Messenger No. 16 (March 1979)

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1-3 (PDF)
J. Andersen et al.
The Danish 1.5 m telescope in operation!

ADS BibCode:
1979Msngr..16....1A
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Andersen, J.; Florentin Nielsen, R.; Gyldenkerne, K.
AA(Copenhagen University Observatory) AB(Copenhagen University Observatory) AC(Copenhagen University Observatory)
Abstract:
On November 20, 1978, Danish astronomy passed a milestone: The Danish 1.5 m telescope on La Silla made its first astronomical observations. This marks the beginning of an era we have long looked forward to, when this powerful new tool will vastly increase the scope as weil as the extent of our possibilities for research in the southern hemisphere.
4-6 (PDF)
P. Véron, G. A. Tammann
Astronomical broadsheets, forerunners of the IAU circulars.

ADS BibCode:
1979Msngr..16....4V
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Véron, P.; Tammann, G. A.
AA(Geneva) AB(Geneva)
Abstract:
Astronomical news stories have always sold weil, but the way of presenting celestial phenomena to the public has changed somewhat during the centuries, from broadsheets to present-day popular journals. Drs. Philippe Veron and Gustav Tammann, at the ESO Scientific Group in Geneva, and both weil known for their important work on extragalactic objects, have recently studied a large number of old texts in order to see whether they contain astronomically valuable information. It appears that although most of them emphasize the sensational rather than the strictly scientific point of view (not quite unlike many newspapers of our days!), some still give us new insight into old astronomical observations.
7-8 (PDF)
F. Spite, M. Spite
Astro-archaeology: observations at La Silla of some old halo stars.

ADS BibCode:
1979Msngr..16....7S
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Spite, F.; Spite, M.
AA(Paris Observatory in Meudon) AB(Paris Observatory in Meudon)
Abstract:
When, where and how were the heavy elements produced in the young Universe? Present theories say that it mainly happened in supernova explosions, but only accurate observations of very old stars can show whether this is true or not. Drs. Monique and Fran90is Spite from the Paris Observatory in Meudon recently started a study of very metal-deficient stars in the Galaxy to see if there are minor differences in the abundances of the individual metals, as predicted by theory. Here they inform us about the reasons for their observations and give some of the first results.
9-11 (PDF)
N. Epchtein, P. Turon
Infrared observations of stellar birth-places.

ADS BibCode:
1979Msngr..16....9E
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Epchtein, N.; Turon, P.
AA(ESO) AB(ESO)
Abstract:
A few months ago, Drs. Nicolas Epehtein and Pierre Turon went to La Silla and mounted their specially-designed infrared photometer at the Cassegrain foeus of the ESO 3.6 m teleseope. Although the weather was unusually unpleasant, they sueeeeded in measuring a number of H 11 regions. In this article, they review observations of star birth-places in various speetral regions.
References:
Frogel, J. A., Persson, S. E., 1974, Astrophys. J. 192,351.
Werner, M. W., Becklin, E. E., Gatley, 1., Ellis, M. J., Hyland, A. R.,
Robinson, G., Thomas, J.A., 1978, Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc. 184, 365.
11-11 (PDF)
M. Ziebell, R. West
New clock system for La Silla.

ADS BibCode:
1979Msngr..16...11Z
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Ziebell, M.; West, R.
AA(ESO) AB(ESO)
Abstract:
One of the features ofthe La Silla observatory that impresses visitors most is the incredible number of clocks. Sure, nobody doubts that astronomers need accurate time--but why so many clocks?
12-14 (PDF)
R. Wilson, F. Franza
Recent improvements in the optical quality of the La Silla telescopes.

ADS BibCode:
1979Msngr..16...12W
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Wilson, R.; Franza, F.
AA(ESO Optics Section, Geneva) AB(ESO Optics Section, Geneva)
Abstract:
Last spring the Director-General of ESO, Professor Woltjer, asked the Optics Section in Geneva to investigate systematically the optical quality of all the La Silla telescopes and make any necessary improvements to bring all instruments up to the maximum of their potential. Of course, we have been concerned with the 3.6 m telescope throughout its construction and installation, but the extension to the other telescopes was a major new commitment, requiring considerable time and effort as weil as the understanding and cooperation of our colleagues in Chile.
15-16 (PDF)
R. Schoembs
Recent observations at ESO of the dwarf novae VW Hydri and WX Hydri.

ADS BibCode:
1979Msngr..16...15S
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Schoembs, R.
AA(Munich University (FRG))
Abstract:
Observations ot the mysterious dwart novae are being pursued with great vigour at La Silla. In addition to earlier photometrie observations (cf. Messenger No. 5, p. 2, and No. 14, p. 15), Dr. Rolf Sehoembs ot the Institute tor Astronomy and Astrophysies at the Munich University (FRG) has now obtained series ot eonseeutive speetra and polarimetrie data tor two southern, prominent representatives ot this stellar elass. An early look at the polarimetry enabled Dr. Sehoembs to set upper limits tor the polarization, and the speetra showed unexpeeted ehanges trom night to night.
17-19 (PDF)
J. H. Oort
Great expectations.

ADS BibCode:
1979Msngr..16...17O
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Oort, J. H.
AA(Leiden Observatory)
Abstract:
Professor Jan H. Oort from the Leiden Observatory in the Netherfands is one of the founders of ESO and one of the most ardent supporters of collaboration in European astronomy. We are extremefy pfeased to bring his comprehensive views on the utilization of the VL T. During many decades of active front-fine research in astronomy, Professor Oort has inspired numerous programmes and astronomers. We trust that the readers will share his enthousiasm for what the VLT can contribute to cosmofogy!
20-20 (PDF)
L. Houziaux
More high-quality observations of stellar spectra.

ADS BibCode:
1979Msngr..16...20H
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Houziaux, L.
AA(Astrophysical Institute in Liege, Belgium)
Abstract:
With its large light-gathering power, the VLT will permit spectra of even rather faint objects to be obtained with short exposure times. It will therefore become possible to observe rapid changes in, for instance, the emission lines in nova spectra and to learn about the physical conditions of a nova outburst. Professor Uw Houziaux of the Astrophysical Institute in Liege, Belgium, expects to observe spectrally variable stars with the VLT and also to do very accurate spectrophotometry of a number of brighter stars.
21-22 (PDF)
F. Bertola
The mysterious elliptical galaxies.

ADS BibCode:
1979Msngr..16...21B
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Bertola, F.
AA(Padova University (Italy))
Abstract:
Until recently, most astronomers agreed that the elliptical galaxies were very weil understood. Then, a few years ago, evidence was found that their ellipsoidal shapes cannot be explained as a f1attening by rotation alone. Some even seemed to be prolate, i.e. extended in the direction of the poles! This problem, of cosmological significance, has been studied by Dr. Francesco Bertola at the Astronomicallnstitute of the Pado va University (Italy) and his collaborators. Needless to say, one of the problems he would like to investigate with the VL T concerns these strange galaxies.
References:
F. Bertola, M. Capaccioli, 1975, Astrophys. J., 200, 439.
F. Bertola, M. Capaccioli, 1979, in preparation.
F. Bertola, G. Galletta, 1978, Astrophys. J., 226, L 115.
G. IIlingworth, 1977, Astrophys. J., 218, L 43.
W. L. W. Sargent, P. J. Young, A. Boksenberg, K. Shortridge, C. R. Lynds, F. D. A. Hartwiek, 1978, Astrophy.J., 221, 731.
22-23 (PDF)
J. Borgman
The VLT and the infrared.

ADS BibCode:
1979Msngr..16...22B
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Borgman, J.
AA(Groningen University)
Abstract:
The use of the VLT will not be restricted to the visual region of the spectrum. One of the great advantages of the large size will be the greatly improved angular resolution in the infrared. Professor Jan Borgman of the Groningen University (of which he is Rector) has since long been active in infrared astronomy. He explains how the VLT can be used to study cool objects and possibly contribute actively to the search for life in the Milky Way.
24-25 (PDF)
M.-H. Ulrich
European astronomers discuss the use of the Space Telescope.

ADS BibCode:
1979Msngr..16...24U
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Ulrich, M.-H.
AA(ESO)
Abstract:
A workshop on "Astronomical Uses of the Space Telescope" was held in Geneva on February 12-14,1979. This workshop was organized jointly by ESA (European Space Agency) and ESO and took place in the main auditorium at CERN.
26-30 (PDF)
M. Ziebell
The triplet adaptor soon ready for 3.6 m prime focus observations.

