Amateur astronomers also contribute to the invention of the telescope

Amateur astronomers also contribute to the invention of the telescope

HD80606b. L ‘புறக்கோள் – Those planets orbiting a star other than our Sun – At the forefront of the Ursa Major galaxy, 190 light years away. This gas is classified as giant In the hot Thursday sectionHowever, the universe is a needle in a haystack – rather a microscopic dust.

Yet towards this the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) It should point out its tools in October for one of its first observations. Launched on December 25, the largest and most powerful telescope ever sent into space arrived at its observatory 1.5 million kilometers from Earth a month later and was measured from its instruments before becoming fully operational. “Not six months ago”, It was expected during the launchTo do European Space Agency (ESA).

Exoplanet hunters

With its infrared vision, JWST will allow great improvements, especially to learn more about the habitat of exoplanets. That’s why Hubble’s big brother is interested in the HD80606b. “Astronomers like to study its atmosphere and have a good understanding of the weather events that take place there,” says Bruno Gillette, a teacher-researcher in applied physics at Cannes University by day and an amateur astronomer by night from his garden.

This observation will lead to a scientific article in which Bruno Gillette should be mentioned. Yes yes. This is because Canoys contributed to its success, on its own scale, with other amateurs from around the world. Scientists would like to observe the HD80606b during its orbit, explaining “when the Exoplanet passes between us and its star” Frank Marchis, Franco-American astronomerResearcher in Chetty Company And Director of Science Unisteller, Marseille Company Designer of digital telescopes. With the HD80606b, we know that traffic occurs every 111 days. “But astronomers who want to observe it needed more details to better prepare this observation and avoid running JWST two hours earlier or later,” Bruno Gillette continued. NASA Exoplanet Watch, A participatory science project of the US space agency, which asked amateur astronomers to monitor a transit to indicate the epimeris of the HD80606b, time and its duration. Canoys is currently responding with other amateurs from around the world. “That was last December 7,” he says.

An invaluable network of portable telescopes around the world

An accurate description of many of the things amateur astronomers can bring to Frank Marchis. “In many cases, he says, having telescopes, mobiles and networks all over the world can be very useful. This is a guarantee that there will always be someone to observe the unprecedented event.. This is the whole point of Unisteller’s digital telescopes, which is perfect for citizen science. “You have to enter the celestial coordinates of the object you want to observe so that the telescope automatically points in that direction,” Frank Marchis continues. You can become a complete neophyte and make spectacular observations very quickly. ⁇

Since its launch in 2016, Unisteller has gradually developed a community of 5,000 activists, of which Bruno Gillette is one of the most active members. “Last year, the community observed 413 exoplanets, one of which is 2,700 light-years away,” Unisteller said.

Again, the idea to help scientists. In April 2018, NASA was launched into orbit Tess, even a space telescope, Dedicated to the search for extraterrestrials. Since these planets are so close to their star, it is not easy for their light to be completely submerged. “To do this, Des Tracking and observing their traffic, The moment we see the celestial body taking on a shadow shape and the luminous intensity of its star decreasing, it makes its observation easier. But one observation alone is not enough to prove the existence of an exoplanet right before our eyes. “We need to look at the rest of these trips that Tess did not have time to make … Unlike amateur astronomers, Frank Marcis points out that the space telescope has identified nearly 10,000 possible speeds, including 5,000 which have since been confirmed. Do the same for the other half. The telescope will point to one of the most interesting exoplanets discovered.

Bruno Gillette, a teacher-researcher in applied physics at Kane University during the day, wears his amateur astronomer hat at night and collaborates on participatory science projects.  ?  / Photo Bruno Gillette
Bruno Gillette, a teacher-researcher in applied physics at Kane University during the day, wears his amateur astronomer hat at night and collaborates on participatory science projects. ? / Photo Bruno Gillette – / Photo Bruno Gillette

Do not waste precious JWST time

Frank Marchis hopes that other similar contributions from amateurs can be followed to the success of the JWST. A confirmation: the need for “telescopic time” on the James Web is strong and will be invaluable, Frank Marchis notes. There is no doubt that pointing to it is a waste of time, for example, it is two hours ahead of the exoplanet whose traffic has not yet begun. ⁇

While waiting until the requirements are clear, amateur astronomers already have a lot to do with participatory science projects. Until the beginning of May, Unisteller is calling on its community to point out its binoculars Comet C / 2021 O3. Is coming Oort cloud, In 100,000 astronomical units (very, very far away) from us, “it currently passes through our solar system, and it will be visible throughout May,” said Frank Marcis. Chetty will be sent to the company, which hopes to learn more about the inner structure of this comet.

Apart from the Exoplanets, the other big hobby of the interstellar community – 395 observations last year – was watching asteroids. “If they find themselves between us and their star at an exact moment, Frank Marcis points out, from Earth, we can see the shadow of the asteroid, which helps to better determine its size and shape. Very useful information for the success of space travel, in particular.The Lucy study departed on October 16th See an asteroid in the main belt (between Mars and Jupiter) – it will be in 2025 – then seven Jupiter’s Trojan asteroids. “It passes relatively quickly over these objects, so NASA needs as much information as possible to fine-tune its orbit and find out when to point this or that instrument at an interesting area,” says Frank Marsis.

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