http://www.facebook.com/ScienceReason ... ESOcast 23: A telescope's wire to the world. Stretching 100 kilometres through Chile's harsh Atacama Desert, a newly inaugurated data cable is creating new opportunities at ESO's Paranal Observatory and the Observatorio Cerro Armazones. Connecting these facilities to the main Latin American scientific data backbone completes the last gap in the high-speed link between the observatories and Europe. --- Please SUBSCRIBE to Science & Reason: • http://www.youtube.com/Best0fScience • http://www.youtube.com/ScienceTV • http://www.youtube.com/FFreeThinker --- EVALSO: A New High-speed Data Link to Chilean Observatories This new cable is part of the EVALSO (Enabling Virtual Access to Latin American Southern Observatories) project, a European Commission FP7 co-funded programme co-ordinated by the University of Trieste that includes ESO, Observatorio Cerro Armazones (OCA, part of Ruhr-Universität Bochum), the Chilean academic network REUNA and other organisations. As well as the cable itself, the EVALSO project involves buying capacity on existing infrastructure to complete a high-bandwidth connection from the Paranal area to ESO's headquarters near Munich, Germany. Project co-ordinator Fernando Liello said: "This project has been an excellent collaboration between the consortium members. As well as giving a fast connection to the two observatories, it brings wider benefits to the academic communities both in Europe and Latin America." The sites of Paranal and Armazones are ideal for astronomical observation due to their high altitude, clear skies and remoteness from light pollution. But their location means they are far from any pre-existing communications infrastructure, which until now has left them dependent on a microwave link to send scientific data back to a base station near Antofagasta. Telescopes at ESO's Paranal observatory produce well over 100 gigabytes of data per night, equivalent to more than 20 DVDs, even after compressing the files. While the existing link is sufficient to carry the data from the current generation of instruments at the Very Large Telescope (VLT), it does not have the bandwidth to handle data from the VISTA telescope (Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy, see eso0949), or for the new generation of VLT instruments coming online in the next few years. This means that for much of the data coming from Paranal, the only practical way to send it to ESO Headquarters has been to save it onto hard drives and send these by airmail. This can mean a wait of days or even weeks before observations from VISTA are ready for analysis. Even with this careful rationing of the connection and sophisticated data management to use the connection as efficiently as possible, the link can get saturated at peak times. While this causes no major problems at present, it indicates that the link is reaching capacity. ESO Director General Tim de Zeeuw said: "ESO's observatory at Paranal is growing, with new telescopes and instruments coming online. Our world-class scientific observatories need state-of-the-art infrastructure." In the place of the existing connection, which has a limit of 16 megabit/s (similar to home ADSL broadband), EVALSO will provide a much faster 10 gigabit/s link — a speed fast enough to transfer an entire DVD movie in a matter of seconds. Mario Campolargo, Director, Emerging Technologies and Infrastructures at the European Commission, said: "It is strategically important that the community of astronomers of Europe gets the best access possible to the ESO observatories: this is one of the reasons why the European Union supports the deployment of regional e-infrastructures for science in Latin America and interlinks them with GÉANT and other EU e-infrastructures." The dramatic increase in bandwidth will allow increased use of Paranal's data from a distance, in real-time. It will allow easier monitoring of the VISTA telescope's performance, and quicker access to VLT data, increasing the responsiveness of quality control. And with the expanded bandwidth, new opportunities will open up, such as astronomers and technicians taking part in meetings via high-definition videoconferencing without having to travel to Chile. Moreover, looking forward, the new link will provide enough bandwidth to keep up with the ever-growing volumes of information from Paranal and Armazones in future years, as new and bandwidth-intensive instruments come into use. Immediate remote access to data at a distant location is not just about saving money and making the observatory's work more efficient. For unexpected and unpredictable events, such as gamma-ray bursts, there is often not enough time for astronomers to travel to observatories, and EVALSO will give experts a chance to work remotely on these events almost as if they were at the observatory. • http://www.eso.org .
telescopes eso paranal observatory very large telescope vlt vista observatorio cerro armazones evalso enabling virtual access to latin american southern observatories chile atacama desert data cable wire europe trieste oca ruhr university reuna geant headquarters munich germany collaboration astronomical observations light pollution scientific
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.
Lately, the International Space Station has been flying through geomagnetic storms, giving astronauts an close-up view of the aurora borealis just outside their windows. These videos were taken by the crew of Expedition 30 on board the International Space Station. First, get an introduction into the beauty of aurorae. 1st Segment: The sequence of shots was taken March 3, 2012 from 17:59:48 to 18:16:25 GMT, on a pass from eastern Kenya, near the Indian Ocean, to the South Indian Ocean, east of the Kerguelen Islands. This video begins as the ISS travels southeast from eastern Africa over the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean. The first land we see is that of the Mauritius and Reunion Islands east of Madagascar. The pass continues over the Indian Ocean, where there are heavy clouds blocking the view of the water. Finally, the Aurora Australis begins to appear, as well as a faded view of the Milky Way. 2nd Segment: The sequence of shots was taken March 4, 2012 from 17:19:17 to 17:27:10 GMT, on a pass over the South Indian Ocean. This video again focuses on the Aurora Australis as the ISS passes over the South Indian Ocean, from northeast of the Kerugelen Islands to south of Australia. The streaks of the aurora are very visible and active in this video, as the ISS passes right over the green lights. 3rd Segment: The sequence of shots was taken March 10, 2012 from 14:49:58 to 15:05:37 GMT, on a pass from the South Indian Ocean to southeast New Zealand. This video mainly focuses on the Aurora Australis over the Southern Hemisphere. As the ISS traveled southeast and then northeast, the crew captured the bands of the Aurora Australis as the Milky Way made an appearance in the star field. Credit: NASA ISS/JSC/Science@NASA
~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/