Tagged: U Nottingham Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • richardmitnick 8:53 am on July 19, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Asian space activities, IAPS Dialogue, In Asia China India and Japan have led space activities so far, U Nottingham   

    From U Nottingham: “The race for Asian Space collaboration” 

    1

    University of Nottingham

    IAPS Dialogue: The online magazine of the Institute of Asia & Pacific Studies

    7.19.17
    Yasushi Horikawa

    The benefits of space activities are of a global nature. As we all know, satellites provide significant and unique benefits to people on Earth – from global coverage, repeatable measurements, revisit capability, long time series of data, to strong disaster resistance. We can entertain these capabilities in our daily life.

    Space application or utilization is not geographically discriminating . However, Asian countries may have region-specific needs emerging from their nationalities, cultures, social development levels, economic situations, political circumstances and geographical locations. Therefore, some specific application of satellites may be considered for Asian countries, although the global nature of the issues are acknowledged.

    When we consider space issues or activities, we should pay attention to two aspects. One, the technological capabilities to develop infrastructure for space activities, such as launching capabilities or satellite-development capabilities. The other is space application capabilities for utilizing such infrastructure.

    Space infrastructure development

    In Asia, China, India and Japan have led space activities so far. Space infrastructure development requires significant amounts of money, highly capable human resources and well-advanced industrial support. Even if these countries provide strong technical support to developing countries, it will take a long time for those developing countries to be major players in space. As such, some developing countries are investing in small satellite development to have their own communication or Earth observation satellites. It may be preferable to focus on enhancing utilization capability. In this regard, it should be welcomed that Japan is providing opportunities to launch small satellites from its launch vehicles or the International Space Station. India and China also provide small satellite launch support. These activities are excellent for capacity building or familiarization for space utilization.

    Application and utilization of space activities

    A tremendous increase in human activities in the last century has caused a rapid reduction of fossil fuel resources, land productivity, and global forest coverage, as well as a significant increase in fresh water consumption. Global warming causes rising sea levels, glacial melt and icecap shrinkage, resulting in extraordinary weather changes. We should always keep in mind that climate change due to the global warming and extraordinary weather is becoming a significant problem of our Earth. Disasters continuously hit our societies. Typical disasters in Asian countries include heavy rain, typhoons or cyclones, flooding, volcano eruption, earthquakes, landslides, and wild fires. Sometimes these are interlinked. When these disasters happen, various social infrastructures and life lines are destroyed. They demonstrate repeatedly how vulnerable we are against the forces of nature and how important it is to build capacities to mitigate the devastating effects of disasters. In this regard, the integrated and coordinated use of space technologies and their applications can play a crucial role in supporting disaster management by providing accurate and timely information and communication support.

    Collaboration among the countries

    Currently, there are two different cooperation mechanisms in Asia, namely the Asia-Pacific Space Cooperation Organization (APSCO) and the Asia-Pacific Regional Space Agency Forum (APRSAF). APSCO is an intergovernmental organization with strong binding political commitments, led by China. On the other hand, APRSAF led by Japan is a voluntary organization consisting of governments, space agencies, the private sector and academia. Both organizations promote collaborative activities within the region. The limited nature of space resources will cause some governance challenges. Research and development for the application of space activities are expected to increase within the region and intimate cooperation will be pursued through these organizations.

    Contribution to the sustainable development of human society on Earth calls for strengthening international collaboration and support for data sharing, and access to geospatial information, which is expected to be vital to address climate changes associated with global warming, carbon cycle, water cycle, as well as human health, food security relating to agriculture and fisheries, and natural disasters. More specifically, new projects to be carried out through regional cooperative efforts could further advance the promotion of data utilization and relevant scientific research. For example, China, India and Japan are developing global navigation systems. Positioning, navigation and timing will open a new era of space application in Asia.

    As we all know, commercialization and privatization of outer space is rapidly increasing. Space activities are becoming indispensable to our daily lives and vitalizing the economy. However, we should be cautious as space activities are entirely different from the activities on the ground. We should have a regulatory framework or controlled measures of outer space activities, to prevent adverse impacts of space operations. Technical and legal investigations are strongly urged through international cooperation. One of the issues in Asia is that a country is launching vehicles into space by using missile technology. We hope that this country will use space for peaceful purposes.

