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  • richardmitnick 8:50 am on November 20, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , Dying star blows aluminium, , Radio 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 1:39 pm on November 17, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , Nobeyama Millimeter Array 2017, Radio Astronomy, Toyokawa 1957   

    From NAOJ: “Solar Minimum Surprisingly Constant – More than Half a Century of Observation yields New Discovery” 

    NAOJ

    NAOJ

    1
    Solar microwave observation telescopes in 1957 (top left) and today (bottom left). Fluctuations observed during 60 years of solar microwave monitoring (top right) and the solar microwave spectrum at each solar minimum (bottom right). The background is full solar disk images taken by the X-ray telescope aboard the Hinode satellite

    1
    Toyokawa 1957

    JAXA/NASA HINODE spacecraft

    Using more than half a century of observations, Japanese astronomers have discovered that the microwaves coming from the Sun at the minimums of the past five solar cycles have been the same each time, despite large differences in the maximums of the cycles.

    In Japan, continuous four-frequency solar microwave observations (1, 2, 3.75 and 9.4 GHz) began in 1957 at the Toyokawa Branch of the Research Institute of Atmospherics, Nagoya University. In 1994 the telescopes were relocated to NAOJ Nobeyama Campus, where they have continued observations up to the present.

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

    A research group led by Masumi Shimojo (Assistant Professor at NAOJ Chile Observatory), including members from Nagoya University, Kyoto University, and Ibaraki University, analyzed the more than 60 years of solar microwave data from these telescopes. They found that microwave intensities and spectra at the minimums of the latest five cycles were the same every time. In contrast, during the periods of maximum solar activity, both the intensity and spectrum varied from cycle to cycle.

    Masumi Shimojo explains that, “Other than sunspot observations, uniform long-term observations are rare in solar astronomy. It is very meaningful to discover a trend extending beyond a single solar cycle. This is an important step in understanding the creation and amplification of solar magnetic fields, which generate sunspots and other solar activity.”

    The Sun goes through a cycle of active and quiet periods approximately once every 11 years. This “solar cycle” is often associated with the number of sunspots, but there are other types of solar activity as well. So simply counting the number of sunspots is insufficient to understand the solar activity conditions.

    Microwaves are another indicator of solar activity. Microwaves have the advantage that, unlike sunspots, they can be observed on cloudy days. Also, monitoring multiple frequencies of microwaves makes it possible to calculate the relative strength at each frequency (this is called the spectrum). This research was published in the The Astrophysical Journal on October 10, 2017.

    See the full article here .

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    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

    NAOJ Subaru Telescope interior
    Subaru

    ALMA Array
    ALMA

    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

    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.

     
  • richardmitnick 4:02 pm on November 14, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , Radio Astronomy,   

    From Dunlap: “Major Upgrade Increases Power of Radio Telescope to Probe the Universe 

    Dunlap Institute bloc
    Dunlap Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics

    Nov 14, 2017
    CONTACT INFORMATION:

    Prof. Bryan Gaensler, Director
    Dunlap Institute for Astronomy & Astrophysics
    University of Toronto
    416-978-6223
    bgaensler@dunlap.utoronto.ca
    http://www.dunlap.utoronto.ca/prof-bryan-gaensler

    Chris Sasaki
    Communications Coordinator | Press Officer
    Dunlap Institute for Astronomy & Astrophysics
    University of Toronto
    416-978-6613
    csasaki@dunlap.utoronto.ca

    SKA Murchison Widefield Array

    The Murchison Widefield Array (MWA), a radio telescope in the outback of Western Australia, has completed a planned major upgrade, making it ten times more sensitive and doubling its ability to resolve detail.

    Astronomers are using the MWA to make a detailed map of the entire southern radio sky. They are also using it to make observations of hydrogen gas from an epoch of the Universe when the first stars and galaxies were forming; study the Milky Way Galaxy’s magnetic field; and investigate radio sources like pulsars, X-ray binary stars and neutron stars.

    “The original MWA opened our eyes to a new view of the radio sky,” says Prof. Bryan Gaensler, Director of the Dunlap Institute for Astronomy & Astrophysics, and Canadian representative on the MWA Board of Partners. “This upgrade greatly sharpens that view, and allows us to study in detail the new objects that the MWA discovered earlier.”

    The MWA is one of four precursor telescopes for the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) which, when completed in the mid-2020s, will be the largest radio telescope ever built.

