WorldWideScience

Sample records for astronomical instrumentation

  1. Islamic Astronomical Instruments and Observatories

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heidarzadeh, Tofigh

    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.

  2. Astronomical Polarimetry : new concepts, new instruments, new measurements & observations

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Snik, F.

    2009-01-01

    All astronomical sources are polarized to some degree. Polarimetry is therefore a powerful astronomical technique. It furnishes unique diagnostics of e.g. magnetic fields and scattering media. This thesis presents new polarimetric concepts, instruments, and measurements targeting astronomical scienc

  3. Astrophotonics: a new era for astronomical instruments

    CERN Document Server

    Bland-Hawthorn, J

    2009-01-01

    Astrophotonics lies at the interface of astronomy and photonics. This burgeoning field -- now formally recognized by the optics community -- has emerged over the past decade in response to the increasing demands of astronomical instrumentation. Early successes include: (i) planar waveguides to combine signals from widely spaced telescopes in stellar interferometry; (ii) frequency combs for ultra-high precision spectroscopy to detect planets around nearby stars; (iii) ultra-broadband fibre Bragg gratings to suppress unwanted background; (iv) photonic lanterns that allow single-mode behaviour within a multimode fibre; (v) planar waveguides to miniaturize astronomical spectrographs; (vi) large mode area fibres to generate artificial stars in the upper atmosphere for adaptive optics correction; (vii) liquid crystal polymers in optical vortex coronographs and adaptive optics systems. Astrophotonics, a field that has already created new photonic capabilities, is now extending its reach down to the Rayleigh scatteri...

  4. Temperature control system for optical elements in astronomical instrumentation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verducci, Orlando; de Oliveira, Antonio C.; Ribeiro, Flávio F.; Vital de Arruda, Márcio; Gneiding, Clemens D.; Fraga, Luciano

    2014-07-01

    Extremely low temperatures may damage the optical components assembled inside of an astronomical instrument due to the crack in the resin or glue used to attach lenses and mirrors. The environment, very cold and dry, in most of the astronomical observatories contributes to this problem. This paper describes the solution implemented at SOAR for remotely monitoring and controlling temperatures inside of a spectrograph, in order to prevent a possible damage of the optical parts. The system automatically switches on and off some heat dissipation elements, located near the optics, as the measured temperature reaches a trigger value. This value is set to a temperature at which the instrument is not operational to prevent malfunction and only to protect the optics. The software was developed with LabVIEWTM and based on an object-oriented design that offers flexibility and ease of maintenance. As result, the system is able to keep the internal temperature of the instrument above a chosen limit, except perhaps during the response time, due to inertia of the temperature. This inertia can be controlled and even avoided by choosing the correct amount of heat dissipation and location of the thermal elements. A log file records the measured temperature values by the system for operation analysis.

  5. Using XML and Java for Astronomical Instrument Control

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koons, L.; Ames, T.; Evans, R.; Warsaw, C.; Sall, K.

    1999-12-01

    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

  6. Advances in infrared and imaging fibres for astronomical instrumentation

    CERN Document Server

    Haynes, R; Marcel, J; Jovanovic, N; Haynes, Roger; Namara, Pam Mc; Marcel, Jackie; Jovanovic, Nemanja

    2006-01-01

    Optical fibres have already played a huge part in ground based astronomical instrumentation, however, with the revolution in photonics currently taking place new fibre technologies and integrated optical devices are likely to have a profound impact on the way we manipulate light in the future. The Anglo-Australian Observatory, along with partners at the Optical Fibre Technology Centre of the University of Sydney, is investigating some of the developing technologies as part of our Astrophotonics programme. In this paper we discuss the advances that have been made with infrared transmitting fibre, both conventional and microstructured, in particular those based on flouride glasses. Flouride glasses have a particularly wide transparent region from the UV through to around 7um, whereas silica fibres, commonly used in astronomy, only transmit out to about 2um. We discuss the impact of advances in fibre manufacture that have greatly improved the optical, chemical resistance and physical properties of the flouride f...

  7. MOEMS devices designed and tested for astronomical instrumentation in space

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zamkotsian, Frederic; Noell, Wilfried

    2012-03-01

    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.

  8. New Methods of Optical Modeling for Astronomical Instrumentation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sutin, B.

    1996-05-01

    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.

  9. Builders Instead of Consumers: Training Astronomers in Instrumentation & Observation

    CERN Document Server

    Tuttle, Sarah; Froning, Cynthia; Montgomery, Mike

    2014-01-01

    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.

  10. The 2006 SPIE Symposium on Astronomical Telescopes and Instrumentation ? Observing the Universe from Ground and Space

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moorwood, A.

    2006-06-01

    The most recent of these biennial SPIE (The International Society for Optical Engineering) Symposia was held from 24-31 May in the Orlando World Center Marriott Resort & Convention Center in Florida, USA. Over the last decade, these meetings have grown to become the main forum for presenting and discussing all aspects of ground-based, airborne and space telescopes and their instrumentation, including associated advances in technology, software, operations and even astronomical results. As a consequence the meetings are large and well attended by people at all levels in the process of initiating, approving, implementing and operating astronomical projects and facilities. This year there were ~ 1700 registered participants who presented ~ 1600 papers and posters in the following 12 parallel conferences which formed the heart of the meeting.

  11. The use of object-oriented techniques and CORBA in astronomical instrumentation control systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dipper, Nigel A.; Blackburn, Colin

    2004-09-01

    Control software for astronomy matches the ever increasing complexity of new large instrumentation projects. In order to speed the development cycle, object-oriented techniques have been used to generate loosely coupled software objects and larger scale components that can be reused in future projects. Such object-oriented systems provide for short development cycles which can respond to changing requirements and allow for extension. The Unified Modeling Language (UML) has been used for the analysis, design and implementation of this software. A distributed system is supported by the use of an object broker such as CORBA. These techniques are being applied to the development of an instrument control system for the UK spectrograph within FMOS (Fiber-fed Multi-Object Spectrograph). This is a second generation instrument for the Subaru Telescope of the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan.

  12. Design of a Micro-Autonomous Robot for Use in Astronomical Instruments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cochrane, W. A.; Luo, X.; Lim, T.; Taylor, W. D.; Schnetler, H.

    2012-07-01

    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.

  13. Scale Marking Method on the Circumference of Circle Elements for Astronomical Instruments in the Early Joseon Dynasty

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mihn, Byeong-Hee; Lee, Ki-Won; Ahn, Young Sook; Lee, Yong Sam

    2015-03-01

    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.

  14. Shape memory alloys for astronomical instrumentation: space and ground-based applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riva, M.; Rigamonti, D.; Zanetti, F.; Passaretti, F.; Villa, E.; Zerbi, F. M.

    2012-09-01

    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.

  15. Integrated photonic building blocks for next-generation astronomical instrumentation II: the multimode to single mode transition

    CERN Document Server

    Spaleniak, Izabela; Gross, Simon; Ireland, Michael J; Lawrence, Jon S; Withford, Michael J

    2013-01-01

    There are numerous advantages to exploiting diffraction-limited instrumentation at astronomical observatories, which include smaller footprints, less mechanical and thermal instabilities and high levels of performance. To realize such instrumentation it is imperative to convert the atmospheric seeing-limited signal that is captured by the telescope into a diffraction-limited signal. This process can be achieved photonically by using a mode reformatting device known as a photonic lantern that performs a multimode to single-mode transition. With the aim of developing an optimized integrated photonic lantern, we undertook a systematic parameter scan of devices fabricated by the femtosecond laser direct-write technique. The devices were designed for operation around 1.55 {\\mu}m. The devices showed (coupling and transition) losses of less than 5% for F/# $\\geq$ 12 injection and the total device throughput (including substrate absorption) as high as 75-80%. Such devices show great promise for future use in astronom...

  16. Interferometric characterization of MOEMS devices in cryogenic environment for astronomical instrumentation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zamkotsian, Frederic; Grassi, Emmanuel; Waldis, Severin; Barette, Rudy; Lanzoni, Patrick; Fabron, Christophe; Noell, Wilfried; de Rooij, Nico

    2008-02-01

    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.

  17. Searching for remains of a observation platform (pavimentum) of Nicolas Copernicus's astronomical instruments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lamparski, Piotr

    2014-05-01

    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

  18. Ancient astronomical instrument from Srubna burial of kurgan field Tavriya-1 (Northern Black Sea Coast)

    CERN Document Server

    Vodolazhskaya, Larisa; Nevskiy, Mikhail

    2014-01-01

    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 ...

  19. Generic control software connecting astronomical instruments to the reflective memory data recording system of VLTI - bossvlti

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pozna, E.; Ramirez, A.; Mérand, A.; Mueller, A.; Abuter, R.; Frahm, R.; Morel, S.; Schmid, C.; Duc, T. Phan; Delplancke-Ströbele, F.

    2014-07-01

    The quality of data obtained by VLTI instruments may be refined by analyzing the continuous data supplied by the Reflective Memory Network (RMN). Based on 5 years experience providing VLTI instruments (PACMAN, AMBER, MIDI) with RMN data, the procedure has been generalized to make the synchronization with observation trouble-free. The present software interface saves not only months of efforts for each instrument but also provides the benefits of software frameworks. Recent applications (GRAVITY, MATISSE) supply feedback for the software to evolve. The paper highlights the way common features been identified to be able to offer reusable code in due course.

  20. Astronomical Observatory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mansi Khanna

    2014-03-01

    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. 

  1. Astronomical Polarimetry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tinbergen, Jaap

    1996-09-01

    This handy volume provides a clear, comprehensive and concise introduction to astronomical polarimetry at all wavelengths. Starting from first principles and a simple physical picture of polarized radiation, the author introduces the reader to all the key topics, including Stokes parameters, applications of polarimetry in astronomy, polarization algebra, polarization errors and calibration methods, and a selection of instruments (from radio to X-ray). The author rounds off the book with a number of useful case studies, a collection of exercises, an extensive list of further reading and an informative index. This review of all aspects of astronomical polarization provides both an essential introduction for graduate students, and a valuable reference for practicing astronomers.

  2. UNICS - An Unified Instrument Control System for Small/Medium Sized Astronomical Observatories

    CERN Document Server

    Srivastava, Mudit K; Burse, Mahesh P; Chordia, Pravin A; Chillal, Kalpesh S; Mestry, Vilas B; Das, Hillol K; Kohok, Abhay A

    2009-01-01

    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...

  3. The Effectiveness of Internet-Controlled Astronomical Research Instrumentation for Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pratap, Preethi; Salah, Joseph

    2004-01-01

    Over the last decade, remote instruments have become widely used in astronomy. Educational applications are more recent. This paper describes a program to bring radio astronomy into the undergraduate classroom through the use of a remote research-grade radio telescope, the MIT Haystack Observatory 37 m telescope. We examine the effectiveness of…

  4. Astronomical optics

    CERN Document Server

    Schroeder, Daniel J

    1988-01-01

    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

  5. A practical approach to ontology-enabled control systems for astronomical instrumentation

    CERN Document Server

    Pessemier, Wim; Van Winckel, Hans; Deconinck, Geert; Saey, Philippe

    2014-01-01

    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 ...

  6. Astronomical Cybersketching

    CERN Document Server

    Grego, Peter

    2009-01-01

    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

  7. Astronomical Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neuenschwander, D. E.; Finkenbinder, L. R.

    2004-05-01

    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.

  8. Australian sites of astronomical heritage

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stevenson, T.; Lomb, N.

    2015-03-01

    The heritage of astronomy in Australia has proven an effective communication medium. By interpreting science as a social and cultural phenomenon new light is thrown on challenges, such as the dispersal of instruments and problems identifying contemporary astronomy heritage. Astronomers are asked to take note and to consider the communication of astronomy now and in the future through a tangible heritage legacy.

  9. Instrumentation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  10. Instrumentation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Decreton, M

    2001-04-01

    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.

  11. Instrumentation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  12. Instrumentation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Decreton, M

    2000-07-01

    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.

  13. Biographical encyclopedia of astronomers

    CERN Document Server

    Trimble, Virginia; Williams, Thomas; Bracher, Katherine; Jarrell, Richard; Marché, Jordan; Palmeri, JoAnn; Green, Daniel

    2014-01-01

    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.

  14. Water-Powered Astronomical Clock Tower

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Xiaochun

    The construction of water-powered astronomical instruments was a long tradition of instrument making that started in the second century AD with Zhang Heng's water-powered celestial globe. The technology reached a peak when, in the eleventh century, Su Song and his team constructed the Water-Powered Astronomical Clock Tower which combined the armillary sphere, the celestial globe, and the time-keeping mechanism into a large automatic structure. Su Song's instrument contained a mechanism for controlling the water-powered movements of its wheels that amounts to an "escapement mechanism" for a mechanical clock. A new reconstruction of the mechanism is introduced in this chapter.

  15. Instruments

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Buehrer, W. [Paul Scherrer Inst. (PSI), Villigen (Switzerland)

    1996-12-31

    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.

  16. Astronomical optics and elasticity theory

    CERN Document Server

    Lemaitre, Gerard Rene

    2008-01-01

    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.

  17. Auto Adjusting Astronomical Telescope

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rohit R. Ghalsasi

    2014-04-01

    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.

  18. Conceptual approach to astronomical problems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skvortsov, N. A.; Avvakumova, E. A.; Bryukhov, D. O.; Vovchenko, A. E.; Vol'nova, A. A.; Dluzhnevskaya, O. B.; Kaigorodov, P. V.; Kalinichenko, L. A.; Kniazev, A. Yu.; Kovaleva, D. A.; Malkov, O. Yu.; Pozanenko, A. S.; Stupnikov, S. A.

    2016-01-01

    New technical capabilities have brought about the sweeping growth of the amount of data acquired by the astronomers from observations with different instruments in various parts of the electromagnetic spectrum. We consider conceptual approach to be a promising tool to efficiently deal with these data. It uses problem domain knowledge to formulate the tasks and develop problem-solving algorithms and data analysis methods in terms of domain concepts without reference to particular data sources, and thereby allows solving certain problems in general form. We demonstrate the benefits of conceptual approach by using it to solve problems related to search for secondary photometric standard candidates, determination of galaxy redshifts, creation of a binary and multiple star repository based on inhomogeneous databases, and classification of eclipsing binaries.We formulate and solve these problems over specifications of astronomical knowledge units such as photometric systems, astronomical objects, multiple stars, etc., and define them in terms of the corresponding problem domains independently of the existing data resources.

  19. ASTRONOMICAL OBSERVING SYSTEM OVER THE ELECTROMAGNETIC SPECTRUM

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. B. BHATTACHARYA,

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available The astronomical instruments over the electromagnetic spectrum that had been brought towards perfection owing to sudden arrival of radio astronomy are outlined. Improved techniques of observations from space,in situ exploration of the solar system as well as the advent of computer technologies have directed lines of new possibilities, which have been critically examined.

  20. Astronomical Video Suites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Francisco Salgado, Jose

    2010-01-01

    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.

  1. The Infrared Astronomical Mission AKARI

    CERN Document Server

    Murakami, H; Barthel, P; Clements, D L; Cohen, M; Doi, Y; Enya, K; Figueredo, E; Fujishiro, N; Fujiwara, H; Fujiwara, M; García-Lario, P; Goto, T; Hasegawa, S; Hibi, Y; Hirao, T; Hiromoto, N; Hong, S S; Imai, K; Ishigaki, M; Ishiguro, M; Ishihara, D; Ita, Y; Jeong, W -S; Jeong, K S; Kaneda, H; Kataza, H; Kawada, M; Kawai, T; Kawamura, A; Kessler, M F; Kester, Do; Kii, T; Kim, D C; Kim, W; Kobayashi, H; Koo, B C; Kwon, S M; Lee, H M; Lorente, R; Makiuti, S; Matsuhara, H; Matsumoto, T; Matsuo, H; Matsuura, S; Müller, T G; Murakami, N; Nagata, H; Nakagawa, T; Naoi, T; Narita, M; Noda, M; Oh, S H; Ohnishi, A; Ohyama, Y; Okada, Y; Okuda, H; Oliver, S; Onaka, T; Ootsubo, T; Oyabu, S; Pak, S; Park, Y S; Pearson, C P; Rowan-Robinson, M; Saitô, T; Sakon, I; Salama, A; Sato, S; Savage, R S; Serjeant, S; Shibai, H; Shirahata, M; Sohn, J J; Suzuki, T; Takagi, T; Takahashi, H; Tanabé, T; Takeuchi, T T; Takita, S; Thomson, M; Uemizu, K; Ueno, M; Usui, F; Verdugo, E; Wada, T; Wang, L; Watabe, T; Watarai, H; White, G J; Yamamura, I; Yamauchi, C; Yasuda, A

    2007-01-01

    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 survey operation. The in-orbit cryogen lifetime is expected to be one and a half years. The All-Sky Survey will cover more than 90 percent of the whole sky with higher spatial resolution and wider wavelength coverage than that of the previous IRAS all-sky survey. Point source catalogues of the All-Sky Survey will be released to the astronomical community. The pointed observations will be used for deep surveys of selected sky areas and systematic observations of important astronomical targets. These will become an additional ...

  2. Astronomical Optical Interferometry. I. Methods and Instrumentation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jankov, S.

    2010-12-01

    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.

  3. Architecture and performance of astronomical adaptive optics systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bloemhof, E.

    2002-01-01

    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.

  4. Thirteenth Joint European and National Astronomical Meeting

    CERN Document Server

    Iniesta, J C

    2006-01-01

    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.

  5. Decoding the mechanisms of Antikythera astronomical device

    CERN Document Server

    Lin, Jian-Liang

    2016-01-01

    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...

  6. Alternative Astronomical FITS imaging

    CERN Document Server

    Varsaki, Eleni E; Fotopoulos, Vassilis; Skodras, Athanassios N

    2012-01-01

    Astronomical radio maps are presented mainly in FITS format. Astronomical Image Processing Software (AIPS) uses a set of tables attached to the output map to include all sorts of information concerning the production of the image. However this information together with information on the flux and noise of the map is lost as soon as the image of the radio source in fits or other format is extracted from AIPS. This information would have been valuable to another astronomer who just uses NED, for example, to download the map. In the current work, we show a method of data hiding inside the radio map, which can be preserved under transformations, even for example while the format of the map is changed from fits to other lossless available image formats.

  7. Atlas of Astronomical Discoveries

    CERN Document Server

    Schilling, Govert

    2011-01-01

    Four hundred years ago in Middelburg, in the Netherlands, the telescope was invented. The invention unleashed a revolution in the exploration of the universe. Galileo Galilei discovered mountains on the Moon, spots on the Sun, and moons around Jupiter. Christiaan Huygens saw details on Mars and rings around Saturn. William Herschel discovered a new planet and mapped binary stars and nebulae. Other astronomers determined the distances to stars, unraveled the structure of the Milky Way, and discovered the expansion of the universe. And, as telescopes became bigger and more powerful, astronomers delved deeper into the mysteries of the cosmos. In his Atlas of Astronomical Discoveries, astronomy journalist Govert Schilling tells the story of 400 years of telescopic astronomy. He looks at the 100 most important discoveries since the invention of the telescope. In his direct and accessible style, the author takes his readers on an exciting journey encompassing the highlights of four centuries of astronomy. Spectacul...

  8. Astrobiology: An Astronomer's Perspective

    OpenAIRE

    Bergin, Edwin A.

    2013-01-01

    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...

  9. Ancient Astronomical Monuments of Athens

    Science.gov (United States)

    Theodossiou, E.; Manimanis, V. N.

    2010-07-01

    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.

  10. A Survey for Transient Astronomical Radio Emission at 611 MHz

    OpenAIRE

    Katz, C. A.; Hewitt, J. N.; Corey, B. E.; Moore, C. B.

    2003-01-01

    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...

  11. Astronomers as Software Developers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pildis, Rachel A.

    2016-01-01

    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.

  12. Extracting Knowledge From Massive Astronomical Data Sets

    CERN Document Server

    Brescia, Massimo; Djorgovski, S G; Donalek, Ciro; Longo, Giuseppe; Paolillo, Maurizio

    2011-01-01

    The exponential growth of astronomical data collected by both ground based and space borne instruments has fostered the growth of Astroinformatics: a new discipline laying at the intersection between astronomy, applied computer science, and information and computation (ICT) technologies. At the very heart of Astroinformatics is a complex set of methodologies usually called Data Mining (DM) or Knowledge Discovery in Data Bases (KDD). In the astronomical domain, DM/KDD are still in a very early usage stage, even though new methods and tools are being continuously deployed in order to cope with the Massive Data Sets (MDS) that can only grow in the future. In this paper, we briefly outline some general problems encountered when applying DM/KDD methods to astrophysical problems, and describe the DAME (DAta Mining & Exploration) web application. While specifically tailored to work on MDS, DAME can be effectively applied also to smaller data sets. As an illustration, we describe two application of DAME to two di...

  13. BAA instrument no. 93

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marriott, R. A.

    2006-12-01

    Instrument no. 93 has been in almost continual use for more than a hundred years. Since it left the workshop of its maker, George Calver, it has kept company with several other notable instruments and has been used by many eminent astronomers. It was added to the Association's collection in 1945.

  14. Astronomy Legacy Project - Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barker, Thurburn; Castelaz, Michael W.; Rottler, Lee; Cline, J. Donald

    2016-01-01

    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/).

  15. The Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers

    CERN Document Server

    Hockey, Thomas; Williams, Thomas R; Bracher, Katherine; Jarrell, Richard A; Marché, Jordan D; Ragep, F. Jamil; Palmeri, JoAnn; Bolt, Marvin

    2007-01-01

    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.

  16. Really Bad Astronomers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hockey, Thomas A.

    2009-01-01

    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.

  17. Grigor Narekatsi's astronomical insights

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poghosyan, Samvel

    2015-07-01

    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.

  18. Professional Ethics for Astronomers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marvel, K. B.

    2005-05-01

    There is a growing recognition that professional ethics is an important topic for all professional scientists, especially physical scientists. Situations at the National Laboratories have dramatically proven this point. Professional ethics is usually only considered important for the health sciences and the legal and medical professions. However, certain aspects of the day to day work of professional astronomers can be impacted by ethical issues. Examples include refereeing scientific papers, serving on grant panels or telescope allocation committees, submitting grant proposals, providing proper references in publications, proposals or talks and even writing recommendation letters for job candidates or serving on search committees. This session will feature several speakers on a variety of topics and provide time for questions and answers from the audience. Confirmed speakers include: Kate Kirby, Director Institute for Theoretical Atomic and Molecular Physics - Professional Ethics in the Physical Sciences: An Overview Rob Kennicutt, Astrophysical Journal Editor - Ethical Issues for Publishing Astronomers Peggy Fischer, Office of the NSF Inspector General - Professional Ethics from the NSF Inspector General's Point of View

  19. VEGAS: VErsatile GBT Astronomical Spectrometer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bussa, Srikanth; VEGAS Development Team

    2012-01-01

    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.

  20. Astronomical tides and earthquakes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Xiaoping; Mao, Wei; Huang, Yong

    2001-03-01

    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.

  1. The SIMBAD astronomical database

    CERN Document Server

    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

    2000-01-01

    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

  2. UNI Astronomical Observatory - OAUNI: First light

    CERN Document Server

    Pereyra, Antonio; Meza, Erick; Cori, William; Ricra, José; Zevallos, Maria Isela

    2015-01-01

    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.

  3. TMT in the Astronomical Landscape of the 2020s

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dickinson, Mark; Inami, Hanae

    2014-07-01

    Thirty Meter Telescope Observatory and NOAO will host the second TMT Science Forum at Loews Ventana Canyon Resort in Tucson, Arizona. The TMT Science Forum is an an annual gathering of astronomers, educators, and observatory staff, who meet to explore TMT science, instrumentation, observatory operations, archiving and data processing, astronomy education, and science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) issues. It is an opportunity for astronomers from the international TMT partners and from the US-at-large community to learn about the observatory status, discuss and plan cutting-edge science, establish collaborations, and to help shape the future of TMT. One important theme for this year's Forum will be the synergy between TMT and other facilities in the post-2020 astronomical landscape. There will be plenary sessions, an instrumentation workshop, topical science sessions and meetings of the TMT International Science Development Teams (ISDTs).

  4. XEphem: Interactive Astronomical Ephemeris

    Science.gov (United States)

    Downey, Elwood Charles

    2011-12-01

    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.

  5. Thirty years of astronomical discovery with UKIRT

    CERN Document Server

    Davies, John; Robson, Ian; The Scientific Achievement of the United Kingdom InfraRed Telescope

    2013-01-01

    These are the proceedings of an international meeting hosted by the Royal Observatory, Edinburgh, to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the dedication of the UKIRT, the United Kingdom InfraRed Telescope. The volume comprises 31 professional level papers. The first part of the book has 10 thorough reviews of the conception, design and build of the telescope, as well as accounts of some its key instruments such as IRCAM (the common-user infrared camera), CGS4 (the fourth Cooled Grating Spectrometer) and the Wide Field Camera. The second part of the book comprises 14 reviews of scientific achievements during its twenty years of visitor mode operations. The final part of the book is a series of 7 reviews of the results from the multiple surveys being done as part of UKIDSS (UKIRT Infrared Deep Sky Survey). The authors are all experts in their respective fields, for example instrument scientists, operations staff and leading astronomers.

  6. Using commercial amateur astronomical spectrographs

    CERN Document Server

    Hopkins, Jeffrey L

    2014-01-01

    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 ...

  7. Sixteenth Century Astronomical Telescopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Usher, P. D.

    2001-12-01

    Ophelia in Shakespeare's Hamlet is named for the ``moist star" which in mythology is the partner of Hamlet's royal Sun. Together the couple seem destined to rule on earth just as their celestial counterparts rule the heavens, but the tragedy is that they are afflicted, just as the Sun and Moon are blemished. In 1.3 Laertes lectures Ophelia on love and chastity, describing first Cytherean phases (crescent to gibbous) and then Lunar craters. Spots mar the Sun (1.1, 3.1). Also reported are Jupiter's Red Spot (3.4) and the resolution of the Milky Way into stars (2.2). These interpretations are well-founded and support the cosmic allegory. Observations must have been made with optical aid, probably the perspective glass of Leonard Digges, father of Thomas Digges. Notably absent from Hamlet is mention of the Galilean moons, owing perhaps to the narrow field-of-view of the telescope. That discovery is later celebrated in Cymbeline, published soon after Galileo's Siderius Nuncius in 1610. In 5.4 of Cymbeline the four ghosts dance ``in imitation of planetary motions" and at Jupiter's behest place a book on the chest of Posthumus Leonatus. His name identifies the Digges father and son as the source of data in Hamlet since Jupiter's moons were discovered after the deaths of Leonard (``leon+hart") and Thomas (the ``lion's whelp"). Lines in 5.4 urge us not to read more into the book than is contained between its covers; this is understandable because Hamlet had already reported the other data in support of heliocentricism and the cosmic model discussed and depicted by Thomas Digges in 1576. I conclude therefore that astronomical telescopy began in England before the last quarter of the sixteenth century.

  8. Enthusiastic Little Astronomers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Novak, Ines

    2016-04-01

    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

  9. The New Amateur Astronomer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mobberley, Martin

    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

  10. The Virtual Observatory and its Benefits for Amateur Astronomers

    CERN Document Server

    Škoda, Petr

    2011-01-01

    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...

  11. Choosing and using astronomical eyepieces

    CERN Document Server

    Paolini, William

    2013-01-01

    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...

  12. Astronomical Image and Data Analysis

    CERN Document Server

    Starck, J.-L

    2006-01-01

    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...

  13. Choosing and using astronomical filters

    CERN Document Server

    Griffiths, Martin

    2014-01-01

    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

  14. Two amateur astronomers at Berkeley

    CERN Document Server

    Sparavigna, Amelia Carolina

    2012-01-01

    The book on Mechanics of the Physics at Berkeley, by C. Kittel, W.D. Knight and M.A. Ruderman, is proposing at the end of its first chapter some problems of simple astronomy within the solar system. The discussion begins with two amateur astronomers who set for themselves the goal of determining the diameter and mass of the Sun. Here we discuss the problems proposed by the book and some other matters on ancient and modern astronomical studies of the solar system.

  15. Die Gerling Sternwarte (Gerling Astronomical Observatory)

    CERN Document Server

    Schrimpf, Andreas

    2015-01-01

    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.

  16. Multinational History of Strasbourg Astronomical Observatory

    CERN Document Server

    Heck, André

    2005-01-01

    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...

  17. Integral Programme of Basic Astronomic Literacy Development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tignanelli, H.

    2009-05-01

    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.

  18. AIPY: Astronomical Interferometry in PYthon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parsons, Aaron

    2016-09-01

    AIPY collects together tools for radio astronomical interferometry. In addition to pure-python phasing, calibration, imaging, and deconvolution code, this package includes interfaces to MIRIAD (ascl:1106.007) and HEALPix (ascl:1107.018), and math/fitting routines from SciPy.

  19. An Astronomical Data Analyzing Monitor

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teuber, D.

    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.

  20. Eighth Scientific Meeting of the Spanish Astronomical Society

    CERN Document Server

    Diego, Jose M; González-Serrano, J. Ignacio; Gorgas, Javier; Highlights of Spanish Astrophysics V

    2010-01-01

    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.

  1. Engaging Students through Astronomically Inspired Music

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whitehouse, M.

    2011-09-01

    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.

  2. The astronomical tables of Giovanni Bianchini

    CERN Document Server

    Chabas, Jose

    2009-01-01

    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.

  3. Interactive Visualization and Simulation of Astronomical Nebulae

    CERN Document Server

    Wenger, Stephan; Steffen, Wolfgang; Koning, Nico; Weiskopf, Daniel; Magnor, Marcus

    2012-01-01

    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.

  4. Astronomical calibration of the Maastrichtian (Late Cretaceous)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Husson, Dorothée; Galbrun, Bruno; Laskar, Jacques;

    2011-01-01

    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...

  5. Radioastronomy at the National Astronomical Observatory of Colombia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guevara Gómez, J. C.; Calvo-Mozo, B.; Martinez Oliveros, J. C.

    2015-12-01

    Colombia is located in the northern tip of South America close to the amazon rain forest. This makes astronomical observations in the visible range very challenging, as cloud coverage is relatively high. Hence, radio astronomy becomes a natural and good choice. We present the design, characterization and first results of the Observatorio Astronomico Nacional solar radio spectrograph. This instrument is a Log-Periodic Dipole Array Antenna (LPDA) working between 100 MHz and 1 GHz optimized for solar observations. The radio spectrograph is a working prototype for a more ambitious solar radio interferometer, that will be the first instrument of this kind in Colombia.

  6. On the emissivity of wire-grid polarizers for astronomical observations at mm-wavelengths

    CERN Document Server

    Schillaci, Alessandro; Alessandro, Giuseppe D'; de Bernardis, Paolo; Masi, Silvia

    2012-01-01

    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.

  7. National Astronomical Observatory of Japan

    CERN Document Server

    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

    2010-01-01

    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.

  8. Atmospheric Scintillation in Astronomical Photometry

    CERN Document Server

    Osborn, J; Dhillon, V S; Wilson, R W

    2015-01-01

    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 ...

  9. Geopulsation, Volcanism and Astronomical Periods

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Yang Xuexiang; Chen Dianyou; Yang Xiaoying; Yang Shuchen

    2000-01-01

    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.

  10. Observatory Sponsoring Astronomical Image Contest

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-05-01

    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

  11. Astronomical Signatures of Dark Matter

    OpenAIRE

    Paul Gorenstein; Wallace Tucker

    2014-01-01

    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...

  12. Euler: Genius Blind Astronomer Mathematician

    OpenAIRE

    Musielak, Dora

    2014-01-01

    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...

  13. Armenian Astronomical Society Annual Activities in 2014

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mickaelian, A. M.

    2015-07-01

    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.

  14. Different Categories of Astronomical Heritage: Issues and Challenges

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruggles, Clive

    2012-09-01

    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

  15. Powerful Radio Burst Indicates New Astronomical Phenomenon

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-09-01

    . "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

  16. Powerful Radio Burst Indicates New Astronomical Phenomenon

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-09-01

    . "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

  17. Astronomical measurement a concise guide

    CERN Document Server

    Lawrence, Andy

    2014-01-01

    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.

  18. Visualizing Astronomical Data with Blender

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kent, Brian R.

    2014-01-01

    We present methods for using the 3D graphics program Blender in the visualization of astronomical data. The software's forte for animating 3D data lends itself well to use in astronomy. The Blender graphical user interface and Python scripting capabilities can be utilized in the generation of models for data cubes, catalogs, simulations, and surface maps. We review methods for data import, 2D and 3D voxel texture applications, animations, camera movement, and composite renders. Rendering times can be improved by using graphic processing units (GPUs). A number of examples are shown using the software features most applicable to various kinds of data paradigms in astronomy.

  19. Focus on astronomical predictable events

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jacobsen, Aase Roland

    2006-01-01

    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....

  20. Formation flight astronomical survey telescope

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsunemi, Hiroshi

    2012-03-01

    Formation Flight Astronomical Survey Telescope (FFAST) is a project for hard X-ray observation. It consists of two small satellites; one (telescope satellite) has a super mirror covering the energy range up to 80 keV while the other (detector satellite) has an scintillator deposited CCD (SDCCD) having good spatial resolution and high efficiency up to 100 keV. Two satellites will be put into individual Kepler orbits forming an X-ray telescope with a focal length of 20 m. They will be not in pointing mode but in survey mode to cover a large sky region.

  1. astroplan: Observation Planning for Astronomers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morris, Brett

    2016-03-01

    Astroplan is an observation planning package for astronomers. It is an astropy-affiliated package which began as a Google Summer of Code project. Astroplan facilitates convenient calculation of common observational quantities, like target altitudes and azimuths, airmasses, and rise/set times. Astroplan also computes when targets are observable given various extensible observing constraints, for example: within a range of airmasses or altitudes, or at a given separation from the Moon. Astroplan is taught in the undergraduate programming for astronomy class, and enables observational Pre- MAP projects at the University of Washington. In the near future, we plan to implement scheduling capabilities in astroplan on top of the constraints framework.

  2. Optimization of radio astronomical observations using Allan variance measurements

    CERN Document Server

    Schieder, R

    2001-01-01

    Stability tests based on the Allan variance method have become a standard procedure for the evaluation of the quality of radio-astronomical instrumentation. They are very simple and simulate the situation when detecting weak signals buried in large noise fluctuations. For the special conditions during observations an outline of the basic properties of the Allan variance is given, and some guidelines how to interpret the results of the measurements are presented. Based on a rather simple mathematical treatment clear rules for observations in ``Position-Switch'', ``Beam-'' or ``Frequency-Switch'', ``On-The-Fly-'' and ``Raster-Mapping'' mode are derived. Also, a simple ``rule of the thumb'' for an estimate of the optimum timing for the observations is found. The analysis leads to a conclusive strategy how to plan radio-astronomical observations. Particularly for air- and space-borne observatories it is very important to determine, how the extremely precious observing time can be used with maximum efficiency. The...

  3. The Tractor: Probabilistic astronomical source detection and measurement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lang, Dustin; Hogg, David W.; Mykytyn, David

    2016-04-01

    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.

  4. Explanatory supplement to the astronomical almanac

    CERN Document Server

    Urban, Sean E

    2013-01-01

    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...

  5. Processing Color in Astronomical Imagery

    CERN Document Server

    Arcand, Kimberly K; Rector, Travis; Levay, Zoltan G; DePasquale, Joseph; Smarr, Olivia

    2013-01-01

    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 ...

  6. LGBT Workplace Issues for Astronomers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kay, Laura E.; Danner, R.; Sellgren, K.; Dixon, V.; GLBTQastro

    2011-01-01

    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.

  7. Astronomers in the Chemist's War

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trimble, Virginia L.

    2012-01-01

    World War II, with radar, rockets, and "atomic" bombs was the physicists' war. And many of us know, or think we know, what our more senior colleagues did during it, with Hubble and Hoffleit at Aberdeen; M. Schwarzschild on active duty in Italy; Bondi, Gold, and Hoyle hunkered down in Dunsfeld, Surrey, talking about radar, and perhaps steady state; Greenstein and Henyey designing all-sky cameras; and many astronomers teaching navigation. World War I was The Chemists' War, featuring poison gases, the need to produce liquid fuels from coal on one side of the English Channel and to replace previously-imported dyesstuffs on the other. The talke will focus on what astronomers did and had done to them between 1914 and 1919, from Freundlich (taken prisoner on an eclipse expedition days after the outbreak of hostilities) to Edwin Hubble, returning from France without ever having quite reached the front lines. Other events bore richer fruit (Hale and the National Research Council), but very few of the stories are happy ones. Most of us have neither first nor second hand memories of The Chemists' War, but I had the pleasure of dining with a former Freundlich student a couple of weeks ago.

  8. Astronomical Signatures of Dark Matter

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul Gorenstein

    2014-01-01

    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.

  9. Astronomical Symbolism in Australian Aboriginal Rock Art

    CERN Document Server

    Norris, Ray P

    2010-01-01

    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.

  10. Model based systems engineering for astronomical projects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karban, R.; Andolfato, L.; Bristow, P.; Chiozzi, G.; Esselborn, M.; Schilling, M.; Schmid, C.; Sommer, H.; Zamparelli, M.

    2014-08-01

    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)

  11. Compact Stirling cooling of astronomical detectors

    CERN Document Server

    Raskin, Gert; Pessemier, Wim; Padilla, Jesus Perez; Vandersteen, Jeroen

    2013-01-01

    MAIA, a three-channel imager targeting fast cadence photometry, was recently installed on the Mercator telescope (La Palma, Spain). This instrument observes a 9.4 x 14.1 arcmin field of view simultaneously in three color bands ($u$, $g$ and $r$), using three of the largest (un-) available frame-transfer CCDs, namely the 2k x 6k CCD42-C0 from e2v. As these detectors are housed in three separate cryostats, compact cooling devices are required that offer sufficient power to cool the large chips to a temperature of 165K. We explored a broad spectrum of cooling options and technologies to cool the MAIA detectors. Finally, compact free-piston Stirling coolers were selected, namely the CryoTel MT cryo-coolers from SUNPOWER, that can extract 5W of heat at a temperature of 77K. In this contribution we give details of the MAIA detector cooling solution. We also discuss the general usability of this type of closed-cycle cryo-coolers for astronomical detectors. They offer distinct advantages but the vibrations caused by ...

  12. Christopher Clavius astronomer and mathematician

    CERN Document Server

    Sigismondi, Costantino

    2012-01-01

    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.

  13. IAU Public Astronomical Organisations Network

    Science.gov (United States)

    Canas, Lina; Cheung, Sze Leung

    2015-08-01

    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.

  14. Astronomical arguments in Newton's Chronology

    CERN Document Server

    Naze, Yael

    2012-01-01

    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.

  15. Astronomical Data in Undergraduate courses

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

    2016-06-01

    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

  16. Novel Algorithms for Astronomical Plate Analyses

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Rene Hudec; Lukas Hudec

    2011-03-01

    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.

  17. Promotion Method of the Mission Concerning an Astronomical Observation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Okuda, Haruyuki

    1996-01-01

    Astronomical observation from space station can utilize big resource and there are possibilities of repairing parts and instruments. On the other hand, there are drawbacks such as strong limitation to the observing posture, difficulty in precise pointing and reduction of optical system function due to exhaust emission contamination. From these point of view, the following mission are listed as the candidate: (1) whole sky monitor observation by X rays and gamma rays; (2) high energy cosmic rays observation; (3) sun observation; and (4) cosmic dust experiment. The space station plan are not only big but also worldwide international cooperation work. So there are still many factors not cleared yet.

  18. The Past, Present and Future of Astronomical Data Formats

    CERN Document Server

    Mink, Jessica; Hanisch, Robert; Rots, Arnold; Seaman, Rob; Jenness, Tim; Thomas, Brian; O'Mullane, William

    2014-01-01

    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.

  19. An intelligent object recognizer and classification system for astronomical use

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernat, Andrew P.; Mcgraw, John T.

    1986-01-01

    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.

  20. A SURVEY OF ASTRONOMICAL RESEARCH: A BASELINE FOR ASTRONOMICAL DEVELOPMENT

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  1. A Survey of Astronomical Research: A Baseline for Astronomical Development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ribeiro, V. A. R. M.; Russo, P.; Cárdenas-Avendaño, A.

    2013-12-01

    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.

  2. A Mythological, Philosophical and Astronomical approach of our solar system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drivas, Sotirios; Kastanidou, Sofia

    2016-04-01

    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.

  3. Young Galaxy's Magnetism Surprises Astronomers

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-10-01

    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

  4. Supporting Evidence for the Astronomically Calibrated Age of Fish Canyon Sanidine

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rivera, Tiffany; Storey, Michael; Zeeden, Christian;

    . The direct tuning of this section was achieved through correlation to long (~400-kyr) and short (~100-kyr) eccentricity, followed by tuning - of basic sedimentary cycles - to precession and summer insolation, using the La2004(1,1) astronomical solution (Laskar, et al., 2004). We employed a Nu Instruments...

  5. Astronomical pipeline processing using fuzzy logic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shamir, Lior

    In the past few years, pipelines providing astronomical data have been becoming increasingly important. The wide use of robotic telescopes has provided significant discoveries, and sky survey projects such as SDSS and the future LSST are now considered among the premier projects in the field astronomy. The huge amount of data produced by these pipelines raises the need for automatic processing. Astronomical pipelines introduce several well-defined problems such as astronomical image compression, cosmic-ray hit rejection, transient detection, meteor triangulation and association of point sources with their corresponding known stellar objects. We developed and applied soft computing algorithms that provide new or improved solutions to these growing problems in the field of pipeline processing of astronomical data. One new approach that we use is fuzzy logic-based algorithms, which enables the automatic analysis of the astronomical pipelines and allows mining the data for not-yet-known astronomical discoveries such as optical transients and variable stars. The developed algorithms have been tested with excellent results on the NightSkyLive sky survey, which provides a pipeline of 150 astronomical pictures per hour, and covers almost the entire global night sky.

