Sample records for ray astronomy

  1. Gamma ray astronomy

    Fichtel, C.E.


    The first certain detection of celestial high energy gamma rays came from a satellite experiment flown on the third Orbiting Solar Observatory (OSO-111). A Gamma ray spark chamber telescope with substantively greater sensitivity and angular resolution (a few degrees) flown on the second Small Astronomy Satellite (SAS-II) has now provided a better picture of the gamma ray sky, and particularly the galactic plane and pulsars. This paper will summarize the present picture of gamma ray astronomy as it has developed at this conference from measurements made with experiments carried out on balloons, those remaining on the ground, and ones flown on satellites. (orig.) [de

  2. Gamma ray astronomy

    Hillier, R.


    The book reviews the development of gamma ray astronomy over the past twenty five years. A large section of the book is devoted to the problems of background radiation and the design of detectors. Gamma rays from the sun, the galactic disc, the galaxy, and extra galactic sources; are also discussed. (U.K.)

  3. Gamma ray astronomy

    Broomhead, Laurent.


    The nuclear gamma astronomy is presented, in particular the Gamma Ray Observatory, an enormous eight tonnes machine fitted with gamma telescopes, scheduled for launching around 1985. It is thereby hoped to study the natural nuclear reactions which occur when stars explode [fr

  4. X-ray astronomy

    Culhane, J.L.; Sanford, P.W.


    X-ray astronomy has been established as a powerful means of observing matter in its most extreme form. The energy liberated by sources discovered in our Galaxy has confirmed that collapsed stars of great density, and with intense gravitational fields, can be studied by making observations in the X-ray part of the electromagnetic spectrum. The astronomical objects which emit detectable X-rays include our own Sun and extend to quasars at the edge of the Universe. This book describes the history, techniques and results obtained in the first twenty-five years of exploration. Space rockets and satellites are essential for carrying the instruments above the Earth's atmosphere where it becomes possible to view the X-rays from stars and nebulae. The subject is covered in chapters, entitled: the birth of X-ray astronomy; the nature of X-radiation; X-rays from the Sun; solar-flare X-rays; X-rays from beyond the solar system; supernovae and their remnants; X-rays from binary stars; white dwarfs and neutron stars; black holes; X-rays from galaxies and quasars; clusters of galaxies; the observatories of the future. (author)

  5. X-ray astronomy

    Giacconi, R.; Setti, G.


    This book contains the lectures, and the most important seminars held at the NATO meeting on X-Ray astronomy in Erice, July 1979. The meeting was an opportune forum to discuss the results of the first 8-months of operation of the X-ray satellite, HEAO-2 (Einstein Observatory) which was launched at the end of 1978. Besides surveying these results, the meeting covered extragalactic astronomy, including the relevant observations obtained in other portions of the electromagnetic spectrum (ultra-violet, optical, infrared and radio). The discussion on galactic X-ray sources essentially covered classical binaries, globular clusters and bursters and its significance to extragalactic sources and to high energy astrophysics was borne in mind. (orig.)

  6. X-ray astronomy

    Narayanan, M.S.


    The deployment of detectors outside the deleterious effects of the atmosphere by sending them in space vehicles, has been explained. This has thrown open the entire spectrum of the electromagnetic and particle radiation to direct observations, thus enlarging the vistas of the field of astronomy and astrophysics. The discovery of strong emitters of X-rays such as SCO X-1, NorX-2, transient sources such as Cen X-2, Cen X-4, Cen X-1, Supernova remnants Tan X-1, etc., are reported. The background of the X-ray spectrum as measured during two rocket flights over Thumba, India is presented. (K.B.)

  7. Lunar based gamma ray astronomy

    Haymes, R.C.


    Gamma ray astronomy represents the study of the universe on the basis of the electromagnetic radiation with the highest energy. Gamma ray astronomy provides a crucial tool for the understanding of astronomical phenomena, taking into account nucleosynthesis in supernovae, black holes, active galaxies, quasars, the sources of cosmic rays, neutron stars, and matter-antimatter annihilation. Difficulties concerning the conduction of studies by gamma ray astronomy are related to the necessity to perform such studies far from earth because the atmosphere is a source of gamma rays. Studies involving the use of gamma ray instruments in earth orbit have been conducted, and more gamma ray astronomy observations are planned for the future. Imperfections of studies conducted in low earth orbit could be overcome by estalishing an observatory on the moon which represents a satellite orbiting at 60 earth radii. Details concerning such an observatory are discussed. 5 references

  8. X-ray astronomy

    Giacconi, R.; Gursky, H.


