Sample records for public astronomical observatory

  1. Astronomical publications of Melbourne Observatory (United States)

    Andropoulos, Jenny Ioanna


    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.

  2. Twenty five years National Astronomical Observatory: Publications and dissertations (United States)

    Iliev, Ilian

    The idea to estimate the merits and to measure the impact of the National Astronomical Observatory of Bulgaria by creating the list with all publications and dissertations based fully or in part on the data collected during last 25 years with its telescopes is presented. The process of compiling the list is described. Its last version contains complete bibliographical data about more than 1000 publications with total volume of about 5500 journal pages. All of them are printed out in 1980--2005. The accumulated impact-factor exceeds 1000, the number of citations is expected to be between 3000 and 5000. The number of successful dissertations is close to 40, while the bachelor and master theses are near 100.

  3. Zelenchukskaya Radio Astronomical Observatory (United States)

    Smolentsev, Sergey; Dyakov, Andrei


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

  4. Svetloe Radio Astronomical Observatory (United States)

    Smolentsev, Sergey; Rahimov, Ismail


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

  5. Databases of publications and observations - as a part of the Crimean Astronomical Virtual Observatory

    CERN Document Server

    Shlyapnikov, A; Gorbunov, M


    The paper presents the basic principles of formation of a database (DB) with information about objects and their physical characteristics from observations carried out at the Crimean Astrophysical Observatory (CrAO) and published in "Izvestiya Krymskoi Astrofizicheskoi Observatorii" and other publications. The emphasis is placed on DBs that are not present in the most complete global library catalogs and data tables - VizieR (supported by the Strasbourg ADC). Separately, we consider the formation of a digital archive of observational data obtained at CrAO - as the interactive DB related to the DB of objects and publications. Examples of all the above DB as elements integrated into the Crimean Astronomical Virtual Observatory are presented in the paper. The operation with CrAO database is illustrated using tools of the International Virtual Observatory - Aladin, VOPlot, VOSpec jointly with VizieR DB and Simbad.

  6. The Maria Mitchell Observatory--For Astronomical Research and Public Enlightenment (United States)

    Hoffleit, Dorrit


    When the Maria Mitchell Observatory was erected in 1908 to house the 5-inch telescope that had been given Maria Mitchell in 1859, Mrs. Lydia Hinchman, niece of Maria and the principal co-founder of the Maria Mitchell Association, wanted the Observatory to specialize in research while not neglecting public relations entirely. She contacted Professor E. C. Pickering, Director of Harvard College Observatory, for advice. He recommended installing a photographic telescope and having the astronomer specialize in observations of variable asteroids, Eros in particular. Margaret Harwood, one of his assistants at Harvard, was chosen to head the Maria Mitchell Observatory, a post she held for 45 years. Besides lesser contributions, she published a catalogue of 74 asteroids known to have variable brightness. She discovered DF Cygni, an unusual type of variable star with multiple periods, and analyzed its variation on Harvard and Nantucket plates spanning over 50 years. Her final masterpiece was an analysis of 419 variable stars in the Scutum region of the Milky Way, the majority of the variables having been discovered by her High School assistant John Heath. The second Director, Dorrit Hoffleit, instituted a new project, Summer Research Participation on Variable Stars by College Undergraduates, especially women. This project was continued by her successor, Emilia Belserene. Nearly 200 college undergraduates participated in these programs. The fourth Director, Eileen Friel concentrated on both observational and theoretical researches on star clusters, her student contributing few papers on variable stars. The current Direcor, Vladimir Strelnitski, again enthusiasticlly specializes on modern problems of variable stars.

  7. Astronomical Research Using Virtual Observatories

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M Tanaka


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

  8. Knowing the people who come to public astronomical observatories: The case of Akita prefecture, Japan (United States)

    Kawamura, N.


    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.

  9. National Astronomical Observatory of Japan

    CERN Document Server

    Haubold, Hans J; UN/ESA/NASA Workshop on the International Heliophysical Year 2007 and Basic Space Science, hosted by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan


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

  10. Cultural heritage of astronomical observatories (United States)

    Wolfschmidt, Gudrun


    We present the results of the ICOMOS international symposium ``Cultural Heritage of Astronomical Observatories (around 1900) - From Classical Astronomy to Modern Astrophysics'' (Oct. 2008). The objective of the symposium was to discuss the relevance of modern observatories to the cultural heritage of humankind and to select partner observatories which, due to the date of their construction or to their architectural or scientific importance are comparable to Hamburg Observatory, as international cooperation partners for a serial trans-national application.

  11. Islamic Astronomical Instruments and Observatories (United States)

    Heidarzadeh, Tofigh

    This chapter is a brief survey of astronomical instruments being used and developed in Islamic territories from the eighth to the fifteenth centuries as well as a concise account of major observatories and observational programs in this period.

  12. Astronomical Limiting Magnitude at Langkawi Observatory (United States)

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


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

  13. Goddard Geophysical and Astronomical Observatory (United States)

    Figueroa, Ricardo


    This report summarizes the technical parameters and the technical staff of the VLBI system at the fundamental station GGAO. It also gives an overview about the VLBI activities during the report year. The Goddard Geophysical and Astronomical Observatory (GGAO) consists of a 5-meter radio telescope for VLBI, a new 12-meter radio telescope for VLBI2010 development, a 1-meter reference antenna for microwave holography development, an SLR site that includes MOBLAS-7, the NGSLR development system, and a 48" telescope for developmental two-color Satellite Laser Ranging, a GPS timing and development lab, a DORIS system, meteorological sensors, and a hydrogen maser. In addition, we are a fiducial IGS site with several IGS/IGSX receivers. GGAO is located on the east coast of the United States in Maryland. It is approximately 15 miles NNE of Washington, D.C. in Greenbelt, Maryland.

  14. Developing an astronomical observatory in Paraguay (United States)

    Troche-Boggino, Alexis E.

    Background: Paraguay has some heritage from the astronomy of the Guarani Indians. Buenaventura Suarez S.J. was a pioneer astronomer in the country in the XVIII century. He built various astronomical instruments and imported others from England. He observed eclipses of Jupiter's satellites and of the Sun and Moon. He published his data in a book and through letters. The Japanese O.D.A. has collaborated in obtaining equipment and advised their government to assist Paraguay in building an astronomical observatory, constructing a moving-roof observatory and training astronomers as observatory operators. Future: An astronomical center is on the horizon and some possible fields of research are being considered. Goal: To improve education at all possible levels by not only observing sky wonders, but also showing how instruments work and teaching about data and image processing, saving data and building a data base. Students must learn how a modern scientist works.

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

    CERN Document Server

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


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

  16. Astronomical Virtual Observatories Through International Collaboration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masatoshi Ohishi


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

  17. UNI Astronomical Observatory - OAUNI: First light

    CERN Document Server

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


    We show the actual status of the project to implement the Astronomical Observatory of the National University of Engineering (OAUNI), including its first light. The OAUNI was installed with success at the site of the Huancayo Observatory on the peruvian central Andes. At this time, we are finishing the commissioning phase which includes the testing of all the instruments: optical tube, robotic mount, CCD camera, filter wheel, remote access system, etc. The first light gathered from a stellar field was very promissory. The next step will be to start the scientific programs and to bring support to the undergraduate courses in observational astronomy at the Faculty of Sciences of UNI.

  18. Environmental effects on lunar astronomical observatories (United States)

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


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

  19. Die Gerling Sternwarte (Gerling Astronomical Observatory)

    CERN Document Server

    Schrimpf, Andreas


    Christian Ludwig Gerling's 1817 appointment as Professor for Mathematics, Physics and Astronomy resulted in the foundation of the Mathematical and Physical Institute of the Philipps University. In 1838, Gerling moved onto new premises in the main building of the former D\\"ornberger Hof in Renthof Street where the Philipps University's astronomical observatory was installed in the upper part of the old tower in 1841. The most important device at that time was a transit instrument which served to measure the transit times of stars in the meridian. Precise alignment required the use of a meridian stone, an artificial point of reference exactly north of and at about four kilometers' distance from the observatory. The scientists observed planets and their moons, the asteroids that were only discovered at the beginning of the 19th century, and some fainter stars in order to improve stellar charts. The Gerling Observatory is the first place in Hesse, where positions of asteroids were read.

  20. Multinational History of Strasbourg Astronomical Observatory

    CERN Document Server

    Heck, André


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

  1. Bonaparte and the astronomers of Brera Observatory

    CERN Document Server

    Antonello, E


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

  2. Research on schedulers for astronomical observatories (United States)

    Colome, Josep; Colomer, Pau; Guàrdia, Josep; Ribas, Ignasi; Campreciós, Jordi; Coiffard, Thierry; Gesa, Lluis; Martínez, Francesc; Rodler, Florian


    The main task of a scheduler applied to astronomical observatories is the time optimization of the facility and the maximization of the scientific return. Scheduling of astronomical observations is an example of the classical task allocation problem known as the job-shop problem (JSP), where N ideal tasks are assigned to M identical resources, while minimizing the total execution time. A problem of higher complexity, called the Flexible-JSP (FJSP), arises when the tasks can be executed by different resources, i.e. by different telescopes, and it focuses on determining a routing policy (i.e., which machine to assign for each operation) other than the traditional scheduling decisions (i.e., to determine the starting time of each operation). In most cases there is no single best approach to solve the planning system and, therefore, various mathematical algorithms (Genetic Algorithms, Ant Colony Optimization algorithms, Multi-Objective Evolutionary algorithms, etc.) are usually considered to adapt the application to the system configuration and task execution constraints. The scheduling time-cycle is also an important ingredient to determine the best approach. A shortterm scheduler, for instance, has to find a good solution with the minimum computation time, providing the system with the capability to adapt the selected task to varying execution constraints (i.e., environment conditions). We present in this contribution an analysis of the task allocation problem and the solutions currently in use at different astronomical facilities. We also describe the schedulers for three different projects (CTA, CARMENES and TJO) where the conclusions of this analysis are applied to develop a suitable routine.

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

    Szenkovits, Ferenc


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

  4. 150th Anniversary of the Astronomical Observatory Library of Sciences (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

  5. The astronomical observatory of the Land of Blue Skies

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kolenberg, K [Institute of Astronomy, University of Vienna, Tuerkenschanzstrasse 17, A-1080 Vienna (Austria); Batmunkh, D [Research Center of Astronomy and Geophyics of the Mongolian Academy of Sciences, Ulaanbaatar (Mongolia); Batsukh, G [Geophysics Department, National University of Mongolia, Ulaanbaatar (Mongolia); Tsolmon, R [Remote Sensing Institute, National University of Mongolia, Ulaanbaatar (Mongolia); Tuguldur, S [University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, US (United States)], E-mail:


    The Astronomical Observatory of Mongolia is presented. Besides a heritage steeped in rich culture and tradition, Mongolia offers endless steppes and blue skies of such intensity that they gave the country its name. This astronomically advantageous feature, the high level of education and motivation among its young inhabitants, plus the fact that there are few observatories in Central Asia, make Mongolia a very suitable place for astronomical observations.

  6. The astronomical observatory of the land of blue skies


    Kolenberg, Katrien; Batmunkh, D; Batsukh, G; Tsolmon, R.; Tuguldur, S


    The Astronomical Observatory of Mongolia is presented. Besides a heritage steeped in rich culture and tradition, Mongolia offers endless steppes and blue skies of such intensity that they gave the country its name. This astronomically advantageous feature, the high level of education and motivation among its young inhabitants, plus the fact that there are few observatories in Central Asia, make Mongolia a very suitable place for astronomical observations.

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

    CERN Document Server

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


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

  8. Real-time earthquake warning for astronomical observatories

    CERN Document Server

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


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

  9. Daytime School Guided Visits to an Astronomical Observatory in Brazil (United States)

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


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

  10. Astronomical Data Integration Beyond the Virtual Observatory (United States)

    Lemson, G.; Laurino, O.


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

  11. The Sensitization of French Observatory Directors to Astronomical Heritage (United States)

    Le Guet Tully, Françoise; Davoigneau, Jean


    An inventory of the heritage of historical astronomical observatories was launched in the mid 1990s as part of a collaboration between the Ministry of Research and the Ministry of Culture. This has produced a significant body of knowledge not only on astronomical instruments, but also on the specificities of astronomical sites and on the architecture of observatories. Other major results of this operation are (i) the development of numerous works on the institutional history of observatories and (ii), at the request of a few directors, the protection as "historical monuments" of some buildings and of collections of instruments. Given that knowledge about astronomical heritage is a prerequisite for proper conservation and intelligent outreach, and given also that the protection of such heritage (as historical monuments) is a major asset that bolsters its cultural value, the long term sustainability of such heritage depends on political decisions and the search for financial support. We shall describe the complex administrative situation of French observatories and outline the various actions undertaken recently to sensitize their directors to astronomical heritage issues.

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

    CERN Document Server

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


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

  13. ``Route of astronomical observatories'' project: Classical observatories from the Renaissance to the rise of astrophysics (United States)

    Wolfschmidt, Gudrun


    Observatories offer a good possibility for serial transnational applications. For example one can choose groups like baroque or neoclassical observatories, solar physics observatories or a group of observatories equipped with the same kind of instruments or made by famous firms. I will discuss what has been achieved and show examples, like the route of astronomical observatories, the transition from classical astronomy to modern astrophysics. I will also discuss why the implementation of the World Heritage & Astronomy initiative is difficult and why there are problems to nominate observatories for election in the national tentative lists.

  14. Managing Distributed Software Development in the Virtual Astronomical Observatory

    CERN Document Server

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


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

  15. Advantages of a Lunar Cryogenic Astronomical Observatory (United States)

    Burke, James; Kaltenegger, Lisa


    ESA and collaborating agencies are preparing to establish a Moon Village at a south polar site. Robotic precursor missions will include resource prospecting in permanently shadowed cold traps. The environment there is favorable for infrared and millimeter-wave astronomy. In this paper we examine the evolutionary development of a cryogenic observatory, beginning with small telescopes robotically installed and operated in conjunction with prospecting precursor missions, and continuing into later phases supported from the Moon Village. Relay communications into and out of the cold traps may be shared or else provided by dedicated links. Candidate locations can be selected with the help of data from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. The first telescope will be primarily a proof-of-concept demonstrator but it can have scientific and applications uses too, supplementing other space-based survey instruments observing astrophysical objects and potentially hazardous asteroids and comets. A south polar site sees only half or the sky but that half includes the galactic center and many other interesting targets. The telescopes can stare at any object for as long as desired, providing monitoring capabilities for transiting or radial velocity planet searches, like NASA's TESS mission. In addition such telescopes are opening the prospect of gathering spectroscopic data on exoplanet atmospheres and cool stars - from UV information to assess the activity of a star to VIS to IR spectral data of the atmosphere and even atmospheric biosignatures. Preliminary design of the first telescope might be funded under a NASA call for lunar science payload concepts. An important additional product can be educational and outreach uses of the observatory, especially for the benefit of people in the developing world who can do southern hemisphere follow-up observations.

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

    CERN Document Server

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


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

  17. The Organization and Management of the Virtual Astronomical Observatory (United States)

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


    The U.S. Virtual Astronomical Observatory (VAO; 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.

  18. Science Initiatives of the US Virtual Astronomical Observatory (United States)

    Hanisch, R. J.


    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.

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

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


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

  20. Data Sharing and Publishing Using the Virtual Astronomical Observatory (United States)

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


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

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


    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.

  2. IAU Public Astronomical Organisations Network (United States)

    Canas, Lina; Cheung, Sze Leung


    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.

  3. Historical Examples of Lobbying: The Case of Strasbourg Astronomical Observatories (United States)

    Heck, Andre


    Several astronomical observatories have been established in Strasbourg in very differing contexts. In the late 17th century, an observing post (scientifically sterile) was put on top of a tower, the Hospital Gate, essentially for the prestige of the city and the notoriety of the university. In the 19th century, the observatory built on the Académie hosting the French university was the first attempt to set up in the city a real observatory equipped with genuine instrumentation with the purpose of carrying out serious research, but the succession of political regimes in France and the continual bidding for moving the university to other locations, together with the faltering of later scholars, torpedoed any significant scientific usage of the place. After the 1870-1871 Franco-Prussian war, the German authorities set up a prestigious university campus with a whole range of institutes together with a modern observatory consisting of several buildings and hosting a flotilla of excellent instruments, including the then largest refractor of the country. This paper illustrates various types of lobbying used in the steps above while detailing, from archive documents largely unexploited so far, original research on the two first observatories.

  4. Astronomical Observing Conditions at Xinglong Observatory from 2007 to 2014 (United States)

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


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

  5. "Route of astronomical observatories'' project: classical observatories from the Renaissance to the rise of astrophysics (United States)

    Wolfschmidt, Gudrun


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

  6. Running a distributed virtual observatory: U.S. Virtual Astronomical Observatory operations (United States)

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


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

  7. Project of space research and technology center in Engelhardt astronomical observatory (United States)

    Nefedyev, Y.; Gusev, A.; Sherstukov, O.; Kascheev, R.; Zagretdinov, R.


    Today on the basis of Engelhardt astronomical observatory (EAO) is created Space research and technology center as consistent with Program for expansion of the Kazan University. The Centre has the following missions: • EDUCATION • SCIENCE • ASTRONOMICAL TOURISM

  8. Managing distributed software development in the Virtual Astronomical Observatory (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


    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.

  9. MSE observatory: a revised and optimized astronomical facility (United States)

    Bauman, Steven E.; Angers, Mathieu; Benedict, Tom; Crampton, David; Flagey, Nicolas; Gedig, Mike; Green, Greg; Liu, Andy; Lo, David; Loewen, Nathan; McConnachie, Alan; Murowinski, Rick; Racine, René; Salmon, Derrick; Stiemer, Siegfried; Szeto, Kei; Wu, Di


    The Canada-France-Hawaii-Telescope Corporation (CFHT) plans to repurpose its observatory on the summit of Maunakea and operate a (60 segment) 11.25m aperture wide field spectroscopic survey telescope, the Maunakea Spectroscopic Explorer (MSE). The prime focus telescope will be equipped with dedicated instrumentation to take advantage of one of the best sites in the northern hemisphere and offer its users the ability to perform large surveys. Central themes of the development plan are reusing and upgrading wherever possible. MSE will reuse the CFHT site and build upon the existing observatory infrastructure, using the same building and telescope pier as CFHT, while minimizing environmental impact on the summit. MSE will require structural support upgrades to the building to meet the latest building seismic code requirements and accommodate a new larger telescope and upgraded enclosure. It will be necessary to replace the current dome since a larger slit opening is needed for a larger telescope. MSE will use a thermal management system to remove heat generated by loads from the building, flush excess heat from lower levels, and maintain the observing environment temperature. This paper describes the design approach for redeveloping the CFHT facility for MSE. Once the project is completed the new facility will be almost indistinguishable on the outside from the current CFHT observatory. Past experience and lessons learned from CFHT staff and the astronomical community will be used to create a modern, optimized, and transformative scientific data collecting machine.

  10. Improved upper winds models for several astronomical observatories. (United States)

    Roberts, Lewis C; Bradford, L William


    An understanding of wind speed and direction as a function of height are critical to the proper modeling of atmospheric turbulence. We have used radiosonde data from launch sites near significant astronomical observatories and created averaged profiles of wind speed and direction and have also computed Richardson number profiles. Using data from the last 30 years, we confirm a 1977 Greenwood wind profile, and extend it to include parameters that show seasonal variations and differences in location. The added information from our models is useful for the design of adaptive optics systems and other imaging systems. Our analysis of the Richardson number suggests that persistent turbulent layers may be inferred when low values are present in our long term averaged data. Knowledge of the presence of these layers may help with planning for adaptive optics and laser communications.

  11. Characteristics of the Belgrade Astronomical Observatory's stellar spectrograph

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vince Ištvan I.


    Full Text Available In this paper the main features of the new SpectraPro-750 spectrograph of Belgrade Astronomical Observatory are described. The instrumental profile of the spectrograph for the 1200 l/mm grating is determined using a fiber optic bundle with fibers arranged in a pseudo-slit pattern. This instrumental profile is compared to the instrumental profiles obtained when the same fiber optic bundle illuminates the entrance slit with different widths. From appropriate instrumental profiles the practical spectral purities and the spectral resolutions for different entrance slit widths are obtained. The variation of the reciprocal linear dispersion with wavelength in the spectral range 350 - 600 nm is determined. A proposal for a link between telescope and the spectrograph is given.

  12. Observatories

    CERN Document Server

    Krisciunas, K


    I give a brief history of astronomical observatories as an institution. This includes: 1) observatories in Islam; 2) China and India; 3) early European observatories; 4) the rise of national observatories; 5) private (amateur) observatories; 6) mountaintop observatories and the modern era. Additional references, to material not cited in the version that will be published in the encyclopedia, are also given.

  13. Astronomical function and date of the Taosi observatory

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)


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

  14. Astronomical function and date of the Taosi observatory

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    WU JiaBi; CHEN MeiDong; LIU CiYuan


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

  15. Education and public engagement in observatory operations (United States)

    Gabor, Pavel; Mayo, Louis; Zaritsky, Dennis


    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.

  16. An astronomical data mining application framework for virtual observatory (United States)

    Liu, Chao; Wang, Dan; Liu, Bo; Gao, Dan; Cui, Chenzhou; Zhao, Yongheng


    A new application framework for virtual observatory (VO) is designed for discovering unknown knowledge from thousands of astronomical catalogs which have already released and are accessible through VO services. The framework consist of two new technologies to seamlessly associate data queried from SkyNode supported databases with data mining (DM) algorithms, which either come from third-party software or are developed directly above the framework. The first one is a high level programming language, called Job Description Language (JDL), for describing jobs for data accessing and numerical computation based on web services. The second technology is a computation component standard with both local and web service invocation interface, which is named as CompuCell. It is a universal solution for integrating arbitrary third-party DM software into the framework so as to invoke them directly in JDL program. We implement a prototype with a JDL supported portal and achieve clustering algorithm in CompuCell components. We combine a series of data mining procedures with a data access procedure by programming in JDL on the portal. A scientific research, which recognizes OB associations from 2MASS catalog, is treated as a demonstration for the prototype. It confirms the feasibility of the application framework.

  17. The Role of the Virtual Astronomical Observatory in the Era of Big Data (United States)

    Berriman, G. B.; Hanisch, R. J.; Lazio, T. J.


    The Virtual Observatory (VO) is realizing global electronic integration of astronomy data. The rapid growth in the size and complexity of data sets is transforming the computing landscape in astronomy. One of the long-term goals of the U.S. VO project, the Virtual Astronomical Observatory (VAO), is development of an information backbone that responds to this growth. Such a backbone will, when complete, provide innovative mechanisms for fast discovery of, and access to, massive data sets, and services that enable distributed storage, publication processing of large datasets. All these services will be built so that new projects can incorporate them as part of their data management and processing plans. Services under development to date include a general purpose indexing scheme for fast access to data sets, a cross-comparison engine that operate on catalogs of 1 billion records or more, and an interface for managing distributed data sets and connecting them to data discovery and analysis tools. The VAO advises projects on technology solutions for their data access and processing needs, and recently advised the Sagan Workshop on using cloud computing to support hands-on data analysis sessions for 150+ participants. Acknowledgements: The Virtual Astronomical Observatory (VAO) is managed by the VAO, LLC, a non-profit company established as a partnership of the Associated Universities, Inc. and the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc. The VAO is sponsored by the National Science Foundation and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

  18. How Astronomers View Education and Public Outreach

    CERN Document Server

    Dang, Lisa


    Over the past few years, there have been a few studies on the development of an interest in science and scientists' views on public outreach. Yet, to date, there has been no global study regarding astronomers' views on these matters. Through the completion of our survey by 155 professional astronomers online and in person during the 28th International Astronomical Union General Assembly in 2012, we explored their development of and an interest for astronomy and their views on time constraints and budget restriction regarding public outreach activities. We find that astronomers develop an interest in astronomy between the ages of 4-6 but that the decision to undertake a career in astronomy often comes during late adolescence. We also discuss the claim that education and public outreach is regarded an optional task rather than a scientist's duty. Our study revealed that many astronomers think there should be a larger percentage of their research that should be invested into outreach activities, calling for a ch...

  19. Supernova survey system in Beijing Astronomical Observatory (Ⅰ)——Facilities of survey

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    裘予雷; 李卫东; 赵昭旺; 乔琪源; 饶勇; 胡景耀; 李启斌


    The robotic supernova survey system of Beijing Astronomical Observatory (BAO) is based on the 60-cm telescope of BAO, which includes a CCD camera attached to the prime focus and a software system for facility control and image reduction.

  20. Lightcurves for 366 Vincentina, 592 Bathseba, and 1544 Yugoslavia from Belgrade Astronomical Observatory (United States)

    Benishek, Vladimir


    Lightcurves for the asteroids 366 Vincentina, 592 Bathseba, and 1554 Yugoslavia were obtained from 2012 May to October at the Belgrade Astronomical Observatory using differential aperture photometry. The results found for the synodic periods and amplitudes are reported.

  1. Preventing Rape of the Observatory: Thoughts on the Urgency of Preserving Historic Astronomical Artifacts (United States)

    Bell, T. E.


    "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.

  2. From Amateur Astronomer to Observatory Director: The Curious Case of R. T. A. Innes (United States)

    Orchiston, Wayne

    Robert Innes was one of a select band of amateur astronomers who made the transition to professional ranks towards the end of the nineteenth century. Initially he had a passion for mathematical astronomy, but after settling in Sydney he developed a taste for observational astronomy, specialising in the search for new double stars. He quickly became known for his success in this field and for his publications on solar system perturbations, and with John Tebbutt's patronage managed to secure a clerical position at the Royal Observatory, Cape of Good Hope. Once there he continued to observe in his spare time and to publish, and, with strong support from Sir David Gill, was appointed founding Director of the Transvaal Observatory. By the time he died in 1933, Innes had received an honorary D.Sc. from Leiden University, and had established an international reputation as a positional astronomer. This paper provides an interesting case study of a well-known `amateur-turned-professional', and an example of the ways in which patronage played a key role in nineteenth and early twentieth century Australian and South African astronomy.

  3. The Cornell Astronomical Society: The Student Experience of Running an Observatory (United States)

    Hammer, Michael; Blackburn, B.; Fredricks, J.; Garcia, K.; Poniatowski, A.; Schindler, K.; Wilk, A.


    The Cornell Astronomical Society is an undergraduate student-run organization that operates Cornell’s on-campus Fuertes Observatory with the help of members of the astronomy department and local amateur astronomy volunteers. While some of our members study physics or astronomy, the majority of our club members represent a diverse spectrum of majors both inside and outside of other STEM fields. Our primary activity as a club is to host weekly public stargazing nights that are attended annually by over two thousand people in a city of Ithaca that has a population of only one hundred thousand. We train our members to use a variety of telescopes and to open and close the observatory with the ultimate goal of having any one of us able to operate Fuertes individually. We also teach stargazing-related astronomy knowledge and host a weekly public lecture series, in which CAS members give talks on basic, but interesting topics in astronomy. Our club effort has made Fuertes Observatory a true part of the Cornell experience.

  4. Sunspot Numbers and Areas from the Madrid Astronomical Observatory (1876-1986)

    CERN Document Server

    Aparicio, A J P; Carrasco, V M S; Gallego, M C


    The solar program of the Astronomical Observatory of Madrid started in 1876. For ten solar cycles, observations were made in this institution to determine sunspot numbers and areas. The program was completed in 1986. The resulting data have been published in various Spanish scientific publications. The metadata allowed four periods of this program (with different observers and instruments) to be identified. In the present work, the published data were retrieved and digitized. Their subsequent analysis showed that most of these data can be considered reliable given their very high correlation with international reference indices (International Sunspot Number, Group Sunspot Number, and Sunspot Area). An abrupt change emerged in the spots/groups ratio in 1946 which lasted until 1972.

  5. Strategies for personnel sustainable lifecycle at astronomical observatories and local industry development (United States)

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


    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.

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

    CERN Document Server

    Hubbell, Gerald R; Billard, Linda M


    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 ...

  7. The Role in the Virtual Astronomical Observatory in the Era of Massive Data Sets (United States)

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


    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.

  8. Radioastronomy at the National Astronomical Observatory of Colombia (United States)

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


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

  9. The caracol tower at chichen itza: an ancient astronomical observatory? (United States)

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


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

  10. The BOOTES-5 telescope at San Pedro Martir National Astronomical Observatory, Mexico (United States)

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


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

  11. Using Virtual Astronomical Observatory Tools for Astronomy 101 (United States)

    Mighell, Kenneth J.; Garmany, K.; Larson, K.; Eastwood, K. D.


    The Virtual Observatory provides several tools that are useful for educators. With these tools, instructors can easily provide real data to students in an environment that engages student curiosity and builds student understanding. In this poster we demonstrate how the tools Aladin and TOPCAT can be used to enhance astronomy education. The Aladin Sky Atlas is a Virtual Observatory portal from the CDS that displays images, superimposes catalogs, and provides interactive access to data. For illustration, we show an exercise for non-science majors in a college-level astronomy course that introduces students to the HR diagram of star clusters. After launching the pre-loaded Aladin applet, students select their own stars, connecting visual cues of brightness and color to the conceptual meaning behind a quantitative HR diagram. TOPCAT can be linked with Aladin on the desktop to let students analyze their data, perform calculations, and create professional-quality graphs. The basic exercise can be easily expanded to address other learning objectives and provides a launching point for students to access, visualize, and explore multi-wavelength data as they continue in astronomy. As a second example, we show an exercise that uses TOPCAT to do three-dimensional plotting of the positions of open and globular cluster to illustrate galactic structure. Detailed information is available at the following website: . This research was done at the 2008 U.S. National Virtual Observatory Summer School which was held in Santa Fe, New Mexico on September 3 - 11, 2008 and was sponsored by the National Science Foundation.

  12. Twentieth-century astronomical heritage: the case of the Brazilian National Observatory (United States)

    Barboza, Christina Helena


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

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

  14. Automatic Rotational Sky Quality Meter (R-SQM) Design and Software for Astronomical Observatories (United States)

    Dogan, E.; Ozbaldan, E. E.; Shameoni, Niaei M.; Yesilyaprak, C.


    We have presented the new design of Sky Quality Meter (SQM) device that is an automatic rotational model of sky quality meter (R-SQM) carried out by DAG (Eastern Anatolia Observatory) Technical Team. R-SQM is required for determining the long-term changes of sky quality of an astronomical observatory and consists of four SQM devices mounted on a rotating shaft with different angles for scanning all sky. This system is controlled by a Raspberry Pi control card and a step motor with its driver and a special software.

  15. The Beijing Astronomical Observatory supernova survey (Ⅱ)——Results in 1996

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    李卫东; 裘予雷; 乔琪源; 胡景耀; 李启斌


    Six supernovae (SNe) discovered in 1996 by the Beijing Astronomical Observatory Supernova (SN) Survey (BAOSS) are reported. SN 1996W, the first supernova discovered by the survey, has been monitored photometrically and spectroscopically for a long time. The spectra and photometry showed that it was a typical type Ⅱ-P supernova. SN 1996cb, the sixth SN discovered in 1996 and a peculiar one like SN 1993J, has also been observed intensively for a long time.

  16. The astronomical observatory of the University of Havana. A project for its rehabilitation as a center for science popularisation (United States)

    de la Guardia Durán, Mónica


    The project aims to recover the Astronomical Observatory of the University of Havana (AOUH) for science outreach at the national level, in order to help increasing the interest in science primarily among children and youth.

  17. Property and instrumental heritage of the Bordeaux Astronomical Observatory; What future? (United States)

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


    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.

  18. Twentieth-century astronomical heritage: the case of the Brazilian National Observatory (United States)

    Barboza, Christina Helena


    This paper aims at contributing to the UNESCO-IAU Astronomy and World Heritage Initiative's discussions by presenting the case study of a 20th-century observatory located in a South American country. In fact, the National Observatory of Brazil was created in the beginning of the 19th century, but its present facilities were inaugurated in 1921. Through this paper a brief description of the heritage associated with the Brazilian observatory is given, focused on its main historical instruments and the scientific and social roles it performed along its history. By way of conclusion, the paper suggests that the creation of the Museum of Astronomy and Related Sciences with its multidisciplinary team of academic specialists and technicians was decisive for the preservation of that expressive astronomical heritage.

  19. A Bibliometric Analysis of Observatory Publications 2008-2012 (United States)

    Crabtree, D. R.


    Refereed publications are the primary output of modern observatories. I examine the productivity and impact of a significant number of observatories, as well as some other interesting aspects of observatory papers.

  20. Comparison of Superconducting and Spring Gravimeters at the Mizusawa VLBI Observatory of the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (United States)

    Miura, Satoshi; Ikeda, Hiroshi; Kim, Tae-Hee; Tamura, Yoshiaki


    Continuous microgravity monitoring is utilized to gain new insights into changes in the subsurface distribution of magma and/or fluid that commonly occur beneath active volcanoes. Rather new superconducting and spring gravimeters, iGrav#003 and gPhone#136 are collocated with a superconducting gravimeter, TT#70 at the Mizusawa VLBI Observatory of the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, since the end of September, 2016 in order to evaluate those performances before field deployment planned in 2017. Calibration of iGrav#003 was carried out by collocation with an absolute gravimeter FG5 of the Earthquake Research Institute, University of Tokyo (Okubo, 2016, personal comm.) at a Fundamental Gravity Station in Sendai in July, 2016. Based on the scale factors of iGrav#003 obtained by the calibration and of gPhone#136 provided by the manufacturer (Micro-g LaCoste, Inc.), tidal analyses are performed by means of BAYTAP-G (Tamura et al., 1991, GJI). Amplitudes and phases of each major tidal constituent mutually agree well within ±4 % and ±3 degrees, respectively. The instrumental drift rate of iGrav#003 is very low, about 5 micro-Gal/month, whereas that of gPhone#136 is very high, about 500 micro-Gal/month. The high drift rate of gPhone#136, however, is well approximated by a quadratic function at present and can be removed. The detrended time series of gPhone#136 shows good agreement with iGrav#003 time series in the overall feature: gravity fluctuations with amplitudes of about a few micro-Gal and with durations of a few days, which may be due to variations in the moisture content of the topmost unsaturated sedimentary layer and the water table height. It suggests that both instruments may capture volcanic signals associated with pressure changes in magma chambers, dike intrusion/withdrawing, and so on. iGrav#003 will be installed in the Zao volcanological observatory of Tohoku University located at about 3 km from the summit crater, and gPhone#136 will be

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

    CERN Document Server

    Economou, Frossie; Norris, Pat


    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 software engineering practices to IT operations. We then discuss the application of these practices to astronomical observatories.

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


    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.

  3. Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis integrated with GIS and remote sensing for astronomical observatory site selection in Antalya province, Turkey (United States)

    Koc-San, D.; San, B. T.; Bakis, V.; Helvaci, M.; Eker, Z.


    Astronomical observatory site selection is a complex problem that involves evaluation of multiple factors from different sources. The aim of this study is to select the best possible candidates for astronomical observations sites using Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis integrated with Geographical Information Systems and remote sensing technologies. The study was implemented in the Antalya province of Turkey, which is convenient for astronomical site observatory facilities with its appropriate climate properties and weather conditions. Eleven factors (cloud cover, precipitable water, earthquake zones, geology, landslide inventory, active fault lines, Digital Elevation Model, city lights, mining activities, settlement areas, roads) were determined, splitting into three categories; meteorological, geographical and anthropogenic criteria. These factors were evaluated using Analytical Hierarchy Process method and the weights of criteria layers were determined. As a result, the most suitable areas were located extensively in western and eastern part of Antalya. This study offers a robust, accurate, cost and time effective procedure for preliminary site selection for astronomical observatory. However, for a final decision of the best location of astronomical observatory, site testing measurements and atmospheric seeing observations will be further required in these preliminary areas.

  4. A small collection of sunspot drawings made in the Royal Astronomical Observatory of the Spanish Navy in 1884 (United States)

    Galaviz, P.; Vaquero, J. M.; Gallego, M. C.; Sánchez-Bajo, F.


    In this paper we analyze a small collection of sunspot drawings made at the Astronomical Observatory of the Spanish Navy in the period from April 1, 1884 to August 18, 1884. We calculate the area and the heliographic coordinates of the observed sunspots. From these coordinates, we obtain the solar rotation rate in this period. Finally, we compare our results with the data recorded by the Royal Greenwich Observatory.

  5. The Infrared Astronomical Characteristics of Roque de los Muchachos Observatory: precipitable water vapor statistics

    CERN Document Server

    Garcia-Lorenzo, B; Castro-Almazan, J; Pinilla-Alonso, N; Muñoz-Tuñon, C; Rodriguez-Espinosa, J M


    The atmospheric water vapor content above the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory (ORM) obtained from Global Positioning Systems (GPS) is presented. GPS measurements have been evaluated by comparison with 940nm-radiometer observations. Statistical analysis of GPS measurements points to ORM as an observing site with suitable conditions for infrared (IR) observations, with a median column of precipitable water vapor (PWV) of 3.8 mm. PWV presents a clear seasonal behavior, being Winter and Spring the best seasons for IR observations. The percentage of nighttime showing PWV values smaller than 3 mm is over 60% in February, March and April. We have also estimated the temporal variability of water vapor content at the ORM. A summary of PWV statistical results at different astronomical sites is presented, recalling that these values are not directly comparable as a result of the differences in the techniques used to recorded the data.

  6. New Variable Stars Discovered as By-product of the Beijing Astronomical Observatory Supernova Survey

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)


    The Beijing Astronomical Observatory (BAO) 0.6 m telescope has been used for nearby supernova survey in more than 3000 fields, covering a total area of 235 deg2. More than 260 000 CCD images have been collected since April 1996, with 45 supernovae discovered. We searched for variables in about 90 000 images taken during 1996-1998. For the fields in which long period variables (LPVs) were discovered, we reduced further images taken from 1999 to 2000, for the period estimation.Among the 280 000 stars selected from the survey fields, i.e., brighter than 18 mag,we discovered seven new LPVs and reconfirmed three known LPVs. Additionally,we found 146 variable star candidates, and reconfirmed about 20 previously known or suspected objects.

  7. Long-term synoptic observations of the Sun at the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (United States)

    Hanaoka, Yoichiro


    The National Astronomical Observatory of Japan started regular synoptic solar observations about 100 years ago. At the beginning, Ca K spectroheliograms and white-light photographs were taken, and various other types of observations have been added. These historical data have been digitized and are now open at our web site ( Currently we are operating high-resolution imaging observations in the Hα line, the green continuum, and the G-band. Besides various kinds of imaging observations, magnetic field measurements have been carried out for about 30 years. We recently started to conduct full-Sun spectropolarimetry observations in the lines of He 10830 Å/Si 10827 Å and Fe 15648 Å. These near infrared observations show the magnetic field evolutions in both the photosphere and the chromosphere. In this paper, we present our data, which are expected to contribute to studying the long-term change of the solar activity.

