WorldWideScience

Sample records for productive astronomical observatory

  1. South African Astronomical Observatory

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1987-01-01

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

  2. Astronomical Research Using Virtual Observatories

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M Tanaka

    2010-01-01

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

  3. Astronomical databases of Nikolaev Observatory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Protsyuk, Y.; Mazhaev, A.

    2008-07-01

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

  4. The South African astronomical observatory

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Feast, M.

    1985-01-01

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

  5. Astronomical publications of Melbourne Observatory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andropoulos, Jenny Ioanna

    2014-05-01

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

  6. The South African Astronomical Observatory

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1989-01-01

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

  7. The South African Astronomical Observatory

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1988-01-01

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

  8. An astronomical observatory for Peru

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-06-01

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

  9. Observatory Sponsoring Astronomical Image Contest

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-05-01

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

  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

    2010-01-01

    This book represents Volume II of the Proceedings of the UN/ESA/NASA Workshop on the International Heliophysical Year 2007 and Basic Space Science, hosted by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, Tokyo, 18 - 22 June, 2007. It covers two programme topics explored in this and past workshops of this nature: (i) non-extensive statistical mechanics as applicable to astrophysics, addressing q-distribution, fractional reaction and diffusion, and the reaction coefficient, as well as the Mittag-Leffler function and (ii) the TRIPOD concept, developed for astronomical telescope facilities. The companion publication, Volume I of the proceedings of this workshop, is a special issue in the journal Earth, Moon, and Planets, Volume 104, Numbers 1-4, April 2009.

  11. Astronomical Virtual Observatories Through International Collaboration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masatoshi Ohishi

    2010-03-01

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

  12. Multinational History of Strasbourg Astronomical Observatory

    CERN Document Server

    Heck, André

    2005-01-01

    Strasbourg Astronomical Observatory is quite an interesting place for historians: several changes of nationality between France and Germany, high-profile scientists having been based there, big projects born or installed in its walls, and so on. Most of the documents circulating on the history of the Observatory and on related matters have however been so far poorly referenced, if at all. This made necessary the compilation of a volume such as this one, offering fully-documented historical facts and references on the first decades of the Observatory history, authored by both French and German specialists. The experts contributing to this book have done their best to write in a way understandable to readers not necessarily hyperspecialized in astronomy nor in the details of European history. After an introductory chapter by the Editor, contributions by Wolfschmidt and by Duerbeck respectively deal extensively with the German periods and review people and instrumentation, while another paper by Duerbeck is more...

  13. The First Astronomical Observatory in Cluj-Napoca

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szenkovits, Ferenc

    2008-09-01

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

  14. 150th Anniversary of the Astronomical Observatory Library of Sciences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Solntseva, T.

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

  15. Science Initiatives of the US Virtual Astronomical Observatory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanisch, R. J.

    2012-09-01

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

  16. Science Initiatives of the US Virtual Astronomical Observatory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hanisch Robert J.

    2012-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kazantseva, Liliya

    2012-09-01

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

  18. Astronomical Observatory of Belgrade from 1924 to 1955

    Science.gov (United States)

    Radovanac, M.

    2014-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-09-01

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

  20. Astronomical Data Integration Beyond the Virtual Observatory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lemson, G.; Laurino, O.

    2015-09-01

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

  1. Managing distributed software development in the Virtual Astronomical Observatory

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2003-05-01

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

  4. The Organization and Management of the Virtual Astronomical Observatory

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  5. An Information Retrieval and Recommendation System for Astronomical Observatories

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-03-01

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

  6. Astronomical Research with the MicroObservatory Net

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1997-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-07-01

    , publications, news and so on. This large growth of astronomical data and the necessity of an easy access to those data led to the foundation of the International Virtual Observatory Alliance (IVOA). IVOA was formed in June 2002. By January 2005, the IVOA has grown to include 15 funded VO projects from Australia, Canada, China, Europe, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Italy, Japan, Korea, Russia, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States. At the time being Bulgaria is not a member of European Astronomical Virtual Observatory and as the Bulgarian Virtual Observatory is not a legal entity, we are not members of IVOA. The main purpose of the project is Bulgarian Virtual Observatory to join the leading virtual astronomical institutions in the world. Initially the Bulgarian Virtual Observatory will include: - BG Galaxian virtual observatory; - BG Solar virtual observatory; - Department Star clusters of IA, BAS; - WFPDB group of IA, BAS. All available data will be integrated in the Bulgarian centers of astronomical data, conducted by the Wide Field Plate Archive data centre. For the above purpose POSTGRESQL or/and MySQL will be installed on the server of BG-VO and SAADA tools, ESO-MEX or/and DAL ToolKit to transform our FITS files in standard format for VO-tools. A part of the participants was acquainted with the principles of these products during the "Days of virtual observatory in Sofia" January, 2008.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yaskell, Steven Haywood

    2008-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1975-06-06

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Javad Shekari Niri

    2015-03-01

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

  11. Digging up the Earliest Astronomical Observatory in China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Wei-Boa; Chen, Jiu-Jin

    2007-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-08-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bernaola, Omar A.

    2001-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tajima, Toshiyuki

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-08-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shlyapnikov A.

    2015-12-01

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

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

    CERN Document Server

    Hubbell, Gerald R; Billard, Linda M

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2003-03-21

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kawamura, N.

    2015-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raposo, Pedro

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pedro Donizete Colombo Junior

    2009-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-11-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cirella, E. O.; Caprio, G.

    2015-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bell, T. E.

    2005-12-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frédéric P. A. Vogt

    2017-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-10-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stempels H. C.

    2011-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vecchiato, Alberto; Bernardi, Gabriella; Bucciarelli, Beatrice

    2015-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soonthornthum, Boonrucksar; Orchiston, Wayne; Komonjinda, Siramas

    2012-09-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luisa Pigatto

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available

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



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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pinigin, Gennady; Protsyuk, Yuri; Shulga, Alexander

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Albin, Edward

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marco Di Bella

    2017-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Metcalfe, Travis S.

    2008-02-01

    In an effort to encourage self-regulation of the astronomy job market, I examine the supply of, and demand for, astronomers over time. On the supply side, I document the production rate of Ph.D. astronomers from 1970 to 2006 using the UMI Dissertation Abstracts database, along with data from other independent sources. I compare the long-term trends in Ph.D. production with federal astronomy research funding over the same time period, and I demonstrate that additional funding is correlated with higher subsequent Ph.D. production. On the demand side, I monitor the changing patterns of employment using statistics about the number and types of jobs advertised in the AAS Job Register from 1984 to 2006. Finally, I assess the sustainability of the job market by normalizing this demand by the annual Ph.D. production. The most recent data suggest that there are now annual advertisements for about one postdoctoral job, half a faculty job, and half a research/support position for every new domestic Ph.D. recipient in astronomy and astrophysics. The average new astronomer might expect to hold up to 3 jobs before finding a steady position.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernardi, Gabriella; Vecchiato, Alberto; Bucciarelli, Beatrice

    2012-07-01

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

  6. Ukpik: testbed for a miniaturized robotic astronomical observatory on a high Arctic mountain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steinbring, Eric; Leckie, Brian; Hardy, Tim; Caputa, Kris; Fletcher, Murray

    2012-09-01

    Mountains along the northwestern coast of Ellesmere Island, Canada, possess the highest peaks nearest the Pole. This geography, combined with an atmospheric thermal inversion restricted to below ~1000 m during much of the long arctic night, provides excellent opportunities for uninterrupted cloud-free astronomy - provided the challenges of these incredibly remote locations can be overcome. We present a miniaturized robotic observatory for deployment on a High Arctic mountaintop. This system tested the operability of precise optical instruments during winter, and the logistics of installation and maintenance during summer. It is called Ukpik after the Inuktitut name for the snowy owl, and was deployed at two sites accessible only by helicopter, each north of 82 degrees latitude; one on rock at 1100 m elevation and another on a glacier at 1600 m. The instrument suite included at first an all-sky-viewing camera, with the later addition of a small telescope to monitor Polaris, both protected by a retractable weather-proof enclosure. Expanding this to include a narrow-field drift-scanning camera for studying extra-solar planet transits was also investigated, but not implemented. An unique restriction was that all had to be run on batteries recharged primarily by a wind turbine. Supplementary power came from a methanol fuel-cell electrical generator. Communications were via the Iridium satellite network. The system design, and lessons learned from three years of operation are discussed, along with prospects for time-domain astronomy from isolated, high-elevation polar mountaintops.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-08-01

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

  8. The HyperLeda project en route to the astronomical virtual observatory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Golev, V.; Georgiev, V.; Prugniel, Ph.

    2002-07-01

    HyperLeda (Hyper-Linked Extragalactic Databases and Archives) is aimed to study the evolution of galaxies, their kinematics and stellar populations and the structure of Local Universe. HyperLeda is involved in catalogue and software production, data-mining and massive data processing. The products are serviced to the community through web mirrors. The development of HyperLeda is distributed between different sites and is based on the background experience of the LEDA and Hypercat databases. The HyperLeda project is focused both on the European iAstro colaboration and as a unique database for studies of the physics of the extragalactic objects.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernardi, Gabriella; Vecchiato, Alberto; Bucciarelli, Beatrice

    2014-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1979-01-01

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

  12. ESO Advanced Data Products for the Virtual Observatory

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-07-01

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

  13. UKRVO Astronomical WEB Services

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mazhaev, O.E.

    2017-01-01

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

  14. Astronomical Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-01

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

  16. ESO's Two Observatories Merge

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-02-01

    On February 1, 2005, the European Southern Observatory (ESO) has merged its two observatories, La Silla and Paranal, into one. This move will help Europe's prime organisation for astronomy to better manage its many and diverse projects by deploying available resources more efficiently where and when they are needed. The merged observatory will be known as the La Silla Paranal Observatory. Catherine Cesarsky, ESO's Director General, comments the new development: "The merging, which was planned during the past year with the deep involvement of all the staff, has created unified maintenance and engineering (including software, mechanics, electronics and optics) departments across the two sites, further increasing the already very high efficiency of our telescopes. It is my great pleasure to commend the excellent work of Jorge Melnick, former director of the La Silla Observatory, and of Roberto Gilmozzi, the director of Paranal." ESO's headquarters are located in Garching, in the vicinity of Munich (Bavaria, Germany), and this intergovernmental organisation has established itself as a world-leader in astronomy. Created in 1962, ESO is now supported by eleven member states (Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom). It operates major telescopes on two remote sites, all located in Chile: La Silla, about 600 km north of Santiago and at an altitude of 2400m; Paranal, a 2600m high mountain in the Atacama Desert 120 km south of the coastal city of Antofagasta. Most recently, ESO has started the construction of an observatory at Chajnantor, a 5000m high site, also in the Atacama Desert. La Silla, north of the town of La Serena, has been the bastion of the organization's facilities since 1964. It is the site of two of the most productive 4-m class telescopes in the world, the New Technology Telescope (NTT) - the first major telescope equipped with active optics - and the 3.6-m, which hosts HARPS

  17. Brazil to Join the European Southern Observatory

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-12-01

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

  18. Astronomical Cybersketching

    CERN Document Server

    Grego, Peter

    2009-01-01

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

  19. Korean Astronomical Calendar, Chiljeongsan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Eun Hee

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

  20. Worldwide R&D of Virtual Observatory

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-07-01

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

  1. Explanatory supplement to the astronomical almanac

    CERN Document Server

    Urban, Sean E

    2013-01-01

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

  2. Astronomical optics

    CERN Document Server

    Schroeder, Daniel J

    1988-01-01

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

  3. Muons in air showers at the Pierre Auger Observatory: Measurement of atmospheric production depth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aab, A.; Abreu, P.; Aglietta, M.; Ahlers, M.; Ahn, E. J.; Al Samarai, I.; Albuquerque, I. F. M.; Allekotte, I.; Allen, J.; Allison, P.; Almela, A.; Alvarez Castillo, J.; Alvarez-Muñiz, J.; Alves Batista, R.; Ambrosio, M.; Aminaei, A.; Anchordoqui, L.; Andringa, S.; Aramo, C.; Arqueros, F.; Asorey, H.; Assis, P.; Aublin, J.; Ave, M.; Avenier, M.; Avila, G.; Badescu, A. M.; Barber, K. B.; Bäuml, J.; Baus, C.; Beatty, J. J.; Becker, K. H.; Bellido, J. A.; Berat, C.; Bertou, X.; Biermann, P. L.; Billoir, P.; Blanco, F.; Blanco, M.; Bleve, C.; Blümer, H.; Boháčová, M.; Boncioli, D.; Bonifazi, C.; Bonino, R.; Borodai, N.; Brack, J.; Brancus, I.; Brogueira, P.; Brown, W. C.; Buchholz, P.; Bueno, A.; Buscemi, M.; Caballero-Mora, K. S.; Caccianiga, B.; Caccianiga, L.; Candusso, M.; Caramete, L.; Caruso, R.; Castellina, A.; Cataldi, G.; Cazon, L.; Cester, R.; Chavez, A. G.; Cheng, S. H.; Chiavassa, A.; Chinellato, J. A.; Chudoba, J.; Cilmo, M.; Clay, R. W.; Cocciolo, G.; Colalillo, R.; Collica, L.; Coluccia, M. R.; Conceição, R.; Contreras, F.; Cooper, M. J.; Coutu, S.; Covault, C. E.; Criss, A.; Cronin, J.; Curutiu, A.; Dallier, R.; Daniel, B.; Dasso, S.; Daumiller, K.; Dawson, B. R.; de Almeida, R. M.; De Domenico, M.; de Jong, S. J.; de Mello Neto, J. R. T.; De Mitri, I.; de Oliveira, J.; de Souza, V.; del Peral, L.; Deligny, O.; Dembinski, H.; Dhital, N.; Di Giulio, C.; Di Matteo, A.; Diaz, J. C.; Díaz Castro, M. L.; Diep, P. N.; Diogo, F.; Dobrigkeit, C.; Docters, W.; D'Olivo, J. C.; Dong, P. N.; Dorofeev, A.; Dorosti Hasankiadeh, Q.; Dova, M. T.; Ebr, J.; Engel, R.; Erdmann, M.; Erfani, M.; Escobar, C. O.; Espadanal, J.; Etchegoyen, A.; Facal San Luis, P.; Falcke, H.; Fang, K.; Farrar, G.; Fauth, A. C.; Fazzini, N.; Ferguson, A. P.; Fernandes, M.; Fick, B.; Figueira, J. M.; Filevich, A.; Filipčič, A.; Fox, B. D.; Fratu, O.; Fröhlich, U.; Fuchs, B.; Fuji, T.; Gaior, R.; García, B.; Garcia Roca, S. T.; Garcia-Gamez, D.; Garcia-Pinto, D.; Garilli, G.; Gascon Bravo, A.; Gate, F.; Gemmeke, H.; Ghia, P. L.; Giaccari, U.; Giammarchi, M.; Giller, M.; Glaser, C.; Glass, H.; Gomez Albarracin, F.; Gómez Berisso, M.; Gómez Vitale, P. F.; Gonçalves, P.; Gonzalez, J. G.; Gookin, B.; Gorgi, A.; Gorham, P.; Gouffon, P.; Grebe, S.; Griffith, N.; Grillo, A. F.; Grubb, T. D.; Guardincerri, Y.; Guarino, F.; Guedes, G. P.; Hansen, P.; Harari, D.; Harrison, T. A.; Harton, J. L.; Haungs, A.; Hebbeker, T.; Heck, D.; Heimann, P.; Herve, A. E.; Hill, G. C.; Hojvat, C.; Hollon, N.; Holt, E.; Homola, P.; Hörandel, J. R.; Horvath, P.; Hrabovský, M.; Huber, D.; Huege, T.; Insolia, A.; Isar, P. G.; Islo, K.; Jandt, I.; Jansen, S.; Jarne, C.; Josebachuili, M.; Kääpä, A.; Kambeitz, O.; Kampert, K. H.; Kasper, P.; Katkov, I.; Kégl, B.; Keilhauer, B.; Keivani, A.; Kemp, E.; Kieckhafer, R. M.; Klages, H. O.; Kleifges, M.; Kleinfeller, J.; Krause, R.; Krohm, N.; Krömer, O.; Kruppke-Hansen, D.; Kuempel, D.; Kunka, N.; La Rosa, G.; LaHurd, D.; Latronico, L.; Lauer, R.; Lauscher, M.; Lautridou, P.; Le Coz, S.; Leão, M. S. A. B.; Lebrun, D.; Lebrun, P.; Leigui de Oliveira, M. A.; Letessier-Selvon, A.; Lhenry-Yvon, I.; Link, K.; López, R.; Lopez Agüera, A.; Louedec, K.; Lozano Bahilo, J.; Lu, L.; Lucero, A.; Ludwig, M.; Lyberis, H.; Maccarone, M. C.; Malacari, M.; Maldera, S.; Maller, J.; Mandat, D.; Mantsch, P.; Mariazzi, A. G.; Marin, V.; Mariş, I. C.; Marsella, G.; Martello, D.; Martin, L.; Martinez, H.; Martínez Bravo, O.; Martraire, D.; Masías Meza, J. J.; Mathes, H. J.; Mathys, S.; Matthews, A. J.; Matthews, J.; Matthiae, G.; Maurel, D.; Maurizio, D.; Mayotte, E.; Mazur, P. O.; Medina, C.; Medina-Tanco, G.; Melissas, M.; Melo, D.; Menichetti, E.; Menshikov, A.; Messina, S.; Meyhandan, R.; Mićanović, S.; Micheletti, M. I.; Middendorf, L.; Minaya, I. A.; Miramonti, L.; Mitrica, B.; Molina-Bueno, L.; Mollerach, S.; Monasor, M.; Monnier Ragaigne, D.; Montanet, F.; Morello, C.; Moreno, J. C.; Mostafá, M.; Moura, C. A.; Muller, M. A.; Müller, G.; Münchmeyer, M.; Mussa, R.; Navarra, G.; Navas, S.; Necesal, P.; Nellen, L.; Nelles, A.; Neuser, J.; Niechciol, M.; Niemietz, L.; Niggemann, T.; Nitz, D.; Nosek, D.; Novotny, V.; Nožka, L.; Ochilo, L.; Olinto, A.; Oliveira, M.; Ortiz, M.; Pacheco, N.; Pakk Selmi-Dei, D.; Palatka, M.; Pallotta, J.; Palmieri, N.; Papenbreer, P.; Parente, G.; Parra, A.; Pastor, S.; Paul, T.; Pech, M.; PÈ©kala, J.; Pelayo, R.; Pepe, I. M.; Perrone, L.; Pesce, R.; Petermann, E.; Peters, C.; Petrera, S.; Petrolini, A.; Petrov, Y.; Piegaia, R.; Pierog, T.; Pieroni, P.; Pimenta, M.; Pirronello, V.; Platino, M.; Plum, M.; Porcelli, A.; Porowski, C.; Prado, R. R.; Privitera, P.; Prouza, M.; Purrello, V.; Quel, E. J.; Querchfeld, S.; Quinn, S.; Rautenberg, J.; Ravel, O.; Ravignani, D.; Revenu, B.; Ridky, J.; Riggi, S.; Risse, M.; Ristori, P.; Rizi, V.; Roberts, J.; Rodrigues de Carvalho, W.; Rodriguez Cabo, I.; Rodriguez Fernandez, G.; Rodriguez Rojo, J.; Rodríguez-Frías, M. D.; Ros, G.; Rosado, J.; Rossler, T.; Roth, M.; Roulet, E.; Rovero, A. C.; Rühle, C.; Saffi, S. J.; Saftoiu, A.; Salamida, F.; Salazar, H.; Saleh, A.; Salesa Greus, F.; Salina, G.; Sánchez, F.; Sanchez-Lucas, P.; Santo, C. E.; Santos, E.; Santos, E. M.; Sarazin, F.; Sarkar, B.; Sarmento, R.; Sato, R.; Scharf, N.; Scherini, V.; Schieler, H.; Schiffer, P.; Schmidt, A.; Scholten, O.; Schoorlemmer, H.; Schovánek, P.; Schulz, A.; Schulz, J.; Sciutto, S. J.; Segreto, A.; Settimo, M.; Shadkam, A.; Shellard, R. C.; Sidelnik, I.; Sigl, G.; Sima, O.; Śmiałkowski, A.; Šmída, R.; Snow, G. R.; Sommers, P.; Sorokin, J.; Squartini, R.; Srivastava, Y. N.; Stanič, S.; Stapleton, J.; Stasielak, J.; Stephan, M.; Stutz, A.; Suarez, F.; Suomijärvi, T.; Supanitsky, A. D.; Sutherland, M. S.; Swain, J.; Szadkowski, Z.; Szuba, M.; Taborda, O. A.; Tapia, A.; Tartare, M.; Thao, N. T.; Theodoro, V. M.; Tiffenberg, J.; Timmermans, C.; Todero Peixoto, C. J.; Toma, G.; Tomankova, L.; Tomé, B.; Tonachini, A.; Torralba Elipe, G.; Torres Machado, D.; Travnicek, P.; Trovato, E.; Tueros, M.; Ulrich, R.; Unger, M.; Urban, M.; Valdés Galicia, J. F.; Valiño, I.; Valore, L.; van Aar, G.; van den Berg, A. M.; van Velzen, S.; van Vliet, A.; Varela, E.; Vargas Cárdenas, B.; Varner, G.; Vázquez, J. R.; Vázquez, R. A.; Veberič, D.; Verzi, V.; Vicha, J.; Videla, M.; Villaseñor, L.; Vlcek, B.; Vorobiov, S.; Wahlberg, H.; Wainberg, O.; Walz, D.; Watson, A. A.; Weber, M.; Weidenhaupt, K.; Weindl, A.; Werner, F.; Whelan, B. J.; Widom, A.; Wiencke, L.; Wilczyńska, B.; Wilczyński, H.; Will, M.; Williams, C.; Winchen, T.; Wittkowski, D.; Wundheiler, B.; Wykes, S.; Yamamoto, T.; Yapici, T.; Younk, P.; Yuan, G.; Yushkov, A.; Zamorano, B.; Zas, E.; Zavrtanik, D.; Zavrtanik, M.; Zaw, I.; Zepeda, A.; Zhou, J.; Zhu, Y.; Zimbres Silva, M.; Ziolkowski, M.; Pierre Auger Collaboration

    2014-07-01

    The surface detector array of the Pierre Auger Observatory provides information about the longitudinal development of the muonic component of extensive air showers. Using the timing information from the flash analog-to-digital converter traces of surface detectors far from the shower core, it is possible to reconstruct a muon production depth distribution. We characterize the goodness of this reconstruction for zenith angles around 60° and different energies of the primary particle. From these distributions, we define Xmaxμ as the depth along the shower axis where the production of muons reaches maximum. We explore the potentiality of Xmaxμ as a useful observable to infer the mass composition of ultrahigh-energy cosmic rays. Likewise, we assess its ability to constrain hadronic interaction models.

  4. Peering into space with the Morocco Oukaïmeden Observatory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benkhaldoun, Zouhair

    2018-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bartky, Ian R.

    2000-12-01

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

  6. Astronomical Image and Data Analysis

    CERN Document Server

    Starck, J.-L

    2006-01-01

    With information and scale as central themes, this comprehensive survey explains how to handle real problems in astronomical data analysis using a modern arsenal of powerful techniques. It treats those innovative methods of image, signal, and data processing that are proving to be both effective and widely relevant. The authors are leaders in this rapidly developing field and draw upon decades of experience. They have been playing leading roles in international projects such as the Virtual Observatory and the Grid. The book addresses not only students and professional astronomers and astrophysicists, but also serious amateur astronomers and specialists in earth observation, medical imaging, and data mining. The coverage includes chapters or appendices on: detection and filtering; image compression; multichannel, multiscale, and catalog data analytical methods; wavelets transforms, Picard iteration, and software tools. This second edition of Starck and Murtagh's highly appreciated reference again deals with to...

  7. Early German plans for southern observatories

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolfschmidt, G.

    2002-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brashear, Ronald

    2018-01-01

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

  9. Astronomical chemistry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klemperer, William

    2011-01-01

    The discovery of polar polyatomic molecules in higher-density regions of the interstellar medium by means of their rotational emission detected by radioastronomy has changed our conception of the universe from essentially atomic to highly molecular. We discuss models for molecule formation, emphasizing the general lack of thermodynamic equilibrium. Detailed chemical kinetics is needed to understand molecule formation as well as destruction. Ion molecule reactions appear to be an important class for the generally low temperatures of the interstellar medium. The need for the intrinsically high-quality factor of rotational transitions to definitively pin down molecular emitters has been well established by radioastronomy. The observation of abundant molecular ions both positive and, as recently observed, negative provides benchmarks for chemical kinetic schemes. Of considerable importance in guiding our understanding of astronomical chemistry is the fact that the larger molecules (with more than five atoms) are all organic.

  10. FITSManager: Management of Personal Astronomical Data

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-07-01

    With the increase of personal storage capacity, it is easy to find hundreds to thousands of FITS files in the personal computer of an astrophysicist. Because Flexible Image Transport System (FITS) is a professional data format initiated by astronomers and used mainly in the small community, data management toolkits for FITS files are very few. Astronomers need a powerful tool to help them manage their local astronomical data. Although Virtual Observatory (VO) is a network oriented astronomical research environment, its applications and related technologies provide useful solutions to enhance the management and utilization of astronomical data hosted in an astronomer's personal computer. FITSManager is such a tool to provide astronomers an efficient management and utilization of their local data, bringing VO to astronomers in a seamless and transparent way. FITSManager provides fruitful functions for FITS file management, like thumbnail, preview, type dependent icons, header keyword indexing and search, collaborated working with other tools and online services, and so on. The development of the FITSManager is an effort to fill the gap between management and analysis of astronomical data.

  11. The Hartebeeshoek Radio Astronomy Observatory

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nicolson, G.D.

