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. Spectroscopic instrumentation fundamentals and guidelines for astronomers

    CERN Document Server

    Eversberg, Thomas

    2015-01-01

    In order to analyze the light of cosmic objects, particularly at extremely great distances, spectroscopy is the workhorse of astronomy. In the era of very large telescopes, long-term investigations are mainly performed with small professional instruments. Today they can be done using self-designed spectrographs and highly efficient CCD cameras, without the need for large financial investments.   This book explains the basic principles of spectroscopy, including the fundamental optical constraints and all mathematical aspects needed to understand the working principles in detail. It covers the complete theoretical and practical design of standard and Echelle spectrographs. Readers are guided through all necessary calculations, enabling them to engage in spectrograph design. The book also examines data acquisition with CCD cameras and fiber optics, as well as the constraints of specific data reduction and possible sources of error. In closing it briefly highlights some main aspects of the research on massive s...

  3. Mid-infrared guided optics: a perspective for astronomical instruments

    CERN Document Server

    Labadie, L; 10.1364/OE.17.001947

    2009-01-01

    Research activities during the last decade have shown the strong potential of photonic devices to greatly simplify ground based and space borne astronomical instruments and to improve their performance. We focus specifically on the mid-infrared wavelength regime (about 5-20 microns), a spectral range offering access to warm objects (about 300 K) and to spectral features that can be interpreted as signatures for biological activity (e.g. water, ozone, carbon dioxide). We review the relevant research activities aiming at the development of single-mode guided optics and the corresponding manufacturing technologies. We evaluate the experimentally achieved performance and compare it with the performance requirements for applications in various fields of astronomy. Our goal is to show a perspective for future astronomical instruments based on mid-infrared photonic devices.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. A versatile motion control system for astronomical instrumentation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wagner, Karl; Alter, Matthias; Bideaux, André; Klein, Ralf; Lehmitz, Michael; Mohr, Lars; Ramos, José Ricardo

    2010-07-01

    With steadily increasing telescope sizes and the growing complexity of scientific instruments, there is an ever-growing demand for improved electronics, controlling all the different optical parts on moving mechanisms. Among competing requirements are, on one hand, the increasing number of actuators, with high-precision positioning in closed and open loop, and on the other hand, smaller sizes, low power and restricted heat emission. A specific challenge is accommodating mechanisms that operate in infrared instrumentation at cryogenic temperatures down to 60 Kelvin. In this area piezo motors offer promising solutions. To fulfill these different demands a competitive motion control system has been developed at the Max-Planck-Institut für Astronomie (MPIA) in Heidelberg, Germany. A modular chassis with standardized boards provides best solutions for extensive tasks. High and low power DC servo motors, brushless DC servo motors, stepper motors and piezo motors with different technologies are supported. Diversity position feedback capabilities, like incremental and absolute encoders for non cryogenic and capacitive sensors and resolvers for cryogenic applications, are provided.

  8. 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.

  9. Rocket instrument for far-UV spectrophotometry of faint astronomical objects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartig, G. F.; Fastie, W. G.; Davidsen, A. F.

    1980-01-01

    A sensitive sounding rocket instrument for moderate (about 10-A) resolution far-UV (1160-1750-A) spectrophotometry of faint astronomical objects has been developed. The instrument employes a photon-counting microchannel plate imaging detector and a concave grating spectrograph behind a 40-cm Dall-Kirkham telescope. A unique remote-control pointing system, incorporating an SIT vidicon aspect camera, two star trackers, and a tone-encoded command telemetry link, permits the telescope to be oriented to within 5 arc sec of any target for which suitable guide stars can be found. The design, construction, calibration, and flight performance of the instrument are discussed.

  10. 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.

  11. New Platforms for Suborbital Astronomical Observations and In Situ Atmospheric Measurements: Spacecraft, Instruments, and Facilities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodway, K.; DeForest, C. E.; Diller, J.; Vilas, F.; Sollitt, L. S.; Reyes, M. F.; Filo, A. S.; Anderson, E.

    2014-12-01

    Suborbital astronomical observations have over 50 years' history using NASA's sounding rockets and experimental space planes. The new commercial space industry is developing suborbital reusable launch vehicles (sRLV's) to provide low-cost, flexible, and frequent access to space at ~100 km altitude. In the case of XCOR Aerospace's Lynx spacecraft, the vehicle design and capabilities work well for hosting specially designed experiments that can be flown with a human-tended researcher or alone with the pilot on a customized mission. Some of the first-generation instruments and facilities that will conduct solar observations on dedicated Lynx science missions include the SwRI Solar Instrument Pointing Platform (SSIPP) and Atsa Suborbital Observatory, as well as KickSat sprites, which are picosatellites for in situ atmospheric and solar phenomena measurements. The SSIPP is a demonstration two-stage pointed solar observatory that operates inside the Lynx cockpit. The coarse pointing stage includes the pilot in the feedback loop, and the fine stage stabilizes the solar image to achieve arcsecond class pointing. SSIPP is a stepping-stone to future external instruments that can operate with larger apertures and shorter wavelengths in the solar atmosphere. The Planetary Science Institute's Atsa Suborbital Observatory combines the strengths of ground-based observatories and space-based observing to create a facility where a telescope is maintained and used interchangeably with either in-house facility instruments or user-provided instruments. The Atsa prototype is a proof of concept, hand-guided camera that mounts on the interior of the Lynx cockpit to test target acquisition and tracking for human-operated suborbital astronomy. KickSat sprites are mass-producible, one inch printed circuit boards (PCBs) populated by programmable off the shelf microprocessors and radios for real time data transmission. The sprite PCBs can integrate chip-based radiometers, magnetometers

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Experiences with the Design and Construction of Astronomical Instrumentation using CASPER: The Digital Backend System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prestage, Richard M.; Bloss, M.; Brandt, J.; Creager, R.; Demorest, P.; Ford, J.; Jones, G.; Luo, J.; McCullough, R.; Ransom, S. M.; Ray, J.; Watts, G.; Whitehead, M.

    2014-01-01

    NRAO recently designed and built a state-of-the-art backend system for the Shanghai Astronomical Observatory's (SHAO) 65 meter radio telescope. The machine, called the Digital Backend System (DIBAS), was created from the design of the VErsatile GBT Astronomical Spectrometer (VEGAS) by adding nine incoherent pulsar search modes and eight coherent dedispersion timing modes to complement the 29 VEGAS spectral line modes. Together these modes cover all of the anticipated science requirements for the 65 meter except for VLBI. The VEGAS multi-beam spectrometer was recently designed and built for the Green Bank Telescope (GBT) through a partnership between the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) and the University of California at Berkeley. The VEGAS spectrometer is based on a Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) frontend and a heterogeneous computing backend comprised of Graphical Processing Units (GPUs) and x86-64 CPUs. Working together, the hardware in this system provides processing power to analyze up to 8 dual-polarization or 16 single-polarization inputs, at bandwidths of up to 1.25 GHz per input. An aggregate of up to 10 GHz of bandwidth, dual polarization, may be simultaneously processed with the VEGAS spectrometer. As capable as this spectrometer is, it has no advanced pulsar capabilities such as were needed for DIBAS. To create DIBAS, VEGAS was augmented with new FPGA designs based on those built for the Green Bank Ultimate Pulsar Processing Instrument (GUPPI) some five years ago. GUPPI was built on earlier generations of FPGA hardware designed by the CASPER project at Berkeley. Porting the old GUPPI designs to modern hardware and wider bandwidths was a good test case to determine the portability of the FPGA designs and the utility of the toolset to help move designs between generations of FPGA chips, as well as the degree of reuse that could be obtained from the VEGAS project. This paper will explore the unique aspects of the DIBAS project, including

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Supercontinuum light sources for use in astronomical instrumentation: a test with PMAS, the Potsdam multi-aperture spectrophotometer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roth, Martin M.; Löhmannsröben, Hans-Gerd; Dosche, Carsten; Sandin, Christer; Reich, Oliver; Haynes, Roger; Leick, Lasse; Chávez Boggio, José M.; Kelz, Andreas

    2010-07-01

    Supercontinuum white light sources (SCLS) are intense, spatially coherent laser sources with a very broad and flat spectral energy distribution which have very quickly found ubiquitous use in optical laboratories. As photonics is now providing more and more applications for astronomical instrumentation, the possible use of SCLS as a calibration light source for spectroscopy has been tested. A standard industrial SCLS was coupled to the calibration unit of the PMAS integral field spectrophotometer and compared directly to the PMAS standard tungsten filament lamp that is normally used for calibration exposures. We report on comparative measurements concerning flux, spectral energy distribution, and temporal stability.

  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. 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. 

  20. 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...

  1. 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

  2. Development and Flight-testing of Astronomical Instrumentation for Future NASA Astrophysics Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    France, Kevin

    We propose a four year suborbital research program to continue the University of Colorado's efforts in the development and flight testing of instrument designs and critical path technologies for ultraviolet spectroscopy in support of future NASA Explorer, Probe-, and Flagship-class missions. This proposal builds on our existing program of high-resolution spectroscopy for the 100 - 160 nm bandpass with the development of a new high-efficiency imaging spectrograph operating in the same band. The ultimate goal of the University of Colorado ultraviolet rocket program is to develop the technical capabilities to enable a future, highly multiplexed ultraviolet spectrograph (with both high-resolution and imaging spectroscopy modes), e.g., an analog to the successful HST-STIS instrument, with an order-of-magnitude higher efficiency. We do this in the framework of a university led program where undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral training is paramount and cutting edge science investigations support our baseline technology development program. In the proposed effort, we will optimize our high-resolution (R > 100,000) echelle spectrograph payload (CHESS) with the first science flight of a new, large-format CCD array provided by our collaborators at JPL and Arizona State University. We will launch CHESS to study our local interstellar environment with spectral resolving power and bandpass that cannot be achieved with any suite of current or planned space missions. In parallel with the proposed science flights of CHESS, we will design, calibrate, and launch a new high-throughput imaging spectrograph (SISTINE); the first sub-arcsecond imaging, medium spectral resolution (R = 10,000), spectrograph ever flown with spectral coverage over the entire 100 - 160 nm bandpass. SISTINE incorporates several novel optical technologies that were highlighted as major hardware drivers for NASA's next large ultraviolet/optical/near-IR observatory by the 2014 Cosmic Origins Technology

  3. 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 ...

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Nanoengineered Astronomical Optics

    CERN Document Server

    Borra, E F; Bergamasco, R; Laird, P; Gingras, J; Dallaire, M; Silva, L D; Yockell-Lelievre, H

    2003-01-01

    We describe a technology for the fabrication of inexpensive and versatile mirrors through the use of a new type of nanoengineered optical material composed by the spreading of a self-assembling reflective colloidal film spread at the surface of a liquid. These new reflecting liquids offer interesting possibilities for astronomical instrumentation. For example, they can replace mercury in conventional rotating liquid mirrors. The main advantages offered include extremely low cost and, by coating a viscous liquid, the possibility of tilting the mirror by a few tens of degrees. We also have coated ferromagnetic liquids with these reflecting films. The resulting surfaces can be shaped by the application of a magnetic field, yielding reflecting surfaces that can have complicated shapes that can rapidly shift with time. These inexpensive and versatile optical elements could have numerous scientific and technological applications. Among possible astronomical applications, they could be used to make large inexpensive...

  7. Instrumentation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This second chapter on instrumentation gives little general consideration on history and classification of instrumentation, and two specific states of the art. The first one concerns NMR (block diagram of instrumentation chain with details on the magnets, gradients, probes, reception unit). The first one concerns precision instrumentation (optical fiber gyro-meter and scanning electron microscope), and its data processing tools (programmability, VXI standard and its history). The chapter ends with future trends on smart sensors and Field Emission Displays. (D.L.). Refs., figs

  8. Instrumentation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  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. F.W. Longbottom: astronomical photographer and founder of the Chester Astronomical Society

    CERN Document Server

    Shears, Jeremy

    2012-01-01

    Frederick William Longbottom FRAS (1850-1933) was an original member of the British Astronomical Association and served as Director of its Photographic Section between 1906 and 1926. A hop merchant by trade, he spent much of his life in Chester where he was instrumental in founding the City's first astronomical society in 1892.

  12. 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

  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. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Auto Adjusting Astronomical Telescope

    OpenAIRE

    Rohit R. Ghalsasi; Prof. N. D. Dhoot

    2014-01-01

    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.

  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. An Astronomical Observatory in the Classroom

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lara, L.; Gallego, T.; de La Torre, A.

    We describe a project developed at the University of Granada in collaboration with the Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía aimed at using a remote telescope for live astronomical observations from the classroom. Available instrumentation, software and activities are presented.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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...

  3. 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.

  4. 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...

  5. 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.

  6. Zelenchukskaya Radio Astronomical Observatory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smolentsev, Sergey; Dyakov, Andrei

    2013-01-01

    This report summarizes information about Zelenchukskaya Radio Astronomical Observatory activities in 2012. Last year a number of changes took place in the observatory to improve some technical characteristics and to upgrade some units to the required status. The report provides an overview of current geodetic VLBI activities and gives an outlook for the future.

  7. Svetloe Radio Astronomical Observatory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smolentsev, Sergey; Rahimov, Ismail

    2013-01-01

    This report summarizes information about the Svetloe Radio Astronomical Observatory activities in 2012. Last year, a number of changes took place in the observatory to improve some technical characteristics and to upgrade some units to their required status. The report provides an overview of current geodetic VLBI activities and gives an outlook for the future.

  8. Poznan acute Astronomical Observatory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murdin, P.

    2000-11-01

    This Poznan acute Astronomical Observatory is a unit of the Adam Mickiewicz University, located in Poznan acute, Poland. From its foundation in 1919, it has specialized in astrometry and celestial mechanics (reference frames, dynamics of satellites and small solar system bodies). Recently, research activities have also included planetary and stellar astrophysics (asteroid photometry, catalysmic b...

  9. 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...

  10. 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.

  11. The Story of the Telescope Made in 1875 called the Oldest in National Astronomical Observatory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakagiri, Masao

    2008-09-01

    A meridian instrument made by Troughton&Simms in 1875 is exhihited to the history building as the National Astronomical Observatory oldest telescope. The author came to be concerned with old observation instruments of National Astronomical Observatory, and he excavated observation devices left in National Astronomical Observatory and was able to go ahead through reconstruction. And he thought this telescope whether it was the part of the astronomical theodolite not a meridian instrument. There is no doubt as to whether it is the oldest in the Observatory, and the author began inspection. As for him, the telescope called a meridian instrument made in this 1875 came to have the conviction that was transferred from the Department of the Interior geography station of the Meiji government to Tokyo Astronomical Observatory.

  12. 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/).

  13. 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.

  14. Collaborative Astronomical Image Mosaics

    CERN Document Server

    Katz, Daniel S; Mann, Robert G

    2010-01-01

    This chapter describes how astronomical imaging survey data have become a vital part of modern astronomy, how these data are archived and then served to the astronomical community through on-line data access portals. The Virtual Observatory, now under development, aims to make all these data accessible through a uniform set of interfaces. This chapter also describes the scientific need for one common image processing task, that of composing individual images into large scale mosaics and introduces Montage as a tool for this task. Montage, as distributed, can be used in four ways: as a single thread/process on a single CPU, in parallel using MPI to distribute similar tasks across a parallel computer, in parallel using grid tools (Pegasus/DAGMan) to distributed tasks across a grid, or in parallel using a script-driven approach (Swift). An on-request web based Montage service is available for users who do not need to build a local version. We also introduce some work on a new scripted version of Montage, which o...

  15. 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.

  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. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Visualizing Astronomical Data with Blender

    CERN Document Server

    Kent, Brian R

    2013-01-01

    Astronomical data take on a multitude of forms -- catalogs, data cubes, images, and simulations. The availability of software for rendering high-quality three-dimensional graphics lends itself to the paradigm of exploring the incredible parameter space afforded by the astronomical sciences. The software program Blender gives astronomers a useful tool for displaying data in a manner used by three-dimensional (3D) graphics specialists and animators. The interface to this popular software package is introduced with attention to features of interest in astronomy. An overview of the steps for generating models, textures, animations, camera work, and renders is outlined. An introduction is presented on the methodology for producing animations and graphics with a variety of astronomical data. Examples from sub-fields of astronomy with different kinds of data are shown with resources provided to members of the astronomical community. An example video showcasing the outlined principles and features is provided along w...

  2. ESO Astronomers Emeriti -- Sandro D'Odorico and Alan Moorwood

    Science.gov (United States)

    Primas, F.; Casali, M.; Walsh, J.

    2010-09-01

    In May and June 2010, Sandro D'Odorico and Alan Moorwood, both driving forces behind many ESO instruments and very active in research, retired after three decades at ESO. The ESO Director General, Tim de Zeeuw, elevated both to the newly inaugurated position of ESO Astronomer Emeritus. Celebrations on their transition to these esteemed positions were held and are briefly described.

  3. The CERES Astronomical Database

    CERN Document Server

    Xanthopoulos, E; Snellen, I; Dennett-Thorpe, J; Mack, K H

    1999-01-01

    The CERES Astronomical Archive was created initially in order to make the large amount of data that were collected from the two surveys, the Jodrell-VLA Astrometric Survey (JVAS) and the Cosmic Lens All-Sky Survey (CLASS), easily accessible to the partner members of the Consortium for European Research on Extragalactic Surveys (CERES) through the web. Here we describe the web based archive of the 15,000 flat spectrum radio sources. There is a wealth of information that one can access including downloading the raw and processed data for each of the sources. We also describe the search engines that were developed so that a) one can search through the archive for an object or a sample of objects by setting specific criteria and b) select new samples. Since new data are continually gathered on the same sources from follow up programs, an automatic update engine was created so that the new information and data can be added easily in the archive.

