Foto da Semana 2012

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potw1213-pt-br — Foto da Semana
Gostaria de estar aqui?
26 de Março de 2012: O fotógrafo francês Serge Brunier, um dos embaixadores fotográficos do ESO, criou este panorama em 360º, sem emendas, do planalto Chajnantor no deserto do Atacama, onde o ALMA está sendo construído. A projeção panorâmica deformou levemente o formato das antenas do ALMA, mas ainda dá a sensação do que seria estar no meio deste incrível novo observatório. A vista em 360º também mostra a completa isolação do planalto Chajnantor. A 5000 metros de altitude, o plano de fundo é praticamente uniforme, exceto por alguns picos de montanhas e morros. Apesar do desafio que é construir um telescópio tão ambicioso em um clima tão rigoroso, a elevada altitude do lugar é perfeita para astronomia submilimétrica. Isso acontece porque o vapor d’água na atmosfera absorve este tipo de radiação, mas o ar é muito mais seco em locais altos como Chajnantor. ALMA começou suas primeiras observações científicas em 30 de setembro de ...
potw1212-pt-br — Foto da Semana
O VLT vai à caça do Leão
19 de Março de 2012: O VLT capturou outro membro do grupo de galáxias Leo I, na constelação de Leão. A galáxia Messier 95 está de frente para nós, oferecendo uma visão ideal de sua estrutura espiral. Os braços espirais formam um círculo quase perfeito em torno do centro da galáxia antes de se espalharem, criando um efeito parecido com uma juba que qualquer leão teria orgulho. Talvez a característica mais marcante de Messier 95 seja seu brilhante núcleo dourado. Ele contém um anel de formação de estrelas, com quase 2000 anos-luz de extensão, onde ocorre grande parte da formação de estrelas da galáxia. Este fenômeno ocorre principalmente em galáxias espirais barradas como Messier 95 e a nossa Via Láctea. No grupo de Leo I, Messier 95 é ofuscada pela sua irmã Messier 96 (veja potw1143). Messier 96 é de fato o membro mais brilhante do grupo, e como "líder do bando", também dá ao grupo ...
potw1211-pt-br — Foto da Semana
Uma camada de neve no deserto do Atacama
12 de Março de 2012: As cúpulas do VLT do ESO no Cerro Paranal reluzem ao Sol em mais um glorioso dia sem nuvens. Mas algo está diferente nesta imagem: uma fina camada de neve espalhou-se pela paisagem do deserto. Isto não é algo que se vê todos os dias: muito pelo contrário, já que o deserto do Atacama praticamente não recebe precipitação. Vários fatores contribuem para as condições secas do Atacama. A Cordilheira dos Andes bloqueia a chuva vinda do leste, e a Cordilheira Costal chilena a chuva vinda do oeste. A corrente marítima de Humboldt, um fluxo gelado no Oceano Pacífico, cria uma camada de inversão térmica no ar litorâneo, que impede que nuvens de chuva sejam formadas. A região de alta pressão no sudeste do Oceano Pacífico faz com que os ventos circulem, gerando anti-ciclones, que também contribuem para manter o clima do Atacama árido. Graças a esses fatores, a região é ...
potw1210 — Foto da Semana
A Window to the Past — La Silla’s transformation through time
5 de Março de 2012: ESO turns fifty this year, and to celebrate this important anniversary, we are showing you glimpses into our history. Once a month during 2012, a special “Then and Now” comparison Picture of the Week shows how things have changed over the decades at the La Silla and Paranal observatory sites, the ESO offices in Santiago de Chile, and the Headquarters in Garching bei München, Germany. Here are two photographs of La Silla, taken in June 1968 and the present day from near the observatory’s water tanks, looking over the rest of the site. You can examine the changes with our mouseover image comparison. In the historical image, the provisional residential area is visible in the foreground. The three telescopes in the background are, from left to right, the Grand Prism Objectif (GPO, first light in 1968), the ESO 1-metre telescope (first light in 1966), and the ESO 1.5-metre telescope (first ...
potw1209-pt-br — Foto da Semana
Rodopio de Partida
27 de Fevereiro de 2012: O dinamismo do Very Large Telescope do ESO no início das operações, encontra-se soberbamente ilustrado nesta invulgar fotografia, tirada logo a seguir ao pôr do Sol, no preciso momento em que o Telescópio 1 começa a trabalhar. Uma longa exposição, com uma duração de 26 segundos, permitiu ao Embaixador Fotográfico do ESO, Gerhard Hudepohl, captar o movimento da cúpula, olhando para fora através do buraco que se vai abrindo, à medida que o sistema se põe em movimento. As paredes rotativas da cúpula aparecem-nos num rodopio etéreo, através do qual podemos distinguir um pouco do Deserto do Atacama, enquanto o firme céu do crepúsculo nos oferece ainda um lampejo de azul discreto. A estrutura do telescópio, que aparece estacionária no centro da imagem, alberga um espelho de 8.2 metros de diâmetro, concebido para colectar radiação vinda dos confins do Universo. A própria cúpula é uma maravilha da tecnologia, movendo-se com ...
potw1208 — Foto da Semana
Boldly going up Cerro Paranal
20 de Fevereiro de 2012: ESO’s Paranal Observatory facilities, such as the Residencia, give people who work at the site a welcome shelter from the surrounding inhospitable environment. In spite of that, they also offer interesting options for those who wish to enjoy the stark and silent beauty of the Atacama Desert. See this stunning panorama! Among these is the Star Track, a walking path which connects the Residencia with the Very Large Telescope (VLT) platform, on the 2600-metre summit of Cerro Paranal. Built in 2001, the Star Track covers about two kilometres in distance and a difference in height of 200 metres. The last part of the track snakes around the west side of the mountain, offering incomparable views. This 360 degree panoramic picture is centred facing north, so the right and left edges of the picture correspond to the south. To the north, the VLT control room and part of one of the ...
potw1207 — Foto da Semana
The Heart of the Milky Way, for Valentine’s Day
13 de Fevereiro de 2012: There is a lot to love about astronomy, and — in time for Valentine's Day — photographer Julien Girard offers a "heartfelt” example in this image. A bright pink symbol of love appears to float ethereally against the backdrop of the night sky over ESO's Paranal Observatory in northern Chile. Girard drew the heart in the air by shining a tiny flashlight keychain at the camera during a 25-second exposure with a tripod. The central region of the Milky Way appears in the middle of the heart, as the plane of our galaxy stretches across the image. The stars of the constellation of Corona Australis (The Southern Crown) form a glittering arc of jewels at the top of the heart's left lobe. The diffuse glow to the left of the heart's lowest point is zodiacal light, caused by the scattering of light from the Sun by dust particles in the ...
potw1206 — Foto da Semana
A Drive Through Time — How telescopes, and cars, have changed at La Silla
6 de Fevereiro de 2012: ESO turns fifty this year, and to celebrate this important anniversary, we are showing you glimpses into its history. Once a month during 2012, a special “Then and Now” comparison Picture of the Week shows how things have changed over the decades at the La Silla and Paranal observatory sites, the ESO offices in Santiago de Chile, and the Headquarters in Garching bei München, Germany. These two photographs show the La Silla Observatory in the late 1960s and the present day. You can also examine the differences between the two photographs with our mouseover comparison. The telescopes aren’t the only things that have changed; the cars in the photos also show the passing of time. The Volkswagen 1600 Variant in the first picture has been replaced in the second picture by a Suzuki 4WD. Nowadays, all ESO vehicles on La Silla are white, to improve visibility at night. Standing alone ...
