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The Astronomersfirst
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06:57
06:57
06:57

VST - The New VLT Survey Telescope

http://www.facebook.com/ScienceReason ... ESOcast 30: First Images from the VLT Survey Telescope - VST and OmegaCAM start work. This ESOcast introduces the VLT Survey Telescope (VST), the latest addition to ESO's Paranal Observatory. This new telescope has just made its first release of impressive images of the southern sky. The VST is a state-of-the-art 2.6-metre telescope, with the huge 268-megapixel camera OmegaCAM at its heart. It is designed to map the sky both quickly and with very fine image quality. It is a visible-light telescope that perfectly complements ESO's VISTA infrared survey telescope. New images of the Omega Nebula and the globular cluster Omega Centauri demonstrate the VST's power. --- Please subscribe to Science & Reason: • http://www.youtube.com/Best0fScience • http://www.youtube.com/ScienceTV • http://www.youtube.com/FFreeThinker --- A new telescope for mapping the skies is about to start work at ESO's Paranal Observatory in Chile. The VLT Survey Telescope, or VST, with the 268 megapixel OmegaCAM camera at its heart, is the latest addition to the observatory. It is the largest telescope in the world designed to survey the sky in visible light. The special thing about the VST is that it has a very wide field of view — about twice as broad as the full Moon. It's dedicated to mapping the skies both very quickly and with very high image quality. The VST is housed in an enclosure right next to the VLT Unit Telescopes on the summit of Cerro Paranal under the pristine skies of one of the best observing sites on the planet. Over the next few years the VST and its huge camera OmegaCAM will be busy making some very detailed maps of the southern skies and in this episode you'll get to see the very first released images from this brand new telescope. The VST is a visible light telescope that perfectly complements the VISTA infrared survey telescope. The unique combination of the VST and VISTA will allow many interesting objects to be identified that can then be studied in detail with the powerful telescopes of the VLT. The VST is a state-of-the-art 2.6-metre telescope equipped with an active optics system that keeps the two mirrors of the telescope perfectly aligned at all times in order to ensure the highest possible image quality. Now, at its core, behind huge lenses, lies the OmegaCAM camera which was built around no less than 32 CCD detectors which, together, create a whopping 268 megapixel image. The camera also contains some extra CCDs that help with the telescope guiding and the active optics system, as well as some absolutely enormous colour filters. Both the telescope and the camera were designed to take full advantage of the excellent observing conditions on Paranal. The VST will make three public surveys over the next five years. One survey, called KIDS, will image several regions of the sky away from the Milky Way. It will help astronomers understand more about dark matter, dark energy and galaxy evolution, and find many new galaxy clusters and high-redshift quasars. The VST ATLAS survey will cover a larger area of sky and will focus on determining the properties of dark energy. Like KIDS, it will also hunt for far-away galaxies and quasars. The third survey, VPHAS+, will image the central plane of the Milky Way to map the structure of the Galactic disc and its star-formation history. It will yield a catalogue of around 500 million objects and will discover many new examples of unusual stars at all stages of their evolution. The VST has just made its first release of images: The spectacular Omega Nebula, also known as Swan Nebula, is a region of gas, dust and hot young stars that lies in the heart of the Milky Way. The VST field of view is so large that the entire nebula, including its fainter outer parts, is captured — and retains its superb sharpness cross the entire field. Omega Centauri is the largest globular cluster in the sky. But the VST, with its very wide field of view, has no problem in capturing the whole object in a single image, including its very faint outer regions. This image contains about 300 000 stars and it highlights the impressive sharpness of the VST's images. The combination of large field of view, excellent image quality, and the very efficient operations scheme of the VST will produce an enormous wealth of information that will advance a number of different fields of astrophysics. Many astronomers — including myself, actually — are really looking forward to the first results from the VST surveys. Credit: ESO .

Channels: Observational astronomy 

Added: 1853 days ago by Ordonomundi

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07:42
07:42
07:42

Which telescope to buy?

