ESO: VISTA Unveils a New Image of the LMC

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bystander
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ESO: VISTA Unveils a New Image of the LMC

Post by bystander » Fri Sep 13, 2019 7:00 pm

VISTA Unveils a New Image of the Large Magellanic Cloud
ESO Photo Release | VMC Survey | 2019 Sep 13
ESO’s VISTA telescope reveals a remarkable image of the Large Magellanic Cloud, one of our nearest galactic neighbours. VISTA has been surveying this galaxy and its sibling the Small Magellanic Cloud, as well as their surroundings, in unprecedented detail. This survey allows astronomers to observe a large number of stars, opening up new opportunities to study stellar evolution, galactic dynamics, and variable stars.

The Large Magellanic Cloud, or LMC, is one of our nearest galactic neighbors, at only 163 000 light years from Earth. With its sibling the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC), these are among the nearest dwarf satellite galaxies to the Milky Way. The LMC is also the home of various stellar conglomerates and is an ideal laboratory for astronomers to study the processes that shape galaxies.

ESO’s VISTA telescope, has been observing these two galaxies for the last decade. The image presented today is the result of one of the many surveys that astronomers have performed with this telescope. The main goal of the VISTA Magellanic Clouds (VMC) Survey has been to map the star formation history of the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds, as well as their three-dimensional structures.

VISTA was key to this image because it observes the sky in near-infrared wavelengths of light. This allows it to see through clouds of dust that obscure parts of the galaxy. These clouds block a large portion of visible light but are transparent at the longer wavelengths VISTA was built to observe. ...
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Re: ESO: VISTA Unveils a New Image of the LMC

Post by saturno2 » Thu Sep 19, 2019 11:11 pm

I do not can to see the image

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Re: ESO: VISTA Unveils a New Image of the LMC

Post by neufer » Fri Sep 20, 2019 2:15 am

saturno2 wrote:
Thu Sep 19, 2019 11:11 pm

I do not can to see the image
It is a near-infrared image that only bees can to see.
Art Neuendorffer

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Re: ESO: VISTA Unveils a New Image of the LMC

Post by Ann » Fri Sep 20, 2019 4:51 am

saturno2 wrote:
Thu Sep 19, 2019 11:11 pm
I do not can to see the image
The Large Magellanic Cloud in visible light.
Photo: ESA/Eckhard Slawik.
The Large Magellanic Cloud in infrared light.
Photo: VISTA.

















The reason why it might be hard to understand what we are seeing in the VISTA image of the Large Magellainc Cloud is because we are used to seeing the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) in visible light. We are used to seeing the mildly yellowish elongated central bar of the LMC, along with blue star clusters and many pink emission nebulas.


VISTA detects longer wavelengths that are invisible to the human eye. It detects the near infrared light of cool stars in the arc-shaped ends of the bar of the LMC, and this light is mapped as blue. The bar itself looks red, because VISTA detects dust in the bar, and because this dust is is much cooler than the red stars, the emission from the dust is mapped as red.

Basically this is how you should "read" the infrared picture of the Large Magellanic Cloud: Blue means cool red stars, and red means dust. What about the truly blue hot stars in the LMC? VISTA can't see them.

Ann
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