    This text contains ten chapters and three appendices. Following an introduction, chapters two through five deal with observational techniques, mechanisms for the production of x rays in a cosmic setting, the x-ray sky and solar x-ray emission. Chapters six through ten include compact x-ray sources, supernova remnants, the interstellar medium, extragalactic x-ray sources and the cosmic x-ray background. Interactions of x rays with matter, units and conversion factors and a catalog of x-ray sources comprise the three appendices. (U.S.)

  9. Imaging X-ray astronomy

    Elvis, M.


    The launch of the High Energy Astrophysical Observatory, more appealingly called the Einstein Observatory, marked one of the most revolutionary steps taken in astrophysics this century. Its greater sensitivity compared with earlier satellites and its ability to make high spacial and spectral resolution observations transformed X-ray astronomy. This book is based on a Symposium held in Cambridge, Massachusetts, to celebrate a decade of Einstein Observatory's achievements. It discusses the contributions that this satellite has made to each area of modern astrophysics and the diversity of the ongoing work based on Einstein data. There is a guide to each of the main data bases now coming on-line to increase the availability and to preserve this valuable archive for the future. A review of NASA's next big X-ray mission, AXAF, and a visionary program for novel X-ray astronomy satellites by Riccardo Giacconi conclude this wide-ranging volume. (author)

  10. γ ray astronomy with muons

    Halzen, F.; Stanev, T.; Yodh, G.B.


    Although γ ray showers are muon poor, they still produce a number of muons sufficient to make the sources observed by GeV and TeV telescopes observable also in muons. For sources with hard γ ray spectra there is a relative open-quotes enhancementclose quotes of muons from γ ray primaries as compared to that from nucleon primaries. All shower γ rays above the photoproduction threshold contribute to the number of muons N μ , which is thus proportional to the primary γ ray energy. With γ ray energy 50 times higher than the muon energy and a probability of muon production by the γ close-quote s of about 1%, muon detectors can match the detection efficiency of a GeV satellite detector if their effective area is larger by 10 4 . The muons must have enough energy for sufficiently accurate reconstruction of their direction for doing astronomy. These conditions are satisfied by relatively shallow neutrino detectors such as AMANDA and Lake Baikal, and by γ ray detectors such as MILAGRO. TeV muons from γ ray primaries, on the other hand, are rare because they are only produced by higher energy γ rays whose flux is suppressed by the decreasing flux at the source and by absorption on interstellar light. We show that there is a window of opportunity for muon astronomy with the AMANDA, Lake Baikal, and MILAGRO detectors. copyright 1997 The American Physical Society

  11. Upsurge of X-ray astronomy 230-

    Hudec, D.R.


    Instruments are described used for X-ray astronomy, namely X-ray detectors and X-ray telescopes. Unlike telescopes, the detectors do not comprise X-ray optics. A survey is given of the results obtained in solar and stellar X-ray astronomy and hypotheses are submitted on the origin of X radiation in the interstellar space. (J.B.)

  12. High energy cosmic ray astronomy

    Fonseca, V.


    A brief introduction to High Energy Cosmic Ray Astronomy is presented. This field covers a 17 decade energy range (2.10 4 -10 20 ) eV. Recent discoveries done with gamma-ray detectors on-board satellites and ground-based Cherenkov devices are pushing for a fast development of new and innovative techniques, specially in the low energy region which includes the overlapping of satellite and ground-based measurements in the yet unexplored energy range 20 keV-250 GeV. Detection of unexpected extremely high energy events have triggered the interest of the international scientific community. (orig.)

  13. X-ray instrumentation in astronomy

    Cuhlane, J.L.


    This book presents the proceedings of a conference devoted to x-ray instrumentation in astronomy. Special sections are: AXAF X-Ray Optical Systems; Specialized X-Ray Systems; X-Ray Optical Systems I; X-Ray Optical Systems II; Gas Filled X-Ray Detectors II; The NASA Advanced X-Ray Astrophysics Facility; X-Ray and EUV Spectrometers; Microchannel Plates; and Solid State Detectors

  14. Gamma-ray astronomy and cosmic-ray origin theory

    Ginzburg, V.L.


    A theory of the origin of cosmic radiation is discussed in light of the advances made in gamma-ray astronomy. Arguments against metagalactic models for the origin of cosmic rays are emphasized. (U.S.)

  15. Handbook Of X-ray Astronomy

    Arnaud, Keith A.; Smith, R. K.; Siemiginowska, A.; Edgar, R. J.; Grant, C. E.; Kuntz, K. D.; Schwartz, D. A.