  6. Astronomical Surveys and Big Data

    CERN Document Server

    Mickaelian, A M

    2015-01-01

    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...

  7. Astronomical surveys and big data

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  8. Astronomical Knowledge in Holy Books

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farmanyan, Sona V.; Mickaelian, Areg M.

    2015-08-01

    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.

  9. Franklin Edward Kameny (1925-2011, Astronomer)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wright, Jason

    2012-01-01

    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.

  10. Astronomical problems an introductory course in astronomy

    CERN Document Server

    Vorontsov-Vel'Yaminov, B A

    1969-01-01

    Astronomical Problems: An Introductory Course in Astronomy covers astronomical problems, together with a summary of the theory and the formula to be exercised. The book discusses the types of problems solved with the help of the celestial globe and how to solve astronomical problems. The text tackles problems on interpolation, the celestial sphere, systems of celestial coordinates, and culmination. Problems about the rising and setting of a heavenly body, precession, planetary movement, and parallax and aberration are also considered. The book presents problems about refraction, the apparent m

  11. Zach's instruments and their characteristics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolfschmidt, Gudrun

    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.

  12. An evolvable space telescope for future astronomical missions 2015 update

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

    2015-09-01

    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.

  13. Commissioning Instrument for the GTC

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cuevas, S.; Sánchez, B.; Bringas, V.; Espejo, C.; Flores, R.; Chapa, O.; Lara, G.; Chavolla, A.; Anguiano, G.; Arciniega, S.; Dorantes, A.; González, J. L.; Montoya, J. M.; Toral, R.; Hernández, H.; Nava, R.; Devaney, N.; Castro, J.; Cavaller-Marqués, L.

    2005-12-01

    During the GTC integration phase, the Commissioning Instrument (CI) will be a diagnostic tool for performance verification. The CI features four operation modes: imaging, pupil imaging, Curvature WFS, and high resolution Shack-Hartmann WFS. This instrument was built by the Instituto de Astronomía UNAM and the Centro de Ingeniería y Desarrollo Industrial (CIDESI) under GRANTECAN contract after a public bid. In this paper we made a general instrument overview and we show some of the performance final results obtained when the Factory Acceptance tests previous to its transport to La Palma.

  14. John Flamsteed and the turn of the screw: mechanical uncertainty, the skilful astronomer and the burden of seeing correctly at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spiegel, Richard J

    2015-03-01

    Centring on John Flamsteed (1646-1719), the first Astronomer Royal, this paper investigates the ways in which astronomers of the late seventeenth century worked to build and maintain their reputations by demonstrating, for their peers and for posterity, their proficiency in managing visual technologies. By looking at his correspondence and by offering a graphic and textual analysis of the preface to his posthumous Historia Coelestis Britannica (1725), I argue that Flamsteed based the legitimacy of his life's work on his capacity to serve as a skilful astronomer who could coordinate the production and proper use of astronomical sighting instruments. Technological advances in astrometry were, for Flamsteed, a necessary but not a sufficient condition for the advancement of astronomy. Technological resources needed to be used by the right person. The work of the skilful astronomer was a necessary precondition for the mobilization and proper management of astronomical technologies. Flamsteed's understanding of the astronomer as a skilled actor importantly shifted the emphasis in precision astronomical work away from the individual observer's ability to see well and toward the astronomer's ability to ensure that instruments guaranteed accurate vision. PMID:25833797

  15. Astronomers find distant planet like Jupiter

    CERN Multimedia

    2003-01-01

    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).

  16. Longwave Imaging for Astronomical Applications Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    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...

  17. Astronomers no longer in the dark

    CERN Multimedia

    MacMillan, L

    2002-01-01

    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).

  18. Longwave Imaging for Astronomical Applications Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    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...

  19. Astronomical data bases and retrieval systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mead, J. M.; Nagy, T. A.; Warren, W. H., Jr.

    1981-01-01

    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.

  20. First Visiting Astronomers at VLT KUEYEN

    Science.gov (United States)

    2000-04-01

    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) [1] 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

  1. Astronomers Unveiling Life's Cosmic Origins

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-02-01

    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

  2. Publication and citation statistics for UK astronomers

    CERN Document Server

    Blustin, A J

    2007-01-01

    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.

  3. Astronomical Plate Archives and Binary Blazars Studies

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Rene Hudec

    2011-03-01

    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.

  4. Bayesian mixture models for Poisson astronomical images

    OpenAIRE

    Guglielmetti, Fabrizia; Fischer, Rainer; Dose, Volker

    2012-01-01

    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...

  5. Tycho Brahe and Egnazio Danti. Observations and astronomical research at Prague and Florence at the end of the 16th century

    Science.gov (United States)

    Triarico, Carlo

    The paper aims at pointing out the similarities between the astronomical research of Tycho Brahe and Egnazio Danti. The main issue is the comparison between the researches of the two astronomers about the measurement of the ecliptic's obliquity and its possible variation. The books published by the two scientists about the use and building up of the astronomical instruments will be also compared. Finally, will be given some examples of instruments of the Medici Family collection in the Istituto e Museo di Storia della Scienza in Florence, which come from Praha and were built by the technicians who worked for Tycho.

  6. Astronomers celebrate a year of new Hubble results

    Science.gov (United States)

    1995-02-01

    "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

  7. Scalable Machine Learning for Massive Astronomical Datasets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ball, Nicholas M.; Gray, A.

    2014-04-01

    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

  8. GPU-Based Volume Rendering of Noisy Multi-Spectral Astronomical Data

    CERN Document Server

    Hassan, Amr H; Barnes, David G

    2010-01-01

    Traditional analysis techniques may not be sufficient for astronomers to make the best use of the data sets that current and future instruments, such as the Square Kilometre Array and its Pathfinders, will produce. By utilizing the incredible pattern-recognition ability of the human mind, scientific visualization provides an excellent opportunity for astronomers to gain valuable new insight and understanding of their data, particularly when used interactively in 3D. The goal of our work is to establish the feasibility of a real-time 3D monitoring system for data going into the Australian SKA Pathfinder archive. Based on CUDA, an increasingly popular development tool, our work utilizes the massively parallel architecture of modern graphics processing units (GPUs) to provide astronomers with an interactive 3D volume rendering for multi-spectral data sets. Unlike other approaches, we are targeting real time interactive visualization of datasets larger than GPU memory while giving special attention to data with l...

  9. Astronomers Get New Tools for Gravitational-Wave Detection

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    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

  10. Large astronomical catalog management for telescope operations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baruffolo, Andrea; Benacchio, Leopoldo

    1998-07-01

    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.

  11. How Astronomers View Education and Public Outreach

    CERN Document Server

    Dang, Lisa

    2015-01-01

    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...

  12. A buyer's and user's guide to astronomical telescopes and binoculars

    CERN Document Server

    Mullaney, James

    2014-01-01

    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...

  13. The effect of airborne dust on astronomical polarization measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bailey, Jeremy; Ulanowski, Z.; Lucas, P. W.; Hough, J. H.; Hirst, E.; Tamura, M.

    2008-05-01

    In the past, it has generally been assumed that polarization observations made with ground-based telescopes are unaffected by the passage of light through the Earth's atmosphere. Here, we report observations with a new high-sensitivity astronomical polarimeter (PlanetPol) made during a Saharan dust event over the La Palma observatory in 2005 May that show excess linear polarization in the horizontal direction due to the passage of the starlight through the dust. The polarization reached a maximum value of 4.8 × 10-5 at 56° zenith distance and varied over five nights in proportion to the change in dust optical depth. Polarization of transmitted light (dichroism) does not occur for spherical or randomly oriented non-spherical particles. Thus, these results imply that some fraction of the dust grain population aligns with a preferred orientation. We use T-matrix models to demonstrate that the observed polarization direction implies a vertical orientation for the long axis of the particles. We suggest a possible mechanism for vertical orientation resulting from the electric field in the atmosphere. These results will need to be taken into account in the design and use of future instruments for high-sensitivity astronomical polarimetry. The results also indicate possible new approaches to studying aerosol particles and their effects on the Earth's atmosphere.

  14. Career situation of female astronomers in Germany

    CERN Document Server

    Fohlmeister, J; 10.1002/asna.201211656

    2012-01-01

    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.

  15. Making Access to Astronomical Software More Efficient

    CERN Document Server

    Grosbol, P

    2010-01-01

    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...

  16. A Novel Semantic Software for Astronomical Concepts

    CERN Document Server

    Heydari-Malayeri, M; Petit, F Le

    2012-01-01

    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.

  17. The innermost astronomical unit of protoplanetary disks

    CERN Document Server

    Kluska, J; Benisty, M

    2016-01-01

    Circumstellar disks around young stars are the birthsites of planets. It is thus fundamental to study the disks in which they form, their structure and the physical conditions therein. The first astronomical unit is of great interest because this is where the terrestrial-planets form and the angular momentum is controled via massloss through winds/jets. With its milli-arcsecond resolution, optical interferometry is the only technic able to spatially resolve the first few astronomical units of the disk. In this review, we will present a broad overview of studies of young stellar objects with interferometry, and discuss prospects for the future.

  18. Strategies for personnel sustainable lifecycle at astronomical observatories and local industry development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bendek, Eduardo A.; Leatherbee, Michael; Smith, Heather; Strappa, Valentina; Zinnecker, Hans; Perez, Mario

    2014-08-01

    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.

  19. The Undergraduate Research Resources at the Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cline, J. Donald; Castelaz, Michael W.

    2016-01-01

    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.

  20. CICADA -- Configurable Instrument Control and Data Acquisition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, Peter J.; Roberts, William H.; Sebo, Kim M.

    CICADA (Young et al. 1997) is a multi-process, distributed application for the control of astronomical data acquisition systems. It comprises elements that control the operation of, and data flow from CCD camera systems; and the operation of telescope instrument control systems. CICADA can be used to dynamically configure support for astronomical instruments that can be made up of multiple cameras and multiple instrument controllers. Each camera is described by a hierarchy of parts that are each individually configured and linked together. Most of CICADA is written in C++ and much of the configurability of CICADA comes from the use of inheritance and polymorphism. An example of a multiple part instrument configuration -- a wide field imager (WFI) -- is described here. WFI, presently under construction, is made up of eight 2k x 4k CCDs with dual SDSU II controllers and will be used at Siding Spring's ANU 40in and AAO 3.9m telescopes.

  1. Astroquery: querying astronomical web forms and databases

    OpenAIRE

    Sipocz, Brigitta

    2016-01-01

    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.

  2. Astroquery: querying astronomical web forms and databases

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sipocz, Brigitta

    2016-03-01

    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.

  3. Astronomía en la cultura

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  4. Professional Astronomers in Service to the AAVSO

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saladyga, M.; Waagen, E. O.

    2012-06-01

    (Abstract only) Throughout its 100-year history, the American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO) has welcomed professional astronomers to its membership ranks, and has encouraged their participation as organization leaders. The AAVSO has been fortunate to have over 60 distinguished professionals serve as officers (Directors, Presidents, Council), and as participants in its various scientific and organizational committees.

  5. astLib: Tools for research astronomers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hilton, Matt; Boada, Steven

    2016-07-01

    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).

  6. The Virtual Astronomical Observatory Users Forum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muench, August A.; Emery Bunn, S.; Astronomical Observatory, Virtual

    2013-01-01

    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.

  7. Coronagraphic demonstration experiment using aluminum mirrors for space infrared astronomical observations

    CERN Document Server

    Oseki, Shinji; Ishihara, Daisuke; Enya, Keigo; Haze, Kanae; Kotani, Takayuki; Kaneda, Hidehiro; Nishiyama, Miho; Abe, Lyu; Yamamuro, Tomoyasu

    2015-01-01

    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...

  8. Relativistic scaling of astronomical quantities and the system of astronomical units

    OpenAIRE

    Klioner, Sergei A.

    2005-01-01

    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...

  9. Radio Astronomers Set New Standard for Accurate Cosmic Distance Measurement

    Science.gov (United States)

    1999-06-01

    estimate of the age of the universe. In order to do this, you need an unambiguous, absolute distance to another galaxy. We are pleased that the NSF's VLBA has for the first time determined such a distance, and thus provided the calibration standard astronomers have always sought in their quest for accurate distances beyond the Milky Way," said Morris Aizenman, Executive Officer of the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Division of Astronomical Sciences. "For astronomers, this measurement is the golden meter stick in the glass case," Aizenman added. The international team of astronomers used the VLBA to measure directly the motion of gas orbiting what is generally agreed to be a supermassive black hole at the heart of NGC 4258. The orbiting gas forms a warped disk, nearly two light-years in diameter, surrounding the black hole. The gas in the disk includes water vapor, which, in parts of the disk, acts as a natural amplifier of microwave radio emission. The regions that amplify radio emission are called masers, and work in a manner similar to the way a laser amplifies light emission. Determining the distance to NGC 4258 required measuring motions of extremely small shifts in position of these masers as they rotate around the black hole. This is equivalent to measuring an angle one ten-thousandth the width of a human hair held at arm's length. "The VLBA is the only instrument in the world that could do this," said Moran. "This work is the culmination of a 20-year effort at the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics to measure distances to cosmic masers," said Irwin Shapiro, Director of that institution. Collection of the data for the NGC 4258 project was begun in 1994 and was part of Herrnstein's Ph.D dissertation at Harvard University. Previous observations with the VLBA allowed the scientists to measure the speed at which the gas is orbiting the black hole, some 39 million times more massive than the Sun. They did this by observing the amount of change in the

  10. Public Perception of Astronomers: Revered, Reviled and Ridiculed

    OpenAIRE

    West, Michael J.

    2009-01-01

    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.

  11. Radioisotope instruments

    CERN Document Server

    Cameron, J F; Silverleaf, D J

    1971-01-01

    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

  12. Young Astronomers' Observe with ESO Telescopes

    Science.gov (United States)

    1995-11-01

    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

  13. Astronomical photonics in the context of infrared interferometry and high-resolution spectroscopy

    CERN Document Server

    Labadie, Lucas; Cvetojevic, Nick; Haynes, Roger; Harris, Robert; Jovanovic, Nemanja; Lacour, Sylvestre; Martin, Guillermo; Minardi, Stefano; Perrin, Guy; Roth, Martin; Thomson, Robert R

    2016-01-01

    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.

  14. Revista Mexicana de Astronomía y Astrofísica, a real option for astronomical publication

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torres-Peimbert, S.; Allen, C.

    2011-10-01

    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.

  15. Identifying seasonal stars in Kaurna astronomical traditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamacher, Duane W.

    2015-03-01

    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.

  16. Statistical methods for astronomical data analysis

    CERN Document Server

    Chattopadhyay, Asis Kumar

    2014-01-01

    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 ...

  17. International Astronomical Union Sympoisum No.50

    CERN Document Server

    Westerlund, B

    1973-01-01

    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 ...

  18. Carriers of the astronomical 2175 ? extinction feature

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bradley, J; Dai, Z; Ernie, R; Browning, N; Graham, G; Weber, P; Smith, J; Hutcheon, I; Ishii, H; Bajt, S; Floss, C; Stadermann, F

    2004-07-20

    The 2175 {angstrom} extinction feature is by far the strongest spectral signature of interstellar dust observed by astronomers. Forty years after its discovery the origin of the feature and the nature of the carrier remain controversial. The feature is enigmatic because although its central wavelength is almost invariant its bandwidth varies strongly from one sightline to another, suggesting multiple carriers or a single carrier with variable properties. Using a monochromated transmission electron microscope and valence electron energy-loss spectroscopy we have detected a 5.7 eV (2175 {angstrom}) feature in submicrometer-sized interstellar grains within interplanetary dust particles (IDPs) collected in the stratosphere. The carriers are organic carbon and amorphous silicates that are abundant and closely associated with one another both in IDPs and in the interstellar medium. Multiple carriers rather than a single carrier may explain the invariant central wavelength and variable bandwidth of the astronomical 2175 {angstrom} feature.

  19. Recruitment and Retention of LGBTIQ Astronomers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dixon, William Van Dyke

    2012-01-01

    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.

  20. Detecting Diffuse Sources in Astronomical Images

    CERN Document Server

    Butler-Yeoman, T; Hollitt, C P; Hogg, D W; Johnston-Hollitt, M

    2016-01-01

    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.

  1. Division B Commission 6: Astronomical Telegrams

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamaoka, H.; Green, D. W. E.; Samus, N. N.; Aksnes, K.; Gilmore, A. C.; Nakano, S.; Sphar, T.; Tichá, J.; Williams, G. V.

    2016-04-01

    IAU Commission 6 ``Astronomical Telegrams'' had a single business meeting during Honolulu General Assembly of the IAU. It took place on Tuesday, 11 August 2015. The meeting was attended by Hitoshi Yamaoka (President), Daniel Green (Director of the Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams, CBAT, via Skype), Steven Chesley (JPL), Paul Chodas (JPL), Alan Gilmore (Canterbury University), Shinjiro Kouzuma (Chukyo University), Paolo Mazzali (Co-Chair of the Supernova Working Group), Elena Pian (Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa), Marion Schmitz (chair IAU Working Group Designations + NED), David Tholen (University of Hawaii), Jana Ticha (Klet Observatory), Milos Tichy (Klet Observatory), Giovanni Valsecchi (INAF\\slash Italy), Gareth Williams (Minor Planet Center). Apologies: Nikolai Samus (General Catalogue of Variable Stars, GCVS).

  2. Compression of interferometric radio-astronomical data

    CERN Document Server

    Offringa, A R

    2016-01-01

    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 ...

  3. Astronomía Mocoví

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  4. Training the Next Generation of Astronomers

    CERN Document Server

    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

    2009-01-01

    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.

  5. Renewal Strings for Cleaning Astronomical Databases

    CERN Document Server

    Storkey, Amos J; Williams, Christopher K I; Mann, Robert G

    2014-01-01

    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...

  6. Local sparse representation for astronomical image denoising

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    杨阿锋; 鲁敏; 滕书华; 孙即祥

    2013-01-01

    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.

  7. Bad pixel modified interpolation for astronomical images

    CERN Document Server

    Popowicz, A; Filus, Z

    2013-01-01

    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.

  8. Astronomical Image Denoising Using Dictionary Learning

    CERN Document Server

    Beckouche, Simon; Fadili, Jalal

    2013-01-01

    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...

  9. Atomic and Molecular Aspects of Astronomical Spectra

    CERN Document Server

    Sochi, Taha

    2012-01-01

    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...

  10. Identifying seasonal stars in Kaurna astronomical traditions

    CERN Document Server

    Hamacher, Duane W

    2015-01-01

    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.

  11. The la Plata Astronomical Data Center

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marraco, H. G.

    1990-11-01

    RESUMEN. El Centro de Datos Astron6micos tiene su sede en la Facuitad de Ciencias Astron6micas y Geofisicas d la Universidad Nacional de La Plata y funciona por convenio entre esta facultad y el Centre des Stellaires de la Universite' Louis Pasteur en Estrasburgo (CDS), Francia. La finalidad de este centro es la de proveer a los astr6nomos del area con copias de los alrededor de 500 acumulados y/o preparados por el CDS a la vez que promover la producci6n y/o acumulaci6n de en el rea. Para la realizaci6n de esta tarea se cuenta con el apoyo del Centro Superior para el Procesamiento de la Informaci6n (CESPI) de la UNLP cuyos equipos se describen. Las tareas que se estan realizando incluyen la distribuci6n de SIMBAD a los astr6nomos argentinos y se efectuan ensayos de distribuci6n en linea de CD-ROM TEST DISK del Astronomical Data Center (ADC) de la NASA que contiene los 31 mas solicitados por los astr6nomos de todo el mundo. ABSTRACl The La Plata Astronomical Data Center operates by an agreement between the Facultad de Ciencias Astron6micas y Geofisicas at La Plata University and the Centre des Donnees Stellaires of Louis Pasteur University at Strasbourg (CDS), France. The purpose of the Center is to provide to the area astronomers with copies of the catalogs they need amongst those stored and/or prepared at CDS. At the same time the center will act of the astronomical data produced within its area. K words: DATA ANALYSIS

  12. Astronomical orientations in sanctuaries of Daunia

    CERN Document Server

    Antonello, E; Sisto, A M Tunzi; LoZupone, M

    2013-01-01

    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.

  13. Planar Integrated Optics and astronomical interferometry

    OpenAIRE

    Kern, Pierre; Berger, Jean-Philippe; Haguenauer, Pierre; Malbet, Fabien; Perraut, Karine

    2001-01-01

    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.

  14. An Astronomer's View of Climate Change

    CERN Document Server

    Morton, Donald C

    2014-01-01

    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.

  15. Historical Examples of Lobbying: The Case of Strasbourg Astronomical Observatories

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heck, Andre

    2012-08-01

    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.

  16. AWOB: A Collaborative Workbench for Astronomers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, J. W.; Lemson, G.; Bulatovic, N.; Makarenko, V.; Vogler, A.; Voges, W.; Yao, Y.; Kiefl, R.; Koychev, S.

    2015-09-01

    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.

  17. GalileoMobile: Astronomical activities in schools

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  18. AAS Publishing News: Astronomical Software Citation Workshop

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2015-07-01

    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 julie.steffen@aas.org.

  19. David Gill - Magnificent and Desirable Astronomer

    CERN Document Server

    Reid, John S

    2016-01-01

    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...

  20. Astrobiology: An astronomer's perspective

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bergin, Edwin A. [University of Michigan, Department of Astronomy, 500 Church Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48109 (United States)

    2014-12-08

    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.

  1. Astrobiology: An astronomer's perspective

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  2. On the Astronomical Records and Babylonian Chronology

    CERN Document Server

    Gurzadyan, V G

    2000-01-01

    We outline the priority of high quality data of astronomical content as our strategy for the analysis of the ancient astronomical records in the search of the absolute chronology of the Near East in II millennium BC. The correspondingly defined set of data for two lunar eclipses of EAE 20 and 21 tablets linked to Ur III period enables us the choice of eclipses of 27 June 1954 BC and 17 March 1912 BC; here the information on the exit position of the darkening of the lunar disk acts as a crucial informator survived in the records. We then discuss why the 56/64 year Venus cycle cannot be traced in the Venus Tablet and therefore cannot serve as an anchor for the search of chronologies. The month length method is discussed as well. In sum the available data support the Ultra-Low Chronology proposed in the book by H.Gasche, J.A.Armstrong, S.W.Cole and V.G.Gurzadyan, "Dating the Fall of Babylon" (1998) and, particularly, leave no astronomical background for the High Chronology. Ultra-Low Chronology is supported also...

  3. Education and Outreach Opportunities in New Astronomical Facilities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mould, J. R.; Pompea, S.

    2002-12-01

    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

  4. Enhanced Management of Personal Astronomical Data with FITSManager

    CERN Document Server

    Cui, Chenzhou; Zhao, Yongheng; Kembhavi, Ajit; He, Boliang; Cao, Zihuang; Li, Jian; Nandrekar, Deoyani

    2011-01-01

    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 ...

  5. Wide Field Instrument Adjutant Scientist

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spergel, David

    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.

  6. Astronomers Make First Images With Space Radio Telescope

    Science.gov (United States)

    1997-07-01

    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

  7. Digital Instrumentation for the Radio Astronomy Community

    CERN Document Server

    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

    2009-01-01

    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...

  8. Algorithms for classification of astronomical object spectra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wasiewicz, P.; Szuppe, J.; Hryniewicz, K.

    2015-09-01

    Obtaining interesting celestial objects from tens of thousands or even millions of recorded optical-ultraviolet spectra depends not only on the data quality but also on the accuracy of spectra decomposition. Additionally rapidly growing data volumes demands higher computing power and/or more efficient algorithms implementations. In this paper we speed up the process of substracting iron transitions and fitting Gaussian functions to emission peaks utilising C++ and OpenCL methods together with the NOSQL database. In this paper we implemented typical astronomical methods of detecting peaks in comparison to our previous hybrid methods implemented with CUDA.

  9. An astronomical survey conducted in Belgium

    CERN Document Server

    Naze, Yael

    2013-01-01

    This article presents the results of the first survey conducted in Belgium about the interest and knowledge in astronomy. Two samples were studied, the public at large (667 questionnaires) and students (2589 questionnaires), but the results are generally similar in both samples. We evaluated people's interest, main information source, and attitudes towards astronomy, as well as their supposed and actual knowledge of the subject. The main conclusion is that, despite a poor self-confidence, people do know the basic astronomical concepts. However, that knowledge is not deeply rooted, as reasoning questions show well-spread misconceptions and/or misunderstandings.

  10. American Astronomical Society Honors NRAO Scientist

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-01-01

    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

  11. Division XII: Commission 6: Astronomical Telegrams

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

    2015-08-01

    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.

  12. Le Verrier magnificent and detestable astronomer

    CERN Document Server

    Lequeux, James

    2013-01-01

    Le Verrier was a superb scientist. His discovery of Neptune in 1846 made him the most famous astronomer of his time. He produced a complete theory of the motions of the planets which served as a basis for planetary ephemeris for a full century. Doing this, he discovered an anomaly in the motion of Mercury which later became the first proof of General Relativity. He also founded European meteorology. However his arrogance and bad temper created many enemies, and he was even fired from his position of Director of the Paris Observatory.

  13. The astronomical revolution Copernicus, Kepler, Borelli

    CERN Document Server

    Koyre, Alexandre

    2013-01-01

    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

  14. Astronomical Data Formats: What we have and how we got here

    CERN Document Server

    Mink, Jessica D

    2015-01-01

    Despite almost all being acquired as photons, astronomical data from different instruments and at different stages in its life may exist in different formats to serve different purposes. Beyond the data itself, descriptive information is associated with it as metadata, either included in the data format or in a larger multi-format data structure. Those formats may be used for the acquisition, processing, exchange, and archiving of data. It has been useful to use similar formats, or even a single standard to ease interaction with data in its various stages using familiar tools. Knowledge of the evolution and advantages of present standards is useful before we discuss the future of how astronomical data is formatted. The evolution of the use of world coordinates in FITS is presented as an example.

  15. 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.

    OpenAIRE

    Guibert, Stéphane

    2005-01-01

    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...

  16. Relativistic scaling of astronomical quantities and the system of astronomical units

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klioner, S. A.

    2008-02-01

    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.

  17. Care of astronomical telescopes and accessories a manual for the astronomical observer and amateur telescope maker

    CERN Document Server

    Pepin, M Barlow

    2006-01-01

    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.

  18. Sketching the moon an astronomical artist's guide

    CERN Document Server

    Handy, Richard; McCague, Thomas; Rix, Erika; Russell, Sally

    2012-01-01

    Soon after you begin studying the sky through your small telescope or binoculars, you will probably be encouraged by others to make sketches of what you see. Sketching is a time-honored tradition in amateur astronomy and dates back to the earliest times, when telescopes were invented. Even though we have lots of new imaging technologies nowadays, including astrophotography, most observers still use sketching to keep a record of what they see, make them better observers, and in hopes of perhaps contributing something to the body of scientific knowledge about the Moon. Some even sketch because it satisfies their artistic side. The Moon presents some unique challenges to the astronomer-artist, the Moon being so fond of tricks of the light. Sketching the Moon: An Astronomical Artist’s Guide, by five of the best lunar observer-artists working today, will guide you along your way and help you to achieve really high-quality sketches. All the major types of lunar features are covered, with a variety of sketching te...

  19. Digitization of Archives of Astronomical Plates

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  20. Astronomical Surveys, Catalogs, Databases, and Archives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mickaelian, A. M.

    2016-06-01

    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.

  1. Automated object detection for astronomical images

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orellana, Sonny; Zhao, Lei; Boussalis, Helen; Liu, Charles; Rad, Khosrow; Dong, Jane

    2005-10-01

    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.

  2. Grid-Enabled Interactive Data Language for Astronomical Data Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    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...

  3. The First Astronomical Observatory in Cluj-Napoca

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szenkovits, Ferenc

    2008-09-01

    One of the most important cities of Romania is Cluj-Napoca (Kolozsvár, Klausenburg). This is a traditional center of education, with many universities and high schools. From the second half of the 18th century the University of Cluj has its own Astronomical Observatory, serving for didactical activities and scientific researches. The famous astronomer Maximillian Hell was one of those Jesuits who put the base of this Astronomical Observatory. Our purpose is to offer a short history of the beginnings of this Astronomical Observatory.

  4. Instrumentation Facility

    Data.gov (United States)

    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...

  5. STEM and the Evolution of the Astronomical Star Party

    Science.gov (United States)

    Day, B. H.; Munive, P.; Franco, J.; Jones, A. P.; Shaner, A. J.; Buxner, S.; Bleacher, L.

    2015-12-01

    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.

  6. Polycomp: efficient and configurable compression of astronomical timelines

    CERN Document Server

    Tomasi, Maurizio

    2016-01-01

    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 ...

  7. POLYCOMP: Efficient and configurable compression of astronomical timelines

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomasi, M.

    2016-07-01

    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.

  8. ISO Results Presented at International Astronomical Union

    Science.gov (United States)

    1997-08-01

    Some of the work being presented is collected in the attached ESA Information Note N 25-97, ISO illuminates our cosmic ancestry. A set of six colour images illustrating various aspects have also been released and are available at http://www.estec.esa.nl/spdwww/iso1808.htm or in hard copy from ESA Public Relations Paris (fax:+33.1.5369.7690). These pictures cover: 1. Distant but powerful infrared galaxies 2. A scan across the milky way 3. Helix nebula: the shroud of a dead star 4. Supernova remnant Cassiopeia A 5. Trifid nebula: a dusty birthplace of stars 6. Precursors of stars and planets The International Astronomical Union provides a forum where astronomers from all over the world can develop astronomy in all its aspects through international co-operation. General Assemblies are held every three years. It is expected that over 1600 astronomers will attend this year's meeting, which is being held in Kyoto, Japan from 18-30 August. Further information on the meeting can be found at: www.tenmon.or.jp/iau97/ . ISO illuminates our cosmic ancestry The European Space Agency's Infrared Space Observatory, ISO, is unmatched in its ability to explore and analyse many of the universal processes that made our existence possible. We are children of the stars. Every atom in our bodies was created in cosmic space and delivered to the Sun's vicinity in time for the Earth's formation, during a ceaseless cycle of birth, death and rebirth among the stars. The most creative places in the sky are cool and dusty, and opaque even to the Hubble Space Telescope. Infrared rays penetrating the dust reveal to ISO hidden objects, and the atoms and molecules of cosmic chemistry. "ISO is reading Nature's recipe book," says Roger Bonnet, ESA's director of science. "As the world's only telescope capable of observing the Universe over a wide range of infrared wavelengths, ISO plays an indispensable part in astronomical discoveries that help to explain how we came to exist." This Information Note

  9. Polarization Aberrations in Astronomical Telescopes: The Point Spread Function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Breckinridge, James B.; Lam, Wai Sze T.; Chipman, Russell A.

    2015-05-01

    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

  10. High-Dimensional Data Reduction, Image Inpainting and their Astronomical Applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pesenson, M.; Pesenson, I.; Carey, S.; McCollum, B.; Roby, W.

    2009-09-01

    Technological advances are revolutionizing multispectral astrophysics as well as the detection and study of transient sources. This new era of multitemporal and multispectral data sets demands new ways of data representation, processing and management thus making data dimension reduction instrumental in efficient data organization, retrieval, analysis and information visualization. Other astrophysical applications of data dimension reduction which require new paradigms of data analysis include knowledge discovery, cluster analysis, feature extraction and object classification, de-correlating data elements, discovering meaningful patterns and finding essential representation of correlated variables that form a manifold (e.g. the manifold of galaxies), tagging astronomical images, multiscale analysis synchronized across all available wavelengths, denoising, etc. The second part of this paper is dedicated to a new, active area of image processing: image inpainting that consists of automated methods for filling in missing or damaged regions in images. Inpainting has multiple astronomical applications including restoring images corrupted by instrument artifacts, removing undesirable objects like bright stars and their halos, sky estimating, and pre-processing for the Fourier or wavelet transforms. Applications of high-dimensional data reduction and mitigation of instrument artifacts are demonstrated on images taken by the Spitzer Space Telescope.

  11. Young astronomer in Denmark 1946 to 1958

    CERN Document Server

    Høg, Erik

    2015-01-01

    This is a personal account of how I became an astronomer. Fascinated by the stars and planets in the dark sky over Lolland, an island 100 km south of Copenhagen, the interest in astronomy was growing. Encouraged by my teachers, I polished mirrors and built telescopes with generous help from the local blacksmith and I observed light curves of variable stars. Studies at the Copenhagen University from 1950 gradually led me deeper into astronomy, especially astrometry (the astronomy of positions), guided by professor Bengt Str\\"omgren and my mentor dr. phil. Peter Naur. I was lucky to take part in the buildup of the new observatory at Brorfelde during the first difficult years and the ideas I gathered there have contributed to the two astrometry satellites Hipparcos and Gaia launched by the European Space Agency (ESA) in respectively 1989 and 2013.

  12. Environmental effects on lunar astronomical observatories

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Stewart W.; Taylor, G. Jeffrey; Wetzel, John P.

    1992-01-01

    The Moon offers a stable platform with excellent seeing conditions for astronomical observations. Some troublesome aspects of the lunar environment will need to be overcome to realize the full potential of the Moon as an observatory site. Mitigation of negative effects of vacuum, thermal radiation, dust, and micrometeorite impact is feasible with careful engineering and operational planning. Shields against impact, dust, and solar radiation need to be developed. Means of restoring degraded surfaces are probably essential for optical and thermal control surfaces deployed in long-lifetime lunar facilities. Precursor missions should be planned to validate and enhance the understanding of the lunar environment (e.g., dust behavior without and with human presence) and to determine environmental effects on surfaces and components. Precursor missions should generate data useful in establishing keepout zones around observatory facilities where rocket launches and landings, mining, and vehicular traffic could be detrimental to observatory operation.

  13. Library & Information Services as Astronomer's Wishlist

    CERN Document Server

    Andernach, H

    1998-01-01

    I review some of the past and current methods for retrieval of literature and other published information, excluding commercial services. Much of this is a personal view and based on experience made at various institutions, some of them neither with an adequately complete astronomy library, nor with a professional astronomy librarian. Rather than describing current retrieval methods, a few of their weaknesses are identified which merit future improval. Despite the availability of powerful electronic tools, we need to improve efforts in safeguarding published numerical and textual information in a format readily usable by astronomers. Comments are made on a user-friendly arrangement of a library, and on useful tasks for librarians with available time.

  14. Learning Vector Quantization for Classifying Astronomical Objects

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2003-01-01

    The sizes of astronomical surveys in different wavebands are increas-ing rapidly. Therefore, automatic classification of objects is becoming ever moreimportant. We explore the performance of learning vector quantization (LVQ) inclassifying multi-wavelength data. Our analysis concentrates on separating activesources from non-active ones. Different classes of X-ray emitters populate distinctregions of a multidimensional parameter space. In order to explore the distributionof various objects in a multidimensional parameter space, we positionally cross-correlate the data of quasars, BL Lacs, active galaxies, stars and normal galaxiesin the optical, X-ray and infrared bands. We then apply LVQ to classify them withthe obtained data. Our results show that LVQ is an effective method for separatingAGNs from stars and normal galaxies with multi-wavelength data.

  15. Bonaparte and the astronomers of Brera Observatory

    CERN Document Server

    Antonello, E

    2014-01-01

    In Northern Italy, between 1796 and 1814, Napoleon Bonaparte formed a Republic, and then a Kingdom, controlled by France. Milan was the capital of the State, and the Brera Palace was the main cultural centre, as regards both the arts and the sciences. Bonaparte probably intended to strengthen this characteristic of Brera, aiming at increasing its Italian and European relevance. We will discuss in detail in which way he interacted with the astronomers of Brera Observatory, and in particular with Barnaba Oriani, that was considered the local main representative of the 'republique des lettres', that is, the world of literature, arts and sciences. We propose a possible reconstruction of the effects of those complicated historical events on the Italian astronomy and on its relations with the European one.

  16. Astronomical research at the Hopkins PHOENIX Observatory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hopkins, J. L.

    1985-09-01

    After trying astrophotography and radio astronomy it was decided that the best way to do meaningful astronomical research at a small private observatory was by doing photoelectric photometry. Having the observatory located in the back yard of a private residence affors the luxury of observing any time the sky conditions permit. Also modest equipment is all that is needed to do accurate UBV photometry of stars 8th magnitude and brighter. Since beginning in 1980 the Hopkins Phoenix Observatory has published papers on several RS CVn star systems, 31 Cygni, 22 Vul, 18 Tau Per, and has followed the 1982-1984 eclipse of Epsilon Aurigae from its start to the present with over 1000 UBV measurements. In addition the Hopkins Phoenix Observatory has developed several pieces of photometry equipment including the HPO PEPH-101 photometer head and photon counting electronics.

  17. AstroVis: Visualizing astronomical data cubes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Finniss, Stephen; Tyler, Robin; Questiaux, Jacques

    2016-08-01

    AstroVis enables rapid visualization of large data files on platforms supporting the OpenGL rendering library. Radio astronomical observations are typically three dimensional and stored as data cubes. AstroVis implements a scalable approach to accessing these files using three components: a File Access Component (FAC) that reduces the impact of reading time, which speeds up access to the data; the Image Processing Component (IPC), which breaks up the data cube into smaller pieces that can be processed locally and gives a representation of the whole file; and Data Visualization, which implements an approach of Overview + Detail to reduces the dimensions of the data being worked with and the amount of memory required to store it. The result is a 3D display paired with a 2D detail display that contains a small subsection of the original file in full resolution without reducing the data in any way.

  18. Simon Newcomb: America's Unofficial Astronomer Royal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graham, John

    2007-10-01

    Bill Carter and Merri Sue Carter Mantazas; xiii + 213 pp.; ISBN 1-59113-803-5 2006; $26.95 This book introduced me to a commanding figure in American science from the late nineteenth century: Simon Newcomb. Newcomb has been called the nineteenth-century equivalent of Carl Sagan and Albert Einstein. He rose from humble beginnings to be the preeminent American astronomer of his generation. He made basic, far-reaching, and enduring contributions to positional astronomy and planetary dynamics. On the more practical side, he determined a remarkably accurate value for the velocity of light, one within 0.01% of the value accepted today. His work provided an experimental grounding for the special and general theories of relativity to be formulated by Einstein in the coming twentieth century.

  19. Are Supernovae Recorded in Indigenous Astronomical Traditions?

    CERN Document Server

    Hamacher, Duane W

    2014-01-01

    Novae and supernovae are rare astronomical events that would have had an influence on the sky-watching peoples who witnessed them. Although several bright novae/supernovae have been visible during recorded human history, there are many proposed but no confirmed accounts of supernovae in oral traditions or material culture. Criteria are established for confirming novae/supernovae in oral and material culture, and claims from around the world are discussed to determine if they meet these criteria. Australian Aboriginal traditions are explored for possible descriptions of novae/supernovae. Although representations of supernovae may exist in Indigenous traditions, and an account of a nova in Aboriginal traditions has been confirmed, there are currently no confirmed accounts of supernovae in Indigenous oral or material traditions.

  20. VOStat: A Statistical Web Service for Astronomers

    CERN Document Server

    Chakraborty, Arnab; Babu, G Jogesh

    2013-01-01

    VOStat is a Web service providing interactive statistical analysis of astronomical tabular datasets. It is integrated into the suite of analysis and visualization tools associated with the international Virtual Observatory (VO) through the SAMP communication system. A user supplies VOStat with a dataset extracted from the VO, or otherwise acquired, and chooses among $\\sim 60$ statistical functions. These include data transformations, plots and summaries, density estimation, one- and two-sample hypothesis tests, global and local regressions, multivariate analysis and clustering, spatial analysis, directional statistics, survival analysis (for censored data like upper limits), and time series analysis. The statistical operations are performed using the public domain {\\bf R} statistical software environment, including a small fraction of its $>4000$ {\\bf CRAN} add-on packages. The purpose of VOStat is to facilitate a wider range of statistical analyses than are commonly used in astronomy, and to promote use of m...

  1. Using the Galileoscope in astronomical observations

    CERN Document Server

    Oliveira, V A

    2015-01-01

    This project aims to attract school students and teachers from the state education system from Ca\\c{c}apava do Sul - RS to Sciences and specially to Astronomy. We made astronomical observations using a Galileoscope choosing the Moon as a primary target. We also observed others objects that present high brightness in the night sky. The selection of targets, and their identification during the observations were carried out by a free software of planetary simulation, Stellarium. The results were in qualitative form and they show the great interest demonstrated by those participating in the project. Furthermore, this project helped to improve the understanding of the physical proprieties of the night sky objects (e.g. color). Finally, the project has showed that using a simple equipment and of relatively low cost it is possible to bring more people, specially the young students, to the Science World and to Astronomy.

  2. An Astronomer's View of Climate Change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morton, Donald C.

    2014-01-01

    There are several astronomical effects that could be important for understanding climate changes such as the ice ages, the Medieval Maximum, the Little Ice Age, the 20th century temperature rise and the small decrease during the past 15 years. These effects include variations in the sun's luminosity, periodic changes in the earth's orbital parameters, the sun's orbit around our galaxy, the solar wind, the variability of solar activity and the anticorrelation of the galactic cosmic ray flux with that activity. With the publication of the Fifth Assessment Report to the Intergoverment Panel on Climate Change, it is useful to review these effects and the extent to which that report and previoius ones have recognized them. This paper also discusses recent trends in solar activity and global temperatures and compares the latter with the predictions of climate models.

  3. Astronomical Receiver Modelling Using Scattering Matrices

    CERN Document Server

    King, O G; Copley, C; Davis, R J; Leahy, J P; Leech, J; Muchovej, S J C; Pearson, T J; Taylor, Angela C

    2014-01-01

    Proper modelling of astronomical receivers is vital: it describes the systematic errors in the raw data, guides the receiver design process, and assists data calibration. In this paper we describe a method of analytically modelling the full signal and noise behaviour of arbitrarily complex radio receivers. We use electrical scattering matrices to describe the signal behaviour of individual components in the receiver, and noise correlation matrices to describe their noise behaviour. These are combined to produce the full receiver model. We apply this approach to a specified receiver architecture: a hybrid of a continous comparison radiometer and correlation polarimeter designed for the C-Band All-Sky Survey. We produce analytic descriptions of the receiver Mueller matrix and noise temperature, and discuss how imperfections in crucial components affect the raw data. Many of the conclusions drawn are generally applicable to correlation polarimeters and continuous comparison radiometers.

  4. Astronomers Gain Clues About Fundamental Physics

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-12-01

    An international team of astronomers has looked at something very big -- a distant galaxy -- to study the behavior of things very small -- atoms and molecules -- to gain vital clues about the fundamental nature of our entire Universe. The team used the National Science Foundation's Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope (GBT) to test whether the laws of nature have changed over vast spans of cosmic time. The Green Bank Telescope The Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope CREDIT: NRAO/AUI/NSF (Click on image for GBT gallery) "The fundamental constants of physics are expected to remain fixed across space and time; that's why they're called constants! Now, however, new theoretical models for the basic structure of matter indicate that they may change. We're testing these predictions." said Nissim Kanekar, an astronomer at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO), in Socorro, New Mexico. So far, the scientists' measurements show no change in the constants. "We've put the most stringent limits yet on some changes in these constants, but that's not the end of the story," said Christopher Carilli, another NRAO astronomer. "This is the exciting frontier where astronomy meets particle physics," Carilli explained. The research can help answer fundamental questions about whether the basic components of matter are tiny particles or tiny vibrating strings, how many dimensions the Universe has, and the nature of "dark energy." The astronomers were looking for changes in two quantities: the ratio of the masses of the electron and the proton, and a number physicists call the fine structure constant, a combination of the electron charge, the speed of light and the Planck constant. These values, considered fundamental physical constants, once were "taken as time independent, with values given once and forever" said German particle physicist Christof Wetterich. However, Wetterich explained, "the viewpoint of modern particle theory has changed in recent years," with ideas such as

  5. Old Star's "Rebirth" Gives Astronomers Surprises

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-04-01

    Astronomers using the National Science Foundation's Very Large Array (VLA) radio telescope are taking advantage of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to watch an old star suddenly stir back into new activity after coming to the end of its normal life. Their surprising results have forced them to change their ideas of how such an old, white dwarf star can re-ignite its nuclear furnace for one final blast of energy. Sakurai's Object Radio/Optical Images of Sakurai's Object: Color image shows nebula ejected thousands of years ago. Contours indicate radio emission. Inset is Hubble Space Telescope image, with contours indicating radio emission; this inset shows just the central part of the region. CREDIT: Hajduk et al., NRAO/AUI/NSF, ESO, StSci, NASA Computer simulations had predicted a series of events that would follow such a re-ignition of fusion reactions, but the star didn't follow the script -- events moved 100 times more quickly than the simulations predicted. "We've now produced a new theoretical model of how this process works, and the VLA observations have provided the first evidence supporting our new model," said Albert Zijlstra, of the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom. Zijlstra and his colleagues presented their findings in the April 8 issue of the journal Science. The astronomers studied a star known as V4334 Sgr, in the constellation Sagittarius. It is better known as "Sakurai's Object," after Japanese amateur astronomer Yukio Sakurai, who discovered it on February 20, 1996, when it suddenly burst into new brightness. At first, astronomers thought the outburst was a common nova explosion, but further study showed that Sakurai's Object was anything but common. The star is an old white dwarf that had run out of hydrogen fuel for nuclear fusion reactions in its core. Astronomers believe that some such stars can undergo a final burst of fusion in a shell of helium that surrounds a core of heavier nuclei such as carbon and oxygen. However, the

  6. Why stellar astronomers should be interested in the sun

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmelz, J. T.

    2003-09-01

    By all accounts, the Sun is a garden-variety star with an average age, a standard size, a regular temperature, norormal mass, an ordinary structure, and a typical chemical composition. Only one feature makes it special - the Sun is our star. It is located in the center of our solar system, and therefore, is responsible for all life on Earth. Astronomically speaking, the Sun is the only star in the sky that we can study up-close and personal. The unaided human eye does a better job of resolving the Sun than the finest telescope does for any other star. Stellar astronomers issue a press release whenever they can lay a few pixels of some state-of-the-art instrument across a nearby supergiant. The resolution of the Sun, however, is something we can see routinely in the magnificent images that are downloaded every day from the Transition Region and Coronal Explorer (TRACE) spacecraft. In a very real sense, the Sun is the Rosetta Stone of the Stars. Observations of the Sun deflecting starlight ushered in a new way of thinking about gravity. Zeeman effect observations of the Sun showed that stellar atmospheres were controlled by magnetic fields. The discovery of solar helium founded the science of stellar spectroscopy. Measurements of the solar mass, radius, and temperature allowed scientists to probe the interiors of stars for the first time. tim ancient age of the Sun implied that stars shine as a result of thermonuclear fusion. Observations of solar flares flamulated developments in rapid magnetic reconnection theory. The study of solar coronal holes led to a deeper understanding of the role that mass loss plays in the evolution of stars. Detailed analysis of the solar activity cycle inspired the development of Magneto-Hydrodynamic (MHD) dynamo theory. The detection and understanding; of the solar corona uncovered one of the longest unsolved mysteries in all of astrophysics — the coronal-heating problem. And the list goes on. The Sun is indeed a Laboratory for

  7. Daytime School Guided Visits to an Astronomical Observatory in Brazil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colombo, Pedro Donizete, Jr.; Silva, Cibelle Celestino; Aroca, Silvia Calbo

    2010-01-01

    This article analyzes the activity "Daytime School Guided Visits" at an astronomical observatory in Brazil with pupils from primary school. The adopted research methodology relied on questionnaire applications and semistructured interviews. The objectives were to identify the influences of the visits on learning of astronomical concepts and on…

  8. Using Modern Technologies to Capture and Share Indigenous Astronomical Knowledge

    OpenAIRE

    Nakata, N. M.; Hamacher, D. W.; Warren, J.; Byrne, A; Pagnucco, M.; Harley, R.; Venugopal, S.; Thorpe, K.; Neville, R.; Bolt, R.

    2014-01-01

    Indigenous Knowledge is important for Indigenous communities across the globe and for the advancement of our general scientific knowledge. In particular, Indigenous astronomical knowledge integrates many aspects of Indigenous Knowledge, including seasonal calendars, navigation, food economics, law, ceremony, and social structure. We aim to develop innovative ways of capturing, managing, and disseminating Indigenous astronomical knowledge for Indigenous communities and the general public for t...

  9. The lamps of Atlantis: an astronomical detective story

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roy, Archie E.

    1986-11-01

    The origin of the stellar constellations familiar to western astronomers from ancient times is discussed using astronomical, literary, and archaeological evidence. The precession of the equinoxes, the zone of avoidance and the orientation of the constellations, and early Greek and Minoan astronomy are considered.

  10. The challengers of an astronomer being a journalist

    Science.gov (United States)

    Podorvanyuk, N.

    2015-03-01

    As the weakness of russian astronomers in observational astronomy became chronic Russia should enter European Southern Observatory. But the Russian government is still not providing any financing of the entrance of Russia to ESO. The author states this situation as an example of his experience of work as an astronomer and as a journalist at the same time.

  11. Software Package for Preparing and Processing of an Astronomical Observation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vaduvescu, Ovidiu; Birlan, Mirel

    This paper presents an astronomical software package which draws celestial charts. It was conceived taking into account the technical possibilities available for the Romanian astronomers and the actual trend of the observational astronomy. The software package, now to its third version, comes to decrease the time to prepare an observation and to perform accurate charts for searching and identification.

  12. Astronomical Books and Charts in the Book of Bibliographie Coreenne

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Ki-Won; Yang, Hong-Jin; Park, Myeong-Gu

    2008-06-01

    We investigate astronomical materials listed in the book of Bibliographie Coréenne written by Maurice Courant. He classified ancient Korean books into nine Divisions (?) and thirty six Classes (?), and published them as three volumes (ranging from 1894 to 1896) and one supplement (in 1901). In total, 3,821 books including astronomical ones are listed together with information on physical size, possessional place, bibliographical note, and so forth. Although this book is an essential one in the field of Korea bibliography and contains many astronomical materials such as Cheon-Mun-Ryu-Cho ????, Si-Heon-Seo ??????, and Cheon-Sang-Yeol-Cha-Bun-Ya-Ji-Do ????????, it has not been well known to the public nor to astronomical society. Of 3,821 catalogues, we found that about 50 Items (?) are related to astronomy or astrology, and verified that most ! of them are located in the Kyujanggak Royal Library ???. We also found an unknown astronomical chart, Hon-Cheon-Chong-Seong-Yeol-Cha-Bun-Ya-Ji-Do ??????????. Because those astronomical materials are not well known to international astronomical community and there have been few studies on the materials in Korea, we here introduce and review them, particularly with the astronomical viewpoint.

  13. The Virtual Astronomical Observatory: Re-engineering Access to Astronomical Data

    CERN Document Server

    Hanisch, R J; Lazio, T J W; Bunn, S Emery; Evans, J; McGlynn, T A; Plante, R

    2015-01-01

    The U.S. Virtual Astronomical Observatory was a software infrastructure and development project designed both to begin the establishment of an operational Virtual Observatory (VO) and to provide the U.S. coordination with the international VO effort. The concept of the VO is to provide the means by which an astronomer is able to discover, access, and process data seamlessly, regardless of its physical location. This paper describes the origins of the VAO, including the predecessor efforts within the U.S. National Virtual Observatory, and summarizes its main accomplishments. These accomplishments include the development of both scripting toolkits that allow scientists to incorporate VO data directly into their reduction and analysis environments and high-level science applications for data discovery, integration, analysis, and catalog cross-comparison. Working with the international community, and based on the experience from the software development, the VAO was a major contributor to international standards ...

  14. The New 2-M RCC Telescope in the Northern Caucasus for Modern Astronomical Research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tarady, V. K.; Yatskiv, Ya. S.

    A new 2-m Ritchey-Chretien-Coude (RCC) telescope in the Northern Caucasus (the Kabardin-Balkar Republic, Russian Federation) is nearing being put into operation. It has been developed by the National Academy of Sciences of the Ukraine on the Terskol peak (near Elbrus) which seems to be one of the best sites for astronomical ground observations in terms of its astroclimate. This paper describes the present status of the telescope, its instrumentation and outlines the scientific problems that can be solved using the telescope.

  15. Optimization of graded multilayer designs for astronomical x-ray telescopes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mao, P.H.; Harrison, F.A.; Windt, D.L.;

    1999-01-01

    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 the balloon-borne High Energy Focusing Telescope, using W/Si as the multilayer materials. In addition, we present optimized performance calculations of mirrors, using other material pairs that are capable of extending performance to photon energies above the W K-absorption edge (69.5 keV), including Pt/C, Ni...

  16. The Double Didactic Astronomical Quadrant for the XIII International Astronomical Olympiad

    OpenAIRE

    Maris, Michele; Corte, Claudio; Boehm, Conrad; Iafrate, Giulia; Ramella, Massimo

    2010-01-01

    Here we present the development of a simplified version of double astronomical quadrant, designed for educational aims and realized on the occasion of the observational round of the XIII International Astronomy Olympiad, held in Trieste (Italy) October 13-21, 2008. (Italia: In questo contributo illustriamo il progetto di una versione semplificata di doppio quadrante astronomico, progettato per fini didattici e realizzato in occasione dello svolgimento della gara osservativa delle XIII Olimpia...

  17. Progress on the New York State Observatory: a new 12-meter astronomical telescope

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sebring, T.; O'Dea, C.; Baum, S.; Teran, J.; Loewen, N.; Stutzki, C.; Egerman, R.; Bonomi, G.

    2014-07-01

    Over the past two years, the New York Astronomical Corporation (NYAC), the business arm of the Astronomical Society of New York (ASNY), has continued planning and technical studies toward construction of a 12-meter class optical telescope for the use of all New York universities and research institutions. Four significant technical studies have been performed investigating design opportunities for the facility, the dome, the telescope optics, and the telescope mount. The studies were funded by NYAC and performed by companies who have provided these subsystems for large astronomical telescopes in the past. In each case, innovative and cost effective approaches were identified, developed, analyzed, and initial cost estimates developed. As a group, the studies show promise that this telescope could be built at historically low prices. As the project continues forward, NYAC intends to broaden the collaboration, pursue funding, to continue to develop the telescope and instrument designs, and to further define the scientific mission. The vision of a historically large telescope dedicated to all New York institutions continues to grow and find new adherents.

  18. Luminescence Instrumentation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jain, Mayank; Bøtter-Jensen, Lars

    2014-01-01

    This chapter gives an introduction to instrumentation for stimulated luminescence studies, with special focus on luminescence dating using the natural dosimeters, quartz and feldspars. The chapter covers basic concepts in luminescence detection, and thermal and optical stimulation, and reference ...

  19. Instrumental analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This textbook deals with instrumental analysis, which consists of nine chapters. It has Introduction of analysis chemistry, the process of analysis and types and form of the analysis, Electrochemistry on basic theory, potentiometry and conductometry, electromagnetic radiant rays and optical components on introduction and application, Ultraviolet rays and Visible spectrophotometry, Atomic absorption spectrophotometry on introduction, flame emission spectrometry and plasma emission spectrometry. The others like infrared spectrophotometry, X-rays spectrophotometry and mass spectrometry, chromatography and the other instrumental analysis like radiochemistry.

  20. LOFT instrumentation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    A description of instrumentation used in the Loss-of-Fluid Test (LOFT) large break Loss-of-Coolant Experiments is presented. Emphasis is placed on hydraulic and thermal measurements in the primary system piping and components, reactor vessel, and pressure suppression system. In addition, instrumentation which is being considered for measurement of phenomena during future small break testing is discussed. (orig.) 891 HP/orig. 892 BRE

  1. Astronomers Discover Fastest-Spinning Pulsar

    Science.gov (United States)

    2006-01-01

    Astronomers using the National Science Foundation's Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope have discovered the fastest-spinning neutron star ever found, a 20-mile-diameter superdense pulsar whirling faster than the blades of a kitchen blender. Their work yields important new information about the nature of one of the most exotic forms of matter known in the Universe. Pulsar Graphic Pulsars Are Spinning Neutron Stars CREDIT: Bill Saxton, NRAO/AUI/NSF (Click on image for larger version) "We believe that the matter in neutron stars is denser than an atomic nucleus, but it is unclear by how much. Our observations of such a rapidly rotating star set a hard upper limit on its size, and hence on how dense the star can be.," said Jason Hessels, a graduate student at McGill University in Montreal. Hessels and his colleagues presented their findings to the American Astronomical Society's meeting in Washington, DC. Pulsars are spinning neutron stars that sling "lighthouse beams" of radio waves or light around as they spin. A neutron star is what is left after a massive star explodes at the end of its "normal" life. With no nuclear fuel left to produce energy to offset the stellar remnant's weight, its material is compressed to extreme densities. The pressure squeezes together most of its protons and electrons to form neutrons; hence, the name "neutron star." "Neutron stars are incredible laboratories for learning about the physics of the fundamental particles of nature, and this pulsar has given us an important new limit," explained Scott Ransom, an astronomer at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory and one of Hessels' collaborators on this work. The scientists discovered the pulsar, named PSR J1748-2446ad, in a globular cluster of stars called Terzan 5, located some 28,000 light-years from Earth in the constellation Sagittarius. The newly-discovered pulsar is spinning 716 times per second, or at 716 Hertz (Hz), readily beating the previous record of 642 Hz from a pulsar

  2. NRAO Astronomer Wins Prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-01

    Dr. Dale Frail, an astronomer at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) in Socorro, New Mexico, has been awarded a prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship, according to the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. The Guggenheim Foundation describes its fellowships as "mid-career" awards "intended for men and women who have already demonstrated exceptional capacity for productive scholarship or exceptional creative ability in the arts." Frail, 48, has worked at the NRAO for more than 20 years, first as a postdoctoral fellow, and then as a staff scientist. He received his bachelor's degree in physics from Acadia University in Nova Scotia, and his Ph.D in astronomy from the University of Toronto. Frail is best known for his landmark contributions to the understanding of gamma ray bursts, making critical measurements that provided key insights into the mechanisms of these superenergetic and once-mysterious explosions. He also has made important contributions to the understanding of other astronomical phenomena, including pulsars and their neighborhoods, supernova remnants, and magnetars. In 1992, he was the co-discoverer, with Alex Wolszczan, of the first planets outside our own solar system. "We congratulate Dale on this well-deserved honor that recognizes not only his past achievements but also his potential for exciting scientific work in the future," said Dr. Fred K.Y. Lo, NRAO Director. "We're very proud to see one of our scientists receive such a great honor," Lo added. Frail is one of 180 recipients of this year's Guggenheim Fellowships, chosen from some 3,000 applicants. The fellowships were established in 1925 and past recipients include photographer Ansel Adams, author Saul Bellow, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, and chemist Linus Pauling. 102 Guggenheim Fellows have subsequently won Nobel Prizes, and others have received Pulitzer Prizes and other honors. As a Guggenheim Fellow, Frail intends to intensify his research in the areas of pulsars

  3. Book Review: Scientific Writing for Young Astronomers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uyttenhove, Jos

    2011-12-01

    EDP Sciences, Les Ulis, France. Part 1 : 162 pp. € 35 ISBN 978-2-7598-0506-8 Part 2 : 298 pp. € 60 ISBN 978-2-7598-0639-3 The journal Astronomy & Astrophysics (A&A) and EDP Sciences decided in 2007 to organize a School on the various aspects of scientific writing and publishing. In 2008 and 2009 Scientific Writing for Young Astronomers (SWYA) Schools were held in Blankenberge (B) under the direction of Christiaan Sterken (FWO-VUB). These two books (EAS publication series, Vol. 49 and 50) reflect the outcome of these Schools. Part 1 contains a set of contributions that discuss various aspects of scientific publication; it includes A&A Editors' view of the peer review and publishing process. A very interesting short paper by S.R. Pottasch (Kapteyn Astronomical Institute, Groningen, and one of the two first Editors-in Chief of A&A) deals with the history of the creation of the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics. Two papers by J. Adams et al. (Observatoire de Paris) discuss language editing, including a detailed guide for any non-native user of the English language. In 2002 the Board of Directors decided that all articles in A&A must be written in clear and correct English. Part 2 consists of three very extensive and elaborated papers by Christiaan Sterken, supplying guidelines to PhD students and postdoctoral fellows to help them compose scientific papers for different forums (journals, proceedings, thesis, etc.). This part is of interest not only for young astronomers but it is very useful for scholars of all ages and disciplines. Paper I "The writing process" (60 pp.) copes with the preparation of manuscripts, with communicating with editors and referees and with avoiding common errors. Delicate problems on authorship, refereeing, revising multi-authored papers etc. are treated in 26 FAQ's. Paper II "Communication by graphics" (120 pp.) is entirely dedicated to the important topic of communication with images, graphs, diagrams, tables etc. Design types of graphs

  4. Astronomical Forcing of Salt Marsh Biogeochemical Cascades

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morris, J. T.; Sundberg, K.

    2008-12-01

    Astronomically forced changes in the hydroperiod of a salt marsh affect the rate of marsh primary production leading to a biogeochemical cascade. For example, salt marsh primary production and biogeochemical cycles in coastal salt marshes are sensitive to the 18.6-year lunar nodal cycle, which alters the tidal amplitude by about 5 cm. For marshes that are perched high in the tidal frame, a relatively small increase in tidal amplitude and flooding lowers sediment salinity and stimulates primary production. Porewater sulfide concentrations are positively correlated with tidal amplitude and vary on the same cycle as primary production. Soluble reactive phosphate and ammonium concentrations in pore water also vary on this 18.6- year cycle. Phosphate likely responds to variation in the reaction of sulfide with iron-phosphate compounds, while the production of ammonium in sediments is coupled to the activity of diazotrophs that are carbon- limited and, therefore, are regulated by primary productivity. Ammonium also would accumulate when sulfides block nitrification. These dependencies work as a positive feedback between primary production and nutrient supply and are predictive of the near-term effects of sea-level rise.

  5. Is astronomical research appropriate for developing countries?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Snowden, Michael S.

    An unproductive 45-cm astronomical telescope, given by JICA (Japan) to Sri Lanka, raises general questions as to the reasons for unproductive pure science in developing countries. Before installation, site, maintenance, and scientific objectives were discussed. The facility was launched with a conference organised by the UN Office for Outer Space Affairs. Unfortunately, no research or significant education has resulted after four years. The annual operating cost is U.S. $5000 per year, including salary for a trainee, maintenance, and a modest promotional programme. Comparison with a similar installation in Auckland suggests lack of funding or technical competence do not explain the failure in Sri Lanka. The facility in New Zealand, on the roof of Auckland University's Physics Department, has a slightly smaller budget but has led to modest but useful research and teaching. Lack of financial backing and expertise are often blamed for weak science in developing countries, but examination shows most of these countries have adequately skilled people, and plenty of resources for religion and military. General lack of motivation for science appears to be the principal reason. This lack of interest and highly inefficient bureaucracies are common to scientifically unproductive countries. They mostly lack the cultural and philosophical base of the European Renaissance that motivate the pursuit of modern science, an activity that violates human preferences. There are excellent facilities (ESO, SAAO, Cerro Tololo, and GONG) in some of these same countries, when administered from the West.

  6. The Taiwan Extragalactic Astronomical Data Center

    CERN Document Server

    Foucaud, Sébastien; Tsai, Meng-Feng; Kamennoff, Nicolas

    2012-01-01

    Founded in 2010, the Taiwan Extragalactic Astronomical Data Center (TWEA-DC) has for goal to propose access to large amount of data for the Taiwanese and International community, focusing its efforts on Extragalactic science. In continuation with individual efforts in Taiwan over the past few years, this is the first steppingstone towards the building of a National Virtual Observatory. Taking advantage of our own fast indexing algorithm (BLINK), based on a octahedral meshing of the sky coupled with a very fast kd-tree and a clever parallelization amongst available resources, TWEA-DC will propose from spring 2013 a service of "on-the-fly" matching facility, between on-site and user-based catalogs. We will also offer access to public and private raw and reducible data available to the Taiwanese community. Finally, we are developing high-end on-line analysis tools, such as an automated photometric redshifts and SED fitting code (APz), and an automated groups and clusters finder (APFoF).

  7. The Research Use of Astronomical Monographs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abt, Helmut A.

    2014-04-01

    I explored the use of astronomical monographs used for research. After scanning 135 monographs (excluding conference proceedings and textbooks) listed in 2000-2003 issues of Physics Today and counting citations of them in 2000-2013 in ADS (Astrophysics Data System), I found that 67% of the monographs received fewer than 2 citations per year. The average citation rate for the 135 monographs is statistically the same as for ApJ papers. In contrast, only 41% of the ApJ papers produce fewer than 2 citations per year. ADS also counts the number of times each book or paper is read on-line. The average in 14 years is 181 ± 27 times for the monographs and 633 ± 47 times for ApJ papers. The total numbers of citations in 14 years for the monographs ranged from 0 to 711. I explored reasons for this range and only learned that it did not depend on (1) the numbers of book reviews published or (2) the scientific stature of the authors. I am unable to predict whether a monograph will be successful or not. The decreasing of references to monographs seems to be due to (1) monographs becoming so expensive that individuals and libraries cannot afford many of them, (2) readers seeming to prefer concise reviews, such as online searches and the Annual Reviews, and (3) most of the monographs having not been available free online.

  8. Instrumental Capital

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gabriel Valerio

    2007-07-01

    Full Text Available During the history of human kind, since our first ancestors, tools have represented a mean to reach objectives which might otherwise seemed impossibles. In the called New Economy, where tangibles assets appear to be losing the role as the core element to produce value versus knowledge, tools have kept aside man in his dairy work. In this article, the author's objective is to describe, in a simple manner, the importance of managing the organization's group of tools or instruments (Instrumental Capital. The characteristic conditions of this New Economy, the way Knowledge Management deals with these new conditions and the sub-processes that provide support to the management of Instrumental Capital are described.

  9. Instrumented SSH

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Campbell, Scott; Campbell, Scott

    2009-05-27

    NERSC recently undertook a project to access and analyze Secure Shell (SSH) related data. This includes authentication data such as user names and key fingerprints, interactive session data such as keystrokes and responses, and information about noninteractive sessions such as commands executed and files transferred. Historically, this data has been inaccessible with traditional network monitoring techniques, but with a modification to the SSH daemon, this data can be passed directly to intrusion detection systems for analysis. The instrumented version of SSH is now running on all NERSC production systems. This paper describes the project, details about how SSH was instrumented, and the initial results of putting this in production.

  10. Geotechnical instrumentation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, G. E.; Mikkelsen, P. E.; Mayne, P. W.; Frost, D. D.; Dowding, C. H.

    1988-12-01

    The 11 papers in the report deal with the following areas: deformation measurements with inclinometers; dilatometer experience in Washington, D.C., and vicinity; ground vibration monitoring instrumentation and computerized surveillance; instrumentation for tests of piles subjected to axial loading; use of the wave equation by the North Carolina Department of Transportation; NYSDOT's construction control of pile foundations with dynamic pile testing; discussion of procedures for the determination of pile capacity; modern specification of driven pile work; analysis of laterally loaded piles with nonlinear bending behavior; unified design of piles and pile groups, and LTBASE, a computer program for the analysis of laterally loaded piers including base and slope effects.

  11. Research Instruments

    Science.gov (United States)

    1992-01-01

    The GENETI-SCANNER, newest product of Perceptive Scientific Instruments, Inc. (PSI), rapidly scans slides, locates, digitizes, measures and classifies specific objects and events in research and diagnostic applications. Founded by former NASA employees, PSI's primary product line is based on NASA image processing technology. The instruments karyotype - a process employed in analysis and classification of chromosomes - using a video camera mounted on a microscope. Images are digitized, enabling chromosome image enhancement. The system enables karyotyping to be done significantly faster, increasing productivity and lowering costs. Product is no longer being manufactured.

  12. The Virtual Astronomical Observatory: Re-engineering access to astronomical data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanisch, R. J.; Berriman, G. B.; Lazio, T. J. W.; Emery Bunn, S.; Evans, J.; McGlynn, T. A.; Plante, R.

    2015-06-01

    The US Virtual Astronomical Observatory was a software infrastructure and development project designed both to begin the establishment of an operational Virtual Observatory (VO) and to provide the US coordination with the international VO effort. The concept of the VO is to provide the means by which an astronomer is able to discover, access, and process data seamlessly, regardless of its physical location. This paper describes the origins of the VAO, including the predecessor efforts within the US National Virtual Observatory, and summarizes its main accomplishments. These accomplishments include the development of both scripting toolkits that allow scientists to incorporate VO data directly into their reduction and analysis environments and high-level science applications for data discovery, integration, analysis, and catalog cross-comparison. Working with the international community, and based on the experience from the software development, the VAO was a major contributor to international standards within the International Virtual Observatory Alliance. The VAO also demonstrated how an operational virtual observatory could be deployed, providing a robust operational environment in which VO services worldwide were routinely checked for aliveness and compliance with international standards. Finally, the VAO engaged in community outreach, developing a comprehensive web site with on-line tutorials, announcements, links to both US and internationally developed tools and services, and exhibits and hands-on training at annual meetings of the American Astronomical Society and through summer schools and community days. All digital products of the VAO Project, including software, documentation, and tutorials, are stored in a repository for community access. The enduring legacy of the VAO is an increasing expectation that new telescopes and facilities incorporate VO capabilities during the design of their data management systems.

  13. A new technique of characterization of intrapixel response dedicated to astronomical detectors

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ketchazo, C., E-mail: christian.ketchazo@cea.fr [Service d’Astrophysique, CEA Saclay, Orme des Mérisiers, Gif-sur-Yvette 91191 (France); Viale, T. [ONERA, The French Aerospace Lab, F-91761 Palaiseau (France); Boulade, O. [Service d’Astrophysique, CEA Saclay, Orme des Mérisiers, Gif-sur-Yvette 91191 (France); Druart, G. [ONERA, The French Aerospace Lab, F-91761 Palaiseau (France); Moreau, V. [Service d’Astrophysique, CEA Saclay, Orme des Mérisiers, Gif-sur-Yvette 91191 (France); Mugnier, L. [ONERA, The French Aerospace Lab, F-91761 Palaiseau (France); Dubrueil, D. [Service d’Astrophysique, CEA Saclay, Orme des Mérisiers, Gif-sur-Yvette 91191 (France); Derelle, S. [ONERA, The French Aerospace Lab, F-91761 Palaiseau (France); Ronayette, S. [Service d’Astrophysique, CEA Saclay, Orme des Mérisiers, Gif-sur-Yvette 91191 (France); Guérineau, N. [ONERA, The French Aerospace Lab, F-91761 Palaiseau (France); Berthé, M. [Service d’Astrophysique, CEA Saclay, Orme des Mérisiers, Gif-sur-Yvette 91191 (France)

    2015-07-01

    This paper is devoted to the presentation of a new technique of characterization of the intra-pixel sensitivity variations (IPSVs) of astronomical detectors. The IPSV is the spatial variation of the pixel response function (PRF). In the case of under-sampled instruments for high quality imaging and accurate photometry, IPSV can contribute to the instrument global error and it should be considered carefully. Our measurement technique is based in the Fourier transform (FT) approach. It consists into the sampling of the pixel transfer function (PTF) by projecting high-resolution periodic patterns onto the whole sensor without classic optics but using the self-imaging property (the Talbot effect) of a continuously self imaging grating (CSIG) illuminated by a plane wave. The PRF is determined by computing the inverse FT. Our measurement technique permits to determine the PRF with a resolution of pixel/10 (10 times Nyquist frequency)

  14. Investigation carried out with pre-service elementary teachers on some basic astronomical topics

    CERN Document Server

    Gangui, Alejandro; Quinteros, Cynthia

    2010-01-01

    We perform a situational diagnosis in topics of astronomy of pre-service elementary teachers in order to try and develop didactic tools that better collaborate with their formal education. In this work we present the instrument we designed to put in evidence some of the most frequently used models on a few basic astronomical notions endowed by them. We work with an open written questionnaire comprising a limited but representative group of basic astronomical notions. We discuss the results of two first pilot tests, provided to 30 individuals, and we comment on the necessary changes applied to the instrument in order to design the final questionnaire, which was then provided to another group of 51 pre-service elementary teachers. A detailed qualitative analysis of the answers revealed many well-known alternative conceptions, and others that seem new. We find that prospective teachers have a hard time in trying to explain the movements of the Moon and its phases. They also meet difficulties to recognize and exp...

  15. Investigating Student Understanding of the Universe: Perceptions of Astronomical Sizes and Distances

    Science.gov (United States)

    Camarillo, Carmelita; Coble, K.; Hayes, V.; Nickerson, M.; Cochran, G. L.; Bailey, J. M.; McLin, K. M.; Cominsky, L. R.

    2011-05-01

    Student perceptions regarding astronomical sizes and distances are being analyzed for Chicago State University's Basic Astronomy course. This area is of great interest to further understand the students’ learning processes and to produce more effective instruction. Insights from cognitive psychology have shown that perceptions are related to prior experiences and current knowledge. Students enter into this course with different mental representations, and these representations can affect their learning. Through a repeated measures design, perceptions are analyzed through several instruments. The instruments implemented are pre-tests surveys (before lab), exams (after lab), lab comments, and interviews. Preliminary analysis reveals that students who have difficulty with astronomical sizes and distances have been more strongly influenced by culture and the media whereas those who had less difficulty expanded on their personal prior experiences. This project is part of a larger study; also see our posters on the structure of the universe, dark matter, the age and expansion of the universe. This work was supported by NASA ROSES E/PO Grant #NNXlOAC89G, as well as by the Illinois Space Grant Consortium and National Science Foundation CCLI Grant #0632563 at Chicago State University and the Fermi E/PO program at Sonoma State University.

  16. The Wisconsin Experiment Package (WEP) aboard the Orbiting Astronomical Observatory (OAO-2)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marche, J. D.

    2005-12-01

    On 7 December 1968, NASA's Orbiting Astronomical Observatory (OAO-2) was launched into space. Roughly ten years in development, the OAO carried two sets of experiments, each designed to conduct the first extended observations of the sky at ultraviolet wavelengths. One experiment package was designed by the University of Wisconsin; the other by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. Remote operation of the OAO, especially the WEP's narrow-field photometric instruments, demanded a "complex stabilization and control system" that could point the spacecraft towards any desired object with an accuracy of better than one arc-minute. A host of other calculations were routinely performed to insure that the instruments were never pointed toward (or within) a fixed number of degrees of the Sun, Moon, or even the Earth. During its 50 months of operation, WEP successfully observed more than a thousand celestial objects. It was the first true stellar space observatory, whose operating system represented a greater technological leap forward in its day than the Hubble Space Telescope (HST), launched in 1990. At the same time, OAO-2 marked a significant turning point in the way astrophysical research was conducted. OAO scientists' dependence upon high-speed, digital techniques of data acquisition, storage, transmission, and reduction, not only presaged but also influenced the universal adoption of such techniques throughout the astronomical community. The OAO spacecraft was a significant bellwether of the transition to an era of digital data manipulation that occurred well before the impact of the personal computer and the charge-coupled device (CCD).

  17. The Double Didactic Astronomical Quadrant for the XIII International Astronomical Olympiad

    CERN Document Server

    Maris, Michele; Boehm, Conrad; Iafrate, Giulia; Ramella, Massimo

    2010-01-01

    Here we present the development of a simplified version of double astronomical quadrant, designed for educational aims and realized on the occasion of the observational round of the XIII International Astronomy Olympiad, held in Trieste (Italy) October 13-21, 2008. (Italia: In questo contributo illustriamo il progetto di una versione semplificata di doppio quadrante astronomico, progettato per fini didattici e realizzato in occasione dello svolgimento della gara osservativa delle XIII Olimpiadi Internazionali di Astronomia (XIII International Astronomy Olympiad, XIII IAO), Trieste (I), 13-21 ottobre 2008))

  18. Instruments on large optical telescopes -- A case study

    CERN Document Server

    Kulkarni, S R

    2016-01-01

    In the distant past, telescopes were known, first and foremost, for the sizes of their apertures. Advances in technology (not merely those related to astronomical detectors) are now enabling astronomers to build extremely powerful instruments to the extent that instruments have now achieved importance comparable or even exceeding the usual importance accorded to the apertures of the telescopes. However, the cost of successive generations of instruments has risen at a rate far above that of the rate of inflation. Here, given the vast sums of money now being expended on optical telescopes and their instrumentation, I argue that astronomers must undertake "cost-benefit" analysis for future planning. I use the scientific output of the first two decades of the W. M. Keck Observatory as a laboratory for this purpose. I find, in the absence of upgrades, that the time to reach peak paper production for an instrument is about six years. The prime lifetime of instruments (sans upgrades), as measured by citations return...

  19. The NASA Astrophysics Data System Free Access to the Astronomical Literature On-Line and through Email

    CERN Document Server

    Eichhorn, G; Grant, C S; Kurtz, M J; Murray, S S

    2001-01-01

    The Astrophysics Data System (ADS) provides access to the astronomical literature through the World Wide Web. It is a NASA funded project and access to all the ADS services is free to everybody world-wide.The ADS Abstract Service allows the searching of four databases with abstracts in Astronomy, Instrumentation, Physics/Geophysics, and the LANL Preprints with a total of over 2.2 million references. The system also provides access to reference and citation information, links to on-line data, electronic journal articles, and other on-line information. The ADS Article Service contains the articles for most of the astronomical literature back to volume 1. It contains the scanned pages of all the major journals (Astrophysical Journal, Astronomical Journal, Astronomy & Astrophysics, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, and Solar Physics), as well as most smaller journals back to volume 1. The ADS can be accessed through any web browser without signup or login. Alternatively an email interface is ...

  20. Seismic instrumentation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    For better understanding of the specification for seismic instrumentation of a nuclear power plant, the lecture gives some fundamental remarks to the seismic risk in the Federal Republic of Germany and to the data characterizing an earthquake event. Coming from the geophysical properties of an earthquake, the quantities are explained which are used in the design process of nuclear power plants. This process is shortly described in order to find the requirements for the specification of the seismic instrumentation. In addition the demands of licensing authorities are given. As an example the seismic instrumentation of KKP-1, BWR, is shown. The paper deals with kind and number of instruments, their location in the plant and their sensitivity and calibration. Final considerations deal with the evaluation of measured data and with plant operation after an earthquake. Some experience concerning the earthquake behaviour of equipment not designed to withstand earthquake loads is mentioned. This experience has initiated studies directed to quantification of the degree of conservatism of the assumptions in the seismic design of nuclear power plants. A final garget of these studies are more realistic design rules. (RW)

  1. Relying on electronic journals: Reading patterns of astronomers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tenopir, Carol; King, Donald W.; Boyce, Peter; Grayson, Matt; Paulson, Keri-Lynn

    2005-06-01

    Surveys of the members of the American Astronomical Society identify how astronomers use journals and what features and formats they prefer. While every work field is distinct, the patterns of use by astronomers may provide a glimpse of what to expect of journal patterns and use by other scientists. Astronomers, like other scientists, continue to invest a large amount of their time in reading articles and place a high level of importance on journal articles. They use a wide variety of formats and means to get access to materials that are essential to their work in teaching, service, and research. They select access means that are convenient - whether those means be print, electronic, or both. The availability of a mature electronic journals system from their primary professional society has surely influenced their early adoption of e-journals.

  2. The Persian-Toledan Astronomical Connection and the European Renaissance

    CERN Document Server

    Heydari-Malayeri, M

    2007-01-01

    This paper aims at presenting a brief overview of astronomical exchanges between the Eastern and Western parts of the Islamic world from the 8th to 14th century. These cultural interactions were in fact vaster involving Persian, Indian, Greek, and Chinese traditions. I will particularly focus on some interesting relations between the Persian astronomical heritage and the Andalusian (Spanish) achievements in that period. After a brief introduction dealing mainly with a couple of terminological remarks, I will present a glimpse of the historical context in which Muslim science developed. In Section 3, the origins of Muslim astronomy will be briefly examined. Section 4 will be concerned with Khwarizmi, the Persian astronomer/mathematician who wrote the first major astronomical work in the Muslim world. His influence on later Andalusian astronomy will be looked into in Section 5. Andalusian astronomy flourished in the 11th century, as will be studied in Section 6. Among its major achievements were the Toledan Tab...

  3. A Multilingual on-line Dictionary of Astronomical Concepts

    CERN Document Server

    Heydari-Malayeri, M

    2009-01-01

    On the occasion of the International Year of Astronomy (IYA2009), we present a new interactive dictionary of astronomy and astrophysics, which contains about 7000 entries. This interdisciplinary and multicultural work is intended for professional and amateur astronomers, university students in astrophysics, as well as terminologists and linguists. A new approach is pursued in the formation of a scientific dictionary, which aims to display additional dimensions of astronomical concepts. Although Virtual Observatories recognize the necessity of efforts to define basic astronomical concepts and establish their reciprocal relations, so far they have mainly been confined to archiving observational data. The present dictionary could be an incipient contribution to cover and inter-relate the whole astronomical lexicon beyond subfields.

  4. Lessons from the masters current concepts in astronomical image processing

    CERN Document Server

    2013-01-01

    There are currently thousands of amateur astronomers around the world engaged in astrophotography at increasingly sophisticated levels. Their ranks far outnumber professional astronomers doing the same and their contributions both technically and artistically are the dominant drivers of progress in the field today. This book is a unique collaboration of individuals, all world-renowned in their particular area, and covers in detail each of the major sub-disciplines of astrophotography. This approach offers the reader the greatest opportunity to learn the most current information and the latest techniques directly from the foremost innovators in the field today.   The book as a whole covers all types of astronomical image processing, including processing of eclipses and solar phenomena, extracting detail from deep-sky, planetary, and widefield images, and offers solutions to some of the most challenging and vexing problems in astronomical image processing. Recognized chapter authors include deep sky experts su...

  5. The Educational Activities of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fraknoi, Andrew

    1981-01-01

    Describes educational activities of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific including learning packets on various astronomy concepts, Morrison lectures, newspaper columns, teacher workshops, cosponsoring astronomy oriented lectures, and providing speakers for various groups. (DS)

  6. PPARC: Grid technology helps astronomers keep pace with the Universe

    CERN Multimedia

    2003-01-01

    "Intelligent Agent" computer programs are roaming the Internet and watching the skies. These programs, using Grid computing technology, will help astronomers detect some of the most dramatic events in the universe, such as massive supernova explosions (1 page).