    1986-01-01

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

  12. Diurnal patterns of productivity of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi revealed with the Soil Ecosystem Observatory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernandez, Rebecca R; Allen, Michael F

    2013-10-01

    Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi are the most abundant plant symbiont and a major pathway of carbon sequestration in soils. However, their basic biology, including their activity throughout a 24-h day : night cycle, remains unknown. We employed the in situ Soil Ecosystem Observatory to quantify the rates of diurnal growth, dieback and net productivity of extra-radical AM fungi. AM fungal hyphae showed significantly different rates of growth and dieback over a period of 24 h and paralleled the circadian-driven photosynthetic oscillations observed in plants. The greatest rates (and incidences) of growth and dieback occurred between noon and 18:00 h. Growth and dieback events often occurred simultaneously and were tightly coupled with soil temperature and moisture, suggesting a rapid acclimation of the external phase of AM fungi to the immediate environment. Changes in the environmental conditions and variability of the mycorrhizosphere may alter the diurnal patterns of productivity of AM fungi, thereby modifying soil carbon sequestration, nutrient cycling and host plant success. © 2013 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2013 New Phytologist Trust.

  13. University Observatory, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murdin, P.

    2000-11-01

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

  14. Super resolution for astronomical observations

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-05-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shulga, O.V.

    2017-01-01

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

  16. Strasbourg Astronomical Data Center (CDS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F Genova

    2013-01-01

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

  17. Autonomous Infrastructure for Observatory Operations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seaman, R.

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

  18. Early German Plans for a Southern Observatory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolfschmidt, Gudrun

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

  19. Preservation and maintenance of the astronomical sites in Armenia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mickaelian, A. M.

    2008-01-01

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

  20. TMT in the Astronomical Landscape of the 2020s

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dickinson, Mark; Inami, Hanae

    2014-07-01

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

  1. Astronomical Instruments in India

    Science.gov (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.

  2. Plate Boundary Observatory Infrastructure and Data Products in Education and Outreach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eriksson, S. C.; Barbour, K.; Lee, E.

    2005-12-01

    As one of three major components of NSF's EarthScope program, the Plate Boundary Observatory (PBO) encourages the integration of research and education. Informing various communities about the current work of PBO and the scientific discoveries related to the use of this instrumentation has contributed to the success of PBO during the first two years of the EarthScope project. UNAVCO(PBO), IRIS (USArray), and the EarthScope project office work together to integrate Education and Outreach (E&O) opportunities into a program that is greater than the sum of its parts and yet maintains the identity of each organization. Building and maintaining the PBO website, documenting and archiving activities of PBO, providing short courses for professional development of scientists using EarthScope data, and developing higher level data products with an appropriate educational framework are a few of the activities that provide both challenges and opportunities. The internet, particularly the World Wide Web, has become the primary tool for disseminating information to various audiences. The primary goals of the PBO website are to provide current information on the progress of GPS and Strainmeter facility construction; to provide access to different levels of data products; and to facilitate networking with and among scientists. Challenges for the PBO website include publishing current stories on installation projects while coordinating with field engineers on a regular basis; providing near to real time updates and maintaining quality assurance processes; and defining personnel requirements for a maintaining a dynamic website. Currently, archived photographs, web diaries, and numerous web highlights document PBO's success and provide a visual record of PBO's accomplishments and behind-the-scene activities over the last two years. The community charged PBO with increasing the number of scientists using its data. UNAVCO does this by providing short courses for professional development

  3. Biographical encyclopedia of astronomers

    CERN Document Server

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

    2014-01-01

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

  4. Coronagraph for astronomical imaging and spectrophotometry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vilas, Faith; Smith, Bradford A.

    1987-01-01

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

  5. Muons in air showers at the Pierre Auger Observatory: measurement of atmospheric production depth

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Aab, A.; Abreu, P.; Aglietta, M.; Boháčová, Martina; Chudoba, Jiří; Ebr, Jan; Mandát, Dušan; Nečesal, Petr; Palatka, Miroslav; Pech, Miroslav; Prouza, Michael; Řídký, Jan; Schovánek, Petr; Trávníček, Petr; Vícha, Jakub

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 90, č. 1 (2014), "012012-1"-"012012-15" ISSN 1550-7998 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GA14-17501S; GA MŠk(CZ) 7AMB14AR005; GA MŠk(CZ) LG13007 Institutional support: RVO:68378271 Keywords : Pierre Auger Observatory * detector * cosmic rays * muons * air shower s Subject RIV: BF - Elementary Particles and High Energy Physics Impact factor: 4.643, year: 2014

  6. Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory as Cultural Centre

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-01

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

  7. Nikolay N. Donitch - the astronomer

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1999-08-01

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

  8. Choosing and using astronomical eyepieces

    CERN Document Server

    Paolini, William

    2013-01-01

    This valuable reference fills a number of needs in the field of astronomical eyepieces, including that of a buyer's guide, observer's field guide and technical desk reference. It documents the past market for eyepieces and its evolution right up to the present day. In addition to appealing to practical astronomers - and potentially saving them money - it is useful both as a historical reference and as a detailed review of the current market place for this bustling astronomical consumer product. What distinguishes this book from other publications on astronomy is the involvement of observers from all aspects of the astronomical community, and also the major manufacturers of equipment. It not only catalogs the technical aspects of the many modern eyepieces but also documents amateur observer reactions and impressions of their utility over the years, using many different eyepieces. Eyepieces are the most talked-about accessories and collectible items available to the amateur astronomer. No other item of equi...

  9. Observatory report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tarter, C.B.

    1975-01-01

    Astrophysical and astronomical research at the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory during 1974 is summarized. Topics include stellar structure, supernovae, nucleosynthesis, nebulae and the interstellar medium, observational x-ray astronomy, theoretical high energy astrophysics and related research. (U.S.)

  10. Division B Commission 6: Astronomical Telegrams

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  11. International Astronomical Union Sympoisum No.50

    CERN Document Server

    Westerlund, B

    1973-01-01

    Dr J. Landi Dessy, Director of the Astronomical Observatory, Cordoba, Argentina, invited the International Astronomical Union to hold a Symposium in Cordoba in connection with the celebration of the Centennial of the Cordoba Observatory; the date of foundation is October 24, 1871. He proposed that the Symposium should deal with Spectral Classification and Multicolour Photometry as seven years had elapsed since the Symposium No. 24 in Saltsj6baden, and much development had occurred in the field. The invitation and the proposal were accepted by the IAU, and the Symposium was held in Villa Carlos Paz, near Cordoba, between October 18 and October 24, 1971. It was attended by about 50 scientists representing Argentina, Canada, Chile, Den­ mark, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Sweden, Switzerland, U.K., U.S.A., Vatican City State and Venezuela. The Symposium was divided into four sessions: 1. Classification of slit spectra, 2. Classification of objective-prism spectra, 3. Photometric classification, 4. Catalogues ...

  12. Griffith Observatory: Hollywood's Celestial Theater

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  13. International astronomical remote present observation on IRC.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ji, Kaifan; Cao, Wenda; Song, Qian

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

  14. Public relations for a national observatory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Finley, David G.

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

  15. Ten years of the Spanish Virtual Observatory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Solano, E.

    2015-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rura, Christopher; Stollberg, Mark

    2018-01-01

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

  17. Astronomers Unveiling Life's Cosmic Origins

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-02-01

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

  18. The Practical Astronomer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koester, Jack

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

  19. Visits to La Plata Observatory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feinstein, A.

    1985-03-01

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

  20. Different Categories of Astronomical Heritage: Issues and Challenges

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruggles, Clive

    2012-09-01

    Since 2008 the AWHWG has, on behalf of the IAU, been working with UNESCO and its advisory bodies to help identify, safeguard and promote cultural properties relating to astronomy and, where possible, to try to facilitate the eventual nomination of key astronomical heritage sites onto the World Heritage List. Unfortunately, the World Heritage Convention only covers fixed sites (i.e., the tangible immovable heritage of astronomy), and a key question for the UNESCO-IAU Astronomy and World Heritage Initiative (AWHI) is the extent to which the tangible moveable and intangible heritage of astronomy (e.g. moveable instruments; ideas and theories) influence the assessment of the tangible immovable heritage. Clearly, in an ideal world we should be concerned not only with tangible immovable heritage but, to quote the AWHWG's own Terms of Reference, ``to help ensure that cultural properties and artefacts significant in the development of astronomy, together with the intangible heritage of astronomy, are duly studied, protected and maintained, both for the greater benefit of humankind and to the potential benefit of future historical research''. With this in mind, the IAU/INAF symposium on ``Astronomy and its Instruments before and after Galileo'' held in Venice in Sep-Oct 2009 recommended that urgent steps should be taken 1. to sensitise astronomers and the general public, and particularly observatory directors and others with direct influence and control over astronomical resources, to the importance of identifying, protecting and preserving the various material products of astronomical research and discovery that already have, or have significant potential to acquire, universal value; (N.B. National or regional interests and concerns have no relevance in the assessment of ``universal value'', which, by definition, extends beyond cultural boundaries and, by reasonable expectation, down the generations into the future. 2. to identify modes of interconnectivity between

  1. Enthusiastic Little Astronomers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Novak, Ines

    2016-04-01

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

  2. World's fastest and most sensitive astronomical camera

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-06-01

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

  3. Reengineering observatory operations for the time domain

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-03-01

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

  5. The Malaysian Robotic Solar Observatory (P29)

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-11-01

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

  6. The McDonald Observatory Faint Comet Survey - Gas production in 17 comets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cochran, Anita L.; Barker, Edwin S.; Ramseyer, Tod F.; Storrs, Alex D.

    1992-01-01

    The complete Intensified Dissector Scanner data set on 17 comets is presented, and production rates are derived and analyzed. It is shown that there is a strong degree of homogenization in the production rate ratios of many comets. It also appears that the ratio of the production rates of the various species has no heliocentric distance dependence, except for the case of NH2. When speaking of the gas in the coma of a comet, it appears that comets must have been formed under remarkably uniform conditions, and that they must have evolved and formed their comae in a similar manner. The data presented here constitute strong evidence that the minor species must be bound up in a lattice and that the interior of a comet must be reasonably uniform.

  7. Early results from the Infrared Astronomical Satellite

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1984-01-01

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

  8. An astronomical murder?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belenkiy, Ari

    2010-04-01

    Ari Belenkiy examines the murder of Hypatia of Alexandria, wondering whether problems with astronomical observations and the date of Easter led to her becoming a casualty of fifth-century political intrigue.

  9. The amateur astronomer

    CERN Document Server

    Moore, Patrick

    2006-01-01

    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

  10. A website for astronomical news in Spanish

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ortiz-Gil, A.

    2008-06-01

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

  11. NRAO Astronomer Wins Prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-01

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

  12. Measurement of the Muon Atmospheric Production Depth with the Water Cherenkov Detectors of the Pierre Auger Observatory

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Molina Bueno, Laura [Univ. of Granada (Spain)

    2015-09-01

    Ultra-high-energy cosmic rays (UHECR) are particles of uncertain origin and composition, with energies above 1 EeV (1018 eV or 0.16 J). The measured flux of UHECR is a steeply decreasing function of energy. The largest and most sensitive apparatus built to date to record and study cosmic ray Extensive Air Showers (EAS) is the Pierre Auger Observatory. The Pierre Auger Observatory has produced the largest and finest amount of data ever collected for UHECR. A broad physics program is being carried out covering all relevant topics of the field. Among them, one of the most interesting is the problem related to the estimation of the mass composition of cosmic rays in this energy range. Currently the best measurements of mass are those obtained by studying the longitudinal development of the electromagnetic part of the EAS with the Fluorescence Detector. However, the collected statistics is small, specially at energies above several tens of EeV. Although less precise, the volume of data gathered with the Surface Detector is nearly a factor ten larger than the fluorescence data. So new ways to study composition with data collected at the ground are under investigation. The subject of this thesis follows one of those new lines of research. Using preferentially the time information associated with the muons that reach the ground, we try to build observables related to the composition of the primaries that initiated the EAS. A simple phenomenological model relates the arrival times with the depths in the atmosphere where muons are produced. The experimental confirmation that the distributions of muon production depths (MPD) correlate with the mass of the primary particle has opened the way to a variety of studies, of which this thesis is a continuation, with the aim of enlarging and improving its range of applicability. We revisit the phenomenological model which is at the root of the analysis and discuss a new way to improve some aspects of the model. We carry

  13. Far-infrared spectrophotometer for astronomical observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moseley, H.; Silverberg, R. F.

    1981-01-01

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

  14. Le Verrier magnificent and detestable astronomer

    CERN Document Server

    Lequeux, James

    2013-01-01

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

  15. Overview of new GNSS tropospheric products for GNSS-meteorology and their assessment at Geodetic Observatory Pecny (CZ)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dousa, J.; Vaclavovic, P.; Gyori, G.

    2012-12-01

    Geodetic Observatory Pecný (GOP) has a long-term experience in the estimation of precise tropospheric parameters from GNSS permanent stations, in particular under the limited timelines of near real time. More than a decade, the GOP zenith total delays (ZTD) contributed to various projects in Europe (COST-716, TOUGH, E-GVAP, E-GVAP II) and the operational ZTD hourly updated product flows via the meteorological observation exchange network - GTS - to the end users worldwide. Currently, the GOP regional ZTD product is operationally assimilated in Météo France and UK MetOffice at least and further exploited in various ways at many other meteorological institutions. New developments at GOP over last three years consist of a) implementation and assessment of the global hourly ZTD product of about 170 stations, b) implementation of routine multi-GNSS (GPS+GLONASS) ZTD European product, and c) implementation of ultra-fast/real-time ZTD product. The GOP global ZTD product has been implemented on request of the meteorological institutions running global numerical weather forecasting models. The global ZTD product was seriously evaluated over ten months (Oct 2009 - Aug 2011) when compared to reprocessed EUREF and IGS ZTDs, radiosondes and ZTDs derived from UK MetOffice's global numerical weather model. After the evaluation (and on special request of UK MetOffice) the product has been switched from testing to operational status within the framework of the EUMETNET EIG GPS Water Vapour Programme (E-GVAP) and officially disseminated via the GTS network. The GOP multi-GNSS ZTD solution has been tested since 2009 shortly after developing GOP ultra-rapid GPS+GLONASS orbits for the International GNSS Service (IGS). A specific bias of mean value 1.5 mm was identified between GPS- and GLONASS-only ZTD at that time, and relation to the IGS05 antenna phase centre offset and variation models (PCO+PCV) identified. Consequently, the implementation of a routine operation has been done

  16. Fundamental and applied aspects of astronomical seeing

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Coulman, C.E.

    1985-01-01

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

  17. SOCIO-ENVIRONMENTAL FOOD SECURITY OBSERVATORY: ANALYSIS OF FOOD PRODUCTION INDICATORS AT THE MUNICIPAL LEVEL IN RIO GRANDE DO SUL

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Angélica Cristina da Siqueira

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Since the 1990, the theme of Human Rights and Food Security (FS has been developed in Brazil, culminating in the construction of the National Policy and Plan of Food Security (PNSAN Observatório Socioambiental em Segurança Alimentar e Nutricional: análise dos indicadores... Redes (St. Cruz Sul, Online, v. 21, nº 2, p. 49 - 62, maio/ago. 2016 50 and PLANSAN 2012/2015. The PLANSAN proposes sixty indicators divided into seven dimensions, which are clearly related to the Millennium Development Goals. In order to operationalize these indicators in the State of Rio Grande do Sul (RS, the Socio-Environmental Food Security Observatory of Rio Grande do Sul (OBSSAN-RS was created in partnership with the State Council for Nutrition and Food Security (CONSEA-RS and the Informatics Department of UFRGS. In this context, the aim of this paper is to present the analysis of indicators of Dimension I (Food Production of the OBSSAN-RS at municipal level, discussing the importance of this tool for monitoring the establishment of the Human Right to Adequate Food (DHAA. The data available to the municipal level were compared with the indicators suggested by PLANSAN. It was observed that although contemplate important information for understanding the context of food production in the municipalities of the state, the proposed indicators have not reached entirely the requirements to monitoring the SAN in this territorial level, so adapting it is necessary to rating the state of SAN in municipalities of the RS.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  19. Atlas of Astronomical Discoveries

    CERN Document Server

    Schilling, Govert

    2011-01-01

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

  20. Improvements in geomagnetic observatory data quality

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Reda, Jan; Fouassier, Danielle; Isac, Anca

    2011-01-01

    between observatories and the establishment of observatory networks has harmonized standards and practices across the world; improving the quality of the data product available to the user. Nonetheless, operating a highquality geomagnetic observatory is non-trivial. This article gives a record...... of the current state of observatory instrumentation and methods, citing some of the general problems in the complex operation of geomagnetic observatories. It further gives an overview of recent improvements of observatory data quality based on presentation during 11th IAGA Assembly at Sopron and INTERMAGNET...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dimitrijevic, Milan S.

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

  2. Astronomers debate diamonds in space

    Science.gov (United States)

    1999-04-01

    This is not the first time the intriguing carbonaceous compound has been detected in space. A peculiar elite of twelve stars are known to produce it. The star now added by ISO to this elite is one of the best representatives of this exclusive family, since it emits a very strong signal of the compound. Additionally ISO found a second new member of the group with weaker emission, and also observed with a spectral resolution never achieved before other already known stars in this class. Astronomers think these ISO results will help solve the mystery of the true nature of the compound. Their publication by two different groups, from Spain and Canada, has triggered a debate on the topic, both in astronomy institutes and in chemistry laboratories. At present, mixed teams of astrophysicists and chemists are investigating in the lab compounds whose chemical signature or "fingerprint" matches that detected by ISO. Neither diamonds nor fullerenes have ever been detected in space, but their presence has been predicted. Tiny diamonds of pre-solar origin --older than the Solar System-- have been found in meteorites, which supports the as yet unconfirmed theory of their presence in interstellar space. The fullerene molecule, made of 60 carbon atoms linked to form a sphere (hence the name "buckyball"), has also been extensively searched for in space but never found. If the carbonaceous compound detected by ISO is a fullerene or a diamond, there will be new data on the production of these industrially interesting materials. Fullerenes are being investigated as "capsules" to deliver new pharmaceuticals to the body. Diamonds are commonly used in the electronics industry and for the development of new materials; if they are formed in the dust surrounding some stars, at relatively low temperatures and conditions of low pressure, companies could learn more about the ideal physical conditions to produce them. A textbook case The latest star in which the compound has been found is

  3. VEGAS: VErsatile GBT Astronomical Spectrometer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bussa, Srikanth; VEGAS Development Team

    2012-01-01

    The National Science Foundation Advanced Technologies and Instrumentation (NSF-ATI) program is funding a new spectrometer backend for the Green Bank Telescope (GBT). This spectrometer is being built by the CICADA collaboration - collaboration between the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) and the Center for Astronomy Signal Processing and Electronics Research (CASPER) at the University of California Berkeley.The backend is named as VErsatile GBT Astronomical Spectrometer (VEGAS) and will replace the capabilities of the existing spectrometers. This backend supports data processing from focal plane array systems. The spectrometer will be capable of processing up to 1.25 GHz bandwidth from 8 dual polarized beams or a bandwidth up to 10 GHz from a dual polarized beam.The spectrometer will be using 8-bit analog to digital converters (ADC), which gives a better dynamic range than existing GBT spectrometers. There will be 8 tunable digital sub-bands within the 1.25 GHz bandwidth, which will enhance the capability of simultaneous observation of multiple spectral transitions. The maximum spectral dump rate to disk will be about 0.5 msec. The vastly enhanced backend capabilities will support several science projects with the GBT. The projects include mapping temperature and density structure of molecular clouds; searches for organic molecules in the interstellar medium; determination of the fundamental constants of our evolving Universe; red-shifted spectral features from galaxies across cosmic time and survey for pulsars in the extreme gravitational environment of the Galactic Center.

  4. Astronomical Surveys and Big Data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mickaelian Areg M.

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Recent all-sky and large-area astronomical surveys and their catalogued data over the whole range of electromagnetic spectrum, from γ-rays to radio waves, are reviewed, including such as Fermi-GLAST and INTEGRAL in γ-ray, ROSAT, XMM and Chandra in X-ray, GALEX in UV, SDSS and several POSS I and POSS II-based catalogues (APM, MAPS, USNO, GSC in the optical range, 2MASS in NIR, WISE and AKARI IRC in MIR, IRAS and AKARI FIS in FIR, NVSS and FIRST in radio range, and many others, as well as the most important surveys giving optical images (DSS I and II, SDSS, etc., proper motions (Tycho, USNO, Gaia, variability (GCVS, NSVS, ASAS, Catalina, Pan-STARRS, and spectroscopic data (FBS, SBS, Case, HQS, HES, SDSS, CALIFA, GAMA. An overall understanding of the coverage along the whole wavelength range and comparisons between various surveys are given: galaxy redshift surveys, QSO/AGN, radio, Galactic structure, and Dark Energy surveys. Astronomy has entered the Big Data era, with Astrophysical Virtual Observatories and Computational Astrophysics playing an important role in using and analyzing big data for new discoveries.

  5. Methods in Astronomical Image Processing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jörsäter, S.

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

  6. Astronomers Reveal Extinct Extra-Terrestrial Fusion Reactor

    Science.gov (United States)

    2004-06-01

    improve our understanding of the life-cycle of stars.' The Chandra X-ray data also reveal the signatures of neon, an expected by-product of helium fusion. However, a big surprise was the presence of magnesium in similar quantities. This result may provide a key to the unique composition of H1504+65 and validate theoretical predictions that, if massive enough, some stars can extend their lives by tapping yet another energy source: the fusion of carbon into magnesium. However, as magnesium can also be produced by helium fusion, proof of the theory is not yet ironclad. The final link in the puzzle would be the detection of sodium, which will require data from yet another observatory: the Hubble Space Telescope. The team has already been awarded time on the Hubble Space Telescope to search for sodium in H1504+65 next year, and will, hopefully, discover the final answer as to the origin of this unique star. This work will be published in July in the 'Astronomy & Astrophysics' journal. The Chandra X-ray Observatory and the Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer (FUSE) were both launched into orbit by NASA in 1999. Their instruments make use of a technique called spectroscopy, which spreads the light obtained from astronomical objects into its constituent X-ray and ultraviolet 'colours', in the same way visible light is dispersed into a rainbow naturally, by water droplets in the atmosphere, or artificially, by a prism. When studied in fine detail each spectrum is a unique 'fingerprint' which tells us what elements are present and reveals the physical conditions in the object being studied. Related Internet Address http://www.ras.org.uk/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=673&Itemid=2

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

    CERN Document Server

    Hicks, John

    2009-01-01

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

  8. ASURV: Astronomical SURVival Statistics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feigelson, E. D.; Nelson, P. I.; Isobe, T.; LaValley, M.

    2014-06-01

    ASURV (Astronomical SURVival Statistics) provides astronomy survival analysis for right- and left-censored data including the maximum-likelihood Kaplan-Meier estimator and several univariate two-sample tests, bivariate correlation measures, and linear regressions. ASURV is written in FORTRAN 77, and is stand-alone and does not call any specialized libraries.

  9. Preserving and Archiving Astronomical Photographic Plates

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-05-01

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

  10. The MicroObservatory Net

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brecher, K.; Sadler, P.

    1994-12-01

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

  11. Beyond the Observatory: Reflections on the Centennial

    Science.gov (United States)

    Devorkin, D. H.

    1999-05-01

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

  12. Astronomical Spectroscopy for Amateurs

    CERN Document Server

    Harrison, Ken M

    2011-01-01

    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...

  13. Astronomical random numbers for quantum foundations experiments

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-04-01

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

  14. ISO Results Presented at International Astronomical Union

    Science.gov (United States)

    1997-08-01

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

  15. Space astrophysical observatory 'Orion-2'

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1976-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davoigneau, Jean

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

  17. Optical Spectroscopy with the Technology of Virtual Observatory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Škoda, P.

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

  18. Optical Spectroscopy with the Technology of Virtual Observatory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Škoda P.

    2011-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-12-01

    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".

  20. SAADA: Astronomical Databases Made Easier

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michel, L.; Nguyen, H. N.; Motch, C.

    2005-12-01

    Many astronomers wish to share datasets with their community but have not enough manpower to develop databases having the functionalities required for high-level scientific applications. The SAADA project aims at automatizing the creation and deployment process of such databases. A generic but scientifically relevant data model has been designed which allows one to build databases by providing only a limited number of product mapping rules. Databases created by SAADA rely on a relational database supporting JDBC and covered by a Java layer including a lot of generated code. Such databases can simultaneously host spectra, images, source lists and plots. Data are grouped in user defined collections whose content can be seen as one unique set per data type even if their formats differ. Datasets can be correlated one with each other using qualified links. These links help, for example, to handle the nature of a cross-identification (e.g., a distance or a likelihood) or to describe their scientific content (e.g., by associating a spectrum to a catalog entry). The SAADA query engine is based on a language well suited to the data model which can handle constraints on linked data, in addition to classical astronomical queries. These constraints can be applied on the linked objects (number, class and attributes) and/or on the link qualifier values. Databases created by SAADA are accessed through a rich WEB interface or a Java API. We are currently developing an inter-operability module implanting VO protocols.

  1. Wide-Field Astronomical Surveys in the Next Decade

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2011-11-14

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mangano, A.

