, has a massive population of young stars, and a nearby patch of light-emitting gas that may not have yet formed a single star in it.

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    Illustration of the distant galaxy CR7, which last year was discovered to house a pristine population of stars formed from the material direct from the Big Bang. One of these galaxies definitely houses stars; the other may not have formed any yet. M. Kornmesser / ESO.

    In a theoretical study published in March [Nature Astronomy] of this year, a fascinating mechanism for producing direct collapse black holes from a mechanism like this was introduced. A young, luminous galaxy could irradiate a nearby partner, which prevents the gas within it from fragmenting to form tiny clumps. Normally, it’s the tiny clumps that collapse into individual stars, but if you fail to form those clumps, you instead can just get a monolithic collapse of a huge amount of gas into a single bound structure. Gravitation then does its thing, and your net result could be a black hole over 100,000 times as massive as our Sun, perhaps even all the way up to 1,000,000 solar masses.

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    Distant, massive quasars show ultramassive black holes in their cores. It’s very difficult to form them without a large seed, but a direct collapse black hole could solve that puzzle quite elegantly. J. Wise/Georgia Institute of Technology and J. Regan/Dublin City University.

    There are many theoretical mechanisms that turn out to be intriguing, however, that aren’t borne out when it comes to real, physical environments. Is direct collapse possible? We can now definitively answer that question with a “yes,” as the first star that was massive enough to go supernova was seen to simply wink out of existence. No fireworks; no explosion; no increase in luminosity. Just a star that was there one moment, and replaces with a black hole the next. As spotted before-and-after with Hubble, there is no doubt that the direct collapse of matter to a black hole occurs in our Universe.

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    The visible/near-IR photos from Hubble show a massive star, about 25 times the mass of the Sun, that has winked out of existence, with no supernova or other explanation. Direct collapse is the only reasonable candidate explanation. NASA/ESA/C. Kochanek (OSU).

    Put all three of these pieces of information together, and you arrive at the following picture for how these supermassive black holes form so early.

    A region of space collapses to form stars, while a nearby region of space has also undergone gravitational collapse but hasn’t formed stars yet.
    The region with stars emits an intense amount of radiation, where the photon pressure keeps the gas in the other cloud from fragmenting into potential stars.
    The cloud itself continues to collapse, doing so in a monolithic fashion. It expels energy (radiation) as it does so, but without any stars inside.
    When a critical threshold is crossed, that huge amount of mass, perhaps hundreds of thousands or even millions of times the mass of our Sun, directly collapses to form a black hole.
    From this massive, early seed, it’s easy to get supermassive black holes simply by the physics of gravitation, merger, accretion, and time.

    It might not only be possible, but with the new array of radio telescopes coming online, as well as the James Webb Space Telescope, we may be able to witness the process in action.

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

    SKA Square Kilometer Array


    SKA/ASKAP radio telescope at the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory (MRO) in Mid West region of Western Australia


    SKA Murchison Widefield Array, Boolardy station in outback Western Australia, at the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory (MRO)

    The galaxy CR7 is likely one example of many similar objects likely to be out there. As Volker Bromm, the theorist behind the direct collapse mechanism first said [RAS], a nearby, luminous galaxy could cause a nearby cloud of gas to directly collapse. All you need to do is begin with a

    “primordial cloud of hydrogen and helium, suffused in a sea of ultraviolet radiation. You crunch this cloud in the gravitational field of a dark-matter halo. Normally, the cloud would be able to cool, and fragment to form stars. However, the ultraviolet photons keep the gas hot, thus suppressing any star formation. These are the desired, near-miraculous conditions: collapse without fragmentation! As the gas gets more and more compact, eventually you have the conditions for a massive black hole.”

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    The directly collapsing star we observed exhibited a brief brightening before having its luminosity drop to zero, an example of a failed supernova. For a large cloud of gas, the luminous emission of light is expected, but no stars are necessary to form a black hole this way.
    NASA/ESA/P. Jeffries (STScI)

    With a little luck, by time 2020 rolls around, this is one longstanding mystery that might finally be solved.

    See the full article here .

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    “Starts With A Bang! is a blog/video blog about cosmology, physics, astronomy, and anything else I find interesting enough to write about. I am a firm believer that the highest good in life is learning, and the greatest evil is willful ignorance. The goal of everything on this site is to help inform you about our world, how we came to be here, and to understand how it all works. As I write these pages for you, I hope to not only explain to you what we know, think, and believe, but how we know it, and why we draw the conclusions we do. It is my hope that you find this interesting, informative, and accessible,” says Ethan

     
  • richardmitnick 3:33 pm on December 6, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , Dark matter provides the pull of gravity that causes the Universe to collapse into structures, , Massive Primordial Galaxies Found Swimming in Vast Ocean of Dark Matter, Millimeter/submillimeter astronomy, , SPT0311-58, With these exquisite ALMA observations astronomers are seeing the most massive galaxy known in the first billion years of the Universe in the process of assembling itself   

    From ALMA: “Massive Primordial Galaxies Found Swimming in Vast Ocean of Dark Matter” Revised to add contacts 

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

    ALMA

    5 December, 2017

    Nicolás Lira
    Education and Public Outreach Coordinator
    Joint ALMA Observatory, Santiago – Chile
    Phone: +56 2 2467 6519
    Cell phone: +56 9 9445 7726
    Email: nicolas.lira@alma.cl

    Charles E. Blue
    Public Information Officer
    National Radio Astronomy Observatory Charlottesville, Virginia – USA
    Phone: +1 434 296 0314
    Cell phone: +1 202 236 6324
    Email: cblue@nrao.edu

    Richard Hook
    Public Information Officer, ESO
    Garching bei München, Germany
    Phone: +49 89 3200 6655
    Cell phone: +49 151 1537 3591
    Email: rhook@eso.org

    Masaaki Hiramatsu
    Education and Public Outreach Officer, NAOJ Chile
    Observatory
, Tokyo – Japan
    Phone: +81 422 34 3630
    Email: hiramatsu.masaaki@nao.ac.jp

    1
    Artist impression of a pair of galaxies from the very early Universe. Credit: NRAO/AUI/NSF; D. Berry

    Astronomers expect that the first galaxies, those that formed just a few hundred million years after the Big Bang, would share many similarities with some of the dwarf galaxies we see in the nearby Universe today. These early agglomerations of a few billion stars would then become the building blocks of the larger galaxies that came to dominate the Universe after the first few billion years.

