The Whirlpool Galaxy

I thought I would share this, as I am quite pleased with the results. Below are three images that I have taken (last night) using the Bradford Robotic Telescope. The First image is  in standard visual wavelengths. The second has been taken through a Hydrogen Alpha filter. The third is a stacked image of the two. This is my first proper attempt at stacking, and I am very happy with the results.

 

W Pool Normal Named

 

W Pool H Alpha Named

 

W Pool Stacked copy Named

The Thirty Meter Telescope –“Next Generation in the Search for Extraterrestrial Life”

The Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) – soon to be the world’s widest eye on space – has got the go-ahead for construction on the summit of Mauna Kea, Hawaii. Most of Mauna Kea is below sea level. When measured from its oceanic base, its height is 33,500 ft (10,200 m)—more than twice Mount Everest’s base-to-peak height. The sacred mountain is about one million years old –long past the most active shield stage of life hundreds of thousands of years ago–providing a stable platform for what will will be the world’s most advanced and capable ground-based optical, near-infrared, and mid-infrared observatory.

The TMT will integrate the latest innovations in precisions control, segmented mirror design, and adaptive optics. The giant eye will enable groundbreaking advances in a wide range of scientific areas, from the most distantreaches of the Universe to our own Solar System. TMT will allow astronomers to explore virtually every aspect of this picture, from inflation to exoplanets.

The resolution and sensitivity provided by its large aperture and adaptive optics systems, combined with a flexible and powerful suite of instruments, will enable astronomers to address many of the most fundamental questions ofthe coming decades.

One of the primary missions of the TMT will be the detection and analysis of life-bearing exo planets. The exoplanets that have so far been detected are gas giants like Jupiter and Neptune. They were found because their large mass noticeably perturbs the motion of the host star. Surprisingly, many are found very close to their host star. As the higher temperatures there would prevent such planets from forming, itseems that they must have migrated inward, after forming at greater distances. Most astronomers believe that smaller terrestrial planets exist, but these cannot be detected with present telescopes. The TMT will help answer such questions as are such planets common and can they survive the disruption that would result from migration of the massive planets? Do they have atmospheres like Earth?

via The Thirty Meter Telescope –“Next Generation in the Search for Extraterrestrial Life”.