    2015-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2001-12-01

    N° 73-2001 - Paris, 5 December 2001 The aim of AVO is to give astronomers instant access to the vast databanks now being built up by the world's observatories and forming what is in effect a "digital sky". Using AVO astronomers will be able, for example, to retrieve the elusive traces of the passage of an asteroid as it passes the Earth and so predict its future path and perhaps warn of a possible impact. When a giant star comes to the end of its life in a cataclysmic explosion called a supernova, they will be able to access the digital sky and pinpoint the star shortly before it exploded, adding invaluable data to the study of the evolution of stars. Modern observatories observe the sky continuously and data accumulates remorselessly in the digital archives. The growth rate is impressive and many hundreds of terabytes of data -corresponding to many thousands of billions of pixels - are already available to scientists. The real sky is being digitally reconstructed in the databanks. The volume and complexity of data and information available to astronomers are overwhelming. Hence the problem of how astronomers can possibly manage, distribute and analyse this great wealth of data. The Astrophysical Virtual Observatory will enable them to meet the challenge and "put the Universe online". AVO is a three-year project, funded by the European Commission under its Research and Technological Development (RTD) scheme, to design and implement a virtual observatory for the European astronomical community. The Commission has awarded a contract valued at EUR 4m for the project, starting on 15 November. AVO will provide software tools to enable astronomers to access the multi-wavelength data archives over the Internet and so give them the capability to resolve fundamental questions about the Universe by probing the digital sky. Equivalent searches of the "real" sky would, in comparison, both be prohibitively costly and take far too long. Towards a Global Virtual Observatory The

  4. Instrument Remote Control via the Astronomical Instrument Markup Language

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1998-01-01

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

  5. On astronomical drawing [1846

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smyth, Charles Piazzi

    Reprinted from the Memoirs of the Royal Astronomical Society 15, 1846, pp. 71-82. With annotations and illustrations added by Klaus Hentschel. The activities of the Astronomer Royal for Scotland, Charles Piazzi Smyth (1819-1900), include the triangulation of South African districts, landscape painting, day-to-day or tourist sketching, the engraving and lithographing of prominent architectural sites, the documentary photography of the Egyptian pyramids or the Tenerife Dragon tree, and `instant photographs' of the clouds above his retirement home in Clova, Ripon. His colorful records of the aurora polaris, and solar and terrestrial spectra all profited from his trained eye and his subtle mastery of the pen and the brush. As his paper on astronomical drawing, which we chose to reproduce in this volume, amply demonstrates, he was conversant in most of the print technology repertoire that the 19th century had to offer, and carefully selected the one most appropriate to each sujet. For instance, he chose mezzotint for the plates illustrating Maclear's observations of Halley's comet in 1835/36, so as to achieve a ``rich profundity of shadows, the deep obscurity of which is admirably adapted to reproduce those fine effects of chiaroscuro frequently found in works where the quantity of dark greatly predominates.'' The same expertise with which he tried to emulate Rembrandt's chiaroscuro effects he applied to assessing William and John Herschel's illustrations of nebulae, which appeared in print between 1811 and 1834. William Herschel's positive engraving, made partly by stippling and partly by a coarse mezzotint, receives sharp admonishment because of the visible ruled crossed lines in the background and the fact that ``the objects, which are also generally too light, [have] a much better definition than they really possess.'' On the other hand, John Herschel's illustration of nebulae and star clusters, given in negative, ``in which the lights are the darkest part of the

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caron, Laura; Maglieri, Grace; Seitzer, Patrick

    2018-01-01

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

  7. Preparing Colorful Astronomical Images II

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2002-12-01

    We present additional techniques for using mainstream graphics software (Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator) to produce composite color images and illustrations from astronomical data. These techniques have been used on numerous images from the Hubble Space Telescope to produce 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 present more detail and additional techniques, taking advantage of new or improved features available in the latest software versions. 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 work with scaled images, masks, text and graphics in multiple semi-transparent layers and channels.

  8. Observatories of Sawai Jai Singh II

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson-Roehr, Susan N.

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

  9. Grigor Narekatsi's astronomical insights

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poghosyan, Samvel

    2015-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koenig, Kris

    2008-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wenjing, Jin; Bai, Jinming; Yao, Yongqiang

    2015-03-01

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

  12. Thirty years of astronomical discovery with UKIRT

    CERN Document Server

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    CERN Document Server

    Hicks, John Stephen

    2016-01-01

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

  14. Astronomy and astrophysics communication in the UCM Observatory

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

  16. A Green Robotic Observatory for Astronomy Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reddy, Vishnu; Archer, K.

    2008-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chapman, Allan

    1999-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-11-01

    , the new link will provide enough bandwidth to keep up with the ever-growing volumes of information from Paranal and Armazones in future years, as new and bandwidth-intensive instruments come into use. Immediate remote access to data at a distant location is not just about saving money and making the observatory's work more efficient. For unexpected and unpredictable events, such as gamma-ray bursts, there is often not enough time for astronomers to travel to observatories, and EVALSO will give experts a chance to work remotely on these events almost as if they were at the observatory. Notes [1] EVALSO is funded under the European Commission FP7 and is a partnership among Universita degli Studi di Trieste (Italy), ESO, Ruhr-Universität Bochum (Germany), Consortium GARR (Gestione Ampliamento Rete Ricerca) (Italy), Universiteit Leiden (Netherlands), Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica (Italy), Queen Mary, University of London (UK), Cooperacion LatinoAmericana de Redes Avanzasas (CLARA) (Uruguay), and Red Universitaria Nacional (REUNA) (Chile). [2] FP7 (the European Commission Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technical Development) is the European Union's main instrument for funding research. Its aim is to make, or keep, the EU as a world leader in its priority areas in science and technology. [3] The newly laid cable has a bandwidth of 10 gigabit/s. The entire network infrastructure between Paranal to ESO HQ in Germany is theoretically capable of transferring data at a maximum of 1 gigabit/s. [4] GÉANT is a pan-European data network dedicated to the research and education community. It connects 40 million users across 40 countries. More information ESO, the European Southern Observatory, is the foremost intergovernmental astronomy organisation in Europe and the world's most productive astronomical observatory. It is supported by 14 countries: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain

  19. Social Media Programs at the National Optical Astronomy Observatory

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwartz, Daniel A.

    2014-06-01

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

  1. The University of Montana's Blue Mountain Observatory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friend, D. B.

    2004-12-01

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

  2. Private Observatories in South Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rijsdijk, C.

    2016-12-01

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

  3. European Southern Observatory

    CERN Multimedia

    CERN PhotoLab

    1970-01-01

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

  4. Closing remarks: astronomical

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pecker, J.-C.

    1990-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-04-01

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

  7. Using commercial amateur astronomical spectrographs

    CERN Document Server

    Hopkins, Jeffrey L

    2014-01-01

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

  8. Astronomical Instrumentation System Markup Language

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goldbaum, Jesse M.

    2016-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-07-01

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

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

    CERN Document Server

    Arditti, David

    2008-01-01

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

  11. Sixteenth Century Astronomical Telescopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Usher, P. D.

    2001-12-01

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

  12. Suitability assessment of OPC UA as the backbone of ground-based observatory control systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pessemier, W.; Raskin, G.; Van Winckel, H.; Deconinck, G.; Saey, P.

    2012-01-01

    A common requirement of modern observatory control systems is to allow interaction between various heterogeneous subsystems in a transparent way. However, the integration of off-the-shelf (OTS) industrial products - such as Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs) and Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition (SCADA) software - has long been hampered by the lack of an adequate interfacing method. With the advent of the Unified Architecture (UA) version of OPC (Object Linking and Embedding for Process Control), the limitations of the original industry accepted interface are now lifted, and also much more functionality has been defined. In this paper the most important features of OPC UA are matched against the requirements of ground-based observatory control systems in general and in particular of the 1.2 m Mercator Telescope. We investigate the opportunities of the 'information modelling' idea behind OPC UA, which could allow an extensive standardization in the field of astronomical instrumentation, similar to the efforts emerging in several industry domains. Because OPC UA is designed for both horizontal and vertical integration of heterogeneous subsystems, we explore its capabilities to serve as the backbone of a dependable and scalable observatory control system, treating industrial components like PLCs no differently than custom software components. Performance measurements and tests with a sample of OTS OPC UA products are presented. (authors)

  13. TPCs in high-energy astronomical polarimetry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Black, J K

    2007-01-01

    High-energy astrophysics has yet to exploit the unique and important information that polarimetry could provide, largely due to the limited sensitivity of previously available polarimeters. In recent years, numerous efforts have been initiated to develop instruments with the sensitivity required for astronomical polarimetry over the 100 eV to 10 GeV band. Time projection chambers (TPCs), with their high-resolution event imaging capability, are an integral part of some of these efforts. After a brief overview of current astronomical polarimeter development efforts, the role of TPCs will be described in more detail. These include TPCs as photoelectric X-ray polarimeters and TPCs as components of polarizationsensitive Compton and pair-production telescopes

  14. Recruitment and Retention of LGBTIQ Astronomers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dixon, William Van Dyke

    2012-01-01

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

  15. Collaboration Between Astronomers at UT Austin and K-12 Teachers: Connecting the Experience of Observing and Research with the Classroom

    Science.gov (United States)

    Finkelstein, Keely D.; Sneden, Christopher; Hemenway, Mary Kay; Preston, Sandra; EXES Teachers Associate Program

    2015-01-01

    McDonald Observatory has a long history of providing teacher professional development (PD), and recently we have developed a new workshop model for more advanced participants. By choosing a select group of middle and high school teachers from those previously involved in our past PD programs, we have created a joint workshop / observing run program for them. After traveling to the observatory, the teachers participate in an actual observing run with a research astronomer. The teachers are trained first-hand how to take observations, operate the telescope, set up the instrument, and monitor observing conditions. The teachers are fully put in the role of observer. They are also given background information before and during the workshop related to the science and data they are helping to collect. The teachers work in teams to both perform the nightly observations with an astronomer, but to also perform new interactive classroom activities with education staff, and use other telescopes on the mountain. This is a unique experience for teachers since it allows them to take the resources and experiences directly back to their classrooms and students. They can directly relate to their students what skills for specific careers in STEM fields are needed. Evaluation from these workshops shows that there is: increased content knowledge among participants, greater impact that will be passed on to their students, and an authentic research experience that can't be replicated in other PD settings. In addition, not only is this program beneficial to the teachers, but this group is benefit to the education program of McDonald Observatory. Building on an existing PD program (with a 16 year history) we have the opportunity to test out new products and new education endeavors with this devoted group of well-trained teachers before bringing them to wider teacher and student audiences. This program is currently supported by the NSF grant AST-1211585 (PI Sneden).

  16. Pulsating stars and the Virtual Observatory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suárez, Juan Carlos

    2017-09-01

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

  17. Pulsating stars and the Virtual Observatory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Suárez Juan Carlos

    2017-01-01

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

  18. Observatory data and the Swarm mission

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Macmillan, S.; Olsen, Nils

    2013-01-01

    products. We describe here the preparation of the data set of ground observatory hourly mean values, including procedures to check and select observatory data spanning the modern magnetic survey satellite era. We discuss other possible combined uses of satellite and observatory data, in particular those......The ESA Swarm mission to identify and measure very accurately the different magnetic signals that arise in the Earth’s core, mantle, crust, oceans, ionosphere and magnetosphere, which together form the magnetic field around the Earth, has increased interest in magnetic data collected on the surface...... of the Earth at observatories. The scientific use of Swarm data and Swarm-derived products is greatly enhanced by combination with observatory data and indices. As part of the Swarm Level-2 data activities plans are in place to distribute such ground-based data along with the Swarm data as auxiliary data...

  19. Eighth Scientific Meeting of the Spanish Astronomical Society

    CERN Document Server

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

    2010-01-01

    This volume collects the invited contributions and plenary sessions presented at the Eighth Scientific Meeting of the Spanish Astronomical Society (Sociedad Española de Astronomía, SEA) held on July 7-11, 2008 in Santander. These contributions cover all fields of astronomy and astrophysics, i.e., the Sun and solar system, the galaxy and its components, galaxies and cosmology, observatories and instrumentation, as well as astronomy teaching and dissemination. Further plenary sessions were devoted to selected hot topics, including the exploration of the solar system, gravitational lensing, exoplanets, X-ray binaries, solar magnetism, gravitational waves, the ALHAMBRA collaboration, and the OSIRIS instrument on the new 10-m GTC. Abstracts of the contributions presented at the parallels sessions and posters are also included in the book. Complete versions of those papers are available online.

  20. Powerful Radio Burst Indicates New Astronomical Phenomenon

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-09-01

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

  1. Data standards for the international virtual observatory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R J Hanisch

    2006-11-01

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

  2. Enedis observatory. French people, the production of renewable energy, and the connection to the general grid. Detailed note

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lavernhe, Laurence; Levy, Jean-Daniel

    2017-11-01

    This publication briefly comments and presents under the form of graphs and tables results of a survey performed in France on various energy production issues. The first issue has been the perception of a home-based production of renewable energy, and, the reasons for the choice for such a production or for unwillingness to do so. It also addressed the opinion on the connection to the grid in terms of perception of the difficulty of the procedure to obtain a connection. The last addressed topic has been the priorities for the grid future: connection of households producing renewable energies, development of infrastructures for the reloading of electric vehicles

  3. Leslie Peltier, Amateur Astronomer and Observer Extraordinaire

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corbin, B. G.

    2003-12-01

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

  4. The New Amateur Astronomer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mobberley, Martin

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drivas, Sotirios; Kastanidou, Sofia

    2016-04-01

    Teaching Geography in the first Class of Gymnasium - secondary education we will focus in Solar System: Astronomical approach: Students will look and find the astronomical data of the planets, they will make comparisons between the sizes of their radius, they will find the distance from the Sun, they will search the relative motion, they will calculate the gravity on each planet, etc. Mythological approach: We will search the names and meanings of the planets based on Greek mythological origin. Philosophical approach: Regarding the philosophical approach of the "solar system" we will look and find: • Why planets are called so? • How did planets get their names? • What are the periods of Greek astronomy? • What were the astronomical instruments of ancient Greeks and who did built them? • What were the Greek philosophers and astronomers? When did they live and what did they discover? • Which method did Eratosthenes of Cyrene apply about 206B.C. to serve a real measurement of the earth's radius? • What was the relationship between science and religion in ancient Greece? Literature approach: At the end of the program students will write their opinion in subject "Having a friend from another planet" based on the book of Antoine de Saint - Exupéry "The little prince". Law approach: A jurist working in Secondary Education will visits our school and engages students in the Space Law. Artistic approach: Students will create their own posters of our planetary system. The best posters will be posted on the school bulletin board to display their work. Visit: Students and teachers will visit the Observatory of Larissa where they will see how observatory works and talk with scientists about their job. They will look through telescopes and observe the sun.

  6. Astronomers Discover Six-Image Gravitational Lens

    Science.gov (United States)

    2001-08-01

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

  7. Virtual Observatories, Data Mining, and Astroinformatics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borne, Kirk

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

  8. Near Fault Observatories: multidisciplinary research infrastructures, high resolution data and scientific products available through dedicated services implemented within the EPOS-IP project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Festa, Gaetano; Chiaraluce, Lauro; Ergintav, Semih; Bernard, Pascal; Clinton, John; Marmureanu, Alexandru; Tataru, Dragos; Vogfjord, Kristin

    2017-04-01

    Near Fault Observatories (NFOs) are innovative research infrastructures based on dense, state of the art networks of multi-parametric sensors that continuously monitor the underlying Earth instability processes over a broad time interval. They aim at understanding the physical/chemical processes responsible for earthquakes and faulting and tracking their evolution over time by enabling advancements in ground shaking prediction. EPOS-IP is aimed at contributing in creating and harmonizing data and products distributors from seven NFOs, operating on different tectonic regimes and different areas of Europe. They include plate boundary systems at South Iceland Seismic Zone, the Marmara Sea and the Corinth rift. In mountain settings, NFOs monitor the Alto Tiberina and Irpinia faults in the Apennine mountain range, the Valais region in the Alps, and the Vrancea fault in the Carpathian Mountains. They monitor diverse faulting mechanisms (strike-slip, normal and thrust), high to low angle faults, shallow and deep faults, as well as regions with fast and slow strain rate accumulation. The focus of the observatories varies, ranging from small- to large-scale seismicity and includes the role of different parameters such as fluid playing in fault initiation, the internal structure of fault systems, site effects and derived processes such as earthquake generated landslides and tsunamis. In response to their specific objectives, the NFOs operate a diverse set of monitoring instrumentation using seismic, deformation, strain, geochemical and electromagnetic equipment. Since NFO methodological approach is based on extremely dense networks and less common instruments deserving multi-parameter data description, a main goal of this group is to build inclusive and harmonised services supporting the installation over the next decade of tens of near-fault observatories monitoring active faults in different tectonic environments in Europe. The NFO Thematic Core Service (TCS) relies on

  9. Elizabeth Brown (1830-1899), solar astronomer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Creese, M.

    1998-08-01

    Were it not for the fact that she was a woman, Elizabeth Brown might well be thought of as a fairly typical nineteenth-century British amateur astronomer. She has a place, although a relatively modest one, in the distinguished group of people who, with their own fortunes, carried out much of the astronomical research being done in the country at a time before extensive government support was forthcoming for the work.1 Her career in fact follows a pattern common to several of the nineteenth-century men astronomers in that her full productive period came only after she was freed from her primary responsibilities; she did not have to amass the necessary financial resources as did many of the men,2 but she had the time-consuming responsibility, not unusual for a Victorian woman, of caring for a parent through a lengthy old age. Only after her father died at the age of ninety-one, did Elizabeth, then in her early fifties, begin her sixteen years of remarkable public activity in astronomy.

  10. Education and public engagement in observatory operations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gabor, Pavel; Mayo, Louis; Zaritsky, Dennis

    2016-07-01

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

  11. Urania in the Marketplace: Observatories as Holiday Destinations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rumstay, Kenneth S.

    2015-01-01

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

  12. The Lowell Observatory Predoctoral Scholar Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prato, Lisa; Nofi, Larissa

    2018-01-01

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

  13. Choosing and using astronomical filters

    CERN Document Server

    Griffiths, Martin

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doressoundiram, A.; Barban, C.

    2006-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Udías, Agustín

    2003-10-01

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

  17. Astronomers Discover Fastest-Spinning Pulsar

    Science.gov (United States)

    2006-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sowell, J.

    1999-12-01

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

  20. Astronomers Gain Clues About Fundamental Physics

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-12-01

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

  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: https://www.ias.ac.in/article/fulltext/reso/003/05/0024-0029 ...

  2. Health observatories in iran.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rashidian, A; Damari, B; Larijani, B; Vosoogh Moghadda, A; Alikhani, S; Shadpour, K; Khosravi, A

    2013-01-01

    The Islamic Republic of Iran, in her 20 year vision by the year 2025, is a developed country with the first economic, scientific and technological status in the region, with revolutionary and Islamic identity, inspiring Islamic world, as well as effective and constructive interaction in international relations. Enjoying health, welfare, food security, social security, equal opportunities, fair income distribution, strong family structure; to be away from poverty, corruption, and discrimination; and benefiting desirable living environment are also considered out of characteristics of Iranian society in that year. Strategic leadership towards perceived vision in each setting requires restrictive, complete and timely information. According to constitution of National Institute for Health Researches, law of the Fifth Development Plan of the country and characteristics of health policy making, necessity of designing a Health Observatory System (HOS) was felt. Some Principles for designing such system were formulated by taking following steps: reviewing experience in other countries, having local history of the HOS in mind, superior documents, analysis of current production and management of health information, taking the possibilities to run a HOS into account. Based on these principles, the protocol of HOS was outlined in 3 different stages of opinion poll of informed experts responsible for production on management of information, by using questionnaires and Focus Group Discussions. The protocol includes executive regulations, the list of health indicators, vocabulary and a calendar for periodic studies of the community health situation.

  3. Brazilian Participations in the International Astronomical Search Collaboration

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2001-12-01

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

  5. Latin American astronomers and the International Astronomical Union

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torres-Peimbert, S.

    2017-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pasachoff, Jay M.

    2013-01-01

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

  7. The astronomical tables of Giovanni Bianchini

    CERN Document Server

    Chabas, Jose

    2009-01-01

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

  8. Breakthrough! 100 astronomical images that changed the world

    CERN Document Server

    Gendler, Robert

    2015-01-01

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

  9. Education and Outreach Opportunities in New Astronomical Facilities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mould, J. R.; Pompea, S.

    2002-12-01

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

  10. Astronomical Heritage in the National Culture

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-10-01

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

  11. The Paris Observatory has 350 years

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lequeux, James

    2017-01-01

    The Paris Observatory is the oldest astronomical observatory that has worked without interruption since its foundation to the present day. The building due to Claude Perrault is still in existence with few modifications, but of course other buildings have been added all along the centuries for housing new instruments and laboratories. In particular, a large dome has been built on the terrace in 1847, with a 38-cm diameter telescope completed in 1857: both are still visible. The main initial purpose of the Observatory was to determine longitudes. This was achieved by Jean-Dominique Cassini using the eclipses of the satellites of Jupiter: a much better map of France was the produced using this method, which unfortunately does not work at sea. Incidentally, the observation of these eclipses led to the discovery in 1676 of the finite velocity of light by Cassini and Rømer. Cassini also discovered the differential rotation of Jupiter and four satellites of Saturn. Then, geodesy was to be the main activity of the Observatory for more than a century, culminating in the famous Cassini map of France completed around 1790. During the first half of the 19th century, under François Arago, the Observatory was at the centre of French physics, which then developed very rapidly. Arago initiated astrophysics in 1810 by showing that the Sun and stars are made of incandescent gas. In 1854, the new director, Urbain Le Verrier, put emphasis on astrometry and celestial mechanics, discovering in particular the anomalous advance of the perihelion of Mercury, which was later to be a proof of General Relativity. In 1858, Leon Foucault built the first modern reflecting telescopes with their silvered glass mirror. Le Verrier created on his side modern meteorology, including some primitive forecasts. The following period was not so bright, due to the enormous project of the Carte du Ciel, which took much of the forces of the Observatory for half a century with little scientific return. In

  12. The Lowell Observatory Predoctoral Fellowship Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prato, Lisa A.; Shkolnik, E.

    2014-01-01

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

  13. Recent results from the Compton Observatory

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1994-12-01

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

  14. The brazilian indigenous planetary-observatory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Afonso, G. B.

    2003-08-01

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

  15. "Movie Star" Acting Strangely, Radio Astronomers Find

    Science.gov (United States)

    1999-01-01

    Astronomers have used the National Science Foundation's Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA) radio telescope to make the first-ever time-lapse "movie" showing details of gas motions around a star other than our Sun. The study, the largest observational project yet undertaken using Very Long Baseline Interferometry, has produced surprising results that indicate scientists do not fully understand stellar atmospheres. The "movie" shows that the atmosphere of a pulsating star more than 1,000 light-years away continues to expand during a part of the star's pulsation period in which astronomers expected it to start contracting. Philip Diamond and Athol Kemball, of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) in Socorro, New Mexico, announced their findings at the American Astronomical Society's meeting in Austin, TX, today. "The continued expansion we're seeing contradicts current theoretical models for how these stars work," Diamond said. "The models have assumed spherical symmetry in the star's atmosphere, and our movie shows that this is not the case. Such models suggest that a shock wave passes outward from the star. Once it's passed, then the atmosphere should begin to contract because of the star's gravity. We've long passed that point and the contraction has not begun." The time-lapse images show that the gas motions are not uniform around the star. Most of the motion is that of gas moving directly outward from the star's surface. However, in about one-fourth of the ring, there are peculiar motions that do not fit this pattern. The scientists speculate that the rate of mass loss may not be the same from all parts of the star's surface. "A similar star behaved as predicted when studied a few years ago, so we're left to wonder what's different about this one," Diamond said. "Right now, we think that different rates of mass loss in the two stars may be the cause of the difference. This star is losing mass at 100 times the rate of the star in the earlier study." "This

  16. The application of artificial intelligence to astronomical scheduling problems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnston, Mark D.

    1992-01-01

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

  17. TENCompetence Competence Observatory

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vervenne, Luk

    2010-01-01

    Vervenne, L. (2007) TENCompetence Competence Observatory. Sources available http://tencompetence.cvs.sourceforge.net/viewvc/tencompetence/wp8/org.tencompetence.co/. Available under the three clause BSD license, copyright TENCompetence Foundation.

  18. Long Baseline Observatory (LBO)

    Data.gov (United States)

    Federal Laboratory Consortium — The Long Baseline Observatory (LBO) comprises ten radio telescopes spanning 5,351 miles. It's the world's largest, sharpest, dedicated telescope array. With an eye...

  19. Astronomical Data and Information Visualization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodman, Alyssa A.

    2010-01-01

    As the size and complexity of data sets increases, the need to "see" them more clearly increases as well. In the past, many scientists saw "fancy" data and information visualization as necessary for "outreach," but not for research. In this talk, I wlll demonstrate, using specific examples, why more and more scientists--not just astronomers--are coming to rely upon the development of new visualization strategies not just to present their data, but to understand it. Principal examples will be drawn from the "Astronomical Medicine" project at Harvard's Initiative in Innovative Computing, and from the "Seamless Astronomy" effort, which is co-sponsored by the VAO (NASA/NSF) and Microsoft Research.

  20. Astronomical optics and elasticity theory

    CERN Document Server

    Lemaitre, Gerard Rene

    2008-01-01

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

  1. Evaluating the relationships between solar-induced chlorophyll fluorescence from Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 and gross primary productivity from eddy covariance flux towers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, X.; Xiao, J.; He, B.

    2017-12-01

    Solar-induced chlorophyll fluorescence (SIF) opens a new perspective on the monitoring of vegetation photosynthesis from space, and has been recently used to estimate gross primary productivity (GPP). However, previous studies on SIF were mainly based on satellite observations from the Greenhouse Gases Observing Satellite (GOSAT) and Global Ozone Monitoring Experiment-2 (GOME-2), and the evaluation of these coarse-resolution SIF measurements using GPP derived from eddy covariance (EC) flux towers has been hindered by the scale mismatch between satellite and tower footprints. We use new far-red SIF observations from the Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) satellite with much finer spatial resolution and GPP data from EC flux towers from 2014 to 2016 to examine the relationship between GPP and SIF for temperate forests. The OCO-2 SIF tracked tower GPP fairly well, and had strong correlation with tower GPP at both retrieval bands (757nm and 771nm) and both instantaneous (mid-day) and daily timescales. Daily SIF at 757nm (SIF757) exhibited much stronger correlation with tower GPP compared to MODIS enhanced vegetation index (EVI) and normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) derived from either Terra or Aqua and had a similarly strong relationship as EVI based on the bidirectional reflectance distribution function (BRDF) corrected reflectance product (Terra+Aqua). Absorbed photosynthetically active radiation (APAR) explained 85% of the variance in SIF757, while the product of APAR and two environmental scalars - fTmin and fVPD (representing minimum temperature stress and water stress) explained slightly higher variance (92%) in SIF757. This suggests that SIF mainly depends on APAR and also contains information on light use efficiency (LUE) reflecting environmental stresses and physiological or biochemical variations of vegetation. The hyperbolic model based on SIF757 estimated GPP well (R2=0.81, pmodel - the MODSI GPP algorithm. Our findings demonstrate the strong

  2. Astronomical Research Institute Photometric Results

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linder, Tyler R.; Sampson, Ryan; Holmes, Robert

    2013-01-01

    The Astronomical Research Institute (ARI) conducts astrometric and photometric studies of asteroids with a concentration on near-Earth objects (NEOs). A 0.76-m autoscope was used for photometric studies of seven asteroids of which two were main-belt targets and five were NEOs, including one potentially hazardous asteroid (PHA). These objects are: 3122 Florence, 3960 Chaliubieju, 5143 Heracles, (6455) 1992 HE, (36284) 2000 DM8, (62128) 2000 SO1, and 2010 LF86.

