This chapter is a brief survey of astronomical instruments being used and developed in Islamic territories from the eighth to the fifteenth centuries as well as a concise account of major observatories and observational programs in this period.
In order to analyze the light of cosmic objects, particularly at extremely great distances, spectroscopy is the workhorse of astronomy. In the era of very large telescopes, long-term investigations are mainly performed with small professional instruments. Today they can be done using self-designed spectrographs and highly efficient CCD cameras, without the need for large financial investments. This book explains the basic principles of spectroscopy, including the fundamental optical constraints and all mathematical aspects needed to understand the working principles in detail. It covers the complete theoretical and practical design of standard and Echelle spectrographs. Readers are guided through all necessary calculations, enabling them to engage in spectrograph design. The book also examines data acquisition with CCD cameras and fiber optics, as well as the constraints of specific data reduction and possible sources of error. In closing it briefly highlights some main aspects of the research on massive s...
Labadie, L; 10.1364/OE.17.001947
Research activities during the last decade have shown the strong potential of photonic devices to greatly simplify ground based and space borne astronomical instruments and to improve their performance. We focus specifically on the mid-infrared wavelength regime (about 5-20 microns), a spectral range offering access to warm objects (about 300 K) and to spectral features that can be interpreted as signatures for biological activity (e.g. water, ozone, carbon dioxide). We review the relevant research activities aiming at the development of single-mode guided optics and the corresponding manufacturing technologies. We evaluate the experimentally achieved performance and compare it with the performance requirements for applications in various fields of astronomy. Our goal is to show a perspective for future astronomical instruments based on mid-infrared photonic devices.
Koons, L.; Ames, T.; Evans, R.; Warsaw, C.; Sall, K.
Traditionally, instrument command and control systems have been highly specialized, consisting mostly of custom code that is difficult to develop, maintain, and extend. Such solutions are initially very costly and are inflexible to subsequent engineering change requests. Instrument description is too tightly coupled with details of implementation. NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center and AppNet, Inc. are developing a very general and highly extensible framework that applies to virtually any kind of instrument that can be controlled by a computer (e.g., telescopes, microscopes and printers). A key aspect of the object-oriented architecture, implemented in Java, involves software that is driven by an instrument description. The Astronomical Instrument Markup Language (AIML) is a domain-specific implementation of the more generalized Instrument Markup Language (IML). The software architecture combines the platform-independent processing capabilities of Java with the vendor-independent data description syntax of Extensible Markup Language (XML), a human-readable and machine-understandable way to describe structured data. IML is used to describe command sets (including parameters, datatypes, and constraints) and their associated formats, telemetry, and communication mechanisms. The software uses this description to present graphical user interfaces to control and monitor the instrument. Recent efforts have extended to command procedures (scripting) and representation of data pipeline inputs, outputs, and connections. Near future efforts are likely to include an XML description of data visualizations, as well as the potential use of XSL (Extensible Stylesheet Language) to permit astronomers to customize the user interface on several levels: per user, instrument, subsystem, or observatory-wide. Our initial prototyping effort was targeted for HAWC (High-resolution Airborne Wideband Camera), a first-light instrument of SOFIA (the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy
Zamkotsian, Frederic; Noell, Wilfried
Next-generation astronomical instrumentation for ground-based and space telescopes could use MOEMS devices. Among them, Multi-Object Spectrographs (MOS) are the major instruments for studying primary galaxies and remote and faint objects. A promising solution for the object selection system is the use of MOEMS devices such as micromirror arrays (MMA) which allow the remote control of the multi-slit configuration in real time. We are engaged in a European development of MMA for generating reflective slit masks. Prototypes of MMA with 2048 individually addressable micromirrors made of single-crystal silicon were successfully designed, fabricated and tested. 100×200μm2 micromirrors can be tilted by electrostatic actuation yielding 24° mechanical tilt-angle. The micromirrors were successfully actuated before, during and after cryogenic cooling at 162K. Line-column addressing for individual mirrors has also been demonstrated. We were also engaged in a technical assessment of using a 2048 × 1080 DMD from Texas Instruments for space applications. For a MOS in space, the device should work in vacuum and at low temperature. Our tests reveal that the DMD remains fully operational at -40°C and in vacuum. A 1038 hours life test in space survey conditions, Total Ionizing Dose radiation, thermal cycling and vibrations/shocks have also been successfully completed. These results do not reveal any show-stopper concerning the ability of the DMD to meet environmental space requirements. These developments and tests demonstrate the full ability of this type of components for space instrumentation, especially in multi-object spectroscopy applications.
A new raytracing program written by the author is being used to model the Keck II telescope and two new instruments currently being built at UCO/Lick Observatory, DEIMOS and ESI. Optical systems are written as programs in a block-structured programming language which includes arbitrary mathematical expressions. Full three-dimensional models of the telescope and instruments are raytraced, and a complete description of the final system can be written as an AutoCAD file for mechanical engineering purposes. Detailed spectral format, distortion, image diameters, and beam "footprints" at any surface are easily displayed. Light losses from surface reflections and internal absorption in refractive elements and vignetting are calculated. Examples of each of these uses are given for either the DEIMOS or ESI instruments.
Wagner, Karl; Alter, Matthias; Bideaux, André; Klein, Ralf; Lehmitz, Michael; Mohr, Lars; Ramos, José Ricardo
With steadily increasing telescope sizes and the growing complexity of scientific instruments, there is an ever-growing demand for improved electronics, controlling all the different optical parts on moving mechanisms. Among competing requirements are, on one hand, the increasing number of actuators, with high-precision positioning in closed and open loop, and on the other hand, smaller sizes, low power and restricted heat emission. A specific challenge is accommodating mechanisms that operate in infrared instrumentation at cryogenic temperatures down to 60 Kelvin. In this area piezo motors offer promising solutions. To fulfill these different demands a competitive motion control system has been developed at the Max-Planck-Institut für Astronomie (MPIA) in Heidelberg, Germany. A modular chassis with standardized boards provides best solutions for extensive tasks. High and low power DC servo motors, brushless DC servo motors, stepper motors and piezo motors with different technologies are supported. Diversity position feedback capabilities, like incremental and absolute encoders for non cryogenic and capacitive sensors and resolvers for cryogenic applications, are provided.
Tuttle, Sarah; Froning, Cynthia; Montgomery, Mike
The astronomy community has made clear our shared scientific vision in the Astro2010 decadal survey. Who will build this future? The cost and scarcity of telescope resources makes vital learning through doing extremely difficult for students and early career researchers. What is needed now and in the future to provide a depth of knowledge, creativity, and experience in our field? At McDonald Observatory we have a clear model in answer to that question, and a long history of successfully training the next generation of instrument builders and observers. We must support and sustain small to medium range local resources such as McDonald to foster the successful growth of our field.
Hartig, G. F.; Fastie, W. G.; Davidsen, A. F.
A sensitive sounding rocket instrument for moderate (about 10-A) resolution far-UV (1160-1750-A) spectrophotometry of faint astronomical objects has been developed. The instrument employes a photon-counting microchannel plate imaging detector and a concave grating spectrograph behind a 40-cm Dall-Kirkham telescope. A unique remote-control pointing system, incorporating an SIT vidicon aspect camera, two star trackers, and a tone-encoded command telemetry link, permits the telescope to be oriented to within 5 arc sec of any target for which suitable guide stars can be found. The design, construction, calibration, and flight performance of the instrument are discussed.
Cochrane, W. A.; Luo, X.; Lim, T.; Taylor, W. D.; Schnetler, H.
A Micro-Autonomous Positioning System (MAPS) has been developed using micro-autonomous robots for the deployment of small mirrors within multi-object astronomical instruments for use on the next generation ground-based telescopes. The micro-autonomous robot is a two-wheel differential drive robot with a footprint of approximately 20 × 20 mm. The robot uses two brushless DC Smoovy motors with 125:1 planetary gearheads for positioning the mirror. This article describes the various elements of the overall system and in more detail the various robot designs. Also described in this article is the build and test of the most promising design, proving that micro-autonomous robot technology can be used in precision controlled applications.
Rodway, K.; DeForest, C. E.; Diller, J.; Vilas, F.; Sollitt, L. S.; Reyes, M. F.; Filo, A. S.; Anderson, E.
Suborbital astronomical observations have over 50 years' history using NASA's sounding rockets and experimental space planes. The new commercial space industry is developing suborbital reusable launch vehicles (sRLV's) to provide low-cost, flexible, and frequent access to space at ~100 km altitude. In the case of XCOR Aerospace's Lynx spacecraft, the vehicle design and capabilities work well for hosting specially designed experiments that can be flown with a human-tended researcher or alone with the pilot on a customized mission. Some of the first-generation instruments and facilities that will conduct solar observations on dedicated Lynx science missions include the SwRI Solar Instrument Pointing Platform (SSIPP) and Atsa Suborbital Observatory, as well as KickSat sprites, which are picosatellites for in situ atmospheric and solar phenomena measurements. The SSIPP is a demonstration two-stage pointed solar observatory that operates inside the Lynx cockpit. The coarse pointing stage includes the pilot in the feedback loop, and the fine stage stabilizes the solar image to achieve arcsecond class pointing. SSIPP is a stepping-stone to future external instruments that can operate with larger apertures and shorter wavelengths in the solar atmosphere. The Planetary Science Institute's Atsa Suborbital Observatory combines the strengths of ground-based observatories and space-based observing to create a facility where a telescope is maintained and used interchangeably with either in-house facility instruments or user-provided instruments. The Atsa prototype is a proof of concept, hand-guided camera that mounts on the interior of the Lynx cockpit to test target acquisition and tracking for human-operated suborbital astronomy. KickSat sprites are mass-producible, one inch printed circuit boards (PCBs) populated by programmable off the shelf microprocessors and radios for real time data transmission. The sprite PCBs can integrate chip-based radiometers, magnetometers
Mihn, Byeong-Hee; Lee, Ki-Won; Ahn, Young Sook; Lee, Yong Sam
During the reign of King Sejong (世宗, 1418-1450) in the Joseon Dynasty, there were lots of astronomical instruments, including miniaturized ones. Those instruments utilized the technical know-how acquired through building contemporary astronomical instruments previously developed in the Song(宋), Jin(金), and Yuan(元) dynasties of China. In those days, many astronomical instruments had circles, rings, and spheres carved with a scale of 365.25, 100, and 24 parts, respectively, on their circumference. These were called the celestial-circumference degree, hundred-interval (Baekgak), and 24 direction, respectively. These scales are marked by the angular distance, not by the angle. Therefore, these circles, rings, and spheres had to be optimized in size to accomodate proper scales. Assuming that the scale system is composed of integer multiples of unit length, we studied the sizes of circles by referring to old articles and investigating existing artifacts. We discovered that the star chart of Cheonsang yeolcha bunyajido was drawn with a royal standard ruler (周尺) based on the unit length of 207 mm. Interestingly, its circumference was marked by the unit scale of 3 puns per 1 du (or degree) like Honsang (a celestial globe). We also found that Hyeonju ilgu (a equatorial sundial) has a Baekgak disk on a scale of 1 pun per 1 gak (that is an interval of time similar to a quarter). This study contributes to the analysis of specifications of numerous circular elements from old Korean astronomical instruments.
Riva, M.; Rigamonti, D.; Zanetti, F.; Passaretti, F.; Villa, E.; Zerbi, F. M.
This paper wants to illustrate possible applications of Shape Memory Alloy (SMA) as functional devices for space and ground based application in Instrumentations for Astronomy. Thermal activated Shape Memory Alloys are materials able to recover their original shape, after an external deformation, if heated above a characteristic temperature. If the recovery of the shape is completely or partially prevented by the presence of constraints, the material can generate recovery stress. Thanks to this feature, these materials can be positively exploited in Smart Structures if properly embedded into host materials. Some technological processes developed for an ecient use of SMA-based actuators embedded in smart structures tailored to astronomical instrumentation will be presented here. Some possible modeling approaches of the actuators behavior will be addressed taking into account trade- offs between detailed analysis and overall performance prediction as a function of the computational time. The Material characterization procedure adopted for the constitutive laws implementation will be described as well. Deformable composite mirrors,1 opto-mechanical mounting with superelastic kinematic behavior and damping of launch loads onto optical element2 are feasible applications that will be deeply investigated in this paper.
Prestage, Richard M.; Bloss, M.; Brandt, J.; Creager, R.; Demorest, P.; Ford, J.; Jones, G.; Luo, J.; McCullough, R.; Ransom, S. M.; Ray, J.; Watts, G.; Whitehead, M.
NRAO recently designed and built a state-of-the-art backend system for the Shanghai Astronomical Observatory's (SHAO) 65 meter radio telescope. The machine, called the Digital Backend System (DIBAS), was created from the design of the VErsatile GBT Astronomical Spectrometer (VEGAS) by adding nine incoherent pulsar search modes and eight coherent dedispersion timing modes to complement the 29 VEGAS spectral line modes. Together these modes cover all of the anticipated science requirements for the 65 meter except for VLBI. The VEGAS multi-beam spectrometer was recently designed and built for the Green Bank Telescope (GBT) through a partnership between the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) and the University of California at Berkeley. The VEGAS spectrometer is based on a Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) frontend and a heterogeneous computing backend comprised of Graphical Processing Units (GPUs) and x86-64 CPUs. Working together, the hardware in this system provides processing power to analyze up to 8 dual-polarization or 16 single-polarization inputs, at bandwidths of up to 1.25 GHz per input. An aggregate of up to 10 GHz of bandwidth, dual polarization, may be simultaneously processed with the VEGAS spectrometer. As capable as this spectrometer is, it has no advanced pulsar capabilities such as were needed for DIBAS. To create DIBAS, VEGAS was augmented with new FPGA designs based on those built for the Green Bank Ultimate Pulsar Processing Instrument (GUPPI) some five years ago. GUPPI was built on earlier generations of FPGA hardware designed by the CASPER project at Berkeley. Porting the old GUPPI designs to modern hardware and wider bandwidths was a good test case to determine the portability of the FPGA designs and the utility of the toolset to help move designs between generations of FPGA chips, as well as the degree of reuse that could be obtained from the VEGAS project. This paper will explore the unique aspects of the DIBAS project, including
Zamkotsian, Frederic; Grassi, Emmanuel; Waldis, Severin; Barette, Rudy; Lanzoni, Patrick; Fabron, Christophe; Noell, Wilfried; de Rooij, Nico
Next generation of infra-red astronomical instrumentation for space telescopes as well as ground-based extremely large telescopes requires MOEMS devices with remote control capability and cryogenic operation, including programmable multi-slit masks for multi-object spectroscopy (MOS). For the complete testing of these devices, we have developed in parallel and coupled a high-resolution Twyman-Green interferometer and a cryogenic-chamber for full surface and operation characterization. The interferometer exhibits a nanometer accuracy by using phase-shifting technique and low-coherence source. The cryogenic-chamber has a pressure as low as 10e-6 mbar and is able to cool down to 60K. Specific interfaces minimizing stresses for vacuum and cryo have been set. Within the framework of the European program on Smart Focal Planes, micro-mirrors have been selected for generating MOEMS-based slit masks. A first 5×5 micro-mirror array (MMA) with 100×200μm2 mirrors was successfully fabricated using a combination of bulk and surface silicon micromachining. They show a mechanical tilting angle of 20° at a driving voltage below 100V, with excellent surface quality and uniform tilt-angle. The mirrors could be successfully actuated before, during and after cryogenic cooling. The surface quality of the gold coated micro-mirrors at room temperature and below 100K, when they are actuated, shows a slight increase of the deformation from 35nm peak-to-valley to 50nm peak-to-valley, due to CTE mismatch between silicon and gold layer. This small deformation is still well within the requirement for MOS application.
St. Stanislas's canonry in Frombork (northern Poland) was the last place of residence of the famous astronomer Nicolas Copernicus (1473-1543). It is very probable that he conducted his astronomical observations from the garden using so-called pavimentum to arrange his instruments. Copernicus's pavimentum was a 2 by 1.5m pedestal, probably a floor based on a brick foundation with a rail. Ground penetrating radar examinations were carried out in the canonry's garden in January 2009 to obtain 3-D model of the 2 meter thick upper part of sediments and resulted in recognition of stratigraphy of the site and allowed to find some anomalies which are suspected to be a human origin. The analysis of historical sources enabled the researchers to limit the study area to a plot of land at the back of the St. Stanislaw's canonry building. As a result, the GPR probing was undertaken on the rectangular plot of ground of 43 m by 95 m, located to the south west of the canonry building. The searched object was a kind of a pavement, possibly made of bricks or stone and bricks, and the size from 1.5 m by 2 m, to 4 m by 4 m, or even 7 m by 3 m. During the field research the impulse GPR SIR SYSTEM-2000 GSSI™ was used. For the profiling a monostatic 400MHz central frequency antenna was used. The selected value of the dielectric constant was 15, which represents the velocity of 7.7 cm/ns of the electromagnetic wave propagation in the deposit. In practice this means that in the study area the vertical scale of the returning electromagnetic wave includes about 2.3 m (60 ns) of the deposit of diverse graining with a large content of humus and debris. The horizontal scale was measured in the real time with the use of the GSSI survey wheel. The construction of the three-dimensional block of the deposit was based on 95 vertical cross-sections at one-meter spaces and the SE-NW course. As a result, the 3-D model showed the horizontal extends of the geophysical anomalies. The GPR studies have
Roth, Martin M.; Löhmannsröben, Hans-Gerd; Dosche, Carsten; Sandin, Christer; Reich, Oliver; Haynes, Roger; Leick, Lasse; Chávez Boggio, José M.; Kelz, Andreas
Supercontinuum white light sources (SCLS) are intense, spatially coherent laser sources with a very broad and flat spectral energy distribution which have very quickly found ubiquitous use in optical laboratories. As photonics is now providing more and more applications for astronomical instrumentation, the possible use of SCLS as a calibration light source for spectroscopy has been tested. A standard industrial SCLS was coupled to the calibration unit of the PMAS integral field spectrophotometer and compared directly to the PMAS standard tungsten filament lamp that is normally used for calibration exposures. We report on comparative measurements concerning flux, spectral energy distribution, and temporal stability.
Vodolazhskaya, Larisa; Nevskiy, Mikhail
The article presents the results of analysis of the spatial arrangement of the wells on the unique slab from Srubna burial of kurgan field Tavriya-1 (Rostov region, Russia) by astronomical methods. At the slab revealed two interrelated groups of wells, one of which - in the form of a circle, is proposed to interpret how analemmatic sundial, and second group, consisting of disparate wells, as auxiliary astronomical markers of rising luminaries directions, to correct the position of the gnomon. Simultaneous location of both groups of wells on the same slab is a possible indication of one of the stages of development of the design features analemmatic sundial - setting movable gnomon and technology of measuring time with it. It may point to local origin, as the very idea of analemmatic sundial as well technology measurement of time with them. The article also describes the model analemmatic sundial, hour marks which in many cases coincide with the wells arranged in a circle, particularly in a working range from ...
Full Text Available This photograph was taken at Jantar Mantar, one of India’s most famous astronomical observatories, located in Central Delhi. It was built in 1724 by Maharaja Jai Singh II of Jaipur, who then went on to build other observatories in Jaipur, Varanasi, and Mathura. It was used to make astronomical tables and predict movements of the planets and the sun. Its name is derived from yantra meaning instruments and mantar meaning formula.Due to the construction of several high rise buildings around the monument, it is no longer used for astronomical purposes. It however continues to be one of the biggest tourist attractions of the capital city.
Srivastava, Mudit K; Burse, Mahesh P; Chordia, Pravin A; Chillal, Kalpesh S; Mestry, Vilas B; Das, Hillol K; Kohok, Abhay A
Although the astronomy community is witnessing an era of large telescopes, smaller and medium sized telescopes still maintain their utility being larger in numbers. In order to obtain better scientific outputs it is necessary to incorporate modern and advanced technologies to the back-end instruments and to their interfaces with the telescopes through various control processes. However often tight financial constraints on the smaller and medium size observatories limit the scope and utility of these systems. Most of the time for every new development on the telescope the back-end control systems are required to be built from scratch leading to high costs and efforts. Therefore a simple, low cost control system for small and medium size observatory needs to be developed to minimize the cost and efforts while going for the expansion of the observatory. Here we report on the development of a modern, multipurpose instrument control system UNICS (Unified Instrument Control System) to integrate the controls of vari...
Schroeder, Daniel J
Written by a recognized expert in the field, this clearly presented, well-illustrated book provides both advanced level students and professionals with an authoritative, thorough presentation of the characteristics, including advantages and limitations, of telescopes and spectrographic instruments used by astronomers of today.Key Features* Written by a recognized expert in the field* Provides both advanced level students and professionals with an authoritative, thorough presentation of the characteristics, including advantages and limitations, of telescopes and spectrographic i
We propose a four year suborbital research program to continue the University of Colorado's efforts in the development and flight testing of instrument designs and critical path technologies for ultraviolet spectroscopy in support of future NASA Explorer, Probe-, and Flagship-class missions. This proposal builds on our existing program of high-resolution spectroscopy for the 100 - 160 nm bandpass with the development of a new high-efficiency imaging spectrograph operating in the same band. The ultimate goal of the University of Colorado ultraviolet rocket program is to develop the technical capabilities to enable a future, highly multiplexed ultraviolet spectrograph (with both high-resolution and imaging spectroscopy modes), e.g., an analog to the successful HST-STIS instrument, with an order-of-magnitude higher efficiency. We do this in the framework of a university led program where undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral training is paramount and cutting edge science investigations support our baseline technology development program. In the proposed effort, we will optimize our high-resolution (R > 100,000) echelle spectrograph payload (CHESS) with the first science flight of a new, large-format CCD array provided by our collaborators at JPL and Arizona State University. We will launch CHESS to study our local interstellar environment with spectral resolving power and bandpass that cannot be achieved with any suite of current or planned space missions. In parallel with the proposed science flights of CHESS, we will design, calibrate, and launch a new high-throughput imaging spectrograph (SISTINE); the first sub-arcsecond imaging, medium spectral resolution (R = 10,000), spectrograph ever flown with spectral coverage over the entire 100 - 160 nm bandpass. SISTINE incorporates several novel optical technologies that were highlighted as major hardware drivers for NASA's next large ultraviolet/optical/near-IR observatory by the 2014 Cosmic Origins Technology
Pessemier, Wim; Van Winckel, Hans; Deconinck, Geert; Saey, Philippe
Even though modern service-oriented and data-oriented architectures promise to deliver loosely coupled control systems, they are inherently brittle as they commonly depend on a priori agreed interfaces and data models. At the same time, the Semantic Web and a whole set of accompanying standards and tools are emerging, advocating ontologies as the basis for knowledge exchange. In this paper we aim to identify a number of key ideas from the myriad of knowledge-based practices that can readily be implemented by control systems today. We demonstrate with a practical example (a three-channel imager for the Mercator Telescope) how ontologies developed in the Web Ontology Language (OWL) can serve as a meta-model for our instrument, covering as many engineering aspects of the project as needed. We show how a concrete system model can be built on top of this meta-model via a set of Domain Specific Languages (DSLs), supporting both formal verification and the generation of software and documentation artifacts. Finally ...
Outlines the techniques involved in making observational sketches and more detailed 'scientific' drawings of a wide variety of astronomical subjects using modern digital equipment; primarily PDAs and tablet PCs. This book also discusses about choosing hardware and software
Neuenschwander, D. E.; Finkenbinder, L. R.
Just as quetzals and jaguars require specific ecological habitats to survive, so too must planets occupy a tightly constrained astronomical habitat to support life as we know it. With this theme in mind we relate the transferable features of our elementary astronomy course, "The Astronomical Basis of Life on Earth." Over the last five years, in a team-taught course that features a spring break field trip to Costa Rica, we have introduced astronomy through "astronomical ecosystems," emphasizing astronomical constraints on the prospects for life on Earth. Life requires energy, chemical elements, and long timescales, and we emphasize how cosmological, astrophysical, and geological realities, through stabilities and catastrophes, create and eliminate niches for biological life. The linkage between astronomy and biology gets immediate and personal: for example, studies in solar energy production are followed by hikes in the forest to examine the light-gathering strategies of photosynthetic organisms; a lesson on tides is conducted while standing up to our necks in one on a Pacific beach. Further linkages between astronomy and the human timescale concerns of biological diversity, cultural diversity, and environmental sustainability are natural and direct. Our experience of teaching "astronomy as habitat" strongly influences our "Astronomy 101" course in Oklahoma as well. This "inverted astrobiology" seems to transform our student's outlook, from the universe being something "out there" into something "we're in!" We thank the SNU Science Alumni support group "The Catalysts," and the SNU Quetzal Education and Research Center, San Gerardo de Dota, Costa Rica, for their support.
Borra, E F; Bergamasco, R; Laird, P; Gingras, J; Dallaire, M; Silva, L D; Yockell-Lelievre, H
We describe a technology for the fabrication of inexpensive and versatile mirrors through the use of a new type of nanoengineered optical material composed by the spreading of a self-assembling reflective colloidal film spread at the surface of a liquid. These new reflecting liquids offer interesting possibilities for astronomical instrumentation. For example, they can replace mercury in conventional rotating liquid mirrors. The main advantages offered include extremely low cost and, by coating a viscous liquid, the possibility of tilting the mirror by a few tens of degrees. We also have coated ferromagnetic liquids with these reflecting films. The resulting surfaces can be shaped by the application of a magnetic field, yielding reflecting surfaces that can have complicated shapes that can rapidly shift with time. These inexpensive and versatile optical elements could have numerous scientific and technological applications. Among possible astronomical applications, they could be used to make large inexpensive...
