New telescope to observe the northern sky

New telescope to observe the northern sky

The new infrared telescope from the California Institute of Technology (USA) will be the first to observe the entire northern sky in search of new space events. The agile Gattini-IR robotic telescope will scan the northern sky once every night from the Palomar Observatory (southern California), allowing astronomers to observe and study fast-changing transient and variable events with unprecedented speed and accuracy.

Commissioning completed last month. Creating a mosaic of the northern sky every night, you can get information about a variety of amazing objects and dramatic events, such as the final throes of dying stars, shaded by dust, and the discovery of the oldest stars in the galaxy.

In addition, infrared vision allows you to wade through dust clouds and opens up a vision of the formation of heavy elements, such as gold and platinum, in mergers of neutron stars. In August 2017, scientists observed the first such confirmed merger - GW170817. It shone at all wavelengths, but it was infrared rays that made it possible to detect the formation of heavy elements. The southern sky will not be overlooked, because an instrument in the IR range, called DREAMS, with a sensitive 0.5-meter IR telescope in the Siding Spring Observatory is already being prepared for it.

Gattini-IC will be the forerunner of more ambitious projects, which allow to determine exactly which heavy elements are formed in the fusion of neutron stars and how many are there. This will allow to answer more global questions about the Universe and our Milky Way galaxy.

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