  7. Astronomical Software Wants To Be Free: A Manifesto

    CERN Document Server

    Weiner, Benjamin J; Coil, Alison L; Cooper, Michael C; Davé, Romeel; Hogg, David W; Holden, Bradford P; Jonsson, Patrik; Kassin, Susan A; Lotz, Jennifer M; Moustakas, John; Newman, Jeffrey A; Prochaska, J X; Teuben, Peter J; Tremonti, Christy A; Willmer, Christopher N A

    2009-01-01

    Astronomical software is now a fact of daily life for all hands-on members of our community. Purpose-built software for data reduction and modeling tasks becomes ever more critical as we handle larger amounts of data and simulations. However, the writing of astronomical software is unglamorous, the rewards are not always clear, and there are structural disincentives to releasing software publicly and to embedding it in the scientific literature, which can lead to significant duplication of effort and an incomplete scientific record. We identify some of these structural disincentives and suggest a variety of approaches to address them, with the goals of raising the quality of astronomical software, improving the lot of scientist-authors, and providing benefits to the entire community, analogous to the benefits provided by open access to large survey and simulation datasets. Our aim is to open a conversation on how to move forward. We advocate that: (1) the astronomical community consider software as an integra...

  8. Young Astronomers' Observe with ESO Telescopes

    Science.gov (United States)

    1995-11-01

    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

  9. European astronomers' successes with the Hubble Space Telescope*

    Science.gov (United States)

    1997-02-01

    [Figure: Laguna Nebula] Their work spans all aspects of astronomy, from the planets to the most distant galaxies and quasars, and the following examples are just a few European highlights from Hubble's second phase, 1994-96. A scarcity of midget stars Stars less massive and fainter than the Sun are much numerous in the Milky Way Galaxy than the big bright stars that catch the eye. Guido De Marchi and Francesco Paresce of the European Southern Observatory as Garching, Germany, have counted them. With the wide-field WFPC2 camera, they have taken sample censuses within six globular clusters, which are large gatherings of stars orbiting independently in the Galaxy. In every case they find that the commonest stars have an output of light that is only one-hundredth of the Sun's. They are ten times more numerous than stars like the Sun. More significant for theories of the Universe is a scarcity of very faint stars. Some astronomers have suggested that vast numbers of such stars could account for the mysterious dark matter, which makes stars and galaxies move about more rapidly than expected from the mass of visible matter. But that would require an ever-growing count of objects at low brightnesses, and De Marchi and Paresce find the opposite to be the case -- the numbers diminish. There may be a minimum size below which Nature finds starmaking difficult. The few examples of very small stars seen so far by astronomers may be, not the heralds of a multitude of dark-matter stars, but rareties. Unchanging habits in starmaking Confirmation that very small stars are scarce comes from Gerry Gilmore of the Institute of Astronomy in Cambridge (UK). He leads a European team that analyses long-exposure images in the WFPC2 camera, obtained as a by-product when another instrument is examining a selected object. The result is an almost random sample of well-observed stars and galaxies. The most remarkable general conclusion is that the make-up of stellar populations never seems to

  10. Some early astronomical sites in the Kashmir region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iqbal, Naseer; Vahia, M. N.; Masood, Tabasum; Ahmad, Aijaz

    2009-03-01

    We discuss a number of early rock art sites in the Kashmir Valley in northern India and neighbouring Pakistan, and suggest that some of these contain depictions of astronomical objects or events. The sites are in the Srinagar and Sopore regions and in or near the Ladakh region, and date to Neolithic or Upper Paleolithic times. Our studies suggest that during this period some of the ancient astronomers recorded supernovae, meteorite impacts, the Sun, the Moon and the seasons in their rock art.

  11. Real-time earthquake warning for astronomical observatories

    CERN Document Server

    Coughlin, Michael; Barrientos, Sergio; Claver, Chuck; Harms, Jan; Smith, Christopher; Warner, Michael

    2014-01-01

    Early earthquake warning is a rapidly developing capability that has significant ramifications for many fields, including astronomical observatories. In this work, we describe the susceptibility of astronomical facilities to seismic events, including large telescopes as well as second-generation ground-based gravitational-wave interferometers. We describe the potential warning times for observatories from current seismic networks and propose locations for future seismometers to maximize warning times.

  12. Blowing bubbles in the cosmos astronomical winds, jets, and explosions

    CERN Document Server

    Hartquist, T W; Ruffle, D P

    2004-01-01

    1. The First Discoveries of Astronomical Winds2. The Magnitudes of Astronomical Quantities3. Stellar Evolution4. Basic Structures of Winds and Windblown Bubbles5. Star Formation and Low-Mass Young Stellar Objects6. Regions of High-Mass Star Formation7. Winds from Main-Sequence and Post-Main-Sequence Stars8. Supernovae and Their Remnants9. Galactic Winds, Starburst Superwinds, and the Epoch of Galaxy Formation10. Active Galaxies and Their Nuclei11. Some Other Windy and Explosive Sources

  13. ASTRONOMICAL ALGORITHMS OF EGYPTIAN PYRAMIDS SLOPES AND THEIR MODULES DIVIDER

    OpenAIRE

    Aboulfotouh, Hossam M. K.

    2015-01-01

    This paper is an attempt to show the astronomical design principles that are encoded in the geometrical forms of the largest five pyramids of the fourth Egyptian dynasty, in Giza and Dahshur plateaus, based on using the pyramids’ design-modules that are mentioned in the so-called Rhind Mathematical Papyrus. It shows the astronomical algorithms for quantifying the slopes of pyramids, with reference to specific range of earth’s axial tilt, within spherical co-ordinates system. Besid...

  14. New developments at the NASA Astronomical Data Center

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warren, W. H., Jr.

    1985-01-01

    The need for a compilation catalog containing a large variety of astronomical data for the Astronomical Data Base of NASA is considered. It is suggested that the catalog should be prepared directly from the SIMBAD data base by processing through a single software program and made available for distribution on magnetic tape or microfilm. Annual updating is recommended to ensure the quality of the catalog. Data recommended for inclusion in the compilation catalog are listed in a table.

  15. Strange Cases from the Files of Astronomical Sociology

    CERN Document Server

    Krisciunas, K

    1993-01-01

    What astronomer could not use his own surname because his father was beheaded for sorcery? Who built the only observatory worth $5 billion in today's money? Who had worse luck than YOU travelling thousands of miles NOT to observe an astronomical event? Who had one of his books bound in human skin at the request of his most ardent fan? Is there an anti-correlation between scientific output and the number of children one has? Are astronomers known for having unusual honeymoons? Who wrote the most egotistical work in the history of astronomy? What famous astronomer was present for the opening of King Tutankhamen's tomb and later began having hallucinations of an elf, which advised him on the running of his observatory? What is the strangest abstract published in the Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society? What well-known bad tempered astronomer was born in 1898 (the year after Bram Stoker's {\\em Dracula} was published) in Varna, Bulgaria, which all vampirologists recognize as the nearest port from which a...

  16. Instrumental Methods for Professional and Amateur Collaborations in Planetary Astronomy

    CERN Document Server

    Mousis, O; Beaulieu, J -P; Bouley, S; Carry, B; Colas, F; Klotz, A; Pellier, C; Petit, J -M; Rousselot, P; Dib, M Ali; Beisker, W; Birlan, M; Buil, C; Delsanti, A; Frappa, E; Hammel, H B; Levasseur-Regourd, A -C; Orton, G S; Sanchez-Lavega, A; Santerne, A; Tanga, P; Vaubaillon, J; Zanda, B; Baratoux, D; Boehm, T; Boudon, V; Bouquet, A; Buzzi, L; Dauvergne, J -L; Decock, A; Delcroix, M; Drossart, P; Esseiva, N; Fischer, G; Fletcher, L N; Foglia, S; Gomez-Forrellad, J M; Guarro-Flo, J; Herald, D; Kugel, F; Lebreton, J -P; Lecacheux, J; Leroy, A; Maquet, L; Masi, G; Maury, A; Meyer, F; Pérez-Hoyos, S; Rajpurohit, A S; Rinner, C; Rogers, J H; Roques, F; Schmude,, R W; Sicardy, B; Tregon, B; Vanhuysse, M; Wesley, A; Widemann, T

    2013-01-01

    Amateur contributions to professional publications have increased exponentially over the last decades in the field of Planetary Astronomy. Here we review the different domains of the field in which collaborations between professional and amateur astronomers are effective and regularly lead to scientific publications. We discuss the instruments, detectors, softwares and methodologies typically used by amateur astronomers to collect the scientific data in the different domains of interest. Amateur contributions to the monitoring of planets and interplanetary matter, characterization of asteroids and comets, as well as the determination of the physical properties of Kuiper Belt Objects and exoplanets are discussed.

  17. Astronomers Discover Most Massive Neutron Star Yet Known

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    spacetime produced by the white dwarf's gravitation. This effect, called the Shapiro Delay, allowed the scientists to precisely measure the masses of both stars. "We got very lucky with this system. The rapidly-rotating pulsar gives us a signal to follow throughout the orbit, and the orbit is almost perfectly edge-on. In addition, the white dwarf is particularly massive for a star of that type. This unique combination made the Shapiro Delay much stronger and thus easier to measure," said Scott Ransom, also of NRAO. The astronomers used a newly-built digital instrument called the Green Bank Ultimate Pulsar Processing Instrument (GUPPI), attached to the GBT, to follow the binary stars through one complete orbit earlier this year. Using GUPPI improved the astronomers' ability to time signals from the pulsar severalfold. The researchers expected the neutron star to have roughly one and a half times the mass of the Sun. Instead, their observations revealed it to be twice as massive as the Sun. That much mass, they say, changes their understanding of a neutron star's composition. Some theoretical models postulated that, in addition to neutrons, such stars also would contain certain other exotic subatomic particles called hyperons or condensates of kaons. "Our results rule out those ideas," Ransom said. Demorest and Ransom, along with Tim Pennucci of the University of Virginia, Mallory Roberts of Eureka Scientific, and Jason Hessels of the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy and the University of Amsterdam, reported their results in the October 28 issue of the scientific journal Nature. Their result has further implications, outlined in a companion paper, scheduled for publication in the Astrophysical Journal Letters. "This measurement tells us that if any quarks are present in a neutron star core, they cannot be 'free,' but rather must be strongly interacting with each other as they do in normal atomic nuclei," said Feryal Ozel of the University of Arizona, lead author of

  18. Instrumentation development

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Areas being investigated for instrumentation improvement during low-level pollution monitoring include laser opto-acoustic spectroscopy, x-ray fluorescence spectroscopy, optical fluorescence spectroscopy, liquid crystal gas detectors, advanced forms of atomic absorption spectroscopy, electro-analytical chemistry, and mass spectroscopy. Emphasis is also directed toward development of physical methods, as opposed to conventional chemical analysis techniques for monitoring these trace amounts of pollution related to energy development and utilization

  19. Astronomical Data Integration Beyond the Virtual Observatory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lemson, G.; Laurino, O.

    2015-09-01

    "Data integration" generally refers to the process of combining data from different source data bases into a unified view. Much work has been devoted in this area by the International Virtual Observatory Alliance (IVOA), allowing users to discover and access databases through standard protocols. However, different archives present their data through their own schemas and users must still select, filter, and combine data for each archive individually. An important reason for this is that the creation of common data models that satisfy all sub-disciplines is fraught with difficulties. Furthermore it requires a substantial amount of work for data providers to present their data according to some standard representation. We will argue that existing standards allow us to build a data integration framework that works around these problems. The particular framework requires the implementation of the IVOA Table Access Protocol (TAP) only. It uses the newly developed VO data modelling language (VO-DML) specification, which allows one to define extensible object-oriented data models using a subset of UML concepts through a simple XML serialization language. A rich mapping language allows one to describe how instances of VO-DML data models are represented by the TAP service, bridging the possible mismatch between a local archive's schema and some agreed-upon representation of the astronomical domain. In this so called local-as-view approach to data integration, “mediators" use the mapping prescriptions to translate queries phrased in terms of the common schema to the underlying TAP service. This mapping language has a graphical representation, which we expose through a web based graphical “drag-and-drop-and-connect" interface. This service allows any user to map the holdings of any TAP service to the data model(s) of choice. The mappings are defined and stored outside of the data sources themselves, which allows the interface to be used in a kind of crowd-sourcing effort

  20. The Xinglong 2.16-m Telescope: Current Instruments and Scientific Projects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fan, Zhou; Wang, Huijuan; Jiang, Xiaojun; Wu, Hong; Li, Hongbin; Huang, Yang; Xu, Dawei; Hu, Zhongwen; Zhu, Yinan; Wang, Jianfeng; Komossa, Stefanie; Zhang, Xiaoming

    2016-11-01

    The Xinglong 2.16-m reflector is the first 2-m class astronomical telescope in China. It was jointly designed and built by the Nanjing Astronomical Instruments Factory (NAIF), Beijing Astronomical Observatory (now National Astronomical Observatories, Chinese Academy of Sciences, NAOC), and Institute of Automation, Chinese Academy of Sciences in 1989. It is a Ritchey-Chrétien (R-C) reflector on an English equatorial mount and the effective aperture is 2.16 m. It had been the largest optical telescope in China for ∼18 years until the Guoshoujing Telescope (also called Large Sky Area Multi-Object Fiber Spectroscopic Telescope, LAMOST) and the Lijiang 2.4-m telescope were built. At present, there are three main instruments on the Cassegrain focus available: the Beijing Faint Object Spectrograph and Camera (BFOSC) for direct imaging and low-resolution (R ∼ 500–2000) spectroscopy, the spectrograph made by Optomechanics Research Inc. (OMR) for low-resolution spectroscopy (the spectral resolutions are similar to those of BFOSC) and the fiber-fed High Resolution Spectrograph (HRS; R ∼ 30,000–65,000). The telescope is widely open to astronomers all over China as well as international astronomical observers. Each year there are more than 40 ongoing observing projects, including 6–8 key projects. Recently, some new techniques and instruments (e.g., astro-frequency comb calibration system, polarimeter, and adaptive optics) have been or will be tested on the telescope to extend its observing abilities.

  1. Long-publishing astronomers, or the problem of classification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tenn, Joseph S.

    2012-03-01

    In response to several discussions among astronomers and historians of astronomy, I started out to prepare a paper on long-publishing astronomers-those who published for 70, 75, or even 80 years. However, I soon ran into a number of questions of classification, and that turned out to be at least as interesting. How do we decide on classifications? Every time we choose classes, such as asteroids, planets and stars, we run into objects that seem to be in between. In the present case a number of questions arise: Who is an astronomer? Several of those with the longest publication runs started out as physicists, published for years in that subject only, and later took up astrophysics, eventually publishing a few papers in astronomy journals. What is a publication? Should we count publications in physics, chemistry, or mathematics? What about philosophy of science or history of science? What about the elderly retired astronomer presenting a memoir of his or her own work? Abstracts of oral presentations? Monographs? Textbooks? Book reviews? Obituaries? Then there is the problem of posthumous publications. Probably most would include papers in the pipeline when the astronomer dies, but what about the case where the coauthor finally publishes the paper as much as twenty-two years after the death of the person of interest? I eventually decided to make two lists, one which would include most of the above, and one restricted to papers that make contributions to physical science. Note that I do not say 'refereed', as that presents its own problems, especially when applied to periods before the twentieth century. I present a list of astronomers who have published for periods of 68 to 80 years and discuss the problems of defining such terms as astronomer and publication.

  2. Next Generation Astronomical Data Processing using Big Data Technologies from the Apache Software Foundation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mattmann, Chris

    2014-04-01

    In this era of exascale instruments for astronomy we must naturally develop next generation capabilities for the unprecedented data volume and velocity that will arrive due to the veracity of these ground-based sensor and observatories. Integrating scientific algorithms stewarded by scientific groups unobtrusively and rapidly; intelligently selecting data movement technologies; making use of cloud computing for storage and processing; and automatically extracting text and metadata and science from any type of file are all needed capabilities in this exciting time. Our group at NASA JPL has promoted the use of open source data management technologies available from the Apache Software Foundation (ASF) in pursuit of constructing next generation data management and processing systems for astronomical instruments including the Expanded Very Large Array (EVLA) in Socorro, NM and the Atacama Large Milimetre/Sub Milimetre Array (ALMA); as well as for the KAT-7 project led by SKA South Africa as a precursor to the full MeerKAT telescope. In addition we are funded currently by the National Science Foundation in the US to work with MIT Haystack Observatory and the University of Cambridge in the UK to construct a Radio Array of Portable Interferometric Devices (RAPID) that will undoubtedly draw from the rich technology advances underway. NASA JPL is investing in a strategic initiative for Big Data that is pulling in these capabilities and technologies for astronomical instruments and also for Earth science remote sensing. In this talk I will describe the above collaborative efforts underway and point to solutions in open source from the Apache Software Foundation that can be deployed and used today and that are already bringing our teams and projects benefits. I will describe how others can take advantage of our experience and point towards future application and contribution of these tools.

  3. Astronomical optical interferometry, II: Astrophysical results

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jankov S.

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Optical interferometry is entering a new age with several ground- based long-baseline observatories now making observations of unprecedented spatial resolution. Based on a great leap forward in the quality and quantity of interferometric data, the astrophysical applications are not limited anymore to classical subjects, such as determination of fundamental properties of stars; namely, their effective temperatures, radii, luminosities and masses, but the present rapid development in this field allowed to move to a situation where optical interferometry is a general tool in studies of many astrophysical phenomena. Particularly, the advent of long-baseline interferometers making use of very large pupils has opened the way to faint objects science and first results on extragalactic objects have made it a reality. The first decade of XXI century is also remarkable for aperture synthesis in the visual and near-infrared wavelength regimes, which provided image reconstructions from stellar surfaces to Active Galactic Nuclei. Here I review the numerous astrophysical results obtained up to date, except for binary and multiple stars milliarcsecond astrometry, which should be a subject of an independent detailed review, taking into account its importance and expected results at microarcsecond precision level. To the results obtained with currently available interferometers, I associate the adopted instrumental settings in order to provide a guide for potential users concerning the appropriate instruments which can be used to obtain the desired astrophysical information.

  4. Compendium of Practical Astronomy. Volume 1: Instrumentation and Reduction Techniques.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Augensen, H. J.; Heintz, W. D.; Roth, Günter D.

    The Compendium of Practical Astronomy is a revised and enlarged English version of the fourth edition of G. Roth's famous handbook for stargazers. In three volumes 28 carefully edited articles, aimed especially at amateur astronomers and students and teachers of astronomy in high schools and colleges, cover the length and breadth of practical astronomy. Volume 1 contains information on modern instrumentation and reduction techniques, including spherical astronomy, error estimations, telescope mountings, astrophotography, and more. Volume 2 covers the planetary system, with contributions on artificial satellites, comets, the polar aurorae, and the effects of the atmosphere on observational data. Volume 3 is devoted to stellar objects, variable stars and binary stars in particular. An introduction to the astronomical literature and a comprehensive chapter on astronomy education and instructional aids make the Compendium a useful complement to any college library, in addition to its being essential reading for all practical astronomers.

  5. Running a distributed virtual observatory: U.S. Virtual Astronomical Observatory operations

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGlynn, Thomas A.; Hanisch, Robert J.; Berriman, G. Bruce; Thakar, Aniruddha R.

    2012-09-01

    Operation of the US Virtual Astronomical Observatory shares some issues with modern physical observatories, e.g., intimidating data volumes and rapid technological change, and must also address unique concerns like the lack of direct control of the underlying and scattered data resources, and the distributed nature of the observatory itself. In this paper we discuss how the VAO has addressed these challenges to provide the astronomical community with a coherent set of science-enabling tools and services. The distributed nature of our virtual observatory-with data and personnel spanning geographic, institutional and regime boundaries-is simultaneously a major operational headache and the primary science motivation for the VAO. Most astronomy today uses data from many resources. Facilitation of matching heterogeneous datasets is a fundamental reason for the virtual observatory. Key aspects of our approach include continuous monitoring and validation of VAO and VO services and the datasets provided by the community, monitoring of user requests to optimize access, caching for large datasets, and providing distributed storage services that allow user to collect results near large data repositories. Some elements are now fully implemented, while others are planned for subsequent years. The distributed nature of the VAO requires careful attention to what can be a straightforward operation at a conventional observatory, e.g., the organization of the web site or the collection and combined analysis of logs. Many of these strategies use and extend protocols developed by the international virtual observatory community. Our long-term challenge is working with the underlying data providers to ensure high quality implementation of VO data access protocols (new and better 'telescopes'), assisting astronomical developers to build robust integrating tools (new 'instruments'), and coordinating with the research community to maximize the science enabled.

  6. How Astronomers View Education and Public Outreach: An Exploratory Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dang, L.; Russo, P.

    2015-09-01

    Over the past few years there have been a number of studies exploring 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 of 155 professional astronomers online and in person during the 28th International Astronomical Union General Assembly in 2012, we explore how these individuals developed an interest in astronomy, the part outreach played in this and their views on the time constraints and budget restrictions associated with public outreach activities. We find that astronomers develop an interest in astronomy between the ages of four and six, 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 as an optional task rather than a scientist's duty. Our study reveals that many astronomers are of the opinion that a larger percentage of their research time should be invested in outreach activities, calling for a change in grant policies.

  7. The first massive astronomical observation event in Mexico City

    Science.gov (United States)

    Espinosa, Mariana; Hernandez, Xavier

    2011-06-01

    On the night of the 20th of February 2008 there was a total eclipse of the moon visible from Mexico City, with a total duration from 19:42 hrs to 23:09 hrs. At the Instituto de Astronomía, UNAM, we took this opportunity to organise a massive astronomical party on the central plaza of the city, the Zocalo. Over a period of about 6 hrs. we set up a huge astro-party, with free use of over 100 telescopes, where we estimate over 40,000 persons looked through an astronomical telescope at the moon and Saturn, most for the first time in their lives. Numerous stands including a children's games, an Astronomy conference room, and the free distribution of Astronomical material were organised. Here we describe some of the issues associated with the planning and implementation of the event. Coordination issues were complex, involving interaction with divers and numerous authorities, city, national, police, traffic, medical assistance in readiness, aide from other universities, and amateur astronomical societies, which supplied most of the telescopes. An extensive publicity campaign was launched with several weeks of anticipation, and although we had no way of estimating the public response, we were ready with over 800 volunteers at the Zócalo on the 20th of February. The public response was massive and overwhelmingly positive, thousands swarmed the square in a completely peaceful and well organised interaction between Astronomy and society at large, over many complementary levels

  8. Astronomers Detect Powerful Bursting Radio Source Discovery Points to New Class of Astronomical Objects

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-03-01

    Astronomers at Sweet Briar College and the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) have detected a powerful new bursting radio source whose unique properties suggest the discovery of a new class of astronomical objects. The researchers have monitored the center of the Milky Way Galaxy for several years and reveal their findings in the March 3, 2005 edition of the journal, “Nature”. This radio image of the central region of the Milky Way Galaxy holds a new radio source, GCRT J1745-3009. The arrow points to an expanding ring of debris expelled by a supernova. CREDIT: N.E. Kassim et al., Naval Research Laboratory, NRAO/AUI/NSF Principal investigator, Dr. Scott Hyman, professor of physics at Sweet Briar College, said the discovery came after analyzing some additional observations from 2002 provided by researchers at Northwestern University. “"We hit the jackpot!” Hyman said referring to the observations. “An image of the Galactic center, made by collecting radio waves of about 1-meter in wavelength, revealed multiple bursts from the source during a seven-hour period from Sept. 30 to Oct. 1, 2002 — five bursts in fact, and repeating at remarkably constant intervals.” Hyman, four Sweet Briar students, and his NRL collaborators, Drs. Namir Kassim and Joseph Lazio, happened upon transient emission from two radio sources while studying the Galactic center in 1998. This prompted the team to propose an ongoing monitoring program using the National Science Foundation’s Very Large Array (VLA) radio telescope in New Mexico. The National Radio Astronomy Observatory, which operates the VLA, approved the program. The data collected, laid the groundwork for the detection of the new radio source. “Amazingly, even though the sky is known to be full of transient objects emitting at X- and gamma-ray wavelengths,” NRL astronomer Dr. Joseph Lazio pointed out, “very little has been done to look for radio bursts, which are often easier for astronomical objects to produce

  9. Supervised detection of anomalous light curves in massive astronomical catalogs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nun, Isadora; Pichara, Karim [Computer Science Department, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago (Chile); Protopapas, Pavlos [Institute for Applied Computational Science, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA (United States); Kim, Dae-Won [Max-Planck Institute for Astronomy, Königstuhl 17, D-69117 Heidelberg (Germany)

    2014-09-20

    The development of synoptic sky surveys has led to a massive amount of data for which resources needed for analysis are beyond human capabilities. In order to process this information and to extract all possible knowledge, machine learning techniques become necessary. Here we present a new methodology to automatically discover unknown variable objects in large astronomical catalogs. With the aim of taking full advantage of all information we have about known objects, our method is based on a supervised algorithm. In particular, we train a random forest classifier using known variability classes of objects and obtain votes for each of the objects in the training set. We then model this voting distribution with a Bayesian network and obtain the joint voting distribution among the training objects. Consequently, an unknown object is considered as an outlier insofar it has a low joint probability. By leaving out one of the classes on the training set, we perform a validity test and show that when the random forest classifier attempts to classify unknown light curves (the class left out), it votes with an unusual distribution among the classes. This rare voting is detected by the Bayesian network and expressed as a low joint probability. Our method is suitable for exploring massive data sets given that the training process is performed offline. We tested our algorithm on 20 million light curves from the MACHO catalog and generated a list of anomalous candidates. After analysis, we divided the candidates into two main classes of outliers: artifacts and intrinsic outliers. Artifacts were principally due to air mass variation, seasonal variation, bad calibration, or instrumental errors and were consequently removed from our outlier list and added to the training set. After retraining, we selected about 4000 objects, which we passed to a post-analysis stage by performing a cross-match with all publicly available catalogs. Within these candidates we identified certain known

  10. Astronomical phenomena: events with high impact factor in teaching optics and photonics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Curticapean, Dan

    2014-07-01

    Astronomical phenomena fascinate people from the very beginning of mankind up to today. They have a enthusiastic effect, especially on young people. Among the most amazing and well-known phenomena are the sun and moon eclipses. The impact factor of such events is very high, as they are being covered by mass media reports and the Internet, which provides encyclopedic content and discussion in social networks. The principal optics and photonics topics that can be included in such lessons originate from geometrical optics and the basic phenomena of reflection, refraction and total internal reflection. Lenses and lens systems up to astronomical instruments also have a good opportunity to be presented. The scientific content can be focused on geometrical optics but also diffractive and quantum optics can be incorporated successfully. The author will present how live streams of the moon eclipses can be used to captivate the interest of young listeners for optics and photonics. The gathered experience of the last two moon eclipses visible from Germany (on Dec, 21 2010 and Jun, 15 2011) will be considered. In an interactive broadcast we reached visitors from more than 135 countries.

  11. Managing Distributed Software Development in the Virtual Astronomical Observatory

    CERN Document Server

    Evans, Janet D; Bonaventura, Nina; Busko, Ivo; Cresitello-Dittmar, Mark; D'Abrusco, Raffaele; Doe, Stephen; Ebert, Rick; Laurino, Omar; Pevunova, Olga; Refsdal, Brian; Thomas, Brian

    2012-01-01

    The U.S. Virtual Astronomical Observatory (VAO) is a product-driven organization that provides new scientific research capabilities to the astronomical community. Software development for the VAO follows a lightweight framework that guides development of science applications and infrastructure. Challenges to be overcome include distributed development teams, part-time efforts, and highly constrained schedules. We describe the process we followed to conquer these challenges while developing Iris, the VAO application for analysis of 1-D astronomical spectral energy distributions (SEDs). Iris was successfully built and released in less than a year with a team distributed across four institutions. The project followed existing International Virtual Observatory Alliance inter-operability standards for spectral data and contributed a SED library as a by-product of the project. We emphasize lessons learned that will be folded into future development efforts. In our experience, a well-defined process that provides gu...

  12. Using Modern Technologies to Capture and Share Indigenous Astronomical Knowledge

    CERN Document Server

    Nakata, N M; Warren, J; Byrne, A; Pagnucco, M; Harley, R; Venugopal, S; Thorpe, K; Neville, R; Bolt, R

    2014-01-01

    Indigenous Knowledge is important for Indigenous communities across the globe and for the advancement of our general scientific knowledge. In particular, Indigenous astronomical knowledge integrates many aspects of Indigenous Knowledge, including seasonal calendars, navigation, food economics, law, ceremony, and social structure. We aim to develop innovative ways of capturing, managing, and disseminating Indigenous astronomical knowledge for Indigenous communities and the general public for the future. Capturing, managing, and disseminating this knowledge in the digital environment poses a number of challenges, which we aim to address using a collaborative project involving experts in the higher education, library, and industry sectors. Using Microsoft's WorldWide Telescope and Rich Interactive Narratives technologies, we propose to develop software, media design, and archival management solutions to allow Indigenous communities to share their astronomical knowledge with the world on their terms and in a cult...

  13. Laser frequency comb techniques for precise astronomical spectroscopy

    CERN Document Server

    Murphy, Michael T; Light, Philip S; Luiten, Andre N; Lawrence, Jon S

    2012-01-01

    Precise astronomical spectroscopic analyses routinely assume that individual pixels in charge-coupled devices (CCDs) have uniform sensitivity to photons. Intra-pixel sensitivity (IPS) variations may already cause small systematic errors in, for example, studies of extra-solar planets via stellar radial velocities and cosmological variability in fundamental constants via quasar spectroscopy, but future experiments requiring velocity precisions approaching ~1 cm/s will be more strongly affected. Laser frequency combs have been shown to provide highly precise wavelength calibration for astronomical spectrographs, but here we show that they can also be used to measure IPS variations in astronomical CCDs in situ. We successfully tested a laser frequency comb system on the Ultra-High Resolution Facility spectrograph at the Anglo-Australian Telescope. By modelling the 2-dimensional comb signal recorded in a single CCD exposure, we find that the average IPS deviates by <8 per cent if it is assumed to vary symmetri...

  14. Digitization and Position Measurement of Astronomical Plates of Saturnian Satellites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, D.; Yu, Y.; Zhang, H. Y.; Qiao, R. C.

    2014-05-01

    Using the advanced commercial scanners to digitize astronomical plates may be a simple and effective way. In this paper, we discuss the method of digitizing and astrometrically reducing six astronomical plates of Saturnian satellites, which were taken from the 1 m RCC (Ritchey Chretien Coude) telescope of Yunnan Observatory in 1988, by using the 10000XL scanner of Epson. The digitized images of the astronomical plates of Saturnian satellites are re-reduced, and the positions of Saturnian satellites based on the UCAC2 (The Second US Naval Observatory CCD Astrograph Catalog) catalogue are given. A comparison of our measured positions with the IMCCE (Institut de Mecanique Celeste et de Calcul des Ephemerides) ephemeris of Saturnian satellites shows the high quality of our measurements, which have an accuracy of 106 mas in right ascension and 89 mas in declination. Moreover, our measurements appear to be consistent with this ephemeris within only about 56 mas in right ascension and 9 mas in declination.

  15. Astronomical Observing Conditions at Xinglong Observatory from 2007 to 2014

    CERN Document Server

    Zhang, Ji-Cheng; Lu, Xiao-Meng; Cao, Zi-Huang; Chen, Xu; Mao, Yong-Na; Jiang, Xiao-Jun

    2016-01-01

    Xinglong Observatory of the National Astronomical Observatories, Chinese Academy of Sciences (NAOC), is one of the major optical observatories in China, which hosts nine optical telescopes including the Large Sky Area Multi-Object Fiber Spectroscopic Telescope (LAMOST) and the 2.16 m reflector. Scientific research from these telescopes is focused on stars, galaxies, and exoplanets using multicolor photometry and spectroscopic observations. Therefore, it is important to provide the observing conditions of the site, in detail, to the astronomers for an efficient use of these facilities. In this article, we present the characterization of observing conditions at Xinglong Observatory based on the monitoring of meteorology, seeing and sky brightness during the period from 2007 to 2014. Results suggest that Xinglong Observatory is still a good site for astronomical observations. Our analysis of the observing conditions at Xinglong Observatory can be used as a reference to the observers on targets selection, observi...

  16. Astronomical and Cosmological Aspects of Maya Architecture and Urbanism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Šprajc, I.

    2009-08-01

    Archaeoastronomical studies carried out so far have shown that the orientations in the ancient Maya architecture were, like elsewhere in Mesoamerica, largely astronomical, mostly referring to sunrises and sunsets on particular dates and allowing the use of observational calendars that facilitated a proper scheduling of agricultural activities. However, the astronomical alignments cannot be understood in purely utilitarian terms. Since the repeatedly occurring directions are most consistently incorporated in monumental architecture of civic and ceremonial urban cores, they must have had an important place in religion and worldview. The characteristics of urban layouts, as well as architectural and other elements associated with important buildings, reveal that the Maya architectural and urban planning was dictated by a complex set of rules, in which astronomical considerations related to practical needs were embedded in a broader framework of cosmological concepts substantiated by political ideology.

  17. Use of Astronomical Literature - A Report on Usage Patterns

    OpenAIRE

    Henneken, Edwin A.; Kurtz, Michael J.; Accomazzi, Alberto; Grant, Carolyn S.; Thompson, Donna; Bohlen, Elizabeth; Murray, Stephen S.

    2008-01-01

    In this paper we present a number of metrics for usage of the SAO/NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS). Since the ADS is used by the entire astronomical community, these are indicative of how the astronomical literature is used. We will show how the use of the ADS has changed both quantitatively and qualitatively. We will also show that different types of users access the system in different ways. Finally, we show how use of the ADS has evolved over the years in various regions of the world. T...

  18. At What Ages Did Astronomers Write Their Most Important Papers?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abt, Helmut A.

    2016-09-01

    In 1983 I found that the most productive ages for research astronomers was 40-75 years, contradicting the frequent statement that a scientist’s best work is done before the age of 35. Now most scientists work in small to large teams, unlike the individual research usually done previously. How has that affected the productive careers of astronomers? A new study of 14 recent Russell Lecturers shows a peak in productivity at age 33 and more than half that peak during 25-56 years, in agreement with results in other sciences. Nevertheless, 33% of their best work was done after the age of 50 years.

  19. Astroinformatics, data mining and the future of astronomical research

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Astronomy, as many other scientific disciplines, is facing a true data deluge which is bound to change both the praxis and the methodology of every day research work. The emerging field of astroinformatics, while on the one end appears crucial to face the technological challenges, on the other is opening new exciting perspectives for new astronomical discoveries through the implementation of advanced data mining procedures. The complexity of astronomical data and the variety of scientific problems, however, call for innovative algorithms and methods as well as for an extreme usage of ICT technologies

  20. Immersive 3D Visualization of Astronomical Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schaaff, A.; Berthier, J.; Da Rocha, J.; Deparis, N.; Derriere, S.; Gaultier, P.; Houpin, R.; Normand, J.; Ocvirk, P.

    2015-09-01

    The immersive-3D visualization, or Virtual Reality in our study, was previously dedicated to specific uses (research, flight simulators, etc.) The investment in infrastructure and its cost was reserved to large laboratories or companies. Lately we saw the development of immersive-3D masks intended for wide distribution, for example the Oculus Rift and the Sony Morpheus projects. The usual reaction is to say that these tools are primarily intended for games since it is easy to imagine a player in a virtual environment and the added value to conventional 2D screens. Yet it is likely that there are many applications in the professional field if these tools are becoming common. Introducing this technology into existing applications or new developments makes sense only if interest is properly evaluated. The use in Astronomy is clear for education, it is easy to imagine mobile and light planetariums or to reproduce poorly accessible environments (e.g., large instruments). In contrast, in the field of professional astronomy the use is probably less obvious and it requires to conduct studies to determine the most appropriate ones and to assess the contributions compared to the other display modes.

  1. Deep sky observing an astronomical tour

    CERN Document Server

    Coe, Steven R

    2016-01-01

    This updated second edition has all of the information needed for your successful forays into deep sky observing. Coe uses his years of experience to give detailed practical advice about how to find the best observing site, how to make the most of the time spent there, and what equipment and instruments to take along. There are comprehensive lists of deep sky objects of all kinds, along with Steve's own observations describing how they look through telescopes with apertures ranging from 4 inches to 36 inches (0.1 - 0.9 meters). Binocular observing also gets its due, while the lists of objects have been amended to highlight only the best targets. A new index makes finding targets easier than ever before, while the selection of viewing targets has been revised from the first edition. Most of all, this book is all about how to enjoy astronomy. The author's enthusiasm and sense of wonder shine through every page as he invites you along on a tour of some of the most beautiful and fascinating sites in the deep ...

  2. Cooled grating infrared spectrometer for astronomical observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Houck, J. R.; Gull, G. E.

    A liquid helium-cooled infrared spectrometer for the 16 to 50 micron range is described. The instrument has six detectors, three each of Si:Sb and Ge:Ga and two diffraction gratings mounted back-to-back. Cold preoptics are used to match the spectrometer to the telescope. In its nominal configuration the system resolution is 0.03 micron from 16 to 30 microns and 0.07 micron from 28 to 50 microns. A cooled filter wheel is used to change order sorting filters. The gratings are driven by a steel band and gear train operating at 4 K. The detector outputs are amplified by a TIA, employing a matched pair of JFETs operating at 70 K inside the dewar. The external warm electronics include a gain stage for the TIA and dc-coupled gating circuit to remove charged-particle (cosmic-ray secondary)-induced noise spikes. The gating circuit reduces the overall system noise by a factor of two when the spectrometer is used on NASA's Kuiper Airborne Observatory. Sample spectra are presented and the deglitcher performance is illustrated.

  3. The Palomar Kernel Phase Experiment: Testing Kernel Phase Interferometry for Ground-based Astronomical Observations

    CERN Document Server

    Pope, Benjamin; Hinkley, Sasha; Ireland, Michael J; Greenbaum, Alexandra; Latyshev, Alexey; Monnier, John D; Martinache, Frantz

    2015-01-01

    At present, the principal limitation on the resolution and contrast of astronomical imaging instruments comes from aberrations in the optical path, which may be imposed by the Earth's turbulent atmosphere or by variations in the alignment and shape of the telescope optics. These errors can be corrected physically, with active and adaptive optics, and in post-processing of the resulting image. A recently-developed adaptive optics post-processing technique, called kernel phase interferometry, uses linear combinations of phases that are self-calibrating with respect to small errors, with the goal of constructing observables that are robust against the residual optical aberrations in otherwise well-corrected imaging systems. Here we present a direct comparison between kernel phase and the more established competing techniques, aperture masking interferometry, point spread function (PSF) fitting and bispectral analysis. We resolve the alpha Ophiuchi binary system near periastron, using the Palomar 200-Inch Telesco...

  4. Design and modeling of a moderate-resolution astronomic spectrograph with volume-phase holographic gratings

    CERN Document Server

    Muslimov, Eduard R; Fabrika, Sergey N; Pavlycheva, Nadezhda K

    2016-01-01

    We present an optical design of astronomic spectrograph based on a cascade of volume-phase holographic gratings. The cascade consists of three gratings. Each of them provides moderately high spectral resolution in a narrow range of 83 nm. Thus the spectrum image represents three lines covering region 430-680 nm. Two versions of the scheme are described: a full-scale one with estimated resolving power of 5300-7900 and a small-sized one intended for creation of a lab prototype, which provides the resolving power of 1500-3000. Diffraction efficiency modeling confirms that the system throughput can reach 75 %, while stray light caused by the gratings crosstalk is negligible. We also propose a design of image slicer and focal reducer allowing to couple the instrument with the 6-m telescope. Finally, we present concept of the opto-mechanical design.

  5. Improving resolution and depth of astronomical observations via modern mathematical methods for image analysis

    CERN Document Server

    Castellano, Marco; Fontana, Adriano; Merlin, Emiliano; Pilo, Stefano; Falcone, Maurizio

    2015-01-01

    In the past years modern mathematical methods for image analysis have led to a revolution in many fields, from computer vision to scientific imaging. However, some recently developed image processing techniques successfully exploited by other sectors have been rarely, if ever, experimented on astronomical observations. We present here tests of two classes of variational image enhancement techniques: "structure-texture decomposition" and "super-resolution" showing that they are effective in improving the quality of observations. Structure-texture decomposition allows to recover faint sources previously hidden by the background noise, effectively increasing the depth of available observations. Super-resolution yields an higher-resolution and a better sampled image out of a set of low resolution frames, thus mitigating problematics in data analysis arising from the difference in resolution/sampling between different instruments, as in the case of EUCLID VIS and NIR imagers.

  6. Precise astronomical flux calibration and its impact on studying the nature of the dark energy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stubbs, Christopher W.; Brown, Yorke J.

    2015-12-01

    Measurements of the luminosity of Type Ia supernovae versus redshift provided the original evidence for the accelerating expansion of the Universe and the existence of dark energy. Despite substantial improvements in survey methodology, systematic uncertainty in flux calibration dominates the error budget for this technique, exceeding both statistics and other systematic uncertainties. Consequently, any further collection of Type Ia supernova data will fail to refine the constraints on the nature of dark energy unless we also improve the state of the art in astronomical flux calibration to the order of 1%. We describe how these systematic errors arise from calibration of instrumental sensitivity, atmospheric transmission and Galactic extinction, and discuss ongoing efforts to meet the 1% precision challenge using white dwarf stars as celestial standards, exquisitely calibrated detectors as fundamental metrologic standards, and real-time atmospheric monitoring.

  7. Precise Astronomical Flux Calibration and its Impact on Studying the Nature of Dark Energy

    CERN Document Server

    Stubbs, Christopher W

    2016-01-01

    Measurements of the luminosity of type Ia supernovae vs. redshift provided the original evidence for the accelerating expansion of the Universe and the existence of dark energy. Despite substantial improvements in survey methodology, systematic uncertainty in flux calibration dominates the error budget for this technique, exceeding both statistics and other systematic uncertainties. Consequently, any further collection of type Ia supernova data will fail to refine the constraints on the nature of dark energy unless we also improve the state of the art in astronomical flux calibration to the order of 1%. We describe how these systematic errors arise from calibration of instrumental sensitivity, atmospheric transmission, and Galactic extinction, and discuss ongoing efforts to meet the 1% precision challenge using white dwarf stars as celestial standards, exquisitely calibrated detectors as fundamental metrologic standards, and real-time atmospheric monitoring.