    SKA Square Kilometer Array

    It will have a total collecting area of a square kilometre, with antennas located in Australia and South Africa. SKA will be a ground-breaking instrument which astronomers will use to conduct new tests of General Relativity, observe the very first stars and galaxies, and investigate dark energy and cosmic magnetism.

    The MWA upgrade marks the completion of Phase Two in its development with the addition of 128 new antenna stations to the existing 128. Each station comprises 16 antennas for a total of over four thousand antennas arranged within an area with a diameter of roughly six kilometres.

    The array is located at the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory in Western Australia and is operated by an international consortium led by Curtin University and which includes partners from Australia, India, New Zealand, China, the United States and Canada. The University of Toronto officially joined the consortium in June 2016

    “The MWA is not only an amazing scientific facility in its own right,” says Gaensler, “but it is a vital stepping stone and test-bed for our even more ambitious plans for the SKA.”

    Additional notes:
    1) The Phase Two expansion of the MWA was partly funded by a $1 million grant as part of the Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities (LIEF) scheme. A further $1.2 million has been provided by partner institutions.

    See the full article here .

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    Dunlap Institute campus

    The Dunlap Institute is committed to sharing astronomical discovery with the public. Through lectures, the web, social and new media, an interactive planetarium, and major events like the Toronto Science Festival, we are helping to answer the public’s questions about the Universe.
    Our work is greatly enhanced through collaborations with the Department of Astronomy & Astrophysics, Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics, David Dunlap Observatory, Ontario Science Centre, Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, the Toronto Public Library, and many other partners.

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

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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.

    NRAO Small
    ESO 50 Large
    NAOJ

     
  • richardmitnick 12:34 pm on November 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , In the next few decades pulsars and black holes will be some of most important focal points in astrophysics research, KAT-7 and MeerKAT telescopes, Looking ahead to the Square Kilometer Array, Physicists will either pin down more accurate descriptions of the Strong Equivalence Principle (SEP) and alternative theories of gravity or may find they need to scrap these theories entirely, Pulsar emissions and gravitational waves have been telling us interesting things about the universe, Radio Astronomy, , , , The SKA will be far more powerful and versatile than any telescopes before it, The Square Kilometer Array (SKA) an international partnership mainly supported by 10 countries is an interconnected web of telescopes being built in South Africa Western Australia and a number of Afri   

    From astronomy.com: “Looking ahead to the Square Kilometer Array” 

    Astronomy magazine

    astronomy.com

    November 06, 2017
    Tyler Krueger

    This web of telescopes will help astronomers unlock the mystery behind black holes, pulsars, and more.

    SKA Square Kilometer Array

    1
    Composite image bringing together the two SKA sites under a shared sky. Pictured here are some of the SKA precursor telescopes, South Africa’s KAT-7 and MeerKAT telescopes on the left and Australia’s ASKAP telescope on the right. SKA Organisation

    In the next few decades, pulsars and black holes will be some of most important focal points in astrophysics research. Researchers are working to build extremely powerful telescopes that aim to study pulsars and, if they are lucky, supermassive black holes found at the center of galaxies. The Square Kilometer Array (SKA), an international partnership mainly supported by 10 countries, is an interconnected web of telescopes being built in South Africa, Western Australia, and a number of African countries that will study these objects to test theories of gravity and the theory of general relativity.

    Pulsar emissions and gravitational waves have been telling us interesting things about the universe, and upcoming research is likely to bring improved and exciting insights. The SKA will be far more powerful and versatile than any telescopes before it, allowing for a diverse range of in-depth research.

    “What excites me is the finding of the unexpected,” SKA Science Director Robert Braun said. “You’ll be looking for one phenomenon, and you come away finding something completely unpredicted.”

    2
    Aerial view of the SKA dishes and MeerKAT dishes in South Africa. SKA Organisation

    The Relationship Between Pulsars and Gravitational Waves

    Pulsars are excellent timekeepers. As pulsars rotate on their axis, for a few milliseconds the radio waves they emit are shot directly at Earth, where researchers can record and analyze them. They rotate very consistently, so researchers can use them as precise clocks for experiments.

    The consistency of pulsars also makes them a reliable way to study gravitational waves. Gravitational waves warp space-time so that anything in their path is warped itself. If a gravitational wave from a pair of supermassive black holes orbiting each other were to propagate through the space between a pulsar and our planet, researchers would be able to detect a slight delay in the radio signal received, as space would be physically distorted. The SKA telescope will be able to use pulsars to detect gravitational waves from distant supermassive black holes binaries in more precise ways that current telescopes.