  3. The Pierre Auger Observatory

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hojvat, C.

    1997-03-01

    The Pierre Auger Observatory is an international collaboration for the detailed study of the highest energy cosmic rays. It will operate at two similar sites, one in the northern hemisphere and one in the southern hemisphere. The Observatory is designed to collect a statistically significant data set of events with energies greater than 10 19 eV and with equal exposures for the northern and southern skies

  4. Interactive 3D visualization for theoretical virtual observatories

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-06-01

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

  5. Interactive 3D Visualization for Theoretical Virtual Observatories

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-04-01

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

  6. Observatories and Telescopes of Modern Times

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leverington, David

    2016-11-01

    Preface; Part I. Optical Observatories: 1. Palomar Mountain Observatory; 2. The United States Optical Observatory; 3. From the Next Generation Telescope to Gemini and SOAR; 4. Competing primary mirror designs; 5. Active optics, adaptive optics and other technical innovations; 6. European Northern Observatory and Calar Alto; 7. European Southern Observatory; 8. Mauna Kea Observatory; 9. Australian optical observatories; 10. Mount Hopkins' Whipple Observatory and the MMT; 11. Apache Point Observatory; 12. Carnegie Southern Observatory (Las Campanas); 13. Mount Graham International Optical Observatory; 14. Modern optical interferometers; 15. Solar observatories; Part II. Radio Observatories: 16. Australian radio observatories; 17. Cambridge Mullard Radio Observatory; 18. Jodrell Bank; 19. Early radio observatories away from the Australian-British axis; 20. The American National Radio Astronomy Observatory; 21. Owens Valley and Mauna Kea; 22. Further North and Central American observatories; 23. Further European and Asian radio observatories; 24. ALMA and the South Pole; Name index; Optical observatory and telescope index; Radio observatory and telescope index; General index.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1999-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2001-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vilas, F.; Sollitt, L. S.

    2012-12-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2007-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhukov, V. Yu.

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trafton, L.

    1991-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-11-01

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

  16. The Steward Observatory asteroid relational database

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sykes, Mark V.; Alvarezdelcastillo, Elizabeth M.

    1991-01-01

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

  17. Virtual Observatory: From Concept to Implementation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Djorgovski, S. G.; Williams, R.

    2005-12-01

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

  18. Comparison of monthly nighttime cloud fraction products from MODIS and AIRS and ground-based camera over Manila Observatory (14.64N, 121.07E)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gacal, G. F. B.; Lagrosas, N.

    2017-12-01

    Cloud detection nowadays is primarily achieved by the utilization of various sensors aboard satellites. These include MODIS Aqua, MODIS Terra, and AIRS with products that include nighttime cloud fraction. Ground-based instruments are, however, only secondary to these satellites when it comes to cloud detection. Nonetheless, these ground-based instruments (e.g., LIDARs, ceilometers, and sky-cameras) offer significant datasets about a particular region's cloud cover values. For nighttime operations of cloud detection instruments, satellite-based instruments are more reliably and prominently used than ground-based ones. Therefore if a ground-based instrument for nighttime operations is operated, it ought to produce reliable scientific datasets. The objective of this study is to do a comparison between the results of a nighttime ground-based instrument (sky-camera) and that of MODIS Aqua and MODIS Terra. A Canon Powershot A2300 is placed ontop of Manila Observatory (14.64N, 121.07E) and is configured to take images of the night sky at 5min intervals. To detect pixels with clouds, the pictures are converted to grayscale format. Thresholding technique is used to screen pixels with cloud and pixels without clouds. If the pixel value is greater than 17, it is considered as a cloud; otherwise, a noncloud (Gacal et al., 2016). This algorithm is applied to the data gathered from Oct 2015 to Oct 2016. A scatter plot between satellite cloud fraction in the area covering the area 14.2877N, 120.9869E, 14.7711N and 121.4539E and ground cloud cover is graphed to find the monthly correlation. During wet season (June - November), the satellite nighttime cloud fraction vs ground measured cloud cover produce an acceptable R2 (Aqua= 0.74, Terra= 0.71, AIRS= 0.76). However, during dry season, poor R2 values are obtained (AIRS= 0.39, Aqua & Terra = 0.01). The high correlation during wet season can be attributed to a high probability that the camera and satellite see the same clouds

  19. ESA innovation rescues Ultraviolet Observatory

    Science.gov (United States)

    1995-10-01

    Astrophysicist Freeman J. Dyson from the Institute for Advanced Studies in Princeton characterizes IUE as "A little half-meter mirror sitting in the sky, unnoticed by the public, pouring out results". By use of the IUE satellite, astronomers obtain access to the ultraviolet radiation of celestial bodies in unique ways not available by any other means, neither from the ground nor by any other spacecraft currently in orbit. IUE serves a wide community of astronomers all over Europe, the United States and many other parts of the world. It allows the acquisition of critical data for fundamental studies of comets and their evaporation when they approach the Sun, of the mechanisms driving the stellar winds which make many stars lose a significant fraction of their mass (before they die slowly as White Dwarfs or in sudden Supernova explosions), as well as in the search to understand the ways in which black holes possibly power the violent nuclei of Active galaxies. One year ago the project was threatened with termination and serious concern was expressed by astronomers about the potential loss of IUE's capabilities, as a result of NASA not continuing to operate the spacecraft. Under the leadership of ESA, the three Agencies involved in the operations of IUE (ESA, NASA and the United Kingdom's Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council, PPARC), reviewed the operations agreements of the Project. A minor investment allowing the implementation of modern management and engineering techniques as well as a complete revision of the communication infrastructure of the project and continuous improvements in efficiency in the ESA management, also taking advantage of today's technologies, both in computing and communications, have made it possible to continue IUE operations within the financial means available, with ESA taking up most of NASA's share in the operations. According to Dr. Willem Wamsteker, ESA's Dutch IUE Project Scientist, "it was a extremely interesting

  20. Visualizing Astronomical Data with Blender

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kent, Brian R.

    2014-01-01

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

  1. Focus on astronomical predictable events

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jacobsen, Aase Roland

    2006-01-01

    At the Steno Museum Planetarium we have for many occasions used a countdown clock to get focus om astronomical events. A countdown clock can provide actuality to predictable events, for example The Venus Transit, Opportunity landing on Mars and The Solar Eclipse. The movement of the clock attracs...... the public and makes a point of interest in a small exhibit area. A countdown clock can be simple, but it is possible to expand the concept to an eye-catching part of a museum....

  2. astroplan: Observation Planning for Astronomers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morris, Brett

    2016-03-01

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

  3. Database-Driven Analyses of Astronomical Spectra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cami, Jan

    2012-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wen, Pey Chun; Busby, Christopher M.

    2011-01-01

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

  5. Preparing Colorful Astronomical Images and Illustrations

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2001-12-01

    We present techniques for using mainstream graphics software, specifically Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, for producing composite color images and illustrations from astronomical data. These techniques have been used with numerous images from the Hubble Space Telescope to produce printed and web-based news, education and public presentation products as well as illustrations for technical publication. 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 work with scaled images, masks, text and graphics in multiple semi-transparent layers and channels. These features, along with its user-oriented, visual interface, provide convenient tools to produce high-quality, full-color images and graphics for printed and on-line publication and presentation.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-03-01

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

  7. Extracting meaning from astronomical telegrams

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graham, Matthew; Conwill, L.; Djorgovski, S. G.; Mahabal, A.; Donalek, C.; Drake, A.

    2011-01-01

    The rapidly emerging field of time domain astronomy is one of the most exciting and vibrant new research frontiers, ranging in scientific scope from studies of the Solar System to extreme relativistic astrophysics and cosmology. It is being enabled by a new generation of large synoptic digital sky surveys - LSST, PanStarrs, CRTS - that cover large areas of sky repeatedly, looking for transient objects and phenomena. One of the biggest challenges facing these is the automated classification of transient events, a process that needs machine-processible astronomical knowledge. Semantic technologies enable the formal representation of concepts and relations within a particular domain. ATELs (http://www.astronomerstelegram.org) are a commonly-used means for reporting and commenting upon new astronomical observations of transient sources (supernovae, stellar outbursts, blazar flares, etc). However, they are loose and unstructured and employ scientific natural language for description: this makes automated processing of them - a necessity within the next decade with petascale data rates - a challenge. Nevertheless they represent a potentially rich corpus of information that could lead to new and valuable insights into transient phenomena. This project lies in the cutting-edge field of astrosemantics, a branch of astroinformatics, which applies semantic technologies to astronomy. The ATELs have been used to develop an appropriate concept scheme - a representation of the information they contain - for transient astronomy using aspects of natural language processing. We demonstrate that it is possible to infer the subject of an ATEL from the vocabulary used and to identify previously unassociated reports.

  8. Astronomical Signatures of Dark Matter

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul Gorenstein

    2014-01-01

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

  9. The League of Astronomers: Outreach

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  10. LGBT Workplace Issues for Astronomers

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  11. Astronomers in the Chemist's War

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trimble, Virginia L.

    2012-01-01

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

  12. The Lowell Observatory Navajo-Hopi Astronomy Outreach Program

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-08-01

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

  13. Amateur Astronomers: Secret Agents of EPO

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-06-01

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

  14. Astronomical Symbolism in Australian Aboriginal Rock Art

    Science.gov (United States)

    Norris, Ray P.; Hamacher, Duane W.

    2011-05-01

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

  15. Storing Astronomical Information on the Romanian Territory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stavinschi, M.; Mioc, V.

    2004-12-01

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

  16. Progresos recientes en Astronomía de Rayos Gamma

    Science.gov (United States)

    Romero, G. E.

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martin C. Weisskopf

    2018-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henry, Gregory W.

    1998-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Connolly, L.; Lederer, S.

    2004-12-01

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

  1. BOOK REVIEW: The Wandering Astronomer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swinbank, Elizabeth

    2000-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  3. Temperature control system for optical elements in astronomical instrumentation

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-07-01

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

  4. Explanatory Supplement to the Astronomical Almanac, Third Edition

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  5. US Naval Observatory Hourly Observations

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Hourly observations journal from the National Observatory in Washington DC. The observatory is the first station in the United States to produce hourly observations...

  6. Astronomical theory of climate change

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Berger, A.; Loutre, M.F. [Universite Catholique de Louvain (UCL), Louvain-la-Neuve (Belgium). Inst. d' Astronomie et de Geophysique G. Lemaitre

    2004-12-01

    The astronomical theory of paleo-climates aims to explain the climatic variations occurring with quasi-periodicities lying between tens and hundreds of thousands of years. The origin of these quasi-cycles lies in the astronomically driven changes in the latitudinal and seasonal distributions of the energy that the Earth receives from the Sun. These changes are then amplified by the feedback mechanisms which characterize the natural behaviour of the climate system like those involving the albedo-, the water vapor-, and the vegetation- temperature relationships. Climate models of different complexities are used to explain the chain of processes which finally link the long-term variations of three astronomical parameters to the long-term climatic variations at time scale of tens to hundreds of thousands of years. In particular, sensitivity analysis to the astronomically driven insolation changes and to the CO{sub 2} atmospheric concentrations have been performed with the 2-dimension climate model of Louvain-la-Neuve. It could be shown that this model simulates more or less correctly the entrance into glaciation around 2.75 million year (Myr) BP (before present), the late Pliocene-early Pleistocene 41-kyr (thousand years) cycle, the emergence of the 100-kyr cycle around 850 kyr BP and the glacial-interglacial cycles of the last 600 kyr. During the Late Pliocene (in an ice-free - warm world) ice sheets can only develop during times of sufficiently low summer insolation. This occurs during large eccentricity times when climatic precession and obliquity combine to obtain such low values, leading to the 41-kyr period between 3 and 1 million years BP. On the contrary in a glacial world, ice sheets persist most of the time except when insolation is very high in polar latitudes, requiring large eccentricity again, but leading this time to interglacial and finally to the 100-kyr period of the last 1 Myr. Using CO{sub 2} scenarios, it has been shown that stage 11 and stage 1

  7. Asteroids astronomical and geological bodies

    CERN Document Server

    Burbine, Thomas H

    2016-01-01

    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 ...

  8. IAU Public Astronomical Organisations Network

    Science.gov (United States)

    Canas, Lina; Cheung, Sze Leung

    2015-08-01

    The Office for Astronomy Outreach has devoted intensive means to create and support a global network of public astronomical organisations around the world. Focused on bringing established and newly formed amateur astronomy organizations together, providing communications channels and platforms for disseminating news to the global community and the sharing of best practices and resources among these associations around the world. In establishing the importance that these organizations have for the dissemination of activities globally and acting as key participants in IAU various campaigns social media has played a key role in keeping this network engaged and connected. Here we discuss the implementation process of maintaining this extensive network, the processing and gathering of information and the interactions between local active members at a national and international level.

  9. Astronomical Data in Undergraduate courses

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-06-01

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

  10. Protection of Hawaii's Observatories from Light Pollution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wainscoat, Richard J.

    2018-01-01

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

  11. Astronomers Trace Microquasar's Path Back in Time

    Science.gov (United States)

    2003-01-01

    million years. They also speculated on the birthplace of Scorpius X-1. "The neutron star, which is the remnant left over from the supernova explosion of an even more massive star, either came from the Milky Way's disk, or from a globular cluster at a considerable distance from the disk," said Rodrigues. Globular clusters are clumps of millions of stars in the outskirts of the Galaxy. If it came from the Galaxy's disk, the scientists say, it would have had to receive a powerful one-sided "kick" from the supernova explosion to get into its present eccentric orbit. While this is possible, they conclude that a more likely scenario is that the neutron star came from a globular cluster. "Probably, this neutron star picked up its companion and was thrown out of its globular cluster by a close encounter with other stars at the cluster's core," Mirabel said. The scientists published their results in the January 30 issue of the journal Astronomy and Astrophysics. The same pair of researchers traced a similar path of a black hole and its companion star in 2001. Also that year, other astronomers produced a "movie" showing motions in the jet of material ejected from the disk around Scorpius X-1's neutron star. The National Radio Astronomy Observatory is a facility of the National Science Foundation, operated under cooperative agreement by Associated Universities, Inc.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    1997-02-01

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

  13. Expanding the HAWC Observatory

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mori, Johanna [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)

    2016-08-17

    The High Altitude Water Cherenkov Gamma-Ray Observatory is expanding its current array of 300 water tanks to include 350 outrigger tanks to increase sensitivity to gamma rays above 10 TeV. This involves creating and testing hardware with which to build the new tanks, including photomultiplier tubes, high voltage supply units, and flash analog to digital converters. My responsibilities this summer included preparing, testing and calibrating that equipment.

  14. Site Protection Efforts at the AURA Observatory in Chile

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  16. Astronomical Instrumentation Systems Quality Management Planning: AISQMP (Abstract)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goldbaum, J.

    2017-12-01

    (Abstract only) 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwemin, Friedhelm

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simonis, I.; Vahed, A.

    2008-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-03-01

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

  1. Reporting Astronomical Discoveries: Past, Now, and Future

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamaoka, Hitoshi; Green, Daniel W. E.; Samus, Nikolai N.; West, Richard

    2015-08-01

    Many new astronomical objects have been discovered over the years by amateur astronomers, and this continues to be the case. They have traditionally reported them (as have professional astronomers) to the Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams (CBAT), which was established in the 19th century. This procedure has worked very well throughout the 20th century, moving under the umbrella of the newly established IAU in 1920. The discoverers have been honored by the formal announcement of their discoveries in the publications of the CBAT.In recent years, some professional research groups have established other ways of announcing their discoveries of explosive objects such as novae and supernovae; some do not now report their discoveries or spectroscopic confirmations of the transients to the CBAT, including often spectroscopic reports of objects posted to the CBAT "Transient Objects Confirmation Page" -- the highly successful TOCP webpage, which assigns official positional designations to new transients posted there by approved, registered users. This leads to a delay in formal announcements of discoveries by amateur astronomers in many cases, as well as inconsistent designations being put into use by individual groups. Amateur astronomers are feeling frustrated about this situation, and they hope that the IAU will help to settle the situation.We have proposed the new IAU commission NC-52, which will treat these phenomena in a continuation of Commission 6, through the CBAT. We hope to continuously support the reporting of the discoveries by amateur astronomers, as well as professional astronomers, who all deserve and desire proper recognition. Our strategy will maintain the firm trust between the amateur and professional astronomers, which is necessary for true collaboration. The plan is for the CBAT to work with collaborators to assure that discoveries posted on the TOCP are promptly designated and announced by the CBAT, even when confirmations are made elsewhere

  2. Astronomical Knowledge in Holy Books

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farmanyan, Sona V.; Mickaelian, Areg M.

    2015-08-01

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

  3. Astronomers celebrate a year of new Hubble results

    Science.gov (United States)

    1995-02-01

    "We are beginning to understand that because of these observations we are going to have to change the way we look at the Universe," said ESA's Dr Duccio Macchetto, Associate Director for Science Programs at the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI), Baltimore, Maryland, USA. The European Space Agency plays a major role in the Hubble Space Telescope programme. The Agency provided one of the telescope's four major instruments, called the Faint Object Camera, and two sets of electricity-generating solar arrays. In addition, 15 ESA scientific and technical staff work at the STScI. In return for this contribution, European astronomers are entitled to 15 percent of the telescope's observing time, although currently they account for 20 percent of all observations. "This is a testimony to the quality of the European science community", said Dr Roger Bonnet, Director of Science at ESA. "We are only guaranteed 15 percent of the telescope's use, but consistently receive much more than that." Astronomers from universities, observatories and research institutes across Europe lead more than 60 investigations planned for the telescope's fifth observing cycle, which begins this summer. Many more Europeans contribute to teams led by other astronomers. Looking back to the very start of time European astronomer Dr Peter Jakobsen used ESA's Faint Object Camera to confirm that helium was present in the early Universe. Astronomers had long predicted that 90 percent of the newly born Universe consisted of hydrogen, with helium making up the remainder. Before the refurbished Hubble came along, it was easy to detect the hydrogen, but the primordial helium remained elusive. The ultraviolet capabilities of the telescope, combined with the improvement in spatial resolution following the repair, made it possible for Dr Jakobsen to obtain an image of a quasar close to the edge of the known Universe. A spectral analysis of this picture revealed the quasar's light, which took 13 billion years

  4. Mass composition studies of Ultra High Energy cosmic rays through the measurement of the Muon Production Depths at the Pierre Auger Observatory

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Collica, Laura [Univ. of Milan (Italy); Paris Diderot Univ. (France)

    2014-01-01

    The Pierre Auger Observatory (Auger) in Argentina studies Ultra High Energy Cosmic Rays (UHECRs) physics. The flux of cosmic rays at these energies (above 1018 eV) is very low (less than 100 particle/km2-year) and UHECR properties must be inferred from the measurements of the secondary particles that the cosmic ray primary produces in the atmosphere. These particles cascades are called Extensive Air Showers (EAS) and can be studied at ground by deploying detectors covering large areas. The EAS physics is complex, and the properties of secondary particles depend strongly on the first interaction, which takes place at an energy beyond the ones reached at accelerators. As a consequence, the analysis of UHECRs is subject to large uncertainties and hence many of their properties, in particular their composition, are still unclear. Two complementary techniques are used at Auger to detect EAS initiated by UHE- CRs: a 3000 km2 surface detector (SD) array of water Cherenkov tanks which samples particles at ground level and fluorescence detectors (FD) which collect the ultraviolet light emitted by the de-excitation of nitrogen nuclei in the atmosphere, and can operate only in clear, moonless nights. Auger is the largest cosmic rays detector ever built and it provides high-quality data together with unprecedented statistics. The main goal of this thesis is the measurement of UHECR mass composition using data from the SD of the Pierre Auger Observatory. Measuring the cosmic ray composition at the highest energies is of fundamental importance from the astrophysical point of view, since it could discriminate between different scenarios of origin and propagation of cosmic rays. Moreover, mass composition studies are of utmost importance for particle physics. As a matter of fact, knowing the composition helps in exploring the hadronic interactions at ultra-high energies, inaccessible to present accelerator experiments.

  5. Lowell Observatory's 24-inch Clark Refractor: Its History and Renovation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schindler, Kevin; Nye, Ralph; Rosenthal, Peter

    2016-01-01

    In 1895, Percival Lowell hired eminent telescope maker Alvan G. Clark to build a 24-inch refractor. Lowell intended the telescope intitally for observing Mars in support of his controversial theories about life on that planet. Clark finished the telescope within a year and at a cost of $20,000. Lowell and his staff of assistants and astronomers began observing through it on July 23, 1896, setting off a long and productive career for the telescope.While Lowell's Mars studies dominated early work with the Clark, V.M. Slipher by the 1910s was using it to observe planetary rotations and atmospheric compositions. He soon revolutionized spectroscopic studies, gathering excruciatingly long spectra - some in excess of 40 hours - of the so-called white nebula and determining startling radial velocities, evidence of an expanding universe. In the 1960s, scientists and artists teamed up on the Clark and created detailed lunar maps in support of the Apollo program.In recent decades, the Clark has played a central role in the education programs at Lowell, with general public audiences, students, and private groups all taking advantage of this unique resource.With this nearly 120 years of contant use, the Clark had been wearing down in recent years. The telescope was becoming more difficult to move, old electrical wiring in the dome was a fire hazard, and many of the telescope's parts needed to be repaired or replaced.In 2013, Lowell Observatory began a fundraising campaign, collecting $291,000 to cover the cost of dome and telescope renovation. Workers removed the entire telescope mount and tube assembly from the dome, examining every part from tube sections to individuals screws. They also stabilized the dome, adding a water vapor barrier and new outer wall while reinforcing the upper dome. The project lasted from January, 2014 through August, 2015. The facility reopened for daytime tours in September, 2015 and evening viewing the following month.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  7. Sudbury neutrino observatory

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ewan, G.T.; Mak, H.B.; Robertson, B.C.

    1985-07-01

    This report discusses the proposal to construct a unique neutrino observatory. The observatory would contain a Cerenkov detector which would be located 2070 m below the earth's surface in an INCO mine at Creighton near Sudbury and would contain 1000 tons of D20 which is an excellent target material. Neutrinos carry detailed information in their spectra on the reactions taking place deep in the interstellar interior and also provide information on supernova explosions. In addition to their role as astrophysical probes a knowledge of the properties of neutrinos is crucial to theories of grand unification. There are three main objectives of the laboratory. The prime objective will be to study B electron neutrinos from the sun by a direct counting method that will measure their energy and direction. The second major objective will be to establish if electron neutrinos change into other neutrino species in transit from the sun to the earth. Finally it is hoped to be able to observe a supernova with the proposed detector. The features of the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory which make it unique are its high sensitivity to electron neutrinos and its ability to detect all other types of neutrinos of energy greater than 2.2 MeV. In section II of this proposal the major physics objectives are discussed in greater detail. A conceptual design for the detector, and measurements and calculations which establish the feasibility of the neutrino experiments are presented in section III. Section IV is comprised of a discussion on the possible location of the laboratory and Section V contains a brief indication of the main areas to be studied in Phase II of the design study

  8. Sudbury neutrino observatory

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ewan, G.T.; Evans, H.C.; Lee, H.W.

    1986-10-01

    This report is a supplement to a report (SNO-85-3 (Sudbury Neutrino Observatory)) which contained the results of a feasibility study on the construction of a deep underground neutrino observatory based on a 1000 ton heavy water Cerenkov detector. Neutrinos carry detailed information in their spectra on the reactions taking place deep in the interstellar interior and also provide information on supernova explosions. In addition to their role as astrophysical probes, a knowledge of the properties of neutrinos is crucial to theories of grand unification. The Sudbury Neutrino Observatory is unique in its high sensitivity to electron neutrinos and its ability to detect all other types of neutrinos of energy greater than 2.2 MeV. The results of the July 1985 study indicated that the project is technically feasible in that the proposed detector can measure the direction and energy of electron neutrinos above 7 MeV and the scientific programs will make significant contributions to physics and astrophysics. This present report contains new information obtained since the 1985 feasibility study. The enhanced conversion of neutrinos in the sun and the new physics that could be learned using the heavy water detector are discussed in the physics section. The other sections will discuss progress in the areas of practical importance in achieving the physics objectives such as new techniques to measure, monitor and remove low levels of radioactivity in detector components, ideas on calibration of the detector and so forth. The section entitled Administration contains a membership list of the working groups within the SNO collaboration

  9. The Observatory Health Report

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura Murianni

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available

    Background: The number of indicators aiming to provide a clear picture of healthcare needs and the quality and efficiency of healthcare systems and services has proliferated in recent years. The activity of the National Observatory on Health Status in the Italian Regions is multidisciplinary, involving around 280 public health care experts, clinicians, demographers, epidemiologists, mathematicians, statisticians and economists who with their different competencies, and scientific interests aim to improve the collective health of individuals and their conditions through the use of “core indicators”. The main outcome of the National Observatory on Health Status in the Italian Regions is the “Osservasalute Report – a report on health status and the quality of healthcare assistance in the Italian Regions”.

    Methods: The Report adopts a comparative analysis, methodology and internationally validated indicators.

    Results: The results of Observatory Report show it is necessary:

    • to improve the monitoring of primary health care services (where the chronic disease could be cared through implementation of clinical path;

     • to improve in certain areas of hospital care such as caesarean deliveries, as well as the average length of stay in the pre-intervention phase, etc.;

    • to try to be more focused on the patients/citizens in our health care services; • to practice more geographical interventions to reduce the North-South divide as well as reduce gender inequity.

    Conclusions: The health status of Italian people is good with positive results and outcomes, but in the meantime some further efforts should be done especially in the South that still has to improve the quality and the organization of health care services. There are huge differences in accuracy and therefore usefulness of the reported data, both between diseases and between

  10. Validation of the IASI operational CH4 and N2O products using ground-based Fourier Transform Spectrometer: preliminary results at the Izaña Observatory (28ºN, 17ºW

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Omaira García

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Within the project VALIASI (VALidation of IASI level 2 products the validation of the IASI operational atmospheric trace gas products (total column amounts of H2O, O3, CH4, N2O, CO2 and CO as well H2O and O3 profiles will be carried out. Ground-based FTS (Fourier Transform Spectrometer trace gas measurements made in the framework of NDACC (Network for the Detection of Atmospheric Composition Change serve as the validation reference. In this work, we will present the validation methodology developed for this project and show the first intercomparison results obtained for the Izaña Atmospheric Observatory between 2008 and 2012. As example, we will focus on two of the most important greenhouse gases, CH4 and N2O.