    Conclusion

    Coordination for international cooperation and capacity building for developing countries are vital to achieve significant benefits from space and avoid catastrophic situations in the future. Utilizing space applications for sustainable development of the Earth is extremely important.

    Three aspects are crucial to implement space activities for national prosperity and for sustainable development for all humankind. Firstly, space technology applications must be for users, that is, for common people; secondly, space activities should vitalize industries; and thirdly, space activities must be for future generations. To promote these activities, it will be necessary to consider the following factors; making space activities an integral part of the society at large, enhancing international cooperation at the regional and global levels, strengthening capacity for technology development, developing human resources, and securing resources.

    In early 2018, Japan is scheduled to host the 2nd International Space Exploration Forum (ISEF-2) to coordinate future cooperation for space exploration. This forum will provide not only the collaboration scheme on space exploration but also a new framework of space activities among space-faring nations. Leadership from Asia is highly desired.

    In addition, the year 2018 will mark the 50th anniversary since UNISPACE-I (UNISPACE+50), providing an excellent opportunity to review all the contributions of the past UNISPACE conferences to global space governance. It is an opportunity to reassess the current status and chart the future work of international cooperation at this present time when space actors, both governmental and non-governmental, are increasingly getting involved in ventures to explore space and carry out space activities. In UNISPACE+50, all Asian countries should consider thematic priorities and set up space initiatives together.

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    STEM Icon

    Stem Education Coalition

    2

    “The University of Nottingham shares many of the characteristics of the world’s great universities. However, we are distinct not only in our key strengths but in how our many strengths combine: we are financially secure, campus based and comprehensive; we are research-led and recruit top students and staff from around the world; we are committed to internationalising all our core activities so our students can have a valuable and enjoyable experience that prepares them well for the rest of their intellectual, professional and personal lives.”

     
  • richardmitnick 1:09 pm on June 24, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , It all started from humble beginnings, , Scientists make waves with black hole research, U Nottingham, What is superradiance?   

    From U Nottingham : “Scientists make waves with black hole research” 

    1

    University of Nottingham

    14 Jun 2017
    Jane Icke
    Media Relations Manager (Faculty of Science)
    jane.icke@nottingham.ac.uk
    +44 (0)115 951 5751
    University Park

    Dr Silke Weinfurtner, in the School of Mathematicson
    +44 (0) 115 9513865,
    silke.weinfurtner@nottingham.ac.uk

    Lindsay Brooke
    Media Relations Managers for the Faculty of Science
    +44 (0)115 951 5751
    lindsay.brooke@nottingham.ac.uk

    1
    A groundbreaking experiment has allowed researchers to simulate the dissipation of energy around a black hole using waves generated in the lab. University of Nottingham

    Scientists at the University of Nottingham have made a significant leap forward in understanding the workings of one of the mysteries of the universe. They have successfully simulated the conditions around black holes using a specially designed water bath.

    Their findings shed new light on the physics of black holes with the first laboratory evidence of the phenomenon known as the superradiance, achieved using water and a generator to create waves.

    The research – Rotational superradiant scattering in a vortex flow – has been published in Nature Physics. It was undertaken by a team in the Quantum Gravity Laboratory in the School of Physics and Astronomy.

    The work was led by Silke Weinfurtner from the School of Mathematical Sciences. In collaboration with an interdisciplinary team she designed and built the black hole ‘bath’ and measurement system to simulate black hole conditions.

    Dr Weinfurtner said: “This research has been particularly exciting to work on as it has bought together the expertise of physicists, engineers and technicians to achieve our common aim of simulating the conditions of a black hole and proving that superadiance exists. We believe our results will motivate further research on the observation of superradiance in astrophysics.”

    What is superradiance?

    The Nottingham experiment was based on the theory that an area immediately outside the event horizon of a rotating black hole – a black hole’s gravitational point of no return – will be dragged round by the rotation and any wave that enters this region, but does not stray past the event horizon, should be deflected and come out with more energy than it carried on the way in – an effect known as superradiance.

