Science & Reason on Facebook: http://tinyurl.com/ScienceReason ESOcast 16: E-ELT Site Chosen. On 26 April 2010, the ESO Council selected Cerro Armazones as the site for the planned 42-metre European Extremely Large Telescope. Cerro Armazones is an isolated mountain at 3060 metres altitude in the central part of Chile's Atacama Desert, some 130 kilometres south of the town of Antofagasta and about 20 kilometres away from Cerro Paranal, home of ESOs Very Large Telescope. --- Please subscribe to Science & Reason: • http://www.youtube.com/Best0fScience • http://www.youtube.com/ScienceMagazine • http://www.youtube.com/ScienceTV • http://www.youtube.com/FFreeThinker --- "This is an important milestone that allows us to finalise the baseline design of this very ambitious project, which will vastly advance astronomical knowledge," says Tim de Zeeuw, ESOs Director General. "I thank the site selection team for the tremendous work they have done over the past few years." ESOs next step is to build a European extremely large optical/infrared telescope (E-ELT) with a primary mirror 42 metres in diameter. The E-ELT will be "the worlds biggest eye on the sky" — the only such telescope in the world. ESO is drawing up detailed construction plans together with the community. The E-ELT will address many of the most pressing unsolved questions in astronomy, and may, eventually, revolutionise our perception of the Universe, much as Galileo's telescope did 400 years ago. The final go-ahead for construction is expected at the end of 2010, with the start of operations planned for 2018. The decision on the E-ELT site was taken by the ESO Council, which is the governing body of the Organisation composed of representatives of ESOs fourteen Member States, and is based on an extensive comparative meteorological investigation, which lasted several years. The majority of the data collected during the site selection campaigns will be made public in the course of the year 2010. http://www.eso.org/public/news/eso1018/ .
http://www.facebook.com/ScienceReason ... Science@ESA (Episode 4): Following The Redshift (Part 2) - Hubble's Successor: The James Webb Space Telescope. In this fourth episode of the Science@ESA vodcast series Rebecca Barnes will identify some of the key discoveries achieved with the famous Hubble Space Telescope, look at the concept of redshift, and meet a new telescope that will be used to uncover the early Universe. --- Please SUBSCRIBE to Science & Reason: • http://www.youtube.com/Best0fScience • http://www.youtube.com/ScienceTV • http://www.youtube.com/FFreeThinker --- Named in 2002 in honour of NASA's administrator during the Apollo programme, the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) mission is a collaborative project between the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the European Space Agency and the Canadian Space Agency. JWST will address many of the outstanding issues of modern astronomy related to the 'Early Universe' and is expected to yield scientific breakthroughs as did its predecessor, the Hubble Space Telescope. JWST will be a general-purpose observatory with a suite of astronomical infrared-sensitive instruments. Compared to existing or planned observatories, JWST will have the unique advantage of combining superb image quality throughout a wide wavelength range, a wide field of view and unparalleled photon sensitivity due to its 6.5-metre diameter telescope primary mirror. http://sci.esa.int/science-e/www/area/index.cfm?fareaid=29 --- The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is a planned infrared space observatory, the partial successor to the aging Hubble Space Telescope. The JWST will not be a complete successor, because it will not be sensitive to all of the light wavelengths that Hubble can see. The main scientific goal is to observe the most distant objects in the universe, those beyond the reach of either ground based instruments or the Hubble. The JWST project is a NASA-led international collaboration with contributors in fifteen nations, the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA). Originally called the Next Generation Space Telescope (NGST), it was renamed in 2002 after NASA's second administrator, James E. Webb (1906-1992). Webb had headed NASA from the beginning of the Kennedy administration through the Johnson administration (1961-68), thus overseeing all the manned launches in the Mercury through Gemini programs, until just before the first manned Apollo flight. Current plans call for the telescope to be launched on an Ariane 5 rocket in June 2014, on a five-year mission (10 year goal). The JWST will reside in solar orbit near the Sun-Earth L2 point, which is on a line passing from the Sun to the Earth, but about 1.5 million km farther away from the Sun than is the Earth. This position, which moves around the Sun in exact orbital synchrony with the Earth, will allow JWST to shield itself from infrared from both Sun and Earth, by using a single radiation shield positioned between the telescope and the Sun-Earth direction. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Webb_Space_Telescope .
