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Starfest in Central Park: Urban Astronomy for All

Last week I traveled from San Francisco to New York City to attend Autumn Starfest, which is sponsored by the Amateur Astronomers Association (AAA) of New York. This star party’s most amazing feature is its location—right in the middle of Manhattan, in the magnificent Central Park! And after flying 2,600 miles (4,100 km), I was eager to show attendees that the Unistellar eVscope will let them see faint targets in the night sky—even the sky of this immense city, with all of its light and other forms of pollution.

And the great news is that the event, and our telescope, were a huge success.

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The setup of Starfest in Central Park. It was obviously not a perfect dark sky for astronomy, but a beautiful summer evening for the public (credits: Ed Rojas, AAA.org)

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Unistellar’s eVscope Successfully Finds, Images Asteroid Florence

Last week, 5-km asteroid Florence paid Earth a visit—and, using the advanced features of Unistellar’s eVscope, we were able to observe it from a location just outside of San Francisco. This, our first attempt to image an asteroid using the eVscope’s Autonomous Field Detection (ADF) feature, was a huge success, as you can see in the image, which captures what we saw in the telescope’s eyepiece after just three minutes of observing.

Three-min observation of the asteroid (3122) Florence seen in the eyepiece of the eVscope prototype. (Credit: Unistellar)

Three-min observation of the asteroid (3122) Florence seen in the eyepiece of the eVscope prototype. (Credit: Unistellar)

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アマチュア天文学に革命を起こすSETI研究所-Unistellar社のパートナーシップ締結

2017年7月19日 – Mountain View, CA & Meyreuil, France: SETI研究所とフランスのスタートアップ企業 Unistellar社は、アマチュア天文学者に比類ない宇宙の展望と、最先端の科学に直接貢献する機会を与える新しい望遠鏡を商品化するための、新しいパートナーシップを締結しました。

Unistellarの新しいsVscope™ は、「Enhanced Vision」技術を採用し、このパートナーシップによりこれまでは提供することができなかった3つのユニークな特徴を持っています。

Observações de Dumbbell Nebula Messier 27, Whirlpool galaxy Messier 51 e Eagle Nebula Messier 16 usando um telescópio Unistellar do Observatoire des Baronnies Provençales, na França. Esta observação pode ser vista pelo usuário diretamente na lente e uma imagem pode ser gerada posteriormente para armazenamento na base de dados Unistellar no Instituto SETI.

フランス・Baronnies Provençales からのUnistellar望遠鏡によるダンベル星雲 メシア27, 渦巻き銀河メシア51、鷲星雲メシア16の観測結果。この観測は、ユーザーが直接レンズで見ることも、後日SETI研究所のUnistellarデータベースのストレージから再生することもできます。

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SETI Institute-Unistellar parceira promete revolucionar a astronomia amadora

19 de julho de 2017 -Mountain View, CA e Meyreuil, Françao Instituto SETI e a startup francesa Unistellar, anunciaram hoje uma parceria para comercializar um novo telescópio que promete oferecer uma visão incomparável do cosmos aos astrônomos amadores e oferecer a oportunidade de contribuir diretamente para ciência de ponta.

O novo eVscope™ da Unistellar aproveita a tecnologia de imagem “Enhanced Vision” e agora oferece três recursos únicos nunca antes oferecidos em um instrumento compacto de mercado de massa graças a esta parceria:

Observações de Dumbbell Nebula Messier 27, Whirlpool galaxy Messier 51 e Eagle Nebula Messier 16 usando um telescópio Unistellar do Observatoire des Baronnies Provençales, na França. Esta observação pode ser vista pelo usuário diretamente na lente e uma imagem pode ser gerada posteriormente para armazenamento na base de dados Unistellar no Instituto SETI.

Observações de Dumbbell Nebula Messier 27, Whirlpool galaxy Messier 51 e Eagle Nebula Messier 16 usando um telescópio Unistellar do Observatoire des Baronnies Provençales, na França. Esta observação pode ser vista pelo usuário diretamente na lente e uma imagem pode ser gerada posteriormente para armazenamento na base de dados Unistellar no Instituto SETI.

O Enhanced Vision produz imagens extremamente nitidas e detalhadas de objetos astronômicos até mesmo fracos, acumulando a luz e projetando-a na ocular do telescópio. A tecnologia Enhanced Vision imita a capacidade de coleta de luz de telescópios de refletor significativamente maiores, oferecendo visões sem precedentes de objetos do céu noturno anteriormente inacessíveis aos astrônomos amadores.   (more…)

Asociación de SETI Institute y Unistellar promete revolucionar astronomía amateur

SETI Institute y organización francesa Unistellar, anunciaron una asociación para comercializar un nuevo telescopio que promete entregar imágenes sin paralelo del cosmo a los astrónomos amateurs y proporcionar la oportunidad de contribuir de forma directa a ciencia de punta.

Nuevo eVscope™ de Unistelar eleva la tecnología de imagen “visión mejorada”  y proporciona tres características únicas nunca antes incluidas en instrumentos compactos para el mercado masivo, gracias a esta asociación.

Observar la nebulosa Messier 27, la galaxia Remolino Messier 51 y la nebulosa del Águila Messier 16 usando el telescopio Unistellar desde el observatorio des Baronnies Provençales, en Francia. Esta imagen puede verse directamente en el lente y una imagen puede generarse posteriormente para almacenarse en la base de datos Unistellas en SETI Institute.