    Superadiance – the extraction of energy from a rotating black hole – is also known as the Penrose Mechanism and is a precursor of Hawking Radiation – a quantum version of black-hole superradiance.

    What’s in the Black Hole Lab?

    Dr Weinfurtner said: “Some of the bizzare black hole phenomena are hard, if not, impossible to study directly. This means there are very limited experimental possibilities. So this research is quite an achievement.”

    The ‘flume’, is specially designed 3m long, 1.5m wide and 50cm deep bath with a hole in the centre. Water is pumped in a closed circuit to establish a rotating draining flow. Once at the desired depth waves were generated at varied frequenices until the supperadiant scattering effect is created and recorded using a specially designed 3D air fluid interface sensor.

    Tiny dots of white paper punched out by a specially adapted sewing machine were used to measure the flow field – the speed of the fluid flow around the analogue black hole.

    It all started from humble beginnings

    This research has been many years in the making. The initial idea for creating a supperradiant effect with water started with a bucket and bidet. Dr Weinfurtner said: “This research has grown from humble beginnings. I had the initial idea for a water based experiment when I was at the International School for Advanced Studies (SISSA) in Italy and I set up an experiment with a bucket and a bidet. However, when it caused a flood I was quickly found a lab to work in!

    After her postdoc, Dr Weinfurtner went on to work with Bill Unruh, the Canadian born physicist who also has a made seminal contributions to our understanding of gravity, black holes, cosmology, quantum fields in curved spaces, and the foundations of quantum mechanics, including the discovery of the Unruh effect.

    Her move to the University of Nottingham accelerated her research as she was able to set up her own research group with support from the machine shop in the School of Physics and Astronomy.

    This research is funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, the Royal Society and the University of Nottingham.

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    STEM Icon

    Stem Education Coalition

    2

    “The University of Nottingham shares many of the characteristics of the world’s great universities. However, we are distinct not only in our key strengths but in how our many strengths combine: we are financially secure, campus based and comprehensive; we are research-led and recruit top students and staff from around the world; we are committed to internationalising all our core activities so our students can have a valuable and enjoyable experience that prepares them well for the rest of their intellectual, professional and personal lives.”

     
  • richardmitnick 10:39 am on January 16, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , There are at least two trillion galaxies in the universe ten times more than previously thought, U Nottingham   

    From U Nottingham: “There are at least two trillion galaxies in the universe, ten times more than previously thought” 

    1

    University of Nottingham

    13 Oct 2016 [Just turned up in a social media search]
    Lindsay Brooke
    Media Relations Manager
    lindsay.brooke@nottingham.ac.uk
    +44 (0)115 951 5751
    Location: University Park

    1
    Image of the HST GOODS-South field, one of the deepest images of the sky but covering just one millionth of its total area. The new estimate for the number of galaxies is ten times higher than the number seen in this image. Credit: NASA / ESA / The GOODS Team / M. Giavalisco (UMass., Amherst)

    NASA/ESA Hubble Telescope
    NASA/ESA Hubble Telescope

    Astronomers have long sought to determine how many galaxies there are in the universe. This is a fundamental question that we have only been able to address with any certainty due to new scientific results.

    During the past 20 years very deep Hubble Space Telescope images have found a myriad of faint galaxies, and it was approximated that the observable Universe contains about 100 billion galaxies in total.

    Now, an international team, led by Christopher Conselice, Professor of Astrophysics at The University of Nottingham, has shown that the actual number is much higher than this.

    Professor Conselice and his team has shown that the number of galaxies in our universe is at least two trillion – ten times more than previously thought – the often quoted value of around 100 Billion.

    Current astronomical technology allows us to study a fraction of these galaxies– just 10%.

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

    It means that over 90% of the galaxies in our universe have yet to be discovered, and will only be seen once bigger and better telescopes are developed.

