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

nachricht Physicists discover mechanism behind granular capillary effect
24.05.2017 | University of Cologne

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 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...

Im Focus: Using graphene to create quantum bits

In the race to produce a quantum computer, a number of projects are seeking a way to create quantum bits -- or qubits -- that are stable, meaning they are not much affected by changes in their environment. This normally needs highly nonlinear non-dissipative elements capable of functioning at very low temperatures.

In pursuit of this goal, researchers at EPFL's Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements LPQM (STI/SB), have investigated a nonlinear graphene-based...

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

Physicists discover mechanism behind granular capillary effect

24.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Measured for the first time: Direction of light waves changed by quantum effect

24.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

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

24.05.2017 | Event News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>