    According to Alberto Sesana, a research fellow at the University of Birmingham, a great challenge to searching for evidence of gravitational waves in pulsar radio emissions is separating the signals from the plethora of other sources of noise in the universe.

    “When it comes to gravitational wave detection, the hardest part is that we do not understand the intrinsic noise of pulsars very well.” Sesana said. “This is a problem, because detecting a signal means to single it out from noise and if you don’t know what your noise does, it becomes difficult to identify the signal.”

    It’s a bit like being at a concert with your eyes closed and trying to decipher which speaker is playing the bass guitar.

    3
    Close-up of the SKA’s low frequency aperture arrays and ASKAP dishes in Australia. SKA Organisation

    The telescopes currently in use are not sensitive enough to study these variations closely enough. The SKA telescope will provide more powerful instruments capable of higher precision than those before it and will help researchers study celestial bodies more accurately.

    Tests of General Relativity

    Until the first gravitational wave signal detected by LIGO, pairings of neutron stars were the best test of general relativity. According to the theory, the emission of gravitational waves as the stars rotate around each other causes the distance between the two neutron stars to shrink. This in turn shrinks the amount of time it takes the stars to orbit each other, and affects the timing of the pulsars. Studying these timing changes closely will allow researchers to pinpoint the rate of shrinkage in a concrete manner and compare it to what the theory of general relativity says will happen.

    PSR J0737-3039, a system of two neutron star pulsars orbiting each other, has so far been the best test of this principle. The observed rates of shrinking have agreed with (to within half of a percent) general relativity, but in typical science fashion, this is still not enough evidence to confirm existing theories.

    In future studies, SKA telescopes plan to find more binary systems like this, which will help build a stronger body of evidence for or against our current theory of general relativity.

    “With better telescopes and algorithms, we can find more pulsars, and among them, more exotic objects, like double neutron star binaries, which will help constrain general relativity, and pulsar – white dwarf binaries, which will help constrain alternative theories of gravity,” said Delphine Perrodin, a researcher at the Italian National Institute for Astrophysics (INAF).

    Alternative Theories of Gravity

    Pulsar-white dwarf systems can similarly test alternative theories of gravity. PSR J0337+1715 is a great example of this type of system. For the visual learners, here’s a short video describing this system:

    This is an important area of study because general relativity is not yet a completely sound theory. The theories of general relativity and quantum mechanics have been studied extensively, but physicists still cannot reconcile them with each other.

    The PSR J0337+1715 system has interested physicists since its discovery in 2007. Two white dwarfs orbit the pulsar – one very closely and one from far away. This system is fascinating because the outer white dwarf’s gravitational field accelerates the orbits of the inner pair at a much faster rate than predicted by current theories. With more sensitive telescopes, researchers aim to find more systems like this to study to more fully understand, among other things, the Strong Equivalence Principle (SEP). SEP states that the laws of gravity are not affected by velocity and location, but the way the PSR J0337+1715 system behaves, it appears that there is something beyond our understanding to be discovered. The SKA telescope will be able to more precisely study this supposed violation.

    Whatever conclusions come from it, physicists will either pin down more accurate descriptions of the SEP and alternative theories of gravity, or may find they need to scrap these theories entirely.

    The Future of Astrophysics

    SKA will practically revolutionize the study of astrophysics, and will even contribute to other fields of physics. With such a wide range of capability, SKA will advance theories of dark matter and dark energy, learn about galaxy formation in the early and local universe, and hopefully accurately locate the first recognized pair of supermassive black holes. Researchers hope to use the SKA to formulate a “movie” of the early universe’s progression to its current state by studying hydrogen recombination after the Big Bang.

    “If we can overcome the instrumental challenges, we’ll be able to see that ‘cosmic dawn,’ the first moments of time in which the universe starts to become ionized and watch as that ionization progresses,” Braun said.

    According to Sesana, the holy grail of this research would be to find interesting objects that are closer and easier to study.

    “Another ideal outcome will be to find, possibly – and this would be a dream – a pulsar closely orbiting the supermassive black hole in the Milky Way center. This will allow the testing of general relativity like in the pulsar-black hole case, but to an even greater precision.”