Below are some of the telescopes I've used in recent years, ranging from ~30 -3000 dollars. (shortened for YTs character limits) Price $35 76mm reflector dobsonian mounted (Celestron Firstscope) Weight ~ 1kg (a couple of pounds) Setup time ~0 East of Transport 1 Short focal length- wide angle field of view. Finder not really necessary. Ultra cheap, good views of Moon, Jupiter Venus, rings of Saturn, bright, wide separation double stars, and brighter deep sky objects such as M13. I was not particularly impressed with the optics on mine, but for 35 bucks, you cant complain too much! Price $200 90mm Maksutov-Cassegrain, dobsonian mount (Orion Apex) Weight ~ 1kg (a couple of pounds) Setup time ~0 East of Transport 1 Longer focal length means smaller field of view for comparable eye pieces. I was impressed with this scope on the planets. It vastly outperforms the Firstscope on optics. The scope comes off the dobsonian mount on a quick release and can be mounted as a spotter scope (the main reason I got it). The dobsonian mount here (one arm) is exactly the same as the mount for the Firstscope. These are sort of the poor mans refractor. Great views of Moon and all the bright planets. Picked out Titan (brightest moon of saturn) with ease. I got this telescope for two reasons, firstly for outreach, in that you can just grab it and point it in seconds, zero setup time. Secondly I can mount it piggyback on the CPC11 (see below) and use it as a spotting/ guide scope. The Maksutov has the 'nice' feature that its a closed tube(helps keep dust out). The Mak. will have the edge on planets/ guidescope etc due to its longer focal length, but the Newtonian will be more all around bang for the buck. Price $600 10in Newtonian reflector, dobsonian mount (Celestron Starhopper) Weight ~ 15kg (~30lbs) Setup time ~10 mins to carry parts outside, 10 mins + cool down. East of Transport: Telescope is about the size of a small child (although not that heavy). It is big and awkward. Difficult to handle for the small. Almost the biggest telescope you can fit in a compact car (the reason I got it). The long open optical train requires periodic alignment (columniation) if it is frequently transported. Powerful deep-sky scope. Near zero photographic potential, but fantastic views of nebula, globular clusters and galaxies. Great scope for planets too. At this size the moon is getting too bright to look at for any length of time. Like most big newtonians, short focal ratio, which pragmatically means you get quite wide angle views. Again well suited to deep sky observing. Price $1500 90mm (3.5in) Stellarvue apochromat, -no mount, tube only (Apo Triplet) Weight ~ 4kg (~8lbs) East of Transport: The telescope is small and easy to transport. Comes with a bag that will go on an airplane as hand baggage. Worth the price for the aperture? Probably not unless you are in a fairly specific niche. This makes a great wide angle lenses for guided photography. As a guidescope its focal length is kind of short. That basically means the field of view for a given eye piece is wide. You need a very short focal length eye piece to get good magnification. I found myself using a 4mm eyepiece to look at planets, and even at that the image was small. As a finder scope though, that wide field is great. The other thing that these scope gives is absolutely beautiful stellar images. The stars just fall into incredible pin pricks. Beautiful contrasty flat views. I found the use of the short focal length eyepieces annoying for planetary use. Lacks the light gathering for versatility as a deep sky instrument. I only really ever used this as a piggybacker for the CPC11 below. Price $2800 11in Schmidt Cassegrain, driven goto alt-az fork mount (CPC11) Weight ~ 30kg (~65lbs) and thats just the top section. Tripods another 15 kg I think. Setup time ~30 mins to carry parts outside and align, 20 mins + cool down. East of Transport: It will fit in a compact car. To carry the telescope any distance really isnt an option unless you are strong. The ergonomic design is very good though. I always found mounting up the scope a bit of a bitch. Aligning it is relatively easy as the scope mount has a GPS in it that means you dont have to plug in these numbers and the time. Alignment is quite easy. I found the scope slips relatively easily unless the clutches are done up very tight. The scope can carry quite a burden (although of course when the scope weights this much extra, it does need to be well balanced). At this level it is an excellent photographic platform. It yields amazing views of almost everything. It's photographic potential is probably as good as you can get from a portable platform. This is the instrument I used to do the full rotation of Jupiter, although there the primary limitation was the stability of the sky.

