TRAPPIST-South reopen its eye to the sky
After a forced shutdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic, observatories around the world are slowly resuming their activities. The ULiège's TRAPPIST-South telescope located at the European Southern Observatory in Chile celebrated its first night of observation by taking some magnificent pictures of the spiral galaxy M33 in the Triangulum constellation.
he pandemic linked to the propagation of Covid-19 has had an impact on many research activities, including those related to sky observations. On March 23, the La Silla Observatory, where ULiège's TRAPPIST-South telescope is located, as well as all the major observatories in Chile, like Paranal (VLT), ALMA, Cerro Tololo and many others around the world, were forced and compelled to stop their observations due to the spread of the virus. The observatories are remote places and therefore sometimes difficult to access by specialized medical personnel.
After a seven-month shutdown, the staff of the European Southern Observatory (ESO) located in La Silla, has returned to the site and proceeded to restart all the telescopes, including TRAPPIST-South of the University of Liège. After a night of tests, researchers from Liège are pleased to announce the return of TRAPPIST-South under the great Chilean starry sky, ready to hunt for comets and exoplanets again! To celebrate this important event, the team captured a color image of the spiral galaxy M33 in the Triangulum constellation located 2.73 million light years away, this galaxy is one of the closest to us. The STAR Research Unit research team is grateful to the staff on site who helped to restart activities.