    3
    SKA Organisation

    With regard to the recent announcement of gravitational waves, gamma ways, and more from a pair of merging neutron stars, the SKA “will work in tandem with multi-messenger facilities to both alert other facilities to discoveries made by the SKA, and to react to discoveries made by LIGO, Virgo, etc.,” said a representative from the project. “The SKA’s reaction time will be about 30 seconds, meaning we can jump onto signals as soon as they are discovered by the electromagnetic, gravitational wave or neutrino signals. Additionally, the SKA will provide a deluge of new and exciting electromagnetic transient discoveries, which it will broadcast to other facilities for these to complement the observations, the aim being to achieve a full multi-messenger understanding of the new discovery space that SKA will open.”

    Exciting Discoveries Ahead

    The potential to discover groundbreaking phenomena in the universe is awe-inspiring to say the least. Some questions will be answered, but many more questions will be raised.

    4
    Artist’s composition of the entire SKA1 array, with SKA dishes and MeerKAT dishes in Africa and low frequency aperture arrays and ASKAP dishes in Australia. SKA Organisation

    “Nature is so inventive,” Braun said. “If you look with new capabilities, you find the most amazing, unexpected things that you never could have predicted. Nature just has so much more imagination than people do.”

    The overarching SKA project hopes to see an intergovernmental treaty signed in 2018, and should begin its five-year construction in 2019 or 2020. Braun says that the South African MeerKAT radio telescope, which is a precursor project that will be integrated into the SKA, is nearing completion and expects to be functioning in April 2018. Other first-class science precursor facilities located such as ASKAP and the MWA radio telescopes in Australia are already paving the way for SKA, as well as a number of smaller facilities around the world

    The wait seems long, but for astronomy fans, it’s going to be well worth it.

    See the full article here .

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  • richardmitnick 8:43 am on November 8, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , NSF defunding some Radio Astronomy assets, Puerto Rico hurricane damage, Radio Astronomy,   

    From Science: “Giant radio telescope lends a hand in Puerto Rico relief” 

    ScienceMag
    Science Magazine

    Nov. 7, 2017
    Daniel Clery

    1
    An Arecibo Observatory staffer greets a U.S. Coast Guard pilot ferrying food and water for delivery to nearby communities.
    PETTY OFFICER 3RD CLASS DAVID MICALLEF

    When Angel Vazquez emerged from his home on 21 September after Hurricane Maria had raged through the night, he saw a scene of utter devastation now familiar to all in Puerto Rico. Homes and buildings were damaged; trees and utility poles were down. Power, sanitation, and all communications were out, he soon discovered. Neighbors were already trying to clear the roads with chainsaws and machetes, but for Vazquez the most pressing need was to check on the Arecibo Observatory, the gargantuan radio telescope built into a depression in the island’s karst hills.

    Vazquez, head of telescope operations at the facility, got in his car and crept behind a bulldozer that was pushing through debris up the road to the observatory. The normally 20-minute journey took almost 2 hours. Once there, “I got a good surprise,” he says. The couple of dozen staff on site were all safe, and damage to the 54-year-old observatory was relatively slight—it was built with Cold War solidity partly for military research.

    NAIC/Arecibo Observatory, Puerto Rico, USA, at 497 m (1,631 ft)

    But more than a month later, Arecibo is still waiting to resume normal operations. In the meantime, the telescope and its infrastructure have become the unlikely base for an ongoing relief effort for its staff and nearby communities. And in a painful irony, while the 110 employees put their own lives back together, the future of their observatory is in question. The National Science Foundation (NSF), which supplies most of Arecibo’s funding, wants to substantially scale down its contributions and has been looking for other backers. This week, the National Science Board, which oversees NSF, is discussing plans for the observatory’s future.

    Once Vazquez had sized up the damage at the observatory, he headed back down the hill with dozens of phone numbers and messages for staff members’ families in the continental United States. By fortunate circumstance, Vazquez is a ham radio enthusiast; he had a generator and his antenna survived the storm. Soon he was passing on the numbers and messages to ham operators on the mainland, some of them former Arecibo staff, who made phone calls to anxious families and relayed messages back through Vazquez. He says that the makeshift communications system conveyed about 250 messages in the following days, in addition to reporting the status of the observatory to the institutions that manage it.

    Many local staff turned up for work the following day, 22 September, but it took more than a week for observatory officials to make sure all their employees were safe. Some had been trapped in villages entirely cut off by landslides, downed power lines, and toppled cell towers. “We all assumed we would have cellphones. We’d established a phone tree, but had no phones,” Deputy Director Joan Schmelz says.

    As soon as the safety of the laboratory was assured, Arecibo Director Francisco Cordova contacted the government’s center of emergency operations in San Juan to offer its facilities, including a pumped well, three 1-megawatt diesel generators, storage space, and a helipad. Soon federal relief agencies and the U.S. military were dropping off food and bottled water, which observatory staff delivered to surrounding communities. Arecibo has also been supplying tens of thousands of liters of water a day to local people who come to fill up containers. “We’re still doing this. The relief effort has been continuous,” Vazquez says.

    Meanwhile, the observatory itself has been inching back to life. A rudimentary internet connection was restored in late October, taking advantage of public Wi-Fi services—normally the bane of radio telescopes. “Usually I have to police these providers because of frequency interference. Now I had to go to them for help,” Vazquez says.

    But “the biggest obstacle to observations” is lack of power, says Nicholas White, senior vice president for science at the Universities Space Research Association in Columbia, Maryland, which helps manage Arecibo. Restoration of grid power may be weeks away. And though the observatory’s generators can support full operation, Schmelz says, “Diesel is in great demand on the island,” and airports and hospitals have priority. As it is, the observatory is burning 3000 liters of diesel a day simply to keep some equipment running, including the vital hydrogen maser frequency standard—recalibrating it after a shutdown could take a month, according to Schmelz.

    Researchers have been operating the telescope in a low-power mode called “drift scan,” in which it is left pointing in one direction, allowing the sky to drift past as Earth rotates. But turning on any of the telescope’s radars to study planets and Earth’s upper atmosphere, for example, is ruled out because it would double diesel consumption. Over the past week, with the diesel supply improving, staff have been conducting pointing checks—moving the 900-ton platform that steers the telescope’s focus—in the expectation that enough fuel will soon be available for full operation.

    While they cope with the chaos around them, staff are waiting anxiously to hear NSF’s decision on their fate. If no other organization offers to fill the funding gap, prospects look bleak. “Everyone would like to get past this whole process,” White says. “The uncertainty has gone on for a long time.”

    See the full article here .

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  • richardmitnick 7:19 am on October 21, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , Radio Astronomy   

    From ALMA: “Launch of ChiVO, the first Chilean Virtual Observatory” 

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

    ALMA

    Valeria Foncea
    Education and Public Outreach Officer
    Joint ALMA Observatory
    Santiago, Chile
    Tel: +56 2 467 6258
    Cell: +56 9 75871963
    Email: vfoncea@alma.cl

    After more than two years of work, today was launched the first Chilean Virtual Observatory (ChiVO), an astro-informatic platform for the administration and analysis of massive data coming from the observatories built across the country. Its implementation will provide advanced computing tools and research algorithms to the Chilean astronomical community.

    “This project is a major contribution for Chilean astronomers -said Diego Mardones, an astronomer at Universidad de Chile- because besides being an excellent tool for exploring the huge quantity of astronomical data that will be generated in our country in the coming years, it opens new opportunities of interdisciplinary research.”

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    ChiVO main team. Left to right: Paulina Troncoso, Astronomer; Ricardo Contreras, U. of Concepción; Jorge Ibsen, ALMA; Mauricio Solar, ChiVO’s director, U. Técnica Federico Santa María (UFSM); Paola Arellano, REUNA; Victor Parada, U. of Santiago; Marcelo Mendoza, ChiVO’s alternate director, UFSM; Diego Mardones, U. of Chile; Mauricio Araya, UFSM; María; Guillermo Cabrera, U. of Chile.

    The project led by Universidad Técnica Federico Santa María (UTFSM) is a successful collaboration with four other universities in Chile (Universidad de Chile, Universidad Católica, Universidad de Concepción y Universidad de Santiago) and was funded by FONDEF, the Chilean Scientific and Technological Development Fund. Furthermore, both the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) and REUNA, the National Universities Network, are associated to the project. Thanks to ChiVO, Chile will become a member of the International Virtual Observatories Alliance (IVOA) and it will be accessible for all astronomers making their research in the country through its website http://www.chivo.cl.

    For the project’s director, Mauricio Solar, “this innovation will allow astronomical data to be processed in Chile using high-quality, local human capital and integrating Chilean astro-informatics with the international community at the highest levels of development.”

    With new telescopes being constructed in Chile, the amount of astronomical data generated will only increase. As an example, once ALMA is operating at full capacity, it will produce close to 250 terabytes of data each year. ChiVO will enable Chilean astronomers to access this data with high transfer rates, provide the infrastructure for high storage capacity and access the analysis of the data.