  8. Astronomical large projects managed with MANATEE: management tool for effective engineering

    Science.gov (United States)

    García-Vargas, M. L.; Mujica-Alvarez, E.; Pérez-Calpena, A.

    2012-09-01

    This paper describes MANATEE, which is the Management project web tool developed by FRACTAL, specifically designed for managing large astronomical projects. MANATEE facilitates the management by providing an overall view of the project and the capabilities to control the three main projects parameters: scope, schedule and budget. MANATEE is one of the three tools of the FRACTAL System & Project Suite, which is composed also by GECO (System Engineering Tool) and DOCMA (Documentation Management Tool). These tools are especially suited for those Consortia and teams collaborating in a multi-discipline, complex project in a geographically distributed environment. Our Management view has been applied successfully in several projects and currently is being used for Managing MEGARA, the next instrument for the GTC 10m telescope.

  9. On the Astronomical Knowledge and Traditions of Aboriginal Australians

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamacher, Duane W.

    2011-12-01

    Historian of science David Pingree defines science in a broad context as the process of systematically explaining perceived or imaginary phenomena. Although Westerners tend to think of science being restricted to Western culture, I argue in this thesis that astronomical scientific knowledge is found in Aboriginal traditions. Although research into the astronomical traditions of Aboriginal Australians stretches back for more than 150 years, it is relatively scant in the literature. We do know that the sun, moon, and night sky have been an important and inseparable component of the landscape to hundreds of Australian Aboriginal groups for thousands (perhaps tens-of-thousands) of years. The literature reveals that astronomical knowledge was used for time keeping, denoting seasonal change and the availability of food sources, navigation, and tidal prediction. It was also important for rituals and ceremonies, birth totems, marriage systems, cultural mnemonics, and folklore. Despite this, the field remains relatively unresearched considering the diversity of Aboriginal cultures and the length of time people have inhabited Australia (well over 40,000 years). Additionally, very little research investigating the nature and role of transient celestial phenomena has been conducted, leaving our understanding of Indigenous astronomical knowledge grossly incomplete. This thesis is an attempt to overcome this deficiency, with a specific focus on transient celestial phenomena. My research, situated in the field of cultural astronomy, draws from the sub-disciplines of archaeoastronomy, ethnoastronomy, historical astronomy, and geomythology. This approach incorporates the methodologies and theories of disciplines in the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities. This thesis, by publication, makes use of archaeological, ethnographic, and historical records, astronomical software packages, and geographic programs to better understand the ages of astronomical traditions and the

  10. Optical Instruments

    Science.gov (United States)

    1990-01-01

    Precision Lapping and Optical Co. has developed a wide variety of hollow retroreflector systems for applications involving the entire optical spectrum; they are, according to company literature, cheaper, more accurate, lighter and capable of greater size than solid prisms. Precision Lapping's major customers are aerospace and defense companies, government organizations, R&D and commercial instrument companies. For example, Precision Lapping supplies hollow retroreflectors for the laser fire control system of the Army's Abrams tank, and retroreflectors have been and are being used in a number of space tests relative to the Air Force's Strategic Defense Initiative research program. An example of a customer/user is Chesapeake Laser Systems, producer of the Laser Tracker System CMS-2000, which has applications in SDI research and industrial robotics. Another customer is MDA Scientific, Inc., manufacturer of a line of toxic gas detection systems used to monitor hazardous gases present in oil fields, refineries, offshore platforms, chemical plants, waste storage sites and other locations where gases are released into the environment.

  11. "Route of astronomical observatories'' project: classical observatories from the Renaissance to the rise of astrophysics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolfschmidt, Gudrun

    2015-08-01

    Observatories offer a good possibility for serial transnational applications. A well-known example for a thematic programme is the Struve arc, already recognized as World Heritage.I will discuss what has been achieved and show examples, like the route of astronomical observatories or the transition from classical astronomy to modern astrophysics (La Plata, Hamburg, Nice, etc.), visible in the architecture, the choice of instruments, and the arrangement of the observatory buildings in an astronomy park. This corresponds to the main categories according to which the ``outstanding universal value'' (UNESCO criteria ii, iv and vi) of the observatories have been evaluated: historic, scientific, and aesthetic. This proposal is based on the criteria of a comparability of the observatories in terms of the urbanistic complex and the architecture, the scientific orientation, equipment of instruments, authenticity and integrity of the preserved state, as well as in terms of historic scientific relations and scientific contributions.Apart from these serial transnational applications one can also choose other groups like baroque or neo-classical observatories, solar physics observatories or a group of observatories equipped with the same kind of instruments and made by the same famous firm. I will also discuss why the implementation of the Astronomy and World Heritage Initiative is difficult and why there are problems to nominate observatories for election in the national Tentative Lists

  12. The Top Ten Astronomical 'breakthroughs' of the 20th century

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hughes, D. W.

    2007-10-01

    Full Text Available Astronomy was revolutionized in the 20th century. The electron was discovered in 1897 and this transformed spectroscopy and introduced plasma and magnetohydrodynamic physics and astro-chemistry. Einstein’s E = mc2, solved the problem of stellar energy generation and spawned the study of elemental nuclear synthesis. Large telescopes led to a boom in astronomical spectroscopic and photometric data collection, leading to such cornerstones as the Hertzprung-Russell diagram and the mass-luminosity relationship, and to the realization that the Universe contained a multitude of galaxies and was expanding. Radio astronomy was introduced and the advent of the space age saw the astronomical wavelength range expand into the ultraviolet, X-ray and gamma-ray regions, as well as the infrared and millimetre. We also startedwandering around roaming the Solar System instead of merely glimpsing its members from the bottom of our warm, turbulent atmosphere. Astronomical “breakthroughs” abounded. We have asked astronomers to select their “top ten” and these are listed and discussed in this paper.

  13. Comparison of density estimation methods for astronomical datasets

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ferdosi, B.J.; Buddelmeijer, H.; Trager, S.C.; Wilkinson, M.H.F.; Roerdink, J.B.T.M.

    2011-01-01

    Context. Galaxies are strongly influenced by their environment. Quantifying the galaxy density is a difficult but critical step in studying the properties of galaxies. Aims. We aim to determine differences in density estimation methods and their applicability in astronomical problems. We study the p

  14. Recent Advances for LGBT Astronomers in the United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dixon, William V.; Rigby, Jane; Oppenheimer, Rebecca

    2015-08-01

    The legal environment for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) astronomers in the United States has changed dramatically in recent years. In 2013, the Supreme Court ruled that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which had barred the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages, was unconstitutional. This decision particularly affects astronomers, since astronomers in the U.S. are more likely than the general population to be foreign nationals, to have a foreign-born spouse, or to work for the federal government. In 2014, the Attorney General directed the Department of Justice to take the position in litigation that the protection of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 extends to claims of discrimination based on an individual’s gender identity, including transgender status. Title VII makes it unlawful for employers to discriminate in the employment of an individual “because of such individual’s... sex,” among other protected characteristics. As of March 2015, more than 70% of the population lives in states that recognize same-sex marriage, and the Supreme Court is expected to rule on the constitutionality of the remaining same-sex marriage bans during the current term. In this poster, we discuss these advances and their implications for the personal and professional lives of LGBT astronomers across the United States.

  15. Astronomy for Astronomical Numbers: A Worldwide Massive Open Online Class

    Science.gov (United States)

    Impey, Chris D.; Wenger, Matthew C.; Austin, Carmen L.

    2015-01-01

    Astronomy: State of the Art is a massive, open, online class (MOOC) offered through Udemy by an instructional team at the University of Arizona. With nearly 24,000 enrolled as of early 2015, it is the largest astronomy MOOC available. The astronomical numbers enrolled do not translate into a similar level of engagement. The content consists of 14…

  16. On the influence of the Illuminati in astronomical adaptive optics

    CERN Document Server

    Morzinski, Katie M

    2012-01-01

    Astronomical adaptive optics (AO) has come into its own. Major O/IR telescopes are achieving diffraction-limited imaging; major facilities are being built with AO as an integral part. To the layperson, it may seem that AO has developed along a serpentine path. However, with a little illumination, the mark of Galileo's heirs becomes apparent in explaining the success of AO.

  17. So you want to be a professional astronomer!

    CERN Document Server

    Forbes, Duncan A

    2008-01-01

    Exotic workplace locales, amazing discoveries, and fame (but probably not fortune) await those who persevere on the path leading to a career as a professional astronomer. So how do you join the elite ranks of professional astronomy? Here are some suggestions for how to get a job in astronomy.

  18. Leveraging data lineage to infer logical relationships between astronomical catalogs

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Buddelmeijer, Hugo; Valentijn, Edwin A.

    2013-01-01

    A novel method to infer logical relationships between sets is presented. These sets can be any collection of elements, for example astronomical catalogs of celestial objects. The method does not require the contents of the sets to be known explicitly. It combines incomplete knowledge about the relat

  19. Analytical algorithms of relativistic reduction of astronomical observations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brumberg, V. A.; Bretagnon, P.; Francou, G.

    Using the analytical planetary theories VSOP87 (Bretagnon and Francou, 1988) and the relativistic theory of astronomical reference systems of Brumberg and Kopejkin (1989) the authors have derived the analytical expressions of the relativistic quantities enabling one to set the relationships between (1) TCB and TCG, (2) barycentric spatial coordinates and geocentric spatial coordinates and (3) observer's proper time and TCG.

  20. How did the Supreme Court ruling on DOMA affect astronomers?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rigby, Jane R.; The AAS Working Group on LGBTIQ Equality

    2014-01-01

    In June 2013, the United States Supreme Court ruled that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was unconstitutional. Section 3 had barred the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages. The decision in United States v. Windsor, made headlines around the world, and particularly affected astronomers, since astronomers in the US are more likely than the general population to be foreign nationals, to have a foreign-born spouse, or to work for the federal government. In this poster, we highlight some of the real-world ways that the Windsor case has affected US astronomers and our profession. Bi-national couples can now apply for green cards granting permanent residency. Scientists who work for the federal government, including NASA and the NSF, can now obtain health insurance for a same-sex spouse. From taxes to death benefits, health insurance to daycare, immigration to ethics laws, the end of S3 of DOMA has had profoundly improved the lives of US scientists who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT). Here we, highlight several real-world examples of how DOMA's demise has improved the lives and careers of US astronomer.

  1. Using Modern And Inexpensive Tools In the Classroom To Teach Spectroscopy And To Do Exciting Citizen Science On Astronomical Objects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Field, T.

    2014-12-01

    Spectroscopy is a key tool used in modern astronomical research. But, it's always been a difficult topic to teach or practice because the expense and complexity of the available tools. Over the past few years, there's been somewhat of a revolution in this field as new technologies have applied. In this presentation we'll review some new spectroscopy tools that enable educators, students and citizen scientists to do exciting spectroscopic work. With the addition of a simple, inexpensive grating, it's now possible to capture scientifically significant spectra of astronomical objects with small (6") telescopes and even just a DSLR. See the tools that citizen scientists are using to contribute data to pro-am collaborations around the world. We'll also examine a simple, surprisingly inexpensive, tripod-mounted spectrometer that can be used in the classroom for demonstrations and hands-on labs with gas tubes and other light sources. Both of the above instruments use a software program named RSpec, which is state of the art software suite that is easy to learn and easy to use. In this presentation we'll see these devices in operation and discuss how they can be used by educators to dramatically improve their teaching of this topic. You'll see how these tools can eliminate the frustration of hand-held rainbow foil and plastic spectrometers. And we'll review some exciting examples of astronomical spectra being collected by amateurs and educators.

  2. Explanatory Supplement to the Astronomical Almanac (3rd Edition)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Urban, Sean E.; Seidelmann, P. K.

    2014-01-01

    Publications and software from the the Astronomical Applications Department of the US Naval Observatory (USNO) are used throughout the world, not only in the Department of Defense for safe navigation, but by many people including other navigators, astronomers, aerospace engineers, and geodesists. Products such as The Nautical Almanac, The Astronomical Almanac, and the Multiyear Interactive Computer Almanac (MICA) are regarded as international standards. To maintain credibility, it is imperative that the methodologies employed and the data used are well documented. "The Explanatory Supplement to the Astronomical Almanac" (hereafter, "The ES") is a major source of such documentation. It is a comprehensive reference book on positional astronomy, covering the theories and algorithms used to produce The Astronomical Almanac, an annual publication produced jointly by the Nautical Almanac Office of USNO and Her Majesty's Nautical Almanac Office (HMNAO). The first edition of The ES appeared in 1961, and the second followed in 1992. Several major changes have taken place in fundamental astronomy since the second edition was published. Advances in radio observations allowed the celestial reference frame to be tied to extragalactic radio sources, thus the International Celestial Reference System replaced the FK5 system. The success of ESA's Hipparcos satellite dramatically altered observational astrometry. Improvements in Earth orientation observations lead to new precession and nutation theories. Additionally, a new positional paradigm, no longer tied to the ecliptic and equinox, was accepted. Largely because of these changes, staff at USNO and HMNAO decided the time was right for the next edition of The ES. The third edition is now available; it is a complete revision of the 1992 book. Along with subjects covered in the previous two editions, the book also contains descriptions of the major advancements in positional astronomy over the last 20 years, some of which are

  3. Astronomer R.G. Chandra: In the Light of His Anglo-American Connection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ray, Saibal; Nath Biswas, Sudhindra; Mukhopadhyay, Utpal

    2014-09-01

    In the present paper we have presented some documents to reveal the longstanding relationship of Indian amateur astronomer R.G. Chandra with the British Astronomical Association and American Association of Variable Star Observers.

  4. Radio Astronomers to Celebrate Past and Future Achievements

    Science.gov (United States)

    2000-08-01

    early universe, the chemical composition of gas within galaxies, the birth processes of stars and the nature of pulsars. In conjunction with other instruments, the GBT will be used for radar mapping studies of planets and moons within the Solar System. The VLA has been used by more than 2200 researchers and has made important discoveries in nearly every astronomical specialty, from studies of the Sun and planets within the Solar System to young galaxies and quasars billions of light-years away. Constructed in the 1970s, the VLA now is limited in its capabilities by some of its original technologies. The NRAO has prepared an expansion program that will replace the VLA's aging technology with modern equipment and increase its scientific capabilities tenfold. The Expanded VLA will allow scientists to tackle important outstanding questions such as the formation processes of stars and planets; the nature of black holes and the phenomena surrounding them; and the nature of the early universe. The National Radio Astronomy Observatory is a facility of the National Science Foundation, operated under cooperative agreement by Associated Universities, Inc.

  5. A New Astronomical Facility for Peru: Converting a Telecommunication's 32 Meter Parabolic Antenna into a Radio Telescope

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ishitsuka, J. K.; Ishitsuka, M.; Inoue, M.; Kaifu, N.; Miyama, S.; Tsuboi, M.; Ohishi, M.; Fujisawa, K.; Kasuga, T.; Kondo, T.; Horiuchi, S.; Umemoto, T.; Miyoshi, M.; Miyazawa, K.; Bushimata, T.; Vidal, E. D.

    2006-08-01

    In 1984 Nippon Electric Company constructed an INTELSAT antenna at 3,370 meters above the sea level on the Peruvian Andes. Entel Peru, the Peruvian telecommunications company, managed the antenna station until 1993. This year the government transferred the station to a private telecommunications company, Telefónica del Peru. Since the satellite communications were rapidly replaced by transoceanic fiber optics, the beautiful 32 meters parabolic antenna has been unused since 2002.. In cooperation with the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan we began to convert the antenna into a radio telescope. Because researches on interstellar medium around Young Stellar Objects (YSO) will be able to observe the methanol masers that emit at 6.7 GHz, initially we will monitor the 6.7 GHz methanol masers and survey the southern sky. An ambient temperature receiver with Trx= 60 K was developed at Nobeyama Radio Observatory and is ready to be installed. The antenna control system is the Field System FS9 software installed in a Linux PC. An interface between the antenna and the PC was developed at Kashima Space Research Center in Japan. In the near future we plan to install the 2 GHz, 8 GHz, 12 GHz and 22 GHz receivers. The unique location and altitude of the Peruvian Radio Observatory will be useful for VLBI observations in collaboration with global arrays such as the VLBA array for astronomical observation and geodetic measurements. For Peru where few or almost no astronomical observational instruments are available for research, the implementation of the first radio observatory is a big and challenging step, and foster sciences at graduate and postgraduate levels of universities. Worldwide telecommunications antennas possibly are unused and with relative few investment could be transformed into a useful observational instrument.

  6. The Calar Alto Observatory: current status and future instrumentation

    CERN Document Server

    Barrado, D; Aceituno, J; Pedraz, S; Sanchez, S F; Aguirre, A; Alises, M; Bergond, G; Galadi, D; Guijarro, A; Hoyo, F; Mast, D; Montoya, L; Sengupta, Ch; de Guindos, E; Solano, E

    2010-01-01

    The Calar Alto Observatory, located at 2168m height above the sea level in continental Europe, holds a signi?cant number of astronomical telescopes and experiments, covering a large range of the electromagnetic domain, from gamma-ray to near-infrared. It is a very well characterized site, with excellent logistics. Its main telescopes includes a large suite of instruments. At the present time, new instruments, namely CAFE, PANIC and Carmenes, are under development. We are also planning a new operational scheme in order to optimize the observatory resources.

  7. The Effects of Improper Lighting on Professional Astronomical Observations

    CERN Document Server

    Patat, F

    2010-01-01

    Europe and a number of countries in the world are investing significant amounts of public money to operate and maintain large, ground-based astronomical facilities. Even larger projects are under development to observe the faintest and most remote astrophysical sources in the universe. As of today, on the planet there are very few sites that satisfy all the demanding criteria for such sensitive and expensive equipment, including a low level of light pollution. Because of the uncontrolled growth of incorrect illumination, even these protected and usually remote sites are at risk. Although the reasons for intelligent lighting reside in energy saving and environmental effects, the impact on scientific research cannot be neglected or underestimated, because of its high cultural value for the progress of the whole mankind. After setting the stage, in this paper I review the effects of improper lighting on professional optical and near-UV astronomical data, and discuss the possible solutions to both preserve the ni...

  8. Learning from FITS: Limitations in use in modern astronomical research

    CERN Document Server

    Thomas, Brian; Economou, Frossie; Greenfield, Perry; Hirst, Paul; Berry, David S; Bray, Erik; Gray, Norman; Muna, Demitri; Turner, James; de Val-Borro, Miguel; Santander-Vela, Juande; Shupe, David; Good, John; Berriman, G Bruce; Kitaeff, Slava; Fay, Jonathan; Laurino, Omar; Alexov, Anastasia; Landry, Walter; Masters, Joe; Brazier, Adam; Schaaf, Reinhold; Edwards, Kevin; Redman, Russell O; Marsh, Thomas R; Streicher, Ole; Norris, Pat; Pascual, Sergio; Davie, Matthew; Droettboom, Michael; Robitaille, Thomas; Campana, Riccardo; Hagen, Alex; Hartogh, Paul; Klaes, Dominik; Craiga, Matthew W; Homeier, Derek

    2015-01-01

    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 frag...

  9. Astronomically speaking a dictionary of quotations on astronomy and physics

    CERN Document Server

    Gaither, CC

    2003-01-01

    To understand the history, accomplishments, failures, and meanings of astronomy requires a knowledge of what has been said about astronomy by philosophers, novelists, playwrights, poets, scientists, and laymen. With this in mind, Astronomically Speaking: A Dictionary of Quotations on Astronomy and Physics serves as a guide to what has been said about astronomy through the ages. Containing approximately 1,550 quotations and numerous illustrations, this resource is the largest compilation of astronomy and astrophysics quotations published to date.Devoted to astronomy and the closely related areas of mathematics and physics, this resource helps form an accurate picture of these interconnected disciplines. It is designed as an aid for general readers with little knowledge of astronomy who are interested in astronomical topics. Students can use the book to increase their understanding of the complexity and richness that exists in scientific disciplines. In addition, experienced scientists will find it as a handy s...

  10. The academician astronomers travelling in the 18th century.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dumont, S.; Débarbat, S.

    1999-04-01

    In the 18th century, astronomers of the Académie des sciences of Paris made various contributions to the improvement of navigation: terrestrial determinations of longitude which improved charts for navigators, testing of marine clocks for longitude determinations at sea. In order to resolve the Cassini-Newton controversy regarding the shape of the Earth, the Académie proposed in 1735, that two expeditions should be made with a view to measuring a meridian arc. The results concluded that the Earth was flat on the sides of the poles, as predicted by Newton. By the mid-18th century, the first purely astronomical expedition (La Caille, Cap of Good Hope) led to the creation of an austral celestial map and new parallaxes. Later, Chappe d'Auteroche, Le Gentil and Pingré travelled to observe two transits of Venus over the Sun (1761, 1769) for the improvement of the solar parallax.

  11. Leveraging Data Lineage to Infer Logical Relationships between Astronomical Catalogs

    CERN Document Server

    Buddelmeijer, Hugo

    2012-01-01

    A novel method to infer logical relationships between sets is presented. These sets can be any collection of elements, for example astronomical catalogs of celestial objects. The method does not require the contents of the sets to be known explicitly. It combines incomplete knowledge about the relationships between sets to infer a priori unknown relationships. Relationships between sets are represented by sets of Boolean hypercubes. This leads to deductive reasoning by application of logical operators to these sets of hypercubes. A pseudocode for an efficient implementation is described. The method is used in the Astro-WISE information system to infer relationships between catalogs of astronomical objects. These catalogs can be very large and, more importantly, their contents do not have to be available at all times. Science products are stored in Astro-WISE with references to other science products from which they are derived, or their dependencies. This creates full data lineage that links every science pro...

  12. Using Modern Technologies to Capture and Share Indigenous Astronomical Knowledge

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakata, Martin; Hamacher, Duane W.; Warren, John; Byrne, Alex; Pagnucco, Maurice; Harley, Ross; Venugopal, Srikumar; Thorpe, Kirsten; Neville, Richard; Bolt, Reuben

    2014-06-01

    Indigenous Knowledge is important for Indigenous communities across the globe and for the advancement of our general scientific knowledge. In particular, Indigenous astronomical knowledge integrates many aspects of Indigenous Knowledge, including seasonal calendars, navigation, food economics, law, ceremony, and social structure. Capturing, managing, and disseminating this knowledge in the digital environment poses a number of challenges, which we aim to address using a collaborative project emerging between experts in the higher education, library, archive and industry sectors. Using Microsoft's WorldWide Telescope and Rich Interactive Narratives technologies, we propose to develop software, media design, and archival management solutions to allow Indigenous communities to share their astronomical knowledge with the world on their terms and in a culturally sensitive manner.

  13. Astronomical observation tasks short-term scheduling using PDDS algorithm

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kornilov, M. V.

    2016-07-01

    A concept of the ground-based optical astronomical observation efficiency is considered in this paper. We believe that a telescope efficiency can be increased by properly allocating observation tasks with respect to the current environment state and probability to obtain the data with required properties under the current conditions. An online observations scheduling is assumed to be an essential part for raising the efficiency. The short-term online scheduling is treated as the discrete optimisation problems which are stated using several abstraction levels. The optimisation problems are solved using the parallel depth-bounded discrepancy search (PDDS) algorithm by Moisan et al. (2014). Some aspects of the algorithm performance are discussed. The presented algorithm is a core of open-source chelyabinsk C++ library which is planned to be used at 2.5 m telescope of Sternberg Astronomical Institute of Lomonosov Moscow State University.

  14. Running a distributed virtual observatory: US Virtual Astronomical Observatory operations

    CERN Document Server

    McGlynn, Thomas A; Berriman, G Bruce; Thakar, Aniruddha R

    2012-01-01

    Operation of the US Virtual Astronomical Observatory shares some issues with modern physical observatories, e.g., intimidating data volumes and rapid technological change, and must also address unique concerns like the lack of direct control of the underlying and scattered data resources, and the distributed nature of the observatory itself. In this paper we discuss how the VAO has addressed these challenges to provide the astronomical community with a coherent set of science-enabling tools and services. The distributed nature of our virtual observatory-with data and personnel spanning geographic, institutional and regime boundaries-is simultaneously a major operational headache and the primary science motivation for the VAO. Most astronomy today uses data from many resources. Facilitation of matching heterogeneous datasets is a fundamental reason for the virtual observatory. Key aspects of our approach include continuous monitoring and validation of VAO and VO services and the datasets provided by the commun...

  15. Astrophysics is easy! an introduction for the amateur astronomer

    CERN Document Server

    Inglis, Mike

    2007-01-01

    With some justification, many amateur astronomers believe astrophysics is a very difficult subject, requiring at least degree-level mathematics to understand it properly. This isn’t necessarily the case. Mike Inglis' quantitative approach to the subject explains all aspects of astrophysics in simple terms and cuts through the incomprehensible mathematics with which this fascinating subject is all too often associated. Astrophysics is Easy! begins by looking at the H-R diagram and other basic tools of astrophysics, then ranges across the universe, from a first look at the interstellar medium and nebulae, through the birth, evolution and death of stars, to the physics of galaxies and clusters of galaxies. A unique feature of this book is the way that Dr. Inglis lists example objects for practical observation at every stage, so that practical astronomers can go and look at the object or objects under discussion – using only easily-available commercial amateur equipment.

  16. Feature Selection Strategies for Classifying High Dimensional Astronomical Data Sets

    CERN Document Server

    Donalek, Ciro; Djorgovski, S G; Mahabal, Ashish A; Graham, Matthew J; Fuchs, Thomas J; Turmon, Michael J; Philip, N Sajeeth; Yang, Michael Ting-Chang; Longo, Giuseppe

    2013-01-01

    The amount of collected data in many scientific fields is increasing, all of them requiring a common task: extract knowledge from massive, multi parametric data sets, as rapidly and efficiently possible. This is especially true in astronomy where synoptic sky surveys are enabling new research frontiers in the time domain astronomy and posing several new object classification challenges in multi dimensional spaces; given the high number of parameters available for each object, feature selection is quickly becoming a crucial task in analyzing astronomical data sets. Using data sets extracted from the ongoing Catalina Real-Time Transient Surveys (CRTS) and the Kepler Mission we illustrate a variety of feature selection strategies used to identify the subsets that give the most information and the results achieved applying these techniques to three major astronomical problems.

  17. Variable Star and Exoplanet Section of the Czech Astronomical Society

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skarka, M.; Liška, J.; Šmelcer, L.; Brát, L.

    2015-07-01

    We present a short introduction of the Variable Star and Exoplanet Section of the Czech Astronomical Society. Its history is closely tied to Zdeněk Kopal, who was its president in years 1930-1933. Both amateur variable star observers and professional scientists are organized in this section. Many online tools and databases are provided on our web page to make the observers' work easier. We also offer our online electronic journal OEJV to observers, for publishing their results.

  18. Astronomy for Astronomical Numbers: A Worldwide Massive Open Online Class

    OpenAIRE

    Impey, Chris D.; Matthew C. Wenger; Carmen L. Austin

    2015-01-01

    Astronomy: State of the Art is a massive, open, online class (MOOC) offered through Udemy by an instructional team at the University of Arizona. With nearly 24,000 enrolled as of early 2015, it is the largest astronomy MOOC available. The astronomical numbers enrolled do not translate into a similar level of engagement. The content consists of 14 hours of video lecture, nearly 1,000 Powerpoint slides, 250 pages of background readings, and 20 podcast interviews with leading researchers. Perhap...

  19. The Astronomical Link Between India and the Mayans

    OpenAIRE

    Sidharth, B. G.

    2001-01-01

    We argue that there was a link between Indus Valley India and the Mayans of Central America which is brought out by astronomical references. The former used a Jovian calendar while the latter had perfected a calendar based on Venus. This will be shown to be a significant clue. This also provides an explanation for the as yet unexplained fact that the Indus script has been found on Easter Islands.

  20. ASTRiDE: Automated Streak Detection for Astronomical Images

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Dae-Won

    2016-05-01

    ASTRiDE detects streaks in astronomical images using a "border" of each object (i.e. "boundary-tracing" or "contour-tracing") and their morphological parameters. Fast moving objects such as meteors, satellites, near-Earth objects (NEOs), or even cosmic rays can leave streak-like traces in the images; ASTRiDE can detect not only long streaks but also relatively short or curved streaks.

  1. Parallel Astronomical Data Processing with Python: Recipes for multicore machines

    OpenAIRE

    Singh, Navtej; Browne, Lisa-Marie; Butler, Ray

    2013-01-01

    High performance computing has been used in various fields of astrophysical research. But most of it is implemented on massively parallel systems (supercomputers) or graphical processing unit clusters. With the advent of multicore processors in the last decade, many serial software codes have been re-implemented in parallel mode to utilize the full potential of these processors. In this paper, we propose parallel processing recipes for multicore machines for astronomical data processing. The ...

  2. Virtual Observatory for Astronomers: Where Are We Now?

    OpenAIRE

    Chilingarian, Igor

    2009-01-01

    After several years of intensive technological development Virtual Observatory resources have reached a level of maturity sufficient for their routine scientific exploitation. The Virtual Observatory is starting to be used by astronomers in a transparent way. In this article I will review several research projects making use of the VO at different levels of importance. I will present two projects going further than data mining: (1) studies of environmental effects on galaxy evolution, where V...

  3. The astronomical orientation of the urban plan of Alexandria

    OpenAIRE

    Ferro, Luisa; Magli, Giulio

    2011-01-01

    Alexander the Great founded Alexandria in 331 BC. The newly founded town was conceived as an orthogonal grid based on a main longitudinal axis, later called Canopic Road. We analyse here the astronomical orientation of the project and propose that the main axis was deliberately oriented towards the rising sun on the day of birth of Alexander the Great. The argument is admittedly speculative as any Archaeoastronomy argument not backed up by written sources. However, it is nested accurately int...

  4. Analysis of astronomical records of King Wu's Conquest

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2001-01-01

    All related astronomical records of King Wu's Conquest have been searched and analysed comprehensively. Constrained by the newest conclusions of archeology, philology and history in the Xia-Shang-Zhou Chronology Project and based mainly on dates in Wucheng, Jupiter's position in Guoyu and information on the season, our first choice of the date of King Wu's Conquest is Jun. 20, BC1046. This conclusion explains properly most relevant literature.

  5. The Development of Mauna Kea as an Astronomical Site

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeVorkin, David H.

    2015-08-01

    This is a proposal to hold a panel discussion at the 2015 IAU General Assembly, within the three-day Focus Meeting FM2, “Astronomical Heritage: Progressing the UNESCO-IAU Initiative” August 11-13. We believe the proposal is germane to FM2 in that it is directed to "Recognizing the twentieth-century heritage of astronomy." This panel will consist of a set of moderated and linked talks by individuals who were central to the creation of the Institute for Astronomy at the University of Hawaii, and to building observatory sites both on Haleakala and Mauna Kea. Invited discussants thus far include John T. Jefferies, David Morrison, Alan Tokunaga and Ann Boesgaard. The purpose of the panel discussion will be to provide a platform wherein astronomers will share their recollections and views relating to the history of the establishment of Mauna Kea as an astronomical observatory. They, along with fellow discussants and the audience, will then consider what is critical about this history and suggest steps for adequately preserving and elucidating that history. What were the chief opportunities, challenges and then hurdles to overcome in the identification and then implementation of Mauna Kea as an ideal site, and how did the University of Hawaii become the host institution for its establishment? What was learned from sites established on Haleakela by the U. S. Air Force and the Smithsonian that focused attention on Mauna Kea? How and why did NASA become interested in establishing a large observatory there? And once the site was established and its qualities fully appreciated, how did astronomical institutions from all over the world join to populate the peaks and saddles of the dwelling place of the goddess Poliahu? Each of the invited participants will be encouraged to make extended opening statements relating to their experiences, but at least half of the session will be devoted to structured questions from the moderator, and open discussion during audience Q&A.

  6. The Organization and Management of the Virtual Astronomical Observatory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berriman, G. Bruce; Hanisch, Robert J.; Lazio, T. Joseph W.; Szalay, Alexander; Fabbiano, Giussepina

    2012-01-01

    The U.S. Virtual Astronomical Observatory (VAO; http://www.us-vao.org/) has been in operation since May 2010. Its goal is to enable new science through efficient integration of distributed multi-wavelength data. This paper describes the management and organization of the VAO, and emphasizes the techniques used to ensure efficiency in a distributed organization. Management methods include using an annual program plan as the basis for establishing contracts with member organizations, regular communication, and monitoring of processes.

  7. Automatic astronomical coordinate determination using digital zenith cameras

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S Farzaneh

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Celestial positioning has been used for navigation purposes for many years. Stars as the extra-terrestrial benchmarks provide unique opportunity in absolute point positioning. However, astronomical field data acquisition and data processing of the collected data is very time-consuming. The advent of the Global Positioning System (GPS nearly made the celestial positioning system obsolete. The new satellite-based positioning system has been very popular since it is very efficient and convenient for many daily life applications. Nevertheless, the celestial positioning method is never replaced by satellite-based positioning in absolute point positioning sense. The invention of electro-optical devices at the beginning of the 21st century was really a rebirth in geodetic astronomy. Today, the digital cameras with relatively high geometric and radiometric accuracy has opened a new insight in satellite attitude determination and the study of the Earth's surface geometry and physics of its interior, i.e., computation of astronomical coordinates and the vertical deflection components. This method or the so-called astrogeodetic vision-based method help us to determine astronomical coordinates with an accuracy better than 0.1 arc second. The theoretical background, an innovative transformation approach and the preliminary numerical results are addressed in this paper.

  8. National and international astronomical activities in Chile 1849--2002

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duerbeck, H. W.

    2003-03-01

    At all times and in many ways, Chilean astronomy has been influenced externally, either by astronomical expeditions from other parts of the world, or by astronomers that immigrated from other countries. We outline the history of the Chilean National Observatory, beginning with its origins out of Gilliss' US Naval Expedition to the Southern Hemisphere, over its directors Moesta, Vergara, Obrecht, Ristenpart to the middle of the 20th century, as well as the astronomical development at the Universidad Católica. In addition, various international expeditions, which aimed at observations of solar eclipses, the Venus transit of 1882, and the Mars opposition of 1907, were carried out. While a major photometric project of Harvard Observatory was active for only six weeks in the north of Chile, the spectroscopic Mills expedition of Lick Observatory in Santiago lasted several decades, and the solar observatory of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory near Calama even longer. Finally we give a brief overview of the evolution and the actual state of the international observatories Cerro Tololo, La Silla, Paranal, and Las Campanas.

  9. Astronomical Image Compression Techniques Based on ACC and KLT Coder

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Schindler

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper deals with a compression of image data in applications in astronomy. Astronomical images have typical specific properties — high grayscale bit depth, size, noise occurrence and special processing algorithms. They belong to the class of scientific images. Their processing and compression is quite different from the classical approach of multimedia image processing. The database of images from BOOTES (Burst Observer and Optical Transient Exploring System has been chosen as a source of the testing signal. BOOTES is a Czech-Spanish robotic telescope for observing AGN (active galactic nuclei and the optical transient of GRB (gamma ray bursts searching. This paper discusses an approach based on an analysis of statistical properties of image data. A comparison of two irrelevancy reduction methods is presented from a scientific (astrometric and photometric point of view. The first method is based on a statistical approach, using the Karhunen-Loeve transform (KLT with uniform quantization in the spectral domain. The second technique is derived from wavelet decomposition with adaptive selection of used prediction coefficients. Finally, the comparison of three redundancy reduction methods is discussed. Multimedia format JPEG2000 and HCOMPRESS, designed especially for astronomical images, are compared with the new Astronomical Context Coder (ACC coder based on adaptive median regression.

  10. Breakthrough! 100 astronomical images that changed the world

    CERN Document Server

    Gendler, Robert

    2015-01-01

    This unique volume by two renowned astrophotographers unveils the science and history behind 100 of the most significant astronomical images of all time. The authors have carefully selected their list of images from across time and technology to bring to the reader the most relevant photographic images spanning all eras of modern astronomical history.    Based on scientific evidence today we have a basic notion of how Earth and the universe came to be. The road to this knowledge was paved with 175 years of astronomical images acquired by the coupling of two revolutionary technologies – the camera and telescope. With ingenuity and determination humankind would quickly embrace these technologies to tell the story of the cosmos and unravel its mysteries.   This book presents in pictures and words a photographic chronology of our aspiration to understand the universe. From the first fledgling attempts to photograph the Moon, planets, and stars to the marvels of orbiting observatories that record the cosmos a...

  11. Sharing Images Intelligently: The Astronomical Visualization Metadata Standard

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hurt, Robert L.; Christensen, L.; Gauthier, A.

    2006-12-01

    The astronomical education and public outreach (EPO) community plays a key role in conveying the results of scientific research to the general public. A key product of EPO development is a variety of non-scientific public image resources, both derived from scientific observations and created as artistic visualizations of scientific results. This refers to general image formats such as JPEG, TIFF, PNG, GIF, not scientific FITS datasets. Such resources are currently scattered across the internet in a variety of galleries and archives, but are not searchable in any coherent or unified way. Just as Virtual Observatory standards open up all data archives to a common query engine, the EPO community will benefit greatly from a similar mechanism for image search and retrieval. A new standard has been developed for astronomical imagery defining a common set of content fields suited for the needs of astronomical visualizations. This encompasses images derived from data, artist's conceptions, simulations, photography, and can be ultimately extensible to video products. The first generation of tools are now available to tag images with this metadata, which can be embedded with the image file using an XML-based format that functions similarly to a FITS header. As image collections are processed to include astronomy visualization metadata tags, extensive information providing educational context, credits, data sources, and even coordinate information will be readily accessible for uses spanning casual browsing, publication, and interactive media systems.

  12. The Amateur Astronomer's Introduction to the Celestial Sphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Millar, William

    2005-12-01

    This introduction to the night sky is for amateur astronomers who desire a deeper understanding of the principles and observations of naked-eye astronomy. It covers topics such as terrestrial and astronomical coordinate systems, stars and constellations, the relative motions of the sky, sun, moon and earth leading to an understanding of the seasons, phases of the moon, and eclipses. Topics are discussed and compared for observers located in both the northern and southern hemispheres. Written in a conversational style, only addition and subtraction are needed to understand the basic principles and a more advanced mathematical treatment is available in the appendices. Each chapter contains a set of review questions and simple exercises to reinforce the reader's understanding of the material. The last chapter is a set of self-contained observation projects to get readers started with making observations about the concepts they have learned. William Charles Millar, currently Professor of Astronomy at Grand Rapids Community College in Michigan, has been teaching the subject for almost twenty years and is very involved with local amateur astronomy groups. Millar also belongs to The Planetary Society and the Astronomical Society of the Pacific and has traveled to Europe and South America to observe solar eclipses. Millar holds a Masters degree in Physics from Western Michigan University.

  13. American Zodiac: Astronomical signs in Dickinson, Melville, and Poe

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ricca, Bradley James

    2003-11-01

    Science and literature, two means of inquiry now thought in opposition (if not posed as outright contradiction) emerged for a moment in the nineteenth century as provocatively complimentary in their methods of reading. In America, astronomy in particular provided a rich, complex subject for writers of the imagination to think about in terms of content and methodology. The purpose of my study is to uncover these unacknowledged astronomical referents in the works of Emily Dickinson, Herman Melville, and Edgar Allan Poe, and engage them as interpretive contexts in new readings of their most esoteric projects; specifically, Dickinson's solstice and circumference poetry, the Plinlimmon pamphlet in Melville's Pierre, and Poe's Eureka. After providing historical context through the shared public experience of the 1833 Leonid Meteor Storm, I uncover several astronomical and scientific sources for these writers: Denison Olmsted for Dickinson; Gauss and Plotinus for Melville; and Kepler and Alexander von Humboldt for Poe, among others. Exploring these sources in close readings of their works, I find that these authors employ astronomical facts in very different, metaphorical ways in response to the larger challenge of navigating their own poetics between the emerging new laws of science and the immeasurability of human feeling evoked by the unknown Universe.

  14. Astronomers Find World with Thick, Inhospitable Atmosphere and an Icy Heart

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-12-01

    planets, they found that the observed radius exceeds the models' predictions: there is something more than the planet's solid surface blocking the star's light - a surrounding atmosphere, 200 km thick. "This atmosphere is much thicker than that of the Earth, so the high pressure and absence of light would rule out life as we know it," says Charbonneau, "but these conditions are still very interesting, as they could allow for some complex chemistry to take place." "Because the planet is too hot to have kept an atmosphere for long, GJ1214b represents the first opportunity to study a newly formed atmosphere enshrouding a world orbiting another star," adds team member Xavier Bonfils. "Because the planet is so close to us, it will be possible to study its atmosphere even with current facilities." The planet was first discovered as a transiting object within the MEarth project, which follows about 2000 low-mass stars to look for transits by exoplanets [4]. To confirm the planetary nature of GJ1214b and to obtain its mass (using the so-called Doppler method), the astronomers needed the full precision of the HARPS spectrograph, attached to ESO's 3.6-metre telescope at La Silla. An instrument with unrivalled stability and great precision, HARPS is the world's most successful hunter for small exoplanets. "This is the second super-Earth exoplanet for which the mass and radius could be obtained, allowing us to determine the density and to infer the inner structure," adds co-author Stephane Udry. "In both cases, data from HARPS was essential to characterise the planet." "The differences in composition between these two planets are relevant to the quest for habitable worlds," concludes Charbonneau. If super-Earth planets in general are surrounded by an atmosphere similar to that of GJ1214b, they may well be inhospitable to the development of life as we know it on our own planet. Notes [1] A super-Earth is defined as a planet between one and ten times the mass of the Earth. An exoplanet

  15. Astronomer's new guide to the galaxy: largest map of cold dust revealed

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-07-01

    Astronomers have unveiled an unprecedented new atlas of the inner regions of the Milky Way, our home galaxy, peppered with thousands of previously undiscovered dense knots of cold cosmic dust -- the potential birthplaces of new stars. Made using observations from the APEX telescope in Chile, this survey is the largest map of cold dust so far, and will prove an invaluable map for observations made with the forthcoming ALMA telescope, as well as the recently launched ESA Herschel space telescope. ESO PR Photo 24a/09 View of the Galactic Plane from the ATLASGAL survey (annotated and in five sections) ESO PR Photo 24b/09 View of the Galactic Plane from the ATLASGAL survey (annotated) ESO PR Photo 24c/09 View of the Galactic Plane from the ATLASGAL survey (in five sections) ESO PR Photo 24d/09 View of the Galactic Plane from the ATLASGAL survey ESO PR Photo 24e/09 The Galactic Centre and Sagittarius B2 ESO PR Photo 24f/09 The NGC 6357 and NGC 6334 nebulae ESO PR Photo 24g/09 The RCW120 nebula ESO PR Video 24a/09 Annotated pan as seen by the ATLASGAL survey This new guide for astronomers, known as the APEX Telescope Large Area Survey of the Galaxy (ATLASGAL) shows the Milky Way in submillimetre-wavelength light (between infrared light and radio waves [1]). Images of the cosmos at these wavelengths are vital for studying the birthplaces of new stars and the structure of the crowded galactic core. "ATLASGAL gives us a new look at the Milky Way. Not only will it help us investigate how massive stars form, but it will also give us an overview of the larger-scale structure of our galaxy", said Frederic Schuller from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy, leader of the ATLASGAL team. The area of the new submillimetre map is approximately 95 square degrees, covering a very long and narrow strip along the galactic plane two degrees wide (four times the width of the full Moon) and over 40 degrees long. The 16 000 pixel-long map was made with the LABOCA submillimetre

  16. Preventing Rape of the Observatory: Thoughts on the Urgency of Preserving Historic Astronomical Artifacts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bell, T. E.

    2005-12-01

    "What good is this century-old monster refractor? Sell it and use the money to buy a brand new go-to reflector useful for teaching students and advancing astronomy." So argues logic that is endangering an increasing number of university observatories around the U.S. (if not the rest of the world), even up to the Yerkes Observatory and its 40-inch Clark, world's largest refractor by the acknowledged world's best lens-makers. While most non-historians readily accept the value of preserving our cultural heritage in rare and precious documents (such as the Declaration of Independence), artifacts (such as Stradivarius violins), and institutions (such as the birthplaces of U.S. Presidents), they tend not to think of astronomical observatories as part of cultural heritage-with a result that history is crumbling apace to the wrecking ball. In early October, the Antique Telescope Society convened a special 60-minute session discussing philosophical why's and practical how's of preserving astronomical assets (including historically significant telescopes, observatory buildings, auxiliary equipment used to make observations or calculate results, and libraries of books and papers). This paper will summarize the discussion's key insights - including the assessing and assigning of value to old vs. new telescopes, and the roles of politics, funding and fund-raising, publicity (positive and negative), education, use as a form of preservation, innovative solutions by private collectors (including "half-way houses" for homeless instruments), restoration vs. renovation, special problems facing very large telescopes, and lessons learned from both failures and success.

  17. The Astronomer's Telegram A Web-based Short-Notice Publication System for the Professional Astronomical Community

    CERN Document Server

    Rutledge, R E

    1998-01-01

    The Astronomer's Telegram (ATEL; http://fire.berkeley.edu:8080/) is a web based short-notice (<4000 characters) publication system for reporting and commenting on new astronomical observations, offering for the first time in astronomy effectively instantaneous distribution of time-critical information for the entire professional community. It is designed to take advantage of the World Wide Web's simple user interface and the ability of computer programs to provide nearly all the necessary functions. One may post a Telegram, which is instantly (<1 second) available at the Web-site, and distributed by email within 24 hours through the Daily Email Digest, which is tailored to the subject selections of each reader. Optionally, urgent Telegrams may be distributed through Instant Email Notices. While ATEL will be of particular use to observers of transient objects (such as gamma-ray bursts, microlenses, supernovae, novae, or X-ray transients) or in fields which are rapidly evolving observationally, there are ...

  18. Evaluating musical instruments

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Campbell, D. Murray

    2014-04-01

    Scientific measurements of sound generation and radiation by musical instruments are surprisingly hard to correlate with the subtle and complex judgments of instrumental quality made by expert musicians.

  19. Evaluating musical instruments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Scientific measurements of sound generation and radiation by musical instruments are surprisingly hard to correlate with the subtle and complex judgments of instrumental quality made by expert musicians

  20. Computer simulations of interferometric imaging with the VLT interferometer and its AMBER instrument

    OpenAIRE

    Przygodda, F.; Bloecker, T.; Hofmann, K.-H; Weigelt, G.

    2001-01-01

    We present computer simulations of interferometric imaging with the Very Large Telescope Interferometer (VLTI) of the European Southern Observatory (ESO) and the Astronomical MultiBEam Recombiner (AMBER) phase-closure instrument. These simulations include both the astrophysical modelling of a stellar object by radiative transfer calculations and the simulation of light propagation from the object to the detector (through atmosphere, telescopes, and the AMBER instrument), simulation of photon ...

  1. Optical configuration and analysis of the AMBER/VLTI instrument

    CERN Document Server

    Robbe-Dubois, S; Petrov, R G; Lisi, F; Beckmann, U; Antonelli, P; Bresson, Y; Martinot-Lagarde, G; Roussel, A; Salinari, P; Vannier, M; Chelli, A; Dugué, M; Duvert, G; Gennari, S; Gluck, L; Kern, P; LeCoarer, E; Malbet, F; Millour, F; Perraut, K; Puget, P; Rantakyro, F; Tatulli, E; Weigelt, G; Zins, G

    2008-01-01

    This paper describes the design goals and engineering efforts that led to the realization of AMBER (Astronomical Multi BEam combineR) and to the achievement of its present performance. On the basis of the general instrumental concept, AMBER was decomposed into modules whose functions and detailed characteristics are given. Emphasis is put on the spatial filtering system, a key element of the instrument. We established a budget for transmission and contrast degradation through the different modules, and made the detailed optical design. The latter confirmed the overall performance of the instrument and defined the exact implementation of the AMBER optics. The performance was assessed with laboratory measurements and commissionings at the VLTI, in terms of spectral coverage and resolution, instrumental contrast higher than 0.80, minimum magnitude of 11 in K, absolute visibility accuracy of 1%, and differential phase stability of 1E-3 rad over one minute.

  2. Ticking Stellar Time Bomb Identified - Astronomers find prime suspect for a Type Ia supernova

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-11-01

    Using ESO's Very Large Telescope and its ability to obtain images as sharp as if taken from space, astronomers have made the first time-lapse movie of a rather unusual shell ejected by a "vampire star", which in November 2000 underwent an outburst after gulping down part of its companion's matter. This enabled astronomers to determine the distance and intrinsic brightness of the outbursting object. It appears that this double star system is a prime candidate to be one of the long-sought progenitors of the exploding stars known as Type Ia supernovae, critical for studies of dark energy. "One of the major problems in modern astrophysics is the fact that we still do not know exactly what kinds of stellar system explode as a Type Ia supernova," says Patrick Woudt, from the University of Cape Town and lead author of the paper reporting the results. "As these supernovae play a crucial role in showing that the Universe's expansion is currently accelerating, pushed by a mysterious dark energy, it is rather embarrassing." The astronomers studied the object known as V445 in the constellation of Puppis ("the Stern") in great detail. V445 Puppis is the first, and so far only, nova showing no evidence at all for hydrogen. It provides the first evidence for an outburst on the surface of a white dwarf [1] dominated by helium. "This is critical, as we know that Type Ia supernovae lack hydrogen," says co-author Danny Steeghs, from the University of Warwick, UK, "and the companion star in V445 Pup fits this nicely by also lacking hydrogen, instead dumping mainly helium gas onto the white dwarf." In November 2000, this system underwent a nova outburst, becoming 250 times brighter than before and ejecting a large quantity of matter into space. The team of astronomers used the NACO adaptive optics instrument [2] on ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT) to obtain very sharp images of V445 Puppis over a time span of two years. The images show a bipolar shell, initially with a very narrow

  3. He2-90'S APPEARANCE DECEIVES ASTRONOMERS

    Science.gov (United States)

    2002-01-01

    Astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have stumbled upon a mysterious object that is grudgingly yielding clues to its identity. A quick glance at the Hubble picture at top shows that this celestial body, called He2-90, looks like a young, dust-enshrouded star with narrow jets of material streaming from each side. But it's not. The object is classified as a planetary nebula, the glowing remains of a dying, lightweight star. But the Hubble observations suggest that it may not fit that classification, either. The Hubble astronomers now suspect that this enigmatic object may actually be a pair of aging stars masquerading as a single youngster. One member of the duo is a bloated red giant star shedding matter from its outer layers. This matter is then gravitationally captured in a rotating, pancake-shaped accretion disk around a compact partner, which is most likely a young white dwarf (the collapsed remnant of a sun-like star). The stars cannot be seen in the Hubble images because a lane of dust obscures them. The Hubble picture at top shows a centrally bright object with jets, appearing like strings of beads, emanating from both sides of center. (The other streaks of light running diagonally from He2-90 are artificial effects of the telescope's optical system.) Each jet possesses at least six bright clumps of gas, which are speeding along at rates estimated to be at least 375,000 miles an hour (600,000 kilometers an hour). These gaseous salvos are being ejected into space about every 100 years, and may be caused by periodic instabilities in He2-90's accretion disk. The jets from very young stars behave in a similar way. Deep images taken from terrestrial observatories show each jet extending at least 100,000 astronomical units (one astronomical unit equals the Earth-Sun distance, 93 million miles). The jets' relatively modest speed implies that one member of the duo is a white dwarf. Observations by the Compton Gamma-Ray Observatory, however, discovered a

  4. IOT Overview: IR Instruments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mason, E.

    In this instrument review chapter the calibration plans of ESO IR instruments are presented and briefly reviewed focusing, in particular, on the case of ISAAC, which has been the first IR instrument at VLT and whose calibration plan served as prototype for the coming instruments.

  5. Performing the Super Instrument

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kallionpaa, Maria

    2016-01-01

    have become interested in different ways of “supersizing” acoustic instruments in order to open up previously-unheard instrumental sounds. Super instruments vary a great deal but each has a transformative effect on the identity and performance practice of the performing musician. Furthermore, composers...... can empower performers by producing super instrument works that allow the concert instrument to become an ensemble controlled by a single player. The existing instrumental skills of the performer can be multiplied and the qualities of regular acoustic instruments extended or modified. Such a situation...

  6. Astronomers Discover Clue to Origin of Milky Way Gas Clouds

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-05-01

    A surprising discovery that hydrogen gas clouds found in abundance in and above our Milky Way Galaxy have preferred locations has given astronomers a key clue about the origin of such clouds, which play an important part in galaxy evolution. We've concluded that these clouds are gas that has been blown away from the Galaxy's plane by supernova explosions and the fierce winds from young stars in areas of intense star formation," said H. Alyson Ford of the University of Michigan, whose Ph.D thesis research from Swinburne University formed the basis for this result. The team, consisting of Ford and collaborators Felix J. Lockman, of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO), and Naomi Mclure-Griffiths of CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science, presented their findings to the American Astronomical Society's meeting in Miami, Florida. The astronomers studied gas clouds in two distinct regions of the Galaxy. The clouds they studied are between 400 and 15,000 light-years outside the disk-like plane of the Galaxy. The disk contains most of the Galaxy's stars and gas, and is surrounded by a "halo" of gas more distant than the clouds the astronomers studied. "These clouds were first detected with the National Science Foundation's Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope, and are quite puzzling. They are in a transitional area between the disk and the halo, and their origin has been uncertain," Lockman explained. The research team used data from the Galactic All-Sky Survey, made with CSIRO's Parkes radio telescope in Australia. When the astronomers compared the observations of the two regions, they saw that one region contained three times as many hydrogen clouds as the other. In addition, that region's clouds are, on average, twice as far above the Galaxy's plane. The dramatic difference, they believe, is because the region with more clouds lies near the tip of the Galaxy's central "bar," where the bar merges with a major spiral arm. This is an area of intense star formation

  7. Astronomical Orientation of Pyramid Tombs in North China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rusell Tiede, Vance

    2010-01-01

    Two ancient Chinese texts, the Chou Bei Suan Ching and Chou Li (Western Han Dynasty, ca. 100 BC), record that the Imperial Astronomer (Feng Hsian Shin) made solar observations to determine the solstices and equinoxes, and for determining the cardinal directions with a circle and gnomon. By combining the techniques of astro-archaeology (G. S. Hawkins, 1968) with both overhead imagery and ground survey, the present study seeks to link historical Chinese descriptions of astronomical phenomena with contemporary architectural orientation. In the process, several unexpected astronomical orientation patterns emerged which apparently do not appear in the surviving historical record. For example, at the imperial Western Han capital of Ch'ang-an (N 34° latitude), the diagonals of cardinally oriented square pyramid mounds (ling) align to zenith (+34° declination) and nadir (-34° declination) star rise and set points on the skyline. This is in accord with the Chou (Zhou) Dynasty's name of Chung-Kuo, meaning Central Country or Middle Kingdom. That is, the imperial capital is centered both politico-geographically with respect to its vassal states of the Eastern Yi, Southern Man, Western Rong, and Northern Di, as well as astro-geomantically regarding the color-coded Five Sacred Directions East-South-West-North-Zenith/Nadir in the Cosmos. Our ground survey also confirmed pyramid orientation to the lunar standstills (+28°, +18° and +5° declination) that we reported from overhead imagery in 1980 (155th AAS Meeting, HAD 18.CE.12, Lunar and Solar Alignments of Ancient Chinese Pyramids). Grateful acknowledgment is given to the Chinese Academy of Sciences for the invitation to conduct an astro-archaeological survey of the Wei-ho valley, Shensi (Shaanxi) Province.

  8. AstroBetter: A Blog and Wiki for Professional Astronomers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rigby, Jane

    2011-01-01

    AstroBetter.com is a multi-contributor blog and wiki website designed for information sharing among professional astronomers. The goal of the site is to increase the productivity of astronomers by creating a centralized location for tips and tools of our multifaceted trade. Our content includes topics related to data reduction and analysis, general computing, writing papers and proposals, giving talks, teaching, career planning, productivity, organization, and diversity and equity in science and education. While we have several contributors, the site is intended to be community driven and we encourage everyone to publish to the wiki, submit guest posts, suggest post ideas, and to comment on blog entries. One of our primary goals is to consolidate and reduce the transient nature of the astronomy community's collective knowledge base by having an active wiki. Currently, the most common way to share astro-centric tools and tips that are not appropriate for a published paper, is to put them on an individual's website. However, the average astronomer's website will have at least four different addresses over the course of their career and only the site owner can edit the content. As a result, information on personal websites goes stale very quickly and deal links to such sites abound. It is our hope that community maintained wikis, such as the one hosted on AstroBetter, will gradually replace the personal website. In this poster we introduce the contributors to AstroBetter, show statistics about our current readership, give excerpts of some of our most popular posts and wiki entries, and show how anyone can add or edit content on the wiki. The goal of this poster is to spread the work about AstroBetter and increase our community of readers and wiki editors, because together, we can AstroBetter.

  9. User extensibility of the Firefly astronomical visualization software

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dubois-Felsmann, Gregory P.; Goldina, Tatiana; Ly, Loi; Roby, William; Wu, Xiuqin; Zhang, Lijun

    2016-01-01

    We have developed mechanisms for extending the functionality of the open-source Firefly astronomical visualization software with user-supplied code. Firefly is a toolkit for the construction of Web-based applications for visualizing astronomical images and tabular data, with the software distribution also including a basic general-purpose pre-built application. The Firefly tools are the base for NASA's IRSA archive as well as other web applications developed at IPAC.Recent releases include new public APIs allowing the extension of Firefly functionality in various ways. New Javascript APIs allow customization of the interface presented in the browser, including the ability to define buttons for custom actions that can be performed on points, lines, and regions in images. New Python APIs allow the invocation of operations in a Firefly-based application, allowing it to serve as a display engine for FITS images and other astronomical data. In addition, the Firefly web server side has been enhanced with the ability to invoke user-supplied processes that can produce either image or tabular results based on operations on data from the application or external sources. For instance, the user can define an operation to perform source detection on a graphically selected region in an image and return the results for display as a table and/or x-y plot. User processes can be defined in any language supported on the server host; our current efforts have focused on Python. This mechanism has been used to support the integration of Firefly with the LSST project's software stack, with reusable "tasks" from the LSST stack configurable as extensions to Firefly.

  10. A modified star map identification method suitable for astronomical camera

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Meiying; Wang, Hu; Wen, Desheng; Liu, Jie; Xue, Yaoke; Liu, Yang; Zhao, Hui

    2015-10-01

    High accuracy star map identification results are the basis of astronomical positioning. The traditional triangle star identification algorithm has a higher redundancy and a poor robustness to noise. Considering the specific requirements of the star map identification of the astronomical camera, in allusion to this default, proceeding with selection of guide stars, construction of guide star catalogue and realization of matching algorithm, a modified triangle algorithm based on traditional one is presented. With the proposed algorithm, the guide star is selected from astronomical durchmusterung. In order to speed up guide star indexing, the guide star catalogue is founded after dividing the sky using the overlapping rectangle method. The guide star sub-catalogue is constructed by the radius of guide triangle circumcircle and the two sides of guide triangle. The characteristic radius is used for indexing and sorted in an ascending order to improve the searching efficiency in the processing of star map identification. The matching scope of the angular distance is narrowed and the matching rate of angular distance is improved by the matching of the characteristics radius. If there exists redundancy, a normalized magnitude is used to eliminate it. Within the observing area of the real sky, the 1050 star maps continuously are calculated. The simulation results show that, the identification rate of this algorithm is greater than 97. 83% when the noise of position error is two pixels, and the average identification time is about 25. 07ms. Compared with the traditional triangle algorithm, this modified algorithm has a couple of advantages, including the smaller storage capacity of guide star catalogue, better robustness to position and magnitude error, higher rate of correcting star map identification and lower redundancy.

  11. Managing distributed software development in the Virtual Astronomical Observatory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evans, Janet D.; Plante, Raymond L.; Boneventura, Nina; Busko, Ivo; Cresitello-Dittmar, Mark; D'Abrusco, Raffaele; Doe, Stephen; Ebert, Rick; Laurino, Omar; Pevunova, Olga; Refsdal, Brian; Thomas, Brian

    2012-09-01

    The U.S. Virtual Astronomical Observatory (VAO) is a product-driven organization that provides new scientific research capabilities to the astronomical community. Software development for the VAO follows a lightweight framework that guides development of science applications and infrastructure. Challenges to be overcome include distributed development teams, part-time efforts, and highly constrained schedules. We describe the process we followed to conquer these challenges while developing Iris, the VAO application for analysis of 1-D astronomical spectral energy distributions (SEDs). Iris was successfully built and released in less than a year with a team distributed across four institutions. The project followed existing International Virtual Observatory Alliance inter-operability standards for spectral data and contributed a SED library as a by-product of the project. We emphasize lessons learned that will be folded into future development efforts. In our experience, a well-defined process that provides guidelines to ensure the project is cohesive and stays on track is key to success. Internal product deliveries with a planned test and feedback loop are critical. Release candidates are measured against use cases established early in the process, and provide the opportunity to assess priorities and make course corrections during development. Also key is the participation of a stakeholder such as a lead scientist who manages the technical questions, advises on priorities, and is actively involved as a lead tester. Finally, frequent scheduled communications (for example a bi-weekly tele-conference) assure issues are resolved quickly and the team is working toward a common vision.

  12. Troubleshooting in nuclear instruments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This report on troubleshooting of nuclear instruments is the product of several scientists and engineers, who are closely associated with nuclear instrumentation and with the IAEA activities in the field. The text covers the following topics: Preamplifiers, amplifiers, scalers, timers, ratemeters, multichannel analyzers, dedicated instruments, tools, instruments, accessories, components, skills, interfaces, power supplies, preventive maintenance, troubleshooting in systems, radiation detectors. The troubleshooting and repair of instruments is illustrated by some real examples

  13. Tuneable Heterodyne Infrared Spectrometer for atmospheric and astronomical studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sonnabend, Guido; Wirtz, Daniel; Schmülling, Frank; Schieder, Rudolf

    2002-05-20

    The transportable setup of the Cologne Tuneable Heterodyne Infrared Spectrometer (THIS) is presented. Frequency tuneability over a wide range provided by the use of tuneable diode lasers as local oscillators (LO) allows a variety of molecules in the mid-infrared to be observed. Longtime integration, which is essential for astronomical observations, is possible owing to tight frequency control of the LO with optical feedback from an external cavity. THIS is developed to fly on the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy beginning in 2006 but can also be used on different types of ground-based telescopes.

  14. Precession of the Equinoxes and the Calibration of Astronomical Epochs

    CERN Document Server

    Sidharth, Burra G

    2010-01-01

    Astronomical observations were used as a marker for time and the Calendar from ancient times. A more subtle calibration of epochs is thrown up by an observation of the position of the solstices and equinoxes, because these points shift in the sky with the years resulting in the gradual shift of celestial longitudes $\\lambda$. Chronology based on such observations however needs to be backed up by hard evidence. We match both to take us back to $10,000$ B.C., the epi-paleolithic period, and the beginning of civilization itself.

  15. Pointing System for the Balloon-Borne Astronomical Payloads

    CERN Document Server

    Nirmal, K; Mathew, Joice; Sarpotdar, Mayuresh; Suresh, Ambily; Prakash, Ajin; Safonova, Margarita; Murthy, Jayant

    2016-01-01

    We describe the development and implementation of a light-weight, fully autonomous 2-axis pointing and stabilization system designed for balloon-borne astronomical payloads. The system is developed using off-the-shelf components such as Arduino Uno controller, HMC 5883L magnetometer, MPU-9150 Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) and iWave GPS receiver unit. It is a compact and rugged system which can also be used to take images/video in a moving vehicle, or in areal photography. The system performance is evaluated from the ground, as well as in conditions simulated to imitate the actual flight by using a tethered launch.

  16. Illustrated Guide to Astronomical Wonders From Novice to Master Observer

    CERN Document Server

    Thompson, Robert

    2011-01-01

    With the advent of inexpensive, high-power telescopes priced at under 250, amateur astronomy is now within the reach of anyone, and this is the ideal book to get you started. The Illustrated Guide to Astronomical Wonders offers you a guide to the equipment you need, and shows you how and where to find hundreds of spectacular objects in the deep sky -- double and multiple stars as well as spectacular star clusters, nebulae, and galaxies. You get a solid grounding in the fundamental concepts and terminology of astronomy, and specific advice about choosing, buying, using, and maintaining the eq

  17. Virtual Observatory for Astronomers: Where Are We Now?

    CERN Document Server

    Chilingarian, Igor

    2009-01-01

    After several years of intensive technological development Virtual Observatory resources have reached a level of maturity sufficient for their routine scientific exploitation. The Virtual Observatory is starting to be used by astronomers in a transparent way. In this article I will review several research projects making use of the VO at different levels of importance. I will present two projects going further than data mining: (1) studies of environmental effects on galaxy evolution, where VO resources and services are used in connection with dedicated observations using a large telescope and numerical simulations, and (2) a study of optical and near-infrared colours of nearby galaxies complemented by the spectroscopic data.

  18. Virtual Observatory for Astronomers: Where Are We Now?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chilingarian, I. V.

    2009-07-01

    After several years of intensive technological development Virtual Observatory resources have reached a level of maturity sufficient for their routine scientific exploitation. The Virtual Observatory is starting to be used by astronomers in a transparent way. In this article I will review several research projects making use of the VO at different levels of importance. I will present two projects going further than data mining: (1) studies of environmental effects on galaxy evolution, where VO resources and services are used in connection with dedicated observations using a large telescope and numerical simulations, and (2) a study of optical and near-infrared colours of nearby galaxies complemented by the spectroscopic data.

  19. The astronomical orientation of the urban plan of Alexandria

    CERN Document Server

    Ferro, Luisa

    2011-01-01

    Alexander the Great founded Alexandria in 331 BC. The newly founded town was conceived as an orthogonal grid based on a main longitudinal axis, later called Canopic Road. We analyse here the astronomical orientation of the project and propose that the main axis was deliberately oriented towards the rising sun on the day of birth of Alexander the Great. The argument is admittedly speculative as any Archaeoastronomy argument not backed up by written sources. However, it is nested accurately into the archaeological records and into what is known on the foundation of the town. Further, a topographical analysis is given to sustain the thesis.

  20. TAU - A mission to a thousand astronomical units

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nock, K. T.

    1987-01-01

    The potential of nuclear electric propulsion (NEP) is investigated as the enabling technology for achieving a mission to a thousand astronomical units within 50 years duration. By means of a 1000 AU baseline, the primary objective is to make measurements of distances to the stars in the Galaxy and beyond. In addition, several deep space unique studies in astronomy, astrophysics, cosmology, and space plasma physics can be carried out. NEP technology requirements for a mission to 1000 AU are addressed. These technology requirements are compared with current plans for both nuclear space power and ion propulsion research. And finally an example TAU spacecraft system is described.

  1. A real-time simulation facility for astronomical adaptive optics

    CERN Document Server

    Basden, Alastair

    2014-01-01

    In this paper we introduce the concept of real-time hardware-in-the-loop simulation for astronomical adaptive optics, and present the case for the requirement for such a facility. This real-time simulation, when linked with an adaptive optics real-time control system, provides an essential tool for the validation, verification and integration of the Extremely Large Telescope real-time control systems prior to commissioning at the telescope. We demonstrate that such a facility is crucial for the success of the future extremely large telescopes.

  2. Astronomical Observations Astronomy and the Study of Deep Space

    CERN Document Server

    2010-01-01

    Our Search for knowledge about the universe has been remarkable, heartbreaking, fantastical, and inspiring, and this search is just beginning. Astronomical Observations is part of a 7 book series that takes readers through a virtual time warp of our discovery. From the nascent space programs of the 1960's to today's space tourism and the promise of distant planet colonization, readers will be transfixed. Throughout this journey of the mind, Earth-bound explorers gain keen insight into the celestial phenomena that have fascinated humans for centuries. Thrilling narratives about indefatigable sc

  3. Spherical Panorama Visualization of Astronomical Data with Blender and Python

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kent, Brian R.

    2016-06-01

    We describe methodology to generate 360 degree spherical panoramas of both 2D and 3D data. The techniques apply to a variety of astronomical data types - all sky maps, 2D and 3D catalogs as well as planetary surface maps. The results can be viewed in a desktop browser or interactively with a mobile phone or tablet. Static displays or panoramic video renderings of the data can be produced. We review the Python code and usage of the 3D Blender software for projecting maps onto 3D surfaces and the various tools for distributing visualizations.

  4. ASTRONOMICAL PLATE ARCHIVES AND SUPERMASSIVE BLACK HOLE BINARIES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    René Hudec

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available The recent extensive digitisation of astronomical photographic plate archives, the development of new dedicated software and the use of powerful computers have for the first time enabled effective data mining in extensive plate databases, with wide applications in various fields of recent astrophysics. As an example, analyses of supermassive binary black holes (binary blazars require very long time intervals (50 years and more, which cannot be provided by other data sources. Examples of data obtained from data mining in plate archives are presented and briefly discussed.

  5. The caracol tower at chichen itza: an ancient astronomical observatory?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aveni, A F; Gibbs, S L; Hartung, H

    1975-06-01

    Although our investigations reveal a number of significant astronomical events coinciding with many of the measured alignments presented in Table 1, not every alignment appears to have an astronomical match which we can recognize. It may be that only some of the sighting possibilities we have discussed were actually functional. Moreover, our search of significant astronomical events to match the alignments has included only those which seem of obvious functional importance to us: sun, moon, and planetary extremes and the setting positions of the brightest stars. We have emphasized those celestial bodies which are documented in the literature as having been of importance. Perhaps hitherto unrecognized constellations were sighted in the windows, perhaps fainter stars, the heliacal rising and setting times of which could have served to mark important dates in the calendar. While we propose no grand cosmic scheme for the astronomical design of the Caracol it can be inferred that the building, apart from being a monument related to Quetzalcoatl, was erected primarily for the purpose of embodying in its architecture certain significant astronomical event alignments, in the same sense that a modern astronomical ephemeris exhibits information of importance to us in the keeping of the current calendar. There are examples in the Mesoamerican historical literature of deliberate attempts to align buildings with astronomical directions of importance. For example, Maudslay (33) quotes Father Motolinia, who tells us that in Tenochtitlan the festival called Tlacaxipeualistli "took place when the sun stood in the middle of Huicholobos, which was at the equinox, and because it was a little out of the straight, Montezuma wished to pull it down and set it right." According to Maudslay, worshipers were probably facing east to watch the sun rise between the two oratories on the Great Temple of Tenochtitlan at the time of the equinox. The directions of the faces of the Lower and Upper

  6. The Future is Hera! Analyzing Astronomical Over the Internet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valencic, L. A.; Chai, P.; Pence, W.; Shafer, R.; Snowden, S.

    2008-01-01

    Hera is the data processing facility provided by the High Energy Astrophysics Science Archive Research Center (HEASARC) at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center for analyzing astronomical data. Hera provides all the pre-installed software packages, local disk space, and computing resources need to do general processing of FITS format data files residing on the users local computer, and to do research using the publicly available data from the High ENergy Astrophysics Division. Qualified students, educators and researchers may freely use the Hera services over the internet of research and educational purposes.

  7. Training telescope operators and support astronomers at Paranal

    CERN Document Server

    Boffin, Henri M J; Anderson, Joe; Pino, Andres; de Wit, Willem-Jan; Girard, Julien H V

    2016-01-01

    The operations model of the Paranal Observatory relies on the work of efficient staff to carry out all the daytime and nighttime tasks. This is highly dependent on adequate training. The Paranal Science Operations department (PSO) has a training group that devises a well-defined and continuously evolving training plan for new staff, in addition to broadening and reinforcing courses for the whole department. This paper presents the training activities for and by PSO, including recent astronomical and quality control training for operators, as well as adaptive optics and interferometry training of all staff. We also present some future plans.

  8. 3D Visualization of Machine Learning Algorithms with Astronomical Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kent, Brian R.

    2016-01-01

    We present innovative machine learning (ML) methods using unsupervised clustering with minimum spanning trees (MSTs) to study 3D astronomical catalogs. Utilizing Python code to build trees based on galaxy catalogs, we can render the results with the visualization suite Blender to produce interactive 360 degree panoramic videos. The catalogs and their ML results can be explored in a 3D space using mobile devices, tablets or desktop browsers. We compare the statistics of the MST results to a number of machine learning methods relating to optimization and efficiency.

  9. The BAA observatories and the origins of the instrument collection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marriott, R. A.

    2007-12-01

    Within a few months of the founding of the Association in 1890 October, the membership numbered several hundred amateur and professional astronomers in Britain and around the world. International recognition was also marked by a number of eminent speakers at meetings, including the instrument maker John A. Brashear, of Allegheny, Pennsylvania. In 1888 Brashear had toured the British Isles and Europe, visiting observatories and meeting many eminent astronomers. He seems to have been impressed with everyone he met - particularly British amateurs - and during his second visit to England in 1892 he spoke at the Association's meeting on April 27. In 1890 December he presented to the Association a speculum-metal diffraction grating which had been prepared at his own works and ruled on Henry Rowland's engine at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore.

  10. The observatories and instruments of Tycho Brahe

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolfschmidt, Gudrun

    Tycho Brahe (1546-1601) was the most important observational astronomer until the invention of the telescope in 1608. By construction new instruments and devising new observing methods, Tycho succeeded in significantly increasing measurement accuracy: He increased the size of his instruments (e.g. a large wooden quadrant of diameter 5.4 m and a mural quadrant); he used metal and masonry rather than wood; he modified construction techniques to achieve greater stability; to provide shelter from the wind, his instruments were in subterranean nooks; his instruments were permanently and solidly mounted; for better angular readings, he developed new subdivisions and diopters (Tycho used transversals to obtain the greatest possible angular resolution readings. His instrumental sights (diopters) were specially designed to minimize errors); he carefully analysed all the errors (Tycho's aim was to reduce thethe uncertainty to less than one minute of arc); he used fundamental stars for the first time; he preferred measuring equatorial coordinates directly instead of using the zodiacal system, i.e. using the equatorial armillary sphere instead of the zodiacal armillary sphere; he tried a new measuring method with clocks and his mural quadrant (1582) for determining the right ascension; he took atmospheric refraction into account. Most of his high-accuracy instruments have been distroyed. Only two sextants, made by Jost Bürgi and Erasmus Habermel around 1600, still exist in the Narodny Technicky Muzeum (NTM) [National Technical Museum] in Prague. A model of the wooden quadrant is in the old observatory in Copenhagen, in the round tower. But we have good descriptions of the instruments (half circles of 2.3 m radius, quadrants up to 2 m radius including the mural quadrant, sextants up to 1.6 m, armillary spheres of 1.5 m radius and the great equatorial armillary sphere of 2.7 m, triquetrum and celestial globe of 1.5 m) in Tycho's book Astronomiae instauratae mechanica

  11. Progress on the research work of astronomical constants:IAU 2009 astronomical constant system%天文常数研究的进展——IAU 2009天文常数系统

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    金文敬

    2011-01-01

    -satellite imaging obtained with the imaging system on the vehicle and Earth-based astrometric observations of natural satellites. The physical character of the planetary system will be studied if there are other instruments on the vehicle.(3) The MHB 2000 nutation model was adopted by the IAU in 2003. Meantime under the modified ellipticity profile of second-order accuracy for the non-hydrostatic and anelastic earth, including atmosphere and ocean, a nutation model and series were given by a group at SHAO. The effect of differential rotation between each layer in the earth's interior to nutation is also considered. With the Martian exploration project implemented by space agencies in many countries the Martian nutation has been studied. The contribution on this topic will be also made by this group in the future.In brief, the determination of astronomical constants is a long-term work. This work should be combined with other research work, such as the compilation of planetary ephemeris,determination of earth's gravitational field etc..%回顾了1900年以来LAU采用天文常数系统的简况,以及一些天文常数之间的数学关系,并描述了以前每次改变天文常数系统的主要因为.介绍了1991年以来IAU在天文常数方面的工作:包括IAU天文常数工作组和天文常数最佳估计值的情况.叙述了IAU 2009年天文常数系统替代IAU 1976天文常数系统的因为:随着人类对太阳系的探测,获得新的天文常数测定值;1991年以来在相对论框架下BCRS和GCRS的使用;P03岁差模型和MHB2000章动模型的采用.比较了IAU2009和1976天文常数系统的差异.最后介绍中国在天文常数方面工作的情况和今后工作的建议.

  12. The creation of the International Astronomical Union as a result of scientific diplomacy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saint-Martin, Arnaud

    2011-06-01

    After World War I, the foundation of the International Astronomical Union delimited a space for a new form of internationality, which led to a rapid change in the way astronomical research had previously been pursued. This structure was to be a sort of parliament of astronomical nations which planned to supervise scientific programs and to rationalise inter-observatory cooperation. In this article, I will discuss the sociological aspects of this institutional process and introduce the idea of `scientific diplomacy'.

  13. Astronomical Object Detection with a Robust Hit-or-Miss Transform

    OpenAIRE

    Collet, Christophe; Lefèvre, Sébastien; Perret, Benjamin; Vollmer, Bernd

    2015-01-01

    Astronomical object detection is a particularly difficult but very challenging task. Indeed, astronomical images may contain a high noise level due to huge distance within the Universe or to the low photon flow collected on telescope mirrors [1]. Some astronomical objects of interest such as Low Surface Brightness (LSB) galaxies are characterized by a very low signal-to-noise ratio and thus are rather extracted manually and then are sometimes lost or not detected. In this paper, we propose an...

  14. Karl Knorre - First Astronomer of the Nicolaev Observatory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petrov, G.; Pinigin, G.

    Karl Friedrich Knorre was born 28th March 1801 in family of the professor of astronomy of Dorpat university Ernst Knorre. During education in the Dorpat university he got acquantance with the future director of Pulkovo observatory Wilhelm Struve. According passion of K. Knorre for astronomy W. Struwe recommended him to the director position of planned naval observatory in Nikolaev. From the foundation of Nikolaev naval and later astronomical observatory in 1821 K. Knorre was a first director. He made star position observations with the meridian circle, worked as a teacher of astronomy for sea navigators, compiled the fifth page of star map of the Berlin Academy of sciences and headed by all hydrographic determinations on the sea of Asov and Black sea. After 50 years K. Knorre retired 1871 from the Directorship of the Nikolaev observatory and moved to Berlin. Nikolaev astronomical observatory arranges the international scientific conference devoted to the 180 anniversary of NAO and 200's birthday of Karl Friedrich Knorre in 2001.

  15. Lossless Astronomical Image Compression and the Effects of Noise

    CERN Document Server

    Pence, W D; White, R L

    2009-01-01

    We compare a variety of lossless image compression methods on a large sample of astronomical images and show how the compression ratios and speeds of the algorithms are affected by the amount of noise in the images. In the ideal case where the image pixel values have a random Gaussian distribution, the equivalent number of uncompressible noise bits per pixel is given by Nbits =log2(sigma * sqrt(12)) and the lossless compression ratio is given by R = BITPIX / Nbits + K where BITPIX is the bit length of the pixel values and K is a measure of the efficiency of the compression algorithm. We perform image compression tests on a large sample of integer astronomical CCD images using the GZIP compression program and using a newer FITS tiled-image compression method that currently supports 4 compression algorithms: Rice, Hcompress, PLIO, and GZIP. Overall, the Rice compression algorithm strikes the best balance of compression and computational efficiency; it is 2--3 times faster and produces about 1.4 times greater co...

  16. Japanese Virtual Observatory (JVO) as an advanced astronomical research enviroment

    CERN Document Server

    Shirasaki, Y; Ishihara, Y; Kawanomoto, S; Kobayashi, Y; Masunaga, Y; Mizumoto, Y; Nakamoto, H; Ohishi, M; Sakamoto, M; Tanaka, M; Tsutsumi, J; Yasuda, N

    2006-01-01

    We present the design and implementation of the Japanese Virtual Observatory (JVO) system. JVO is a portal site to various kinds of astronomical resources distributed all over the world. We have developed five components for constructing the portal: (1) registry, (2) data service, (3) workflow system, (4) data analysis service (5) portal GUI. Registry services are used for publishing and searching data services in the VO, and they are constructed using an OAI-PMH metadata harvesting protocol and a SOAP web service protocol so that VO standard architecture is applied. Data services are developed based on the Astronomical Data Query Language (ADQL) which is an international VO standard and an extension of the standard SQL. The toolkit for building the ADQL-based service is released to the public on the JVO web site. The toolkit also provides the protocol translation from a Simple Image Access Protocol (SIAP) to ADQL protocol, so that both the VO standard service can be constructed using our toolkit. In order to...

  17. ``Curious About Astronomy?": Cornell University's Ask an Astronomer Website

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carruba, V.; Carter, L. M.; Cuk, M.; Jackson, M. A.; Jordan, C. E.; Krco, M.; Masters, K. L.; Pandian, J. D.; Rothstein, D. M.; Saintonge, A.; Scharringhausen, B. R.; Spekkens, K.; Springob, C. M.; Kornreich, D. A.; Curious Team

    2002-12-01

    ``Curious About Astronomy? Ask an Astronomer" is a website (http://curious.astro.cornell.edu) run by graduate and undergraduate student volunteers at Cornell University. Questions from the general public, submitted either by email or using a convenient web form, are answered by members of the Curious Team, and particularly interesting questions are posted on the website for visitors to browse. We receive and answer a few hundred questions each month from people of diverse backgrounds, including K-12 and post-secondary students and instructors, amateur astronomers, parents, scientists in various fields and others around the world with an interest in astronomy. We have recently upgraded the website, creating 22 different sections about specific topics in astronomy, a searchable index of hundreds of cross-listed questions and a page of suggestions and guidelines for teachers. The Curious Page has already become a source of useful information for the public. Questions and answers about the so-called ``Moon Hoax" and a recent news article about the Sun going supernova have received thousands of hits. By offering individual responses about any aspect of astronomy to anyone who has Internet access and by continually updating our archive of answered questions, we hope to provide a unique, growing astronomy resource for students, educators and the general public---as well as a valuable opportunity for the Curious Team to participate in educational outreach and improve its communication skills in a setting that requires no formal budget or faculty supervision.

  18. Astronomical Heritage and Aboriginal People: Conflicts and Possibilities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martín López, Alejandro

    2015-08-01

    In this presentation we will address the issues relating to the astronomical heritage of contemporary aboriginal groups and othe minorities. We will deal specially with the intangible astronomical heritage and their particularities. We will study (from the ethnographic experience with Aboriginal groups, Creoles and Europeans in the Argentine Chaco) the conflicts referring to the different ways, in which the native's knowledge and practice are categorized by the natives themselves, by the scientists, the state politicians, the professional artists and NGOs. We will address several cases to illustrate this kind of conflicts. We will analyze the complexities of patrimonial policies when it are applied to practices and representations of contemporary communities involved in power relations with national states and the global system. The essentialization of identities, the folklorization of representations and practices, the fossilization of aboriginal peoples are some of the risks of give the label of "cultural heritage" without a careful consideration of each specific case.In particular we will suggest possible forms by which he international scientific community could collaborate to improve the agenda of national states instead of reproducing colonial prejudices. In this way we will contribute to promote the respect for ethnic and religious minorities.

  19. Leveraging data lineage to infer logical relationships between astronomical catalogs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buddelmeijer, Hugo; Valentijn, Edwin A.

    2013-01-01

    A novel method to infer logical relationships between sets is presented. These sets can be any collection of elements, for example astronomical catalogs of celestial objects. The method does not require the contents of the sets to be known explicitly. It combines incomplete knowledge about the relationships between sets to infer a priori unknown relationships. Relationships between sets are represented by sets of Boolean hypercubes. This leads to deductive reasoning by application of logical operators to these sets of hypercubes. A pseudo code for an efficient implementation is described. The method is used in the Astro-WISE information system to infer relationships between catalogs of astronomical objects. These catalogs can be very large and, more importantly, their contents do not have to be available at all times. Science products are stored in Astro-WISE with references to other science products from which they are derived, or their dependencies. This creates a full data lineage that links every science product all the way back to the raw data. Catalogs are created in a way that maximizes knowledge about their relationship with their dependencies. The presented algorithm is used to determine which objects a catalog represents by leveraging this information.

  20. Astronomers, Transits of Venus, and the Birth of Experimental Psychology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sheehan, William; Thurber, S.

    2012-01-01

    The eighteenth century transits of Venus were regarded as the most important astronomical events of their era. Halley's expectation was that by observing the contact points between the limbs of Venus and the Sun, this distance could be determined to an accuracy of one part in 500. But in the event, it proved otherwise. But, as the British historian Agnes Clerke wrote in 1902: "A transit of Venus seems, at first sight, full of promise for solving the problem of the sun's distance. For nothing would appear easier than to determine exactly either the duration of the passage of a small, dark orb across a large brilliant disc, or the instant of its entry upon or exit from it". But in that word `exactly' what snares and pitfalls lie hid!” In the post-mortem analysis of the disappointing results, astronomers devoted a great deal of effort to understand the sources of errors. They rehearsed their observational techniques by observing, under strictly controlled conditions, transits of artificial planets across artificial Suns, and studied such parameters as attention and reflex reaction. In the process, the transits of Venus provided an important impetus to the early development of experimental psychology.

  1. Contingency, convergence and hyper-astronomical numbers in biological evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Louis, Ard A

    2016-08-01

    Counterfactual questions such as "what would happen if you re-run the tape of life?" turn on the nature of the landscape of biological possibilities. Since the number of potential sequences that store genetic information grows exponentially with length, genetic possibility spaces can be so unimaginably vast that commentators frequently reach of hyper-astronomical metaphors that compare their size to that of the universe. Re-run the tape of life and the likelihood of encountering the same sequences in such hyper-astronomically large spaces is infinitesimally small, suggesting that evolutionary outcomes are highly contingent. On the other hand, the wide-spread occurrence of evolutionary convergence implies that similar phenotypes can be found again with relative ease. How can this be? Part of the solution to this conundrum must lie in the manner that genotypes map to phenotypes. By studying simple genotype-phenotype maps, where the counterfactual space of all possible phenotypes can be enumerated, it is shown that strong bias in the arrival of variation may explain why certain phenotypes are (repeatedly) observed in nature, while others never appear. This biased variation provides a non-selective cause for certain types of convergence. It illustrates how the role of randomness and contingency may differ significantly between genetic and phenotype spaces.

  2. Weird astronomical theories of the solar system and beyond

    CERN Document Server

    Seargent, David

    2016-01-01

    After addressing strange cosmological hypotheses in Weird Universe, David Seargent tackles the no-less bizarre theories closer to home. Alternate views on the Solar System's formation, comet composition, and the evolution of life on Earth are only some of the topics he addresses in this new work. Although these ideas exist on the fringe of mainstream astronomy, they can still shed light on the origins of life and the evolution of the planets. Continuing the author's series of books popularizing strange astronomy facts and knowledge, Weird Astronomical Theories presents an approachable exploration of the still mysterious questions about the origin of comets, the pattern of mass extinctions on Earth, and more. The alternative theories discussed here do not come from untrained amateurs. The scientists whose work is covered includes the mid-20th century Russian S. K. Vsekhsvyatskii, cosmologist Max Tegmark, British astronomers Victor Clube and William Napier, and American Tom Van Flandern, a special...

  3. The GBT Primos Program: 7 Years of Astronomical Discovery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corby, Joanna F.; McGuire, Brett A.; Hollis, Mike; Lovas, Frank J.; Jewell, Philip; Remijan, Anthony

    2014-06-01

    The GBT PRebiotic Interstellar MOlecule Survey (PRIMOS) towards Sgr B2N is the deepest, most complete spectral line survey in the range of 300MHz - 49 GHz. PRIMOS enables astronomers, chemists, and biologists to test theories of molecular formation, the origins of organic chemistry and the molecular complexity and physical and kinematic structure of material in our Galaxy. To date, PRIMOS data have resulted in 14 refereed publications since 2007, demonstrating the power of centimeter wave spectroscopy for detecting new organic species and revealing the significance of non-LTE effects including maser amplification in the cm-wave spectra of organic molecules. The survey has additionally advertised molecular astrophysics in public lectures, summer undergraduate diversity programs, and high school student projects. While the GBT is the only telescope in the world capable of conducting the PRIMOS Survey, PRIMOS data couples with newly available broad-bandwidth telescopes including the Jansky Very Large Array and ALMA. Synergistic observations with ALMA will be necessary to fully characterize the spectra of molecular material and determine excitation mechanisms leading to observed line radiation. This presentation provides an overview of the PRIMOS program, highlights PRIMOS science, and describes how the entire astronomical community can obtain the data for their own research.

  4. The unforgotten sisters female astronomers and scientists before Caroline Herschel

    CERN Document Server

    Bernardi, Gabriella

    2016-01-01

    Taking inspiration from Siv Cedering’s poem in the form of a fictional letter from Caroline Herschel that refers to “my long, lost sisters, forgotten in the books that record our science”, this book tells the lives of twenty-five female scientists, with specific attention to astronomers and mathematicians. Each of the presented biographies is organized as a kind of "personal file" which sets the biographee’s life in its historical context, documents her main works, highlights some curious facts, and records citations about her. The selected figures are among the most representative of this neglected world, including such luminaries as Hypatia of Alexandra, Hildegard of Bingen, Elisabetha Hevelius, and Maria Gaetana Agnesi. They span a period of about 4000 years, from En HeduAnna, the Akkadian princess, who was one of the first recognized female astronomers, to the dawn of the era of modern astronomy with Caroline Herschel and Mary Somerville. The book will be of interest to all who wish to learn more ...

  5. The Production Rate and Employment of Ph.D. Astronomers

    CERN Document Server

    Metcalfe, Travis S

    2007-01-01

    In an effort to promote self-regulation of the astronomy job market, I examine the supply of, and demand for, astronomers over time. On the supply side, I document the production rate of Ph.D. astronomers from 1970 to 2006 using the UMI Dissertation Abstracts database, along with data from other independent sources. I compare the long-term trends in Ph.D. production with federal astronomy research funding over the same time period, and I demonstrate that additional funding is correlated with higher subsequent Ph.D. production. On the demand side, I monitor the changing patterns of employment using statistics about the number and types of jobs advertised in the AAS Job Register from 1984 to 2006. Finally, I assess the sustainability of the job market by normalizing this demand by the annual Ph.D. production. The most recent data suggest that there are now annual advertisements for about one postdoctoral job, half a faculty job, and half a research/support position for every new domestic Ph.D. recipient in astr...

  6. Astrometry.net: Blind Astrometric Calibration of Arbitrary Astronomical Images

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lang, Dustin; Hogg, David W.; Mierle, Keir; Blanton, Michael; Roweis, Sam

    2010-05-01

    We have built a reliable and robust system that takes as input an astronomical image, and returns as output the pointing, scale, and orientation of that image (the astrometric calibration or World Coordinate System information). The system requires no first guess, and works with the information in the image pixels alone; that is, the problem is a generalization of the "lost in space" problem in which nothing—not even the image scale—is known. After robust source detection is performed in the input image, asterisms (sets of four or five stars) are geometrically hashed and compared to pre-indexed hashes to generate hypotheses about the astrometric calibration. A hypothesis is only accepted as true if it passes a Bayesian decision theory test against a null hypothesis. With indices built from the USNO-B catalog and designed for uniformity of coverage and redundancy, the success rate is >99.9% for contemporary near-ultraviolet and visual imaging survey data, with no false positives. The failure rate is consistent with the incompleteness of the USNO-B catalog; augmentation with indices built from the Two Micron All Sky Survey catalog brings the completeness to 100% with no false positives. We are using this system to generate consistent and standards-compliant meta-data for digital and digitized imaging from plate repositories, automated observatories, individual scientific investigators, and hobbyists. This is the first step in a program of making it possible to trust calibration meta-data for astronomical data of arbitrary provenance.

  7. Astronomical Data Fusion Tool Based on PostgreSQL

    CERN Document Server

    Han, Bo; Zhong, Shoubo; Zhao, Yongheng

    2016-01-01

    With the application of advanced astronomical technologies, equipments and methods all over the world, astronomy covers from radio, infrared, visible light, ultraviolet, X-ray and gamma ray band, and enters into the era of full wavelength astronomy. How to effectively integrate data from different ground- and space-based observation equipments, different observers, different bands, different observation time, requires the data fusion technology. In this paper we introduce the cross-match tool that is developed by the Python language and based on the PostgreSQL database and uses Q3C as the core index, facilitating the cross-match work of massive astronomical data. It provides four different cross-match functions, namely: I) cross-match of custom error range; II) cross-match of catalog error; III) cross-match based on the elliptic error range; IV) cross-match of the nearest algorithm. The cross-match result set provides good foundation for subsequent data mining and statistics based on multiwavelength data. The...

  8. The West African International Summer School for Young Astronomers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strubbe, Linda; Okere, Bonaventure I.; Chibueze, James; Lepo, Kelly; White, Heidi; Zhang, Jielai; Izuikedinachi Okoh, Daniel; Reid, Michael; Hunter, Lisa; EKEOMA Opara, Fidelis

    2015-08-01

    In October 2013 over 75 undergraduate science students and teachers from Nigeria and Ghana attended the week-long West African International Summer School for Young Astronomers. We expect an even broader audience for the second offering of the school (to be held July 2015), supported by a grant from the OAD (TF1). These schools are organized by a collaboration of astronomers from the University of Toronto, the University of Nigeria, and the Nigerian National Space Research and Development Agency. We design and lead activities that teach astronomy content, promote students' self-identity as scientists, and encourage students to think critically and figure out solutions themselves. Equally important, we design intertwined evaluation strategies to assess the effectiveness of our programs. We will describe the broader context for developing astronomy in West Africa, the inquiry-based and active learning techniques used in the schools, and results from the qualitative and quantitative evaluations of student performance. We will also describe longer-term plans for future schools, supporting our alumni, and building a sustainable partnership between North American and Nigerian universities.

  9. PICARD payload thermal control system and general impact of the space environment on astronomical observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meftah, M.; Irbah, A.; Hauchecorne, A.; Hochedez, J.-F.

    2013-05-01

    PICARD is a spacecraft dedicated to the simultaneous measurement of the absolute total and spectral solar irradiance, the diameter, the solar shape, and to probing the Sun's interior by the helioseismology method. The mission has two scientific objectives, which are the study of the origin of the solar variability, and the study of the relations between the Sun and the Earth's climate. The spacecraft was successfully launched, on June 15, 2010 on a DNEPR-1 launcher. PICARD spacecraft uses the MYRIADE family platform, developed by CNES to use as much as possible common equipment units. This platform was designed for a total mass of about 130 kg at launch. This paper focuses on the design and testing of the TCS (Thermal Control System) and in-orbit performance of the payload, which mainly consists in two absolute radiometers measuring the total solar irradiance, a photometer measuring the spectral solar irradiance, a bolometer, and an imaging telescope to determine the solar diameter and asphericity. Thermal control of the payload is fundamental. The telescope of the PICARD mission is the most critical instrument. To provide a stable measurement of the solar diameter over three years duration of mission, telescope mechanical stability has to be excellent intrinsically, and thermally controlled. Current and future space telescope missions require ever-more dimensionally stable structures. The main scientific performance related difficulty was to ensure the thermal stability of the instruments. Space is a harsh environment for optics with many physical interactions leading to potentially severe degradation of optical performance. Thermal control surfaces, and payload optics are exposed to space environmental effects including contamination, atomic oxygen, ultraviolet radiation, and vacuum temperature cycling. Environmental effects on the performance of the payload will be discussed. Telescopes are placed on spacecraft to avoid the effects of the Earth atmosphere on

  10. Characterization of Silicon Moth-Eye Antireflection Coatings for Astronomical Applications in the Infrared

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeram, Sarik; Ge, Jian; Jiang, Peng; Phillips, Blayne

    2016-01-01

    Silicon moth-eye antireflective structures have emerged to be an excellent approachfor reducing the amount of light that is lost upon incidence on a given surface of optics made of silicon. This property has been exploited for a wide variety of products ranging from eyeglasses and flat-panel displays to solar panels. These materials typically come in the form of coatings that are applied to an optical substrate such as glass. Moth-eye coatings, made of a periodic array of subwavelength pillars on silicon substrates or other substrates, can produce the desired antireflection (AR) performance for a broad wavelength range and over a wide range of incident angles. In the field of astronomy, every photon striking a detector is significant - and thus, losses from reflectivity at the various optical interfaces before a detector can have significant implications to the science at hand. Moth-eye AR coatings on these optical interfaces may minimize their reflection losses while maximizing light throughput for a multitude of different astronomical instruments. In addition, moth-eye AR coatings, which are patterned directly on silicon surfaces, can significantly enhance the coating durability. At the University of Florida, we tested two moth-eye filters designed for use in the near-infrared regime at 1-8 microns by examining their optical properties, such as transmission, the scattered light, and wavefront quality, and testing the coatings at cryogenic temperatures to characterize their viability for use in both ground- and space-based infrared instruments. This presentation will report our lab evaluation results.

  11. Instrument Modeling and Synthesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horner, Andrew B.; Beauchamp, James W.

    During the 1970s and 1980s, before synthesizers based on direct sampling of musical sounds became popular, replicating musical instruments using frequency modulation (FM) or wavetable synthesis was one of the “holy grails” of music synthesis. Synthesizers such as the Yamaha DX7 allowed users great flexibility in mixing and matching sounds, but were notoriously difficult to coerce into producing sounds like those of a given instrument. Instrument design wizards practiced the mysteries of FM instrument design.

  12. Astronomical Observing Conditions at Xinglong Observatory from 2007 to 2014

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Ji-Cheng; Ge, Liang; Lu, Xiao-Meng; Cao, Zi-Huang; Chen, Xu; Mao, Yong-Na; Jiang, Xiao-Jun

    2015-12-01

    Xinglong Observatory of the National Astronomical Observatories, Chinese Academy of Sciences (NAOC), is one of the major optical observatories in China, which hosts nine optical telescopes including the Large Sky Area Multi-Object Fiber Spectroscopic Telescope (LAMOST) and the 2.16 m reflector. Scientific research from these telescopes is focused on stars, galaxies, and exoplanets using multicolor photometry and spectroscopic observations. Therefore, it is important to provide the observing conditions of the site, in detail, to the astronomers for an efficient use of these facilities. In this article, we present the characterization of observing conditions at Xinglong Observatory based on the monitoring of meteorology, seeing and sky brightness during the period from 2007 to 2014. Meteorological data were collected from a commercial Automatic Weather Station (AWS), calibrated by China Meteorological Administration. Mean and median wind speed are almost constant during the period analyzed and ranged from 1.0 to 3.5 m s-1. However, high wind speed (>=15 m s-1) interrupts observations, mainly, during the winter and spring. Statistical analysis of air temperature showed the temperature difference between daytime and nighttime, which can be solved by opening the ventilation device and the slit of the dome at least 1 hr before observations. Analysis resulted in average percentage of photometric nights and spectroscopic nights are 32% and 63% per year, respectively. The distribution of photometric nights and spectroscopic nights has a significant seasonal tendency, worse in summer due to clouds, dust, and high humidity. Seeing measurements were obtained using the Differential Image Motion Monitor (DIMM). Mean and median values of seeing over 1 year are around 1.9'' and 1.7'', respectively. Eighty percent of nights with seeing values are below 2.6'', whereas the distribution peaks around 1.8''. The measurements of sky brightness are acquired from the Sky Quality Meter (SQM

  13. MOPEX: a software package for astronomical image processing and visualization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Makovoz, David; Roby, Trey; Khan, Iffat; Booth, Hartley

    2006-06-01

    We present MOPEX - a software package for astronomical image processing and display. The package is a combination of command-line driven image processing software written in C/C++ with a Java-based GUI. The main image processing capabilities include creating mosaic images, image registration, background matching, point source extraction, as well as a number of minor image processing tasks. The combination of the image processing and display capabilities allows for much more intuitive and efficient way of performing image processing. The GUI allows for the control over the image processing and display to be closely intertwined. Parameter setting, validation, and specific processing options are entered by the user through a set of intuitive dialog boxes. Visualization feeds back into further processing by providing a prompt feedback of the processing results. The GUI also allows for further analysis by accessing and displaying data from existing image and catalog servers using a virtual observatory approach. Even though originally designed for the Spitzer Space Telescope mission, a lot of functionalities are of general usefulness and can be used for working with existing astronomical data and for new missions. The software used in the package has undergone intensive testing and benefited greatly from effective software reuse. The visualization part has been used for observation planning for both the Spitzer and Herschel Space Telescopes as part the tool Spot. The visualization capabilities of Spot have been enhanced and integrated with the image processing functionality of the command-line driven MOPEX. The image processing software is used in the Spitzer automated pipeline processing, which has been in operation for nearly 3 years. The image processing capabilities have also been tested in off-line processing by numerous astronomers at various institutions around the world. The package is multi-platform and includes automatic update capabilities. The software

  14. Laboratory measurements and astronomical search for the HSO radical

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cazzoli, Gabriele; Lattanzi, Valerio; Kirsch, Till; Gauss, Jürgen; Tercero, Belén; Cernicharo, José; Puzzarini, Cristina

    2016-06-01

    Context. Despite the fact that many sulfur-bearing molecules, ranging from simple diatomic species up to astronomical complex molecules, have been detected in the interstellar medium, the sulfur chemistry in space is largely unknown and a depletion in the abundance of S-containing species has been observed in the cold, dense interstellar medium. The chemical form of the missing sulfur has yet to be identified. Aims: For these reasons, in view of the fact that there is a large abundance of triatomic species harbouring sulfur, oxygen, and hydrogen, we decided to investigate the HSO radical in the laboratory to try its astronomical detection. Methods: High-resolution measurements of the rotational spectrum of the HSO radical were carried out within a frequency range well up into the THz region. Subsequently, a rigorous search for HSO in the two most studied high-mass star-forming regions, Orion KL and Sagittarius (Sgr) B2, and in the cold dark cloud Barnard 1 (B1-b) was performed. Results: The frequency coverage and the spectral resolution of our measurements allowed us to improve and extend the existing dataset of spectroscopic parameters, thus enabling accurate frequency predictions up to the THz range. These were used to derive the synthetic spectrum of HSO, by means of the MADEX code, according to the physical parameters of the astronomical source under consideration. For all sources investigated, the lack of HSO lines above the confusion limit of the data is evident. Conclusions: The derived upper limit to the abundance of HSO clearly indicates that this molecule does not achieve significant abundances in either the gas phase or in the ice mantles of dust grains. This paper makes use of the following ALMA data: ADS/JAO.ALMA#2011.0.00009.SV. ALMA is a partnership of ESO (representing its member states), NSF (USA), and NINS (Japan) with NRC (Canada), NSC, and ASIAA (Taiwan), and KASI (Republic of Korea), in cooperation with the Republic of Chile. The Joint ALMA

  15. Aeroacoustics of Musical Instruments

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Fabre, B.; Gilbert, J.; Hirschberg, A.; Pelorson, X.

    2012-01-01

    We are interested in the quality of sound produced by musical instruments and their playability. In wind instruments, a hydrodynamic source of sound is coupled to an acoustic resonator. Linear acoustics can predict the pitch of an instrument. This can significantly reduce the trial-and-error process

  16. PlotXY: a high quality plotting system for the Herschel Interactive Processing Environment (HIPE), and the astronomical community

    CERN Document Server

    Panuzzo, Pasquale; Caux, Emmanuel

    2012-01-01

    The Herschel Interactive Processing Environment (HIPE) was developed by the European Space Agency (ESA) in collaboration with NASA and the Herschel Instrument Control Centres to provide the astronomical community a complete environment to process and analyze the data gathered by the Herschel Space Observatory. One of the most important components of HIPE is the plotting system (named PlotXY) that we present here. With PlotXY it is possible to produce easily high quality publication ready 2D plots. It provides a long list of features, with fully configurable components, and interactive zooming. The entire code of HIPE is written in Java and is open source released under the GNU Lesser General Public License version 3. A new version of PlotXY is being developed to be independent from the HIPE code base; it is available to the software development community for the inclusion in other projects at the URL http://code.google.com/p/jplot2d/.

  17. Robust Machine Learning Applied to Terascale Astronomical Datasets

    CERN Document Server

    Ball, Nicholas M; Myers, Adam D

    2007-01-01

    We present recent results from the Laboratory for Cosmological Data Mining (http://lcdm.astro.uiuc.edu) at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) to provide robust classifications and photometric redshifts for objects in the terascale-class Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS). Through a combination of machine learning in the form of decision trees, k-nearest neighbor, and genetic algorithms, the use of supercomputing resources at NCSA, and the cyberenvironment Data-to-Knowledge, we are able to provide improved classifications for over 100 million objects in the SDSS, improved photometric redshifts, and a full exploitation of the powerful k-nearest neighbor algorithm. This work is the first to apply the full power of these algorithms to contemporary terascale astronomical datasets, and the improvement over existing results is demonstrable. We discuss issues that we have encountered in dealing with data on the terascale, and possible solutions that can be implemented to deal with upcoming petasc...

  18. Robust Machine Learning Applied to Terascale Astronomical Datasets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ball, N. M.; Brunner, R. J.; Myers, A. D.

    2008-08-01

    We present recent results from the Laboratory for Cosmological Data Mining {http://lcdm.astro.uiuc.edu} at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) to provide robust classifications and photometric redshifts for objects in the terascale-class Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS). Through a combination of machine learning in the form of decision trees, k-nearest neighbor, and genetic algorithms, the use of supercomputing resources at NCSA, and the cyberenvironment Data-to-Knowledge, we are able to provide improved classifications for over 100 million objects in the SDSS, improved photometric redshifts, and a full exploitation of the powerful k-nearest neighbor algorithm. This work is the first to apply the full power of these algorithms to contemporary terascale astronomical datasets, and the improvement over existing results is demonstrable. We discuss issues that we have encountered in dealing with data on the terascale, and possible solutions that can be implemented to deal with upcoming petascale datasets.

  19. Robust Machine Learning Applied to Terascale Astronomical Datasets

    CERN Document Server

    Ball, Nicholas M; Myers, Adam D

    2008-01-01

    We present recent results from the LCDM (Laboratory for Cosmological Data Mining; http://lcdm.astro.uiuc.edu) collaboration between UIUC Astronomy and NCSA to deploy supercomputing cluster resources and machine learning algorithms for the mining of terascale astronomical datasets. This is a novel application in the field of astronomy, because we are using such resources for data mining, and not just performing simulations. Via a modified implementation of the NCSA cyberenvironment Data-to-Knowledge, we are able to provide improved classifications for over 100 million stars and galaxies in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, improved distance measures, and a full exploitation of the simple but powerful k-nearest neighbor algorithm. A driving principle of this work is that our methods should be extensible from current terascale datasets to upcoming petascale datasets and beyond. We discuss issues encountered to-date, and further issues for the transition to petascale. In particular, disk I/O will become a major limit...

  20. Progresos recientes en Astronomía de Rayos Gamma

    Science.gov (United States)

    Romero, G. E.

    Tras la exitosa misión del Compton Gamma-Ray Observatory durante los años 1990, la astronomía de rayos gamma ha entrado en una etapa de madurez, convirtiéndose en una de las principales herramientas para el estudio de procesos relativistas en el universo. En este reporte, presentaré una revisión de los principales tópicos abordados a través de estudios con rayos gamma en los últimos años, con particular énfasis en los intentos más recientes por establecer la naturaleza de las fuentes de rayos gamma no identificadas, detectadas por el instrumento EGRET.

  1. A VO-driven Astronomical Data Grid in China

    CERN Document Server

    Cui, Chenzhou; Yang, Yang; Zhao, Yongheng

    2010-01-01

    With the implementation of many ambitious observation projects, including LAMOST, FAST, and Antarctic observatory at Doom A, observational astronomy in China is stepping into a brand new era with emerging data avalanche. In the era of e-Science, both these ambitious projects and traditional astronomy research need much powerful data management, sharing and interoperability. Based on data-grid concept, taking advantages of IVOA interoperability technologies, China-VO is developing a VO-driven astronomical data grid environment to enable multi-wavelength science and large database science. In the paper, latest progress and data flow of the LAMOST, architecture of the data grid, and its supports to the VO are discussed.

  2. Synthetic Modeling of Astronomical Closed Loop Adaptive Optics

    CERN Document Server

    Jolissaint, Laurent

    2010-01-01

    We present an analytical model of a single natural guide star astronomical adaptive optics system, in closed loop mode. The model is used to simulate the long exposure system point spread function, using the spatial frequency (or Fourier) approach, and complement an initial open loop model. Applications range from system design, science case analysis and AO data reduction. All the classical phase errors have been included: deformable mirror fitting error, wavefront sensor spatial aliasing, wavefront sensor noise, and the correlated anisoplanatic and servo-lag error. The model includes the deformable mirror spatial transfer function, and the actuator array geometry can be different from the wavefront sensor lenslet array geometry. We also include the dispersion between the sensing and the correction wavelengths. Illustrative examples are given at the end of the paper.

  3. Observing at the Central American Suyapa Astronomical Observatory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pineda de Carias, M. C.

    In June of 1997, within the framework of the VII UN/ESA Workshop on Basic Space Science Workshop held in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, the Central American Suyapa Astronomical Observatory (CASAO) was inaugurated, with the dedication of the Telescope "René Sagastume Castillo", a 42 cm Schmidt Cassegrain Meade LX200 telescope located at Latitude: 14deg 05' N, Longitude: 87deg 09' W and Altitude: 1,077 meters over sea level, for the Central American countries (Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama). In this document we present what has been achieved with this facility, as part of academic activities for outreach, training and now, for research projects in observational astronomy with the international cooperation.

  4. A Possible Astronomically Aligned Monolith at Gardom's Edge

    CERN Document Server

    Brown, D; Bemand, E

    2012-01-01

    A unique triangular shaped monolith located within the Peak District National Park at Gardom's Edge could be intentionally astronomically aligned. It is set within a landscape rich in late Neolithic and Bronze Age remains. We show that the stone is most likely in its original orientation owing to its clear signs of erosion and associated to the time period of the late Neolithic. It is tilted towards South and its North side slopes at an angle equal to the maximum altitude of the Sun at mid-summer. This alignment emphasizes the changing declinations of the Sun during the seasons as well as giving an indication of mid-summers day. This functionality is achieved by an impressive display of light and shadow on the North-facing side of the Monolith. Together with other monuments in the close vicinity the monolith would have represented an ideal marker or social arena for seasonal gatherings for the else dispersed small communities.

  5. Survival Strategies for African American Astronomers and Astrophysicists

    CERN Document Server

    Holbrook, J C

    2012-01-01

    The question of how to increase the number of women and minorities in astronomy has been approached from several directions in the United States including examination of admission policies, mentoring, and hiring practices. These point to departmental efforts to improve conditions for some of the students which has the overall benefit of improving conditions for all of the students. However, women and minority astronomers have managed to obtain doctorates even within the non-welcoming environment of certain astronomy and physics departments. I present here six strategies used by African American men and women to persevere if not thrive long enough to earn their doctorate. Embedded in this analysis is the idea of 'astronomy culture' and experiencing astronomy culture as a cross-cultural experience including elements of culture shock. These survival strategies are not exclusive to this small subpopulation but have been used by majority students, too.

  6. Conducting Original, Hands-On Astronomical Research in the Classroom

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corneau, M. J.

    2009-12-01

    Since 2007 I have been a Team Leader for the Tzec Maun Foundation, a non-profit foundation dedicated to providing free, research grade, Internet telescopes to students, teachers and researchers around the world. The name Tzec Maun (pronounced “Teh-Zeck-Moan”) comes from Mayan culture. Tzec Maun was the jovial messenger, laughed at adversity. Based on the challenges students, researchers and professional astronomers face with finances, equipment, and telescope access, the jovial mascot seems to fit. Hundreds of hours performing astronomical outreach as a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador and Astronomical League Master of outreach taught me that the best way to inspirationally teach astronomy and space science (and most subjects) is actually being at the eyepiece. I’m NOT a fan of the traditional planetarium experience as a teaching tool because it inhibits inspiration and the learning experience to a 2-D mat on a faux horizon with artificial representations. Once, a student at my dark sky observatory excitedly commented that the night sky was like a 3-D planetarium. I have hosted several classes at my own personal dark sky observatory, but this resource is impractical for all but a few lucky students. Experience has taught me that the next best thing to being at the eyepiece is to control a remote telescope via the Internet. Tzec Maun’s arsenal of telescopes is all research capable, linked to the Internet and positioned for round-the-clock dark skies. The final conditions described above, mean that I can enter an 8:30am science class, log onto the Tzec Maun telescope Portal and turn over control of an Australian system (where it is night) to a student or teacher. Working as a group, the class can either begin their investigations. My Tzec Maun science team (TARP) is engaged in searching for potentially hazardous asteroids (PHAs). PHA work excites student and teacher alike. Teaching from telescopes can unleash powerful attention-getting tools that enable

  7. An Efficient Method for Rare Spectra Retrieval in Astronomical Databases

    CERN Document Server

    Du, Changde; Yang, Haifeng; Hou, Wen; Guo, Yanxin

    2016-01-01

    One of important aims of astronomical data mining is to systematically search for specific rare objects in a massive spectral dataset, given a small fraction of identified samples with the same type. Most existing methods are mainly based on binary classification, which usually suffer from uncompleteness when the known samples are too few. While, rank-based methods would provide good solutions for such case. After investigating several algorithms, a method combining bipartite ranking model with bootstrap aggregating techniques was developed in this paper. The method was applied in searching for carbon stars in the spectral data of Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) DR10, and compared with several other popular methods used in data mining. Experimental results validate that the proposed method is not only the most effective but also less time consuming among these competitors automatically searching for rare spectra in a large but unlabelled dataset.128

  8. Astronomical Archives of the Future A Virtual Observatory

    CERN Document Server

    Szalay, A S

    1998-01-01

    Astronomy is entering a new era as multiple, large area, digital sky surveys are in production. The resulting datasets are truly remarkable in their own right; however, a revolutionary step arises in the aggregation of complimentary multi-wavelength surveys (i.e. the cross-identification of a billion sources). Federating these different datasets, however, is an extremely challenging task. With this task in mind, we have identified several areas where community standardization can provide enormous benefits in order to develop the techniques and technologies necessary to solve the problems inherent in federating these large databases, as well as the mining of the resultant aggregate data. Several of these areas are domain specific, however, the majority of them are not. We feel that the inclusion of non-astronomical partnerships can provide tremendous insights.

  9. The Associate Principal Astronomer for AI Management of Automatic Telescopes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henry, Gregory W.

    1998-01-01

    This research program in scheduling and management of automatic telescopes had the following objectives: 1. To field test the 1993 Automatic Telescope Instruction Set (ATIS93) programming language, which was specifically developed to allow real-time control of an automatic telescope via an artificial intelligence scheduler running on a remote computer. 2. To develop and test the procedures for two-way communication between a telescope controller and remote scheduler via the Internet. 3. To test various concepts in Al scheduling being developed at NASA Ames Research Center on an automatic telescope operated by Tennessee State University at the Fairborn Observatory site in southern Arizona. and 4. To develop a prototype software package, dubbed the Associate Principal Astronomer, for the efficient scheduling and management of automatic telescopes.

  10. Test facility for astronomical x-ray optics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christensen, Finn Erland; Lewis, Robert A.; Bordas, J.

    1990-01-01

    Grazing incidence x-ray optics for x-ray astronomical applications are used outside the earth's atmosphere. These devices require a large collection aperture and the imaging of an x-ray source that is essentially placed at infinity. The ideal testing system for these optical elements has...... to approximate that encountered under working conditions; however, the testing of these optical elements is notoriously difficult with conventional x-ray generators. Synchrotron radiation (SR) sources are sufficiently brilliant to produce a nearly perfect parallel beam over a large area while still retaining...... a flux considerably higher than that available from conventional x-ray generators. A facility designed for the testing of x-ray optics, particularly in connection with x-ray telescopes, is described. It is proposed that this facility will be accommodated at the Synchrotron Radiation Source...

  11. Proactive Agents to Assist Multimodal Explorative Learning of Astronomical Phenomena

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eva Tuominen

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper focuses on developing, testing, and examining the Proagents multimodal learning environment to support blind children's explorative learning in the area of astronomy. We utilize haptic, auditive, and visual interaction. Haptic and auditory feedbacks make the system accessible to blind children. The system is used as an exploration tool for children's spontaneous and question-driven explorations. High-level interaction and play are essential with environments for young children. Proactive agents support and guide children to deepen their explorations and discover the central concepts and relations in phenomena. It has been challenging to integrate together in a pedagogically relevant way the explorative learning approach, proactive agents' actions, haptic perception's possibilities, and the selected astronomical phenomena. Our tests have shown that children are very interested in using the system and the operations of the agents.

  12. An Efficient Method for Rare Spectra Retrieval in Astronomical Databases

    Science.gov (United States)

    Du, Changde; Luo, Ali; Yang, Haifeng; Hou, Wen; Guo, Yanxin

    2016-03-01

    One of the most important aims of astronomical data mining is to systematically search for specific rare objects in a massive spectral data set, given a small fraction of identified samples with the same type. Most existing methods are mainly based on binary classification, which usually suffers from incompleteness when there are too few known samples. Rank-based methods could provide good solutions for such cases. After investigating several algorithms, a method combining a bipartite ranking model with bootstrap aggregating techniques was developed in this paper. The method was applied while searching for carbon stars in the spectral data of Sloan Digital Sky Survey Data Release 10 and compared with several other popular methods used for data mining. Experimental results validate that the proposed method is not only the most effective but also the least time-consuming technique among its competitors when searching for rare spectra in a large but unlabeled data set.

  13. A new photoelectron imager for X-ray astronomical polarimetry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    A new photoelectron imager for X-ray astronomical polarimetry (PIAP) has been developed and tested at the Frascati (Rome, Italy) National Laboratories of National Institute of Nuclear Physics (LNF-INFN). A charge-coupled device (CCD) is placed on one of the two conjugate foci of a Cassegrain reflective optics onto which are focused UV photons emitted by means of gas scintillation. This X-ray detector has been built to image the angular distribution of the photoelectron tracks, whose anisotropy measures the X-ray polarization. First tests, performed by using mixtures based on argon gas and benzene at low pressure, show events which are candidate tracks of photoelectrons and Auger electrons produced by a 55Fe source

  14. Designing and making a differential astronomical seeing monitor

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Darudi

    2005-09-01

    Full Text Available   Which place is an appropriate site for the construction of the Iranian National Observatory (INO? In this paper part of the site selection process is reported. The emphasis is on the measuring of the seeing parameter for the pre-selected regions. These regions are examined by meteorological and geophysical studies and finally Kashan, Kerman, Qom and Ferdows sites were selected among 31 regions. To decide on the best site the seeing parameter had to be measured for the regions. To measure this parameter, one needs an astronomical seeing monitor. Designing and making a kind of seeing monitor and preparing the corresponding software is demonstrated and analysing of a sample of seeing data is discussed.

  15. A new photoelectron imager for X-ray astronomical polarimetry

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    La Monaca, A. [INFN, Laboratori Nazionali di Frascati, Rome (Italy); Costa, E; Soffitta, P.; Di Persio, G.; Manzan, M.; Martino, B.; Patria, G. [CNR, Rome (Italy). Ist. di Astrofisica Spaziale; Cappuccio, G. [CNR, Monterotondo (Italy). Ist. di Strutturistica Chimica]|[INFN, Laboratori Nazionali di Frascati, Rome (Italy); Zema, N. [CNR, Rome (Italy). Ist. di Struttura della Materia

    1998-04-01

    A new photoelectron imager for X-ray astronomical polarimetry (PIAP) has been developed and tested at the Frascati (Rome, Italy) National Laboratories of National Institute of Nuclear Physics (LNF-INFN). A charge-coupled device (CCD) is placed on one of the two conjugate foci of a Cassegrain reflective optics onto which are focused UV photons emitted by means of gas scintillation. This X-ray detector has been built to image the angular distribution of the photoelectron tracks, whose anisotropy measures the X-ray polarization. First tests, performed by using mixtures based on argon gas and benzene at low pressure, show events which are candidate tracks of photoelectrons and Auger electrons produced by a {sup 55}Fe source.

  16. A method of complex background estimation in astronomical images

    CERN Document Server

    Popowicz, Adam

    2016-01-01

    In this paper, we present a novel approach to the estimation of strongly varying backgrounds in astronomical images by means of small objects removal and subsequent missing pixels interpolation. The method is based on the analysis of a pixel local neighborhood and utilizes the morphological distance transform. In contrast to popular background estimation techniques, our algorithm allows for accurate extraction of complex structures, like galaxies or nebulae. Moreover, it does not require multiple tuning parameters, since it relies on physical properties of CCD image sensors - the gain and the read-out noise characteristics. The comparison with other widely used background estimators revealed higher accuracy of the proposed technique. The superiority of the novel method is especially significant for the most challenging fluctuating backgrounds. The size of filtered out objects is tunable, therefore the algorithm may eliminate a wide range of foreground structures, including the dark current impulses, cosmic ra...

  17. VARTOOLS: A Program for Analyzing Astronomical Time-Series Data

    CERN Document Server

    Hartman, Joel D

    2016-01-01

    This paper describes the VARTOOLS program, which is an open-source command-line utility, written in C, for analyzing astronomical time-series data, especially light curves. The program provides a general-purpose set of tools for processing light curves including signal identification, filtering, light curve manipulation, time conversions, and modeling and simulating light curves. Some of the routines implemented include the Generalized Lomb-Scargle periodogram, the Box-Least Squares transit search routine, the Analysis of Variance periodogram, the Discrete Fourier Transform including the CLEAN algorithm, the Weighted Wavelet Z-Transform, light curve arithmetic, linear and non-linear optimization of analytic functions including support for Markov Chain Monte Carlo analyses with non-trivial covariances, characterizing and/or simulating time-correlated noise, and the TFA and SYSREM filtering algorithms, among others. A mechanism is also provided for incorporating a user's own compiled processing routines into th...

  18. UVMULTIFIT: A versatile tool for fitting astronomical radio interferometric data

    CERN Document Server

    Marti-Vidal, I; Muller, S; Casey, S

    2014-01-01

    The analysis of astronomical interferometric data is often performed on the images obtained after deconvolution of the interferometer's point spread function (PSF). This strategy can be understood (especially for cases of sparse arrays) as fitting models to models, since the deconvolved images are already non-unique model representations of the actual data (i.e., the visibilities). Indeed, the interferometric images may be affected by visibility gridding, weighting schemes (e.g., natural vs. uniform), and the particulars of the (non-linear) deconvolution algorithms. Fitting models to the direct interferometric observables (i.e., the visibilities) is preferable in the cases of simple (analytical) sky intensity distributions. In this paper, we present UVMULTIFIT, a versatile library for fitting visibility data, implemented in a Python-based framework. Our software is currently based on the CASA package, but can be easily adapted to other analysis packages, provided they have a Python API. We have tested the sof...

  19. Research career of an astronomer who has studied celestial mechanics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kozai, Yoshihide

    2016-09-01

    Celestial mechanics has been a classical field of astronomy. Only a few astronomers were in this field and not so many papers on this subject had been published during the first half of the 20th century. However, as the beauty of classical dynamics and celestial mechanics attracted me very much, I decided to take celestial mechanics as my research subject and entered university, where a very famous professor of celestial mechanics was a member of the faculty. Then as artificial satellites were launched starting from October 1958, new topics were investigated in the field of celestial mechanics. Moreover, planetary rings, asteroids with moderate values of eccentricity, inclination and so on have become new fields of celestial mechanics. In fact I have tried to solve such problems in an analytical way. Finally, to understand what gravitation is I joined the TAMA300 gravitational wave detector group.

  20. Wide-Field Astronomical Surveys in the Next Decade

    CERN Document Server

    Strauss, M A; Anderson, S F; Axelrod, T S; Becker, A C; Bickerton, S J; Blanton, M R; Burke, D L; Condon, J J; Connolly, A J; Cooray, A R; Covey, K R; Csabai, I; Ferguson, H C; Ivezic, Z; Kantor, J; Kent, S M; Knapp, G R; Myers, S T; Neilsen, E H; Nichol, R C; Raddick, M J; Soifer, B T; Steinmetz, M; Stubbs, C W; Tonry, J L; Walkowicz, L M; White, R L; Wolff, S; Wood-Vasey, W M; York, D G

    2009-01-01

    Wide-angle surveys have been an engine for new discoveries throughout the modern history of astronomy, and have been among the most highly cited and scientifically productive observing facilities in recent years. This trend is likely to continue over the next decade, as many of the most important questions in astrophysics are best tackled with massive surveys, often in synergy with each other and in tandem with the more traditional observatories. We argue that these surveys are most productive and have the greatest impact when the data from the surveys are made public in a timely manner. The rise of the "survey astronomer" is a substantial change in the demographics of our field; one of the most important challenges of the next decade is to find ways to recognize the intellectual contributions of those who work on the infrastructure of surveys (hardware, software, survey planning and operations, and databases/data distribution), and to make career paths to allow them to thrive.