    Ongoing observations with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), however, have discovered surprising examples of massive, star-filled galaxies seen when the Cosmos was less than a billion years old. This suggests that smaller galactic building blocks were able to assemble into large galaxies quite quickly.

    The latest ALMA observations push back this epoch of massive-galaxy formation even further by identifying two giant galaxies seen when the Universe was only 780 million years old, or about 5 percent its current age. ALMA also revealed that these uncommonly large galaxies are nestled inside an even-more-massive cosmic structure, a halo of dark matter with as much mass as several trillion suns.

    2
    To correct for the effects of gravitational lensing in these galaxies, the ALMA data (left panel) is compared to a lensing-distorted model image (second panel). The difference is shown in the third panel from the left. The structure of the galaxy, after removing the lensing effect, is shown at right. This image loops through the different velocity ranges within the galaxy, which appear at different frequencies to ALMA due to the Doppler effect. Credit: ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO); D. Marrone et al.

    The two galaxies are in such close proximity — less than the distance from the Earth to the center of our galaxy — that they will shortly merge to form the largest galaxy ever observed at that period in cosmic history. This discovery provides new details about the emergence of large galaxies and the role that dark matter plays in assembling the most massive structures in the Universe.

    The researchers report their findings in the journal Nature.

    “With these exquisite ALMA observations, astronomers are seeing the most massive galaxy known in the first billion years of the Universe in the process of assembling itself,” said Dan Marrone, associate professor of astronomy at the University of Arizona in Tucson and lead author on the paper.

    Astronomers are seeing these galaxies during a period of cosmic history known as the Epoch of Reionization when most of the intergalactic space was suffused with an obscuring fog of cold hydrogen gas.

    Reionization era and first stars, Caltech

    As more stars and galaxies formed, their energy eventually ionized the hydrogen between the galaxies, revealing the Universe as we see it today.

    Universe map Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) 2dF Galaxy Redshift Survey

    “We usually view that as the time of little galaxies working hard to chew away at the neutral intergalactic medium,” said Marrone. “Mounting observational evidence with ALMA, however, has helped to reshape that story and continues to push back the time at which truly massive galaxies first emerged in the Universe.”

    The galaxies that Marrone and his team studied, collectively known as SPT0311-58, were originally identified as a single source by the National Science Foundation’s South Pole Telescope.

    South Pole Telescope SPTPOL. The SPT collaboration is made up of over a dozen (mostly North American) institutions, including the University of Chicago, the University of California, Berkeley, Case Western Reserve University, Harvard/Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, the University of Colorado Boulder, McGill University, The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University of California, Davis, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Argonne National Laboratory, and the National Institute for Standards and Technology. It is funded by the National Science Foundation.

    These first observations indicated that this object was very distant and glowing brightly in infrared light, meaning that it was extremely dusty and likely going through a burst of star formation. Subsequent observations with ALMA revealed the distance and dual nature of the object, clearly resolving the pair of interacting galaxies.

    To make this observation, ALMA had some help from a gravitational lens, which provided an observing boost to the telescope.

    Gravitational Lensing NASA/ESA

    Gravitational lenses form when an intervening massive object, like a galaxy or galaxy cluster, bends the light from more distant galaxies. They do, however, distort the appearance of the object being studied, requiring sophisticated computer models to reconstruct the image as it would appear in its unaltered state.

    This “deconvolution” process provided intriguing details about the galaxies, showing that the larger of the two is forming stars at a rate of 2,900 solar masses per year. It also contains about 270 billion times the mass of our Sun in gas and nearly 3 billion times the mass of our Sun in dust. “That’s a whopping large quantity of dust, considering the young age of the system,” noted Justin Spilker, a recent graduate of the University of Arizona and now a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Texas at Austin.

    The astronomers determined that this galaxy’s rapid star formation was likely triggered by a close encounter with its slightly smaller companion, which already hosts about 35 billion solar masses of stars and is increasing its rate of starburst at the breakneck pace of 540 solar masses per year.

    The researchers note that galaxies of this era are messier than the ones we see in the nearby Universe. Their more jumbled shapes would be due to the vast stores of gas raining down on them and their ongoing interactions and mergers with their neighbors.

    The new observations also allowed the researchers to infer the presence of a truly massive dark matter halo surrounding both galaxies. Dark matter provides the pull of gravity that causes the Universe to collapse into structures (galaxies, groups, and clusters of galaxies, etc.).

    “If you want to see if a galaxy makes sense in our current understanding of cosmology, you want to look at the dark matter halo — the collapsed dark matter structure — in which it resides,” said Chris Hayward, an associate research scientist at the Center for Computational Astrophysics at the Flatiron Institute in New York City.

    Dark matter halo Image credit: Virgo consortium / A. Amblard / ESA

    Caterpillar Project A Milky-Way-size dark-matter halo and its subhalos circled, an enormous suite of simulations . Griffen et al. 2016

    “Fortunately, we know very well the ratio between dark matter and normal matter in the Universe, so we can estimate what the dark matter halo mass must be.”

    By comparing their calculations with current cosmological predictions, the researchers found that this halo is one of the most massive that should exist at that time.

    “There are more galaxies discovered with the South Pole Telescope that we’re following up, and there is a lot more survey data that we are just starting to analyze. Our hope is to find more objects like this, possibly even more distant ones, to better understand this population of extreme dusty galaxies and especially their relation to the bulk population of galaxies at this epoch,” said Joaquin Vieira of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Campaign.

    “In any case, our next round of ALMA observations should help us understand how quickly these galaxies came together and improve our understanding of massive galaxy formation during reionization,” added Marrone.

    Additional Information

    The research team was composed by D. P. Marrone[1], J. S. Spilker[1], C. C. Hayward[2,3], J. D. Vieira[4], M. Aravena[5], M. L. N. Ashby[3], M. B. Bayliss[6], M. Be ́thermin[7], M. Brodwin[8], M. S. Bothwell[9,10], J. E. Carlstrom[11,12,13,14], S. C. Chapman[15], Chian-Chou Chen[16], T. M. Crawford[11,14], D. J. M. Cunningham[15,17], C. De Breuck[16], C. D. Fassnacht[18], A. H. Gonzalez[19], T. R. Greve[20], Y. D. Hezaveh[21,28], K. Lacaille[22], K. C. Litke[1], S. Lower[4], J. Ma[19], M. Malkan[23], T. B. Miller[15], W. R. Morningstar[21], E. J. Murphy[24], D. Narayanan[19], K. A. Phadke[4], K. M. Rotermund[15], J. Sreevani[4], B. Stalder[25], A. A. Stark[3], M. L. Strandet[26,27], M. Tang[1], & A. Weiß[26].

