Tag: gas

New Telescope In Chile Unveils Stunning First Images

The first released VST image shows the spectacular star-forming region Messier 17, also known as the Omega Nebula or the Swan Nebula, as it has never been seen before. This vast region of gas, dust and hot young stars lies in the heart of the Milky Way in the constellation of Sagittarius (The Archer)

A new state-of-the-art telescope has snapped its first impressive images of the southern sky over the Paranal Observatory in Chile.

The VLT Survey Telescope (VST) is the latest addition to the European Southern Observatory’s network of telescopes at Paranal in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile.

The first image released from the VST shows the spectacular star-forming region Messier 17, also known as the Omega nebula or the Swan nebula, as it has never been seen before.

This nebula, full of gas, dust and hot young stars, lies in the heart of our Milky Way galaxy, in the constellation of Sagittarius.

The VST’s field of view is so large that is able to observe the entire nebula, including its fainter outer parts.

The second of the newly released images is a portrait of the star cluster Omega Centauri in unprecedented detail. Omega Centauri is the largest globular cluster in the sky and the VST’s view includes about 300,000 stars.

ESO’s new telescope

The VST is a 2.6-meter telescope with a 268-megapixel camera, called OmegaCAM, at its core. The visible-light telescope is designed to map the sky both quickly and with precise image quality.

The VST is a wide-field survey telescope with a field of view twice as broad as the full moon. It is the largest telescope in the world designed to exclusively survey the sky in visible light.

ESO officials oversee many telescopes based at three observing sites in Chile’s high Atacama Desert. In addition to the telescopes atop the summit of Cerro Paranal, the observatory has sites at La Silla and Chajnantor.

Mapping the cosmos

Over the next five years, the VST and its OmegaCAM will make three detailed surveys of the southern sky, and the data will be made public for astronomers around the world to analyze.

The KIDS survey will image several regions of the sky away from the Milky Way. The study aims to further astronomers’ understanding of dark matter, dark energy and galaxy evolution, and find many new galaxy clusters.

The VST ATLAS survey will cover a larger area of sky and focus on understanding dark energy and supporting more detailed studies using the VLT and other telescopes.

The third survey, VPHAS+, will image the central plane of the Milky Way to map the structure of the galactic disc and its star formation history.

VPHAS+ will yield a catalogue of around 500 million objects and is expected to discover many new examples of unusual stars at all stages of their evolution.

The VST project is a joint venture between ESO and the National Institute for Astrophysics (INAF) in Naples, Italy.

The Secret Blue Ice Cloud In Every Champagne Bottle

Like ice cream and revenge, champagne is best served cold, ideally between 42.8 and 53.6 degrees Fahrenheit.

But if you’re forced to drink it at 68 degrees Fahrenheit, just below room temperature, something fleeting but amazing will happen.

Scientists at the University of Reims, in France’s Champagne region, used a super-high-speed camera to observe a short-lived, blue “mini-cloud” escaping the tepid bottle—a cloud that hangs around for just two to three thousandths of a second.

That plume of cyan gas is colder than ice, and blue as the circumstances (lukewarm champagne). Researchers published their work in the journal Scientific Reports earlier this week.

This cloud was “totally unexpected,” coauthor Gerard Liger-Belair, an expert in bubbles and foam said.

Most people who have popped a bottle of cold champagne will be familiar with the wisps of white fog that cascade from the bottleneck. Before it’s been opened, champagne is under high pressure, hence the cage on the cork.

But when it’s open and the pressure adjusts, carbon dioxide pours forth. At 68 degrees Fahrenheit, however, that white mist is very briefly replaced with blue.

If the color of the blue reminds you of the sky, there’s a reason for that. The sky gets its shade from molecules scattering blue light from the sun.

The bluish cloud forms when the CO2 transforms into miniature particles of dry ice which reflect the ambient light,” Liger-Belair said.

This blue cloud has the same physical origin as the blue color of the sky. Is that not extraordinary?

It is indeed extraordinary, but perhaps not wondrous enough to justify drinking your champagne at 68 degrees Fahrenheit—especially since you’re not going to see magic blue cloud without high-speed imaging.

Please like, share and tweet this article.

Pass it on: Popular Science