'Catch a Star' winners visit Calar Alto Observatory

 

Catch a Star winners at 3.5 m telescope control room

 

Calar Alto Observatory has enjoyed the visit of one of the teams of winners of the European Southern Observatory international contest "Catch a Star". Denitsa Georgieva, Rositsa Zhekova and Tanya Nikolova, with their professor Dimitar Kokotanekov, from Bulgaria, shared with us three nights of work...

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The dark also shines

cloudshine-teaser

The dark clouds of gas and dust that populate the space among the stars are not as dark as previosuly beleived. A recent study done at infrared wavelengths at Calar Alto Observatory, shows that some of these clouds do shine, and display beautiful extended emission most likely due to scattered ambient starlight. The authors of this study named this new light cloudshine...



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AstraLux: Hubble's sharp resolution from Calar Alto

AstraLux on the core of globular cluster M15

AstraLux, a new, simple instrument developed at the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy in Heidelberg, has demonstrated at Calar Alto its ability to register extremely sharp astronomical images, comparable in resolution to views obtained with the Hubble Space Telescope...

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The most luminous quasar state ever observed

quasar175Calar Alto participates in a multi-observatory effort to study the most luminous quasar ever observed. The object, radio quasar 3C 454.3 in the constellation Pegasus, experienced during 2005 a strong optical outburst  that made it observable even with amateur instrumentation (reaching R = 12 mag). According to the WEBT team, "this ourburst peak likely represents the most luminous quasar state ever observed". The same team quantified the maximum luminosity of this object as MB = -31.4 mag. This means that, at its maximum and when observed in blue light, 3C 454.3 was as bright as 550 billions of suns put together...

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