Sample records for astronomical optical polarimeter

  1. The Galway astronomical Stokes polarimeter: optical development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sheehan B.


    Full Text Available The acquisition time of astronomical polarimeters has in the past been restricted to by the use of polarimeters utilizing modulated or rotating components [1]. If the polarisation state being measured is changing in the order of nanoseconds, how does one measure this? The Galway Astronomical Stokes Polarimeter (GASP is an instantaneous full Stokes Division Of Amplitude Polarimeter (DOAP that has been developed for astronomical imaging polarimetry. It also uses just one camera thus restricting the acquisition time to photon statistics. Following the work of Compain and Drévillon [2], the main component - the Retarding Beam-Splitter, was redesigned and enhanced for imaging use. We present how the polarization and imaging optics were developed to create a broadband imaging instantaneous polarimeter.

  2. GASP-Galway astronomical Stokes polarimeter

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shearer A.


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

  3. Astronomical Polarimeters and Features of Polarimetric Observations (United States)

    Morozhenko, A. V.; Vid'machenko, A. P.


    We present a general description of ground-based astronomical polarimeters, and provide a detailed description of the spectropolarimeter of the Main astronomical observatory (MAO) of a National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine (NASU). Using a polarization modulator of a rotating quarter-wave phase plate (FP) allows us to measure the parameters of linear and circular polarization simultaneously. In 1983 O. I. Bugaenko with the colleagues from MAO of NASU produced an automatic astronomical spectropolarimeter (ASP), which used a continuous rotation of polarizer with frequency of 61 Hz. Observations in two beam modes allowed it to accommodate changes of transparency of the Earth's atmosphere, air mass the of observational object, inexactness of guiding and displacement from an optical axis because of atmospheric turbulence. In 1995 the spectropolarimeter was upgraded and its spectral interval expanded to 1 micron. Sources of errors and methods of their elimination are described.

  4. Astronomical optics

    CERN Document Server

    Schroeder, Daniel J


    Written by a recognized expert in the field, this clearly presented, well-illustrated book provides both advanced level students and professionals with an authoritative, thorough presentation of the characteristics, including advantages and limitations, of telescopes and spectrographic instruments used by astronomers of today.Key Features* Written by a recognized expert in the field* Provides both advanced level students and professionals with an authoritative, thorough presentation of the characteristics, including advantages and limitations, of telescopes and spectrographic i

  5. Instrumentations in x-ray plasma polarization spectroscopy. Crystal spectrometer, polarimeter and detectors for astronomical observations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Baronova, Elena O.; Stepanenko, Mikhail M. [RRC Kurchatov Institute, Nuclear Fusion Institute, Moscow (Russian Federation); Jakubowski, Lech [Soltan Institute for Nuclear Studies, Swierk-Otwock (Poland); Tsunemi, Hiroshi [Osaka Univ., Graduate School of Science, Osaka (Japan)


    This report discusses the various problems which are encountered when a crystal spectrometer is used for the purpose of observing polarized x-ray lines. A polarimeter is proposed based on the novel idea of using two series of equivalent atomic planes in a single crystal. The present status of the astronomical x-ray detection techniques are described with emphasis on two dimensional detectors which are polarization sensitive. (author)

  6. Electro-Optic Imaging Fourier Transform Spectral Polarimeter Project (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Boulder Nonlinear Systems, Inc. (BNS) proposes to develop an Electro-Optic Imaging Fourier Transform Spectral Polarimeter (E-O IFTSP). The polarimetric system is...

  7. Development and manufacturing of panoramic Stokes polarimeter using the polarization films in the Main Astronomical Observatory of NAS of Ukraine (United States)

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


    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

  8. Astronomical optics and elasticity theory

    CERN Document Server

    Lemaitre, Gerard Rene


    Astronomical Optics and Elasticity Theory provides a very thorough and comprehensive account of what is known in this field. After an extensive introduction to optics and elasticity, the book discusses variable curvature and multimode deformable mirrors, as well as, in depth, active optics, its theory and applications. Further, optical design utilizing the Schmidt concept and various types of Schmidt correctors, as well as the elasticity theory of thin plates and shells are elaborated upon. Several active optics methods are developed for obtaining aberration corrected diffraction gratings. Further, a weakly conical shell theory of elasticity is elaborated for the aspherization of grazing incidence telescope mirrors. The very didactic and fairly easy-to-read presentation of the topic will enable PhD students and young researchers to actively participate in challenging astronomical optics and instrumentation projects.

  9. Full Stokes polarimeter for characterization of fiber optic gyroscope coils. (United States)

    Lompado, Arthur; Reinhardt, John C; Heaton, L Chris; Williams, Jeff L; Ruffin, Paul B


    We describe the design, construction, calibration, and validation of a Stokes vector polarimeter for investigating the polarization characteristics of fiber optic gyroscope coils. The device measures the complete Stokes vector, and reports conventional polarization properties including the Degree of Polarization (DoP), the orientation and Degree of Linear Polarization (DoLP), and the handedness and Degree of Circular Polarization (DoCP). The sensor operates at 1550 nm and employs a division of aperture optical architecture to acquire full Stokes vectors at 8 kHz while calculating polarization properties at a rate of 200 Hz. Preliminary measurements performed on both traditionally and unconventionally wound gyroscope coils are also presented.

  10. Miniature optical components for a small inline polarimeter (United States)

    Freitag, J.; Winzer, A. T.; Schädel, M.; Frank, T.; Müller, R.; Neckermann, K.


    We present two novel components for a small polarimeter: A laser light source and a polarization measuring element. The polarimeter is designed for the use in experimental biogas fermenters, where the optical activity information is needed as an input for the process control loop. For this purpose reproducible measurements over several days and a very small sample volume are necessary. The laser light source provides the collimated and linearly polarized light which passes the sample chamber towards the polarization detector. The beam diameter is smaller than 1 mm over the whole length of 10 cm in order to prevent reflections from the chamber walls. The micro lasers are surface emitting laser diodes (VCSELs) that are mounted on a metalized glass / polymer micro optics in a wafer based process flow. This makes it possible to reduce the size of the polarized light source down to 1.40 x 0.64 x 0.70 mm3. The polarization angle detector consists of a beam polarizing splitter cube with a splitting ratio of better than 10000:1. At both exits a monolithic pair of photodiodes is mounted directly. The sum of the two signals is a measure for the parallel or perpendicular polarized part of the light, respectively. The double diodes are tilted by 90° within the plane, in order to create a four-quadrant detector that is suited to analyze the beam position. This additional position measurement is used for detection of adverse illumination.

  11. Basic Optics for the Astronomical Sciences

    CERN Document Server

    Breckinridge, James


    This text was written to provide students of astronomy and engineers an understanding of optical science - the study of the generation, propagation, control, and measurement of optical radiation - as it applies to telescopes and instruments for astronomical research in the areas of astrophysics, astrometry, exoplanet characterization, and planetary science. The book provides an overview of the elements of optical design and physical optics within the framework of the needs of the astronomical community.

  12. MHD marking using the MSE polarimeter optics in ILW JET plasmas. (United States)

    Reyes Cortes, S; Alper, B; Alves, D; Baruzzo, M; Bernardo, J; Buratti, P; Coelho, R; Challis, C; Chapman, I; Hawkes, N; Hender, T C; Hobirk, J; Joffrin, E


    In this communication we propose a novel diagnostic technique, which uses the collection optics of the JET Motional Stark Effect (MSE) diagnostic, to perform polarimetry marking of observed MHD in high temperature plasma regimes. To introduce the technique, first we will present measurements of the coherence between MSE polarimeter, electron cyclotron emission, and Mirnov coil signals aiming to show the feasibility of the method. The next step consists of measuring the amplitude fluctuation of the raw MSE polarimeter signals, for each MSE channel, following carefully the MHD frequency on Mirnov coil data spectrograms. A variety of experimental examples in JET ITER-Like Wall (ILW) plasmas are presented, providing an adequate picture and interpretation for the MSE optics polarimeter technique.

  13. MHD marking using the MSE polarimeter optics in ILW JET plasmas

    CERN Document Server

    Reyes Cortes, S.; Alves, D.; Baruzzo, M.; Bernardo, J.; Buratti, P.; Coelho, R.; Challis, C.; Chapman, I.; Hawkes, N.; Hender, T.C.; Hobirk, J.; Joffrin, E.


    In this communication we propose a novel diagnostic technique, which uses the collection optics of the JET Motional Stark Effect (MSE) diagnostic, to perform polarimetry marking of observed MHD in high temperature plasma regimes. To introduce the technique, first we will present measurements of the coherence between MSE polarimeter, electron cyclotron emission, and Mirnov coil signals aiming to show the feasibility of the method. The next step consists of measuring the amplitude fluctuation of the raw MSE polarimeter signals, for each MSE channel, following carefully the MHD frequency on Mirnov coil data spectrograms. A variety of experimental examples in JET ITER-Like Wall (ILW) plasmas are presented, providing an adequate picture and interpretation for the MSE optics polarimeter technique.

  14. Astronomical optical interferometry, I: Methods and instrumentation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jankov S.


    Full Text Available Previous decade has seen an achievement of large interferometric projects including 8-10m telescopes and 100m class baselines. Modern computer and control technology has enabled the interferometric combination of light from separate telescopes also in the visible and infrared regimes. Imaging with milli-arcsecond (mas resolution and astrometry with micro-arcsecond (µas precision have thus become reality. Here, I review the methods and instrumentation corresponding to the current state in the field of astronomical optical interferometry. First, this review summarizes the development from the pioneering works of Fizeau and Michelson. Next, the fundamental observables are described, followed by the discussion of the basic design principles of modern interferometers. The basic interferometric techniques such as speckle and aperture masking interferometry, aperture synthesis and nulling interferometry are discussed as well. Using the experience of past and existing facilities to illustrate important points, I consider particularly the new generation of large interferometers that has been recently commissioned (most notably, the CHARA, Keck, VLT and LBT Interferometers. Finally, I discuss the longer-term future of optical interferometry, including the possibilities of new large-scale ground-based projects and prospects for space interferometry.

  15. Are opthalmic hydrophobic coatings useful for astronomical optics? (United States)

    Schwab, Christian; Phillips, Andrew C.


    Astronomical optics are often exposed to moisture and dust in observatory environments, which frequently compromises their high-performance coatings. Suitable protective layers to resist dust and moisture accumulation would be extremely advantageous, but have received scant attention thus far. Hydrophobic and scratch-resistant coatings, developed primarily for opthalmic use, exhibit several attractive properties for astronomical optics. We examine the properties of one such coating and its applicability to astronomical mirrors and lenses. This includes efficiency of dust removal, abrasion resistance, moisture resistance, ease of stripping, and transmission across a wide wavelength range.

  16. The application of interferometry to optical astronomical imaging. (United States)

    Baldwin, John E; Haniff, Christopher A


    In the first part of this review we survey the role optical/infrared interferometry now plays in ground-based astronomy. We discuss in turn the origins of astronomical interferometry, the motivation for its development, the techniques of its implementation, examples of its astronomical significance, and the limitations of the current generation of interferometric arrays. The second part focuses on the prospects for ground-based astronomical imaging interferometry over the near to mid-term (i.e. 10 years) at optical and near-infrared wavelengths. An assessment is made of the astronomical and technical factors which determine the optimal designs for imaging arrays. An analysis based on scientific capability, technical feasibility and cost argues for an array of large numbers of moderate-sized (2 m class) telescopes rather than one comprising a small number of much larger collectors.

  17. Optical and mechanical architecture for the E-ELT HIRES polarimeter (United States)

    Di Varano, I.; Strassmeier, K. G.; Woche, M.; Weber, M.; Laux, U.; Yuan, S.; Covino, S.; Riva, M.; Di Marcantonio, P.; Genoni, M.; Landoni, M.; Li Causi, G.; Mason, E.


    We introduce the opto-mechanical architecture of a high precision, full Stokes vector, dual-channel polarimeter for the European Extremely Large Telescope's High Resolution spectrograph (E-ELT HIRES). It is foreseen to feed two spectrograph modules simultaneously through the standard Front End subunit located on the Nasmyth platform via two fiber bundles; one optimized for the optical (BVRI), the other optimized for the infrared (zYJH) bands. The polarimeter is located below M4 in the f/4.4 intermediate focus, representing the only rotationally symmetric focus available, and is retractable. We illustrate the strategy of repositioning and aligning the instrument, provided that it has to withstand wind and earthquake loads and that the PSF is varying in width and position due to the active compensation by the co-phasing corrections. Preliminary results of its expected polarimetric sensitivity and accuracy are also analyzed for several configurations of M1 segments and suggest a stunning performance in the intermediate focus with cross talks of the order of 10-7 but 10-2 if it were located in the Nasmyth focus.

  18. Optical studies conducted by Shogunal astronomers of Edo-period (United States)

    Nakamura, Tsuko


    Although basic duty for astronomical officers of the Tokugawa Shogunal government had been to compile yearly and sometimes improve luni-solar calendars, they were obliged from necessity, toward the 19th century, to learn the astronomical navigation and optical instruments as well. This paper discusses why and how they coped with the fundamental optics. We also shed light on that Cornelis Douwes (1712-1773), the principal of the Amsterdam Naval Academy, made an important contribution to the Japanese astronomy of the Edo-period, through both the booklet on the octant written by him and his Dutch-translation enterprise of the four-volume books "Astronomie" authored by the famed French astronomer J. J. F. Lalande.

  19. HERTZ, A Submillimeter Polarimeter (United States)

    Schleuning, D. A.; Dowell, C. D.; Hildebrand, R. H.; Platt, S. R.; Novak, G.


    We describe a 32 pixel polarimeter, Hertz, for use at the Caltech Submillimeter Observatory. We present polarization maps of the Orion molecular cloud (OMC-1) at 350 \\mum (46 detections) and 450 \\mum (19 detections) with 3\\sigma or better statistical significance. The 350 \\mum polarization ranges from 1.4 to 6.8% with a median value of 3.3%. The position angles are fairly uniform across the souce at an angle of \\sim30 degrees (east of north). We describe the design and performance characteristics of the polarimeter and discuss systematic effects due to telescope and instrumental polarization, atmospheric fluctuations, and reference beam flux. (SECTION: Astronomical Instrumentation)

  20. Systematic simulations of aerosol optical property retrieval uncertainty for scanning polarimeters

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. Knobelspiesse


    Full Text Available Scanning polarimeters, which utilize multi-angle, multispectral polarimetric observations from aircraft and orbit, represent the next generation of instruments capable of determining aerosol and cloud properties remotely. Retrieval of these properties from observations, however, are not straightforward. Iterative minimization techniques are often used to match radiative transfer simulations to the observations, where the aerosol and cloud parameters of the optimal model match are considered the best estimate of what is physically present in the scene. If the radiative transfer model perturbation sensitivity, expressed as a Jacobian matrix, can be assessed at the solution, then the observation uncertainty can be projected into the domain of the retrieved parameters. These parameter uncertainties provide are an extremely useful means to assess retrieval success. Another aspect of our iterative minimization techniques is the need for a reasonable initial estimate of optical properties. This estimate is provided by matching observations to a Lookup Table (LUT of pre-computed radiative transfer scenes. This LUT spans a wide range of aerosol and cloud optical properties, and also includes numerical estimates of the Jacobian matrix at each element in the LUT. Using the Jacobians, we can estimate the retrieval uncertainty for all elements of the LUT, and therefore build a table of expected uncertainty. This paper presents how this approach is used in a systematic manner, and how it can be used to test retrieval capability for various combinations of polarized, multi-angle and multispectral observations.

  1. Astronomical optical interferometry, II: Astrophysical results

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    Jankov S.


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

  2. Astronomical Optical Interferometry. II. Astrophysical Results (United States)

    Jankov, S.


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

  3. Beam Size Measurement by Optical Diffraction Radiation and Laser System for Compton Polarimeter

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Liu, Chuyu [Peking Univ., Beijing (China)


    difficulty of diagnostics. For most cases, intercepting measurements are no longer acceptable, and nonintercepting method like synchrotron radiation monitor can not be applied to linear accelerators. The development of accelerator technology asks for simutanous diagnostics innovations, to expand the performance of diagnostic tools to meet the requirements of the next generation accelerators. Diffraction radiation and inverse Compton scattering are two of the most promising techniques, their nonintercepting nature avoids perturbance to the beam and damage to the instrumentation. This thesis is divided into two parts, beam size measurement by optical diffraction radiation and Laser system for Compton polarimeter. Diffraction radiation, produced by the interaction between the electric field of charged particles and the target, is related to transition radiation. Even though the theory of diffraction radiation has been discussed since 1960s, there are only a few experimental studies in recent years. The successful beam size measurement by optical diffraction radiation at CEBAF machine is a milestone: First of all, we have successfully demonstrated diffraction radiation as an effective nonintercepting diagnostics; Secondly, the simple linear relationship between the diffraction radiation image size and the actual beam size improves the reliability of ODR measurements; And, we measured the polarized components of diffraction radiation for the first time and I analyzed the contribution from edge radiation to diffraction radiation.

  4. The Penn Polarimeters

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert H. Koch


    Full Text Available This report describes the inception, development and extensive use over 30 years of elliptical polarimeters at the University of Pennsylvania. The initial Mark I polarimeter design utilized oriented retarder plates and a calcite Foster-Clarke prism as the analyzer. The Mark I polarimeter was used on the Kitt Peak 0.9 m in 1969-70 to accomplish a survey of approximately 70 objects before the device was relocated to the 0.72 m reflector at the Flower and Cook Observatory. Successive generations of automation and improvements included the early-80’s optical redesign to utilize a photoelastic modulated wave plate and an Ithaco lock-in amplifier–the photoelastic modulating polarimeter. The final design in 2000 concluded with a fully remote operable device. The legacy of the polarimetric programs includes studies of close binaries, pulsating hot stars, and luminous late-type variables.

  5. Astronomical Optical Interferometry. I. Methods and Instrumentation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jankov, S.


    Full Text Available Previous decade has seen an achievement of large interferometricprojects including 8-10m telescopes and 100m class baselines. Modern computerand control technology has enabled the interferometric combination of lightfrom separate telescopes also in the visible and infrared regimes. Imagingwith milli-arcsecond (mas resolution and astrometry with micro-arcsecond($mu$as precision have thus become reality. Here, I review the methods andinstrumentation corresponding to the current state in the field ofastronomical optical interferometry. First, this review summarizes thedevelopment from the pioneering works of Fizeau and Michelson. Next, thefundamental observables are described, followed by the discussion of the basicdesign principles of modern interferometers. The basic interferometrictechniques such as speckle and aperture masking interferometry, aperture synthesisand nulling interferometry are disscused as well. Using the experience ofpast and existing facilities to illustrate important points, I considerparticularly the new generation of large interferometers that has beenrecently commissioned (most notably, the CHARA, Keck, VLT and LBTInterferometers. Finally, I discuss the longer-term future of opticalinterferometry, including the possibilities of new large-scale ground-based projects and prospects for space interferometry.

  6. Astronomical Observations from the Air Force Maui Optical Station (AMOS) (United States)

    Lambert, J. V.; Africano, J. L.; Talent, D. L.; Sydney, P. F.; Soohoo, V.; Nishimoto, D. L.; Kervin, P. W.


    The Air Force Maui Optical Station (AMOS) was established in 1965 as a research and operations center for United States Department of Defense. The primary mission of AMOS has been space surveillance -- the detection, tracking, identification, and monitoring of suborbital missiles and manmade objects in Earth orbit. However, the site has also actively supported a secondary mission in the area of scientific and astronomical research. Each of the facility's five telescopes, with apertures ranging in size from 0.6 to 3.67 meters, has unique capabilities to support astronomical observations. Over the years, the facility has supported the development of adaptive optics and laser guide stars; high resolution imaging of P Cygni; Saturn ring plane crossing observations; Jupiter torus studies; asteroid characterization and follow-up; Comet Shoemaker/Levy-9 impact observations; and multi-decade IR photometry of long period variable stars. Results from these efforts will be presented. With the changing international political environment, the site is becoming more available for astronomical observations. Unique niches AMOS can fill include the short notice (hours to days) scheduling of transient event observations, and long-term (multi-year) synoptic observations.

  7. Test facility for astronomical x-ray optics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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


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

  8. A Test Facility For Astronomical X-Ray Optics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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


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

  9. Temperature control system for optical elements in astronomical instrumentation (United States)

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


    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.

  10. Silicon carbide optics for space and ground based astronomical telescopes (United States)

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


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

  11. Optical properties of poly-HCN and their astronomical applications. (United States)

    Khare, B N; Sagan, C; Thompson, W R; Arakawa, E T; Meisse, C; Tuminello, P S


    Matthews (1992) has proposed that HCN "polymer" is ubiquitous in the solar system. We apply vacuum deposition and spectroscopic techniques previously used on synthetic organic heteropolymers (tholins), kerogens, and meteoritic organic residues to the measurement of the optical constants of poly-HCN in the wavelength range 0.05-40 micrometers. These measurements allow quantitative comparison with spectrophotometry of organic-rich bodies in the outer solar system. In a specific test of Matthews' hypothesis, poly-HCN fails to match the optical constants of the haze of the Saturnian moon, Titan, in the visible and near-infrared derived from astronomical observations and standard models of the Titan atmosphere. In contrast, a tholin produced from a simulated Titan atmosphere matches within the probable errors. Poly-HCN is much more N-rich than Titan tholin.

  12. Geometric optics theory and design of astronomical optical systems using Mathematica

    CERN Document Server

    Romano, Antonio


    This text, now in its second edition, presents the mathematical background needed to design many optical combinations that are used in astronomical telescopes and cameras. It uses a novel approach to third-order aberration theory based on Fermat’s principle and the use of particular optical paths (called stigmatic paths) instead of rays, allowing for easier derivation of third-order formulae. Each optical combination analyzed is accompanied by a downloadable Mathematica® notebook that automates its third-order design, eliminating the need for lengthy calculations. The essential aspects of an optical system with an axis of rotational symmetry are introduced first, along with a development of Gaussian optics from Fermat’s principal. A simpler approach to third-order monochromatic aberrations based on both Fermat’s principle and stigmatic paths is then described, followed by a new chapter on fifth-order aberrations and their classification. Several specific optical devices are discussed and analyzed, incl...

  13. Modelling MEMS deformable mirrors for astronomical adaptive optics (United States)

    Blain, Celia

    As of July 2012, 777 exoplanets have been discovered utilizing mainly indirect detection techniques. The direct imaging of exoplanets is the next goal for astronomers, because it will reveal the diversity of planets and planetary systems, and will give access to the exoplanet's chemical composition via spectroscopy. With this spectroscopic knowledge, astronomers will be able to know, if a planet is terrestrial and, possibly, even find evidence of life. With so much potential, this branch of astronomy has also captivated the general public attention. The direct imaging of exoplanets remains a challenging task, due to (i) the extremely high contrast between the parent star and the orbiting exoplanet and (ii) their small angular separation. For ground-based observatories, this task is made even more difficult, due to the presence of atmospheric turbulence. High Contrast Imaging (HCI) instruments have been designed to meet this challenge. HCI instruments are usually composed of a coronagraph coupled with the full onaxis corrective capability of an Extreme Adaptive Optics (ExAO) system. An efficient coronagraph separates the faint planet's light from the much brighter starlight, but the dynamic boiling speckles, created by the stellar image, make exoplanet detection impossible without the help of a wavefront correction device. The Subaru Coronagraphic Extreme Adaptive Optics (SCExAO) system is a high performance HCI instrument developed at Subaru Telescope. The wavefront control system of SCExAO consists of three wavefront sensors (WFS) coupled with a 1024- actuator Micro-Electro-Mechanical-System (MEMS) deformable mirror (DM). MEMS DMs offer a large actuator density, allowing high count DMs to be deployed in small size beams. Therefore, MEMS DMs are an attractive technology for Adaptive Optics (AO) systems and are particularly well suited for HCI instruments employing ExAO technologies. SCExAO uses coherent light modulation in the focal plane introduced by the DM, for

  14. UV Written Integrated Optical Beam Combiner for Near Infrared Astronomical Interferometry

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Svalgaard, Mikael; Olivero, Massimo; Jocou, Laurent


    A near infrared integrated optical beam combiner for astronomical interferometry is demonstrated for the first time by direct UV writing. High fringe contrast >95%, low total loss (0.7 dB), low crosstalk and broadband performance is demonstrated....

  15. White-light movies of the solar photosphere from the SOUP instrument on Spacelab. [Solar Optical Universal Polarimeter (United States)

    Title, A. M.; Tarbell, T. D.; Acton, L; Duncan, D.; Simon, G. W.


    Initial results are presented on solar granulation, pores and sunspots from the white-light films obtained by the Solar Optical Universal Polarimeter (SOUP) instrument in Spacelab 2. Several hours of movies were taken at various disk and limb positions in quiet and active regions. The images are diffraction-limited at 0.5 arcsec resolution and are, of course, free of atmospheric seeing and distortion. Properties of the granulation in magnetic and nonmagnetic regions are compared and are found to differ significantly in size, rate of intensity variation, and lifetime. In quiet sun, on the order of fifty-percent of the area has at least one 'exploding granule' occurring in it during a 25-min period. Local correlation tracking has detected several types of transverse flows, including systematic outflow from the penumbral boundary of a spot, motion of penumbral filaments, and cellular flow patterns of supergranular and mesogranular size. Feature tracking has shown that, in the quiet sun, the average granule fragment has a velocity of about one kilometer/second.

  16. The Effect of Trifluoroethanol and Glycerol on the Thermal Properties of Collagen Using Optical Displacement-Enhanced Heterodyne Polarimeter

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chien-Ming Wu


    Full Text Available An angular displacement-enhanced heterodyne polarimeter has been employed to investigate the interplay between trifluoroethanol (TFE and glycerol on the thermal denaturation of type I collagen. The concentration of the collagen solution was fixed at 0.341 (mg/mL, and was heated from 25 °C to 55 °C. TFE solutions with concentrations of 5%, 10%, 15%, 20%, 40% and 80% (v/v were prepared and the phase change was recorded for the determination of thermal denaturation. It was observed that the thermal denaturation temperature (Td is decreased with increasing TFE concentration due to the partial cleavage of the triple-helical structure. With TFE concentration higher than 20% (v/v, the degree of optical rotation appears to be nearly the same, reflecting that the collagen triple helices have been completely destructed. Moreover, the addition of glycerol in inhibiting the thermal denaturation of collagen is investigated. It has been shown that glycerol can improve the thermal denaturation of both collagen and TFE-mixed collagen. Experimental results show that, in the presence of 2 M glycerol, the Td of collagen remained at around 41.9 °C, meanwhile the Td of 20% (v/v TFE-mixed collagen is significantly restored to 32.8 °C.

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

  18. Development of Flight Slit-Jaw Optics for Chromospheric Lyman-Alpha SpectroPolarimeter (United States)

    Kubo, Masahito; Suematsu, Yoshinori; Kano, Ryohei; Bando, Takamasa; Hara, Hirohisa; Narukage, Noriyuki; Katsukawa, Yukio; Ishikawa, Ryoko; Ishikawa, Shin-nosuke; Kobiki, Toshihiko; hide


    In sounding rocket experiment CLASP, I have placed a slit a mirror-finished around the focal point of the telescope. The light reflected by the mirror surface surrounding the slit is then imaged in Slit-jaw optical system, to obtain the alpha-ray Lyman secondary image. This image, not only to use the real-time image in rocket flight rocket oriented direction selection, and also used as a scientific data showing the spatial structure of the Lyman alpha emission line intensity distribution and solar chromosphere around the observation area of the polarimetric spectroscope. Slit-jaw optical system is a two off-axis mirror unit part including a parabolic mirror and folding mirror, Lyman alpha transmission filter, the optical system magnification 1x consisting camera. The camera is supplied from the United States, and the other was carried out fabrication and testing in all the Japanese side. Slit-jaw optical system, it is difficult to access the structure, it is necessary to install the low place clearance. Therefore, influence the optical performance, the fine adjustment is necessary optical elements are collectively in the form of the mirror unit. On the other hand, due to the alignment of the solar sensor in the US launch site, must be removed once the Lyman alpha transmission filter holder including a filter has a different part from the mirror unit. In order to make the structure simple, stray light measures Aru to concentrate around Lyman alpha transmission filter. To overcome the difficulties of performing optical alignment in Lyman alpha wavelength absorbed by the atmosphere, it was planned following four steps in order to reduce standing time alignment me. 1: is measured in advance refractive index at Lyman alpha wavelength of Lyman alpha transmission filter (121.567nm), to prepare a visible light Firuwo having the same optical path length in the visible light (630nm). 2: The mirror structure CLASP before mounting unit standing, dummy slit and camera standing

  19. Intrinsic coincident full-Stokes polarimeter using stacked organic photovoltaics and architectural comparison of polarimeter techniques (United States)

    Yang, Ruonan; Sen, Pratik; O'Connor, B. T.; Kudenov, M. W.


    An intrinsic coincident full-Stokes polarimeter is demonstrated by using stain-aligned polymer-based organic photovoltaics (OPVs) which can preferentially absorb certain polarized states of incident light. The photovoltaic-based polarimeter is capable of measuring four stokes parameters by cascading four semitransparent OPVs in series along the same optical axis. Two wave plates were incorporated into the system to modulate the S3 stokes parameter so as to reduce the condition number of the measurement matrix. The model for the full-Stokes polarimeter was established and validated, demonstrating an average RMS error of 0.84%. The optimization, based on minimizing the condition number of the 4-cell OPV design, showed that a condition number of 2.4 is possible. Performance of this in-line polarimeter concept was compared to other polarimeter architectures, including Division of Time (DoT), Division of Amplitude (DoAm), Division of Focal Plane (DoFP), and Division of Aperture (DoA) from signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) perspective. This in-line polarimeter concept has the potential to enable both high temporal (as compared with a DoT polarimeter) and high spatial resolution (as compared with DoFP and DoA polarimeters). We conclude that the intrinsic design has the same √2 SNR advantage as the DoAm polarimeter, but with greater compactness.

  20. LWIR Microgrid Polarimeter for Remote Sensing Studies (United States)


    Polarimeter for Remote Sensing Studies 5b. GRANT NUMBER FA9550-08-1-0295 5c. PROGRAM ELEMENT NUMBER 6. AUTHOR(S) 5d. PROJECT NUMBER 1. Scott Tyo 5e. TASK...and tested at the University of Arizona, and preliminary images are shown in this final report. 15. SUBJECT TERMS Remote Sensing , polarimetry 16...7.0 LWIR Microgrid Polarimeter for Remote Sensing Studies J. Scott Tyo College of Optical Sciences University of Arizona Tucson, AZ, 85721 tyo

  1. Blind operation of optical astronomical interferometers options and predicted performance (United States)

    Beckers, Jacques M.


    Maximum sensitivity for optical interferometers is achieved only when the optical path lengths between the different arms can be equalized without using interference fringes on the research object itself. This is called 'blind operation' of the interferometer. This paper examines different options to achieve this, focusing on the application to the Very Large Telescope Interferometer (VLTI). It is proposed that blind operation should be done using a so-called coherence autoguider, working on an unresolved star of magnitude V = 11-13 within the isoplanatic patch for coherencing, which has a diameter of about 1 deg. Estimates of limiting magnitudes for the VLTI are also derived.

  2. Tiny Ultraviolet Polarimeter for Earth Stratosphere from Space Investigation (United States)

    Nevodovskyi, P. V.; Morozhenko, O. V.; Vidmachenko, A. P.; Ivakhiv, O.; Geraimchuk, M.; Zbrutskyi, O.


    One of the reasons for climate change (i.e., stratospheric ozone concentrations) is connected with the variations in optical thickness of aerosols in the upper sphere of the atmosphere (at altitudes over 30 km). Therefore, aerosol and gas components of the atmosphere are crucial in the study of the ultraviolet (UV) radiation passing upon the Earth. Moreover, a scrupulous study of aerosol components of the Earth atmosphere at an altitude of 30 km (i.e., stratospheric aerosol), such as the size of particles, the real part of refractive index, optical thickness and its horizontal structure, concentration of ozone or the upper border of the stratospheric ozone layer is an important task in the research of the Earth climate change. At present, the Main Astronomical Observatory of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) of Ukraine, the National Technical University of Ukraine "KPI"and the Lviv Polytechnic National University are engaged in the development of methodologies for the study of stratospheric aerosol by means of ultraviolet polarimeter using a microsatellite. So fare, there has been created a sample of a tiny ultraviolet polarimeter (UVP) which is considered to be a basic model for carrying out space experiments regarding the impact of the changes in stratospheric aerosols on both global and local climate.

  3. First attempt of the measurement of the beam polarization at an accelerator with the optical electron polarimeter POLO

    CERN Document Server

    Collin, B; Essabaa, S; Frascaria, R; Gacougnolle, R; Kunne, Ronald Alexander; Aulenbacher, K; Tioukine, V


    The conventional methods for measuring the polarization of electron beams are either time consuming, invasive or accurate only to a few percent. We developped a method to measure electron beam polarization by observing the light emitted by argon atoms following their excitation by the impact of polarized electrons. The degree of circular polarization of the emitted fluorescence is directly related to the electron polarization. We tested the polarimeter on a test GaAs source available at the MAMI electron accelerator in Mainz, Germany. The polarimeter determines the polarization of a 50 keV electron beam decelerated to a few eV and interacting with an effusive argon gas jet. The resulting decay of the excited states produces the emission of a circularly polarized radiation line at 811.5 nm which is observed and analyzed.

  4. JEUMICO: Czech-Bavarian astronomical X-ray optics project (United States)

    Hudec, R.; Döhring, T.


    Within the project JEUMICO, an acronym for "Joint European Mirror Competence", the Aschaffenburg University of Applied Sciences and the Czech Technical University in Prague started a collaboration to develop mirrors for X-ray telescopes. Corresponding mirror segments use substrates of flat silicon wafers which are coated with thin iridium films, as this material is promising high reflectivity in the X-ray range of interest. The sputtering parameters are optimized in the context of the expected reflectivity of the coated X-ray mirrors. In near future measurements of the assembled mirror modules optical performances are planned at an X-ray test facility.

  5. Astronomical phenomena: events with high impact factor in teaching optics and photonics (United States)

    Curticapean, Dan


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

  6. LWIR Snapshot Imaging Polarimeter

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dr. Robert E Sampson


    This report describes the results of a phase 1 STTR to design a longwave infrared imaging polarimeter. The system design, expected performance and components needed to construct the imaging polarimeter are described. Expected performance is modeled and sytem specifications are presented.

  7. Confocal scanning Mueller polarimeter (United States)

    Lompado, Arthur


    We describe the design, construction, calibration and testing of a confocal scanning Mueller polarimeter. A polarization state generator and polarization state analyzer have been inserted into the optical path of a conventional confocal scanning imager to collect the reflectance Muller matrix of samples measuring up to 6.26 mm on a side. Four sources are available for sample interrogation using diode lasers centered at 532 nm, 635 nm, 670 nm, and 785 nm. The device captures all required imagery to calculate the Mueller matrix of each image pixel in approximately 90 s. These matrices are then reduced into polarization imagery such as the diattenuation, retardance and depolarization index. Oftentimes this polarization imagery is quite different and potentially more informative than a conventional intensity image. There are a number of fields that can benefit from alternative/enhanced imagery, most notably in the biomedical, discrimination, and target recognition communities. The sensor has been designed for biomedical applications aimed at improving the technique of noninvasive detection of melanoma lesions.

  8. Analysis of the optics of the 2.5-m telescope of the Sternberg Astronomical Institute (United States)

    Potanin, S. A.; Gorbunov, I. A.; Dodin, A. V.; Savvin, A. D.; Safonov, B. S.; Shatsky, N. I.


    The results of alignment and acceptance tests of the optics system of the 2.5-m telescope installed at the Caucausus Mountain Observatory of the Sternberg Astronomical Institute in 2013-2015 are reported. The optical elements of the Ritchey-Chrétien system of the telescope were manufactured by REOSC (France). Measurements of aberrations were carried out using a specially manufactured Shack-Hartmann wavefront sensor. Adjustment of the load-distribution mechanisms of the primary mirror and automatic correction for bending of the structure have made it possible to achieve the target image quality at all operational positions of the telescope, corresponding to 80% of the energy being concentrated in a circle 0.3″ in diameter. Factory interferograms of the mirrors and methods for measuring their abberation using stellar images are presented.

  9. Optoelectronic polarimeter controlled by a graphical user interface of Matlab (United States)

    Vilardy, J. M.; Jimenez, C. J.; Torres, R.


    We show the design and implementation of an optical polarimeter using electronic control. The polarimeter has a software with a graphical user interface (GUI) that controls the optoelectronic setup and captures the optical intensity measurement, and finally, this software evaluates the Stokes vector of a state of polarization (SOP) by means of the synchronous detection of optical waves. The proposed optoelectronic polarimeter can determine the Stokes vector of a SOP in a rapid and efficient way. Using the polarimeter proposed in this paper, the students will be able to observe (in an optical bench) and understand the different interactions of the SOP when the optical waves pass through to the linear polarizers and retarder waves plates. The polarimeter prototype could be used as a main tool for the students in order to learn the theory and experimental aspects of the SOP for optical waves via the Stokes vector measurement. The proposed polarimeter controlled by a GUI of Matlab is more attractive and suitable to teach and to learn the polarization of optical waves.

  10. The HARPS Polarimeter

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Snik, F.; Kochukhov, O.; Piskunov, N.; Rodenhuis, M.; Jeffers, S.V.; Keller, C.U.; Dolgopolov, A.; Stempels, H. C.; Makaganiuk, V.; Valenti, J.; Johns-Krull, C.


    We recently commissioned the polarimetric upgrade of the HARPS spectrograph at ESO’s 3.6-m telescope at La Silla, Chile. The HARPS polarimeter is capable of full Stokes spectropolarimetry with large sensitivity and accuracy, taking advantage of the large spectral resolution and stability of HARPS.

  11. Compact infrared hyperspectral imaging polarimeter (United States)

    Craven, Julia; Kudenov, Michael W.; Stapelbroek, Maryn G.; Dereniak, Eustace L.


    A compact SWIR/MWIR infrared hyperspectral imaging polarimeter (IHIP) is currently under development at the Optical Detection Lab at the University of Arizona. The sensor uses a pair of sapphire Wollaston prisms and high order retarders to form an imaging birefringent Fourier transform spectropolarimeter. Polarimetric data are acquired through the use of channeled spectropolarimetry to modulate the spectrum with the Stokes parameter information. The two dimensional interferogram is Fourier filtered and reconstructed to recover the complete Stokes vector data across the image. The IHIP operates over a +/-5° field of view and will use a dual-scan false signature reduction technique to suppress polarimetric aliasing artifacts. We present current instrument development progress, initial laboratory results, and our plan for future work.

  12. Affordable and lightweight high-resolution x-ray optics for astronomical missions (United States)

    Zhang, W. W.; Biskach, M. P.; Bly, V. T.; Carter, J. M.; Chan, K. W.; Gaskin, J. A.; Hong, M.; Hohl, B. R.; Jones, W. D.; Kolodziejczak, J. J.; Kolos, L. D.; Mazzarella, J. R.; McClelland, R. S.; McKeon, K. P.; Miller, T. M.; O'Dell, S. L.; Riveros, R. E.; Saha, T. T.; Schofield, M. J.; Sharpe, M. V.; Smith, H. C.


    Future x-ray astronomical missions require x-ray mirror assemblies that provide both high angular resolution and large photon collecting area. In addition, as x-ray astronomy undertakes more sensitive sky surveys, a large field of view is becoming increasingly important as well. Since implementation of these requirements must be carried out in broad political and economical contexts, any technology that meets these performance requirements must also be financially affordable and can be implemented on a reasonable schedule. In this paper we report on progress of an x-ray optics development program that has been designed to address all of these requirements. The program adopts the segmented optical design, thereby is capable of making both small and large mirror assemblies for missions of any size. This program has five technical elements: (1) fabrication of mirror substrates, (2) coating, (3) alignment, (4) bonding, and (5) mirror module systems engineering and testing. In the past year we have made progress in each of these five areas, advancing the angular resolution of mirror modules from 10.8 arc-seconds half-power diameter reported (HPD) a year ago to 8.3 arc-seconds now. These mirror modules have been subjected to and passed all environmental tests, including vibration, acoustic, and thermal vacuum. As such this technology is ready for implementing a mission that requires a 10-arc-second mirror assembly. Further development in the next two years would make it ready for a mission requiring a 5-arc-second mirror assembly. We expect that, by the end of this decade, this technology would enable the x-ray astrophysical community to compete effectively for a major x-ray mission in the 2020s that would require one or more 1-arc-second mirror assemblies for imaging, spectroscopic, timing, and survey studies.

  13. Affordable and Lightweight High-Resolution X-ray Optics for Astronomical Missions (United States)

    Zhang, W. W.; Biskach, M. P.; Bly, V. T.; Carter, J. M.; Chan, K. W.; Gaskin, J. A.; Hong, M.; Hohl, B. R.; Jones, W. D.; Kolodziejczak, J. J.


    Future x-ray astronomical missions require x-ray mirror assemblies that provide both high angular resolution and large photon collecting area. In addition, as x-ray astronomy undertakes more sensitive sky surveys, a large field of view is becoming increasingly important as well. Since implementation of these requirements must be carried out in broad political and economical contexts, any technology that meets these performance requirements must also be financially affordable and can be implemented on a reasonable schedule. In this paper we report on progress of an x-ray optics development program that has been designed to address all of these requirements. The program adopts the segmented optical design, thereby is capable of making both small and large mirror assemblies for missions of any size. This program has five technical elements: (1) fabrication of mirror substrates, (2) coating, (3) alignment, (4) bonding, and (5) mirror module systems engineering and testing. In the past year we have made progress in each of these five areas, advancing the angular resolution of mirror modules from 10.8 arc-seconds half-power diameter reported (HPD) a year ago to 8.3 arc-seconds now. These mirror modules have been subjected to and passed all environmental tests, including vibration, acoustic, and thermal vacuum. As such this technology is ready for implementing a mission that requires a 10-arc-second mirror assembly. Further development in the next two years would make it ready for a mission requiring a 5-arc-second mirror assembly. We expect that, by the end of this decade, this technology would enable the x-ray astrophysical community to compete effectively for a major x-ray mission in the 2020s that would require one or more 1-arc-second mirror assemblies for imaging, spectroscopic, timing, and survey studies.

  14. Concept of SPARC4: a simultaneous polarimeter and rapid camera in 4 bands (United States)

    Rodrigues, Claudia V.; Taylor, Keith; Jablonski, Francisco J.; Assafin, Marcelo; Carciofi, Alex; Cieslinski, Deonisio; Costa, Joaquim E. R.; Dominguez, Ruben; Dominici, Tania P.; Franco, Gabriel A. P.; Jones, Damien J.; Kanaan, Antonio; Laporte, René; Magalhaes, Antonio M.; Milone, André; Neri, José A.; Pereyra, Antonio; Reitano, Luiz A.; Silva, Karleyne M. G.; Strauss, Cesar


    We present a summary of the concept design report of a new astronomical instrument: SPARC4, Simultaneous Polarimeter and Rapid Camera in 4 bands. SPARC4 will provide photometry and polarimetry in four optical broad bands (griz SDSS) simultaneously. This is achieved by the use of dichroic beam splitters. The square eld of view is around 5.6 arcmin on a side. SPARC4 time resolution is sub-second for photometry and somewhat longer for polarimetry. This is provided by the use of fast EMCCDs. The main motivation for building SPARC4 is to explore astrophysical objects which exhibit fast temporal variability in ux and polarization. The instrument will be installed at the 1.6-m telescope of the Observatorio do Pico dos Dias (Brazil).

  15. Every photon counts: improving low, mid, and high-spatial frequency errors on astronomical optics and materials with MRF (United States)

    Maloney, Chris; Lormeau, Jean Pierre; Dumas, Paul


    Many astronomical sensing applications operate in low-light conditions; for these applications every photon counts. Controlling mid-spatial frequencies and surface roughness on astronomical optics are critical for mitigating scattering effects such as flare and energy loss. By improving these two frequency regimes higher contrast images can be collected with improved efficiency. Classically, Magnetorheological Finishing (MRF) has offered an optical fabrication technique to correct low order errors as well has quilting/print-through errors left over in light-weighted optics from conventional polishing techniques. MRF is a deterministic, sub-aperture polishing process that has been used to improve figure on an ever expanding assortment of optical geometries, such as planos, spheres, on and off axis aspheres, primary mirrors and freeform optics. Precision optics are routinely manufactured by this technology with sizes ranging from 5-2,000mm in diameter. MRF can be used for form corrections; turning a sphere into an asphere or free form, but more commonly for figure corrections achieving figure errors as low as 1nm RMS while using careful metrology setups. Recent advancements in MRF technology have improved the polishing performance expected for astronomical optics in low, mid and high spatial frequency regimes. Deterministic figure correction with MRF is compatible with most materials, including some recent examples on Silicon Carbide and RSA905 Aluminum. MRF also has the ability to produce `perfectly-bad' compensating surfaces, which may be used to compensate for measured or modeled optical deformation from sources such as gravity or mounting. In addition, recent advances in MRF technology allow for corrections of mid-spatial wavelengths as small as 1mm simultaneously with form error correction. Efficient midspatial frequency corrections make use of optimized process conditions including raster polishing in combination with a small tool size. Furthermore, a novel MRF

  16. Modeling astronomical adaptive optics performance with temporally filtered Wiener reconstruction of slope data. (United States)

    Correia, Carlos M; Bond, Charlotte Z; Sauvage, Jean-François; Fusco, Thierry; Conan, Rodolphe; Wizinowich, Peter L


    We build on a long-standing tradition in astronomical adaptive optics (AO) of specifying performance metrics and error budgets using linear systems modeling in the spatial-frequency domain. Our goal is to provide a comprehensive tool for the calculation of error budgets in terms of residual temporally filtered phase power spectral densities and variances. In addition, the fast simulation of AO-corrected point spread functions (PSFs) provided by this method can be used as inputs for simulations of science observations with next-generation instruments and telescopes, in particular to predict post-coronagraphic contrast improvements for planet finder systems. We extend the previous results presented in Correia and Teixeira [J. Opt. Soc. Am. A31, 2763 (2014)JOAOD60740-323210.1364/JOSAA.31.002763] to the closed-loop case with predictive controllers and generalize the analytical modeling of Rigaut et al. [Proc. SPIE3353, 1038 (1998)PSISDG0277-786X10.1117/12.321649], Flicker [Technical Report (W. M. Keck Observatory, 2007)], and Jolissaint [J. Eur. Opt. Soc.5, 10055 (2010)1990-257310.2971/jeos.2010.10055]. We follow closely the developments of Ellerbroek [J. Opt. Soc. Am. A22, 310 (2005)JOAOD60740-323210.1364/JOSAA.22.000310] and propose the synthesis of a distributed Kalman filter to mitigate both aniso-servo-lag and aliasing errors while minimizing the overall residual variance. We discuss applications to (i) analytic AO-corrected PSF modeling in the spatial-frequency domain, (ii) post-coronagraphic contrast enhancement, (iii) filter optimization for real-time wavefront reconstruction, and (iv) PSF reconstruction from system telemetry. Under perfect knowledge of wind velocities, we show that ∼60  nm rms error reduction can be achieved with the distributed Kalman filter embodying antialiasing reconstructors on 10 m class high-order AO systems, leading to contrast improvement factors of up to three orders of magnitude at few λ/D separations (∼1-5λ/D) for a

  17. On testing of the photometer-polarimeter UVP layout using a telescope on Earth's surface (United States)

    Nevodovskyi, P. V.; Vidmachenko, A. P.; Morozhenko, O. V.; Zbrutskyi, O.; Ivakhiv, O. V.


    One of the causes of climate change (changing of concentration of stratospheric ozone) - is variations due to aerosol optical thickness in the upper layers of Earth's atmosphere. To solve the problem is necessary to make a space experiment to receive polarization observational data. Their analysis will: determine the value of the real part of the refractive index, the size of the stratospheric aerosol, optical thickness of the stratospheric aerosol layer, investigate aerosol's layer horizontal structure and its changes over time. Main Astronomical Observatory of NAS of Ukraine jointly with the National Technical University of Ukraine "KPI" and National University "Lviv Polytechnic" for a long time working on the design of polarimeter to study the stratospheric layer of the Earth from board of artificial satellites. During this time accumulated a great experience in such work, and created a layout of compact board ultraviolet polarimeter UFP [1-4]. For testing of ground variant of layout of UFP, it is installed on the telescope AZT-2 of the Main Astronomical Observatory NAS of Ukraine (Kyiv). Using it we plan to investigate the possibility of determining the degree of polarization of the twilight glow of Earth's atmosphere, and implementation of this technique in the development of space experiment on investigation of the stratospheric aerosol from space. For this purpose we develop a special set of equipment that will adapt the layout for working of UFP with telescope AZT-2, and carry out the above mentioned work (see. in [5-7]). References. 1. P. Nevodovskyi, O. Morozhenko, A. Vidmachenko, O. Ivakhiv, M. Geraimchuk, O. Zbrutskyi. Tiny Ultraviolet Polarimeter for Earth Stratosphere from Space Investigation // Proceedings of 8th IEEE International Conference on Intelligent Data Acquisition and Advanced Computing Systems: Technology and Applications (IDAACS'2015). 24-26 September 2015, Proceedings. Warsaw, Poland. Vol.81, p. 28-32. 2. Nevodovsksiy P. V., Morozhenko A

  18. Infrared hyperspectral imaging stokes polarimeter (United States)

    Jones, Julia Craven

    This work presents the design, development, and testing of a field portable imaging spectropolarimeter that operates over the short-wavelength and middle-wavelength portion of the infrared spectrum. The sensor includes a pair of sapphire Wollaston prisms and several high order retarders to produce the first infrared implementation of an imaging Fourier transform spectropolarimeter, providing for the measurement of the complete spectropolarimetric datacube over the passband. The Wollaston prisms serve as a birefringent interferometer with reduced sensitivity to vibration when compared to an unequal path interferometer, such as a Michelson. Polarimetric data are acquired through the use of channeled spectropolarimetry to modulate the spectrum with the Stokes parameter information. The collected interferogram is Fourier filtered and reconstructed to recover the spatially and spectrally varying Stokes vector data across the image. The intent of this dissertation is to provide the reader with a detailed understanding of the steps involved in the development of this infrared hyperspectral imaging polarimeter (IHIP) instrument. First, Chapter 1 provides an overview of the fundamental concepts relevant to this research. These include imaging spectrometers, polarimeters, and spectropolarimeters. A detailed discussion of channeled spectropolarimetry, including a historical study of previous implementations, is also presented. Next a few of the design alternatives that are possible for this work are outlined and discussed in Chapter 2. The configuration that was selected for the IHIP is then presented in detail, including the optical layout, design, and operation. Chapter 3 then presents an artifact reduction technique (ART) that was developed to improve the IHIP's spectropolarimetric reconstructions by reducing errors associated with non-band-limited spectral features. ART is experimentally verified in the infrared using a commercial Fourier transform spectrometer in

  19. Differential Deposition to Correct Surface Figure Deviations in Astronomical Grazing-Incidence X-Ray Optics (United States)

    Kilaru, Kiranmayee; Ramsey, Brian D.; Gubarev, Mikhail V.