  4. Closing remarks: astronomical

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    During the discussions we have covered many facets of the basic interactions between solar activity and the Earth's climate. Solar activity is not the only astronomical or astrophysical phenomenon to influence physical conditions in the biosphere. Over timescales an order of magnitude less, the location of the Solar System in the Galaxy may have influenced life on Earth. The Sun is a complex generator of radiation, particles and magnetic fields sent far into space. Even if the total radiation emitted is constant, the amount of radiation received by the Earth changes with time: this change is complex and involved with a redistribution of energy emitted at different solar latitudes than to a real change in solar luminosity. These changes in the Earth's illumination may be a function of the wavelength, and have various effects in different layers of the Earth's atmosphere. The Sun also emits particles of all energies. Some of them find their way through the magnetopause, giving rise to auroras, to magnetic storms, to ionospheric disturbances and the like. The possible climatological effects are yet obscure. To understand the solar terrestrial relations better, regular, routine observations from ground-based stations and from space of solar phenomena must be continued. The sensitivity of human life to small changes in climatic conditions is very large. A good knowledge of solar-physics is therefore important and relevant. (author)

  5. 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.

  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. GPU accelerated processing of astronomical high frame-rate videosequences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vítek, Stanislav; Švihlík, Jan; Krasula, Lukáš; Fliegel, Karel; Páta, Petr

    2015-09-01

    Astronomical instruments located around the world are producing an incredibly large amount of possibly interesting scientific data. Astronomical research is expanding into large and highly sensitive telescopes. Total volume of data rates per night of operations also increases with the quality and resolution of state-of-the-art CCD/CMOS detectors. Since many of the ground-based astronomical experiments are placed in remote locations with limited access to the Internet, it is necessary to solve the problem of the data storage. It mostly means that current data acquistion, processing and analyses algorithm require review. Decision about importance of the data has to be taken in very short time. This work deals with GPU accelerated processing of high frame-rate astronomical video-sequences, mostly originating from experiment MAIA (Meteor Automatic Imager and Analyser), an instrument primarily focused to observing of faint meteoric events with a high time resolution. The instrument with price bellow 2000 euro consists of image intensifier and gigabite ethernet camera running at 61 fps. With resolution better than VGA the system produces up to 2TB of scientifically valuable video data per night. Main goal of the paper is not to optimize any GPU algorithm, but to propose and evaluate parallel GPU algorithms able to process huge amount of video-sequences in order to delete all uninteresting data.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  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. The Victorian Amateur Astronomer: Independent Astronomical Research in Britain 1820-1920

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chapman, Allan

    1999-01-01

    This is the first book to look in detail at amateur astronomy in Victorian Britain. It deals with the technical issues that were active in Victorian astronomy, and reviews the problems of finance, patronage and the dissemination of scientific ideas. It also examines the relationship between the amateur and professional in Britain. It contains a wealth of previously unpublished biographical and anecdotal material, and an extended bibliography with notes incorporating much new scholarship. In The Victorian Amateur Astronomer, Allan Chapman shows that while on the continent astronomical research was lavishly supported by the state, in Britain such research was paid for out of the pockets of highly educated, wealthy gentlemen the so-called Grand Amateurs . It was these powerful individuals who commissioned the telescopes, built the observatories, ran the learned societies, and often stole discoveries from their state-employed colleagues abroad. In addition to the Grand Amateurs , Victorian Britain also contained many self-taught amateurs. Although they belonged to no learned societies, these people provide a barometer of the popularity of astronomy in that age. In the late 19th century, the comfortable middle classes clergymen, lawyers, physicians and retired military officers took to astronomy as a serious hobby. They formed societies which focused on observation, lectures and discussions, and it was through this medium that women first came to play a significant role in British astronomy. Readership: Undergraduate and postgraduate students studying the history of science or humanities, professional historians of science, engineering and technology, particularly those with an interest in astronomy, the development of astronomical ideas, scientific instrument makers, and amateur astronomers.

  14. 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

  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. INTEGRAL PROGRAMME OF BASIC ASTRONOMIC LITERACY DEVELOPMENT

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. Tignanelli

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available We discuss the development and optimization of an ongoing educational project involving the whole population of the province of San Luis, Argentina. The core of the project includes activities and resources that capture formal curricular aspects directed towards all levels of teaching. The educational activities r elated to this projecthave been bene ted by the acquisition of two planetariums made in Argentina, a MEADE 1600 telescope to be operated by remote control from any school-room in San Luis, and a naked-eye observatory with more than 30 pre-telescopic instruments, and other didactic tools specially designed for the teaching of Astronomy. Furthermore, an Internet site to upload all the astronomical activities suggested that has been developed along with a number of didactic and general-interest publications.

  17. 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...

  18. 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.

  19. Astronomical Limiting Magnitude at Langkawi Observatory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zainuddin, Mohd. Zambri; Loon, Chin Wei; Harun, Saedah

    2010-07-01

    Astronomical limiting magnitude is an indicator for astronomer to conduct astronomical measurement at a particular site. It gives an idea to astronomer of that site what magnitude of celestial object can be measured. Langkawi National Observatory (LNO) is situated at Bukit Malut with latitude 6°18' 25'' North and longitude 99°46' 52'' East in Langkawi Island. Sky brightness measurement has been performed at this site using the standard astronomical technique. The value of the limiting magnitude measured is V = 18.6+/-1.0 magnitude. This will indicate that astronomical measurement at Langkawi observatory can only be done for celestial objects having magnitude less than V = 18.6 magnitudes.

  20. Relativistic astronomical time scales, relativistic scaling of astronomical constants, and the system of astronomical units

    CERN Document Server

    Klioner, S A

    2005-01-01

    The paper is devoted to a detailed explanation of relativistic scaling of astronomical quantities induced by times scales \\TDB and \\TT. It is argued that scaled time scales, scaled spatial coordinates and scaled masses should be considered as distinct quantities which themselves can be expressed in any units (rather then numerical values expressed in some non-SI units ("TDB units" and "TT units") as can be sometimes found in the literature). The system of astronomical units in the relativistic framework is discussed. The whole freedom in the definitions of the systems of astronomical units for TCB and TDB is demonstrated. A number of possible ways to freeze the freedom are shown and discussed. It is argued that in the near future one should probably think about converting AU into a defined quantity (by fixing its value in SI meters).

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. World's fastest and most sensitive astronomical camera

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-06-01

    The next generation of instruments for ground-based telescopes took a leap forward with the development of a new ultra-fast camera that can take 1500 finely exposed images per second even when observing extremely faint objects. The first 240x240 pixel images with the world's fastest high precision faint light camera were obtained through a collaborative effort between ESO and three French laboratories from the French Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique/Institut National des Sciences de l'Univers (CNRS/INSU). Cameras such as this are key components of the next generation of adaptive optics instruments of Europe's ground-based astronomy flagship facility, the ESO Very Large Telescope (VLT). ESO PR Photo 22a/09 The CCD220 detector ESO PR Photo 22b/09 The OCam camera ESO PR Video 22a/09 OCam images "The performance of this breakthrough camera is without an equivalent anywhere in the world. The camera will enable great leaps forward in many areas of the study of the Universe," says Norbert Hubin, head of the Adaptive Optics department at ESO. OCam will be part of the second-generation VLT instrument SPHERE. To be installed in 2011, SPHERE will take images of giant exoplanets orbiting nearby stars. A fast camera such as this is needed as an essential component for the modern adaptive optics instruments used on the largest ground-based telescopes. Telescopes on the ground suffer from the blurring effect induced by atmospheric turbulence. This turbulence causes the stars to twinkle in a way that delights poets, but frustrates astronomers, since it blurs the finest details of the images. Adaptive optics techniques overcome this major drawback, so that ground-based telescopes can produce images that are as sharp as if taken from space. Adaptive optics is based on real-time corrections computed from images obtained by a special camera working at very high speeds. Nowadays, this means many hundreds of times each second. The new generation instruments require these

  7. 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...

  8. 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.

  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. 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 ...

  11. 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.

  12. 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.......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...

  13. 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

  14. 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...

  15. Sparse Representation of Astronomical Images

    OpenAIRE

    Rebollo-Neira, Laura; Bowley, James

    2012-01-01

    Sparse representation of astronomical images is discussed. It is shown that a significant gain in sparsity is achieved when particular mixed dictionaries are used for approximating these types of images with greedy selection strategies. Experiments are conducted to confirm: i)Effectiveness at producing sparse representations. ii)Competitiveness, with respect to the time required to process large images.The latter is a consequence of the suitability of the proposed dictionaries for approximati...

  16. 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...

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. Nikolaev (Mykolayiv) Astronomical Observatory as the Object of the Ukrainian Tentative List WH UNESCO

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pinigin, Gennadiy; Pozhalova, Zhanna

    2012-09-01

    Nikolaev Astronomical Observatory (NAO), one of the oldest scientific institutions of the South-Eastern Europe, was founded as a naval observatory in 1821 for providing the needs of the Russian Black Sea Navy. It is a historical and astronomical complex with a reserved territory of total area 7.1 hectares, situated in the central part of Mykolaiv city, Ukraine. The beginning of scientific research at the Observatory is connected with the activity of Karl Knorre, its first director. From 1912 up to 1991, NAO was one of the Southern departments of Pulkovo Observatory with the main purpose to spread the system of absolute catalogs to the Southern hemisphere and to carry out regular observations of the Solar system bodies. Since 1992 NAO has become an independent leading institution of Ukraine in the field of positional astronomy, dynamics of Solar system bodies, research of near-Earth space, astronomical instrumentation. In 2007, it was inscribed in the Tentative UNESCO List of WH (#5116). The most significant part of the complex is the Main building, which was built in the style of Classicism in 1821--1829 (the monument of architecture #535 in the state registry). Also, the astronomical pavilions (1875, 1913, 1955, etc.) and instruments were preserved. Among them three Repsold instruments: meridian circle (1834), portable circle (1868) and vertical circle (1897). The unique astronomical and navigational devices, the collection of astronomical clocks are present in the observatory museum and the paper archive since the foundation of observatory is preserved.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. C++, objected-oriented programming, and astronomical data models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farris, A.

    1992-01-01

    Contemporary astronomy is characterized by increasingly complex instruments and observational techniques, higher data collection rates, and large data archives, placing severe stress on software analysis systems. The object-oriented paradigm represents a significant new approach to software design and implementation that holds great promise for dealing with this increased complexity. The basic concepts of this approach will be characterized in contrast to more traditional procedure-oriented approaches. The fundamental features of objected-oriented programming will be discussed from a C++ programming language perspective, using examples familiar to astronomers. This discussion will focus on objects, classes and their relevance to the data type system; the principle of information hiding; and the use of inheritance to implement generalization/specialization relationships. Drawing on the object-oriented approach, features of a new database model to support astronomical data analysis will be presented.

  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. Database-Driven Analyses of Astronomical Spectra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cami, Jan

    2012-03-01

    Spectroscopy is one of the most powerful tools to study the physical properties and chemical composition of very diverse astrophysical environments. In principle, each nuclide has a unique set of spectral features; thus, establishing the presence of a specific material at astronomical distances requires no more than finding a laboratory spectrum of the right material that perfectly matches the astronomical observations. Once the presence of a substance is established, a careful analysis of the observational characteristics (wavelengths or frequencies, intensities, and line profiles) allows one to determine many physical parameters of the environment in which the substance resides, such as temperature, density, velocity, and so on. Because of this great diagnostic potential, ground-based and space-borne astronomical observatories often include instruments to carry out spectroscopic analyses of various celestial objects and events. Of particular interest is molecular spectroscopy at infrared wavelengths. From the spectroscopic point of view, molecules differ from atoms in their ability to vibrate and rotate, and quantum physics inevitably causes those motions to be quantized. The energies required to excite vibrations or rotations are such that vibrational transitions generally occur at infrared wavelengths, whereas pure rotational transitions typically occur at sub-mm wavelengths. Molecular vibration and rotation are coupled though, and thus at infrared wavelengths, one commonly observes a multitude of ro-vibrational transitions (see Figure 13.1). At lower spectral resolution, all transitions blend into one broad ro-vibrational molecular band. The isotope. Molecular spectroscopy thus allows us to see a difference of one neutron in an atomic nucleus that is located at astronomical distances! Since the detection of the first interstellar molecules (the CH [21] and CN [14] radicals), more than 150 species have been detected in space, ranging in size from diatomic

  6. The League of Astronomers: Outreach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paat, Anthony; Brandel, A.; Schmitz, D.; Sharma, R.; Thomas, N. H.; Trujillo, J.; Laws, C. S.; Astronomers, League of

    2014-01-01

    The University of Washington League of Astronomers (LOA) is an organization comprised of University of Washington (UW) undergraduate students. Our main goal is to share our interest in astronomy with the UW community and with the general public. The LOA hosts star parties on the UW campus and collaborates with the Seattle Astronomical Society (SAS) on larger Seattle-area star parties. At the star parties, we strive to teach our local community about what they can view in our night sky. LOA members share knowledge of how to locate constellations and use a star wheel. The relationship the LOA has with members of SAS increases both the number of events and people we are able to reach. Since the cloudy skies of the Northwest prevent winter star parties, we therefore focus our outreach on the UW Mobile Planetarium, an inflatable dome system utilizing Microsoft’s WorldWide Telescope (WWT) software. The mobile planetarium brings astronomy into the classrooms of schools unable to travel to the UW on-campus planetarium. Members of the LOA volunteer their time towards this project and we make up the majority of the Mobile Planetarium volunteers. Our outreach efforts allow us to connect with the community and enhance our own knowledge of astronomy.

  7. 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.

  8. 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 ...

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Astronomical Symbolism in Australian Aboriginal Rock Art

    Science.gov (United States)

    Norris, Ray P.; Hamacher, Duane W.

    2011-05-01

    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.

  12. 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)

  13. BOOK REVIEW: The Wandering Astronomer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swinbank, Elizabeth

    2000-09-01

    Fans of Patrick Moore will like this book. I enjoyed it more than I expected, having anticipated a collection of personal anecdotes of the type favoured by certain tedious after-dinner speakers. Some of the 41 short items it contains do tend towards that category, but there are also some nuggets which might enliven your physics teaching. For example, did you know that, in a murder trial in 1787, the defendant's belief that the Sun was inhabited was cited as evidence of his insanity? This was despite his views being shared by many astronomers of the day including William Herschel. Or that Clyde Tombaugh had a cat called Pluto after the planet he discovered, which was itself named by an eleven-year-old girl? Another gem concerns a brief flurry, in the early 1990s, over a suspected planet orbiting a pulsar; variations in the arrival time of its radio pulses indicated the presence of an orbiting body. These shifts were later found to arise from an error in a computer program that corrected for the Earth's motion. The programmer had assumed a circular orbit for the Earth whereas it is actually elliptical. The book is clearly intended for amateur astronomers and followers of Patrick Moore's TV programmes. There is plenty of astronomy, with an emphasis on the solar system, but very little astrophysics. The author's metricophobia means that quantities are given in imperial units throughout, with metric equivalents added in brackets (by an editor, I suspect) which can get irritating, particularly as powers-of-ten notation is avoided. It is quite a novelty to see the temperature for hydrogen fusion quoted as 18 000 000 °F (10 000 000 °C). By way of contrast, astronomical terms are used freely - ecliptic, first-magnitude star, and so on. Such terms are defined in a glossary at the end, but attention is not drawn to this and I only stumbled across it by chance. Patrick Moore obviously knows his public, and this book will serve them well. For physics teachers and students

  14. 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.

  15. Detecting bimodality in astronomical datasets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ashman, Keith A.; Bird, Christina M.; Zepf, Stephen E.

    1994-01-01

    We discuss statistical techniques for detecting and quantifying bimodality in astronomical datasets. We concentrate on the KMM algorithm, which estimates the statistical significance of bimodality in such datasets and objectively partitions data into subpopulations. By simulating bimodal distributions with a range of properties we investigate the sensitivity of KMM to datasets with varying characteristics. Our results facilitate the planning of optimal observing strategies for systems where bimodality is suspected. Mixture-modeling algorithms similar to the KMM algorithm have been used in previous studies to partition the stellar population of the Milky Way into subsystems. We illustrate the broad applicability of KMM by analyzing published data on globular cluster metallicity distributions, velocity distributions of galaxies in clusters, and burst durations of gamma-ray sources. FORTRAN code for the KMM algorithm and directions for its use are available from the authors upon request.

  16. 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.

  17. Detecting bimodality in astronomical datasets

    CERN Document Server

    Ashman, K M; Zepf, S E; Keith M Ashman; Christina M Bird; Steven E Zepf

    1994-01-01

    We discuss statistical techniques for detecting and quantifying bimodality in astronomical datasets. We concentrate on the KMM algorithm, which estimates the statistical significance of bimodality in such datasets and objectively partitions data into sub-populations. By simulating bimodal distributions with a range of properties we investigate the sensitivity of KMM to datasets with varying characteristics. Our results facilitate the planning of optimal observing strategies for systems where bimodality is suspected. Mixture-modeling algorithms similar to the KMM algorithm have been used in previous studies to partition the stellar population of the Milky Way into subsystems. We illustrate the broad applicability of KMM by analysing published data on globular cluster metallicity distributions, velocity distributions of galaxies in clusters, and burst durations of gamma-ray sources. PostScript versions of the tables and figures, as well as FORTRAN code for KMM and instructions for its use, are available by anon...

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. COMMISSION 5: Documentation and Astronomical Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Genova, Françoise; Norris, Raymond P.; Bessel, M. S.; Dluzhnevskaia, O.; Jenkner, H.; Malkov, O.; Murtagh, F.; Nakajima, K.; Ochsenbein, F.; Pence, W.; Schmitz, M.; Wielen, R.; Zhao, Y. H.

    2007-03-01

    The triennial report of Commission V Documentation and Astronomical Data/Documentation et Données Astronomiques covers 2002-2005 activities, and in particular the activities of the five Working Groups: Working Group Astronomical Data; Working Group Designations; Working Group Libraries; Working Group FITS; Working Group Virtual Observatories; and of Task Force for the Preservation and Digitization of Photographic Plates.

  1. 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.

  2. Conceptual Astronomy Knowledge among Amateur Astronomers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berendsen, Margaret L.

    2005-01-01

    Amateur astronomers regularly serve as informal astronomy educators for their communities. This research inquires into the level of knowledge of basic astronomy concepts among amateur astronomers and examines factors related to amateur astronomy that affect that knowledge. Using the concept questions from the Astronomy Diagnostic Test Version 2,…

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. The Infrared Astronomical Mission AKARI

    OpenAIRE

    Murakami, H.; Baba, H.; Barthel, P.; Clements, D. L.; Cohen, M.; Doi, Y.; Enya, K.; Figueredo, E.; Fujishiro, N.; Fujiwara, H.; Fujiwara, M.; Garcia-Lario, P.; T. Goto; Hasegawa, S.; Hibi, Y.

    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 sur...

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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...

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. A Future Astronomical Software Environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grosböl, P.; Tody, D.; Paioro, L.; Granet, Y.; Garilli, B.; Surace, C.; Opticon Fase Network

    2012-09-01

    Analyzing data sets in astronomy has become more and more complex and has driven the development of specific tools, functions and tasks. In order to integrate these tools in a global environment and thereby preserving them, the OPTICON Network 9.2 in coordination with US-VAO has outlined requirements, defined an architectural concept and developed a prototype of a Future Astronomical Software Environment (FASE). Important features are support for user scripting (e.g. Python), access to legacy applications (e.g. IRAF, MIDAS), integration with the Virtual Observatory (VO) for access to remote data and computation, and scalability supporting desktops to distributed cluster systems. A first prototype has been implemented and demonstrates the feasibility by offering access to numerous applications (e.g. ds9, ESO CPL pipelines, MIDAS, topcat) from a Python or Unix shell using VO-SAMP as a software bus. A simple packaging system is also provided to allow easy definition and sharing of applications at a Web portal.

  13. 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...

  14. 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.

  15. The ERA2 facility: towards application of a fiber-based astronomical spectrograph for imaging spectroscopy in life sciences

    OpenAIRE

    Roth, Martin M.; Zenichowski, Karl; Tarcea, Nicolae; Popp, Jürgen; Adelhelm, Silvia; Stolz, Marvin; Kelz, Andreas; Sandin, Christer; Bauer, Svend-Marian; Fechner, Thomas; Jahn, Thomas; Popow, Emil; Roth, Bernhard; Singh, Paul; Srivastava, Mudit

    2012-01-01

    Astronomical instrumentation is most of the time faced with challenging requirements in terms of sensitivity, stability, complexity, etc., and therefore leads to high performance developments that at first sight appear to be suitable only for the specific design application at the telescope. However, their usefulness in other disciplines and for other applications is not excluded. The ERA2 facility is a lab demonstrator, based on a high-performance astronomical spectrograph, which is intended...

  16. 3D Spectroscopic Instrumentation

    CERN Document Server

    Bershady, Matthew A

    2009-01-01

    In this Chapter we review the challenges of, and opportunities for, 3D spectroscopy, and how these have lead to new and different approaches to sampling astronomical information. We describe and categorize existing instruments on 4m and 10m telescopes. Our primary focus is on grating-dispersed spectrographs. We discuss how to optimize dispersive elements, such as VPH gratings, to achieve adequate spectral resolution, high throughput, and efficient data packing to maximize spatial sampling for 3D spectroscopy. We review and compare the various coupling methods that make these spectrographs ``3D,'' including fibers, lenslets, slicers, and filtered multi-slits. We also describe Fabry-Perot and spatial-heterodyne interferometers, pointing out their advantages as field-widened systems relative to conventional, grating-dispersed spectrographs. We explore the parameter space all these instruments sample, highlighting regimes open for exploitation. Present instruments provide a foil for future development. We give an...

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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).

  20. 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).

  1. 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...

  2. 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.

  3. 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...

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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...

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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...

  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. Astronomers Without Borders: A Global Astronomy Community

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simmons, M.

    2011-10-01

    Astronomers Without Borders (AWB) brings together astronomy enthusiasts of all types - amateur astronomers, educators, professionals and "armchair" astronomers for a variety of online and physicalworld programs. The AWB web site provides social networking and a base for online programs that engage people worldwide in astronomy activities that transcend geopolitical and cultural borders. There is universal interest in astronomy, which has been present in all cultures throughout recorded history. Astronomy is also among the most accessible of sciences with the natural laboratory of the sky being available to people worldwide. There are few other interests for which people widely separated geographically can engage in activities involving the same objects. AWB builds on those advantages to bring people together. AWB also provides a platform where projects can reach a global audience. AWB also provides unique opportunities for multidisciplinary collaboration in EPO programs. Several programs including The World at Night, Global Astronomy Month and others will be described along with lessons learned.

  16. 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...

  17. ORCID Uptake in the Astronomical Community

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holmquist, Jane

    2015-08-01

    The IAU General Assembly provides librarians with a unique opportunity to interact with astronomers from all over the world. From the perspective of an ORCID Ambassador, the Focus Group Meeting on "Scholarly Publication in Astronomy" also provides an opportunity to demonstrate the cooperation and collaboration needed by individual astronomers, societies, librarians, publishers and bibliographic database providers to achieve universal adoption of ORCID, a standard unique identifier for authors, just as the DOI (digital object identifier) has been adopted for each journal article published.I propose to 1) present at the Focus Group Meeting an update on the uptake of ORCID by members of the astronomical community and 2) set up a small station (TBA) near the IAU registration area where librarians can show researchers how to register for an ORCID in 30 seconds.

  18. Hartung's Astronomical Objects for Southern Telescopes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malin, David; Frew, David J.

    1995-10-01

    Many of the most spectacular astronomical objects are found in the southern skies. With this up-to-date, superbly illustrated handbook, both the amateur with binoculars and the expert with a telescope can make discoveries about new and interesting objects. Professor E. J. Hartung first produced his comprehensive and highly respected guide in 1968. Now the book has been greatly expanded and thoroughly revised, enhancing its character as an indispensable information source. With over 150 illustrations, new material is included on constellations and celestial coordinate systems as well as more modern descriptions of stars, nebulae and galaxies. The authors have included a new "southern Messier" list of objects. The authors' passion for their subject make this a unique and inspirational book. Many of the beautiful photographs were taken by David Malin, the world's leading astronomical photographer. The result will fascinate active and armchair astronomers alike.

  19. The North American Astronomical Photographic Plate Center: Phase I.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cline, J. D.; Castelaz, M. W.; Crowley, T.; Griffin, E.; Osborn, W.

    2004-05-01

    Astronomical photographic plates constitute an important and, for the large part, unrepeatable resource for research. International pressure is mounting to preserve and catalog scientifically valuable plate collections and capture their information through digitization. At the same time, many institutions holding plates now lack the space, funds and expertise to adequately preserve this important material. In response, the Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute has established the North American Photographic Plate Center (NAPPC). NAPPC is intended as a long-term repository for direct and objective prism plate collections currently stored in North America. PARI is a natural location for such a center. It offers physically secure and abundant environmentally controlled space for plate storage as well as Internet 2 infrastructure and instrument space necessary for the eventual digitization and Internet distribution of images. Phase I of this initiative is to collect unwanted plate collections, store them in an appropriate manner, prepare catalogues of their relevant information and establish a laboratory for on-site examination or measurement of the plates. This is currently underway. Phase II will be the eventual digitization and development of a public web accessible database of images. We will describe the procedures for placing plate collections in NAPPC, the infrastructure in place for plate storage and measurement, and our preliminary plans for making the plate archive a public image library with Internet access.

  20. 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...

  1. The Taiwan Extragalactic Astronomical Data Center (TWEA-DC)

    CERN Document Server

    Foucaud, Sebastien

    2011-01-01

    The next generation of telescopes and instruments are facilitating our understanding of the Universe by producing data at a pace that beats all projections, and astronomers today are left in the face of an avalanche of data like never before. In order to cope with this problem and come up with a reliable and innovative solution, Data Centers were created in various locations and the concept of Virtual Observatories elaborated. Based at the National Taiwan Normal University, the Taiwan Extragalactic Astronomical Data Center plan to join in global efforts by proposing 1Pb of data storage dedicated to extragalactic astronomy by 2015. In continuation with individual efforts in Taiwan over the past few years, this is the first stepping-stone towards the building of a National Virtual Observatory. Besides the common functionalities generally provided by data centers, our goal is to propose "on-the-fly" photometry measurements from publicly available surveys: a unique way for cross-matching information. Also we will...

  2. 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.

  3. APLpy: Astronomical Plotting Library in Python

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robitaille, Thomas; Bressert, Eli

    2012-08-01

    APLpy (the Astronomical Plotting Library in Python) is a Python module for producing publication-quality plots of astronomical imaging data in FITS format. The module uses Matplotlib, a powerful and interactive plotting package. It is capable of creating output files in several graphical formats, including EPS, PDF, PS, PNG, and SVG. Plots can be made interactively or by using scripts, and can generate co-aligned FITS cubes to make three-color RGB images. It also offers different overlay capabilities, including contour sets, markers with customizable symbols, and coordinate grids, and a range of other useful features.

  4. 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.

  5. Management of Astronomical Software Projects with Open Source Tools

    Science.gov (United States)

    Briegel, F.; Bertram, T.; Berwein, J.; Kittmann, F.

    2010-12-01

    In this paper we will offer an innovative approach to managing the software development process with free open source tools, for building and automated testing, a system to automate the compile/test cycle on a variety of platforms to validate code changes, using virtualization to compile in parallel on various operating system platforms, version control and change management, enhanced wiki and issue tracking system for online documentation and reporting and groupware tools as they are: blog, discussion and calendar. Initially starting with the Linc-Nirvana instrument a new project and configuration management tool for developing astronomical software was looked for. After evaluation of various systems of this kind, we are satisfied with the selection we are using now. Following the lead of Linc-Nirvana most of the other software projects at the MPIA are using it now.

  6. Electronic Publications of the Astronomical Society of Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Storey, Michelle C.; Morgan-Mar, David; Nicholls, Jennifer; Norris, Ray P.

    Use of the Internet allows countries to retain their own research journals with the particular emphases they consider important, and enables excellent international access to the papers published. Access can be facilitated by using search programs which effectively collect many journals together. The Publications of the Astronomical Society of Australia (PASA) is a fully-refereed international journal for original research in all aspects of astronomy. PASA welcomes submissions of papers from Australia and overseas at any time, and encourages the submission of articles on instrumentation and software development. An electronic version of PASA (http://www.atnf.csiro.au/pasa/) has been established in order to improve the international access to the papers published and decrease the time between acceptance of a paper and its publication. Electronic PASA is encouraging the intelligent and innovative use of hyperlinks to large data tables, colour graphics, animations, etc.

  7. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, B.; Jenness, T.; Economou, F.; Greenfield, P.; Hirst, P.; Berry, D. S.; Bray, E.; Gray, N.; Muna, D.; Turner, J.; de Val-Borro, M.; Santander-Vela, J.; Shupe, D.; Good, J.; Berriman, G. B.; Kitaeff, S.; Fay, J.; Laurino, O.; Alexov, A.; Landry, W.; Masters, J.; Brazier, A.; Schaaf, R.; Edwards, K.; Redman, R. O.; Marsh, T. R.; Streicher, O.; Norris, P.; Pascual, S.; Davie, M.; Droettboom, M.; Robitaille, T.; Campana, R.; Hagen, A.; Hartogh, P.; Klaes, D.; Craig, M. W.; Homeier, D.

    2015-09-01

    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 fragmentation continues, we risk abandoning the advantages of broad interoperability, and ready archivability, that the FITS format provides for astronomy. In this paper we detail some selected important problems which exist within the FITS standard today. These problems may provide insight into deeper underlying issues which reside in the format and we provide a discussion of some lessons learned. It is not our intention here to prescribe specific remedies to these issues; rather, it is to call attention of the FITS and greater astronomical computing communities to these problems in the hope that it will spur action to address them. Of course, objects in astronomy are more likely to involve things like observations, instruments, celestial coordinates and actual astronomical objects such as stars. Likely properties one will encounter in a FITS file include things like observational parameters (start/end times), astronomical coordinates, name and properties of the

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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).

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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...

  15. Sociological Profile of Astronomers in Spain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iglesias de Ussel, Julio; Trinidad, Antonio; Ruiz, Diego; Battaner, Eduardo; Delgado, Antonio J.; Rodriguez-Espinosa, José M.; Salvador-Solé, Eduard; Torrelles, José M.

    In this paper the main findings are presented of a recent study made by a team of sociologists from the University of Granada on the professional astronomers currently working in Spain. Despite the peculiarities of this group - its youth, twentyfold increase in size over the last 20 years, and extremely high rate of specialization abroad - in comparison with other Spanish professionals, this is the first time that the sociological characteristics of the group have been studied discretely. The most significant results of the study are presented in the following sections. Section 1 gives a brief historical background of the development of Astronomy in Spain. Section 2 analyzes the socio-demographic profile of Spanish Astronomy professionals (sex, age, marital status, etc.). Sections 3-5 are devoted to the college education and study programs followed by Spanish astronomers, focusing on the features and evaluations of the training received, and pre- and postdoctoral study trips made to research centers abroad. The results for the latter clearly show the importance that Spanish astronomers place on having experience abroad. Special attention is paid to scientific papers published as a result of joint research projects carried out with colleagues from centers abroad as a result of these study trips. Section 6 describes the situation of Astronomy professionals within the Spanish job market, the different positions available and the time taken to find a job after graduation. Section 7 examines Astronomy as a discipline in Spain, including the astronomers' own opinions of the social status of the discipline within Spanish society. Particular attention is paid to how Spanish astronomers view the status of Astronomy in Spain in comparison with that of other European countries.

  16. 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...

  17. 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.

  18. Finding Hidden Treasures: Investigations in US Astronomical Plate Archives

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Hudec, René; Hudec, L.

    2013-01-01

    Roč. 53, č. 1 (2013), s. 23-26. ISSN 1210-2709 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA205/08/1207 Institutional support: RVO:67985815 Keywords : astronomical data archives * astronomical photography * astronomical photographic archives Subject RIV: BH - Optics, Masers, Lasers

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  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. 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.

  4. Physicists, Mathematicians and Astronomers- communists (Part 2)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaina, Alex

    The second part is continuig the edition of communists (physicists, mathematicians, astronomers), which were not included in the reference books by Yu.A. Hramov, A. N. Bogoliubov, I.G. Kolchinskii et al.. The author is discussing here also the relation between business and Communist party, especially in the Post Soviet Russia. A discussion of the biographies of Soviet scientists included in the Britannica is given, as well as a list of Russian scientists included in the Oxford Dictionary of Physics is given. Another part of the paper is pointing out the defficiencies of the last edition of the Great Russian Encyclopedic Dictionary (Drofa Eds, Moscow, 2009) in what concerns physicists, mathematicians and astronomers. A great number of Nobel Prize Winners was ommited in the edition of 2009.

  5. 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 ...

  6. 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.

  7. The data analysis facilities that astronomers want

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This paper discusses the need and importance of data analysis facilities and what astronomers ideally want. A brief survey is presented of what is available now and some of the main deficiencies and problems with today's systems are discussed. The main sources of astronomical data are presented incuding: optical photographic, optical TV/CCD, VLA, optical spectros, imaging x-ray satellite, and satellite planetary camera. Landmark discoveries are listed in a table, some of which include: our galaxy as an island, distance to stars, H-R diagram (stellar structure), size of our galaxy, and missing mass in clusters. The main problems at present are discussed including lack of coordinated effort and central planning, differences in hardware, and measuring performance

  8. 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.

  9. Bayesian mixture models for Poisson astronomical images

    CERN Document Server

    Guglielmetti, Fabrizia; 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 well as the sources with their respective uncertainties. Background estimation and source detection is achieved in a single algorithm. A large variety of source morphologies is revealed. The technique is applied in the X-ray part of the electromagnetic spectrum on ROSAT and Chandra data sets and it is under a feasibility study for the forthcoming eROSITA mission.

  10. 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 ...

  11. 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...

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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...

  16. 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...

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Query driven visualization of astronomical catalogs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buddelmeijer, Hugo; Valentijn, Edwin A.