  8. Four criteria to find an optimal location in Colombia for a millimeter wave astronomical observatory (United States)

    Ramírez Suárez, O. L.; Martínez Mercado, A. M.; Restrepo Gaitán, O. A.; Chaparro Molano, G.


    To find an optimal location for a mm-wave astronomical observatory, all factors that directly or indirectly affect the water vapor column density should be considered. After estimating a weighted classification of these factors to obtain a range of acceptable values, places satisfying as many of these suitability conditions can be proposed as candidates. Here we analyze data from NASA and IDEAM to find places satisfying the best conditions to build a mm-wave astronomical observatory in Colombia, according to seven variables grouped into four classes. From NASA, we analyze the satellite data of: (i) relative humidity and (ii) cloud coverage/direct normal radiation, averaged monthly from 1983 to 2005. From IDEAM, we analyze data of relative humidity, sunshine, and (iii) precipitation/number of days with rain, averaged yearly over each month from 1981 to 2010. The data has been obtained in-situ by 2046 weather monitoring stations across Colombia, for which their (iv) altitude is known. For each quantity, we do a Principal Component Analysis, reducing the dimensionality of the yearly-averaged data to 2 components covering >90% of the variance. After this, we make a classification of the reduced-dimension data using a 4 cluster Gaussian Mixture Model (GMM), identifying similar geographic and climatological patterns. After selecting clusters of stations sharing optimal conditions (i.e. high altitude, low rain, etc.), we group and look for geographical clusters by applying a GMM on a Monte Carlo sampling of latitude, longitude, and altitude data in order to correct for biases. This method allows us to find regions of interest where further in-situ measurements of atmospheric absorption of mm-wave should be carried out in the future.

  9. The fading star of the Paris Observatory in the nineteenth century: astronomers' urban culture of circulation and observation (United States)

    Aubin, David

    Engulfing the Observatoire de Paris around 1860, the modernizing city clashed with the increasing precision required by astronomy. Suggestions to transfer the observatory to the suburbs gave rise to intense debates; these provide an enlightening standpoint for studying changes in observation and circulation regimes central to the mutations of both urban cultures and astronomical scientific practices. Moreover, these regime changes took place in a context of constant interaction between the city and the observatory. At practical levels, the changing experience of circulation and observation led to a parceling of the various tasks previously filled by the Paris Observatory and gave rise to an epistemology reminiscent of Latour's network theory.

  10. Search for Best Astronomical Observatory Sites in the MENA Region using Satellite Measurements (United States)

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


    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.

  11. Soil heat flux and day time surface energy balance closure at astronomical observatory, Thiruvananthapuram, south Kerala

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    M S Roxy; V B Sumithranand; G Renuka


    Soil heat flux is an important input component of surface energy balance. Estimates of soil heat flux were made in the year 2008 using soil temperature data at Astronomical Observatory, Thiruvananthapuram, south Kerala. Hourly values of soil heat flux from 00 to 24 LST are presented for selected days typical of the winter, pre-monsoon, SW monsoon and NE monsoon seasons. The diurnal variation is characterized by a cross-over from negative to positive values at 0700 h, occurrence of maximum around noon and return to negative values in the late evening. The energy storage term for the soil layer 0–0.05 m is calculated and the ground heat flux * is estimated in all seasons. Daytime surface energy balance at the surface on wet and dry seasons is investigated. The average Bowen’s ratio during the wet and dry seasons were 0.541 and 0.515, respectively indicating that considerable evaporation takes place at the surface. The separate energy balance components were examined and the mean surface energy balance closure was found to be 0.742 and 0.795 for wet and dry seasons, respectively. When a new method that accounts for both soil thermal conduction and soil thermal convection was adopted to calculate the surface heat flux, the energy balance closure was found to be improved. Thus on the land surface under study, the soil vertical water movement is significant.

  12. The South African Astronomical Observatory instrumentation software architecture and the SHOC instruments (United States)

    van Gend, Carel; Lombaard, Briehan; Sickafoose, Amanda; Whittal, Hamish


    Until recently, software for instruments on the smaller telescopes at the South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO) has not been designed for remote accessibility and frequently has not been developed using modern software best-practice. We describe a software architecture we have implemented for use with new and upgraded instruments at the SAAO. The architecture was designed to allow for multiple components and to be fast, reliable, remotely- operable, support different user interfaces, employ as much non-proprietary software as possible, and to take future-proofing into consideration. Individual component drivers exist as standalone processes, communicating over a network. A controller layer coordinates the various components, and allows a variety of user interfaces to be used. The Sutherland High-speed Optical Cameras (SHOC) instruments incorporate an Andor electron-multiplying CCD camera, a GPS unit for accurate timing and a pair of filter wheels. We have applied the new architecture to the SHOC instruments, with the camera driver developed using Andor's software development kit. We have used this to develop an innovative web-based user-interface to the instrument.

  13. Night sky at the Indian Astronomical Observatory during 2000-2008

    CERN Document Server

    Stalin, C S; Sahu, D K; Parihar, P S; Anupama, G C; Bhatt, B C; Prabhu, T P


    We present an analysis of the optical night sky brightness and extinction coefficient measurements in UBVRI at the Indian Astronomical Observatory (IAO), Hanle, during the period 2003-2008. They are obtained from an analysis of CCD images acquired at the 2 m Himalayan Chandra Telescope at IAO. Night sky brightness was estimated using 210 HFOSC images obtained on 47 nights and covering the declining phase of solar activity cycle-23. The zenith corrected values of the moonless night sky brightness in mag/square arcsecs are 22.14(U), 22.42(B), 21.28(V), 20.54(R) and 18.86(I) band. This shows that IAO is a dark site for optical observations. No clear dependency of sky brightness with solar activity is found. Extinction values at IAO are derived from an analysis of 1325 images over 58 nights. They are found to be 0.36 in U-band, 0.21 in B-band, 0.12 in V-band, 0.09 in R-band and 0.05 in I-band. On average, extinction during the summer months is slightly larger than that during the winter months. No clear evidence ...

  14. Education and Public Outreach at the American Astronomical Society (United States)

    Fienberg, R. T.


    Recently the Council of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) adopted its first-ever mission-and-vision statement. Independently, the Astronomy Education Board (AEB), which has oversight of the Society's educational activities, adopted new goals for the AAS education program. Much of the responsibility for aligning the AAS mission-and-vision statement and AEB goals and implementing them is vested in a new position: AAS Press Officer and Education and Outreach Coordinator. Here I describe the AAS's priorities for education and public outreach and explain how they are being, or will be, achieved.

  15. ESO takes the public on an astronomical journey "Around the World in 80 Telescopes" (United States)


    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 Anyone with a web browser supporting Adobe Flash will be able to follow the show, free of charge, from the website 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

  16. Observations of roAp stars at the Mt.Dushak-Erekdag station of Odessa Astronomical Observatory

    CERN Document Server

    Dorokhova, T N


    Since 1992, observations of roAp stars have been carried out using the dual-channel photometer attached to the 0.8m telescope, which is situated in Central Asia, at the Mt. Dushak-Erekdag station of Odessa Astronomical Observatory. Some results of observations of gamma Equ and of HD 134214 are presented. 5 stars were investigated as roAp candidates. The Fourier spectra of 4 stars did not show any variability in the high-frequency region. The Fourier spectrum of HD 99563 revealed a peak at a frequency f=128.9 c/d and with a semi-amplitude of 3.98 mmag.

  17. Status, upgrades, and advances of RTS2: the open source astronomical observatory manager (United States)

    Kubánek, Petr


    RTS2 is an open source observatory control system. Being developed from early 2000, it continue to receive new features in last two years. RTS2 is a modulat, network-based distributed control system, featuring telescope drivers with advanced tracking and pointing capabilities, fast camera drivers and high level modules for "business logic" of the observatory, connected to a SQL database. Running on all continents of the planet, it accumulated a lot to control parts or full observatory setups.

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

    CERN Document Server

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


    Although the astronomy community is witnessing an era of large telescopes, smaller and medium sized telescopes still maintain their utility being larger in numbers. In order to obtain better scientific outputs it is necessary to incorporate modern and advanced technologies to the back-end instruments and to their interfaces with the telescopes through various control processes. However often tight financial constraints on the smaller and medium size observatories limit the scope and utility of these systems. Most of the time for every new development on the telescope the back-end control systems are required to be built from scratch leading to high costs and efforts. Therefore a simple, low cost control system for small and medium size observatory needs to be developed to minimize the cost and efforts while going for the expansion of the observatory. Here we report on the development of a modern, multipurpose instrument control system UNICS (Unified Instrument Control System) to integrate the controls of vari...

  19. Developing an academia-based public health observatory: the new global public health observatory with emphasis on urban health at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. (United States)

    Castillo-Salgado, Carlos


    Health observatories may differ according to their mission, institutional setting, topical emphasis or geographic coverage. This paper discusses the development of a new urban-focused health observatory, and its operational research and training infrastructure under the academic umbrella of the Department of Epidemiology and the Institute of Urban Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (BSPH) in Baltimore, USA. Recognizing the higher education mission of the BSPH, the development of a new professional training in public health was an important first step for the development of this observatory. This new academia-based observatory is an innovative public health research and training platform offering faculty, investigators, professional epidemiology students and research partners a physical and methodological infrastructure for their operational research and training activities with both a local urban focus and a global reach. The concept of a public health observatory and its role in addressing social health inequalities in local urban settings is discussed.

  20. Software for autonomous astronomical observatories: challenges and opportunities in the age of big data (United States)

    Sybilski, Piotr W.; Pawłaszek, Rafał; Kozłowski, Stanisław K.; Konacki, Maciej; Ratajczak, Milena; Hełminiak, Krzysztof G.


    We present the software solution developed for a network of autonomous telescopes, deployed and tested in Solaris Project. The software aims to fulfil the contemporary needs of distributed autonomous observatories housing medium sized telescopes: ergonomics, availability, security and reusability. The datafication of such facilities seems inevitable and we give a preliminary study of the challenges and opportunities waiting for software developers. Project Solaris is a global network of four 0.5 m autonomous telescopes conducting a survey of eclipsing binaries in the Southern Hemisphere. The Project's goal is to detect and characterise circumbinary planets using the eclipse timing method. The observatories are located on three continents, and the headquarters coordinating and monitoring the network is in Poland. All four are operational as of December 2013.

  1. An innovative alt-alt telescope for small observatories and amateur astronomers (United States)

    Riva, M.; Basso, S.; Canestrari, R.; Conconi, P.; Fugazza, D.; Ghigo, M.; Landoni, M.; Pareschi, G.; Spanó, P.; Tomelleri, R.; Zerbi, F. M.


    This paper want to show an innovative amateur oriented telescope with an unconventional alt-alt conguration. The goal is to make a telescope with good optical quality reducing production costs by adopting a gimbal based mounting to develop an alt-alt conguration suitable for a telescope. Reduce costs while preserving the optical quality is a necessary condition to allow small groups of amateur astronomers, schools and cultural clubs, with reduced economic resources, to acquire an astronomical instrument that encourages learning and advancing astrophysical knowledge. This unconventional mechanism for the realization of a telescope alt-alt provides signicant advantages. The traditional rotary motors coupled with expensive precision bearings are replaced with two simple linear actuators coupled to a properly preloaded gimbal joint and the cell becomes the primary structure of the telescope. A second advantage would be secured by mechanical simplicity evident in the easy portability of the instrument. The frame alt-alt has some limitations on the horizon pointing but does not show the zenith blind spot of the alt-az mount. A dedicated alt-alt pointing and tracking model is under development to be compatible with commercial telescope softwares and with the proposed new mounting.

  2. George C. Comstock: Wisconsin Astronomer, Observatory Director, Graduate School Dean, and AAS Officer (United States)

    Osterbrock, D. E.


    George C. Comstock, the third director of Washburn Observatory, had a long and interesting career at Wisconsin. Born in Madison, he did his undergraduate work at Michigan under James Watson. From him Comstock learned the classical astronomy of stellar positions and celestial mechanics. He had one year of graduate work at Michigan before going to Madison as Watson's assistant in 1880, and remained after the latter's death as E.S. Holden's assistant. At Wisconsin, Comstock also studied law at the UW Law School in his ``spare time", to have an alternate career path. He was admitted to the bar in 1883 but never practiced. From 1885-7 he was on the Ohio State faculty with a summer working at Lick Observatory; then in 1887 became associate director back at Washburn Observatory. Two years later he succeeded to the full directorship, and kept the post until he retired in 1922 at the age of 67. All Comstock's research was in positional astronomy, and he considered his most important work to be the measurement of stellar aberration and atmospheric refraction. He also measured double stars with the 15-inch Washburn refractor. His main duty at UW was teaching, mostly ``practical astronomy" for civil engineering students. Comstock wrote several text books on astronomy, surveying, and least squares. He was the first head of the UW Graduate School, set up by President Charles R. Van Hise in 1904. Comstock was a highly effective administrator, and did much to build up research at UW. His own most successful students were Sidney D. Townley, Joel Stebbins, and Sebastian Albrecht. Because of his legal training, Comstock was involved as an officer in many scientific societies. He was one of the organizers of the AAS, its first secretary, and later its vice president, then president. He retired in 1922, and was succeeded by Stebbins, whom he helped to bring back to Madison from Illinois. After his retirement, Comstock lived in Beloit until his death in 1934.

  3. SyNAPS: System for Networking Astronomical Publication Services (United States)

    Payne, H. E.; Huizinga, J. E.; Hanisch, R. J.

    We are developing a Java/XML based distributed electronic preprint service. The goal is to create the tools and infrastructure necessary to allow (astronomical) institutes to create and maintain individual preprint collections while presenting end-users with an integrated preprint system and notification service.

  4. Partial Restoration of Public Education and Outreach at the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory (United States)

    Hesser, James E.


    Since first light on 6 May 1918, DAO's historic 1.8-m Plaskett Telescope has been open on varying schedules to the public for interactions with astronomers and stargazing. In June 2001 the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) opened the adjacent, purpose-built, Centre of the Universe (CU) building. It was staffed by professional informal educators offering year-round outreach that helped visitors, including thousands of students annually, appreciate exciting current research, as well as Canada's high standing in contemporary astronomy, development of complex instrumentation and the associated societal benefits. On 24 August 2013 the CU-based EPO program ceased operation. Upon announcement by NRC in June 2013 of the pending closure, swift public reaction—locally, nationally and internationally—led to widespread publicity, predominantly negative, as well as two petitions signed by several thousand people. A November meeting convened by BC Legislator Lana Popham, in whose electoral district the Observatory is located, brought community leaders together with NRC senior managers to discuss ways of making available the physical assets to restore EPO activities through community organizations, rather than Federal employees, a scenario senior NRC management endorsed. Subsequently a smaller community group chaired by Don Moffatt, a DAO interpreter in the 1990s, provided a forum for discussing paths to having some outreach activities in summer 2014. The resulting two successful activities were: a) Saturday night observing sessions run by the amateur astronomers of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Victoria Centre; and b) week-long space and astronomy camps for children of grades 3-8 run by the University of Victoria's Science Venture program. As will be described, both organizations delivered well-received programs, and are in conversation with NRC about possible continuation and evolution.

  5. Astronomical Images and Data Mining in the International Virtual Observatory Context (United States)

    Pasian, F.; Brescia, M.; Longo, G.


    In the past ten years, the concept of Virtual Observatory (VObs) has increasingly gained importance in the domain of astrophysics, as a way of seamlessly accessing data in different wavelength domains stored in digital archives. There are many reasons why the VObs is useful for the development of science: to monitor time variability of phenomena, to compare phenomena in different bands, to increase return for investment (by fostering data re-use for scientific, educational and outreach purposes), to perform statistical analysis and mining on large quantities of data. The International Virtual Observatory Alliance (IVOA) has paved the way for the VObs to become a really useful tool for the scientific community, by promoting standards, by defining data interoperability methods, by fostering the needed coordination among data providers. But the VObs is more than just archives and standards: it is also infrastructure, basic software tools, advanced applications, evolution of methods and techniques, cross-fertilization with other communities. Discovering information in wide-field images and mining large archives are key items towards the use of the VObs as a tool for developing science. Data mining, or knowledge discovery in databases, while being the main methodology to extract the scientific information contained in Massive Data Sets (MDS), needs to tackle crucial problems since it has to orchestrate complex challenges posed by transparent access to different computing environments, scalability of algorithms, reusability of resources. To achieve a leap forward for the progress of astrophysics in the data avalanche era, the community needs to implement an infrastructure capable of performing data access, processing and mining in a distributed but integrated context.

  6. Ukpik: testbed for a miniaturized robotic astronomical observatory on a high Arctic mountain (United States)

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


    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. The preparation of the measurements at the PDS at the Padova Observatory: Report on an experience with the development of an astronomical data base environment (United States)

    Benacchio, L.


    Some software facilities used mainly for information retrieval and analysis at the Padova-Asiago Observatory are discussed. These facilities help guest and resident astronomers to make easier the preparation of plate measurements. The problems connected with the creation, use and management of a data base in a scientific (astronomical) environment are reviewed on the basis of the experience gathered during the last three years. The development plan of the user session environment and its possible applications in a computer network are briefly sketched.

  8. Variability of soil moisture and its relationship with surface albedo and soil thermal diffusivity at Astronomical Observatory, Thiruvananthapuram, south Kerala

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    M S Roxy; V B Sumithranand; G Renuka


    Continuous observation data collected over the year 2008 at Astronomical Observatory, Thiruvananthapuram in south Kerala (76° 59′E longitude and 8° 30′N latitude) are used to study the diurnal, monthly and seasonal soil moisture variations. The effect of rainfall on diurnal and seasonal soil moisture is discussed. We have investigated relationships of soil moisture with surface albedo and soil thermal diffusivity. The diurnal variation of surface albedo appears as a U-shaped curve on sunny days. Surface albedo decreases with the increase of solar elevation angle, and it tends to be a constant when solar elevation angle is greater than 40°. So the daily average surface albedo was calculated using the data when solar elevation angle is greater than 40°. The results indicate that the mean daily surface albedo decreases with increases in soil moisture content, showing a typical exponential relation between the surface albedo and the soil moisture. Soil thermal diffusivity increases firstly and then decreases with the increase of soil moisture.

  9. High dispersion spectroscopy of Venus at 1.0 μm using WINERED at Koyama Astronomical Observatory (United States)

    Sagawa, Hideo; Hamano, Satoshi; Kawakita, Hideyo; Ikeda, Yuji; Otsubo, Shogo; Lee, Yeon Joo


    We obtained high dispersion near-infrared (NIR) spectra from the sunlit dayside hemisphere of Venus using a NIR high resolution spectrograph, WINERED, attached to the 1.3-m Araki telescope at Koyama Astronomical Observatory. The observation was carried out on 3 October 2015, and the cross-dispersed spectra cover the wavelength range of 0.9 - 1.1 μm with sperctral resolution of λ/Δλ ~50,000. Absorption lines of Venusian 12CO2 from the triad of (ν1, ν2, ν3) = (2,0,3), (1,2,3), and (0,4,3) bands are observed at 1.038, 1.051, and 1.065 μm, respectively. In addition, the hot band lines of (1,3,1) - (0,1,0) are also clearly seen in the measured spectra.Assuming the equivalent width of a CO2 line varies with respect to some power of the line intensity, we can derive the rotational temperature from the curve of growth. The derived rotational temperature from the 1.051 μm band is ~246 K, which agrees with early ground-based studies reported in 1970's. We present the detailed analysis of these high dispersion CO2 lines with the use of a radiative transfer model developed for the Venusian atmosphere.

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


    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

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

    Torres-Peimbert, S.; Allen, C.


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

  12. Positional observations of small solar system bodies with the SBG telescope at the Astronomical Observatory of the Ural Federal University (United States)

    Kaiser, G. T.; Wiebe, Yu. Z.


    The telescope SBG ( D = 0.42 m, F = 0.76 m) at the Kourovka Astronomical Observatory of the Ural Federal University has undergone an upgrade in 2005-2006. A CCD camera (Apogee Alta U32) and a new drive system were installed, and a new system for telescope and observation control was implemented. This upgrade required verifying the astrometric quality of the telescope. The data processing approaches tested when searching for the optimum CCD image processing technique combined TYCHO2 and UCAC2 catalogues with various reduction models and methods for choosing reference stars. Lorentzian and Moffat profiles were used in the measurement of pixel coordinates. It was demonstrated that the accuracy of SBG observations of main-belt asteroids with precisely determined orbits depends on their brightness and varies from 0.06" (11.5 m ) to 0.4" (18.5 m ). Regular SBG observations of comets and asteroids (mostly near-Earth and potentially hazardous ones) have been performed since 2007. Coordinates of 8515 positions of 720 asteroids and more than 1000 positions of 40 comets were obtained. The RMS deviations of observed coordinates from their calculated values are typically smaller than 1": the average deviations for asteroids are 0.33" (in right ascension) and 0.34" (in declination); the corresponding values for comets are 0.37" (in α) and 0.38" (in δ). The results of observations are sent to the Minor Planet Center and are used to determine orbits more accurately and solve other fundamental and applied problems.

  13. Swift publication statistics and the comparison with other major observatorie

    CERN Document Server

    Savaglio, S


    Swift is a satellite equipped with gamma-ray, X-ray, optical-UV instruments aiming at discovering, localizing and collecting data from gamma-ray bursts (GRBs). Launched end of 2004, this small-size mission finds about a hundred GRBs per year, for a total of more than 700 events as of 2012. In addition to GRBs, Swift observes other energetic events, such as AGNs, novae, and supernovae. Here we report on its success using bibliometric tools. These are the number of papers using Swift data and their impact (i.e., number of citations to those papers). We derived these for the publication years 2005 to 2011, and compared them with the same numbers for other major observatories. Swift provided data for a total of 1101 papers in the interval 2005-2011, with 24 in the first year, to 287 in the last year. In 2011, Swift more than doubled the number of publications of Subaru, it overcame Gemini by a large fraction, and reached Keck. It is getting closer to the ~400 publications of the successful high-energy missions XM...

  14. Education/Public Outreach from McDonald Observatory (United States)

    Hemenway, M. K.; Preston, S.


    The University of Texas at Austin McDonald Observatory has a long history of providing public outreach programs and materials. Each week, StarDate, the daily 2-minute astronomy radio program reaches 3.7 million people and Universo, the Spanish-language version, reaches 1.5 million people. Additionally, a German-language version, Sternzeit, is produced and airs throughout Germany. StarDate and Universo also offer a classroom component that is used by 750 teachers nationally, reaching over 750,000 students. The StarDate magazine has a circulation of 11,000. Over 130,000 visitors come to our remote site in west Texas each year. A new visitor's center, The Texas Astronomy Education Center, is currently under construction and due to open in late 2001. It will allow us to host up to a quarter-million visitors a year. A goal for the Center is to become the hub for K-12 astronomy programs for teachers and students in Texas and to offer programs that align with national standards; these programs will serve a national audience through our websites ( and and publications.

  15. Explanatory supplement to the astronomical almanac

    CERN Document Server

    Urban, Sean E


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

  16. Book review: "Astronomical almanac", 2016, vol. 62. Main Astronomical Observatory of National Academy of Science of Ukraine, Kiev. ISBN 978-966-02-7765-6,2015, 286 p. (United States)

    Vidmachenko, A. P.


    The first part of the almanac gives the 2016 calendar, description of calendar systems used by various peoples in the world, ephemerides for the Sun, the Moon, and planets, moments of rising and setting for the Sun and the Moon, planetary configurations, the visibility of planets and Jupiter's satellites on the sky, some data on variable stars, comets, occultations of stars by the Moon and asteroids, meteor showers, eclipses, and other celestial phenomena. The second part informs us on the current state of investigations in some fields of astronomy, and gives some memorable dates in history of astronomy and cosmonautics. The almanac may be used as a handbook by specialists in astronomy and related sciences, by school teachers, students, pupils, amateur astronomers etc.

  17. The Fabra-ROA Baker-Nunn Camera at Observatori Astron\\`omic del Montsec: a wide-field imaging facility for exoplanet transit detection

    CERN Document Server

    Fors, O; Muiños, J L; Montojo, F J; Baena, R; Merino, M; Morcillo, R; Blanco, V


    A number of Baker-Nunn Camera (BNC) were manufactured by Smithsonian Institution during the 60s as optical tracking systems for artificial satellites with optimal optical and mechanical specifications. One of them was installed at the Real Instituto y Observatorio de la Armada (ROA). We have conducted a profound refurbishment project of the telescope to be installed at Observatori Astron\\`omic del Montsec (OAdM). As a result, the BNC offers the largest combination of a huge FOV (4.4$\\deg$x4.4$\\deg$) and aperture (leading to a limiting magnitude of V$\\sim$20). These specifications, together with their remote and robotic natures, allows this instrument to face an observational program of exoplanets detection by means of transit technique with high signal-to-noise ratio in the appropiate magnitude range.

  18. The Results of Observations of Mutual Phenomena of the Galilean Satellites of Jupiter in 2009 and 2015 IN Nikolaev Astronomical Observatory (United States)

    Pomazan, A.; Maigurova, N.; Kryuchkovskiy, V.

    The Earth and Jupiter once in 6 years have simultaneous passage of the ecliptic plane due to their orbital movement around the Sun. This makes it possible to observe the mutual occultations and eclipses in the Galilean satellites of Jupiter. We took part in the observational campaigns of the mutual phenomena in 2009 and 2014-15. The observations were made with a B/W CCD camera WAT-902H at the telescope MCT (D = 0.115 m, F = 2.0 m) of the Nikolaev Astronomical Observatory. The light curves of mutual phenomena in the satellites of Jupiter were obtained as a result of processing photometric observations. The exact moments of maximum phases and the amplitudes of the light variation have been determined from the analysis of the light curves. The data sets for the light curves have been sent in the IMCCE (Institute de Mecanique et de calcul des ephemerides, France) that coordinates the PHEMU campaigns.

  19. Union catalogue of printed books of 15th, 16th and 17th centuries in European astronomical observatories. (United States)

    Grassi, G.

    This catalogue deals with the scientific subjects of that historical period such as astronomy, astrology, chemistry, mathematics, physics, historia naturalis and so forth, and contains extremely rare volumes such as the first printed editions of the eminent Arab, Latin, Greek and Persian scientists Albumasar, Albohazen Aly, Aristoteles, Ptolemaeus, Pliny the Elder and Ulugh Beig. In addition the catalogue contains the first works of such great astronomers of the 16th and 17th centuries as Copernicus, Kepler, Clavius, Regiomontanus, Sacrobosco, Mercator, Newton, Gassendi, Galilei and Hevelius, just to quote the most representative ones. The catalogue is followed by a chronological index and an index of printers and publishers.

  20. Education and public outreach at the Carl Sagan Solar Observatory of the University of Sonora


    Julio Saucedo-Morales; Pablo Loera-González


    We discuss the importance of small solar observatories for EPO (Education and Public Outreach), mentioning why they are relevant and what kind of equipment and software require. We stress the fact that technological advances have made them affordable and that they should be widely available. This work is a result of our experience with one: The Carl Sagan Solar Observatory (CSSO). We briefly describe its status and the solar data obtained daily with students participation. We present examples...

  1. Creating a National Astronomical Research Center of International Prestige

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    The inauguration and growth of the National Astron


    @@ Ⅰ. The Creation of an Tntegrated Astronomical Research Center Following the launch of the CAS's Knowledge Innovation Program (KIP) pilot project in 1998, it was formally decided in April 1999 to merge the following CAS institutions: five astronomical observatories (Beijing Observatory, Purple Mountain Observatory,Shanghai Observatory, Yunnan Observatory and Shaanxi Observatory), three research stations (Urumqi Astronomical Observatory, Changchun Astronomical Observatory and Guangdong Satellite Observation Station) and one research institute (Nanjing Institute of Optics and Technology); into a new entity, to be known initially as the National Center for Astronomical Observations.

  2. Education and public outreach of the Pierre Auger Observatory

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Garcia, B.; /Natl. Tech. U., San Rafael; Snow, G.


    The Auger collaboration's broad mission in education, outreach and public relations is coordinated in a separate task. Its goals are to encourage and support a wide range of outreach efforts that link schools and the public with the Auger scientists and the science of cosmic rays, particle physics, and associated technologies. This report focuses on recent activities and future initiatives.

  3. High-resolution spectroscopy of the CN red system in comet C/2013 R1 (Lovejoy) using WINERED at Koyama Astronomical Observatory (United States)

    Kawakita, Hideyo; Shinnaka, Yoshiharu; Kondo, Sohei; Hamano, Satoshi; Sameshima, Hiroaki; Nakanishi, Kenshi; Kawanishi, Takafumi; Nakaoka, Tetsuya; Otsubo, Shogo; Kinoshita, Masaomi; Ikeda, Yuji; Yamamoto, Ryo; Izumi, Natsuko; Fukue, Kei; Yasui, Chikako; Mito, Hiroyuki; Sarugaku, Yuki; Matsunaga, Noriyuki; Kobayashi, Naoto


    CN radical has the strong electronic transition moments in optical wavelength region and CN has extensively observed in comets. Especially, the CN violet system (B2Σ+—X2Σ+) has been observed by using high-resolution spectroscopic technique in order to infer the isotopic ratios of carbon and nitrogen in comets via 12C14N, 13C14N and 12C15N. However, the wavelength range for this system (~388 nm) is severely extinct if a comet is close to the Sun (we have to observe the comet at low elevations from the ground-based observatories). On the other hand, CN radical also has the strong electronic transition in near-infrared (~1.1 microns), the CN red system (A2Πi—X2Σ+). Although there are few reports on the high-resolution spectra of this band in comets, this wavelength region is not severely affected by the telluric extinction and considered as the new window for the observations of the carbon and nitrogen isotopic ratios in comets.High resolution near-infrared spectra of comet C/2013 R1 (Lovejoy) using the WINERED (R~3x104) spectrometer mounted on the 1.3-m Araki telescope at Koyama Astronomical Observatory were acquired on UT 2013 Nov 30. The heliocentric and geocentric distances were 0.91 AU and 0.49 AU, respectively. We detected strong emission lines of the CN red system (0,0) at around 1.1 microns. The rotational line intensities of this band approximately follow the Boltzmann distribution at ~300K for our observations. We present the detailed analysis of the CN red system in comet C/2013 R1 (Lovejoy) and discuss about the isotopic ratios in CN.This research program is supported by the MEXT --- Supported Program for the Strategic Research Foundation at Private Universities, 2014 - 2018 and partially supported by JSPS, 15J10864.

  4. Dissemination of space and astronomical sciences to schools/colleges and 1 lay public (United States)

    Rajaram, G.; Rawal, J.

    It is heartening to note that over the past decade and a half , school curricula in India have introduced Textbooks with chapters devoted to the Geo-Enveronment, and to frontline areas in the Geo and Space sciences. The quality of material taught is certainly better in private, well-funded schools, less so in Government-funded schools, and least in village schools with practically no infrastructure. Planetaria and Science Museums have been set up by Government in many part of India, but often these do not have very knowledgeable staff to explain scientific concepts to the lay public. The large population needs many more such facilities to bring people with scientific temper to a critical take-off mass. This is where scientists after Retirement can play a very beneficial and useful role. Without the pressure of time-bound duties and research paper output, they can impart correct, up-to-date scientific information with logic and rationality, especially if they are good at communication. The Indian Planetary Society (IPS) is an NGO recently started in Bombay which uses just such talent in Public Outreach programs. With time the Society plans to acquire sufficient financial and logistic strength to spread modern science to villages of India, and other deprived sections of society. The methods used by the IPS towards spreading concepts in the Space, Astronomical and Enveronmental sciences to school and college children, and the lay public is discussed.

  5. Taosi Observatory (United States)

    Sun, Xiaochun

    Taosi observatory is the remains of a structure discovered at the later Neolithic Taosi site located in Xiangfen County, Shanxi Province, in north-central China. The structure is a walled enclosure on a raised platform. Only rammed-earth foundations of the structure remained. Archaeoastronomical studies suggest that this structure functioned as an astronomical observatory. Historical circumstantial evidence suggests that it was probably related to the legendary kingdom of Yao from the twenty-first century BC.

  6. Education and Public Outreach of the Pierre Auger Cosmic Ray Observatory (United States)

    Snow, Gregory


    The scale and scope of the physics studied at the Auger Observatory offer significant opportunities for original outreach work. Education, outreach and public relations of the Auger collaboration are coordinated in a separate task whose goals are to encourage and support a wide range of education and outreach efforts that link schools and the public with the Auger scientists and the science of cosmic rays, particle physics, and associated technologies. The presentation will focus on the impact of the collaboration in Mendoza Province, Argentina, as: the Auger Visitor Center in Malarg"ue that has hosted over 60,000 visitors since 2001 and a third collaboration-sponsored science fair held on the Observatory campus in November 2010. The Rural Schools Program, which is run by Observatory staff and which brings cosmic-ray science and infrastructure improvements to remote schools, will be highlighted. Numerous online resources, video documentaries, and animations of extensive air showers have been created for wide public release. Increasingly, collaborators draw on these resources to develop Auger related displays and outreach events at their institutions and in public settings to disseminate the science and successes of the Observatory worldwide.

  7. Mission to the Public: A Journalist's Experiences with European Astronomers and Space Agencies (United States)

    Lorenzen, D. H.

    January 2004: NASA lands two rovers on Mars. The landings are covered worldwide live by CNN with millions of people watching it. January 2005: ESA lands a probe on Titan. The landing is covered live in the ESOC control room with a few scientists and VIPs on site. The first pictures of the unknown world are presented to the public hours later. June 2006: NASA continues to publish magnificent views of Saturn and its moons and rings taken by the Cassini spacecraft on a daily basis. ESA - having a spacecraft in orbit around Mars - continues to publish new views of the red plant on a biweekly basis. June 2006: The Hubble Space Telescope is fascinating the public worldwide with marvellous pictures almost on a weekly basis. Europe operates the Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile, considered the world's most powerful observatory. In 2005, the VLT published as few as six "Hubble class" pictures. These are a few random examples of a lack of proper communication of Europe's space and astronomy activities. The talk will address a few key issues on what's going wrong in Europe: - Why are many scientists so reluctant to communicate their research to the public? - Why isn't public relations work an integral part of any project financed by the European taxpayer? - What are the constraints of a public outreach officer's professional routine? - Is a scientific observation or a scientific paper really more important than a good picture making the front page of newspapers throughout Europe? Europe is doing great scientifically and technologically - but for some reason, this is not communicated properly. Can we change the attitude of scientists and agencies towards public communication?

  8. The Old Vilnius University Observatory (in German) (United States)

    Matulaitytė, S.

    The history of the Vilnius University Astronomical Observatory in 1753--1882 is described (in German). The observatory is one of the oldest astronomical institutions in Europe. In 2003 its 250th anniversary was celebrated.

  9. How to Communicate Near Earth Objects with the Public - Klet Observatory Experience (United States)

    Ticha, Jana; Tichy, Milos; Kocer, Michal


    Near-Earth Object (NEO) research is counted among the most popular parts of communicating astronomy with the public. Increasing research results in the field of Near-Earth Objects as well as impact hazard investigations cause growing interest among general public and media. Furthermore NEO related issues have outstanding educational value. So thus communicating NEO detection, NEO characterization, possible impact effects, space missions to NEOs, ways of mitigation and impact warnings with the public and media belong to the most important tasks of scientists and research institutions.Our institution represents an unique liaison of the small professional research institution devoted especially to NEO studies (the Klet Observatory, Czech Republic) and the educational and public outreach branch (the Observatory and Planetarium Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic). This all has been giving us an excellent opportunity for bringing NEO information to wider audience. We have been obtaining a wide experience in communicating NEOs with the public more than twenty years.There is a wide spectrum of public outreach tools aimed to NEO research and hazard. As the most useful ones we consider two special on-line magazines (e-zins) devoted to asteroids ( and comets ( in Czech language, educational multimedia presentations for schools at different levels in planetarium, summer excursions for wide public just at the Klet Observatory on the top of the Klet mountain, public lectures, meetings and exhibitions. It seems to be very contributing and favoured by public to have opportunities for more or less informal meetings just with NEO researchers from time to time. Very important part of NEO public outreach consists of continuous contact with journalists and media including press releases, interviews, news, periodical programs. An increasing role of social media is taken into account through Facebook and Twitter profiles.The essential goal of all mentioned NEO

  10. The Cincinnati Observatory as a Research Instrument for Undergraduate Research (United States)

    Abel, Nicholas; Regas, Dean; Flateau, Davin C.; Larrabee, Cliff


    The Cincinnati Observatory, founded in 1842, was the first public observatory in the Western Hemisphere. The history of Cincinnati is closely intertwined with the history of the Observatory, and with the history of science in the United States. Previous directors of the Observatory helped to create the National Weather Service, the Minor Planet Center, and the first astronomical journal in the U.S. The Cincinnati Observatory was internationally known in the late 19th century, with Jules Verne mentioning the Cincinnati Observatory in two of his books, and the Observatory now stands as a National Historic Landmark.No longer a research instrument, the Observatory is now a tool for promoting astronomy education to the general public. However, with the 11" and 16" refracting telescopes, the Observatory telescopes are very capable of collecting data to fuel undergraduate research projects. In this poster, we will discuss the history of the Observatory, types of student research projects capable with the Cincinnati Observatory, future plans, and preliminary results. The overall goal of this project is to produce a steady supply of undergraduate students collecting, analyzing, and interpreting data, and thereby introduce them to the techniques and methodology of an astronomer at an early stage of their academic career.

  11. ViewSpace: A model for advancing public understanding of astronomical research through museum-based multimedia (United States)

    Stoke, J. M.


    The Office of Public Outreach (OPO) of the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) has developed a unique multimedia presentation product that orchestrates images, digital video animations, music and interpretive text to provide a frequently-updated astronomy display suitable for mini-theater environments in museum-based exhibit galleries and planetarium lobbies (that may be, otherwise, seldom updated). "ViewSpace" utilizes the scientific expertise of STScI astronomers and puts Hubble discoveries into publically-accessible contexts. The program, which is offered at no charge to the museum and planetarium community in the United States, has been received with strong enthusiasm by the informal science education community. Future aspirations include higher-definition and immersive presentation formats, multi-lingual text display, an audible description track for the visually impaired, an associated interactive kiosk, and correlated education guides. Astronomers with interesting science stories to tell are invited to participate in the development of a ViewSpace segment.

  12. Metadata salad at the Cordoba Observatory

    CERN Document Server

    Lencinas, Verónica


    The Plate Archive of the Cordoba Observatory includes 20.000 photographs and spectra on glass plates dating from 1893 to 1983. This contribution describes the work performed since the plate archive was transferred to the Observatory Library in 2011. In 2014 an interdisciplinary team was assembled and a research grant from the National University of Cordoba was obtained with the objectives of preserving the glass plates and generate public access for astronomers and other audiences. The preservation work not only includes practical intervention to improve conservation conditions for the whole archive, but also a diagnose of the preservation conditions for the plates and identification of best practices for cleaning the plates. The access envisioned through digitization requires not only the scanning of all the plates, but also careful definition and provision of metadata. In this regard, each institutional level involved -in this case: archive, library, astronomical observatory and public university - demands ...

  13. Productivity and impact of astronomical facilities: A statistical study of publications and citations (United States)

    Trimble, V.; Ceja, J. A.


    In calendar years 2001 and 2002, 20 journals of astronomy and astrophysics published 7768 papers that reported or analyzed observations at wavelengths from meter radio to ultrahigh energy gamma rays. In the three calendar years after publication, these papers were cited more than 97 000 times, according to the Science Citation Index/Web of Science data base (the most complete, we believe, available), for an average rate of 4.19 citations per paper per year. We slice these data up several ways, by subject matter, wavelength band, and the telescopes (etc.) used. Most of the results will not surprise: There are hot topics (cosmology, exoplanets) and not so hot topics (binary stars, planetary nebulae). Papers reporting space-based data are cited a bit more often and radio papers a bit less often than optical papers, but multi-wavelength studies do the best. The total number of telescopes involved is surprisingly large, about 330 optical and infrared (mostly ground based but including HST), 109 radio (including COBE and VSOP satellites), and 90 space based (including satellites, interplanetary probes, things carried on rockets, balloons, the Shuttle, and so forth). The superstar telescopes are (mostly) the ones you would expect, though having the most papers does not always go with largest ratios of citations per paper. HST produces the largest number of optical papers, but SDSS the most highly-cited ones, while the VLA is responsible for the largest number of radio papers and the most highly cited (apart from balloon-borne CMB observatories), and among things that fly, the most recent tend to dominate both paper and citation numbers. If you have to choose, it is probably better to opt for a small telescope on a well-supported site than a larger one with less support, and service to the community, in the form of catalogues and mission definitions, is rewarded, at least in citation counts, if not always in other ways. A few comparisons are made with other studies. The

  14. Tonantzintla's Observatory Astronomy Teaching Laboratory project (United States)

    Garfias, F.; Bernal, A.; Martínez, L. A.; Sánchez, L.; Hernández, H.; Langarica, R.; Iriarte, A.; Peña, J. H.; Tinoco, S.; Ángeles, F.


    In the last two years the National Observatory at Tonantzintla Puebla, México (OAN Tonantzintla), has been undergoing several facilities upgrades in order to bring to the observatory suitable conditions to operate as a modern Observational Astronomy Teaching Laboratory. In this paper, we present the management, requirement definition and project advances. We made a quantitative diagnosis about of the functionality of the Tonantzintla Observatory (mainly based in the 1m f/15 telescope) to take aim to educational objectives. Through this project we are taking the steps to correct, to actualize and to optimize the observatory astronomical instrumentation according to modern techniques of observation. We present the design and the first actions in order to get a better and efficient use of the main astronomical instrumentation, as well as, the telescope itself, for the undergraduate, postgraduate levels Observacional Astronomy students and outreach publics programs for elementary school. The project includes the development of software and hardware components based in as a common framework for the project management. The Observatory is located at 150 km away from the headquarters at the Instituto de Astronomía, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (IAUNAM), and one of the goals is use this infrastructure for a Remote Observatory System.

  15. Pre-feasibility Study of Astronomical Data Archive Systems Powered by Public Cloud Computing and Hadoop Hive

    CERN Document Server

    Eguchi, Satoshi


    The size of astronomical observational data is increasing yearly. For example, while Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array is expected to generate 200 TB raw data every year, Large Synoptic Survey Telescope is estimated to produce 15 TB raw data every night. Since the increasing rate of computing is much lower than that of astronomical data, to provide high performance computing (HPC) resources together with scientific data will be common in the next decade. However, the installation and maintenance costs of a HPC system can be burdensome for the provider. I note public cloud computing for an alternative way to get sufficient computing resources inexpensively. I build Hadoop and Hive clusters by utilizing a virtual private server (VPS) service and Amazon Elastic MapReduce (EMR), and measure their performances. The VPS cluster behaves differently day by day, while the EMR clusters are relatively stable. Since partitioning is essential for Hive, several partitioning algorithms are evaluated. In this pape...

  16. Education and public outreach at the Carl Sagan Solar Observatory of the University of Sonora

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julio Saucedo-Morales


    Full Text Available We discuss the importance of small solar observatories for EPO (Education and Public Outreach, mentioning why they are relevant and what kind of equipment and software require. We stress the fact that technological advances have made them affordable and that they should be widely available. This work is a result of our experience with one: The Carl Sagan Solar Observatory (CSSO. We briefly describe its status and the solar data obtained daily with students participation. We present examples of the data obtained in the visible, Ca II and two in Hα. Data which is widely used for education. Finally we talk about the capability for remote operation as an open invitation for collaboration in educational and scientific projects.

  17. Education and public outreach at the Carl Sagan Solar Observatory of the University of Sonora (United States)

    Saucedo-Morales Julio; Loera-González, Pablo


    We discuss the importance of small solar observatories for EPO (Education and Public Outreach), mentioning why they are relevant and what kind of equipment and software require. We stress the fact that technological advances have made them affordable and that they should be widely available. This work is a result of our experience with one: The Carl Sagan Solar Observatory (CSSO). We briefly describe its status and the solar data obtained daily with students participation. We present examples of the data obtained in the visible, Ca II and two in Hα. Data which is widely used for education. Finally we talk about the capability for remote operation as an open invitation for collaboration in educational and scientific projects.

  18. Productivity and impact of astronomical facilities: Three years of publications and citation rates (United States)

    Trimble, V.; Ceja, J. A.


    In calendar years 2001 to 2003, 20 journals of astronomy and astrophysics published 11 831 papers that reported or analyzed observations at wavelengths from meter radio to ultrahigh energy gamma rays. These were cited 161 556 times in the three calendar years following publication, according to the Science Citation Index/Web of Science, for an average of 13.66 citations per paper or 4.55 citations per paper per year. We examine these numbers as a function of subject matter, wavelength bands, journals, and individual telescopes used and explore a small subset of possible temporal trends, anomalies, and sources of uncertainty, including blockbuster journals, papers and facilities. Many of the results resemble qualitative expectations. There are hot topics (cosmology, exoplanets) and not so hot topics (binary stars, planetary nebulae). Papers reporting data from space are cited a bit more often, and ground-based radio papers a bit less often, than optical papers, while multi-wavelength ones do noticeably better than average. The total number of telescopes involved is surprisingly large, approximately 350 optical and infrared (mostly ground-based but including HST because of its long life), 144 radio facilities on about 100 sites (including WMAP and COBE and a few balloon-borne CMB experiments), and 105 space-based detectors (including satellites, interplanetary probes, things carried on rockets, balloons, the Shuttle, and so forth). The outstanding telescopes are generally both stable with time and predictable. HST and the VLA are responsible for the largest number of optical and radio papers respectively, but the most frequently cited optical papers come from SDSS (by a wide margin), Keck, and the AAT, while the JCMT, Parkes and (especially) CMB observatories lead the radio brigade. Among things that fly, leadership changes more quickly, as missions are launched, vigorously exploited, and turned off, sometimes achieving geostationary, suboceanic orbits. If you have a


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Torres-Peimbert


    Full Text Available Presentamos datos estadísticos sobre la Revista Mexicana de Astronomía y Astrofísica. Consideramos que esta publicación está bien posicionada en la literatura astronómica internacional. Igualmente, presentamos información sobre la Serie de Conferencias, que ha tenido muy amplia aceptación en la comunidad astronómica.




    Presentamos datos estadísticos sobre la Revista Mexicana de Astronomía y Astrofísica. Consideramos que esta publicación está bien posicionada en la literatura astronómica internacional. Igualmente, presentamos información sobre la Serie de Conferencias, que ha tenido muy amplia aceptación en la comunidad astronómica.

  1. The Museum of Vesuvius Observatory and its public. Years 2005 - 2008 (United States)

    De Lucia, Maddalena; Ottaiano, Mena; Limoncelli, Bianca; Parlato, Luigi; Scala, Omar; Siviglia, Vittoria


    The museum of Vesuvius Observatory was created through the enlargement and updating of a permanent exhibition called "Vesuvius: 2000 years of observations", set up in 2000 with the aim of make citizens aware of volcanic phenomena, volcanic hazard and surveillance of active volcanoes in high risk areas, such as Naples and surroundings. The museum is located in the nineteenth-century historical building of the Vesuvius Observatory, the first volcanological observatory in the world, currently part of the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology. In the museum the dominant theme is the volcano Vesuvius: along the exhibition scientific issues are strictly interlaced with historical, archaeological and literary topics. The exhibition path begins with the presentation of eruptive phenomena, and related hazard for people and things. It traces the eruptive history of Somma-Vesuvius pointing out the most famous eruptions, occurred in 79 AD and 1944, and the methodologies used by volcanologists to define the eruptive history of a volcano through the study of its products. In the octagonal room the products of effusive and explosive eruptions, and minerals formed in volcanic environments, are displayed. The path, consisting of panels and video on big screen, is enriched by the exhibition of historical documents as the geological map of Somma-Vesuvius by Henry James Johnston-Lavis and of copies of Ercolano and Pompeii casts. Also historical scientific instruments once used for surveillance are on display, including the first electromagnetic seismograph, built in 1856 by Luigi Palmieri, director of the Vesuvius Observatory from 1855 to 1896. The tour ends with a practical experience of simulation of an earthquake. Communication tools used in the museum are basically video and panels. The museum admission is free; visitors enter the museum by guided tours only. Since the year 2000 checking of visiting public was carried out, either through booking requests received by the

  2. Education and Public Outreach Programs at Columbus State University's Mead Observatory (United States)

    Cruzen, S.; Rutland, C.; Carr, D.; Seckinger, M.


    Columbus State University (CSU) has made a substantial commitment to community education in astronomy and space science. Through the programs of the Mead Observatory at CSU's Coca-Cola Space Science Center, students, staff and faculty have been providing public outreach programs in astronomy for more than seven years. Recently, a generous grant from a private foundation has facilitated an astounding growth in the observatory's astronomy outreach activities. The grant made possible the purchase of a van, a portable planetarium, and additional telescope and computer equipment. It also funded a two-year scholarship that has supported a pair of CSU's science education majors who have staffed the program and made it a success. NASA, through the Georgia Space Grant Consortium, has provided additional funding for scholarships for 2003-2004. Prior to receiving these funds, the observatory program consisted of monthly open houses, occasional public observing nights at remote locations and approximately 6 to 8 school visits per year. Annually, these programs served approximately 3500 people. Since beginning the new phase of this program in October of 2001, the number of people served has soared to more than 23,000 in only 24 months. Over 60 schools have been visited, increasing our previous annual rate by nearly five times. Additional groups served include boys and girls scouting groups, state parks and other community organizations. School presentations have been designed to assist K-12 teachers in meeting science education standards. More than 200 teachers were asked to assess the program, and their responses were quite positive. More information about the program is available at our website (

  3. UkrVO astronomical WEB services (United States)

    Mazhaev, O. E.


    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.

  4. Impacts of Chandra X-ray Observatory Public Communications and Engagement (United States)

    Arcand, Kimberly K.; Watzke, Megan; Lestition, Kathleen; Edmonds, Peter


    The Chandra X-ray Observatory Center runs a multifaceted Public Communications & Engagement program encompassing press relations, public engagement, and education. Our goals include reaching a large and diverse audience of national and international scope, establishing direct connections and working relationships with the scientists whose research forms the basis for all products, creating peer-reviewed materials and activities that evolve from an integrated pipeline design and encourage users toward deeper engagement, and developing materials that target underserved audiences such as women, Spanish speakers, and the sight and hearing impaired. This talk will highlight some of the key features of our program, from the high quality curated digital presence to the cycle of research and evaluation that informs our practice at all points of the program creation. We will also discuss the main impacts of the program, from the tens of millions of participants reached through the establishment and sustainability of a network of science 'volunpeers.'

  5. How do astronomers share data? Reliability and persistence of datasets linked in AAS publications and a qualitative study of data practices among US astronomers. (United States)

    Pepe, Alberto; Goodman, Alyssa; Muench, August; Crosas, Merce; Erdmann, Christopher


    We analyze data sharing practices of astronomers over the past fifteen years. An analysis of URL links embedded in papers published by the American Astronomical Society reveals that the total number of links included in the literature rose dramatically from 1997 until 2005, when it leveled off at around 1500 per year. The analysis also shows that the availability of linked material decays with time: in 2011, 44% of links published a decade earlier, in 2001, were broken. A rough analysis of link types reveals that links to data hosted on astronomers' personal websites become unreachable much faster than links to datasets on curated institutional sites. To gauge astronomers' current data sharing practices and preferences further, we performed in-depth interviews with 12 scientists and online surveys with 173 scientists, all at a large astrophysical research institute in the United States: the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, in Cambridge, MA. Both the in-depth interviews and the online survey indicate that, in principle, there is no philosophical objection to data-sharing among astronomers at this institution. Key reasons that more data are not presently shared more efficiently in astronomy include: the difficulty of sharing large data sets; over reliance on non-robust, non-reproducible mechanisms for sharing data (e.g. emailing it); unfamiliarity with options that make data-sharing easier (faster) and/or more robust; and, lastly, a sense that other researchers would not want the data to be shared. We conclude with a short discussion of a new effort to implement an easy-to-use, robust, system for data sharing in astronomy, at, and we analyze the uptake of that system to-date.

  6. How do astronomers share data? Reliability and persistence of datasets linked in AAS publications and a qualitative study of data practices among US astronomers.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alberto Pepe

    Full Text Available We analyze data sharing practices of astronomers over the past fifteen years. An analysis of URL links embedded in papers published by the American Astronomical Society reveals that the total number of links included in the literature rose dramatically from 1997 until 2005, when it leveled off at around 1500 per year. The analysis also shows that the availability of linked material decays with time: in 2011, 44% of links published a decade earlier, in 2001, were broken. A rough analysis of link types reveals that links to data hosted on astronomers' personal websites become unreachable much faster than links to datasets on curated institutional sites. To gauge astronomers' current data sharing practices and preferences further, we performed in-depth interviews with 12 scientists and online surveys with 173 scientists, all at a large astrophysical research institute in the United States: the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, in Cambridge, MA. Both the in-depth interviews and the online survey indicate that, in principle, there is no philosophical objection to data-sharing among astronomers at this institution. Key reasons that more data are not presently shared more efficiently in astronomy include: the difficulty of sharing large data sets; over reliance on non-robust, non-reproducible mechanisms for sharing data (e.g. emailing it; unfamiliarity with options that make data-sharing easier (faster and/or more robust; and, lastly, a sense that other researchers would not want the data to be shared. We conclude with a short discussion of a new effort to implement an easy-to-use, robust, system for data sharing in astronomy, at, and we analyze the uptake of that system to-date.

  7. Light pollution around Tonantzintla Observatory (United States)

    Vázquez-Mata, José A.; Hernández-Toledo, Héctor M.; Martínez-Vázquez, Luis A.; Pani-Cielo, Atanacio


    Being close to the cities of Puebla to east and Cholula to the north, both having potential for large growth, the National Astronomical Observatory in Tonantzintla (OAN-Tonantzintla) faces the danger of deteriorating its sky conditions even more. In order to maintain competitiveness for education and scientific programs, it is important to preserve the sky brightness conditions. through: 1) our awareness of the night sky characteristics in continuous monitoring campaigns, doing more measurements over the next years to monitor changes and 2) encouraging local authorities about the need to regulate public lighting at the same time, showing them the benefits of such initiatives when well planed and correctly implemented.

  8. ESO's Two Observatories Merge (United States)


    astronomical technology and is one of the premier facilities in the world for optical and near-infrared observations. In addition to the state-of-the-art Very Large Telescope and the four Auxiliary Telescopes of 1.8-m diameter which can move to relocate in up to 30 different locations feeding the interferometer, Paranal will also be home to the 2.6-m VLT Survey telescope (VST) and the 4.2-m VISTA IR survey telescope. Both Paranal and La Silla have a proven record of their unique ability to address most current issues in observational astronomy. In 2004 alone, each observatory provided data for the publication of about 350 peer-reviewed journal articles, more than any other ground-based observatory. With the present merging of these top-ranking astronomical observatories, fostering synergies and harmonizing the many diverse activities, ESO and the entire community of European astronomers will profit even more from these highly efficient research facilities. Images of ESO's observatories and telescopes are available in the ESO gallery.

  9. Report on the decade of un/esa workshops on basic space science: the international perspective from small astronomical telescopes to the world space observatory (United States)

    Haubold, H.; Wamsteker, W.

    The UN/ESA Workshops on Basic Space Science is a long-term effort for the development of astronomy and regional and international cooperation in this field on a world wide basis, particularly in developing nations. The first four workshops in this series (India 1991, Costa Rica and Colombia 1992, Nigeria 1993, and Egypt 1994) addressed the status of astronomy in Asia and the Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa, and Western Asia, respectively. One major recommendation that emanated from the first four workshops was that small astronomical facilities should be established in developing nations for research and education programmes at the university level and that such facilities should be networked. Subsequently, material for teaching and observational programmes for small optical telescopes were developed or recommended and astronomical telescope facilities have been inaugurated at UN/ESA Workshops on Basic Space Science in Sri Lanka (1995), Honduras (1997), and Jordan (1999). Elements of the Workshops, focusing on teaching, observing programmes, and the Japanese donation programme for small astronomical telescopes are briefly summarized in the first part of this paper. A report on the recent UN/ESA Workshop on Basic Space Science, held at CONAE of Argentina in 2002, and a full report on achievements of the UN/ESA Workshops on Basic Space Science for the period of time from 1991 to 2002 is contained in the second part of this paper. Since 1991, similar reports, issued for each of the UN/ESA Workshops on Basic Space Science, have been brought to the attention of UN Member States on an annual basis with the objective to gain more support for the world wide development of astronomy. WWW:

  10. Developing an Education and Public Outreach (EPO) program for Caltech's Tectonics Observatory (United States)

    Kovalenko, L.; Jain, K.; Maloney, J.


    The Caltech Tectonics Observatory (TO) is an interdisciplinary center, focused on geological processes occurring at the boundaries of Earth's tectonic plates ( Over the past four years, the TO has made a major effort to develop an Education and Public Outreach (EPO) program. Our goals are to (1) inspire students to learn Earth Sciences, particularly tectonic processes, (2) inform and educate the general public about science in the context of TO discoveries, and (3) provide opportunities for graduate students, postdocs, and faculty to do outreach in the local K-12 schools and community colleges. Our work toward these goals includes hosting local high school teachers and students each summer for six weeks of research experience (as part of Caltech's "Summer Research Connection"); organizing and hosting an NAGT conference aimed at Geoscience teachers at community colleges; participating in teacher training workshops (organized by the local school district); hosting tours for K-12 students from local schools as well as from China; and bringing hands-on activities into local elementary, middle, and high school classrooms. We also lead local school students and teachers on geology field trips through nearby canyons; develop education modules for undergraduate classes (as part of MARGINS program); write educational web articles on TO research (, and regularly give presentations to the general public. This year, we started providing content expertise for the development of video games to teach Earth Science, being created by GameDesk Institute. And we have just formed a scientist/educator partnership with a 6th grade teacher, to help in the school district's pilot program to incorporate new national science standards (NSTA's Next Generation Science Standards, current draft), as well as use Project-Based Learning. This presentation gives an overview of these activities.

  11. The Transformation of Observatory Newsletters - A Gemini Perspective (United States)

    Zhang, Xiaoyu


    Astronomical observatories publish newsletters to communicate the observatory’s new discoveries and activities with its user communities, funding agencies, and general public. Gemini Observatory started publishing the newsletter in March 1992. Over the years, it transformed from a no-frills black and white publication to a full-color magazine type newsletter with a special name “GeminiFocus”. Since 2012, the contents of GeminiFocus moved from print to digital with an additional print issue of the Year in Review. The newsletter transformation is in sync with the rapid development of the internet technologies. We discuss here the evolvement of Gemini newsletter and the lessons learned.

  12. Quantitative Evaluation of Gender Bias in Astronomical Publications from Citation Counts

    CERN Document Server

    Caplar, Neven; Birrer, Simon


    We analyze the role of first (leading) author gender on the number of citations that a paper receives, on the publishing frequency and on the self-citing tendency. We consider a complete sample of over 200,000 publications from 1950 to 2015 from five major astronomy journals. We determine the gender of the first author for over 70% of all publications. The fraction of papers which have a female first author has increased from less than 5% in the 1960s to about 25% today. We find that the increase of the fraction of papers authored by females is slowest in the most prestigious journals such as Science and Nature. Furthermore, female authors write 19$\\pm$7% fewer papers in seven years following their first paper than their male colleagues. At all times papers with male first authors receive more citations than papers with female first authors. This difference has been decreasing with time and amounts to $\\sim$6% measured over the last 30 years. To account for the fact that the properties of female and male firs...

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

    Ortiz-Gil, A.


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

  14. Quantitative evaluation of gender bias in astronomical publications from citation counts (United States)

    Caplar, Neven; Tacchella, Sandro; Birrer, Simon


    Numerous studies across different research fields have shown that both male and female referees consistently give higher scores to work done by men than to identical work done by women 1,2,3 . In addition, women are under-represented in prestigious publications and authorship positions 4,5 and women receive ~10% fewer citations 6,7 . In astronomy, similar biases have been measured in conference participation 8,9 and success rates for telescope proposals 10,11 . Even though the number of doctorate degrees awarded to women is constantly increasing, women still tend to be under-represented in faculty positions 12 . Spurred by these findings, we measure the role of gender in the number of citations that papers receive in astronomy. To account for the fact that the properties of papers written by men and women differ intrinsically, we use a random forest algorithm to control for the non-gender-specific properties of these papers. Here we show that papers authored by women receive 10.4 ± 0.9% fewer citations than would be expected if the papers with the same non-gender-specific properties were written by men.

  15. Astronomy for Astronomical Numbers - Education and Public Outreach with Massive Open Online Classes (United States)

    Impey, C.; Buxner, S.; Wenger, M.; Formanek, M.


    Massive Open Online Classes (MOOCs) represent a powerful new mode of education and public outreach. While early hype has often given way to disappointment over the typically low completion rates, retaining the interest of free-choice learners is always a challenge, and the worldwide reach and low cost of of these online classes is a democratizing influence in higher education. We have used providers Udemy and Coursera to reach over 60,000 adults with an astronomy course that covers the recent research results across the subject from comets to cosmology. In addition to measures of participation, completion, and performance, we have administered surveys of the learners that measure science literacy, attitudes towards science and technology, and sources of information about science. Beyond the usual core of video lectures and quizzes, we have used peer reviewed writing assignments, observing project, and citizen science to create a richer learning environment. Research on MOOCs is still in its early stages, but we hope to learn what factors contribute most to student engagement and completion in these online settings.

  16. Future Directions for Astronomical Image Display (United States)

    Mandel, Eric


    In the "Future Directions for Astronomical Image Displav" project, the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) and the National Optical Astronomy Observatories (NOAO) evolved our existing image display program into fully extensible. cross-platform image display software. We also devised messaging software to support integration of image display into astronomical analysis systems. Finally, we migrated our software from reliance on Unix and the X Window System to a platform-independent architecture that utilizes the cross-platform Tcl/Tk technology.

  17. Multidisciplinary development of Belerofont Observatory. (United States)

    Babović, V.


    Belerofont Astronomical Observatory in Kragujevac, inaugurated on the occasion of the appearance of Halley's comet on February 26, 1986, develops astronomical activities among pupils, university youth and people interested in cosmic phenomena. In preparing a course of astronomy and astrophysics in the physics study curriculum, the society tends toward a multidisciplinary way of work.

  18. Astronomical Cybersketching

    CERN Document Server

    Grego, Peter


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

  19. Space Research in Baldone Observatory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eglitis, I.


    Full Text Available The Baldone observatory deals with the U-, B-, V-, R-, I-photometry and low resolution spectroscopy of carbon stars, the monitoring of small bodies of Solar system, and with the digitizing and processing of 24 300 plates from the Schmidt wide field telescope archive. The astronomers from the observatory are working to popularize astronomy.

  20. Worldwide R&D of Virtual Observatory

    CERN Document Server

    Cui, Chenzhou


    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 late of 1990s to meet challenges brought up with data avalanche in astronomy. This paper reviews current status of International Virtual Observatory Alliance, technical highlights from world wide VO projects, and a brief introduction of Chinese Virtual Observatory.

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

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


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

  2. A bibliometric analysis of observatory publications for the period 2008-2012 (United States)

    Crabtree, Dennis R.


    The primary scientific output from an astronomical telescope is the collection of papers published in refereed journals. A telescope's productivity is measured by the number of papers published which are based upon data taken with the telescope. The scientific impact of a paper can be measured quantitatively by the number of citations that the paper receives. In this paper I will examine the productivity and impact of over 20 telescopes, mainly optical/IR, with apertures larger than 3.5-m for the years between 2008 and 2012.

  3. Astronomical Ecosystems (United States)

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


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

  4. Research, Education, and Outreach at the Oakley Observatories (United States)

    Ditteon, Richard


    Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology is a four-year college specializing in undergraduate engineering, science and mathematics education. Rose students have a strong interest in anything space-related. In the early days of the space age, Rose established a campus observatory to collect data on man-made satellites. In 2000, a new observatory was completed and named the Oakley Observatory. The new observatory was designed primarily for education and outreach, but we have successfully used it for minor planet astrometry, and photometry of minor planets and variable stars. Rose-Hulman students have discovered 33 main belt asteroids. Faculty, Rose students, and local high school students have worked together to publish more than 350 minor planet lightcurves. To supplement the campus observatory, The Oakley Southern Sky Observatory was completed in 2007 near Siding Spring in New South Wales, Australia. OSSO makes it possible to observe the southern sky, and it has much less cloud cover, as well as, significantly darker skies than our campus. Rose-Hulman offers an area minor in astronomy and all of the astronomy courses are available to all majors as technical electives. Classes are normally filled to capacity. Finally, we also use the campus observatory for public outreach. We host scout troops, school classes and many other types of groups who want to look through a telescope. We also hold public open houses for special astronomical events such as the transit of Venus.

  5. A Survey of Astronomical Research: A Baseline for Astronomical Development (United States)

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


    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.

  6. Ckoirama, the first Chilean--state owned observatory under desert skies (United States)

    Char, F.; Unda-Sanzana, E.; Colque, J.; Fossey, S.; Rocchetto, M.


    The following work wants to introduce Ckoirama, the first public professional observatory of Chile, under the clear skies of the Atacama desert. Operated by the Unidad de Astronomia of the Universidad de Antofagasta, it was conceived to perform scientific operations, through its main 0.6 m telescope, but it will also be open for educational purposes, communicating astronomy to the public through a secondary 0.35 m telescope. Ckoirama will not only be an opportunity to make autonomous observations; this is also an important message to the astronomical community, because this is the first step toward a highlighted presence of Chile and a new commitment to invest in the astronomical research.

  7. Integrating the IA2 Astronomical Archive in the VO: The VO-Dance Engine (United States)

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


    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.


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. Tignanelli


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

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

    Tignanelli, H.


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

  10. Astronomical optics

    CERN Document Server

    Schroeder, Daniel J


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

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

    CERN Document Server

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


    The Flexible Image Transport System (FITS) standard has been a great boon to astronomy, allowing observatories, scientists and the public to exchange astronomical information easily. The FITS standard, however, is showing its age. Developed in the late 1970s, the FITS authors made a number of implementation choices that, while common at the time, are now seen to limit its utility with modern data. The authors of the FITS standard could not anticipate the challenges which we are facing today in astronomical computing. Difficulties we now face include, but are not limited to, addressing the need to handle an expanded range of specialized data product types (data models), being more conducive to the networked exchange and storage of data, handling very large datasets, and capturing significantly more complex metadata and data relationships. There are members of the community today who find some or all of these limitations unworkable, and have decided to move ahead with storing data in other formats. If this frag...

  12. Urania in the Marketplace: Observatories as Holiday Destinations (United States)

    Rumstay, Kenneth S.


    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.

  13. Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy

    CERN Document Server

    Hamidouche, M; Marcum, P; Krabbe, A


    We present one of the new generations of observatories, the Stratospheric Observatory For Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA). This is an airborne observatory consisting of a 2.7-m telescope mounted on a modified Boeing B747-SP airplane. Flying at an up to 45,000 ft (14 km) altitude, SOFIA will observe above more than 99 percent of the Earth's atmospheric water vapor allowing observations in the normally obscured far-infrared. We outline the observatory capabilities and goals. The first-generation science instruments flying on board SOFIA and their main astronomical goals are also presented.

  14. Astronomical Image and Data Analysis

    CERN Document Server

    Starck, J.-L


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

  15. All About EVE: Education and Public Outreach for the Extreme Ultraviolet Variability Experiment (EVE) of the NASA Solar Dynamic Observatory (United States)

    Eparvier, F. G.; McCaffrey, M. S.; Buhr, S. M.


    With the aim of meeting NASA goals for education and public outreach as well as support education reform efforts including the National Science Education Standards, a suite of education materials and strategies have been developed by the Cooperative Institute for Environmental Sciences (CIRES) with the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP) at the University of Colorado for the Extreme Ultraviolet Variability Experiment (EVE), which is an instrument aboard the Solar Dynamic Observatory. This paper will examine the education materials that have been developed for teachers in the classroom and scientists who are conducting outreach, including handouts, a website on space weather for teachers, a slideshow presentation about the overall Solar Dynamic Observatory mission, and a DVD with videos explaining the construction and goals of the EVE instrument, a tour of LASP, and an overview of space science careers. The results and potential transferability of a pilot project developed through this effort that engaged English Second Language learners in a semester-long course on space weather that incorporated the used of a Sudden Ionospheric Disturbance (SID) Monitor will be highlighted.

  16. Digital Data Preservation and Curation: A Collaboration Among Libraries, Publishers, and the Virtual Observatory (United States)

    Hanisch, R. J.; Steffen, J.; Choudhury, S.; Dilauro, T.; Szalay, A.; Vishniac, E.; Ehling, T.; Milkey, R.; Plante, R.


    Astronomers are producing and analyzing data at ever more prodigious rates. NASA's Great Observatories, ground-based national observatories, and major survey projects have archive and data distribution systems in place to manage their standard data products, and these are now interlinked through the protocols and metadata standards agreed upon in the Virtual Observatory. However, the digital data associated with peer-reviewed publications is only rarely archived. Most often, astronomers publish graphical representations of their data but not the data themselves. Other astronomers cannot readily inspect the data to either confirm the interpretation presented in a paper or extend the analysis. Highly processed data sets reside on departmental servers and the personal computers of astronomers, and may or may not be available a few years hence. We are investigating ways to preserve and curate the digital data associated with peer-reviewed journals in astronomy. The technology and standards of the VO provide one component of the necessary technology. A variety of underlying systems can be used to physically host a data repository, and indeed this repository need not be centralized. The repository, however, must be managed and data must be documented through high quality, curated metadata. Multiple access portals must be available: the original journal, the host data center, the Virtual Observatory, or any number of topically-oriented data services utilizing VO-standard access mechanisms.

  17. ESO's First Observatory Celebrates 40th Anniversary (United States)


    ESO's La Silla Observatory, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary, became the largest astronomical observatory of its time. It led Europe to the frontline of astronomical research, and is still one of the most scientifically productive in ground-based astronomy. ESO PR Photo 12a/09 La Silla Aerial View ESO PR Photo 12b/09 The ESO New Technology Telescope ESO PR Photo 12c/09 SEST on La Silla ESO PR Photo 12d/09 Looking for the best site ESO PR Video 12a/09 ESOcast 5 With about 300 refereed publications attributable to the work of the observatory per year, La Silla remains at the forefront of astronomy. It has led to an enormous number of scientific discoveries, including several "firsts". The HARPS spectrograph is the world's foremost exoplanet hunter. It detected the system around Gliese 581, which contains what may be the first known rocky planet in a habitable zone, outside the Solar System (ESO 22/07). Several telescopes at La Silla played a crucial role in discovering that the expansion of the Universe is accelerating (ESO 21/98) and in linking gamma-ray bursts -- the most energetic explosions in the Universe since the Big Bang - with the explosions of massive stars (ESO 15/98). Since 1987, the ESO La Silla Observatory has also played an important role in the study and follow-up of the nearest supernova, SN 1987A (ESO 08/07). "The La Silla Observatory continues to offer the astronomical community exceptional capabilities," says ESO Director General, Tim de Zeeuw. "It was ESO's first presence in Chile and as such, it triggered a very long and fruitful collaboration with this country and its scientific community." The La Silla Observatory is located at the edge of the Chilean Atacama Desert, one of the driest and loneliest areas of the world. Like other observatories in this geographical area, La Silla is located far from sources of polluting light and, as the Paranal Observatory that houses the Very Large Telescope, it has one of the darkest and clearest

  18. A Novel Semantic Software for Astronomical Concepts

    CERN Document Server

    Heydari-Malayeri, M; Petit, F Le


    We have created a new semantic tool called AstroConcepts, providing definitions of astronomical concepts present on Web pages. This tool is a Google Chrome plug-in that interrogates the Etymological Dictionary of Astronomy and Astrophysics, developed at Paris Observatory. Thanks to this tool, if one selects an astronomical concept on a web page, a pop-up window will display the definition of the available English or French terms. Another expected use of this facility could be its implementation in Virtual Observatory services.

  19. Explanatory Supplement to the Astronomical Almanac (3rd Edition) (United States)

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


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

  20. Astronomical Spectroscopy

    CERN Document Server

    Massey, Philip


    Spectroscopy is one of the most important tools that an astronomer has for studying the universe. This chapter begins by discussing the basics, including the different types of optical spectrographs, with extension to the ultraviolet and the near-infrared. Emphasis is given to the fundamentals of how spectrographs are used, and the trade-offs involved in designing an observational experiment. It then covers observing and reduction techniques, noting that some of the standard practices of flat-fielding often actually degrade the quality of the data rather than improve it. Although the focus is on point sources, spatially resolved spectroscopy of extended sources is also briefly discussed. Discussion of differential extinction, the impact of crowding, multi-object techniques, optimal extractions, flat-fielding considerations, and determining radial velocities and velocity dispersions provide the spectroscopist with the fundamentals needed to obtain the best data. Finally the chapter combines the previous materi...

  1. Astronomical chemistry. (United States)

    Klemperer, William


    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.

  2. CSU's MWV Observatory: A Facility for Research, Education and Outreach (United States)

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


    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.

  3. Some astronomical challenges for the twenty-first century (United States)

    Burns, Jack O.


    This paper addresses some of the scientific puzzles that astronomers may face in the next century. Four areas in astronomy are discussed in detail. These include cosmology and galaxy formation, active galaxies and quasars, supernovae and stellar remnants, and the formation of stars and planets. A variety of observatories on the Moon are proposed to attack these astronomical challenges.

  4. The challengers of an astronomer being a journalist (United States)

    Podorvanyuk, N.


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

  5. Urania in the Marketplace: Astronomical Imagery in Early Twentieth-Century Advertizing (United States)

    Rumstay, Kenneth S.


    The pages of popular magazines such as Sky and Telescope and Astronomy are filled with advertisements for telescopes and other equipment. However, during the past century astronomical imagery has been widely used to promote distinctly non-astronomical products and services. One of the earliest and most famous examples is the 1893 Chicago newspaper advertisement for Kirk's Soap, which was inspired by the opening of the Yerkes Observatory. A survey of popular magazines published in America during the first half of the twentieth century suggests that these advertisements fall into four categories: 1) Astronomy is universally regarded as an exact and precise science. Manufacturers of mechanical devices may employ images of telescopes or astronomers at work to suggest that their products meet these same standards of quality. This was primarily the case with makers of automobiles and automotive products, although the Longines Watch Company ran an extensive series of ads featuring observatories. 2) The heavens induce a sense of wonder in most people, and advertisers may locate their products in an a celestial setting to give them an otherworldly flavor. 3) Astronomical observatories themselves are viewed as exotic settings, and have provided backgrounds for automotive and travel ads. They may also appear in advertisements for products used in their construction. 4) Finally, newsworthy astronomical events will inspire advertisers to associate their products with that event, in order to capitalize upon the publicity. This was particularly true in the case of the 1910 passage of Halley's Comet and the 1948 opening of the 200-inch Hale telescope at Mt. Palomar. Examples of magazine advertisements from each category are presented for comparison. This work was supported by a faculty development grant from Valdosta State University.

  6. 195-Year History of Mykolayiv Observatory: Events and People

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shulga, O.V.


    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.

  7. Astronomy and public outreach in Serbia (1934-2009) (United States)

    Stanic, N.


    The astronomical community in Serbia has grown significantly over the last few decades, despite the departure overseas of much home-grown talent. Serbia celebrates three important anniversaries in 2007 - 150 years since the birth of Milan Nedeljkovic, who introduced the first astronomical subjects to the Faculty of Mathematics in 1884, and founded the Astronomical Observatory in Belgrade in 1887; 120 years of the Belgrade Astronomical Observatory and 75 years since the construction of the complex of buildings and telescopes at the Astronomical Observatory in Belgrade. The Astronomy Department at the Faculty of Mathematics in Belgrade has produced many excellent scientists working today at telescopes (Arecibo, Sidney, VLA, Hawaii etc.) and universities (California, Toronto, Sidney, Illinois, MIT etc.) around the world. Since 2005, students have also been able to study astronomy at the University of Novi Sad, Serbia (Faculty of Physics). Today there are more than 20 amateur astronomical societies in Serbia, two magazines of popular astronomy, one Youth Science Centre (Petnica), two Public Observatories and two Planetariums. If the social and media network formed in October 2007 can deliver even the minimum of the expected results, six million people in Serbia should easily be familiar with IYA2009 goals, related Cornerstone Projects and particular goals in Serbia for 2009.

  8. Services for Astronomical Data Management and Sharing (United States)

    Kundera, Tomasz; Stachowski, Greg; Wierzbowski, Arkadiusz; Borkowski, Jerzy; Ciecielag, Pawel


    As part of the AstroGrid-PL project we have implemented a large scale data management system for the Polish astronomical community within the framework of PLGrid Plus project with built-in metadata services, replication and distributed storage based on the well-established iRODS middleware. In parallel we have implemented the Polish Virtual Observatory, which provides access, search, retrieval and in situ processing for this data using the protocols and standards established by the International Virtual Observatory Alliance (IVOA). These standards are already in use at astronomical facilities across the globe, and implementing them within the framework of AstroGrid-PL and PLGrid Plus project enables us not only to provide advanced data retrieval services to our users, but also to leverage a large body of existing astronomical data analysis software and give our users access to foreign data resources provided on the same principles.

