WorldWideScience

Sample records for astronomical observatory eso

  1. ESO's Two Observatories Merge

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-02-01

    , a unique instrument capable of measuring stellar radial velocities with an unsurpassed accuracy better than 1 m/s, making it a very powerful tool for the discovery of extra-solar planets. In addition, astronomers have also access to the 2.2-m ESO/MPG telescope with its Wide Field Imager camera. A new control room, the RITZ (Remote Integrated Telescope Zentrum), allows operating all three ESO telescopes at La Silla from a single place. The La Silla Observatory is also the first world-class observatory to have been granted certification for the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 9001 Quality Management System. Moreover, the infrastructure of La Silla is still used by many of the ESO member states for targeted projects such as the Swiss 1.2-m Euler telescope and the robotic telescope specialized in the follow-up of gamma-ray bursts detected by satellites, the Italian REM (Rapid Eye Mount). In addition, La Silla is in charge of the APEX (Atacama Pathfinder Experiment) 12-m sub-millimetre telescope which will soon start routine observations at Chajnantor, the site of the future Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA). The APEX project is a collaboration between the Max Planck Society in Germany, Onsala Observatory in Sweden and ESO. ESO also operates Paranal, home of the Very Large Telescope (VLT) and the VLT Interferometer (VLTI). Antu, the first 8.2-m Unit Telescope of the VLT, saw First Light in May 1998, starting what has become a revolution in European astronomy. Since then, the three other Unit Telescopes - Kueyen, Melipal and Yepun - have been successfully put into operation with an impressive suite of the most advanced astronomical instruments. The interferometric mode of the VLT (VLTI) is also operational and fully integrated in the VLT data flow system. In the VLTI mode, one state-of-the-art instrument is already available and another will follow soon. With its remarkable resolution and unsurpassed surface area, the VLT is at the forefront of

  2. NASA and ESA astronauts visit ESO. Hubble repair team meets European astronomers in Garching.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1994-02-01

    On Wednesday, February 16, 1994, seven NASA and ESA astronauts and their spouses will spend a day at the Headquarters of the European Southern Observatory. They are the members of the STS-61 crew that successfully repaired the Hubble Space Telescope during a Space Shuttle mission in December 1993. This will be the only stop in Germany during their current tour of various European countries. ESO houses the Space Telescope European Coordinating Facility (ST/ECF), a joint venture by the European Space Agency and ESO. This group of astronomers and computer specialists provide all services needed by European astronomers for observations with the Space Telescope. Currently, the European share is about 20 of the total time available at this telescope. During this visit, a Press Conference will be held on Wednesday, February 16, 11:45 - 12:30 at the ESO Headquarters Karl-Schwarzschild-Strasse 2 D-85748 Garching bei Munchen. Please note that participation in this Press Conference is by invitation only. Media representatives may obtain invitations from Mrs. E. Volk, ESO Information Service at this address (Tel.: +49-89-32006276; Fax.: +49-89-3202362), until Friday, February 11, 1994. After the Press Conference, between 12:30 - 14:00, a light refreshment will be served at the ESO Headquarters to all participants. >From 14:00 - 15:30, the astronauts will meet with students and teachers from the many scientific institutes in Garching in the course of an open presentation at the large lecture hall of the Physics Department of the Technical University. It is a 10 minute walk from ESO to the hall. Later the same day, the astronauts will be back at ESO for a private discussion of various space astronomy issues with their astronomer colleagues, many of whom are users of the Hubble Space Telescope, as well as ground-based telescopes at the ESO La Silla Observatory and elsewhere. The astronauts continue to Switzerland in the evening.

  3. ESO takes the public on an astronomical journey "Around the World in 80 Telescopes"

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-03-01

    A live 24-hour free public video webcast, "Around the World in 80 Telescopes", will take place from 3 April 09:00 UT/GMT to 4 April 09:00 UT/GMT, chasing day and night around the globe to let viewers "visit" some of the most advanced astronomical telescopes on and off the planet. The webcast, organised by ESO for the International Year of Astronomy 2009 (IYA2009), is the first time that so many large observatories have been linked together for a public event. ESO PR Photo 13a/09 Map of Participating Observatories ESO PR Photo 13b/09 100 Hours of Astronomy logo Viewers will see new images of the cosmos, find out what observatories in their home countries or on the other side of the planet are discovering, send in questions and messages, and discover what astronomers are doing right now. Participating telescopes include those at observatories in Chile such as ESO's Very Large Telescope and La Silla, the Hawaii-based telescopes Gemini North and Keck, the Anglo-Australian Telescope, telescopes in the Canary Islands, the Southern African Large Telescope, space-based telescopes such as the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, ESA XMM-Newton and Integral, and many more. "Around the World in 80 Telescopes" will take viewers to every continent, including Antarctica! The webcast production will be hosted at ESO's headquarters near Munich, Germany, with live internet streaming by Ustream.tv. Anyone with a web browser supporting Adobe Flash will be able to follow the show, free of charge, from the website www.100hoursofastronomy.org and be a part of the project by sending messages and questions. The video player can be freely embedded on other websites. TV stations, web portals and science centres can also use the high quality feed. Representatives of the media who wish to report from the "front-line" and interview the team should get in touch. "Around the World in 80 Telescopes" is a major component of the 100 Hours of Astronomy (100HA), a Cornerstone project of the International

  4. Astronomical virtual observatory and the place and role of Bulgarian one

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petrov, Georgi; Dechev, Momchil; Slavcheva-Mihova, Luba; Duchlev, Peter; Mihov, Bojko; Kochev, Valentin; Bachev, Rumen

    2009-07-01

    Virtual observatory could be defined as a collection of integrated astronomical data archives and software tools that utilize computer networks to create an environment in which research can be conducted. Several countries have initiated national virtual observatory programs that combine existing databases from ground-based and orbiting observatories, scientific facility especially equipped to detect and record naturally occurring scientific phenomena. As a result, data from all the world's major observatories will be available to all users and to the public. This is significant not only because of the immense volume of astronomical data but also because the data on stars and galaxies has been compiled from observations in a variety of wavelengths-optical, radio, infrared, gamma ray, X-ray and more. In a virtual observatory environment, all of this data is integrated so that it can be synthesized and used in a given study. During the autumn of the 2001 (26.09.2001) six organizations from Europe put the establishment of the Astronomical Virtual Observatory (AVO)-ESO, ESA, Astrogrid, CDS, CNRS, Jodrell Bank (Dolensky et al., 2003). Its aims have been outlined as follows: - To provide comparative analysis of large sets of multiwavelength data; - To reuse data collected by a single source; - To provide uniform access to data; - To make data available to less-advantaged communities; - To be an educational tool. The Virtual observatory includes: - Tools that make it easy to locate and retrieve data from catalogues, archives, and databases worldwide; - Tools for data analysis, simulation, and visualization; - Tools to compare observations with results obtained from models, simulations and theory; - Interoperability: services that can be used regardless of the clients computing platform, operating system and software capabilities; - Access to data in near real-time, archived data and historical data; - Additional information - documentation, user-guides, reports

  5. The Russian-Ukrainian Observatories Network for the European Astronomical Observatory Route Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrievsky, S. M.; Bondar, N. I.; Karetnikov, V. G.; Kazantseva, L. V.; Nefedyev, Y. A.; Pinigin, G. I.; Pozhalova, Zh. A.; Rostopchina-Shakhovskay, A. N.; Stepanov, A. V.; Tolbin, S. V.

    2011-09-01

    In 2004,the Center of UNESCO World Heritage has announced a new initiative "Astronomy & World Heritage" directed for search and preserving of objects,referred to astronomy,its history in a global value,historical and cultural properties. There were defined a strategy of thematic programme "Initiative" and general criteria for selecting of ancient astronomical objects and observatories. In particular, properties that are situated or have significance in relation to celestial objects or astronomical events; representations of sky and/or celestial bodies and astronomical events; observatories and instruments; properties closely connected with the history of astronomy. In 2005-2006,in accordance with the program "Initiative", information about outstanding properties connected with astronomy have been collected.In Ukraine such work was organized by astronomical expert group in Nikolaev Astronomical Observatory. In 2007, Nikolaev observatory was included to the Tentative List of UNESCO under # 5116. Later, in 2008, the network of four astronomical observatories of Ukraine in Kiev,Crimea, Nikolaev and Odessa,considering their high authenticities and integrities,was included to the Tentative List of UNESCO under # 5267 "Astronomical Observatories of Ukraine". In 2008-2009, a new project "Thematic Study" was opened as a successor of "Initiative". It includes all fields of astronomical heritage from earlier prehistory to the Space astronomy (14 themes in total). We present the Ukraine-Russian Observatories network for the "European astronomical observatory Route project". From Russia two observatories are presented: Kazan Observatory and Pulkovo Observatory in the theme "Astronomy from the Renaissance to the mid-twentieth century".The description of astronomical observatories of Ukraine is given in accordance with the project "Thematic study"; the theme "Astronomy from the Renaissance to the mid-twentieth century" - astronomical observatories in Kiev,Nikolaev and Odessa; the

  6. UK Announces Intention to Join ESO

    Science.gov (United States)

    2000-11-01

    Summary The Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council (PPARC) , the UK's strategic science investment agency, today announced that the government of the United Kingdom is making funds available that provide a baseline for this country to join the European Southern Observatory (ESO) . The ESO Director General, Dr. Catherine Cesarsky , and the ESO Community warmly welcome this move towards fuller integration in European astronomy. "With the UK as a potential member country of ESO, our joint opportunities for front-line research and technology will grow significantly", she said. "This announcement is a clear sign of confidence in ESO's abilities, most recently demonstrated with the construction and operation of the unique Very Large Telescope (VLT) on Paranal. Together we will look forward with confidence towards new, exciting projects in ground-based astronomy." It was decided earlier this year to place the 4-m UK Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope (VISTA) at Paranal, cf. ESO Press Release 03/00. Following negotiations between ESO and PPARC, a detailed proposal for the associated UK/ESO Agreement with the various entry modalities will now be presented to the ESO Council for approval. Before this Agreement can enter into force, the ESO Convention and associated protocols must also be ratified by the UK Parliament. Research and key technologies According to the PPARC press release, increased funding for science, announced by the UK government today, will enable UK astronomers to prepare for the next generation of telescopes and expand their current telescope portfolio through membership of the European Southern Observatory (ESO). The uplift to its baseline budget will enable PPARC to enter into final negotiations for UK membership of the ESO. This will ensure that UK astronomers, together with their colleagues in the ESO member states, are actively involved in global scale preparations for the next generation of astronomy facilities. among these are ALMA

  7. Astronomical Research Using Virtual Observatories

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M Tanaka

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available The Virtual Observatory (VO for Astronomy is a framework that empowers astronomical research by providing standard methods to find, access, and utilize astronomical data archives distributed around the world. VO projects in the world have been strenuously developing VO software tools and/or portal systems. Interoperability among VO projects has been achieved with the VO standard protocols defined by the International Virtual Observatory Alliance (IVOA. As a result, VO technologies are now used in obtaining astronomical research results from a huge amount of data. We describe typical examples of astronomical research enabled by the astronomical VO, and describe how the VO technologies are used in the research.

  8. Brazil to Join the European Southern Observatory

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-12-01

    The Federative Republic of Brazil has yesterday signed the formal accession agreement paving the way for it to become a Member State of the European Southern Observatory (ESO). Following government ratification Brazil will become the fifteenth Member State and the first from outside Europe. On 29 December 2010, at a ceremony in Brasilia, the Brazilian Minister of Science and Technology, Sergio Machado Rezende and the ESO Director General, Tim de Zeeuw signed the formal accession agreement aiming to make Brazil a Member State of the European Southern Observatory. Brazil will become the fifteen Member State and the first from outside Europe. Since the agreement means accession to an international convention, the agreement must now be submitted to the Brazilian Parliament for ratification [1]. The signing of the agreement followed the unanimous approval by the ESO Council during an extraordinary meeting on 21 December 2010. "Joining ESO will give new impetus to the development of science, technology and innovation in Brazil as part of the considerable efforts our government is making to keep the country advancing in these strategic areas," says Rezende. The European Southern Observatory has a long history of successful involvement with South America, ever since Chile was selected as the best site for its observatories in 1963. Until now, however, no non-European country has joined ESO as a Member State. "The membership of Brazil will give the vibrant Brazilian astronomical community full access to the most productive observatory in the world and open up opportunities for Brazilian high-tech industry to contribute to the European Extremely Large Telescope project. It will also bring new resources and skills to the organisation at the right time for them to make a major contribution to this exciting project," adds ESO Director General, Tim de Zeeuw. The European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT) telescope design phase was recently completed and a major review was

  9. Astronomical publications of Melbourne Observatory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andropoulos, Jenny Ioanna

    2014-05-01

    During the second half of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century, four well-equipped government observatories were maintained in Australia - in Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide and Perth. These institutions conducted astronomical observations, often in the course of providing a local time service, and they also collected and collated meteorological data. As well, some of these observatories were involved at times in geodetic surveying, geomagnetic recording, gravity measurements, seismology, tide recording and physical standards, so the term "observatory" was being used in a rather broad sense! Despite the international renown that once applied to Williamstown and Melbourne Observatories, relatively little has been written by modern-day scholars about astronomical activities at these observatories. This research is intended to rectify this situation to some extent by gathering, cataloguing and analysing the published astronomical output of the two Observatories to see what contributions they made to science and society. It also compares their contributions with those of Sydney, Adelaide and Perth Observatories. Overall, Williamstown and Melbourne Observatories produced a prodigious amount of material on astronomy in scientific and technical journals, in reports and in newspapers. The other observatories more or less did likewise, so no observatory of those studied markedly outperformed the others in the long term, especially when account is taken of their relative resourcing in staff and equipment.

  10. The First Astronomical Observatory in Cluj-Napoca

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szenkovits, Ferenc

    2008-09-01

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

  11. Portugal to Accede to ESO

    Science.gov (United States)

    2000-06-01

    The Republic of Portugal will become the ninth member state of the European Southern Observatory (ESO) [1]. Today, during a ceremony at the ESO Headquarters in Garching (Germany), a corresponding Agreement was signed by the Portuguese Minister of Science and Technology, José Mariano Gago and the ESO Director General, Catherine Cesarsky , in the presence of other high officials from Portugal and the ESO member states (see Video Clip 05/00 below). Following subsequent ratification by the Portuguese Parliament of the ESO Convention and the associated protocols [2], it is foreseen that Portugal will formally join this organisation on January 1, 2001. Uniting European Astronomy ESO PR Photo 16/00 ESO PR Photo 16/00 [Preview - JPEG: 400 x 405 pix - 160k] [Normal - JPEG: 800 x 809 pix - 408k] Caption : Signing of the Portugal-ESO Agreement on June 27, 2000, at the ESO Headquarters in Garching (Germany). At the table, the ESO Director General, Catherine Cesarsky , and the Portuguese Minister of Science and Technology, José Mariano Gago . In his speech, the Portuguese Minister of Science and Technology, José Mariano Gago , stated that "the accession of Portugal to ESO is the result of a joint effort by ESO and Portugal during the last ten years. It was made possible by the rapid Portuguese scientific development and by the growth and internationalisation of its scientific community." He continued: "Portugal is fully committed to European scientific and technological development. We will devote our best efforts to the success of ESO". Catherine Cesarsky , ESO Director General since 1999, warmly welcomed the Portuguese intention to join ESO. "With the accession of their country to ESO, Portuguese astronomers will have great opportunities for working on research programmes at the frontiers of modern astrophysics." "This is indeed a good time to join ESO", she added. "The four 8.2-m VLT Unit Telescopes with their many first-class instruments are nearly ready, and the VLT

  12. ESO celebrates 50 years of “Euro-astronomy”

    CERN Multimedia

    Anaïs Schaeffer

    2012-01-01

    Today the European Southern Observatory is celebrating its 50th anniversary. This article retraces the story of one of Europe's greatest laboratories, which came into being with CERN's support and assistance.   La Silla, June 1968. The three telescopes in the background are (from left to right): the Grand Prism Objectif (GPO, first light in 1968), the ESO 1 metre telescope (1966), and the ESO 1.5 metre telescope (1968). They have been decommissioned. The white dome closest to the viewer is the ESO 1 metre Schmidt telescope, which began work in 1971. Image: ESO/E. Maurice. In the spring of 1953, in Leiden in the Netherlands, a group of astronomers including Walter Baade, Jan Oort, Adriaan Blaauw, Otto Heckmann and Jan Bannier (who was then President of CERN's Provisional Council) for the first time discussed the possibility of founding a European space observatory. The objective was to build it in the southern hemisphere where there were very few observatories with pow...

  13. REOSC Delivers the Best Astronomical Mirror in the World to ESO

    Science.gov (United States)

    1999-12-01

    On December 14, 1999, REOSC , the Optical Department of the SAGEM Group , finished the polishing of the fourth 8.2-m main mirror for the Very Large Telescope (VLT) of the European Southern Observatory. The mirror was today delivered to ESO at a ceremony at the REOSC factory in Saint Pierre du Perray, just south of Paris. The precision of the form of the mirror that was achieved during the polishing process is 8.5 nanometer (1 nanometer = 1 millionth of a millimetre) over the optical surface. This exceptional value corresponds to an optical resolution (theoretical image sharpness) of 0.03 arcseconds in the visible spectrum. This corresponds to distinguishing two objects separated by only 15 cm at a distance of 1000 km and will allow to detect astronomical objects that are 10,000 million times fainter than what can be perceived with the unaided eye. This impressive measure of quality, achieved by the REOSC teams during much painstaking work, implies that this VLT mirror is the most accurate in the world. In fact, all four 8.2-m VLT main mirrors polished by REOSC are well within the very strict specifications set by ESO, but this is the best of them all. The celebration today is the successful highlight of a contract initiated more than ten years ago, during which REOSC has perfected new polishing and control techniques - innovations improved and developed in a unique workshop dedicated to these giant mirrors. These methods and means are directly applicable to the new generations of segmented mirrors that are now being developed for astronomy and space observations. They are, in this sense, at the foremost front of optical technology. REOSC, the Optical Department of the SAGEM Group , is specialised in the study and realisation of high-precision optics for astronomy, space, defence, science and industry. For earlier information about the work on the VLT mirrors, cf. ESO Press Release 15/95 (13 November 1995). The SAGEM Group is a French high-technology group. It

  14. Early German Plans for a Southern Observatory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolfschmidt, Gudrun

    As early as the 18th and 19th centuries, French and English observers were active in South Africa. Around the beginning of the 20th century the Heidelberg astronomer Max Wolf (1863-1932) proposed a southern observatory. In 1907 Hermann Carl Vogel (1841-1907), director of the Astrophysical Observatory Potsdam, suggested a southern station in Spain. His ideas for building an observatory in Windhuk for photographing the sky and measuring the solar constant were taken over by the Göttingen astronomers. In 1910 Karl Schwarzschild (1873-1916), after having visited the observatories in America, pointed out the usefulness of an observatory in South West Africa, where it would have better weather than in Germany and also give access to the southern sky. Seeing tests were begun in 1910 by Potsdam astronomers, but WW I stopped the plans. In 1928 Erwin Finlay-Freundlich (1885-1964), inspired by the Hamburg astronomer Walter Baade (1893-1960), worked out a detailed plan for a southern observatory with a reflecting telescope, spectrographs and an astrograph with an objective prism. Paul Guthnick (1879-1947), director of the Berlin observatory, in cooperation with APO Potsdam and Hamburg, made a site survey to Africa in 1929 and found the conditions in Windhuk to be ideal. Observations were started in the 1930s by Berlin and Breslau astronomers, but were stopped by WW II. In the 1950s, astronomers from Hamburg and The Netherlands renewed the discussion in the framework of European cooperation, and this led to the founding of ESO in 1963, as is well described by Blaauw (1991). Blaauw, Adriaan: ESO's Early History. The European Southern Observatory from Concept to Reality. Garching bei München: ESO 1991.

  15. Astronomical Observatory of Belgrade from 1924 to 1955

    Science.gov (United States)

    Radovanac, M.

    2014-12-01

    History of the Astronomical Observatory in Belgrade, as the presentation is done here, become the field of interest to the author of the present monograph in early 2002. Then, together with Luka C. Popovic, during the Conference "Development of Astronomy among Serbs II" held in early April of that year, he prepared a paper entitled "Astronomska opservatorija tokom Drugog Svetskog rata" (Astronomical Observatory in the Second World War). This paper was based on the archives material concerning the Astronomical Observatory which has been professionally bearing in mind the author's position the subject of his work.

  16. 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

  17. The South African Astronomical Observatory

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1989-01-01

    The research work discussed in this report covers a wide range, from work on the nearest stars to studies of the distant quasars, and the astronomers who have carried out this work come from universities and observatories spread around the world as well as from South African universities and from the South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO) staff itself. A characteristic of much of this work has been its collaborative character. SAAO studies in 1989 included: supernovae 1987A; galaxies; ground-based observations of celestial x-ray sources; the Magellanic Clouds; pulsating variables; galactic structure; binary star phenomena; the provision of photometric standards; nebulous matter; stellar astrophysics, and astrometry

  18. United Kingdom to Join ESO on July 1, 2002

    Science.gov (United States)

    2001-12-01

    ESO and PPARC Councils Endorse Terms of Accession [1] The Councils of the European Southern Observatory (ESO) and the UK Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council (PPARC) , at their respective meetings on December 3 and 5, 2001, have endorsed the terms for UK membership of ESO, as recently agreed by their Negotiating Teams. All members of the Councils - the governing bodies of the two organisations - welcomed the positive spirit in which the extensive negotiations had been conducted and expressed great satisfaction at the successful outcome of a complex process. The formal procedure of accession will now commence in the UK and is expected to be achieved in good time to allow accession from July 2002. The European Southern Observatory is the main European organisation for astronomy and the United Kingdom will become its tenth member state [2]. ESO operates two major observatories in the Chilean Atacama desert where the conditions for astronomical observations are second-to-none on earth and it has recently put into operation the world's foremost optical/infrared telescope, the Very Large Telescope (VLT) at Paranal. With UK membership, British astronomers will join their European colleagues in preparing new projects now being planned on a global scale. They will also be able to pursue their research on some of the most powerful astronomical instruments available. The ESO Director General, Dr. Catherine Cesarsky , is "delighted that we have come this far after the lengthy negotiations needed to prepare properly the admission of another major European country to our organisation. When ESO was created nearly 40 years ago, the UK was planning for its own facilities in the southern hemisphere, in collaboration with Australia, and decided not to join. However, the impressive scientific and technological advances since then and ESOs emergence as a prime player on the European research scene have convinced our UK colleagues of the great advantages of presenting a

  19. 150th Anniversary of the Astronomical Observatory Library of Sciences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Solntseva, T.

    The scientific library of the Astronomical observatory of Kyiv Taras Shevchenko University is one of the oldest ones of such a type in Ukraine. Our Astronomical Observatory and its scientific library will celebrate 150th anniversary of their foundation. 900 volumes of duplicates of Olbers' private library underlay our library. These ones were acquired by Russian Academy of Sciences for Poulkovo observatory in 1841 but according to Struve's order were transmitted to Kyiv Saint Volodymyr University. These books are of great value. There are works edited during Copernicus', Kepler's, Galilei's, Newton's, Descartes' lifetime. Our library contains more than 100000 units of storage - monographs, periodical astronomical editions from the first (Astronomische Nachrichten, Astronomical journal, Monthly Notices etc.), editions of the majority of the astronomical observatories and institutions of the world, unique astronomical atlases and maps

  20. ESO Telescope Designer Raymond Wilson Wins Prestigious Kavli Award for Astrophysics

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-06-01

    with four individual telescopes with 17.5 cm thick 8.2-metre mirrors. Active optics has contributed towards making the VLT the world's most successful ground-based observatory and will be an integral part of ESO's European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT) project. Active optics technology is also part of the twin 10-metre Keck telescopes, the Subaru telescope's 8.2-metre mirror and the two 8.1-metre Gemini telescopes. Co-prize winners Jerry Nelson and Roger Angel respectively pioneered the use of segmentation in telescope primary mirrors - as used on the Keck telescopes, and the development of lightweight mirrors with short focal ratios. A webcast from Oslo, Norway, announcing the prize winners is available at www.kavlifoundation.org and www.kavliprize.no. More information ESO, the European Southern Observatory, is the foremost intergovernmental astronomy organisation in Europe and the world's most productive astronomical observatory. It is supported by 14 countries: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. ESO carries out an ambitious programme focused on the design, construction and operation of powerful ground-based observing facilities enabling astronomers to make important scientific discoveries. ESO also plays a leading role in promoting and organising cooperation in astronomical research. ESO operates three unique world-class observing sites in Chile: La Silla, Paranal and Chajnantor. At Paranal, ESO operates the Very Large Telescope, the world's most advanced visible-light astronomical observatory and VISTA, the world's largest survey telescope. ESO is the European partner of a revolutionary astronomical telescope ALMA, the largest astronomical project in existence. ESO is currently planning a 42-metre European Extremely Large optical/near-infrared Telescope, the E-ELT, which will become "the world's biggest eye on the sky".

  1. ESO's Hidden Treasures Brought to Light

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-01

    Adam Kiil. 19. NGC 2467 - number 2 by Josh Barrington. 20. Haffner 18 and 19 by Javier Fuentes. Igor Chekalin, winner of the trip to Paranal, says: "It was a great experience and pleasure to work with such amazing data. As an amateur astrophotographer, this was the most difficult processing and post-processing job I have ever done. My participation in the Hidden Treasures competition gave me a range of challenges, from installing new software to studying techniques and even operating systems that I did not know before." The success of the ESO's Hidden Treasures 2010 competition and the enthusiasm of the skilled participants made it easy to decide to run a follow-up to the competition. Stay tuned and check www.eso.org for news about ESO's Hidden Treasures 2011. More information ESO, the European Southern Observatory, is the foremost intergovernmental astronomy organisation in Europe and the world's most productive astronomical observatory. It is supported by 15 countries: Austria, Belgium, Brazil, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. ESO carries out an ambitious programme focused on the design, construction and operation of powerful ground-based observing facilities enabling astronomers to make important scientific discoveries. ESO also plays a leading role in promoting and organising cooperation in astronomical research. ESO operates three unique world-class observing sites in Chile: La Silla, Paranal and Chajnantor. At Paranal, ESO operates the Very Large Telescope, the world's most advanced visible-light astronomical observatory and VISTA, the world's largest survey telescope. ESO is the European partner of a revolutionary astronomical telescope ALMA, the largest astronomical project in existence. ESO is currently planning a 42-metre European Extremely Large optical/near-infrared Telescope, the E-ELT, which will become "the world's biggest eye on the sky".

  2. Astronomical Virtual Observatories Through International Collaboration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masatoshi Ohishi

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Astronomical Virtual Observatories (VOs are emerging research environment for astronomy, and 16 countries and a region have funded to develop their VOs based on international standard protocols for interoperability. The 16 funded VO projects have established the International Virtual Observatory Alliance (http://www.ivoa.net/ to develop the standard interoperable interfaces such as registry (meta data, data access, query languages, output format (VOTable, data model, application interface, and so on. The IVOA members have constructed each VO environment through the IVOA interfaces. National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ started its VO project (Japanese Virtual Observatory - JVO in 2002, and developed its VO system. We have succeeded to interoperate the latest JVO system with other VOs in the USA and Europe since December 2004. Observed data by the Subaru telescope, satellite data taken by the JAXA/ISAS, etc. are connected to the JVO system. Successful interoperation of the JVO system with other VOs means that astronomers in the world will be able to utilize top-level data obtained by these telescopes from anywhere in the world at anytime. System design of the JVO system, experiences during our development including problems of current standard protocols defined in the IVOA, and proposals to resolve these problems in the near future are described.

  3. Pro-Amateur Observatories as a Significant Resource for Professional Astronomers - Taurus Hill Observatory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haukka, H.; Hentunen, V.-P.; Nissinen, M.; Salmi, T.; Aartolahti, H.; Juutilainen, J.; Vilokki, H.

    2013-09-01

    Taurus Hill Observatory (THO), observatory code A95, is an amateur observatory located in Varkaus, Finland. The observatory is maintained by the local astronomical association of Warkauden Kassiopeia [8]. THO research team has observed and measured various stellar objects and phenomena. Observatory has mainly focuse d on asteroid [1] and exoplanet light curve measurements, observing the gamma rays burst, supernova discoveries and monitoring [2]. We also do long term monitoring projects [3]. THO research team has presented its research work on previous EPSC meetings ([4], [5],[6], [7]) and got very supportive reactions from the European planetary science community. The results and publications that pro-amateur based observatories, like THO, have contributed, clearly demonstrates that pro-amateurs area significant resource for the professional astronomers now and even more in the future.

  4. The South African astronomical observatory

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Feast, M.

    1985-01-01

    A few examples of the activities of the South African Astronomical Observatory are discussed. This includes the studying of stellar evolution, dust around stars, the determination of distances to galaxies and collaboration with space experiments

  5. Europe to the stars ESO's first 50 years of exploring the southern sky

    CERN Document Server

    Schilling, Govert

    2012-01-01

    The creation of the European Southern Observatory (ESO) in 1962 was the culmination of the dream of leading astronomers from five European countries. Over the years, as more member states joined, ESO constructed the La Silla and Paranal observatories, as well as the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) together with partners. ESO is now starting to build the world′s biggest eye on the sky, the European Extremely Large Telescope. At the dawn of 2012, its 50th anniversary year, ESO is ready to enter a new era. One that not even its founding members could have anticipated in their boldest dreams. Constantly at the technological forefront, ESO is ready to tackle new and as yet unimaginable territories of high–precision technology and scientific discovery. Produced especially for ESO′s 50th anniversary, this sumptuously illustrated book takes the reader behind the scenes of the most productive ground–based observatory in the world. It contains the best 300 of ESO′s images, hand–picked fr...

  6. Astronomical databases of Nikolaev Observatory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Protsyuk, Y.; Mazhaev, A.

    2008-07-01

    Several astronomical databases were created at Nikolaev Observatory during the last years. The databases are built by using MySQL search engine and PHP scripts. They are available on NAO web-site http://www.mao.nikolaev.ua.

  7. The South African Astronomical Observatory

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1988-01-01

    The geographical position, climate and equipment at the South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO), together with the enthusiasm and efforts of SAAO scientific and technical staff and of visiting scientists, have enabled the Observatory to make a major contribution to the fields of astrophysics and cosmology. During 1987 the SAAO has been involved in studies of the following: supernovae; galaxies, including Seyfert galaxies; celestial x-ray sources; magellanic clouds; pulsating variables; galatic structure; binary star phenomena; nebulae; interstellar matter and stellar astrophysics

  8. Deep Sky Diving with the ESO New Technology Telescope

    Science.gov (United States)

    1998-01-01

    Preparations for future cosmological observations with the VLT Within a few months, the first 8.2-meter Unit Telescope of the ESO Very Large Telescope (VLT) array will open its eye towards the sky above the Atacama desert. As documented by recent Press Photos from ESO, the construction work at the Paranal VLT Observatory is proceeding rapidly. Virtually all of the telescope components, including the giant Zerodur mirror (cf. ESO PR Photos 35a-l/97 ), are now on the mountain. While the integration of the telescope and its many optical, mechanical and electronic components continues, astronomers in the ESO member countries and at ESO are now busy defining the observing programmes that will be carried out with the new telescope, soon after it enters into operation. In this context, new and exciting observations have recently been obtained with the 3.5-m New Technology Telescope at the ESO La Silla Observatory, 600 km to the south of Paranal. How to record the faintest and most remote astronomical objects With its very large mirror surface (and correspondingly great light collecting power), as well as an unsurpassed optical quality, the VLT will be able to look exceedingly far out into the Universe, well beyond current horizons. The best technique to record the faintest possible light and thus the most remote celestial objects, is to combine large numbers of exposures of the same field with slightly different telescope pointing. This increases the total number of photons recorded and by imaging the stars and galaxies on different areas (pixels) of the detector, the signal-to-noise ratio and hence the visibility of the faintest objects is improved. The famous Hubble Deep Field Images were obtained in this way by combining over 300 single exposures and they show myriads of faint galaxies in the distant realms of the Universe. The NTT as test bench for the VLT ESO is in the fortunate situation of possessing a `prototype' model of the Very Large Telescope, the 3.5-m New

  9. South African Astronomical Observatory

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1987-01-01

    Work at the South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO) in recent years, by both staff and visitors, has made major contributions to the fields of astrophysics and astronomy. During 1986 the SAAO has been involved in studies of the following: galaxies; celestial x-ray sources; magellanic clouds; pulsating variables; galactic structure; binary star phenomena; nebulae and interstellar matter; stellar astrophysics; open clusters; globular clusters, and solar systems

  10. EVALSO: A New High-speed Data Link to Chilean Observatories

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-11-01

    Stretching 100 kilometres through Chile's harsh Atacama Desert, a newly inaugurated data cable is creating new opportunities at ESO's Paranal Observatory and the Observatorio Cerro Armazones. Connecting these facilities to the main Latin American scientific data backbone completes the last gap in the high-speed link between the observatories and Europe. This new cable is part of the EVALSO (Enabling Virtual Access to Latin American Southern Observatories) project [1], a European Commission FP7 [2] co-funded programme co-ordinated by the University of Trieste that includes ESO, Observatorio Cerro Armazones (OCA, part of Ruhr-Universität Bochum), the Chilean academic network REUNA and other organisations. As well as the cable itself, the EVALSO project involves buying capacity on existing infrastructure to complete a high-bandwidth connection from the Paranal area to ESO's headquarters near Munich, Germany. Project co-ordinator Fernando Liello said: "This project has been an excellent collaboration between the consortium members. As well as giving a fast connection to the two observatories, it brings wider benefits to the academic communities both in Europe and Latin America." The sites of Paranal and Armazones are ideal for astronomical observation due to their high altitude, clear skies and remoteness from light pollution. But their location means they are far from any pre-existing communications infrastructure, which until now has left them dependent on a microwave link to send scientific data back to a base station near Antofagasta. Telescopes at ESO's Paranal observatory produce well over 100 gigabytes of data per night, equivalent to more than 20 DVDs, even after compressing the files. While the existing link is sufficient to carry the data from the current generation of instruments at the Very Large Telescope (VLT), it does not have the bandwidth to handle data from the VISTA telescope (Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy, see eso0949), or for

  11. An astronomical observatory for Peru

    Science.gov (United States)

    del Mar, Juan Quintanilla; Sicardy, Bruno; Giraldo, Víctor Ayma; Callo, Víctor Raúl Aguilar

    2011-06-01

    Peru and France are to conclude an agreement to provide Peru with an astronomical observatory equipped with a 60-cm diameter telescope. The principal aims of this project are to establish and develop research and teaching in astronomy. Since 2004, a team of researchers from Paris Observatory has been working with the University of Cusco (UNSAAC) on the educational, technical and financial aspects of implementing this venture. During an international astronomy conference in Cusco in July 2009, the foundation stone of the future Peruvian Observatory was laid at the top of Pachatusan Mountain. UNSAAC, represented by its Rector, together with the town of Oropesa and the Cusco regional authority, undertook to make the sum of 300,000€ available to the project. An agreement between Paris Observatory and UNSAAC now enables Peruvian students to study astronomy through online teaching.

  12. Remote observatories for amateur astronomers using high-powered telescopes from home

    CERN Document Server

    Hubbell, Gerald R; Billard, Linda M

    2015-01-01

    Amateur astronomers who want to enhance their capabilities to contribute to science need look no farther than this guide to using remote observatories.  The contributors cover how to build your own remote observatory as well as the existing infrastructure of commercial networks of remote observatories that are available to the amateur. They provide specific advice on which programs to use based on your project objectives and offer practical project suggestions. Remotely controlled observatories have many advantages—the most obvious that the observer does not have to be physically present to carry out observations. Such an observatory can also be used more fully because its time can be scheduled and usefully shared among several astronomers working on different observing projects. More and more professional-level observatories are open to use by amateurs in this way via the Internet, and more advanced amateur astronomers can even build their own remote observatories for sharing among members of a society ...

  13. Maraghe Observatory and an Effort towards Retrieval of Architectural Design of Astronomical Units

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Javad Shekari Niri

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Maraghe observatory was built by such engineers as Moayiededdin Orozi etc. under supervision of Khaje Nasireddin Tousi in 7th century AH. The most significant feature associated with Maraghe observatory is the fact that architecture is employed to achieve astronomical purposes in this site. The reason for preferring observatory by astronomers was the fact that these units are superior to wooden and metal instruments with respect to accuracy, no size limitations, etc. Architectural design and function of astronomical units of Maraghe observatory site after discovery of its foundation in the course of explorations before Islamic Revolution remained unclear until recent years. After conducting required studies and investigations, the author managed to find significant cues and after some precise comparisons, he succeeded to recover the main design and function of some astronomical units of this international center. Based on these findings these astronomical structures can reliably be rebuilt. This research showed that every circular or polygonal building cannot be considered as an observatory. For example form and function of cemetery structures are completely different with astronomical ones. Following this research also valuable results were obtained in relation to stone architectural structures present on Maraghe observatory hill. In addition, claims about invention of astronomical units of Maraghe observatory by non-Iranian scientists are rejected and rights of Iranian scientists are rationally defended in this regard.

  14. Astronomical Research with the MicroObservatory Net

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brecher, K.; Sadler, P.; Gould, R.; Leiker, S.; Antonucci, P.; Deutsch, F.

    1997-05-01

    We have developed a fully integrated automated astronomical telescope system which combines the imaging power of a cooled CCD, with a self-contained and weatherized 15 cm reflecting optical telescope and mount. The MicroObservatory Net consists of five of these telescopes. They are currently being deployed around the world at widely distributed longitudes. Remote access to the MicroObservatories over the Internet has now been implemented. Software for computer control, pointing, focusing, filter selection as well as pattern recognition have all been developed as part of the project. The telescopes can be controlled in real time or in delay mode, from a Macintosh, PC or other computer using Web-based software. The Internet address of the telescopes is http://cfa- www.harvard.edu/cfa/sed/MicroObservatory/MicroObservatory.html. In the real-time mode, individuals have access to all of the telescope control functions without the need for an `on-site' operator. Users can sign up for a specific period of ti me. In the batch mode, users can submit requests for delayed telescope observations. After a MicroObservatory completes a job, the user is automatically notified by e-mail that the image is available for viewing and downloading from the Web site. The telescopes were designed for classroom instruction, as well as for use by students and amateur astronomers for original scientific research projects. We are currently examining a variety of technical and educational questions about the use of the telescopes including: (1) What are the best approaches to scheduling real-time versus batch mode observations? (2) What criteria should be used for allocating telescope time? (3) With deployment of more than one telescope, is it advantageous for each telescope to be used for just one type of observation, i.e., some for photometric use, others for imaging? And (4) What are the most valuable applications of the MicroObservatories in astronomical research? Support for the MicroObservatory

  15. Early German plans for southern observatories

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolfschmidt, G.

    2002-07-01

    As early as the 18th and 19th centuries, French and English observers were active in South Africa. Around the beginning of the 20th century, Heidelberg and Potsdam astronomers proposed a southern observatory. Then Göttingen astronomers suggested building an observatory in Windhoek for photographing the sky and measuring the solar constant. In 1910 Karl Schwarzschild (1873-1916), after a visit to observatories in the United States, pointed out the usefulness of an observatory in South West Africa, in a climate superior to that in Germany, giving German astronomers access to the southern sky. Seeing tests were begun in 1910 by Potsdam astronomers, but WW I stopped the plans. In 1928 Erwin Finlay-Freundlich (1885-1964), inspired by the Hamburg astronomer Walter Baade (1893-1960), worked out a detailed plan for a southern observatory with a reflecting telescope, spectrographs and an astrograph with an objective prism. Paul Guthnick (1879-1947), director of the Berlin observatory, in cooperation with APO Potsdam and Hamburg, made a site survey to Africa in 1929 and found the conditions in Windhoek to be ideal. Observations were started in the 1930s by Berlin and Breslau astronomers, but were stopped by WW II. In the 1950s, astronomers from Hamburg and The Netherlands renewed the discussion in the framework of European cooperation, and this led to the founding of ESO in 1963.

  16. Eso's Situation in Chile

    Science.gov (United States)

    1995-02-01

    ESO, the European Southern Observatory, in reply to questions raised by the international media, as well as an ongoing debate about the so-called "Paranal case" in Chilean newspapers, would like to make a number of related observations concerning its status and continued operation in that country [1]. THE ESO OBSERVATORY SITES IN CHILE The European Southern Observatory, an international organisation established and supported by eight European countries, has been operating more than 30 years in the Republic of Chile. Here ESO maintains one of the world's prime astronomical observatories on the La Silla mountain in the southern part of the Atacama desert. This location is in the Fourth Chilean Region, some 600 km north of Santiago de Chile. In order to protect the La Silla site against dust and light pollution from possible future mining industries, roads and settlements, ESO early acquired the territory around this site. It totals about 825 sq. km and has effectively contributed to the preservation of its continued, excellent "astronomical" quality. Each year, more than 500 astronomers from European countries, Chile and elsewhere profit from this when they come to La Silla to observe with one or more of the 15 telescopes now located there. In 1987, the ESO Council [2] decided to embark upon one of the most prestigious and technologically advanced projects ever conceived in astronomy, the Very Large Telescope (VLT). It will consist of four interconnected 8.2-metre telescopes and will become the largest optical telescope in the world when it is ready. It is safe to predict that many exciting discoveries will be made with this instrument, and it will undoubtedly play a very important role in our exploration of the distant universe and its many mysteries during the coming decades. THE VLT AND PARANAL In order to find the best site for the VLT, ESO performed a thorough investigation of many possible mountain tops, both near La Silla and in Northern Chile. They showed

  17. Astronomy Against Terrorism: an Educational Astronomical Observatory Project in Peru

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ishitsuka, M.; Montes, H.; Kuroda, T.; Morimoto, M.; Ishitsuka, J.

    2003-05-01

    The Cosmos Coronagraphic Observatory was completely destroyed by terrorists in 1988. In 1995, in coordination with the Minister of Education of Peru, a project to construct a new Educational Astronomical Observatory has been executed. The main purpose of the observatory is to promote an interest in basic space sciences in young students from school to university levels, through basic astronomical studies and observations. The planned observatory will be able to lodge 25 visitors; furthermore an auditorium, a library and a computer room will be constructed to improve the interest of people in astronomy. Two 15-cm refractor telescopes, equipped with a CCD camera and a photometer, will be available for observations. Also a 6-m dome will house a 60-cm class reflector telescope, which will be donated soon, thanks to a fund collected and organized by the Nishi-Harima Astronomical Observatory in Japan. In addition a new modern planetarium donated by the Government of Japan will be installed in Lima, the capital of Peru. These installations will be widely open to serve the requirements of people interested in science.

  18. Press Meeting 20 January 2003: First Light for Europe's Virtual Observatory

    Science.gov (United States)

    2002-12-01

    Imagine you are an astronomer with instant, fingertip access to all existing observations of a given object and the opportunity to sift through them at will. In just a few moments, you can have information on all kinds about objects out of catalogues all over the world, including observations taken at different times. Over the next two years this scenario will become reality as Europe's Astrophysical Virtual Observatory (AVO) develops. Established only a year ago (cf. ESO PR 26/01), the AVO already offers astronomers a unique, prototype research tool that will lead the way to many outstanding new discoveries. Journalists are invited to a live demonstration of the capabilities of this exciting new initiative in astronomy. The demonstration will take place at the Jodrell Bank Observatory in Manchester, in the United Kingdom, on 20 January 2003, starting at 11:00. Sophisticated AVO tools will help scientists find the most distant supernovae - objects that reveal the cosmological makeup of our Universe. The tools are also helping astronomers measure the rate of birth of stars in extremely red and distant galaxies. Journalists will also have the opportunity to discuss the project with leading astronomers from across Europe. The new AVO website has been launched today, explaining the progress being made in this European Commission-funded project: URL: http://www.euro-vo.org/ To register your intention to attend the AVO First Light Demonstration, please provide your name and affiliation by January 13, 2003, to: Ian Morison, Jodrell Bank Observatory (full contact details below). Information on getting to the event is included on the webpage above. Programme for the AVO First Light Demonstration 11:00 Welcome, Phil Diamond (University of Manchester/Jodrell Bank Observatory) 11:05 Short introduction to Virtual Observatories, Piero Benvenuti (ESA/ST-ECF) 11:15 Q&A 11:20 Short introduction to the Astrophysical Virtual Observatory, Peter Quinn (ESO) 11:30 Q&A 11:35 Screening of

  19. ESO PR Highlights in 2000

    Science.gov (United States)

    2001-01-01

    At the beginning of the new millennium, ESO and its staff are facing the future with confidence. The four 8.2-m Unit Telescopes of the Very Large Telescope (VLT) are in great shape and the VLT Interferometer (VLTI) will soon have "first fringes". The intercontinental ALMA project is progressing well and concepts for extremely large optical/infrared telescopes are being studied. They can also look back at a fruitful and rewarding past year. Perhaps the most important, single development has been the rapid transition of the Very Large Telescope (VLT). From being a "high-tech project under construction" it has now become a highly proficient, world-class astronomical observatory. This trend is clearly reflected in ESO's Press Releases , as more and more front-line scientific results emerge from rich data obtained at this very efficient facility. There were also exciting news from several of the instruments at La Silla. At the same time, the ESO community may soon grow, as steps towards membership are being taken by various European countries. Throughout 2000, a total of 54 PR communications were made, with a large number of Press Photos and Video Clips, cf. the 2000 PR Index. Some of the ESO PR highlights may be accessed directly via the clickable image on the present page. ESO PR Photo 01/01 is also available in a larger (non-clickable) version [ JPEG: 566 x 566 pix - 112k]. It may be reproduced, if credit is given to the European Southern Observatory.

  20. Czech Republic to Become Member of ESO

    Science.gov (United States)

    2006-12-01

    Albert Einstein stayed in the famous city for periods of time. The Czech capital also played host to the General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union, first in 1967 and, more recently, in August 2006. Astronomy in the Czech Republic is shared between the Astronomical Institute of the Academy of Sciences and several leading universities, in Prague, Brno and Opava, among others. The Astronomical Institute operates the Ondrejov Observatory, with a 2-m optical telescope and a 10-m radio telescope. Czech astronomers are very active in many fields of this science, such as solar and stellar physics, and the study of interstellar matter, galaxies and planetary systems. Created in 1962, ESO, which quite fittingly means 'ace' in the Czech language, provides state-of-the-art research facilities to European astronomers and astrophysicists. ESO's activities cover a wide spectrum including the design and construction of world-class ground-based observational facilities for the member-state scientists, large telescope projects, design of innovative scientific instruments, developing new and advanced technologies, furthering European co-operation and carrying out European educational programmes. Whilst the Headquarters are located in Garching near Munich, Germany, ESO operates three observational sites in the Chilean Atacama desert. The Very Large Telescope (VLT) is located on Paranal, a 2 600m high mountain south of Antofagasta. At La Silla, 600 km north of Santiago de Chile at 2 400m altitude, ESO operates several medium-sized optical telescopes. The third site is the 5 000m high Llano de Chajnantor, near San Pedro de Atacama. Here a new submillimetre telescope (APEX) is in operation, and a giant array of 12-m submillimetre antennas (ALMA) is under development. Over 1 600 proposals are made each year for the use of the ESO telescopes.

  1. Participant Perspectives on the ESO Astronomy Camp Programme

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olivotto, C.; Cenadelli, D.; Gamal, M.; Grossmann, D.; Teller, L. A. I.; Marta, A. S.; Matoni, C. L.; Taillard, A.

    2015-09-01

    This article describes the experience of attending the European Southern Observatory (ESO) Astronomy Camp from the perspective of its participants - students aged between 16 and 18 years old from around the world. The students shared a week together during the winter of 2014 in the Alpine village of Saint-Barthelemy, Italy. The camp was organised by ESO in collaboration with Sterrenlab and the Astronomical Observatory of the Autonomous Region of the Aosta Valley and offered a rich programme of astronomy and leisure activities. This article focuses on the concept of astronomy camps, and their role as a unique tool to complement formal classroom education, rather than on the astronomy activities and the scientific programme. Thus, it is not an academic review of the implemented methodologies, but rather a reflection on the overall experience. The article was brought together from collaborative accounts by some of the participants who were asked to reflect on the experience. The participants who contributed to this article represent the diversity of the ESO Astronomy Camp's alumni community.

  2. From research institution to astronomical museum: a history of the Stockholm Observatory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yaskell, Steven Haywood

    2008-07-01

    The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences (RSAS) (or Kungliga Vetenskapsakademien [KvA] in Swedish) founded 1739, opened its first permanent building, an astronomical and meteorological observatory, on 20 September 1753. This was situated at Brunkebergsåsen (formerly Observatorie Lunden, or Observatory Hill), on a high terrace in a northern quarter of Stockholm. This historic building is still sometimes called Gamla Observatoriet (the Old Observatory) and now is formally the Observatory Museum. This paper reviews the history of the Observatory from its function as a scientific astronomical institution to its relatively-recent relegation to museum status.

  3. 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.

  4. Possible Astronomical meaning of some El Molle findings at the ESO Observatory of La Silla

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vecchiato, Alberto; Bernardi, Gabriella; Bucciarelli, Beatrice

    2015-08-01

    The slopes surrounding the buildings of the European Southern Observatory at La Silla are known to house several hundred rock engravings dating back to the pre-Columbian populations that once inhabited this region. Although precise archaeological studies are missing since none of these sites has been excavated, these petroglyphs are attributed to people of the El Molle Culture, who around AD 300 had just abandoned their original lifestyle of hunting and gathering and developed more evolved settlements based on herding and farming.While it is difficult to ascertain precisely the meaning of these ancient rock engravings, it seems that a specific astronomical alignment can be attributed to a simple yet peculiar, man-made stone structure, which can be found in the same site. The archaeoastronomical dating of this alignment coincides to that of the petroglyphs. Moreover it allows to highlight a noticeable and intriguing connection with a practical function which appears quite reasonable for the population to whom this structure is attributed.

  5. ESO and Chile: 10 Years of Productive Scientific Collaboration

    Science.gov (United States)

    2006-06-01

    ESO and the Government of Chile launched today the book "10 Years Exploring the Universe", written by the beneficiaries of the ESO-Chile Joint Committee. This annual fund provides grants for individual Chilean scientists, research infrastructures, scientific congresses, workshops for science teachers and astronomy outreach programmes for the public. In a ceremony held in Santiago on 19 June 2006, the European Organisation for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere (ESO) and the Chilean Ministry of Foreign Affairs marked the 10th Anniversary of the Supplementary Agreement, which granted to Chilean astronomers up to 10 percent of the total observing time on ESO telescopes. This agreement also established an annual fund for the development of astronomy, managed by the so-called "ESO-Chile Joint Committee". ESO PR Photo 21/06 ESO PR Photo 21/06 Ten Years ESO-Chile Agreement Ceremony The celebration event was hosted by ESO Director General, Dr. Catherine Cesarsky, and the Director of Special Policy for the Chilean Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Luis Winter. "ESO's commitment is, and always will be, to promote astronomy and scientific knowledge in the country hosting our observatories", said ESO Director General, Dr. Catherine Cesarsky. "We hope Chile and Europe will continue with great achievements in this fascinating joint adventure, the exploration of the universe." On behalf of the Government of Chile, Ambassador Luis Winter outlined the historical importance of the Supplementary Agreement, ratified by the Chilean Congress in 1996. "Such is the magnitude of ESO-Chile Joint Committee that, only in 2005, this annual fund represented 8 percent of all financing sources for Chilean astronomy, including those from Government and universities", Ambassador Winter said. The ESO Representative and Head of Science in Chile, Dr. Felix Mirabel, and the appointed Chilean astronomer for the ESO-Chile Joint Committee, Dr. Leonardo Bronfman, also took part in the

  6. Exploring the Digital Universe with Europe's Astrophysical Virtual Observatory

    Science.gov (United States)

    2001-12-01

    Vast Databanks at the Astronomers' Fingertips Summary A new European initiative called the Astrophysical Virtual Observatory (AVO) is being launched to provide astronomers with a breathtaking potential for new discoveries. It will enable them to seamlessly combine the data from both ground- and space-based telescopes which are making observations of the Universe across the whole range of wavelengths - from high-energy gamma rays through the ultraviolet and visible to the infrared and radio. The aim of the Astrophysical Virtual Observatory (AVO) project, which started on 15 November 2001, is to allow astronomers instant access to the vast databanks now being built up by the world's observatories and which are forming what is, in effect, a "digital sky" . Using the AVO, astronomers will, for example, be able to retrieve the elusive traces of the passage of an asteroid as it passes near the Earth and so enable them to predict its future path and perhaps warn of a possible impact. When a giant star comes to the end of its life in a cataclysmic explosion called a supernova, they will be able to access the digital sky and pinpoint the star shortly before it exploded so adding invaluable data to the study of the evolution of stars. Background information on the Astrophysical Virtual Observatory is available in the Appendix. PR Photo 34a/01 : The Astrophysical Virtual Observatory - an artist's impression. The rapidly accumulating database ESO PR Photo 34a/01 ESO PR Photo 34a/01 [Preview - JPEG: 400 x 345 pix - 90k] [Normal - JPEG: 800 x 689 pix - 656k] [Hi-Res - JPEG: 3000 x 2582 pix - 4.3M] ESO PR Photo 34a/01 shows an artist's impression of the Astrophysical Virtual Observatory . Modern observatories observe the sky continuously and data accumulates remorselessly in the digital archives. The growth rate is impressive and many hundreds of terabytes of data - corresponding to many thousands of billions of pixels - are already available to scientists. The real sky is being

  7. Austria Declares Intent To Join ESO

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-04-01

    At a press conference today at the University of Vienna's Observatory, the Austrian Science Minister Johannes Hahn announced the decision by the Austrian Government to seek membership of ESO from 1 July this year. ESO PR Photo 11/08 ESO PR Photo 11/08 Announcing Austria's Intent to Join ESO Said Minister Hahn: "With membership of ESO, Austria's scientists will receive direct access to the world's leading infrastructure in astronomy. This strengthens Austria as a place for research and provides an opportunity for young researchers to continue their work from here. With this move, Austria takes an important step in the reinforcement of Europe's science and research infrastructure." The decision constitutes a major breakthrough for Austrian scientists who have argued for membership of ESO for many years. Seeking membership in ESO also marks a step towards the further development of the European Research and Innovation Area, an important element of Europe's so-called Lisbon Strategy. "ESO welcomes the Austrian bid to join our organisation. I salute the Austrian Government for taking this important step and look forward to working closely with our Austrian friends and colleagues in the years to come," commented the ESO Director General, Tim de Zeeuw. For Austrian astronomers, ESO membership means not only unrestricted access to ESO's world-leading observational facilities including the world's most advanced optical telescope, the Very Large Telescope, and full participation in the quasi-global ALMA project, but also the possibility to participate on a par with their European colleagues in the future projects of ESO, including the realisation of ESO's Extremely Large Telescope project (E-ELT), which is currently in the design phase. All these projects require some of the most advanced technologies in key areas such as optics, detectors, lightweight structures, etc. Austrian participation in ESO opens the door for Austrian industry and major research institutes of the

  8. The National Astronomical Observatory of Japan and Post-war Japanese Optical Astronomy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tajima, Toshiyuki

    This paper depicts some aspects of the formative process of the Japanese optical and infrared astronomical community in the post-war period, featuring the transition of the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan(NAOJ). We take up three cases of telescope construction, examining their background and their contribution to the Japanese astronomical community. Through these cases, the characteristics of traditions and cultures of optical and infrared astronomy in Japan are considered. Although the Tokyo Astronomical Observatory (TAO) of the University of Tokyo, the predecessor of NAOJ, was originally founded as an agency for practical astronomical observation such as time and almanac service, it has become an international centre for all types of astrophysical research. Research and development of telescopes and observational instruments have become an important part of the astronomers' practice. Now, however, a number of Japanese universities are planning to have their own large to middle-sized telescopes, and a new style of astronomical research is emerging involving astrophysical studies utilising data acquired from the Virtual Observatory, so there is a distinct possibility that the status of the NAOJ will change even further in the future.

  9. Current Discussions Between ESO and Chile

    Science.gov (United States)

    1995-04-01

    [Joint Press Release by the Government of the Republic of Chile and the European Southern Observatory. The text is issued simultaneously in Santiago de Chile (in Spanish) and at the ESO Headquarters in Garching (in English).] Today, Tuesday, 18 April 1995, at the ESO Headquarters in Garching (Germany), Mr. Roberto Cifuentes, Plenipotentiary Ambassador representing the Government of the Republic of Chile, and the Director General of the European Southern Observatory, Professor Riccardo Giacconi, have signed a Supplementary, Interpretative and Amending Agreement to the Convention of 6 November 1963 which governs the relations between Chile and this International Organisation. This Agreement which in practice signifies a widening and strengthening of the cooperative relations between the Organisation and the Chilean scientific community will hereafter be submitted for ratification by the National Congress of the Republic of Chile (the Parliament) and by the ESO Council. According to the Agreement signed today, Chilean astronomers will have privileged access within up to 10 percent observing time on all present and future ESO telescopes in Chile. Moreover, ESO accepts to incorporate into its labour regulations for Chilean personnel concepts like freedom of association and collective bargaining. This signing of the Supplementary, Interpretative and Amending Agreement to the original Convention of 1963 follows after months of constructive dialogue between the parties. It constitutes an important step towards a solution of some of the pending points on the current agenda for discussions between the Government of Chile and ESO. Among the issues still pending, ESO has informed the Government of Chile that respect for its immunities by the Chilean State is of vital importance for the continuation of the construction of the world's largest telescope at Paranal, as well as the continued presence of the Organisation in Chile. The Chilean Government, on its side, and concerning

  10. The possible astronomical function of the El Molle stone circle at the ESO Observatory La Silla. II: The updated measurement campaign

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernardi, Gabriella; Vecchiato, Alberto; Bucciarelli, Beatrice

    2014-07-01

    This paper reviews and updates the accounts of a previous article discussing the possible astronomical significance of a peculiar, man-made circular stone structure, located close to the European Southern Observatory in La Silla, Chile, and attributed to the El Molle culture. Thanks to further, higher-accuracy measurements in situ, we can confirm some of the original hypotheses and dismiss others, upholding the main tenets of the original work.

  11. Three Good Reasons for Celebrating at the ESO/ST-ECF Science Archive Facility

    Science.gov (United States)

    2000-12-01

    Great Demand for Data from New "Virtual Observatory" Summary Due to a happy coincidence, the ESO/ST-ECF Science Archive Facility is celebrating three different milestones at the same time: * its 10th anniversary since the establishment in 1991 * the 10,000th request for data , and * the signing-up of active user number 2000 . This Archive contains over 8 Terabytes (1 Terabyte = 1 million million bytes) of valuable observational data from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope (HST), the ESO Very Large Telescope (VLT) and other ESO telescopes . Its success paves the way for the establishment of "Virtual Observatories" from which first-class data can be obtained by astronomers all over the world. This greatly enhances the opportunities for more (young) scientists to participate in front-line research. PR Photo 34/00 : Front-page of a new brochure, describing the ESO/ST-ECF Science Archive Facility. Just 10 years ago, on the 1st of January 1991, the ESO/ST-ECF (European Southern Observatory/Space Telescope-European Coordinating Facility) Science Archive Facility opened. It has since served the astronomical community with gigabyte after gigabyte of high-quality astronomical data from some of the world's leading telescopes. The Archive, which is located in Garching, just outside Munich (Germany), contains data from the 2.4-m NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope , as well as from several ESO telescopes: the four 8.2-m Unit Telescopes of the Very Large Telescope (VLT) at the Paranal Observatory , and the 3.5-m New Technology Telescope (NTT) , the 3.6-m telescope and the MPG/ESO 2.2-m telescope at La Silla. The Archive is a continuously developing project - in terms of amounts of data stored, the number of users and in particular because of the current dramatic development of innovative techniques for data handling and storage. In the year 2000 more than 2 Terabytes (2000 Gigabytes) of data were distributed to users worldwide. The archiving of VLT data has been described in ESO PR

  12. Science Initiatives of the US Virtual Astronomical Observatory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanisch, R. J.

    2012-09-01

    The United States Virtual Astronomical Observatory program is the operational facility successor to the National Virtual Observatory development project. The primary goal of the US VAO is to build on the standards, protocols, and associated infrastructure developed by NVO and the International Virtual Observatory Alliance partners and to bring to fruition a suite of applications and web-based tools that greatly enhance the research productivity of professional astronomers. To this end, and guided by the advice of our Science Council (Fabbiano et al. 2011), we have focused on five science initiatives in the first two years of VAO operations: 1) scalable cross-comparisons between astronomical source catalogs, 2) dynamic spectral energy distribution construction, visualization, and model fitting, 3) integration and periodogram analysis of time series data from the Harvard Time Series Center and NASA Star and Exoplanet Database, 4) integration of VO data discovery and access tools into the IRAF data analysis environment, and 5) a web-based portal to VO data discovery, access, and display tools. We are also developing tools for data linking and semantic discovery, and have a plan for providing data mining and advanced statistical analysis resources for VAO users. Initial versions of these applications and web-based services are being released over the course of the summer and fall of 2011, with further updates and enhancements planned for throughout 2012 and beyond.

  13. Science Initiatives of the US Virtual Astronomical Observatory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hanisch Robert J.

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available The United States Virtual Astronomical Observatory program is the operational facility successor to the National Virtual Observatory development project. The primary goal of the US VAO is to build on the standards, protocols, and associated infrastructure developed by NVO and the International Virtual Observatory Alliance partners and to bring to fruition a suite of applications and web-based tools that greatly enhance the research productivity of professional astronomers. To this end, and guided by the advice of our Science Council (advisory committee, we are focusing on five science initiatives in the first two years of VAO operations: (1 scalable cross-comparisons between astronomical source catalogs, (2 dynamic spectral energy distribution construction, visualization, and model fitting, (3 integration and periodogram analysis of time series data from the Harvard Time Series Center and NASA Star and Exoplanet Database, (4 integration of VO data discovery and access tools into the IR AF data analysis environment, and (5 a web-based portal to VO data discovery, access, and display tools. We are also developing tools for data linking and semantic discovery, and have a plan for providing data mining and advanced statistical analysis resources for VAO users. Initial versions of these applications and web-based services are being released over the course of the summer and fall of 2011, with further updates and enhancements planned for throughout 2012 and beyond.

  14. Dutch Minister of Science Visits ESO Facilities in Chile

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-05-01

    Mrs. Maria van der Hoeven, the Dutch Minister of Education, Culture and Science, who travelled to the Republic of Chile, arrived at the ESO Paranal Observatory on Friday afternoon, May 13, 2005. The Minister was accompanied, among others, by the Dutch Ambassador to Chile, Mr. Hinkinus Nijenhuis, and Mr. Cornelis van Bochove, the Dutch Director of Science. The distinguished visitors were able to acquaint themselves with one of the foremost European research facilities, the ESO Very Large Telescope (VLT), during an overnight stay at this remote site, and later, with the next major world facility in sub-millimetre and millimetre astronomy, the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA). At Paranal, the guests were welcomed by the ESO Director General, Dr. Catherine Cesarsky; the ESO Council President, Prof. Piet van der Kruit; the ESO Representative in Chile, Prof. Felix Mirabel; the Director of the La Silla Paranal Observatory, Dr. Jason Spyromilio; by one of the Dutch members of the ESO Council, Prof. Tim de Zeeuw; by the renowned astrophysicist from Leiden, Prof. Ewine van Dishoek, as well as by ESO staff members. The visitors were shown the various high-tech installations at the observatory, including many of the large, front-line VLT astronomical instruments that have been built in collaboration between ESO and European research institutes. Explanations were given by ESO astronomers and engineers and the Minister gained a good impression of the wide range of exciting research programmes that are carried out with the VLT. Having enjoyed the spectacular sunset over the Pacific Ocean from the Paranal deck, the Minister visited the VLT Control Room from where the four 8.2-m Unit Telescopes and the VLT Interferometer (VLTI) are operated. Here, the Minister was invited to follow an observing sequence at the console of the Kueyen (UT2) and Melipal (UT3) telescopes. "I was very impressed, not just by the technology and the science, but most of all by all the people involved

  15. ESO Reflex: a graphical workflow engine for data reduction

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    ESO Reflex is a prototype software tool that provides a novel approach to astronomical data reduction by integrating a modern graphical workflow system (Taverna) with existing legacy data reduction algorithms. Most of the raw data produced by instruments at the ESO Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile are reduced using recipes. These are compiled C applications following an ESO standard and utilising routines provided by the Common Pipeline Library (CPL). Currently these are run in batch mode as part of the data flow system to generate the input to the ESO/VLT quality control process and are also exported for use offline. ESO Reflex can invoke CPL-based recipes in a flexible way through a general purpose graphical interface. ESO Reflex is based on the Taverna system that was originally developed within the UK life-sciences community. Workflows have been created so far for three VLT/VLTI instruments, and the GUI allows the user to make changes to these or create workflows of their own. Python scripts or IDL procedures can be easily brought into workflows and a variety of visualisation and display options, including custom product inspection and validation steps, are available. Taverna is intended for use with web services and experiments using ESO Reflex to access Virtual Observatory web services have been successfully performed. ESO Reflex is the main product developed by Sampo, a project led by ESO and conducted by a software development team from Finland as an in-kind contribution to joining ESO. The goal was to look into the needs of the ESO community in the area of data reduction environments and to create pilot software products that illustrate critical steps along the road to a new system. Sampo concluded early in 2008. This contribution will describe ESO Reflex and show several examples of its use both locally and using Virtual Observatory remote web services. ESO Reflex is expected to be released to the community in early 2009.

  16. ESO Receives Computerworld Honors Program 21st Century Achievement Award in Science Category

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-06-01

    In a ceremony held in Washington, D.C. (USA) on June 6, 2005, ESO, the European Organisation for Astronomical Research in the southern Hemisphere, received the coveted 21st Century Achievement Award from the Computerworld Honors Program for its visionary use of information technology in the Science category. Sybase, a main database server vendor and member of the Chairmen's Committee, nominated ESO's Data Flow System in recognition of its contributions to the global information technology revolution and its positive impact on society. The citations reads: "ESO has revolutionized the operations of ground-based astronomical observatories with a new end-to-end data flow system, designed to improve the transmission and management of astronomical observations and data over transcontinental distances." This year's awards, in 10 categories, were presented at a gala event at the National Building Museum, attended by over 250 guests, including leaders of the information technology industry, former award recipients, judges, scholars, and diplomats representing many of the 54 countries from which the 17-year-old program's laureates have come. "The Computerworld Honors Program 21st Century Achievement Awards are presented to companies from around the world whose visionary use of information technology promotes positive social, economic and educational change," said Bob Carrigan, president and CEO of Computerworld and chairman of the Chairmen's Committee of the Computerworld Honors Program. "The recipients of these awards are the true heroes of the information age and have been appropriately recognized by the leading IT industry chairmen as true revolutionaries in their fields." ESO PR Photo 18/05 ESO PR Photo 18/05 ESO Receives the Award in the Science Category [Preview - JPEG: 400 x 496 pix - 53k] [Normal - JPEG: 800 x 992 pix - 470k] [Full Res - JPEG: 1250 x 1550 pix - 1.1M] Caption: ESO PR Photo 18/05: Receiving the Computerworld 21st Century Achievement Award for Science

  17. ESO Advanced Data Products for the Virtual Observatory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Retzlaff, J.; Delmotte, N.; Rite, C.; Rosati, P.; Slijkhuis, R.; Vandame, B.

    2006-07-01

    Advanced Data Products, that is, completely reduced, fully characterized science-ready data sets, play a crucial role for the success of the Virtual Observatory as a whole. We report on on-going work at ESO towards the creation and publication of Advanced Data Products in compliance with present VO standards on resource metadata. The new deep NIR multi-color mosaic of the GOODS/CDF-S region is used to showcase different aspects of the entire process: data reduction employing our MVM-based reduction pipeline, calibration and data characterization procedures, standardization of metadata content, and, finally, a prospect of the scientific potential illustrated by new results on deep galaxy number counts.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-08-01

    Specialized manpower required to efficiently operate world-class observatories requires large investments in time and resources to train personnel in very specific areas of engineering. Isolation and distances to mayor cities pose a challenge to retain motivated and qualified personnel on the mountain. This paper presents strategies that we believe may be effective for retaining this specific know-how in the astronomy field; while at the same time develop a local support industry for observatory operations and astronomical instrumentation development. For this study we choose Chile as a research setting because it will host more than 60% of the world's ground based astronomical infrastructure by the end of the decade, and because the country has an underdeveloped industry for astronomy services. We identify the astronomical infrastructure that exists in the country as well as the major research groups and industrial players. We further identify the needs of observatories that could be outsourced to the local economy. As a result, we suggest spin-off opportunities that can be started by former observatory employees and therefore retaining the knowhow of experienced people that decide to leave on-site jobs. We also identify tools to facilitate this process such as the creation of a centralized repository of local capabilities and observatory needs, as well as exchange programs within astronomical instrumentation groups. We believe that these strategies will contribute to a positive work environment at the observatories, reduce the operation and development costs, and develop a new industry for the host country.

  19. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-07-01

    "pathfinder" for ALMA -- it is based on a prototype antenna constructed for the ALMA project, it is located on the same plateau and will find many targets that ALMA will be able to study in extreme detail. The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), an international astronomy facility, is a partnership of Europe, North America and East Asia in cooperation with the Republic of Chile. ESO is the European partner in ALMA. ALMA, the largest astronomical project in existence, is a revolutionary telescope, comprising an array of 66 giant 12-metre and 7-metre diameter antennas observing at millimetre and submillimetre wavelengths. ALMA will start scientific observations in 2011. ESO, the European Southern Observatory, is the foremost intergovernmental astronomy organisation in Europe and the world's most productive astronomical observatory. It is supported by 14 countries: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. ESO carries out an ambitious programme focused on the design, construction and operation of powerful ground-based observing facilities enabling astronomers to make important scientific discoveries. ESO also plays a leading role in promoting and organising cooperation in astronomical research. ESO operates three unique world-class observing sites in Chile: La Silla, Paranal and Chajnantor. At Paranal, ESO operates the Very Large Telescope, the world's most advanced visible-light astronomical observatory. ESO is the European partner of a revolutionary astronomical telescope ALMA, the largest astronomical project in existence. ESO is currently planning a 42-metre European Extremely Large optical/near-infrared Telescope, the E-ELT, which will become "the world's biggest eye on the sky".

  1. Property and instrumental heritage of the Bordeaux Astronomical Observatory; What future?

    Science.gov (United States)

    de La Noë, J.; Charlot, P.; Grousset, F.

    2009-11-01

    In the years 1870, the Government of the Third Republic decided to develop scientific and technical research. Such an effort contributed to supporting and creating universities and other institutes such as astronomical observatories. The dual wish of the Bordeaux council and professors at the Faculté des Sciences de Bordeaux led to the foundation of the astronomical Observatory of Bordeaux. It was set up by Georges Rayet in the years 1880's. The observatory owns a property of 12 hectares with a dozen of buildings, five domes housing an instrument, a Würzburg radiotelescope, a 2.5 meter radiotelescope, and a large collection of about 250 instruments, 4 500 photographic plates, drawings, slides for teaching astronomy, maps of the Carte du Ciel and 200 files of archives. In addition, the library contains about a thousand books for the period 1600-1950. The future of the observatory is not clear at the present time, when the Laboratoire d'Astrophysique will leave to the campus in a few years.

  2. The Material Culture of Nineteenth-Century Astrometry, its Circulation and Heritage at the Astronomical Observatory of Lisbon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raposo, Pedro

    The Astronomical Observatory of Lisbon was founded in 1857 in the sequence of a controversy on stellar parallax measurements involving astronomers from the Observatory of Paris and the Observatory of Pulkovo. The development of this discussion led the contenders to recognize Lisbon as a suitable place to carry out this kind of measurements and to foster the field of stellar astronomy. Some local actors strived to keep up with this wave of international interest and establish a first-rank astronomical institution in the Portuguese capital. In order to fulfil this goal, correspondence was intensively exchanged with leading foreign astronomers and instrument makers. Besides, a Portuguese Navy officer bound to become the first director of the new institution was commissioned to visit several observatories and instrument workshops abroad, and to spend a few years in Pulkovo as a trainee astronomer. Although founded with generous financial support from the Portuguese crown and lavishly equipped and constructed, the Observatory of Lisbon was later affected by limiting budgets and a shortage of qualified personnel. Nevertheless, local efforts to improve instruments as well as observation and calculation techniques enabled its astronomers to yield important contributions to positional astronomy, especially towards the end of the nineteenth century and the beginnings of the twentieth century. The original instruments and spaces of the Observatory of Lisbon, strongly modelled on those of Pulkovo, are very well preserved, constituting an outstanding extant example of a mid-nineteenth century advanced observatory. The history they embody testifies the connectedness of the astronomical heritage worldwide.

  3. Brightness Variations of Sun-like Stars: The Mystery Deepens - Astronomers facing Socratic "ignorance"

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-12-01

    An extensive study made with ESO's Very Large Telescope deepens a long-standing mystery in the study of stars similar to the Sun. Unusual year-long variations in the brightness of about one third of all Sun-like stars during the latter stages of their lives still remain unexplained. Over the past few decades, astronomers have offered many possible explanations, but the new, painstaking observations contradict them all and only deepen the mystery. The search for a suitable interpretation is on. "Astronomers are left in the dark, and for once, we do not enjoy it," says Christine Nicholls from Mount Stromlo Observatory, Australia, lead author of a paper reporting the study. "We have obtained the most comprehensive set of observations to date for this class of Sun-like stars, and they clearly show that all the possible explanations for their unusual behaviour just fail." The mystery investigated by the team dates back to the 1930s and affects about a third of Sun-like stars in our Milky Way and other galaxies. All stars with masses similar to our Sun become, towards the end of their lives, red, cool and extremely large, just before retiring as white dwarfs. Also known as red giants, these elderly stars exhibit very strong periodic variations in their luminosity over timescales up to a couple of years. "Such variations are thought to be caused by what we call 'stellar pulsations'," says Nicholls. "Roughly speaking, the giant star swells and shrinks, becoming brighter and dimmer in a regular pattern. However, one third of these stars show an unexplained additional periodic variation, on even longer timescales - up to five years." In order to find out the origin of this secondary feature, the astronomers monitored 58 stars in our galactic neighbour, the Large Magellanic Cloud, over two and a half years. They acquired spectra using the high resolution FLAMES/GIRAFFE spectrograph on ESO's Very Large Telescope and combined them with images from other telescopes [1

  4. Exploring the Digital Universe with Europe's Astrophysical Virtual Observatory

    Science.gov (United States)

    2001-12-01

    need for virtual observatories has also been recognised by other astronomical communities. The National Science Foundation in the USA has awarded $10 million (EUR 11.4 m) for a National Virtual Observatory (NVO). The AVO project team has formed a close alliance with the NVO and both teams have representatives on each other's committees. It is clear to the NVO and AVO communities that there are no intrinsic boundaries to the virtual observatory concept and that all astronomers should be working towards a truly global virtual observatory that will enable new science to be carried out on the wealth of astronomical data held in the growing number of first-class international astronomical archives. AVO involves six partner organisations led by the European Southern Observatory (ESO) in Munich. The other partner organisations are the European Space Agency (ESA), the United Kingdom's ASTROGRID consortium, the CNRS-supported Centre de Données Astronomiques de Strasbourg (CDS) at the University Louis Pasteur in Strasbourg, the CNRS-supported TERAPIX astronomical data centre at the Institut d'Astrophysique in Paris and the Jodrell Bank Observatory at the University of Manchester. Note for editors A 13-minute background video (broadcast PAL) is available from ESO PR and the Hubble European Space Agency Information Centre (addresses below). It will also be transmitted via satellite on Wednesday 12 December 2001 from 12:00 to 12:15 CET on the ESA TV Service: http://television.esa.int

  5. The Strategic Partnership between ESO and Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Comendador Frutos, L.; de Zeeuw, T..; Geeraert, P.

    2017-09-01

    On 11 July 2017, ESO and the Australian government signed a ten-year Strategic Partnership arrangement giving Australian astronomers access to the La Silla Paranal facilities. The path towards this arrangement is briefly outlined and the details of the Partnership and its implications for both the Australian and ESO astronomical communities are summarised.

  6. ESO unveils an amazing, interactive, 360-degree panoramic view of the entire night sky

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-09-01

    The first of three images of ESO's GigaGalaxy Zoom project - a new magnificent 800-million-pixel panorama of the entire sky as seen from ESO's observing sites in Chile - has just been released online. The project allows stargazers to explore and experience the Universe as it is seen with the unaided eye from the darkest and best viewing locations in the world. This 360-degree panoramic image, covering the entire celestial sphere, reveals the cosmic landscape that surrounds our tiny blue planet. This gorgeous starscape serves as the first of three extremely high-resolution images featured in the GigaGalaxy Zoom project, launched by ESO within the framework of the International Year of Astronomy 2009 (IYA2009). GigaGalaxy Zoom features a web tool that allows users to take a breathtaking dive into our Milky Way. With this tool users can learn more about many different and exciting objects in the image, such as multicoloured nebulae and exploding stars, just by clicking on them. In this way, the project seeks to link the sky we can all see with the deep, "hidden" cosmos that astronomers study on a daily basis. The wonderful quality of the images is a testament to the splendour of the night sky at ESO's sites in Chile, which are the most productive astronomical observatories in the world. The plane of our Milky Way Galaxy, which we see edge-on from our perspective on Earth, cuts a luminous swath across the image. The projection used in GigaGalaxy Zoom place the viewer in front of our Galaxy with the Galactic Plane running horizontally through the image - almost as if we were looking at the Milky Way from the outside. From this vantage point, the general components of our spiral galaxy come clearly into view, including its disc, marbled with both dark and glowing nebulae, which harbours bright, young stars, as well as the Galaxy's central bulge and its satellite galaxies. The painstaking production of this image came about as a collaboration between ESO, the renowned

  7. Southern Fireworks above ESO Telescopes

    Science.gov (United States)

    1999-05-01

    New Insights from Observations of Mysterious Gamma-Ray Burst International teams of astronomers are now busy working on new and exciting data obtained during the last week with telescopes at the European Southern Observatory (ESO). Their object of study is the remnant of a mysterious cosmic explosion far out in space, first detected as a gigantic outburst of gamma rays on May 10. Gamma-Ray Bursters (GRBs) are brief flashes of very energetic radiation - they represent by far the most powerful type of explosion known in the Universe and their afterglow in optical light can be 10 million times brighter than the brightest supernovae [1]. The May 10 event ranks among the brightest one hundred of the over 2500 GRB's detected in the last decade. The new observations include detailed images and spectra from the VLT 8.2-m ANTU (UT1) telescope at Paranal, obtained at short notice during a special Target of Opportunity programme. This happened just over one month after that powerful telescope entered into regular service and demonstrates its great potential for exciting science. In particular, in an observational first, the VLT measured linear polarization of the light from the optical counterpart, indicating for the first time that synchrotron radiation is involved . It also determined a staggering distance of more than 7,000 million light-years to this GRB . The astronomers are optimistic that the extensive observations will help them to better understand the true nature of such a dramatic event and thus to bring them nearer to the solution of one of the greatest riddles of modern astrophysics. A prime example of international collaboration The present story is about important new results at the front-line of current research. At the same time, it is also a fine illustration of a successful collaboration among several international teams of astronomers and the very effective way modern science functions. It began on May 10, at 08:49 hrs Universal Time (UT), when the Burst

  8. ESO Council Visits First VLT Unit Telescope Structure in Milan

    Science.gov (United States)

    1995-12-01

    ), Luigi Guiffrida (SOIMI), Gianpietro Marchiori (EIE) and Prof. Massimo Tarenghi (ESO), describing the very successful implementation of this major VLT contract that was awarded by ESO in September 1991 [2]. All speakers praised the good collaboration between ESO and its industrial partners and Prof. Riccardo Giacconi , Director General of ESO, expressed his satisfaction `with the splendid performance of the ESO-Industry team which was bringing us close to the realisation of the premier telescope array in optical ground-based astronomy in the world'. The participants were also pleased to listen to several of the Italian engineers present who commented on the very positive experience of being personally involved in the world's largest telescope project. The VLT telescope structures incorporate many new technological concepts. Thanks to these and careful planning of the many components and their integration, it has been possible to achieve, among others, light weight construction, high mechanical stiffness, good thermal equilibrium with the ambient air (of importance for the seeing during the observations), low electromagnetic emissitivity (i.e. low interference with the sensitive astronomical instruments) and easy maintainability. Of particular interest is also the giant, direct drive system with a diameter of 9 metres and the sophisticated, innovative laser encoder system. In this way, there is no direct contact between the moving parts and the friction during the rotation is kept at an absolute minimum. The Next Steps The ESO VLT project is now entering into a decisive phase and the next years will see an increasing number of telescope parts and instruments from the scientific and industrial laboratories of Europe converging towards the VLT observatory at Cerro Paranal in Chile. It is gratifying that, despite its high degree of complexity and incorporation of a substantial number of new technologies, the project is within schedule and budget. There will be several

  9. Britain Approaches ESO about Installation of Major New Telescope at Paranal

    Science.gov (United States)

    2000-02-01

    The Executive Board of the UK Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope (VISTA) project announced today [1] that it is aiming at the installation of a new and powerful astronomical telescope at the ESO Paranal Observatory (Chile). This 4-metre telescope is a specialised wide-angle facility equipped with powerful cameras and efficient detectors that will enable it to obtain deep images of large sky areas in short time. These survey observations will be made in several wavebands in the optical and, in particular, the near-infrared region of the electromagnetic spectrum. VISTA will become the largest and most effective telescope of its type when it enters into operation in 2004. It is a project of a consortium of 18 UK universities [2]. Construction is expected to start in spring 2000. Funding of the project was announced in May 1999, as one of the first allocations from the "Joint Infrastructure Fund (JIF)", an initiative of the UK Government's Department of Trade and Industry, the Wellcome Trust, and the Higher Education Funding Council for England. ESO's Director General, Dr. Catherine Cesarsky , is very pleased with this decision. She received a mandate from the ESO Council in December 1999 to negotiate a contract with the UK Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council (PPARC) , acting on behalf of the VISTA Executive Board, for the installation of VISTA at Paranal and now looks forward to settle the associated legal and operational details with her British counterparts at good pace. "The installation of VISTA at Paranal will be of great benefit to all European astronomers", she says. "The placement of a survey telescope of this size next to ESO's VLT, the world's largest optical telescope, opens a plethora of exciting opportunities for joint research projects. Deep observations with VISTA, especially in infrared wavebands, will provide a most valuable, first census of large regions of space. This will most certainly lead to the discoveries of many new and

  10. World's fastest and most sensitive astronomical camera

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-06-01

    ; Observatoire Astronomique de Marseille Provence), the Laboratoire d'Astrophysique de Grenoble (LAOG/INSU/CNRS, Université Joseph Fourier; Observatoire des Sciences de l'Univers de Grenoble), and the Observatoire de Haute Provence (OHP/INSU/CNRS; Observatoire Astronomique de Marseille Provence). OCam and the CCD220 are the result of five years work, financed by the European commission, ESO and CNRS-INSU, within the OPTICON project of the 6th Research and Development Framework Programme of the European Union. The development of the CCD220, supervised by ESO, was undertaken by the British company e2v technologies, one of the world leaders in the manufacture of scientific detectors. The corresponding OPTICON activity was led by the Laboratoire d'Astrophysique de Grenoble, France. The OCam camera was built by a team of French engineers from the Laboratoire d'Astrophysique de Marseille, the Laboratoire d'Astrophysique de Grenoble and the Observatoire de Haute Provence. In order to secure the continuation of this successful project a new OPTICON project started in June 2009 as part of the 7th Research and Development Framework Programme of the European Union with the same partners, with the aim of developing a detector and camera with even more powerful functionality for use with an artificial laser star. This development is necessary to ensure the image quality of the future 42-metre European Extremely Large Telescope. ESO, the European Southern Observatory, is the foremost intergovernmental astronomy organisation in Europe and the world's most productive astronomical observatory. It is supported by 14 countries: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. ESO carries out an ambitious programme focused on the design, construction and operation of powerful ground-based observing facilities enabling astronomers to make important scientific discoveries. ESO also plays a

  11. Databases of Publications and Observations as a Part of the Crimean Astronomical Virtual Observatory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shlyapnikov A.

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available We describe the main principles of formation of databases (DBs with information about astronomical objects and their physical characteristics derived from observations obtained at the Crimean Astrophysical Observatory (CrAO and published in the “Izvestiya of the CrAO” and elsewhere. Emphasis is placed on the DBs missing from the most complete global library of catalogs and data tables, VizieR (supported by the Center of Astronomical Data, Strasbourg. We specially consider the problem of forming a digital archive of observational data obtained at the CrAO as an interactive DB related to database objects and publications. We present examples of all our DBs as elements integrated into the Crimean Astronomical Virtual Observatory. We illustrate the work with the CrAO DBs using tools of the International Virtual Observatory: Aladin, VOPlot, VOSpec, in conjunction with the VizieR and Simbad DBs.

  12. The ESO Educational Office Reaches Out towards Europe's Teachers

    Science.gov (United States)

    2001-12-01

    ESA/ESO Astronomy Exercises Provide a Taste of Real Astronomy [1] Summary The European Southern Observatory (ESO) has been involved in many Europe-wide educational projects during the past years, in particular within European Science Weeks sponsored by the European Commission (EC). In order to further enhance the significant educational potential inherent in the numerous scientific endeavours now carried out by Europe's astronomers with ESO front-line telescope facilities, it has been decided to set up an Educational Office within the ESO EPR Department. It will from now on work closely with astronomy-oriented teachers, in particular at the high-school level , providing support, inspiration and new materials. Much of this interaction will happen via the European Association for Astronomy Education (EAAE) In this context, and in collaboration with the European Space Agency (ESA) , the first instalments of the "ESA/ESO Astronomy Exercise Series" have just been published, on the web ( http://www.astroex.org ) and in print (6 booklets totalling 100 pages; provided free-of-charge to teachers on request). They allow 16-19 year old students to gain exciting hands-on experience in astronomy, making realistic calculations with data obtained from observations by some of the world's best telescopes, the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope (HST) and ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT) . PR Photo 36/01 : The "ESA/ESO Astronomy Exercise Series" . Educational projects at ESO The European Southern Observatory (ESO) , through its Education and Public Relations Department (EPR) , has long been involved in educational activities, in particular by means of Europe-wide projects during successive European Science Weeks , with support from the European Commission (EC) . A most visible outcome has been the creation of the trailblazing European Association for Astronomy Education (EAAE) - this was first discussed at an international meeting at the ESO Headquarters in November 1994 with the

  13. Blockbuster starring ESO Paranal opens tomorrow

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-10-01

    The 22nd James Bond adventure is due for release tomorrow, 31 October 2008, in the UK and a week later in the rest of the world. A key location in the movie is the Residencia, the hotel for astronomers and staff at ESO's Paranal Observatory. Blockbuster starring ESO Paranal opens tomorrow ESO PR Photo 38/08 The James Bond "Quantum of Solace" filmmakers Quantum of Solace is the latest film in one of most successful movie franchises -- that of renowned 007 Agent James Bond of the British Secret Service MI6. The agent "on Her Majesty's secret service" is once again played by Daniel Craig. Key scenes of the movie were filmed at Paranal, the home of ESO's Very Large Telescope, and the most advanced optical telescope in the world. Usually occupied by no more than 100 astronomers, engineers and technicians, Paranal welcomed the 300-strong film crew for several days of shooting at the end of March 2008. The crew travelled from their hotel base in Antofagasta for up to two hours each morning to reach the filming locations. "We are delighted to have a movie like this filmed at Paranal and it was extremely good to see how careful the crew were with the surroundings and how mindful they were of the fact that they were in an operating, working observatory", says Tim de Zeeuw, ESO Director General. "Paranal is a unique observatory in a unique setting and it is no real surprise that it plays a major part in a James Bond movie", he adds. The filmmakers were mostly interested in filming exterior scenes at the Paranal Residencia, the accommodation for staff operating the Very Large Telescope. In the movie, the Residencia is supposedly the "Perla de Las Dunas", a unique hotel in the desert. Cerro Paranal is a 2600 m high mountain in the Chilean Atacama Desert, perhaps the driest on Earth. The high altitude site and extreme dryness make excellent conditions for astronomical observations. To make it possible for people to live and work here, a hotel, or Residencia, was built at the

  14. 40+ Years of Instrumentation for the La Silla Paranal Observatory

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Odorico, S.

    2018-03-01

    As ESO Period 100 comes to a close, I look back at the development of ESO's instrumentation programme over more than 40 years. Instrumentation and detector activities were initially started by a small group of designers, engineers, technicians and astronomers while ESO was still at CERN in Geneva in the late 1970s. They have since led to the development of a successful suite of optical and infrared instruments for the La Silla Paranal Observatory, as testified by the continuous growth in the number of proposals for observing time and in the publications based on data from ESO telescopes. The instrumentation programme evolved significantly with the VLT and most instruments were developed by national institutes in close cooperation with ESO. This policy was a cornerstone of the VLT programme from the beginning and a key to its success.

  15. The Role in the Virtual Astronomical Observatory in the Era of Massive Data Sets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berriman, G. Bruce; Hanisch, Robert J.; Lazio, T. Joseph W.

    2012-01-01

    The Virtual Observatory (VO) is realizing global electronic integration of astronomy data. One of the long-term goals of the U.S. VO project, the Virtual Astronomical Observatory (VAO), is development of services and protocols that respond to the growing size and complexity of astronomy data sets. This paper describes how VAO staff are active in such development efforts, especially in innovative strategies and techniques that recognize the limited operating budgets likely available to astronomers even as demand increases. The project has a program of professional outreach whereby new services and protocols are evaluated.

  16. 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

  17. Providing comprehensive and consistent access to astronomical observatory archive data: the NASA archive model

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGlynn, Thomas; Fabbiano, Giuseppina; Accomazzi, Alberto; Smale, Alan; White, Richard L.; Donaldson, Thomas; Aloisi, Alessandra; Dower, Theresa; Mazzerella, Joseph M.; Ebert, Rick; Pevunova, Olga; Imel, David; Berriman, Graham B.; Teplitz, Harry I.; Groom, Steve L.; Desai, Vandana R.; Landry, Walter

    2016-07-01

    Since the turn of the millennium a constant concern of astronomical archives have begun providing data to the public through standardized protocols unifying data from disparate physical sources and wavebands across the electromagnetic spectrum into an astronomical virtual observatory (VO). In October 2014, NASA began support for the NASA Astronomical Virtual Observatories (NAVO) program to coordinate the efforts of NASA astronomy archives in providing data to users through implementation of protocols agreed within the International Virtual Observatory Alliance (IVOA). A major goal of the NAVO collaboration has been to step back from a piecemeal implementation of IVOA standards and define what the appropriate presence for the US and NASA astronomy archives in the VO should be. This includes evaluating what optional capabilities in the standards need to be supported, the specific versions of standards that should be used, and returning feedback to the IVOA, to support modifications as needed. We discuss a standard archive model developed by the NAVO for data archive presence in the virtual observatory built upon a consistent framework of standards defined by the IVOA. Our standard model provides for discovery of resources through the VO registries, access to observation and object data, downloads of image and spectral data and general access to archival datasets. It defines specific protocol versions, minimum capabilities, and all dependencies. The model will evolve as the capabilities of the virtual observatory and needs of the community change.

  18. 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.

  19. An Information Retrieval and Recommendation System for Astronomical Observatories

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mukund, Nikhil; Thakur, Saurabh; Abraham, Sheelu; Aniyan, A. K.; Mitra, Sanjit; Sajeeth Philip, Ninan; Vaghmare, Kaustubh; Acharjya, D. P.

    2018-03-01

    We present a machine-learning-based information retrieval system for astronomical observatories that tries to address user-defined queries related to an instrument. In the modern instrumentation scenario where heterogeneous systems and talents are simultaneously at work, the ability to supply people with the right information helps speed up the tasks for detector operation, maintenance, and upgradation. The proposed method analyzes existing documented efforts at the site to intelligently group related information to a query and to present it online to the user. The user in response can probe the suggested content and explore previously developed solutions or probable ways to address the present situation optimally. We demonstrate natural language-processing-backed knowledge rediscovery by making use of the open source logbook data from the Laser Interferometric Gravitational Observatory (LIGO). We implement and test a web application that incorporates the above idea for LIGO Livingston, LIGO Hanford, and Virgo observatories.

  20. New Life for Astronomical Instruments of the Past at the Astronomical Observatory of Taras Shevchenko

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kazantseva, Liliya

    2012-09-01

    Astronomical instruments of the past are certainly valuable artifacts of the history of science and education. Like other collections of scientific equipment, they also demonstrate i) development of scientific and technical ideas, ii) technological features of the historical period, iii) professional features of artists or companies -- manufacturers, and iv) national and local specificity of production. However, astronomical instruments are also devices made for observations of rare phenomena -- solar eclipses, transits of planets of the solar disk, etc. Instruments used to study these rare events were very different for each event, since the science changed quickly between events. The Astronomical Observatory of Kyiv National Taras Shevchenko University has a collection of tools made by leading European and local shops from the early nineteenth century. These include tools for optically observing the first artificial Earth satellites, photography, chronometry, and meteorology. In addition, it has assembled a library of descriptions of astronomical instruments and makers'price-lists. Of particular interest are the large stationary tools that are still active in their pavilions. Almost every instrument has a long interesting history. Museification of astronomical instruments gives them a second life, expanding educational programs and tracing the development of astronomy in general and scientific institution and region in particular. It would be advisable to first create a regional database of these rare astronomical instruments (which is already being done in Ukraine), then a common global database. By combining all the historical information about astronomical instruments with the advantages of the Internet, you can show the full evolution of an astronomical instrument with all its features. Time is relentless, and much is destroyed, badly kept and thrown in the garbage. We need time to protect, capture, and tell about it.

  1. Visits to La Plata Observatory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feinstein, A.

    1985-03-01

    La Plata Observatory will welcome visitors to ESO-La Silla that are willing to make a stop at Buenos Aires on their trip to Chile or on their way back. There is a nice guesthouse at the Observatory that can be used, for a couple of days or so, by astronomers interested in visiting the Observatory and delivering talks on their research work to the Argentine colleagues. No payments can, however, be made at present. La Plata is at 60 km from Buenos Aires. In the same area lie the Instituto de Astronomia y Fisica dei Espacio (IAFE), in Buenos Aires proper, and the Instituto Argentino de Radioastronomia (IAR). about 40 km from Buenos Aires on the way to La Plata. Those interested should contacl: Sr Decano Prof. Cesar A. Mondinalli, or Dr Alejandro Feinstein, Observatorio Astron6mico, Paseo dei Bosque, 1900 La Plata, Argentina. Telex: 31216 CESLA AR.

  2. ESO telbib: Linking In and Reaching Out

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grothkopf, U.; Meakins, S.

    2015-04-01

    Measuring an observatory's research output is an integral part of its science operations. Like many other observatories, ESO tracks scholarly papers that use observational data from ESO facilities and uses state-of-the-art tools to create, maintain, and further develop the Telescope Bibliography database (telbib). While telbib started out as a stand-alone tool mostly used to compile lists of papers, it has by now developed into a multi-faceted, interlinked system. The core of the telbib database is links between scientific papers and observational data generated by the La Silla Paranal Observatory residing in the ESO archive. This functionality has also been deployed for ALMA data. In addition, telbib reaches out to several other systems, including ESO press releases, the NASA ADS Abstract Service, databases at the CDS Strasbourg, and impact scores at Altmetric.com. We illustrate these features to show how the interconnected telbib system enhances the content of the database as well as the user experience.

  3. The BOOTES-5 telescope at San Pedro Martir National Astronomical Observatory, Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hiriart, D.; Valdez, J.; Martínez, B.; García, B.; Cordova, A.; Colorado, E.; Guisa, G.; Ochoa, J. L.; Nuñez, J. M.; Ceseña, U.; Cunniffe, R.; Murphy, D.; Lee, W.; Park, Il H.; Castro-Tirado, A. J.

    2016-12-01

    BOOTES-5 is the fifth robotic observatory of the international network of robotic telescopes BOOTES (Burst Observer and Optical Transient Exploring Optical System). It is located at the National Astronomical Observatory at Sierra San Pedro Martir, Baja California, Mexico. It was dedicated on November 26, 2015 and it is in the process of testing. Its main scientific objective is the observation and monitoring of the optic counterparts of gamma-ray bursts as quickly as possible once they have been detected from space or other ground-based observatories. BOOTES-5 fue nombrado Telescopio Javier Gorosabel en memoria del astrónomo español Javier Gorosabel Urkia.

  4. 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.

  5. The Rare Book Collection of Capodimonte Astronomical Observatory Will be on the Web: Ancient Science Available to Everyone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cirella, E. O.; Caprio, G.

    2015-04-01

    This paper describes a project for the preservation, promotion, and creation of a website for the rare book collection of Capodimonte Astronomical Observatory. The project, promoted by INAF—Capodimonte Astronomical Observatory, was supported by the Campania Region through European funds. The final component of the project was the publication of a bibliographical catalog, Le Cinquecentine dell'Osservatorio Astronomico di Capodimonte, which was addressed to specialized users, including historians of science and bibliophiles.

  6. Detection and Implications of Laser-Induced Raman Scattering at Astronomical Observatories

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frédéric P. A. Vogt

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Laser guide stars employed at astronomical observatories provide artificial wavefront reference sources to help correct (in part the impact of atmospheric turbulence on astrophysical observations. Following the recent commissioning of the 4 Laser Guide Star Facility (4LGSF on Unit Telescope 4 (UT4 of the Very Large Telescope (VLT, we characterize the spectral signature of the uplink beams from the 22-W lasers to assess the impact of laser scattering from the 4LGSF on science observations. We use the Multi-Unit Spectroscopic Explorer (MUSE optical integral field spectrograph mounted on the Nasmyth B focus of UT4 to acquire spectra at a resolution of R≅3000 of the uplink laser beams over the wavelength range of 4750 Å–9350 Å. We report the first detection of laser-induced Raman scattering by N_{2}, O_{2}, CO_{2}, H_{2}O, and (tentatively CH_{4} molecules in the atmosphere above the astronomical observatory of Cerro Paranal. In particular, our observations reveal the characteristic spectral signature of laser photons—but 480 Å to 2210 Å redder than the original laser wavelength of 5889.959 Å—landing on the 8.2-m primary mirror of UT4 after being Raman-scattered on their way up to the sodium layer. Laser-induced Raman scattering, a phenomenon not usually discussed in the astronomical context, is not unique to the observatory of Cerro Paranal, but it is common to any astronomical telescope employing a laser guide star (LGS system. It is thus essential for any optical spectrograph coupled to a LGS system to thoroughly handle the possibility of a Raman spectral contamination via a proper baffling of the instrument and suitable calibrations procedures. These considerations are particularly applicable for the HARMONI optical spectrograph on the upcoming Extremely Large Telescope (ELT. At sites hosting multiple telescopes, laser-collision-prediction tools should also account for the presence of Raman emission from the uplink laser beam

  7. Enrique Gaviola and the Astronomical Observatory of Cordoba. Its impact in the Argentine science development

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bernaola, Omar A.

    2001-01-01

    The history of the Astronomical Observatory of Cordoba (Argentina), opened in 1871, is related. The physicist Enrique Gaviola (1900-1989) has been the director of the Observatory from 1940 to 1945 and again from 1956 to 1957. He was instrumental in the construction of the Observatory's big telescope (inaugurated in 1942, diameter 152 cm). The influence that E. Gaviola exerted upon the development of physics in Argentina, including the nuclear sciences, is also related

  8. Education in Science Centers: Evaluating School Visits to an Astronomical Observatory in Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pedro Donizete Colombo Junior

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available The present article analyzes the activity “Guided Visit of School Groups” carried out at Astronomical Observatory of the Center for Scientific and Cultural Diffusion (CDCC of University of Sao Paulo (USP with K4 and K5 pupils. The objectives of this research were to identify influences of such activity on learning of astronomical concepts and on pupils’ motivation. The results demonstrate that pupils have difficulties to understand Solar System concepts and the distances involved, on the other hand, the activity motivates the pupils to return with their parents and friends to the Observatory. At last, the success of visits to science centers aiming at the learning of basic concepts and motivation comprises at least three moments: the one that precedes the visit, the visit itself and the return to the classroom.

  9. ESO and NSF Sign Agreement on ALMA

    Science.gov (United States)

    2003-02-01

    Green Light for World's Most Powerful Radio Observatory On February 25, 2003, the European Southern Observatory (ESO) and the US National Science Foundation (NSF) are signing a historic agreement to construct and operate the world's largest and most powerful radio telescope, operating at millimeter and sub-millimeter wavelength. The Director General of ESO, Dr. Catherine Cesarsky, and the Director of the NSF, Dr. Rita Colwell, act for their respective organizations. Known as the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA), the future facility will encompass sixty-four interconnected 12-meter antennae at a unique, high-altitude site at Chajnantor in the Atacama region of northern Chile. ALMA is a joint project between Europe and North America. In Europe, ESO is leading on behalf of its ten member countries and Spain. In North America, the NSF also acts for the National Research Council of Canada and executes the project through the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) operated by Associated Universities, Inc. (AUI). The conclusion of the ESO-NSF Agreement now gives the final green light for the ALMA project. The total cost of approximately 650 million Euro (or US Dollars) is shared equally between the two partners. Dr. Cesarsky is excited: "This agreement signifies the start of a great project of contemporary astronomy and astrophysics. Representing Europe, and in collaboration with many laboratories and institutes on this continent, we together look forward towards wonderful research projects. With ALMA we may learn how the earliest galaxies in the Universe really looked like, to mention but one of the many eagerly awaited opportunities with this marvellous facility". "With this agreement, we usher in a new age of research in astronomy" says Dr. Colwell. "By working together in this truly global partnership, the international astronomy community will be able to ensure the research capabilities needed to meet the long-term demands of our scientific enterprise, and

  10. The French Jesuit Mission to Thailand in the 1680s and the Establishment of a Major Astronomical Observatory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soonthornthum, Boonrucksar; Orchiston, Wayne; Komonjinda, Siramas

    2012-09-01

    The first great Thai ruler to encourage the adoption of Western culture and technology was King Narai, and his enlightened attitude led to the rapid development of Thailand. King Narai also had a passion for astronomy, and he pursued this interest by allowing French Jesuit missionaries to set up a large modern well-equipped astronomical observatory in Lopburi Province between AD 1685 and 1687. This was known as the Wat San Paolo Observatory, and King Narai and the missionaries observed a total lunar eclipse on 10 December 1685 and a partial solar eclipse on 30 April 1688. These observations and others made at Wat San Paolo Observatory during the 1680s marked the start of modern scientific astronomy in Thailand. In this paper we discuss King Narai's scientific and other interests, the founding of the Wat San Paolo Observatory, the missionaries who conducted the astronomical programs, their instruments and their observations. We also describe the surviving ruins of the Observatory and their interpretation as a site of national scientific importance in Thailand.

  11. UKRVO Astronomical WEB Services

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mazhaev, O.E.

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Ukraine Virtual Observatory (UkrVO has been a member of the International Virtual Observatory Alliance (IVOA since 2011. The virtual observatory (VO is not a magic solution to all problems of data storing and processing, but it provides certain standards for building infrastructure of astronomical data center. The astronomical databases help data mining and offer to users an easy access to observation metadata, images within celestial sphere and results of image processing. The astronomical web services (AWS of UkrVO give to users handy tools for data selection from large astronomical catalogues for a relatively small region of interest in the sky. Examples of the AWS usage are showed.

  12. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-11-01

    Facility and the SIRIUS camera at the Sutherland station of the South African Astronomical Observatory. More information This research was presented in a paper to appear in the 20 November 2009 issue of the Astrophysical Journal, vol. 706, p. 738 ("The expanding bipolar shell of the helium nova V445 Puppis", by P. A. Woudt et al.). The team is composed of P. A. Woudt and B. Warner (University of Cape Town, South Africa), D. Steeghs and T. R. Marsh (University of Warwick, UK), M. Karovska and G. H. A. Roelofs (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge MA, USA), P. J. Groot and G. Nelemans (Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands), T. Nagayama (Kyoto University, Japan), D. P. Smits (University of South Africa, South Africa), and T. O'Brien (University of Manchester, UK). ESO, the European Southern Observatory, is the foremost intergovernmental astronomy organisation in Europe and the world's most productive astronomical observatory. It is supported by 14 countries: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. ESO carries out an ambitious programme focused on the design, construction and operation of powerful ground-based observing facilities enabling astronomers to make important scientific discoveries. ESO also plays a leading role in promoting and organising cooperation in astronomical research. ESO operates three unique world-class observing sites in Chile: La Silla, Paranal and Chajnantor. At Paranal, ESO operates the Very Large Telescope, the world's most advanced visible-light astronomical observatory. ESO is the European partner of a revolutionary astronomical telescope ALMA, the largest astronomical project in existence. ESO is currently planning a 42-metre European Extremely Large optical/near-infrared Telescope, the E-ELT, which will become "the world's biggest eye on the sky".

  14. Cooperation for Common Use of SEE Astronomical Database as a Regional Virtual Observatory in Different Scientific Projects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pinigin, Gennady; Protsyuk, Yuri; Shulga, Alexander

    The activity of scientific collaborative and co-operative research between South-Eastern European (SEE) observatories is enlarged in the last time. The creation of a common database as a regional virtual observatory is very desirable. The creation of astronomical information resource with a capability of interactive access to databases and telescopes on the base of the general astronomical database of the SEE countries is presented. This resource may be connected with the European network. A short description of the NAO database is presented. The total amount of the NAO information makes about 90 GB, the one obtained from other sources - about 15 GB. The mean diurnal level of the new astronomical information produced with the NAO CCD instruments makes from 300 MB up to 2 GB, depending on the purposes and conditions of observations. The majority of observational data is stored in FITS format. Possibility of using of VO-table format for displaying these data in the Internet is studied. Activities on development and the further refinement of storage, exchange and data processing standards are conducted.

  15. The Observatory as Laboratory: Spectral Analysis at Mount Wilson Observatory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brashear, Ronald

    2018-01-01

    This paper will discuss the seminal changes in astronomical research practices made at the Mount Wilson Observatory in the early twentieth century by George Ellery Hale and his staff. Hale’s desire to set the agenda for solar and stellar astronomical research is often described in terms of his new telescopes, primarily the solar tower observatories and the 60- and 100-inch telescopes on Mount Wilson. This paper will focus more on the ancillary but no less critical parts of Hale’s research mission: the establishment of associated “physical” laboratories as part of the observatory complex where observational spectral data could be quickly compared with spectra obtained using specialized laboratory equipment. Hale built a spectroscopic laboratory on the mountain and a more elaborate physical laboratory in Pasadena and staffed it with highly trained physicists, not classically trained astronomers. The success of Hale’s vision for an astronomical observatory quickly made the Carnegie Institution’s Mount Wilson Observatory one of the most important astrophysical research centers in the world.

  16. Austrian-Hungarian Astronomical Observatories Run by the Society of Jesus at the Time of the 18th Century Venus Transits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Posch, Thomas; Aspaas, Per Pippin; Bazso, Akos; Mueller, Isolde

    2013-05-01

    The Venus transit in June 1761 was the first one to be observed on a truly international scale: almost 250 astronomers followed this rare celestial event (e.g. Wulff 2012, p. 115), and at least 130 published successful observations of it (Aspaas 2012, p. 423). The present paper deals with the astronomical observatories built by the Society of Jesus in its eighteenth century "Provincia Austriae", at which the 1761 transit could be observed. Five Jesuit observatories are being presented in this context: three in today's Austria, namely, two in Vienna and one in Graz; one in Trnava in today's Slovakia and one in Cluj in today's Romania. Thereafter, we briefly examine which of these observatories submitted any Venus transit observations for publication in the appendix to Maximilian Hell's "Ephemerides astronomicae ad meridianum Vindobonensem" for the year 1762.

  17. A new mix of power for the ESO installations in Chile: greener, more reliable, cheaper

    Science.gov (United States)

    Filippi, G.; Tamai, R.; Kalaitzoglou, D.; Wild, W.; Delorme, A.; Rioseco, D.

    2016-07-01

    The highest sky quality demands for astronomical research impose to locate observatories often in areas not easily reached by the existing power infrastructures. At the same time, availability and cost of power is a primary factor for sustainable operations. Power may also be a potential source for CO2 pollution. As part of its green initiatives, ESO is in the process of replacing the power sources for its own, La Silla and Paranal-Armazones, and shared, ALMA, installations in Chile in order to provide them with more reliable, affordable, and smaller CO2 footprint power solutions. The connectivity to the Chilean interconnected power systems (grid) which is to extensively use Non-Conventional Renewable Energy (NCRE) as well as the use of less polluting fuels wherever self-generation cannot be avoided are key building blocks for the solutions selected for every site. In addition, considerations such as the environmental impact and - if required - the partnership with other entities have also to be taken into account. After years of preparatory work to which the Chilean Authorities provided great help and support, ESO has now launched an articulated program to upgrade the existing agreements/facilities in i) the La Silla Observatory, from free to regulated grid client status due to an agreement with a Solar Farm private initiative, in ii) the Paranal-Armazones Observatory, from local generation using liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) to connection to the grid which is to extensively use NCRE, and last but not least, in iii) the ALMA Observatory where ESO participates together with North American and East Asian partners, from replacing the LPG as fuel for the turbine local generation system with the use of less polluting natural gas (NG) supplied by a pipe connection to eliminate the pollution caused by the LPG trucks (currently 1 LPG truck from the VIII region, Bio Bio, to the II region, ALMA and back every day, for a total of 3000km). The technologies used and the status

  18. Knowing the people who come to public astronomical observatories: The case of Akita prefecture, Japan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kawamura, N.

    2015-03-01

    The purpose of this research is to know and gain a better understanding of people who come to astronomical observatories and to find out more about their experiences and thoughts on astronomy. To find some of the issues about science communication in astronomy, the author carried out questionnaire research studies involving high school students and junior high school and elementary school teachers.

  19. European Southern Observatory

    CERN Multimedia

    CERN PhotoLab

    1970-01-01

    Professor A. Blaauw, Director general of the European Southern Observatory, with George Hampton on his right, signs the Agreement covering collaboration with CERN in the construction of the large telescope to be installed at the ESO Observatory in Chile.

  20. Astronomers Break Ground on Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA) - World's Largest Millimeter Wavelength Telescope

    Science.gov (United States)

    2003-11-01

    , operations will be conducted from the Operations Support Facility ( ALMA OSF) , a compound located at a more comfortable altitude of 2,900 metres, between the cities of Toconao and San Pedro de Atacama. Phase 1 of the ALMA Project, which included the design and development, was completed in 2002. The beginning of Phase 2 happened on February 25, 2003, when the European Southern Observatory (ESO) and the US National Science Foundation (NSF) signed a historic agreement to construct and operate ALMA , cf. ESO PR 04/03 . Construction will continue until 2012; however, initial scientific observations are planned already from 2007, with a partial array of the first antennas. ALMA 's operation will progressively increase until 2012 with the installation of the remaining antennas. The entire project will cost approximately 600 million Euros. Earlier this year, the ALMA Board selected Professor Massimo Tarenghi , formerly manager of ESO's VLT Project, to become ALMA Director. He is confident that he and his team will succeed: "We may have a lot of hard work in front of us" , he said, "but all of us in the team are excited about this unique project. We are ready to work for the international astronomical community and to provide them in due time with an outstanding instrument allowing trailblazing research projects in many different fields of modern astrophysics" . How ALMA will work ALMA will be composed of 64 high-precision antennas, each 12 metres in diameter. The ALMA antennas can be repositioned, allowing the telescope to function much like the zoom lens on a camera. At its largest, ALMA will be 14 kilometers across. This will allow the telescope to observe fine-scale details of astronomical objects. At its smallest configuration, approximately 150 meters across, ALMA will be able to study the large-scale structures of these same objects. ALMA will function as an interferometer (according to the same basic principle as the VLT Interferometer (VLTI) at Paranal). This means that it

  1. TELICS—A Telescope Instrument Control System for Small/Medium Sized Astronomical Observatories

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-10-01

    For any modern astronomical observatory, it is essential to have an efficient interface between the telescope and its back-end instruments. However, for small and medium-sized observatories, this requirement is often limited by tight financial constraints. Therefore a simple yet versatile and low-cost control system is required for such observatories to minimize cost and effort. Here we report the development of a modern, multipurpose instrument control system TELICS (Telescope Instrument Control System) to integrate the controls of various instruments and devices mounted on the telescope. TELICS consists of an embedded hardware unit known as a common control unit (CCU) in combination with Linux-based data acquisition and user interface. The hardware of the CCU is built around the ATmega 128 microcontroller (Atmel Corp.) and is designed with a backplane, master-slave architecture. A Qt-based graphical user interface (GUI) has been developed and the back-end application software is based on C/C++. TELICS provides feedback mechanisms that give the operator good visibility and a quick-look display of the status and modes of instruments as well as data. TELICS has been used for regular science observations since 2008 March on the 2 m, f/10 IUCAA Telescope located at Girawali in Pune, India.

  2. Possible astronomical meanings of some El Molle relics near the ESO Observatory at La Silla

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernardi, Gabriella; Vecchiato, Alberto; Bucciarelli, Beatrice

    2012-07-01

    This paper describes a peculiar, man-made circular stone structure, associated with the ancient rock engravings that are around the site of La Silla in Chile close to the European Southern Observatory, and are attributed to the El Molle Culture. Three stones of the circle, different from all the others, were likely to pinpoint the alignment of three bright stars close to the horizon, as seen from a specific vantage point inside the structure. The El Molle was the only period in which this alignment occurred significantly close to the horizon, moreover it was only in this epoch that it could also be associated with the transition from the warm to the cold season, a period of the year which was quite important for a society that supported itself by herding and farming.

  3. Digging up the Earliest Astronomical Observatory in China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Wei-Boa; Chen, Jiu-Jin

    2007-09-01

    At the town of Taosi, county of Xiangfen, Shanxi province the earliest (up to date about 4000 years ago) astronomical observatory and sacrificial altar relic was dug up, which consists of an observing site, some tamped soil columniations and slits between those columniations. This construction was used to observe the variations of the sunrise azimuth and determine the tropical year length in order to constitute the calendar. It is indicated from the simulated observations that the two slits located in the southeast and the northwest could be precisely used to determine the dates of the Winter Solstice and the Summer Solstice. Between those two slits there are 10 columniations which could indicate that the visual Sun moving from one columniation to another is a solar term. It implies that in the Emperor Yao time the calendar was the solar calendar in which one year was divided into 20 solar terms. The Yin-Yang five-element calendar, a 10-month calendar, in the very ancient time was based on this calendar.

  4. Highlights of Spanish Astrophysics IV Proceedings of the Seventh Scientific Meeting of the Spanish Astronomical Society (SEA), held in Barcelona, Spain, September 12-15, 2006

    CERN Document Server

    Figueras, Francesca; Hernanz, Margarita; Jordi, Carme

    2007-01-01

    This volume documents the contributions presented at the Seventh Scientific Meeting of the Spanish Astronomical Society (Sociedad Española de Astronomía, SEA). The event bought together 301 participants who presented 161 contributed talks and 120 posters, the greatest numbers up to now. The fact that most exciting items of the current astronomical research were addressed in the meeting proofs the good health of the SEA, a consolidated organization founded fifteen years ago in Barcelona. Two plenary sessions of the meeting were devoted to the approved entrance of Spain as a full member of the European Southern Observatory (ESO) and to the imminent first light of the greatest telescope in the world, the GTC (Gran Telescopio de Canarias), milestones that will certainly lead the Spanish Astronomy in the next future.

  5. Tim de Zeeuw to Become the Next Director General of ESO

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-01-01

    The ESO Council has just appointed Tim de Zeeuw, 50, as the next Director General of ESO, effective as of 1 September 2007, when the current Director General, Catherine Cesarsky will complete her mandate. ESO PR Photo 02/07 ESO PR Photo 03/07 Professor Tim de Zeeuw "ESO is Europe's flagship organisation for ground-based astronomy," said, Richard Wade, President of the ESO Council. "The ESO Council is very pleased that Professor de Zeeuw has accepted the task as its next Director General. He has played a key role over the last few years in developing a strategic vision for ESO, and I have every confidence that he will now lead the organisation in the realisation of that exciting vision." Tim de Zeeuw has an excellent record, both as a highly respected scientist and as a leader of an internationally recognised science institute in the Netherlands. He is Scientific Director of the Leiden Observatory, a research institute in the College of Mathematics and Natural Sciences of Leiden University. Tim de Zeeuw also has considerable experience as regards science policy issues. Catherine Cesarsky, ESO's current Director General commented: "Over the recent years, ESO has developed considerably with more activities and new member states, and with its ambitious project portfolio, ESO is clearly facing an exciting future. I shall be delighted to pass the baton to Tim de Zeeuw, who as a recent Council member is very familiar with our Organisation." "It is a great honour and an exciting challenge to lead this world-class organisation in the years to come in support of one of the most dynamic areas of science today," said de Zeeuw. "I look forward to overseeing the continued upgrading of the Very Large Telescope with the second-generation instrumentation and the completion of the ALMA project, and in particular to help developing the future European Extremely Large Telescope." Tim de Zeeuw's main research interests embrace the formation, structure and dynamics of galaxies

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-12-01

    , USA). ESO, the European Southern Observatory, is the foremost intergovernmental astronomy organisation in Europe and the world's most productive astronomical observatory. It is supported by 14 countries: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. ESO carries out an ambitious programme focused on the design, construction and operation of powerful ground-based observing facilities enabling astronomers to make important scientific discoveries. ESO also plays a leading role in promoting and organising cooperation in astronomical research. ESO operates three unique world-class observing sites in Chile: La Silla, Paranal and Chajnantor. At Paranal, ESO operates the Very Large Telescope, the world's most advanced visible-light astronomical observatory, and VISTA, the world's largest survey telescope. ESO is the European partner of a revolutionary astronomical telescope ALMA, the largest astronomical project in existence. ESO is currently planning a 42-metre European Extremely Large optical/near-infrared Telescope, the E-ELT, which will become "the world's biggest eye on the sky".

  7. Colloid Microthruster Feed System Development for Fine Pointing and Drag-Free Control of Multi-Year Astronomical Observatories

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ziemer, John; Mueller, J.; Spence, D.; Hruby, V.

    2014-01-01

    A new Colloid Microthruster feed system, including a propellant tank and redundant Microvalves, is being developed for fine pointing and drag-free operations of multi-year astronomical observatories under the PCOS SAT program. Almost all Gravitational Wave Observatory (GWO) concepts require microthrusters to maintain a drag-free environment for the inertial sensor instrument to meet the mission science objectives. The current state-of-the-art microthruster in the US is the Busek Colloid Micro-Newton Thruster (CMNT) originally developed under the New Millennium Program for the Space Technology 7 (ST7) and ESA's LISA Pathfinder (LPF) technology demonstration mission. The ST7 CMNT design includes a bellows propellant storage tank that is sized to provide up to 90 days of maximum thrust (30 µN). The new propellant tank is based on a blow-down, metal-diaphragm spherical tank design with enough capacity for a 5-year GWO mission. The new feed system will also include the third generation of Busek’s Microvalve, currently being developed under a NASA Phase II SBIR. The Microvalve is responsible for the picoliter per second control of the propellant from the tank to the thruster head, demanding parts with micron-level tolerances, critical alignments, and challenging acceptance test protocols. This microthruster system could also be considered for replacement of reaction wheels for slewing and fine pointing of other astronomical observatories, including Exo-Planet Observatory concepts. The goal of the PCOS SAT effort is to raise the new system to TRL 5 with performance and environmental testing within the next two years.

  8. Automated data reduction workflows for astronomy. The ESO Reflex environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freudling, W.; Romaniello, M.; Bramich, D. M.; Ballester, P.; Forchi, V.; García-Dabló, C. E.; Moehler, S.; Neeser, M. J.

    2013-11-01

    Context. Data from complex modern astronomical instruments often consist of a large number of different science and calibration files, and their reduction requires a variety of software tools. The execution chain of the tools represents a complex workflow that needs to be tuned and supervised, often by individual researchers that are not necessarily experts for any specific instrument. Aims: The efficiency of data reduction can be improved by using automatic workflows to organise data and execute a sequence of data reduction steps. To realize such efficiency gains, we designed a system that allows intuitive representation, execution and modification of the data reduction workflow, and has facilities for inspection and interaction with the data. Methods: The European Southern Observatory (ESO) has developed Reflex, an environment to automate data reduction workflows. Reflex is implemented as a package of customized components for the Kepler workflow engine. Kepler provides the graphical user interface to create an executable flowchart-like representation of the data reduction process. Key features of Reflex are a rule-based data organiser, infrastructure to re-use results, thorough book-keeping, data progeny tracking, interactive user interfaces, and a novel concept to exploit information created during data organisation for the workflow execution. Results: Automated workflows can greatly increase the efficiency of astronomical data reduction. In Reflex, workflows can be run non-interactively as a first step. Subsequent optimization can then be carried out while transparently re-using all unchanged intermediate products. We found that such workflows enable the reduction of complex data by non-expert users and minimizes mistakes due to book-keeping errors. Conclusions: Reflex includes novel concepts to increase the efficiency of astronomical data processing. While Reflex is a specific implementation of astronomical scientific workflows within the Kepler workflow

  9. Using ESO Reflex with Web Services

    Science.gov (United States)

    Järveläinen, P.; Savolainen, V.; Oittinen, T.; Maisala, S.; Ullgrén, M. Hook, R.

    2008-08-01

    ESO Reflex is a prototype graphical workflow system, based on Taverna, and primarily intended to be a flexible way of running ESO data reduction recipes along with other legacy applications and user-written tools. ESO Reflex can also readily use the Taverna Web Services features that are based on the Apache Axis SOAP implementation. Taverna is a general purpose Web Service client, and requires no programming to use such services. However, Taverna also has some restrictions: for example, no numerical types such integers. In addition the preferred binding style is document/literal wrapped, but most astronomical services publish the Axis default WSDL using RPC/encoded style. Despite these minor limitations we have created simple but very promising test VO workflow using the Sesame name resolver service at CDS Strasbourg, the Hubble SIAP server at the Multi-Mission Archive at Space Telescope (MAST) and the WESIX image cataloging and catalogue cross-referencing service at the University of Pittsburgh. ESO Reflex can also pass files and URIs via the PLASTIC protocol to visualisation tools and has its own viewer for VOTables. We picked these three Web Services to try to set up a realistic and useful ESO Reflex workflow. They also demonstrate ESO Reflex abilities to use many kind of Web Services because each of them requires a different interface. We describe each of these services in turn and comment on how it was used

  10. Planet Formation in Action? - Astronomers may have found the first object clearing its path in the natal disc surrounding a young star

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-02-01

    gap in the dust disc around T Cha was a smoking gun, and we asked ourselves: could we be witnessing a companion digging a gap inside its protoplanetary disc?" However, finding a faint companion so close to a bright star is a huge challenge and the team had to use the VLT instrument NACO in a novel and powerful way, called sparse aperture masking, to reach their goal [4]. After careful analysis they found the clear signature of an object located within the gap in the dust disc, about one billion kilometres from the star - slightly further out than Jupiter is within our Solar System and close to the outer edge of the gap. This is the first detection of an object much smaller than a star within a gap in the planet-forming dust disc around a young star. The evidence suggests that the companion object cannot be a normal star [5] but it could be either a brown dwarf [6] surrounded by dust or, most excitingly, a recently formed planet. Huélamo concludes: "This is a remarkable joint study that combines two different state-of-the-art instruments at ESO's Paranal Observatory. Future observations will allow us to find out more about the companion and the disc, and also understand what fuels the inner dusty disc." Notes [1] The transitional discs can be spotted because they give off less radiation at mid-infrared wavelengths. The clearing of the dust close to the star and the creation of gaps and holes can explain this missing radiation. Recently formed planets may have created these gaps, although there are also other possibilities. [2] T Cha is a T Tauri star, a very young star that is still contracting towards the main sequence. [3] The astronomers used the AMBER instrument (Astronomical Multi-BEam combineR) and the VLTI to combine the light from all four of the 8.2-metre VLT Unit Telescopes and create a "virtual telescope" 130 metres across. [4] NACO (or NAOS-CONICA in full) is an adaptive optics instrument attached to ESO's Very Large Telescope. Thanks to adaptive optics

  11. The correspondence of Giovanni Santini and Giuseppe Lorenzoni, directors of the Astronomical Observatory of Padua in the 19th century

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luisa Pigatto

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available

    Giovanni Santini was appointed director of the Astronomical Observatory of Padova from 1817 to 1877. His scientific correspondence covers a period from 1807 to 1874. Most of the letters are from Italian and European astronomers, mainly concerning astronomical subjects. In actual fact, all Santini’s activity was devoted to the classical astronomy, mainly to the new comets and planets orbit calculation, as far as to the compilation of a catalogue of almost ten thousand stars. From 1821 to 1828, he was involved in geodetic observations in order to determine the difference of longitude between Milan-Padua and Padua-Fiume. Giuseppe Lorenzoni was appointed director after Santini’s death, from 1877 to 1913. Since 1873, he took part in the Italian Geodetic Commission to which he devoted almost all his scientific activity. Lorenzoni’s scientific correspondence was partly lost for war reasons. A partial correspondence with Giovanni Virginio Schiaparelli and almost the complete correspondence with Pietro Tacchini, were recovered after the second World War. Santini and Lorenzoni correspondence cover a period about a hundred years long. So, it is an important tool of knowledge for the history of Padova Astronomical Observatory in the 19th century, for its scientific activity, and for the relationship among Italian and European astronomers and institutions.



  12. Preservation and maintenance of the astronomical sites in Armenia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mickaelian, A. M.

    2008-01-01

    Astronomy in Armenia was popular since ancient times. There are signs of astronomical observations coming from a few thousands years ago. Two ancient observatories, Karahunge and Metzamor are especially well known. Karahunge is the Armenian twin of the Stonehenge and is even older. However, there is no proper attention from the state authorities and efforts are needed for preservation of such historical-astronomical monuments. The Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory (BAO) is the modern famous Armenian observatory founded in 1946 by the outstanding scientist Victor Ambartsumian. It was one of the world astronomical centres in 1950-s to 1970-s, and at present is the largest observatory in the Middle East area. As the ancient astronomical sites, Byurakan also needs a proper attitude from the state authorities and corresponding international organizations to preserve its values and importance for the present and future astronomical activities in the region, including its rich observational archive, telescopes, and human resources. Despite all the difficulties, the Armenian astronomers keep high international level of research and display various activities organizing international meetings and schools, preparing new young generation for the future research. The Armenian Astronomical Society (ArAS) is an affiliated member of EAS. Armenia has its Virtual Observatory project (ArVO) as well. The next Joint European and National Astronomy Meeting (JENAM-2007) will be held in Yerevan, Armenia, in August 2007. There are plans to organize astronomical tours to Armenia for making observations from various sites, including the ancient observatories. The future of astronomy in Armenia strongly depends on all of this activities and the proper attention both from state authorities and society.

  13. News from the ESO Science Archive Facility

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dobrzycki, A.; Arnaboldi, M.; Bierwirth, T.; Boelter, M.; Da Rocha, C.; Delmotte, N.; Forchì, V.; Fourniol, N.; klein Gebbinck, M.; Lange, U.; Mascetti, L.; Micol, A.; Moins, C.; Munte, C.; Pluciennik, C.; Retzlaff, J.; Romaniello, M.; Rosse, N.; Sequeiros, I. V.; Vuong, M.-H.; Zampieri, S.

    2015-09-01

    ESO Science Archive Facility (SAF) - one of the world's biggest astronomical archives - combines two roles: operational (ingest, tallying, safekeeping and distribution to observers of raw data taken with ESO telescopes and processed data generated both internally and externally) and scientific (publication and delivery of all flavours of data to external users). This paper presents the “State of the SAF.” SAF, as a living entity, is constantly implementing new services and upgrading the existing ones. We present recent and future developments related to the Archive's Request Handler and metadata handling as well as performance and usage statistics and trends. We also discuss the current and future datasets on offer at SAF.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1975-06-06

    the front of the structure. It may be astronomically significant that the Yucatecan towers fronted in approximately the same direction. Andrews (34) reports the existence of a curious circular building located at Puerto Rico, Campeche, near Xpujil. His crosssectional view of the tower bears a close resemblance to Ruppert's sketch (6, figure 293) of a horizontal section taken through the windows remaining at the top of the Caracol. Hartung (12) has suggested a possible astronomical use for the Puerto Rico tower, but no analysis of the orientation of its "windows," which are much smaller than those of the Caracol, has yet been conducted. Other circular buildings are reported at Ake (20, p. 113) and Isla Cozumel (35, p. 557). We hope that future investigations of the remains of Yucatecan towers will shed further light upon the significance and use of the Caracol as an astronomical observatory.