This second chapter on instrumentation gives little general consideration on history and classification of instrumentation, and two specific states of the art. The first one concerns NMR (block diagram of instrumentation chain with details on the magnets, gradients, probes, reception unit). The first one concerns precision instrumentation (optical fiber gyro-meter and scanning electron microscope), and its data processing tools (programmability, VXI standard and its history). The chapter ends with future trends on smart sensors and Field Emission Displays. (D.L.). Refs., figs
SCK-CEN's research and development programme on instrumentation aims at evaluating the potentials of new instrumentation technologies under the severe constraints of a nuclear application. It focuses on the tolerance of sensors to high radiation doses, including optical fibre sensors, and on the related intelligent data processing needed to cope with the nuclear constraints. Main achievements in these domains in 1999 are summarised
SCK-CEN's research and development programme on instrumentation involves the assessment and the development of sensitive measurement systems used within a radiation environment. Particular emphasis is on the assessment of optical fibre components and their adaptability to radiation environments. The evaluation of ageing processes of instrumentation in fission plants, the development of specific data evaluation strategies to compensate for ageing induced degradation of sensors and cable performance form part of these activities. In 2000, particular emphasis was on in-core reactor instrumentation applied to fusion, accelerator driven and water-cooled fission reactors. This involved the development of high performance instrumentation for irradiation experiments in the BR2 reactor in support of new instrumentation needs for MYRRHA, and for diagnostic systems for the ITER reactor
SCK-CEN's research and development programme on instrumentation involves the assessment and the development of sensitive measurement systems used within a radiation environment. Particular emphasis is on the assessment of optical fibre components and their adaptability to radiation environments. The evaluation of ageing processes of instrumentation in fission plants, the development of specific data evaluation strategies to compensate for ageing induced degradation of sensors and cable performance form part of these activities. In 2000, particular emphasis was on in-core reactor instrumentation applied to fusion, accelerator driven and water-cooled fission reactors. This involved the development of high performance instrumentation for irradiation experiments in the BR2 reactor in support of new instrumentation needs for MYRRHA, and for diagnostic systems for the ITER reactor.
Frederick William Longbottom FRAS (1850-1933) was an original member of the British Astronomical Association and served as Director of its Photographic Section between 1906 and 1926. A hop merchant by trade, he spent much of his life in Chester where he was instrumental in founding the City's first astronomical society in 1892.
SCK-CEN's R and D programme on instrumentation involves the development of advanced instrumentation systems for nuclear applications as well as the assessment of the performance of these instruments in a radiation environment. Particular emphasis is on the use of optical fibres as umbilincal links of a remote handling unit for use during maintanance of a fusion reacor, studies on the radiation hardening of plasma diagnostic systems; investigations on new instrumentation for the future MYRRHA accelerator driven system; space applications related to radiation-hardened lenses; the development of new approaches for dose, temperature and strain measurements; the assessment of radiation-hardened sensors and motors for remote handling tasks and studies of dose measurement systems including the use of optical fibres. Progress and achievements in these areas for 2001 are described
Trimble, Virginia; Williams, Thomas; Bracher, Katherine; Jarrell, Richard; Marché, Jordan; Palmeri, JoAnn; Green, Daniel
The Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers is a unique and valuable resource for historians and astronomers alike. It includes approx. 1850 biographical sketches on astronomers from antiquity to modern times. It is the collective work of 430 authors edited by an editorial board of 8 historians and astronomers. This reference provides biographical information on astronomers and cosmologists by utilizing contemporary historical scholarship. The fully corrected and updated second edition adds approximately 300 biographical sketches. Based on ongoing research and feedback from the community, the new entries will fill gaps and provide expansions. In addition, greater emphasis on Russo phone astronomers and radio astronomers is given. Individual entries vary from 100 to 1500 words, including the likes of the super luminaries such as Newton and Einstein, as well as lesser-known astronomers like Galileo's acolyte, Mario Guiducci.
Buehrer, W. [Paul Scherrer Inst. (PSI), Villigen (Switzerland)
The present paper mediates a basic knowledge of the most commonly used experimental techniques. We discuss the principles and concepts necessary to understand what one is doing if one performs an experiment on a certain instrument. (author) 29 figs., 1 tab., refs.
Lemaitre, Gerard Rene
Astronomical Optics and Elasticity Theory provides a very thorough and comprehensive account of what is known in this field. After an extensive introduction to optics and elasticity, the book discusses variable curvature and multimode deformable mirrors, as well as, in depth, active optics, its theory and applications. Further, optical design utilizing the Schmidt concept and various types of Schmidt correctors, as well as the elasticity theory of thin plates and shells are elaborated upon. Several active optics methods are developed for obtaining aberration corrected diffraction gratings. Further, a weakly conical shell theory of elasticity is elaborated for the aspherization of grazing incidence telescope mirrors. The very didactic and fairly easy-to-read presentation of the topic will enable PhD students and young researchers to actively participate in challenging astronomical optics and instrumentation projects.
Rohit R. Ghalsasi; Prof. N. D. Dhoot
Astronomical telescope is powerful and basic tool for star or celestial observation. Here we proposed integrated system using Raspberry Pi for auto adjusting astronomical telescope. This integrated circuit helps to control stellar monitoring, stellar targeting, and tracking functions of telescope. Astro compass gives the direction of the celestial objects.
Rohit R. Ghalsasi
Full Text Available Astronomical telescope is powerful and basic tool for star or celestial observation. Here we proposed integrated system using Raspberry Pi for auto adjusting astronomical telescope. This integrated circuit helps to control stellar monitoring, stellar targeting, and tracking functions of telescope. Astro compass gives the direction of the celestial objects.
Lara, L.; Gallego, T.; de La Torre, A.
We describe a project developed at the University of Granada in collaboration with the Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía aimed at using a remote telescope for live astronomical observations from the classroom. Available instrumentation, software and activities are presented.
Francisco Salgado, Jose
Astronomer and visual artist Jose Francisco Salgado has directed two astronomical video suites to accompany live performances of classical music works. The suites feature awe-inspiring images, historical illustrations, and visualizations produced by NASA, ESA, and the Adler Planetarium. By the end of 2009, his video suites Gustav Holst's The Planets and Astronomical Pictures at an Exhibition will have been presented more than 40 times in over 10 countries. Lately Salgado, an avid photographer, has been experimenting with high dynamic range imaging, time-lapse, infrared, and fisheye photography, as well as with stereoscopic photography and video to enhance his multimedia works.
Full Text Available Previous decade has seen an achievement of large interferometricprojects including 8-10m telescopes and 100m class baselines. Modern computerand control technology has enabled the interferometric combination of lightfrom separate telescopes also in the visible and infrared regimes. Imagingwith milli-arcsecond (mas resolution and astrometry with micro-arcsecond($mu$as precision have thus become reality. Here, I review the methods andinstrumentation corresponding to the current state in the field ofastronomical optical interferometry. First, this review summarizes thedevelopment from the pioneering works of Fizeau and Michelson. Next, thefundamental observables are described, followed by the discussion of the basicdesign principles of modern interferometers. The basic interferometrictechniques such as speckle and aperture masking interferometry, aperture synthesisand nulling interferometry are disscused as well. Using the experience ofpast and existing facilities to illustrate important points, I considerparticularly the new generation of large interferometers that has beenrecently commissioned (most notably, the CHARA, Keck, VLT and LBTInterferometers. Finally, I discuss the longer-term future of opticalinterferometry, including the possibilities of new large-scale ground-based projects and prospects for space interferometry.
In recent years the technological advances of adaptive optics have enabled a great deal of innovative science. In this lecture I review the system-level design of modern astronomical AO instruments, and discuss their current capabilities.
This book presents a systematic design methodology for decoding the interior structure of the Antikythera mechanism, an astronomical device from ancient Greece. The historical background, surviving evidence and reconstructions of the mechanism are introduced, and the historical development of astronomical achievements and various astronomical instruments are investigated. Pursuing an approach based on the conceptual design of modern mechanisms and bearing in mind the standards of science and technology at the time, all feasible designs of the six lost/incomplete/unclear subsystems are synthesized as illustrated examples, and 48 feasible designs of the complete interior structure are presented. This approach provides not only a logical tool for applying modern mechanical engineering knowledge to the reconstruction of the Antikythera mechanism, but also an innovative research direction for identifying the original structures of the mechanism in the future. In short, the book offers valuable new insights for all...
Iniesta, J C
The book gathers the invited talks to the XIII JENAM conference, organized this time by the European Astronomical Society (EAS) and the Spanish Astronomical Society (SEA), and hosted by the Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía (CSIC). All branches of astrophysics are encompassed from the largest scales and cosmology to the solar system and the Sun, through the galaxies and the stars, including a section on astronomical instrumentation. Very relevant experts from all over the world speak in a single book about the most recent, exciting results from their fields in a way which is useful for both researchers in these fields and colleagues working in other disciplines. The book is accompanied by a CD-ROM including the remaining contributions of the meeting in PDF format, hence opening a wide panorama of what is going on in astrophysics nowadays.
Bergin, Edwin A.
In this review we explore aspects of the field of astrobiology from an astronomical viewpoint. We therefore focus on the origin of life in the context of planetary formation, with additional emphasis on tracing the most abundant volatile elements, C, H, O, and N that are used by life on Earth. We first explore the history of life on our planet and outline the current state of our knowledge regarding the delivery of the C, H, O, N elements to the Earth. We then discuss how astronomers track th...
Theodossiou, E.; Manimanis, V. N.
In this work, four ancient monuments of astronomical significance found in Athens and still kept in the same city in good condition are presented. The first one is the conical sundial on the southern slope of the Acropolis. The second one is the Tower of the Winds and its vertical sundials in the Roman Forum of Athens, a small octagonal marble tower with sundials on all 8 of its sides, plus a water-clock inside the tower. The third monument-instrument is the ancient clepsydra of Athens, one of the findings from the Ancient Agora of Athens, a unique water-clock dated from 400 B.C. Finally, the fourth one is the carved ancient Athenian calendar over the main entrance of the small Byzantine temple of the 8th Century, St. Eleftherios, located to the south of the temple of the Annunciation of Virgin Mary, the modern Cathedral of the city of Athens.
Smolentsev, Sergey; Dyakov, Andrei
This report summarizes information about Zelenchukskaya Radio Astronomical Observatory activities in 2012. Last year a number of changes took place in the observatory to improve some technical characteristics and to upgrade some units to the required status. The report provides an overview of current geodetic VLBI activities and gives an outlook for the future.
Smolentsev, Sergey; Rahimov, Ismail
This report summarizes information about the Svetloe Radio Astronomical Observatory activities in 2012. Last year, a number of changes took place in the observatory to improve some technical characteristics and to upgrade some units to their required status. The report provides an overview of current geodetic VLBI activities and gives an outlook for the future.
This Poznan acute Astronomical Observatory is a unit of the Adam Mickiewicz University, located in Poznan acute, Poland. From its foundation in 1919, it has specialized in astrometry and celestial mechanics (reference frames, dynamics of satellites and small solar system bodies). Recently, research activities have also included planetary and stellar astrophysics (asteroid photometry, catalysmic b...
Katz, C. A.; Hewitt, J. N.; Corey, B. E.; Moore, C. B.
We have constructed and operated the Survey for Transient Astronomical Radio Emission (STARE) to detect transient astronomical radio emission at 611 MHz originating from the sky over the northeastern United States. The system is sensitive to transient events on timescales of 0.125 s to a few minutes, with a typical zenith flux density detection threshold of approximately 27 kJy. During 18 months of around-the-clock observing with three geographically separated instruments, we detected a total...
Pildis, Rachel A.
Astronomers know that their research requires writing, adapting, and documenting computer software. Furthermore, they often have to learn new computer languages and figure out how existing programs work without much documentation or guidance and with extreme time pressure. These are all skills that can lead to a software development job, but recruiters and employers probably won't know that. I will discuss all the highly useful experience that astronomers may not know that they already have, and how to explain that knowledge to others when looking for non-academic software positions. I will also talk about some of the pitfalls I have run into while interviewing for jobs and working as a developer, and encourage you to embrace the curiosity employers might have about your non-standard background.
A meridian instrument made by Troughton&Simms in 1875 is exhihited to the history building as the National Astronomical Observatory oldest telescope. The author came to be concerned with old observation instruments of National Astronomical Observatory, and he excavated observation devices left in National Astronomical Observatory and was able to go ahead through reconstruction. And he thought this telescope whether it was the part of the astronomical theodolite not a meridian instrument. There is no doubt as to whether it is the oldest in the Observatory, and the author began inspection. As for him, the telescope called a meridian instrument made in this 1875 came to have the conviction that was transferred from the Department of the Interior geography station of the Meiji government to Tokyo Astronomical Observatory.
Barker, Thurburn; Castelaz, Michael W.; Rottler, Lee; Cline, J. Donald
Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute (PARI) is a not-for-profit public foundation in North Carolina dedicated to providing hands-on educational and research opportunities for a broad cross-section of users in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines. In November 2007 a Workshop on a National Plan for Preserving Astronomical Photographic Data (2009ASPC,410,33O, Osborn, W. & Robbins, L) was held at PARI. The result was the establishment of the Astronomical Photographic Data Archive (APDA) at PARI. In late 2013 PARI began ALP (Astronomy Legacy Project). ALP's purpose is to digitize an extensive set of twentieth century photographic astronomical data housed in APDA. Because of the wide range of types of plates, plate dimensions and emulsions found among the 40+ collections, plate digitization will require a versatile set of scanners and digitizing instruments. Internet crowdfunding was used to assist in the purchase of additional digitization equipment that were described at AstroPlate2014 Plate Preservation Workshop (www.astroplate.cz) held in Prague, CZ, March, 2014. Equipment purchased included an Epson Expression 11000XL scanner and two Nikon D800E cameras. These digital instruments will compliment a STScI GAMMA scanner now located in APDA. GAMMA will be adapted to use an electroluminescence light source and a digital camera with a telecentric lens to achieve high-speed high-resolution scanning. The 1μm precision XY stage of GAMMA will allow very precise positioning of the plate stage. Multiple overlapping CCD images of small sections of each plate, tiles, will be combined using a photo-mosaic process similar to one used in Harvard's DASCH project. Implementation of a software pipeline for the creation of a SQL database containing plate images and metadata will be based upon APPLAUSE as described by Tuvikene at AstroPlate2014 (www.astroplate.cz/programs/).
Hockey, Thomas; Williams, Thomas R; Bracher, Katherine; Jarrell, Richard A; Marché, Jordan D; Ragep, F. Jamil; Palmeri, JoAnn; Bolt, Marvin
The Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers is a unique and valuable resource for historians and astronomers alike. The two volumes include approximately 1550 biographical sketches on astronomers from antiquity to modern times. It is the collective work of about 400 authors edited by an editorial board of 9 historians and astronomers, and provides additional details on the nature of an entry and some summary statistics on the content of entries. This new reference provides biographical information on astronomers and cosmologists by utilizing contemporary historical scholarship. Individual entries vary from 100 to 1500 words, including the likes of the superluminaries such as Newton and Einstein, as well as lesser-known astronomers like Galileo's acolyte, Mario Guiducci. A comprehensive contributor index helps researchers to identify the authors of important scientific topics and treatises.
Katz, Daniel S; Mann, Robert G
This chapter describes how astronomical imaging survey data have become a vital part of modern astronomy, how these data are archived and then served to the astronomical community through on-line data access portals. The Virtual Observatory, now under development, aims to make all these data accessible through a uniform set of interfaces. This chapter also describes the scientific need for one common image processing task, that of composing individual images into large scale mosaics and introduces Montage as a tool for this task. Montage, as distributed, can be used in four ways: as a single thread/process on a single CPU, in parallel using MPI to distribute similar tasks across a parallel computer, in parallel using grid tools (Pegasus/DAGMan) to distributed tasks across a grid, or in parallel using a script-driven approach (Swift). An on-request web based Montage service is available for users who do not need to build a local version. We also introduce some work on a new scripted version of Montage, which o...
What stand out in the solid system of Gr. Narekatsi's naturalistic views are his astronomical insights on the material nature of light, its high speed and the Sun being composed of "material air". Especially surprising and fascinating are his views on stars and their clusters. What astronomers, including great Armenian academician V. Ambartsumian (scattering of stellar associations), would understand and prove with much difficulty thousand years later, Narekatsi predicted in the 10th century: "Stars appear and disappear untimely", "You who gather and scatter the speechless constellations, like a flock of sheep". Gr. Narekatsti's reformative views were manifested in all the spheres of the 10th century social life; he is a reformer of church life, great language constructor, innovator in literature and music, freethinker in philosophy and science. His ideology is the reflection of the 10th century Armenian Renaissance. During the 9th-10th centuries, great masses of Armenians, forced to migrate to the Balkans, took with them and spread reformative ideas. The forefather of the western science, which originated in the period of Reformation, is considered to be the great philosopher Nicholas of Cusa. The study of Gr. Narekatsti's logic and naturalistic views enables us to claim that Gr. Narekatsti is the great grandfather of European science.
Hockey, Thomas A.
What happens when even Percival Lowell stops believing in your Mars observations? History can be troubling. This I learned while editing the Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers (Springer, 2007). There have been astronomers who do not fit our commonly held, and clung to, conceptual model: a sociological system that sifts out generally like-minded and sensible colleagues. I refer to those individuals who (for at least a time) successfully entered the mainstream profession, but now disturb our worldview that says prosperity as a scientist usually is achieved by a rational being holding certain common values. My List of Shame includes examples from each of the last four centuries. Not "crack pot” cosmologists, these were hard-working observers for whom the end justified the means. And they all got away with it. Each person I discuss was vetted by the professional establishment of the day. Yet you will learn how to be fired from a major observatory, banned from prominent journals. But only after damage to the science is done. Be afraid.
Bussa, Srikanth; VEGAS Development Team
The National Science Foundation Advanced Technologies and Instrumentation (NSF-ATI) program is funding a new spectrometer backend for the Green Bank Telescope (GBT). This spectrometer is being built by the CICADA collaboration - collaboration between the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) and the Center for Astronomy Signal Processing and Electronics Research (CASPER) at the University of California Berkeley.The backend is named as VErsatile GBT Astronomical Spectrometer (VEGAS) and will replace the capabilities of the existing spectrometers. This backend supports data processing from focal plane array systems. The spectrometer will be capable of processing up to 1.25 GHz bandwidth from 8 dual polarized beams or a bandwidth up to 10 GHz from a dual polarized beam.The spectrometer will be using 8-bit analog to digital converters (ADC), which gives a better dynamic range than existing GBT spectrometers. There will be 8 tunable digital sub-bands within the 1.25 GHz bandwidth, which will enhance the capability of simultaneous observation of multiple spectral transitions. The maximum spectral dump rate to disk will be about 0.5 msec. The vastly enhanced backend capabilities will support several science projects with the GBT. The projects include mapping temperature and density structure of molecular clouds; searches for organic molecules in the interstellar medium; determination of the fundamental constants of our evolving Universe; red-shifted spectral features from galaxies across cosmic time and survey for pulsars in the extreme gravitational environment of the Galactic Center.
Wenger, M; Egret, D; Dubois, P; Bonnarel, F; Borde, S; Genova, F; Jasniewicz, G; Laloe, S; Lesteven, S; Monier, R; Wenger, Marc; Ochsenbein, Francois; Egret, Daniel; Dubois, Pascal; Bonnarel, Francois; Borde, Suzanne; Genova, Francoise; Jasniewicz, Gerard; Laloe, Suzanne; Lesteven, Soizick; Monier, Richard
Simbad is the reference database for identification and bibliography ofastronomical objects. It contains identifications, `basic data', bibliography,and selected observational measurements for several million astronomicalobjects. Simbad is developed and maintained by CDS, Strasbourg. Building thedatabase contents is achieved with the help of several contributing institutes.Scanning the bibliography is the result of the collaboration of CDS withbibliographers in Observatoire de Paris (DASGAL), Institut d'Astrophysique deParis, and Observatoire de Bordeaux. When selecting catalogues and tables forinclusion, priority is given to optimal multi-wavelength coverage of thedatabase, and to support of research developments linked to large projects. Inparallel, the systematic scanning of the bibliography reflects the diversityand general trends of astronomical research. A WWW interface to Simbad is available at: http://simbad.u-strasbg.fr/Simbad
Wu, Xiaoping; Mao, Wei; Huang, Yong
A review on the studies of correlation between astronomical tides and earthquakes is given in three categories, including (1) earthquakes and the relative locations of the sun, the moon and the earth, (2) earthquakes and the periods and phases of tides and (3) earthquakes and the tidal stress. The first two categories mainly investigate whether or not there exist any dominant pattern of the relative locations of the sun, the moon and the earth during earthquakes, whether or not the occurrences of earthquakes are clustered in any special phase during a tidal period, whether or not there exists any tidal periodic phenomenon in seismic activities, By empasizing the tidal stress in seismic focus, the third category investigates the relationship between various seismic faults and the triggering effects of tidal stress, which reaches the crux of the issue. Possible reasons to various inconsistent investigation results by using various methods and samples are analyzed and further investigations are proposed.
Pereyra, Antonio; Meza, Erick; Cori, William; Ricra, José; Zevallos, Maria Isela
We show the actual status of the project to implement the Astronomical Observatory of the National University of Engineering (OAUNI), including its first light. The OAUNI was installed with success at the site of the Huancayo Observatory on the peruvian central Andes. At this time, we are finishing the commissioning phase which includes the testing of all the instruments: optical tube, robotic mount, CCD camera, filter wheel, remote access system, etc. The first light gathered from a stellar field was very promissory. The next step will be to start the scientific programs and to bring support to the undergraduate courses in observational astronomy at the Faculty of Sciences of UNI.
Kent, Brian R
Astronomical data take on a multitude of forms -- catalogs, data cubes, images, and simulations. The availability of software for rendering high-quality three-dimensional graphics lends itself to the paradigm of exploring the incredible parameter space afforded by the astronomical sciences. The software program Blender gives astronomers a useful tool for displaying data in a manner used by three-dimensional (3D) graphics specialists and animators. The interface to this popular software package is introduced with attention to features of interest in astronomy. An overview of the steps for generating models, textures, animations, camera work, and renders is outlined. An introduction is presented on the methodology for producing animations and graphics with a variety of astronomical data. Examples from sub-fields of astronomy with different kinds of data are shown with resources provided to members of the astronomical community. An example video showcasing the outlined principles and features is provided along w...
Primas, F.; Casali, M.; Walsh, J.
In May and June 2010, Sandro D'Odorico and Alan Moorwood, both driving forces behind many ESO instruments and very active in research, retired after three decades at ESO. The ESO Director General, Tim de Zeeuw, elevated both to the newly inaugurated position of ESO Astronomer Emeritus. Celebrations on their transition to these esteemed positions were held and are briefly described.
Xanthopoulos, E; Snellen, I; Dennett-Thorpe, J; Mack, K H
The CERES Astronomical Archive was created initially in order to make the large amount of data that were collected from the two surveys, the Jodrell-VLA Astrometric Survey (JVAS) and the Cosmic Lens All-Sky Survey (CLASS), easily accessible to the partner members of the Consortium for European Research on Extragalactic Surveys (CERES) through the web. Here we describe the web based archive of the 15,000 flat spectrum radio sources. There is a wealth of information that one can access including downloading the raw and processed data for each of the sources. We also describe the search engines that were developed so that a) one can search through the archive for an object or a sample of objects by setting specific criteria and b) select new samples. Since new data are continually gathered on the same sources from follow up programs, an automatic update engine was created so that the new information and data can be added easily in the archive.
During the discussions we have covered many facets of the basic interactions between solar activity and the Earth's climate. Solar activity is not the only astronomical or astrophysical phenomenon to influence physical conditions in the biosphere. Over timescales an order of magnitude less, the location of the Solar System in the Galaxy may have influenced life on Earth. The Sun is a complex generator of radiation, particles and magnetic fields sent far into space. Even if the total radiation emitted is constant, the amount of radiation received by the Earth changes with time: this change is complex and involved with a redistribution of energy emitted at different solar latitudes than to a real change in solar luminosity. These changes in the Earth's illumination may be a function of the wavelength, and have various effects in different layers of the Earth's atmosphere. The Sun also emits particles of all energies. Some of them find their way through the magnetopause, giving rise to auroras, to magnetic storms, to ionospheric disturbances and the like. The possible climatological effects are yet obscure. To understand the solar terrestrial relations better, regular, routine observations from ground-based stations and from space of solar phenomena must be continued. The sensitivity of human life to small changes in climatic conditions is very large. A good knowledge of solar-physics is therefore important and relevant. (author)
Downey, Elwood Charles
XEphem is a scientific-grade interactive astronomical ephemeris package for UNIX-like systems. Written in C, X11 and Motif, it is easily ported to systems. Among other things, XEphem: computes heliocentric, geocentric and topocentric information for all objects; has built-in support for all planets; the moons of Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Earth; central meridian longitude of Mars and Jupiter; Saturn's rings; and Jupiter's Great Red Spot; allows user-defined objects including stars, deepsky objects, asteroids, comets and Earth satellites; provides special efficient handling of large catalogs including Tycho, Hipparcos, GSC; displays data in configurable tabular formats in conjunction with several interactive graphical views; displays a night-at-a-glance 24 hour graphic showing when any selected objects are up; displays 3-D stereo Solar System views that are particularly well suited for visualizing comet trajectories; quickly finds all close pairs of objects in the sky; and sorts and prints all catalogs with very flexible criteria for creating custom observing lists. Its capabilities are listed more fully in the user manual introduction.
Hopkins, Jeffrey L
Amateur astronomers interested in learning more about astronomical spectroscopy now have the guide they need. It provides detailed information about how to get started inexpensively with low-resolution spectroscopy, and then how to move on to more advanced high-resolution spectroscopy. Uniquely, the instructions concentrate very much on the practical aspects of using commercially-available spectroscopes, rather than simply explaining how spectroscopes work. The book includes a clear explanation of the laboratory theory behind astronomical spectrographs, and goes on to extensively cover the practical application of astronomical spectroscopy in detail. Four popular and reasonably-priced commercially available diffraction grating spectrographs are used as examples. The first is a low-resolution transmission diffraction grating, the Star Analyser spectrograph. The second is an inexpensive fiber optic coupled bench spectrograph that can be used to learn more about spectroscopy. The third is a newcomer, the ALPY ...
Vítek, Stanislav; Švihlík, Jan; Krasula, Lukáš; Fliegel, Karel; Páta, Petr
Astronomical instruments located around the world are producing an incredibly large amount of possibly interesting scientific data. Astronomical research is expanding into large and highly sensitive telescopes. Total volume of data rates per night of operations also increases with the quality and resolution of state-of-the-art CCD/CMOS detectors. Since many of the ground-based astronomical experiments are placed in remote locations with limited access to the Internet, it is necessary to solve the problem of the data storage. It mostly means that current data acquistion, processing and analyses algorithm require review. Decision about importance of the data has to be taken in very short time. This work deals with GPU accelerated processing of high frame-rate astronomical video-sequences, mostly originating from experiment MAIA (Meteor Automatic Imager and Analyser), an instrument primarily focused to observing of faint meteoric events with a high time resolution. The instrument with price bellow 2000 euro consists of image intensifier and gigabite ethernet camera running at 61 fps. With resolution better than VGA the system produces up to 2TB of scientifically valuable video data per night. Main goal of the paper is not to optimize any GPU algorithm, but to propose and evaluate parallel GPU algorithms able to process huge amount of video-sequences in order to delete all uninteresting data.
Amateur astronomy has changed beyond recognition in less than two decades. The reason is, of course, technology. Affordable high-quality telescopes, computer-controlled 'go to' mountings, autoguiders, CCD cameras, video, and (as always) computers and the Internet, are just a few of the advances that have revolutionized astronomy for the twenty-first century. Martin Mobberley first looks at the basics before going into an in-depth study of what’s available commercially. He then moves on to the revolutionary possibilities that are open to amateurs, from imaging, through spectroscopy and photometry, to patrolling for near-earth objects - the search for comets and asteroids that may come close to, or even hit, the earth. The New Amateur Astronomer is a road map of the new astronomy, equally suitable for newcomers who want an introduction, or old hands who need to keep abreast of innovations. From the reviews: "This is one of several dozen books in Patrick Moore's "Practical Astronomy" series. Amid this large family, Mobberley finds his niche: the beginning high-tech amateur. The book's first half discusses equipment: computer-driven telescopes, CCD cameras, imaging processing software, etc. This market is changing every bit as rapidly as the computer world, so these details will be current for only a year or two. The rest of the book offers an overview of scientific projects that serious amateurs are carrying out these days. Throughout, basic formulas and technical terms are provided as needed, without formal derivations. An appendix with useful references and Web sites is also included. Readers will need more than this book if they are considering a plunge into high-tech amateur astronomy, but it certainly will whet their appetites. Mobberley's most valuable advice will save the book's owner many times its cover price: buy a quality telescope from a reputable dealer and install it in a simple shelter so it can be used with as little set-up time as possible. A poor
Younger primary school students often show great interest in the vast Universe hiding behind the starry night's sky, but don't have a way of learning about it and exploring it in regular classes. Some of them would search children's books, Internet or encyclopedias for information or facts they are interested in, but there are those whose hunger for knowledge would go unfulfilled. Such students were the real initiators of our extracurricular activity called Little Astronomers. With great enthusiasm they would name everything that interests them about the Universe that we live in and I would provide the information in a fun and interactive yet acceptable way for their level of understanding. In our class we learn about Earth and its place in the Solar System, we learn about the planets and other objects of our Solar System and about the Sun itself. We also explore the night sky using programs such as Stellarium, learning to recognize constellations and name them. Most of our activities are done using a PowerPoint presentation, YouTube videos, and Internet simulations followed by some practical work the students do themselves. Because of the lack of available materials and funds, most of materials are hand made by the teacher leading the class. We also use the school's galileoscope as often as possible. Every year the students are given the opportunity to go to an observatory in a town 90 km away so that they could gaze at the sky through the real telescope for the first time. Our goal is to start stepping into the world of astronomy by exploring the secrets of the Universe and understanding the process of rotation and revolution of our planet and its effects on our everyday lives and also to become more aware of our own role in our part of the Universe. The hunger for knowledge and enthusiasm these students have is contagious. They are becoming more aware of their surroundings and also understanding their place in the Universe that helps them remain humble and helps
The contemporary astronomical instruments have been producing the unprecedented amount of data. The largest part of this "data avalanche" is being produced by deep all-sky surveys yielding terabytes of raw data per night. Such a great data volumes can hardly even been reduced by automatic pipelines running on supercomputer grids but it is impossible to exploit fully their content by a small group of professional astronomers in the interested research teams. New tools for collaborative work with heterogeneous data sets spread over distant servers are being developed in the framework of the Virtual Observatory (VO). As many VO resources are freely available on the Internet, a new opportunity opens for the amateur astronomers to do professional research using these tools in an Internet browser on a moderately fast connection. We give short overview of current and future sky surveys producing data on a millions of targets - hence the term Megasurveys, and we introduce the basic principles of Virtual Observatory a...
This valuable reference fills a number of needs in the field of astronomical eyepieces, including that of a buyer's guide, observer's field guide and technical desk reference. It documents the past market for eyepieces and its evolution right up to the present day. In addition to appealing to practical astronomers - and potentially saving them money - it is useful both as a historical reference and as a detailed review of the current market place for this bustling astronomical consumer product. What distinguishes this book from other publications on astronomy is the involvement of observers from all aspects of the astronomical community, and also the major manufacturers of equipment. It not only catalogs the technical aspects of the many modern eyepieces but also documents amateur observer reactions and impressions of their utility over the years, using many different eyepieces. Eyepieces are the most talked-about accessories and collectible items available to the amateur astronomer. No other item of equi...
With information and scale as central themes, this comprehensive survey explains how to handle real problems in astronomical data analysis using a modern arsenal of powerful techniques. It treats those innovative methods of image, signal, and data processing that are proving to be both effective and widely relevant. The authors are leaders in this rapidly developing field and draw upon decades of experience. They have been playing leading roles in international projects such as the Virtual Observatory and the Grid. The book addresses not only students and professional astronomers and astrophysicists, but also serious amateur astronomers and specialists in earth observation, medical imaging, and data mining. The coverage includes chapters or appendices on: detection and filtering; image compression; multichannel, multiscale, and catalog data analytical methods; wavelets transforms, Picard iteration, and software tools. This second edition of Starck and Murtagh's highly appreciated reference again deals with to...
This is the first book to look in detail at amateur astronomy in Victorian Britain. It deals with the technical issues that were active in Victorian astronomy, and reviews the problems of finance, patronage and the dissemination of scientific ideas. It also examines the relationship between the amateur and professional in Britain. It contains a wealth of previously unpublished biographical and anecdotal material, and an extended bibliography with notes incorporating much new scholarship. In The Victorian Amateur Astronomer, Allan Chapman shows that while on the continent astronomical research was lavishly supported by the state, in Britain such research was paid for out of the pockets of highly educated, wealthy gentlemen the so-called Grand Amateurs . It was these powerful individuals who commissioned the telescopes, built the observatories, ran the learned societies, and often stole discoveries from their state-employed colleagues abroad. In addition to the Grand Amateurs , Victorian Britain also contained many self-taught amateurs. Although they belonged to no learned societies, these people provide a barometer of the popularity of astronomy in that age. In the late 19th century, the comfortable middle classes clergymen, lawyers, physicians and retired military officers took to astronomy as a serious hobby. They formed societies which focused on observation, lectures and discussions, and it was through this medium that women first came to play a significant role in British astronomy. Readership: Undergraduate and postgraduate students studying the history of science or humanities, professional historians of science, engineering and technology, particularly those with an interest in astronomy, the development of astronomical ideas, scientific instrument makers, and amateur astronomers.
As a casual read through any of the major amateur astronomical magazines will demonstrate, there are filters available for all aspects of optical astronomy. This book provides a ready resource on the use of the following filters, among others, for observational astronomy or for imaging: Light pollution filters Planetary filters Solar filters Neutral density filters for Moon observation Deep-sky filters, for such objects as galaxies, nebulae and more Deep-sky objects can be imaged in much greater detail than was possible many years ago. Amateur astronomers can take
Christian Ludwig Gerling's 1817 appointment as Professor for Mathematics, Physics and Astronomy resulted in the foundation of the Mathematical and Physical Institute of the Philipps University. In 1838, Gerling moved onto new premises in the main building of the former D\\"ornberger Hof in Renthof Street where the Philipps University's astronomical observatory was installed in the upper part of the old tower in 1841. The most important device at that time was a transit instrument which served to measure the transit times of stars in the meridian. Precise alignment required the use of a meridian stone, an artificial point of reference exactly north of and at about four kilometers' distance from the observatory. The scientists observed planets and their moons, the asteroids that were only discovered at the beginning of the 19th century, and some fainter stars in order to improve stellar charts. The Gerling Observatory is the first place in Hesse, where positions of asteroids were read.
Full Text Available We discuss the development and optimization of an ongoing educational project involving the whole population of the province of San Luis, Argentina. The core of the project includes activities and resources that capture formal curricular aspects directed towards all levels of teaching. The educational activities r elated to this projecthave been bene ted by the acquisition of two planetariums made in Argentina, a MEADE 1600 telescope to be operated by remote control from any school-room in San Luis, and a naked-eye observatory with more than 30 pre-telescopic instruments, and other didactic tools specially designed for the teaching of Astronomy. Furthermore, an Internet site to upload all the astronomical activities suggested that has been developed along with a number of didactic and general-interest publications.
Strasbourg Astronomical Observatory is quite an interesting place for historians: several changes of nationality between France and Germany, high-profile scientists having been based there, big projects born or installed in its walls, and so on. Most of the documents circulating on the history of the Observatory and on related matters have however been so far poorly referenced, if at all. This made necessary the compilation of a volume such as this one, offering fully-documented historical facts and references on the first decades of the Observatory history, authored by both French and German specialists. The experts contributing to this book have done their best to write in a way understandable to readers not necessarily hyperspecialized in astronomy nor in the details of European history. After an introductory chapter by the Editor, contributions by Wolfschmidt and by Duerbeck respectively deal extensively with the German periods and review people and instrumentation, while another paper by Duerbeck is more...
We discuss the development and optimization of an ongoing educational project involving the whole population of the province of San Luis, Argentina. The core of the project includes activities and resources that capture formal curricular aspects directed towards all levels of teaching. The educational activities related to this project have been benefited by the acquisition of two planetariums made in Argentina, a MEADE 16'' telescope to be operated by remote control from any school-room in San Luis, and a naked-eye observatory with more than 30 pre-telescopic instruments, and other didactic tools specially designed for the teaching of Astronomy. Furthermore, an Internet site to upload all the astronomical activities suggested that has been developed along with a number of didactic and general-interest publications.
Zainuddin, Mohd. Zambri; Loon, Chin Wei; Harun, Saedah
Astronomical limiting magnitude is an indicator for astronomer to conduct astronomical measurement at a particular site. It gives an idea to astronomer of that site what magnitude of celestial object can be measured. Langkawi National Observatory (LNO) is situated at Bukit Malut with latitude 6°18' 25'' North and longitude 99°46' 52'' East in Langkawi Island. Sky brightness measurement has been performed at this site using the standard astronomical technique. The value of the limiting magnitude measured is V = 18.6+/-1.0 magnitude. This will indicate that astronomical measurement at Langkawi observatory can only be done for celestial objects having magnitude less than V = 18.6 magnitudes.
Klioner, S A
The paper is devoted to a detailed explanation of relativistic scaling of astronomical quantities induced by times scales \\TDB and \\TT. It is argued that scaled time scales, scaled spatial coordinates and scaled masses should be considered as distinct quantities which themselves can be expressed in any units (rather then numerical values expressed in some non-SI units ("TDB units" and "TT units") as can be sometimes found in the literature). The system of astronomical units in the relativistic framework is discussed. The whole freedom in the definitions of the systems of astronomical units for TCB and TDB is demonstrated. A number of possible ways to freeze the freedom are shown and discussed. It is argued that in the near future one should probably think about converting AU into a defined quantity (by fixing its value in SI meters).
ThP need for exchange of programmes and data between astronomical facilities is generally recognized, but practicable concepts concerning its realization are rare. Standardization of data formats through FITS is widely accepted; for (interactive) programs, however, identical hardware configurations seem to be the favoured solution. As an alternative, a software approach to the problem is presented.
Diego, Jose M; González-Serrano, J. Ignacio; Gorgas, Javier; Highlights of Spanish Astrophysics V
This volume collects the invited contributions and plenary sessions presented at the Eighth Scientific Meeting of the Spanish Astronomical Society (Sociedad Española de Astronomía, SEA) held on July 7-11, 2008 in Santander. These contributions cover all fields of astronomy and astrophysics, i.e., the Sun and solar system, the galaxy and its components, galaxies and cosmology, observatories and instrumentation, as well as astronomy teaching and dissemination. Further plenary sessions were devoted to selected hot topics, including the exploration of the solar system, gravitational lensing, exoplanets, X-ray binaries, solar magnetism, gravitational waves, the ALHAMBRA collaboration, and the OSIRIS instrument on the new 10-m GTC. Abstracts of the contributions presented at the parallels sessions and posters are also included in the book. Complete versions of those papers are available online.
This book describes and analyses, for the first time, the astronomical tables of Giovanni Bianchini of Ferrara (d. after 1469), explains their context, inserts them into an astronomical tradition that began in Toledo, and addresses their diffusion.
This paper describes a lesson outline in which astronomically inspired musical compositions are used to teach astronomical concepts via an introductory activity, close listening, and critical/creative reflection.
Wenger, Stephan; Steffen, Wolfgang; Koning, Nico; Weiskopf, Daniel; Magnor, Marcus
Interactive visualization and simulation of astrophysical phenomena help astronomers and enable digital planetariums and television documentaries to take their spectators on a journey into deep space to explore the astronomical wonders of our universe in 3D.
The next generation of instruments for ground-based telescopes took a leap forward with the development of a new ultra-fast camera that can take 1500 finely exposed images per second even when observing extremely faint objects. The first 240x240 pixel images with the world's fastest high precision faint light camera were obtained through a collaborative effort between ESO and three French laboratories from the French Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique/Institut National des Sciences de l'Univers (CNRS/INSU). Cameras such as this are key components of the next generation of adaptive optics instruments of Europe's ground-based astronomy flagship facility, the ESO Very Large Telescope (VLT). ESO PR Photo 22a/09 The CCD220 detector ESO PR Photo 22b/09 The OCam camera ESO PR Video 22a/09 OCam images "The performance of this breakthrough camera is without an equivalent anywhere in the world. The camera will enable great leaps forward in many areas of the study of the Universe," says Norbert Hubin, head of the Adaptive Optics department at ESO. OCam will be part of the second-generation VLT instrument SPHERE. To be installed in 2011, SPHERE will take images of giant exoplanets orbiting nearby stars. A fast camera such as this is needed as an essential component for the modern adaptive optics instruments used on the largest ground-based telescopes. Telescopes on the ground suffer from the blurring effect induced by atmospheric turbulence. This turbulence causes the stars to twinkle in a way that delights poets, but frustrates astronomers, since it blurs the finest details of the images. Adaptive optics techniques overcome this major drawback, so that ground-based telescopes can produce images that are as sharp as if taken from space. Adaptive optics is based on real-time corrections computed from images obtained by a special camera working at very high speeds. Nowadays, this means many hundreds of times each second. The new generation instruments require these
Husson, Dorothée; Galbrun, Bruno; Laskar, Jacques;
Recent improvements to astronomical modeling of the Solar System have contributed to important refinements of the Cenozoic time scale through astronomical calibration of sedimentary series. We extend this astronomical calibration into the Cretaceous, on the base of the 405 ka orbital eccentricity...
Schillaci, Alessandro; Alessandro, Giuseppe D'; de Bernardis, Paolo; Masi, Silvia
We have measured, using a custom setup, the emissivity of metallic wire-grids, suitable for polarimeters and interferometers at mm and far infrared wavelengths. We find that the effective emissivity of these devices is of the order of a few %, depending on fabrication technology and aging. We discuss their use in astronomical instruments, with special attention to Martin Puplett Interferometers in low-background applications, like astronomical observations of the Cosmic Microwave Background.
Yang Xuexiang; Chen Dianyou; Yang Xiaoying; Yang Shuchen
Volcanism is mainly controlled by the intermittent release of energy in the earth. As far as the differential rotation of the earth's inner core is concerned, the Galactic Year may change the gravitational constant G, the solar radiative quantity and the moving speed of the solar system and affect the exchange of angular momentum between core and mantle as well as the energy exchange between crust and mantle. As a result, this leads to eruptions of superplumes and magma, and controls the energy flow from core - mantle boundary (CMB) to crust. When the earth' s speed decreases, it will release a huge amount of energy. They are the reason of the correspondence of the volcanic cycles one by one with the astronomical periods one by one. According to the astronomical periods, volcanic eruptions may possibly be predicted in the future.
Osborn, J; Dhillon, V S; Wilson, R W
Scintillation noise due to the Earth's turbulent atmosphere can be a dominant noise source in high-precision astronomical photometry when observing bright targets from the ground. Here we describe the phenomenon of scintillation from its physical origins to its effect on photometry. We show that Young's (1967) scintillation-noise approximation used by many astronomers tends to underestimate the median scintillation noise at several major observatories around the world. We show that using median atmospheric optical turbulence profiles, which are now available for most sites, provides a better estimate of the expected scintillation noise and that real-time turbulence profiles can be used to precisely characterise the scintillation noise component of contemporaneous photometric measurements. This will enable a better understanding and calibration of photometric noise sources and the effectiveness of scintillation correction techniques. We also provide new equations for calculating scintillation noise, including ...
Haubold, Hans J; UN/ESA/NASA Workshop on the International Heliophysical Year 2007 and Basic Space Science, hosted by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan
This book represents Volume II of the Proceedings of the UN/ESA/NASA Workshop on the International Heliophysical Year 2007 and Basic Space Science, hosted by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, Tokyo, 18 - 22 June, 2007. It covers two programme topics explored in this and past workshops of this nature: (i) non-extensive statistical mechanics as applicable to astrophysics, addressing q-distribution, fractional reaction and diffusion, and the reaction coefficient, as well as the Mittag-Leffler function and (ii) the TRIPOD concept, developed for astronomical telescope facilities. The companion publication, Volume I of the proceedings of this workshop, is a special issue in the journal Earth, Moon, and Planets, Volume 104, Numbers 1-4, April 2009.
Jacobsen, Aase Roland
At the Steno Museum Planetarium we have for many occasions used a countdown clock to get focus om astronomical events. A countdown clock can provide actuality to predictable events, for example The Venus Transit, Opportunity landing on Mars and The Solar Eclipse. The movement of the clock attracs...... the public and makes a point of interest in a small exhibit area. A countdown clock can be simple, but it is possible to expand the concept to an eye-catching part of a museum.......At the Steno Museum Planetarium we have for many occasions used a countdown clock to get focus om astronomical events. A countdown clock can provide actuality to predictable events, for example The Venus Transit, Opportunity landing on Mars and The Solar Eclipse. The movement of the clock attracs...
Forget the headphones you saw in the Warner Brothers thriller Contact, as well as the guttural throbs emanating from loudspeakers at the Very Large Array in that 1997 movie. In real life, radio telescopes aren't used for "listening" to anything - just like visible-light telescopes, they are used primarily to make images of astronomical objects. Now, the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) wants to encourage astronomers to use radio-telescope data to make truly compelling images, and is offering cash prizes to winners of a new image contest. Radio Galaxy Fornax A Radio Galaxy Fornax A Radio-optical composite image of giant elliptical galaxy NGC 1316, showing the galaxy (center), a smaller companion galaxy being cannibalized by NGC 1316, and the resulting "lobes" (orange) of radio emission caused by jets of particles spewed from the core of the giant galaxy Click on image for more detail and images CREDIT: Fomalont et al., NRAO/AUI/NSF "Astronomy is a very visual science, and our radio telescopes are capable of producing excellent images. We're sponsoring this contest to encourage astronomers to make the extra effort to turn good images into truly spectacular ones," said NRAO Director Fred K.Y. Lo. The contest, offering a grand prize of $1,000, was announced at the American Astronomical Society's meeting in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The image contest is part of a broader NRAO effort to make radio astronomical data and images easily accessible and widely available to scientists, students, teachers, the general public, news media and science-education professionals. That effort includes an expanded image gallery on the observatory's Web site. "We're not only adding new radio-astronomy images to our online gallery, but we're also improving the organization and accessibility of the images," said Mark Adams, head of education and public outreach (EPO) at NRAO. "Our long-term goal is to make the NRAO Image Gallery an international resource for radio astronomy imagery
Paul Gorenstein; Wallace Tucker
Several independent astronomical observations in different wavelength bands reveal the existence of much larger quantities of matter than what we would deduce from assuming a solar mass to light ratio. They are very high velocities of individual galaxies within clusters of galaxies, higher than expected rotation rates of stars in the outer regions of galaxies, 21 cm line studies indicative of increasing mass to light ratios with radius in the halos of spiral galaxies, hot gaseous X-ray emitti...
Rebollo-Neira, Laura; Bowley, James
Sparse representation of astronomical images is discussed. It is shown that a significant gain in sparsity is achieved when particular mixed dictionaries are used for approximating these types of images with greedy selection strategies. Experiments are conducted to confirm: i)Effectiveness at producing sparse representations. ii)Competitiveness, with respect to the time required to process large images.The latter is a consequence of the suitability of the proposed dictionaries for approximati...
Leonhard Euler, the most prolific mathematician in history, contributed to advance a wide spectrum of topics in celestial mechanics. At the Saint Petersburg Observatory, Euler observed sunspots and tracked the movements of the Moon. Combining astronomical observations with his own mathematical genius, he determined the orbits of planets and comets. Euler laid the foundations of the methods of planetary perturbations and solved many of the Newtonian mechanics problems of the eighteenth century...
Mickaelian, A. M.
A report is given on the achievements of the Armenian astronomy during the last year and on the present activities of the Armenian Astronomical Society (ArAS). ArAS membership, ArAS electronic newsletters (ArASNews), ArAS webpage, annual meetings, Annual Prize for Young Astronomers (Yervant Terzian Prize) and other awards, international relations, presence in international organizations, summer schools, astronomical Olympiads and other events, matters related to astronomical education, astronomical heritage, astronomy outreach and ArAS further projects are discussed. The present meeting, BAO Science Camp, ArAS School lectures are among 2014 events as well.
Since 2008 the AWHWG has, on behalf of the IAU, been working with UNESCO and its advisory bodies to help identify, safeguard and promote cultural properties relating to astronomy and, where possible, to try to facilitate the eventual nomination of key astronomical heritage sites onto the World Heritage List. Unfortunately, the World Heritage Convention only covers fixed sites (i.e., the tangible immovable heritage of astronomy), and a key question for the UNESCO-IAU Astronomy and World Heritage Initiative (AWHI) is the extent to which the tangible moveable and intangible heritage of astronomy (e.g. moveable instruments; ideas and theories) influence the assessment of the tangible immovable heritage. Clearly, in an ideal world we should be concerned not only with tangible immovable heritage but, to quote the AWHWG's own Terms of Reference, ``to help ensure that cultural properties and artefacts significant in the development of astronomy, together with the intangible heritage of astronomy, are duly studied, protected and maintained, both for the greater benefit of humankind and to the potential benefit of future historical research''. With this in mind, the IAU/INAF symposium on ``Astronomy and its Instruments before and after Galileo'' held in Venice in Sep-Oct 2009 recommended that urgent steps should be taken 1. to sensitise astronomers and the general public, and particularly observatory directors and others with direct influence and control over astronomical resources, to the importance of identifying, protecting and preserving the various material products of astronomical research and discovery that already have, or have significant potential to acquire, universal value; (N.B. National or regional interests and concerns have no relevance in the assessment of ``universal value'', which, by definition, extends beyond cultural boundaries and, by reasonable expectation, down the generations into the future. 2. to identify modes of interconnectivity between
Pinigin, Gennadiy; Pozhalova, Zhanna
Nikolaev Astronomical Observatory (NAO), one of the oldest scientific institutions of the South-Eastern Europe, was founded as a naval observatory in 1821 for providing the needs of the Russian Black Sea Navy. It is a historical and astronomical complex with a reserved territory of total area 7.1 hectares, situated in the central part of Mykolaiv city, Ukraine. The beginning of scientific research at the Observatory is connected with the activity of Karl Knorre, its first director. From 1912 up to 1991, NAO was one of the Southern departments of Pulkovo Observatory with the main purpose to spread the system of absolute catalogs to the Southern hemisphere and to carry out regular observations of the Solar system bodies. Since 1992 NAO has become an independent leading institution of Ukraine in the field of positional astronomy, dynamics of Solar system bodies, research of near-Earth space, astronomical instrumentation. In 2007, it was inscribed in the Tentative UNESCO List of WH (#5116). The most significant part of the complex is the Main building, which was built in the style of Classicism in 1821--1829 (the monument of architecture #535 in the state registry). Also, the astronomical pavilions (1875, 1913, 1955, etc.) and instruments were preserved. Among them three Repsold instruments: meridian circle (1834), portable circle (1868) and vertical circle (1897). The unique astronomical and navigational devices, the collection of astronomical clocks are present in the observatory museum and the paper archive since the foundation of observatory is preserved.
. "It was a bit of luck that the survey included some observations of the sky surrounding the clouds," Narkevic said. It was from those "flanking" observations that the mysterious radio burst appeared in the data. The burst of radio waves was strong by astronomical standards, but lasted less than five milliseconds. The signal was spread out, with higher frequencies arriving at the telescope before the lower frequencies. This effect, called dispersion, is caused by the signal passing through ionized gas in interstellar and intergalactic space. The amount of this dispersion, the astronomers said, indicates that the signal likely originated about three billion light-years from Earth. No previously-detected cosmic radio burst has the same set of characteristics. "This burst represents an entirely new astronomical phenomenon," Bailes said. The astronomers estimate on the basis of their results that hundreds of similar events should occur over the sky each day. "Few radio surveys have the necessary sensitivity to such short-duration bursts, which makes them notoriously difficult to detect with current instruments," added Crawford. The next generation of radio telescopes currently under development should be able to detect many of these bursts across the sky. Although the nature of the mysterious new object is unclear, the astronomers have some ideas of what may cause such a burst. One idea is that it may be part of the energy released when a pair of superdense neutron stars collide and merge. Such an event is thought by some scientists to be the cause of one type of gamma-ray burst, but the only radio emission seen so far from these has been from the long-lived "afterglow" that follows the original burst. Another, more exotic, candidate is a burst of energy from an evaporating black hole. Black holes, concentrations of mass so dense that not even light can escape their powerful gravity, can lose mass and energy through a process proposed by famed British physicist Stephen
This book on astronomical measurement takes a fresh approach to teaching the subject. After discussing some general principles, it follows the chain of measurement through atmosphere, imaging, detection, spectroscopy, timing, and hypothesis testing. The various wavelength regimes are covered in each section, emphasising what is the same, and what is different. The author concentrates on the physics of detection and the principles of measurement, aiming to make this logically coherent. The book is based on a short self contained lecture course for advanced undergraduate students developed and taught by the author over several years.
Lang, Dustin; Hogg, David W.; Mykytyn, David
The Tractor optimizes or samples from models of astronomical objects. The approach is generative: given astronomical sources and a description of the image properties, the code produces pixel-space estimates or predictions of what will be observed in the images. This estimate can be used to produce a likelihood for the observed data given the model: assuming the model space actually includes the truth (it doesn’t, in detail), then if we had the optimal model parameters, the predicted image would differ from the actually observed image only by noise. Given a noise model of the instrument and assuming pixelwise independent noise, the log-likelihood is the negative chi-squared difference: (image - model) / noise.
Contemporary astronomy is characterized by increasingly complex instruments and observational techniques, higher data collection rates, and large data archives, placing severe stress on software analysis systems. The object-oriented paradigm represents a significant new approach to software design and implementation that holds great promise for dealing with this increased complexity. The basic concepts of this approach will be characterized in contrast to more traditional procedure-oriented approaches. The fundamental features of objected-oriented programming will be discussed from a C++ programming language perspective, using examples familiar to astronomers. This discussion will focus on objects, classes and their relevance to the data type system; the principle of information hiding; and the use of inheritance to implement generalization/specialization relationships. Drawing on the object-oriented approach, features of a new database model to support astronomical data analysis will be presented.
Urban, Sean E
The Explanatory Supplement to the Astronomical Almanac offers explanatory material, supplemental information and detailed descriptions of the computational models and algorithms used to produce The Astronomical Almanac, which is an annual publication prepared jointly by the US Naval Observatory and Her Majesty's Nautical Almanac Office in the UK. Like The Astronomical Almanac, The Explanatory Supplement provides detailed coverage of modern positional astronomy. Chapters are devoted to the celestial and terrestrial reference frames, orbital ephemerides, precession, nutation, Earth rotation, and coordinate transformations. These topics have undergone substantial revisions since the last edition was published. Astronomical positions are intertwined with timescales and relativity in The Astronomical Almanac, so related chapters are provided in The Explanatory Supplement. The Astronomical Almanac also includes information on lunar and solar eclipses, physical ephemerides of solar system bodies, and calendars, so T...
Spectroscopy is one of the most powerful tools to study the physical properties and chemical composition of very diverse astrophysical environments. In principle, each nuclide has a unique set of spectral features; thus, establishing the presence of a specific material at astronomical distances requires no more than finding a laboratory spectrum of the right material that perfectly matches the astronomical observations. Once the presence of a substance is established, a careful analysis of the observational characteristics (wavelengths or frequencies, intensities, and line profiles) allows one to determine many physical parameters of the environment in which the substance resides, such as temperature, density, velocity, and so on. Because of this great diagnostic potential, ground-based and space-borne astronomical observatories often include instruments to carry out spectroscopic analyses of various celestial objects and events. Of particular interest is molecular spectroscopy at infrared wavelengths. From the spectroscopic point of view, molecules differ from atoms in their ability to vibrate and rotate, and quantum physics inevitably causes those motions to be quantized. The energies required to excite vibrations or rotations are such that vibrational transitions generally occur at infrared wavelengths, whereas pure rotational transitions typically occur at sub-mm wavelengths. Molecular vibration and rotation are coupled though, and thus at infrared wavelengths, one commonly observes a multitude of ro-vibrational transitions (see Figure 13.1). At lower spectral resolution, all transitions blend into one broad ro-vibrational molecular band. The isotope. Molecular spectroscopy thus allows us to see a difference of one neutron in an atomic nucleus that is located at astronomical distances! Since the detection of the first interstellar molecules (the CH  and CN  radicals), more than 150 species have been detected in space, ranging in size from diatomic
Paat, Anthony; Brandel, A.; Schmitz, D.; Sharma, R.; Thomas, N. H.; Trujillo, J.; Laws, C. S.; Astronomers, League of
The University of Washington League of Astronomers (LOA) is an organization comprised of University of Washington (UW) undergraduate students. Our main goal is to share our interest in astronomy with the UW community and with the general public. The LOA hosts star parties on the UW campus and collaborates with the Seattle Astronomical Society (SAS) on larger Seattle-area star parties. At the star parties, we strive to teach our local community about what they can view in our night sky. LOA members share knowledge of how to locate constellations and use a star wheel. The relationship the LOA has with members of SAS increases both the number of events and people we are able to reach. Since the cloudy skies of the Northwest prevent winter star parties, we therefore focus our outreach on the UW Mobile Planetarium, an inflatable dome system utilizing Microsoft’s WorldWide Telescope (WWT) software. The mobile planetarium brings astronomy into the classrooms of schools unable to travel to the UW on-campus planetarium. Members of the LOA volunteer their time towards this project and we make up the majority of the Mobile Planetarium volunteers. Our outreach efforts allow us to connect with the community and enhance our own knowledge of astronomy.
Full Text Available Several independent astronomical observations in different wavelength bands reveal the existence of much larger quantities of matter than what we would deduce from assuming a solar mass to light ratio. They are very high velocities of individual galaxies within clusters of galaxies, higher than expected rotation rates of stars in the outer regions of galaxies, 21 cm line studies indicative of increasing mass to light ratios with radius in the halos of spiral galaxies, hot gaseous X-ray emitting halos around many elliptical galaxies, and clusters of galaxies requiring a much larger component of unseen mass for the hot gas to be bound. The level of gravitational attraction needed for the spatial distribution of galaxies to evolve from the small perturbations implied by the very slightly anisotropic cosmic microwave background radiation to its current web-like configuration requires much more mass than is observed across the entire electromagnetic spectrum. Distorted shapes of galaxies and other features created by gravitational lensing in the images of many astronomical objects require an amount of dark matter consistent with other estimates. The unambiguous detection of dark matter and more recently evidence for dark energy has positioned astronomy at the frontier of fundamental physics as it was in the 17th century.
Arcand, Kimberly K; Rector, Travis; Levay, Zoltan G; DePasquale, Joseph; Smarr, Olivia
Every year, hundreds of images from telescopes on the ground and in space are released to the public, making their way into popular culture through everything from computer screens to postage stamps. These images span the entire electromagnetic spectrum from radio waves to infrared light to X-rays and gamma rays, a majority of which is undetectable to the human eye without technology. Once these data are collected, one or more specialists must process the data to create an image. Therefore, the creation of astronomical imagery involves a series of choices. How do these choices affect the comprehension of the science behind the images? What is the best way to represent data to a non-expert? Should these choices be based on aesthetics, scientific veracity, or is it possible to satisfy both? This paper reviews just one choice out of the many made by astronomical image processors: color. The choice of color is one of the most fundamental when creating an image taken with modern telescopes. We briefly explore the ...
Kay, Laura E.; Danner, R.; Sellgren, K.; Dixon, V.; GLBTQastro
Federal Equal Employment Opportunity laws and regulations do not provide protection from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity or gender expression. Sexual minority astronomers (including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people; LGBT) can face additional challenges at school and work. Studies show that LGBT students on many campuses report experiences of harassment. Cities, counties, and states may or may not have statutes to protect against such discrimination. There is wide variation in how states and insurance plans handle legal and medical issues for transgender people. Federal law does not acknowledge same-sex partners, including those legally married in the U.S. or in other countries. Immigration rules in the U.S. (and many other, but not all) countries do not recognize same-sex partners for visas, employment, etc. State `defense of marriage act' laws have been used to remove existing domestic partner benefits at some institutions, or benefits can disappear with a change in governor. LGBT astronomers who change schools, institutions, or countries during their career may experience significant differences in their legal, medical, and marital status.
Norris, Ray P
Traditional Aboriginal Australian cultures include a significant astronomical component, perpetuated through oral tradition and ceremony. This knowledge has practical navigational and calendrical functions, and sometimes extends to a deep understanding of the motion of objects in the sky. Here we explore whether this astronomical tradition is reflected in the rock art of Aboriginal Australians. We find several plausible examples of depictions of astronomical figures and symbols, and also evidence that astronomical observations were used to set out stone arrangements. However, we recognise that the case is not yet strong enough to make an unequivocal statement, and describe our plans for further research.
Norris, Ray P.; Hamacher, Duane W.
Traditional Aboriginal Australian cultures include a significant astronomical component, perpetuated through oral tradition and ceremony. This knowledge has practical navigational and calendrical functions, and sometimes extends to a deep understanding of the motion of objects in the sky. Here we explore whether this astronomical tradition is reflected in the rock art of Aboriginal Australians. We find several plausible examples of depictions of astronomical figures and symbols, and also evidence that astronomical observations were used to set out stone arrangements. However, we recognise that the case is not yet strong enough to make an unequivocal statement, and describe our plans for further research.
Karban, R.; Andolfato, L.; Bristow, P.; Chiozzi, G.; Esselborn, M.; Schilling, M.; Schmid, C.; Sommer, H.; Zamparelli, M.
Model Based Systems Engineering (MBSE) is an emerging field of systems engineering for which the System Modeling Language (SysML) is a key enabler for descriptive, prescriptive and predictive models. This paper surveys some of the capabilities, expectations and peculiarities of tools-assisted MBSE experienced in real-life astronomical projects. The examples range in depth and scope across a wide spectrum of applications (for example documentation, requirements, analysis, trade studies) and purposes (addressing a particular development need, or accompanying a project throughout many - if not all - its lifecycle phases, fostering reuse and minimizing ambiguity). From the beginnings of the Active Phasing Experiment, through VLT instrumentation, VLTI infrastructure, Telescope Control System for the E-ELT, until Wavefront Control for the E-ELT, we show how stepwise refinements of tools, processes and methods have provided tangible benefits to customary system engineering activities like requirement flow-down, design trade studies, interfaces definition, and validation, by means of a variety of approaches (like Model Checking, Simulation, Model Transformation) and methodologies (like OOSEM, State Analysis)
Fans of Patrick Moore will like this book. I enjoyed it more than I expected, having anticipated a collection of personal anecdotes of the type favoured by certain tedious after-dinner speakers. Some of the 41 short items it contains do tend towards that category, but there are also some nuggets which might enliven your physics teaching. For example, did you know that, in a murder trial in 1787, the defendant's belief that the Sun was inhabited was cited as evidence of his insanity? This was despite his views being shared by many astronomers of the day including William Herschel. Or that Clyde Tombaugh had a cat called Pluto after the planet he discovered, which was itself named by an eleven-year-old girl? Another gem concerns a brief flurry, in the early 1990s, over a suspected planet orbiting a pulsar; variations in the arrival time of its radio pulses indicated the presence of an orbiting body. These shifts were later found to arise from an error in a computer program that corrected for the Earth's motion. The programmer had assumed a circular orbit for the Earth whereas it is actually elliptical. The book is clearly intended for amateur astronomers and followers of Patrick Moore's TV programmes. There is plenty of astronomy, with an emphasis on the solar system, but very little astrophysics. The author's metricophobia means that quantities are given in imperial units throughout, with metric equivalents added in brackets (by an editor, I suspect) which can get irritating, particularly as powers-of-ten notation is avoided. It is quite a novelty to see the temperature for hydrogen fusion quoted as 18 000 000 Â°F (10 000 000 Â°C). By way of contrast, astronomical terms are used freely - ecliptic, first-magnitude star, and so on. Such terms are defined in a glossary at the end, but attention is not drawn to this and I only stumbled across it by chance. Patrick Moore obviously knows his public, and this book will serve them well. For physics teachers and students
Canas, Lina; Cheung, Sze Leung
The Office for Astronomy Outreach has devoted intensive means to create and support a global network of public astronomical organisations around the world. Focused on bringing established and newly formed amateur astronomy organizations together, providing communications channels and platforms for disseminating news to the global community and the sharing of best practices and resources among these associations around the world. In establishing the importance that these organizations have for the dissemination of activities globally and acting as key participants in IAU various campaigns social media has played a key role in keeping this network engaged and connected. Here we discuss the implementation process of maintaining this extensive network, the processing and gathering of information and the interactions between local active members at a national and international level.
Ashman, Keith A.; Bird, Christina M.; Zepf, Stephen E.
We discuss statistical techniques for detecting and quantifying bimodality in astronomical datasets. We concentrate on the KMM algorithm, which estimates the statistical significance of bimodality in such datasets and objectively partitions data into subpopulations. By simulating bimodal distributions with a range of properties we investigate the sensitivity of KMM to datasets with varying characteristics. Our results facilitate the planning of optimal observing strategies for systems where bimodality is suspected. Mixture-modeling algorithms similar to the KMM algorithm have been used in previous studies to partition the stellar population of the Milky Way into subsystems. We illustrate the broad applicability of KMM by analyzing published data on globular cluster metallicity distributions, velocity distributions of galaxies in clusters, and burst durations of gamma-ray sources. FORTRAN code for the KMM algorithm and directions for its use are available from the authors upon request.
The Jesuit scientist Christopher Clavius (1538-1612) has been the most influential teacher of the renaissance. His contributions to algebra, geometry, astronomy and cartography are enormous. He paved the way, with his texts and his teaching for 40 years in the the Collegio Romano, to the development of these sciences and their fruitful spread all around the World, along the commercial paths of Portugal, which become also the missionary paths for the Jesuits. The books of Clavius were translated into Chinese, by one of his students Matteo Ricci "Li Madou" (1562-1610), and his influence for the development of science in China was crucial. The Jesuits become skilled astronomers, cartographers and mathematicians thanks to the example and the impulse given by Clavius. This success was possible also thanks to the contribution of Clavius in the definition of the Ratio Studiorum, the program of studies, in the Jesuit colleges, so influential for the whole history of modern Europe and all western World.
Ashman, K M; Zepf, S E; Keith M Ashman; Christina M Bird; Steven E Zepf
We discuss statistical techniques for detecting and quantifying bimodality in astronomical datasets. We concentrate on the KMM algorithm, which estimates the statistical significance of bimodality in such datasets and objectively partitions data into sub-populations. By simulating bimodal distributions with a range of properties we investigate the sensitivity of KMM to datasets with varying characteristics. Our results facilitate the planning of optimal observing strategies for systems where bimodality is suspected. Mixture-modeling algorithms similar to the KMM algorithm have been used in previous studies to partition the stellar population of the Milky Way into subsystems. We illustrate the broad applicability of KMM by analysing published data on globular cluster metallicity distributions, velocity distributions of galaxies in clusters, and burst durations of gamma-ray sources. PostScript versions of the tables and figures, as well as FORTRAN code for KMM and instructions for its use, are available by anon...
In his Chronology, Newton uses astronomical "evidence" to support its extreme rejuvenation of ancient times. These elements, having a scientific varnish, provide some credibility to the work. They have been fiercely debated for a century, with a gradual undermining of Newton's assumptions. However, this has not dented the prestige of the English scientist. ----- Dans sa Chronologie, Newton utilise des "preuves" astronomiques pour appuyer son rajeunissement extreme des epoques anciennes. Ces elements, au vernis scientifique, donnent une credibilite certaine a l'ensemble. Ils ont donc ete aprement discutes, les debats sapant petit a petit les hypotheses du savant anglais pour finalement porter un coup mortel a l'ensemble. Cela n'a toutefois pas entame le prestige du savant anglais.
Clarkson, William I.; Swift, Carrie; Hughes, Kelli; Burke, Christopher J. F.; Burgess, Colin C.; Elrod, Aunna V.; Howard, Brittany; Stahl, Lucas; Matzke, David; Bord, Donald J.
We present status and plans for our ongoing efforts to develop data analysis and problem-solving skills through Undergraduate Astronomy instruction. While our initiatives were developed with UM-Dearborn’s student body primarily in mind, they should be applicable for a wide range of institution and of student demographics. We focus here on two strands of our effort.Firstly, students in our Introductory Astronomy (ASTR 130) general-education course now perform several “Data Investigations”, in which they interrogate the Hubble Legacy Archive to illustrate important course concepts. This was motivated in part by the realization that typical public data archives now include tools to interrogate the observations that are sufficiently accessible that introductory astronomy students can use them to perform real science, albeit mostly at a descriptive level. We are continuing to refine these investigations, and, most importantly, to critically assess their effectiveness in terms of the student learning outcomes we wish to achieve. This work is supported by grant HST-EO-13758, provided by NASA through a grant from the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under NASA contract NAS 5-26555.Secondly, at the advanced-undergraduate level, students taking courses in our Astronomy minor are encouraged to gain early experience in techniques of astronomical observation and analysis that are used by professionals. We present two example projects from the Fall 2015 iteration of our upper-division course ASTR330 (The Cosmic Distance Ladder), one involving Solar System measurements, the second producing calibrated aperture photometry. For both projects students conducted, analysed, and interpreted observations using our 0.4m campus telescope, and used many of the same analysis tools as professional astronomers. This work is supported partly from a Research Initiation and Seed grant from the
Genova, Françoise; Norris, Raymond P.; Bessel, M. S.; Dluzhnevskaia, O.; Jenkner, H.; Malkov, O.; Murtagh, F.; Nakajima, K.; Ochsenbein, F.; Pence, W.; Schmitz, M.; Wielen, R.; Zhao, Y. H.
The triennial report of Commission V Documentation and Astronomical Data/Documentation et Données Astronomiques covers 2002-2005 activities, and in particular the activities of the five Working Groups: Working Group Astronomical Data; Working Group Designations; Working Group Libraries; Working Group FITS; Working Group Virtual Observatories; and of Task Force for the Preservation and Digitization of Photographic Plates.
Rene Hudec; Lukas Hudec
Powerful computers and dedicated software allow effective data mining and scientific analyses in astronomical plate archives. We give and discuss examples of newly developed algorithms for astronomical plate analyses, e.g., searches for optical transients, as well as for major spectral and brightness changes.
Berendsen, Margaret L.
Amateur astronomers regularly serve as informal astronomy educators for their communities. This research inquires into the level of knowledge of basic astronomy concepts among amateur astronomers and examines factors related to amateur astronomy that affect that knowledge. Using the concept questions from the Astronomy Diagnostic Test Version 2,…
Mink, Jessica; Hanisch, Robert; Rots, Arnold; Seaman, Rob; Jenness, Tim; Thomas, Brian; O'Mullane, William
The future of astronomy is inextricably entwined with the care and feeding of astronomical data products. Community standards such as FITS and NDF have been instrumental in the success of numerous astronomy projects. Their very success challenges us to entertain pragmatic strategies to adapt and evolve the standards to meet the aggressive data-handling requirements of facilities now being designed and built. We discuss characteristics that have made standards successful in the past, as well as desirable features for the future, and an open discussion follows.
Bernat, Andrew P.; Mcgraw, John T.
An account is given of an image-processing system based on AI concepts, which allows input images produced by the CCT/Transit Instrument to be compared with a standard-object hierarchylike network of prototypes presented within the computer as 'frames'. Each frame contains information concerning either a standard object or the links among such objects. This method, by comparison to conventional, statistically-based pattern recognition systems, classifies data as an astronomer would and thereby lends credibility to its conclusions; it also furnishes a natural avenue for the machine's serendipitous discovery of new classes of objects.
Murakami, H.; Baba, H.; Barthel, P.; Clements, D. L.; Cohen, M.; Doi, Y.; Enya, K.; Figueredo, E.; Fujishiro, N.; Fujiwara, H.; Fujiwara, M.; Garcia-Lario, P.; T. Goto; Hasegawa, S.; Hibi, Y.
AKARI, the first Japanese satellite dedicated to infrared astronomy, was launched on 2006 February 21, and started observations in May of the same year. AKARI has a 68.5 cm cooled telescope, together with two focal-plane instruments, which survey the sky in six wavelength bands from the mid- to far-infrared. The instruments also have the capability for imaging and spectroscopy in the wavelength range 2 - 180 micron in the pointed observation mode, occasionally inserted into the continuous sur...
Measuring scientific development is a difficult task. Different metrics have been put forward to evaluate scientific development; in this paper we explore a metric that uses the number of peer-reviewed, and when available non-peer-reviewed, research articles as an indicator of development in the field of astronomy. We analyzed the available publication record, using the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory/NASA Astrophysics Database System, by country affiliation in the time span between 1950 and 2011 for countries with a gross national income of less than 14,365 USD in 2010. This represents 149 countries. We propose that this metric identifies countries in ''astronomical development'' with a culture of research publishing. We also propose that for a country to develop in astronomy, it should invest in outside expert visits, send its staff abroad to study, and establish a culture of scientific publishing. Furthermore, we propose that this paper may be used as a baseline to measure the success of major international projects, such as the International Year of Astronomy 2009
Drivas, Sotirios; Kastanidou, Sofia
Teaching Geography in the first Class of Gymnasium - secondary education we will focus in Solar System: Astronomical approach: Students will look and find the astronomical data of the planets, they will make comparisons between the sizes of their radius, they will find the distance from the Sun, they will search the relative motion, they will calculate the gravity on each planet, etc. Mythological approach: We will search the names and meanings of the planets based on Greek mythological origin. Philosophical approach: Regarding the philosophical approach of the "solar system" we will look and find: • Why planets are called so? • How did planets get their names? • What are the periods of Greek astronomy? • What were the astronomical instruments of ancient Greeks and who did built them? • What were the Greek philosophers and astronomers? When did they live and what did they discover? • Which method did Eratosthenes of Cyrene apply about 206B.C. to serve a real measurement of the earth's radius? • What was the relationship between science and religion in ancient Greece? Literature approach: At the end of the program students will write their opinion in subject "Having a friend from another planet" based on the book of Antoine de Saint - Exupéry "The little prince". Law approach: A jurist working in Secondary Education will visits our school and engages students in the Space Law. Artistic approach: Students will create their own posters of our planetary system. The best posters will be posted on the school bulletin board to display their work. Visit: Students and teachers will visit the Observatory of Larissa where they will see how observatory works and talk with scientists about their job. They will look through telescopes and observe the sun.
Astronomers have made the first direct measurement of the magnetic field in a young, distant galaxy, and the result is a big surprise. Looking at a faraway protogalaxy seen as it was 6.5 billion years ago, the scientists measured a magnetic field at least 10 times stronger than that of our own Milky Way. They had expected just the opposite. The GBT Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope CREDIT: NRAO/AUI/NSF The scientists made the discovery using the National Science Foundation's ultra-sensitive Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope (GBT) in West Virginia. "This new measurement indicates that magnetic fields may play a more important role in the formation and evolution of galaxies than we have realized," said Arthur Wolfe, of the University of California-San Diego (UCSD). At its great distance, the protogalaxy is seen as it was when the Universe was about half its current age. According to the leading theory, cosmic magnetic fields are generated by the dynamos of rotating galaxies -- a process that would produce stronger fields with the passage of time. In this scenario, the magnetic fields should be weaker in the earlier Universe, not stronger. The new, direct magnetic-field measurement comes on the heels of a July report by Swiss and American astronomers who made indirect measurements that also implied strong magnetic fields in the early Universe. "Our results present a challenge to the dynamo model, but they do not rule it out," Wolfe said. There are other possible explanations for the strong magnetic field seen in the one protogalaxy Wolfe's team studied. "We may be seeing the field close to the central region of a massive galaxy, and we know such fields are stronger toward the centers of nearby galaxies. Also, the field we see may have been amplified by a shock wave caused by the collision of two galaxies," he said. The protogalaxy studied with the GBT, called DLA-3C286, consists of gas with little or no star formation occurring in it. The astronomers suspect that
Mao, P.H.; Harrison, F.A.; Windt, D.L.;
We developed a systematic method for optimizing the design of depth-graded multilayers for astronomical hard-x-ray and soft-gamma-ray telescopes based on the instrument's bandpass and the field of view. We apply these methods to the design of the conical-approximation Wolter I optics employed by...
Mickaelian, Areg M.
Recent all-sky and large-area astronomical surveys and their catalogued data over the whole range of electromagnetic spectrum, from γ -rays to radio waves, are reviewed, including such as Fermi-GLAST and INTEGRAL in γ -ray, ROSAT, XMM and Chandra in X-ray, GALEX in UV, SDSS and several POSS I and POSS II-based catalogues (APM, MAPS, USNO, GSC) in the optical range, 2MASS in NIR, WISE and AKARI IRC in MIR, IRAS and AKARI FIS in FIR, NVSS and FIRST in radio range, and many others, as well as the most important surveys giving optical images (DSS I and II, SDSS, etc.), proper motions (Tycho, USNO, Gaia), variability (GCVS, NSVS, ASAS, Catalina, Pan-STARRS), and spectroscopic data (FBS, SBS, Case, HQS, HES, SDSS, CALIFA, GAMA). An overall understanding of the coverage along the whole wavelength range and comparisons between various surveys are given: galaxy redshift surveys, QSO/AGN, radio, Galactic structure, and Dark Energy surveys. Astronomy has entered the Big Data era, with Astrophysical Virtual Observatories and Computational Astrophysics playing an important role in using and analyzing big data for new discoveries.
Farmanyan, Sona V.; Mickaelian, Areg M.
We investigate religious myths related to astronomy from different cultures in an attempt to identify common subjects and characteristics. The paper focuses on astronomy in religion. The initial review covers records from Holy books about sky related superstitious beliefs and cosmological understanding. The purpose of this study is to introduce sky related religious and national traditions (particularly based on different calendars; Solar or Lunar). We carried out a comparative study of astronomical issues contained in a number of Holy books: Ancient Egyptian Religion (Pyramid Texts), Zoroastrianism (Avesta), Hinduism (Vedas), Buddhism (Tipitaka), Confucianism (Five Classics), Sikhism (Guru Granth Sahib), Christianity (Bible), Islam (Quran), Druidism (Mabinogion) and Maya Religion (Popol Vuh). These books include various information on the creation of the Universe, Sun and Moon, the age of the Universe, Cosmic sizes, understanding about the planets, stars, Milky Way and description of the Heavens in different religions. We come to the conclusion that the perception of celestial objects varies from culture to culture, and from religion to religion and preastronomical views had a significant impact on humankind, particularly on religious diversities. We prove that Astronomy is the basis of cultures, and that national identity and mythology and religion were formed due to the special understanding of celestial objects.
Grosböl, P.; Tody, D.; Paioro, L.; Granet, Y.; Garilli, B.; Surace, C.; Opticon Fase Network
Analyzing data sets in astronomy has become more and more complex and has driven the development of specific tools, functions and tasks. In order to integrate these tools in a global environment and thereby preserving them, the OPTICON Network 9.2 in coordination with US-VAO has outlined requirements, defined an architectural concept and developed a prototype of a Future Astronomical Software Environment (FASE). Important features are support for user scripting (e.g. Python), access to legacy applications (e.g. IRAF, MIDAS), integration with the Virtual Observatory (VO) for access to remote data and computation, and scalability supporting desktops to distributed cluster systems. A first prototype has been implemented and demonstrates the feasibility by offering access to numerous applications (e.g. ds9, ESO CPL pipelines, MIDAS, topcat) from a Python or Unix shell using VO-SAMP as a software bus. A simple packaging system is also provided to allow easy definition and sharing of applications at a Web portal.
Mickaelian, A M
Recent all-sky and large-area astronomical surveys and their catalogued data over the whole range of electromagnetic spectrum are reviewed, from Gamma-ray to radio, such as Fermi-GLAST and INTEGRAL in Gamma-ray, ROSAT, XMM and Chandra in X-ray, GALEX in UV, SDSS and several POSS I and II based catalogues (APM, MAPS, USNO, GSC) in optical range, 2MASS in NIR, WISE and AKARI IRC in MIR, IRAS and AKARI FIS in FIR, NVSS and FIRST in radio and many others, as well as most important surveys giving optical images (DSS I and II, SDSS, etc.), proper motions (Tycho, USNO, Gaia), variability (GCVS, NSVS, ASAS, Catalina, Pan-STARRS) and spectroscopic data (FBS, SBS, Case, HQS, HES, SDSS, CALIFA, GAMA). An overall understanding of the coverage along the whole wavelength range and comparisons between various surveys are given: galaxy redshift surveys, QSO/AGN, radio, Galactic structure, and Dark Energy surveys. Astronomy has entered the Big Data era. Astrophysical Virtual Observatories and Computational Astrophysics play a...
Dr. Frank Kameny is best known today as one of the most important members of the gay rights movement in the United States, but he was also a PhD astronomer. In fact, it was his firing from his civil service position as astronomer for the US Army Map Service on the grounds of homosexuality that sparked his lifelong career of activism. Here, I explore some aspects of his short but interesting astronomical career and the role of the AAS in his life.
Roth, Martin M.; Zenichowski, Karl; Tarcea, Nicolae; Popp, Jürgen; Adelhelm, Silvia; Stolz, Marvin; Kelz, Andreas; Sandin, Christer; Bauer, Svend-Marian; Fechner, Thomas; Jahn, Thomas; Popow, Emil; Roth, Bernhard; Singh, Paul; Srivastava, Mudit
Astronomical instrumentation is most of the time faced with challenging requirements in terms of sensitivity, stability, complexity, etc., and therefore leads to high performance developments that at first sight appear to be suitable only for the specific design application at the telescope. However, their usefulness in other disciplines and for other applications is not excluded. The ERA2 facility is a lab demonstrator, based on a high-performance astronomical spectrograph, which is intended...
Bershady, Matthew A
In this Chapter we review the challenges of, and opportunities for, 3D spectroscopy, and how these have lead to new and different approaches to sampling astronomical information. We describe and categorize existing instruments on 4m and 10m telescopes. Our primary focus is on grating-dispersed spectrographs. We discuss how to optimize dispersive elements, such as VPH gratings, to achieve adequate spectral resolution, high throughput, and efficient data packing to maximize spatial sampling for 3D spectroscopy. We review and compare the various coupling methods that make these spectrographs ``3D,'' including fibers, lenslets, slicers, and filtered multi-slits. We also describe Fabry-Perot and spatial-heterodyne interferometers, pointing out their advantages as field-widened systems relative to conventional, grating-dispersed spectrographs. We explore the parameter space all these instruments sample, highlighting regimes open for exploitation. Present instruments provide a foil for future development. We give an...
The astronomically interested Duke Ernst II von Sachsen-Gotha-Altenburg (1745-1804) hired Baron Franz Xaver von Zach (1754-1832) as court astronomer in 1786. Immediatedly Zach started to make plans for instrumentation for a new observatory. But first they travelled with their instruments (a 2-foot Ramsden transit instrument, the Sisson quadrant, three Hadley sextants, two achromatic refractors and chronometers) to southern France. In Hyàres a tower of the wall around the town was converted into an observatory in 1787. For the building of the new observatory Zach had chosen a place outside of Gotha on the top of the Seeberg. The three main instruments were an 8-foot transit instrument made by Ramsden, a northern and southern mural quadrant made by Sisson and a zenith sector made by Cary, in addition an 8-foot circle made by Ramsden. By analysing the whole instrumentation of Gotha observatory, we can see a change around 1800 in the kind of instruments, from quadrants and sextants to the full circles and from the transit instrument to the meridian circle. The decline of the Gotha observatory started with the early death of the Duke in 1804 and the subsequent departure of Zach in 1806.
Polidan, Ronald S.; Breckinridge, James B.; Lillie, Charles F.; MacEwen, Howard A.; Flannery, Martin R.; Dailey, Dean R.; Baldauf, Brian; Makowski, David; Rafanelli, Gerald L.
In 2014 we presented a concept for an Evolvable Space Telescope (EST) that was assembled on orbit in 3 stages, growing from a 4x12 meter telescope in Stage 1, to a 12-meter filled aperture in Stage 2, and then to a 20-meter filled aperture in Stage 3. Stage 1 is launched as a fully functional telescope and begins gathering science data immediately after checkout on orbit. This observatory is then periodically augmented in space with additional mirror segments, structures, and newer instruments to evolve the telescope over the years to a 20-meter space telescope. In this 2015 update of EST we focus upon three items: 1) a restructured Stage 1 EST with three mirror segments forming an off-axis telescope (half a 12-meter filled aperture); 2) more details on the value and architecture of the prime focus instrument accommodation; and 3) a more in depth discussion of the essential in-space infrastructure, early ground testing and a concept for an International Space Station testbed called MoDEST. In addition to the EST discussions we introduce a different alternative telescope architecture: a Rotating Synthetic Aperture (RSA). This is a rectangular primary mirror that can be rotated to fill the UV-plane. The original concept was developed by Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems for non-astronomical applications. In collaboration with Raytheon we have begun to explore the RSA approach as an astronomical space telescope and have initiated studies of science and cost performance.
In a significant breakthrough, British and US astronomers have begun to pin down the most elusive material in the universe. They have made a map of dark matter - the heavy, invisible stuff that gives the galaxies their shape (1 page).
Astronomers searching for planetary systems like our solar system have found a planet similar to Jupiter orbiting a nearby star similar to our Sun, about 90 light-years from Earth, according to researchers (1/2 page).
National Aeronautics and Space Administration — We propose to develop a compact portable longwave camera for astronomical applications. In Phase 1, we successfully developed the eye of the camera, i.e. the focal...
Mead, J. M.; Nagy, T. A.; Warren, W. H., Jr.
The status of the development of machine-readable stellar and extragalactic data bases is summarized, including several examples of astronomical applications using these data sets. The creation of a computerized bibliographical data base for cometary research is described.
National Aeronautics and Space Administration — We propose to develop a compact portable longwave camera for astronomical applications. In Phase 1, we will develop and deliver the focal plane array (FPA) - a...
A Deep Look into the Universal Hall of Mirrors Starting in the evening of April 1, 2000, Ghislain Golse and Francisco Castander from the Observatoire Midi-Pyrénées (Toulouse, France)  were the first "visiting astronomers" at Paranal to carry out science observations with the second 8.2-m VLT Unit Telescope, KUEYEN . Using the FORS2 multi-mode instrument as a spectrograph, they measured the distances to a number of very remote galaxies, located far out in space behind two clusters of galaxies. Such observations may help to determine the values of cosmological parameters that define the geometry and fate of the Universe. After two nights of observations, the astronomers came away from Paranal with a rich harvest of data and a good feeling. "We are delighted that the telescope performed so well. It is really impressive how far out one can reach with the VLT, compared to the `smaller' 4-meter telescopes with which we previously observed. It opens a new window towards the distant, early Universe. Now we are eager to start reducing and analysing these data!" , Francisco Castander said. Measuring the Geometry of the Universe with Multiple Images in Cluster Lenses The present programme is typical of the fundamental cosmological studies that are now being undertaken with the ESO Very Large Telescope (VLT). Clusters of galaxies are very massive objects. Their gravitational fields intensify ("magnify") and distort the images of galaxies behind them. The magnification factor for the faint background galaxy population seen within a few arcminutes of the centre of a massive cluster at intermediate distance (redshift z ~ 0.2 - 0.4, i.e., corresponding to a look-back time of approx. 2 - 4 billion years) is typically larger than 2, and occasionally much larger. The clusters thus function as gravitational lenses . They may be regarded as "natural telescopes" that help us to see fainter objects further out into space than would otherwise be possible with our own telescopes. In a
Processes that laid the foundation for life on Earth -- star and planet formation and the production of complex organic molecules in interstellar space -- are yielding their secrets to astronomers armed with powerful new research tools, and even better tools soon will be available. Astronomers described three important developments at a symposium on the "Cosmic Cradle of Life" at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Chicago, IL. Chemistry Cycle The Cosmic Chemistry Cycle CREDIT: Bill Saxton, NRAO/AUI/NSF Full Size Image Files Chemical Cycle Graphic (above image, JPEG, 129K) Graphic With Text Blocks (JPEG, 165K) High-Res TIFF (44.2M) High-Res TIFF With Text Blocks (44.2M) In one development, a team of astrochemists released a major new resource for seeking complex interstellar molecules that are the precursors to life. The chemical data released by Anthony Remijan of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) and his university colleagues is part of the Prebiotic Interstellar Molecule Survey, or PRIMOS, a project studying a star-forming region near the center of our Milky Way Galaxy. PRIMOS is an effort of the National Science Foundation's Center for Chemistry of the Universe, started at the University of Virginia (UVa) in October 2008, and led by UVa Professor Brooks H. Pate. The data, produced by the NSF's Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope (GBT) in West Virginia, came from more than 45 individual observations totalling more than nine GigaBytes of data and over 1.4 million individual frequency channels. Scientists can search the GBT data for specific radio frequencies, called spectral lines -- telltale "fingerprints" -- naturally emitted by molecules in interstellar space. "We've identified more than 720 spectral lines in this collection, and about 240 of those are from unknown molecules," Remijan said. He added, "We're making available to all scientists the best collection of data below 50 GHz ever produced for
Blustin, A J
This article presents a survey of publication and citation statistics for 835 UK professional astronomers: the majority of academics and contract researchers within the UK astronomical community. I provide histograms of these bibliometrics for the whole sample as well as of the median values for the individual departments. I discuss the distribution of top bibliometric performers in the sample, and make some remarks on the usage of bibliometrics in a real-world assessment exercise.
Guglielmetti, Fabrizia; Fischer, Rainer; Dose, Volker
Astronomical images in the Poisson regime are typically characterized by a spatially varying cosmic background, large variety of source morphologies and intensities, data incompleteness, steep gradients in the data, and few photon counts per pixel. The Background-Source separation technique is developed with the aim to detect faint and extended sources in astronomical images characterized by Poisson statistics. The technique employs Bayesian mixture models to reliably detect the background as...
There are about 3 million astronomical photographic plates around the globe, representing an important data source for various aspects of astrophysics. The main advantage is the large time coverage of 100 years or even more. Recent digitization efforts, together with the development of dedicated software, enables for the first time, effective data mining and data analyses by powerful computers with these archives. Examples of blazars proposed and/or investigated on the astronomical plates are presented and discussed.
"We are beginning to understand that because of these observations we are going to have to change the way we look at the Universe," said ESA's Dr Duccio Macchetto, Associate Director for Science Programs at the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI), Baltimore, Maryland, USA. The European Space Agency plays a major role in the Hubble Space Telescope programme. The Agency provided one of the telescope's four major instruments, called the Faint Object Camera, and two sets of electricity-generating solar arrays. In addition, 15 ESA scientific and technical staff work at the STScI. In return for this contribution, European astronomers are entitled to 15 percent of the telescope's observing time, although currently they account for 20 percent of all observations. "This is a testimony to the quality of the European science community", said Dr Roger Bonnet, Director of Science at ESA. "We are only guaranteed 15 percent of the telescope's use, but consistently receive much more than that." Astronomers from universities, observatories and research institutes across Europe lead more than 60 investigations planned for the telescope's fifth observing cycle, which begins this summer. Many more Europeans contribute to teams led by other astronomers. Looking back to the very start of time European astronomer Dr Peter Jakobsen used ESA's Faint Object Camera to confirm that helium was present in the early Universe. Astronomers had long predicted that 90 percent of the newly born Universe consisted of hydrogen, with helium making up the remainder. Before the refurbished Hubble came along, it was easy to detect the hydrogen, but the primordial helium remained elusive. The ultraviolet capabilities of the telescope, combined with the improvement in spatial resolution following the repair, made it possible for Dr Jakobsen to obtain an image of a quasar close to the edge of the known Universe. A spectral analysis of this picture revealed the quasar's light, which took 13 billion years
Ball, Nicholas M.; Gray, A.
We present the ability to perform data mining and machine learning operations on a catalog of half a billion astronomical objects. This is the result of the combination of robust, highly accurate machine learning algorithms with linear scalability that renders the applications of these algorithms to massive astronomical data tractable. We demonstrate the core algorithms kernel density estimation, K-means clustering, linear regression, nearest neighbors, random forest and gradient-boosted decision tree, singular value decomposition, support vector machine, and two-point correlation function. Each of these is relevant for astronomical applications such as finding novel astrophysical objects, characterizing artifacts in data, object classification (including for rare objects), object distances, finding the important features describing objects, density estimation of distributions, probabilistic quantities, and exploring the unknown structure of new data. The software, Skytree Server, runs on any UNIX-based machine, a virtual machine, or cloud-based and distributed systems including Hadoop. We have integrated it on the cloud computing system of the Canadian Astronomical Data Centre, the Canadian Advanced Network for Astronomical Research (CANFAR), creating the world's first cloud computing data mining system for astronomy. We demonstrate results showing the scaling of each of our major algorithms on large astronomical datasets, including the full 470,992,970 objects of the 2 Micron All-Sky Survey (2MASS) Point Source Catalog. We demonstrate the ability to find outliers in the full 2MASS dataset utilizing multiple methods, e.g., nearest neighbors. This is likely of particular interest to the radio astronomy community given, for example, that survey projects contain groups dedicated to this topic. 2MASS is used as a proof-of-concept dataset due to its convenience and availability. These results are of interest to any astronomical project with large and/or complex
Teamwork between gamma-ray and radio astronomers has produced a breakthrough in finding natural cosmic tools needed to make the first direct detections of the long-elusive gravitational waves predicted by Albert Einstein nearly a century ago. An orbiting gamma-ray telescope has pointed radio astronomers to specific locations in the sky where they can discover new millisecond pulsars. Millisecond pulsars, rapidly-spinning superdense neutron stars, can serve as extremely precise and stable natural clocks. Astronomers hope to detect gravitational waves by measuring tiny changes in the pulsars' rotation caused by the passage of the gravitational waves. To do this, they need a multitude of millisecond pulsars dispersed widely throughout the sky. However, nearly three decades after the discovery of the first millisecond pulsar, only about 150 of them had been found, some 90 of those clumped tightly in globular star clusters and thus unusable for detecting gravitational waves. The problem was that millisecond pulsars could only be discovered through arduous, computing-intensive searches of small portions of sky. "We've probably found far less than one percent of the millisecond pulsars in the Milky Way Galaxy," said Scott Ransom of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO). The breakthrough came when an instrument aboard NASA's Fermi Gamma-Ray Space Telescope began surveying the sky in 2008. This instrument located hundreds of gamma-ray-emitting objects throughout our Galaxy, and astronomers suspected many of these could be millisecond pulsars. Paul Ray of the Naval Research Laboratory initiated an international collaboration to use radio telescopes to confirm the identity of these objects as millisecond pulsars. "The data from Fermi were like a buried-treasure map," Ransom said. "Using our radio telescopes to study the objects located by Fermi, we found 17 millisecond pulsars in three months. Large-scale searches had taken 10-15 years to find that many," Ransom
Baruffolo, Andrea; Benacchio, Leopoldo
Large astronomical catalogues containing from a million up to hundreds of millions records are currently available, even larger catalogues will be released in the near future. They will have an important operational role since they will be used throughout the observing cycle of next generation large telescopes, for proposal and observation preparation, telescope scheduling, selection of guide stars, etc. These large databases pose new problems for fast and general access. Solutions based on custom software or on customized versions of specific catalogues have been proposed, but the problem will benefit from a more general database approach. While traditional database technologies have proven to be inadequate for this task, new technologies are emerging, in particular that of Object Relational DBMSs, that seem to be suitable to solve the problem. In this paper we describe our experiences in experimenting with ORDBMSs for the management of large astronomical catalogues. We worked especially on the database query language and access methods. In the first field to extend the database query language capabilities with astronomical functionalities and to support typical astronomical queries.In the second, to speed up the execution of queries containing astronomical predicates.
Over the past few years, there have been a few studies on the development of an interest in science and scientists' views on public outreach. Yet, to date, there has been no global study regarding astronomers' views on these matters. Through the completion of our survey by 155 professional astronomers online and in person during the 28th International Astronomical Union General Assembly in 2012, we explored their development of and an interest for astronomy and their views on time constraints and budget restriction regarding public outreach activities. We find that astronomers develop an interest in astronomy between the ages of 4-6 but that the decision to undertake a career in astronomy often comes during late adolescence. We also discuss the claim that education and public outreach is regarded an optional task rather than a scientist's duty. Our study revealed that many astronomers think there should be a larger percentage of their research that should be invested into outreach activities, calling for a ch...
Fohlmeister, J; 10.1002/asna.201211656
We survey the job situation of women in astronomy in Germany and of German women abroad and review indicators for their career development. Our sample includes women astronomers from all academic levels from doctoral students to professors, as well as female astronomers who have left the field. We find that networking and human support are among the most important factors for success. Experience shows that students should carefully choose their supervisor and collect practical knowledge abroad. We reflect the private situation of female German astronomers and find that prejudices are abundant, and are perceived as discriminating.We identify reasons why women are more likely than men to quit astronomy after they obtain their PhD degree. We give recommendations to young students on what to pay attention to in order to be on the successful path in astronomy.
Astronomers Without Borders (AWB) brings together astronomy enthusiasts of all types - amateur astronomers, educators, professionals and "armchair" astronomers for a variety of online and physicalworld programs. The AWB web site provides social networking and a base for online programs that engage people worldwide in astronomy activities that transcend geopolitical and cultural borders. There is universal interest in astronomy, which has been present in all cultures throughout recorded history. Astronomy is also among the most accessible of sciences with the natural laboratory of the sky being available to people worldwide. There are few other interests for which people widely separated geographically can engage in activities involving the same objects. AWB builds on those advantages to bring people together. AWB also provides a platform where projects can reach a global audience. AWB also provides unique opportunities for multidisciplinary collaboration in EPO programs. Several programs including The World at Night, Global Astronomy Month and others will be described along with lessons learned.
Access to astronomical data through archives and VO is essential but does not solve all problems. Availability of appropriate software for analyzing the data is often equally important for the efficiency with which a researcher can publish results. A number of legacy systems (e.g. IRAF, MIDAS, Starlink, AIPS, Gipsy), as well as others now coming online are available but have very different user interfaces and may no longer be fully supported. Users may need multiple systems or stand-alone packages to complete the full analysis which introduces significant overhead. The OPTICON Network on `Future Astronomical Software Environments' and the USVAO have discussed these issues and have outlined a general architectural concept that solves many of the current problems in accessing software packages. It foresees a layered structure with clear separation of astronomical code and IT infrastructure. By relying on modern IT concepts for messaging and distributed execution, it provides full scalability from desktops to cl...
The IAU General Assembly provides librarians with a unique opportunity to interact with astronomers from all over the world. From the perspective of an ORCID Ambassador, the Focus Group Meeting on "Scholarly Publication in Astronomy" also provides an opportunity to demonstrate the cooperation and collaboration needed by individual astronomers, societies, librarians, publishers and bibliographic database providers to achieve universal adoption of ORCID, a standard unique identifier for authors, just as the DOI (digital object identifier) has been adopted for each journal article published.I propose to 1) present at the Focus Group Meeting an update on the uptake of ORCID by members of the astronomical community and 2) set up a small station (TBA) near the IAU registration area where librarians can show researchers how to register for an ORCID in 30 seconds.
Malin, David; Frew, David J.
Many of the most spectacular astronomical objects are found in the southern skies. With this up-to-date, superbly illustrated handbook, both the amateur with binoculars and the expert with a telescope can make discoveries about new and interesting objects. Professor E. J. Hartung first produced his comprehensive and highly respected guide in 1968. Now the book has been greatly expanded and thoroughly revised, enhancing its character as an indispensable information source. With over 150 illustrations, new material is included on constellations and celestial coordinate systems as well as more modern descriptions of stars, nebulae and galaxies. The authors have included a new "southern Messier" list of objects. The authors' passion for their subject make this a unique and inspirational book. Many of the beautiful photographs were taken by David Malin, the world's leading astronomical photographer. The result will fascinate active and armchair astronomers alike.
Cline, J. D.; Castelaz, M. W.; Crowley, T.; Griffin, E.; Osborn, W.
Astronomical photographic plates constitute an important and, for the large part, unrepeatable resource for research. International pressure is mounting to preserve and catalog scientifically valuable plate collections and capture their information through digitization. At the same time, many institutions holding plates now lack the space, funds and expertise to adequately preserve this important material. In response, the Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute has established the North American Photographic Plate Center (NAPPC). NAPPC is intended as a long-term repository for direct and objective prism plate collections currently stored in North America. PARI is a natural location for such a center. It offers physically secure and abundant environmentally controlled space for plate storage as well as Internet 2 infrastructure and instrument space necessary for the eventual digitization and Internet distribution of images. Phase I of this initiative is to collect unwanted plate collections, store them in an appropriate manner, prepare catalogues of their relevant information and establish a laboratory for on-site examination or measurement of the plates. This is currently underway. Phase II will be the eventual digitization and development of a public web accessible database of images. We will describe the procedures for placing plate collections in NAPPC, the infrastructure in place for plate storage and measurement, and our preliminary plans for making the plate archive a public image library with Internet access.