Observar la nebulosa Messier 27, la galaxia Remolino Messier 51 y la nebulosa del Águila Messier 16 usando el telescopio Unistellar desde el observatorio des Baronnies Provençales, en Francia. Esta imagen puede verse directamente en el lente y una imagen puede generarse posteriormente para almacenarse en la base de datos Unistellas en SETI Institute.

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SETI Institute-Unistellar Partnership Promises to Revolutionize Amateur Astronomy

July 19 2017 -Mountain View, CA & Meyreuil, France: The SETI Institute and French startup Unistellar, announced a partnership today to commercialize a new telescope that promises to deliver an unparalleled view of the cosmos to amateur astronomers, and provide the opportunity to contribute directly to cutting-edge science.

Unistellar’s new eVscope™   leverages “Enhanced Vision” imaging technology and now provides three unique features never before offered in a compact mass-market instrument thanks to this partnership:

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Observations of Dumbbell Nebula Messier 27, Whirlpool galaxy Messier 51 and the Eagle Nebula Messier 16 using a Unistellar telescope from Observatoire des Baronnies Provençales, France. This observation can be seen by the user directly in the lens and an image can later be generated for storage in the Unistellar database at the SETI Institute.


Enhanced Vision produces extremely sharp, detailed images of even faint astronomical objects by accumulating their light and projecting it into the telescope’s eyepiece. Enhanced Vision technology mimics the light gathering capability of significantly larger reflector telescopes, thus delivering unprecedented views of night-sky objects previously inaccessible to amateur astronomers.   (more…)

L’institut SETI et Unistellar s’associent pour révolutionner l’Astronomie et la Science Citoyenne

19 juillet 2017 Mountain View, Californie, Etats Unis et Meyreuil, France — L’Institut SETI et la start-up française Unistellar annoncent aujourd’hui un partenariat, dans le but de commercialiser un nouveau télescope offrant aux astronomes amateurs une qualité d’observation du ciel sans précédent, ainsi que l’opportunité de contribuer de façon déterminante aux dernières découvertes des astronomes professionnels.

Unistellar's Enhanced Vision Telescope

Unistellar’s telescope will be available in Fall 2017 for its presales crowdfunding campaign.

 

L’eVscopeTM (Enhanced Vision Telescope) d’Unistellar atteint cet objectif grâce à trois fonctions qui n’ont jamais encore été rassemblées au sein d’un appareil compact et destiné au grand public:

La Vision Amplifiée, qui fournit des images exceptionnelles, fines et détaillées des objets astronomiques les plus lointains en accumulant la lumière et en la projetant directement dans l’oculaire du télescope. La technologie de la Vision Amplifiée remplace la capacité qu’ont les grands télescopes à accumuler la lumière, et fournit ainsi à l’oculaire de l’eVscope des images du ciel jusqu’à présent inaccessibles aux astronomes amateurs.

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SETI Alumni: Portrait of Sarah Blunt

SETI Institute GPI group from left to right: Eric Nielsen, Franck Marchis, Jasmine Garani, Sarah Blunt, and Clement Chalumeau

SETI Institute GPI group from left to right: Eric Nielsen, Franck Marchis, Jasmine Garani, Sarah Blunt, and Clement Chalumeau (credit: F. Marchis/SETI Institute)

Sarah Blunt, REU student class of 2015, is today a full member of the Gemini Planet Imager Exoplanet Survey. Together with SETI researcher Eric Nielsen and Franck Marchis, she has developed an innovative method to fit the orbits of directly imaged exoplanets. She has published her work in Astronomical Journal and is a recipient of an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship that will fund her graduate school. Here her story. (more…)

Another smoking gun in the search for life in Enceladus’ ocean

This illustration shows Cassini diving through the Enceladus plume in 2015.  Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech

This illustration shows Cassini diving through the Enceladus plume in 2015.
Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Today, NASA-funded scientists announced a major new step in the search for life on Enceladus, Saturn’s sixth-largest moon, thanks to new data collected by the NASA/ESA Cassini mission.

Enceladus has attracted a lot of interest because it has an active pole that spews jets of material into outer space. During its last flyby over that pole, an instrument on board the Cassini spacecraft detected the presence of a biomarker—molecular hydrogen. This suggests that the ocean we know lies beneath the moon’s surface could indeed contain an ecosystem similar to the ones we find in deep-sea hydrothermal vents on Earth. (more…)

Wonderful Potentially Habitable Worlds Around TRAPPIST-1

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Abstract Concept of TRAPPIST-1 System credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

In May 2016, Michael Gillon and his team announced the discovery of three Earth-sized exoplanets around TRAPPIST-1, an ultra cool M-dwarf star, using the small TRAPPIST telescope at ESO-La Silla, Chile. It was an exciting discovery—yet on that day no one could possibly have imagined that less than a year later they would make another significant discovery involving the same system. But here we are: today, they announced in Nature the discovery of seven potentially habitable Earth-like worlds.

The star, named TRAPPIST-1, is a fairly inconspicuous star in our Milky Way. Small (8% the mass of the sun) and cold (half the temperature of the sun), it is a member of an ultra-cool dwarf population that represents 15% of the star population of our galaxy. In 2016, Gillon and his team detected the transit (i.e., the shadow of a planet passing between its host star and us) of three exoplanets at the inner edge of the habitable zone of their star.

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