Images

IMAGES

These images are available for Professional and Educational use and may be freely used. However, it is requested that any use of this work be reported to UCLA Galactic Center Group and given the following acknowledgement:

   "These images/animations were created by Prof. Andrea Ghez and her research team at UCLA and are from data sets obtained with the W. M. Keck Telescopes."

References and Credit: UCLA Galactic Center Group - W.M. Keck Observatory Laser Team


2014

Stellar Orbits in the Central Arcsec

The orbits of stars within the central 1.0 X 1.0 arcseconds of our Galaxy. In the background, the central portion of a diffraction-limited image taken in 2014 is displayed. While every star in this image has been seen to move over the past 17 years, estimates of orbital parameters are best constrained for stars that have been observed through at least one turning point of their orbit. The annual average positions for these stars are plotted as colored dots, which have increasing color saturation with time. Also plotted are the best fitting simultaneous orbital solutions.

3-D edge-on Stellar Orbits, edge-on.

3-D edge-on Stellar Orbits, face-on.

Stills from 3D Movie of Stellar Orbits in the Central Parsec

Still images from a 3-dimensional visualization movie of the stellar orbits (edge-on and face-on) in the Galactic center based on data obtained by the W. M. Keck Telescopes between 1995 and 2012, made by U. of Illinois NCSA Advanced Visualization Laboratory . These stellar orbits have revealed that the existence of a supermassive black hole 4 million times the mass of the sun lies at the center of the Galaxy ~25,000 light years away from us. The movie can be viewed on the Animations Page.

    
2014

Three-Color Laser Guide Star Images of the the Galactic Center

Three HKL-band color mosaic of the central 10” x 10” galactic center region. Color Scheme: H(1.8 microns) = Blue, K'(2.2 microns) = Green, L'(3.8 microns) = Red. Taken with the Laser Guide Star Adaptive Optics System at the W. M. Keck Observatory.

     
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Combined 2 panel image of 10” x 10” and 1” x 1”.

Left: same images as above. Right: Zommed in to 1 arc second.

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K’ (2.1 micron) and L’ (3.8 micron) two-color image.

Exposures at 3.8 and 2.1 micron wavelengths, assigned a color, then combined to make a false-color image.

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He I (1.43 micron) and K_continuum (2.29 micron) two-color mosaic image.

Central Stellar region. The image is created from five pointings of the telescope in each filter. The LGS-AO system allowed the artificial guide star to be centered on each pointing during each exposure.

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With and without Adaptive Optics

This 2-panel shows observations of the Galactic Center with and without Adaptive Optics, illustrating the resolution gain. Adaptive optics corrects for the blurring effects of the Earth's atmosphere. Using a bright star, we measure how a wavefont of light is distorted by the atmosphere and quickly adjust the shape of a deformable mirror to remove these distortions. A movie can be viewed on the Animations Page.

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Keck Observatory - Twin Telescopes.

Top: The twin telescopes viewed from the Subaru telescope at the top of Maunu Kea, Hawaii.

Bottom: Adaptable mirror(s) of the Keck 2 telescope. Note the man in the bottom of the mirror. The mirrors make minute adjustments to counter atmospherice disturbances.

Image Credit: It is mandatory to include the link Laurie Hatch Photography - http://www.lauriehatch.com/
when downloading one or both of these images, and also when incuding them in, but not limited to, any kind of presentation or educational environment. They may not be used for re-distribution.


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Keck Observatory - Laser Guide Star System.

Top: Double Lasers from KECK I and KECK II creating an artificial laser guide star (LSG). Maunu Kea, Hawaii.
Image Credit: It is mandatory to include the link Ethan Tweedy Photography - http://www.ethantweedie.com/
when downloading one or both of these images, and also when incuding them in, but not limited to, any kind of presentation or educational environment. They may not be used for re-distribution.

Bottom: Close up of KECK II single laser for the LSG system.
Image Credit: It is mandatory to include the link Laurie Hatch Photography - http://www.lauriehatch.com/
when downloading one or both of these images, and also when incuding them in, but not limited to, any kind of presentation or educational environment. They may not be used for re-distribution.

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Laser Laser Guide Star (LGS) vs Natural Guide Star (NGS) Image.

Right: The LGS integration time is 8 minutes.
Left: NGS LGS integration time is 150 minutes.

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Resolution in the central 0.5” of the future 30 meter telescope

Still image of animation showing the power of the future 30 m Extremely Large Telescopes. Animation showing the improvement in resolution in the central 0.5” of the Galaxy from seeing-limited to Keck + Adaptive Optics to future Extremely Large Telescopes + Adaptive Optics. Actual orbits are shown in the seeing-limited and Keck cases, while additional simulated orbits are included for the ELT case. A movie can be viewed on the Animations Page.