potw1205 — Foto da Semana
A Shadow at Sunrise
30 de Janeiro de 2012: In this photograph, taken by ESO Photo Ambassador Gianluca Lombardi, the Sun is rising and bathing the Chilean Atacama Desert in a familiar soft reddish glow. But this image, from 13 July 2011, has also captured something out of the ordinary: a dark shadow lurking on the horizon. Gianluca took this photograph from Cerro Armazones, looking west. Armazones is the future home of the world’s biggest eye on the sky: the upcoming European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT). The Sun rose behind Gianluca in just the right place to cast a daunting shadow of the 3060-metre-high mountain onto the Earth’s atmosphere in the distance. The shadow can be seen reaching over the vast desert landscape, and up across the horizon on the left side of the image. The bright summit visible on the right of the image is Cerro Paranal, at an altitude of 2600 metres. It is only 20 kilometres ...
potw1204 — Foto da Semana
Barred Spiral Galaxy Swirls in the Night Sky
23 de Janeiro de 2012: This image shows the swirling shape of galaxy NGC 2217, in the constellation of Canis Major (The Great Dog). In the central region of the galaxy is a distinctive bar of stars within an oval ring. Further out, a set of tightly wound spiral arms almost form a circular ring around the galaxy. NGC 2217 is therefore classified as a barred spiral galaxy, and its circular appearance indicates that we see it nearly face-on. The outer spiral arms have a bluish colour, indicating the presence of hot, luminous, young stars, born out of clouds of interstellar gas. The central bulge and bar are yellower in appearance, due to the presence of older stars. Dark streaks can also be seen in places against the galaxy’s arms and central bulge, where lanes of cosmic dust block out some of the starlight. The majority of spiral galaxies in the local Universe — including ...
potw1203 — Foto da Semana
ALMA’s Grand Antennas
16 de Janeiro de 2012: Workers on the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) project stand next to three of the telescope’s antennas. This photograph gives a real sense of the scale of the giant dishes, whose 12-metre diameters are about seven times the average human height. When completed, ALMA will consist of 66 high-precision antennas, 54 of them with 12-metre dishes as seen in this image, and 12 more compact ones with diameters of 7 metres. The yellow 28-wheel transporter vehicle, which has to be powerful enough to carry the 100-tonne antennas, is built on a similarly giant scale. This photograph was taken at the 2900-metre-high ALMA Operations Support Facility in the foothills of the Chilean Andes, where the antennas are assembled and tested. On the left is one of the European ALMA antennas, pointing at the horizon. Behind it is one of the antennas provided to the project by Japan, while on the right, ...
potw1202 — Foto da Semana
Mapping Dark Matter in Galaxies
9 de Janeiro de 2012: The picture is part of the COMBO-17 survey (Classifying Objects by Medium-Band Observations in 17 Filters), a project dedicated to recording detailed images of small patches of the sky through filters of 17 different colours. The area covered in this image is only about the size of the full Moon, but thousands of galaxies can be identified just within this small region. The image was taken with an exposure time of almost seven hours, which allowed the camera to capture the light from very faint and distant objects, as well as those that are closer to us. Galaxies with clear and regular structures, such as the spiral specimen viewed edge-on near the upper left corner, are only up to a few billion light-years away. The fainter, fuzzier objects are so far away that it has taken nine or ten billion years for their light to reach us. The COMBO-17 survey ...
potw1201 — Foto da Semana
A Glimpse into the Past — Then and Now at La Silla Observatory
3 de Janeiro de 2012: ESO turns 50 this year, and to celebrate this important anniversary, we will be showing you glimpses into our history. Once a month throughout 2012, a special “then and now” comparison Picture of the Week will show how things have changed over the decades at the La Silla and Paranal observatory sites, the ESO offices in Santiago de Chile, and the Headquarters in Garching bei München, Germany. Our first stop on this journey through time is at La Silla, the first of ESO’s observatory sites. The historical image was taken in the late 1960s or early 1970s from the dome of the ESO 1.52-metre telescope, which had its first light in 1968. A second photograph, taken in the present day, shows how much the observatory has changed over the decades. You can examine the changes with our mouseover image comparison. In the historical image, we can see the ESO 1-metre telescope ...
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