This page contains news items related to LINC-NIRVANA commissioning and Early Science exploitation at LBT.

LINC-NIRVANA image of galaxy 2MASX J20185846+1751386.

November 2018 - An Infrared Compact Core Galaxy

As part of their commissioning run in November, 2018, the LINC-NIRVANA team imaged a distant spiral galaxy that appears normal at visible wavelengths but exhibits a very compact core in the infrared. Such compactness could indicate the presence of a core star cluster or an active galactic nucleus that is obscured at visual wavelengths. The adjacent postage-stamp frames from the PanSTARRS (visible) and 2MASS (near-infrared) surveys are both approximately 60 arcseconds square, while the LINC-NIRVANA image spans about 10 arcseconds.

With a delivered spatial resolution of about 0.1 arcsec (see the adjacent star, which has a different grayscale stretch), LINC-NIRVANA reveals that this galaxy does not have an unresolved core. At a distance of more than 400 million light-years, this resolving power corresponds to about 200 light-years, or approximately one one-thousandth the diameter of the Milky Way. Studies such as these help reveal the architecture, and hopefully the assembly history, of galaxies.

November 2018 - LINC-NIRVANA Images DR-9

During Com-6 in November, 2018, the LN team observed the DR-9 infrared cluster and HII region located in the constellation Cygnus. In order to help localize possible star formation and outflow activity, they imaged the source in narrow band filters centered on emission lines of atomic and molecular hydrogen.

The adacent colour image shows DR-9 with red, green, and blue corresponding to atomic, continuum, and molecular emission in the K-band (2.1-2.2 micron wavelength). Clearly, the lower star has either strong, localized atomic hyrdogen or is extremely red (the wavelength difference between the filters is very small). Hover your cursor over the image to see the stretched version. A curved "tail" of emission appears to flow out of the same star. Because it appears gray, this feature is likely powered by starlight scattered off dust.

LINC-NIRVANA image of DR-9 in atomic (red), continuum (green), and molecular (blue) emission. Hover you cursor over the image to see a deeper view.

April 2018 - LINC-NIRVANA Achieves First Light !

On April 3 2018, LINC-NIRVANA achieved formal first light, demonstrating high-performance Multi-Conjugate Adaptive Optics for the first time. Although all of the individual sensor and detector systems had previously seen starlight, the team set a strict criterion for formal First Light: not only would all systems have to work, but also, together, they needed to produce imagery of a quality expected from a well-performing MCAO system.

Although it has been a long and challenging development cycle, this milestone was achieved after only six usable nights on sky.

March 2017 - LINC-NIRVANA Demonstrates Ground-Layer Adaptive Optics

On 29 March 2017, during the first on-sky commissioning run, LINC-NIRVANA demonstrated Ground-Layer Adaptive Optics (GLAO) using one of its two Ground-layer Wavefront Sensors driving the facility adaptive secondary mirror of the LBT. The image at left shows the expected halving of the Full-Width at Half-Maximum (FWHM) of the delivered star image when GLAO is applied. The LN team locked the adaptive optics loop on five separate natural guide stars and used 20 Zernike modes for this measurement.

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