  9. Using the Virtual Observatory: multi-instrument, multi-wavelength study of high-energy sources

    CERN Document Server

    Derriere, Sébastien; Bot, Caroline; Bonnarel, François


    This paper presents a tutorial explaining the use of Virtual Observatory tools in high energy astrophysics. Most of the tools used in this paper were developed at the Strasbourg astronomical Data Center and we show how they can be applied to conduct a multi-instrument, multi-wavelength analysis of sources detected by the High Energy Stereoscopic System and the Fermi Large Area Telescope. The analysis involves queries of different data catalogs, selection and cross-correlation techniques on multi-waveband images, and the construction of high energy color-color plots and multi-wavelength spectra. The tutorial is publicly available on the website of the European Virtual Observatory project.

  10. Under Connecticut Skies: Exploring 100 Years of Astronomy at Van Vleck Observatory in Middletown, Connecticut (United States)

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


    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.

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

    CERN Document Server

    Foucaud, Sebastien


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

  12. Astronomical Libraries Make the Future Happen: Support to Public Communication of Science as Part of the Library Mission (United States)

    Brunetti, F.; Gasperini, A.


    Despite the advent of the electronic age and the wide dissemination of information of all kinds via the Internet, the specialized library can and will become an active pole in the knowledge-based society. By exploiting their scientific authority and consequent validation of information accuracy, libraries can build a bridge between science and the public. The "Declaration Concerning the Evolving Role of Libraries in Research Centres" (2007) describes a moment of great impetus in the professional activity of librarians but is also a cry of alarm for the unique situation of the libraries in research centres. This presentation will consider the theoretical context of this point of view and focus on libraries in main European research centres. Particular attention will be paid to their relationship with the dissemination of scientific information to the general public and their role in public outreach.

  13. Site Protection Program and Progress Report of Ali Observatory, Tibet (United States)

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


    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

  14. [French astronomical journals an interactivity of the scientific world]. (United States)

    Vassilieff, Catherine


    Astronomical data issued from observatories find multiple uses on land, as well as on sea. Due to their structure and periodicity, scientific reviews are particularly adapted to peer review and sharing of data between astronomers as well as between astronomers and hobbyists. During the 19(th) century regional observatories first gather together professionals interested in the practical applications of the observations and later, under the influence of personalities such as Camille Flammarion, they bring together a larger non-professional audience. Being the epicentre of scientific exchange, the reviews have in the 20(th) century found their place on the websites of academic institutions as well as users forums.

  15. Autonomous Infrastructure for Observatory Operations (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?

  16. Strasbourg Astronomical Data Center (CDS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F Genova


    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. Preservation and maintenance of the astronomical sites in Armenia (United States)

    Mickaelian, A. M.


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

  18. Lessons Learned during the Development and Operation of Virtual Observatory (United States)

    Ohishi, M.; Shirasaki, Y.; Komiya, Y.; Mizumoto, Y.; Yasuda, N.; Tanaka, M.


    In the last a few years several Virtual Observatory (VO) projects have entered from the research and development phase to the operations phase. The VO projects include AstroGrid (UK), Virtual Astronomical Observatory (former National Virtual Observatory, USA), EURO-VO (EU), Japanese Virtual Observatory (Japan), and so on. This successful transition from the development phase to the operations phase owes primarily to the concerted action to develop standard interfaces among the VO projects in the world, that has been conducted in the International Virtual Observatory Alliance. The registry interface has been one of the most important key to share among the VO projects and data centers (data providers) with the observed data and the catalog data. Data access protocols and/or language (SIAP, SSAP, ADQL) and the common data format (VOTable) are other keys. Consequently we are able to find scientific papers so far published. However, we had faced some experience during the implementation process as follows: At the initial stage of the registry implementation, some fraction of the registry meta data were not correctly set, or some meta data were missing. IVOA members found that it would be needed to have validation tools to check the compliance before making the interface public; It seemed that some data centers and/or data providers might find some difficulties to implement various standardized interfaces (protocols) in order to publish their data through the VO interfaces. If there were some kind of VO interface toolkits, it would be much easier for the data centers to implement the VO interfaces; At the current VO standardization, it has not been discussed in depth on the quality assurance on the published data, or how we could provide indexes on the data quality. Such measures would be quite helpful for the data users in order to judge the data quality. It would be needed to discuss this issue not only within IVOA but with observatories and data providers;Past and

  19. DSN Transient Observatory (United States)

    Kuiper, T. B. H.; Monroe, R. M.; White, L. A.; Garcia Miro, C.; Levin, S. M.; Majid, W. A.; Soriano, M.


    The Deep Space Network (DSN) Transient Observatory (DTO) is a signal processing facility that can monitor up to four DSN downlink bands for astronomically interesting signals. The monitoring is done commensally with reception of deep space mission telemetry. The initial signal processing is done with two CASPERa ROACH1 boards, each handling one or two baseband signals. Each ROACH1 has a 10 GBe interface with a GPU-equipped Debian Linux workstation for additional processing. The initial science programs include monitoring Mars for electrostatic discharges, radio spectral lines, searches for fast radio bursts and pulsars and SETI. The facility will be available to the scientific community through a peer review process.

  20. TMT in the Astronomical Landscape of the 2020s (United States)

    Dickinson, Mark; Inami, Hanae


    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. Coronagraph for astronomical imaging and spectrophotometry (United States)

    Vilas, Faith; Smith, Bradford A.


    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.

  2. Choosing and using astronomical eyepieces

    CERN Document Server

    Paolini, William


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

  3. Biographical encyclopedia of astronomers

    CERN Document Server

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


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

  4. Professional Ethics for Astronomers (United States)

    Marvel, K. B.


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

  5. Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory as Cultural Centre (United States)

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


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

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

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


    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.

  7. Contributions to Public Understanding of Science by the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (I): Programs and Workshops (United States)

    Passow, M. J.; Turrin, M.; Kenna, T. C.; Newton, R.; Buckley, B.


    The Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University (LDEO) continues its long history of contributions to public understanding of Science through “live” and web-based programs that provide teachers, students, and the other access to new discoveries and updates on key issues. We highlight current activities in paired posters. Part 1 focuses on events held at the Palisades, NY, campus. "Earth2Class (E2C)" is a unique program integrating science content with increased understanding about classroom learning and technology. Monthly workshops allow K-14 participants to combine talks by researchers about cutting-edge investigations with acquisition of background knowledge and classroom-ready applications. E2C has sponsored 100 workshops by more than 60 LDEO scientists for hundreds of teachers. A vast array of resources on includes archived versions of workshops, comprehensive sets of curriculum units, and professional development opportunities. It has been well received by both workshop participants and others who have only accessed the web site. "Hudson River Snapshot Day" celebrates the Hudson River Estuary and educates participants on the uniqueness of our nearby estuary as part of the annual National Estuaries Week. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Hudson River Estuary Program and Hudson Basin River Watch coordinate the event. LDEO scientists help coordinate annual data collection by school classes to create a day-in-the-life picture all along the river. LDEO researchers also participate in "River Summer," bringing together participants from a variety of perspectives to look at the Hudson River and foster better understanding of how the same features can appear very differently to artists, writers, political scientists, economists, or scientists. These perspectives aid in recognizing the Hudson’s unique characteristics and history by identifying cross-disciplinary relationships and fostering new connections. LDEO’s Secondary

  8. The Taiwan Extragalactic Astronomical Data Center

    CERN Document Server

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


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

  9. Out in Space: A True Musical Collaboration Between an Astronomer and a Music Producer (United States)

    Webb, James R.; Morrison, K.


    The collaboration between a professional astronomer who is also an amateur musician and songwriter, and an accomplished musician/music producer to produce a CD of astronomy music that not only carries messages of intellectual value, but is also musically compelling is very rare. The authors have formed such a collaboration. Dr. Webb (professor, astronomer, observatory director, and musician) took his original astronomy songs to Keith Morrison (music producer, audio engineer, arranger, studio owner) and together they reworked the original astronomy songs to form a unique musical experience, blending ideas, science, philosophy, guitars, and rhythms that covers many genres of music. This music is intended for public consumption by distribution to science centers, planetariums, the internet and through more traditional channels. The details of the recording, uses for teaching, and the outreach potential are examined in this paper.

  10. Division B Commission 6: Astronomical Telegrams (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.


    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


    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. Astronomical catalog desk reference, 1994 edition (United States)


    The Astronomical Catalog Desk Reference is designed to aid astronomers in locating machine readable catalogs in the Astronomical Data Center (ADC) archives. The key reference components of this document are as follows: A listing of shortened titles for all catalogs available from the ADC (includes the name of the lead author and year of publication), brief descriptions of over 300 astronomical catalogs, an index of ADC catalog numbers by subject keyword, and an index of ADC catalog numbers by author. The heart of this document is the set of brief descriptions generated by the ADC staff. The 1994 edition of the Astronomical Catalog Desk Reference contains descriptions for over one third of the catalogs in the ADC archives. Readers are encouraged to refer to this section for concise summaries of those catalogs and their contents.

  13. DVD Database Astronomical Manuscripts in Georgia (United States)

    Simonia, I.; Simonia, Ts.; Abuladze, T.; Chkhikvadze, N.; Samkurashvili, L.; Pataridze, K.


    Little known and unknown Georgian, Persian, and Arabic astronomical manuscripts of IX-XIX centuries are kept in the centers, archives, and libraries of Georgia. These manuscripts has a form of treaties, handbooks, texts, tables, fragments, and comprises various theories, cosmological models, star catalogs, calendars, methods of observations. We investigated this large material and published DVD database Astronomical Manuscripts in Georgia. This unique database contains information about astronomical manuscripts as original works. It contains also descriptions of Georgian translations of Byzantine, Arabic and other sources. The present paper is dedicated to description of obtained results and DVD database. Copies of published DVD database are kept in collections of the libraries of: Ilia State University, Georgia; Royal Observatory, Edinburgh, UK; Congress of the USA, and in other centers.

  14. Gemini Observatory Takes its Local Communities on an Expanding Journey (United States)

    Harvey, Janice; Michaud, Peter


    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.

  15. Creating Data that Never Die: Building a Spectrograph Data Pipeline in the Virtual Observatory Era (United States)

    Mink, D. J.; Wyatt, W. F.; Roll, J. B.; Tokarz, S. P.; Conroy, M. A.; Caldwell, N.; Kurtz, M.; Geller, M. J.


    Data pipelines for modern complex astronomical instruments do not begin when the data is taken and end when it is delivered to the user. Information must flow between the observatory and the observer from the time a project is conceived and between the observatory and the world well past the time when the original observers have extracted all the information they want from the data. For the 300-fiber Hectospec low dispersion spectrograph on the MMT, the SAO Telescope Data Center is constructing a data pipeline which provides assistance from preparing and submitting observing proposals through observation, reduction, and analysis to publication and an afterlife in the Virtual Observatory. We will describe our semi-automatic pipeline and how it has evolved over the first nine months of operation.

  16. Protection of existing and potential observatory sites: Triennial report 2009-2012 of IAU Commission 50

    CERN Document Server

    van Driel, W; Green, R; Ohishi, M; Wainscoat, R J; Blanco, C; Crawford, D L; Metaxa, M; Sullivan, W T; Tzioumis, A


    (abridged) The activities of the Commission have continued to focus on controlling unwanted light and radio emissions at observatory sites, monitoring of conditions at observatory sites, and education and outreach. Commission members have been active in securing new legislation in several locations to further the protection of observatory sites as well as in the international regulation of the use of the radio spectrum and the protection of radio astronomical observations. In 2009, at its XXVII General Assembly in Rio de Janeiro, the IAU passed Resolution B5 in Defence of the Night Sky and the Right to Starlight. The Resolution encourages IAU members to assist in raising public awareness about the contents and objectives of the International Conference in Defence of the Quality of the Night Sky and the Right to Observe Stars [], in particular the importance of preserving access to an unpolluted night sky for all mankind.

  17. Communicating Solar Astronomy to the public (United States)

    Yaji, Kentaro; Solar Observatory NAOJ, The


    The Sun is the nearest star to us, so that the public is greatly interested in the Sun itself and in solar activity. The Solar Observatory, National Astronomical Observatory of Japan is one of the solar research divisions. Various data of the Sun obtained with our instruments, systematically accumulated more than one hundred years since 1910s, are open to not only researchers but also the public as online database. So, we have many chances that the public request solar images for the education and the media. In addition, we release daily solar observation informations on the web and with social media and guide visitors to our observation facilities. It is reviewed about the public relations and outreach activities of the Solar Observatory, including recent solar observation topics.

  18. Protection of the Guillermo Haro Astrophysical Observatory (United States)

    Carrasco, E.; Carraminana, A. P.

    The Guillermo Haro Astrophysical Observatory, with a 2m telescope, is one of only two professional observatories in Mexico. The observatory, run by the InstitutoNacional de Astrofisica, Optica y Electronica (INAOE), is located in the north of Mexico, in Cananea, Sonora. Since 1995 the observatory has faced the potential threat of pollution by an open cast mine to be opened at 3kms from the observatory. In the absence of national or regional laws enforcing protection to astronomical sites in Mexico, considerable effort has been needed to guarantee the conditions of the site. We present the studies carried out to ensure the protection of the Guillermo Haro Observatory from pollution due to dust, light and vibrations.

  19. Different Categories of Astronomical Heritage: Issues and Challenges (United States)

    Ruggles, Clive


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

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


    the study of interstellar chemistry," Remijan said. Astronomers have already identified more than 150 molecules in interstellar space in the past 40 years, including complex organic compounds such as sugars and alcohols. "This is a major change in how we search for molecules in space," Remijan explained. "Before, people decided beforehand which molecules they were looking for, then searched in a very narrow band of radio frequencies emitted by those molecules. In this GBT survey, we've observed a wide range of frequencies, collected the data and immediately made it publicly available. Scientists anywhere can 'mine' this resource to find new molecules," he said. Another key development, presented by Crystal Brogan of the NRAO, showed that highly-detailed images of "protoclusters" of massive young stars reveal a complex mix of stars in different stages of formation, complicated gas motions, and numerous chemical clues to the physical conditions in such stellar nurseries. "We saw a much more complex picture than we had expected and now have new questions to answer," she said. Using the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory's Submillimeter Array (SMA) in Hawaii, Brogan and her colleagues studied a nebula 5,500 light-years from Earth in the constellation Scorpius where stars significantly more massive than our Sun are forming. "It's essential to understand what's going on in systems like this because most stars, Sun-like stars included, form in clusters," Brogan said. "The most massive stars in the cluster have a tremendous impact on the formation and environment of the rest of the cluster, including the less-massive stars and their planets," Brogan said, adding that "if we want to understand how solar systems that could support life form and evolve, we need to know how these giant stars affect their environment." Also, Brogan said, the massive young stars are surrounded by "hot cores" that include copious organic material that later may be spewed into interstellar space

  1. Creating Griffith Observatory (United States)

    Cook, Anthony


    Griffith Observatory has been the iconic symbol of the sky for southern California since it began its public mission on May 15, 1935. While the Observatory is widely known as being the gift of Col. Griffith J. Griffith (1850-1919), the story of how Griffith’s gift became reality involves many of the people better known for other contributions that made Los Angeles area an important center of astrophysics in the 20th century. Griffith began drawing up his plans for an observatory and science museum for the people of Los Angeles after looking at Saturn through the newly completed 60-inch reflector on Mt. Wilson. He realized the social impact that viewing the heavens could have if made freely available, and discussing the idea of a public observatory with Mt. Wilson Observatory’s founder, George Ellery Hale, and Director, Walter Adams. This resulted, in 1916, in a will specifying many of the features of Griffith Observatory, and establishing a committee managed trust fund to build it. Astronomy popularizer Mars Baumgardt convinced the committee at the Zeiss Planetarium projector would be appropriate for Griffith’s project after the planetarium was introduced in Germany in 1923. In 1930, the trust committee judged funds to be sufficient to start work on creating Griffith Observatory, and letters from the Committee requesting help in realizing the project were sent to Hale, Adams, Robert Millikan, and other area experts then engaged in creating the 200-inch telescope eventually destined for Palomar Mountain. A Scientific Advisory Committee, headed by Millikan, recommended that Caltech Physicist Edward Kurth be put in charge of building and exhibit design. Kurth, in turn, sought help from artist Russell Porter. The architecture firm of John C. Austin and Fredrick Ashley was selected to design the project, and they adopted the designs of Porter and Kurth. Philip Fox of the Adler Planetarium was enlisted to manage the completion of the Observatory and become its

  2. Strange Cases from the Files of Astronomical Sociology


    Krisciunas, Kevin


    What astronomer could not use his own surname because his father was beheaded for sorcery? Who built the only observatory worth $5 billion in today's money? Who had worse luck than YOU travelling thousands of miles NOT to observe an astronomical event? Who had one of his books bound in human skin at the request of his most ardent fan? Is there an anti-correlation between scientific output and the number of children one has? Are astronomers known for having unusual honeymoons? Who wrote the mo...

  3. How can a research library support the communication of science to the general public? (United States)

    Brunetti, F.; Gasperini, A.


    How can an observatory library support the communication of science to the general public? We will describe how a highly specialised astronomical library can also play a key role in disseminating astronomical knowledge, making scientific results available across a wide range of levels, from professional to public to educational. This outreach activity requires several steps, ranging from the preliminary identification and scrutiny of sources to the production of new information material (e.g. maps, brochures, and DVDs). In particular, we will describe some recent experiences in the dissemination of astronomical information to the general public, especially teachers and children, analysing some results of this activity, such as a bibliography of Italian Astronomical Books for Children, a review of scientific books and other multimedia products.

  4. Edward Singleton Holden (1846-1914): His career at the U. S. Naval Observatory from 1873 to 1881 (United States)

    Corbin, Brenda G.


    Edward Singleton Holden (1846-1914) held many positions during his career, including: astronomer at the U. S. Naval Observatory, Director of Washburn Observatory, President of the University of California, Director of Lick Observatory, and finally, Librarian at West Point. This presentation covers his tenure at the Naval Observatory. Educated at Washington University under Chauvenet, he went on to further study at West Point, graduating 3rd in his class in 1870. He resigned his commission in the Army in 1873 to become an astronomer at the Naval Observatory. He first assisted William Harkness on the transit circle and then Simon Newcomb took an interest in him and became an early mentor. When the 26-inch Clark refractor was completed in 1873, Holden was assigned to assist Newcomb. In 1875 Asaph Hall took over the 26-inch and Holden continued in this position. One of Holden's major accomplishments at the Observatory was the publication of the Monograph of the central parts of the nebula of Orion in 1882. He meticulously gathered all images of the central part of the nebula known at that time, beginning with a drawing by Huygens in 1656. These images, which were later used in the published volume, are mounted in a manuscript book held in the Observatory Library. Holden thought the relative brightness of certain parts of the nebula changed over time and tried to verify this theory. However, in 1882, his friend Henry Draper took a photographic image of the nebula with an exposure of 137 minutes which Holden readily accepted and included in the monograph. He immediately realized that photography was the tool of the future and would give a reliable, permanent record that later did indeed prove his theory was incorrect. Holden's work in the libraries of the Naval Observatory and West Point will also be discussed.

  5. Auto Adjusting Astronomical Telescope

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rohit R. Ghalsasi


    Full Text Available Astronomical telescope is powerful and basic tool for star or celestial observation. Here we proposed integrated system using Raspberry Pi for auto adjusting astronomical telescope. This integrated circuit helps to control stellar monitoring, stellar targeting, and tracking functions of telescope. Astro compass gives the direction of the celestial objects.

  6. Reengineering observatory operations for the time domain (United States)

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


    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.

  7. Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory as Cultural Centre (United States)

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


    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.

  8. The Astronomical League (United States)

    Stevens, J. A.; Stevens, B. L.


    Founded over fifty years ago, the League is the largest general astronomy society in the world. It is a recognized non-profit, educational organization, promoting the science of astronomy. This includes astronomical education, research, individual observing of the heavens and coordination between the amateur and professional astronomy communities. The Astronomical League publishes a quarterly newsletter, the "Reflector", which details amateur activities and amateur collaboration with professional astronomers. The League's Observing Clubs hone the skills of the amateur astronomer in using their telescopes. These clubs provide awards to encourge observing and learning the sky. More general awards are presented to encourage amateur astronomy and the science of astronomy. These include the National Young Astronomer Award, amd the Horkheimer Planetary Imaging Award. They also sponsor conventions on both the National and Regional levels. This year's national is in Ventura, California, next year, near Washington, D.C.

  9. Armenian Astronomical Archives and Databases (United States)

    Mickaelian, A. M.; Astsatryan, H. V.; Knyazyan, A. V.; Mikayelyan, G. A.


    The major characteristics of modern astronomy are multiwavelength studies (from γ-ray to radio) and big data (data acquisition, storage and analysis). Present astronomical databases and archives contain billions of objects observed in various wavelengths, both galactic and extragalactic, and the vast amount of data on them allows new studies and discoveries. Astronomical Data are one of the largest collections of World Data System. The Armenian astronomical databases maintain large amount of data accumulated during dozens of years of observations with a number of telescopes in the Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory (BAO). Among them most important are two Schmidt type telescopes, 0.5m and 1m (one of the biggest in the world), and the 2.6m classical reflector. Some of these data are unique, such as the First Byurakan Survey (FBS or better known as Mark Arian Survey) objective prism photographic plates and its digitized version, the Digitized First Byurakan Survey (DFBS). It consists of 1874 photographic plates containing some 40,000,000 low-dispersion spectra for some 20,000,000 objects covering 17,000 square degrees at declinations δ>-15 ° and galactic latitudes |b|>15°. DFBS provides images and extracted spectra for all objects present in the FBS plates. Programs were developed to compute astrometric solution, extract spectra, and apply wavelength and photometric calibration for objects. A DFBS database and catalog has been assembled. A classification scheme for the DFBS spectra is being developed. A few other digitization projects have been accomplished or are ongoing: Second Byurakan Survey (SBS) spectroscopic plates, FBS Blue Stellar Objects and Late Type Stars photographic spectra taken with the 2.6m telescope, the variability of the Blazar ON 231 obtained from numerous photometric observations, etc. At present BAO Plate Archive Project is active and is aimed at digitization of some 37,000 photographic plates, construction of a full plate database and

  10. National and international astronomical activities in Chile 1849--2002 (United States)

    Duerbeck, H. W.


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

  11. Enthusiastic Little Astronomers (United States)

    Novak, Ines


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

  12. The Malaysian Robotic Solar Observatory (P29) (United States)

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


    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.

  13. Astronomical journey to the Skåne district in Sweden (United States)

    Nakamura, Tsuko


    In September of 2005, we had a chance to travel to the Skåe district of Sweden. This short paper briefly reports what we saw there, along with historical episodes relating to Lund Observatory, the medieval astronomical clock preserved at the Lund Cathedral, and the Hven island where Tycho Brahe constructed in the late 16th century the first modern astronomical observatory called Uraniborg.

  14. Reengineering observatory operations for the time domain

    CERN Document Server

    Seaman, Robert L; Hessman, Frederic V


    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. Re...

  15. International Astronomical-Cultural Initiatives and Ukrainian Astronomical Heritage in the Context of World Heritage (United States)

    Kazantseva, L.


    Astronomy as science of world view has left its mark in many areas of human culture. Astronomical movable and immovable monuments as cultural and scientific content recently started to be studied carefully, and finally receive their recognition for their further preservation. Various international organizations have initiated a diverse case studies of these monuments, produced some recommendations for their organization, typology, division into periods. In joint programs, experts of IAU, UNESCO, ICOMOS elaborate criteria for selection of monuments of global significance. Complete study of astronomical sights will allow to consider the history of scientific knowledge dissemination in time and in space. Ukraine has also carefully examined their stored astronomical monuments scattered in astronomical observatories, libraries, archives, museums, university collections, architectural ensembles, archaeological parks and cemeteries. In conditions of instability and crises it is important to establish uniqueness or typicality of certain historical sites, to study their characteristics and identity, relationship with global trends that will enable their successful promotion and protection. Part of these research works are conducted in our observatories, but not as intensively as in other countries. They have not engaged in related industries and professionals authorized state institutions. Not having used an active effort in this case, we can stay behind the big international project for study the intellectual and cultural heritage.

  16. What Astronomers and the AAS Need to be Doing to Curb Light Pollution (United States)

    Green, D. W. E.


    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

  17. The creation of the International Astronomical Union as a result of scientific diplomacy (United States)

    Saint-Martin, Arnaud


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

  18. Achievements of the Armenian Astronomy and the Present Activities of the Armenian Astronomical Society (United States)

    Mickaelian, A. M.


    A report is given on the achievements of the Armenian astronomy during the last years and on the present activities of the Armenian Astronomical Society (ArAS). ArAS membership, ArAS electronic newsletters (ArASNews), ArAS webpage, international collaboration, Armenian Virtual Observatory (ArVO), membership in international organizations, grants, prizes, meetings, summer schools, astronomical Olympiads, other matters related to astronomical education, archaeoastronomy, astronomy outreach and ArAS further projects are discussed.

  19. Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory (United States)

    Mickaelian, A. M.


    This booklet is devoted to NAS RA V. Ambartsumian Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory and is aimed at people interested in astronomy and BAO, pupils and students, BAO visitors and others. The booklet is made as a visiting card and presents concise and full information about BAO. A brief history of BAO, the biography of the great scientist Viktor Ambartsumian, brief biographies of 13 other deserved scientists formerly working at BAO (B.E. Markarian, G.A. Gurzadyan, L.V. Mirzoyan, M.A. Arakelian, et al.), information on BAO telescopes (2.6m, 1m Schmidt, etc.) and other scientific instruments, scientific library and photographic plate archive, Byurakan surveys (including the famous Markarian Survey included in the UNESCO Memory of the World International Register), all scientific meetings held in Byurakan, international scientific collaboration, data on full research staff of the Observatory, as well as former BAO researchers, who have moved to foreign institutions are given in the booklet. At the end, the list of the most important books published by Armenian astronomers and about them is given.

  20. Research at Appalachian State University's Dark Sky Observatory (United States)

    Caton, D. B.


    Astronomical research at Appalachian State University centers around the interests of the three observational astronomers on the faculty, and primarily involves observational work at our Dark Sky Observatory (DSO). ASU is a member of the 16-campus University of North Carolina system, and is a comprehensive university with about 13,000 students. Besides the usual constraint found in such a setting (teaching loads of 9-12 hours/semester), we face the challenges of maintaining a significant observatory facility in an era of shrinking state budgets. The DSO facility is 20 miles from campus, adding additional problems. This scenario differs from those of the other panelists, who are at private institutions and/or use shared facilities. The character of students at ASU also adds constraints--many have to hold part-time jobs that limit their participation in the very research that could contribute significantly to their success. Particularly, their need to leave for the summer for gainful employment at the very time that faculty have the most time for research is a loss for all concerned. In spite of these challenges, we have a long record of maintaining research programs in eclipsing binary star photometry, stellar spectroscopy and QSO/AGN monitoring. Undergraduate students are involved in all aspects of the work, from becoming competent at solo observing to publication of the results and presentation of papers and posters at meetings. Graduate students in our Masters in Applied Physics program (emphasis on instrumentation), have constructed instruments and control systems for the observatory. Most of what we have achieved would have been impossible without the support of the National Science Foundation. We have been fortunate to acquire funds under the Division of Undergraduate Education's ILI program and the Research at Undergraduate Institutions program. Among other things, this support provided our main telescope, CCD cameras, and some student stipends.

  1. Digitization and Position Measurement of Astronomical Plates of Saturnian Satellites (United States)

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


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

  2. An astronomical murder? (United States)

    Belenkiy, Ari


    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.

  3. Decoding Astronomical Concepts (United States)

    Durisen, Richard H.; Pilachowski, Catherine A.


    Two astronomy professors, using the Decoding the Disciplines process, help their students use abstract theories to analyze light and to visualize the enormous scale of astronomical concepts. (Contains 5 figures.)

  4. Research Experiences for Undergraduates at Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (United States)

    Hoard, D. W.; Smith, R. C.


    Each year, Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO), located in La Serena, Chile, hosts a Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Program funded by the National Science Foundation. In general, REU programs bring a group of undergraduate students to the host institute for 10 weeks, where they are teamed-up with staff members to perform research projects. Unlike REU programs at other U.S. institutions, the CTIO program takes place outside the United States and during the southern summer/northern winter months of January--March. This offers students not only a chance to perform research and participate in the day-to-day life at a major astronomical observatory, but also provides a unique exposure to a foreign culture and an option for students who can take advantage of a non-traditional work experience during the academic year. CTIO REU students also benefit from interaction with their Chilean counterparts participating in the Prácticas de Investigación en Astronomía, an REU-like program operated by CTIO for Chilean undergraduates. Since 1995, CTIO has hosted 20 REU students (with 4 more coming in 2001). Twenty (and counting) publications have resulted from CTIO REU projects. In addition, since 1999, 100% of the CTIO REU students have presented the results of their research projects at meetings of the American Astronomical Society. We present here an overview of the REU program at CTIO.

  5. A case study in adaptable and reusable infrastructure at the Keck Observatory Archive: VO interfaces, moving targets, and more

    CERN Document Server

    Berriman, G Bruce; Colson, Andrew; Gelino, Christopher R; Good, John C; Kong, Mihseh; Laity, Anastasia C; Mader, Jeffrey A; Swain, Melanie A; Tran, Hien D; Wang, Shin-Ywan


    This paper describes how the Keck Observatory Archive (KOA) is extending open source software components to develop new services. In August 2015, KOA deployed a program interface to discover public data from all instruments equipped with an imaging mode. The interface complies with version 2 of the Simple Imaging Access Protocol (SIAP), under development by the International Virtual Observatory Alliance (IVOA), which defines a standard mechanism for discovering images through spatial queries. The heart of the KOA service is an R-tree-based, database-indexing mechanism prototyped by the Virtual Astronomical Observatory (VAO) and further developed by the Montage Image Mosaic project, designed to provide fast access to large imaging data sets as a first step in creating wide-area image mosaics. The KOA service uses the results of the spatial R-tree search to create an SQLite data database for further relational filtering. The service uses a JSON configuration file to describe the association between instrument p...

  6. Strange Cases from the Files of Astronomical Sociology

    CERN Document Server

    Krisciunas, K


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

  7. Ukiah and Gaithersburg Latitude Observatories: Preserving NOAA's Legacy of International Scientific Cooperation and Polar Motion Studies (United States)

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


    In 1891, American astronomer Seth C. Chandler Jr. announced his 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. Immediately, the International Geodetic Association (IGA) called for an unprecedented international effort to observe and measure the wandering of the earth's pole and its resulting variation of latitude. The U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey became involved, and by 1899 the IGA had established six International Latitude Observatories at 39° 8' N: three in the United States, the others in Italy, Russia and Japan. Only two of the U.S. latitude observatories survive today. In 1982, NOAA deeded them to their home cities of Gaithersburg, MD and Ukiah, CA. Both cities have embraced this history by restoring the observatories and converting the adjacent land into public parks. Gaithersburg has had its latitude observatory dedicated as a National Historic Landmark. In 2014-15, the National Geodetic Survey (the present-day NOAA successor to the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey) loaned the original zenith telescopes to the communities, returning the observatories to their original condition. This poster/presentation will outline the motivations for this effort and bring to fruition this cooperative multi-year effort among partners by providing examples of NOAA's mission and contribution to science, service and stewardship at both the east and west coast geodetic observatories, through programs and historic exhibits for students and the public. Results will include an increase in exposure to NOAA's rich and formative heritage as well as its enduring current scientific research and other activities. Thus, NOAA's historic heritage and assets of the International Latitude Observatories will be protected and preserved through activities for education, outreach and tourism.

  8. The Value of the Great Observatories' Educational Programs (United States)

    Pasachoff, J. M.


    What should non-major and school-level students learn about astronomy? The current trend in Physics Education Research, now being translated to Astronomy Education Research, is that "less is more." As a result, there may be little time for modern topics or there may be a judgment that these topics are too abstract to teach. Yet NASA's Great Observatories and other missions have vital and interesting Education and Public Outreach programs. Through the Web, through distribution of CD-ROM's and other media, and through a variety of materials and activities these programs provide not only reports on current research but also substantial background information. To explore the contemporary question of what we professional astronomers think we should be communicating to students at all levels, I have invited both scientists and public information officers of the Hubble Space Telescope, the Chandra X-ray Observatory, and the Space Infrared Telescope Facility to discuss the importance and the methodologies of their Education and Public Outreach programs.

  9. Brazil to Join the European Southern Observatory (United States)


    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

  10. Multi-band optical follow-up observations of GRB 020813 at KISO and Bisei observatories

    CERN Document Server

    Urata, Y; Miyata, T; Mito, H; Kawabata, T; Nakada, Y; Aoki, T; Soyano, T; Tarusawa, K; Yoshida, A; Tamagawa, T; Makishima, K


    Observations were made of the optical afterglow of GRB020813 (Fox, Blake & Price, 2002) with the KISO observatory 1.05 m Schmidt telescope and the Bisei astronomical observatory 1.01 m telescope. Four-band ($B, V, R$, and $I$) photometric data points were obtained from 2002, August 13 10:52 to 16:46 UT, or 0.346$-$0.516 days after the burst. In order to investigate the early-time ($<$1 day) evolution of the afterglow, four-band light curves were produced by analyzing the data taken at these two astronomical observatories, as well as publicly released data taken by the Magellan Baade telescope (Gladders and Hall, 2002c). The light curves can be approximated by a broken power law, of which the indices are approximately 0.46 and 1.33 before and after a break at $\\sim$0.2 days, respectively. The optical spectral index stayed approximately constant at $\\sim$0.9 over 0.17 $\\sim$ 4.07 days after the burst. Since the temporal decay index after the break and the spectral index measured at that time are both con...

  11. Astropix: An Archive of Astronomical Images (United States)

    Squires, Gordon K.; Hurt, R.; Rosenthal, C.; Llamas, J.; Brinkworth, C.; Pyle, T.


    In fall 2010, a new, central repository of astronomical images became available at . Enabled by the Astronomy Visualization Metadata (AVM) standard, this archive contains images from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, Chandra, Hubble, WISE, GALEX, and the Herschel Space Observatory. For the first time, an automated registry is possible by populating contextual and informational fields in the metadata of the images themselves. This presentation will highlight the features of the archive, how to include your images in the registry and applications enabled including dynamic websites, kiosks, and mobile device applications.

  12. Le Verrier magnificent and detestable astronomer

    CERN Document Server

    Lequeux, James


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

  13. A Multilingual on-line Dictionary of Astronomical Concepts

    CERN Document Server

    Heydari-Malayeri, M


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

  14. New Geophysical Observatory in Uruguay (United States)

    Sanchez Bettucci, L.; Nuñez, P.; Caraballo, R. R.; Ogando, R.


    In 2011 began the installation of the first geophysical observatory in Uruguay, with the aim of developing the Geosciences. The Astronomical and Geophysical Observatory Aiguá (OAGA) is located within the Cerro Catedral Tourist Farm (-34 ° 20 '0 .89 "S/-54 ° 42 '44.72" W, h: 270m). This has the distinction of being located in the center of the South Atlantic Magnetic Anomaly. Geologically is emplaced in a Neoproterozoic basement, in a region with scarce anthropogenic interference. The OAGA has, since 2012, with a GSM-90FD dIdD v7.0 and GSM-90F Overhauser, both of GEM Systems. In addition has a super-SID receiver provided by the Stanford University SOLAR Center, as a complement for educational purposes. Likewise the installation of a seismograph REF TEK-151-120A and VLF antenna is being done since the beginning of 2013.

  15. Astronomers debate diamonds in space (United States)


    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

  16. Semantic Interlinking of Resources in the Virtual Observatory Era

    CERN Document Server

    Accomazzi, Alberto


    In the coming era of data-intensive science, it will be increasingly important to be able to seamlessly move between scientific results, the data analyzed in them, and the processes used to produce them. As observations, derived data products, publications, and object metadata are curated by different projects and archived in different locations, establishing the proper linkages between these resources and describing their relationships becomes an essential activity in their curation and preservation. In this paper we describe initial efforts to create a semantic knowledge base allowing easier integration and linking of the body of heterogeneous astronomical resources which we call the Virtual Observatory (VO). The ultimate goal of this effort is the creation of a semantic layer over existing resources, allowing applications to cross boundaries between archives. The proposed approach follows the current best practices in Semantic Computing and the architecture of the web, allowing the use of off-the-shelf tec...

  17. International lunar observatory / power station: from Hawaii to the Moon (United States)

    Durst, S.

    -like lava flow geology adds to Mauna Kea / Moon similarities. Operating amidst the extinct volcano's fine grain lava and dust particles offers experience for major challenges posed by silicon-edged, powdery, deep and abundant lunar regolith. Power stations for lunar observatories, both robotic and low cost at first, are an immediate enabling necessity and will serve as a commercial-industrial driver for a wide range of lunar base technologies. Both microwave rectenna-transmitters and radio-optical telescopes, maybe 1-meter diameter, can be designed using the same, new ultra-lightweight materials. Five of the world's six major spacefaring powers - America, Russia, Japan, China and India, are located around Hawaii in the Pacific / Asia area. With Europe, which has many resources in the Pacific hemisphere including Arianespace offices in Tokyo and Singapore, they have 55-60% of the global population. New international business partnerships such as Sea Launch in the mid-Pacific, and national ventures like China's Hainan spaceport, Japan's Kiribati shuttle landing site, Australia and Indonesia's emerging launch sites, and Russia's Ekranoplane sea launcher / lander - all combine with still more and advancing technologies to provide the central Pacific a globally representative, state-of-the-art and profitable access to space in this new century. The astronomer / engineers tasked with operation of the lunar observatory / power station will be the first to voyage from Hawaii to the Moon, before this decade is out. Their scientific and technical training at the world's leading astronomical complex on the lunar-like landscape of Mauna Kea may be enhanced with the learning and transmission of local cultures. Following the astronomer / engineers, tourism and travel in the commercially and technologically dynamic Pacific hemisphere will open the new ocean of space to public access in the 21st century like they opened the old ocean of sea and air to Hawaii in the 20th - with Hawaii

  18. New astronomical references in two Catalonian late medieval documents. (United States)

    Martínez, María José; Marco, Francisco J


    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.

  19. Serbian Astronomers in Science Citation Index in the XX Century (United States)

    Dimitrijevic, Milan S.

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

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

    CERN Document Server

    Hicks, John


    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 ...

  1. The Footprint Database and Web Services of the Herschel Space Observatory

    CERN Document Server

    Dobos, László; Verdugo, Eva; Teyssier, David; Exter, Katrina; Valtchanov, Ivan; Budavári, Tamás; Kiss, Csaba


    Data from the Herschel Space Observatory is freely available to the public but no uniformly processed catalogue of the observations has been published so far. To date, the Herschel Science Archive does not contain the exact sky coverage (footprint) of individual observations and supports search for measurements based on bounding circles only. Drawing on previous experience in implementing footprint databases, we built the Herschel Footprint Database and Web Services for the Herschel Space Observatory to provide efficient search capabilities for typical astronomical queries. The database was designed with the following main goals in mind: (a) provide a unified data model for meta-data of all instruments and observational modes, (b) quickly find observations covering a selected object and its neighbourhood, (c) quickly find every observation in a larger area of the sky, (d) allow for finding solar system objects crossing observation fields. As a first step, we developed a unified data model of observations of a...

  2. Alternative Astronomical FITS imaging

    CERN Document Server

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


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

  3. Atlas of Astronomical Discoveries

    CERN Document Server

    Schilling, Govert


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

  4. Astrobiology: An Astronomer's Perspective


    Bergin, Edwin A.


    In this review we explore aspects of the field of astrobiology from an astronomical viewpoint. We therefore focus on the origin of life in the context of planetary formation, with additional emphasis on tracing the most abundant volatile elements, C, H, O, and N that are used by life on Earth. We first explore the history of life on our planet and outline the current state of our knowledge regarding the delivery of the C, H, O, N elements to the Earth. We then discuss how astronomers track th...

  5. Using Robotic Operating System (ROS) to control autonomous observatories (United States)

    Vilardell, Francesc; Artigues, Gabriel; Sanz, Josep; García-Piquer, Álvaro; Colomé, Josep; Ribas, Ignasi


    Astronomical observatories are complex systems requiring the integration of numerous devices into a common platform. We are presenting here the firsts steps to integrate the popular Robotic Operating System (ROS) into the control of a fully autonomous observatory. The observatory is also equipped with a decision-making procedure that can automatically react to a changing environment (like weather events). The results obtained so far have shown that the automation of a small observatory can be greatly simplified when using ROS, as well as robust, with the implementation of our decision-making algorithms.

  6. Education of American research astronomers, 1876-1941 (United States)

    Hall, Robert Dale


    The education (particularly graduate education) of Americans who were active in astronomical research between 1876 and 1941 is assessed for its effectiveness in preparing the astronomers for careers in research. This period contains three dynamic changes: the growth of American astronomy in becoming the world's leading community of astronomers, the formation and flourishing of the American model of the graduate school, and the switch of emphasis of research from classical astronomy to astrophysics. Investigations are made of the roles of the astronomers' education in the growth and success of American astronomy and the progressive adoption of new fields of research-observational astrophysics, statistical astronomy, and theoretical astrophysics. Influences on astronomical education in the US are also assessed. The study used biographical information on the education and research careers of 509 scientists who published at least three papers of astronomical research. The data allowed the study of trends in the education of the astronomers. Brief case histories of astronomical education at the most important schools of astronomy, Berkeley-Lick, Chicago-Yerkes, Harvard, Michigan, and Princeton, complemented data of the astronomers. The study found that the loss of courses of elementary astronomy in high schools and colleges due to a report in 1893 had no discernible effect on the growth of the community of astrophysicists, yet contributed to the decline of classical astronomy. Also, the astronomers most responsible for the rise of astrophysics after 1900 were not educated in conventional graduate programs of classical astronomy. Lick Observatory, under W. W. Campbell, reset the prevalent direction of graduate training in the US from classical astronomy to observational astrophysics. Princeton's graduate program was the most effective in producing outstanding astronomers. Its graduates were the only students of the 1920s and 30s with strong backgrounds in physics

  7. Methods in Astronomical Image Processing (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

  8. Using Virtual Observatory with Python: querying remote astronomical databases

    CERN Document Server

    Paletou, F


    This tutorial is devoted to extending an existing catalogue with data taken elsewhere, either from CDS Vizier or Simbad database. As an example, we used the so-called 'Spectroscopic Survey of Stars in the Solar Neighborhood' (aka. S4N, Allende Prieto et al. 2004) in order to retrieve all objects with available data for the set of fundamental stellar parameters effective temperature, surface gravity and metallicity. Then for each object in this dataset we query Simbad database to retrieve the projected rotational velocity. This combines Vizier and Simbad queries made using Python astroquery module. The tutorial covers remote database access, filtering tables with arbitrary criteria, creating and writing your own tables, and basics of plotting in Python.

  9. Observations of Binary and Millisecond Pulsars at Xinjiang Astronomical Observatory

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Jingbo Wang; Na Wang; Jianping Yuan; Zhiyong Liu


    We present the first results of radio timing observations of binary and millisecond pulsars in China. We have timed four binary pulsars for 9 years, using Nanshan 25-m radio telescope. The long time span has enabled us to determine their rotation and orbital parameters.

  10. Astronomical Surveys and Big Data

    CERN Document Server

    Mickaelian, A M


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

  11. VEGAS: VErsatile GBT Astronomical Spectrometer (United States)

    Bussa, Srikanth; VEGAS Development Team


    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.

  12. Changing perceptions one classroom at a time: Evaluation results from the Solar Dynamics Observatory formal Education and Public Outreach programs (United States)

    Wawro, Martha; Haden, Carol


    The Solar Dynamics Observatory’s (SDO) education and public outreach (EPO) team has developed and implemented a number of formal education programs for K-12 students and teachers. Programs include the Day At Goddard field trip for high school students, SDO Ambassador in the Classroom outreach to elementary classrooms, and teacher support materials for solar science education. These programs have been designed to foster student interest and engagement in science especially solar science, and increase their awareness and interest in NASA and STEM careers. Magnolia Consulting, who worked closely with the SDO EPO team to both design a substantive evaluation program, as well as improve the education programs offered, has extensively evaluated these programs. Evaluation findings indicate that teachers highly value the opportunities and resources provided by SDO EPO and that student impacts include increased interest and engagement in solar science topics and awareness of STEM careers. This presentation will be a summary of the results of the evaluation of these formal education programs including lessons learned that can be of value to the STEM EPO community.

  13. The International Virtual Observatory Alliance (United States)

    Kembhavi, Ajit

    Over the last few years Astronomical Virtual Observatory (VO) projects have been initiated in several countries. The aim of these projects is to make astronomical data gathered in all ways and in all places available to every person who may need it along with appropriate software for data access analysis visualization and interpretation. The VO projects largely work in their own ways and with their own priorities shaped by scientific interests and available resources. For the VO concept to be successful these efforts have to be meshed together seamlessly through interoperability standards new data formats which take into account emerging technology and software developed in forms which are largely independent of platforms and operating systems. It is also necessary to develop computing grids which will cross national and project boundaries and can be accessed by any researcher who wishes to use the data mountains. This process of integration and assimilation is to be fostered through international alliances spanning various VO efforts. I will describe in my talk formal alliances like the International Virtual Observatory as well as specific bilateral and multilateral collaborations between individuals institutions or projects and the VO related products that have been launched through these collaborations.

  14. The MicroObservatory Net (United States)

    Brecher, K.; Sadler, P.


    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

  15. The Global ALMA EPO programme: Communicating astronomy with the public at millimetre and submillimetre wavelengths (United States)

    Adams, M.; Boffin, H. J.; Garnier, W.; Iono, D.


    The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) is a major 21st century international science research facility that will open new windows on celestial origins. ALMA construction is underway in the high-elevation Atacama Desert of northern Chile. Science operations will begin in 2010, and full science operations will start in 2013. The ALMA Education and Public Outreach (EPO) programme is a global collaboration that seeks to communicate the excitement and value of the ALMA mission, science, and technology to international audiences effectively. The ALMA EPO programme is the responsibility of the Joint ALMA Observatory (JAO), the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO), the European Organisation for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere (ESO), and the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ). This contribution provides an overview of the ALMA Project and the global ALMA EPO programme.

  16. Misconceptions of Astronomical Distances (United States)

    Miller, Brian W.; Brewer, William F.


    Previous empirical studies using multiple-choice procedures have suggested that there are misconceptions about the scale of astronomical distances. The present study provides a quantitative estimate of the nature of this misconception among US university students by asking them, in an open-ended response format, to make estimates of the distances…

  17. A Journal for the Astronomical Computing Community?

    CERN Document Server

    Gray, Norman


    One of the Birds of a Feather (BoF) discussion sessions at ADASS XX considered whether a new journal is needed to serve the astronomical computing community. In this paper we discuss the nature and requirements of that community, outline the analysis that led us to propose this as a topic for a BoF, and review the discussion from the BoF session itself. We also present the results from a survey designed to assess the suitability of astronomical computing papers of different kinds for publication in a range of existing astronomical and scientific computing journals. The discussion in the BoF session was somewhat inconclusive, and it seems likely that this topic will be debated again at a future ADASS or in a similar forum.

  18. ORCID Uptake in the Astronomical Community (United States)

    Holmquist, Jane


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

  19. Recent results at the Canarian Observatories (United States)

    Muñoz-Tuñón, C.; Varela, A. M.; Fuensalida, J. J.


    During the last years a mayor effort has been carried out both, in defining key parameters to quantify the quality of a site for astronomical observations, and to design reliable techniques and tools to compare different sites. Here, we will revise some of the parameters relevant for astronomical site evaluation, and we will also brief on the instruments currently available for their measurements. The Observatories at the Canaries, Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos (ORM) and Observatorio del Teide (OT) have been used as test bench for the development of new techniques and tools for more than three decades. Results on statistical measurements and techniques, emphasizing the most recent ones in the framework of the FP6 site selection program at the Canarian Observatories are given.

  20. Developing the OORCC: A Multifaceted Astronomical Research and Outreach Facility at the University of Oregon (United States)

    Kwan, Teiler J.; Bullis, Jeremy; Gustafsson, Annika; Fisher, Robert Scott


    The University of Oregon (UO) owns and operates Pine Mountain Observatory (PMO), located in central Oregon on the summit of Pine Mountain at an elevation of 1980 meters. PMO consists of four telescopes ranging in size from 0.35 - 0.8 meters. The Oregon Observatory Remote Control Center (OORCC) is a remote-observing center within the Department of Physics on the UO campus (~140 miles from the observatory) that has a direct connection to PMO through a dedicated fiber-optic cable. With this facility, we will enable UO undergraduate student researchers, UO faculty, and the non-scientific community to fully control and operate a newly installed robotic telescope on the summit of Pine Mountain from Eugene, or any other authorized site in Oregon. In addition to providing undergraduates with instrumentation and engineering experience, we will implement research by photometrically monitoring bright and variable astronomical sources including main belt comets, Herbig Ae/Be stars, and active galactic nuclei in extragalactic systems. The primary objective with the OORCC is to manage a multifaceted astronomy and astrophysics research facility, extending as a state-wide resource for K-12 STEM activities and public outreach programs. With the OORCC, we intend to bring unique and enriching astronomy exposure to many different groups of people throughout the state of Oregon.

  1. Global TIE Observatories: Real Time Observational Astronomy Through a Robotic Telescope Network (United States)

    Clark, G.; Mayo, L. A.


    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

  2. David Gill - Magnificent and Desirable Astronomer

    CERN Document Server

    Reid, John S


    This paper was given to mark the centenary of the death of David Gill, the foremost British astronomer in the last quarter of the 19th century and into the 20th century. Gill abandoned a successful career as a clock and watchmaker. His speciality was in astrometry, an area of astronomy of both practical and scientific importance that tended to be eclipsed in the 20th century by the rise of astrophysics. As Her Majesty's Astronomer at the Cape of Good Hope for 27 years, David Gill was admired for his prolific contribution to highly accurate and trustworthy results. David Gill's collaboration was desired by leading astronomers of the day and he was the only southern hemisphere representative on the hugely important Conference Internationale des Etoiles Fondamentales of 1896. He created with Jacobus Kapetyn the first extensive star catalogue derived from photographic plates (the CPD), including over 450,000 stars. He was an initiator of the biggest multi-national and multi-observatory project of the century, tak...

  3. Thomas Kuhn's Influence on Astronomers. (United States)

    Shipman, Harry L.


    Surveys the astronomical community on their familiarity with the work of Thomas Kuhn. Finds that for some astronomers, Kuhn's thought resonated well with their picture of how science is done and provided perspectives on their scientific careers. (Author/CCM)

  4. The League of Astronomers: Outreach (United States)

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


    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.

  5. Processing Color in Astronomical Imagery

    CERN Document Server

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


    Every year, hundreds of images from telescopes on the ground and in space are released to the public, making their way into popular culture through everything from computer screens to postage stamps. These images span the entire electromagnetic spectrum from radio waves to infrared light to X-rays and gamma rays, a majority of which is undetectable to the human eye without technology. Once these data are collected, one or more specialists must process the data to create an image. Therefore, the creation of astronomical imagery involves a series of choices. How do these choices affect the comprehension of the science behind the images? What is the best way to represent data to a non-expert? Should these choices be based on aesthetics, scientific veracity, or is it possible to satisfy both? This paper reviews just one choice out of the many made by astronomical image processors: color. The choice of color is one of the most fundamental when creating an image taken with modern telescopes. We briefly explore the ...

  6. ISO Results Presented at International Astronomical Union (United States)


    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 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: . 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

  7. Great Belt of Megalithic Observatories and Problem of History of the Pole of the World


    Chechelnitsky, A. M.


    The problem of localization of megalithic memorials on the Earth surface is investigated. It is pointed on existence of Great Belt of megalithic observatories - of con- centration of astronomically significant objects near geographical latitude 51 grad. N. The latent fundamental (and astronomical) sense is discussed of this phenomenon- the tendency to functional and architectural simplisity, to simmetry of megali- thic observatories (in view of the Symmetric Mandale. It is pointed on possibil...

  8. The Expansion of the Astronomical Photographic Data Archive at PARI (United States)

    Cline, J. Donald; Barker, Thurburn; Castelaz, Michael


    A diverse set of photometric, astrometric, spectral and surface brightness data exist on decades of photographic glass plates. The Astronomical Photographic Data Archive (APDA) at the Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute (PARI) was established in November 2007 and is dedicated to the task of collecting, restoring, preserving and storing astronomical photographic data and PARI continues to accept collections. APDA is also tasked with scanning each image and establishing a database of images that can be accessed via the Internet by the global community of scientists, researchers and students. APDA is a new type of astronomical observatory - one that harnesses analog data of the night sky taken for more than a century and making that data available in a digital format.In 2016, APDA expanded from 50 collections with about 220,000 plates to more than 55 collections and more than 340,000 plates and films. These account for more than 30% of all astronomical photographic data in the United States. The largest of the new acquisitions are the astronomical photographic plates in the Yale University collection. We present details of the newly added collections and review of other collections in APDA.

  9. Astronomical Spectroscopy for Amateurs

    CERN Document Server

    Harrison, Ken M


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

  10. Astronomers as Software Developers (United States)

    Pildis, Rachel A.


    Astronomers know that their research requires writing, adapting, and documenting computer software. Furthermore, they often have to learn new computer languages and figure out how existing programs work without much documentation or guidance and with extreme time pressure. These are all skills that can lead to a software development job, but recruiters and employers probably won't know that. I will discuss all the highly useful experience that astronomers may not know that they already have, and how to explain that knowledge to others when looking for non-academic software positions. I will also talk about some of the pitfalls I have run into while interviewing for jobs and working as a developer, and encourage you to embrace the curiosity employers might have about your non-standard background.

  11. Small Astronomical Telescopes for Research and Education at Helwan, Egypt (United States)

    Shaltout, M. A. M.

    This paper reviews the current status of small astronomical telescopes in use at Helwan Observatory (NRIAG). It highlights the capabilities of small telescopes with modern instrumentation in the context of astrophysics of the 21st century. An overview of research and education programs is included. An international project with Intercosmos countries and the SAO in the field of artificial satellite observations and tracking is commented. Meteorological and solar data collaborations with ESA and NASA for applied and academic research is done at Helwan Observatory.

  12. Bringing Image Data Quality to the Virtual Observatory : An Astro-WISE example

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Verdoes Kleijn, G.; Belikov, A.; McFarland, J.; Valentijn, E.; Baines, D.; Osuna, P.


    The Virtual Observatory provides access to a rapidly growing volume of astronomical data. For the uptake of the VO infrastructure by astronomers in their research it is now increasingly important that they can assess in detail the quality of published data. This paper describes the approach to quali

  13. 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.


    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.

  14. 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.


    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.

  15. Influences of German science and scientists on Melbourne Observatory (United States)

    Clark, Barry A. J.

    The multidisciplinary approach of Alexander von Humboldt in scientific studies of the natural world in the first half of the nineteenth century gained early and lasting acclaim. Later, given the broad scientific interests of colonial Victoria's first Government Astronomer Robert Ellery, one could expect to find some evidence of the Humboldtian approach in the operations of Williamstown Observatory and its successor, Melbourne Observatory. On examination, and without discounting the importance of other international scientific contributions, it appears that Melbourne Observatory was indeed substantially influenced from afar by Humboldt and other German scientists, and in person by Georg Neumayer in particular. Some of the ways in which these influences acted are obvious but others are less so. Like the other Australian state observatories, in its later years Melbourne Observatory had to concentrate its diminishing resources on positional astronomy and timekeeping. Along with Sydney Observatory, it has survived almost intact to become a heritage treasure, perpetuating appreciation of its formative influences.

  16. Exploring the Digital Universe with Europe's Astrophysical Virtual Observatory (United States)


    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

  17. Astronomical Software Directory Service (United States)

    Hanisch, Robert J.; Payne, Harry; Hayes, Jeffrey


    With the support of NASA's Astrophysics Data Program (NRA 92-OSSA-15), we have developed the Astronomical Software Directory Service (ASDS): a distributed, searchable, WWW-based database of software packages and their related documentation. ASDS provides integrated access to 56 astronomical software packages, with more than 16,000 URLs indexed for full-text searching. Users are performing about 400 searches per month. A new aspect of our service is the inclusion of telescope and instrumentation manuals, which prompted us to change the name to the Astronomical Software and Documentation Service. ASDS was originally conceived to serve two purposes: to provide a useful Internet service in an area of expertise of the investigators (astronomical software), and as a research project to investigate various architectures for searching through a set of documents distributed across the Internet. Two of the co-investigators were then installing and maintaining astronomical software as their primary job responsibility. We felt that a service which incorporated our experience in this area would be more useful than a straightforward listing of software packages. The original concept was for a service based on the client/server model, which would function as a directory/referral service rather than as an archive. For performing the searches, we began our investigation with a decision to evaluate the Isite software from the Center for Networked Information Discovery and Retrieval (CNIDR). This software was intended as a replacement for Wide-Area Information Service (WAIS), a client/server technology for performing full-text searches through a set of documents. Isite had some additional features that we considered attractive, and we enjoyed the cooperation of the Isite developers, who were happy to have ASDS as a demonstration project. We ended up staying with the software throughout the project, making modifications to take advantage of new features as they came along, as well as

  18. Variable Star Astronomy Education & Public Outreach Initiative (United States)

    Young, Donna L.


    The American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO) published a comprehensive variable star curriculum, "Hands-On Astrophysics, Variable Stars in Science, Math, and Computer Education" in 1997. The curriculum, funded by the National Science Foundation, was developed for a comprehensive audience -- amateur astronomers, classroom educators, science fair projects, astronomy clubs, family learning, and anyone interested in learning about variable stars. Some of the activities from the Hands-On Astrophysics curriculum have been incorporated into the educational materials for the Chandra X-Ray Observatory's Educational and Public Outreach (EPO) Office. On two occasions, in 2000 and 2001, triggered by alerts from amateur astronomers, Chandra observed the outburst of the dwarf nova SS Cygni. The cooperation of amateur variable star astronomers and Chandra X-Ray scientists provided proof that the collaboration of amateur and professional astronomers is a powerful tool to study cosmic phenomena. Once again, the Chandra and AAVSO have teamed up -- this time to promote variable star education. The Hands-On Astrophysics curriculum is being re-designed and updated from the original materials to a web-based format. The new version, re-named Variable Star Astronomy, will provide formal and informal educators, and especially amateur astronomers, educational materials to help promote interest in and knowledge of variable stars.

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

    Khachatryan, Vachik; Voskanyan, Tsovak


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

  20. Artificial Lighting Protection of Mauna Kea Observatories: An Experiment to Replace LPS Street Lighting With LEDs in Waikoloa Village, HI (United States)

    Craine, Eric R.; Craine, Brian L.


    Segments of the astronomical community have long lobbied in support of the use of Low Pressure Sodium (LPS) street lights as a method of minimizing impacts of sky glow on neighboring observatories. There has been vociferous objection to the replacement of LPS by Light Emitting Diode (LED) street lights. Such replacement is being precipitated by advances in lighting technologies, high economic efficiencies of LEDs, and plummeting interest in manufacturing LPS fixtures. Waikoloa Village, HI, located on the western slopes of Mauna Kea, home to major northern hemisphere observatories, has for many years been almost exclusively illuminated by LPS lighting. During the winter of 2015-2016 the County of Hawai’i Department of Public Works, Traffic Division replaced the approximately 550 LPS street lights in the community with Filtered LED (FLED) fixtures on a one-for-one basis. About 100 other LPS lights on private properties in the community were similarly replaced by the lighting manufacturer. This retrofit offered an excellent opportunity to make measurements of lighting parameters in the community before and after the retrofit process. Measurements were made using satellite, airborne, and ground based observations, and included photometric, photographic, and spectroscopic measurements. Data analyzed included integrated brightness of the community, zenith angle function brightness distributions, and spectral energy distributions. We present the results of these observations and discuss their implications for future protection of astronomical observatory sites.

  1. A Case of Racial Discrimination: Azeglio Bemporad, Astronomer Poet (United States)

    Mangano, A.


    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.

  2. Requirements for a Future Astronomical Data Analysis Environment (United States)

    Grosbl, P.; Banse, K.; Tody, D.; Cotton, W.; Cornwell, T. J.; Ponz, D.; Ignatius, J.; Linde, P.; van der Hulst, T.; Burwitz, V.; Giaretta, D.; Pasian, F.; Garilli, B.; Pence, W.; Shaw, D.


    Most of the systems currently used to analyze astronomical data were designed and implemented more than a decade ago. Although they still are very useful for analysis, one often would like a better interface to newer concepts like archives, Virtual Observatories and GRID. Further, incompatibilities between most of the current systems with respect to control language and semantics make it cumbersome to mix applications from different origins. An OPTICON Network, funded by the Sixth Framework Programme of the European Commission, started this year to discuss high-level needs for an astronomical data analysis environment which could provide a flexible access to both legacy applications and new astronomical resources. The main objective of the Network is to establish widely accepted requirements and basic design recommendations for such an environment. The hope is that this effort will help other projects, which consider to implement such systems, in collaborating and achieving a common environment.

  3. Young Galaxy's Magnetism Surprises Astronomers (United States)


    Astronomers have made the first direct measurement of the magnetic field in a young, distant galaxy, and the result is a big surprise. Looking at a faraway protogalaxy seen as it was 6.5 billion years ago, the scientists measured a magnetic field at least 10 times stronger than that of our own Milky Way. They had expected just the opposite. The GBT Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope CREDIT: NRAO/AUI/NSF The scientists made the discovery using the National Science Foundation's ultra-sensitive Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope (GBT) in West Virginia. "This new measurement indicates that magnetic fields may play a more important role in the formation and evolution of galaxies than we have realized," said Arthur Wolfe, of the University of California-San Diego (UCSD). At its great distance, the protogalaxy is seen as it was when the Universe was about half its current age. According to the leading theory, cosmic magnetic fields are generated by the dynamos of rotating galaxies -- a process that would produce stronger fields with the passage of time. In this scenario, the magnetic fields should be weaker in the earlier Universe, not stronger. The new, direct magnetic-field measurement comes on the heels of a July report by Swiss and American astronomers who made indirect measurements that also implied strong magnetic fields in the early Universe. "Our results present a challenge to the dynamo model, but they do not rule it out," Wolfe said. There are other possible explanations for the strong magnetic field seen in the one protogalaxy Wolfe's team studied. "We may be seeing the field close to the central region of a massive galaxy, and we know such fields are stronger toward the centers of nearby galaxies. Also, the field we see may have been amplified by a shock wave caused by the collision of two galaxies," he said. The protogalaxy studied with the GBT, called DLA-3C286, consists of gas with little or no star formation occurring in it. The astronomers suspect that

  4. Global TIE: Developing a Virtual Network of Robotic Observatories for K-12 Education (United States)

    Mayo, L. A.; Clark, G.


    Astronomy in grades K-12 is traditionally taught (if at all) using textbooks and a few simple hands-on activities. In addition, most students, by High School graduation, will never have even looked through the eyepiece of a telescope. 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 to schools all across the country through existing IT technologies and applications. These telescopes could provide unparalleled research and educational opportunities for a broad spectrum of K-12 and college students and turns underutilized observatory facilities into valuable, state-of-the-art teaching centers. The NASA-sponsored Telescopes In Education (TIE, project has been wildly successful in engaging the K-12 education community in real-time, hands-on, interactive astronomy activities. Hundreds of schools in the US, Australia, Canada, England, and Japan have participated in the TIE program, remotely controlling the 24-inch telescope at the Mount Wilson Observatory from their classrooms. In recent years, several (approximately 20 to date) other telescopes have been, or are in the process of being, outfitted for remote use as TIE affiliates. Global TIE integrates these telescopes seamlessly into one virtual observatory and provides the services required to operate this facility, including a scheduling service, tools for data manipulation, an online proposal review environment, an online "Virtual TIE Student Ap J" for publication of results, and access to related educational materials provided by the TIE community. Global TIE provides unparalleled research and educational opportunities for a broad spectrum of K-12 and college students and turns essentially unused observatory facilities into valuable, state-of-the-art teaching centers. This presentation describes the Global TIE Observatory data and organizational systems and details the

  5. The Lowell Observatory Predoctoral Scholar Program (United States)

    van Belle, Gerard; Prato, Lisa A.


    Lowell Observatory is pleased to solicit applications for our Predoctoral Scholar Fellowship Program. Now beginning its eighth 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 new instruments in 2015, making this a particularly exciting time in our history. 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 and links therein. Applications for Fall 2016 are due by May 1, 2016.

  6. Instrument Remote Control via the Astronomical Instrument Markup Language (United States)

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


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

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

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


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

  8. On astronomical drawing [1846 (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

  9. BOOK REVIEW: The Wandering Astronomer (United States)

    Swinbank, Elizabeth


    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

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

    CERN Document Server

    Hicks, John Stephen


    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...

  11. Astronomical Data in Undergraduate courses (United States)

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


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

  12. Research Note - Absolute UBV Photometry at the Zacatecas Observatory (United States)

    Schuster, W. J.; Parrao, L.; Gonazlez-Bedolla, S. F.; Rios-Herrera, M.; Berumen, M. R.


    Atmospheric extinction data, color coefficients, errors of observation and a list of standard and comparison stars are given for UB V photometry at the Astronomical Observatory in Zacatecas. Our observing and reduction procedures are discussed briefly, and our extinction coefficients and observing errors compared with previous values. The uses of these results are mentioned.

  13. Astronomy and astrophysics communication in the UCM Observatory (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.

  14. Observers, Publications, and Surveys: Astronomy in the United States in 1849 (United States)

    Rothenberg, Marc


    By the mid-19th century, astronomy in the United States was productive and growing. Information gathered by and at the behest of the Smithsonian Institution shows that the community consisted of approximately 50 individuals, including a significant number of military officers, and a dozen observatories. Americans were deeply involved in astronomical research, and the discipline was entrenched in the college curriculum. What the discipline lacked was an adequate publication vehicle to ensure refereed, rapid dissemination of observations.

  15. Major Conference about Astronomical Technology in Munich (United States)


    Press Conference on Monday, March 27, 2000 Which are the latest astronomical discoveries made with the new 8-10 metre class astronomical telescopes? Will it be possible to construct even more powerful instruments on the ground and in space to explore the near and distant Universe at all wavelengths from gamma-rays to radio waves? Which research areas in this dynamical science are likely to achieve break-throughs with emerging new technologies? These are some of the central themes that will be discussed by more than 600 specialists from all over the world at an international conference in Munich (Germany), "Astronomical Telescopes and Instruments 2000" , beginning on Monday, March 27, 2000. During five days, the modern architecture of the new International Congress Center in the Bavarian capital will be the scene of lively exchanges about recent progress at the world's top-class astronomical research facilities and the presentation of inspired new ideas about future technological opportunities. The conference will be accompanied by numerous on-site exhibition stands by the major industries and research organisations in this wide field. This meeting is the latest in a series, organised every second year, alternatively in the USA and Europe by the International Society for Optical Engineering (SPIE) , this year with the European Southern Observatory (ESO) as co-sponsor and host institution. The conference will be opened in the morning of March 27 by the Bavarian Minister of Science, Research and Arts, Hans Zehetmair . His address will be followed by keynote speeches by Massimo Tarenghi (European Southern Observatory), James B. Breckenridge (National Science Foundation, USA), Harvey Butcher (Netherlands Foundation for Research in Astronomy) and Albrecht Ruediger (Max Planck Institut für Quantenoptik, Germany). The conference is subtitled "Power Telescopes and Instrumentation into the New Millennium" and will be attended by leading scientists and engineers from all

  16. Astrobiology: An Astronomer's Perspective

    CERN Document Server

    Bergin, Edwin A


    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 or...

  17. Young astronomer in Denmark 1946 to 1958

    CERN Document Server

    Høg, Erik


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

  18. Commission 5: Documentation and Astronomical Data (United States)

    Genova, Françoise; Norris, Raymond P.; Dluzhnevskaya, Olga B.; Bessel, Michael S.; Jenker, H.; Malkov, Oleg Yu.; Murtagh, Fionn; Nakajima, Koichi; Ochsenbein, François; Pence, William D.; Schmitz, Marion; Wielen, Roland; Zhao, Yong Heng


    Commission 5 has been very active during the IAU XXVI General Assembly in Prague: the Commission, its Working Groups and its Task Force held business meetings. In addition, Commission 5 sponsored two Special Sessions: Special Session 3 on The Virtual Observatory in Action: New Science, New Technology, and Next Generation Facilities which was held for three days 17 22 August, and Special Session 6 on Astronomical Data Management, which was held on 22 August. Commission 5 also participated in the organisation of Joint Discussion 16 on Nomenclature, Precession and New Models in Fundamental Astronomy, which was held 22-23 August. The General Assembly and Commission 5 web sites provides links to detailed information about all these meetings.

  19. Thirty years of astronomical discovery with UKIRT

    CERN Document Server

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


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

  20. Significant problems in FITS limit its use in modern astronomical research

    CERN Document Server

    Thomas, Brian; Economou, Frossie; Greenfield, Perry; Hirst, Paul; Berry, David S; Bray, Erik; Gray, Norman; Turner, Demitri Muna James; Borro, Miguel de Val; Vela, Juande Santander; Shupe, David; Good, John; Berriman, G Bruce


    The Flexible Image Transport System (FITS) standard has been a great boon to astronomy, allowing observatories, scientists and the public to exchange astronomical information easily. The FITS standard is, however, showing its age. Developed in the late 1970s the FITS authors made a number of implementation choices for the format that, while common at the time, are now seen to limit its utility with modern data. The authors of the FITS standard could not appreciate the challenges which we would be facing today in astronomical computing. Difficulties we now face include, but are not limited to, having to address the need to handle an expanded range of specialized data product types (data models), being more conducive to the networked exchange and storage of data, handling very large datasets and the need to capture significantly more complex metadata and data relationships. There are members of the community today who find some (or all) of these limitations unworkable, and have decided to move ahead with storin...

  1. A Green Robotic Observatory for Astronomy Education (United States)

    Reddy, Vishnu; Archer, K.


    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.

  2. Progressive Research and Outreach at the WestRock Observatory (United States)

    Brown, Johnny Eugene; Lantz Caughey, Austin; O'Keeffe, Brendon; Johnson, Michael; Murphy Williams, Rosa Nina


    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.

  3. Sylvester II Bukowiec Observatory: a "piece de theatre" for the inauguration day (United States)

    Maksym, P. M.

    The 21st of May 2010 has been the day of inauguration of the Astronomical Observatory of Bukowiec "Pope Sylvester II". This observatory, a fixed station of the European network of asteroidal and lunar occultations for high resolution astrometry, is built in the territory of the school dedicated to Nicolas Copernicus, the most famous polish astronomer. This new observatory starts its activity in the international year of astronomy, which celebrates the 400th anniversary of the astronomical use of the telescope by Galileo Galilei. The polish astronomer Bohdan Paczy?ski is the fourth protagonist of the pièce théatrale written for the day of inauguration. Here is reported the text of this pièce, which was a powerful way to introduce people to the knowledge of Sylvester II, great scholar and teacher of the 10th century, who founded the first diocesis in Poland when he was Pope.

  4. Visualisation of Multi-mission Astronomical Data with ESASky


    Baines, Deborah; Giordano, Fabrizio; Racero, Elena; Salgado, Jesús; Martí, Belén López; Merín, Bruno; Sarmiento, María Henar; Gutiérrez, Raúl; de Landaluce, Iñaki Ortiz; De león, Ignacio; de Teodoro, Pilar; González, Juan; Nieto, Sara; Segovia, Juan Carlos; Pollock, Andy


    ESASky is a science-driven discovery portal to explore the multi-wavelength sky and visualise 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 catalogues. The first public release of ESASky features interfaces for the visualis...

  5. The Observatory Health Report

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura Murianni


    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

  6. Design and Implement of Astronomical Cloud Computing Environment In China-VO (United States)

    Li, Changhua; Cui, Chenzhou; Mi, Linying; He, Boliang; Fan, Dongwei; Li, Shanshan; Yang, Sisi; Xu, Yunfei; Han, Jun; Chen, Junyi; Zhang, Hailong; Yu, Ce; Xiao, Jian; Wang, Chuanjun; Cao, Zihuang; Fan, Yufeng; Liu, Liang; Chen, Xiao; Song, Wenming; Du, Kangyu


    Astronomy cloud computing environment is a cyber-Infrastructure for Astronomy Research initiated by Chinese Virtual Observatory (China-VO) under funding support from NDRC (National Development and Reform commission) and CAS (Chinese Academy of Sciences). Based on virtualization technology, astronomy cloud computing environment was designed and implemented by China-VO team. It consists of five distributed nodes across the mainland of China. Astronomer can get compuitng and storage resource in this cloud computing environment. Through this environments, astronomer can easily search and analyze astronomical data collected by different telescopes and data centers , and avoid the large scale dataset transportation.

  7. Astronomical Surveys, Catalogs, Databases, and Archives (United States)

    Mickaelian, A. M.


    All-sky and large-area astronomical surveys and their cataloged data over the whole range of electromagnetic spectrum are reviewed, from γ-ray to radio, such as Fermi-GLAST and INTEGRAL in γ-ray, ROSAT, XMM and Chandra in X-ray, GALEX in UV, SDSS and several POSS I and II based catalogues (APM, MAPS, USNO, GSC) in optical range, 2MASS in NIR, WISE and AKARI IRC in MIR, IRAS and AKARI FIS in FIR, NVSS and FIRST in radio and many others, as well as most important surveys giving optical images (DSS I and II, SDSS, etc.), proper motions (Tycho, USNO, Gaia), variability (GCVS, NSVS, ASAS, Catalina, Pan-STARRS) and spectroscopic data (FBS, SBS, Case, HQS, HES, SDSS, CALIFA, GAMA). Most important astronomical databases and archives are reviewed as well, including Wide-Field Plate DataBase (WFPDB), ESO, HEASARC, IRSA and MAST archives, CDS SIMBAD, VizieR and Aladin, NED and HyperLEDA extragalactic databases, ADS and astro-ph services. They are powerful sources for many-sided efficient research using Virtual Observatory tools. Using and analysis of Big Data accumulated in astronomy lead to many new discoveries.

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

    CERN Document Server

    Querci, F R


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

  9. Observatory Bibliographies as Research Tools (United States)

    Rots, Arnold H.; Winkelman, S. L.


    Traditionally, observatory bibliographies were maintained to provide insight in how successful a observatory is as measured by its prominence in the (refereed) literature. When we set up the bibliographic database for the Chandra X-ray Observatory ( as part of the Chandra Data Archive ((, very early in the mission, our objective was to make it primarily a useful tool for our user community. To achieve this we are: (1) casting a very wide net in collecting Chandra-related publications; (2) including for each literature reference in the database a wealth of metadata that is useful for the users; and (3) providing specific links between the articles and the datasets in the archive that they use. As a result our users are able to browse the literature and the data archive simultaneously. As an added bonus, the rich metadata content and data links have also allowed us to assemble more meaningful statistics about the scientific efficacy of the observatory. In all this we collaborate closely with the Astrophysics Data System (ADS). Among the plans for future enhancement are the inclusion of press releases and the Chandra image gallery, linking with ADS semantic searching tools, full-text metadata mining, and linking with other observatories' bibliographies. This work is supported by NASA contract NAS8-03060 (CXC) and depends critically on the services provided by the ADS.

  10. The Development of Mauna Kea as an Astronomical Site (United States)

    DeVorkin, David H.


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

  11. VOEventNet: An Open Source of Transient Alerts for Astronomers. (United States)

    Drake, Andrew J.; Williams, R.; Graham, M. J.; Mahabal, A.; Djorgovski, S. G.; White, R. R.; Vestrand, W. T.; Bloom, J.


    Event based astronomy is acquiring an increasingly important role in astronomy as large time-domain surveys such as Palomar Transient Factory (PTF), Pan-STARRs, SkyMapper and Allan Telescope Array (ATA) surveys come online. These surveys are expected to discover thousands of transients each year ranging from near earth asteroids to distant SNe. Although the primary instruments for of these surveys are in place, in order to fully utilize these event discovery streams, automated alerting and follow-up is a necessity. For the past two years the VOEventNet network has been globally distributing information about transient astronomical events using the VOEvent format, a Virtual Observatory standard. Events messages are openly distributed so that follow-up can utilize the most appropriate resources available in order to characterize the nature of the transients. Since its inception VOEventNet has broadcast more than 3500 SDSSSS Supernova candidates, 3300 GRB alert and follow-up notices from GCN, 700 OGLE microlensing event candidates, and 4300 newly discovered asteroid and optical transient candidates from the Palomar Quest survey. Additional transient event streams are expected this season including optical transients from the Catalina Sky Survey. VOEventNet astronomical transient events streams are available to all astronomers via traditional HTML tables, RSS news-feeds, real-time publication (via Jabber and TCP), and Google Sky mashups. VOEventNet currently carries out optical transient event follow-up with the Palomar 60 and 200in (Caltech), Faulkes Telescopes North and South (LCOGTN), RAPTOR (LANL), and PARITEL (UCB; CfA).