    [1] Steward Observatory, University of Arizona, 933 North Cherry Avenue, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA

    [2] Center for Computational Astrophysics, Flatiron Institute, 162 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010, USA

    [3] Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA

    [4] Department of Astronomy, University of Illinois, 1002 West Green St., Urbana, IL 61801

    [5] Nucleo de Astronomía, Facultad de Ingeniería, Universidad Diego Portales, Av. Ejército 441, Santiago, Chile

    [6] Kavli Institute for Astrophysics & Space Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA

    [7] Aix Marseille Univ, CNRS, LAM, Laboratoire d’Astrophysique de Marseille, Marseille, France

    [8] Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Missouri, 5110 Rockhill Road, Kansas City, MO 64110, USA

    [9] Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge, 19 J.J. Thomson Avenue, Cambridge, CB3 0HE, UK

    [10] Kavli Institute for Cosmology, University of Cambridge, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 0HA, UK

    [11] Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics, University of Chicago, 5640 South Ellis Avenue, Chicago, IL 60637, USA

    [12] Department of Physics, University of Chicago, 5640 South Ellis Avenue, Chicago, IL 60637, USA

    [13] Enrico Fermi Institute, University of Chicago, 5640 South Ellis Avenue, Chicago, IL 60637, USA

    [14] Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of Chicago, 5640 South Ellis Avenue, Chicago, IL 60637, USA

    [15] Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

    [16] European Southern Observatory, Karl Schwarzschild Straße 2, 85748 Garching, Germany

    [17] Department of Astronomy and Physics, Saint Mary’s University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

    [18] Department of Physics, University of California, One Shields Avenue, Davis, CA 95616, USA

    [19] Department of Astronomy, University of Florida, Bryant Space Sciences Center, Gainesville, FL 32611 USA

    [20] Department of Physics and Astronomy, University College London, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT, UK

    [21] Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA

    [22] Department of Physics and Astronomy, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON L8S 4M1 Canada

    [23] Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1547, USA

    [24] National Radio Astronomy Observatory, 520 Edgemont Road, Charlottesville, VA 22903, USA

    [25] Large Synoptic Survey Telescope, 950 North Cherry Avenue, Tucson, AZ 85719, USA

    [26] Max-Planck-Institut fu ̈r Radioastronomie, Auf dem Hu ̈gel 69 D-53121 Bonn, Germany

    [27] International Max Planck Research School (IMPRS) for Astronomy and Astrophysics, Universities of Bonn and Cologne

    [28] Hubble Fellow

    See the full article here .

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    The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), an international astronomy facility, is a partnership of Europe, North America and East Asia in cooperation with the Republic of Chile. ALMA is funded in Europe by the European Organization for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere (ESO), in North America by the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) in cooperation with the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) and the National Science Council of Taiwan (NSC) and in East Asia by the National Institutes of Natural Sciences (NINS) of Japan in cooperation with the Academia Sinica (AS) in Taiwan.

    ALMA construction and operations are led on behalf of Europe by ESO, on behalf of North America by the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO), which is managed by Associated Universities, Inc. (AUI) and on behalf of East Asia by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ). The Joint ALMA Observatory (JAO) provides the unified leadership and management of the construction, commissioning and operation of ALMA.

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  • richardmitnick 1:07 pm on November 28, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ALMA Discovers Infant Stars Surprisingly Near Galaxy’s Supermassive Black Hole, ALMA has revealed the telltale signs of eleven low-mass stars forming perilously close — within three light-years — to the Milky Way’s supermassive black hole known to astronomers as Sagittarius, , , “double lobes”, , , Millimeter/submillimeter astronomy, Proplyds, , ,   

    From ALMA: “ALMA Discovers Infant Stars Surprisingly Near Galaxy’s Supermassive Black Hole” ALMA Contact has been added in 

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

    ALMA

    28 November, 2017
    Valeria Foncea Rubens
    Education & Public Outreach Officer (EPO)
    Alonso de Córdova 3107
    Vitacura 763-0355, Santiago – Chile
    T: 56 2-224676258 / 97-5871963

    1
    At the center of our galaxy, in the immediate vicinity of its supermassive black hole, is a region wracked by powerful tidal forces and bathed in intense ultraviolet light and X-ray radiation. These harsh conditions, astronomers surmise, do not favor star formation, especially low-mass stars like our Sun. Surprisingly, new observations from the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) suggest otherwise.

    ALMA has revealed the telltale signs of eleven low-mass stars forming perilously close — within three light-years — to the Milky Way’s supermassive black hole, known to astronomers as Sagittarius A* (Sgr A*).

    SGR A* NASA’s Chandra X-Ray Observatory

    At this distance, tidal forces driven by the supermassive black hole should be energetic enough to rip apart clouds of dust and gas before they can form stars.

    The presence of these newly discovered protostars (the formative stage between a dense cloud of gas and a young, shining star) suggests that the conditions necessary to birth low-mass stars may exist even in one of the most turbulent regions of our galaxy and possibly in similar locales throughout the Universe.

    2
    Double-lobe feature produced by jets from newly forming star near the galactic center. ALMA discovered 11 of these telltale signs of star formation remarkably close to the supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy.
    Credit: ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO), Yusef-Zadeh et al.; B. Saxton (NRAO/AUI/NSF)

    NRAO/Karl V Jansky VLA, on the Plains of San Agustin fifty miles west of Socorro, NM, USA, at an elevation of 6970 ft (2124 m)

    The results are published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters.

    “Despite all odds, we see the best evidence yet that low-mass stars are forming startlingly close to the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way,” said Farhad Yusef-Zadeh, an astronomer at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, and lead author on the paper. “This is a genuinely surprising result and one that demonstrates just how robust star formation can be, even in the most unlikely of places.”