    “ChiVO and the services provided by it will be a key tool for the Chilean astronomical community, added Jorge Ibsen, director of ALMA’s Department of Computing. “ALMA is proud to be part of this project that will boost the usage of the astronomical data generated in the country.

    Link to ChiVO

    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 7:07 am on October 21, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ADASS, , , , , , , , , Radio Astronomy   

    From ALMA: “ALMA Organizes International Astroinformatics Conference in Chile” 

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

    ALMA

    20 October, 2017

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

    Andrea Riquelme P.
    Journalist
    ADASS – Chile
    Cell phone: +56 9 93 96 96 38
    acriquelme@gmail.com

    Related Posts
    Launch of ChiVO, the first Chilean Virtual Observatory

    1
    Experts from 33 countries will attend the global Astronomical Data Analysis Software & Systems (ADASS) conference, which brings together astronomy and computer science. Organized by the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), the European Southern Observatory (ESO) and the Universidad Técnica Federico Santa María (UTFSM), from October 22 to 26 for the first time in Chile, ADASS will seek to develop astronomy and other industries, providing an opportunity to promote local talent to the rest of the world.

    Chile is a privileged setting for astronomic observation and data collection, generating an enormous amount of public data. The ALMA observatory alone generates a terabyte of data per day; the LSST will reach 30 terabytes per night by 2022 and the SKA 360 terabytes per hour by 2030.

    LSST


    LSST Camera, built at SLAC



    LSST telescope, currently under construction at Cerro Pachón Chile, a 2,682-meter-high mountain in Coquimbo Region, in northern Chile, alongside the existing Gemini South and Southern Astrophysical Research Telescopes.

    This evolution implies a never seen before data storage and analysis challenge, and Chile is in a position to lead this progress with the support of data, communication and technology platforms and expert human capital with the support of this potent cloud computing era. Herein lies the importance of Chile’s debut as Latin American headquarters for the International Astronomical Data Analysis Software & Systems-ADASS Conference, which after 27 years in practice, has chosen the country as its meeting location.
    Invited speakers. Credit: ADASS 2017 website (www.adass.cl)

    2
    ADASS Invited speakers. Credit: ADASS 2017 website (www.adass.cl)

    “A modern observatory today is a true data factory, and the creation of systems and infrastructure capable of storing this data and analyzing and sharing it will contribute to the democratization of access to current, critical and unique information, necessary for the hundreds of groups of researchers of the Universe around the world,” says Jorge Ibsen, Head of the ALMA Computing Department and Co-Chair of ADASS.

    The Chilean Virtual Observatory (ChiVO) and The International Virtual Observatory Alliance (IVOA), have worked together for years to define standards for sharing data between observatories around the world and to create public access protocols. Mauricio Solar, Director of ChiVO and Co-Chair of the ADASS conference, assures that Chile can contribute to astronomy, not just through astronomers, but also through the development of applications in astroinformatics that, for example, can help find evidence of extraterrestrial life.

    3
    Local Organizing Committee. Credit: ADASS 2017 website (http://www.adass.cl)

    Astroinformatics combines advanced computing, statistics applied to mass complex data, and astronomy. Topics to be addressed at ADASS include: high-performance computing (HPC) for astronomical data, human-computer interaction and interfaces for large data collections, challenges in the operation of large-scale highly complex instrumentation, network infrastructure and data centers in the era of mass data transfer, machine learning applied to astronomical data, and software for the operation of Earth and space observatories, diversity and inclusion, and citizen education and science, among other subjects.

    The ADASS Conference will bring together 350 experts from 33 countries at the Sheraton Hotel in Santiago, and will be followed by an Interoperability Meeting of the International Virtual Observatories Alliance (IVOA), organized by ChiVO, from October 27 to 29. More information at http://www.adass.cl.

    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 9:05 am on October 17, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , Radio Astronomy   

    From CSIROscope: “After the alert: radio ‘eyes’ hunt the source of the gravitational waves” 

    CSIRO bloc

    CSIROscope

    17 October 2017
    Tara Murphy
    David Kaplan

    CSIRO ATCA at the Paul Wild Observatory, about 25 km west of the town of Narrabri in rural NSW about 500 km north-west of Sydney


    The Australia Telescope Compact Array in Narrabri, NSW. David Smyth/CSIRO, Author provided Tara Murphy, University of Sydney and David Kaplan, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

    At 11:21pm Sydney time on Thursday August 17, 2017, an alert on a private email list informed thousands of astronomers worldwide that the Advanced LIGO-Virgo interferometer had detected another gravitational wave event.

    But this time it wasn’t from a binary black hole merger like previous detections: early indications were that this latest wave detection was from two neutron stars merging.

    This was really exciting; our chance to see a gravitational wave event with conventional telescopes for the first time. Astronomers had been waiting for this for more than 20 years, ever since the LIGO project started.

    “By chance, we were both at a conference in Washington DC and so for us the alert arrived just after 9am. People reacted immediately, rapidly emailing colleagues and ducking out to discuss the alert.

    1
    The original alert that was sent out telling astronomers about the detection of gravitational waves. Screengrab, Author provided

    We started planning our observations immediately: we knew the target area would rise over Australia at about 11am Sydney time.

    What followed was two frantic weeks of collaborative research that lead to the first confirmation of radio emission from a gravitational wave event.

    Finding the event: a needle in a haystack

    LIGO-Virgo could only pinpoint the event to an area of about 150 times the full Moon.

    But if we could detect electromagnetic radiation (optical or radio waves) then we could pin down the merger’s location to a single galaxy. Australian Radio telescopes have the capability to do this (and not just at night, unlike optical telescopes).

    Back on the email list, reports were flooding in. Teams around the world were pointing their telescopes at the target region, scanning the galaxies to see if anything unusual was happening.

    At 6am Sydney time we texted Douglas Bock, director of CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science, to let him know we’d be submitting a proposal to observe using the Australia Telescope Compact Array (ATCA) in Narrabri, NSW, that day.

    3
    Christene Lynch, Dougal Dobie and Tara Murphy in the Australia Telescope Compact Array Science Operations Centre. University of Sydney, Author provided.

    We applied for what is known as Target of Opportunity time: permission to override the scheduled observing and take over the telescope.

    We then rang our colleagues Christene Lynch and Keith Bannister, and PhD student Dougal Dobie to ask them to head to the CSIRO Science Operations Centre in Marsfield, Sydney, to observe.

    We start observing

    After a few phone calls and emails, we were allocated the whole day of ATCA observing and we began searching for a radio signal from the merger. We were the first radio telescope to target this event.

    Just after midday in Sydney, there was an exciting new development. A new optical source, near the galaxy NGC 4993 seen in the constellation Hydra, had been detected by the One-Meter Two-Hemisphere collaboration.

    3
    Optical and near-infrared images of the first optical counterpart to a gravitational wave source in the galaxy NGC 4993. 1M2H/UC Santa Cruz and Carnegie Observatories/Ryan Foley

    Carnegie Institution Swope telescope at Las Campanas, Chile, 100 kilometres (62 mi) northeast of the city of La Serena. near the north end of a 7 km (4.3 mi) long mountain ridge. Cerro Las Campanas, near the southern end and over 2,500 m (8,200 ft) high, at Las Campanas, Chile

    This was rapidly confirmed by several other groups.

    The emails became a deluge. We fired off messages between Washington and Sydney adjusting our observing strategy. Tara set off for the return trip to Sydney as we coordinated and analysed observations from airports and hotels.

    We were in constant communication with other groups – there was excitement in the air, but also tension, as people collaborated and competed at the same time.

    What does radio emission tell us?

    A neutron star merger is a complex event. The gravitational waves come from the final orbits just before a black hole is formed.

    The resulting explosion blows the matter from the neutron stars out into space. As this material blasts outwards, it interacts with gas to create a powerful shock that generates radio emission.

    Analysing this data tells us what the total energy of the explosion is, and what the surrounding area is like.

    This the first time these explosions, which may be responsible for forming heavy elements like gold in the universe, have been definitively identified.

    Finally, a radio detection

    Theoretical models for neutron star mergers predict that radio emission will occur after the emission at other wavelengths.

    Nine days after the event, X-ray emission was detected so we kept monitoring the likely host galaxy, NGC 4993, every few days.

    Finally, on September 3, our collaborators made a tentative detection of radio waves with the Very Large Array in New Mexico.

    NRAO/Karl V Jansky VLA, on the Plains of San Agustin fifty miles west of Socorro, NM, USA

    4
    VLA image showing radio emission from the host galaxy NGC 4993 and the associated transient source (in crosshairs). Reprinted with permission from Hallinan et al., Science (2017)

    We confirmed their detection the following day, making this something everybody could trust. This was the first time radio waves had ever been detected from a gravitational wave event.

    After double- and triple-checking our results with the help of Emil Lenc, we released an email alert to the community.

