NEWS European air quality EARTh Ob SERv ATION The European Copernicus Earth-observation programme continues to expand with the successful launch of the sixth satellite, Sentinel-5P. This is the first of the Sentinel constellation to focus on mapping air pollution. This image was taken before the satellite began routine operations and demonstrates the capabilities of its Tropomi instrument. The map shows levels of nitrogen dioxide across Europe; red indicates high levels in parts of the Netherlands and Spain, the Ruhr in western Germany and the Po Valley in Italy. Nitrogen dioxide comes from fossil fuel use in trac a ffi nd industrial processes; mapping with this satellite will contribute to the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service. The satellite has a worldwide reach and can track, for example, ozone levels and ash from volcanic eruptions. Its swath width of 2600 km can cover the planet every 24 hours. (Copernicus Sentinel/KNMI/ESA) http://bit.ly/2ix2Pf9 New seismic isolation for E-ELT ʹOumuamua: maybe alien, probably not TEchNOLOG y The European INTERSTELLAR ObJEc T An oddly surface through the action of cos- Southern Observatory is building shaped body found speeding mic rays over millions or billions a 39 m telescope at Paranal, Chile, through the solar system shows of years. This, combined with in a region subject to some of the all the signs of being an oddly the speed of the body as it sped world’s largest earthquakes. The shaped comet or asteroid – not an past the Sun, meant that little ice complex mirror design of the alien artifact. vaporized, producing little dust. European Extremely Large Tel- 1I/2017 U1 (ʹOumuamua) was Michele Bannister (Queen’s escope demands new methods to detected by the Pan-STARRS University Belfast), who pub- keep the telescope intact during robotic telescope in Hawaii, lished data on ʹOumuamua in seismic activity. Acceleration against time plot shows and this data together with Astrophysical Journal Letters, said: The solution proposed for the improvement (white) by damping. Canada–France–Hawaii Tele- “This is a planetesimal with a vertical seismic damping for the scope observations indicated that well-baked crust, probably about E-ELT is based on the system or more triggers a system of sup- it was following a fast hyperbolic the size and shape of the Gherkin used to protect the antennas of ports that clamp on to the edge of orbit around the Sun, originating skyscraper in London. It’s fasci- the Atacama Large Millimetre- each Very Large Telescope mirror in interstellar space. Modelling by nating that the first interstellar submillimetre Array on their and support it. This avoids the Jena Schneider of the Paris Obser- object discovered looks so much journeys to the high plateau of chance of damage to the actua- vatory found that a solar system like a tiny world from our own Chajnator. It is proposed that the tors that position the mirror in origin was very unlikely. home system. This suggests that telescope supports will include a normal use. The E-ELT, how- Further observations reported the way our planets and asteroids hydraulic system that automati- ever, will use a much larger and in Nature by Meech et al. indicate formed has a lot of kinship to the cally responds to the arrival of heavier mirror, made up of 798 that it is cigar-shaped, with an systems around other stars.” seismic waves and supports the segments positioned as close as aspect ratio of 10:1, and spinning Everything points to an telescope mass on pressurized possible. Differential movements every 7 hours. It has a red surface, unusual but natural origin for gas, which acts as a soft spring during an earthquake could be like the organic-rich red coatings this interstellar body – even its and absorbs the seismic shocks. very damaging. While standard found on comets, some asteroids radio silence. The Green Bank Chile lies above a sub duction seismic isolation systems could and outer solar system bodies. Telescope was used to examine zone where Pacic fi Ocean o fl or protect the E-ELT from horizontal Meech et al. detected very little ʹOumuamua for any radio activ- lithosphere moves beneath conti- movement – allowing up to 30 cm dust around the body, and sug- ity, as part of the Breakthrough nental lithosphere, producing the relative movement between the gested that it was an asteroid. Listen project to search for signs volcanoes and earthquakes of the telescopes as a whole and bed- A study of the ree fl ctivity of of extraterrestrial intelligence. No Andes – more than 650 earth- rock – vertical isolation is a differ- ʹOumuamua by Fitzsimmons et alien broadcasts were detected. quakes of greater than magnitude ent matter. ESO’s Max Kraus and al. in Nature Astronomy suggests Bannister et al. http://bit.ly/2qczMke 1.5 in the past year. The existing colleagues discuss their proposal that it is in fact icy and that a thick Fitzsimmons et al. http://go.nature. ESO telescopes have seismic pro- in an ESO Technical Note. crust of dry, insulating organic com/2CzNSih tection: a quake of magnitude 7 http://bit.ly/2lyLwsz matter had accumulated on its Meech et al. http://go.nature.com/2Cp0niZ A&G • February 2018 • Vol. 59 • aandg.org 1.5 Downloaded from https://academic.oup.com/astrogeo/article-abstract/59/1/1.5/4804268 by Ed 'DeepDyve' Gillespie user on 16 March 2018
Astronomy & Geophysics – Oxford University Press
Published: Feb 1, 2018
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