Patch-up telescope sees first detail of star beyond galaxyMay 28th, 2008 - 2:16 pm ICT by admin
Garching (Germany), May 28 (DPA) Scientists in Germany who devised a way to hook up two powerful telescopes in stereo have observed for the first time the details of a star outside our Milky Way galaxy. They trained the two telescopes on a red supergiant named WOH G64 in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a neighbouring galaxy. WOH is about 2,000 times larger than the sun and is 163,000 light years away.
Keiichi Ohnaka of the Max Planck Radio-Astronomy Institute in Bonn led the research, which is described in a new science article Tuesday.
He and his team worked with the European Southern Observatory (ESO) in Garching, a suburb of Munich, remotely using the ESO telescope complex, which is built on a desert mountain in Chile.
They used two eight-metre reflector scopes to create a virtual 60-metre telescope.
The observations show the ageing star blowing much of its substance into space. It has lost 40 percent of its original mass already, developing a shroud of dust around it. An explosion as a supernova is inevitable.
The article appears in Astronomy & Astrophysics.
Tags: desert mountain, european southern observatory, garching germany, large magellanic cloud, light years, max planck, metre telescope, milky way galaxy, munich, neighbouring galaxy, new science, radio astronomy institute, red supergiant, reflector, science article, scopes, shroud, suburb, supernova, telescopes