    By then, we had been working non-stop for two weeks, juggling the project across time zones as we monitored the unfolding event. Then the race began to write up the results for publication, with our work published today in Science.

    The past month has been exhilarating but strange, working secretly on embargoed results that had already been partially leaked, and were somewhat of an open secret in much of the astronomy community.

    Our radio observations have made an important contribution to understanding an incredible phenomenon. We continue to monitor this event to help understand the details of the explosion.

    See the full article here .

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

    So what can we expect these new radio projects to discover? We have no idea, but history tells us that they are almost certain to deliver some major surprises.

    Making these new discoveries may not be so simple. Gone are the days when astronomers could just notice something odd as they browse their tables and graphs.

    Nowadays, astronomers are more likely to be distilling their answers from carefully-posed queries to databases containing petabytes of data. Human brains are just not up to the job of making unexpected discoveries in these circumstances, and instead we will need to develop “learning machines” to help us discover the unexpected.

    With the right tools and careful insight, who knows what we might find.

    CSIRO campus

    CSIRO, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, is Australia’s national science agency and one of the largest and most diverse research agencies in the world.

     
  • richardmitnick 4:45 pm on October 16, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , ePESSTO collaboration, Radio Astronomy,   

    From UNSW: “When stars collide – UNSW Canberra scientists back kilonova discovery” 

    U NSW bloc

    University of New South Wales

    1
    No image caption or credit

    Two UNSW Canberra astrophysicists have played a role in helping scientists witness a cataclysmic event for the first time – the merging of two neutron stars, resulting in a kilonova explosion.

    Dr Ashley Ruiter and Dr Ivo Seitenzahl from UNSW Canberra’s School of Physical, Environmental, and Mathematical Sciences were part of a collaboration of international scientists that contributed to the discovery, which has been published in the prestigious Nature journal today. The paper, led by Professor Stephen Smarrt et al. can be read in Nature.

    “This is a major breakthrough. This is the first time we have seen gravitational waves from the merger of two neutron stars,” says Dr Seitenzahl.

    Astronomers, using a fleet of telescopes from the European Southern Observatory (ESO), picked up the explosion on August 17, this year.

    ESO says their telescopes in Chile detected the first visible counterpart to a gravitational wave source rippling the fabric of space-time.

    Seconds later, a short gamma-ray burst was spotted by both Fermi (NASA) and INTEGRAL (European Space Agency) space telescopes, coming from the same area.

    NASA/Fermi Telescope


    NASA/Fermi LAT

    ESA/Integral

    Scientists knew, based on theory that if they had witnessed two neutron stars combining in an explosive merger then a visible light counterpart, known as a kilonova, would follow.

    Astronomers around the world joined forces to use their telescopes to search for the new light source, which they described as looking for a needle in a haystack.

    After a few hours, they found it – in a galaxy 130 million light years from Earth.

    “The observations we took with the telescopes in Chile now unambiguously show that such mergers of two neutron stars create radioactive elements, which power the light emitted by the kilonova,” says Dr Seitenzahl.

    When neutron stars merge, they become furnaces that create heavy chemical elements. The kilonova explosion that follows, spreads those chemical elements throughout space.

    “Though we know most elements in the Universe are created in stars – either quietly or explosively – we are now able to confirm that specific, heavy elements like silver were created in this neutron star merger,” says Dr Ruiter.

    ESO says “the event marks the start of a new era of multi-messenger astronomy”.

    “For the first time in history we can now combine light signals with gravitational waves to provide a totally new way to probe the Universe.”

    Dr Ruiter and Dr Seitenzahl are part of the ePESSTO (extended Public ESO Spectroscopic Survey of Transient Objects) collaboration, which took the first spectrum of the event.

    See the full article here .

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    U NSW Campus

    Welcome to UNSW Australia (The University of New South Wales), one of Australia’s leading research and teaching universities. At UNSW, we take pride in the broad range and high quality of our teaching programs. Our teaching gains strength and currency from our research activities, strong industry links and our international nature; UNSW has a strong regional and global engagement.

    In developing new ideas and promoting lasting knowledge we are creating an academic environment where outstanding students and scholars from around the world can be inspired to excel in their programs of study and research. Partnerships with both local and global communities allow UNSW to share knowledge, debate and research outcomes. UNSW’s public events include concert performances, open days and public forums on issues such as the environment, healthcare and global politics. We encourage you to explore the UNSW website so you can find out more about what we do.

     
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