Fr.: paramètre de Tisserand
In celestial mechanics, a combination of orbital elements commonly used to distinguish between comets and asteroids. Objects whose Tisserand's parameter value is smaller than 3 are considered to be dynamically cometary, and those with a value larger than 3 asteroidal. Also called Tisserand's invariant.
Named after François Félix Tisserand (1845-1896), French astronomer, Director of the Paris Observatory (1892).
Fr.: paramètre de Toomre
A quantity that measures the stability of a differentially rotating disk of matter against → gravitational collapse. It is expressed by the relation: Q = csκ / πGΣ, where cs is the → sound speed, κ the → epicyclic frequency, G the → gravitational constant, and Σ the → surface density. The disk is linearly stable for Q > 1 and linearly unstable for Q < 1.
After Alar Toomre (1936-), an American astrophysicist of Estonian origin, professor of mathematics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; → parameter.
Fr.: interféromètre Virgo
A → Michelson interferometer using → laser beams designed to detect → gravitational waves. It consists of two 3-km-long arms, which house the various machinery required to form a → laser interferometer. The gravitational waves searched for have frequencies between 10 Hz and 10 kHz. Virgo has been designed and built by a collaboration between the French Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) and the Italian Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare (INFN). It is now operated and improved in Cascina, a small town near Pisa on the site of the European Gravitational Observatory (EGO), by an international collaboration of scientists from France, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, and Hungary. The initial Virgo detector observed the sky between 2007 and 2011 together with the two interferometers of the → Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO), located in the United States. Virgo underwent a major upgrade after a long shutdown period. The "Advanced Virgo" overhaul lasted 5-year and costed 23 million Euros. The upgraded observatory was inaugurated on 20 February 2017 and, notably, detected the → GW170817 event.
Fr.: paramètre du viriel
A dimensionless parameter that measures the ratio of thermal plus kinetic energies to gravitational energy of a physical system, such as a molecular cloud. The virial parameter is expressed as: αvir = 5σ2R / GM, where R and M are the radius and mass of the cloud respectively, σ is the one-dimensional → velocity dispersion inside the cloud, and G the → gravitational constant. It indicates whether a cloud could be bound or not. For molecular clouds that are confined by their surface pressure and for which self-gravity is unimportant, αvir is much larger than unity, whereas αvir is ~ 1 when the gravitational energy of a clump becomes comparable to its kinetic energy. See, e.g., Bertoldi & McKee, 1992 (ApJ 395, 140). See also → virial theorem.
An instrument used to measure the → viscosity of a liquid. Same as viscosimeter.
Same as → viscometer.
VLT Interferometer (VLTI)
Fr.: interféromètre VLTI
An interferometer using a combination of the four 8.2 m VLT telescopes with the assistance of one or more of the the four 1.8 m Auxiliary Telescopes in order to achieve a very high spatial resolution. The system works in the visible and near- and mid-infrared wavelengths.
An instrument used for measuring the magnitude of the power in an electric circuit.
Fr.: photomètre à coin
A photometer in which an → absorbing wedge is inserted in the brighter of two beams until the flux densities of the two light sources are equal.
binâb-sanj-e partow-e iks (#)
Fr.: spectromètre de rayons X
An instrument for producing an X-ray spectrum and measuring the wavelengths of its components.