  12. Studies in the Greek Astronomers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    George Huxley


    Full Text Available (1 Eudoxus’ life and writings, especially his visit to Egypt and his astronomical research, can in part be clarified; (2 a fragment of Cleostratus of Tenedos shows him calculating celestial events in relation to the solstice; (3 the chronology and interrelations of several of the Hellenistic astronomers can be reconstructed.

  13. Next Generation Virtual Observatories (United States)

    Fox, P.; McGuinness, D. L.


    Virtual Observatories (VO) are now being established in a variety of geoscience disciplines beyond their origins in Astronomy and Solar Physics. Implementations range from hydrology and environmental sciences to solid earth sciences. Among the goals of VOs are to provide search/ query, access and use of distributed, heterogeneous data resources. With many of these goals being met and usage increasing, new demands and requirements are arising. In particular there are two of immediate and pressing interest. The first is use of VOs by non-specialists, especially for information products that go beyond the usual data, or data products that are sought for scientific research. The second area is citation and attribution of artifacts that are being generated by VOs. In some sense VOs are re-publishing (re-packaging, or generating new synthetic) data and information products. At present only a few VOs address this need and it is clear that a comprehensive solution that includes publishers is required. Our work in VOs and related semantic data framework and integration areas has lead to a view of the next generation of virtual observatories which the two above-mentioned needs as well as others that are emerging. Both of the needs highlight a semantic gap, i.e. that the meaning and use for a user or users beyond the original design intention is very often difficult or impossible to bridge. For example, VOs created for experts with complex, arcane or jargon vocabularies are not accessible to the non-specialist and further, information products the non-specialist may use are not created or considered for creation. In the second case, use of a (possibly virtual) data or information product (e.g. an image or map) as an intellectual artifact that can be accessed as part of the scientific publication and review procedure also introduces terminology gaps, as well as services that VOs may need to provide. Our supposition is that formalized methods in semantics and semantic web

  14. AWOB: A Collaborative Workbench for Astronomers (United States)

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


    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.

  15. Bruce Medalists at the Mt. Wilson Observatory (United States)

    Tenn, J. S.


    The institution which succeeded the Mt. Wilson Station of Yerkes Observatory in 1904 has had six names and three sites. From 1948-1980 it was united with Caltech's Palomar Observatory, and since then its main observatory has been in Chile, though still headquartered on Santa Barbara Street in Pasadena. For more than half of the twentieth century it was the leading observatory in the world. One bit of evidence for this is the amazing number of its staff members awarded the Bruce Medal. The Catherine Wolfe Bruce Gold Medal of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific has been awarded for lifetime contributions to astronomy since 1898. It is an international award. It wasn't until 1963 that the number of medalists who had worked primarily in the United States reached half the total. Yet fourteen of the first 87 medalists spent most of their careers at Mt. Wilson, including the period when it was Mt. Wilson and Palomar, and another three were Caltech observers who used the telescopes of the jointly operated observatory. Several more medalists made substantial use of the telescopes on Mt. Wilson and Palomar Mountain. We will discuss highlights of the careers of a number of these distinguished astronomers: directors George Ellery Hale, Walter Adams, Ira Bowen, and Horace Babcock; solar observer and satellite discoverer Seth Nicholson; instrument builder Harold Babcock; galactic and cosmological observers Frederick Seares, Edwin Hubble, Walter Baade, Rudolph Minkowski, and Allan Sandage; and spectroscopists Paul Merrill, Alfred Joy, Olin Wilson, Jesse Greenstein, Maarten Schmidt, and Wallace Sargent. We will touch briefly on others who used Mt. Wilson and/or Palomar, including Harlow Shapley, Joel Stebbins, Charlotte Moore Sitterly, Donald Osterbrock, and Albert Whitford.

  16. Fostering Student Awareness in Observatory STEM Careers (United States)

    Keonaonaokalauae Acohido, Alexis Ann; Michaud, Peter D.; Gemini Public Information and Outreach Staff


    It takes more than scientists to run an observatory. Like most observatories, only about 20% of Gemini Observatory's staff is PhD. Scientists, but 100% of those scientists would not be able to do their jobs without the help of engineers, administrators, and other support staff that make things run smoothly. Gemini's Career Brochure was first published in 2014 to show that there are many different career paths available (especially in local host communities) at an astronomical observatory. Along with the printed career brochure, there are supplementary videos available on Gemini's website and Youtube pages that provide a more detailed and personal glimpse into the day-in-the-life of a wide assortment of Gemini employees. A weakness in most observatory's outreach programming point to the notion that students (and teachers) feel there is a disconnect between academics and where students would like to end up in their career future. This project is one of the ways Gemini addresses these concerns. During my 6-month internship at Gemini, I have updated the Career Brochure website conducted more in-depth interviews with Gemini staff to include as inserts with the brochure, and expanded the array of featured careers. The goal of my work is to provide readers with detailed and individualized employee career paths to show; 1) that there are many ways to establish a career in the STEM fields, and 2), that the STEM fields are vastly diverse.

  17. European Southern Observatory

    CERN Multimedia


    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.

  18. Solar Dynamics Observatory (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — A searchable database of all Solar Dynamics Observatory data including EUV, magnetograms, visible light and X-ray. SDO: The Solar Dynamics Observatory is the first...

  19. Long-publishing astronomers, or the problem of classification (United States)

    Tenn, Joseph S.


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

  20. Astronomical Software Wants To Be Free: A Manifesto

    CERN Document Server

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


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

  1. Women Astronomers through History (United States)

    Dobrosavljevic-Grujic, Lj.


    We review the contributions of women to astronomy starting from the antique Greece and Alexandria, and mention briefly some works of nun-scientists in the Middle Ages, which are of interest only for keeping alive the spirit of inquiry during this Dark Age. We discuss in more details important contributions coming after the Scientific Revolution and Enlightenment, made by women working within their families, as assistants to their brothers or husbands. We show that by the late 19th century the role of women in astronomy becomes more independent, with more women working not only as "computers" in the great observatories, but also making important discoveries that placed them in a very high position as scientists at the dawn of 20th century.

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

    CERN Document Server

    Arditti, David


    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-...

  3. American Astronomical Society Honors NRAO Scientist (United States)


    The American Astronomical Society (AAS) has awarded its prestigious George Van Biesbroeck Prize to Dr. Eric Greisen of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) in Socorro, New Mexico. The society cited Greisen's quarter-century as "principal architect and tireless custodian" of the Astronomical Image Processing System (AIPS), a massive software package used by astronomers around the world, as "an invaluable service to astronomy." Dr. Eric Greisen Dr. Eric Greisen CREDIT: NRAO/AUI/NSF (Click on image for larger version) The Van Biesbroeck Prize "honors a living individual for long-term extraordinary or unselfish service to astronomy, often beyond the requirements of his or her paid position." The AAS, with about 7,000 members, is the major organization of professional astronomers in North America. " The Very Large Array (VLA) is the most productive ground-based telescope in the history of astronomy, and most of the more than 10,000 observing projects on the VLA have depended upon the AIPS software to produce their scientific results," said Dr. James Ulvestad, NRAO's Director of New Mexico Operations. "This same software package also has been the principal tool for scientists using the Very Long Baseline Array and numerous other radio telescopes around the world," Ulvestad added. Greisen, who received a Ph.D in astronomy from the California Institute of Technology, joined the NRAO in 1972. He moved from the observatory's headquarters in Charlottesville, Virginia, to its Array Operations Center in Socorro in 2000. Greisen, who learned of the award in a telephone call from the AAS President, Dr. Robert Kirschner of Harvard University, said, "I'm pleased for the recognition of AIPS and also for the recognition of the contributions of radio astronomy to astronomy as a whole." He added that "it wasn't just me who did AIPS. There were many others." The AIPS software package grew out of the need for an efficient tool for producing images with the VLA, which was being

  4. Science with the World Space Observatory - Ultraviolet

    CERN Document Server

    de Castro, Ana I Gomez; Sachkov, Mikhail; Lecavelier, Alain; Piotto, Giampaolo; Gonzalez, Rosa; Shustov, Boris


    The World Space Observatory-Ultraviolet (WSO-UV) will provide access to the UV range during the next decade. The instrumentation on board will allow to carry out high resolution imaging, high sensitivity imaging, high resolution (R~55000) spectroscopy and low resolution (R~2500) long slit spectroscopy. In this contribution, we briefly outline some of the key science issues that WSO-UV will address during its lifetime. Among them, of special interest are: the study of galaxy formation and the intergalactic medium; the astronomical engines; the Milky Way formation and evol ution, and the formation of the Solar System and the atmospheres of extrasolar p lanets.

  5. The Lowell Observatory Predoctoral Scholar Program (United States)

    Prato, Lisa A.


    Lowell Observatory is pleased to solicit applications for our Predoctoral Scholar Fellowship Program. Now beginning its ninth 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 is now operating at full science capacity. 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 and links therein. Applications for Fall 2017 are due by May 1, 2017; alternate application dates will be considered on an individual basis.

  6. A report on upcoming observatory of MPCST at Dongla, Ujjain (United States)

    Saxena, Bhupesh; Parihar, Padmakar Singh; Sharma, Rajesh

    The M.P. Council of Science and Technology (MPCST), Bhopal has initiated a project to establish an astronomical observatory at Dongla, Ujjain. This place is situated exactly on the tropic of cancer (longitude 75°45'45.5''E and latitude 23°26'43.2''N), and was the center of ancient Indian astronomy over several hundreds of years. The place is relatively dark, having moderate seeing and is found to have a large number of clear nights during September-April months. The proposed observatory will have mid-size robotic Optical Telescope equipped with large format CCD imaging camera. The science driver for the observatory is to continuously monitor a variety of variable stars and the transient objects. The telescope is primarily expected to be used by astronomers from the Indian universities, however, one quarter of the telescope time would be available to astronomers from other national institutes. The project work has already started and the observatory is supposed to see the first light some time during June 2011. In this poster we report the progress made so for.

  7. Astronomical Instrumentation System Markup Language (United States)

    Goldbaum, Jesse M.


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

  8. Astronomical Significance of Ancient Monuments (United States)

    Simonia, I.


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

  9. Using commercial amateur astronomical spectrographs

    CERN Document Server

    Hopkins, Jeffrey L


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

  10. Astronomy Legacy Project - Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute (United States)

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


    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 ( 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 (

  11. Commissioner Potočnik at Paranal Observatory (United States)


    As part of his first official trip to Brazil and Chile, the European Science and Research Commissioner, Janez Potočnik, visited Europe's flagship for ground-based astronomy, the ESO Paranal Observatory. ESO PR Photo 48a/07 ESO PR Photo 48a/07 Commissioner Potočnik at the Control-Console of the VLT The major facility atop the 2600m high Paranal mountain in the Chilean Atacama Desert is the Very Large Telescope (VLT), whose design, instrument complement and operating principles set the standard for ground-based optical and infrared astronomy. The VLT Interferometer (VLTI) enhances the capabilities of this unique facility even further as do the survey telescopes VST (optical) and VISTA (infrared). Publication statistics show that the VLT provides data for a scientific paper every day, all year round. The Commissioner was accompanied, among others, by Jaime Pérez Vidal, Head of Delegation of the European Commission (EC) to Chile, Mary Minch and Cornelia Nauen, respectively Director and Principal Administrator of International Scientific Cooperation for the EC, and Hervé Peró, Head of EC Unit Research Infrastructures. The visitors were able to acquaint themselves with the VLT during an overnight stay at this remote site. The guests were welcomed by the ESO Director General, Tim de Zeeuw, the ESO Representative in Chile, Felix Mirabel, and the Director of the Paranal Observatory, Andreas Kaufer, as well as ESO staff members of many nationalities. The visitors were shown the various frontline installations at the observatory, including many of the distinctive VLT astronomical instruments that have been built in collaboration between ESO and European research institutes. The Commissioner was provided with a good impression of the wide range of exciting research programmes that are carried out with the VLT. ESO PR Photo 48b/07 ESO PR Photo 48b/07 Commissioner Potočnik Visiting the ESO Observatory at Paranal Having enjoyed the spectacular sunset over the Pacific Ocean

  12. The upgrade of an educational observatory control system with a PLC-based architecture (United States)

    Baldini, V.; Cirami, R.; Coretti, I.; Di Marcantonio, P.; Galeotta, S.; Iafrate, G.; Mannetta, M.; Santin, P.


    A Celestron C14 telescope equipped with a robotic Paramount ME equatorial mount is being used for public outreach at the Basovizza site of the INAF-Astronomical Observatory of Trieste. Although the telescope could be fully remotely controlled, the control of the instrumentations and the movement of the main motor of the dome requires the physical presence of an operator. To overcome this limitation the existing control system has been upgraded using a Beckhoff PLC to allow the remote control of the whole instrumentation, including the management of the newly installed weather sensor and the access to the telescope area. Exploiting the decentralization features typical of a PLC based solution, the PLC modules are placed in two different racks, according to the function to be controlled. A web interface is used for the communication between the user and the instrumentation. The architecture of this control system will be presented in detail in this paper.

  13. Operations of and Future Plans for the Pierre Auger Observatory

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Abraham, : J.; Abreu, P.; Aglietta, M.; Aguirre, C.; Ahn, E.J.; Allard, D.; Allekotte, I.; Allen, J.; Alvarez-Muniz, J.; Ambrosio, M.; Anchordoqui, L.


    These are presentations to be presented at the 31st International Cosmic Ray Conference, in Lodz, Poland during July 2009. It consists of the following presentations: (1) Performance and operation of the Surface Detectors of the Pierre Auger Observatory; (2) Extension of the Pierre Auger Observatory using high-elevation fluorescence telescopes (HEAT); (3) AMIGA - Auger Muons and Infill for the Ground Array of the Pierre Auger Observatory; (4) Radio detection of Cosmic Rays at the southern Auger Observatory; (5) Hardware Developments for the AMIGA enhancement at the Pierre Auger Observatory; (6) A simulation of the fluorescence detectors of the Pierre Auger Observatory using GEANT 4; (7) Education and Public Outreach at the Pierre Auger Observatory; (8) BATATA: A device to characterize the punch-through observed in underground muon detectors and to operate as a prototype for AMIGA; and (9) Progress with the Northern Part of the Pierre Auger Observatory.

  14. Eighth Scientific Meeting of the Spanish Astronomical Society

    CERN Document Server

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


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

  15. The Cape Observatory: all Categories of Heritage (United States)

    Glass, Ian S.


    In this presentation I will give an outline of the various types of heritage related to the Royal Observatory, Cape of Good Hope, established in 1820 and now the headquarters campus of the South African Astronomical Observatory, located quite close to downtown Cape Town. In terms of tangible, fixed heritage, the campus itself, the domes and the various other buildings are obviously relevant. This category includes the Classical Revival Main Building of 1828 and the McClean dome of 1895 by the leading colonial architect Herbert Baker as well as many other buildings and even the graves of two directors. Tangible movable items include, in principle, the telescopes, the accessory instruments and many pieces of apparatus that have been preserved. In addition, extensive collections of antique paintings, drawings, furniture and books add to the site's cultural significance. Many of the Observatory's archives are still kept locally. The intangible heritage of the Observatory consists for example of its history, its major discoveries, its interaction with the City, its central role in the history of science in South Africa and its appeal as a living cultural institution. Especially notable were the observations by Henderson (ca 1831) leading to the distance of a Cen and the early sky survey known as the Cape Photographic Durchmusterung.

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


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

  17. An astronomical survey conducted in Belgium

    CERN Document Server

    Naze, Yael


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

  18. A Mythological, Philosophical and Astronomical approach of our solar system (United States)

    Drivas, Sotirios; Kastanidou, Sofia


    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.

  19. "Microquasar" Discoveries Win Prize for Astronomers (United States)

    The discovery of "microquasars" within our own Milky Way Galaxy has won two astronomers a prize from the High Energy Astrophysics Division of the American Astronomical Society. Felix Mirabel of the Center for Studies at Saclay, France, and Luis Rodriguez of the Institute of Astronomy at the National Autonomous University in Mexico City, were awarded the Bruno Rossi Prize at the American Astronomical Society meeting in Toronto, Ontario, today. The two researchers, who have collaborated for more than 15 years, used an orbiting X-Ray observatory and the National Science Foundation's Very Large Array (VLA) radio telescope to discover the extremely energetic microquasars. Microquasars are thought to be binary-star systems with one of the stars either a superdense neutron star or a black hole. They emit X-rays and eject jets of subatomic particles at speeds approaching that of light. Though the neutron stars or black holes in microquasars are only a few times the mass of the sun, the phenomena associated with them, such as the jets, are similar to those seen in active galaxies and quasars, believed to be powered by the gravitational energy of black holes with millions of times the mass of the sun. As such, the microquasars provide much closer "laboratories" for study of these phenomena, which remain poorly understood. The Rossi Prize is awarded for "a significant contribution to high energy astrophysics, with particular emphasis on recent work," according to the High Energy Astrophysics Division. Mirabel and Rodriguez began the research that led to the microquasar discoveries in 1990. Using the French-Russian SIGMA- GRANAT X-Ray satellite, they discovered a microquasar near the Milky Way's center in 1992. With the VLA, they found radio emission from this object. In 1992, using the same satellite, they discovered a similar object, called GRS 1915+105. In 1994, that object experienced an outburst that made it bright enough at radio wavelengths to observe with the VLA

  20. Astronomical dating in the 19th century (United States)

    Hilgen, Frederik J.


    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

  1. The ESO astronomical site monitor upgrade (United States)

    Chiozzi, Gianluca; Sommer, Heiko; Sarazin, Marc; Bierwirth, Thomas; Dorigo, Dario; Vera Sequeiros, Ignacio; Navarrete, Julio; Del Valle, Diego


    Monitoring and prediction of astronomical observing conditions are essential for planning and optimizing observations. For this purpose, ESO, in the 90s, developed the concept of an Astronomical Site Monitor (ASM), as a facility fully integrated in the operations of the VLT observatory[1]. Identical systems were installed at Paranal and La Silla, providing comprehensive local weather information. By now, we had very good reasons for a major upgrade: • The need of introducing new features to satisfy the requirements of observing with the Adaptive Optics Facility and to benefit other Adaptive Optics systems. • Managing hardware and software obsolescence. • Making the system more maintainable and expandable by integrating off-the-shelf hardware solutions. The new ASM integrates: • A new Differential Image Motion Monitor (DIMM) paired with a Multi Aperture Scintillation Sensor (MASS) to measure the vertical distribution of turbulence in the high atmosphere and its characteristic velocity. • A new SLOpe Detection And Ranging (SLODAR) telescope, for measuring the altitude and intensity of turbulent layers in the low atmosphere. • A water vapour radiometer to monitor the water vapour content of the atmosphere. • The old weather tower, which is being refurbished with new sensors. The telescopes and the devices integrated are commercial products and we have used as much as possible the control system from the vendors. The existing external interfaces, based on the VLT standards, have been maintained for full backward compatibility. All data produced by the system are directly fed in real time into a relational database. A completely new web-based display replaces the obsolete plots based on HP-UX RTAP. We analyse here the architectural and technological choices and discuss the motivations and trade-offs.

  2. Evaluation of a scientific CMOS camera for astronomical observations

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Peng Qiu; Yong-Na Mao; Xiao-Meng Lu; E Xiang; Xiao-Jun Jiang


    We evaluate the performance of the first generation scientific CMOS (sCMOS) camera used for astronomical observations.The sCMOS camera was attached to a 25 cm telescope at Xinglong Observatory,in order to estimate its photometric capabilities.We further compared the capabilities of the sCMOS camera with that of full-frame and electron multiplying CCD cameras in laboratory tests and observations.The results indicate the sCMOS camera is capable of performing photometry of bright sources,especially when high spatial resolution or temporal resolution is desired.

  3. Training telescope operators and support astronomers at Paranal

    CERN Document Server

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


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

  4. Training telescope operators and support astronomers at Paranal (United States)

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


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

  5. Lights go out at city observatory

    CERN Multimedia

    Armstrong, R


    Edinburgh's Royal Observatory is to close its doors to the public due to dwindling visitor numbers. The visitor centre will remain open to the general public for planned lectures and night-time observing sessions, but will cease to be open on a daily basis from next month (1/2 page).

  6. Norwegian Ocean Observatory Network (NOON) (United States)

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


    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

  7. Eugen Goldstein and his laboratory work at Berlin Observatory (United States)

    Hedenus, M.


    At the end of the 19th century, the astronomer Wilhelm Foerster, director of Berlin Observatory, initiated an extraordinary research project: He asked the physicist Eugen Goldstein to examine experimentally the nature of electricity in space. Eugen Goldstein (1850-1930) was one of the most deserving pioneers in the field of electricity. He discovered, e.g., the canal rays, and he introduced the term cathode ray. He became assistent at Berlin Observatory, and his official duty was the research on relations between electricity and cosmic phenomena. As a result, Goldstein successfully reproduced comet tails in gas discharge tubes.

  8. Running PILOT: operational challenges and plans for an Antarctic Observatory (United States)

    McGrath, Andrew; Saunders, Will; Gillingham, Peter; Ward, David; Storey, John; Lawrence, Jon; Haynes, Roger


    We highlight the operational challenges and planned solutions faced by an optical observatory taking advantage of the superior astronomical observing potential of the Antarctic plateau. Unique operational aspects of an Antarctic optical observatory arise from its remoteness, the polar environment and the unusual observing cycle afforded by long continuous periods of darkness and daylight. PILOT is planned to be run with remote observing via satellite communications, and must overcome both limited physical access and data transfer. Commissioning and lifetime operations must deal with extended logistics chains, continual wintertime darkness, extremely low temperatures and frost accumulation amidst other challenging issues considered in the PILOT operational plan, and discussed in this presentation.

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

    CERN Document Server

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


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

  10. Recollections of life as a student and a young astronomer in Germany in the 1920s (United States)

    Brück, Hermann A.; Brück, Mary T.


    The author of this essay, Hermann Alexander Brück, Emeritus Professor of Astronomy at the University of Edinburgh and former Astronomer Royal for Scotland, died on 4 March 2000 in his 95th year. He was the last of his generation of astronomers in both Germany and Britain, and among the oldest members, if not the oldest, of the Royal Astronomical Society and of the Astronomische Gesellschaft. Hermann Brück was born in Berlin in 1905 and, as he recounts below, received his education at the Universities of Kiel, Bonn and Munich in 1924-1928. To the end of his life he looked back on his student days in Munich as the most profitable and exciting he ever experienced. From Munich he began his astronomical career at the Potsdam Astrophysical Observatory. These, too, were happy days, destined, however, to be blighted within a few years by the rise of Nazism. In 1936 Brück left Germany, and obtained a temporary Research Assistantship at the Vatican Observatory. From there he went a year later to Cambridge, rising to the rank of John Couch Adams Astronomer and Assistant Director of the Observatory. In 1947, in response to an invitation from Eamon de Valera, then Taoiseach (Prime Minister) of Ireland, he moved to Dublin where he undertook the task of re-founding the defunct Dunsink Observatory under the auspices of the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies. He moved from Dublin to the Royal Observatory Edinburgh in 1957, taking up the combined post of Astronomer Royal for Scotland and Regius Professor of Astronomy in the University of Edinburgh. He retired in 1975 at the age of 70. Always interested in history, he occupied himself in his retirement with various historical projects. These included writing the histories of the Royal Observatory Edinburgh (The Story of Astronomy in Edinburgh, Edinburgh 1983) and of the earlier Dun Echt Observatory in Aberdeenshire (Lord Crawford's Observatory at Dun Echt 1872-1892, Vistas in Astronomy 35, 1992) as well as a record of his own

  11. Dreamtime Astronomy: development of a new Indigenous program at Sydney Observatory

    CERN Document Server

    Wyatt, Geoffrey; Hamacher, Duane W


    The Australian National Curriculum promotes Indigenous culture in school education programs. To foster a broader appreciation of cultural astronomy, to utilise the unique astronomical heritage of the site, and to develop an educational program within the framework of the National Curriculum, Sydney Observatory launched Dreamtime Astronomy, a program incorporating Australian Indigenous culture, astronomy, and Sydney's astronomical history and heritage. This paper reviews the development and implementation of this program and discusses modifications following an evaluation by schools.

  12. Beijing Ancient Observatory (United States)

    Shi, Yunli

    The Beijing Ancient Observatory is now the only complete example of an observatory from the seventeenth century in the world. It is a monument to the prosperity of astronomy in traditional China. Its instruments are emblems of the encounter and amalgamation of Chinese and European Science in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

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


    ; 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

  14. Sunspot Catalogue of the Valencia Observatory (1920-1928)

    CERN Document Server

    Carrasco, V M S; Aparicio, A J P; Gallego, M C


    A sunspot catalogue was maintained by the Astronomical Observatory of Valencia University (Spain) from 1920 to 1928. Here we present a machine-readable version of this catalogue (OV catalog or OVc), including a quality control analysis. Sunspot number (total and hemispheric) and sunspot area series are constructed using this catalogue. The OV catalog's data are compared with other available solar data, demonstrating that the present contribution provides the scientific community with a reliable catalogue of sunspot data.

  15. Choosing and using astronomical filters

    CERN Document Server

    Griffiths, Martin


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

  16. Two amateur astronomers at Berkeley

    CERN Document Server

    Sparavigna, Amelia Carolina


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

  17. Division XII / Commission 5 / Working Group Virtual Observatories, Data Centers & Networks (United States)

    Hanisch, Robert J.; Barbuy, Beatriz; Bentley, Robert D.; Benvenuti, Piero; Egret, Daniel; Fukushima, Toshio; Genova, Françoise; Grosbol, Preben J.; Helou, George; Norris, Raymond P.; Quinn, Peter

    The Working Group Virtual Observatories, Data Centers, and Networks was established under Commission 5 at the Prague General Assembly in 2006. The purpose of the WG is to provide IAU oversight of the activities of the International Virtual Observatory Alliance (IVOA, ), to encourage data centers and other data providers to archive and publish data according to IVOA standards, and to help assure that astronomical research facilities are electronically linked with current network technologies. The WG coordinates activities closely with the WG-FITS, as the IVOA uses FITS as its primary format for binary data exchange, and the WG on Astronomical Data.

  18. Astronomical Interlibrary Cooperation: The Long and Difficult Plan for Coordinated Acquisition of Journals -- the Italian Case (United States)

    Gasperini, A.; Abrami, L.; Olostro Cirella, E.


    Until 2002, the Italian astronomical observatories were independent research institutes. Their libraries, though different in their origins and history, shared common bibliographical materials, users and aims. This situation prompted a first experience of unofficial cooperation between astronomical observatory libraries, which produced outstanding results, in particular a detailed survey of the nature, cost and use of scientific journals. Starting from 2002, when the 12 observatories merged into a single institution, the National Institute for Astrophysics (INAF), the experience of cooperation between the libraries became official. The INAF headquarters, in fact, has recently established the Library Documentary and Archive Service of the National Institute for Astrophysics (SBDA-INAF) in order to have a centralized astronomical bibliographical service and to promote cooperation among libraries. At the end of 2004, following the INAF rearrangement, 5 Institutes of the National Research Council (CNR) joined the still new organization introducing further complications. In this work we explain all the problems faced by a working group to elaborate an efficient plan of coordinated acquisition of journals: the difficulties in coordinating 17 different sites distributed over the whole national territory, the not so easy negotiation with the publishers, the choice between e-only or print & online and, last but not least, the psychological impact on the scientific community. The cooperation among Italian astronomical libraries was a plan begun many years ago and has continued through various events over the years. This presentation takes into consideration the various stages of our project focusing on some crucial aspects.

  19. Observatory bibliographies: a vital resource in operating an observatory (United States)

    Winkelman, Sherry; Rots, Arnold


    The Chandra Data Archive (CDA) maintains an extensive observatory bibliography. By linking the published articles with the individual datasets analyzed in the paper, we have the opportunity to join the bibliographic metadata (including keywords, subjects, objects, data references from other observatories, etc.) with the meta- data associated with the observational datasets. This rich body of information is ripe for far more sophisticated data mining than the two repositories (publications and data) would afford individually. Throughout the course of the mission the CDA has investigated numerous questions regarding the impact of specific types of Chandra programs such as the relative science impact of GTO, GO, and DDT programs or observing, archive, and theory programs. Most recently the Chandra bibliography was used to assess the impact of programs based on the size of the program to examine whether the dividing line between standard and large projects should be changed and whether another round of X-ray Visionary Programs should be offered. Traditionally we have grouped observations by proposal when assessing the impact of programs. For this investigation we aggregated observations by pointing and instrument configuration such that objects observed multiple times in the mission were considered single observing programs. This change in perspective has given us new ideas for assessing the science impact of Chandra and for presenting data to our users. In this paper we present the methodologies used in the recent study, some of its results, and most importantly some unexpected insights into assessing the science impact of an observatory.

  20. Exploring the Digital Universe with Europe's Astrophysical Virtual Observatory (United States)


    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

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


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

  2. TMT: An International Plan for Workforce, Education, Public Outreach and Communications (United States)

    Squires, Gordon; Brewer, Janesse; Dawson, Sandra; Pompea, Stephen M.


    The Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) is an international project involving Canada, China, India, Japan and the United States. When completed in the early 2020s, TMT will be among the world's largest optical/near-infrared telescopes and enable cutting-edge science across the full astrophysics landscape. TMT science and technology is international in scope, meaning that TMT strives to be an observatory-class facillity for astronomers in all of the partner constituencies. In this presentation, we will describe the goals, opportunities, and needs for developing a partnership-wide Workforce, Education, Public Outreach and Communications (WEPOC) plan to support the key elements of the TMT observatory and partnership. Central to this plan is the commitment to be relevant and responsive to all of the partners, fully leverage all phases of the project, and project forward through the 50 year lifetime of the observatory.

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    CUI ChenZhou; SUN HuaPing; ZHAO YongHeng; LUO Yu; QI DaZhi


    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 astronomical on-line resources and services, transparent access to heterogeneous on-line information is still difficult. SkyMouse is a lightweight interface for distributed astronomical on-line resources and services, which is designed and developed by us, i.e., Chinese Virtual Observatory project. Taking ad-vantage of screen word-capturing technology, different kinds of information systems can be queried through simple mouse actions, and results are returned in a uniform web page. SkyMouse is an easy to use application, aiming to show basic information or to create a comprehensive overview of a specific astronomical object. In this paper current status of on-line resources and services access is reviewed; system architecture, features and functions of SkyMouse are described; challenges for intelligent in-terface for on-line astronomical resources and services are discussed.

  4. Revisiting J.M. Gilliss' astronomical expedition to Chile in 1849‒1852 (United States)

    Hermosilla, Germán Hidalgo


    Between 1849 and 1852 the U.S. astronomer J.M. Gilliss led an expedition to Santiago, Chile, aimed at improving the accepted value for the solar parallax. Although this particular research project was not a success, the astronomers did make other useful astronomical contributions, and the expedition was the catalyst that led directly to the founding of the Chilean National Observatory. Meanwhile, Gilliss later went on to achieve further prominence as Superintendent of the U.S. Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C. The results of the Chilean expedition were published by Gilliss in a six-volume work titled The U.S. Naval Astronomical Expedition to the Southern Hemisphere during the Years 1849-50-51-52 that was issued over a 40-year period. In Volume I (published in 1855) Gilliss presented a 'warts-and-all' account of Chile, its politics and its people, which at the time—and subsequently—created considerable controversy. In this paper, after briefly reviewing Gilliss' Southern Hemisphere expedition we focus on the extensive non-astronomical narrative that Gilliss presents in this first volume.

  5. ODI - Portal, Pipeline, and Archive (ODI-PPA): a web-based astronomical compute archive, visualization, and analysis service (United States)

    Gopu, Arvind; Hayashi, Soichi; Young, Michael D.; Harbeck, Daniel R.; Boroson, Todd; Liu, Wilson; Kotulla, Ralf; Shaw, Richard; Henschel, Robert; Rajagopal, Jayadev; Stobie, Elizabeth; Knezek, Patricia; Martin, R. Pierre; Archbold, Kevin


    The One Degree Imager-Portal, Pipeline, and Archive (ODI-PPA) is a web science gateway that provides astronomers a modern web interface that acts as a single point of access to their data, and rich computational and visualization capabilities. Its goal is to support scientists in handling complex data sets, and to enhance WIYN Observatory's scientific productivity beyond data acquisition on its 3.5m telescope. ODI-PPA is designed, with periodic user feedback, to be a compute archive that has built-in frameworks including: (1) Collections that allow an astronomer to create logical collations of data products intended for publication, further research, instructional purposes, or to execute data processing tasks (2) Image Explorer and Source Explorer, which together enable real-time interactive visual analysis of massive astronomical data products within an HTML5 capable web browser, and overlaid standard catalog and Source Extractor-generated source markers (3) Workflow framework which enables rapid integration of data processing pipelines on an associated compute cluster and users to request such pipelines to be executed on their data via custom user interfaces. ODI-PPA is made up of several light-weight services connected by a message bus; the web portal built using Twitter/Bootstrap, AngularJS and jQuery JavaScript libraries, and backend services written in PHP (using the Zend framework) and Python; it leverages supercomputing and storage resources at Indiana University. ODI-PPA is designed to be reconfigurable for use in other science domains with large and complex datasets, including an ongoing offshoot project for electron microscopy data.

  6. Astronomers Gain Clues About Fundamental Physics (United States)


    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

  7. Meteor shower activity derived from meteor watching public campaign in Japan (United States)

    Ishizaki, Masaharu; Watanabe, Jun-ichi; Sato, Mikiya


    We have carried out a meteor watching public campaigns from 2004 for major meteor showers in the case of appropriate observing condition as one of the outreach programs conducted by National Astronomical Observatory of Japan. We received a huge number of the reports on meteor counts from the general public participants. The results sometimes show similar time variation of the hourly rates derived from the data collected by skilled observers. In this paper, some of the results are presented showing that such campaigns have a potential to extract scientific result related to the meteor showers mainly due to the large number of the data collected by unskilled observers.

  8. President of Czech Republic visits ESO's Paranal Observatory (United States)


    On 6 April 2011, the ESO Paranal Observatory was honoured with a visit from the President of the Czech Republic, Václav Klaus, and his wife Livia Klausová, who also took the opportunity to admire Cerro Armazones, the future site of the planned E-ELT. The distinguished visitor was shown the technical installations at the observatory, and was present when the dome of one of the four 8.2-metre Unit Telescopes of ESO's Very Large Telescope opened for a night's observing at Cerro Paranal, the world's most advanced visible-light observatory. "I'm delighted to welcome President Klaus to the Paranal Observatory and to show him first-hand the world-leading astronomical facility that ESO has designed, has built, and operates for European astronomy," said ESO's Director General, Tim de Zeeuw. President Klaus replied, "I am very impressed by the remarkable technology that ESO has built here in the heart of the desert. Czech astronomers are already making good use of these facilities and we look forward to having Czech industry and its scientific community contribute to the future E-ELT." From the VLT platform, the President had the opportunity to admire Cerro Armazones as well as other spectacular views of Chile's Atacama Desert surrounding Paranal. Adjacent to Cerro Paranal, Armazones has been chosen as the site for the future E-ELT (see eso1018). ESO is seeking approval from its governing bodies by the end of 2011 for the go-ahead for the 1-billion euro E-ELT. Construction is expected to begin in 2012 and the start of operations is planned for early in the next decade. President Klaus was accompanied by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic, Karel Schwarzenberg, the Czech Ambassador in Chile, Zdenek Kubánek, dignitaries of the government, and a Czech industrial delegation. The group was hosted at Paranal by the ESO Director General, Tim de Zeeuw, the ESO Representative in Chile, Massimo Tarenghi, the Director of Operations, Andreas Kaufer, and Jan Palous

  9. Focus on astronomical predictable events

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jacobsen, Aase Roland


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

  10. AIPY: Astronomical Interferometry in PYthon (United States)

    Parsons, Aaron


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

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

    CERN Document Server

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


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

  12. The Paris Observatory has 350 years (United States)

    Lequeux, James


    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

  13. The Lowell Observatory Predoctoral Scholar Program (United States)

    Hall, Jeffrey C.; Prato, L. A.


    Lowell Observatory is pleased to solicit applications for our Predoctoral Scholar Fellowship Program. Now beginning its fifth year, this program provides unique research opportunities to graduate students in good standing and 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, and stellar populations and dwarf irregular galaxies. The Observatory's new 4.3-meter Discovery Channel Telescope is on track for first light by mid-2012, making this a particularly exciting time in our history. Student research is expected to lead to a thesis dissertation appropriate for graduation at the doctoral level at the student's home institution. Currently, three students are enrolled and three have successfully completed their thesis work at Lowell and moved on to postdocs and astronomy jobs elsewhere. The Observatory provides competitive compensation and full benefits to student scholars. For more information, see and links therein. Applications for Fall 2012 are due by May 1, 2012.

  14. Developing Geostationary Satellite Imaging at Lowell Observatory (United States)

    van Belle, G.


    Lowell Observatory operates the Navy Precision Optical Interferometer (NPOI), and owns & operates the Discovery Channel Telescope (DCT). This unique & necessary combination of facilities positions Lowell to develop a robust program of observing geostationary, GPS-plane, and other high-altitude (&1000mi) satellites. NPOI is a six-beam long-baseline optical interferometer, located in Flagstaff, Arizona; the facility is supported by a partnership between Lowell Observatory, the US Naval Observatory, and the Naval Research Laboratory. NPOI operates year-round in the visible with baselines between 8 and 100 meters (up to 432m is available), conducting programs of astronomical research and imaging technology development. NPOI is the only such facility as yet to directly observe geostationary satellites, enabling milliarcsecond resolution of these objects. To enhance this capability towards true imaging of geosats, an ongoing program of facility upgrades will be outlined. These upgrades include AO-assisted 1.0-m apertures feeding each beam line, and new near-infrared instrumentation on the back end. The large apertures will enable `at-will' observations of objects brighter than mK = 8:3 in the near-IR, corresponding to brighter than mV = 11:3 in the visible. At its core, the system is enabled by a `wavelength-baseline bootstrapping' approach discussed herein. A complementary pilot imaging study of visible speckle and aperture masked imaging at Lowell's 4.3-m DCT, for constraining the low-spatial frequency imaging information, is also outlined.

  15. The brazilian indigenous planetary-observatory (United States)

    Afonso, G. B.


    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.

  16. Empowering schoolchildren to do astronomical science with images (United States)

    Raeside, L.; Busschots, B.; O'Cinneide, E.; Foy, S.; Keating, J. G.