    This poster advertises a book to be published in September 2011 by Cambridge University Press. Written for graduate students, professional astronomers and researchers who want to start working in this field, this book is a practical guide to x-ray astronomy. The handbook begins with x-ray optics, basic detector physics and CCDs, before focussing on data analysis. It introduces the reduction and calibration of x-ray data, scientific analysis, archives, statistical issues and the particular problems of highly extended sources. The book describes the main hardware used in x-ray astronomy, emphasizing the implications for data analysis. The concepts behind common x-ray astronomy data analysis software are explained. The appendices present reference material often required during data analysis.

  16. Very high energy gamma-ray astronomy

    Weekes, T.C.


    Current interest in gamma-ray astronomy at energies above 100 GeV comes from the identification of Cygnus X-3 and other X-ray binaries as sources. In addition there are reports of emission from radio pulsars and a variety of other objects. The statistical significance of many of the observations is not high and many reported effects await confirmation, but there are a sufficient number of independent reports that very high energy gamma-ray astronomy must now be considered to have an observational basis. The observations are summarized with particular emphasis on those reported since 1980. The techniques used - the detection of small air showers using the secondary photons and particles at ground level - are unusual and are described. Future prospects for the field are discussed in relation to new ground-based experiments, satellite gamma-ray studies and proposed neutrino astronomy experiments. (orig.) With 296 refs

  17. Gamma ray astronomy from satellites and balloons

    Schoenfelder, V.


    A survey is given of gamma ray astronomy topics presented at the Cosmic Ray Conference. The major conclusions at the Cosmic Ray Conference in the field of gamma ray astronomy are given. (1) MeV-emission of gamma-ray bursts is a common feature. Variations in duration and energy spectra from burst to burst may explain the discrepancy between the measured log N - log S dependence and the observed isotropy of bursts. (2) The gamma-ray line at 1.809 MeV from Al(26) is the first detected line from a radioactive nucleosynthesis product. In order to understand its origin it will be necessary to measure its longitude distribution in the Milky Way. (3) The indications of a gamma-ray excess found from the direction of Loop I is consistent with the picture that the bulk of cosmic rays below 100 GeV is produced in galactic supernova remnants. (4) The interpretation of the large scale distribution of gamma rays in the Milky Way is controversial. At present an extragalactic origin of the cosmic ray nuclei in the GeV-range cannot be excluded from the gamma ray data. (5) The detection of MeV-emission from Cen A is a promising step towards the interesting field of extragalactic gamma ray astronomy

  18. Space instrumentation for gamma-ray astronomy

    Teegarden, B.J


    The decade of the 1990s has witnessed a renaissance in the field of gamma-ray astronomy. The seminal event was the launch of the Compton Gamma-Ray Observatory (CGRO) in April 1991. There have been a flood of major discoveries from CGRO including breakthroughs in gamma-ray bursts, annihilation radiation, and blazars. The Italian SAX satellite was launched in April 1996. Although not primarily a gamma-ray mission, it has added a new dimension to our understanding of gamma-ray bursts. Along with these new discoveries a firm groundwork has been laid for missions and new technology development that should maintain a healthy and vigorous field throughout most of the next decade. These include the ESA INTEGRAL mission (INTErnational Gamma-Ray Astrophysics Laboratory, to be launched in mid-2001) and the NASA GLAST mission (Gamma-Ray Large Area Space Telescope) with a likely launch in the middle of the next decade. These two missions will extend the observational capabilities well beyond those of CGRO. New technologies (to gamma-ray astronomy), such as cooled germanium detectors, silicon strip detectors, and CdTe detectors are planned for these new missions. Additional promising new technologies such as CdZnTe strip detectors, scintillator fibers, and a gamma-ray lens for future gamma-ray astronomy missions are under development in laboratories around the world.

  19. Space instrumentation for gamma-ray astronomy

    Teegarden, B.J.