Channels: Observational astronomy 

Added: 1853 days ago by Ordonomundi

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03:46
03:46
03:46

Learn the planets kids song fun space science facts and the solar system funbrain lesson

basic space science education of sun and the planets mercury venus earth jupiter mars saturn uranus neptune and the planetoid pluto. Kids learning fun planetary facts along with the planet names. brain tofu braintofu "planets songs" "elementary songs" "early learner" "early learning" "learning to read" "first words" "kids songs" "baby songs" "baby shows" "learn to read" "young reader" "nursery rhymes" "childrens songs" "learn to english" "abc song" "abc songs" "alphabet letters" "learning the abcs" "kindergarten songs" preschool songs "funbrain" "learning reading" "learning and reading" "learning to read and write" "Kids learning station" "kids learning center" "smart kid" abcs "alphabet zoo" "animal alphabet" "abc pictures" "abc 123" "abc s" "abc letters" "starfall" "baby can learn" "baby can" "baby words" "kids can learn" "baby song" "babies songs" "children songs" "the baby song" "first word" "first grade words" "my first words" "baby first words" "firstword" "first words baby" "baby first word" write books pictures teach sesame street words "how to videos for kids" "fun kids videos" "youtube for kids" "fun videos for kids" "youtube kids" popular kids websites" "videos for kids" "kids youtube videos" "kids videos"

Channels: Planetary science 

Added: 1909 days ago by deek

Views: 718 | Comments: 0

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01:30
01:30
01:30

NASA's Kepler Discovery Confirms First Planet Orbiting Two Stars

September 15, 2011 (CERESTV.com) PASADENA, Calif. -- The existence of a world with a double sunset, as portrayed in the film Star Wars more than 30 years ago, is now scientific fact. NASA's Kepler mission has made the first unambiguous detection of a circumbinary planet -- a planet orbiting two stars -- 200 light-years from Earth. Unlike Star Wars' Tatooine, the planet is cold, gaseous and not thought to harbor life, but its discovery demonstrates the diversity of planets in our galaxy. Previous research has hinted at the existence of circumbinary planets, but clear confirmation proved elusive. Kepler detected such a planet, known as Kepler-16b, by observing transits, where the brightness of a parent star dims from the planet crossing in front of it. "This discovery confirms a new class of planetary systems that could harbor life," Kepler Principal Investigator William Borucki, of NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif., said. "Given that most stars in our galaxy are part of a binary system, this means the opportunities for life are much broader than if planets form only around single stars. This milestone discovery confirms a theory that scientists have had for decades but could not prove until now." A research team led by Laurance Doyle of the SETI Institute in Mountain View, Calif., used data from the Kepler space telescope, which measures dips in the brightness of more than 150,000 stars, to search for transiting planets. Kepler is the first NASA mission capable of finding Earth-size planets in or near the "habitable zone," the region in a planetary system where liquid water can exist on the surface of the orbiting planet. Scientists detected the new planet in the Kepler-16 system, a pair of orbiting stars that eclipse each other from our vantage point on Earth. When the smaller star partially blocks the larger star, a primary eclipse occurs, and a secondary eclipse occurs when the smaller star is occulted, or completely blocked, by the larger star. Astronomers further observed that the brightness of the system dipped even when the stars were not eclipsing one another, hinting at a third body. The additional dimming in brightness events, called the tertiary and quaternary eclipses, reappeared at irregular intervals of time, indicating the stars were in different positions in their orbit each time the third body passed. This showed the third body was circling, not just one, but both stars, in a wide circumbinary orbit. The gravitational tug on the stars, measured by changes in their eclipse times, was a good indicator of the mass of the third body. Only a very slight gravitational pull was detected, one that only could be caused by a small mass. The findings are described in a new study published Friday, Sept. 16, in the journal Science. "Most of what we know about the sizes of stars comes from such eclipsing binary systems, and most of what we know about the size of planets comes from transits," said Doyle, who also is the lead author and a Kepler participating scientist. "Kepler-16 combines the best of both worlds, with stellar eclipses and planetary transits in one system." This discovery confirms that Kepler-16b is an inhospitable, cold world about the size of Saturn and thought to be made up of about half rock and half gas. The parent stars are smaller than our sun. One is 69 percent the mass of the sun and the other only 20 percent. Kepler-16b orbits around both stars every 229 days, similar to Venus' 225-day orbit, but lies outside the system's habitable zone, where liquid water could exist on the surface, because the stars are cooler than our sun. "Working in film, we often are tasked with creating something never before seen," said visual effects supervisor John Knoll of Industrial Light & Magic, a division of Lucasfilm Ltd., in San Francisco. "However, more often than not, scientific discoveries prove to be more spectacular than anything we dare imagine. There is no doubt these discoveries influence and inspire storytellers. Their very existence serves as cause to dream bigger and open our minds to new possibilities beyond what we think we 'know.'" For more information about the Kepler mission and to view the digital press kit, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/kepler

