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Posts Tagged ‘Mauna Kea’

11/15/2016 – Ephemeris – Imaging exoplanets from the ground

November 15, 2016 Comments off

Ephemeris for Tuesday, November 15th.  The Sun will rise at 7:40.  It’ll be up for 9 hours and 33 minutes, setting at 5:14.  The Moon, 1 day past full, will rise at 6:43 this evening.

There’s something I never thought I’d see in my lifetime was a telescope on the ground that could image planets around other stars.  Remember that planets shine by reflecting the light of their host stars, and due to their distance of many trillion of miles away, that there would be no hope of separating the planet from the star which is billions of times brighter.  My lifetime includes the launch of Sputnik, the first artificial satellite when I was in the 11th grade.  However with huge telescopes with adaptive optics that take the wiggle out of the atmosphere.  Added to that is the CHARIS instrument on the 8.2 meter Subaru telescope on Mauna Kea in Hawai’i, which not only can see exoplanets around stars, but take their spectra, to analyze chemical compounds in their atmospheres.

Times are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.

Addendum

CHARIS image

A plot of data from CHARIS shows planets located around a star in the planetary system HR8799. (Images courtesy of N. Jeremy Kasdin and the research team)

The story is here:
http://www.princeton.edu/main/news/archive/S47/82/89C62/?section=topstories

06/24/2013 – Ephemeris – Infrared astronomy

June 24, 2013 Comments off

Ephemeris for Monday, June 24th.  Today the sun will be up for 15 hours and 33 minutes, setting at 9:31.   The moon, 1 day past full, will rise at 10:27 this evening.  Tomorrow the sun will rise at 5:58.

During most of history astronomers viewed the heavens in visible light.  That’s all we had, our eyes, later augmented by telescopes, and photography.  Today astronomers view the heavens with a myriad of detectors on the earth, above the earth and inside the earth.  Radiation detected, beside visible are radio, infrared, ultraviolet, x-rays, and gamma rays, all part of the electromagnetic spectrum as is visible light.  Besides that the observe neutrinos and cosmic rays, and are searching for gravitational waves.  An intense field of study now is infrared, which must be observed from high mountaintops or from space.  Last year I visited one of those facilities at nearly 14,000 feet altitude the observatories atop Mauna Kea in Hawaii. [Which included the two largest telescopes in the world the twin 10 meter Keck telescopes, Gemini North, Subaru and other telescopes. ]

Times are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan.  They may be different for your location.

Addendum

Keck Observatory

The twin domes of the Keck 10 meter telescopes. Left is the Japanese Subaru telescope. Right is the NASA Infrared Telescope facility. Credit: Bob Moler.  Click to enlarge.

Gemini North

The 8.1 meter Gemini North telescope dome in the center. To the left is the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope dome. Credit: Bob Moler.