    The ALMA data also suggest that these protostars are about 6,000 years old. “This is important because it is the earliest phase of star formation we have found in this highly hostile environment,” Yusef-Zadeh said.

    The team of researchers identified these protostars by seeing the classic “double lobes” of material that bracket each of them, creating a cosmic hourglass-like shape of gas that signals the early stages of star formation. Molecules, like carbon monoxide (CO), in these lobes glow brightly in millimeter-wavelength light, which ALMA can observe with remarkable precision and sensitivity.

    3
    Infant stars, like those recently identified near the supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy, are surrounded by a swirling disk of dust and gas. In this artist’s conception of infant solar system, the young star pulls material from its surroundings into rotating disk (right) and generates outflowing jets of material (left). Credit: Bill Saxton (NRAO/AUI/NSF)

    Protostars form from interstellar clouds of dust and gas. Dense pockets of material in these clouds collapse under their own gravity and grow by accumulating more and more star-forming gas from their parent clouds. A portion of this infalling material, however, never makes it onto the surface of the star. Instead, it is ejected as a pair of high-velocity jets from the protostar’s north and south poles. Extremely turbulent environments, however, can disrupt the normal procession of material onto a protostar, while intense radiation – from massive nearby stars and supermassive black holes — can blast away the parent cloud, thwarting the formation of all but the most massive of stars.

    The Milky Way’s galactic center, with its 4 million solar mass black hole, is located approximately 25,000 light-years from Earth in the direction of the constellation Sagittarius. Vast stores of interstellar dust obscure this region, hiding it from optical telescopes. Radio waves, including the millimeter and submillimeter light that ALMA sees, are able to penetrate this dust, giving radio astronomers a clearer picture of the dynamics and content of this hostile environment.

    Prior ALMA observations of the region surrounding Sgr A* by Yusef-Zadeh and his team revealed multiple massive infant stars that are estimated to be about 6 million years old. These objects, known as proplyds, are common features in more placid star-forming regions, like the Orion Nebula.

    Orion Nebula M. Robberto NASA ESA Space Telescope Science Institute Hubble

    Though the galactic center is a challenging environment for star formation, it is possible for particularly dense cores of hydrogen gas to cross the necessary threshold and forge new stars, despite the extreme conditions.

    The new ALMA observations, however, revealed something even more remarkable, signs that eleven low-mass protostars are forming within 1 parsec – a scant 3 light-years – of the galaxy’s central black hole. Yusef-Zadeh and his team used ALMA to confirm that the masses and momentum transfer rates – the ability of the protostar jets to plow through surrounding interstellar material – are consistent with young protostars found throughout the disk of our galaxy.

    4
    An ALMA image of the center of the Milky Way galaxy revealing 11 young protostars within about 3 light-years of our galaxy’s supermassive black hole. The lines indicate the direction of the bipolar lobes created by high-velocity jets from the protostars. The star indicates the location of Sagittarius A*, the 4 million solar mass supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy.
    Credit: ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO), Yusef-Zadeh et al.; B. Saxton (NRAO/AUI/NSF)

    Additional Information

    The research team was composed by F. Yusef-Zadeh[1], M. Wardle[2], D. Kunneriath[3], M. Royster[1], A. Wootten[3] & D. A. Roberts[1]

    [1] Department of Physics and Astronomy Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208

    [2] Dept of Physics and Astronomy, Research Centre for Astronomy, Astrophysics and Astrophotonics, Macquarie University, Sydney NSW 2109, Australia

    [3] National Radio Astronomy Observatory, Charlottesville, VA 22903 4Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, Fort Worth, TX 76107

    See the full article here .

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    Stem Education Coalition

    The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), an international astronomy facility, is a partnership of Europe, North America and East Asia in cooperation with the Republic of Chile. ALMA is funded in Europe by the European Organization for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere (ESO), in North America by the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) in cooperation with the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) and the National Science Council of Taiwan (NSC) and in East Asia by the National Institutes of Natural Sciences (NINS) of Japan in cooperation with the Academia Sinica (AS) in Taiwan.

    ALMA construction and operations are led on behalf of Europe by ESO, on behalf of North America by the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO), which is managed by Associated Universities, Inc. (AUI) and on behalf of East Asia by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ). The Joint ALMA Observatory (JAO) provides the unified leadership and management of the construction, commissioning and operation of ALMA.

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  • richardmitnick 8:50 am on November 20, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , Dying star blows aluminium, Millimeter/submillimeter astronomy, , silicon into space, The silicon is there but remains as silicon oxide gas rather than condensing into dust particles, W-Hydrae   

    From COSMOS: “Dying star blows aluminium, silicon into space” 

    Cosmos Magazine bloc

    COSMOS Magazine

    20 November 2017
    Richard A Lovett

    Research adds clues to how old stars supply the building blocks for new planets.

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


    ALMA’s telescopes are watching as a dying star flings aluminium into space. ESO/NRAO/NAOJ

    Astronomers using a giant telescope array on high in the Chilean desert are mapping how solar winds blowing off a dying star distribute important planet-forming materials into space, adding a new layer to our understanding of how the death of old stars helps fuel the birth of planets such as ours.

    The star in question, called W-Hydrae, is a large red one 254 light years away in the constellation Hydrae. It is slightly too dim to be seen with the naked eye.

    Nearing the end of its life, W-Hydrae is in a phase of stellar evolution during which stars are known to eject significant quantities of elements heavier than hydrogen and helium into space. This process enriches the gas and dust clouds from which new stars and planetary systems will later form.

    “Some of the ejected materials form the next generation of stars and planets,” says Aki Takigawa, an astromineralogist at Kyoto University, Japan.

    Using a collection of 66 radio telescopes known as the Atacama Large Millimetre/submillimetre Array (ALMA), Takigawa’s team was able to zoom in on this star so closely that they could see features as small as 0.035 arc-seconds, or one-one-thousandth of a degree. At that distance, Takigawa says, it is possible to see features smaller than the star itself, although the star is so huge that it would fill our entire solar system well out into the Asteroid Belt.

    These molecules included aluminium monoxide (AlO), which condenses into aluminium-containing grains as it cools, and silicon oxide (SiO), which condenses into rock-like silicate dust. They escape the star not just because they are blasted off its surface at high speeds, but because radiation pressure from the star’s light creates a stellar wind that steadily accelerates them and sweeps them off toward interstellar space.

