This is the blog of the Vatican Observatory.* V.O. director Guy Consolmagno is the Blog Boss. Most of the posts here are intended for an audience that is interested in science and has basic scientific literacy; the posts are generally not for conveying to working astronomers the latest research to come out of the V.O. But maybe it would be a good idea from time to time to highlight the latest V.O. research, because the V.O.’s astronomers are publishing stuff in the astronomical journals, and thus contributing to the body of scientific knowledge.
So, here are some recent publications from V.O. astronomers with whom I have some direct connection. At a later date I will do a post featuring publications by other V.O. astronomers.
Guy Consolmagno, V.O. Director and El Jefe del Blog for The Catholic Astronomer!
“Olivine on Vesta as exogenous contaminants brought by impacts: Constraints from modeling Vesta’s collisional history and from impact simulations,” by D. Turrini, V. Svetsov, G. Consolmagno, S. Sirono, and S. Pirani, in Icarus, Volume 280 (2016), p. 328-339.
Abstract: The survival of asteroid Vesta during the violent early history of the Solar System is a pivotal constraint on theories of planetary formation. Particularly important from this perspective is the amount of olivine excavated from the vestan mantle by impacts, as this constrains both the interior structure of Vesta and the number of major impacts the asteroid suffered during its life. The NASA Dawn mission revealed click here for more]….
“Two Color Populations of Kuiper Belt and Centaur Objects and the Smaller Orbital Inclinations of Red Centaur Objects,” by S. C. Tegler, W. Romanishin, G. J. Consolmagno, in The Astronomical Journal, Volume 152 (2016).
Abstract: We present new optical colors for 28 Kuiper Belt objects (KBOs) and 35 Centaur objects measured with the 1.8 m Vatican Advanced Technology Telescope and the 4.3 m Discovery Channel Telescope. By combining these new colors with our previously published colors, we increase the sample size of our survey to 154 objects. Our survey is unique in that click here for more]….
“Ordinary Chondrite Heat Capacities Below 350K,” by R. J. Macke, C. P. Opeil, G. J. Consolmagno, and D. T. Britt, in 47th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (2016), Abstract #1221.
Abstract: Thermal diffusivity, which determines the thermal evolution of asteroid interiors, and thermal inertia, which at the asteroid surface determines the various Yarkovsky effects, are both dependent on heat capacity (Cp), thermal conductivity (κ), and bulk density (ρ). We have been conducting a study of these thermal properties over the temperature range 5-350K for various types of meteorites using samples from the Vatican click here for more]….
Pavel (Paul) Gabor, V.O. Astronomer and blogger for The Catholic Astronomer
“PEPSI-feed: linking PEPSI to the Vatican Advanced Technology Telescope using a 450m long fibre,” by D. P. Sablowski, M. Weber, M. Woche, I. Ilyin, A. Järvinen, K. G. Strassmeier, and P. Gabor, in Proc. SPIE 9912, Advances in Optical and Mechanical Technologies for Telescopes and Instrumentation II (2016).
Abstract: Limited observing time at large telescopes equipped with the most powerful spectrographs makes it almost impossible to gain long and well-sampled time-series observations. Ditto, high-time-resolution observations of bright targets with high signal-to-noise are rare. By pulling an optical fibre of 450m length from the Vatican Advanced Technology Telescope (VATT) to the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) to connect the Potsdam Echelle Polarimetric and Spectroscopic Instrument (PEPSI) to the VATT, allows for ultra-high resolution click here for more]….
“Heterodyne Interferometry with a Supercontinuum Local Oscillator,” by P. Gabor, in Resolving The Future Of Astronomy With Long-Baseline Interferometry, etc. ASP Conference Series, Volume 487 (2014), page 263.
Abstract: A fundamental limitation of optical heterodyne interferometry is the narrow spectral band of the local oscillator. Studies are under way to overcome this issue, e.g., by using tunable setups. The present paper proposes to inspect the potential of a broadband local oscillator constituted by a supercontinuum click here for more]….
Richard Boyle, V.O. Astronomer, and guy who helped me when I was getting my first history of astronomy paper published, back in 2008 in the journal Baltic Astronomy.
“Radial velocities of K-M dwarfs and local stellar kinematics,” by J. Sperauskas, S. Bartašiūtė, R. P. Boyle, V. Deveikis, S. Raudeliūnas, and A. R. Upgren, in Astronomy & Astrophysics (2016), Volume 596.
Abstract: Aims. The goal of this paper is to present complete radial-velocity data for the spectroscopically selected McCormick sample of nearby K–M dwarfs and, based on these and supplementary data, to determine the space-velocity distributions of late-type stars in the solar neighborhood. Methods. We analyzed nearly 3300 measurements of radial velocities for 1049 K–M dwarfs, that we obtained during the past decade with a CORAVEL-type instrument, with a primary emphasis on detecting and eliminating from kinematic calculations the spectroscopic binaries and click here for more]….
*Technically, this is the blog of the V.O. Foundation, the V.O.F. being “the fundraising arm of the Vatican Observatory. The VOF is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization incorporated in 1986 in the state of Arizona to support the scientific and educational endeavors of the Vatican Observatory, including the maintenance and modernization of the Vatican Advanced Technology Telescope (VATT). While funding for Vatican Observatory salaries and administrative expenses comes directly from the Holy See, funding for the telescope and educational initiatives is derived solely from the generous support of the benefactors of the Vatican Observatory Foundation.”