Wednesday, January 10, 2007

News from the AAS meeting

This week in Seattle,Washington will be held the 209th meeting of the American Astronomical Society. This a very important event and there have been some quite interesting results already anounced.

The findings of the COSMOS team consisting of a weak lensing survey of a 1.6 square degree patch of the sky have gathered a lot of attention. This a rather big portion of the sky (around 9 full moons), this technique measures the distortions (gravitational lenses) produced by the mass between the source objects and the observer, I had already discussed it in relation with the Bullet Cluster. We now have a map of the dark matter in this region of the sky and it shows clearly how the dark matter is getting clumpier by the effect of gravity. I won't go into further details, mostly because many others (Clifford, Phil, Sean, Angela) have already blogged about it.

Another interesting announcement has been the detection of a Triple Quasar using the Keck telescopes and the VLT by a team lead by George Djorgovski. This system known as LBQS 1429-008 was already known to be a doble quasar, but the new deep images show a faint third member. This is interesting mostly because it supports the idea that quasars are more frequent in intereacting enviroments as the gravitational interactions throw large ammounts of material in to the central black holes of this galaxies. You can find more info here.

Stay tuned for more news, this week will surely have more interesting findings!

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