Tagged: Universities Space Research Association (US) Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • richardmitnick 1:38 pm on December 1, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "SOFIA Confirms a Spiral Galaxy's Invisible Opposing Arms", , , , , NGC 7479 also known as Caldwell 44 is a barred spiral galaxy, Universities Space Research Association (US)   

    From Universities Space Research Association (US) : “SOFIA Confirms a Spiral Galaxy’s Invisible Opposing Arms” 

    usra-bloc

    From Universities Space Research Association (US)

    November 29,2021

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration(US)/DLR German Aerospace [Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V.](DE)SOFIA airborne telescope and cameras

    NGC 7479 also known as Caldwell 44 is a barred spiral galaxy, with a bar-shaped center filled with stars (as is characteristic of a majority of spiral galaxies), and S- shaped arms. However, looking at features of NGC 7479 that are hidden from the naked eye reveals another pair of arms bending in an opposite direction to the visible galaxy. The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) observed ionized carbon emissions to help confirm these counter-arms. The results were published in The Astrophysical Journal [no link].

    1
    Hubble Space Telescope image of NGC 7479 created from observations at visible and near-infrared wavelengths with 20 cm radio continuum contours in yellow. The boxes highlight the ends of the lower and upper counter-arms; expanded versions of these regions are shown in the left and right panels where the circles depict the aperture of SOFIA’s FIFI-LS instrument. Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA.

    Radio wavelength emissions from these small, so-called “counter-arms” have been observed before, but with the help of SOFIA – along with observations by ALMA and archival data from a number of other observatories – their presence has now been confirmed by X-ray, ionized carbon, and carbon monoxide emissions as well. SOFIA’s new observations of the counter-arms can help reveal their origin.

    Universities Space Research Association’s Dario Fadda, the lead author of the paper, noted,“The really important thing in this galaxy are the two little counter-arms that go in the opposite direction of the optical arms that are seen in radio, but nobody had seen them in the X-ray. Seeing them in X-ray is important because it shows there’s energy coming out of the nucleus, something that comes out in jets that originate in the nucleus.”

    The fact that these jets originate at the galaxy’s center implies the galaxy harbors an active nucleus – a supermassive black hole.

    As the jet approaches the dense molecular clouds along the bar, some of its momentum is absorbed by the clouds, causing the jet to bend in the direction opposite to the rotation of the galaxy. This process is responsible for the orientation of the counter-arms.

    By comparing the X-ray emissions of the jet to the ratio of ionized carbon and carbon dioxide emissions from the same area – both of which are considered indicators of star formation – the researchers discovered an anomaly. Certain hotspots within the counter-arms have too much ionized carbon, meaning the X-ray emission cannot entirely be explained by star formation.

    “We knew about these counter-arms and tried to observe with SOFIA if ionized carbon is actually produced by star formation, or if there’s some extra component that can come from the energy injected by the active galactic nucleus,” said Fadda.

    This calls into question the relationship between ionized carbon and star formation, and can have implications on the study of galaxies that are more distant than NGC 7479.

    “This is where SOFIA becomes uniquely useful: Studying these cases of galaxies close to us to have an idea of what to encounter when we go to higher redshift to study galaxies and the farther universe,” Fadda said.

    SOFIA’s role in these observations pushes the limits of its capabilities. Primarily suited for studying objects fairly close to our home galaxy, SOFIA’s spatial and spectral resolution were just enough to distinguish ionized carbon in NGC 7479’s region of interest. Specifically, SOFIA’s Far Infrared Field-Imaging Line Spectrometer (FIFI-LS) was used to map the ionized carbon in the area.

    About SOFIA

    SOFIA is a joint project of The National Aeronautics and Space Agency(US) and The DLR German Aerospace Center [Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V.](DE). DLR provides the telescope, scheduled aircraft maintenance, and other support for the mission. The NASA Ames Research Center (US) in California’s Silicon Valley manages the SOFIA program, science, and mission operations in cooperation with the Universities Space Research Association, headquartered in Columbia, Maryland, and The German SOFIA Institut | Deutsches SOFIA Institut | University of Stuttgart (DE) at The University of Stuttgart [Universität Stuttgart](DE). The aircraft is maintained and operated by The NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center (US) Building 703, in Palmdale, California.

    See the full article here .

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

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition
    USRA is an independent, nonprofit research corporation where the combined efforts of in-house talent and university-based expertise merge to advance space science and technology.

