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Planning the VLT Interferometer


1. The VLT Interferometer: VLT Reports 44 and 49), the interfero- approved YLT implementation. P. Lena
One of the Operating Modes metric mode of the VLT was included in described the concept and planning for
of the VLT the VLT proposal, and accepted in the the interferometric mode of the VLT at

1.1 Its Context

The Very Large Telescope has three
Adaptive Optics at the ESO 3.6-m Telescope
different modes of being used. As four
separate 8-metre telescopes it provides
the capability of carrying out in parallel
four different observing programmes,
each with a sensitivity which matches
that of the other most powerful ground-
based telescopes available. In the sec-
ond mode the light of the four tele-
scopes is combined in a single image
making it in sensitivity the most powerful
telescope on earth, almost 16 metres in
diameter if the light losses in the beam
combination can be kept low. In the
third mode the light of the four tele-
scopes is combined coherently, allow- This false-colour photo illustrates the dramatic improvement in image sharpness which is
ing interferometric observations with the obtained with adaptive optics at the ESO 3.6-m telescope. See also the article on page 9.
unparalleled sensitivity resulting from It shows the 5.5 magnitude star HR 6658 in the galactic cluster Messier 7 (NGC 6475), as
the 8-metre apertures. In this mode the observed in the infrared L-band (wavelength 3.5pm), without ("uncorrected", left) and with
angular resolution is determined by the "corrected, right) the "VLT adaptive optics prototype" switched on. The diameter of the
distance between the telescopes (up to uncorrected image is about 0.8 arcseconds, corresponding to the instantaneous "seeing" disk.
120 metres), rather than by the resolu- When corrected, the image sharpness increases nearly fourfold; the diameter is now only 0.22
tion determined by the individual tele- arcsec. This corresponds to the diffraction limit at this wavelength; the diffraction rings are well
visible. The improved sharpness reveals that the star is double; the angular distance between
scopes (set by the atmospheric seeing,
the two components is 0.38 arcseconds.
or by the diffraction limit of single Although it is not evident on this picture in which the intensity scales have been normalized to
8-metre apertures while using adaptive the same level, the central intensity of the corrected image is much higher than that of the
optics or speckle interferometry). uncorrected. By concentrating the light better, the efficiency of the telescope is correspond-
Following an in-depth study by the VLT ingly increased. This means that shorter exposure times are possible or that fainter objects can
Interferometry Working Group under the be observed than before.
chairmanship of P. Lena (published in
that time in an earlier article in the the change-over from the use of the tion plan and proposal view the de-
Messenger (P. Lena, The Messenger 53, sub-array to the full VLTl requires a velopment of interferometry with the
53, 1987). minimum of steps. VLTl to be a gradual, step-by-step one.
Since the acceptance of the VLT Although such an integrated ap- The plan, however, differs from the origi-
proposal, the VLT final definition and proach may appear obvious to the read- nal proposal in some aspects: (i) it
design, including the final site testing er, it is by no means an uncontroversial, argues strongly for a configuration of the
which will soon lead to the VLT site obvious philosophy to everyone in the 8-metre telescopes which is more op-
choice, has been rapidly proceeding. interferometry community. There first is timized for interferometry (see section
The implementation planning of the in- the skepticism by many about the actual 3.1), (ii) it provides for the expansibility
terferometric mode is an essential part availability of the 8-metre telescopes for of the array with more auxiliary tele-
of that. lnterferometry places its own interferornetric imaging. Certainly, these scopes and delay lines (to be provided
requirements on the design and location large telescopes will not be available for by additional contributions by ESO
of the 8-metre telescopes, on the site a significant amount of the time for inter- member states), and (iii) it provides for
choice and development, and in the de- ferometric imaging until the astronomy the incorporation of adaptive optics in
finition of the observatory infrastructure. community wants to use them for that. the auxiliary telescopes.
In addition to the 8-metre telescopes, Before their use for interferometric im-
the VLT includes two smaller movable aging will successfully compete in time
with other uses, a "user-friendly" capa-
1.3 Why Large Aperture
2-metre-class telescopes (the so-called
bility for interferometric imaging with the
auxiliary telescopes), whose design and
configuration has to proceed in parallel VLTl has to be demonstrated. That will In this context the question is some-
with the others. To aid in this planning a have to be done with the auxiliary tele- times asked on what is really gained by
VLT lnterferometry Panel was formed, scope sub-array, which will also exploit going to large aperture interferometers.
whose members represented the exper- ways of reaching the maximum possible Doesn't an array of many small tele-
tise in interferometry in the ESO sensitivity. It is our conviction that this scopes do as well, or even better? The
member countries'. This report can be done, and that the resulting user answer to this question is important be-
summarizes the implementation plan of demand for the use of the 8-metre tele- cause it determines the part of as-
the panel for the so-called VLT Inter- scopes for interferornetric imaging will tronomy at which the VLTl will be par-
ferometer (or VLTI) as proposed to ESO. follow. Second, the design of the ticularly useful and for which it should
This plan is out of necessity incomplete 8-metre telescopes cannot be op- be optimized. Although an increase in
since the site for the VLT remains to be timized for interferometry alone. There- collecting area in astronomy is generally
chosen. fore, compromises are necessary which thought of as giving an increase in sen-
ripple through to the design of the entire sitivity, this is by no means obvious for
VLTI, including the sub-array of auxiliary interferornetric imaging. It has been
1.2 Philosophy Followed in the telescopes because of the philosophy argued in fact that little is gained in
Implementation Plan described above. Certainly, an inter- limiting sensitivity by the increased
Right from the beginning the panel ferometer designed without the con- aperture in the case of multi-speckle,
took as the basis for its studies the straints associated with the VLT (site, broadband observations. This is the
desire to make use of the unique oppor- fixed telescopes requiring the use of case at short wavelengths (up to the
tunity provided by the presence on one delay lines, alt-az mounts, limited Johnson M band without the use of
site of four identical, state-of-the-art number of telescopes, etc.) would in adaptive optics, up to the H band with
8-metre telescopes to do interferometric some aspects be more powerful than the use of adaptive optics). The combi-
imaging. Its definition of the VLTl is thus the VLTI. These advantages, however, nation of the fact that the number of
in the first instance based on the cohe- fade in comparison with the power re- photons per speckle is independent of
rent combination of the large tele- sulting from an interferometer with tele- the telescope diameter D with the de-
scopes. The sub-array of auxiliary tele- scope apertures of 8 metres. crease of the maximum spectral band-
scopes is truly auxiliary to this goal. It This philosophy is also directly in tune width which can be used with larger
serves two main functions. First, it com- with that of the VLT Proposal in which apertures results in a very slow increase
plements the main-array of 8-metre tele- two movable auxiliary telescopes are at visible wavelengths in sensitivity, it
scopes to give more interferometric "joined" to the 8-metre array with the being proportional to D"~. The VLTl is
baselines. Second, it provides for an purpose of giving better (u, v) plane cov- therefore not well suited for that kind of
interferornetric capability by itself which erage and permanent interferometric observation, unless the larger "pre-res-
is available 100 % of the time. This func- usage. It is therefore perhaps not sur- olution" provided by the individual
tion is of use not only when the full prising that the panel's implementation 8-metre telescope apertures is of impor-
power of the 8-metre telescopes is not plan resembles closely that of the pro- tance for the astronomical observation.
needed for the observations being posal, going mostly into a more refined Things change when spectral resolution
carried out, but also during the impor- definition of the array components tak- larger than a few hundred is wanted. In
tant initial phases of the VLTI, for the ing into account the need to optimize that case the sensitivity of the multi-
commissioning and debugging of the performance of the array for both on- speckle observations increases as D2,
interferometer. The latter resulted in the axis and off-axis operation. The im- making it an important goal for the VLTI.
desire to incorporate the VLTl sub-array plementation plan shares such features Larger gains with telescope aperture
into the main-array in such a way that with the original proposal as the number result in the single speckle mode which
and size of auxiliary telescopes, the em- occurs without adaptive optics in the
phasis on long wavelength coverage, a Johnson N band and above, and with
' The VLT Interferometry Panel is composed of J.M. significant (> 3 arcsec) interferometric the VLT adaptive optics at wavelengths
Beckers, R. Braun, G.P. Di Benedetto, R. Foy, R. field-of-view, beam combination in air, as short as the H or K bands. In these
Genzel, L. Koechlin, F. Merkle, and G. Weigelt, use of delay lines with a long stroke, and domains the sensitivity increases pro-
with A. Labeyrie, P. Lena, J.-M. Mariotti, and D. portional to D~ for any spectral band-
common usage of beam combiner (and
Downes as consultants, and D. Enard, M.
Faucherre, H. van der Laan, and M. Tarenghi as probably delay lines) for 8-metre and width. The entire infrared region is there-
0bSe~erS. auxiliary telescopes. Both implementa- fore an important region for the VLTI. As
2. The VLT Interferometer:
Are We Ready for It?

2.1 Current Efforts in Optical

lnterferometric Imaging
Figure 2 summarizes the properties of
existing optical interferometers as well
as those in the construction and plan-
ning stages. There are at this moment 6
operating interferometers available
(G12T, 12T, MARK Ill, MMT, Soirdete,
The interferometers shown are broad-
band amplitude interferometers only,
and do therefore not include the now
discontinued Culgoora intensity inter-
ferometer and the 10.6 vm Berkeley
heterodyne interferometer. All inter-
ferometers, except for the MMT, are
non-monolithic interferometers (with the
telescopes on separate mounts) requir-
ing pathlength adjustments using e. g.
delay lines. All existing interferometers
routinely acquire fringes, often within
minutes and, when well engineered,
shortly after the start of the commission-
ing of the device. Technically, the viabili-
ty of optical interferometry has therefore
been amply demonstrated. These exist-
ing interferometers, generally of a pro-
totype nature, have given us the confi-
dence and expertise needed to go on
with the many second-generation
machines shown in Figure 2, which are
now under construction or on the draw-
ing board.
In contrast to most existing first-gen-
eration interferometers, which focussed
Figure 1: Contour map of the Galactic Centre in the Johnson K band (2.2 ym) with an angular
on stellar size, binary star, and as-
resolution of approximately 0.7 arcsec. The Galactic Centre is thought to coincide with the
location of IRS 16 NW/SgrAe. Superposed is the light curve due to an occultation by the moon
trometric observations, these second-
and the resulting reconstruction of the fine structure in the IRS 16 area (shaded areas and dots generation devices emphasize two-di-
in the circle). The angular resolution provided at this wavelength by the individual 8-metre mensional imaging using a number of
telescopes (055 arcsec) equals half the dot sizes shown at IRS 16NE and IRS 16E. The simultaneous baselines, phase closure
resolution of the VLTl exceeds that by a factor of 15 (004 arcsec). Courtesy R. Genzel. techniques, and other imaging
methodologies taken from image syn-
thesis efforts in radio astronomy.

an example of its potential application, dividual 8-metre telescopes, the VLTl

2.2 Optical and Radio
Figure 1 shows an intensity map in the K will increase the angular resolution with Interferometry:
band of the Galactic Centre, an area of another factor of 15 using the very high
Similarities and Differences
particular interest at the VLT location. sensitivity coming from the 8-metre The VLTl will rely strongly on the ex-
The presence of the very bright compact aperture. This sensitivity will be further pertise gained with interferometric im-
source IRS 7, only 5 arcsec away from enhanced by the possibility of real time aging in radio astronomy with inter-
the Galactic Centre, allows accurate sensing of the position of the inter- ferometers like the Westerbork array,
sensing of the atmospheric wavefront ferometer fringes on IRS 7 which is the VLA, MERLIN, the VLBl networks,
disturbances needed for the VLT adap- probably unresolved by the VLTI, or and the Australia Telescope. Both opti-
tive optics. This will result in direct very another unresolved object in IRS 16, cal and radio interferometry rely on the
high angular resolution imaging (.055 and subsequent fringe tracking. This simultaneous measurement of the am-
arcsec) of the entire IRS 16 region (size allows long exposures, which gives sig- plitude and phase of interference fringes
of the isoplanatic patch =20 arcsec) nals exceeding the detector read-out over a number of different baselines as
with the individual 8-metre telescopes. noise even when using high spectral their basic observable. Algorithms for
This by itself demonstrates a very im- resolution. The Galactic Centre provides deriving astronomical images are there-
portant feature of the use of a large perhaps the finest demonstration of the fore very similar, if not identical. The
telescope for interferometry because it VLTl power, and of the advantages ways to arrive at the measurement of
allows the "pre-resolution" of features in gained with its large apertures. It is how- the interference fringes are however
a complex target like this one. Starting ever not unique, similar examples can very different. It is instructive to com-
with the well-resolved images of the in- be given for other objects. pare these differences.
near the Galactic Centre (Fig. 1) for
fringe position monitoring or tracking.
Radio interferometers limit themselves
generally to one Airy disk using one
"feed", although multi-feed systems us-
ing a few Airy disks are now in develop-
Radio and optical interferometry thus
share much, including the intellectual
BOA u challenges associated with developing
MMT NOAO VLT high-resolution imaging techniques, but

COAST USNO also differ in many aspects. Initial
A differences relating to the different
13T IOTA GI3T languages and cultures of the two fields
of endeavour have been resolved, and a
fruitful interaction and active participa-
0 tion has developed.

0.01 0.1 1.0 10. 100.

2.3 Adaptive Optics:
An Important Part of the VLTl
Figure 2 : Properties of Optical Interferometers. Large filled symbols represent existing
The largest gains in sensitivity of the
facilities, small filled symbols those under construction, and open symbols those being
VLTl will come from the incorporation of
planned. Circles for maximum baselines under 100 metres, triangles for maximum baselines
between 100 and 300 metres, and squares for maximum baselines above 300 metres. adaptive optics which will make the tele-
scopes diffraction limited at near in-
frared wavelengths (=2 ym). All radia-
tion from an unresolved source col-
The most obvious difference results of closure imaging, also in this multi- lected by the 8-metre telescopes will
course from the very large difference in speckle case. In the diffraction limited, then be combined in phase, in the area
wavelength or frequency. This differ- or single speckle mode, the relative of a single speckle of the size of an Airy
ence amounts to about a factor of 105. fringe phase is well established and can disk. The recent spectacular success
The much shorter wavelengths in optical be directly measured. Another differ- with the VLT adaptive optics prototype
interferometry places on the one hand a ence caused by the atmosphere is the developed in a collaboration of French
much higher demand on the dimension- rapid variation of the fringe phase with research institutes and ESO (see F.
al stability and dimensioning of the time, in as little as 10 milliseconds at Merkle et al., in the Messenger No. 58,
array, but on the other hand allow angu- visible wavelengths. This implies the use p. 1, and also on page 9 in this issue)
lar resolutions comparable to that of the of many observations with very short promises the successful incorporation
VLBl networks over baselines of only integration times, which sets a serious of adaptive optics in the VLT early in its
I 0 0 metres. The much higher frequency limit to the sensitivity of optical inter- commissioning. Its application will pre-
of optical radiation (lo4 to l o 6 GHz) ferometers. dominantly be determined by the availa-
eliminates the use of heterodyne tech- Then there are differences resulting bility of stars within the common-phase
nologies with their limited bandwidth from the different treatment of the radia- field-of-view, or the so-called isoplana-
(<1 GHz), except at the lower frequency tion. Detection techniques at optical tic patch. Wavefront sensing in the visi-
end and when high spectral resolution wavelengths are photon-noise limited ble and near IR (2 km) will result in full
observations (R > lo4) are needed. except at near-infrared wavelengths sky coverage at about 5 ym wavelength
Also, whereas in radio interferometry where readout noise still dominates. At and above, and major sky coverage at
heterodyne techniques allow the use of radio wavelengths detection noise is al- shorter IR wavelengths (e.g. 100% for
electronic delays to compensate for the ways detector limited. The difference in the central areas of the Milky Way at
varying pathlength differences, optical noise characteristics necessitates 2 ym). Present experiments using artifi-
interferometry has to use optical delay differences in measurement reduction cial, laser-generated stars for wavefront
techniques. techniques. Another difference is the sensing, promise to extend full sky cov-
Also the effects of the earth atmo- ability at optical wavelengths to build erage of adaptive optics systems to
sphere are very different. Only at the interferometers with a wide interferome- shorter wavelengths (1 ym).
very longest wavelengths will the VLT 8- tric field-of-view2, giving interference These lower wavelength limits to the
metre telescopes be diffraction limited, over a field comprising many (> 104)Airy utility of adaptive optics refer to the
whereas this is the case for all radio disks, allowing e.g. the use of IRS 7 combination of all the collected radia-
telescopes. The VLTl will therefore tion in a single speckle. But at shorter
either work in the so-called multi-speck- wavelengths an adaptive optics system
In the following I will distinguish clearly between
le mode at the very short visible so-called intetferometric and unvignetted field-of-
built for e.g. 2 ym (as is planned for the
wavelengths, Or use to views. For an unvianetted field-of-view the liaht VLT) will not suddenly fail to function,
make the telescopes diffraction limited from the different-~arts of the entrance pupil instead it will become a so-called partial
at the longer near-IR wavelengths. In the arrives at the beam-combining Station unvignet- adaptive optics system. In this mode,
ted, but not necessarily in a condition to allow
multi-speckle mode the fringe phase interferometry between the different telescopes.
computer simulations show that a frac-
varies across the seeing image on the An interferometric field-of-view has to be unvia- tion of the light (5 to 10% at visible
speckle scale. Recently developed netted, but in addition has to combine the rays wavelengths) will still be combined in a
methods using bi-spectrai image from the different telescopes in phase (within a
fraction of a wavelength, the so-called "phased
single central bright speckle with the
sis (or speckle masking) allow the mea- field-of-view") or coherently (within the coherence
rest remaining distributed over the mul-
surement the relative phases the length, resulting in fringes, the so-called "coherent ti-speckled seeing image. Even this
different baselines, needed for phase field-of-view"). minor concentration in the partial adap-
tive optics case can be shown to en-
hance the sensitivity of the VLTl at shor-
ter wavelengths very much. As is the
case for full adaptive optics at near-IR
wavelengths, it is realistic to expect the
availability of partial adaptive optics for
visible light, covering a major part of the
sky, early in the lifetime of the VLT, since
they use the same wavefront sensing
and correcting systems.

3. The VLT Interferometer:

Current Plans

3.1 The Array of 8-metre Tele-

As described already, the philosophy
in the planning of the VLTl focusses on
the optimum implementation of the
array of the four 8-metre telescopes.
Therefore, that's what will be described

Telescope Configuration
The quality of full two-dimensional in-
terferometric imaging very much de-
pends on the simultaneous availability
of many interferometer baselines in all
directions of the compass. It is impor-
tant for interferometry with the VLTl
to optimize the configuration of the
8-metre telescopes in this respect even
in the presence of movable smaller tele-
scopes. The reasons for that have to do
with both the sensitivity of the VLTl and Figure 3: Proposed configuration of the VLT 8-metre telescopes and the resulting (u, v) plane
with its potential for being used in a coverage for different declinations 6 and for zenith distance angles up to 60 degrees. The base
wide interferometric field-of-view mode. of the trapezoid has a length of approximately 120 metres. North is up.
At infrared wavelengths, where the te-
lescopes will be diffraction limited, the
maximum sensitivity in the imaging
mode of an interferometer using differ- redundant spacings resulting therefore How to Get the Light to the
ent aperture telescopes results from in only 3 or 4 simultaneous baselines in Combined Coherent Focus?
matching the size of the Airy disks. That a direction which makes two-dimen-
results in different image scales, and sional imaging virtually impossible, Figure 4 shows the way in which the
results in a "zero" field-of-view (re- especially for regions at the lower decli- light from the individual telescopes will
stricted to the size of the Airy disk). The nations like the Galactic Centre (Fig. 1). be combined in the VLTl beam com-
sensitivity for on-axis interferometry be- The VLT Interferometry Panel therefore biner.
comes in that case proportional to D2d2, strongly argues for a quadrilateral con- At each coude focus of the tele-
where d equals the diameter of the figuration for the VLTl approximately in scopes the relay optics create an afocal
smaller telescope. With a d = 180 cm the form of an equilateral trapezoid. Fig- beam with a diameter demagnification
auxiliary telescope this results in a 20 ure 3 shows the configuration which is M of 100, resulting in an 8-cm diameter
times lower sensitivity as compared with suggested and the resulting (u, v) plane horizontal light beam being sent to the
the use of a pair of 8-metre telescopes. coverage for different declinations 6. beam-combining system. The combina-
When Airy disks are not matched (e.g. This array has a total of 6 simulta- tion of the light in an interferometer has
when a wide interferometric field-of- neous, non-redundant baselines and re- to occur according to stringent condi-
view is wanted) and when working at the sults in a good two-dimensional (u, v) tions if the performance of the inter-
shorter wavelengths, the sensitivity is plane coverage for objects anywhere in ferometer is not to be compromised. To
much larger (1 00 times and more). the southern sky. These properties are maintain maximum fringe contrast, the
For observations of the faintest ob- little dependent on the precise orienta- optics has to be of high quality and the
jects, it is therefore very important to tion and baseline length of the array, so polarization effects (retardation effects
have access to the array of 8-metre that it can be fitted to the VLT site. Site and direction changes) have to be iden-
telescopes optimized for interferometric considerations will determine however tical in all light paths. The requirement
imaging. The array as described in the the final configuration chosen, as will be that the rotation of the polarization di-
VLT proposal is, however, far from op- the estimates of the deteriorating effects rections have to be identical also results
timum. It consists of the four telescopes of the wind flow of telescopes on its in identical orientations of the combined
in an approximate EW line, with very neighbours. More on this later. irrlages as well as of the exit pupils. This
insensitive to tilts and displacements of
the Cat's Eye optics. Because the EW
distances between the telescopes
amount to as much as 120 metres, long
tracks for the delay lines will be needed.
These 60-metre-long tracks combined
with the requirements for the size of the
optics, their smoothness and accuracy
of motion, as well as their dead reckon-
ing positioning pose a major challenge
to the implementation of the VLTI. The
size of the Cat's Eye is determined by
the unvignetted field-of-view required.
Because of the M = 100 times angular
magnification 8 arcsec on the sky re-
sults in 1/250 radian in the interferome-
ter tunnel. With a pupil image as far as
perhaps 75 metres away, this results in
a beam size on the Cat's Eye entrance
and exit of 38 cm diameter (8 cm inher-
ent on-axis beam diameter, combined
with 30 cm beam expansion). For a low-
er cost alternative, a 2-arcsec unvignet-
Figure 4: Beam-combining scheme proposed for the VLTI. The afocal light beams from the
coude foci of each of the four individual telescopes are relayed to the interferometer tunnel (the ted field-of-view is also under consid-
long rectangular horizontal box) in underground light tubes located at right angles to the eration with a 15.5-cm beam diameter.
interferometer tunnel. The latter contains the delay lines (DL) for pathlength adjustment. The The small secondary mirror MA in the
output of the delay lines is relayed to one of two beam-combining laboratories located on delay line can serve a number of other
either side of the interferometer tunnel. functions. In the MARK Ill interferometer
it is mounted on a piezo-electric ac-
tuator so that it can be used for rapid,
small-pathlength adjustments. Also for a
is an important condition if the VLTI is to optical pathlength in the beam-combin- number of reasons it is desirable to
be operated in the wide interferometric ing optics from the geometric path- make an image of the pupil at the en-
field-of-view mode. The proposed length due to the finite refractive index trance of the beam combiner. By mak-
beam-combination scheme follows of air. Lightpath differences in air of 100 ing MA curved it can do that without
these beam-combination conditions all metres will occur, resulting in changes affecting the image relay or the afocal
the way from the telescope Nasmyth of as much as 20 mm, a change which is character of the optics. Since the delay
focus to the beam combiner. wavelength-dependent, thus complicat- line moves in position this curvature has
Beam combination in the VLTI will ing broad spectral band observations. to be variable making it a "zoom mirror".
occur in air. This decision is based both To compensate it, the VLT will use re- Techniques exist for accomplishing this.
on arguments related to cost and opera- fractive optics of moderate size.
tional complexity of an vacuum system
The Beam-combining Station(s)
of this size, as well as an evaluation that
Description of the Delay Lines
the effects of air in the light path can be lnterferometric beam combination
managed at an acceptable level. There Figure 5 shows the optical schematic can take many forms including combi-
are five effects of concern: (i) image of the Cat's Eye delay line optics which nation in the pupil plane, in the image
deterioration due to seeing for on-axis is envisaged for the VLTI. plane, and electromagnetic interference
beams. This effect is lessened because The afocal light beam entering from in the coupling between single-mode
of the large demagnification (M = 100) of the left is imaged by ME on MA, and fibers. Each way has its advantages and
the beam diameter making the effective recollimated by ME to exit towards the disadvantages, and the mode chosen
Fried's parameter r, M = 100 times left. Its dimensional and angular charac- depends often on the type of observa-
larger, (ii) deterioration of the isoplanatic teristics are preserved, and are quite tions wanted. Other forms of beam
patch size due to the increase in angles
by M = 100. An evaluation indicates that
this effect is just acceptable for the in-
terferometric field-of-views under con-
sideration, provided that the seeing is
carefully managed, (iii) pistoning of the
light phase due to seeing, even if the
effective r, is large. These phase varia-
tions have to be compared to those of
the free air above the telescopes, and
can be made small and slow enough by
shielding the light path from the wind,
(iv) scintillation effects, which disappear
when the pupil is reimaged onto the Figure 5: Optical diagram of the Cat's Eye delay line optics. A Cat's Eye looks very much like a
beam combiner, and (v) the so-called telescope with MB as the parabolic primary mirror, and the little mirror MA located in the prime
"longitudinal chromatic aberrations". focus as the secondary mirror. The dimensions of this delay line are for an 8-arcsec
The latter result in the change of the unvignetted field-of-view. A 2 arcsec field-of-view requires about half the size.
(ii) for wide interferometric field-of-
view operation it is necessary to pre-
serve the pupil configuration in detail
from the entrance to the exit pupil. This
places stringent but realizable require-
ments on the location of the pupil im-
ages, a location which changes with
time, as the entrance pupil as seen from
the star, changes with earth rotation.
Motion of the M, mirrors is more com-
plex now and the beam-combining tele-
scope has to be large enough in aper-
ture to cover the area of the VLTl site
demagnified by M = 100, resulting in an
approximately 180-cm diameter mirror.

3.2 The Auxiliary Telescopes

So far the use of the 8-metre tele-
scopes has been emphasized and the
definition of the VLTl main-array has
been based on it. As described in sec-
tion 1.2, the definition of the sub-array of
smaller 2-metre-class auxiliary tele-
scopes (d = 180 cm is assumed here) is
based on its incorporation into the main-
array. That results both in an ease of
change-over from the sub-array to the
main-array, in a commissioning and de-
bugging of the VLTl using the always
available sub-array, and in a maximizing
of the number of affordable auxiliary te-
lescopes given the limited budget avail-
able for the VLTI. This results logically in
the following definition of the VLTl sub-
array (or VISA).

Telescope Configuration
Figure 6: Possible configuration of the on-axis light beams or pupil images at the entrance of The auxiliary telescopes are movable
the beam-combining telescope. The four large dark circles are the beams of the 8-metre
telescopes. It is proposed that they be
telescopes, the small ones those of the auxiliary telescopes. The beams/pupil images are
positioned by linear movement of the flat mirrors M,, which send the light horizontally into the relocatable between fixed stations, simi-
beam-combining laboratory, and by movement of the flat mirrors Mq which transfers the light lar as is the case for the radio Very Large
downward into the beam-combining telescope. Mq is replaced by Mq, in case it is desirable to Array and for the IRAM millimetre array.
rotate the image and/or pupil over 180" (as is the case when combining telescopes located on In Figure 7 a possible configuration of
opposite sides of the interferometer tunnel). stations for the auxiliary telescopes is
In this configuration the auxiliary tele-
scopes share the interferometer tunnel,
combination will undoubtedly arise in bining telescope can be determined by the delay lines and the beam-combining
the future. For the VLTl it is therefore the actual observation wanted. Exam- optics with the 8-metre telescopes. To
impossible to define the characteristics ples are: change over from the 8-metre tele-
of the final beam-combining station (i) for spectroscopy a linear non-re- scopes to the auxiliary telescopes re-
now. Instead it is proposed that the VLTl dundant (e.g. spacings 10, 20, and quires the insertion or turning of a single
provide for two stations, one containing 40 cm of the 8-cm-diameter pupil im- flat mirror. Change-over can therefore
an optical laboratory for experimenta- ages) configuration may be optimum. It be done within minutes. The add-on
tion, the other containing a fixed beam- results in a pattern of parallel fringes in cost per auxiliary telescope is limited to
combining telescope with an aperture the image plane whose spacing en- the telescope itself and possibly its
between 80 and 180 cm. The latter will codes the telescope pair and whose transporter.
provide for common user image plane contrast and relative phase can easily
interferometric capability, including the be examined with a spectrograph simul-
TheAuxiliary Telescopes
capability for doing spectroscopy and, taneously for many wavelengths. A con-
perhaps, wide interferometric field-of- figuration like this can use a stationary To simplify the change-over and the
view observations. configuration of M, and M, requires coupling to the 8-metre telescopes it
Figure 6 shows a possible combina- only an 80-cm aperture beam combiner, was decided to use the same type of
tion of the light beams on the entrance but suffers in respect to wide interfero- coude optics and telescope mounting
of the beam-combiner telescope. metric field-of-view operation. Its pupil as used for the 8-metre telescopes. In
The actual configuration of the configuration is not preserved, thus giv- doing so one can use again similar or
beamslpupil images on the beam-com- ing a "zero" field-of-view. identical control systems, imagelpupill
additional telescopes (8 metres or smal-
ler?) will probably be located at different
levels, which does not exclude their use
for interferometry.