    ESO 50 Large
    ESO/E-ELT,to be on top of Cerro Armazones in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile
    ESO/E-ELT,to be on top of Cerro Armazones in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile

    LSST
    LSST/Camera, built at SLAC
    LSST/Camera, built at SLAC
    LSST Interior
    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.
    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

    TMT-Thirty Meter Telescope, proposed for Mauna Kea, Hawaii, USA
    TMT-Thirty Meter Telescope, proposed for Mauna Kea, Hawaii, USA

    Giant Magellan Telescope, Las Campanas Observatory, to be built  some 115 km (71 mi) north-northeast of La Serena, Chile
    Giant Magellan Telescope, Las Campanas Observatory, to be built some 115 km (71 mi) north-northeast of La Serena, Chile

    NASA/ESA/CSA Webb Telescope annotated
    NASA/ESA/CSA Webb Telescope annotated

    NASA/WFIRST telescope
    NASA/WFIRST telescope

    The research – The Evolution of Galaxy number density at Z < 8 and its implications – is published today (October 13, 2016) in the Astrophysical Journal – the foremost research journal in the world dedicated to recent developments, discoveries and theories about astronomy and astrophysics.

    The results have clear implications for galaxy formation, and also help solve an ancient astronomical paradox — why is the sky dark at night?

    Professor Conselice said: “We are missing the vast majority of galaxies because they are very faint and far away. The number of galaxies in the universe is a fundamental number we would like to know, and it boggles the mind that over 90% of the galaxies in the universe have yet to be studied.

    Who knows what interesting properties we will find when we study these galaxies with the next generation of telescopes. These galaxies will likely hold the clues to many outstanding astrophysical issues.”

    Intergalactic archaeological dig

    Professor Conselice’s research is the culmination of 15 year’s work. His team converted pencil beam images of deep space from telescopes around the world, and especially from the Hubble telescope into 3D maps to calculate the volume as well as the density of galaxies of one tiny bit of space after another.

    This painstaking research enabled him to establish how many galaxies we have missed – much like an intergalactic archaeological dig.

    The results of this study are based on the measurements of the number of galaxies at different epochs – different instances in time – through the universe’s history.

    When Professor Conselice and his team at Nottingham, in collaboration with scientists from the Leiden Observatory at Leiden University in the Netherlands and the Institute for Astronomy at the University of Edinburgh, examined how many galaxies there were in a given value they found that this increased significantly at earlier times.

    In fact, it appears that there are a factor of 10 more galaxies in a given volume of space when the universe was a few billion years old compared with today. Most of these galaxies are low mass systems with masses similar to those of the satellite galaxies surrounding the Milky Way.

    Professor Conselice said: “This is very surprising as we know that over the 13.7 billion years of cosmic evolution galaxies are growing through star formation and merging with other galaxies. Thus, to find that there were in fact more galaxies in the past implies that that significant evolution in galaxies must have occurred to reduce the number of galaxies through extensive merging of systems. This also gives us a verification of the top-down formation of structure in the universe.”

    Probing cosmic history answers astronomical questions

    By probing deep into space Professor Conselice and his team have been able to go way back in time – more than 13 billion years in the past – to find out how our universe evolved and answer some vexing questions.

    The implications of this research are many, for instance; galaxies are likely to be forming by merging together. This decreases the number of systems as time progresses which provides a possible solution to Oblers’ paradox – why the sky is dark at night?

    Solutions to this in the past were based on the fact that the universe is finite in size as well as in time. However, if we consider all the undiscovered galaxies then in principle the critiera for Oblers’ paradox is met.

    However, most galaxies in the universe are very distant and their light is absorbed by gas in intergalactic space. Otherwise, we would see the night sky lit up everywhere.

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    STEM Icon

    Stem Education Coalition

    2

    “The University of Nottingham shares many of the characteristics of the world’s great universities. However, we are distinct not only in our key strengths but in how our many strengths combine: we are financially secure, campus based and comprehensive; we are research-led and recruit top students and staff from around the world; we are committed to internationalising all our core activities so our students can have a valuable and enjoyable experience that prepares them well for the rest of their intellectual, professional and personal lives.”

