Blue M98, variant

Blue M98, variant

Edited European Southern Observatory image of the galaxy M98. Color/processing variant.

Original caption: The colour blue has many associations — coldness, sadness, serenity. However, the colour holds a completely different meaning for astronomers, as demonstrated by the edge-on spiral galaxy Messier 98. Messier 98, also known as NGC 4192, is located approximately 50 million light-years away in the constellation of Coma Berenices (Berenice’s Hair). In this spectacular image from ESO’s New Technology Telescope (NTT), the galaxy’s perimeter, rippled with gas and dust, is dotted with pockets of blueish light. These are regions filled with very young stars, which are so hot that they glow with a bright blue hue. These young stars are burning at such high temperatures that they are emitting fierce radiation, burning away some of the dense material that surrounds them. In total, Messier 98 is thought to contain one trillion stars! The NTT is a 3.58-metre telescope at the La Silla Observatory, which pioneered the use of active optics and was the first in the world to have a computer-controlled main mirror.

Posted by sjrankin on 2018-06-05 02:39:29

Tagged: , Messier 98 , NGC 4192 , 5 June 2018 , Edited , ESO , European Southern Observatory , Galaxy , M98 , Spiral Galaxy

Blue Galaxy

Blue Galaxy

Edited European Southern Observatory image of the galaxy NGC 4192 (or M98).

Original caption: The colour blue has many associations — coldness, sadness, serenity. However, the colour holds a completely different meaning for astronomers, as demonstrated by the edge-on spiral galaxy Messier 98. Messier 98, also known as NGC 4192, is located approximately 50 million light-years away in the constellation of Coma Berenices (Berenice’s Hair). In this spectacular image from ESO’s New Technology Telescope (NTT), the galaxy’s perimeter, rippled with gas and dust, is dotted with pockets of blueish light. These are regions filled with very young stars, which are so hot that they glow with a bright blue hue. These young stars are burning at such high temperatures that they are emitting fierce radiation, burning away some of the dense material that surrounds them. In total, Messier 98 is thought to contain one trillion stars! The NTT is a 3.58-metre telescope at the La Silla Observatory, which pioneered the use of active optics and was the first in the world to have a computer-controlled main mirror.

Posted by sjrankin on 2017-01-28 11:31:18

Tagged: , Messier 98 , NGC 4192 , 28 January 2017 , Edited , ESO , European Southern Observatory , Galaxy

V1247 Orionis

V1247 Orionis

Edited European Southern Observatory image of the star V1247 Orionis, set in a ring of dust and gas.

Original caption: This image from the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) shows V1247 Orionis, a young, hot star surrounded by a dynamic ring of gas and dust, known as a circumstellar disc. This disc can be seen here in two parts: a clearly defined central ring of matter and a more delicate crescent structure located further out.

The region between the ring and crescent, visible as a dark strip, is thought to be caused by a young planet carving its way through the disc. As the planet orbits around its parent star, its motion creates areas of high pressure on either side of its path, similar to how a ship creates bow waves as it cuts through water. These areas of high pressure could become protective barriers around sites of planet formation; dust particles are trapped within them for millions of years, allowing them the time and space to clump together and grow.

The exquisite resolution of ALMA allows astronomers to study the intricate structure of such a dust trapping vortex for the first time. The image reveals not only the crescent-shaped dust trap at the outer edge of the dark strip, but also regions of excess dust within the ring, possibly indicating a second dust trap that formed inside of the potential planet’s orbit. This confirms the predictions of earlier computer simulations.

Dust trapping is one potential solution to a major stumbling block in current theories of how planets form, which predicts that particles should drift into the central star and be destroyed before they have time to grow to planetesimal sizes (the radial drift problem).

Links
Science paper
Credit:
ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO)/S. Kraus (University of Exeter, UK)

Posted by sjrankin on 2017-10-17 01:24:56

Tagged: , 17 October 2017 , Edited , ESO , European Southern Observatory , V1247 Orionis , Star , Dust , Gas , Ring

V1247 Orionis, variant

V1247 Orionis, variant

Edited European Southern Observatory image of the star V1247 Orionis, set in a ring of dust and gas. Color/processing variant.

Original caption: This image from the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) shows V1247 Orionis, a young, hot star surrounded by a dynamic ring of gas and dust, known as a circumstellar disc. This disc can be seen here in two parts: a clearly defined central ring of matter and a more delicate crescent structure located further out.

The region between the ring and crescent, visible as a dark strip, is thought to be caused by a young planet carving its way through the disc. As the planet orbits around its parent star, its motion creates areas of high pressure on either side of its path, similar to how a ship creates bow waves as it cuts through water. These areas of high pressure could become protective barriers around sites of planet formation; dust particles are trapped within them for millions of years, allowing them the time and space to clump together and grow.

The exquisite resolution of ALMA allows astronomers to study the intricate structure of such a dust trapping vortex for the first time. The image reveals not only the crescent-shaped dust trap at the outer edge of the dark strip, but also regions of excess dust within the ring, possibly indicating a second dust trap that formed inside of the potential planet’s orbit. This confirms the predictions of earlier computer simulations.

Dust trapping is one potential solution to a major stumbling block in current theories of how planets form, which predicts that particles should drift into the central star and be destroyed before they have time to grow to planetesimal sizes (the radial drift problem).

Links
Science paper
Credit:
ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO)/S. Kraus (University of Exeter, UK)

Posted by sjrankin on 2017-10-17 01:24:56

Tagged: , 17 October 2017 , Edited , ESO , European Southern Observatory , V1247 Orionis , Star , Dust , Gas , Ring

V1247 Orionis, variant

V1247 Orionis, variant

Edited European Southern Observatory image of the star V1247 Orionis, set in a ring of dust and gas. Color/processing variant.

Original caption: This image from the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) shows V1247 Orionis, a young, hot star surrounded by a dynamic ring of gas and dust, known as a circumstellar disc. This disc can be seen here in two parts: a clearly defined central ring of matter and a more delicate crescent structure located further out.

The region between the ring and crescent, visible as a dark strip, is thought to be caused by a young planet carving its way through the disc. As the planet orbits around its parent star, its motion creates areas of high pressure on either side of its path, similar to how a ship creates bow waves as it cuts through water. These areas of high pressure could become protective barriers around sites of planet formation; dust particles are trapped within them for millions of years, allowing them the time and space to clump together and grow.

The exquisite resolution of ALMA allows astronomers to study the intricate structure of such a dust trapping vortex for the first time. The image reveals not only the crescent-shaped dust trap at the outer edge of the dark strip, but also regions of excess dust within the ring, possibly indicating a second dust trap that formed inside of the potential planet’s orbit. This confirms the predictions of earlier computer simulations.

Dust trapping is one potential solution to a major stumbling block in current theories of how planets form, which predicts that particles should drift into the central star and be destroyed before they have time to grow to planetesimal sizes (the radial drift problem).

Links
Science paper
Credit:
ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO)/S. Kraus (University of Exeter, UK)

Posted by sjrankin on 2017-10-17 01:24:55

Tagged: , 17 October 2017 , Edited , ESO , European Southern Observatory , V1247 Orionis , Star , Dust , Gas , Ring

V1247 Orionis, variant

V1247 Orionis, variant

Edited European Southern Observatory image of the star V1247 Orionis, set in a ring of dust and gas. Color/processing variant.

Original caption: This image from the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) shows V1247 Orionis, a young, hot star surrounded by a dynamic ring of gas and dust, known as a circumstellar disc. This disc can be seen here in two parts: a clearly defined central ring of matter and a more delicate crescent structure located further out.

The region between the ring and crescent, visible as a dark strip, is thought to be caused by a young planet carving its way through the disc. As the planet orbits around its parent star, its motion creates areas of high pressure on either side of its path, similar to how a ship creates bow waves as it cuts through water. These areas of high pressure could become protective barriers around sites of planet formation; dust particles are trapped within them for millions of years, allowing them the time and space to clump together and grow.

The exquisite resolution of ALMA allows astronomers to study the intricate structure of such a dust trapping vortex for the first time. The image reveals not only the crescent-shaped dust trap at the outer edge of the dark strip, but also regions of excess dust within the ring, possibly indicating a second dust trap that formed inside of the potential planet’s orbit. This confirms the predictions of earlier computer simulations.

Dust trapping is one potential solution to a major stumbling block in current theories of how planets form, which predicts that particles should drift into the central star and be destroyed before they have time to grow to planetesimal sizes (the radial drift problem).

Links
Science paper
Credit:
ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO)/S. Kraus (University of Exeter, UK)

Posted by sjrankin on 2017-10-17 01:24:55

Tagged: , 17 October 2017 , Edited , ESO , European Southern Observatory , V1247 Orionis , Star , Dust , Gas , Ring

Tarantula nebula in the LMC

Tarantula nebula in the LMC

I have not generally been posting astronomical images on flickr since almost all of them are widely available on other websites. However, I have decided now to post a few which have some special interest or connection with other things that I do.

Number one has to be the Tarantula nebula photographed with the Wide Field Imager on the ESO/MPG 2.2m telescope on La Silla in Chile. The reason I choose this is that it is a spectacular image that took a lot of effort to create. It is also the first astronomical image that I processed using ‘tonemapping’ as applied to multi-exposure High Dynamic Range terrestrial images. The work was done in collaboration with Joao Alves, Benoit Vandame and Yuri Beletski with Benoit doing a great deal of hard work preparing the original filter images in this 2×2 field mosaic (which would encompass 2×2 full Moons) ready for me to combine into a 4-colour image. This combination resulted in an enormous image which, at the time it was done, stretched the capabilities of desktop computers – and took about a week to do!

The image contains a huge range of brightness that needed HDR techniques in order to enable display on a print or a computer screen. This extends from the centre of the stellar cluster in 30 Doradus to the wreaths of dark dust obscuration surrounding the individual nebulae.

Although there are many images of this region taken with different telescopes, including Hubble, this image has somehow become iconic. It has been featured by Apple in the "Inside the Image" series:

www.apple.com/science/insidetheimage/fosbury/

and the full-resolution data can be obtained from ESO at:

www.eso.org/public/images/eso0650a/

This region in the Large Magellanic Cloud (about 170,000 light years away) is a huge stellar nursery containing infants (bright green nebulae) to mature teenagers (blue stellar clusters). It also contains the remnant of supernova 1987a – the brightest supernova in several centuries (which I was lucky enough to see with the naked eye when observing on La Silla). This is a real challenge to find and is best seen on the full-resolution image from ESO – although it can be seen on the ‘original’ image here on flickr.

The four filters used to capture the colour information were the usual broad-band B (blue) and V (visible/green) as well as narrow band filters that isolated the green light of glowing oxygen (minus 2 electrons; we call it O^2+ or the [OIII] nebular lines at 496 and 501nm) gas and the red light of hydrogen (Hydrogen-alpha or the first line in the Balmer series: level 3 to 2). The nebulae that are green generally contain hotter, younger stars than the red nebulae.

If I were to choose one other image of this region to look at, it would have to be the wonderful UV-NIR image taken with the new Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) on Hubble:

www.spacetelescope.org/images/opo0932a/

which shows the central R136 cluster in exquisite detail.

Posted by The^Bob on 2012-08-01 07:11:05

Tagged: , astronomy , image , eso , mpg , 2.2m , wfi , b , v , ha , oiii , vandame , alves , beletski , hdr , tonemapped , mosaic , sn1987a , honeycomb , star-clusters , stars , nursery

NGC 6872

NGC 6872

Something a little different. Instead of Hubble, this came from ESO. Specifically, from Paranal’s FORS1 instrument. In 2010, ESO ran a Hidden Treasures contest just like the Hubble contest. First prize was a trip to Paranal. What!? I’m sorry I missed the contest completely! Anyway, this same galaxy (same data, too) has been featured on their site before so it isn’t a hidden treasure itself, but it’s been in the news lately.

Not knowing how to use ESO’s public archive but wanting to learn, I ended up searching for this galaxy. The first rule of ESO’s archive is there are no thumbnails. You just kind of guess what’s there based on the coordinates and the exposure time, download the files en masse, and then browse their content on your own computer. You don’t even get footprints! There is an xml file which you can open with Aladin which will plot a few dots for you, presumably at the coordinates the telescope was aimed at. Being a complete newbie, just seeing coordinates was not very helpful. I’m unfamiliar with the instruments so I don’t know how much area they typically cover. I’m also a visual person if that wasn’t obvious enough so working from just numbers takes extra effort.

Once I got the data sorted out, processing it is about the same as dealing with Hubble’s. You have to clean up little black spots and things which look like hairs and dust. Each quarter of the image must be adjusted to match one another. Brighter stars bleed. Interestingly, the diffraction pattern (the colorful spikes seen around bright stars) is a bit different from what I’ve come to expect.

Wideband red, green, and blue filters were used to compose the image.

Red: R Band, VLT / FORS1
Green: V Band, VLT / FORS1
Blue: B Band, VLT / FORS1

North is NOT up. It is 20° clockwise from up.

Posted by geckzilla on 2014-10-01 18:41:18

Tagged: , interacting , galaxy , huge , ESO , FORS1 , Paranal , VLT , Very Large Telescope , European Southern Observatory , NGC 6872 , 6872