The new OmegaCam camera allows you to take stunning images of deep space with a resolution in two billion pixels
Representatives of the European southern Observatory (European Southern Observatory, ESO) recently published a series of stunningly clear and beautiful images of the nebula the Cat’s Paw nebula and lobster, each of which has a resolution of two billion pixels.
The nebula NGC 6334 (Cat’s paw) and NGC 6357 (the lobster) located in the “tail” of the constellation Scorpius, and they represent areas in the bowels of which there are intensive processes of formation of new stars.
A couple of the aforementioned nebulae was opened in June of 1837, the famous British astronomer John Herschel, who was at this point in the three-year expedition to the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa. From the moment when Herschel made his discoveries, science has made great progress in the understanding of the processes taking place in the “star hospitals”. And we now know that the nebula NGC 6334 and NGC 6357 belong to the class of so-called emission nebulae.
Emission nebula gets its name due to the weak infrared radiation emitted by the hydrogen atoms, which mainly consist of clouds forming this nebula. Infrared radiation is caused by the influence of the energy emitted by young and massive, 10 times more Sun, the stars. Ultraviolet light from these stars converts hydrogen atoms to an excited energy state, and they begin to emit light, though in the infrared range.
Images of nebulae, which have dimensions on 49,511 39,136 points, showing us a complex and chaotic structure of these nebulae, the dense fibrous dust formation that make up the nebula NGC 6334 and NGC 6357, and which occlude a great picture of violence of star formation processes unfolding in the background.
Obtaining such high-quality images made possible by the commissioning of a new camera called OmegaCam, which is installed on the telescope Very Large Telescope Survey Telescope (VST), part of Paranal Observatory (Paranal Observatory) in Chile. This camera can “see” the depths of space in a very wide wavelength range, its matrix has a resolution of 256 million pixels, which allows to obtain images at 16 times larger or higher quality than photos that makes camera the Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) Hubble space telescope Space Telescope.
But the camera OmegaCam is not only a large sensor and high quality optics. This is a complex system of so-called adaptive optics, coupled with a 2.6-metre mirror telescope VST. System with 108 separate actuator controls the position of individual sections of the reflective surface of the mirror. This allows you to compensate for atmospheric distortion and to obtain extremely clear pictures.
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