    One of the mysteries of this process, however, has been that while silicon is much more common in the galaxy as a whole than aluminium, the regions around stars such as W-Hydrae appear to be unexpectedly rich in aluminium oxide particles.

    The new research, published earlier this month in Science Advances, found that this might be due to a combination of factors. One is that aluminium oxide particles condense from vapour at a higher temperature than silicate particles. That means that they form closer to the star than the silicates.

    Once formed and accumulated to sufficient quantities, the particles are subject to radiation pressure, which accelerates them outward, carrying other gases with them. The result is that the later-to-condense silicon oxide molecules are picked up in the maelstrom and blown away from the star so fast that by the time they have cooled enough to condense they are too dispersed to do so.

    In other words, the silicon is there, but remains as silicon oxide gas, rather than condensing into dust particles.

    “Our estimation showed that more than 70% of SiO molecules remain in the gas phase,” Takigawa says.

    All of this is important, she adds, because planetary scientists studying our own solar system have found “pre-solar” aluminium oxide and silicate grains in primitive meteorites — grains that were formed before the solar system and have remained unaltered over the ensuing billions of years.

    The stars that formed these grains died more than 4.6 billion years ago, she says, “but we can now study similar stars with telescopes”.

    Brad Tucker, an astrophysicist and cosmologist at Australian National University, agrees. Finding large amounts of aluminum oxide dust, he adds, is quite interesting because some of the first exoplanet atmospheres that have been measured contain another metal oxide, titanium oxide.

    “I bring this up because the dust and gas that leaves [stars like W-Hydrae] will eventually form new star systems and planets,” he says, “and some of the new planets we are finding are weird.

    “A big question has always been to try to understand where all the gas and dust in the universe comes from, because eventually that will help tell us how new things are formed.”

    An important next step, he notes, will be to use ALMA to take images of exploding stars. “The dust involved in supernova explosions has lots of questions that need to be solved,” he says.

    See the full article here .

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  • richardmitnick 11:20 am on November 13, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , Duo of Titanic Galaxies Captured in Extreme Starbursting Merger, , , Millimeter/submillimeter astronomy,   

    From ALMA: “Duo of Titanic Galaxies Captured in Extreme Starbursting Merger” 

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

    ALMA

    13 November, 2017

    Valeria Foncea
    Education and Public Outreach Officer
    Joint ALMA Observatory Santiago – Chile
    Phone: +56 2 2467 6258
    Cell phone: +56 9 7587 1963
    valeria.foncea@alma.cl

    Charles E. Blue
    Public Information Officer
    National Radio Astronomy Observatory Charlottesville, Virginia – USA
    Phone: +1 434 296 0314
    Cell phone: +1 202 236 6324
    cblue@nrao.edu

    Richard Hook
    Public Information Officer, ESO
    Garching bei München, Germany
    Phone: +49 89 3200 6655
    Cell phone: +49 151 1537 3591
    rhook@eso.org

    Masaaki Hiramatsu
    Education and Public Outreach Officer, NAOJ Chile
    Observatory
, Tokyo – Japan
    Phone: +81 422 34 3630
    hiramatsu.masaaki@nao.ac.jp

    1
    Composite image of ADFS-27 galaxy pair. The background image is from ESA’s Herschel Space Observatory. The object was then detected by ESO’s Atacama Pathfinder Experiment (APEX) telescope (middle image). ALMA (right) was able to identify two galaxies: ADFS-27N (for North) and ADFS-27S (for South). The starbursting galaxies are about 12.8 billion light-years from Earth and destined to merge into a single, massive galaxy. Credit: NRAO/AUI/NSF, B. Saxton; ESA Herschel; ESO APEX; ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO); D. Riechers

    ESA/Herschel spacecraft

    ESO/APEX high on the Chajnantor plateau in Chile’s Atacama region, at an altitude of over 4,800 m (15,700 ft)

    New observations with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) have uncovered the never-before-seen close encounter between two astoundingly bright and spectacularly massive galaxies in the early Universe. These so-called hyper-luminous starburst galaxies are exceedingly rare at this epoch of cosmic history — near the time when galaxies first formed — and may represent one of the most-extreme examples of violent star formation ever observed.

    Astronomers captured these two interacting galaxies, collectively known as ADFS-27, as they began the gradual process of merging into a single, massive elliptical galaxy. An earlier sideswiping encounter between the two helped to trigger their astounding bursts of star formation. Astronomers speculate that this merger may eventually form the core of an entire galaxy cluster. Galaxy clusters are among the most massive structures in the Universe.

    “Finding just one hyper-luminous starburst galaxy is remarkable in itself. Finding two of these rare galaxies in such close proximity is truly astounding,” said Dominik Riechers, an astronomer at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, and lead author on a paper appearing in The Astrophysical Journal. “Considering their extreme distance from Earth and the frenetic star-forming activity inside each, it’s possible we may be witnessing the most intense galaxy merger known to date.”

    The ADFS-27 galaxy pair is located approximately 12.7 billion light-years from Earth in the direction of the Dorado constellation. At this distance, astronomers are viewing this system as it appeared when the Universe was only about one billion years old.

    Astronomers first detected this system with the European Space Agency’s Herschel Space Observatory. It appeared as a single red dot in the telescope’s survey of the southern sky. These initial observations suggested that the apparently faint object was in fact both extremely bright and extremely distant. Follow-up observations with the European Southern Observatory’s Atacama Pathfinder Experiment (APEX) telescope confirmed these initial interpretations and paved the way for the more detailed ALMA observations.

    2
    Artist impression of two starbursting galaxies beginning to merge in the early Universe. Credit: NRAO/AUI/NSF

    With its higher resolution and greater sensitivity, ALMA precisely measured the distance to this object and revealed that it was in fact two distinct galaxies. The pairing of otherwise phenomenally rare galaxies suggests that they reside within a particularly dense region of the Universe at that period in its history, the astronomers said.

    The new ALMA observations also indicate that the ADFS-27 system has approximately 50 times the amount of star-forming gas as the Milky Way. “Much of this gas will be converted into new stars very quickly,” said Riechers. “Our current observations indicate that these two galaxies are indeed producing stars at a breakneck pace, about one thousand times faster than our home galaxy.”