Amateur astronomers of all skill levels are always contemplating their next telescope, and this book points the way to the most suitable instruments. Similarly, those who are buying their first telescopes – and these days not necessarily a low-cost one – will be able to compare and contrast different types and manufacturers. This revised new guide provides an extensive overview of binoculars and telescopes. It includes detailed up-to-date information on sources, selection and use of virtually every major type, brand, and model on today’s market, a truly invaluable treasure-trove of information and helpful advice for all amateur astronomers. Originally written in 2006, much of the first edition is inevitably now out of date, as equipment advances and manufacturers come and go. This second edition not only updates all the existing sections but adds two new ones: Astro-imaging and Professional-Amateur collaboration. Thanks to the rapid and amazing developments that have been made in digital cameras it is...
The next generation of telescopes and instruments are facilitating our understanding of the Universe by producing data at a pace that beats all projections, and astronomers today are left in the face of an avalanche of data like never before. In order to cope with this problem and come up with a reliable and innovative solution, Data Centers were created in various locations and the concept of Virtual Observatories elaborated. Based at the National Taiwan Normal University, the Taiwan Extragalactic Astronomical Data Center plan to join in global efforts by proposing 1Pb of data storage dedicated to extragalactic astronomy by 2015. In continuation with individual efforts in Taiwan over the past few years, this is the first stepping-stone towards the building of a National Virtual Observatory. Besides the common functionalities generally provided by data centers, our goal is to propose "on-the-fly" photometry measurements from publicly available surveys: a unique way for cross-matching information. Also we will...
Heydari-Malayeri, M; Petit, F Le
We have created a new semantic tool called AstroConcepts, providing definitions of astronomical concepts present on Web pages. This tool is a Google Chrome plug-in that interrogates the Etymological Dictionary of Astronomy and Astrophysics, developed at Paris Observatory. Thanks to this tool, if one selects an astronomical concept on a web page, a pop-up window will display the definition of the available English or French terms. Another expected use of this facility could be its implementation in Virtual Observatory services.
Robitaille, Thomas; Bressert, Eli
APLpy (the Astronomical Plotting Library in Python) is a Python module for producing publication-quality plots of astronomical imaging data in FITS format. The module uses Matplotlib, a powerful and interactive plotting package. It is capable of creating output files in several graphical formats, including EPS, PDF, PS, PNG, and SVG. Plots can be made interactively or by using scripts, and can generate co-aligned FITS cubes to make three-color RGB images. It also offers different overlay capabilities, including contour sets, markers with customizable symbols, and coordinate grids, and a range of other useful features.
Bendek, Eduardo A.; Leatherbee, Michael; Smith, Heather; Strappa, Valentina; Zinnecker, Hans; Perez, Mario
Specialized manpower required to efficiently operate world-class observatories requires large investments in time and resources to train personnel in very specific areas of engineering. Isolation and distances to mayor cities pose a challenge to retain motivated and qualified personnel on the mountain. This paper presents strategies that we believe may be effective for retaining this specific know-how in the astronomy field; while at the same time develop a local support industry for observatory operations and astronomical instrumentation development. For this study we choose Chile as a research setting because it will host more than 60% of the world's ground based astronomical infrastructure by the end of the decade, and because the country has an underdeveloped industry for astronomy services. We identify the astronomical infrastructure that exists in the country as well as the major research groups and industrial players. We further identify the needs of observatories that could be outsourced to the local economy. As a result, we suggest spin-off opportunities that can be started by former observatory employees and therefore retaining the knowhow of experienced people that decide to leave on-site jobs. We also identify tools to facilitate this process such as the creation of a centralized repository of local capabilities and observatory needs, as well as exchange programs within astronomical instrumentation groups. We believe that these strategies will contribute to a positive work environment at the observatories, reduce the operation and development costs, and develop a new industry for the host country.
Briegel, F.; Bertram, T.; Berwein, J.; Kittmann, F.
In this paper we will offer an innovative approach to managing the software development process with free open source tools, for building and automated testing, a system to automate the compile/test cycle on a variety of platforms to validate code changes, using virtualization to compile in parallel on various operating system platforms, version control and change management, enhanced wiki and issue tracking system for online documentation and reporting and groupware tools as they are: blog, discussion and calendar. Initially starting with the Linc-Nirvana instrument a new project and configuration management tool for developing astronomical software was looked for. After evaluation of various systems of this kind, we are satisfied with the selection we are using now. Following the lead of Linc-Nirvana most of the other software projects at the MPIA are using it now.
Storey, Michelle C.; Morgan-Mar, David; Nicholls, Jennifer; Norris, Ray P.
Use of the Internet allows countries to retain their own research journals with the particular emphases they consider important, and enables excellent international access to the papers published. Access can be facilitated by using search programs which effectively collect many journals together. The Publications of the Astronomical Society of Australia (PASA) is a fully-refereed international journal for original research in all aspects of astronomy. PASA welcomes submissions of papers from Australia and overseas at any time, and encourages the submission of articles on instrumentation and software development. An electronic version of PASA (http://www.atnf.csiro.au/pasa/) has been established in order to improve the international access to the papers published and decrease the time between acceptance of a paper and its publication. Electronic PASA is encouraging the intelligent and innovative use of hyperlinks to large data tables, colour graphics, animations, etc.
Cline, J. Donald; Castelaz, Michael W.
Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute (PARI), a former NASA tracking station located in western North Carolina, has been offering programs, campus, and instrument use for undergraduate research and learning experiences since 2000. Over these years, PARI has collaborated with universities and colleges in the Southeastern U.S. Sharing its campus with institutions of higher learning is a priority for PARI as part of its mission to "to providing hands-on educational and research opportunities for a broad cross-section of users in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines."PARI is a 200 acre campus for environmental, earth, geological, physical, and astronomical sciences. For example, the PARI 26-m and 4.6-m radio telescopes are excellent for teaching electromagnetic theory, spectroscopy, atomic and molecular emission processes, and general physics and astronomy concepts. The PARI campus has lab and office space, data centers with high speed internet, distance learning capabilities, radio and optical telescopes, earth science sensors, housing and cafeteria.Also, the campus is in an excellent spot for environmental and biological sciences lab and classroom experiences for students. The campus has the capability to put power and Internet access almost anywhere on its 200 acre campus so experiments can be set up in a protected area of a national forest. For example, Earthscope operates a Plate Boundary Observatory sensor on campus to measure plate tectonic motion. And, Clemson University has an instrument measuring winds and temperatures in the Thermsophere. The use of thePARI campus is limited only by the creativity faculty to provide a rich educational environment for their students. An overview of PARI will be presented along with a summary of programs, and a summary of undergraduate research experiences over the past 15 years. Access to PARI and collaboration possibilities will be presented.
Thomas, B.; Jenness, T.; Economou, F.; Greenfield, P.; Hirst, P.; Berry, D. S.; Bray, E.; Gray, N.; Muna, D.; Turner, J.; de Val-Borro, M.; Santander-Vela, J.; Shupe, D.; Good, J.; Berriman, G. B.; Kitaeff, S.; Fay, J.; Laurino, O.; Alexov, A.; Landry, W.; Masters, J.; Brazier, A.; Schaaf, R.; Edwards, K.; Redman, R. O.; Marsh, T. R.; Streicher, O.; Norris, P.; Pascual, S.; Davie, M.; Droettboom, M.; Robitaille, T.; Campana, R.; Hagen, A.; Hartogh, P.; Klaes, D.; Craig, M. W.; Homeier, D.
The Flexible Image Transport System (FITS) standard has been a great boon to astronomy, allowing observatories, scientists and the public to exchange astronomical information easily. The FITS standard, however, is showing its age. Developed in the late 1970s, the FITS authors made a number of implementation choices that, while common at the time, are now seen to limit its utility with modern data. The authors of the FITS standard could not anticipate the challenges which we are facing today in astronomical computing. Difficulties we now face include, but are not limited to, addressing the need to handle an expanded range of specialized data product types (data models), being more conducive to the networked exchange and storage of data, handling very large datasets, and capturing significantly more complex metadata and data relationships. There are members of the community today who find some or all of these limitations unworkable, and have decided to move ahead with storing data in other formats. If this fragmentation continues, we risk abandoning the advantages of broad interoperability, and ready archivability, that the FITS format provides for astronomy. In this paper we detail some selected important problems which exist within the FITS standard today. These problems may provide insight into deeper underlying issues which reside in the format and we provide a discussion of some lessons learned. It is not our intention here to prescribe specific remedies to these issues; rather, it is to call attention of the FITS and greater astronomical computing communities to these problems in the hope that it will spur action to address them. Of course, objects in astronomy are more likely to involve things like observations, instruments, celestial coordinates and actual astronomical objects such as stars. Likely properties one will encounter in a FITS file include things like observational parameters (start/end times), astronomical coordinates, name and properties of the
Astroquery is an Astropy affiliated package for a set of tools for querying astronomical web forms and databases. In this lightning talk I give an overview of the available services and the usage of the package including a live demo of a typical use case.
Astroquery is an Astropy affiliated package for a set of tools for querying astronomical web forms and databases. In this lightning talk I give an overview of the available services and the usage of the package including a live demo of a typical use case.
Hilton, Matt; Boada, Steven
astLib is a set of Python modules for performing astronomical plots, some statistics, common calculations, coordinate conversions, and manipulating FITS images with World Coordinate System (WCS) information through PyWCSTools, a simple wrapping of WCSTools (ascl:1109.015).
López, A.; Giménez Benitez, S.; Fernández, L.
La Astronomía en la Cultura es el estudio interdisciplinario a nivel global de la astronomía prehistórica, antigua y tradicional, en el marco de su contexto cultural. Esta disciplina abarca cualquier tipo de estudios o líneas de investigación en que se relacione a la astronomía con las ciencias humanas o sociales. En ella se incluyen tanto fuentes escritas, relatos orales como fuentes arqueológicas, abarcando entre otros, los siguientes temas: calendarios, observación práctica, cultos y mitos, representación simbólica de eventos, conceptos y objetos astronómicos, orientación astronómica de tumbas, templos, santuarios y centros urbanos, cosmología tradicional y la aplicación ceremonial de tradiciones astronómicas, la propia historia de la astronomía y la etnoastronomía (Krupp, 1989) (Iwaniszewski, 1994). En nuestro trabajo abordamos la historia y situación actual de esta disciplina, sus métodos y sus relaciones con otras áreas de investigación.
Muench, August A.; Emery Bunn, S.; Astronomical Observatory, Virtual
We present the online forum astrobabel.com, which has the goal of being a gathering place for the collective community intelligence about astronomical computing. The audience for this forum is anyone engaged in the analysis of astronomical or planetary data, whether that data be observational or theoretical. It is a free, community driven site where discussions are formulated primarily around the "question and answer" format. Current topics on the forum range from “Is there a photometry package in Python?” to “Where are the support forums for astronomy software packages?” and “Why is my SDSS SkyQuery query missing galaxies?” The poster will detail the full scope of discussions in the forum, and provide some basic guidelines for ensuring high quality forum posts. We will highlight the ways astronomers can discover and participate in discussions. Further, we view this as an excellent opportunity to gather feedback and feature requests from AAS221 attendees. Acknowledgement: The Virtual Astronomical Observatory (VAO) is managed by the VAO, LLC, a non-profit company established as a partnership of the Associated Universities, Inc. and the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc. The VAO is sponsored by the National Science Foundation and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
Oseki, Shinji; Ishihara, Daisuke; Enya, Keigo; Haze, Kanae; Kotani, Takayuki; Kaneda, Hidehiro; Nishiyama, Miho; Abe, Lyu; Yamamuro, Tomoyasu
For future space infrared astronomical coronagraphy, we perform experimental studies on the application of aluminum mirrors to a coronagraph. Cooled reflective optics is required for broad-band mid-infrared observations in space, while high-precision optics is required for coronagraphy. For the coronagraph instrument originally proposed for the next-generation infrared astronomical satellite project SPICA (SCI: SPICA Coronagraph Instrument), we fabricated and evaluated the optics consisting of high-precision aluminum off-axis mirrors with diamond-turned surfaces, and conducted a coronagraphic demonstration experiment using the optics with a coronagraph mask. We first measured the wave front errors (WFEs) of the aluminum mirrors with a He-Ne Fizeau interferometer to confirm that the power spectral densities of the WFEs satisfy the SCI requirements. Then we integrated the mirrors into an optical system and evaluated the overall performance of the system. As a result, we estimate the total WFE of the optics to b...
Iglesias de Ussel, Julio; Trinidad, Antonio; Ruiz, Diego; Battaner, Eduardo; Delgado, Antonio J.; Rodriguez-Espinosa, José M.; Salvador-Solé, Eduard; Torrelles, José M.
In this paper the main findings are presented of a recent study made by a team of sociologists from the University of Granada on the professional astronomers currently working in Spain. Despite the peculiarities of this group - its youth, twentyfold increase in size over the last 20 years, and extremely high rate of specialization abroad - in comparison with other Spanish professionals, this is the first time that the sociological characteristics of the group have been studied discretely. The most significant results of the study are presented in the following sections. Section 1 gives a brief historical background of the development of Astronomy in Spain. Section 2 analyzes the socio-demographic profile of Spanish Astronomy professionals (sex, age, marital status, etc.). Sections 3-5 are devoted to the college education and study programs followed by Spanish astronomers, focusing on the features and evaluations of the training received, and pre- and postdoctoral study trips made to research centers abroad. The results for the latter clearly show the importance that Spanish astronomers place on having experience abroad. Special attention is paid to scientific papers published as a result of joint research projects carried out with colleagues from centers abroad as a result of these study trips. Section 6 describes the situation of Astronomy professionals within the Spanish job market, the different positions available and the time taken to find a job after graduation. Section 7 examines Astronomy as a discipline in Spain, including the astronomers' own opinions of the social status of the discipline within Spanish society. Particular attention is paid to how Spanish astronomers view the status of Astronomy in Spain in comparison with that of other European countries.
Klioner, Sergei A.
For relativistic modelling of high-accuracy astronomical data several time scales are used: barycentric and geocentric coordinate times, TCB and TCG, as well as two additional time scales, TDB and TT, that are defined as linear functions of TCB and TCG, respectively. The paper is devoted to a concise but still detailed explanation of the reasons and the implications of the relativistic scalings of astronomical quantities induced by the time scales TDB and TT. We consequently distinguish betwe...
West, Michael J.
Society's view of astronomers has changed over time and from culture to culture. This review discusses some of the many ways that astronomers have been perceived by their societies and suggests ways that astronomers can influence public perception of ourselves and our profession in the future.
Hudec, René; Hudec, L.
Roč. 53, č. 1 (2013), s. 23-26. ISSN 1210-2709 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA205/08/1207 Institutional support: RVO:67985815 Keywords : astronomical data archives * astronomical photography * astronomical photographic archives Subject RIV: BH - Optics, Masers, Lasers
Cameron, J F; Silverleaf, D J
International Series of Monographs in Nuclear Energy, Volume 107: Radioisotope Instruments, Part 1 focuses on the design and applications of instruments based on the radiation released by radioactive substances. The book first offers information on the physical basis of radioisotope instruments; technical and economic advantages of radioisotope instruments; and radiation hazard. The manuscript then discusses commercial radioisotope instruments, including radiation sources and detectors, computing and control units, and measuring heads. The text describes the applications of radioisotop
Today, forty 16-18 year old students and their teachers are concluding a one-week, educational `working visit' to the ESO Headquarters in Garching (See ESO Press Release 14/95 of 8 November 1995). They are the winners of the Europe-wide contest `Europe Towards the Stars', organised by ESO with the support of the European Union, under the auspices of the Third European Week for Scientific and Technological Culture. From November 14-20, they have worked with professional ESO astronomers in order to get insight into the methods and principles of modern astronomy and astrophysics, as carried out at one of the world's foremost international centres. This included very successful remote observations with the ESO 3.5-m New Technology Telescope (NTT) and the 1.4-m Coude Auxiliary Telescope (CAT) via a satellite link between the ESO Headquarters and the La Silla observatory in Chile, 12,000 kilometres away. After a general introduction to modern astronomy on the first day of the visit, the participants divided into six teams, according to their interests. Some chose to observe distant galaxies, others prefered to have a closer look on binary stars, and one team decided to investigate a star which is thought to be surrounded by a proto-planetary system. Each team was supported by an experienced ESO astronomer. Then followed the observations at the remote consoles during three nights, the first at the NTT and the following at the CAT. Each team had access to the telescope during half a night. Although the work schedule - exactly as in `real' science - was quite hard, especially during the following data reduction and interpretative phase, all teams managed extremely well and in high spirits. The young astronomers' observations were favoured by excellent atmospheric conditions. At the NTT, the seeing was better than 0.5 arcsecond during several hours, an exceptional value that allows very good images to be obtained. All observations represent solid and interesting science, and
Labadie, Lucas; Cvetojevic, Nick; Haynes, Roger; Harris, Robert; Jovanovic, Nemanja; Lacour, Sylvestre; Martin, Guillermo; Minardi, Stefano; Perrin, Guy; Roth, Martin; Thomson, Robert R
We review the potential of Astrophotonics, a relatively young field at the interface between photonics and astronomical instrumentation, for spectro-interferometry. We review some fundamental aspects of photonic science that drove the emer- gence of astrophotonics, and highlight the achievements in observational astrophysics. We analyze the prospects for further technological development also considering the potential synergies with other fields of physics (e.g. non-linear optics in condensed matter physics). We also stress the central role of fiber optics in routing and transporting light, delivering complex filters, or interfacing instruments and telescopes, more specifically in the context of a growing usage of adaptive optics.
Offringa, A R
The volume of radio-astronomical data is a considerable burden in the processing and storing of radio observations with high time and frequency resolutions and large bandwidths. Lossy compression of interferometric radio-astronomical data is considered to reduce the volume of visibility data and to speed up processing. A new compression technique named "Dysco" is introduced that consists of two steps: a normalization step, in which grouped visibilities are normalized to have a similar distribution; and a quantization and encoding step, which rounds values to a given quantization scheme using a dithering scheme. Several non-linear quantization schemes are tested and combined with different methods for normalizing the data. Four data sets with observations from the LOFAR and MWA telescopes are processed with different processing strategies and different combinations of normalization and quantization. The effects of compression are measured in image plane. The noise added by the lossy compression technique acts ...
Williams, Peter K G; Maness, Holly; Modjaz, Maryam; Shapiro, Kristen L; Silverman, Jeffrey M; Strubbe, Linda; Adams, Betsey; Alatalo, Katherine; Chiu, Kuenley; Claire, Mark; Cobb, Bethany; Cruz, Kelle; Desroches, Louis-Benoit; Enoch, Melissa; Hull, Chat; Jang-Condell, Hannah; Law, Casey; McConnell, Nicholas; Meijerink, Rowin; Offner, Stella; Parejko, John K; Pober, Jonathan; Pontoppidan, Klaus; Poznanski, Dovi; Seth, Anil; Stahler, Steven; Walkowicz, Lucianne; West, Andrew A; Wetzel, Andrew; Whysong, David
While both society and astronomy have evolved greatly over the past fifty years, the academic institutions and incentives that shape our field have remained largely stagnant. As a result, the astronomical community is faced with several major challenges, including: (1) the training that we provide does not align with the skills that future astronomers will need, (2) the postdoctoral phase is becoming increasingly demanding and demoralizing, and (3) our jobs are increasingly unfriendly to families with children. Solving these problems will require conscious engineering of our profession. Fortunately, this Decadal Review offers the opportunity to revise outmoded practices to be more effective and equitable. The highest priority of the Subcommittee on the State of the Profession should be to recommend specific, funded activities that will ensure the field meets the challenges we describe.
The second part is continuig the edition of communists (physicists, mathematicians, astronomers), which were not included in the reference books by Yu.A. Hramov, A. N. Bogoliubov, I.G. Kolchinskii et al.. The author is discussing here also the relation between business and Communist party, especially in the Post Soviet Russia. A discussion of the biographies of Soviet scientists included in the Britannica is given, as well as a list of Russian scientists included in the Oxford Dictionary of Physics is given. Another part of the paper is pointing out the defficiencies of the last edition of the Great Russian Encyclopedic Dictionary (Drofa Eds, Moscow, 2009) in what concerns physicists, mathematicians and astronomers. A great number of Nobel Prize Winners was ommited in the edition of 2009.
Dr J. Landi Dessy, Director of the Astronomical Observatory, Cordoba, Argentina, invited the International Astronomical Union to hold a Symposium in Cordoba in connection with the celebration of the Centennial of the Cordoba Observatory; the date of foundation is October 24, 1871. He proposed that the Symposium should deal with Spectral Classification and Multicolour Photometry as seven years had elapsed since the Symposium No. 24 in Saltsj6baden, and much development had occurred in the field. The invitation and the proposal were accepted by the IAU, and the Symposium was held in Villa Carlos Paz, near Cordoba, between October 18 and October 24, 1971. It was attended by about 50 scientists representing Argentina, Canada, Chile, Den mark, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Sweden, Switzerland, U.K., U.S.A., Vatican City State and Venezuela. The Symposium was divided into four sessions: 1. Classification of slit spectra, 2. Classification of objective-prism spectra, 3. Photometric classification, 4. Catalogues ...
López, A.; Giménez Benitez, S.; Fernández, L.
El presente trabajo, es una revisión crítica de la astronomía en la cultura Mocoví, aportando a lo realizado previamente por Lehmann Nistche (Lehmann Nistche, 1924 y 1927) el resultado de nuestro trabajo de campo. Un mayor conocimiento de las cosmovisiones de las etnias de esta área es fundamental para una mejor comprensión de la dispersión de las ideas cosmológicas entre los pueblos aborígenes americanos, dada la importancia del corredor chaqueño como conexión entre las altas culturas andinas, la mesopotamia y la región pampeana (Susnik, 1972). Para ello se realiza una comparación con otras cosmovisiones del área americana. Nuestro aporte se enmarca dentro de las actuales líneas de trabajo mundialmente en desarrollo en Astronomía en la Cultura.
This paper discusses the need and importance of data analysis facilities and what astronomers ideally want. A brief survey is presented of what is available now and some of the main deficiencies and problems with today's systems are discussed. The main sources of astronomical data are presented incuding: optical photographic, optical TV/CCD, VLA, optical spectros, imaging x-ray satellite, and satellite planetary camera. Landmark discoveries are listed in a table, some of which include: our galaxy as an island, distance to stars, H-R diagram (stellar structure), size of our galaxy, and missing mass in clusters. The main problems at present are discussed including lack of coordinated effort and central planning, differences in hardware, and measuring performance
Dixon, William Van Dyke
While lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, or questioning (LGBTIQ) astronomers face many of the same workplace challenges as women and racial/ethnic minorities, from implicit bias to overt discrimination, other challenges are unique to this group. An obvious example is the absence at many institutions of health insurance and other benefits for the same-sex domestic partners of their employees. More subtle is the psychological toll paid by LGBTIQ astronomers who remain "in the closet," self-censoring every statement about their personal lives. Paradoxically, the culture of the physical sciences, in which sexuality, gender identity, and gender expression are considered irrelevant, can discourage their discussion, further isolating LGBTIQ researchers. Addressing these challenges is not just a matter of fairness; it is an essential tool in the recruitment and retention of the brightest researchers and in assuring their productivity. We will discuss these issues and what individuals and departments can to make their institutions more welcoming to their LGBTIQ colleagues.
Guglielmetti, Fabrizia; Dose, Volker
Astronomical images in the Poisson regime are typically characterized by a spatially varying cosmic background, large variety of source morphologies and intensities, data incompleteness, steep gradients in the data, and few photon counts per pixel. The Background-Source separation technique is developed with the aim to detect faint and extended sources in astronomical images characterized by Poisson statistics. The technique employs Bayesian mixture models to reliably detect the background as well as the sources with their respective uncertainties. Background estimation and source detection is achieved in a single algorithm. A large variety of source morphologies is revealed. The technique is applied in the X-ray part of the electromagnetic spectrum on ROSAT and Chandra data sets and it is under a feasibility study for the forthcoming eROSITA mission.
Chattopadhyay, Asis Kumar
This book introduces “Astrostatistics” as a subject in its own right with rewarding examples, including work by the authors with galaxy and Gamma Ray Burst data to engage the reader. This includes a comprehensive blending of Astrophysics and Statistics. The first chapter’s coverage of preliminary concepts and terminologies for astronomical phenomenon will appeal to both Statistics and Astrophysics readers as helpful context. Statistics concepts covered in the book provide a methodological framework. A unique feature is the inclusion of different possible sources of astronomical data, as well as software packages for converting the raw data into appropriate forms for data analysis. Readers can then use the appropriate statistical packages for their particular data analysis needs. The ideas of statistical inference discussed in the book help readers determine how to apply statistical tests. The authors cover different applications of statistical techniques already developed or specifically introduced for ...