     
  • richardmitnick 6:17 am on November 23, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Electronics Weekly, Indium Selenide, , U Nottingham   

    From U Manchester via Electronics Weekly: “Manchester and Nottingham universities find graphene-beater” 

    U Manchester bloc

    University of Manchester

    1

    University of Nottingham

    2

    Electronics Weekly

    23rd November 2016
    David Manners

    Researchers at Manchester and Nottingham universities have come up with a better new material than graphene for electronics applications – Indium Selenide.

    2
    No image credit

    InSe crystals can be made only a few atoms thick and are a better semiconductor than graphene.

    “Ultra-thin InSe seems to offer the golden middle between silicon and graphene,” says Nobel Laureate Sir Andre Geim co-discoverer of graphene, “similar to graphene, InSe offers a naturally thin body, allowing scaling to the true nanometre dimensions. Similar to silicon, InSe is a very good semiconductor.”

    To avoid atmospheric damage the InSe crystals were grown in an argon atmosphere which allowed atomically-thin films of InSe for the first time.

    The electron mobility at room temperature was measured at 2,000 cm2/Vs, significantly higher than silicon. This value increases several times at lower temperatures.

    The researchers believe they can utilise the processes used to produce large-area graphene sheets, to make commercially useful sheets of InSe.

    Denis A. Bandurin et al. High electron mobility, quantum Hall effect and anomalous optical response in atomically thin InSe, Nature Nanotechnology (2016). DOI: 10.1038/nnano.2016.242

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    STEM Icon

    Stem Education Coalition

    U Manchester campus

    The University of Manchester (UoM) is a public research university in the city of Manchester, England, formed in 2004 by the merger of the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (renamed in 1966, est. 1956 as Manchester College of Science and Technology) which had its ultimate origins in the Mechanics’ Institute established in the city in 1824 and the Victoria University of Manchester founded by charter in 1904 after the dissolution of the federal Victoria University (which also had members in Leeds and Liverpool), but originating in Owens College, founded in Manchester in 1851. The University of Manchester is regarded as a red brick university, and was a product of the civic university movement of the late 19th century. It formed a constituent part of the federal Victoria University between 1880, when it received its royal charter, and 1903–1904, when it was dissolved.

    The University of Manchester is ranked 33rd in the world by QS World University Rankings 2015-16. In the 2015 Academic Ranking of World Universities, Manchester is ranked 41st in the world and 5th in the UK. In an employability ranking published by Emerging in 2015, where CEOs and chairmen were asked to select the top universities which they recruited from, Manchester placed 24th in the world and 5th nationally. The Global Employability University Ranking conducted by THE places Manchester at 27th world-wide and 10th in Europe, ahead of academic powerhouses such as Cornell, UPenn and LSE. It is ranked joint 56th in the world and 18th in Europe in the 2015-16 Times Higher Education World University Rankings. In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, Manchester came fifth in terms of research power and seventeenth for grade point average quality when including specialist institutions. More students try to gain entry to the University of Manchester than to any other university in the country, with more than 55,000 applications for undergraduate courses in 2014 resulting in 6.5 applicants for every place available. According to the 2015 High Fliers Report, Manchester is the most targeted university by the largest number of leading graduate employers in the UK.

    The university owns and operates major cultural assets such as the Manchester Museum, Whitworth Art Gallery, John Rylands Library and Jodrell Bank Observatory which includes the Grade I listed Lovell Telescope.

    2

    “The University of Nottingham shares many of the characteristics of the world’s great universities. However, we are distinct not only in our key strengths but in how our many strengths combine: we are financially secure, campus based and comprehensive; we are research-led and recruit top students and staff from around the world; we are committed to internationalising all our core activities so our students can have a valuable and enjoyable experience that prepares them well for the rest of their intellectual, professional and personal lives.”