ADS BibCode:
1979Msngr..16...26Z
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Ziebell, M.
AA(ESO)
Abstract:
The primary mirror of the 3.6 m teleseope has a eomplieated figure, and a "eorreetor" must be inserted, just below the prime-foeus eage, in order to obtain sharp images in this foeus. Until now, a one-element (Gaseoigne) eorreetor has provided a usable fjeld of about 16 aremin or 6 em. However, the full advantage of the exeellent optieal quality of the primary mirror ean only be realized with more eomplieated optieal means. After a long period of testing, a three-element (triplet) eorreetor that is optimized for the blue speetral region and a similar one for the red region will now be installed. They are supported by the "triplet adaptor", an advaneed optieal-eleetronieal-meehanieal system that will be remotely eontrolled from the main observing eonsole in the teleseope eontrol room. ESO engineer Manfred Ziebell is now trimming the rather eomplieated instrument to perfeetion and we may expeet soon to see the first wide-field (1~2) photographs from the 3.6 m prime foeus.
30-31 (PDF)
ESO
Visiting Astronomers

ADS BibCode:
1979Msngr..16...30.
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
ESO
AA(ESO)
33-35 (PDF)
P. S. The et al.
The bright pre-main-sequence shell star HR 5999.

ADS BibCode:
1979Msngr..16...33T
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
The, P. S.; Tjin, H. R. E.; Djie A.
AA(Astronomical Institute of the University of Amsterdam) AB(Astronomical Institute of the University of Amsterdam) AC(Astronomical Institute of the University of Amsterdam)
Abstract:
It has been known tor some time that stars are born by contraction in interstellar clouds. During most of this phase they remain invisible to us, because of the gas and dust shell in which they are imbedded. It is only towards the end ot the birth process, when they approach the Zero-Age Main Sequence in the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram, that the newborn stars start to shine through their cocoon. At least that is what most astronomers thought until recentIy, when observations showed that the very young star HR 5999 is at least three magnitudes above the Main Sequence. Drs. Pik Sin The and H.RE Tjin A Djie trom the Astronomical Institute of the University of Amsterdam (the Netherlands) explain how HR 5999 was recently observed simultaneously from La Silla, South Atrica and with the IUE satellite.
35-36 (PDF)
E. Høg
The ESA astrometry satellite.

ADS BibCode:
1979Msngr..16...35H
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Høg, E.
AA(Copenhagen University, Denmark)
Abstract:
Recent advances in methods and instruments for astrometry (i.e. the accurate determination of positions in the sky of astronomical objects) have resulted in a proposal for an astrometrical satellite by a group of European astronomers. Dr. Erik H0g of the Brorfelde Observatory (Copenhagen University, Denmark) outlines the project and explains how it would make possible an incredible number of accurate, positional observations of the brighter stars.
37-38 (PDF)
T. Andersen
Test assembly of the CAT (Coudé Auxiliary Telescope).

ADS BibCode:
1979Msngr..16...37A
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Andersen, T.
AA(ESO TP, Geneva, Switzerland)
Abstract:
A preliminary report on the Coude Auxiliary Telescope tor the 3.6 m telescope coude spectrograph was given in The Messenger No. 10 by Dr. Torben Andersen, ESO engineer in Geneva. Good progress has been made and the tollowing summary, also by Dr. Andersen, indicates that the CAT will start observations on La Silla in a little more than one year trom now.
38-39 (PDF)
M. Pakull
Probable optical identification of LMC X-2.

ADS BibCode:
1979Msngr..16...38P
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Pakull, M.
AA(ESO)
Abstract:
Ouring the last year enormous progress has been achieved in the optical identification of X-ray sources. With the X-ray satellites SAS-3 and HEAO-1 positions with an accuracy of 10" have been determined, and even more precise results will be obtained with the recently launched Einstein-Observatory (HEAO-B).
40-40 (PDF)
ESO
Algunos Resumenes

ADS BibCode:
1979Msngr..16...40.
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
ESO
AA(ESO)