Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

First RAVE data release offers clues to Milky Way evolution

13.02.2006


An international team of astronomers released to the public the first data collected as part of the Radial Velocity Experiment, an ambitious spectroscopic survey aimed at measuring the speed, temperature, surface gravity and composition of up to a million stars passing near the sun.



The measurements, released at an astrophysics workshop at the Aspen Center for Physics in Colorado and available today online to other astronomers, includes examination of old "fossil" stars that were born when our Milky Way galaxy was in its infancy. Team members posit that such data may eventually provide evidence to back up theories that our galaxy has -- over time -- "cannibalized" other, smaller galaxies and is "digesting" them.

"Our research focuses on the oldest stars, and probes the earliest phases of the evolution of our home galaxy, the Milky Way," said Rosemary Wyse, a professor in the Henry A. Rowland Department of Physics and Astronomy in Johns Hopkins’ Krieger School of Arts and Sciences and a member of the RAVE team. "The unprecedented sample available with RAVE will allow me -- and now, with the release of this data, others -- to test ideas of our origins laid out by various cosmological theories."


The team also includes members from the United States, Germany, Australia, Canada, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Slovenia, Italy, Switzerland and France.

The survey has been made possible by the unique capabilities of the "six-degree field" multi-object spectrograph on the 1.2-meter UK Schmidt Telescope of the Anglo-Australian Observatory, located at Siding Spring Observatory in New South Wales, Australia. This instrument is capable of obtaining spectroscopic information for as many as 150 stars at once, from an area of the sky equal to more than 150 times the area covered by the full moon.

"The data we are making public today is twice the sample size of any previous survey, and has extremely high quality," Wyse said. "Other astronomers can definitely use these data in their work. All they have to do is go to our Web site and download it."

The RAVE survey measures the velocities of stars along the line of sight, something that has previously been difficult to obtain for such large samples of stars. Data from RAVE’s first year of operation consists of information from some 25,000 stars, including measurement of their brightness, color and motion across the sky.

"This data set will provide a unique resource for all astronomers working in the field of galactic evolution and, with our public data release, the astronomical community can participate in our endeavor," says Tomaz Zwitter of the Ljubljana University in Slovenia and project scientist of the RAVE survey. "This first sample by itself is already two times the size of the previous largest survey of stars near the sun."

Matthias Steinmetz, director of the Astrophysical Institute Potsdam, and leader of the RAVE collaboration, predicted that "the full RAVE survey will provide a vast resource of stellar motions and chemical abundances, allowing us to answer fundamental questions of the formation and evolution of our galaxy."

Lisa DeNike | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.jhu.edu
http://www.rave-survey.org

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Meteoritic stardust unlocks timing of supernova dust formation
19.01.2018 | Carnegie Institution for Science

nachricht Artificial agent designs quantum experiments
19.01.2018 | Universität Innsbruck

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: Artificial agent designs quantum experiments

On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.

We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

Im Focus: Room-temperature multiferroic thin films and their properties

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.

Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Let the good tubes roll

19.01.2018 | Materials Sciences

How cancer metastasis happens: Researchers reveal a key mechanism

19.01.2018 | Health and Medicine

Meteoritic stardust unlocks timing of supernova dust formation

19.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>