     
  • richardmitnick 6:04 am on July 13, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Breakthrough in scaling up life-changing stem cell production, , U Nottingham   

    From U Nottingham: “Breakthrough in scaling up life-changing stem cell production” 

    1

    University of Nottingham

    13 Jul 2016
    Emma Rayner
    emma.rayner@nottingham.ac.uk

    1
    Human embryonic stem cell line HUES1 grown in the new conditions E8+Inter-alpha-inhibitor and imaged for stem cell marker Oct4 (green) and cell-cell attachment molecule E-cadherin (red) with nuclear counter-staining (blue). Credit: Dr. Sara Pijuan-Galito and Dr. Cathy Merry, Wolfson Centre for Stem Cells, Tissue Engineering & Modelling and Centre for Biomolecular Sciences, The University of Nottingham

    Scientists have discovered a new method of creating human stem cells which could solve the big problem of the large-scale production needed to fully realise the potential of these remarkable cells for understanding and treating disease.

    The discovery has been made by a team of scientists at The University of Nottingham, Uppsala University and GE Healthcare in Sweden.

    Human pluripotent stem cells are undifferentiated cells which have the unique potential to develop into all the different types of cells in the body. With applications in disease modelling, drug screening, regenerative medicine and tissue engineering, there is already an enormous demand for these cells, which will only grow as their use in the clinic and by the pharmaceutical industry increases.

    The production of stem cells at the scale required for optimal application in modern healthcare is currently not feasible because available culture methods are either too expensive, or reliant on substances that would not be safe for clinical use in humans.

    In this new piece of research, published on Wednesday 13th July 2016 in Nature Communications, a team combining researchers from The University of Nottingham’s Wolfson Centre for Stem Cells, Tissue Engineering and Modelling, Uppsala University and GE Healthcare has identified an improved method for human stem cell culture that could lead to quicker and cheaper large scale industrial production.

    The work was started at Uppsala University in Sweden, and the first author, Dr Sara Pijuan-Galitó, is now continuing her work as a Swedish Research Council Research Fellow at Nottingham. Sara said: “By using a protein derived from human blood called Inter-alpha inhibitor, we have grown human pluripotent stem cells in a minimal medium without the need for costly and time-consuming biological substrates. Inter-alpha inhibitor is found in human blood at high concentrations, and is currently a by-product of standard drug purification schemes.

    “The protein can make stem cells attach on unmodified tissue culture plastic, and improve survival of the stem cells in harsh conditions. It is the first stem cell culture method that does not require a pre-treated biological substrate for attachment, and therefore, is more cost and time-efficient and paves the way for easier and cheaper large-scale production.”

    Lead supervisor Dr Cecilia Annerén, who has a joint position at Uppsala University and at GE Healthcare in Uppsala, said: “As coating is a time-consuming step and adds cost to human stem cell culture, this new method has the potential to save time and money in large-scale and high-throughput cultures, and be highly valuable for both basic research and commercial applications.”

    Co-author on the paper Dr Cathy Merry added: “We now intend to combine Inter-alpha inhibitor protein with our innovative hydrogel technology to improve on current methods to control cell differentiation and apply it to disease modelling. This will help research into many diseases but our focus is on understanding rare conditions like Multiple Osteochondroma (an inherited disease associated with painful lumps developing on bones) at the cellular level. Our aim is to replicate the 3 dimensional environment that cells experience in the body so that our lab-bench biology is more accurate in modelling diseases.”

    Dr Sara Pijuan-Galitó has also been awarded the prestigious Sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellowship. This will enable her to combine Inter-alpha inhibitor with improved synthetic polymers in collaboration with other regenerative medicine pioneers at the University, Professor Morgan Alexander and Professor Chris Denning. This team plans to further improve on current human stem cell culture, designing an economical and safe method that can be easily translated to large-scale production and can deliver the billions of cells necessary to start taking cellular therapeutics to the individual patients.

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    STEM Icon

    Stem Education Coalition

    2

    “The University of Nottingham shares many of the characteristics of the world’s great universities. However, we are distinct not only in our key strengths but in how our many strengths combine: we are financially secure, campus based and comprehensive; we are research-led and recruit top students and staff from around the world; we are committed to internationalising all our core activities so our students can have a valuable and enjoyable experience that prepares them well for the rest of their intellectual, professional and personal lives.”

