ALMA : first image

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ALMA : first image

Post by Led_Zep on 4th October 2011, 5:54 am

http://www.eso.org/public/news/eso1137/

"...“We will use ALMA to image the ‘birth ring’ of planetesimals that we believe orbits this young star. Only with ALMA, however, can we hope to discover clumps in these dusty asteroid belts, which can be the markers of unseen planets.” Wilner and his team will share their data with a European team who also requested ALMA observations of this nearby, dust-ringed star.

Any hunt for habitable planets around other stars often begins with a hunt for water in those distant solar systems. Debris discs, the swarms of dust, gas, and rocks around stars, are suspected also to contain craggy ice chunks filled with frozen water, gas, and possibly even organic molecules — the astrochemistry of life.

Simon Casassus, from the University of Chile, and his team will use ALMA to observe the gas and dust disc around HD142527, a young star that is 400 light-years away. “The dusty disc around this star has a very large gap, which may have been carved by the formation of giant planets,” said Casassus. “Outside the gap, this disc contains enough gas to make about a dozen Jupiter-sized planets. Inside the gap, a young gaseous giant planet could still be forming, if there is gaseous material available.” Their ALMA observations will measure the mass and physical conditions of gas interior to the gap. “Thus, ALMA gives us a chance to observe planet formation, or its most recent wake,” said Casassus.

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Re: ALMA : first image

Post by Daniel on 5th October 2011, 2:32 pm

ALMA can detect planets By astrometry Method too:

Future Astrometry with ALMA to characterise extra-solar planet orbits

http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/astro-ph/pdf/0308/0308226v1.pdf

and http://adsabs.harvard.edu/full/2003ASPC..294..587L
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Re: ALMA : first image

Post by Galzi on 7th September 2012, 12:43 pm

ALMA telescope upgrade:

http://www.eso.org/public/announcements/ann12042/

Before its construction is even completed, the new telescope ALMA — the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array — is embarking on an upgrade that will help astronomers investigate the earliest galaxies and search for water in other planetary systems. The oversight board for ALMA has authorised the design and building of an additional set of receivers with state-of-the-art performance, which will enable the telescope to access a part of the spectrum of light that it cannot currently study.

The receivers will be used to study some of the earliest galaxies in the Universe and will help us to understand when some of the first stars formed. They will also enhance astronomers' abilities to measure the presence of water — a molecule essential to life — in the dusty disks where planets are believed to form, and in the atmospheres of planets and comets in our own Solar System. Water in space can be tricky to measure accurately, because of the confusing effects of observing through the water vapour in Earth's atmosphere. The way in which ALMA's Band 5 receivers will measure water reduces some of these difficulties.

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