    2013-01-01

    Interactive visualization of astronomical catalogs requires novel techniques due to the huge volumes and complex structure of the data produced by existing and upcoming astronomical surveys. The creation as well as the disclosure of the catalogs can be handled by data pulling mechanisms (Buddelmeijer et al. 2011). These prevent unnecessary processing and facilitate data sharing by having users request the desired end products. In this work we present query driven visualization as a logical continuation of data pulling. Scientists can request catalogs in a declarative way and set process parameters directly from within the visualization. This results in profound interoperation between software with a high level of abstraction. New messages for the Simple Application Messaging Protocol are proposed to achieve this abstraction. Support for these messages are implemented in the Astro-WISE information system and in a set of demonstrational applications.

  20. Query Driven Visualization of Astronomical Catalogs

    CERN Document Server

    Buddelmeijer, Hugo

    2011-01-01

    Interactive visualization of astronomical catalogs requires novel techniques due to the huge volumes and complex structure of the data produced by existing and upcoming astronomical surveys. The creation as well as the disclosure of the catalogs can be handled by data pulling mechanisms. These prevent unnecessary processing and facilitate data sharing by having users request the desired end products. In this work we present query driven visualization as a logical continuation of data pulling. Scientists can request catalogs in a declarative way and set process parameters directly from within the visualization. This results in profound interoperation between software with a high level of abstraction. New messages for the Simple Application Messaging Protocol are proposed to achieve this abstraction. Support for these messages are implemented in the Astro-WISE information system and in a set of demonstrational applications.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Analyses of GRBs on astronomical emulsions

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Hudec, René; Hudcová, Věra; Krolupper, F.; Kroll, P.

    Melville : American Institute of Physics, 2003 - (Ricker, G.; Vanderpeck, R.), s. 523-525 - (AIP Conference proceedings.. 662). [Gamma-ray burst and afterglow astronomy 2001. Woods Hole, Massachusetts (US), 05.11.2001-09.11.2001] R&D Projects: GA ČR GA205/99/0145; GA MŠk ME 002 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z1003909 Keywords : astronomical plates * gamma ray Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics

  4. Encyclopedias of Astronomical Biographies - Status and Prospects --

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dick, W. R.

    Simple requests for biographies of famous astronomers can easily be satisfied. Short accounts of their lives are to be found in many books and encyclopedias. However, most of these sources are very incomplete, i. e.\\ do not provide information on less famous persons, and are not up to scientific standards. The most comprehensive sources of scientific biographies, Poggendorffs Biographisch-Literarisches Handwoerterbuch and Dictionary of Scientific Biography, are also not complete, partly not up-to-date and for most users not easily accessible. The most recent and most comprehensive dictionary of astronomical biography, containing 500 short entries, was written in Russian. Although a lot of information on biographies is available in publications, these are spread over thousands of volumes. There is no bibliography of these papers and books. During the last three years, short biographies of astronomers were also published in the World Wide Web. Some of these are on a very high scientific level. The author's collection of links to such WWW pages (http://www.astro.uni-bonn.de/~pbrosche/hist\\_astr/ ha\\_pers.html}) contains currently several thousand entries for more than 1200 persons related to the history of astronomy. This electronic ``encyclopedia'' in distributed form is now the most comprehensive and concentrated source for astronomical biographies. However, there are several problems arising from the electronic form of publication and from the uncoordinated and not always qualified efforts of the authors. The paper will discuss proposals, plans and first results of filling the gaps and increasing the quality, as well as some principal problems of writing short biographies and making them available to the public.

  5. Cave of the Astronomers at Xochicalco

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lebeuf, Arnold

    The chimney built in the roof of the artificial large cave at Xochicalco, known as "Cave of the astronomers", has been interpreted as a solar zenithal observation tube. Nevertheless, different elements and especially the latitude of the site itself led the author to present a lunar hypothesis. Precise measurements of the impact of light inside the cave show the degree of precision that can be obtained in this camera obscura.

  6. Making Access to Astronomical Software More Efficient

    OpenAIRE

    Grosbol, P.; Tody, D.

    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 pac...

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Software design for panoramic astronomical pipeline processing

    OpenAIRE

    Shamir, Lior; Nemiroff, Robert J.; Torrey, David O.; Pereira, Wellesley E.

    2005-01-01

    We describe the software requirement and design specifications for all-sky panoramic astronomical pipelines. The described software aims to meet the specific needs of super-wide angle optics, and includes cosmic-ray hit rejection, image compression, star recognition, sky opacity analysis, transient detection and a web server allowing access to real-time and archived data. The presented software is being regularly used for the pipeline processing of 11 all-sky cameras located in some of the wo...

  10. Preserving and Archiving Astronomical Photographic Plates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castelaz, M. W.; Cline, J. D.

    2005-05-01

    Astronomical objects change with time. New observations complement past observations recorded on photographic plates. Analyses of changes provide essential routes to information about an object's formation, constitution and evolution. Preserving a century of photographic plate observations is thus of paramount importance. Plate collections are presently widely dispersed; plates may be stored in poor conditions, and are effectively inaccessible to both researchers and historians. We describe a planned project at Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute to preserve the collections of astronomical plates in the United States by gathering them into a single storage location. Collections will be sorted, cleaned, and cataloged on-line so as to provide access to researchers. Full scientific and historic use of the material then requires the observations themselves to be accessible digitally. The project's goal will be the availability of these data as a unique, fully-maintained scientific and educational resource. The new archive will support trans-disciplinary research such as the chemistry of the Earth's atmosphere, library information science, trends in local weather patterns, and impacts of urbanization on telescope use, while the hand-written observatory logs will be a valuable resource for science historians and biographers.

  11. 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...

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. GASP-Galway astronomical Stokes polarimeter

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shearer A.

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available The Galway Astronomical Stokes Polarimeter (GASP is an ultra-high-speed, full Stokes, astronomical imaging polarimeter based upon a Division of Amplitude Polarimeter. It has been developed to resolve extremely rapid stochastic (~ms variations in objects such as optical pulsars, magnetars and magnetic cataclysmic variables. The polarimeter has no moving parts or modulated components so the complete Stokes vector can be measured from just one exposure - making it unique to astronomy. The time required for the determination of the full Stokes vector is limited only by detector efficiency and photon fluxes. The polarimeter utilizes a modified Fresnel rhomb that acts as a highly achromatic quarter wave plate and a beamsplitter (referred to as an RBS. We present a description of how the DOAP works, some of the optical design for the polarimeter. Calibration is an important and difficult issue with all polarimeters, but particularly in astronomical polarimeters. We give a description of calibration techniques appropriate to this type of polarimeter.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. An Evolvable Space Telescope for Future Astronomical Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Polidan, Ronald S.; Breckinridge, James B.; Lillie, Charles F.; MacEwen, Howard A.; Flannery, Martin; Dailey, Dean

    2015-01-01

    Astronomical flagship missions after the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) will require lower cost space telescopes and science instruments. Innovative spacecraft-electro-opto-mechanical system architectures matched to the science requirements are needed for observations for exoplanet characterization, cosmology, dark energy, galactic evolution formation of stars and planets, and many other research areas. The needs and requirements to perform this science will continue to drive us toward larger and larger apertures.Recent technology developments in precision station keeping of spacecraft, interplanetary transfer orbits, wavefront/sensing and control, laser engineering, macroscopic application of nano-technology, lossless optical designs, deployed structures, thermal management, interferometry, detectors and signal processing enable innovative telescope/system architectures with break-through performance.Unfortunately, NASA's budget for Astrophysics is unlikely to be able to support the funding required for the 8-m to 16-m telescopes that have been studied for the follow-on to JWST using similar development/assembly approaches without accounting for too large of a portion of the Astrophysics Division's budget. Consequently, we have been examining the feasibility of developing an 'Evolvable Space Telescope' that would be 3 to 4-m when placed on orbit and then periodically augmented with additional mirror segments, structures, and newer instruments to evolve the telescope and achieve the performance of a 16-m space telescope.This paper reviews the technologies required for such a mission, identifies candidate architectures, and discusses different science measurement objectives for these architectures.

  20. 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

  1. An introduction to the Indian Astronomical Observatory, Hanle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cowsik, R.; Srinivasan, R.; Prabhu, T. P.

    2002-03-01

    Situated in the high-altitude cold desert of Changthang Ladakh bordering Himachal Pradesh and Tibet, Indian Astronomical Observatory, Hanle (32o46m46sN, 78o57'51''E; 4500 m above msl), provides excellent opportunities for developing astronomical facilities at a variety of frequencies. In addition, it provides environment and logistics for a range of scientific experiments which be nefit from its unique location. Indian Institute of Astrophysics has built this observatory around a modest 2-m aperture optical/infrared telescope. A 0.5 m telescope will soon be added. A large facility (6.5-8.5 m class infrared/optical telescope) is under consid eration. A 2-m telescope of new advanced technology design has been installed at the observatory in what probably is a record in the speed of execution. The site development, fabrication and installation of the telescope has been accomplished in just about 3 years. The telescope saw its first light on the night of September 26/27 2000 and has been operating with a CCD imager. A larger CCD imager, a faint object spectrograph camera, and a JHK imager are under fabrication. A 1-5 micron imager spectrograph is planned as the next generation instrument. The telescope will be remotely operable from the Centre for Research and Education in Science & Technology of IIA at Hosakote near Bangalore over the next few months. All the necessary infrastructure including 20 kw/h power through generators, 1 Mbps dedicated satellite communication link (to be upgarded to 2 Mbps and a 128 kbps redundant link to be established), liquid nitrogen plant, etc. have been already developed. The Government of Jammu & Kashmir has transferred over 600 acres of land to the observatory. The infrastructure developed for the observatory is already being used for other scientific experiments by national and international institutions. The experiments include determination of atmospheric opcaity at mm wavelengths, geodynamic and seismological experiments, aerosol

  2. 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 ...

  3. Amateur astronomers in support of observing campaigns

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yanamandra-Fisher, P.

    2014-07-01

    The Pro-Am Collaborative Astronomy (PACA) project evolved from the observational campaign of C/2012 S1 or C/ISON. The success of the paradigm shift in scientific research is now implemented in other comet observing campaigns. While PACA identifies a consistent collaborative approach to pro-am collaborations, given the volume of data generated for each campaign, new ways of rapid data analysis, mining access, and storage are needed. Several interesting results emerged from the synergistic inclusion of both social media and amateur astronomers: - the establishment of a network of astronomers and related professionals that can be galvanized into action on short notice to support observing campaigns; - assist in various science investigations pertinent to the campaign; - provide an alert-sounding mechanism should the need arise; - immediate outreach and dissemination of results via our media/blogger members; - provide a forum for discussions between the imagers and modelers to help strategize the observing campaign for maximum benefit. In 2014, two new comet observing campaigns involving pro-am collaborations have been identified: (1) C/2013 A1 (C/Siding Spring) and (2) 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko (CG). The evolving need for individual customized observing campaigns has been incorporated into the evolution of PACA (Pro-Am Collaborative Astronomy) portal that currently is focused on comets: from supporting observing campaigns for current comets, legacy data, historical comets; interconnected with social media and a set of shareable documents addressing observational strategies; consistent standards for data; data access, use, and storage, to align with the needs of professional observers. The integration of science, observations by professional and amateur astronomers, and various social media provides a dynamic and evolving collaborative partnership between professional and amateur astronomers. The recent observation of comet 67P, at a magnitude of 21.2, from Siding

  4. The ERA2 facility: towards application of a fiber-based astronomical spectrograph for imaging spectroscopy in life sciences

    CERN Document Server

    Roth, Martin M; Tarcea, Nicolae; Popp, Jürgen; Adelhelm, Silvia; Stolz, Marvin; Kelz, Andreas; Sandin, Christer; Bauer, Svend-Marian; Fechner, Thomas; Jahn, Thomas; Popow, Emil; Roth, Bernhard; Singh, Paul; Srivastava, Mudit; Wolter, Dieter

    2012-01-01

    Astronomical instrumentation is most of the time faced with challenging requirements in terms of sensitivity, stability, complexity, etc., and therefore leads to high performance developments that at first sight appear to be suitable only for the specific design application at the telescope. However, their usefulness in other disciplines and for other applications is not excluded. The ERA2 facility is a lab demonstrator, based on a high-performance astronomical spectrograph, which is intended to explore the innovation potential of fiber-coupled multi-channel spectroscopy for spatially resolved spectroscopy in life science, material sciences, and other areas of research.

  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. Community College Class Devoted to Astronomical Research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Genet, R. M.; Genet, C. L.

    2002-05-01

    A class at a small community college, Central Arizona College, was dedicated to astronomical research. Although hands-on research is usually reserved for professionals or graduate students, and occasionally individual undergraduate seniors, we decided to introduce community college students to science by devoting an entire class to research. Nine students were formed into three closely cooperating teams. The class as a whole decided that all three teams would observe Cepheid stars photometrically using a robotic telescope at the Fairborn Observatory. Speaker-phone conference calls were made to Kenneth E. Kissell for help on Cepheid selection, Michael A. Seeds for instructions on the use of the Phoenix-10 robotic telescope, and Douglas S. Hall for assitance in selecting appropriate comparison and check stars. The students obtained critical references on past observations from Konkoly Observatory via airmail. They spent several long night sessions at our apartment compiling the data, making phase calculations, and creating graphs. Finally, the students wrote up their results for publication in a forthcoming special issue of the international journal on stellar photometry, the IAPPP Communication. We concluded that conducting team research is an excellent way to introduce community college students to science, that a class devoted to cooperation as opposed to competition was refreshing, and that group student conference calls with working astronomers were inspiring. A semester, however, is a rather short time to initiate and complete research projects. The students were Sally Baldwin, Cory Bushnell, Bryan Dehart, Pamela Frantz, Carl Fugate, Mike Grill, Jessica Harger, Klay Lapa, and Diane Wiseman. We are pleased to acknowledge the assistance provided by the astronomers mentioned above, James Stuckey (Campus Dean), and our Union Institute and University doctoral committee members Florence Pittman Matusky, Donald S. Hayes, and Karen S. Grove.

  8. Commission 5: Documentation and Astronomical Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ohishi, Masatoshi; Hanisch, Robert J.; Norris, Ray P.; Andernach, Heinz; Bishop, Marsha; Griffin, Elizabeth; Kembhavi, Ajit; Murphy, Tara; Pasian, Fabio

    2012-04-01

    IAU Commission 5 (http://www.nao.ac.jp/IAU/Com5/) deals with data management issues, and its working groups and task group deal specifically with information handling, with data centers and networks, with technical aspects of collection, archiving, storage and dissemination of data, with designations and classification of astronomical objects, with library services, editorial policies, computer communications, ad hoc methodologies, and with various standards, reference frames, etc. FITS (Flexible Image Transport System), the major data exchange format in astronomy, has been standardized, maintained and updated by the FITS working group under Commission 5.

  9. Astronomical Plate Archives and Binary Blazars Studies

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Hudec, René

    2011-01-01

    Roč. 32, 1-2 (2011), s. 91-95. ISSN 0250-6335. [Conference on Multiwavelength Variability of Blazars. Guangzhou, 22,09,2010-24,09,2010] R&D Projects: GA ČR GA205/08/1207 Grant ostatní: GA ČR(CZ) GA102/09/0997; MŠMT(CZ) ME09027 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z10030501 Keywords : astronomical plates * plate archives archives * binary blazars Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics Impact factor: 0.400, year: 2011

  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. 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

  13. Contamination control of the Infrared Astronomical Satellite

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andreozzi, L. C.; Irace, W. R.; Maag, C. R.

    1980-01-01

    The Infrared Astronomical Satellite, to be launched in August 1981, will perform an all-sky survey in the 8-120 micron wavelength region. High sensitivity to thermal radiation and the low operating temperature of optics and thermal control surfaces make the IRAS telescope extremely vulnerable to contamination. Four special topics of importance are discussed in this paper: (1) deposition of atmospheric gases; (2) sighting of particles released from the satellite; (3) functions of a deployable aperture cover; and (4) degradation of a radiatively cooled sunshade from spacecraft outgassing. These topics demonstrate how mission strategy, ground cleaning and handling, and hardware design are used to avoid contamination which would degrade telescope performance.

  14. Penn State astronomical image processing system

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The needs of modern astronomy for image processing set demanding standards in simultaneously requiring fast computation speed, high-quality graphic display, large data storage, and interactive response. An innovative image processing system was designed, integrated, and used; it is based on a supermicro architecture which is tailored specifically for astronomy, which provides a highly cost-effective alternative to the traditional minicomputer installation. The paper describes the design rationale, equipment selection, and software developed to allow other astronomers with similar needs to benefit from the present experience. 9 references

  15. In Brief: Astronomer honored with a mineral

    Science.gov (United States)

    Showstack, Randy

    2008-06-01

    ``I have always been very intrigued by minerals, so it is great to be one,'' commented NASA Stardust mission principal investigator and University of Washington astronomer Donald Brownlee, AGU member, after learning the International Mineralogical Association had named a new mineral in his honor. Brownleeite, a combination of manganese and silicon, is the first mineral discovered in a particle from a comet. The mineral was found inside a particle collected by a high-altitude NASA aircraft from a dust stream that entered Earth's atmosphere in 2003. A team led by NASA scientist Keiko Nakamura-Messenger found the particle and had requested that it be named for Brownlee.

  16. 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...

  17. 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...

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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...

