Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

From desktop to distant galaxy

02.09.2005


Science students at The University of Nottingham will be soon be able to explore distant stars in faraway galaxies by logging on to their PCs, following the release of the first colour images from a state-of-the-art giant telescope.



Students and staff in the Schools of Chemistry and Physics and Astronomy will be using the SALT (South African Large Telescope) to study how stars and galaxies form, to detect planets around other stars, and to learn about the chemicals in space that may form the basis of life. They plan to access the high-tech instrument through the internet.

SALT is the largest single telescope in the southern hemisphere, with a 91-segment hexagonal mirror array 11 metres across. Five years after construction began, the first colour images from space taken by the telescope’s new $600,000 digital camera SALTCAM, have now been released and astronomers have been amazed at their quality. The ’first light’ sample images were shot during the camera’s first trial period of operation.


The £11 million project has been funded by national research agencies and universities in South Africa, Germany, Poland, the USA, New Zealand and the UK. The University of Nottingham is one of six UK institutions that came together in 2000 to form the UK SALT Consortium (UKSC), which has invested more than $1 million. Nottingham is the administering institution for UKSC, led by Project Administrator Dr Trevor Farren, Business Development Officer in the School of Chemistry.

Peter Sarre, Professor of Chemistry and Molecular Astrophysics in the School of Chemistry, said: “To build a huge telescope of this kind is an enormous feat of engineering, and it’s been built to schedule and to budget. We are thrilled with the first images and can’t wait for the commissioning to be completed and for our research projects to begin.”

Arfon Smith, one of Professor Sarre’s postgraduate students, has recently returned from the telescope’s base at Sutherland near Cape Town, where he worked on a short project developing part of the computing software.

Arfon said: “When I first came to Nottingham I had no idea I’d get to be involved with such an exciting project as SALT. A telescope of this size will allow me to look back to the early universe for organic molecules — the building blocks of life.”

Professor Gordon Bromage, Chairman of the UK SALT Consortium, said: “SALT is truly representative of this century. Not only is it a sophisticated computer-controlled precision instrument, but it is also an internet-age telescope. It will no longer be necessary for astronomers to travel to South Africa to use it. Instead, they will submit their observing requests and receive the resulting data over the internet.

“In many respects this makes SALT far more like a space-based telescope like the Hubble Space Telescope.”

The Vice-Chancellor of The University of Nottingham Sir Colin Campbell attended the ground-breaking ceremony at the start of the project five years ago and Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research Professor Don Grierson will represent the University at a ceremony on November 10, when South African president Thabo Mbeki will officially open SALT.

Emma Thorne | alfa
Further information:
http://www.nottingham.ac.uk
http://www.salt.ac.za

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht First Juno science results supported by University of Leicester's Jupiter 'forecast'
26.05.2017 | University of Leicester

nachricht Measured for the first time: Direction of light waves changed by quantum effect
24.05.2017 | Vienna University of Technology

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: Can the immune system be boosted against Staphylococcus aureus by delivery of messenger RNA?

Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.

Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

How herpesviruses win the footrace against the immune system

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

Water forms 'spine of hydration' around DNA, group finds

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

First Juno science results supported by University of Leicester's Jupiter 'forecast'

26.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>