  11. Astronomers Win Protection for Key Part of Radio Spectrum

    Science.gov (United States)

    2000-06-01

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

  12. Current Status of Carl Sagan Observatory in Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanchez-Ibarra, A.

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

  13. Astronomers Make First Images With Space Radio Telescope

    Science.gov (United States)

    1997-07-01

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

  14. Longwave Imaging for Astronomical Applications, Phase II

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  15. Astronomers no longer in the dark

    CERN Multimedia

    MacMillan, L

    2002-01-01

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

  16. Astronomers find distant planet like Jupiter

    CERN Multimedia

    2003-01-01

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

  17. The Soviet center of astronomical data

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dluzhnevskaya, O.B.

    1982-01-01

    On the basis of the current French-Soviet cooperation in science and technology, the Astronomical Council of the U.S.S.R. Academy of Sciences and the Strasbourg Center signed in 1977 an agreement on setting up the Soviet Center of Astronomical Data as its filial branch. The Soviet Center was created on the basis of a computation center at the Zvenigorod station of the Astronomical Council of the U.S.S.R. Academy of Sciences, which had already had considerable experience of working with stellar catalogues. In 1979 the Center was equipped with a EC-1033 computer. In 1978-1979 the Soviet Center of Astronomical Data (C.A.D.) received from Strasbourg 96 of the most important catalogues. By September 1981 the list of catalogues available at the Soviet Center has reached 140 catalogues some of which are described. (Auth.)

  18. Astronomers Get New Tools for Gravitational-Wave Detection

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    Teamwork between gamma-ray and radio astronomers has produced a breakthrough in finding natural cosmic tools needed to make the first direct detections of the long-elusive gravitational waves predicted by Albert Einstein nearly a century ago. An orbiting gamma-ray telescope has pointed radio astronomers to specific locations in the sky where they can discover new millisecond pulsars. Millisecond pulsars, rapidly-spinning superdense neutron stars, can serve as extremely precise and stable natural clocks. Astronomers hope to detect gravitational waves by measuring tiny changes in the pulsars' rotation caused by the passage of the gravitational waves. To do this, they need a multitude of millisecond pulsars dispersed widely throughout the sky. However, nearly three decades after the discovery of the first millisecond pulsar, only about 150 of them had been found, some 90 of those clumped tightly in globular star clusters and thus unusable for detecting gravitational waves. The problem was that millisecond pulsars could only be discovered through arduous, computing-intensive searches of small portions of sky. "We've probably found far less than one percent of the millisecond pulsars in the Milky Way Galaxy," said Scott Ransom of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO). The breakthrough came when an instrument aboard NASA's Fermi Gamma-Ray Space Telescope began surveying the sky in 2008. This instrument located hundreds of gamma-ray-emitting objects throughout our Galaxy, and astronomers suspected many of these could be millisecond pulsars. Paul Ray of the Naval Research Laboratory initiated an international collaboration to use radio telescopes to confirm the identity of these objects as millisecond pulsars. "The data from Fermi were like a buried-treasure map," Ransom said. "Using our radio telescopes to study the objects located by Fermi, we found 17 millisecond pulsars in three months. Large-scale searches had taken 10-15 years to find that many," Ransom

  19. Information seeking behavior of Greek astronomers

    OpenAIRE

    Brindesi, Hara; Kapidakis, Sarantos

    2011-01-01

    This study examines three aspects of information seeking behaviour of astronomers in Greece including a) the importance they place in keeping up- to-date with current developments b) the methods they depend on for keeping up-to-date and c) the information sources they mostly use. We adopted an intradisciplinary approach in order to investigate similarities and differences in information seeking behaviour among astronomers when examining them as groups bearing different characteristics, includ...

  20. Basic Optics for the Astronomical Sciences

    CERN Document Server

    Breckinridge, James

    2012-01-01

    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.

  1. Visualization of Multi-mission Astronomical Data with ESASky

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baines, Deborah; Giordano, Fabrizio; Racero, Elena; Salgado, Jesús; López Martí, Belén; Merín, Bruno; Sarmiento, María-Henar; Gutiérrez, Raúl; Ortiz de Landaluce, Iñaki; León, Ignacio; de Teodoro, Pilar; González, Juan; Nieto, Sara; Segovia, Juan Carlos; Pollock, Andy; Rosa, Michael; Arviset, Christophe; Lennon, Daniel; O'Mullane, William; de Marchi, Guido

    2017-02-01

    ESASky is a science-driven discovery portal to explore the multi-wavelength sky and visualize and access multiple astronomical archive holdings. The tool is a web application that requires no prior knowledge of any of the missions involved and gives users world-wide simplified access to the highest-level science data products from multiple astronomical space-based astronomy missions plus a number of ESA source catalogs. The first public release of ESASky features interfaces for the visualization of the sky in multiple wavelengths, the visualization of query results summaries, and the visualization of observations and catalog sources for single and multiple targets. This paper describes these features within ESASky, developed to address use cases from the scientific community. The decisions regarding the visualization of large amounts of data and the technologies used were made to maximize the responsiveness of the application and to keep the tool as useful and intuitive as possible.

  2. Sudbury neutrino observatory proposal

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ewan, G.T.; Evans, H.C.; Lee, H.W.

    1987-10-01

    This report is a proposal by the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNO) collaboration to develop a world class laboratory for neutrino astrophysics. This observatory would contain a large volume heavy water detector which would have the potential to measure both the electron-neutrino flux from the sun and the total solar neutrino flux independent of neutrino type. It will therefore be possible to test models of solar energy generation and, independently, to search for neutrino oscillations with a sensitivity many orders of magnitude greater than that of terrestrial experiments. It will also be possible to search for spectral distortion produced by neutrino oscillations in the dense matter of the sun. Finally the proposed detector would be sensitive to neutrinos from a stellar collapse and would detect neutrinos of all types thus providing detailed information on the masses of muon- and tau-neutrinos. The neutrino detector would contain 1000 tons of D20 and would be located more than 2000 m below ground in the Creighton mine near Sudbury. The operation and performance of the proposed detector are described and the laboratory design is presented. Construction schedules and responsibilities and the planned program of technical studies by the SNO collaboration are outlined. Finally, the total capital cost is estimated to be $35M Canadian and the annual operating cost, after construction, would be $1.8 M Canadian, including the insurance costs of the heavy water

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ray P Norris

    2007-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corneau, M. J.

    2009-12-01

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

  6. Perennial Environment Observatory

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Plas, Frederic

    2014-07-01

    The Perennial Environment Observatory [Observatoire Perenne de l'Environnement - OPE] is a unique approach and infrastructure developed and implemented by ANDRA, the French National Radioactive Waste Management Agency, as part of its overall project of deep geological disposal for radioactive waste. Its current mission is to assess the initial state of the rural (forest, pasture, open-field and aquatic) environment, prior to repository construction. This will be followed in 2017 (pending construction authorizations) and for a period exceeding a century, by monitoring of any impact the repository may have on the environment. In addition to serving its own industrial purpose of environmental monitoring, ANDRA also opens the OPE approach, infrastructure and acquired knowledge (database...) to the scientific community to support further research on long term evolution of the environment subjected to natural and anthropogenic stresses, and to contribute to a better understanding of the interaction between the various compartments of the environment

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cline, J. Donald; Castelaz, Michael W.

    2016-01-01

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

  8. Sudbury Neutrino Observatory

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Beier, E.W.

    1992-03-01

    This document is a technical progress report on work performed at the University of Pennsylvania during the current year on the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory project. The motivation for the experiment is the measurement of neutrinos emitted by the sun. The Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNO) is a second generation dedicated solar neutrino experiment which will extend the results of our work with the Kamiokande II detector by measuring three reactions of neutrinos rather than the single reaction measured by the Kamiokande experiment. The collaborative project includes physicists from Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Full funding for the construction of this facility was obtained in January 1990, and its construction is estimated to take five years. The motivation for the SNO experiment is to study the fundamental properties of neutrinos, in particular the mass and mixing parameters, which remain undetermined after decades of experiments in neutrino physics utilizing accelerators and reactors as sources of neutrinos. To continue the study of neutrino properties it is necessary to use the sun as a neutrino source. The long distance to the sun makes the search for neutrino mass sensitive to much smaller mass than can be studied with terrestrial sources. Furthermore, the matter density in the sun is sufficiently large to enhance the effects of small mixing between electron neutrinos and mu or tau neutrinos. This experiment, when combined with the results of the radiochemical 37 Cl and 71 Ga experiments and the Kamiokande II experiment, should extend our knowledge of these fundamental particles, and as a byproduct, improve our understanding of energy generation in the sun

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whiting, P. J.

    2006-12-01

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

  10. Capabilities of the NASA/IPAC extragalactic database in the era of a global virtual observatory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mazzarella, Joseph M.; Madore, Barry F.; Helou, George

    2001-11-01

    We review the capabilities of the NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database (NED, http://ned.ipac.caltech.edu) for information retrieval and knowledge discovery in the context of a globally distributed virtual observatory. Since it's inception in 1990, NED has provided astronomers world-wide with the results of a systematic cross-correlation of catalogs covering all wavelengths, along with thousands of extragalactic observations culled from published journal articles. NED is continuously being expanded and revised to include new catalogs and published observations, each undergoing a process of cross-identification to capture the current state of knowledge about extragalactic sources in a panchromatic fashion. In addition to assimilating data from the literature, the team in incrementally folding in millions of observations from new large-scale sky surveys such as 2MASS, NVSS, APM, and SDSS. At the time of writing the system contains over 3.3 million unique objects with 4.2 million cross-identifications. We summarize the recent evolution of NED from its initial emphasis on object name-, position-, and literature-based queries into a research environment that also assists statistical data exploration and discovery using large samples of objects. Newer capabilities enable intelligent Web mining of entries in geographically distributed astronomical archives that are indexed by object names and positions in NED, sample building using constraints on redshifts, object types and other parameters, as well as image and spectral archives for targeted or serendipitous discoveries. A pilot study demonstrates how NED is being used in conjunction with linked survey archives to characterize the properties of galaxy classes to form a training set for machine learning algorithms; an initial goal is production of statistical likelihoods that newly discovered sources belong to known classes, represent statistical outliers, or candidates for fundamentally new types of objects. Challenges and

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-11-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1986-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

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

  14. Karl Friedrich Zollner and the historical dimension of astronomical photometry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sterken, C.; Staubermann, K. B.

    This book results from presentations and discussions of a group of astronomers and historians during a one-day workshop held at Archenhold Observatory, Berlin-Treptow, on April 4, 1997. This meeting was the first forum in a series dedicated to historical aspects of observational astrophysics in the nineteenth and early twentieth century. The basic principle of these meetings is to reflect during one or more days on the work and personality of a single individual or of a group of persons, at the same time avoiding the really dominant figures that typify the age. By focusing on key people who epitomize a way of thinking and working that has formed many of the ideas by which we do astrophysical research today, we also attempt to evoke the scientific spirit of the era under consideration. In 1858, the German physicist Karl Friedrich Zoellner introduced a new type of astronomical photometer which became a bestseller in the second half of the nineteenth century and which led him to the first German professorship in astrophysics. His type of photometer allowed most accurate photometric measurements and was used at several observatories for almost half a century. This book outlines four major themes. The first part describes the observing instruments that were used by Zoellner and his contemporaries: photometers and spectrographs that complemented his original design, but also competed with his most versatile prototype photometer. The description also includes an account of technical aspects associated with the replication of such a photometer today. The second part analyses the astrophysical data that were obtained with Zoellner's tools, and extracts information hidden in the published data --- scientific information as well as diverse aspects related to the observer himself. These nineteenth-century data are now published for the first time on a modern magnitude scale and are directly accessible in tabular form, and are thus fully applicable to archeophotometric studies

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Durst, S.

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

  16. A new alignment procedure for the South African Astronomical Observatory's 74-inch telescope

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crause, Lisa A.; Booth, John A.; Doss, David; Loubser, Egan; O'Connor, James E.; Sass, Craig; Sickafoose, Amanda A.; Worters, Hannah L.

    2016-07-01

    Considerable effort has gone into improving the performance and reliability of the SAAO's 74-inch telescope. This included replacing the telescope encoders, refining the pointing model and increasing the telescope throughput. The latter involved re-aluminising the primary and formulating a procedure to ensure optimal alignment of the telescope mirrors. To this end, we developed the necessary hardware and techniques to ensure that such alignment is achieved and maintained, particularly following re-aluminising of the mirrors. In essence, the procedure involves: placing a Taylor Hobson Alignment Telescope on the mechanical rotation axis of the 74-inch (which we define to be the optical axis, since the Cassegrain instruments attach to the associated turntable), then adjusting the tip/tilt of the secondary mirror to get it onto that axis and, lastly, adjusting the tip/tilt of the primary mirror to eliminate coma. An eyepiece (or wavefront camera) is installed at the Cassegrain port for this final step since comatic star images indicate the need to tip/tilt the primary mirror to align it to the secondary. Tuning out any brightness gradients seen in an out-of-focus image of a bright star may also be used for feedback when adjusting the tip/tilt of the primary mirror to null coma.

  17. Ultraviolet photometry from the orbiting astronomical observatory. XX. The ultraviolet extinction bump

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Savage, B.D.

    1975-01-01

    Interstellar extinction curves over the wavelength region 1800--3600 A are presented for 36 stars. The stars have E (B-V) in the range 0.03 to 0.55, and are mostly confined to the brighter OB associations distributed along the plane of the Galaxy. Every extinction curve exhibits a broad extinction bump peaking near 2175 A (4.6 μ -1 ). The position of the peak and the profile of the feature appear remarkably constant among the sample of stars. With only a few exceptions, E (lambda)-3320, a measure of the strength of the feature, correlates very well with E (B-V), implying that the bump has an interstellar rather than a circumstellar origin. The observation that the bump position and shape are constant, or very nearly constant, places severe restrictions on the grain geometrical parameters if the feature is to be explained by classical scattering theory employing bulk optical constants. In fact, the restrictions are so severe that an alternate explanation seems to be required unless the dust grains that exist in widely separated regions of space and under very different physical conditions have nearly identical size and shape distributions. Three extinction curves that extend to 1100 A are also presented. These curves show the same general extinction characteristics reported earlier. The curve for 22 Sco provides another example of a star that is []physically associated with nebulosity and that also has abnormally low far-ultraviolet extinction. We have searched the extinction curves for fine structure such as abrupt slope changes or new diffuse interstellar features. Unfortunately, there is no convincing evidence for such structure over the interval 1800--3600 A. (auth)

  18. Your data is your dogfood: DevOps in the astronomical observatory

    OpenAIRE

    Economou, Frossie; Hoblitt, Joshua C.; Norris, Pat

    2014-01-01

    DevOps is the contemporary term for a software development culture that purposefully blurs distinction between software development and IT operations by treating "infrastructure as code." DevOps teams typically implement practices summarised by the colloquial directive to "eat your own dogfood;" meaning that software tools developed by a team should be used internally rather thrown over the fence to operations or users. We present a brief overview of how DevOps techniques bring proven softwar...

  19. Ultraviolet photometry from the Orbiting Astronomical Observatory. XXXII - An atlas of ultraviolet stellar spectra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Code, A. D.; Meade, M. R.

    1979-01-01

    Ultraviolet stellar fluxes are presented in graphs and tables for 164 bright stars in the spectral region from 1200 to 3600 A. The spectra represent a subset of OAO 2 spectrometer data on file at the National Space Science Data Center. The monochromatic flux is given in units of erg per (sq cm-s-A) with a spectral resolution of about 22 A in the region from 3600 to 1850 A and of approximately 12 A in the region from 1850 to 1160 A.

  20. Ultraviolet photometry from the orbiting astronomical observatory. XVI - The stellar Lyman-alpha absorption line

    Science.gov (United States)

    Savage, B. D.; Panek, R. J.

    1974-01-01

    The stellar Lyman-alpha line at 1216 A was observed in 29 lightly reddened stars of spectral type B2.5 to B9 by a far-UV spectrophotometer on OAO-2. The equivalent widths obtained range from 15 A at type B2.5 to 65 A at type B8; in the late-B stars, the L-alpha line removes 2 to 3% of the total stellar flux. In this sampling, the strength of the L-alpha line correlates well with measures of the Balmer discontinuity and Balmer line strengths; luminosity classification does not seem to affect the line strength. The observed line widths also agree with the predictions of Mihala's grid of non-LTE model atmospheres. In some cases, the L-alpha line influences the interstellar column densities reported in the interstellar OAO-2 L-alpha survey. Hence, these data toward lightly reddened B2 and B1.5 stars should be regarded as upper limits only.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2002-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-02-01

    , Garching, Germany), G. A. Blake (California Institute of Technology), N. Huélamo (Centro de Astrobiología, ESAC, Spain), P. Tuthill (University of Sydney, Australia), M. Ireland (University of Sydney), A. Kraus (University of Hawaii) and G. Chauvin (Université Joseph Fourier, Grenoble, France). ESO, the European Southern Observatory, is the foremost intergovernmental astronomy organisation in Europe and the world's most productive astronomical observatory. It is supported by 15 countries: Austria, Belgium, Brazil, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. ESO carries out an ambitious programme focused on the design, construction and operation of powerful ground-based observing facilities enabling astronomers to make important scientific discoveries. ESO also plays a leading role in promoting and organising cooperation in astronomical research. ESO operates three unique world-class observing sites in Chile: La Silla, Paranal and Chajnantor. At Paranal, ESO operates the Very Large Telescope, the world's most advanced visible-light astronomical observatory and VISTA, the world's largest survey telescope. ESO is the European partner of a revolutionary astronomical telescope ALMA, the largest astronomical project in existence. ESO is currently planning a 42-metre European Extremely Large optical/near-infrared Telescope, the E-ELT, which will become "the world's biggest eye on the sky".

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  4. Thirteenth Joint European and National Astronomical Meeting

    CERN Document Server

    Iniesta, J C

    2006-01-01

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

  5. Decoding the mechanisms of Antikythera astronomical device

    CERN Document Server

    Lin, Jian-Liang

    2016-01-01

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

  6. Astronomers Without Borders: A Global Astronomy Community

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simmons, M.

    2011-10-01

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

  7. The Sudbury Neutrino Observatory

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Norman, E.B.; Chan, Y.D.; Garcia, A.; Lesko, K.T.; Smith, A.R.; Stokstad, R.G.; Zlimen, I.; Evans, H.C.; Ewan, G.T.; Hallin, A.; Lee, H.W.; Leslie, J.R.; MacArthur, J.D.; Mak, H.B.; McDonald, A.B.; McLatchie, W.; Robertson, B.C.; Skensved, P.; Sur, B.; Jagam, P.; Law, J.; Ollerhead, R.W.; Simpson, J.J.; Wang, J.X.; Tanner, N.W.; Jelley, N.A.; Barton, J.C.; Doucas, G.; Hooper, E.W.; Knox, A.B.; Moorhead, M.E.; Omori, M.; Trent, P.T.; Wark, D.L.

    1992-11-01

    Two experiments now in progress have reported measurements of the flux of high energy neutrinos from the Sun. Since about 1970, Davis and his co-workers have been using a 37 Cl-based detector to measure the 7 Be and 8 B solar neutrino flux and have found it to be at least a factor of three lower than that predicted by the Standard Solar Model (SSM). The Kamiokande collaborations has been taking data since 1986 using a large light-water Cerenkov detector and have confirmed that the flux is about two times lower than predicted. Recent results from the SAGE and GALLEX gallium-based detectors show that there is also a deficit of the low energy pp solar neutrinos. These discrepancies between experiment and theory could arise because of inadequacies in the theoretical models of solar energy generation or because of previously unobserved properties of neutrinos. The Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNO) will provide the information necessary to decide which of these solutions to the ''solar neutrino problem'' is correct

  8. A Brief History of Manchester Astronomical Society

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kilburn, K. J.

    Manchester Astronomical Society celebrated its centenary in September 2003. But that centenary was of a hundred years as the MAS: the history of the society goes back much further, and can be traced directly to that great era of.public awareness of astronomy and amateur interest in Victorian England in the last half of the nineteenth century. Allan Chapman has discussed this period in detail, so the present paper concentrates on the MAS's particular influence on Manchester astronomers and recent work on the history of the society.

  9. Astronomers gossip about the (cosmic) neighborhood.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jayawardhana, R

    1994-09-09

    The Hague, Netherlands, last month welcomed 2000 astronomers from around the world for the 22nd General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union (IAU). From 15 to 27 August, they participated in symposia and discussions on topics ranging from the down-to-Earth issue of light and radio-frequency pollution to the creation of elements at the farthest reaches of time and space, in the big bang. Some of the most striking news, however, came in new findings from our galaxy and its immediate surroundings.

  10. Novel Algorithms for Astronomical Plate Analyses

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Hudec, René; Hudec, L.

    2011-01-01

    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

  11. New opportunities for astronomical polarimetry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hough, J.H.

    2007-01-01

    Polarimetry has played an important role in many areas of astronomy, through the direct production of polarized flux in synchrotron and cyclotron radiation and the polarized emission from a medium of aligned dust grains (dichroic emission), and its production in secondary processes such as scattering and selective absorption in a medium of aligned grains (dichroic absorption). Future polarimetry at optical and infrared wavelengths, with the new generation of large telescopes and the use of adaptive optics, will provide important advances from the nearby universe to very high redshifts

  12. Artificial intelligence approaches to astronomical observation scheduling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnston, Mark D.; Miller, Glenn

    1988-01-01

    Automated scheduling will play an increasing role in future ground- and space-based observatory operations. Due to the complexity of the problem, artificial intelligence technology currently offers the greatest potential for the development of scheduling tools with sufficient power and flexibility to handle realistic scheduling situations. Summarized here are the main features of the observatory scheduling problem, how artificial intelligence (AI) techniques can be applied, and recent progress in AI scheduling for Hubble Space Telescope.

  13. Russian Virtual Observatory: Data Sources

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Malkov O.

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available The purpose of this review is to analyze main directions of creation and functioning of major data sources developed by Russian astronomers or with their participation and to compare them with the worldwide trends in these fields. We discuss astronomical space missions of the past, present, and future (Astron, INTEGRAL, WSO-UV, Spectrum Roentgen Gamma, Lyra-B, high-quality photometric atlases and catalogues, and spectroscopic data sources, primarily VALD and the global VAMDC framework for the maintenance and distribution of atomic and molecular data. We describe collection, analysis, and dissemination of astronomical data on minor bodies of the Solar System and on variable stars. Also described is the project joining data for all observational types of binary and multiple stars, Binary star DataBase (BDB.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2001-05-01

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

  15. Lewis Swift celebrated comet hunter and the people's astronomer

    CERN Document Server

    Kronk, Gary W

    2017-01-01

    This biography covers the life of Lewis Swift (1820-1913), who discovered 13 comets and nearly 1,200 other deep sky objects. All 13 comets found by Swift now bear his name, including three periodic comets with periods of 6 years (11P/Tempel-Swift-LINEAR), 9 years (64P/Swift-Gehrels), and 133 years (109P/Swift-Tuttle). Swift's enthusiasm and success as an amateur astronomer helped make him famous in the United States. With the help of others, Swift was able to buy a 16-inch refractor, the third largest telescope in the United States at the time. Hulbert Harrington Warner built "Warner Observatory" to house this telescope. As a prolific writer and lecturer, Swift's stories appeared in newspapers and magazines, while his lectures showed that he was able to explain anything in a way that everyone could understand.  When Warner went broke during the "Panic of 1893," Swift was forced to leave his home. Almost two dozen invitations arrived from around the United States asking him to bring his telescope to their ci...

  16. Fastest Pulsar Speeding Out of Galaxy, Astronomers Discover

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-08-01

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

  17. 153rd Colloquium of the International Astronomical Union

    CERN Document Server

    Kosugi, Takeo; Hudson, Hugh

    1996-01-01

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

  18. Hera: High Energy Astronomical Data Analysis via the Internet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valencic, Lynne A.; Chai, P.; Pence, W.; Snowden, S.

    2011-09-01

    The HEASARC at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center has developed Hera, a data processing facility for analyzing high energy astronomical data over the internet. Hera provides all the software packages, disk space, and computing resources needed to do general processing of and advanced research on publicly available data from High Energy Astrophysics missions. The data and data products are kept on a server at GSFC and can be downloaded to a user's local machine. This service is provided for free to students, educators, and researchers for educational and research purposes.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    1998-12-01

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

  20. The Sudbury neutrino observatory

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McLatchie, W.; Earle, E.D.

    1987-08-01

    This report initially discusses the Homestake Mine Experiment, South Dakota, U.S.A. which has been detecting neutrinos in 38 x 10 litre vats of cleaning fluid containing chlorine since the 1960's. The interation between neutrinos and chlorine produces argon so the number of neutrinos over time can be calculated. However, the number of neutrinos which have been detected represent only one third to one quarter of the expected number i.e. 11 per month rather than 48. It is postulated that the electron-neutrinos originating in the solar core could change into muon- or tau-neutrinos during passage through the high electron densities of the sun. The 'low' results at Homestake could thus be explained by the fact that the experiment is only sensitive to electron-neutrinos. The construction of a heavy water detector is therefore proposed as it would be able to determine the energy of the neutrinos, their time of arrival at the detector and their direction. It is proposed to build the detector at Creighton mine near Sudbury at a depth of 6800 feet below ground level thus shielding the detector from cosmic rays which would completely obscure the neutrino signals from the detector. The report then discusses the facility itself, the budget estimate and the social and economic impact on the surrounding area. At the time of publication the proposal for the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory was due to be submitted for peer review by Oct. 1, 1987 and then to various granting bodies charged with the funding of scientific research in Canada, the U.S.A. and Britain

  1. Geomagnetic Observatory Database February 2004

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information (formerly National Geophysical Data Center) maintains an active database of worldwide geomagnetic observatory...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1997-09-01

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

  3. Emerging technology for astronomical optics metrology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trumper, Isaac; Jannuzi, Buell T.; Kim, Dae Wook

    2018-05-01

    Next generation astronomical optics will enable science discoveries across all fields and impact the way we perceive the Universe in which we live. To build these systems, optical metrology tools have been developed that push the boundary of what is possible. We present a summary of a few key metrology technologies that we believe are critical for the coming generation of optical surfaces.