Storkey, Amos J; Williams, Christopher K I; Mann, Robert G
Large astronomical databases obtained from sky surveys such as the SuperCOSMOS Sky Surveys (SSS) invariably suffer from a small number of spurious records coming from artefactual effects of the telescope, satellites and junk objects in orbit around earth and physical defects on the photographic plate or CCD. Though relatively small in number these spurious records present a significant problem in many situations where they can become a large proportion of the records potentially of interest to a given astronomer. In this paper we focus on the four most common causes of unwanted records in the SSS: satellite or aeroplane tracks, scratches fibres and other linear phenomena introduced to the plate, circular halos around bright stars due to internal reflections within the telescope and diffraction spikes near to bright stars. Accurate and robust techniques are needed for locating and flagging such spurious objects. We have developed renewal strings, a probabilistic technique combining the Hough transform, renewal...
Hamacher, Duane W
Early ethnographers and missionaries recorded Aboriginal languages and oral traditions across Australia. Their general lack of astronomical training resulted in misidentifications, transcription errors, and omissions in these records. Additionally, many of these early records are fragmented. In western Victoria and southeast South Australia, many astronomical traditions were recorded, but curiously, some of the brightest stars in the sky were omitted. Scholars claimed these stars did not feature in Aboriginal traditions. This under-representation continues to be repeated in the literature, but current research shows that some of these stars may in fact feature in Aboriginal traditions and could be seasonal calendar markers. This paper uses established techniques in cultural astronomy to identify seasonal stars in the traditions of the Kaurna Aboriginal people of the Adelaide Plains, South Australia.
杨阿锋; 鲁敏; 滕书华; 孙即祥
Motivated by local coordinate coding(LCC) theory in nonlinear manifold learning, a new image representation model called local sparse representation(LSR) for astronomical image denoising was proposed. Borrowing ideas from surrogate function and applying the iterative shrinkage-thresholding algorithm(ISTA), an iterative shrinkage operator for LSR was derived. Meanwhile, a fast approximated LSR method by first performing a K-nearest-neighbor search and then solving a l1optimization problem was presented under the guarantee of denoising performance. In addition, the LSR model and adaptive dictionary learning were incorporated into a unified optimization framework, which explicitly established the inner connection of them. Such processing allows us to simultaneously update sparse coding vectors and the dictionary by alternating optimization method. The experimental results show that the proposed method is superior to the traditional denoising method and reaches state-of-the-art performance on astronomical image.
Butler-Yeoman, T; Hollitt, C P; Hogg, D W; Johnston-Hollitt, M
We present an algorithm capable of detecting diffuse, dim sources of any size in an astronomical image. These sources often defeat traditional methods for source finding, which expand regions around points of high intensity. Extended sources often have no bright points and are only detectable when viewed as a whole, so a more sophisticated approach is required. Our algorithm operates at all scales simultaneously by considering a tree of nested candidate bounding boxes, and inverts a hierarchical Bayesian generative model to obtain the probability of sources existing at given locations and sizes. This model naturally accommodates the detection of nested sources, and no prior knowledge of the distribution of a source, or even the background, is required. The algorithm scales nearly linear with the number of pixels making it feasible to run on large images, and requires minimal parameter tweaking to be effective. We demonstrate the algorithm on several types of astronomical and artificial images.
In the first section we present the atomic part where a C2+ atomic target was prepared and used to generate theoretical data to investigate recombination lines arising from electron-ion collisions in thin plasma. R-matrix method was used to describe the C2+ plus electron system. Theoretical data concerning bound and autoionizing states were generated in the intermediate-coupling approximation. The data were used to generate dielectronic recombination data for C+ which include transition lines, oscillator strengths, radiative transition probabilities, emissivities and dielectronic recombination coefficients. The data were cast in a line list containing 6187 optically-allowed transitions which include many C II lines observed in astronomical spectra. This line list was used to analyze the spectra from a number of astronomical objects, mainly planetary nebulae, and identify their electron temperature. The electron temperature investigation was also extended to include free electron energy analysis to investigate...
Beckouche, Simon; Fadili, Jalal
Astronomical images suffer a constant presence of multiple defects that are consequences of the intrinsic properties of the acquisition equipments, and atmospheric conditions. One of the most frequent defects in astronomical imaging is the presence of additive noise which makes a denoising step mandatory before processing data. During the last decade, a particular modeling scheme, based on sparse representations, has drawn the attention of an ever growing community of researchers. Sparse representations offer a promising framework to many image and signal processing tasks, especially denoising and restoration applications. At first, the harmonics, wavelets, and similar bases and overcomplete representations have been considered as candidate domains to seek the sparsest representation. A new generation of algorithms, based on data-driven dictionaries, evolved rapidly and compete now with the off-the-shelf fixed dictionaries. While designing a dictionary beforehand leans on a guess of the most appropriate repre...
Popowicz, A; Filus, Z
We present a new method of interpolation for the pixel brightness estimation in astronomical images. Our new method is simple and easily implementable. We show the comparison of this method with the widely used linear interpolation and other interpolation algorithms using one thousand astronomical images obtained from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. The comparison shows that our method improves bad pixels brightness estimation with four times lower mean error than the presently most popular linear interpolation and has a better performance than any other examined method. The presented idea is flexible and can be also applied to presently used and future interpolation methods. The proposed method is especially useful for large sky surveys image reduction but can be also applied to single image correction.
Hamacher, Duane W.
Early ethnographers and missionaries recorded Aboriginal languages and oral traditions across Australia. Their general lack of astronomical training resulted in misidentifications, transcription errors and omissions in these records. In western Victoria and southeast South Australia many astronomical traditions were recorded but, cur- iously, some of the brightest stars in the sky were omitted. Scholars claimed these stars did not feature in Aboriginal traditions. This continues to be repeated in the literature, but current research shows that these stars may in fact feature in Aboriginal traditions and could be seasonal calendar markers. This paper uses established techniques to identify seasonal stars in the traditions of the Kaurna Aboriginal people of the Adelaide Plains, South Australia.
Buddelmeijer, Hugo; Valentijn, Edwin A.
Interactive visualization of astronomical catalogs requires novel techniques due to the huge volumes and complex structure of the data produced by existing and upcoming astronomical surveys. The creation as well as the disclosure of the catalogs can be handled by data pulling mechanisms (Buddelmeijer et al. 2011). These prevent unnecessary processing and facilitate data sharing by having users request the desired end products. In this work we present query driven visualization as a logical continuation of data pulling. Scientists can request catalogs in a declarative way and set process parameters directly from within the visualization. This results in profound interoperation between software with a high level of abstraction. New messages for the Simple Application Messaging Protocol are proposed to achieve this abstraction. Support for these messages are implemented in the Astro-WISE information system and in a set of demonstrational applications.
Interactive visualization of astronomical catalogs requires novel techniques due to the huge volumes and complex structure of the data produced by existing and upcoming astronomical surveys. The creation as well as the disclosure of the catalogs can be handled by data pulling mechanisms. These prevent unnecessary processing and facilitate data sharing by having users request the desired end products. In this work we present query driven visualization as a logical continuation of data pulling. Scientists can request catalogs in a declarative way and set process parameters directly from within the visualization. This results in profound interoperation between software with a high level of abstraction. New messages for the Simple Application Messaging Protocol are proposed to achieve this abstraction. Support for these messages are implemented in the Astro-WISE information system and in a set of demonstrational applications.
Torres-Peimbert, S.; Allen, C.
We present statistical data about the Revista Mexicana de Astronomía y Astrofísica. We consider that this journal is well positioned in the international astronomical literature. Similarly we present information about the Serie de Conferencias, which also has a wide level of acceptance by the astronomical community.
Antonello, E; Sisto, A M Tunzi; LoZupone, M
Prehistoric sanctuaries of Daunia date back several thousand years. During the Neolithic and Bronze Age the farmers in that region dug hypogea and holes whose characteristics suggest a ritual use. In the present note we summarize the results of the astronomical analysis of the orientation of the row holes in three different sites, and we point out the possible use of the setting of the stars of Centaurus. An interesting archaeological confirmation of an archaeoastronomical prediction is also reported.
Hudec, René; Hudcová, Věra; Krolupper, F.; Kroll, P.
Melville : American Institute of Physics, 2003 - (Ricker, G.; Vanderpeck, R.), s. 523-525 - (AIP Conference proceedings.. 662). [Gamma-ray burst and afterglow astronomy 2001. Woods Hole, Massachusetts (US), 05.11.2001-09.11.2001] R&D Projects: GA ČR GA205/99/0145; GA MŠk ME 002 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z1003909 Keywords : astronomical plates * gamma ray Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics
Dick, W. R.
Simple requests for biographies of famous astronomers can easily be satisfied. Short accounts of their lives are to be found in many books and encyclopedias. However, most of these sources are very incomplete, i. e.\\ do not provide information on less famous persons, and are not up to scientific standards. The most comprehensive sources of scientific biographies, Poggendorffs Biographisch-Literarisches Handwoerterbuch and Dictionary of Scientific Biography, are also not complete, partly not up-to-date and for most users not easily accessible. The most recent and most comprehensive dictionary of astronomical biography, containing 500 short entries, was written in Russian. Although a lot of information on biographies is available in publications, these are spread over thousands of volumes. There is no bibliography of these papers and books. During the last three years, short biographies of astronomers were also published in the World Wide Web. Some of these are on a very high scientific level. The author's collection of links to such WWW pages (http://www.astro.uni-bonn.de/~pbrosche/hist\\_astr/ ha\\_pers.html}) contains currently several thousand entries for more than 1200 persons related to the history of astronomy. This electronic ``encyclopedia'' in distributed form is now the most comprehensive and concentrated source for astronomical biographies. However, there are several problems arising from the electronic form of publication and from the uncoordinated and not always qualified efforts of the authors. The paper will discuss proposals, plans and first results of filling the gaps and increasing the quality, as well as some principal problems of writing short biographies and making them available to the public.
The chimney built in the roof of the artificial large cave at Xochicalco, known as "Cave of the astronomers", has been interpreted as a solar zenithal observation tube. Nevertheless, different elements and especially the latitude of the site itself led the author to present a lunar hypothesis. Precise measurements of the impact of light inside the cave show the degree of precision that can be obtained in this camera obscura.
Grosbol, P.; Tody, D.
Access to astronomical data through archives and VO is essential but does not solve all problems. Availability of appropriate software for analyzing the data is often equally important for the efficiency with which a researcher can publish results. A number of legacy systems (e.g. IRAF, MIDAS, Starlink, AIPS, Gipsy), as well as others now coming online are available but have very different user interfaces and may no longer be fully supported. Users may need multiple systems or stand-alone pac...
Kern, Pierre; Berger, Jean-Philippe; Haguenauer, Pierre; Malbet, Fabien; Perraut, Karine
16 pages Integrated optics (IO) is an optical technology that allows to reproduce optical circuits on a planar substrate. Since 1996, we have investigated the potentiality of IO in the framework of astronomical single mode interferometry. We review in this paper the principles of IO, the requirements for interferometry and the corresponding solutions offered by IO, the results of component characterization and the possible fields of application.
Morton, Donald C
This paper describes some of the astronomical effects that could be important for understanding the ice ages, historic climate changes and the recent temperature increase. These include changes in the sun's luminosity, periodic changes in the earth's orbital parameters, the sun's orbit around our galaxy, the variability of solar activity and the anticorrelation of cosmic ray flux with that activity. Finally recent trends in solar activity and global temperatures are compared with the predictions of climate models.
Shamir, Lior; Nemiroff, Robert J.; Torrey, David O.; Pereira, Wellesley E.
We describe the software requirement and design specifications for all-sky panoramic astronomical pipelines. The described software aims to meet the specific needs of super-wide angle optics, and includes cosmic-ray hit rejection, image compression, star recognition, sky opacity analysis, transient detection and a web server allowing access to real-time and archived data. The presented software is being regularly used for the pipeline processing of 11 all-sky cameras located in some of the wo...
Castelaz, M. W.; Cline, J. D.
Astronomical objects change with time. New observations complement past observations recorded on photographic plates. Analyses of changes provide essential routes to information about an object's formation, constitution and evolution. Preserving a century of photographic plate observations is thus of paramount importance. Plate collections are presently widely dispersed; plates may be stored in poor conditions, and are effectively inaccessible to both researchers and historians. We describe a planned project at Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute to preserve the collections of astronomical plates in the United States by gathering them into a single storage location. Collections will be sorted, cleaned, and cataloged on-line so as to provide access to researchers. Full scientific and historic use of the material then requires the observations themselves to be accessible digitally. The project's goal will be the availability of these data as a unique, fully-maintained scientific and educational resource. The new archive will support trans-disciplinary research such as the chemistry of the Earth's atmosphere, library information science, trends in local weather patterns, and impacts of urbanization on telescope use, while the hand-written observatory logs will be a valuable resource for science historians and biographers.
Reid, John S
This paper was given to mark the centenary of the death of David Gill, the foremost British astronomer in the last quarter of the 19th century and into the 20th century. Gill abandoned a successful career as a clock and watchmaker. His speciality was in astrometry, an area of astronomy of both practical and scientific importance that tended to be eclipsed in the 20th century by the rise of astrophysics. As Her Majesty's Astronomer at the Cape of Good Hope for 27 years, David Gill was admired for his prolific contribution to highly accurate and trustworthy results. David Gill's collaboration was desired by leading astronomers of the day and he was the only southern hemisphere representative on the hugely important Conference Internationale des Etoiles Fondamentales of 1896. He created with Jacobus Kapetyn the first extensive star catalogue derived from photographic plates (the CPD), including over 450,000 stars. He was an initiator of the biggest multi-national and multi-observatory project of the century, tak...
In this review we explore aspects of the field of astrobiology from an astronomical viewpoint. We therefore focus on the origin of life in the context of planetary formation, with additional emphasis on tracing the most abundant volatile elements, C, H, O, and N that are used by life on Earth. We first explore the history of life on our planet and outline the current state of our knowledge regarding the delivery of the C, H, O, N elements to the Earth. We then discuss how astronomers track the gaseous and solid molecular carriers of these volatiles throughout the process of star and planet formation. It is now clear that the early stages of star formation fosters the creation of water and simple organic molecules with enrichments of heavy isotopes. These molecules are found as ice coatings on the solid materials that represent microscopic beginnings of terrestrial worlds. Based on the meteoritic and cometary record, the process of planet formation, and the local environment, lead to additional increases in organic complexity. The astronomical connections towards this stage are only now being directly made. Although the exact details are uncertain, it is likely that the birth process of star and planets likely leads to terrestrial worlds being born with abundant water and organics on the surface
Do you write code for your research? Use astronomical software? Do you wish there were a better way of citing, sharing, archiving, or discovering software for astronomy research? You're not alone! In April 2015, AAS's publishing team joined other leaders in the astronomical software community in a meeting funded by the Sloan Foundation, with the purpose of discussing these issues and potential solutions. In attendance were representatives from academic astronomy, publishing, libraries, for-profit software sharing platforms, telescope facilities, and grantmaking institutions. The goal of the group was to establish “protocols, policies, and platforms for astronomical software citation, sharing, and archiving,” in the hopes of encouraging a set of normalized standards across the field. The AAS is now collaborating with leaders at GitHub to write grant proposals for a project to develop strategies for software discoverability and citation, in astronomy and beyond. If this topic interests you, you can find more details in this document released by the group after the meeting: http://astronomy-software-index.github.io/2015-workshop/ The group hopes to move this project forward with input and support from the broader community. Please share the above document, discuss it on social media using the hashtag #astroware (so that your conversations can be found!), or send private comments to email@example.com.
Dasi Espuig, Maria; Vasquez, Mayte; Kobel, Philippe
GalileoMobile is an itinerant science education initiative run on a voluntary basis by an international team of astronomers, educators, and science communicators. Our team's main goal is to make astronomy accessible to schools and communities around the globe that have little or no access to outreach actions. We do this by performing teacher workshops, activities with students, and donating educational material. Since the creation of GalileoMobile in 2008, we have travelled to Chile, Bolivia, Peru, India, and Uganda, and worked with 56 schools in total. Our activities are centred on the GalileoMobile Handbook of Activities that comprises around 20 astronomical activities which we adapted from many different sources, and translated into 4 languages. The experience we gained in Chile, Bolivia, Peru, India, and Uganda taught us that (1) bringing experts from other countries was very stimulating for children as they are naturally curious about other cultures and encourages a collaboration beyond borders; (2) high-school students who were already interested in science were always very eager to interact with real astronomers doing research to ask for career advice; (3) inquiry-based methods are important to make the learning process more effective and we have therefore, re-adapted the activities in our Handbook according to these; (4) local teachers and university students involved in our activities have the potential to carry out follow-up activities, and examples are those from Uganda and India.
Bergin, Edwin A. [University of Michigan, Department of Astronomy, 500 Church Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48109 (United States)
In this review we explore aspects of the field of astrobiology from an astronomical viewpoint. We therefore focus on the origin of life in the context of planetary formation, with additional emphasis on tracing the most abundant volatile elements, C, H, O, and N that are used by life on Earth. We first explore the history of life on our planet and outline the current state of our knowledge regarding the delivery of the C, H, O, N elements to the Earth. We then discuss how astronomers track the gaseous and solid molecular carriers of these volatiles throughout the process of star and planet formation. It is now clear that the early stages of star formation fosters the creation of water and simple organic molecules with enrichments of heavy isotopes. These molecules are found as ice coatings on the solid materials that represent microscopic beginnings of terrestrial worlds. Based on the meteoritic and cometary record, the process of planet formation, and the local environment, lead to additional increases in organic complexity. The astronomical connections towards this stage are only now being directly made. Although the exact details are uncertain, it is likely that the birth process of star and planets likely leads to terrestrial worlds being born with abundant water and organics on the surface.
Full Text Available The Galway Astronomical Stokes Polarimeter (GASP is an ultra-high-speed, full Stokes, astronomical imaging polarimeter based upon a Division of Amplitude Polarimeter. It has been developed to resolve extremely rapid stochastic (~ms variations in objects such as optical pulsars, magnetars and magnetic cataclysmic variables. The polarimeter has no moving parts or modulated components so the complete Stokes vector can be measured from just one exposure - making it unique to astronomy. The time required for the determination of the full Stokes vector is limited only by detector efficiency and photon fluxes. The polarimeter utilizes a modified Fresnel rhomb that acts as a highly achromatic quarter wave plate and a beamsplitter (referred to as an RBS. We present a description of how the DOAP works, some of the optical design for the polarimeter. Calibration is an important and difficult issue with all polarimeters, but particularly in astronomical polarimeters. We give a description of calibration techniques appropriate to this type of polarimeter.
Kim, J. W.; Lemson, G.; Bulatovic, N.; Makarenko, V.; Vogler, A.; Voges, W.; Yao, Y.; Kiefl, R.; Koychev, S.
We present the Astronomers Workbench (AWOB1), a web-based collaboration and publication platform for a scientific project of any size, developed in collaboration between the Max-Planck institutes of Astrophysics (MPA) and Extra-terrestrial Physics (MPE) and the Max-Planck Digital Library (MPDL). AWOB facilitates the collaboration between geographically distributed astronomers working on a common project throughout its whole scientific life cycle. AWOB does so by making it very easy for scientists to set up and manage a collaborative workspace for individual projects, where data can be uploaded and shared. It supports inviting project collaborators, provides wikis, automated mailing lists, calendars and event notification and has a built in chat facility. It allows the definition and tracking of tasks within projects and supports easy creation of e-publications for the dissemination of data and images and other resources that cannot be added to submitted papers. AWOB extends the project concept to larger scale consortia, within which it is possible to manage working groups and sub-projects. The existing AWOB instance has so far been limited to Max-Planck members and their collaborators, but will be opened to the whole astronomical community. AWOB is an open-source project and its source code is available upon request. We intend to extend AWOB's functionality also to other disciplines, and would greatly appreciate contributions from the community.
Several astronomical observatories have been established in Strasbourg in very differing contexts. In the late 17th century, an observing post (scientifically sterile) was put on top of a tower, the Hospital Gate, essentially for the prestige of the city and the notoriety of the university. In the 19th century, the observatory built on the Académie hosting the French university was the first attempt to set up in the city a real observatory equipped with genuine instrumentation with the purpose of carrying out serious research, but the succession of political regimes in France and the continual bidding for moving the university to other locations, together with the faltering of later scholars, torpedoed any significant scientific usage of the place. After the 1870-1871 Franco-Prussian war, the German authorities set up a prestigious university campus with a whole range of institutes together with a modern observatory consisting of several buildings and hosting a flotilla of excellent instruments, including the then largest refractor of the country. This paper illustrates various types of lobbying used in the steps above while detailing, from archive documents largely unexploited so far, original research on the two first observatories.
Polidan, Ronald S.; Breckinridge, James B.; Lillie, Charles F.; MacEwen, Howard A.; Flannery, Martin; Dailey, Dean
Astronomical flagship missions after the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) will require lower cost space telescopes and science instruments. Innovative spacecraft-electro-opto-mechanical system architectures matched to the science requirements are needed for observations for exoplanet characterization, cosmology, dark energy, galactic evolution formation of stars and planets, and many other research areas. The needs and requirements to perform this science will continue to drive us toward larger and larger apertures.Recent technology developments in precision station keeping of spacecraft, interplanetary transfer orbits, wavefront/sensing and control, laser engineering, macroscopic application of nano-technology, lossless optical designs, deployed structures, thermal management, interferometry, detectors and signal processing enable innovative telescope/system architectures with break-through performance.Unfortunately, NASA's budget for Astrophysics is unlikely to be able to support the funding required for the 8-m to 16-m telescopes that have been studied for the follow-on to JWST using similar development/assembly approaches without accounting for too large of a portion of the Astrophysics Division's budget. Consequently, we have been examining the feasibility of developing an 'Evolvable Space Telescope' that would be 3 to 4-m when placed on orbit and then periodically augmented with additional mirror segments, structures, and newer instruments to evolve the telescope and achieve the performance of a 16-m space telescope.This paper reviews the technologies required for such a mission, identifies candidate architectures, and discusses different science measurement objectives for these architectures.
Mould, J. R.; Pompea, S.
Astronomy presents extraordinary opportunities for engaging young people in science from an early age. The National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO), supported by the National Science Foundation, leverages the attraction of astronomy with a suite of formal and informal education programs that engage our scientists and education and public outreach professionals in effective, strategic programs that capitalize on NOAO's role as a leader in science and in the design of new astronomical facilities. The core of the science education group at NOAO in Tucson consists of a group of Ph.D.-level scientists with experience in educational program management, curriculum and instructional materials development, teacher/scientist partnerships, and teacher professional development. This core group of scientist/educators hybrids has a strong background in earth and space science education as well as experience in working with and teaching about the technology that has enabled new astronomical discoveries. NOAO has a vigorous public affairs/media program and a history of effectively working locally, regionally, and nationally with the media, schools, science centers, and, planetaria. In particular, NOAO has created successful programs exploring how research data and tools can be used most effectively in the classroom. For example, the Teacher Leaders in Research Based Science Education explores how teachers can most effectively integrate astronomical research on novae, active galactic nuclei, and the Sun into classroom-based investigations. With immersive summer workshops at Kitt Peak National Observatory and the National Solar Observatory at Sacramento Peak, teachers learn research and instrumentation skills and how to encourage and maintain research activities in their classrooms. Some of the new facilities proposed in the recent decadal plan, Astronomy and Astrophysics in the New Millennium (National Academy Press), can provide extended opportunities for incorporating
Cowsik, R.; Srinivasan, R.; Prabhu, T. P.
Situated in the high-altitude cold desert of Changthang Ladakh bordering Himachal Pradesh and Tibet, Indian Astronomical Observatory, Hanle (32o46m46sN, 78o57'51''E; 4500 m above msl), provides excellent opportunities for developing astronomical facilities at a variety of frequencies. In addition, it provides environment and logistics for a range of scientific experiments which be nefit from its unique location. Indian Institute of Astrophysics has built this observatory around a modest 2-m aperture optical/infrared telescope. A 0.5 m telescope will soon be added. A large facility (6.5-8.5 m class infrared/optical telescope) is under consid eration. A 2-m telescope of new advanced technology design has been installed at the observatory in what probably is a record in the speed of execution. The site development, fabrication and installation of the telescope has been accomplished in just about 3 years. The telescope saw its first light on the night of September 26/27 2000 and has been operating with a CCD imager. A larger CCD imager, a faint object spectrograph camera, and a JHK imager are under fabrication. A 1-5 micron imager spectrograph is planned as the next generation instrument. The telescope will be remotely operable from the Centre for Research and Education in Science & Technology of IIA at Hosakote near Bangalore over the next few months. All the necessary infrastructure including 20 kw/h power through generators, 1 Mbps dedicated satellite communication link (to be upgarded to 2 Mbps and a 128 kbps redundant link to be established), liquid nitrogen plant, etc. have been already developed. The Government of Jammu & Kashmir has transferred over 600 acres of land to the observatory. The infrastructure developed for the observatory is already being used for other scientific experiments by national and international institutions. The experiments include determination of atmospheric opcaity at mm wavelengths, geodynamic and seismological experiments, aerosol
Cui, Chenzhou; Zhao, Yongheng; Kembhavi, Ajit; He, Boliang; Cao, Zihuang; Li, Jian; Nandrekar, Deoyani
Although the roles of data centers and computing centers are becoming more and more important, and on-line research is becoming the mainstream for astronomy, individual research based on locally hosted data is still very common. With the increase of personal storage capacity, it is easy to find hundreds to thousands of FITS files in the personal computer of an astrophysicist. Because Flexible Image Transport System (FITS) is a professional data format initiated by astronomers and used mainly in the small community, data management toolkits for FITS files are very few. Astronomers need a powerful tool to help them manage their local astronomical data. Although Virtual Observatory (VO) is a network oriented astronomical research environment, its applications and related technologies provide useful solutions to enhance the management and utilization of astronomical data hosted in an astronomer's personal computer. FITSManager is such a tool to provide astronomers an efficient management and utilization of their ...