  15. U.S. and European ALMA Partners Sign Agreement Green Light for World's Most Powerful Radio Observatory

    Science.gov (United States)

    2003-02-01

    clusters, and the detection of organic and other molecules in space. The ALMA partners will construct the telescope at an altitude of 16,500 feet in the Atacama Desert in the Chilean Andes. This unique site is perhaps the best location on Earth to study millimeter and sub-millimeter light because these wavelengths are absorbed by moisture in the atmosphere. "Astronomers will have a pristine view of that portion of the electromagnetic spectrum from the ALMA site," said Colwell. ALMA is a joint project between Europe and North America. In Europe, ESO is leading on behalf of its ten member countries and Spain. In North America, the NSF executes the project through the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO), which is operated under cooperative agreement by Associated Universities, Inc. (AUI). The National Research Council of Canada will partner with the NSF in the North American endeavor. "The NRAO is very pleased to have the leading role in this project on behalf of the North American partners," said Dr. Fred K.Y. Lo, director of the NRAO in Charlottesville, Virginia. "ALMA will be one of astronomy's premier tools for studying the Universe," said Nobel Laureate Riccardo Giacconi, president of AUI. "The entire astronomical community is anxious to have the unprecedented power and resolution that ALMA will provide." The President of the ESO Council, Professor Piet van der Kruit, agrees: "ALMA heralds a breakthrough in sub-millimeter and millimeter astronomy, allowing some of the most penetrating studies of the Universe ever made. It is safe to predict that there will be exciting scientific surprises when ALMA enters into operation." By signing this agreement, ESO and the NSF give the green light for the joint construction of the ALMA telescope, which will cost approximately $552 million U.S. (in FY 2000 dollars). To oversee the construction and management of ALMA, a joint ALMA Board has been established by the partners. This board met for the first time on February 24

  16. Worldwide R&D of Virtual Observatory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cui, C. Z.; Zhao, Y. H.

    2008-07-01

    Virtual Observatory (VO) is a data intensive online astronomical research and education environment, taking advantages of advanced information technologies to achieve seamless and uniform access to astronomical information. The concept of VO was introduced in the late 1990s to meet the challenges brought up with data avalanche in astronomy. In the paper, current status of International Virtual Observatory Alliance, technical highlights from world wide VO projects are reviewed, a brief introduction of Chinese Virtual Observatory is given.

  17. The Paris Observatory has 350 years

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lequeux, James

    2017-01-01

    1926, the astrophysical observatory at Meudon was merged with the Paris one. A strong revival of the Observatory and of all French astronomy took place just after WW2 under the impulse of André Danjon. Radioastronomy was developed with the creation of the Nançay station in 1953, and the Observatory became very active in space research after 1963 thanks mainly to Jean-Louis Steinberg. It is presently one of the biggest astronomical institutes worldwide, with a total scientific, technical and administrative staff of 650, and many students and post-doctoral researchers. Essentially all the aspects of astronomy and astrophysics are covered, including laboratory work, especially on very accurate clocks. However, essentially all the observations are done elsewhere, particularly in international facilities such as IRAM, ESO and with many satellites and space probes.

  18. Brilliant Star in a Colourful Neighbourhood

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    A spectacular new image from ESO's Wide Field Imager at the La Silla Observatory in Chile shows the brilliant and unusual star WR 22 and its colourful surroundings. WR 22 is a very hot and bright star that is shedding its atmosphere into space at a rate many millions of times faster than the Sun. It lies in the outer part of the dramatic Carina Nebula from which it formed. Very massive stars live fast and die young. Some of these stellar beacons have such intense radiation passing through their thick atmospheres late in their lives that they shed material into space many millions of times more quickly than relatively sedate stars such as the Sun. These rare, very hot and massive objects are known as Wolf-Rayet stars [1], after the two French astronomers who first identified them in the mid-nineteenth century, and one of the most massive ones yet measured is known as WR 22. It appears at the centre of this picture, which was created from images taken through red, green and blue filters with the Wide Field Imager on the MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope at ESO's La Silla Observatory in Chile. WR 22 is a member of a double star system and has been measured to have a mass at least 70 times that of the Sun. WR 22 lies in the southern constellation of Carina, the keel of Jason's ship Argo in Greek mythology. Although the star lies over 5000 light-years from the Earth it is so bright that it can just be faintly seen with the unaided eye under good conditions. WR 22 is one of many exceptionally brilliant stars associated with the beautiful Carina Nebula (also known as NGC 3372) and the outer part of this huge region of star formation in the southern Milky Way forms the colourful backdrop to this image. The subtle colours of the rich background tapestry are a result of the interactions between the intense ultraviolet radiation coming from hot massive stars, including WR 22, and the vast gas clouds, mostly hydrogen, from which they formed. The central part of this enormous complex

  19. Chicago's Dearborn Observatory: a study in survival

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bartky, Ian R.

    2000-12-01

    The Dearborn Observatory, located on the Old University of Chicago campus from 1863 until 1888, was America's most promising astronomical facility when it was founded. Established by the Chicago Astronomical Society and directed by one of the country's most gifted astronomers, it boasted the largest telescope in the world and virtually unlimited operating funds. The Great Chicago Fire of 1871 destroyed its funding and demolished its research programme. Only via the sale of time signals and the heroic efforts of two amateur astronomers did the Dearborn Observatory survive.

  20. The big comet crash of 1994. Intensive observational campaign at ESO

    Science.gov (United States)

    1994-01-01

    observing time to this programme is just over 40 full nights, a quantity never allocated for any single astronomical event at ESO. This clearly illustrates the importance attached to this very special programme. At this moment, the more than 30 astronomers involved are in the middle of the complex and detailed preparations for this unique event, less than six months from now. Together with observational programmes at other observatories, they will provide efficient coverage of the collisions and the associated effects. WHICH OBSERVATIONS WILL BE CARRIED OUT AT ESO ? Some of the earliest observations at ESO will be carried out with the Danish 1.54 m telescope by a small team of ESO astronomers led by Olivier Hainaut. Beginning in late April 1994, images will be obtained of comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 which will allow to further improve the accuracy of the orbit and thereby to increase the precision with which the times of the individual impacts can be predicted. It is expected that such observations, when made carefully up to the last days before the first impacts, will result in a final timing accuracy of a few minutes; this will of course be of importance for all other observations, both from the ground, and especially for those being carried out from the spacecraft. A team from the Munich Observatory (Germany) under the leadership of Heinz Barwig will perform rapid brightness mesurements of Jupiter's moons at the predicted times of the impacts with their special high-speed photometer attached to the ESO 1 metre telescope. The flashes from the impacts will be reflected from the surfaces of those Jupiter moons which are in view of the impact sites. If this happens when a moon is in full sunlight, the relative increase of intensity will probably only be of the order of 1. However, if one of the moons is located in the shadow of Jupiter and is at the same time visible from the Earth, then the relative brightening may be very conspicuous. Whether this will be the case will of

  1. Taurus Hill Observatory Scientific Observations for Pulkova Observatory during the 2016-2017 Season

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hentunen, V.-P.; Haukka, H.; Heikkinen, E.; Salmi, T.; Juutilainen, J.

    2017-09-01

    Taurus Hill Observatory (THO), observatory code A95, is an amateur observatory located in Varkaus, Finland. The observatory is maintained by the local astronomical association Warkauden Kassiopeia. THO research team has observed and measured various stellar objects and phenomena. Observatory has mainly focused on exoplanet light curve measurements, observing the gamma rays burst, supernova discoveries and monitoring. We also do long term monitoring projects.

  2. SUMO: operation and maintenance management web tool for astronomical observatories

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mujica-Alvarez, Emma; Pérez-Calpena, Ana; García-Vargas, María. Luisa

    2014-08-01

    SUMO is an Operation and Maintenance Management web tool, which allows managing the operation and maintenance activities and resources required for the exploitation of a complex facility. SUMO main capabilities are: information repository, assets and stock control, tasks scheduler, executed tasks archive, configuration and anomalies control and notification and users management. The information needed to operate and maintain the system must be initially stored at the tool database. SUMO shall automatically schedule the periodical tasks and facilitates the searching and programming of the non-periodical tasks. Tasks planning can be visualized in different formats and dynamically edited to be adjusted to the available resources, anomalies, dates and other constrains that can arise during daily operation. SUMO shall provide warnings to the users notifying potential conflicts related to the required personal availability or the spare stock for the scheduled tasks. To conclude, SUMO has been designed as a tool to help during the operation management of a scientific facility, and in particular an astronomical observatory. This is done by controlling all operating parameters: personal, assets, spare and supply stocks, tasks and time constrains.

  3. TMT in the Astronomical Landscape of the 2020s

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dickinson, Mark; Inami, Hanae

    2014-07-01

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

  4. Atoms-for-Peace: A Galactic Collision in Action

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-11-01

    European Southern Observatory astronomers have produced a spectacular new image of the famous Atoms-for-Peace galaxy (NGC 7252). This galactic pile-up, formed by the collision of two galaxies, provides an excellent opportunity for astronomers to study how mergers affect the evolution of the Universe. Atoms-for-Peace is the curious name given to a pair of interacting and merging galaxies that lie around 220 million light-years away in the constellation of Aquarius. It is also known as NGC 7252 and Arp 226 and is just bright enough to be seen by amateur astronomers as a very faint small fuzzy blob. This very deep image was produced by ESO's Wide Field Imager on the MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope at ESO's La Silla Observatory in Chile. A galaxy collision is one of the most important processes influencing how our Universe evolves, and studying them reveals important clues about galactic ancestry. Luckily, such collisions are long drawn-out events that last hundreds of millions of years, giving astronomers plenty of time to observe them. This picture of Atoms-for-Peace represents a snapshot of its collision, with the chaos in full flow, set against a rich backdrop of distant galaxies. The results of the intricate interplay of gravitational interactions can be seen in the shapes of the tails made from streams of stars, gas and dust. The image also shows the incredible shells that formed as gas and stars were ripped out of the colliding galaxies and wrapped around their joint core. While much material was ejected into space, other regions were compressed, sparking bursts of star formation. The result was the formation of hundreds of very young star clusters, around 50 to 500 million years old, which are speculated to be the progenitors of globular clusters. Atoms-for-Peace may be a harbinger of our own galaxy's fate. Astronomers predict that in three or four billion years the Milky Way and the Andromeda Galaxy will collide, much as has happened with Atoms-for-Peace. But don

  5. Shaping ESO2020+ Together: Feedback from the Community Poll

    Science.gov (United States)

    Primas, F.; Ivison, R.; Berger, J.-P.; Caselli, P.; De Gregorio-Monsalvo, I.; Alonso Herrero, A.; Knudsen, K. K.; Leibundgut, B.; Moitinho, A.; Saviane, I.; Spyromilio, J.; Testi, L.; Vennes, S.

    2015-09-01

    A thorough evaluation and prioritisation of the ESO science programme into the 2020+ timeframe took place under the auspices of a working group, comprising astronomers drawn from ESO’s advisory structure and from within ESO. This group reported to ESO’s Scientific Technical Committee, and to ESO Council, concluding the exercise with the publication of a report, “Science Priorities at ESO”. A community poll and a dedicated workshop, held in January 2015, formed part of the information gathering process. The community poll was designed to probe the demographics of the user community, its scientific interests, use of observing facilities and plans for use of future telescopes and instruments, its views on types of observing programmes and on the provision of data processing and archiving. A total of 1775 full responses to the poll were received and an analysis of the results is presented here. Foremost is the importance of regular observing programmes on all ESO observing facilities, in addition to Large Programmes and Public Surveys. There was also a strong community requirement for ESO to process and archive data obtained at ESO facilities. Other aspects, especially those related to future facilities, are more challenging to interpret because of biases related to the distribution of science expertise and favoured wavelength regime amongst the targeted audience. The results of the poll formed a fundamental component of the report and pro-vide useful data to guide the evolution of ESO’s science programme.

  6. A Picture-perfect Pure-disc Galaxy

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-02-01

    The bright galaxy NGC 3621, captured here using the Wide Field Imager on the 2.2-metre telescope at ESO's La Silla Observatory in Chile, appears to be a fine example of a classical spiral. But it is in fact rather unusual: it does not have a central bulge and is therefore described as a pure-disc galaxy. NGC 3621 is a spiral galaxy about 22 million light-years away in the constellation of Hydra (The Sea Snake). It is comparatively bright and can be seen well in moderate-sized telescopes. This picture was taken using the Wide Field Imager on the MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope at ESO's La Silla Observatory in Chile. The data were selected from the ESO archive by Joe DePasquale as part of the Hidden Treasures competition [1]. Joe's picture of NGC 3621 was ranked fifth in the competition. This galaxy has a flat pancake shape, indicating that it hasn't yet come face to face with another galaxy as such a galactic collision would have disturbed the thin disc of stars, creating a small bulge in its centre. Most astronomers think that galaxies grow by merging with other galaxies, in a process called hierarchical galaxy formation. Over time, this should create large bulges in the centres of spirals. Recent research, however, has suggested that bulgeless, or pure-disc, spiral galaxies like NGC 3621 are actually fairly common. This galaxy is of further interest to astronomers because its relative proximity allows them to study a wide range of astronomical objects within it, including stellar nurseries, dust clouds, and pulsating stars called Cepheid variables, which astronomers use as distance markers in the Universe [2]. In the late 1990s, NGC 3621 was one of 18 galaxies selected for a Key Project of the Hubble Space Telescope: to observe Cepheid variables and measure the rate of expansion of the Universe to a higher accuracy than had been possible before. In the successful project, 69 Cepheid variables were observed in this galaxy alone. Multiple monochrome images taken through

  7. VizieR Online Data Catalog: BV light curves of WX Eridani (Arentoft+, 2004)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arentoft, T.; Lampens, P.; van Cauteren, P.; Duerbeck, H. W.; Garcia-Melendo, E.; Sterken, C.

    2004-04-01

    Photometric V and B CCD time-series observations of WX Eri, obtained at the South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO), Beersel Hills Observatory (BH), Las Campanas Observatory (LCO), European Southern Observatory (ESO), Sternwarte Hoher List (HOLI/HOLIr) and at Esteve Duran Observatory (EDO) during 2001 and early 2002. The measurements from the different observatories was merged and shifted to standard values. (1 data file).

  8. University Observatory, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murdin, P.

    2000-11-01

    The University Observatory of Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität was founded in 1816. Astronomers who worked or graduated at the Munich Observatory include: Fraunhofer, Soldner, Lamont, Seeliger and Karl Schwarzschild. At present four professors and ten staff astronomers work here. Funding comes from the Bavarian Government, the German Science Foundation, and other German and European research progra...

  9. Catherine Cesarsky - President Elect of the International Astronomical Union (IAU)

    Science.gov (United States)

    2003-07-01

    The General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union (IAU), meeting in Sydney (Australia), has appointed the ESO Director General, Dr. Catherine Cesarsky, as President Elect for a three-year period (2003-2006). The IAU is the world's foremost organisation for astronomy, uniting almost 9000 professional scientists on all continents. The IAU General Assembly also elected Prof. Ron Ekers (Australia) as President (2003 - 2006). Dr. Cesarsky will then become President of the IAU in 2006, when the General Assembly next meets in Prague (The Czech Republic). Dr. Cesarsky is the first woman scientist to receive this high distinction. "The election of Catherine Cesarsky as President-Elect of the IAU is an important recognition for a scientist who has made impressive contributions to various areas of modern astrophysics, from cosmic rays to the interstellar medium and cosmology" , commented the outgoing IAU President, Prof. Franco Pacini. "It is also an honour and an important accolade for the European astronomical community in general and ESO in particular." Dr. Cesarsky, who assumed the function as ESO Director General in 1999, was born in France. She received a degree in Physical Sciences at the University of Buenos Aires and graduated with a PhD in Astronomy in 1971 from Harvard University (Cambridge, Mass., USA). Afterwards she worked at the California Institute of Technology (CALTECH). In 1974, she became a staff member of the Service d'Astrophysique (SAp), Direction des Sciences de la Matière (DSM), Commissariat à l'Energie Atomique (CEA) (France). As Director of DSM (1994 - 1999), she was leading about 3000 scientists, engineers and technicians active within a broad spectrum of basic research programmes in physics, chemistry, astrophysics and earth sciences. Dr. Cesarsky is known for her successful research activities in several central areas of modern astrophysics. She first worked on the theory of cosmic ray propagation and acceleration, and galactic gamma

  10. The Selection and Protection of Optical Astronomical Observing Sites in China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wenjing, Jin; Bai, Jinming; Yao, Yongqiang

    2015-03-01

    Before 1950 there are two observatories, Shanghai and Purple Mountain Astronomical Observatories (SHAO and PMO), and two observing stations, Qingdao and Kunming stations in China. With the requirements of astronomical research, two observatories, Beijing and Shaanxi Astronomical Observatories (BAO and SXAO) and two artificial satellite stations, Urumqi and Changchun, were established about 1960. Based on the current management, now there are 4 observatories, SHAO, PMO, NAOC(National Astronomical Observatories), which was grouped from BAO, YNAO and 2 others, as well as XAO (Xinjiang Astronomical Observatory). The optical 1-2 m class telescopes are being operated at former four observatories. SXAO is changed as National Time Service Center. Because of city expansion as well as the traveling and economic developments, these observatories are suffered severe light pollution. For example, Zo Ce is located at the suburb of Shanghai city. A 40 cm double astrograph was installed in 1900 and a 1.56 m optical reflector have been operated since November 1987. In 1994 the seeing is better than 1 and the night sky brightness in V is about 19 mag/arcsec 2, stars fainter than 20 mag with CCD are visibles. In 2007 a large playground was built in Zô Cè area. The light pollution is severe gradually. The night sky brightness has been increased to 15.8 mag/arcsec 2. The other observatories have similar situation. New site surveys and found new stations to solve the problem. Except the solar and radio stations of each Astronomical Observatory, now there are 3 optical observing sites at PMO (Hong-He, Xu-Yi and Yaoan), 2 at SHAO (Zô Cè and Tian Huang Ping) and 2 at YNAO (Kunming and Gao-Mei-Gu) as well as 1 optical observing site at BAO (Xing-Long). The best observing site is Gao-Mei-Gu, which is selected as the optical observing site of YNAO and where atmospheric turbulence distribution is 0.11 near ground with heights from 6.5m to 2.7m during night. Sky brightness in B and V band

  11. Anders Celsius’ Contributions to Meridian Arc Measurements and the Establishment of an Astronomical Observatory in Uppsala

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stempels H. C.

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Astronomy has been on the curriculum of Uppsala University from at least the middle of the 15th century. However, since Uppsala also was the ecclesiastical centre of Sweden, the acceptance of new ideas, such as the Copernican heliocentric system, was slow. At the same time, more peripheral universities in the Swedish empire, including Dorpat/Tartu, enjoyed a larger freedom. It was not until the early 18th century that a ‘modern’ astronomy emerged in Uppsala. This effort was to a large extent led by Anders Celsius (1701-1744, who was able to establish good international contacts with astronomers in continental Europe. Celsius participated in De Maupertuis’ expedition to the far north of Sweden, in order to measure the meridian arc and determine the shape of the Earth. This paper explores how Celsius became involved in De Maupertuis’ expedition, and how this effort paved the way to the establishment of a fully equipped astronomical observatory, including an extensive collection of books and instruments, most of which survives up to this day.

  12. First Light for ASTROVIRTEL Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    2000-04-01

    Astronomical data archives increasingly resemble virtual gold mines of information. A new project, known as ASTROVIRTEL aims to exploit these astronomical treasure troves by allowing scientists to use the archives as virtual telescopes. The competition for observing time on large space- and ground-based observatories such as the ESA/NASA Hubble Space Telescope and the ESO Very Large Telescope (VLT) is intense. On average, less than a quarter of applications for observing time are successful. The fortunate scientist who obtains observing time usually has one year of so-called proprietary time to work with the data before they are made publicly accessible and can be used by other astronomers. Precious data from these large research facilities retain their value far beyond their first birthday and may still be useful decades after they were first collected. The enormous quantity of valuable astronomical data now stored in the archives of the European Southern Observatory (ESO) and the Space Telescope-European Coordinating Facility (ST-ECF) is increasingly attracting the attention of astronomers. Scientists are aware that one set of observations can serve many different scientific purposes, including some that were not considered at all when the observations were first made. Data archives as "gold mines" for research [ASTROVIRTEL Logo; JPEG - 184 k] Astronomical data archives increasingly resemble virtual gold mines of information. A new project, known as ASTROVIRTEL or "Accessing Astronomical Archives as Virtual Telescopes" aims to exploit these astronomical treasure troves. It is supported by the European Commission (EC) within the "Access to Research Infrastructures" action under the "Improving Human Potential & the Socio-economic Knowledge Base" of the EC (under EU Fifth Framework Programme). ASTROVIRTEL has been established on behalf of the European Space Agency (ESA) and the European Southern Observatory (ESO) in response to rapid developments currently taking

  13. ESO Signs Largest-Ever European Industrial Contract For Ground-Based Astronomy Project ALMA

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-12-01

    ESO, the European Organisation for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere, announced today that it has signed a contract with the consortium led by Alcatel Alenia Space and composed also of European Industrial Engineering (Italy) and MT Aerospace (Germany), to supply 25 antennas for the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA) project, along with an option for another seven antennas. The contract, worth 147 million euros, covers the design, manufacture, transport and on-site integration of the antennas. It is the largest contract ever signed in ground-based astronomy in Europe. The ALMA antennas present difficult technical challenges, since the antenna surface accuracy must be within 25 microns, the pointing accuracy within 0.6 arc seconds, and the antennas must be able to be moved between various stations on the ALMA site. This is especially remarkable since the antennas will be located outdoor in all weather conditions, without any protection. Moreover, the ALMA antennas can be pointed directly at the Sun. ALMA will have a collecting area of more than 5,600 square meters, allowing for unprecedented measurements of extremely faint objects. The signing ceremony took place on December 6, 2005 at ESO Headquarters in Garching, Germany. "This contract represents a major milestone. It allows us to move forward, together with our American and Japanese colleagues, in this very ambitious and unique project," said ESO's Director General, Dr. Catherine Cesarsky. "By building ALMA, we are giving European astronomers access to the world's leading submillimetre facility at the beginning of the next decade, thereby fulfilling Europe's desire to play a major role in this field of fundamental research." Pascale Sourisse, Chairman and CEO of Alcatel Alenia Space, said: "We would like to thank ESO for trusting us to take on this new challenge. We are bringing to the table not only our recognized expertise in antenna development, but also our long-standing experience in

  14. Griffith Observatory: Hollywood's Celestial Theater

    Science.gov (United States)

    Margolis, Emily A.; Dr. Stuart W. Leslie

    2018-01-01

    The Griffith Observatory, perched atop the Hollywood Hills, is perhaps the most recognizable observatory in the world. Since opening in 1935, this Los Angeles icon has brought millions of visitors closer to the heavens. Through an analysis of planning documentation, internal newsletters, media coverage, programming and exhibition design, I demonstrate how the Observatory’s Southern California location shaped its form and function. The astronomical community at nearby Mt. Wilson Observatory and Caltech informed the selection of instrumentation and programming, especially for presentations with the Observatory’s Zeiss Planetarium, the second installed in the United States. Meanwhile the Observatory staff called upon some of Hollywood’s best artists, model makers, and scriptwriters to translate the latest astronomical discoveries into spectacular audiovisual experiences, which were enhanced with Space Age technological displays on loan from Southern California’s aerospace companies. The influences of these three communities- professional astronomy, entertainment, and aerospace- persist today and continue to make Griffith Observatory one of the premiere sites of public astronomy in the country.

  15. Europe's Astronomy Teachers Meet at ESO

    Science.gov (United States)

    1994-12-01

    European Association for Astronomy Education Formed A joint EU/ESO Workshop (1) on the Teaching of Astronomy in Europe was held at the ESO Headquarters from November 25-30, 1994, under the auspices of the 1994 European Week for Scientific Culture. More than 100 teachers from secondary schools in 17 European countries participated together with representatives of national ministries and local authorities, as well as professional astronomers. This meeting was the first of its kind ever held and was very successful. As a most visible and immediate outcome, the participants agreed to form the "European Association for Astronomy Education (EAAE)", uniting astronomy educators all over Europe into one network. A provisional Executive Committee of the EAAE was elected which will work towards the organisation of a constitutional conference within the next year. The participants unanimously adopted a "Declaration on the Teaching of Astronomy in Europe", specifying the overall aims and initial actions needed to achieve them. Astronomy: Science, Technology and Culture At the beginning of the Workshop the participants listened to lectures by several specialists about some of the most active fields of astronomy. The scientific sessions included topics as diverse as minor bodies in the solar system, nucleosynthesis, interstellar chemistry and cosmology. Then followed overviews of various recent advances in astronomical technology, some of which are already having direct impact on highly specialized sectors of European industry. They included the advanced use of computers in astronomy, for instance within image processing and data archiving, as well as a demonstration of remote observing. Discussing the cultural aspects, Nigel Calder (UK) and Hubert Reeves (France) emphasized the important role of astronomy in modern society, in particular its continuing influence on our perceptions of mankind's unique location in time and space. Teaching of Astronomy in European Countries

  16. ESO and Fokker Space Sign Contract about VLTI Delay Line

    Science.gov (United States)

    1998-03-01

    The European Southern Observatory is building the world's largest optical telescope, the Very Large Telescope (VLT) , at the ESO Paranal Observatory in Chile. The VLT consists of four 8.2-m unit telescopes and several smaller, moveable Auxiliary Telescopes. When coupled as the giant VLT Interferometer (VLTI) , they will together provide the sharpest images ever obtained by any optical telescope. It will in principle be able to see an astronaut on the surface of the Moon, 400,000 km away. The VLTI Delay Lines Fokker Space (Leiden, The Netherlands) has been awarded a contract for the delivery of the Delay Line of the VLTI. This is a mechanical-optical system that will compensate the optical path differences of the light beams from the individual telescopes. Such a system is necessary to ensure that the light from all telescopes arrive in the same phase at the focal point of the interferometer. Otherwise, the very sharp interferometric images cannot be obtained. ESO PR Photo 08/98 [JPEG, 102k] Schematic representation of the VLTI Delay Line, showing the retro-reflector on its moving base. For more details, please consult the technical explanation below. This highly accurate system will be developed in close co-operation with the Dutch institute TNO-TPD (Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research - Institute of Applied Physics) . The most innovative feature of the Delay Line is the new control strategy, a two-stage control system, based on linear motor technology, combined with high accuracy piezo-electric control elements. This enables the system to position the so-called cat's eye reflector system with an accuracy of only a few nanometers (millionth of a millimetre (nm)) over a stroke length of 60 metres. Within radio astronomy, interferometric techniques have been applied by Dutch astronomers since many years. They will now be able to contribute with their extensive knowledge of such systems to the next generation of astronomical interferometric

  17. Light, Wind and Fire - Beautiful Image of a Cosmic Sculpture

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-02-01

    000 light-years away from Earth and in close proximity to our home, the much larger Milky Way Galaxy. Like its sister the Large Magellanic Cloud, the Small Magellanic Cloud is visible with the unaided eye from the southern hemisphere and has served as an extragalactic laboratory for astronomers studying the dynamics of star formation. This particular image was obtained using the Wide Field Imager (WFI) instrument at the MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope at the La Silla Observatory in Chile. Images like this help astronomers chronicle star birth and evolution, while offering glimpses of how stellar development influences the appearance of the cosmic environment over time. More information ESO, the European Southern Observatory, is the foremost intergovernmental astronomy organisation in Europe and the world's most productive astronomical observatory. It is supported by 14 countries: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. ESO carries out an ambitious programme focused on the design, construction and operation of powerful ground-based observing facilities enabling astronomers to make important scientific discoveries. ESO also plays a leading role in promoting and organising cooperation in astronomical research. ESO operates three unique world-class observing sites in Chile: La Silla, Paranal and Chajnantor. At Paranal, ESO operates the Very Large Telescope, the world's most advanced visible-light astronomical observatory, and VISTA the largest survey telescope. ESO is the European partner of a revolutionary astronomical telescope ALMA, the largest astronomical project in existence. ESO is currently planning a 42-metre European Extremely Large optical/near-infrared Telescope, the E-ELT, which will become "the world's biggest eye on the sky".

  18. The Milky Way's Tiny but Tough Galactic Neighbour

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-10-01

    Today ESO announces the release of a stunning new image of one of our nearest galactic neighbours, Barnard's Galaxy, also known as NGC 6822. The galaxy contains regions of rich star formation and curious nebulae, such as the bubble clearly visible in the upper left of this remarkable vista. Astronomers classify NGC 6822 as an irregular dwarf galaxy because of its odd shape and relatively diminutive size by galactic standards. The strange shapes of these cosmic misfits help researchers understand how galaxies interact, evolve and occasionally "cannibalise" each other, leaving behind radiant, star-filled scraps. In the new ESO image, Barnard's Galaxy glows beneath a sea of foreground stars in the direction of the constellation of Sagittarius (the Archer). At the relatively close distance of about 1.6 million light-years, Barnard's Galaxy is a member of the Local Group, the archipelago of galaxies that includes our home, the Milky Way. The nickname of NGC 6822 comes from its discoverer, the American astronomer Edward Emerson Barnard, who first spied this visually elusive cosmic islet using a 125-millimetre aperture refractor in 1884. Astronomers obtained this latest portrait using the Wide Field Imager (WFI) attached to the 2.2-metre MPG/ESO telescope at ESO's La Silla Observatory in northern Chile. Even though Barnard's Galaxy lacks the majestic spiral arms and glowing, central bulge that grace its big galactic neighbours, the Milky Way, the Andromeda and the Triangulum galaxies, this dwarf galaxy has no shortage of stellar splendour and pyrotechnics. Reddish nebulae in this image reveal regions of active star formation, where young, hot stars heat up nearby gas clouds. Also prominent in the upper left of this new image is a striking bubble-shaped nebula. At the nebula's centre, a clutch of massive, scorching stars send waves of matter smashing into the surrounding interstellar material, generating a glowing structure that appears ring-like from our perspective

  19. Division B Commission 6: Astronomical Telegrams

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  20. 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...

  1. The Architectural and Instrumental Heritage of the Strasbourg University Observatory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davoigneau, Jean

    When, in 1872, Alsace was handed over to Germany, Empperor Wilhelm I decided to make Strasbourg the showcase of his empire, and in particular to build a prestigious university and an observatory. The construction of the observatory was entrusted to the astronomer August Winnecke (1835-1897), former director of the Pulkovo observatory, and to the Baumeister Hermann Eggert. Begun in 1876, the work was completed in 1880. The astronomical instruments, ordered from German makers, were installed during the winter of 1880-1881, and the observatory was inaugurated on September 22, 1881 at the general assembly of the Astronomische Gesellschaft, the international association of astronomers, whose secretary was Winnecke. Marking the south-eastern extremity of the ‘imperial axis’, the architecture of the university observatory harmonizes perfectly with the new German city built on the former French parade grounds. The astronomical heritage operation conducted at the beginning of the present decade provides a richly docurnented and illustrated inventory of both the architecture and instruments of this institution. This work has also highlighted the unique quality of the collection of instruments, befitting the long and complex history of this institution.

  2. Shedding Light on the Cosmic Skeleton

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-11-01

    Astronomers have tracked down a gigantic, previously unknown assembly of galaxies located almost seven billion light-years away from us. The discovery, made possible by combining two of the most powerful ground-based telescopes in the world, is the first observation of such a prominent galaxy structure in the distant Universe, providing further insight into the cosmic web and how it formed. "Matter is not distributed uniformly in the Universe," says Masayuki Tanaka from ESO, who led the new study. "In our cosmic vicinity, stars form in galaxies and galaxies usually form groups and clusters of galaxies. The most widely accepted cosmological theories predict that matter also clumps on a larger scale in the so-called 'cosmic web', in which galaxies, embedded in filaments stretching between voids, create a gigantic wispy structure." These filaments are millions of light years long and constitute the skeleton of the Universe: galaxies gather around them, and immense galaxy clusters form at their intersections, lurking like giant spiders waiting for more matter to digest. Scientists are struggling to determine how they swirl into existence. Although massive filamentary structures have been often observed at relatively small distances from us, solid proof of their existence in the more distant Universe has been lacking until now. The team led by Tanaka discovered a large structure around a distant cluster of galaxies in images they obtained earlier. They have now used two major ground-based telescopes to study this structure in greater detail, measuring the distances from Earth of over 150 galaxies, and, hence, obtaining a three-dimensional view of the structure. The spectroscopic observations were performed using the VIMOS instrument on ESO's Very Large Telescope and FOCAS on the Subaru Telescope, operated by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan. Thanks to these and other observations, the astronomers were able to make a real demographic study of this structure

  3. Bavarian Prime Minister to Visit la Silla

    Science.gov (United States)

    1997-03-01

    The Bavarian Prime Minister, Dr. Edmund Stoiber , is currently visiting a number of countries in South America. He is accompanied by a high-ranking delegation of representatives of Bavarian politics and industry. During this trip, the Bavarian delegation will visit the Republic of Chile, arriving in Santiago de Chile on Sunday, March 9, 1997. On the same day, Dr. Stoiber and most other members of the delegation, on the invitation of the Director General of ESO, Professor Riccardo Giacconi, will visit the ESO La Silla Observatory , located in an isolated area in the Atacama desert some 600 km north of the Chilean capital. ESO, the European Organisation for Astronomy, with Headquarters in Garching near Munich in Bavaria, welcomes this opportunity to present its high-tech research facilities to Dr. Stoiber and leaders of the Bavarian industry. During the visit, the delegation will learn about the various front-line research projects, now being carried out by astronomers from Germany and other ESO member countries with the large telescopes at La Silla. There will also be a presentation of the ESO VLT project , which will become the world's largest optical astronomical telescope, when it is ready a few years from now. The delegation will be met by the Director of the La Silla Observatory, Dr. Jorge Melnick and his scientific-technical staff which includes several members of German nationality. Also present will be ESO's Head of Administration, Dr. Norbert König (Garching) and the General Manager of ESO in Chile, Mr. Daniel Hofstadt. More information about this visit and the ESO facilities is available from the ESO Education and Public Relations Department (Tel.: +49-89-32006-276; Fax.: +49-89-3202362; email: ips@eso.org; Web: http://www.eso.org../../../epr/ ). Diese Pressemitteilung ist auch in einer Deutschen Fassung vorhanden. How to obtain ESO Press Information ESO Press Information is made available on the World-Wide Web (URL: http://www.eso.org../). ESO Press

  4. Look to the Stars - The APUS Observatory: An Innovative Robotic Telescope for Online Astronomical Education and Research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Albin, Edward

    2018-01-01

    We report on the American Public University System’s new robotic telescope, located in Charles Town, WV -- an innovative observatory deployed in an online institution of higher education. The instrument is operated by the Department of Space Studies and is situated atop the university’s new Information Technology building. At the heart of the observatory is a Planewave CDK24 telescope, equipped with a SBIG STX-16803 CCD camera. The telescope is a key technological component in the Department's new undergraduate / graduate astronomy concentration. Since the university is a dedicated online educational institution, the acquisition of a fully remote controlled telescope ties closely into the program's philosophy of quality online instruction. Our robotic observatory is intimately integrated into our astronomy curriculum, with the telescope being utilized for original astronomical education and research purposes. For instance, not only is imagery used in the classroom and for laboratory instruction, graduate students in our MS degree program have an opportunity to collect original telescopic data for research / thesis projects. Examples of ongoing investigations with the telescope include observations of exoplanet transits and variable star photometry. When not in use for specific observing projects, the telescope is scripted to conduct autonomous supernova searches by patrolling dozens of galaxies throughout the night. Our goal is to have the instrument scheduled for continuous observing of the heavens throughout the year on all clear evenings.

  5. A Disturbed Galactic Duo

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-04-01

    The galaxies in this cosmic pairing, captured by the Wide Field Imager on the MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope at the La Silla Observatory in Chile, display some curious features, demonstrating that each member of the duo is close enough to feel the distorting gravitational influence of the other. The gravitational tug of war has warped the spiral shape of one galaxy, NGC 3169, and fragmented the dust lanes in its companion NGC 3166. Meanwhile, a third, smaller galaxy to the lower right, NGC 3165, has a front-row seat to the gravitational twisting and pulling of its bigger neighbours. This galactic grouping, found about 70 million light-years away in the constellation Sextans (The Sextant), was discovered by the English astronomer William Herschel in 1783. Modern astronomers have gauged the distance between NGC 3169 (left) and NGC 3166 (right) as a mere 50 000 light-years, a separation that is only about half the diameter of the Milky Way galaxy. In such tight quarters, gravity can start to play havoc with galactic structure. Spiral galaxies like NGC 3169 and NGC 3166 tend to have orderly swirls of stars and dust pinwheeling about their glowing centres. Close encounters with other massive objects can jumble this classic configuration, often serving as a disfiguring prelude to the merging of galaxies into one larger galaxy. So far, the interactions of NGC 3169 and NGC 3166 have just lent a bit of character. NGC 3169's arms, shining bright with big, young, blue stars, have been teased apart, and lots of luminous gas has been drawn out from its disc. In NGC 3166's case, the dust lanes that also usually outline spiral arms are in disarray. Unlike its bluer counterpart, NGC 3166 is not forming many new stars. NGC 3169 has another distinction: the faint yellow dot beaming through a veil of dark dust just to the left of and close to the galaxy's centre [1]. This flash is the leftover of a supernova detected in 2003 and known accordingly as SN 2003cg. A supernova of this

  6. ESO Observations of New Moon of Jupiter

    Science.gov (United States)

    2000-08-01

    distance of 24.2 million kilometres from the planet. The nature of S/1999 J 1 This means that S/1999 J 1 belongs to the class of "irregular satellites" which move on non-circular and inclined orbits around the planet. They are believed to have been captured onto their current orbits after the planet was formed. S/1999 J 1 is one of the outermost moons of Jupiter known so far. The eight previously-known "irregular satellites" are split into two groups of four. The four members of the more distant group (Ananke, Carme, Pasiphae and Sinope) move on retrograde orbits, i.e. clockwise as seen from above the solar system (opposite to the motion of all major planets, including the Earth). The newly improved orbit of S/1999 J 1 shows it to be a fifth member of this retrograde cluster. The brightness of S/1999 J 1 , as measured on the VLT images, indicates that it must be comparatively small, with a diameter of the order of 10 - 15 kilometres (the smallest Jovian moon known so far). However, an accurate value can only be deduced once the reflectivity of its surface is known. The colour is very slightly red. This appears to favour the possibility that it is a captured asteroid (minor planet), rather than a cometary nucleus, but additional work is needed to cast more light on this. When more observations of S/1999 J 1 become available, the discoverers will propose a name, from Greek mythology according to astronomical tradition, to be approved by the IAU Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature. This is the caption to ESO PR Photos 19a-b/00 . They may be reproduced, if credit is given to the European Southern Observatory.

  7. FITSManager: Management of Personal Astronomical Data

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-07-01

    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 local data, bringing VO to astronomers in a seamless and transparent way. FITSManager provides fruitful functions for FITS file management, like thumbnail, preview, type dependent icons, header keyword indexing and search, collaborated working with other tools and online services, and so on. The development of the FITSManager is an effort to fill the gap between management and analysis of astronomical data.

  8. Building a roll-off roof or dome observatory a complete guide for design and construction

    CERN Document Server

    Hicks, John Stephen

    2016-01-01

    Almost every practical astronomer eventually aspires to have a fixed, permanent observatory for his or her telescope. A roll-off roof or dome observatory is the answer for the most popular home observatory design.  Almost every practical astronomer eventually aspires to have a fixed, permanent observatory for his or her telescope. A roll-off roof or dome observatory is the answer for the most popular home observatory design. Building a Roll-Off or Dome Observatory will help you decide whether to embark on the venture and will certainly increase your enthusiasm for the project. The author, both an amateur astronomer and a professional landscape architect, answers many of the common questions asked about observatory construction, covering the following topics: • Zoning, and by-law requirements common to most states, towns and municipalities • Where to locate the observatory • How to tailor the observatory for your particular needs • Tools and structural components required • Possible variations in de...

  9. First Giant Mirror for the ESO VLT Ready at REOSC

    Science.gov (United States)

    1995-11-01

    The REOSC Contract In 1989, the European Southern Observatory (ESO), the European Organisation for Astronomy, awarded to REOSC, a subsidiary of the SFIM Group and located in Saint Pierre du Perray (France), a comprehensive contract for the polishing of four 8.2-metre diameter mirrors for the unit telescopes of the ESO Very Large Telescope (VLT) project. These mirrors are the largest ever manufactured and polished. This contract comprises not only the polishing and high-precision optical testing of each giant mirror, but also the safe condition of transportation of the blanks which were manufactured by Schott Glaswerke in Mainz (Germany). In order to fulfill the contract, REOSC conceived, built and equipped a novel, high-tech workshop which would allow to polish and test the mirrors, each of which has a surface area of more than 50 square metres. First 8.2-Metre Mirror is Ready and within Specifications The REOSC polishing facility for giant mirrors was built in Saint Pierre du Perray, just south of Paris. It is equipped with two machines: one for grinding and the other for polishing the mirrors, and both with 150-actuator systems that support the thin and flexible mirrors. All equipment is computer controlled. State-of-the-art interferometers probe the accuracy of the mirror surface as the polishing proceeds; they are installed at the top level of the facility in a 30-metre high tower, at the centre of the mirror's radius of curvature. The success of the work at REOSC is now evident by the fact that careful measurements of the first mirror earlier this month have shown that the final optical surface is correct to within 0.00005 millimetres. For illustration, this corresponds to an accuracy of only 1 millimetre deviation over a surface with a diameter of 165 kilometres (equivalent to the entire Paris area)! ESO Receives the First VLT Mirror After having been carefully placed in a special transport box designed by REOSC, the first mirror blank, weighing 23.5 tons and

  10. Protection of Existing and Potential Astronomical Sites in Chile - an Update.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, M. G.; Sanhueza, P.; Norman, D.; Schwarz, H.; Orellana, D.

    2002-12-01

    The IAU's Working Group on Controlling Light Pollution (iauwg) has declared Mauna Kea and a wide strip of Northern Chile between Antofagasta and Chajnanator as top priorities for its efforts to protect existing and potential sites in the Northern and Southern hemispheres respectively. This report provides an update on the iauwg's co-ordinated efforts to protect areas around the major international optical observatories in Chile, as well as the "Chilean Special Zone" (CSZ) mentioned above. This zone is of current and potential interest for the installation of extremely large optical telescopes and includes the ALMA radio-astronomy site. The CSZ is potentially vulnerable to adverse effects of mining in the region. Progess has been made in demonstrating to local mining interests within the CSZ the economic advantages of quality lighting. Educational and outreach activities to a variety of target audiences are building on legislation covering dark skies - itself part of work by the Chilean government to protect the natural heritage of Chile. Substantial good will was generated by an international, bilingual conference held last March in Chile. Just in the region around AURA's Observatory in Chile (Gemini South, CTIO and SOAR), a portable planetarium has been used to reach out to over 600 teachers and 65,000 pupils in the RedLaSer schools network within the last three years. This has attracted the direct interest of Chile's Ministry of Education. Videoconferencing over Internet2 is being used for educational purposes between Chile and various sites in the US. The NSF- initiated Mamalluca municipal observatory now receives more visitors than all the international observatories in Chile combined and is the focus of an expanding local industry of astronomical eco-tourism. Most of this work was supported by funding from, or via, the US NSF through CTIO and Gemini, and from ESO, OCIW, CONAMA and the IDA.

  11. Searching the Heavens and the Earth: This History of Jesuit Observatories

    Science.gov (United States)

    Udías, Agustín

    2003-10-01

    Jesuits established a large number of astronomical, geophysical and meteorological observatories during the 17th and 18th centuries and again during the 19th and 20th centuries throughout the world. The history of these observatories has never been published in a complete form. Many early European astronomical observatories were established in Jesuit colleges. During the 17th and 18th centuries Jesuits were the first western scientists to enter into contact with China and India. It was through them that western astronomy was first introduced in these countries. They made early astronomical observations in India and China and they directed for 150 years the Imperial Observatory of Beijing. In the 19th and 20th centuries a new set of observatories were established. Besides astronomy these now included meteorology and geophysics. Jesuits established some of the earliest observatories in Africa, South America and the Far East. Jesuit observatories constitute an often forgotten chapter of the history of these sciences. This volume is aimed at all scientists and students who do not want to forget the Jesuit contributions to science. Link: http://www.wkap.nl/prod/b/1-4020-1189-X

  12. Korean Astronomical Calendar, Chiljeongsan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Eun Hee

    In fifteenth century Korea, there was a grand project for the astronomical calendar and instrument making by the order of King Sejong 世宗 (1418-1450). During this period, many astronomical and calendrical books including Islamic sources in Chinese versions were imported from Ming 明 China, and corrected and researched by the court astronomers of Joseon 朝鮮 (1392-1910). Moreover, the astronomers and technicians of Korea frequently visited China to study astronomy and instrument making, and they brought back useful information in the form of new published books or specifications of instruments. As a result, a royal observatory equipped with 15 types of instrument was completed in 1438. Two types of calendar, Chiljeongsan Naepyeon 七政算內篇 and Chiljeongsan Oepyeon 七政算外篇, based on the Chinese and Islamic calendar systems, respectively, were published in 1444 with a number of calendrical editions such as corrections and example supplements (假令) including calculation methods and results for solar and lunar eclipses.

  13. Search for Best Astronomical Observatory Sites in the MENA Region using Satellite Measurements

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Abdelaziz, G; Guebsi, R; Flamant, C; Guessoum, N

    2017-01-01

    We perform a systematic search for astronomical observatory sites in the MENA (Middle-East and North Africa) region using space-based data for all the relevant factors, i.e. altitude (DEM), cloud fraction (CF), light pollution (NTL), precipitable water vapor (PWV), aerosol optical depth (AOD), relative humidity (RH), wind speed (WS), Richardson Number (RN), and diurnal temperature range (DTR). We look for the best locations overall even where altitudes are low (the threshold that we normally consider being 1,500 m) or where the combination of the afore-mentioned determining factors had previously excluded all locations in a given country. In this aim, we use the rich data that Earth-observing satellites provide, e.g. the Terra and Aqua multi-national NASA research satellites, with their MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) and AIRS (Atmospheric Infrared Sounder) instruments, the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program’s Operational Linescan System (DMSP-OLS), and other products from climate diagnostics archives (e.g. MERRA). We present preliminary results on the best locations for the region. (paper)

  14. Search for Best Astronomical Observatory Sites in the MENA Region using Satellite Measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abdelaziz, G.; Guebsi, R.; Guessoum, N.; Flamant, C.

    2017-06-01

    We perform a systematic search for astronomical observatory sites in the MENA (Middle-East and North Africa) region using space-based data for all the relevant factors, i.e. altitude (DEM), cloud fraction (CF), light pollution (NTL), precipitable water vapor (PWV), aerosol optical depth (AOD), relative humidity (RH), wind speed (WS), Richardson Number (RN), and diurnal temperature range (DTR). We look for the best locations overall even where altitudes are low (the threshold that we normally consider being 1,500 m) or where the combination of the afore-mentioned determining factors had previously excluded all locations in a given country. In this aim, we use the rich data that Earth-observing satellites provide, e.g. the Terra and Aqua multi-national NASA research satellites, with their MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) and AIRS (Atmospheric Infrared Sounder) instruments, the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program’s Operational Linescan System (DMSP-OLS), and other products from climate diagnostics archives (e.g. MERRA). We present preliminary results on the best locations for the region.

  15. Building a Roll-Off Roof Observatory A Complete Guide for Design and Construction

    CERN Document Server

    Hicks, John

    2009-01-01

    Almost every practical astronomer who takes the pursuit to its second level aspires to a fixed, permanent housing for his telescope, permitting its rapid and comfortable use and avoiding hours of setting-up time for each observing session. A roll-off roof observatory is the simplest and by far the most popular observatory design for today’s practical astronomers. Building a Roll-off Roof Observatory will help you decide whether to embark on the venture and will certainly provoke your enthusiasm for the project. The author, both an amateur astronomer and professional landscape architect, answers many of the common questions asked around observatory construction covering the following topics: Site planning, zoning, and by-law requirements common to most states, towns and municipalities Opportunities for locating the observatory Tailoring the observatory for your particular use Tools and structural components required to build it Variations in footing design to suit your soil conditions Variations possible in ...

  16. Ten years of the Spanish Virtual Observatory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Solano, E.

    2015-05-01

    The main objective of the Virtual Observatory (VO) is to guarantee an easy and efficient access and analysis of the information hosted in astronomical archives. The Spanish Virtual Observatory (SVO) is a project that was born in 2004 with the goal of promoting and coordinating the VO-related activities at national level. SVO is also the national contact point for the international VO initiatives, in particular the International Virtual Observatory Alliance (IVOA) and the Euro-VO project. The project, led by Centro de Astrobiología (INTA-CSIC), is structured around four major topics: a) VO compliance of astronomical archives, b) VO-science, c) VO- and data mining-tools, and d) Education and outreach. In this paper I will describe the most important results obtained by the Spanish Virtual Observatory in its first ten years of life as well as the future lines of work.

  17. ESO

    Science.gov (United States)

    Partners Blog For Planetariums Webcams Your ESO Pictures European Astronomy Journalism Prize Hidden Headquarters in Garching, Germany provides visitors with an immersive experience of astronomy in general, along Softmachine Logo 31 Aug. 2017 - ann17055 ESO Supernova has a new partner: Softmachine Immersive Productions

  18. Monitoring Biological Damage on Paper-based Documents in the Historical Archive of the Palermo Astronomical Observatory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marco Di Bella

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Libraries and archives house a wide variety of documents made of materials of vegetal and animal origin: unbound papers and books, manuscripts and printed books, photographs (negative and positive, prints, maps, available to the public for reading needs, study and information. These materials are often subject to fluctuations in environmental and micro-environmental parameters. For this reason, it is essential to implement constant monitoring and control of environmental conditions and potential deteriogens in order to slow down deterioration processes.The monitoring of the microbial degradation of paper documents in the Historical Archives of Palermo Astronomical Observatory has revealed microorganisms (bacteria and fungi that may be considered responsible for damaging the items examined, thus enabling an evaluation of the real risks and the proper methodologies to use to avoid future recolonization.

  19. The Milky Way above La Silla

    Science.gov (United States)

    2004-09-01

    Anybody who visits a high-altitude astronomical observatory at this time of the year will be impressed by the beauty of the Milky Way band that stretches across the sky. Compared to the poor views from cities and other human conglomerations, the dark and bright nebulae come into view together with an astonishing palette of clear stellar colours. This view above the ESO La Silla Observatory in the southernmost part of the Atacama desert was obtained some evenings ago by ESO Software Engineer Nico Housen. Normally stationed at the Paranal Observatory, he seized the opportunity of a visit to ESO's other observatory site to produce this amazing vista of the early evening scenery. To the left is the decommisioned 15-metre dish of the Swedish-ESO Submillimetre Telescope (SEST), and on the right in the background is the dome of the ESO 3.6-metre telescope, at the highest point of the mountain. The southern Milky Way is seen along the right border of the SEST and above the 3.6 metre telescope. There is an upside-down reflection of the sky and the horizon behind the photographer in the highly polished antenna dish of the SEST. Besides the reflection of the horizon (the darker part in the top of the dish) and the Milky Way (which runs as a thin cloud from the bottom of the dish up to the horizon) there is also a yellow area of light to the right. This is the reflection of the city lights of the city of La Serena, about 100 km away and too faint to disturb observations of celestial objects high above La Silla. The 3.6-m telescope began operations in 1976 and was ESO's largest telescope until the advent of the VLT at Paranal. Never endowed with a fancy name like the VLT Unit telescopes, the "3.6-m" houses several state-of-the-art astronomical instruments, including the ultra-precise HARPS facility that is used to hunt for exoplanets, cf. ESO PR 22/04. The SEST was for a long time the only instrument of its kind in the southern hemisphere. With it, ESO gained invaluable

  20. ESO PR Highlights in 2006

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-01-01

    Last year proved to be another exceptional year for the European organisation for ground-based astronomy. ESO should begin the New Year with two new member states: Spain (PR 05/06) and the Czech Republic (PR 52/06). ESO PR Highlights 2006 2006 was a year of renovation and revolution in the world of planets. A new Earth-like exoplanet has been discovered (PR 03/06) using a network of telescopes from all over the world (including the Danish 1.54-m one at ESO La Silla). It is not the only child of this fruitful year: thanks to the combined use of ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT) and La Silla instruments, a surprising system of twin giant exoplanets was found (PR 29/06), and a trio of Neptune-like planets hosted by a nearby star were identified (PR 18/06). These results open new perspectives on the search for habitable zones and on the understanding of the mechanism of planet formation. The VISIR instrument on the VLT has been providing unique information to answer this last question, by supplying a high resolution view of a planet-forming disc (PR 36/06). There are not only new members in the planets' register: during the General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union held in Prague (Czech Republic), it was decided that Pluto is not a planet anymore but a 'dwarf planet'. Whatever its status, Pluto still has a satellite, Charon, whose radius and density have been measured more accurately by observing a rare occultation from different sites, including Cerro Paranal (PR 02/06). The scientific community dedicated 2006 to the great physicist James Clerk Maxwell (it was the 175th anniversary of the birth): without his electromagnetic theory of light, none of the astonishing discoveries of modern physics could have been achieved. Nowadays we can look at distant galaxies in great detail: the GIRAFFE spectrograph on the VLT revealed that galaxies 6 billion years ago had the same amount of dark matter relative to stars than nowadays (PR 10/06), while SINFONI gave an

  1. Public relations for a national observatory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Finley, David G.

    The National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) is a government-funded organization providing state-of-the art observational facilities to the astronomical community on a peer-reviewed basis. In this role, the NRAO must address three principal constituencies with its public-relations efforts. These are: the astronomical community; the funding and legislative bodies of the Federal Government; and the general public. To serve each of these constituencies, the Observatory has developed a set of public-relations initiatives supported by public-relations and outreach professionals as well as by management and scientific staff members. The techniques applied and the results achieved in each of these areas are described.

  2. An Elegant Galaxy in an Unusual Light

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-09-01

    A new image taken with the powerful HAWK-I camera on ESO's Very Large Telescope at Paranal Observatory in Chile shows the beautiful barred spiral galaxy NGC 1365 in infrared light. NGC 1365 is a member of the Fornax cluster of galaxies, and lies about 60 million light-years from Earth. NGC 1365 is one of the best known and most studied barred spiral galaxies and is sometimes nicknamed the Great Barred Spiral Galaxy because of its strikingly perfect form, with the straight bar and two very prominent outer spiral arms. Closer to the centre there is also a second spiral structure and the whole galaxy is laced with delicate dust lanes. This galaxy is an excellent laboratory for astronomers to study how spiral galaxies form and evolve. The new infrared images from HAWK-I are less affected by the dust that obscures parts of the galaxy than images in visible light (potw1037a) and they reveal very clearly the glow from vast numbers of stars in both the bar and the spiral arms. These data were acquired to help astronomers understand the complex flow of material within the galaxy and how it affects the reservoirs of gas from which new stars can form. The huge bar disturbs the shape of the gravitational field of the galaxy and this leads to regions where gas is compressed and star formation is triggered. Many huge young star clusters trace out the main spiral arms and each contains hundreds or thousands of bright young stars that are less than ten million years old. The galaxy is too remote for single stars to be seen in this image and most of the tiny clumps visible in the picture are really star clusters. Over the whole galaxy, stars are forming at a rate of about three times the mass of our Sun per year. While the bar of the galaxy consists mainly of older stars long past their prime, many new stars are born in stellar nurseries of gas and dust in the inner spiral close to the nucleus. The bar also funnels gas and dust gravitationally into the very centre of the galaxy

  3. Setting-up a small observatory from concept to construction

    CERN Document Server

    Arditti, David

    2008-01-01

    Every amateur astronomer who is considering a purpose-built observatory will find this book absolutely invaluable during both the planning and the construction stages. Drawing on David Arditti’s practical experience and that of many other amateur astronomers, it gives invaluable help in making all the important decisions. To begin with, Setting up a Small Observatory addresses what you really need from an observatory, whether to build or buy, what designs you should consider, and where you should site it. Uniquely, it also considers the aesthetics of an amateur observatory: how to make it fit in with your home, garden, and yard, even disguising it as a more common garden building if necessary. There’s also a wealth of practical details for constructing and equipping your small observatory – everything from satisfying local planning laws and building codes through to making sure that your completed observatory is well-equipped, convenient, and comfortable to use. Whether you are considering a simple low-...

  4. The Legacy of the Georgetown College Observatory (D.C.)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caron, Laura; Maglieri, Grace; Seitzer, Patrick

    2018-01-01

    Founded in 1841 as part of a nascent worldwide network of Jesuit-run astronomical observatories, the Georgetown College Observatory of Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. has been home to more than 125 years of astronomical research, from Father Curley’s calculations of the latitude and longitude of D.C. to Father McNally’s award-winning solar eclipse photography. But the impact of the Georgetown astronomy program was not limited to the observatory itself: it reached much further, into the local community and schools, and into the lives of everyone involved. This was never more apparent than under the directorship of Father Francis J Heyden, S.J., who arrived at Georgetown after World War II and stayed for almost three decades. He started a graduate program with over 90 graduates, hosting student researchers from local high schools and colleges, teaching graduate and undergraduate astronomy courses, and speaking at schools in the area, all while simultaneously managing Georgetown’s student radio station and hosting astronomical conferences on campus. Father Heyden’s research focused mainly on solar eclipses for geodetic purposes and planetary spectroscopy. But perhaps even more than research, Father Heyden dedicated his time and energy to the astronomy students, the notable of which include Vera Rubin, John P. Hagen of Project Vanguard, and a generation of Jesuit astronomers including Martin McCarthy, George Coyne, and Richard Boyle. Following the closure of the astronomy department in 1972, Father Heyden returned to Manila, where he had begun his astronomical career, to become Chief of the Solar Division at the Manila Observatory. His dedication to his work and to students serves as an inspiration for academic researchers across fields, and for the Georgetown University Astronomical Society, which, even in the absence of a formal astronomy program at Georgetown, continues his work in education and outreach today. In 1987, almost 150 years after its

  5. Reengineering observatory operations for the time domain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seaman, Robert L.; Vestrand, W. T.; Hessman, Frederic V.

    2014-07-01

    Observatories are complex scientific and technical institutions serving diverse users and purposes. Their telescopes, instruments, software, and human resources engage in interwoven workflows over a broad range of timescales. These workflows have been tuned to be responsive to concepts of observatory operations that were applicable when various assets were commissioned, years or decades in the past. The astronomical community is entering an era of rapid change increasingly characterized by large time domain surveys, robotic telescopes and automated infrastructures, and - most significantly - of operating modes and scientific consortia that span our individual facilities, joining them into complex network entities. Observatories must adapt and numerous initiatives are in progress that focus on redesigning individual components out of the astronomical toolkit. New instrumentation is both more capable and more complex than ever, and even simple instruments may have powerful observation scripting capabilities. Remote and queue observing modes are now widespread. Data archives are becoming ubiquitous. Virtual observatory standards and protocols and astroinformatics data-mining techniques layered on these are areas of active development. Indeed, new large-aperture ground-based telescopes may be as expensive as space missions and have similarly formal project management processes and large data management requirements. This piecewise approach is not enough. Whatever challenges of funding or politics facing the national and international astronomical communities it will be more efficient - scientifically as well as in the usual figures of merit of cost, schedule, performance, and risks - to explicitly address the systems engineering of the astronomical community as a whole.

  6. Social Media Programs at the National Optical Astronomy Observatory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sparks, Robert T.; Walker, Constance Elaine; Pompea, Stephen M.

    2015-08-01

    Observatories and other science research organizations want to share their research and activities with the public. The last several years, social media has become and increasingly important venue for communicating information about observatory activities, research and education and public outreach.The National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO) uses a wide variety of social media to communicate with different audiences. NOAO is active on social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest. Our social media accounts include those for the National Optical Astronomy Observatory, Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory, Kitt Peak National Observatory and our dark skies conservation program Globe at Night.Our social media programs have a variety of audiences. NOAO uses social media to announce and promote NOAO sponsored meetings, observatory news and proposal deadlines to the professional astronomical community. Social media accounts are used to disseminate NOAO press releases, images from the observatory and other science using data from NOAO telescopes.Social media is important in our Education and Public Outreach programs (EPO). Globe at Night has very active facebook and twitter accounts encouraging people to become involved in preserving dark skies. Social media plays a role in recruiting teachers for professional development workshops such as Project Astro.NOAO produces monthly podcasts for the 365 Days of Astronomy podcast featuring interviews with NOAO astronomers. Each podcast highlights the science of an NOAO astronomer, an NOAO operated telescope or instrument, or an NOAO program. A separate series of podcasts is produced for NOAO’s Dark Skies Education programs. All the podcasts are archived at 365daysofastronomy.org.

  7. Invited Review Article: The Chandra X-ray Observatory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwartz, Daniel A.

    2014-06-01

    The Chandra X-ray Observatory is an orbiting x-ray telescope facility. It is one of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's four "Great Observatories" that collectively have carried out astronomical observations covering the infrared through gamma-ray portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. Chandra is used by astronomers world-wide to acquire imaging and spectroscopic data over a nominal 0.1-10 keV (124-1.24 Å) range. We describe the three major parts of the observatory: the telescope, the spacecraft systems, and the science instruments. This article will emphasize features of the design and development driven by some of the experimental considerations unique to x-ray astronomy. We will update the on-orbit performance and present examples of the scientific highlights.

  8. Milky Way's super-efficient particle accelerators caught in the act

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-06-01

    Thanks to a unique "ballistic study" that combines data from ESO's Very Large Telescope and NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory, astronomers have now solved a long-standing mystery of the Milky Way's particle accelerators. They show in a paper published today on Science Express that cosmic rays from our galaxy are very efficiently accelerated in the remnants of exploded stars. ESO PR Photo 23a/09 The rim of RCW 86 ESO PR Photo 23b/09 DSS + insert, annotated ESO PR Photo 23c/09 DSS image ESO PR Video 23a/09 Zoom-in RCW 86 During the Apollo flights astronauts reported seeing odd flashes of light, visible even with their eyes closed. We have since learnt that the cause was cosmic rays -- extremely energetic particles from outside the Solar System arriving at the Earth, and constantly bombarding its atmosphere. Once they reach Earth, they still have sufficient energy to cause glitches in electronic components. Galactic cosmic rays come from sources inside our home galaxy, the Milky Way, and consist mostly of protons moving at close to the speed of light, the "ultimate speed limit" in the Universe. These protons have been accelerated to energies exceeding by far the energies that even CERN's Large Hadron Collider will be able to achieve. "It has long been thought that the super-accelerators that produce these cosmic rays in the Milky Way are the expanding envelopes created by exploded stars, but our observations reveal the smoking gun that proves it", says Eveline Helder from the Astronomical Institute Utrecht of Utrecht University in the Netherlands, the first author of the new study. "You could even say that we have now confirmed the calibre of the gun used to accelerate cosmic rays to their tremendous energies", adds collaborator Jacco Vink, also from the Astronomical Institute Utrecht. For the first time Helder, Vink and colleagues have come up with a measurement that solves the long-standing astronomical quandary of whether or not stellar explosions produce enough

  9. The GalileoMobile starts its South American voyage - Astronomy education goes on tour through the Andes Mountains

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-10-01

    Today marks the beginning of the GalileoMobile Project, a two-month expedition to bring the wonder and excitement of astronomy to young people in Chile, Bolivia and Peru. Supported by ESO and partners, a group of astronomers and educators will travel through a region of the Andes Mountains aboard the GalileoMobile, offering astronomical activities, such as workshops for students and star parties for the general public. Professional filmmakers on the trip will produce a multilingual documentary capturing the thrill of discovery through science, culture and travel. The GalileoMobile is a Special Project of the International Year of Astronomy 2009 (IYA2009), which is a global celebration commemorating the first use of a telescope to view the Universe by the Italian astronomer Galileo four hundred years ago. The project will promote basic science education through astronomy by visiting schools and communities that have limited access to outreach programmes. The GalileoMobile will provide these underserved groups with hands-on activities and educational material from international partners. The van is fully equipped to offer unique sky-observing opportunities for young students and other locals, with star parties at night and solar observations during the day. The team will use various tools including IYA2009's handy Galileoscopes, which will be donated to the schools after the visits. By stimulating curiosity, critical thinking and a sense of wonder and discovery for the Universe and our planet, the GalileoMobile Project aims to encourage interest in astronomy and science, and exchange culturally different visions of the cosmos. Spearheading the initiative is a group of enthusiastic Latin American and European PhD students from the European Southern Observatory, the Max Planck Society, the University Observatory Munich, and the Stockholm University Observatory. This itinerant educational programme is intended to reach about 20 000 people during eight weeks in October

  10. The Pulkovo Observatory in the last 50 years through the eyes of its Learned Secretary Yu. I. Vitinsky.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhukov, V. Yu.; Soboleva, T. V.