  1. 125th Colloquium of the International Astronomical Union

    CERN Document Server

    Sorochenko, R

    1990-01-01

    Text no 1 Radio Recombination Lines (RRLs), discovered in the USSR in 1964, have become a powerful research tool for astronomers. Available throughout the radio spectrum, these lines carry information regarding the density, temperature, turbulence and velocity of thermal plasmas. Their very existance shows the presence of thermal gas. They also can carry information regarding magnetic fields if Zeeman splitting were to be detected. Containing the proceedings of an IAU Colloquium celebrating the 25th anniversary of their detection, this volume tells us what has happened since. It contains the story of the detection of RRLs and reviews of many areas of physics of the interstellargas from which stars form, HII regions excited by newly formed stars, planetary nebulae involving dying stars, and the structure of our Milky Way and other galaxies reflecting the large-scale morphology of the star formation process. In addition there is an article describing modern laboratory studies of Rydberg atoms to probe the basic...

  2. Detection and Removal of Artifacts in Astronomical Images

    CERN Document Server

    Desai, Shantanu; Bertin, Emmanuel; Kummel, Martin; Wetzstein, Michael

    2016-01-01

    Astronomical images from optical photometric surveys are typically contaminated with transient artifacts such as cosmic rays, satellite trails and scattered light. We have developed and tested an algorithm that removes these artifacts using a deep, artifact free, static sky coadd image built up through the median combination of point spread function (PSF) homogenized, overlapping single epoch images. Transient artifacts are detected and masked in each single epoch image through comparison with an artifact free, PSF-matched simulated image that is constructed using the PSF-corrected, model fitting catalog from the artifact free coadd image together with the position variable PSF model of the single epoch image. This approach works well not only for cleaning single epoch images with worse seeing than the PSF homogenized coadd, but also the traditionally much more challenging problem of cleaning single epoch images with better seeing. In addition to masking transient artifacts, we have developed an interpolation...

  3. Imfit: A Fast, Flexible New Program for Astronomical Image Fitting

    CERN Document Server

    Erwin, Peter

    2014-01-01

    I describe a new, open-source astronomical image-fitting program called Imfit, specialized for galaxies but potentially useful for other sources, which is fast, flexible, and highly extensible. A key characteristic of the program is an object-oriented design which allows new types of image components (2D surface-brightness functions) to be easily written and added to the program. Image functions provided with Imfit include the usual suspects for galaxy decompositions (Sersic, exponential, Gaussian), along with Core-Sersic and broken-exponential profiles, elliptical rings, and three components which perform line-of-sight integration through 3D luminosity-density models of disks and rings seen at arbitrary inclinations. Available minimization algorithms include Levenberg-Marquardt, Nelder-Mead simplex, and Differential Evolution, allowing trade-offs between speed and decreased sensitivity to local minima in the fit landscape. Minimization can be done using the standard chi^2 statistic (using either data or mode...

  4. A Test Facility For Astronomical X-Ray Optics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lewis, R. A.; Bordas, J.; Christensen, Finn Erland

    1989-01-01

    Grazing incidence x-ray optics for x-ray astronomical applications are used outside the earths atmosphere. These devices require a large collection aperture and the imaging of an x-ray source which is essentially placed at infinity. The ideal testing system for these optical elements has...... to approximate that encountered under working conditions, however the testing of these optical elements is notoriously difficult with conventional x-ray generators. Synchrotron Radiation (SR) sources are sufficiently brilliant to produce a nearly perfect parallel beam over a large area whilst still retaining...... a flux considerably higher than that available from conventional x-ray generators. A facility designed for the testing of x-ray optics, particularly in connection with x-ray telescopes is described below. It is proposed that this facility will be accommodated at the Synchrotron Radiation Source...

  5. Benjamin Apthorp Gould and the Founding of The Astronomical Journal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gingerich, O.

    1998-05-01

    The origin and vicissitudes of The Astronomical Journal are inextricably bound up with the extraordinary career of Benjamin Apthorp Gould (1824-1896), the first American to obtain a PhD in astronomy (at Gottingen). Returning to Cambridge in 1848, Gould joined an informal group known as the Lazzaroni, who were determined to bring professional standards to American science. Gould devoted much of his life to professionalizing American astronomy, and his founding of the AJ was part of this strategy. Beginning on 2 November 1849, Gould's AJ was issued at irregular intervals, seldom shorter than two weeks and occasionally much longer, such as the two-month gap in 1851 when Gould had gone to the solar eclipse in Europe. About 20% of the space was devoted to asteroids, then the hot topic in astronomy. The 11th issue announced the discovery of the 11th asteroid; by March of 1853, 23 asteroids were known, and Gould editorialized about the "threatened consumption of astronomical energies." In 1856 the trustees of the newly-founded Dudley Observatory agreed to support the financially struggling AJ, and volume 5 (1856-58) bore the Albany dateline though printing continued in Cambridge. Gould's ill-fated directorship of the Dudley Observatory lasted only a year in Albany itself, and volume 6 was again edited in Cambridge. The Civil War then brought a 25-year hiatus to Gould's journal. In 1870 Gould went to Argentina, where he founded the Argentine National Observatory in Cordoba; he returned to Cambridge in 1885, and very shortly thereafter resumed publication of the AJ (in November, 1886). He continued his editorship for a decade, producing volumes 7-16; his last issue, vol. 17, no. 4, is dated just two weeks before his death. As his successor, Seth Chandler wrote, "Of all the great enterprises of his life, this is the one which he has most cherished."

  6. Experiments with recursive estimation in astronomical image processing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Busko, I.

    1992-01-01

    Recursive estimation concepts were applied to image enhancement problems since the 70's. However, very few applications in the particular area of astronomical image processing are known. These concepts were derived, for 2-dimensional images, from the well-known theory of Kalman filtering in one dimension. The historic reasons for application of these techniques to digital images are related to the images' scanned nature, in which the temporal output of a scanner device can be processed on-line by techniques borrowed directly from 1-dimensional recursive signal analysis. However, recursive estimation has particular properties that make it attractive even in modern days, when big computer memories make the full scanned image available to the processor at any given time. One particularly important aspect is the ability of recursive techniques to deal with non-stationary phenomena, that is, phenomena which have their statistical properties variable in time (or position in a 2-D image). Many image processing methods make underlying stationary assumptions either for the stochastic field being imaged, for the imaging system properties, or both. They will underperform, or even fail, when applied to images that deviate significantly from stationarity. Recursive methods, on the contrary, make it feasible to perform adaptive processing, that is, to process the image by a processor with properties tuned to the image's local statistical properties. Recursive estimation can be used to build estimates of images degraded by such phenomena as noise and blur. We show examples of recursive adaptive processing of astronomical images, using several local statistical properties to drive the adaptive processor, as average signal intensity, signal-to-noise and autocorrelation function. Software was developed under IRAF, and as such will be made available to interested users.

  7. Astronomical diaries and observations from the time of the Great War

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shanklin, J. D.

    2003-10-01

    My great grandfather Harry Thomas, of Llandudno, kept diaries for many years. Only those for 1913 to 1916 survive, though they contain passing references to earlier volumes. Items of astronomical interest are presented here. Harry's brother, Dr Bernard Thomas (1868?1935 May 13), at this time lived in Hobart, Tasmania and was a more serious amateur astronomer.

  8. Preserving Astronomy's Photographic Legacy: Current State and the Future of North American Astronomical Plates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Osborn, W.; Robbins, L.

    2009-08-01

    This book contains articles on preserving astronomy's valuable heritage of photographic observations, most of which are on glass plates. It is intended to serve as a reference for institutions charged with preserving and managing plate archives and astronomers interested in using archival photographic plates in their research. The first portion of the book focuses on previous activities and recommendations related to plate archiving. These include actions taken by the International Astronomical Union, activities in Europe and a detailed account of a workshop on preserving astronomical photographic data held in 2007 at the Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute, North Carolina. The workshop discussions covered a wide range of issues that must be considered in any effort to archive plates and culminated in a set of recommendations on preserving, cataloging and making publicly available these irreplaceable data. The second part of the book reports on some recent efforts to implement the recommendations. These include essays on the recently established Astronomical Photographic Data Archive, projects to make photographic collections available electronically, evaluations of commercial scanners for digitization of astronomical plates and the case for the continuing value of these data along with a report on the census of astronomical plate collections in North America carried out in 2008. The census cataloged the locations, numbers, and types of astronomical plates in the US and Canada. Comprehensive appendices identify all the significant collections in North America and detail the current contents, state and status of their holdings.

  9. The Music of the Spheres in Education: Using Astronomically Inspired Music

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fraknoi, Andrew

    We list and briefly describe over a hundred pieces of classical and popular music inspired by reasonable astronomical ideas, and we discuss ways that instructors (and those working in informal settings) can use music to enhance an astronomy class or program. Written and Web-based resources for exploring astronomical influences in music are also provided.

  10. Mathematical instrumentation in fourteenth-century Egypt and Syria the illustrated treatise of Najm al-Din al-Misri

    CERN Document Server

    Charette, F

    2003-01-01

    An illustrated Arabic treatise, with an English translation and detailed commentary, on the construction of over 100 various astronomical instruments, many of which are otherwise unknown to specialists. It was composed by Najm al-Din al-Misri, a rather shadowy figure, in Cairo around 1330 CE.

  11. Search for Astronomical Sites in Developing Countries and their Preventive Protection

    CERN Document Server

    Querci, F R

    2000-01-01

    The archives of meteorological satellites permit to find around the world dry sites well adapted to astronomical observations (in the visible, IR, and millimetric ranges), as a pre-selection of sites. The GSM (Grating Scale Monitor) technique permits to qualify some of them as astronomical sites for a future setting-up of astronomical observatories. Such sites are found in new astronomical countries or in Developing Countries. At the same time, their preventive protection from light pollution and/or radio interference has to be viewed. In practice, once the pre-selection is made, the government of these countries ought to be alerted for example by IAU and/or UN Office for Outer Space Affairs. The local site testing through GSM should be carried out in cooperation with astronomers or scientists of these countries under the umbrella of IAU. This should be an approach to help to introduce astronomy and astrophysics in Developing Countries.

  12. The Application of ElasticSearch in the Massive Astronomical Data Retrieval

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Y. J.; Wang, F.; Deng, H.; Liu, Y. B.

    2016-03-01

    Astronomical observational data are the fundamental element for modern astronomical researches. However, with the rapid increase of astronomical data, the traditional centralized retrieval methods are hard to meet the requirements of high- performance data retrieval. In the study, we present a novel method which is based on the ElasticSearch distributed retrieval engine and River mechanism to create data indexes, and provide high performance data retrieval for massive FITS (Flexible Image Transport System) data. We discuss the key technologies of the nearly real-time retrieval and query. The experimental results show that the method is capable of obtaining high retrieval performance especially for the cases in which the number of the FITS data exceeds millions or even tens of millions. Meanwhile, the method can be easily integrated into the current astronomical data archiving systems, and completely meet the archive requirements of all kinds of astronomical telescope systems.

  13. VLT instrumentation control: the collaboration of OATs with ESO

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santin, P.

    The collaboration of the Astrophysics Technology Group (ATG) of the Astronomical Observatory of Trieste with ESO will be presented. It may be considered as an example of a good practice in the collaboration of a peripheral Institute with ESO. Started in 1985, it spans almost all the time since Italy joined ESO in 1982. The Trieste Astrophysics Technology Group (ATG) participated in many technological enterprise of ESO, from Remote Observing to VLT instrumentation and to ALMA ACS, and is now looking for the challenging E-ELT.

  14. CCAT Heterodyne Instrument Development Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — A key challenge in building a large pixel heterodyne array is efficiently and simultaneously delivering the astronomical signal and local oscillator power to each...

  15. The Xinglong 2.16-m Telescope: Current Instruments and Scientific Projects

    CERN Document Server

    Fan, Zhou; Jiang, Xiaojun; Wu, Hong; Li, Hongbin; Huang, Yang; Xu, Dawei; Hu, Zhongwen; Zhu, Yinan; Wang, Jianfeng; Komossa, Stefanie; Zhang, Xiaoming

    2016-01-01

    The Xinglong 2.16-m reflector is the first 2-meter class astronomical telescope in China. It was jointly designed and built by the Nanjing Astronomical Instruments Factory (NAIF), Beijing Astronomical Observatory (now National Astronomical Observatories, Chinese Academy of Sciences, NAOC) and Institute of Automation, Chinese Academy of Sciences in 1989. It is Ritchey-Chr\\'{e}tien (R-C) reflector on an English equatorial mount and the effective aperture is 2.16 meters. It had been the largest optical telescope in China for $\\sim18$ years until the Guoshoujing Telescope (also called Large Sky Area Multi-Object Fiber Spectroscopic Telescope, LAMOST) and the Lijiang 2.4-m telescope were built. At present, there are three main instruments on the Cassegrain focus available: the Beijing Faint Object Spectrograph and Camera (BFOSC) for direct imaging and low resolution ($R\\sim500-2000$) spectroscopy, the spectrograph made by Optomechanics Research Inc. (OMR) for low resolution spectroscopy (the spectral resolutions a...

  16. Twentieth-century astronomical heritage: the case of the Brazilian National Observatory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barboza, Christina Helena

    2015-08-01

    The National Observatory of Brazil was created in 1827. It was initially focused on the practical teaching of Astronomy to the students of military and naval academies. Since the mid-nineteenth century to the early twentieth century it was installed over the ruins of a Jesuit church located in the center of Rio de Janeiro, capital of the Brazilian Empire.Due to the constant complaints of its successive directors, the search for a new site to house the Observatory began in 1911. The new headquarters of the institution were located on the hill of São Januário, a little further but still around the city center of Rio de Janeiro. Its inauguration took place in 1921.The main building of the new Observatory was based on one of the Brazilian pavilions of the Turin Exhibition of 1911, and its architecture can be characterized as eclectic. The pavilions intended to house the many telescopes were scattered in a large wooded area. Since 1985 all these facilities are protected by the Federal government, as a consequence of the same initiative that gave birth to the Museum of Astronomy and Related Sciences, which has the custody also of the Observatory’s former instruments, furniture, and documents.Although built in the early twentieth century the National Observatory new facilities reveal astronomical practices typical of the previous century. One of its most important activities was the determination of the legal time, a task that justifies its location in the urban environment. It was also responsible for the organization of expeditions destined to determine the geographical positions of railroads and the borders of Brazil. For this reason, the Museum of Astronomy has currently more than 3,000 portable instruments. Moreover, these instruments belong to the domain of Astronomy, but also to Geodesy, Meteorology, Electricity. Due to the creation of the Museum of Astronomy, this rich collection is now open to public visitation, and has become the object of scholarly

  17. IYL Blog: Astronomers travel in time and space with light

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mather, John C.

    2015-01-01

    As an astronomer, I use light to travel through the universe, and to look back in time to when the universe was young. So do you! All of us see things as they were when the light was emitted, not as they are now. The farthest thing you can easily see without a telescope is the Andromeda Nebula, which is a galaxy like the Milky Way, about 2.5 million light years away. You see it as it was 2.5 million years ago, and we really don't know what it looks like today; the disk will have rotated a bit, new stars will have been born, there could have been all kinds of exploding stars, and the black hole in the middle could be lighting up. People may be skeptical of the Big Bang theory, even though we have a TV show named for it, but we (I should say Penzias and Wilson) measured its heat radiation 51 years ago at Bell Telephone Labs in New Jersey. Their discovery marks the beginning of the era of cosmology as a measurement science rather than speculation. Penzias and Wilson received the Nobel Prize in 1978 for their finding, which had been predicted in 1948 by Alpher and Herman. By the way, heat radiation is just another form of light - we call it radiation because we can't see it, but it's exactly the same phenomenon of electromagnetic waves, and the only difference is the wavelength. In the old days of analog television, if you tuned your TV in between channels, about 1% of the snow that you could see came from the Big Bang. So when we look at the heat radiation of the early universe, we really are gazing right at what seems to us a cosmic fireball, which surrounds us completely. It's a bit of an illusion; if you can imagine what astronomers in other galaxies would see, they would also feel surrounded by the fireball, and they would also think they were in the middle. So from a mathematical version of imagination, we conclude that there is no observable center and no edge of our universe, and that the heat of the fireball fills the entire universe uniformly. Astronomers are

  18. Astronomers Dissect a Supermassive Black Hole with Natural Magnifying Glasses

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-12-01

    Combining a double natural "magnifying glass" with the power of ESO's Very Large Telescope, astronomers have scrutinised the inner parts of the disc around a supermassive black hole 10 billion light-years away. They were able to study the disc with a level of detail a thousand times better than that of the best telescopes in the world, providing the first observational confirmation of the prevalent theoretical models of such discs. Omega Centauri ESO PR Photo 47a/08 The Einstein Cross The team of astronomers from Europe and the US studied the "Einstein Cross", a famous cosmic mirage. This cross-shaped configuration consists of four images of a single very distant source. The multiple images are a result of gravitational lensing by a foreground galaxy, an effect that was predicted by Albert Einstein as a consequence of his theory of general relativity. The light source in the Einstein Cross is a quasar approximately ten billion light-years away, whereas the foreground lensing galaxy is ten times closer. The light from the quasar is bent in its path and magnified by the gravitational field of the lensing galaxy. This magnification effect, known as "macrolensing", in which a galaxy plays the role of a cosmic magnifying glass or a natural telescope, proves very useful in astronomy as it allows us to observe distant objects that would otherwise be too faint to explore using currently available telescopes. "The combination of this natural magnification with the use of a big telescope provides us with the sharpest details ever obtained," explains Frédéric Courbin, leader of the programme studying the Einstein Cross with ESO's Very Large Telescope. In addition to macrolensing by the galaxy, stars in the lensing galaxy act as secondary lenses to produce an additional magnification. This secondary magnification is based on the same principle as macrolensing, but on a smaller scale, and since stars are much smaller than galaxies, is known as "microlensing". As the stars are

  19. Astronomical and Geophysical Activities in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) during 1781-88 by Bento Sanches Dorta

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vaquero, J. M.; Trigo, R. M.; Gallego, M. C.

    2006-08-01

    We summarized the works realised by Bento Sanches Dorta, a Portuguese Royal Astronomer who went to South America to perform a great number of astronomical and geophysical observations during the period 1781-1788.

  20. Instrumentation a reader

    CERN Document Server

    Pope, P

    1990-01-01

    This book contains a selection of papers and articles in instrumentation previously pub­ lished in technical periodicals and journals of learned societies. Our selection has been made to illustrate aspects of current practice and applications of instrumentation. The book does not attempt to be encyclopaedic in its coverage of the subject, but to provide some examples of general transduction techniques, of the sensing of particular measurands, of components of instrumentation systems and of instrumentation practice in two very different environments, the food industry and the nuclear power industry. We have made the selection particularly to provide papers appropriate to the study of the Open University course T292 Instrumentation. The papers have been chosen so that the book covers a wide spectrum of instrumentation techniques. Because of this, the book should be of value not only to students of instrumen­ tation, but also to practising engineers and scientists wishing to glean ideas from areas of instrumen...

  1. Astronomers Surprised to Find Elongated Radio-Emitting Region At Center of Milky Way

    Science.gov (United States)

    1998-12-01

    have found increasing evidence that it is a supermassive black hole. The team of astronomers used the VLBA to determine the structure of Sgr A* at five radio wavelengths (6.0, 3.6, 2.0, 1.35 cm, and 7 mm). At long radio wavelengths the radiation from Sgr A* is seriously blurred due to the scattering by the interstellar electrons between the Galactic center and the Earth. But, as one moves to shorter wavelengths, the scatter -- or distortion -- decreases exponentially, thereby creating increasingly clearer images. Indeed, at the shortest wavelength of 7 mm, the scattering effects are finally small enough to reveal the true size and shape of Sgr A*. For an object of 2.5 million solar masses, its Schwarzschild radius -- or outer edge of the "gravity well" from which not even light itself can escape from the black hole's pull -- would be only about 7.5 million kilometers. That distance translates into only a twentieth of the mean distance between the Earth and the Sun -- an extraordinarily small area. The astronomers are particularly intrigued that the radio-emitting area immediately surrounding the event horizon has an elongated shape. The VLBA, a series of 10 individual telescopes located at sites across North America, can create, in effect, an enormous single telescope with an aperture thousands of kilometers wide, thus providing the resolution necessary to probe the relatively small region at the core of our galaxy. "We needed to be able to resolve very fine detail in order to determine Sgr A*'s size and shape," said Paul Ho of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. "The only way we were able to find these exciting results was through the excellent data we received from the VLBA." The VLBA is an instrument of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, a facility of the National Science Foundation, operated under cooperative agreement by Associated Universities, Inc.

  2. The Application of Artificial Neural Networks to Astronomical Classification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naim, A.

    1995-12-01

    Galaxies are fundamental to the understanding of the structure and evolution of the universe. They contain stars, gas and dust, and serve as an astrophysical laboratory in which physical processes can be examined. In the context of the large scale structure of the universe galaxies can be viewed as test particles. They are bright and therefore visible at very large distances, and also numerous and so can be used to provide reliable statistics. In previous decades the major obstacle to studying the large scale structure of the universe was the relatively sparse data samples, because obtaining large quantities of galaxian images and spectra requires a lot of observing time, and the accumulation of significant data bases was therefore a slow process. This obstacle is in the process of being removed today, with the advent of large-scale surveys (e.g., the APM galaxy survey, the Sloan Digital Sky Survey and the 2 degree Field survey). The new challenge with which the astronomical community is faced is the management and analysis of the forthcoming extragalactic data bases. On top of the obvious need for better hardware to give large storage volumes and quick access, one needs to devise automated tools for data analysis. The sheer volume of the data renders manual analysis impractical. It would be best if one could somehow transfer the knowledge and expertise accumulated over years of painstaking manual analysis to a machine. This thesis is part of an effort to achieve this goal. I borrowed techniques that have proved useful in other fields (e.g., engineering) and applied them to astronomical datasets. The major tool I used was Artificial Neural Networks (ANNs), which was originally conceived as a simplified computational model for the brain. The scope of methods and algorithms referred to as ANNs is quite wide. In particular, a distinction is made between Supervised Learning algorithms and Unsupervised methods. The former put the emphasis on ``teaching'' a machine to do

  3. Satellite oceanography - The instruments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stewart, R. H.

    1981-01-01

    It is pointed out that no instrument is sensitive to only one oceanographic variable; rather, each responds to a combination of atmospheric and oceanic phenomena. This complicates data interpretation and usually requires that a number of observations, each sensitive to somewhat different phenomena, be combined to provide unambiguous information. The distinction between active and passive instruments is described. A block diagram illustrating the steps necessary to convert data from satellite instruments into oceanographic information is included, as is a diagram illustrating the operation of a radio-frequency radiometer. Attention is also given to the satellites that carry the various oceanographic instruments.

  4. Networked Instrumentation Element

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Armstrong researchers have developed a networked instrumentation system that connects modern experimental payloads to existing analog and digital communications...

  5. Instrument validation project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Reynolds, B.A.; Daymo, E.A.; Geeting, J.G.H.; Zhang, J.

    1996-06-01

    Westinghouse Hanford Company Project W-211 is responsible for providing the system capabilities to remove radioactive waste from ten double-shell tanks used to store radioactive wastes on the Hanford Site in Richland, Washington. The project is also responsible for measuring tank waste slurry properties prior to injection into pipeline systems, including the Replacement of Cross-Site Transfer System. This report summarizes studies of the appropriateness of the instrumentation specified for use in Project W-211. The instruments were evaluated in a test loop with simulated slurries that covered the range of properties specified in the functional design criteria. The results of the study indicate that the compact nature of the baseline Project W-211 loop does not result in reduced instrumental accuracy resulting from poor flow profile development. Of the baseline instrumentation, the Micromotion densimeter, the Moore Industries thermocouple, the Fischer and Porter magnetic flow meter, and the Red Valve Pressure transducer meet the desired instrumental accuracy. An alternate magnetic flow meter (Yokagawa) gave nearly identical results as the baseline fischer and Porter. The Micromotion flow meter did not meet the desired instrument accuracy but could potentially be calibrated so that it would meet the criteria. The Nametre on-line viscometer did not meet the desired instrumental accuracy and is not recommended as a quantitative instrument although it does provide qualitative information. The recommended minimum set of instrumentation necessary to ensure the slurry meets the Project W-058 acceptance criteria is the Micromotion mass flow meter and delta pressure cells.

  6. Instrument validation project

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Westinghouse Hanford Company Project W-211 is responsible for providing the system capabilities to remove radioactive waste from ten double-shell tanks used to store radioactive wastes on the Hanford Site in Richland, Washington. The project is also responsible for measuring tank waste slurry properties prior to injection into pipeline systems, including the Replacement of Cross-Site Transfer System. This report summarizes studies of the appropriateness of the instrumentation specified for use in Project W-211. The instruments were evaluated in a test loop with simulated slurries that covered the range of properties specified in the functional design criteria. The results of the study indicate that the compact nature of the baseline Project W-211 loop does not result in reduced instrumental accuracy resulting from poor flow profile development. Of the baseline instrumentation, the Micromotion densimeter, the Moore Industries thermocouple, the Fischer and Porter magnetic flow meter, and the Red Valve Pressure transducer meet the desired instrumental accuracy. An alternate magnetic flow meter (Yokagawa) gave nearly identical results as the baseline fischer and Porter. The Micromotion flow meter did not meet the desired instrument accuracy but could potentially be calibrated so that it would meet the criteria. The Nametre on-line viscometer did not meet the desired instrumental accuracy and is not recommended as a quantitative instrument although it does provide qualitative information. The recommended minimum set of instrumentation necessary to ensure the slurry meets the Project W-058 acceptance criteria is the Micromotion mass flow meter and delta pressure cells

  7. Fastest Pulsar Speeding Out of Galaxy, Astronomers Discover

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-08-01

    A speeding, superdense neutron star somehow got a powerful "kick" that is propelling it completely out of our Milky Way Galaxy into the cold vastness of intergalactic space. Its discovery is puzzling astronomers who used the National Science Foundation's Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA) radio telescope to directly measure the fastest speed yet found in a neutron star. Pulsar's Path Across Sky Over about 2.5 million years, Pulsar B1508+55 has moved across about a third of the night sky as seen from Earth. CREDIT: Bill Saxton, NRAO/AUI/NSF (Click on image for larger version 67 KB) The neutron star is the remnant of a massive star born in the constellation Cygnus that exploded about two and a half million years ago in a titanic explosion known as a supernova. Ultra-precise VLBA measurements of its distance and motion show that it is on course to inevitably leave our Galaxy. "We know that supernova explosions can give a kick to the resulting neutron star, but the tremendous speed of this object pushes the limits of our current understanding," said Shami Chatterjee, of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) and the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. "This discovery is very difficult for the latest models of supernova core collapse to explain," he added. Chatterjee and his colleagues used the VLBA to study the pulsar B1508+55, about 7700 light-years from Earth. With the ultrasharp radio "vision" of the continent-wide VLBA, they were able to precisely measure both the distance and the speed of the pulsar, a spinning neutron star emitting powerful beams of radio waves. Plotting its motion backward pointed to a birthplace among groups of giant stars in the constellation Cygnus -- stars so massive that they inevitably explode as supernovae. "This is the first direct measurement of a neutron star's speed that exceeds 1,000 kilometers per second," said Walter Brisken, an NRAO astronomer. "Most earlier estimates of neutron-star speeds depended on educated

  8. AWAIC: A WISE Astronomical Image Co-adder

    CERN Document Server

    Masci, Frank J

    2008-01-01

    We describe a new image co-addition tool, AWAIC, to support the creation of a digital Image Atlas from the multiple frame exposures acquired with the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE). AWAIC includes preparatory steps such as frame background matching and outlier detection using robust frame-stack statistics. Frame co-addition is based on using the detector's Point Response Function (PRF) as an interpolation kernel. This kernel reduces the impact of prior-masked pixels; enables the creation of an optimal matched filtered product for point source detection; and most important, it allows for resolution enhancement (HiRes) to yield a model of the sky that is consistent with the observations to within measurement error. The HiRes functionality allows for non-isoplanatic PRFs, prior noise-variance weighting, uncertainty estimation, and includes a ringing-suppression algorithm. AWAIC also supports the popular overlap-area weighted interpolation method, and is generic enough for use on any astronomical imag...

  9. Nicolas-Louis De La Caille astronomer and geodesist

    CERN Document Server

    Glass, I S

    2013-01-01

    La Caille was one of the observational astronomers and geodesists who followed Newton in developing ideas about celestial mechanics and the shape of the earth. He provided data to the great 18th-century mathematicians involved in understanding the complex gravitational effects that the heavenly bodies have on one another. Observing from the Cape of Good Hope, he made the first ever telescopic sky survey and gave many of the southern constellations their present-day names. He measured the paths of the planets and determined their distances by trigonometry. In addition, he made a controversial measurement of the radius of the earth that seemed to prove it was pear-shaped. On a practical level, La Caille developed the method of `Lunars' for determining longitudes at sea. He mapped the Cape. As an influential teacher he propagated Newton's theory of universal gravitation at a time when it was only beginning to be accepted on the European continent. This book gives the most comprehensive overview so far avail...

  10. VARTOOLS: A program for analyzing astronomical time-series data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartman, J. D.; Bakos, G. Á.

    2016-10-01

    This paper describes the VARTOOLS program, which is an open-source command-line utility, written in C, for analyzing astronomical time-series data, especially light curves. The program provides a general-purpose set of tools for processing light curves including signal identification, filtering, light curve manipulation, time conversions, and modeling and simulating light curves. Some of the routines implemented include the Generalized Lomb-Scargle periodogram, the Box-Least Squares transit search routine, the Analysis of Variance periodogram, the Discrete Fourier Transform including the CLEAN algorithm, the Weighted Wavelet Z-Transform, light curve arithmetic, linear and non-linear optimization of analytic functions including support for Markov Chain Monte Carlo analyses with non-trivial covariances, characterizing and/or simulating time-correlated noise, and the TFA and SYSREM filtering algorithms, among others. A mechanism is also provided for incorporating a user's own compiled processing routines into the program. VARTOOLS is designed especially for batch processing of light curves, including built-in support for parallel processing, making it useful for large time-domain surveys such as searches for transiting planets. Several examples are provided to illustrate the use of the program.

  11. Astronomical function and date of the Taosi observatory

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2009-01-01

    The Taosi site in Xiangfen County,Shanxi Province,may be the capital of the King Yao. Archeologists recently discovered a large semi-circular stamped-earth platform, II FJT1,which has a clear and definite pounded-earth central core together with a curved wall perforated by twelve gaps. The platform is said to be an ancient observatory used to determine the seasons by watching the sunrise. Each feature of II FJT1 was precisely measured and the data are reproduced in this paper. An astronomical analysis of slots E2 and E12 was carried out using the azimuths of the slots’ centerlines and the vertical angle of the mountain ridge opposite, above which the sun rises. The results show that at present the sun is close to the two slots but does not exactly enter them at summer and winter solstice sunrise. Using 14C analysis archeologists dated the site to about 2100 BC. Because of the secular change in the obliquity of the ecliptic,at that date on the summer solstice the half-risen sun would have appeared inside slot E12 just to the right of the centerline,and on the winter solstice the sun would have been exactly on the centerline of slot E2. This result provides compelling proof that II FJT1 is an ancient observatory.

  12. Astronomical function and date of the Taosi observatory

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    WU JiaBi; CHEN MeiDong; LIU CiYuan

    2009-01-01

    The Taosl site in Xiangfen County, Shanxi Province, may be the capital of the King Yao. Archeologists recently discovered a large semi-circular stamped-earth platform, Ⅱ FJT1, which has a clear and definite pounded-earth central core together with a curved wall perforated by twelve gaps. The platform is said to be an ancient observatory used to determine the seasons by watching the sunrise. Each feature of ⅡFJT1 was precisely measured and the data are reproduced in this paper. An astronomical analysis of slots E2 and E12 was carried out using the azimuths of the slots' centerlines and the vertical angle of the mountain ridge opposite, above which the sun rises. The results show that at present the sun is close to the two slots but does not exactly enter them at summer and winter solstice sunrise. Using 14C analysis archeologists dated the site to about 2100 BC. Because of the secular change in the obliquity of the ecliptic, at that date on the summer solstice the half-risen sun would have appeared inside slot E12 Just to the right of the centerline, and on the winter solstice the sun would have been exactly on the centerline of slot E2. This result provides compelling proof that Ⅱ FJT1 is an ancient observatory.

  13. The Amateur Astronomer's Guide to the Deep-Sky Catalogs

    CERN Document Server

    Cavin, Jerry D

    2012-01-01

    All of us familiar with astronomy know of Charles Messier and his early work on creating a catalog of celestial objects. Did you know that Messier was compiling a list of objects to avoid when searching the skies? He was a comet hunter, and he wanted to not mistake other things for comets. Other lists and catalogs followed this, and many, including Messier's, have become popular with amateur astronomers who see it as a challenge to find everything on the list or as a guide on what to see when they look through their telescopes or binoculars. In this "catalog of catalogs," the author introduces the figures behind the most famous of the star catalogs and includes the catalog listings as well. Thus here, all in one book, is your complete guide to the heavenly bodies - including constellations, galaxies, nebulae, supernova remnants, and much more - that most people seek to see when they observe the night sky. Here are enough challenges for a lifetime of exciting viewing!

  14. Nicolas-Louis de La Caille: Astronomer and Geodesist

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glass, I. S.

    La Caille was one of the observational astronomers and geodesists who followed Newton in developing ideas about celestial mechanics and the shape of the earth. He provided data to the great 18th-century mathematicians involved in understanding the complex gravitational effects that the heavenly bodies have on one another. Observing from the Cape of Good Hope, he made the first ever telescopic sky survey and gave many of the southern constellations their present-day names. He measured the paths of the planets and determined their distances by trigonometry. In addition, he made a controversial measurement of the radius of the earth that seemed to prove it was pear-shaped. On a practical level, La Caille developed the method of `Lunars' for determining longitudes at sea. He mapped the Cape. As an influential teacher he propagated Newton's theory of universal gravitation at a time when it was only beginning to be accepted on the European continent. This book gives the most comprehensive overview so far available of La Caille's life and work, showing how he interacted with his often difficult colleagues. It places special emphasis on his life at, and his observations and comments on, the Cape of Good Hope, where he spent the years 1751-53.

  15. First Astronomical Use of Multiplexed Transition Edge Sensor Bolometers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Staguhn, J. G.; Ames, T. A.; Benford, D. J.; Chervenak, J. A.; Grossman, E. N.; Irwin, K. D.; Khan, S. A.; Maffei, B.; Moseley, S. H.; Pajot, F.

    2004-01-01

    We present performance results based on the first astronomical use of multiplexed superconducting bolometers. The Fabry-Perot Interferometer Bolometer Research Experiment (FIBRE) is a broadband submillimeter spectrometer that achieved first light in June 2001 at the Caltech Submillimeter Observatory (CSO). FIBRE's detectors are superconducting transition edge sensor (TES) bolometers read out by a SQUID multiplexer. The Fabry-Perot uses a low resolution grating to order sort the incoming light. A linear bolometer array consisting of 16 elements detects this dispersed light, capturing 5 orders simultaneously from one position on the sky. With tuning of the Fabry-Perot over one free spectral range, a spectrum covering Delta lambda/lambda = 1/7 at a resolution of delta lambda/lambda approx. 1/1200 can be acquired. This spectral resolution is sufficient to resolve Doppler-broadened line emission from external galaxies. FIBRE operates in the 350 m and 450 m bands. These bands cover line emission from the important star formation tracers neutral carbon (CI) and carbon monoxide (CO). We have verified that the multiplexed bolometers are photon noise limited even with the low power present in moderate resolution spectrometry.

  16. First Astronomical Use Of Multiplexed Transition Edge Bolometers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benford, D. J.; Chervenak, J. A.; Grossman, E. N.; Irwin, K. D.; DeKotwara, S. A.; Maffei, B.; Moseley, S. H.; Pajot, F.; Phillips, T. G.; Reintsema, C. D.

    2001-01-01

    We present performance results based on the first astronomical use of multiplexed superconducting bolometers. The Fabry-Perot Interferometer Bolometer Research Experiment (FIBRE) is a broadband submillimeter spectrometer that achieved first light in June 2001 at the Caltech Submillimeter Observatory (CSO). FIBRE's detectors are superconducting transition edge sensor (TES) bolometers read out by a SQUID multiplexer. The Fabry-Perot uses a low resolution grating to order sort the incoming light. A linear bolometer array consisting of 16 elements detects this dispersed light, capturing five orders simultaneously from one position on the sky. With tuning of the Fabry-Perot over one free spectral range, a spectrum covering delta-lamda/lamda = 1/7 at a resolution of delta-lamda/lamda = 1/1200 can be acquired. This spectral resolution is sufficient to resolve doppler broadened line emission from external galaxies. FIBRE operates in the 350 micrometer and 450 micrometer bands. These bands cover line emission from the important PDR tracers neutral carbon [CI] and carbon monoxide (CO). We have verified that the multiplexed bolometers are photon noise limited even with the low power present in moderate resolution spectrometry.

  17. Wide-Field Astronomical Surveys in the Next Decade

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Strauss, Michael A.; /Princeton U.; Tyson, J.Anthony; /UC, Davis; Anderson, Scott F.; /Washington U., Seattle, Astron. Dept.; Axelrod, T.S.; /LSST Corp.; Becker, Andrew C.; /Washington U., Seattle, Astron. Dept.; Bickerton, Steven J.; /Princeton U.; Blanton, Michael R.; /New York U.; Burke, David L.; /SLAC; Condon, J.J.; /NRAO, Socorro; Connolly, A.J.

    2009-03-01

    Wide-angle surveys have been an engine for new discoveries throughout the modern history of astronomy, and have been among the most highly cited and scientifically productive observing facilities in recent years. This trend is likely to continue over the next decade, as many of the most important questions in astrophysics are best tackled with massive surveys, often in synergy with each other and in tandem with the more traditional observatories. We argue that these surveys are most productive and have the greatest impact when the data from the surveys are made public in a timely manner. The rise of the 'survey astronomer' is a substantial change in the demographics of our field; one of the most important challenges of the next decade is to find ways to recognize the intellectual contributions of those who work on the infrastructure of surveys (hardware, software, survey planning and operations, and databases/data distribution), and to make career paths to allow them to thrive.

  18. Astronomical Sky Quality Near Eureka, in the Canadian High Arctic

    CERN Document Server

    Steinbring, Eric; Drummond, James R

    2011-01-01

    Nighttime visible-light sky brightness and transparency are reported for the Polar Environment Research Laboratory (PEARL), located on a 610-m high ridge near the Eureka research station, on Ellesmere Island, Canada. Photometry of Polaris obtained in V band with the PEARL All Sky Imager (PASI) over two winters is supported by standard meteorological measurements and visual estimates of sky conditions from sea level. These data show that during the period of the study, October through March of 2008/09 and 2009/10, the sky near zenith had a mean surface brightness of 19.7 mag/square-arcsec when the sun was more than 12 deg below the horizon, reaching 20.7 mag/square-arcsec during astronomical darkness with no moon. Skies were without thick cloud and potentially usable for astronomy 86% of the time (extinction <2 mag). Up to 68% of the time was spectroscopic (<0.5 mag), attenuated by ice crystals, or clear with stable atmospheric transparency. Those conditions can persist for over 100 hours at a time. Furt...

  19. The role of references in the astronomical discourse

    CERN Document Server

    Girard, R

    1996-01-01

    We have counted the number of references in 1179 papers published in Astronomy and Astrophysics over twenty years. The number of references has increased by 60% between 1975 and 1995, reflecting the increase (by the same amount) of the literature which must be cited, and of the number of pages per paper. There are 1.5 times more references in predominantly observational fields than in others. References are used 1.65 times in the text, and there is no trend with time or field. They appear mostly in the introduction (30%) and in the main body of the paper (60%), but papers in predominantly observational fields tend to use less references in the introduction and more in the main body than papers in the other fields. Most references (62%) serve to support a result, and tend to be of theoretical nature. Astronomers are a very conformist bunch, as there are no trends with nationality, and references to conflicting evidence are kept at about 8%. The analysis of a series of papers by de Vaucouleurs on the Hubble con...

  20. Silicon carbide optics for space and ground based astronomical telescopes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robichaud, Joseph; Sampath, Deepak; Wainer, Chris; Schwartz, Jay; Peton, Craig; Mix, Steve; Heller, Court

    2012-09-01

    Silicon Carbide (SiC) optical materials are being applied widely for both space based and ground based optical telescopes. The material provides a superior weight to stiffness ratio, which is an important metric for the design and fabrication of lightweight space telescopes. The material also has superior thermal properties with a low coefficient of thermal expansion, and a high thermal conductivity. The thermal properties advantages are important for both space based and ground based systems, which typically need to operate under stressing thermal conditions. The paper will review L-3 Integrated Optical Systems - SSG’s (L-3 SSG) work in developing SiC optics and SiC optical systems for astronomical observing systems. L-3 SSG has been fielding SiC optical components and systems for over 25 years. Space systems described will emphasize the recently launched Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) developed for JHU-APL and NASA-GSFC. Review of ground based applications of SiC will include supporting L-3 IOS-Brashear’s current contract to provide the 0.65 meter diameter, aspheric SiC secondary mirror for the Advanced Technology Solar Telescope (ATST).