    SIGNIFICANCE & PURPOSE

    USRA was founded in 1969, near the beginning of the Space Age, driven by the vision of two individuals, James Webb (NASA Administrator 1961-1968) and Frederick Seitz (National Academy of Sciences President 1962-1969). They recognized that the technical challenges of space would require an established research base to develop novel concepts and innovative technologies. Together, they worked to create USRA to satisfy not only the ongoing need for innovation in space, but also the need to involve society more broadly so the benefits of space activities would be realized.

     
  • richardmitnick 11:29 pm on April 23, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "SOFIA Upgrading One-of-a-kind Camera", DLR German Aerospace [Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V.](DE), , , Universities Space Research Association (US)   

    From Universities Space Research Association (US) : “SOFIA Upgrading One-of-a-kind Camera” 

    usra-bloc

    From Universities Space Research Association (US)

    April 23, 2021

    Suraiya Farukhi, Ph.D.
    Director, External Communications
    sfarukhi@usra.edu
    443-812-6945

    After making numerous discoveries of how magnetic fields shape our universe, an instrument flying on board the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) is about to get even faster at gathering data.

    1
    National Aeronautics and Space Administration(US)/DLR German Aerospace(DE) SOFIA High-resolution Airborne Wideband Camera-Plus HAWC+ Camera awaits installation.on SOFIA. The aircraft is in the background. Image credit: National Aeronautics and Space Administration (US).

    SOFIA is upgrading the High-resolution Airborne Wideband Camera-Plus, or HAWC+ with four new detectors that will allow it to study magnetic fields in distant galaxies four times faster than its current rate.

    “We want to speed up the pace of scientific discovery, and we can do that by making HAWC+ even better,” said Dr. Margaret Meixner, Director of Science Mission Operations at Universities Space Research Association. “This upgrade is part of a number of initiatives we’re implementing to take SOFIA into the future.”

    The HAWC+ upgrade is expected to be completed by 2023 and is the first step in the proposed outline for future instrumentation of SOFIA, a joint project of NASA and the German Aerospace Center, DLR. Based on feedback from a scientifically diverse group of astronomers, two additional instruments are envisioned that will enhance SOFIA’s ability to make new discoveries.

    HAWC+ is the only currently operating instrument in the world in an observatory that uses far-infrared light and has a polarimeter, a device that measures polarized light from celestial dust grains, to infer the shape and direction of magnetic fields.

    Scientists are eager to learn more about the role magnetic fields play in shaping galaxies and the formation of stars,and observations like those SOFIA provides, using far infrared light, are critical to getting a clearer picture.

    Flying at 40,000 feet and above the interfering layers of the atmosphere, SOFIA offers a one-of-a-kind platform for observing the infrared universe. Because it returns to the ground after each flight, its instruments can easily be exchanged, serviced or upgraded to harness new technologies that may one day be optimized to fly in space.

    According to the roadmap published earlier, two new instruments envisioned for SOFIA include a highly sensitive spectrometer and a terahertz mapper. The highly sensitive sperctometer improves SOFIA’s ability to measure faint signals by a factor of 10. With this spectometer, SOFIA could, for the first time, measure the mass of gas, water vapor and ice in the earliest phases of planet formation enabling astronomers to learn how planetary systems form. The new terahertz mapper would build on the success of another of SOFIA’s current flagship instruments, the German Receiver at Terahertz Frequencies, or GREAT, by using similar technology with100 pixels–an increase from GREAT’s 14 pixels. This will allow the new instrument to make observations 14 times faster.

    SOFIA is a Boeing 747SP jetliner modified to carry a 106-inch diameter telescope. It is a joint project of National Aeronautics and Space Administration (US) and the German Aerospace Center, DLR. NASA’s Ames Research Center in California’s Silicon Valley manages the SOFIA program, science and mission operations in cooperation with the Universities Space Research Association (US) headquartered in Columbia, Maryland, and the German SOFIA Institute [Deütsches SOFIA Institut] at the University of Stuttgart[Universität Stuttgart] (DE). The aircraft is maintained and operated from NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center Hangar 703, in Palmdale, California.

    See the full article here .

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

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    USRA is an independent, nonprofit research corporation where the combined efforts of in-house talent and university-based expertise merge to advance space science and technology.

    SIGNIFICANCE & PURPOSE

    USRA was founded in 1969, near the beginning of the Space Age, driven by the vision of two individuals, James Webb (NASA Administrator 1961-1968) and Frederick Seitz (National Academy of Sciences President 1962-1969). They recognized that the technical challenges of space would require an established research base to develop novel concepts and innovative technologies. Together, they worked to create USRA to satisfy not only the ongoing need for innovation in space, but also the need to involve society more broadly so the benefits of space activities would be realized.

     
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: