News: Rymd- och geovetenskap related to Chalmers University of TechnologySun, 19 Sep 2021 09:32:04 +0200 prize awarded to energy researcher<p><b>​Filip Johnsson, Professor of Sustainable Energy Systems at Chalmers, is the recipient of the Åforsk Foundation's prestigious Knowledge Award for 2021. The prize money is SEK 100,000, with candidate prize winners being nominated by the rectors of universities and colleges.​</b></p>​The Åforsk Foundation awards the prize each year to a researcher who has conducted outstanding dissemination of knowledge. The 2021 award goes to Filip Johnsson at the Department Space, Earth and Environment. Filip is one of Sweden's most prominent researchers in the field of sustainable energy systems.​<div><br /></div> <div><div><strong>Congratulations on being awarded this prize! How does it feel?</strong></div> <div>&quot;I was very happy and surprised when I got the phone call that I had received the award. It is of course a great honor, and it reflects the fact that the research group that I have built up together with my talented colleagues produces relevant results&quot;.</div> <div> </div> <div>The motivation for the award states, among other things, that you are very active as a committed disseminator of knowledge outside the academic sphere. This is exemplified, among other things, by the countless interviews that you gave given to newspapers and on radio and television, your strong participation in the public discussion forum, and a number of debate articles that have appeared in the daily press. <em>&quot;Filip does not shy away from the big issues and his multifaceted work is permeated by knowledge as a means of contributing to sustainable societal development.&quot;</em></div> <div> </div> <div><strong>Why is it important to get involved in the public debate?</strong></div> <div>&quot;My research is concerned with studying how the current energy system can be switched to a more sustainable system. In this arena, many exciting things are happening right now, even though there remain great challenges and different views as to what should be done. Hopefully, a commitment to the public debate can contribute to the debate becoming more objective and the avoidance of “non-fact-based” polarization of opinions&quot;, says Filip Johnsson.</div> <div> </div> <div><strong>Here is Åforsk's motivation for the 2021 winners:</strong></div> <div>&quot;Professor Filip Johnsson, who is active at the Department of Space, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Energy Technology at Chalmers University of Technology, is awarded the 2021 Knowledge Prize by the ÅForsk Foundation. Filip Johnsson is one of Sweden's most prominent researchers in the field of sustainable energy systems, and is very active as a committed disseminator of knowledge outside the academic sphere. This is exemplified, among other things, by countless interviews in newspapers, radio and television, participation with great commitment in the public discussion, and a number of debate articles in the daily press. Filip does not shy away from the big issues and his multifaceted work is permeated by knowledge as a means of contributing to sustainable societal development. ”</div> <div> </div> <div>Information about previous prize winners can be found on the foundation's website: <a href="">​</a></div> <div> </div> <div><strong>About the prize</strong></div> <div>Every year since 1995, the Åforsk Foundation has awarded a prize for outstanding contributions to the dissemination of knowledge from universities and colleges. The disseminators of one's own knowledge, as well as messages about the importance of research have previously been awarded prizes. The prize of SEK 100,000 is personal.</div> <div> </div> <div><strong>About</strong> <strong>ÅForsk</strong></div> <div>Since its inception in 1985, ÅForsk has had the purpose of working for research and development as its main areas. The foundation is the largest shareholder in the listed company ÅF Pöyry AB (AFRY). The grants that are distributed come from share dividends from the company. The board consists of members from the founders - King. The Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences, IVA, Skogsindustrierna, Energiföretagen Sverige, and ÅF Pöyry AB (AFRY).</div></div> <div><br /></div> <div>By: Ann-Christine Nordin​</div> <div><br /></div>Fri, 05 Mar 2021 01:00:00 +0100, setbacks and new Earths with Didier Queloz<p><b>​​Together with fellow Nobel laureate Michel Mayor, Didier Queloz was first to discover a planet round another sun, back in 1995. What happened next? On December 13, Didier Queloz told the story to a packed auditorium at Chalmers. About the discovery, and about how exoplanet science now is leading the world towards an even more amazing goal: the discovery of other life in the universe.​</b></p><div>It all started with world-leading engineering. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>“We had been extra creative at that time, by building a new type of instrument”, Queloz explained.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>His and Michel Mayor’s team in Switzerland had built Elodie, an instrument of exquisite precision at the Observatoire de Haute-Provence in France. They weren’t expecting to discover any planets, but everything else was in place for doing precision science: an innovative system of optical fibres for maximum stability, and new, powerful microcomputers.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The discovery of a planet, unreasonably close to the star 51 Pegasi, was a surprise for everyone. Queloz panicked, he said, sure the strange signal was a sign of a “big, big bug” in his computer program. </div> <div>“I couldn’t accept that it didn’t match. I didn’t really grasp how difficult it was to form a planet.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Could we really believe that such unexpected planets were real? For Didier Queloz, the measurements spoke for themselves and the theory was what needed to change. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>“Sometimes you have to do the stuff – and not listen to anyone else.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Scientists had clearly missed something important about how systems of planets form and evolve. Mayor and Queloz had started a revolution. Their first planet was followed by others, also hot and heavy and close to their stars. More like Jupiter than Earth. Migration turned out to be a key to understanding these unexpected “Hot Jupiters”. Planets move around in their systems, either that or the measurements were wrong.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>But a decade after that first discovery, the last remaining exoplanet sceptics had to give up. Europe’s space telescope Corot, and ground-based experiments Wasp and HAT, showed that exoplanets could also be found by the transit method: by measuring the tiny dimming when a planet passes in front of its sun.  </div> <div><br /></div> <div>Then came a deluge of new planets, discovered by NASA’s Kepler telescope. It became clear that planetary systems are amazingly varied, and it’s still not clear why that is.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“There’s an interesting diversity built in, and 51 Pegasi was an early hint of that,” commented Didier Queloz.</div> <div>Our solar system is typically unique, it seems. But are there other planets like Earth, and do they support life? Didier Queloz thinks we’re getting close to finding answers. Thanks to Kepler and its succcessors we know that there are lots of Earth-sized planets, and there should be many in the so-called “habitable zones” where liquid water ought to be found around stars. The only Earth-sized, rocky planets we know of today are probably not like Earth at all, Queloz cautions. Their stars are tiny, red and cool. Calling these planets “habitable” is going too far. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>The light from a sunlike star – our Sun, for example, or 51 Pegasi – is a key ingredient, Queloz believes. Chemists and biologists have studied how life can form from just twenty quite simple molecules – amino acids. The primordial “soup” will remain just a soup – Queloz is a keen cook and enjoys the culinary comparison – unless you add sunlight. New experiments have shown how ultraviolet light can help to trigger the formation of DNA on the surface of a planet. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>“The ultraviolet is needed, or the chemistry will make soup – not life”, he says with a grin.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>New telescopes will help Queloz and his colleagues find these other Earths. The Extremely Large Telescope, ELT, is one, but in space, the adventure is already starting. 18 December 2019 saw the launch of Cheops, the first of three European exoplanet satellites, and one which Queloz is scientific leader for. The next few decades will see astronomers, chemists and molecular biologists together making new discoveries about the places where life starts in space, Queloz reckons.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“Twenty-five years ago we kickstarted something that was way, way bigger than us. It was really fun to share this with you.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div><em>Text: Robert Cumming</em></div> <div><br /></div>Tue, 17 Dec 2019 10:00:00 +0100 receiver to catch cosmic waves in the world's largest radio telescope<p><b>​Just arrived in South Africa, Chalmers’ most advanced radio receiver is Sweden's main contribution to the record-breaking telescope SKA (Square Kilometre Array). The advanced prototype, now being tested in the Karoo Desert, is not only shiny and new. It’s also an important step towards a radio telescope that will challenge our ideas of time and space.</b></p><div><div><span style="background-color:initial">Onsala Space Observatory has delivered its largest technology contribution to the SKA (Square Kilometre Array) project. A metre (3 ft) across, the 180 kg (400 lb) instrument is the first in place of over a hundred to be mounted on dish antennas in the Karoo Desert, today home to the 64-dish-strong new MeerKAT telescope.</span><br /></div> <div>The Band 1 receiver, as it is called, allows the dish to measure radio waves with a frequency between 0.35 and 1.05 Gigahertz (wavelength 30-85 cm).</div> <div><br /></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/SEE/Nyheter/MeerKATBand1_SARAO_glint_72dpi_340x340.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" />The receiver is being tested on one of the 64 antennas in MeerKAT, one of today's largest radio telescopes and is in the same location in the Karoo desert where the SKA's antennas will be located. The instrument is a prototype manufactured in Sweden by Chalmers University of Technology in collaboration with Swedish industry, and it is designed to be mass-produced.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Sweden is one of 11 countries in the international SKA project, which will build the world's largest radio telescope at radio-quiet sites in Africa and Australia. The project is approaching the end of its design phase and construction is expected to start in the early 2020s.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>As part of the SKA, Swedish receivers will participate in measurements of radio waves from many different sources in space. Scientists expect to make most sensitive radio measurements ever. They plan to test Einstein's theories to their limits and to explore the history of the universe by measuring millions of galaxies at distances of millions of light years.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/SEE/Nyheter/Band1_lab_Bodell_72dpi_340x340.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" />&quot;This is a proud moment for us, getting a first glimpse of what the world's biggest radio telescope will be like. We work with developing the world's best receiver technology and hope that our contribution to the telescope will make it possible for humanity to see things we have never seen before&quot;, says Miroslav Pantaleev, project manager for SKA at Onsala Space Observatory.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The receiver’s journey to Africa has been preceded by intensive collaboration between researchers and engineers at Onsala Space Observatory together with industrial partners, to ensure both performance and resilience. Before its trip, the instrument underwent tough environmental tests in Sweden, both in Onsala and at Saab Bofors Test Centre in Karlskoga.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/SEE/Nyheter/Band1_team_72dpi_340x218.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" />John Conway, professor of observational radio astronomy at Chalmers and director of Onsala Space Observatory, looks forward beyond MeerKAT to the future dish array, SKA-mid.</div> <div>&quot;When the dishes in SKA-mid are operational, the world's astronomers will be able to access the world's most sensitive radio telescope and many exciting projects will be possible. We hope, among other things, to find new pulsars to test Einstein's theories, to study in detail how galaxies like the Milky Way were built during the history of the universe – and, of course, to make unexpected discoveries”, he says.</div> <div><strong><br /></strong></div> <div><strong>Contacts</strong></div> <div><br /></div> <div>Robert Cumming, communications officer, Onsala Space Observatory, Chalmers, +46 31-772 5500, +46 70-493 31 14,</div> <div>Miroslav Pantaleev, head of electronics laboratory, Onsala Space Observatory, Chalmers, +46 31 772 5555,</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Related press releases:</strong></div> <strong> </strong><div><br /></div> <div>Sweden’s biggest contribution yet to the world’s largest radio telescope,  <span style="background-color:initial"><a href="/en/researchinfrastructure/oso/news/Pages/Swedens-biggest-contribution-yet-to-the-worlds-largest-radio-telescope.aspx">​</a></span></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Images:</strong></div> <div> </div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><em>High-resolution images are available at </em><a href=""><em></em></a></span></div> <em> </em><div><br /></div> <em> </em><div><em><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/SEE/Nyheter/Band1_vibration_Helldner_72dpi_340x340.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" />1a (top). The Band 1 receiver has been installed on one of MeerKAT’s antennas. Out in the Karoo Desert in South Africa, 64 dishes today constitute the MeerKAT telescope. Later, these will be incorporated into the world's largest radio telescope, the SKA. On one of these antennas, Swedish technology is now being tested which will make the telescope the world’s most sensitive yet. In this image, the Swedish-built Band 1 receiver can be seen mounted underneath the dish's round white secondary mirror.</em></div> <em> </em><div><em>(Credit: SARAO)</em></div> <em> </em><div><em style="background-color:initial">  </em><br /></div> <em> </em><div><em>1b. The Band 1 receiver’s protective cover reflects the desert Sun. To the right is the MeerKAT antenna’s secondary mirror.</em></div> <em> </em><div><em>(Credit: SARAO)</em></div> <em> </em><div><em style="background-color:initial"> </em><br /></div> <em> </em><div><em>2. The Band 1 receiver captures a wide range of radio waves. A radio telescope with a dish antenna needs one or more feeds to guide radio waves with a wide range of frequencies up to the receiver equipment.</em></div> <em> </em><div><em>The Band 1 feed has a curved profile with four ridges on the inside. This Quadridge design was be adapted to SKA project requirements using mathematics, physics and optimisation algorithms, explains Jonas Flygare, PhD student at Chalmers.</em></div> <em> </em><div><em>“We determined the feed’s curved lines using algorithms that stochastically search for those shapes that best receive the radio waves, given our specifications. To find the optimum design you need to simulate a great number of different shapes of the antenna. The feed’s performance on the telescope has been evaluated together with EMSS Antennas in South Africa, and with a system simulator developed by Marianna Ivashina and colleagues at the Department of Electrical Engineering at Chalmers&quot; says Jonas Flygare.</em></div> <em> </em><div><em>(Credit: Chalmers / Johan Bodell)</em></div> <em> </em><div><br /></div> <em> </em><div><em style="background-color:initial"><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/SEE/Nyheter/Band1_LNA_Bodell_72dpi_340x340.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" />3. The engineers in the Band 1 project at Onsala Space Observatory. From left: Lars Wennerbäck, Miroslav Pantaleev, Jan Karaskuru, Per Björklund, Christer Hermansson, Leif Helldner, Bo Wästberg, Jonas Flygare, Lars Pettersson, Ronny Wingdén, Magnus Dahlgren and Ulf Kylenfall.</em></div> <em> </em><div><em>(Credit: Chalmers / Johan Bodell)</em></div> <em> </em><div><em style="background-color:initial">  </em><br /></div> <em> </em><div><em>4. Vibration tests in Karlskoga. The receiver is subjected to tough vibration tests at Bofors Test Centre in Karlskoga. <a href="">Video (10 sec) available</a>.</em></div> <em> </em><div><em>Credit: Chalmers / Leif Helldner</em></div> <em> </em><div><br /></div> <em> </em><div><em style="background-color:initial">5. Low noise amplifiers in the Band 1 feed for SKA. The Gothenburg company Low Noise Factory developed the unique low noise amplifiers (LNA) for SKA Band 1 that are visible in the middle of this image. They are specially designed for optimal performance without the need for cooling the feed.</em></div> <em> </em><div><em>(Credit: Chalmers / Johan Bodell)</em></div> <em> </em><div><br /></div> <em> </em><div><strong style="background-color:initial">More about the SKA project</strong><br /></div> <strong> </strong><div><br /></div> <div>The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project is an international effort to build the world’s largest radio telescope, led by SKA Organisation. The SKA will conduct transformational science to improve our understanding of the Universe and the laws of fundamental physics, monitoring the sky in unprecedented detail and mapping it hundreds of times faster than any current facility.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The SKA is not a single telescope, but a collection of telescopes or instruments, called an array, to be spread over long distances. The SKA is to be constructed in two phases: Phase 1 (called SKA1) in South Africa and Australia; Phase 2 (called SKA2) expanding into other African countries, with the component in Australia also being expanded.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The SKA Organization is supported by 11 member countries - Australia, Canada, China, India, Italy, New Zealand, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, The Netherlands and the United Kingdom - and has brought together some of the world’s finest scientists, engineers and policy makers and more than 100 companies and research institutions across 20 countries in the design and development of the telescope. </div> <div>Sweden is represented in the SKA Organisation by Onsala Space Observatory, Chalmers University of Technology. Onsala Space Observatory is Sweden’s national facility for radio astronomy. The observatory is hosted by the Department of Space, Earth and Environment at Chalmers University of Technology, and is operated on behalf of the Swedish Research Council.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>SKA's Dish Consortium is responsible for the design and testing of the dish that will be SKA-mid, one of two instruments in SKA. Chalmers and Onsala Space Observatory represent the Sweden Consortium, led by China and consisting of engineers and researchers at research institutes and companies in France, Italy, Canada, China, Great Britain, Sweden, South Africa and Germany.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>More about SKA is available at <a href=""></a></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>More about the Band 1 receiver and Swedish industry in the SKA project</strong></div> <strong> </strong><div><br /></div> <div>The receiver has been developed to capture the longest radio waves for which SKA's dish antennas are sensitive. The frequency range is called Band 1 and extends between 350 and 1050 MHz (wavelength 30-85 cm).</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The project was led by Onsala Space Observatory, Chalmers. The design and system design of the feed was performed by Onsala Space Observatory and funded by the Swedish Research Council.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>In industrial liaison for the project Chalmers has worked together with Big Science Sweden and Vinnova.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Several companies from both Sweden and abroad have also contributed to the project. Leax Arkivator, Gothenburg, Sweden, was responsible for the mechanical design of the feed. The metal parts were manufactured at Ventana Group in Hackås, Sweden, and at MegaMeta, in Kaunas, Lithuania. South Africa’s EMSS has delivered control electronics. System engineering work was coordinated by EMSS Antennas in South Africa and the South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (SARAO). The receiver’s amplifiers are developed by Low Noise Factory in Gothenburg, and were built in the clean room of Chalmers Nanofabrication Laboratory in Gothenburg. Industrial partners for the SKA project also include Omnisys, Gothenburg, Sweden, who developed design concepts early in the project. The overall project work was managed by CSIRO (Australia), CETC54 (China) and the SKA Organisation project office (UK).</div> <div>​<br /></div></div> Thu, 21 Jun 2018 09:00:00 +0200 for nominations: Gothenburg Lise Meitner award 2018<p><b>​The Gothenburg Physics Centre (GPC) is seeking nominations for the 2018 Gothenburg Lise Meitner Award.  Nominations are due on Monday, 5 March, 2018.</b></p>​The Lise Meitner award honors exceptional individuals for a “<em>groundbreaking discovery in physics</em>”.  <br />In addition to their scientific accomplishments, the candidates must meet the following selection criteria:<br /><ul><li>They have distinguished themselves through public activities of popularizing science and are prepared to deliver the annual Lise Meitner Lecture (middle of September).</li> <li>Their research activity is connected to or benefit activities at GPC.<br /></li></ul> Nominations should include a motivation describing the achievements of the candidate, a short biography/CV, contact details and a local contact person. <br /><br />Nominations should be sent to any member of the of the Lise Meitner Award Committee 2018: <br /><br />Dinko Chakarov <a href=""></a> <br />Hans Nordman <a href=""></a><br />Ann-Marie Pendrill <a href=""></a><br />Vitaly Shumeiko <a href=""></a><br />Andreas Heinz (Chair) <a href=""></a><br /><a href=""></a><br /><a href="/en/centres/gpc/activities/lisemeitner"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />More information about Lise Meitner and the award can be found at the GPC website</a><br />We would also like to thank those of you who did make an effort to nominate a candidate in the past! In case your nomination has not been chosen, we encourage you to submit her or his name again. <br /><br />With best regards,<br /><br />The 2018 Lise Meitner CommitteeWed, 24 Jan 2018 00:00:00 +0100 Twin Telescopes: ready for the world<p><b>​Two new radio telescopes have been built at Onsala Space Observatory on Sweden’s west coast, and on 18 May 2017 they will be inaugurated. The Onsala Twin Telescopes are part of an international network of radio telescopes that use astronomical techniques - and distant black holes - to make high-precision measurements of the Earth and how it moves.</b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial">The Onsala Twin Telescopes are two identical dish antennas, each 13.2 metres in diameter. They are part of an international initiative involving 20 countries, aimed at increasing our knowledge about the Earth and its movements.</span><div><br /><span style="background-color:initial"></span><div>The telescopes detect radio waves from brilliant but distant galaxies that act like fixed stars in the sky. By continually measuring the positions on the sky of bright radio galaxies, the telescopes in the network can determine their own location in space.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>John Conway is professor in observational radio astronomy at Chalmers and director of Onsala Space Observatory.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>”The sources that the telescopes measure are distant galaxies, each of which has at its centre a supermassive black hole whose surroundings shine brightly when the black hole consumes material. This is applied astronomy at its best” he says.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><img class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Centrum/Onsala%20rymdobservatorium/340x/ott_lundqvist_2327_72dpi_340x340.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px" />The Onsala Twin Telescopes are part of a growing international network of similar telescopes. As part of the global project VGOS (VLBI Global Observing System), they have company all over the world. Measurements of this kind have been carried out over the last few decades, and Onsala’s 20-metre telescope has participated in these. But with a dedicated network of telescopes, observations can now be carried out 24 hours a day, all year round, and will be able to able to make measurements ten times as precise as is possible today.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>”With the new network we will be able to measure distances between telescopes to millimetre precision, and almost in real time”, says Rüdiger Haas, professor of space geodesy at Chalmers.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Onsala’s history of geodetic measurements is a long one. In 1968, the observatory’s iconic 25-metre radio telescope became the first in Europe to take part in geodetic VLBI (very long baseline interferometry). The observatory’s 20-metre telescope, inaugurated in 1976, boasts geodetic measurements over a longer period than any other telescope in the world.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The new telescopes and their network meet global needs, as expressed in a resolution which was adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations in February 2015. The resolution, A Global Geodetic Reference Frame for Sustainable Development, recognised for the first time the importance of coordinating geodetic measurements on a global scale. The resolution strengthened exisiting work in the UN initiative Global Geospatial Information Management (UN-GGIM) and with the Global Geodetic Reference Frame (GGRF).</div> <div><br /></div> <div><img class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Centrum/Onsala%20rymdobservatorium/340x/ott_lundqvist_2207_72dpi_340x340.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px" />“Future research on sustainable development and on the Earth as a system will require more reliable, long-term, high-precision measurements. The Onsala Twin Telescopes are a natural continuation of our already long history of such measurements in Onsala”, says Gunnar Elgered, professor of electrical measurements and head of the Department of Earth and Space Science at Chalmers.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Similar telescopes are already in place in the United States, in Hawaii and Maryland, in Wettzell in Germany, in Yebes in Spain, on Santa Maria in the Azores, and on the Arctic Svalbard islands. New telescopes are planned for other locations, among them South Africa and Finland. Operations for the complete network of 16 or more stations are expected to start in 2020.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>A reference system with this level of precision is also needed for many applications in Earth Sciences. It will become possible, for example, to measure sea level relative to the centre of the Earth, in order to test models for climate change. Data from the network will also be able to contribute to many other exciting areas of science, for example the movement of Earth’s tectonic plates, the Earth’s changing rotation and axial tilt.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The construction and installation of the Onsala Twin Telescopes has been funded by a generous grant from the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation and Chalmers University of Technology.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><div><div><span style="font-weight:700">Contacts:</span></div> <div> </div> <div>Robert Cumming, communicator, Onsala Space Observatory, Chalmers, tel: +46 31-772 5500 or +46 70 493 3114,</div> <div> </div></div> <div>Rüdiger Haas, professor of space geodesy, Chalmers, tel: +46 31 772 55 30,</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Gunnar Elgered, professor of electrical measurements and head of the Department of Earth and Space Science, Chalmers, tel: + 46 31 772 1610 or +46 <span style="background-color:initial">31 772 5565,</span></div></div> <div><br /></div> <div><em><strong>Images:</strong></em></div> <div>High-resolution images are available at <a href="">​</a></div> <div><br /></div> <div><em>1 (top): The Onsala Twin Telescopes will measure the Earth’s movements using distant galaxies. This photo shows the two antennas at with Onsala Space Observatory’s 25-metre telescope, built in 1963, behind them. (Credit: Onsala Space Observatory/R. Hammargren).</em></div> <div><strong style="background-color:initial"><br /></strong></div> <div><i>2. Onsala Twin Telescopes will become operational during 2017. &quot;First light&quot; for the northern telescope (right) was achieved in early February 2017. (Credit: Onsala Space Observatory/Anna-Lena Lundqvist)</i><em><span></span><br /></em></div> <div><br /></div> <div><i style="background-color:initial">3. Changing the Onsala skyline: the new Twin Telescopes and the 25-metre telescope. (Credit: Onsala Space Observatory/Anna-Lena Lundqvist)</i><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong style="background-color:initial">More about the Onsala Twin Telescopes</strong><br /></div> <div> </div> <div>The Onsala Twin Telescopes are two dish antennas, 13.2 metres in diameter, located 75 metres apart close to the 25-metre telescope at Onsala Space Observatory, in the province of Halland, 45 km south of Gothenburg on Sweden’s west coast. The telescopes have a ring-focus design, the main reflector complemented by a 1.55-metre subreflector. They are designed to be able to observe together in many different modes. Able to move at up to 12 degrees per second in azimuth and 6 per second in elevation, they can slew extremely fast between observations and measure thousands of radio sources every day. The parabolic dishes, accurate to 0.3 mm RMS precision, allow measurements at frequencies up to 40 GHz (wavelength 0.75 cm or more).</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Each telescope has its own receiver system with feeds and receivers for radio waves of a common frequency range 3-14 GHz (wavelength 2-10 cm) and two linear polarisations. The northern telescope has a feed with a quadridge design, with four ridges, covering 3–18 GHz (1.7-10 cm) and similar in design to the feed horn Onsala Space Observatory has developed for the international Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project. The southern telescope is equipped with an Eleven feed, a design developed by Chalmers physicist Per-Simon Kildal (1951-2016), which covers 2–14 GHz (2-15 cm). Like the site’s other instruments, the Twin Telescopes have access to Onsala Space Observatory’s hydrogen maser atomic clock. The telescopes are controlled with the help of digital systems capable of speeds up to 128 gigabit per second, located in the control room next to the 20-metre telescope.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The telescopes will be inaugurated on 18 May 2017 by the County Governor of Halland, Lena Sommestad. Details of the inauguration will be provided later.</div> <div> </div> <div><strong>Links</strong></div> <div> </div> <div>23rd Working Meeting of the European VLBI Group for Geodesy and Astrometry (EVGA)</div> <div></div> <div> </div> <div>NASA’s article about the telescopes’ sister station in Hawaii, USA:</div> <div></div> <div> </div> <div>NASA’s animated video about the history of space geodesy and how quasars help scientists measure the Earth:</div> <div></div> <div><br /></div></div>Fri, 10 Feb 2017 13:00:00 +0100 for water in the universe: First light for Alma’s new receivers<p><b>​The Alma telescope in Chile has begun observing in a new range of the electromagnetic spectrum – thanks to technology from Chalmers. With its new receivers, Alma can for the first time detect radio waves with wavelengths from 1.4 to 1.8 millimetres, allowing astronomers to detect faint signals of water in the nearby Universe.</b></p><div><span style="background-color:initial">Alma observes radio waves from the Universe, at the low-energy end of the electromagnetic spectrum. With the newly installed Band 5 receivers, Alma has now opened its eyes to a whole new section of this radio spectrum, creating exciting new observational possibilities.</span><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Centrum/Onsala%20rymdobservatorium/340x/ann15059a_72dpi_340x340.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" />“The new receivers will make it much easier to detect water, a prerequisite for life as we know it, in our Solar System and in more distant regions of our galaxy and beyond. They will also allow Alma to search for ionised carbon in the primordial Universe”, explains Leonardo Testi, European Alma Programme Scientist.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>It is Alma’s unique location, 5000 metres up on the barren Chajnantor plateau in Chile, that makes such an observation possible in the first place. As water is also present in Earth’s atmosphere, observatories in less elevated and less arid environments have much more difficulty identifying the origin of the emission coming from space. Alma’s great sensitivity and high angular resolution mean that even faint signals of water in the local Universe can now be imaged at this wavelength. A key spectral signature of water lies in this expanded range – at a wavelength of 1.64 millimetres.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The Band 5 receiver, which was developed by the <a href="/en/departments/rss/research/research-groups/Pages/Advanced-receiver-development.aspx">Group for Advanced Receiver Development (GARD)</a> at Onsala Space Observatory, Chalmers, has already been tested at the Apex telescope in the <a href="/en/researchinfrastructure/oso/news/Pages/apex-sepia-alma-band-5-water-space.aspx">Sepia</a> instrument. These observations were also vital to help select suitable targets for the first receiver tests with Alma.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Centrum/Onsala%20rymdobservatorium/340x/ann12042a_72dpi_340x340.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" />The first production receivers were built and delivered to ALMA in the first half of 2015 by a consortium consisting of the Netherlands Research School for Astronomy (NOVA) and GARD in partnership with the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO), which contributed the local oscillator to the project. The receivers are now installed and being prepared for use by the community of astronomers.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>To test the newly installed receivers observations were made of several objects including the colliding galaxies Arp 220 (image). Other targets were a massive region of star formation close to the centre of the Milky Way, and a dusty red supergiant star approaching the supernova explosion that will end its life.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>To process the data and check its quality, astronomers, along with technical specialists from ESO and the European ALMA Regional Centre (ARC) network, gathered at the Onsala Space Observatory in Sweden, for a &quot;Band 5 Busy Week&quot; hosted by the <a href="">Nordic ARC node</a>. The final results have just been made freely available to the astronomical community worldwide.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Team member Robert Laing at ESO is optimistic about the prospects for ALMA Band 5 observations: “It's very exciting to see these first results from ALMA Band 5 using a limited set of antennas. In the future, the high sensitivity and angular resolution of the full ALMA array will allow us to make detailed studies of water in a wide range of objects including forming and evolved stars, the interstellar medium and regions close to supermassive black holes.”</div> <div><br /></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Centrum/Onsala%20rymdobservatorium/340x/ann13016a_72dpi_340x340.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" />While the receivers have been installed at Alma and Apex, others originally from GARD are on their way to other telescope projects, among them Japan’s ASTE and the Argentinian-Brazilian project LLAMA. For Victor Belitsky, who has led work on Band 5 at Onsala Space Observatory and Chalmers, this is a proud moment.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“With “First Light” for Band 5, astronomers can begin to discover the universe in a new way. Our work has meant a remarkable and exciting journey, from the first design via fabrication in Chalmers’ clean room, integration of components with terahertz optics and cryogenic technology, to the installation of the complete system in the world’s most advanced radio telescopes”, he says.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>See also <a href="">ESO's press release.​</a></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong style="background-color:initial"><em>Images:</em></strong><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <em> </em><div><div><em>1. (top) Alma’s new view of the colliding galaxy system Arp 220 (in red) on top of an image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope (blue/green). In the Hubble image, most of the light from this dramatic merging galaxy pair is hidden behind dark clouds of dust. Alma’s observations in Band 5 show a completely different view. Here, Arp 220's famous double nucleus, invisible for Hubble, is by far the brightest feature in the whole galaxy complex. In this dense, double centre, the bright emission from water and other molecules revealed by the new Band 5 receivers will give astronomers new insights into star formation and other processes in this extreme environment. <a href="">High resolution image at ESO.</a></em></div> <em> </em><div><em>Credit: </em><span style="background-color:initial"><em>ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO)/NASA/ESA and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)</em></span></div></div> <em> </em><div><br /></div> <em> </em><div><em>2. A Band 5 receiver in the lab. <a href="">High-resolution image at ESO.</a></em></div> <em> </em><div><em>Credit: ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO), N. Tabilo</em><br /></div> <em> </em><div><br /></div> <em> </em><div><em>3. GARD engineer Mathias Fredrixon tests a Band 5 receiver for Alma. <a href="">High-resolution image at ESO.</a></em></div> <div><em>Credit: Onsala Space Observatory/A. Pavolotsky</em></div> <div><br /></div> <div><em>4. Alma under the Magellanic Clouds. <a href="">High-resolution image at ESO.</a></em></div> <div><em>Credit: ESO/C. Malin</em></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>More about the data processing and the receivers</strong></div> <div><br /></div> <div>The team working on processing the data included Tobia Carozzi, Simon Casey, Sabine König, Matthias Maercker, Iván Martí-Vidal, Sebastien Muller, Daniel Tafoya and Wouter Vlemmings (all Onsala Space Observatory and Chalmers scientists), together with Ana Lopez-Sepulcre, Lydia Moser and Anita Richards. The ESO Band 5 Science Verification team includes Elizabeth Humphreys, Tony Mroczkowski, Robert Laing, Katharina Immer, Hau-Yu (Baobab) Liu, Andy Biggs, Gianni Marconi and Leonardo Testi. The observations were performed and made possible by the ALMA Extension of Capabilities team in Chile.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Read more about the Band 5 receivers on Alma and Apex in our article “<em>Desert telescopes ready to discover water in space</em>”, <a href="/en/researchinfrastructure/oso/news/Pages/apex-sepia-alma-band-5-water-space.aspx"></a></div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>More about Alma and Onsala Space Observatory</strong></div> <div> </div> <div>The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (Alma), an international astronomy facility, is a partnership of ESO, the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institutes of Natural Sciences (NINS) of Japan in cooperation with the Republic of Chile. Alma is funded by ESO on behalf of its Member States, by NSF in cooperation with the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) and the National Science Council of Taiwan (NSC) and by NINS in cooperation with the Academia Sinica (AS) in Taiwan and the Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute (KASI).</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Chalmers and Onsala Space Observatory have been involved in Alma since its inception; receivers for the telescope are one of many contributions. Onsala Space Observatory is host to the <a href="">Nordic Alma Regional Centre</a>, which provides technical expertise to the Alma project and supports astronomers in the Nordic countries in using Alma.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Onsala Space Observatory is Sweden's national facility for radio astronomy. The observatory provides researchers with equipment for the study of the earth and the rest of the universe. In Onsala, 45 km south of Gothenburg, it operates two radio telescopes and a station in the international telescope Lofar. It also participates in several international projects. The observatory is hosted by Department of Earth and Space Sciences at Chalmers University of Technology, and is operated on behalf of the Swedish Research Council.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><div><span style="font-weight:700">Contacts</span></div> <div><br /></div> <div>Robert Cumming, astronomer and communications officer, Onsala Space Observatory, +46 31 772 5500, +46 70 49 33 114,</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Victor Belitsky, professor of radio and space science, Chalmers, leader for Group for Advanced Receiver Development (GARD)  at Onsala Space Observatory and Chalmers, +46 31-772 1893,​</div></div> <div><br /></div>Wed, 21 Dec 2016 12:00:00 +0100 transport of hydrogen fuel in fusion plasmas<p><b>​Using large-scale computer simulations, the Plasma Physics and Fusion Energy research group at the Department of Earth and Space Sciences is making important contributions to Joint European Torus (JET), the biggest fusion experiment currently in operation. The simulations provide information about plasma turbulence and transport of plasmas that would be impossible or too expensive to study experimentally.</b></p>​The Plasma Physics and Fusion Energy group is involved in several international projects with the aim of realizing fusion as an energy source. The research is mainly done in collaboration with the Joint European Torus (JET), the largest fusion experiment currently in operation, and is focused on the preparation for the start of the experimental fusion reactor ITER that is being built in Cadarache, France. One of the current projects is focused on understanding how the hydrogen nuclei taking part in the fusion reaction can be replenished by injection of hydrogen pellets.<br /><br />JET is uniquely suitable for the study of ITER issues because of its size and since it shares many features of the ITER design such as a metallic (beryllium and tungsten) wall and tritium capability. The Chalmers research group uses data from JET experiments in order to run large scale computer simulations of the plasma turbulence and the associated transport of particles and energy.<br /><br />– These numerical experiments let us study the turbulence at a level of detail which is not possible in the actual experiment. We also look at the impact of changes in plasma parameters that would be impossible or too expensive to study experimentally. The tool we use for this is the GENE code, a so-called gyrokinetic code that evolves the particle distribution function in five space and velocity dimensions, explains Daniel Tegnered, PhD student in the Plasma Physics and Fusion Energy group.<br /><br />One of the crucial issues for ITER is how the plasma refuelling should be achieved. Particles of the plasma will unavoidably be lost, both to the wall, since the particle confinement will not be perfect, and also through the fusion reactions themselves which consume hydrogen nuclei. This makes continuous fuelling of the plasma a necessity. For ITER, so-called pellet fuelling is foreseen, whereby pellets containing appropriate hydrogen isotopes are injected at high speeds into the plasma. However, the pellets will not be able to reach the central part of the plasma with the highest densities and temperatures before being ablated. This will perturb the plasma’s temperature and density profiles, causing a “bump” in the plasma density as shown in the image. These particles must then be transported inwards by diffusion and convection caused by the turbulence.<br /><br />– Our simulations of pellet-fuelled JET discharges has shown that the turbulence under certain conditions can be stabilized in this region due to the “bump” in density and temperature says Daniel Tegnered.<br /><br />Further simulations of conditions more similar to ITER has also shown that a higher ratio of plasma pressure to magnetic pressure, a parameter important for the economic viability of future fusion reactors, also serves to stabilize the turbulence in this region. This in turn reduces the inward particle flux, potentially making pellet fuelling less efficient. Further analysis and simulations of ITER-like JET discharges will be crucial for the successful development of plasma scenarios for ITER.<br /><br /><p dir="ltr" style="line-height:1.38;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:8pt"><span style="font-family:calibri;font-size:14.66px;font-style:normal;font-variant:normal;text-decoration:none;vertical-align:baseline;background-color:transparent"></span>The research was presented at <a href="">the 43rd European Physical Society Conference on Plasma Physics</a> in Leuven, Belgium, 4 to 8 July 2016. </p> <p dir="ltr" style="line-height:1.38;margin-top:0pt;margin-bottom:8pt">The paper by D. Tegnered et al., Gyrokinetic simulations of transport in pellet fuelled discharges at JET is available at <a href=""></a>.<br /></p> <strong>Contact:</strong><br />Hans Nordman, Professor, Plasma Physics and Fusion Energy <span>reserach group, <span style="display:inline-block"> Chalmers University of Technology, <a href=""></a>,  </span></span>+46 31 772 1564.<br /><br />Daniel Tegnered, PhD student, <span>Plasma Physics and Fusion Energy <span>reserach group, <span style="display:inline-block"> Chalmers University of Technology, <span></span><span style="display:inline-block"> <a href=""></a>,  </span></span></span></span>+46 31 772 1567 <br /><br />More information about <a href="/en/departments/rss/research/research-groups/Pages/Plasma-Physics-and-Fusion-Energy.aspx">the Plasma Physics and Fusion Energy researchgroup.</a>Thu, 15 Dec 2016 15:00:00 +0100 formed star shoots out powerful whirlwind<p><b>​Astronomers led by Per Bjerkeli, Chalmers, have used the telescope Alma to observe the early stages in the formation of a new solar system. For the first time they have seen how a powerful whirlwind is launched from a rotating disk surrounding the young star. The results are published on 15 December 2016 in Nature.</b></p><div><span style="background-color:initial">A new solar system is formed in a large cloud of gas and dust that contracts and condenses due to the force of gravity. Eventually it becomes so compact that the centre collapses into a ball of gas where the pressure heats the material, resulting in a glowing globe of gas: a star. The remains of the gas and dust cloud rotate around the newly formed star in a disc. The material in the disc starts to accumulate and form larger and larger clumps, which finally become planets.</span><br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div>Close to newly formed stars, called protostars, scientists have observed evidence powerful whirling winds and outflows. But before now, no one had observed how these winds are formed.   </div> <div><br /></div> <div>“Using Alma, we have observed a protostar at a very early stage. We see how the wind, like a tornado, lifts material and gas up from the rotating disc, which is in the process of forming a new solar system,” explains Per Bjerkeli, astronomer at Chalmers and the Niels Bohr Institute at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark.  </div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>Slowed down by a tornado</strong></div> <div><br /></div> <div>The telescope Alma (Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array) consists of 66 antennas which observe the universe in light with wavelength around one millimetre from the Chajnantor plateau at 5000 metres altitude in northern Chile. The observed protostar, called TMC1A, is located in the constellation Taurus (the Bull), 450 light years away. The researchers have now observed details never seen before in a system of this kind.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“During the contraction of the gas cloud, the material begins to rotate faster and faster just like a figure skater doing a pirouette spins faster by pulling their arms close to their body. In order to slow down the rotation, the energy must be carried away. This happens when the new star emits a wind. The wind is formed in the disc around the protostar and thus rotates together with it. In this way, when this rotating wind moves away from the protostar, it takes part of the rotational energy with it and the dust and gas close to the star can continue to contract,” explains Per Bjerkeli. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>How is this wind created? Up to now scientists have thought that it could originate from inside the centre of the rotating disc of gas and dust, but the new observations argue for a different origin for the wind.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“We can see that the rotating wind formed across the entire disc. Like a tornado, it lifts material up from the cloud of gas and dust. At some point the wind releases its hold on the cloud, so that the material floats freely. This has the effect that the rotation speed of the cloud is slowed and thus the new star can hold together. In the process, the material in the rotating disc of gas and dust accumulates and forms planets,” explains Jes Jørgensen, also at the Niels Bohr Institute and the Centre for Star and Planet Formation at the University of Copenhagen.  </div> <div><br /></div> <div>Future observations with Alma and other telescopes will tell us more about how planetary systems form around protostars like this one, explains Matthijs van der Wiel, astronomer at Astron, Netherlands.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“The next thing we want to find out is whether the material released from the disc is completely blown away or whether it falls back onto the disc at some point and becomes part of the planet-forming system”, he says. </div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><div><span style="font-weight:700">Contacts</span></div> <div><br /></div> <div>Per Bjerkeli, Department of Earth and Space Science, Chalmers University of Technology and Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, +46 7034-13192,</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Robert Cumming, communicator, Onsala Space Observatory, Chalmers University of Technology,,  +46 31 772 5500 or 46 70 493 3114</div> <div><br /></div> <span style="background-color:initial"></span></div> <div><strong style="background-color:initial"><em>Images and video:</em></strong><br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><em>High-resolution images are available at </em></span><span style="background-color:initial"><em><a href=""></a></em></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><em>1 (top): </em></span><span style="background-color:initial"><em>Artist’s impression of the wind emanating from the young solar system TMC1A. The rotating wind is formed in the disc surrounding the protostar.</em></span><span style="background-color:initial"><span></span><em> <strong>See an animated version of this image at </strong></em></span><span style="background-color:initial"><i><a href=""><strong></strong></a><strong>.</strong></i></span><span style="background-color:initial"><em> (Credit: </em></span><span style="background-color:initial"><em>D. Lamm/BOID and P. Bjerkeli/Chalmers</em></span><span style="background-color:initial"><em>)</em></span></div> <div><em> </em></div> <div><em>2: ALMA’s observations of TMC1A reveal gas motions close to a protostar. Here blue colour indicates gas that is moving towards us while the red colour indicates gas moving away from us. The protoplanetary disc is shown in green. The grey spirals indicate the boundaries of the swirling outflow from the star. The observations, of emission from carbon monoxide molecules, were made with ALMA at 1.3 mm wavelength.  (Credit: ALMA/ESO/NRAO/NAOJ, P. Bjerkeli/Digitized Sky Survey/ESASky)</em></div> <div><em> </em></div> <div><em>3: The telescope ALMA (Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array) consists of 66 antennas which observe the universe in light with wavelength around one millimetre from the Chajnantor plateau at 5000 metres altitude in northern Chile. <a href="">High-resolution image and more information at ESO.​</a></em></div> <div><em>Credit: S. Otárola/ESO</em></div> <div><br /></div> <div><em>4: Per Bjerkeli, astronomer at Chalmers and the Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, Denmark, has together with colleagues observed the early phases in the formation of a new solar system and have observed how powerful vortices shoot out from the rotating cloud of gas and dust. (Credit: Ola Jakup Joensen, NBI).</em></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>More about the research</strong></div> <div><br /></div> <div>The research is published in a paper, “Resolved images of a protostellar outflow driven by an extended disk wind”, by P. Bjerkeli et al., in the 15 December 2016 issue of the journal Nature, <a href=""></a>. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>See also <a href="">press release in English from the University of Copenhagen</a>.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><strong>More about Alma and Onsala Space Observatory</strong></span><br /></div> <div> </div> <div>The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (Alma), an international astronomy facility, is a partnership of ESO, the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institutes of Natural Sciences (NINS) of Japan in cooperation with the Republic of Chile. Alma is funded by ESO on behalf of its Member States, by NSF in cooperation with the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) and the National Science Council of Taiwan (NSC) and by NINS in cooperation with the Academia Sinica (AS) in Taiwan and the Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute (KASI).</div> <div><br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">Chalmers and Onsala Space Observatory have been involved in Alma since its inception; receivers for the telescope are one of many contributions. Onsala Space Observatory is host to the Nordic Alma Regional Centre, which provides technical expertise to the Alma project and supports astronomers in the Nordic countries in using Alma.</span><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">Onsala Space Observatory is Sweden's national facility for radio astronomy. The observatory provides researchers with equipment for the study of the earth and the rest of the universe. In Onsala, 45 km south of Gothenburg, it operates two radio telescopes and a station in the international telescope Lofar. It also participates in several international projects. The observatory is hosted by Department of Earth and Space Sciences at Chalmers University of Technology, and is operated on behalf of the Swedish Research Council.</span><br /></div>Wed, 14 Dec 2016 19:00:00 +0100 new Chalmers professors in the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences (IVA)<p><b>Three professors from Chalmers can be found among the new members of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences (IVA). Filip Johnsson, Energy Technology, Jari Kinaret, Condensed Matter Theory and Hans Olofsson, ​Radio Astronomy.​</b></p><strong>Filip Johnsson</strong> is Professor of Sustainable Energy Systems at the department of Energy and Environment. His research focuses on renewable energy production and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. He is among other things the leader of the research project &quot;<a href="/en/projects/Pages/uthålliga-europeiska-energisystem.aspx">Sustainable European Energy Systems</a>&quot;. <br /><div><span>–</span><span> It feels great! Being a part of the IVA is positive from a networking point of view, and I look forward to actively participate in upcoming IVA initiated projects, says Filip. <br /></span><div><span>–</span> The energy system is facing huge challenges as well as significant opportunities. Our research can help identify and shed light on the challenges as well as help identifying new opportunities. Not least when it comes to integrating variable electricity generation, such as wind energy, in the energy system in an efficient way. </div> <div><span>– </span>The fact that Energy Technology now have two IVA members – me and Henrik Thunman – is also positive and a confirmation that the energy research we conduct here at Chalmers is seen as relevant, says Filip Johnsson.  </div> <div> </div> <div><strong>Jari Kinaret </strong>is Professor and Head of Condensed Matter Theory Division at Department of Physics at Chalmers. He is a director of the prestigious EU research initiative - the Graphene Flagship. Together with more than 154 partners in 23 different countries he is working to develop applications for graphene and to strengthen the European competitiveness.</div></div> <div><div><span>–</span><span> I was very glad and honoured that the academy has elected me as one of their new members.</span></div> <div><span>– I have given several talks at IVA events in Gothenburg and Stockholm as well as participated in programs organized by the academy. I am looking forward to many new contacts and interesting discussions with fellow members of the academy.</span><br /></div> <div><span>– IVA forms an important link between academia and industry and contributes greatly to the knowledge transfer between the different stakeholders. I hope that we can use this link to guide academic research to directions that have societal relevance as well as stimulate industries to put the newest research results to use, thereby boosting the international competitiveness of both Swedish universities and companies.</span></div> <div><span><a href="/en/departments/physics/news/Pages/Jari-Kinaret-a-new-member-of-IVA.aspx">Read more​</a>.  </span></div> <div><span></span> </div> <div><span></span><span><strong>Hans Olofsson</strong>, Professor in Radio Astronomy at the Department of Earth and Space sciences, </span><span>shares his thoughts on the appointment.</span></div></div> <div><span>– </span>It was gratifying, but also slightly surprising to be elected member of the IVA since I don’t see myself first and foremost as an engineer. I think the appointment is based on my years as director of the Onsala Space Observatory, the national research facility for radio astronomy, where technical development has played an important part throughout the years.</div> <div><span>– </span>Within my field of research, astronomy, a lot of progress has been made during the last decades thanks to technical advances making a natural link to engineering. Here I can clearly see that basic science is driving technical development through its increasing demand for advanced telescopes, instruments, computers and complex software. It will be exciting to participate in IVA’s work and I look forward to being able to help create new links and possible co-operations between my area and others.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><a href="">Read more about IVA and the other new IVA members</a> (in Swedish). </div>Fri, 02 Dec 2016 00:00:00 +0100 volcano gases with drones: Chalmers scientists test new techniques in Papua New Guinea<p><b>​Using drones, Chalmers scientists have successfully measured total carbon dioxide (CO2) and sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions from active volcanoes in Papua New Guinea. The new measurement strategy shows that safe measurements of high altitude plumes at risky volcanoes are now becoming possible.</b></p>​During September 2016, Bo Galle and Santiago Arellano from the Optical Remote Sensing group were part of a scientific mission to Papua New Guinea, sponsored by the international project Decade (Deep Carbon Degassing), to determine the total emission of carbon dioxide and sulphur dioxide from the volcanoes Tavurvur, Bagana and Ulawun. <br /><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/RoG/Forskningsprojekt/Bagana_Bo_Galle.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:0px 5px;width:247px;height:208px" />Measuring these gases is important because of their impact on climate change and as part of volcanic risk assessment. Satellite observations have identified Bagana volcano as one of the world’s more persistent sulfur dioxide emitters, but due to its remote location it has no ground monitoring. Bagana, and other volcanoes in Papua New Guinea and elsewhere, is too high and active to perform in-situ measurements on the crater rim without tremendous risk. The best option until now has been to study the gas emissions by expensive and dangerous sampling from manned research aircrafts.<br /><br />Chalmers has pioneered the development of optical remote sensing instruments to measure the flux of volcanic sulfur dioxide and coordinates a network, Novac, which presently involves instruments at nearly 40 volcanoes around the world. In contrast to sulfur dioxide, which can be measured remotely, estimates of the volcanic carbon dioxide output rely on in-situ measurements of the CO<sub>2</sub>/SO<sub>2</sub> ratio in the volcanic plume, combined with the remotely sensed sulfur dioxide flux.<br /><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/RoG/Forskningsprojekt/Drone_volcano_image_2-wr.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:30px 5px;width:192px;height:277px" /><br />To achieve the goal of the Papa New Guinea mission in a cost-effective and safe way, the Chalmers group performed tests with a drone powerful enough to reach the volcanic plume at around two kilometres altitude containing compact CO<sub>2</sub> and SO<sub>2</sub> sensors. The system was successfully demonstrated at Bagana (1750 m) and Ulawun (2334 m), while the crater of Tavurvur (223 m) was accessible for direct sampling by foot. The group also installed an instrument for permanent monitoring of sulfur dioxide at Tarvurvur, operated by the local Rabaul Volcano Observatory in Papua New Guinea.<br /><br />- We are currently processing the data from the campaign. Although Bagana is not as active as it was two years ago, it still emits several thousands of tons of SO<span style="font-size:10.5px;line-height:0;position:relative;vertical-align:baseline;bottom:-0.25em">2</span> and CO<span style="font-size:10.5px;line-height:0;position:relative;vertical-align:baseline;bottom:-0.25em">2</span> into the atmosphere every day. While Ulawun is a bit more active than we anticipated Tavurvur shows very little emissions but it is important to support the work of the local observatory on this volcano due to high risk posed on the local population, says Santiago Arellano.<br /><br />Now the Chalmers scientists are compiling historical data from several volcanoes in the Novac network, an important contribution to a new synthesis of global volcanic gas emissions planned for next year within the Decade collaboration. Data from this project will then become available through publicly accessible databases, Bo Galle explains.<br /><br />– Thanks to our new strategy, Santiago adds, new opportunities are now opening up for monitoring emissions from several high-altitude volcanoes where direct measurements are difficult or impossible to perform.<br /><br />The study was sponsored by the Decade project, an international initiative part of the global research program Dco (Deep Carbon Observatory) aiming at significantly improving the measuring of global flux of carbon from volcanoes, and also involved scientists from Cambridge (UK), Palermo (Italy), Heidelberg (Germany) and the local Rabaul Volcano Observatory (Papua New Guinea).<br /><br /><strong>Contacts:</strong><br />Bo Galle, Professor, Optical Remote Sensing research group, Chalmers University of Technology, <a href=""></a>, +46-31 772 56 54<br /><br />Santiago Arellano, Postdoctoral Researcher, Optical Remote Sensing research group, Chalmers University of Technology, <a href=""></a>, +46 31 772 15 89<br /><br /><strong>Pictures:</strong><br />1. Bagana volcano Papua New Guinea. <strong>Credit:</strong> Bo Galle, Chalmers<br />2. The drone sent towards a volcano during the scientific mission. <strong>Credit:</strong> Kila Mulina, <span>Rabaul Volcano Observatory (Papua New Guinea)<span style="display:inline-block"></span></span><br /><br /><strong>For more information about:</strong><br /><a href="">Tavurvur</a><br /><a href="">Bagana</a><br /><a href="">Ulawun</a><br /><a href="">Decade and Dco</a><br />Thu, 01 Dec 2016 00:00:00 +0100​A pair of monster black holes revealed in a nearby galaxy<p><b>​The nearby spiral galaxy NGC 5252 contains not one, but two supermassive black holes. The surprise discovery, made using the radio telescope network EVN (European VLBI Network), was made by an international team of astronomers led by Jun Yang, Onsala Space Observatory, Chalmers.</b></p><div><span style="background-color:initial">A team of astronomers from China and Europe has made used extremely sharp images taken with the radio telescopes of the European VLBI Network to make a surprising discovery. The results are presented in the journal <em>Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society</em>.</span><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div>It is believed that every galaxy hosts a supermassive black hole, which is at least million times massive than the sun, in its nucleus. Since there are many galaxy clusters and interacting galaxies in the universe, galaxies with two or more supermassive black holes should be ubiquitous as well. However, it is difficult to find pairs of supermassive black holes that actively accrete mass and have a separation of less than the size of their host galaxies (about the distance between the sun and the centre of the Milky Way). Pairs of active galactic nuclei are interesting because they may provide clues on the formation and the growth of giant galaxies and monster black holes.   <span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space:pre"> </span></div> <div> </div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Centrum/Onsala%20rymdobservatorium/340x/ngc5252_evn_chandra_72dpi_340x.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" />NGC 5252 is about 320 million light years from the Milky Way. At the centre, it has an active galactic nucleus with a supermassive black hole, recognized by its optical, radio and X-ray properties. A second very luminous X-ray source, catalogued as CXO J133815.6+043255, was found in the outskirts of NGC 5252 last year. This powerful X-ray source appears quite compact in the optical and radio images, similar to the supermassive black hole in the nucleus. To uncover its mysterious nature, an international team led by Jun Yang, Onsala Space Observatory, Chalmers, has made the highest resolution image of its radio counterpart with the observational technique of very long baseline interferometry (VLBI) provided by the European VLBI Network. </div> <div> </div> <div>&quot;Thanks to the very high resolution of the image, there's no doubt that we're seeing a compact jet&quot;, says Xiaolong Yang, a PhD student supervised by Xiang Liu at Xinjiang Astronomical Observatory, China.  </div> <div><br /></div> <div>“Most likely, the jet is associated with a supermassive black hole.” adds Xiang Liu.</div> <div> </div> <div>“This is one of the few unique dual radio-emitting supermassive black holes as far as their small separation is concerned”, comments Tao An, radio astronomer at Shanghai Astronomical Observatory, China.  </div> <div> </div> <div>It is not clear whether the two black holes in NGC 5252 will finally merge or not. However, finding more supermassive black hole pairs will definitely enable astronomers to run statistical studies of their final fate.</div> <div><span style="font-weight:700;background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><a href="" style="text-decoration:underline;outline:0px"><strong><em>See also the press release from JIVE</em></strong></a><em> and from Xinjiang Astronomical Observatory </em><span style="background-color:initial"><a href=""><em>in English</em></a><em> and </em><em><a href="">in Chinese</a>.</em></span></div> <em> </em><div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="font-weight:700;background-color:initial">Images</span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">High-resolution images are available at </span><a href="">​</a></div> <div><em style="background-color:initial"><br /></em></div> <div><a href=""></a><em style="background-color:initial">1 (top) – Radio emission from the mysterious source CXO J133815.6+043255 in NGC 5252 shows evidence for jets from a supermassive black hole. In this extremely sharp image from the European VLBI Network, the brightest areas are shown in white, and fainter signals in red, green and blue. </em><br /></div> <div><em>Credit: EVN/JIVE/X.-L. Yang et al.</em></div> <div></div> <div><br /></div> <div><em>2 – The pair of supermassive black holes in NGC 5252 as observed by the radio telescopes of the European VLBI Network (left) and in X-rays by Chandra (right). In these images, the brightest areas are shown in white, and fainter signals in red, green and blue. </em></div> <em></em><div><em>Credit: Radio: EVN/X.-L. Yang et al.; X-ray: NASA/CXC/M. Kim et al.</em></div> <div><em><br /></em></div> <div><strong>More about the research</strong></div> <div> </div> <div>The results have been published in a paper in the journal <em>Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society</em>, “<em>NGC 5252: a pair of radio-emitting active galactic nuclei?</em>”, by X.-L. Yang, J. Yang, Z. Paragi, X. Liu, T. An, S. Bianchi, L.C. Ho, L. Cui, W. Zhao, X.-C. Wu, MNRAS Letters, doi: 10.1093/mnrasl/slw160 (<a href=""></a>). The article is also available at <a href=""></a>.