  4. Cosmological field theory for observational astronomers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zel'Dovich, Y.B.

    1987-01-01

    Theories of the very early Universe that use scalar fields (i.e., the so-called inflationary models of the Universe) have now come into wide use. The inflationary universe approach may perhaps solve some of the most difficult enigmas about the Universe as a whole. The inflationary universe forms a good bridge between the quantum theory of the birth of the Universe (which is still in the initial stages of development) and the standard hot Big Bang theory (which is well established, at least qualitatively). Therefore, an understanding of the basic ideas of inflation is a must for astronomers interested in the broad picture of the science. Astronomers are mathematically oriented enough (via celestial mechanics, electromagnetic theory, magnetohydrodynamics, nuclear reactions,etc.) that there is no negative attitude towards formulae in general. What the astronomer lacks is a knowledge of recent developments in particle physics and field theory. The astronomer should not be blamed for this, because these branches of physics are developing in a very peculiar fashion: some subfields of it are progressing comparatively slowly, with experimental verifications at each and every step, while other subfields progress rapidly

  5. Astronomía en la cultura

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

  6. NASA Observatory Confirms Black Hole Limits

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-02-01

    The very largest black holes reach a certain point and then grow no more, according to the best survey to date of black holes made with NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory. Scientists have also discovered many previously hidden black holes that are well below their weight limit. These new results corroborate recent theoretical work about how black holes and galaxies grow. The biggest black holes, those with at least 100 million times the mass of the Sun, ate voraciously during the early Universe. Nearly all of them ran out of 'food' billions of years ago and went onto a forced starvation diet. Focus on Black Holes in the Chandra Deep Field North Focus on Black Holes in the Chandra Deep Field North On the other hand, black holes between about 10 and 100 million solar masses followed a more controlled eating plan. Because they took smaller portions of their meals of gas and dust, they continue growing today. "Our data show that some supermassive black holes seem to binge, while others prefer to graze", said Amy Barger of the University of Wisconsin in Madison and the University of Hawaii, lead author of the paper describing the results in the latest issue of The Astronomical Journal (Feb 2005). "We now understand better than ever before how supermassive black holes grow." One revelation is that there is a strong connection between the growth of black holes and the birth of stars. Previously, astronomers had done careful studies of the birthrate of stars in galaxies, but didn't know as much about the black holes at their centers. DSS Optical Image of Lockman Hole DSS Optical Image of Lockman Hole "These galaxies lose material into their central black holes at the same time that they make their stars," said Barger. "So whatever mechanism governs star formation in galaxies also governs black hole growth." Astronomers have made an accurate census of both the biggest, active black holes in the distance, and the relatively smaller, calmer ones closer by. Now, for the first

  7. New Az/El mount for Haystack Observatory's Small Radio Telescope kit

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cobb, M. L.

    2005-12-01

    The Small Radio Telescope (SRT) kit was designed by Haystack Observatory as part of their educational outreach effort. The SRT uses a custom designed FFT based radio spectrometer receiver with a controller to position a 2.3m dish to make various radio astronomy observations including the 21 cm spin flip line of atomic hydrogen. Because there is no sizable commercial market for a two dimensional mount for dishes of this size, finding an appropriate provider as been a recurring problem for the project. Originally, the kit used a modified motor mount from Kaultronics called the H180. Two of these motors were combined by a specially designed adaptor to allow motion in azimuth and elevation. When Kaultronics was bought out by California Amplifier they discontinued production of the H180. The next iteration used a compact unit called the alfa-spid which was made in Germany and imported through Canada. The alfa-spid was designed to point various ham radio antennas and proved problematic with 2.3m dishes. Most recently the CASSI (Custom Astronomical Support Services, Inc.) corporation has designed and certified a robust Az/El mount capable of supporting dishes up to 12 feet (3.6m) with 100 MPH wind loads. This paper presents the design and operating characteristics of the new CASSI mount. The CASSI mount is now shipped with the SRT kit and should serve the project well for the foreseeable future.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  9. NRAO Astronomer Wins Max-Planck Research Award

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-04-01

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

  10. The Importance of Marine Observatories and of RAIA in Particular

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luísa Bastos

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Coastal and Oceanic Observatories are important tools to provide information on ocean state, phenomena and processes. They meet the need for a better understanding of coastal and ocean dynamics, revealing regional characteristics and vulnerabilities. These observatories are extremely useful to guide human actions in response to natural events and potential climate change impacts, anticipating the occurrence of extreme weather and oceanic events and helping to minimize consequent personal and material damages and costs.International organizations and local governments have shown an increasing interest in operational oceanography and coastal, marine and oceanic observations, which resulted in substantial investments in these areas. A variety of physical, chemical and biological data have been collected to better understand the specific characteristics of each ocean area and its importance in the global context. Also the general public’s interest in marine issues and observatories has been raised, mainly in relation to vulnerability, sustainability and climate change issues. Data and products obtained by an observatory are hence useful to a broad range of stakeholders, from national and local authorities to the population in general.An introduction to Ocean Observatories, including their national and regional importance, and a brief analysis of the societal interest in these observatories and related issues are presented. The potential of a Coastal and Ocean Observatory is then demonstrated using the RAIA observatory as example. This modern and comprehensive observatory is dedicated to improve operational oceanography, technology and marine science for the North Western Iberian coast, and to provide services to a large range of stakeholders.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Habison, Peter

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castelaz, Michael; Barker, Thurburn

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    1999-06-01

    A team of radio astronomers has used the National Science Foundation's Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA) to make the most accurate measurement ever made of the distance to a faraway galaxy. Their direct measurement calls into question the precision of distance determinations made by other techniques, including those announced last week by a team using the Hubble Space Telescope. The radio astronomers measured a distance of 23.5 million light-years to a galaxy called NGC 4258 in Ursa Major. "Ours is a direct measurement, using geometry, and is independent of all other methods of determining cosmic distances," said Jim Herrnstein, of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) in Socorro, NM. The team says their measurement is accurate to within less than a million light-years, or four percent. The galaxy is also known as Messier 106 and is visible with amateur telescopes. Herrnstein, along with James Moran and Lincoln Greenhill of the Harvard- Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics; Phillip Diamond, of the Merlin radio telescope facility at Jodrell Bank and the University of Manchester in England; Makato Inoue and Naomasa Nakai of Japan's Nobeyama Radio Observatory; Mikato Miyoshi of Japan's National Astronomical Observatory; Christian Henkel of Germany's Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy; and Adam Riess of the University of California at Berkeley, announced their findings at the American Astronomical Society's meeting in Chicago. "This is an incredible achievement to measure the distance to another galaxy with this precision," said Miller Goss, NRAO's Director of VLA/VLBA Operations. "This is the first time such a great distance has been measured this accurately. It took painstaking work on the part of the observing team, and it took a radio telescope the size of the Earth -- the VLBA -- to make it possible," Goss said. "Astronomers have sought to determine the Hubble Constant, the rate of expansion of the universe, for decades. This will in turn lead to an

  14. Radio Astronomers Develop New Technique for Studying Dark Energy

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    capabilities of current instruments -- the team used their intensity-mapping technique to accumulate the radio waves emitted by the hydrogen gas in large volumes of space including many galaxies. "Since the early part of the 20th Century, astronomers have traced the expansion of the Universe by observing galaxies. Our new technique allows us to skip the galaxy-detection step and gather radio emissions from a thousand galaxies at a time, as well as all the dimly-glowing material between them," said Jeffrey Peterson, of Carnegie Mellon University. The astronomers also developed new techniques that removed both man-made radio interference and radio emission caused by more-nearby astronomical sources, leaving only the extremely faint radio waves coming from the very distant hydrogen gas. The result was a map of part of the "cosmic web" that correlated neatly with the structure shown by the earlier optical study. The team first proposed their intensity-mapping technique in 2008, and their GBT observations were the first test of the idea. "These observations detected more hydrogen gas than all the previously-detected hydrogen in the Universe, and at distances ten times farther than any radio wave-emitting hydrogen seen before," said Ue-Li Pen of the University of Toronto. "This is a demonstration of an important technique that has great promise for future studies of the evolution of large-scale structure in the Universe," said National Radio Astronomy Observatory Chief Scientist Chris Carilli, who was not part of the research team. In addition to Chang, Peterson, and Pen, the research team included Kevin Bandura of Carnegie Mellon University. The scientists reported their work in the July 22 issue of the scientific journal Nature.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, D. W. E.

    2001-12-01

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

  16. The Carl Sagan solar and stellar observatories as remote observatories

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saucedo-Morales, J.; Loera-Gonzalez, P.

    In this work we summarize recent efforts made by the University of Sonora, with the goal of expanding the capability for remote operation of the Carl Sagan Solar and Stellar Observatories, as well as the first steps that have been taken in order to achieve autonomous robotic operation in the near future. The solar observatory was established in 2007 on the university campus by our late colleague A. Sánchez-Ibarra. It consists of four solar telescopes mounted on a single equatorial mount. On the other hand, the stellar observatory, which saw the first light on 16 February 2010, is located 21 km away from Hermosillo, Sonora at the site of the School of Agriculture of the University of Sonora. Both observatories can now be remotely controlled, and to some extent are able to operate autonomously. In this paper we discuss how this has been accomplished in terms of the use of software as well as the instruments under control. We also briefly discuss the main scientific and educational objectives, the future plans to improve the control software and to construct an autonomous observatory on a mountain site, as well as the opportunities for collaborations.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    1994-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howard, W. E.

    1993-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brashear, R.

    2004-12-01

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

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

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Hudec, René; Hudec, L.

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-08-01

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

  2. Biomethane observatory - March 2017

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lorgeril, Charlotte de; Samson, Thomas; Saint Jouan, Cedric de; Lausseure, Martine

    2017-03-01

    After an indication of inputs, transformation processes, and valorisation of biomethane, of production sectors for biomethane of first generation, and of the production of biomethane of second generation from solid biomass, this publication outlines the various aspects which result in a higher growth market: new valorisation opportunities, development in most of European countries, a major vector for energy transition. Then, it proposes graphs which illustrate the context and regulation evolution, the production evolution (number of production units, volume of biogas injected in the network in France and in Europe, production by sector). The next part addresses development perspectives in France: objectives and perspectives regarding biomethane injection, valorisation usages by 2050, origins of distributed gases, potential production by gasification and by using, micro-algae (third generation). The last part addresses the use of biomethane as fuel: map of gas stations in France in 2017, evolution of greenhouse emissions by vehicles depending on their engine, reduction of pollutant emissions by using natural gas and biomethane fuel

  3. GEOSCOPE Observatory Recent Developments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leroy, N.; Pardo, C.; Bonaime, S.; Stutzmann, E.; Maggi, A.

    2010-12-01

    The GEOSCOPE observatory consists of a global seismic network and a data center. The 31 GEOSCOPE stations are installed in 19 countries, across all continents and on islands throughout the oceans. They are equipped with three component very broadband seismometers (STS1 or STS2) and 24 or 26 bit digitizers, as required by the Federation of Seismic Digital Network (FDSN). In most stations, a pressure gauge and a thermometer are also installed. Currently, 23 stations send data in real or near real time to GEOSCOPE Data Center and tsunami warning centers. In 2009, two stations (SSB and PPTF) have been equipped with warpless base plates. Analysis of one year of data shows that the new installation decreases long period noise (20s to 1000s) by 10 db on horizontal components. SSB is now rated in the top ten long period stations for horizontal components according to the LDEO criteria. In 2010, Stations COYC, PEL and RER have been upgraded with Q330HR, Metrozet electronics and warpless base plates. They have been calibrated with the calibration table CT-EW1 and the software jSeisCal and Calex-EW. Aluminum jars are now installed instead of glass bells. A vacuum of 100 mbars is applied in the jars which improves thermal insulation of the seismometers and reduces moisture and long-term corrosion in the sensor. A new station RODM has just been installed in Rodrigues Island in Mauritius with standard Geoscope STS2 setup: STS2 seismometer on a granite base plate and covered by cooking pot and thermal insulation, it is connected to Q330HR digitizer, active lightning protection, Seiscomp PC and real-time internet connection. Continuous data of all stations are collected in real time or with a delay by the GEOSCOPE Data Center in Paris where they are validated, archived and made available to the international scientific community. Data are freely available to users by different interfaces according data types (see : http://geoscope.ipgp.fr) - Continuous data in real time coming

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mather, John C.

    2015-01-01

    also using light to find out whether we are alone in the universe. The Kepler observatory showed that thousands of stars blink a little when their orbiting planets pass between us and them, and other observatories use light to measure the wobble of stars as their planets pull on them. Eventually, we will find out whether planets like Earth have atmospheres like Earth's too - with water, carbon dioxide, oxygen, methane, and other gases that would be evidence of photosynthetic life. I think in a few decades we will have evidence that some planets do have life, and it will be done using light for remote chemical analysis. Also, astronomers at the SETI project are using light (long wavelength light we can pick up with radio telescopes) to look for signals from intelligent civilizations. That's a harder project because we don't know what to look for. But if we wanted to send signals all the way across the Milky Way, we could do it with laser beams, and if somebody over there knew what to look for, he or she could decode the message. On with the search! Dr. John C. Mather is a Senior Astrophysicist and is the Senior Project Scientist for the James Webb Space Telescope at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD. His research centers on infrared astronomy and cosmology. With the Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE) team, he showed that the cosmic microwave background radiation has a blackbody spectrum within 50 parts per million, confirming the expanding universe model (aka the Big Bang Theory) to extraordinary accuracy, and initiating the study of cosmology as a precision science. The COBE team also made the first map of the hot and cold spots in the background radiation. The COBE maps have been confirmed and improved by two succeeding space missions, the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP, built by GSFC with Princeton University), and the Planck mission built by ESA. Based on these maps, astronomers have now developed a "standard model" of cosmology and have

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rawson, Helen C.

    2015-01-01

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

  6. astroplan: Observation planning package for astronomers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morris, Brett M.; Tollerud, Erik; Sipocz, Brigitta; Deil, Christoph; Douglas, Stephanie T.; Berlanga Medina, Jazmin; Vyhmeister, Karl; Price-Whelan, Adrian M.; Jeschke, Eric

    2018-02-01

    astroplan is a flexible toolbox for observation planning and scheduling. It is powered by Astropy (ascl:1304.002); it works for Python beginners and new observers, and is powerful enough for observatories preparing nightly and long-term schedules as well. It calculates rise/set/meridian transit times, alt/az positions for targets at observatories anywhere on Earth, and offers built-in plotting convenience functions for standard observation planning plots (airmass, parallactic angle, sky maps). It can also determine the observability of sets of targets given an arbitrary set of constraints (i.e., altitude, airmass, moon separation/illumination, etc.).

  7. Astronomical Photometry Past, Present, and Future

    CERN Document Server

    Milone, Eugene F

    2011-01-01

    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...

  8. Statistical methods for astronomical data analysis

    CERN Document Server

    Chattopadhyay, Asis Kumar

    2014-01-01

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

  9. Isaac Newton and the astronomical refraction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lehn, Waldemar H

    2008-12-01

    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. EDUCATIONAL ASTRONOMICAL OBSERVATIONS ON REMOTE ACCESS TELESCOPES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ivan P. Kriachko

    2016-01-01

    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.

  11. Astronomía Mocoví

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

  12. Astronomical dating in the 19th century

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hilgen, Frederik J.

    2010-01-01

    Today astronomical tuning is widely accepted as numerical dating method after having revolutionised the age calibration of the geological archive and time scale over the last decades. However, its origin is not well known and tracing its roots is important especially from a science historic perspective. Astronomical tuning developed in consequence of the astronomical theory of the ice ages and was repeatedly used in the second half of the 19th century before the invention of radio-isotopic dating. Building upon earlier ideas of Joseph Adhémar, James Croll started to formulate his astronomical theory of the ice ages in 1864 according to which precession controlled ice ages occur alternatingly on both hemispheres at times of maximum eccentricity of the Earth's orbit. The publication of these ideas compelled Charles Lyell to revise his Principles of Geology and add Croll's theory, thus providing an alternative to his own geographical cause of the ice ages. Both Croll and Lyell initially tuned the last glacial epoch to the prominent eccentricity maximum 850,000 yr ago. This age was used as starting point by Lyell to calculate an age of 240 million years for the beginning of the Cambrium. But Croll soon revised the tuning to a much younger less prominent eccentricity maximum between 240,000 and 80,000 yr ago. In addition he tuned older glacial deposits of late Miocene and Eocene ages to eccentricity maxima around 800,000 and 2,800,000 yr ago. Archibald and James Geikie were the first to recognize interglacials during the last glacial epoch, as predicted by Croll's theory, and attempted to tune them to precession. Soon after Frank Taylor linked a series of 15 end-moraines left behind by the retreating ice sheet to precession to arrive at a possible age of 300,000 yr for the maximum glaciation. In a classic paper, Axel Blytt (1876) explained the scattered distribution of plant groups in Norway to precession induced alternating rainy and dry periods as recorded by the

  13. The data analysis facilities that astronomers want

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Disney, M.

    1985-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Odorico, S.

    2018-03-01

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

  15. Gemini Observatory Takes its Local Communities on an Expanding Journey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harvey, Janice; Michaud, Peter

    2012-08-01

    Currently in its 7th year (2011) Hawaii's annual Journey through the Universe (JttU) program is a flagship Gemini Observatory public education/outreach initiative involving a broad cross-section of the local Hawai'i Island astronomical community, the public, educators, businesses, local government officials, and thousands of local students. This paper describes the program, its history, planning, implementation, as well as the program's objectives and philosophy. The success of this program is documented here, as measured by continuous and expanding engagement of educators, the community, and the public, along with formal evaluation feedback and selected informal verbal testimony. The program's success also serves as justification for the planned adaptation of a version of the program in Chile in 2011 (adapted for Chilean educational and cultural differences). Finally, lessons learned are shared which have refined the program for Gemini's host communities but can also apply to any institution wishing to initiate a similar program.

  16. The Millimeter Wave Observatory antenna now at INAOE-Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luna, A.

    2017-07-01

    The antenna of 5 meters in diameter of the legendary "Millimeter Wave Observatory" is now installed in the INAOE-Mexico. This historic antenna was reinstalled and was equipped with a control system and basic primary focus receivers that enabled it in teaching activities. We work on the characterization of its surface and on the development of receivers and spectrometers to allow it to do research Solar and astronomical masers. The historical contributions of this antenna to science and technology in radio astronomy, serve as the guiding force and the inspiration of the students and technicians of our postgrade in Astrophysics. It is enough to remember that it was with this antenna, that the first molecular outflow was discovered, several lines of molecular emission were discovered and it was the first antenna whose surface was characterized by holography; among many other technological and scientific contributions.

  17. Astronomy Legacy Project - Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

    Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute (PARI) is a not-for-profit public foundation in North Carolina dedicated to providing hands-on educational and research opportunities for a broad cross-section of users in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines. In November 2007 a Workshop on a National Plan for Preserving Astronomical Photographic Data (2009ASPC,410,33O, Osborn, W. & Robbins, L) was held at PARI. The result was the establishment of the Astronomical Photographic Data Archive (APDA) at PARI. In late 2013 PARI began ALP (Astronomy Legacy Project). ALP's purpose is to digitize an extensive set of twentieth century photographic astronomical data housed in APDA. Because of the wide range of types of plates, plate dimensions and emulsions found among the 40+ collections, plate digitization will require a versatile set of scanners and digitizing instruments. Internet crowdfunding was used to assist in the purchase of additional digitization equipment that were described at AstroPlate2014 Plate Preservation Workshop (www.astroplate.cz) held in Prague, CZ, March, 2014. Equipment purchased included an Epson Expression 11000XL scanner and two Nikon D800E cameras. These digital instruments will compliment a STScI GAMMA scanner now located in APDA. GAMMA will be adapted to use an electroluminescence light source and a digital camera with a telecentric lens to achieve high-speed high-resolution scanning. The 1μm precision XY stage of GAMMA will allow very precise positioning of the plate stage. Multiple overlapping CCD images of small sections of each plate, tiles, will be combined using a photo-mosaic process similar to one used in Harvard's DASCH project. Implementation of a software pipeline for the creation of a SQL database containing plate images and metadata will be based upon APPLAUSE as described by Tuvikene at AstroPlate2014 (www.astroplate.cz/programs/).

  18. AstroWeb -- Internet Resources for Astronomers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson, R. E.; Adorf, H.-M.; Egret, D.; Heck, A.; Koekemoer, A.; Murtagh, F.; Wells, D. C.

    AstroWeb is a World Wide Web (WWW) interface to a collection of Internet accessible resources aimed at the astronomical community. The collection currently contains more than 1000 WWW, Gopher, Wide Area Information System (WAIS), Telnet, and Anonymous FTP resources, and it is still growing. AstroWeb provides the additional value-added services: categorization of each resource; descriptive paragraphs for some resources; searchable index of all resource information; 3 times daily search for ``dead'' or ``unreliable'' resources.

  19. The Astronomical Pulse of Global Extinction Events

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David F.V. Lewis

    2006-01-01

    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.

  20. Decadal GPS Time Series and Velocity Fields Spanning the North American Continent and Beyond: New Data Products, Cyberinfrastructure and Case Studies from the EarthScope Plate Boundary Observatory (PBO) and Other Regional Networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phillips, D. A.; Herring, T.; Melbourne, T. I.; Murray, M. H.; Szeliga, W. M.; Floyd, M.; Puskas, C. M.; King, R. W.; Boler, F. M.; Meertens, C. M.; Mattioli, G. S.

    2017-12-01

    The Geodesy Advancing Geosciences and EarthScope (GAGE) Facility, operated by UNAVCO, provides a diverse suite of geodetic data, derived products and cyberinfrastructure services to support community Earth science research and education. GPS data and products including decadal station position time series and velocities are provided for 2000+ continuous GPS stations from the Plate Boundary Observatory (PBO) and other networks distributed throughout the high Arctic, North America, and Caribbean regions. The position time series contain a multitude of signals in addition to the secular motions, including coseismic and postseismic displacements, interseismic strain accumulation, and transient signals associated with hydrologic and other processes. We present our latest velocity field solutions, new time series offset estimate products, and new time series examples associated with various phenomena. Position time series, and the signals they contain, are inherently dependent upon analysis parameters such as network scaling and reference frame realization. The estimation of scale changes for example, a common practice, has large impacts on vertical motion estimates. GAGE/PBO velocities and time series are currently provided in IGS (IGb08) and North America (NAM08, IGb08 rotated to a fixed North America Plate) reference frames. We are reprocessing all data (1996 to present) as part of the transition from IGb08 to IGS14 that began in 2017. New NAM14 and IGS14 data products are discussed. GAGE/PBO GPS data products are currently generated using onsite computing clusters. As part of an NSF funded EarthCube Building Blocks project called "Deploying MultiFacility Cyberinfrastructure in Commercial and Private Cloud-based Systems (GeoSciCloud)", we are investigating performance, cost, and efficiency differences between local computing resources and cloud based resources. Test environments include a commercial cloud provider (Amazon/AWS), NSF cloud-like infrastructures within

  1. Young Astronomers' Observe with ESO Telescopes

    Science.gov (United States)

    1995-11-01

    Today, forty 16-18 year old students and their teachers are concluding a one-week, educational `working visit' to the ESO Headquarters in Garching (See ESO Press Release 14/95 of 8 November 1995). They are the winners of the Europe-wide contest `Europe Towards the Stars', organised by ESO with the support of the European Union, under the auspices of the Third European Week for Scientific and Technological Culture. From November 14-20, they have worked with professional ESO astronomers in order to get insight into the methods and principles of modern astronomy and astrophysics, as carried out at one of the world's foremost international centres. This included very successful remote observations with the ESO 3.5-m New Technology Telescope (NTT) and the 1.4-m Coude Auxiliary Telescope (CAT) via a satellite link between the ESO Headquarters and the La Silla observatory in Chile, 12,000 kilometres away. After a general introduction to modern astronomy on the first day of the visit, the participants divided into six teams, according to their interests. Some chose to observe distant galaxies, others prefered to have a closer look on binary stars, and one team decided to investigate a star which is thought to be surrounded by a proto-planetary system. Each team was supported by an experienced ESO astronomer. Then followed the observations at the remote consoles during three nights, the first at the NTT and the following at the CAT. Each team had access to the telescope during half a night. Although the work schedule - exactly as in `real' science - was quite hard, especially during the following data reduction and interpretative phase, all teams managed extremely well and in high spirits. The young astronomers' observations were favoured by excellent atmospheric conditions. At the NTT, the seeing was better than 0.5 arcsecond during several hours, an exceptional value that allows very good images to be obtained. All observations represent solid and interesting science, and

  2. AESoP: Astronomical Extinction Spectrophotometer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linford, Justin; McGraw, J.; Zimmer, P.; Ackermann, M.; Fitch, J.

    2009-01-01

    The Earth's atmosphere is a major obstruction to the precision and accuracy of ground-based photometry. The atmosphere removes light from astronomical objects both by absorption and scattering by constituent molecules, aerosols and clouds. These effects can change significantly over short time periods and over modest angles on the sky. To further understand these effects, the UNM Measurement Astrophysics Group has designed, built and recently deployed the Astronomical Extinction Spectrophotometer (AESoP), a 100mm objective grating spectrometer. By monitoring bright stars in sensibly the same direction as a larger photometric telescope is observing, AESoP will measure the wavelength-dependent extinction due to the Earth's atmosphere from 450nm to 900nm on time scales of approximately one minute. The collocated Astronomical LIDAR for Extinction (ALE) provides a high-precision monochromatic extinction measurement at 527nm. Knowing the extinction at a single wavelength allows us to pin the relative spectra generated by AESoP. These extinction spectra can then be integrated over the bandpass of the photometric telescope system to create real time corrections of observations. We present the design and construction of AESoP along with the preliminary results of our first combined observing campaign. This effort is our first step toward breaking the 1% photometry barrier. This project is funded by AFRL Grant FA9451-04-2-0355

  3. GalileoMobile: Astronomical activities in schools

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

  4. Astrobiology: An astronomer's perspective

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bergin, Edwin A.

