A Meeting of Minds - An Anne McCaffrey Discussion Forum  

Go Back   A Meeting of Minds - An Anne McCaffrey Discussion Forum > The Mezzanine > Exhibit Hall > Astronomy

Astronomy For the sharing of astronomical observations by our members with an interest, and pretty pictures for all to enjoy.

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old Aug 3 2011, 09:20 AM   #1
Hans
Master Archivist
 
Hans's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: The Netherlands
Gender: M
Fan of: Pern!
Default And Master Starsmith Beard helped with that!

We know yiou were involved with the VISTA project, Steven, but did you have a finger or hand in what is called "carefully tuned computer software", too?



Using data from the VISTA infrared survey telescope at ESO’s Paranal Observatory, an international team of astronomers has discovered 96 new open star clusters hidden by the dust in the Milky Way. These tiny and faint objects were invisible to previous surveys, but they could not escape the sensitive infrared detectors of the world’s largest survey telescope, which can peer through the dust. This is the first time so many faint and small clusters have been found at once.
This result comes just one year after the start of the VISTA Variables in the Via Lactea programme (VVV), one of the six public surveys on the new telescope. The results will appear in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics.

This discovery highlights the potential of VISTA and the VVV survey for finding star clusters, especially those hiding in dusty star-forming regions in the Milky Way’s disc. VVV goes much deeper than other surveys,” says Jura Borissova, lead author of the study.

The majority of stars with more than half of the mass of our Sun form in groups, called open clusters. These clusters are the building blocks of galaxies and vital for the formation and evolution of galaxies such as our own. However, stellar clusters form in very dusty regions that diffuse and absorb most of the visible light that the young stars emit, making them invisible to most sky surveys, but not to the 4.1-m infrared VISTA telescope.

In order to trace the youngest star cluster formation we concentrated our search towards known star-forming areas. In regions that looked empty in previous visible-light surveys, the sensitive VISTA infrared detectors uncovered many new objects,” adds Dante Minniti, lead scientist of the VVV survey.

By using carefully tuned computer software, the team was able to remove the foreground stars appearing in front of each cluster in order to count the genuine cluster members. Afterwards, they made visual inspections of the images to measure the cluster sizes, and for the more populous clusters they made other measurements such as distance, age, and the amount of reddening of their starlight caused by interstellar dust between them and us.

We found that most of the clusters are very small and only have about 10–20 stars. Compared to typical open clusters, these are very faint and compact objects — the dust in front of these clusters makes them appear 10 000 to 100 million times fainter in visible light. It’s no wonder they were hidden,” explains Radostin Kurtev, another member of the team.

Since antiquity only 2500 open clusters have been found in the Milky Way, but astronomers estimate there might be as many as 30 000 still hiding behind the dust and gas. While bright and large open clusters are easily spotted, this is the first time that so many faint and small clusters have been found at once.

Furthermore, these new 96 open clusters could be only the tip of the iceberg. “We’ve just started to use more sophisticated automatic software to search for less concentrated and older clusters. I am confident that many more are coming soon,” adds Borissova.
__________________
Hans, also known as Elrhan, Master Archivist

Visit The Pern Museum & Archives for all your Pern and Anne McCaffrey News and Resources!
The Pern Museum & Archives is the home of the Pern Encyclopedia and the Pern Bloodlines.
Hans is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 3 2011, 11:06 AM   #2
P'ter
Crafter

Craftmaster
 
P'ter's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Wolverhampton
Gender: M
Fan of: Favorite?
Now Reading: avidly
Default Re: Ans Master Starsmith Beard helped with that!

My mind's going: I read Paranal as Paranormal!
__________________
"Truth is stranger than fiction: fiction has to make sense." Leo Rosten.

"When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up."
C. S. Lewis

"I find television very educational. Whenever somebody switches it on I go in the other room and read a book." (attributed to Groucho Marx)

The Pedants are revolting! (against bad grammar)
P'ter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 3 2011, 11:29 AM   #3
Hans
Master Archivist
 
Hans's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: The Netherlands
Gender: M
Fan of: Pern!
Default Re: And Master Starsmith Beard helped with that!

Peter, I thought your mind started going a long time ago?
__________________
Hans, also known as Elrhan, Master Archivist

Visit The Pern Museum & Archives for all your Pern and Anne McCaffrey News and Resources!
The Pern Museum & Archives is the home of the Pern Encyclopedia and the Pern Bloodlines.
Hans is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 3 2011, 07:02 PM   #4
StevenB
Bitsmith/Starsmith,
Master Sneak
 
StevenB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Scotland
Gender: M
Fan of: Skies of Pern: what else?
Now Reading: My computer screen
Default Re: And Master Starsmith Beard helped with that!