    In 1991 the TIE (Telescopes in Education) Foundation provided schoolchildren with the ability to access professional observatory telescopes remotely. TIE has raised the profile of astronomy and science among schoolchildren. Since the initiation of this facility the TIE Foundation have spread their reach from one telescope in the US to many telescopes and many schools across the globe. The VTIE (Virtual Telescopes in Education) project was launched in 2001 to build on the success of TIE. The VTIE VLE (Virtual Learning Environment) provides a Web portal through which pupils can create a scientific proposal, retrieve astronomical images, and produce a scientific paper summarizing their learning experiences of the VTIE scientific process. Since the completion of the first formative evaluations of VTIE (which involved over 250 schoolchildren) it has been observed that the participating schoolchildren have had difficulty completing and understanding the practical imaging aspects of astronomical science. Our experimental observations have revealed that the imaging tools currently available to astronomers have not ported well to schools. The VTIE imaging tools developed during our research will provide schoolchildren with the ability to store, acquire, manipulate and analyze images within the VTIE VLE. It is hypothesized herein that the provision of exclusively child-centered imaging software components will improve greatly the children's empowerment within the VTIE scientific process. Consequentially the addition of fully integrated child-centered imaging tools will contribute positively to the overall VTIE goal to promote science among schoolchildren.

  17. Breakthrough! 100 astronomical images that changed the world

    CERN Document Server

    Gendler, Robert


    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...

  18. An Overview of the Performance of the Chandra X-Ray Observatory

    CERN Document Server

    Weisskopf, M C; Bautz, M; Cameron, R A; Dewey, D; Drake, J J; Grant, C E; Marshall, H L; Murray, S S


    The Chandra X-ray Observatory is the X-ray component of NASA's Great Observatory Program which includes the recently launched Spitzer Infrared Telescope, the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) for observations in the visible, and the Compton Gamma-Ray Observatory (CGRO) which, after providing years of useful data has reentered the atmosphere. All these facilities provide, or provided, scientific data to the international astronomical community in response to peer-reviewed proposals for their use. The Chandra X-ray Observatory was the result of the efforts of many academic, commercial, and government organizations primarily in the United States but also in Europe. NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) manages the Project and provides Project Science; Northrop Grumman Space Technology (NGST -- formerly TRW) served as prime contractor responsible for providing the spacecraft, the telescope, and assembling and testing the Observatory; and the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) provides technical support a...

  19. Leslie Peltier: The World's Greatest Amateur Astronomer (United States)

    Simonsen, M.


    This paper is a brief account of the life of amateur astronomer Leslie C. Peltier, with reflections on how his astronomical accomplishments influenced the author's own involvement in variable star observing.

  20. Interactive Visualization and Simulation of Astronomical Nebulae

    CERN Document Server

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


    Interactive visualization and simulation of astrophysical phenomena help astronomers and enable digital planetariums and television documentaries to take their spectators on a journey into deep space to explore the astronomical wonders of our universe in 3D.

  1. The astronomical tables of Giovanni Bianchini

    CERN Document Server

    Chabas, Jose


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

  2. A Relationship Worth Cultivating: Astronomers and Planateria (United States)

    Kinney, A. L.


    There is a growing need for research scientists to bring their expertise and their interest to the larger community, both through formal (classroom) activities and through informal (i.e. museum) activities. Astronomy has a powerful ally which is not available to most sciences -- the planetarium community. There are approximlatey 1000 planetaria in this country, including major planetaria in urban areas (e.g. Buhl Planetarium of Pittsburgh) and smaller planetaria in more urban areas (e.g. Loras College Planetarium of Dubuque Iowa). They serve a wide and diverse audience, and provide a grass roots network that is very receptive to astronomical results. The planetaria bring the wider public as well as the classroom into the world of astronomy. It serves the astronomers well to think about how to best support this very effective network. In this talk I will discuss the program being developed by STScI to provide systematic and cost effective communication between the HST observers and the planetarium community.

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

    Bhathal, Ragbir


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

  4. Boulder Magnetic Observatory (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — These data are vector and scalar component values of the Earth's magnetic field for 2004 recorded at the Boulder Magnetic Observatory in Colorado. Vector values are...

  5. Global Health Observatory (GHO) (United States)

    ... Data repository Reports Country statistics Map gallery Standards Global Health Observatory (GHO) data Monitoring health for the ... Health financing Health workforce 3.d National and global health risks International Health Regulations (2005) Monitoring Framework ...

  6. Royal Observatory, Greenwich (United States)

    Murdin, P.


    The Royal Observatory at Greenwich, London, founded in 1675, is the location of the Airy Transit Telescope that defines the prime meridian of the world and is the home of the Harrison Chronometers. The Observatory was founded by Charles II with the ultimate purpose of providing an accurate star catalog and model of the Moon's motion, that enabled mariners to find their longitude. During the twen...

  7. The Pierre Auger Observatory

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hojvat, C.


    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{sup 19} eV and with equal exposures for the northern and southern skies.

  8. The York College observatory outreach program (United States)

    Paglione, T.; Spergel, M.

    The primary mission of the York College Observatory Outreach Program is to im- prove minority participation in space science and space science education. We aim to achieve this goal by developing an urban observatory in central Queens: the York Col- lege Observatory (YCO). We concentrate our efforts in three main areas: academics, outreach and research. Academically, we utilize astronomy?s popular appeal to at- tract and retain students and to enhance existing science courses. We have also created a minor in Astronomy at York College, and are active members of the New York City Space Science Research Alliance, which has developed a City University major in Space Science. Our outreach efforts aim to increase the awareness of the general public through workshops for high school teachers, curriculum development for high schools and public open nights at the YCO. Our research program utilizes the radio and optical capabilities of the YCO and collaborations with other institutions.

  9. World Space Observatory - Ultraviolet mission: state of art 2016 (United States)

    Sachkov, Mikhail; Gomez De Castro, Ana; Shustov, Boris M.


    The WSO-UV (World Space Observatory - Ultraviolet) project is intended to built and operate an international space observatory designed for observations in the UV (115 - 300 nm) range, where some of the most important astrophysical processes can be efficiently studied. The observatory includes a 170 cm aperture telescope capable of high-resolution spectroscopy and long slit low-resolution spectroscopy with the WUVS instrument; moreover UV imaging will be available with cameras. WSO-UV is a Russian led mission that will be operating in high Earth orbit (geosynchronous with inclination 51.^o6) for five+five years grating access to the UV range to the world-wide astronomical community in the post-Hubble era. Spain is a major partner to the project. Updated information of the WSO-UV project is provided periodically in the COSPAR meetings. Henceforth, this review provides a summary on the project, its status and the major outcomes since the last COSPAR Assembly.

  10. Eugen Goldstein and his Laboratory Work at the Berlin Observatory (United States)

    Hedenus, Michael

    At the end of the 19th century the astronomer and director of the Berlin Observatory, Wilhelm Foerster, started an extraordinary research project: He asked the physicist Eugen Goldstein to examine the nature of electricity in space experimentally. Eugen Goldstein (1850-1930) was one of the most deserving pioneers in the field of electricity, e. g. he discovered the canal rays and he introduced the term ``cathode ray''. He became assistent at the Berlin Observatory and his official duty was the research on relations between electricity and cosmic phenomena. As a result Goldstein successfully reproduced comet tails in gas discharge tubes. My speech is about the biography of Eugen Goldstein and his work at the Berlin Observatory. I will discuss some of his experiments and show a reproduction of his artificial comet tails.

  11. The Busot Observatory: towards a robotic autonomous telescope (United States)

    García-Lozano, R.; Rodes, J. J.; Torrejón, J. M.; Bernabéu, G.; Berná, J. Á.


    We describe the Busot observatory, our project of a fully robotic autonomous telescope. This astronomical observatory, which obtained the Minor Planet Centre code MPC-J02 in 2009, includes a 14 inch MEADE LX200GPS telescope, a 2 m dome, a ST8-XME CCD camera from SBIG, with an AO-8 adaptive optics system, and a filter wheel equipped with UBVRI system. We are also implementing a spectrograph SGS ST-8 for the telescope. Currently, we are involved in long term studies of variable sources such as X-ray binaries systems, and variable stars. In this work we also present the discovery of W UMa systems and its orbital periods derived from the photometry light curve obtained at Busot Observatory.

  12. Enabling Remote and Automated Operations at The Red Buttes Observatory (United States)

    Ellis, Tyler G.; Jang-Condell, Hannah; Kasper, David; Yeigh, Rex R.


    The Red Buttes Observatory (RBO) is a 60 centimeter Cassegrain telescope located ten miles south of Laramie, Wyoming. The size and proximity of the telescope comfortably make the site ideal for remote and automated observations. This task required development of confidence in control systems for the dome, telescope, and camera. Python and WinSCP script routines were created for the management of science images and weather. These scripts control the observatory via the ASCOM standard libraries and allow autonomous operation after initiation.The automation tasks were completed primarily to rejuvenate an aging and underutilized observatory with hopes to contribute to an international exoplanet hunting team with other interests in potentially hazardous asteroid detection. RBO is owned and operated solely by the University of Wyoming. The updates and proprietor status have encouraged the development of an undergraduate astronomical methods course including hands-on experience with a research telescope, a rarity in bachelor programs for astrophysics.

  13. NRAO Astronomer Wins Prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship (United States)


    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

  14. Sun-Earth Day 2005: Ancient Observatories: Timeless Knowledge (United States)

    Thieman, J. R.; Cline, T.; Lewis, E.; Hawkins, I.; Odenwald, S.; Mayo, L.


    The NASA Sun-Earth Connection Education Forum (SECEF) annually promotes an event called Sun-Earth Day. For Sun-Earth Day 2005 SECEF has selected a theme called "Ancient Observatories: Timeless Knowledge. This year's Sun-Earth Day theme is your ticket to a fascinating journey through time as we explore centuries of sun watching by a great variety of cultures. From ancient solar motion tracking to modern solar activity monitoring the Sun has always occupied an important spot in mankind's quest to understand the Universe. Sun-Earth Day events usually are centered on the spring equinox around March 21, but this year there has already been a webcast from the San Francisco Exploratorium and the Native American ruins at Chaco Canyon, New Mexico on the day of winter solstice 2004. There will be another webcast on March 20 live from Chichen Itza, Mexico highlighting the solar alignment that makes a serpent appear on one of the ancient pyramids. The website has been developed to provide the necessary resources and opportunities for participation by scientists and educators in giving school or general public programs about Sun-Earth Day. The goal is to involve as much of the student population and the public in this event as possible and to help them understand the importance of the Sun for ancient and modern peoples. Through engaging activities available on the website, classrooms and museums can create their own event or participate in one of the opportunities we make available. Scientists, educators, amateur astronomers, and museums are invited to register on the website to receive a free packet of materials about Sun-Earth Day for use in making presentations or programs about the event. Past and future Sun-Earth Days will be discussed as well.

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

    Haynes, R. D.

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

  16. Geopulsation, Volcanism and Astronomical Periods

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Yang Xuexiang; Chen Dianyou; Yang Xiaoying; Yang Shuchen


    Volcanism is mainly controlled by the intermittent release of energy in the earth. As far as the differential rotation of the earth's inner core is concerned, the Galactic Year may change the gravitational constant G, the solar radiative quantity and the moving speed of the solar system and affect the exchange of angular momentum between core and mantle as well as the energy exchange between crust and mantle. As a result, this leads to eruptions of superplumes and magma, and controls the energy flow from core - mantle boundary (CMB) to crust. When the earth' s speed decreases, it will release a huge amount of energy. They are the reason of the correspondence of the volcanic cycles one by one with the astronomical periods one by one. According to the astronomical periods, volcanic eruptions may possibly be predicted in the future.

  17. Armenian Astronomical Society (ArAS) activities (United States)

    Mickaelian, A. M.


    A review on the activities and achievements of Armenian Astronomical Society (ArAS) and Armenian astronomy in general during the last years is given. ArAS membership, ArAS electronic newsletters (ArASNews), ArAS webpage, Annual Meetings, Annual Prize for Young Astronomers (Yervant Terzian Prize) and other awards, international relations, presence in international organizations, local and international summer schools, science camps, astronomical Olympiads and other events, matters related to astronomical education, astronomical heritage, amateur astronomy, astronomy outreach and ArAS further projects are described and discussed.

  18. Astronomical Content in Rongorongo Tablet Keiti

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wieczorek, Rafal


    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 advancement...... 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...

  19. Astronomical Observations of Volatiles on Asteroids

    CERN Document Server

    Rivkin, Andrew S; Emery, Joshua P; Howell, Ellen S; Licandro, Javier; Takir, Driss; Vilas, Faith


    We have long known that water and hydroxyl are important components in meteorites and asteroids. However, in the time since the publication of Asteroids III, evolution of astronomical instrumentation, laboratory capabilities, and theoretical models have led to great advances in our understanding of H2O/OH on small bodies, and spacecraft observations of the Moon and Vesta have important implications for our interpretations of the asteroidal population. We begin this chapter with the importance of water/OH in asteroids, after which we will discuss their spectral features throughout the visible and near-infrared. We continue with an overview of the findings in meteorites and asteroids, closing with a discussion of future opportunities, the results from which we can anticipate finding in Asteroids V. Because this topic is of broad importance to asteroids, we also point to relevant in-depth discussions elsewhere in this volume.

  20. Astronomical observations of volatiles on asteroids (United States)

    Rivkin, Andrew S.; Campins, Humberto; Emery, Joshua P.; Howell, Ellen S.; Licandro, Javier; Takir, Driss; Vilas, Faith; Michel, Patrick; DeMeo, Francesca E.; Bottke, William F.


    We have long known that water and hydroxyl are important components in meteorites and asteroids. However, in the time since the publication of Asteroids III, evolution of astronomical instrumentation, laboratory capabilities, and theoretical models have led to great advances in our understanding of H2O/OH on small bodies, and spacecraft observations of the Moon and Vesta have important implications for our interpretations of the asteroidal population. We begin this chapter with the importance of water/OH in asteroids, after which we will discuss their spectral features throughout the visible and near-infrared. We continue with an overview of the findings in meteorites and asteroids, closing with a discussion of future opportunities, the results from which we can anticipate finding in Asteroids V. Because this topic is of broad importance to asteroids, we also point to relevant in-depth discussions elsewhere in this volume.

  1. An Astronomer's View of Climate Change (United States)

    Morton, Donald C.


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

  2. Astronomical Content in Rongorongo Tablet Keiti

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wieczorek, Rafal


    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 advancement...... 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...

  3. Application of Astronomic Time-latitude Residuals in Earthquake Prediction (United States)

    Yanben, Han; Lihua, Ma; Hui, Hu; Rui, Wang; Youjin, Su


    After the earthquake (Ms = 6.1) occurred in Luquan county of Yunnan province on April 18, 1985, the relationship between major earthquakes and astronomical time-latitude residuals (ATLR) of a photoelectric astrolabe in Yunnan Observatory was analyzed. ATLR are the rest after deducting the effects of Earth’s whole motion from the observations of time and latitude. It was found that there appeared the anomalies of the ATLR before earthquakes which happened in and around Yunnan, a seismic active region. The reason of the anomalies is possibly from change of the plumb line due to the motion of the groundmass before earthquakes. Afterwards, using studies of the anomalous characters and laws of ATLR, we tried to provide the warning information prior to the occurrence of a few major earthquakes in the region. The significant synchronous anomalies of ATLR of the observatory appeared before the earthquake of magnitude 6.2 in Dayao county of Yunnan province, on July 21, 2003. It has been again verified that the anomalies possibly provide the prediction information for strong earthquakes around the observatory.

  4. Astronomers Make "Movie" of Radio Images Showing Supernova Explosion (United States)


    Astronomers using an international network of radio telescopes have produced a "movie" showing details of the expansion of debris from an exploding star. Their sequence of images constitutes the best determination yet made of the details of a new supernova remnant, and already has raised new questions about such events. The scientists used radio telescopes in Europe and the United States, including the National Science Foundation's Very Large Array (VLA) and Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA), to make very high- resolution images of Supernova 1993J, which was discovered by a Spanish amateur astronomer on March 28, 1993 in the galaxy M81, some 11 million light-years distant in the constellation Ursa Major. Their results are reported in the December 1 issue of the journal Science. The "movie" is based on five images of the supernova, made during 1993 and 1994. The work was done by: Jon Marcaide and Eduardo Ros of the University of Valencia, Spain; Antxon Alberdi of the Special Laboratory for Astrophysics and Fundamental Physics of Madrid, Spain and the Institute of Astrophysics at Andalucia, Spain; Philip Diamond of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Socorro, NM; Irwin Shapiro of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, MA; Jose-Carlos Guirado, Dayton Jones and Robert Preston of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA; Thomas Krichbaum and Arno Witzel of the Max-Planck Institute for Radioastronomy in Bonn, Germany; Franco Mantovani of the Institute of Radioastronomy in Bologna, Italy; Antonio Rius of the Special Laboratory for Astrophysics and Fundamental Physics of Madrid, Spain and the Center for Advanced Studies at Blanes, Spain; Richard Schilizzi of the Joint Institute for VLBI in Europe and Leiden Observatory in the Netherlands; Corrado Trigilio of the Institute of Radioastronomy in Noto, Italy; and Alan Whitney of the MIT- Haystack Observatory in Massachusetts. The capability to make such high-quality images with widely

  5. Canada's Dominion Astrophysical Observatory and the rise of 20th Century Astrophysics and Technology (United States)

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


    Construction of Canada's Dominion Astrophysical Observatory (DAO) commenced in 1914 with first light on 6 May 1918. As distinct from the contemporaneous development with private funding of major observatories in the western United States, DAO was (and remains) funded by the federal government. Canada's initial foray into `big science', creation of DAO during the First World War was driven by Canada's desire to contribute significantly to the international rise of observational astrophysics enabled by photographic spectroscopy. In 2009 the Observatory was designated a National Historic Site. DAO's varied, rich contributions to the astronomical heritage of the 20th century continue in the 21st century, with particularly strong ties to Maunakea.

  6. The third generation of gravitational wave observatories and their science reach

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Punturo, M; Bosi, L [INFN, Sezione di Perugia, I-6123 Perugia (Italy); Abernathy, M; Barr, B; Beveridge, N [Department of Physics and Astronomy, The University of Glasgow, Glasgow, G12 8QQ (United Kingdom); Acernese, F; Barone, F; Calloni, E [INFN, Sezione di Napoli (Italy); Allen, B [Max-Planck-Institut fuer Gravitationsphysik, D-30167 Hannover (Germany); Andersson, N [University of Southampton, Southampton s0171BJ (United Kingdom); Arun, K [LAL, Universite Paris-Sud, IN2P3/CNRS, F-91898 Orsay (France); Barsuglia, M; Chassande Mottin, E [AstroParticule et Cosmologie (APC), CNRS, Observatoire de Paris-Universite Denis Diderot-Paris VII (France); Beker, M [VU University Amsterdam, De Boelelaan 1081, 1081 HV, Amsterdam (Netherlands); Birindelli, S [Universite Nice-Sophia-Antipolis, CNRS, Observatoire de la Cote d' Azur, F-06304 Nice (France); Bose, S [Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164 (United States); Braccini, S; Bradaschia, C; Cella, G [INFN, Sezione di Pisa (Italy); Bulik, T, E-mail: michele.punturo@pg.infn.i [Astro. Obs. Warsaw Univ. 00-478, CAMK-PAM 00-716 Warsaw (Poland) and Bialystok Univ. 15-424, IPJ 05-400 Swierk-Otwock (PL); Inst. of Astronomy 65-265 Zielona Gora (Poland)


    Large gravitational wave interferometric detectors, like Virgo and LIGO, demonstrated the capability to reach their design sensitivity, but to transform these machines into an effective observational instrument for gravitational wave astronomy a large improvement in sensitivity is required. Advanced detectors in the near future and third-generation observatories in more than one decade will open the possibility to perform gravitational wave astronomical observations from the Earth. An overview of the possible science reaches and the technological progress needed to realize a third-generation observatory are discussed in this paper. The status of the project Einstein Telescope (ET), a design study of a third-generation gravitational wave observatory, will be reported.

  7. Science in the Spanish Virtual Observatory (United States)

    Solano, E.


    Since the beginning of the Spanish Virtual Observatory (SVO) in 2004 science is playing a key role. In order to boost the use of the VO capabilities among the Spanish astronomical community our group is fostering an initiative based on the collaboration with research teams having science cases that could benefit from using the VO. Our role in the collaboration is to evaluate the science case from the VO point of view, to provide information and support about the existing VO tools to tackle the scientific problem and, if necessary, to develop new analysis tools. Effective liaisons have been established between the SVO and a number of funded projects and, as a result of this, several refereed VO papers have been published. In this presentation an overview of these collaborations and the results obtained so far are presented.

  8. Were megalithic tombs solar observatories? (United States)

    Hänel, Andreas

    The orientations of the entrances of several hundred neolithic tombs in Northwest Germany, the Netherlands, Bretagne (Brittany) and the eastern Pyrenees (Roussillon and Catalunya) have been measured with a compass. Comparing these measurements with other authors, we could determine systematic errors and combine the measurements. The results are presented as polar coordinate histograms. The passage graves of Northwest Germany and the Netherlands are oriented east-west. For some of the tombs, entrances are preserved always on the southern side. We assume therefore, that all tombs had entrances on the southern side and we conclude that they are mainly oriented to the south, the direction where celestial objects, and especially the sun, reach their highest position in the sky. Similar results were found by Hamel (1985) for tombs in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. The tombs in Brittany show a different orientation to the southeast, the azimuth of the rising sun on winter solstice. Tombs in the eastern Pyrenees have a similar orientation, as has also been found by other authors for several regions in southern France and the Iberian peninsula (Iund 2002, Chevalier 1999, Hoskin 2002). But in the eastern Pyrenees and from there north to the Provence and on the Balearic Islands exists a group of tombs that are oriented towards the southwest, where the winter sun sets (Chevalier 1999). But most of the entrances of the tombs are oriented towards the sun. The tombs certainly were no precise astronomical observatories, but their orientations might have had a ritual reason and the course of the sun in the sky was well known at that time.

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


    Cui, Chen-Zhou; SUN, Hua-Ping; Zhao, Yong-heng; Luo, Yu; QI, Da-Zhi


    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 ...

  10. The Footprint Database and Web Services of the Herschel Space Observatory (United States)

    Dobos, László; Varga-Verebélyi, Erika; Verdugo, Eva; Teyssier, David; Exter, Katrina; Valtchanov, Ivan; Budavári, Tamás; Kiss, Csaba


    Data from the Herschel Space Observatory is freely available to the public but no uniformly processed catalogue of the observations has been published so far. To date, the Herschel Science Archive does not contain the exact sky coverage (footprint) of individual observations and supports search for measurements based on bounding circles only. Drawing on previous experience in implementing footprint databases, we built the Herschel Footprint Database and Web Services for the Herschel Space Observatory to provide efficient search capabilities for typical astronomical queries. The database was designed with the following main goals in mind: (a) provide a unified data model for meta-data of all instruments and observational modes, (b) quickly find observations covering a selected object and its neighbourhood, (c) quickly find every observation in a larger area of the sky, (d) allow for finding solar system objects crossing observation fields. As a first step, we developed a unified data model of observations of all three Herschel instruments for all pointing and instrument modes. Then, using telescope pointing information and observational meta-data, we compiled a database of footprints. As opposed to methods using pixellation of the sphere, we represent sky coverage in an exact geometric form allowing for precise area calculations. For easier handling of Herschel observation footprints with rather complex shapes, two algorithms were implemented to reduce the outline. Furthermore, a new visualisation tool to plot footprints with various spherical projections was developed. Indexing of the footprints using Hierarchical Triangular Mesh makes it possible to quickly find observations based on sky coverage, time and meta-data. The database is accessible via a web site and also as a set of REST web service functions, which makes it readily usable from programming environments such as Python or IDL. The web service allows downloading footprint data

  11. The Footprint Database and Web Services of the Herschel Space Observatory (United States)

    Dobos, László; Varga-Verebélyi, Erika; Verdugo, Eva; Teyssier, David; Exter, Katrina; Valtchanov, Ivan; Budavári, Tamás; Kiss, Csaba


    Data from the Herschel Space Observatory is freely available to the public but no uniformly processed catalogue of the observations has been published so far. To date, the Herschel Science Archive does not contain the exact sky coverage (footprint) of individual observations and supports search for measurements based on bounding circles only. Drawing on previous experience in implementing footprint databases, we built the Herschel Footprint Database and Web Services for the Herschel Space Observatory to provide efficient search capabilities for typical astronomical queries. The database was designed with the following main goals in mind: (a) provide a unified data model for meta-data of all instruments and observational modes, (b) quickly find observations covering a selected object and its neighbourhood, (c) quickly find every observation in a larger area of the sky, (d) allow for finding solar system objects crossing observation fields. As a first step, we developed a unified data model of observations of all three Herschel instruments for all pointing and instrument modes. Then, using telescope pointing information and observational meta-data, we compiled a database of footprints. As opposed to methods using pixellation of the sphere, we represent sky coverage in an exact geometric form allowing for precise area calculations. For easier handling of Herschel observation footprints with rather complex shapes, two algorithms were implemented to reduce the outline. Furthermore, a new visualisation tool to plot footprints with various spherical projections was developed. Indexing of the footprints using Hierarchical Triangular Mesh makes it possible to quickly find observations based on sky coverage, time and meta-data. The database is accessible via a web site and also as a set of REST web service functions, which makes it readily usable from programming environments such as Python or IDL. The web service allows downloading footprint data

  12. Proceedings of the VI Serbian-Bulgarian Astronomical Conference, May 7 - 11 2008, Belgrade, Serbia (United States)

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


    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

  13. Pulsar virtual observatory

    CERN Document Server

    Keith, M; Lyne, A; Brooke, J


    The Pulsar Virtual Observatory will provide a means for scientists in all fields to access and analyze the large data sets stored in pulsar surveys without specific knowledge about the data or the processing mechanisms. This is achieved by moving the data and processing tools to a grid resource where the details of the processing are seen by the users as abstract tasks. By developing intelligent scheduling middle-ware the issues of interconnecting tasks and allocating resources are removed from the user domain. This opens up large sets of radio time-series data to a wider audience, enabling greater cross field astronomy, in line with the virtual observatory concept. Implementation of the Pulsar Virtual Observatory is underway, utilising the UK National Grid Service as the principal grid resource.

  14. Mexican Virtual Solar Observatory (United States)

    Santillan, A.; Hernandez-Cervantes, L.; Gonzalez-Ponce, A.; Hill, F.; Blanco-Cano, X.


    The Virtual Solar Observatory (VSO) concept contains software tools for searching, manipulating, and analyzing data from archives of solar data at many different observatories around the world (Hill 2000). The VSO not only provides fast and reliable access to the existing solar data, but also represents a powerful and unique machinery to perform numerical simulations for the evolution of a variety of different phenomena associated with solar activity. Two Mexican Universities, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México and the Universidad de Sonora, are working together to create the Mexican Virtual Solar Observatory (MVSO) that will be part of a wider National effort. In this work we present a general description of the MVSO project, as well as the advances obtained in the development of Graphical User Interfaces (GUI) to Remotely Perform Numerical Simulation of the Evolution of Coronal Mass Ejection in the Interplanetary Medium.

  15. The Collaborative Heliophysics Observatory (United States)

    Hurlburt, N.; Freeland, S.; Cheung, M.; Bose, P.


    The Collaborative Heliophysics Observatory (CHO) would provide a robust framework and enabling tools to fully utilize the VOs for scientific discovery and collaboration. Scientists across the realm of heliophysics would be able to create, use and share applications -- either as services using familiar tools or through intuitive workflows -- that orchestrate access to data across all virtual observatories. These applications can be shared freely knowing that proper recognition of data and processing components are acknowledged; that erroneous use of data is flagged; and that results from the analysis runs will in themselves be shared Ð all in a transparent and automatic fashion. In addition, the CHO would incorporate cross-VO models and tools to weave the various virtual observatories into a unified system. These provide starting points for interactions across the solar/heliospheric and heliospheric/magnetospheric boundaries.

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

    Wen, Pey Chun; Busby, Christopher M.


    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.

  17. The Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (United States)

    Boger, J.; Hahn, R. L.; Rowley, J. K.; Carter, A. L.; Hollebone, B.; Kessler, D.; Blevis, I.; Dalnoki-Veress, F.; DeKok, A.; Farine, J.; Grant, D. R.; Hargrove, C. K.; Laberge, G.; Levine, I.; McFarlane, K.; Mes, H.; Noble, A. T.; Novikov, V. M.; O'Neill, M.; Shatkay, M.; Shewchuk, C.; Sinclair, D.; Clifford, E. T. H.; Deal, R.; Earle, E. D.; Gaudette, E.; Milton, G.; Sur, B.; Bigu, J.; Cowan, J. H. M.; Cluff, D. L.; Hallman, E. D.; Haq, R. U.; Hewett, J.; Hykawy, J. G.; Jonkmans, G.; Michaud, R.; Roberge, A.; Roberts, J.; Saettler, E.; Schwendener, M. H.; Seifert, H.; Sweezey, D.; Tafirout, R.; Virtue, C. J.; Beck, D. N.; Chan, Y. D.; Chen, X.; Dragowsky, M. R.; Dycus, F. W.; Gonzalez, J.; Isaac, M. C. P.; Kajiyama, Y.; Koehler, G. W.; Lesko, K. T.; Moebus, M. C.; Norman, E. B.; Okada, C. E.; Poon, A. W. P.; Purgalis, P.; Schuelke, A.; Smith, A. R.; Stokstad, R. G.; Turner, S.; Zlimen, I.; Anaya, J. M.; Bowles, T. J.; Brice, S. J.; Esch, E.-I.; Fowler, M. M.; Goldschmidt, A.; Hime, A.; McGirt, A. F.; Miller, G. G.; Teasdale, W. A.; Wilhelmy, J. B.; Wouters, J. M.; Anglin, J. D.; Bercovitch, M.; Davidson, W. F.; Storey, R. S.; Biller, S.; Black, R. A.; Boardman, R. J.; Bowler, M. G.; Cameron, J.; Cleveland, B.; Ferraris, A. P.; Doucas, G.; Heron, H.; Howard, C.; Jelley, N. A.; Knox, A. B.; Lay, M.; Locke, W.; Lyon, J.; Majerus, S.; Moorhead, M.; Omori, M.; Tanner, N. W.; Taplin, R. K.; Thorman, M.; Wark, D. L.; West, N.; Barton, J. C.; Trent, P. T.; Kouzes, R.; Lowry, M. M.; Bell, A. L.; Bonvin, E.; Boulay, M.; Dayon, M.; Duncan, F.; Erhardt, L. S.; Evans, H. C.; Ewan, G. T.; Ford, R.; Hallin, A.; Hamer, A.; Hart, P. M.; Harvey, P. J.; Haslip, D.; Hearns, C. A. W.; Heaton, R.; Hepburn, J. D.; Jillings, C. J.; Korpach, E. P.; Lee, H. W.; Leslie, J. R.; Liu, M.-Q.; Mak, H. B.; McDonald, A. B.; MacArthur, J. D.; McLatchie, W.; Moffat, B. A.; Noel, S.; Radcliffe, T. J.; Robertson, B. C.; Skensved, P.; Stevenson, R. L.; Zhu, X.; Gil, S.; Heise, J.; Helmer, R. L.; Komar, R. J.; Nally, C. W.; Ng, H. S.; Waltham, C. E.; Allen, R. C.; Bühler, G.; Chen, H. H.; Aardsma, G.; Andersen, T.; Cameron, K.; Chon, M. C.; Hanson, R. H.; Jagam, P.; Karn, J.; Law, J.; Ollerhead, R. W.; Simpson, J. J.; Tagg, N.; Wang, J.-X.; Alexander, C.; Beier, E. W.; Cook, J. C.; Cowen, D. F.; Frank, E. D.; Frati, W.; Keener, P. T.; Klein, J. R.; Mayers, G.; McDonald, D. S.; Neubauer, M. S.; Newcomer, F. M.; Pearce, R. J.; de Water, R. G. V.; Berg, R. V.; Wittich, P.; Ahmad, Q. R.; Beck, J. M.; Browne, M. C.; Burritt, T. H.; Doe, P. J.; Duba, C. A.; Elliott, S. R.; Franklin, J. E.; Germani, J. V.; Green, P.; Hamian, A. A.; Heeger, K. M.; Howe, M.; Drees, R. M.; Myers, A.; Robertson, R. G. H.; Smith, M. W. E.; Steiger, T. D.; Wechel, T. V.; Wilkerson, J. F.


    The Sudbury Neutrino Observatory is a second-generation water Cherenkov detector designed to determine whether the currently observed solar neutrino deficit is a result of neutrino oscillations. The detector is unique in its use of D2O as a detection medium, permitting it to make a solar model-independent test of the neutrino oscillation hypothesis by comparison of the charged- and neutral-current interaction rates. In this paper the physical properties, construction, and preliminary operation of the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory are described. Data and predicted operating parameters are provided whenever possible.

  18. The Sudbury Neutrino Observatory

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Boger, J.; Hahn, R.L.; Rowley, J.K.; Carter, A.L.; Hollebone, B.; Kessler, D.; Blevis, I.; Dalnoki-Veress, F.; DeKok, A.; Farine, J.; Grant, D.R.; Hargrove, C.K.; Laberge, G.; Levine, I.; McFarlane, K.; Mes, H.; Noble, A.T.; Novikov, V.M.; O' Neill, M.; Shatkay, M.; Shewchuk, C.; Sinclair, D.; Clifford, E.T.H.; Deal, R.; Earle, E.D.; Gaudette, E.; Milton, G.; Sur, B.; Bigu, J.; Cowan, J.H.M.; Cluff, D.L.; Hallman, E.D.; Haq, R.U.; Hewett, J.; Hykawy, J.G.; Jonkmans, G.; Michaud, R.; Roberge, A.; Roberts, J.; Saettler, E.; Schwendener, M.H.; Seifert, H.; Sweezey, D.; Tafirout, R.; Virtue, C.J.; Beck, D.N.; Chan, Y.D.; Chen, X.; Dragowsky, M.R.; Dycus, F.W.; Gonzalez, J.; Isaac, M.C.P.; Kajiyama, Y.; Koehler, G.W.; Lesko, K.T.; Moebus, M.C.; Norman, E.B.; Okada, C.E.; Poon, A.W.P.; Purgalis, P.; Schuelke, A.; Smith, A.R.; Stokstad, R.G.; Turner, S.; Zlimen, I.; Anaya, J.M.; Bowles, T.J.; Brice, S.J.; Esch, Ernst-Ingo; Fowler, M.M.; Goldschmidt, Azriel; Hime, A.; McGirt, A.F.; Miller, G.G.; Teasdale, W.A.; Wilhelmy, J.B.; Wouters, J.M.; Anglin, J.D.; Bercovitch, M.; Davidson, W.F.; Storey, R.S.; Biller, S.; Black, R.A.; Boardman, R.J.; Bowler, M.G.; Cameron, J.; Cleveland, B.; Ferraris, A.P.; Doucas, G.; Heron, H.; Howard, C.; Jelley, N.A. E-mail:; Knox, A.B.; Lay, M.; Locke, W.; Lyon, J.; Majerus, S.; Moorhead, M.; Omori, M.; Tanner, N.W.; Taplin, R.K.; Thorman, M.; Wark, D.L.; West, N.; Barton, J.C.; Trent, P.T.; Kouzes, R.; Lowry, M.M.; Bell, A.L.; Bonvin, E.; Boulay, M.; Dayon, M.; Duncan, F.; Erhardt, L.S.; Evans, H.C.; Ewan, G.T.; Ford, R.; Hallin, A.; Hamer, A.; Hart, P.M.; Harvey, P.J.; Haslip, D.; Hearns, C.A.W.; Heaton, R.; Hepburn, J.D.; Jillings, C.J.; Korpach, E.P.; Lee, H.W.; Leslie, J.R.; Liu, M.-Q.; Mak, H.B.; McDonald, A.B.; MacArthur, J.D.; McLatchie, W.; Moffat, B.A.; Noel, S.; Radcliffe, T.J.; Robertson, B.C.; Skensved, P.; Stevenson, R.L.; Zhu, X.; Gil, S.; Heise, J.; Helmer, R.L.; Komar, R.J.; Nally, C.W. [and others


    The Sudbury Neutrino Observatory is a second-generation water Cherenkov detector designed to determine whether the currently observed solar neutrino deficit is a result of neutrino oscillations. The detector is unique in its use of D{sub 2}O as a detection medium, permitting it to make a solar model-independent test of the neutrino oscillation hypothesis by comparison of the charged- and neutral-current interaction rates. In this paper the physical properties, construction, and preliminary operation of the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory are described. Data and predicted operating parameters are provided whenever possible.

  19. Arecibo Observatory for All (United States)

    Isidro, Gloria M.; Pantoja, C. A.; Bartus, P.; La Rosa, C.


    We describe new materials available at Arecibo Observatory for visitors with visual impairments. These materials include a guide in Braille that describes the telescope, some basic terms used in radio astronomy and frequently asked questions. We have also designed a tactile model of the telescope. We are interested that blind visitors can participate of the excitement of the visit to the worlds largest radio telescope. We would like to thank the "Fundacion Comunitaria de Puerto Rico" for the scholarship that allowed GMI to work on this project. We would like to express our gratitude to the Arecibo Observatory/NAIC for their support.