  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. IVOA Recommendation: Data Model for Astronomical DataSet Characterisation

    CERN Document Server

    Louys, Mireille; Bonnarel, Francois; Micol, Alberto; Chilingarian, Igor; McDowell, Jonathan

    2011-01-01

    This document defines the high level metadata necessary to describe the physical parameter space of observed or simulated astronomical data sets, such as 2D-images, data cubes, X-ray event lists, IFU data, etc.. The Characterisation data model is an abstraction which can be used to derive a structured description of any relevant data and thus to facilitate its discovery and scientific interpretation. The model aims at facilitating the manipulation of heterogeneous data in any VO framework or portal. A VO Characterisation instance can include descriptions of the data axes, the range of coordinates covered by the data, and details of the data sampling and resolution on each axis. These descriptions should be in terms of physical variables, independent of instrumental signatures as far as possible. Implementations of this model has been described in the IVOA Note available at: http://www.ivoa.net/Documents/latest/ImplementationCharacterisation.html Utypes derived from this version of the UML model are listed and...

  6. 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.

  7. 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 ...

  8. 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.

  9. The Planetarium and the Astronomer (An Overview)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petersen, Carolyn Collins

    1995-05-01

    The science of astronomy is one of the most accessible of the so-called "hard" sciences. Most people are familiar with some sky phenomena, and do not feel threatened at the prospect of learning more about the stars and planets. In the media, some of the best-known scientists are astronomers, and programs about astronomy tend to gather appreciatively large audiences. Planetarium facilities are a very special form of science media, with the fortunate task of presenting astronomy to the public. Like science writers, planetarium professionals take complex science information and make it accessible to the public with a variety of audio-visual techniques. Because many planetarium professionals have science backgrounds as well as educational training, they have an advantage over traditional media practitioners, who -- except for a few notable exceptions -- do not always have the luxury of a science background when it comes to writing about science. The unique background of the planetarian, however, builds a logical and natural link between astronomers and the public. This paper summarizes the wide variety of ways in which planetaria disseminate astronomy information -- ranging from live public lectures, to "astronomy updates", to hands-on activities for school children, and professionally-produced multi-media programs created especially for the needs of the domed theater. It ends with a few broad suggestions about possible roles for astronomers in any or all of these activities. Carolyn Collins Petersen has been a writer and producer of planetarium programs since 1980. Her programs have appeared in more than 500 facilities around the world. Her print work has appeared in the Denver Post, Sky and Telescope, Astronomy Magazine, and the Griffith Observer. She is the lead author of the upcoming book "Hubble Vision: Science With the Hubble Space Telescope" (due out from Cambridge University Press in Fall, 1995). Petersen has won several awards for her work. She is also a

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Combined ultraviolet studies of astronomical source

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dupress, A. K.; Baliunas, S. L.; Blair, W. P.; Hartmann, L. W.; Huchra, J. P.; Raymond, J. C.; Smith, G. H.; Soderblom, D. R.

    1985-01-01

    As part of its Ultraviolet Studies of Astronomical Sources the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory for the period 1 Feb. 1985 to 31 July 1985 observed the following: the Cygnus Loop; oxygen-rich supernova remnants in 1E0102-72; the Large Magellanic Cloud supernova remnants; P Cygni profiles in dwarf novae; soft X-ray photoionization of interstellar gas; spectral variations in AM Her stars; the mass of Feige 24; atmospheric inhomogeneities in Lambda Andromedae and FF Aquarii; photometric and spectroscopic observation of Capella; Alpha Orionis; metal deficient giant stars; M 67 giants; high-velocity winds from giant stars; accretion disk parameters in cataclysmic variables; chromospheric emission of late-type dwarfs in visual binaries; chromospheres and transient regions of stars in the Ursa Major group; and low-metallicity blue galaxies.

  15. A possible Harappan Astronomical Observatory at Dholavira

    CERN Document Server

    Vahia, Mayank N

    2013-01-01

    Astronomy arises very early in a civilization and evolves as the civilization advances. It is therefore reasonable to assume that a vibrant knowledge of astronomy would have been a feature of a civilization the size of the Harappan Civilization. We suggest that structures dedicated to astronomy existed in every major Harappan city. One such city was Dholavira, an important trading port that was located on an island in what is now the Rann of Kutch during the peak of the Harappan Civilization. We have analyzed an unusual structure at Dholavira that includes two circular rooms. Upon assuming strategically-placed holes in their ceilings we examine the internal movement of sunlight within these rooms and suggest that the larger structure of which they formed a part could have functioned as an astronomical observatory.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Are supernovae recorded in indigenous astronomical traditions?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamacher, Duane W.

    2014-07-01

    Novae and supernovae are rare astronomical events that would have had an influence on the skywatching 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 indigenous oral traditions or material culture. Criteria are established for confirming novae/supernovae in oral traditions and material culture, and claims from around the world are discussed to determine if they meet these criteria. Aboriginal Australian traditions are explored for possible descriptions of novae/supernovae. Although representations of supernovae may exist in Aboriginal traditions, there are currently no confirmed accounts of supernovae in Indigenous Australian oral or material traditions.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Geographic Information Processings for Astronomical Site Survey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, N.; Liu, Y.; Zhao, M. Y.

    2015-01-01

    The geographic information is of great importance for the site survey of ground-based telescopes. Especially, an effective utilization of the geographic information system (GIS) has been one of the most significant methods for the remote analysis of modern site survey. The astronomical site survey should give consideration to the following geographical conditions: a large relative fall, convenient traffic conditions, and far away from populated areas. Taking into account of the convenience of construction and maintenance of the observatories as well as the living conditions of the scientists-in-residence, the optimum candidate locations may meet the conditions to be at a altitude between 3000 m and 5000 m and within one-hour drive from villages/towns. In this paper, as an example, we take the regions of the Great Baicao mountain ridge at Dayao county in Yunnan province to research the role of the GIS for site survey task. The results indicate that the GIS can provide accurate and intuitive data for us to understand the three dimensional landforms, rivers, roads, villages, and the distributions of the electric power as well as to forecast the tendency of the population and city development around. According to the analysis based on the GIS, we find that the top of the Great Baicao mountain ridge is flat and droughty. There are few inhabitants to distribute around the place while the traffic conditions are convenient. Moreover, it is a natural conservation area protected by the local government, and no industry with pollution sources exists in this region. Its top is 1500 m higher than the nearby village 10 km away, and 1800 m higher than the town center 50 km away. The Great Baicao mountain ridge is definitely an isolated peak in the area of the Yi nationality of Yunnan. Therefore, the GIS data analysis is a very useful for the remote investigation stage for site survey, and the GIS is the indispensable source for modern astronomical site survey.

  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. Testing Quantum Mechanics and Bell's Inequality with Astronomical Observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friedman, Andrew S.; Gallicchio, Jason; Kaiser, David I.; Guth, Alan H.

    2015-01-01

    We propose an experiment which would leverage cosmology to test quantum mechanics using astronomical observations. Our experiment would send entangled photons to detectors over 100 kilometers apart, whose settings would be rapidly chosen using real-time telescopic observations of distant, causally disconnected, cosmic sources - such as pairs of quasars or patches of the Cosmic Microwave Background - all while the entangled pair is still in flight. This would, for the first time, close close the so-called "setting independence" or "free will" loophole in experimental tests of Bell's inequality, whereby an alternative theory could mimic the quantum predictions if the experimental settings choices shared even a small correlation with some local "hidden variables" due to unknown causal influences a mere few milliseconds prior to the experiment. Our "Cosmic Bell" experiment would push any such hidden variable conspiracy all the way back to the hot big bang, since the end of any period of inflation, 13.8 Gyr ago, an improvement of 20 orders of magnitude. We demonstrate the real world feasibility of our experimental setup. While causally disjoint patches of the cosmic microwave background radiation at redshift z ~ 1090 could be used to set the detectors, z > 3.65 quasars observed at optical wavelengths are arguably the optimal candidate source pairs using present technology. Our proposal is supported by some of the world's leading quantum experimentalists, who have begun to collaborate with us to conduct the experiment in the next 2-3 years using some of the instrumentation they have already built and used at two astronomical observatories in the Canary Islands. Such an experiment has implications for our understanding of nature at the deepest level. By testing quantum mechanics in a regime never before explored, we would at the very least extend our confidence in quantum theory, while at the same time severely constraining large classes of alternative theories. If 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. 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 ...

  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. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    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...

  14. 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...

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Linking Young Astronomers in Southeast Asia: The SEAYAC Story

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dionisio Sese, Rogel Mari

    2015-08-01

    The importance of involving young astronomers in developing astronomy cannot be overemphasized. This is very much true in areas where astronomy is still an emerging and minor field, such as in the Southeast Asian (SEA) region. However, recent years have seen a sudden spark of interest in developing professional astronomy within SEA, primarily for young astronomers and students. This was especially highlighted during the 2009 International Year of Astronomy. In this presentation, we introduce the Southeast Asian Young Astronomers Collaboration (SEAYAC), a recently formed organization that aims to provide a venue for professional and personal interaction for young astronomers in the SEA region. Here we present the background and rationale behind the formation of SEAYAC, its current status as well as planned future activities aimed at developing collaborations between young astronomers in the SEA region. We will also discuss the problems and challenges being faced by SEAYAC as well as its future plan of actions.

  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. Nuclear instrumentation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This report presents the international electrotechnical commission (IEC) and its aims. More specifically, the technical committee no 45, on nuclear instrumentation is presented. Its organization and aims are recalled together with its current and future activities

  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. 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.

  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. 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.

  5. 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).

  6. The Blue Comet: A Railroad's Astronomical Heritage

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rumstay, Kenneth S.

    2009-01-01

    Between 1929 February 21 and 1941 September 27, the Central New Jersey Railroad operated a luxury passenger train between Jersey City and Atlantic City. Named The Blue Comet, the locomotive, tender, and coaches sported a unique royal blue paint scheme designed to evoke images of celestial bodies speeding through space. Inside each car were etched window panes and lampshades featuring stars and comets. And each coach sported the name of a famous comet on its side; these comets were of course named for their discoverers. Some of the astronomers honored in this unique fashion remain famous to this day, or at least their comets do. The names D'Arrest, Barnard, Encke, Faye, Giacobini, Halley, Olbers, Temple, Tuttle, and Westphal are familiar ones. But Biela, Brorsen, deVico, Spitaler, and Winnecke have now largely faded into obscurity; their stories are recounted here. Although more than sixty years have elapsed since its last run, The Blue Comet, perhaps the most famous passenger train in American history, lives on in the memories of millions of passengers and railfans. This famous train returned to the attention of millions of television viewers on the evening of 2007 June 3, in an episode of the HBO series The Sopranos. This work was supported by a faculty development grant from Valdosta State University.

  7. "Flexible Path” and Future Astronomical Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lester, Daniel F.; Thronson, H.

    2010-01-01

    The Review of U.S. Human Space Flight Plans Committee, led by Norm Augustine, which was chartered by the White House to consider options for human space flight, has focused on a "flexible path” scenario for trips beyond LEO to carry out a range of tasks. This scenario has strong implications for possible servicing and deployment of future astronomical facilities, especially at Lagrange points, as well as visits to small bodies in the inner solar system. While the viability of that option as an priority agency goal will be under study by the Administration, NASA has been already directed by Congress to consider at least such servicing and deployment opportunities that could bear on it. The scientific and mission ramifications of such opportunities will be reviewed, along with the suitability of the conceptual space transportation architecture to carry it out, an architecture that could involves a lunar return program. Well studied astrodynamical considerations make both Earth-Sun L2 and Earth-Moon L1/L2 points of particular interest for such work. The relevance to this flexible path scenario to the NASA Decadal Planning Team (DPT) study will be reviewed. This study, completed in 2000, but largely eclipsed by the emphasis on lunar return, anticipated many of the challenges and opportunities and major technology investments now being considered.

  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. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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)

  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 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))

  13. 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.

  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. 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...

  16. 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)

  17. 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...

  18. 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.

  19. 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...

  20. 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)

  1. 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).

  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. RHIC instrumentation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) consists of two 3.8 km circumference rings utilizing 396 superconducting dipoles and 492 superconducting quadrupoles. Each ring will accelerate approximately 60 bunches of 1011 protons to 250 GeV, or 109 fully stripped gold ions to 100 GeV/nucleon. Commissioning is scheduled for early 1999 with detectors for some of the 6 intersection regions scheduled for initial operation later in the year. The injection line instrumentation includes: 52 beam position monitor (BPM) channels, 56 beam loss monitor (BLM) channels, 5 fast integrating current transformers and 12 video beam profile monitors. The collider ring instrumentation includes: 667 BPM channels, 400 BLM channels, wall current monitors, DC current transformers, ionization profile monitors (IPMs), transverse feedback systems, and resonant Schottky monitors. The use of superconducting magnets affected the beam instrumentation design. The BPM electrodes must function in a cryogenic environment and the BLM system must prevent magnet quenches from either fast or slow losses with widely different rates. RHIC is the first superconducting accelerator to cross transition, requiring close monitoring of beam parameters at this time. High space-charge due to the fully stripped gold ions required the IPM to collect magnetically guided electrons rather than the conventional ions. Since polarized beams will also be accelerated in RHIC, additional constraints were put on the instrumentation. The orbit must be well controlled to minimize depolarizing resonance strengths. Also, the position monitors must accommodate large orbit displacements within the Siberian snakes and spin rotators. The design of the instrumentation will be presented along with results obtained during bench tests, the injection line commissioning, and the first sextant test. copyright 1998 American Institute of Physics

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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...

  9. A method for conducting dark sky surveys and light pollution monitoring with the contribution of amateur astronomers and students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Papalambrou, A.

    2012-01-01

    This work presents a methodology for conducting dark sky surveys using easily available and inexpensive equipment in place of sophisticated instruments for photometry and spectrometry which can be expensive and not always mobile. The instrument is a portable photometer called Sky Quality Meter. It is endorsed by the International Dark sky Association and has been used in similar surveys around the world. Small scale dark sky surveys were conducted by the author in the region of Achaia and mount Hymettus in Attica using the Sky Quality Meter in order to test its efficiency and usability. It was concluded that this instrument is suitable for dark sky surveys and accurate enough for serious work in light pollution monitoring. Moreover, based on the measured data and gathered experience, a model is proposed on how this instrument can be used to conduct a country-wide dark sky survey with the participation of Tertiary and Secondary education institutes as well as amateur astronomers.

  10. 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...

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. SPHEREx: Science Opportunities for the Astronomical Community

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cooray, Asantha R.; SPHEREx Science Team

    2016-01-01

    SPHEREx, a mission in NASA's Small Explorer (SMEX) program that was selected for Phase A study in July 2015, will perform an all-sky near-infrared spectral survey between 0.75 - 4.8 microns, reaching 19th mag (5sigma) in narrow R=40 filters. The key science topics of the SPHEREx team are: (a) primordial non-Gaussianity through 3-dimensional galaxy clustering; (b) extragalactic background light fluctuations; and (c) ices and biogenic molecules in the interstellar medium and towards protoplanetary environments.The large legacy dataset of SPHEREx will enable a large number of scientific studies and find interesting targets for follow-up observations with Hubble, JWST, ALMA, among other facilities. The SPHEREx catalog will include 1.5 billion galaxies with redshifts secured for more than 10 and 120 million with fractional accuracies in error/(1+z) better than 0.3% and 3%, respectively. The spectral coverage and resolution provided by SPHEREx are adequate to determine redshifts for all WISE-detected sources with an accuracy better than 3%. The catalog will contain close to 1.5 million quasars including several hundred bright QSOs seen during the epoch of reionization. The catalog will be adequate to obtain redshifts for all 25,000 galaxy clusters expected to be detected in X-rays with e-Rosita. SPHEREx could also produce all-sky maps of the Galactic emission lines, including hydrocarbon emission around 3 microns.In this poster, we will discuss the data release schedule and some example science studies the broader astronomical community will beable to lead using the SPHEREx database. We will also outline existing plans within the SPHEREx team to develop software tools to enable easy access to the data and to conduct catalog searches, and ways in which the community can provide input to the SPHEREx Science Team on scientific studies and data/software requirements for those studies. The team is eager to develop best software tools and facilitate easy access on a timely

  15. 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

  16. NRAO Astronomer Wins Max-Planck Research Award

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-04-01

    Dr. Christopher Carilli, a National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) astronomer in Socorro, New Mexico, has been chosen to receive the prestigious Max Planck Research Award from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and the Max Planck Society in Germany. Christopher Carilli Dr. Christopher Carilli Click on image for more photos CREDIT: NRAO/AUI/NSF Carilli, a radio astronomer, and German particle physicist Christof Wetterich are the 2005 recipients of the award, conferred on "one researcher working in Germany and one working abroad who have already gained an international reputation and who are expected to produce outstanding achievements in the framework of international collaboration," according to an announcement from the Humboldt Foundation. "This is a great honor for Chris, and we are proud to see him receive such important international recognition for the excellence of his research," said NRAO Director Fred K.Y. Lo. Carilli's research has focused on studying very distant galaxies in the early Universe, and a quest to find the first luminous objects, such as stars or galaxies, to emerge. His most recent interests focus on unveiling the mysteries of what cosmologists call the "Epoch of Reionization," when the first stars and galaxies ionized the neutral hydrogen that pervaded the young Universe. Carilli and his research colleagues have used NRAO's Very Large Array and other radio telescopes to discover that the molecular raw material for star formation already was present in a galaxy seen as it was about 800 million years after the Big Bang, less than 1/16 the current age of the Universe. The Max Planck Research Award provides 750,000 Euros (currently about $900,000), to be used over five years, for research. The funding is provided by the German Ministry of Education and Research. Carilli will use the funding to support young researchers and to build scientific instrumentation, with a focus on fostering radio studies of cosmic reionization and the first

  17. Imagineering the astronomical revolution - Essay review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jardine, Nicholas.

    2006-11-01

    Concerning following Books: (I) Transmitting knowledge - words, images, and instruments in early modern Europe. Kusukawa and Maclean (eds.), OUP, Oxford, 2006; (II) Widmung, Welterklärung und Wissenschaftslegitimierung: Titelbilder und ihre Funktionen in der wissenschaftlichen Revolution. Remmert, Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden, 2005; (III) The power of images in early modern science. Lefevre, Renn and Schoepflin (eds.), Birkhäuser, Basel, 2003; (IV) Immagini per conoscere - dal Rinascimento alla rivoluzione scientifica. Meroi and Pogliano (eds.), Olschki, Florenz, 2001; (V) Erkenntnis Erfindung Konstruktion - Studien zur Bildgeschichte von Naturwissenschaften und Technik vom 16. bis zum 19. Jahrhundert. Holländer (ed.), Mann, Berlin, 2000.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Fast multichannel astronomical photometer based on silicon photo multipliers mounted at the Telescopio Nazionale Galileo

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ambrosino, Filippo; Meddi, Franco; Rossi, Corinne; Sclavi, Silvia; Nesci, Roberto; Bruni, Ivan; Ghedina, Adriano; Riverol, Luis; Di Fabrizio, Luca

    2014-07-01

    The realization of low-cost instruments with high technical performance is a goal that deserves efforts in an epoch of fast technological developments. Such instruments can be easily reproduced and therefore allow new research programs to be opened in several observatories. We realized a fast optical photometer based on the SiPM (Silicon Photo Multiplier) technology, using commercially available modules. Using low-cost components, we developed a custom electronic chain to extract the signal produced by a commercial MPPC (Multi Pixel Photon Counter) module produced by Hamamatsu Photonics to obtain sub-millisecond sampling of the light curve of astronomical sources (typically pulsars). We built a compact mechanical interface to mount the MPPC at the focal plane of the TNG (Telescopio Nazionale Galileo), using the space available for the slits of the LRS (Low Resolution Spectrograph). On February 2014 we observed the Crab pulsar with the TNG with our prototype photometer, deriving its period and the shape of its light curve, in very good agreement with the results obtained in the past with other much more expensive instruments. After the successful run at the telescope we describe here the lessons learned and the ideas that burst to optimize this instrument and make it more versatile.

  1. 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.

  2. Cost effective development of a Shuttle-based astronomical instrument control system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parise, R. A.; Blum, A.; Budney, T. J.; Stone, R. W.

    1982-01-01

    The high level language FORTH is used for the electronic control of the Space Shuttle-based Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope, in a flight computer system which minimizes costs. The greater part of the breadboard version of the flight computer is assembled from commercially available components, reducing novel circuit design features and permitting simultaneous development of both hardware and software. The commercial boards are then refabricated on aluminum core heat conducting stock, using high reliability parts to produce the flight versions of the system. The system's ground support equipment employs a MINC-25 minicomputer which performs such functions as flight computer software development, PROM programming, test and integration support, and flight operations support. The implementation of these concepts in flight computer telescope controls is described.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Metcalfe, Travis S.

    2007-05-01

    As in many sciences, the production rate of new Ph.D. astronomers is decoupled from the global demand for trained scientists. As noted by Thronson (1991, PASP, 103, 90), overproduction appears to be built into the system, making the mathematical formulation of surplus astronomer production similar to that for industrial pollution models -- an unintended side effect of the process. Following Harris (1994, ASP Conf., 57, 12), I document the production of Ph.D. astronomers from 1990 to 2005 using the online Dissertation Abstracts database. To monitor the changing patterns of employment, I examine the number of postdoctoral, tenure-track, and other jobs advertised in the AAS Job Register during this same period. Although the current situation is clearly unsustainable, it was much worse a decade ago with nearly 7 new Ph.D. astronomers in 1995 for every new tenure-track job. While the number of new permanent positions steadily increased throughout the late 1990's, the number of new Ph.D. recipients gradually declined. After the turn of the century, the production of new astronomers leveled off, but new postdoctoral positions grew dramatically. There has also been recent growth in the number of non-tenure-track lecturer, research, and support positions. This is just one example of a larger cultural shift to temporary employment that is happening throughout society -- it is not unique to astronomy.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Atmospheric conditions at Cerro Armazones derived from astronomical data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lakićević, Maša; Kimeswenger, Stefan; Noll, Stefan; Kausch, Wolfgang; Unterguggenberger, Stefanie; Kerber, Florian

    2016-04-01

    Aims: We studied the precipitable water vapour (PWV) content near Cerro Armazones and discuss the potential use of our technique of modelling the telluric absorbtion lines for the investigation of other molecular layers. The site is designated for the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT) and the nearby planned site for the Čerenkov Telescope Array (CTA). Methods: Spectroscopic data from the Bochum Echelle Spectroscopic Observer (BESO) instrument were investigated by using a line-by-line radiative transfer model (LBLRTM) for the Earth's atmosphere with the telluric absorption correction tool molecfit. All observations from the archive in the period from December 2008 to the end of 2014 were investigated. The dataset completely covers the El Niño event registered in the period 2009-2010. Models of the 3D Global Data Assimilation System (GDAS) were used for further comparison. Moreover, we present a direct comparison for those days for which data from a similar study with VLT/X-Shooter and microwave radiometer LHATPRO at Cerro Paranal are available. Results: This analysis shows that the site has systematically lower PWV values, even after accounting for the decrease in PWV expected from the higher altitude of the site with respect to Cerro Paranal, using the average atmosphere found with radiosondes. We found that GDAS data are not a suitable basis for predicting local atmospheric conditions - they usually systematically overestimate the PWV values. The large sample furthermore enabled us to characterize the site with respect to symmetry across the sky and variation with the years and within the seasons. This technique of studying the atmospheric conditions is shown to be a promising step into a possible monitoring equipment for the CTA. Based on archival observations collected at the European Organisation for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere, Chile and of the Cerro Armazones Observatory facilities of the Ruhr Universität Bochum.Full Table 1

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  8. 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...

  9. Profiling Some of the Lesser-Known Historical Women Astronomers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pagnotta, Ashley

    2016-01-01

    Although some historical women astronomers such as Henrietta Swan Leavitt and Cecilia Payne Gaposchkin have recently become somewhat well known among the astronomical community, many others--especially those from non-Western cultures--remain a mystery even to those of us who are actively aware of and interested in the role of early women in astronomy. As part of a project to educate myself on some of these women, I started a blog series (http://ashpags.tumblr.com/tagged/lady-astronomers) to share this newfound knowledge with a population that is on average relatively young, extremely tech savvy, and generally would not consider themselves to be science-inclined. I will discuss some of the more interesting women I have profiled, as well as my observations on the efficacy of this method of history education.

  10. 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...

  11. 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...

  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. 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.

  14. Astronomy's Three Kingdoms: Discovering, Classifying and Interpreting Astronomical Objects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dick, S. J.

    2005-12-01

    Discovery, classification and interpretation are problems common to biology and astronomy, constituting their `natural history.' Unlike biology, and despite a long history of discovery and classification of numerous types of objects, astronomy has no comprehensive classification system. After reviewing the history of classification systems in chemistry, physics, biology and astronomy, a comprehensive classification system is proposed for astronomical objects. Like biology's system, it is hierarchical in nature, beginning with astronomy's three kingdoms: planets, stars and galaxies. The discovery of each of these kingdoms has a rich history. Employing gravity's way of organizing astronomical objects as a basis for taxonomy, a classification system is built around these three kingdoms, beginning with six Families of objects for each Kingdom. These Families are the proto-family (protoplanetary, protostellar, protogalactic), the central objects themselves of each Kingdom (planets, stars and galaxies), the circum-family (circumplanetary, circumstellar, circumgalactic), the sub-family (subplanetary, substellar, subgalactic), the inter-family (interplanetary, interstellar and intergalactic), and the systems family (planetary systems, stellar systems, galactic systems). Thus, there are 18 Families of astronomical objects. Under them come at least 73 classes of objects, incorporating a wide variety of classification systems that astronomers have already devised. Further divisions at lower levels of the hierarchy are possible. Such a comprehensive classification system has many uses, ranging from pedagogic to scientific. As in phylogenetics for biology, classification is important for understanding the natural evolutionary relationships of astronomical objects. The intertwined history of the discovery, classification and interpretation of classes of astronomical objects is a rich subject for further research. It is especially relevant today in terms of the controversies over

  15. Instrumentation control system

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This book explains instrumentation control system, which mentions summary, basic theory, kinds, control device, and design of each instrumentation system. The contents of this book are introduction of instrumentation system, temperature detector, pressure sensor, flow detector, level detector, ingredient detector, signal convert and transmission, instructions, record and control of instrumentation system, PID controller control valve of instrumentation system, instrumentation equipment of water system, instrumentation facility of thermal power plant, examples of advance instrumentation facility and install and design of instrumentation system.

  16. Astronomers meet in phoenix, recount a stellar year.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flam, F

    1993-01-22

    Despite a tightening of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's budget and the trouble with the Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers were starry-eyed over their latest findings, presented at the major annual meeting of the American Astronomical Society, (AAS) January 3 to 7. New images and measurements of stars, galaxies, cosmic microwaves, and mysterious gamma rays, along with an exciting nova explosion, made it a bright year for those working with existing orbiting satellites and ground-based telescopes, though uncertain funding clouds the future. PMID:17734156

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

    OpenAIRE

    Metcalfe, Travis S.

    2007-01-01

    In an effort to encourage 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 wit...

  18. 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...

  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. Applying systems engineering to astronomical projects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Craig, Simon C.; Born, Andrew J.

    2004-09-01

    With the award of the VISTA project to the United Kingdom Astronomy Technology Centre (UK ATC), the need for a formal systems approach and dedicated systems engineering management was identified as a key requirement for the success of that project. The structuring of projects within the UK ATC has been increasingly biased toward a systems engineering approach. ROE projects such as CGS4, while very successful, were based on a traditional engineering discipline approach. The systems responsibility was split between the Project Scientist and the Project Manager. Such an approach can be made to work on internal projects where the entire team and project sponsor are in close proximity. As instrumentation projects have grown larger, become more complex and increasingly geographically distributed through international collaboration, the need for technical discipline enforced by a formal system engineering approach has correspondingly grown. Internal projects also benefit and are becoming increasingly reliant on systems engineering as a means to mitigating both schedule and budget risks. This paper describes and analyses the ongoing introduction of a formal systems approach within the UK ATC. Structuring of projects through a sub-system approach rather than by discipline, formal requirements capture, traceability and the use of systems tools to monitor performance are described. The introduction of systems engineering as a discipline is discussed and progress to date reported. Systems engineering activities in previous projects and ongoing implementation in current projects are analysed. Lessons learnt are described and future development in the systems approach outlined.

  2. 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 ...

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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...

  6. 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.

  7. Improving Resolution and Depth of Astronomical Observations via Modern Mathematical Methods for Image Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castellano, M.; Ottaviani, D.; Fontana, A.; Merlin, E.; Pilo, S.; Falcone, M.

    2015-09-01

    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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. High-speed superconducting single photon detectors for innovative astronomical applications

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Superconducting Single Photon Detectors (SSPD) are now mature enough to provide extremely interesting detector performances in term of sensitivity, speed, and geometry in the visible and near infrared wavelengths. Taking advantage of recent results obtained in the Sinphonia project, the goal of our research is to demonstrate the feasibility of a new family of micro-spectrometers, called SWIFTS (Stationary Wave Integrated Fourier Transform Spectrometer), associated to an array of SSPD, the whole assembly being integrated on a monolithic sapphire substrate coupling the detectors array to a waveguide injecting the light. This unique association will create a major breakthrough in the domain of visible and infrared spectroscopy for all applications where the space and weight of the instrument is limited. SWIFTS is an innovative way to achieve very compact spectro-detectors using nano-detectors coupled to evanescent field of dielectric integrated optics. The system is sensitive to the interferogram inside the dielectric waveguide along the propagation path. Astronomical instruments will be the first application of such SSPD spectrometers. In this paper, we describes in details the fabrication process of our SSPD built at CEA/DRFMC using ultra-thin NbN epitaxial films deposited on different orientations of Sapphire substrates having state of the art superconducting characteristics. Electron beam lithography is routinely used for patterning the devices having line widths below 200 nm and down to 70 nm. An experimental set-up has been built and used to test these SSPD devices and evaluate their photon counting performances. Photon counting performances of our devices have been demonstrated with extremely low dark counts giving excellent signal to noise ratios. The extreme compactness of this concept is interesting for space spectroscopic applications. Some new astronomical applications of such concept are proposed in this paper

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Two Years in Hollywood: An Astronomer in Television Land.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goldsmith, Donald

    1991-01-01

    Provides an insight into the strengths and weaknesses of television as a means of informing the public. The scientist who worked on the television series called "The Astronomers" relates what is was like to be the cowriter and science editor of the project. (KR)

  16. Collision phenomena involving highly-charged ions in astronomical objects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chutjian, A.

    2001-01-01

    A description of the role of highly charged ions in various astronomical objects; includes the use of critical quantities such as cross sections for excitation, charge-exchange, X-ray emission, radiative recombination (RR) and dielectronic recombination (DR); and lifetimes, branching ratios, and A-values.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Morzinski, Katie M.; Males, Jared R.

    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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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…

  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. Education and Outreach with the Virtual Astronomical Observatory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawton, Brandon L.; Eisenhamer, B.; Raddick, M. J.; Mattson, B. J.; Harris, J.

    2012-01-01

    The Virtual Observatory (VO) is an international effort to bring a large-scale electronic integration of astronomy data, tools, and services to the global community. The Virtual Astronomical Observatory (VAO) is the U.S. NSF- and NASA-funded VO effort that seeks to put efficient astronomical tools in the hands of U.S. astronomers, students, educators, and public outreach leaders. These tools will make use of data collected by the multitude of ground- and space-based missions over the previous decades. Many future missions will also be incorporated into the VAO tools when they launch. The Education and Public Outreach (E/PO) program for the VAO is led by the Space Telescope Science Institute in collaboration with the HEASARC E/PO program and Johns Hopkins University. VAO E/PO efforts seek to bring technology, real-world astronomical data, and the story of the development and infrastructure of the VAO to the general public, formal education, and informal education communities. Our E/PO efforts will be structured to provide uniform access to VAO information, enabling educational opportunities across multiple wavelengths and time-series data sets. The VAO team recognizes that many VO programs have built powerful tools for E/PO purposes, such as Microsoft's World Wide Telescope, SDSS Sky Server, Aladin, and a multitude of citizen-science tools available from Zooniverse. We are building partnerships with Microsoft, Zooniverse, and NASA's Night Sky Network to leverage the communities and tools that already exist to meet the needs of our audiences. Our formal education program is standards-based and aims to give teachers the tools to use real astronomical data to teach the STEM subjects. To determine which tools the VAO will incorporate into the formal education program, needs assessments will be conducted with educators across the U.S.

  3. Top astronomers head to the city. Experts to talk on exciting quasar discoveries.

    CERN Multimedia

    Grant, S

    2002-01-01

    The UK National Astronomy Meeting - NAM 2002 - is at Bristol University this week. The meeting is one of the most important regular gatherings of astronomers in the UK. Sponsored by the Royal Astronomical Society and PPARC, it should attract about 300 astronomers from the UK and beyond.

  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. The PACA Project: When Amateur Astronomers Become Citizen Scientists

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yanamandra-Fisher, P. A.

    2014-12-01

    The Pro-Am Collaborative Astronomy (PACA) project evolved from the observational campaign of C/2012 S1 or C/ISON in 2013. Following the success of the professional-amateur astronomer collaboration in scientific research via social media, it is now implemented in other comet observing campaigns. While PACA identifies a consistent collaborative approach to pro-am collaborations, given the volume of data generated for each campaign, new ways of rapid data analysis, mining access and storage are needed. Several interesting results emerged from the synergistic inclusion of both social media and amateur astronomers: (1) the establishment of a network of astronomers and related professionals, that can be galvanized into action on short notice to support observing campaigns; (2) assist in various science investigations pertinent to the campaign; (3) provide an alert-sounding mechanism should the need arise; (4) immediate outreach and dissemination of results via our media/blogger members; (5) provide a forum for discussions between the imagers and modelers to help strategize the observing campaign for maximum benefit. In 2014, two new comet observing campaigns involving pro-am collaborations have been initiated: (1) C/2013 A1 (C/SidingSpring) and (2) 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko (CG), target for ESA/Rosetta mission. The evolving need for individual customized observing campaigns has been incorporated into the evolution of PACA portal that currently is focused on comets: from supporting observing campaigns of current comets, legacy data, historical comets; interconnected with social media and a set of shareable documents addressing observational strategies; consistent standards for data; data access, use, and storage, to align with the needs of professional observers. The integration of science, observations by professional and amateur astronomers, and various social media provides a dynamic and evolving collaborative partnership between professional and amateur astronomers

  6. Distributed Framework for Dynamic Telescope and Instrument Control

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ames, Troy J.; Case, Lynne

    2002-12-01

    Traditionally, instrument command and control systems have been developed specifically for a single instrument. Such solutions are frequently expensive and are inflexible to support the next instrument development effort. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center is developing an extensible framework, known as Instrument Remote Control (IRC) that applies to any kind of instrument that can be controlled by a computer. IRC combines the platform independent processing capabilities of Java with the power of the Extensible Markup Language (XML). A key aspect of the architecture is software that is driven by an instrument description, written using the Instrument Markup Language (IML). IML is an XML dialect used to describe graphical user interfaces to control and monitor the instrument, command sets and command formats, data streams, communication mechanisms, and data processing algorithms. The IRC framework provides the ability to communicate to components anywhere on a network using the JXTA protocol for dynamic discovery of distributed components. JXTA (see http://www.jxta.org) is a generalized protocol that allows any devices connected by a network to communicate in a peer-to-peer manner. IRC uses JXTA to advertise a device?s IML and discover devices of interest on the network. Devices can join or leave the network and thus join or leave the instrument control environment of IRC. Currently, several astronomical instruments are working with the IRC development team to develop custom components for IRC to control their instruments. These instruments include: High resolution Airborne Wideband Camera (HAWC), a first light instrument for the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA); Submillimeter And Far Infrared Experiment (SAFIRE), a principal investigator instrument for SOFIA; and Fabry-Perot Interferometer Bolometer Research Experiment (FIBRE), a prototype of the SAFIRE instrument, used at the Caltech Submillimeter Observatory (CSO). Most recently, we have

  7. 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...

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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...

  11. 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...

  12. 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...

  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. Ten Challenges of Producing an Astronomical Gigapixel Image

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jäger, M.; Christensen, L. L.

    2015-06-01

    Public outreach involves developing new methods, testing new technologies and integrating new ideas. Sometimes, the craft of outreach even leads into completely unknown territory. This is the story of a project that led into astronomical and technological terra incognita. It is about the production of a mosaic of the central parts of the Milky Way made with ESO's VISTA telescope as part of the VVV survey. The outreach system at ESO was tested to its limits, and beyond, by the production of what is still likely to be the largest astronomical image in the world. Several significant challenges had to be overcome, extensive hardware and software upgrades were undertaken and compromises had to be made to produce this stunning image for the public.

  16. Astronomers' Race to Test Relativity, 1911-1930

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crelinsten, Jeffrey

    2006-11-01

    Einstein's theory of relativity changed our notions of space and time and has dramatically altered the way we look at the universe and our place in it. Yet to this day a working knowledge of the theory is beyond most people. In today's popular culture, Einstein is a remote, loveable genius and his theory is incomprehensible. While Einstein's theory ultimately laid the foundation for modern studies of the universe, it took a long time to be accepted. Between 1905 and 1930, relativity was poorly understood and Einstein worked hard to try to make it more accessible to scientists and scientifically literate laypeople. Its acceptance was largely due to the astronomy community, which undertook precise measurements to test Einstein's astronomical predictions. How astronomers approached the ``Einstein problem'' in these early years and how the public reacted to what they reported helped to shape attitudes we hold today about Einstein and his ideas.

  17. 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.

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

    CERN Document Server

    Singh, Navtej; 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 target audience are astronomers who are using Python as their preferred scripting language and who may be using PyRAF/IRAF for data processing. Three problems of varied complexity were benchmarked on three different types of multicore processors to demonstrate the benefits, in terms of execution time, of parallelizing data processing tasks. The native multiprocessing module available in Python makes it a relatively trivial task to implement the parallel code. We have also compared the three multiprocessing approaches - Po...

  19. Demonstrating the Practical Advantages of the Scalable and Interoperable Astronomical Framework FASE: Applications to EUCLID Simulations and LUCIFER Data Reduction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paioro, L.; Garilli, B.; Franzetti, P.; Fumana, M.; Scodeggio, M.; Grosbøl, P.; Tody, D.; Surace, C.

    2012-09-01

    The European OPTICON Networks 3.6 and 9.2 in collaboration with the Virtual Observatory, during the last years have produced a detailed document, designing the requirements and the architecture of a future scalable and interoperable desktop framework for the astronomical software (FASE). A first reference implementation of the FASE framework has been developed at INAF-IASF Milano and applied to different projects we are involved in: a) the simulation software developed to study the performance of the EUCLID NISP instrument; b) the LBT LUCIFER instrument reduction pipeline used by the Italian community. An application involving graphical capabilities is also being developed exploiting FASE facilities. We show how the main architectural concepts of the FASE framework have been successfully applied to the software mentioned above, providing easy to use and install interoperable software, equipped with distributed and scalable capabilities. See also Grosbøl et al. (2012).

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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...

  5. Searchable Sky Coverage of Astronomical Observations: Footprints and Exposures

    OpenAIRE

    Budavari, Tamas; Szalay, Alex; Fekete, Gyorgy

    2010-01-01

    Sky coverage is one of the most important pieces of information about astronomical observations. We discuss possible representations, and present algorithms to create and manipulate shapes consisting of generalized spherical polygons with arbitrary complexity and size on the celestial sphere. This shape specification integrates well with our Hierarchical Triangular Mesh indexing toolbox, whose performance and capabilities are enhanced by the advanced features presented here. Our portable impl...

  6. Data Sharing and Publishing Using the Virtual Astronomical Observatory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plante, Raymond; Mishin, D. Y.; LAZIO, J.; Muench, A. A.; Project, VAO

    2013-01-01

    The astronomical research community is now use to accessing data through the web. In particular, we have ready access to large surveys as well as to observations from the major observatories. The latter data is typically available in their raw form and often also as "level 1" products that have undergone basic, standard processing. There exists, however, a vast set of data that is described in the current literature but which is largely unavailable on-line: highly processed data products from which we extract the science results we publish. We refer to this as the "long-tail of astronomical data". Typically, these products are the result of tuned or specialized processing by small teams of scientists. As part of the US Virtual Astronomical Observatory (VAO, usvao.org) project's effort to connect scientists with astronomical data of all types in a network-based research environment, we have taken up a multi-year initiative to capture that missing data and make it available to the community, thereby enabling new "archival" research. We describe a pilot program, in conjunction with community partners, to provide a platform for individual scientists and small research teams to make their data available through the Virtual Observatory (VO). At the core of the effort is a network-based storage space that provides a place for teams to assemble their collections and prepare them for release into the VO. Upon their release, the data collections will be connected to standard VO services that make the data accessible to the myriad VO discovery, analysis, and visualization tools. Once demonstrated in this pilot phase, we plan to assemble a more integrated repository toolkit that allows scientists to take full control of the publishing process and allow other institutions to host repositories. In particular, we are collaborating with the DataVerse project to create a repository platform that is fully connected to the VO web.

  7. 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...

  8. Radio astronomical phased arrays with fiber-optic design architecture

    OpenAIRE

    Bratchikov, Alexander N.; Voskresenskii, Dmitriy I.; Klooster, Kees van’t

    2003-01-01

    Fiber optics and microwave photonics are considered to be the technological basis for the solution of at least the two main design problems in large radio astronomical active phased arrays (RAAPA): phase stabilized LO reference signal transmission to each antenna element or subarray; antenna array beamforming. We describe in detail the solution to the former problem. It is the experimental version of a new fiber-optic link, operating in the remote heterodyning mode, with phase stability (<...

  9. 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 ...

  10. 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.

  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 Production Rate and Employment of Ph.D. Astronomers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Metcalfe, Travis S.

    2008-02-01

    In an effort to encourage 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 astronomy and astrophysics. The average new astronomer might expect to hold up to 3 jobs before finding a steady position.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schindler, J.; Páta, P.; Klíma, M.; Fliegel, K.

    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-Loève 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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...

  16. Skype Me! Astronomers, Students, and Cutting-Edge Research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hickox, Ryan C.; Gauthier, Adrienne J.

    2014-06-01

    A primary goal of many university science courses is to promote understanding of the process of contemporary scientific inquiry. One powerful way to achieve this is for students to explore current research and then interact directly with the leading scientist, the feasibility of which has recently increased dramatically due to free online video communication tools. We report on a program implemented at Dartmouth College in which students connect with a guest astronomer through Skype (video chat). The Skype session is wrapped in a larger activity where students explore current research articles, interact with the astronomer, and then reflect on the experience. The in-class Skype discussions require a small time commitment from scientists (20-30 minutes, with little or no need for preparation) while providing students direct access to researchers at the cutting edge of modern astronomy. We outline the procedures used to implement these discussions, and present qualitative assessments of student's understanding of the process of research, as well as feedback from the guest astronomers.

  17. Education and Popularization of Astronomy at Gunma Astronomical Observatory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Obayashi, H.

    Gunma Astronomical Observatory is designed for both astronomical research and public use, and was established in April 1999 by Gunma Prefecture, located in Takayama village, about 100 km north-west of Tokyo. It is equipped with all devices and facilities needed to conduct full-scale observational research, including a telescope of 150 cm diameter. Based upon fundamental philosophy of providing every visitor with a real experience, we are also engaged in educational activities that are linked to school or life-long education to spread astronomical observation, as well as observational research activities at our observatory. We are hoping that all of those who visit our observatory come in contact with wonders of their cosmos or the latest information about astronomy; thereby being able to have an opportunity to think about nature, the environment and the future of the human race in general. There are about 30 staff members; 9 of them have the degree of doctor, 12 of them belong to the section of research and education. We had 38 317 visitors in the last year (April 2001 to March 2002).

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Distributed framework for dyanmic telescope and instrument control

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ames, Troy J.; Case, Lynne

    2003-02-01

    Traditionally, instrument command and control systems have been developed specifically for a single instrument. Such solutions are frequently expensive and are inflexible to support the next instrument development effort. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center is developing an extensible framework, known as Instrument Remote Control (IRC) that applies to any kind of instrument that can be controlled by a computer. IRC combines the platform independent processing capabilities of Java with the power of the Extensible Markup Language (XML). A key aspect of the architecture is software that is driven by an instrument description, written using the Instrument Markup Language (IML). IML is an XML dialect used to describe graphical user interfaces to control and monitor the instrument, command sets and command formats, data streams, communication mechanisms, and data processing algorithms. The IRC framework provides the ability to communicate to components anywhere on a network using the JXTA protocol for dynamic discovery of distributed components. JXTA (see http://www.jxta.org) is a generalized protocol that allows any devices connected by a network to communicate in a peer-to-peer manner. IRC uses JXTA to advertise a devices IML and discover devices of interest on the network. Devices can join or leave the network and thus join or leave the instrument control environment of IRC. Currently, several astronomical instruments are working with the IRC development team to develop custom components for IRC to control their instruments. These instruments include: High resolution Airborne Wideband Camera (HAWC), a first light instrument for the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA); Submillimeter And Far Infrared Experiment (SAFIRE), a Principal Investigator instrument for SOFIA; and Fabry-Perot Interferometer Bolometer Research Experiment (FIBRE), a prototype of the SAFIRE instrument, used at the Caltech Submillimeter Observatory (CSO). Most recently, we have been

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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 ...

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Astronomers' Do-It-Yourself Project Opening A New Window on the Universe

    Science.gov (United States)

    1999-05-01

    -it-yourself project." In the first observing session using the new equipment, astronomers from four continents studied a wide range of celestial objects, and the results "were a spectacular success. We proved that you can make good images with the VLA at this frequency. The problem always was the difficulty in processing data to correct for ionospheric effects on the incoming radio waves. New computing techniques now have solved that problem." "We have shattered the ionospheric barrier and solved the wide- field imaging problem," Kassim said. The research results presented at the AAS meeting "show the great value of this new capability," Kassim said. "In addition to our work on supernova remnants, active galaxies and galaxy clusters, other papers presented at this meeting show that this frequency range is extremely valuable for solar research," Kassim added. "In fact, the success of the VLA at this frequency shows that we could learn even more from this new window on the universe by building a much larger and more sensitive instrument dedicated to long-wavelength radio astronomy -- the Low Frequency Array (LOFAR). An international consortium, initially involving NRL, NRAO, and the Netherlands Foundation for Radio Astronomy, currently is forming to develop LOFAR, an instrument which would see more detail and fainter objects than we can today," Kassim said. The VLA is an instrument of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, a facility of the National Science Foundation, operated under cooperative agreement by Associated Universities, Inc. Basic research in radio astronomy at the Naval Research Laboratory is supported by the Office of Naval Research.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. AstroBetter: A Blog and Wiki for Professional Astronomers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cruz, Kelle L.; Lu, J.; Rigby, J.; Bressert, E.; Robitaille, T.; Huerta, M.; Dhital, S.

    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 dead 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 word about AstroBetter and increase our community of readers and wiki editors, because together, we can AstroBetter.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  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. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. The Juno Mission and the Role of Amateur Astronomers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orton, G. S.

    2014-04-01

    The Juno mission, now on its way to a 2016 orbit insertion at Jupiter, is soliciting Earth-based observations to provide contextual spatial information to supplement its narrow coverage of the planet in each orbit, as well as temporal that is relevant to the evolution of the features that will be observed. Both professional and amateur observations will be solicited, with the author continuing to serve as the point of contact for input. Details of the current planned mission are presented, and challenges to professional and amateur astronomers outlined.

  1. Astronomical Site Ranking Based on Tropospheric Wind Statistics

    OpenAIRE

    Garcia-Lorenzo, B.; J. J. Fuensalida; Munoz-Tunon, C.; Mendizabal, E.

    2004-01-01

    We present comprehensive and reliable statistics of high altitude wind speeds and the tropospheric flows at the location of five important astronomical observatories. Statistical analysis exclusively of high altitude winds point to La Palma as the most suitable site for adaptive optics, with a mean value of 22.13 m/s at the 200 mbar pressure level. La Silla is at the bottom of the ranking, with the largest average value 200 mbar wind speed(33.35 m/s). We have found a clear annual periodicity ...

  2. 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.

  3. Star-craving mad tales from a travelling astronomer

    CERN Document Server

    Watson, Fred

    2014-01-01

    Fred Watson knows all about the madness that drives people to understand the Universe and unlock its secrets. Now you can join Australia's best-known astronomer on a unique tour to unravel the mysteries of space and time. Take in primitive observatories in ancient Peru and the world's largest atom-smasher in modern-day Switzerland. See Pluto demoted from planetary status. Go behind headlines to find the truth about the Transit of Venus and the Higgs Boson. Meet some of science's most colourful characters. In this light-hearted, informative and engaging book, Fred travels to some of those far-f

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. First Astronomical Application of a Cryogenic TES Spectrophotometer

    CERN Document Server

    Romani, R W; Cabrera, B; Figueroa-Feliciano, E; Nam, S W

    1999-01-01

    We report on the first astronomical observations with a photon counting pixel detector that provides arrival time- (delta t = 100ns) and energy- (delta E_gamma < 0.15eV) resolved measurements from the near IR through the near UV. Our test observations were performed by coupling this Transition Edge Sensor (TES) device to a 0.6m telescope; we have obtained the first simultaneous optical near-IR phase-resolved spectra of the Crab pulsar. A varying infrared turnover gives evidence of self-absorption in the pulsar plasma. The potential of such detectors in imaging arrays from a space platform are briefly described.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Testing general relativity in space-borne and astronomical laboratories

    Science.gov (United States)

    Will, Clifford M.

    1989-01-01

    The current status of space-based experiments and astronomical observations designed to test the theory of general relativity is surveyed. Consideration is given to tests of post-Newtonian gravity, searches for feeble short-range forces and gravitomagnetism, improved measurements of parameterized post-Newtonian parameter values, explorations of post-Newtonian physics, tests of the Einstein equivalence principle, observational tests of post-Newtonian orbital effects, and efforts to detect quadrupole and dipole radiation damping. Recent numerical results are presented in tables.

  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. Astronomical data formats: What we have and how we got here

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mink, Jessica D.

    2015-09-01

    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. It may be in the form of structures, such as a single file with several FITS extensions (Ponz et al., 1994), or a file with metadata linking to data, such as VO returned data packages (Dolensky and Tody, 2004) containing metadata separate from the actual data.FITS (Flexible Image Transport System) (Wells et al., 1981) was originally designed in 1979 as an exchange format, first used by radio astronomers in the AIPS software system (Associated Universities, 1999). It enabled astronomers to share data without having to maintain separate translation programs. At roughly the same time, the more flexible and more complicated N-Dimensional Data Format (NDF) was being developed in the U.K. Tim Jenness has explained the evolution of that system (Jenness et al., 2015).The original simple FITS consisted of a human-readable ASCII header of 80-character lines (matching the width of Hollerith cards then used to store and use computer software and data) and blocks of binary data described by the header and system commands. Each of these contained an integral number of 2880-byte blocks, padded with spaces at the end of each unit. A basic set of standard metadata keywords was included with

  14. 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

  15. Performance of the EGRET astronomical gamma ray telescope

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nolan, P. L.; Bertsch, D. L.; Fichtel, C. E.; Hartman, R. C.; Hofstadter, R.; Hughes, E. B.; Hunter, S. D.; Kanbach, G.; Kniffen, D. A.; Lin, Y. C.

    1992-01-01

    On April 5, 1991, the Space Shuttle Atlantis carried the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory (CGRO) into orbit, deploying the satellite on April 7. The EGRET instrument was activated on April 15, and the first month of operations was devoted to verification of the instrument performance. Measurements made during that month and in the subsequent sky survey phase have verified that the instrument time resolution, angular resolution, and gamma ray detection efficiency are all within nominal limits.

  16. Performance of the EGRET astronomical gamma ray telescope

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    On April 5, 1991, the Space Shuttle Atlantis carried the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory (CGRO) into orbit, deploying the satellite on April 7. This paper reports on the EGRET instrument which was activated on April 15, and the first month of operations was devoted to verification of the instrument performance. Measurements made during that month and in the subsequent sky survey phase have verified that the instrument time resolution, angular resolution, and gamma ray detection efficiency are all within nominal limits

  17. The first astronomical hypothesis based on cinematographical observations: Costa Lobo's 1912 evidence for polar flattening of the moon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonifácio, Vitor; Malaquias, Isabel; Fernandes, João

    2010-07-01

    Acceptance by the scientific community of results obtained with new technology can be a complex process. A particularly good example is provided by the unexpected hypothesis raised by Francisco Miranda da Costa Lobo upon examination of the cinematographic film obtained during the solar eclipse of 17 April 1912. Contrary to contemporary practice this eclipse was eagerly awaited in view of its astrometrical rather than astrophysical scientific interest. The observation of this hybrid eclipse provided, in theory, a good opportunity to improve several astrometric parameters, and in particular the Moon's apparent diameter. Observations were performed from Portugal to Russia and, for the first time, movie cameras were widely deployed to register astronomical phenomena. Upon analysing the film obtained at Ovar (Portugal), Costa Lobo realised that during totality Baily's Beads were not symmetrically distributed around the Moon. As an explanation and opposing current belief he proposed a lunar flattening in the range 1/1156 to 1/380. Initially other eclipse observers supported Costa Lobo's claim. In particular, Father Willaert obtained a flattening value of 1/2050 from his cinematographic film taken at Namur (Belgium). However, these results were quickly disregarded by the international astronomical community which favoured an explanation based upon the irregularities of the lunar profile. In this paper we recall the characteristics of the 17 April 1912 eclipse and the cinematographic observations, and review the results obtained. We conclude that the lack of attention paid by the astronomical community to the new cinematographical results and Camille Flammarion's superficial analysis of the data were instrumental in the rejection of Costa Lobo's hypothesis.

  18. 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.

  19. Using Astronomical Photographs to Investigate Misconceptions about Galaxies and Spectra: Question Development for Clicker Use

    OpenAIRE

    Lee, Hyunju; Schneider, Stephen E.

    2015-01-01

    Many topics in introductory astronomy at the college or high-school level rely implicitly on using astronomical photographs and visual data in class. However, students bring many preconceptions to their understanding of these materials that ultimately lead to misconceptions, and research about students' interpretation of astronomical images has been scarcely conducted. In this study we probed college students' understanding of astronomical photographs and visual data about galaxies and spectr...

  20. Astronomical Symbolism in Bronze-Age and Iron-Age Rock Art

    Science.gov (United States)

    García Quintela, Marco V.; Santos-Estévez, Manuel

    The best-known rock art from Late Prehistory is found in Scandinavia, the Alps, and Galicia, North West Spain. In this chapter, we explore its association with astronomical symbolism from three perspectives: the representation of heavenly bodies, the visibility conditions of the carvings, and their position on astronomical alignments. We also consider temporal variables and the impact of aspects of Indo-European ideology on the construction of the representations in their astronomical relationships.

  1. 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...

  2. 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.

  3. 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...

  4. ``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.

  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. 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...

  7. 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.

  8. 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...

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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...

  13. 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.

  14. 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 ...

  15. 156th Symposium of the International Astronomical Union

    CERN Document Server

    Kołaczek, Barbara

    1993-01-01

    In this review talk, I would like to report on the proper motion analysis, which has been recently carried out together with M. Soma and M. Yoshizawa: There has been a persistent demand in astronomy for accurate stellar positions and proper motions, which are represented by an inertial reference system constructed on the basis of a set of consistent astronomical constants. In the reference system the precessional constant plays a primary role. In a series of papers Fricke (1967a,b, 1977a,b) has deter­ mined the luni-solar precessional correction to Newcomb's value and the fictitious motion of the equinox, which have been adopted in the "IAU (1976) System of Astronomical Con­ stants". Based on the precessional correction and the equinoctial motion thus established, the fundamental reference system, the FK5 system (Fricke et al. 1988) for positions and proper motions, has been constructed. However, for several years geodetic VLBI (McCarthy & Luzum 1991) and LLR (Williams et at. 1991) observations have bee...

  16. Data Model for Astronomical DataSet Characterisation Version 1.13

    Science.gov (United States)

    Louys, Mireille; Richards, Anita; Bonnarel, François; Micol, Alberto; Chilingarian, Igor; McDowell, Jonathan; IVOA Data Model Working Group; Louys, Mireille; Richards, Anita; Bonnarel, François; Micol, Alberto; Chilingarian, Igor; McDowell, Jonathan

    2008-03-01

    This document defines the high level metadata necessary to describe the physical parameter space of observed or simulated astronomical data sets, such as 2D-images, data cubes, X-ray event lists, IFU data, etc. The Characterisation data model is an abstraction which can be used to derive a structured description of any relevant data and thus to facilitate its discovery and scientific interpretation. The model aims at facilitating the manipulation of heterogeneous data in any VO framework or portal. A VO Characterisation instance can include descriptions of the data axes, the range of coordinates covered by the data, and details of the data sampling and resolution on each axis. These descriptions should be in terms of physical variables, independent of instrumental signatures as far as possible. Implementations of this model has been described in the IVOA Note available at: http://www.ivoa.net/Documents/Notes/ImplemtationCharacDM/ImplementationCharacterisation-20070813.pdf Utypes derived from this version of the UML model are listed and commented in the following IVOA Note: http://www.ivoa.net/Documents/Notes/UTypeListCharacterisationDM/UtypeListCharacterisationDM-20070625.pdf An XML schema has been build up from the UML model and is available at: http://www.ivoa.net/xml/Characterisation/Characterisation-v1.11.xsd

  17. Data Model for Astronomical DataSet Characterisation Version 1.12

    Science.gov (United States)

    Louys, Mireille; Richards, Anita; Bonnarel, François; Micol, Alberto; Chilingarian, Igor; McDowell, Jonathan; IVOA Data Model Working Group; Louys, Mireille; Richards, Anita; Bonnarel, François; Micol, Alberto; Chilingarian, Igor; McDowell, Jonathan

    2007-11-01

    This document defines the high level metadata necessary to describe the physical parameter space of observed or simulated astronomical data sets, such as 2D-images, data cubes, X-ray event lists, IFU data, etc. The Characterisation data model is an abstraction which can be used to derive a structured description of any relevant data and thus to facilitate its discovery and scientific interpretation. The model aims at facilitating the manipulation of heterogeneous data in any VO framework or portal. A VO Characterisation instance can include descriptions of the data axes, the range of coordinates covered by the data, and details of the data sampling and resolution on each axis. These descriptions should be in terms of physical variables, independent of instrumental signatures as far as possible. Implementations of this model has been described in the IVOA Note available at: http://www.ivoa.net/Documents/Notes/ImplemtationCharacDM/ImplementationCharacterisation-20070813.pdf Utypes derived from the UML model are listed and commented in the following IVOA Note: http://www.ivoa.net/Documents/latest/UtypeListCharacterisationDM.html

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. Virtual Astronomy: The Legacy of the Virtual Astronomical Observatory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanisch, Robert J.; Berriman, G. B.; Lazio, J.; Szalay, A. S.; Fabbiano, G.; Plante, R. L.; McGlynn, T. A.; Evans, J.; Emery Bunn, S.; Claro, M.; VAO Project Team

    2014-01-01

    Over the past ten years, the Virtual Astronomical Observatory (VAO, http://usvao.org) and its predecessor, the National Virtual Observatory (NVO), have developed and operated a software infrastructure consisting of standards and protocols for data and science software applications. The Virtual Observatory (VO) makes it possible to develop robust software for the discovery, access, and analysis of astronomical data. Every major publicly funded research organization in the US and worldwide has deployed at least some components of the VO infrastructure; tens of thousands of VO-enabled queries for data are invoked daily against catalog, image, and spectral data collections; and groups within the community have developed tools and applications building upon the VO infrastructure. Further, NVO and VAO have helped ensure access to data internationally by co-founding the International Virtual Observatory Alliance (IVOA, http://ivoa.net). The products of the VAO are being archived in a publicly accessible repository. Several science tools developed by the VAO will continue to be supported by the organizations that developed them: the Iris spectral energy distribution package (SAO), the Data Discovery Tool (STScI/MAST, HEASARC), and the scalable cross-comparison service (IPAC). The final year of VAO is focused on development of the data access protocol for data cubes, creation of Python language bindings to VO services, and deployment of a cloud-like data storage service that links to VO data discovery tools (SciDrive). We encourage the community to make use of these tools and services, to extend and improve them, and to carry on with the vision for virtual astronomy: astronomical research enabled by easy access to distributed data and computational resources. Funding for VAO development and operations has been provided jointly by NSF and NASA since May 2010. NSF funding will end in September 2014, though with the possibility of competitive solicitations for VO-based tool

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. Creating a Super Instrument

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kallionpää, Maria; Gasselseder, Hans-Peter

    2015-01-01

    interested in different ways of "supersizing" acoustic instruments in order to open up previously-unheard instrumental sounds. This leads us to the question of what constitutes a super instrument and what challenges does it pose aesthetically and technically? Although the classical music performers have...

  5. Instrument engineers' handbook

    CERN Document Server

    Unsurpassed in its coverage, usability, and authority since first published in 1969, the three-volume Instrument Engineers' Handbook continues to be the premier reference for instrument engineers around the world. It helps users select and implement hundreds of measurement and control instruments and analytical devices and design the most cost-effective process control systems to optimize production and maximize safety.

  6. 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/.

  7. A Test Facility For Astronomical X-Ray Optics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    1989-01-01

    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......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...... 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...

  8. Test facility for astronomical x-ray optics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    1990-01-01

    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......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...... 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...

  9. 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...

  10. Astronomical and related knowledge of Venezuelan indigeneous groups

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sánchez, D.

    2009-05-01

    This work comprises the research (1990-2005) by the author in relation with the astronomical knowledge of the aboriginal ethnic groups living in Venezuela. Essentially it is a resume of the three books by the author titled Astronomy of the Arawaks from Venezuela, Astronomy of the Caribs from Venezuela, and Astronomy of the Bari (Chibchan) and Isolated ethnic groups from Venezuela. The research has been guided mainly by the cosmogonic and cosmological concepts of each one of the more than twenty ethnic groups living in Venezuela, included in the above mentioned books, and also with the relations they have between the cosmos and climate, habitat conditions, mythology and their daily work, their life and culture. Due to the fact that this research covers very different human groups, obviously, we will find several ways in the description of origins and organization of the cosmos.

  11. 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.

  12. 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...

  13. A Test Facility For Astronomical X-Ray Optics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    1989-01-01

    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......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...... 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 at the...

  14. 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...

  15. Training Families To Learn Science Together Using Astronomical Topics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noel-Storr, Jacob; Wyllie, G.; Lierheimer, D.

    2012-05-01

    We present a collection of messages and lessons learned from a set of Family Science programs that have been developed, implemented and/or evaluated by the RIT Insight Lab over the past 5 years. The programs are connected by their use of astronomical topics to serve as the motivator for engagement and learning. The programs all focus on the development of inquiry skills and connecting family members to each other as science learning communities, rather than focusing on the development of specific content knowledge. We show how family science programs can increase engagement in STEM for parents and their children alike, and strengthen the pipeline of the next generation of scientists and engineers.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. CfunBASE: A Cosmological Functions Library for Astronomical Databases

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taghizadeh-Popp, M.

    2010-08-01

    CfunBASE is a customizable C# cosmological functions library in the .NET framework. Its primary use is in CasJobs/SkyServer, where the functions are ported into a MS-SQL Server database hosting the SDSS science archive, and can be executed through simple T-SQL commands. This gives cloud-computing users the possibility of calculating cosmological distances, volumes and times as a function of redshift, as well as their respective inverse functions. Also included are basic data exploratory analysis tools, such as binning, N-dimensional weighted histograms, and quantile and cumulative distribution aggregate functions. Advanced astronomical examples are presented and discussed, such as the T-SQL implementation and fast computation of luminosity functions, color-magnitude diagrams, and the friends-of-friends galaxy cluster identification algorithm.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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...

  6. ESO Reflex: A Graphical Workflow Engine for Astronomical Data Reduction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hook, Richard; Romaniello, Martino; Ullgrén, Marko; Maisala, Sami; Solin, Otto; Oittinen, Tero; Savolainen, Villa; Järveläinen, Pekka; Tyynelä, Jani; Péron, Michèle; Izzo, Carlo; Ballester, Pascal; Gabasch, Armin

    2008-03-01

    ESO Reflex is a software tool that provides a novel approach to astronomical data reduction. The reduction sequence is rendered and controlled as a graphical workflow. Users can follow and interact with the processing in an intuitive manner, without the need for complex scripting. The graphical interface also allows the modification of existing workflows and the creation of new ones. ESO Reflex can invoke standard ESO data reduction recipes in a flexible way. Python scripts, IDL procedures and shell commands can also be easily brought into workflows and a variety of visualisation and display options, including custom product inspection and validation steps, are available. ESO Reflex was developed in the context of the Sampo project, a three-year effort led by ESO and conducted by a software development team from Finland as an in-kind contribution to joining ESO. It is planned that the software will be released to the community in late 2008.

  7. 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...

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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...

  12. 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.

  13. The application of artificial intelligence to astronomical scheduling problems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnston, Mark D.

    1992-01-01

    Efficient utilization of expensive space- and ground-based observatories is an important goal for the astronomical community; the cost of modern observing facilities is enormous, and the available observing time is much less than the demand from astronomers around the world. The complexity and variety of scheduling constraints and goals has led several groups to investigate how artificial intelligence (AI) techniques might help solve these kinds of problems. The earliest and most successful of these projects was started at Space Telescope Science Institute in 1987 and has led to the development of the Spike scheduling system to support the scheduling of Hubble Space Telescope (HST). The aim of Spike at STScI is to allocate observations to timescales of days to a week observing all scheduling constraints and maximizing preferences that help ensure that observations are made at optimal times. Spike has been in use operationally for HST since shortly after the observatory was launched in Apr. 1990. Although developed specifically for HST scheduling, Spike was carefully designed to provide a general framework for similar (activity-based) scheduling problems. In particular, the tasks to be scheduled are defined in the system in general terms, and no assumptions about the scheduling timescale are built in. The mechanisms for describing, combining, and propagating temporal and other constraints and preferences are quite general. The success of this approach has been demonstrated by the application of Spike to the scheduling of other satellite observatories: changes to the system are required only in the specific constraints that apply, and not in the framework itself. In particular, the Spike framework is sufficiently flexible to handle both long-term and short-term scheduling, on timescales of years down to minutes or less. This talk will discuss recent progress made in scheduling search techniques, the lessons learned from early HST operations, the application of Spike

  14. Lossless Astronomical Image Compression and the Effects of Random Noise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pence, William

    2009-01-01

    In this paper we compare a variety of modern image compression methods on a large sample of astronomical images. We begin by demonstrating from first principles how the amount of noise in the image pixel values sets a theoretical upper limit on the lossless compression ratio of the image. We derive simple procedures for measuring the amount of noise in an image and for quantitatively predicting how much compression will be possible. We then compare the traditional technique of using the GZIP utility to externally compress the image, with a newer technique of dividing the image into tiles, and then compressing and storing each tile in a FITS binary table structure. This tiled-image compression technique offers a choice of other compression algorithms besides GZIP, some of which are much better suited to compressing astronomical images. Our tests on a large sample of images show that the Rice algorithm provides the best combination of speed and compression efficiency. In particular, Rice typically produces 1.5 times greater compression and provides much faster compression speed than GZIP. Floating point images generally contain too much noise to be effectively compressed with any lossless algorithm. We have developed a compression technique which discards some of the useless noise bits by quantizing the pixel values as scaled integers. The integer images can then be compressed by a factor of 4 or more. Our image compression and uncompression utilities (called fpack and funpack) that were used in this study are publicly available from the HEASARC web site.Users may run these stand-alone programs to compress and uncompress their own images.

  15. Status of safeguards instrumentation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The International Atomic Energy Agency is performing safeguards at some nuclear power reactors, 50 bulk processing facilities, and 170 research facilities. Its verification activities require the use of instruments to measure nuclear materials and of surveillance instruments to maintain continuity of knowledge of the locations of nuclear materials. Instruments that are in use and under development to measure weight, volume, concentration, and isotopic composition of nuclear materials, and the major surveillance instruments, are described in connection with their uses at representative nuclear facilities. The current status of safeguards instrumentation and the needs for future development are discussed

  16. 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.

  17. The Role of Perspective Taking in How Children Connect Reference Frames When Explaining Astronomical Phenomena

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plummer, Julia D.; Bower, Corinne A.; Liben, Lynn S.

    2016-01-01

    This study investigates the role of perspective-taking skills in how children explain spatially complex astronomical phenomena. Explaining many astronomical phenomena, especially those studied in elementary and middle school, requires shifting between an Earth-based description of the phenomena and a space-based reference frame. We studied 7- to…

  18. Factors Contributing to Amateur Astronomers' Involvement in Education and Public Outreach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yocco, Victor; Jones, Eric C.; Storksdieck, Martin

    2012-01-01

    Amateur astronomers play a critical role engaging the general public in astronomy. The role of individual and club-related factors is explored using data from two surveys (Survey 1 N = 1142; Survey 2 N = 1242) of amateur astronomers. Analysis suggests that formal or informal training in astronomy, age, club membership, length of club membership,…

  19. 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.

  20. 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.