The largest catalogue of objects observed by the Gran Telescopio Canarias is published


Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC). ©Daniel López/IAC


The Centro de Astrobiología (CAB, CSIC-INTA), through the Spanish Virtual Observatory (SVO), makes available to the scientific community and the general public the catalogue of objects observed by the OSIRIS instrument of the Gran Telescopio Canarias.

The Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC or GRANTECAN) is the largest and most advanced optical-infrared telescope in the world. Located in the Observatory of Roque de Los Muchachos (La Palma), it began its scientific operations in the spring of 2009. During these ten years, the data obtained have led to spectacular advances in numerous fields of research, from the extrasolar planets to the exploration of the early universe. 

The Centro de Astrobiología through the Spanish Virtual Observatory (SVO) project, is responsible for the GTC's scientific data archive. In operation since November 2011, this file contains the data obtained in more than 200,000 observations, of which more than 75% have been made using the OSIRIS instrument.

OSIRIS (Optical System for Imaging and low-intermediate Resolution Integrated Spectroscopy) is a camera and spectrograph for the visible wavelength range, which allows images of objects hundreds of thousands of times less bright than we can observe with the naked eye.

Researchers from the Centro de Astrobiología have worked in collaboration with researchers from the University of Bordeaux (France) in the processing of OSIRIS images obtained between 2009 and 2014, with the aim of generating a catalogue with more than six million and a half of highly accurate measurements of the position and brightness of more than 600,000 astronomical sources, ranging from Solar System objects to distant quasars. "Given the sheer quantity and quality of information available, we can ensure that the catalog will become an important source of new discoveries in the universe," says Enrique Solano, Principal Researcher of the SVO at the Center for Astrobiology.

The discovery of an ultra-cold binary system (a type of star system of which only a hundred is known) or the identification of 150 bodies of the Solar System not previously known, are just two illustrative examples of the enormous scientific potential of the Catalog.

Another aspect of great interest is that it is an open-access catalogue, so not only professional astronomers, but also researchers from other disciplines, amateur astronomers, educators and the general public, will be able to access and use the information contained in the catalogue.

In short, as Romano Corradi, director of the Gran Telescopio Canarias points out, "it is worth noting that the catalogue is the product of the exceptional sky of the Observatory of Roque de los Muchachos, the excellent functionalities of the GTC's OSIRIS instrument and the huge range of possibilities that the Virtual Observatory offers for the scientific exploitation of astronomical archives".

This work has been carried out at the Centro de Astrobiología (CSIC-INTA) within the framework of the Spanish Virtual Observatory project, funded by the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities through the AYA2017-84089-P project, belonging to the State Plan of Scientific and Technical and Innovation Research 2013-2016. Call 2017.


Fuente: UCC-CAB

Fecha: 2019-10-17


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