User Tag List

+ Reply to Thread
Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12
Results 11 to 12 of 12

Thread: Astronomy & Cosmology

  1. #11
    Points: 25,420, Level: 38
    Level completed: 83%, Points required for next Level: 230
    Overall activity: 23.0%
    Achievements:
    VeteranTagger First Class25000 Experience PointsSocial
    waltky's Avatar Senior Member
    Karma
    4951
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    7,295
    Points
    25,420
    Level
    38
    Thanks Given
    1,424
    Thanked 1,428x in 1,143 Posts
    Mentioned
    36 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Lightbulb

    Very Large Array Antennas in New Mexico Search for Cosmic Discoveries...

    Giant Antennas in New Mexico Search for Cosmic Discoveries
    September 19, 2017 — Employing an array of giant telescopes positioned in the New Mexico desert, astronomers have started a massive surveying project aimed at producing the most detailed view ever made of such a large portion of space using radio waves emitted from throughout the Milky Way and beyond.
    The National Radio Astronomy Observatory announced the project this week, saying the Very Large Array will make three scans of the sky that's visible from the scrubland of the San Augustin Plains. It is one of the best spots on the planet to scan space, with 80 percent of the Earth's sky visible from the location. The array works like a camera. But instead of collecting light waves to make images, the telescopes that look like big satellite dishes receive radio waves emitted by cosmic explosions and other interstellar phenomenon. Astronomers expect the images gathered by the array will allow them to detect in finer detail gamma ray bursts, supernovas and other cosmic events that visible-light telescopes cannot see due to dust present throughout the universe. For example, the array can peer through the thick clouds of dust and gas where stars are born.

    Scientists involved in the project say the results will provide valuable information for astrophysics researchers. "In addition to what we think [the survey] will discover, we undoubtedly will be surprised by discoveries we aren't anticipating now," project director Claire Chandler said in a statement. "That is the lesson of scientific history and perhaps the most exciting part of a project like this." The survey is possible because of a major technological upgrade at the Very Large Array, which was initially conceived in the 1960s and built in the 1970s. The antennas relied on their original electronics and processing systems for years until a recent overhaul made the system capable of producing much higher resolution images. The work done at the Very Large Array is similar to that of the Hubble Space Telescope — making high-quality images so scientists can better study objects in the universe and the physics of how they work.


    A few of the radio antennas that make up the Very Large Array astronomical observatory, which are positioned on tracks on the Plains of San Augustin west of Socorro, N.M.

    Research efforts elsewhere search the galaxy for signals or evidence of extraterrestrials, but the New Mexico operation would almost certainly get involved if signals are received, said Very Large Array spokesman Dave Finley. "I do think when the time comes that they find a signal that they think is the real thing, the first phone call they will make will be to us. They'll want an image of that region," Finley said. Astronomers using the array also expect to see more examples of powerful jets of superfast particles propelled by the energy of massive black holes at the center of galaxies. This could help in understanding how galaxies grow over time.

    The National Radio Astronomy Observatory in 2013 invited astronomers from around the world to submit ideas and suggestions for the survey. Based on the recommendations, scientists and engineers designed the survey and ran a test in 2016. Approval for the full survey was granted this year. The survey will involve about 5,500 hours of observing time. Data from the three separate scans will be combined to produce the radio images. The scanning began Sept. 7 and the raw data will be available to researchers as quickly as the observations are made. The seven-year project will not come at an additional financial cost because the array already has a $15 million annual budget for making observations 24 hours a day for various scientific requests. More of that time will now be dedicated to the project.

    https://www.voanews.com/a/giant-ante...s/4035897.html
    See also:

    Cassini Disintegrates in Saturn's Atmosphere, Ending 20-year Journey
    September 15, 2017 — Tears, hugs and celebrations Friday marked the end of a 20-year mission to Saturn for the spacecraft Cassini.
    In mission control at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, Cassini program manager Earl Maize's voice was heard loud and clear: "The signal from the spacecraft is gone, and within the next 45 seconds, so will be the spacecraft." At a news conference afterward, Maize paid tribute to Cassini. "This morning, a lone explorer, a machine made by humankind, finished its mission 900 million miles away. The nearest observer wouldn't even know until 84 minutes later that Cassini was gone. To the very end, the spacecraft did everything we asked," he said.


