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  • richardmitnick 5:04 pm on December 5, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Abell 2744, , , , , , NASA/ESA Hubble ACS,   

    From Hubble: “Hubble’s First Frontier Field Finds Thousands of Unseen, Faraway Galaxies” 

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    NASA/ESA Hubble Telescope

    NASA/ESA Hubble Telescope

    Jan 7, 2014
    Ray Villard
    Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, Md.
    410-338-4514
    villard@stsci.edu

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    Hubble Frontier Field Abell 2744

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    Frontier Fields Footprint: Galaxy Cluster Abell 2744

    The first of a set of unprecedented, super-deep views of the universe from an ambitious collaborative program called The Frontier Fields is being released today at the 223rd meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Washington, D.C.

    The long-exposure image taken with NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope is the deepest-ever picture taken of a cluster of galaxies, and also contains images of some of the intrinsically faintest and youngest galaxies ever detected.

    The target is the massive cluster Abell 2744, which contains several hundred galaxies as they looked 3.5 billion years ago. The immense gravity in this foreground cluster is being used as a “gravitational lens,” which warps space to brighten and magnify images of far-more-distant background galaxies as they looked over 12 billion years ago, not long after the big bang.

    “The Frontier Fields is an experiment; can we use Hubble’s exquisite image quality and Einstein’s theory of General Relativity to search for the first galaxies?” said Space Telescope Science Institute Director Matt Mountain. “With the other Great Observatories, we are undertaking an ambitious joint program to use galaxy clusters to explore the first billion years of the universe’s history.”

    Simultaneous observations of this field are being done with NASA’s two other Great Observatories, the Spitzer Space Telescope and the Chandra X-ray Observatory.

    NASA/Spitzer Infrared Telescope

    NASA/Chandra Telescope

    The assembly of all this multispectral information is expected to provide new insights into the origin and evolution of galaxies and their accompanying black holes.

    The Hubble exposure reveals nearly 3,000 of these background galaxies interleaved with images of hundreds of foreground galaxies in the cluster. The many background galaxies would otherwise be invisible without the boost from gravitational lensing. Their images not only appear brighter, but also smeared, stretched, and duplicated across the field.

    Thanks to the gravitational lensing phenomenon, the background galaxies are magnified to appear up to 10 to 20 times larger than they would normally appear.

    Gravitational Lensing NASA/ESA

    What’s more, the faintest of these highly magnified objects have intrinsic brightnesses roughly 10 to 20 times fainter than any galaxies ever previously observed.

    The Hubble data are immediately being made available to the worldwide astronomy community where teams of researchers will do a detailed study of the visual crazy quilt of intermingled background and cluster galaxies to better understand the stages of galaxy development.

    Though the foreground cluster Abell 2744 has been intensively studied as one of the most massive clusters in the universe, the Frontier Fields exposure reveals new details of the cluster population. Hubble sees dwarf galaxies in the cluster as small as 1/1,000th the mass of the Milky Way. At the other end of the size spectrum, Hubble detects the extended light from several monster central cluster galaxies that are as much as 100 times more massive than our Milky Way. Also visible is faint intra-cluster light from stars inside the cluster that have been stripped out of galaxies by gravitational interactions. These new deep images will also help astronomers map out the dark matter in the cluster with unprecedented detail, by charting its distorting effects on background light. An unseen form of matter, dark matter makes up the bulk of the mass of the cluster.

    As the Abell cluster was being photographed with Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3, the telescope’s Advanced Camera for Surveys was trained on a nearby parallel field that is 6 arc minutes away from the cluster.

    NASA/ESA Hubble WFC3

    NASA/ESA Hubble ACS

    In this field, Hubble resolves roughly 10,000 galaxies seen in visible light, most of which are randomly scattered galaxies. The blue galaxies are distant star-forming galaxies seen from up to 8 billion years ago; the handful of larger, red galaxies are in the outskirts of the Abell 2744 cluster.

    Hubble will again view these two Frontier Fields in May 2014, but Hubble’s visible-light and infrared camera will switch targets. This will allow for both fields to be observed over a full range of colors, from ultraviolet light to near-infrared.

    With each new camera installed on Hubble, the space telescope has been used to make successively deeper, groundbreaking views of the universe. To get a better assessment of whether doing more deep field observations was scientifically compelling or urgent, the Space Telescope Science Institute or STScI in Baltimore, Md., chartered a “Hubble Deep Field Initiative” working group. The Hubble Frontier Fields initiative grew out of the working group’s high-level discussions at STScI concerning what important, forward-looking science Hubble should be doing in upcoming years. Despite several deep field surveys, astronomers realized that a lot was still to be learned about the far universe. Such knowledge would help in planning the observing strategy for the upcoming James Webb Space Telescope.

    The astronomers also considered synergies with other observatories, such as Spitzer, Chandra, and the new Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array or ALMA.

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

    Over the coming years five more pairs of fields will be imaged. The next scheduled target is the massive cluster MACS J0416.1-2403, for which observations are starting this week.

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

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    Stem Education Coalition

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

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  • richardmitnick 1:32 pm on June 19, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , ESO 486-21, , NASA/ESA Hubble ACS, , Surveying the cosmos   

    From Hubble: “Surveying the cosmos” 

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    NASA/ESA Hubble Telescope

    NASA/ESA Hubble Telescope

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    The object in the middle of this image, sitting alone within a star-studded cosmos, is a galaxy known as ESO 486-21. ESO 486-21 is a spiral galaxy — albeit with a somewhat irregular and ill-defined structure — located some 30 million light-years from Earth.

    The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope observed this object while performing a survey — the Legacy ExtraGalactic UV Survey (LEGUS) — of 50 nearby star-forming galaxies. The LEGUS sample was selected to cover a diverse range of galactic morphologies, star formation rates, galaxy masses, and more. Astronomers use such data to understand how stars form and evolve within clusters, and how these processes affect both their home galaxy and the wider Universe. ESO 486-21 is an ideal candidate for inclusion in such a survey as it is known to be in the process of forming new stars, which are created when large clouds of gas and dust (seen here in pink) within the galaxy crumple inwards upon themselves.

    LEGUS made use of Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) and Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS).

    NASA/ESA Hubble WFC3

    NASA/ESA Hubble ACS

    The WFC3 obtained detailed observations of the target objects while the ACS obtained what are known as parallel fields — instead of leaving ACS idle, it was instead trained on a small patch of sky just offset from the target field itself, allowing it to gather additional valuable information while the primary target was being observed by WFC3. Parallel fields played an important role in Hubble’s Frontier Fields programme, which used the magnifying power of large galaxy clusters (via a phenomenon known as gravitational lensing) to explore objects in the distant Universe.

    Credit:

    NASA/ESA Hubble

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    STEM Icon

    Stem Education Coalition

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

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    AURA Icon

    NASA image

     
  • richardmitnick 11:32 am on January 16, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: A slice of Sagittarius, , , NASA/ESA Hubble ACS   

    From Hubble: “A slice of Sagittarius” 

    NASA Hubble Banner

    NASA/ESA Hubble Telescope

    NASA/ESA Hubble Telescope

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    Credit: NASA/ESA Hubble

    16 January 2017
    No writer credit found

    This stunning image, captured by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope’s Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS), shows part of the sky in the constellation of Sagittarius (The Archer).

    NASA/ESA Hubble ACS

    The region is rendered in exquisite detail — deep red and bright blue stars are scattered across the frame, set against a background of thousands of more distant stars and galaxies. Two features are particularly striking: the colours of the stars, and the dramatic crosses that burst from the centres of the brightest bodies.

    While some of the colours in this frame have been enhanced and tweaked during the process of creating the image from the observational data, different stars do indeed glow in different colours. Stars differ in colour according to their surface temperature: very hot stars are blue or white, while cooler stars are redder. They may be cooler because they are smaller, or because they are very old and have entered the red giant phase, when an old star expands and cools dramatically as its core collapses.
    The crosses are nothing to do with the stars themselves, and, because Hubble orbits above Earth’s atmosphere, nor are they due to any kind of atmospheric disturbance. They are actually known as diffraction spikes, and are caused by the structure of the telescope itself. Like all big modern telescopes, Hubble uses mirrors to capture light and form images. Its secondary mirror is supported by struts, called telescope spiders, arranged in a cross formation, and they diffract the incoming light. Diffraction is the slight bending of light as it passes near the edge of an object. Every cross in this image is due to a single set of struts within Hubble itself! Whilst the spikes are technically an inaccuracy, many astrophotographers choose to emphasise and celebrate them as a beautiful feature of their images.

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    STEM Icon

    Stem Education Coalition

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

    ESA50 Logo large

    AURA Icon

    NASA image

     
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