Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Astronomers to track migrating stars with ’genetic markers’

13.02.2006


Some people are born, live and die in the one village. Others cross the world to new homes. Stars do the same. Our Galaxy is a melting-pot of stars from different places.

A team of 55 astronomers from 10 countries is today [Friday 10 February] releasing data on 25 000 stars to the rest of the astronomical community — data that will help sort the travellers from the stay-at-homes, and unravel the history of the Galaxy.

“Some stars were formed in our Galaxy. Others were originally in small galaxies that have been swallowed by ours. By measuring their chemistry, and tracing their speeds and directions, we can learn which stars came from where,” said Dr Quentin Parker of Macquarie University and the Anglo-Australian Observatory, and head of the RAVE Data Management Team.



“It’s like tracing how people have migrated all over the world, using genetic markers.”

The research program, called RAVE (Radial Velocity Experiment) has collected the chemical compositions and velocities (speeds) of about 90 000 stars to date — the 25 000 being released today and other 65 000 still being rigorously checked.

Even these first 25 000 measurements are more than all the stellar velocities measured in the previous century.

Ultimately the astronomers plan to build a database of a million individual stars.

To do this over just a few years they need to measure lots of stars simultaneously. And for that they’ve turned to the Anglo-Australian Observatory’s 1.2-m UK Schmidt telescope at Siding Spring Observatory in central New South Wales, Australia.

“The Schmidt is a really wide-eyed telescope. It can see a patch of sky six degrees across — that’s like 12 full moons lined up in a row,” said Professor Fred Watson, RAVE Project Manager and Astronomer-in-Charge at the Anglo-Australian Telescope.

The telescope is coupled with the AAO’s ‘six-degree field’ (6dF) spectrograph, which analyses the stars’ light. The 6dF system can capture the spectra of up to 150 stars simultaneously. From the spectra the astronomers determine the stars’ velocities, chemical composition, temperature and gravitational strength.

The system can measure up to 700 stars a night.

The data release is being announced at the Local Group Cosmology meeting in Aspen, Colorado, by the leader of the RAVE collaboration, Professor Matthias Steinmetz of the Astrophysical Institute Potsdam in Germany.

Members of the RAVE team come from Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Slovenia, Switzerland, the UK and the USA.

| alfa
Further information:
http://www.aao.gov.au/press/rave_data.html

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Igniting a solar flare in the corona with lower-atmosphere kindling
29.03.2017 | New Jersey Institute of Technology

nachricht NASA spacecraft investigate clues in radiation belts
28.03.2017 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

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: A Challenging European Research Project to Develop New Tiny Microscopes

The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.

To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers shoot for success with simulations of laser pulse-material interactions

29.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Igniting a solar flare in the corona with lower-atmosphere kindling

29.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

As sea level rises, much of Honolulu and Waikiki vulnerable to groundwater inundation

29.03.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>