    The galaxies — which would appear as flat, rotating disks — are brimming with extremely bright and massive blue stars. Most of this intense starlight, however, never makes it out of the galaxies themselves; there is simply too much obscuring interstellar dust in each.

    This dust absorbs the brilliant starlight, heating up until it glows brightly in infrared light. As this light travels the vast cosmic distances to Earth, the ongoing expansion of the Universe shifts the once infrared light into longer millimeter and submillimeter wavelengths, all thanks to the Doppler effect.

    ALMA was specially designed to detect and study light of this nature, which enabled the astronomers to resolve the source of the light into two distinct objects. The observations also show the basic structures of the galaxies, revealing tail-like features that were spun-off during their initial encounter.

    The new observations also indicate that the two galaxies are about 30,000 light-years apart, moving at roughly several hundred kilometers per second relative to each other. As they continue to interact gravitationally, each galaxy will eventually slow and fall toward the other, likely leading to several more close encounters before merging into one massive, elliptical galaxy. The astronomers expect this process to take a few hundred million years.

    “Due to their great distance and dustiness, these galaxies remain completely undetected at visible wavelengths,” noted Riechers. “Eventually, we hope to combine the exquisite ALMA data with future infrared observations with NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope.

    NASA/ESA/CSA Webb Telescope annotated

    These two telescopes will form an astronomer’s ‘dream team’ to better understand the nature of this and other such exceptionally rare, extreme systems.”

    The team is composed of Dominik A.Riechers (Cornell University, USA); T.K. Daysy Leung (Cornell University, USA); Rob J.Ivison (European Southern Observatory, Germany, and University of Edinburgh, UK) Ismael Pérez-Fournon (Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias, y Universidad de La Laguna, Spain); Alexander J.R.Lewis (University of Edinburgh, UK); Rui Marques-Chaves (Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias, y Universidad de La Laguna, Spain); Ivan Oteo (European Southern Observatory, Germany, and University of Edinburgh, UK); Dave L.Clements (Imperial College London, UK); Asantha Cooray (University of California, Irvine, USA); Josh Greenslade (Imperial College London, UK); Paloma Martínez-Navajas (Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias, y Universidad de La Laguna, Spain); Seb Oliver (University of Sussex, UK); Dimitra Rigopoulou (University of Oxford, UK, and Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, UK); Douglas Scott (University of British Columbia, Canada), and Axel Weiss (Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie, Germany).

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.
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    The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), an international astronomy facility, is a partnership of Europe, North America and East Asia in cooperation with the Republic of Chile. ALMA is funded in Europe by the European Organization for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere (ESO), in North America by the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) in cooperation with the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) and the National Science Council of Taiwan (NSC) and in East Asia by the National Institutes of Natural Sciences (NINS) of Japan in cooperation with the Academia Sinica (AS) in Taiwan.

    ALMA construction and operations are led on behalf of Europe by ESO, on behalf of North America by the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO), which is managed by Associated Universities, Inc. (AUI) and on behalf of East Asia by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ). The Joint ALMA Observatory (JAO) provides the unified leadership and management of the construction, commissioning and operation of ALMA.

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  • richardmitnick 2:05 pm on November 6, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , Forest of Molecular Signals in Star Forming Galaxy, Millimeter/submillimeter astronomy,   

    From ALMA: “Forest of Molecular Signals in Star Forming Galaxy” 

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

    ALMA

    11.6.17

    Valeria Foncea
    Education and Public Outreach Officer
    Joint ALMA Observatory Santiago – Chile
    Phone: +56 2 2467 6258
    Cell phone: +56 9 7587 1963
    valeria.foncea@alma.cl

    Masaaki Hiramatsu
    Education and Public Outreach Officer, NAOJ Chile
    Observatory
, Tokyo – Japan
    Phone: +81 422 34 3630
    hiramatsu.masaaki@nao.ac.jp

    Richard Hook
    Public Information Officer, ESO
    Garching bei München, Germany
    Phone: +49 89 3200 6655
    Cell phone: +49 151 1537 3591
    rhook@eso.org

    Charles E. Blue
    Public Information Officer
    National Radio Astronomy Observatory Charlottesville, Virginia – USA
    Phone: +1 434 296 0314
    Cell phone: +1 202 236 6324
    cblue@nrao.edu

    Astronomers found a rich molecular reservoir in the heart of an active star-forming galaxy with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA). Among eight clouds identified at the center of the galaxy NGC 253, one exhibits very complex chemical composition, while in the other clouds many signals are missing. This chemical richness and diversity shed light on the nature of the baby boom galaxy.

    1
    The starburst galaxy NGC 253 and the radio spectra obtained with ALMA. ALMA detected radio signals from 19 different molecules at the center of this galaxy. Credit: ESO/J. Emerson/VISTA, ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO), Ando et al. Acknowledgment: Cambridge Astronomical Survey Unit

    Ryo Ando, a graduate student of the University of Tokyo, and his colleagues observed the galaxy NGC 253 and for the first time, they resolved the locations of star formation in this galaxy down to the scale of a molecular cloud, which is a star formation site with a size of about 30 light-years.

    1
    APOD: 2009 November 21 – NGC 253
    NGC 253: Dusty Island Universe
    Credit & Copyright: Star Shadows Remote Observatory and PROMPT/CTIO
    (Steve Mazlin, Jack Harvey, Rick Gilbert, and Daniel Verschatse)

    As a result, they identified eight massive, dusty clouds aligned along the center of the galaxy.

    “With its unprecedented resolution and sensitivity, ALMA showed us the detailed structure of the clouds,” said Ando, the lead author of the research paper published in the Astrophysical Journal. “To my surprise, the gas clouds have a strong chemical individuality despite their similarity in size and mass.”

    Different molecules emit radio waves at different frequencies. Using this feature, the team investigated the chemical composition of the distant clouds by analyzing the radio signals precisely. They identified signals from various molecules including formaldehyde (H2CO), hydrogen cyanide (HCN), and many organic molecules.

    One of the clouds stood out with its extremely rich chemical composition. The team identified footprints of 19 different molecules in the cloud, such as thioformaldehyde (H2CS), propyne (CH3CCH), and complex organic molecules including methanol (CH3OH) and acetic acid (CH3COOH). “The data are filled with the signals of various molecules,” said Ando. “It is like a forest of molecules.”

