Massimo Marengo, an assistant professor of physics and astronomy, is using data from Spitzer’s infrared telescope to study big, cool-temperature stars and the dusty disks that forms around these and other stars as their planetary systems evolve. He is a co-author of a new paper that describes how tight double-star systems could be efficient “destroyers of worlds” because planet collisions may be common within the systems. The paper was published in the Aug. 19 issue of The Astrophysical Journal Letters.
Charles Kerton, as associate professor of physics and astronomy, is using Spitzer data to study star-forming regions of our Milky Way galaxy. He is co-author of a new paper that uses Spitzer images to identify regions within the inner Milky Way that are forming intermediate-mass stars. The paper was published in the August issue of The Astronomical Journal.
NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope launched Aug. 25, 2003, into an orbit of the sun. Its 33.5-inch diameter telescope and three scientific instruments are designed to detect infrared or heat radiation. To do that, the telescope assembly had to be cooled to within a few degrees of absolute zero (or -459 degrees Fahrenheit). The telescope ran out of liquid helium coolant last summer but is still able to collect data with its two shortest-wavelength detectors.
One of the telescope’s initial tasks was to survey the Milky Way’s dusty, star-filled center. The telescope, as part of an astronomy survey called GLIMPSE360, is now pointed toward outer regions of the galaxy and is beginning to send images of those remote areas. The survey is led by Barbara Whitney, a senior scientist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a senior research scientist at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo.
Iowa State’s Kerton and Marengo say the space telescope is an important part of their science.
“It lets me see objects that are obscured,” said Kerton, who helped plan the GLIMPSE360 survey. “It allows me to detect young, newly formed stars that wouldn’t be seen any other way. And it shows them at a resolution that helps us understand what we’re seeing.”
Where old surveys showed a single blob, Kerton said, the Spitzer images show a cluster of stars.
Marengo started working with the Spitzer experiment before it launched. When he was on the staff of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Mass., he was part of the instrument group that built and calibrated Spitzer’s hardware.
“Spitzer is really, really sensitive,” Marengo said. “The first time it was turned on – before it was even calibrated – a 10-second exposure provided the equivalent depth of an exposure that used to take 10 hours with the 10-meter Keck telescope, the largest on Earth.”
That, he said, is a big advantage when astronomers are trying to observe very cool, faint stars. And for his work, he said there are no ground telescopes that can match Spitzer’s capabilities.
And now that the Spitzer Space Telescope is pointed away from the better-known inner galaxy, Kerton and Marengo said it will help astronomers understand unexplored parts of our galaxy through the end of the GLIMPSE360 survey early next year.
“Spitzer is getting farther and farther away,” Marengo said. “And it’s revealing more year by year.”Contacts:
Mike Krapfl | Newswise Science News
Study offers new theoretical approach to describing non-equilibrium phase transitions
27.04.2017 | DOE/Argonne National Laboratory
SwRI-led team discovers lull in Mars' giant impact history
26.04.2017 | Southwest Research Institute
More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.
Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...
Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.
"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...
The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...
The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...
Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...
28.04.2017 | Event News
20.04.2017 | Event News
18.04.2017 | Event News
28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering
28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences
28.04.2017 | Life Sciences