Messenger No. 7 (December 1976)

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1-1 (PDF)
ESO
A Giant Leap for European Astronomy - First photographs from the 3.6 Metre Telescope

ADS BibCode:
1976Msngr...7....1.
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
ESO
AA(ESO)
2-3 (PDF)
R. Wilson
'First Light' for 3.6 m Telescope

ADS BibCode:
1976Msngr...7....2W
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Wilson, R.
AA(ESO)
Abstract:
A first look at the sky through the ESO 3.6 m telescope with its mirror aluminized was taken during the night of November 7-8. The "first light" to a telescope is a unique moment, and it was celebrated with a midnight tea. But apart from that, we had many troubles that night. Obviously you cannot expect everything to work at once in an instrument as complex as the 3.6 m telescope; much time must be allowed for debugging the entire system. The people who work with it have to learn how to handle the various procedures, but after a very successful aluminization, we had nearly forgotten that something could go wrong. And so, during the night of first light, the images (what a disaster!) looked like small hearts. Very romantic, although not exactly what astronomers are looking for in the sky. It took us two days to find and cure that fault. The 11-ton main mirror had chosen to rest on two ofthe back supports only. From the third one it kept a respectful distance of 1 mm.
3-4 (PDF)
T. Andersen
The Prime-Focus Cage

ADS BibCode:
1976Msngr...7....3A
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Andersen, T.
AA(ESO)
Abstract:
The first plates have now been taken with the 3.6 m telescope. This was done in the prime-focus cage that allows the astronomer to ride in the front end of the telescope during the observations. In the following we shall explain how the cage was equipped for the first test of the telescope.
3-3 (PDF)
R. Wilson
Optical Alignment of 3.6 m Telescope and First Tests

ADS BibCode:
1976Msngr...7....3W
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Wilson, R.
AA(ESO)
Abstract:
The Optics Group from Geneva has been intensively occupied for the last ten weeks with the alignment and testing of the prime-focus optics for the 3.6 m telescope.
5-6 (PDF)
ESO
A Very Near Miss: 1976 UA

ADS BibCode:
1976Msngr...7....5.
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
ESO
AA(ESO)
Abstract:
Seience-fiction authors use the effect ever so often, but in real life it seldom happens. We know, however, that the Earth is being struck by meteorites every day, and that statistieally the number of small bodies in the solar system is more than enough for a larger-size celestial boulder-a small asteroid-to hit the Earth at regular intervals. And if it happens in the near future it could be a more or less catastrophie disaster, depending on the size of the asteroid and the location of the impact site.
6-9 (PDF)
E. Maurice
Some French Stellar Programmes in the Magellanic Clouds

ADS BibCode:
1976Msngr...7....6M
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Maurice, E.
AA(Marseille Observatory - was at ESO 1968 to 1973)
Abstract:
Since the very early years of the existence of ESO, French astronomers and technicians have been closely involved in its activity. It is not possible, here, to mention all those who, starting in 1961-and even before for site-testing-have spent aperiod of their lives in South Africa or in Chile to install and test the instruments and then to observe. Nearly all French observatories are or were involved in these activities but it is appropriate to mention especially the Haute-Provence and Marseille observatories, and the prominent influence of Ch. Fehrenbach.
9-11 (PDF)
J. Dachs, T. Schmidt-Kaler
The Bochum Telescope Explores the Southern Sky

ADS BibCode:
1976Msngr...7....9D
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Dachs, J.; Schmidt-Kaler, T.
AA(Bochum University) AB(Bochum University)
Abstract:
Three nations have national telescapes on La Silla, Denmark (50 cm and 1.5 m), the Federal Republic of Germany (61 cm) and Switzerland (40 cm). In the last issue of the Messenger, we heard obout the Swiss telescape which has recently started observations in the rich southern sky. The Bochum telescape is an oldtimer on La Silla and has produced an incredible amount of valuable observations. Professors J. Dachs and Th. Schmidt-Kaler of the Bochum University explain how the 61 cm telescape has contributed to the advance of astronomy in the southern sky:
12-13 (PDF)
B. Strämgren
A Search for F Stars of Intermediate Population II Within 100 Parsecs

ADS BibCode:
1976Msngr...7...12S
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Strämgren, B.
AA(ESO)
Abstract:
The class of stars of intermediate population II is defined through the chemical composition of the stars. A star belongs to this class if its relative heavy-element content Z is between one-fourth and one-tenth of the Z-value for Hyades stars. This means that the range in question is from Z = 0.008 to Z = 0.003, so that Z = 0.005 is a typical value.
14-15 (PDF)
ESO
Those Tumbling Asteroids

ADS BibCode:
1976Msngr...7...14.
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
ESO
AA(ESO)
Abstract:
Once a small planet has been discovered (see 1. inst. Messenger No. 6, Sept. 1976) and its orbit determined, we can keep track of it and find it again in the sky at any time as a faint speck of light, moving along between the fixed stars. Then we can study it further by spectroscopy and photometry (measurement of its magnitude and colours). Whereas its spectrum is normally very similar to that of the Sun (reflected sunlight from the asteroid's surface), its light-curve may tell us its rotation period, and possibly, after a long series of preeise measurements, the shape and direction of the rotation axis. These quantities are not trivial; f. inst. the behaviour of minor planets of the same family (similar orbits) is of importance for our understanding of their origin.
15-16 (PDF)
ESO
Why are Binary Stars so Important for the Theory of Stellar Evolution?

ADS BibCode:
1976Msngr...7...15.
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
ESO
AA(ESO)
Abstract:
A good theory needs a good observational basis. The truth of this statement is accepted by both theoretical and observational astronomers, but the history of astronomy nevertheless shows many theoretical studies which have been founded on insufficient or even inaccurate observations. Our present knowledge of stellar evolution is best visualized as the movements, as time passes by, of stars with different masses and chemical compositions in the Hertzsprung-Russell (temperature versus luminosity) diagram. This theory is very complicated and rests heavily on observations of luminosities, colours and sizes of amazingly few, well-studied stars. Dr. Henning E. Jorgensen of the Copenhagen University Observatory has studied the problems of stellar evolution with fast computers and is weil aware of the necessity of extremely accurate observations in support of the theoretical studies. He explains why eclipsing binary stars are particularly suited for this purpose and informs about some of the recent observations of southern binaries from La Silla.
16-18 (PDF)
ESO
Two New Irregular Dwarf Galaxies

ADS BibCode:
1976Msngr...7...16.
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
ESO
AA(ESO)
Abstract:
During the past year, two new southern dwarf galaxies were discovered on ESO Schmidt plates. The first object, in the constellation Phoenix, was first believed to be a distant globular cluster (cf. Messenger No. 4, March 1976), but recent observations by American astronomers at the Gerro Tololo Interamerican Observatory now show the Phoenix
18-19 (PDF)
E. Schumann
How to Keep Hungry Heroes Healthy and Happy

ADS BibCode:
1976Msngr...7...18S
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
Schumann,E.
AA(ESO)
Abstract:
With 25 years' experience, also from several major European restaurants, Mr. Schumann and his competent Chilean staff daily live up to their internationally established reputation and-with great ca re and insight-they prepare our stomachs and spirits for the hardships of a mountain observatory. These are Mr. Schumann's own words about same of the secrets of how to keep the ESO people happy and in good shape:
19-19 (PDF)
ESO
Staff Movements

ADS BibCode:
1976Msngr...7...19.
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
ESO
AA(ESO)
20-20 (PDF)
ESO
Algunos Resumenes

ADS BibCode:
1976Msngr...7...20.
Author(s)/Affiliation(s):
ESO
AA(ESO)