APOD: A Milky Way Band (2011 Jul 10)

Comments and questions about the APOD on the main view screen.
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APOD: A Milky Way Band (2011 Jul 10)

Post by APOD Robot » Sun Jul 10, 2011 4:13 am

Image A Milky Way Band

Explanation: Most bright stars in our Milky Way Galaxy reside in a disk. Since our Sun also resides in this disk, these stars appear to us as a diffuse band that circles the sky. The above panorama of a northern band of the Milky Way's disk covers 90 degrees and is a digitally created mosaic of several independent exposures. Scrolling right will display the rest of this spectacular picture. Visible are many bright stars, dark dust lanes, red emission nebulae, blue reflection nebulae, and clusters of stars. In addition to all this matter that we can see, astronomers suspect there exists even more dark matter that we cannot see.

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Re: APOD: A Milky Way Band (2011 Jul 10)

Post by saturn2 » Sun Jul 10, 2011 4:55 am

The disk of Milky Way Galaxy has most bright stars.
We see as a diffuse band in the sky.
Our Sun is in the disk in Orion arm.
Distance from Sun to center of galaxy 30 000 light years.

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Re: APOD: A Milky Way Band (2011 Jul 10)

Post by Ann » Sun Jul 10, 2011 7:00 am

That is an extremely handsome picture, indeed.

Note the majestic red arcs on both sides of neglected runaway O-type star 68 Cygni on the far left, to the lower left of the North America Nebula.

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Re: APOD: A Milky Way Band (2011 Jul 10)

Post by orin stepanek » Sun Jul 10, 2011 12:13 pm

A delightful old galaxy is the Milky Way! :D 8-)
Orin

Smile today; tomorrow's another day!

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Re: APOD: A Milky Way Band (2011 Jul 10)

Post by biddie67 » Sun Jul 10, 2011 12:14 pm

Just so many "things" out there ... I spent some time trying to identify any familiar item but had no luck at all. I'm in awe of people like Ann that can so easily point out such features.

It is such mind-blower that people are attempting to identify and catalog stars, etc. out in the universe - it seems as impossible a task as identifying and cataloging the grains of sand on this world's beaches. And this picture is just a section of our own galaxy.

Kudos to Mr. Gleason for a marvelous photo.

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Re: APOD: A Milky Way Band (2011 Jul 10)

Post by moonstruck » Sun Jul 10, 2011 2:26 pm

Wow, and it's been there all along. Thanks Mr. Gleason.

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Re: APOD: A Milky Way Band (2011 Jul 10)

Post by sirnelson » Sun Jul 10, 2011 2:32 pm

In this 90 degree panoramic, is there a part looking in the opposite direction from the galactic center? If not, has APOD published one before?

Also, could APOD publish pictures looking straight down and straight up from our galactic position? Maybe I've already seen those but don't recall them every being described that way. Thanks. Great site!
Last edited by sirnelson on Sun Jul 10, 2011 3:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: APOD: A Milky Way Band (2011 Jul 10)

Post by BMAONE23 » Sun Jul 10, 2011 3:03 pm

From the APOD text
The above panorama of a northern band of the Milky Way's disk covers 90 degrees and is a digitally created mosaic of several independent exposures.
This is a 360deg panorama http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap090926.html

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Re: APOD: A Milky Way Band (2011 Jul 10)

Post by neufer » Sun Jul 10, 2011 3:09 pm

Last edited by neufer on Sun Jul 10, 2011 4:16 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Art Neuendorffer

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Re: APOD: A Milky Way Band (2011 Jul 10)

Post by owlice » Sun Jul 10, 2011 3:20 pm

Check out the mosaic here: http://astrocompute.wordpress.com/image-credit/

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Re: APOD: A Milky Way Band (2011 Jul 10)

Post by BMAONE23 » Sun Jul 10, 2011 3:25 pm

owlice wrote:Check out the mosaic here: http://astrocompute.wordpress.com/image-credit/

(Eight feet tall!!)
and 44' long enough to paste on the walls of an 11' x 11' room (what a view) 1° per foot

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Re: APOD: A Milky Way Band (2011 Jul 10)

Post by owlice » Sun Jul 10, 2011 3:31 pm

: starts measuring the room she's in :
A closed mouth gathers no foot.

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Re: APOD: A Milky Way Band (2011 Jul 10)

Post by neufer » Sun Jul 10, 2011 8:51 pm

http://www.universetoday.com/87324/milky-way-sparkles-in-the-eyes-of-gaia/#more-87324 wrote: <<Here on Earth we play around with CCD cameras that boast a million pixels. But, can you imagine what a billion pixels could do? That’s the plan for ESA’s Galaxy-mapping Gaia mission. One hundred six electronic plates are being carefully integrated together to add up to the largest digital camera ever built for space… and its mission is to chart the Milky Way.

Beginning in 2013, Gaia’s five year mission will be to photograph a billion stars within our own galaxy – determining magnitude, spectral characteristics, proper motion and dimensional positioning. This information will be gathered by its charge coupled device (CCD) sensor array. Each of the 106 detectors are smaller than a normal credit card and thinner than a human hair. Put simplistically, each plate holds its own array of light-sensitive cells called photosites. Each photosite is its own pixel – just one tiny cell in the whole body of a photograph that could contain hundreds of thousands of pixels! When incoming light strikes the photosite, the photoelectric effect occurs and creates electrons for as long as exposure occurs. The electrons are then kept “stored” in their individual cells until a computer unloads the array, counts the electrons and reassembles them into the “big picture”.

And what a picture it will be…

In a period of a month, technicians managed to delicately assemble the CCD plates onto the support structure, leaving only a 1 mm gap between them. “The mounting and precise alignment of the 106 CCDs is a key step in the assembly of the flight model focal plane assembly,” said Philippe Garé, ESA’s Gaia payload manager. Upon completion, there will be seven rows of CCD composites with a main bank of 102 strictly dedicated to star detection. The remaining four will monitor image quality of each telescope and the stability of the 106.5º angle between the two telescopes that Gaia uses to obtain stereo views of stars. And, just like cooling a smaller CCD camera, the temperature needs to be maintained at -110ºC to keep up the sensitivity.

Gaia might be heavy on imaging capabilities, but she’s light on weight. The majority of the spacecraft, including the support structure is crafted from a ceramic-like material called silicon carbide. Resistant to warping in extreme temperature conditions, the whole support structure with its detectors weighs in at only 20 kg. She’ll sail out to Lagrange Point L2 – 1.5 million kilometers behind the Earth – where twin telescopes will capture perhaps 1% of our galaxy’s stellar population. While that may seem like a small amount, the information that Gaia’s three-dimensional star map will provide can reveal much more than we already know about the composition, formation and evolution of the Milky Way.>>
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaia_mission wrote:
Gaia (or Global Astrometric Interferometer for Astrophysics) is a European Space Agency (ESA) astrometry space mission, and a successor to the ESA Hipparcos mission. Arianespace expects to launch Gaia for the ESA in March 2013, using a Soyuz rocket from CSG. It will be operated in a Lissajous orbit around the Sun-Earth L2 Lagrangian point for a planned 5 year mission.

Gaia will compile a catalogue of approximately one billion stars to magnitude 20. Its objectives comprise:
  • astrometric (or positional) measurements, determining the positions, distances, and annual proper motions of stars with an accuracy of about 20 µas (microarcsecond) at 15 mag, and 200 µas at 20 mag
    spectrophotometric measurements, providing multi-epoch observations of each detected object
    radial velocity measurements.
Gaia will create an extremely precise three-dimensional map of stars throughout our Milky Way galaxy and beyond, and map their motions which encode the origin and subsequent evolution of the Milky Way. The spectrophotometric measurements will provide the detailed physical properties of each star observed, characterising their luminosity, effective temperature, gravity and elemental composition. This massive stellar census will provide the basic observational data to tackle a wide range of important problems related to the origin, structure, and evolutionary history of our Galaxy. Large numbers of quasars, galaxies, extrasolar planets and solar system bodies will be measured at the same time.

Gaia will also be capable of discovering asteroids with orbits that lie between Earth and the Sun, a region that is difficult for Earth-based telescopes to monitor since this region is only in the sky during or near the daytime.

Gaia will be launched on a Soyuz-FG rocket and will fly to the Lagrange point L2 located approximately 1.5 million kilometers from Earth. The L2 point will provide the spacecraft with a very stable thermal environment. There it will describe a Lissajous orbit which will avoid eclipses of the Sun by the Earth, which would otherwise limit the amount of solar energy the satellite can retrieve through its solar panels and also disturb the thermal equilibrium.

Similarly to its predecessor Hipparcos, Gaia consists of two telescopes providing two observing directions with a fixed, wide angle between them. The spacecraft rotates continuously around an axis perpendicular to the two telescopes' lines of sight (LOS). The spin axis in turn has a slight precession across the sky, while maintaining the same angle to the Sun. By precisely measuring the relative positions of objects from both observing directions, a rigid system of reference is obtained.

Each celestial object will be observed on average about 70 times during the mission, which is expected to last 5 years. These measurements will help determine the astrometric parameters of stars: 2 corresponding to the angular position of a given star on the sky, 2 for the derivatives of the star's position over time (motion) and lastly, the stars parallax. The radial velocity of the star is measured using the Doppler Effect by a spectrometer, which is integrated into the Gaia telescope system.