    2014-01-01

    In this review we explore aspects of the field of astrobiology from an astronomical viewpoint. We therefore focus on the origin of life in the context of planetary formation, with additional emphasis on tracing the most abundant volatile elements, C, H, O, and N that are used by life on Earth. We first explore the history of life on our planet and outline the current state of our knowledge regarding the delivery of the C, H, O, N elements to the Earth. We then discuss how astronomers track the gaseous and solid molecular carriers of these volatiles throughout the process of star and planet formation. It is now clear that the early stages of star formation fosters the creation of water and simple organic molecules with enrichments of heavy isotopes. These molecules are found as ice coatings on the solid materials that represent microscopic beginnings of terrestrial worlds. Based on the meteoritic and cometary record, the process of planet formation, and the local environment, lead to additional increases in organic complexity. The astronomical connections towards this stage are only now being directly made. Although the exact details are uncertain, it is likely that the birth process of star and planets likely leads to terrestrial worlds being born with abundant water and organics on the surface

  5. AWOB: A Collaborative Workbench for Astronomers

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-09-01

    We present the Astronomers Workbench (AWOB1), a web-based collaboration and publication platform for a scientific project of any size, developed in collaboration between the Max-Planck institutes of Astrophysics (MPA) and Extra-terrestrial Physics (MPE) and the Max-Planck Digital Library (MPDL). AWOB facilitates the collaboration between geographically distributed astronomers working on a common project throughout its whole scientific life cycle. AWOB does so by making it very easy for scientists to set up and manage a collaborative workspace for individual projects, where data can be uploaded and shared. It supports inviting project collaborators, provides wikis, automated mailing lists, calendars and event notification and has a built in chat facility. It allows the definition and tracking of tasks within projects and supports easy creation of e-publications for the dissemination of data and images and other resources that cannot be added to submitted papers. AWOB extends the project concept to larger scale consortia, within which it is possible to manage working groups and sub-projects. The existing AWOB instance has so far been limited to Max-Planck members and their collaborators, but will be opened to the whole astronomical community. AWOB is an open-source project and its source code is available upon request. We intend to extend AWOB's functionality also to other disciplines, and would greatly appreciate contributions from the community.

  6. Astrobiology: An astronomer's perspective

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2014-12-08

    In this review we explore aspects of the field of astrobiology from an astronomical viewpoint. We therefore focus on the origin of life in the context of planetary formation, with additional emphasis on tracing the most abundant volatile elements, C, H, O, and N that are used by life on Earth. We first explore the history of life on our planet and outline the current state of our knowledge regarding the delivery of the C, H, O, N elements to the Earth. We then discuss how astronomers track the gaseous and solid molecular carriers of these volatiles throughout the process of star and planet formation. It is now clear that the early stages of star formation fosters the creation of water and simple organic molecules with enrichments of heavy isotopes. These molecules are found as ice coatings on the solid materials that represent microscopic beginnings of terrestrial worlds. Based on the meteoritic and cometary record, the process of planet formation, and the local environment, lead to additional increases in organic complexity. The astronomical connections towards this stage are only now being directly made. Although the exact details are uncertain, it is likely that the birth process of star and planets likely leads to terrestrial worlds being born with abundant water and organics on the surface.

  7. AAS Publishing News: Astronomical Software Citation Workshop

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2015-07-01

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

  8. Recent Results from the Pierre Auger observatory

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kampert, Karl-Heinz

    2010-01-01

    The Pierre Auger observatory is a hybrid air shower experiment which uses multiple detection techniques to investigate the origin, spectrum, and composition of ultrahigh energy cosmic rays. We present recent results on these topics and discuss their implications to the understanding the origin of the most energetic particles in nature as well as for physics beyond the Standard Model, such as violation of Lorentz invariance and 'top-down' models of cosmic ray production. Future plans, including enhancements underway at the southern site in Argentina will be presented. (author)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Osterbrock, D. E.

    1998-09-01

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

  10. 2011 Astronomy Day at McDonald Observatory

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  11. TMT approach to observatory software development process

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buur, Hanne; Subramaniam, Annapurni; Gillies, Kim; Dumas, Christophe; Bhatia, Ravinder

    2016-07-01

    The purpose of the Observatory Software System (OSW) is to integrate all software and hardware components of the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) to enable observations and data capture; thus it is a complex software system that is defined by four principal software subsystems: Common Software (CSW), Executive Software (ESW), Data Management System (DMS) and Science Operations Support System (SOSS), all of which have interdependencies with the observatory control systems and data acquisition systems. Therefore, the software development process and plan must consider dependencies to other subsystems, manage architecture, interfaces and design, manage software scope and complexity, and standardize and optimize use of resources and tools. Additionally, the TMT Observatory Software will largely be developed in India through TMT's workshare relationship with the India TMT Coordination Centre (ITCC) and use of Indian software industry vendors, which adds complexity and challenges to the software development process, communication and coordination of activities and priorities as well as measuring performance and managing quality and risk. The software project management challenge for the TMT OSW is thus a multi-faceted technical, managerial, communications and interpersonal relations challenge. The approach TMT is using to manage this multifaceted challenge is a combination of establishing an effective geographically distributed software team (Integrated Product Team) with strong project management and technical leadership provided by the TMT Project Office (PO) and the ITCC partner to manage plans, process, performance, risk and quality, and to facilitate effective communications; establishing an effective cross-functional software management team composed of stakeholders, OSW leadership and ITCC leadership to manage dependencies and software release plans, technical complexities and change to approved interfaces, architecture, design and tool set, and to facilitate

  12. Astronomical observations from outside the terrestrial atsmosphere

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bonnet, R.M.

    1979-01-01

    Achievements by this Commission over the period 1976 to 1978 are reported, under the topics radioastronomy from space, infrared space astronomy, ultraviolet astronomy, high energy astronomy, and space solar astronomy. Details of the NASA high energy astronomy observatory (HEAO) program and the international ultraviolet explorer are presented. (C.F.)

  13. Amateur astronomers in support of observing campaigns

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yanamandra-Fisher, P.

    2014-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2000-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chapman, Allan

    2003-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-01

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

  17. Astronomers Take the Measure of Dark Matter in the universe

    Science.gov (United States)

    2001-09-01

    Using NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory, astronomers have obtained their most accurate determination to date of the amount of dark matter in galaxy clusters, the most massive objects in the universe. The results provide an important step towards a precise measurement of the total matter density of the universe. These results were presented today by Steven W. Allen of the Institute of Astronomy in Cambridge, UK at a press conference at the `Two Years of Science with Chandra' symposium in Washington, DC. Allen and his colleagues Robert W. Schmidt and Andrew C. Fabian at the Institute of Astronomy observed a carefully chosen sample of five of the largest clusters of galaxies known, whose distances range from 1.5 to 4 billion light years. The team made temperature maps of the hot multimillion-degree gas that fills the clusters. "The temperature maps can be used to determine the mass needed to prevent the hot gas from escaping the clusters" explained Allen. "We found that the stars in the galaxies and hot gas together contribute only about 13 percent of the mass. The rest must be in the form of dark matter." The nature of the dark matter is not known, but most astronomers think that it is in the form of an as yet unknown type of elementary particle that contributes to gravity through its mass but otherwise interacts weakly with normal matter. These dark matter particles are often called WIMPs, an acronym for `weakly interacting massive particles'. Clusters of galaxies are vast concentrations of galaxies, hot gas and dark matter spanning millions of light years, held together by gravity. Because of their size, clusters of galaxies are thought to provide a fair sample of the proportion of dark matter in the universe as a whole. "The implication of our results is that we live in a low-density universe" said Allen. "The total mass-density is only about thirty percent of that needed to stop the universe from expanding forever." The result reinforces recent findings from

  18. Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Deep Space Climate ObserVatoRy (DSCOVR) satellite is a NOAA operated asset at the first Lagrange (L1) point. The primary space weather instrument is the PlasMag...

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

    CERN Document Server

    Figueras, Francesca; Hernanz, Margarita; Jordi, Carme

    2007-01-01

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

  20. Seafloor Observatory Science: a Review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. Beranzoli

    2006-06-01

    Full Text Available The ocean exerts a pervasive influence on Earth’s environment. It is therefore important that we learn how this system operates (NRC, 1998b; 1999. For example, the ocean is an important regulator of climate change (e.g., IPCC, 1995. Understanding the link between natural and anthropogenic climate change and ocean circulation is essential for predicting the magnitude and impact of future changes in Earth’s climate. Understanding the ocean, and the complex physical, biological, chemical, and geological systems operating within it, should be an important goal for the opening decades of the 21st century. Another fundamental reason for increasing our understanding of ocean systems is that the global economy is highly dependent on the ocean (e.g., for tourism, fisheries, hydrocarbons, and mineral resources (Summerhayes, 1996. The establishment of a global network of seafloor observatories will help to provide the means to accomplish this goal. These observatories will have power and communication capabilities and will provide support for spatially distributed sensing systems and mobile platforms. Sensors and instruments will potentially collect data from above the air-sea interface to below the seafloor. Seafloor observatories will also be a powerful complement to satellite measurement systems by providing the ability to collect vertically distributed measurements within the water column for use with the spatial measurements acquired by satellites while also providing the capability to calibrate remotely sensed satellite measurements (NRC, 2000. Ocean observatory science has already had major successes. For example the TAO array has enabled the detection, understanding and prediction of El Niño events (e.g., Fujimoto et al., 2003. This paper is a world-wide review of the new emerging “Seafloor Observatory Science”, and describes both the scientific motivations for seafloor observatories and the technical solutions applied to their architecture. A

  1. Sustainable Geophysical Observatory Networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Willemann, R. J.; Lerner-Lam, A.; Aster, R.; Beck, S.; Ekstrom, G.; Nyblade, A.; Sandvol, E.

    2007-05-01

    Geophysical networks are defined not only by their technical specifications, but also by the characteristics and needs of the communities that use them. Growing populations supported by more elaborate urban infrastructure with its fine-grained socio-economic interdependencies and relying on global and regional connections for sustainability make new demands for natural hazard risk management. Taking advantage of advances in the underlying science to provide society with accurate risk assessments often requires higher fidelity measurements, entirely new types of observations, and an evolutionary sense of data products and information management. Engineering a high-tech system to address stakeholder needs is difficult, and designing for unpredictable developments requires an emphasis on adaptation. Thus, it is essential to promote formation of organizations or communities that can support evolution of a technological system, imagine new uses, and develop the societal relationships that sustain operations and provide capital for improvement. The owners must have a deep understanding of why the system works in particular ways and how to manage data products for the benefits of stakeholders. To be effective, community promotion must be sustained over a longer period of time than required to build a network and should be aimed at integrating the community into worldwide partnerships. Practices that can promote community formation if they are sustained include repeated training and scientific exchange workshops, extended visits by experts and staff at all levels to and from countries where networks are installed, mechanisms that make timely upgrades realistically possible, and routine exchange and wide dissemination of data in all directions. The combination of international research and educational collaborations, supported by open data exchange, with regionalized and specific assessments of local stakeholder needs and concerns, provides a sustainable model for

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-04-01

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

  3. Norwegian Ocean Observatory Network (NOON)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferré, Bénédicte; Mienert, Jürgen; Winther, Svein; Hageberg, Anne; Rune Godoe, Olav; Partners, Noon

    2010-05-01

    The Norwegian Ocean Observatory Network (NOON) is led by the University of Tromsø and collaborates with the Universities of Oslo and Bergen, UniResearch, Institute of Marine Research, Christian Michelsen Research and SINTEF. It is supported by the Research Council of Norway and oil and gas (O&G) industries like Statoil to develop science, technology and new educational programs. Main topics relate to ocean climate and environment as well as marine resources offshore Norway from the northern North Atlantic to the Arctic Ocean. NOON's vision is to bring Norway to the international forefront in using cable based ocean observatory technology for marine science and management, by establishing an infrastructure that enables real-time and long term monitoring of processes and interactions between hydrosphere, geosphere and biosphere. This activity is in concert with the EU funded European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) roadmap and European Multidisciplinary Seafloor Observation (EMSO) project to attract international leading research developments. NOON envisions developing towards a European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC). Beside, the research community in Norway already possesses a considerable marine infrastructure that can expand towards an international focus for real-time multidisciplinary observations in times of rapid climate change. PIC The presently established cable-based fjord observatory, followed by the establishment of a cable-based ocean observatory network towards the Arctic from an O&G installation, will provide invaluable knowledge and experience necessary to make a successful larger cable-based observatory network at the Norwegian and Arctic margin (figure 1). Access to large quantities of real-time observation from the deep sea, including high definition video, could be used to provide the public and future recruits to science a fascinating insight into an almost unexplored part of the Earth beyond the Arctic Circle

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tapio Markkanen

    2013-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corbin, B. G.

    2004-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steinmayr, Johann; Müller, Isolde; Posch, Thomas

    2011-08-01

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

  7. Citizen Observatories: A Standards Based Architecture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simonis, Ingo

    2015-04-01

    A number of large-scale research projects are currently under way exploring the various components of citizen observatories, e.g. CITI-SENSE (http://www.citi-sense.eu), Citclops (http://citclops.eu), COBWEB (http://cobwebproject.eu), OMNISCIENTIS (http://www.omniscientis.eu), and WeSenseIt (http://www.wesenseit.eu). Common to all projects is the motivation to develop a platform enabling effective participation by citizens in environmental projects, while considering important aspects such as security, privacy, long-term storage and availability, accessibility of raw and processed data and its proper integration into catalogues and international exchange and collaboration systems such as GEOSS or INSPIRE. This paper describes the software architecture implemented for setting up crowdsourcing campaigns using standardized components, interfaces, security features, and distribution capabilities. It illustrates the Citizen Observatory Toolkit, a software suite that allows defining crowdsourcing campaigns, to invite registered and unregistered participants to participate in crowdsourcing campaigns, and to analyze, process, and visualize raw and quality enhanced crowd sourcing data and derived products. The Citizen Observatory Toolkit is not a single software product. Instead, it is a framework of components that are built using internationally adopted standards wherever possible (e.g. OGC standards from Sensor Web Enablement, GeoPackage, and Web Mapping and Processing Services, as well as security and metadata/cataloguing standards), defines profiles of those standards where necessary (e.g. SWE O&M profile, SensorML profile), and implements design decisions based on the motivation to maximize interoperability and reusability of all components. The toolkit contains tools to set up, manage and maintain crowdsourcing campaigns, allows building on-demand apps optimized for the specific sampling focus, supports offline and online sampling modes using modern cell phones with

  8. Algorithms for classification of astronomical object spectra

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-09-01

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

  9. Penn State astronomical image processing system

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Truax, R.J.; Nousek, J.A.; Feigelson, E.D.; Lonsdale, C.J.

    1987-01-01

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

  10. An infrared upconverter for astronomical imaging

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boyd, R. W.; Townes, C. H.

    1977-01-01

    An imaging upconverter has been constructed which is suitable for use in the study of the thermal 10-micron radiation from astronomical sources. The infrared radiation is converted to visible radiation by mixing in a 1-cm-long proustite crystal. The phase-matched 2-kayser bandpass is tunable from 9 to 11 microns. The conversion efficiency is 2 by 10 to the -7th power and the field of view of 40 arc seconds on the sky contains several hundred picture elements, approximately diffraction-limited resolution in a large telescope. The instrument has been used in studies of the sun, moon, Mercury, and VY Canis Majoris.

  11. The astronomical revolution Copernicus, Kepler, Borelli

    CERN Document Server

    Koyre, Alexandre

    2013-01-01

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

  12. Astronomical Plate Archives and Binary Blazars Studies

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Hudec, René

    2011-01-01

    Roč. 32, 1-2 (2011), s. 91-95 ISSN 0250-6335. [Conference on Multiwavelength Variability of Blazars. Guangzhou, 22,09,2010-24,09,2010] R&D Projects: GA ČR GA205/08/1207 Grant - 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

  13. The Magnetic Observatory Buildings at the Royal Observatory, Cape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glass, I. S.

    2015-10-01

    During the 1830s there arose a strong international movement, promoted by Carl Friedrich Gauss and Alexander von Humboldt, to characterise the earth's magnetic field. By 1839 the Royal Society in London, driven by Edward Sabine, had organised a "Magnetic Crusade" - the establishment of a series of magnetic and meteorological observatories around the British Empire, including New Zealand, Australia, St Helena and the Cape. This article outlines the history of the latter installation, its buildings and what became of them.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2002-12-01

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

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

    CERN Document Server

    Pepin, M Barlow

    2005-01-01

    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 ...

  17. High Energy Astronomical Data Processing and Analysis via the Internet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valencic, Lynne A.; Snowden, S.; Pence, W.

    2012-01-01

    The HEASARC at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and the US XMM-Newton GOF has developed Hera, a data processing facility for analyzing high energy astronomical data over the internet. Hera provides all the disk space and computing resources needed to do general processing of and advanced research on publicly available data from High Energy Astrophysics missions. The data and data products are kept on a server at GSFC and can be downloaded to a user's local machine. Further, the XMM-GOF has developed scripts to streamline XMM data reduction. These are available through Hera, and can also be downloaded to a user's local machine. These are free services provided to students, educators, and researchers for educational and research purposes.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bretones, Paulo Sergio; Cardoso de Oliveira, Vladimir

    2002-08-01

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

  19. Harvey Butcher: a passion for astronomical instrumentation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhathal, Ragbir

    2014-11-01

    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.

  20. Astronomical Alignments in a Neolithic Chinese Site?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, S.; Stencel, R. E.

    1997-12-01

    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: www.du.edu/ rstencel/core2103.html.

  1. Large Astronomical Surveys, Catalogs and Databases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mickaelian A. M.

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available We review the status of all-sky and large astronomical surveys and their catalogued data over the whole range of electromagnetic spectrum, from gamma-ray to radio, such as ROSAT in X-ray, GALEX in UV, SDSS and several POSS1/2 based catalogs (APM, MAPS, USNO, GSC in optical, 2MASS and WISE in NIR, IRAS and AKARI in MIR/FIR, NVSS and FIRST in radio range and others. Present astronomical archives contain billions of objects, Galactic as well as extragalactic, and the vast amount of data in them permit new studies and discoveries. Cross-correlations result in revealing new objects and new samples. Very often, dozens of thousands of sources hide a few very interesting ones that are needed to be discovered by comparison of various physical characteristics. Most of the modern databases currently provide VO access to the stored information. This permits not only open access but also fast analysis and managing of these data.

  2. Sketching the moon an astronomical artist's guide

    CERN Document Server

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

    2012-01-01

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

  3. Mass sensitive observables of the Pierre Auger Observatory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Unger M.

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available In this article we will discuss measurements of the longitudinal development of air showers at the Pierre Auger Observatory. The longitudinal development of the electromagnetic component can be directly observed by the fluorescence telescopes of the Auger Observatory and we will present the results on the evolution of the average shower maximum and its fluctuations as a function of energy. Moreover, two observables from the surface detector, the asymmetry of the rise time of the station signals and the muon production depth, will be discussed and the measurements will be compared to predictions from air shower simulations for different primary particle types.

  4. Addressing chronic operational issues at the W. M. Keck Observatory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nordin, Tom; Matsuda, Richard

    2016-07-01

    The W. M. Keck Observatory (WMKO) has a good track record at addressing large critical faults which impact observing. Our performance tracking and correcting chronic minor faults has been mixed, yet this class of problems has a significant negative impact on scientific productivity and staff effectiveness. We have taken steps to address this shortcoming. This paper outlines the creation of a program to identify, categorize and rank these chronic operational issues, track them over time, and develop management options for their resolution. The success of the program at identifying these chronic operational issues and the advantages of dedicating observatory resources to this endeavor are presented.

  5. Boscovich and the Brera Observatory .

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antonello, E.

    In the mid 18th century both theoretical and practical astronomy were cultivated in Milan by Barnabites and Jesuits. In 1763 Boscovich was appointed to the chair of mathematics of the University of Pavia in the Duchy of Milan, and the following year he designed an observatory for the Jesuit Collegium of Brera in Milan. The Specola was built in 1765 and it became quickly one of the main european observatories. We discuss the relation between Boscovich and Brera in the framework of a short biography. An account is given of the initial research activity in the Specola, of the departure of Boscovich from Milan in 1773 and his coming back just before his death.

  6. New astronomical references in two Catalonian late medieval documents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martínez, María José; Marco, Francisco J

    2014-01-01

    In 2008, after 13 years of preparation, the Generalitat of Catalunya finished the publication of the 10 volumes of the Dietaris de la Generalitat de Catalunya. The Dietaris, as well as a closely related source, the llibre de Jornades 1411/1484 de Jaume Safont, cover the period of 1411 to 1539. In this article, we examine astronomical references contained in these two sources, and place them in their historical context. Our main focus lies on astronomical phenomena that have not previously been published in the astronomical literature. In fact, relatively few astronomical records are accessible in Spanish medieval and early modern history, and our paper intends to fill this gap partially.

  7. Compton Gamma-Ray Observatory

    Science.gov (United States)

    1991-01-01

    This photograph shows the Compton Gamma-Ray Observatory (GRO) being deployed by the Remote Manipulator System (RMS) arm aboard the Space Shuttle Atlantis during the STS-37 mission in April 1991. The GRO reentered Earth atmosphere and ended its successful mission in June 2000. For nearly 9 years, the GRO Burst and Transient Source Experiment (BATSE), designed and built by the Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC), kept an unblinking watch on the universe to alert scientists to the invisible, mysterious gamma-ray bursts that had puzzled them for decades. By studying gamma-rays from objects like black holes, pulsars, quasars, neutron stars, and other exotic objects, scientists could discover clues to the birth, evolution, and death of stars, galaxies, and the universe. The gamma-ray instrument was one of four major science instruments aboard the Compton. It consisted of eight detectors, or modules, located at each corner of the rectangular satellite to simultaneously scan the entire universe for bursts of gamma-rays ranging in duration from fractions of a second to minutes. In January 1999, the instrument, via the Internet, cued a computer-controlled telescope at Las Alamos National Laboratory in Los Alamos, New Mexico, within 20 seconds of registering a burst. With this capability, the gamma-ray experiment came to serve as a gamma-ray burst alert for the Hubble Space Telescope, the Chandra X-Ray Observatory, and major gound-based observatories around the world. Thirty-seven universities, observatories, and NASA centers in 19 states, and 11 more institutions in Europe and Russia, participated in the BATSE science program.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Teresa

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-09-01

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

  10. Governance of a regional observatory - Technical Guidebook nr. 6

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bardinal, Marc; Blais, Thomas; Phillips, Celine; Girault, Maurice; Guedon, Matthieu; Kampetenga, Ghislaine; Mora, Lucie; Riey, Benedicte; Mairet, Nicolas; Falque-Masset, Marie-Laure

    2011-06-01

    Whereas survey is one of the key for action for local actors in the field of energy management and of struggle against climate change, setting up a regional observatory is a way to get an insight on energy consumptions and productions within a territory, and to follow-up its greenhouse gas emissions. Moreover, the Grenelle de l'Environnement imposed on communities, and firstly regions, new obligations for the follow-up and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions with the elaboration of Regional Climate Air Energy Schemes (SRCAE). This guide therefore aims at proposing a framework of objectives and missions for such a regional observatory of energy and emissions, and at illustrating the variety of possible models through a synthesis of regional arrangements. Thus, it presents and discusses general principles regarding the definition of objectives and missions of an observatory (objectives, functions, scope), the setting up and organisation of an observatory with its funding documents, and mobilised financial means and tools. It also presents what can be produced and published by these observatories

  11. Exploring the cosmic rays energy frontier with the Auger Observatory

    CERN Document Server

    CERN. Geneva

    2006-01-01

    The existence of cosmic rays with energies in excess of 1020 eV represents a longstanding scientific mystery. Unveileing the mechanism and source of production/acceleration of particles of such enormous energies is a challenging experimental task due to their minute flux, roughly one km2 century. The Pierre Auger Observatory, now nearing completion in Malargue, Mendoza Province, Argentina, is spread over an area of 3000 km2. Two techniques are employed to observe the cosmic ray showers: detection of the shower particles on the ground and detection of fluorescence light produced as the shower particles pass through the atmosphere. I will describe the status of the Observatory and its detectors, and early results from the data recorded while the observatory is reaching its completion.Organiser(s): L. Alvarez-Gaume / PH-THNote: * Tea & coffee will be served at 16:00.

  12. [Activities of Harvard College Observatory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dalgarno, A.; Smith, Peter L.; Stark, G.; Yoshino, K.

    2002-01-01

    With support from this grant, we have: 1) Developed techniques for improving wavelengths and f-values for singly and doubly charged ions of the iron group and have improved the accuracy of Fe III wavelengths by an order of magnitude. New Fe II f-values have also resulted from this work. 2) Measured line oscillator strengths and photoabsorption cross sections for UV molecular spectral feature that have been, or could be, used for searches for and detection of molecules in diffuse and translucent interstellar clouds and for determination of molecular column densities there. In addition, we have determined other molecular parameters -- line assignments, wavelengths, and line widths -- that are essential for theoretical descriptions of the abundance, fractionation, and excitation of interstellar molecules and for comparison of predictions with observations. 3) Measured A-values for spin-changing and other weak lines in low-Z ions. When A-values are available, these spectral features are useful for astrophysical plasma density and temperature diagnostics. Such lines are also used in interstellar abundance determinations in cases where the stronger allowed lines are saturated in astronomical spectra. 4) Taken an activist approach to ensuring that, (i), astronomers have ready access to our data, and, (ii), avenues of communication between data users and producers are strengthened.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martin Topinka

    2013-01-01

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

  14. Application of Compressive Sensing to Gravitational Microlensing Data and Implications for Miniaturized Space Observatories

    Science.gov (United States)

    Korde-Patel, Asmita (Inventor); Barry, Richard K.; Mohsenin, Tinoosh

    2016-01-01

    Compressive Sensing is a technique for simultaneous acquisition and compression of data that is sparse or can be made sparse in some domain. It is currently under intense development and has been profitably employed for industrial and medical applications. We here describe the use of this technique for the processing of astronomical data. We outline the procedure as applied to exoplanet gravitational microlensing and analyze measurement results and uncertainty values. We describe implications for on-spacecraft data processing for space observatories. Our findings suggest that application of these techniques may yield significant, enabling benefits especially for power and volume-limited space applications such as miniaturized or micro-constellation satellites.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bely, Pierre Y.; Breckinridge, James B.