</div> <div> </div> <div><strong>More about VLBI, the European VLBI Network and JIVE</strong></div> <div><br /></div> <div>VLBI is an astronomical method by which multiple radio telescopes distributed across great distances observe the same region of sky simultaneously. Data from each telescope is sent to a central &quot;correlator&quot; to produce images with higher resolution than the most powerful optical telescopes. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>The European VLBI Network (EVN; <a href=""></a>) is an interferometric array of radio telescopes spread throughout Europe, Asia, South Africa and the Americas that conducts unique, high-resolution, radio astronomical observations of cosmic radio sources. Established in 1980, the EVN has grown into the most sensitive VLBI array in the world, including over 20 individual telescopes, among them some of the world's largest and most sensitive radio telescopes. The EVN is administered by the European Consortium for VLBI, which includes a total of 15 institutes, including the Joint Institute for VLBI ERIC (JIVE).</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The Joint Institute for VLBI ERIC (JIVE; <a href=""></a>​) has as its primary mission to operate and develop the EVN data processor, a powerful supercomputer that combines the signals from radio telescopes located across the planet. Founded in 1993, JIVE is since 2015 a European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC) with five member countries: Netherlands, United Kingdom, Sweden, France and Spain.</div> <div> </div> <div><strong>Contacts</strong></div> <div> </div> <div>Robert Cumming, communicator, Onsala Space Observatory, Chalmers University of Technology,,  +46 (0)31 772 5500</div> <div> </div> <div>Jun Yang, Onsala Space Observatory, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, email:, tel: +46 (0)31 772 5531</div> <div><em></em></div> <em> </em><div><span style="background-color:initial"><em> </em></span><br /></div> <div><br /></div> Fri, 14 Oct 2016 08:00:00 +0200 makes the universe rock<p><b>​He is a world known scientist, but also a rock star of science who crosses the borders between physics, art and entertainment. On the 28th of October professor Lawrence M. Krauss gave a talk in Sweden – at the conference Fysikdagarna in Gothenburg. The theme was how the discovery of gravitational waves opens a new window on the universe.</b></p><div>​The existence of gravitational waves was predicted by Albert Einstein already in 1916. But it took almost a hundred years before scientists were able to measure them.</div> <div>– There are so many cool things with gravitational waves. The technology that you can actually measure them is amazing itself. Then it’s the universe. The discovery of gravitational waves makes it possible to get evidence that there are other universes out there. You can even travel back in time – and see the universe before it became transparent – 400 000 years after the big bang, says Lawrence M. Krauss.</div> <div> </div> <div>He was the first one who tweeted about the rumour that the LIGO-group had managed to measure gravitational waves for the first time in history. Even though it was just a rumour by that time, the attention was enormous. One month later the discovery was officially released and reported about - all over the world.</div> <div> </div> <div>– I don’t regret that I tweeted about the rumour.  I was not leaking information from the LIGO-group. I would never have done that. I just wrote what I had heard from various other colleagues. I do think that the importance of social media is to allow people in public to be in direct contact with scientists.</div> <div> </div> <div>Lawrence M. Krauss is also known for his way of making science understandable in a popular way. He is travelling worldwide to give lectures and talks, he stars in tv shows, movies and has written bestselling books like A Universe from Nothing and The Physics of Star Trek. Krauss has performed with the Cleveland Orchestra and he was nominated for a Grammy award for his liner notes for a Telarc cd of music from Star Trek.</div> <div> </div> <div>How he manages to combine all these things with his research and work at School of Earth and Space Exploration and Department of Physics at Arizona State University is a mystery.  </div> <div> </div> <div>– I don’t sleep that much. Everything is important so I try to balance it, and juggle. Sometimes I don’t balance it that well. But I like being on the red carpet for a movie premiere one day and lecturing at Harvard the next day. And I like to help and to improve society. For me all this is not like work, it’s more like play. Playing with art, playing with science. I enjoy different adventures and science is a part of our culture. And if you say so, it’s kind of nice to be a rock star of science.<br />Text: Mia Halleröd Palmgren</div> <div> </div> <span><div><strong>Abstract of the talk in Gothenburg: </strong> Gravitational Waves have now been discovered by LIGO, opening up a vast new window on the Universe, as I shall describe.  If we can go further and detect gravitational waves from Inflation, this will push our empirical handle on the universe back in time by 49 orders of magnitude, and will allow us to explore issues ranging from supersymmetry to grand unification, the quantum theory of gravity, and even the possible existence of other universes.</div></span> <div><span><span style="display:inline-block"></span></span> </div> <div><a href=""><img src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" alt="" />Check out Lawrence M. Krauss on Youtube when he gives a talk about A Universe from nothing. </a></div> <div> </div> <div><a href=""><img src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" alt="" />Read more about Lawrence M. Krauss on his official webpage.</a></div>Fri, 07 Oct 2016 00:00:00 +0200 Blaum received the Gothenburg Lise Meitner award <p><b>​One week before the Nobel prize in Physics is announced, The Gothenburg Physics Centre honours German professor Klaus Blaum the Gothenburg Lise Meitner award 2016. </b></p><div>​The connection might sound vague, but one of the previous winners, Stefan W. Hell, was later awarded the Nobel prize in Physics in 2014. </div> <div> </div> <div>– I walk in big footsteps, but I do not feel the pressure. I’m really happy to receive the prize and it gives a lot of inspiration to me and my group. This is an international recognition, says Klaus Blaum, Director at the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg. </div> <div> </div> <div>In connection with the ceremony in the Physics Center in Gothenburg he held a lecture about his research and he also had the time to visit the Lise Meitner room at Chalmers. </div> <div> </div> <div>–I think she deserved the Nobel prize for the nuclear fission. Her research is what our work is based on. We are continuing with novel techniques. We are in the same field. </div> <div> </div> <div>Klaus Blaum was awarded the prize for “the development of innovative techniques for high-precision measurements of stored radioactive ions”. To make a very difficult topic understandable he is investigating how atoms heavier than iron can be made. </div> <div> </div> <div>– The exact physical process that produces heavier elements than iron is still unknown. For example, we don’t know how gold got made, says Klaus Blaum. </div> <div> </div> <div>The Gothenburg Lize Meitner award was handed over by Pam Fredman, Vice Chancellor of the University of Gothenburg.<br /><br />Text: Mia Halleröd Palmgren<br /><span></span><span><span style="display:inline-block"></span></span><br /></div> <div> <span><a href=";feature=em-upload_owner"><img src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" alt="" />See a video greeting from Klaus Blaum. </a><a href=";feature=em-upload_owner"><span style="display:inline-block"></span></a></span></div> <div><a href=""><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />Link to homepage of the Stored and Cooled Ions Division</a></div> <div><a href=""><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Link to Curriculum Vitae of Klaus Blaum</a><br /><a href="/en/centres/gpc/activities/lisemeitner/Pages/default.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Read more about the Gothenburg Lise Meitner Award</a><br /><br /></div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">Facts:  </h3> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Centrum/Fysikcentrum/Gothenburg%20Lise%20Meitner%20Award/AP570511040_200x288.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatLeft" alt="" style="margin:5px" />Gothenburg Lise Meitner Award is awarded by the Gothenburg Physics Centre to a scientist who made a breakthrough discovery in physics. The prize was established in 2006 by the Department of Physics at University of Gothenburg and holds the honour, 3000 Euros and a work of art with an engraved plaque. In conjunction with the award ceremony the laureate holds a lecture.</div> <div> </div> <div>Lise Meitner was a researcher in Berlin from 1907 to 1938 , when she was forced to flee to Sweden , where she came to work for 20 years. As a woman she was initially not allowed in the laboratories where men worked and later she had a hard time getting a regular academic position. With these qualifications, she was still one of the leading nuclear physicists in the world. After her escape to Sweden, she was the first to understand nuclear fission when she during a stay in Kungälv Christmas in 1938 , along with her nephew Otto Frisch, could explain the results that Otto Hahn, her colleagues in Berlin, sent her. She was therefore part of the team that discovered nuclear fission. She also explained the cause for the Auger effect, but was overlooked for the Nobel Prize.</div>Thu, 29 Sep 2016 18:00:00 +0200 way to measure sea level awarded Joakim Strandberg in Student Prize Paper Competition<p><b>​As one of 170 participants in the Student Prize Paper Competition at the IGARSS 2016 conference in Beijing, Joakim Strandberg PhD-student from Earth and Space Sciences reached the final. His paper “Inverse Modelling of GNSS Multipath for Sea Level Measurements – Initial Results” was awarded a second place accompanied with a certificate and a cash prize of USD 750.</b></p>​During the IGARSS conference a student prize paper competition was held and Joakim Strandberg was one of totally 170 participants in the competition. Ten finalists were selected by a committee that reviewed the articles before the conference. In the final judgement stage the finalists presented their papers during a special session at the symposium in Beijing. Joakim was the only European finalist and his paper was awarded the second place in the final. Besides an award certificate, a cash prize of USD 750 was presented to him.<br />-    My place in the final was remarkable in several ways. First of all I was the only European to get to the final. Secondly my project was the only one which was not about image analysis, says Joakim.<br /><br /><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/RoG/Sidbilder/The_GNSS_tide_gauge_installation_w340.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" />The awarded paper “Inverse Modelling of GNSS Multipath for Sea Level Measurements – Initial Results” describes parts of the work Joakim does in his PhD project in the Space Geodesy and Geodynamics research group. It was written together with his supervisors Thomas Hobiger and Rüdiger Haas. In the project Joakim uses a special GPS installation, a GNSS-mareograph (GNSS=Global Navigation Satellite System) which consists of a pole that is placed over the sea surface and which holds two antennas. One up-ward looking antenna receives signals directly from the satellites and the other one is sensitive to signals which bounce off the sea surface before reaching the down-ward looking antenna. The difference between the signals received from the two antennas can be translated into measurements of the sea level and shows changes in it over time. The project is carried out at the Onsala Space Observatory and the information from the project is thought to deliver valuable input to sea-level rise models and global change studies. The method can also be used for snow height measurements, measure levels of soil moisture and biomass.