The Gaia payload consists of
  • a 1.4 x 0.5 square metre primary mirror for each telescope
    A 1.0 x 0.5 m focal plane array on which light from both telescopes is projected. This in turn consists of 106 CCDs of 4500 x 1966 pixels.
Gaia contains 3 separate instruments:
  • The astrometry instrument (ASTRO), which is dedicated to measuring the angular position of the stars of magnitude 5.7 to 20.
    The photometric instrument, which allows the acquisition of spectra of stars over the 320-1000 nm spectral band, over the same magnitude 5.7-20.
    The high-resolution spectrometer to measure the radial velocity of the stars by acquiring high-resolution spectra in the spectral band 847-874 nm (field lines of calcium ion) for objects up to magnitude 17 ,
The telemetric link with the satellite is about 1 Mbit/s on average, while the total content of the focal plane represents several Gbit/s. Therefore only a few dozen pixels around each object can be downlinked. This means that detection and monitoring of objects on board is mandatory. Such processing is particularly complex when scanning dense stellar fields.

The Gaia space mission has the following objectives:
  • To determine the intrinsic luminosity of a star requires knowledge of its distance. One of the only ways to achieve without physical assumptions is through the star's parallax. Ground-based observations would not measure such parallaxes with sufficient precision due to the effects of the atmosphere and instrumental biases.
    Observations of the faintest objects will provide a more complete view of the stellar luminosity function. We must observe all the objects up to a certain magnitude in order to have unbiased samples.
    You need a large amount of objects to examine the more rapid stages of stellar evolution. Observing a large number of objects in the galaxy is also important in order to understand the dynamics of our galaxy. Note that a billion stars represents less than 1% of the content of our galaxy.
    Measuring the astrometric and kinematic properties of a star is necessary in order to understand the various stellar populations, especially the most distant.
Gaia is expected to:
  • Measure the astrometric properties of over a billion stars down to a magnitude of V = 20
    Determine the positions of stars at a magnitude of V=10 down to a precision of 7 millionths of an arcsecond (μas) (this is equivalent to measuring the diameter of a hair from 1000 km away); between 12 and 25 μas down to V = 15, and between 100 and 300 μas to V = 20, depending on the color of the star

    Determine the distances to the nearest stars within 0.001%, and to stars near the galactic center, 30,000 light years away, within 20%
    Measure the tangential speed of 40 million stars to a precision of better than 0.5 km/s
    Measure the orbits and inclinations of a thousand extrasolar planets accurately, determining their true masses
Among other results relevant to fundamental physics, Gaia will follow the bending of starlight by the Sun’s gravitational field, as predicted by Albert Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity, and therefore directly observe the structure of space-time.>>
Art Neuendorffer

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Re: APOD: A Milky Way Band (2011 Jul 10)

Post by rstevenson » Sun Jul 10, 2011 8:57 pm

owlice wrote:Check out the mosaic here: http://astrocompute.wordpress.com/image-credit/

(Eight feet tall!!)
I don't understand. That link goes to a page with the image about 9.5" wide. Where's the 44' one? My plotter's all warmed up.

Rob

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Re: APOD: A Milky Way Band (2011 Jul 10)

Post by Ann » Mon Jul 11, 2011 5:21 am

I so, so hope that Gaia won't be cancelled. Things don't look too good in Europe, financially, what with Greece teetering on the brink of bankruptcy and Portugal and Ireland looking very shaky too.

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Re: APOD: A Milky Way Band (2011 Jul 10)

Post by Indigo_Sunrise » Mon Jul 11, 2011 10:34 am

Ann wrote:I so, so hope that Gaia won't be cancelled. Things don't look too good in Europe, financially, what with Greece teetering on the brink of bankruptcy and Portugal and Ireland looking very shaky too.

Ann

Sorry, but which meaning of Gaia are you referring to? The Gaia Hypothesis? The Earth-Goddess? A platform designed for advanced geospatial network and SDI needs? (Okay, that last one I 'googled'.... :lol: )
But can you clarify?

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Re: APOD: A Milky Way Band (2011 Jul 10)

Post by neufer » Mon Jul 11, 2011 10:51 am

Indigo_Sunrise wrote:
Ann wrote:
I so, so hope that Gaia won't be cancelled. Things don't look too good in Europe, financially, what with Greece teetering on the brink of bankruptcy and Portugal and Ireland looking very shaky too.
Sorry, but which meaning of Gaia are you referring to? The Gaia Hypothesis? The Earth-Goddess?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Hitchhiker%27s_Guide_to_the_Galaxy wrote:
<<Slartibartfast, the planetary coastline designer responsible for the fjords of Norway, relates the story of a race of hyper-intelligent pan-dimensional beings who built a computer named Deep Thought to calculate the Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything. When the answer was revealed to be 42, Deep Thought had predicted that another computer, more powerful than itself would be made and designed by it to calculate the question for the answer. The computer, often mistaken for a planet (because of its size and use of biological components), was the Earth, and was destroyed by Vogons to make way for a hyperspatial express route, five minutes before the conclusion of its 10-million-year program. Two of a race of hyper-intelligent pan-dimensional beings who commissioned the Earth in the first place, disguise themselves as Trillian's mice, and want to dissect Arthur's brain to help reconstruct the question, since he was part of the Earth's matrix moments before it was destroyed, and so he is likely to have part of the question buried in his brain.>>
Art Neuendorffer