    The decade of the 1990s has witnessed a renaissance in the field of gamma-ray astronomy. The seminal event was the launch of the Compton Gamma-Ray Observatory (CGRO) in April 1991. There have been a flood of major discoveries from CGRO including breakthroughs in gamma-ray bursts, annihilation radiation, and blazars. The Italian SAX satellite was launched in April 1996. Although not primarily a gamma-ray mission, it has added a new dimension to our understanding of gamma-ray bursts. Along with these new discoveries a firm groundwork has been laid for missions and new technology development that should maintain a healthy and vigorous field throughout most of the next decade. These include the ESA INTEGRAL mission (INTErnational Gamma-Ray Astrophysics Laboratory, to be launched in mid-2001) and the NASA GLAST mission (Gamma-Ray Large Area Space Telescope) with a likely launch in the middle of the next decade. These two missions will extend the observational capabilities well beyond those of CGRO. New technologies (to gamma-ray astronomy), such as cooled germanium detectors, silicon strip detectors, and CdTe detectors are planned for these new missions. Additional promising new technologies such as CdZnTe strip detectors, scintillator fibers, and a gamma-ray lens for future gamma-ray astronomy missions are under development in laboratories around the world

  20. Techniques in X-ray Astronomy

    This knowledge, or energy spectrum, helps astronomers to look for and determine the. Kulinder Pal Singh is in the Department of. Astronomy and Astro- physics of the Tata. Institute of Fundamental. Research, Mumbai. His primary fields of research are X-ray studies of hot plasmas in stars, super- nova remnants, galaxies,.

  1. Techniques in X-ray Astronomy

    Kulinder Pal Singh is in the Department of. Astronomy and Astro- physics of the Tata. Institute of Fundamental. Research, Mumbai. His primary fields of research are X-ray studies of hot plasmas in stars, super- nova remnants, galaxies, intergalactic medium in clusters of galaxies, active galactic nuclei, cataclys- mic variables ...

  2. Gamma-ray astronomy: A historical perspective

    Lingenfelter, R.E.


    This is a brief review of the course theoretical gamma-ray astronomy has taken over the past thirty years. An examination is given of what the theoretical expectations were; to what extent they were realized; how well they anticipated new directions of research; and alternatively, how often were new directions unexpected

  3. Optics Developments for X-Ray Astronomy

    Ramsey, Brian


    X-ray optics has revolutionized x-ray astronomy. The degree of background suppression that these afford, have led to a tremendous increase in sensitivity. The current Chandra observatory has the same collecting area (approx. 10(exp 3)sq cm) as the non-imaging UHURU observatory, the first x-ray observatory which launched in 1970, but has 5 orders of magnitude more sensitivity due to its focusing optics. In addition, its 0.5 arcsec angular resolution has revealed a wealth of structure in many cosmic x-ray sources. The Chandra observatory achieved its resolution by using relatively thick pieces of Zerodur glass, which were meticulously figured and polished to form the four-shell nested array. The resulting optical assembly weighed around 1600 kg, and cost approximately $0.5B. The challenge for future x-ray astronomy missions is to greatly increase the collecting area (by one or more orders of magnitude) while maintaining high angular resolution, and all within realistic mass and budget constraints. A review of the current status of US optics for x-ray astronomy will be provided along with the challenges for future developments.

  4. The X-ray Astronomy Recovery Mission

    Tashiro, M.; Kelley, R.


    On 25 March 2016, the Japanese 6th X-ray astronomical satellite ASTRO-H (Hitomi), launched on February 17, lost communication after a series of mishap in its attitude control system. In response to the mishap the X-ray astronomy community and JAXA analyzed the direct and root cause of the mishap and investigated possibility of a recovery mission with the international collaborator NASA and ESA. Thanks to great effort of scientists, agencies, and governments, the X-ray Astronomy Recovery Mission (XARM) are proposed. The recovery mission is planned to resume high resolution X-ray spectroscopy with imaging realized by Hitomi under the international collaboration in the shortest time possible, simply by focusing one of the main science goals of Hitomi Resolving astrophysical problems by precise high-resolution X-ray spectroscopy'. XARM will carry a 6 x 6 pixelized X-ray micro-calorimeter on the focal plane of an X-ray mirror assembly, and an aligned X-ray CCD camera covering the same energy band and wider field of view, but no hard X-ray or soft gamma-ray instruments are onboard. In this paper, we introduce the science objectives, mission concept, and schedule of XARM.

  5. Sensors for x-ray astronomy satellite

    Makino, Fumiyoshi; Kondo, Ichiro; Nishioka, Yonero; Kameda, Yoshihiko; Kubo, Masaki.