    A coating technique is being developed to correct the surface figure deviations in reflective-grazing-incidence X-ray optics. These optics are typically designed to have precise conic profiles, and any deviation in this profile, as a result of fabrication, results in a degradation of the imaging performance. To correct the mirror profiles, physical vapor deposition has been utilized to selectively deposit a filler material inside the mirror shell. The technique, termed differential deposition, has been implemented as a proof of concept on miniature X-ray optics developed at MSFC for medical-imaging applications. The technique is now being transferred to larger grazing-incidence optics suitable for astronomy and progress to date is reported.

  20. Using 50-mm electrostatic membrane deformable mirror in astronomical adaptive optics

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tokovinin, A.; Thomas, S.; Vdovin, G.


    Membrane micro-machined deformable mirrors (MMDM) feature low cost, low power consumption, small size and absence of hysteresis. Interested in using such a device for the adaptive optics system at the SOAR 4.1-m telescope, we evaluated the performance of a 79-channel 50-mm (pupil size 35mm) MMDM

  1. Infrared Spectra and Optical Constants of Astronomical Ices: II. Ethane and Ethylene (United States)

    Hudson, Reggie L.; Gerakines, Perry A.; Moore, M. H.


    Infrared spectroscopic observations have established the presence of hydrocarbon ices on Pluto and other TNOs, but the abundances of such molecules cannot be deduced without accurate optical constants (n, k) and reference spectra. In this paper we present our recent measurements of near- and mid-infrared optical constants for ethane (C2H6) and ethylene (C2H4) in multiple ice phases and at multiple temperatures. As in our recent work on acetylene (C2H2), we also report new measurements of the index of refraction of each ice at 670 nm. Comparisons are made to earlier work where possible, and electronic versions of our new results are made available.

  2. Astronomical Tasks for Tests of X-Ray Optics in VZLUSAT-1 Nanosatellite

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martin Blazek


    Full Text Available VZLUSAT-1 nanosatellite (scheduled launch in spring 2017 from India is a CubeSat mission which, besides other instrumentation, contains X-ray desk to perform efficiency tests of the X-ray optics. In this article the analysis of potential observational candidates for VZLUSAT-1 X-ray board is presented together with the suggestion of observational modes, laboratory measurements, and estimations of exposure settings.

  3. Astronomical Tasks for Tests of X-Ray Optics in VZLUSAT-1 Nanosatellite


    Martin Blazek; Petr Pata; Adolf Inneman; Petr Skala


    VZLUSAT-1 nanosatellite (scheduled launch in spring 2017 from India) is a CubeSat mission which, besides other instrumentation, contains X-ray desk to perform efficiency tests of the X-ray optics. In this article the analysis of potential observational candidates for VZLUSAT-1 X-ray board is presented together with the suggestion of observational modes, laboratory measurements, and estimations of exposure settings.

  4. Determining astronomical seeing conditions at Matjiesfontein by optical and turbulence methods

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nickola, M [Hartebeesthoek Radio Astronomy Observatory (HartRAO) Space Geodesy Programme, PO Box 443, Krugersdorp 1740 (South Africa); Esau, I [G.C. Rieber Climate Institute of the Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Center (NERSC), Thoermohlensgate 47, N-5006 Bergen (Norway); Djolov, G [University of Pretoria, Department of Geography, Geoinformatics and Meteorology, Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, University of Pretoria, Pretoria 0002 (South Africa)


    Matjiesfontein in the Karoo has been proposed as a suitable location for a new fundamental space geodetic observatory. On-site geodetic equipment will include a Lunar Laser Ranger (LLR). LLR requires sub-arcsecond optical seeing conditions for delivery of high quality and quantity data. Seeing conditions at the Matjiesfontein site will be evaluated by making use of an automated seeing monitor and by modelling atmospheric turbulence with Large Eddy Simulation Nansen Center Improved Code (LESNIC).

  5. Determining astronomical seeing conditions at Matjiesfontein by optical and turbulence methods (United States)

    Nickola, M.; Esau, I.; Djolov, G.


    Matjiesfontein in the Karoo has been proposed as a suitable location for a new fundamental space geodetic observatory. On-site geodetic equipment will include a Lunar Laser Ranger (LLR). LLR requires sub-arcsecond optical seeing conditions for delivery of high quality and quantity data. Seeing conditions at the Matjiesfontein site will be evaluated by making use of an automated seeing monitor and by modelling atmospheric turbulence with Large Eddy Simulation Nansen Center Improved Code (LESNIC).

  6. High Angular Resolution and Lightweight X-Ray Optics for Astronomical Missions (United States)

    Zhang, W. W.; Biskach, M. P.; Blake, P. N.; Chan, K. W.; Evans, T. C.; Hong, M.; Jones, W. D.; Jones, W. D.; Kolos, L. D.; Mazzarella, J. M.; hide


    X-ray optics with both high angular resolution and lightweight is essential for further progress in x-ray astronomy. High angular resolution is important in avoiding source confusion and reducing background to enable the observation of the most distant objects of the early Universe. It is also important in enabling the use of gratings to achieve high spectral resolution to study, among other things, the myriad plasmas that exist in planetary, stellar, galactic environments, as well as interplanetary, inter-stellar, and inter-galactic media. Lightweight is important for further increase in effective photon collection area, because x-ray observations must take place on space platforms and the amount of mass that can be launched into space has always been very limited and is expected to continue to be very limited. This paper describes an x-ray optics development program and reports on its status that meets these two requirements. The objective of this program is to enable Explorer type missions in the near term and to enable flagship missions in the long term.

  7. Blind Astronomers (United States)

    Hockey, Thomas A.


    The phrase "blind astronomer” is used as an allegorical oxymoron. However, there were and are blind astronomers. What of famous blind astronomers? First, it must be stated that these astronomers were not martyrs to their craft. It is a myth that astronomers blind themselves by observing the Sun. As early as France's William of Saint-Cloud (circa 1290) astronomers knew that staring at the Sun was ill-advised and avoided it. Galileo Galilei did not invent the astronomical telescope and then proceed to blind himself with one. Galileo observed the Sun near sunrise and sunset or through projection. More than two decades later he became blind, as many septuagenarians do, unrelated to their profession. Even Isaac Newton temporarily blinded himself, staring at the reflection of the Sun when he was a twentysomething. But permanent Sun-induced blindness? No, it did not happen. For instance, it was a stroke that left Scotland's James Gregory (1638-1675) blind. (You will remember the Gregorian telescope.) However, he died days later. Thus, blindness little interfered with his occupation. English Abbot Richard of Wallingford (circa 1291 - circa 1335) wrote astronomical works and designed astronomical instruments. He was also blind in one eye. Yet as he further suffered from leprosy, his blindness seems the lesser of Richard's maladies. Perhaps the most famous professionally active, blind astronomer (or almost blind astronomer) is Dominique-Francois Arago (1786-1853), director until his death of the powerful nineteenth-century Paris Observatory. I will share other _ some poignant _ examples such as: William Campbell, whose blindness drove him to suicide; Leonhard Euler, astronomy's Beethoven, who did nearly half of his life's work while almost totally blind; and Edwin Frost, who "observed” a total solar eclipse while completely sightless.

  8. Infrared Spectra and Optical Constants of Astronomical Ices: I. Amorphous and Crystalline Acetylene (United States)

    Hudson, R. L.; Ferrante, R. F.; Moore, M. H.


    Here we report recent measurements on acetylene (C2H2) ices at temperatures applicable to the outer Solar System and the interstellar medium. New near- and mid-infrared data, including optical constants (n, k), absorption coefficients (alpha), and absolute band strengths (A), are presented for both amorphous and crystalline phases of C2H2 that exist below 70 K. Comparisons are made to earlier work. Electronic versions of the data are made available, as is a computer routine to use our reported n and k values to simulate the observed IR spectra. Suggestions are given for the use of the data and a comparison to a spectrum of Makemake is made.

  9. Kinematic Alignment and Bonding of Silicon Mirrors for High-Resolution Astronomical X-Ray Optics (United States)

    Chan, Kai-Wing; Mazzarella, James R.; Saha, Timo T.; Zhang, William W.; Mcclelland, Ryan S.; Biskack, Michael P.; Riveros, Raul E.; Allgood, Kim D.; Kearney, John D.; Sharpe, Marton V.; hide


    Optics for the next generation's high-resolution, high throughput x-ray telescope requires fabrication of well-formed lightweight mirror segments and their integration at arc-second precision. Recent advances in the fabrication of silicon mirrors developed at NASA/Goddard prompted us to develop a new method of mirror alignment and integration. In this method, stiff silicon mirrors are aligned quasi-kinematically and are bonded in an interlocking fashion to produce a "meta-shell" with large collective area. We address issues of aligning and bonding mirrors with this method and show a recent result of 4 seconds-of-arc for a single pair of mirrors tested at soft x-rays.

  10. Next Generation Astronomical X-ray Optics: High Angular Resolution, Light Weight, and Low Production Cost (United States)

    Zhang. W. W.; Biskach, M. P.; Blake, P. N.; Chan, K. W.; Gaskin, J. A.; Hong, M. L.; Jones, W. D.; Kolos, L. D.; Mazzarella, J. R.; McClelland, R. S.; hide


    X-ray astronomy depends on the availability of telescopes with high resolution and large photon collecting areas. Since x-ray observation can only be carried out above the atmosphere, these telescopes must be necessarily lightweight. Compounding the lightweight requirement is that an x-ray telescope consists of many nested concentric shells, which further require that x-ray mirrors must also be geometrically thin to achieve high packing efficiency. This double lightweight and geometrically thin requirement poses significant technical challenges in fabricating the mirrors and in integrating them into mirror assemblies. This paper reports on the approach, strategy and status of our x-ray optics development program whose objective is to meet these technical challenges at modest cost to enable future x-ray missions, including small Explorer missions in the near term, probe class missions in the medium term, and large flagship missions in the long term.


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. Samadzadegan


    Full Text Available This paper presents a satellite tracking method based on optical celestial images. The proposed method is composed of two acquiring modes that are called Sidereal Stare Mode (SSM and Track Rate Mode (TRM. To track the unknown satellites, first of all the entire of the sky is observed and the primary knowledge of the satellite location is predicted in SSM. Then, the measured pointing data is calculated and used by the telescope to acquire the satellite tracking images at the appropriate time. The framework of SSM contains main steps such as the image correction due to the noise and the image background by applying the iterative filtering methods, the star detection and removal using a double gate filter and PSF concepts, the star identification for image calibration based on a star catalogue, the streak detection of the satellite using the matched filter and finally, the extraction of the celestial coordinate of the satellite as a predicted position. In TRM, the group of star streaks should be identified in the free background image. Then, Fast Fourier Transformation (FFT is applied and the characteristic of star streaks are extracted. Finally, the centroid of the satellite is estimated precisely by applying a binary mask and the right ascension and declination of it is calculated using astrometric transformation parameters. In this study, the searching and tracking algorithms is applied on the simulation images to detect and identify the satellite position in the sky. Therefore, a telescope along with a CCD camera is simulated to generate sequences images using the well-known star catalogues, the optical and orbital parameters. The precise celestial coordinate of a real satellite and two fictitious satellites are obtained from simulated images. The study results show that the accuracy of the satellite estimated position after star calibration is better than 5 arc seconds and the satellites tracking accuracy is around 1–3 arc seconds.

  12. Quasi-Optical Filter Development and Characterization for Far-IR Astronomical Applications (United States)

    Stewart, Kenneth

    Mid-infrared through microwave filters, beamsplitters, and polarizers are a crucial supporting technology for NASA’s space astronomy, astrophysics, and earth science programs. Building upon our successful production of mid-infrared, far-infrared, millimeter, and microwave bandpass and lowpass filters, we propose to investigate aspects of their optical performance that are still not well understood and have yet to be addressed by other researchers. Specifically, we wish to understand and mitigate unexplained high-frequency leaks found to degrade or invalidate spectroscopic data from flight instruments such as Herschel/PACS, SHARC II, GISMO, and ACT, but not predicted by numerical simulations. A complete understanding will improve accuracy and sensitivity, and will enable the mass and volume of cryogenic baffling to be appropriately matched to the physically achievable quasioptical filter response, thereby reducing the cost of future far-infrared missions. The development and experimental validation of this modeling capability will enable optimization of system performance as well as reduce risks to the schedule and end science products for all future space and suborbital missions that use quasioptical filters. The outcome of this work will be critical in achieving the exacting background-limited bolometric detector performance specifications of future far-infrared and submillimeter space instruments. This program will allow us to apply our unique in-house numerical simulation software and develop enhanced layer alignment, filter fabrication, and testing techniques for the first time to address these issues: (1) enhance filter performance, (2) simplify the optical architecture of future instruments by improving our understanding of high-frequency leaks, and (3) produce filters which minimize or eliminate these important effects. With our state-ofthe-art modeling, fabrication, and testing facilities and expertise, established in previous projects, we are uniquely

  13. Final Technical Report for Interagency Agreement No. DE-SC0005453 “Characterizing Aerosol Distributions, Types, and Optical and Microphysical Properties using the NASA Airborne High Spectral Resolution Lidar (HSRL) and the Research Scanning Polarimeter (RSP)”

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hostetler, Chris [NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA (United States); Ferrare, Richard [NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA (United States)


    Measurements of the vertical profile of atmospheric aerosols and aerosol optical and microphysical characteristics are required to: 1) determine aerosol direct and indirect radiative forcing, 2) compute radiative flux and heating rate profiles, 3) assess model simulations of aerosol distributions and types, and 4) establish the ability of surface and space-based remote sensors to measure the indirect effect. Consequently the ASR program calls for a combination of remote sensing and in situ measurements to determine aerosol properties and aerosol influences on clouds and radiation. As part of our previous DOE ASP project, we deployed the NASA Langley airborne High Spectral Resolution Lidar (HSRL) on the NASA B200 King Air aircraft during major field experiments in 2006 (MILAGRO and MaxTEX), 2007 (CHAPS), 2009 (RACORO), and 2010 (CalNex and CARES). The HSRL provided measurements of aerosol extinction (532 nm), backscatter (532 and 1064 nm), and depolarization (532 and 1064 nm). These measurements were typically made in close temporal and spatial coincidence with measurements made from DOE-funded and other participating aircraft and ground sites. On the RACORO, CARES, and CalNEX missions, we also deployed the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) Research Scanning Polarimeter (RSP). RSP provided intensity and degree of linear polarization over a broad spectral and angular range enabling column-average retrievals of aerosol optical and microphysical properties. Under this project, we analyzed observations and model results from RACORO, CARES, and CalNex and accomplished the following objectives. 1. Identified aerosol types, characterize the vertical distribution of the aerosol types, and partition aerosol optical depth by type, for CARES and CalNex using HSRL data as we have done for previous missions. 2. Investigated aerosol microphysical and macrophysical properties using the RSP. 3. Used the aerosol backscatter and extinction profiles measured by the HSRL

  14. Adaptive distributed Kalman filtering with wind estimation for astronomical adaptive optics. (United States)

    Massioni, Paolo; Gilles, Luc; Ellerbroek, Brent


    In the framework of adaptive optics (AO) for astronomy, it is a common assumption to consider the atmospheric turbulent layers as "frozen flows" sliding according to the wind velocity profile. For this reason, having knowledge of such a velocity profile is beneficial in terms of AO control system performance. In this paper we show that it is possible to exploit the phase estimate from a Kalman filter running on an AO system in order to estimate wind velocity. This allows the update of the Kalman filter itself with such knowledge, making it adaptive. We have implemented such an adaptive controller based on the distributed version of the Kalman filter, for a realistic simulation of a multi-conjugate AO system with laser guide stars on a 30 m telescope. Simulation results show that this approach is effective and promising and the additional computational cost with respect to the distributed filter is negligible. Comparisons with a previously published slope detection and ranging wind profiler are made and the impact of turbulence profile quantization is assessed. One of the main findings of the paper is that all flavors of the adaptive distributed Kalman filter are impacted more significantly by turbulence profile quantization than the static minimum mean square estimator which does not incorporate wind profile information.

  15. Astronomical Cybersketching

    CERN Document Server

    Grego, Peter


    Outlines the techniques involved in making observational sketches and more detailed 'scientific' drawings of a wide variety of astronomical subjects using modern digital equipment; primarily PDAs and tablet PCs. This book also discusses about choosing hardware and software

  16. The Polarimeter for Relativistic Astrophysical X-ray Sources (United States)

    Jahoda, Keith; Kallman, Timothy R.; Kouveliotou, Chryssa; Angelini, Lorella; Black, J. Kevin; Hill, Joanne E.; Jaeger, Theodore; Kaaret, Phillip E.; Markwardt, Craig B.; Okajima, Takashi; hide


    The Polarimeter for Relativistic Astrophysical X-ray Sources (PRAXyS) is one of three Small Explorer (SMEX) missions selected by NASA for Phase A study, with a launch date in 2020. The PRAXyS Observatory exploits grazing incidence X-ray mirrors and Time Projection Chamber Polarimeters capable of measuring the linear polarization of cosmic X-ray sources in the 2-10 keV band. PRAXyS combines well-characterized instruments with spacecraft rotation to ensure low systematic errors. The PRAXyS payload is developed at the Goddard Space Flight Center with the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, University of Iowa, and RIKEN (JAXA) collaborating on the Polarimeter Assembly. The LEOStar-2 spacecraft bus is developed by Orbital ATK, which also supplies the extendable optical bench that enables the Observatory to be compatible with a Pegasus class launch vehicle. A nine month primary mission will provide sensitive observations of multiple black hole and neutron star sources, where theory predicts polarization is a strong diagnostic, as well as exploratory observations of other high energy sources. The primary mission data will be released to the community rapidly and a Guest Observer extended mission will be vigorously proposed.

  17. Measurements of optical gyration in incommensurate (N(CH3)4)2ZnCl4 crystals with the universal null-polarimeter


    Kushnir O.S.; Lutsiv-Shumski L.P.; Polovinko I.I.; Vlokh O.G


    Using the improved universal null-polarimetric technique, the birefringence, optical indicatrix orientation and the gyration of the (001)-plate of (N(CH3)4)2ZnCl4 crystals are re-studied in the temperature region close to normal-to-incommensurate phase transition. Both phases show a certain zero indicatrix rotation, while the gyration component g33 in the incommensurate phase is at least less than 2.10-8. The sources of the interpretation polarimetric errors which decrease the accuracy of the...

  18. Astronomical Ecosystems (United States)

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


    Just as quetzals and jaguars require specific ecological habitats to survive, so too must planets occupy a tightly constrained astronomical habitat to support life as we know it. With this theme in mind we relate the transferable features of our elementary astronomy course, "The Astronomical Basis of Life on Earth." Over the last five years, in a team-taught course that features a spring break field trip to Costa Rica, we have introduced astronomy through "astronomical ecosystems," emphasizing astronomical constraints on the prospects for life on Earth. Life requires energy, chemical elements, and long timescales, and we emphasize how cosmological, astrophysical, and geological realities, through stabilities and catastrophes, create and eliminate niches for biological life. The linkage between astronomy and biology gets immediate and personal: for example, studies in solar energy production are followed by hikes in the forest to examine the light-gathering strategies of photosynthetic organisms; a lesson on tides is conducted while standing up to our necks in one on a Pacific beach. Further linkages between astronomy and the human timescale concerns of biological diversity, cultural diversity, and environmental sustainability are natural and direct. Our experience of teaching "astronomy as habitat" strongly influences our "Astronomy 101" course in Oklahoma as well. This "inverted astrobiology" seems to transform our student's outlook, from the universe being something "out there" into something "we're in!" We thank the SNU Science Alumni support group "The Catalysts," and the SNU Quetzal Education and Research Center, San Gerardo de Dota, Costa Rica, for their support.

  19. Infrared hyperspectral imaging polarimeter using birefringent prisms. (United States)

    Craven-Jones, Julia; Kudenov, Michael W; Stapelbroek, Maryn G; Dereniak, Eustace L


    A compact short-wavelength and middle-wavelength infrared hyperspectral imaging polarimeter (IHIP) is introduced. The sensor includes a pair of sapphire Wollaston prisms and several high-order retarders to form an imaging Fourier transform spectropolarimeter. The Wollaston prisms serve as a birefringent interferometer with reduced sensitivity to vibration versus an unequal path interferometer, such as a Michelson. Polarimetric data are acquired through the use of channeled spectropolarimetry to modulate the spectrum with the Stokes parameter information. The collected interferogram is Fourier filtered and reconstructed to recover the spatially and spectrally varying Stokes vector data across the image. The IHIP operates over a ±5° field of view and implements a dual-scan false signature reduction technique to suppress polarimetric aliasing artifacts. In this paper, the optical layout and operation of the IHIP sensor are presented in addition to the radiometric, spectral, and polarimetric calibration techniques used with the system. Spectral and spectropolarimetric results from the laboratory and outdoor tests with the instrument are also presented.

  20. Snapshot imaging Mueller matrix polarimeter using polarization gratings. (United States)

    Kudenov, Michael W; Escuti, Michael J; Hagen, Nathan; Dereniak, Eustace L; Oka, Kazuhiko


    A snapshot imaging Mueller matrix polarimeter (SIMMP) is theoretically described and empirically demonstrated through simulation. Spatial polarization fringes are localized onto a sample by incorporating polarization gratings (PGs) into a polarization generator module. These fringes modulate the Mueller matrix (MM) components of the sample, which are subsequently isolated with PGs in an analyzer module. The MM components are amplitude modulated onto spatial carrier frequencies which, due to the PGs, maintain high visibility in spectrally broadband illumination. An interference model of the SIMMP is provided, followed by methods of reconstruction and calibration. Lastly, a numerical simulation is used to demonstrate the system's performance in the presence of noise. © 2012 Optical Society of America

  1. POLARIMETER: A Soft X-Ray 8-Axis UHV-Diffractometer at BESSY II

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrey Sokolov


    Full Text Available A versatile UHV-polarimeter for the EUV XUV spectral range is described which incorporates two optical elements: a phase retarder and a reflection analyzer. Both optics are azimuthally rotatable around the incident synchrotron radiation beam and the incidence angle is freely selectable. This allows for a variety of reflectometry, polarimetry and ellipsometry applications on magnetic or non-magnetic samples and multilayer optical elements.

  2. The development of the imaging polarimeter's polarizer on the basis of the polarizing film (United States)

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


    Work has begun on the developing of the scientific equipment "Spectrometer polarimeter", which is planned as one of five devices that form part of the Russian-Ukrainian space experiment "Planetary Monitoring". The devices are designed to form images of celestial objects in the focal plane of a planetary telescope (PT-600) and to register spectral and polarimetric information on gas and aerosol composition of the atmospheres of planets and physics and chemical properties of the surface layers of atmosphereless astronomical bodies. A model of a polarizer based on the use of polarizing films has been designed. This model can be used in the spectrometer-polarimeter. The results of the investigation of the polarizer in the spectral range 420-850 nm are given.

  3. Standard Practices for Verification and Calibration of Polarimeters

    CERN Document Server

    American Society for Testing and Materials. Philadelphia


    1.1 Polarimeters and polariscopes used for measuring stress in glass are described in Test Methods F218, C148, and C978. These instruments include a light source and several optical elements (polarizers, optical retarders, filters, and so forth) that require occasional cleaning, realigning, and calibration. The objective of these practices is to describe the calibration and verification procedures required to maintain these instruments in calibration and ensure that the optical setup is within specification for satisfactory measurements. 1.2 It is mandatory throughout these practices that both verification and calibration are carried out by qualified personnel who fully understand the concepts used in measurements of stress retardation and are experienced in the practices of measuring procedures described in Test Methods F218, C148, and C978. 1.3 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as standard. No other units of measurement are included in this standard.

  4. Using commercial amateur astronomical spectrographs

    CERN Document Server

    Hopkins, Jeffrey L


    Amateur astronomers interested in learning more about astronomical spectroscopy now have the guide they need. It provides detailed information about how to get started inexpensively with low-resolution spectroscopy, and then how to move on to more advanced  high-resolution spectroscopy. Uniquely, the instructions concentrate very much on the practical aspects of using commercially-available spectroscopes, rather than simply explaining how spectroscopes work. The book includes a clear explanation of the laboratory theory behind astronomical spectrographs, and goes on to extensively cover the practical application of astronomical spectroscopy in detail. Four popular and reasonably-priced commercially available diffraction grating spectrographs are used as examples. The first is a low-resolution transmission diffraction grating, the Star Analyser spectrograph. The second is an inexpensive fiber optic coupled bench spectrograph that can be used to learn more about spectroscopy. The third is a newcomer, the ALPY ...

  5. Astronomical Observations by Speckle Interferometry. (United States)


    NUMBER ORGANIZATION O osf appi)81-061 %A mc’S z &I -- St ADRES (ft, Stat. &WCode) 10. SOURCE OF FUNDING NUMBERS C1X1’Z"/A~N ~ ~rf.. PROGRAM IPROJECT...34Masses and Luminosities of the Giant Spectroscopic/Speckle Interferometric Binaries Gamma Persei and Phi Cygni" H.A. McAlister, THE ASTRONOMICAL JOURNAL...Topical Meeting on Information Processing in Astronomy and Optics sponsored by the American Astronomical Society and the Optical Society of America, St

  6. Liquid Water Cloud Properties During the Polarimeter Definition Experiment (PODEX) (United States)

    Alexandrov, Mikhail D.; Cairns, Brian; Wasilewski, Andrzei P.; Ackerman, Andrew S.; McGill, Matthew J.; Yorks, John E.; Hlavka, Dennis L.; Platnick, Steven; Arnold, George; Van Diedenhoven, Bastiaan; hide


    We present retrievals of water cloud properties from the measurements made by the Research Scanning Polarimeter (RSP) during the Polarimeter Definition Experiment (PODEX) held between January 14 and February 6, 2013. The RSP was onboard the high-altitude NASA ER-2 aircraft based at NASA Dryden Aircraft Operation Facility in Palmdale, California. The retrieved cloud characteristics include cloud optical thickness, effective radius and variance of cloud droplet size distribution derived using a parameter-fitting technique, as well as the complete droplet size distribution function obtained by means of Rainbow Fourier Transform. Multi-modal size distributions are decomposed into several modes and the respective effective radii and variances are computed. The methodology used to produce the retrieval dataset is illustrated on the examples of a marine stratocumulus deck off California coast and stratus/fog over California's Central Valley. In the latter case the observed bimodal droplet size distributions were attributed to two-layer cloud structure. All retrieval data are available online from NASA GISS website.

  7. Novel Algorithms for Astronomical Plate Analyses

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)


    Jan 27, 2016 ... Powerful computers and dedicated software allow effective data mining and scientific analyses in astronomical plate archives. We give and discuss examples of newly developed algorithms for astronomical plate analyses, e.g., searches for optical transients, as well as for major spectral and brightness ...

  8. A Versatile Multilayer Polarimeter for the Soft X-Ray Region (United States)

    Wagner, U. H.; Wang, H.; Dhesi, S. S.; Sawhney, K. J. S.; MacDonald, M. A.; Poole, I. B.; Quinn, F. M.


    As modern undulators can generate light with arbitrary polarization states, experiments exploiting this feature in the range of soft x-rays have become increasingly widespread. For the success of these experiments characterising the polarization at the sample position is vital. Therefore a versatile, multi-purpose, UHV compatible, multilayer polarimeter has been designed and developed for measuring the Stokes vector of a soft x-ray beam. This high-precision, ultra high vacuum compatible instrument is supported by a Hexapod to simplify its alignment. Furthermore, the instrument has its own independent control system and has been designed for portability so that it can be moved with relative ease between different synchrotron facilities. The polarization analysis requires the rotation of a phase retarder and a polarization analyser, both about a common axis of the photon beam. The polarimeter employs reflection / transmission multilayers as phase retarders / analysers. Several sets of multilayers are installed inside the UHV chamber so that they may be exchanged in-situ without breaking the vacuum. The polarimeter doubles-up as a reflectometer / ellipsometer that enable determination of the polarization properties of optical elements including multilayers with very small surface roughness and several hundred bi-layers. The design details of the polarimeter and the results of first experiments to characterise the polarization of a beamline will be presented.

  9. Design and Deployment of a Multichroic Polarimeter Array on the Atacama Cosmology Telescope (United States)

    Datta, R.; Austermann, J.; Beall, J. A.; Becker, D.; Coughlin, K. P.; Duff, S. M.; Gallardo, P.A.; Grace, E.; Hasselfield, M.; Henderson, S. W.; hide


    We present the design and the preliminary on-sky performance with respect to beams and pass bands of a multichroic polarimeter array covering the 90 and 146 GHz cosmic microwave background bands and its enabling broad-band optical system recently deployed on the Atacama Cosmology Telescope (ACT). The constituent pixels are feedhorn-coupled multichroic polarimeters fabricated at NIST. This array is coupled to the ACT telescope via a set of three silicon lenses incorporating novel broad-band metamaterial anti-reflection coatings. This receiver represents the first multichroic detector array deployed for a CMB experiment and paves the way for the extensive use of multichroic detectors and broad-band optical systems in the next generation of CMB experiments.

  10. Choosing and using astronomical filters

    CERN Document Server

    Griffiths, Martin


    As a casual read through any of the major amateur astronomical magazines will demonstrate, there are filters available for all aspects of optical astronomy. This book provides a ready resource on the use of the following filters, among others, for observational astronomy or for imaging: Light pollution filters Planetary filters Solar filters Neutral density filters for Moon observation Deep-sky filters, for such objects as galaxies, nebulae and more Deep-sky objects can be imaged in much greater detail than was possible many years ago. Amateur astronomers can take

  11. Interpolation strategies for reducing IFOV artifacts in microgrid polarimeter imagery. (United States)

    Ratliff, Bradley M; LaCasse, Charles F; Tyo, J Scott


    Microgrid polarimeters are composed of an array of micro-polarizing elements overlaid upon an FPA sensor. In the past decade systems have been designed and built in all regions of the optical spectrum. These systems have rugged, compact designs and the ability to obtain a complete set of polarimetric measurements during a single image capture. However, these systems acquire the polarization measurements through spatial modulation and each measurement has a varying instantaneous field-of-view (IFOV). When these measurements are combined to estimate the polarization images, strong edge artifacts are present that severely degrade the estimated polarization imagery. These artifacts can be reduced when interpolation strategies are first applied to the intensity data prior to Stokes vector estimation. Here we formally study IFOV error and the performance of several bilinear interpolation strategies used for reducing it.

  12. Portable Imaging Polarimeter and Imaging Experiments

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)



    Polarimetry is the method of recording the state of polarization of light. Imaging polarimetry extends this method to recording the spatially resolved state of polarization within a scene. Imaging-polarimetry data have the potential to improve the detection of manmade objects in natural backgrounds. We have constructed a midwave infrared complete imaging polarimeter consisting of a fixed wire-grid polarizer and rotating form-birefringent retarder. The retardance and the orientation angles of the retarder were optimized to minimize the sensitivity of the instrument to noise in the measurements. The optimal retardance was found to be 132{degree} rather than the typical 90{degree}. The complete imaging polarimeter utilized a liquid-nitrogen cooled PtSi camera. The fixed wire-grid polarizer was located at the cold stop inside the camera dewar. The complete imaging polarimeter was operated in the 4.42-5 {micro}m spectral range. A series of imaging experiments was performed using as targets a surface of water, an automobile, and an aircraft. Further analysis of the polarization measurements revealed that in all three cases the magnitude of circular polarization was comparable to the noise in the calculated Stokes-vector components.

  13. Fast Solar Polarimeter: Prototype Characterization and First Results (United States)

    Iglesias, F. A.; Feller, A.; Krishnappa, N.; Solanki, S. K.


    Due to the differential and non-simultaneous nature of polarization measurements, seeing induced crosstalk (SIC) and seeing limited spatial resolution can easily counterbalance the benefits of solar imaging polarimetry from the ground. The development of instrumental techniques to treat these issues is necessary to fully exploit the next generation of large-aperture solar facilities, and maintain ground-based data at a competitive level with respect to its space-based counterpart. In particular, considering that many open questions in modern solar physics demand data with challenging specifications of resolution and polarimetric sensitivity that can only be achieved with large telescope apertures (Stenflo 1999). Even if state-of-the-art adaptive optics systems greatly improve image quality, their limited correction —due to finite bandwidth, mode number and seeing anisoplanat- ism— produces large residual values of SIC (Krishnappa & Feller 2012). Dual beam polarimeters are commonly used to reduce SIC between the intensity and polarization signals, however, they cannot compensate for the SIC introduced between circular and linear polarization, which can be relevant for high-precision polarimetry. It is known that fast modulation effectively reduces SIC, but the demodulation of the corresponding intensity signals imposes hard requirements on the frame rate of the associated cameras. One way to avoid a fast sensor, is to decouple the camera readout from the intensity demodulation step. This concept is the cornerstone of the very successful Zurich Imaging Polarimeter (ZIMPOL). Even though the ZIMPOL solution allows the detection of very faint signals (˜10-5), its design is not suitable for high-spatial-resolution applications. We are developing a polarimeter that focuses on both spatial resolution (95%), have the double benefit of reducing seeing induced artifacts and improving the final spatial resolution by providing an optimal regime for the application of post

  14. Biographical encyclopedia of astronomers

    CERN Document Server

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


    The Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers is a unique and valuable resource for historians and astronomers alike. It includes approx. 1850 biographical sketches on astronomers from antiquity to modern times. It is the collective work of 430 authors edited by an editorial board of 8 historians and astronomers. This reference provides biographical information on astronomers and cosmologists by utilizing contemporary historical scholarship. The fully corrected and updated second edition adds approximately 300 biographical sketches. Based on ongoing research and feedback from the community, the new entries will fill gaps and provide expansions. In addition, greater emphasis on Russo phone astronomers and radio astronomers is given. Individual entries vary from 100 to 1500 words, including the likes of the super luminaries such as Newton and Einstein, as well as lesser-known astronomers like Galileo's acolyte, Mario Guiducci.

  15. POL-2: a polarimeter for the James-Clerk-Maxwell telescope (United States)

    Friberg, Per; Bastien, Pierre; Berry, David; Savini, Giorgio; Graves, Sarah F.; Pattle, Kate


    The POL-2 polarimeter for the SCUBA-2 10 000 pixel Terahertz camera on the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope (JCMT) in it's late state of commissioning. Proposals have been accepted for POL-2 and general observing will start in August 2016. SCUBA-2 has a field of view of 43 arcmin at both of the 850 and 450 μm focal planes. POL-2 will map the sky in the the 850 μm band. The POL-2 polarimeter utilizes three optical components: a half wave plate and two wire-grid polarizers used as calibrator and analyzer covering the full field of SCUBA-2. We describe the instrument, data acquisition and features/artifacts that have been encountered during the commissioning.

  16. High-precision soft x-ray polarimeter at Diamond Light Source. (United States)

    Wang, H; Dhesi, S S; Maccherozzi, F; Cavill, S; Shepherd, E; Yuan, F; Deshmukh, R; Scott, S; van der Laan, G; Sawhney, K J S


    The development and performance of a high-precision polarimeter for the polarization analysis in the soft x-ray region is presented. This versatile, high-vacuum compatible instrument is supported on a hexapod to simplify the alignment with a resolution less than 5 μrad, and can be moved with its own independent control system easily between different beamlines and synchrotron facilities. The polarimeter can also be used for the characterization of reflection and transmission properties of optical elements. A W/B(4)C multilayer phase retarder was used to characterize the polarization state up to 1200 eV. A fast and accurate alignment procedure was developed, and complete polarization analysis of the APPLE II undulator at 712 eV has been performed.

  17. High-precision soft x-ray polarimeter at Diamond Light Source (United States)

    Wang, H.; Dhesi, S. S.; Maccherozzi, F.; Cavill, S.; Shepherd, E.; Yuan, F.; Deshmukh, R.; Scott, S.; van der Laan, G.; Sawhney, K. J. S.


    The development and performance of a high-precision polarimeter for the polarization analysis in the soft x-ray region is presented. This versatile, high-vacuum compatible instrument is supported on a hexapod to simplify the alignment with a resolution less than 5 μrad, and can be moved with its own independent control system easily between different beamlines and synchrotron facilities. The polarimeter can also be used for the characterization of reflection and transmission properties of optical elements. A W/B4C multilayer phase retarder was used to characterize the polarization state up to 1200 eV. A fast and accurate alignment procedure was developed, and complete polarization analysis of the APPLE II undulator at 712 eV has been performed.

  18. Recovering long-term aerosol optical depth series (1976–2012 from an astronomical potassium-based resonance scattering spectrometer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Barreto


    Full Text Available A 37-year long-term series of monochromatic aerosol optical depth (AOD has been recovered from solar irradiance measurements performed with the solar spectrometer Mark-I, deployed at Izaña mountain since 1976. The instrument operation is based on the method of resonant scattering, which affords wavelength absolute reference and stability (long-term stability and high precision in comparison to other instruments based purely on interference filters. However, it has been specifically designed as a reference instrument for helioseismology, and its ability to determine AOD from transmitted and scattered monochromatic radiation at 769.9 nm inside a potassium vapour cell in the presence of a permanent magnetic field is evaluated in this paper. Particularly, the use of an exposed mirror arrangement to collect sunlight as well as the Sun–laboratory velocity dependence of the scattered component introduces some important inconveniences to overcome when we perform the instrument's calibration. We have solved this problem using a quasi-continuous Langley calibration technique and a refinement procedure to correct for calibration errors as well as for the fictitious diurnal cycle on AOD data. Our results showed similar calibration errors retrieved by means of this quasi-continuous Langley technique applied in different aerosol load events (from 0.04 to 0.3, provided aerosol concentration remains constant throughout the calibration interval. It assures the validity of this technique when it is applied in those periods with relatively high aerosol content. The comparative analysis between the recovered AOD data set from the Mark-I and collocated quasi-simultaneous data from the Cimel-AErosol RObotic NETwork (AERONET and Precision Filter Radiometer (PFR instruments showed an absolute mean bias ≤ 0.01 in the 10- and 12-year comparison, respectively. High correlation coefficients between AERONET and Mark-I and PFR/Mark-I pairs confirmed a very good linear

  19. Imaging polarimetry of circumstellar environments with the Extreme Polarimeter

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rodenhuis, M.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/325801843; Canovas, H.; Jeffers, S.V.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/326052658; Min, M.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/277318416; Keller, C.U.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/304824550


    Three successful observation campaigns have been conducted with the Extreme Polarimeter, an imaging polarimeter for the study of circumstellar environments in scattered light at visible wavelengths. A contrast ratio between the central star and the circumstellar source of 10-5 can be achieved with

  20. The Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute (United States)

    Cline, J. Donald; Castelaz, M.


    Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute is a not-for-profit foundation located at a former NASA tracking station in the Pisgah National Forest in western North Carolina. PARI is celebrating its 10th year. During its ten years, PARI has developed and implemented innovative science education programs. The science education programs are hands-on experimentally based, mixing disciplines in astronomy, computer science, earth and atmospheric science, engineering, and multimedia. The basic tools for the educational programs include a 4.6-m radio telescope accessible via the Internet, a StarLab planetarium, the Astronomical Photographic Data Archive (APDA), a distributed computing online environment to classify stars called SCOPE, and remotely accessible optical telescopes. The PARI 200 acre campus has a 4.6-m, a 12-m and two 26-m radio telescopes, optical solar telescopes, a Polaris monitoring telescope, 0.4-m and 0.35-m optical research telescopes, and earth and atmospheric science instruments. PARI is also the home of APDA, a repository for astronomical photographic plate collections which will eventually be digitized and made available online. PARI has collaborated with visiting scientists who have developed their research with PARI telescopes and lab facilities. Current experiments include: the Dedicated Interferometer for Rapid Variability (Dennison et al. 2007, Astronomical and Astrophysical Transactions, 26, 557); the Plate Boundary Observatory operated by UNAVCO; the Clemson University Fabry-Perot Interferometers (Meriwether 2008, Journal of Geophysical Research, submitted) measuring high velocity winds and temperatures in the Thermosphere, and the Western Carolina University - PARI variable star program. Current status of the education and research programs and instruments will be presented. Also, development plans will be reviewed. Development plans include the greening of PARI with the installation of solar panels to power the optical telescopes, a new distance

  1. Recent Development in Astronomic Position Determinations. (United States)


    community. The comparison of astronomic position determinations using the DanJon and the VUGTK astrolabes published by the German Geodetic Commission...these tests indicated that astrolabes were capable of precision and accuracy surpassing those obtainable with astronomic theodolites, even though some...the urgent need to replace the base instrument with a precise astrolable designed for.maximum optical efficiency with the CID eyepiece. An astrolabe

  2. Origins Space Telescope: The Far Infrared Imager and Polarimeter FIP (United States)

    Staguhn, Johannes G.; Chuss, David; Howard, Joseph; Meixner, Margaret; Vieira, Joaquin; Amatucci, Edward; Bradley, Damon; Carter, Ruth; Cooray, Asantha; Flores, Anel; Leisawitz, David; Moseley, Samuel Harvey; Wollack, Edward; Origins Space Telescope Study Team


    The Origins Space Telescope (OST)* is the mission concept for the Far-Infrared Surveyor, one of the four science and technology definition studies of NASA Headquarters for the 2020 Astronomy and Astrophysics Decadal survey. The current "concept 1", which envisions a cold (4K) 9m space telescope, includes 5 instruments, providing a wavelength coverage ranging from 6um and 667um. The achievable sensitivity of the observatory will provide three to four orders of magnitude of improvement in sensitivity over current observational capabilities, allowing to address a wide range of new and so far inaccessible scientific questions, ranging from bio-signatures on exo-planets to mapping primordial H_2 from the "dark ages" before the universe went through the phase of re-ionization.Here we present the Far Infrared Imager and Polarimeter (FIP) for OST. The cameral will cover four bands, 40um, 80um, 120um, and 240um. It will allow for differential polarimetry in those bands with the ability to observe two colors in polarimtery mode simultaneously, while all four bands can be observed simultaneously in total power mode. While the confusion limit will be reached in only 32ms at 240um, at 40um the source density on the sky is so low, that at the angular resolution of 1" of OST at this wavelength there will be no source confusion, even for the longest integration times. Science topics that can be addressed by FIP include but are not limited to galactic and extragalactic magnetic field studies, Deep Galaxy Surveys, and Outer Solar System objects..*Origins will enable flagship-quality general observing programs led by the astronomical community in the 2030s. We welcome you to contact the Science and Technology Definition Team (STDT) with your science needs and ideas by emailing us at

  3. Silicon photomultipliers as readout elements for a Compton effect polarimeter: the COMPASS project

    CERN Document Server

    Del Monte, E; Brandonisio, A; Muleri, F; Soffitta, P; Costa, E; di Persio, G; Cosimo, S Di; Massaro, E; Morbidini, A; Morelli, E; Pacciani, L; Fabiani, S; Michilli, D; Giarrusso, S; Catalano, O; Impiombato, D; Mineo, T; Sottile, G; Billotta, S


    COMpton Polarimeter with Avalanche Silicon readout (COMPASS) is a research and development project that aims to measure the polarization of X-ray photons through Compton Scattering. The measurement is obtained by using a set of small rods of fast scintillation materials with both low-Z (as active scatterer) and high-Z (as absorber), all read-out with Silicon Photomultipliers. By this method we can operate scattering and absorbing elements in coincidence, in order to reduce the background. In the laboratory we are characterising the SiPMs using different types of scintillators and we are optimising the performances in terms of energy resolution, energy threshold and photon tagging efficiency. We aim to study the design of two types of satellite-borne instruments: a focal plane polarimeter to be coupled with multilayer optics for hard X-rays and a large area and wide field of view polarimeter for transients and Gamma Ray Bursts. In this paper we describe the status of the COMPASS project, we report about the la...

  4. A fast Stokes polarimeter: preliminary design (United States)

    Vaughn, Israel J.; Alenin, Andrey S.; Tyo, J. Scott


    Designing polarimetric systems directly in the channel space has provided insight into how to design new types of polarimetric systems, including systems which use carriers in hybrid domains of space, time, or spectrum. Utilizing linear systems theory, we present a full Stokes imaging polarimeter design which has the potential to operate at half the frame rate of the imaging sensor of the system by utilizing a hybrid spatio-temporal carrier design. The design places channels on the faces and the edges of the Nyquist cube resulting in the potential for half the Nyquist limit to be achieved, provided that the spatial frequency of the objects being imaged are bandlimited to less than 0.25 cycles per pixel. If the objects are not spatially bandlimited, then the achievable temporal bandwidth is more difficult to analyze. However, a spatio-temporal tradeoff still exists allowing for increased temporal bandwidth. We present the design of a "Fast Stokes'' polarimeter and some simulated images using this design.

  5. Spectral line polarimetry with a channeled polarimeter. (United States)

    van Harten, Gerard; Snik, Frans; Rietjens, Jeroen H H; Martijn Smit, J; Keller, Christoph U


    Channeled spectropolarimetry or spectral polarization modulation is an accurate technique for measuring the continuum polarization in one shot with no moving parts. We show how a dual-beam implementation also enables spectral line polarimetry at the intrinsic resolution, as in a classic beam-splitting polarimeter. Recording redundant polarization information in the two spectrally modulated beams of a polarizing beam-splitter even provides the possibility to perform a postfacto differential transmission correction that improves the accuracy of the spectral line polarimetry. We perform an error analysis to compare the accuracy of spectral line polarimetry to continuum polarimetry, degraded by a residual dark signal and differential transmission, as well as to quantify the impact of the transmission correction. We demonstrate the new techniques with a blue sky polarization measurement around the oxygen A absorption band using the groundSPEX instrument, yielding a polarization in the deepest part of the band of 0.160±0.010, significantly different from the polarization in the continuum of 0.2284±0.0004. The presented methods are applicable to any dual-beam channeled polarimeter, including implementations for snapshot imaging polarimetry.

  6. Polarimeters for the AGS polarized-proton beam

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Crabb, D.G.; Bonner, B.; Buchanan, J.


    This report describes the three polarimeters which will be used to measure the beam polarization at the AGS polarized beam facility. The beam polarization will be measured before injection into the AGS, during acceleration, and after extraction from the AGS. The 200-MeV polarimeter uses scintillation-counter telescopes to measure the asymmetry in p-carbon inclusive scattering. The internal polarimeter can measure the beam polarization at up to five selected times during acceleration. A continuously spooled nylon filament is swung into the beam at the appropriate time and the asymmetry in pp elastic scattering measured by two scintillation-counter telescopes. This is a relative polarimeter which can be calibrated by the absolute external polarimeter located in the D extracted-beam line. This polarimeter uses scintillation counters in two double-arm magnetic spectrometers to measure clearly the asymmetry in pp elastic scattering from a liquid hydrogen target. The specific features and operation of each polarimeter will be discussed.

  7. Nicolaus Copernicus Astronomical Center (United States)

    Murdin, P.


    Nicolaus Copernicus Astronomical Center is the largest astronomical institution in Poland, located in Warsaw and founded in 1956. At present it is a government-funded research institute supervised by the Polish Academy of Sciences and licensed by the government of Poland to award PhD and doctor habilitatus degrees in astronomy and astrophysics. In September 1999 staff included 21 senior scientist...

  8. Gamma-Ray Imager Polarimeter for Solar Flares Project (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — We propose here to develop the Gamma-Ray Imager/Polarimeter for Solar flares (GRIPS), the next-generation instrument for high-energy solar observations. GRIPS will...

  9. Super-resolution for imagery from integrated microgrid polarimeters. (United States)

    Hardie, Russell C; LeMaster, Daniel A; Ratliff, Bradley M


    Imagery from microgrid polarimeters is obtained by using a mosaic of pixel-wise micropolarizers on a focal plane array (FPA). Each distinct polarization image is obtained by subsampling the full FPA image. Thus, the effective pixel pitch for each polarization channel is increased and the sampling frequency is decreased. As a result, aliasing artifacts from such undersampling can corrupt the true polarization content of the scene. Here we present the first multi-channel multi-frame super-resolution (SR) algorithms designed specifically for the problem of image restoration in microgrid polarization imagers. These SR algorithms can be used to address aliasing and other degradations, without sacrificing field of view or compromising optical resolution with an anti-aliasing filter. The new SR methods are designed to exploit correlation between the polarimetric channels. One of the new SR algorithms uses a form of regularized least squares and has an iterative solution. The other is based on the faster adaptive Wiener filter SR method. We demonstrate that the new multi-channel SR algorithms are capable of providing significant enhancement of polarimetric imagery and that they outperform their independent channel counterparts.

  10. Design of the detectors for EBEX, a balloon-borne cosmic microwave background polarimeter (United States)

    Westbrook, Benjamin; Aboobaker, A. M.; Ade, P.; Aubin, F.; Baccigalupi, C.; Bandura, K.; Bao, C.; Borrill, J.; Chapman, D.; Didier, J.; Dobbs, M.; Gold, B.; Grain, J.; Grainger, W.; Hanany, S.; Helson, K.; Hillbrand, S. N.; Hilton, G.; Hubmayr, H.; Irwin, K.; Johnson, B.; Jaffe, A.; Jones, T. J.; Kisner, T.; Klein, J.; Korotkov, A.; Leach, S.; Lee, A. T.; Levinson, L.; Limon, M.; MacDermid, K.; Miller, A. D.; Milligan, M.; Pascale, E.; Raach, K.; Reichborn-Kjennerud, B.; Sagiv, I.; Smecher, G.; Stompor, R.; Tristram, M.; Tucker, G. S.; Zilic, K.


    The E and B Experiment (EBEX) is a balloon-borne polarimeter designed to make precision measurements of the polarization of the cosmic microwave background and the galactic foreground. We report on the design and first implementation of spiderweb-absorber transition edge sensor (TES) bolometer technology on a balloon-borne platform in EBEX. Spiderweb absorber TES bolometer technology was originally developed for the ground-based APEX-SZ and South Pole Telescope experiments and required optimization for the lower optical loading and higher frequency band operation in a balloon environment.

  11. Noninvasive and Painless Urine Glucose Detection by Using Computer-based Polarimeter (United States)

    Sutrisno; Laksono, Y. A.; Hidayat, N.


    Diabetes kills millions of people worldwide each year. It challenges us as researchers to give contribution in early diagnosis to ensure a healthy life. As a matter of fact, common glucose testing devices that have been widely used so far are, at least, glucose meter and urine glucose test strip. The glucose meter ordinarily requires blood taken from patient’s finger. The glucose test strip uses patient’s urine but records unspecific urine glucose level, since the strip only provides the glucose level in some particular ranges. Instead of detecting the glucose level in blood and using the non-specific technique, a noninvasive and painless technique that can detect glucose level accurately will provide a more feasible approach for diabetes diagnosis. The noninvasive and painless urine glucose level monitoring by means of computer-based polarimeter is presented in this paper. The instrument consisted of a power source, a sample box, a light sensor, a polarizer, an analyzer, an analog to digital converter (ADC), and a computer. The concentration of urine glucose concentration was evaluated from the curve of the change in detected optical rotation angle and output potential by the computer-based polarimeter. Statistical analyses by means of Gaussian fitting and linear regression were applied to investigate the rotation angle and urine glucose concentration, respectively. From our experiment, the urine glucose level, measured by glucose test strips, of the normal patient was 100 mg/dl, and the diabetic patient was 500 mg/dl. Our polarimeter even read more precise values for the urine glucose concentrations of those normal and diabetic of the same patients, i.e. 50.61 mg/dl and 502.41 mg/dl, respectively. In other words, the results showed that our polarimeter was able to quantitatively measure the urine glucose level more accurate than urine glucose test strips. Hence, this computer-based polarimeter could be used as an alternative for early detection of urine

  12. The amateur astronomer

    CERN Document Server

    Moore, Patrick


    Introduces astronomy and amateur observing together. This edition includes photographs and illustrations. The comprehensive appendices provide hints and tips, as well as data for every aspect of amateur astronomy. This work is useful for amateur astronomers

  13. Observatory Sponsoring Astronomical Image Contest (United States)


    Forget the headphones you saw in the Warner Brothers thriller Contact, as well as the guttural throbs emanating from loudspeakers at the Very Large Array in that 1997 movie. In real life, radio telescopes aren't used for "listening" to anything - just like visible-light telescopes, they are used primarily to make images of astronomical objects. Now, the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) wants to encourage astronomers to use radio-telescope data to make truly compelling images, and is offering cash prizes to winners of a new image contest. Radio Galaxy Fornax A Radio Galaxy Fornax A Radio-optical composite image of giant elliptical galaxy NGC 1316, showing the galaxy (center), a smaller companion galaxy being cannibalized by NGC 1316, and the resulting "lobes" (orange) of radio emission caused by jets of particles spewed from the core of the giant galaxy Click on image for more detail and images CREDIT: Fomalont et al., NRAO/AUI/NSF "Astronomy is a very visual science, and our radio telescopes are capable of producing excellent images. We're sponsoring this contest to encourage astronomers to make the extra effort to turn good images into truly spectacular ones," said NRAO Director Fred K.Y. Lo. The contest, offering a grand prize of $1,000, was announced at the American Astronomical Society's meeting in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The image contest is part of a broader NRAO effort to make radio astronomical data and images easily accessible and widely available to scientists, students, teachers, the general public, news media and science-education professionals. That effort includes an expanded image gallery on the observatory's Web site. "We're not only adding new radio-astronomy images to our online gallery, but we're also improving the organization and accessibility of the images," said Mark Adams, head of education and public outreach (EPO) at NRAO. "Our long-term goal is to make the NRAO Image Gallery an international resource for radio astronomy imagery

  14. A Wavefront Division Polarimeter for the Measurements of Solute Concentrations in Solutions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sergio Calixto


    Full Text Available Polarimeters are useful instruments that measure concentrations of optically active substances in a given solution. The conventional polarimetric principle consists of measuring the rotation angle of linearly polarized light. Here, we present a novel polarimeter based on the study of interference patterns. A Mach–Zehnder interferometer with linearly polarized light at the input is used. One beam passes through the liquid sample and the other is a reference beam. As the linearly polarized sample beam propagates through the optically active solution the vibration plane of the electric field will rotate. As a result, the visibility of the interference pattern at the interferometer output will decrease. Fringe contrast will be maximum when both beams present a polarization perpendicular to the plane of incidence. However, minimum visibility is obtained when, after propagation through the sample the polarization of the sample beam is oriented parallel to the plane of incidence. By using different solute concentrations, a calibration plot is obtained showing the behavior of visibility.

  15. Research and development of a differential laser polarimeter to measure the glucose concentration in turbid media (United States)

    Cherevatenko, Galina A.; Aksenov, Evgenii T.


    Method of optical polarimetry is well known, but earlier it was mainly used to low scattering media. In this paper we consider the possibility of measuring the glucose concentration by detecting polarization of the backscattered laser light. As object of research a human finger have been chosen. The optimal parameters of the probing light were identified, degree of polarization of light scattered by human skin and model objects was registered. A laboratory model of a differential polarimeter, which allows to register the parameters of the polarized radiation scattered by human skin and glucose containing models, was developed. Using the developed polarimeter, model and full-scale experiments were carried out. In the model experiments we investigated the light backscattered by the following objects: a 20% solution of milk and a 50% suspension of human blood. During experiments it was shown, that the amount of optical rotation is also dependent on the angle of registration and, hence, photodetectors position in space is important. The ability of the developed sensor to noninvasively detect the concentration of glucose in the blood was demonstrated. However, its sensitivity to the structure of human skin and the individual characteristics of the organism was identified. This suggests that in order to achieve maximum accuracy it is necessary to carry out individual adjustment and calibration of measuring equipment.

  16. Performance of the PRAXyS X-ray polarimeter

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Iwakiri, W.B., E-mail: [RIKEN Nishina Center, 2-1 Hirosawa, Wako, Saitama 351-0198 (Japan); Black, J.K. [NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771 (United States); Rock Creek Scientific, 1400 East-West Hwy, Silver Spring, MD 20910 (United States); Cole, R. [NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771 (United States); Enoto, T. [The Hakubi Center for Advanced Research, Kyoto University, Kyoto 606-8302 (Japan); Department of Astronomy, Kyoto University, Kitashirakawa-Oiwake-cho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8502 (Japan); Hayato, A. [RIKEN Nishina Center, 2-1 Hirosawa, Wako, Saitama 351-0198 (Japan); Hill, J.E.; Jahoda, K. [NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771 (United States); Kaaret, P. [University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242 (United States); Kitaguchi, T. [Department of Physical Science, Hiroshima University, 1-3-1 Kagamiyama, Higashi-Hiroshima, Hiroshima 739-8526 (Japan); Kubota, M. [Department of Physics, Tokyo University of Science, 3-1 Kagurazaka, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 162-8601, Japan. (Japan); RIKEN Nishina Center, 2-1 Hirosawa, Wako, Saitama 351-0198 (Japan); Marlowe, H.; McCurdy, R. [University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242 (United States); Takeuchi, Y. [Department of Physics, Tokyo University of Science, 3-1 Kagurazaka, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 162-8601, Japan. (Japan); RIKEN Nishina Center, 2-1 Hirosawa, Wako, Saitama 351-0198 (Japan); Tamagawa, T. [RIKEN Nishina Center, 2-1 Hirosawa, Wako, Saitama 351-0198 (Japan); Department of Physics, Tokyo University of Science, 3-1 Kagurazaka, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 162-8601, Japan. (Japan)


    The performance of the Time Projection Chamber (TPC) polarimeter for the Polarimeter for Relativistic Astrophysical X-ray Sources (PRAXyS) Small Explorer was evaluated using polarized and unpolarized X-ray sources. The PRAXyS mission will enable exploration of the universe through X-ray polarimetry in the 2–10 keV energy band. We carried out performance tests of the polarimeter at the Brookhaven National Laboratory, National Synchrotron Light Source (BNL-NSLS) and at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. The polarimeter was tested with linearly polarized, monochromatic X-rays at 11 different energies between 2.5 and 8.0 keV. At maximum sensitivity, the measured modulation factors at 2.7, 4.5 and 8.0 keV are 27%, 43% and 59%, respectively and the measured angle of polarization is consistent with the expected value at all energies. Measurements with a broadband, unpolarized X-ray source placed a limit of less than 1% on false polarization in the PRAXyS polarimeter.

  17. Tests of a two-color interferometer and polarimeter for ITER density measurements (United States)

    Van Zeeland, M. A.; Carlstrom, T. N.; Finkenthal, D. K.; Boivin, R. L.; Colio, A.; Du, D.; Gattuso, A.; Glass, F.; Muscatello, C. M.; O’Neill, R.; Smiley, M.; Vasquez, J.; Watkins, M.; Brower, D. L.; Chen, J.; Ding, W. X.; Johnson, D.; Mauzey, P.; Perry, M.; Watts, C.; Wood, R.


    A full-scale 120 m path length ITER toroidal interferometer and polarimeter (TIP) prototype, including an active feedback alignment system, has been constructed and undergone initial testing at General Atomics. In the TIP prototype, two-color interferometry is carried out at 10.59 μm and 5.22 μm using a CO2 and quantum cascade laser (QCL) respectively while a separate polarimetry measurement of the plasma induced Faraday effect is made at 10.59 μm. The polarimeter system uses co-linear right and left-hand circularly polarized beams upshifted by 40 and 44 MHz acousto-optic cells respectively, to generate the necessary beat signal for heterodyne phase detection, while interferometry measurements are carried out at both 40 MHz and 44 MHz for the CO2 laser and 40 MHz for the QCL. The high-resolution phase information is obtained using an all-digital FPGA based phase demodulation scheme and precision clock source. The TIP prototype is equipped with a piezo tip/tilt stage active feedback alignment system responsible for minimizing noise in the measurement and keeping the TIP diagnostic aligned indefinitely on its 120 m beam path including as the ITER vessel is brought from ambient to operating temperatures. The prototype beam path incorporates translation stages to simulate ITER motion through a bake cycle as well as other sources of motion or misalignment. Even in the presence of significant motion, the TIP prototype is able to meet ITER’s density measurement requirements over 1000 s shot durations with demonstrated phase resolution of 0.06° and 1.5° for the polarimeter and vibration compensated interferometer respectively. TIP vibration compensated interferometer measurements of a plasma have also been made in a pulsed radio frequency device and show a line-integrated density resolution of δ {nL}=3.5× {10}17 m‑2.

  18. Astrophotonics: a new era for astronomical instruments. (United States)

    Bland-Hawthorn, Joss; Kern, Pierre


    Astrophotonics lies at the interface of astronomy and photonics. This burgeoning field has emerged over the past decade in response to the increasing demands of astronomical instrumentation. Early successes include: (i) planar waveguides to combine signals from widely spaced telescopes in stellar interferometry; (ii) frequency combs for ultra-high precision spectroscopy to detect planets around nearby stars; (iii) ultra-broadband fibre Bragg gratings to suppress unwanted background; (iv) photonic lanterns that allow single-mode behaviour within a multimode fibre; (v) planar waveguides to miniaturize astronomical spectrographs; (vi) large mode area fibres to generate artificial stars in the upper atmosphere for adaptive optics correction; (vii) liquid crystal polymers in optical vortex coronographs and adaptive optics systems. Astrophotonics, a field that has already created new photonic capabilities, is now extending its reach down to the Rayleigh scattering limit at ultraviolet wavelengths, and out to mid infrared wavelengths beyond 2500 nm.

  19. Atlas of Astronomical Discoveries

    CERN Document Server

    Schilling, Govert


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

  20. Run-09 pC polarimeter analysis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Alekseev, I.; Aschenauer, E.; Atoyan, G.; Bazilevsky, A.; Gill, R.; Huang, H.; Lee, S.; Li, X.; Makdisi, Y.; Morozov, B.; Nakagawa, I.; Svirida, D.; Zelenski, A.


    Analysis of PC polarimeter data at {radical}s = 200 and 500 GeV from Run9 is presented. Final polarization results, fill-by-fill, for blue and yellow beams, as to be used by RHIC experiments (in collisions) are released and collected in Global relative systematic uncertainties {delta}P/P (to be considered as correlated from fill to fill) are 4.7% for 100 GeV beams, and 8.3% (12.1%) for blue (yellow) 250 GeV beams. For a product of two beam polarizations P{sub B} {center_dot} P{sub Y} (used in double spin asymmetry measurements) the relative uncertainty {delta}(P{sub B} {center_dot} P{sub Y})/(P{sub B} {center_dot} P{sub Y}) 8.8% for 100 GeV beams and 18.5% for 250 GeV beams. For the average between two beam polarization (P{sub B} + P{sub Y})/2 (used in single spin asymmetry measurements, when data from two polarized beams are combined) the relative uncertainty is 4.4% for 100 GeV beams and 9.2% for 250 GeV beams. Larger uncertainties for 250 GeV beams relate to significant rate related systematic effects experienced in the first part of Run9 (due to thicker targets used and smaller trans. beam size at higher beam energy).

  1. Design of a polarimeter for slow e sup + beams

    CERN Document Server

    Kumita, T; Hamatsu, R; Hirose, M; Hirose, T; Irako, M; Kawasaki, N; Yang, J


    A polarimeter which utilizes ortho-positronium quenching in a magnetic field is used to measure polarization of slow positron beams. This polarimeter is employed for a polarization measurement at an e sup + beam system where the beam is provided from the beta sup + decay of sup 2 sup 7 Si produced via the sup 2 sup 7 Al(p,n) sup 2 sup 7 Si reaction caused by proton irradiation. The beam polarization is determined to be 38.4+-4.0(statistical)+-8.7(systematic)%.

  2. Electron Beam Møller Polarimeter at Jlab Hall a

    CERN Document Server

    Glamazdin, A V; Levchuk, L G; Pomatsalyuk, R I; Rubashkin, A L; Sorokin, P V; Dale, D S; Doyle, B; Gorringe, T P; Korsch, W; Zeps, V; Chen, J P; Chudakov, E A; Nanda, S; Saha, A; Gasparian, A


    As part of the spin physics program at Jefferson Laboratory (JLab), a Mø ller polarimeter was developed to measure the polarization of electron beam of energies 0.8 to 5.0 GeV. A unique signature for Mø ller scattering is obtained using a series of three quadrupole magnets which provide an angular selection, and a dipole magnet for energy analysis. The design, commissioning, and the first results of the polarization measurements of this polarimeter will be presented as well as future plans to use its small scattering angle capabilities to investigate physics in the very low $Q^2$ regime.

  3. Korean Astronomical Calendar, Chiljeongsan (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.

  4. Polarisation at HERA. Reanalysis of the HERA II polarimeter data

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sobloher, B.; Behnke, T.; Olsson, J.; Pitzl, D.; Schmitt, S.; Tomaszewska, J.; Fabbri, R.


    In this technical note we briefly present the analysis of the HERA polarimeters (transversal and longitudinal) as of summer 2011. We present the final reanalysis of the TPOL data, and discuss the systematic uncertainties. A procedure to combine and average LPOL and TPOL data is presented. (orig.)

  5. Performance of the KVI in-beam polarimeter

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bieber, R.; van den Berg, A.M.; Ermisch, K.; Hannen, V.M.; Harakeh, M.N.; Huisman, H.; de Huu, M.A.; Kalantar-Nayestanaki, N.; Messchendorp, J.G.; Seip, M.; Volkerts, M.; Volmer, J.; van der Werf, S.Y.; Wilschut, H.W.E.M.


    A beam polarimeter for medium-energy protons and deuterons has been constructed. Its operation is based on the elastic-scattering reactions (p) over right arrow + p or (d) over right arrow + p. The outgoing particles are detected in kinematical coincidence in four independent reaction planes, each

  6. The Astronomical Society of New York (United States)

    Philip, A. G. D.


    The New York Astronomical Corporation was formed in 1968 by astronomers at New York State universities, colleges and observatories with the aim of building a large telescope for the use of astronomers in the state. Hawaii was selected as a possible site for a 150-in telescope and for a period of five years a vigorous effort was made at fund raising. A grant was received from the New York State Science and Technology Foundation to help in the organization of the group. By 1973 it was decided to stop plans for a New York Telescope since we had no success in the fund raising. However our group was already involved in holding meetings at the member institutions and staff and students would give reports on their work. In 1973 we formally set up the Astronomical Society of New York. Meetings are held twice a year. The Fall meeting is held at Union College or RPI and at this time the business meeting of NYAC is held. The Spring meeting is held at the other member institutions, from Alfred University in the west and the State University of New York at Stony Brook, in the east. The proceedings of the meetings are published in the News Letter of the Astronomical Society of New York. Prizes are awarded for the best graduate and the best undergraduate papers submitted to the Prize Committee. The winners give invited talks at a meeting following the award. Travel grants are awarded to both graduate and undergraduate students who are granted time to observe on optical or radio telescopes. ASNY has provided a good platform for students to give their first papers and by awarding the prizes and travel grants ASNY has been able to support student research. The meetings help to maintain good contacts among New York astronomers.

  7. Astronomical Spectroscopy for Amateurs

    CERN Document Server

    Harrison, Ken M


    Astronomical Spectroscopy for Amateurs is a complete guide for amateur astronomers who are looking for a new challenge beyond astrophotography. The book provides a brief overview of the history and development of the spectroscope, then a short introduction to the theory of stellar spectra, including details on the necessary reference spectra required for instrument testing and spectral comparison. The various types of spectroscopes available to the amateur are then described. Later sections cover all aspects of setting up and using various types of commercially available and home-built spectroscopes, starting with basic transmission gratings and going through more complex models, all the way to the sophisticated Littrow design. The final part of the text is about practical spectroscope design and construction. This book uniquely brings together a collection of observing, analyzing, and processing hints and tips that will allow the amateur to build skills in preparing scientifically acceptable spectra data. It...

  8. Ancient Egyptian Astronomical Calander (United States)

    Marshall, Patrice; Lodhi, M. A. K.


    In this paper, we discuss how certain astronomical concepts are related to the ancient Egyptian culture and their daily life. One of them is different ways of creating their calendar systems. The ancient Egyptian calendar seems to have quite a bit of its origin in astronomy and its development over the course of history. There is an important role played by events, as determined in the heavens, in developing their calendar system. Along with astronomical observations by the ancient people of Egypt, there were several outside cultures that helped develop their calendar system and Egyptian idea of how life was created on this planet, most notably the inclusion of the star Sirius in the constellation of Canis Major. We give a brief discussion of these influences. For the ancient Egyptians, the cycle of life and death is a concept that ties in with a calendar system used to determine daily events.

  9. Astronomical Research Using Virtual Observatories

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M Tanaka


    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.

  10. On Tokugawa Bakufu's astronomical officials (United States)

    Yamada, Keiji


    Tokugawa Bakufu's astronomical office, established in 1684, is the post for calendar reform. The reform was conducted when the calendar did not predict peculiar celestial phenomena, such as solar or lunar eclipses. It was, so to speak, the theme of the ancient astronomy. From removal of the embargo on importing western science books in 1720, Japanese astronomers studied European astronomy and attempted to apply its knowledge to calendar making. Moreover, they knew the Copernican system and also faced several modern astronomical subjects. The French astronomer Lalande's work "ASTRONOMY" exerted particularly strong influence on astronomers. This paper overviews the activities of Paris observatory and French astronomers in the 17th and 18th centuries, and survey what modern astronomical subjects were. Finally, it sketches a role of the Edo observatory played in the Japanese cultural history.

  11. Faraday-effect polarimeter-interferometer system for current density measurement on EAST. (United States)

    Liu, H Q; Jie, Y X; Ding, W X; Brower, D L; Zou, Z Y; Li, W M; Wang, Z X; Qian, J P; Yang, Y; Zeng, L; Lan, T; Wei, X C; Li, G S; Hu, L Q; Wan, B N


    A multichannel far-infrared laser-based POlarimeter-INTerferometer (POINT) system utilizing the three-wave technique is under development for current density and electron density profile measurements in the EAST tokamak. Novel molybdenum retro-reflectors are mounted in the inside wall for the double-pass optical arrangement. A Digital Phase Detector with 250 kHz bandwidth, which will provide real-time Faraday rotation angle and density phase shift output, have been developed for use on the POINT system. Initial calibration indicates the electron line-integrated density resolution is less than 5 × 10(16) m(-2) (∼2°), and the Faraday rotation angle rms phase noise is <0.1°.

  12. Ultraviolet spectrometer and polarimeter (UVSP) software development and hardware tests for the solar maximum mission (United States)

    Bruner, M. E.; Haisch, B. M.


    The Ultraviolet Spectrometer/Polarimeter Instrument (UVSP) for the Solar Maximum Mission (SMM) was based on the re-use of the engineering model of the high resolution ultraviolet spectrometer developed for the OSO-8 mission. Lockheed assumed four distinct responsibilities in the UVSP program: technical evaluation of the OSO-8 engineering model; technical consulting on the electronic, optical, and mechanical modifications to the OSO-8 engineering model hardware; design and development of the UVSP software system; and scientific participation in the operations and analysis phase of the mission. Lockheed also provided technical consulting and assistance with instrument hardware performance anomalies encountered during the post launch operation of the SMM observatory. An index to the quarterly reports delivered under the contract are contained, and serves as a useful capsule history of the program activity.

  13. Digitizer of astronomical plates at Shanghai Astronomical Observatory and its performance test (United States)

    Yu, Yong; Zhao, Jian-Hai; Tang, Zheng-Hong; Shang, Zheng-Jun


    Before CCD detectors were widely employed in observational astronomy, the main method of detection was the use of glass astrophotographic plates. Astronomical plates have been used to record information on the position and activity of celestial bodies for more than 100 years. There are about 30 000 astronomical plates in China, and the digitization of astronomical plates is of great significance for permanent preservation and to make full use of these valuable observation data. A digitizer with high precision and high measuring speed is a key piece of equipment for carrying out the task of digitizing these astronomical plates. A digitizer for glass astrophotographic plates was developed jointly by Shanghai Astronomical Observatory and Nishimura Co., Ltd of Japan. The digitizer’s hardware was manufactured by Nishimura Co., Ltd, and the performance test, error corrections as well as image processing of the digitizer were carried out by Shanghai Astronomical Observatory. The main structure and working mode of the digitizer are introduced in this paper. A performance test shows that brightness uniformity of illumination within the measuring area is better than 0.15%, the repeatability of digitized positions is better than 0.2 µm and the repeatability of digitized brightness is better than 0.01 instrumental magnitude. The systematic factors affecting digitized positions, such as lens distortion, the actual optical resolution, non-linearity of guide rails, non-uniformity of linear motors in the mobile platform, deviation of the image mosaic, and non-orthogonality between the direction of scanning and camera linear array, are calibrated and evaluated. Based on an astronomical plate with a size of 300mm × 300mm, which was digitized at different angles, the conversion residuals of positions of common stars on different images were investigated. The results show that the standard deviations of the residuals are better than 0.9 µm and the residual distribution is almost

  14. An upgraded interferometer-polarimeter system for broadband fluctuation measurements

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Parke, E., E-mail:; Ding, W. X.; Brower, D. L. [Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California 90095 (United States); Duff, J. [Department of Physics, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, Wisconsin 53706 (United States)


    Measuring high-frequency fluctuations (above tearing mode frequencies) is important for diagnosing instabilities and transport phenomena. The Madison Symmetric Torus interferometer-polarimeter system has been upgraded to utilize improved planar-diode mixer technology. The new mixers reduce phase noise and allow more sensitive measurements of fluctuations at high frequency. Typical polarimeter rms phase noise values of 0.05°–0.07° are obtained with 400 kHz bandwidth. The low phase noise enables the resolution of fluctuations up to 250 kHz for polarimetry and 600 kHz for interferometry. The importance of probe beam alignment for polarimetry is also verified; previously reported tolerances of ≤0.1 mm displacement for equilibrium and tearing mode measurements minimize contamination due to spatial misalignment to within acceptable levels for chords near the magnetic axis.

  15. Astronomical Instruments in India (United States)

    Sarma, Sreeramula Rajeswara

    The earliest astronomical instruments used in India were the gnomon and the water clock. In the early seventh century, Brahmagupta described ten types of instruments, which were adopted by all subsequent writers with minor modifications. Contact with Islamic astronomy in the second millennium AD led to a radical change. Sanskrit texts began to lay emphasis on the importance of observational instruments. Exclusive texts on instruments were composed. Islamic instruments like the astrolabe were adopted and some new types of instruments were developed. Production and use of these traditional instruments continued, along with the cultivation of traditional astronomy, up to the end of the nineteenth century.

  16. Naval Prototype Optical Interferometer (NPOI) (United States)

    Federal Laboratory Consortium — FUNCTION: Used for astrometry and astronomical imaging, the Naval Prototype Optical Interferometer (NPOI) is a distributed aperture optical telescope. It is operated...

  17. Snapshot imaging Mueller matrix polarimeter using polarization gratings


    Kudenov, Michael W.; Escuti, Michael J.; Hagen, Nathan; Dereniak, Eustace L.; Oka, Kazuhiko


    A snapshot imaging Mueller matrix polarimeter (SIMMP) is theoretically described and empirically demonstrated through simulation. Spatial polarization fringes are localized onto a sample by incorporating polarization gratings (PGs) into a polarization generator module. These fringes modulate the Mueller matrix (MM) components of the sample, which are subsequently isolated with PGs in an analyzer module. The MM components are amplitude modulated onto spatial carrier frequencies which, due to t...


    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ron Gilman; F.T. Baker; Louis Bimbot; Ed Brash; Charles Glashausser; Mark Jones; Gerfried Kumbartzki; Sirish Nanda; Charles F. Perdrisat; Vina Punjabi; Ronald Ransome; Paul Rutt


    A focal plane polarimeter intended for the CEBAF Hall A high resolution hadron spectrometer is under construction at Rutgers University and the College of William and Mary. Experiments with focal plane polarimeters are only now beginning at electron accelerators; they play a prominent role in the list of approved experiments for Hall A. Construction of the polarimeter is in progress, it is expected to be brought to CEBAF in spring 1995. Several coincidence (e,e'p) and singles (gamma, p) measurements by the Hall A Collaboration are expected to start in 1996. In this paper we describe the polarimeter and the physics program planned for it.

  19. REDSoX: Monte-Carlo ray-tracing for a soft x-ray spectroscopy polarimeter (United States)

    Günther, Hans M.; Egan, Mark; Heilmann, Ralf K.; Heine, Sarah N. T.; Hellickson, Tim; Frost, Jason; Marshall, Herman L.; Schulz, Norbert S.; Theriault-Shay, Adam


    X-ray polarimetry offers a new window into the high-energy universe, yet there has been no instrument so far that could measure the polarization of soft X-rays (about 17-80 Å) from astrophysical sources. The Rocket Experiment Demonstration of a Soft X-ray Polarimeter (REDSoX Polarimeter) is a proposed sounding rocket experiment that uses a focusing optic and splits the beam into three channels. Each channel has a set of criticalangle transmission (CAT) gratings that disperse the x-rays onto a laterally graded multilayer (LGML) mirror, which preferentially reflects photons with a specific polarization angle. The three channels are oriented at 120 deg to each other and thus measure the three Stokes parameters: I, Q, and U. The period of the LGML changes with position. The main design challenge is to arrange the gratings so that they disperse the spectrum in such a way that all rays are dispersed onto the position on the multi-layer mirror where they satisfy the local Bragg condition despite arriving on the mirror at different angles due to the converging beam from the focusing optics. We present a polarimeteric Monte-Carlo ray-trace of this design to assess non-ideal effects from e.g. mirror scattering or the finite size of the grating facets. With mirror properties both simulated and measured in the lab for LGML mirrors of 80-200 layers we show that the reflectivity and the width of the Bragg-peak are sufficient to make this design work when non-ideal effects are included in the simulation. Our simulations give us an effective area curve, the modulation factor and the figure of merit for the REDSoX polarimeter. As an example, we simulate an observation of Mk 421 and show that we could easily detect a 20% linear polarization.

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

    CERN Document Server

    Pepin, M Barlow


    Commercially-made astronomical telescopes are better and less expensive than ever before, and their optical and mechanical performance can be superb. When a good-quality telescope fails to perform as well as it might, the reason is quite probably that it needs a little care and attention! Here is a complete guide for anyone who wants to understand more than just the basics of astronomical telescopes and accessories, and how to maintain them in the peak of condition. The latest on safely adjusting, cleaning, and maintaining your equipment is combined with thoroughly updated methods from the old masters. Here, too, are details of choosing new and used optics and accessories, along with enhancements you can make to extend their versatility and useful lifetime. This book is for you. Really. Looking after an astronomical telescope isn't only for the experts - although there are some things that only an expert should attempt - and every serious amateur astronomer will find invaluable information here, gleaned from ...

  1. Simple modification of Compton polarimeter to redirect synchrotron radiation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Benesch


    Full Text Available Synchrotron radiation produced as an electron beam passes through a bending magnet is a significant source of background in many experiments. Using modeling, we show that simple modifications of the magnet geometry can reduce this background by orders of magnitude in some circumstances. Specifically, we examine possible modifications of the four dipole magnets used in Jefferson Lab’s Hall A Compton polarimeter chicane. This Compton polarimeter has been a crucial part of experiments with polarized beams and the next generation of experiments will utilize increased beam energies, up to 11 GeV, requiring a corresponding increase in Compton dipole field to 1.5 T. In consequence, the synchrotron radiation (SR from the dipole chicane will be greatly increased. Three possible modifications of the chicane dipoles are studied; each design moves about 2% of the integrated bending field to provide a gentle bend in critical regions along the beam trajectory which, in turn, greatly reduces the synchrotron radiation within the acceptance of the Compton polarimeter photon detector. Each of the modifications studied also softens the SR energy spectrum at the detector sufficiently to allow shielding with 5 mm of lead. Simulations show that these designs are each capable of reducing the background signal due to SR by three orders of magnitude. The three designs considered vary in their need for vacuum vessel changes and in their effectiveness.

  2. X-Ray Spectro-Polarimetry with Photoelectric Polarimeters (United States)

    Strohmayer, T. E.


    We derive a generalization of forward fitting for X-ray spectroscopy to include linear polarization of X-ray sources, appropriate for the anticipated next generation of space-based photoelectric polarimeters. We show that the inclusion of polarization sensitivity requires joint fitting to three observed spectra, one for each of the Stokes parameters, I(E), U(E), and Q(E). The equations for StokesI (E) (the total intensity spectrum) are identical to the familiar case with no polarization sensitivity, and for which the model-predicted spectrum is obtained by a convolution of the source spectrum, F (E), with the familiar energy response function,(E) R(E,E), where (E) and R(E,E) are the effective area and energy redistribution matrix, respectively. In addition to the energy spectrum, the two new relations for U(E) and Q(E) include the source polarization fraction and position angle versus energy, a(E), and 0(E), respectively, and the model-predicted spectra for these relations are obtained by a convolution with the modulated energy response function, (E)(E) R(E,E), where(E) is the energy-dependent modulation fraction that quantifies a polarimeters angular response to 100 polarized radiation. We present results of simulations with response parameters appropriate for the proposed PRAXyS Small Explorer observatory to illustrate the procedures and methods, and we discuss some aspects of photoelectric polarimeters with relevance to understanding their calibration and operation.

  3. Grigor Narekatsi's astronomical insights (United States)

    Poghosyan, Samvel


    What stand out in the solid system of Gr. Narekatsi's naturalistic views are his astronomical insights on the material nature of light, its high speed and the Sun being composed of "material air". Especially surprising and fascinating are his views on stars and their clusters. What astronomers, including great Armenian academician V. Ambartsumian (scattering of stellar associations), would understand and prove with much difficulty thousand years later, Narekatsi predicted in the 10th century: "Stars appear and disappear untimely", "You who gather and scatter the speechless constellations, like a flock of sheep". Gr. Narekatsti's reformative views were manifested in all the spheres of the 10th century social life; he is a reformer of church life, great language constructor, innovator in literature and music, freethinker in philosophy and science. His ideology is the reflection of the 10th century Armenian Renaissance. During the 9th-10th centuries, great masses of Armenians, forced to migrate to the Balkans, took with them and spread reformative ideas. The forefather of the western science, which originated in the period of Reformation, is considered to be the great philosopher Nicholas of Cusa. The study of Gr. Narekatsti's logic and naturalistic views enables us to claim that Gr. Narekatsti is the great grandfather of European science.

  4. La Plata Astronomical Observatory (United States)

    Forte, Juan Carlos; Cora, Sofia A.

    La Plata, the current capital city of the province of Buenos Aires, was founded on 19 November 1882 by governor Dardo Rocha, and built on an innovative design giving emphasis to the quality of the public space, official and educational buildings. The Astronomical Observatory was one of the first inhabitants of the main park of the city; its construction started in 1883 including two telescopes that ranked among the largest in the southern hemisphere at that time and also several instruments devoted to positional astronomy (e.g. a meridian circle and a zenith telescope). A dedicated effort has being invested during the last 15 years in order to recover some of the original instrumentation (kept in a small museum) as well as the distinctive architectural values. In 1905, the Observatory, the School of Agriculture and the Museum of Natural Sciences (one of the most important museums in South America) became part of the backbone of La Plata National University, an institution with a strong and distinctive profile in exact and natural sciences. The First School for Astronomy and Related Sciences had been harboured by the Observatory since 1935, and became the current Faculty of Astronomical and Geophysical Sciences in 1983. This last institution carries PhD programs and also a number of teaching activities at different levels. These activities are the roots of a strong connection of the Observatory with the city.

  5. Alignment and Distortion-Free Integration of Lightweight Mirrors into Meta-Shells for High-Resolution Astronomical X-Ray Optics (United States)

    Chan, Kai-Wing; Zhang, William W.; Schofield, Mark J.; Numata, Ai; Mazzarella, James R.; Saha, Timo T.; Biskach, Michael P.; McCelland, Ryan S.; Niemeyer, Jason; Sharpe, Marton V.; hide


    High-resolution, high throughput optics for x-ray astronomy requires fabrication of well-formed mirror segments and their integration with arc-second level precision. Recently, advances of fabrication of silicon mirrors developed at NASA/Goddard prompted us to develop a new method of mirror integration. The new integration scheme takes advantage of the stiffer, more thermally conductive, and lower-CTE silicon, compared to glass, to build a telescope of much lighter weight. In this paper, we address issues of aligning and bonding mirrors with this method. In this preliminary work, we demonstrated the basic viability of such scheme. Using glass mirrors, we demonstrated that alignment error of 1" and bonding error 2" can be achieved for mirrors in a single shell. We will address the immediate plan to demonstrate the bonding reliability and to develop technology to build up a mirror stack and a whole "meta-shell".

  6. East Asian astronomical records (United States)

    Stephenson, F. Richard

    Chinese, Japanese and Korean celestial observations have made major contributions to Applied Historical Astronomy, especially in the study of supernovae, comets, Earth's rotation (using eclipses) and solar variability (via sunspots and aurorae). Few original texts now survive; almost all extant records exist only in printed versions, often with the loss of much detail. The earliest Chinese astronomical observations extend back to before 1000 BC. However, fairly systematic records are only available since 200 BC - and even these have suffered losses through wars, etc. By around AD 800, many independent observations are available from Japan and Korea and these provide a valuable supplement to the Chinese data. Throughout East Asia dates were expressed in terms of a luni-solar calendar and conversion to the Julian or Gregorian calendar can be readily effected.

  7. Lunar astronomical observatories - Design studies (United States)

    Johnson, Stewart W.; Burns, Jack O.; Chua, Koon Meng; Duric, Nebojsa; Gerstle, Walter H.


    The best location in the inner solar system for the grand observatories of the 21st century may be the moon. A multidisciplinary team including university students and faculty in engineering, astronomy, physics, and geology, and engineers from industry is investigating the moon as a site for astronomical observatories and is doing conceptual and preliminary designs for these future observatories. Studies encompass lunar facilities for radio astronomy and astronomy at optical, ultraviolet, and infrared wavelengths of the electromagnetic spectrum. Although there are significant engineering challenges in design and construction on the moon, the rewards for astronomy can be great, such as detection and study of earth-like planets orbiting nearby stars, and the task for engineers promises to stimulate advances in analysis and design, materials and structures, automation and robotics, foundations, and controls. Fabricating structures in the reduced-gravity environment of the moon will be easier than in the zero-gravity environment of earth orbit, as Apollo and space-shuttle missions have revealed. Construction of observatories on the moon can be adapted from techniques developed on the earth, with the advantage that the moon's weaker gravitational pull makes it possible to build larger devices than are practical on earth.

  8. pwkit: Astronomical utilities in Python (United States)

    Williams, Peter K. G.; Clavel, Maïca; Newton, Elisabeth; Ryzhkov, Denis


    pwkit is a collection of miscellaneous astronomical utilities in Python, with an emphasis on radio astronomy, reading and writing various data formats, and convenient command-line utilities. Utilities include basic astronomical calculations, data visualization tools such as mapping arbitrary data to color scales and tracing contours, and data input and output utilities such as streaming output from other programs.

  9. Combined retrievals of boreal forest fire aerosol properties with a polarimeter and lidar (United States)

    Knobelspiesse, K.; Cairns, B.; Ottaviani, M.; Ferrare, R.; Hair, J.; Hostetler, C.; Obland, M.; Rogers, R.; Redemann, J.; Shinozuka, Y.; Clarke, A.; Freitag, S.; Howell, S.; Kapustin, V.; McNaughton, C.


    Absorbing aerosols play an important, but uncertain, role in the global climate. Much of this uncertainty is due to a lack of adequate aerosol measurements. While great strides have been made in observational capability in the previous years and decades, it has become increasingly apparent that this development must continue. Scanning polarimeters have been designed to help resolve this issue by making accurate, multi-spectral, multi-angle polarized observations. This work involves the use of the Research Scanning Polarimeter (RSP). The RSP was designed as the airborne prototype for the Aerosol Polarimetery Sensor (APS), which was due to be launched as part of the (ultimately failed) NASA Glory mission. Field observations with the RSP, however, have established that simultaneous retrievals of aerosol absorption and vertical distribution over bright land surfaces are quite uncertain. We test a merger of RSP and High Spectral Resolution Lidar (HSRL) data with observations of boreal forest fire smoke, collected during the Arctic Research of the Composition of the Troposphere from Aircraft and Satellites (ARCTAS). During ARCTAS, the RSP and HSRL instruments were mounted on the same aircraft, and validation data were provided by instruments on an aircraft flying a coordinated flight pattern. We found that the lidar data did indeed improve aerosol retrievals using an optimal estimation method, although not primarily because of the contraints imposed on the aerosol vertical distribution. The more useful piece of information from the HSRL was the total column aerosol optical depth, which was used to select the initial value (optimization starting point) of the aerosol number concentration. When ground based sun photometer network climatologies of number concentration were used as an initial value, we found that roughly half of the retrievals had unrealistic sizes and imaginary indices, even though the retrieved spectral optical depths agreed within uncertainties to

  10. Combined Retrievals of Boreal Forest Fire Aerosol Properties with a Polarimeter and Lidar (United States)

    Knobelspiesse, K.; Cairns, B.; Ottaviani, M.; Ferrare, R.; Haire, J.; Hostetler, C.; Obland, M.; Rogers, R.; Redemann, J.; Shinozuka, Y.; hide


    Absorbing aerosols play an important, but uncertain, role in the global climate. Much of this uncertainty is due to a lack of adequate aerosol measurements. While great strides have been made in observational capability in the previous years and decades, it has become increasingly apparent that this development must continue. Scanning polarimeters have been designed to help resolve this issue by making accurate, multi-spectral, multi-angle polarized observations. This work involves the use of the Research Scanning Polarimeter (RSP). The RSP was designed as the airborne prototype for the Aerosol Polarimetery Sensor (APS), which was due to be launched as part of the (ultimately failed) NASA Glory mission. Field observations with the RSP, however, have established that simultaneous retrievals of aerosol absorption and vertical distribution over bright land surfaces are quite uncertain. We test a merger of RSP and High Spectral Resolution Lidar (HSRL) data with observations of boreal forest fire smoke, collected during the Arctic Research of the Composition of the Troposphere from Aircraft and Satellites (ARCTAS). During ARCTAS, the RSP and HSRL instruments were mounted on the same aircraft, and validation data were provided by instruments on an aircraft flying a coordinated flight pattern. We found that the lidar data did indeed improve aerosol retrievals using an optimal estimation method, although not primarily because of the constraints imposed on the aerosol vertical distribution. The more useful piece of information from the HSRL was the total column aerosol optical depth, which was used to select the initial value (optimization starting point) of the aerosol number concentration. When ground based sun photometer network climatologies of number concentration were used as an initial value, we found that roughly half of the retrievals had unrealistic sizes and imaginary indices, even though the retrieved spectral optical depths agreed within uncertainties to

  11. A New Cost-Effective Diode Laser Polarimeter Apparatus Constructed by Undergraduate Students (United States)

    Lisboa, Pedro; Sotomayor, Joo; Ribeiro, Paulo


    The construction of a diode laser polarimeter apparatus by undergraduate students is described. The construction of the modular apparatus by undergraduate students gives them an insight into how it works and how the measurement of a physical or chemical property is conducted. The students use the polarimeter to obtain rotation angle values for the…

  12. The 270 MeV deuteron beam polarimeter at the Nuclotron Internal Target Station

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kurilkin, P.K. [Joint Institute for Nuclear Research, Dubna (Russian Federation); Moscow State Institute of Radio-engineering Electronics and Automation (Technical University), Moscow (Russian Federation); Ladygin, V.P., E-mail: [Joint Institute for Nuclear Research, Dubna (Russian Federation); Moscow State Institute of Radio-engineering Electronics and Automation (Technical University), Moscow (Russian Federation); Uesaka, T. [Center for Nuclear Study, University of Tokyo, Tokyo 113-0033 (Japan); Suda, K. [RIKEN Nishina Center, Saitama (Japan); Gurchin, Yu.V.; Isupov, A.Yu. [Joint Institute for Nuclear Research, Dubna (Russian Federation); Itoh, K. [Department of Physics, Saitama University, Saitama (Japan); Janek, M. [Joint Institute for Nuclear Research, Dubna (Russian Federation); Physics Department, University of Zilina, 010 26 Zilina (Slovakia); Karachuk, J.-T. [Joint Institute for Nuclear Research, Dubna (Russian Federation); Advanced Research Institute for Electrical Engineering, Bucharest (Romania); Kawabata, T. [Center for Nuclear Study, University of Tokyo, Tokyo 113-0033 (Japan); Khrenov, A.N.; Kiselev, A.S.; Kizka, V.A. [Joint Institute for Nuclear Research, Dubna (Russian Federation); Kliman, J. [Institute of Physics of Slovak Academy of Sciences, Bratislava (Slovakia); Krasnov, V.A.; Livanov, A.N. [Joint Institute for Nuclear Research, Dubna (Russian Federation); Institute for Nuclear Research, Moscow (Russian Federation); Maeda, Y. [Kyushi University, Hakozaki (Japan); Malakhov, A.I. [Joint Institute for Nuclear Research, Dubna (Russian Federation); Matousek, V.; Morhach, M. [Institute of Physics of Slovak Academy of Sciences, Bratislava (Slovakia)


    A deuteron beam polarimeter has been constructed at the Internal Target Station at the Nuclotron of JINR. The polarimeter is based on spin-asymmetry measurements in the d-p elastic scattering at large angles and the deuteron kinetic energy of 270 MeV. It allows to measure vector and tensor components of the deuteron beam polarization simultaneously.

  13. Weizmann Fast Astronomical Survey Telescope (WFAST) (United States)

    Nir, Guy; Ofek, Eran Oded; Ben-Ami, Sagi; Manulis, Ilan; Gal-Yam, Avishay; Diner, Oz; Rappaport, Michael


    The Weizmann Fast Astronomical Survey Telescope (W-FAST) is an experiment designed to explore variability on sub-second time scales. When completed it will consist of two robotic 55-cm f/2 Schmidt telescopes. The optics is capable of providing $\\sim0.5$" image quality over 23 deg$^2$. The focal plane will be equipped with fast readout, low read-noise sCMOS detectors. The first generation focal plane is expected to have 6.2 deg$^2$ field of view. WFAST is designed to study occultations by solar system objects (KBOs and Oort cloud objects), short time scale stellar variability, and high resolution imaging via proper coaddition.

  14. Algorithms for classification of astronomical object spectra (United States)

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


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

  15. LEAP - A Large Area GRB Polarimeter for the ISS (United States)

    McConnell, Mark L.; Baring, Matthew G.; Bloser, Peter F.; Briggs, Michael Stephen; Connaughton, Valerie; Dwyer, Joseph; Gaskin, Jessica; Grove, J. Eric; Gunji, Shuichi; Hartmann, Dieter; Hayashida, Kiyoshi; Hill, Joanne E.; Kippen, R. Marc; Kishimoto, Shunji; Kishimoto, Yuji; Krizmanic, John F.; Lundman, Christoffer; Mattingly, David; McBreen, Sheila; Meegan, Charles A.; Mihara, Tatehiro; Nakamori, Takeshi; Pearce, Mark; Phlips, Bernard; Preece, Robert D.; Produit, Nicolas; Ryan, James M.; Ryde, Felix; Sakamoto, Takanori; Strickman, Mark Samuel; Sturner, Steven J.; Takahashi, Hiromitsu; Toma, Kenji; Vestrand, W. Thomas; Wilson-Hodge, Colleen A.; yatsu, Yoichi; Yonetoku, Daisuke; Zhang, Bing


    The LargE Area burst Polarimeter (LEAP) is a mission concept for a wide FOV Compton scatter polarimeter instrument that would be mounted as an external payload on the International Space Station (ISS) in 2022. It has recently been proposed as an astrophysics Mission of Opportunity (MoO), with the primary objective of measuring polarization of the prompt emission of Gamma Ray Bursts (GRBs). It will achieve its science objectives with a simple mission design that features a single instrument based entirely on well-established, flight-proven scintillator-photomultiplier tube (PMT) technologies. LEAP will provide GRB polarization measurements from 30-500 keV and GRB spectroscopy from 5 keV up to 5 MeV, and will self-sufficiently provide the source localization that is required for analysis of the polarization data. The instrument consists of 9 independent polarimeter modules and associated electronics. Each module is a 12 x 12 array of independent plastic and CsI(Tl) scintillator elements, each with individual PMT readout, to identify and measure Compton scatter events. It will provide coverage of GRB spectra over a range that includes most values of Ep. With a total geometric scintillator area of 5000 cm2, LEAP will provide a total effective area for polarization (double scatter) events of ~500 cm2. LEAP will trigger on >200 GRBs within its FOV during a two-year mission. At least 120 GRBs will have sufficient counts to enable localization with an error of 50%, as suggested by published results, LEAP will provide definitive polarization measurements on ~100 GRBs. These data will allow LEAP to differentiate between the intrinsic and geometric classes of GRB models and further distinguish between two geometric models at the 95% confidence level. Detailed time-resolved and/or energy-resolved studies will be conducted for the brightest GRBs.

  16. Hard X-ray Imaging Polarimeter for PolariS (United States)

    Hayashida, Kiyoshi


    We present the current status of development of hard X-ray imaging polarimeters for the small satellite mission PolariS. The primary aim of PolariS is hard X-ray (10-80keV) polarimetry of sources brighter than 10mCrab. Its targets include stellar black holes, neutron stars, super nova remnants, and active galactic nuclei. This aim is enabled with three sets of hard X-ray telescopes and imaging polarimeters installed on their focal planes. The imaging polarimeter consists of two kinds of (plastic and GSO) scintillator pillars and multi-anode photo multiplier tubes (MAPMTs). When an X-ray photon incident to a plastic scintillator cause a Compton scattering, a recoiled electron makes a signal on the corresponding MAPMT pixel, and a scatted X-rays absorbed in surrounding GSO makes another signal. This provide information on the incident position and the scattered direction. The latter information is employed for polarimetry. For 20keV X-ray incidence, the recoiled electron energy is as low as 1keV. Thus, the performance of this imaging polarimeter is primarily determined by the efficiency that we can detect low level signal of recoiled electrons generated in plastic scintillators. The efficiency could depend on multiple factors, e.g. quenching of light in scintillators, electric noise, pedestal error, cross talk of the lights to adjacent MAPMT pixels, MAPMT dark current etc. In this paper, we examined these process experimentally and optimize the event selection algorithm, in which single photo-electron events are selected. We then performed an X-ray (10-80keV monochromatic polarized beam) irradiation test at a synchrotron facility. The modulation contrast (M) is about 60% in 15-80keV range. We succeeded in detecting recoiled electrons for 10-80keV X-ray incidence, though detection efficiency is lower at lowest end of the energy range. Expected MDP will also be shown.

  17. Science with a Thomson X-ray Polarimeter (United States)

    Paul, Biswajit; R, Gopala Krishna M.; Puthiya Veetil, Rishin; Duraichelvan, R.; Maitra, Chandreyee

    We will describe the design, specifications, sensitivity, and development status of a Thomson X-ray polarimeter for a small satellite mission. The prime objectives of this instrument include both pulse phase averaged and pulse phase resolved polarisation measurement in accretion powered pulsars, accreting black holes in their hard and soft states, rotation powered pulsars and magnetars etc. This instrument will provide unprecedented opportunity for exploring X-ray polarisation in enregy range of 5-30 keV, in more than 50 sources with a minimum detectable linear polarisation degree of 2-3%.

  18. Preliminary results from an infrared hyperspectral imaging polarimeter (United States)

    Craven-Jones, Julia; Kudenov, Michael W.; Stapelbroek, Maryn G.; Dereniak, Eustace L.


    We present results from a SWIR/MWIR infrared hyperspectral imaging polarimeter (IHIP). The sensor includes a pair of sapphire Wollaston prisms and several high order retarders to form an imaging Fourier transform spectropolarimeter. The Wollaston prisms serve as a birefringent interferometer with reduced sensitivity to vibration versus an unequal path interferometer, such as a Michelson. Polarimetric data are acquired through the use of channeled spectropolarimetry to modulate the spectrum with the Stokes parameter information. We discuss the operation of the IHIP sensor, in addition to our calibration techniques. Lastly, spectropolarimetric results from the laboratory and outdoor tests are presented.

  19. Free-space laser communication system with rapid acquisition based on astronomical telescopes. (United States)

    Wang, Jianmin; Lv, Junyi; Zhao, Guang; Wang, Gang


    The general structure of a free-space optical (FSO) communication system based on astronomical telescopes is proposed. The light path for astronomical observation and for communication can be easily switched. A separate camera is used as a star sensor to determine the pointing direction of the optical terminal's antenna. The new system exhibits rapid acquisition and is widely applicable in various astronomical telescope systems and wavelengths. We present a detailed analysis of the acquisition time, which can be decreased by one order of magnitude compared with traditional optical communication systems. Furthermore, we verify software algorithms and tracking accuracy.

  20. Astronomical Significance of Ancient Monuments (United States)

    Simonia, I.


    Astronomical significance of Gokhnari megalithic monument (eastern Georgia) is considered. Possible connection of Amirani ancient legend with Gokhnari monument is discussed. Concepts of starry practicality and solar stations are proposed.

  1. Annotations of a Public Astronomer (United States)

    Adamo, A.


    Angelo Adamo is an Italian astronomer and artist interested in inspiring people with scientifically-based tales. He has recently published two illustrated books exploring the relationships between mankind and cosmos through physics, art, literature, music, cartoons, and movies.

  2. Astronomical Instrumentation System Markup Language (United States)

    Goldbaum, Jesse M.


    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.

  3. Asteroid polarimetry : validation run on the CAPS polarimeter (United States)

    Devogèle, M.; Cellino, A.; Massone, G.; Bagnulo, S.; Pernechele, C.; Bendjoya, Ph.; Dimur, C.; Rivet, J.-P.; Vernet, D.; Suarez, O.


    Polarimetric study of atmospherless bodies is a powerful tool to determine their physical properties (albedo, diameter) [1]. The "Calern Asteroids Polarimetric Survey" polarimeter has been designed for this purpose. It is a "single shot" CCD polarimeter based on a "double-Wollaston" configuration [3, 4]. This allows to measure simultaneously the three Stokes parameters I, Q and U without any moving parts. This instrument has been designed for the F/12.5 Cassegrain focus of the 1 meter West telescope of the "Centre Pédagogique Planète et Univers" facility (C2PU, Observatoire de la Côte d'Azur, Plateau de Calern, France). We present in this talk the first calibration and measurements made with CAPS. The results show that the instrument remained stable with a precision of 10-4 during the whole observing campaign (two months). We also present the very first polarimetric measurements on 30 main belt asteroids, in good agreement with previously published results.

  4. Astronomical Spectroscopy -24 ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    are highlighted. It was Isaac Newton in the latter half of the 17th century who first produced a white light spectrum of the sun using a glass prism. The arrangement was crude by today's standards and many features of the solar spectrum were missed. Newton did not use a fine slit, nor imaging optics, and the spectrum did not.

  5. Biomimetics and astronomical X-ray optics (United States)

    Hudec, R.; Remisova, K.


    Some sea and water animals have strange mirror eyes which have (or might have) potential application in science and technology in general and in X—ray astrophysics in particular. While the principles of mirror eyes of decapods (lobsters, crayfishes) are already applied in space and ground—based imaging experiments, the mirror eyes of specific fishes are still very little investigated.

  6. The New Amateur Astronomer (United States)

    Mobberley, Martin

    Amateur astronomy has changed beyond recognition in less than two decades. The reason is, of course, technology. Affordable high-quality telescopes, computer-controlled 'go to' mountings, autoguiders, CCD cameras, video, and (as always) computers and the Internet, are just a few of the advances that have revolutionized astronomy for the twenty-first century. Martin Mobberley first looks at the basics before going into an in-depth study of what’s available commercially. He then moves on to the revolutionary possibilities that are open to amateurs, from imaging, through spectroscopy and photometry, to patrolling for near-earth objects - the search for comets and asteroids that may come close to, or even hit, the earth. The New Amateur Astronomer is a road map of the new astronomy, equally suitable for newcomers who want an introduction, or old hands who need to keep abreast of innovations. From the reviews: "This is one of several dozen books in Patrick Moore's "Practical Astronomy" series. Amid this large family, Mobberley finds his niche: the beginning high-tech amateur. The book's first half discusses equipment: computer-driven telescopes, CCD cameras, imaging processing software, etc. This market is changing every bit as rapidly as the computer world, so these details will be current for only a year or two. The rest of the book offers an overview of scientific projects that serious amateurs are carrying out these days. Throughout, basic formulas and technical terms are provided as needed, without formal derivations. An appendix with useful references and Web sites is also included. Readers will need more than this book if they are considering a plunge into high-tech amateur astronomy, but it certainly will whet their appetites. Mobberley's most valuable advice will save the book's owner many times its cover price: buy a quality telescope from a reputable dealer and install it in a simple shelter so it can be used with as little set-up time as possible. A poor

  7. Enthusiastic Little Astronomers (United States)

    Novak, Ines


    Younger primary school students often show great interest in the vast Universe hiding behind the starry night's sky, but don't have a way of learning about it and exploring it in regular classes. Some of them would search children's books, Internet or encyclopedias for information or facts they are interested in, but there are those whose hunger for knowledge would go unfulfilled. Such students were the real initiators of our extracurricular activity called Little Astronomers. With great enthusiasm they would name everything that interests them about the Universe that we live in and I would provide the information in a fun and interactive yet acceptable way for their level of understanding. In our class we learn about Earth and its place in the Solar System, we learn about the planets and other objects of our Solar System and about the Sun itself. We also explore the night sky using programs such as Stellarium, learning to recognize constellations and name them. Most of our activities are done using a PowerPoint presentation, YouTube videos, and Internet simulations followed by some practical work the students do themselves. Because of the lack of available materials and funds, most of materials are hand made by the teacher leading the class. We also use the school's galileoscope as often as possible. Every year the students are given the opportunity to go to an observatory in a town 90 km away so that they could gaze at the sky through the real telescope for the first time. Our goal is to start stepping into the world of astronomy by exploring the secrets of the Universe and understanding the process of rotation and revolution of our planet and its effects on our everyday lives and also to become more aware of our own role in our part of the Universe. The hunger for knowledge and enthusiasm these students have is contagious. They are becoming more aware of their surroundings and also understanding their place in the Universe that helps them remain humble and helps

  8. A Thomson X-ray polarimeter for a small satellite mission and its scientific prospects (United States)

    Paul, Biswajit; Gopala Krishna, M. R.; Puthiya Veetil, Rishin; Duraichelvan, R.; Maitra, Chandreyee


    A Thomson X-ray polarimeter is under fabrication for a small satellite mission of the ISRO. A brief description of the design, specifications, sensitivity, and development status of this instrument will be given. We will then discuss some of the important scientific goals, especially about accretion powered pulsars and accreting black holes, both in their hard and soft states. With an enregy range of 5-30 keV, this instrument will be a bridge between the soft X-ray polarimeter GEMS and the various Compton polarimeters under development.

  9. Preliminary Neutronics Analysis of the ITER Toroidal Interferometer and Polarimeter Diagnostic Corner Cube Retroreflectors

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tresemer, K. R.


    ITER is an international project under construction in France that will demonstrate nuclear fusion at a power plant-relevant scale. The Toroidal Interferometer and Polarimeter (TIP) Diagnostic will be used to measure the plasma electron line density along 5 laser-beam chords. This line-averaged density measurement will be input to the ITER feedback-control system. The TIP is considered the primary diagnostic for these measurements, which are needed for basic ITER machine control. Therefore, system reliability & accuracy is a critical element in TIP’s design. There are two major challenges to the reliability of the TIP system. First is the survivability and performance of in-vessel optics and second is maintaining optical alignment over long optical paths and large vessel movements. Both of these issues greatly depend on minimizing the overall distortion due to neutron & gamma heating of the Corner Cube Retroreflectors (CCRs). These are small optical mirrors embedded in five first wall locations around the vacuum vessel, corresponding to certain plasma tangency radii. During the development of the design and location of these CCRs, several iterations of neutronics analyses were performed to determine and minimize the total distortion due to nuclear heating of the CCRs. The CCR corresponding to TIP Channel 2 was chosen for analysis as a good middle-road case, being an average distance from the plasma (of the five channels) and having moderate neutron shielding from its blanket shield housing. Results show that Channel 2 meets the requirements of the TIP Diagnostic, but barely. These results suggest other CCRs might be at risk of exceeding thermal deformation due to nuclear heating.

  10. Choosing and using astronomical eyepieces

    CERN Document Server

    Paolini, William


    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...

  11. A silicon strip readout system for a new electromagnetic polarimeter

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schooneveld, E.M. (Department of Applied Physics, Delft University of Technology, Mekelweg 15, 2629 JB, Delft (Netherlands)); Van Eijk, C.W.E. (Department of Applied Physics, Delft University of Technology, Mekelweg 15, 2629 JB, Delft (Netherlands)); Van Klinken, J. (Kernfysisch Versneller Instituut, Groningen (Netherlands)); Hoogduin, J.M. (Kernfysisch Versneller Instituut, Groningen (Netherlands)); Sarro, P.M. (Delft Institute of Microelectronics and Submicrontechnology, Delft (Netherlands)); Van den Boogaard, A. (Delft Institute of Microelectronics and Submicrontechnology, Delft (Netherlands))


    A strong interest exists in electromagnetic polarimetry at high energies. For energies in the 10 MeV to 200 MeV range, a new polarimeter has been proposed using magnetic layers sandwiched between Silicon Strip Detectors (SSDs). The SSDs have been chosen because of (1) their good energy resolution (<15 keV), (2) good position resolution (<2 mm) and (3) their small thickness. The SSDs will have an active area of 4.8 cmx4.8 cm, divided into 32 strips with a 1.5 mm pitch. The readout electronics is using the AMPLEX readout chip. First results of a prototype SSD readout system show that it is operating satisfactorily. ((orig.))

  12. CLASP2: The Chromospheric LAyer Spectro-Polarimeter (United States)

    Rachmeler, Laurel; E McKenzie, David; Ishikawa, Ryohko; Trujillo Bueno, Javier; Auchère, Frédéric; Kobayashi, Ken; Winebarger, Amy; Bethge, Christian; Kano, Ryouhei; Kubo, Masahito; Song, Donguk; Narukage, Noriyuki; Ishikawa, Shin-nosuke; De Pontieu, Bart; Carlsson, Mats; Yoshida, Masaki; Belluzzi, Luca; Stepan, Jiri; del Pino Alemná, Tanausú; Ballester, Ernest Alsina; Asensio Ramos, Andres


    We present the instrument, science case, and timeline of the CLASP2 sounding rocket mission. The successful CLASP (Chromospheric Lyman-Alpha Spectro-Polarimeter) sounding rocket flight in 2015 resulted in the first-ever linear polarization measurements of solar hydrogen Lyman-alpha line, which is sensitive to the Hanle effect and can be used to constrain the magnetic field and geometric complexity of the upper chromosphere. Ly-alpha is one of several upper chromospheric lines that contain magnetic information. In the spring of 2019, we will re-fly the modified CLASP telescope to measure the full Stokes profile of Mg II h & k near 280 nm. This set of lines is sensitive to the upper chromospheric magnetic field via both the Hanle and the Zeeman effects.

  13. The Hertz/VPM Polarimeter: Design and First Light Observations (United States)

    Krejny, Megan; Chuss, David; d'Aubigny, Christian Drouet; Golish, Dathon; Houde, Martin; Hui, Howard; Kulesa, Craig; Loewenstein, Robert F.; Moseley, Harvey; Novak, Giles; hide


    We present first results of Hertz/VPM, the first submillimeter polarimeter employing the dual Variable-delay Polarization Modulator (dual-VPM). This device differs from previously used polarization modulators in that it, operates in translation rather than mechanical rotation. We discuss the basic theory behind this device, and its potential advantages over the commonly used half wave plate (HFVP). The dual-VPM was tested both at the Submillimeter Telescope Observatory (SMTO) and in the lab. In each case we present a detailed description of the setup. We discovered nonideal behavior in the system. This is at least in part due to properties of the VPM wire grids (diameter, spacing) employed in our experiment. Despite this, we found that the dual-VPM system is robust, operating with high efficiency and low instrumental polarization. This device is well suited for air and space-borne applications.

  14. Astronomical Image and Data Analysis

    CERN Document Server

    Starck, J.-L


    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...

  15. The Primordial Inflation Explorer (PIXIE): A Nulling Polarimeter for Cosmic Microwave Background Observations (United States)

    Kogut, Alan J.; Fixsen, D. J.; Chuss, D. T.; Dotson, J.; Dwek, E.; Halpern, M.; Hinshaw, G. F.; Meyer, S. M.; Moseley, S. H.; Seiffert, M. D.; hide


    The Primordial Inflation Explorer (PIXIE) is a concept for an Explorer-class mission to measure the gravity-wave signature of primordial inflation through its distinctive imprint on the linear polarization of the cosmic microwave background. The instrument consists of a polarizing Michelson interferometer configured as a nulling polarimeter to measure the difference spectrum between orthogonal linear polarizations from two co-aligned beams. Either input can view the sky or a temperature-controlled absolute reference blackbody calibrator. Rhe proposed instrument can map the absolute intensity and linear polarization (Stokes I, Q, and U parameters) over the full sky in 400 spectral channels spanning 2.5 decades in frequency from 30 GHz to 6 THz (1 cm to 50 micron wavelength). Multi-moded optics provide background-limited sensitivity using only 4 detectors, while the highly symmetric design and multiple signal modulations provide robust rejection of potential systematic errors. The principal science goal is the detection and characterization of linear polarization from an inflationary epoch in the early universe, with tensor-to-scalar ratio r < 10..3 at 5 standard deviations. The rich PIXIE data set can also constrain physical processes ranging from Big Bang cosmology to the nature of the first stars to physical conditions within the interstellar medium of the Galaxy.

  16. Fast-type high-accuracy universal polarimeter using charge-coupled device spectrometer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Akifumi Takanabe


    Full Text Available A fast, high-accuracy universal polarimeter was developed using a charge-coupled device (CCD spectrometer (CCD-HAUP, to carry out simultaneous optical anisotropic (linear birefringence, LB; linear dichroism, LD and chiroptical (circular birefringence, CB; circular dichroism, CD measurements on single crystals without any pretreatment, in the visible region between 400–680 nm. The principle of the HAUP method is to measure the intensities of emergent light passing through a polarizer, a crystal sample, and then an analyzer, as the azimuth angles of the polarizer and analyzer are independently altered. The CCD-HAUP has the unique feature that white transmitted light intensity can be measured using a CCD spectrometer, compared with the generalized HAUP (G-HAUP system in which monochromatic transmitted light is measured using a photomultiplier. The CCD-HAUP measurements across the entire wavelength region are completed within the G-HAUP measurement time for a single wavelength. The CCD-HAUP drastically reduces the measurement time for a dataset to only 1.5 h, from the 24 h required for the G-HAUP system. LB, LD, CB, and CD measurements of single crystals of α-quartz and enantiomeric photomechanical salicylidenephenylethylamines before, during, and after ultraviolet light irradiation show results comparable to those obtained using the G-HAUP system. The newly developed system is very effective for samples susceptible to degradation induced by external stimuli, such as light and heat.

  17. Analysis of AGS polarimeter data at G gamma=7.5.

    CERN Document Server

    Huang, H; Spinka, H M; Underwood, D G


    Data were collected with the AGS internal polarimeter at G gamma = 7.5 during the recent FY02 polarized proton run. The addition of new forward scintillation counters permitted an absolute calibration of the polarimeter for both nylon and carbon targets. The results are summarized, and the polarization measured at G gamma = 7.5 is compared to that at 200 MeV.

  18. Combined neural network/Phillips-Tikhonov approach to aerosol retrievals over land from the NASA Research Scanning Polarimeter (United States)

    Di Noia, Antonio; Hasekamp, Otto P.; Wu, Lianghai; van Diedenhoven, Bastiaan; Cairns, Brian; Yorks, John E.


    In this paper, an algorithm for the retrieval of aerosol and land surface properties from airborne spectropolarimetric measurements - combining neural networks and an iterative scheme based on Phillips-Tikhonov regularization - is described. The algorithm - which is an extension of a scheme previously designed for ground-based retrievals - is applied to measurements from the Research Scanning Polarimeter (RSP) on board the NASA ER-2 aircraft. A neural network, trained on a large data set of synthetic measurements, is applied to perform aerosol retrievals from real RSP data, and the neural network retrievals are subsequently used as a first guess for the Phillips-Tikhonov retrieval. The resulting algorithm appears capable of accurately retrieving aerosol optical thickness, fine-mode effective radius and aerosol layer height from RSP data. Among the advantages of using a neural network as initial guess for an iterative algorithm are a decrease in processing time and an increase in the number of converging retrievals.

  19. Focus on astronomical predictable events

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jacobsen, Aase Roland


    At the Steno Museum Planetarium we have for many occasions used a countdown clock to get focus om astronomical events. A countdown clock can provide actuality to predictable events, for example The Venus Transit, Opportunity landing on Mars and The Solar Eclipse. The movement of the clock attracs...

  20. Orbit Modeller - Virtual Astronomical Laboratory (United States)

    Avdyushev, V. A.; Banshchikova, M. A.; Bordovitsyna, T. V.; Chuvashov, I. N.; Ryabova, G. O.


    We present a virtual astronomical laboratory project - "Orbit Modeller" (OM). This should be an interactive web-tool enabling one to simulate numerically the orbital motion of any celestial body within or beyond the solar system. Another function of OM is a repository of old observations and documents.

  1. Astronomical Spectroscopy A Short History

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Home; Journals; Resonance – Journal of Science Education; Volume 3; Issue 5. Astronomical Spectroscopy A Short History. J C Bhattacharyya. General Article Volume 3 Issue 5 May 1998 pp 24-29. Fulltext. Click here to view fulltext PDF. Permanent link: ...

  2. Preparing Colorful Astronomical Images III: Cosmetic Cleaning (United States)

    Frattare, L. M.; Levay, Z. G.


    We present cosmetic cleaning techniques for use with mainstream graphics software (Adobe Photoshop) to produce presentation-quality images and illustrations from astronomical data. These techniques have been used on numerous images from the Hubble Space Telescope when producing photographic, print and web-based products for news, education and public presentation as well as illustrations for technical publication. We expand on a previous paper to discuss the treatment of various detector-attributed artifacts such as cosmic rays, chip seams, gaps, optical ghosts, diffraction spikes and the like. While Photoshop is not intended for quantitative analysis of full dynamic range data (as are IRAF or IDL, for example), we have had much success applying Photoshop's numerous, versatile tools to final presentation images. Other pixel-to-pixel applications such as filter smoothing and global noise reduction will be discussed.

  3. Astronomical phenomena in Dresden codex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Böhm V.


    Full Text Available The relationship between Maya and our calendar is expressed by a coefficient known as ‘correlation’ which is a number of days that we have to add to the Mayan Long Count date to get Julian Date used in astronomy. There is surprisingly large uncertainty in the value of the correlation, yielding a shift between both calendars (and thus between the history of Maya and of our world to typically several hundred years. There are more than 50 diverse values of the correlation, some of them derived from historical, other by astronomical data. We test here (among others the well established Goodman-Martínez-Thompson correlation (GMT, based on historical data, and the Böhms’ one (B&B, based on astronomical data decoded from the Dresden Codex (DC; this correlation differs by about +104 years from the GMT. In our previous works we used several astronomical phenomena as recorded in the DC for a check. We clearly demonstrated that (i the GMT was not capable to predict these phenomena that really happened in nature and (ii that the GMT predicts them on the days when they did not occur. The phenomena used till now in the test are, however, short-periodic and the test then may suffer from ambiguity. Therefore, we add long-periodic astronomical phenomena, decoded successfully from the DC, to the testing. These are (i a synchrony of Venusian heliacal risings with the solar eclipses, (ii a synchrony of Venus and Mars conjunctions with the eclipses, (iii conjunctions of Jupiter and Saturn repeated in a rare way, and (iv a synchrony of synodic and sideric periods of Mercury with the tropical year. Based on our analysis, we find that the B&B correlation yields the best agreement with the astronomical phenomena observed by the Maya. Therefore we recommend to reject the GMT and support the B&B correlation.

  4. Latin American astronomers and the International Astronomical Union (United States)

    Torres-Peimbert, S.


    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

  5. Heavens Open Up for UK Astronomers (United States)


    A significant milestone for British and European science occurred today (July 8, 2002) when the Council of the European Southern Observatory (ESO) met in London. At this historical meeting, the United Kingdom was formally welcomed into ESO by the nine other member states. The UK, one of the leading nations in astronomical research, now joins one of the world's major astronomical organisations. UK astronomers will now be able to use the four 8.2-metre and several 1.8-metre telescopes that comprise the Very Large Telescope (VLT) facility located at the Paranal Observatory in the northern part of the Atacama desert in Chile, as well as two 4-m class telescopes and several smaller ones at the ESO La Silla Observatory further south. The UK will also benefit from increased involvement in the design and construction of the Atacama Large Millimetre Array (ALMA), a network of 64 twelve-metre telescopes also sited in Chile, and play a defining role in ESO's 100-metre Overwhelmingly Large Telescope (OWL). Sir Martin Rees , The Astronomer Royal, said, "Joining ESO is good for UK science, and I think good for Europe as well. It offers us access to the VLT's 8-m class telescopes and restores the UK's full competitiveness in optical astronomy. We're now guaranteed full involvement in ALMA and in the next generation of giant optical instruments - projects that will be at the forefront of the research in the next decade and beyond. Moreover, our commitment to ESO should enhance its chances of forging ahead of the US in these technically challenging and high profile scientific projects. UK membership of ESO is a significant and welcome outcome of this government's increasing investment in science". Prof. Ian Halliday , Chief Executive of the Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council (PPARC), the UK's strategic science investment agency said, "The United Kingdom already participates in Europe's flagship particle physics research and the space science research programmes through

  6. Engaging Students through Astronomically Inspired Music (United States)

    Whitehouse, M.


    This paper describes a lesson outline in which astronomically inspired musical compositions are used to teach astronomical concepts via an introductory activity, close listening, and critical/creative reflection.

  7. The astronomical tables of Giovanni Bianchini

    CERN Document Server

    Chabas, Jose


    This book describes and analyses, for the first time, the astronomical tables of Giovanni Bianchini of Ferrara (d. after 1469), explains their context, inserts them into an astronomical tradition that began in Toledo, and addresses their diffusion.

  8. World's fastest and most sensitive astronomical camera (United States)


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

  9. Representations of astronomers in literature. (United States)

    Haynes, R. D.

    The depiction of astronomers as characters in fiction during the last four centuries provides a useful historical indication of the changing popular perception of astronomy and its practitioners. It is apparent that lay attitudes to astronomy, even in any given period, are complex. On the one hand there is the continuing, innate attraction which the spectacle of the night sky has for people of all ages, the sense of wonder it generates and the preception of astronomy as a "pure" science, free from military and environmentally damaging spin-offs. But, on the other hand, astronomy poses particular and radical challenges to the humanist tradition and these have elicited from many writers not only expressions of anguish and confusion but, at times, a personal attack on the astronomers who were considered responsible for the unwelcome views.

  10. 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


    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.

  11. Euler: Genius Blind Astronomer Mathematician


    Musielak, Dora


    Leonhard Euler, the most prolific mathematician in history, contributed to advance a wide spectrum of topics in celestial mechanics. At the Saint Petersburg Observatory, Euler observed sunspots and tracked the movements of the Moon. Combining astronomical observations with his own mathematical genius, he determined the orbits of planets and comets. Euler laid the foundations of the methods of planetary perturbations and solved many of the Newtonian mechanics problems of the eighteenth century...

  12. Anaximandro : astronomía


    Alonso Bernal, Sonsoles


    Anaximander successfully speculated about the origin of the cosmos: an initial explosion which condensated fragments form the stars. He also worked as an empirical astronomer who observed with a helioscope the Sun’s gaseous surface and its protuberances. He observed Solar and Lunar expectrums of light, probably working with certain set of pinhole cameras that he could optimize with fitted mirrors. Anaximandro especuló acertadamente sobre el origen del cosmos: describe una explosión inicial...

  13. Random Numbers from Astronomical Imaging


    Pimbblet, Kevin A.; Bulmer, Michael


    This article describes a method to turn astronomical imaging into a random number generator by using the positions of incident cosmic rays and hot pixels to generate bit streams. We subject the resultant bit streams to a battery of standard benchmark statistical tests for randomness and show that these bit streams are statistically the same as a perfect random bit stream. Strategies for improving and building upon this method are outlined.

  14. Astronomical calibration of the Maastrichtian (Late Cretaceous)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Husson, Dorothée; Galbrun, Bruno; Laskar, Jacques


    Recent improvements to astronomical modeling of the Solar System have contributed to important refinements of the Cenozoic time scale through astronomical calibration of sedimentary series. We extend this astronomical calibration into the Cretaceous, on the base of the 405 ka orbital eccentricity...... of each magnetochron from C32r.2r to C29n are inferred by cycle counting. Astronomical calibrations of Maastrichtian sedimentary series are proposed, based on the 405 ka eccentricity variation according to the most recent astronomical solution La2010a. Two different ages are suggested for the K...

  15. Two-Season Atacama Cosmology Telescope Polarimeter Lensing Power Spectrum (United States)

    Shewin, Blake D.; van Engelen, Alexander; Sehgal, Neelima; Madhavacheril, Mathew; Addison, Graeme E.; Aiola, Simone; Allison, Rupert; Battaglia, Nicholas; Becker, Daniel T.; Beall, James A.; hide


    We report a measurement of the power spectrum of cosmic microwave background (CMB) lensing from two seasons of Atacama Cosmology Telescope polarimeter (ACTPol) CMB data. The CMB lensing power spectrum is extracted from both temperature and polarization data using quadratic estimators. We obtain results that are consistent with the expectation from the best-fit Planck CDM model over a range of multipoles L 80-2100, with an amplitude of lensing A(sub lens) = 1.06 +/- 0.15 stat +/- 0.06 sys relative to Planck. Our measurement of the CMB lensing power spectrum gives sigma 8 omega m(sup 0.25) = 0.643 +/- 0.054; including baryon acoustic oscillation scale data, we constrain the amplitude of density fluctuations to be sigma 8 = 0.831 +/- 0.053. We also update constraints on the neutrino mass sum. We verify our lensing measurement with a number of null tests and systematic checks, finding no evidence of significant systematic errors. This measurement relies on a small fraction of the ACTPol data already taken; more precise lensing results can therefore be expected from the full ACTPol data set.

  16. Hard x-ray imaging polarimeter for PolariS (United States)

    Hayashida, Kiyoshi; Kim, Juyong; Sadamoto, Masaaki; Yoshinaga, Keigo; Gunji, Shuichi; Mihara, Tatehiro; Kishimoto, Yuji; Kubo, Hidetoshi; Mizuno, Tsunefumi; Takahashi, Hiromitsu; Dotani, Tadayasu; Yonetoku, Daisuke; Nakamori, Takeshi; Yoneyama, Tomokage; Ikeyama, Yuki; Kamitsukasa, Fumiyoshi


    Hard X-ray imaging polarimeters are developed for the X-ray γ-ray polaeimtery satellite PolariS. The imaging polarimter is scattering type, in which anisotropy in the direction of Compton scattering is employed to measure the hard X-ray (10-80 keV) polarization, and is installed on the focal planes of hard X-ray telescopes. We have updated the design of the model so as to cover larger solid angles of scattering direction. We also examine the event selection algorithm to optimize the detection efficiency of recoiled electrons in plastic scintillators. We succeed in improving the efficiency by factor of about 3-4 from the previous algorithm and criteria for 18-30 keV incidence. For 23 keV X-ray incidence, the recoiled electron energy is about 1 keV. We measured the efficiency to detect recoiled electrons in this case, and found about half of the theoretical limit. The improvement in this efficiency directly leads to that in the detection efficiency. In other words, however, there is still a room for improvement. We examine various process in the detector, and estimate the major loss is primarily that of scintillation light in a plastic scintillator pillar with a very small cross section (2.68mm squared) and a long length (40mm). Nevertheless, the current model provides the MDP of 6% for 10mCrab sources, which are the targets of PolariS.

  17. The Calibration of the PEPPo Polarimeter for Electrons and Positrons

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Adeyemi, Adeleke Hakeem [Hampton University, Hampton, VA (United States); Voutier, Eric J-.M. [Laboratoire de Physique Subatomique et Cosmologie, Grenoble (France)


    The PEPPo (Polarized Electrons for Polarized Positrons) experiment at Jefferson Laboratory investigated the polarization transfer from longitudinally polarized electrons to longitudinally polarized positrons, with the aim of developing this technology for a low energy (~MeV) polarized positron source. Polarization of the positrons was measured by means of a Compton transmission polarimeter where incoming positrons transfer their polarization into circularly polarized photons that were subsequently analyzed by a thick polarized iron target. The measurement of the transmitted photon flux with respect to the orientation of the target polarization (+-) or the helicity (+-) of the incoming leptons provided the measurement of their polarization. Similar measurements with a known electron beam were also performed for calibration purposes. This presentation will describe the apparatus and calibrations performed at the injector at the Jefferson Laboratory to measure positron polarization in the momentum range 3.2-6.2 MeV/c, specifically to quantify the positron analyzing power from electron experimental data measured over a comparable momentum range.

  18. A circular polarimeter for the Cosmic Microwave Background

    CERN Document Server

    Giovannini, Massimo


    A primordial degree of circular polarization of the Cosmic Microwave Background is not observationally excluded. The hypothesis of primordial dichroism can be quantitatively falsified if the plasma is magnetized prior to photon decoupling since the initial V-mode polarization affects the evolution of the temperature fluctuations as well as the equations for the linear polarization. The observed values of the temperature and polarization angular power spectra are used to infer constraints on the amplitude and on the spectral slope of the primordial V-mode. Prior to photon decoupling magnetic fields play the role of polarimeters insofar as they unveil the circular dichroism by coupling the V-mode power spectrum to the remaining brightness perturbations. Conversely, for angular scales ranging between 4 deg and 10 deg the joined bounds on the magnitude of circular polarization and on the magnetic field intensity suggest that direct limits on the V-mode power spectrum in the range of 0.01 mK could directly rule ou...

  19. Progress in Airborne Polarimeter Inter Comparison for the NASA Aerosols-Clouds-Ecosystems (ACE) Mission (United States)

    Knobelspiesse, Kirk; Redemann, Jens


    The Aerosols-Clouds-Ecosystems (ACE) mission, recommended by the National Research Council's Decadal Survey, calls for a multi-angle, multi-spectral polarimeter devoted to observations of atmospheric aerosols and clouds. In preparation for ACE, NASA funds the deployment of airborne polarimeters, including the Airborne Multiangle SpectroPolarimeter Imager (AirMSPI), the Passive Aerosol and Cloud Suite (PACS) and the Research Scanning Polarimeter (RSP). These instruments have been operated together on NASA's ER-2 high altitude aircraft as part of field campaigns such as the POlarimeter DEfinition EXperiment (PODEX) (California, early 2013) and Studies of Emissions and Atmospheric Composition, Clouds and Climate Coupling by Regional Surveys (SEAC4RS, California and Texas, summer 2013). Our role in these efforts has been to serve as an assessment team performing level 1 (calibrated radiance, polarization) and level 2 (retrieved geophysical parameter) instrument intercomparisons, and to promote unified and generalized calibration, uncertainty assessment and retrieval techniques. We will present our progress in this endeavor thus far and describe upcoming research in 2015.

  20. Airborne Polarimeter Intercomparison for the NASA Aerosols-Clouds-Ecosystems (ACE) Mission (United States)

    Knobelspiesse, Kirk; Redemann, Jens


    The Aerosols-Clouds-Ecosystems (ACE) mission, recommended by the National Research Council's Decadal Survey, calls for a multi-angle, multi-spectral polarimeter devoted to observations of atmospheric aerosols and clouds. In preparation for ACE, NASA funds the deployment of airborne polarimeters, including the Airborne Multi-angle SpectroPolarimeter Imager (AirMSPI), the Passive Aerosol and Cloud Suite (PACS) and the Research Scanning Polarimeter (RSP). These instruments have been operated together on NASA's ER-2 high altitude aircraft as part of field campaigns such as the POlarimeter DEfinition EXperiment (PODEX) (California, early 2013) and Studies of Emissions and Atmospheric Composition, Clouds and Climate Coupling by Regional Surveys (SEAC4RS, California and Texas, summer 2013). Our role in these efforts has been to serve as an assessment team performing level 1 (calibrated radiance, polarization) and level 2 (retrieved geophysical parameter) instrument intercomparisons, and to promote unified and generalized calibration, uncertainty assessment and retrieval techniques. We will present our progress in this endeavor thus far and describe upcoming research in 2015.

  1. ING Papers for SPIE's Astronomical Telescopes & Instrumentation Conference (United States)

    Talbot, G.


    Isaac Newton Group staff from both the astronomy and engineering groups had several papers accepted by SPIE (The International Society for Optical Engineering) for their conference 'Astronomical Telescopes and Instrumentation - The Industrial Revolution in Astronomy' held from 21 to 25 June 2004, at the Scottish Exhibition and Convention Centre in Glasgow. The range of topics reflected the range of development interests at ING, many of the papers being about various aspects of adaptive optics. The full list of papers featuring ING staff is below, all but one of them having ING staff as principal author. At the conference Chris Benn and Simon Tulloch gave oral presentations, while the remaining papers were poster presentations.

  2. Remote Sensing of Cloud Top Heights Using the Research Scanning Polarimeter (United States)

    Sinclair, Kenneth; van Diedenhoven, Bastiaan; Cairns, Brian; Yorks, John; Wasilewski, Andrzej


    Clouds cover roughly two thirds of the globe and act as an important regulator of Earth's radiation budget. Of these, multilayered clouds occur about half of the time and are predominantly two-layered. Changes in cloud top height (CTH) have been predicted by models to have a globally averaged positive feedback, however observational changes in CTH have shown uncertain results. Additional CTH observations are necessary to better and quantify the effect. Improved CTH observations will also allow for improved sub-grid parameterizations in large-scale models and accurate CTH information is important when studying variations in freezing point and cloud microphysics. NASA's airborne Research Scanning Polarimeter (RSP) is able to measure cloud top height using a novel multi-angular contrast approach. RSP scans along the aircraft track and obtains measurements at 152 viewing angles at any aircraft location. The approach presented here aggregates measurements from multiple scans to a single location at cloud altitude using a correlation function designed to identify the location-distinct features in each scan. During NASAs SEAC4RS air campaign, the RSP was mounted on the ER-2 aircraft along with the Cloud Physics Lidar (CPL), which made simultaneous measurements of CTH. The RSPs unique method of determining CTH is presented. The capabilities of using single and combinations of channels within the approach are investigated. A detailed comparison of RSP retrieved CTHs with those of CPL reveal the accuracy of the approach. Results indicate a strong ability for the RSP to accurately identify cloud heights. Interestingly, the analysis reveals an ability for the approach to identify multiple cloud layers in a single scene and estimate the CTH of each layer. Capabilities and limitations of identifying single and multiple cloud layers heights are explored. Special focus is given to sources of error in the method including optically thin clouds, physically thick clouds, multi

  3. Astronomical database and VO-tools of Nikolaev Astronomical Observatory (United States)

    Mazhaev, A. E.; Protsyuk, Yu. I.


    Results of work in 2006-2009 on creation of astronomical databases aiming at development of Nikolaev Virtual Observatory (NVO) are presented in this abstract. Results of observations and theirreduction, which were obtained during the whole history of Nikolaev Astronomical Observatory (NAO), are included in the databases. The databases may be considered as a basis for construction of a data centre. Images of different regions of the celestial sphere have been stored in NAO since 1929. About 8000 photo plates were obtained during observations in the 20th century. Observations with CCD have been started since 1996. Annually, telescopes of NAO, using CCD cameras, create data volume of several tens of gigabytes (GB) in the form of CCD images and up to 100 GB of video records. At the end of 2008, the volume of accumulated data in the form of CCD images was about 300 GB. Problems of data volume growth are common in astronomy, nuclear physics and bioinformatics. Therefore, the astronomical community needs to use archives, databases and distributed grid computing to cope with this problem in astronomy. The International Virtual Observatory Alliance (IVOA) was formed in June 2002 with a mission to "enable the international utilization of astronomical archives..." The NVO was created at the NAO website in 2008, and consists of three main parts. The first part contains 27 astrometric stellar catalogues with short descriptions. The files of catalogues were compiled in the standard VOTable format using eXtensible Markup Language (XML), and they are available for downloading. This is an example of the so-called science-ready product. The VOTable format was developed by the International Virtual Observatory Alliance (IVOA) for exchange of tabular data. A user may download these catalogues and open them using any standalone application that supports standards of the IVOA. There are several directions of development for such applications, for example, search of catalogues and images

  4. Accuracy enhancement of dual rotating mueller matrix imaging polarimeter by diattenuation and retardance error calibration approach (United States)

    Bhattacharyya, Kaustav; Serrano-García, David Ignacio; Otani, Yukitoshi


    We present a new calibration method to minimize the errors due to non-ideal retarders of a dual rotating Mueller matrix polarimeter. To increase the accuracy of the dual rotating retarder polarimeter, it is necessary to compensate the errors caused by the inaccuracy of retarders. Although calibration method for retardance already exists, limitations on the accuracy have been obtained by considering only the retardance errors. In the proposed model we added the calibration of diattenuation error of the retarder along with retardance error on the standard model. An enhancement in the accuracy of the system is obtained. The proposed model is described with equations and supporting experimental results are presented.

  5. Astronomical measurement a concise guide

    CERN Document Server

    Lawrence, Andy


    This book on astronomical measurement takes a fresh approach to teaching the subject. After discussing some general principles, it follows the chain of measurement through atmosphere, imaging, detection, spectroscopy, timing, and hypothesis testing. The various wavelength regimes are covered in each section, emphasising what is the same, and what is different. The author concentrates on the physics of detection and the principles of measurement, aiming to make this logically coherent. The book is based on a short self contained lecture course for advanced undergraduate students developed and taught by the author over several years.

  6. Explanatory supplement to the astronomical almanac

    CERN Document Server

    Urban, Sean E


    The Explanatory Supplement to the Astronomical Almanac offers explanatory material, supplemental information and detailed descriptions of the computational models and algorithms used to produce The Astronomical Almanac, which is an annual publication prepared jointly by the US Naval Observatory and Her Majesty's Nautical Almanac Office in the UK. Like The Astronomical Almanac, The Explanatory Supplement provides detailed coverage of modern positional astronomy. Chapters are devoted to the celestial and terrestrial reference frames, orbital ephemerides, precession, nutation, Earth rotation, and coordinate transformations. These topics have undergone substantial revisions since the last edition was published. Astronomical positions are intertwined with timescales and relativity in The Astronomical Almanac, so related chapters are provided in The Explanatory Supplement. The Astronomical Almanac also includes information on lunar and solar eclipses, physical ephemerides of solar system bodies, and calendars, so T...

  7. LGBT Workplace Issues for Astronomers (United States)

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


    Federal Equal Employment Opportunity laws and regulations do not provide protection from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity or gender expression. Sexual minority astronomers (including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people; LGBT) can face additional challenges at school and work. Studies show that LGBT students on many campuses report experiences of harassment. Cities, counties, and states may or may not have statutes to protect against such discrimination. There is wide variation in how states and insurance plans handle legal and medical issues for transgender people. Federal law does not acknowledge same-sex partners, including those legally married in the U.S. or in other countries. Immigration rules in the U.S. (and many other, but not all) countries do not recognize same-sex partners for visas, employment, etc. State `defense of marriage act' laws have been used to remove existing domestic partner benefits at some institutions, or benefits can disappear with a change in governor. LGBT astronomers who change schools, institutions, or countries during their career may experience significant differences in their legal, medical, and marital status.

  8. Astronomical Signatures of Dark Matter

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul Gorenstein


    Full Text Available Several independent astronomical observations in different wavelength bands reveal the existence of much larger quantities of matter than what we would deduce from assuming a solar mass to light ratio. They are very high velocities of individual galaxies within clusters of galaxies, higher than expected rotation rates of stars in the outer regions of galaxies, 21 cm line studies indicative of increasing mass to light ratios with radius in the halos of spiral galaxies, hot gaseous X-ray emitting halos around many elliptical galaxies, and clusters of galaxies requiring a much larger component of unseen mass for the hot gas to be bound. The level of gravitational attraction needed for the spatial distribution of galaxies to evolve from the small perturbations implied by the very slightly anisotropic cosmic microwave background radiation to its current web-like configuration requires much more mass than is observed across the entire electromagnetic spectrum. Distorted shapes of galaxies and other features created by gravitational lensing in the images of many astronomical objects require an amount of dark matter consistent with other estimates. The unambiguous detection of dark matter and more recently evidence for dark energy has positioned astronomy at the frontier of fundamental physics as it was in the 17th century.

  9. Storing Astronomical Information on the Romanian Territory (United States)

    Stavinschi, M.; Mioc, V.


    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.

  10. Astronomical Symbolism in Australian Aboriginal Rock Art

    CERN Document Server

    Norris, Ray P


    Traditional Aboriginal Australian cultures include a significant astronomical component, perpetuated through oral tradition and ceremony. This knowledge has practical navigational and calendrical functions, and sometimes extends to a deep understanding of the motion of objects in the sky. Here we explore whether this astronomical tradition is reflected in the rock art of Aboriginal Australians. We find several plausible examples of depictions of astronomical figures and symbols, and also evidence that astronomical observations were used to set out stone arrangements. However, we recognise that the case is not yet strong enough to make an unequivocal statement, and describe our plans for further research.

  11. Unveiling galaxies the role of images in astronomical discovery

    CERN Document Server

    Roy, Jean-René


    Galaxies are known as the building blocks of the universe, but arriving at this understanding has been a thousand-year odyssey. This journey is told through the lens of the evolving use of images as investigative tools. Initial chapters explore how early insights developed in line with new methods of scientific imaging, particularly photography. The volume then explores the impact of optical, radio and x-ray imaging techniques. The final part of the story discusses the importance of atlases of galaxies; how astronomers organised images in ways that educated, promoted ideas and pushed for new knowledge. Images that created confusion as well as advanced knowledge are included to demonstrate the challenges faced by astronomers and the long road to understanding galaxies. By examining developments in imaging, this text places the study of galaxies in its broader historical context, contributing to both astronomy and the history of science.

  12. The HERA polarimeter and the first observation of electron spin polarization at HERA

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Barber, D.P.; Bremer, H.D.; Boege, M.; Brinkmann, R.; Gianfelice-Wendt, E.; Kaiser, H.; Klanner, R.; Lewin, H.C.; Meyners, N.; Vogel, W. [Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron (DESY), Hamburg (Germany); Brueckner, W.; Buescher, C.; Dueren, M.; Gaul, H.G.; Muecklich, A.; Neunreither, F.; Rith, K.; Scholz, C.; Steffens, E.; Veltri, M.; Wander, W.; Zapfe, K.; Zetsche, F. [Max-Planck-Institut fuer Kernphysik, Heidelberg (Germany); Chapman, M.; Milner, R. [Massachusetts Inst. of Tech., Boston, MA (United States); Coulter, K. [Argonne National Lab., IL (United States); Delheij, P.P.J.; Haeusser, O.; Henderson, R.; Levy, P.; Vetterli, M. [British Columbia Univ., Vancouver (Canada). TRIUMF Facility; Green, P.E.W.; Kitching, P. [Alberta Univ., Edmonton (Canada)]|[Simon Fraser Univ., Burnaby, British Columbia (Canada); Gressmann, H.; Janke, T.; Micheel, B.; Westphal, D. [Hamburg Univ. (Germany); Kaiser, R. [Muenster Univ. (Germany). Inst. fuer Kernphysik; Lomperski, M. [Wisconsin Univ., Madison, WI (United States). Dept. of Physics; Lorenson, W.; McKeown, R.D. [California Inst. of Tech., Pasadena, CA (United States); Losev, L. [Lebedev Physical Inst., Moscow (Russia); Nowak, W.D. [Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron (DESY), Zeuthen (Germany). Inst. fuer Hochenergiephysik; Patel, P.M. [McGill Univ., Montreal, Quebec (Canada)


    Electron spin polarizations of about 8% were observed at HERA in November 1991. In runs during 1992 utilizing special orbit corrections, polarization values close to 60% have been achieved. In this paper the polarimeter, the machine conditions, the data analysis, the first results and plans for future measurements are described. (orig.).

  13. A proton polarimeter for {sup 3}He(d,p){sup 4}He polarization transfer studies

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fletcher, K.A. E-mail:; Geist, W.H.; Brune, C.R.; Fisher, B.M.; Fitzgerald, R.P.; Karwowski, H.J.; Kruse, D.E.; Leonard, D.S.; Ludwig, E.J.; Runkle, R.C.; Veal, K.D.; Wood, M.H


    A compact polarimeter has been constructed and calibrated to measure the polarization of 13-16 MeV protons, such as those emitted from the {sup 3}He(d,p){sup 4}He reaction near the E{sub d}=430 keV resonance. The polarimeter uses p-{sup 4}He elastic scattering as an analyzer. It consists of a {sup 4}He gas cell pressurized to 2.76 MPa and a left-right pair of CsI detectors collimated at 65 deg. to maximize the figure of merit for the device. The effective analyzing power and efficiency of the polarimeter have been measured as a function of energy using a collimated polarized proton beam. These measured values are in good agreement with a Monte Carlo computer simulation that forms the basis for the calibration curve for the device. Preliminary results from the {sup 3}He(d,p){sup 4}He reaction with polarized deuterons confirm that the proton polarimeter can be used to determine polarization transfer coefficients near the low-energy resonance.

  14. The GEMS X-Ray Polarimeter: Instrument Concept and Calibration Requirements (United States)

    Jahoda, Keith


    The instrument and detector concepts for the Gravity and Extreme Magnetism Small Explorer (GEMS) X-ray polarimetry mission will be presente d. The calibration requirements for astrophysical X-ray polarimeters in general and GEMS in particular will be discussed.

  15. Exploring a possible origin of a 14 deg y-normal spin tilt at RHIC polarimeter

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Meot, F. [Brookhaven National Lab. (BNL), Upton, NY (United States); Huang, H. [Brookhaven National Lab. (BNL), Upton, NY (United States)


    A possible origin of a 14 deg y-normal spin n0 tilt at the polarimeter is in snake angle defects. This possible cause is investigated by scanning the snake axis angle µ, and the spin rotation angle at the snake, φ, in the vicinity of their nominal values.

  16. Asteroids astronomical and geological bodies

    CERN Document Server

    Burbine, Thomas H


    Asteroid science is a fundamental topic in planetary science and is key to furthering our understanding of planetary formation and the evolution of the Solar System. Ground-based observations and missions have provided a wealth of new data in recent years, and forthcoming missions promise further exciting results. This accessible book presents a comprehensive introduction to asteroid science, summarising the astronomical and geological characteristics of asteroids. The interdisciplinary nature of asteroid science is reflected in the broad range of topics covered, including asteroid and meteorite classification, chemical and physical properties of asteroids, observational techniques, cratering, and the discovery of asteroids and how they are named. Other chapters discuss past, present and future space missions and the threat that these bodies pose for Earth. Based on an upper-level course on asteroids and meteorites taught by the author, this book is ideal for students, researchers and professional scientists ...

  17. Christopher Clavius astronomer and mathematician

    CERN Document Server

    Sigismondi, Costantino


    The Jesuit scientist Christopher Clavius (1538-1612) has been the most influential teacher of the renaissance. His contributions to algebra, geometry, astronomy and cartography are enormous. He paved the way, with his texts and his teaching for 40 years in the the Collegio Romano, to the development of these sciences and their fruitful spread all around the World, along the commercial paths of Portugal, which become also the missionary paths for the Jesuits. The books of Clavius were translated into Chinese, by one of his students Matteo Ricci "Li Madou" (1562-1610), and his influence for the development of science in China was crucial. The Jesuits become skilled astronomers, cartographers and mathematicians thanks to the example and the impulse given by Clavius. This success was possible also thanks to the contribution of Clavius in the definition of the Ratio Studiorum, the program of studies, in the Jesuit colleges, so influential for the whole history of modern Europe and all western World.

  18. Ancient Astronomical Monuments of Athens (United States)

    Theodossiou, E.; Manimanis, V. N.


    In this work, four ancient monuments of astronomical significance found in Athens and still kept in the same city in good condition are presented. The first one is the conical sundial on the southern slope of the Acropolis. The second one is the Tower of the Winds and its vertical sundials in the Roman Forum of Athens, a small octagonal marble tower with sundials on all 8 of its sides, plus a water-clock inside the tower. The third monument-instrument is the ancient clepsydra of Athens, one of the findings from the Ancient Agora of Athens, a unique water-clock dated from 400 B.C. Finally, the fourth one is the carved ancient Athenian calendar over the main entrance of the small Byzantine temple of the 8th Century, St. Eleftherios, located to the south of the temple of the Annunciation of Virgin Mary, the modern Cathedral of the city of Athens.

  19. An astronomical observatory for Peru (United States)

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


    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.

  20. Astronomical Data in Undergraduate courses (United States)

    Clarkson, William I.; Swift, Carrie; Hughes, Kelli; Burke, Christopher J. F.; Burgess, Colin C.; Elrod, Aunna V.; Howard, Brittany; Stahl, Lucas; Matzke, David; Bord, Donald J.


    We present status and plans for our ongoing efforts to develop data analysis and problem-solving skills through Undergraduate Astronomy instruction. While our initiatives were developed with UM-Dearborn’s student body primarily in mind, they should be applicable for a wide range of institution and of student demographics. We focus here on two strands of our effort.Firstly, students in our Introductory Astronomy (ASTR 130) general-education course now perform several “Data Investigations”, in which they interrogate the Hubble Legacy Archive to illustrate important course concepts. This was motivated in part by the realization that typical public data archives now include tools to interrogate the observations that are sufficiently accessible that introductory astronomy students can use them to perform real science, albeit mostly at a descriptive level. We are continuing to refine these investigations, and, most importantly, to critically assess their effectiveness in terms of the student learning outcomes we wish to achieve. This work is supported by grant HST-EO-13758, provided by NASA through a grant from the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under NASA contract NAS 5-26555.Secondly, at the advanced-undergraduate level, students taking courses in our Astronomy minor are encouraged to gain early experience in techniques of astronomical observation and analysis that are used by professionals. We present two example projects from the Fall 2015 iteration of our upper-division course ASTR330 (The Cosmic Distance Ladder), one involving Solar System measurements, the second producing calibrated aperture photometry. For both projects students conducted, analysed, and interpreted observations using our 0.4m campus telescope, and used many of the same analysis tools as professional astronomers. This work is supported partly from a Research Initiation and Seed grant from the

  1. Planetary imaging with amateur astronomical instruments (United States)

    Papathanasopoulos, k.; Giannaris, G.


    Planetary imaging can be varied by the types and size of instruments and processing. With basic amateur telescopes and software, can be captured images of our planetary system, mainly Jupiter, Saturn and Mars, but also solar eclipses, solar flares, and many more. Planetary photos can be useful for professional astronomers, and how amateur astronomers can play a role on that field.

  2. Profile fitting in crowded astronomical images (United States)

    Manish, Raja

    Around 18,000 known objects currently populate the near Earth space. These constitute active space assets as well as space debris objects. The tracking and cataloging of such objects relies on observations, most of which are ground based. Also, because of the great distance to the objects, only non-resolved object images can be obtained from the observations. Optical systems consist of telescope optics and a detector. Nowadays, usually CCD detectors are used. The information that is sought to be extracted from the frames are the individual object's astrometric position. In order to do so, the center of the object's image on the CCD frame has to be found. However, the observation frames that are read out of the detector are subject to noise. There are three different sources of noise: celestial background sources, the object signal itself and the sensor noise. The noise statistics are usually modeled as Gaussian or Poisson distributed or their combined distribution. In order to achieve a near real time processing, computationally fast and reliable methods for the so-called centroiding are desired; analytical methods are preferred over numerical ones of comparable accuracy. In this work, an analytic method for the centroiding is investigated and compared to numerical methods. Though the work focuses mainly on astronomical images, same principle could be applied on non-celestial images containing similar data. The method is based on minimizing weighted least squared (LS) error between observed data and the theoretical model of point sources in a novel yet simple way. Synthetic image frames have been simulated. The newly developed method is tested in both crowded and non-crowded fields where former needs additional image handling procedures to separate closely packed objects. Subsequent analysis on real celestial images corroborate the effectiveness of the approach.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Snik, F.


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


    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ribeiro, V. A. R. M. [Astrophysics, Cosmology and Gravity Centre, Department of Astronomy, University of Cape Town, Private Bag X3, Rondebosch 7701 (South Africa); Russo, P. [EU Universe Awareness, Leiden Observatory, Leiden University, PO 9513 Leiden, 2300 RA (Netherlands); Cárdenas-Avendaño, A., E-mail:, E-mail: [Departamento de Física, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Carrera 45 No 26-85, Edificio Gutierréz, Bogotá, DC (Colombia)


    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.

  5. Automatic astronomical coordinate determination using digital zenith cameras

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S Farzaneh


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

  6. Optics

    CERN Document Server

    Mathieu, Jean Paul


    Optics, Parts 1 and 2 covers electromagnetic optics and quantum optics. The first part of the book examines the various of the important properties common to all electromagnetic radiation. This part also studies electromagnetic waves; electromagnetic optics of transparent isotropic and anisotropic media; diffraction; and two-wave and multi-wave interference. The polarization states of light, the velocity of light, and the special theory of relativity are also examined in this part. The second part is devoted to quantum optics, specifically discussing the classical molecular theory of optical p

  7. Astronomers Discover Six-Image Gravitational Lens (United States)


    An international team of astronomers has used the National Science Foundation's Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA) radio telescope and NASA's Hubble Space Telescope (HST) to discover the first gravitational lens in which the single image of a very distant galaxy has been split into six different images. The unique configuration is produced by the gravitational effect of three galaxies along the line of sight between the more-distant galaxy and Earth. Optical and Radio Images of Gravitational Lens "This is the first gravitational lens with more than four images of the background object that is produced by a small group of galaxies rather than a large cluster of galaxies," said David Rusin, who just received his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. "Such systems are expected to be extremely rare, so this discovery is an important stepping stone. Because this is an intermediate case between gravitational lenses produced by single galaxies and lenses produced by large clusters of galaxies, it will give us insights we can't get from other types of lenses," Rusin added. The gravitational lens, called CLASS B1359+154, consists of a galaxy more than 11 billion light-years away in the constellation Bootes, with a trio of galaxies more than 7 billion light-years away along the same line of sight. The more-distant galaxy shows signs that it contains a massive black hole at its core and also has regions in which new stars are forming. The gravitational effect of the intervening galaxies has caused the light and radio waves from the single, more-distant galaxy to be "bent" to form six images as seen from Earth. Four of these images appear outside the triangle formed by the three intermediate galaxies and two appear inside that triangle. "This lens system is a very interesting case to study because it is more complicated than lenses produced by single galaxies, and yet simpler than lenses produced by clusters of numerous galaxies," said Chris Kochanek of the Harvard

  8. Astronomical background of global huge earthquakes (United States)

    Hu, Hui; Han, Yan-Ben


    This paper analyzes the astronomical background of the global huge earthquakes with M≥8.5. The result shows that most of the earthquakes has occurred in the seismic belts (regions) where is being corresponding seismic active period with the lunar path, solar active falling period and accelerating period of earth rotation. This is as for the variation of long period of astronomical factors. For the variation of short period of astronomical factors, whether for local time or local sidereal time and lunar phase there is the phenomenon of occurrence of concentrating a interval time for the earthquakes. For the short variation of earth rotation this phenomenon is clear; either the earthquakes occur in most fast or in lowest of earth rotation. The above-mentioned results indicate that the eartquakes occurrence is affected by astronomical factors. The astronomical factors are one of motive force causing earthquake from external world. The astronomical factors with long period may act as modulation for the earthquake-pregnant process. And the astronomical factors with short period will causing huge fluctuations of the system and earthquake occur when it act on seismic structure of away from balance state.

  9. First Flight of the Gamma-Ray Imager Polarimeter for Solar Flares (GRIPS) Instrument (United States)

    Duncan, Nicole; Saint-Hilaire, P.; Shih, A. Y.; Hurford, G. J.; Bain, H. M.; Amman, M.; Mochizuki, A. B.; Hoberman, J.; Olson, J.; Maruca, B. A.; hide


    The Gamma-Ray Imager/Polarimeter for Solar ares (GRIPS) instrument is a balloon-borne telescope designed to study solar-flare particle acceleration and transport. We describe GRIPS's first Antarctic long-duration flight in January 2016 and report preliminary calibration and science results. Electron and ion dynamics, particle abundances and the ambient plasma conditions in solar flares can be understood by examining hard X-ray (HXR) and gamma-ray emission (20 keV to 10 MeV). Enhanced imaging, spectroscopy and polarimetry of flare emissions in this energy range are needed to study particle acceleration and transport questions. The GRIPS instrument is specifically designed to answer questions including: What causes the spatial separation between energetic electrons producing hard X-rays and energetic ions producing gamma-ray lines? How anisotropic are the relativistic electrons, and why can they dominate in the corona? How do the compositions of accelerated and ambient material vary with space and time, and why? GRIPS's key technological improvements over the current solar state of the art at HXR/gamma-ray energies, the Reuven Ramaty High Energy Solar Spectroscopic Imager (RHESSI), include 3D position-sensitive germanium detectors (3D-GeDs) and a single-grid modulation collimator, the multi-pitch rotating modulator (MPRM). The 3D-GeDs have spectral FWHM resolution of a few hundred keV and spatial resolution less than 1cu mm. For photons that Compton scatter, usually greater or equal to 150 keV, the energy deposition sites can be tracked, providing polarization measurements as well as enhanced background reduction through Compton imaging. Each of GRIPS's detectors has 298 electrode strips read out with ASIC/FPGA electronics. In GRIPS's energy range, indirect imaging methods provide higher resolution than focusing optics or Compton imaging techniques. The MPRM grid-imaging system has a single-grid design which provides twice the throughput of a bi-grid imaging system

  10. Multichannel spin polarimeter for energy- and angle-dispersive photoemission measurements; Vielkanal-Spinpolarimeter fuer energie- und winkeldispersive Photoemissionsmessungen

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kolbe, Michaela


    Spin polarization measurements of free electrons remain challenging since their first realization by Mott. The relevant quantity of a spin polarimeter is its figure of merit, FoM=S{sup 2}I/I{sub 0}, with the asymmetry function S and the ratio between scattered and primary intensity I/I{sub 0}. State-of-the-art devices are based on single-channel scattering (spin-orbit or exchange interaction) which is characterized by FoM {approx_equal}10{sup -4}. On the other hand, modern hemispherical analyzers feature an efficient multichannel detection of spin-integral intensity with more than 10{sup 4} data points simultaneously. In comparison between spin-resolved and spin-integral electron spectroscopy we are thus faced with a difference in counting efficiency by 8 orders of magnitude. The present work concentrates on the development and investigation of a novel technique for increasing the efficiency in spin-resolved electron spectroscopy by multichannel detection. The spin detector was integrated in a {mu}-metal shielded UHV-chamber and mounted behind a conventional hemispherical analyzer. The electrostatic lens system's geometry was determined by electron-optical simulations. The basic concept is the k {sub parallel} -conserving elastic scattering of the (0,0)-beam on a W(100) scattering crystal under 45 impact angle. It could be demonstrated that app. 960 data points (15 energy and 64 angular points) could be displayed simultaneously on a delayline detector in an energy interval of {approx_equal}3 eV. This leads to a two-dimensional figure of merit of FoM{sub 2D}=1.7. Compared to conventional spin detectors, the new type is thus characterized by a gain in efficiency of 4 orders of magnitude. The operational reliability of the new spin polarimeter could be proven by measurements with a Fe/MgO(100) and O p(1 x 1)/Fe(100)-sample, where results from the literature were reproduced with strongly decreased measuring time. Due to the high intensity it becomes possible, to

  11. Astronomical Knowledge in Holy Books (United States)

    Farmanyan, Sona V.; Mickaelian, Areg M.


    We investigate religious myths related to astronomy from different cultures in an attempt to identify common subjects and characteristics. The paper focuses on astronomy in religion. The initial review covers records from Holy books about sky related superstitious beliefs and cosmological understanding. The purpose of this study is to introduce sky related religious and national traditions (particularly based on different calendars; Solar or Lunar). We carried out a comparative study of astronomical issues contained in a number of Holy books: Ancient Egyptian Religion (Pyramid Texts), Zoroastrianism (Avesta), Hinduism (Vedas), Buddhism (Tipitaka), Confucianism (Five Classics), Sikhism (Guru Granth Sahib), Christianity (Bible), Islam (Quran), Druidism (Mabinogion) and Maya Religion (Popol Vuh). These books include various information on the creation of the Universe, Sun and Moon, the age of the Universe, Cosmic sizes, understanding about the planets, stars, Milky Way and description of the Heavens in different religions. We come to the conclusion that the perception of celestial objects varies from culture to culture, and from religion to religion and preastronomical views had a significant impact on humankind, particularly on religious diversities. We prove that Astronomy is the basis of cultures, and that national identity and mythology and religion were formed due to the special understanding of celestial objects.

  12. Astronomical problems an introductory course in astronomy

    CERN Document Server

    Vorontsov-Vel'Yaminov, B A


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

  13. Optics

    CERN Document Server

    Fincham, W H A


    Optics: Ninth Edition Optics: Ninth Edition covers the work necessary for the specialization in such subjects as ophthalmic optics, optical instruments and lens design. The text includes topics such as the propagation and behavior of light; reflection and refraction - their laws and how different media affect them; lenses - thick and thin, cylindrical and subcylindrical; photometry; dispersion and color; interference; and polarization. Also included are topics such as diffraction and holography; the limitation of beams in optical systems and its effects; and lens systems. The book is recommen

  14. Longwave Imaging for Astronomical Applications Project (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — We propose to develop a compact portable longwave camera for astronomical applications. In Phase 1, we will develop and deliver the focal plane array (FPA) - a...

  15. Longwave Imaging for Astronomical Applications Project (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — We propose to develop a compact portable longwave camera for astronomical applications. In Phase 1, we successfully developed the eye of the camera, i.e. the focal...

  16. Astronomers no longer in the dark

    CERN Multimedia

    MacMillan, L


    In a significant breakthrough, British and US astronomers have begun to pin down the most elusive material in the universe. They have made a map of dark matter - the heavy, invisible stuff that gives the galaxies their shape (1 page).

  17. Astronomers find distant planet like Jupiter

    CERN Multimedia


    Astronomers searching for planetary systems like our solar system have found a planet similar to Jupiter orbiting a nearby star similar to our Sun, about 90 light-years from Earth, according to researchers (1/2 page).

  18. Astronomers Unveiling Life's Cosmic Origins (United States)


    Processes that laid the foundation for life on Earth -- star and planet formation and the production of complex organic molecules in interstellar space -- are yielding their secrets to astronomers armed with powerful new research tools, and even better tools soon will be available. Astronomers described three important developments at a symposium on the "Cosmic Cradle of Life" at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Chicago, IL. Chemistry Cycle The Cosmic Chemistry Cycle CREDIT: Bill Saxton, NRAO/AUI/NSF Full Size Image Files Chemical Cycle Graphic (above image, JPEG, 129K) Graphic With Text Blocks (JPEG, 165K) High-Res TIFF (44.2M) High-Res TIFF With Text Blocks (44.2M) In one development, a team of astrochemists released a major new resource for seeking complex interstellar molecules that are the precursors to life. The chemical data released by Anthony Remijan of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) and his university colleagues is part of the Prebiotic Interstellar Molecule Survey, or PRIMOS, a project studying a star-forming region near the center of our Milky Way Galaxy. PRIMOS is an effort of the National Science Foundation's Center for Chemistry of the Universe, started at the University of Virginia (UVa) in October 2008, and led by UVa Professor Brooks H. Pate. The data, produced by the NSF's Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope (GBT) in West Virginia, came from more than 45 individual observations totalling more than nine GigaBytes of data and over 1.4 million individual frequency channels. Scientists can search the GBT data for specific radio frequencies, called spectral lines -- telltale "fingerprints" -- naturally emitted by molecules in interstellar space. "We've identified more than 720 spectral lines in this collection, and about 240 of those are from unknown molecules," Remijan said. He added, "We're making available to all scientists the best collection of data below 50 GHz ever produced for

  19. A novel comparison of Møller and Compton electron-beam polarimeters

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J.A. Magee


    Full Text Available We have performed a novel comparison between electron-beam polarimeters based on Møller and Compton scattering. A sequence of electron-beam polarization measurements were performed at low beam currents (<5 μA during the Qweak experiment in Hall-C at Jefferson Lab. These low current measurements were bracketed by the regular high current (180 μA operation of the Compton polarimeter. All measurements were found to be consistent within experimental uncertainties of 1% or less, demonstrating that electron polarization does not depend significantly on the beam current. This result lends confidence to the common practice of applying Møller measurements made at low beam currents to physics experiments performed at higher beam currents. The agreement between two polarimetry techniques based on independent physical processes sets an important benchmark for future precision asymmetry measurements that require sub-1% precision in polarimetry.

  20. SXRP - An X-ray polarimeter for the SPECTRUM-X-Gamma mission (United States)

    Costa, E.; Piro, L.; Soffitta, P.; Massaro, E.; Matt, G.; Perola, G. C.; Giarrusso, S.; La Rosa, G.; Manzo, G.; Santangelo, A.


    The Stellar X-ray Polarimeter (SXRP) is a focal plane instrument which will be flown on the SPECTRUM-X-Gamma mission in 1993. The polarimeter is composed of two separate instruments: the first exploits the dependence on the polarization of the Bragg reflection from a graphite crystal, and of the Thomson scattering from a metallic lithium target. The second instrument makes use of the recently discovered polarization dependence of X-ray photoemission from CsI. The SXRP will permit sensitive measurements of several classes of galactic X-ray sources, such as X-ray pulsars, black-hole candidates and supernova remnants. Moreover, and for the first time, SXRP will be able to perform highly sensitive measurements of the brightest extragalactic sources.

  1. A correlation polarimeter for noise-like signals. [optimum estimation of linearly polarized electromagnetic wave (United States)

    Ohlson, J. E.


    Optimum estimation (tracking) of the polarization plane of a linearly polarized electromagnetic wave is determined when the signal is a narrow-band Gaussian random process with a polarization plane angle which is also a Gaussian random process. This model is compared to previous work and is applicable to space communication. The estimator performs a correlation operation similar to an amplitude-comparison monopulse angle tracker, giving the name correlation polarimeter. Under large signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), the estimator is causal. Performance of the causal correlation polarimeter is evaluated for arbitrary SNR. Optimum precorrelation filtering is determined. With low SNR, the performance of this system is far better than that of previously developed systems. Practical implementation is discussed. A scheme is given to reduce the effect of linearly polarized noise.

  2. Non-uniformity calibration for MWIR polarization imagery obtained with integrated microgrid polarimeters (United States)

    Liu, Hai-Zheng; Shi, Ze-Lin; Feng, Bin; Hui, Bin; Zhao, Yao-Hong


    Integrating microgrid polarimeters on focal plane array (FPA) of an infrared detector causes non-uniformity of polarization response. In order to reduce the effect of polarization non-uniformity, this paper constructs an experimental setup for capturing raw flat-field images and proposes a procedure for acquiring non-uniform calibration (NUC) matrix and calibrating raw polarization images. The proposed procedure takes the incident radiation as a polarization vector and offers a calibration matrix for each pixel. Both our matrix calibration and two-point calibration are applied to our mid-wavelength infrared (MWIR) polarization imaging system with integrated microgrid polarimeters. Compared with two point calibration, our matrix calibration reduces non-uniformity by 30 40% under condition of flat-field data test with polarization. The ourdoor scene observation experiment indicates that our calibration can effectively reduce polarization non-uniformity and improve the image quality of our MWIR polarization imaging system.

  3. Astronomical technology - the past and the future


    Appenzeller, Immo


    The past fifty years have been an epoch of impressive progress in the field of astronomical technology. Practically all the technical tools, which we use today, have been developed during that time span. While the first half of this period has been dominated by advances in the detector technologies, during the past two decades innovative telescope concepts have been developed for practically all wavelength ranges where astronomical observations are possible. Further important advances can be ...

  4. Polishers around the globe: an overview on the market of large astronomical mirrors (United States)

    Döhring, Thorsten


    Astronomical mirrors are key elements in modern optical telescopes, their dimensions are usually large and their specifications are demanding. Only a limited number of skilled companies respectively institutions around the world are able to master the challenge to polish an individual astronomical mirror, especially in dimensions above one meter. This paper presents an overview on the corresponding market including a listing of polishers around the globe. Therefore valuable information is provided to the astronomical community: Polishers may use the information as a global competitor database, astronomers and project managers may get more transparency on potential suppliers, and suppliers of polishing equipment may learn about unknown potential customers in other parts of the world. An evaluation of the historical market demand on large monolithic astronomical mirrors is presented. It concluded that this is still a niche market with a typical mean rate of 1-2 mirrors per year. Polishing of such mirrors is an enabling technology with impact on the development of technical know-how, public relation, visibility and reputation of the supplier. Within a corresponding technical discussion different polishing technologies are described. In addition it is demonstrated that strategic aspects and political considerations are influencing the selection of the optical finisher.

  5. The Cosmology Large Angular Scale Surveyor (CLASS): 38 GHz Detector Array of Bolometric Polarimeters (United States)

    Appel, John W.; Ali, Aamir; Amiri, Mandana; Araujo, Derek; Bennett, Charles L.; Boone, Fletcher; Chan, Manwei; Cho, Hsiao-Mei; Chuss, David T.; Colazo, Felipe; hide


    The Cosmology Large Angular Scale Surveyor (CLASS) experiment aims to map the polarization of the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) at angular scales larger than a few degrees. Operating from Cerro Toco in the Atacama Desert of Chile, it will observe over 65% of the sky at 38, 93, 148, and 217 GHz. In this paper we discuss the design, construction, and characterization of the CLASS 38 GHz detector focal plane, the first ever Q-band bolometric polarimeter array.

  6. The low Q$^2$ chicane and Compton polarimeter at the JLab EIC

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Camsonne, Alexandre [Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility (TJNAF), Newport News, VA (United States)


    The JLAB EIC (JLEIC) design includes a chicane after the interaction point to detect electron associated with production of quasi-real photon at the interaction. This chicane layout can also be used for Compton polarimetry to measure the electron beam polarization. This proceeding will present the layout of the low Q^2 chicane and the implementation and current R&D; of a Compton polarimeter which would be located in the middle of this chicane.

  7. Astronomers celebrate a year of new Hubble results (United States)


    to reach the telescope, had indeed passed through helium, and not only that, the helium was of just the right variety to match the established theory. Dr Jakobsen has spent more than 20 years working on this subject. His recent efforts concentrated on seeking out a quasar unobscured by clouds of hydrogen, which block the tell-tale signature of helium. His search drew him to the Space Telescope project and during the telescope's early years in orbit he studied 25 likely quasars and found one promising candidate. Dr Jacobsen then had to wait for the telescope's new optics before he could get the quality of data he needed to prove the existence of helium. "We were looking for a break in the cloud cover, so to speak," the astronomer said. "We had a tantalising glimpse of the quasar with the aberrated telescope but it was only after we fixed it that we could really get a clear answer. One of the first things that we did once we had the corrective optics in place was look at this object and it was exactly as we'd hoped." Getting the Universe to measure up When it comes to studying the expansion of the Universe, however, the telescope has raised morn; questions than answers. By determining how fast the Universe is expanding astronomers will be able to calculate its age and size. It may then become possible to discover what is the ultimate fate of the Universe; will it simply continue to expand until it evaporates? Will the expansion come to a complete stop? Or will the Universe stop expanding, start contracting and end in a "big crunch"? The rate at which the Universe expands is known as the Hubble Constant or H0. To measure this value, astronomers need to calculate how far away a galaxy is and how fast it is moving away from us. The former is difficult to determine because reliable distance indicators, sometimes known as "cosmic yardsticks ", such as variable stars and supernovae, must be found in the galaxies. An international team of astronomers recently used the Hubble

  8. Testing of a Narrow Gap Detector designed for a sensitive X-ray polarimeter (United States)

    Gilberto Almonte, Rafael; Hill, Joanne E.; Morris, David C.; Emmett, Thomas


    Time projection polarimeters are gas detectors where incident X-rays interact with a gas atom to produce a photoelectron whose direction is correlated with the polarization of the incident X-ray. By imaging the path of many photoelectrons the polarization of the incident X-ray can be determined.The next generation of time projection polarimeter incorporates a narrow gap detector to minimize the diffusion in the transfer gap between the gas electron multiplier and the readout strips. We report on the testing performed to bring the narrow-gap design to Technology Readiness Level (TRL)-6.TRL-6 testing included random and sine burst vibration tests and thermal cycling tests. In addition thermal shock tests and creep tests were performed to further demonstrate that the design would meet requirements, particularly flatness, throughout the life of a 2 year mission.The post-test inspection following the vibration testing showed no degradation or loss of flatness. Thermal Shock testing showed no indication that the extreme temperature had any effect on the detector. Creep testing showed no positive or negative trends in flatness. Thermal cycle testing also showed no change in detector behavior. All the requirements have been met and the narrow gap polarimeter is at TRL-6.

  9. Optics

    CERN Document Server

    Fincham, W H A


    Optics: Eighth Edition covers the work necessary for the specialization in such subjects as ophthalmic optics, optical instruments and lens design. The text includes topics such as the propagation and behavior of light; reflection and refraction - their laws and how different media affect them; lenses - thick and thin, cylindrical and subcylindrical; photometry; dispersion and color; interference; and polarization. Also included are topics such as diffraction and holography; the limitation of beams in optical systems and its effects; and lens systems. The book is recommended for engineering st

  10. Observing the 2017 Total Solar Eclipse from the Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute (United States)

    Kirwan, Sean Matthew; Cline, J. Donald; Krochmal, Mark; Donald Cline, Mark Krochmal


    The Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute (PARI) is located directly under the path of totality of next year’s solar eclipse and possesses two 26m radio telescopes capable of interferometry at simultaneously at 2.3 GHz and 8.4 GHZ. PARI is preparing these radio telescopes for use by the astronomical community to observe solar eclipse. We will present the status of PARI’s radio telescopes and information on access for the eclipse. We will also present the status and availability of several optical telescopes.

  11. Advances in Exoplanet Observing by Amateur Astronomers (Abstract) (United States)

    Conti, D. M.


    (Abstract only) This past year has seen a marked increase in amateur astronomer participation in exoplanet research. This has ranged from amateur astronomers helping professional astronomers confirm candidate exoplanets, to helping refine the ephemeris of known exoplanets. In addition, amateur astronomers have been involved in characterizing such exotic objects as disintegrating planetesimals. However, the involvement in such pro/am collaborations has also required that amateur astronomers follow a more disciplined approach to exoplanet observing.

  12. Design of a multifunction astronomical CCD camera (United States)

    Yao, Dalei; Wen, Desheng; Xue, Jianru; Chen, Zhi; Wen, Yan; Jiang, Baotan; Xi, Jiangbo


    To satisfy the requirement of the astronomical observation, a novel timing sequence of frame transfer CCD is proposed. The multiple functions such as the adjustments of work pattern, exposure time and frame frequency are achieved. There are four work patterns: normal, standby, zero exposure and test. The adjustment of exposure time can set multiple exposure time according to the astronomical observation. The fame frequency can be adjusted when dark target is imaged and the maximum exposure time cannot satisfy the requirement. On the design of the video processing, offset correction and adjustment of multiple gains are proposed. Offset correction is used for eliminating the fixed pattern noise of CCD. Three gains pattern can improve the signal to noise ratio of astronomical observation. Finally, the images in different situations are collected and the system readout noise is calculated. The calculation results show that the designs in this paper are practicable.

  13. Decoding the mechanisms of Antikythera astronomical device

    CERN Document Server

    Lin, Jian-Liang


    This book presents a systematic design methodology for decoding the interior structure of the Antikythera mechanism, an astronomical device from ancient Greece. The historical background, surviving evidence and reconstructions of the mechanism are introduced, and the historical development of astronomical achievements and various astronomical instruments are investigated. Pursuing an approach based on the conceptual design of modern mechanisms and bearing in mind the standards of science and technology at the time, all feasible designs of the six lost/incomplete/unclear subsystems are synthesized as illustrated examples, and 48 feasible designs of the complete interior structure are presented. This approach provides not only a logical tool for applying modern mechanical engineering knowledge to the reconstruction of the Antikythera mechanism, but also an innovative research direction for identifying the original structures of the mechanism in the future. In short, the book offers valuable new insights for all...

  14. Romanian Astronomical Activity in the Middle Ages (United States)

    Stavinschi, Magdalena; Mioc, Vasile

    The authors describe the main astronomical events and personalities in Romania since th Middle Ages, which begun aproximately at the threeshold between the first and second milleniums of ours era and ends only at the beggining of the 19-th century. The contributions by Ioan Vitez, Ioan Honterus, Conrad Haas, Sevastos Kymnitis, Israel Hubner, Constantin Cantacuzino, Hrisant Notara, Nicolae Mavrocordat, Maximilian Hell, Ignatius Bathyanni, Iosif Bede are underlined. The main contacts of Romanian astronomers with foreigners in such areas as teaching and observations are mentioned. The existing today museums of astronomical instruments are also mentioned. Bibliography: 4. The authors ommit to mention in the bibliography the outstanding book by George Stefan Andonie, concerning the History of Mathematics in Romania as well as few other sources.

  15. Thirteenth Joint European and National Astronomical Meeting

    CERN Document Server

    Iniesta, J C


    The book gathers the invited talks to the XIII JENAM conference, organized this time by the European Astronomical Society (EAS) and the Spanish Astronomical Society (SEA), and hosted by the Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía (CSIC). All branches of astrophysics are encompassed from the largest scales and cosmology to the solar system and the Sun, through the galaxies and the stars, including a section on astronomical instrumentation. Very relevant experts from all over the world speak in a single book about the most recent, exciting results from their fields in a way which is useful for both researchers in these fields and colleagues working in other disciplines. The book is accompanied by a CD-ROM including the remaining contributions of the meeting in PDF format, hence opening a wide panorama of what is going on in astrophysics nowadays.

  16. Ancient Maya astronomical tables from Xultun, Guatemala. (United States)

    Saturno, William A; Stuart, David; Aveni, Anthony F; Rossi, Franco


    Maya astronomical tables are recognized in bark-paper books from the Late Postclassic period (1300 to 1521 C.E.), but Classic period (200 to 900 C.E.) precursors have not been found. In 2011, a small painted room was excavated at the extensive ancient Maya ruins of Xultun, Guatemala, dating to the early 9th century C.E. The walls and ceiling of the room are painted with several human figures. Two walls also display a large number of delicate black, red, and incised hieroglyphs. Many of these hieroglyphs are calendrical in nature and relate astronomical computations, including at least two tables concerning the movement of the Moon, and perhaps Mars and Venus. These apparently represent early astronomical tables and may shed light on the later books.

  17. The Astronomical Tables of Moses Farissol Botarel


    Goldstein, Bernard R.; Chabás, José


    Moses Farissol Botarel (Avignon, late fifteenth century) was an astronomer who wrote in Hebrew and continued various traditions that depended on astronomy in al-Andalus which, in turn, derived in large part from the zij of al-Battānī (Raqqa, d. 929). His astronomical tables are unusual in that they combine elements from the Parisian Alfonsine Tables with elements from the tables of Levi ben Gerson (Orange, France, d. 1344), Immanuel ben Jacob Bonfils (Tarascon, France, fl. 1350), and Jacob be...

  18. Novel Algorithms for Astronomical Plate Analyses

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Hudec, René; Hudec, L.


    Roč. 32, 1-2 (2011), s. 121-123 ISSN 0250-6335. [Conference on Multiwavelength Variability of Blazars. Guangzhou, 22,09,2010-24,09,2010] R&D Projects: GA ČR GA205/08/1207 Grant - others:GA ČR(CZ) GA102/09/0997; MŠMT(CZ) ME09027 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z10030501 Keywords : astronomical plates * plate archives archives * astronomical algorithms Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics Impact factor: 0.400, year: 2011

  19. Astronomical Network for Teachers in Thailand (United States)

    Kramer (Hutawarakorn), Busaba; Soonthornthum, Boonraksar; Poshyachinda, Saran

    We report the latest development of a pilot project in establishing the astronomical network for teachers in Thailand. The project has been recently granted by the Institute for the Promotion of Teaching Science and Technology Thailand and operated by Sirindhorn Observatory Chiangmai University. The objectives of the project are (1) to establish a16-inch semi-robotic telescope which can be accessed from schools nationwide; and (2) to establish an educational website in Thai language which contains electronic textbook of astronomy online encyclopedia of astronomy observing projects astronomical database and links to other educational websites worldwide. The network will play important role in the development of teaching and learning astronomy in Thailand.

  20. Critical factors for a successful astronomical research program in a developing country (United States)

    Hearnshaw, John B.

    I discuss the critical conditions for undertaking a successful research program in a developing country. There are many important factors, all or most of which have to be satisfied: funding, library holdings, computing access, Internet access (e-mail, WWW, ftp, telnet), collaboration with astronomers in developed countries, provision of proper offices for staff, supply of graduate students, access to travel for conferences, ability to publish in international journals, critical mass of researchers, access to a telescope (for observational astronomers), support from and interaction with national electronics, optics and precision engineering industries, a scientific culture backed by a national scientific academy, and lack of inter-institutional rivalry. I make a list of a total of 15 key factors and rank them in order of importance, and discuss the use of an astronomical research index (ARI) suitable for measuring the research potential of a given country or institution. I also discuss whether astronomers in developing countries in principle fare better in a university or in the environment of a government national observatory or research institution, and topics such as the effect of the cost of page charges and journal subscriptions on developing countries. Finally I present some statistics on astronomy in developing countries and relate the numbers of astronomers to the size of the economy and population in each country.

  1. Advances in infrared and imaging fibres for astronomical instrumentation (United States)

    Haynes, Roger; McNamara, Pam; Marcel, Jackie; Jovanovic, Nemanja


    Optical fibres have already played a huge part in ground based astronomical instrumentation, however, with the revolution in photonics currently taking place new fibre technologies and integrated optical devices are likely to have a profound impact on the way we manipulate light in the future. The Anglo Australian Observatory, along with partners at the Optical Fibre Technology Centre of the University of Sydney, is investigating some of the developing technologies as part of our Astrophotonics programme2. In this paper we discuss the advances that have been made with infrared transmitting fibre, both conventional and microstructured, in particular those based on fluoride glasses. Fluoride glasses have a particularly wide transparent region from the UV through to around 7μm, whereas silica fibres, commonly used in astronomy, only transmit out to about 2μm. We discuss the impact of advances in fibre manufacture that have greatly improved the optical, chemical resistance and physical properties of the fluoride fibres. We also present some encouraging initial test results for a modern imaging fibre bundle and imaging fibre taper.

  2. Next VLT Instrument Ready for the Astronomers (United States)


    -years away. It is one of the largest known star-forming regions in the Local Group of Galaxies. It was first catalogued as a star, but then recognized to be a nebula by the French astronomer A. Lacaille in 1751-52. The Tarantula Nebula is the only extra-galactic nebula which can be seen with the unaided eye. It contains in the centre the open stellar cluster R 136 with many of the largest, hottest, and most massive stars known. Radio Galaxy Centaurus A ESO Press Photo 05b/00 ESO Press Photo 05b/00 [Preview; JPEG: 400 x 448; 40k] [Normal; JPEG: 800 x 896; 110k] [Full-Res; JPEG: 2048 x 2293; 2.0Mb] The radio galaxy Centarus A , as obtained with FORS2 at KUEYEN during the recent Commissioning period. It was taken during the night of January 31 - February 1, 2000. It is a composite of three exposures in B (300 sec exposure, image quality 0.60 arcsec; here rendered in blue colour), V (240 sec, 0.60 arcsec; green) and R (240 sec, 0.55 arcsec; red). The full-resolution version of this photo retains the orginal pixels. ESO Press Photo 05c/00 ESO Press Photo 05c/00 [Preview; JPEG: 400 x 446; 52k] [Normal; JPEG: 801 x 894; 112k] An area, north-west of the centre of Centaurus A with a detailed view of the dust lane and clusters of luminous blue stars. The normal version of this photo retains the orginal pixels. The new FORS2 image of Centaurus A , also known as NGC 5128 , is an example of how frontier science can be combined with esthetic aspects. This galaxy is a most interesting object for the present attempts to understand active galaxies . It is being investigated by means of observations in all spectral regions, from radio via infrared and optical wavelengths to X- and gamma-rays. It is one of the most extensively studied objects in the southern sky. FORS2 , with its large field-of-view and excellent optical resolution, makes it possible to study the global context of the active region in Centaurus A in great detail. Note for instance the great number of massive and luminous blue

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


    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. Astronomical photonics in the context of infrared interferometry and high-resolution spectroscopy (United States)

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


    We review the potential of Astrophotonics, a relatively young field at the interface between photonics and astronomical instrumentation, for spectro-interferometry. We review some fundamental aspects of photonic science that drove the emergence of astrophotonics, and highlight the achievements in observational astrophysics. We analyze the prospects for further technological development also considering the potential synergies with other fields of physics (e.g. non-linear optics in condensed matter physics). We also stress the central role of fiber optics in routing and transporting light, delivering complex filters, or interfacing instruments and telescopes, more specifically in the context of a growing usage of adaptive optics.

  5. The Virtual Astronomical Observatory Users Forum (United States)

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


    We present the online forum, which has the goal of being a gathering place for the collective community intelligence about astronomical computing. The audience for this forum is anyone engaged in the analysis of astronomical or planetary data, whether that data be observational or theoretical. It is a free, community driven site where discussions are formulated primarily around the "question and answer" format. Current topics on the forum range from “Is there a photometry package in Python?” to “Where are the support forums for astronomy software packages?” and “Why is my SDSS SkyQuery query missing galaxies?” The poster will detail the full scope of discussions in the forum, and provide some basic guidelines for ensuring high quality forum posts. We will highlight the ways astronomers can discover and participate in discussions. Further, we view this as an excellent opportunity to gather feedback and feature requests from AAS221 attendees. Acknowledgement: The Virtual Astronomical Observatory (VAO) is managed by the VAO, LLC, a non-profit company established as a partnership of the Associated Universities, Inc. and the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc. The VAO is sponsored by the National Science Foundation and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

  6. Astronomía en la cultura (United States)

    López, A.; Giménez Benitez, S.; Fernández, L.

    La Astronomía en la Cultura es el estudio interdisciplinario a nivel global de la astronomía prehistórica, antigua y tradicional, en el marco de su contexto cultural. Esta disciplina abarca cualquier tipo de estudios o líneas de investigación en que se relacione a la astronomía con las ciencias humanas o sociales. En ella se incluyen tanto fuentes escritas, relatos orales como fuentes arqueológicas, abarcando entre otros, los siguientes temas: calendarios, observación práctica, cultos y mitos, representación simbólica de eventos, conceptos y objetos astronómicos, orientación astronómica de tumbas, templos, santuarios y centros urbanos, cosmología tradicional y la aplicación ceremonial de tradiciones astronómicas, la propia historia de la astronomía y la etnoastronomía (Krupp, 1989) (Iwaniszewski, 1994). En nuestro trabajo abordamos la historia y situación actual de esta disciplina, sus métodos y sus relaciones con otras áreas de investigación.

  7. Astronomical Plate Archives and Binary Blazars Studies

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    There are about 3 million astronomical photographic plates around the globe, representing an important data source for various aspects of astrophysics. The main advantage is the large time coverage of 100 years or even more. Recent digitization efforts, together with the development of dedicated software, enables for the ...

  8. Laser polarimeter LP101M and its applications in liquid cromatography (United States)

    Fajer, V.; Rodriguez, C.; Gonzalez, R.; Cossio, G.; Martinez, M.; Bravo, O.


    A high sensitivity laser polarimeter LP101M employing a He-Ne laser has been designed and constructed as a detector for liquid chromatography achieving a sensitivity better than 0.001 degree. The operation principle and technical characteristics of this instrument are described. A liquid gel chromatography column system suitable for sugar cane juice analysis was also designed and calibrated. It separated and analyzed the medium molecular weight carbohydrates and demonstrated the strong influence of these substances in the conventional polarimetric determinations.

  9. Total elimination of sampling errors in polarization imagery obtained with integrated microgrid polarimeters. (United States)

    Tyo, J Scott; LaCasse, Charles F; Ratliff, Bradley M


    Microgrid polarimeters operate by integrating a focal plane array with an array of micropolarizers. The Stokes parameters are estimated by comparing polarization measurements from pixels in a neighborhood around the point of interest. The main drawback is that the measurements used to estimate the Stokes vector are made at different locations, leading to a false polarization signature owing to instantaneous field-of-view (IFOV) errors. We demonstrate for the first time, to our knowledge, that spatially band limited polarization images can be ideally reconstructed with no IFOV error by using a linear system framework.

  10. Sociological Profile of Astronomers in Spain (United States)

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

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

  11. International Astronomical Search Collaboration -- Astronomical Discovery Program for High School and College Students (United States)

    Miller, Patrick


    Centered at Hardin-Simmons University (Abilene, TX) the International Astronomical Search Collaboration (IASC) has conducted successful student-based asteroid search programs, called campaigns. Since 2006 these campaigns have engaged 3,000 high school and college students per year. These students come from 300 schools worldwide located in more than 40 countries on 5 continents. Students have made thousands of observations of near-Earth objects and >300 provisional discoveries of Main Belt asteroids, both reported to the Minor Planet Center (Harvard). To date students have 15 numbered discoveries, catalogued by the IAU and currently being named by the student discoverers. The first telescope of the Panoramic Survey and Rapid Response System (PS1, University of Hawaii) is conducting the largest optical survey ever attempted. In support of education and public outreach, Pan-STARRS collaborated with IASC in 2010-2012 to use the PS1 images in the student asteroid search and discovery campaigns. The PS1 images are wide field with 7o FOV and 1.4 Gpix in size. These were partitioned into 144 sub-images and distributed to 40 high schools in Texas, Hawaii, Washington, Germany, Taiwan, Poland, Brazil, and Bulgaria. In two 6-week campaigns per year, students from these schools made 1000 preliminary asteroid discoveries. This poster presents the results of the first and second year of the IASC-PS1 campaigns plus other asteroid search campaigns conducted by IASC. Also, plans will be described for future campaigns. These future campaigns will reach 500 schools in 2012 and 1,000 high schools within the coming 36 months.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    René Hudec


    Full Text Available We report here on an ongoing investigation of US astronomical plate archives and tests of the suitability of transportable scanning devices for in situ digitization of archival astronomical plates.

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


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


    The US Virtual Astronomical Observatory was a software infrastructure and development project designed both to begin the establishment of an operational Virtual Observatory (VO) and to provide the US coordination with the international VO effort. The concept of the VO is to provide the means by which an astronomer is able to discover, access, and process data seamlessly, regardless of its physical location. This paper describes the origins of the VAO, including the predecessor efforts within ...

  14. 16 years of airglow measurement with astronomical facilities (United States)

    Kausch, Wolfgang; Noll, Stefan; Kimeswenger, Stefan; Unterguggenberger, Stefanie; Jones, Amy; Proxauf, Bastian


    Observations taken with ground-based astronomical telescopes are affected by various airglow emission processes in the Earth's upper atmosphere. This chemiluminescent emission can be used to investigate the physical state of the meso- and the thermosphere. By applying a modified approach of techniques originally developed to characterise and remove these features from the astronomical spectra, which are not primarily taken for airglow studies, these spectra are suitable for airglow research. For our studies, we currently use data from two observing sites on both hemispheres for our studies: The European Southern Observatory operates four 8m telescopes at the Very Large Telescope (VLT) in the Chilean Atacama desert (24.6°S, 70.4°W). The 2.5m Sloan Digital Sky Survey telescope (SDSS) located in New Mexico/USA (32.8°N, 105.8°W) provides observations from the northern hemisphere. Each of these telescopes is equipped with several astronomical instruments. Among them are several spectrographs operating in the optical and near-IR regime with medium to high spectral resolution. Currently, we work on data from the following three spectrographs (1) UVES@VLT (Ultraviolet and Visual Echelle Spectrograph): This instrument provides spectra in the wavelength regime from 0.3 to 1.1μm in small spectral ranges. Its high resolving power (up to R˜110 000) allows a detailed study of oxygen (OI@557nm, OI@630nm), sodium (NaD@589nm), nitrogen (NI@520nm), and many OH bands. UVES has been in operation since 1999 providing the longest time series. (2) X-Shooter@VLT: This spectrograph is unique as it provides the whole wavelength range from 0.3 to 2.5μm at once with medium resolving power (R˜3 300 to 18 000, depending on the setup). This enables us to study the dependency of optical and near-IR airglow processes simultaneously, e.g. the OH bands. In addition, weak airglow continuum emission, e.g. arising from FeO and NiO can be studied. In operation since 2009, the data cover half a

  15. The Hard X-ray Polarimeter X-Calibur - Astrophysical Motivation and Performance (United States)

    Beilicke, Matthias; Baring, M. G.; Tueller, J.; Krawczynski, H.; Barthelmy, S. D.; Binns, W.; Buckley, J. H.; Cowsik, R.; Guo, Q.; Israel, M. H.; Kislat, F.; Matsumoto, H.; Okajima, T.; Schnittman, J.


    X-ray polarimetry promises to give qualitatively new information about high-energy sources, such as binary black hole systems, rotation and accretion powered neutron stars, microquasars, active galactic nuclei and gamma-ray bursts. We designed, built and tested a hard X-ray polarimeter X-Calibur to be flown in the focal plane of the InFOCuS grazing incidence hard X-ray telescope in fall 2013. The polarimeter combines a low-Z Compton scatterer with a high-Z Cadmium Zinc Telluride (CZT) detector assembly to measure the polarization of 20-80 keV X-rays. X-Calibur makes use of the fact that polarized photons Compton scatter preferentially perpendicular to the electric field orientation. In contrast to competing designs, which use only a small fraction of the incoming X-rays, X-Calibur achieves a high detection efficiency of order unity. We report on the technical design of X-Calibur, the X-Calibur and InFOCuS sensitivity on short and long duration balloon flights, and present detailed laboratory calibration measurements characterizing the performance of the instrument.

  16. A polarimeter for GeV protons of recirculating synchrotron beams

    CERN Document Server

    Bauer, F


    A polarimeter for use in recirculating beams of proton synchrotrons with energies from 300 MeV up to several GeV has been developed. The polarimetry is based on the asymmetry measurement of elastic p->p scattering on an internal CH sub 2 fiber target. The forward going protons are detected with two scintillator systems on either side of the beam pipe close to the angle THETA sub f of maximum analyzing power A sub N. Each one operates in coincidence with a broad (DELTA THETA sub b =21.4 deg. ), segmented detector system for the recoil proton of kinematically varying direction THETA sub b; this position resolution is also used for a concurrent measurement of the p->C and nonelastic p->p background. The CH sub 2 fiber can be replaced by a carbon fiber for detailed background studies; 'false' asymmetries are accounted for with a rotation of the polarimeter around the beam axis. Polarimetry has been performed in the internal beam of the Cooler Synchrotron COSY at fixed energies as well as during proton acceleratio...

  17. Performance Verification of the Gravity and Extreme Magnetism Small Explorer GEMS X-Ray Polarimeter (United States)

    Enoto, Teruaki; Black, J. Kevin; Kitaguchi, Takao; Hayato, Asami; Hill, Joanne E.; Jahoda, Keith; Tamagawa, Toru; Kanako, Kenta; Takeuchi, Yoko; Yoshikawa, Akifumi; hide


    olarimetry is a powerful tool for astrophysical observations that has yet to be exploited in the X-ray band. For satellite-borne and sounding rocket experiments, we have developed a photoelectric gas polarimeter to measure X-ray polarization in the 2-10 keV range utilizing a time projection chamber (TPC) and advanced micro-pattern gas electron multiplier (GEM) techniques. We carried out performance verification of a flight equivalent unit (1/4 model) which was planned to be launched on the NASA Gravity and Extreme Magnetism Small Explorer (GEMS) satellite. The test was performed at Brookhaven National Laboratory, National Synchrotron Light Source (NSLS) facility in April 2013. The polarimeter was irradiated with linearly-polarized monochromatic X-rays between 2.3 and 10.0 keV and scanned with a collimated beam at 5 different detector positions. After a systematic investigation of the detector response, a modulation factor greater than or equal to 35% above 4 keV was obtained with the expected polarization angle. At energies below 4 keV where the photoelectron track becomes short, diffusion in the region between the GEM and readout strips leaves an asymmetric photoelectron image. A correction method retrieves an expected modulation angle, and the expected modulation factor, approximately 20% at 2.7 keV. Folding the measured values of modulation through an instrument model gives sensitivity, parameterized by minimum detectable polarization (MDP), nearly identical to that assumed at the preliminary design review (PDR).

  18. Infrared fiber optic materials (United States)

    Feigelson, Robert S.


    The development of IR fiber optics for use in astronomical and other space applications is summarized. Candidate materials were sought for use in the 1 to 200 micron and the 200 to 1000 micron wavelength range. Synthesis and optical characterization were carried out on several of these materials in bulk form. And the fabrication of a few materials in single crystal fiber optic form were studied.

  19. Forty Years at ESO - Bernard Delabre and Optical Designs (United States)

    de Zeeuw, T.; Lévêque, S.; Pasquini, L.; Péron, M.; Spyromilio, J.


    The optical designer Bernard Delabre has retired from ESO after 40 years at the forefront of telescope and instrument optics. A short overview of his achievements and his legacy of astronomical telescopes and instrumenta-tion is presented. Bernard Delabre was awarded the 2017 Tycho Brahe Prize by the European Astronomical Society.

  20. Revista Mexicana de Astronomía y Astrofísica, a real option for astronomical publication (United States)

    Torres-Peimbert, S.; Allen, C.


    We present statistical data about the Revista Mexicana de Astronomía y Astrofísica. We consider that this journal is well positioned in the international astronomical literature. Similarly we present information about the Serie de Conferencias, which also has a wide level of acceptance by the astronomical community.

  1. A DSP-based Readout and Online Processing System for a new Focal-plane Polarimeter at AGOR

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hagemann, M; Bassini, R; van den Berg, AM; Ellinghaus, F; Frekers, D; Hannen, VM; Haupke, T; Heyse, J; Jacobs, E; Kirsch, M; Krusemann, B; Sohlbach, H; Wortche, HJ


    A Focal-Plane Polarimeter (FPP) for the large acceptance Big-Bite Spectrometer (BBS) at AGOR using a novel readout architecture has been commissioned at the KVI Groningen. The instrument is optimized for medium-energy polarized proton scattering near or at 0 degrees. For the handling of the high

  2. The desing and calibration of the AHEAD deuteron polarimeter for 120 < E sub d < 250 MeV

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cameron, J.M.; Ni, B. (Indiana Univ., Bloomington, IN (USA). University Cyclotron Facility); Antonuk, L.E.; Cairns, E.B.; Fielding, H.W.; Holm, L.; Igarashi, R.; Lapointe, C.; McDonald, W.J.; Pasos, J.; Rodning, N.L.; Roy, G.; Soukup, J.; Ziegler, W. (Alberta Univ., Edmonton, AB (Canada). Dept. of Physics); Arvieux, J.; Tinslay, J.; Yonnet, J. (CEN-Saclay, 91 - Gif-sur-Yvette (France). Lab. National Saturne); Bonin, B.; Boudard, A.; Garcon, M. (CEN-Saclay, 91 - Gif-sur-Yvette (France). Service de Physique Nucleaire a Moyenne Energie); Bachelier, D. (Paris-Sud Univ., 91 - Orsay (France). Inst. de Physique Nucleaire); The, I. (Massachusetts Inst. of Tech., Middleton, MA (USA). Bates Linear Accelerator Center)


    A new type of deuteron polarimeter to work in the energy range 120 < E{sub d} < 250 MeV has been designed, constructed, and calibrated. The figure of merit ({radical}{epsilon}{Tau}{sub kq}) has been determined for various polarization components from the calibration data. (orig.).

  3. Astronomical context coder for image compression (United States)

    Pata, Petr; Schindler, Jaromir


    Recent lossless still image compression formats are powerful tools for compression of all kind of common images (pictures, text, schemes, etc.). Generally, the performance of a compression algorithm depends on its ability to anticipate the image function of the processed image. In other words, a compression algorithm to be successful, it has to take perfectly the advantage of coded image properties. Astronomical data form a special class of images and they have, among general image properties, also some specific characteristics which are unique. If a new coder is able to correctly use the knowledge of these special properties it should lead to its superior performance on this specific class of images at least in terms of the compression ratio. In this work, the novel lossless astronomical image data compression method will be presented. The achievable compression ratio of this new coder will be compared to theoretical lossless compression limit and also to the recent compression standards of the astronomy and general multimedia.

  4. Astronomical Photometry Past, Present, and Future

    CERN Document Server

    Milone, Eugene F


    This book brings together experts in the field of astronomical photometry to discuss how their subfields provide the precision and accuracy in astronomical energy flux measurements that are needed to permit tests of astrophysical theories. Differential photometers and photometry, improvements in infrared precision, the improvements in precision and accuracy of CCD photometry, the absolute calibration of flux, the development of the Johnson UBVRI photometric system and other passband systems to measure and precisely classify specific types of stars and astrophysical quantities, and the current capabilities of spectrophotometry and polarimetry to provide precise and accurate data, are all discussed in this volume. The discussion of `differential’ or `two-star’ photometers ranges from early experiments in visual photometry through the Harvard and Princeton polarizing photometers to the pioneering work of Walraven and differential photometers designed to minimize effects of atmospheric extinction and to count...

  5. Astronomical Instrumentation Systems Quality Management Planning: AISQMP (United States)

    Goldbaum, Jesse


    The capability of small aperture astronomical instrumentation systems (AIS) to make meaningful scientific contributions has never been better. The purpose of AIS quality management planning (AISQMP) is to ensure the quality of these contributions such that they are both valid and reliable. The first step involved with AISQMP is to specify objective quality measures not just for the AIS final product, but also for the instrumentation used in its production. The next step is to set up a process to track these measures and control for any unwanted variation. The final step is continual effort applied to reducing variation and obtaining measured values near optimal theoretical performance. This paper provides an overview of AISQMP while focusing on objective quality measures applied to astronomical imaging systems.

  6. Astronomía Mocoví (United States)

    López, A.; Giménez Benitez, S.; Fernández, L.

    El presente trabajo, es una revisión crítica de la astronomía en la cultura Mocoví, aportando a lo realizado previamente por Lehmann Nistche (Lehmann Nistche, 1924 y 1927) el resultado de nuestro trabajo de campo. Un mayor conocimiento de las cosmovisiones de las etnias de esta área es fundamental para una mejor comprensión de la dispersión de las ideas cosmológicas entre los pueblos aborígenes americanos, dada la importancia del corredor chaqueño como conexión entre las altas culturas andinas, la mesopotamia y la región pampeana (Susnik, 1972). Para ello se realiza una comparación con otras cosmovisiones del área americana. Nuestro aporte se enmarca dentro de las actuales líneas de trabajo mundialmente en desarrollo en Astronomía en la Cultura.

  7. The origins of Ptolemy's astronomical tables. (United States)

    Newton, R. R.

    Following the line set by his earlier book 'The crime of Claudius Ptolemy' the author discusses here the numerous astronomical tables in Ptolemy's work that have been calculated with the aid of trigonometric tables, as well as a few that are nonlinear but that do not involve trigonometry. The purpose in this study is to determine, if possible, whether Ptolemy calculated these tables or whether he copied them from now-lost original works. The conclusion isthat Ptolemy made few if any original contributions to astronomy, either observational or computational.Contents: 1. Introduction; thetable of chords. 2. The tables of the latitude and of gnomon shadows.3. Tables of the Sun. 4. Astronomical geography. 5. The tables of theMoon. 6. Eclipse tables. 7. Tables of the planets. 8. The empirical basis for Hipparchus's mean motions of the Moon. 9. Summary and conclusions.

  8. WWW Access to Astronomical Archives and Databases (United States)

    Pasian, Fabio; Smareglia, Riccardo

    In this document, an approach to the development of WWW-accessible astronomical archives and databases is described, which can easily be extended also to other disciplines. The architecture is based on a set of servers running at the archive site, each performing a specialized task: accessing an SQL-based DBMS, retrieving and downlinking 1-D or 2-D data (measurements), displaying quicklook data, or plotting the results of a query to the database. All of the information on the user interface is dynamically stored in the database, allowing the pages to be prepared on-the-fly; no additional software needs to be run on the user’s computer. A WWW-accessible test astronomical archive, containing both 2-D (images) and 1-D (spectra) data, and having NCSA/Mosaic as an interface is described as an example of successful application of the above concepts.

  9. Isaac Newton and the astronomical refraction. (United States)

    Lehn, Waldemar H


    In a short interval toward the end of 1694, Isaac Newton developed two mathematical models for the theory of the astronomical refraction and calculated two refraction tables, but did not publish his theory. Much effort has been expended, starting with Biot in 1836, in the attempt to identify the methods and equations that Newton used. In contrast to previous work, a closed form solution is identified for the refraction integral that reproduces the table for his first model (in which density decays linearly with elevation). The parameters of his second model, which includes the exponential variation of pressure in an isothermal atmosphere, have also been identified by reproducing his results. The implication is clear that in each case Newton had derived exactly the correct equations for the astronomical refraction; furthermore, he was the first to do so.

  10. Statistical methods for astronomical data analysis

    CERN Document Server

    Chattopadhyay, Asis Kumar


    This book introduces “Astrostatistics” as a subject in its own right with rewarding examples, including work by the authors with galaxy and Gamma Ray Burst data to engage the reader. This includes a comprehensive blending of Astrophysics and Statistics. The first chapter’s coverage of preliminary concepts and terminologies for astronomical phenomenon will appeal to both Statistics and Astrophysics readers as helpful context. Statistics concepts covered in the book provide a methodological framework. A unique feature is the inclusion of different possible sources of astronomical data, as well as software packages for converting the raw data into appropriate forms for data analysis. Readers can then use the appropriate statistical packages for their particular data analysis needs. The ideas of statistical inference discussed in the book help readers determine how to apply statistical tests. The authors cover different applications of statistical techniques already developed or specifically introduced for ...

  11. Recruitment and Retention of LGBTIQ Astronomers (United States)

    Dixon, William Van Dyke


    While lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, or questioning (LGBTIQ) astronomers face many of the same workplace challenges as women and racial/ethnic minorities, from implicit bias to overt discrimination, other challenges are unique to this group. An obvious example is the absence at many institutions of health insurance and other benefits for the same-sex domestic partners of their employees. More subtle is the psychological toll paid by LGBTIQ astronomers who remain "in the closet," self-censoring every statement about their personal lives. Paradoxically, the culture of the physical sciences, in which sexuality, gender identity, and gender expression are considered irrelevant, can discourage their discussion, further isolating LGBTIQ researchers. Addressing these challenges is not just a matter of fairness; it is an essential tool in the recruitment and retention of the brightest researchers and in assuring their productivity. We will discuss these issues and what individuals and departments can to make their institutions more welcoming to their LGBTIQ colleagues.

  12. International Astronomical Union Sympoisum No.50

    CERN Document Server

    Westerlund, B


    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 ...


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ivan P. Kriachko


    Full Text Available The purpose of this article is to show the way of overcoming one of the major problems of astronomy teaching methods in upper secondary school – organization of educational astronomical observations. Nowadays it became possible to perform such observations on remote access telescopes. By using up-to-date informational and communicational technologies, having an opportunity to work with robotic telescopes allows us to organize a unique cognitive and research oriented activities for students while conducting their specialized astronomical studies. Below here is given a brief description of the most significant robotic telescopes and the way of the usage of open remote access telescopic network which was created by professors and scientists of Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, USA.

  14. Gulmarg, Kashmir, India: Potential Site for Optical Astronomical ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Ajaz Ahmad Dar


    Jun 19, 2017 ... Astronomy—meteorological parameters—site survey—Gulmarg. 1. Introduction. Smaller telescopes equipped with modern detectors, if housed at high altitude observing sites can remarkably improve night sky observations (Pandey 2006). Before site selection for in-housing of a telescope, an objec-.

  15. Gulmarg, Kashmir, India: Potential Site for Optical Astronomical ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    The site characteristics of Gulmarg, Kashmir at an altitude of about 2743.2 m above sea level is based on analysis of meteorological conditions, cloud cover, temperature, wind speed, wind direction, relative humidity and atmospheric pressure, etc. Analysis and characterization of meteorological conditions suggest that ...

  16. Astronomic Bioethics: Terraforming X Planetary protection


    Palhares, Dario; Santos, Íris Almeida dos


    A hard difficulty in Astrobiology is the precise definition of what life is. All living beings have a cellular structure, so it is not possible to have a broader concept of life hence the search for extraterrestrial life is restricted to extraterrestrial cells. Earth is an astronomical rarity because it is difficult for a planet to present liquid water on the surface. Two antagonistic bioethical principles arise: planetary protection and terraforming. Planetary protection is based on the fear...

  17. The Astronomical Pulse of Global Extinction Events

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David F.V. Lewis


    Full Text Available The linkage between astronomical cycles and the periodicity of mass extinctions is reviewed and discussed. In particular, the apparent 26 million year cycle of global extinctions may be related to the motion of the solar system around the galaxy, especially perpendicular to the galactic plane. The potential relevance of Milankovitch cycles is also explored in the light of current evidence for the possible causes of extinction events over a geological timescale.

  18. The Astronomical Code of the Rgveda (United States)

    Kak, Subhash

    This is the extensively revised edition of the classic book that presented the author's discovery of an astronomical code in the organization of the Rgveda. This code has changed our understanding of the Vedic system of knowledge, rise of earliest astronomy, history of science, and the chronology of ancient India. The work was first reported in a series of journal articles; this book brings together these discoveries between the same two covers for the first time.

  19. A website for astronomical news in Spanish (United States)

    Ortiz-Gil, A.


    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.

  20. Preserving Dark Skies: Do Astronomers Care? (United States)

    Davis, D. R.; Crawford, D. L.


    Ground based telescopes are, even in this era of planetary missions and space telescopes, the dominant source of data on solar system objects. Yet many of the premier observing sites in the world are threatened by increasing artificial light that is scattered into the sky - light pollution. World class observing sites such as Mt. Wilson have long since lost the ability to do cutting edge faint object science and observatories in Southern Arizona have been recently threatened - the Canoa Ranch development being the most recent example. Yet there are actions that can be taken to preserve dark skies, not only for astronomy, but also for the benefit of all humanity. Lead by astronomers, effective outdoor lighting codes have been produced and adopted by many jurisdictional authorities. Advocacy organizations such as the International Dark-sky Association (IDA) distribute educational material on how to preserve dark skies through good outdoor lighting practices. Other institutions, such as the National Park Service, are realizing that dark skies are an integral part of the wilderness experience and are taking steps to preserve the quality of their skies. However, the primary beneficaries of dark sky preservation efforts, namely the ground based astronomical community, have largely failed to become involved in efforts to preserve dark skies. For example, only a few percent of the membership of the American Astronomical Society is active in light pollution work or is even a member of IDA. In this presentation, Iwe will outline what is being done locally to preserve dark skies througout the world. In addition, some observations on the level of support from the astronomical community will be offered.

  1. Radio-Astronomical Instruments Observations (Selected Articles), (United States)


    etc. merged into this translation were extracted from the best quality copy available. iii DOC = 82056401 PAGE 1 RADIO-ASTRONOMICAL INSTRUMENTS...itself the series/row of the positive qualities : the possibility of tracking the observed object and the accumulation of signal, the possibility of...L-intoduc ;j~i.a~r DC 82056409 PAGE the installation of quasi-zero mode/conditions this attenuator has remote contril . I’ DOC =82056409 PAGE NA 4 ly

  2. Astronomical random numbers for quantum foundations experiments


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


    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 gedankenexperiment. Such sources of random numbers may also be useful for information-theoretic applications such as key distribution for quantum cryptography. Building on the design o...

  3. The la Plata Astronomical Data Center (United States)

    Marraco, H. G.


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

  4. Astronomical Orientations in Sanctuaries of Daunia (United States)

    Antonello, E.; Polcaro, V. F.; Sisto, A. M. Tunzi; Zupone, M. Lo


    Prehistoric sanctuaries of Daunia date back several thousand years. During the Neolithic and Bronze Ages the farmers in that region dug hypogea and holes whose characteristics suggest a ritual use. In the present article we summarize the results of the astronomical analysis of the orientation of the rows of holes in three different sites, and we point out the possible use of the setting of the stars of Centaurus. An interesting archaeological confirmation of an archaeoastronomical prediction is also reported.

  5. Astronomical Virtual Observatories Through International Collaboration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masatoshi Ohishi


    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 ( 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.

  6. AAS Publishing News: Astronomical Software Citation Workshop (United States)

    Kohler, Susanna


    Do you write code for your research? Use astronomical software? Do you wish there were a better way of citing, sharing, archiving, or discovering software for astronomy research? You're not alone! In April 2015, AAS's publishing team joined other leaders in the astronomical software community in a meeting funded by the Sloan Foundation, with the purpose of discussing these issues and potential solutions. In attendance were representatives from academic astronomy, publishing, libraries, for-profit software sharing platforms, telescope facilities, and grantmaking institutions. The goal of the group was to establish “protocols, policies, and platforms for astronomical software citation, sharing, and archiving,” in the hopes of encouraging a set of normalized standards across the field. The AAS is now collaborating with leaders at GitHub to write grant proposals for a project to develop strategies for software discoverability and citation, in astronomy and beyond. If this topic interests you, you can find more details in this document released by the group after the meeting: The group hopes to move this project forward with input and support from the broader community. Please share the above document, discuss it on social media using the hashtag #astroware (so that your conversations can be found!), or send private comments to

  7. GalileoMobile: Astronomical activities in schools (United States)

    Dasi Espuig, Maria; Vasquez, Mayte; Kobel, Philippe

    GalileoMobile is an itinerant science education initiative run on a voluntary basis by an international team of astronomers, educators, and science communicators. Our team's main goal is to make astronomy accessible to schools and communities around the globe that have little or no access to outreach actions. We do this by performing teacher workshops, activities with students, and donating educational material. Since the creation of GalileoMobile in 2008, we have travelled to Chile, Bolivia, Peru, India, and Uganda, and worked with 56 schools in total. Our activities are centred on the GalileoMobile Handbook of Activities that comprises around 20 astronomical activities which we adapted from many different sources, and translated into 4 languages. The experience we gained in Chile, Bolivia, Peru, India, and Uganda taught us that (1) bringing experts from other countries was very stimulating for children as they are naturally curious about other cultures and encourages a collaboration beyond borders; (2) high-school students who were already interested in science were always very eager to interact with real astronomers doing research to ask for career advice; (3) inquiry-based methods are important to make the learning process more effective and we have therefore, re-adapted the activities in our Handbook according to these; (4) local teachers and university students involved in our activities have the potential to carry out follow-up activities, and examples are those from Uganda and India.

  8. Philosophy for the Creation of Astronomical Images (United States)

    Rector, T.; Levay, Z. G.; Frattare, L. M.; English, J.; Pu'Uohau-Pummill, K.


    The quality of modern astronomical data, the power of modern computers and the agility of current image-processing software enable the creation of high-quality images in a purely digital form. The combination of these technological advancements has created a new ability to make colour astronomical images. These programs use a layering metaphor that allows for an unlimited number of astronomical datasets to be combined in any desired colour scheme, creating an immense parameter space to be explored. A philosophy is presented on how to use scaling, colour and composition to create images that simultaneously highlight scientific detail and are aesthetically appealing. This philosophy is necessary because most datasets do not correspond to the wavelength range of sensitivity of the human eye. The use of visual grammar, defined as the elements that affect the interpretation of an image, can maximize the richness and detail in an image while maintaining scientific accuracy. By properly using visual grammar, one can imply qualities that a two-dimensional image cannot show intrinsically, such as depth, motion and energy. In addition, composition can be used to engage viewers and keep them interested for a longer period of time. The use of these techniques can result in a striking image that will effectively convey the science within the image to scientists and to the public. Details of the pictorial examples used are presented in the conference web-proceedings and webcast.

  9. Amateur astronomers in support of observing campaigns (United States)

    Yanamandra-Fisher, P.


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

  10. Education and Outreach Opportunities in New Astronomical Facilities (United States)

    Mould, J. R.; Pompea, S.


    Astronomy presents extraordinary opportunities for engaging young people in science from an early age. The National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO), supported by the National Science Foundation, leverages the attraction of astronomy with a suite of formal and informal education programs that engage our scientists and education and public outreach professionals in effective, strategic programs that capitalize on NOAO's role as a leader in science and in the design of new astronomical facilities. The core of the science education group at NOAO in Tucson consists of a group of Ph.D.-level scientists with experience in educational program management, curriculum and instructional materials development, teacher/scientist partnerships, and teacher professional development. This core group of scientist/educators hybrids has a strong background in earth and space science education as well as experience in working with and teaching about the technology that has enabled new astronomical discoveries. NOAO has a vigorous public affairs/media program and a history of effectively working locally, regionally, and nationally with the media, schools, science centers, and, planetaria. In particular, NOAO has created successful programs exploring how research data and tools can be used most effectively in the classroom. For example, the Teacher Leaders in Research Based Science Education explores how teachers can most effectively integrate astronomical research on novae, active galactic nuclei, and the Sun into classroom-based investigations. With immersive summer workshops at Kitt Peak National Observatory and the National Solar Observatory at Sacramento Peak, teachers learn research and instrumentation skills and how to encourage and maintain research activities in their classrooms. Some of the new facilities proposed in the recent decadal plan, Astronomy and Astrophysics in the New Millennium (National Academy Press), can provide extended opportunities for incorporating

  11. The Undergraduate Research Resources at the Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute (United States)

    Cline, J. Donald; Castelaz, Michael W.


    Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute (PARI), a former NASA tracking station located in western North Carolina, has been offering programs, campus, and instrument use for undergraduate research and learning experiences since 2000. Over these years, PARI has collaborated with universities and colleges in the Southeastern U.S. Sharing its campus with institutions of higher learning is a priority for PARI as part of its mission to "to providing hands-on educational and research opportunities for a broad cross-section of users in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines."PARI is a 200 acre campus for environmental, earth, geological, physical, and astronomical sciences. For example, the PARI 26-m and 4.6-m radio telescopes are excellent for teaching electromagnetic theory, spectroscopy, atomic and molecular emission processes, and general physics and astronomy concepts. The PARI campus has lab and office space, data centers with high speed internet, distance learning capabilities, radio and optical telescopes, earth science sensors, housing and cafeteria.Also, the campus is in an excellent spot for environmental and biological sciences lab and classroom experiences for students. The campus has the capability to put power and Internet access almost anywhere on its 200 acre campus so experiments can be set up in a protected area of a national forest. For example, Earthscope operates a Plate Boundary Observatory sensor on campus to measure plate tectonic motion. And, Clemson University has an instrument measuring winds and temperatures in the Thermsophere. The use of thePARI campus is limited only by the creativity faculty to provide a rich educational environment for their students. An overview of PARI will be presented along with a summary of programs, and a summary of undergraduate research experiences over the past 15 years. Access to PARI and collaboration possibilities will be presented.

  12. Design and Tests of the Hard X-Ray Polarimeter X-Calibur (United States)

    Beilicke, M.; Baring, M. G.; Barthelmy, S.; Binns, W. R.; Buckley, J.; Cowsik, R.; Dowkontt, P.; Garson, A.; Guo, Q.; Haba, Y.; hide


    X-ray polarimetry promises to give qualitatively new information about high-energy astrophysical sources, such as binary black hole systems, micro-quasars, active galactic nuclei, and gamma-ray bursts. We designed, built and tested a hard X-ray polarimeter X-Calibur to be used in the focal plane of the InFOC(mu)S grazing incidence hard X-ray telescope. X-Calibur combines a low-Z Compton scatterer with a CZT detector assembly to measure the polarization of 10 - 80 keY X-rays making use of the fact that polarized photons Compton scatter preferentially perpendicular to the electric field orientation. X-Calibur achieves a high detection efficiency of order unity.

  13. Design and Optimization of a Complete Stokes Polarimeter for the MWIR

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)



    A figure of merit for optimization of a complete Stokes polarimeter based on its measurement matrix is described from the standpoint of singular value decomposition and analysis of variance. It is applied to optimize a system featuring a rotatable retarder and fixed polarizer, and to study the effects of non-ideal retarder properties. A retardance of 132{degree} (approximately three-eighths wave) and retarder orientation angles of {+-}51.7{degree} and {+-}15.1{degree} are favorable when four measurements are used. An achromatic, form-birefringent retarder for the 3--5 {micro}m spectral region has been fabricated and characterized. The effects of non-idealities in the form-birefringent retarder are moderate, and performance superior to that of a quarter-wave plate is expected.

  14. Characterization of a high-temperature superconducting bearing for use in a cosmic microwave background polarimeter

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hull, John R [Energy Technology Division, Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, IL 60439 (United States); Hanany, Shaul [School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55455 (United States); Matsumura, Tomotake [School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55455 (United States); Johnson, Bradley [School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55455 (United States); Jones, Terry [School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55455 (United States)


    We have previously presented a design for a cosmic microwave background (CMB) polarimeter in which a cryogenically cooled half-wave plate rotates by means of a high-temperature superconducting (HTS) bearing. Here, a prototype bearing, consisting of a commercially available ring-shaped permanent magnet and an array of YBCO bulk HTS material, has been constructed. We measured its coefficient of friction and vibrational property as a function of several parameters, including temperature between 15 and 83 K, rotation frequency between 0.3 and 3.5 Hz, levitation distance between 6 and 10 mm and ambient pressure of {approx}10{sup -7} Torr. We concluded that the low rotational drag of the HTS bearing would allow rotations for long periods with minimal input power and negligible wear and tear, thus making this technology suitable for a future satellite mission.

  15. Design and Tests of the Hard X-ray Polarimeter X-Calibur

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Beilicke


    Full Text Available X-ray polarimetry promises to give qualitatively new information bout high-energy astrophysical sources, such as binary black hole  systems, micro-quasars, active galactic nuclei, and gamma-ray bursts. We designed, built and tested ahard X-ray polarimeter, X-Calibur, to be used in the focal plane of the InFOCuS grazing incidence hard X-ray telescope.X-Calibur combines a low-Z Compton scatterer with a CZT detector assembly to measure the polarization of 20−60 keV X-rays making use of the fact that polarized photons Compton scatter preferentially perpendicular to the electric field orientation; in principal, a similar space-borne experiment could be operated in the 5−100 keV regime. X-Calibur achieves a high detection efficiency of order unity.

  16. Non-uniformity correction for division of focal plane polarimeters with a calibration method. (United States)

    Zhang, Junchao; Luo, Haibo; Hui, Bin; Chang, Zheng


    Division of focal plane polarimeters are composed of nanometer polarization elements overlaid upon a focal plane array (FPA) sensor. The manufacturing flaws of the polarization grating and each detector in the FPA having a different photo response can introduce non-uniformity errors when reconstructing the polarization image without correction. A new calibration method is proposed to mitigate non-uniformity errors in the visible waveband. We correct non-uniformity in the form of a vector. The correction matrix and offset vector are calculated for the following correction. The performance of the proposed method is compared with state-of-the-art techniques by employing simulated data and real scenes. The experimental results showed that the proposed method can effectively mitigate non-uniformity errors and achieve better visual results.

  17. In-line phase retarder and polarimeter for conversion of linear to circular polarization

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kortright, J.B.; Smith, N.V.; Denlinger, J.D. [Lawrence Berkeley National Lab., CA (United States)] [and others


    An in-line polarimeter including phase retarder and linear polarizer was designed and commissioned on undulator beamline 7.0 for the purpose of converting linear to circular polarization for experiments downstream. In commissioning studies, Mo/Si multilayers at 95 eV were used both as the upstream, freestanding phase retarder and the downstream linear polarized. The polarization properties of the phase retarder were characterized by direct polarimetry and by collecting MCD spectra in photoemission from Gd and other magnetic surfaces. The resonant birefringence of transmission multilayers results from differing distributions of s- and p-component wave fields in the multilayer when operating near a structural (Bragg) interference condition. The resulting phase retardation is especially strong when the interference is at or near the Brewster angle, which is roughly 45{degrees} in the EUV and soft x-ray ranges.

  18. A Spin-Light Polarimeter for Multi-GeV Longitudinally Polarized Electron Beams

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mohanmurthy, Prajwal [Mississippi State University, Starkville, MS (United States); Dutta, Dipangkar [Mississippi State University, Starkville, MS (United States) and Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility, Newport News, VA (United States)


    The physics program at the upgraded Jefferson Lab (JLab) and the physics program envisioned for the proposed electron-ion collider (EIC) include large efforts to search for interactions beyond the Standard Model (SM) using parity violation in electroweak interactions. These experiments require precision electron polarimetry with an uncertainty of < 0.5 %. The spin dependent Synchrotron radiation, called "spin-light," can be used to monitor the electron beam polarization. In this article we develop a conceptual design for a "spin-light" polarimeter that can be used at a high intensity, multi-GeV electron accelerator. We have also built a Geant4 based simulation for a prototype device and report some of the results from these simulations.

  19. A tracking polarimeter for measuring solar and ionospheric Faraday rotation of signals from deep space probes (United States)

    Ohlson, J. E.; Levy, G. S.; Stelzried, C. T.


    A tracking polarimeter implemented on the 64-m NASA/JPL paraboloid antenna at Goldstone, Calif., is described. Its performance is analyzed and compared with measurements. The system was developed to measure Faraday rotation in the solar corona of the telemetry carrier from the Pioneer VI spacecraft as it was occulted by the sun. It also measures rotation in the earth's ionosphere and is an accurate method of determining spacecraft orientation. The new feature of this system is its use of a pair of quarter-wave plates to allow the synthesis of a rotating feed system, while requiring the rotation of only a single section of waveguide. Since the polarization sensing is done at RF and the receiver operates essentially as a null detector, the system's accuracy is superior to other polarization tracking schemes. In addition, the antenna size and maser preamplifier provide unsurpassed sensitivity. The associated instrumentation used in the Pioneer VI experiment is also described.

  20. Faraday-effect polarimeter diagnostic for internal magnetic field fluctuation measurements in DIII-D. (United States)

    Chen, J; Ding, W X; Brower, D L; Finkenthal, D; Muscatello, C; Taussig, D; Boivin, R


    Motivated by the need to measure fast equilibrium temporal dynamics, non-axisymmetric structures, and core magnetic fluctuations (coherent and broadband), a three-chord Faraday-effect polarimeter-interferometer system with fast time response and high phase resolution has recently been installed on the DIII-D tokamak. A novel detection scheme utilizing two probe beams and two detectors for each chord results in reduced phase noise and increased time response [δb ∼ 1G with up to 3 MHz bandwidth]. First measurement results were obtained during the recent DIII-D experimental campaign. Simultaneous Faraday and density measurements have been successfully demonstrated and high-frequency, up to 100 kHz, Faraday-effect perturbations have been observed. Preliminary comparisons with EFIT are used to validate diagnostic performance. Principle of the diagnostic and first experimental results is presented.

  1. Young Astronomers' Observe with ESO Telescopes (United States)


    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

  2. Determination of the Kinematics of the Qweak Experiment and Investigation of an Atomic Hydrogen Moller Polarimeter

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gray, Valerie M. [College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA (United States); Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility (TJNAF), Newport News, VA (United States)


    The Qweak experiment has tested the Standard Model through making a precise measurement of the weak charge of the proton (QpW). This was done through measuring the parity-violating asymmetry for polarized electrons scattering off of unpolarized protons. The parity-violating asymmetry measured is directly proportional to the four-momentum transfer (Q^2) from the electron to the proton. The extraction of QpW from the measured asymmetry requires a precise Q^2 determination. The Qweak experiment had a Q^2 = 24.8 ± 0.1 m(GeV^2) which achieved the goal of an uncertainty of <= 0.5%. From the measured asymmetry and Q^2, QpW was determined to be 0.0719 ± 0.0045, which is in good agreement with the Standard Model prediction. This puts a 7.5 TeV lower limit on possible "new physics". This dissertation describes the analysis of Q^2 for the Qweak experiment. Future parity-violating electron scattering experiments similar to the Qweak experiment will measure asymmetries to high precision in order to test the Standard Model. These measurements will require the beam polarization to be measured to sub-0.5% precision. Presently the electron beam polarization is measured through Moller scattering off of a ferromagnetic foil or through using Compton scattering, both of which can have issues reaching this precision. A novel Atomic Hydrogen Moller Polarimeter has been proposed as a non-invasive way to measure the polarization of an electron beam via Moller scattering off of polarized monatomic hydrogen gas. This dissertation describes the development and initial analysis of a Monte Carlo simulation of an Atomic Hydrogen Moller Polarimeter.

  3. FPGA-Based X-Ray Detection and Measurement for an X-Ray Polarimeter (United States)

    Gregory, Kyle; Hill, Joanne; Black, Kevin; Baumgartner, Wayne


    This technology enables detection and measurement of x-rays in an x-ray polarimeter using a field-programmable gate array (FPGA). The technology was developed for the Gravitational and Extreme Magnetism Small Explorer (GEMS) mission. It performs precision energy and timing measurements, as well as rejection of non-x-ray events. It enables the GEMS polarimeter to detect precisely when an event has taken place so that additional measurements can be made. The technology also enables this function to be performed in an FPGA using limited resources so that mass and power can be minimized while reliability for a space application is maximized and precise real-time operation is achieved. This design requires a low-noise, charge-sensitive preamplifier; a highspeed analog to digital converter (ADC); and an x-ray detector with a cathode terminal. It functions by computing a sum of differences for time-samples whose difference exceeds a programmable threshold. A state machine advances through states as a programmable number of consecutive samples exceeds or fails to exceed this threshold. The pulse height is recorded as the accumulated sum. The track length is also measured based on the time from the start to the end of accumulation. For track lengths longer than a certain length, the algorithm estimates the barycenter of charge deposit by comparing the accumulator value at the midpoint to the final accumulator value. The design also employs a number of techniques for rejecting background events. This innovation enables the function to be performed in space where it can operate autonomously with a rapid response time. This implementation combines advantages of computing system-based approaches with those of pure analog approaches. The result is an implementation that is highly reliable, performs in real-time, rejects background events, and consumes minimal power.

  4. The three-wave laser polarimeter-interferometer on J-TEXT tokamak (United States)

    Zhuang, G.; Liu, Y.; Chen, J.; Gao, L.; Li, Q.; Xiong, C. Y.; Shi, P.; Zhou, Y. N.


    Motivated by increasing demands on high-quality measurement of interior magnetic field in tokamak plasma, a far-infrared laser-based polarimeter-interferometer system has been developed on J-TEXT. Three formic acid lasers separately pumped by three CO2 lasers are used as sources, providing more than 90 mW output power in total. High laser power along with usage of newly developed planar Schottky diode mixer enable high phase resolution cross-section of the plasma to provide high spatial resolution measurement. With this system, MHD equilibrium of the J-TEXT plasma has been reconstructed. Obscure perturbations on magnetic topology and electron density associated with MHD instabilities, e.g. sawteeth and tearing modes have also been observed. In particular, some interesting features of disruptions in high-density discharges are identified by carefully interpreting the measured polarimeter-interferometer data. In the density ramp-up phase of a high density discharge, asymmetry in both electron density and current density profiles between the Low-Field-Side (LFS) edge (r > 0.8a) and the High-Field-Side (HFS) edge (r < -0.8a) would appear and extend gradually toward the center region. At the same time, a low-frequency (< 1 kHz) density perturbation suddenly occurs at the HFS edge and also gradually propagates into the center region. The disruption takes place when the electron density asymmetry/perturbation reaches the location nearly the m/n = 2/1 (where m and n are the toroidal mode number and the poloidal one, respectively) resonant surface. Evolution of the reconstructed electron density and current density profiles present the details on the asymmetrical behaviors and provide a possible explanation for the high density disruption.

  5. Staring/focusing lobster-eye hard x-ray imaging for non-astronomical objects (United States)

    Gertsenshteyn, Michael; Jannson, Tomasz; Savant, Gajendra


    A new approach to hard X-ray imaging is proposed, based on staring optics consisting of a lobster-eye lens. This new Staring Imaging Lobster-Eye X-Ray approach is especially suited to X-ray lobster-eye imaging of non-astronomical objects at finite distances, because the staring optics replacing the standard scanning optics, result in an extremely efficient power budget, making possible not only the use of low-efficiency Compton backscattering but also operation with low-flux X-ray beams, increasing operator safety. The lobster-eye optics, consisting of square-cross-section microchannels, transmit an X-ray beam by total external reflection. This mode of operation has already been verified for viewing astronomical objects. Its major challenge is minimizing image defocusing by apodization. For this purpose, a new lens imaging equation is derived, and a new local optical axis concept is defined. Applications include medical imaging, cargo inspection, non-destructive testing, industrial and security safeguards, and surveillance.

  6. Community College Class Devoted to Astronomical Research (United States)

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


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

  7. The astronomical orientation of ancient Greek temples. (United States)

    Salt, Alun M


    Despite its appearing to be a simple question to answer, there has been no consensus as to whether or not the alignments of ancient Greek temples reflect astronomical intentions. Here I present the results of a survey of archaic and classical Greek temples in Sicily and compare them with temples in Greece. Using a binomial test I show strong evidence that there is a preference for solar orientations. I then speculate that differences in alignment patterns between Sicily and Greece reflect differing pressures in the expression of ethnic identity.

  8. Technology advancements for future astronomical missions (United States)

    Barnes, Arnold A.; Knight, J. Scott; Lightsey, Paul A.; Harwit, Alex; Coyle, Laura


    Future astronomical telescopes in space will have architectures with complex and demanding requirements in order to meet their science goals. The missions currently being studied by NASA for consideration in the next Decadal Survey range in wavelength from the X-ray to Far infrared; examining phenomenon from imaging exoplanets and characterizing their atmospheres to detecting gravitational waves. These missions have technical challenges that are near or beyond the state of the art from the telescope to the detectors. This paper describes some of these challenges and possible solutions. Promising measurements and future demonstrations are discussed that can enhance or enable these missions.

  9. Astronomical Plate Archives and Binary Blazars Studies

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Hudec, René


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

  10. Le Verrier magnificent and detestable astronomer

    CERN Document Server

    Lequeux, James


    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.

  11. Far-infrared spectrophotometer for astronomical observations (United States)

    Moseley, H.; Silverberg, R. F.


    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.

  12. ESO's Studentship Programmes: Training Tomorrow's Astronomers Today (United States)

    West, Michael; Rejkuba, Marina; Leibundgut, Bruno; Emsellem, Eric


    Students are the lifeblood of astronomy, the next generation of astronomers. While other scientific disciplines are facing declining student enrollments, the ASTRONET strategic plan for European Astronomy notes “young students have continued to enter the field at a steady level”. Indeed, with Very Large Telescope (VLT), Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT) and other exciting new facilities on the horizon, it is hard to imagine a better time to be an astronomy student.

  13. The astronomical revolution Copernicus, Kepler, Borelli

    CERN Document Server

    Koyre, Alexandre


    Originally published in English in 1973. This volume traces the development of the revolution which so drastically altered man's view of the universe in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The ""astronomical revolution"" was accomplished in three stages, each linked with the work of one man. With Copernicus, the sun became the centre of the universe. With Kepler, celestial dynamics replaced the kinematics of circles and spheres used by Copernicus. With Borelli the unification of celestial and terrestrial physics was completed by abandonment of the circle in favour the straight line to inf

  14. Astronomical analysis of the taosi observatory site (United States)

    Liu, C. Y.


    An ancient observatory was unearthed recently at Taosi site. This paper discussed the figure of the relic, analyzed the relationship between the 12 backsights and calendar date using astronomical method, and compared the simulated observation with theoretic computation. The investigation shows that backsight E2---E12 indicated the directions of sunrise in the whole year, which were roughly equally distributed and offered an unequal calendar system. The backsight E1 indicated the south-end of the moonrise, giving a time symbol of 18---19 years. This building must be a complex of solar observation, time service, solar worship, and sacrificial ritual

  15. Determination of electron beam polarization using electron detector in Compton polarimeter with less than 1% statistical and systematic uncertainty

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Narayan, Amrendra [Mississippi State Univ., Mississippi State, MS (United States)


    The Q-weak experiment aims to measure the weak charge of proton with a precision of 4.2%. The proposed precision on weak charge required a 2.5% measurement of the parity violating asymmetry in elastic electron - proton scattering. Polarimetry was the largest experimental contribution to this uncertainty and a new Compton polarimeter was installed in Hall C at Jefferson Lab to make the goal achievable. In this polarimeter the electron beam collides with green laser light in a low gain Fabry-Perot Cavity; the scattered electrons are detected in 4 planes of a novel diamond micro strip detector while the back scattered photons are detected in lead tungstate crystals. This diamond micro-strip detector is the first such device to be used as a tracking detector in a nuclear and particle physics experiment. The diamond detectors are read out using custom built electronic modules that include a preamplifier, a pulse shaping amplifier and a discriminator for each detector micro-strip. We use field programmable gate array based general purpose logic modules for event selection and histogramming. Extensive Monte Carlo simulations and data acquisition simulations were performed to estimate the systematic uncertainties. Additionally, the Moller and Compton polarimeters were cross calibrated at low electron beam currents using a series of interleaved measurements. In this dissertation, we describe all the subsystems of the Compton polarimeter with emphasis on the electron detector. We focus on the FPGA based data acquisition system built by the author and the data analysis methods implemented by the author. The simulations of the data acquisition and the polarimeter that helped rigorously establish the systematic uncertainties of the polarimeter are also elaborated, resulting in the first sub 1% measurement of low energy (?1 GeV) electron beam polarization with a Compton electron detector. We have demonstrated that diamond based micro-strip detectors can be used for tracking in a

  16. Practical fiber optic sensor for measuring large mechanical deformations (United States)

    Johannessen, Kjetil; Wessel Johnsen, Lars G.


    A fiber-optic sensor for measuring large mechanical deformations based on a digital use of fringes in a polarimeter was developed and tested in the laboratory. Two sensors were mounted on an air cushion catamaran and used for measuring strain in the fiberglass laminates and thereby also the relative movement of the two hulls. The data were logged together with other ship movement data and provided useful information on the craft performance.

  17. Astronomical observation devices CIAO and COMICS for Telescope Subaru; Sugbaru boenkyo kansoku sochi CIAO/COMICS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)



    Described herein are astronomical observation devices, a coronagraph imaging device (CIAO) and intermediate-infrared imaging spectrometer (COMICS), delivered to National Astronomical Observatory in October 1999. These devices are for the focal section of Telescope Subaru, completed in Hawaii in 1999 (devices for the first stage project), to observe various celestial objects by imaging and spectroscopically processing the infrared ray data collected by the telescope. This company has developed these devices jointly with National Astronomical Observatory as the orderer. They have been in service since December 1999 when they were set in the telescope (the attached photograph shows COMICS). Its major specifications are dimensions: 2,000 mm long, 2,000 mm wide and 1900 mm high, weight: 1,300 kg (CIAO) and 1640 kg (COMICS), and detector temperature: 35K (-238 degrees C) for CIAO and 5K (-268 degrees C) for COMICS. They are featured by the infrared sensor and optical system cooled by a system which uses a refrigerator to prevent heat radiation (infrared ray) from the ambient; and the optical system being insulated and supported by a tension strap structure to keep its performance unaffected by cooling or slanting ({+-}70 degrees). (translated by NEDO)

  18. Astronomers Make First Images With Space Radio Telescope (United States)


    from orbiting radio telescopes. "We would be skeptical of a complex image if we had not been able to obtain a good point image first," Romney added. A second observing target, the quasar 1156+295, observed on June 5, made a more interesting picture. Seen by ground-based radio observatories, this object, at a distance of 6.5 billion light years, has been known to show an elongation in its structure to the northeast of the core. However, seen with the space-ground system, it is clearly shown to have both a core and a complex "jet" emerging from the core. Such jets, consisting of subatomic particles moving near the speed of light, are seen in many quasars and active galaxies throughout the universe. In fact, 1156+295 is one of a class of objects recently found by NASA's Compton Gamma-Ray Observatory to exhibit powerful gamma-ray emission; such objects are among the most compact and energetic known in the universe. "By showing that this object actually is a core-jet system, HALCA has produced its first new scientific information, and demonstrates its imaging capabilities for a variety of astrophysical investigations," Romney said. "This image shows that the jet extends much closer to the core, or 'central engine' of the quasar than is shown by ground-only imaging," Romney added. "This is an exciting and historical achievement for radio astronomy," said Miller Goss, NRAO's VLA/VLBA Director. "At NRAO, we have seen our colleagues -- scientists, electrical engineers, computer programmers and technicians in Socorro and Green Bank -- work for years on this project. Now, they can take pride in their success." Radio astronomers, like astronomers using visible light, usually seek to make images of the objects at which they aim their telescopes. Because radio waves are much longer than light waves, a radio telescope must be much larger than an optical instrument in order to see the same amount of detail. Greater ability to see detail, called resolving power, has been a quest of

  19. Conducting Original, Hands-On Astronomical Research in the Classroom (United States)

    Corneau, M. J.


    teachers to convey moderately complex computer science, optical, geographic, mathematical, informational and physical principles through hands-on telescope operations. In addition to the general studies aspects of classroom internet-based astronomy, Tzec Maun supports real science by enabling operators precisely point telescopes and acquire extremely faint, magnitude 19+ CCD images. Thanks to the creative Team of Photometrica (, my teams now have the ability to process and analyze images online and produce results in short order. Normally, astronomical data analysis packages cost greater than thousands of dollars for single license operations. Free to my team members, Photometrica allows students to upload their data to a cloud computing server and read precise photometric and/or astrometric results. I’m indebted to Michael and Geir for their support. The efficacy of student-based research is well documented. The Council on Undergraduate Research defines student research as, "an inquiry or investigation conducted by an undergraduate that makes an original intellectual or creative contribution to the discipline." ( Teaching from Tzec Maun in the classroom is the most original teaching research I can imagine. I very much look forward to presenting this program to the convened body.

  20. Astronomical Alignments in a Neolithic Chinese Site? (United States)

    Nelson, S.; Stencel, R. E.


    In the Manchurian province of Liaoning, near 41N19' and 119E30', exist ruins of a middle Neolithic society (2500 to 4000 BC) known as the Hongshan culture. This location, called Niuheliang, is comprised of 16 locations with monumental structures scattered over 80 square kilometers of hills. Most are stone burial structures that contain jade artifacts implying wealth and power. One structure is unique in being unusually shaped and containing oversized effigies of goddess figures. This structure also has a commanding view of the surrounding landscape. The presence of decorated pottery, jade and worked copper suggests the Hongshan people were sophisticated artisans and engaged in long-distance trading. During 1997, we've conducted a course at Denver as part of our Core Curriculum program for upper division students, that has examined the astronomical and cultural aspects of the Niuheliang site, to attempt to determine whether these contemporaries of the builders of Stonehenge may have included astronomical alignments into their constructions. The preliminary result of our studies suggests that certain monuments have potential for lunar standstill observation from the "goddess temple". For updates on these results, please see our website: rstencel/core2103.html.

  1. Astronomers Discover Spectacular Structure in Distant Galaxy (United States)


    Researchers using the National Science Foundation's Very Large Array (VLA) radio telescope have imaged a "spectacular and complex structure" in a galaxy 50 million light-years away. Their work both resolves a decades-old observational mystery and revises current theories about the origin of X-ray emission coming from gas surrounding the galaxy. The new VLA image is of the galaxy M87, which harbors at its core a supermassive black hole spewing out jets of subatomic particles at nearly the speed of light and also is the central galaxy of the Virgo Cluster of galaxies. The VLA image is the first to show detail of a larger structure that originally was detected by radio astronomers more than a half-century ago. Analysis of the new image indicates that astronomers will have to revise their ideas about the physics of what causes X-ray emission in the cores of many galaxy clusters. Frazer Owen of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) in Socorro, NM; Jean Eilek of the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology (NM Tech) in Socorro, NM; and Namir Kassim of the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, DC, announced their discovery at the American Astronomical Society's meeting today in Austin, TX. The new observations show two large, bubble-like lobes, more than 200,000 light-years across, that emit radio waves. These lobes, which are intricately detailed, apparently are powered by gravitational energy released from the black hole at the galaxy's center. "We think that material is flowing outward from the galaxy's core into these large, bright, radio-emitting 'bubbles,'" Owen said. The newly-discovered "bubbles" sit inside a region of the galaxy known to be emitting X-rays. Theorists have speculated that this X-ray emission arises when gas that originally was part of the Virgo Cluster of galaxies, cools and falls inwards onto M87 itself, at the center of the cluster. Such "cooling flows" are commonly thought to be responsible for strong X-ray emission in many

  2. Young Astronomers and Astronomy teaching in Moldavia (United States)

    Gaina, Alex


    Curricular Astronomy is taught in Moldavia , except Transnistria and Gagauzia, in the final (11th class) of the secondary schools and gymnasiums, and in the 12th class of the lyceums. The program takes 35 academic hours. The basic book is by Vorontsov-Veliaminov, used in the former USSR, but the Romanian one is also used, in spite of many criticisms addressed to both by our astronomy teachers. In Transinstria (on the left of the Dniester river)astronomy is taught 17 hours. Extracurricular activities develop at the Real Lyceum, where students and amateur astronomers carry out regular observations. Particularly, photographs of the comet Hale-Bopp have been realized using a Cassegrain 450 mm telescope by young astronomers under supervision of S. Luca and D. Gorodetzky (Gorodetchi). Except the telescope from the Real Lyceum other few telescopes are in construction. Unfortunately, no planetarium exists now in Chisinau, since the old one was returned to church. Astronomy courses are taught at the physical and mathematical departments of the Pedagogical University, Transnistrian Moldavian University in Tiraspol and the State University of |Moldavia. Many efforts were made by the State University lecturers and scientists to popularize Astronomy and Astrophysics in the books and in the press, at the radio and TV. No astronomy is taught at the Gagauzian National University in Comrat. No astronomiucal departments exist in Universities of |Moldavia.

  3. Sketching the moon an astronomical artist's guide

    CERN Document Server

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


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

  4. Harvey Butcher: a passion for astronomical instrumentation (United States)

    Bhathal, Ragbir


    This paper covers some aspects of the scientific life of Harvey Butcher who was the Director of the Research School for Astronomy and Astrophysics at the Australian National University in Canberra from September 2007 to January 2013. He has made significant contributions to research on the evolution of galaxies, nucleosynthesis, and on the design and implementation of advanced astronomical instrumentation including LOFAR (Low Frequency Array Radio telescope). He is well known for his discovery of the Butcher-Oemler effect. Before coming to Australia he was the Director of the Netherlands Foundation for Research in Astronomy from September 1991 to January 2007. In 2005 he was awarded a Knighthood in the Order of the Netherlands Lion for contributions to interdisciplinary science, innovation and public outreach.This paper is based on an interview conducted by the author with Harvey Butcher for the National Project on Significant Australian Astronomers sponsored by the National Library of Australia. Except otherwise stated, all quotations used in this paper are from the Butcher interview which has been deposited in the Oral History Archives of the National Library.

  5. Powerful Radio Burst Indicates New Astronomical Phenomenon (United States)


    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. The First Astronomical Observatory in Cluj-Napoca (United States)

    Szenkovits, Ferenc


    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.

  7. Grid-Enabled Interactive Data Language for Astronomical Data Project (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Grid technologies provide a valuable solution for data intensive scientific applications but are not readily available for astronomical data and Interactive Data...

  8. Imaging Spectropolarimeter for the Multi-Application Solar Telescope at Udaipur Solar Observatory: Characterization of Polarimeter and Preliminary Observations (United States)

    Tiwary, Alok Ranjan; Mathew, Shibu K.; Bayanna, A. Raja; Venkatakrishnan, P.; Yadav, Rahul


    The Multi-Application Solar Telescope (MAST) is a 50 cm off-axis Gregorian telescope that has recently become operational at the Udaipur Solar Observatory (USO). An imaging spectropolarimeter is being developed as one of the back-end instruments of MAST to gain a better understanding of the evolution and dynamics of solar magnetic and velocity fields. This system consists of a narrow-band filter and a polarimeter. The polarimeter includes a linear polarizer and two sets of liquid crystal variable retarders (LCVRs). The instrument is intended for simultaneous observations in the spectral lines 6173 Å and 8542 Å, which are formed in the photosphere and chromosphere, respectively. In this article, we present results from the characterization of the LCVRs for the spectral lines of interest and the response matrix of the polarimeter. We also present preliminary observations of an active region obtained using the spectropolarimeter. For verification purposes, we compare the Stokes observations of the active region obtained from the Helioseismic Magnetic Imager (HMI) onboard the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) with that of MAST observations in the spectral line 6173 Å. We find good agreement between the two observations, considering the fact that MAST observations are limited by seeing.

  9. Multinational History of Strasbourg Astronomical Observatory

    CERN Document Server

    Heck, André


    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...

  10. Young astronomer in Denmark 1946 to 1958

    CERN Document Server

    Høg, Erik


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

  11. Astronomical knowledge transmission through illustrated Aratea manuscripts

    CERN Document Server

    Dolan, Marion


    This carefully researched monograph is a historical investigation of the illustrated Aratea astronomical manuscript and its many interpretations over the centuries. Aratus' 270 B.C.E. Greek poem describing the constellations and astrological phenomena was translated and copied over 800 years into illuminated manuscripts that preserved and illustrated these ancient stories about the constellations. The Aratea survives in its entirety due to multiple translations from Greek to Latin and even to Arabic, with many illuminated versions being commissioned over the ages. The survey encompasses four interrelated disciplines: history of literature, history of myth, history of science, and history of art. Aratea manuscripts by their nature are a meeting place of these distinct branches, and the culling of information from historical literature and from the manuscripts themselves focuses on a wider, holistic view; a narrow approach could not provide a proper prospective. What is most essential to know about this work is...

  12. Cultural contacts at International Astronomical Olympiads (United States)

    Babakhanova, Siranush


    It is surprising, but the fact is that the International Olympiads are often only combined with the competition, whereas the intercultural communication between the representatives of different nationalities and the expanding of ideologies of young people are the general-purpose components of not only in frames of the boundaries of scientific expertise, but also such communications, the Olympiads. Worldviews meeting and collaboration are driving forces of progress and play the most important role in the development of the modern science. Armenia participates in the International Astronomical Olympiads since 1997, and in the International Olympiads on Astronomy and Astrophysics since 2013. The Armenian team has always shown high results in competitions and is actively involved in cultural activities.

  13. Shirakatsi Astronomical and Natural Philosophical Views (United States)

    Mkrtchyan, Lilit


    Our work is aimed at presenting Shirakatsi astronomical and natural philosophical views. Karl Anania Shirakatsi is classified as one of the world-class intellectual geniuses. He was endowed with exceptional talent and analyzing scientific understanding of natural phenomena. He refers his philosophical works to almost all fields of science, cosmography, mathematics, calendarology, historiography, etc. Shirakatsy's earnings of natural science and natural philosophy in medieval is too big He was the first prominent scholar and thinker of his time, creating a unique, comprehensive gitapilisopayakan system that still feeds the human mind. The scientific value of Shirakatsi has great importance not only for Armenians but also for the whole world of science, history, culture and philosophy. Shirakatsi can be considered not only national but also universal greatness.

  14. Dacic Ancient Astronomical Research in Sarmizegetuza

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emanuel George Oprea


    Full Text Available The actual Romanian territory belongs to Carpatho-Danubian Space and to Ancient Europe. The Ancient European Society was a vast cultural entity based on a theocratic, matriarchal society, peaceful and art creating.Temples of Sarmizegetusa have given rise to several theories over time, proven by historians with the most diverse arguments. The largest complex of temples and sanctuaries was founded in Sarmizegetusa Regia, the Dacian’s main fortress and ancient capital of Dacia in the time of King Decebalus. The mysterious form of settlements has led researchers to the conclusion that the locations were astronomical observation shrines. Among the places of Dacian worship in Orastie Mountains the most impressive is the Great Circular Sanctuary, used to perform some celestial observations, and also as original solar calendar. This paper had the purpose to re-discover the Dacian Civilization and Dacian cosmogony based on the accumulated knowledge upon our country’s past.

  15. A Star Formation/ISM Astronomical Database (United States)

    Molinari, Sergio; Ali, Babar; Good, John; Noriega-Crespo, Alberto


    The Star Formation/ISM Astronomical Database (hereafter SFD) will be a set of on-line services adding value to existing data archives and published journals, along the lines of the very successful NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database (NED) and SIMBAD projects but with a focus on star formation an the interstellar medium (ISM) within the Milky Way. Unlike NED and SIMBAD, however, the SFD must deal with multi-wavelength measurements of extended regions and cross-correlative relationships between disparate measurements. The SFD will rely heavily on existing databases, primarily adding data content and connectivity between datasets around the world, and custom tailoring of existing tools to provide interfaces (programming API, Web, and JAVA GUI) specific to this application. We consider the SFD as a valuable component in the broader context of a future Virtual Observatory.

  16. A possible Harappan Astronomical Observatory at Dholavira

    CERN Document Server

    Vahia, Mayank N


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

  17. Thirty years of astronomical discovery with UKIRT

    CERN Document Server

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


    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.

  18. Polarization in astronomical spectra - Theoretical evidence (United States)

    Fymat, A. L.


    Theoretical evidence for the existence and behavior of polarization in astronomical spectra is provided. The theory for the study of spectral multiple scattering of arbitrarily polarized light is first developed, and the detailed and integrated spectropolarimetry of a planetary atmosphere is then studied for cases in which the spectra are formed in the presence of either very small nonspherical particles (Rayleigh-Cabannes scattering) or large polydisperse spherical particles (Mie scattering). It is shown in both cases that polarization is indeed present; it increases with the line strength but decreases afterwards as the line becomes very strong and tends to saturation. A polarization reversal is also predicted during latitudinal (pole-to-equator) scan and possibly also during longitudinal (terminator-to-limb) scan of the planet. The reversal happened at all phase angles considered. Our companion article (Forbes and Fymat) will provide observational substantiation to these theoretical predictions.

  19. Integral Programme of Basic Astronomic Literacy Development (United States)

    Tignanelli, H.


    We discuss the development and optimization of an ongoing educational project involving the whole population of the province of San Luis, Argentina. The core of the project includes activities and resources that capture formal curricular aspects directed towards all levels of teaching. The educational activities related to this project have been benefited by the acquisition of two planetariums made in Argentina, a MEADE 16'' telescope to be operated by remote control from any school-room in San Luis, and a naked-eye observatory with more than 30 pre-telescopic instruments, and other didactic tools specially designed for the teaching of Astronomy. Furthermore, an Internet site to upload all the astronomical activities suggested that has been developed along with a number of didactic and general-interest publications.

  20. The astronomical revolution. Copernicus - Kepler - Borelli. (United States)

    Koyré, A.

    The work was originally published in 1961 under the title "La révolution astronomique" as part of the series, Histoire de la pensée. This book is an unabridged and unaltered republication of the English translation, by R. E. W. Maddison, originally published in 1973 (see 10.003.074). The author elucidates, precisely and in stages, the revolutionary ideas of Nicolaus Copernicus as well as the work of two other thinkers who made major contributions to the astronomical revolution: Johannes Kepler and Giovanni Borelli. He illuminates the exact contribution of each man, placing his work in its historical context and dispelling a host of misconceptions about it. In order to effectively recapture the ferment and flavor of the times, the author, whenever possible, has allowed Copernicus, Kepler and Borelli to speak for themselves by quoting key passages from their writings. Many of these passages were here translated for the first time.

  1. Data Triage of Astronomical Transients: A Machine Learning Approach (United States)

    Rebbapragada, U.

    This talk presents real-time machine learning systems for triage of big data streams generated by photometric and image-differencing pipelines. Our first system is a transient event detection system in development for the Palomar Transient Factory (PTF), a fully-automated synoptic sky survey that has demonstrated real-time discovery of optical transient events. The system is tasked with discriminating between real astronomical objects and bogus objects, which are usually artifacts of the image differencing pipeline. We performed a machine learning forensics investigation on PTF’s initial system that led to training data improvements that decreased both false positive and negative rates. The second machine learning system is a real-time classification engine of transients and variables in development for the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP), an upcoming wide-field radio survey with unprecedented ability to investigate the radio transient sky. The goal of our system is to classify light curves into known classes with as few observations as possible in order to trigger follow-up on costlier assets. We discuss the violation of standard machine learning assumptions incurred by this task, and propose the use of ensemble and hierarchical machine learning classifiers that make predictions most robustly.

  2. Astronomical site selection for Turkey using GIS techniques (United States)

    Aksaker, N.; Yerli, S. K.; Erdoğan, M. A.; Erdi, E.; Kaba, K.; Ak, T.; Aslan, Z.; Bakış, V.; Demircan, O.; Evren, S.; Keskin, V.; Küçük, İ.; Özdemir, T.; Özışık, T.; Selam, S. O.


    A site selection of potential observatory locations in Turkey have been carried out by using Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) coupled with Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and satellite imagery which in turn reduced cost and time and increased the accuracy of the final outcome. The layers of cloud cover, digital elevation model, artificial lights, precipitable water vapor, aerosol optical thickness and wind speed were studied in the GIS system. In conclusion of MCDA, the most suitable regions were found to be located in a strip crossing from southwest to northeast including also a diverted region in southeast of Turkey. These regions are thus our prime candidate locations for future on-site testing. In addition to this major outcome, this study has also been applied to locations of major observatories sites. Since no goal is set for the best, the results of this study is limited with a list of positions. Therefore, the list has to be further confirmed with on-site tests. A national funding has been awarded to produce a prototype of an on-site test unit (to measure both astronomical and meteorological parameters) which might be used in this list of locations.

  3. Detection and removal of artifacts in astronomical images (United States)

    Desai, S.; Mohr, J. J.; Bertin, E.; Kümmel, M.; Wetzstein, M.


    Astronomical images from optical photometric surveys are typically contaminated with transient artifacts such as cosmic rays, satellite trails and scattered light. We have developed and tested an algorithm that removes these artifacts using a deep, artifact free, static sky coadd image built up through the median combination of point spread function (PSF) homogenized, overlapping single epoch images. Transient artifacts are detected and masked in each single epoch image through comparison with an artifact free, PSF-matched simulated image that is constructed using the PSF-corrected, model fitting catalog from the artifact free coadd image together with the position variable PSF model of the single epoch image. This approach works well not only for cleaning single epoch images with worse seeing than the PSF homogenized coadd, but also the traditionally much more challenging problem of cleaning single epoch images with better seeing. In addition to masking transient artifacts, we have developed an interpolation approach that uses the local PSF and performs well in removing artifacts whose widths are smaller than the PSF full width at half maximum, including cosmic rays, the peaks of saturated stars and bleed trails. We have tested this algorithm on Dark Energy Survey Science Verification data and present performance metrics. More generally, our algorithm can be applied to any survey which images the same part of the sky multiple times.

  4. Geographic Information Processings for Astronomical Site Survey (United States)

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


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

  5. US Astronomers Access to SIMBAD in Strasbourg (United States)

    Oliversen, Ronald (Technical Monitor); Eichhorn, Guenther


    During the last year the US SIMBAD Gateway Project continued to provide services like user registration to the US users of the SIMBAD database in France. Currently there are over 4500 US users registered. We also provided user support by answering questions from users and handling requests for lost passwords when still necessary. Even though almost all users now access SIMBAD without a password, based on hostnames/IP addresses, there are still some users that need individual passwords. We continued to maintain the mirror copy of the SIMBAD database on a server at SAO. This allows much faster access for the US users. During the past year we again moved this mirror to a faster server to improve access for the US users. We again supported a demonstration of the SIMBAD database at the meeting of the American Astronomical Society in January. We provided support for the demonstration activities at the SIMBAD booth. We paid part of the fee for the SIMBAD demonstration. We continued to improve the cross-linking between the SIMBAD project and the Astrophysics Data System. This cross-linking between these systems is very much appreciated by the users of both the SIMBAD database and the ADS Abstract Service. The mirror of the SIMBAD database at SA0 makes this connection faster for the US astronomers. We exchange information between the ADS and SIMBAD on a daily basis. During the last year we also installed a mirror copy of the Vizier system from the CDS, in addition to the SIMBAD mirror.

  6. US Gateway to SIMBAD Astronomical Database (United States)

    Eichhorn, G.; Oliversen, R. (Technical Monitor)


    During the last year the US SIMBAD Gateway Project continued to provide services like user registration to the US users of the SIMBAD database in France. Currently there are over 3400 US users registered. We also provide user support by answering questions from users and handling requests for lost passwords when still necessary. We have implemented in cooperation with the CDS SIMBAD project access to the SIMBAD database for US users on an Internet address basis. This allows most US users to access SIMBAD without having to enter passwords. We have maintained the mirror copy of the SIMBAD database on a server at SAO. This has allowed much faster access for the US users. We also supported a demonstration of the SIMBAD database at the meeting of the American Astronomical Society in January. We shipped computer equipment to the meeting and provided support for the demonstration activities at the SIMBAD booth. We continued to improve the cross-linking between the SIMBAD project and the Astrophysics Data System. This cross-linking between these systems is very much appreciated by the users of both the SIMBAD database and the ADS Abstract Service. The mirror of the SIMBAD database at SAO makes this connection faster for the US astronomers. We exchange information between the ADS and SIMBAD on a daily basis. The close cooperation between the CDS in Strasbourg and SAO, facilitated by this project, is an important part of the astronomy-wide digital library initiative called Urania. It has proven to be a model in how different data centers can collaborate and enhance the value of their products by linking with other data centers.

  7. ALOHA/CHARA at 1.55 μm: sensitivity improvement and on-sky ability to detect astronomical sources in H band (United States)

    Darré, P.; Grossard, L.; Delage, L.; Reynaud, F.; Scott, N. J.; Sturmann, J.; Ten Brummelaar, T. A.


    The interferometric concept named ALOHA (Astronomical Light Optical Hybrid Analysis) offers an alternative for high resolution imaging in the mid-infrared domain by shifting the astronomical light to shorter wavelength where optical guided components from telecommunications are available and efficient. A prototype with two arms converting a signal from 1.55 μm to 630 nm is used to validate the concept in laboratory and on-sky. Thanks to collaboration with the CHARA team, photometric tests were achieved with a single arm of the interferometer and have allowed to predict instrument performance in its interferometric configuration in order to obtain first fringes in H band.

  8. Software Package for Preparing and Processing of an Astronomical Observation (United States)

    Vaduvescu, Ovidiu; Birlan, Mirel

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

  9. Project ASTRO: How-To Manual for Teachers and Astronomers. (United States)

    Richter, Jessica; Fraknoi, Andrew

    Project ASTRO is an innovative program to support science education by linking teachers and students in grades 4-9 with amateur and professional astronomers with the overall goal being to increase students' interest in astronomy and science in general. This manual was designed for teachers, amateur and professional astronomers, youth group…

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ki-Won Lee


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

  11. Astronomical Books and Charts in the Book of Bibliographie Coreenne (United States)

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


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

  12. How Astronomers Focused the Scope of their Discussions: The Formation of the Astronomical Society of Australia (United States)

    Lomb, Nick


    Scientific societies provide an important forum for scientists to meet and exchange ideas. In the early days of European settlement in Australia the few people interested in the sciences joined together to form societies that embraced all their individual disciplines. From 1888 the Australasian Association for the Advancement of Science with its different sections allowed a growing number of astronomers to share meetings only with researchers in the closely allied fields of mathematics and physics. Eventually, all three of these groups formed their own societies with the Astronomical Society of Australia (ASA) being the last in 1966. Archival records are used to illustrate how the formation of the ASA came about and to identify the people involved. The makeup of Australian astronomy at that period and some of its research fields are looked at, as well as the debates and discussions in the Society's first year while its future structure and role were established.

  13. Concept and realization of the A4 Compton backscattering polarimeter at MAMI

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lee, Jeong Han


    The main concern of the A4 parity violation experiment at the Mainzer Microtron accelerator facility is to study the electric and magnetic contributions of strange quarks to the charge and magnetism of the nucleons at the low momentum transfer region. More precisely, the A4 collaboration investigates the strange quarks' contribution to the electric and magnetic vector form factors of the nucleons. Thus, it is important that the A4 experiment uses an adequate and precise non-destructive online monitoring tool for the electron beam polarization when measuring single spin asymmetries in elastic scattering of polarized electrons from unpolarized nucleons. As a consequence, the A4 Compton backscattering polarimeter was designed and installed such that we can take the absolute measurement of the electron beam polarization without interruption to the parity violation experiment. The present study shows the development of an electron beam line that is called the chicane for the A4 Compton backscattering polarimeter. The chicane is an electron beam transport line and provides an interaction region where the electron beam and the laser beam overlap. After studying the properties of beam line components carefully, we developed an electron beam control system that makes a beam overlap between the electron beam and the laser beam. Using the system, we can easily achieve the beam overlap in a short time. The electron control system, of which the performance is outstanding, is being used in production beam times. And the study presents the development of a scintillating fiber electron detector that reduces the statistical error in the electron polarization measurement. We totally redesigned the scintillating fiber detector. The data that were taken during a 2008 beam time shows a huge background suppression, approximately 80 percent, while leaving the Compton spectra almost unchanged when a coincidence between the fiber detector and the photon detector is used. Thus, the

  14. Astronomical Orientation in the Ancient Dacian Sanctuaries of Romania (United States)

    Stănescu, Florin

    Sarmizegetusa Regia, the former capital city of the Dacians' kingdom, is situated in the Şureanu (Orăştie) Mountains in the Southern Carpathians, Romania. This chapter reviews, from the astronomical point of view, two of the monuments located on its Sacred Terrace - the altar known as the "Andesite Sun" and the Central Apse of the Great Round Sanctuary - as well as sanctuaries at the nearby site of Costeşti. Astronomical analyses taking into consideration (a) the astronomical-geometrical methods of the time (the analemma of a sundial after Vitruvius and the stereographical projection in the sense of Hipparchus), (b) astronomical instruments of the time (the gnomon, the sundial and the astrolabe), and (c) other instruments known to the Dacians (the compass), have concluded that these monuments may have enabled the Dacians to carry out a number of astronomical observations. This would confirm several reports by contemporary historians regarding the Dacians' knowledge of astronomy.

  15. The Role of Amateur Astronomy to Outreach Astronomical Knowledge (United States)

    Khachatryan, Vachik; Voskanyan, Tsovak


    It is known that in the educational system of republic the astronomy is not taught as a separate subject. Moreover, there are no telescopes in the vast majority of schools. "Goodricke John" NGO of amateur astronomers tries to fill this gap by organizing practical lessons of astronomy in secondary schools. NGO is equipped with high quality portable amateur telescopes and organizes periodic mass observations of planets, Moon, star clusters, nebulae in Yerevan and in regions. In addition, mass observations of rare astronomical phenomena are organized, such as the transit of Venus and Mercury across the disk of the Sun. Being the only NGO of amateur astronomers, it has a goal to contribute to publicizing astronomical knowledge and to ensure the availability of astronomical equipment, telescopes also to those segments of the society who have no opportunity to deal with them, in particular, persons with disabilities, prisoners, persons with disabilities, prisoners, soldiers, children from orphanages, school children and others.

  16. Linking Young Astronomers in Southeast Asia: The SEAYAC Story (United States)

    Dionisio Sese, Rogel Mari


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

  17. Astronomers Discover Fastest-Spinning Pulsar (United States)


    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

  18. Database-Driven Analyses of Astronomical Spectra (United States)

    Cami, Jan


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

  19. The First Multichroic Polarimeter Array on the Atacama Cosmology Telescope: Characterization and Performance (United States)

    Ho, S. P.; Pappas, C. G.; Austermann, J.; Beall, J. A.; Becker, D.; Choi, S. K.; Datta, R.; Duff, S. M.; Gallardo, P. A.; Grace, E.; hide


    The Atacama Cosmology Telescope Polarimeter (ACTPol) is a polarization sensitive receiver for the 6-meter Atacama Cosmology Telescope (ACT) and measures the small angular scale polarization anisotropies in the cosmic microwave background (CMB). The full focal plane is composed of three detector arrays, containing over 3000 transition edge sensors (TES detectors) in total. The first two detector arrays, observing at 146 gigahertz, were deployed in 2013 and 2014, respectively. The third and final array is composed of multichroic pixels sensitive to both 90 and 146 gigahertz and saw first light in February 2015. Fabricated at NIST, this dichroic array consists of 255 pixels, with a total of 1020 polarization sensitive bolometers and is coupled to the telescope with a monolithic array of broad-band silicon feedhorns. The detectors are read out using time-division SQUID multiplexing and cooled by a dilution refrigerator at 110 meter Kelvins. We present an overview of the assembly and characterization of this multichroic array in the lab, and the initial detector performance in Chile. The detector array has a TES detector electrical yield of 85 percent, a total array sensitivity of less than 10 microns Kelvin root mean square speed, and detector time constants and saturation powers suitable for ACT CMB observations.

  20. Out-of-plane Stokes imaging polarimeter for early skin cancer diagnosis (United States)

    Ghassemi, Pejhman; Lemaillet, Paul; Germer, Thomas A.; Shupp, Jeffrey W.; Venna, Suraj S.; Boisvert, Marc E.; Flanagan, Katherine E.; Jordan, Marion H.; Ramella-Roman, Jessica C.


    Optimal treatment of skin cancer before it metastasizes critically depends on early diagnosis and treatment. Imaging spectroscopy and polarized remittance have been utilized in the past for diagnostic purposes, but valuable information can be also obtained from the analysis of skin roughness. For this purpose, we have developed an out-of-plane hemispherical Stokes imaging polarimeter designed to monitor potential skin neoplasia based on a roughness assessment of the epidermis. The system was utilized to study the rough surface scattering for wax samples and human skin. The scattering by rough skin--simulating phantoms showed behavior that is reasonably described by a facet scattering model. Clinical tests were conducted on patients grouped as follows: benign nevi, melanocytic nevus, melanoma, and normal skin. Images were captured and analyzed, and polarization properties are presented in terms of the principal angle of the polarization ellipse and the degree of polarization. In the former case, there is separation between different groups of patients for some incidence azimuth angles. In the latter, separation between different skin samples for various incidence azimuth angles is observed.

  1. Underwater partial polarization signatures from the shallow water real-time imaging polarimeter (SHRIMP) (United States)

    Taylor, James S., Jr.; Davis, P. S.; Wolff, Lawrence B.


    Research has shown that naturally occurring light outdoors and underwater is partially linearly polarized. The polarized components can be combined to form an image that describes the polarization of the light in the scene. This image is known as the degree of linear polarization (DOLP) image or partial polarization image. These naturally occurring polarization signatures can provide a diver or an unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV) with more information to detect, classify, and identify threats such as obstacles and/or mines in the shallow water environment. The SHallow water Real-time IMaging Polarimeter (SHRIMP), recently developed under sponsorship of Dr. Tom Swean at the Office of Naval Research (Code 321OE), can measure underwater partial polarization imagery. This sensor is a passive, three-channel device that simultaneously measures the three components of the Stokes vector needed to determine the partial linear polarization of the scene. The testing of this sensor has been completed and the data has been analyzed. This paper presents performance results from the field-testing and quantifies the gain provided by the partial polarization signature of targets in the Very Shallow Water (VSW) and Surf Zone (SZ) regions.

  2. Prototype testing of the ITER Toroidal Interferometer and Polarimeter (TIP) on DIII-D (United States)

    Carlstrom, T. N.; van Zeeland, M. A.; Gattuso, A.; O'Neill, R.; Vasquez, J.; Finkenthal, D. K.; Colio, R. A.; Johnson, D.; Brower, D.; Chen, J.; Ding, W.>X.>


    A 10.6 micron CO2 laser based ITER TIP system has been designed and tested for density measurements on DIII-D. Features include vibration compensation using a 5.22 micron Quantum Cascade Laser, real-time measurements at 1 kHz with <1% error at expected ITER operating densities, 500 kHz bandwidth density fluctuation measurements, active feedback alignment with auto signal recovery capabilities, fringe skip correction using polarimetery measurements, and a novel three-frequency heterodyne technique with real-time digital phase demodulation. A 120 m path length laboratory prototype was used to test components, demonstrate active feedback alignment capabilities, and determine noise floor capabilities. Phase errors of 1.5 degrees for the interferometer and 0.06 degrees for the polarimeter have been demonstrated for 1000 seconds. The system is now installed on the DIII-D tokamak, using a geometry and path length similar to that planned for ITER and has successfully demonstrated the ITER requirements for accuracy and time resolution. This work is supported by U.S. DOE Cooperative Agreement DE-FC02-04ER54698 and Contract Number DE-AC-02-09CH11466.

  3. Characterization and initial results from the upgraded MST interferometer-polarimeter (United States)

    Ding, W. X.; Parke, E.; Brower, D. L.; Duff, J.


    The FIR interferometer-polarimeter diagnostic on MST is a high-bandwidth system with unique capabilities for measuring high-frequency density and internal magnetic fluctuations. Installation of new planar-diode mixers improves both the signal strength and the noise floor compared to the corner-cube mixers previously used. Measurements of density and Faraday rotation angle in standard reversed-field pinch (RFP) plasmas and plasmas with improved, tokamak-like confinement are presented. The noise floor in the Faraday rotation power spectrum is reduced by nearly an order of magnitude, with fluctuations observed up to 250 kHz. Cross-correlation between multiple mixers is an additional, novel technique for reducing the noise floor and improving the resolution of high-frequency, small-amplitude magnetic and density fluctuations. Correlation of signals from two independent mixers viewing the same chord reduces the noise floor by another order of magnitude. High wavenumber resolution may be possible when operating without focusing elements, using only the 2-3 mm aperture on the mixer to determine the sampled chord width. This configuration will provide better resolution of small-scale fluctuations observed in the RFP during periods of improved confinement. Work supported by U.S. D.O.E.

  4. Laser guide stars and adaptive optics for astronomy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Max, C.E. [ed.


    Five papers are included: feasibility experiment for sodium-alyer laser guide stars at LLNL; system design for a high power sodium beacon laser; sodium guide star adaptive optics system for astronomical imaging in the visible and near-infrared; high frame-rate, large field wavefront sensor; and resolution limits for ground-based astronomical imaging. Figs, tabs, refs.

  5. Research in space physics at the University of Iowa. [astronomical observatories, spaceborne astronomy, satellite observation (United States)

    Vanallen, J. A.


    Various research projects in space physics are summarized. Emphasis is placed on: (1) the study of energetic particles in outer space and their relationships to electric, magnetic, and electromagnetic fields associated with the earth, the sun, the moon, the planets, and interplanetary medium; (2) observational work on satellites of the earth and the moon, and planetary and interplanetary spacecraft; (3) phenomenological analysis and interpretation; (4) observational work by ground based radio-astronomical and optical techniques; and (5) theoretical problems in plasma physics. Specific fields of current investigations are summarized.

  6. Optimizing significance testing of astronomical forcing in cyclostratigraphy (United States)

    Kemp, David B.


    The recognition of astronomically forced (Milankovitch) climate cycles in geological archives marked a major advance in Earth science, revealing a heartbeat within the climate system of general importance and key utility. Power spectral analysis is the primary tool used to facilitate identification of astronomical cycles in stratigraphic data, but commonly employed methods for testing the statistical significance of relatively high narrow-band variance of potential astronomical origin in spectra have been criticized for inadequately balancing the respective probabilities of type I (false positive) and type II (false negative) errors. This has led to suggestions that the importance of astronomical forcing in Earth history is overstated. It can be readily demonstrated, however, that the imperfect nature of the stratigraphic record and the quasiperiodicity of astronomical cycles sets an upper limit on the attainable significance of astronomical signals. Optimized significance testing is that which minimizes the combined probability of type I and type II errors. Numerical simulations of stratigraphically preserved astronomical signals suggest that optimum significance levels at which to reject a null hypothesis of no astronomical forcing are between 0.01 and 0.001 (i.e., 99-99.9% confidence level). This is lower than commonly employed in the literature (90-99% confidence levels). Nevertheless, in consonance with the emergent view from other scientific disciplines, fixed-value null hypothesis significance testing of power spectra is implicitly ill suited to demonstrating astronomical forcing, and the use of spectral analysis remains a difficult and subjective endeavor in the absence of additional supporting evidence.

  7. Stray light field dependence for large astronomical space telescopes (United States)

    Lightsey, Paul A.; Bowers, Charles W.


    Future large astronomical telescopes in space will have architectures that expose the optics to large angular extents of the sky. Options for reducing stray light coming from the sky range from enclosing the telescope in a tubular baffle to having an open telescope structure with a large sunshield to eliminate solar illumination. These two options are considered for an on-axis telescope design to explore stray light considerations. A tubular baffle design will limit the sky exposure to the solid angle of the cone in front of the telescope set by the aspect ratio of the baffle length to Primary Mirror (PM) diameter. Illumination from this portion of the sky will be limited to the PM and structures internal to the tubular baffle. Alternatively, an open structure design will allow a large portion of the sky to directly illuminate the PM and Secondary Mirror (SM) as well as illuminating sunshield and other structure surfaces which will reflect or scatter light onto the PM and SM. Portions of this illumination of the PM and SM will be scattered into the optical train as stray light. A Radiance Transfer Function (RTF) is calculated for the open architecture that determines the ratio of the stray light background radiance in the image contributed by a patch of sky having unit radiance. The full 4π steradian of sky is divided into a grid of patches, with the location of each patch defined in the telescope coordinate system. By rotating the celestial sky radiance maps into the telescope coordinate frame for a given pointing direction of the telescope, the RTF may be applied to the sky brightness and the results integrated to get the total stray light from the sky for that pointing direction. The RTF data generated for the open architecture may analyzed as a function of the expanding cone angle about the pointing direction. In this manner, the open architecture data may be used to directly compare to a tubular baffle design parameterized by allowed cone angle based on the

  8. Radiation events in astronomical CCD images

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Smith, A.R.; McDonald, R.J.; Hurley, D.L.; Holland, S.E.; Groom, D.E.; Brown, W.E.; Gilmore, D.K.; Stover, R.J.; Wei, M.


    The remarkable sensitivity of depleted silicon to ionizing radiation is a nuisance to astronomers. ''Cosmic rays'' degrade images because of struck pixels, leading to modified observing strategies and the development of algorithms to remove the unwanted artifacts. In the new-generation CCD's with thick sensitive regions, cosmic-ray muons make recognizable straight tracks and there is enhanced sensitivity to ambient gamma radiation via Compton-scattered electrons (''worms''). Beta emitters inside the dewar, for example high-potassium glasses such as BK7, also produce worm-like tracks. The cosmic-ray muon rate is irreducible and increases with altitude. The gamma rays are mostly by-products of the U and Th decay chains; these elements always appear as traces in concrete and other materials. The Compton recoil event rate can be reduced significantly by the choice of materials in the environment and dewar and by careful shielding. Telescope domes appear to be significantly cleaner than basement laboratories and Coude spectrograph rooms. Radiation sources inside the dewar can be eliminated by judicious choice of materials. Cosmogenic activation during high-altitude flights does not appear to be a problem. Our conclusions are supported by tests at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory low-level counting facilities in Berkeley and at Oroville, California (180 m underground).

  9. Is astronomical research appropriate for developing countries? (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.

  10. Book Review: Scientific Writing for Young Astronomers (United States)

    Uyttenhove, Jos


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

  11. An embeddable control system for astronomical instrumentation (United States)

    Cirami, Roberto; Comari, Maurizio; Corte, Claudio; Golob, Damjan; Di Marcantonio, Paolo; Plesko, Mark; Pucillo, Mauro; Santin, Paolo; Sekoranja, Matej; Vuerli, Claudio


    Large experimental facilities, like telescopes and focal plane instrumentation in the astronomical domain, are becoming more and more complex and expensive, as well as control systems for managing such instruments. The general trend, as can be learned by realizations carried out in the most recent years, clearly drives to most cost-effective solutions: widespread, stable standards in the software field, COTS (commercial off-the-shelf) components and industry standards in the hardware field. Therefore a new generation of control system products needs to be developed, in order to help the scientific community to minimize the cost and efforts required for maintenance and control of their facilities. In the spirit of the aforementioned requirements and to provide a low-cost software and hardware environment we present a working prototype of a control system, based on RTAI Linux and on ACS (Advanced Control System) framework ported to an embedded platform. The hardware has been chosen among COTS components: a PC/104+ platform equipped with a PMAC2A motion controller card and a commercial StrongARM single board controller. In this way we achieved a very powerful, inexpensive and robust real-time control system which can be used as a general purpose building block in the design of new instruments and could also be proposed as a standard in the field.

  12. An Astronomical Life Salted by Pure Chance (United States)

    Kraft, Robert P.


    My childhood upbringing in no way suggested that I would become an astronomer, but accidents of fate pushed me in the direction of science, and I have benefited greatly from being in the right place at the right time. I grew up in Seattle, earned B.S. and M.S. degrees in mathematics at the University of Washington, and eventually a Ph.D. in astronomy from the University of California, Berkeley. I was a postdoc at the Mt. Wilson Observatory, an assistant professor at Indiana University, later the Yerkes Observatory (University of Chicago), and still later I became a staff member of the Mt. Wilson and Palomar Observatories. After several years, I returned to the University of California, this time with the Lick Observatory staff at its new academic home on the Santa Cruz campus, where I have been ever since. My research has focused on the relation of Cepheids and RR Lyrae stars to problems of Galactic structure, the binary nature of cataclysmic variables, the decay of angular momentum of solar type stars, and the chemical history of the Galaxy as revealed by the abundances of very old stars in globular clusters and the Galactic halo field. None of this work would have been possible without the help of excellent teachers and mentors, great colleagues, and superb postdocs and graduate students. Most of all, I am grateful for the educational opportunities afforded me by state-supported public Universities.

  13. Conceptualizing Astronomical Distances for Urban Populations (United States)

    Popinchalk, Mark; Olson, Kristen; Ingber, Jenny; O'Brien, Mariel


    Students living in urban environments may have a washed-out night sky, but their enthusiasm for astronomy can still shine bright. As an educator, it can sometimes be a challenge to see the opportunities afforded by city living to the teaching of astronomy; however, several benefits can be identified. For example, the intrinsic understanding children have of the distances and scales involved in their everyday life is enhanced when they live in a regimented urban structure. This existing understanding of scale is critical to building a foundation for later conceptualizing of the universe.Leveraging the assets of New York City and the resources found in the American Museum of Natural History, The Science and Nature Program offers students (PreK through 8th grade) robust science learning experiences. To address concepts important for studying astronomy, we present a novel twist on the classic lesson “Earth as a Peppercorn,” by scaling the solar system to the size of New York City. Using local landmarks and their distance in relation to the Museum to represent the planets, students can use their prior knowledge of their surroundings to appreciate the impressive scale of our neighborhood in space in the context of their own neighborhoods. We correlate the activity with NGSS standards, present preliminary feedback on it’s success, and discuss the opportunities to apply a similar model lesson to other astronomical systems.

  14. Astronomers Find Enormous Hole in the Universe (United States)


    Astronomers have found an enormous hole in the Universe, nearly a billion light-years across, empty of both normal matter such as stars, galaxies, and gas, and the mysterious, unseen "dark matter." While earlier studies have shown holes, or voids, in the large-scale structure of the Universe, this new discovery dwarfs them all. Void Illustration Hole in Universe revealed by its effect on Cosmic Microwave Background radiation. CREDIT: Bill Saxton, NRAO/AUI/NSF, NASA Click on image for page of graphics and detailed information "Not only has no one ever found a void this big, but we never even expected to find one this size," said Lawrence Rudnick of the University of Minnesota. Rudnick, along with Shea Brown and Liliya R. Williams, also of the University of Minnesota, reported their findings in a paper accepted for publication in the Astrophysical Journal. Astronomers have known for years that, on large scales, the Universe has voids largely empty of matter. However, most of these voids are much smaller than the one found by Rudnick and his colleagues. In addition, the number of discovered voids decreases as the size increases. "What we've found is not normal, based on either observational studies or on computer simulations of the large-scale evolution of the Universe," Williams said. The astronomers drew their conclusion by studying data from the NRAO VLA Sky Survey (NVSS), a project that imaged the entire sky visible to the Very Large Array (VLA) radio telescope, part of the National Science Foundation's National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO). Their careful study of the NVSS data showed a remarkable drop in the number of galaxies in a region of sky in the constellation Eridanus. "We already knew there was something different about this spot in the sky," Rudnick said. The region had been dubbed the "WMAP Cold Spot," because it stood out in a map of the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) radiation made by the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotopy Probe (WMAP) satellite

  15. Model based systems engineering for astronomical projects (United States)

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


    Model Based Systems Engineering (MBSE) is an emerging field of systems engineering for which the System Modeling Language (SysML) is a key enabler for descriptive, prescriptive and predictive models. This paper surveys some of the capabilities, expectations and peculiarities of tools-assisted MBSE experienced in real-life astronomical projects. The examples range in depth and scope across a wide spectrum of applications (for example documentation, requirements, analysis, trade studies) and purposes (addressing a particular development need, or accompanying a project throughout many - if not all - its lifecycle phases, fostering reuse and minimizing ambiguity). From the beginnings of the Active Phasing Experiment, through VLT instrumentation, VLTI infrastructure, Telescope Control System for the E-ELT, until Wavefront Control for the E-ELT, we show how stepwise refinements of tools, processes and methods have provided tangible benefits to customary system engineering activities like requirement flow-down, design trade studies, interfaces definition, and validation, by means of a variety of approaches (like Model Checking, Simulation, Model Transformation) and methodologies (like OOSEM, State Analysis)

  16. Astronomical Constraints on Quantum Cold Dark Matter (United States)

    Spivey, Shane; Musielak, Z.; Fry, J.


    A model of quantum (`fuzzy') cold dark matter that accounts for both the halo core problem and the missing dwarf galaxies problem, which plague the usual cold dark matter paradigm, is developed. The model requires that a cold dark matter particle has a mass so small that its only allowed physical description is a quantum wave function. Each such particle in a galactic halo is bound to a gravitational potential that is created by luminous matter and by the halo itself, and the resulting wave function is described by a Schrödinger equation. To solve this equation on a galactic scale, we impose astronomical constraints that involve several density profiles used to fit data from simulations of dark matter galactic halos. The solutions to the Schrödinger equation are quantum waves which resemble the density profiles acquired from simulations, and they are used to determine the mass of the cold dark matter particle. The effects of adding certain types of baryonic matter to the halo, such as a dwarf elliptical galaxy or a supermassive black hole, are also discussed.

  17. The Blue Comet: A Railroad's Astronomical Heritage (United States)

    Rumstay, Kenneth S.


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

  18. Spatial Statistical Analysis of Large Astronomical Datasets (United States)

    Szapudi, Istvan


    The future of astronomy will be dominated with large and complex data bases. Megapixel CMB maps, joint analyses of surveys across several wavelengths, as envisioned in the planned National Virtual Observatory (NVO), TByte/day data rate of future surveys (Pan-STARRS) put stringent constraints on future data analysis methods: they have to achieve at least N log N scaling to be viable in the long term. This warrants special attention to computational requirements, which were ignored during the initial development of current analysis tools in favor of statistical optimality. Even an optimal measurement, however, has residual errors due to statistical sample variance. Hence a suboptimal technique with significantly smaller measurement errors than the unavoidable sample variance produces results which are nearly identical to that of a statistically optimal technique. For instance, for analyzing CMB maps, I present a suboptimal alternative, indistinguishable from the standard optimal method with N3 scaling, that can be rendered N log N with a hierarchical representation of the data; a speed up of a trillion times compared to other methods. In this spirit I will present a set of novel algorithms and methods for spatial statistical analyses of future large astronomical data bases, such as galaxy catalogs, megapixel CMB maps, or any point source catalog.

  19. Astronomical Dating of Edvard Munch's Summer Sky Paintings (United States)

    Pope, Ava; Olson, Donald


    Norwegian painter Edvard Munch, most famous for The Scream, created many spectacular works depicting the skies of Norway. Our Texas State group used astronomical methods to analyze three of these paintings: Starry Night, The Storm, and Sunrise in Asgardstrand. Astronomical dating of these paintings has some importance because the precise days when Munch visited Asgardstrand are unknown. Our research group traveled to Norway in August 2008 to find the locations from which Munch painted these three works. We then used astronomical calculations, topographical analysis, historical photographs, and weather records to determine the precise dates and times for the scenes depicted in these paintings. )

  20. Serbian Astronomers in Science Citation Index in the XX Century (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

  1. The Virtual Astronomical Observatory: Re-engineering access to astronomical data (United States)

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


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

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

    CERN Document Server

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


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

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

    Doressoundiram, A.; Barban, C.


    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. Imaging Stars by Performing Full-Stokes Optical Interferometric Polarimetry

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicholas M. Elias II


    Full Text Available Optical interferometry and polarimetry have separately provided new insights into stellar astronomy, especially in the fields of fundamental parameters and atmospheric models. We present: scientific justifications for “full-Stokes” optical interferometric polarimetry (OIP; updated instrument requirements; preliminary beam combiner designs; polarimeter design; end-to-end OIP data reduction; and realistic reimaged full-Stokes models of Be stars with a suitable number of telescopes plus noise sources. All of this work represents preliminary research to construct an OIP beam combiner.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frédéric P. A. Vogt


    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

  6. Detection and Implications of Laser-Induced Raman Scattering at Astronomical Observatories (United States)

    Vogt, Frédéric P. A.; Bonaccini Calia, Domenico; Hackenberg, Wolfgang; Opitom, Cyrielle; Comin, Mauro; Schmidtobreik, Linda; Smoker, Jonathan; Blanchard, Israel; Espinoza Contreras, Marcela; Aranda, Ivan; Milli, Julien; Jaffe, Yara L.; Selman, Fernando; Kolb, Johann; Hibon, Pascale; Kuntschner, Harald; Madec, Pierre-Yves


    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 N2 , O2 , CO2 , H2O , and (tentatively) CH4 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(s) to avoid the unintentional

  7. Spectroscopy for amateur astronomers recording, processing, analysis and interpretation

    CERN Document Server

    Trypsteen , Marc F M


    This accessible guide presents the astrophysical concepts behind astronomical spectroscopy, covering both the theory and the practical elements of recording, processing, analysing and interpreting your spectra. It covers astronomical objects, such as stars, planets, nebulae, novae, supernovae, and events such as eclipses and comet passages. Suitable for anyone with only a little background knowledge and access to amateur-level equipment, the guide's many illustrations, sketches and figures will help you understand and practise this scientifically important and growing field of amateur astronomy, up to the level of Pro-Am collaborations. Accessible to non-academics, it benefits many groups from novices and learners in astronomy clubs, to advanced students and teachers of astrophysics. This volume is the perfect companion to the Spectral Atlas for Amateur Astronomers, which provides detailed commented spectral profiles of more than 100 astronomical objects.

  8. Application of digital image processing techniques to astronomical imagery 1977 (United States)

    Lorre, J. J.; Lynn, D. J.


    Nine specific techniques of combination of techniques developed for applying digital image processing technology to existing astronomical imagery are described. Photoproducts are included to illustrate the results of each of these investigations.

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

    CERN Document Server


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

  10. Astronomical sketching a step-by-step introduction

    CERN Document Server

    Handy, Richard; Perez, Jeremy; Rix, Erika; Robbins, Sol


    This book presents the amateur with fine examples of astronomical sketches and step-by-step tutorials in each medium, from pencil to computer graphics programs. This unique book can teach almost anyone to create beautiful sketches of celestial objects.

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

    CERN Multimedia


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

  12. Novel gratings for next-generation instruments of astronomical observations (United States)

    Ebizuka, N.; Okamoto, T.; Takeda, M.; Hosobata, T.; Yamagata, Y.; Sasaki, M.; Uomoto, M.; Shimatsu, T.; Sato, S.; Hashimoto, N.; Tanaka, I.; Hattori, T.; Ozaki, S.; Aoki, W.


    We will introduce current status of development of a birefringence volume phase holographic (B-VPH) grating, volume binary (VB) grating and reflector facet transmission (RFT) grating developing as the novel dispersive optical element for astronomical instruments for the 8.2m Subaru Telescope, for next generation 30 m class huge ground-based telescopes and for next generation large space-bone telescopes. We will also introduce a hybrid grism developed for MOIRCS (Multi-Object InfraRed Camera and Spectrograph) of the Subaru Telescope and a quasi-Bragg (QB) immersion grating. Test fabrication of B-VPH gratings with a liquid crystal (LC) of UV curable and normal LCs or a resin of visible light curable are performed. We successfully fabricated VB gratings of silicon as a mold with ridges of a high aspect ratio by means of the cycle etching process, oxidation and removal of silicon oxide. The RFT grating which is a surface-relief (SR) transmission grating with sawtooth shaped ridges of an acute vertex angle. The hybrid grism, as a prototype of the RFT grating, combines a high-index prism and SR transmission grating with sawtooth shape ridges of an acute vertex angle. The mold of the SR grating for the hybrid grism on to a work of Ni-P alloy of non-electrolysic plating successfully fabricated by using our ultra-precision machine and a single-crystal diamond bite. The QB immersion grating was fabricated by a combination of an inclined QB grating, Littrow prism and surface reflection mirror.

  13. Characterization of Detectors and Instrument Systematics for the SPIDER CMB Polarimeter (United States)

    Tucker, Rebecca Suzanne

    We know from the CMB and observations of large-scale structure that the universe is extremely flat, homogenous, and isotropic. The current favored mechanism for generating these characteristics is inflation, a theorized period of exponential expansion of the universe that occurred shortly after the Big Bang. Most theories of inflation generically predict a background of stochastic gravitational waves. These gravitational waves should leave their unique imprint on the polarization of the CMB via Thompson scattering. Scalar perturbations of the metric will cause a pattern of polarization with no curl (E-mode). Tensor perturbations (gravitational waves) will cause a unique pattern of polarization on the CMB that includes a curl component (B-mode). A measurement of the ratio of the tensor to scalar perturbations (r ) tells us the energy scale of inflation. Recent measurements by the BICEP2 team detect the B-mode spectrum with a tensor-to-scalar ratio of r=0.2 (+0.05, -0.07). An independent confirmation of this result is the next step towards understanding the inflationary universe. This thesis describes my work on a balloon-borne polarimeter called SPIDER, which is designed to illuminate the physics of the early universe through measurements of the cosmic microwave background polarization. SPIDER consists of six single-frequency, on-axis refracting telescopes contained in a shared-vacuum liquid-helium cryostat. Its large format arrays of millimeter-wave detectors and tight control of systematics will give it unprecedented sensitivity. This thesis describes how the SPIDER detectors are characterized and calibrated for flight, as well as how the systematics requirements for the SPIDER system are simulated and measured.

  14. Development of a dedicated readout ASIC for TPC based X-ray polarimeter (United States)

    Zhang, Hongyan; Deng, Zhi; Li, Hong; Liu, Yinong; Feng, Hua


    X-ray polarimetry with time projection chambers was firstly proposed by JK Black in 2007 and has been greatly developed since then. It measured two dimensional photoelectron tracks with one dimensional strip and the other dimension was estimated by the drift time from the signal waveforms. A readout ASIC, APV25, originally developed for CMS silicon trackers was used and has shown some limitations such as waveform sampling depth. A dedicated ASIC was developed for TPC based X-ray polarimeters in this paper. It integrated 32 channel circuits and each channel consisted of an analog front-end and a waveform sampler based on switched capacitor array. The analog front-end has a charge sensitive preamplifier with a gain of 25 mV/fC, a CR-RC shaper with a peaking time of 25 ns, a baseline holder and a discriminator for self-triggering. The SCA has a buffer latency of 3.2 μs with 64 cells operating at 20 MSPS. The ASIC was fabricated in a 0.18 μm CMOS process. The equivalent noise charge (ENC) of the analog front-end was measured to be 274.8 e+34.6 e/pF. The effective resolution of the SCA was 8.8 bits at sampling rate up to 50 MSPS. The total power consumption was 2.8 mW per channel. The ASIC was also tested with real TPC detectors and two dimensional photoelectron tracks have been successfully acquired. More tests and analysis on the sensitivity to the polarimetry are undergoing and will be presented in this paper.

  15. Performance measurement of HARPO: A time projection chamber as a gamma-ray telescope and polarimeter (United States)

    Gros, P.; Amano, S.; Attié, D.; Baron, P.; Baudin, D.; Bernard, D.; Bruel, P.; Calvet, D.; Colas, P.; Daté, S.; Delbart, A.; Frotin, M.; Geerebaert, Y.; Giebels, B.; Götz, D.; Hashimoto, S.; Horan, D.; Kotaka, T.; Louzir, M.; Magniette, F.; Minamiyama, Y.; Miyamoto, S.; Ohkuma, H.; Poilleux, P.; Semeniouk, I.; Sizun, P.; Takemoto, A.; Yamaguchi, M.; Yonamine, R.; Wang, S.


    We analyse the performance of a gas time projection chamber (TPC) as a high-performance gamma-ray telescope and polarimeter in the e+e- pair-creation regime. We use data collected at a gamma-ray beam of known polarisation. The TPC provides two orthogonal projections (x, z) and (y, z) of the tracks induced by each conversion in the gas volume. We use a simple vertex finder in which vertices and pseudo-tracks exiting from them are identified. We study the various contributions to the single-photon angular resolution using Monte Carlo simulations, compare them with the experimental data and find that they are in excellent agreement. The distribution of the azimuthal angle of pair conversions shows a bias due to the non-cylindrical-symmetric structure of the detector. This bias would average out for a long duration exposure on a space mission, but for this pencil-beam characterisation we have ensured its accurate simulation by a double systematics-control scheme, data taking with the detector rotated at several angles with respect to the beam polarisation direction and systematics control with a non-polarised beam. We measure, for the first time, the polarisation asymmetry of a linearly polarised gamma-ray beam in the low energy pair-creation regime. This sub-GeV energy range is critical for cosmic sources as their spectra are power laws which fall quickly as a function of increasing energy. This work could pave the way to extending polarised gamma-ray astronomy beyond the MeV energy regime.

  16. Use of the Far Infrared Tangential Interferometer/Polarimeter diagnostic for the study of rf driven plasma waves on NSTX. (United States)

    Kim, J; Lee, K C; Kaita, R; Phillips, C K; Domier, C W; Valeo, E; Luhmann, N C; Bonoli, P T; Park, H


    A rf detection system for waves in the 30 MHz range has been constructed for the Far Infrared Tangential Interferometer/Polarimeter on National Spherical Torus Experiment (NSTX). It is aimed at monitoring high frequency density fluctuations driven by 30 MHz high harmonic fast wave fields. The levels of density fluctuations at various radial chords and antenna phase angles can be estimated using the electric field calculated by TORIC code and linearized continuity equation for the electron density. In this paper, the experimental arrangement for the detection of rf signal and preliminary results of simulation will be discussed.

  17. Reliability centered maintenance in astronomical infrastructure facilities (United States)

    Ansorge, W. R.


    Hundreds of mirror segment, thousands of high precision actuators, highly complex mechanical, hydraulic, electrical and other technology subsystems, and highly sophisticated control systems: an ELT system consists of millions of individual parts and components, each of them may fail and lead to a partial or complete system breakdown. The traditional maintenance concepts characterized by predefined preventive maintenance activities and rigid schedules are not suitable for handling this large number of potential failures and malfunctions and the extreme maintenance workload. New maintenance strategies have to be found suitable to increase reliability while reducing the cost of needless maintenance services. The Reliability Centred Maintenance (RCM) methodology is already used extensively by airlines, and in industrial and marine facilities and even by scientific institutions like NASA. Its application increases the operational reliability while reducing the cost of unnecessary maintenance activities and is certainly also a solution for current and future ELT facilities. RCM is a concept of developing a maintenance scheme based on the reliability of the various components of a system by using "feedback loops between instrument / system performance monitoring and preventive/corrective maintenance cycles." Ideally RCM has to be designed within a system and should be located in the requirement definition, the preliminary and final design phases of new equipment and complicated systems. However, under certain conditions, an implementation of RCM into the maintenance management strategy of already existing astronomical infrastructure facilities is also possible. This presentation outlines the principles of the RCM methodology, explains the advantages, and highlights necessary changes in the observatory development, operation and maintenance philosophies. Presently, it is the right time to implement RCM into current and future ELT projects and to save up to 50% maintenance

  18. How Much Mass Makes a Black Hole? - Astronomers Challenge Current Theories (United States)


    constraints on magnetar progenitor masses from the eclipsing binary W13", by B. Ritchie et al.). The same team published a first study of this object in 2006 ("A Neutron Star with a Massive Progenitor in Westerlund 1", by M.P. Muno et al., Astrophysical Journal, 636, L41). The team is composed of Ben Ritchie and Simon Clark (The Open University, UK), Ignacio Negueruela (Universidad de Alicante, Spain), and Norbert Langer (Universität Bonn, Germany, and Universiteit Utrecht, the Netherlands). The astronomers used the FLAMES instrument on ESO's Very Large Telescope at Paranal, Chile to study the stars in the Westerlund 1 cluster. 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. Preservation and maintenance of the astronomical sites in Armenia (United States)

    Mickaelian, A. M.


    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.

  20. Applying artificial intelligence to astronomical databases - a surveyof applicable technology. (United States)

    Rosenthal, D. A.

    This paper surveys several emerging technologies which are relevant to astronomical database issues such as interface technology, internal database representation, and intelligent data reduction aids. Among the technologies discussed are natural language understanding, frame and object representations, planning, pattern analysis, machine learning and the nascent study of simulated neural nets. These techniques will become increasingly important for astronomical research, and in particular, for applications with large databases.

  1. Astronomical guidance for directed searches for continuous gravitational waves (United States)

    Owen, Benjamin


    The LIGO Scientic Collaboration and Virgo Collaboration have published a search for continuous gravitational-waves from the non-pulsing neutron star in supernova remnant Cas A and, more recently, from the galactic center. More such searches, where the direction is known but no pulsar timing is available, are under way. I describe the astronomical criteria for good targets for such gravitational-wave searches, list classes of astronomical objects, and give examples of each class.

  2. Astronomers watch the stars come out in berkeley. (United States)


    New and strange sightings caught the attention of astronomers at this June's American Astronomical Society (AAS) meeting in Berkeley: a supernova that has changed its identity, a clutch of mysterious blue stars, and objects at the edge of the universe, shining brilliantly at the far end of the ultraviolet spectrum. Meanwhile, a more familiar object-one species of supernova-is raising hopes of predicting the ultimate fate of this cosmic zoo.

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

    CERN Document Server

    Hartquist, T W; Ruffle, D P


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

  4. The Principles of Astronomical Telescope Design

    CERN Document Server

    Cheng, Jingquan


    Presents a summary of the author's twenty five years of experience in telescope design. This work provides a general introduction to various aspects of telescope design. It discusses the theory behind telescope design. It covers Radio, Infrared, Optical, X-Ray and Gamma-Ray wavelengths

  5. The Expansion of the Astronomical Photographic Data Archive at PARI (United States)

    Cline, J. Donald; Barker, Thurburn; Castelaz, Michael


    A diverse set of photometric, astrometric, spectral and surface brightness data exist on decades of photographic glass plates. The Astronomical Photographic Data Archive (APDA) at the Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute (PARI) was established in November 2007 and is dedicated to the task of collecting, restoring, preserving and storing astronomical photographic data and PARI continues to accept collections. APDA is also tasked with scanning each image and establishing a database of images that can be accessed via the Internet by the global community of scientists, researchers and students. APDA is a new type of astronomical observatory - one that harnesses analog data of the night sky taken for more than a century and making that data available in a digital format.In 2016, APDA expanded from 50 collections with about 220,000 plates to more than 55 collections and more than 340,000 plates and films. These account for more than 30% of all astronomical photographic data in the United States. The largest of the new acquisitions are the astronomical photographic plates in the Yale University collection. We present details of the newly added collections and review of other collections in APDA.

  6. European astronomers' successes with the Hubble Space Telescope* (United States)


    can bend the light from more distant objects, so magnifying and intensifying their images. In one spectacular case, cluster Abell 2218 creates in Hubble's WFPC2 camera more than a hundred images of galaxies lying beyond it. Without the magnifying effect of the cluster, many of these remote objects would be too faint to study in detail. Compared with man-made optics, the gravitational lenses are complex. They produce multiple images (as many as seven or more views of the same object) and they also smear the images into arcs. Team-member Jean-Paul Kneib, who is now at Toulouse, uses the distortions as a guide to distance. The more distorted the image, the farther off a galaxy is. The galaxies imaged by Abell 2218 are 5 to 8 billion light-years away, and Kneib's estimates have been confirmed by Tim Ebbels of Cambridge using the William Herschel Telescope located on the Spanish island of La Palma. Seen as they were early in the history of the Universe, the objects seem surprisingly similar to nearer and more mature galaxies. The cosmic scale Gustav Tammann of Basel and his collaborators use the Hubble Space Telescope to measure the Hubble Constant. Both are named after Edwin Hubble who discovered, almost 70 years ago, that the galaxies are spreading apart. The Hubble Constant is the rate of expansion -- and the most important number in cosmology, because it fixes the size and the maximum age of the observable Universe. Since the launch of the space telescope in 1990, two independent teams have tried to fix the constant but their answers disagree. A high expansion rate, which makes the Universe relatively young, is preferred by Wendy Freedman's team consisting largely of American astronomers. A lower value for Hubble's Constant, implying an older Universe, comes from a mainly European team led by the American astronomer Allan Sandage. Tammann belongs to the latter, "old Universe" camp and he is philosophical about the delay in reaching a consensus. "I've been waiting

  7. Precise and Rapid Detection of Optical Activity for Accumulative Femtosecond Spectroscopy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nuernberger P.


    Full Text Available We present a fast and sensitive polarimeter combining common-path optical heterodyne interferometry and accumulative spectroscopy to detect rotatory power. The sensitivity of rotatory detection is determined to be 0.10 milli-degrees for a measurement time of only one second and an interaction length of 250 μm. Its suitability for femtosecond studies is demonstrated in a non-resonant two-photon photodissociation experiment.

  8. Spectroscopic instrumentation fundamentals and guidelines for astronomers

    CERN Document Server

    Eversberg, Thomas


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

  9. Astronomical Data Integration Beyond the Virtual Observatory (United States)

    Lemson, G.; Laurino, O.


    "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

  10. SPHEREx: Science Opportunities for the Astronomical Community (United States)

    Cooray, Asantha; SPHEREx Science Team


    SPHEREx, a mission in NASA's Medium Explorer (MIDEX) program that was selected for Phase A study in August 2017, will perform an all-sky near-infrared spectral survey between 0.75 - 5.0 microns. The survey will reach 18.3 AB mag (5 sigma) in R=41 filters, with R=135 coverage between 4.2 - 5.0 microns. The key science topics of the SPHEREx team are: (a) primordial non-Gaussianity through 3-dimensional galaxy clustering; (b) extragalactic background light fluctuations; and (c) ices and biogenic molecules in the interstellar medium and towards protoplanetary environments.The large legacy dataset of SPHEREx will enable a large number of scientific studies and find interesting targets for follow-up observations with Hubble, JWST, ALMA, among other facilities. The SPHEREx catalog will include 1.4 billion galaxies, with redshifts secured for more than 10 and 120 million with fractional accuracies in error/(1+z) better than 0.3% and 3%, respectively. The spectral coverage and resolution provided by SPHEREx are adequate to determine redshifts for most WISE-detected sources with an accuracy better than 3%. The catalog will contain close to 1.5 million quasars including 300 bright QSOs at z > 7 during the epoch of reionization, based on observational extrapolations. The catalog will be adequate to obtain redshifts for all 25,000 galaxy clusters expected to be detected in X-rays with e-Rosita. SPHEREx produces all-sky maps of the Galactic emission lines, including hydrocarbon emission around 3 microns.In this poster, we will show example science studies the broader astronomical community will be able to lead using the SPHEREx database. We will also outline existing plans within the SPHEREx team to develop software tools to enable easy access to the data and to conduct catalog searches, and ways in which the community can provide input to the SPHEREx Science Team on scientific studies and data/software requirements for those studies. The team is eager to develop best software

  11. Introduction to Special Section on Recent Advances in the Study of Optical Variability in the Near-Surface and Upper Ocean (United States)


    the physical parameters. The ship’s CTD system was also used to measure optical beam transmission (WET Labs C- Star ), optical backscatter (WET Labs LSS...with Polaris Sensor Technologies, an imaging polarimeter was specifically designed and built for oceanographic applications by Zappa et al. [2012]. The...2008), Retrieval of short ocean wave slope using polari - metric imaging, Meas. Sci. Technol., 19, 055503, doi:10.1088/0957- 0233/19/5/055503. DICKEY

  12. Adaptive Optics for Large Telescopes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Olivier, S


    The use of adaptive optics was originally conceived by astronomers seeking to correct the blurring of images made with large telescopes due to the effects of atmospheric turbulence. The basic idea is to use a device, a wave front corrector, to adjust the phase of light passing through an optical system, based on some measurement of the spatial variation of the phase transverse to the light propagation direction, using a wave front sensor. Although the original concept was intended for application to astronomical imaging, the technique can be more generally applied. For instance, adaptive optics systems have been used for several decades to correct for aberrations in high-power laser systems. At Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), the world's largest laser system, the National Ignition Facility, uses adaptive optics to correct for aberrations in each of the 192 beams, all of which must be precisely focused on a millimeter scale target in order to perform nuclear physics experiments.

  13. Cosmic Blasts Much More Common, Astronomers Discover (United States)


    A cosmic explosion seen last February may have been the "tip of an iceberg," showing that powerful, distant gamma ray bursts are outnumbered ten-to-one by less-energetic cousins, according to an international team of astronomers. The VLA The Very Large Array CREDIT: NRAO/AUI/NSF (Click on image for VLA gallery) A study of the explosion with X-ray and radio telescopes showed that it is "100 times less energetic than gamma ray bursts seen in the distant universe. We were able to see it because it's relatively nearby," said Alicia Soderberg, of Caltech, leader of the research team. The scientists reported their findings in the August 31 issue of the journal Nature. The explosion is called an X-ray flash, and was detected by the Swift satellite on February 18. The astronomers subsequently studied the object using the National Science Foundation's Very Large Array (VLA) radio telescope, NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory, and the Ryle radio telescope in the UK. "This object tells us that there probably is a rich diversity of cosmic explosions in our local Universe that we only now are starting to detect. These explosions aren't playing by the rules that we thought we understood," said Dale Frail of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory. The February blast seems to fill a gap between ordinary supernova explosions, which leave behind a dense neutron star, and gamma ray bursts, which leave behind a black hole, a concentration of mass so dense that not even light can escape it. Some X-ray flashes, the new research suggests, leave behind a magnetar, a neutron star with a magnetic field 100-1000 times stronger than that of an ordinary neutron star. "This explosion occurred in a galaxy about 470 million light-years away. If it had been at the distances of gamma ray bursts, as much as billions of light-years away, we would not have been able to see it," Frail said. "We think that the principal difference between gamma ray bursts and X-ray flashes and ordinary supernova

  14. Multi-arm spectrometer for parallel frequency analysis of radio-wave signals oriented to astronomical observations (United States)

    Shcherbakov, Alexandre S.; Chavez Dagostino, Miguel; Arellanes, Adan Omar; Tepichin Rodriguez, Eduardo


    We describe a potential prototype of modern spectrometer based on acousto-optical technique with three parallel optical arms for analysis of radio-wave signals specific to astronomical observations. Each optical arm exhibits original performances to provide parallel multi-band observations with different scales simultaneously. Similar multi-band instrument is able to realize measurements within various scenarios from planetary atmospheres to attractive objects in the distant Universe. The arrangement under development has two novelties. First, each optical arm represents an individual spectrum analyzer with its individual performances. Such an approach is conditioned by exploiting various materials for acousto-optical cells operating within various regimes, frequency ranges, and light wavelengths from independent light sources. Individually produced beam shapers give both the needed incident light polarization and the required apodization for light beam to increase the dynamic range of the system as a whole. After parallel acousto-optical processing, a few data flows from these optical arms are united by the joint CCD matrix on the stage of the combined extremely high-bit rate electronic data processing that provides the system performances as well. The other novelty consists in the usage of various materials for designing wide-aperture acousto-optical cells exhibiting the best performances within each of optical arms. Here, one can mention specifically selected cuts of tellurium dioxide, bastron, and lithium niobate, which overlap selected areas within the frequency range from 40 MHz to 2.0 GHz. Thus one yields the united versatile instrument for comprehensive studies of astronomical objects simultaneously with precise synchronization in various frequency ranges.

  15. Retrievals of Cloud Droplet Size from the Research Scanning Polarimeter Data: Validation Using in Situ Measurements (United States)

    Alexandrov, M. D.; Cairns, B.; Sinclair, K.; Wasilewski, A. P.; Ziemba, L. D.; Crosbie, E.; Hair, J. W.; Hu, Y.; Hostetler, C. A.; Stamnes, S.


    We present comparisons of cloud droplet size distributions retrieved from the Research Scanning Polarimeter (RSP) data with correlative in situ measurements made during the North Atlantic Aerosols and Marine Ecosystems Study (NAAMES). This field experiment was based at St. John's airport, Newfoundland, Canada with the latest deployment in May - June 2016. RSP was onboard the NASA C-130 aircraft together with an array of in situ and other remote sensing instrumentation. The RSP is an along-track scanner measuring polarized and total reflectances in 9 spectral channels. Its unique high angular resolution allows for characterization of liquid water droplet size using the rainbow structure observed in the polarized reflectances in the scattering angle range between 135 and 165 degrees. A parametric fitting algorithm applied to the polarized reflectances provides retrievals of the droplet effective radius and variance assuming a prescribed size distribution shape (gamma distribution). In addition to this, we use a non-parametric method, Rainbow Fourier Transform (RFT), which allows us to retrieve the droplet size distribution (DSD) itself. The latter is important in the case of clouds with complex structure, which results in multi-modal DSDs. During NAAMES the aircraft performed a number of flight patterns specifically designed for comparison of remote sensing retrievals and in situ measurements. These patterns consisted of two flight segments above the same straight ground track. One of these segments was flown above clouds allowing for remote sensing measurements, while the other was at the cloud top where cloud droplets were sampled. We compare the DSDs retrieved from the RSP data with in situ measurements made by the Cloud Droplet Probe (CDP). The comparisons show generally good agreement with deviations explainable by the position of the aircraft within cloud and by presence of additional cloud layers in RSP view that do not contribute to the in situ DSDs. In the

  16. A Disconnect between Staff and Student Perceptions of Learning: An ACELL Educational Analysis of the First Year Undergraduate Chemistry Experiment "Investigating Sugar Using a Home Made Polarimeter" (United States)

    Crisp, Michael G.; Kable, Scott H.; Read, Justin R.; Buntine, Mark A.


    This paper describes an educational analysis of a first year university chemistry practical called "Investigating sugar using a home made polarimeter". The analysis follows the formalism of the Advancing Chemistry by Enhancing Learning in the Laboratory (ACELL) project, which includes a statement of education objectives, and an analysis…

  17. The Sensitization of French Observatory Directors to Astronomical Heritage (United States)

    Le Guet Tully, Françoise; Davoigneau, Jean


    An inventory of the heritage of historical astronomical observatories was launched in the mid 1990s as part of a collaboration between the Ministry of Research and the Ministry of Culture. This has produced a significant body of knowledge not only on astronomical instruments, but also on the specificities of astronomical sites and on the architecture of observatories. Other major results of this operation are (i) the development of numerous works on the institutional history of observatories and (ii), at the request of a few directors, the protection as "historical monuments" of some buildings and of collections of instruments. Given that knowledge about astronomical heritage is a prerequisite for proper conservation and intelligent outreach, and given also that the protection of such heritage (as historical monuments) is a major asset that bolsters its cultural value, the long term sustainability of such heritage depends on political decisions and the search for financial support. We shall describe the complex administrative situation of French observatories and outline the various actions undertaken recently to sensitize their directors to astronomical heritage issues.

  18. Analysis of Korean astronomical records with Chinese equatorial coordinates (United States)

    Lee, K. W.


    The historical documents of ancient Korea contain abundant records on various astronomical phenomena. The historical documents of the Joseon dynasty contain observational values based on Chinese equatorial coordinate system (i.e., angular distances from the reference star of a lunar mansion and the North Pole). However, quantitative analysis of the observational values has not been carried out. In this study, we investigate the observational accuracy during the Joseon dynasty by comparing the astronomical records of Joseonwangjo Sillok (Annals of the Joseon Dynasty) and Seungjeongwon Ilgi (Daily Records of the Royal Secretariat) with modern astronomical calculations. Consequently, we find that the observational accuracy during the early Joseon dynasty was approximately 1.2° 0.3° in the right ascension and declination, respectively. On the other hand, we find that the observational accuracy during the later Joseon dynasty was considerably poor. Observations of Halley's comet in 1759 were off by approximately 7° in declination. We believe that further investigation is required to verify the reason for this poor accuracy. Thus, we list the complete records used for this study in the appendix. We believe that these records also can contribute to modern studies on phenomena such as supernovae or Halley's comet. In conclusion, we believe that this study is useful for understanding ancient Korean astronomical records, even though we have considered a small number of astronomical events.

  19. Astronomers Detect Powerful Bursting Radio Source Discovery Points to New Class of Astronomical Objects (United States)


    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

  20. Teaching astronomical navigation at the university: an historical overview (United States)

    López Varela, P.; Salgado Don, A.; Manteiga Outeiro, M.


    Astronomy and navigation are two sciences whose historical evolution have been linked for centuries through relationships of mutual dependency, up to the point of leading to a new science: astronomical or celestial navigation. Currently, astronomy has a very important well defined area within all university nautical degrees. Knowledge of astronomical navigation is still mandatory for deck officers in merchant ships. In the GPS era, practicing astronomical navigation has been relegated to a mere control procedure, and the tendency is to falling into disuse. Nevertheless, it is still the only method through which seamen can depend on their own means and knowledge to keep a track in a safe way. The new syllabi of our majors contemplates a drastic reduction of the contents of this subject, whose importance in the seafarer's profession we want to highlight in this paper.

  1. The Astronomer Alexander I. Postoiev (1900-1976) (United States)

    Dos Santos, P. M.; Matsuura, O. T.

    This is a biographical note on the life of Dr Alexander I. Postoiev, a victim of Stalin's purge of Soviet astronomers in 1936-1937 (McCutcheon, 1985). Along with his family, he left the Soviet Union in 1943, and lived in Germany as a refugee and "displaced person" until 1952, when he moved to Brazil. Then he started the second part of his professional career. Thanks to his efforts the Astronomical and Geophysical Institute (IAG) from the University of Sao Paulo (USP) was involved, for the first time, in programme of international cooperation, thus contributing to the institutional consolidation of IAG/USP as a leading centre of astronomical research and teaching today in Brazil.

  2. Profiling Some of the Lesser-Known Historical Women Astronomers (United States)

    Pagnotta, Ashley


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

  3. ImgCutout, an Engine of Instantaneous Astronomical Discovery (United States)

    Nieto-Santisteban, M. A.; Szalay, A. S.; Gray, J.


    ImgCutout is a Web application that enables professional astronomers and the general public to interactively visualize and explore large, complex astronomical data sets. The application consists of a Web interface that calls a Web service, which accesses SkyServer, a 1 TB SQL Server database containing catalog data for 100 million objects, spectra and images from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. ImgCutout builds, in real time, color mosaic-images of user-selected regions of the sky, and overlays additional information about astronomical and spatial objects in the database including: boundaries of survey fields and aperture plates, outlines of individual objects and data quality masks, in addition to locations of photometric and spectroscopic objects. The tool can search for lists of known objects, allows new database queries, and provides detailed information about selected objects.

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

    CERN Document Server

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


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

  5. Photonic ring resonator filters for astronomical OH suppression (United States)

    Ellis, S. C.; Kuhlmann, S.; Kuehn, K.; Spinka, H.; Underwood, D.; Gupta, R. R.; Ocola, L. E.; Liu, P.; Wei, G.; Stern, N. P.; Bland-Hawthorn, J.; Tuthill, P.


    Ring resonators provide a means of filtering specific wavelengths from a waveguide, and optionally dropping the filtered wavelengths into a second waveguide. Both of these features are potentially useful for astronomical instruments. In this paper we focus on their use as notch filters to remove the signal from atmospheric OH emission lines from astronomical spectra, however we also briefly discuss their use as frequency combs for wavelength calibration and as drop filters for Doppler planet searches. We derive the design requirements for ring resonators for OH suppression from theory and finite difference time domain simulations. We find that rings with small radii (0.9), but further optimisation is required to achieve higher Q and deeper notches, with current devices having $Q \\approx 4000$ and $\\approx 10$ dB suppression. The overall prospects for the use of ring resonators in astronomical instruments is promising, provided efficient fibre-chip coupling can be achieved.

  6. Examination and notes to the astronomical records in >SUISHU<. (United States)

    Liu, Ciyuan


    Astronomical records are an important part in Chinese official historical books. Their main purpose was for astrology and they are an obstacle for historians who read those books. With modern astronomical methods, one can compute and examine most of those ancient records. By comparing the computed results with the original texts, one can examine the texts, find their mistakes, study their observation method and regulation, inspect astrological theory, take a deeper understanding to those important historical materials. As an example the author deals with the astronomcial records of Dynasties Liang and Chen for 60 years in >SUISHU<, the official history of Dynasty Sui. He also synthesized other historical sources in addition to the astronomical computation.

  7. Xia-Shang-Zhou Chronology Project and its astronomical problems (United States)

    Liu, Ciyuan


    "Xia-Shang-Zhou Chronology Project" incorporates more than 200 experts on historical literature, ancient script, archeology, astronomy and C-14 measurement to promote early Chinese chronology (Xia, Shang, Zhou dynasties). Various astronomical problems have been studied in 12 separate groups. They are conjunctions of the five planets during the dynasties; Fire star for seasons determination; the famous solar eclipse in King Zhongkang's time; horizontal stars positions in Calendar Xiaxiaozheng; solar eclipse in King Yu; the lunar and solar eclipses recorded on oracle bones; celestial phenomena took place on King Wu's conquest; "double dawn" solar eclipse; lunar phase series on bronzes; calendar regulation of Zhou dynasty, and a comparison with foreign chronolgy. The astronomical conclusions of King Wuding by 5 lunar eclipses, King Wu by various astronomical records, King Yi by "double dawn" eclipse have been accepted as important frame of the Xia Shang Zhou chronology list while the years of west Zhou dynasty depended on the records of lunar phases.

  8. Radio Recombination Lines as Tools for Astronomers and Physicists (United States)

    Gordon, M. A.


    Described by simple atomic theory published in 1913 by Niels Bohr, spectral lines in the radio range arising from transitions between large principal quantum numbers of atoms have proved to be useful tools for astronomers and physicists. Called ``radio recombination lines'' because of the wavelength range where most are observed, they are usually easy to detect, give unique information about astronomical objects, and facilitate the study of physical effects in environments that cannot be created in terrestrial laboratories. Observations have revealed unexpected results regarding thermodynamic populations of the principal quantum levels and about pressure broadening in astronomical environments. Detections of large-n lines, such as the n = 1006-->1010 absorption line of interstellar carbon, show the existence of atoms with classical diameters of about 0.1 mm, the thickness of a sheet of typing paper. This paper briefly discusses observations of Stark broadening reported by Bell et al. in 2002.

  9. Investigation of active regions at high resolution by balloon flights of the Solar Optical Universal Polarimeter (SOUP) (United States)

    Tarbell, T.; Frank, Z.; Gilbreth, C.; Shine, R.; Title, A.; Topka, K.; Wolfson, J.


    SOUP is a versatile, visible-light solar observatory, built for space or balloon flight. It is designed to study magnetic and velocity fields in the solar atmosphere with high spatial resolution and temporal uniformity, which cannot be achieved from the surface of the earth. The SOUP investigation is carried out by the Lockheed Palo Alto Research Laboratory, under contract to NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center. Co-investigators include staff members at a dozen observatories and universities in the U.S. and Europe. The primary objectives of the SOUP experiment are: to measure vector magnetic and velocity fields in the solar atmosphere with much better spatial resolution than can be achieved from the ground; to study the physical processes that store magnetic energy in active regions and the conditions that trigger its release; and to understand how magnetic flux emerges, evolves, combines, and disappears on spatial scales of 400 to 100,000 km. SOUP is designed to study intensity, magnetic, and velocity fields in the photosphere and low chromosphere with 0.5 arcsec resolution, free of atmospheric disturbances. The instrument includes: a 30 cm Cassegrain telescope; an active mirror for image stabilization; broadband film and TV cameras; a birefringent filter, tunable over 5100 to 6600 A with 0.05 A bandpass; a 35 mm film camera and a digital CCD camera behind the filter; and a high-speed digital image processor.

  10. The Research Tools of the Virtual Astronomical Observatory (United States)

    Hanisch, Robert J.; Berriman, G. B.; Lazio, T. J.; Project, VAO


    Astronomy is being transformed by the vast quantities of data, models, and simulations that are becoming available to astronomers at an ever-accelerating rate. The U.S. Virtual Astronomical Observatory (VAO) has been funded to provide an operational facility that is intended to be a resource for discovery and access of data, and to provide science services that use these data. Over the course of the past year, the VAO has been developing and releasing for community use five science tools: 1) "Iris", for dynamically building and analyzing spectral energy distributions, 2) a web-based data discovery tool that allows astronomers to identify and retrieve catalog, image, and spectral data on sources of interest, 3) a scalable cross-comparison service that allows astronomers to conduct pair-wise positional matches between very large catalogs stored remotely as well as between remote and local catalogs, 4) time series tools that allow astronomers to compute periodograms of the public data held at the NASA Star and Exoplanet Database (NStED) and the Harvard Time Series Center, and 5) A VO-aware release of the Image Reduction and Analysis Facility (IRAF) that provides transparent access to VO-available data collections and is SAMP-enabled, so that IRAF users can easily use tools such as Aladin and Topcat in conjuction with IRAF tasks. Additional VAO services will be built to make it easy for researchers to provide access to their data in VO-compliant ways, to build VO-enabled custom applications in Python, and to respond generally to the growing size and complexity of astronomy data. Acknowledgements: The Virtual Astronomical Observatory (VAO) is managed by the VAO, LLC, a non-profit company established as a partnership of the Associated Universities, Inc. and the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc. The VAO is sponsored by the National Science Foundation and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

  11. Eminent Astronomers - Odessa University Graduates - In European Astronomy (United States)

    Volyanskaya, M. Yu.


    A brief description of scientific activity of some eminent astronomers - graduates of the Odessa University named after I.I. Mechnikov (earlier - Novorossiiski University) in European astronomy is given: * Stratonov V.V. (1869-1938), professor, wellknown specialist in stellar astronomy, who was exiled abroad in 1992 among many scientists and writers, lived in Germany and Prague, where died; * Gansky A.P. (1870-1908) - famous investagator of the Sun, worked at the Meudon Observatory, ascended 9 times to Mount Blanc to make observations, was awarded by P.Z.C. Jansen medal of the Paris Academy of Sciences; * Donitch N.N. (1874-1956) - wellknown investigator of the Solar system, one of the first Romanian astronomers, a brilliant personality of the astronomical community of his time, a honorary member of the Romanian Academy of Sciences, died in Nice (France); * Zalesky Bogdan (1887-1927), specialist in astrometry, which became a wellknown astronomer in Poland. One of the founders and the first director of the University Observatory in Poznan; * Witkowsky Josef (1892- 1976) - specialist in astrometry, practical astronomy, and tidal phenomena studies, history of astronomy. Professor, Director of the Astronomical Centre in Poznan; *Stoiko N.M. ((1894-1976) - investigator of the irregularities of the Earth's rotation, the Earth's poles motions and the universal time determination. A member of many scientific societies. He was awarded by prizes of the Paris Academy of Sciences, of the French astronomical society, of the Royal Academy of Belgium. He worked at the Paris Observatory and was one of the Directors of the International Time Service; * Jardecky (Zhardecky) Vietcheslaw (1896-1962), worked at the Department of Mathematics of the Beograd University; eminent specialist in the field of Mechanics of Fluids; After the Second World War he emmigrated to the USA, Professor of Geophysics at the Columbia Univeristy (New York), where died.

  12. The Physicist and Astronomer Christoper Scheiner - Biography Letters, Works (United States)

    Daxecker, Franz

    The Jesuit priest Christopher Scheiner was one of the most influential astronomers of the first half of the 17th century. He was a creative and down-to-earth natural scientist who worked in the fields of astronomy, physics, optics and ophthalmology, while following his vocations as university lecturer, church builder and pastor. In scientific matters he was Galilei's opponent. Their dispute centred on the priority of discovery in regard to the sunspots. Scheiner was not the first to discover the sunspots, but he gave the most detailed account thereofin his main work "Rosa Ursina sive Sol". He was, however, ceaseless in his defense of the geocentric system. In 1891, Anton v.Braunmühl published a biography of Father Scheiner. Ever since then, new documents have come to light, justifying the publication of a new biography. Among the documents now available is Scheiner's hitherto unknown dissertation. Notes taken during his lectures in Ingolstadt provide valuable information on astronomy using the telescope, an invention of his lifetime. His exchange of letters with personalities like Archduke Leopold V of Austria-Tyrol, with scientists like Magini, Galilei, Gassendi, Kepler and confriars Rader, Guldin, Alber, Minutuli, Cysat und Kircher is a source of precious insights. Letters to Scheiner from the Father Generals of his order display evidence of his superiors' zero tolerance for the helincentric system. They also disclose Scheiner's wish to become a missionary in China, the financial difficulties he faced while trying to find a publisher for his "Rosa Ursina sive Sol" and his personal shortcomings. A Scheiner obituary from 1650 was found in Cracow in 2001. It contains information on the troublesome last years of his life and has finally allowed us to determine the year of his birth. Scheiner's personality has been praised as well as criticized by many authors - sometimes depending on their ideological backgrounds. This holds true especially regarding the argument

  13. Brightness Variations of Sun-like Stars: The Mystery Deepens - Astronomers facing Socratic "ignorance" (United States)


    Astrophysics, Australia National University), Maria-Rosa L. Cioni (Centre for Astrophysics Research, University of Hertfordshire, UK) and Igor Soszyński (Warsaw University Observatory). 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. Application of Astronomical Compositions in Small Architectural Forms (United States)

    Haykazun, Ani


    The small architectural forms are an important part of the Armenian architecture. Their compositions are diverse including quadrihedral structures, cross-stones, monuments, gravestones, memorial stones, etc. From ancient times to the late middle ages, and up to themodern small architectural forms, there are many decorative elements of astronomical character. Among them, one can more often see stars, the sun, the moon, the sky, the planets, the sign of eternity and other symbolic decorative images, which play a major role in the formation of the artistic image of the architectural compositions. The analysis of application of astronomical compositions will help more comprehensively introduce the compositional peculiarities of the small architectural forms.

  15. The Potential of Deep Learning with Astronomical Data (United States)

    Schafer, Chad


    Modern astronomical surveys yield massive catalogs of noisy high-dimensional objects, e.g., images, spectra, and light curves. Valuable information stored in individual objects can be lost when ad hoc approaches of feature extraction are used in an effort to build data sets amenable to established data analysis tools. Deep learning procedures provide a promising avenue to enabling the use of data in their raw form and hence allowing both for estimates of greater accuracy and for novel discoveries with greater confidence. This talk will give an overview of deep learning and its potential in astronomical applications.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brescia, Massimo, E-mail: [INAF, Astronomical Obs. of Capodimonte, Via Moiariello 16, I-80131 Napoli (Italy); Longo, Giuseppe [Department of Physics, University Federico II, Via Cintia 6, 80126 Napoli (Italy); Department of Astronomy, Caltech, Pasadena (United States)


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

  17. Focal length determination for the 60cm telescope at Astronomical station Vidojevica

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cvetković Z.


    Full Text Available The focal length of a telescope is an important parameter in determining the angular pixel size. This parameter is used for the purpose of determining the relative coordinates (angular separation and positional angle of double and multiple stars, and the precise coordinates of extragalactic radio sources (ERS that are visible at optical wavelengths. At the Astronomical Station Vidojevica we have collected observations of these objects using two CCD cameras, Apogee Alta U42 and SBIG ST-10ME, attached to the 60 cm telescope. Its nominal focal length is 600 cm as given by the manufacturer. To determine the telescope focal length more precisely for both attached detectors, we used angular-separation measurements from CCD images taken at Astronomical Station Vidojevica. The obtained focal lengths are: F42 = (5989 ± 7 mm using the CCD camera Apogee Alta U42 attached to the telescope, and F10 = (5972 ± 4 mm with the CCD camera SBIG ST-10ME attached to the telescope.

  18. Urban light pollution - The effect of atmospheric aerosols on astronomical observations at night (United States)

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


    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.

  19. The 2013 Summer Undergraduate Research Internship Program at the Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute (United States)

    Castelaz, Michael W.; Cline, J. D.; Whitworth, C.; Clavier, D.; Barker, T.


    Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute (PARI) offers summer undergraduate research internships. PARI has received support for the internships from the EMC Corporation, private donations, private foundations, and through a collaboration with the Pisgah Astronomical Research and Education Center of the University of North Carolina - Asheville. The internship program began in 2001 with 4 students. This year 10 funded students participated. Mentors for the interns include PARI’s Directors of Science, Education, and Information Technology and visiting faculty who are members of the PARI Research Faculty Affiliate program. Students work with mentors on radio and optical astronomy research, electrical engineering for robotic control of instruments, software development for instrument control and and science education by developing curricula and multimedia and teaching high school students in summer programs at PARI. At the end of the summer interns write a paper about their research which is published in the PARI Summer Student Proceedings. Students are encouraged to present their research at AAS Meetings. We will present a summary of specific research conducted by the students with their mentors.

  20. The Gas Pixel Detector as a solar X-ray polarimeter and imager (United States)

    Fabiani, Sergio; Bellazzini, Ronaldo; Brez, Alessandro; di Cosimo, Sergio; Lazzarotto, Francesco; Muleri, Fabio; Rubini, Alda; Soffitta, Paolo; Spandre, Gloria

    The sun is the nearest astrophysical source with an interesting emission in the X-ray band. The study of energetic events, such as solar flares, can help us to understand the behaviour of the magnetic field of our star. There are in literature numerous studies published about polarization predictions, for a wide range of solar flare models. All these models involve emission from thermal and/or nonthermal processes. Furthermore, results of flare observations in the X-ray band have never been exhaustive. We want to present a new kind of instrument with polarimetric and imaging capabilities in the X-ray band. This instrument is the Gas Pixel Detector (GPD). It has been developed by the INFN and the IASF-Roma / INAF Italian research institutes. The GPD was born to achieve X-ray polarimetric measurements as well as X-ray images for astrophysical sources. It has a good spectroscopic sensitivity thanks to an energy resolution of some per cent and it allows also to perform timing measurements. Differently from all the other kinds of today's polarimeters, it doesn't need rotation! The GPD exploits the dependence of photoelectric cross section to photon polarization direction to the aim of measuring polarization. This instrument is essentially a ionization chamber: a cell filled by gas into which radiation enters through a window of 1.5 cm x 1.5 cm. The cell has a depth of some centimeters: typically from 1 to 2 cm. Every time that a photon is absorbed by the gas, a photoelectron is emitted with more probability in the direction of the electric vector of the photon absorbed. The photoelectron propagates and produces a track of ionization that is drifted, amplified and actually collected on a fine sub-divided pixeled detector, whose pixels have a dimension of 50 µm. At the present the chip integrates more than 16.5 millions of transistors. It has an active area of 105600 pixels organized in a honeycomb matrix 300x352. It is a self triggered system able to select itself the

  1. Development of fast data processing electronics for a stacked x-ray detector system with application as a polarimeter (United States)

    Maier, Daniel; Dick, Jürgen; Distratis, Giuseppe; Kendziorra, Eckhard; Santangelo, Andrea; Schanz, Thomas; Tenzer, Christoph; Warth, Gabriele


    We have assembled a stacked setup consisting of a soft and hard X-ray detector with cooling capability and control-, readout-, and data processing electronics at the Institut für Astronomie und Astrophysik Tübingen (IAAT). The detector system is a 64 ×64 DePFET-Matrix in front of a CdTe-Caliste module. The detectors were developed at the Max-Planck Institute Semiconductor Laboratory (HLL) in Neuperlach and the Commissariat a l'Energie Atomique (CEA) in Saclay, respectively. In this combined structure the DePFET detector works as Low Energy Detector (LED) while the Caliste module (HED) only detects the high energy photons that have passed through the LED. In this work we present the current status of the setup. Furthermore, an intended application of the detector system as a polarimeter is described.

  2. Large size GEM for Super Bigbite Spectrometer (SBS) polarimeter for Hall A 12 GeV program at JLab (United States)

    Gnanvo, Kondo; Liyanage, Nilanga; Nelyubin, Vladimir; Saenboonruang, Kiadtisak; Sacher, Seth; Wojtsekhowski, Bogdan


    We report on the R&D effort in the design and construction of a large size Gas Electron Multiplier (GEM) for the Proton Polarimeter Back Tracker (BT) of the Super Bigbite Spectrometer (SBS) in Hall A at Thomas Jefferson National Laboratory (JLab). The SBS BT GEM trackers consist of two sets of five large GEM chambers of size 60×200 cm2. The GEM chamber is a vertical stack of four GEM modules, each with an active area of 60×50 cm2. We have built and tested several prototypes and the construction of GEM modules for SBS BT is ongoing. We describe in this paper the design and construction of the GEM module prototype as well as the preliminary results on performance from tests carried out in our detector lab and during test beam at Fermi National Laboratory (Fermilab).

  3. Large size GEM for Super Bigbite Spectrometer (SBS) polarimeter for Hall A 12 GeV program at JLab

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gnanvo, Kondo, E-mail: [University of Virginia, Department of Physics, Charlottesville, VA 22904 (United States); Liyanage, Nilanga; Nelyubin, Vladimir; Saenboonruang, Kiadtisak; Sacher, Seth [University of Virginia, Department of Physics, Charlottesville, VA 22904 (United States); Wojtsekhowski, Bogdan [Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility, Newport News, VA 23606 (United States)


    We report on the R&D effort in the design and construction of a large size Gas Electron Multiplier (GEM) for the Proton Polarimeter Back Tracker (BT) of the Super Bigbite Spectrometer (SBS) in Hall A at Thomas Jefferson National Laboratory (JLab). The SBS BT GEM trackers consist of two sets of five large GEM chambers of size 60×200 cm{sup 2}. The GEM chamber is a vertical stack of four GEM modules, each with an active area of 60×50 cm{sup 2}. We have built and tested several prototypes and the construction of GEM modules for SBS BT is ongoing. We describe in this paper the design and construction of the GEM module prototype as well as the preliminary results on performance from tests carried out in our detector lab and during test beam at Fermi National Laboratory (Fermilab)

  4. Recent Advances for LGBT Astronomers in the United States (United States)

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


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

  5. Factors Contributing to Lifelong Science Learning: Amateur Astronomers and Birders (United States)

    Jones, M. Gail; Corin, Elysa Nicole; Andre, Thomas; Childers, Gina M.; Stevens, Vanessa


    This research examined lifelong science learning reported by amateur astronomers and birders. One hundred seven adults who reported engaging in an informal (out-of-school) science interest were interviewed as part of an ongoing series of studies of lifelong science learners. The goal of the study was to gain insight into how and why amateur…

  6. Astronomy for Astronomical Numbers: A Worldwide Massive Open Online Class (United States)

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


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

  7. The Astronomical Information Infrastructure from the End-User Perspective

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hogeveen, S.J.


    Information Technology (IT) today has found so many applications in as- tronomy, that we may speak of an electronic `Astronomical Information Infrastructure' (AII). At this moment, the AII really is nothing but a collection of disparate services. Over the last few years the collection has grown

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Buddelmeijer, Hugo; Valentijn, Edwin A.

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

  9. How did the Supreme Court ruling on DOMA affect astronomers? (United States)

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


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

  10. GPU accelerated processing of astronomical high frame-rate videosequences (United States)

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


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

  11. Jan Hendrik Oort – A Complete Astronomer (1900 –1992)

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    IAS Admin

    therefore makes our vision shortsighted. The radio map revealed spiral arms of our Galaxy, and showed that the Milky Way was similar in appearance to other spiral galaxies. Oort is remembered not only as the father of Dutch astronomy, but also as a major figure in spearheading astronomical research in Europe, and in ...

  12. This Month in Astronomical History: Preliminary Survey Results (United States)

    Wilson, Teresa


    This Month in Astronomical History is a short (~500 word) column on the AAS website that revisits significant astronomical events or the lives of people who have made a large impact on the field. The monthly column began in July 2016 at the request of the Historical Astronomical Division. Examples of topics that have been covered include Comet Shoemaker-Levy’s collision with Jupiter, the discovery of the moons of Mars, the life of Edwin Hubble, Maria Mitchell’s comet discovery, and the launch of Sputnik II. A survey concerning the column is in progress to ensure the column addresses the interests and needs of a broad readership, including historians, educators, research astronomers, and the general public. Eleven questions focus on the style and content of the column, while eight collect simple demographics. The survey has been available on the AAS website since and was mentioned in several AAS newsletters; however, non-members of AAS were also recruited to include respondents from a variety of backgrounds. Preliminary results of the survey are presented and will be used to hone the style and content of the column to serve the widest possible audience. Responses continue to be collected at:

  13. Revised Miocene splice, astronomical tuning and calcareous plankton biochronology

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zeeden, C.; Hilgen, F.; Westerwold, T.; Lourens, L.; Röhl, Ursula; Bickert, Torsten


    The distinctly cyclic sediments recovered during ODP Leg 154 played an important role in constructing the astronomical time scale and associated astro(bio)chronology for the Miocene, and in deciphering ocean–climate history. The accuracy of the timescale critically depends on the reliability of

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hughes, D. W.


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

  15. Analytical algorithms of relativistic reduction of astronomical observations. (United States)

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

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

  16. Radio Recombination Lines. Their Physics and Astronomical Applications (United States)

    Gordon, M. A.; Sorochenko, R. L.


    This book is a comprehensive guide to the physics and observations of Radio Recombination Lines from astronomical sources, written for astronomers, physicists, and graduate students. It serves as a graduate-level textbook. It includes the history of RRL detections, the astrophysics underlying their intensities and line shapes including topics like departures from LTE and Stark broadening, the maximum possible size of an atom, as well as detailed descriptions of the astronomical topics for which RRLs have proved to be effective tools. The text includes more than 250 equations and 110 illustrations. It also contains hundreds of specific references to the astronomical literature to enable readers to explore additional details. The appendix includes supplementary information such as the detailed physics underlying the Bohr atomic model, tables of RRL frequencies including fine structure components, techniques for calculating hydrogenic oscillator strengths, FORTRAN code for calculating departure coefficients, and a discussion with formulas for converting observational (telescope) intensity units to astrophysical ones. Link:

  17. Instrument Remote Control via the Astronomical Instrument Markup Language (United States)

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


    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.

  18. Lab on a Chip LCVR Polarimeter for Exploration of Life Signatures Project (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Life on Earth is unique in many ways; one of its great mysteries is that all the biomolecules of Earth's life are chiral and one optical isomer of each amino acid or...


    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jones, Amy; Wang Lifan; Krisciunas, Kevin; Freeland, Emily, E-mail: [Department of Physics and Astronomy, George P. and Cynthia W. Mitchell Institute for Fundamental Physics and Astronomy, Texas A and M University, College Station, TX 77843 (United States)


    We performed an integrated optical polarization survey of 70 nearby galaxies to study the relationship between linear polarization and galaxy properties. To date this is the largest survey of its kind. The data were collected at McDonald Observatory using the Imaging Grism Polarimeter on the Otto Struve 2.1 m telescope. Most of the galaxies did not have significant level of linear polarization, where the bulk is <1%. A fraction of the galaxies showed a loose correlation between the polarization and position angle of the galaxy, indicating that dust scattering is the main source of optical polarization. The unbarred spiral galaxies are consistent with the predicted relationship with inclination from scattering models of {approx}sin{sup 2} i.

  20. Quantum efficiency modeling for a thick back-illuminated astronomical CCD (United States)

    Groom, D. E.; Haque, S.; Holland, S. E.; Kolbe, W. F.


    The quantum efficiency and reflectivity of thick, back-illuminated CCD's being fabricated at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory for astronomical applications are modeled and compared with experiments. The treatment differs from standard thin-film optics in that (a) absorption is permitted in any film, (b) the 200-500 μm thick silicon substrate is considered as a thin film in order to observe the fringing behavior at long wavelengths, and (c) by using approximate boundary conditions, absorption in the surface films is separated from absorption in the substrate. For quantum efficiency measurements, the CCD's are normally operated as CCD's, usually at T =-140 ° C, and at higher temperatures, as photodiodes. They are mounted on mechanical substrates. Reflectivity is measured on air-backed wafer samples at room temperature. The agreement between model expectation and quantum efficiency measurement is in general satisfactory.

  1. Alexander Tomov (1930-2009: A Founder of the Astronomical Photoelectric Photometry in Bulgaria [In Bulgarian

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. Tomov


    Full Text Available This paper describes the work of Dr. Alexander Tomov on establishment and equipment of the Astronomical Observatory of Belogradchik. Tomov’s research activity in that observatory is commented as well. The official opening of the observatory took place on July 21st, 1965. During the period 1966-1969 a monitoring program for determining the orbits of artificial satellites was successfully realized. Constructing a new building expanded later observatory. In mid-1969 the observatory was supplied by 60 cm reflector optical system ‘Cassegrain’, produced by Carl Zeiss in Germany; it was the biggest telescope in Bulgaria at that time. In the period 1970-1973 a modern single-channel photoelectric UBV photometer was constructed and put in operation. In 1976 the Belogradchik observatory joined with the Institute of Astronomy of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. In the second half of seventies and early eighties hundreds of galaxies were studied.

  2. Search for Varying Constants of Nature from Astronomical Observation of Molecules (United States)

    Ubachs, Wim


    The status of searches for possible variation in the constants of nature from astronomical observation of molecules is reviewed, focusing on the dimensionless constant representing the proton-electron mass ratio μ =mp/me. The optical detection of H2 and CO molecules with large ground-based telescopes (as the ESO-VLT and the Keck telescopes), as well as the detection of H2 with the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph aboard the Hubble Space Telescope is discussed in the context of varying constants, and in connection to different theoretical scenarios. Radio astronomy provides an alternative search strategy bearing the advantage that molecules as NH3 (ammonia) and CH3OH (methanol) can be used, which are much more sensitive to a varying μ than diatomic molecules. Current constraints are |Δ μ /μ | Universe (both at 3σ statistical significance). Existing bottlenecks and prospects for future improvement with novel instrumentation are discussed.

  3. A 58 x 62 pixel Si:Ga array camera for 5 - 14 micron astronomical imaging (United States)

    Gezari, D. Y.; Folz, W. C.; Woods, L. A.; Wooldridge, J. B.


    A new infrared array camera system has been successfully applied to high background 5 - 14 micron astronomical imaging photometry observations, using a hybrid 58 x 62 pixel Si:Ga array detector. The off-axis reflective optical design incorporating a parabolic camera mirror, circular variable filter wheel, and cold aperture stop produces diffraction-limited images with negligible spatial distortion and minimum thermal background loading. The camera electronic system architecture is divided into three subsystems: (1) high-speed analog front end, including 2-channel preamp module, array address timing generator, bias power suppies, (2) two 16 bit, 3 microsec per conversion A/D converters interfaced to an arithmetic array processor, and (3) an LSI 11/73 camera control and data analysis computer. The background-limited observational noise performance of the camera at the NASA/IRTF telescope is NEFD (1 sigma) = 0.05 Jy/pixel min exp 1/2.

  4. The Astronomical Virtual Observatory: Lessons Learned, Looking Forward (United States)

    Genova, F.


    The astronomical Virtual Observatory (VO) aims at providing seamless access to the wealth of the discipline's on-line resources, hence at developing global interoperability between them. This is coordinated by the International Virtual Observatory Alliance (IVOA). The paper summarizes the VO history and current evolution. During the first period of VO development, a huge amount of work has been devoted to the development of basic interoperability standards, to set up the VO framework for publication of data and for tools interoperability. This has proven to be a major asset for seamless usage of data. Now the VO is in operation, and the emphasis on supporting the take-up by astronomers and data providers, as well as on outreach, is increasing. A census of European astronomical data centres performed in 2009/2010 shows a large interest in the VO, and a wide diversity of sizes and organisations, in the data centre community. The different strands of work of an operational VO, and the challenges ahead are described, taking in particular the example of the European VO. The European implementation of the VO has been moulded by the specific organisation of European astronomy, with complementary roles of the national and European levels. Local and national projects contribute to the VO development and implementation in their domains of interest and expertise. Several projects supported by the European Commission have helped to shape Euro-VO, with a strong emphasis on coordination of national and intergovernmental agency projects, with actions towards astronomers, data centres and VO developers, including during the last period of outreach towards education and the public. The Astronet Infrastructure Roadmap for European astronomy (2009) has recognized data and the VO as one of the infrastructures of astronomy. The way forward in this context is discussed. In conclusion, the astronomical data infrastructure is put in perspective with the general trends around scientific

  5. Combining freeform-shaped holographic grating and curved detectors in a scheme of multi-slit astronomic spectrograph (United States)

    Muslimov, Eduard R.; Hugot, Emmanuel; Ferrari, Marc


    In the present work we consider optical design of a multi-slit astronomic spectrograph for UV domain with freeform reflective elements. The scheme consists of only two reflective elements - a holographic grating imposed on freeform surface and a freeform mirror. The freeforms are described by standard Zernike polynomials and the hologram is recorded by two coherent point sources. We demonstrate that in such a scheme it's possible to obtain quite high optical quality for an extended field of view and relatively high dispersion on a curved image surface. The spectrograph works with linear field of view of 76x32 mm and provides reciprocal linear dispersion equal to 0.5 nm/mm and typical resolving power of 15 000 over the UV range of 100-200 nm. Feasibility of the optical components is discussed and coupling of the spectrograph with a TMA telescope is demonstrated.

  6. The challenges and frustrations of a veteran astronomical optician: Robert Lundin, 1880-1962 (United States)

    Briggs, John W.; Osterbrock, Donald E.


    Robert Lundin, apprenticed in nineteenth century optical craftsmanship but employed in twenty century fabrication and engineering, suffered many frustrations during a nonetheless productive career. Son of Carl A.R. Lundin, a senior optician at the famous American firm of Alvan Clark & Sons, Robert grew up building telescopes. As a teenager, he assisted with projects including the 1-m [40-inch] objective for Yerkes Observatory. After his father's death in 1915, he became manager of the Clark Corporation and was responsible for many smaller, successful refractors and reflectors. Lundin also completed major projects, including a highly praised 50.8-cm achromat for Van Vleck Observatory, as well as a successful 33-cm astrograph used at Lowell to discover Pluto. In 1929, a dispute with the owners of the Clark Corporation led to Lundin's resignation and his creation of a new business, "C.A. Robert Lundin and Associates." This short-lived firm built several observatory refractors, including a 26.7 cm for E.W. Rice, the retired chairman of General Electric. But none was entirely successful, and the Great Depression finished off the company. In 1933, Lundin took a job as head of Warner & Swasey's new optical shop, only to experience his greatest disasters. The 2.08-m [82-inch] reflector for McDonald Observatory was delayed for years until astronomers uncovered an error in Lundin's procedure for testing the primary mirror. A 38.1-cm photographic lens for the Naval Observatory was a complete failure. Under pressure to complete a 61-cm Schmidt camera, Lundin seems to have attempted to deceive visiting astronomers. After retirement in the mid 1940s, Lundin moved to Austin, Texas, the home of his daughter, where he died. His difficulties should not obscure his success with many instruments that continue to serve as important research and education tools.

  7. An efficient photoelectric X-ray polarimeter for the study of black holes and neutron stars. (United States)

    Costa, E; Soffitta, P; Bellazzini, R; Brez, A; Lumb, N; Spandre, G


    The study of astronomical objects using electromagnetic radiation involves four basic observational approaches: imaging, spectroscopy, photometry (accurate counting of the photons received) and polarimetry (measurement of the polarizations of the observed photons). In contrast to observations at other wavelengths, a lack of sensitivity has prevented X-ray astronomy from making use of polarimetry. Yet such a technique could provide a direct picture of the state of matter in extreme magnetic and gravitational fields, and has the potential to resolve the internal structures of compact sources that would otherwise remain inaccessible, even to X-ray interferometry. In binary pulsars, for example, we could directly 'see' the rotation of the magnetic field and determine if the emission is in the form of a 'fan' or a 'pencil' beam. Also, observation of the characteristic twisting of the polarization angle in other compact sources would reveal the presence of a black hole. Here we report the development of an instrument that makes X-ray polarimetry possible. The factor of 100 improvement in sensitivity that we have achieved will allow direct exploration of the most dramatic objects of the X-ray sky.

  8. Sports stars: analyzing the performance of astronomers at visualization-based discovery


    Fluke, C. J.; Parrington, L.; Hegarty, S.; MacMahon, C.; Morgan, S.; Hassan, A. H.; Kilborn, V. A.


    In this data-rich era of astronomy, there is a growing reliance on automated techniques to discover new knowledge. The role of the astronomer may change from being a discoverer to being a confirmer. But what do astronomers actually look at when they distinguish between "sources" and "noise?" What are the differences between novice and expert astronomers when it comes to visual-based discovery? Can we identify elite talent or coach astronomers to maximize their potential for discovery? By look...

  9. Ticking Stellar Time Bomb Identified - Astronomers find prime suspect for a Type Ia supernova (United States)


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

  10. Different Categories of Astronomical Heritage: Issues and Challenges (United States)

    Ruggles, Clive


    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

  11. Demonstration of an efficient, photonic-based astronomical spectrograph on an 8-m telescope (United States)

    Jovanovic, N.; Cvetojevic, N.; Norris, B.; Betters, C.; Schwab, C.; Lozi, J.; Guyon, O.; Gross, S.; Martinache, F.; Tuthill, P.; Doughty, D.; Minowa, Y.; Takato, N.; Lawrence, J.


    We demonstrate for the first time an efficient, photonic-based astronomical spectrograph on the 8-m Subaru Telescope. An extreme adaptive optics system is combined with pupil apodiziation optics to efficiently inject light directly into a single-mode fiber, which feeds a compact cross-dispersed spectrograph based on array waveguide grating technology. The instrument currently offers a throughput of 5% from sky-to-detector which we outline could easily be upgraded to ~13% (assuming a coupling efficiency of 50%). The isolated spectrograph throughput from the single-mode fiber to detector was 42% at 1550 nm. The coupling efficiency into the single-mode fiber was limited by the achievable Strehl ratio on a given night. A coupling efficiency of 47% has been achieved with ~60% Strehl ratio on-sky to date. Improvements to the adaptive optics system will enable 90% Strehl ratio and a coupling of up to 67% eventually. This work demonstrates that the unique combination of advanced technologies enables the realization of a compact and highly efficient spectrograph, setting a precedent for future instrument design on very-large and extremely-large telescopes.

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

    CERN Multimedia

    Grant, S


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

  13. The PACA Project: When Amateur Astronomers Become Citizen Scientists (United States)

    Yanamandra-Fisher, P. A.


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

  14. Study of Synchrotron Radiation for the Electron Beam Polarimeter for the MEIC

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sullivan, M. [SLAC National Accelerator Lab., Menlo Park, CA (United States)


    This is a look at the synchrotron radiation coming from the chicane in the electron beam line for the MEIC design. The power density on the beam pipe as well as transmission through the beam pipe is studied. The optics design is version 12.

  15. 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


    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.

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

    CERN Document Server

    Inglis, Mike


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

  17. Astronomical Correlates of Architecture and Landscape in Mesoamerica (United States)

    Šprajc, Ivan

    Mesoamerican civic and ceremonial buildings were largely oriented to astronomical phenomena on the horizon, mostly to sunrises and sunsets on particular dates; some orientations were probably intended to mark major lunar standstills and Venus extremes. Solar orientations must have had a practical function, allowing the use of observational calendars that facilitated a proper scheduling of agricultural activities. Moreover, some important buildings seem to have been erected on carefully selected places, with the purpose of employing prominent peaks on the local horizon as natural markers of sunrises and sunsets on relevant dates. However, the characteristics of buildings incorporating deliberate alignments, their predominant clockwise skew from cardinal directions, and their relations to the surrounding natural and cultural landscape reveal that the architectural and urban planning in Mesoamerica was dictated by a complex set of rules, in which astronomical considerations were embedded in a broader framework of cosmological concepts substantiated by political ideology.

  18. On AIPS++, A New Astronomical Information Processing System (United States)

    Croes, G. A.


    The AIPS system that has served the needs of the radio astronomical community remarkably well during the last 15 years, is showing signs of age, and is being replaced by a more modern system, AIPS++. As the name implies AIPS++ will be developed in an object-oriented fashion, and use C++ as its main programming language. The work is being done by a consortium of seven organizations, with coordinated activities worldwide. After a review of the history of the project to this date, from management, astronomical and technical viewpoints and the current state of the project, the paper concentrates on the tradeoffs implied by the choice of implementation style, and the lessons we have learned, good and bad.

  19. A Further Survey of Multiple Authorship in the Astronomical Literature (United States)

    Smith, Graeme H.


    Authorship trends within the astronomical community have been studied using data drawn from the publication records of 12 refereed journals. The period covered by the study is 1991-2015. Across all journals, the annual fraction of papers with one or two authors has decreased with time, typically accompanied by an increased propensity for papers to have six or more co-authors. There is considerable variability in the behavior of three-to-five author papers. Reports on instrumentation developments within Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific (PASP), a journal that places specific emphasis on publishing instrumentation papers, have a higher number of authors than average. The trends away from one-to-two author papers and toward papers with six or more authors show no correlation with either the annual number of papers per journal or the geographical diversity of the contributing author pools.

  20. Knowledge Discovery Workflows in the Exploration of Complex Astronomical Datasets (United States)

    D'Abrusco, Raffaele; Fabbiano, Giuseppina; Laurino, Omar; Massaro, Francesco


    The massive amount of data produced by the recent multi-wavelength large-area surveys has spurred the growth of unprecedentedly massive and complex astronomical datasets that are proving the traditional data analysis techniques more and more inadequate. Knowledge discovery techniques, while relatively new to astronomy, have been successfully applied in several other quantitative disciplines for the determination of patterns in extremely complex datasets. The concerted use of different unsupervised and supervised machine learning techniques, in particular, can be a powerful approach to answer specific questions involving high-dimensional datasets and degenerate observables. In this paper I will present CLaSPS, a data-driven methodology for the discovery of patterns in high-dimensional astronomical datasets based on the combination of clustering techniques and pattern recognition algorithms. I shall also describe the result of the application of CLaSPS to a sample of a peculiar class of AGNs, the blazars.