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  • richardmitnick 1:46 pm on June 11, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "ALMA Discovers Earliest Gigantic Black Hole Storm", , ALMA observed a galaxy HSC J124353.93+010038.5, , , , , NAOJ Subaru Telescope, , Researchers using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) discovered a titanic galactic wind driven by a supermassive black hole 13.1 billion years ago., The coevolution of supermassive black holes and galaxies has been occurring since less than a billion years after the birth of the Universe., This is a telltale sign that huge black holes have a profound effect on the growth of galaxies from the very early history of the Universe., This is the earliest-yet-observed example of such wind to date.   

    From ALMA [The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array] (CL) : “ALMA Discovers Earliest Gigantic Black Hole Storm” 

    From ALMA [The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array] (CL)

    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

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

    Bárbara Ferreira
    ESO Public Information Officer
    Garching bei München, Germany
    Phone: +49 89 3200 6670
    Email: pio@eso.org

    Amy C. Oliver
    Public Information & News Manager
    National Radio Astronomical Observatory (NRAO), USA
    Phone: +1 434 242 9584
    Email: aoliver@nrao.edu

    11 June, 2021

    Researchers using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) discovered a titanic galactic wind driven by a supermassive black hole 13.1 billion years ago. This is the earliest-yet-observed example of such wind to date and is a telltale sign that huge black holes have a profound effect on the growth of galaxies from the very early history of the Universe.

    1
    Artist’s impression of a galactic wind driven by a supermassive black hole located in the center of a galaxy. The intense energy emanating from the black hole creates a galaxy-scale flow of gas that blows away the interstellar matter that is the material for forming stars. Credit: ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO)

    2
    ALMA image of the distant galaxy J1243+0100 hosting a supermassive black hole in its center. The distribution of the quiet gas in the galaxy is shown in yellow, and the distribution of high-speed galactic wind is shown in blue. The wind is located in the galaxy center, which indicates the supermassive black hole drives the wind. Credit: ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO), Izumi et al.

    At the center of many large galaxies hides a supermassive black hole that is millions to billions of times more massive than the Sun. Interestingly, the mass of the black hole is roughly proportional to the mass of the central region (bulge) of the galaxy in the nearby Universe. At first glance, this may seem obvious, but it is actually very strange. The reason is that the sizes of galaxies and black holes differ by about ten orders of magnitude. Based on this proportional relationship between the masses of two objects that are so different in size, astronomers believe that galaxies and black holes grew and evolved together (coevolution) through some kind of physical interaction.

    A galactic wind can provide this kind of physical interaction between black holes and galaxies. A supermassive black hole swallows a large amount of matter. As that matter begins to move at high speed due to the black hole’s gravity, it emits intense energy, which can push the surrounding matter outward. This is how the galactic wind is created.

    “The question is when did galactic winds come into existence in the Universe?” says Takuma Izumi, the lead author of the research paper and a researcher at the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ). “This is an important question because it is related to an important problem in astronomy: How did galaxies and supermassive black holes coevolve?”

    The research team first used NAOJ’s Subaru Telescope to search for supermassive black holes.


    Thanks to its wide-field observation capability, they found more than 100 galaxies with supermassive black holes in the Universe more than 13 billion years ago [1].

    Then, the research team utilized ALMA’s high sensitivity to investigate the gas motion in the host galaxies of the black holes. ALMA observed a galaxy HSC J124353.93+010038.5 (hereafter J1243+0100), discovered by the Subaru Telescope, and captured radio waves emitted by the dust and carbon ions in the galaxy [2].

    Detailed analysis of the ALMA data revealed that there is a high-speed gas flow moving at 500 km per second in J1243+0100. This gas flow has enough energy to push away the stellar material in the galaxy and stop the star formation activity. The gas flow found in this study is truly a galactic wind, and it is the oldest observed example of a galaxy with a huge wind of galactic size. The previous record-holder was a galaxy about 13 billion years ago, so this observation pushes the start back another 100 million years.

    The team also measured the motion of the quiet gas in J1243+0100 and estimated the mass of the galaxy’s bulge, based on its gravitational balance, to be about 30 billion times that of the Sun. The mass of the galaxy’s supermassive black hole, estimated by another method, was about 1% of that. The mass ratio of the bulge to the supermassive black hole in this galaxy is almost identical to the mass ratio of black holes to galaxies in the modern Universe. This implies that the coevolution of supermassive black holes and galaxies has been occurring since less than a billion years after the birth of the Universe.

    “Our observations support recent high-precision computer simulations which have predicted that coevolutionary relationships were in place even at about 13 billion years ago,” comments Izumi. “We are planning to observe a large number of such objects in the future and hope to clarify whether or not the primordial coevolution seen in this object is an accurate picture of the general Universe at that time.”
    Notes

    [1] For more information, please see the Subaru Telescope press release issued on March 13, 2019, Astronomers Discover 83 Supermassive Black Holes in the Early Universe. The number of galaxies with supermassive black holes discovered was 83 at the time of this announcement, but the number of discoveries has now increased to over 100.

    [2] The redshift of this object is z=7.07. Using the cosmological parameters measured with Planck (H0=67.3km/s/Mpc, Ωm=0.315, Λ=0.685: Planck 2013 Results), we can calculate the distance to the object to be 13.1 billion light-years. (Please refer to Expressing the distance to remote objects for the details.)

    These observation results are presented as Takuma Izumi et al. Subaru High-z Exploration of Low-Luminosity Quasars (SHELLQs). XIII. Large-scale Feedback and Star Formation in a Low-Luminosity Quasar at z = 7.07, in The Astrophysical Journal on June 14, 2021.

    See the full article here .

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

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) (CL) , 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.

    NRAO Small
    ESO 50 Large

    ALMA is a time machine!

    ALMA-In Search of our Cosmic Origins

     
  • richardmitnick 7:24 pm on December 12, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Direct Image of Newly-discovered Brown Dwarf Captured", , , , Brown dwarf HD 33632 Ab has a mass of about 46 Jupiters., , NAOJ Subaru Telescope,   

    From W.M. Keck Observatory: “Direct Image of Newly-discovered Brown Dwarf Captured” 

    Keck Observatory, two 10 meter telescopes operated by Caltech and the University of California, Maunakea Hawaii USA, altitude 4,207 m (13,802 ft).

    From W.M. Keck Observatory

    December 11, 2020

    1
    Astronomers using two Maunakea Observatories – Subaru Telescope and W. M. Keck Observatory – have discovered a key benchmark brown dwarf orbiting a Sun-like star just 86 light-years from Earth that provides a key reference point for understanding the properties of the first directly-imaged exoplanets.


    NAOJ/Subaru Telescope at Mauna Kea Hawaii, USA,4,207 m (13,802 ft) above sea level.


    NAOJ Subaru SCExAO CHARIS [Coronagraphic High Angular Resolution Imaging Spectrograph]

    Subaru Telescope first detected and captured remarkably sharp pictures of the object. The team conducted follow-up observations at Subaru Telescope to take more direct images as well as at Keck Observatory to obtain infrared images and confirmed the object is an orbiting companion to the star HD 33632 Aa, and not an unrelated background star. Combined with complementary data from the Gaia space astrometry satellite, the researchers also found the brown dwarf has a mass of about 46 Jupiters.

    ESA (EU)/GAIA satellite .

    Named HD 33632 Ab, the brown dwarf is one of only a few known objects of its kind orbiting a near-twin of the Sun at near-twin scales of our Solar System (Mercury to Pluto).

    The study recently published in the November 30, 2020 issue of The Astrophysical Journal Letters.

    Brown dwarfs are a class of objects that are smaller than stars but more massive than giant planets like Jupiter. They’re dubbed ‘failed stars’ because they’re not massive enough to ignite nuclear fusion in their cores and shine like true stars.

    The team snapped pictures of the HD 33632 system using powerful adaptive optics (AO) technology at both Maunakea Observatories – Subaru Telescope’s state-of-the art exoplanet imaging system, SCExAO/CHARIS, and Keck Observatory’s advanced AO paired with its Near-Infrared Camera (NIRC2) [below]. These technologies remove the atmospheric blurring that distorts astronomical images, resulting in sharper images.

    Subaru Telescope data showed the brown dwarf’s atmosphere may contain water and carbon monoxide.

    “Thanks to SCExAO/CHARIS’s incredibly sharp images, we can not only see HD 33632 Ab but get ultra-precise measurements for its position and its spectrum, which gives important clues about its atmospheric properties and its dynamics,” said Thayne Currie, an affiliated researcher at Subaru Telescope and lead author of this study.

    HD 33632 Ab provides critical new insight into the atmospheres of the planets in HR 8799 – the very first extrasolar system to have its picture taken – since its temperature is likely very similar, though it is older, has a higher mass, and has higher gravity.

    “Keck Observatory’s NIRC2 thermal infrared data allowed us to better understand how HD 33632 Ab’s atmosphere compares to those of the first directly imaged exoplanets, HR 8799 bcde, which were discovered in part by Keck,” said Currie.

    By studying HD 33632 Ab and the HR 8799 exoplanets, astronomers hope to learn more about how atmospheric conditions of planets and brown dwarfs are tied to the diversity of their age and compositions, such as mass, temperatures, and chemical properties.

    See the full W.M. Keck article here .
    See the NAOJ Subaru press release here.


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

    Stem Education Coalition

    Mission
    To advance the frontiers of astronomy and share our discoveries with the world.

    The W. M. Keck Observatory operates the largest, most scientifically productive telescopes on Earth. The two, 10-meter optical/infrared telescopes on the summit of Mauna Kea on the Island of Hawaii feature a suite of advanced instruments including imagers, multi-object spectrographs, high-resolution spectrographs, integral-field spectrometer and world-leading laser guide star adaptive optics systems. Keck Observatory is a private 501(c) 3 non-profit organization and a scientific partnership of the California Institute of Technology, the University of California and NASA.

    Today Keck Observatory is supported by both public funding sources and private philanthropy. As a 501(c)3, the organization is managed by the
    California Association for Research in Astronomy (CARA), whose Board of Directors includes representatives from the California Institute of Technology and the University of California, with liaisons to the board from NASA and the Keck Foundation.


    Keck UCal

    Instrumentation

    Keck 1

    HIRES – The largest and most mechanically complex of the Keck’s main instruments, the High Resolution Echelle Spectrometer breaks up incoming starlight into its component colors to measure the precise intensity of each of thousands of color channels. Its spectral capabilities have resulted in many breakthrough discoveries, such as the detection of planets outside our solar system and direct evidence for a model of the Big Bang theory.

    Keck High-Resolution Echelle Spectrometer (HIRES), at the Keck I telescope.

    LRIS – The Low Resolution Imaging Spectrograph is a faint-light instrument capable of taking spectra and images of the most distant known objects in the universe. The instrument is equipped with a red arm and a blue arm to explore stellar populations of distant galaxies, active galactic nuclei, galactic clusters, and quasars.

    UCO Keck LRIS on Keck 1.

    VISIBLE BAND (0.3-1.0 Micron)

    MOSFIRE – The Multi-Object Spectrograph for Infrared Exploration gathers thousands of spectra from objects spanning a variety of distances, environments and physical conditions. What makes this huge, vacuum-cryogenic instrument unique is its ability to select up to 46 individual objects in the field of view and then record the infrared spectrum of all 46 objects simultaneously. When a new field is selected, a robotic mechanism inside the vacuum chamber reconfigures the distribution of tiny slits in the focal plane in under six minutes. Eight years in the making with First Light in 2012, MOSFIRE’s early performance results range from the discovery of ultra-cool, nearby substellar mass objects, to the detection of oxygen in young galaxies only 2 billion years after the Big Bang.

    Keck/MOSFIRE on Keck 1, Mauna Kea, Hawaii, USA.

    OSIRIS – The OH-Suppressing Infrared Imaging Spectrograph is a near-infrared spectrograph for use with the Keck I adaptive optics system. OSIRIS takes spectra in a small field of view to provide a series of images at different wavelengths. The instrument allows astronomers to ignore wavelengths where the Earth’s atmosphere shines brightly due to emission from OH (hydroxl) molecules, thus allowing the detection of objects 10 times fainter than previously available.

    Keck OSIRIS on Keck 1

    Keck 2

    DEIMOS – The Deep Extragalactic Imaging Multi-Object Spectrograph is the most advanced optical spectrograph in the world, capable of gathering spectra from 130 galaxies or more in a single exposure. In ‘Mega Mask’ mode, DEIMOS can take spectra of more than 1,200 objects at once, using a special narrow-band filter.

    Keck/DEIMOS on Keck 2.

    NIRSPEC – The Near Infrared Spectrometer studies very high redshift radio galaxies, the motions and types of stars located near the Galactic Center, the nature of brown dwarfs, the nuclear regions of dusty starburst galaxies, active galactic nuclei, interstellar chemistry, stellar physics, and solar-system science.

    NIRSPEC on Keck 2.

    ESI – The Echellette Spectrograph and Imager captures high-resolution spectra of very faint galaxies and quasars ranging from the blue to the infrared in a single exposure. It is a multimode instrument that allows users to switch among three modes during a night. It has produced some of the best non-AO images at the Observatory.

    KECK Echellette Spectrograph and Imager (ESI) on Keck II.

    KCWI – The Keck Cosmic Web Imager is designed to provide visible band, integral field spectroscopy with moderate to high spectral resolution, various fields of view and image resolution formats and excellent sky-subtraction. The astronomical seeing and large aperture of the telescope enables studies of the connection between galaxies and the gas in their dark matter halos, stellar relics, star clusters and lensed galaxies.

    Keck Cosmic Web Imager on Keck 2 schematic.

    Keck Cosmic Web Imager on Keck 2.

    NEAR-INFRARED (1-5 Micron)

    ADAPTIVE OPTICS – Adaptive optics senses and compensates for the atmospheric distortions of incoming starlight up to 1,000 times per second. This results in an improvement in image quality on fairly bright astronomical targets by a factor 10 to 20.

    UCO Keck Laser Guide Star Adaptive Optics,Keck Observatory.

    LASER GUIDE STAR ADAPTIVE OPTICS – The Keck Laser Guide Star expands the range of available targets for study with both the Keck I and Keck II adaptive optics systems. They use sodium lasers to excite sodium atoms that naturally exist in the atmosphere 90 km (55 miles) above the Earth’s surface. The laser creates an “artificial star” that allows the Keck adaptive optics system to observe 70-80 percent of the targets in the sky, compared to the 1 percent accessible without the laser.

    NIRC-2/AO – The second generation Near Infrared Camera works with the Keck Adaptive Optics system to produce the highest-resolution ground-based images and spectroscopy in the 1-5 micron range. Typical programs include mapping surface features on solar system bodies, searching for planets around other stars, and analyzing the morphology of remote galaxies.

    Keck NIRC2 Camera on Keck 2.

    NIRES

    Keck Near-Infrared Echellette Spectrometer on Keck 2.

    Future Instrumentation

    KCRM – The Keck Cosmic Reionization Mapper will complete the Keck Cosmic Web Imager (KCWI), the world’s most capable spectroscopic imager. The design for KCWI includes two separate channels to detect light in the blue and the red portions of the visible wavelength spectrum. KCWI-Blue was commissioned and started routine science observations in September 2017. The red channel of KCWI is KCRM; a powerful addition that will open a window for new discoveries at high redshifts.

    KCRM – Keck Cosmic Reionization Mapper KCRM on Keck 2.

    KPF – The Keck Planet Finder (KPF) will be the most advanced spectrometer of its kind in the world. The instrument is a fiber-fed high-resolution, two-channel cross-dispersed echelle spectrometer for the visible wavelengths and is designed for the Keck II telescope. KPF allows precise measurements of the mass-density relationship in Earth-like exoplanets, which will help astronomers identify planets around other stars that are capable of supporting life.

    KPF Keck Planet Finder on Keck 2

     
  • richardmitnick 8:55 am on September 16, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Unraveling a Spiral Stream of Dusty Embers from a Massive Binary Stellar Forge", A massive binary star system called Wolf-Rayet (WR) 112., , , , , , , NAOJ Subaru Telescope   

    From Keck Observatory: “Unraveling a Spiral Stream of Dusty Embers from a Massive Binary Stellar Forge” 

    Keck Observatory, two 10 meter telescopes operated by Caltech and the University of California, Maunakea Hawaii USA, altitude 4,207 m (13,802 ft).

    From Keck Observatory

    September 15, 2020

    Mari-Ela Chock
    Communications Officer
    W. M. Keck Observatory
    (808) 554-0567 mobile
    mchock@keck.hawaii.edu

    1
    A thermal-infrared image of wr 112 captured with keck observatory’s LWS instrument in august 2004.
    Credit: Ryan M. Lau et al./ISAS/JAXA/W. M. Keck Observatory.

    Astronomers using three Maunakea Observatories have discovered one of the most prolific dust-making Wolf-Rayet star systems known, remarkably producing an entire Earth mass of dust every year.

    With nearly two decades of images from the world’s largest observatories – including W. M. Keck Observatory, Subaru Telescope, and Gemini Observatory in Hawaii – a research team led by Ryan Lau of Honolulu, Hawaii, an ʻIolani School alumnus and astronomer with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) at the Institute of Space and Astronautical Science (ISAS), has captured the beautiful, spiral motion of newly-formed dust streaming from a massive binary star system called Wolf-Rayet (WR) 112.


    NAOJ/Subaru Telescope at Mauna Kea Hawaii, USA,4,207 m (13,802 ft) above sea level.


    NOAO Gemini/South telescope, Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO) campus near La Serena, Chile, at an altitude of 7200 feet on the summit of Cerro Pachon.

    “WR 112 is incredibly hot and luminous with fast stellar winds ejecting material at high velocities – over thousands of kilometers per second,” said Lau, lead author of the study. “We’d expect dust to incinerate from the intense radiation of heat and violent winds. The fact that we see dust survive in this extreme environment is what makes WR 112 so mysterious and unusual.”

    The study published today in The Astrophysical Journal.

    Wolf-Rayet stars are one of the most extreme stars known; they are over 20 times more massive and millions of times brighter than the Sun. Because they are in the very late stage of stellar evolution, losing a large amount of mass, Wolf-Rayet stars have short lives and therefore are extremely rare.

    WR 112 is composed of a Wolf-Rayet star and a companion star that’s also much more massive than the Sun. A sequence of images taken since 2001, including observations using Keck Observatory’s Long Wavelength Spectrometer (LWS), shows this system moving over time, with the two stars orbiting around each other at timescales of about 20 years, thus causing the appearance of a spiral rotation.

    “Keck Observatory’s LWS was one of the few instruments capable of capturing high-resolution thermal-infrared images and Maunakea is an exceptional site for such observations,” said Lau. “These combined capabilities allowed us to trace the decades-long evolution of the dusty nebula around WR 112.”

    1
    Sequence of 7 mid-infrared (~10 micrometers) images of WR 112 taken between 2001 – 2019 by Gemini North, Gemini South [above], Keck Observatory [above], the Very Large Telescope (VLT), and Subaru Telescope [above].

    Frederick C Gillett Gemini North Telescope Maunakea, Hawaii, USA, Altitude 4,213 m (13,822 ft).

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

    The length of the white line on each image corresponds to about 6800 astronomical units. “Spurs” are the structures formed in the past 20 years showing variations between observations. “Nested shells” are expanding structures formed previously. The X-like signature in the Subaru Telescope image is an artifact due to property of the instrument. Credit: R. Lau et al./ISAS/JAXA.

    The team determined dust forms in the region where stellar winds from these two stars interact.

    “When the two winds collide, all hell breaks loose, including the release of copious shocked-gas X-rays, but also the (at first blush surprising) creation of copious amounts of carbon-based aerosol dust particles in those binaries where one of the stars has evolved to helium-burning, which produces 40% of carbon in their winds,” said co-author Anthony Moffat, emeritus professor of astronomy at the University of Montreal.

    This binary dust formation phenomenon has been revealed in other systems such as WR 104 by co-author Peter Tuthill, professor of physics at the University of Sydney. WR 104, in particular, reveals an elegant trail of dust resembling a ‘pinwheel’ that traces the orbital motion of the central binary star system.

    However, the dusty nebula around WR 112 is far more complex than a simple pinwheel pattern. Decades of multi-wavelength observations presented conflicting interpretations of its dusty outflow and orbital motion. After almost 20 years uncertainty on WR 112, images from Subaru Telescope’s COMICS instrument taken in Oct 2019 provided the final—and unexpected—piece to the puzzle.

    NAOJ Subaru COMICS (Cooled Mid Infrared Camera and Spectrometer).

    “We published a study in 2017 on WR 112 suggesting the dusty nebula was not moving at all, so I thought our COMICS observation would confirm this,” said Lau. “To my surprise, the COMICS image revealed the dusty shell had definitely moved since the last image we took with the Very Large Telescope in 2016. It confused me so much that I couldn’t sleep after the observing run—I kept flipping through the images until it finally registered in my head that the spiral looked like it was tumbling towards us.”


    Unraveling a Spiral Stream of Dusty Embers from a Massive Binary Stellar Forge. NAOJ.

    Lau collaborated with researchers at the University of Sydney, including Tuthill and undergraduate student Yinuo Han, who are experts at modeling and interpreting the motion of the dusty spirals from binary systems like WR 112.

    “I shared the images of WR 112 with Peter and Yinuo and they were able to produce an amazing preliminary model that confirmed the dusty spiral stream is in fact revolving in our direction along our line of sight,” said Lau.

    With the revised picture of WR 112, the research team was able to deduce how much dust this binary system is forming. To their surprise, the team found WR 112’s dust output rate of 3×10-6 solar mass per year was unusual given its 20-year orbital period—the most efficient dust producers in this type of WR binary star system tend to have shorter orbital periods of less than a year, like WR 104 with its 220-day period.

    WR 112 therefore demonstrates the diversity of WR binary systems capable of being highly-efficient dust factories and highlights their potential role as significant sources of dust not only in the Milky Way, but galaxies beyond our own.

    Massive binary star systems like WR 112, as well as supernova explosions, are regarded as sources of dust in the early universe, but the process of dust production and the amount of the ejected dust are still open questions. With the discovery of WR 112, astronomers now have new insight into the origin of dust in the young universe.

    See the full article here .


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

    Stem Education Coalition

    Mission
    To advance the frontiers of astronomy and share our discoveries with the world.

    The W. M. Keck Observatory operates the largest, most scientifically productive telescopes on Earth. The two, 10-meter optical/infrared telescopes on the summit of Mauna Kea on the Island of Hawaii feature a suite of advanced instruments including imagers, multi-object spectrographs, high-resolution spectrographs, integral-field spectrometer and world-leading laser guide star adaptive optics systems. Keck Observatory is a private 501(c) 3 non-profit organization and a scientific partnership of the California Institute of Technology, the University of California and NASA.

    Today Keck Observatory is supported by both public funding sources and private philanthropy. As a 501(c)3, the organization is managed by the California Association for Research in Astronomy (CARA), whose Board of Directors includes representatives from the California Institute of Technology and the University of California, with liaisons to the board from NASA and the Keck Foundation.


    Keck UCal

     
  • richardmitnick 9:05 pm on August 13, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Classifying Galaxies with Artificial Intelligence", , , , , NAOJ Subaru Telescope, ,   

    From National Astronomical Observatory of Japan: “Classifying Galaxies with Artificial Intelligence” 

    From National Astronomical Observatory of Japan

    August 11, 2020

    1
    Conceptual illustration of how artificial intelligence classifies various types of galaxies according to their morphologies. (Credit: NAOJ/HSC-SSP)

    Astronomers have applied artificial intelligence (AI) to ultra-wide field-of-view images of the distant Universe captured by the Subaru Telescope [below], and have achieved a very high accuracy for finding and classifying spiral galaxies in those images. This technique, in combination with citizen science, is expected to yield further discoveries in the future.

    A research group, consisting of astronomers mainly from the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ), applied a deep-learning technique, a type of AI, to classify galaxies in a large dataset of images obtained with the Subaru Telescope. Thanks to its high sensitivity, as many as 560,000 galaxies have been detected in the images. It would be extremely difficult to visually process this large number of galaxies one by one with human eyes for morphological classification. The AI enabled the team to perform the processing without human intervention.

    Automated processing techniques for extraction and judgment of features with deep-learning algorithms have been rapidly developed since 2012. Now they usually surpass humans in terms of accuracy and are used for autonomous vehicles, security cameras, and many other applications. Dr. Ken-ichi Tadaki, a Project Assistant Professor at NAOJ, came up with the idea that if AI can classify images of cats and dogs, it should be able to distinguish “galaxies with spiral patterns” from “galaxies without spiral patterns.” Indeed, using training data prepared by humans, the AI successfully classified the galaxy morphologies with an accuracy of 97.5%. Then applying the trained AI to the full data set, it identified spirals in about 80,000 galaxies.

    Now that this technique has been proven effective, it can be extended to classify galaxies into more detailed classes, by training the AI on the basis of a substantial number of galaxies classified by humans. NAOJ is now running a citizen-science project “GALAXY CRUISE“, where citizens examine galaxy images taken with the Subaru Telescope to search for features suggesting that the galaxy is colliding or merging with another galaxy. The advisor of “GALAXY CRUISE,” Associate Professor Masayuki Tanaka has high hopes for the study of galaxies using artificial intelligence and says, “The Subaru Strategic Program is serious Big Data containing an almost countless number of galaxies. Scientifically, it is very interesting to tackle such big data with a collaboration of citizen astronomers and machines. By employing deep-learning on top of the classifications made by citizen scientists in GALAXY CRUISE, chances are, we can find a great number of colliding and merging galaxies.”

    These results appeared as Tadaki et al. Spin Parity of Spiral Galaxies II: A catalogue of 80k spiral galaxies using big data from the Subaru Hyper Suprime-Cam Survey and deep learning, in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society on July 02, 2020.

    NAOJ Subaru Hyper Suprime-Cam


    Credit: NAOJ/HSC-SSP

    See the full article here .

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

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    The National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ) is an astronomical research organisation comprising several facilities in Japan, as well as an observatory in Hawaii. It was established in 1988 as an amalgamation of three existing research organizations – the Tokyo Astronomical Observatory of the University of Tokyo, International Latitude Observatory of Mizusawa, and a part of Research Institute of Atmospherics of Nagoya University.

    In the 2004 reform of national research organizations, NAOJ became a division of the National Institutes of Natural Sciences.

    NAOJ/Subaru Telescope at Mauna Kea Hawaii, USA,4,207 m (13,802 ft) above sea level


    ESO/NRAO/NAOJ ALMA Array
    ESO/NRAO/NAOJ ALMA Array
    sft
    Solar Flare Telescope

    Nobeyama Millimeter Array Radioheliograph, located near Minamimaki, Nagano at an elevation of 1350m

    Mizusawa VERA Observatory

    Okayama Astrophysical Observatory

    NAOJ Kyoto U 3.8m SEMEI Telescope

     
  • richardmitnick 4:50 pm on February 10, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Distant Giant Planets Form Differently Than ‘Failed Stars’", , , , , , NAOJ Subaru Telescope, NIRC2 camera at Keck observatory in Hawaii.,   

    From Keck Observatory: “Distant Giant Planets Form Differently Than ‘Failed Stars’” 

    Keck Observatory, operated by Caltech and the University of California, Maunakea Hawaii USA, 4,207 m (13,802 ft)

    From Keck Observatory

    February 10, 2020

    A team of astronomers led by Brendan Bowler of The University of Texas at Austin has probed the formation process of giant exoplanets and brown dwarfs, a class of objects that are more massive than giant planets, but not massive enough to ignite nuclear fusion in their cores to shine like true stars.

    1
    This image of the low-mass brown dwarf GJ 504 b was taken by Bowler and his team using adaptive optics with the NIRC2 camera [below] at Keck observatory in Hawaii. the image has been processed to remove light from the host star (whose position is marked with an “x”). the companion is located at a separation of about 40 times the earth-sun distance and has an orbital period of about 240 years. By returning to this and other systems year after year, the team is able to slowly trace out part of the companion’s orbit to constrain its shape, which provides clues about its formation and history.
    Credit: Brendan Bowler (UT-Austin)/W. M. Keck Observatory

    Using direct imaging with ground-based telescopes in Hawaii – W. M. Keck Observatory and NAOJ Subaru Telescope on Maunakea – the team studied the orbits of these faint companions orbiting stars in 27 systems. These data, combined with modeling of the orbits, allowed them to determine that the brown dwarfs in these systems formed like stars, but the gas giants formed like planets.


    NAOJ/Subaru Telescope at Mauna Kea Hawaii, USA,4,207 m (13,802 ft) above sea level

    The research is published in the current issue of The Astronomical Journal.

    In the last two decades, technological leaps have allowed telescopes to separate the light from a parent star and a much-dimmer orbiting object. In 1995, this new capability produced the first direct images of a brown dwarf orbiting a star. The first direct image of planets orbiting another star followed in 2008.

    “Over the past 20 years, we’ve been leaping down and down in mass,” Bowler said of the direct imaging capability, noting that the current limit is about 1 Jupiter mass. As the technology has improved, “One of the big questions that has emerged is ‘What’s the nature of the companions we’re finding?’”

    2
    By patiently watching giant planets and brown dwarfs orbit their host stars, Bowler and his team were able to constrain the orbit shapes even though only a small portion of the orbit has been monitored. The longer the time baseline, the smaller the range of possible orbits. These plots show nine of the 27 systems from their study. Credit: Brendan Bowler (UT-Austin)

    Brown dwarfs, as defined by astronomers, have masses between 13 and 75 Jupiter masses. They have characteristics in common with both planets and with stars, and Bowler and his team wanted to settle the question: Are gas giant planets on the outer fringes of planetary systems the tip of the planetary iceberg, or the low-mass end of brown dwarfs? Past research has shown that brown dwarfs orbiting stars likely formed like low-mass stars, but it’s been less clear what is the lowest mass companion this formation mechanism can produce.

    “One way to get at this is to study the dynamics of the system — to look at the orbits,” Bowler said. Their orbits today hold the key to unlocking their evolution.

    Using Keck Observatory’s adaptive optics (AO) system with the Near-Infrared Camera, second generation (NIRC2) instrument on the Keck II telescope, as well as the Subaru Telescope, Bowler’s team took images of giant planets and brown dwarfs as they orbit their parent stars.

    Keck NIRC2 schematic

    Keck 2 telescope Maunakea Hawaii USA, 4,207 m (13,802 ft)

    It’s a long process. The gas giants and brown dwarfs they studied are so distant from their parent stars that one orbit may take hundreds of years. To determine even a small percentage of the orbit, “You take an image, you wait a year,” for the faint companion to travel a bit, Bowler said. Then “you take another image, you wait another year.”

    This research relied on AO technology, which allows astronomers to correct for distortions caused by the Earth’s atmosphere.

    UCO Keck Laser Guide Star Adaptive Optics,Keck Observatory, operated by Caltech and the University of California, Maunakea Hawaii USA, 4,207 m (13,802 ft)

    Keck Observatory Laser Guide Star Adaptive Optics schematic

    As AO instruments have continually improved over the past three decades, more brown dwarfs and giant planets have been directly imaged. But since most of these discoveries have been made over the past decade or two, the team only has images corresponding to a few percent of each object’s total orbit. They combined their new observations of 27 systems with all of the previous observations published by other astronomers or available in telescope archives.

    At this point, computer modeling comes in. Coauthors on this paper have helped create an orbit-fitting code called “Orbitize!” which uses Kepler’s laws of planetary motion to identify which types of orbits are consistent with the measured positions, and which are not.

    The code generates a set of possible orbits for each companion. The slight motion of each giant planet or brown dwarf forms a “cloud” of possible orbits. The smaller the cloud, the more astronomers are closing in on the companion’s true orbit. And more data points — that is, more direct images of each object as it orbits — will refine the shape of the orbit.

    4
    These two curves show the final distribution of orbit shapes for giant planets and brown dwarfs. The orbital eccentricity determines how elongated the ellipse is, with a value of 0.0 corresponding to a circular orbit and a high value near 1.0 being a flattened ellipse. Gas giant planets located at wide separations from their host stars have low eccentricities, but the brown dwarfs have a wide range of eccentricities similar to binary star systems. For reference, the giant planets in our solar system have eccentricities less than 0.1. Credit: Brendan Bowler (UT-Austin)

    “Rather than wait decades or centuries for a planet to complete one orbit, we can make up for the shorter time baseline of our data with very accurate position measurements,” said team member Eric Nielsen of Stanford University. “A part of Orbitize! that we developed specifically to fit partial orbits, OFTI [Orbits For The Impatient], allowed us to find orbits even for the longest period companions.”

    Finding the shape of the orbit is key: Objects that have more circular orbits probably formed like planets. That is, when a cloud of gas and dust collapsed to form a star, the distant companion (and any other planets) formed out of a flattened disk of gas and dust rotating around that star.

    On the other hand, the ones that have more elongated orbits probably formed like stars. In this scenario, a clump of gas and dust was collapsing to form a star, but it fractured into two clumps. Each clump then collapsed, one forming a star, and the other a brown dwarf orbiting around that star. This is essentially a binary star system, albeit containing one real star and one “failed star.”

    “Even though these companions are millions of years old, the memory of how they formed is still encoded in their present-day eccentricity,” Nielsen added. Eccentricity is a measure of how circular or elongated an object’s orbit is.

    The results of the team’s study of 27 distant companions was unambiguous.

    “The punchline is, we found that when you divide these objects at this canonical boundary of more than about 15 Jupiter masses, the things that we’ve been calling planets do indeed have more circular orbits, as a population, compared to the rest,” Bowler said. “And the rest look like binary stars.”

    The future of this work involves both continuing to monitor these 27 objects, as well as identifying new ones to widen the study. “The sample size is still modest, at the moment,” Bowler said. His team is using the Gaia satellite to look for additional candidates to follow up using direct imaging with even greater sensitivity at the forthcoming Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT) and other facilities. UT-Austin is a founding member of the GMT collaboration.

    ESA/GAIA satellite

    Giant Magellan Telescope, 21 meters, to be at the Carnegie Institution for Science’s Las Campanas Observatory, to be built some 115 km (71 mi) north-northeast of La Serena, Chile, over 2,500 m (8,200 ft) high

    Bowler’s team’s results reinforce similar conclusions recently reached by the GPIES direct imaging survey with the Gemini Planet Imager, which found evidence for a different formation channel for brown dwarfs and giant planets based on their statistical properties.

    NOAO Gemini Planet Imager on Gemini South

    Gemini/South telescope, Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO) campus near La Serena, Chile, at an altitude of 7200 feet

    This work was supported by a NASA Keck PI Data Award, administered by the NASA Exoplanet Science Institute. The Keck Observatory is managed by Caltech and the University of California.

    ABOUT NIRC2

    The Near-Infrared Camera, second generation (NIRC2) works in combination with the Keck II adaptive optics system to obtain very sharp images at near-infrared wavelengths, achieving spatial resolutions comparable to or better than those achieved by the Hubble Space Telescope at optical wavelengths. NIRC2 is probably best known for helping to provide definitive proof of a central massive black hole at the center of our galaxy. Astronomers also use NIRC2 to map surface features of solar system bodies, detect planets orbiting other stars, and study detailed morphology of distant galaxies.

    ABOUT ADAPTIVE OPTICS

    W. M. Keck Observatory is a distinguished leader in the field of adaptive optics (AO), a breakthrough technology that removes the distortions caused by the turbulence in the Earth’s atmosphere. Keck Observatory pioneered the astronomical use of both natural guide star (NGS) and laser guide star adaptive optics (LGS AO) and current systems now deliver images three to four times sharper than the Hubble Space Telescope at near-infrared wavelengths. AO has imaged the four massive planets orbiting the star HR8799, measured the mass of the giant black hole at the center of our Milky Way Galaxy, discovered new supernovae in distant galaxies, and identified the specific stars that were their progenitors. Support for this technology was generously provided by the Bob and Renee Parsons Foundation, Change Happens Foundation, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Mt. Cuba Astronomical Foundation, NASA, NSF, and W. M. Keck Foundation.

    See the full article here .


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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Mission
    To advance the frontiers of astronomy and share our discoveries with the world.

    The W. M. Keck Observatoryoperates the largest, most scientifically productive telescopes on Earth. The two, 10-meter optical/infrared telescopes on the summit of Mauna Kea on the Island of Hawaii feature a suite of advanced instruments including imagers, multi-object spectrographs, high-resolution spectrographs, integral-field spectrometer and world-leading laser guide star adaptive optics systems. Keck Observatory is a private 501(c) 3 non-profit organization and a scientific partnership of the California Institute of Technology, the University of California and NASA.

    Today Keck Observatory is supported by both public funding sources and private philanthropy. As a 501(c)3, the organization is managed by the California Association for Research in Astronomy (CARA), whose Board of Directors includes representatives from the California Institute of Technology and the University of California, with liaisons to the board from NASA and the Keck Foundation.


    Keck UCal

     
  • richardmitnick 12:26 pm on December 1, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Massive Filaments Fuel the Growth of Galaxies and Supermassive Black Holes", , , , , , NAOJ Subaru Telescope, SSA22- a massive proto-cluster of galaxies located about 12 billion light years away in the constellation of Aquarius.   

    From National Astronomical Observatory of Japan: “Massive Filaments Fuel the Growth of Galaxies and Supermassive Black Holes” 

    NAOJ

    From National Astronomical Observatory of Japan

    October 3, 2019 [Just now in social media]

    An international group of scientists led by the RIKEN Cluster for Pioneering Research has used observations from the Multi Unit Spectroscopic Explorer (MUSE) at the ESO Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile and Suprime-Cam at the Subaru Telescope to make detailed observations of the filaments of gas connecting galaxies in a large proto-cluster in the early Universe.

    ESO MUSE on the VLT on Yepun (UT4)

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

    NAOJ Subaru Hyper Suprime-Cam

    Based on direct observations they found that, in accordance with predictions, the filaments are extensive, extending over more than 3 million light years and are providing the fuel for intense formation of stars and the growth of super massive black holes within the proto-cluster.

    1
    It is found that there are extensive gaseous structures and cosmic web filaments (left); and that the filaments connect a number of starbursting galaxies (right). (Credit: RIKEN)
    Figure 1: Maps of gas filaments. For both panels, identified gas filaments are shown in blue color. The background maps are an optical image taken with the Subaru Telescope [below] (left) and a millimeter-wave image taken with ALMA (right).

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

    The observations, which constitute a very detailed map of the filaments, were made on SSA22, a massive proto-cluster of galaxies located about 12 billion light years away in the constellation of Aquarius.

    The findings give key insight on the galaxy formation model. Now it is generally believed that filaments in the early universe fueled the formation of galaxies and super massive black holes at places where the filaments crossed, creating dense regions of matter. In accordance with this, the group found that the intersection between the enormous filaments they identified is home to active galactic nuclei—supermassive black holes—and “starbursting” galaxies that have very active star formation. They determined their locations from observations made with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) and the W. M. Keck Observatory.

    Keck Observatory, operated by Caltech and the University of California, Maunakea Hawaii USA, 4,207 m (13,802 ft)

    Their observations are based on the detection using the MUSE instrument of ultraviolet light that is produced by ionized hydrogen gas. The radiation was found to be intense. Their calculations indicated that the high radiation was likely triggered by star-forming galaxies and forming black holes.

    According to Hideki Umehata of the RIKEN Cluster for Pioneering Research and the University of Tokyo, the lead author of the paper, “This suggests very strongly that gas falling along the filaments under the force of gravity triggers the formation of starbursting galaxies and supermassive black holes, giving the universe the structure that we see today.”

    “Previous observations,” he continues, “had shown that there are emissions from blobs of gas extending beyond the galaxies, but now we have been able to clearly show that these filaments are extremely long, going even beyond the edge of the field that we viewed. This adds credence to the idea that these filaments are actually powering the intense activity that we see within the galaxies inside the filaments.”

    Co-author Michele Fumagalli from Durham University, UK, said: “It is very exciting to clearly see for the first time multiple and extended filaments in the early universe. We finally have a way to map these structures directly, and to understand in detail their role in regulating the formation of supermassive black holes and galaxies.”

    The work was done by the RIKEN Cluster for Pioneering Research along with collaborators from the University of Tokyo, Durham University in the UK, National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, Nagoya University, and other institutes.

    These results will be published online on October 3, 2019 in Science (H. Umehata, M. Fumagalli, I. Smail, Y. Matsuda, A. M. Swinbank, S. Cantalupo, C. Sykes, R. J. Ivison, C. C. Steidel, A. E. Shapley, J. Vernet, T. Yamada, Y. Tamura, M. Kubo, K. Nakanishi, M. Kajisawa, B. Hatsukade, and K. Kohno, “Gas filaments of the cosmic web located around active galaxies in a protocluster”). This research is supported by KAKENHI (Numbers JP17K14252, JP25287043, JP17H04831, JP17KK0098, JP19K03925, JP17H06130, JP17H06130) and NAOJ ALMA Scientific Research Grant Number 2018-09B.

    See the full article here .

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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    NAOJ

    The National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ) is an astronomical research organisation comprising several facilities in Japan, as well as an observatory in Hawaii. It was established in 1988 as an amalgamation of three existing research organizations – the Tokyo Astronomical Observatory of the University of Tokyo, International Latitude Observatory of Mizusawa, and a part of Research Institute of Atmospherics of Nagoya University.

    In the 2004 reform of national research organizations, NAOJ became a division of the National Institutes of Natural Sciences.

    NAOJ/Subaru Telescope at Mauna Kea Hawaii, USA,4,207 m (13,802 ft) above sea level


    ESO/NRAO/NAOJ ALMA Array
    ESO/NRAO/NAOJ ALMA Array
    sft
    Solar Flare Telescope

    Nobeyama Radio Telescope - Copy
    Nobeyama Radio Observatory

    Nobeyama Solar Radio Telescope Array
    Nobeyama Radio Observatory: Solar

    Misuzawa Station Japan
    Mizusawa VERA Observatory

    NAOJ Okayama Astrophysical Observatory Telescope
    Okayama Astrophysical Observatory

     
  • richardmitnick 12:29 pm on November 20, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Subaru Telescope Detects the Mid-infrared Emission Band from Complex Organic Molecules in Comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner", , , , , NAOJ Subaru Telescope,   

    From National Astronomical Observatory of Japan: “Subaru Telescope Detects the Mid-infrared Emission Band from Complex Organic Molecules in Comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner” 

    NAOJ

    From National Astronomical Observatory of Japan

    November 18, 2019

    Using the Cooled Mid-Infrared Camera and Spectrometer (COMICS) on the Subaru Telescope, astronomers have detected an unidentified infrared emission band from comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner (hereafter, comet 21P/G-Z) in addition to the thermal emissions from silicate and carbon grains.

    3
    COMICS on Subaru

    These unidentified infrared emissions are likely due to complex organic molecules, both aliphatic and aromatic hydrocarbons, contaminated by N- or O-atoms. Considering the properties of the dust and organic molecules, comet 21P/G-Z might have originated from the circumplanetary disk of a giant planet (like Jupiter or Saturn) where it was warmer than the typical comet-forming regions.

    1
    Figure 1: Comets are pristine remnants from the early Solar System. Comets are mostly made of ice and dust, but are also known to be rich in organic materials. If “complex” organic molecules like amino acids are enriched in comets and the meteoroids of cometary origin, the meteor showers might have delivered water and complex organic materials to the ancient Earth. (An artist’s illustration. Credit: Kyoto Sangyo University)

    Comet 21P/G-Z is a Jupiter-family comet with an orbital period of about 6.6 years and is thought to be the parent body of the October Draconids meteor shower. Compared to other comets, this comet is peculiar in terms of its volatile content (depleted in carbon-chain molecules, NH2, and highly volatile species) and the properties of its dust grains, and is categorized as “G-Z type” (~6% of surveyed comets). Based on previous studies, it was proposed that comet 21P/G-Z originated in a different region than other comets, but we didn’t have any information about the specific region in the protoplanetary disk. A negative trend of linear polarization in the optical wavelength region is also reported for the dust continuum of comet 21P/G-Z. It is suggested that this negative wavelength gradient of polarization might be explained by a higher content of organic materials in the dust grains of 21P/G-Z. If complex organic molecules like amino acids are enriched in comet 21P/G-Z and in the meteoroids of the October Draconids, this meteor shower might have delivered complex organic materials to the ancient Earth. However, complex high-molecular-weight organic molecules have never been detected clearly in comets, except in comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko by the in-situ measurements of the Rosetta spacecraft. How much and how complex of organic molecules are contained in comet 21P/G-Z is still an open question.

    2
    Figure 2: Comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner observed in the optical on August 22, 2018. (Credit: Michael Jaeger).

    A team of astronomers from the Institute of Space and Astronautical Science, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (ISAS/JAXA), Kyoto Sangyo University (KSU), National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ), and Okayama University of Science (OUS) conducted mid-infrared spectroscopic and imaging observations of comet 21P/G-Z using COMICS on UT July 5, 2005 (when the comet was 1.04 au from the Sun, near its perihelion). The obtained spectrum of comet 21P/G-Z shows emission peaks of crystalline silicate grains, which are usually also seen in many other comets. In addition to these silicate features, the researchers found that the spectrum of comet 21P/G-Z exhibits unidentified infrared emission features, which could be attributed to a mixture of aliphatic and aromatic hydrocarbons (such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons or hydrogenated amorphous carbons contaminated by N- or O-atoms).

    Comet 21P/G-Z is enriched in complex organic molecules. The enrichment of complex organic molecules requires a warm temperature or high energetic particle environment around the comet in the early solar nebula. The presence of these complex organic molecules suggests that comet 21P/G-Z originated from a warmer region in the protoplanetary disk than the typical comet-forming region. Considering that the derived mass fraction of crystalline silicates in comet 21P/G-Z is typical of comets, we propose that the comet originated from the circumplanetary disk of a giant planet (like Jupiter or Saturn) where it was warmer than the typical comet-forming region (5–30 au from the Sun) and was suitable for the formation of complex organic molecules. Comets from circumplanetary disks might be enriched in complex organic molecules, similar to comet 21P/G-Z, and may have provided pre-biotic molecules to ancient Earth by direct impact or meteor showers.

    3
    Figure 3: Blackbody normalized mid-infrared spectra of comets. The spectrum of comet 21P/G-Z (black filled circles) is different from other comets, and exhibits unidentified infrared emission features. The features at ~8.2 microns, ~8.5 microns, and ~11.2 microns could be attributed to PAHs (or HACs) contaminated by N- or O-atoms, although part of the feature at ~11.2 microns comes from crystalline olivine. The feature at ~9.2 microns might originate from aliphatic hydrocarbons. (Credit: Ootsubo et al.).

    These results were published on November 18, 2019 in Icarus.

    See the full article here .

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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

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    NAOJ

    The National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ) is an astronomical research organisation comprising several facilities in Japan, as well as an observatory in Hawaii. It was established in 1988 as an amalgamation of three existing research organizations – the Tokyo Astronomical Observatory of the University of Tokyo, International Latitude Observatory of Mizusawa, and a part of Research Institute of Atmospherics of Nagoya University.

    In the 2004 reform of national research organizations, NAOJ became a division of the National Institutes of Natural Sciences.

    NAOJ/Subaru Telescope at Mauna Kea Hawaii, USA,4,207 m (13,802 ft) above sea level


    ESO/NRAO/NAOJ ALMA Array
    ESO/NRAO/NAOJ ALMA Array
    sft
    Solar Flare Telescope

    Nobeyama Radio Telescope - Copy
    Nobeyama Radio Observatory

    Nobeyama Solar Radio Telescope Array
    Nobeyama Radio Observatory: Solar

    Misuzawa Station Japan
    Mizusawa VERA Observatory

    NAOJ Okayama Astrophysical Observatory Telescope
    Okayama Astrophysical Observatory

     
  • richardmitnick 12:26 pm on October 25, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "The Whole Picture of Distant Supercluster in Three Dimensions", , , , , , NAOJ Subaru Telescope, The supercluster CL1604 is a large-scale 3-D structure extending over about 160 million light-years in the north-south direction   

    From NAOJ Subaru and Gemini Observatory: “The Whole Picture of Distant Supercluster in Three Dimensions” 

    NOAO

    Gemini Observatory
    From Gemini Observatory

    NAOJ

    From National Astronomical Observatory of Japan

    October 22, 2019

    Using the Subaru Telescope [below] and Gemini-North Telescope [below], a team of astronomers has revealed that the supercluster CL1604, a distant supercluster located about 7.3 billion light-years away, is a large-scale 3-D structure extending over about 160 million light-years in the north-south direction.

    This is more than two times more extended than what was already known. Until now, we saw merely the “tip of the iceberg” of the supercluster. The wide-field capability of the Subaru Telescope enabled us to survey the whole of the supercluster and the Gemini-North Telescope played a critical role in confirming the structures. This is the outcome of the good synergy of the telescopes of the Maunakea observatories.

    1
    Figure 1: The 3-D and 2-D maps of the number density of galaxies associated with the supercluster. In the 2-D map, the large-scale structures of galaxies located in the slice at about 7.3 billion years ago are shown. The white areas show the structures already known from previous studies, and the yellow areas show the structures newly discovered by this study. The structures marked by the dotted ellipses are to be confirmed by future works. The white vertical line in the figure corresponds to a distance of about 30 million light-years (i.e., 10 Mpc). (Credit: NAOJ)

    Galaxies are distributed inhomogeneously in the Universe. It is well-known that nearby galaxies are strongly influenced by their environment, e.g., whether they are located in dense areas called galaxy clusters or less dense areas called voids. However, how galaxies form and evolve along with the growth of the cosmic web structures is one of the hot topics of astronomy. A wide-field survey of the distant Universe allows us to witness what actually happened with galaxies in the early phase of structure formation in the Universe. Among the few superclusters currently known, one of the best targets for study is the supercluster CL1604. Based on previous studies, its extent is 80 million light-years and its era is 7.3 billion years ago.

    The uniqueness of the data taken by Hyper Suprime-Cam (HSC) on the Subaru Telescope is the deep imaging data over a field wide enough to fully cover the known supercluster and the surrounding area.

    NAOJ Subaru Hyper Suprime-Cam

    A team led by Masao Hayashi and Yusei Koyama from NAOJ estimated the distances of individual galaxies from the galaxy colors using a technique called “photometric redshift.” Then, the three dimensional picture of the large-scale structures appears, which consists of several galaxy clusters newly discovered in the north-south direction as well as the structures already known (Figure 1).

    Furthermore, the team used the Faint Object Camera and Spectrograph (FOCAS) on the Subaru Telescope and the Gemini Multi-Object Spectrograph (GMOS) on Gemini-North to confirm the precise distances of 137 galaxies associated with the galaxy clusters revealed by HSC (Figure 2).

    NAOJ Subaru FOCAS Faint Object Camera and Spectrograph

    GEMINI/North GMOS

    It is found that the supercluster is a complex large-scale structure not only over the vast projected area but also along the line-of-sight direction in 3D. The galaxies spread over the 160 million light-years seem to be independent due to the vast area, however, the spectroscopic observations tell us that the galaxies formed simultaneously and then evolve along with the growth of large-scale structures.

    Our Galaxy is a member of Local Group on the outskirts of Virgo Galaxy Cluster. A team led by an astronomer from the University of Hawaii recently revealed that the Virgo Cluster is a member of a more extended enormous large-scale structure named the Laniakea Supercluster. “The supercluster we discovered 7.3 billion years ago may grow to be a huge large-scale structure similar to Laniakea where we live” said Hayashi.

    Local Group. Andrew Z. Colvin 3 March 2011

    Virgo Supercluster NASA

    Laniakea supercluster. From Nature The Laniakea supercluster of galaxies R. Brent Tully, Hélène Courtois, Yehuda Hoffman & Daniel Pomarède at http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v513/n7516/full/nature13674.html. Milky Way is the red dot.

    3
    Figure 2: The distribution of redshift (i.e., distance in the depth direction) of the galaxies confirmed by our spectroscopic observations. In each area, the histogram is color-coded by the distance of the galaxies. The same color for the histograms means that the galaxy clusters are located at the same distance in the depth direction irrespective of the location on the sky. (Credit: NAOJ)

    These results were published in Publications of the Astronomical Society of Japan.

    See the full article here .

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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

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    NOAO Gemini North on MaunaKea, Hawaii, USA, Altitude 4,213 m (13,822 ft)


    Gemini South telescope, Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO) campus near La Serena, Chile, at an altitude of 7200 feet


    Gemini’s mission is to advance our knowledge of the Universe by providing the international Gemini Community with forefront access to the entire sky.

    The Gemini Observatory is an international collaboration with two identical 8-meter telescopes. The Frederick C. Gillett Gemini Telescope is located on Mauna Kea, Hawai’i (Gemini North) and the other telescope on Cerro Pachón in central Chile (Gemini South); together the twin telescopes provide full coverage over both hemispheres of the sky. The telescopes incorporate technologies that allow large, relatively thin mirrors, under active control, to collect and focus both visible and infrared radiation from space.

    The Gemini Observatory provides the astronomical communities in six partner countries with state-of-the-art astronomical facilities that allocate observing time in proportion to each country’s contribution. In addition to financial support, each country also contributes significant scientific and technical resources. The national research agencies that form the Gemini partnership include: the US National Science Foundation (NSF), the Canadian National Research Council (NRC), the Chilean Comisión Nacional de Investigación Cientifica y Tecnológica (CONICYT), the Australian Research Council (ARC), the Argentinean Ministerio de Ciencia, Tecnología e Innovación Productiva, and the Brazilian Ministério da Ciência, Tecnologia e Inovação. The observatory is managed by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc. (AURA) under a cooperative agreement with the NSF. The NSF also serves as the executive agency for the international partnership.

    NAOJ

    The National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ) is an astronomical research organisation comprising several facilities in Japan, as well as an observatory in Hawaii. It was established in 1988 as an amalgamation of three existing research organizations – the Tokyo Astronomical Observatory of the University of Tokyo, International Latitude Observatory of Mizusawa, and a part of Research Institute of Atmospherics of Nagoya University.

    In the 2004 reform of national research organizations, NAOJ became a division of the National Institutes of Natural Sciences.

    NAOJ/Subaru Telescope at Mauna Kea Hawaii, USA,4,207 m (13,802 ft) above sea level


    ESO/NRAO/NAOJ ALMA Array
    ESO/NRAO/NAOJ ALMA Array
    sft
    Solar Flare Telescope

    Nobeyama Radio Telescope - Copy
    Nobeyama Radio Observatory

    Nobeyama Solar Radio Telescope Array
    Nobeyama Radio Observatory: Solar

    Misuzawa Station Japan
    Mizusawa VERA Observatory

    NAOJ Okayama Astrophysical Observatory Telescope
    Okayama Astrophysical Observatory

     
  • richardmitnick 12:42 pm on August 24, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Storms on Jupiter Seen by Multi-Wavelength Observations", , , , , NAOJ Subaru Telescope   

    From NAOJ Subaru: “Storms on Jupiter Seen by Multi-Wavelength Observations” 

    NAOJ

    From National Astronomical Observatory of Japan

    August 23, 2019

    Multi-wavelength measurements from telescopes worldwide capture the eruption of storms in Jupiter’s northern and southern equatorial belts.

    Astronomers using the Subaru Telescope [below] contributed to coordinated observations of the planet in January 2017, joining observers using the Atacama Large Millimeter/Submillimeter Array (ALMA), the Very Large Array (VLA), NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope (HST), the Gemini North Telescope, the Very Large Telescope (VLT), and the W. M. Keck Telescope in tracking the effects of these storms – visible as bright plumes above the planet’s main ammonia ice cloud deck over which they appear. The rising plumes then interacted with Jupiter’s powerful winds, which stretched the clouds far from their points of origin.

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

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

    NASA/ESA Hubble Telescope


    NOAO Gemini North on MaunaKea, Hawaii, USA, Altitude 4,213 m (13,822 ft)

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

    Keck Observatory, operated by Caltech and the University of California, Maunakea Hawaii USA, 4,207 m (13,802 ft)

    1
    Figure 1: Subaru/COMICS map of Jupiter at 8.70 microns. Images recorded over the four consecutive nights (January 11-14, 2017) were stitched together to produce an image over 360 degrees in longitude. Several features are indicated on the map (Great Red Spot (GRS), Oval BA (BA), Source SEB Outbreak by arrow #1, Vortices by arrow #3, Hot Spots by arrow #4, and Large Plumes by arrow #5). (Credit: Imke de Pater et al.)

    These multi-wavelength, coordinated observations are consistent with one theory, known as moist convection, about how these plumes form. According to this theory, upwelling winds carry a mix of ammonia and water vapor high enough for the water to condense into liquid droplets. The condensing water releases heat that expands the cloud and buoys it quickly upward through other cloud layers, ultimately breaking through the ammonia ice clouds at the top of the atmosphere.

    “Mid-infrared images of Jupiter from the Subaru Telescope and the Very Large Telescope and ALMA radio observations indicate the plumes are dark at wavelengths where ammonia gas absorbs”, said Glenn Orton of Caltech’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in the United States. “This demonstrates the plumes are rich in ammonia gas, which supports the theory they are driven by moist convection.” Yasumasa Kasaba of Tohoku University in Japan added “this is a great example of using coordinated observations over several wavelength regimes to improve the understanding of atmospheric phenomena on other planets”.

    The observations will ultimately help planetary scientists understand the complex atmospheric dynamics on Jupiter, which, with its Great Red Spot and colorful bands, make it one of the most beautiful and changeable of the giant gas planets in the solar system.

    2
    Figure 2: HST map at optical wavelengths from 11 January, 2017, with the zonal wind profile superimposed. (Credit: Imke de Pater et al.)

    These results are described in a paper led by Dr. Imke de Pater of UC Berkeley that will be published by The Astronomical Journal online. Glenn Orton, James Sinclair of Caltech’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Yasumasa Kasaba of Tohoku University in Japan contributed the Subaru mid-infrared images using the COMICS instrument.

    3
    Subaru COMICS instrument

    Among the other co-authors of the paper are graduate students Chris Moeckel and Charles Goullaud and research astronomers Michael Wong and David DeBoer, of UC Berkeley; Robert Sault of the University of Melbourne in Australia; and Bryan Butler of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory. Each was involved in obtaining and analyzing the Hubble, Gemini, ALMA and VLA data, respectively. Leigh Fletcher and Padraig Donnelly of the University of Leicester in the United Kingdom supplied the VLT data. Gordon Bjoraker of the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland and Máté Ádámkovics of Clemson University in South Carolina were responsible for the Keck data.

    A part of the Subaru Telescope observations presented in the paper were observed through the Keck-Subaru exchange program.

    See the full article here .

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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    NAOJ

    The National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ) is an astronomical research organisation comprising several facilities in Japan, as well as an observatory in Hawaii. It was established in 1988 as an amalgamation of three existing research organizations – the Tokyo Astronomical Observatory of the University of Tokyo, International Latitude Observatory of Mizusawa, and a part of Research Institute of Atmospherics of Nagoya University.

    In the 2004 reform of national research organizations, NAOJ became a division of the National Institutes of Natural Sciences.

    NAOJ/Subaru Telescope at Mauna Kea Hawaii, USA,4,207 m (13,802 ft) above sea level


    ESO/NRAO/NAOJ ALMA Array
    ESO/NRAO/NAOJ ALMA Array
    sft
    Solar Flare Telescope

    Nobeyama Radio Telescope - Copy
    Nobeyama Radio Observatory

    Nobeyama Solar Radio Telescope Array
    Nobeyama Radio Observatory: Solar

    Misuzawa Station Japan
    Mizusawa VERA Observatory

    NAOJ Okayama Astrophysical Observatory Telescope
    Okayama Astrophysical Observatory

     
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