    A solar physicist, a Pulkovo astronomer, Yury Ivanovich Vitinsky (1926-2003) was the author of 210 scientific papers known in both Russia and abroad. He worked in the Observatory for about half a century (1953-2002) and held the office of the Learned Secretary of the Russian Academy of Sciences Main Astronomical Observatory for 35 years (1965-2000). In the last years of his life, Vitinsky brought his recollections that he titled "My Pulkovo" to the Main Astronomical Observatory Archive. His memoirs narrate about problems of the astronomical science, staff members and deeds of Pulkovo, things he thought of an events he was through. This is the half-a-century history of the Pulkovo Observatory in biographies of persons. The writer of the Recollections mentions the names of fifty persons most of whom are the Main Astronomical Observatory staff members that he worked with side by side. The memoirs provide accurate descriptions that are brief yet rather capacious of the author's Pulkovo colleagues, as well as other astronomers. The language of Vitinsky's recollection is good and clear. His memoirs contain moderate balanced views of people and events and provide objective and trustworthy data. "My Pulkovo" is an indispensable biographical source for the historian of the astronomical science, the Pulkovo Observatory and its scholarly staff members of the most recent decades. It is also just an interesting human document. In 2006, Yury Ivanovich would have been eighty.

  11. Urania in the Marketplace: Observatories as Holiday Destinations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rumstay, Kenneth S.

    2015-01-01

    During the twentieth century astronomical imagery was frequently incorporated, by manufacturers of industrial and consumer goods, into advertisements which appeared in popular magazines in America. The domes and telescopes of major observatories were often featured. In some cases, particularly within the Golden State of California, major astronomical facilities (notably the Lick and Mt. Wilson Observatories) were touted as tourist attractions and were publicized as such by tourist bureaus, railroads, and hotels.A particularly interesting example is provided by the Hotel Vendome in San Jose. With completion of the Lick Observatory (and the 36-inch Great Refractor) in 1887, the local business community felt that the city needed a first-class resort hotel. The architectural firm of Jacob Lenzen & Son was hired to design a grand hotel, comparable to those found in locales such as Monterey and Pasadena. The resulting four-story, 150-room structure cost 250,000, a phenomenal sum in those days. Yet, within just fourteen years, tourist demand led to the construction of a 36-room annex. Of course, a great resort hotel would not be complete without the opportunity for excursion, and the Mt. Hamilton Stage Company offered daily trips to the famous Lick Observatory.Farther south, the Mt. Wilson Observatory began construction of its own hotel in 1905.The original structure was destroyed by fire in 1913, and replaced by a second which was used by visitors until 1966.Early examples of advertisements for these observatories, recalling the heyday of astronomical tourism, are presented. A few more recent ones for Arecibo and Palomar are included for comparison.

  12. Ambitious Survey Spots Stellar Nurseries

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-08-01

    Astronomers scanning the skies as part of ESO's VISTA Magellanic Cloud survey have now obtained a spectacular picture of the Tarantula Nebula in our neighbouring galaxy, the Large Magellanic Cloud. This panoramic near-infrared view captures the nebula itself in great detail as well as the rich surrounding area of sky. The image was obtained at the start of a very ambitious survey of our neighbouring galaxies, the Magellanic Clouds, and their environment. The leader of the survey team, Maria-Rosa Cioni (University of Hertfordshire, UK) explains: "This view is of one of the most important regions of star formation in the local Universe - the spectacular 30 Doradus star-forming region, also called the Tarantula Nebula. At its core is a large cluster of stars called RMC 136, in which some of the most massive stars known are located." ESO's VISTA telescope [1] is a new survey telescope at the Paranal Observatory in Chile (eso0949). VISTA is equipped with a huge camera that detects light in the near-infrared part of the spectrum, revealing a wealth of detail about astronomical objects that gives us insight into the inner workings of astronomical phenomena. Near-infrared light has a longer wavelength than visible light and so we cannot see it directly for ourselves, but it can pass through much of the dust that would normally obscure our view. This makes it particularly useful for studying objects such as young stars that are still enshrouded in the gas and dust clouds from which they formed. Another powerful aspect of VISTA is the large area of the sky that its camera can capture in each shot. This image is the latest view from the VISTA Magellanic Cloud Survey (VMC). The project will scan a vast area - 184 square degrees of the sky (corresponding to almost one thousand times the apparent area of the full Moon) including our neighbouring galaxies the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds. The end result will be a detailed study of the star formation history and three

  13. The Malaysian Robotic Solar Observatory (P29)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Othman, M.; Asillam, M. F.; Ismail, M. K. H.

    2006-11-01

    Robotic observatory with small telescopes can make significant contributions to astronomy observation. They provide an encouraging environment for astronomers to focus on data analysis and research while at the same time reducing time and cost for observation. The observatory will house the primary 50cm robotic telescope in the main dome which will be used for photometry, spectroscopy and astrometry observation activities. The secondary telescope is a robotic multi-apochromatic refractor (maximum diameter: 15 cm) which will be housed in the smaller dome. This telescope set will be used for solar observation mainly in three different wavelengths simultaneously: the Continuum, H-Alpha and Calcium K-line. The observatory is also equipped with an automated weather station, cloud & rain sensor and all-sky camera to monitor the climatic condition, sense the clouds (before raining) as well as to view real time sky view above the observatory. In conjunction with the Langkawi All-Sky Camera, the observatory website will also display images from the Malaysia - Antarctica All-Sky Camera used to monitor the sky at Scott Base Antarctica. Both all-sky images can be displayed simultaneously to show the difference between the equatorial and Antarctica skies. This paper will describe the Malaysian Robotic Observatory including the systems available and method of access by other astronomers. We will also suggest possible collaboration with other observatories in this region.

  14. Autonomous Infrastructure for Observatory Operations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seaman, R.

    This is an era of rapid change from ancient human-mediated modes of astronomical practice to a vision of ever larger time domain surveys, ever bigger "big data", to increasing numbers of robotic telescopes and astronomical automation on every mountaintop. Over the past decades, facets of a new autonomous astronomical toolkit have been prototyped and deployed in support of numerous space missions. Remote and queue observing modes have gained significant market share on the ground. Archives and data-mining are becoming ubiquitous; astroinformatic techniques and virtual observatory standards and protocols are areas of active development. Astronomers and engineers, planetary and solar scientists, and researchers from communities as diverse as particle physics and exobiology are collaborating on a vast range of "multi-messenger" science. What then is missing?

  15. 195-Year History of Mykolayiv Observatory: Events and People

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shulga, O.V.

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available The basic stages of the history of the Mykolaiv Astronomical Observatory are shown. The main results of the Observatory activities are presented by the catalogs of star positions, major and minor planets in the Solar system, space objects in the Earth orbit. The information on the qualitative and quantitative structure of the Observatory, cooperation with the observatories of Ukraine and foreign countries as well as major projects carried out in the Observatory is provided.

  16. Coronagraph for astronomical imaging and spectrophotometry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vilas, Faith; Smith, Bradford A.

    1987-01-01

    A coronagraph designed to minimize scattered light in astronomical observations caused by the structure of the primary mirror, secondary mirror, and secondary support structure of a Cassegrainian telescope is described. Direct (1:1) and reducing (2.7:1) imaging of astronomical fields are possible. High-quality images are produced. The coronagraph can be used with either a two-dimensional charge-coupled device or photographic film camera. The addition of transmission dispersing optics converts the coronagraph into a low-resolution spectrograph. The instrument is modular and portable for transport to different observatories.

  17. Astrometric positions of minor planets in September 1983; four discoveries; ESO, La Silla, Chile

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Debehogne, H.; Mourao, R.R.

    1985-01-01

    84 astronomical positions of asteroids, 420 stars residuals and dependences are given as obtained from photographic observations made at the GPO, Grand Prisme Objectif (D = 40 cm, f = 4 m) - ESO, La Silla, Chile, during September 1983. The reductions of the observations were obtained by means of five reference stars (SAO Catalogue) using two methods: dependences (to have...the dependences) and least squares (for stellar residuals). 2 tabs. (author)

  18. A Cosmic Zoo in the Large Magellanic Cloud

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-06-01

    Astronomers often turn their telescopes to the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), one of the closest galaxies to our own Milky Way, in their quest to understand the Universe. In this spectacular new image from the Wide Field Imager (WFI) at ESO's La Silla Observatory in Chile, a celestial menagerie of different objects and phenomena in part of the LMC is on display, ranging from vast globular clusters to the remains left by brilliant supernovae explosions. This fascinating observation provides data for a wide variety of research projects unravelling the life and death of stars and the evolution of galaxies. The Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) is only about 160 000 light-years from our own Milky Way - very close on a cosmic scale. This proximity makes it a very important target as it can be studied in far more detail than more distant systems. The LMC lies in the constellation of Dorado (the Swordfish), deep in the southern sky and well placed for observations from ESO's observatories in Chile. It is one of the galaxies forming the Local Group surrounding the Milky Way [1]. Though enormous on a human scale, the LMC is less than one tenth the mass of our home galaxy and spans just 14 000 light-years compared to about 100 000 light-years for the Milky Way. Astronomers refer to it as an irregular dwarf galaxy [2]. Its irregularity, combined with its prominent central bar of stars suggests to astronomers that tidal interactions with the Milky Way and fellow Local Group galaxy, the Small Magellanic Cloud, could have distorted its shape from a classic barred spiral into its modern, more chaotic form. This image is a mosaic of four pictures from the Wide Field Imager on the MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope at the La Silla Observatory in Chile. The image covers a region of sky more than four times as large as the full Moon. The huge field of view of this camera makes it possible to see a very wide range of objects in the LMC in a single picture, although only a small part of the entire

  19. 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 ...

  20. E-ELT Site Chosen - World's Biggest Eye on the Sky to be Located on Armazones, Chile

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-01

    parameters had to be taken into account as well, such as the costs of construction and operations, and the operational and scientific synergy with other major facilities (VLT/VLTI, VISTA, VST, ALMA and SKA etc). In March 2010, the ESO Council was provided with a preliminary report with the main conclusions from the E-ELT Site Selection Advisory Committee [1]. These conclusions confirmed that all the sites examined in the final shortlist (Armazones, Ventarrones, Tolonchar and Vizcachas in Chile, and La Palma in Spain) have very good conditions for astronomical observing, each one with its particular strengths. The technical report concluded that Cerro Armazones, near Paranal, stands out as the clearly preferred site, because it has the best balance of sky quality for all the factors considered and can be operated in an integrated fashion with ESO's Paranal Observatory. Cerro Armazones and Paranal share the same ideal conditions for astronomical observations. In particular, over 320 nights are clear per year. Taking into account the very clear recommendation of the Site Selection Advisory Committee and all other relevant aspects, especially the scientific quality of the site, Council has now endorsed the choice of Cerro Armazones as the E-ELT baseline site [2]. "Adding the transformational scientific capabilities of the E-ELT to the already tremendously powerful integrated VLT observatory guarantees the long-term future of Paranal as the most advanced optical/infrared observatory in the world and further strengthens ESO's position as the world-leading organisation for ground-based astronomy," says de Zeeuw. In anticipation of the choice of Cerro Armazones as the future site of the E-ELT and to facilitate and support the project, the Chilean Government has agreed to donate to ESO a substantial tract of land contiguous to ESO's Paranal property and containing Armazones in order to ensure the continued protection of the site against all adverse influences, in particular light

  1. The Hartebeeshoek Radio Astronomy Observatory

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nicolson, G.D.

    1986-01-01

    This article briefly discusses the questions, problems and study fields of the modern astronomer. Radioastronomy has made important contributions to the study of the evolution of stars and has given much information on the birth of stars while at the other extreme, studies of neutron stars and the radio emission from the remnants of supernova explosions have given further insight into the death of individual stars. Radio astronomical studies have learned astronomers much about the structure of the Milky way and some twenty years ago, in a search for new radio galaxies, quasars were discovered. Radioastronomy research in South Africa is carried out at the Hartebeesthoek Radio Astronomy Observatory

  2. Nikolay N. Donitch - the astronomer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaina, Alex B.; Volyanskaya, M. Yu.

    1999-08-01

    The article is devoted to milestones of life and scientific activity of the eminent astronomer Nikolay Nikolaevich Donitch (Nicolae N. Donici) (1874-1956), a graduate from the Odessa (Novorossiski) university. He was a wellknown expert in the field of reseacrh of objects of Solar system. A person highly cultured, which built the first in Bessarabia (actually a part of the Republic of Moldova) observatory. He was borne in Kishinev (Chisinau) in a nobles family of notable Moldavian landersmen. N.D. graduated from the Richelieu lyceym in Odessa and afterwards, in 1897, graduated from the Odessa (Novorossiysky) University. A.K. Kononovich (1850-1910)headed the chair of astronomy and the Observatory at that time - a foremost authority in the field of astrophysics and stellar astronomy. Many of his disciples became eminent scientists of their time. N. Donitch was among them. N.D. worked till 1918 at Pulkovo Observatory and became a master in the field of studying of such phenomena as solar and lunar eclipses. To observe the Sun N.D., could afford to design and manufacture a spectroheliograph, the first in Russia, with the assistance of a famous Odessa mechanic J.A. Timchenko. This instrument enabled him to obtain topquality photos of the Sun's surface and prominences. It was mounted together with coelostat in the private observatory of N.D. , built in the village Staryie Doubossary in 1908. Besides the heliograoph, the observatory was equiped with a five inch refractor-equatorial with numerous instruments for various observations. Of the other instruments should be mentioned : "a comet triplet" - an instrument consisting of guiding refractor, a photographic camera and a spectrograph with an objective prism. N.D. was lucky enough to observe rare astronomical phenomena. He observed the transit of Mercury through the disk of the Sun on November 14, 1907 and showed the athmosphere absence around this planet, observed the Halley's comet in 1910, the bright Pons-Winneke comet

  3. BOOK REVIEW: Geheimnisvolles Universum - Europas Astronomen entschleiern das Weltall

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duerbeck, H. W.; Lorenzen, D. H.

    2002-12-01

    The 25th birthday of ESO, in 1987, was celebrated by the publication of an illustrated popular book, "Exploring the Southern Sky" (Springer-Verlag 1987), which also saw editions in Danish, English, French, German, and Spanish. Written and illustrated by the ESO staff members Svend Laustsen, Claus Madsen and Richard M. West, its many pictures were mainly taken with the ESO 3.6m and Schmidt telescopes. The structure of the book - perhaps at that time somewhat unusual - started with things far away (Universe and galaxies), zoomed in to the Milky Way, and finally reached the Solar System (with a concluding chapter dealing with the La Silla observatory). Now, with the 4 units of the Very Large Telescope in full operation, and on the occasion of ESO's 40th birthday, another jubilee book has appeared: "Geheimnisvolles Universum: Europas Astronomen entschleiern das Weltall", written by the science journalist Dirk H. Lorenzen, of Hamburg, Germany, and prefaced by Catherine Cesarsky, Director General of ESO. Presumably, this book will also soon become available in more languages spoken in ESO member countries. Thus it may be worthwhile to review the first edition, although some readers may like to wait for more easily accessible editions. Before going into details, let me first mention that I find this a very impressing book, great to look at and refreshing to read. With ESO seen through the eyes of a visitor, things gain a perspective that is quite different from that of the previous book, and at least as attractive. It comes as no surprise that the book starts with a visit of ESO's showcase, the Paranal Observatory, and the writer not only notes down his own impressions, but also cites statements of some of the many people that keep Paranal going - technicians and staff astronomers. This mixture of texts provides a good impression of the operations at a large observatory for the general reader. The two more 'astronomical' parts that follow deal with star and planet

  4. School students "Catch a Star"!

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-04-01

    School students from across Europe and beyond have won prizes in an astronomy competition, including the trip of a lifetime to one of the world's most powerful astronomical observatories, on a mountaintop in Chile. ESO, the European Organisation for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere, together with the European Association for Astronomy Education (EAAE), has just announced the winners of the 2007 "Catch a Star!" competition. ESO PR Photo 21/07 "Catch a Star!" is an international astronomy competition for school students, in which students are invited to 'become astronomers' and explore the Universe. The competition includes two categories for written projects on astronomical themes, to ensure that every student, whatever their level, has the chance to enter and win exciting prizes. For the artistically minded, "Catch a Star!" also includes an astronomy-themed artwork competition. Students from 22 countries submitted hundreds of written projects and pieces of artwork. "The standard of entries was most impressive, and made the jury's task of choosing winners both enjoyable and difficult! We hope that everyone, whether or not they won a prize, had fun taking part, and learnt some exciting things about our Universe", said Douglas Pierce-Price, Education Officer at ESO. The top prize, of a week-long trip to Chile to visit the ESO Very Large Telescope (VLT) on Paranal, was won by students Jan Mestan and Jan Kotek from Gymnazium Pisek in the Czech Republic, together with their teacher Marek Tyle. Their report on "Research and Observation of the Solar Eclipse" told how they had studied solar eclipses, and involved their fellow students in observations of an eclipse from their school in 2006. The team will travel to Chile and visit the ESO VLT - one of the world's most powerful optical/infrared telescopes - where they will meet astronomers and be present during a night of observations on the 2600m high Paranal mountaintop. "It's fantastic that we will see the

  5. Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory as Cultural Centre

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mickaelian, A. M.; Farmanyan, S. V.

    2017-07-01

    NAS RA V. Ambartsumian Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory is presented as a cultural centre for Armenia and the Armenian nation in general. Besides being scientific and educational centre, the Observatory is famous for its unique architectural ensemble, rich botanical garden and world of birds, as well as it is one of the most frequently visited sightseeing of Armenia. In recent years, the Observatory has also taken the initiative of the coordination of the Cultural Astronomy in Armenia and in this field, unites the astronomers, historians, archaeologists, ethnographers, culturologists, literary critics, linguists, art historians and other experts. Keywords: Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory, architecture, botanic garden, tourism, Cultural Astronomy.

  6. 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

  7. The Atsa Suborbital Observatory: An Observatory for a Commercial Suborbital Spacecraft

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vilas, F.; Sollitt, L. S.

    2012-12-01

    The advantages of astronomical observations made above Earth's atmosphere have long been understood: free access to spectral regions inaccessible from Earth (e.g., UV) or affected by the atmosphere's content (e.g., IR). Most robotic, space-based telescopes maintain large angular separation between the Sun and an observational target in order to avoid accidental damage to instruments from the Sun. For most astronomical targets, this possibility is easily avoided by waiting until objects are visible away from the Sun. For the Solar System objects inside Earth's orbit, this is never the case. Suborbital astronomical observations have over 50 years' history using NASA's sounding rockets and experimental space planes. Commercial suborbital spacecraft are largely expected to go to ~100 km altitude above Earth, providing a limited amount of time for astronomical observations. The unique scientific advantage to these observations is the ability to point close to the Sun: if a suborbital spacecraft accidentally turns too close to the Sun and fries an instrument, it is easy to land the spacecraft and repair the hardware for the next flight. Objects uniquely observed during the short observing window include inner-Earth asteroids, Mercury, Venus, and Sun-grazing comets. Both open-FOV and target-specific observations are possible. Despite many space probes to the inner Solar System, scientific questions remain. These include inner-Earth asteroid size and bulk density informing Solar System evolution studies and efforts to develop methods of mitigation against imminent impactors to Earth; chemistry and dynamics of Venus' atmosphere addressing physical phenomena such as greenhouse effect, atmospheric super-rotation and global resurfacing on Venus. With the Atsa Suborbital Observatory, we combine the strengths of both ground-based observatories and space-based observing to create a facility where a telescope is maintained and used interchangeably with both in-house facility

  8. 1970: ESO arrives at CERN

    CERN Multimedia

    Anaïs Schaeffer

    2012-01-01

    In 1970, CERN and ESO signed a collaboration agreement for the construction of the Observatory’s first telescope. That same year, ESO’s Telescope Division and Sky Atlas laboratory settled on the CERN site in Meyrin. Let’s turn back to the beginnings of this lasting and fruitful alliance.   Martin Cullum, ESO physicist from 1973 to 2009 In 1974, when I attended my first international conference on behalf of ESO, the first thing people asked was: “Where are you from?” “ESO,” I would say. The response: ‘'What on Earth is ESO?” Nowadays, people I meet seem to know more about ESO than I do! It is clear that ESO profited enormously from its sojourn at CERN. The wise decision of the ESO Director General at the time, Adriaan Blaauw, to move to Geneva allowed ESO to build up its technical expertise to be able to build world-beating projects like the VLT, which has undoubtedly been the most exciting scientif...

  9. 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...

  10. Jupiter's Spot Seen Glowing - Scientists Get First Look at Weather Inside the Solar System's Biggest Storm

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-03-01

    New ground-breaking thermal images obtained with ESO's Very Large Telescope and other powerful ground-based telescopes show swirls of warmer air and cooler regions never seen before within Jupiter's Great Red Spot, enabling scientists to make the first detailed interior weather map of the giant storm system linking its temperature, winds, pressure and composition with its colour. "This is our first detailed look inside the biggest storm of the Solar System," says Glenn Orton, who led the team of astronomers that made the study. "We once thought the Great Red Spot was a plain old oval without much structure, but these new results show that it is, in fact, extremely complicated." The observations reveal that the reddest colour of the Great Red Spot corresponds to a warm core within the otherwise cold storm system, and images show dark lanes at the edge of the storm where gases are descending into the deeper regions of the planet. The observations, detailed in a paper appearing in the journal Icarus, give scientists a sense of the circulation patterns within the solar system's best-known storm system. Sky gazers have been observing the Great Red Spot in one form or another for hundreds of years, with continuous observations of its current shape dating back to the 19th century. The spot, which is a cold region averaging about -160 degrees Celsius, is so wide that about three Earths could fit inside its boundaries. The thermal images were mostly obtained with the VISIR [1] instrument attached to ESO's Very Large Telescope in Chile, with additional data coming from the Gemini South telescope in Chile and the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan's Subaru Telescope in Hawaii. The images have provided an unprecedented level of resolution and extended the coverage provided by NASA's Galileo spacecraft in the late 1990s. Together with observations of the deep cloud structure by the 3-metre NASA Infrared Telescope Facility in Hawaii, the level of thermal detail observed

  11. Integrating the IA2 Astronomical Archive in the VO: The VO-Dance Engine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Molinaro, M.; Laurino, O.; Smareglia, R.

    2012-09-01

    Virtual Observatory (VO) protocols and standards are getting mature and the astronomical community asks for astrophysical data to be easily reachable. This means data centers have to intensify their efforts to provide the data they manage not only through proprietary portals and services but also through interoperable resources developed on the basis of the IVOA (International Virtual Observatory Alliance) recommendations. Here we present the work and ideas developed at the IA2 (Italian Astronomical Archive) data center hosted by the INAF-OATs (Italian Institute for Astrophysics - Trieste Astronomical Observatory) to reach this goal. The core point is the development of an application that from existing DB and archive structures can translate their content to VO compliant resources: VO-Dance (written in Java). This application, in turn, relies on a database (potentially DBMS independent) to store the translation layer information of each resource and auxiliary content (UCDs, field names, authorizations, policies, etc.). The last token is an administrative interface (currently developed using the Django python framework) to allow the data center administrators to set up and maintain resources. This deployment, platform independent, with database and administrative interface highly customizable, means the package, when stable and easily distributable, can be also used by single astronomers or groups to set up their own resources from their public datasets.

  12. TNO Photometry and Spectroscopy at ESO and Calar Alto

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boehnhardt, H.; Sekiguchi, T.; Vair, M.; Hainaut, O.; Delahodde, C.; West, R. M.; Tozzi, G. P.; Barrera, L.; Birkle, K.; Watanabe, J.; Meech, K.

    New photometry and spectroscopy of Transneptunian objects (TNO) has been obtained at ESO (VLT+FORS1, NTT+SOFI) and the Calar Alto (3.5m+MOSCA) observatory. BVRI photometry of more than 10 objects confirms the general colour-colour distribution of TNOs found previously. Quasi-simultaneous spectroscopy in the visible wavelength range of 5 TNOs did not reveal any spectral signature apart from the spetral gradients which are in agreement with the broadband colours. JHK filter photometry of 3 objects indicates that the reddening may only occur in the near-IR at least in some cases. Using new observations from the ESO VLT the lightcurve, colours and spectrum of 1996TO66 are investigated: the rotation period of 6.25h is confirmed, also the change in the lightcurve between 1997 and 1998 which indicates an exceptional behaviour in this object (temporary cometary activity ?). The 1999 photometry and spectroscopy in the visible revealed solar colours, no reddening and no spectral features. V-R colour changes over the rotation phase are not found. This works is done in colaboration with:

  13. Reflected Glory

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-02-01

    HD 38563B, are the main powerhouses behind Messier 78. However, the nebula is home to many more stars, including a collection of about 45 low mass, young stars (less than 10 million years old) in which the cores are still too cool for hydrogen fusion to start, known as T Tauri stars. Studying T Tauri stars is important for understanding the early stages of star formation and how planetary systems are created. Remarkably, this complex of nebulae has also changed significantly in the last ten years. In February 2004 the experienced amateur observer Jay McNeil took an image of this region with a 75 mm telescope and was surprised to see a bright nebula - the prominent fan shaped feature near the bottom of this picture - where nothing was seen on most earlier images. This object is now known as McNeil's Nebula and it appears to be a highly variable reflection nebula around a young star. This colour picture was created from many monochrome exposures taken through blue, yellow/green and red filters, supplemented by exposures through an H-alpha filter that shows light from glowing hydrogen gas. The total exposure times were 9, 9, 17.5 and 15.5 minutes per filter, respectively. Notes [1] Igor Chekalin from Russia uncovered the raw data for this image of Messier 78 in ESO's archives in the competition Hidden Treasures (eso1102). He processed the raw data with great skill, claiming first prize in the contest for his final image (Flickr link). ESO's team of in-house image processing experts then independently processed the raw data at full resolution to produce the image shown here. More information ESO, the European Southern Observatory, is the foremost intergovernmental astronomy organisation in Europe and the world's most productive astronomical observatory. It is supported by 15 countries: Austria, Belgium, Brazil, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. ESO carries out an

  14. Serbian Astronomers in Science Citation Index in the XX Century

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dimitrijevic, Milan S.

    The book is written paralelly in Serbian and English. The presence of works of Serbian astronomers and works in astronomical journals published by other Serbian scientists, in Science Citation Index within the period from 1945 up to the end of 2000, has been analyzed. Also is presented the list of 38 papers which had some influence on the development of astronomy in the twentieth century. A review of the development of astronomy in Serbia in the last century is given as well. Particular attention is payed to the Astronomical Observatory, the principal astronomical institution in Serbia, where it is one of the oldest scientific organizations and the only autonomous astronomical institute. Its past development forms an important part of the history of science and culture in these regions. In the book is also considered and the history of the university teaching of astronomy in Serbia after the second world war. First of all the development of the Chair of Astronomy at the Faculty of Mathematics in Belgrade, but also the teaching of astronomy at University in Novi Sad, Ni and Kragujevac is discussed. In addition to professional Astronomy, well developed in Serbia is also the amateur Astronomy. In the review is first of all included the largest and the oldest organization of amateur-astronomers in Serbia, founded in 1934. Besides, here are the Astronomical Society "Novi Sad", ADNOS and Research Station "Petnica". In Valjevo, within the framework of the Society of researchers "Vladimir Mandic - Manda", there is active also the Astronomical Group. In Kragujevac, on the roof of the Institute of Physics of the Faculty of Sciences, there is the "Belerofont" Observatory. In Ni, at the close of the sixties and the start of the seventies, there was operating a branch of the Astronomical Society "Rudjer Bokovic", while at the Faculty of Philosophy there existed in the period 1976-1980 the "Astro-Geophysical Society". In the year 1996 there was founded Astronomical Society

  15. Interactive 3D visualization for theoretical virtual observatories

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dykes, T.; Hassan, A.; Gheller, C.; Croton, D.; Krokos, M.

    2018-06-01

    Virtual observatories (VOs) are online hubs of scientific knowledge. They encompass a collection of platforms dedicated to the storage and dissemination of astronomical data, from simple data archives to e-research platforms offering advanced tools for data exploration and analysis. Whilst the more mature platforms within VOs primarily serve the observational community, there are also services fulfilling a similar role for theoretical data. Scientific visualization can be an effective tool for analysis and exploration of data sets made accessible through web platforms for theoretical data, which often contain spatial dimensions and properties inherently suitable for visualization via e.g. mock imaging in 2D or volume rendering in 3D. We analyse the current state of 3D visualization for big theoretical astronomical data sets through scientific web portals and virtual observatory services. We discuss some of the challenges for interactive 3D visualization and how it can augment the workflow of users in a virtual observatory context. Finally we showcase a lightweight client-server visualization tool for particle-based data sets, allowing quantitative visualization via data filtering, highlighting two example use cases within the Theoretical Astrophysical Observatory.

  16. Interactive 3D Visualization for Theoretical Virtual Observatories

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dykes, Tim; Hassan, A.; Gheller, C.; Croton, D.; Krokos, M.

    2018-04-01

    Virtual Observatories (VOs) are online hubs of scientific knowledge. They encompass a collection of platforms dedicated to the storage and dissemination of astronomical data, from simple data archives to e-research platforms offering advanced tools for data exploration and analysis. Whilst the more mature platforms within VOs primarily serve the observational community, there are also services fulfilling a similar role for theoretical data. Scientific visualization can be an effective tool for analysis and exploration of datasets made accessible through web platforms for theoretical data, which often contain spatial dimensions and properties inherently suitable for visualization via e.g. mock imaging in 2d or volume rendering in 3d. We analyze the current state of 3d visualization for big theoretical astronomical datasets through scientific web portals and virtual observatory services. We discuss some of the challenges for interactive 3d visualization and how it can augment the workflow of users in a virtual observatory context. Finally we showcase a lightweight client-server visualization tool for particle-based datasets allowing quantitative visualization via data filtering, highlighting two example use cases within the Theoretical Astrophysical Observatory.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-04-01

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

  18. The Light and Dark Face of a Star-Forming Nebula

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-03-01

    Today, ESO is unveiling an image of the little known Gum 19, a faint nebula that, in the infrared, appears dark on one half and bright on the other. On one side hot hydrogen gas is illuminated by a supergiant blue star called V391 Velorum. New star formation is taking place within the ribbon of luminous and dark material that brackets V391 Velorum's left in this perspective. After many millennia, these fledgling stars, coupled with the explosive demise of V391 Velorum as a supernova, will likely alter Gum 19's present Janus-like appearance. Gum 19 is located in the direction of the constellation Vela (the Sail) at a distance of approximately 22 000 light years. The Gum 19 moniker derives from a 1955 publication by the Australian astrophysicist Colin S. Gum that served as the first significant survey of so-called HII (read "H-two") regions in the southern sky. HII refers to hydrogen gas that is ionised, or energised to the extent that the hydrogen atoms lose their electrons. Such regions emit light at well-defined wavelengths (or colours), thereby giving these cosmic clouds their characteristic glow. And indeed, much like terrestrial clouds, the shapes and textures of these HII regions change as time passes, though over the course of eons rather than before our eyes. For now, Gum 19 has somewhat of a science fiction-esque, "rip in spacetime" look to it in this image, with a narrow, near-vertical bright region slashing across the nebula. Looking at it, you could possibly see a resemblance to a two-toned angelfish or an arrow with a darkened point. This new image of the evocative Gum 19 object was captured by an infrared instrument called SOFI, mounted on ESO's New Technology Telescope (NTT) that operates at the La Silla Observatory in Chile. SOFI stands for Son of ISAAC, after the "father" instrument, ISAAC, that is located at ESO's Very Large Telescope observatory at Paranal to the north of La Silla. Observing this nebula in the infrared allows astronomers to see

  19. Comet Tempel 1 Went Back to Sleep

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-07-01

    Astronomers Having Used ESO Telescopes Start Analysing Unique Dataset on the Comet Following the Deep Impact Mission Ten days after part of the Deep Impact spacecraft plunged onto Comet Tempel 1 with the aim to create a crater and expose pristine material from beneath the surface, astronomers are back in the ESO Offices in Santiago, after more than a week of observing at the ESO La Silla Paranal Observatory. In this unprecedented observing campaign - among the most ambitious ever conducted by a single observatory - the astronomers have collected a large amount of invaluable data on this comet. The astronomers have now started the lengthy process of data reduction and analysis. Being all together in a single place, and in close contacts with the space mission' scientific team, they will try to assemble a clear picture of the comet and of the impact. The ESO observations were part of a worldwide campaign to observe this unique experiment. During the campaign, ESO was connected by phone, email, and videoconference with colleagues in all major observatories worldwide, and data were freely exchanged between the different groups. This unique collaborative spirit provides astronomers with data taken almost around the clock during several days and this, with the largest variety of instruments, making the Deep Impact observing campaign one of the most successful of its kind, and thereby, ensuring the greatest scientific outcome. From the current analysis, it appears most likely that the impactor did not create a large new zone of activity and may have failed to liberate a large quantity of pristine material from beneath the surface. ESO PR Photo 22/05 ESO PR Photo 22/05 Evolution of Comet Tempel 1 (FORS2/VLT) [Preview - JPEG: 400 x 701 pix - 128k] [Normal - JPEG: 800 x 1401 pix - 357k] ESO PR Photo 22/05 Animated Gif Caption: ESO PR Photo 22/05 shows the evolution of Comet Tempel 1 as observed with the FORS2 instrument on Antu (VLT). The images obtained at the VLT show that

  20. A website for astronomical news in Spanish

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ortiz-Gil, A.

    2008-06-01

    Noticias del Cosmos is a collection of web pages within the Astronomical Observatory of the University of Valencia's website where we publish short daily summaries of astronomical press releases. Most, if not all of, the releases are originally written in English, and often Spanish readers may find them difficult to understand because not many people are familiar with the scientific language employed in these releases. Noticias del Cosmos has two principal aims. First, we want to communicate the latest astronomical news on a daily basis to a wide Spanish-speaking public who would otherwise not be able to read them because of the language barrier. Second, daily news can be used as a tool to introduce the astronomical topics of the school curriculum in a more immediate and relevant way. Most of the students at school have not yet reached a good enough level in their knowledge of English to fully understand a press release, and Noticias del Cosmos offers them and their teachers this news in their mother tongue. During the regular programme of school visits at the Observatory we use the news as a means of showing that there is still a lot to be discovered. So far the visits to the website have been growing steadily. Between June 2003 and June 2007 we had more than 30,000 visits (excluding 2006). More than 50% of the visits come from Spain, followed by visitors from South and Central America. The feedback we have received from teachers so far has been very positive, showing the usefulness of news items in the classroom when teaching astronomy.

  1. Instrument Remote Control via the Astronomical Instrument Markup Language

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sall, Ken; Ames, Troy; Warsaw, Craig; Koons, Lisa; Shafer, Richard

    1998-01-01

    The Instrument Remote Control (IRC) project ongoing at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center's (GSFC) Information Systems Center (ISC) supports NASA's mission by defining an adaptive intranet-based framework that provides robust interactive and distributed control and monitoring of remote instruments. An astronomical IRC architecture that combines the platform-independent processing capabilities of Java with the power of Extensible Markup Language (XML) to express hierarchical data in an equally platform-independent, as well as human readable manner, has been developed. This architecture is implemented using a variety of XML support tools and Application Programming Interfaces (API) written in Java. IRC will enable trusted astronomers from around the world to easily access infrared instruments (e.g., telescopes, cameras, and spectrometers) located in remote, inhospitable environments, such as the South Pole, a high Chilean mountaintop, or an airborne observatory aboard a Boeing 747. Using IRC's frameworks, an astronomer or other scientist can easily define the type of onboard instrument, control the instrument remotely, and return monitoring data all through the intranet. The Astronomical Instrument Markup Language (AIML) is the first implementation of the more general Instrument Markup Language (IML). The key aspects of our approach to instrument description and control applies to many domains, from medical instruments to machine assembly lines. The concepts behind AIML apply equally well to the description and control of instruments in general. IRC enables us to apply our techniques to several instruments, preferably from different observatories.

  2. Co-location satellite GPS and SLR geodetic techniques at the Felix Aguilar Astronomical Observatory of San Juan, Argentina

    Science.gov (United States)

    Podestá, R.; Pacheco, A. M.; Alvis Rojas, H.; Quinteros, J.; Podestá, F.; Albornoz, E.; Navarro, A.; Luna, M.

    2018-01-01

    This work shows the strategy followed for the co-location of the Satellite Laser Ranging (SLR) ILRS 7406 telescope and the antenna of the permanent Global Positioning System (GPS) station, located at the Félix Aguilar Astronomical Observatory (OAFA) in San Juan, Argentina. The accomplishment of the co-location consisted in the design, construction, measurement, adjustment and compensation of a geodesic net between the stations SLR and GPS, securing support points solidly built in the soil. The co-location allows the coordinates of the station to be obtained by combining the data of both SLR and GPS techniques, achieving a greater degree of accuracy than individually. The International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service (IERS) considers the co-located stations as the most valuable and important points for the maintenance of terrestrial reference systems and their connection with the celestial ones. The 3 mm precision required by the IERS has been successfully achieved.

  3. The Most Distant Mature Galaxy Cluster - Young, but surprisingly grown-up

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-03-01

    Astronomers have used an armada of telescopes on the ground and in space, including the Very Large Telescope at ESO's Paranal Observatory in Chile to discover and measure the distance to the most remote mature cluster of galaxies yet found. Although this cluster is seen when the Universe was less than one quarter of its current age it looks surprisingly similar to galaxy clusters in the current Universe. "We have measured the distance to the most distant mature cluster of galaxies ever found", says the lead author of the study in which the observations from ESO's VLT have been used, Raphael Gobat (CEA, Paris). "The surprising thing is that when we look closely at this galaxy cluster it doesn't look young - many of the galaxies have settled down and don't resemble the usual star-forming galaxies seen in the early Universe." Clusters of galaxies are the largest structures in the Universe that are held together by gravity. Astronomers expect these clusters to grow through time and hence that massive clusters would be rare in the early Universe. Although even more distant clusters have been seen, they appear to be young clusters in the process of formation and are not settled mature systems. The international team of astronomers used the powerful VIMOS and FORS2 instruments on ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT) to measure the distances to some of the blobs in a curious patch of very faint red objects first observed with the Spitzer space telescope. This grouping, named CL J1449+0856 [1], had all the hallmarks of being a very remote cluster of galaxies [2]. The results showed that we are indeed seeing a galaxy cluster as it was when the Universe was about three billion years old - less than one quarter of its current age [3]. Once the team knew the distance to this very rare object they looked carefully at the component galaxies using both the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope and ground-based telescopes, including the VLT. They found evidence suggesting that most of the

  4. The Einstein Observatory: A New Public/Private Observatory Complex for Community Education and Scientific Research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sowell, J.

    1999-12-01

    The Development Authority of Cherokee County (Georgia) is leading a public/private partnership of business/industry professionals, educators, and university scientists that seeks to develop a national prototype educational and scientific research facility for grades K-12, as well as college-level research, that will inspire our youth to become literate in science and technology. In particular, the goal is to make this complex a science, math, and engineering magnet learning facility and to raise the average SAT scores of local area students by 100 points. A dark-site mountain, nestled on the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains at the northern-most edge of Atlanta, will become the home for the "Einstein" Observatory. The complex will have four telescopes: one 50-inch, one 24-inch, and two 16-inch telescopes. Each telescope will have digital cameras and an optic-fiber feed to a single, medium-resolution spectroscope. All four telescopes will be electronically accessible from local schools. Professional astronomers will establish suitable observational research projects and will lead K-12 and college students in the acquisition and analysis of data. Astronomers will also assist the local area schoolteachers in methods for nurturing children's scientific inquiry. The observatory mountain will have 100 platform locations for individual viewing by visiting families, school groups, and amateur astronomers. The Atlanta Astronomer Club will provide numerous evening programs and viewing opportunities for the general public. An accompanying Planetarium & Science Center will be located on the nearby campus of Reinhardt College. The Planetarium & Science Center will be integrated with Reinhardt College's theme of learning focused upon studying the past and present as a basis for projecting the future.

  5. VISTA Stares Deeply into the Blue Lagoon

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-01

    This new infrared image of the Lagoon Nebula was captured as part of a five-year study of the Milky Way using ESO's VISTA telescope at the Paranal Observatory in Chile. This is a small piece of a much larger image of the region surrounding the nebula, which is, in turn, only one part of a huge survey. Astronomers are currently using ESO's Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy (VISTA) to scour the Milky Way's central regions for variable objects and map its structure in greater detail than ever before. This huge survey is called VISTA Variables in the Via Lactea (VVV) [1]. The new infrared image presented here was taken as part of this survey. It shows the stellar nursery called the Lagoon Nebula (also known as Messier 8, see eso0936), which lies about 4000-5000 light-years away in the constellation of Sagittarius (the Archer). Infrared observations allow astronomers to peer behind the veil of dust that prevents them from seeing celestial objects in visible light. This is because visible light, which has a wavelength that is about the same size as the dust particles, is strongly scattered, but the longer wavelength infrared light can pass through the dust largely unscathed. VISTA, with its 4.1-metre diameter mirror - the largest survey telescope in the world - is dedicated to surveying large areas of the sky at near-infrared wavelengths deeply and quickly. It is therefore ideally suited to studying star birth. Stars typically form in large molecular clouds of gas and dust, which collapse under their own weight. The Lagoon Nebula, however, is also home to a number of much more compact regions of collapsing gas and dust, called Bok globules [2]. These dark clouds are so dense that, even in the infrared, they can block the starlight from background stars. But the most famous dark feature in the nebula, for which it is named, is the lagoon-shaped dust lane that winds its way through the glowing cloud of gas. Hot, young stars, which give off intense

  6. The Rose-red Glow of Star Formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-03-01

    play a pivotal role in astronomy: some types are invaluable for determining distances to far-off galaxies and the age of the Universe. The data for this image were selected from the ESO archive by Manu Mejias as part of the Hidden Treasures competition [2]. Three of Manu's images made the top twenty; his picture of NGC 371 was ranked sixth in the competition. Notes [1] Asteroseismology is the study of the internal structure of pulsating stars by looking at the different frequencies at which they oscillate. This is a similar approach to the study of the structure of the Earth by looking at earthquakes and how their oscillations travel through the interior of the planet. [2] ESO's Hidden Treasures 2010 competition gave amateur astronomers the opportunity to search through ESO's vast archives of astronomical data, hoping to find a well-hidden gem that needed polishing by the entrants. Participants submitted nearly 100 entries and ten skilled people were awarded some extremely attractive prizes, including an all expenses paid trip for the overall winner to ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT) on Cerro Paranal, in Chile, the world's most advanced optical telescope. The ten winners submitted a total of 20 images that were ranked as the highest entries in the competition out of the near 100 images. More information ESO, the European Southern Observatory, is the foremost intergovernmental astronomy organisation in Europe and the world's most productive astronomical observatory. It is supported by 15 countries: Austria, Belgium, Brazil, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. ESO carries out an ambitious programme focused on the design, construction and operation of powerful ground-based observing facilities enabling astronomers to make important scientific discoveries. ESO also plays a leading role in promoting and organising cooperation in astronomical research. ESO operates three

  7. The Stars behind the Curtain

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-02-01

    still growing into stars, newborn stars, adult stars and stars nearing the end of their life. All these stars have roughly the same age, a million years, a blink of an eye compared to our five billion year-old Sun and Solar System. The fact that some of the stars have just started their lives while others are already dying is due to their extraordinary range of masses: high-mass stars, being very bright and hot, burn through their existence much faster than their less massive, fainter and cooler counterparts. The newly released image, obtained with the FORS instrument attached to the VLT at Cerro Paranal, Chile, portrays a wide field around the stellar cluster and reveals the rich texture of the surrounding clouds of gas and dust. Notes [1] The star, NGC 3603-A1, is an eclipsing system of two stars orbiting around each other in 3.77 days. The most massive star has an estimated mass of 116 solar masses, while its companion has a mass of 89 solar masses. More information ESO, the European Southern Observatory, is the foremost intergovernmental astronomy organisation in Europe and the world's most productive astronomical observatory. It is supported by 14 countries: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. ESO carries out an ambitious programme focused on the design, construction and operation of powerful ground-based observing facilities enabling astronomers to make important scientific discoveries. ESO also plays a leading role in promoting and organising cooperation in astronomical research. ESO operates three unique world-class observing sites in Chile: La Silla, Paranal and Chajnantor. At Paranal, ESO operates the Very Large Telescope, the world's most advanced visible-light astronomical observatory and VISTA, the largest survey telescope. ESO is the European partner of a revolutionary astronomical telescope ALMA, the largest astronomical project in

  8. Atmospheres in a Test Tube: state of the art at the Astronomical Observatory of Padova.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erculiani, M. S.; Claudi, R.; Cocola, L.; Giro, E.; La Rocca, N.; Morosinotto, T.; Poletto, L.; Barbisan, D.; Billi, D.; Bonato, M.; D'Alessandro, M.; Galletta, G.; Meneghini, M.; Trivellin, N.; Cestelli Guidi, M.; Pace, E.; Schierano, D.; Micela, G.

    At the Astronomical observatory of Padova we are trying to answer some questions about the detectability of biosignatures in the exoplanetary atmospheres, working in the framework of the project Atmosphere in a Test Tube. In particular we are investigating how the presence of photosynthetic biota living on the surface of a planet orbiting in the HZ of an M type star may modify the atmospheric gas abundances. This can be achieved in laboratory with an environmental simulator called MINI - LISA. The simulator allows to modify the temperature and the pressure inside a test chamber, where a selected population of photosynthetic bacteria is arranged. We'll focalize our experiments on the following bacteria: Acaryochloris marina, Halomicronema hongdechloris, Leptolyngbya sp.1 and Chlorogloeopsis fritschii. The first two bacteria are naturally provided with NIR light metabolizers, like Chl-d and Chl-f, while the last two can develop such pigments if grown in NIR light. The experiment will lead us to obtain useful data to be compared with the ones expected either by the future space missions (JWST, ARIEL) and ground based new instrumentation (SPHERE@VLT; GPI@GEMINI; PCS@E-ELT). In this talk we discuss the layout of the experiment and its state of art.

  9. CERN, ESA and ESO Launch "Physics On Stage"

    Science.gov (United States)

    2000-03-01

    Physics is everywhere . The laws of physics govern the Universe, the Sun, the Earth and even our own lives. In today's rapidly developing society, we are becoming increasingly dependent on high technology - computers, transport, and communication are just some of the key areas that are the result of discoveries by scientists working in physics. But how much do the citizens of Europe really know about physics? Here is a unique opportunity to learn more about this elusive subject! [Go to Physics On Stage Website] Beginning in February 2000, three major European research organisations are organising a unique Europe-wide programme to raise the public awareness of physics and related sciences. "Physics on Stage" is launched by the European Laboratory for Particle Physics (CERN) , the European Space Agency (ESA) and the European Southern Observatory (ESO) , with support from the European Union. Other partners are the European Physical Society (EPS) and the European Association for Astronomy Education (EAAE). This exciting programme is part of the European Week for Science and Technology and will culminate in a Science Festival during November 6-11, 2000, on the CERN premises at the French-Swiss border near Geneva. Why "Physics on Stage"? The primary goal of "Physics on Stage" is to counteract the current decline in interest and knowledge about physics among Europe's citizens by means of a series of highly visible promotional activities. It will bring together leading scientists and educators, government bodies and the media, to confront the diminishing attraction of physics to young people and to develop strategies to reverse this trend. The objective in the short term is to infuse excitement and to provide new educational materials. In the longer term, "Physics on Stage" will generate new developments by enabling experts throughout Europe to meet, exchange and innovate. "Physics on Stage" in 22 European Countries "Physics on Stage" has been initiated in 22 European

  10. 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.

  11. Beyond the Observatory: Reflections on the Centennial

    Science.gov (United States)

    Devorkin, D. H.

    1999-05-01

    One of the many unexpected side-benefits of acting as editor of the AAS centennial volume was the chance to take a fresh look at some of the personalities who helped to shape the American Astronomical Society. A common characteristic of these people was their energy, compassion and drive to go "Beyond the Observatory," to borrow a phrase from Harlow Shapley. But what did going `beyond the observatory' mean to Shapley, or to the others who shaped and maintained the Society in its first one hundred years of life? Just as the discipline of astronomy has changed in profound ways in the past century, so has the American Astronomical Society changed, along with the people who have been its leaders and its sustainers and the culture that has fostered it. The Centennial meeting of the Society offers a chance to reflect on the people who have given American astronomy its sense of community identity.

  12. VLT Detects First Superstorm on Exoplanet

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-06-01

    fingerprints, observing the planet for about five hours, as it passed in front of its star. "CRIRES is the only instrument in the world that can deliver spectra that are sharp enough to determine the position of the carbon monoxide lines at a precision of 1 part in 100 000," says another team member Remco de Kok. "This high precision allows us to measure the velocity of the carbon monoxide gas for the first time using the Doppler effect." The astronomers achieved several other firsts. They directly measured the velocity of the exoplanet as it orbits its home star. "In general, the mass of an exoplanet is determined by measuring the wobble of the star and assuming a mass for the star, according to theory. Here, we have been able to measure the motion of the planet as well, and thus determine both the mass of the star and of the planet," says co-author Ernst de Mooij. Also for the first time, the astronomers measured how much carbon is present in the atmosphere of this planet. "It seems that H209458b is actually as carbon-rich as Jupiter and Saturn. This could indicate that it was formed in the same way," says Snellen. "In the future, astronomers may be able to use this type of observation to study the atmospheres of Earth-like planets, to determine whether life also exists elsewhere in the Universe." More information This research was presented in a paper that appears this week in the journal Nature: "The orbital motion, absolute mass, and high-altitude winds of exoplanet HD209458b", by I. Snellen et al. The team is composed of Ignas A. G. Snellen and Ernst J. W. de Mooij, (Leiden Observatory, The Netherlands), Remco J. de Kok (SRON, Utrecht, The Netherlands), and Simon Albrecht (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA). ESO, the European Southern Observatory, is the foremost intergovernmental astronomy organisation in Europe and the world's most productive astronomical observatory. It is supported by 14 countries: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France

  13. Calculation of Precipitable Water for Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy Aircraft (SOFIA): Airplane in the Night Sky

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wen, Pey Chun; Busby, Christopher M.

    2011-01-01

    Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, or SOFIA, is the new generation airborne observatory station based at NASA s Dryden Aircraft Operations Facility, Palmdale, CA, to study the universe. Since the observatory detects infrared energy, water vapor is a concern in the atmosphere due to its known capacity to absorb infrared energy emitted by astronomical objects. Although SOFIA is hoping to fly above 99% of water vapor in the atmosphere it is still possible to affect astronomical observation. Water vapor is one of the toughest parameter to measure in the atmosphere, several atmosphere modeling are used to calculate water vapor loading. The water vapor loading, or Precipitable water, is being calculated by Matlab along the planned flight path. Over time, these results will help SOFIA to plan flights to regions of lower water vapor loading and hopefully improve the imagery collection of these astronomical features.

  14. Astronomy and astrophysics communication in the UCM Observatory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crespo-Chacón, I.; de Castro, E.; Díaz, C.; Gallego, J.; Gálvez, M. C.; Hernán-Obispo, M.; López-Santiago, J.; Montes, D.; Pascual, S.; Verdet, A.; Villar, V.; Zamorano, J.

    We present a summary of the last activities of science communication that have taken place in the Observatorio de la Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM Observatory) on the occasion of the Third Science Week of the Comunidad Autónoma de Madrid (3-16 November 2003), including guided tours through the observatory facilities, solar observations, and several talks. Moreover the current telescopes, instruments and tools of the UCM Observatory have allowed us to organize other communicating activities such as the live observation, together with its internet broadcast, of total lunar eclipses and other exceptional astronomical events as the Venus transit that took place in 8 June 2004.

  15. Super resolution for astronomical observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Zhan; Peng, Qingyu; Bhanu, Bir; Zhang, Qingfeng; He, Haifeng

    2018-05-01

    In order to obtain detailed information from multiple telescope observations a general blind super-resolution (SR) reconstruction approach for astronomical images is proposed in this paper. A pixel-reliability-based SR reconstruction algorithm is described and implemented, where the developed process incorporates flat field correction, automatic star searching and centering, iterative star matching, and sub-pixel image registration. Images captured by the 1-m telescope at Yunnan Observatory are used to test the proposed technique. The results of these experiments indicate that, following SR reconstruction, faint stars are more distinct, bright stars have sharper profiles, and the backgrounds have higher details; thus these results benefit from the high-precision star centering and image registration provided by the developed method. Application of the proposed approach not only provides more opportunities for new discoveries from astronomical image sequences, but will also contribute to enhancing the capabilities of most spatial or ground-based telescopes.

  16. Observatories of Sawai Jai Singh II

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson-Roehr, Susan N.

    Sawai Jai Singh II, Maharaja of Amber and Jaipur, constructed five observatories in the second quarter of the eighteenth century in the north Indian cities of Shahjahanabad (Delhi), Jaipur, Ujjain, Mathura, and Varanasi. Believing the accuracy of his naked-eye observations would improve with larger, more stable instruments, Jai Singh reengineered common brass instruments using stone construction methods. His applied ingenuity led to the invention of several outsize masonry instruments, the majority of which were used to determine the coordinates of celestial objects with reference to the local horizon. During Jai Singh's lifetime, the observatories were used to make observations in order to update existing ephemerides such as the Zīj-i Ulugh Begī. Jai Singh established communications with European astronomers through a number of Jesuits living and working in India. In addition to dispatching ambassadorial parties to Portugal, he invited French and Bavarian Jesuits to visit and make use of the observatories in Shahjahanabad and Jaipur. The observatories were abandoned after Jai Singh's death in 1743 CE. The Mathura observatory was disassembled completely before 1857. The instruments at the remaining observatories were restored extensively during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

  17. Stars in their eyes

    CERN Multimedia

    McKie, R

    2001-01-01

    PPARC has agreed to pay 70 million pounds to become members of the European Southern Observatory. ESO has committed itself to building an array of giant microwave receivers in Chajnantor in Chile. Scheduled to take six years to build, the array will allow astronomers to view planetary systems far away in our galaxy and probe the early years of the universe.

  18. The MicroObservatory Net

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brecher, K.; Sadler, P.

    1994-12-01

    A group of scientists, engineers and educators based at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) has developed a prototype of a small, inexpensive and fully integrated automated astronomical telescope and image processing system. The project team is now building five second generation instruments. The MicroObservatory has been designed to be used for classroom instruction by teachers as well as for original scientific research projects by students. Probably in no other area of frontier science is it possible for a broad spectrum of students (not just the gifted) to have access to state-of-the-art technologies that would allow for original research. The MicroObservatory combines the imaging power of a cooled CCD, with a self contained and weatherized reflecting optical telescope and mount. A microcomputer points the telescope and processes the captured images. The MicroObservatory has also been designed to be used as a valuable new capture and display device for real time astronomical imaging in planetariums and science museums. When the new instruments are completed in the next few months, they will be tried with high school students and teachers, as well as with museum groups. We are now planning to make the MicroObservatories available to students, teachers and other individual users over the Internet. We plan to allow the telescope to be controlled in real time or in batch mode, from a Macintosh or PC compatible computer. In the real-time mode, we hope to give individual access to all of the telescope control functions without the need for an "on-site" operator. Users would sign up for a specific period of time. In the batch mode, users would submit jobs for the telescope. After the MicroObservatory completed a specific job, the images would be e-mailed back to the user. At present, we are interested in gaining answers to the following questions: (1) What are the best approaches to scheduling real-time observations? (2) What criteria should be used

  19. 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.

  20. Mingantu, 18th-Century Mongol Astronomer and Radioheliograph Namesake

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pasachoff, Jay M.

    2013-01-01

    The 18th-century Mongol astronomer Mingantu (1692-1765) has been honored with a city named after him and a nearby solar telescope array. During the IAU/Beijing, my wife and I went to the new Chinese solar radioheliograph, the Mingantu Observing Station, in Inner Mongolia, ~400 km northwest of Beijing, a project of the National Astronomical Observatories, Chinese Academy of Sciences. It currently contains 40 dishes each 4.5 m across, with a correlator from Beijing. Within a year, 60 2-m dishes will be added. We passed by the 12-century ruins of Xanadu (about 20 km north of Zhangbei) about halfway. The radioheliograph is in a plane about 1 km across, forming a three-armed spiral for interferometric solar mapping, something colleagues and I had carried out with the Jansky Very Large Array, taking advantage of the lunar occultation before annularity at the 20 May 2012 solar eclipse. In the central square of Mingantu city, a statue ~10-m high of the Mongol astronomer Mingantu appears. Its base bears a plaque ~1-m high of IAU Minor Planet Circular MPC 45750 announcing the naming in 2002 of asteroid 28242 Mingantu, discovered at a Chinese observatory in 1999. Mingantu carried out orbital calculations, mapping, mathematical work on infinite series, and other scientific research. He is honored by a modern museum behind the statue. The museum's first 40% describes Mingantu and his work, and is followed by some artifacts of the region from thousands of years ago. The final, large room contains a two-meter-square scale model of the radioheliograph, flat-screen televisions running Solar Dynamics Observatory and other contemporary visualizations, orreries and other objects, and large transparencies of NASA and other astronomical imagery. See my post at http://www.skyandtelescope.com/community/skyblog/newsblog/ specfically Astro-Sightseeing_in_Inner_Mongolia-167712965.html. We thank Yihua Yan for arranging the visit and Wang Wei (both NAOC) for accompanying us. My solar research

  1. 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...

  2. Optical Detectors for Astronomy II : State-of-the-art at the Turn of the Millennium : 4th ESO CCD Workshop

    CERN Document Server

    Beletic, James

    2000-01-01

    th The 4 ESO CCO Workshop, Optical Detectors for Astronomy, was held during September 13-16, 1999 at its usual location, the headquarters of the European Southern Observatory in Garching, Germany. We prefer to remember this workshop as a "meeting of friends", who came to Garching to visit ESO and to present their work, rather than a formal meeting. Based on our experience with the 1996 ESO CCO workshop, we deliberately put emphasis on creating an environment that encouraged the participants to stay together and informally exchange ideas. These informal events began with a tour of the BWM auto factory and continued with a reception at "SchloB Beletic", the conference dinner at a real SchloB of the Bavarian International School (where the participants enjoyed basket, baseball, table soccer, rock climbing and eventually dancing) and concluded with a tour of the Paulaner Brewery and dinner at the Seehaus in the Englisher Garten. The lunch "Biergarten", adjacent to the poster session area, was a daily meeting poin...

  3. N° 15-2000: ESA, CERN and ESO launch "Physics on Stage"

    Science.gov (United States)

    2000-03-01

    But how much do the citizens of Europe really know about physics? Here is a unique opportunity to learn more about this elusive subject! Beginning in February 2000, three major European research establishments [1] are organising a unique Europe-wide programme to raise the public awareness of physics and related sciences. "Physics on Stage" is launched by the European Space Agency (ESA), the European Laboratory for Particle Physics (CERN), and the European Southern Observatory (ESO), with support from the European Union (EU). Other partners include the European Physical Society (EPS) and the European Association for Astronomy Education (EAAE). This exciting programme is part of the European Week for Science and Technology and will culminate in a Science Festival during November 6-11, 2000, at CERN, Geneva. Why "Physics on Stage"? The primary goal of "Physics on Stage" is to counteract the current decline in interest and knowledge of physics among Europe's citizens by means of a series of highly visible promotional activities. It will bring together leading scientists and educators, government bodies and the media, to confront the diminishing attraction of physics to young people and to develop strategies to reverse this trend. The objective in the short term is to infuse excitement and to provide new educational materials. In the longer term, "Physics on Stage" will generate new developments by enabling experts throughout Europe to meet, exchange and innovate. "Physics on Stage" in 22 European Countries. "Physics on Stage" has been initiated in 22 European countries [2]. In each country, a dedicated National Steering Committee (NSC) is being formed which will be responsible for their own national programme. A list of contact addresses is attached below. "Physics on Stage" is based on a series of high-profile physics-related activities that will inform the European public in general, and European high school physics teachers and media representatives in particular

  4. 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.

  5. Black Hole Hunters Set New Distance Record

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    Astronomers using ESO's Very Large Telescope have detected, in another galaxy, a stellar-mass black hole much farther away than any other previously known. With a mass above fifteen times that of the Sun, this is also the second most massive stellar-mass black hole ever found. It is entwined with a star that will soon become a black hole itself. The stellar-mass black holes [1] found in the Milky Way weigh up to ten times the mass of the Sun and are certainly not be taken lightly, but, outside our own galaxy, they may just be minor-league players, since astronomers have found another black hole with a mass over fifteen times the mass of the Sun. This is one of only three such objects found so far. The newly announced black hole lies in a spiral galaxy called NGC 300, six million light-years from Earth. "This is the most distant stellar-mass black hole ever weighed, and it's the first one we've seen outside our own galactic neighbourhood, the Local Group," says Paul Crowther, Professor of Astrophysics at the University of Sheffield and lead author of the paper reporting the study. The black hole's curious partner is a Wolf-Rayet star, which also has a mass of about twenty times as much as the Sun. Wolf-Rayet stars are near the end of their lives and expel most of their outer layers into their surroundings before exploding as supernovae, with their cores imploding to form black holes. In 2007, an X-ray instrument aboard NASA's Swift observatory scrutinised the surroundings of the brightest X-ray source in NGC 300 discovered earlier with the European Space Agency's XMM-Newton X-ray observatory. "We recorded periodic, extremely intense X-ray emission, a clue that a black hole might be lurking in the area," explains team member Stefania Carpano from ESA. Thanks to new observations performed with the FORS2 instrument mounted on ESO's Very Large Telescope, astronomers have confirmed their earlier hunch. The new data show that the black hole and the Wolf-Rayet star dance

  6. Site Protection Efforts at the AURA Observatory in Chile

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, R. Chris; Smith, Malcolm G.; Sanhueza, Pedro

    2015-08-01

    The AURA Observatory (AURA-O) was the first of the major international observatories to be established in northern Chile to exploit the optimal astronomical conditions available there. The site was originally established in 1962 to host the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO). It now hosts more than 20 operational telescopes, including some of the leading U.S. and international astronomical facilities in the southern hemisphere, such as the Blanco 4m telescope on Cerro Tololo and the Gemini-South and SOAR telescopes on Cerro Pachón. Construction of the next generation facility, the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST), has recently begun on Cerro Pachón, while additional smaller telescopes continue to be added to the complement on Cerro Tololo.While the site has become a major platform for international astronomical facilities over the last 50 years, development in the region has led to an ever-increasing threat of light pollution around the site. AURA-O has worked closely with local, regional, and national authorities and institutions (in particular with the Chilean Ministries of Environment and Foreign Relations) in an effort to protect the site so that future generations of telescopes, as well as future generations of Chileans, can benefit from the dark skies in the region. We will summarize our efforts over the past 15 years to highlight the importance of dark sky protection through education and public outreach as well as through more recent promotion of IDA certifications in the region and support for the World Heritage initiatives described by others in this conference.

  7. The Lowell Observatory Predoctoral Scholar Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prato, Lisa; Nofi, Larissa

    2018-01-01

    Lowell Observatory is pleased to solicit applications for our Predoctoral Scholar Fellowship Program. Now beginning its tenth year, this program is designed to provide unique research opportunities to graduate students in good standing, currently enrolled at Ph.D. granting institutions. Lowell staff research spans a wide range of topics, from astronomical instrumentation, to icy bodies in our solar system, exoplanet science, stellar populations, star formation, and dwarf galaxies. Strong collaborations, the new Ph.D. program at Northern Arizona University, and cooperative links across the greater Flagstaff astronomical community create a powerful multi-institutional locus in northern Arizona. Lowell Observatory's new 4.3 meter Discovery Channel Telescope is operating at full science capacity and boasts some of the most cutting-edge and exciting capabilities available in optical/infrared astronomy. Student research is expected to lead to a thesis dissertation appropriate for graduation at the doctoral level at the student's home institution. For more information, see http://www2.lowell.edu/rsch/predoc.php and links therein. Applications for Fall 2018 are due by May 1, 2018; alternate application dates will be considered on an individual basis.

  8. Polar Motion Studies and NOAA's Legacy of International Scientific Cooperation: Ukiah and Gaithersburg Latitude Observatories

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caccamise, D. J., II; Stone, W. A.

