Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

German astronomers finish Europe’s largest solar telescope on Tenerife

15.05.2012
After ten years of development, the new German solar telescope GREGOR will start operating at the Spanish Observatorio del Teide of the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias on Tenerife. It is the largest solar telescope in Europe and number three worldwide.

It will provide the German and the international community of solar physicists with new and better instrumentation which will enable them to investigate our home star in unprecedented detail.


GREGOR telescope
Credits: AIP


GREGOR telescope building
Credits: KIS

Studying the Sun is a key to understand the physical processes on and in the majority of stars. Moreover, there is also a very practical aspect: the solar activity affects or even damages satellite systems and power networks in some regions on Earth. Knowing more about it may help to mitigate expensive damages.

The inauguration ceremony will take place on May 21, 2012 on Tenerife.

GREGOR is a solar telescope with an aperture of 1.5 meters and has been designed to carry out observations of the solar photosphere and chromosphere in the visible and infrared part of the spectrum. Due to its large diameter it will allow observations with higher resolution than was possible before. A novel “adaptive optics system” is able to compensate for atmospheric disturbances and provides a detailed image of the Sun, similar to what would be achieved if the telescope was in space. The resulting high spatial, spectral, and temporal resolution will allow scientists to follow physical processes on the Sun on spatial scales as small as 70 km.

During night time GREGOR can also observe bright stars. It will mainly be used for long term monitoring of stars in order to find out whether the distant suns show similar cyclic behaviour as our own.

GREGOR’s design is completely open in order to enable wind cooling of the telescope structure and the mirrors. The classical dome has therefore been replaced by a retractable structure which allows natural air flushing. This open structure places high demands on the mechanical stability of the telescope structure in order to eliminate wind-induced vibrations.

The primary mirror is a lightweight filigree structure made of a special material that does not deform under the heat of the bright Sun. Additionally, the mirror is actively cooled from the back in order to prevent the front side from heating up and thus producing internal turbulence.

From the telescope the light is guided into the laboratory rooms where it can be distributed to a number of analyzing instruments:

- An imaging setup produces images of the solar surface at various wavelengths. These images are expected to show an extraordinary richness of details.

- Studying the photosphere and chromosphere of the Sun, analyzing the interaction of the solar magnetic field and the highly dynamic plasma, will be possible thanks to the interferometric setup.

- A spectrograph will analyze the solar atmosphere by looking into the near infrared part of the spectrum. It will be able to produce detailed maps of the solar magnetic field.

GREGOR will be accessible to the international solar physics community and has the potential to provide a significant boost to solar physics worldwide.

The GREGOR solar telescope has been built by a German consortium under the leadership of the Kiepenheuer-Institut für Sonnenphysik in Freiburg with the Leibniz-Institut für Astrophysik Potsdam and the Max-Planck-Institut für Sonnensystemforschung in Katlenburg/Lindau as partners, and with contributions by the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, the Institut für Astrophysik Göttingen, and the Astronomical Institute of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic.

Science contact:
Freiburg/KIS: Dr. Reiner Hammer. Tel.: +49-761-3198-216,
E-mail: hammer@kis.uni-freiburg.de
Potsdam/AIP: apl. Prof. Dr. Carsten Denker, Tel.: +49-331-7499-297,
E-mail: cdenker@aip.de
Katlenburg-Lindau/MPS: Prof. Dr. Sami K. Solanki
Press contact:
Potsdam/AIP: Dr. Gabriele Schönherr/ Kerstin Mork, Tel.: +49-331-7499-469,
E-mail: presse@aip.de
Katlenburg-Lindau/MPS: Birgit Krummheuer (presseinfo@mps.mpg.de),
Tel.: +49-5556-979-462
Images of the inaugration (by May 21)
http://www.kis.uni-freiburg.de/index.php?id=788&L=0
Weitere Informationen:
http://gregor.kis.uni-freiburg.de/ GREGOR Telescope
http://www.kis.uni-freiburg.de Kiepenheuer-Institut für Sonnenphysik Freiburg
http://www.aip.de Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam (AIP)
http://www.mps.mpg.de/de/aktuelles/ Max-Planck-Institut für Sonnensystemforschung Katlenburg-Lindau (MPS)
http://www.iac.es/eno.php?op1=3&lang=en Observatorio del Teide
http://www.kis.uni-freiburg.de/index.php?id=168 Telescope images

Gabriele Schönherr | idw
Further information:
http://www.aip.de

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Climate cycles may explain how running water carved Mars' surface features
02.12.2016 | Penn State

nachricht What do Netflix, Google and planetary systems have in common?
02.12.2016 | University of Toronto

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

Im Focus: Fraunhofer ISE Develops Highly Compact, High Frequency DC/DC Converter for Aviation

The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

UTSA study describes new minimally invasive device to treat cancer and other illnesses

02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering

Plasma-zapping process could yield trans fat-free soybean oil product

02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

What do Netflix, Google and planetary systems have in common?

02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>