3600GTO in Antarctica

Apr 11, 2017



#56476 Apr 11, 2017

I thought you would find this interesting������One of the 3600GTO mounts that was installed at Concordia Station in Antarctica is being used in an exciting newresearch project. The following article was translated from the original French with Google Translator. The French text is below the translation.Observation of . Pictoris from Antarctica: The adventure begins!

With the arrival of the Antarctic night, the observations of the . Pic star with the ASTEP telescope have just begun. It is to observe a system of a very young star and its giant planet, to try to discover moons or rings and beyond, to solve a mystery: Thevariation of brightness of the star observed in Was 1981 due to the passage of the planet in front of its star? For the first time, as part of an international collaboration, a telescope will point this famous star continuously, from March to September 2017.This is possible only because this automatic telescope is located in the middle of the Antarctic continent, and That it enjoys an almost continuous night during the austral winter. The first light curves of . Peak are very promising.

The star . Pic is famous: it is the first star for which it was possible to image a protoplanetary disk in 1984. It is also around this star that we deduced for the first time the presence of "exocom.tes ". In 2008, a planet was discovered at about 8 astronomicalunits of its star (roughly the distance from Saturn to the Sun). The study of this planet, . Pic b, and the dust disk around the star, is a unique source of information to understand these very young systems and the formation of planets. As in 1981, the planetwill go back in front of its star between April 2017 and January 2018. This opportunity will not recur before 18 or 36 years. The detection of a transit (the planet passing exactly in front of the star) would be a revolution in the field because it would allowfor the first time to have all the physical characteristics of an exoplanet that can be directly imaged. It would also allow to observe rings, a disc around the star and / or moons, which has never been done before! However, between April and September 2017,only telescopes in Antarctica are well placed to observe . Peak.

Thanks to the support of the Paul Emile Victor Polar Institute (IPEV), the C.te d'Azur Observatory, the C.te d'Azur University and the Lagrange Laboratory (CNRS / OCA / Nice Sophia Antipolis University) An automated telescope capable of observing this starcontinuously from Concordia station in Antarctica. This station run by the Italian and French polar institutes is a permanent base: it is also inhabited during the winter, which allows the instruments to be monitored. ASTEP is an automated telescope 40cm indiameter. It is able to observe in the difficult conditions of the Antarctic: temperatures which have reached -65 . C and which can go down to -80 . C in the middle of the austral winter. This telescope, which was successfully operated from 2010 to 2014, wasrelocated to Concordia at the end of 2016, motivated by an international collaboration including the University of Grenoble and the University of Berkeley (USA). The first curves of light come to us. They are of excellent quality. Although we only have a fewhours of observations, we can already see that . Pic is actually a variable star. Its continuous monitoring will be rich in lessons. The adventure begin !

French Text

Observation de . Pictoris depuis l���Antarctique : L���aventure commence !

Avec l���arriv.e de la nuit en Antarctique, les observations de l���.toile . Pic avec le t.lescope ASTEP viennent de d.buter. Il s���agit d���observer un syst.me d���une .toile tr.s jeune et de sa plan.te g.ante, de tenter de d.couvrir des lunes ou des anneaux et au-del.,de r.soudre un myst.re : La variation de brillance de l���.toile observ.e en 1981 .tait-elle due au passage de la plan.te devant son .toile ? Pour la premi.re fois, dans le cadre d���une collaboration internationale, un t.lescope va pointer cette .toile c.l.breen continu, depuis mars jusque septembre 2017. Ceci n���est possible que parce que ce t.lescope automatique est localis. au milieu du continent Antarctique, et qu���il b.n.ficie d���une nuit presque continue lors de l���hiver austral. Les premi.res courbes de lumi.rede . Pic sont tr.s prometteuses.

L���.toile . Pic est c.l.bre : c���est la premi.re .toile pour laquelle on a pu imager un disque protoplan.taire en 1984. C���est aussi autour de cette .toile que l���on a d.duit pour la premi.re fois la pr.sence d������exocom.tes���. En 2008, une plan.te a .t. d.couverte. environ 8 unit.s astronomiques de son .toile (. peu pr.s la distance de Saturne au Soleil). L���.tude de cette plan.te, . Pic b, et du disque de poussi.re autour de l���.toile, est une source d���information unique pour comprendre ces syst.mes tr.s jeunes et laformation des plan.tes. Comme en 1981, la plan.te va repasser devant son .toile entre avril 2017 et janvier 2018. Cette opportunit. ne se reproduira pas avant 18 ou 36 ann.es. La d.tection d���un transit (la plan.te passant exactement devant l���.toile) seraitune r.volution dans le domaine car elle permettrait pour la premiere fois d���avoir toutes les caract.ristiques physiques d���une exoplan.te qu���on peut imager directement. Elle permettrait aussi d���observer des anneaux, un disque autour de l���.toile et/ou des lunes,ce qui n���a encore jamais .t. fait ! Or, entre avril et septembre 2017, seuls les t.lescopes en Antarctique sont bien plac.s pour observer . Pic.

Gr.ce au soutien de l���Institut polaire Paul Emile Victor (IPEV), l���Observatoire de la C.te d���Azur, l���Universit. C.te d���Azur et le Laboratoire Lagrange (CNRS/OCA/Universit. Nice Sophia Antipolis) disposent d���un t.lescope automatis. capable d���observer cette .toileen continu depuis la station Concordia en Antarctique. Cette station g.r.e par les instituts polaires italien et fran.ais est une base permanente : elle est habit.e aussi l���hiver, ce qui permet un suivi des instruments. ASTEP est un t.lescope automatis. de40cm de diam.tre. Il est capable d���observer dans les conditions difficiles de l���Antarctique : des temp.ratures qui ont atteint -65.C et qui pourront descendre jusque -80.C au coeur de l���hiver austral. Ce t.lescope, qui a fonctionn. avec succ.s de 2010 . 2014a .t. r.install. . Concordia fin 2016, motiv. par une collaboration internationale incluant l���Universit. de Grenoble et l���universit. de Berkeley (USA). Les premi.res courbes de lumi.re viennent de nous parvenir. Elles sont d���excellente qualit.. Bien que nousn���ayons que quelques heures d���observations, nous pouvons d.j. voir que . Pic est en fait une .toile variable. Son suivi en continu sera riche en enseignements. L���aventure commence ! ��Clear Skies, ��Marj ChristenAstro-Physics, Inc11250 Forest Hills RdMachesney Park, IL 61115Phone: 815-282-1513Fax: 815-282-9847www.astro-physics.com ��

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