- News Home
5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
An animal rights group known as the Nonhuman Rights Project filed lawsuits in three New York courts this week in an...
Researchers have been hot on the trail of the elusive Denisovans, a type of ancient human known only by their DNA and...
Thousands of scientists in the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) are about to lose their jobs as a result of the...
Dyslexia, a learning disability that hinders reading, hasn't been associated with deficits in vision, hearing, or...
Exotic, elusive, and dangerous, snakes have fascinated humankind for millennia. They can be hard to find, yet their...
Researchers have sequenced and analyzed the first two snake genomes, which represent two evolutionary extremes. The...
Snake venoms are remarkably complex mixtures that can stun or kill prey within minutes. But more and more researchers...
At age 30, Dutch biologist Freek Vonk has built up a respectable career as a snake scientist. But in his home country,...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
- About Us
A Supreme Star Guide
21 August 1998 7:00 pm
When astronomers crank up a huge, powerful optical telescope, they don't just point and shoot. First, they must select targets from detailed imaging surveys of chunks of the sky, performed by other, wide-field telescopes. Now, the first of a new generation of optical surveys is available to help them decide where to look. Thanks to the use of sensitive electronic cameras, the new survey will offer the deepest--the furthest away from Earth in both space and time--and most detailed guide yet for astronomers using the European Southern Observatory's (ESO's) Very Large Telescope (VLT), under construction in northern Chile. The survey will also be useful to other large telescopes in Australia, Chile, and Hawaii.
Last year, ESO astronomers surveyed four patches of southern sky--each 2 degrees by 3 degrees, or 30 times the size of the full moon--in unprecedented detail, using ESO's 3.5-meter New Technology Telescope at La Silla, Chile. The patches yielded an inventory of about 1 million galaxies and 250 distant galaxy clusters, providing a wealth of observation targets for astronomers who will start using the first of VLT's four identical 8.2-meter telescopes when it comes on line next year.
The ESO Imaging Survey, the results of which were released earlier this month, is 10 times as sensitive as is the 1990 British-Australian survey of the southern sky, called the APM Galaxy Survey, which was based on digitized photographic plates. "Being able to select fainter objects means that you will be able to probe further back into the history of the universe," says APM survey head Steve Maddox of Cambridge University.