    Many “molecular forests” have been found in our Milky Way Galaxy, but this is the first example outside the Milky Way. Researchers assume that the molecular jungle is an aggregate of dense and warm cocoons around bright baby stars. The cocoon gas is heated from inside by hundreds of young stars and a myriad of chemical reactions is driven to form various molecules.

    Interestingly, the number of chemical signals is different in different clouds. For example, another cloud among the eight has a very sparse chemical composition, even though it is located within dozens of light-years of the chemically rich cloud. Such a diverse nature of star forming clouds has never been seen before and could be a key to understanding the starburst process in this galaxy.

    NGC 253 is a prototypical active star forming galaxy, or starburst galaxy. It is located 11 million light-years away in the constellation Sculptor. Starburst, or baby boom, galaxies have been the major drivers of star formation and galaxy evolution throughout the whole history of the Universe. Therefore it is crucial to understand what exactly is going on in the heart of such galaxies.

    Paper and Research Team
    These observation results were published as Ando et al. Diverse nuclear star-forming activities in the heart of NGC 253 resolved with 10-pc-scale ALMA images in The Astrophysical Journal in November 2017.

    The research team members are:
    Ryo Ando (The University of Tokyo), Kouichiro Nakanishi (National Astronomical Observatory of Japan/SOKENDAI), Kotaro Kohno (The University of Tokyo), Takuma Izumi (National Astronomical Observatory of Japan/The University of Tokyo), Sergio Martín (European Southern University/Joint ALMA Observatory), Nanase Harada (Academia Sinica Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics), Shuro Takano (Nihon University), Nario Kuno (University of Tsukuba), Naomasa Nakai (University of Tsukuba), Hajime Sugai (The University of Tokyo), Kazuo Sorai (Hokkaido University), Tomoka Tosaki (Joetsu University of Education), Kazuya Matsubayashi (National Astronomical Observatory of Japan), Taku Nakajima (Nagoya University), Yuri Nishimura (The University of Tokyo/National Astronomical Observatory of Japan), and Yoichi Tamura (Nagoya University/The University of Tokyo)

    This research was supported by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science KAKENHI (Grant Number 15K05035 and 25247019).

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.
    STEM Icon
    Stem Education Coalition

    The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), an international astronomy facility, is a partnership of Europe, North America and East Asia in cooperation with the Republic of Chile. ALMA is funded in Europe by the European Organization for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere (ESO), in North America by the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) in cooperation with the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) and the National Science Council of Taiwan (NSC) and in East Asia by the National Institutes of Natural Sciences (NINS) of Japan in cooperation with the Academia Sinica (AS) in Taiwan.

    ALMA construction and operations are led on behalf of Europe by ESO, on behalf of North America by the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO), which is managed by Associated Universities, Inc. (AUI) and on behalf of East Asia by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ). The Joint ALMA Observatory (JAO) provides the unified leadership and management of the construction, commissioning and operation of ALMA.

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  • richardmitnick 7:39 am on November 3, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ALMA Discovers Cold Dust Around Nearest Star, , , , , Millimeter/submillimeter astronomy   

    From ALMA: “ALMA Discovers Cold Dust Around Nearest Star” 

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

    ALMA

    3 November, 2017

    Contacts

    Guillem Anglada
    Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía (CSIC), Granada, Spain
    guillem@iaa.es

    Pedro J. Amado
    Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía (CSIC), Granada, Spain
    pja@iaa.csic.es

    Antxon Alberdi
    Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía (CSIC), Granada, Spain
    antxon@iaa.es

    Enrique Macias
    Boston University, Boston, USA
    emacias@bu.edu

    Valeria Foncea
    Education and Public Outreach Officer
    Joint ALMA Observatory Santiago – Chile
    Phone: +56 2 2467 6258
    Cell phone: +56 9 7587 1963
    valeria.foncea@alma.cl

    Richard Hook
    Public Information Officer, ESO
    Garching bei München, Germany
    Phone: +49 89 3200 6655
    Cell phone: +49 151 1537 3591
    rhook@eso.org

    Charles E. Blue
    Public Information Officer
    National Radio Astronomy Observatory Charlottesville, Virginia – USA
    Phone: +1 434 296 0314
    Cell phone: +1 202 236 6324
    cblue@nrao.edu

    Masaaki Hiramatsu
    Education and Public Outreach Officer, NAOJ Chile
    Observatory
, Tokyo – Japan
    Phone: +81 422 34 3630
    hiramatsu.masaaki@nao.ac.jp

    1
    This artist’s impression shows how the newly discovered belts of dust around the closest star to the Solar System, Proxima Centauri, may look. ALMA observations revealed the glow coming from cold dust in a region between one to four times as far from Proxima Centauri as the Earth is from the Sun. The data also hint at the presence of an even cooler outer dust belt and indicate the presence of an elaborate planetary system. These structures are similar to the much larger belts in the Solar System and are also expected to be made from particles of rock and ice that failed to form planets. Note that this sketch is not to scale — to make Proxima b clearly visible it has been shown further from the star and larger than it is in reality. Credit: ESO/M. Kornmesser

    The ALMA Observatory in Chile has detected dust around the closest star to the Solar System, Proxima Centauri. These new observations reveal the glow coming from cold dust in a region between one to four times as far from Proxima Centauri as the Earth is from the Sun. The data also hint at the presence of an even cooler outer dust belt and may indicate the presence of an elaborate planetary system. These structures are similar to the much larger belts in the Solar System and are also expected to be made from particles of rock and ice that failed to form planets.

    Proxima Centauri is the closest star to the Sun. It is a faint red dwarf lying just four light-years away in the southern constellation of Centaurus (The Centaur). It is orbited by the Earth-sized temperate world Proxima b, discovered in 2016 and the closest planet to the Solar System. But there is more to this system than just a single planet. The new ALMA observations reveal emission from clouds of cold cosmic dust surrounding the star.

    The lead author of the new study, Guillem Anglada [1], from the Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía (CSIC), Granada, Spain, explains the significance of this find: “The dust around Proxima is important because, following the discovery of the terrestrial planet Proxima b, it’s the first indication of the presence of an elaborate planetary system, and not just a single planet, around the star closest to our Sun.”

    Dust belts are the remains of material that did not form into larger bodies such as planets. The particles of rock and ice in these belts vary in size from the tiniest dust grain, smaller than a millimetre across, up to asteroid-like bodies many kilometres in diameter [2].