    2017-12-01

    In 1895, the International Geodetic Association invited the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey (USC&GS) to join in an unprecedented international effort to observe and measure the earth's polar motion. This effort was in response to the American astronomer Seth C. Chandler Jr. announcing his 1891 discovery that the earth's axis of rotation—and hence the direction of true north—wobbles within the earth with a period of about 14 months, varying latitude everywhere on the globe. In 1899, two astro-geodetic observatories were built in Gaithersburg, Maryland and Ukiah, California with three others in Caloforte, Italy; Kitab, Russia (now Uzbekistan); and Mizusawa, Japan. (A sixth station was located and operated at an astronomical observatory in Cincinnati, Ohio until 1916 using instruments loaned by USC&GS). All five observatories were located along the same parallel - approximately 35 degrees - 8 minutes. The observatories were decommissioned in 1982, and subsequently, NOAA deeded the two remaining U.S. observatories to the cities of Gaithersburg and Ukiah. The observatories and adjacent property were to be used as parkland. Both cities have restored the observatories and opened public parks. Recently, Gaithersburg (Ukiah in progress) has had its latitude observatory dedicated as a National Historic Landmark. In 2014-15, the National Geodetic Survey (NGS, the present-day NOAA successor to the USC&GS) loaned the original zenith telescopes to the communities, returning the observatories to their original configuration. The contribution of NOAA observers and the data collected is still important to astronomers and geophysicists and has practical applications in spacecraft navigation and geospatial positioning. This poster will bring to fruition this multiyear effort among partners by providing examples of NOAA's mission and contribution to science, service, and stewardship at both geodetic observatories, through programs and historic exhibits for students and the

  9. The University of Montana's Blue Mountain Observatory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friend, D. B.

    2004-12-01

    The University of Montana's Department of Physics and Astronomy runs the state of Montana's only professional astronomical observatory. The Observatory, located on nearby Blue Mountain, houses a 16 inch Boller and Chivens Cassegrain reflector (purchased in 1970), in an Ash dome. The Observatory sits just below the summit ridge, at an elevation of approximately 6300 feet. Our instrumentation includes an Op-Tec SSP-5A photoelectric photometer and an SBIG ST-9E CCD camera. We have the only undergraduate astronomy major in the state (technically a physics major with an astronomy option), so our Observatory is an important component of our students' education. Students have recently carried out observing projects on the photometry of variable stars and color photometry of open clusters and OB associations. In my poster I will show some of the data collected by students in their observing projects. The Observatory is also used for public open houses during the summer months, and these have become very popular: at times we have had 300 visitors in a single night.

  10. Light Dawns on Dark Gamma-ray Bursts

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-12-01

    Gamma-ray bursts are among the most energetic events in the Universe, but some appear curiously faint in visible light. The biggest study to date of these so-called dark gamma-ray bursts, using the GROND instrument on the 2.2-metre MPG/ESO telescope at La Silla in Chile, has found that these gigantic explosions don't require exotic explanations. Their faintness is now fully explained by a combination of causes, the most important of which is the presence of dust between the Earth and the explosion. Gamma-ray bursts (GRBs), fleeting events that last from less than a second to several minutes, are detected by orbiting observatories that can pick up their high energy radiation. Thirteen years ago, however, astronomers discovered a longer-lasting stream of less energetic radiation coming from these violent outbursts, which can last for weeks or even years after the initial explosion. Astronomers call this the burst's afterglow. While all gamma-ray bursts [1] have afterglows that give off X-rays, only about half of them were found to give off visible light, with the rest remaining mysteriously dark. Some astronomers suspected that these dark afterglows could be examples of a whole new class of gamma-ray bursts, while others thought that they might all be at very great distances. Previous studies had suggested that obscuring dust between the burst and us might also explain why they were so dim. "Studying afterglows is vital to further our understanding of the objects that become gamma-ray bursts and what they tell us about star formation in the early Universe," says the study's lead author Jochen Greiner from the Max-Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics in Garching bei München, Germany. NASA launched the Swift satellite at the end of 2004. From its orbit above the Earth's atmosphere it can detect gamma-ray bursts and immediately relay their positions to other observatories so that the afterglows could be studied. In the new study, astronomers combined Swift

  11. The SOAR Telescope Project Southern Observatory for Astronomical Research (SOAR)

    Science.gov (United States)

    2003-03-21

    completed SOAR dome and facility. 2. Dome The preliminary design of the dome was handled by M3 (US). A Brazilian firm, Equatorial Sistemas led the...for the Gemini Telescope during construction, now Project Manager at the National Solar Observatory • Robert Shelton, Provost of the University on

  12. First Temperate Exoplanet Sized Up

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-03-01

    exoplanets, the planet has a temperate climate. The temperature of its gaseous surface is expected to be between 160 degrees and minus twenty degrees Celsius, with minimal variations between day and night. The exact value depends on the possible presence of a layer of highly reflective clouds. The CoRoT satellite, operated by the French space agency CNES [3], identified the planet after 145 days of observations during the summer of 2008. Observations with the very successful ESO exoplanet hunter - the HARPS instrument attached to the 3.6-metre ESO telescope at La Silla in Chile - allowed the astronomers to measure its mass, confirming that Corot-9b is indeed an exoplanet, with a mass about 80% the mass of Jupiter. This finding is being published in this week's edition of the journal Nature. Notes [1] A planetary transit occurs when a celestial body passes in front of its host star and blocks some of the star's light. This type of eclipse causes changes in the apparent brightness of the star and enables the planet's diameter to be measured. Combined with radial velocity measurements made by the HARPS spectrograph, it is also possible to deduce the mass and, hence, the density of the planet. It is this combination that allows astronomers to study this object in great detail. The fact that it is transiting - but nevertheless not so close to its star to be a "hot Jupiter" - is what makes this object uniquely well suited for further studies. [2] Temperate gas giants are, so far, the largest known group of exoplanets discovered. [3] The CoRoT (Convection, Rotation and Transits) space telescope was constructed by CNES, with contributions from Austria, Germany, Spain, Belgium, Brazil and the European Space Agency (ESA). It was specifically designed to detect transiting exoplanets and carry out seismological studies of stars. Its results are supplemented by observations with several ground-based telescopes, among them the IAC-80 (Teide Observatory), the Canada France Hawaii Telescope

  13. Strasbourg Astronomical Data Center (CDS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F Genova

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The Centre de Donnees astronomiques de Strasbourg (CDS, created in 1972, has been a pioneer in the dissemination of digital scientific data. Ensuring sustainability for several decades has been a major issue because science and technology evolve continuously and the data flow increases endlessly. The paper briefly describes CDS activities, major services, and its R&D strategy to take advantage of new technologies. The next frontiers for CDS are the new Web 2.0/3.0 paradigm and, at a more general level, global interoperability of astronomical on-line resources in the Virtual Observatory framework.

  14. Peering into space with the Morocco Oukaïmeden Observatory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benkhaldoun, Zouhair

    2018-05-01

    Moroccan scientific production in astronomy and astrophysics has shown sustained growth since the late 1980s. This growth is largely due to the dynamism of an increasingly entrepreneurial community and to the creation of an astronomical observatory in the Moroccan Atlas Mountains.

  15. Proceedings of the VI Serbian-Bulgarian Astronomical Conference, May 7 - 11 2008, Belgrade, Serbia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dimitrijević, M. S.; Tsvetkov, M.; Popović, L. C.; Golev, V.

    2009-07-01

    The Sixth Serbian-Bulgarian Astronomical Conference was organized by Belgrade Astronomical Observatory, and held in Belgrade, in the building of Mathematical Faculty in Jagiceva Street, from 75th to 11th May 2008. Co-organizers were Mathematical Faculty, Astronomical Society "Rudjer Boskovic", Institute of Astronomy of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (BAS), Space Research Institute of BAS and Department of Astronomy of the University of Sofia. Co-chairmen of the Scientific Organizing Committee were Milan Dimitrijevic and Milcho Tsvetkov and Co-vice chairmen Luka C. Popovic and Valeri Golev. Chair of the Local Organizing Committee was Andjelka Kovacevic. The conference [was] attended by 58 participants. From Serbia were 36, from Belgrade Astronomical Observatory, Mathematical Faculty, Faculty of Sciences from Nis, Institute of Physics from Zemum, High School for pedagogues of occupational studies from Aleksinac, Faculty of Sciences from Kragujevac, Mathematical Institute of Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts, Astronomical Society "Rudjer Boskovic" and Astronomical Society "Magellanic Cloud." From Bulgaria were present 17 colleagues: Svetlana Boeva, Ana Borisova, Momchil Dechev, Peter Duchlev, Lostadinka Koleva, Georgi Petrov, Vasil Popov, Konstatin Stavrev, Katya Ysvetkova and Milcho Tsvetkov from Institute of Astronomy of BAS, Rumen Bogdanovski and Krasmimira Ianova from Space Research Institute of BAS, Georgi R. Ivanov, Georgi Petrov and Grigor Nikolov from Department of Astronomy, Sofia University "St Kliment Ohridski,", Yavor Chapanov from Central Laboratory for Geodesy of BAS and Petya Pavlova from Technical University of Sofia, Branch Plovdiv. Besides participants from Serbia and Bulgaria the Conference [was] attended [by] Vlado Milicevic from Canada, Jan Vondrak from Czech Republic, Aytap Sezer from Turkey and Tetyana Sergeeva and Alexandr Sergeev from Ukraine. On the Conference were presented 13 invited lectures, 22 short talks and 35 posters, in total

  16. Opening up a Colourful Cosmic Jewel Box

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-10-01

    The combination of images taken by three exceptional telescopes, the ESO Very Large Telescope on Cerro Paranal , the MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope at ESO's La Silla observatory and the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, has allowed the stunning Jewel Box star cluster to be seen in a whole new light. Star clusters are among the most visually alluring and astrophysically fascinating objects in the sky. One of the most spectacular nestles deep in the southern skies near the Southern Cross in the constellation of Crux. The Kappa Crucis Cluster, also known as NGC 4755 or simply the "Jewel Box" is just bright enough to be seen with the unaided eye. It was given its nickname by the English astronomer John Herschel in the 1830s because the striking colour contrasts of its pale blue and orange stars seen through a telescope reminded Herschel of a piece of exotic jewellery. Open clusters [1] such as NGC 4755 typically contain anything from a few to thousands of stars that are loosely bound together by gravity. Because the stars all formed together from the same cloud of gas and dust their ages and chemical makeup are similar, which makes them ideal laboratories for studying how stars evolve. The position of the cluster amongst the rich star fields and dust clouds of the southern Milky Way is shown in the very wide field view generated from the Digitized Sky Survey 2 data. This image also includes one of the stars of the Southern Cross as well as part of the huge dark cloud of the Coal Sack [2]. A new image taken with the Wide Field Imager (WFI) on the MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope at ESO's La Silla Observatory in Chile shows the cluster and its rich surroundings in all their multicoloured glory. The large field of view of the WFI shows a vast number of stars. Many are located behind the dusty clouds of the Milky Way and therefore appear red [3]. The FORS1 instrument on the ESO Very Large Telescope (VLT) allows a much closer look at the cluster itself. The telescope's huge mirror

  17. André B. Muller (25.9.1918-1.4.2006)

    Science.gov (United States)

    West, R. M.

    2006-06-01

    With great sadness, we have learned about the death of André Muller on 1 April, at the age of 87. Living in retirement in his native Holland since 1983, he was one of ESOs true pioneers, an outstanding representative of the select group of European astronomers who succeeded in steering ESO through the difficult initial phases. André was close-ly associated with the entire process, from the first site monitoring programmes in South Africa to the subsequent search in Chile, the decision in favour of the La Silla site, as well as the management of ESOs early activities in Chile, includ-ing the construction of the headquarters and observatory and the installation of the first generation of ESO telescopes. Few persons, if any, have been so inti-mately connected to the setting-up of ESOs facilities and it would be impossible to list in detail all of the services André performed for the organisation with such great expertise and zeal during his long career.

  18. CSU's MWV Observatory: A Facility for Research, Education and Outreach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hood, John; Carpenter, N. D.; McCarty, C. B.; Samford, J. H.; Johnson, M.; Puckett, A. W.; Williams, R. N.; Cruzen, S. T.

    2014-01-01

    The Mead Westvaco Observatory (MWVO), located in Columbus State University's Coca-Cola Space Science Center, is dedicated to education and research in astronomy through hands-on engagement and public participation. The MWVO has recently received funding to upgrade from a 16-inch Meade LX-200 telescope to a PlaneWave CDK 24-inch Corrected Dall-Kirkham Astrograph telescope. This and other technological upgrades will allow this observatory to stream live webcasts for astronomical events, allowing a worldwide public audience to become a part of the growing astronomical community. This poster will explain the upgrades that are currently in progress as well as the results from the current calibrations. The goal of these upgrades is to provide facilities capable of both research-class projects and widespread use in education and public outreach. We will present our initial calibration and tests of the observatory equipment, as well as its use in webcasts of astronomical events, in solar observing through the use of specialized piggy-backed telescopes, and in research into such topics as asteroids, planetary and nebula imaging. We will describe a pilot research project on asteroid orbit refinement and light curves, to be carried out by Columbus State University students. We will also outline many of the K-12 educational and public outreach activities we have designed for these facilities. Support and funding for the acquisition and installation of the new PlaneWave CDK 24 has been provided by the International Museum and Library Services via the Museums for America Award.

  19. Far-infrared spectrophotometer for astronomical observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moseley, H.; Silverberg, R. F.

    1981-01-01

    A liquid-helium-cooled far infrared spectrophotometer was built and used to make low resolution observations of the continua of several kinds of astronomical objects using the Kuiper Airborne Observatory. This instrument fills a gap in both sensitivity to continuum sources and spectral resolution between the broadband photometers with lambda/Delta lambda approximately 1 and spectrometers with lambda/Delta lambda greater than 50. While designed primarily to study planetary nebulae, the instrument permits study of the shape of the continua of many weak sources which cannot easily be observed with high resolution systems.

  20. Le Verrier magnificent and detestable astronomer

    CERN Document Server

    Lequeux, James

    2013-01-01

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

  1. International astronomical remote present observation on IRC.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ji, Kaifan; Cao, Wenda; Song, Qian

    On March 6 - 7, 1997, an international astronomical remote present observation (RPO) was made on Internet Relay Chat (IRC) for the first time. Seven groups in four countries, China, United States, Canada and Great Britain, used the 1 meter telescope of Yunnan observatory together by the way of remote present observation. Within minutes, images were "On-line" by FTP, and every one was able to get them by anonymous ftp and discuss them on IRC from different widely separated sites.

  2. Scientific Workflows and the Sensor Web for Virtual Environmental Observatories

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simonis, I.; Vahed, A.

    2008-12-01

    Virtual observatories mature from their original domain and become common practice for earth observation research and policy building. The term Virtual Observatory originally came from the astronomical research community. Here, virtual observatories provide universal access to the available astronomical data archives of space and ground-based observatories. Further on, as those virtual observatories aim at integrating heterogeneous ressources provided by a number of participating organizations, the virtual observatory acts as a coordinating entity that strives for common data analysis techniques and tools based on common standards. The Sensor Web is on its way to become one of the major virtual observatories outside of the astronomical research community. Like the original observatory that consists of a number of telescopes, each observing a specific part of the wave spectrum and with a collection of astronomical instruments, the Sensor Web provides a multi-eyes perspective on the current, past, as well as future situation of our planet and its surrounding spheres. The current view of the Sensor Web is that of a single worldwide collaborative, coherent, consistent and consolidated sensor data collection, fusion and distribution system. The Sensor Web can perform as an extensive monitoring and sensing system that provides timely, comprehensive, continuous and multi-mode observations. This technology is key to monitoring and understanding our natural environment, including key areas such as climate change, biodiversity, or natural disasters on local, regional, and global scales. The Sensor Web concept has been well established with ongoing global research and deployment of Sensor Web middleware and standards and represents the foundation layer of systems like the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS). The Sensor Web consists of a huge variety of physical and virtual sensors as well as observational data, made available on the Internet at standardized

  3. 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.

  4. A Look into the Hellish Cradles of Suns and Solar Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-09-01

    Rose, T.L. Bourke, R.A. Gutermuth and S.J. Wolk (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, USA), S.T. Megeath (Department of Physics and Astronomy, The University of Toledo, USA), J. Alves (Centro Astronómico Hispano Alemán, Almeria, Spain), and D. Nürnberger (ESO). ESO, the European Southern Observatory, is the foremost intergovernmental astronomy organisation in Europe and the world's most productive astronomical observatory. It is supported by 14 countries: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. ESO carries out an ambitious programme focused on the design, construction and operation of powerful ground-based observing facilities enabling astronomers to make important scientific discoveries. ESO also plays a leading role in promoting and organising cooperation in astronomical research. ESO operates three unique world-class observing sites in Chile: La Silla, Paranal and Chajnantor. At Paranal, ESO operates the Very Large Telescope, the world's most advanced visible-light astronomical observatory. ESO is the European partner of a revolutionary astronomical telescope ALMA, the largest astronomical project in existence. ESO is currently planning a 42-metre European Extremely Large optical/near-infrared Telescope, the E-ELT, which will become "the world's biggest eye on the sky".

  5. ESO Reflex: A Graphical Workflow Engine for Data Reduction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hook, R.; Romaniello, M.; Péron, M.; Ballester, P.; Gabasch, A.; Izzo, C.; Ullgrén, M.; Maisala, S.; Oittinen, T.; Solin, O.; Savolainen, V.; Järveläinen, P.; Tyynelä, J.

    2008-08-01

    Sampo {http://www.eso.org/sampo} (Hook et al. 2005) is a project led by ESO and conducted by a software development team from Finland as an in-kind contribution to joining ESO. The goal is to assess the needs of the ESO community in the area of data reduction environments and to create pilot software products that illustrate critical steps along the road to a new system. Those prototypes will not only be used to validate concepts and understand requirements but will also be tools of immediate value for the community. Most of the raw data produced by ESO instruments can be reduced using CPL {http://www.eso.org/cpl} recipes: compiled C programs following an ESO standard and utilizing routines provided by the Common Pipeline Library. Currently reduction recipes are run in batch mode as part of the data flow system to generate the input to the ESO VLT/VLTI quality control process and are also made public for external users. Sampo has developed a prototype application called ESO Reflex {http://www.eso.org/sampo/reflex/} that integrates a graphical user interface and existing data reduction algorithms. ESO Reflex can invoke CPL-based recipes in a flexible way through a dedicated interface. ESO Reflex is based on the graphical workflow engine Taverna {http://taverna.sourceforge.net} that was originally developed by the UK eScience community, mostly for work in the life sciences. Workflows have been created so far for three VLT/VLTI instrument modes ( VIMOS/IFU {http://www.eso.org/instruments/vimos/}, FORS spectroscopy {http://www.eso.org/instruments/fors/} and AMBER {http://www.eso.org/instruments/amber/}), and the easy-to-use GUI allows the user to make changes to these or create workflows of their own. Python scripts and IDL procedures can be easily brought into workflows and a variety of visualisation and display options, including custom product inspection and validation steps, are available.

  6. 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.

  7. Denver's Pioneer Astronomer: Herbert Alonso Howe (1858-1926)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howe, H. J.; Stencel, R. E.; Fisher, S.

    1999-05-01

    Herbert A. Howe arrived at Denver University (DU) to teach autumn 1880 classes, in math, astronomy and surveying. Howe established himself with clever solutions to the Kepler problem for orbit determinations in thesis work at Cincinnati Observatory. Riding the economic expansion of Colorado gold and silver mining in 1888, the University accepted a proposed gift of a major observatory, offered by Denver real estate baron, Humphrey Chamberlin. The result features a 20 inch aperture Alvan Clark refractor, which still ranks among the largest telescopes of the era. With the observatory building ready, the Silver Panic of 1893 -- when the US Congress dropped silver reserves from the currency basis -- burst the Denver economic bubble. Chamberlin was unable to complete payments on the balances due. Clark and G.N.Saegmuller (Fauth and Co.) at personal expense, delivered on the optics and telescope assemblies in 1894, but would wait for repayment. Sadly, this fiscal crisis affected DU for over a decade. Professor Howe, while observatory director, found himself consumed as Dean and Acting Chancellor for a young, struggling university, at the expense of the astronomy future that had looked so bright in 1892. Absent the Silver Panic, Howe would have probably been given an endowed chair in astronomy, as promised by Chamberlin. The complexion of American astronomy at the time of the birth of the American Astronomical Society in 1899 might have been different, in terms of US observing sites, etc. We are fortunate to have extensive Prof.Howe's daily diaries now in the University archives. These describe Howe's view of progress on the observatory, meetings with astronomy notables, plus vignettes of the life and times of Denver and the nation. Grandson, Herbert Julian Howe rediscovered their existence and is summarizing them in the form of a biography entitled: The Pioneer Astronomer. DU archival records contain numerous original letters from late 19th century astronomy luminaries

  8. Early results from the Infrared Astronomical Satellite

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Neugebauer, G.; Beichman, C.A.; Soifer, B.T.

    1984-01-01

    For 10 months the Infrared Astronomical Satellite (IRAS) provided astronomers with what might be termed their first view of the infrared sky on a clear, dark night. Without IRAS, atmospheric absorption and the thermal emission from both the atmosphere and Earthbound telescopes make the task of the infrared astronomer comparable to what an optical astronomer would face if required to work only on cloudy afternoons. IRAS observations are serving astronomers in the same manner as the photographic plates of the Palomar Observatory Sky Survey; just as the optical survey has been used by all astronomers for over three decades, as a source of quantitative information about the sky and as a roadmap for future observations, the results of IRAS will be studied for years to come. IRAS has demonstrated the power of infrared astronomy from space. Already, from a brief look at a miniscule fraction of the data available, we have learned much about the solar system, about nearby stars, about the Galaxy as a whole and about distant extragalactic systems. Comets are much dustier than previously thought. Solid particles, presumably the remnants of the star-formation process, orbit around Vega and other stars and may provide the raw material for planetary systems. Emission from cool interstellar material has been traced throughout the Galaxy all the way to the galactic poles. Both the clumpiness and breadth of the distribution of this material were previously unsuspected. The far-infrared sky away from the galactic plane has been found to be dominate by spiral galaxies, some of which emit more than 50% and as much as 98% of their energy in the infrared - an exciting and surprising revelation. The IRAS mission is clearly the pathfinder for future mission that, to a large extent, will be devoted to the discoveries revealed by IRAS. 8 figures

  9. Live Webcasts from CERN and ESO for European Science and Technology Week

    Science.gov (United States)

    2002-10-01

    ) - 2002 . See also ESO Press Release 08/02. This project revolves around a web-based competition and is centred on astronomy. It is specifically conceived to stimulate the interest of young people in various aspects of this well-known field of science, but will also be of interest to the broad public. Three hundred groups of up to four persons (e.g., three students and one teacher) have selected an astronomical object of their choice - a bright star, a distant galaxy, a beautiful comet, a planet or a moon in the solar system, or some other celestial body. They come from 25 countries. Until tomorrow, November 1, 2002, they have to deliver a comprehensive report about their chosen object. All reports have to conform with certain rules and are judged by a jury. Those fulfilling the criteria (explained at the Catch A Star! website) will participate in a lottery with exciting prizes, the first prize being a free trip in early 2003 for the members of the group to the ESO Paranal Observatory in Chile, the site of the ESO Very Large Telescope (VLT) . The lottery drawing will take place at the end of the European Week of Science and Technology, on November 8th, 2002, beginning at 13:00 hrs CET (12:00 UT) . This event will be broadcast by webcast and the outcome will be displayed via a dedicated webpage. All accepted reports (that fulfill the criteria) will be published on the Catch A Star! website soon thereafter.

  10. The Lowell Observatory Predoctoral Fellowship Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prato, Lisa A.; Shkolnik, E.

    2014-01-01

    Lowell Observatory is pleased to solicit applications for our Predoctoral Fellowship Program. Now beginning its seventh year, this program is designed to provide unique research opportunities to graduate students in good standing, currently enrolled at Ph.D. granting institutions. Lowell staff research spans a wide range of topics, from astronomical instrumentation, to icy bodies in our solar system, exoplanet science, stellar populations, star formation, and dwarf galaxies. The Observatory's new 4.3 meter Discovery Channel Telescope has successfully begun science operations and we anticipate the commissioning of several new instruments in 2014, making this a particularly exciting time to do research at Lowell. Student research is expected to lead to a thesis dissertation appropriate for graduation at the doctoral level at the student's home institution. The Observatory provides competitive compensation and full benefits to student scholars. For more information, see http://www2.lowell.edu/rsch/predoc.php and links therein. Applications for Fall 2014 are due by May 1, 2014.

  11. The BINA collaboration: science at the Royal Observatory of Belgium

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Cat, Peter; Cuypers, Jan; Blomme, Ronny; Frémat, Yves; Groenewegen, Martin; Lampens, Patricia; Lobel, Alex; Pauwels, Thierry; Van de Steene, Griet; van Hoof, Peter

    2018-04-01

    The Belgo-Indian Network for Astronomy and Astrophysics (BINA) is a collaboration between Indian and Belgian astronomical institutes with the main aim to optimize the scientific output of the Indo-Belgian telescopes, being the 4.0-m International Liquid Mirror Telescope and the 3.6-m Devasthal Optical Telescope. These new facilities are both located at the Devasthal Observatory near Nainital, India. In this contribution, we introduce projects that are of scientific interest for colleagues of the department "Astronomy and Astrophysics" of the Royal Observatory of Belgium (ROB). It serves as an invitation for Indian astronomers to participate. We highlight how these projects could benefit from observations with the Indo-Belgian telescopes by using instruments from the first-generation (currently offered) and/or the next-generation (development or design phase). We show that, from an ROB point-of-view, the BINA would be the most successful if the 3.6-m DOT would be equipped with an efficient optical high-resolution spectrograph.

  12. The Innsbruck/ESO sky models and telluric correction tools*

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kimeswenger S.

    2015-01-01

    While the ground based astronomical observatories just have to correct for the line-of-sight integral of these effects, the Čerenkov telescopes use the atmosphere as the primary detector. The measured radiation originates at lower altitudes and does not pass through the entire atmosphere. Thus, a decent knowledge of the profile of the atmosphere at any time is required. The latter cannot be achieved by photometric measurements of stellar sources. We show here the capabilities of our sky background model and data reduction tools for ground-based optical/infrared telescopes. Furthermore, we discuss the feasibility of monitoring the atmosphere above any observing site, and thus, the possible application of the method for Čerenkov telescopes.

  13. 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

  14. Education and public engagement in observatory operations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gabor, Pavel; Mayo, Louis; Zaritsky, Dennis

    2016-07-01

    Education and public engagement (EPE) is an essential part of astronomy's mission. New technologies, remote observing and robotic facilities are opening new possibilities for EPE. A number of projects (e.g., Telescopes In Education, MicroObservatory, Goldstone Apple Valley Radio Telescope and UNC's Skynet) have developed new infrastructure, a number of observatories (e.g., University of Arizona's "full-engagement initiative" towards its astronomy majors, Vatican Observatory's collaboration with high-schools) have dedicated their resources to practical instruction and EPE. Some of the facilities are purpose built, others are legacy telescopes upgraded for remote or automated observing. Networking among institutions is most beneficial for EPE, and its implementation ranges from informal agreements between colleagues to advanced software packages with web interfaces. The deliverables range from reduced data to time and hands-on instruction while operating a telescope. EPE represents a set of tasks and challenges which is distinct from research applications of the new astronomical facilities and operation modes. In this paper we examine the experience with several EPE projects, and some lessons and challenges for observatory operation.

  15. Data standards for the international virtual observatory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R J Hanisch

    2006-11-01

    Full Text Available A primary goal of the International Virtual Observatory Alliance, which brings together Virtual Observatory Projects from 16 national and international development projects, is to develop, evaluate, test, and agree upon standards for astronomical data formatting, data discovery, and data delivery. In the three years that the IVOA has been in existence, substantial progress has been made on standards for tabular data, imaging data, spectroscopic data, and large-scale databases and on managing the metadata that describe data collections and data access services. In this paper, I describe how the IVOA operates and give my views as to why such a broadly based international collaboration has been able to make such rapid progress.

  16. SpUpNIC (Spectrograph Upgrade: Newly Improved Cassegrain) on the South African Astronomical Observatory's 74-inch telescope

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crause, Lisa A.; Carter, Dave; Daniels, Alroy; Evans, Geoff; Fourie, Piet; Gilbank, David; Hendricks, Malcolm; Koorts, Willie; Lategan, Deon; Loubser, Egan; Mouries, Sharon; O'Connor, James E.; O'Donoghue, Darragh E.; Potter, Stephen; Sass, Craig; Sickafoose, Amanda A.; Stoffels, John; Swanevelder, Pieter; Titus, Keegan; van Gend, Carel; Visser, Martin; Worters, Hannah L.

    2016-08-01

    SpUpNIC (Spectrograph Upgrade: Newly Improved Cassegrain) is the extensively upgraded Cassegrain Spectrograph on the South African Astronomical Observatory's 74-inch (1.9-m) telescope. The inverse-Cassegrain collimator mirrors and woefully inefficient Maksutov-Cassegrain camera optics have been replaced, along with the CCD and SDSU controller. All moving mechanisms are now governed by a programmable logic controller, allowing remote configuration of the instrument via an intuitive new graphical user interface. The new collimator produces a larger beam to match the optically faster Folded-Schmidt camera design and nine surface-relief diffraction gratings offer various wavelength ranges and resolutions across the optical domain. The new camera optics (a fused silica Schmidt plate, a slotted fold flat and a spherically figured primary mirror, both Zerodur, and a fused silica field-flattener lens forming the cryostat window) reduce the camera's central obscuration to increase the instrument throughput. The physically larger and more sensitive CCD extends the available wavelength range; weak arc lines are now detectable down to 325 nm and the red end extends beyond one micron. A rear-of-slit viewing camera has streamlined the observing process by enabling accurate target placement on the slit and facilitating telescope focus optimisation. An interactive quick-look data reduction tool further enhances the user-friendliness of SpUpNI

  17. 32 New Exoplanets Found

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-10-01

    productive astronomical observatory. It is supported by 14 countries: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. ESO carries out an ambitious programme focused on the design, construction and operation of powerful ground-based observing facilities enabling astronomers to make important scientific discoveries. ESO also plays a leading role in promoting and organising cooperation in astronomical research. ESO operates three unique world-class observing sites in Chile: La Silla, Paranal and Chajnantor. At Paranal, ESO operates the Very Large Telescope, the world's most advanced visible-light astronomical observatory. ESO is the European partner of a revolutionary astronomical telescope ALMA, the largest astronomical project in existence. ESO is currently planning a 42-metre European Extremely Large optical/near-infrared Telescope, the E-ELT, which will become "the world's biggest eye on the sky". * The web page of the conference "Towards Other Earths: perspectives and limitations in the ELT era" is at http://www.astro.up.pt/investigacao/conferencias/toe2009/

  18. Two Galaxies for a Unique Event

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-04-01

    To celebrate the 100 Hours of Astronomy, ESO is sharing two stunning images of unusual galaxies, both belonging to the Sculptor group of galaxies. The images, obtained at two of ESO's observatories at La Silla and Paranal in Chile, illustrate the beauty of astronomy. ESO PR Photo 14a/09 Irregular Galaxy NGC 55 ESO PR Photo 14b/09 Spiral Galaxy NGC 7793 As part of the International Year of Astronomy 2009 Cornerstone project, 100 Hours of Astronomy, the ambitious "Around the World in 80 Telescopes" event is a unique live webcast over 24 hours, following night and day around the globe to some of the most advanced observatories on and off the planet. To provide a long-lasting memory of this amazing world tour, observatories worldwide are revealing wonderful, and previously unseen, astronomical images. For its part, ESO is releasing outstanding pictures of two galaxies, observed with telescopes at the La Silla and Paranal observatories. The first of these depicts the irregular galaxy NGC 55, a member of the prominent Sculptor group of galaxies in the southern constellation of Sculptor. The galaxy is about 70 000 light-years across, that is, a little bit smaller than our own Milky Way. NGC 55 actually resembles more our galactic neighbour, the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), although the LMC is seen face-on, whilst NGC 55 is edge-on. By studying about 20 planetary nebulae in this image, a team of astronomers found that NGC 55 is located about 7.5 million light-years away. They also found that the galaxy might be forming a bound pair with the gorgeous spiral galaxy NGC 300 . Planetary nebulae are the final blooming of Sun-like stars before their retirement as white dwarfs. This striking image of NGC 55, obtained with the Wide Field Imager on the 2.2-metre MPG/ESO telescope at La Silla, is dusted with a flurry of reddish nebulae, created by young, hot massive stars. Some of the more extended ones are not unlike those seen in the LMC, such as the Tarantula Nebula. The quality

  19. Highly Adjustable Systems: An Architecture for Future Space Observatories

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arenberg, Jonathan; Conti, Alberto; Redding, David; Lawrence, Charles R.; Hachkowski, Roman; Laskin, Robert; Steeves, John

    2017-06-01

    Mission costs for ground breaking space astronomical observatories are increasing to the point of unsustainability. We are investigating the use of adjustable or correctable systems as a means to reduce development and therefore mission costs. The poster introduces the promise and possibility of realizing a “net zero CTE” system for the general problem of observatory design and introduces the basic systems architecture we are considering. This poster concludes with an overview of our planned study and demonstrations for proving the value and worth of highly adjustable telescopes and systems ahead of the upcoming decadal survey.

  20. Brazilian Participations in the International Astronomical Search Collaboration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rojas, G. A.; Dalla-Costa, L. J.; Kalmus, A. T.; Kroth, E. C.; Matos, M. F.; Silva, A. L.; Silva, G. G.

    2014-10-01

    International Astronomical Search Collaboration (IASC) is an international educational project between universities, schools, observatories and research institutions. Its main objective is to enroll high school and college students in the monitoring and discovery of asteroids and Near Earth Objects (NEOs), especially Potentially Hazardous Asteroids. The methodology consists in the analysis of astronomical images obtained in several observatories in North America and Hawaii. The images are distributed throughout the school network and the results must be delivered in a 72-hour timeframe. Since 2010 Brazilian universities and schools have joined IASC, resulting in over a dozen new asteroids found (3 of them NEOs), and hundreds of measurements for already known asteroids. A major event in this collaboration was the All-Brazil Asteroid Search Campaign, which was conducted in September 2012. 2013 marks the fourth year of Brazilian participations in IASC, with one important milestone: the third straight appearance of a Brazilian institution in the Pan-STARRS campaign, which uses the PS1 telescope in Haleakala, Hawaii. We will present a summary of the overall results, as well as the latest news from 2013 campaigns. We will discuss the impact promoted by the past events, such as how the interest in astronomy changed before and after the campaigns, and it has helped the students to choose their future careers.

  1. The Work of John Isaac Plummer at Orwell Park Observatory in the years 1874 to 1890

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whiting, P. J.

    2006-12-01

    This paper builds on the unpublished collation by the Orwell Astronomical Society entitled John Isaac Plummer. It takes the form of a chronology and critique of papers published by John Isaac Plummer (1844-1925) in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society and Astronomische Nachrichten on work undertaken at the Orwell Park Observatory, Ipswich, in the years 1874 to 1890. This work, mainly, although not exclusively, in England, took the form of measuring the positions and deriving the orbits of as many comets as could be observed from Orwell Park. Plummer also published papers in other journals, such as Nature and The Observatory, but these are to be the subject of future research.

  2. The Gaia-ESO Survey: the present-day radial metallicity distribution of the Galactic disc probed by pre-main-sequence clusters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spina, L.; Randich, S.; Magrini, L.; Jeffries, R. D.; Friel, E. D.; Sacco, G. G.; Pancino, E.; Bonito, R.; Bravi, L.; Franciosini, E.; Klutsch, A.; Montes, D.; Gilmore, G.; Vallenari, A.; Bensby, T.; Bragaglia, A.; Flaccomio, E.; Koposov, S. E.; Korn, A. J.; Lanzafame, A. C.; Smiljanic, R.; Bayo, A.; Carraro, G.; Casey, A. R.; Costado, M. T.; Damiani, F.; Donati, P.; Frasca, A.; Hourihane, A.; Jofré, P.; Lewis, J.; Lind, K.; Monaco, L.; Morbidelli, L.; Prisinzano, L.; Sousa, S. G.; Worley, C. C.; Zaggia, S.

    2017-05-01

    Context. The radial metallicity distribution in the Galactic thin disc represents a crucial constraint for modelling disc formation and evolution. Open star clusters allow us to derive both the radial metallicity distribution and its evolution over time. Aims: In this paper we perform the first investigation of the present-day radial metallicity distribution based on [Fe/H] determinations in late type members of pre-main-sequence clusters. Because of their youth, these clusters are therefore essential for tracing the current interstellar medium metallicity. Methods: We used the products of the Gaia-ESO Survey analysis of 12 young regions (age ages is not easily explained by the models. Our results reveal a complex interplay of several processes (e.g. star formation activity, initial mass function, supernova yields, gas flows) that controlled the recent evolution of the Milky Way. Based on observations made with the ESO/VLT, at Paranal Observatory, under program 188.B-3002 (The Gaia-ESO Public Spectroscopic Survey).Full Table 1 is only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (http://130.79.128.5) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/601/A70

  3. An Astronomer In The Classroom: Observatoire de Paris's Partnership Between Teachers and Astronomers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doressoundiram, A.; Barban, C.

    2006-08-01

    The Observatoire de Paris is offering a partnership between teachers and astronomers. The principle is simple: any teacher wishing to undertake a pedagogical project in astronomy, in the classroom or involving the entire school, can request the help of a mentor. An astronomer from the Observatoire de Paris will then follow the teacher's project progress and offer advice and scientific support throughout the school year. The projects may take different forms: construction projects (models, instruments), lectures, posters, exhibitions, etc. The type of assistance offered is as varied as the projects: lecture(s) in class, telephone and e-mail exchanges, visits to the Observatoire; an almost made-to-measure approach that delighted the thirty or so groups that benefited such partnership in the 2005-2006 academic year. And this number is continuously growing. There was a rich variety of projects undertaken, from mounting a show and building a solar clock to visiting a high altitude observatory, or resolving the mystery of Jupiter's great red spot. The Universe and its mysteries fascinate the young (and the not so- young) and provide a multitude of scientific topics that can be exploited in class. Astronomy offers the added advantage of being a multidisciplinary field. Thus, if most projects are generally initiated by a motivated teacher, they are often taken over by teachers in other subjects: Life and Earth Sciences (SVT), history, mathematics, French, and so forth. The project may consist in an astronomy workshop or be part of the school curriculum. Whatever the case, the astronomer's task is not to replace the teacher or the textbooks, but to propose activities or experiments that are easy to implement. Representing the Solar system on a school-yard scale, for instance, is a perfect way to make youngsters realize that the Universe consists mostly of empty space. There is no shortage of topics, and the students' enthusiasm, seldom absent, is the best reward for the

  4. VLT Data Flow System Begins Operation

    Science.gov (United States)

    1999-06-01

    conceived as a complex digital facility to explore the Universe. In order for astronomers to be able to use this marvellous research tool in the most efficient manner possible, the VLT computer software and hardware systems must guarantee a smooth flow of scientific information through the entire system. This process starts when the astronomers submit well-considered proposals for observing time and it ends with large volumes of valuable astronomical data being distributed to the international astronomical community. For this, ESO has produced an integrated collection of software and hardware, known as the VLT Data Flow System (DFS) , that manages and facilitates the flow of scientific information within the VLT Observatory. Early information about this new concept was published as ESO Press Release 12/96 and extensive tests were first carried out at ESOs 3.5-m New Technology Telescope (NTT) at La Silla, cf. ESO Press Release 03/97 [1]. The VLT DFS is a complete (end-to-end) system that guarantees the highest data quality by optimization of the observing process and repeated checks that identify and eliminate any problems. It also introduces automatic calibration of the data, i.e. the removal of external effects introduced by the atmospheric conditions at the time of the observations, as well as the momentary state of the telescope and the instruments. From Proposals to Observations In order to obtain observing time with ESO telescopes, also with the VLT, astronomers must submit a detailed observing proposal to the ESO Observing Programmes Committee (OPC) . It meets twice a year and ranks the proposals according to scientific merit. More than 1000 proposals are submitted each year, mostly by astronomers from the ESO members states and Chile; the competition is fierce and only a fraction of the total demand for observing time can be fulfilled. During the submission of observing proposals, DFS software tools available over the World Wide Web enable the astronomers to simulate

  5. Porters, watchmen, and the crime of William Sayers: the non-scientific staff of the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, in Victorian times

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chapman, Allan

    2003-06-01

    A careful study of the detailed archives of the Victorian Royal Observatory makes it possible to build up a picture of the employment and working conditions not only of the astronomical staff who worked at Greenwich, but also of the labourers, watchmen, and gate porters. Indeed, the archives open up a window on to how the Observatory was run on a daily basis: how its non-scientific staff were recruited and paid, and what were their terms of employment. They also say a great deal about how Sir George Biddell Airy directed and controlled every aspect of the Observatory's life. Yet while Airy was a strict employer, he emerges as a man who was undoubtedly fair-minded and sometimes even generous to his non-scientific work-force. A study of the Observatory staff files also reveals the relationship between the Observatory labouring staff and the Airy family's domestic servants. And of especial interest is the robbery committed by William Sayers, the Airy family footman in 1868, bringing to light as it does Sir George and Lady Richarda Airy's views on crime and its social causes and consequences, the prison rehabilitation service in 1868, and their opinions on the reform of offenders. Though this paper is not about astronomy as such, it illuminates a fascinating interface where the world of astronomical science met and worked alongside the world of ordinary Victorian people within the walls of one of the nineteenth century's most illustrious astronomical institutions.

  6. Pricing Employee Stock Options (ESOs) with Random Lattice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chendra, E.; Chin, L.; Sukmana, A.

    2018-04-01

    Employee Stock Options (ESOs) are stock options granted by companies to their employees. Unlike standard options that can be traded by typical institutional or individual investors, employees cannot sell or transfer their ESOs to other investors. The sale restrictions may induce the ESO’s holder to exercise them earlier. In much cited paper, Hull and White propose a binomial lattice in valuing ESOs which assumes that employees will exercise voluntarily their ESOs if the stock price reaches a horizontal psychological barrier. Due to nonlinearity errors, the numerical pricing results oscillate significantly so they may lead to large pricing errors. In this paper, we use the random lattice method to price the Hull-White ESOs model. This method can reduce the nonlinearity error by aligning a layer of nodes of the random lattice with a psychological barrier.

  7. Cosmic "Dig" Reveals Vestiges of the Milky Way's Building Blocks

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-11-01

    means of a computer-controlled deformable mirror that counteracts the image distortion introduced by atmospheric turbulence. It is based on real-time optical corrections computed at very high speed (many hundreds of times each second) from image data obtained by a wavefront sensor (a special camera) that monitors light from a reference star, Present AO systems can only correct the effect of atmospheric turbulence in a very small region of the sky - typically 15 arcseconds or less - the correction degrading very quickly when moving away from the reference star. Engineers have therefore developed new techniques to overcome this limitation, one of which is multi-conjugate adaptive optics. MAD uses up to three guide stars instead of one as references to remove the blur caused by atmospheric turbulence over a field of view thirty times larger than existing techniques (eso0719). More information This research was presented in a paper that appears in the 26 November 2009 issue of Nature , "The cluster Terzan 5 as a remnant of a primordial building block of the Galactic bulge", by F. R. Ferraro et al.. The team is composed of Francesco Ferraro, Emanuele Dalessandro, Alessio Mucciarelli and Barbara Lanzoni (Department of Astronomy, University of Bologna, Italy), Giacomo Beccari (ESA, Space Science Department, Noordwijk, Netherlands), Mike Rich (Department of Physics and Astronomy, UCLA, Los Angeles, USA), Livia Origlia, Michele Bellazzini and Gabriele Cocozza (INAF - Osservatorio Astronomico di Bologna, Italy), Robert T. Rood (Astronomy Department, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, USA), Elena Valenti (ESO and Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile, Departamento de Astronomia, Santiago, Chile) and Scott Ransom (National Radio Astronomy Observatory, Charlottesville, USA). ESO, the European Southern Observatory, is the foremost intergovernmental astronomy organisation in Europe and the world's most productive astronomical observatory. It is supported by 14 countries

  8. Site Protection Program and Progress Report of Ali Observatory, Tibet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yao, Yongqiang; Zhou, Yunhe; Wang, Xiaohua; He, Jun; Zhou, Shu

    2015-08-01

    The Ali observatory, Tibet, is a promising new site identified through ten year site survey over west China, and it is of significance to establish rules of site protection during site development. The site protection program is described with five aspects: site monitoring, technical support, local government support, specific organization, and public education. The long-term sky brightness monitoring is ready with site testing instruments and basic for light pollution measurement; the monitoring also includes directions of main light sources, providing periodical reports and suggestions for coordinating meetings. The technical supports with institutes and manufacturers help to publish lighting standards and replace light fixtures; the research pays special attention to the blue-rich sources, which impact the important application of high altitude sites. An official leading group towards development and protection of astronomical resources has been established by Ali government; one of its tasks is to issue regulations against light pollution, including special restrictions of airport, mine, and winter heating, and to supervise lighting inspection and rectification. A site protection office under the official group and local astronomical society are organized by Ali observatory; the office can coordinate in government levels and promote related activities. A specific website operated by the protection office releases activity propaganda, evaluation results, and technical comparison with other observatories. Both the site protection office and Ali observatory take responsibility for public education, including popular science lectures, light pollution and energy conservation education. Ali Night Sky Park has been constructed and opens in 2014, and provides a popular place and observational experience. The establishment of Ali Observatory and Night Sky Park brings unexpected social influence, and the starry sky trip to Ali becomes a new format of culture

  9. The Lowell Observatory Navajo-Hopi Astronomy Outreach Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herrmann, K. A.; Hunter, D. A.; Bosh, A. S.; Johnson, M.; Schindler, K.

    2012-08-01

    We present an overview of the Lowell Observatory Navajo-Hopi Astronomy Outreach Program, which is modeled after the ASP's Project ASTRO (Richter & Fraknoi 1994). Since 1996, our missions have been (1) to use the inherent excitement about the night sky to help teachers get Navajo and Hopi students excited about science and education, and (2) to help teachers of Navajo and Hopi students learn about astronomy and hands-on activities so that they will be better able to incorporate astronomy in their classrooms. Lowell astronomers pair up for a school year with an elementary or middle school (5th-8th grade) teacher and make numerous visits to their teachers' classes, partnering with the educators in leading discussions linked with hands-on activities. Lowell staff also work with educators and amateur astronomers to offer evening star parties that involve the family members of the students as well as the general community. Toward the end of the school year, teachers bring their classes to Lowell Observatory. The classes spend some time exploring the Steele Visitor Center and participating in tours and programs. They also voyage to Lowell's research facility in the evening to observe at two of Lowell's research telescopes. Furthermore, we offer biennial teacher workshops in Flagstaff to provide teachers with tools, curricula materials, and personalized training so that they are able to include astronomy in their classrooms. We also work with tribal educators to incorporate traditional astronomical knowledge. Funding for the program comes from many different sources.

  10. New Inspiring Planetarium Show Introduces ALMA to the Public

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-03-01

    As part of a wide range of education and public outreach activities for the International Year of Astronomy 2009 (IYA2009), ESO, together with the Association of French Language Planetariums (APLF), has produced a 30-minute planetarium show, In Search of our Cosmic Origins. It is centred on the global ground-based astronomical Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) project and represents a unique chance for planetariums to be associated with the IYA2009. ESO PR Photo 09a/09 Logo of the ALMA Planetarium Show ESO PR Photo 09b/09 Galileo's first observations with a telescope ESO PR Photo 09c/09 The ALMA Observatory ESO PR Photo 09d/09 The Milky Way band ESO PR Video 09a/09 Trailer in English ALMA is the leading telescope for observing the cool Universe -- the relic radiation of the Big Bang, and the molecular gas and dust that constitute the building blocks of stars, planetary systems, galaxies and life itself. It is currently being built in the extremely arid environment of the Chajnantor plateau, at 5000 metres altitude in the Chilean Andes, and will start scientific observations around 2011. ALMA, the largest current astronomical project, is a revolutionary telescope, comprising a state-of-the-art array of 66 giant 12-metre and 7-metre diameter antennas observing at millimetre and submillimetre wavelengths. In Search of our Cosmic Origins highlights the unprecedented window on the Universe that this facility will open for astronomers. "The show gives viewers a fascinating tour of the highest observatory on Earth, and takes them from there out into our Milky Way, and beyond," says Douglas Pierce-Price, the ALMA Public Information Officer at ESO. Edited by world fulldome experts Mirage3D, the emphasis of the new planetarium show is on the incomparable scientific adventure of the ALMA project. A young female astronomer guides the audience through a story that includes unique animations and footage, leading the viewer from the first observations by Galileo

  11. Fundamental and applied aspects of astronomical seeing

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Coulman, C.E.

    1985-01-01

    It is pointed out that despite recent advances in the use of spacecraft as observatory platforms, much astronomy is still conducted from the surface of the earth. The literature on astronomical seeing and observatory site selection is widely scattered throughout journals and conference reports concerned with various disciplines. This survey has the objective to represent the state of the subject up to 1982. A description of the history and prospects of the considered subject is presented, and the optics of seeing are examined. The meteorology of seeing is discussed, taking into account aspects of micrometeorology and small-scale turbulence near the surface, the diurnal cycle in the planetary boundary layer, the temperature structure above the planetary boundary layer, and the effects of terrain. Attention is given to the calculation of system performance from microthermal data, optical methods for the measurement of seeing, and techniques for minimizing image-degrading effects of the atmosphere. 279 references

  12. Canada's Dominion Astrophysical Observatory and the rise of 20th Century Astrophysics and Technology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hesser, James E.; Bohlender, David; Crabtree, Dennis

    2015-08-01

    Construction of Canada’s Dominion Astrophysical Observatory (DAO) commenced in 1914 with first light on 6 May 1918. Its varied, rich contributions to the astronomical heritage of the 20th century continue into the 21st century. The first major research observatory built with public funding on the West Coast of North America, it was Canada’s first ‘big science’ project. DAO welcomed scientists from around the world to use its 1.8m telescope designed by John Stanley Plaskett working in close collaboration with the Warner and Swasey Company of Cleveland, OH. Their original design was copied seven times around the globe, the last occasion being in the 1960s. From Day 1 the DAO welcomed the public for viewing and interaction with the small scientific staff whose early efforts would today be characterized as ‘Key Projects’. Those efforts included measuring the radial velocities of O and B stars that, interpreted through Oort’s ideas of differential rotation, determined the most reliable estimate of the size and mass of the Milky Way available until radio astronomical techniques emerged in the 1950s. The first organic molecule in interstellar space, CH, was discovered by a DAO astronomer. The first, very puzzling estimate of ~3K for the temperature of interstellar space was deduced from interstellar CN observations a year after interstellar CH and CN were discovered. DAO’s heritage of innovative instrumentation continues to the present day where expertise in optically efficient, mechanically stable spectrographs and adaptive optics are much in evidence at Mauna Kea’s CFHT, Gemini and Subaru observatories. In 2009 the DAO was designated a National Historic Site. This presentation will draw links between DAO, developments of Canadian astronomy and the emergence of Mauna Kea as an exceptional global astronomical reserve.

  13. Astrometry and early astrophysics at Kuffner Observatory in the late 19th century

    Science.gov (United States)

    Habison, Peter

    The astronomer and mathematician Norbert Herz encouraged Moriz von Kuffner, owner of the beer brewery in Ottakring, to finance a private scientific observatory in the western parts of Vienna. In the years 1884-87 the Kuffner Observatory was built at the Gallitzinberg in Wien-Ottakring. It was an example of enlighted patronage and noted at the time for its rapid acquisition of new instruments and by increasing international recognition. It contained the largest heliometer in the world and the largest meridian circle in the Austrian-Hungarian Empire. Of the many scientists who worked here we mention Leo de Ball, Gustav Eberhard, Johannes Hartmann and we should not forget Karl Schwarzschild. Here in Vienna he published papers on celestial mechanics, measuring techniques, optics and his fundamental papers concerning photographic photometry, in particular the quantitative determination of the departure of the reciprocity law. The telescope and the associated camera with which he carried out his measurements are still in existence at the observatory. The observatory houses important astronomical instruments from the 19th century. All telescopes were made by Repsold und Söhne in Hamburg, and Steinheil in Munich. These two German companies were best renowned for quality and precision in high standard astronomical instruments. The Great Refractor (270/3500 mm) is still the third largest refractor in Austria. It was installed at the observatory in 1886 and was used together with the Schwarzschild Refractor for early astrophysical work including photography. It is this double refractor, where Schwarzschild carried out his measurements on photographic photometry. The Meridian Circle (132/1500 mm) was the largest meridian passage instrument of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Today it is the largest meridian circle in Austria and still one of the largest in Europe. The telescope is equipped with one of the first impersonal micrometers of that time. First observations were carried

  14. A Case of Racial Discrimination: Azeglio Bemporad, Astronomer Poet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mangano, A.

    2015-04-01

    The stories from our archives do not only speak of scientific progress, tools, and data, but also of the events of the astronomers as men, and how their work is intertwined in their private, political, and social life. In the case of Azeglio Bemporad, who worked at Catania Astrophysical Observatory until 1938, year of purge against Jews in Italy, the painful history of Fascism fully enters our scientific institutions, changing the life of a person who had never dealt with politics.

  15. Goals and strategies in the global control design of the OAJ Robotic Observatory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yanes-Díaz, A.; Rueda-Teruel, S.; Antón, J. L.; Rueda-Teruel, F.; Moles, M.; Cenarro, A. J.; Marín-Franch, A.; Ederoclite, A.; Gruel, N.; Varela, J.; Cristóbal-Hornillos, D.; Chueca, S.; Díaz-Martín, M. C.; Guillén, L.; Luis-Simoes, R.; Maícas, N.; Lamadrid, J. L.; López-Sainz, A.; Hernández-Fuertes, J.; Valdivielso, L.; Mendes de Oliveira, C.; Penteado, P.; Schoenell, W.; Kanaan, A.

    2012-09-01

    There are many ways to solve the challenging problem of making a high performance robotic observatory from scratch. The Observatorio Astrofísico de Javalambre (OAJ) is a new astronomical facility located in the Sierra de Javalambre (Teruel, Spain) whose primary role will be to conduct all-sky astronomical surveys. The OAJ control system has been designed from a global point of view including astronomical subsystems as well as infrastructures and other facilities. Three main factors have been considered in the design of a global control system for the robotic OAJ: quality, reliability and efficiency. We propose CIA (Control Integrated Architecture) design and OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness) as a key performance indicator in order to improve operation processes, minimizing resources and obtaining high cost reduction whilst maintaining quality requirements. The OAJ subsystems considered for the control integrated architecture are the following: two wide-field telescopes and their instrumentation, active optics subsystems, facilities for sky quality monitoring (seeing, extinction, sky background, sky brightness, cloud distribution, meteorological station), domes and several infrastructure facilities such as water supply, glycol water, water treatment plant, air conditioning, compressed air, LN2 plant, illumination, surveillance, access control, fire suppression, electrical generators, electrical distribution, electrical consumption, communication network, Uninterruptible Power Supply and two main control rooms, one at the OAJ and the other remotely located in Teruel, 40km from the observatory, connected through a microwave radio-link. This paper presents the OAJ strategy in control design to achieve maximum quality efficiency for the observatory processes and operations, giving practical examples of our approach.

  16. Pulsating stars and the Virtual Observatory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suárez, Juan Carlos

    2017-09-01

    Virtual Observatory is one of the most used internet-based protocols in astronomy. It has become somewhat natural to find, manage, compare, visualize and download observations from very different archives of astronomical observations with no effort. The VO technology beyond that is now being a reality for asteroseismology, not only for observations but also for theoretical models. Here I give a brief description of the most important VO tools related with asteroseismology, as well as a rough outline of the current development in this field.

  17. Turning Planetary Theory Upside Down

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-01

    The discovery of nine new transiting exoplanets is announced today at the RAS National Astronomy Meeting (NAM2010). When these new results were combined with earlier observations of transiting exoplanets astronomers were surprised to find that six out of a larger sample of 27 were found to be orbiting in the opposite direction to the rotation of their host star - the exact reverse of what is seen in our own Solar System. The new discoveries provide an unexpected and serious challenge to current theories of planet formation. They also suggest that systems with exoplanets of the type known as hot Jupiters are unlikely to contain Earth-like planets. "This is a real bomb we are dropping into the field of exoplanets," says Amaury Triaud, a PhD student at the Geneva Observatory who, with Andrew Cameron and Didier Queloz, leads a major part of the observational campaign. Planets are thought to form in the disc of gas and dust encircling a young star. This proto-planetary disc rotates in the same direction as the star itself, and up to now it was expected that planets that form from the disc would all orbit in more or less the same plane, and that they would move along their orbits in the same direction as the star's rotation. This is the case for the planets in the Solar System. After the initial detection of the nine new exoplanets [1] with the Wide Angle Search for Planets (WASP, [2]), the team of astronomers used the HARPS spectrograph on the 3.6-metre ESO telescope at the La Silla observatory in Chile, along with data from the Swiss Euler telescope, also at La Silla, and data from other telescopes to confirm the discoveries and characterise the transiting exoplanets [3] found in both the new and older surveys. Surprisingly, when the team combined the new data with older observations they found that more than half of all the hot Jupiters [4] studied have orbits that are misaligned with the rotation axis of their parent stars. They even found that six exoplanets in this

  18. Radio Astronomers Get Their First Glimpse of Powerful Solar Storm

    Science.gov (United States)

    2001-08-01

    Astronomers have made the first radio-telescope images of a powerful coronal mass ejection on the Sun, giving them a long-sought glimpse of hitherto unseen aspects of these potentially dangerous events. "These observations are going to provide us with a new and unique tool for deciphering the mechanisms of coronal mass ejections and how they are related to other solar events," said Tim Bastian, an astronomer at the National Science Foundation's National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) in Charlottesville, Virginia. Radio image of coronal mass ejection; circle indicates the size and location of the Sun. White dots are where radio spectral measurements were made. Bastian, along with Monique Pick, Alain Kerdraon and Dalmiro Maia of the Paris Observatory, and Angelos Vourlidas of the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C., used a solar radio telescope in Nancay, France, to study a coronal mass ejection that occurred on April 20, 1998. Their results will be published in the September 1 edition of the Astrophysical Journal Letters. Coronal mass ejections are powerful magnetic explosions in the Sun's corona, or outer atmosphere, that can blast billions of tons of charged particles into interplanetary space at tremendous speeds. If the ejection is aimed in the direction of Earth, the speeding particles interact with our planet's magnetic field to cause auroral displays, radio-communication blackouts, and potentially damage satellites and electric-power systems. "Coronal mass ejections have been observed for many years, but only with visible-light telescopes, usually in space. While previous radio observations have provided us with powerful diagnostics of mass ejections and associated phenomena in the corona, this is the first time that one has been directly imaged in wavelengths other than visible light," Bastian said. "These new data from the radio observations give us important clues about how these very energetic events work," he added. The radio images show an

  19. ESO Science Outreach Network in Poland during 2011-2013

    Science.gov (United States)

    Czart, Krzysztof

    2014-12-01

    ESON Poland works since 2010. One of the main tasks of the ESO Science Outreach Network (ESON) is translation of various materials at ESO website, as well as contacts with journalists. We support also science festivals, conferences, contests, exhibitions, astronomy camps and workshops and other educational and outreach activities. During 2011-2013 we supported events like ESO Astronomy Camp 2013, ESO Industry Days in Warsaw, Warsaw Science Festival, Torun Festival of Science and Art, international astronomy olympiad held in Poland and many others. Among big tasks there was also translation of over 60 ESOcast movies.

  20. The Gaia-ESO Survey: the Galactic thick to thin disc transition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Recio-Blanco, A.; de Laverny, P.; Kordopatis, G.; Helmi, A.; Hill, V.; Gilmore, G.; Wyse, R.; Adibekyan, V.; Randich, S.; Asplund, M.; Feltzing, S.; Jeffries, R.; Micela, G.; Vallenari, A.; Alfaro, E.; Allende Prieto, C.; Bensby, T.; Bragaglia, A.; Flaccomio, E.; Koposov, S. E.; Korn, A.; Lanzafame, A.; Pancino, E.; Smiljanic, R.; Jackson, R.; Lewis, J.; Magrini, L.; Morbidelli, L.; Prisinzano, L.; Sacco, G.; Worley, C. C.; Hourihane, A.; Bergemann, M.; Costado, M. T.; Heiter, U.; Joffre, P.; Lardo, C.; Lind, K.; Maiorca, E.

    2014-07-01

    for our understanding of the Milky Way history. Based on observations collected with the FLAMES spectrograph at the VLT/UT2 telescope (Paranal Observatory, ESO, Chile), for the Gaia-ESO Large Public Survey, programme 188.B-3002.Full Table 1 is only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (ftp://130.79.128.5) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/567/A5

  1. The old Jesuit observatory in Graz. (German Title: Die alte Jesuiten-Sternwarte in Graz)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steinmayr, Johann; Müller, Isolde; Posch, Thomas

    2011-08-01

    We give a brief overview of the development of astronomical research at the University of Graz from the 16th to the 18th century. This period is intimately connected to the activities of the Jesuit Order and to the counter-reformation in Inner Austria (a territory roughly corresponding to today's Styria, Carinthia, Slovenia and the County of Görz in Italy). Since the opening of the University in 1585, several Jesuits achieved distinction as mathematicians, physicists and astronomers in Graz. Among them are Paul Guldin, who corresponded with Johannes Kepler and died in Graz in 1643, as well as Leopold Biwald and Karl Tirnberger. Between 1745 and 1774, the Jesuit University of Graz also had a chair of astronomy and an observatory. The chair and the observatory were well endowed at the beginning, but later on neglected by their former funders and closed down after less than 30 years. Efforts to re-establish an observatory at Graz at the beginning of the 19th century failed. They were successful only towards the end of the 19th century, which is however a period beyond the scope of the present paper.

  2. Dark Sky Collaborators: Arizona (AZ) Observatories, Communities, and Businesses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Del Castillo, Elizabeth Alvarez; Corbally, Christopher; Falco, Emilio E.; Green, Richard F.; Hall, Jeffrey C.; Williams, G. Grant

    2015-03-01

    With outdoor lighting ordinances in Arizona first in place around observatories in 1958 and 1972, then throughout the state since 1986, Arizonans have extensive experience working with communities and businesses to preserve our dark skies. Though communities are committed to the astronomy sector in our state, astronomers must collaborate with other stakeholders to implement solutions. Ongoing education and public outreach is necessary to enable ordinance updates as technology changes. Despite significant population increases, sky brightness measurements over the last 20 years show that ordinance updates are worth our efforts as we seek to maintain high quality skies around our observatories. Collaborations are being forged and actions taken to promote astronomy for the longer term in Arizona.

  3. No Place to Hide: Missing Primitive Stars Outside Milky Way Uncovered

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-02-01

    few minor light chemical elements, have all been created by the various generations of stars. [2] As every rainbow demonstrates, white light can be split up into different colours. Astronomers artificially split up the light they receive from distant objects into its different colours (or wavelengths). However, where we distinguish seven rainbow colours, astronomers map hundreds of finely nuanced colours, producing a spectrum - a record of the different amounts of light the object emits in each narrow colour band. The details of the spectrum - more light emitted at some colours, less light at others - provide tell-tale signs about the chemical composition of the matter producing the light. [3] The Dwarf galaxies Abundances and Radial-velocities Team (DART) has members from institutes in nine different countries. More information This research was presented in a paper to appear in Astronomy and Astrophysics ("The NIR Ca II triplet at low metallicity", E. Starkenburg et al.). Another paper is also in preparation (Tafelmeyer et al.) that presents the UVES measurements of several primitive stars. The team is composed of Else Starkenburg, Eline Tolstoy, Amina Helmi, and Thomas de Boer (Kapteyn Astronomical Institute, University of Groningen, the Netherlands), Vanessa Hill (Laboratoire Cassiopée, Université de Nice Sophia Antipolis, Observatoire de la Côte d'Azur, CNRS, France), Jonay I. González Hernández (Observatoire de Paris, CNRS, Meudon, France and Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain), Mike Irwin (University of Cambridge, UK), Giuseppina Battaglia (ESO), Pascale Jablonka and Martin Tafelmeyer (Université de Genève, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland), Matthew Shetrone (University of Texas, McDonald Observatory, USA), and Kim Venn (University of Victoria, Canada). ESO, the European Southern Observatory, is the foremost intergovernmental astronomy organisation in Europe and the world's most productive astronomical observatory. It is

  4. THE NARROW X-RAY TAIL AND DOUBLE Hα TAILS OF ESO 137-002 IN A3627

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhang, B.; Lin, X. B.; Kong, X.; Sun, M.; Ji, L.; Sarazin, C.; Nulsen, P. E. J.; Forman, W.; Jones, C.; Roediger, E.; Donahue, M.; Voit, G. M.