Channels: Planetary science 

Added: 1909 days ago by deek

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02:21
02:21
02:21

NASA | SDO Year One

April 21, 2011 marks the one-year anniversary of the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) First Light press conference, where NASA revealed the first images taken by the spacecraft. In the last year, the sun has gone from its quietest period in years to the activity marking the beginning of solar cycle 24. SDO has captured every moment with a level of detail never-before possible. The mission has returned unprecedented images of solar flares, eruptions of prominences, and the early stages of coronal mass ejections (CMEs). In this video are some of the most beautiful, interesting, and mesmerizing events seen by SDO during its first year. In the order they appear in the video the events are: 1. Prominence Eruption from AIA in 304 Angstroms on March 30, 2010 2. Cusp Flow from AIA in 171 Angstroms on February 14, 2011 3. Prominence Eruption from AIA in 304 Angstroms on February 25, 2011 4. Cusp Flow from AIA in 304 Angstroms on February 14, 2011 5. Merging Sunspots from HMI in Continuum on October 24-28, 2010 6. Prominence Eruption and active region from AIA in 304 Angstroms on April 30, 2010 7. Solar activity and plasma loops from AIA in 171 Angstroms on March 4-8, 2011 8. Flowing plasma from AIA in 304 Angstroms on April 19, 2010 9. Active regions from HMI in Magnetogram on March 10, 2011 10. Filament eruption from AIA in 304 Angstroms on December 6, 2010 11. CME start from AIA in 211 Angstroms on March 8, 2011 12. X2 flare from AIA in 304 Angstroms on February 15, 2011 Be sure to vote on your favorite SDO clip here: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/sdo/multimedia/VC-1st-light.html Voting goes from April 21 until May 5. This video is public domain and can be downloaded at: http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/goto?10748 Like our videos? Subscribe to NASA's Goddard Shorts HD podcast: http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/vis/iTunes/f0004_index.html Or find NASA Goddard Space Flight Center on facebook: http://www.facebook.com/NASA.GSFC Or find us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/NASAGoddard

Channels: Solar astronomy 

Added: 1909 days ago by deek

Views: 633 | Comments: 0

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01:25
01:25
01:25

First Images of Alien Planet

Earth seems to have its first fuzzy photos of four alien planets outside our solar system. Three of them orbit the same distant star, Fomalhaut. The fourth circles a different star.

Channels: Extragalactic astronomy  Observational astronomy  Major questions in astronomy 

Added: 3138 days ago by Astro

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