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Jolyon

    2011-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoeppe, Götz

    2014-04-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2017-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1991-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-06-01

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

  1. "HUBBLE, the astronomer, the telescope, the results"

    CERN Multimedia

    CERN. Geneva

    2011-01-01

    The fundamental discoveries made by Edwin Hubble in the first quarter of the last century will be presented. The space telescope bearing his name will be introduced, as well as the strategy put in place by NASA and the European Space Agency for its operation and its maintenance on-orbit. The personal experience of the speaker having participated in two of five servicing mission will be exposed and illustrated by pictures taken on-orbit. Finally, the main results obtained by the orbital observatory will be presented, in particular the ones related to the large scale structure of the Universe and its early history

  2. Simon Newcomb: America's Unofficial Astronomer Royal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graham, John

    2007-10-01

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

  3. Shirakatsi Astronomical and Natural Philosophical Views

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mkrtchyan, Lilit

    2016-12-01

    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.

  4. From Casual Stargazer to Amateur Astronomer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eagle, Dave

    The word amateur stems from the French word Amour, meaning "Lover Of". And there is a whole army of amateur astronomers around the world who just love doing astronomy. They don't get paid for the privilege of experiencing the sky in all its glory, but by making detailed observations they do make a very important contribution towards the Science. These observations are especially useful when organized as a collective effort. Citizen science has really taken off in the last few years and the GAIA project will soon be producing so much data, that the professionals just will not have enough manpower to tackle all the data. They will rely on amateurs sitting on their computers at home. But it is under a dark sky that astronomy really comes alive. The fact that you have picked up this book, must mean that you are interested in taking the hobby a step forward.

  5. Dacic Ancient Astronomical Research in Sarmizegetuza

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emanuel George Oprea

    2015-11-01

    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.

  6. The Infrared Astronomical Satellite (IRAS) mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neugebauer, G.; Habing, H. J.; Van Duinen, R.; Aumann, H. H.; Beichman, C. A.; Baud, B.; Beintema, D. A.; Boggess, N.; Clegg, P. E.; De Jong, T.

    1984-01-01

    The Infrared Astronomical Satellite (IRAS) consists of a spacecraft and a liquid helium cryostat that contains a cooled IR telescope. The telescope's focal plane assembly is cooled to less than 3 K, and contains 62 IR detectors in the survey array which are arranged so that every source crossing the field of view can be seen by at least two detectors in each of four wavelength bands. The satellite was launched into a 900 km-altitude near-polar orbit, and its cryogenic helium supply was exhausted on November 22, 1983. By mission's end, 72 percent of the sky had been observed with three or more hours-confirming scans, and 95 percent with two or more hours-confirming scans. About 2000 stars detected at 12 and 25 microns early in the mission, and identified in the SAO (1966) catalog, have a positional uncertainty ellipse whose axes are 45 x 9 arcsec for an hours-confirmed source.

  7. Astronomical knowledge transmission through illustrated Aratea manuscripts

    CERN Document Server

    Dolan, Marion

    2017-01-01

    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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, G.; Mayo, L. A.

    2001-12-01

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

  9. Effectiveness of Amateur Astronomers as Informal Science Educators

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibbs, Michael G.; Berendsen, Margaret

    2007-01-01

    The Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP) conducted a national survey of in-service teachers participating in Project ASTRO. The survey results document (1) the value that teachers place on supplemental astronomy education provided by professional and amateur astronomers, and (2) the difference that teachers perceive in the value provided by…

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ki-Won Lee

    2008-06-01

    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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2003-07-01

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

  13. Women Astronomers at Gemini: A Success Story

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodgers, Bernadette; Jorgensen, I.; Barker, N.; Edwards, M.; Trancho, G.

    2010-01-01

    Gemini Observatory has been very successful at attracting, hiring and retaining female Scientists. We present data on the growth of the scientific staff since the start of the Observatory, and science fellow recruiting from 2006-2008. At Gemini 31% of the Science Staff holding PhDs are female compared with 13.9% within the United States. The Science Management is 75% female, as is 50% of the Gemini Directorate. This critical mass of female representation within the science staff and management appears to have had a positive effect on female recruitment and hiring. The science fellow recruitment during the past 3 years has attracted 21-38% female applicants and 57% of new hires during this period have been female scientists. Perhaps even more significant, the retention rate of female science staff at Gemini is 88%, compared to 64% for male science staff. There are likely many factors that contribute to this success, but the conclusion is that Gemini has earned a reputation in the scientific community as a place where female scientists are valued and can be successful.

  14. Science Ready Data Products and the ngVLA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kern, Jeffrey

    2018-01-01

    With angular resolution comparable to ALMA and future ELTs, the ngVLA will be the centimeter wavelength instrument contributing to multi-wavelength astronomy throughout the next decades. To maximize the impact of the ngVLA it is important that it be a facility available to all astronomers, not only to those who consider themselves radio astronomers. Building on the successes of the ALMA and VLA pipelines NRAO has undertaken a multi-year project to provide science ready products to the users of our telescopes and archive. The SRDP initiative addresses one of the technical risk areas of the ngVLA, and demonstrates the Observatories ability to deliver this critical functionality. The SRDP project is currently refining and reviewing the technical and scientific requirements for the existing NRAO telescopes. Capabilities will be made available to the community as they are developed and mature. As the project progresses, a rich archive of science quality radio images from both ALMA and the VLA will be provided to the astronomical community. The current status, concepts, and plans for the SRDP project are presented, as are the implications for the ngVLA facility.

  15. The high energy astronomy observatories

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neighbors, A. K.; Doolittle, R. F.; Halpers, R. E.

    1977-01-01

    The forthcoming NASA project of orbiting High Energy Astronomy Observatories (HEAO's) designed to probe the universe by tracing celestial radiations and particles is outlined. Solutions to engineering problems concerning HEAO's which are integrated, yet built to function independently are discussed, including the onboard digital processor, mirror assembly and the thermal shield. The principle of maximal efficiency with minimal cost and the potential capability of the project to provide explanations to black holes, pulsars and gamma-ray bursts are also stressed. The first satellite is scheduled for launch in April 1977.

  16. The ultimate air shower observatory

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jones, L.W.

    1981-01-01

    The possibility of constructing an international air shower observatory in the Himalayas is explored. A site at about 6500 m elevation (450 g/cm 2 ) would provide more definitive measurements of composition and early interaction properties of primaries above 10 16 eV than can be achieved with existing arrays. By supplementing a surface array with a Fly's Eye and muon detectors, information on the highest energy cosmic rays may be gained which is not possible in any other way. Potential sites, technical aspects, and logistical problems are explored

  17. BART: The Czech Autonomous Observatory

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Nekola, Martin; Hudec, René; Jelínek, M.; Kubánek, P.; Štrobl, Jan; Polášek, Cyril

    2010-01-01

    Roč. 2010, Spec. Is. (2010), 103986/1-103986/5 ISSN 1687-7969. [Workshop on Robotic Autonomous Observatories. Málaga, 18.05.2009-21.05.2009] R&D Projects: GA ČR GA205/08/1207 Grant - others:ESA(XE) ESA-PECS project No. 98023; Spanish Ministry of Education and Science(ES) AP2003-1407 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z10030501 Keywords : robotic telescope * BART * gamma ray bursts Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics http://www.hindawi.com/journals/aa/2010/103986.html

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  19. Daily variation characteristics at polar geomagnetic observatories

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lepidi, S.; Cafarella, L.; Pietrolungo, M.; Di Mauro, D.

    2011-08-01

    This paper is based on the statistical analysis of the diurnal variation as observed at six polar geomagnetic observatories, three in the Northern and three in the Southern hemisphere. Data are for 2006, a year of low geomagnetic activity. We compared the Italian observatory Mario Zucchelli Station (TNB; corrected geomagnetic latitude: 80.0°S), the French-Italian observatory Dome C (DMC; 88.9°S), the French observatory Dumont D'Urville (DRV; 80.4°S) and the three Canadian observatories, Resolute Bay (RES; 83.0°N), Cambridge Bay (CBB; 77.0°N) and Alert (ALE, 87.2°N). The aim of this work was to highlight analogies and differences in daily variation as observed at the different observatories during low geomagnetic activity year, also considering Interplanetary Magnetic Field conditions and geomagnetic indices.

  20. Undergraduate Research and Education at MIT Haystack Observatory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pratap, P.; Salah, J.

    2000-05-01

    The MIT Haystack Observatory Undergraduate Research Initiative is an NSF- funded program aimed at involving undergraduate students in active radio astronomical research. The project has two major thrusts - students get hands-on experience using a small radio telescope that has been developed at Haystack and which will be provided as a low cost kit early next year. Beta versions of this telescope are being built for a select group of institutions. The second component is a research experience with the Haystack 37-m telescope. Use of the 37-m telescope has ranged from classroom demonstrations to original research projects. The Small Radio Telescope (SRT) project consists of a 2m dish with a 1420 MHz receiver. The antenna has a two axis mount that provides full sky coverage. The telescope is intended to provide students and faculty with an introduction to radio astronomy and instrument calibration. Observations of the sun and the galactic HI line are possible with the current version of this telescope. The 37-m telescope program is aimed at providing students with a research experience that can result in publishable results. The telescope has also been used in providing students with an introduction to the scope of radio astronomical data including continuum and spectral line observations. Classroom demonstrations have also been tested with non-science majors. Extensive supporting materials for the project have been developed on the world wide web. These include a radio astronomy tutorial, hardware and software information about both telescopes and project descriptions. We also provide curriculum suggestions to aid faculty incorporate radio astronomy into their courses.

  1. Distributed Computing for the Pierre Auger Observatory

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chudoba, J.

    2015-01-01

    Pierre Auger Observatory operates the largest system of detectors for ultra-high energy cosmic ray measurements. Comparison of theoretical models of interactions with recorded data requires thousands of computing cores for Monte Carlo simulations. Since 2007 distributed resources connected via EGI grid are successfully used. The first and the second versions of production system based on bash scripts and MySQL database were able to submit jobs to all reliable sites supporting Virtual Organization auger. For many years VO auger belongs to top ten of EGI users based on the total used computing time. Migration of the production system to DIRAC interware started in 2014. Pilot jobs improve efficiency of computing jobs and eliminate problems with small and less reliable sites used for the bulk production. The new system has also possibility to use available resources in clouds. Dirac File Catalog replaced LFC for new files, which are organized in datasets defined via metadata. CVMFS is used for software distribution since 2014. In the presentation we give a comparison of the old and the new production system and report the experience on migrating to the new system. (paper)

  2. Distributed Computing for the Pierre Auger Observatory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chudoba, J.

    2015-12-01

    Pierre Auger Observatory operates the largest system of detectors for ultra-high energy cosmic ray measurements. Comparison of theoretical models of interactions with recorded data requires thousands of computing cores for Monte Carlo simulations. Since 2007 distributed resources connected via EGI grid are successfully used. The first and the second versions of production system based on bash scripts and MySQL database were able to submit jobs to all reliable sites supporting Virtual Organization auger. For many years VO auger belongs to top ten of EGI users based on the total used computing time. Migration of the production system to DIRAC interware started in 2014. Pilot jobs improve efficiency of computing jobs and eliminate problems with small and less reliable sites used for the bulk production. The new system has also possibility to use available resources in clouds. Dirac File Catalog replaced LFC for new files, which are organized in datasets defined via metadata. CVMFS is used for software distribution since 2014. In the presentation we give a comparison of the old and the new production system and report the experience on migrating to the new system.

  3. EMSO: European multidisciplinary seafloor observatory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Favali, Paolo; Beranzoli, Laura

    2009-04-01

    EMSO has been identified by the ESFRI Report 2006 as one of the Research Infrastructures that European members and associated states are asked to develop in the next decades. It will be based on a European-scale network of multidisciplinary seafloor observatories from the Arctic to the Black Sea with the aim of long-term real-time monitoring of processes related to geosphere/biosphere/hydrosphere interactions. EMSO will enhance our understanding of processes, providing long time series data for the different phenomenon scales which constitute the new frontier for study of Earth interior, deep-sea biology and chemistry, and ocean processes. The development of an underwater network is based on past EU projects and is supported by several EU initiatives, such as the on-going ESONET-NoE, aimed at strengthening the ocean observatories' scientific and technological community. The EMSO development relies on the synergy between the scientific community and industry to improve European competitiveness with respect to countries such as USA, Canada and Japan. Within the FP7 Programme launched in 2006, a call for Preparatory Phase (PP) was issued in order to support the foundation of the legal and organisational entity in charge of building up and managing the infrastructure, and coordinating the financial effort among the countries. The EMSO-PP project, coordinated by the Italian INGV with participation by 11 institutions from as many European countries, started in April 2008 and will last four years.

  4. The Contentious Role of a National Observatory

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCray, W. Patrick

    2003-10-01

    For 50 years, astronomers have debated, Should large optical telescopes be under the auspices of national centers, or should access to them be controlled by a ``benevolent dictatorship of the elite?''

  5. Geomagnetic Observatory Data for Real-Time Applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Love, J. J.; Finn, C. A.; Rigler, E. J.; Kelbert, A.; Bedrosian, P.

    2015-12-01

    The global network of magnetic observatories represents a unique collective asset for the scientific community. Historically, magnetic observatories have supported global magnetic-field mapping projects and fundamental research of the Earth's interior and surrounding space environment. More recently, real-time data streams from magnetic observatories have become an important contributor to multi-sensor, operational monitoring of evolving space weather conditions, especially during magnetic storms. In this context, the U.S. Geological Survey (1) provides real-time observatory data to allied space weather monitoring projects, including those of NOAA, the U.S. Air Force, NASA, several international agencies, and private industry, (2) collaborates with Schlumberger to provide real-time geomagnetic data needed for directional drilling for oil and gas in Alaska, (3) develops products for real-time evaluation of hazards for the electric-power grid industry that are associated with the storm-time induction of geoelectric fields in the Earth's conducting lithosphere. In order to implement strategic priorities established by the USGS Natural Hazards Mission Area and the National Science and Technology Council, and with a focus on developing new real-time products, the USGS is (1) leveraging data management protocols already developed by the USGS Earthquake Program, (2) developing algorithms for mapping geomagnetic activity, a collaboration with NASA and NOAA, (3) supporting magnetotelluric surveys and developing Earth conductivity models, a collaboration with Oregon State University and the NSF's EarthScope Program, (4) studying the use of geomagnetic activity maps and Earth conductivity models for real-time estimation of geoelectric fields, (5) initiating geoelectric monitoring at several observatories, (6) validating real-time estimation algorithms against historical geomagnetic and geoelectric data. The success of these long-term projects is subject to funding constraints

  6. Astronomical Content in Rongorongo Tablet Keiti

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wieczorek, Rafal

    2011-01-01

    Th e fi eld of rongorongo research: the study of Easter Island’s native script is in a peculiar state at the moment. While relative progress has been made in structural and statistical analysis in the last decades, at the level of both single glyphs as well as entire texts, little to no advanceme...... has been achieved in the actual decipherment. To shed new light on rongorongo research, a hypothesis regarding the contents of tablet Keiti, one of the 25 obtained artifacts, is proposed. Th e content, as well as the meaning, of all but one of these 25 rongorongo texts is still unknown....... In this publication, an interpretation for the recto side of tablet Keiti is presented. It is argued that the tablet contains astronomical observations or instructions regarding the Rapa Nui lunar calendar, and is similar in content to the only other rongorongo text whose function has been partially ascertained......: tablet Mamari. If the calendrical contents of this artifact were confi rmed, this would be a major boost to our understanding of Oceania’s only native script....

  7. Book Review: Scientific Writing for Young Astronomers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uyttenhove, Jos

    2011-12-01

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

  8. Conceptualizing Astronomical Distances for Urban Populations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Popinchalk, Mark; Olson, Kristen; Ingber, Jenny; O'Brien, Mariel

    2017-01-01

    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.

  9. Electronic Publishing and The American Astronomical Society

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milkey, R. W.

    1999-12-01

    Electronic Publishing has created, and will continue to create, new opportunities and challenges for representing scientific work in new media and formats. The AAS will position itself to take advantage of these, both for newly created works and for improved representation of works already published. It is the view of the AAS that we hold the works that we publish in trust for our community and are obligated to protect the integrity of these works and to assure that they continue to be available to the research community. Assignment of copyright to the AAS by the author plays a central role in the preservation of the integrity and accessability of the literature published by the American Astronomical Society. In return for such assignment the AAS allows the author to freely use the work for his/her own purpose and to control the grant of permission to third parties to use such materials. The AAS retains the right to republish the work in whatever format or medium, and to retain the rights after the author's death. Specific advantages to this approach include: Assurance of the continued availability of the materials to the research and educational communities; A guarantee of the intellectual integrity of the materials in the archive; Stimulation of the development of new means of presentation or of access to the archival literature; and Provision of a uniformity of treatment for copyright issues and to relieve the individual authors of much of the administrative work.

  10. Is astronomical research appropriate for developing countries?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Snowden, Michael S.

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

  11. Software Products - Naval Oceanography Portal

    Science.gov (United States)

    are here: Home › USNO › Astronomical Applications › Software Products USNO Logo USNO Navigation Data Services Astronomical Information Center Almanacs and Other Publications Software Products For DoD Users Info Software Products MICA - Multiyear Interactive Computer Almanac MICA CDROM (thumb) MICA is an

  12. The Advanced X-ray Spectroscopy and Imaging Observatory (AXSIO)

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, Nicholas E.; Bookbinder, Jay; Petre, Robert; Smith, Randall; Ptak, Andrew; Tananbaum, Harvey; Garcia, Michael

    2012-01-01

    Following recommendations from the 2010 "New Worlds, New Horizons" (NWNH) report, the Advanced X-ray Spectroscopy and Imaging Observatory (AXSIO) concept streamlines the International X-ray Observatory (IXO) mission to concentrate on the science objectives that are enabled by high-resolution spectroscopic capabilities. AXSIO will trace orbits close to the event horizon of black holes, measure black hole spin for tens of supermassive black holes (SMBH), use spectroscopy to characterize outflows and the environment of AGN during their peak activity, observe 5MBH out to redshift z=6, map bulk motions and turbulence in galaxy clusters, find the missing baryons in the cosmic web using background quasars, and observe the process of cosmic feedback where black holes and supernovae inject energy on galactic and intergalactic scales. These measurements are enabled by a 0.9 sq m collecting area at 1.25 keV, a micro calorimeter array providing high-resolution spectroscopic imaging and a deployable high efficiency grating spectrometer. AXSIO delivers a 30-fold increase in effective area for high resolution spectroscopy. The key simplifications are guided by recommendations in the NWNH panel report include a reduction in focal length from 20m to 10m, eliminating the extendable optical bench, and a reduction in the instrument complement from six to two, avoiding a movable instrument platform. A focus on spectroscopic science allows the spatial resolution requirement to be relaxed to 10 arc sec (with a 5 arc sec goal). These simplifications decrease the total mission cost to under the $2B cost to NASA recommended by NWNH. AXSIO will be available to the entire astronomical community with observing allocations based on peer-review.

  13. Progressive Research and Outreach at the WestRock Observatory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Johnny Eugene; Lantz Caughey, Austin; O'Keeffe, Brendon; Johnson, Michael; Murphy Williams, Rosa Nina

    2016-01-01

    The WestRock Observatory (WRO), located in Columbus State University's Coca-Cola Space Science Center (CCSSC), is dedicated to education and research in astronomy through hands-on engagement and public participation. The WRO has recently received funding to upgrade the PlaneWave CDK 24-inch Corrected Dall-Kirkham Astrograph telescope. Recent additions to the telescope include an all-new Apogee Alta F16 CCD camera complete with a filter wheel (with narrowband and broadband filters) and a Minor Planet Center Observatory Code (W22). These new upgrades have allowed Astrophysics students to conduct unique research ranging from high precision minor planet astrometry, to broad- and narrow-band imaging of nebulae, to light curve analysis for variable star photometry. These new endeavours, in conjunction with an existing suite of Solar telescopes, gives the WRO the ability to live-stream solar and night-time observing. These streams are available both online and through interactive displays at the CCSSC making the WRO an educational outreach program for a worldwide public audience and a growing astronomical community.Current funding is allowing students to get even more research experience than previously attainable further enabling the expansion of our publicly available gallery of nebula and galaxy images. Support and funding for the acquirement,installation, and upgrading of the new PlaneWave CDK24 has been provided by the International Museum and Library Services via the Museums for America Award Additionally, individual NASA Space Grant Scholarships have helped to secure a number of student interns partially responsible for recent improvements.

  14. The Rapid Ice Sheet Change Observatory (RISCO)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morin, P.; Howat, I. M.; Ahn, Y.; Porter, C.; McFadden, E. M.

    2010-12-01

    The recent expansion of observational capacity from space has revealed dramatic, rapid changes in the Earth’s ice cover. These discoveries have fundamentally altered how scientists view ice-sheet change. Instead of just slow changes in snow accumulation and melting over centuries or millennia, important changes can occur in sudden events lasting only months, weeks, or even a single day. Our understanding of these short time- and space-scale processes, which hold important implications for future global sea level rise, has been impeded by the low temporal and spatial resolution, delayed sensor tasking, incomplete coverage, inaccessibility and/or high cost of data available to investigators. New cross-agency partnerships and data access policies provide the opportunity to dramatically improve the resolution of ice sheet observations by an order of magnitude, from timescales of months and distances of 10’s of meters, to days and meters or less. Advances in image processing technology also enable application of currently under-utilized datasets. The infrastructure for systematically gathering, processing, analyzing and distributing these data does not currently exist. Here we present the development of a multi-institutional, multi-platform observatory for rapid ice change with the ultimate objective of helping to elucidate the relevant timescales and processes of ice sheet dynamics and response to climate change. The Rapid Ice Sheet Observatory (RISCO) gathers observations of short time- and space-scale Cryosphere events and makes them easily accessible to investigators, media and general public. As opposed to existing data centers, which are structured to archive and distribute diverse types of raw data to end users with the specialized software and skills to analyze them, RISCO focuses on three types of geo-referenced raster (image) data products in a format immediately viewable with commonly available software. These three products are (1) sequences of images

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yanamandra-Fisher, P. A.

    2012-12-01

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

  16. TUM Critical Zone Observatory, Germany

    Science.gov (United States)

    Völkel, Jörg; Eden, Marie

    2014-05-01

    Founded 2011 the TUM Critical Zone Observatory run by the Technische Universität München and partners abroad is the first CZO within Germany. TUM CZO is both, a scientific as well as an education project. It is a watershed based observatory, but moving behind this focus. In fact, two mountainous areas are integrated: (1) The Ammer Catchment area as an alpine and pre alpine research area in the northern limestone Alps and forelands south of Munich; (2) the Otter Creek Catchment in the Bavarian Forest with a crystalline setting (Granite, Gneiss) as a mid mountainous area near Regensburg; and partly the mountainous Bavarian Forest National Park. The Ammer Catchment is a high energy system as well as a sensitive climate system with past glacial elements. The lithology shows mostly carbonates from Tertiary and Mesozoic times (e.g. Flysch). Source-to-sink processes are characteristic for the Ammer Catchment down to the last glacial Ammer Lake as the regional erosion and deposition base. The consideration of distal depositional environments, the integration of upstream and downstream landscape effects are characteristic for the Ammer Catchment as well. Long term datasets exist in many regards. The Otter Creek catchment area is developed in a granitic environment, rich in saprolites. As a mid mountainous catchment the energy system is facing lower stage. Hence, it is ideal comparing both of them. Both TUM CZO Catchments: The selected catchments capture the depositional environment. Both catchment areas include historical impacts and rapid land use change. Crosscutting themes across both sites are inbuilt. Questions of ability to capture such gradients along climosequence, chronosequence, anthroposequence are essential.

  17. Radio Astronomers Lift "Fog" on Milky Way's Dark Heart: Black Hole Fits Inside Earth's Orbit

    Science.gov (United States)

    2004-04-01

    Thirty years after astronomers discovered the mysterious object at the exact center of our Milky Way Galaxy, an international team of scientists has finally succeeded in directly measuring the size of that object, which surrounds a black hole nearly four million times more massive than the Sun. This is the closest telescopic approach to a black hole so far and puts a major frontier of astrophysics within reach of future observations. The scientists used the National Science Foundation's Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA) radio telescope to make the breakthrough. Milky Way Nucleus The Milky Way's nucleus, as seen with the VLA. Sagittarius A* is the bright white dot at center. CREDIT: NRAO/AUI/NSF, Jun-Hui Zhao, W.M. Goss (Click on Image for Larger Version) "This is a big step forward," said Geoffrey Bower, of the University of California-Berkeley. "This is something that people have wanted to do for 30 years," since the Galactic center object, called Sagittarius A* (pronounced "A-star"), was discovered in 1974. The astronomers reported their research in the April 1 edition of Science Express. "Now we have a size for the object, but the mystery about its exact nature still remains," Bower added. The next step, he explained, is to learn its shape, "so we can tell if it is jets, a thin disk, or a spherical cloud." The Milky Way's center, 26,000 light-years from Earth, is obscured by dust, so visible-light telescopes cannot study the object. While radio waves from the Galaxy's central region can penetrate the dust, they are scattered by turbulent charged plasma in the space along the line of sight to Earth. This scattering had frustrated earlier attempts to measure the size of the central object, just as fog blurs the glare of distant lighthouses. "After 30 years, radio telescopes finally have lifted the fog and we can see what is going on," said Heino Falcke, of the Westerbork Radio Observatory in the Netherlands, another member of the research team. The bright, radio

  18. Spectroscopy for amateur astronomers recording, processing, analysis and interpretation

    CERN Document Server

    Trypsteen , Marc F M

    2017-01-01

    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.

  19. Astronomical sketching a step-by-step introduction

    CERN Document Server

    Handy, Richard; Perez, Jeremy; Rix, Erika; Robbins, Sol

    2007-01-01

    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.

  20. Database retrieval systems for nuclear and astronomical data

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Suda, Takuma; Korennov, Sergei; Otuka, Naohiko; Yamada, Shimako; Katsuta, Yutaka; Ohnishi, Akira; Kato, Kiyoshi; Fujimoto, Masayuki Y.

    2006-01-01

    Data retrieval and plot systems of nuclear and astronomical data are constructed on a common platform. Web-based systems will soon be opened to the users of both fields of nuclear physics and astronomy. (author)