2019 September 14

Little Planet to Exoplanets
Image Credit & Copyright:
Petr Horálek / ESO

Explanation: Of course this little planet is really planet Earth in a digitally stitched 360 x 180 degree mosaic captured high in the Chilean Atacama desert. The seemingly large domes house the 1-meter diameter telescopes of the SPECULOOS Southern Observatory. With a name creatively inspired by a sweet biscuit treat, the SPECULOOS (Search for habitable Planets EClipsing ULtra-cOOl Stars) telescopes really are hunting for little planets. Their mission is to search for the telltale dimming that indicates the transit of terrestrial exoplanets around the population of nearby, tiny, dim, ultracool stars. On the not-so-distant horizon, adaptive optics laser beams are firing from ESO’s mountain top Paranal Observatory. The central Milky Way and Magellanic clouds also shine in this little planet’s night sky.

Petr Horálek / ESO

说明: 其实,这颗小小行星就是地球,而这幅360度x 180度影像,则是由摄于智利.阿塔卡玛沙漠的多张照片数位缝合而成。其中这些看起来庞大无比的圆顶,内有SPECULOOS南方天文台的1米望远镜。 SPECULOOS命名的灵感来自一种欧洲的甜饼干,借为Search for habitable Planets EClipsing ULtra-cOOl Stars(搜寻宜居行星掩食极低温恒星)计画的简称,是以这些望远镜是用来寻找行星。计画目标是要寻找数量众多、邻近我们的暗淡极低温红矮星周围之类地系外行星,当它们凌越母星时,所造成的示踪光度下降。在地平线不远之处,欧南天文台座落在山顶上的帕连那天文站之调适光学系统,正在发射雷射光束。此外,在这颗小小行星的夜空中,还可见到银河系的盘面和大与小麦哲伦星系。

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