<br />-    I started my PhD project in October 2015. The reason why I chose this project was that both the methods and the execution of them sounded interesting and fitted my area of interest. Also the setup which Rüdiger and Thomas had for the project appealed to me and so far it has led to both exciting information and experiences, says Joakim.<br /><br />IGARSS is arranged annually by the IEEE GRSS Society (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Geoscience and Remote Sensing Society) and the theme for this year’s conference in Beijing was “Advancing the understanding of our living planet”.<br /><br />Link to the abstract which led to the second place in the final:<a href="/en/departments/rss/news/Documents/IGARSS2016_JoakimStrandberg.pdf"><img alt="IGARSS2016_JoakimStrandberg.pdf" src="/en/departments/see/news/_layouts/images/icpdf.png" class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" />IGARSS2016_JoakimStrandberg.pdf</a><br />For more information about the project:<br /><br />Photo of the GNSS-mareograph: Johan LöfgrenFri, 26 Aug 2016 10:40:00 +0200 telescope tracks the aftermath of a star being swallowed by a supermassive black hole<p><b>​Radio astronomers have used a radio telescope network the size of the Earth to zoom in on a unique phenomenon in a distant galaxy: a jet activated by a star being consumed by a supermassive black hole. The record-sharp observations reveal a compact and surprisingly slowly-moving source of radio waves.</b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial">An international team of radio astronomers led by Jun Yang (Onsala Space Observatory, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden) studied the new-born jet in a source known as Swift J1644+57 with the European VLBI Network (EVN), an Earth-size radio telescope array. </span><div><br /></div> <div>The results, published in a paper in the journal <em>Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society</em>, will also be presented at the <a href="">European Week of Astronomy and Space Science</a> in Athens, Greece, on Friday 8 July 2016.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>When a star moves close to a supermassive black hole it can be disrupted violently. About half of the gas in the star is drawn towards the black hole and forms a disc around it. During this process, large amounts of gravitational energy are converted into electromagnetic radiation, creating a bright source which is visible at many different wavelengths. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>One dramatic consequence is that some of the star’s material, stripped from the star and collected around the black hole, can be ejected in extremely narrow beams of particles at speeds approaching the speed of light. These so-called relativistic jets produce strong emission at radio wavelengths. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>The first known tidal disruption event that formed a relativistic jet was discovered in 2011 by the NASA satellite Swift. Initially identified by a bright flare in X-rays, the event was given the name Swift J1644+57. The source was traced to a distant galaxy, so far away that its light took around 3.9 billion years to reach Earth.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><img class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" src="/SiteCollectionImages/Centrum/Onsala%20rymdobservatorium/250x/tde_2panels_portrait_72dpi_250x.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px" />Jun Yang and his colleagues used the technique very long baseline interferometry (VLBI) make extremely high-precision measurements of the jet from Swift J1644+57. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>“Using the EVN telescope network we were able to measure the jet’s position to a precision of 10 microarcseconds. That corresponds to the angular extent of a 2-euro coin on the Moon as seen from Earth. These are some of the sharpest measurements ever made by radio telescopes”, says Jun Yang. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>Thanks to the amazing precision possible with the network of radio telescopes, the scientists were able to search for signs of motion in the jet, despite its huge distance. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>“We looked for motion close to the light speed in the jet, so-called superluminal motion. Over our three years of observations such movement should have been clearly detectable. But our images reveal instead very compact and steady emission -- there is no apparent motion”, continues Jun Yang.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The results give important insights into what happens when a star is destroyed by a supermassive black hole, but also how newly-launched jets behave in a pristine environment. Zsolt Paragi, Head of User Support at the Joint Institute for VLBI ERIC (JIVE) in Dwingeloo, Netherlands, and member of the team, explains why the jet appears to be so compact and stationary.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>&quot;Newly-formed relativistic ejecta decelerate quickly as they interact with the interstellar medium in the galaxy. Besides, earlier studies suggest we may be seeing the jet at a very small angle. That could contribute to the apparent compactness”, he says.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Centrum/Onsala%20rymdobservatorium/250x/Onsala%20rymdobservatorium_S8A9863-1_25m_72dpi_250x250.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" />The record-sharp and extremely sensitive observations would not have been possible without the full power of the many radio telescopes of different sizes which together make up the EVN, explains Tao An from the Shanghai Astronomical Observatory, P.R. China.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“While the largest radio telescopes in the network contribute to the great sensitivity, the larger field of view provided by telescopes like the 25-m radio telescopes in Sheshan and Nanshan (China), and in Onsala (Sweden) played a crucial role in the investigation, allowing us to simultaneously observe Swift J1644+57 and a faint reference source,&quot; he says.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Swift J1644+57 is one of the first tidal disruption events to be studied in detail, and it won’t be the last.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>&quot;Observations with the next generation of radio telescopes will tell us more about what actually happens when a star is eaten by a black hole - and how powerful jets form and evolve right next to black holes&quot;, explains Stefanie Komossa, astronomer at the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“In the future, new, giant radio telescopes like FAST (Five hundred meter Aperture Spherical Telescope) and SKA (Square Kilometre Array) will allow us to make even more detailed observations of these extreme and exciting events,” concludes Jun Yang.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><div><span style="font-weight:700;background-color:initial">Images</span><br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">High-resolution images are available on Flickr at </span><a href=""><span style="background-color:initial"></span>​</a></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><em>1. (top) This artist’s impression shows the remains of a star that came too close to a supermassive black hole. Extremely sharp observations of the event Swift J1644+57 with the radio telescope network EVN (European VLBI Network) have revealed a remarkably compact jet, shown here in yellow.</em></div> <div><em>Image credit: ESA/S. Komossa/Beabudai Design (see <a href="">more images from ESA​</a>)</em></div> <div><br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><em>2. Three years of extremely precise EVN measurements of the jet from Swift J1644+5734 show a very compact source with no signs of motion. Lower panel: false colour contour image of the jet (the ellipse in the lower left corner shows the size of an unresolved source). Upper panel: position measurement with dates. One microarcsecond is one 3 600 000 000th part of a degree. </em></span><br /></div> <div><em>Image credit: EVN/JIVE/J. Yang​</em></div></div> <div><em><br /></em></div> <div><em>3. </em><span style="background-color:initial"><i>The 25-metre telescope at Onsala Space Observatory is part of the radio telescope network EVN (European VLBI Network).</i></span></div> <div><i>Image credit: Onsala Space Observatory/Anna-Lena Lundqvist</i></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>More about the research</strong></div> <div><br /></div> <div>The results are published in a paper in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, <a href=""><em>No apparent superluminal motion in the first-known jetted tidal disruption event Swift J1644+5734</em></a>, by J. Yang, Z. Paragi, A.J. van der Horst, L.I. Gurvits, R.M. Campbell, D. Giannios, T. An &amp; S. Komossa, 2016, MNRAS Letters, <a href="">doi:10.1093/mnrasl/slw107</a>. The paper is also available at <a href=""></a>.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The findings will be presented at the European Week of Astronomy and Space Science in Athens, Greece on Friday 8 July 2016, as part of the special session <a href="">Nanoradians on the sky – VLBI across the Mediterranean and beyond</a>.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>This press release <a href="">has also been published by the Royal Astronomical Society​</a>.<br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong style="background-color:initial">Contacts</strong><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div>Robert Cumming, communications officer, Onsala Space Observatory, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, email:, tel: +46 70 493 3114 or +46 (0)31 772 5500</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Jun Yang, Onsala Space Observatory, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, email:, tel: +46 (0)31 7725531</div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>More about VLBI, the European VLBI Network and JIVE</strong></div> <div><br /></div> <div>VLBI is an astronomical method by which multiple radio telescopes distributed across great distances observe the same region of sky simultaneously. Data from each telescope is sent to a central &quot;correlator&quot; to produce images with higher resolution than the most powerful optical telescopes. </div> <div><br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">The European VLBI Network (EVN; <a href=""></a>) is an interferometric array of radio telescopes spread throughout Europe, Asia, South Africa and the Americas that conducts unique, high-resolution, radio astronomical observations of cosmic radio sources. Established in 1980, the EVN has grown into the most sensitive VLBI array in the world, including over 20 individual telescopes, among them some of the world's largest and most sensitive radio telescopes. The EVN is administered by the European Consortium for VLBI, which includes a total of 15 institutes, including the Joint Institute for VLBI ERIC (JIVE).</span><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div>The Joint Institute for VLBI ERIC (JIVE; <a href="">​</a>) has as its primary mission to operate and develop the EVN data processor, a powerful supercomputer that combines the signals from radio telescopes located across the planet. Founded in 1993, JIVE is since 2015 a European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC) with five member countries: Netherlands, United Kingdom, Sweden, France and Spain.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><br /><a href=""></a></div> ​Wed, 06 Jul 2016 08:00:00 +0200