    Dust appears to lie in a belt that extends a few hundred million kilometres from Proxima Centauri and has a total mass of about one hundredth of the Earth’s mass. This belt is estimated to have a temperature of about –230 degrees Celsius, as cold as that of the Kuiper Belt in the outer Solar System.

    Kuiper Belt. Minor Planet Center

    3
    This image of the sky around the bright star Alpha Centauri AB also shows the much fainter red dwarf star, Proxima Centauri, the closest star to the Solar System. The picture was created from pictures forming part of the Digitized Sky Survey 2. The blue halo around Alpha Centauri AB is an artifact of the photographic process, the star is really pale yellow in colour like the Sun. Credit:
    Digitized Sky Survey 2 | Acknowledgement: Davide De Martin/Mahdi Zamani

    There are also hints in the ALMA data of another belt of even colder dust about ten times further out. If confirmed, the nature of an outer belt is intriguing, given its very cold environment far from a star that is cooler and fainter than the Sun. Both belts are much further from Proxima Centauri than the planet Proxima b, which orbits at just four million kilometres from its parent star [3].

    Guillem Anglada explains the implications of the discovery:

    “This result suggests that Proxima Centauri may have a multiple planet system with a rich history of interactions that resulted in the formation of a dust belt. Further study may also provide information that might point to the locations of as yet unidentified additional planets.”

    4
    This chart shows the large southern constellation of Centaurus (The Centaur) and shows most of the stars visible with the naked eye on a clear dark night. The location of the closest star to the Solar System, Proxima Centauri, is marked with a red circle. Proxima is too faint to see with the unaided eye but can be found using a small telescope. Credit: ESO/IAU and Sky & Telescope

    Proxima Centauri’s planetary system is also particularly interesting because there are plans — the Starshot project — for future direct exploration of the system with microprobes attached to laser-driven sails.

    5

    A knowledge of the dust environment around the star is essential for planning such a mission.

    Co-author Pedro Amado, also from the Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía, explains that this observation is just the start: “These first results show that ALMA can detect dust structures orbiting around Proxima. Further observations will give us a more detailed picture of Proxima’s planetary system. In combination with the study of protoplanetary discs around young stars, many of the details of the processes that led to the formation of the Earth and the Solar System about 4600 million years ago will be unveiled. What we are seeing now is just the appetiser compared to what is coming!”

    6
    This picture combines a view of the southern skies over the ESO 3.6-metre telescope at the La Silla Observatory in Chile with images of the stars Proxima Centauri (lower-right) and the double star Alpha Centauri AB (lower-left) from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. Proxima Centauri is the closest star to the Solar System and is orbited by the planet Proxima b, which was discovered using the HARPS instrument on the ESO 3.6-metre telescope. Credit: Y. Beletsky (LCO)/ESO/ESA/NASA/M. Zamani

    ESO/HARPS at La Silla

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

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

    NASA/ESA Hubble Telescope

    Notes

    [1] In a cosmic coincidence, the lead author of the study, Guillem Anglada shares his name with the astronomer who led the team that discovered Proxima Centauri b, Guillem Anglada-Escudé, himself a co-author of the paper in which this research is published, although the two are not related.

    [2] Proxima Centauri is quite an old star, of similar age to the Solar System. The dusty belts around it are probably similar to the residual dust in the Kuiper Belt and the asteroid belt in the Solar System and the dust that creates the Zodiacal Light. The spectacular discs that ALMA has imaged around much younger stars, such as HL Tauri, contain much more material that is in the process of forming planets.

    [3] The apparent shape of the very faint outer belt, if confirmed, would give astronomers a way to estimate the inclination of the Proxima Centauri planetary system. It would appear elliptical due to the tilt of what is assumed to be in reality a circular ring. This would in turn allow a better determination of the mass of the Proxima b planet, which is currently known only as a lower limit.
    Additional information

    This research was presented in a paper entitled ALMA Discovery of Dust Belts Around Proxima Centauri, by Guillem Anglada et al., to appear in The Astrophysical Journal Letters.

    The team is composed of Guillem Anglada (Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía (CSIC), Granada, Spain [IAA-CSIC]), Pedro J. Amado (IAA-CSIC), Jose L. Ortiz (IAA-CSIC), José F. Gómez (IAA-CSIC), Enrique Macías (Boston University, Massachusetts, USA), Antxon Alberdi (IAA-CSIC), Mayra Osorio (IAA-CSIC), José L. Gómez (IAA-CSIC), Itziar de Gregorio-Monsalvo (ESO, Santiago, Chile; Joint ALMA Observatory, Santiago, Chile), Miguel A. Pérez-Torres (IAA-CSIC; Universidad de Zaragoza, Zaragoza, Spain), Guillem Anglada-Escudé (Queen Mary University of London, London, United Kingdom), Zaira M. Berdiñas (Universidad de Chile, Santiago, Chile; IAA-CSIC), James S. Jenkins (Universidad de Chile, Santiago, Chile), Izaskun Jimenez-Serra (Queen Mary University of London, London, United Kingdom), Luisa M. Lara (IAA-CSIC), Maria J. López-González (IAA-CSIC), Manuel López-Puertas (IAA-CSIC), Nicolas Morales (IAA-CSIC), Ignasi Ribas (Institut de Ciències de l’Espai (IEEC-CSIC), Bellaterra, Spain), Anita M. S. Richards (JBCA, University of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom), Cristina Rodríguez-López (IAA-CSIC) and Eloy Rodríguez (IAA-CSIC).

    See the full ALMA article here.

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.
    STEM Icon
    Stem Education Coalition

    The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), an international astronomy facility, is a partnership of Europe, North America and East Asia in cooperation with the Republic of Chile. ALMA is funded in Europe by the European Organization for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere (ESO), in North America by the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) in cooperation with the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) and the National Science Council of Taiwan (NSC) and in East Asia by the National Institutes of Natural Sciences (NINS) of Japan in cooperation with the Academia Sinica (AS) in Taiwan.

    ALMA construction and operations are led on behalf of Europe by ESO, on behalf of North America by the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO), which is managed by Associated Universities, Inc. (AUI) and on behalf of East Asia by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ). The Joint ALMA Observatory (JAO) provides the unified leadership and management of the construction, commissioning and operation of ALMA.

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