Keyword: Astronomy

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Astronomers from the University of Turku to scan the sky in search of optical signals from gravitational waves

21.07.2022

The department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Turku is a partner in the international Gravitational-wave Optical Transient Observer (GOTO) project, which will play a key role in shepherding in a new era of gravitational wave science. The GOTO observatory is made up of two identical telescope arrays on opposite sides of the planet that will track down sources of gravitational waves resulting from violent cosmic events that create ripples in the fabric of space-time itself.

Observations of the centres of galaxies reveal the hidden destruction of stars by lurking supermassive black holes (Dissertation defence Nov 4 2021, MSc Thomas Reynolds, astronomy)

We know that in the centres of the majority of galaxies lies a supermassive black hole. New observations of certain galaxies reveal that these black holes may be consuming stars at a higher rate than previously known. The energy produced by the destruction of the star can be revealed in the infrared, as heat from cosmic dust warmed by the explosion.
 

Polarization of Light Helps to Better Understand Emission Sources in the Vicinity of Stellar-Mass Black Holes (Dissertation Defence, MSc Ilia Kosenkov, 8 Oct 2021, Astronomy)

Stellar-mass black holes that are part of binary systems sometimes show variable polarization of optical emission. The degree, angle and variability pattern of polarization is characteristic of the physical processes occurring in the vicinity of a black hole. By studying black holes astronomers learn how matter and energy behave under extreme conditions. 
 

New Astro-polarimeter Sees First Light at the Nordic Optical Telescope – Enables More Accurate Observation of Celestial Objects

27.08.2019

Astro-polarimetry is an important method in astronomical observation, aimed at detecting and measuring polarisation of light emitted, reflected, or scattered by astronomical objects such as asteroids, planets, nebulae, stars and exoplanets.  The astro-polamiter built with the lead of a research group from the University of Turku made its first observations in July 2019 at the Nordic Optical Telescope on the Canary Islands. In October 2019, the University of Turku becomes the joint owner of the Telescope.