Fitting the VLTI to the VLT Site

Figure 8 shows a drawing of the VLTl
on Cerro Paranal following the layout
shown in Figure 7.
The actual configuration for the VLTl
will be chosen on the basis of the topog-
raphy of the site chosen for the VLT, on
the wind directions, on the seeing
effects resulting from the interplay of the
wind, the site plateau and the telescope
structures, and on other VLT site needs.
Interesting questions remain especially
Figure 7: Left: a possible configuration of the stations for the auxiliary telescopes (small dots).
concerning the seeing effects which are
The assumed location of the 8-metre telescopes are shown with large dots (now slightly
different from the configuration shown in Figure 4). The light from the auxiliary telescopes presently being analysed (L. Zago, The
travels to the interferometer tunnel along the vertical lines which combines the stations. It Messenger No. 59, p. 22). Such analysis
anticipates therefore that only one auxiliary telescope can be used per vertical line. Additional will have to answer the question on
stations on the lines connecting the 8-metre telescopes to the interferometer tunnel can also whether the seeing for the 8-metre tele-
be envisaged. Right: (u, v) plane coverage options for object at zenith with the stations shown scopes on the downwind end of the
left. Note that in this case not all coverage is simultaneous as was the case in Figure 3. plateau is much worse than, or compar-
able to, that on the upwind end (no one
expects it to be better!). If it is, the
8-metre telescopes will have to be lo-
polarization orientations become the ranal and perhaps Armazones). The EW cated upwind, but at the cost of the
probably much worse seeing effects for
same, and retardation effects are com- dimension of approximately 120 metres
parable. The auxiliary telescopes in- will pretty well be set by the need to the auxiliary telescopes caused by the
clude the option for relatively simple (as space the 8-metre telescopes in that wind interactions with the 8-metre tele-
scopes which are now upwind of the
compared to the 8-metre telescopes) direction at right angles to the wind.
adaptive optics. auxiliary telescopes.
From the VLTl point of view all three
sites look acceptable although Armazo-
nes has the advantage of a larger NS
Telescope Transporters 4. The VLT Interferometer:
extension as compared to the other
Again following the example of the sites for a given EW extension. This
What Comes Next?
VLA and IRAM array, the telescope gives higher angular resolutions in that Implementation of the VLTl will start
transporters will run along railway direction without the need for longer with the site development after the
tracks. There will probably be one trans- delay lines. choice of the VLT site. Extended
porter per telescope which will lift the For a number of reasons it is advan- PhaseA studies of the major compo-
telescope from one station and place it tageous to locate the VLTl on a flat area. nents of the VLTl (auxiliary telescopes,
on the next with good precision using a On the longer term, large baselines may stations, tracks, transporters, delay
kinematic positioning system. The be wanted, which when located in ap- lines) will be completed early 1991 and
transporter will probably carry a wind proximately NS direction, can use the will be followed by their construction. It
shield as well as other telescope existing VLTl delay lines. In that case the is desirable that interferometry using 3
support equipment. Initially it is the in-
tention to move the telescopes infre-
quently, like once per night. As experi-
ence with the VLTl develops, and as
calibration techniques are refined,
more rapid configurations (a number of
times during the night) may become

3.3 Site Aspects

Which Site?
For the configuration shown in Fig-
ure 7 a flat plane is envisaged. To keep
the length of the delay line as short as
possible and to optimize the (u, v) plane
coverage it is desirable to have the flat
elliptical area with the short axis running
roughly EW. This can be done at all VLT
sites being considered (Vizcachas, Pa- Figure 8: The VLTI according to the layout shown in Figure 7, shown on Cerro Paranal.
or 4 auxiliary telescopes (2 to be funded tion of the auxiliary telescopes, a non- Interferometer a facility which will serve
out of the VLT budget, the others by zero interferometric field-of-view, blind both the needs posed by the astronomi-
additional contributions by research fringe acquisition and maintenance, ex- cal programmes of the non-experts in
groups in ESO member countries) and tended wavelength coverage into the interferometry, as well as the needs of
limited wavelength coverage (.45 to ultraviolet, additional auxiliary tele- the experts in this rapidly developing
25 pm) will start soon after the commis- scopes possibly at long NS baselines, field of astronomy. This is a tall task, but
sioning of the first large telescope on the additional delay lines) will evolve over a as it could be done for radio interferom-
VLT site. The full VLTl capability (includ- number of years after this, some of it etry, it should also be possible to do it at
ing such features as the inclusion of the requiring additional resources. The goal optical wavelengths. The field is ready
8-metre telescopes, rapid reconfigura- will be to provide early on at the VLT for it and the opportunity is here.

How Will the VLT Mirrors be Handled?

Schott is now putting the final touch
to the building where the facility to pro-
duce the Zerodur VLT mirror blanks is to
be installed. Meanwhile Schott is de-
veloping the various tools and equip-
ment necessary for the casting, anneal-
ing, ceramization, machining and test of
the mirror blanks.
Handling in particular is a major con-
cern for Schott. The raw blanks ob-
tained after casting are considerably
heavier than the finished blanks and are
also a lot more fragile because of the
local defects at the surface which have a
tendency to behave like perfect crack
propagators. An additional difficulty is
that after casting only the top surface is
physically accessible.
Schott has therefore developed a
special handling tool based on suction.
The photograph shows a smaller-scale
system developed to handle 4-m-
diameter mirrors. It is being tested on an
experimental thin meniscus realized in The picture shows the vacuum pumps this type of handling device. Even in
the frame of the VLT development pro- located at the top and the large sucking case of power failure the system can
gramme. This mirror has been produced cups arranged as a whiffle tree. The safely hold the mirror during several
with the spin casting technology and triangular structure is used as a vacuum hours. A similar system is likely to be
was originally 4.1 m diameter. It has buffer. used for handling the mirror during its
subsequently been machined down to The tests have demonstrated the polishing and for its integration into the
3.7 m diameter and to 7.5 cm thickness. good functioning and the reliability of cell at the observatory. D. ENARD (ESO)

Adaptive Optics at the ESO 3.6-m Telescope

F. RIGAUT, P. KERN, P. GIGAN, Observatoire de Meudon, France

From April 11 to 16, 1990, the VLT vatory in October and November 1989 system was initially designed.
adaptive optics prototype system has (see the article by F. Merkle in The A description of the prototype system
been tested at the 3.6-metre telescope Messenger 58, 1989) this was the first has been given earlier (Merkle, The
on La Silla. After the two preceding test test of the adaptive optics prototype Messenger 57, 1989). The following
periods at the Haute-Provence Obser- system at the telescope for which the table summarizes the major data:
the theoretical goal of magnitude 12 to
Wavelength range: 3 to 5 micrometre 13. After the mechanical integration of
partial correction at shorter wavelengths the system at the Cassegrain focus (see
Deformable mirror: 19 piezo-electric actuators Fig. 1) it took approximately three hours
stroke: 7.5 micron to align it with the telescope, to perform
hexagon arrangement
the calibration and initialization with a
active diameter 70 mm
Tiphilt mirror: gimbal mount real object on the sky, and to get the
piezo-electric actuators first, diffraction-limited image on the
Wavefront sensor: Shack Hartmanntype control monitor of the infrared camera.
5 by 5 subapertures This observing run at the 3.6-metre
square configuration telescope was mainly aimed at:
100 by 100 intensified Reticon detector verifying the gain expected from
visible limiting magnitude 9 adaptive optics with a large tele-
mirror for reference source selection scope,
Computer: dedicated processor
measuring the effects of partial
68020 host processor
32 by 32 lnSb array
correction by adaptive optics, and
Infrared camera:
additional chopping mirror measuring the isoplanatic angles at
System concept: bandwidth 10 Hz (100 Hz sampling) various wavelengths and seeing con-
modal correction ditions.
mirror eigenmodes The intention of this short summary is
polychromatic system only to give the reader a first impression
of the type and quality of the results
recorded. A detailed analysis of the
Some mechanical modifications had nitude 9 for a 3.6-metre aperture by more than 50 high resolution images
to be made at the prototype bench at using as a first stage a proximity focus covering the J-, H-, K-, L- and M-band
the Cassegrain f/8 focus of the 3.6- intensifier and a microchannel intensifier with integration times ranging from ap-
metre telescope. In addition, the limiting as the second stage. Further improve- proximately 10 seconds to 10 minutes -
magnitude was improved to about mag- ments are planned in order to achieve there was no restriction in integration

Figure 1: The adaptive optics prototype system installed at the f/8 focus of the 3.6-m telescope. The rectangular frame is part of the optical
bench that supports the system. To the left of the bench is the IR array camera and on the right side is the wavefront sensor support The
electronics rack attached to the left side wall of the Cassegrain cage houses part of the front-end electronics of the system.
Figure 2 : Images of HR 6519 in the L-Band, without and with the adaptive optics feedback loop activated. The image diameter shrinks from 0.7
arcsec to 0.22 arcsec, which is the diffraction limit in the L-Band (3.5 pm).

time - will take some time and will be brighter component and 5.74 of the the effects of a partial correction by
published elsewhere. fainter one. The separation of the two adaptive optics at shorter wavelengths.
Reference stars with magnitudes components is only 0.38 arcsecs. Figure 3 displays the image of the
down to 9 could be used for the wave- Apart from the evaluation of the per- 4.7 mag star a Hydrae (HR 3748) in the
front measurement and a spectacular formance of the system at the J-, H-, K- and L-Band. The equivalent
gain in image quality can already now be wavelengths for which it was designed, seeing in the visible wavelength range
reported. it was the aim of this test run to measure during the recording time was approxi-
The observed objects include bright,
unresolved test objects to verify the per-
formance of the system, independent of
the object structure. In addition, a

number of more complex objects of par-
ticular scientific interest were recorded,
like q Carinae, some T Tauri stars, and

various others.
Figure 2 shows the resolution gain
when the real-time feedback of the

adaptive system is activated for the ob-
ject HR 6519 in the L-band. The un-
corrected image (left) has a FWHM of
0.7 arcsec, the corrected (right) has 0.22
arcsec. The object served itself as refer-
ence for the measurement of the wave-
front. Its visual magnitude is 4.81. The CI

asymmetry of the uncorrected object is
due to a problem with the 3.6-m auto-
guider which was detected during the
observations. During the real-time at-
mospheric correction - the seeing was
0.9 arcsec in the visible range - this

artefact was compensated in the same
way as all other low-frequency tele-
scope aberrations. The corrected image
very clearly shows the predicted diffrac-
tion pattern. It still shows some imper-
fections which are due to some print-
through of the actuators of the deform-
able mirror.
The images on page 1 show the im- -
provement in image quality when the Figure 3: Imaging of the star a Hydrae (HR 3748) in the J-, H-, K-, and L-Band with adaptive
system is applied to the double star HR optics feedback. The dramatic image improvement is visible even in the J-Band where the
6658 with visual magnitude 5.24 of the system was undersampling at least by a factor of 2.5.
Figure 4: This image shows an uncorrected image (left), an image corrected by the tip/tilt mirror (middle), and an image corrected by the tip/tilt
and deformable mirror of the object HR 5646 (visual magnitude 3.87) in the K-Band. The object itself served as reference for the wavefront
sensing. The Strehl ratio between the uncorrected and the tilt corrected image improved by a factor of 1.3, the gain to the fully corrected image
is by a factor of 3.5.

mately 0.75 arcseconds FWHM. The im- H-Band, and from 0.66 to 0.29 arc- tilt mirror in comparison to a full correc-
age improvement is dramatically evident seconds (limit: 0.07 arcseconds) in the tion. Figure 4 shows an uncorrected im-
even down to the J-Band where the J-Band. This improvement at shorter age (left), an image corrected by the tip/
system was undersampling, at least by wavelengths will be an important feature tilt mirror (middle), and an image
a factor of 2.5. This corresponds to an for interferometry with the VLT. The corrected by the tipltilt and deformable
improvement from 0.56 to 0.23 arc- evaluation of the partially corrected im- mirror of the object HR 5646 (visual
seconds (theoretically smallest possible ages will help to build an analytical mod- magnitude 3.87) in the K-Band. The ob-
value, i.e. the diffraction limit: 0.22 arc- el for partial correction by adaptive op- ject itself served as reference for the
seconds) in the L-Band, from 0.58 to tics. wavefront sensing. The seeing in the
0.1 8 arcseconds (limit: 0.1 3 arcseconds) Another important part of this test run visual region varied between 0.7 and
in the K-Band, from 0.6 to 0.21 arc- was to measure the contribution of the 0.85 arcseconds at the time of these
seconds (limit: 0.10 arcseconds) in the image motion stabilization with the tip/ measurements. The maximum intensity
(Strehl ratio) between the uncorrected
and the tilt corrected image improved by
a factor of 1.3, the gain to the fully
corrected image is by a factor of 3.5.
What's Next in Adaptive Optics? This gain is limited due to the partial
During the past half year it has been demonstrated that adaptive optics is a correction, since these measurements
proven technique for high-resolution imaging in the near-infrared domain. The are taken in the K-Band at 2.2 micro-
results obtained with the VLT adaptive optics prototype system give only a metre.
first impression of what will be possible in the future with systems with Another important aim was the mea-
deformable mirrors with several tens or even hundreds of subapertures, surement of the isoplanatic angle as a
compared to the 19 actuators the ESO system has today. function of wavelength, seeing, and or-
Adaptive optics devices are highly complex systems. The multichannel der of correction. The system allowed
feedback loop requires very fast and powerful processors. Due to this
offset angles between the object and
complexity, adaptive optics systems are often considered as devices which
are far from becoming a general user instrument of an observatory. It has reference source of up to 35 arc-
frequently been assumed that only specially trained operators or the persons seconds.
involved in the construction of the system can operate it and that it will As mentioned above, a detailed anal-
therefore necessarily have quite a restricted use. ysis of all results is now underway. This
However, the observations with the VLT adaptive optics prototype system preliminary presentation of some of the
at the 3.6-m telescope have now made it quite clear that adaptive optics can most important results is only a brief
become a tool which can be offered to any observer without special exper- introduction to the spectacular improve-
tise. Although the current prototype is operated from three keybords, not ments which can be expected from
including the infrared camera acquisition system (see the article by Merkle in
the Messenger 58, Fig. 4), the operation follows a clear procedure which adaptive optics at a large telescope.
could be taken over by an additional host computer. All functions can be
automated without a major increase of the system's complexity. Also the
optomechanical part, which at the moment still requires occasional human Acknowledgements
interaction, is now close to be completely remote controlled. The authors' thanks are due to many
With the information and experience gained during the first test run at the colleagues at ESO, Observatoire de
3.6-metre telescope, we are a big step closer to an "Adaptive Optics User Meudon, ONERA, and LASERDOT who
Instrument for Infrared Wavelengths" which could be offered to any visiting
astronomer. With the current plans to upgrade the prototype to approximately have contributed to the design and con-
50 subapertures, an adaptive system for full correction of a 4-metre-class struction of this prototype system. In
telescope for the wavelength region above about 2 km will become available. particular, we are thankful to Claude
In the beginning it will be a bench-type instrument, but in less than three years Marlot of Observatoire de Meudon and
it could be converted to a fully integrated system - as the "active optics" is the Mechanical Workshop at La Silla for
already for the NlT. F. MERKLE, ESO "adapting" the adaptive system to the
3.6-metre telescope.
The ST-ECF After the Launch of HST

One month after the launch of the ing to a stable "fine lock", the most months during which the performances
Hubble Space Telescope (HST) the ex- precise tracking mode of HST. of the instruments will be calibrated on
citement is high among us at the Space Nevertheless, these successes are in- celestial targets. SV is the responsibility
Telescope European Coordinating termixed with failures to acquire guide of the teams that have developed the
Facilitiy (ST-ECF). We were able to stars, which have caused considerable instruments and many of us will be
follow the launch and the deployment of disruption in the OV schedule. closely collaborating with these teams in
HST in real-time on the NASA "select" On the positive side, all instruments the effort of understanding the in-orbit
television channel, projected on the big have been turned on and are performing performance of the instruments. In order
screen in the ESO Auditorium and we according to specifications or better, to convey the results of this work to
are now closely monitoring the activities the Wide Field Camera has obtained the those European astronomers who are
during the current Orbital Verification first images (with still warm CCDs) and directly involved with HST data, we
(OV) phase (an engineering check-out of the focus of the telescope is improving have set up three Special Interest
HST). slowly but steadily. We are trying to Groups, connected with the Wide Field
With little surprise to those aware of keep the interested scientists informed and Planetary Camera, the Faint
the complications of the HST, a number about the progress with the HST by Object Camera and the two spectro-
of problems in the operation of the tele- posting information from various sour- graphs.
scope have emerged and are under de- ces on our HST bulletin board, which After SV the HST will finally start the
tailed examination. For example, the can be accessed from the outside by scientific observations with the first one-
range of orientation of the high-gain an- logging in into the captive account year cycle of programmes already allo-
tennae, which provide the high-speed STINFO on the ESOMCl Vax computer cated to the instrument teams (the so-
data link to the ground via the relay (no password needed). We are also an- called Guaranteed Time Observers) and
satellites, is limited to 91 % of the whole swering questions concerning HST e- to the General Observers. If you wish to
sky by a cable harness. The effects of mailed to ESOMC I::STDESK (on SPAN) apply for HST observing time during the
this limitation on the efficiency of the or to STDESK @ DGAESO51 (on Bitnet). second cycle, look forward to the
telescope can be made negligible by a Our direct involvement with HST data Announcement of Opportunity which
proper scheduling of the observations. will grow in a couple of months, when will be issued by the Space Telescope
Considerable efforts are also being de- OV will be completed and the engineers Science Institute in Baltimore around
voted to achieve a reliable procedure for will hand over the telescope to scien- the end of May 1990, with a proposal
pointing the HST. Successful guide-star tists, so to speak, for the Science Verifi- deadline no earlier than 15 November
acquisitions have been obtained, lead- cation (SV), a phase lasting about five 1990.


A Wide-Angle Objective Prism Survey for Bright Quasars

D. REIMERS, Hamburger Sternwarte, Universitat Hamburg, F. R. Germany

Quasars are the most luminous ob- Schmidt (HS 1700 + 6416, V = 16.1, tool to study the intervening matter with
jects in the universe which - not to z = 2.72, Reimers et al., 1989). the aim to learn about large-scale struc-
speak about a growing interest in under- One of the reasons for the rareness of ture, evolution of galaxy halos and
standing these luminous active nuclei of such objects is that pure UV excess galaxies, and chemical evolution of the
galaxies themselves - can be used as surveys like the Palomar Green Survey universe. It has turned out that a spec-
light sources that probe the intervening do not find QSOs with z > 2.2 and that tral resolution of 1o5 may be required to
matter at large cosmic distances early in because of the low surface density of resolve narrow absorption-line systems.
the history of the universe. However, the such objects, wide-angle multicolour or Fairly bright QSOs will therefore be re-
number of known QSOs, in particular at objective-prism Schmidt surveys are quired even for the VLT, and here is one
high redshifts, which are sufficiently necessary. A further more practical re- of the long-term goals of this Key Pro-
bright for detailed follow-up observa- quirement is the ability to process a gramme: to provide a sample of high
tions is extremely small. So, e.g., al- larger number of Schmidt plates on a redshift QSOs for detailed absorption-
though several thousand QSOs are reasonable time scale, i. e. quick search line studies with the VLT.
known at present, the only high-redshift methods are needed. A further motivation comes from the
QSO sufficiently bright for the short- Bright quasars (V < 17) can be used finding of J. Surdej and collaborators -
wavelength camera of the IUE satellite, for multiwavelength studies of the cf. the ESO Key Programme on gravita-
and as such a prime (accepted) target quasar phenomenon itself. At sufficient- tional lenses (Surdej et al., 1989) - that
for the Hubble Space Telescope, was ly high redshifts, quasars with absorp- the success rate of finding gravitational
discovered only in 1988 by the Hamburg tion lines can be observed at high reso- lense effects is particularly high in high-
Quasar Survey with the Calar Alto lution (- 0.2 A), e.g. with CASPEC, as a luminosity quasars (HLQ) with M,
References vey, in Proceed. Workshop on Optical Sur- ty of Hamburg.
veys for QSO, Astr. Soc. Pacific Conf. Ser. Reimers, D., Clavel, J., Groote, D., Engels, D.,
Barbieri, C. et al., 1989, The Messenger 58, 2, 143. Hagen, H.-J., Naylor, T., Wamsteker, W.,
22. Groote, D., Heber, U., Jordan, S.: 1989, As- Hopp, U.: 1989, Astron. Astrophys. 218,
Engels, D., Groote, D., Hagen, H.-J., Rei- tron. Astrophys. 222,L1. 71.
mers, D.: 1988, The Hamburg Quasar Sur- Hagen, H.J.: 1987, Doctoral thesis, Universi- Surdej, J. et al.: 1989, The Messenger55, 8.


A Photometric and Spectroscopic Study of Supernovae

of All Types
'~sservatorioAstronomic0 di Padova, Italy; 2 ~La Silla,
~ Chile;
~ 3 ,~ S 0Garching,
, F, R. Germany; 4~tockholm
Observatory, Sweden; 'Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory, Chile

Supernovae are unpredictable events. In this framework, our Key Pro- The regular allotment of telescope
For this reason, despite the fact that gramme, dedicated to the study of the time over a span of years, awarded to
their interest spreads over numerous photometric and spectroscopic evolu- the Key Programme, will allow us to
different fields, from stellar evolution to tion of SNe of different types, has been address different questions.
the interstellar medium and to cosmolo- proposed and approved at ESO. The From a quick inspection of the Asiago
gy, they have been observed, generally, general aim of the programme is to Supernova Catalogue (Barbon et al.
with medium/small telescopes, whose accumulate regularly spaced photo- 1989), it appears that the average rate of
schedules are flexible enough to ensure metry, particularly for constructing discovery in the last years is of about
prompt observation of new objects. bolometric light curves, and spectros- 20 SNe per year. Of these, about 6 are
Therefore, the observations have been copy of SNe from their earliest closer than 40 Mpc (H = 50 km/s Mpc)
limited to the first months after outburst, announcement. At the same time, late- and reachable from La Silla. Whatever
and even in this period hardly on a regu- time spectra of already known SNe will their type, all these SNe stay above the
lar basis. be secured. It will be possible to store in detection limit of EFOSC (or EMMI) for
The recent experience with SN 1987A a large unique database a great deal of longer than 1 year in spectroscopy and
has demonstrated the large interest in material for a selected sample of super- 2 years in photometry. We will be able,
this field of research including the ESO novae. Emphasis will be put on observ- therefore, to cover all phases of the opti-
community, and also that it is possible ing a few objects in detail rather than cal evolution for several SNe of various
to carry out successfully, even within a many sparsely. types.
large structure like ESO, a programme
needing regular observing for periods of
years. Thanks to the use of appropriate
equipment and to a dense temporal
coverage approved by the OPC, as-
tronomers at ESO have been able to
announce a number of firsts, such as
the discovery of molecules and dust for-
mation, the temporal mapping of the
56Co ( + 5 7 C ~ )decay (both from the
bolometric light curve and the measure-
ment of the Coll 10.52 y line), the first
order computation of elemental abun-
dances in the envelope and the spectral
characteristics of the just resolved shell
around SN 1987A. There has also been
much success in theoretical modelling
of the expanding envelope.
Successful observations of a sample
of SNe with modern detectors at large
telescopes during a pilot programme
started at ESO have also demonstrated
that it is possible to follow photometri-
cally and spectroscopically the evolu-
tion of SNe, other than the exceptionally
close SN 1987A, for years (Fig. 1) and,
at least in some fortunate cases, even WAVELENGTH
for decades (Turatto et al. 1989). The EFOSC spectrum of SN 1988A at about 444 days after the discovery,
Although spectroscopy is available for which will lead to the determination of early-stage observations are missing
several SNe la around maximum light, the total mass of radioactive 56Co pro- and an unambiguous classification is
we still entirely lack bolometric lumi- duced. Regularly spaced spectra of a then impossible. However, there are
nosities and regular spectral observa- number of objects will clarify whether all about 70 SNe older than 10 years ac-
tions beyond 150 days. It is not clear, in the documented differences are real or cessible from La Silla, which are can-
fact, how wide among various objects due only to the uneven spacing of the didates for detection. Although many
are the differences suggested both by available information. If this variety rep- difficulties arise when one tries to locate
spectra (Branch et al. 1988) and by light resents differences in the envelopes of the very faint candidates inside the pa-
curves (Barbon 1980) and how they cor- these SNe, it is not clear how this relates rent galaxy, even a small number of
relate with other parameters. This could to the characteristics of the progenitor successes would constitute milestones
be a problem for the frequent use of stars. in the understanding of the evolution of
such objects as standard candles un- Beside the regularly spaced observa- young SNR.
less such differences can be accounted tions of newly discovered SNe, a special The collaboration with CTIO, with
for and calibrated in a systematic way. effort will be devoted to the identifica- whom important coordinated observa-
For the less luminous and rarer Type I b tion and eventual observation of "very tions have been obtained on SN 1987A,
SNe, the observational status is at pre- old" supernovae. There exists, in fact, and with the Asiago Observatory, for the
sent even worse. Few objects have opti- an observational gap between the latest early stages of the SNe visible also from
cal light curves, and bolometric informa- stages of SNe, which can be placed at the northern hemisphere, should also
tion is completely lacking. Even the early about 2 years after the light maximum, ensure both a better temporal and spec-
spectral evolution is poorly known (be- and the youngest SNRs, whose ages tral coverage.
cause of sparse observations). Because are of the order of a few centuries. The
the conditions in the envelope have not optical detection of SN 1957 D in M83
been clarified, since neither a spectros- Furatto et al., 1989; Long et al., 1989)
copic temperature nor a thermal equilib- and of SN 1885A in M 31 (Fesen et al., References
rium calculation have been derived, the 1989) indicates that it is possible to get Barbon, R.: 1980, in SNI, Proceedings of the
actual mass of oxygen has not been precious information on the intermedi- Texas Workshop on Type l supernovae,
determined to within a factor of 10, pre- ate ages even with the presently avail- ed. J.C. Wheeler (University of Texas, Au-
venting an accurate determination of the able instrumentation. In particular, the stin), p. 16.
mass range of possible progenitors and spectrum of the 30-year-old SN 1957 D Barbon, R., Cappellaro, E., Turatto, M.: 1989,
their contribution to the chemical evolu- in M83 shows broad [OIII] 4959, 5007 Astron. Astrophys. Suppl. 81, 421.
tion of galaxies. lines with asymmetric profiles and a ve- Branch, D., Drucker, W., Jeffery, D.: 1988,
Astron. J. 330, L 117.
The heterogeneous class of Type II locity of the maximum emission of ap-
Fesen, R.A., Hamilton, A.J.S., Saken, J.M.:
SNe represent another interesting field proximately -650 km/s relative to the 1989, Astrophys. J. 341, L55.
of investigation. In particular, we will try rest velocity. This could be due to the Turatto, M., Cappellaro, E., Danziger, I.J.:
to understand if different shapes exist presence of dust filling the line-forming 1989, The Messenger 56, 36.
also in the bolometric light curves and to region analogous to the situation found Long, K.S., Blair, W.P., Krzeminski, W.:
determine their total energy budget, in SN 1987A. For this SN, unfortunately, 1989, Astrophys. J. 340, L25.


Optical Follow-up Identifications of Hard X-Ray1

Soft y-Ray Sources Discovered by the "SIGMA" Telescope
G. F, BIGNAMI, P.A. CARAVEO, S. MEREGHETTI, lstituto Fisica Cosmica, Milano, Italy
J. PAUL, A. GOLDWURM, L. VIGROUX, Service d'Astrophysique, CEA Saclay, France

The aim of this programme is to The SIGMA telescope (constructed by 105- 1o6 sec. pointed observations of
search for the optical counterparts of two French groups at CEA/Saclay and the 3-axis stabilized telescope.
hard X-raylsoft y-ray sources (including CESR Toulouse) aboard the Soviet After the mandatory outgassing
y-ray bursts and transient events) dis- GRANAT satellite represents the first period of the various SIGMA subsys-
covered by the SIGMA telescope (suc- breakthrough in one of the last unex- tems, more than two months of in-flight
cessfully launched on December 1, plored wavelength regions in as- operations were required both to com-
1989), also exploiting the soft X-ray data tronomy. Launched on December 1, plete the telescope adjustment (a quite
of the all sky survey to be performed 1989, it consists of a gamma camera/ difficult task, taking into account the 131
by the ROSAT satellite (launched on coded mask telescope system (see photomultiplier tubes of the gamma
May 31, 1990). Fig. I ) separated by 2.5 m, with imaging camera, the on-board calibration sour-
It will be the first time that coordina- capability yielding a source localization ces and the active shielding device), and
tion between on-going high-energy accuracy of 2' within a field of view of to evaluate the background along the
space missions, such as SIGMA and 4 0 3 x 40 7 and a sensitivity in the orbit. This is now stabilized on a rather
ROSAT, and ground-based telescopes millicrab region. The energy range goes constant value of 440 counts/sec, which
is implemented on a programmed long- from 35 keV to 1.3 MeV, and operations, compares favourably with the one com-
term basis. planned for two years, will be based on puted on the ground of 320 counts/sec,

all existing catalogues, hopefully find high-energy, nonthermal candidate copy (including MOS), polarimetry and
potential candidates and then resort to among normal field stars. This type of time variability.
MOS spectra. Another useful dimension work has already been the subject of We are confident that this Key-Pro-
for identification is time variability on several programmes approved during gramme team has both the observation-
both long and short term timescales, as the last four years for the ESO 3.6-m al experience and the organizational
in the case of AGNs and Wy-ray pulsars and N l T telescopes at La Silla. This has capability to fulfil the proposed scientific
in our Galaxy. Polarimetry, also possible resulted in the successful study of sev- objectives for the first example of a
e. g. with EFOSC, on a complete source eral Wy-ray source regions, carried out ground based/high-energy space as-
field, is yet another tool for identifying a both in imaging/photometry, spectros- tronomy programme.

