The South Pole Telescope
The South Pole Telescope (SPT) is a 10-meter-diameter telescope located at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station, Antarctica. This cold, dry location facilitates observations of the faint cosmic microwave background.
The SPT was specifically designed to tackle the dark energy mystery. It operates at millimeter wavelengths to make high-resolution images of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) which scientists use in their search for distant, massive galaxy clusters that can be used to pinpoint the properties of dark energy and the mass of the neutrino.
Analysis of new data from the SPT is currently providing new support for the most widely accepted explanation of dark energy and Einstein’s cosmological constant. With this data set scientists will be able to place extremely tight constraints on dark energy and possibly determine the mass of the neutrinos.
A series of papers detailing the SPT findings have been submitted to the Astrophysical Journal (see ApJ, 2011, 743, 28 led by Ryan Keisler, http://arxiv.org/abs/1112.5435 led by Benson, and http://arxiv.org/abs/1203.5775 led by Christian Reichardt). [via]
Above: (1) The South Pole Telescope (SPT) at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station, Antarctica. (2) This image displays a portion of the South Pole Telescope survey of the cosmic microwave background (CMB). Points of light mark quasars and gravitationally lensed galaxies. The variations in the image are minute fluctuations in the intensity of the CMB. The fluctuations are caused by differences in the distribution of matter in the early universe at a time only 400,000 years after the Big Bang. The image is effectively a “baby picture” of the universe.
Posts tagged "Telescope"
The Hubble Space Telescope was placed in orbit by the Space Shuttle in 1990. The roll-out solar cell array were supplied by British Aerospace in Filton, Bristol, UK.
Watercolour on card; 20 x 24 inches
Painted in 1982 (photo of print)
Original presented to Raymond Baxter at the 1982 British Aerospace Apprentice Prize-giving evening.
(via starstuffblog)Source spacettf
(via starstuffblog)Source spacetelescope.org
A list of all NASA´s current missions
It´s quite easy to get lost in the middle of the data NASA releases to the world on a daily basis. There are more than 50 missions right now under the agency´s supervision, all of them producing a myriad of amazing images and information about many different subjects such as sunspots, Earth´s atmosphere, Saturn´s moons, the birth of stars at distant galaxies and faraway asteroids.
To help us follow all that, NASA has listed all current missions on alphabetical order in a way that clicking on each one of them takes you to a specific page about the mission with all the data you need to understand all those probes, satellites, robots, telescopes and on.
(via weareallstarstuff)Source itsfullofstars
The Milky Way and aurorae australis over the South Pole Telescope.
(via invaderxan)Source commons.wikimedia.org
- Camera: Canon EOS 40D
- • Aperture: f/3.5
- • Exposure: 30"
- • Focal Length: 10mm
VISTA Finds 96 Star Clusters Hidden Behind Dust
ESO’s infrared survey telescope digs deep into star-forming regions in our Milky Way.
Using data from the VISTA infrared survey telescope at ESO’s Paranal Observatory, an international team of astronomers has discovered 96 new open star clusters hidden by the dust in the Milky Way. These tiny and faint objects were invisible to previous surveys, but they could not escape the sensitive infrared detectors of the world’s largest survey telescope, which can peer through the dust. This is the first time so many faint and small clusters have been found at once.Source itsfullofstars
Black hole in the early universe
This artist’s conception illustrates one of the most primitive supermassive black holes known (central black dot) at the core of a young, star-rich galaxy. Astronomers using NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope have uncovered two of these early objects, dating back to about 13 billion years ago. The monstrous black holes are among the most distant known, and appear to be in the very earliest stages of formation, earlier than any observed so far. Unlike all other supermassive black holes probed to date, this primitive duo, called J0005-0006 and J0303-0019, lacks dust. As the drawing shows, gas swirls around a black hole in what is called an accretion disk. Usually, the accretion disk is surrounded by a dark doughnut-like dusty structure called a dust torus. But for the primitive black holes, the dust tori are missing and only gas disks are observed.
IMAGE: © NASA/JPL-Caltech/CorbisSource live-in-oneworld-onelife
Next Generation Space Telescope
NASA engineer Ernie Wright looks on as the first six flight ready James Webb Space Telescope’s primary mirror segments are prepped to begin final cryogenic testing at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center. This represents the first six of 18 segments that will form NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope’s primary mirror for space observations. Engineers began final round-the-clock cryogenic testing to confirm that the mirrors will respond as expected to the extreme temperatures of space prior to integration into the telescope’s permanent housing structure. (Image Credit: NASA/MSFC/David Higginbotham; via NASA)
(via scipsy)Source nasa.gov
Laser Guide Stars
Astronomers observing the center of the Milky Way from the European Southern Observatory in Chile fire a laser into the heavens. The Laser Guide Star (LGS) is used as a reference to correct the blurring effect of the atmosphere on images.
The bright lasers that telescopes use are to allow telescope adaptive optics to correct for the distortions in Earth’s atmosphere. Orange lasers like this shine light with a 589.2 nm wavelength. It’s the same colour of light which is emitted by excited sodium atoms. The same colour that gives sodium street lights their familiar orange glow.
That same colour of light can also excite cold sodium atoms. The telescope laser uses this to excite patches of sodium atoms in Earth’s upper atmosphere (around 90 km above sea level). Those patches of excited sodium atoms glow brightly, forming a fake “star” which lets the adaptive optical magic happen.
(via physicsphysics)Source nprfreshair
Subaru telescope discovers a rosetta stone cluster of galaxies
Astronomers using the Subaru Telescope have discovered an aggregate of galaxies undergoing a burst of star formation that may hold the key to understanding how galaxies formed in the early universe. The aggregate is located toward the Constellation Vulpecula and is 11 billion light years away (redshift z = 2.5), 2.7 billion years after the birth of the universe.
These baby-booming galaxies may be a proto-cluster, an ancestor of present-day clusters of galaxies; they still seem to be growing into full-size galaxies. By analyzing near-infrared emission data from the Subaru Telescope with mid-infrared emission data from the Spitzer Telescope, the astronomers were able to identify the bright objects in the infrared as members of a primordial cluster.
These primordial galaxies show a very high star formation rate of several hundreds of Suns per year. Such high star formation rates do not occur in any nearby galaxies. In addition, the number of mid-infrared sources apparently exceeds the amount that can be attributed to the objects visible in H-alpha emission. This indicates that there could be more dust-enshrouded galaxies with active star formation.
Image: The 4C 23.56 protocluster area. The red squares show objects (color-coded in green) that emit H-alpha emission lines. The field of view is 3.0 arcminutes by 3.7 arcminutes.
(via unknownskywalker)Source naoj.org