    The northern hemisphere of Saturn as seen from the Cassini spacecraft on its descent toward the planet.

    Launched in 1997, Cassini's trip to Saturn took seven years. "When I look back at the Cassini mission, I see a mission that was running a 13-year marathon of scientific discovery, and this last orbit was just the last lap," Cassini project scientist Linda Spilker said.

    Saturn and its moons

    Cassini has been exploring Saturn and some of its moons, making discoveries along the way. "The discoveries that Cassini has made over the last 13 years in orbit have rewritten the textbooks of Saturn, have discovered worlds that could be habitable and have guaranteed that we'll return to that ringed world," Jet Propulsion Laboratory Director Michael Watkins said. Cassini discovered ocean worlds on the Saturn's moons Titan and Enceladus. It also detected strong evidence of hydrothermal vents at the base of Enceladus' ocean. These discoveries prompted the decision to destroy Cassini as it ran out of fuel, so there would be no risk of contaminating these moons with bacteria from Earth.


    Cassini's Amazing Photos of Saturn, Rings & Moons

    In its last hours, Cassini took final images, including Enceladus setting behind Saturn; Saturn's rings; Titan's lakes and seas; and an infrared view of Saturn. As Cassini plunged into Saturn, its sensors experienced the first taste of the planet's atmosphere, sending critical information to Earth until it disintegrated. "It just really tells us about how Saturn formed and the processes going on and really how all the planetary bodies in our solar system have formed," said Nora Alonge, Cassini project science and system engineer.

    Bittersweet moments
    Last edited by waltky; 09-20-2017 at 03:19 AM.

  2. #12
    Points: 25,420, Level: 38
    Level completed: 83%, Points required for next Level: 230
    Overall activity: 23.0%
    Achievements:
    VeteranTagger First Class25000 Experience PointsSocial
    waltky's Avatar Senior Member
    Karma
    4951
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    7,295
    Points
    25,420
    Level
    38
    Thanks Given
    1,424
    Thanked 1,428x in 1,143 Posts
    Mentioned
    36 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Cool

    So far away it's prob'ly gone by now...

    Farthest monster black hole found
    6 Dec.`17 - Astronomers have discovered the most distant "supermassive" black hole known to science.
    The matter-munching sinkhole is a whopping 13 billion light-years away, so far that we see it as it was a mere 690 million years after the Big Bang. But at about 800 million times the mass of our Sun, it managed to grow to a surprisingly large size such a short time after the origin of the Universe. The find is described in the journal Nature. This relic from the early Universe is busily devouring material at the centre of a galaxy - marking it out as a so-called quasar.


    Quasars are some of the brightest objects in the Universe

    Matter, such as gas, falling onto the black hole will form an ultra-hot mass of material around it known as an accretion disk. "Quasars are among the brightest and most distant known celestial objects and are crucial to understanding the early Universe," said co-author Bram Venemans of the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy in Germany. This quasar is interesting because it comes from a time when the Universe was just 5% of its current age. At this time, the cosmos was beginning to emerge from a period known as the dark ages - just before the first stars appeared. "Gathering all this mass in under 690 million years is an enormous challenge for theories of supermassive black hole growth," said co-author Eduardo Bañados, from the Carnegie Institution for Science.

    The quasar's distance is described by a property called its redshift - a measurement of how much the wavelength of its light is stretched by the expansion of the Universe before reaching Earth. The newly discovered black hole has a redshift of 7.54. The higher the redshift, the greater the distance, and the farther back astronomers are looking in time when they observe the object. Prior to this discovery, the record-holder for the furthest known quasar existed when the Universe was about 800 million years old. "Despite extensive searches, it took more than half a decade to catch a glimpse of something this far back in the history of the Universe," said Dr Bañados.


    The Gemini North observatory was among several involved in the discovery

    The discovery of a massive black hole so early on may provide key clues on conditions that abounded when the Universe was young. "This finding shows that a process obviously existed in the early Universe to make this monster," Dr Bañados explained. "What that process is? Well, that will keep theorists very busy." The unexpected discovery is based on data amassed from observatories around the world. This includes data from the Gemini North observatory on Hawaii's Maunakea volcano and a Nasa space telescope called the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (Wise).

    http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-42252235

+ Reply to Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts


Critical Acclaim
Single Sign On provided by vBSSO