    2013-01-01

    We present the analysis of a deep Chandra observation of a ∼2 L * late-type galaxy, ESO 137-002, in the closest rich cluster A3627. The Chandra data reveal a long (∼>40 kpc) and narrow tail with a nearly constant width (∼3 kpc) to the southeast of the galaxy, and a leading edge ∼1.5 kpc from the galaxy center on the upstream side of the tail. The tail is most likely caused by the nearly edge-on stripping of ESO 137-002's interstellar medium (ISM) by ram pressure, compared to the nearly face-on stripping of ESO 137-001 discussed in our previous work. Spectral analysis of individual regions along the tail shows that the gas throughout it has a rather constant temperature, ∼1 keV, very close to the temperature of the tails of ESO 137-001, if the same atomic database is used. The derived gas abundance is low (∼0.2 solar with the single-kT model), an indication of the multiphase nature of the gas in the tail. The mass of the X-ray tail is only a small fraction (<5%) of the initial ISM mass of the galaxy, suggesting that the stripping is most likely at an early stage. However, with any of the single-kT, double-kT, and multi-kT models we tried, the tail is always 'over-pressured' relative to the surrounding intracluster medium (ICM), which could be due to the uncertainties in the abundance, thermal versus non-thermal X-ray emission, or magnetic support in the ICM. The Hα data from the Southern Observatory for Astrophysical Research show a ∼21 kpc tail spatially coincident with the X-ray tail, as well as a secondary tail (∼12 kpc long) to the east of the main tail diverging at an angle of ∼23° and starting at a distance of ∼7.5 kpc from the nucleus. At the position of the secondary Hα tail, the X-ray emission is also enhanced at the ∼2σ level. We compare the tails of ESO 137-001 and ESO 137-002, and also compare the tails to simulations. Both the similarities and differences of the tails pose challenges to the simulations. Several implications are

  5. Pulsating stars and the Virtual Observatory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Suárez Juan Carlos

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Virtual Observatory is one of the most used internet-based protocols in astronomy. It has become somewhat natural to find, manage, compare, visualize and download observations from very different archives of astronomical observations with no effort. The VO technology beyond that is now being a reality for asteroseismology, not only for observations but also for theoretical models. Here I give a brief description of the most important VO tools related with asteroseismology, as well as a rough outline of the current development in this field.

  6. Plans for future on-line access to the historical astronomical literature through the Astrophysics Data System.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eichhorn, G.; Kurtz, M. J.; Coletti, D.

    1997-09-01

    The NASA Astrophysics Data System provides access to about 1 million abstracts and 50,000 journal articles. This service is funded by NASA and is accessible world-wide through the World Wide Web free without restrictions at: http://adswww.harvard.edu We currently have on-line journals starting with 1975. We plan to extend the coverage for the journals and also include scans from observatory publications in our database. Eventually we plan to provide access to scans of the complete journal literature and as much observatory literature as possible. In order to accomplish this, we have started discussions with the preservation group at the Harvard University Library. Harvard University Library, together with the Library at the Center for Astrophysics is in the process of microfilming their collection of observatory publications. We are working together with this project to prepare for scanning the microfilms and make these scans available through the ADS. We are also collecting older journals and preparing them for scanning. We already have the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society in hand from Volume 1, and have been promised a large part of the Astronomische Nachrichten prior to 1945. We will start scanning these volumes soon. All volumes that can be fed automatically through the scanning machine should be scanned and put on-line within the next 6 - 12 months. In order to scan volumes that are too brittle, we need additional funding. We hope to obtain additional funding to cover such scanning for 1998. In order to cover more of the astronomical literature, we need donations of astronomical literature. We have a web page that lists the volumes that we need so we can scan them. If you have any of these journals (or other astronomical literature), please contact us. the web page is at: http://adshome.harvard.edu/pubs/missing_journals.html We would appreciate any contributions, even smaller sets, since it will be more and more difficult to find complete sets.

  7. Current Status of Carl Sagan Observatory in Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanchez-Ibarra, A.

    The current status of Observatory "Carl Sagan" (OCS) of University of Sonora is presented. This project was born in 1996 focused to build a small solar-stellar observatory completely operated by remote control. The observatory will be at "Cerro Azul", a 2480 m peak in one of the best regions in the world for astronomical observation, at the Sonora-Arizona desert. The OCS, with three 16 cm solar telescopes and a 55 cm stellar telescope is one of the cheapest observatories, valuated in US200,000 Added to its scientific goals to study solar coronal holes and Supernovae Type 1A, the OCS has a strong educative and cultural program in Astronomy to all levels. At the end of 2001, we started the Program "Constelacion", to build small planetariums through all the countries with a cost of only US80,000. Also, the webcast system for transmission of the solar observations from the prototype OCS at the campus, was expanded to webcast educational programs in Astronomy since July of this year, including courses and diplomats for Latin American people. All of these advances are exposed here.

  8. Thirty-Seven Years of Service with ESO!

    Science.gov (United States)

    Breysacher, J.

    2002-12-01

    On December 1st, 2002, after thirty- seven years of service, first in Chile and then in Garching, Ms. Christa Euler will leave ESO to enjoy a welldeserved retirement. Among the current staff, she is probably the only person who started her career at ESO just four years after the Organization was founded.

  9. International lunar observatory / power station: from Hawaii to the Moon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Durst, S.

    Astronomy's great advantages from the Moon are well known - stable surface, diffuse atmosphere, long cool nights (14 days), low gravity, far side radio frequency silence. A large variety of astronomical instruments and observations are possible - radio, optical and infrared telescopes and interferometers; interferometry for ultra- violet to sub -millimeter wavelengths and for very long baselines, including Earth- Moon VLBI; X-ray, gamma-ray, cosmic ray and neutrino detection; very low frequency radio observation; and more. Unparalleled advantages of lunar observatories for SETI, as well as for local surveillance, Earth observation, and detection of Earth approaching objects add significant utility to lunar astronomy's superlatives. At least nine major conferences in the USA since 1984 and many elsewhere, as well as ILEWG, IAF, IAA, LEDA and other organizations' astronomy-from-the-Moon research indicate a lunar observatory / power station, robotic at first, will be one of the first mission elements for a permanent lunar base. An international lunar observatory will be a transcending enterprise, highly principled, indispensable, soundly and broadly based, and far- seeing. Via Astra - From Hawaii to the Moon: The astronomy and scie nce communities, national space agencies and aerospace consortia, commercial travel and tourist enterprises and those aspiring to advance humanity's best qualities, such as Aloha, will recognize Hawaii in the 21st century as a new major support area and pan- Pacific port of embarkation to space, the Moon and beyond. Astronomical conditions and facilities on Hawaii's Mauna Kea provide experience for construction and operation of observatories on the Moon. Remote and centrally isolated, with diffuse atmosphere, sub-zero temperature and limited working mobility, the Mauna Kea complex atop the 4,206 meter summit of the largest mountain on the planet hosts the greatest collection of large astronomical telescopes on Earth. Lunar, extraterrestrial

  10. Space astrophysical observatory 'Orion-2'

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gurzadyan, G.A.; Jarakyan, A.L.; Krmoyan, M.N.; Kashin, A.L.; Loretsyan, G.M.; Ohanesyan, J.B.

    1976-01-01

    Ultraviolet spectrograms of a large number of faint stars up to 13sup(m) were obtained in the wavelengths 2000-5000 A by means of the space observatory 'Orion-2' installed in the spaceship 'Soyuz-13' with two spacemen on board. The paper deals with a description of the operation modes of this observatory, the designs and basic schemes of the scientific and auxiliary device and the method of combining the work of the flight engineer and the automation system of the observatory itself. It also treats of the combination of the particular parts of 'Orion-2' observatory on board the spaceship and the measures taken to provide for its normal functioning in terms of the space flight. A detailed description is given of the optical, electrical and mechanical schemes of the devices - meniscus telescope with an objective prism, stellar diffraction spectrographs, single-coordinate and two-coordinate stellar and solar transducers, control panel, control systems, etc. The paper also provides the functional scheme of astronavigation, six-wheel stabilization, the design of mounting (assembling) the stabilized platform carrying the telescopes and the drives used in it. Problems relating to the observation program in orbit, the ballistic provision of initial data, and control of the operation of the observatory are also dealt with. In addition, the paper carries information of the photomaterials used, the methods of their energy calibration, standardization and the like. Matters of pre-start tests of apparatus, the preparation of the spacemen for conducting astronomical observations with the given devices, etc. are likewise dwelt on. The paper ends with a brief survey of the results obtained and the elaboration of the observed material. (Auth.)

  11. How to Make the Dream Come True: The Astronomers' Data Manifesto

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ray P Norris

    2007-03-01

    Full Text Available Astronomy is one of the most data-intensive of the sciences. Data technology is accelerating the quality and effectiveness of its research, and the rate of astronomical discovery is higher than ever. As a result, many view astronomy as being in a "Golden Age," and projects such as the Virtual Observatory are amongst the most ambitious data projects in any field of science. But these powerful tools will be impotent unless the data on which they operate are of matching quality. Astronomy, like other fields of science, therefore needs to establish and agree on a set of guiding principles for the management of astronomical data. To focus this process, we are constructing a "data manifesto," which proposes guidelines to maximise the rate and cost-effectiveness of scientific discovery.

  12. Europe Agrees on Common Strategy to Initiate Study of LSA/MMA

    Science.gov (United States)

    1998-09-01

    Council Specifies ESO's Role in Planning In an extraordinary meeting at the ESO Headquarters, the ESO Council today endorsed ESO's involvement in the planning of a major new astronomical facility in the southern hemisphere. Some years from now, the Large Southern Array/Millimetre Array (LSA/MMA) may become the world's prime sub-mm/mm radio observatory [1] at a pristine site at 5000 m altitude in the Chilean Andes, not very far from the VLT Paranal Observatory. Background One of the highest-priority items in astronomy today is a large millimetre-wavelength array. This would be a millimetre counterpart to the ESO VLT and the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope (HST), with similar scientific objectives and comparable high angular resolution and sensitivity. An antenna array with about 10,000 m 2 area would provide very high sensitivity and angular resolution, compatible with that of the VLT and HST. Such a large collecting area implies an array with many antennas and baselines, which give the added advantage of fast, high-quality images. The site must be high, dry, large, and flat - a high plateau in the Atacama desert is ideal, and has the great advantage of being in the southern hemisphere, important for compatibility with the VLT. Thus, discussions in Europe have focussed on a "Large Southern Array" (LSA) . The scientific case for such a telescope is overwhelming. It would be able to study the origins of galaxies and stars: the epoch of first galaxy formation and the evolution of galaxies at later stages, including the dust-obscured star-forming galaxies that the HST and VLT cannot see, and all phases of star formation hidden away in dusty molecular clouds. But the LSA will go far beyond these main science drivers - it will have a major impact on virtually all areas of astronomy, and make millimetre astronomy accessible to all astronomers. It may well have as big a user community as the VLT itself. European involvement in millimetre astronomy Europe already has a

  13. Orbiting Water Molecules Dance to Tune Of Galaxy's "Central Engine," Astronomers Say

    Science.gov (United States)

    2000-01-01

    A disk of water molecules orbiting a supermassive black hole at the core of a galaxy 60 million light-years away is "reverberating" in response to variations in the energy output from the galaxy's powerful "central engine" close to the black hole, astronomers say. The team of astronomers used the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Very Large Array (VLA) radio telescope in New Mexico and the 100-meter-diameter radio telescope of the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy at Effelsberg, Germany, to observe the galaxy NGC 1068 in the constellation Cetus. They announced their findings today at the American Astronomical Society's meeting in Atlanta. The water molecules, in a disk some 5 light-years in diameter, are acting as a set of giant cosmic radio-wave amplifiers, called masers. Using energy radiated by the galaxy's "central engine," the molecules strengthen, or brighten, radio emission at a particular frequency as seen from Earth. "We have seen variations in the radio 'brightness' of these cosmic amplifiers that we believe were caused by variations in the energy output of the central engine," said Jack Gallimore, an astronomer at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) in Charlottesville, VA. "This could provide us with a valuable new tool for learning about the central engine itself," he added. Gallimore worked with Stefi Baum of the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, MD; Christian Henkel of the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany; Ian Glass of the South African Astronomical Observatory; Mark Claussen of the NRAO in Socorro, NM; and Almudena Prieto of the European Southern Observatory in Munich, Germany. "Our observations show that NGC 1068 is the second-known case of a giant disk of water molecules orbiting a supermassive black hole at a galaxy's core," Gallimore said. The first case was the galaxy NGC 4258 (Messier 106), whose disk of radio-amplifying water molecules was measured by the NSF's Very Long Baseline

  14. A Green Robotic Observatory for Astronomy Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reddy, Vishnu; Archer, K.

    2008-09-01

    With the development of robotic telescopes and stable remote observing software, it is currently possible for a small institution to have an affordable astronomical facility for astronomy education. However, a faculty member has to deal with the light pollution (observatory location on campus), its nightly operations and regular maintenance apart from his day time teaching and research responsibilities. While building an observatory at a remote location is a solution, the cost of constructing and operating such a facility, not to mention the environmental impact, are beyond the reach of most institutions. In an effort to resolve these issues we have developed a robotic remote observatory that can be operated via the internet from anywhere in the world, has a zero operating carbon footprint and minimum impact on the local environment. The prototype observatory is a clam-shell design that houses an 8-inch telescope with a SBIG ST-10 CCD detector. The brain of the observatory is a low draw 12-volt harsh duty computer that runs the dome, telescope, CCD camera, focuser, and weather monitoring. All equipment runs of a 12-volt AGM-style battery that has low lead content and hence more environmental-friendly to dispose. The total power of 12-14 amp/hrs is generated from a set of solar panels that are large enough to maintain a full battery charge for several cloudy days. This completely eliminates the need for a local power grid for operations. Internet access is accomplished via a high-speed cell phone broadband connection or satellite link eliminating the need for a phone network. An independent observatory monitoring system interfaces with the observatory computer during operation. The observatory converts to a trailer for transportation to the site and is converted to a semi-permanent building without wheels and towing equipment. This ensures minimal disturbance to local environment.

  15. A continued program of planetary study at the University of Texas McDonald Observatory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trafton, L.

    1991-01-01

    The program conducts solar system research in support of NASA missions and of general astronomical interest. Investigations of composition, physical characteristics and changes in solar system bodies are conducted primarily using the facilities of McDonald Observatory. Progress, accomplishments, and projected accomplishments are discussed.

  16. The ESO Survey of Non-Publishing Programmes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patat, F.; Boffin, H. M. J.; Bordelon, D.; Grothkopf, U.; Meakins, S.; Mieske, S.; Rejkuba, M.

    2017-12-01

    One of the classic ways to measure the success of a scientific facility is the publication return, which is defined as the refereed papers produced per unit of allocated resources (for example, telescope time or proposals). The recent studies by Sterzik et al. (2015, 2016) have shown that 30–50 % of the programmes allocated time at ESO do not produce a refereed publication. While this may be inherent to the scientific process, this finding prompted further investigation. For this purpose, ESO conducted a Survey of Non-Publishing Programmes (SNPP) within the activities of the Time Allocation Working Group, similar to the monitoring campaign that was recently implemented at ALMA (Stoehr et al., 2016). The SNPP targeted 1278 programmes scheduled between ESO Periods 78 and 90 (October 2006 to March 2013) that had not published a refereed paper as of April 2016. The poll was launched on 6 May 2016, remained open for four weeks, and returned 965 valid responses. This article summarises and discusses the results of this survey, the first of its kind at ESO.

  17. Suppression of Astronomical Sources Using Starshades and the McMath-Pierce Solar Telescope

    Science.gov (United States)

    Novicki, Megan; Warwick, Steve; Smith, Daniel; Richards, Michael; Harness, Anthony

    2016-01-01

    The external starshade is a method for the direct detection and spectral characterization of terrestrial planets around other stars, a key goal identified in ASTRO2010. Tests of this approach have been and continue to be conducted in the lab and in the field (Samuele et al., 2010, Glassman et al., 2014) using non-collimated light sources with a spherical wavefront. We extend the current approach to performing night-time observations of astronomical objects using small-scale (approximately 1/300th) starshades and the McMath-Pierce Solar Telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory. We placed a starshade directly in the path of the beam from an astronomical object in front of the main heliostat. Using only flat mirrors, we then directed the light through the observatory path and reflected it off the West heliostat to an external telescope located approximately 270m away, for an effective baseline of 420m.This configuration allowed us to make measurements of flat wavefront sources with a Fresnel number close to those expected in proposed full-scale space configurations. We present the results of our engineering runs conducted in 2015.

  18. A Very Cool Pair of Brown Dwarfs

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-03-01

    determine the distance to the brown dwarfs. More information This research was presented in a paper, "CFBDSIR J1458+1013B: A Very Cold (>T10) Brown Dwarf in a Binary System", Liu et al. to appear in the Astrophysical Journal. The team is composed of Michael C. Liu (Institute for Astronomy [IfA], University of Hawaii, USA), Philippe Delorme (Institut de planétologie et d'astrophysique de Grenoble, CNRS/Université Joseph Fourier, France [IPAG]), Trent J. Dupuy (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Cambridge, USA), Brendan P. Bowler (IfA), Loic Albert (Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope Corporation, Hawaii, USA), Etienne Artigau (Université de Montréal, Canada), Celine Reylé (Observatoire de Besançon, France), Thierry Forveille (IPAG) and Xavier Delfosse (IPAG). ESO, the European Southern Observatory, is the foremost intergovernmental astronomy organisation in Europe and the world's most productive astronomical observatory. It is supported by 15 countries: Austria, Belgium, Brazil, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. ESO carries out an ambitious programme focused on the design, construction and operation of powerful ground-based observing facilities enabling astronomers to make important scientific discoveries. ESO also plays a leading role in promoting and organising cooperation in astronomical research. ESO operates three unique world-class observing sites in Chile: La Silla, Paranal and Chajnantor. At Paranal, ESO operates the Very Large Telescope, the world's most advanced visible-light astronomical observatory and VISTA, the world's largest survey telescope. ESO is the European partner of a revolutionary astronomical telescope ALMA, the largest astronomical project in existence. ESO is currently planning a 42-metre European Extremely Large optical/near-infrared Telescope, the E-ELT, which will become "the world's biggest eye on the sky".

  19. The 2007 ESO Instrument Calibration Workshop

    CERN Document Server

    Kaufer, Andreas; ESO Workshop

    2008-01-01

    The 2007 ESO Instrument Calibration workshop brought together more than 120 participants with the objective to a) foster the sharing of information, experience and techniques between observers, instrument developers and instrument operation teams, b) review the actual precision and limitations of the applied instrument calibration plans, and c) collect the current and future requirements by the ESO users. These present proceedings include the majority of the workshop’s contributions and document the status quo of instrument calibration at ESO in large detail. Topics covered are: Optical Spectro-Imagers, Optical Multi-Object Spectrographs, NIR and MIR Spectro-Imagers, High-Resolution Spectrographs, Integral Field Spectrographs, Adaptive Optics Instruments, Polarimetric Instruments, Wide Field Imagers, Interferometric Instruments as well as other crucial aspects such as data flow, quality control, data reduction software and atmospheric effects. It was stated in the workshop that "calibration is a life-long l...

  20. Virtual Observatories, Data Mining, and Astroinformatics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borne, Kirk

    The historical, current, and future trends in knowledge discovery from data in astronomy are presented here. The story begins with a brief history of data gathering and data organization. A description of the development ofnew information science technologies for astronomical discovery is then presented. Among these are e-Science and the virtual observatory, with its data discovery, access, display, and integration protocols; astroinformatics and data mining for exploratory data analysis, information extraction, and knowledge discovery from distributed data collections; new sky surveys' databases, including rich multivariate observational parameter sets for large numbers of objects; and the emerging discipline of data-oriented astronomical research, called astroinformatics. Astroinformatics is described as the fourth paradigm of astronomical research, following the three traditional research methodologies: observation, theory, and computation/modeling. Astroinformatics research areas include machine learning, data mining, visualization, statistics, semantic science, and scientific data management.Each of these areas is now an active research discipline, with significantscience-enabling applications in astronomy. Research challenges and sample research scenarios are presented in these areas, in addition to sample algorithms for data-oriented research. These information science technologies enable scientific knowledge discovery from the increasingly large and complex data collections in astronomy. The education and training of the modern astronomy student must consequently include skill development in these areas, whose practitioners have traditionally been limited to applied mathematicians, computer scientists, and statisticians. Modern astronomical researchers must cross these traditional discipline boundaries, thereby borrowing the best of breed methodologies from multiple disciplines. In the era of large sky surveys and numerous large telescopes, the potential

  1. Vaccination with NY-ESO-1 overlapping peptides mixed with Picibanil OK-432 and montanide ISA-51 in patients with cancers expressing the NY-ESO-1 antigen.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wada, Hisashi; Isobe, Midori; Kakimi, Kazuhiro; Mizote, Yu; Eikawa, Shingo; Sato, Eiichi; Takigawa, Nagio; Kiura, Katsuyuki; Tsuji, Kazuhide; Iwatsuki, Keiji; Yamasaki, Makoto; Miyata, Hiroshi; Matsushita, Hirokazu; Udono, Heiichiro; Seto, Yasuyuki; Yamada, Kazuhiro; Nishikawa, Hiroyoshi; Pan, Linda; Venhaus, Ralph; Oka, Mikio; Doki, Yuichiro; Nakayama, Eiichi

    2014-01-01

    We conducted a clinical trial of an NY-ESO-1 cancer vaccine using 4 synthetic overlapping long peptides (OLP; peptides #1, 79-108; #2, 100-129; #3, 121-150; and #4, 142-173) that include a highly immunogenic region of the NY-ESO-1 molecule. Nine patients were immunized with 0.25 mg each of three 30-mer and a 32-mer long NY-ESO-1 OLP mixed with 0.2 KE Picibanil OK-432 and 1.25 mL Montanide ISA-51. The primary endpoints of this study were safety and NY-ESO-1 immune responses. Five to 18 injections of the NY-ESO-1 OLP vaccine were well tolerated. Vaccine-related adverse events observed were fever and injection site reaction (grade 1 and 2). Two patients showed stable disease after vaccination. An NY-ESO-1-specific humoral immune response was observed in all patients and an antibody against peptide #3 (121-150) was detected firstly and strongly after vaccination. NY-ESO-1 CD4 and CD8 T-cell responses were elicited in these patients and their epitopes were identified. Using a multifunctional cytokine assay, the number of single or double cytokine-producing cells was increased in NY-ESO-1-specific CD4 and CD8 T cells after vaccination. Multiple cytokine-producing cells were observed in PD-1 (-) and PD-1 (+) CD4 T cells. In conclusion, our study indicated that the NY-ESO-1 OLP vaccine mixed with Picibanil OK-432 and Montanide ISA-51 was well tolerated and elicited NY-ESO-1-specific humoral and CD4 and CD8 T-cell responses in immunized patients.

  2. Improving the Determination of Eastern Elongations of Planetary Satellites in the Astronomical Almanac

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rura, Christopher; Stollberg, Mark

    2018-01-01

    The Astronomical Almanac is an annual publication of the US Naval Observatory (USNO) and contains a wide variety of astronomical data used by astronomers worldwide as a general reference or for planning observations. Included in this almanac are the times of greatest eastern and northern elongations of the natural satellites of the planets, accurate to 0.1 hour UT. The production code currently used to determine elongation times generates X and Y coordinates for each satellite (16 total) in 5 second intervals. This consequentially caused very large data files, and resulted in the program devoted to determining the elongation times to be computationally intensive. To make this program more efficient, we wrote a Python program to fit a cubic spline to data generated with a 6-minute time step. This resulted in elongation times that were found to agree with those determined from the 5 second data currently used in a large number of cases and was tested for 16 satellites between 2017 and 2019. The accuracy of this program is being tested for the years past 2019 and, if no problems are found, the code will be considered for production of this section of The Astronomical Almanac.

  3. The Gaia-ESO Survey: open clusters in Gaia-DR1 . A way forward to stellar age calibration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Randich, S.; Tognelli, E.; Jackson, R.; Jeffries, R. D.; Degl'Innocenti, S.; Pancino, E.; Re Fiorentin, P.; Spagna, A.; Sacco, G.; Bragaglia, A.; Magrini, L.; Prada Moroni, P. G.; Alfaro, E.; Franciosini, E.; Morbidelli, L.; Roccatagliata, V.; Bouy, H.; Bravi, L.; Jiménez-Esteban, F. M.; Jordi, C.; Zari, E.; Tautvaišiene, G.; Drazdauskas, A.; Mikolaitis, S.; Gilmore, G.; Feltzing, S.; Vallenari, A.; Bensby, T.; Koposov, S.; Korn, A.; Lanzafame, A.; Smiljanic, R.; Bayo, A.; Carraro, G.; Costado, M. T.; Heiter, U.; Hourihane, A.; Jofré, P.; Lewis, J.; Monaco, L.; Prisinzano, L.; Sbordone, L.; Sousa, S. G.; Worley, C. C.; Zaggia, S.

    2018-05-01

    and demonstrates the potential of combining Gaia and ground-based spectroscopic datasets. Based on observations collected with the FLAMES instrument at VLT/UT2 telescope (Paranal Observatory, ESO, Chile), for the Gaia-ESO Large Public Spectroscopic Survey (188.B-3002, 193.B-0936).Additional tables are only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (http://130.79.128.5) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/612/A99

  4. Overview of ESO Large Single Dish Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Testi, Leonardo

    2018-01-01

    In this talk I will briefly summarize the motivation, methodology and outcome of the ESO Submm Single Dish Strategy WG. The WG was established by the ESO Director for Science and completed its work at the end of 2015. I will summarize the status of the report recommendations, which, among other things, led to the organization of the AtLAST workshop.

  5. Astronomical random numbers for quantum foundations experiments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leung, Calvin; Brown, Amy; Nguyen, Hien; Friedman, Andrew S.; Kaiser, David I.; Gallicchio, Jason

    2018-04-01

    Photons from distant astronomical sources can be used as a classical source of randomness to improve fundamental tests of quantum nonlocality, wave-particle duality, and local realism through Bell's inequality and delayed-choice quantum eraser tests inspired by Wheeler's cosmic-scale Mach-Zehnder interferometer gedanken experiment. Such sources of random numbers may also be useful for information-theoretic applications such as key distribution for quantum cryptography. Building on the design of an astronomical random number generator developed for the recent cosmic Bell experiment [Handsteiner et al. Phys. Rev. Lett. 118, 060401 (2017), 10.1103/PhysRevLett.118.060401], in this paper we report on the design and characterization of a device that, with 20-nanosecond latency, outputs a bit based on whether the wavelength of an incoming photon is greater than or less than ≈700 nm. Using the one-meter telescope at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory Table Mountain Observatory, we generated random bits from astronomical photons in both color channels from 50 stars of varying color and magnitude, and from 12 quasars with redshifts up to z =3.9 . With stars, we achieved bit rates of ˜1 ×106Hz/m 2 , limited by saturation of our single-photon detectors, and with quasars of magnitudes between 12.9 and 16, we achieved rates between ˜102 and 2 ×103Hz /m2 . For bright quasars, the resulting bitstreams exhibit sufficiently low amounts of statistical predictability as quantified by the mutual information. In addition, a sufficiently high fraction of bits generated are of true astronomical origin in order to address both the locality and freedom-of-choice loopholes when used to set the measurement settings in a test of the Bell-CHSH inequality.

  6. POST WWII Astronomy and Rebuilding U.S. Astronomical Institutions--The U.S. Perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howard, W. E.

    1993-12-01

    A belief that technology contributed substantially to the winning of World War II spurred the formation of ONR, then NSF which was formed in ONR's image. NASA's space support, cold war competition, and ARPA's funding of high risk, high payoff technologies led to state-of-the-art instrumentation in astronomy. Limits on funding for instrumentation at individual institutions led to the concept and growth of national astronomy observatories that made observing time available to the best ideas from astronomers who had no access to big telescopes at home. Success of these major observatories lay also in their treatment of visitors who were made to feel a part of the institution. As federal funding became available, several issues were heavily debated, among which were overhead costs on grant awards, what the breakdown of responsibility should be for institutional vs. federal funding, spreading vs. concentrating the available funding, the role of the AAS and advisory groups, federal vs. researcher specification of the research program, and the roots of the modern debate concerning research relevance. U.S. astronomers are unique because of our eclecticism, our development of a winning system of workplaces, our peer review system, our united front presented by our projective planning and our periodic decade reviews, our international orientation, all in the context of national support that is preeminent in the world. These features operate within an economic system that enables us to communicate and travel easily, and scientific and academic administrations that permit astronomers to concentrate on their research without excess internal or external politics.

  7. Astroinformation resource of the Ukrainian virtual observatory: Joint observational data archive, scientific tasks, and software

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vavilova, I. B.; Pakulyak, L. K.; Shlyapnikov, A. A.; Protsyuk, Yu. I.; Savanevich, V. E.; Andronov, I. L.; Andruk, V. N.; Kondrashova, N. N.; Baklanov, A. V.; Golovin, A. V.; Fedorov, P. N.; Akhmetov, V. S.; Isak, I. I.; Mazhaev, A. E.; Golovnya, V. V.; Virun, N. V.; Zolotukhina, A. V.; Kazantseva, L. V.; Virnina, N. A.; Breus, V. V.; Kashuba, S. G.; Chinarova, L. L.; Kudashkina, L. S.; Epishev, V. P.

    2012-04-01

    The overview of the most important components of the national project - Ukrainian Virtual Observatory (UkrVO) - is presented.Among these components, there is the establishment of a Joint Digital Archive (JDA) of observational data obtained at Ukrainian observatories since 1890, including astronegative's JDA (more than 200 thousand plates). Because of this task requires a VO-oriented software, such issues as software verification of content integrity and JDA administration; compliance of image for mats to IVOA standards; photometric and astrometry calibration of images. Among other developments of local UkrVO software the means of automatic registration of moving celestial objects at the starry sky followed by visual inspection of the results as well as stellar fields image processing software are considered. Research projects that use local UkrVO data archives, namely, an analysis of long observational series of active galactic nuclei, the study of solar flares and solar active regions based on spectral observational archives, research and discovery of variable stars, the study of stellar fields in vicinity gamma-ray bursts are discussed. Particular attention is paid to the CoLiTec program, which allows to increase significantly the number of registered small solar system bodies, and to dis cover new ones, in particular, with the help of this program the comets C/2010 X1 (Elenin) and P/2011 N 01 were discovered in ISON-NM observatory. Development of the UkrVO JDA pro to type is noted which provides access to data bases of MAO NAS of Ukraine, Nikolaev Astronomical Observatory and L'viv Astronomical Observatory.

  8. First Super-Earth Atmosphere Analysed

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-12-01

    Large Telescope, which can perform very sensitive spectroscopy of multiple objects in the near-infrared part of the spectrum. FORS was one of the first instruments installed on the Very Large Telescope. More information This research is presented in a paper to appear in Nature on 2 December 2010. The team is composed of Jacob Bean (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, USA), Eliza Miller-Ricci Kempton (University of California, Santa Cruz, USA) and Derek Homeier (Institute for Astrophysics, Göttingen, Germany). ESO, the European Southern Observatory, is the foremost intergovernmental astronomy organisation in Europe and the world's most productive astronomical observatory. It is supported by 14 countries: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. ESO carries out an ambitious programme focused on the design, construction and operation of powerful ground-based observing facilities enabling astronomers to make important scientific discoveries. ESO also plays a leading role in promoting and organising cooperation in astronomical research. ESO operates three unique world-class observing sites in Chile: La Silla, Paranal and Chajnantor. At Paranal, ESO operates the Very Large Telescope, the world's most advanced visible-light astronomical observatory and VISTA, the world's largest survey telescope. ESO is the European partner of a revolutionary astronomical telescope ALMA, the largest astronomical project in existence. ESO is currently planning a 42-metre European Extremely Large optical/near-infrared Telescope, the E-ELT, which will become "the world's biggest eye on the sky".

  9. Under Connecticut Skies: Exploring 100 Years of Astronomy at Van Vleck Observatory in Middletown, Connecticut

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kilgard, Roy E.; Williams, Amrys; Erickson, Paul; Herbst, William; Redfield, Seth

    2017-01-01

    Under Connecticut Skies examines the history of astronomy at Van Vleck Observatory, located on the campus of Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut. Since its dedication in June of 1916, Van Vleck has been an important site of astronomical research, teaching, and public outreach. Over a thousand visitors pass through the observatory each year, and regular public observing nights happen year-round in cooperation with the Astronomical Society of Greater Hartford. Our project explores the place-based nature of astronomical research, the scientific instruments, labor, and individuals that have connected places around the world in networks of observation, and the broader history of how observational astronomy has linked local people, amateur observers, professional astronomers, and the tools and objects that have facilitated their work under Connecticut’s skies over the past 100 years. Our research team has produced a historical exhibition to help commemorate the observatory’s centennial that opened to the public in May of 2016. Our work included collecting, documenting, and interpretting this history through objects, archival documents, oral histories, photographs, and more. The result is both a museum and a working history "laboratory" for use by student and professional researchers. In addition to the exhibit itself, we have engaged in new interpretive programs to help bring the history of astronomy to life. Future work will include digitization of documents and teaching slides, further collection of oral histories, and expanding the collection to the web for use by off-site researches.

  10. The ESO S-3000 measuring machine

    CERN Document Server

    West, R M

    1975-01-01

    The ESO S-3000 measuring machine which was installed in 1974 in the Sky Atlas Laboratory is capable of measuring photographic plates up to 14*14 inch/sup 2/ with a formal accuracy of +or-1 mu m and +or-.02 D in position and density. It is controlled by a 8 k Alpha 16 minicomputer. Software has been written for the ESO-TP HP 2100 computer system, that permits recognition and accurate measurement of stellar and extended images and filtering of plate faults. (1 refs).

  11. NY-ESO-1 Based Immunotherapy of Cancer: Current Perspectives

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Remy Thomas

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available NY-ESO-1 or New York esophageal squamous cell carcinoma 1 is a well-known cancer-testis antigen (CTAs with re-expression in numerous cancer types. Its ability to elicit spontaneous humoral and cellular immune responses, together with its restricted expression pattern, have rendered it a good candidate target for cancer immunotherapy. In this review, we provide background information on NY-ESO-1 expression and function in normal and cancerous tissues. Furthermore, NY-ESO-1-specific immune responses have been observed in various cancer types; however, their utility as biomarkers are not well determined. Finally, we describe the immune-based therapeutic options targeting NY-ESO-1 that are currently in clinical trial. We will highlight the recent advancements made in NY-ESO-1 cancer vaccines, adoptive T cell therapy, and combinatorial treatment with checkpoint inhibitors and will discuss the current trends for future NY-ESO-1 based immunotherapy. Cancer treatment has been revolutionized over the last few decades with immunotherapy emerging at the forefront. Immune-based interventions have shown promising results, providing a new treatment avenue for durable clinical responses in various cancer types. The majority of successful immunotherapy studies have been reported in liquid cancers, whereas these approaches have met many challenges in solid cancers. Effective immunotherapy in solid cancers is hampered by the complex, dynamic tumor microenvironment that modulates the extent and phenotype of the antitumor immune response. Furthermore, many solid tumor-associated antigens are not private but can be found in normal somatic tissues, resulting in minor to detrimental off-target toxicities. Therefore, there is an ongoing effort to identify tumor-specific antigens to target using various immune-based modalities. CTAs are considered good candidate targets for immunotherapy as they are characterized by a restricted expression in normal somatic tissues

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2013-01-01

    Measuring scientific development is a difficult task. Different metrics have been put forward to evaluate scientific development; in this paper we explore a metric that uses the number of peer-reviewed, and when available non-peer-reviewed, research articles as an indicator of development in the field of astronomy. We analyzed the available publication record, using the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory/NASA Astrophysics Database System, by country affiliation in the time span between 1950 and 2011 for countries with a gross national income of less than 14,365 USD in 2010. This represents 149 countries. We propose that this metric identifies countries in ''astronomical development'' with a culture of research publishing. We also propose that for a country to develop in astronomy, it should invest in outside expert visits, send its staff abroad to study, and establish a culture of scientific publishing. Furthermore, we propose that this paper may be used as a baseline to measure the success of major international projects, such as the International Year of Astronomy 2009

  13. Heber D. Curtis: The Re-entry Graduate Student at UVa Who Became an Outstanding Dynamical Astronomer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Osterbrock, D. E.

    1998-09-01

    Heber D. Curtis, the great pioneer of nebular and galactic research, later observatory director at Allegheny and then at the University of Michigan, was a dynamical astronomer in the earliest days of photographic radial-velocity measurements. He did his undergraduate work in classical languages at Michigan, where as a student he showed no apparent interest in astronomy. Curtis's first jobs were teaching Latin and Greek at Napa College, then at the College of the Pacific. Both had small Clark refractors and he began observing, then measuring, visual double stars. He decided to become an astronomer, and spent the summers of 1897 and 1898 as a special student at Lick Observatory, and of 1899 at Ann Arbor. In 1900, at the age of 28, married and with two small children, Curtis entered the University of Virginia as a full-time graduate student. Both Yerkes and Lick Observatories had declined to accept him. At Charlottesville Curtis did his Ph.D. thesis on the orbit of Comet 1898 I, received his degree in 1902, and immediately joined the Lick staff. His work on spectroscopic binaries and high-velocity stars at Mount Hamilton and at the Lick Southern Hemisphere Observatory, will be described in this paper. W. W. Campbell and Curtis published the First Catalogue of Spectroscopic Binaries in 1905; it listed all 140 of these objects then known. In 1909, Curtis was recalled to Lick to take over the Crossley reflector and thus left the field of dynamical astronomy. At Santiago, his assistant was George F. Paddock, a UVa M.A. in astronomy who based his Ph.D. thesis on Chile observational data. When Ormond Stone, UVa professor of astronomy and Leander McCormick Observatory director, retired in 1912, Curtis was the first choice to succeed him, but declined the post to remain at Lick.

  14. ESO science data product standard for 1D spectral products

    Science.gov (United States)

    Micol, Alberto; Arnaboldi, Magda; Delmotte, Nausicaa A. R.; Mascetti, Laura; Retzlaff, Joerg

    2016-07-01

    The ESO Phase 3 process allows the upload, validation, storage, and publication of reduced data through the ESO Science Archive Facility. Since its introduction, 2 million data products have been archived and published; 80% of them are one-dimensional extracted and calibrated spectra. Central to Phase3 is the ESO science data product standard that defines metadata and data format of any product. This contribution describes the ESO data standard for 1d-spectra, its adoption by the reduction pipelines of selected instrument modes for in-house generation of reduced spectra, the enhanced archive legacy value. Archive usage statistics are provided.

  15. The Potential of ESO for Asteroseismology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aerts, Conny

    2017-08-01

    The research field of asteroseismology is currently undergoing its first revolution. We start with a brief history of how this field of stellar physics evolved from dream to reality, including ESO's role in it. Subsequently, we highlight how asteroseismology can serve various topics in astrophysics and focus on the current status. We discuss recent findings on the rotation and chemical mixing inside stars. Finally, we look at the perspectives of the second and third revolution in this area and highlight how ESO can play an optimal role in it.

  16. "Zhizneopisanie" astronomia N. N. Pavlova, im samim napisannoe %t Astronomer N. N. Pavlov's autobiography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhukov, V. Yu.

    This document called by the author "the life story" is written for the human resources department. It is a document intended for the official departmental purposes. At the same time there is something facinating about this documentary testimony about the epoch and the man. This short autobiography describes the early years of the Pulkovo astronomer N. N. Pavlov that fell on hard times of the Civil War. In the years between the World War I and the World War II he was awarded Mendeleyev Prize. He defended his doctorate dissertation after the evacuation from Leningrad. He was one fo the first Pulkovo astronomers to return to Leningrad in order to start reconstruction of the observatory that had been completely ruined during the war. Astronomer N. N. Pavlov renewed the Time Service in the city. N. N. Pavlov was a successful scientist and an outstanding person, all his life was devoted to science.

  17. Recent results from the Compton Observatory

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Michelson, P.F.; Hansen, W.W. [Stanford Univ., CA (United States)

    1994-12-01

    The Compton Observatory is an orbiting astronomical observatory for gamma-ray astronomy that covers the energy range from about 30 keV to 30 GeV. The Energetic Gamma Ray Experiment Telescope (EGRET), one of four instruments on-board, is capable of detecting and imaging gamma radiation from cosmic sources in the energy range from approximately 20 MeV to 30 GeV. After about one month of tests and calibration following the April 1991 launch, a 15-month all sky survey was begun. This survey is now complete and the Compton Observatory is well into Phase II of its observing program which includes guest investigator observations. Among the highlights from the all-sky survey discussed in this presentation are the following: detection of five pulsars with emission above 100 MeV; detection of more than 24 active galaxies, the most distant at redshift greater than two; detection of many high latitude, unidentified gamma-ray sources, some showing significant time variability; detection of at least two high energy gamma-ray bursts, with emission in one case extending to at least 1 GeV. EGRET has also detected gamma-ray emission from solar flares up to energies of at least 2 GeV and has observed gamma-rays from the Large Magellanic Cloud.

  18. 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

  19. APEX Snaps First Close-up of Star Factories in Distant Universe

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-03-01

    wavelengths. This wavelength range is a relatively unexplored frontier in astronomy, requiring advanced detectors and an extremely high and dry observatory site, such as Chajnantor. APEX, the largest submillimetre-wave telescope operating in the southern hemisphere, is a collaboration between the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy, the Onsala Space Observatory and ESO. Operation of APEX at Chajnantor is entrusted to ESO. APEX is a "pathfinder" for ALMA - it is based on a prototype antenna constructed for the ALMA project, it is located on the same plateau and will find many targets that ALMA will be able to study in extreme detail. ESO, the European Southern Observatory, is the foremost intergovernmental astronomy organisation in Europe and the world's most productive astronomical observatory. It is supported by 14 countries: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. ESO carries out an ambitious programme focused on the design, construction and operation of powerful ground-based observing facilities enabling astronomers to make important scientific discoveries. ESO also plays a leading role in promoting and organising cooperation in astronomical research. ESO operates three unique world-class observing sites in Chile: La Silla, Paranal and Chajnantor. At Paranal, ESO operates the Very Large Telescope, the world's most advanced visible-light astronomical observatory and VISTA, the world's largest survey telescope. ESO is the European partner of a revolutionary astronomical telescope ALMA, the largest astronomical project in existence. ESO is currently planning a 42-metre European Extremely Large optical/near-infrared Telescope, the E-ELT, which will become "the world's biggest eye on the sky".

  20. SkyMouse: A smart interface for astronomical on-line resources and services

    OpenAIRE

    CUI, Chen-Zhou; SUN, Hua-Ping; ZHAO, Yong-Heng; LUO, Yu; QI, Da-Zhi

    2007-01-01

    With the development of network and the World Wide Web (WWW), the Internet has been growing and changing dramatically. More and more on-line database systems and different kinds of services are available for astronomy research. How to help users find their way through the jungle of information services becomes an important challenge. Although astronomers have been aware of the importance of interoperability and introduced the concept of Virtual Observatory as a uniform environment for future ...

  1. Gender Systematics in Telescope Time Allocation at ESO

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patat, F.

    2016-09-01

    The results of a comprehensive statistical analysis of gender systematics in the time allocation process at ESO are presented. The sample on which the study is based includes more than 13 000 Normal and Short proposals, submitted by about 3000 principal investigators (PI) over eight years. The genders of PIs, and of the panel members of the Observing Programmes Committee (OPC), were used, together with their career level, to analyse the grade distributions and the proposal success rates. Proposals submitted by female PIs show a significantly lower probability of being allocated time. The proposal success rates (defined as number of top ranked runs over requested runs) are 16.0 ± 0.6% and 22.0 ± 0.4% for females and males, respectively. To a significant extent the disparity is related to different input distributions in terms of career level. The seniority of male PIs is significantly higher than that of female PIs, with only 34% of the female PIs being professionally employed astronomers (compared to 53% for male PIs). A small, but statistically significant, gender-dependent behaviour is measured for the OPC referees: both genders show the same systematics, but they are larger for males than females. The PI female/male fraction is very close to 30/70; although far from parity, the fraction is higher than that observed, for instance, among IAU membership.

  2. Leslie Peltier, Amateur Astronomer and Observer Extraordinaire

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corbin, B. G.

    2003-12-01

    Leslie Copus Peltier, (Jan. 2, 1900-May 10, 1980) was called "the world's greatest non-professional astronomer" by none other than Harlow Shapley, and also referred to as the "the world's greatest living amateur astronomer". He began observing variable stars on March 1, 1918 with an observation of R. Leonis and at the time of his death had made a total of 132,123 observations of variable stars. These were reported to the AAVSO on a consecutive monthly basis stretching from 1918 to his death in 1980. As of October 2003, he was still on AAVSO's list of the top 25 observers in its history. Born on a farm near Delphos, Ohio, his parents were well read and their home was filled with books on different subjects, including nature guides. As a young man he studied the flora and fauna of the area and in 1915 began his study of the heavens with Vega being the first star he identified. After the purchase of a 2-inch spyglass, his observations of variable stars began to be noticed by professional astronomers and the AAVSO loaned him a 4-inch Mogey refractor; shortly thereafter Henry Norris Russell of Princeton loaned him via the AAVSO a 6-inch refractor, a comet seeker of short focus. He discovered 12 comets, 10 of which carry his name, and 6 novae or recurring novae. His design of the "Merry-Go-Round Observatory" was a novel approach with the whole observatory revolving around the observer while seated in his observing chair. Miami University (Ohio) later donated to him their 12-inch Clark refractor with its dome. His first book, Starlight Nights: The Adventures of a Star-Gazer, appeared in 1965. This autobiography, an ode to the joys of observing both the night sky and nature, was written in beautifully descriptive language that helped lead countless readers into astronomy. Departing from astronomy, in 1977 he published The Place on Jennings Creek. Written in the style of the 19th century naturalist, the book was devoted to his family's home, Brookhaven, and its natural

  3. Mechanical thrombectomy in acute ischemic stroke: Consensus statement by ESO-Karolinska Stroke Update 2014/2015, supported by ESO, ESMINT, ESNR and EAN.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wahlgren, Nils; Moreira, Tiago; Michel, Patrik; Steiner, Thorsten; Jansen, Olav; Cognard, Christophe; Mattle, Heinrich P; van Zwam, Wim; Holmin, Staffan; Tatlisumak, Turgut; Petersson, Jesper; Caso, Valeria; Hacke, Werner; Mazighi, Mikael; Arnold, Marcel; Fischer, Urs; Szikora, Istvan; Pierot, Laurent; Fiehler, Jens; Gralla, Jan; Fazekas, Franz; Lees, Kennedy R

    2016-01-01

    The original version of this consensus statement on mechanical thrombectomy was approved at the European Stroke Organisation (ESO)-Karolinska Stroke Update conference in Stockholm, 16-18 November 2014. The statement has later, during 2015, been updated with new clinical trials data in accordance with a decision made at the conference. Revisions have been made at a face-to-face meeting during the ESO Winter School in Berne in February, through email exchanges and the final version has then been approved by each society. The recommendations are identical to the original version with evidence level upgraded by 20 February 2015 and confirmed by 15 May 2015. The purpose of the ESO-Karolinska Stroke Update meetings is to provide updates on recent stroke therapy research and to discuss how the results may be implemented into clinical routine. Selected topics are discussed at consensus sessions, for which a consensus statement is prepared and discussed by the participants at the meeting. The statements are advisory to the ESO guidelines committee. This consensus statement includes recommendations on mechanical thrombectomy after acute stroke. The statement is supported by ESO, European Society of Minimally Invasive Neurological Therapy (ESMINT), European Society of Neuroradiology (ESNR), and European Academy of Neurology (EAN). © 2016 World Stroke Organization.

  4. Astronomers Discover Six-Image Gravitational Lens

    Science.gov (United States)

    2001-08-01

    -Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA). "When we understand this system, we will have a much clearer picture of how galaxies are changed by being part of a bigger cluster of galaxies," he added. B1359+154 was discovered in 1999 by the Cosmic Lens All-Sky Survey, an international collaboration of astronomers who use radio telescopes to search the sky for gravitational lenses. Images made by the NSF's Very Large Array in New Mexico and by Britain's MERLIN radio telescope showed six objects suspected of being gravitational-lens images, but the results were inconclusive. Rusin and his team used the VLBA and HST in 1999 and 2000 to make more-detailed studies of B1359+154. The combination of data from the VLBA and HST convinced the astronomers that B1359+154 actually consists of six lensed images of a single background galaxy. The VLBA images were made from data collected during observations at a radio frequency of 1.7 GHz. "This is a great example of modern, multi-wavelength astronomy," said Rusin. "We need the radio telescopes to detect the gravitational lenses in the first place, then we need the visible-light information from Hubble to show us additional detail about the structure of the system." Armed with the combined VLBA and HST data about the positions and brightnesses of the six images of the background galaxy as well as the positions of the three intermediate galaxies, the astronomers did computer simulations to show how the gravitation of the three galaxies could produce the lens effect. They were able to design a computer model of the system that, in fact, produces the six images seen in B1359+154. "Our computer model certainly is not perfect, and we need to do more observations of this system to refine it, but we have clearly demonstrated that the three galaxies we see can produce a six-image lens system," said Martin Norbury, a graduate student at Jodrell Bank Observatory in Britain. "We think this work will give us an excellent tool for studying much-denser clusters of

  5. MOSE: A Demonstrator for an Automatic Operational System for the Optical Turbulence Forecast for ESO Sites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Masciadri, Elena; Lascaux, F.; Turchi, A.; Fini, L.

    2017-09-01

    "Most of the observations performed with new-generation ground-based telescopes are employing the Service Mode. To optimize the flexible-scheduling of scientific programs and instruments, the optical turbulence (OT) forecast is a must, particularly when observations are supported by adaptive optics (AO) and Interferometry. Reliable OT forecast are crucial to optimize the usage of AO and interferometric facilities which is not possible when using only optical measurements. Numerical techniques are the best placed to achieve such a goal. The MOSE project (MOdeling ESO Sites), co-funded by ESO, aimed at proving the feasibility of the forecast of (1) all the classical atmospheric parameters (such as temperature, wind speed and direction, relative humidity) and (2) the optical turbulence i.e. the CN 2 profiles and all the main integrated astro-climatic parameters derived from the CN 2 (the seeing, the isoplanatic angle, the wavefront coherence time) above the two ESO sites of Cerro Paranal and Cerro Armazones. The proposed technique is based on the use of a non-hydrostatic atmospheric meso-scale model and a dedicated code for the optical turbulence. The final goal of the project aimed at implementing an automatic system for the operational forecasts of the aforementioned parameters to support the astronomical observations above the two sites. MOSE Phase A and B have been completed and a set of dedicated papers have been published on the topic. Model performances have been extensively quantified with several dedicated figures of merit and we proved that our tool is able to provide reliable forecasts of optical turbulence and atmospheric parameters with very satisfactory score of success. This should guarantee us to make a step ahead in the framework of the Service Mode of new generation telescopes. A conceptual design as well as an operational plan of the automatic system has been submitted to ESO as integral part of the feasibility study. We completed a negotiation with

  6. Guiding the Giant

    Science.gov (United States)

    1998-08-01

    New ESO Survey Provides Targets for the VLT Giant astronomical telescopes like the ESO Very Large Telescope (VLT) must be used efficiently. Observing time is expensive and there are long waiting lines of excellent research programmes. Thus the work at the telescope must be very well prepared and optimized as much as possible - mistakes should be avoided and no time lost! Astronomers working with the new 8-m class optical/infrared telescopes must base their observations on detailed lists of suitable target objects if they want to perform cutting-edge science. This is particularly true for research programmes that depend on observations of large samples of comparatively rare, distant objects. This type of work requires that extensive catalogues of such objects must be prepared in advance. One such major catalogue - that will serve as a very useful basis for future VLT observations - has just become available from the new ESO Imaging Survey (EIS). The Need for Sky Surveys Astronomers have since long recognized the need to carry out preparatory observations with other telescopes in order to "guide" large telescopes. To this end, surveys of smaller or larger parts of the sky have been performed by wide-field telescopes, paving the way for subsequent work at the limits of the largest available ground-based telescopes. For instance, a complete photographic survey of the sourthern sky (declination work at the 3.6-m telescope at the ESO La Silla observatory. However, while until recently most observational programmes could rely on samples of objects found on photographic plates, this is no longer possible. New image surveys must match the fainter limiting magnitudes reached by the new and larger telescopes. Modern digital, multi-colour, deep imaging surveys have thus become an indispensable complement to the 8-m telescopes. The new generation of imaging surveys will, without doubt, be the backbone of future research and are likely to be as long-lived as their earlier

  7. ESO: The CERN Years

    CERN Multimedia

    Schaeffer, A

    2012-01-01

    In 1970, CERN and ESO signed a collaboration agreement for the construction of the Observatory’s first telescope. That same year, ESO’s Telescope Division and Sky Atlas laboratory settled on the CERN site in Meyrin. Let’s turn back to the beginnings of this lasting and fruitful alliance.

  8. Authentic Astronomical Discovery in Planetariums: Bringing Data to Domes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wyatt, Ryan Jason; Subbarao, Mark; Christensen, Lars; Emmons, Ben; Hurt, Robert

    2018-01-01

    Planetariums offer a unique opportunity to disseminate astronomical discoveries using data visualization at all levels of complexity: the technical infrastructure to display data and a sizeable cohort of enthusiastic educators to interpret results. “Data to Dome” is an initiative the International Planetarium Society to develop our community’s capacity to integrate data in fulldome planetarium systems—including via open source software platforms such as WorldWide Telescope and OpenSpace. We are cultivating a network of planetarium professionals who integrate data into their presentations and share their content with others. Furthermore, we propose to shorten the delay between discovery and dissemination in planetariums. Currently, the “latest science” is often presented days or weeks after discoveries are announced, and we can shorten this to hours or even minutes. The Data2Dome (D2D) initiative, led by the European Southern Observatory, proposes technical infrastructure and data standards that will streamline content flow from research institutions to planetariums, offering audiences a unique opportunity to access to the latest astronomical data in near real time.

  9. Astronomical imaging with a low temperature InSb charge injection device (CID)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rouan, D.; Lacombe, F.; Tiphene, D.; Stefanovitch, D.; Phan van, D.

    1986-01-01

    InSb charge injection device (CID) technology focal plane arrays employ two coupled MIS capacitors which collect and store photon-generated charge carriers. Attention is presently given to two-dimensional arrays for 77 K and 4 K operating temperatures in astronomical applications; two such prototypes for ground observations have been developed for use with a 2-m telescope. A CID InSb array is noted to be a useful candidate for the proposed IR Space Observatory's focal plane camera. 7 references

  10. The brazilian indigenous planetary-observatory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Afonso, G. B.

    2003-08-01

    We have performed observations of the sky alongside with the Indians of all Brazilian regions that made it possible localize many indigenous constellations. Some of these constellations are the same as the other South American Indians and Australian aborigines constellations. The scientific community does not have much of this information, which may be lost in one or two generations. In this work, we present a planetary-observatory that we have made in the Park of Science Newton Freire-Maia of Paraná State, in order to popularize the astronomical knowledge of the Brazilian Indians. The planetary consists, essentially, of a sphere of six meters in diameter and a projection cylinder of indigenous constellations. In this planetary we can identify a lot of constellations that we have gotten from the Brazilian Indians; for instance, the four seasonal constellations: the Tapir (spring), the Old Man (summer), the Deer (autumn) and the Rhea (winter). A two-meter height wooden staff that is posted vertically on the horizontal ground similar to a Gnomon and stones aligned with the cardinal points and the soltices directions constitutes the observatory. A stone circle of ten meters in diameter surrounds the staff and the aligned stones. During the day we observe the Sun apparent motions and at night the indigenous constellations. Due to the great community interest in our work, we are designing an itinerant indigenous planetary-observatory to be used in other cities mainly by indigenous and primary schools teachers.

  11. Getting Astronomers Involved in the IYA: Astronomer in the Classroom

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koenig, Kris

    2008-05-01

    The Astronomer in the Classroom program provides professional astronomers the opportunity to engage with 3rd-12th grade students across the nation in grade appropriate discussions of their recent research, and provides students with rich STEM content in a personalized forum, bringing greater access to scientific knowledge for underserved populations. 21st Century Learning and Interstellar Studios, the producer of the 400 Years of the Telescope documentary along with their educational partners, will provide the resources necessary to facilitate the Astronomer in the Classroom program, allowing students to interact with astronomers throughout the IYA2009. PROGRAM DESCRIPTION One of hundreds of astronomers will be available to interact with students via live webcast daily during Spring/Fall 2009. The astronomer for the day will conduct three 20-minute discussions (Grades 3-5 /6-8/9-12), beginning with a five-minute PowerPoint on their research or area of interest. The discussion will be followed by a question and answer period. The students will participate in real-time from their school computer(s) with the technology provided by 21st Century Learning. They will see and hear the astronomer on their screen, and pose questions from their keyboard. Teachers will choose from three daily sessions; 11:30 a.m., 12:00 p.m., 12:30 p.m. Eastern Time. This schedule overlaps all US time zones, and marginalizes bandwidth usage, preventing technological barriers to web access. The educational partners and astronomers will post materials online, providing easy access to information that will prepare teachers and students for the chosen discussion. The astronomers, invited to participate from the AAS and IAU, will receive a web cam shipment with instructions, a brief training and conductivity test, and prepaid postage for shipment of the web cam to the next astronomer on the list. The anticipated astronomer time required is 3-hours, not including the time to develop the PowerPoint.

  12. Status And Performance Of The Virgin Islands Robotic Telescope at Etelman Observatory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morris, David C.; Gendre, Bruce; Neff, James E.; Giblin, Timothy W.

    2016-01-01

    The Virgin Islands Robotic Telescope is an 0.5m robotic telescope located at the easternmost and southernmost optical observatory in the United States at a latitude of 18.5N and longitude of 65W. The observatory is located on the island of St Thomas in the USVI. Astronomers from the College of Charleston, the US Air Force Academy, and the University of the Virgin Islands collaborate to maintain and operate the facility. The primary scientific focus of the facility is the optical follow-up of high-energy transients though a variety of other science interests are also being pursued including follow-up of candidate extra-solar planets, rotation studies of cool stars, and near-Earth asteroid and space situational awareness studies. The facility also supports a wide-reaching education and outreach program dedicated to raising the level of STEAM engagement and enrichment in the USVI. We detail the characteristics, capabilities, and early results from the observatory. The observatory is growing its staff and science activities and potential topics for collaboration will be discussed.

  13. Exoplanet Caught on the Move

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-06-01

    lie close to or beyond the orbit of the furthest planet, Neptune. The formation processes of these distant planets are likely to be quite different from those in our Solar System and in Beta Pictoris. "The recent direct images of exoplanets - many made by the VLT - illustrate the diversity of planetary systems," says Lagrange. "Among those, Beta Pictoris b is the most promising case of a planet that could have formed in the same way as the giant planets in our Solar System." Notes [1] Debris discs are composed of dust resulting from collisions among larger bodies such as planetary embryos or asteroids. They are larger versions of the zodiacal dust band in our Solar System. The disc around Beta Pictoris was the first to be imaged and is now known to extend up to about 1000 times the distance between the Earth and the Sun. [2] NACO is an adaptive optics instrument attached to ESO's Very Large Telescope, located in Chile. Thanks to adaptive optics, astronomers can remove most of the blurring effect of the atmosphere and obtain very sharp images. More information This research was presented in a paper to appear this week in Science Express ("A Giant Planet Imaged in the disk of the Young Star Beta Pictoris," by A.-M. Lagrange et al.). The team is composed of A.-M. Lagrange, M. Bonnefoy, G. Chauvin, D. Ehrenreich, and D. Mouillet (Laboratoire d'Astrophysique de l'Observatoire de Grenoble, Université Joseph Fourier, CNRS, France), D. Apai (Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, USA), A. Boccaletti, D. Gratadour, D. Rouan, and S. Lacour (LESIA, Observatoire de Paris-Meudon, France), and M. Kasper (ESO). ESO, the European Southern Observatory, is the foremost intergovernmental astronomy organisation in Europe and the world's most productive astronomical observatory. It is supported by 14 countries: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. ESO carries

  14. 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.

  15. What Astronomers and the AAS Need to be Doing to Curb Light Pollution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, D. W. E.

    2001-12-01

    Astronomers and especially the AAS are doing apalling little in the war on light pollution. This is quite surprising, considering that optical groundbased astronomy may become nearly extinct in the 21st century if we don't get more serious about the loss of our night skies to artificial lighting. Part of the blame must be placed on astronomers throughout the 20th century (particularly before 1980), as very few of them seem to have set an example by starting an early crusade against bad outdoor night lighting (save for a handful of important individuals near large U.S. observatories, and a few connected with smaller observatories); this apathy of earlier generations of astronomers fueled the current general apathy within the AAS and aided the opening of the floodgates in terms of the disastrous lighting situation now upon us in terms of drowning out the night sky. There are possible solutions, and they need to be discussed and acted upon quickly. For example, the AAS should require that all members include a useful amount (say, \\$30) in annual membership fees to be directly transmitted to the International Dark Sky Association, and the AAS should make constant visible strides to educate the public and government officials of the absolute need to reduce outdoor lighting levels and to fully shield all outdoor lighting. There are many other areas of research into outdoor lighting that the AAS should fund or officially/strongly support, so that the astronomical community can better be educated (and can better educate the public) on the evils of bad and thoughtless outdoor-lighting practices; such research includes developing a comprehensive database of national statistics on numbers and types of different outdoor lamps, as a function of time (thus, historical), and also a comprehensive database including all local, state, and federal lighting laws and ordinances together with legal court cases (and their outcomes) involving outdoor night lighting. And professional

  16. Astronomers Make First Images With Space Radio Telescope

    Science.gov (United States)

    1997-07-01

    Marking an important new milestone in radio astronomy history, scientists at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) in Socorro, New Mexico, have made the first images using a radio telescope antenna in space. The images, more than a million times more detailed than those produced by the human eye, used the new Japanese HALCA satellite, working in conjunction with the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA) and Very Large Array (VLA) ground-based radio telescopes. The landmark images are the result of a long-term NRAO effort supported by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). "This success means that our ability to make detailed radio images of objects in the universe is no longer limited by the size of the Earth," said NRAO Director Paul Vanden Bout. "Astronomy's vision has just become much sharper." HALCA, launched on Feb. 11 by Japan's Institute of Space and Astronautical Science (ISAS), is the first satellite designed for radio astronomy imaging. It is part of an international collaboration led by ISAS and backed by NRAO; Japan's National Astronomical Observatory; NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL); the Canadian Space Agency; the Australia Telescope National Facility; the European VLBI Network and the Joint Institute for Very Long Baseline Interferometry in Europe. On May 22, HALCA observed a distant active galaxy called PKS 1519-273, while the VLBA and VLA also observed it. Data from the satellite was received by a tracking station at the NRAO facility in Green Bank, West Virginia. Tape-recorded data from the satellite and from the radio telescopes on the ground were sent to NRAO's Array Operations Center (AOC) in Socorro, NM. In Socorro, astronomers and computer scientists used a special-purpose computer to digitally combine the signals from the satellite and the ground telescopes to make them all work together as a single, giant radio telescope. This dedicated machine, the VLBA Correlator, built as

  17. 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.

  18. Atmospheric Extinction Coefficients in the Ic Band for Several Major International Observatories: Results from the BiSON Telescopes, 1984-2016

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hale, S. J.; Chaplin, W. J.; Davies, G. R.; Elsworth, Y. P.; Howe, R.; Lund, M. N.; Moxon, E. Z.; Thomas, A.; Pallé, P. L.; Rhodes, E. J., Jr.

    2017-09-01

    Over 30 years of solar data have been acquired by the Birmingham Solar Oscillations Network (BiSON), an international network of telescopes used to study oscillations of the Sun. Five of the six BiSON telescopes are located at major observatories. The observational sites are, in order of increasing longitude: Mount Wilson (Hale) Observatory (MWO), California, USA; Las Campanas Observatory, Chile; Observatorio del Teide, Izaña, Tenerife, Canary Islands; the South African Astronomical Observatory, Sutherland, South Africa; Carnarvon, Western Australia; and the Paul Wild Observatory, Narrabri, New South Wales, Australia. The BiSON data may be used to measure atmospheric extinction coefficients in the {{{I}}}{{c}} band (approximately 700-900 nm), and presented here are the derived atmospheric extinction coefficients from each site over the years 1984-2016.

  19. A phase I study of vaccination with NY-ESO-1f peptide mixed with Picibanil OK-432 and Montanide ISA-51 in patients with cancers expressing the NY-ESO-1 antigen.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kakimi, Kazuhiro; Isobe, Midori; Uenaka, Akiko; Wada, Hisashi; Sato, Eiichi; Doki, Yuichiro; Nakajima, Jun; Seto, Yasuyuki; Yamatsuji, Tomoki; Naomoto, Yoshio; Shiraishi, Kenshiro; Takigawa, Nagio; Kiura, Katsuyuki; Tsuji, Kazuhide; Iwatsuki, Keiji; Oka, Mikio; Pan, Linda; Hoffman, Eric W; Old, Lloyd J; Nakayama, Eiichi

    2011-12-15

    We conducted a phase I clinical trial of a cancer vaccine using a 20-mer NY-ESO-1f peptide (NY-ESO-1 91-110) that includes multiple epitopes recognized by antibodies, and CD4 and CD8 T cells. Ten patients were immunized with 600 μg of NY-ESO-1f peptide mixed with 0.2 KE Picibanil OK-432 and 1.25 ml Montanide ISA-51. Primary end points of the study were safety and immune response. Subcutaneous injection of the NY-ESO-1f peptide vaccine was well tolerated. Vaccine-related adverse events observed were fever (Grade 1), injection-site reaction (Grade 1 or 2) and induration (Grade 2). Vaccination with the NY-ESO-1f peptide resulted in an increase or induction of NY-ESO-1 antibody responses in nine of ten patients. The sera reacted with recombinant NY-ESO-1 whole protein as well as the NY-ESO-1f peptide. An increase in CD4 and CD8 T cell responses was observed in nine of ten patients. Vaccine-induced CD4 and CD8 T cells responded to NY-ESO-1 91-108 in all patients with various HLA types with a less frequent response to neighboring peptides. The findings indicate that the 20-mer NY-ESO-1f peptide includes multiple epitopes recognized by CD4 and CD8 T cells with distinct specificity. Of ten patients, two with lung cancer and one with esophageal cancer showed stable disease. Our study shows that the NY-ESO-1f peptide vaccine was well tolerated and elicited humoral, CD4 and CD8 T cell responses in immunized patients. Copyright © 2011 UICC.

  20. GAUDI: A Preparatory Archive for the COROT Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Solano, E.; Catala, C.; Garrido, R.; Poretti, E.; Janot-Pacheco, E.; Gutiérrez, R.; González, R.; Mantegazza, L.; Neiner, C.; Fremat, Y.; Charpinet, S.; Weiss, W.; Amado, P. J.; Rainer, M.; Tsymbal, V.; Lyashko, D.; Ballereau, D.; Bouret, J. C.; Hua, T.; Katz, D.; Lignières, F.; Lüftinger, T.; Mittermayer, P.; Nesvacil, N.; Soubiran, C.; van't Veer-Menneret, C.; Goupil, M. J.; Costa, V.; Rolland, A.; Antonello, E.; Bossi, M.; Buzzoni, A.; Rodrigo, C.; Aerts, C.; Butler, C. J.; Guenther, E.; Hatzes, A.

    2005-01-01

    The GAUDI database (Ground-based Asteroseismology Uniform Database Interface) is a preparatory archive for the COROT (Convection, Rotation, and Planetary Transits) mission developed at the Laboratorio de Astrofísica Espacial y Física Fundamental (Laboratory for Space Astrophysics and Theoretical Physics, Spain). Its intention is to make the ground-based observations obtained in preparation of the asteroseismology program available in a simple and efficient way. It contains spectroscopic and photometric data together with inferred physical parameters for more than 1500 objects gathered since 1998 January 1998 in 6 years of observational campaigns. In this paper, the main functions and characteristics of the system are described. Based on observations collected at La Silla (ESO proposals 67.D-0169, 69.D-0166, and 70.D-0110), Telescopio Nazionale Galileo (proposal 6-20-068), Observatoire de Haute-Provence, the South African Astronomical Observatory, Tautenburg Observatory, and Sierra Nevada Observatory.

  1. Precision engineering for astronomy: historical origins and the future revolution in ground-based astronomy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cunningham, Colin; Russell, Adrian

    2012-08-28

    Since the dawn of civilization, the human race has pushed technology to the limit to study the heavens in ever-increasing detail. As astronomical instruments have evolved from those built by Tycho Brahe in the sixteenth century, through Galileo and Newton in the seventeenth, to the present day, astronomers have made ever more precise measurements. To do this, they have pushed the art and science of precision engineering to extremes. Some of the critical steps are described in the evolution of precision engineering from the first telescopes to the modern generation telescopes and ultra-sensitive instruments that need a combination of precision manufacturing, metrology and accurate positioning systems. In the future, precision-engineered technologies such as those emerging from the photonics industries may enable future progress in enhancing the capabilities of instruments, while potentially reducing the size and cost. In the modern era, there has been a revolution in astronomy leading to ever-increasing light-gathering capability. Today, the European Southern Observatory (ESO) is at the forefront of this revolution, building observatories on the ground that are set to transform our view of the universe. At an elevation of 5000 m in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile, the Atacama Large Millimetre/submillimetre Array (ALMA) is nearing completion. The ALMA is the most powerful radio observatory ever and is being built by a global partnership from Europe, North America and East Asia. In the optical/infrared part of the spectrum, the latest project for ESO is even more ambitious: the European Extremely Large Telescope, a giant 40 m class telescope that will also be located in Chile and which will give the most detailed view of the universe so far.

  2. Stellar students win fantastic prizes

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-05-01

    School students and teachers across Europe and around the world are discovering today who has won fantastic prizes in "Catch a Star", the international astronomical competition run by ESO and the European Association for Astronomy Education (EAAE). CAS2008 artwork ESO PR Photo 14/08 One of the winning artworks "We were extremely impressed by the high quality of the entries, and the number of participants was even higher than last year. We wish to congratulate everybody who took part," said Douglas Pierce-Price, Education Officer at ESO. "'Catch a Star' clearly shows astronomy's power to inspire and excite students of all ages," added Fernand Wagner, President of the EAAE. The top prize, of a week-long trip to Chile to visit the ESO Very Large Telescope (VLT) on Paranal, was won by students Roeland Heerema, Liesbeth Schenkels, and Gerben Van Ranst from the Instituut Spijker in Hoogstraten, Belgium, together with their teacher Ann Verstralen. With their "story of aged binary stars... Live and Let Die", they take us on a vivid tour of the amazing zoo of binary stars, and the life and death of stars like our Sun. The students show how state-of-the-art telescopes, particularly those at ESO's sites of La Silla and Paranal, help us understand these stars. They take as an illustrative example the binary star system V390 Velorum. In the last phases of its life, V390 Velorum will shed its outer shell of gas and dust, turning from a celestial chrysalis into a beautiful cosmic butterfly. The students also involved other pupils from their school, showing them how to test their eyesight by observing the binary star system of Alcor and Mizar. But perhaps the most important discovery they made is that, as they write in their report, "Astronomy lives! Discoveries are being made each day and there is still very much to be found and learned by astronomers!" The team will travel to Chile and visit the ESO VLT - the world's most advanced optical/infrared telescope. At Paranal, they

  3. The European SL-9/JUPITER Workshop

    Science.gov (United States)

    1995-02-01

    During the past six months, many astronomers - observational as well theoretical - have been busy interpreting the many data taken during the impacts and thereafter. This is a very labour-intensive task and although the first conclusions have begun to emerge, it has also become obvious that extensive consultations between the various groups are necessary before it will be possible to understand the very complex processes during the impacts and thereafter. In order to further the interaction among the involved scientists, it has been decided to hold a three-day "European SL-9/Jupiter Workshop" at the Headquarters of the European Southern Observatory. More than 100 astronomers will meet on February 13-15, 1995, and close to 100 reports will be delivered on this occasion. Although most come from European countries, the major groups on other continents are also well represented. This meeting will give the participants the opportunity to exchange information about their individual programmes and will serve to establish future collaborative efforts. SL-9/JUPITER PRESS CONFERENCE In this connection, ESO is pleased to invite the media to a Press Conference: Wednesday, February 15, 1995, 17:30 CET ESO Headquarters, Karl-Schwarzschild-Strasse 2, D-85748 Garching, Germany This conference will be held at the end of the Workshop and will provide a thorough overview of the latest results, as presented during the meeting. Media representatives who are interested in participating in this Press Conference are requested to register with the ESO Information Service (Mrs. E. Völk, Tel.: +49-89-32006276; Fax: +49-89-3202362), at the latest on Friday, February 10, 1995. ESO Press Information is made available on the World-Wide Web (URL: http://www.hq.eso.org/) and on CompuServe (space science and astronomy area, GO SPACE).

  4. Astronomers Reveal Extinct Extra-Terrestrial Fusion Reactor

    Science.gov (United States)

    2004-06-01

    An international team of astronomers, studying the left-over remnants of stars like our own Sun, have found a remarkable object where the nuclear reactor that once powered it has only just shut down. This star, the hottest known white dwarf, H1504+65, seems to have been stripped of its entire outer regions during its death throes leaving behind the core that formed its power plant. Scientists from the United Kingdom, Germany and the USA focused two of NASA's space telescopes, the Chandra X-ray Observatory and the Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer (FUSE), onto H1504+65 to probe its composition and measure its temperature. The data revealed that the stellar surface is extremely hot, 200,000 degrees, and is virtually free of hydrogen and helium, something never before observed in any star. Instead, the surface is composed mainly of carbon and oxygen, the 'ashes' of the fusion of helium in a nuclear reactor. An important question we must answer is why has this unique star lost the hydrogen and helium, which usually hide the stellar interior from our view? Professor Martin Barstow (University of Leicester) said. 'Studying the nature of the ashes of dead stars give us important clues as to how stars like the Sun live their lives and eventually die. The nuclear waste of carbon and oxygen produced in the process are essential elements for life and are eventually recycled into interstellar space to form new stars, planets and, possibly, living beings.' Professor Klaus Werner (University of Tübingen) said. 'We realized that this star has, on astronomical time scales, only very recently shut down nuclear fusion (about a hundred years ago). We clearly see the bare, now extinct reactor that once powered a bright giant star.' Dr Jeffrey Kruk (Johns Hopkins University) said: 'Astronomers have long predicted that many stars would have carbon-oxygen cores near the end of their lives, but I never expected we would actually be able to see one. This is a wonderful opportunity to

  5. Powerful Radio Burst Indicates New Astronomical Phenomenon

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-09-01

    Astronomers studying archival data from an Australian radio telescope have discovered a powerful, short-lived burst of radio waves that they say indicates an entirely new type of astronomical phenomenon. Region of Strong Radio Burst Visible-light (negative greyscale) and radio (contours) image of Small Magellanic Cloud and area where burst originated. CREDIT: Lorimer et al., NRAO/AUI/NSF Click on image for high-resolution file ( 114 KB) "This burst appears to have originated from the distant Universe and may have been produced by an exotic event such as the collision of two neutron stars or the death throes of an evaporating black hole," said Duncan Lorimer, Assistant Professor of Physics at West Virginia University (WVU) and the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO). The research team led by Lorimer consists of Matthew Bailes of Swinburne University in Australia, Maura McLaughlin of WVU and NRAO, David Narkevic of WVU, and Fronefield Crawford of Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The astronomers announced their findings in the September 27 issue of the online journal Science Express. The startling discovery came as WVU undergraduate student David Narkevic re-analyzed data from observations of the Small Magellanic Cloud made by the 210-foot Parkes radio telescope in Australia. The data came from a survey of the Magellanic Clouds that included 480 hours of observations. "This survey had sought to discover new pulsars, and the data already had been searched for the type of pulsating signals they produce," Lorimer said. "We re-examined the data, looking for bursts that, unlike the usual ones from pulsars, are not periodic," he added. The survey had covered the Magellanic Clouds, a pair of small galaxies in orbit around our own Milky Way Galaxy. Some 200,000 light-years from Earth, the Magellanic Clouds are prominent features in the Southern sky. Ironically, the new discovery is not part of these galaxies, but rather is much more distant

  6. An Observatory to Enhance the Preparation of Future California Teachers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Connolly, L.; Lederer, S.

    2004-12-01

    With a major grant from the W. M. Keck Foundation, California State University, San Bernardino is establishing a state-of-the-art teaching astronomical observatory. The Observatory will be fundamental to an innovative undergraduate physics and astronomy curriculum for Physics and Liberal Studies majors and will be integrated into our General Education program. The critical need for a research and educational observatory is linked to changes in California's Science Competencies for teacher certification. Development of the Observatory will also complement a new infusion of NASA funding and equipment support for our growing astronomy education programs and the University's established Strategic Plan for excellence in education and teacher preparation. The Observatory will consist of two domed towers. One tower will house a 20" Ritchey-Chretien telescope equipped with a CCD camera in conjunction with either UBVRI broadband filters or a spectrometer for evening laboratories and student research projects. The second tower will house the university's existing 12" Schmidt-Cassegrain optical telescope coupled with a CCD camera and an array of filters. A small aperture solar telescope will be attached to the 12" for observing solar prominences while a milar filter can be attached to the 12" for sunspot viewing. We have been very fortunate to receive a challenge grant of \\600,000 from the W. M. Keck Foundation to equip the two domed towers; we continue to seek a further \\800,000 to meet our construction needs. Funding also provided by the California State University, San Bernardino.

  7. KIC 8462852: Maria Mitchell Observatory Photographic Photometry 1930 to 1985

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castelaz, Michael; Barker, Thurburn

    2018-01-01

    KIC 8462852 is an F3V star which decreased 20% in visual brightness twice from 5 to 20 days (Boyajian et al., 2016, MNRAS, 457, 3988) in 2011 and again in 2013. New observations show decreases of a few percent in May 2017 (Waagen 2017, AAVSO Alert Notice, 579), and reanalysis of Kepler data shows a variation of 928.25 days and 22 dimming events (Kiefer et al. 2017, accepted). Photometry from the All-Sky Automated Survey for Supernovae and the All-Sky Automated Survey (ASAS) indicate two brightening episodes and a steady decrease in magnitude of 6.3 +/- 1.4 mmag/yr (Simon et al 2017, accepted). Photometric studies from photographic plate collections include a light curve from 1338 Harvard College Observatory plates over the period 1890 to 1989 (Schaefer 2016, ApJ, 822, L34) that indicates KIC 8462852 is dimming 0.164 +/- 0.013 magnitudes per century. Hippke et al. (2016, ApJ, 825, 73) present B and V light curves from photometry from the Sonneberg Observatory photographic plate collection (Brauer and Fuhrmann 1992, Die Sterne, 68, 19) covering the period from 1934 to 1995. The light curve suggests less than 3% or 0.03 magnitude per century decrease in brightness, consistent with the ASAS light curve and Kepler data.Another consistent set of astronomical photographic plates with KIC 8462852 are in the Maria Mitchell Observatory (MMO) collection (Strelnitski 2009 in ASP Conference Series Vol. 410 p. 96). This collection is located in the Astronomical Photographic Data Archive at the Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute. We extracted the photographic magnitudes of KIC 8462852 from 743 plates from 1930 to 1988. We chose 8 nearby comparison stars within one spectral subclass and within 0.05 magnitudes of KIC 8462852, and not identified as variables. The photometry is calibrated to the USNO B filter, closest in bandpass to the emulsion wavelength sensitivity. The light curve of KIC 8462852 suggests a trend of about 0.1 +/- 0.07 magnitudes per century decrease, an

  8. Global TIE Observatories: Real Time Observational Astronomy Through a Robotic Telescope Network

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, G.; Mayo, L. A.

    2001-12-01

    Astronomy in grades K-12 is traditionally taught (if at all) using textbooks and a few simple hands-on activities. Teachers are generally not trained in observational astronomy techniques and are unfamiliar with the most basic astronomical concepts. In addition, most students, by High School graduation, will never have even looked through the eyepiece of a telescope. The problem becomes even more challenging in inner cities, remote rural areas and low socioeconomic communities where educational emphasis on topics in astronomy as well as access to observing facilities is limited or non existent. Access to most optical telescope facilities is limited to monthly observing nights that cater to a small percentage of the general public living near the observatory. Even here, the observing experience is a one-time event detached from the process of scientific enquiry and sustained educational application. Additionally, a number of large, "research grade" observatory facilities are largely unused, partially due to the slow creep of light pollution around the facilities as well as the development of newer, more capable telescopes. Though cutting edge science is often no longer possible at these sights, real research opportunities in astronomy remain numerous for these facilities as educational tools. The possibility now exists to establish a network of research grade telescopes, no longer useful to the professional astronomical community, that can be made accessible through classrooms, after school, and community based programs all across the country through existing IT technologies and applications. These telescopes could provide unparalleled research and educational opportunities for a broad spectrum of students and turns underutilized observatory facilities into valuable, state-of-the-art teaching centers. The NASA sponsored Telescopes In Education project has been wildly successful in engaging the K-12 education community in real-time, hands-on, interactive astronomy

  9. The VANDELS ESO spectroscopic survey

    Science.gov (United States)

    McLure, R. J.; Pentericci, L.; Cimatti, A.; Dunlop, J. S.; Elbaz, D.; Fontana, A.; Nandra, K.; Amorin, R.; Bolzonella, M.; Bongiorno, A.; Carnall, A. C.; Castellano, M.; Cirasuolo, M.; Cucciati, O.; Cullen, F.; De Barros, S.; Finkelstein, S. L.; Fontanot, F.; Franzetti, P.; Fumana, M.; Gargiulo, A.; Garilli, B.; Guaita, L.; Hartley, W. G.; Iovino, A.; Jarvis, M. J.; Juneau, S.; Karman, W.; Maccagni, D.; Marchi, F.; Mármol-Queraltó, E.; Pompei, E.; Pozzetti, L.; Scodeggio, M.; Sommariva, V.; Talia, M.; Almaini, O.; Balestra, I.; Bardelli, S.; Bell, E. F.; Bourne, N.; Bowler, R. A. A.; Brusa, M.; Buitrago, F.; Caputi, K. I.; Cassata, P.; Charlot, S.; Citro, A.; Cresci, G.; Cristiani, S.; Curtis-Lake, E.; Dickinson, M.; Fazio, G. G.; Ferguson, H. C.; Fiore, F.; Franco, M.; Fynbo, J. P. U.; Galametz, A.; Georgakakis, A.; Giavalisco, M.; Grazian, A.; Hathi, N. P.; Jung, I.; Kim, S.; Koekemoer, A. M.; Khusanova, Y.; Le Fèvre, O.; Lotz, J. M.; Mannucci, F.; Maltby, D. T.; Matsuoka, K.; McLeod, D. J.; Mendez-Hernandez, H.; Mendez-Abreu, J.; Mignoli, M.; Moresco, M.; Mortlock, A.; Nonino, M.; Pannella, M.; Papovich, C.; Popesso, P.; Rosario, D. P.; Salvato, M.; Santini, P.; Schaerer, D.; Schreiber, C.; Stark, D. P.; Tasca, L. A. M.; Thomas, R.; Treu, T.; Vanzella, E.; Wild, V.; Williams, C. C.; Zamorani, G.; Zucca, E.

    2018-05-01

    VANDELS is a uniquely-deep spectroscopic survey of high-redshift galaxies with the VIMOS spectrograph on ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT). The survey has obtained ultra-deep optical (0.48 studies. Using integration times calculated to produce an approximately constant signal-to-noise ratio (20 motivation, survey design and target selection.

  10. The design of 1-wire net meteorological observatory for 2.4 m telescope

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Gao-Feng; Wei, Ka-Ning; Fan, Yu-Feng; Xu, Jun; Qin, Wei

    2005-03-01

    The weather is an important factor to affect astronomical observations. The 2.4 m telescope can not work in Robotic Mode without the weather data input. Therefore it is necessary to build a meteorological observatory near the 2.4 m telescope. In this article, the design of the 1-wire net meteorological observatory, which includes hardware and software systems, is introduced. The hardware system is made up of some kinds of sensors and ADC. A suited power station system is also designed. The software system is based on Windows XP operating system and MySQL data management system, and a prototype system of browse/server model is developed by JAVA and JSP. After being tested, the meteorological observatory can register the immediate data of weather, such as raining, snowing, and wind speed. At last, the data will be stored for feature use. The product and the design can work well for the 2.4 m telescope.

  11. Growing Galaxies Gently

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    helium as "heavy elements". [2] By carefully splitting up the faint light coming from a galaxy into its component colours using powerful telescopes and spectrographs, astronomers can identify the fingerprints of different chemicals in remote galaxies, and measure the amounts of heavy elements present. With the SINFONI instrument on the VLT astronomers can go one better and get a separate spectrum for each part of an object. This allows them to make a map that shows the quantity of heavy elements present in different parts of a galaxy and also determine where in the galaxy star formation is occurring most vigorously. More information This research was presented in a paper, Gas accretion in distant galaxies as the origin of chemical abundance gradients, by Cresci et al., to appear in Nature on 14 October 2010. The team is composed of G. Cresci (Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri, Italy), F. Mannucci (Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri, Italy), R. Maiolino (INAF, Osservatorio Astronomico di Roma, Italy), A. Marconi (Universitá di Firenze, Italy), A. Gnerucci (Universitá di Firenze, Italy) and L. Magrini (Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri, Italy). ESO, the European Southern Observatory, is the foremost intergovernmental astronomy organisation in Europe and the world's most productive astronomical observatory. It is supported by 14 countries: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. ESO carries out an ambitious programme focused on the design, construction and operation of powerful ground-based observing facilities enabling astronomers to make important scientific discoveries. ESO also plays a leading role in promoting and organising cooperation in astronomical research. ESO operates three unique world-class observing sites in Chile: La Silla, Paranal and Chajnantor. At Paranal, ESO operates the Very Large Telescope, the world's most advanced visible

  12. ESO Catalogue Facility Design and Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moins, C.; Retzlaff, J.; Arnaboldi, M.; Zampieri, S.; Delmotte, N.; Forchí, V.; Klein Gebbinck, M.; Lockhart, J.; Micol, A.; Vera Sequeiros, I.; Bierwirth, T.; Peron, M.; Romaniello, M.; Suchar, D.

    2013-10-01

    The ESO Phase 3 Catalogue Facility provides investigators with the possibility to ingest catalogues resulting from ESO public surveys and large programs and to query and download their content according to positional and non-positional criteria. It relies on a chain of tools that covers the complete workflow from submission to validation and ingestion into the ESO archive and catalogue repository and a web application to browse and query catalogues. This repository consists of two components. One is a Sybase ASE relational database where catalogue meta-data are stored. The second one is a Sybase IQ data warehouse where the content of each catalogue is ingested in a specific table that returns all records matching a user's query. Spatial indexing has been implemented in Sybase IQ to speed up positional queries and relies on the Spherical Geometry Toolkit from the Johns Hopkins University which implements the Hierarchical Triangular Mesh (HTM) algorithm. It is based on a recursive decomposition of the celestial sphere in spherical triangles and the assignment of an index to each of them. It has been complemented with the use of optimized indexes on the non-positional columns that are likely to be frequently used as query constraints. First tests performed on catalogues such as 2MASS have confirmed that this approach provides a very good level of performance and a smooth user experience that are likely to facilitate the scientific exploitation of catalogues.

  13. The Berlin astronomer - Life and works of Johann Elert Bode (1747-1826) (German Title: Der Berliner Astronom - Leben und Werk von Johann Elert Bode (1747-1826) )

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwemin, Friedhelm

    Johann Elert Bode (1747-1826), long-time director of Berlin Observatory, earned his merits by editing the “Astronomisches Jahrbuch” for many years, for producing a immaculate star atlas, and for writing a series of popular books. Today, astronomers still know the “Titius-Bode law” of planetary distances, which had been publicized by him. The author traces the life of this Hamburg-born scholar. He analyzes his works and tries to determine his place in the history of astronomy. The volume comprises texts of original documents from Bode's life, a bibliography of his works, as well as numerous historical illustrations, often published here for the first time.

  14. The Development of the Classical Observatory: From a Functional Shelter for the Telescope to the Temple of Science

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tapio Markkanen

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available At the end of the 18th century and at the beginning of the 19th century, observatory buildings underwent a change, because astronomical tools of observation had transformed from light portable equipment into permanently mounted accurate instruments. For positional astronomy, observations were mainly carried out in the meridian or in the prime vertical. A new type of telescope, the equatorially mounted refractor was adopted for the observation of objects such as planets, comets and double stars. The new instruments and methods of observation also required new approaches to observatory design. The new research needs began to determine the exterior, structure and functions of the observatory building. At the beginning of the 19th century, new standards of observatory planning were developed for the construction of the new observatories of Tartu, Helsinki and Pulkovo. Over many decades, the adopted design principles guided the construction and architecture of avant-garde observatories around the world. They also provided for the archetype of the observatory as a universal emblem for science well into the 20th century. The article discusses the development stages of these design principles and their global impacts.

  15. Astronomers Get Closest Look Yet At Milky Way's Mysterious Core

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-11-01

    Astronomers have gotten their deepest glimpse into the heart of our Milky Way Galaxy, peering closer to the supermassive black hole at the Galaxy's core then ever before. Using the National Science Foundation's continent-wide Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA), they found that a radio-wave-emitting object at the Galaxy's center would nearly fit between the Earth and the Sun. This is half the size measured in any previous observation. "We're getting tantalizingly close to being able to see an unmistakable signature that would provide the first concrete proof of a supermassive black hole at a galaxy's center," said Zhi-Qiang Shen, of the Shanghai Astronomical Observatory and the Chinese Academy of Sciences. A black hole is a concentration of mass so dense that not even light can escape its powerful gravitational pull. Milky Way Nucleus The Milky Way's nucleus, as seen with the VLA. Sagittarius A* is the bright white dot at center. CREDIT: NRAO/AUI/NSF, Jun-Hui Zhao, W.M. Goss (Click on Image for Larger Version) The astronomers used the VLBA to measure the size of an object called Sagittarius A* (pronounced "A-star") that marks the exact center of our Galaxy. Last year, a different team announced that their measurements showed the object would fit inside the complete circle of Earth's orbit around the Sun. Shen and his team, by observing at a higher radio frequency, measured Sagittarius A* as half that size. A mass equal to four million Suns is known to lie within Sagittarius A*, and the new measurement makes the case for a black hole even more compelling than it was previously. Scientists simply don't know of any long-lasting object other than a black hole that could contain this much mass in such a small area. However, they would like to see even stronger proof of a black hole. "The extremely strong gravitational pull of a black hole has several effects that would produce a distinctive 'shadow' that we think we could see if we can image details about half as small as

  16. Urban light pollution - The effect of atmospheric aerosols on astronomical observations at night

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joseph, Joachim H.; Mekler, Yuri; Kaufman, Yoram J.

    1991-01-01

    The transfer of diffuse city light from a localized source through a dust-laden atmosphere with optical depth less than 0.5 has been analyzed in the source-observer plane on the basis of an approximate treatment. The effect on several types of astronomical observation at night has been studied, considering different size distributions and amounts as well as particle shapes of the aerosols. The analysis is made in terms of the signal-to-noise ratios for a given amount of aerosol. The model is applied to conditions at the Wise Astronomical Observatory in the Negev desert, and limiting backgrounds for spectroscopy, photometry, and photography of stars and extended objects have been calculated for a variety of signal-to-noise ratios. Applications to observations with different equipment at various distances from an urban area of any size are possible. Due to the use of signal-to-noise ratios, the conclusions are different for the different experimental techniques used in astronomy.

  17. NASA Names Premier X-Ray Observatory and Schedules Launch

    Science.gov (United States)

    1998-12-01

    NASA's Advanced X-ray Astrophysics Facility has been renamed the Chandra X-ray Observatory in honor of the late Indian-American Nobel laureate, Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar. The telescope is scheduled to be launched no earlier than April 8, 1999 aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia mission STS-93, commanded by astronaut Eileen Collins. Chandrasekhar, known to the world as Chandra, which means "moon" or "luminous" in Sanskrit, was a popular entry in a recent NASA contest to name the spacecraft. The contest drew more than six thousand entries from fifty states and sixty-one countries. The co-winners were a tenth grade student in Laclede, Idaho, and a high school teacher in Camarillo, CA. The Chandra X-ray Observatory Center (CXC), operated by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, will control science and flight operations of the Chandra X-ray Observatory for NASA from Cambridge, Mass. "Chandra is a highly appropriate name," said Harvey Tananbaum, Director of the CXC. "Throughout his life Chandra worked tirelessly and with great precision to further our understanding of the universe. These same qualities characterize the many individuals who have devoted much of their careers to building this premier X-ray observatory." "Chandra probably thought longer and deeper about our universe than anyone since Einstein," said Martin Rees, Great Britain's Astronomer Royal. "Chandrasekhar made fundamental contributions to the theory of black holes and other phenomena that the Chandra X-ray Observatory will study. His life and work exemplify the excellence that we can hope to achieve with this great observatory," said NASA Administrator Dan Goldin. Widely regarded as one of the foremost astrophysicists of the 20th century, Chandrasekhar won the Nobel Prize in 1983 for his theoretical studies of physical processes important to the structure and evolution of stars. He and his wife immigrated from India to the U.S. in 1935. Chandrasekhar served on the faculty of the University of

  18. Richest Planetary System Discovered - Up to seven planets orbiting a Sun-like star

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-08-01

    seven planets orbiting HD 10180: probing the architecture of low-mass planetary systems" by C. Lovis et al.). The team is composed of C. Lovis, D. Ségransan, M. Mayor, S. Udry, F. Pepe, and D. Queloz (Observatoire de Genève, Université de Genève, Switzerland), W. Benz (Universität Bern, Switzerland), F. Bouchy (Institut d'Astrophysique de Paris, France), C. Mordasini (Max-Planck-Institut für Astronomie, Heidelberg, Germany), N. C. Santos (Universidade do Porto, Portugal), J. Laskar (Observatoire de Paris, France), A. Correia (Universidade de Aveiro, Portugal), and J.-L. Bertaux (Université Versailles Saint-Quentin, France) and G. Lo Curto (ESO). ESO, the European Southern Observatory, is the foremost intergovernmental astronomy organisation in Europe and the world's most productive astronomical observatory. It is supported by 14 countries: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. ESO carries out an ambitious programme focused on the design, construction and operation of powerful ground-based observing facilities enabling astronomers to make important scientific discoveries. ESO also plays a leading role in promoting and organising cooperation in astronomical research. ESO operates three unique world-class observing sites in Chile: La Silla, Paranal and Chajnantor. At Paranal, ESO operates the Very Large Telescope, the world's most advanced visible-light astronomical observatory and VISTA, the world's largest survey telescope. ESO is the European partner of a revolutionary astronomical telescope ALMA, the largest astronomical project in existence. ESO is currently planning a 42-metre European Extremely Large optical/near-infrared Telescope, the E-ELT, which will become "the world's biggest eye on the sky".

  19. Optical Spectroscopy with the Technology of Virtual Observatory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Škoda, P.

    The contemporary astronomy is flooded with an exponentially growing petabyte-scaled data volumes produced by powerful ground and space-based instrumentation as well as a product of extensive computer simulations and computations of complex numerical models. The efficient organization and seamless handling of this information avalanche stored in a world-wide spread heterogeneous databases and the facilitation of extraction of new physical knowledge about the Universe is a primary goal of the rapidly evolving astronomical Virtual Observatory (VO). We give an overview of current spectroscopic capabilities of VO and identify the future requirements indispensable for detailed multi-wavelength analysis of huge amounts of spectra in a semi-automatic manner.

  20. VISTA Reveals the Secret of the Unicorn

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    mapping the southern sky systematically, VISTA will gather some 300 gigabytes per night, providing a huge amount of information on those regions that will be studied in greater detail by the Very Large Telescope (VLT), the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) and, in the future, by the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT). Notes [1] With its 4.1-metre primary mirror, VISTA is the largest survey telescope in the world and is equipped with the largest infrared camera on any telescope, with 67 million pixels. It is dedicated to sky surveys, which began early in 2010. Located on a peak next to Cerro Paranal, the home of the ESO VLT in northern Chile, VISTA shares the same exceptional observing conditions. Due to the remarkable quality of the sky in this area of the Atacama Desert, one of the driest sites on Earth, Cerro Armazones, located only 20 km away from Cerro Paranal, has been recently selected as the site for the future E-ELT. More information ESO, the European Southern Observatory, is the foremost intergovernmental astronomy organisation in Europe and the world's most productive astronomical observatory. It is supported by 14 countries: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. ESO carries out an ambitious programme focused on the design, construction and operation of powerful ground-based observing facilities enabling astronomers to make important scientific discoveries. ESO also plays a leading role in promoting and organising cooperation in astronomical research. ESO operates three unique world-class observing sites in Chile: La Silla, Paranal and Chajnantor. At Paranal, ESO operates the Very Large Telescope, the world's most advanced visible-light astronomical observatory and VISTA, the world's largest survey telescope. ESO is the European partner of a revolutionary astronomical telescope ALMA, the largest astronomical project in

  1. Photometry and position observations of Saturnian satellites during their mutual eclipses and occultations in 1995 performed at the Observatories in Russia and Kazakhstan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emelianov, N. V.; Irsmambetova, T. R.; Kiseleva, T. P.; Tejfel, V. G.; Vashkovjak, S. N.; Glushkova, E. A.; Kornilov, V. G.; Charitonova, G. A.

    1999-10-01

    Photometry of mutual eclipses and occultations of planetary satellites is a powerful technique to explore these bodies. Observations of these rare events are a source of much precise information. In 1995 the Celestial Mechanics Department of the Sternberg Astronomical Institute (SAI) has organized the observations of mutual eclipses and occultations of Saturnian satellites on a number of observatories of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) -- the former Soviet Union (FSU). The ephemerides of satellites and their observing conditions have been computed beforehand and mailed these data to many observatories of CIS. The Crimean laboratory (CL) of the Sternberg Astronomical Institute, two observatories of the Fesenkov Astrophysical Institute of the Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Kazakhstan (FAI AS RK) in Almaty, and the Main Astronomical Observatory of Russian Academy of Sciences (MAO RAS) in Pulkovo took part in observations. A photoelectric photometer was used in CL of SAI, a CCD was employed to secure satellite images in FAI AS RK, and both CCD and photographic plates were used in MAO RAS. As a result of this observing campaign, photometric data and light curves were obtained for three mutual eclipses and occultations of Saturnian satellites. A number of position observations made allowed us to measure relative coordinates of satellites. Astrometric information has already been derived from photometric data. The mutual apparent positions of satellites were calculated with an accuracy of 0farcs 002 - 0farcs 003. In this paper observations are described and the parameters characterizing the observed phenomena are given. The results of observations are available in electronic form. This work supported by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research, projects Nos. 95-02-05042, 97-02-16551. Results of observations available in electronic form at CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (130.79.128.5) or via http://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/Abstract.html

  2. 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

  3. Increased NY-ESO-1 Expression and Reduced Infiltrating CD3+ T Cells in Cutaneous Melanoma

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mara Giavina-Bianchi

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available NY-ESO-1 is a cancer-testis antigen aberrantly expressed in melanomas, which may serve as a robust and specific target in immunotherapy. NY-ESO-1 antigen expression, tumor features, and the immune profile of tumor infiltrating lymphocytes were assessed in primary cutaneous melanoma. NY-ESO-1 protein was detected in 20% of invasive melanomas (16/79, rarely in in situ melanoma (1/10 and not in benign nevi (0/20. Marked intratumoral heterogeneity of NY-ESO-1 protein expression was observed. NY-ESO-1 expression was associated with increased primary tumor thickness (P=0.007 and inversely correlated with superficial spreading melanoma (P<0.02. NY-ESO-1 expression was also associated with reduced numbers and density of CD3+ tumor infiltrating lymphocytes (P=0.017. When NY-ESO-1 protein was expressed, CD3+ T cells were less diffusely infiltrating the tumor and were more often arranged in small clusters (P=0.010 or as isolated cells (P=0.002 than in large clusters of more than five lymphocytes. No correlation of NY-ESO-1 expression with gender, age, tumor site, ulceration, lymph node sentinel status, or survival was observed. NY-ESO-1 expression in melanoma was associated with tumor progression, including increased tumor thickness, and with reduced tumor infiltrating lymphocytes.

  4. Expert Images for All Audiences: The AstroPix Archive

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hurt, Robert; Llamas, Jacob; Wyatt, Ryan Jason; Christensen, Lars

    2018-01-01

    The AstroPix project provides one-stop-shopping for an extensive collection of the finest astronomical imagery, sourced from some of the world’s most prominent observatories. The archive is made possible by a grassroots effort to tag publicly-released imagery using the Astronomical Visualization Metadata (AVM) standard, which captures rich contextual information for each image. While the site has been in development for many years, it is now supported under NASA’s Universe of Learning collaboration, and AstroPix has been updated and deployed to cloud services. The AVM tags provide many unique features including spectral color assignments, sky context (using AAS WorldWide Telescope APIs), and direct links to the original source material on the web. The 7,000+ assets currently include imagery provided by Chandra, ESO, GALEX, Herschel, Hubble, NuSTAR, Spitzer, and WISE. The assets are also provided for use in the planetarium community by supporting the Data2Dome (D2D) initiative. AstroPix imagery is designed to be used in a variety of unique ways that benefit formal and informal education as well as astronomers and the general public. Observatories can add their own image archives to AstroPix by tagging their assets and providing a simple XML feed, increasing the value of their data to the community at large.

  5. Latin American astronomers and the International Astronomical Union

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torres-Peimbert, S.

    2017-07-01

    Selected aspects of the participation of the Latin American astronomers in the International Astronomical Union are presented: Membership, Governing bodies, IAU meetings, and other activities. The Union was founded in 1919 with 7 initial member states, soon to be followed by Brazil. In 1921 Mexico joined, and in 1928 Argentina also formed part of the Union, while Chile joined in 1947. In 1961 Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico and Venezuela were already member countries. At present (October 2016) 72 countries contribute financially to the Union. The Union lists 12,391 professional astronomers as individual members; of those, 692 astronomers work in Latin America and the Caribbean, from 13 member states (Argentina, Bolivia , Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Honduras, Mexico, Panamá, Perú, Uruguay and Venezuela) as well as from Ecuador and Puerto Rico. This group comprises 5.58% of the total membership, a figure somewhat lower than the fraction of the population in the region, which is 8.6% of the world population. Of the Latin American members, 23.4% are women and 76.6% are men; slightly higher than the whole membership of Union, which is of 16.9%. In the governing bodies it can be mentioned that there have been 2 Presidents of the Union (Jorge Sahade and Silvia Torres-Peimbert), 7 VicePresidents (Guillermo Haro, Jorge Sahade, Manuel Peimbert Claudio Anguita, Silvia Torres-Peimbert, Beatriz Barbuy, and Marta G. Rovira). The IAU meetings held in the region, include 2 General Assemblies (the 1991 XXI GA took place in Buenos Aires, Argentina and the 2009 XXVIII GA, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), 15 Regional Meetings (in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Venezuela and Uruguay), 29 Symposia (in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Peru and Mexico), 5 Colloquia (in Argentina and Mexico), 8 International Schools for Young Astronomers (in Argentina, Brazil, Cuba, Honduras and Mexico), and 11 projects sponsored by the Office of Astronomy

  6. Temperature control system for optical elements in astronomical instrumentation

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-07-01

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

  7. A New Python Library for Spectroscopic Analysis with MIDAS Style

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Y.; Luo, A.; Zhao, Y.

    2013-10-01

    The ESO MIDAS is a system for astronomers to analyze data which many astronomers are using. Python is a high level script language and there are many applications for astronomical data process. We are releasing a new Python library which realizes some MIDAS commands in Python. People can use it to write a MIDAS style Python code. We call it PydasLib. It is a Python library based on ESO MIDAS functions, which is easily used by astronomers who are familiar with the usage of MIDAS.

  8. Morro Azul Observatory: A New Center for Teaching and Popularization of Astronomy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bretones, Paulo Sergio; Cardoso de Oliveira, Vladimir

    2002-08-01

    In 1999, the Instituto Superior de Ciências Aplicadas (ISCA Faculdades de Limeira) started a project to build an observatory and initiate several astronomy related activities in the city of Limeira and region (São Paulo state) with the aim of teaching and popularizing astronomy. After contracting teachers, a technician and an intern, the Morro Azul Observatory was inaugurated in March 2000 as a part of the geosciences department of ISCA Faculdades. This poster describes the development phases of the Observatory, the activities initiated by the Observatory, and assesses the impact of the project. Several issues will be discussed such as the criteria for choosing the site, buildings, instruments, group visits, and particularly the goals that were reached. The Observatory, as described here, serves as a model for other centers with the same purpose in the country. The achievements of this project include the creation of two astronomical disciplines for the geography course and liaisons with other courses such as tourism, pedagogy, social communication and engineering. New activities were initiated, educational materials created, and the Observatory is now part of the regions teaching network and is in contact with other Brazilian and foreign centers. This poster presents the results from report analyses, visitor records, the local media, goal strategy assessment, and the current state of the project. It concludes with an evaluation of the social commitment of the Observatory, its initiatives for the constant renewal and growth of the project, its policy of maintaining the activities and interchange with other national and international astronomy centers, and the future perspectives in terms of its contribution for the research in science education.

  9. Stars Just Got Bigger - A 300 Solar Mass Star Uncovered

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    P. Crowther et al.). The team is composed of Paul A. Crowther, Richard J. Parker, and Simon P. Goodwin (University of Sheffield, UK), Olivier Schnurr (University of Sheffield and Astrophysikalisches Institut Potsdam, Germany), Raphael Hirschi (Keele University, UK), and Norhasliza Yusof and Hasan Abu Kassim (University of Malaya, Malaysia). ESO, the European Southern Observatory, is the foremost intergovernmental astronomy organisation in Europe and the world's most productive astronomical observatory. It is supported by 14 countries: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. ESO carries out an ambitious programme focused on the design, construction and operation of powerful ground-based observing facilities enabling astronomers to make important scientific discoveries. ESO also plays a leading role in promoting and organising cooperation in astronomical research. ESO operates three unique world-class observing sites in Chile: La Silla, Paranal and Chajnantor. At Paranal, ESO operates the Very Large Telescope, the world's most advanced visible-light astronomical observatory and VISTA, the world's largest survey telescope. ESO is the European partner of a revolutionary astronomical telescope ALMA, the largest astronomical project in existence. ESO is currently planning a 42-metre European Extremely Large optical/near-infrared Telescope, the E-ELT, which will become "the world's biggest eye on the sky".

  10. Methods in Astronomical Image Processing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jörsäter, S.

    A Brief Introductory Note History of Astronomical Imaging Astronomical Image Data Images in Various Formats Digitized Image Data Digital Image Data Philosophy of Astronomical Image Processing Properties of Digital Astronomical Images Human Image Processing Astronomical vs. Computer Science Image Processing Basic Tools of Astronomical Image Processing Display Applications Calibration of Intensity Scales Calibration of Length Scales Image Re-shaping Feature Enhancement Noise Suppression Noise and Error Analysis Image Processing Packages: Design of AIPS and MIDAS AIPS MIDAS Reduction of CCD Data Bias Subtraction Clipping Preflash Subtraction Dark Subtraction Flat Fielding Sky Subtraction Extinction Correction Deconvolution Methods Rebinning/Combining Summary and Prospects for the Future

  11. A New Effort for Atmospherical Forecast: Meteorological Image Processing Software (MIPS) for Astronomical Observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shameoni Niaei, M.; Kilic, Y.; Yildiran, B. E.; Yüzlükoglu, F.; Yesilyaprak, C.

    2016-12-01

    We have described a new software (MIPS) about the analysis and image processing of the meteorological satellite (Meteosat) data for an astronomical observatory. This software will be able to help to make some atmospherical forecast (cloud, humidity, rain) using meteosat data for robotic telescopes. MIPS uses a python library for Eumetsat data that aims to be completely open-source and licenced under GNU/General Public Licence (GPL). MIPS is a platform independent and uses h5py, numpy, and PIL with the general-purpose and high-level programming language Python and the QT framework.

  12. A small Internet controllable observatory for research and education at the University of North Dakota

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hardersen, P. S.; de Silva, S.; Reddy, V.; Cui, P.; Kumar, S.; Gaffey, M. J.

    2006-06-01

    One of the challenges in astronomy education today is to introduce college students to the real-world practice and science of observational astronomy. Along with a good theoretical background, college students can gain an earlier, deeper understanding of the astronomy profession through direct observational and data reduction experience. However, building and managing a modest observatory is still too costly for many colleges and universities. Fortunately, advances in commercial astronomical hardware and software now allow universities to build and operate small Internet controllable observatories for a modest investment. The advantages of an Internet observatory include: 1) remote operation from a comfortable location, 2) immediate data access, 3) telescope control via a web browser, and 4) allowing both on-campus and distance education students the ability to conduct a variety of observing projects. Internet capabilities vastly expand the number of students who will be able to use the observatory, thus exposing them to astronomy as a science and as a potential career. In September 2005, the University of North Dakota (UND) Department of Space Studies began operating a small, recently renovated Internet controllable observatory. Housed within a roll-off roof 10 miles west of UND, the observatory includes a Meade 16-inch, f/10 Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope, an SBIG STL-6303e CCD with broadband filters, ACP observatory control software, focuser, and associated equipment. The observatory cost \\25,000 to build in 1996; 2005 renovation costs total \\28,000. An observatory operator prepares the telescope for use each night. Through remote operation, the roof is opened and the telescope/CCD power is turned on. The telescope is then aligned and focused before allowing students to access the observatory. Students communicate with the observatory operator via an online chat room and via telephone, if necessary, to answer questions and resolve any problems. Additional

  13. High Resolution Infrared Spectroscopy in Astronomy Proceedings of an ESO Workshop Held at Garching, Germany, 18-21 November 2003

    CERN Document Server

    Käufl, Hans Ulrich; Moorwood, Alan F. M

    2005-01-01

    Two specialized new instruments for ESO's VLT, VISIR and CRIRES, spawned the idea for this workshop. CRIRES is a dedicated very high resolution infrared spectrograph; VISIR features a high resolution spectroscopic mode. Together, the instruments combine the sensitivity of an 8m-telescope with the now well-established reliability of VLT-facility instruments. High resolution here means that lines in cool stellar atmospheres and HII-regions can be resolved. The astrophysical topics discussed in this rather specialized workshop range from the inner solar system to active galactic nuclei. There are many possibilities for new discoveries with these instruments, but the unique capability, which becomes available through high-resolution infrared spectroscopy, is the observation of molecular rotational-vibrational transitions in many astrophysical environments. Particularly interesting and surprising in this context, many papers on modeling and laboratory spectroscopy at the workshop appear to indicate that astronomic...

  14. Astronomy in the Netherlands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boland, Wilfried; Habing, Harm

    2013-01-01

    We describe the state of astronomical research in the Netherlands per early 2012. We add some notes on its history of this research and on the strategic choices for the future. Compared to the size of the country (16 million people) the Netherlands is maintaining a high profile in astronomical research over a period of more than one century. The professional research community consists of about 650 people. This includes research staff, postdocs, PhD students, technical staff working on instrumentation projects and people involved in the operations of ground-based telescopes and astronomical space missions. We do not take into account staff working for international organizations based in the Netherlands. Astronomical research in the Netherlands is carried out at four university institutes and two national research institutes that fall under the umbrella of the national funding agency NWO. The Netherlands is the host of two international organizations: ESTEC, the technology division of the European Space Agency (ESA), and the Joint Institute for VLBI in Europe (JIVE). The Netherlands are one of the founding members of the European Southern Observatory (ESO) and of ESA. This paper will address a number of significant multilateral collaborations.

  15. James Gregory, the University observatory and the early acquisition of scientific instruments at the University of St Andrews

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rawson, Helen C.

    2015-01-01

    James Gregory, inventor of the reflecting telescope and Fellow of the Royal Society, was the first Regius Professor of Mathematics of the University of St Andrews, 1668–74. He attempted to establish in St Andrews what would, if completed, have been the first purpose-built observatory in the British Isles. He travelled to London in 1673 to purchase instruments for equipping the observatory and improving the teaching and study of natural philosophy and mathematics in the university, seeking the advice of John Flamsteed, later the first Astronomer Royal. This paper considers the observatory initiative and the early acquisition of instruments at the University of St Andrews, with reference to Gregory's correspondence, inventories made ca. 1699–ca. 1718 and extant instruments themselves, some of which predate Gregory's time. It examines the structure and fate of the university observatory, the legacy of Gregory's teaching and endeavours, and the meridian line laid down in 1748 in the University Library.

  16. 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

  17. Obituary: Adriaan Blaauw, 1914-2010

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Zeeuw, Tim

    2011-12-01

    Observatory, or simply as ESO. In 1953, Baade and Oort proposed the idea of combining European resources to create an astronomical research organisation that could compete in the international arena. Blaauw had returned to Leiden in 1948 at Oort's invitation, had moved to Yerkes Observatory in 1953, becoming its associate director in 1956, and moved back to Groningen in 1957, where he revitalized the institute and initiated a new program in radio astronomy together with van Woerden. Here he was also in a key position to contribute to transforming the idea of Baade and Oort into reality. He was Secretary of the ESO Committee (the proto ESO Council) from 1959 through 1963, a period which included the signing of the ESO Convention on 5 October 1962 by the five founding Member States Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden. Blaauw became ESO's Scientific Director in 1968. In this position he also provided the decisive push to combine the various national journals for astronomy into Astronomy and Astrophysics, which today is one of the leading astronomy research publications in the world. Blaauw succeeded Heckman as Director General of ESO in 1970, for a five-year term. During this period several telescopes including the ESO 0.5-meter and 1-meter Schmidt telescopes began operating at ESO's first observatory site, La Silla, in Chile, and much work was done on the design and construction of the ESO 3.6-meter telescope, which saw first light in 1976. Blaauw decided that it was crucial for this challenging project to move ESO's Headquarters and the Technical Department from Hamburg to Geneva, to benefit from the presence of the experienced CERN engineering group. After his ESO period, Blaauw returned to Leiden, where he continued to play a very important role in international astronomy. He was President of the International Astronomical Union from 1976 to 1979. During his tenure he used his considerable diplomatic skills to convince China to rejoin the IAU even though

  18. The Practical Astronomer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koester, Jack

    "The Practical Astronomer" by Thomas Dick, LLD, E.C. & J. Biddle, Philadelphia, 1849, is reviewed. Information on telescope makers and astronomers can be found. Mentioned are: Fraunhofer; John Herschel; Lawson; Dollond; Tulley; W. & S. Jones; and S.W. Burnham.

  19. Optical Spectroscopy with the Technology of Virtual Observatory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Škoda P.

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available The contemporary astronomy is flooded with an exponentially growing petabyte-scaled data volumes produced by powerful ground and space-based instrumentation as well as a product of extensive computer simulations and computations of complex numerical models. The efficient organization and seamless handling of this information avalanche stored in a world-wide spread heterogeneous databases and the facilitation of extraction of new physical knowledge about the Universe is a primary goal of the rapidly evolving astronomical Virtual Observatory (VO. We give an overview of current spectroscopic capabilities of VO and identify the future requirements indispensable for detailed multi-wavelength analysis of huge amounts of spectra in a semi-automatic manner.

  20. The Gaia-ESO Public Spectroscopic Survey

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gilmore, G.; Randich, S.; Asplund, M.

    2012-01-01

    The Gaia-ESO Public Spectroscopic Survey has begun and will obtain high quality spectroscopy of some 100000 Milky Way stars, in the field and in open clusters, down to magnitude 19, systematically covering all the major components of the Milky Way. This survey will provide the first homogeneous o...

  1. Short-course Astronomical Research Seminars for High School and College Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Jolyon

    2011-05-01

    Since 2008, I have helped lead several short-course astronomical research seminars with Russell M. Genet. These seminars have ranged from semester-long courses at Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo, California to long weekends at the University of Oregon's Pine Mountain Observatory. Each seminar is led by an experienced observer or group of observers who guide high school and college students through the scientific process from observations to publication. The students (anywhere from half a dozen to twenty in number) participate in and contribute to every step. Being a coauthor on one or more research papers offers students an advantage on college and scholarship applications. Similarly, graduate schools often prefer students with research experience. Many topics of research are appropriate for these short-courses including variable star, exoplanet, and asteroid photometry. However, the most successful topic has been visual double stars because the observations required are straitforward and the equipment is relatively inexpensive. The Journal of Double Star Observations is also welcoming of student research and provides swift publication. A detailed description of the short-course seminars can be found in the recent Collins Foundation Press volume titled Small Telescopes and Astronomical Research.

  2. Happy Anniversary, VLT !

    Science.gov (United States)

    2004-04-01

    Five years at the service of Europe's astronomers VLT 5 Years One of the world's most advanced astronomical research facilities, the ESO Very Large Telescope (VLT) at the Paranal Observatory in the Chilean Atacama desert, celebrates an important anniversary today. On April 1, 1999, and following almost one year of extensive tests and careful trimming of its numerous high-tech parts, the first 8.2-m VLT Unit Telescope, Antu (UT1), was "handed over" to the astronomers. Since that date, science operations with this marvellous research tool have been continuous and intensive. Kueyen (UT2) started normal operations exactly one year later. Yepun (UT4) was offered to the scientific community in June 2001, while Melipal (UT3) followed in August 2001 [1]. Ever since, all four VLT Unit Telescopes, with an ever-growing suite of highly specialised, extremely powerful astronomical instruments have been in full operation, 365 nights a year. And this with unequalled success, as demonstrated by a long list of important scientific results, including a substantial number of exciting discoveries that are now opening new horizons in astrophysics. Moreover, thanks to heroic and persistent efforts by the dedicated teams of ESO scientists and engineers, the "downtime" due to technical problems has been very small, about 3 per cent, a number that is unequalled among the world's large telescope facilities. In addition, the weather conditions at the Paranal site in the dry Atacama desert in Northern Chile are truly excellent - this is indeed one of the best locations for astronomical observations on the surface of the Earth - and the corresponding "weather downtime" has only been around 10 per cent. This has resulted in an unbelievably low value of total downtime, most likely a new world record for ground-based 8-10 m class telescopes. VLT strong points The Very Large Telescope (VLT) is the world's largest and most advanced optical telescope. It comprises four 8.2-m reflecting Unit

  3. Archives at the U.S. Naval Observatory - Recent Projects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corbin, B. G.

    2004-12-01

    In 1874, like many other astronomical institutions, the U.S. Naval Observatory sent eight expeditions to different parts of the globe to observe the Transit of Venus. After all results were in, William Harkness was placed in charge of preparing the results and observations for publication. Page proofs of these observations appeared in 1881, but due to lack of funds and other reasons, these volumes were never published. Recently funds became available to have photocopies made on acid-free paper. The Astrophysics Data System (ADS) agreed to scan the photocopied pages and has made this publication available via the ADS so it now may be seen by anyone with access to the web. The compilation of a historical photograph archive at the USNO is continuing. Photographs and glass plates are being scanned by students and placed on the web. As the Naval Observatory has many thousands of plates and photographs, this project will take quite some time to complete. The images are of instruments, buildings, and staff members. The URL for this collection is http://www.usno.navy.mil/library/search.shtml

  4. This Month in Astronomical History: Providing Context for the Advancement of Astronomy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Teresa

    2018-01-01

    This Month in Astronomical History is a short (~500 word) illustrated column hosted on the AAS website (https://had.aas.org/resources/astro-history). Its mission is to highlight people and events that have shaped the development of astronomy to convey a historical context to current researchers, to provide a resource for education and public outreach programs seeking to incorporate a historical perspective, and to share the excitement of astronomy with the public. Knowing how the astronomical journey has proceeded thus far allows current professionals to map where to go next and how to get there. The column charts the first part of this journey by celebrating anniversaries of births, discoveries, and deaths, and the technological advances that made discoveries possible. A new “Further Reading” section encourages readers to pursue subjects in greater depth and strengthens the articles as classroom resources.In the months preceding the 21 August 2017 solar eclipse, the column featured astronomical bodies that come between Earth and the Sun: 2004 Venus transit, the 1878 solar eclipse, and the search for the hypothetical planet Vulcan. Venusian transits were an early but technically challenging way to measure the astronomical unit, now easily done with radar-ranging. Like this year’s event, eclipse chasing and citizen science were part of the 1878 experience. Newton’s Laws seemed to require a planet inside Mercury’s orbit, but General Relativity explained the behavior of Mercury without it. Studying each of these transiting bodies has expanded our knowledge and understanding of the universe differently. Transiting extrasolar planets remain to be explored in a future column. In September, an article on the discovery of Neptune followed the discussion of the non-existent Vulcan quite naturally and expanded on the brief mention of this event in relation to the discovery of Pluto. Suggestions for additional topics are always welcome.The Dudley Observatory

  5. 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.

  6. The VANDELS ESO public spectroscopic survey

    Science.gov (United States)

    McLure, R. J.; Pentericci, L.; Cimatti, A.; Dunlop, J. S.; Elbaz, D.; Fontana, A.; Nandra, K.; Amorin, R.; Bolzonella, M.; Bongiorno, A.; Carnall, A. C.; Castellano, M.; Cirasuolo, M.; Cucciati, O.; Cullen, F.; De Barros, S.; Finkelstein, S. L.; Fontanot, F.; Franzetti, P.; Fumana, M.; Gargiulo, A.; Garilli, B.; Guaita, L.; Hartley, W. G.; Iovino, A.; Jarvis, M. J.; Juneau, S.; Karman, W.; Maccagni, D.; Marchi, F.; Mármol-Queraltó, E.; Pompei, E.; Pozzetti, L.; Scodeggio, M.; Sommariva, V.; Talia, M.; Almaini, O.; Balestra, I.; Bardelli, S.; Bell, E. F.; Bourne, N.; Bowler, R. A. A.; Brusa, M.; Buitrago, F.; Caputi, K. I.; Cassata, P.; Charlot, S.; Citro, A.; Cresci, G.; Cristiani, S.; Curtis-Lake, E.; Dickinson, M.; Fazio, G. G.; Ferguson, H. C.; Fiore, F.; Franco, M.; Fynbo, J. P. U.; Galametz, A.; Georgakakis, A.; Giavalisco, M.; Grazian, A.; Hathi, N. P.; Jung, I.; Kim, S.; Koekemoer, A. M.; Khusanova, Y.; Fèvre, O. Le; Lotz, J. M.; Mannucci, F.; Maltby, D. T.; Matsuoka, K.; McLeod, D. J.; Mendez-Hernandez, H.; Mendez-Abreu, J.; Mignoli, M.; Moresco, M.; Mortlock, A.; Nonino, M.; Pannella, M.; Papovich, C.; Popesso, P.; Rosario, D. P.; Salvato, M.; Santini, P.; Schaerer, D.; Schreiber, C.; Stark, D. P.; Tasca, L. A. M.; Thomas, R.; Treu, T.; Vanzella, E.; Wild, V.; Williams, C. C.; Zamorani, G.; Zucca, E.

    2018-05-01

    VANDELS is a uniquely-deep spectroscopic survey of high-redshift galaxies with the VIMOS spectrograph on ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT). The survey has obtained ultra-deep optical (0.48 studies. Using integration times calculated to produce an approximately constant signal-to-noise ratio (20 motivation, survey design and target selection.

  7. Scientific planning for the VLT and VLTI

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leibundgut, B.; Berger, J.-P.

    2016-07-01

    An observatory system like the VLT/I requires careful scientific planning for operations and future instruments. Currently the ESO optical/near-infrared facilities include four 8m telescopes, four (movable) 1.8m telescopes used exclusively for interferometry, two 4m telescopes and two survey telescopes. This system offers a large range of scientific capabilities and setting the corresponding priorities depends good community interactions. Coordinating the existing and planned instrumentation is an important aspect for strong scientific return. The current scientific priorities for the VLT and VLTI are pushing for the development of the highest angular resolution imaging and astrometry, integral field spectroscopy and multi-object spectroscopy. The ESO 4m telescopes on La Silla will be dedicated to time domain spectroscopy and exo-planet searches with highly specialized instruments. The next decade will also see a significant rise in the scientific importance of massive ground and space-based surveys. We discuss how future developments in astronomical research could shape the VLT/I evolution.

  8. Thirty years of astronomical discovery with UKIRT

    CERN Document Server

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

    2013-01-01

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

  9. Space astronomical telescopes and instruments; Proceedings of the Meeting, Orlando, FL, Apr. 1-4, 1991

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bely, Pierre Y.; Breckinridge, James B.

    The present volume on space astronomical telescopes and instruments discusses lessons from the HST, telescopes on the moon, future space missions, and mirror fabrication and active control. Attention is given to the in-flight performance of the Goddard high-resolution spectrograph of the HST, the initial performance of the high-speed photometer, results from HST fine-guidance sensors, and reconstruction of the HST mirror figure from out-of-focus stellar images. Topics addressed include system concepts for a large UV/optical/IR telescope on the moon, optical design considerations for next-generation space and lunar telescopes, the implications of lunar dust for astronomical observatories, and lunar liquid-mirror telescopes. Also discussed are space design considerations for the Space Infrared Telescope Facility, the Hubble extrasolar planet interferometer, Si:Ga focal-plane arrays for satellite and ground-based telescopes, microchannel-plate detectors for space-based astronomy, and a method for making ultralight primary mirrors.

  10. 2011 Astronomy Day at McDonald Observatory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Preston, Sandra; Hemeway, M.; Wetzel, M.

    2012-01-01

    Our philosophy is that everyday is Astronomy Day because the McDonald Observatory's Frank N. Bash Visitors Center is open 362 days a year. So, how did we create a special celebration for the "Astronomy Day” declared by the Astronomical League? During September 26-29 we conducted 20 videoconferences and served 12,559 students with "Astronomy Day” programming. Connect2Texas provides bridging for a network of Texas-based museums and cultural, historical, and scientific organizations that offer educational content to schools throughout the state via videoconferencing. Connect2Texas connected McDonald Observatory to 334 schools; most of these schools were in Texas, but schools in a dozen other states also participated. While most schools had a "view-only" connection, at least 20 of the schools had interactive connections, whereby the students could ask questions of the presenter. Connect2Texas also collects evaluation information from the participating schools that we will use to produce a report for our funders and make modifications to future programs as need be. The videoconferences were offered free of charge. The theme for the 2011 Astronomy Day program was the Year of the Solar System, which aligns with NASA's theme for 2011 and 2012. By aligning with this NASA theme, we could leverage NASA artwork and materials to both advertise and enrich the learning experience. Videoconference materials also included pre- and post-videoconference assessment sheets, an inquiry based activity, and pre- and post-videoconference activities, all of which were made available online. One of the lessons learned from past Astronomy Day videoconferences is that the days the Astronomical League declares as "Astronomy Day” are not always good days for Texas schools to participate. So, we choose an Astronomy Day that meets the needs of Texas schools and our schedule - so any day can be Astronomy Day. 2011 Astronomy Day was made possible by The Meyer-Levy Charitable Trust.

  11. Explanatory Supplement to the Astronomical Almanac, Third Edition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seidelmann, P. Kenneth; Urban, S. E.

    2010-01-01

    "The Explanatory Supplement to the Astronomical Almanac" (hereafter "The Explanatory Supplement") is a comprehensive reference book on the topic of positional astronomy, covering the theories and algorithms used to produce "The Astronomical Almanac" (AsA), an annual publication produced jointly by the Nautical Almanac Office of the US Naval Observatory (USNO) and Her Majesty's Nautical Almanac Office (HMNAO) of the UK Hydrographic Office. The first edition of The Explanatory Supplement appeared in 1961 and was reprinted with amendments during the 1970s. The second edition was printed in 1992 and reprinted until 2006. Since the second edition, several changes have taken place in positional astronomy regarding reference systems and internationally accepted models, data sets, and computational methods; these have been incorporated into the AsA. Additionally, the data presented in the AsA have been modified over the years, with new tables being added and some being discontinued. Given these changes, a new edition of The Explanatory Supplement is appropriate. The third edition has been in development for the last few years and will be available in 2010. The book is organized similarly to the second (1991) edition, with each chapter written by subject matter experts. Authors from USNO and HMNAO contributed to the majority of the book, but there are authors from Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Technical University of Dresden, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, University of Texas Austin, and University of Virginia. This paper will discuss this latest edition of the Explanatory Supplement.

  12. Radio-continuum jets around the peculiar galaxy pair ESO 295-IG022

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Filipović M.D.

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available We report new radio-continuum observations with the Australia Telescope Compact Array (ATCA of the region surrounding the peculiar galaxy pair ESO 295-IG022 at the centre of the poor cluster Abell S0102. We observed this cluster at wavelengths of λ=20/13 and 6/3 cm with the ATCA 6 km array. With these configurations, we achieved a resolution of ~2'' at 3 cm which is sufficient to resolve the jet-like structure of ~3' length detected at 20 cm. From our new high resolution images at 6 and 3 cm we confirm the presence of a double jet structure, most likely originating from the northern galaxy (ESO 295-IG022-N, bent and twisted towards the south. We found the spectral index of the jet to be very steep (α=-1.32. No point source was detected that could be associated with the core of ESO 295-IG022-N. On the other hand, ESO 295-IG022-S does not show any jet structure, but does show a point radio source. This source has variable flux and spectral index, and appears to be superposed on the line-of-sight of the jets (seen at 20-cm originating from the northern galaxy ESO 295-IG022-N. Finally, regions of very high and somewhat well ordered polarization were detected at the level of 70%.

  13. Astronomical Surveys and Big Data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mickaelian Areg M.

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  14. Distant Supernovae Indicate Ever-Expanding Universe

    Science.gov (United States)

    1998-12-01

    ESO Astronomers Contribute towards Resolution of Cosmic Puzzle Since the discovery of the expansion of the Universe by American astronomer Edwin Hubble in the 1920's, by measurement of galaxy velocities, astronomers have tried to learn how this expansion changes with time. Until now, most scientists have been considering two possibilities: the expansion rate is slowing down and will ultimately either come to a halt - whereafter the Universe would start to contract, or it will continue to expand forever. However, new studies by two independent research teams, based on observations of exploding stars ( supernovae ) by ESO astronomers [1] with astronomical telescopes at the La Silla Observatory as well as those of their colleagues at other institutions, appear to show that the expansion of the Universe is accelerating . The results take the discovery of the cosmological expansion one step further and challenge recent models of the Universe. If the new measurements are indeed correct, they show that the elusive "cosmological constant" , as proposed by Albert Einstein , contributes significantly to the evolution of the Universe. The existence of a non-zero cosmological constant implies that a repulsive force, counter-acting gravity, currently dominates the universal expansion , and consequently leads to an ever-expanding Universe. This new research is being named as the "Breakthrough of the Year" by the renowned US science journal Science in the December 18, 1998, issue. A Press Release is published by the journal on this occasion. "Fundamental Parameters" of the Universe Three fundamental parameters govern all cosmological models based on the theory of General Relativity. They are 1. the current expansion rate as described by Hubble's constant , i.e. the proportionality factor between expansion velocity and distance 2. the average matter density in the Universe, and 3. the amount of "other energy" present in space. From the measured values of these fundamental

  15. The Athena science case in context

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barcons, X.

    2017-10-01

    The Athena X-ray observatory mission has been conceived to study the Hot and Energetic Universe. This includes determining the physical and chemical evolution of the hot baryonic component in the Universe, assembling into the gravitational potential wells in large-scale structures as well as the phenomena generated around black holes, capable of shaping galaxies and clusters through feedback phenomena. In this talk, I will develop in detail the science objectives of Athena along these lines, as well as in other areas of Astrophysics where its contribution will be transformational. I will particularly highlight the role of the Athena observatory in the astronomical landscape of the late 2020s, where synergies with large optical/IR and sub/mm facilities have been already identified through a joint ESO-Athena synergy exercise, and likewise with large radio facilities through an on-going SKA-Athena synergy exercise.

  16. 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

  17. The AstroMundus-ESO Connection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Humphreys, E.; Hussain, G.; Biggs, A.; Lu, H.-Y.; Emsellem, E.; De Cia, A.; Lavail, A.; Spyromilio, J.

    2016-03-01

    The AstroMundus Programme is an E+ Erasmus Mundus Joint Masters Degree course in astronomy and astrophysics offered by a consortium of European universities and research institutes. In 2014 and 2016, AstroMundus Masters students visited ESO and participated in proposal-writing sessions, during which groups of students speed-wrote complete ALMA proposals, before presenting them to a pseudo Time Allocation Committee providing on-the-spot feedback. The AstroMundus visit of 25-26 January 2016 is described.

  18. Astronomers Discover Fastest-Spinning Pulsar

    Science.gov (United States)

    2006-01-01

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

  19. Developing a NASA strategy for the verification of large space telescope observatories

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crooke, Julie A.; Gunderson, Johanna A.; Hagopian, John G.; Levine, Marie

    2006-06-01

    In July 2005, the Office of Program Analysis and Evaluation (PA&E) at NASA Headquarters was directed to develop a strategy for verification of the performance of large space telescope observatories, which occurs predominantly in a thermal vacuum test facility. A mission model of the expected astronomical observatory missions over the next 20 years was identified along with performance, facility and resource requirements. Ground testing versus alternatives was analyzed to determine the pros, cons and break points in the verification process. Existing facilities and their capabilities were examined across NASA, industry and other government agencies as well as the future demand for these facilities across NASA's Mission Directorates. Options were developed to meet the full suite of mission verification requirements, and performance, cost, risk and other analyses were performed. Findings and recommendations from the study were presented to the NASA Administrator and the NASA Strategic Management Council (SMC) in February 2006. This paper details the analysis, results, and findings from this study.

  20. Strategy for monitoring T cell responses to NY-ESO-1 in patients with any HLA class I allele

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gnjatic, Sacha; Nagata, Yasuhiro; Jäger, Elke; Stockert, Elisabeth; Shankara, Srinivas; Roberts, Bruce L.; Mazzara, Gail P.; Lee, Sang Yull; Dunbar, P. Rod; Dupont, Bo; Cerundolo, Vincenzo; Ritter, Gerd; Chen, Yao-Tseng; Knuth, Alexander; Old, Lloyd J.

    2000-01-01

    NY-ESO-1 elicits frequent antibody responses in cancer patients, accompanied by strong CD8+ T cell responses against HLA-A2-restricted epitopes. To broaden the range of cancer patients who can be assessed for immunity to NY-ESO-1, a general method was devised to detect T cell reactivity independent of prior characterization of epitopes. A recombinant adenoviral vector encoding the full cDNA sequence of NY-ESO-1 was used to transduce CD8-depleted peripheral blood lymphocytes as antigen-presenting cells. These modified antigen-presenting cells were then used to restimulate memory effector cells against NY-ESO-1 from the peripheral blood of cancer patients. Specific CD8+ T cells thus sensitized were assayed on autologous B cell targets infected with a recombinant vaccinia virus encoding NY-ESO-1. Strong polyclonal responses were observed against NY-ESO-1 in antibody-positive patients, regardless of their HLA profile. Because the vectors do not cross-react immunologically, only responses to NY-ESO-1 were detected. The approach described here allows monitoring of CD8+ T cell responses to NY-ESO-1 in the context of various HLA alleles and has led to the definition of NY-ESO-1 peptides presented by HLA-Cw3 and HLA-Cw6 molecules. PMID:11005863

  1. Working data together: the accountability and reflexivity of digital astronomical practice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoeppe, Götz

    2014-04-01

    Drawing on ethnomethodology, this article considers the sequential work of astronomers who combine observations from telescopes at two observatories in making a data set for scientific analyses. By witnessing the induction of a graduate student into this work, it aims at revealing the backgrounded assumptions that enter it. I find that these researchers achieved a consistent data set by engaging diverse evidential contexts as contexts of accountability. Employing graphs that visualize data in conventional representational formats of observational astronomy, experienced practitioners held each other accountable by using an 'implicit cosmology', a shared (but sometimes negotiable) characterization of 'what the universe looks like' through these formats. They oriented to data as malleable, that is, as containing artifacts of the observing situation which are unspecified initially but can be defined and subsequently removed. Alternating between reducing data and deducing astronomical phenomena, they ascribed artifacts to local observing conditions or computational procedures, thus maintaining previously stabilized phenomena reflexively. As researchers in data-intensive sciences are often removed from the instruments that generated the data they use, this example demonstrates how scientists can achieve agreement by engaging stable 'global' data sets and diverse contexts of accountability, allowing them to bypass troubling features and limitations of data generators.

  2. The Steward Observatory asteroid relational database

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sykes, Mark V.; Alvarezdelcastillo, Elizabeth M.

    1991-01-01

    The Steward Observatory Asteroid Relational Database (SOARD) was created as a flexible tool for undertaking studies of asteroid populations and sub-populations, to probe the biases intrinsic to asteroid databases, to ascertain the completeness of data pertaining to specific problems, to aid in the development of observational programs, and to develop pedagogical materials. To date, SOARD has compiled an extensive list of data available on asteroids and made it accessible through a single menu-driven database program. Users may obtain tailored lists of asteroid properties for any subset of asteroids or output files which are suitable for plotting spectral data on individual asteroids. The program has online help as well as user and programmer documentation manuals. The SOARD already has provided data to fulfill requests by members of the astronomical community. The SOARD continues to grow as data is added to the database and new features are added to the program.

  3. Virtual Observatory: From Concept to Implementation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Djorgovski, S. G.; Williams, R.

    2005-12-01

    We review the origins of the Virtual Observatory (VO) concept, and the current status of the efforts in this field. VO is the response of the astronomical community to the challenges posed by the modern massive and complex data sets. It is a framework in which information technology is harnessed to organize, maintain, and explore the rich information content of the exponentially growing data sets, and to enable a qualitatively new science to be done with them. VO will become a complete, open, distributed, web-based framework for astronomy of the early 21st century. A number of significant efforts worldwide are now striving to convert this vision into reality. The technological and methodological challenges posed by the information-rich astronomy are also common to many other fields. We see a fundamental change in the way all science is done, driven by the information technology revolution.

  4. Protection of Hawaii's Observatories from Light Pollution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wainscoat, Richard J.

    2018-01-01

    Maunakea Observatory, located on the island of Hawaii, is among the world darkest sites for astronomy. Strong efforts to preserve the dark night sky over the last forty years have proven successful. Artificial light presently adds only approximately 2% to the natural night sky brightness. The techniques being used to protect Maunakea from light pollution will be described, along with the challenges that are now being faced.Haleakala Observatory, located on the island of Maui, is also an excellent observing site, and is among the best sites in the United States. Lighting restrictions in Maui County are much weaker, and consequently, the night sky above Haleakala is less well protected. Haleakala is closer to Honolulu and the island of Oahu (population approximately 1 million), and the glow from Oahu makes the northwestern sky brighter.Much of the lighting across most of the United States, including Hawaii, is presently being converted to LED lighting. This provides an opportunity to replace existing poorly shielded lights with properly shielded LED fixtures, but careful spectral management is essential. It is critically important to only use LED lighting that is deficient in blue and green light. LED lighting also is easy to dim. Dimming of lights later at night, when there is no need for brighter lighting, is an important tool for reducing light pollution.Techniques used to protect astronomical observatories from light pollution are similar to the techniques that must be used to protect animals that are affected by light at night, such as endangered birds and turtles. These same techniques are compatible with recent human health related lighting recommendations from the American Medical Association.

  5. Ghosts of Milky Way's past: the globular cluster ESO 37-1 (E 3)

    Science.gov (United States)

    de la Fuente Marcos, R.; de la Fuente Marcos, C.; Moni Bidin, C.; Ortolani, S.; Carraro, G.

    2015-09-01

    Context. In the Milky Way, most globular clusters are highly conspicuous objects that were found centuries ago. However, a few dozen of them are faint, sparsely populated systems that were identified largely during the second half of the past century. One of the faintest is ESO 37-1 (E 3) and as such it remains poorly studied, with no spectroscopic observations published so far although it was discovered in 1976. Aims: We investigate the globular cluster E 3 in an attempt to better constrain its fundamental parameters. Spectroscopy of stars in the field of E 3 is shown here for the first time. Methods: Deep, precise VI CCD photometry of E 3 down to V ~ 26 mag is presented and analysed. Low-resolution, medium signal-to-noise ratio spectra of nine candidate members are studied to derive radial velocity and metallicity. Proper motions from the UCAC4 catalogue are used to explore the kinematics of the bright members of E 3. Results: Isochrone fitting indicates that E 3 is probably very old, with an age of about 13 Gyr; its distance from the Sun is nearly 10 kpc. It is also somewhat metal rich with [Fe/H] = -0.7. Regarding its kinematics, our tentative estimate for the proper motions is (μα cosδ,μδ) = (-7.0 ± 0.8, 3.5 ± 0.3) mas yr-1 (or a tangential velocity of 382 ± 79 km s-1) and for the radial velocity 45 ± 5 km s-1 in the solar rest frame. Conclusions: E 3 is one of the most intriguing globular clusters in the Galaxy. Having an old age and being metal rich is clearly a peculiar combination, only seen in a handful of objects like the far more conspicuous NGC 104 (47 Tucanae). In addition, its low luminosity and sparse population make it a unique template for the study of the final evolutionary phases in the life of a star cluster. Unfortunately, E 3 is among the most elusive and challenging known globular clusters because field contamination severely hampers spectroscopic studies. This research note is based on observations made with the ESO VLT at the

  6. Astronomical Heritage in the National Culture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harutyunian, H. A.; Mickaelian, A. M.; Parsamian, E. S.

    2014-10-01

    The book contains Proceedings of the Archaeoastronomical Meeting "Astronomical Heritage in the National Culture" Dedicated to Anania Shirakatsi's 1400th Anniversary and XI Annual Meeting of the Armenian Astronomical Society. It consists of 3 main sections: "Astronomical Heritage", "Anania Shirakatsi" and "Modern Astronomy", as well as Literature about Anania Shirakatsi is included. The book may be interesting for astronomers, historians, archaeologists, linguists, students and other readers.

  7. Wide-Field Astronomical Surveys in the Next Decade

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Strauss, Michael A.; /Princeton U.; Tyson, J.Anthony; /UC, Davis; Anderson, Scott F.; /Washington U., Seattle, Astron. Dept.; Axelrod, T.S.; /LSST Corp.; Becker, Andrew C.; /Washington U., Seattle, Astron. Dept.; Bickerton, Steven J.; /Princeton U.; Blanton, Michael R.; /New York U.; Burke, David L.; /SLAC; Condon, J.J.; /NRAO, Socorro; Connolly, A.J.; /Washington U., Seattle, Astron. Dept.; Cooray, Asantha R.; /UC, Irvine; Covey, Kevin R.; /Harvard U.; Csabai, Istvan; /Eotvos U.; Ferguson, Henry C.; /Baltimore, Space Telescope Sci.; Ivezic, Zeljko; /Washington U., Seattle, Astron. Dept.; Kantor, Jeffrey; /LSST Corp.; Kent, Stephen M.; /Fermilab; Knapp, G.R.; /Princeton U.; Myers, Steven T.; /NRAO, Socorro; Neilsen, Eric H., Jr.; /Fermilab; Nichol, Robert C.; /Portsmouth U., ICG /Harish-Chandra Res. Inst. /Caltech, IPAC /Potsdam, Max Planck Inst. /Harvard U. /Hawaii U. /UC, Berkeley, Astron. Dept. /Baltimore, Space Telescope Sci. /NOAO, Tucson /Carnegie Mellon U. /Chicago U., Astron. Astrophys. Ctr.

    2011-11-14

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

  8. 153rd Colloquium of the International Astronomical Union

    CERN Document Server

    Kosugi, Takeo; Hudson, Hugh

    1996-01-01

    These are the Proceedings of Colloquium No. 153 of the International Astro­ nomical Union, held at Makuhari near Tokyo on May 22 - 26, 1995, and hosted by the National Astronomical Observatory. This meeting was intended to be an interdisciplinary meeting between re­ searchers of solar and stellar activity, in order for them to exchange the newest information in each field. While each of these areas has seen remarkable advances in recent years, and while the researchers in each field have felt that information from the other's domain would be extremely useful in their own work, there have not been very many opportunities for intensive exchanges of information between these closely related fields. We therefore expected much from this meeting in pro­ viding stellar researchers with new results of research on the counterparts of their targets of research, spatially and temporarily resolved, as observed on the Sun. Likewise we hoped to provide solar researchers with new results on gigantic ver­ sions of their ...

  9. Astronomers Win Protection for Key Part of Radio Spectrum

    Science.gov (United States)

    2000-06-01

    International Telecommunication Union meet to painstakingly parcel out the radio frequency spectrum between radio-based applications such as personal communications, satellite broadcasting, GPS and amateur radio, and the sciences of radio astronomy, earth exploration and deep space research. The WRC also coordinates sharing between services in the same radio bands. WRC decisions are incorporated into the Radio Regulations that govern radio services worldwide. The new spectrum allocations for radio astronomy are the first since 1979. Millimeter-wave astronomy was then in its infancy and many of its needs were not yet known. As astronomers began to explore this region of the spectrum they found spectral lines from many interesting molecules in space. Many of those lines had not fallen into the areas originally set aside for astronomy, but most will be under the new allocations. "It's a win for millimeter-wave science," said Dr. John Whiteoak of the Australia Telescope National Facility, Australian delegate to WRC-00. "This secures its future." The protection is a significant step for both existing millimeter-wave telescopes and new ones such as the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA) now being planned by a U.S.-European consortium. Even at its isolated site in Chile's Atacama desert, ALMA would be vulnerable to interference from satellite emissions. Sensitive radio astronomy receivers are blinded by these emissions, just as an optical telescope would be by a searchlight. "There is more energy at millimeter and sub-millimeter wavelengths washing through the Universe than there is of light or any other kind of radiation," said ALMA Project Scientist, Dr. Al Wootten of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory. "Imaging the sources of this energy can tell us a great deal about the formation of stars and galaxies, and even planets." "But the Earth's atmosphere isn't very kind to us - it has only a few windows at these frequencies, and not very transparent ones at that. They are

  10. 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

  11. SUZAKU OBSERVATIONS OF THE X-RAY BRIGHTEST FOSSIL GROUP ESO 3060170

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Su, Yuanyuan; White, Raymond E. III; Miller, Eric D.

    2013-01-01

    'Fossil' galaxy groups, each dominated by a relatively isolated giant elliptical galaxy, have many properties intermediate between groups and clusters of galaxies. We used the Suzaku X-ray observatory to observe the X-ray brightest fossil group, ESO 3060170, out to R 200 , in order to better elucidate the relation between fossil groups, normal groups, and clusters. We determined the intragroup gas temperature, density, and metal abundance distributions and derived the entropy, pressure, and mass profiles for this group. The entropy and pressure profiles in the outer regions are flatter than in simulated clusters, similar to what is seen in observations of massive clusters. This may indicate that the gas is clumpy and/or the gas has been redistributed. Assuming hydrostatic equilibrium, the total mass is estimated to be ∼1.7 × 10 14 M ☉ within a radius R 200 of ∼1.15 Mpc, with an enclosed baryon mass fraction of 0.13. The integrated iron mass-to-light ratio of this fossil group is larger than in most groups and comparable to those of clusters, indicating that this fossil group has retained the bulk of its metals. A galaxy luminosity density map on a scale of 25 Mpc shows that this fossil group resides in a relatively isolated environment, unlike the filamentary structures in which typical groups and clusters are embedded

  12. The Gaia-ESO Survey: double-, triple-, and quadruple-line spectroscopic binary candidates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merle, T.; Van Eck, S.; Jorissen, A.; Van der Swaelmen, M.; Masseron, T.; Zwitter, T.; Hatzidimitriou, D.; Klutsch, A.; Pourbaix, D.; Blomme, R.; Worley, C. C.; Sacco, G.; Lewis, J.; Abia, C.; Traven, G.; Sordo, R.; Bragaglia, A.; Smiljanic, R.; Pancino, E.; Damiani, F.; Hourihane, A.; Gilmore, G.; Randich, S.; Koposov, S.; Casey, A.; Morbidelli, L.; Franciosini, E.; Magrini, L.; Jofre, P.; Costado, M. T.; Jeffries, R. D.; Bergemann, M.; Lanzafame, A. C.; Bayo, A.; Carraro, G.; Flaccomio, E.; Monaco, L.; Zaggia, S.

    2017-12-01

    efficient discovery of many new multiple systems. With the detection of the SB1 candidates that will be the subject of a forthcoming paper, the study of the statistical and physical properties of the spectroscopic multiple systems will soon be possible for the entire GES sample. Based on data products from observations made with ESO Telescopes at the La Silla Paranal Observatory under programme ID 188.B-3002. These data products have been processed by the Cambridge Astronomy Survey Unit (CASU) at the Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge, and by the FLAMES/UVES reduction team at INAF/Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri. These data have been obtained from the Gaia-ESO Survey Data Archive, prepared and hosted by the Wide Field Astronomy Unit, Institute for Astronomy, University of Edinburgh, which is funded by the UK Science and Technology Facilities Council.

  13. 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.

  14. An Overview of X-Ray Polarimetry of Astronomical Sources

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martin C. Weisskopf

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available We review the history of astronomical X-ray polarimetry based on the author’s perspective, beginning with early sounding-rocket experiments by Robert Novick at Columbia University and his team, of which the author was a member. After describing various early techniques for measuring X-ray polarization, we discuss the polarimeter aboard the Orbiting Solar Observatory 8 (OSO-8 and its scientific results. Next, we describe the X-ray polarimeter to have flown aboard the ill-fated original Spectrum-X mission, which provided important lessons on polarimeter design, systematic effects, and the programmatics of a shared focal plane. We conclude with a description of the Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer (IXPE and its prospective scientific return. IXPE, a partnership between NASA and ASI, has been selected as a NASA Astrophysics Small Explorers Mission and is currently scheduled to launch in April of 2021.

  15. ASTROPHYSICS: The oldest galaxy yet

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anon.

    1995-01-01

    Full text: The most remote galaxy ever seen directly has been detected by astronomers using the ESO (European Southern Observatory's) 3.5 metre New Technology Telescope (NTT) at La Silla, Chile, and the 10-metre Keck telescope in Hawaii. It shows that stellar evolution was already well underway some 10 billion years ago, when the Universe was 'only' a few billion years old. Due to the continual expansion of the Universe in the wake of the Big Bang, visible light emitted a long time ago becomes 'stretched', and appears redder. This 'redshift' is a measure of how long ago the radiation was emitted. Until this new sighting, the oldest known objects were quasars, huge concentrations of matter at the fringe of the Universe blasting energy out into space. Looking hard at such a quasar, ESO astronomers noticed that light of one particular wavelength was strongly absorbed, indicating an intervening cloud of hydrogen. (In intergalactic space, such absorption spectra are not seen - September, page 34.) The redshift of the absorption line showed that the cloud itself was almost (90%) as old as the Universe. Further study revealed other absorption lines, showing that the cloud also contained carbon, oxygen, aluminium and sulphur. So much indirect evidence for stellar-like material suggested that stars might be around. Earlier this year the ESO astronomers embarked on a search for directly visible material. Their CCD SUSI (SUperb Seeing Instrument) picked up a faint signal just 2 arcsec away from the quasar. This tiny angular separation corresponds to a distance 'on the ground' of 40,000 light-years. There are strong indications that this galaxy contains all the necessary nuclei to produce the observed absorption effects. Only hydrogen and helium were produced in the Big Bang, heavier nuclei having been 'cooked' by thermonuclear reactions inside stars. The newly-observed galaxy is the oldest visible source yet of heavier

  16. Solar activity monitoring and forecasting capabilities at Big Bear Solar Observatory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. T. Gallagher

    2002-07-01

    Full Text Available The availability of full-disk, high-resolution Ha images from Big Bear Solar Observatory (USA, Kanzelhöhe Solar Observatory (Austria, and Yunnan Astronomical Observatory (China allows for the continual monitoring of solar activity with unprecedented spatial and temporal resolution. Typically, this Global Ha Network (GHN provides almost uninterrupted Ha images with a cadence of 1 min and an image scale of 1'' per pixel.  Every hour, GHN images are transferred to the web-based BBSO Active Region Monitor (ARM; www.bbso.njit.edu/arm, which includes the most recent EUV, continuum, and magnetogram data from the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, together with magnetograms from the Global Oscillation Network Group. ARM also includes a variety of active region properties from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Space Environment Center, such as up-to-date active region positions, GOES 5-min X-ray data, and flare identification. Stokes I, V, Q, and U images are available from the recently operational BBSO Digital Vector Magnetograph and the Vector Magnetograph at the Huairou Solar Observing Station of Beijing Observatory. Vector magnetograms provide complete information on the photospheric magnetic field, and allow for magnetic flux gradients, electric currents, and shear forces to be calculated: these measurements are extremely sensitive to conditions resulting in flaring activity. Furthermore, we have developed a Flare Prediction System which estimates the probability for each region to produce C-, M-, or X-class flares based on nearly eight years of NOAA data from cycle 22. This, in addition to BBSO’s daily solar activity reports, has proven a useful resource for activity forecasting.Key words. Solar physics, astronomy and astrophysics (flares and mass ejections; instruments and techniques; photosphere and chromosphere

  17. Deepest Wide-Field Colour Image in the Southern Sky

    Science.gov (United States)

    2003-01-01

    LA SILLA CAMERA OBSERVES CHANDRA DEEP FIELD SOUTH ESO PR Photo 02a/03 ESO PR Photo 02a/03 [Preview - JPEG: 400 x 437 pix - 95k] [Normal - JPEG: 800 x 873 pix - 904k] [HiRes - JPEG: 4000 x 4366 pix - 23.1M] Caption : PR Photo 02a/03 shows a three-colour composite image of the Chandra Deep Field South (CDF-S) , obtained with the Wide Field Imager (WFI) camera on the 2.2-m MPG/ESO telescope at the ESO La Silla Observatory (Chile). It was produced by the combination of about 450 images with a total exposure time of nearly 50 hours. The field measures 36 x 34 arcmin 2 ; North is up and East is left. Technical information is available below. The combined efforts of three European teams of astronomers, targeting the same sky field in the southern constellation Fornax (The Oven) have enabled them to construct a very deep, true-colour image - opening an exceptionally clear view towards the distant universe . The image ( PR Photo 02a/03 ) covers an area somewhat larger than the full moon. It displays more than 100,000 galaxies, several thousand stars and hundreds of quasars. It is based on images with a total exposure time of nearly 50 hours, collected under good observing conditions with the Wide Field Imager (WFI) on the MPG/ESO 2.2m telescope at the ESO La Silla Observatory (Chile) - many of them extracted from the ESO Science Data Archive . The position of this southern sky field was chosen by Riccardo Giacconi (Nobel Laureate in Physics 2002) at a time when he was Director General of ESO, together with Piero Rosati (ESO). It was selected as a sky region towards which the NASA Chandra X-ray satellite observatory , launched in July 1999, would be pointed while carrying out a very long exposure (lasting a total of 1 million seconds, or 278 hours) in order to detect the faintest possible X-ray sources. The field is now known as the Chandra Deep Field South (CDF-S) . The new WFI photo of CDF-S does not reach quite as deep as the available images of the "Hubble Deep Fields

  18. Shaping ESO2020+ Together: Feedback from the Community Poll

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Primas, F.; Ivison, R.; Berger, J.-P.; Caselli, P.; De Gregorio-Monsalvo, I.; Alonso Herrero, A.; Knudsen, K.K.; Leibundgut, B.; Moitinho, A.; Saviane, I.; Spyromilio, J.; Testi, L.; Vennes, Stephane

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 161, September (2015), s. 6-14 ISSN 0722-6691 Institutional support: RVO:67985815 Keywords : ESO * observing programmes * data archiving Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics

  19. Taking Charge: Walter Sydney Adams and the Mount Wilson Observatory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brashear, R.

    2004-12-01

    The growing preeminence of American observational astronomy in the first half of the 20th century is a well-known story and much credit is given to George Ellery Hale and his skill as an observatory-building entrepreneur. But a key figure who has yet to be discussed in great detail is Walter Sydney Adams (1876-1956), Hale's Assistant Director at Mount Wilson Observatory. Due to Hale's illnesses, Adams was Acting Director for much of Hale's tenure, and he became the second Director of Mount Wilson from 1923 to 1946. Behind his New England reserve Adams was instrumental in the growth of Mount Wilson and thus American astronomy in general. Adams was hand-picked by Hale to take charge of stellar spectroscopy work at Yerkes and Mount Wilson and the younger astronomer showed tremendous loyalty to Hale and Hale's vision throughout his career. As Adams assumed the leadership role at Mount Wilson he concentrated on making the observatory a place where researchers worked with great freedom but maintain a high level of cooperation. This paper will concentrate on Adams's early years and look at his growing relationship with Hale and how he came to be the central figure in the early history of Mount Wilson as both a solar and stellar observatory. His education, his years at Dartmouth and Yerkes (including his unfortunate encounter with epsilon Leonis), and his formative years on Mount Wilson are all important in learning how he shaped the direction of Mount Wilson and the development of American astronomy in the first half of the 20th century. This latter history cannot be complete until we bring Adams into better focus.

  20. MONA, LISA and VINCI Soon Ready to Travel to Paranal

    Science.gov (United States)

    2000-11-01

    First Instruments for the VLT Interferometer Summary A few months from now, light from celestial objects will be directed for the first time towards ESO's Very Large Telescope Interferometer (VLTI) at the Paranal Observatory (Chile). During this "First Light" event and the subsequent test phase, the light will be recorded with a special test instrument, VINCI (VLT INterferometer Commissioning Instrument). The main components of this high-tech instrument are aptly named MONA (a system that combines the light beams from several telescopes by means of optical fibers) and LISA (the infrared camera). VINCI was designed and constructed within a fruitful collaboration between ESO and several research institutes and industrial companies in France and Germany . It is now being assembled at the ESO Headquarters in Garching (Germany) and will soon be ready for installation at the telescope on Paranal. With the VLTI and VINCI, Europe's astronomers are now entering the first, crucial phase of an exciting scientific and technology venture that will ultimately put the world's most powerful optical/IR interferometric facility in their hands . PR Photo 31/00 : VINCI during tests at the ESO Headquarters in Garching. The VLT Interferometer (VLTI) ESO Press Photo 31/00 ESO Press Photo 31/00 [Preview; JPEG: 400 x 301; 43k] [Normal; JPEG: 800 x 602;208xk] [Full-Res; JPEG: 1923 x 1448; 2.2Mb] PR Photo 31/00 shows the various components of the complex VINCI instrument for the VLT Interferometer , during the current tests at the Optical Laboratory at the ESO Headquarters in Garching (Germany). It will later be installed in "clean-room" conditions within the Interferometric Laboratory at the Paranal Observatory. This electronic photo was obtained for documentary purposes. VINCI (VLT INterferometer Commissioning Instrument) is the "First Light" instrument for the Very Large Telescope Interferometer (VLTI) at the Paranal Observatory (Chile). Early in 2001, it will be used for the first tests

  1. 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...

  2. Active remote observing system for the 1-m telescope at Tonantzintla Observatory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernal, Abel; Martínez, Luis A.; Hernández, Héctor; Garfias, Fernando; Ángeles, Fernando

    2006-06-01

    We have designed and installed a new active remote observing system for the 1-m, f/15 telescope at the Tonantzintla Observatory. This remote system is operated in real-time through the Internet, allowing an observer to control the building, the telescope (pointing, guiding and focusing) and the CCD image acquisition at the main and finder telescopes from the Instituto de Astronomia headquarters in Mexico City (150 KM away). The whole system was modeled within the Unified Modeling Language (UML) and the design has proved to be versatile enough for a variety of astronomical instruments. We describe the system architecture and how different subsystems (telescope control, main telescope and finder image acquisition, weather station, videoconference, etc.) that are based on different operative system platforms (Linux, Windows, uIP) have been integrated. We present the first results of an IPv6 over IPv4 tunnel. Recent remote direct imaging and spectroscopic observations have been used to test the astronomical site. We conclude that this remote system is an excellent tool for supporting research and graduated observational astronomy programs.

  3. A Forceful Demonstration by FORS

    Science.gov (United States)

    1998-09-01

    is a real workhorse for the study of the distant universe. How FORS was built The FORS project is being carried out under ESO contract by a consortium of three German astronomical institutes, namely the Heidelberg State Observatory and the University Observatories of Göttingen and Munich. When this project is concluded, the participating institutes will have invested about 180 man-years of work. The Heidelberg State Observatory was responsible for directing the project, for designing the entire optical system, for developing the components of the imaging, spectroscopic, and polarimetric optics, and for producing the special computer software needed for handling and analysing the measurements obtained with FORS. Moreover, a telescope simulator was built in the shop of the Heidelberg observatory that made it possible to test all major functions of FORS in Europe, before the instrument was shipped to Paranal. The University Observatory of Göttingen performed the design, the construction and the installation of the entire mechanics of FORS. Most of the high-precision parts, in particular the multislit unit, were manufactured in the observatory's fine-mechanical workshops. The procurement of the huge instrument housings and flanges, the computer analysis for mechanical and thermal stability of the sensitive spectrograph and the construction of the handling, maintenance and aligning equipment as well as testing the numerous opto- and electro-mechanical functions were also under the responsibility of this Observatory. The University of Munich had the responsibility for the management of the project, the integration and test in the laboratory of the complete instrument, for design and installation of all electronics and electro-mechanics, and for developing and testing the comprehensive software to control FORS in all its parts completely by computers (filter and grism wheels, shutters, multi-object slit units, masks, all optical components, electro motors, encoders etc

  4. The astronomer of the duchess -- Life and work of Franz Xaver von Zach 1754-1832. (German Title: Der Astronom der Herzogin -- Leben und Werk von Franz Xaver von Zach 1754-1832)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brosche, Peter

    The astronomer, geodesist, geographer and historian of science Franz Xaver von Zach (1754-1832) lived and worked in several European countries. Duke Ernst II of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg appointed him as the founding scientist of his Seeberg Observatory. This was the place of his strongest activity. Why should we have an interest in him today? There is a rational and an emotional answer. First, he has rendered organisational services to his sciences which are equivalent to a great scientific achievement. Second, Zach was a very colourful character, travelled across many states in a time of radical changes and had connections with many colleagues and public figures. Images from his life therefore provide outlooks, insights and relations.

  5. The Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory Summer Student Programs in La Serena, Chile

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaleida, Catherine C.; Smith, C.; Van Der Bliek, N. S.; James, D.

    2014-01-01

    The Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO) offers positions for U.S. and Chilean student interns during the Chilean summer months of January-March (northern winter semester) at the CTIO offices in La Serena, Chile. CTIO is part of the National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO) of the United States, focused on the development of astronomy in the southern hemisphere. Six undergraduate research assistantships are offered for U.S. physics and astronomy undergraduate students through the NSF-funded Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program. The CTIO-funded Prácticas de Investigación en Astronomía (PIA) program is run concurrently with the REU program, and offers two research assistantships for Chilean undergraduate or 1st or 2nd year masters students, also at the CTIO offices in La Serena, Chile. The CTIO REU and PIA programs provide exceptional opportunities for students considering a career in astronomy to engage in substantive research activities with scientists working at the forefront of contemporary astrophysics. Student participants work on specific research projects in close collaboration with members of the CTIO scientific and technical staff, such as galaxy clusters, gravitational lensing, supernovae, planetary nebulae, stellar populations, star clusters, star formation, variable stars and interstellar medium. The CTIO REU and PIA programs emphasize observational techniques and provide opportunities for direct observational experience using CTIO's state-of-the-art telescopes and instrumentation. The programs run for 10 weeks, from mid-January to the end of March. A two-night observing run on Cerro Tololo and a field trip to another observatory in Chile are included for students of both programs. These positions are full time, and those selected will receive a modest stipend and subsidized housing on the grounds of the offices of CTIO in La Serena, as well as travel costs to and from La Serena. In addition, the students have the

  6. A novel murine T-cell receptor targeting NY-ESO-1.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosati, Shannon F; Parkhurst, Maria R; Hong, Young; Zheng, Zhili; Feldman, Steven A; Rao, Mahadev; Abate-Daga, Daniel; Beard, Rachel E; Xu, Hui; Black, Mary A; Robbins, Paul F; Schrump, David A; Rosenberg, Steven A; Morgan, Richard A

    2014-04-01

    Cancer testis antigens, such as NY-ESO-1, are expressed in a variety of prevalent tumors and represent potential targets for T-cell receptor (TCR) gene therapy. DNA encoding a murine anti-NY-ESO-1 TCR gene (mTCR) was isolated from immunized HLA-A*0201 transgenic mice and inserted into a γ-retroviral vector. Two mTCR vectors were produced and used to transduce human PBL. Transduced cells were cocultured with tumor target cell lines and T2 cells pulsed with the NY-ESO-1 peptide, and assayed for cytokine release and cell lysis activity. The most active TCR construct was selected for production of a master cell bank for clinical use. mTCR-transduced PBL maintained TCR expression in short-term and long-term culture, ranging from 50% to 90% efficiency 7-11 days after stimulation and 46%-82% 10-20 days after restimulation. High levels of interferon-γ secretion were observed (1000-12000 pg/mL), in tumor coculture assays and recognition of peptide-pulsed cells was observed at 0.1 ng/mL, suggesting that the new mTCR had high avidity for antigen recognition. mTCR-transduced T cells also specifically lysed human tumor targets. In all assays, the mTCR was equivalent or better than the comparable human TCR. As the functional activity of TCR-transduced cells may be affected by the formation of mixed dimers, mTCRs, which are less likely to form mixed dimers with endogenous hTCRs, may be more effective in vivo. This new mTCR targeted to NY-ESO-1 represents a novel potential therapeutic option for adoptive cell-transfer therapy for a variety of malignancies.

  7. The Very Large Array Data Processing Pipeline

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kent, Brian R.; Masters, Joseph S.; Chandler, Claire J.; Davis, Lindsey E.; Kern, Jeffrey S.; Ott, Juergen; Schinzel, Frank K.; Medlin, Drew; Muders, Dirk; Williams, Stewart; Geers, Vincent C.; Momjian, Emmanuel; Butler, Bryan J.; Nakazato, Takeshi; Sugimoto, Kanako

    2018-01-01

    international consortium of scientists and software developers based at the National Radio Astronomical Observatory (NRAO), the European Southern Observatory (ESO), and the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ).

  8. Evaluating a NoSQL Alternative for Chilean Virtual Observatory Services

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antognini, J.; Araya, M.; Solar, M.; Valenzuela, C.; Lira, F.

    2015-09-01

    Currently, the standards and protocols for data access in the Virtual Observatory architecture (DAL) are generally implemented with relational databases based on SQL. In particular, the Astronomical Data Query Language (ADQL), language used by IVOA to represent queries to VO services, was created to satisfy the different data access protocols, such as Simple Cone Search. ADQL is based in SQL92, and has extra functionality implemented using PgSphere. An emergent alternative to SQL are the so called NoSQL databases, which can be classified in several categories such as Column, Document, Key-Value, Graph, Object, etc.; each one recommended for different scenarios. Within their notable characteristics we can find: schema-free, easy replication support, simple API, Big Data, etc. The Chilean Virtual Observatory (ChiVO) is developing a functional prototype based on the IVOA architecture, with the following relevant factors: Performance, Scalability, Flexibility, Complexity, and Functionality. Currently, it's very difficult to compare these factors, due to a lack of alternatives. The objective of this paper is to compare NoSQL alternatives with SQL through the implementation of a Web API REST that satisfies ChiVO's needs: a SESAME-style name resolver for the data from ALMA. Therefore, we propose a test scenario by configuring a NoSQL database with data from different sources and evaluating the feasibility of creating a Simple Cone Search service and its performance. This comparison will allow to pave the way for the application of Big Data databases in the Virtual Observatory.

  9. Astronomical Instrumentation System Markup Language

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goldbaum, Jesse M.

    2016-05-01

    The Astronomical Instrumentation System Markup Language (AISML) is an Extensible Markup Language (XML) based file format for maintaining and exchanging information about astronomical instrumentation. The factors behind the need for an AISML are first discussed followed by the reasons why XML was chosen as the format. Next it's shown how XML also provides the framework for a more precise definition of an astronomical instrument and how these instruments can be combined to form an Astronomical Instrumentation System (AIS). AISML files for several instruments as well as one for a sample AIS are provided. The files demonstrate how AISML can be utilized for various tasks from web page generation and programming interface to instrument maintenance and quality management. The advantages of widespread adoption of AISML are discussed.

  10. Fingerprinting the Milky Way

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-03-01

    Using ESO's Very Large Telescope, an international team of astronomers has shown how to use the chemical composition of stars in clusters to shed light on the formation of our Milky Way. This discovery is a fundamental test for the development of a new chemical tagging technique uncovering the birth and growth of our Galactic cradle. The formation and evolution of galaxies, and in particular of the Milky Way - the 'island universe' in which we live, is one of the major puzzles of astrophysics: indeed, a detailed physical scenario is still missing and its understanding requires the joint effort of observations, theories and complex numerical simulations. ESO astronomer Gayandhi De Silva and her colleagues used the Ultraviolet and Visual Echelle Spectrograph (UVES) on ESO's VLT to find new ways to address this fundamental riddle. ESO PR Photo 15/07 ESO PR Photo 15/07 The Cluster Collinder 261 "We have analysed in great detail the chemical composition of stars in three star-clusters and shown that each cluster presents a high level of homogeneity and a very distinctive chemical signature," says De Silva, who started this research while working at the Mount Stromlo Observatory, Australia. "This paves the way to chemically tagging stars in our Galaxy to common formation sites and thus unravelling the history of the Milky Way," she adds. "Galactic star clusters are witnesses of the formation history of the Galactic disc," says Kenneth Freeman, also from Mount Stromlo and another member of the team. "The analysis of their composition is like studying ancient fossils. We are chasing pieces of galactic DNA!" Open star clusters are among the most important tools for the study of stellar and galactic evolution. They are composed of a few tens up to a few thousands of stars that are gravitationally bound, and they span a wide range of ages. The youngest date from a few million years ago, while the oldest (and more rare) can have ages up to ten billion years. The well

  11. 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.

  12. The Gaia-ESO Survey: dynamics of ionized and neutral gas in the Lagoon nebula (M 8)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Damiani, F.; Bonito, R.; Prisinzano, L.; Zwitter, T.; Bayo, A.; Kalari, V.; Jiménez-Esteban, F. M.; Costado, M. T.; Jofré, P.; Randich, S.; Flaccomio, E.; Lanzafame, A. C.; Lardo, C.; Morbidelli, L.; Zaggia, S.

    2017-08-01

    collected with the FLAMES spectrograph at VLT/UT2 telescope (Paranal Observatory, ESO, Chile), for the Gaia-ESO Large Public Survey (program 188.B-3002).Full Tables A.1 and A.2 are only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (http://130.79.128.5) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/604/A135

  13. Protecting the Local Dark-Sky Areas around the International Observatories in Chile.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, M. G.

    2001-12-01

    This report covers efforts by IAU Commission 50's new Working Group on Light Pollution to slow or halt the spread of incipient light pollution near the VLT, the Magellan 6.5m telescopes, Gemini South, SOAR, Blanco and many smaller telescopes in Chile. An effort has just begun to protect the ALMA site in Northern Chile from RFI. Such work includes extensive outreach programs to the local population, schools and industry as well as to local, regional and national levels of government in Chile. The group is working internationally with such organizations as the IDA; one member has recently led the production of "The first world atlas of the artificial night-sky brightness". These efforts have resulted in the first national-level environmental legislation covering dark skies as part of a government effort to protect the environment. Chilean manufacturers are now producing competitive, full-cut-off, street lighting designed specifically to comply with the new legislation. The Chilean national tourism agency is supporting "Astronomical Tourism" based on the dark, clear skies of Chile. An international conference on Controlling Light Pollution and RFI will be held in La Serena, Chile on 5-7 March, 2002, backed up by a parallel meeting of Chilean amateur astronomers. Much work remains to be done. Most of this work is supported by funding from the US National Science Foundation through CTIO, and from ESO, OCIW and CONAMA.

  14. Determination of the Telluric Water Vapor Absorption Correction for Astronomical Data Obtained from the Kuiper Airborne Observatory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erickson, E. F.; Simpson, J. P.; Kuhn, P. M.; Stearns, L. P.

    1979-01-01

    The amount of telluric water vapor along the line of sight of the Kuiper Airborne Observatory telescope as obtained concommitantly on 23 flights is compared with the NASA-Ames Michelson interferometer and with the NOAA-Boulder radiometer. A strong correlation between the two determinations exists, and a method for computing the atmospheric transmission for a given radiometer reading is established.

  15. VLT Unit Telescopes Named at Paranal Inauguration

    Science.gov (United States)

    1999-03-01

    This has been a busy, but also a very successful and rewarding week for the European Southern Observatory and its staff. While "First Light" was achieved at the second 8.2-m VLT Unit Telescope (UT2) ahead of schedule, UT1 produced its sharpest image so far. This happened at a moment of exceptional observing conditions in the night between March 4 and 5, 1999. During a 6-min exposure of the majestic spiral galaxy, NGC 2997 , stellar images of only 0.25 arcsec FWHM (full-width half-maximum) were recorded. This and two other frames of nearly the same quality have provided the base for the beautiful colour-composite shown above. At this excellent angular resolution, individual star forming regions are well visible along the spiral arms. Of particular interest is the peculiar, twisted shape of the long spiral arm to the right. The Paranal Inauguration The official inauguration of the Paranal Observatory took place in the afternoon of March 5, 1999, in the presence of His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Chile, Don Eduardo Frei Ruiz-Tagle, and ministers of his cabinet, as well the Ambassadors to Chile of the ESO member states and many other distinguished guests. The President of the ESO Council, Mr. Henrik Grage, and the ESO Director General, Professor Riccardo Giacconi, were the foremost representatives of the ESO organisation; most members of the ESO Council and ESO staff also participated. A substantial number of media representatives from Europe and Chile were present and reported - often live - from Paranal during the afternoon and evening. The guests were shown the impressive installations at the new observatory, including the first and second 8.2-m VLT Unit Telescopes; the latter having achieved "First Light" just four days before. A festive ceremony took place in the dome of UT2, under the large telescope structure that had been tilted towards the horizon to make place for the numerous participants. After an introductory address by the ESO Director

  16. Amateur Astronomers: Secret Agents of EPO

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berendsen, M.; White, V.; Devore, E.; Reynolds, M.

    2008-06-01

    Amateur astronomers prime the public to be more interested, receptive, and excited about space science, missions, and programs. Through recent research and targeted programs, amateur astronomy outreach is being increasingly recognized by professional astronomers, educators, and other amateurs as a valued and important service. The Night Sky Network program, administered by the ASP, is the first nationwide research-based program specifically targeted to support outreach by amateur astronomers. This Network of trained and informed amateur astronomers can provide a stimulating introduction to your EPO programs as Network members share the night sky with families, students, and youth groups.

  17. Remote refilling of LN2 cryostats for high sensitivity astronomical applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    l'Allemand, J. L. Lizon a.

    2017-12-01

    The most sensitive observation mode of the ESO VLT (European Southern Observatory Very Large Telescope) is the interferometric mode, where the 4 Units Telescopes are directed to the same stellar object in order to operate as a gigantic interferometer. The beam is then re-combined in the main interferometry laboratory and fed into the analyzing instruments. In order not to disturb the performance of the Interferometer, this room is considered as a sanctuary where one enters only in case of extreme need. A simple opening of the door would create air turbulences affecting the stability for hours. Any cold spot in the room could also cause convection which might change the optical path by fraction of a micron. Most of the instruments are operating at cryogenic temperatures using passive cooling based on LN2 bath cryostat. For this reason, dedicated strategy has been developed for the transfer of LN2 to the various instruments. The present document describes the various aspects and care taken in order to guarantee the very high thermal and mechanical environmental stability.

  18. ESO & NOT photometric monitoring of the Cloverleaf quasar

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ostensen, R; Remy, M; Lindblad, PO; Refsdal, S; Stabell, R; Surdej, J; Barthel, PD; Emanuelsen, PI; Festin, L; Gosset, E; Hainaut, O; Hakala, P; Hjelm, M; Hjorth, J; Hutsemekers, D; Jablonski, M; Kaas, AA; Kristen, H; Larsson, S; Magain, P; Pettersson, B; Pospieszalska-Surdej, A; Smette, A; Teuber, J; Thomsen, B; Van Drom, E

    1997-01-01

    The Cloverleaf quasar, H1413+117, has been photometrically monitored at ESO (La Silla, Chile) and with the NOT (La Palma, Spain) during the period 1987-1994. All good quality CCD frames have been successfully analysed using two independent methods (i.e. an automatic image decomposition technique and

  19. Black Hole Caught Zapping Galaxy into Existence?

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-11-01

    across the whole electromagnetic spectrum; particularly spectacular is the case of quasars, where the active core is so overwhelmingly bright that it outshines the luminosity of the host galaxy. [2] This part of the study is based on observations performed at mid-infrared wavelengths, with the powerful VLT spectrometer and imager for the mid-infrared (VISIR) instrument at the VLT, combined with additional data including: spectra acquired using VLT-FORS, optical and infrared images from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, and radio observations from the Australia Telescope National Facility. [3] Most galaxies in the local Universe contain a supermassive black hole with a mass about 1/700th the mass of the stellar bulge. The origin of this black hole mass versus stellar mass relation is one of the most debated subjects in modern astrophysics. More information This research was presented in papers published in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics: "Quasar induced galaxy formation: a new paradigm?" by Elbaz et al., and in the Astrophysical Journal "The QSO HE0450-2958: Scantily dressed or heavily robed? A normal quasar as part of an unusual ULIRG" by Jahnke et al. The team is composed of David Elbaz (Service d'Astrophysique, CEA Saclay, France), Knud Jahnke (Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, Heidelberg, Germany), Eric Pantin (Service d'Astrophysique, CEA Saclay, France), Damien Le Borgne (Paris University 6 and CNRS, Institut d'Astrophysique de Paris, France) and Géraldine Letawe (Institut d'Astrophysique et de Géophysique, Université de Liège, Belgium). ESO, the European Southern Observatory, is the foremost intergovernmental astronomy organisation in Europe and the world's most productive astronomical observatory. It is supported by 14 countries: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. ESO carries out an ambitious programme focused on the design

  20. The ESO Observing Programmes Committee

    Science.gov (United States)

    Westerlund, B. E.

    1982-06-01

    Since 1978 the ESO Observing Programmes Committee (OPC) has "the function to inspect and rank the proposals made for observing programmes at La Silla, and thereby to advise the Director General on the distribution of observing time". The members (one from each member country) and their alternates are nominated by the respective national committees for five-year terms (not immediately renewable). The terms are staggered so that each year one or two persons are replaced. The Chairman is appointed annually by the Council. He is invited to attend Council meetings and to report to its members.

  1. Pulkovskij martirolog: sotrudniki i aspiranty GAO - zhertvy vojny i blokady %t Pulkovo book of martyrs: staff members and graduate students of the main observatory as victum of the war and blockade

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhukov, V. Yu.; Soboleva, T. V.

    The tragedy of war and the blockade of Leningrad did not fail to have its impact on Pulkovo and its inhabitants. Many of the latter did not survive to witness the Victory Day, and the Astronomical Capital of the World - as the Pulkovo Observatory was called in the past - was razed to the ground. To commemorate the staff members of the USSR Academy of Sciences Main (Pulkovo) Observatory that perished in the war, a memorial board has been installed with 13 names engraved on it. Unfortunately, this figure is four times less than the Main Observatory really lost - roughly every third staff member lost his/her life in the war. The paper is the first endeavour to provide the complete and accurate list of losses that the Russian Academy of Sciences Main Observatory bore as a result of the war and blockade. Fifty-three died of hunger during the time of blockade. This mournful list includes astronomers proper as well as graduate students, technical and servicing staff members. It is not the names of Leningrad Pulkovites only that the authors of the above paper mention. Seeking to pay memorial honours to all staff members and graduate students of the Main Observatory who became victims of the war and blockade, the authors also adduce the names of staff members of the Nikolaevsk and Simeiz Branches of the Main Observatory, as well as those who worked in the Observatory before and in the very beginning of the war but were not formally its staff members at the moment they died. Making the names of the perished Pulkovites known is a tribute of commemoration to all Leningraders that were in the city during the blockade. The book of martyrs above is based on the unpublished documents of the Main Observatory Archive and the data extracted from the St. Petersburg Book of Memory, as well as other materials. The names are arranged alphabetically, and the structure of each entry is the same. The paper provides the foreword and comments.

  2. 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

  3. The ESO Scientific and Technical Committee.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Léna, P.

    1982-03-01

    Since 1978, the structure of ESO involves a Scientific and Technical Committee (STC) which advises the Council on scientific and technical matters. This committee meets twice a year, usually at Garehing; its members are nominated by the Council and their term is 4 years. The STC has 10 members, who are as evenly distributed as possible among member countries, although indeed mainly chosen for their scientific abilities. The chairman is invited to attend Council meetings and to report to the members.

  4. Fastest Pulsar Speeding Out of Galaxy, Astronomers Discover

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-08-01

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

  5. Integration of the Watcher Telescope into the Sierra Stars Observatory Network – Lessons Learned for GLORIA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martin Topinka

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The UCD Watcher robotic telescope is planning to participate in the Sierra Stars Observatory Network (SSON, a US-based organisation that provides astronomical images upon request to subscribing users, who are typically either amateurs or university/college students. Implementing the tasks required for the integration of Watcher to SSON, such as remote scheduling, file transfer, image quality validation and the provision of meteorological information, have provided useful experience for the GLORIA project. It has also become apparent that managing user expectations will be important for GLORIA.

  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. Music and astronomy. II. Unitedsoundofcosmos

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caballero, J. A.; Arias, A.; Machuca, J. J.; Morente, S.

    2017-03-01

    We have been congratulated on the stage by a Nobel laureate (he was our curtain raiser), shocked audiences in rock concerts, written monthly on Musica Universalis , made the second concert in 3D in Spain after Kraftwerk and broadcasted it live in Radio 3, mixed our music with poetry read aloud by scientists, composed the soundtracks of CARMENES, QUIJOTE, ESTRACK and the Gaia first data release, made a videoclip on how computer simulates the formation of stars, played our music in planetariums, museums, observatories throughout Spain and at the end of the meeting of the ESO telescopes time allocation committee... All those moments will not be lost in time like tears in rain, but put together in Bilbao during the 2016 meeting of the Spanish Astronomical Society.

  8. Development and manufacturing of panoramic Stokes polarimeter using the polarization films in the Main Astronomical Observatory of NAS of Ukraine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vidmachenko, A. P.; Ivanov, Yu. S.; Syniavskyi, I. I.; Sergeev, A. V.

    2015-08-01

    In the Main Astronomical Observatory of NAS of Ukraine is proposed and implemented the concept of the imaging Stokes polarimeter [1-5]. This device allows carrying out measurements of the four Stokes vector components at the same time, in a wide field, and without any restrictions on the relative aperture of the optical system. Its scheme is developed so that only by turning wheel with replaceable elements, photopolarimeter could be transformed into a low resolution spectropolarimeter. The device has four film's polarizers with positional angles 0°, 45°, 90°, 135°. The device uses a system of special deflecting prisms in each channel. These prisms were achromatizing in the spectral range of 420-850 nm [2], the distortion of the polarimeter optical system is less than 0.65%. In manufacturing version of spectropolarimeter provided for the possibility of using working on passing the diffraction grating with a frequency up to 100 lines/mm. Has begun the laboratory testing of instrument. References. 1. Sinyavskii I.I., Ivanov Yu. S., Vidmachenko Anatoliy P., Karpov N.V. Panoramic Stokes-polarimeter // Ecological bulettin of research centers of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation. - 2013. - V. 3, No 4. - P. 123-127. 2. Sinyavskii I. I., Ivanov Yu. S., Vil'machenko A. P. Concept of the construction, of the optical setup of a panoramic Stokes polarimeter for small telescopes // Journal of Optical Technology. - 2013. - V. 80, Issue 9. - P. 545-548. 3. Vidmachenko A. P., Ivanov Yu. S., Morozhenko A. V., Nevodovsky E. P., Syniavskyi I. I., Sosonkin M. G. Spectropolarimeter of ground-based accompanying for the space experiment "Planetary Monitoring" // Kosmichna Nauka i Tekhnologiya. - 2007. - V. 13, No. 1, p. 63 - 70. 4. Yatskiv Ya. S., Vidmachenko A. P., Morozhenko A. V., Sosonkin M. G., Ivanov Yu. S., Syniavskyi I. I. Spectropolarimetric device for overatmospheric investigations of Solar System bodies // Kosmichna Nauka i Tekhnologiya. - 2008. - V. 14, No. 2. - P. 56

  9. 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

  10. Professional- Amateur Astronomer Partnerships in Scientific Research: The Re-emergence of Jupiter's 5-Micron Hot Spots

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yanamandra-Fisher, P. A.

    2012-12-01

    absent, an atmospheric state not seen in decades. The ongoing NEB revival indicates nascent 5-μm hot spots as early as April 2012, with corresponding visible dark spots. The South Equatorial Belt (SEB) and NEB revivals began similarly with an instability that developed into a major outbreak, and many similarities in the observed propagation of clear regions. With the active inclusion and use of emerging social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.), the near daily communication and updates (via email, Skype, Facebook) between the professional and amateur astronomers is becoming a powerful tool for ground-based remote sensing. The archival of amateur data via global repositories such as Planetary Virtual Observatory and Laboratory (PVOL), The Association of Lunar and Planetary Observers (ALPO) and British Astronomical Association (BAA); and development of data reduction software, independent of professional astronomer community, provides an additional resource and dimension to scientific research. We shall present preliminary results that are the outcomes of the "Pro-Am" collaboration in the case of the re-emergence of Jupiter's 5-micron hot spots and highlight several members of our global amateur astronomer network.

  11. Storing Astronomical Information on the Romanian Territory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stavinschi, M.; Mioc, V.

    2004-12-01

    Romanian astronomy has a more than 2000-year old tradition, which is, however, little known abroad. The first known archive of astronomical information is the Dacian sanctuary at Sarmizegetusa Regia, erected in the first century AD, having similarities with that of Stonehenge. After a gap of more than 1000 years, more sources of astronomical information become available, mainly records of astronomical events. Monasteries were the safest storage places of these genuine archives. We present a classification of the ways of storing astronomical information, along with characteristic examples.

  12. Considerations for the Use of STEREO -HI Data for Astronomical Studies

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tappin, S. J., E-mail: james.tappin@stfc.ac.uk [RAL Space, STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Harwell Oxford, Didcot, Oxon. OX11 0QX (United Kingdom)

    2017-04-01

    Recent refinements to the photometric calibrations of the Heliospheric Imagers (HI) on board the Solar TErrestrial RElations Observatory ( STEREO ) have revealed a number of subtle effects in the measurement of stellar signals with those instruments. These effects need to be considered in the interpretation of STEREO -HI data for astronomy. In this paper we present an analysis of these effects and how to compensate for them when using STEREO -HI data for astronomical studies. We determine how saturation of the HI CCD detectors affects the apparent count rates of stars after the on-board summing of pixels and exposures. Single-exposure calibration images are analyzed and compared with binned and summed science images to determine the influence of saturation on the science images. We also analyze how the on-board cosmic-ray scrubbing algorithm affects stellar images. We determine how this interacts with the variations of instrument pointing to affect measurements of stars. We find that saturation is a significant effect only for the brightest stars, and that its onset is gradual. We also find that degraded pointing stability, whether of the entire spacecraft or of the imagers, leads to reduced stellar count rates and also increased variation thereof through interaction with the on-board cosmic-ray scrubbing algorithm. We suggest ways in which these effects can be mitigated for astronomical studies and also suggest how the situation can be improved for future imagers.

  13. Young Star May Be Belching Spheres of Gas, Astronomers Say

    Science.gov (United States)

    2001-05-01

    National Radio Astronomy Observatory. It consists of ten radio-telescope antennas, each 82 feet (25 meters) in diameter, spread across the U.S. from Hawaii to the U.S. Virgin Islands. Operated from Socorro, New Mexico, the VLBA provides astronomers with the greatest angular resolution, or ability to see fine detail, of any telescope on Earth or in space. The National Radio Astronomy Observatory is a facility of the National Science Foundation, operated under cooperative agreement by Associated Universities, Inc. The Center for Astrophysics combines the resources and research facilities of the Harvard College Observatory and the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory under a single director to pursue studies of those basic physical processes that determine the nature and evolution of the universe. Some 300 Smithsonian and Harvard scientists cooperate in broad programs of astrophysical research supported by Federal appropriations and University funds as well as contracts and grants from government agencies.

  14. TRW Ships NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory To Kennedy Space Center

    Science.gov (United States)

    1999-04-01

    Two U.S. Air Force C-5 Galaxy transport planes carrying the observatory and its ground support equipment landed at Kennedy's Space Shuttle Landing Facility at 2:40 p.m. EST this afternoon. REDONDO BEACH, CA.--(Business Wire)--Feb. 4, 1999--TRW has shipped NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory ("Chandra") to the Kennedy Space Center (KSC), in Florida, in preparation for a Space Shuttle launch later this year. The 45-foot-tall, 5-ton science satellite will provide astronomers with new information on supernova remnants, the surroundings of black holes, and other celestial phenomena that produce vast quantities of X-rays. Cradled safely in the cargo hold of a tractor-trailer rig called the Space Cargo Transportation System (SCTS), NASA's newest space telescope was ferried on Feb. 4 from Los Angeles International Airport to KSC aboard an Air Force C-5 Galaxy transporter. The SCTS, an Air Force container, closely resembles the size and shape of the Shuttle cargo bay. Over the next few months, Chandra will undergo final tests at KSC and be mated to a Boeing-provided Inertial Upper Stage for launch aboard Space Shuttle Columbia. A launch date for the Space Shuttle STS-93 mission is expected to be announced later this week. The third in NASA's family of Great Observatories that includes the Hubble Space Telescope and the TRW-built Compton Gamma Ray observatory, Chandra will use the world's most powerful X-ray telescope to allow scientists to "see" and monitor cosmic events that are invisible to conventional optical telescopes. Chandra's X-ray images will yield new insight into celestial phenomena such as the temperature and extent of gas clouds that comprise clusters of galaxies and the superheating of gas and dust particles as they swirl into black holes. A TRW-led team that includes the Eastman Kodak Co., Raytheon Optical Systems Inc., and Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. designed and built the Chandra X-ray Observatory for NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center. The

  15. Private Observatories in South Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rijsdijk, C.

    2016-12-01

    Descriptions of private observatories in South Africa, written by their owners. Positions, equipment descriptions and observing programmes are given. Included are: Klein Karoo Observatory (B. Monard), Cederberg Observatory (various), Centurion Planetary and Lunar Observatory (C. Foster), Le Marischel Observatory (L. Ferreira), Sterkastaaing Observatory (M. Streicher), Henley on Klip (B. Fraser), Archer Observatory (B. Dumas), Overbeek Observatory (A. Overbeek), Overberg Observatory (A. van Staden), St Cyprian's School Observatory, Fisherhaven Small Telescope Observatory (J. Retief), COSPAR 0433 (G. Roberts), COSPAR 0434 (I. Roberts), Weltevreden Karoo Observatory (D. Bullis), Winobs (M. Shafer)

  16. More Saturnian Moons

    Science.gov (United States)

    2000-10-01

    Saturn takes the lead Following the discovery of at least four additional moons of that planet, Saturn has again taken the lead as the planet with the greatest number of known natural satellites. A corresponding announcement was made today by an international team of astronomers [1] at a meeting of the Division for Planetary Sciences (DPS) of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) in Pasadena (California, USA). The four new faint bodies were spotted during observations in August-September 2000 at several astronomical telescopes around the world. Subsequent orbital calculations have indicated that these objects are almost certainly new satellites of the giant planet. Two Saturnian moons found at La Silla ESO PR Photo 29a/00 ESO PR Photo 29a/00 [Preview - JPEG: 263 x 400 pix - 26k] [Normal - JPEG: 525 x 800 pix - 93k] ESO PR Photo 29b/00 ESO PR Photo 29b/00 [Preview - JPG: 289 x 400 pix - 43k] [Normal - JPG: 578 x 800 pix - 432k] ESO PR Photo 29c/00 ESO PR Photo 29c/00 [Animated GIF: 330 x 400 pix - 208k] Captions : The photos show the discovery images of two new Saturnian moons, as registered on August 7, 2000, with the Wide-Field Imager (WFI) camera at the MPG/ESO 2.2-m telescope at the La Silla Observatory. Photo PR 29a/00 displays the faint image of the newly discovered moon S/2000 S 1 in the lower right corner of the field. A spiral galaxy is seen in the upper left corner of this photo. The other objects are (background) stars in the Milky Way. Photo PR 29b/00 is a combination of three successive WFI exposures of the second moon, S/2000 S 2 . Because of its motion, there are three images (to the left). Photo PR 29c/00 is an animated GIF image of the same three exposures that demonstrates this motion. Technical details are found below. The observations of the first two objects are described on a Circular of the International Astronomical Union (IAU) that was issued today [2]. The images of these new moons were first registered on exposures made on August 7, 2000

  17. International Lunar Observatory Association Advancing 21st Century Astronomy from the Moon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Durst, Steve

    2015-08-01

    Long considered a prime location to conduct astronomical observations, the Moon is beginning to prove its value in 21st Century astronomy through the Lunar Ultraviolet Telescope aboard China’s Chang’e-3 Moon lander and through the developing missions of the International Lunar Observatory Association (ILOA). With 24 hours / Earth day of potential operability facilitating long-duration observations, the stable platform of the lunar surface and extremely thin exosphere guaranteeing superior observation conditions, zones of radio-quiet for radio astronomy, and the resources and thermal stability at the lunar South Pole, the Moon provides several pioneering advantages for astronomy. ILOA, through MOUs with NAOC and CNSA, has been collaborating with China to make historic Galaxy observations with the Chang’e-3 LUT, including imaging Galaxy M101 in December 2014. LUT has an aperture of 150mm, covers a wavelength range of 245 to 340 nanometers and is capable of detecting objects at a brightness down to 14 mag. The success of China’s mission has provided support and momentum for ILOA’s mission to place a 2-meter dish, multifunctio