Prime Focus April 2001


"We had the sky up there, all speckled with stars, and we used to lay on our backs and look up at them, and discuss about whether they was made or only just happened." (The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain.) Even the faintest stars Huck and Jim could see as their raft drifted down the Mississippi were in our own Milky Way Galaxy. Today's astronomers look into the distant universe using three-dimensional imaging techniques. ( Credit: R. Williams, the HDF Team of STScI, and NASA)

TVS Presents

April TVS

  • 2 Club News and Notes

  • 3 What's Up in April

  • 4 What's Up in May

  • 5 White Mountains trip

  • 6 SJAA auction XXI

  • 7 Mir memories

  • 8 AANC conference April 7

   Old notions depicting the cosmos as crystal-studded spherical shells or veils of firmament might be poetic and beautiful, but they are literally ancient history. The observer who could stand beyond the edge of the universe and gaze across its immense reaches would see a three-dimensional structure of astonishing complexity and enigmatic objects.

   "The new, large optical telescopes allow astronomers -- for the first time -- to begin exploring the 'Dark Ages' when the universe was very young, and the first stars and black holes were born. Radio galaxies may lead the way." This is the claim Wil van Breugel will explore with TVS at our next general meeting. He will explain that radio galaxies emit energy thought to be generated by super-massive black holes. Wil and his research team at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Institute for Geophysics and Planetary Physics have investigated radio galaxy TN J0924-2201, some 200 times more distant than Cyngus A and 30 times more luminous. Come hear more!

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