The Pro-Am Collaborative Astronomy (PACA) project evolved from the observational campaign of C/2012 S1 or C/ISON. The success of the paradigm shift in scientific research is now implemented in other comet observing campaigns. While PACA identifies a consistent collaborative approach to pro-am collaborations, given the volume of data generated for each campaign, new ways of rapid data analysis, mining access, and storage are needed. Several interesting results emerged from the synergistic inclusion of both social media and amateur astronomers: - the establishment of a network of astronomers and related professionals that can be galvanized into action on short notice to support observing campaigns; - assist in various science investigations pertinent to the campaign; - provide an alert-sounding mechanism should the need arise; - immediate outreach and dissemination of results via our media/blogger members; - provide a forum for discussions between the imagers and modelers to help strategize the observing campaign for maximum benefit. In 2014, two new comet observing campaigns involving pro-am collaborations have been identified: (1) C/2013 A1 (C/Siding Spring) and (2) 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko (CG). The evolving need for individual customized observing campaigns has been incorporated into the evolution of PACA (Pro-Am Collaborative Astronomy) portal that currently is focused on comets: from supporting observing campaigns for current comets, legacy data, historical comets; interconnected with social media and a set of shareable documents addressing observational strategies; consistent standards for data; data access, use, and storage, to align with the needs of professional observers. The integration of science, observations by professional and amateur astronomers, and various social media provides a dynamic and evolving collaborative partnership between professional and amateur astronomers. The recent observation of comet 67P, at a magnitude of 21.2, from Siding
Roth, Martin M; Tarcea, Nicolae; Popp, Jürgen; Adelhelm, Silvia; Stolz, Marvin; Kelz, Andreas; Sandin, Christer; Bauer, Svend-Marian; Fechner, Thomas; Jahn, Thomas; Popow, Emil; Roth, Bernhard; Singh, Paul; Srivastava, Mudit; Wolter, Dieter
Astronomical instrumentation is most of the time faced with challenging requirements in terms of sensitivity, stability, complexity, etc., and therefore leads to high performance developments that at first sight appear to be suitable only for the specific design application at the telescope. However, their usefulness in other disciplines and for other applications is not excluded. The ERA2 facility is a lab demonstrator, based on a high-performance astronomical spectrograph, which is intended to explore the innovation potential of fiber-coupled multi-channel spectroscopy for spatially resolved spectroscopy in life science, material sciences, and other areas of research.
As Wide Field Instrument Adjutant Scientist, my goal will be to maximize the science capability of the mission in a cost-contained environment. I hope to work with the HQ, project and the FSWG to assure mission success. I plan to play a leadership role in communicating the WFIRST science capabilities to the astronomy community , obtain input from both science teams and the broader community that help derive performance requirements and calibration metrics. I plan to focus on developing the observing program for the deep fields and focus on using them to calibrate instrument performance and capabilities. I plan to organize workshops that will bring together WFIRST team members with astronomers working on LSST, Euclid, JWST, and the ELTs to maximize combined science return. I am also eager to explore the astrometric and stellar seismology capabilities of the instrument with a goal of maximizing science return without affecting science requirements.
part of the VLBA instrument, was modified over the past four years to allow it to incorporate data from the satellite. Correlation of the observational data was completed successfully on June 12, after the exact timing of the satellite recording was established. Further computer processing produced an image of PKS 1519-273 -- the first image ever produced using a radio telescope in space. For Jim Ulvestad, the NRAO astronomer who made the first image, the success ended a long quest for this new capability. Ulvestad was involved in an experiment more than a decade ago in which a NASA communications satellite, TDRSS, was used to test the idea of doing radio astronomical imaging by combining data from space and ground radio telescopes. That experiment showed that an orbiting antenna could, in fact, work in conjunction with ground-based radio observatories, and paved the way for HALCA and a planned Russian radio astronomy satellite called RadioAstron. "This first image is an important technical milestone, and demonstrates the feasibility of a much more advanced mission, ARISE, currently being considered by NASA," Ulvestad said. The first image showed no structure in the object, even at the extremely fine level of detail achievable with HALCA; it is what astronomers call a "point source." This object also appears as a point source in all-ground-based observations. In addition, the 1986 TDRSS experiment observed the object, and, while this experiment did not produce an image, it indicated that PKS 1519-273 should be a point source. "This simple point image may not appear very impressive, but its beauty to us is that it shows our entire, complex system is functioning correctly. The system includes not only the orbiting and ground-based antennas, but also the orbit determination, tracking stations, the correlator, and the image-processing software," said Jonathan Romney, the NRAO astronomer who led the development of the VLBA correlator, and its enhancement to process data
Genet, R. M.; Genet, C. L.
A class at a small community college, Central Arizona College, was dedicated to astronomical research. Although hands-on research is usually reserved for professionals or graduate students, and occasionally individual undergraduate seniors, we decided to introduce community college students to science by devoting an entire class to research. Nine students were formed into three closely cooperating teams. The class as a whole decided that all three teams would observe Cepheid stars photometrically using a robotic telescope at the Fairborn Observatory. Speaker-phone conference calls were made to Kenneth E. Kissell for help on Cepheid selection, Michael A. Seeds for instructions on the use of the Phoenix-10 robotic telescope, and Douglas S. Hall for assitance in selecting appropriate comparison and check stars. The students obtained critical references on past observations from Konkoly Observatory via airmail. They spent several long night sessions at our apartment compiling the data, making phase calculations, and creating graphs. Finally, the students wrote up their results for publication in a forthcoming special issue of the international journal on stellar photometry, the IAPPP Communication. We concluded that conducting team research is an excellent way to introduce community college students to science, that a class devoted to cooperation as opposed to competition was refreshing, and that group student conference calls with working astronomers were inspiring. A semester, however, is a rather short time to initiate and complete research projects. The students were Sally Baldwin, Cory Bushnell, Bryan Dehart, Pamela Frantz, Carl Fugate, Mike Grill, Jessica Harger, Klay Lapa, and Diane Wiseman. We are pleased to acknowledge the assistance provided by the astronomers mentioned above, James Stuckey (Campus Dean), and our Union Institute and University doctoral committee members Florence Pittman Matusky, Donald S. Hayes, and Karen S. Grove.
Ohishi, Masatoshi; Hanisch, Robert J.; Norris, Ray P.; Andernach, Heinz; Bishop, Marsha; Griffin, Elizabeth; Kembhavi, Ajit; Murphy, Tara; Pasian, Fabio
IAU Commission 5 (http://www.nao.ac.jp/IAU/Com5/) deals with data management issues, and its working groups and task group deal specifically with information handling, with data centers and networks, with technical aspects of collection, archiving, storage and dissemination of data, with designations and classification of astronomical objects, with library services, editorial policies, computer communications, ad hoc methodologies, and with various standards, reference frames, etc. FITS (Flexible Image Transport System), the major data exchange format in astronomy, has been standardized, maintained and updated by the FITS working group under Commission 5.
Roč. 32, 1-2 (2011), s. 91-95. ISSN 0250-6335. [Conference on Multiwavelength Variability of Blazars. Guangzhou, 22,09,2010-24,09,2010] R&D Projects: GA ČR GA205/08/1207 Grant ostatní: GA ČR(CZ) GA102/09/0997; MŠMT(CZ) ME09027 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z10030501 Keywords : astronomical plates * plate archives archives * binary blazars Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics Impact factor: 0.400, year: 2011
The American Astronomical Society (AAS) has awarded its prestigious George Van Biesbroeck Prize to Dr. Eric Greisen of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) in Socorro, New Mexico. The society cited Greisen's quarter-century as "principal architect and tireless custodian" of the Astronomical Image Processing System (AIPS), a massive software package used by astronomers around the world, as "an invaluable service to astronomy." Dr. Eric Greisen Dr. Eric Greisen CREDIT: NRAO/AUI/NSF (Click on image for larger version) The Van Biesbroeck Prize "honors a living individual for long-term extraordinary or unselfish service to astronomy, often beyond the requirements of his or her paid position." The AAS, with about 7,000 members, is the major organization of professional astronomers in North America. " The Very Large Array (VLA) is the most productive ground-based telescope in the history of astronomy, and most of the more than 10,000 observing projects on the VLA have depended upon the AIPS software to produce their scientific results," said Dr. James Ulvestad, NRAO's Director of New Mexico Operations. "This same software package also has been the principal tool for scientists using the Very Long Baseline Array and numerous other radio telescopes around the world," Ulvestad added. Greisen, who received a Ph.D in astronomy from the California Institute of Technology, joined the NRAO in 1972. He moved from the observatory's headquarters in Charlottesville, Virginia, to its Array Operations Center in Socorro in 2000. Greisen, who learned of the award in a telephone call from the AAS President, Dr. Robert Kirschner of Harvard University, said, "I'm pleased for the recognition of AIPS and also for the recognition of the contributions of radio astronomy to astronomy as a whole." He added that "it wasn't just me who did AIPS. There were many others." The AIPS software package grew out of the need for an efficient tool for producing images with the VLA, which was being
Samus, N. N.; Yamaoka, H.; Gilmore, A. C.; Aksnes, K.; Green, D. W. E.; Marsden, B. G.; Nakano, S.; Lara, Martin; Pitjeva, Elena V.; Sphar, T.; Ticha, J.; Williams, G.
IAU Commission 6 ``Astronomical Telegrams'' had a single business meeting during the Beijing General Assembly of the IAU. It took place on Friday, August 24, 2012. The meeting was attended by five C6 members (N. N. Samus; D. W. E. Green; S. Nakano; J. Ticha; and H. Yamaoka). Also present was Prof. F. Genova as a representative of the IAU Division B. She told the audience about the current restructuring of IAU Commissions and Divisions and consequences for the future of C6.
Originally published in English in 1973. This volume traces the development of the revolution which so drastically altered man's view of the universe in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The ""astronomical revolution"" was accomplished in three stages, each linked with the work of one man. With Copernicus, the sun became the centre of the universe. With Kepler, celestial dynamics replaced the kinematics of circles and spheres used by Copernicus. With Borelli the unification of celestial and terrestrial physics was completed by abandonment of the circle in favour the straight line to inf
Andreozzi, L. C.; Irace, W. R.; Maag, C. R.
The Infrared Astronomical Satellite, to be launched in August 1981, will perform an all-sky survey in the 8-120 micron wavelength region. High sensitivity to thermal radiation and the low operating temperature of optics and thermal control surfaces make the IRAS telescope extremely vulnerable to contamination. Four special topics of importance are discussed in this paper: (1) deposition of atmospheric gases; (2) sighting of particles released from the satellite; (3) functions of a deployable aperture cover; and (4) degradation of a radiatively cooled sunshade from spacecraft outgassing. These topics demonstrate how mission strategy, ground cleaning and handling, and hardware design are used to avoid contamination which would degrade telescope performance.
The needs of modern astronomy for image processing set demanding standards in simultaneously requiring fast computation speed, high-quality graphic display, large data storage, and interactive response. An innovative image processing system was designed, integrated, and used; it is based on a supermicro architecture which is tailored specifically for astronomy, which provides a highly cost-effective alternative to the traditional minicomputer installation. The paper describes the design rationale, equipment selection, and software developed to allow other astronomers with similar needs to benefit from the present experience. 9 references
``I have always been very intrigued by minerals, so it is great to be one,'' commented NASA Stardust mission principal investigator and University of Washington astronomer Donald Brownlee, AGU member, after learning the International Mineralogical Association had named a new mineral in his honor. Brownleeite, a combination of manganese and silicon, is the first mineral discovered in a particle from a comet. The mineral was found inside a particle collected by a high-altitude NASA aircraft from a dust stream that entered Earth's atmosphere in 2003. A team led by NASA scientist Keiko Nakamura-Messenger found the particle and had requested that it be named for Brownlee.
Parsons, Aaron; Backer, Donald; Bastian, Tim; Bower, Geoffrey; Brisken, Walter; Chen, Henry; Deller, Adam; Filiba, Terry; Gary, Dale; Greenhill, Lincoln; Hawkins, David; Jones, Glenn; Langston, Glen; Lazio, Joseph; van Leeuwen, Joeri; Mitchell, Daniel; Manley, Jason; Siemion, Andrew; So, Hayden Kwok-Hay; Whitney, Alan; Woody, Dave; Wright, Melvyn; Zarb-Adami, Kristian
Time-to-science is an important figure of merit for digital instrumentation serving the astronomical community. A digital signal processing (DSP) community is forming that uses shared hardware development, signal processing libraries, and instrument architectures to reduce development time of digital instrumentation and to improve time-to-science for a wide variety of projects. We suggest prioritizing technological development supporting the needs of this nascent DSP community. After outlining several instrument classes that are relying on digital instrumentation development to achieve new science objectives, we identify key areas where technologies pertaining to interoperability and processing flexibility will reduce the time, risk, and cost of developing the digital instrumentation for radio astronomy. These areas represent focus points where support of general-purpose, open-source development for a DSP community should be prioritized in the next decade. Contributors to such technological development may be...
Application of the spectrometry to the study of the Martian atmosphere and the search of extrasolar planets: characterization of the spectrometers of the instrument SPICAM-Light on board the Mars-Express space mission; development and optimization of the astronomical spectrometer EMILIE, dedicated to the stellar radial velocity measurements.
This thesis deals with three innovating techniques of spectrometry, one in near infrared, the other into visible, and the third in ultraviolet ray. Two of them are used by the instrument Spicam-Light on board the Mars-Express spacecraft, for the study of the Martian atmosphere. The third relates to spectrometry with high resolution since the ground, and is dedicated to the stellar radial velocity measurements for the search of extrasolar planets at the Haute-Provence Observatory (France) with...
Pepin, M Barlow
This is complete guide for anyone who wants to understand more than just the basics of astronomical telescopes and accessories, and how to maintain them in the peak of condition. The latest on safely adjusting, cleaning, and maintaining your equipment is combined with thoroughly updated methods from the old masters.
Klioner, S. A.
Context: For relativistic modeling of high-accuracy astronomical data, several time scales are used: barycentric and geocentric coordinate times (TCB and TCG) and two additional time scales (TDB and TT), which are defined as linear functions of TCB and TCG, respectively. Aims: The paper is devoted to a concise, but still detailed, explanation of the reasons and the implications of the relativistic scalings of astronomical quantities induced by the time scales TDB and TT. Methods: We consequently distinguish between quantities and their numerical values expressed in some units. Results: It is argued that the scaled time scales, the scaled spatial coordinates, and the scaled masses should be considered as distinct quantities that can be expressed themselves in any units and not as numerical values of the same quantities expressed in some different, non-SI units (“TDB units” and “TT units”). Along the same lines, the system of astronomical units is discussed in the relativistic framework. The whole freedom in the definitions of the systems of astronomical units for TCB and TDB is demonstrated. A number of possible ways to freeze the freedom are shown and discussed. It is argued that in the future one should think about converting AU into a defined quantity by fixing its value in SI meters.
Omizzolo, Alessandro; Cesare, Barbieri; Blanco, Carlo; Bucciarelli, Beatrice; di Paola, Andrea; Nesci, Roberto
The photographic plate archives of telescopes around the world contain a veritable treasury of astronomical data. Unfortunately the emulsion is a volatile support and full exploitation of the scientific content is more and more difficult. A large-scale two-year project to digitize the archive of plates of the Italian Astronomical Observatories and of the Specola Vaticana has been started in 2002 with funds from the Ministry of the University and Research following a pilot program funded by the University of Padova in 2001. Identical systems composed by a high quality commercial scanner plus dedicated personal computers and acquisition software (developed initially at DLR Berlin) have been installed in all participating Institutes. Three main goals make up the total project: to provide high quality photometric sequences with the Campo Imperatore telescopes to be used on the scanned plates to perform astrometric measures taking advantage of the large span of time covered by the plates and to distribute the digitized information to all interested researchers via the international Web. This paper presents some of the activities carried out and results obtained so far
Mickaelian, A. M.
All-sky and large-area astronomical surveys and their cataloged data over the whole range of electromagnetic spectrum are reviewed, from γ-ray to radio, such as Fermi-GLAST and INTEGRAL in γ-ray, ROSAT, XMM and Chandra in X-ray, GALEX in UV, SDSS and several POSS I and II based catalogues (APM, MAPS, USNO, GSC) in optical range, 2MASS in NIR, WISE and AKARI IRC in MIR, IRAS and AKARI FIS in FIR, NVSS and FIRST in radio and many others, as well as most important surveys giving optical images (DSS I and II, SDSS, etc.), proper motions (Tycho, USNO, Gaia), variability (GCVS, NSVS, ASAS, Catalina, Pan-STARRS) and spectroscopic data (FBS, SBS, Case, HQS, HES, SDSS, CALIFA, GAMA). Most important astronomical databases and archives are reviewed as well, including Wide-Field Plate DataBase (WFPDB), ESO, HEASARC, IRSA and MAST archives, CDS SIMBAD, VizieR and Aladin, NED and HyperLEDA extragalactic databases, ADS and astro-ph services. They are powerful sources for many-sided efficient research using Virtual Observatory tools. Using and analysis of Big Data accumulated in astronomy lead to many new discoveries.
Orellana, Sonny; Zhao, Lei; Boussalis, Helen; Liu, Charles; Rad, Khosrow; Dong, Jane
Sponsored by the National Aeronautical Space Association (NASA), the Synergetic Education and Research in Enabling NASA-centered Academic Development of Engineers and Space Scientists (SERENADES) Laboratory was established at California State University, Los Angeles (CSULA). An important on-going research activity in this lab is to develop an easy-to-use image analysis software with the capability of automated object detection to facilitate astronomical research. This paper presented a fast object detection algorithm based on the characteristics of astronomical images. This algorithm consists of three steps. First, the foreground and background are separated using histogram-based approach. Second, connectivity analysis is conducted to extract individual object. The final step is post processing which refines the detection results. To improve the detection accuracy when some objects are blocked by clouds, top-hat transform is employed to split the sky into cloudy region and non-cloudy region. A multi-level thresholding algorithm is developed to select the optimal threshold for different regions. Experimental results show that our proposed approach can successfully detect the blocked objects by clouds.
National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Grid technologies provide a valuable solution for data intensive scientific applications but are not readily available for astronomical data and Interactive Data...
Federal Laboratory Consortium — Provides instrumentation support for flight tests of prototype weapons systems using a vast array of airborne sensors, transducers, signal conditioning and encoding...
Louys, Mireille; Bonnarel, Francois; Micol, Alberto; Chilingarian, Igor; McDowell, Jonathan
This document defines the high level metadata necessary to describe the physical parameter space of observed or simulated astronomical data sets, such as 2D-images, data cubes, X-ray event lists, IFU data, etc.. The Characterisation data model is an abstraction which can be used to derive a structured description of any relevant data and thus to facilitate its discovery and scientific interpretation. The model aims at facilitating the manipulation of heterogeneous data in any VO framework or portal. A VO Characterisation instance can include descriptions of the data axes, the range of coordinates covered by the data, and details of the data sampling and resolution on each axis. These descriptions should be in terms of physical variables, independent of instrumental signatures as far as possible. Implementations of this model has been described in the IVOA Note available at: http://www.ivoa.net/Documents/latest/ImplementationCharacterisation.html Utypes derived from this version of the UML model are listed and...
This paper describes the implementation of polycomp, a open-sourced, publicly available program for compressing one-dimensional data series in tabular format. The program is particularly suited for compressing smooth, noiseless streams of data like pointing information, as one of the algorithms it implements applies a combination of least squares polynomial fitting and discrete Chebyshev transforms that is able to achieve a compression ratio Cr up to ≈ 40 in the examples discussed in this work. This performance comes at the expense of a loss of information, whose upper bound is configured by the user. I show two areas in which the usage of polycomp is interesting. In the first example, I compress the ephemeris table of an astronomical object (Ganymede), obtaining Cr ≈ 20, with a compression error on the x , y , z coordinates smaller than 1 m. In the second example, I compress the publicly available timelines recorded by the Low Frequency Instrument (LFI), an array of microwave radiometers onboard the ESA Planck spacecraft. The compression reduces the needed storage from ∼ 6.5 TB to ≈ 0.75 TB (Cr ≈ 9), thus making them small enough to be kept in a portable hard drive.
This paper describes the implementation of polycomp, a open-sourced, publicly available program for compressing one-dimensional data series in tabular format. The program is particularly suited for compressing smooth, noiseless streams of data like pointing information, as one of the algorithms it implements applies a combination of least squares polynomial fitting and discrete Chebyshev transforms that is able to achieve a compression ratio Cr up to ~40 in the examples discussed in this work. This performance comes at the expense of a loss of information, whose upper bound is configured by the user. I show two areas in which the usage of polycomp is interesting. In the first example, I compress the ephemeris table of an astronomical object (Ganymede), obtaining Cr ~ 20, with a compression error on the x, y, z coordinates smaller than 1 m. In the second example, I compress the publicly available timelines recorded by the Low Frequency Instrument (LFI), an array of microwave radiometers onboard the ESA Planck ...
Day, B. H.; Munive, P.; Franco, J.; Jones, A. P.; Shaner, A. J.; Buxner, S.; Bleacher, L.
The astronomical star party has long been a powerful and effective way to engage the public and enhance cohesiveness within the amateur astronomy community. Early star parties tended to be strictly small, local events. But with improvements in transportation, larger regional star parties became popular. These advanced the considerable capabilities for citizen science in the amateur community, shared technology and engineering innovations in the field of telescope making, and refined numerous mathematical techniques in areas such instrument design and ephemeris generation, covering the full breadth of STEM. Advancements in astrophotography showcased at these events brought the star party from STEM to STEAM. Now, the advent of social media, web streaming, and virtual presence has facilitated the phenomenon of very large, networked star parties with international scope. These mega star parties take public engagement to a new, far greater levels, giving a vastly larger and more diverse public the opportunity to directly participate in exciting first-hand STEM activities. This presentation will recount the evolution of the star party and will focus on two examples of large, multinational, networked star parties, International Observe the Moon Night and Noche de las Estrellas. We will look at lessons learned and ways to participate.
Petersen, Carolyn Collins
The science of astronomy is one of the most accessible of the so-called "hard" sciences. Most people are familiar with some sky phenomena, and do not feel threatened at the prospect of learning more about the stars and planets. In the media, some of the best-known scientists are astronomers, and programs about astronomy tend to gather appreciatively large audiences. Planetarium facilities are a very special form of science media, with the fortunate task of presenting astronomy to the public. Like science writers, planetarium professionals take complex science information and make it accessible to the public with a variety of audio-visual techniques. Because many planetarium professionals have science backgrounds as well as educational training, they have an advantage over traditional media practitioners, who -- except for a few notable exceptions -- do not always have the luxury of a science background when it comes to writing about science. The unique background of the planetarian, however, builds a logical and natural link between astronomers and the public. This paper summarizes the wide variety of ways in which planetaria disseminate astronomy information -- ranging from live public lectures, to "astronomy updates", to hands-on activities for school children, and professionally-produced multi-media programs created especially for the needs of the domed theater. It ends with a few broad suggestions about possible roles for astronomers in any or all of these activities. Carolyn Collins Petersen has been a writer and producer of planetarium programs since 1980. Her programs have appeared in more than 500 facilities around the world. Her print work has appeared in the Denver Post, Sky and Telescope, Astronomy Magazine, and the Griffith Observer. She is the lead author of the upcoming book "Hubble Vision: Science With the Hubble Space Telescope" (due out from Cambridge University Press in Fall, 1995). Petersen has won several awards for her work. She is also a
Breckinridge, James B.; Lam, Wai Sze T.; Chipman, Russell A.
Detailed knowledge of the image of the point spread function (PSF) is necessary to optimize astronomical coronagraph masks and to understand potential sources of errors in astrometric measurements. The PSF for astronomical telescopes and instruments depends not only on geometric aberrations and scalar wave diffraction but also on those wavefront errors introduced by the physical optics and the polarization properties of reflecting and transmitting surfaces within the optical system. These vector wave aberrations, called polarization aberrations, result from two sources: (1) the mirror coatings necessary to make the highly reflecting mirror surfaces, and (2) the optical prescription with its inevitable non-normal incidence of rays on reflecting surfaces. The purpose of this article is to characterize the importance of polarization aberrations, to describe the analytical tools to calculate the PSF image, and to provide the background to understand how astronomical image data may be affected. To show the order of magnitude of the effects of polarization aberrations on astronomical images, a generic astronomical telescope configuration is analyzed here by modeling a fast Cassegrain telescope followed by a single 90° deviation fold mirror. All mirrors in this example use bare aluminum reflective coatings and the illumination wavelength is 800 nm. Our findings for this example telescope are: (1) The image plane irradiance distribution is the linear superposition of four PSF images: one for each of the two orthogonal polarizations and one for each of two cross-coupled polarization terms. (2) The PSF image is brighter by 9% for one polarization component compared to its orthogonal state. (3) The PSF images for two orthogonal linearly polarization components are shifted with respect to each other, causing the PSF image for unpolarized point sources to become slightly elongated (elliptical) with a centroid separation of about 0.6 mas. This is important for both astrometry