For immediate release, July 21st, 2009
A dark spot on Jupiter's south polar region, resembling a medium-sized impact from the 1994 crash of the Comet Shoemaker-Levy onto the planet, has been seen by Anthony Wesley of Australia on 19th July 2009 at 15:54 UTC. Calar Alto is monitoring this event and has already collected optical data last night (July 20th) with the LAICA camera on the 3.5m telescope and plans to collect near infrared data tonight (July 21st) with the Omega 2000 camera on the 3.5m telescope of the newly discovered dark spot. All raw data collect is distributed publicly at (anonymous ftp):
Infrared image of Jupiter impact, Calar Alto 3.5 m Zeiss telescope and Omega 2000 camera. Image processing: Carlos Román.
The colossal stellar explosions called supernovae come in many kinds and flavours. Some of them are produced when a massive star reaches the end of its life in a sudden gravitational collapse. Astronomers have just found one of these explosions that defies the current classification scheme. The results of this research have been published in Nature, and Calar Alto has contributed to this discovery…
The space telescope Herschel is the largest space-borne observatory to date, carrying the biggest astronomical mirror ever launched into orbit. Calar Alto Observatory has participated in a way in this challenging project of the European Space Agency as the company that built the telescope, EADS Astrium (Toulouse, France), relied on Calar Alto facilities and staff to perform the critical operation of applying the reflective aluminum coating to the mirror…