Report on the First ESOICTIO Workshop: "Bulges of Galaxies"

The first ESO/CTIO Workshop was There were eleven invited and about will be published later this year by ESO.
held on January 16-19, 1990, in La thirty shorter, contributed papers. A It was a pleasure to work together
Serena, Chile. The scientific sessions poster session was also provided. The with our colleagues from CTlO and it
took up 3 days with 2 afternoons re- meeting was attended by about 90 sci- was good to hear many positive com-
served for visits to the La Silla and To- entists from 5 continents. About 30, ments from the participants.
lolo observatories. The theme of the mainly young participants, were partially I hope that there will be many more
workshop was "Bulges of Galaxies" supported by the conference funds such joint meetings held in Chile and
and included all aspects of bulge re- allowing them to attend and to present that they may all be as stimulating as
search, both Galactic and in external contributions. this one.
galaxies. The proceedings are being edited and H. E. SCHWARZ, ESO

News About the ESO Exhibition

The travelling ESO Exhibition has a setting up its exhibition at the University Free University of Brussels, Astrophysi-
busy time this summer. Last year it was from July 17 to 29. There will be public cal Institute, Pleinlaan 2, B-1180
decided to duplicate most of the exhibi- access; more details can be obtained Brussels, Belgium.
tion items, so that it can be shown in from the organizer, Dr. Chris Sterken, ESO was pleased to accept an invita-
two places at once. This has paid off
and both exhibitions are now booked
out through most of 1991.
ESO was present, together with its
sister organizations CERN, ESA and
EMBL, at the "Europa Ricerca" exhibi-
tion in Rome, Italy on May 31 -June 10.
This major presentation of large Euro-
pean science and technology projects
was organized by the Italian Chairman-
ship of Eureka in connection with the Vlll
Eureka Minister Conference.
It you visit Geneva in Switzerland this
summer, don't miss a tour through the
new CERN Microcosmos, just installed
on the CERN grounds near Meyrin, out-
side the city. In addition to learning
about the smallest particles, you will see
beautiful pictures of galaxies and stars
in one area of the Microcosmos build-
ing. Here the ESO Exhibition is installed
until the end of August. It was inaugu-
rated on May 28 by the Directors Gener-
al of CERN and ESO, Professors Carlo
Rubbia and Harry van der Laan.
The "Free University" of Brussels in
Belgium will be host to the American
Association of Variable Star Observers
From the opening ceremony of the Eureka Minister Conference and the exhibition Europa
(AAVSO) this summer. This is the first Ricerca - (left to right) the ltalian Minister for Universities and Technological Research, A.
time that this venerable American or- Ruberti, CEC Vice-President F. M. Pandolfi, ESA Director General R. Liist and ESO Director
ganization meets outside its home General H. van der Laan. Participating in the ceremony were the ltalian President, Francesco
country, let on another continent. In rec- Cossiga, ministers and high representatives from the Eureka member countries and the EEC,
ognition of this important event, ESO is directors general from CERN, EMBL, ESA and ESO as well as delegates to the conference.
ing a rapid coordination with ground-
based optical observations. It is worth
noting that the rectangular telescope
field of view features a central area, in
which the telescope is at its maximum,
surrounded by a wide field of decreas-
ing sensitivity (the half-sensitivity
boundary is a 1O? 6 x 11? 4 rectangle)
within which sources can still be posi-
tioned within a few arcminutes.
In parallel to the SlGMA higher energy
observations, the well-known ROSAT
mission will work in the soft (.I -2 keV)
X-ray domain, performing first a sky sur-
vey and then a sequence of pointed
observations. The proposers of this ESO
Key Programme have organized a col-
laboration between the two missions for
exploiting the ROSAT survey data on
the basis of the SlGMA results. This
should result in an improvement of both
source positioning and knowledge of
spectral shape, rendering much more
interesting and meaningful the search
rlgure I: 1ne SIUIVIHcoaea maSK. A pattern or 49 x SY aosoro~ngelements (7.3cm rungsrenl for the optical counterpart. Based on the
is arranged in a URA (Uniformly Redundant Array), each element is 9.4 x 9.4 mm. proposer's experience in optical studies
of yiX-ray sources, the addition of the
ROSAT data will be crucial to the
success of this project especially for the
considering the current high level of so- them have already been observed. search for an optical identification of
lar activity. At the end of this evaluation Thanks to the dimension of the fully newly discovered sources which is the
period, several Crab nebula observa- coded field of view, several bursts will most challenging, albeit the potentially
tions were performed to assess the in- be observed through the imaging coded most rewarding, part of the programme.
orbit capabilities of the telescope. Both mask system, thus yielding, for the first The strategy here will consist in taking
this source and Cyg-X1 yielded a very time, an immediate localization with an first CCD images of the source region in
strong signal permitting the preliminary accuracy of afew arcminutes and allow- two colours, compare the images with
localization of the position of these
sources within a 2' error box in a 4-h
observation, with very high significance
up to 300 KeV and more. CRAB NEBULA
A different type of test was performed
on the Galactic Centre, with the aim of
disentangling a supposedly complex re-
gion of high energy emission. SlGMA
has already provided the first ever arc-
min resolution image of the galactic
centre in the 35-1 20 keV region. While
work is in progress to analyse in more
detail the data which were taken on
March 24, 1990, we are already in a 0.5 -
position to say that at such high energy
the region is dominated by emission 0. -
from 1 E 1740.7-2942, an unidentified


Einstein source.
The SlGMA observations will yield re-
sults both on known X-ray sources, ex-
tending our knowledge of their spec-
trum, and on a wealth of new sources,
galactic and extragalactic.
On the basis of what is currently
known of the high energy emission from
AGN's and their Log N-Log S, it is pos-
sible to predict the final yield of the
SlGMA mission as several tens of new
AGN's seen in the hundred of keV ener-
gy range.
In addition, the mission will study a
5-2.0 -1.5 -1.0 -0.5 0.0

0.5 1.0 1.5 2.0

great number of y-ray bursts Occurring Figure 2: First image (4 h exposure onlyl of the Crab (120-300 keV). The source is seen at very
during its operating lifetime, and few of high confidence level and is positioned with a 2' accuracy.

tion to present its exhibition at the
Council of Europe in Strasbourg,
France, from September 26 to October
12th European Regional Astronomy Meeting of
12. During this period, both the Council the IAU
of Europe and the European Parliament
The preparations for this meeting (see the announcement in Messenger59,
will meet in this impressive building,
p. 25) are proceeding well and the organizers expect a large influx of Euro-
situated in a park area near the centre of
pean astronomers from all geographical areas of the continent. The meeting
the Alsatian capital. This exhibition will
will start in Davos Kongresszentrum (Switzerland) in the early afternoon of
not be open to the public, but it is ex-
Monday, October 8, 1990 and end around noon on Thursday, October 11, in
pected that it will be visited by about
order to facilitate travel on these days.
4000 delegates, media representatives
All prospective participants who have not already done so, are urged to
and staff.
contact soonest the Chairman of the Local Organizing Committee at the
Next, ESO will show its face in the
following address:
second-largest city of Portugal, Porto.
Professor Dr. U.W. Steinlin
The exhibition opens late September in
Astronomisches lnstitut der Universitat Basel
the old steel-and-glass market hall
Venusstrasse 7
which has recently been transformed
CH-4102 Binningen
into a perfect exhibition site. ESO's
presence in Portugal is particularly time-
ly in view of the current efforts to estab-
lish closer contacts between Portu-
guese astronomy and ESO. In mid- Correspondence concerning the scientific organization should be directed
November, the exhibition will move on to the Chairman of the Scientific Organizing Committee:
to the capital, Lisboa, where it is ex- Professor Dr. L. Woltjer
pected to stay until the end of the cur- Observatoire de Haute-Provence
rent year. Further information may be F-04870 St-Michel I'observatoire
obtained from Prof. Teresa Lago, Grupo France
de Matematica Aplicada, Faculdade de Calendar:
Ciencias, Universidade do Porto, Rue July 15 Registration form to Dr. Steinlin
das Taipas 135, P-4000 Porto. Hotel reservation to Davos Tourist Office
Future exhibition sites include cities in Aug. 15 Abstracts of papers to Dr. Woltjer
Austria, Norway and Spain, as well as in Fees must be paid to meeting account
South America; announcements of Sept. 15 Third Circular with Final Programme
dates and sites will be made in the next Oct. 8 Meeting opens in Davos: abstract book available
issues of the Messenger,

New Videos from ESO European Group of Astronomical

Three new video films have recently Librarians (EGAL)
become available from ESO:
"Window to the Universe": A film In July 1988 IAU Colloquium 110, en- description of each library. The main aim
about ESO made by the BBC. titled "Library and lnformation Services is to foster informal cooperation and
24 min. Available in English, French, in Astronomy" was held in Washington communication between librarians in all
German and Italian. D. C. This was attended by 120 people European countries, with a special em-
"The First N l T Images": A presenta- from 26 different countries, including phasis on strengthening and improving
tion of the first images from the NlT, several European librarians, most of links with our Eastern European col-
obtained during the commissioning whom met each other for the first time. leagues. The possibility of also acting as
phase; made by the ESO lnformation Inspired by the stimulating talks and dis- a pressure group, for instance when
Service. 9 min. Only available in En- cussions, and the desire to transmit the problems with publishers or suppliers
glish. "spirit of Washington" to other col- occur, is not excluded.
"The NTT Inauguration": A summary leagues who were not able to attend, Initially about 70 librarians were con-
of the main events and speeches the idea of EGAL was born during the tacted and replies were received from
during the inauguration of the NTT' on closing stages of the meeting. about 40. The first EGAL Bulletin, No. 0,
Frebruary 6, 1990, in Garching and at On our return Suzanne Laloe (Institut a trial number, was mailed in May 1989
La Silla. 24 min. Only available in En- d'Astrophysique, Paris) and myself dis- to all the librarians on our original mail-
glish. tributed a report of the meeting together ing list. This brought in some more re-
The videos are available on VHS, S- with a letter proposing the formation of plies and we compiled the first version
VHS, MI1 and Betacam on two an informal group of European librarians of the Directory. This was distributed,
cassettes; one with "Window to the Uni- working in astronomical observatories together with EGAL Bulletin No. 1, in
verse", while "First Images" and "NTT and institutes. The response was en- October 1989, again to all the persons
Inauguration" are on a common cas- couraging and we decided to go ahead on our original list. It is hoped that EGAL
sette. The price per cassette is 70.- DM. with our basic idea of distributing a Bulletin will become a forum for news,
Orders should be placed with the ESO newsletter 2 or 3 times a year and pub- opinions, descriptions of libraries and
lnformation Service (address on last lishing a directory of names and ad- routines, queries for help and informa-
page). Please note that the delivery time dresses, telephone, telex, telefax num- tion. Many observatory and institute li-
will be about 4 weeks. bers and e-mail addresses, plus a brief braries are relatively small and isolated.
Often there is only one person in charge
of the library, and their feeling of isola-
tion can perhaps be alleviated by the
knowledge that there are several other The 4th ESO-CERN Symposium on
people in a similar situation whom one
can contact by telephone or computer. "Cosmology, Astronomy and Fundamental
It must be stressed that the success of Physics"
EGAL will depend on the willingness of
the participating librarians to involve and the 15th Texas Symposium on
themselves actively via the Bulletin, by "Relativistic Astrophysics"
supplying items of news and information
which could be of interest to other mem- will be combined into a joint TexasIESO-CERN Symposium to be held at the
bers. Conference Centre in Brighton (U. K.), 16-21 December 1990.
The first two numbers of the Bulletin The Scientific Organizing Committee (co-chaired by M. J. Rees and G. Setti)
were produced and distributed with the has outlined the following programme:
help of the Max Planck Institute for As-
trophysics, Garching. We are extremely Morning plenary lectures on:
grateful to ESO for its kind support in Early Universe; Quantum Cosmology, High-Energy Physics -
taking over the production and mailing results; Nucleosynthesis; Galaxy Formation and High-z Objects; Large-
from No. 2, March 1990 onwards. Scale Structure; Dark Matter; X-ray and y-ray Astronomy; Pulsars; Gravi-
We apologize to any librarian reading tational Lensing; Background Radiation; Solar Oscillations; Neutrinos
this who was not contacted and did not and Underground Physics; Gravitation Theory.
know about EGAL. Some names were Afternoon mini-symposia on:
deleted from our original mailing list be- -
Astrophysics of Neutron Stars and Black Holes (Organizer R. D. Bland-
cause of failure to respond, but we will ford)
welcome any librarian who is willing to Underground Physics (Co-organizers - B. Sadoulet and P. F. Smith)
cooperate and share hislher experience Large-Scale Structure and Galaxy Formation (Organizer - G. Efstathiou)
and problems. There is no charge; so far
we only exist through the medium of the The registration fee will be f 75 (f 25 for students). A first circular with a
Bulletin and the Directory. Sometime in registration form has been circulated to institutes on the ESO mailing list.
the future it may be possible to organize Information may be obtained from:
some kind of meeting, but there are no
firm plans as yet. Any European as- Professor L. Mestel
tronomical librarian who is not yet a Chairman, Local Organizing Committee
member of EGAL and would like to be- TexasIESO-CERN Symposium
come one is invited to contact me at the Astronomy Centre
address given below. Division of Physics and Astronomy
A. FISHBURN University of Sussex
Astrobibliothek, MPI Astrophysik Falmer, Brighton BNl 9QH
Karl-Schwarzschild-Str. 1 ENGLAND
0-8046 Garching bei Miinchen

The New Look of the ESO Headquarters

Do you see something special on this photo? Yes, indeed, now the ESO Headquarters in Garching has a new fifth floor!
Photo made on a beautiful Bavarian spring day by ESO photographer H.-H. Heyer on Kodak High-Speed Infrared Film
through an orange filter (fl8.5, 11250 sec).
IAU WG on Photogra-
phy To Meet at ESO Vacancies
The IAU Working Group on Photogra- Education: University degree in Astronomy or Physics, preferably a doctorate.
phy (of IAU Commission 9) will meet at Experience and knowledge: A solid background in observational infrared
the ESO Headquarters on October 29 astronomy and a good working knowledge of infrared instrumentation.
and 30, 1990. Very good knowledge of English and a working knowledge of Spanish.
The topics will include: manufacture Assignment: As an international staff member in the La Silla Astronomy Department,
and behaviour of astronomical emul- the successful applicant will be expected to spend about half of his/her time doing
original research and half doing support duties. The support duties include being Head
sions, photographic techniques (sen-
of the IR Operations Group, introducing visiting astronomers to the use of IR instrumen-
sitometry, hypersensitization, calibra-
tation, and supervising the programmes of IR service observing. As Head of the IR
tion, conservation), applications (mea- Operations Group, he/she will supervise changeover routines of instrumentation,
surements and reduction, numerical maintenance of instruments and detectors, development programmes in hardware and
techniques) and photography1CCD in- software, and, in general, will be responsible for monitoring the quality of the IR facilities
teraction. Although CCDs have taken offered by the Observatory.
over in many areas, photography is still Facilities: The observing facilities on La Silla comprise 14 telescopes including the
of great importance for certain as- SEST 15-m submillimetre antenna and the new 3.5-m NTT. Infrared facilities are
tronomical applications at many obser- available at 4 telescopes and include IR photometers, an intermediate-dispersion
vatories, in particular in large-field sur- spectrograph (IRSPEC), and an imaging array camera (IRAC).
The research computing facilities on La Silla comprise a HP 1000 system with full
vey-type work. image-processing capabilities (IHAP), a VAX 11/750 and several SUN workstations for
The scientific programme is being es- image processing (MIDAS).
tablished by J.-L. Heudier and J. General information: Close to 20 astronomers, including staff members, fellows and
Schumann; they can be reached at Ob- students, work on La Silla. The research projects currently pursued by the astronomical
servatoire de la CBte dlAzur, B. P. 139, staff at La Silla include low mass star formation (Herbig-Haro objects, molecular
F-06003 Nice Cedex, France (EARN- outflows, jets), OH/IR stars, symbiotic stars and proto-planetary nebulae, coronal
email: WGAP@FRON151). The local activity in late-type stars, supernovae, chemistry of molecular clouds, formation of
arrangements are made by the ESO In- massive stars and starburst activitiy, dynamics of galaxies, active nuclei, QSOs and
gravitational lensing, and observational cosmology.
formation Service (address on the last
Duty station: Astronomical Observatory, La Silla (600 km north of Santiago, Chile).
page). Starting date: As soon as possible.
Applications should be submitted to ESO Personnel Services at ESO-Garching
before July 31, 1990.

STOP PRESS (June 6,1990) A position is available at La Silla for a post-doctoral fellow with an interest in
observational astronomy. Experience with IR spectroscopy, or optical photometry will
be an advantage. ESO fellowships are granted for a period of one year, normally
At Last, We Know renewed for a second year and exceptionally renewed for a third and final year.
The successful applicant will be expected to spend not more than 50% of his/her
Where La Silla Is! time in support-related activities and the rest of the time doing scientific research.
Applicants normally should have a doctorate awarded in recent years. Applications
Recent geodetic VLBl observations, should be submitted to ESO not later than July 31, 1990. Applicants will be notified by
the first involving South America, using September 1990. The ESO Fellowship Application Form should be used and be
the SEST telescope on La Silla, have accompanied by a list of publications. In addition, three letters of recommendation
successfully produced an exceedingly should be obtained from persons familiar with the scientific work of the applicant.
accurate position for the La Silla tele- These letters should reach ESO not later than July 31, 1990.
scope. The observations performed by Enquiries, requests for application forms and applications should be addressed to:
the Onsala/SEST group in collaboration European Southern Observatory
with the NASA Crustal Dynamics project Fellowship Programme
using SEST in VLBl mode with tele- Karl-Schwarzschild-StraOe 2
D-8046 GARCHING b. Munchen
scopes at Westford, Mass., Mojavi,
Federal Republic of Germany
Calif., and Onsala, Sweden, give a posi-
tion solution for SEST as:
X = 1,838,239.55 m
Y = -5,258,700.06 m
Z = -3,100,588.47 m
New ESO Preprints
in a geocentric coordinate system de- (March-May 1990) 699. E. Gosset and J.-M. Vreux: On the Pos-
fined by the major VLBl telescopes. The sible Biperiodicity of WR 40. Astronomy
distances between these telescopes Scientific Preprints and Astrophysics.
have been determined with formal un- 697. L. Greggio and A. Renzini: Clues on the 700. L. Pasquini, E. Brocato and R. Pallavi-
certainties, depending on the baseline Hot Star Content and the UV Output of cini: Chromospheric Activity of Evolved
length, between 6 and 23 mm, e.g. the Elliptical Galaxies. The Astrophysical Late-type Stars.
distance from the Onsala 20-m tele- Journal. 701. S. Cristiani et al.: Observations of Vari-
698. Ph. Prugniel and F. Combes: Dynamical able Quasar Candidates. Monthly
scope to SEST is:
Friction in Pairs of Elliptical Galaxies. Notices of the Royal Astronomical So-
10,459,732,492.4 mm (+ 23.1 mm). Ph. Prugniel and E. Davoust: Tidal Dis- ciety.
Note that this is only a first result and tortions in Pairs of Early-type Galaxies. 702. A.V. Sweigart, L. Greggio and A. Ren-
further processing, involving the full ob- Contributions to IAU Colloquium 124 zini: The Development of the Red-Giant
serving network of 8 telescopes, is in "Paired and Interacting Galaxies", Tus- Branch: II. Astrophysical Properties.
progress. R. BOOTH, Onsala caloosa, December 4-7, 1989. The Astrophysical Journal.
703. E. Gosset et al.: Analysis of the Light Factors Affecting On-Axis Operation. Pa- Astronomical Images with Adaptive Op-
Variations of the Wolf-Rayet Star per presented at the SPlE Conference tics. To be published in the SPlE Pro-
WR 16. Astronomy and Astrophysics 1236 on "Advanced Technology Optical ceedings No. 1236.
Suppl. Ser. Telescopes IV" on February 12-16 in 20. P. Kern et al.: Adaptive Optics Prototype
704. M. Morris and Bo Reipurth: The Optical Tucson AZ, USA. System for Infrared Astronomy. I: Sys-
Form of the Bipolar Preplanetary Nebu- 16. J. M. Beckers: The VLT Interferometer. tem Description. To be published in the
la IRAS 09371 +1212. Publ. Astron. Ill. Factors Affecting Wide Field-of-View Spie Proceedings No. 1271.
SOC.Pacific. Operation. Paper presented at the SPlE 21. F. Merkle et al.: Adaptive Optics Proto-
Conference 1236 on "Advanced Tech- type System for IR Astronomy. II: First
nology Optical Telescopes IV" on Febru- Observing Results. To be published in
ary 12-16 in Tucson AZ, USA. the SPlE Proceedings No. 1271.
Technical Preprints 17. J. M. Beckers: The VLT Interferometer. 22. P. Dierickx et al.: ESO VLT II: Optical
13. A.F.M. Moorwood and B. Delabre: In- IV. The Utility of Partial Adaptive Optics. Specifications and Performance of Large
frared Spectrometer/lmager for the ESO Paper presented at the SPlE Conference Optics. To be published in SPlE Pro-
VLT. To appear in Proceedings of SPlE 1236 on "Advanced Technology Optical ceedings No. 1237.
Conference 1235 "Instrumentation in As- Telescopes IV" on February 12-1 6,1990 23. P. Dierickx et al.: The 8.2 Metre Primary
tronomy VII". in Tucson AZ, USA. Mirrors of the VLT. To be published in the
14. J.M. Beckers et al.: The VLT Inter- 18. M. Faucherre et al.: Michelson Versus SPlE Proceedings No. 1271.
ferometer. I. Proposed Implementation. Fizeau Type Beam Combination: Is 24. R.N. Wilson, F. Franza and L. Noethe:
Paper presented at the SPlE Conference There a Difference? To be published in Active Optics IV: Set-up and Perfor-
1236 on "Advanced Technology Optical the SPlE Proceedings vol. 1237 on "Am- mance of the Optics of the ESO New
Telescopes IV" on February 12-1 6,1990 plitude and Intensity Spatial Interferome- Technology Telescope ( N T ) in the Ob-
in Tucson AZ, USA. try", ed. J. B. Breckinridge. servatory. Submitted for publication in
15. J. M. Beckers: The VLT Interferometer. II. 19. F. Merkle et al.: First Diffraction-Limited Journal of Modern Optics.

STAFF MOVEMENTS Professor J. H. Oort at 90

BALLESTER, Pascal (F), Science
Applications Programmer
BERGER, Christian (D), Student
BRYNNEL, Joar (S), Electronics
COMIN, Mauro (I), System Programmer
GEHRING, Georg (D), Student
GOUIFFES, Christian (F), Fellow
GROESSL, Martin (A), VLT Project
HES, Roland (NL), Student
HILL, Susan (GB), Archive Operator
HUBIN, Norbert (F), Optical Engineer
KOCH, Franz (D), Structural Analysis
NIEUWENKAMP, Christine (NL),
Adm. Asst. Purchasing
PIOlTO, Giampaolo (I), Associate
ZEILINGER, Werner (A), Fellow

DELLA VALLE, Massimo (I), Fellow
EKMAN, Sture (S), Electro-Mechanical
WILD, Wolfgang (D), Fellow (SEST)

Jan Hendrik Oort, one of the founding fathers of ESO, celebrated his 90th birthday
GOSSET, Eric (B), Fellow on April 28, 1990. He was the President of the ESO Council from 1964 to 1965 and
POSTEMA, Hans (NL), Mechanical
some of his many services to ESO and the world-wide astronomical community
Design Engineer
WENDORFF, Charles (DK), Associate have been outlined in the articles by Adriaan Blaauw in the recent Messenger issues.
WOLTJER, Lodewijk (NL), Associate Professor Oort continues to take an interest in ESO affairs and was delighted to
see the first results from the New Technology Telescope.
Chile: The photo shows Professor Oort flanked by Professors Blaauw (right) and Woltjer
BAUDET, Loic (F), Optical Technician (left) and Professor van der Laan at the reception held in Leiden in honour of the
GOUIFFES, Christian (F), Associate famous Dutch astronomer on this festive occasion (Photo: Loek Zuyderduin).
ESO'S EARLY HISTORY, 1953 1 975 -
VII. The Late 1960's: Structural Changes, First Scientific Activities and Some Soul-
Searching; the Journal A & A*
A. BLAAUW, Kapteyn Laboratory, Groningen, the Netherlands
"La construction et I'installation du grand telescope - - - sont I'objet de serieuses preoccupations
de la part de la delegation - - -".
From a letter of the French Council delegates to the President of Council, June 15, 1969.

Introduction per January 1, 1968; and Blaauw Scien- Recommendations Concerning the Ex-
tific Director on 50% time basis per ploitation of the Observatory" [I]. As it
The late 1960's were years of tran- reflected what at that time was ex-
February 1, 1968.
sition. With the dedication of La Silla in pected from ESO, let me mention some
The new set-up functioned till Heck-
March 1969, ESO's first phase of con-
mann's retirement as Director General of its contents.
structions had been concluded. Realiza- It started by saying that "Whereas the
at which moment he was succeeded by
tion of the Schmidt and the 3.6-m tele- role of the observatory as an astronomi-
the author. Ramberg continued as
scopes would be the main goals for the Technical Director (he would retire per cal institute in its own right - - - should
next years, besides the Observatory's be of great importance, the facilities of
December 31, 1971). The post of Scien-
taking up its functions as a research the observatory should particularly be
tific Director was suppressed per Janu-
institute. The transition was accom- available to serve the national interests
ary 1, 1970. Heckmann continued for a
panied by a change in the structure of of the member states." To this end,
limited period as consultant in connec-
the management of the Organization
tion with the work on the Schmidt and there should be a staff of permanent and
and by the creation of a Scientific Pro- semi-permanent members - to be en-
3.6-m telescopes. Some other major
grammes Committee. While the latter, gaged at the ESO establishments - and
appointments made about this time,
as one of its assignments, reflected on, the facilities should be frequently used
connected with instrumental develop-
and suggested, directives for ESO's by visiting astronomers from the ESO
ments and administrative affairs will be
long-range development beyond the Ini- countries. Besides the research by indi-
mentioned later.
tial Programme of the Convention, the vidual staff members and visiting as-
Meanwhile, Bengt E. Westerlund had
Organization also underwent some tronomers, the observatory might con-
per June 1, 1969 taken up the position
thorough - and sobering - soul-search- duct "general programmes - - - to pro-
of Director for Chile (based on Council's
ing. These developments, together with vide documents of fundamental signifi-
decision of June 1968) after having been
a brief account on the first scientific
associated with Steward Observatory in cance but not necessarily requiring im-
activities and the role ESO played in the mediate analysis, such as, for instance,
Tucson, Arizona, bringing to ESO his
creation of the journal Astronomy and a sky-atlas, astrolabe programmes, sys-
thorough acquaintance with the South-
Astrophysics will be dealt with in the tematic observations in Selected Areas,
ern Sky gathered during earlier associa-
present article. etc. " and these "are the responsibility of
tion with Mount Stromlo Observatory in
Australia. Andre Muller, after almost six the Council who, upon the recommen-
Changes in the Directorate vears of buildinq u~ ESO in Chile, re- dation of the Scientific Programmes
turned to ~urop-ewhere he joined the Committee, may charge a staff member
At the November 1966 Council meet-
Office of the Director in Bergedorf per or, possibly, another astronomer with
ing, Otto Heckmann reminded Council
October 15, 1969 for the new task of the supervision of such a programme. "
members that it was the present
organizing the rapidly growing Visiting "Semi-permanent staff members
management's task "-- - to construct - - - normally employed for about 3
Astronomers Programme. As we have
the Observatory, not to work scientifi-
seen in article IV, observational activity years in Chile - - - should be well
cally - - -", and that his appointment as
on La Silla had started at the end of acquainted with the instruments and are
Director per November 1, 1962 had
1966 with the 1-m telescope. It now to be charged with the instruction of the
been for a term of five years, thus end-
grew rapidly. visiting astronomers in order to ensure
ing per November 1967; a decision
efficient use of the observatory's
would soon have to be taken on his
facilities. - - - they [also] may be
future role. The Council meeting of June Earliest Scientific Activities and
charged with the responsibility for the
1967 ensured Heckmann's continued the Creation of the SPC
execution of the "general programmes".
supervision of construction activities by - - - At any time, there should be pre-
About one year after the ratification of
extending his appointment till the end of
the ESO Convention, in its December sent in Chile and at the disposal of the
1969, and responsibility for the develop-
1964 meeting, Council appointed a Director, for each major ESO telescope
ment of scientific activity was assigned
small advisory committee for preparing a permanent or a semi-permanent staff
to myself in part-time association with
a discussion on the way the Observato- member well acquainted with that tele-
the ESO Directorate. These moves were
ry should operate: on the size and role of scope. " With regard to semi-permanent
formalized by Council decisions of De-
permanent and semi-permanent staff, staff the document stated that "in order
cember 1967 at which also Ramberg's
that of visiting astronomers, the alloca- that ESO may attract qualified as-
position was redefined: Heckmann be-
tion of observing time, etc. The group, tronomers - - - it is necessary that they
came Director General until December
consisting of A. Blaauw (Chairman), possess the guarantee of continuation
31, 1969; Ramberg Technical Director
E. Gever. A. van Hoof, P. Lacroute and of their positions in the home countries
B. ~indblad, met at Bergedorf on upon their return from Chile - - - con-
* Previous articles in this series appeared in the May 6, 1965 and submitted to Council tinuation of pension rights and - - - so-
Messenger NOS. 54 to 59. a document "Considerations and cial security benefits. It is of great im-
By way of introduction to our description of the early observational activities on La Silla, we show the Observatory under the southern sky, as
seen by the Chilean artist Nemesio Anthunesz. The painting was made at the request of the Swedish Natural Science Research Council - ESO
being one of the many projects this Council supports - and it decorates this Council's Wenner-GrenCentre Headquarters in Stockholm. In 1970,
when he made the painting, Anthunesz was Director of the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes in Santiago.
In the artist's impression we recognize the general layout of the Observatoryas seen from the south, with the Schmidt-Telescopebuilding in the
foreground and the cluster of intermediate-size telescope domes - and even the ENTEL Communications System relay mast - farther down.
(Compare the photograph on page 31 of the previous article.) We also recognize, to the left above the Observatory, the conspicuous
constellation of the Southern Cross with, starting from its extreme lower right star Alpha Crucis, in clock-wise order the stars Beta, Gamma,
Delta and Epsilon Crucis. Naturally, as it is located at declination -604 in reality the Southern Cross can be seen from La Silla only in southerly
direction - but never mind. . .
The author is indebted to Dr. M. 0 . Ottosson, Council member for Sweden, who kindly made the photograph of the painting available for the

portance that the respective govern- In several respects, the arrangements sisting of A. Blaauw, R. Cayrel and 0.
ments of the member states adopt a suggested were modified in actual prac- Heckmann) for making a more definite
cooperative attitude towards this tice. Not Council, but the ESO Director proposal for the task and constitution of
problem. " would be in charge of the execution of the proposed Scientific Programmes
Visiting astronomers were supposed general programmes; short stays of vis- Committee. The low priority which these
to stay in Chile for periods of two iting astronomers became the rule matters still had at that time is reflected
months to one year. The advisory group rather than the exception; applications by the fact that only in October 1966 the
also proposed that Council establish were not first scrutinized by national group formulated its advice [2] for sub-
two kinds of fellowships: those for commitees; special fellowships for dis- mission to the December 1966 Council
young students, and those for distin- tinguished astronomers would not be in meeting. This led to some revisions of
guished scientists invited to do research order during the first decade; and June 1967 [3], following the Council
at an ESO establishment. For the alloca- guarantee for semi-permanent staff's meeting earlier that month. At that meet-
tion of observing time the advisory com- continuation of their employment in the ing, Council decided to establish a Sci-
mittee suggested that applications by home country has seldom been granted. entific Programmes Committee, to be
visiting astronomers were to be submit- selected and appointed at the next
ted first to national committees to be Council meeting. Meanwhile, the advi-
created for this purpose, who then sory group dealt with the allocations for
The Scientific Programmes Com-
would pass on the applications with the 1-m telescope. The December 1967
mittee (SPC)
their advice to a Scientific Programmes Council meeting then appointed the
Committee - SPC -to be created by the In its meeting of June 1965, Council SPC with B. Stromgren (Denmark) as
Council. Proposals were added for the agreed with the suggestions of the ad- Chairman, and the members J. Delhaye
constitution and the task description of visory committee, and in December (France), E. Holmberg (Sweden), P.
this SPC. 1965 it appointed a working group (con- Swings (Belgium), G. Traving (Germany),
member in Chile from May 1968, after November 1966 (which also gave two
having been employed by ESO in useful tables with the optical properties
Marseilles from January 1968 for work of the first ESO telescopes and spectro-
on the RV Cass spectrograph. L. Prevot graphs). For those who attended it is of
of Marseilles Observatory had been en- interest to recall the quite unusual
gaged in the GPO programme in South weather conditions prevailing at the
Africa, as described in article II. In 1969 start of the Colloquium: a sudden, heavy
Cassegrain and Coude spectrographic glazed frost causing breakdown of pow-
work was carried out in alternation. As er lines and telephone connections, and
reported earlier, the 61-cm Bochum and thus for a while isolation of Roden Ob-
the 50-cm Danish telescopes came in servatory and unheated lodging for
regular operation in the course of 1969; some of the participants. . .
for their programmes I refer to the lists in A spectroscopic counterpart to the
the ESO Annual Reports. Roden Colloquium was the ESO Collo-
By the end of 1969, the astronomical quium on Spectroscopy, held at Nice
staff in Chile consisted of the members Observatory on June 3-5, 1969. We are
mentioned already: Westerlund, Dossin, not aware of a comprehensive report;
Schuster and Maurice, to whom had contributions were published separate-
been added in the course of 1969 A. ly, for instance one by A. B. Underhill on
Ardeberg of Lund, from May 15, 1969, Early-Type Stars in ESO Bulletin No. 8,
and J. J. Rickard, formerly of the Califor- June 1971.
The Grand Prism Objectif (GPO) nia Institute of Technology, from Octo-
After having served in South Africa in the ber 1, 1969.
context of site testing, the GPO was installed The Allocation of Observing Time
on La Silla where it resumed its work in the
For allocating the observing time for
middle of 1968. The optical principle accord- The First Cooperants
ing to which the instrument operates has 1968, the ESO Directorate called a
been described in article IV. The photograph An interesting addition to the staff in meeting of the applicants, in its office,
shows the twin tubes of which the instrument Chile were French "cooperants". By on November 23, 1967 [7]. lnvitees were
consists: the left one carrying in front the agreement with the French Ministry of A. Ardeberg (Lund), A. Behr (Gottingen),
specially designed obiective prism, the right Foreign Affairs, in the context of French M. de Vries (Roden), E. Geyer (Bonn)
one serving for precise guiding during ob- service to underdeveloped countries und U. Haug (Tubingen). The meeting
serving. Once installed at La Silla the GPO (specifically for Chile), young French- acquainted the Directorate with the re-
continued its work on the Magellanic Clouds,
men, preferably astronomy students, search interests in the member states,
but now under much better atmospheric con-
were allowed to substitute their military and made the applicants mutually
ditions than in South Africa.
From ESO Historical Photographs Archives. service for work on La Silla. For this acquainted with their projects. Such
service they were proposed by ESO to presentation of research proposals in
the Ministry, upon recommendation by the circle of fellow applicants was soon
studied in 1967 early-type stars in the French National Committee for As- abandoned, however, when their
southern clusters and associations and tronomy. The first ones to enjoy this number increased.
carried out a test programme for a new duty were Jacques Colin from Besan- The SPC took over in the course of
infrared photometer, and guest obser- Fon Observatory who arrived in Chile 1968. In July 1968 Council adopted
vers J. Stock and E. Mendoza also used early in 1970, and Jacques Breysacher rules for the allocation in accordance
the telescope [5]. Observations were in- from Nice Observatory, who followed in with a proposal of the SPC [8], the main
terrupted for a short period in the fall of the fall [6]. From then on, each year elements of which were:
1968 when the telescope was moved French cooperants were stationed in - Allocation was to be done for periods
from the provisional to its permanent Chile. Belgian cooperants soon joined of 6 months: March-August and Sep-
dome. them under a similar arrangement, but tember-February; deadline for applica-
The range of programmes broadened the other ESO member states could not tions was six months before the begin-
considerably in 1968 as is apparent be persuaded to interprete military ser- ning of the allocation period; per pro-
from the lists of users given in the ESO vice that scientifically. posal the Directorate should request
Annual Report for that year. Apart from evaluation by at least one member of the
the continuing photometry of Magellanic SPC; final allocation was to be done by
The Roden Colloquium the Directorate at the recommendation
Cloud stars by the Marseilles group, the
on Photometry of February 1966 of the SPC; for proposals of unusually
majority of the observations were de-
voted to objects in the Galaxy. With the
and the Nice Colloquium long duration or heavy financial implica-
on Spectroscopy of June 1969 tion the Directorate should consult with
1.5-m Spectrographic Telescope, in op-
eration since the middle of 1968, after The early photometric activities with the Chairman of the SPC; applicants
photographic tests with a provisional the 1-m telescope had been inspired to were to be informed on the allocations
plateholder, work first concentrated on some degree by ESO's first scientific at least four months before the begin-
spectroscopy with the Chilicass colloquium, held under the title "ESO ning of the allocation period; but for all
Cassegrain spectrograph in which again Colloquium on Photometry" at the Kap- this, "-- - rules to be handled with flex-
work on the Magellanic Clouds domi- teyn Observatory at Roden from 9 to 11 ibility - - -",
nated; it was performed by Dossin, February 1966. About 70 astronomers
Maurice and Prevot. Fr. Dossin, from from the member states and some
Liege, had been associated with the
The SPC and the Future: More
specialists from other countries
Telescopes and an ESO Centre?
Office of the Director in Bergedorf since attended, and reviewed the field of
February 1, 1966, but from February photoelectric photometry. An extensive From the outset, Council considered
1968 joined the staff in Chile. E. report on the Colloquium was published the SPC's task as twofold: not only
Maurice, of Marseilles, became a staff by Borgman in ESO Bulletin No. 1 of should it advise the Directorate on the
and Th. Walraven (Netherlands), and
myself as secretary.
The appointment of Stromgren as
Chairman deserves some comment. So
far, his name did not occur in these
articles except for his presence at the
1953 Groningen Symposium mentioned
in article I. Bengt Stromgren, one of the
most outstanding astronomers of our
era, had left Denmark in 1951 after hav-
ing been Director of Copenhagen Ob-
servatory since 1940, to become Direc-
tor of Yerkes and McDonald Obser-
vatories, and was next, since 1957, con-
nected with the Institute for Advanced
Studies at Princeton. He returned to
Copenhagen in 1967 [4]. Having always
entertained a lively interest in ESO's
development, Stromgren now was
the obvious choice for the SPC Chair-
The last meeting of the Scientific Programmes Committee before it split into the Observing
The SPC held its first meeting on May Programmes Committee and the Scientific Policy Committee was held at the Observatory at
2, 1968 at the Bergedorf Office of the Roden near Groningen, on November 23, 1971. On this photograph (post-lunch at the
ESO Directorate. A list of the SPC meet- restaurant), from left to right: Joke Westra (secretary of the Observatory), Eric Holmberg, Andre
ings is given in the accompanying table. Muller, Martien de Vries (Roden Obs.), Bengt Westerlund, Paul Ledoux, Bengt Stromgren, the
(It split by Council decision of June 1971 author, and Jan Borgman.
into the Observing Programmes Com- From ESO Historical Photographs Archives.
mittee and the Scientific Policy Com-
mittee). Already at these first meetings,
in 1968, important items of scientific A variety of programmes had been the photometry of stars in the
policy were taken up apart from the conducted with the I - m Photometric Magellanic Clouds identified by means
evaluation of applications for observing Telescope since its installation late of the GPO during its operation in South
time. However, before considering 1966. Measures of the photometric ex- Africa; this was done by J. P. Brunet of
these, let me first review the scientific tinction on La Silla were, of course, a Marseilles Observatory. Observers from
activities so far. first requirement. A major project was the Kapteyn Laboratory at Groningen

Meetings of the Scientific Programmes COImmittee, the Observing Programmes Committee and the Scientific Policy Committee*


Chairman: 5. Stromgren
No. Date Place
1 1968 May 2 Bergedorf
2 1968 October 17 Bergedorf
3 1969 May 6 Copenhagen
4 1969 November 10 Marseilles
5 1970 April 29 Bonn
6 1970 November I1 Liege
7 1971 March 9 Geneva
8 1971June18 Paris
9 1971 November 23 Roden


Chairman: B. Stromgren
No. Date Place Chairman No. Date Place
10 1972June13 Bergedorf P. Swings 1 1972 April 25 Copenhagen
11 1972 December 15 Heidelberg P. Ledoux 2 1972 October 10 Bergedorf
12 1973May24 Bergedorf P. Ledoux 3 1973 March 28 Paris
13 1973 December 11 Bergedorf P. Ledoux 4 1973 September 14 Copenhagen
14 1974 June 17-18 Bergedori P. Ledoux 5 1973 November 7 Paris .
15 1974 December 2-3 Obs. Haute-Provence P. Ledoux 6 1974June 18 Bergedorf
8' 1974 September 3 Trieste
9 1974 December 4 Bergedorf

* By Council decision of June 9-10, 1971 the Sc. Progr. Comm. split into the Obs. Progr. Comm. and the Sc. Pol. Comm.; membership was appointed in the
Cou meeting of Nov. 3O/Dec. 1, 1971.
' In numbering the meetings of the SPC, the number 7 was erroneously skipped.
May 1967. The ESO photometer for the 1-m telescope, built at Roden The I - m Photometric Telescope
Observatory, is mounted at this telescope by Andre Muller, left, and After having been housed in a provisional dome on La Silla since the
Martien de Vries of Roden Observatory. The 1-m telescope, the first end of 1966, the telescope resumed its work in the permanent dome
one in regular operation on La Silla, at that time was still housed in its in the fall of 1968. It is shown here after the move, equipped with the
provisional dome and had earlier been used with a simpler, borrowed ESO Photometer and with Jan Doornenbal, ESO's Chief mechanic in
photometer. the background. During the first years, the telescope was mainly
Photograph from a slide by the author. used for the study of stars in the Magellanic Clouds detected by
means of the GPO, and for individual stars, star clusters and stellar
associations in our Galaxy.
From ESO Historical Photographs Archives.

allocation of telescope time, it also submitted these to Council in letters of shouldn't ESO take advantage of, and
might suggest long-range research pro- the SPC chairman of November 15 and possibly support financially, capabilities
jects and extensions of ESO's observing 20, 1968, for discussion in the Council for such work at institutes in the ESO
facilities [9] beyond the "Initial Pro- meeting of December 3 and 4 [ I l l . We countries?
gramme" of the Convention. review here these proposals and the Stromgren's letter of November 15,
In their second meeting, on October reactions in Council. 1968, presented proposals for new,
17, 1968, the SPC took up the thread of Stromgren's letter of November 20, powerful telescopes; these had been
early Council deliberations of November discussed first by Council in the De- supported meanwhile by the Instrumen-
1966, in which Council had touched on cember 1968 meeting, emphasized that tation Committee on November 5 and 6
the broadening of the ESO member- the Headquarters in Santiago should be and concerned:
ship, on extension of its instrumenta- well equipped with measuring facilities - a photometric telescope, intermedi-
tion, and on the possible creation, for visiting astronomers and resident ate in size between the 1-m and 3.6-m
somewhere in Europe, of an ESO Centre staff, especially for the evaluation of telescopes, for instance with an aper-
for the development of measuring in- photographic plates, but that such ture of 2.0-2.5 m.
struments and for promoting scientific equipment should be developed prefer- - a Schmidt telescope considerably
contacts between astronomers of the ably at an ESO Centre in Europe, in larger than the ESO Schmidt at that time
member states. Reference was also collaboration with both institutes in the under construction, for instance one
made to the promotion of Laboratory member states and commercial firms, with aperture 2 m and focal length about
Astrophysics, a new branch of as- and this Centre should then also be- 6 m.
trophysics that rapidly gained attention come a place for evaluation of observa- - an astrometric telescope comparable
in the mid-1960's [lo]. The SPC now tional data and a scientific meeting to the one recently acquired by the US
formulated more precise proposals and ground. As to Laboratory Astrophysics, Naval Observatory.
The 1.52-m Telescope equipped with the Cassegrain "Chilicass" The 1.52-m Telescope, although designed primarily for spectros-
spectrograph, borrowed from Marseilles Observatory. In the copic observations, was also sometimes used for direct photogra-
background, right, ESO's Chief-mechanicJan Doornenbal talking to phy, especially in the early stage of optical tests. It is shown here
an (yet) unidentified person. In the early years, most of the observing equipped with the Zeiss camera.
time with the spectrograph was devoted to the determination of From ESO Historical Photographs Archives,
radial velocities and spectral types of stars in the Magellanic Clouds
that had been detected by means of the GPO observations in South
From ESO Historical Photographs Archives.

The Proposed New Telescopes limiting magnitudes in work with the - Big Schmidt telescope
For the photometric telescope the let- ESO 3.6-m reflector - - - sufficiently far .
of 2 m aperture . . . . $ 6,240,000.-
ter mentioned current research prob- for the ESO I - m Schmidt Telescope to - Astrometric telescope
lems including: "Wholesale photometry become inadequate as a companion in- .
of 1.5 m aperture . . $ 3,200,000.-
in the Magellanic Clouds of stars down strument for survey work. ---" Re- all of these including the building and
the main sequence; photometry of faint search problems considered by the SPC dome.
variable stars like those of the Groning- included general survey work on faint The total amounted to .
en-Palomar Survey; photometry in vari- galaxies demanded by the expected For comparison: the total estimate of
ous globular clusters and in the direc- flow of discoveries of radio sources, and the 3.6-m telescope project as it occurs
tions of the galactic center and central many research programmes on galactic in an estimate of late 1969 compiled by
bulge. - - - It would be unfortunate if structure. "--- what members of the Ramberg (to which we shall refer later)
work on problems of the type mentioned SPC had in mind in considering the amounted t o . . . .. $10,700,000.-.
should have to be postponed until the possibilities of a big Schmidt Telescope In the discussions at the December
time when the 3.6-m telescope is avail- was an aperture of approximately 2 m 1968 and later Council meetings, the
able. - - - it would certainly be desir- and a focal length of about 6 m. " proposition of an ESO Centre in Europe
able to work on the problems just men- The proposed astrometric telescope for development of instrumentation and
tioned with an intermediate-size tele- was to aim at trigonometric parallaxes for the promotion of Laboratory As-
scope - - - with an aperture of 2-2.5 m down to magnitudes 17 or 18, and at trophysics struck a responsive chord
--- the SPC favors the Cassegrain proper motions of high accuracy for the because the wish for such a centre had
type reflector with Ritchey-Chretien op- study of space motions out to distances been expressed earlier in Council. We
tics, with an effective aperture ratio of at least 500 parsec. shall later come back t o this.
around 1 :8. - - -" Highest priority was to be given to the The proposals for additional tele-
With regard to the Big Schmidt Tele- photometric telescope, and to studies scopes were discussed at some length
scope (the name used in Stromgren's for the design of the Big Schmidt. by Council in its meeting of December
letter) it stated: "- - - it can be foreseen The above proposals were accom- 1968. Soon after this, however, Council
that the development of image amplifi- panied by the following cost estimates lost interest, for it became more and
cation as well as photoelectric spectrum drawn up by Ramberg. more clear that the ESO Directorate
scanning with large numbers of - Photometric telescope would have their hands full with the
channels, will make it possible to push of 2-2.5 m . . . . . . . . $ 3,020,000.- realization of the 3.6-m Telescope. Even
la Convention n'autorise I'introduction
de ces instruments - - -. La Convention
n'interdit cependant pas I'introduction
de ces instruments - - -. I1 peut
notamment 8tre fait appel a cette fin a la
notion de "programme supplemen-
taire - - -".
The Working Group (referring to itself
as Working Group for reviewing Pro-
gramme, Administration Procedures
and Staff Problems of the ESO Organi-
zation) met on September 11, 1969 at
CERN, Geneva [13]. The choice of this
location had undoubtedly to do with the
fact that Funke and Alline both were
members of the CERN Council. But in a
way it also was symbolic: in his com-
ments on the ESO Administration Alline
had on several occasions referred to
CERN procedures as an example. In-
vited for the meeting were also, for the
ESO Directorate, Heckmann, Ramberg
and the Manager Bloemkolk.
Main basis for the discussions was,
The Coude spectrograph
For observations requiring high spectroscopic resolution the 1.52-m telescope is used in
after the definition of the Working
combination with the Coude spectrograph of which the upperpart is shown in this photograph. Group's task, an extensive document
It is mounted in fixed position below the observing floor of the telescope; the star light prepared by the French delegation:
collected by the telescope is directed into the spectrograph by means of a set of mirrors of "Memorandum destine a la discussion
which the position adjusts itself during the motion of the telescope in such a way that the beam entre MM. Funke, Scheidemann et
enters the instrument in constant direction. Work with the Coude spectrograph started in the Alline, en vue de la redaction du rapport
middle of 1969 and was concerned mainly with the study of interstellar lines and the demande par le president du Conseil de
determination of the abundances of elements in the atmospheres of the stars. I'ESO lors de la 12eme session de Con-
From ESO Historical Photographs Archives.
seil a Santiago, le 22 mars 1969" [14].
The French Memo dealt successively
with the questions raised earlier:
changes in the "Convention-size" of the
worse: concern about this realization Council discussions it was clear that it telescopes; possible ways to speed up
soon overshadowed the optimistic should scrutinize many aspects of the the work on the 3.6-m telescope; the
views of the SPC about ESO's growth, functioning of the ESO Administration. structure of the ESO Management in
and ESO was to undergo a short but These were to include: a confrontation Europe and Chile and the danger of too
sobering period of soul-searching. We of current activities with the aims as much dispersion in the latter, suggest-
do note, though, that the project of the defined in the Convention, with special ing reduction of the "intermediate" sta-
Danish 1.5-m national telescope, reference to such matters as the nation- tions La Serena and Pelicano between
realized later, would meet to a certain al telescopes and the new proposals by Santiago and La Silla; and the organiza-
extent the desire for the proposed the SPC; the financial implications of tion and presentation of financial and
photometric telescope. such extensions; and certain aspects of personnel matters.
the functioning of the administrative
Soul-Searching in the Late 1960's The Report of the Working Group
In a letter of June 15, 1969 to the
In article VI, when describing develop- President of the Council (Bannier), The report of the Working Group was
ments around the introduction of the Alline, on behalf of the French delega- dealt with by Council at its meeting of
national telescopes, I mentioned the tion, elaborated more specifically, and December 15 and 16, 1969 [15]. The
concern, since late 1968, about the lack critically, on these problems [12]: "--- Group arranged its advice into four sec-
of progress in the completion of the La construction et I'installation du grand tions: The ESO Programme and the
Schmidt and large telescopes. Soon telescope - - - sont I'objet de Convention; Budget Procedures; The
signals of discontent on these and some serieuses preoccupations de la part de 3.6-m Telescope; and Certain Other
other points grew louder and the Coun- la delegation franqaise. - - - La delega- Questions. To the first, the Group ob-
cil Meeting of March 1969 in Santiago tion demande --- que les provisions served that departures from the Con-
appointed a Working Group to advise budgetaires - - - prennent pour objectif vention with regard to specifications of
Council, under the Chairmanship of d'achever dans les meilleurs delais la the instruments so far had been "more
G.W. Funke (former President of the realisation du programme scientifique from the letter than [from] the spirit of
Council), and with the members K.F. defini lors de la signature de la Conven- the Convention" and had not involved
Scheidemann (President of the Finance tion [et] d'effectuer des economies sur any appreciable rise in costs [16]. As to
Committee) and A. Alline. Alline had just les chapitres non directement lies a cet the question, which projects to consider
become the French government dele- objectif - - -. L'installation et le fonc- as belonging to the regular programme,
gate on Council and was the one who tionnement d'instruments nationaux it recognized the occurrence of border-
most strongly voiced feelings of dis- - - - n'est pas sans poser a cet egard line cases and it referred to CERN's
satisfaction. The Working Group's task d'importants et delicats problemes. example of realizing a bubble chamber
was not strictly defined, but from the - - - N i dans son esprit n i dans sa lettre not foreseen originally as part of the
The 61-cm Bochum Telescope, installed in September 1968, and the first of the "national telescopes" on La Silla. Financed by Bochum
University and the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaff, it offered Bochum observers the outstanding observing conditions of La Silla whereas,
for the logistic facilities offered by ESO, ESO observers received 30 % of the observing time. The telescope, manufactured by Boller & Chivens,
was equipped with a photo-electric photometer made at the central workshop of Gottingen University.

regular programme and including in its concerning possible reduction of the the ESO countries could work together
regular programme preliminary work for dispersion of the facilities in Chile, and it and also, in collaboration, new instru-
a storing ring project pertaining to the suggested that Council reconsider its ments could be developed ---". To
Supplementary Programme. salary policy to make staff positions some extent, these wishes would be
The Working Group recommended to more attractive than they had been so satisfied by the TP-Division created ear-
Council "a certain preparation for the far. ly in the 1970's.
continuous expansion", so as to enable Judging from the minutes, the De- With regard to financial and personnel
it to consider carefully whether new pro- cember 1969 Council Meeting took note matters, dissatisfaction among some
jects should be included in the regular of the report without extensive discus- Council delegates stemmed mostly
programme. With regard to national te- sion. The meeting had a crowded agen- from two causes: a lack of stability in the
lescopes, the Group recognized that da because of the succession in the budget requirements, and lack of trans-
they "can become a worthy addition to General Directorate, and this did include parency in the documentation for Fi-
the ESO instruments", yet they "-- - as its principal item important reports nance Committee and Council. The lat-
would normally be allocated to the sup- concerning the 3.6-m Telescope Project ter was not difficult to understand in
plementary programme provision of which we will encounter later. Yet, there view of the fact that the ESO Manage-
- - - the Convention or they would be are several items in the memo and the ment had to set up an organization of
wholly paid by the country concerned Report which have distinctly left their unprecedented nature and size in as-
- - -" unless Council specifically incor- mark on later developments in ESO and tronomy, whereas most of the members
porated them in the regular programme. therefore are worth pointing out here. of Council and FC were accustomed to
With regard to budgetary procedures First of all, this soul-searching had a streamlined procedures in well-estab-
the Group recommended the adoption sobering effect on the over-optimistic lished organizations.
of a procedure similar to that used by suggestions made by the SPC for ex- For improving the situation, as a
CERN (see below). For the 3.6-m tele- tensions of the ESO facilities. However, natural example Council tended to look
scope project the Group recommended Council appeared to remain receptive to atprocedures established at CERN with
the preparation of a comprehensive the idea of the creation of an ESO its ten years longer experience (CERN
status report and a detailed time- and Centre in Europe, where "the most was created in 1952). An important re-
cost schedule. Finally, the Group re- sophisticated equipment for evaluation sult was the introduction, in the early
frained from submitting any proposal should be located, astronomers from 1970's, of the so-called Bannier proce-
The Copenhagen 50-cm Telescope, the second of the "national The ESO 50-cm Telescope shortly after its installation in late 1971.
telescopes", shortly after it had been installed in its permanent dome The telescope is a duplicate of the Copenhagen 50-cm telescope
in the middle of the year 1971. When it arrived on La Silla early in and was, like the latter, manufactured at Copenhagen. It was
1969 it was first mounted in the dome that had served earlier for the acquired by ESO in the context of developments for the control
ESO I-m telescope. The photograph shows it with the Copenhagen system of the 3.6-m Telescope so that these could first be tried out in
4-channel photometer designed for photometry in the so-called actual practice on a small instrument. Initially, as in the above
Stromgren narrow-band system. photograph, it was equipped with a one-channel photometer. Like
the two 50-cm telescopes, their domes also are twins.

dure adopted by CERN for budget plan- tion from the middle of 1970; it will figure (Continued on page 34)
ning; I expect to return to this later when in the list of Council meetings in a later
reviewing financial and personnel de- article. Centrefold
velo~ments.In order to avoid misunder-
standings it should also be recorded Giant clouds of molecules and infrared
and the Creation of the Jour- sources are invariably linked to star-forming
that the Of the Working nal AstronomyandAstrophysics regions.
Group explicitely stated that "-- -
The complex star-forming region NGC
Management [essentially consisting of It seems appropriate to devote in the 3576 is located near the plane of our galaxy,
the Manager J. H. Bloemkolk and his present context a few paragraphs to the at a distance of about 3.6 kpc, ~~~~~i~~~~
staff] has accomplished its work in com- role ESO played in the year 1968 in the with this nebula lies a qiant molecular cloud
mendable fashion - - -" creation of the journal A & A which since of mass - lo5 Mg. A cluster of 5 infrared
then has become one of the leading sources have been reported. Approximately
astronomical journals, and still has an seven early-type (young) stars would be
Creation of Committee administrative link to ESO. Its creation, needed to ionize the entire observed region,
of Council too, was one of the steps in the process some 10 arcminutes in extent.
Spectacular arcs and streaming motions
Finally, we note that at the March of Europeanization of scientific activity.
can be seen in this colour-composite, made
1969 Council Meeting in Santiago the The close tie between the Journal and from three black-and-white Schmidt plates,
suggestion was made, by Alline, that ESO, reported below, has led to the secured by David Block at La Silla earlier this
ESO follow CERN's example by having incorporation of the documentation re- year. The blue (Illa-J) and red (Illa-F) plates
a "Committee of Council" for the pur- lated to the Chairmanship of the Board here hypersensitized in nitrogen and firming
pose of discussing in an informal of Directors of the Journal over the first gas and exposed for 60 min and 120 min,
manner, in between Council meetings ten years of its existence, into the ESO respectively through GG 385 and GG 495 fil-
and with restricted participation, those Historical Archives. Accordingly, refer- ters. The green (103a-D) plate was exposed
ence is made to these archives [18]; for 60 min with a GG 495 filter to approximate
items which might give rise to con-
the V ("visual':, waveband.
troversies between the Council delega- helpful has also been an earlier account
The composite was made by Claus Mad-
tions mutually, or with the Directorate - by the author on the creation of the sen and reveals important temperature gra-
and thus pave the way for smooth Journal [I 91. dations, from the red to the ionized pink-
Council proceedings. A Committee of On April 8, 1968 some leading as- white central area.
Council was established at the De- tronomers from Belgium, Denmark, D. BLOCK, ESO and University of
cember 1969 meeting [I 71 and did func- France, the Federal Republic of Ger- Witwatersrand, South Africa
many and the Netherlands met at been a time-consuming and somewhat [I]FHA Doc. ScAct-1.
Leiden to prepare a possible merging of complicated affair. An alternative solu- [2] FHA Doc. ScAct-2.
some of the principal astronomical jour- tion was therefore preferred: making use [3] FHA Coc. ScAct-3.
nals that appeared in Europe [20]. The of the legal status of ESO, whose aims [4] For a short biography of B. Stromgren
see, for instance, the obituary by M.
meeting had been convened by S.R. as a joint European astronomical pro- Rudkjobing in Quarterly Journal R.A.S.
Pottasch of the Kapteyn Laboratory gramme ran parallel to those of the Vol. 29, p. 282, 1988.
who, together with A. Reiz of Copenha- Journal. The matter met support by the [5] See the report by Blaauw in ESO Bulletin
gen Observatory and J.-L. Steinberg of ESO Council in July 1968, so that steps No. 4 of July 1968.
Meudon Observatory had been the first could be taken to prepare the necessary [6] See Minutes Cou Meeting, June 1970,
to explore attitudes with regard to a legal documents. These found final ap- p. 41.
possible merger; Pottasch and Stein- proval and confirmation at the De- [7] See FHA Docs ScAct-4 and 5.
berg were closely connected with edito- cember 1968 Council Meeting [22]. They [8] FHA Doc. ScAct-6.
were: [9] See FHA Doc. ScAct-3 of June 1967.
rial work for a journal in their countries.
[lo] Minutes 7th Cou Meeting, p. 29ff.
The idea found general support and nine - a statement concerning the creation [I11 Stromgren's letter of Nov. 15 with
months later, per January 1, 1969, the of the Journal and the relation of its accompanying Cou Letter 00/2426/68
first issue of the new journal appeared. board of Directors to ESO; of Ramberg, and Stromgren's letter of
The merging journals were: Annales - a formal agreement between ESO Nov. 20 with accompanying Cou Letter
d'Astrophysique (founded in 1938), Bul- and the Board of Directors; 00/2464/68 by Manager Bloemkolk,
letin Astronomique (1884), Journal des - the contract between ESO and the both in FHA Cou and FC Doc's 1.1.1./
Observateurs (191 5), Zeitschrift fur As- publisher, Springer Verlag; 1.2.1., Circular Letters.
trophysik (1930), and Bulletin of the and accordingly Council authorized the [ I21 Letter marked 3137/69 in file FHA 1.1. l /
Astronomical Institutes of the Nether- Director General of ESO to sign the con-
[13] FHA Doc. Cou-2, 2283/69.
lands (1921), to which was added later tract just mentioned.
[14] In FHA, attached to the Report of the
the Scandinavian Arkiv for Astronomi The basic idea was, that ESO would Working Group referred to under refer-
(1948). First editors of the new journal make its administrative and legal ser- ence [14].; an English translation was
were S. R. Pottasch and J.-L. Steinberg. vices available to the Board of the Jour- made at the request of Funke according
The related series A & A Supplements nal but would carry no financial obliga- to FHA 1.11/1.21, Cou-2 2321/69.
appeared one year later, per January 1, tion or responsibility. Apart from making [15] FHA Doc. Cou-2 3304/69.
1970 under the editorship of L. L. E. use of ESO's services, the Board would [16] We note that in the W. Group's report
Braes of Leiden, who was succeeded in have an entirely independent status ex- the GPO is not considered as one of the
three middle-size telescopes of the
1971 by B. Hauck of Lausanne. The cluding influence from ESO side on its
Convention, contrary to the decision ta-
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronom- scientific policy. As a trait-d'union be- ken by the ESO Committee in July 1960
ical Society refrained from merging, by tween ESO and the Board, the author, at as reported in article IV.
decision of the Council of the Society on that time Scientific Director of ESO, be- 1171 See, for instance, FHA Doc. Cou-2
October 13, 1967 [21]. came a member of the Board of Direc- 3309/69.
How did ESO come in? The April 1968 tors - and was, in fact, chosen as its [18] EHA-I.C.7.; not yet subclassified in De-
meeting had resolved that the affairs of Chairman. cember 1989.
the Journal should be supervised by a Henceforth, European astronomers [I91 In Europhysics News, Bull. of the Eur.
Board of Directors consisting of as- would turn to the new Journal for the Phys. Soc., Vol. 6, No. 12, Dec. 1975,
p. 3-5.
tronomers and representatives of spon- publication of their work - including that
[20] A report on this meeting by S.R.
soring national organizations. This based on observations at La Silla. Pottasch is in the section Earliest De-
Board should be the autonomous owner velopments of the Archives.
of the Journal, including the title, with a References and Notes [21] The Archives contain the relevant corre-
private publisher acting as agent for the spondence of D.H. Sadler and F.
Abbreviations used: Graham Smith with J. H. Oort and S. R.
Board. However, in order to enter into a
EHA = ESO Historical Archives (see The
contract with the publishing agent as Pottasch of October 1967, and the re-
Messenger of December 1988).
well as for other reasons, a legal status port of the R.A.S. Working Group for
FHA = Files Head of Administration at ESO
for the Board would have been required, study of the matter.
Headquarters. [22] See minutes of this meeting and Doc.
the accomplishment of which for an in- EHPA = ESO Historical Photographs Ar-
FHA Cou-2 CL 2399 of Nov. 14, 1968.
ternational organization would have chives.

SN 1990 1 in the Polar Ring Galaxy NGC 4650 A


1. A Brief History
an old one taken about 10 years ago. end of the same night we managed to
On the night of April 29/30, 1990, From a first glance at the plate, it was obtain 2 CCD frames (B and V filters) at
Oscar Pizarro, night observer assistant clear that the object was likely to be a the ESO-MPI 2.2-m telescope. Although
at the ESO Schmidt telescope found on new supernova. the observations were performed at a
an ESO Schmidt B plate taken on 27.1 The host galaxy turned out to be NGC very high airmass (-2), we succeeded
April 1990, a new, rather luminous ob- 4650 A (a = 12h 42m 05', 6 = -40' 26' in obtaining quite accurate photometry;
ject, situated very close to the edge of a 3 0 , 1950 Equinox) with the object lo- the mean values were (29.4 April 1990)
quite bright galaxy. The discovery was cated 14 arcsec east and 47 arcsec V = 15.6 and B = 16.7. Due to the loca-
made by comparing the new plate with south of the galaxy nucleus. Before the tion of the object and to its brightness
Figure 1: The left picture shows a 2.2-m 'CCD exposure of SN 19901 in NGC 4650A in the V band. The SN is the bright object, close to the
southern end of the polar ring. It is absent on the picture to the right which has been reproduced from a 90-minute exposure, obtained in 1977
with the ESO 3.6-m telescope on Illa-J emulsion. North is up and east is to the left.

(see Fig. 1) we were confident that we after maximum. For the time being it is 1980, Danziger et al., 1990), I b super-
were dealing with a new supernova not possible to distinguish between novae show prominent OI lines (Gaskell
(Pizarro et al., 1990). these two possibilities by means of opti- et al., 1986).
In order to learn the type of this SN, a cal observations, but the differences be-
30-min. spectrum was obtained the tween type la's and I b's should be clear
following night (April 30.1) at the ESO -200 days after maximum. In fact, at 2.SN 1990 1 and the Host Galaxy
1.52-m telescope equipped with the that stage, while l a spectra are d;mi- NGC 4650A is probably one of the
Boller and Chivens spectrograph nated by Fell and Felll lines (Meyerott, best studied polar ring galaxies (Laust-
attached. The spectrum, flat field
corrected and sky subtracted, is shown
in Figure 2. By comparing the p r o ~ i n e n t
features between 5400 and 6800 A with
published SN spectra (e.g. Branch et al. 9
1983) and considering the observed col-
our index and the absolute magnitude of
the SN (Heliocentric velocity of NGC
4650 A = 2904 km sec-', Whitmore et !
al., 1987), it appears that SN 1990 1 is a
supernova of type la, -40 days after
the maximum (Pasquini, Jarvis and
Leibundgut, 1990). @
A careful analysis of published data .
on type Ib supernovae (Harkness et al.,
1987), however, shows that spectra and
colours of a I b supernova -20 days P
after maximum can be almost identical
to those of a SN l a which is only few
weeks older; we cannot then exclude Figure 2: 30-minute Boller and Chivens spectrum of SN 19901 taken at the ESO 1.5-m
that SN 1990 1 is a I b SN 2-3 weeks telescope. The spectrum, wavelength calibrated, is corrected for flat field and sky subtracted.
16 I ~ ~ ~
sewolrs of gas supports the bellef that ~
- -
- 9 fields dwarf Irregulars are young and st111rela-
- 8250 stars -
tlvely unevolved galaxles wlth regard to
star formatlon. The question of whether
18 -
star formatlon IS a contlnuous process
- -
- or rather a sequence of slngle bursts, 1s
- - st111 controvers~al.The burst model 1s
- usually preferred In lnterpretlng the
20 -
- , . - properties of the blue compact galaxies,
3 - .. - whlle more normal DIGS are thought to
. .*, -. ;- .- , . .

- a-'...

2 ,

. - experience a contlnuous and constant

actlvlty (Hunter and Gallagher, 1985).
- ;$p%-%3e: * ,. ,:, :. b, .. -
- . .~,2,fi~~p%$st:.+~.s
:-/ >IJ::,>$+,,:, q

- More than a dozen DIGS have already


- yi L$&:$4s-c .2:f>;-$d v+, vI;

h5 .+

: -
been ldentlf~edIn the nelghbourhood of
, , .\",.W:F;

.; -
i, -
-:<,p , - the Galaxy, and so close that thelr stellar
. "., "
SQ :,L 'i
24 -
# -
content IS qulte well resolved. The avall-
- -
ablllty of software packages allowlng
- - photometry ~n crowded f~elds,such as
- -
DAOPHOT or ROMAFOT, has permitted
26 / 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 , , 1 1
the constructlon of C-M d~agramsfor a
-1 0 1 2 certaln number of these objects
(B-V) (Table 1). Comb~nedwlth stellar evolu-
Flgure 2 C-M dlagram of the stars prolect~ngon the 21' x 3' reglon centred on NGC 3109, not tion these measurements have
corrected for f~eldstar contam~nat~on shed some llght on the characterlstlcs of
the stellar populatlons of the nearest
galaxles, showlng s~rnllarltles In the~r
content of massive stars, as well as In
the shape of the l n ~ t ~Mass
al Funct~on.
A and LGS 3 towards the smaller dwarf processes. Such processes can be We have recently undertaken a sys-
spheroldals Ursa Mlnor and Draco (cf. spectacular In dwarf Irregulars, espe- tematlc programme for the study of the
Trlmble 1987). clally In the blue compact galax~es.The stellar populations In some nearby DIGS
Second, slnce DIGS are generally be- Intense actlvlty relatively to the small through multlcolour CCD photometry.
lleved to be slmple and rather unevolved sizes of these galaxles accounts for thew Materlal has already been collected for
objects, they are excellent laborator~es blue colours and for the presence of UKS 2323, IC 1613, and NGC 3109, and
to study the early phases of the cheml- several assoclatlons of young stars; the a flrst account of the results obtalned for
cal evolution of galaxles. Spec- latter are often embedded In large UKS 2323 has been glven by Capaccloll
trophotometrlc lnvestlgatlons have re- clouds of lonlzed hydrogen, and give et al. (1987). Here we present some new
vealed that the metal content 1s general- these galaxles thelr clumpy and knotty results concerning a classical photo-
ly low, ranging from approximately a few appearance. The avallablllty of great re- metrlc target, NGC 3109.
hundredths to half of the solar value.
The low metalllc~ty1s of consequence In
cosmology, slnce ~tfavours the estlmate
of the pr~mordlalabundance of Hehum,
a flgure of paramount lmportance In
testlng the Blg Bang theory. Further-
more, DIGS are probably the most corn- . ..?
. .
: . .
, .: .. '
' y ., . :' . . ,
:,. ..-',.; .zj: .: .
. .
mon galaxles In the universe; thls too * . .. ..
, 2
Lr++o. -
. . :,:.,:*
can be of cosmolog~calInterest In that ~t
. * . . e
.. . .. . . .

..: . * .. I .

bears on the theorles of galaxy forma-
tlon as well as on the estlmate of the
total mass of the universe. 1R'V<19 2 < ( B V)<4
Thlrd, DIGS play some role In the
problem of the cosmlc dlstance scale:
19<\1<20 .
Cepheld var~ableshave been ~ d e n t ~ f ~ e d 21<v<22 E
In the nearest galaxles, and used to
estlmate thelr dlstance modull. These *.
measurements have led to the extension
* . * . : - . -. .
. . . . .: ..
.: . a.. , . ... .-: ., . . . .a:.' *. .
.:; . .
of the fa~ntend of the relatlon between
. .
. -... ..:.*c . . .. .: .

lumlnoslty of the brightest blue and red : .a.. . -.

superglants and absolute magn~tudeof . .:
the parent galaxy (Humphreys, 1983).
: . . .
Such a callbratlon IS of great lmportance
for the determlnatlon of d~stancesto ls<v<19 13 < ( ~ - ~ ) < 3
more dlstant galaxles In whlch Cephelds 19<v<20
can no longer be seen. .20<v<21
Flnally, given thew structural s ~ m p l ~ c ~ t y 2 1<v<22 M
(e.g. lack of splral arms), DIGS are better F~gure3 Upper panel: projected d~str~butlon of the brlghtest blue stars of NGC 3109
places than the more complex and contalned ln the d~agramof Flgure 2, the central bar and the two eastern splral arms are
larger splrals, to study star formatlon d~scern~ble Lower panel: map of the brlghtest red stars
tance modulus 0.3 mag smaller than
given by SC. The mean internal error, as
given by DAOPHOT, ranges between
. . 0.01 mag at V = 18 and 0.1 mag at
V = 23. These figures, however, have to
be regarded as lower limits of the inter-
nal errors, as shown by Piotto et al.
The final C-M diagram for 8250 stars
identified in 9 fields is reproduced in
Figure 2. Two fields were not observed
under photometric conditions, and
could not be accurately calibrated;
moreover, 15 % of the stars happened
to have formal error >O.l mag, or
x > 1.8 (Stetson, 1987), and were thus
rejected. As can be seen, the br~ghtest

stars of the main sequence have V = 18,
wh~chcorresponds to Mv -8. We l ~ k e
to stress here that, from the polnt of
'Iew Of surface 'Overed and number Of
F~gure4. Mosalc of three CCD frames of NGC 3109, centred on the west end of the bar and
taken through an Hu f~lter stars measured, ours IS one of the most
complete CCD samplings of the stellar

2. NGC 3109: Observations and TABLE 1: Stellar photometry in dwarf irregular galaxies
Data Reduction
Object Distance Ref. Material No. of stars
NGC 3109 = DDO 236 (Fig. 1) is a modulus used measured
magellanic spiral located at the
periphery of the Local Group: its dis- NGC 6822 23.5 mag phot.

(m-M), -
tance modulus, based on Cepheids, is
26 according to Sandage and
Carlson (1988; hereafter referred to as
IC 1613 24.5

SC). While comparable to the Small CCD
Magellanic Cloud from the point of view LGS 3 25.0 CCD
of luminosity (MB = -16), the size of GR 8 25.7 CCD
NGC 3109 makes it one of the largest CCD
magellanic systems known so far (D = UKS 2323 26.0 CCD
14 kpc, corresponding to O? 5 on the NGC 31 09 26.0 phot.
sky). Previous studies of its stellar con- phot.
Pegasus 26.1 phot.
tent are by Demers et al. (1985) and by
SC; both of them are based on photo- Sextans A 26.2 phot.
graphic material. CCD
Our observations were made during CCD
three different runs at ESO, La Silla, in Sextans B 26.2 phot.
March and May 1988, and in March CCD
1989, with the CCD cameras of the Dan- Leo A 27.1 phot.
ish 1.5-m and the ESOIMPI 2.2-m tele- phot.
Sculptor 27.3 phot.
scopes. We collected B and V images of
Ho l 27.5 CCD
11 fields of the galaxy, distributed in 27.5 CCD
such a way as to cover a total area of Ho lX 27.5 CCD
-21' x 2'. The six central fields were DDO 187 28.8 CCD
also imaged through an Ha filter (and in
a contiguous band). Deep exposures
and fair seeing conditions (FWHM = References
0"-1!2), allowed to measure stars (1) Kayser, S.E., 1967, Astron. J., 72, 134; (2) Hoessel, J.G., and Anderson, N., 1986, Astrophys. J. Suppl.
down to magnitude V = 24 using DAO- Ser. 60,507; (3) Sandage, A., and Katem, B., 1976, Astron. J., 81,743; (4) Freedman, W. L., 1988, Astron. J.,
96, 1248; (5) Sandage, A., and Carlson, G., 1985, Astron. J., 90, 1464; (6) Ferraro, F. R., Fusi Pecci, F., Tosi,
PHOT. Instrumental magnitudes were M., and Buonanno, R., 1989, ESO preprint; (7) Christian, C., and Tully, R.B., 1983, Astron. J., 88, 934;
calibrated by a large set of standard (8) Hoessel, J.G., and Danielson, G. E., 1983, Astrophys. J., 271, 65; (9)Aparicio, A., et al., 1988, Astron.
stars (Landolt 1983a, b). The zero point Astrophys. Suppl. Ser., 74, 375; (lo) Capaccioli, M., Ortolani, S., and Piotto, G., 1987, in Proceedings of the
errors of our photometry are estimated ESO Workshop on "Stellar Evolution and Dynamics in the Outer Halo of the Galaxy, ed. M. Azzopardi and F.
Matteucci, p. 281 ; (11) Demers, S., et al., 1985, Astron. J., 90,1967; (12) Sandage, A., and Carlson, G., 1988,
to be -0.03 mag in V and 0.05 mag in Astron. J., 96, 1599; (13) Sandage, A,, 1986, Astron. J., 91, 496; (14) Hoessel, J.G., and Mould, J. R., 1982,
(B-V). Note that the comparison of Astrophys. J., 254, 38; (15) Sandage, A., and Carlson, G., 1982, Astrophys. J., 258, 439; (16) Hoessel, J.G.,
-200 stars in common with SC has et al., 1983, Astrophys. J., 274, 577; (17) Aparicio, A,, et al., 1987, Astron. Astrophys. Suppl. Ser., 71, 297;
revealed the presence of a systematic (18) Sandage, A,, and Carlson, G., 1985, Astron. J., 90, 1019; (1 9) Tosi, M., et al., 1989, The Messenger, 57,
57; (20) Sandage, A., 1986, Astron. J., 91, 496; (21) Demers, S., et al., 1984, Astron. J., 89, 1160;
difference in the zero point, our photom- (22) Lequeux, J., and West, R.M., 1981, Astron. Astrophys., 103, 319; (23) Hoessel, J.G., and Danielson,
etry being 0.3 mag brighter than SC's; in G.E., 1984, Astrophys. J., 286, 159; (24) Hopp, U., 1987, preprint. (25) Aparicio, A., et al., 1988, Astron.
other words, our scale implies a dis- Astrophys. Suppl. Ser., 74, 367.
(Fig. 4). They are well confined to a
-300 pc thick stripe, with a maximum
density a few arcminutes to the west of
the optical centre. We have drawn the
isophotes of these regions, and
superimposed the blue star distribution.
In general, the brightest blue stars and
the main stellar associations are found
21 <V<22 inside HI1 regions, as can be seen in
. 20<v<21 Figure 5, which reproduces one of the
more central fields. The great star-form-
19<V<20 ing region near the centre, just at the
18<V< 19 west end of the bar, is about 250 pc
We selected about 30 star-forming
regions using the Ha images, and pro-
duced a C-M diagram for each one of
them. The number of stars varies from a
few tens to about a hundred. Due to the
small angular size of these stellar
associations, crowding effects are im-
portant, making the photometry rather
uncertain at magnitudes fainter than
V = 22. This approach has the advan-
tage of isolating the young stars from
the uniform background of old stars,
which enables us to create a map of the
most recent episodes of star formation
over the whole surface of the galaxy
We have estimated the ages of the
star-forming regions using theoretical
isochrones kindly made available to us
Figure 5: lsophotes of the HI1 regions contained in one of the central Ha field of NGC 3109, by the group of Prof. C. Chiosi. Unfortu-
superposed to the distribution of the brightest blue stars. nately, internal absorption and metal
content of NGC 3109 are still uncertain;
therefore, only a rough superposition of
the theoretical curves to the C-M dia-
content of a dwarf galaxy besides the the H II regions provided by the Ha im- grams is possible, allowing an arbitrary
Magellanic Clouds (cf. Table 1). ages. Very spectacular HI1 regions are (but small) shift along the colour index
present along and in proximity of the bar axis. On the other hand, this procedure
3.The Young Stars
The top panel of Figure 3 shows the 1 Fl
distribution of the brightest blue stars, ,,1 "g'On H5

reconstructed by selecting only stars

with 18 < V < 22 and -0.2 < (B-V) < 20 1
0.4. In a similar way we have built the
map of the brightest red stars [(B-V) > 22 1
1.41 shown in the lower panel of the
same figure. The photometric data base 24 1 .
pertains to 11 fields, covering more than
20' of the galaxy in the direction of the 26 - I I I \ I I I I I I I I I I

long axis. -1 0 1 2 3 -1 0 1 2 3
The central bar of NGC3109, de-
scribed by de Vaucouleurs and Freeman v
region H1
, I

(1972), stands out in the blue map, to- 18 18

gether with the two eastern spiral arms,
which are well seen in wide-field photo- zo 20
graphs. Moreover, the overall distribu-
tion of the blue stars appears rather 22 22
clumpy. These structures are absent or
barely visible in the red map, where 24 - - 24
stars seem more evenly distributed. We
do not measure any appreciable differ- 26 l , lI I :I I ~~ I lI I lI I OI I nI 26 ~
-1 0 1 2 3 -1 0 1 2 3
ence in the scale heights of the two (B-V) ' (B-V)
populations of stars. Figure 6: C-M diagrams of four star-forming regions. lsochrones provided by C. Chiosi and
The distribution of the young blue calculated for a solar metallicity have been matched to the observations, allowing an arbitrary
stars has also been compared to that of shift in colour. The corresponding ages (in years) are indicated.

sizes and ages of the selected regions
are shown). A comparison with similar
work on other resolved DIGSshows that
the level of recent star formation in NGC
3109 is quite high, a fact which is prob-
ably related to the size of the galaxy.

We are indebted to thank G. Bertelli,
C. Chiosi, and E. Nasi, for providing us
with the isochrones for the massive
stars in advance of publication. We also
thank S. Ortolani for the Danish obser-

Capaccioli, M., Ortolani, S., and Piotto, G.,
1987, in Proceedings of the ESO Work-
shop on "Stellar Evolution and Dynamics in
the Outer Halo of the Galaxy", eds. M.
Azzopardi and F. Matteucci, p. 281.
Demers, S., Kunkel, W.E., and Irwin, M.J.,
1985, Astron. J. 90,1967.
Figure 7: Map of the star-forming regions selected in the six central fields; the radii of the de Vaucouleurs, G., and Freeman, K.C.,
circles are proportional to the size of the regions. Ages (in lo6yr) of the youngest stars found in 1972, Vistas Astron. 14, 163.
the C-M diagrams are indicated. Humphreys, R.M., 1983, Astrophys. J. 269,
Hunter, D.A., and Gallagher, J.S., 1985, As-
is accurate enough to get an estimate of NGC 3109 have ages of the order of trophys. J. Suppl. Ser. 58,533.
the ages of the single regions. We have - 6 x 1O6 years, with masses - 30 Ma; Landolt, A. U., 1983a, Astron. J. 88,439.
used models calculated for a solar in other words, this galaxy is still active Landolt, A. U., 1983 b, Astron. J. 88,853.
metallicity and adopted the internal ab- in forming stars. Moreover, since the Piotto, G.,King, I.R., Capaccioli, M., Ortolani,
sorption values given by SC. A larger part of the diagrams corresponding to S., and Djorgovski, S., 1990, Astrophys. J.
extinction correction had to be adopted ages of 20-100 million years appears
Sandage, A., and Carlson, G., 1988, Astron.
for star-forming regions belonging to the rather uniformly populated by stars, we J. 96,1599.
central parts of the galaxy. An example may conclude that, in this time interval, Stetson, P. B., 1987, P.A. S. P. 99,191.
of the procedure is shown in Figure 6. stars have formed in an almost regular Trimble, V., 1987, Ann. Rev. Astron. Astro-
We find that the youngest stars of manner (see the plot in Fig. 7, where phys. 25,67.

Probing the Hidden Secrets of Seyfert Nuclei

I. A PPENZELLER and S. WAGNER, Landessternwarte Heidelberg-Konigstuhl, F. R. Germany

The nuclei of active galaxies are clear- rates up to about one earth mass per became increasingly evident that in
ly among the most spectacular and vio- second, such black holes give rise to many AGNs the central engines are
lent places that can be found in our huge rotating magnetic fields and elec- not directly visible but hidden behind
present universe. Most extreme are the tric current systems which can explain opaque dusty matter concentrations
bright Quasars, where we observe a to- the astonishing properties of these sys- along the line of sight. Even in the case
tal energy output equivalent to a large tems. of nearby Seyfert galaxies (the nearest
galaxy cluster from galactic core regions However, in spite of a large research known examples of AGNs), direct opti-
comparable in size to our solar system. effort during the past decades we are cal radiation from the centre of the ac-
In addition to optical and radio radiation still lacking a reliable observational con- tive nuclei seems to be observed only in
we often observe intense X-ray and firmation of the basic physical models of exceptional cases. Moreover, when di-
even energetic Gamma radiation as well the AGNs and our knowledge of the rect radiation is detected, it is often mix-
as collimated streams of matter moving detailed physical processes occurring in ed with light of the normal stellar galac-
at velocities close to the velocity of light. AGNs is still highly incomplete. One tic core and with emission from circum-
Most currrent theories assume that reason for the slow progress of our nuclear normal HI1 regions ionized by
the enormous radiation power of active understanding of the AGNs is the great stars.
galactic nuclei (AGNs) is produced by distance of most active galaxies which Fortunately, modern observing tech-
massive rotating black holes residing in makes it impossible to resolve the active niques provide various methods to over-
the dynamical centres of these galaxies. nuclei by direct imaging techniques. come some of the observational difficul-
Swallowing surrounding material at Furthermore, during the past decade it ties mentioned above. High-resolution
spectroscopy often allows to separate
the different components which contri-
bute to the (on direct images) unre-
solved galactic cores. When the galactic
cores are hidden from us by local dust
absorption, their radiation fields can
sometimes be determined indirectly
from its effects on the interstellar gas in
the host galaxies. Finally, recent pro-
gress in infrared imaging techniques
makes it possible to penetrate part of
the absorbing dust layers and to look
deeper into the hidden central regions of
the AGNs.
In this paper we shall report about our
experience with these methods at the
ESO telescopes during various recent
observing runs. Because of limited
space we shall restrict this report mainly
to results on the two particularly inter-
esting emission line galaxies NGC 5728
and IC 5063. NGC 5728 is a prominent
barred spiral with a Seyfert 2 nucleus.
An account of its basic properties and a
photographic image of this galaxy can
be found in an earlier issue of the
Messenger (cf. [I]). IC 5063 (= PKS
2048-572) is an early-type radio galaxy
known mainly for its pronounced dust
lanes. In addition to data on these two
galaxies, a few results on the prototype
Seyfert 2 galaxy NGC 1068 will be re-

Improving the Angular Resolution

by Means of Spectroscopy
In the optical spectral range AGNs are
usually identified by the characteristic
emission line spectra produced in their
Broad-Line and Narrow-Line Regions
(BLRs and NLRs). Compared to most
stellar spectra even the NLR spectral
features are rather broad and have Dop-
pler widths of-several hundred km s-' or
more. Hence, on first glance it seems
not to make sense to observe these
spectra with high spectral resolution.
However, as illustrated by Figure 1, high
resolution spectra of AGNs can in fact
provide important information. The up- NGC 5728
per part of Figure 1 shows long-slit
spectrograms of the Ha and [NII]
6584 A lines of NGC 5728 obtained with
the ESO CASPEC spectrograph. The
horizontal coordinate corresponds to
wavelength (expressed as a relative
Doppler velocity) while the vertical coor-
dinate gives the location of the emission
along the projected spectrograph slit.
The centres of the two long slit spectra
correspond (in velocity) to the systemic I ; 1
velocity of NGC 5728 (as derived from
the absorption lines of the stellar com- - 1000 -500 0 500 1000
ponent) and (in space) to the dynamical
centre of the galaxy. Hence, a mono-
chromatic light emitting the tor- Figure 1 : Emission-line profiles of the nucleus of NGC 5728. On top are long-slit spectrograms
responding spectral lines and moving of the cores of the Ha and [NII] 6584 profiles, obtained with an EW slit orientation. Below is a
with the centre of NGC 5728 would pro- tracing (obtained by integrating along the slit) of the full [0111] 5007 profile.
[OIII] 5007 line (lower part of Figure I ) ,
where the unresolved component corre-
sponds to the redshifted peak.
A velocity difference of more than
200 km s-' between the whole NLR and
the dynamical centre of its host galaxy
appears highly unlikely in all current
AGN models. Hence, it seems much
more plausible to explain the spectros-
copic results by assuming that in the
case of NGC 5728 only the red wing of
the NLR profiles is observed, while the
matter producing the rest of the NLR
profile (i.e., in fact, most of the NLR) is
hidden from us by dust absorption. With
a slightly larger amount of dust absorp-
tion NGC 5728 could probably not even
be recognized as an active galaxy.
Another example of the effects of cir-
cumnuclear dust in an AGN is shown in
Figure 2, where we reproduce line pro-
file tracings obtained for points on the
major axis of the galaxy IC 5063 at vari-
ous distances from the centre of the
active nucleus. As the line again con-
tains contributions of different volumes
with different line widths and radial ve-
locities, the NLR profile changes with
distance from the centre. A surprising
detail of Figure 2 is the fact that the
profile observed at the centre is relative-
ly narrow, while conspicuous broad line
wings are present about lf.'5 (corre-
sponding to about 500 pc at the dis-
tance of IC 5063) NW of the dynamical
centre. By separating the observed pro-
files into individual emission compo-
nents, it can be shown that the broad
wings are produced by a local emission
region with a velocity width of about
900 km s-' (cf. [4]). Such broad line
components are expected to form only
in the central regions of AGNs. The fact
Figure 2: Emission-line profiles at different angular displacements from the core of IC 5063.
that such a broad emission profile is
found from a region far outside the
centre strongly suggests that we ob-
serve nuclear light which is scattered by
duce a point in the centre of each of the ical conditions. As most of these emis- dust clouds which are located outside
two images, while an extended mono- sion components are concentrated in the nuclear region and which are ex-
chromatic source would produce a ver- the innermost two arcseconds of the posed to radiation from the nucleus.
tical line. nucleus they cannot be resolved on di- Since no broad wings are detected in
As shown in Figure 1, due to the vio- rect images but become visible only on the radiation reaching us from the direc-
lent motion of the nuclear gas the line long slit spectrograms of sufficient tion of the nucleus, we again have to
emission is distributed over a significant spectral resolution. conclude that along our line of sight the
velocity range, producing the charac- A more detailed investigation (cf. [3]) core of the AGN is hidden by dust and
teristic complex line profiles of the NLR shows that most of the emission line that only indirect radiation is able to
(cf. [2]). Moreover, the emission is also regions seen in Figure 1 correspond to reach us at visible wavelengths.
smeared out in spatial direction. Al- measurably extended volumes of gas.
though atmospheric seeing contributes Only the strongest component shows
The ENLR Connection
to this spatial extension, Figure 1 (ob- the angular intensity distribution of an
tained with 50f.'8 seeing) clearly shows unresolved point source. This compo- In addition to producing scattered
that much of the observed spatial extent nent must correspond to the true Sey- light, the intense radiation field of the
is caused by the superposition of indi- fert nucleus. Surprisingly, the nuclear AGNs can also ionize the interstellar
vidual emission regions with different emission, although projected on the dy- matter of their host galaxies. Depending
velocities and spatial locations. The namical centre of the galaxy, does not on the UV flux and the matter distribu-
highly different relative intensities of the have the systemic velocity of the galaxy tion, the ionization effect may be signifi-
individual components in the two line but shows a velocity shift of more than cant even at distances of many kpc from
profile images show that the emitting 200 km s-'. This velocity shift is even the nucleus. The resulting "extended
gas volumes vary greatly in their phys- more conspicuous in the tracing of the narrow line regions" (ENLRs) show the
radiation from the centre of this AGN is
visible in our line of sight.

NGC Infrared Imaging

Since the scattering and absorption
cross sections of typical interstellar dust
grains decrease with increasing
wavelengths, dust absorption is most
severe in blue images of galaxies and
becomes less important at red and in-
frared wavelengths. Therefore, dust ab-
sorption features are usually traced
most efficiently by means of "ratio im-
ages" which are generated by calculat-
ing the ratios of corresponding pixels of
two images obtained at different
wavelengths. An example, showing the
ratio between a visual (V-band) image
and near-infrared (I-band) image of IC
5063 (observed by C. Mollenhoff and P.
Surma), is given in Figure 4. As the dust
absorption is weaker in the I-band (cor-
responding to about 0.85 pm) than
in the V-image (central wavelength
-0.55 pm) dust features appear darker
in the ratio image. Figure 4 shows a
particularly prominent dust lane just
north of the nucleus. Since it almost
coincides with the nucleus, it certainly
affects the light reaching us from the
core of this galaxy. The nucleus itself
appears in the ratio image as a double
peak. This is readily - explained
. bv the
fact that its visual image is (die to
stronger dust absorption) and a stronger
contribution of extended line emission in
the V-band) elonaated while its I imaae .,
Figure 3: False-colour map of the extended [0111] emission of NGC 5728. is more circular. -

same (nonthermal) ionization charac-

teristics as the nuclear NLRs (and thus
are easily distinguished from normal H II
regions), but (due to lower internal ve-
locities) differ from the NLRs by much
narrower line profiles.
Figure 3 shows the ENLR of NGC
5728 as outlined by its [OIII] emission.
As demonstrated by the figure, most of
the observed ENLR emission is found in
two relativelv narrow cones extendina
towards the SE and NW directions fror; I
the nucleus. Interestingly, the axis de-
fined by these two cones also coincides
(at least in projection) with a jet-like re-
gion of enhanced radio emission (cf. [5]).
Such coaxial morphologies have also
been found for other AGNs and have
been interpreted as evidence for central
radiation fields and relativistic particle
flows directed mainly parallel to the ro-
tation axis of the nucleus, while the radi-
ation perpendicular to the rotation axis
is blocked by a disk of dusty gas clouds.
If this explanation is correct, and if the
radiation cones of NGC 5728 are indeed
oriented as suggested by Figure 3, it is Figure 4: V/l ratio map of the central part of IC 5063. The image covers about 2' x 2!5. North is
obviously no surprise that little direct up, east to the left

NGC 5728

Figure 6: False-colour map of the Brackett-gamma emission from the core of NGC 1068. The
continuum has been subtracted by means of an image obtained in an adjacent narrow line-free
continuum band. The image covers a field of 38" x 48:

used ESO's new IRAC infrared array [3]). Although the J-band emission
camera (cf. [6], [7]) to obtain images of reaches its maximum intensity in the
several dusty Seyfert nuclei in the J centre, no distinct point source corre-
(1.25 pm), H (1.65 pm), and K (2.2 pm) sponding to the nucleus can be de-
bands. Because of poor weather condi- tected. The (in Figure 5 omitted) lower-
tions and various technical deficiencies intensity outer contours of the J-band
of the 32 x 32 pixel HgCdTe array avail- intensity distribution become elongated
able to us, our run was only a partial along the (NE-SW) Major axis of the
success. In the case of NGC 5728 only galaxy, indicating a low-level
J-band images of sufficient SIN could background produced by the stellar
be obtained. The IC 5063 observations component. The extended IR radiation
were more successful, yielding images from the core region is probably also
of reasonably good SIN in all three con- dominated by starlight, although ex-
tinuum bands and with different field tended line emission (e. g. of the Paschen
sizes. lines of hydrogen) may contribute.
Examples of isophote maps derived More interesting are the maps ob-
-5.0" -2.5" 0 +2.5" +5.0" from our IR images of the core regions tained for IC 5063. In all three IR-bands
Figure 5: Examples of broad-band images of of NGC 5728 and IC 5063 are presented the observed radiation was found to
the cores of NGC 5728 and lC 5063. in Figure 5 a and c. In Figure 5 b we consist of three distinct components. As
show for comparison a V-band isophote illustrated by Figure 5c, the outer con-
map of the same area of IC 5063. Both tours show an elongation along the ma-
IR isophote maps are based on images jor axis of the galaxy. The correspond-
obtained with circular pixels of about ing low-level extended emission again
The ratio image of Figure 4 shows that 0'116 diameter with a 0'15 spacing. The seems to originate from the stellar com-
I-band images (corresponding to the (FWHM) resolution (limited by the see- ponent. Superimposed is a small, about
longest wavelength band that can be ing) is about 1'12. The V map (based on circular extended (diameter -4") region
efficiently observed with normal Si CCD 0'135 densely packed and quadratic pix- which surrounds a prominent unre-
detectors) are clearly less affected by els) has a resolution of about 1'15. solved central point source. There
dust absorption than blue and visual As illustrated by Figure 4, in the case seems to be little doubt that this IR point
images. However, a detailed analysis of of NGC 5728 most of the observed radi- source corresponds to the Seyfert nu-
our I-image shows that the dust lanes ation in the 1.2 ym band is emitted from cleus of IC 5063. A comparison of the V
can still be traced even at these a slightly elongated extended region and the H maps of Figure 5 shows that
wavelengths and that the morphology with an average diameter of about 7" the conspicuous isophote distortion by
seen in the I-band image is still influ- (corresponding to about 2 kpc). This re- the dust lanes visible in the V map
enced by the dust absorption. In order gion agrees well (in size, shape and cannot be detected in the IR image,
to look behind the dust, one obviously orientation) with the area inside the ring suggesting that absorption by these
has to observe at even longer of gas and stars which delineates the features is no longer significant at this
wavelengths. Therefore, we recently core of NGC 5728 on optical images (cf. wavelength. However, this has to be
confirmed by a more detailed analysis of ties as the IC 5063 frames. We again future also to other active galaxies in-
all three infrared frames. observe a bright unresolved nucleus cluding the hidden cores discussed in
The physical interpretation of the ob- surrounded by extended emission. Sur- the first chapters of this paper.
served extended nuclear IR emission of prisingly, our narrow-band CVF images
IC 5063 is again complicated by the in line-free IR continuum bands turned
presence of emission lines in the three out to be quite different. These images
observed infrared bands. A separation show the unresolved central nucleus but
of the line and continuum contribution practically no detectable continuum [I] van Gorkom, J. H., Kotanyi, C.G., Taren-
radiation from an extended circum- ghi, M., Veron-Cetty, M.P., Veron, P.:
requires narrower pass bands. Such
1983, The Messenger 33, 37.
narrow bands can be realized with the nuclear region. On the other hand, as [2] Appenzeller, I., Ostreicher, R.: 1988, As-
circular variable filter (CVF) of the IRAC demonstated by the Brackett-gamma tron. J. 95, 45.
camera. However, the detector noise of line image reproduced in Figure 6, in the [3] Wagner, S. J., Appenzeller, 1.: 1988, As-
the present array limits this mode of light of the IR emission lines we clearly tron. Astrophys. 197, 75.
operation to relatively bright objects. see also extended emission surrounding [4] Wagner, S. J., Appenzeller, 1.: 1989, As-
From published IR line fluxes only the the nucleus. Hence, in the case of NGC tron. Astrophys. 225, L 13.
nearby Seyfert 2 galaxy NGC 1068 1068 it seems clear that at least most of [5] Schommer, R.A., Caldwell, N., Wilson,
appeared to be bright enough to the extended circumnuclear IR emission A.S., Baldwin, J.A., Phillips, M.M.,
is caused by line emitting gas. Williams, T. B., Turtle, A. J.: 1988, Astro-
attempt CVF observations. As this
phys. J. 324, 154.
galaxy also belongs to the AGNs with Our results for NGC 1068 clearly [6] Moorwood, A,: 1988, The Messenger 52,
evidence for a hidden core (cf. [8]) NGC demonstrate the potential of narrow- 50.
1068 was also included in our pro- band IR imaging for studies of nearby [7] Moorwood, A,, Finger, G., Moneti, A,:
gramme. AGNs. Hopefully, improved array detec- 1988, The Messenger 54, 56.
Our broad-band IR images of NGC tors and larger telescopes will make it [8] Antonucci, R. R. J., Miller, J.S.: 1985, As-
1068 show qualitatively similar proper- possible to apply this technique in the trophys. J. 297, 621.

A Redshift Survey of Automatically Selected Clusters of

'~sservatorio di Brera, Milan, Italy; '~eparfmentof Astronomy, University of Edinburgh, Great Britain;
3 ~ o y aObservatory,
l Edinburgh, Great Britain; 4~strophysicsGroup, Imperial College, London, Great Britain

Introduction (&,) is about 15 times stronger than that due. In 1988 we started at ESO a red-
The study of the large-scale structure for galaxies ('g,,) (see Bahcall, 1988). shift survey based on an automatic
of the universe provides direct con- This observation is one piece of evi- sample of rich clusters extracted from
straints on the initial form of the density dence that has prompted the idea of the EdinburghIDurham Southern Galaxy
fluctuations from which galaxies, clus- biased galaxy formation (Kaiser, 1984) Catalogue. The results (so far) have
ters and superclusters formed. This can and indicates that neither galaxies nor been very successful, and in this note
be achieved by mapping the large-scale clusters can both be tracers of the mass we would like to report on the present
galaxy distribution, with the assumption distribution. In the context of models of status of the project.
that light is a good tracer of the underly- galaxy formation the "standard cold
ing mass distribution. To compare our dark matter" model (CDM) fails to pro-
The Automatic Catalogue
maps with the theory, we need to ex- vide enough power on cluster scales
of Clusters
tract some numbers describing their when normalized to fit the observed Egg
properties in a statistical sense. One of (White et al., 1987). As mentioned, the cluster catalogue
the main properties which are of interest Given the prime importance of this has been extracted from the Edinburgh1
in this sense is clustering, i.e. how the observation, it is extraordinary that we Durham Southern Galaxy Catalogue
distribution of objects differs from a ran- still rely on estimates of the cluster cor- (EDSGC), one of the first ever large-
dom sample. This is of great import- relation function based on "eyeball" cat- scale machine-based optical galaxy
ance, since theories usually give precise alogues of clusters, namely the Abell catalogues. This galaxy survey has been
predictions about the level of clustering (1957) and Abell, Corwin, Olowin (ACO, constructed using the COSMOS high-
on different scales. 1989) lists. Evidence has been speed microdensitometer, and consists
The most popular statistical estimator accumulating about systematic and un- of 60 UK Schmidt J survey plates
of clustering is certainly the two-point quantifiable selection effects present in centred at the South Galactic Pole. The
spatial correlation function E(r), that such visual compilations, giving rise to galaxy catalogue covers an area of 0.5
measures the probability in excess of doubts on the reality of the observed Ecc steradians to a limiting magnitude of b, =
random of finding two objects at a sep- (Sutherland, 1988, and see Dekel, 1989 -
20, with a total of 1.5 million galaxies,
aration r (see Peebles, 1980). One of the for discussion). With these uncertainties with > 95 % completeness and < 10%
most remarkable results obtained in the in mind, the estimation of Ecc from a star contamination (see Heydon-Dumb-
last few years is that the two-point cor- redshift survey of objectively (i.e. auto- leton, Collins and MacGillivray, 1989 for
relation function for clusters of galaxies matically) detected clusters is long over- details). The EDSGC represents an ideal
ACO Clusters suited to investigate in detail problems
-20- 1 1 1 1 , ' 1 1 1 I l l , I I I I , I I l I I I - like subclustering, where many redshifts
0 0

-25 - 0 0 0 0
-n are needed on every single cluster. In
0 0 m i
= a O
8 -
o o w g o 8 0
1 this sense, our programme is com-
9 -30
0 0 0 0- plementary to the key programme of

-40 -
0 0

o O
O 0 .'. 0
Mazure et al. (1989), where the em-
phasis is more on studying detailed
O 0 0 structure.
-45 ' 1 1 ' " ~ " " ~ ' " ' 1 ' 1 1 1 ~ 1 ' 1 ' 1 1 The observing programme was
started in August 1988, with a first allo-
EDSGC Clusters cation of 3 nights at La Silla, and re-
( 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 , / 1 1 1 1 1 ~ ' 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
ceived generous attention from the OPC

0 0
0 8 0
- in the following semesters, especially as
-25 - o
oO 0 0 -
o o
8 0
0 0
ooooe o 0 0
O oO 0 we did not ask for the official long-term
J -30 o o O o O
0 0 oO (i.e. key programme) status. The total
0 O (f 0
2 0 0 O 0 - number of nights allocated so far is 12,

0 %

00 0 0
:.o h I0 0 ;
over four semesters. During these two
0 0
0 - years of use, EFOSC has proved to be
-45 ' ~ " " 1 1 " ' 1 " " 1 " 1 1 ~ 1 ' 1 ' ~ ' an excellent device for this kind of red-
3 2 1 0 -1 -2 shift survey. With some good luck with
Right Ascension
the weather, we could observe at high
Figure 1: Comparison of a subset of the EDSGC automatic cluster catalogue with a similar efficiency about 75% of the time. We
subset in the same area extracted from the AGO catalogue. Both subsets correspond to Abell covered 62 clusters, with a total of
distance classes 5 5 . For the comparison of richness classes see the text.
- 800 galaxy spectra.
The observational set-up of EFOSC
includes the B 300 grism, providing a
spect~al coverage Jrom 4000 A to
database for producing a cluster cata- range between m, and m,+2. Our first 7000 A with about 6 A/pixel. The use of
logue. candidate analysis was the same as the cross-correlation technique to mea-
The first step in constructing our clus- Abell, as any new cluster catalogue sure the redshift reduces the actual rms
ter catalogue was to produce a list of must be initially compared to the Abell errors to 50-100 km/s, depending on
candidate clusters. The galaxy data (or ACO for the South) catalogue. The the S/N ratio of the spectra. With 10-1 5
were binned into 5 arcmin pixels and final catalogue contains -300 clusters measured galaxies per cluster we have
then smoothed with a gaussian filter to with >30 members. Of these 65% are negligible errors on the mean redshift
reduce the harshness of the binning. To present in the ACO catalogue, yet we (<200 kmls). Exposure times of 20 to
avoid preferentially detecting clusters in only detect 30% of the ACO's clusters 30 minutes have been used to obtain
high-density regions of the survey while in our survey region. Upon checking the good SIN spectra for the faintest ob-
missing others in low-density regions, missing ACO clusters we find they are of jects (b, = 19) observed. Accurate posi-
we must remove the large-scale galaxy low richness, or not a cluster at all, while tions (<2),magnitudes (<0.2) and im-
distribution. This was achieved by heav- the new non-ACO clusters are all rich age classification for all the objects in
ily smoothing the pixel data with a me- bonafide clusters. The clusters common
dian filter on the scale of 1.5 degrees to the two catalogues show slight dis-
and then subtracting this sky tance correlation but we find no relation-
background estimate. Projection effects ship between our richness and ACO
have been proposed to account for part richness. In Figure 1 we show a plot of
of the discrepancy between and tgg tee. the sky distribution of the Automatic
We took particular care then to reduce Clusters (AC), while Figure 2 shows an
their influence by deblending the candi- EFOSC direct image of the central re-
date clusters. Each of them was re- gions of the new cD cluster AC-22.
thresholded at 16 equal levels above the
local sky background as estimated
Observational Strategy
above. If any saddle-points in the can-
didate's pixel data were found, the can- In 1987 while the construction of the
didate was then split into its daughter cluster catalogue was in its early stages,
members. After the completion of the we realized how efficiently we could
redshift survey we will be able to check construct a cluster redshift survey by
residual projection effects by deblend- using EFOSC in MOS mode at the ESO
ing in 3 dimensions, using the mag- 3.6-m telescope. We intended to ob-
nitude and redshift distribution of the serve around 10- 15 galaxy redshifts
cluster members. The total number of per cluster on a sample of about 150
candidate clusters detected over the clusters and for this EFOSC was more
1700deg2 of the EDSGC survey is suited than OPTOPUS, the fiber large-
- 1000 (Nichol et at., 1990). field multi-object facility. Indeed, with
Abell estimated the distance to a clus- this number of spectra and with a good
ter using the magnitude of the tenth filling factor of the CCD field (as it is the
brightest member (m,,). The cluster's case for most of our clusters) the use of
richness was defined as the number of EFOSC is to be preferred to OPTOPUS
galaxies within a fixed radius (scaled to both in terms of efficiency and flexibility. Figure 2: EFOSC direct image of the automa-
the cluster distance) in the magnitude On the other hand, OPTOPUS is best tic cluster AC-22 at redshift z = 0.1079.
the project, we decided last year to wavelength calibrate the single 2 D
complement ESO observations using spectra extracted from the MOS frame
the AUTOFIB fiber system at the 3.9-m we use the standard commands in the
Anglo-Australian Telescope. AUTOFIB long-slit context (IPCS in the old
is similar to OPTOPUS, but with the MIDAS). In Figure 4 we show a final 1 D
I advantage of having an automatic fiber spectrum from the same cluster of Fig-
positioner which greatly improves the ures 2 and 3, i. e. AC-22.
observing efficiency. Indeed, during 3 The next steps follow essentially the
nights in October 1989 we secured recipe by Tonry and Davis (1979) for an
another 30 clusters. optimal treatment of the spectrum be-
fore applying the cross-correlation al-
gorithm. These involve, among others,
Data Reduction
rebinning into logarithmic bins, elimina-
The aspect that makes Multiple Ob- tion of residual spikes (emission lines,
ject Spectroscopy so interesting and residual cosmics and sky lines), con-
useful is the tremendous increase in the tinuum subtraction, endmasking and
number of spectra that can be obtained bandpass filtering. Finally, cross-corre-
in one night with respect to the standard lation with several galaxy templates is
method. This implies that automatic performed using the Fast Fourier Trans-
data reduction techniques become a form method. To calibrate the zero point
must to avoid being overwhelmed by of the galaxy templates, we have also
the data flow. Future MOS devices will observed high S/N nearby objects with
certainly have to include as much on line very good 21 -cm redshift determina-
reduction as possible, otherwise data tions.

handling will become prohibitive. For the
time being the astronomer has to solve
Future Prospects
the problem in the reduction phase. Un-
I fortunately, no specific package has With another 5 nights at ESO and a
Figure 3: MOS frame of galaxies in the field of been developed for this kind of data similar amount at the AAT we will be
AC-22. The quality of cosmic ray events inside MIDAS, and therefore we had to able to complete the first homogeneous
elimination through AVERAGEmNDOW is construct some routines to extract and sample of about 150 clusters with rich-
handle the single spectra from their pa- ness >30 and distance classification
rent multi-object frame. This implied an 5 5 (with m, in R 5 17.2). This will then
extra effort in the beginning, that how- provide an excellent database for es-
each cluster, all information provided in ever improved enormously the efficien- timating Ecc with a higher accuracy than
the EDSGC, have proved to be very cy of later reductions. Presently, reduc- previous measurements (Bahcall and
useful to maximize efficiency. We can tion has become a routine job and we Soneira, 1983; Sutherland, 1988).
produce high-quality finding charts and can transform a whole MOS frame into a Apart from the main goal of the sur-
decide well in advance where the areas -
set of 15 1-D calibrated and sky sub- vey, i. e. Ecc, the complete sample of 150
best suited for MOS are in each cluster. tracted spectra in about two hours. To clusters will be used to initiate a number
In this way we decide the optimal posi-
tion angle of the rotator for including as
many spectra as possible on the CCD
Mask preparation with PUMA has
proved to be quite simple. After some Galaxy 4-B in AC-22
practicing we decided to use quite short
slitlets (10 arcsec) to guarantee flexibility

! during the initial selection of slit posi-

tions. This small size allows the spectra
to be packed more closely to each other
if desired, while on the other hand
longer slits can be built by simply over-
lapping many slitlets. This is much sim-
pler than the standard procedure involv-
ing the construction of a different IHAP
table for each chosen slit length. A deci-
sion on the best length can then be
taken directly on the specific area. There
is always a compromise between the
desire to observe as many objects as
possible and the necessity to perform a
good sky subtraction, and this com-
promise is obviously dependent on the
surface distribution of objects and on 4 5 G 7

their magnitudes. Figure 3 shows the Wavelength (A/103)

MOS frame for AC-22. Figure 4: Spectrum of the 18-magnitude cD galaxy in AC-22 (z = 0.1071). Note the good
To increase our global efficiency and quality of sky subtraction and the number of absorption features. Total exposure time in this
reduce the time necessary to complete case is 30 minutes.
of parallel studies. We intend to study: References 'Kaiser, N.: 1984, Astrophys. J. (Letters), 284,
(a) the luminosity function of cluster L9.
galaxies (we have b, magnitudes from Abell, G.O.: 1958, Astrophys. J. Suppl., 3, Mazure, A,, Katgert, P., Rhee, G., Dubath, P.,
211. Focardi, P., Gerbal, D., Giuricin, G., Jones,
the EDSGC) and its relations with the
Abell, G.O., Corwin, H.G. and Olowin R. P.: B., Lefevre, O., Moles, M.: 1989, The
dynamical state of the parent cluster; (b) 1989, Astrophys. J. Suppl., 70,1. Messenger, 57,30.
velocity dispersions and substructure in Bahcall, N.A.: 1988, Ann. Rev. Astron. & As- Nichol, R.C., Collins, C.A., Guzzo, L., Lums-
those clusters with a large enough trophys., 26,631 . den, S.: 1990, in preparation.
number of redshifts. These are just Bahcall, N.A. and Soneira, R.M.: 1984, As- Peebles, P.J.E.: 1980, The Large Scale
some examples of the wealth of scien- trophys. J., 277,27. Structure of the Universe, Princeton,
tific information contained in our cluster Dekel, A.: 1989, in proc. Vatican Study Week Princeton University Press.
redshift survey. However, the most ex- on Large-Scale Motion in the, Universe, Sutherland, W.: 1988, Mon. Not. R. Astr.
citing results will probably be those we V.C. Rubin and G.V. Coyne eds., Vatican Soc., 234,159.
City, Pontificia Academia Scientiarum - Tonry, J., Davis, M.: 1979, Astron. J., 84,
cannot foresee at present, as it has al-
Princeton University Press. 1511.
ways been the case when new large- Heydon-Dumbleton, N. H., Collins, C.A., and White, S. D. M., Frenk, C.S., Davis, M., and
scale redshift surveys have been per- MacGillivray, H.T.: 1989, Mon. Not. R. Efstathiou, G.: 1987, Astrophys. J., 313,
formed. Astr. Soc., 238,379. 505.

Comet Austin Rounds the Sun


Modern astronomers are privileged umbrellas at home and got wet when ing sky from the roof of my home in
people. They exert a profession which you predicted sunny weather? And why, Munich in late April this year.
for many is also their hobby; they re- yes why did you astronomer "experts" In old days, the appearance of com-
ceive good support from the authorities; say that the comet would become so ets was always unexpected and it often
they have the attention of a broad public bright that it could be seen with the brought fear to monarchs and other rul-
and they work in a field which in virtually naked eye, and then I could hardly find ers - no doubt that such events were
all respects is above political and that weak patch of nebulosity in my new often cleverly interpreted by sly coun-
ecological concerns. expensive telescope, specially bought sellors to their own advantage. These
It even appears that they no longer for this "unique" event? times have passed and in our days the
run the risk of being punished when they I do not blame the public reaction, for discovery of a new comet, especially
make imprecise predictions . . . As- I have had this experience myself in one in a near-parabolic orbit and there-
tronomers nowadays only rarely think of early 1974 when I tried to locate Comet fore "new" in the sense that it has never
their pitiful eastern colleagues who long Kohoutek from a balcony in brightly lit before been near to the Sun, rather
ago forgot to predict an eclipse and Geneva where I lived at that time. And I makes some astronomers worry about
promptly lost their jobs, heads and lives. had a feeling of "deja vu" when I how accurate their brightness predic-
Of course, in the meantime the com- searched for Comet Austin in the morn- tions will turn out to be.
putations needed to establish the exact
time and place of a solar eclipse one
hundred years from now have become
so accurate that tour organizers may
safely start the preparations and book Komet Rust i n ~ 1 9 8 9 ~ ~ 1
the hotels already now. On the basis of
the collective experience gained during
several centuries we now master celes-
tial mechanics to a very high degree of
perfection and Voyager was guided to
within a few kilometres of the aiming
point at Neptune, more than 4000 mil-
lion kilometres away.

Comet Brightness Prediction:

A Difficult Art
But such a high degree of perfection
is less evident when we turn to the
brightness of comets. Indeed, in this
field we astronomers have several times
been in situations similar to those fre-
quently experienced by our exposed
meteorological colleagues, especially 1B.12. 1.7.1. 1.6.2. 18.3. 1.7.4.
before the advent of remote-sensing 1984 1 1490
weather satellites. Why, demanded the Figure 1: Heliocentric brightness evolution of Comet Austin, showing the rapid decrease after
angry public, why did we leave our perihelion. Prepared by Andreas Kammerer (Karlsruhe, Fed. Rep. Germany).
Figure 2 : Comet Austin, observed on April 20, 1990 by Michael Jager Figure 3 : Comet Austin, near the Andromeda Nebula, photographed
(Fischamend, Austria). The impressive tail measures more than 4.5 on April 24, 1990 by Stefan Binnewies (Bochum, F. R. Germany)
degrees. Exposure time 4 min on Kodak TP 24 15 emulsion. 5-min exposure on Agfachrome 1000 RS.

The problem is particularly intricate when it was ideally suited for observa- there will be more in the coma, and the
when the new comet, as was the case tions from the Northern Hemisphere. comet will be brighter. We do not know
for Kohoutek and Austin, is discovered The heliocentric brightness change (i.e. yet why some comets are more "dusty"
while it is still quite far from the Sun and the brightness the comet would have at than others; it could be a real difference
already appears unusually bright at this 1 A. U. geocentric distance) is shown in in composition, or it could simply be that
distance. Then the temptation is great to Figure I . An asymmetry around the in some comet nuclei, the dust "pock-
make a simple extrapolation and to pre- perihelion is clearly visible - the bright- ets" happen to be nearer the surface
dict that the comet will become a really ness falls more rapidly off after the and therefore more readily replenish the
bright object near perihelion. perihelion. coma via "dust jets".
There are probably two reasons for Whatever the reason, it is clear that
this. First, several of the "new" comets we cannot with confidence predict a
Why Was Comet Austin Not So
discovered during the past decades comet's brightness without knowing the
have been unusually bright at large size, structure and composition of its
When Austin was discovered in early heliocentric distances, possibly be- nucleus in some detail. For periodical
December 1989, more than four months cause there were small deposites of var- comets, experience has taught us that
before perihelion, it was well outside the ious ices (H,O, GO2, . . .) on the surface they behave more or less the same way
orbit of Mars, and already of magnitude of their "dirty snowball" nucleus. This at each return and that straightforward
11. This is unusually bright at this dis- layer evaporates already at large dis- extrapolations are reasonably secure,
tance. If it would behave like most tance and forms a temporarily dense as was the case with Comet Halley in
periodical comets, it could be expected coma around the nucleus. But the de- 1986. But "new" comets are also new to
to reach magnitude 0 near perihelion in posites are soon exhausted and then us, and we have no observational
early April; indeed, the brightness in- the coma becomes thinner and more means to study their nuclei in detail. For
crease in December and most of Janu- diffuse, and the brightness stalls. the time being, we can only treat them in
ary seemed to confirm this trend. The The second is the lack of dust in some a statistical way, hoping that they will
first doubts arose in February when it comets, and this is probably the most behave "normally".
appeared to become rather diffuse and important reason in the case of Comet However, comets are real individual-
in mid-March it was evident that Comet Austin. The visual brightness of a comet ists, and we must endeavour to base our
Austin was falling behind the predicted is largely determined by the amount of brightness estimates on the best pos-
brightness. In the end, it stalled around dust in the coma, which effectively re- sible observations. In particular, the ap-
magnitude 4.5-5.0 at maximum, with flects the infalling sunlight. When more proximate amount of dust can be
about magnitude 5 in late April, the time dust comes out of the nucleus, then judged from infrared observations and
ures 2 and 3). While this comet may
have been another "flop" for the general
public, it was a good opportunity to
make use of the means and methods
from the Halley campaign.
Observations at La Silla began in late
May, when Comet Austin crossed the
celestial equator and again became ac-
cessible from the southern hemisphere.
There was too little time to prepare a
detailed summary for this Messenger
issue, but it is expected to bring more
information in one of the next issues. In
the meantime we reproduce here one of
the first photos (Figure 4) taken with the
ESO 1-m Schmidt telescope in early
We know for sure that a really bright
comet will appear again sometime -
statistically there are about 4 to 5 such
objects per century. But we cannot pre-
dict when this will happen . . .

A Delicate Postscripturn
Maybe we astronomers should learn
to better resist the pressure of those
media who want sensations. When we
make an - admittedly not very accurate!
- prediction of a comet's maximum
brightness, say, as magnitude 0 f 2,
Figure 4 : Comet Austin is here seen on a 10-min B exposure (Ila-0 + 66 385), obtained by many journalists have a built-in tenden-
Guido Pizarro with the 1-m ESO Schmidt on June 5.39, and photographically enhanced by cy to overlook the plus-sign; it is a safe
Hans-Hermann Heyer, ESO-Garching. Ofparticular interest is the so-called "neck-line" struc- bet that you will read in the press that
ture which is seen as a 1.5-arcmin wide, straight dense structure, stretching at least 2.6 the comet is expected to reach ''-2 mag
degrees (to the plate border) within a broader, diffuse and rather faint envelope. A much
or possibly brighter,, and become as
weaker sunward spike can be followed in the opposite direction to about 30 arcmin distance
from the nucleus. Both features represent sunlight reflected in dust particles ejected from the
bright as the brightest planets. And
comet, and are visible when the Earth crosses through the comet's orbital plane. They were when the after all reaches
predicted by M. Fulle (Trieste) and L. Pansecchi (Bologna) in April 1990 (IAU Circular 4991). The magnitude 2, then we are asked why we
inserf shows the region around the nucleus. were off by 4 magnitudes. . .

we ought to take such measurements comet with a fine tail and a good study
more into account in the future. object for both professional and
amateur astronomers. Many photomet- I am grateful to Werner Celnik (Berlin),
ric and spectroscopic observations Jiirgen-~inder (Durmersheim), ~ n d r e k s
Observations of Comet Austin
were ~erformedwith larae telescopes Kammerer (Karlsruhe), Michael Jager
All of this should not hide the fact that and &ite a few amateurs took imp;es- i is cham end) and Stefan ~ i n n e i e s
Comet Austin was still a relatively bright sive photos; two are shown here (Fig- (Bochum) for information and photos.

Asteroids: A Key to Understand the Evolution

of the Solar System
M. Dl MARTINO, Osservatorio Astronomico di Torino, ltaly
M,A. BARUCCI, Observatoire de Paris, DAEC, Meudon, France
M. FULCHIGNONI, Universita "La Sapienza", Roma, Italy

1. Introduction tional influence of the massive proto-

the terrestrial planets from the jovian
Asteroids are believed to be remnant ones. There the planetary formation pro- Jupiter.
planetesimals from the crucial period of cess was interrupted at an intermediate Asteroid eccentricities and inclina-
planetary formation and are mostly lo- stage owing to an unknown mechanism, tions were pumped up, thereby increas-
cated in the transition region, separating probably associated with the gravita- ing collision velocities, and transforming
CCD photometry. Surface albedo
v homogeneity is estimated on the basis
of three- or eight-colour photometry;
- 1 2m80 Sep 3,1986 chemical composition of the surface
materials is deduced comparing the IR

B reflectance spectra of asteroids with
those of different materials (meteorites,
0.8 O 0
lunar and terrestrial rocks, etc.) obtained
8 0
in the laboratory, while significant con-
0 tributions to the knowledge of the phys-
- 13.00 a
ical properties of these materials have
been obtained by radiometry and
polarimetry and on the basis of the few
available radar observations. Star occul-
tations and speckle interferometry give
better data on asteroid shapes and pole
orientation, but these measurements
- 13.20 are difficult and only few data are pres-
ently available.

2. Current Knowledge

2.1 Rotation
- 13.40

rC Asteroid magnitudes vary periodically
as they spin, mostly because of
changes in cross section for nonspheri-
cal bodies but also because of surface
albedo variations and scattering
anomalies. Amplitudes are typically 0.1
- 13.60 7h 8 9 lo u.T.(~.c)
to 0.3 mag but can exceed 1 mag. To
date, there are about 4500 numbered
minor planets, and we know the rotation
Figure 1 : Composite lightcurve of asteroid 1188 Gothlandia obtained on September 2-3, 1986 periods of about 600 objects, but the
with the 1-m telescope at La Silla. The obtained rotational synodic period is 3.493 i- 0.07 rotation data set for the smaller objects
hours and the lightcurve amplitude 0.67 f 0.01 mag. is very incomplete when compared with
(m) Sep 2; (e) Sep 3, 1986. Open symbols are repeated points. the rotation periods available for as-
teroids larger than 100 km. In fact, only
less than 10% of objects with diameter
smaller than 50 km have been observed
the accretion among planetesimals into elongated or even binary), and in solar and have a well-determined rotation
collisional destruction and erosion. Im- system location. Most of them should period, while the percentage is
pacts have altered asteroid sizes, phys- be constituted of essentially unalterated 30-40 % for objects of about 100 km,
ical structures and rotation rates over primitive material in which is preserved and close to 100 % for asteroids larger
the course of solar system history; how- important information about the chemi- than 200 km. It follows that special
ever, the magnitude of these changes is cal composition and the environmental efforts should be made to enlarge the
not yet well understood. Collisional conditions of the protoplanetary nebula available set for the smaller asteroids.
comminution among the asteroids con- and the processes that produced the The first lightcurve of a minor planet
tinues to the present. planetary bodies: asteroids would rep- was obtained in 1901 of 433 Eros, and in
Asteroids comprise a great diversity resent the last remnant of the swarm of the next years light variations were ob-
of objects, with wide variations in planetesimals which formed the terres- served for several other asteroids, at
mineralogy, in size (sub-km to 950 km in trial planets. first by unreliable photographic photom-
diameter), in spin rate (a few hours to Even though asteroids remain points etry which was replaced in the 1950s by
two months), in shape (spherical to of light through ground-based tele- photoelectric photometry. In general,
scopes, the knowledge of these small we can assert that asteroids are irregu-
bodies has considerably improved over lar bodies, partially spotted by albedo
the last twenty years, but the asteroid features. However, the contribution of
Editor's note: This paper is published in population is still poorly known with re- this second characteristic is very small
response to a request from the ESO Ob- spect to the other bodies of the solar when compared to the variation of the
serving Programmes Committee, whose system which have been explored by projected shape during rotation. Light-
members suggested that an overview of spacecraft. Ground-based observations curves dominated by shape exhibit two
current theories of asteroid formation, provide the only available information. maxima and two minima per period (see
etc. should be prepared. We are thankful Most of the current knowledge on as- Fig. I)for obvious geometrical reasons.
that Drs. Di Martino, Barucci and Fulchi-
teroid rotational properties (rotation Variability due solely to albedo features
gnoni have taken on this task and feel
sure that many readers of the Messenger
period and pole direction) and on their can yield any number of maxima per
will appreciate this concise summary of shapes is deduced by analysing the am- period, but most commonly one. When
minor planet work. plitude and the behaviour of the light- the lightcurve is dominated by albedo
curves obtained by photoelectric and variegations it is possible to have ambi-
guity in determining the rotation period needed to determine its shape and pole al., 1985), methods combining epochs
(Zappala et al., 1983). A few asteroid direction. Much work has been carried of extrema and amplitude-aspect rela-
lightcurve amplitudes are too small to out to determine these parameters from tions (Magnusson, 1983; for a review of
reveal reliable rotation periods. the observed light variations, also by pole determination methods, see Mag-
Plotting the available asteroid rotation comparing the observations with nusson, 1989). The method based on
rates versus their diameter by a so- laboratory simulations that help in the lightcurve amplitude as a function of
called "running box" technique, that understanding how each parameter the position of the asteroid in its orbit
was first used for asteroid rotation rates (shape, orientation and surface mor- (amplitude-magnitude method) has al-
by Dermott et al. (1984), there appears phology) influences the lightcurve (Ostro ready given spin axis directions for
to be an increase in the rotation rates for and Connelly, 1984; Barucci et al., about 30 asteroids with a good accu-
very large objects, relative to the smaller 1989). racy. The amplitude-magnitude (AM)
ones (see Fig. 2). It is as if the marked Barucci et al. (1989) analysed as- method can be applied when complete
change in the rotation-diameter dis- teroids with known rotation periods by lightcurves, obtained during at least 3
tribution at sizes of about I 0 0 km may means of Fourier analysis of all light- different oppositions, are available. In
separate primordial asteroids (right) curves published before 1985. They this way we can obtain a rough estimate
from their collisional products (left). A used a sample of about one hundred of the pole direction: the larger the
possible trend towards more rapid rota- "best observed" objects to discuss their number of lightcurves at different eclip-
tion rates is present among the very shape distribution. The sample was tic longitudes, the more accurate is the
small asteroids, but there is also an ex- subdivided in four categories: 32% of determination. Astrometric and speckle
cess of slowly rotating objects below a the selected asteroids have been interferometry methods are in principle
size of about 50 km (this is evident in the classified as more or less elongated more accurate, but are also more
figure from the increase in the disper- ellipsoids, 25 % irregular, 23 % difficult to apply and have resulted in
sion for the lower size range), and the spheroids and 20% as objects probably about ten additional determinations up
distribution of rotation rates among the characterized by albedo features. to now.
smallest asteroids is distinctly bimodal. The number of asteroids with known
Unfortunately, for these objects the re- pole directions is too small to perform
2.3 Pole Direction conclusive statistical studies, but from a
sults are only indicative because, as al-
ready noted, they are affected by the The methods for pole determination preliminary analysis there seems to be a
incompleteness of the data set. can be summarized as follows: photo- distinct bimodality in the pole direction
metric astrometry (Taylor, 1979), am- distribution (Fig. 3).
plitude-aspect and/or magnitude-as- The determination of the pole direc-
2.2 Shape tion of asteroids should lead to a better
pect relation (Zappala et al., 1983),
We have some indications on asteroid speckle interferometry (Drummond et understanding of the role of the colli-
silhouettes that can be derived from star
occultations, which give the cross-sec-
tions of asteroids in the plane perpen-
dicular to the line of sight. Although this
result is aspect dependent, star occulta-
tions (Millis and Dunham, 1989) indicate
that larger asteroids have either a spher-
ical or an ellipsoidal shape, while radar
delay-Doppler images of small asteroids
(Ostro, 1989) show more irregular
shapes. On the hypothesis that the as-
teroids evolved collisionally from
planetesimal swarms, these observa-
tions can be easily interpreted: the
largest bodies (D > 200 km) are the
remnants of the original population
characterized by equilibrium figures,
while decreasing the size increases the
number of irregularly shaped asteroids,
affected or produced by disruptive colli-
sions. This interpretation is confirmed
by the most recent results from experi-
mental studies of catastrophic fragmen-
tation processes (Fujiwara et al., 1989,
Capaccioni et al., 1986).
The images of the smaller bodies of
the solar system (satellites of Mars and
minimoons of Jupiter, Saturn and
Uranus), obtained during space mis-
sions, show that elongated shapes are
common in the size range 20 to 200 km. L o g . diameter
For this reason, bi- and triaxial ellipsoids Figure 2 : Plot of rotational frequency versus log diameter for all asteroids with known rotational
seem to be a realistic approximation of period, excluding the planet-crossing objects and members of the major dynamical families.
the shape of most asteroids. The "running-box" contained n = N/IO asteroids (N is the total number of objects in the sample)
The lightcurve of an asteroid con- and was stepped through the population one asteroid at a time over the entire diameter range.
stitutes the primary observational data One-sigma uncertainties are shown above and below the mean (dashed lines).
major taxonomic types, namely B, E, G, enstatite chondrites (M). The E asteroids
C, M, D, S, V, A and interpreted the links may be composed by the silicates
Retrograde I Prograde between the classes in terms of genetic formed when enstatite chondritic bodies
r o t a t i o n 1 rotation trends. To understand better their possi- (M) were differentiated.
ble evolution, they compared the as- The third and fourth trends ending at
teroid classes with some meteorite V and A classes, respectively, seem to
samples. represent lines of increasing differentia-
In Figure 4 the classes are reported in tion, starting from the undifferentiated
a diagram where four trends are distin- material D. The third trend connects the
guished by the arrows that leave from D D class (through a subunit of S as-
asteroids (dark objects with very red teroids) to the V class whose end mem-
spectra suggesting the presence of low- bers are covered by basaltic material
temperature organic compounds and (4 Vesta) and olivinelpyroxene rich ma-
typical of the Trojan group) supposed to terials (349 Dembowska and 192
be primitive objects which have under- Nausikaa). The fourth trend connects
gone little or nor heating. Each arrow the primitive D cluster to the A unit and
goes towards an "end class" and its contains most of the S asteroids, whose
direction generally indicates a decrease spectra show bands due to silicates.
in heliocentric distance. The A asteroids show in their spectrum
The first trend links together the D an olivine absorption band that may rep-
cluster with the B one, including the C resent the signature of mantle material
90" 45" 25' -8' +8" 25' 45" 90"
class (probably similar in composition to of a differentiated body.
B0 carbonaceous chondritic meteorites). In the asteroid population a great di-
Figure 3: Distribution of pole ecliptic latitudes This trend might be interpreted in terms versity of albedos is present. Account-
(Po) for 27 main-belt asteroids whose pole of volatile content reduction. According ing for the observational biases, about
direction has been determined with good 75% of the asteroids are found to be
to this interpretation, the class D sam-
accuracy. Shaded boxes indicate objects
ples are richer in volatiles, while the B's very dark, with average albedo of about
larger than 200 km.
are the poorest due to higher formation 0.3 (D, C, and B types), another group of
temperature. objects presents an albedo of about
The second trend, connecting the D 0.15 (S, E, M, and V types), few as-
to the E class through G and M, may be teroids lie in between, while some bright
sional processes in shaping the physical interpreted as a progressive evolution of bodies have albedos up to 0.40 or more.
characters of the population: a distribu- the solar nebula condensates (D) to- Very interesting is the fact that, in
tion with a preferential orientation would wards the enstatite achondrites (E) general, different taxonomic types are
record the initial state of the axis inclina- through an ultraprimitive, high-carbon, located at different heliocentric distan-
tions, while a random distribution would low-metamorphic-grade C-type mineral ces. This compositional gradient is in-
indicate a complete reorientation of the assemblage (G) and a reduction (tran- terpreted as a "portrait" of the solar
spin axes due to the prevalence of colli- sition metal free) silicate similar to the nebula matter, which condensed into

2.4 Taxonomy and Composition

The chemical composition of as-
teroids is of great interest because the
different mineralogical assemblages
may give interesting clues to the under-
standing of the primordial processes
that took place in the solar nebula and
during the early stages of the accretion.
The principal source of information
about composition comes from spectral
analysis of reflected sunlight, although
other techniques like polarimetry,
radiometry and radar have yielded im-
portant contributions.
Many taxonomic classifications have
been developed in the last decade (for a
review, see Tholen, 1989), aiming at
understanding some of the physical and
compositional properties of the asteroid
population. Two recent works are based
on multivariate statistical analysis of as-
teroids for which a homogeneous set
of spectrophotometric data, from ul-
traviolet to infrared, are available (Tho-
len, 1984; Barucci et al., 1987, which
complete the data set with IRAS al- Figure 4: Diagram showing the evolutionary compositional trends of asteroids. The arrows
bedos). Barucci et al. analysed 442 as- leave from D-type objects supposed to be primitive objects which have undergone little or no
teroids and in this sample identified nine heating.
solid grains first, then formed the ejected in all the directions. We have estimated population of about 1000)
planetesimals. This variation in the com- then the so-called "dispersed families". have complete lightcurves been ob-
position was clearly related to the tem- Finally, the smaller asteroids can be tained.
perature decrease with solar distance. It considered single fragments generated
is also noteworthy that asteroids be- by catastrophic impact disruptions.
4.2 Distant Asteroids
longing to primitive taxonomic types Their shapes can be irregular since they
(corresponding to least metamorphosed are dominated by solid-state forces and Owing to their great heliocentric dis-
material) are present in the outer belt their rotation rate is connected with the tance and their corresponding faintness,
regions. partitioning of the angular momentum few observational data have been ob-
which occurred during the catastrophic tained on Trojans (a -5.2 AU) and on
break-up of their parent body (Chapman outer-main-belt asteroids belonging to
3. Collisional Evolution
et al., 1989). the Hilda (a - 4 AU) and Cybele (a
and Asteroid Families
In conclusion, we can state that most -3.4 AU) groups. These objects are of
During the last decade, several of the asteroid population can be con- considerable interest because of recent
theoretical and statistical articles (Binzel sidered to have been influenced by colli- discoveries, both about their composi-
et al., 1988; Davis et al., 1985, 1989; sional processes and the observed dif- tion and the possible evolution of their
Farinella et al., 1981, 1982; Zappala et ferentiations may be due to the physical orbits (Milani and Nobili, 1985). Distant
al., 1984) have shown how important the differences of the target asteroids, to asteroids predominantly belong to tax-
mutual collisions among asteroids are their varying size and also to the various onomic classes characterized by low al-
for outlining the evolution of the main impact velocities and geometry. How- bedo and red colours, and observational
belt following the primordial phases. ever, this description involves some im- results from comet nuclei suggest a
The outcome of collisions are strongly portant points which must still be better similiar classification (Hartmann et al.,
size-dependent, in the sense that the understood, either because of the pres- 1987). To explain the dark, reddish sur-
largest asteroids (D 2 300 km) appear ence of very severe selection effects in faces of D-type asteroids, which make
not to have been strongly affected by the available ground-based observing up more than half of Trojans, Gradie and
catastrophic events. In the case of inter- data, or because of discrepancies be- Veverka (1980) suggested that the spec-
mediate size objects (100 s D s 300) tween the real cases and the results of tra of D-type material can be repro-
the largest probable impact energy is laboratory hypervelocity impact experi- duced by a mixture of silicates with car-
close to the limits for disruption and for ments (Fujiwara et al., 1989). bonaceous compounds, even more
the transfer of a quasi-critical amount of primitive than those found in the car-
angular momentum. In this size range is bonaceous chondrites. This is in agree-
possible the formation of binaries, tria- 4. Some Open Problems ment with current condensation theories
xial equilibrium ellipsoids, and dynami- about the formation of the solar system
4.1 Apollo-Amor-Atens (AAA) and is supported by the spectral studies
cal families, i. e. groupings of asteroids
Asteroids of Vilas and Smith (1985), who observed
significantly clustered in three orbital
elements: semi-major axis (a), eccen- Among the small bodies of the solar an increasing reddening of asteroid
tricity (e), and inclination (i). In this case, system, the Earth (Apollo and Atens) spectra with heliocentric distance
self-gravitation prevents complete dis- and Mars (Amor) crossing asteroid among the Cybele, Hilda and Trojan
persion of the target asteroid fragments. population may contain a small but groups of asteroids. Eight-colour pho-
In fact, most of the dispersed mass is meaningful sample of primitive objects. tometry of the outer jovian satellites, at
reaccumulated by the mutual gravita- The AAA asteroids are generally quite the same heliocentric distance as the
tional attraction of the fragments and small, of the order of 5 km in diameter. Trojans, shows however that these ob-
the resulting objects may be described The growing number of discoveries of jects are probably mostly C-type. This
as a "rubble-pile" or a mega-regolith such objects with large aphelion distan- "mixing" of C and D types - D in the
asteroid (Farinella et al., 1981), in which ces and carbonaceous-type reflectance Trojan groups and C in the jovian sys-
rocks from crust, mantle, and core of a spectra strongly suggests that part of tem - poses a complication for the stan-
differentiated body have been jumbled them may derive from cometary sources dard formation model of direct correla-
up, thus forming a group of bodies (are they extinct comets?). On the other tion between asteroid composition and
dominated by self-gravitation. Such hand, the AAA with typical diameters of heliocentric distance. The identification
bodies, owing to their state of fragmen- about 1 km could correspond to a low- of D material in the saturnian satellite
tation, will relax in hydrostatic equili- mass tail of the distribution of fragments system and the similarity between the
brium figures consistent with their angu- produced in catastrophic collisions continuum spectra of some old comets
lar momentum. which occurred in the main belt and to those of D objects suggest that the
If, following the catastrophic impact, then injected into the inner regions of Trojans may not have formed at their
the initial velocity of some fragments the solar system. present location, but further out, and
exceed the escape velocity of the target, Comparison of the properties of com- could be related to comets.
a few of them may escape, reaching ets and asteroids of the AAA class is For the above-mentioned reasons,
heliocentric orbits with elements very complicated by the fact that not much is observations of distant groups of as-
close to those of the larger remnant. In known about the rotational properties teroids (a 3 3.25 AU) should be consid-
this case an "asymmetric dynamical and spectra of these asteroids. Photo- ered highly important, offering the
family" is formed by a large object and a metry and spectroscopy of these ob- possibility to collect data on objects
small tail of a few minor asteroids. When jects is difficult since they are faint and quite different from the main-belt popu-
the target mass decreases, the proba- in favourable positions for observation lation.
bility to obtain dynamical families in- during a short time only. Some interest-
creases significantly. In this case the ing insight into their origins could be
5. Conclusions
families are not only formed by the obtained through a more complete
asymmetric tail of high-velocity frag- rotational period data set. Up to now Space missions devoted to the explo-
ments originating close to the impact only for about 20% of the known AAA ration of small bodies of the solar sys-
point, but they are formed by bodies population (about 90 objects out of an tem, such as Vesta, CRAF and Rosetta,
or including asteroid fly-by, as Galileo among these the most intriguing are: Drummond, J.D., Cocke, W. J., Hege, E.K.,
and Cassini, will give a wealth of high- (i) the knowledge of physical charac- Strittmatter, P.A.: 1985, lcarus 61,132.
teristics and origin of outer main belt Farinella, P., Paolicchi, P., Zappala, V.: 1981,
quality data on the asteroid population.
lcarus 46, 114.
Not a single close-up picture of a minor and AAA asteroids, (ii) the collisional
Farinella, P., Paolicchi, P., Zappala, V.: 1982,
planet is yet available, but more infor- evolution of main belt objects and the lcarus 52,409.
mation on asteroid rotations, shapes, related origin of dynamical families. Fujiwara, A,, Cerroni, P., Davis, D., Ryan, E.,
poles and compositional types would So far ESO has provided to the Euro- Di Martino, M., Holsapple, K., Housen,
provide interesting clues in understand- pean asteroidal community small tele- K. E.: 1989, in Asteroids 11, R. P. Binzel, T.
ing the role of collisions in producing the scopes only (ESO 50-cm and I - m , Gehrels, M.S. Matthews eds., University of
observed asteroid belt and more in gen- Bochum 61-cm, Danish 1.52-m and Arizona Press, Tucson, p. 240.
eral in the evolution of the solar system. GPO). But in order to deepen our knowl- Gradie, J., Veverka, J.: 1980, Nature 283,
edge on asteroids and to solve, at least 840.
Moreover, the data coming from in situ
Hartmann, W. K., Tholen, D. J., Cruikshank,
measurements will be detailed enough partially, the above-mentioned prob-
D.P.: 1987, lcarus 69,33.
to clarify the nature and the interrela- lems, the availability of larger instru- Magnusson, P.: 1983, in Asteroids, Comets,
tionships between small bodies popula- ments will be necessary, in particular, Meteors, C.4. Lagerkvist and H. Rickman
tions, if any. Are some of the Earth- for photometric, polarimetric and spec- eds., Uppsala Universitet, Uppsala, p. 77.
crossing asteroids nuclei of dead com- troscopic observations. Magnusson, P.: 1989, in Asteroids 11, R. P.
ets? Are the meteorites fragments of Asteroids may be "small" and "near", Binzel, T. Gehrels, M.S. Matthews eds.,
asteroids disrupted by mutual collisions, nevertheless they deserve being investi- University of Arizona Press, Tucson,
or are they the smallest size tail of the gated by means of large telescopes! p. 1180.
Milani, A,, Nobili, A,: 1985, Astron. Astrophys.
asteroidal size distribution? Are double
or multiple systems present among as- References Millis, R.L., Elliot, J.L.: 1979, in Asteroids, T.
teroids? Barucci, M.A., Capria, M.T., Coradini, A., Gehrels ed., Univ. of Arizona Press, Tuc-
In order to give an answer to these Fulchignoni, M.: 1987, lcarus 72,304. son, p. 98.
and other questions, while we wait for Barucci, M.A., Capria, M.T., Harris, A.W., Ostro, S. J.: 1989, in Asteroids 11, R. P. Binzel,
the results of the space missions, it is Fulchignoni, M.: 1989, Icarus, 83,325. T. Gehrels, M.S. Matthews eds., University
necessary to improve the number and Binzel, R. P.: 1988, lcarus 73,303. of Arizona Press, Tucson, p. 1920.
quality of data on asteroids: unbiased Capaccioni, F., Cerroni, P., Coradini, M., Di Ostro, S.J., Connelly, R.: 1984, lcarus 57,
and detailed Earth-based surveys, IS0 Martino, M., Farinella, P., Flamini, E., Mar- 443.
telli, G., Paolicchi, P., Smith, P.N., Wood- Taylor, R.C.: 1979, in Asteroids, T. Gehrels
orbiting observatory results and Space
ward, A,, Zappala, V.: 1986, lcarus 66,487. ed., Univ. of Arizona Press, Tucson, p. 480.
Telescope inputs will be the main sour- Chapman, C.R., Paolicchi, P., Zappala, V., Tholen, D.J.: 1984, PhD Thesis, Univ. of
ces of the future data. Embedded in the Binzel, R.P., Bell, J.F.: 1989, in Asteroids Arizona.
asteroid belt may be the clues that will 11, R.P. Binzel, T. Gehrels, M.S. Matthews Tholen, D. J.: 1989, in Asteroids 11, R. P. Bin-
help us to unravel the structure of the eds., University of Arizona Press, Tucson, zel, T. Gehrels, M.S. Matthews eds., Uni-
early solar system, to learn about the p. 386. versity of Arizona Press, Tucson, p. 1139.
planetesimals and their evolution, and to Davis, D. R., Weidenschilling, S. J., Farinella, Vilas, F., Smith, B.: 1985, lcarus 64,503.
fathom the mechanism by which planet- P., Paolicchi, P., Binzel, R.P.: 1989, in As- Zappala, V., Di Martino, M., Cacciatori, S.:
building was halted in this part of our teroids 11, R.P. Binzel, T. Gehrels, M.S. 1983, lcarus 56,319.
Matthews eds., University of Arizona Zappala, V., Di Martino, M., Farinella, P., Pao-
planetary system.
Press, Tucson, p. 805. licchi, P.: 1983, in Asteorids, Comets,
Thanks to the ESO facilities, especial- Davis, D. R., Chapman, C. R., Weidenschil- Meteors, C.4. Lagerkvist and H. Rickman
ly in the last five years, a lot of data, both ling, S.J., Greenberg, R.: 1985, lcarus 62, eds., Uppsala Universitet, Uppsala, p. 73.
physical and astrometric, were obtained 30. Zappala, V., Farinella, P., Kneievic, Z., Pao-
on asteroids. Nevertheless, many un- Dermott, S. F., Harris, A. W., Murray, C.D.: licchi, P.: 1984, lcarus 59,261.
solved problems still remain open and 1984, lcarus 57, 14.

The Dust Tail of Comet Wilson 1987VII

G. CREMONESE, OsservatorioAstronomico, Padova, ltaly
M. FULLE, OsservatorioAstronomico, Trieste, ltaly

1. Introduction which the ejection of dust is restricted to

and 6842 to study the dust environment
Several photographic plates, both in of Cl1987Vll before perihelion by means a cone of half width w with its symmetry
red and blue light, were obtained by of the inverse numerical method which axis pointing toward the Sun. The posi-
means of the ESO Schmidt camera to was successfully tested on Cl1973Xll tion of each grain at the observation is
study the dust and plasma tails of Com- and Cl1962 111 (Fulle, 1989). derived from its keplerian motion, then
et Wilson 1987V11. All these plates were This model considers Nt x N, x N, projected into the photographic plane
calibrated by means of calibration sample dust grains, where Nt is the coordinate system, so as to obtain the
wedges and therefore are suitable for a number of samples in the time interval of model distribution of the scattered light
quantitative analysis of the dust and ion dust ejection, N, is the number of sam- from the tail and the related kernel mat-
tails. The pass-band of the emulsion- ples in the sizes, and N, is the number of rix A. The solutions are given by the
filter combination of red plates is from grains of a fixed size uniformly distri- minimization of the functional [AF-112 +
630 to 700 nm, close to the R photomet- buted on a dust shell. It considers differ- ~ ~ [ B F Iwhere
*, A is the kernel matrix, I is
ric system. We used plates 6810, 6829 ent ejection geometries for each of the data vector containing the dust tail
Plate Time UT r A u. Exp. Emulsion SIOB R~ky
- -
6810 Mar 27366 1.26 1.42 43" 20 098 + RG 630 - -
6829 Apr 2368 1.23 1.24 48" 30 098+ RG630 915 + 15 +
20.38 0.02
6842 Apr 7348 1.22 1.09 51" 30 098+RG630 750 + 20 20.60 2 0.04
TABLE 1: Photographic data. Plate, serial number of the photographic plate. Time UT, time of mid-exposure. r, A, Sun-Comet and Earth-Comet
distances (AU). a, Phase angle. Exp., exposure time (minutes). Emulsion, emulsion and filter combination. Slos, sky background surface light
intensity expressed in number of 10 R-magnitude stars per square degree. Rsky,sky background R-magnitude arcsec-?

surface light intensities of the Nk images

sampled in NN x NM points, B is a reg-
ularizing matrix weighted by p, and F is
the solution vector sampled in N, x N,,
values, from which the dust number and
mass loss rates and the time dependent
and time averaged size distributions can
be directly computed. Contrarily, the
dust ejection velocity v(t) is required for
the computation of the matrix A, so that
it must be determined by means of a
trial and error procedure. The regulariz-
ing weight [3 tunes the constraints to our
ill-posed problem: when (3 increases,
the instability of F decreases, but also
the quality of the fit to the data. There-
fore, the most probable dust velocity v(t)
is defined as the function giving a stable
and positive vector F for a regularizing
weight fi as small as possible.

-0.20 -0 10 0 00 -0.20 -0.10 0.00 -020 -0.10 0 00

2. Data Reduction Figure 1: lsophotes of the dust tail from image 6810 for the intensity levels 1.6, 2.4, 3.8 and 8.7
The plates were digitized adopting expressed in sky surface intensity units. The distances along the axes are expressed in lo6 km
square scanning windows of 50 ym2 units. Continuous lines: observed isophotes. Dashed lines: computed isophotes. w is the
anisotropy parameter. u = 6 log v(t, d)/6 log d (Table 2).
and the photographic densities were
transformed into intensity by means of
the related calibration wedges. To per-
form the absolute calibration of the im-
ages, we selected three photometric our pass-band and the R photometric verse problem. In Table 2 we show the
fields from the first edition of the new system. parameters associated with the applica-
Guide Star Photometric Catalogue tion of our method to the images of C/
(GSPC-I, Lasker, Sturch et al., 1988). 1987V11. For each parameter combina-
3. Results
Such fields were digitized by means of a tion, we tested the number of trial veloc-
square scanning window of 20 ym2 and In Figure 1 we show the comparison ity functions v(t) given in the table. The
were linearized by means of the same between input image 6810 and the re- solutions concerning the dust ejection
calibration wedges used for the comet construction of the same image by velocities, the range of diameters of the
images. For each GSPC-I star of visual means of the solution F, which allows to considered sample grains, the dust loss
magnitude V, we obtained the red mag- test the accuracy of the solution itself rates and the power index of the time-
nitude R following Johnson (1966) and and the stability of our constrained in- dependent size distribution are shown in
measured the integrated intensity over a
sky area covering the whole star trail
and over a same area of sky back-
ground near the star trail, obtaining the
u w Ns NLt Nt Nt N!, Nk Nivl NN T M S
sky background surface light intensity
SI0, expressed in number of 10 R-mag- -116 180" 284 100 100 20 10 3 30 30 8 4.4 0
nitude stars per square degree (Table 1). -1/6 90" 143 100 100 20 10 3 30 30 27 3.3
The very small errors affecting the sky -116 45" 382 100 100 20 10 3 30 30 10 1.9 A
intensities refer to the fits to the mea- -114 180" 284 100 100 20 10 3 30 30 12 6.0 +
sured star intensities, and not to sys- -114 90" 143 100 100 20 10 3 30 30 9 5.4 x
tematic errors, which may well be larger -114 45" 382 100 100 20 10 3 30 30 31 2.7 -X

and may have been introduced by the

TABLE 2: Parameters of the model of Comet Wilson. u = 6 log v(t, d)/a log d. w, half width of
reciprocity effect of the plates (the expo- the dust ejection cone: isotropic ejection (half width of n), hemispherical ejections (half width of
sure times of the stars and of the comet ?r/2), and strongly anisotropic ejections (half width of d 4 ) . N,, N,,, N,, dust samples on a dust
were obviously different, since the com- shell, in the modified size and in time. N,, N,,, samples of the solution in time and in the modified
et image is fixed, whereas the stars are size. NM, NN, samples of the Nk source images in the M and N directions. T, number of test
trailed) and by the differences between functions v(t). M, total ejected dust mass ( l o i 4 grams) for Ap(u) = 0.02. S, symbol in Fig. 2.
Figure 2. The dust loss rates were com-
puted adopting the albedo Ap(u) = 0.02
(Hanner and Newburn, 1989,43" < a <
51°, phase angle a in Table I ) . The
slow increase of the dust number loss
rate is mostly due to the decreasing size
interval which was considered. The
mass loss rate related to isotropic dust
ejections shows a wide maximum at t -
- 120 (days related to perihelion), that is
at r -- 2.4 AU, whereas the mass loss
rate related to strongly anisotropic ejec-
tions is about constant. Large uncertain-
ties of the loss rates are due to the
poorly known albedo of large grains.
The loss rates shown in Figure 2 are
inversely proportional to the assumed
value of Ap(a). The uncertainties of the
dust bulk density are much less impor-
tant. In fact the mass loss rate com-
puted by means of dust tail analysis is
independent of the dust density (Fulle, * time (days related to perihelion) time (days related t o perihelion)

1989), whereas the number loss rate is Figure 2: Dust environment of Comet Wilson 1987Vll assuming the albedo Ap(n) = 0.02: the
directly proportional to the square of dust loss rates (depending inversely on Ap(ol)l, the dust ejection velocity, the power index of
dust density. For plates exposed to the the time-dependent size distribution and the diameter interval to which all the solutions are
red pass-band, the contamination by related. The symbols are related to Table 2. The time sampling steps correspond to true
plasma (H20c) is a concern along the anomaly steps of 54
prolonged radius vector. This is re-
flected in the residual instability of the
solutions for t > -60, which explains averaged size distribution, charac- tronet Trieste centre. The diagrams
the large dispersion of the mass loss terized by the very high power index of were generated using Astronet AGL
rates and of the power index of the size -3.0 f- 0.1. These results show that the standard graphics. We thank P. D. Usher
distribution. However, plasma contami- dust loss of Comet Wilson 1987V11 was for useful discussions concerning the
nation to the left-hand side of the tails is already significant at r -- 7 AU, a Sun- plate calibration. This work has been
very improbable, so that for t < -60 the Comet distance even larger than that supported by a PSNICNR grant to Prof.
solutions should be free of significant observed for Comet Kohoutek C. Barbieri.
errors. (r = 5 AU). At these distances the gas
We find that Cl1987Vll produced production should be dominated by
more than l o 6 g S-' of dust during two C02, and we observe also a maximum References
years before perihelion, and this may be of the dust mass loss rate and a fast Fulle, M., 1989, Astron. Astrophys. 217, 283.
related to its high relative luminosity at increase of the dust ejection velocity Johnson, H.L., 1966, Annual Review Astron.
the first observations. Our results sug- when the sublimation of H20 becomes Astrophys. 4, 193.
gest that the mass loss rate does not efficient. Lasker, B.M., C.R. Sturch, C. Lopez, A.D.
increase close to perihelion, in agree- Mallama, S.F. McLaughlin, J.L. Russell,
W.Z. Wisniewsky, B.A. Gillespie, H. Jenk-
ment with the results of Hanner and
- ner, E.D. Siciliano, D. Kenny, J.H.
Newburn (1989). The power index of the Baumert, A.M. Goldberg, G.W. Henry, E.
size distribution shows small variations. The plates were digitized by means of Kemper and M.J. Siegel 1988, Astrophys.
We find that its value is higher than -4, the PDS of the Padova Astronomical J, suppi, ser,68, 1.
and this implies the release of very large Observatory. The calculations were per- Hanner, M.s., and R.L. Newburn, 1989, As-
grains. This fact is confirmed by the time formed on the Apollo computers of As- tron. J. 97, 254.

Chiron's Blue Coma


The Most Distant Minor Planet Chiron was discovered in late 1977 by At the time of its discovery, Chiron
Known Charles Kowal of the Palomar Observa- was classified as a "minor planet", and it
tory. He found a slow-moving, 18-mag was obvious that it must be a very large
Among the nearly 4500 minor planets object on plates taken with the Palomar one, in order to be so bright at this large
which have been numbered until now, Schmidt telescope and within a few distance. Depending on its ability to re-
(2060) Chiron is by far the most distant weeks, enough positions had been flect sunlight (albedo), the diameter was
and certainly one of the most unusual. It measured to compute a preliminary or- estimated as somewhere between 100
moves in a rather eccentric orbit be- bit. It was later identified on other photo- and 250 kilometres. Kowal and other
tween the giant planets Saturn and graphic plates dating back to 1895, and minor planet specialists felt that Chiron
Uranus and each revolution lasts just soon the unique nature of Chiron was might be the first of a new family of
over 50 years. firmly established. minor planets, and it was inofficially de-
confirmed the presence of this coma
(IAU Circular 4947).

Observations at ESO
During four nights in late February this
year, I had the opportunity to observe
Chiron and its newly discovered coma
with a CCD camera at the Danish 1.5-m
telescope at La Silla. My main object of
study, Comet Halley, was too low in the
sky to be observed during the first hour
of the night and I therefore took this
opportunity to point the telescope to-
wards Chiron. Both objects have a very
faint coma around a point-like light
source, but while the magnitude of
Halley's nucleus was only 24-25, Chi-
ron was much brighter, about 16.5 in the
visual range. It was therefore necessary
to restrict the integration time to a few
minutes in order to avoid overexposing
(saturating) the image of Chiron with the
undesirable side-effects of photometric
non-linearity and column "bleeding".
In all, about three hours of exposure
was obtained in the two standard col-
ours B (4000-4800 A) and V
(5000-5800 A). The cleaning of the
frames was quite laborious, in particular
because of the rather large number of
pixels with deviating sensitivity on this
Figure 1 : False-colour reproduction of Chiron's coma in visual light. The field size is 70 x 70
CCD chip (ESO No. 15). The sky
arcsec; North is up and East is to the left Galactic stars have been removed from this picture,
which is a composite of 20 frames with a total integration time of 107 min. The outer isophote
background was also rather "dirty":
corresponds to a surface brightness of V -27.5 mag/arcsec? there were comparatively strong inter-
ference fringes in the V-band, most like-
ly due to the exceptional strength of the
atmospheric oxygen line at 5577A, at
this time near solar maximum activity.
cided that other members of this class a magnitude more than predicted (IAU Adding the frames in the V-band pro-
would also be given the names of Circular 4554). This trend continued and duced the false-colour image repro-
mythological Centaurs, half man and by the end of 1988, Chiron was almost duced here (Fig. I), for the first time
half animal like Chiron itself. However, one magnitude brighter than it ought to showing the large extent of the Chiron
despite various search programmes, be. coma and allowing a more detailed
notably by Kowal at Palomar, no other No other minor planet is known to study of its morphology. We see first of
members of this class have been found have behaved this way and the idea was all that it is elliptically shaped with the
until now, though some of the minor soon put forward that Chiron is actually major axis in NW-SE direction. It can be
satellites of the outer planets may pos- a comet, i.e. a body consisting of ice followed to about 20 arcseconds from
sibly be captured objects which are and dust, rather than a minor planet of Chiron where the surface brightness is
physically similar to Chiron. solid rock. Some astronomers also near 28 mag/arcsecond2, i.e. -7 mag,
thought of a minor planet whose surface or over 600 times, fainter than the sky
is partly covered by a layer of ices. A emission in the V-band (Fig. 2).
Minor Planet Or Comet? What may be even more interesting is
natural explanation of the brightness in-
The first years after its discovery, Chi- crease would then be the sublimation of that the colour of this coma is rather
ron looked like a minor planet and be- ices from the surface, leading to the blue; at 5 arcseconds from the centre,
haved like one. Slowly moving towards creation of a "coma", a surrounding +
(B-V) = 0.3 0.1, and it looks as if the
its perihelion-which it will reach in early cloud of icy particles and possibly also coma reddens slightly outwards to
February 1996 at heliocentric distance some dust, released in the same pro- about (B-V) = 0.45 at 12 arcsecond
8.48 A. U. - its brightness rose gradually cess. Such a coma would reflect the distance. The colour of Chiron itself was
through the 19801s,exactly at the rate sunlight and thereby increase the ob- measured in the early 1980's as (B-V) =
predicted for an inert body which shines served brightness. +
0.70 0.02, i.e. near the solar value
by sunlight reflected from its surface. A coma was indeed seen around Chi- (0.65) and typical for a C-type minor
However, in 1988 a strange phe- ron in early 1989 by Karen Mees and planet (see also the article by di Martino
nomenon was observed. Comparing Michael Belton with the Kitt Peak 4-m et al. in this Messenger issue on
with observations from 1986, D.J. Tho- telescope (IAU Circular 4770). It had the page 50). Thus the coma is significantly
len and his collaborators working at the form of a 5-arcsecond, very weak exten- bluer than the surface of Chiron. This is
NASA Infrared Telescope on Hawaii sion towards southeast. Further obser- also confirmed, when the predicted light
noticed that Chiron suddenly appeared vations with the Canada-France Hawaii contribution from Chiron itself is sub-
to have brightened by several tenths of Telescope by Karen Mees in early 1990 tracted from the central condensation of

"spirals" in the coma, leaves the impres-


sion that the evaporation occurs over a
larger surface area, rather than from iso-
lated vents, like those detected on the
nucleus of Halley. It can be seen (Fig. 1)
that the innermost part of the coma is
somewhat asymmetrically placed with
respect to the nucleus. The direction of
this elongation does not coincide with
the direction to the Sun or the direction
of orbital motion, both vectors being
near West (p.a. = 269" and 28g0, re-
It is in principle possible that this
asymmetry is connected to the direction
of the rotation axis, the projection of
which might be perpendicular to the di-
rection of inner coma elongation. Since
the evaporation from the surface is likely
291 I I I to be strongest during the "Chiron after-
5 10 15 noon", just after the most intensive solar
heating at "noon", the direction of rota-
tion would appear to be from NW to SE,
Figure 2 : Mean radial luminosity profile in V of Chiron's coma, after subtraction of the
as seen projected onto the sky. How-
contribution from Chiron itself. The abscissa indicates the distance from the centre in ever, it should not be forgotten that even
arcseconds (1 arcsec = 7680 kilometres projected); the ordinate is the surface brightness in the inner coma features are still at sever-
magnitudes per square arcsecond. The corresponding sky background emission is -21 mag/ al arcseconds' distance from the centre
arcsec.?. of light, i.e. more than 20,000 km from
Chiron's surface. They may therefore
not be directly connected to phenome-
na on or just above the surface.
light; the remaining image, which is pre- possible to be more specific about the
sumably that of the coma cloud immedi- nature of these particles, their size dis-
Future Investigations
ately surrounding Chiron, is also blue, tribution, chemical composition and
(B-V) = 0.4 k 0.1. density. Details about these new observations
The blue colour of the coma is most of Chiron's coma will be reported in a
likely due to the scattering of the sun- forthcoming paper in Astronomy & As-
Chiron's Rotation
light by small particles. The possible trophysics. They pose a number of inter-
reddening outward can be explained by By careful measurement of the bright- esting questions which can only be an-
the destruction of the smallest particles ness of the central condensation, it was swered by a more detailed investigation.
as they drift away from Chiron, so that possible to confirm the light variation For instance, it would be most desirable
the relative content of larger particles noted earlier by Bus et al. (Icarus, 77, to perform photometry of the coma in
increases outwards. This is therefore in p. 223, 1989), on the basis of CCD mea- other wavebands, also in the infrared
general agreement with the idea that the surements in 1986 and 1988. Thanks to region. Apparently, no gaseous emis-
coma is caused by the sublimation of the longer time interval, the period of sions lines have been observed so far in
ices on the surface, a process that ap- this variation, i.e. the rotation period, the spectrum of Chiron, but it may well
parently started when Chiron's inward- can now be estimated with higher accu- be that a gaseous component of the
bound orbital motion brought it within racy: P = 5.91783 i= 0.00005 hours. coma can be detected at a later time.
- 12 A. U. of the Sun. The absence of any significant, night- There is little doubt that Chiron will be
It will of course be necessary to study to-night changes in the coma structure, a popular target for solar system as-
the coma in more wavebands before it is and the lack of evidence of "jets" or tronomers during the coming years.

New Communication Link Between Garching and La Silla


1, Introduction
( N W . Although the physical distance both in technological and scientific
In the beginning of February a new between Garching and La Silla will al- areas.
permanent communication link between ways be the same: the new communica- La Silla and Garching have already
ESO Headquarters and observatory tion link will make the logical distance been linked on a permanent basis for
came into operation. This new 64 kbps between people working in Europe and several years via an analogue leased
digital link will, among other things, be- South America smaller. It will contribute line. Astronomers and engineers have
come the backbone for remote control to a higher level of integration of the become accustomed to call up col-
of the New Technology Telescope organization increasing the productivity leagues on the other side of the Atlantic
mote control and general communica-
tions call for a system which integrates
data, voice and video image communi-
cations. Depending on the type of oper-
ation, different users should be given
access to the link. The system should be
Voice Voice "future compatible" in the sense that

.:.'.H Satellite
; new users should be easy to integrate,
hardware should support a future higher

-1 \7
video video bandwidth link and the system should
image codec codec image
TDM TDM be adaptable to new technologies. High

Data /, 64 kbps Data

reliability and availability should be
guaranteed through the use of redun-
dancy and powerful monitoring and
diagnostic functions. These are very
ambitious requirements, especially
Supervisor Supervisor when considering the limited trunk
bandwidth of 64 kbps.

3. System Architecture
Figure 1 : System Architecture. The integration of many users has
been implemented by means of time
division multiplexing (TDM). This tech-
simply by dialling a special prefix vices Digital Network), fast packet nique allows the 64 kbps trunk to be spit
number. Many e-mail and fax messages switching and other upcoming tech- up into smaller bandwidth user
pass over this line every day. The CAT or nologies. To appreciate the difficulties, channels. The method of time division
the 2.2-m telescope is controlled from one has to consider the different implies that the sum of the user
Europe around 12 nights every month characteristics of these types of com- channels bandwidth is less than the
using this leased line. The new link will, munications. Voice and video are analo- trunk bandwidth. The allocation of
at least for the time being, be a comple- gue in nature and need to be digitized bandwidth is done from a supervisor
ment to these well-established com- before using digital transmission media. terminal connected to the TDM micro-
munication facilities. In both cases the Voice and video transmissions are also processor. Reconfiguration can be
links are leased from the German and sensitive to delays, but not so fuzzy made from one side on-line or via pre-
Chilean PTT's and are using lntelsat about correctness. The opposite is true programmed configurations activated at
communication satellites. for digital data transmission, where a defined time of day. The system is
When discussing long-distance com- correctness is a must, but reasonable extendable in the sense that new users
munication links, the most important delays are not so critical. (input channels) can be added by plug in
characteristic is bandwidth or the The combined requirements of re- modules. The system also allows for
amount of information which can be
transmitted within a time interval. The
new digital link has five times higher
capacity to transmit raw digital informa-
tion compared to the analogue link and
this to only a 20 % higher cost. This is in
line with the present trend in internation- Bridge
al communication tariffing, whereby
cost for higher bandwidth digital leased
lines is decreasing.

2. Requirements
Experience with the existing remote
observing facilities for the CAT and
2.2-m telescopes has shown the need
to integrate voice, data and video image
communications. Experience with the
analogue line has also shown the im-

portance of allowing more general com-

munications during day time when no
telescopes are remotely controlled. In
fact, one could argue that this second
point is more important since remote
control always will be used less than -- - copper cable
50% of the time. --
- - duplex fiber cable
Integration of voice, data and video
=== = redundant fiber cable
image communication has been a hot
OT = o ~ t i c a transceiver
topic for some time and is addressed in
developments like ISDN (Integrated Ser- Figure 2 : ESO Wide Area Network.
duplication of processor board and
power supply with automatic switch
over in case of failure.

3.1 Voice
To implement meaningful voice con-
nections the telephone exchanges
(PBX) at the two sites need to be con-
nected. This allows any extension at one
site calling any extension at the other
site using a prefix number to access the
external tie line. That is exactly the way
the present tie line connection over the
analogue link works. However, in order
to interface to the TDM, the analogue
voice signal first has to be digitized.
The common method to digitize voice
is to use pulse code modulation (PCM).
The analogue voice signal is sampled at
8000 Hz and each sample is coded in
8 bits, thus a bandwidth of 64 kbps is
required for one voice channel. Using
this method obviously is bad economy
over the new digital link (remember the
initial statement that this line has five
times the capacity of the analogue line).
Different types of delta modulation,
where the difference between two sam-
ples is coded instead of the absolute
value, improves the situation and the
same voice quality can be obtained us-
ing only 32 kbps. By using parametric
coding instead of waveform coding, it is
possible to further decrease the
necessary bandwidth. This requires
more complex signal processing and
powerful hardware. With present tech-
nology it is not possible to maintain the
same voice quality when going down in available locally at the telescopes. about 10 seconds. In medium resolution
bandwidth. The main question is if the Therefore, a video image transmission mode this figure is reduced by a factor
voice quality using this method is system is required. One could also think of two.
acceptable to the users. of other applications, like some type of A preliminary version of this system
Considering the need to share the 64 video conferencing, where such a sys- was used during the N l T inauguration
kbps trunk between many users, it was tem could be useful. However, when to transmit images from the auditorium
decided to install state-of-the-art voice considering the enormous information in Garching to La Silla.
codecs using only 2.4 kbps. Thus it contents in a video signal and the
would in principle be possible to have limited bandwidth available, com-
3.3 Data
26 such voice channels over the link. promises have to be sought. A full mo-
Two such voice codecs have been in- tion digitized video signal requires a Data communication for remote con-
stalled and were taken into operation bandwidth of hundreds of Mbps. By us- trol of the CAT and the 2.2-m telescope
after some initial interfacing problems to ing advanced compression algorithms it is based on a point-to-point connection
the PBX at La Silla were rapidly solved is however possible to transmit lower between the remote control computer
by Luis Aguila. The initial experience is resolution and/or lower refresh rate vid- and the instrument computer. A similar
that these voice channels are useable. eo images over a lower bandwidth connection has been implemented to
Improvements are still possible as some channel. the NTT control computer over the new
problems have been identified and A slow scan television system has digital link. However, this type of con-
should be solved in the near future. This been chosen that operates either in high nection does not solve the need for gen-
system may anyway be complemented resolution (576 * 720 pixels) or medium erality and connections to other compu-
with one higher quality, higher band- resolution (356 * 576 pixels) mode. In ters. At La Silla there had been the wish
width voice channel. Use of such a high resolution mode a video image is for some time to build up a network
voice channel will however penalize captured and digitized using 16 bits per connecting the various telescopes and
other users and cannot be available all pixel into 6 Mbits of data. These data the general off-line computers.
the time. are compressed 20 times before trans- In close collaboration with people
mission. Because compression, trans- from La Silla, in particular Gaetano An-
mission and decompression are carried dreoni, a design was worked out to start
3.2 Video Images out in parallel and communication over- implementing such a network. The initial
The remote observing astronomer head is minimized, the resulting frame need was to connect the local area net-
needs to have access to TV pictures refresh rate over a 48 kbps channel is work (LAN) of the N l T and the general
computer LAN in the administration well as definition of type of access, e.g. time of writing it is normal to see at least
building with the LAN in Garching. Due a host may be allowed to send e-mail, one user from La Silla logged in on the
to the distances at La Silla (diameter but not allowed to do a remote login main VAX in Garching. It is fair to say
over 3000 m) the transmission media (TELNET, rlogin). that this proves the usefulness of this
had to be optical fiber. Use of fiber connection and it is expected that the
optics also have the advantage of re- use of this facility will increase drastical-
4. Experience After the First
moving problems of earthing and risk for ly in the near future.
Months of Operation
damage to equipments during lightning. It should be noted that all installations
It was decided to start implementing a In the long term, the availability of the at La Silla have been carried out by local
fiber optic Ethernet backbone network. link will become crucial. More and more staff, in particular Gaetano Andreoni,
A backbone network only carries traffic users will realize the advantage using Rolando Medina and Luis Aguila. During
between the connected LAN's, while this communication facility and take for the commissioning phase the communi-
local traffic is contained locally by granted it should be available. At ESO cation system itself was used extensive-
means of bridges. The hardware com- we can build in redundancy and recov- ly. Troubleshooting and integration of
ponents were chosen in such a way that ery procedures in our equipment, but new components are facilitated by an
new points of interest easily can be inte- we cannot do anything to guarantee the intense communication via e-mail, file
grated by pulling new fibers and instal- availability of the leased line from PTTs. transfers and telephone conversations.
ling new modules. For reliability reasons This situation is very frustrating and it is
all fiber links are duplicated with auto- important to collect statistics and anal-
5. Future Developments
matic switch over in case of fiber break- yse fault conditions in this initial phase.
age. Fibers have also been chosen to be During the first weeks of operation the During the coming year work will con-
compatible with the next generation downtime of the link was about 30%. centrate on implementing remote con-
LAN called FDDl (fiber distributed data This terrible figure has improved, but at trol of the NlT. This application will have
interface) running at ten times the speed the time of writing it is still 10 %. It is priority and other users will have to
( I 00 Mbps). The delicate work of instal- clear that this is still unacceptable for accept this.
ling and terminating fibers, using fusion the future, but hopefully the improving However, it is expected that other ap-
splicing technology, was carried out by trend will continue. Good working rela- plications will also gain in importance.
Rolando Medina. tionship with the PTTs has been estab- For example, it is already planned to
The connection between the back- lished and by identifying weak points extend the backbone network at La Silla
bone LAN and the TDM is implemented and improving recovery procedures the to other telescopes. New local applica-
using high performance OSI level 3 rout- availability should improve. tions over the backbone network are
ers, supporting multi protocols (at pres- During the N T inauguration, three expected, e. g. data sharing between te-
ent only TCP/IP is used). This approach days after the link was available to ESO, lescopes, archiving, centralized infor-
was chosen in preference to remote a preliminary video image transmission mation accessible on-line from the tele-
bridges because of performance and system and one voice channel were op- scopes (STARCAT, seeing measure-
security reasons. A router gives better erational. The point-to-point connection ments), etc.
performance for short interactive to the N l T computer has been used Software development and mainte-
messages and provides much more extensively for software upgrades and nance, not only for telescope and instru-
powerful security and diagnostic troubleshooting during the last months. ment control, but also for MlDAS and
facilities. It will continue to prove to be an impor- other applications, will become much
This implementation gives full con- tant tool during the integration of EMMl easier.
nectivity between all computers con- and later IRSPEC software. The fiber In the long run, the experience and
nected to a LAN in Garching or La Silla optic backbone network at La Silla was know-how gained by using this com-
using TCP/IP protocol. The routers taken into operation and connected to munication link will be an asset for the
allow access control on a host basis as Garching LAN without problems. At the VLT project.

Atmospheric Extinction at La Silla from September to

December 1989
N. CRAMER, Observatoire de Geneve, Sauverny, Switzerland

Since November 1975, the Geneva The M+D technique developed by F. night; otherwise, the observations are
Observatory photometry group has Rufener (see for example a description carried out at a constant air mass and
been systematically carrying out mea- in Astron. Astrophys. 165, 275-286, the reduction is generally done by using
surements in the Geneva 7-colour sys- 1986; or in IAU Symp. 111, 253-268, the mean extinction values of the site.
tem at La Silla. Special care has been 1985) allows the measurement of the During the reductions of M + D observa-
taken to ensure the conservation of the atmospheric extinction coefficients and tions, however, the instantaneous
passbands and of the reduction pro- their evolution with time over the dura- monochromatic extinction coefficients
cedures over the period of almost 30 tion of a night of observations. Our ob- corresponding to the mean wavelength
years that the system has been in servers usually apply that technique of each filter are computed throughout
use. This guarantees the long-term when the meteorological conditions are the duration of the night.
homogeneity of the data recorded. judged to remain good during the whole Over the years, we have frequently
been asked by visiting astronomers at Monochromatic Extinction Coefficients (La Silla) at 3464, 4015, 4227, 4476, 5395, 5488,
La Silla for these values obtained at 5807 A.
given dates. We have therefore offered
Date U B1 B B2 V1 V G
the editor of the Messenger to publish oU nB 1 oB 2 nV 1 aV
nB aG
some of these results in the journal. This
should be possible, provided that not
too much of the valuable space is taken
up by these data.
In the table, which covers the last four
months of 1989, we present in a concise
form the mean monochromatic extinc-
tion coefficients measured by the M + D
technique during the nights beginning
on the given dates. The second line
gives the standard deviations over the
variations of each value during the night
and provides a rough estimate of the
stability of the transparency at that
The frequency of M + D nights in this
table is fairly irregular; no attempt
should, however, be made to interpolate
between non-consecutive nights. Read-
ers who would like to have more de-
tailed information (for example evolution
of the extinction over a given night) may
contact me.

MlDAS Memo
ESO lmage Processing Group

1. Application Developments
Some improvements have been ad-
ded to the applications related to spec-
troscopy especially in the LONG SLIT
context. All the commands related to
the context ECHELLE have now been
ported from the old MlDAS into the
90 MAY release and tested on CASPEC
A number of irritating problems still
exist in many applications either due to
unclear documentation or errors in rou-
3. New Positions
tines often caused by the conversion to V W M S systems. Eleven system
portable code. A major effort on validat- managers from different European Two additional short-term positions
ing the basic MlDAS commands will be MlDAS sites participated in the course (with durations of up to two years) have
made in the remaining part of the year. which took one day and a half. In addi- been allocated to the MlDAS group.
Functionality and documentation of tion to a detailed discussion of an actual They will be used mainly for improve-
each command will be tested by ESO installation on a VAXstation 3100 with ments and developments of new appli-
in-house astronomers in order to find VMS 5.3 and DECwindows, the course cation programmes in MIDAS. Not only
and correct inconsistencies and errors. covered the general structure of MlDAS will this make it possible to have new
It is expected that this concentrated and special costumization of the system algorithms and applications included
effort will significantly improve and for individual user sites. into MIDAS after a period of limited im-
stabilize MlDAS and establish a very Similar courses for both V W M S provements in this area, it will also at
reliable MlDAS core. The next high and UNlX installations will be made in longer term spread the detailed knowl-
priority will be a major revision of the the future depending on demand. The edge of MlDAS in the community when
standard reduction packages for major lmage Processing Group also plan to people in these positions return to their
ESO instruments. make courses in programming in MlDAS home institutes.
both using the control language and In addition to these positions, it will be
coded application programmes. Such possible to invite people who have
2. MlDAS Courses
programming courses would however made interesting algorithms and pro-
The first MlDAS course was held in only be started at the very end of 1990 grammes to ESO for an implementation
early April on installation of MlDAS on or beginning of 1991. of them into the MlDAS environment.