  20. The Sudbury Neutrino Observatory

    CERN Document Server

    Boger, J; Rowley, J K; Carter, A L; Hollebone, B; Kessler, D; Blevis, I; Dalnoki-Veress, F; De Kok, A; Farine, J; Grant, D R; Hargrove, C K; Laberge, G; Levine, I; McFarlane, K W; Mes, H; Noble, A T; Novikov, V M; O'Neill, M; Shatkay, M; Shewchuk, C; Sinclair, D; Clifford, E T H; Deal, R; Earle, E D; Gaudette, E; Milton, G; Sur, B; Bigu, J; Cowan, J H M; Cluff, D L; Hallman, E D; Haq, R U; Hewett, J L; Hykawy, J G; Jonkmans, G; Michaud, R; Roberge, A; Roberts, J; Saettler, E; Schwendener, M H; Seifert, H; Sweezey, D; Tafirout, R; Virtue, C J; Beck, D N; Chan, Y D; Chen, X; Dragowsky, M R; Dycus, F W; González, J; Isaac, M C P; Kajiyama, Y; Köhler, G W; Lesko, K T; Moebus, M C; Norman, E B; Okada, C E; Poon, A W P; Purgalis, P; Schülke, A; Smith, A R; Stokstad, R G; Turner, S; Zlimen, I; Anaya, J M; Bowles, T J; Brice, S J; Esch, E I; Fowler, M M; Goldschmidt, A; Hime, A; McGirt, A F; Miller, G G; Teasdale, W A; Wilhelmy, J B; Wouters, J M; Anglin, J D; Bercovitch, M; Davidson, W F; Storey, R S; Biller, S; Black, R A; Boardman, R J; Bowler, M G; Cameron, J; Cleveland, B; Ferraris, A P; Doucas, G; Heron, H; Howard, C; Jelley, N A; Knox, A B; Lay, M; Locke, W; Lyon, J; Majerus, S; Moorhead, M E; Omori, Mamoru; Tanner, N W; Taplin, R K; Thorman, M; Wark, D L; West, N; Barton, J C; Trent, P T; Kouzes, R; Lowry, M M; Bell, A L; Bonvin, E; Boulay, M; Dayon, M; Duncan, F; Erhardt, L S; Evans, H C; Ewan, G T; Ford, R; Hallin, A; Hamer, A; Hart, P M; Harvey, P J; Haslip, D; Hearns, C A W; Heaton, R; Hepburn, J D; Jillings, C J; Korpach, E P; Lee, H W; Leslie, J R; Liu, M Q; Mak, H B; McDonald, A B; MacArthur, J D; McLatchie, W; Moffat, B A; Noel, S; Radcliffe, T J; Robertson, B C; Skensved, P; Stevenson, R L; Zhu, X; Gil, S; Heise, J; Helmer, R L; Komar, R J; Nally, C W; Ng, H S; Waltham, C E; Allen, R C; Buhler, G; Chen, H H; Aardsma, G; Andersen, T; Cameron, K; Chon, M C; Hanson, R H; Jagam, P; Karn, J; Law, J; Ollerhead, R W; Simpson, J J; Tagg, N; Wang, J X; Alexander, C; Beier, E W; Cook, J C; Cowen, D F; Frank, E D; Frati, W; Keener, P T; Klein, J R; Mayers, G; McDonald, D S; Neubauer, M S; Newcomer, F M; Pearce, R J; Van de Water, R G; Van Berg, R; Wittich, P; Ahmad, Q R; Beck, J M; Browne, M C; Burritt, T H; Doe, P J; Duba, C A; Elliott, S R; Franklin, J E; Germani, J V; Green, P; Hamian, A A; Heeger, K M; Howe, M; Meijer-Drees, R; Myers, A; Robertson, R G H; Smith, M W E; Steiger, T D; Van Wechel, T; Wilkerson, J F


    The Sudbury Neutrino Observatory is a second generation water Cherenkov detector designed to determine whether the currently observed solar neutrino deficit is a result of neutrino oscillations. The detector is unique in its use of D2O as a detection medium, permitting it to make a solar model-independent test of the neutrino oscillation hypothesis by comparison of the charged- and neutral-current interaction rates. In this paper the physical properties, construction, and preliminary operation of the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory are described. Data and predicted operating parameters are provided whenever possible.

  1. Structured Query Language for Virtual Observatory

    CERN Document Server

    Shirasaki, Y; Mizumoto, Y; Tanaka, M; Honda, S; Oe, M; Yasuda, N; Masunaga, Y; Shirasaki, Yuji; Ohishi, Masatoshi; Mizumoto, Yoshihiko; Tanaka, Masahiro; Honda, Satoshi; Oe, Masafumi; Yasuda, Naoki; Masunaga, Yoshifumi


    Currently two query languages are defined as standards for the Virtual Observatory (VO). Astronomical Data Query Language (ADQL) is used for catalog data query and Simple Image Access Protocol (SIAP) is for image data query. As a result, when we query each data service, we need to know in advance which language is supported and then construct a query language accordingly. The construct of SIAP is simple, but they have a limited capability. For example, there is no way to specify multiple regions in one query, and it is difficult to specify complex query conditions. In this paper, we propose a unified query language for any kind of astronomical database on the basis of SQL99. SQL is a query language optimized for a table data, so to apply the SQL to the image and spectrum data set, the data structure need to be mapped to a table like structure. We present specification of this query language and an example of the architecture for the database system.

  2. The Liverpool Bay Coastal Observatory (United States)

    Howarth, John; Palmer, Matthew


    A pilot Coastal Observatory has been established in Liverpool Bay which integrates (near) real-time measurements with coupled models and whose results are displayed on the web. The aim is to understand the functioning of coastal seas, their response to natural forcing and the consequences of human activity. The eastern Irish Sea is an apt test site, since it encompasses a comprehensive range of processes found in tidally dominated coastal seas, including near-shore physical and biogeochemical processes influenced by estuarine inflows, where both vertical and horizontal gradients are important. Applications include hypernutrification, since the region receives significantly elevated levels of nutrient inputs, shoreline management (coastal flooding and beach erosion/accretion), and understanding present conditions to predict the impact of climate change (for instance if the number and severity of storms, or of high or low river flows, change). The integrated measurement suite which started in August 2002 covers a range of space and time scales. It includes in situ time series, four to six weekly regional water column surveys, an instrumented ferry, a shore-based HF radar system measuring surface currents and waves, coastal tide gauges and visible and infra-red satellite data. The time series enable definition of the seasonal cycle, its inter-annual variability and provide a baseline from which the relative importance of events can be quantified. A suite of nested 3D hydrodynamic, wave and ecosystem models is run daily, focusing on the observatory area by covering the ocean/shelf of northwest Europe (at 12-km resolution) and the Irish Sea (at 1.8 km), and Liverpool Bay at the highest resolution of 200 m. The measurements test the models against events as they happen in a truly 3D context. All measurements and model outputs are displayed freely on the Coastal Observatory website ( for an audience of researchers, education, coastal managers and the

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)



    deformation but also the parameters of the shape and size and the equatorial radius and flattening of the Earth, the Geocentric gravitation constant, dynamical form factor and its long-term variation, which are related to the gravitational field of the Earth can be obtained. In addition, the experiment on time synchronism between remote ground clocks and comparison of their frequency stabilities by using laser telemetry is being carried out recently. The information on the fluid core of the Earth, such as the resonant frequency associated with retrograde free core nutation (RFCN)can be further studied with analyzing the VLBI data.(2) Since 2003 the PMOE planetary/lunar ephemeris has been compiled with fitting various observational data such as radar and astrometric observations for planets and natural satellite by a group at Purple Mountain Observatory. The astronomical constants are the by-products of this work. Especially it is pointed that the work on optical observations of planets, natural satellites and asteroids in China is remarkable. But these data are not collected in this kind of public database. It will be mentioned here that the astronomical unit has not been finally made the decision yet and will be discussed at the 28th IAU General Assembly, Beijing, 2012. We should pay attention to it.In addition, the number of observing asteroids in China ranked among the top-ten observational programs in the world so the mass of asteroids and its ephemeris should be compiled by this group.Recently, the exploration of the Solar system, such as lunar exploration project, Chang'E series, Martian exploration project, Yinghuo etc. is being curried out in China. The missions to other planets will be also launched in the near future. The planetary gravitational field and geometrical character of its satellites will be studied from various observational data,including range and velocity data of vehicles from Earth-based radio-tracking data, optical measurements of star

  4. Ticking Stellar Time Bomb Identified - Astronomers find prime suspect for a Type Ia supernova (United States)


    it will eventually become heavy enough to explode as a supernova. Combining the NACO images with data obtained with several other telescopes [5] the astronomers could determine the distance of the system - about 25 000 light-years from the Sun - and its intrinsic brightness - over 10 000 times brighter than the Sun. This implies that the vampire white dwarf in this system has a high mass that is near its fatal limit and is still simultaneously being fed by its companion at a high rate. "Whether V445 Puppis will eventually explode as a supernova, or if the current nova outburst has pre-empted that pathway by ejecting too much matter back into space is still unclear," says Woudt. "But we have here a pretty good suspect for a future Type Ia supernova!" Notes [1] White dwarfs represent the evolutionary end product of stars with initial masses up to a few solar masses. A white dwarf is the burnt-out stellar core that is left behind when a star like the Sun sheds its outer layers towards the end of its active life. It is composed essentially of carbon and oxygen. This process normally also leads to the formation of a surrounding planetary nebula. [2] Adaptive optics is a technique that allows astronomers to obtain an image of an object free from the blurring effect of the atmosphere. See the adaptive optics page at ESO: [3] See for example [4] This Chandrasekhar limit, named after the Indian physicist Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, is nearly 1.4 times the mass of the Sun. When a white dwarf reaches a mass above this limit, either by sucking matter from a companion or merging with another white dwarf, it will turn itself into a thermonuclear bomb that will burn carbon and oxygen explosively. [5] The team also used the SOFI instrument on ESO's New Technology Telescope, the IMACS spectrograph on the 6.5-metre Magellan Baade telescope, and the Infrared Survey

  5. German Astronomer Karl Menten Is 2007 Jansky Awardee (United States)


    Associated Universities, Inc., (AUI) and the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) have awarded the 2007 Karl G. Jansky Lectureship to Professor Karl M. Menten of the Max-Planck-Institute for Radioastronomy in Bonn, Germany. The Jansky Lectureship is an honor established by the trustees of AUI to recognize outstanding contributions to the advancement of astronomy. Karl M. Menten Professor Karl M. Menten CREDIT: NRAO/AUI Click on image for high-resolution file (433 KB) Professor Menten is an extraordinarily productive scientist whose research has improved our fundamental understanding in a number of areas of astronomy. He has studied the chemistry of molecular clouds from which new stars are formed, the process of star formation in our own Milky Way Galaxy and in the early Universe, and the outer atmospheres of stars nearing the end of their "normal" lives. In 1991, Menten used NRAO's 140-foot Telescope at Green Bank, West Virginia, to discover strong radio emission from methanol masers in star-forming regions. These masers amplify, or strengthen, radio emission the same way a laser amplifies visible-light emission. Menten developed the observation of these methanol masers into a powerful tool for studying the formation of stars much more massive than our Sun, because the strong maser emission points astronomers to the stellar birthplaces. In addition, Menten pioneered the use of ultra-high-resolution observations with NRAO's Very Long Baseline Array to observe masers to make precision determinations of the structure, size and dynamics of the Milky Way. Menten received his doctoral degree in 1987 from the University of Bonn, Germany. He then joined the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, working there until 1996, when he became the Director for Millimeter and Submillimeter Astronomy at the Max-Planck-Institute for Radioastronomy. In addition to that position, he also has been a Professor for Experimental Astrophysics at the University of Bonn since

  6. Formation flight astronomical survey telescope (United States)

    Tsunemi, Hiroshi


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

  7. Astronomical measurement a concise guide

    CERN Document Server

    Lawrence, Andy


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

  8. astroplan: Observation Planning for Astronomers (United States)

    Morris, Brett


    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.

  9. Observatory of Shiraz University (United States)

    Bordbar, G. H.; Bahrani, F.


    Here we write about the observatory of Shiraz University, which has the largest active telescope in Iran but now, because of problems like light pollution of the nearby city and exhaustion of its largest telescope we need a plan for modernization and automatization in a new place.

  10. Arecibo Observatory for All (United States)

    Bartus, P.; Isidro, G. M.; La Rosa, C.; Pantoja, C. A.


    We describe new materials available at the Arecibo Observatory for visitors with visual impairments. These materials include a guide in Braille that describes the telescope, explains some basic terms used in radio astronomy, and lists frequently asked questions. We have also designed a tactile model of the telescope. Our interest is in enabling…

  11. This Month in Astronomical History: Preliminary Survey Results (United States)

    Wilson, Teresa


    This Month in Astronomical History is a short (~500 word) column on the AAS website that revisits significant astronomical events or the lives of people who have made a large impact on the field. The monthly column began in July 2016 at the request of the Historical Astronomical Division. Examples of topics that have been covered include Comet Shoemaker-Levy’s collision with Jupiter, the discovery of the moons of Mars, the life of Edwin Hubble, Maria Mitchell’s comet discovery, and the launch of Sputnik II. A survey concerning the column is in progress to ensure the column addresses the interests and needs of a broad readership, including historians, educators, research astronomers, and the general public. Eleven questions focus on the style and content of the column, while eight collect simple demographics. The survey has been available on the AAS website since and was mentioned in several AAS newsletters; however, non-members of AAS were also recruited to include respondents from a variety of backgrounds. Preliminary results of the survey are presented and will be used to hone the style and content of the column to serve the widest possible audience. Responses continue to be collected at:

  12. Astronomers Detect Powerful Bursting Radio Source Discovery Points to New Class of Astronomical Objects (United States)


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

  13. In Brief: Chandra Observatory marks 10 years in space (United States)

    Showstack, Randy


    NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory, originally envisioned as a 5-year mission, was deployed into an elliptical orbit around Earth 10 years ago, on 23 July 1999. The most powerful X-ray telescope yet, Chandra has provided a peak into the high-energy universe and has independently confirmed the existence of dark energy. Martin Weisskopf, Chandra project scientist at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala., said discoveries made possible by the observatory “have made dramatic changes to our understanding of the universe and its constituents.” “The Great Observatories program—of which Chandra is a major part—shows how astronomers need as many tools as possible to tackle the big questions out there,” said Ed Weiler, associate administrator of NASA's Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington. The Hubble Space Telescope, Compton Gamma Ray Observatory, and Spitzer Space Telescope are NASA's other Great Observatories. For more information, visit and

  14. World coordinate system keywords for FITS files from Lick Observatory (United States)

    Allen, Steven L.; Gates, John; Kibrick, Robert I.


    Every bit of metadata added at the time of acquisition increases the value of image data, facilitates automated processing of those data, and decreases the effort required during subsequent data curation activities. In 2002 the FITS community completed a standard for World Coordinate System (WCS) information which describes the celestial coordinates of pixels in astronomical image data. Most of the instruments in use at Lick Observatory and Keck Observatory predate this standard. None of them was designed to produce FITS files with celestial WCS information. We report on the status of WCS keywords in the FITS files of various astronomical detectors at Lick and Keck. These keywords combine the information from sources which include the telescope pointing system, the optics of the telescope and instrument, a description of the pixel layout of the detector focal plane, and the hardware and software mappings between the silicon pixels of the detector and the pixels in the data array of the FITS file. The existing WCS keywords include coordinates which refer to the detector structure itself (for locating defects and artifacts), but not celestial coordinates. We also present proof-of-concept from the first data acquisition system at Lick Observatory which inserts the WCS keywords for a celestial coordinate system.

  15. Astronomers in the Chemist's War (United States)

    Trimble, Virginia L.


    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.

  16. LGBT Workplace Issues for Astronomers (United States)

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


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

  17. Astronomical Signatures of Dark Matter

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul Gorenstein


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

  18. The Infrared Astronomical Mission AKARI

    CERN Document Server

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


    AKARI, the first Japanese satellite dedicated to infrared astronomy, was launched on 2006 February 21, and started observations in May of the same year. AKARI has a 68.5 cm cooled telescope, together with two focal-plane instruments, which survey the sky in six wavelength bands from the mid- to far-infrared. The instruments also have the capability for imaging and spectroscopy in the wavelength range 2 - 180 micron in the pointed observation mode, occasionally inserted into the continuous survey operation. The in-orbit cryogen lifetime is expected to be one and a half years. The All-Sky Survey will cover more than 90 percent of the whole sky with higher spatial resolution and wider wavelength coverage than that of the previous IRAS all-sky survey. Point source catalogues of the All-Sky Survey will be released to the astronomical community. The pointed observations will be used for deep surveys of selected sky areas and systematic observations of important astronomical targets. These will become an additional ...

  19. Astronomical Symbolism in Australian Aboriginal Rock Art

    CERN Document Server

    Norris, Ray P


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

  20. Lowell Observatory's 24-inch Clark Refractor: Its History and Renovation (United States)

    Schindler, Kevin; Nye, Ralph; Rosenthal, Peter


    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.

  1. A VO-driven Astronomical Data Grid in China

    CERN Document Server

    Cui, Chenzhou; Yang, Yang; Zhao, Yongheng


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

  2. Advances in infrared and imaging fibres for astronomical instrumentation

    CERN Document Server

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


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

  3. A Data Acquisition Program for an Astronomical Photometer (United States)

    Bergey, N. A.; Hawkins, R. L.; Ellsworth, C. C.; Caton, D. B.


    Recently an astronomical photometer was built for use on the 32-inch telescope Appalachian State University's Dark Sky Observatory (DSO). We have written a first version of the software needed to interpret and display the photometer's output in real time. Primary uses for the photometer are standard star photometry, and continuation of our eclipsing binary research when the nearest comparison star is out of the field of view of our CCD cameras. Eventually high-speed photometry will be added the functionality for transient events such as asteroidal occultations. The program is intended to have the ability to be used with all of our other research telescopes at DSO. Goals for this program include gathering and logging photometry data, real time graphing, filter wheel control, and an easy user interface. The code is being developed with the Microsoft(c) Visual Basic .NET framework with C# as the source code.

  4. MICRONERVA: A Novel Approach to Large Aperture Astronomical Spectroscopy (United States)

    Hall, Ryan; Plavchan, Peter; Geneser, Claire; Giddens, Frank; Klenke, Christopher; Weigand, Denise


    MICRONERVA (MICRO Novel Exoplanet Radial Velocity Array) is a prototype observatory for measuring spectroscopic radial velocities. The primary goal of MICRONERVA is to demonstrate that an array of 8-inch CPC Celestron telescopes can be used at a lower cost in place of a single, larger telescope. The equivalent light gathering power of the larger telescope is achieved by sending the starlight from each of the eight-inch telescopes down single mode fibers and combining the fiber output at a single entrance slit to a multi-object high resolution spectrograph. All of the hardware from the system is automated using Python programs, ASCOM and MaximDL drivers. The detection of exoplanets using the techniques of MICRONERVA opens the door to reducing costs for astronomical spectroscopy.

  5. Progresos recientes en Astronomía de Rayos Gamma (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.

  6. US Naval Observatory Hourly Observations (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...

  7. Ares V and Future Very Large Launch Vehicles to Enable Major Astronomical Missions (United States)

    Thronson, Harley; Langhoff, Stephanie; Stahl, H. Philip; Lester, Daniel


    The current NASA architecture planned to return humans to the lunar surface includes the Ares V heavy lift launch vehicle designed primarily to carry the Altair lunar lander and to be available before about 2020. However. the capabilities of this system (and its variants) are such that adapting the vehicle to launch very large optical systems could achieve major scientific goals that are not otherwise possible. For example, an 8-m monolith UV/visual/IR telescope appears able to be launched to the Sun-Earth L2 location by an Ares V with a 10-m fairing. Even larger apertures that are deployed or assembled in space seem possible, which may take advantage of other elements of NASA's future human spaceflight architecture. Alternatively. multiple elements of a spatial array or two or three astronomical observatories might he launched simultaneously. That is, Ares V appears to offer the astronomy communities an opportunity to put into orbit extremely capable observatories, in addition to being a key element of NASA's current architecture for human spaceflight. For the past year, a number of scientists and engineers have been eva1uating concepts for astronomical observatories that take advantage of future large launch vehicles, including the science goals of such missions and design modifications to the vehicle to enable the observatories. In parallel, members of the Solar System science communities have likewise been considering what major science goals can be achieved if new, extremely capable launch systems become available.

  8. On the Astronomical Knowledge and Traditions of Aboriginal Australians (United States)

    Hamacher, Duane W.


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

  9. Integrated optics for astronomical interferometry; 1, Concept and astronomical applications

    CERN Document Server

    Malbet, M; Schanen-Duport, J P; Berger, J P; Rousselet-Perraut, K; Benech, P


    We propose a new instrumental concept for long-baseline optical single-mode interferometry using integrated optics which were developed for telecommunication. Visible and infrared multi-aperture interferometry requires many optical functions (spatial filtering, beam combination, photometric calibration, polarization control) to detect astronomical signals at very high angular resolution. Since the 80's, integrated optics on planar substrate have become available for telecommunication applications with multiple optical functions like power dividing, coupling, multiplexing, etc. We present the concept of an optical / infrared interferometric instrument based on this new technology. The main advantage is to provide an interferometric combination unit on a single optical chip. Integrated optics are compact, provide stability, low sensitivity to external constrains like temperature, pressure or mechanical stresses, no optical alignment except for coupling, simplicity and intrinsic polarization control. The integra...

  10. Straight to the Source: Detecting Aggregate Objects in Astronomical Images with Proper Error Control. (United States)

    Friedenberg, David A; Genovese, Christopher R


    The next generation of telescopes, coming on-line in the next decade, will acquire terabytes of image data each night. Collectively, these large images will contain billions of interesting objects, which astronomers call sources. One critical task for astronomers is to construct from the image data a detailed source catalog that gives the sky coordinates and other properties of all detected sources. The source catalog is the primary data product produced by most telescopes and serves as an important input for studies that build and test new astrophysical theories. To construct an accurate catalog, the sources must first be detected in the image. A variety of effective source detection algorithms exist in the astronomical literature, but few if any provide rigorous statistical control of error rates. A variety of multiple testing procedures exist in the statistical literature that can provide rigorous error control over pixelwise errors, but these do not provide control over errors at the level of sources, which is what astronomers need. In this paper, we propose a technique that is effective at source detection while providing rigorous control on source-wise error rates. We demonstrate our approach with data from the Chandra X-ray Observatory Satellite. Our method is competitive with existing astronomical methods, even finding two new sources that were missed by previous studies, while providing stronger performance guarantees and without requiring costly follow up studies that are commonly required with current techniques.

  11. Archaeo-astronomical characteristics of the Kokino archaeological site (United States)

    Cenev, Gjore

    In the North-East part of Macedonia, near to the peak Tatikjev Kamen, an archaeological site with vast quantity of artifacts, dated in the Bronze Age, was discovered in 2001. For the first time in Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), comprehensive archaeo-astronomical analysis of this site, providing extraordinary important results, was performed in 2002. The site contains a lot of materials typical for a megalithic observatory, 3800 years old. Three stone markers, pointing out the places of the sunrise on the days of the summer and winter solstice, as well as the vernal and autumn equinoxes, were found there. Four stone markers, indicating the places of the full Moon rise above the horizon, are recognized too. They are used in the days when the Moon has maximum or minimum declination - two of them in the summer and two of them - in the winter. There are also two other stone markers used for measuring the length of the lunar month in winter - when it has 29 days, and in summer - when it has 30 days. These markers give clear evidences that the ancient Balkan inhabitants used the observatory not only to monitor the movement of the Moon, but also to develop the lunar calendar with 19-year cycle. The archaeo-astronomical analysis presents also an evidence for the existence of one very characteristic stone marker, used for pointing out the sunrise position in a very important ritual day. This is the day when special ceremonies related to the end of the harvest, as well as to the ritual unification of the community leader with the God Sun, were performed. (Colour versions of the illustrations are presented as Appendix on the site of the journal.)

  12. PlotXY: A High Quality Plotting System for the Herschel Interactive Processing Environment (HIPE) and the Astronomical Community (United States)

    Panuzzo, P.; Li, J.; Caux, E.


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

  13. PyXel: A Python Package for Astronomical X-ray Data Modeling (United States)

    Ogrean, Georgiana


    PyXel is an new Python package for modeling astronomical X-ray imaging data. It is built on NumPy, SciPy, matplotlib, and Astropy, and distributed under an open-source license. The package aims to provide a common set of image analysis tools for astronomers working with extended X-ray sources. I will present an overview of its existing and planned features, and analysis examples based on public Chandra data.

  14. The BAA observatories and the origins of the instrument collection (United States)

    Marriott, R. A.


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

  15. The SECIS instrument on the Lomnicky Peak Observatory

    CERN Document Server

    Ambroz, J; Rudawy, P; Rybak, J; Phillips, K J H


    Heating mechanisms of the solar corona will be investigated at the high-altitude solar observatory Lomnicky Peak of the Astronomical Institute of SAS (Slovakia) using its mid-size Lyot coronagraph and post-focal instrument SECIS provided by Astronomical Institute of the University of Wroclaw (Poland). The data will be studied with respect to the energy transport and release responsible for heating the solar corona to temperatures of mega-Kelvins. In particular investigations will be focused on detection of possible high-frequency MHD waves in the solar corona. The scientific background of the project, technical details of the SECIS system modified specially for the Lomnicky Peak coronagraph, and inspection of the test data are described in the paper.

  16. Laser Guide Star Based Astrophysics at Lick Observatory

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Max, C; Gavel, D.; Friedman, H.; Olivier, S.; Macintosh, B.; Brase, J.; Avicola, K.; Gibbard, S.; An, J.


    The resolution of ground-based telescopes is typically limited to {approx}1 second of arc because of the blurring effects of atmospheric turbulence. Adaptive optics (AO) technology senses and corrects for the optical distortions due to turbulence hundreds of times per second using high-speed sensors, computers, deformable mirror, and laser technology. The goal of this project is to make AO systems widely useful astronomical tools providing resolutions up to an order of magnitude better than current, ground-based telescopes. Astronomers at the University of California Lick Observatory at Mt. Hamilton now routinely use the LLNL developed AO system for high resolution imaging of astrophysical objects. We report here on the instrument development progress and on the science observations made with this system during this 3-year ERI project.

  17. History of the Munich-Maisach-Fürstenfeldbruck Geomagnetic Observatory (United States)

    Soffel, H. C.


    The Munich-Maisach-Fürstenfeldbruck Geomagnetic Observatory is one of the observatories with the longest recordings of the geomagnetic field. It started with hourly measurements on 1 August 1840. The founder of the observatory in Munich was Johann von Lamont (1805-1879), the Director of the Royal Bavarian Astronomical Observatory. He had been stimulated to build his own observatory by the initiative of the Göttingen Magnetic Union founded in 1834 by Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859) and Carl Friedrich Gauss (1777-1855). Before 1840 fewer than five observatories existed; the most prominent ones were those in London and Paris. At the beginning Lamont used equipment delivered by Gauss in Göttingen, but soon started to build instruments of his own design. Among them was a nonmagnetic theodolite which allowed precise geomagnetic measurements to be made also in the field. During the 1850s Lamont carried out geomagnetic surveys and produced geomagnetic maps for Germany and many other European countries. At the end of the nineteenth century accurate geomagnetic measurements in Munich became more and more disturbed by the magnetic stray fields from electric tramways and industry. During this period the quality of the data suffered and the measurements had to be interrupted several times. After a provisional solution in Maisach, a village 25 km west of Munich, a final solution could be found in the vicinity of the nearby city of Fürstenfeldbruck. Here the measurements started again on 1 January 1939. Since the 1980s the observatory has been part of INTERMAGNET, an organization providing almost real-time geomagnetic data of the highest quality.

  18. Selection of astrophysical/astronomical/solar sites at the Argentina East Andes range taking into account atmospheric components (United States)

    Piacentini, R. D.; García, B.; Micheletti, M. I.; Salum, G.; Freire, M.; Maya, J.; Mancilla, A.; Crinó, E.; Mandat, D.; Pech, M.; Bulik, T.


    In the present work we analyze sites in the Argentinian high Andes mountains as possible places for astrophysical/astronomical/solar observatories. They are located at: San Antonio de los Cobres (SAC) and El Leoncito/CASLEO region: sites 1 and 2. We consider the following atmospheric components that affect, in different and specific wavelength ranges, the detection of photons of astronomical/astrophysical/solar origin: ozone, microscopic particles, precipitable water and clouds. We also determined the atmospheric radiative transmittance in a day near the summer solstice at noon, in order to confirm the clearness of the sky in the proposed sites at SAC and El Leoncito. Consequently, all the collected and analyzed data in the present work, indicate that the proposed sites are very promising to host astrophysical/astronomical/solar observatories. Some atmospheric components, like aerosols, play a significant role in the attenuation of light (Cherencov and/or fluorescence) detected in cosmic rays (particles or gamma photons) astrophysical observatories, while others, like ozone have to be considered in astronomical/solar light detection.

  19. European astronomers' successes with the Hubble Space Telescope* (United States)


    [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

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

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


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

  1. The effect of airborne dust on astronomical polarization measurements (United States)

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


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

  2. Blind Astrometric Calibration of Arbitrary Astronomical Images (United States)

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


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

  3. Expanding the HAWC Observatory

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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


    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.

  4. Changes in Latitude, Changes in Attitude: U. S. Naval Observatory Observations of the Transit of Venus 1874-2012 (United States)

    Bartlett, Jennifer L.; Chester, G.; Bosken, S.; Barron, E. G.


    Of the seven transits of Venus for which unambiguous observations exist, four have occurred since the U.S. Naval Observatory (USNO) was established in 1844. With the Transit of Venus Commission, the USNO was heavily involved in observing the December 8, 1874, and December 6, 1882, events to establish an accurate value for the astronomical unit. In the 1960s, radar measurements began providing reliable Solar System distances. Scientific interest in these transits has now moved towards studies of the Venusian atmosphere and understanding transiting extrasolar planets, subjects in which the USNO is less active. In 1874, American Transit of Venus expeditions to Siberia, China, Japan, Tasmania, New Zealand, and the Kerguelen and Chatham Islands returned with 350 photographic plates. The 1882 missions collected 1,487 plates from Washington, DC; Florida; Texas; New Mexico; South Africa; Patagonia; Chile; and New Zealand. From the 1882 photographs, Harkness determined the astronomical unit to be 92,455,000 ± 123,400 miles (148,790,000 ± 198,600 km). On June 8, 2004, and June 5, 2012, the USNO hosted friends and family interested in seeing the transits of Venus. Both events were partially visible from Washington, DC while the Flagstaff station was only able to watch a portion of 2012 transit. The surviving 19th century equipment was returned to service to view this scientific curiosity. In 2012, one 5-inch (0.1-m) Alvan Clark refractor (#856) was able to observe its fourth transit of Venus from Washington despite clouds. Between the two locations, approximately 570 people participated. Other USNO astronomers made personal trips west to Hawaii and Alaska to share the event with the public. In 1882, Harkness mused on the scientific advances that had and would occur between transits of Venus. Like him, we can only wonder “What will be the state of science when the next transit season arrives” on December 11, 2117.

  5. Megalithic observatory Kokino (United States)

    Cenev, Gj.


    In 2001, on the footpath of a mountain peak, near the village of Kokino, archeologist Jovica Stankovski discovered an archeological site from The Bronze Age. The site occupies a large area and is scaled in two levels. Several stone seats (thrones) are dominant in this site and they are pointing towards the east horizon. The high concentration of the movable archeological material found on the upper platform probably indicates its use in a function containing still unknown cult activities. Due to precise measurements and a detailed archaeoastronomical analysis of the site performed in the past three years by Gjore Cenev, physicist from the Planetarium in Skopje, it was shown that the site has characteristics of a sacred site, but also of a Megalithic Observatory. The markers found in this observatory point on the summer and winter solstices and spring and autumn equinoxes. It can be seen that on both sides of the solstice markers, that there are markers for establishing Moon's positions. The markers are crafted in such a way that for example on days when special rites were performed (harvest rites for example) the Sun filled a narrow space of the marker and special ray lighted the man sitting on only one of the thrones, which of course had a special meaning. According to the positions of the markers that are used for Sun marking, especially on the solstice days, it was calculated that this observatory dates from 1800 B.C.

  6. Astronomical arguments in Newton's Chronology

    CERN Document Server

    Naze, Yael


    In his Chronology, Newton uses astronomical "evidence" to support its extreme rejuvenation of ancient times. These elements, having a scientific varnish, provide some credibility to the work. They have been fiercely debated for a century, with a gradual undermining of Newton's assumptions. However, this has not dented the prestige of the English scientist. ----- Dans sa Chronologie, Newton utilise des "preuves" astronomiques pour appuyer son rajeunissement extreme des epoques anciennes. Ces elements, au vernis scientifique, donnent une credibilite certaine a l'ensemble. Ils ont donc ete aprement discutes, les debats sapant petit a petit les hypotheses du savant anglais pour finalement porter un coup mortel a l'ensemble. Cela n'a toutefois pas entame le prestige du savant anglais.

  7. Astronomical Knowledge from Holy Books (United States)

    Farmanyan, Sona V.; Devrikyan, Vardan G.; Mickaelian, Areg M.


    We investigate religious myths related to astronomy from different cultures in an attempt to identify common subjects and characteristics. The paper focuses on astronomy in religion. The initial review covers records from Holy books about sky related superstitious beliefs and cosmological understanding. The purpose of this study is to introduce sky related religious and national traditions (particularly based on different calendars; Solar or Lunar). We carried out a comparative study of astronomical issues contained in a number of Holy books. 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.

  8. Christopher Clavius astronomer and mathematician

    CERN Document Server

    Sigismondi, Costantino


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

  9. Detecting bimodality in astronomical datasets (United States)

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


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

  10. Sparse representation of astronomical images. (United States)

    Rebollo-Neira, Laura; Bowley, James


    Sparse representation of astronomical images is discussed. It is shown that a significant gain in sparsity is achieved when particular mixed dictionaries are used for approximating these types of images with greedy selection strategies. Experiments are conducted to confirm (i) the effectiveness at producing sparse representations and (ii) competitiveness, with respect to the time required to process large images. The latter is a consequence of the suitability of the proposed dictionaries for approximating images in partitions of small blocks. This feature makes it possible to apply the effective greedy selection technique called orthogonal matching pursuit, up to some block size. For blocks exceeding that size, a refinement of the original matching pursuit approach is considered. The resulting method is termed "self-projected matching pursuit," because it is shown to be effective for implementing, via matching pursuit itself, the optional backprojection intermediate steps in that approach.

  11. Novel Algorithms for Astronomical Plate Analyses

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Rene Hudec; Lukas Hudec


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

  12. Coronagraphic methods for detecting faint astronomical objects near bright ones: Application to the 2.5-m telescope of Sternberg Astronomical Institute (United States)

    Cherepashchuk, A. M.; Bugaenko, O. I.; Kim, I. S.; Popov, V. V.


    Possible methods for reducing the instrumental background of astronomical telescopes are discussed: the classical Lyot coronagraphic method, the multi-cascade coronagraphic method, the use of special masks in the plane of the entrance aperture, and the use of super-smooth and medium-smooth primary optics. For the first time, analytical expressions describing the intensity distribution at the exit pupil are presented for the case when a mask is placed in the primary focal plane in order to block the light from a bright object. An algorithm for computing the point-spread function (PSF) of a coronagraphic telescope employing super-smooth primary optics and the coronagraphic method is proposed. Computed PSFs for the 2.5-m telescope of the Caucasian Mountain Observatory of Sternberg Astronomical Institute are presented, without allowance for diffusive and turbulent scattering in the Earth's atmosphere, and for operation both without coronagraphic elements and in the coronagraphic mode of the telescope.

  13. Astronomers Trace Microquasar's Path Back in Time (United States)


    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.

  14. Pulsar coherent de-dispersion system of Urumqi Observatory (United States)

    Liyong, Liu; Esamdin, Ali; Jin, Zhang

    Pulsar coherent de-dispersion experiment has been carried by using the 25-m Nanshan radio telescope of Urumqi Observatory It uses a dual polarization receiver operating at 18cm and a VLBI back-end Mark5A The data processing system is based on a C program on Linux and a 4-node Beowulf cluster A high quality data acquisition system and a cluster with more processors are needed to build an on-line pulsar coherent de-dispersion system in future Key words Astronomical instrument Pulsar Coherent de-dispersion Parallel computing Cluster Mark5A

  15. Review of scientific topics for Millimetron space observatory

    CERN Document Server

    Kardashev, N S; Lukash, V N; Pilipenko, S V; Mikheeva, E V; Bisikalo, D V; Wiebe, D S; Doroshkevich, A G; Zasov, A V; Zinchenko, I I; Ivanov, P B; Kostenko, V I; Larchenkova, T I; Likhachev, S F; Malov, I F; Malofeev, V M; Pozanenko, A S; Smirnov, A V; Sobolev, A M; Cherepashchuk, A M; Shchekinov, Yu A


    This paper describes outstanding issues in astrophysics and cosmology that can be solved by astronomical observations in a broad spectral range from far infrared to millimeter wavelengths. The discussed problems related to the formation of stars and planets, galaxies and the interstellar medium, studies of black holes and the development of the cosmological model can be addressed by the planned space observatory Millimetron (the "Spectr-M" project) equipped with a cooled 10-m mirror. Millimetron can operate both as a single-dish telescope and as a part of a space-ground interferometer with very long baseline.

  16. Review of scientific topics for the Millimetron space observatory (United States)

    Kardashev, N. S.; Novikov, I. D.; Lukash, V. N.; Pilipenko, S. V.; Mikheeva, E. V.; Bisikalo, D. V.; Wiebe, D. S.; Doroshkevich, A. G.; Zasov, A. V.; Zinchenko, I. I.; Ivanov, P. B.; Kostenko, V. I.; Larchenkova, T. I.; Likhachev, S. F.; Malov, I. F.; Malofeev, V. M.; Pozanenko, A. S.; Smirnov, A. V.; Sobolev, A. M.; Cherepashchuk, A. M.; Shchekinov, Yu A.


    This paper reviews a wide range of questions in astrophysics and cosmology that can be answered by astronomical observations in the far-IR to millimeter wavelength range and which include the formation and evolution of stars and planets, galaxies, and the interstellar medium, the study of black holes, and the development of the cosmological model. These questions are considered in relation to the Millimetron Space Observatory (Spectrum-M project), which is equipped with a 10 m aperture cooled telescope and can operate both as a single-dish telescope and as part of a space-ground very long baseline interferometer.

  17. Site characterization studies for the Iranian National Observatory

    CERN Document Server

    Khosroshahi, Habib G


    We report on the Iranian National Observatory (INO) ongoing site characterization studies for INO 3.4m optical telescope under development. Iran benefits from high altitude mountains and a relatively dry climate, thus offer many suitable sites for optical observations. The site selection (2001-2007) studies resulted in two promising sites in central Iran, one of which will host the 3.4m telescope. The studies between 2008 and 2010 aimed at detail characterization of the two sites. This involved measurements of a number of parameters including the wind speed and wind direction, astronomical seeing, sky brightness and microthermal variations.

  18. Astronomical pipeline processing using fuzzy logic (United States)

    Shamir, Lior; Nemiroff, Robert J. Nemiroff


    Fundamental astronomical questions on the composition of the universe, the abundance of Earth-like planets, and the cause of the brightest explosions in the universe are being attacked by robotic telescopes costing billions of dollars and returning vast pipelines of data. The success of these programs depends on the accuracy of automated real time processing of images never seen by a human, and all predicated on fast and accurate automatic identifications of known astronomical objects and new astronomical transients. In this paper the needs of modern astronomical pipelines are discussed in the light of fuzzy-logic based decision-making. Several specific fuzzy-logic algorithms have been develop for the first time for astronomical purposes, and tested with excellent results on a test pipeline of data from the existing Night Sky Live sky survey.

  19. The Effects of Improper Lighting on Professional Astronomical Observations

    CERN Document Server

    Patat, F


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

  20. Visualization of Multi-mission Astronomical Data with ESASky (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


    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.