August 17, 2022


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A new telescope in the Canary Islands - detects the collision of neutron stars

A new telescope in the Canary Islands – detects the collision of neutron stars

The new telescope in La Palma in the Canary Islands is a collaborative project of various observatories and universities, the University of Sheffield writes in press release.

The Gravitational Wave Transient Optical Observatory (GOTO) telescope will look for optical traces of violent cosmic events, which create ripples, or waves, in space.

Observatory: GOTO telescope at the “Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos” in La Palma in the Canary Islands, Spain. Photo: Science and Technology Facilities Council
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gravitational waves They occur when massive objects such as neutron stars or black holes collide violently. Waves travel at the speed of light.

SNL A neutron star is defined as a small, compact body made up largely of neutrons, and is one of several potential final stages in a star’s life.

expand understanding

This telescope will be essential to researchers around the world, to expand our understanding of the university, says astronomer Martin Dyer, who worked on the GOTO project.

Telescopes around the world watch for gravitational waves, but when gravitational wave detectors can’t find the source of the ripples, telescopes don’t know where to look.

If gravitational-wave observatories are the ears that pick up the sound of the event, and the telescopes are the eyes, they are ready to see the event at all wavelengths, then the GOTO is in the middle and tells the eye where to look, says the professor. Danny Steigs, Head of GOTO-Project.

It should work fast

– Professor Stigs adds that when there is a really good discovery, everything is at hand BBC.

Steeghs continues that gravitational waves are short-lived and don’t take long to dissipate, so it’s all about working fast.

When gravitational waves are detected, they work to determine their location within hours. They take pictures of the sky and digitally remove the stars, planets, and galaxies that were there the night before. Any spot of light that wasn’t there before could be a collision of neutron stars.

Researchers at La Palma are also collaborating with other astronomers. They turn to larger and more powerful telescopes from other parts of the world to study the collision in more detail and at different wavelengths.

Also in Australia

The GOTO telescope at the “Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos” in La Palma is one of two telescopes that will help with the localization.

In Australia at Siding Spring Observatory they are setting up the same 16 telescope system found at La Palma.

With telescopes deployed to both sides of the globe, they would get a complete “picture” of the sky.

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