1
Apr 16

Journey to the centre of our galaxy

Source: ESA/Hubble Photo Release heic1606

heic1606aThe galactic centre.
Image credits: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)
Acknowledgment: NASA, ESA, T. Do and A. Ghez (UCLA), and V. Bajaj (STScI)

Peering deep into the heart of our home galaxy, the Milky Way, the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope reveals a rich tapestry of more than half a million stars. Apart from a few, blue, foreground stars, almost all of the stars pictured in the image are members of the Milky Way nuclear star cluster, the densest and most massive star cluster in the galaxy. Hidden in the centre of this cluster is the Milky Way’s resident supermassive black hole. (learn more)

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31
Mar 16

ALMA’s Most Detailed Image of a Protoplanetary Disc

Source: ESO Photo Release eso1611

eso1611aALMA image of the planet-forming disc around the young, Sun-like star TW Hydrae.
Image credits: S. Andrews (Harvard-Smithsonian CfA), ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO)

This new image from the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) shows the finest detail ever seen in the planet-forming disc around the nearby Sun-like star TW Hydrae. It reveals a tantalising gap at the same distance from the star as the Earth is from the Sun, which may mean that an infant version of our home planet, or possibly a more massive super-Earth, is beginning to form there.(learn more)

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23
Mar 16

The Wilds of the Local Group

Source: ESO Photo Release eso1610

eso1610aThe WLM galaxy on the edge of the Local Group .
Image credits: ESO.

This scene, captured by ESO’s OmegaCAM on the VLT Survey Telescope, shows a lonely galaxy known as Wolf-Lundmark-Melotte, or WLM for short. Although considered part of our Local Group of dozens of galaxies, WLM stands alone at the group’s outer edges as one of its most remote members. In fact, the galaxy is so small and secluded that it may never have interacted with any other Local Group galaxy — or perhaps even any other galaxy in the history of the Universe. (learn more)

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19
Mar 16

Hubble unveils monster stars

Source: ESA/Hubble Science Release heic1605

heic1605aR136 observed with WFC3
Image credits: NASA, ESA, P Crowther (University of Sheffield)

Astronomers using the unique ultraviolet capabilities of the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope have identified nine monster stars with masses over 100 times the mass of the Sun in the star cluster R136. This makes it the largest sample of very massive stars identified to date. The results, which will be published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, raise many new questions about the formation of massive stars. (learn more)

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17
Mar 16

Unexpected Changes of Bright Spots on Ceres Discovered

Source: ESO Science Release eso1609

eso1609aArtist’s view of bright spots on Ceres imaged by the Dawn spacecraft .
Image credits: ESO/L.Calçada/NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA/Steve Albers/N. Risinger (skysurvey.org)

Observations made using the HARPS spectrograph at ESO’s La Silla Observatory in Chile have revealed unexpected changes in the bright spots on the dwarf planet Ceres. Although Ceres appears as little more than a point of light from the Earth, very careful study of its light shows not only the changes expected as Ceres rotates, but also that the spots brighten during the day and also show other variations. These observations suggest that the material of the spots is volatile and evaporates in the warm glow of sunlight.(learn more)

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14
Mar 16

Telescopes Combine to Push Frontier on Galaxy Clusters

Source: Chandra

These two galaxy clusters are part of the "Frontier Fields" project, which uses some of the world's most powerful telescopes to study these giant structures with long observations. Galaxy clusters are enormous collections of hundreds or thousands of galaxies and vast reservoirs of hot gas embedded in massive clouds of dark matter. These images contain X-ray data from Chandra (blue), optical light from Hubble (red, green, and blue), and radio data from the Very Large Array (pink).

These two galaxy clusters are part of the "Frontier Fields" project, which uses some of the world's most powerful telescopes to study these giant structures with long observations. Galaxy clusters are enormous collections of hundreds or thousands of galaxies and vast reservoirs of hot gas embedded in massive clouds of dark matter. These images contain X-ray data from Chandra (blue), optical light from Hubble (red, green, and blue), and radio data from the Very Large Array (pink).

MACS J0416.1-2403 and MACS J0717.5+3745 : Two galaxy clusters located about 4.3 billion and 5.4 billion light years away respectively.(read more)

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10
Mar 16

Sharpest View Ever of Dusty Disc Around Aging Star

Source: ESO Science Release eso1608

eso1608aThe dusty ring around the aging double star IRAS 08544-4431.
Image credits: ESO/Digitized Sky Survey 2
Acknowledgement: Davide De Martin

The Very Large Telescope Interferometer at ESO’s Paranal Observatory in Chile has obtained the sharpest view ever of the dusty disc around an aging star. For the first time such features can be compared to those around young stars — and they look surprisingly similar. It is even possible that a disc appearing at the end of a star’s life might also create a second generation of planets. (learn more)

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5
Mar 16

Hubble breaks cosmic distance record

Source: ESA/Hubble Science Release heic1604

heic1604aMost distant galaxy .
Image credits: NASA, ESA, and P. Oesch (Yale University)

By pushing the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope to its limits astronomers have shattered the cosmic distance record by measuring the distance to the most remote galaxy ever seen in the Universe. This galaxy existed just 400 million years after the Big Bang and provides new insights into the first generation of galaxies. This is the first time that the distance of an object so far away has been measured from its spectrum, which makes the measurement extremely reliable. The results will be published in the Astrophysical Journal.(learn more)

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3
Mar 16

The Realm of Buried Giants

Source: ESO Photo Release eso1607

eso1607aThe sky around the star formation region RCW 106 .
Image credits: ESO.

In this huge new image clouds of crimson gas are illuminated by rare, massive stars that have only recently ignited and are still buried deep in thick dust clouds. These scorching-hot, very young stars are only fleeting characters on the cosmic stage and their origins remain mysterious. The vast nebula where these giants were born, along with its rich and fascinating surroundings, are captured here in fine detail by ESO’s VLT Survey Telescope (VST) at the Paranal Observatory in Chile.(learn more)

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28
Feb 16

21st EAAE Summer School in Algarve, Portugal

EAAE Summer Schools for Teachers

Loulé, Algarve, Portugal, 11th July to 15th July 2016.

The European Association for Astronomy Education (EAAE) is collaborating with the NASE Working Group of IAU   to organize the 21st EAAE Summer School for Teachers under the theme "Astronomy at our Schools",

The Summer School will take place from Monday 11th July 2016 to Friday 15th July 2016, in Loulé, Algarve, Portugal, and has local organization by Câmara Municipal de Loulé,  and  Escola Secundária de Loulé  and has the support of Ciência Viva and the Portuguese Ministery of Education.

The Summer School will explore several topics in astronomy didactics appropriate for teaching since very early ages until college.

Topics since  Solar Physics, Solar System and basic concepts of astrophysics, up to galactic astronomy, extragalactic astronomy and cosmology are the topics of some of the workshops of the Summer School.

Highlights include an expedition to the Almendres Cromelech, near Évora, and to Lisbon Astronomical Observatory that include lectures from the biggest experts about the subject at each place. During the visit, some sightseeing to the most interesting places is also considered, both at Évora and at Lisbon.

Astronomical observations are also programmed (if the weather conditions allow them). Astronomical lectures will be presented by lecturers from Universities and research centers.(read the whole program here)

The registration fee is 125 euros before the May 15th, 2015.

Between the May 15th and July 1st, 2016 registration fee will be 150 euros.

After this date registration fee will be 200 euros.

The fee covers all astronomical activities and materials, including a proceeding book. The price also includes the 4 lunches at school and the expedition to Évora and Lisbon.

People interested in presenting posters or short communications should contact Rosa Maria Ros.

The organization is also preparing extra programs for Sunday 10th (before the Summer School) and Saturday 16th (after the Summer School) for people that have early arrivals or late departures. These activities are not include on the price.

Due to the workshops (maximum 30 participants per workshop) Summer School can have a maximum of 60 participants because this means that each workshop is repeated twice as presented in the timetable.

This Summer School is done in Association with IAU and NASE.

Registration

Registration should be made using the form at the following link

http://goo.gl/forms/Hq3ttl1Du6

After making your registration the participation fee must transferred to the bank account with the following data

Holder EAAE
Bank Kreissparkasse München Starnberg BLZ 702 501 50
Account Number 10815850
IBAN DE21 7025 0150 0010 8158 50
Swift / BIC BYLADEM1KMS

Your registration will only be complete when your fee is payed.

Important:

  • Fee before the 15th of May - 125 euros.
  • Fee from 15th of May to the 1st of July registration- 150 euros.
  • Fee after the 1st of July - 200 euros.

Read the full program here.

Accomodation

You can find accomodation at local hotels/hostels at the following prices for the venue:

Hotel Loulé Jardim*** (includes breakfast)

  • Single room - 54.00€/night
  • Double room - 72.00€/night
  • Triple room - 94.50€/night

HotelStar* (includes breakfast)

  • Single room - 43.00€/night
  • Double room - 55.00€/night

Guesthouse Dom Fernando (includes breakfast)

  • Single room - 40.00€/night
  • Double room - 52.50€/night
  • Triple room - 62.50€/night

Scientific Organizations

Logo-IAU logo-NASE

Organization Partners and Sponsors

govLogo-CMLLogo-Ciência Viva

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25
Feb 16

ATLASGAL Survey of Milky Way Completed

Credits: ESO Photo Release eso1606

A spectacular new image of the Milky Way has been released to mark the completion of the APEX Telescope Large Area Survey of the Galaxy (ATLASGAL). The APEX telescope in Chile has mapped the full area of the Galactic Plane visible from the southern hemisphere at submillimetre wavelengths — between infrared light and radio waves. The new finely detailed images complement those from recent space-based surveys. The pioneering 12-metre APEX telescope allows astronomers to study the cold Universe: gas and dust only a few tens of degrees above absolute zero. The APEX data, at a wavelength of 0.87 millimetres, shows up in red and the background blue image was imaged at shorter infrared wavelengths by the NASA Spitzer Space Telescope as part of the GLIMPSE survey. The fainter extended red structures come from complementary observations made by ESA's Planck satellite. In this case the image has been cut into three pieces for convenience.

A spectacular new image of the Milky Way has been released to mark the completion of the APEX Telescope Large Area Survey of the Galaxy (ATLASGAL). The APEX telescope in Chile has mapped the full area of the Galactic Plane visible from the southern hemisphere for the first time at submillimetre wavelengths — between infrared light and radio waves — and in finer detail than recent space-based surveys. The pioneering 12-metre APEX telescope allows astronomers to study the cold Universe: gas and dust only a few tens of degrees above absolute zero. (learn more)

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18
Feb 16

Glow from the Big Bang Allows Discovery of Distant Black Hole Jet

Source: Chandra Press

Chandra-b30727_525Jet from a very distant black hole, called B3 0727+409, found using the Chandra X-ray Observatory.
Image credits: X-ray: NASA/CXC/ISAS/A.Simionescu et al, Optical: DSS

 

Astronomers have used NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory to discover a jet from a very distant supermassive black hole being illuminated by the oldest light in the Universe. This discovery shows that black holes with powerful jets may be more common than previously thought in the first few billion years after the Big Bang.

The light detected from this jet was emitted when the Universe was only 2.7 billion years old, a fifth of its present age. At this point, the intensity of the cosmic microwave background radiation, or CMB, left over from the Big Bang was much greater than it is today.(read more)

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16
Feb 16

First Detection of Super-Earth Atmosphere

Source: ESA/Hubble Science Release heic1603

For the first time astronomers were able to analyse the atmosphere of an exoplanet in the class known as super-Earths. Using data gathered with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope and new analysis techniques, the exoplanet 55 Cancri e is revealed to have a dry atmosphere without any indications of water vapour. The results, to be published in the Astrophysical Journal, indicate that the atmosphere consists mainly of hydrogen and helium. (learn more)

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11
Feb 16

The sleeping giant

Source: ESA/Hubble Photo Release heic1602

heic1602aThe sleeping giant NGC 4889.
Image credits: NASA & ESA.

The placid appearance of NGC 4889 can fool the unsuspecting observer. But the elliptical galaxy, pictured in this new image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, harbours a dark secret. At its heart lurks one of the most massive black holes ever discovered.(learn more)

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11
Feb 16

A Star’s Moment in the Spotlight

Source: ESO Photo Release eso1605

eso1605aYoung star lights up reflection nebula IC 2631.
Image credits: ESO

A newly formed star lights up the surrounding cosmic clouds in this new image from ESO’s La Silla Observatory in Chile. Dust particles in the vast clouds that surround the star HD 97300 diffuse its light, like a car headlight in enveloping fog, and create the reflection nebula IC 2631. Although HD 97300 is in the spotlight for now, the very dust that makes it so hard to miss heralds the birth of additional, potentially scene-stealing, future stars. (learn more)

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10
Feb 16

21st EAAE Summer School in Algarve, Portugal

EAAE Summer Schools for Teachers

Loulé, Algarve, Portugal, 11th July to 15th July 2016.

The European Association for Astronomy Education (EAAE) is collaborating with Escola Secundária de Loulé, Câmara Municipal de Loulé and Ciência Viva to organize the 21st EAAE Summer School for Teachers under the theme "Astronomy at our Schools".

The Summer School will take place from Monday 11th July 2016 to Friday 15th July 2016, in Loulé, Algarve, Portugal.

The Summer School will explore several themes in astronomy didactic appropriate for teaching since very early ages until college.

Topics since Earth, Moon and Sun relations, atmospheres of the planets, basic concepts of astrophysics, brightness of variable and binary stars, and how do work astronomical imaging in the classroom are the topics of some of the workshops of the Summer School.

Highlights include an expedition to the Almendres Cromelech, near Évora, and to Lisbon Astronomical Observatory.

Astronomical observations are also programmed (if the weather conditions allow them). Astronomical lectures will be presented by lecturers from Universities and research centers.(read the hole program here)

The registration fee is 125 euros before the May 15th, 2015.

Between the May 15th and July 1st, 2016 registration fee will be 150 euros.

After this date registration fee will be 200 euros.

The fee covers all astronomical activities and materials, including a proceeding book. The price also includes the 4 lunches at school and the expedition to Évora and Lisbon.

People interested in presenting posters or short communications should contact Rosa Maria Ros.

The organization is also preparing extra programs for Sunday 10th (before the Summer School) and Saturday 16th (after the Summer School) for people that have early arrivals or late departures. These activities are not include on the price.

Due to the workshops (maximum 30 participants per workshop) Summer School can have a maximum of 60 participants because this means that each workshop is repeated twice.

This Summer School is done in Association with IAU and NASE.

Registration

Registration should be made using the form at the following link

http://goo.gl/forms/Hq3ttl1Du6

After making your registration the participation fee must transferred to the bank account with the following data

Holder EAAE
Bank Kreissparkasse München Starnberg BLZ 702 501 50
Account Number 10815850
IBAN DE21 7025 0150 0010 8158 50
Swift / BIC BYLADEM1KMS

Your registration will only be complete when your fee is payed.

Important:

  • Fee before the 15th of May - 125 euros.
  • Fee from 15th of May to the 1st of July registration- 150 euros.
  • Fee after the 1st of July - 200 euros.

Read the full program here.

Accomodation

You can find accomodation at local hotels/hostels at the following prices for the venue:

Hotel Loulé Jardim*** (includes breakfast)

  • Single room - 54.00€/night
  • Double room - 72.00€/night
  • Triple room - 94.50€/night

HotelStar* (includes breakfast)

  • Single room - 43.00€/night
  • Double room - 55.00€/night

Guesthouse Dom Fernando (includes breakfast)

  • Single room - 40.00€/night
  • Double room - 52.50€/night
  • Triple room - 62.50€/night
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5
Feb 16

Major E-ELT Milestone

Source: ESO Announcement ann 16007

ann16007aArtist’s impression of the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT).
Image credits: ESO/L. Calçada.

At an extraordinary meeting in Garching bei München, Germany on 3 February 2016, ESO’s Finance Committee authorised ESO to enter into final discussions with the winning bidder of the tender process for the design, manufacture, transport, construction, on-site assembly and verification of the Dome and Main Structure of the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT).

The discussion between ESO and the ACe Consortium, consisting of Astaldi, Cimolai and the nominated sub-contractorEIE Group will start soon, with the aim of contract signature in May 2016.

This major milestone for the project is the culmination of the extensive and intense work of many people. This contract will be the largest ever approved by ESO and the largest ever placed for a ground-based telescope.

When the contract is signed, ESO will issue a press release with more details, along with extensive information about the design of the dome and telescope structure. No further information about the contract will be available before then. (read more)

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4
Feb 16

The Frigid Flying Saucer

Source: ESO Science Release eso1604


The Flying Saucer protoplanetary disc around 2MASS J16281370-2431391.
Image credits: Digitized Sky Survey 2/NASA/ESA

Astronomers have used the ALMA and IRAM telescopes to make the first direct measurement of the temperature of the large dust grains in the outer parts of a planet-forming disc around a young star. By applying a novel technique to observations of an object nicknamed the Flying Saucer they find that the grains are much colder than expected: −266 degrees Celsius. This surprising result suggests that models of these discs may need to be revised.(learn more)

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2
Feb 16

Pictor A: Blast from Black Hole in a Galaxy Far, Far Away

Source: Chandra

pictora_annotated_525Jets at Pictor A
Image credits: X-ray: NASA/CXC/Univ of Hertfordshire/M.Hardcastle et al., Radio: CSIRO/ATNF/ATCA

The Star Wars franchise has featured the fictitious "Death Star," which can shoot powerful beams of radiation across space. The Universe, however, produces phenomena that often surpass what science fiction can conjure.

The Pictor A galaxy is one such impressive object. This galaxy, located nearly 500 million light years from Earth, contains a supermassive black hole at its center. A huge amount of gravitational energy is released as material swirls towards the event horizon, the point of no return for infalling material. This energy produces an enormous beam, or jet, of particles traveling at nearly the speed of light into intergalactic space. (read more)

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1
Feb 16

Catch a Star 2016 Contest Now Open

School students around the world are invited to take part in the 2016 Catch a Star astronomy writing contest.

To participate, students should submit a written report on an astronomical topic of their choice — for example, an astronomical object, phenomenon, observation, scientific problem or theory. Reports must be written in English and be no more than 5000 words in length. They may be undertaken by groups of up to three students, plus a group leader who is not a student.

Each submission must be emailed as a PDF file to astro.edu@gmail.com. The deadline for all entries is 30 November 2016.

The five winners will each receive a mounted image of a fascinating astronomical object, courtesy of ESO. In addition, each winner will also have the chance to carry out remote observations at the National Astronomical Observatory "Rozhen", Bulgaria, or to hold a video conference with a professional astronomer.

Catch a Star is organised jointly by the European Association for Astronomy Education (EAAE) and ESO. Its aim is to encourage creativity and independent work amongst students, and to strengthen and expand their astronomical knowledge and skills.

Find out more about the competition on the Catch a Star website.

 

Links

 

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