Thanks Hans . It's great to see the VISTA telescope being used to do such great astronomy. The telescope has seen many things now, but we all know the very first object it looked at was Rukbat .

The VISTA camera operates using the software I wrote for it, but it sounds like the "carefully tuned computer software" described here is something the team added to the data processing pipeline to remove the foreground stars.

By the way, you can see a collection of images made by VISTA on the ESO images page. I'm really pleased to see VISTA featured so highly in the top 100 images. One of the images is at number 1!
__________________
Steven
StevenB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Aug 3 2011, 09:11 PM   #5
GinnyStar
Dolphineer
Craftmaster
 
GinnyStar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Wausau, WI USA, Central Standard Time
Gender: F
Fan of: Pern, other SF works
Now Reading: Dragonback Bargain
Default Re: And Master Starsmith Beard helped with that!

Quote:
Originally Posted by StevenB View Post
Thanks Hans . It's great to see the VISTA telescope being used to do such great astronomy. The telescope has seen many things now, but we all know the very first object it looked at was Rukbat . <snip> Great way to test it out

The VISTA camera operates using the software I wrote for it, but it sounds like the "carefully tuned computer software" described here is something the team added to the data processing pipeline to remove the foreground stars.

By the way, you can see a collection of images made by VISTA on the ESO images page. I'm really pleased to see VISTA featured so highly in the top 100 images. One of the images is at number 1!
I shall have add the link and look at later, I've got a early apointment to go to. Nice looking batch on images
__________________
Lover s s, s and friends
Lover of and beads,
http://www.change.org/profiles/GinnyStar
Dragoncave GinnyStar2
Jellied Dragons
Lair of Dragons
http://dragcave.net/user/GinnyStar2
Thanks! Others: None at this time
WIP http://archiveofourown.org/works/252259
http://www.daisy.org/learning-difficulties
GinnyStar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 29 2012, 08:06 AM   #6
StevenB
Bitsmith/Starsmith,
Master Sneak
 
StevenB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Scotland
Gender: M
Fan of: Skies of Pern: what else?
Now Reading: My computer screen
Default Re: And Master Starsmith Beard helped with that!

There have been a few more recent press releases involving the VISTA telescope:

http://www.roe.ac.uk/roe/support/pr/...sta/index.html

http://www.ph.ed.ac.uk/news/milky-wa...stars-27-03-12, which spawned a BBC interview

It's good to see the telescope getting such good results. Sometimes these projects take a while before they start hitting the news big time.
__________________
Steven
StevenB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 30 2012, 12:21 PM   #7
GinnyStar
Dolphineer
Craftmaster
 
GinnyStar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Wausau, WI USA, Central Standard Time
Gender: F
Fan of: Pern, other SF works
Now Reading: Dragonback Bargain
Default Re: And Master Starsmith Beard helped with that!

Quite neat, I like the image, I shall have to look at it closer later
__________________
Lover s s, s and friends
Lover of and beads,
http://www.change.org/profiles/GinnyStar
Dragoncave GinnyStar2
Jellied Dragons
Lair of Dragons
http://dragcave.net/user/GinnyStar2
Thanks! Others: None at this time
WIP http://archiveofourown.org/works/252259
http://www.daisy.org/learning-difficulties
GinnyStar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Mar 30 2012, 05:47 PM   #8
Hans
Master Archivist
 
Hans's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: The Netherlands
Gender: M
Fan of: Pern!
Default Re: And Master Starsmith Beard helped with that!

Thanks for posting the links, Steven!
__________________
Hans, also known as Elrhan, Master Archivist

Visit The Pern Museum & Archives for all your Pern and Anne McCaffrey News and Resources!
The Pern Museum & Archives is the home of the Pern Encyclopedia and the Pern Bloodlines.
Hans is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Byrt 3 P'ter Exhibit Hall 7 Feb 17 2010 07:16 AM
Fanfic: Flight (A Pern AU) D. M. Domini Exhibit Hall 9 Apr 25 2009 10:29 AM
Fanfic: The Skyboom (An Alternate Universe Pern Fic) D. M. Domini Exhibit Hall 4 Jun 2 2008 10:59 PM
Congratulations to Master Maelin Cheryl Café Archives 32 Sep 27 2007 10:55 AM
And here's to you Master Robinton edith Dragonriders of Pern 25 Dec 14 2006 02:25 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 05:27 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

A Meeting of Minds forum owned by Cheryl B. Miller.
All references to worlds and characters based on Anne McCaffrey’s fiction are copyright © Anne McCaffrey 1967-2008, all rights reserved, and used by permission of the author.