Our astronomers have detected a stellar-mass black hole in another galaxy, much further away than any other previously known. With a mass above fifteen times that of the sun, this is the second most massive black hole of this type ever discovered. This animation shows how the stellar black hole NGC 300 X-1 might look. Note: there is no audio in this video. Full story at: http://www.shef.ac.uk/mediacentre/2010/1481.html Department of Physics and Astronomy: http://www.sheffield.ac.uk/physics/ Credit: ESO/Digitized Sky Survey 2/P. Crowther/L. Calçada.
~credits video: http://youtube.com/ESOobservatory Astronomers using ESO instruments have discovered a remarkable extrasolar planetary system that has some striking similarities to our own Solar System. At least five planets are orbiting the Sun-like star HD 10180, and the regular pattern of their orbits is similar to that observed for our neighbouring planets. One of the new extrasolar worlds could be only 1.4 times the mass of the Earth, making it the least massive exoplanet ever found. This video podcast explains how these faraway planets were detected and exactly what we know about them. Astronomers using ESO's world-leading HARPS instrument have discovered a planetary system containing at least five planets, orbiting the Sun-like star HD 10180. The researchers also believe the system has two other planets, one of which would have the lowest mass ever found, making the system similar to our own Solar System in terms of the number of planets. Furthermore, the scientists find that the location of the planets follows a regular pattern, as also seen in our own Solar System The team of astronomers used the HARPS spectrograph, attached to ESO's 3.6-metre telescope at La Silla, Chile. HARPS is an instrument with unrivalled stability and great precision, and the world's most successful exoplanet hunter. The astronomers, led by Christophe Lovis from the Geneva Observatory, studied the Sun-like star HD 10180 over a period of six years! This star is located 127 light-years away in the southern constellation Hydrus ("the Male Water Snake"). Thanks to the 190 individual HARPS measurements, the astronomers detected the wobbles of the star caused by five or more planets. The five strongest signals correspond to planets with Neptune-like masses — between 13 and 25 Earth masses — which orbit the star in between 6 to 600 days. The astronomers have also strong reason to believe that two other planets are present. One would be a Saturn-like planet orbiting in 2200 days. The other, having a mass of only about 1.4 times that of the Earth would be the least massive exoplanet ever discovered. This suspected planet is very close to its host star and so it is likely to be very hot. One 'year' on this planet lasts only 1.18 Earth-days! The newly discovered Solar System is unique in several respects. First of all, with at least five Neptune-like planets lying within a distance equivalent to the orbit of Mars, this system is more populated than our own Solar System in its inner region, and has many more massive planets there. Furthermore, the system probably has no Jupiter-like gas giant. In addition, all the planets seem to have almost circular orbits. Dynamical studies of the new system reveal complex interactions between planets and give us insights into its long-term evolution. Using the new discovery as well as data for other planetary systems, the astronomers discovered that the locations of the planets seem to follow a regular pattern — similar to the "Titius-Bode" law that exists in our Solar System. This could be a general signature of how planetary systems form. Another important result is that all very massive planetary systems are found around massive and metal-rich stars, while the four lowest-mass systems are found around lower-mass and metal-poor stars. These properties confirm current theoretical models. There is no doubt that this remarkable discovery highlights the fact that we are now entering a new era in exoplanet science: the study of complex planetary systems and not just of individual planets!! And with HARPS, European astronomers will be a driving force behind this transition. --- ESOcast is produced by ESO, the European Southern Observatory. ESO, the European Southern Observatory, is the pre-eminent intergovernmental science and technology organisation in astronomy designing, constructing and operating the world's most advanced ground-based telescopes. • http://eso.org
extrasolar exosolar exoplanet exoplanets exoplanetary system universe space ESO ESOcast planets astronomy European Southern Observatory stars Dr cosmos cosmology mysteries anomaly anomalies Outer hunter HARPS ExomatrixTV EX0MATRlXTV JohnKuhles whynotnews.eu infopowerment exopolitics Life in the Universe
Astronomers using ESO's leading exoplanet hunter HARPS have today announced more than fifty newly discovered planets around other stars. Among these are many rocky planets not much heavier than the Earth. One of them in particular seems to orbit in the habitable zone around its star. This ESOcast we look at how astronomers discover these distant worlds and what the future may hold for finding rocky worlds like the Earth that may support life. Credits and download options are available on: http://www.eso.org/public/videos/eso1134a/