New Planet Imager Delivers First Science

first_img Make a comment Name (required)  Mail (required) (not be published)  Website  faithfernandez More » ShareTweetShare on Google+Pin on PinterestSend with WhatsApp,Virtual Schools PasadenaHomes Solve Community/Gov/Pub SafetyCitizen Service CenterPASADENA EVENTS & ACTIVITIES CALENDARClick here for Movie Showtimes Science and Technology New Planet Imager Delivers First Science From JPL/CALTECH Published on Monday, January 30, 2017 | 12:14 pm Subscribe 0 commentsShareShareTweetSharePin it First Heatwave Expected Next Week HerbeautyIs It Bad To Give Your Boyfriend An Ultimatum?HerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeauty9 Gorgeous Looks That Have Been Classic Go-tos For DecadesHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeauty6 Lies You Should Stop Telling Yourself Right NowHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyA 74 Year Old Fitness Enthusiast Defies All Concept Of AgeHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyYou Can’t Go Past Our Healthy Quick RecipesHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeauty15 things only girls who live life to the maximum understandHerbeautyHerbeauty Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * The vortex mask shown at left is made out of synthetic diamond. Viewed with an scanning electron microscope, right, the “vortex” microstructure of the mask is revealed. Image credit: University of Liège/Uppsala UniversityA new device on the W.M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii has delivered its first images, showing a ring of planet-forming dust around a star, and separately, a cool, star-like body, called a brown dwarf, lying near its companion star.The device, called a vortex coronagraph, was recently installed inside NIRC2 (Near Infrared Camera 2), the workhorse infrared imaging camera at Keck. It has the potential to image planetary systems and brown dwarfs closer to their host stars than any other instrument in the world.“The vortex coronagraph allows us to peer into the regions around stars where giant planets like Jupiter and Saturn supposedly form,” said Dmitri Mawet, research scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Caltech, both in Pasadena. “Before now, we were only able to image gas giants that are born much farther out. With the vortex, we will be able to see planets orbiting as close to their stars as Jupiter is to our sun, or about two to three times closer than what was possible before.”The new vortex results are presented in two papers, both published in the January 2017 issue of The Astronomical Journal. One study, led by Gene Serabyn of JPL, the overall lead of the Keck vortex project, presents the first direct image of the brown dwarf called HIP79124 B. This brown dwarf is located 23 astronomical units from a star (an astronomical unit is the distance between our sun and Earth) in a nearby star-forming region called Scorpius-Centaurus.“The ability to see very close to stars also allows us to search for planets around more distant stars, where the planets and stars would appear closer together. Having the ability to survey distant stars for planets is important for catching planets still forming,” said Serabyn. He also led a team that tested a predecessor of the vortex device on the Hale Telescope at Caltech’s Palomar Observatory, near San Diego. In 2010, the team secured high-contrast images of three planets orbiting in the distant reaches of the star system called HR8799.The second vortex study, led by Mawet, presents an image of the innermost of three rings of dusty, planet-forming material around the young star called HD141569A. The results, when combined with infrared data from NASA’s Spitzer and WISE missions, and the European Space Agency’s Herschel mission, reveal that the star’s planet-forming material is made up of pebble-size grains of olivine, one of the most abundant silicates in Earth’s mantle. The data also show that the temperature of the innermost ring imaged by the vortex is about minus 280 degrees Fahrenheit (100 Kelvin, or minus 173 degrees Celsius), a bit warmer than our asteroid belt.“The three rings around this young star are nested like Russian dolls and undergoing dramatic changes reminiscent of planetary formation,” said Mawet. “We have shown that silicate grains have agglomerated into pebbles, which are the building blocks of planet embryos.”About the vortex coronagraphThe vortex was invented in 2005 by Mawet while he was at the University of Liege in Belgium. The Keck vortex coronagraph was built by a combination of the University of Liege, Uppsala University in Sweden, JPL and Caltech.The first science images and results from the vortex instrument demonstrate its ability to image planet-forming regions hidden under the glare of stars. Stars outshine planets by a factor of few thousand to a few billion, making the dim light of planets very difficult to see, especially for planets that lie close to their stars. To deal with this challenge, researchers have invented Instruments called coronagraphs, which typically use tiny masks to block the starlight, much like blocking the bright sun with your hand or a car visor to see better.What makes the vortex coronagraph unique is that it does not block the starlight with a mask, but instead redirects light away from the detectors using a technique in which light waves are combined and canceled out. Because the vortex doesn’t require an occulting mask, it has the advantage of taking images of regions closer to stars than other coronagraphs. Mawet likens the process to the eye of a storm.“The instrument is called a vortex coronagraph because the starlight is centered on an optical singularity, which creates a dark hole at the location of the image of the star,” said Mawet. “Hurricanes have a singularity at their centers where the wind speeds drop to zero — the eye of the storm. Our vortex coronagraph is basically the eye of an optical storm where we send the starlight.”What’s next for the vortexIn the future, the vortex will look at many more young planetary systems, in particular planets near the “frost lines,” which are the region around a star where temperatures are cold enough for volatile molecules, such as water, methane and carbon dioxide, to condense into solid icy grains. The frost line is thought to divide a solar system into regions where planets are likely to become rocky or gas giants. Surveys of the frost line region by the vortex coronagraph will help answer ongoing puzzles about a class of hot, giant planets found extremely close to their stars — the “hot Jupiters,” and “hot Neptunes.” Did these planets first form close to the frost line and migrate in, or did they form right next to their stars? “With a bit of luck, we might catch planets in the process of migrating through the planet-forming disk, by looking at these very young objects,” Mawet said.“The power of the vortex lies in its ability to image planets very close to their star, something that we can’t do for Earth-like planets yet,” said Serabyn. “The vortex coronagraph may be key to taking the first images of a pale blue dot like our own.”The Keck Observatory is managed by Caltech and the University of California. In 1996, NASA joined as a one-sixth partner in the Keck Observatory. JPL is managed by Caltech for NASA. EVENTS & ENTERTAINMENT | FOOD & DRINK | THE ARTS | REAL ESTATE | HOME & GARDEN | WELLNESS | SOCIAL SCENE | GETAWAYS | PARENTS & KIDScenter_img More Cool Stuff Get our daily Pasadena newspaper in your email box. Free.Get all the latest Pasadena news, more than 10 fresh stories daily, 7 days a week at 7 a.m. Pasadena Will Allow Vaccinated People to Go Without Masks in Most Settings Starting on Tuesday Community News Community News Pasadena’s ‘626 Day’ Aims to Celebrate City, Boost Local Economy Top of the News Business News Home of the Week: Unique Pasadena Home Located on Madeline Drive, Pasadenalast_img read more

Now it’s the children

first_imgDear Editor,On October 21 this year, a group of Queen’s College students were robbed of their money and cell phones on Camp Street while they were going to their after school extra lessons. One day earlier, another Queen’s College student was robbed at the bus stop. And just three days prior, a Christ Church student was stabbed and robbed of his cell phone at the corner of Camp and Robb Street.In February, the media reported, “Seven students fell victim to robbery … resulting in a quantity of cash and valuables being stolen, while in the vicinity of Macaw Lane, South Ruimveldt, Georgetown…The traumatised youngsters are said to be between the ages of 15 and 16 and are attached to the South Ruimveldt Secondary School”.In October last year, the media had reported: “Sixth form Queen’s College student Renée Daniels was robbed and stabbed multiple times … as he was heading home from a group he was volunteering with….in the vicinity of the Stabroek bus park”.In September of last year, yet another media report stated that, “A student attached to a school on the West Coast of Demerara (WCD) was attacked and robbed …while making her way home from school….the student had just exited a minibus in Stewartville, WCD… the perpetrator accosted and choked her from behind before demanding that she hand over her valuables. The frightened teen handed over her backpack which contained her valuables, including money and her cell phone”.As well, The Caribbean Voice is aware of other similar incidents that never made the media. In fact, comments on social reveal that similar attacks against students have been taking place across the coastland. For example, a number of posters stated that students are being regularly robbed in the Diamond-Grove area. Similar incidents were mentioned at Mon Repos, in Essequibo, on the Corentyne and so on. Added to that, the numerous UG students who have been attacked and robbed, both at Turkeyen and Tain and nursing students at New Amsterdam and the picture becomes absolutely, awfully, alarming.Parents have been expressing their anger and frustration on social media and in interactions with The Caribbean Voice. Rightly or wrongly, the view was expressed that “President Granger campaigned on providing jobs for youth and ‘now we know what he was talking about’”. The fact is that the criminals are usually young people, mostly operating in bicycle gangs, or congregating in areas where students have to pass or wait for transportation. And since all those sports are public knowledge, one has to wonder why the Police do not take measures to patrol those areas when students are dismissed. The Police Force needs to establish a Schools Safety Division as an urgent imperative.Meanwhile, parents are calling on the Minister of Public Security and the Police Commissioner to protect their children. As well, they are calling on the media to bring pressure to bear on the Government to implement measures to eliminate this trauma on their children. For The Caribbean Voice, our greatest concern is indeed the trauma and the attendant mental health issues that often arise and that can derail the education of some of these youngsters, if not their lives. As it is, our young people already face and deal with an overflowing plate as we have seen a rise in bullying and cutting, drugs and alcohol, sexual abuse and teenage pregnancy and depression, stress and suicide. Unless these pathologies are addressed without politically footballing them, Guyana’s future itself could become traumatic— oil money or no oil money.Regards,The Caribbean Voicelast_img read more