Astronomers at the William Herschel Telescope
and ESA's (European Space Agency) Optical Ground Station in La Palma and Tenerife, Spain, and the Himalayan Chandra Telescope in India found that the asteroid Gault rotates once every two hours, a speed so fast that it can no longer hold its surface material.
'Oumuamua as seen by the 4.2m William Herschel Telescope
on La Palma.
The team used the UK's William Herschel Telescope
on La Palma, Canary Islands, to look for signatures of phosphorus and iron from the Crab Nebula, the aftermath of a supernova explosion 6,500 light years away in the constellation of Taurus.
Poshak Gandhi (University of Southampton, UK) and colleagues employed NASA's NUSTAR X-ray satellite and the super-fast UltraCam on the William Herschel Telescope
in La Palma, Spain, to track emissions from V404 Cygni.
For the follow-up campaign, they employed the Intermediate dispersion Spectrograph and Imaging System (ISIS) mounted on the 4.2m William Herschel Telescope
(WHT) at the Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos (La Palma, Spain) and the Optical System for Imaging and low-intermediate-Resolution Integrated Spectroscopy (OSIRIS) instrument at the 10.4m Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC) telescope, also at the Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos.
"We immediately started studying it that night with the William Herschel Telescope
in the Canary Islands, then on Thursday night with the Very Large Telescope in Chile." He added: "It sends a shiver down the spine to look at this object and think it has come from another star."
Prof Tom Marsh, from the University of Warwick's Astrophysics Group, said: "AR Sco was discovered over 40 years ago, but its true nature was unsuspected until we observed it last May with a high-speed astronomical camera called ULTRACAM on the William Herschel Telescope
. "We realised we were seeing something extraordinary within minutes of starting to observe it."
The author contacted Chris Benn at the William Herschel Telescope
at La Palma and the team there were quite receptive about the possibility of using that instrument to secure a spectrum, although it might need to wait for a service slot in several weeks time.
The astronomers used the UK-run William Herschel Telescope
(WHT) on La Palma in the Canary Islands.
Spectra taken with the William Herschel Telescope
in La Palma, Spain, and the twin Keck Telescopes atop Manna Kea in Hawaii show that the star has an abundance of heavy elements typical of stars in the Milky Way.
The observation of erupting material started more than a decade ago when astronomers using the William Herschel Telescope
in the Canary Islands spotted a bright burst of infrared light from the core of one of the two colliding galaxies.