     
  • richardmitnick 11:02 am on July 3, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: AutoLens, , , U Nottingham   

    From U Nottingham: “Fully automated analysis software takes on Euclid’s 100,000 strong gravitational lens challenge” 

    1

    University of Nottingham

    01 Jul 2016
    Lindsay Brooke – Media Relations Manager
    lindsay.brooke@nottingham.ac.uk
    +44 (0)115 951 5751
    University Park

    1

    The European Space Agency’s Euclid satellite, due for launch in 2020, will set astronomers a huge challenge: to analyse one hundred thousand strong gravitational lenses.

    ESA/Euclid spacecraft
    ESA/Euclid spacecraft

    In preparation for Euclid’s challenge, researchers from The University of Nottingham have developed ‘AutoLens’, the first fully-automated analysis software for strong gravitational lenses.

    Radio galaxies gravitationally lensed by a very large foreground galaxy cluster Hubble
    Radio galaxies gravitationally lensed by a very large foreground galaxy cluster Hubble

    James Nightingale, a PhD student in the School of Physics and Astronomy, will present the first results from ‘AutoLens’ on Friday, 1st July at the National Astronomy Meeting 2016, taking place in Nottingham on the University’s Jubilee Campus. The event is organised by the Royal Astronomical Society.

    The gravitational deflection of light from distant astronomical sources by massive galaxies (strong lenses) along the light path can create multiple images of the source that are not just visually stunning, but are also valuable tools for probing our Universe.

    James said: “AutoLens has demonstrated its capabilities with this stunning image of a strong gravitational lens system captured by the Hubble Space Telescope.

    3

    The software’s reconstruction of the lensed source reveals in detail a distant pair of star-forming galaxies that are possibly in the early stages of merging. Within the lensed image of the source are small-scale distortions, which encode an imprint of how the lens galaxy’s mass is distributed. AutoLens has a novel new approach to exploit this imprinted information and can accurately measure the distribution of dark matter in the lensing galaxy.”

    Historically, the analysis of strongly lensed images has been a very time consuming process, requiring a large amount of manual input to study just one system. To date, only around two hundred strong lens systems have been analysed. AutoLens can be run on ‘massively parallel’ computing architecture that uses multiple processors and requires no user input, so will be able to manage the huge amount of data delivered by the Euclid mission.

    James said: “Some of astronomy’s most important results in the past five years have come from studying a handful of strong lenses. This small sample has allowed us to start to unravel the dark matter content of galaxies and the complex physics that drives their formation and evolution. It will be breathtaking to embark on a study of up to one hundred thousand such systems. We can only speculate as to what it will reveal about the nature of dark matter and its role in galaxy evolution.”

    Hubble Space Telescope imaging of the strong gravitational lens ER-0047-2808. Pictured in the center of the image is the strong lens galaxy, whose mass is responsible for the deflection of the background source’s light. The multiply-imaged source galaxy can be seen three times, as an extended arc to the south, a smaller arc to the north-east and two compact clumps of the light to the west.

    4
    AutoLens Source Reconstruction of the strong gravitational lens ER-0047-2808. The source is reconstructed using an adaptive pixel grid, which rebuilds the source’s light using free-form pixels of any shape, size or tessellation. The reconstruction reveals two distinct galaxies under-going a major merger in the distant Universe.

    Image credits: Based on observations made with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, obtained from the data archive at the Space Telescope Science Institute. STScI is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc. under NASA contract NAS 5-26555.

    See the full article here .

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    STEM Icon

    Stem Education Coalition

    2

    “The University of Nottingham shares many of the characteristics of the world’s great universities. However, we are distinct not only in our key strengths but in how our many strengths combine: we are financially secure, campus based and comprehensive; we are research-led and recruit top students and staff from around the world; we are committed to internationalising all our core activities so our students can have a valuable and enjoyable experience that prepares them well for the rest of their intellectual, professional and personal lives.”

     
c
Compose new post
j
Next post/Next comment
k
Previous post/Previous comment
r
Reply
e
Edit
o
Show/Hide comments
t
Go to top
l
Go to login
h
Show/Hide help
shift + esc
Cancel
%d bloggers like this: