Stunning first shot from the Alma Radio Telescope.


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Profile Neil Blaikie
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Message 1158488 - Posted: 3 Oct 2011, 13:14:13 UTC

The $1.3 Billion Alma Radio Telescope has revealed it's first image.
http://www.space.com/13146-alma-radio-telescope-1st-image-released.html
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Message 1158710 - Posted: 4 Oct 2011, 3:18:29 UTC

That is an incredible telescope. That first image is a composite of a Hubble image and the radio wavelengths of ALMA but it is beautiful.

Its a very exciting telescope!

John.
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Message 1158785 - Posted: 4 Oct 2011, 12:04:47 UTC

But I am almost sure that most of these colors are fake. Or several times intensified coloring for mostly cartoonish purposes for the mass entertainment.
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Message 1158787 - Posted: 4 Oct 2011, 12:11:47 UTC - in response to Message 1158785.

you think that they are false colors. Hmmm data from a radio telescope converted to a picture we can see? Radio telescopes don't see color so any picture shown from one is going to be false color
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Message 1158807 - Posted: 4 Oct 2011, 13:29:14 UTC
Last modified: 4 Oct 2011, 13:40:37 UTC

Like I said it is mostly for cartoonish entertainment purposes only for the mass.
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Message 1158820 - Posted: 4 Oct 2011, 14:14:42 UTC

I think that the image is superimposed on a Hubble image, which shows real colors.
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Message 1158822 - Posted: 4 Oct 2011, 14:31:02 UTC - in response to Message 1158787.
Last modified: 4 Oct 2011, 14:33:49 UTC

you think that they are false colors. Hmmm data from a radio telescope converted to a picture we can see? Radio telescopes don't see color so any picture shown from one is going to be false color

So how do you think our biological eyes distinguish colours?

The various optical and radio sensors used in astronomy do pretty much the same in that they 'see' specific wavelengths of electromagnetic spectrum. Hence they see 'colours'. Except those colours are just in a very different part of the spectrum to what we can naturally see.

An analogy is for the audio spectrum (sound waves) where birds and bats can hear far higher audio notes than we can. Similarly for whales that communicate (or stun fish) at much lower notes.

For most astronomy pictures, the colours seen by the instruments are converted ("mapped") to red-green-blue to make pretty pictures for the media. Great care over colour calibration must be taken to produce 'human eye' equivalent colours. Even then, that is often still false in that our eyes do not have the sensitivity and exposure times available to the telescopes.


A good example is for images of our sun by such as SOHO and STEREO. There the scientists have 'standardised' on representing different wavelengths of light from the sun with specific human eyes RGB colours so that the wavelength of light used for the images is immediately recognisable by the colour of the image print.

Keep searchin',
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Message 1158895 - Posted: 5 Oct 2011, 0:51:44 UTC
Last modified: 5 Oct 2011, 0:52:15 UTC

I think that the image is superimposed on a Hubble image, which shows real colors.
Tullio



Even with Hubble images sometime those Hubble people drop accidental words that their image colors are fake.

If most of Hubble images were in accurate colors then just looking at our galaxy must be really colorful too. Most pro telescopes on earth see non colorful Milky way but Hubble alone seeing very cartoonish colors from all other galaxies is kind of very fishy. I understand that Hubble has far less air blocking advantageous position than others yet they add too much color.
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Message 1158903 - Posted: 5 Oct 2011, 1:15:44 UTC - in response to Message 1158895.
Last modified: 5 Oct 2011, 1:17:37 UTC

... Even with Hubble images sometime those Hubble people drop accidental words that their image colors are fake. ...

Just to be clear about my previous post: Yes the colours most often are "false".

As explained, the telescopes can see a far greater spectrum than our human eyes can. So, the telescope 'colours' are converted to a range of colours that we can see. Often, some artistry is used to use pretty colour combinations... Then also, some colours can be deliberately exaggerated to show specific detail.

However, scientists being scientists, the typical colour conversions done are predominantly mathematically precise and meaningful.


Why cannot science be artistically beautiful, yet still meaningful? :-)

Keep searchin',
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Message 1158944 - Posted: 5 Oct 2011, 4:29:14 UTC
Last modified: 5 Oct 2011, 4:29:49 UTC

Well, dark matter and dark energy have no color. Yet we are searching for them.
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Message 1158951 - Posted: 5 Oct 2011, 5:29:22 UTC
Last modified: 5 Oct 2011, 5:47:16 UTC

Relatively current technology level have not yet reached the sophistication of detecting any colors of dark matters. But sometime later someone can accidentally drop something chemicals on the ccd chip and we might see those dark colors.
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Message 1159297 - Posted: 6 Oct 2011, 3:06:11 UTC - in response to Message 1158488.

can the alma radio telescope image exoplanets?

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Message 1159358 - Posted: 6 Oct 2011, 8:51:26 UTC - in response to Message 1159297.

can the alma radio telescope image exoplanets?

Only if they emit radio waves, but that is unlikely. Also their TV emissions would be swamped by the radioemission of their star.
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Message 1159388 - Posted: 6 Oct 2011, 12:09:17 UTC - in response to Message 1159358.

IIRC correctly the false colors are typically blue red and green which correspond to Hydrogen, Oxygen, and A third element that I can't recall at this moment.
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Message 1159407 - Posted: 6 Oct 2011, 13:48:04 UTC
Last modified: 6 Oct 2011, 14:08:47 UTC

The ALMA site says they were searching for CO (carbon monoxide).
Tullio
Also blue corresponds to visible light, red, pink and yellow to millimeter and submillimetre wavelengths. This from the ALMA caption of the picture.
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Message 1159426 - Posted: 6 Oct 2011, 15:16:59 UTC - in response to Message 1159358.

can the alma radio telescope image exoplanets?

Only if they emit radio waves, but that is unlikely. Also their TV emissions would be swamped by the radioemission of their star.
Tullio

Among the early tests of ALMA they've looked at the outer planets in our system because planets do emit in the submillimeter bands. That would be true in other star systems too, and when the full array is installed and operational it should have good enough resolution to possibly see something like Jupiter for star systems which are not too far away. The planet would just be a bright spot somewhat separated from the star's much brighter spot.
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Message 1159497 - Posted: 6 Oct 2011, 19:03:26 UTC
Last modified: 6 Oct 2011, 19:08:14 UTC

I will make a check of the Veil Nebula in Cygnus (a supernova remnant) using skymap.org (http://www.skymap.org) before I go to bed.

Perhaps the colors showing up there are the "true" ones.

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Message 1159654 - Posted: 7 Oct 2011, 3:20:12 UTC - in response to Message 1159426.

Thank you for information. If the Arecibo radio tescope is used for listening non natural radio signals from outerspace; can the Alma radio telescope be used in the same manner?

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Message 1160489 - Posted: 9 Oct 2011, 5:33:48 UTC

From my understanding of of Hubble images and other deep space imagery colors are assigned to wavelengths that correspond with the various elements that are present at the target. One color is assigned to hydrogen another to oxygen another to carbon and so on. So while the images to lay people like me are just simply beautiful, they do relay meaningful data to the scientific community in a visual form.
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Message 1163364 - Posted: 18 Oct 2011, 3:14:28 UTC

ALMA works on frequencies from 30 to 950 GHz, while the Large Telescope Array in Socorro, new Mexico, works from 1 to 50 GHz. It consists of 27 antennas and is now being upgraded. A new name is also sought for it. So only it could cover the frequency which we monitor (1.42 GHz).
Tullio
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