Saturday, October 19, 2019

Towers under the Milky Way | ESO

Towers under the Milky Way | ESO
This picture shows in the foreground some of the towers supporting the telescopes that compose BlackGEM. In the background, the magnificent southern Milky Way shines in the sky.

BlackGEM is a wide-field array of optical telescopes located at the European Southern Observatory’s La Silla Observatory in Chile’s Atacama desert.

BlackGEM’s scientific goals are to detect and characterize optical counterparts to gravitational wave detections. To enable this, it will conduct an all-sky survey of the southern sky, perform a bi-weekly scan of the southern sky, and characterize intra-night transients, new stars that appear or disappear within a single night.

Events that produce detectable gravitational waves are expected to occur within approximately 650 million light-years of Earth. Many will therefore be located in or near resolved galaxies and will be faint. It is essential for BlackGEM to have high spatial resolution in order to resolve and accurately locate these sources against the background of the night-sky, making La Silla—with its excellent weather and thin atmosphere—an ideal observing site.

Credit: ESO/P. Horálek
Release Date: October 14, 2019


#ESO #Earth #Astronomy #Space #Science #MilkyWay #Galaxy #Stars #ZodiacalLight #BlackGEM #Telescopes #Cosmos #Universe #Astrophotography #LaSilla #Observatory #Chile #Atacama #Desert #SouthAmerica #Europe #STEM #Education

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