    For the purpose of observing the cosmic X-ray, the cosmic X-ray astronomy satellite (CORSA-b, named ''Hakucho'', Japanese for cygnus,) was launched Feb. 21, 1979 by Institute of Space and Aeronautical Science, University of Tokyo. The primary objectives of the satellite are: to perform panoramic survey of the space for X-ray bursts and to perform the spectral and temporal measurement of X-ray sources. The very soft X-ray sensor for X-ray observation and the horizon sensor for spacecraft attitude sensing were developed by Toshiba Corporation under technical support by University of Tokyo and Nagoya University for ''Hakucho''. The features of these sensors are outlined in this paper. (author)

  6. TeV gamma-ray astronomy

    Cui Wei


    The field of ground-based gamma-ray astronomy has enjoyed rapid growth in recent years. As an increasing number of sources are detected at TeV energies, the field has matured and become a viable branch of modern astronomy. Lying at the uppermost end of the electromagnetic rainbow, TeV photons are always preciously few in number but carry essential information about the particle acceleration and radiative processes involved in extreme astronomical settings. Together with observations at longer wavelengths, TeV gamma-ray observations have drastically improved our view of the universe. In this review, we briefly describe recent progress in the field. We will conclude by providing a personal perspective on the future of the field, in particular, on the significant roles that China could play in advancing this young but exciting field. (invited reviews)

  7. Gamma ray astronomy with COS-B

    Swanenburg, B.N.


    Observational results in the field of gamma-ray astronomy that have been obtained to date with the COS-B satellite are discussed and questions raised by these observations are summarized. Following a brief review of the instrumental characteristics of COS-B and the extent of COS-B gamma-ray coverage of the sky, particular attention is given to the questions raised by the discovery of many unidentified gamma-ray sources with no apparent optical, X-ray or radio counterparts and the detection of high-energy gamma radiation from the quasar 3C 273, which suggests the role of gamma-ray emission in the creation of other radiation

  8. Marriage of x-ray and optical astronomy

    McClintock, J.E.


    An historical discussion of the relation of x-ray and optical astronomy is given including distances within our galaxy, the optical identification of x-ray sources, the binary x-ray stars, neutron stars and black holes, a program in x-ray astronomy, and future missions

  9. Technology Needs for Gamma Ray Astronomy

    Gehrels, Neil


    Gamma ray astronomy is currently in an exciting period of multiple missions and a wealth of data. Results from INTEGRAL, Fermi, AGILE, Suzaku and Swift are making large contributions to our knowledge of high energy processes in the universe. The advances are due to new detector and imaging technologies. The steps to date have been from scintillators to solid state detectors for sensors and from light buckets to coded aperture masks and pair telescopes for imagers. A key direction for the future is toward focusing telescopes pushing into the hard X-ray regime and Compton telescopes and pair telescopes with fine spatial resolution for medium and high energy gamma rays. These technologies will provide finer imaging of gamma-ray sources. Importantly, they will also enable large steps forward in sensitivity by reducing background.

  10. Future prospects for γ-ray astronomy

    Fichtel, C.


    As γ-ray astronomy moves from the discovery to the exploratory phase, the promise of γ-ray astrophysics noted by theorists in the late 1940s and 1950s is beginning to be realized. In the future, satellites should carry instruments that will have over an order of magnitude greater sensitivity than those flown thus far, and, for at least some portions of the γ-ray energy range, these detectors will also have substantially improved energy and angular resolution. The information to be obtained from these experiments should greatly enhance our knowledge of several astrophysical phenomena including the very energetic and nuclear processes associated with compact objects, astrophysical nucleosynthesis, solar particle acceleration, the chemical composition of the planets and other bodies of the Solar System, the structure of our Galaxy, the origin and dynamic pressure effects of the cosmic rays, high energy particles and energetic processes in other galaxies especially active ones, and the degree of matter-antimatter symmetry of the Universe. The γ-ray results of the forthcoming programs such as Gamma-I, the Gamma Ray Observatory, the γ-ray burst network, Solar Polar, and very high energy γ-ray telescopes on the ground will almost certainly provide justification for more sophisticated telescopes. These advanced instruments might be placed on the Space Platform currently under study by N.A.S.A. (author)

  11. Future prospects for. gamma. -ray astronomy

    Fichtel, C [National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Greenbelt, MD (USA). Goddard Space Flight Center


    As ..gamma..-ray astronomy moves from the discovery to the exploratory phase, the promise of ..gamma..-ray astrophysics noted by theorists in the late 1940s and 1950s is beginning to be realized. In the future, satellites should carry instruments that will have over an order of magnitude greater sensitivity than those flown thus far, and, for at least some portions of the ..gamma..-ray energy range, these detectors will also have substantially improved energy and angular resolution. The information to be obtained from these experiments should greatly enhance our knowledge of several astrophysical phenomena including the very energetic and nuclear processes associated with compact objects, astrophysical nucleosynthesis, solar particle acceleration, the chemical composition of the planets and other bodies of the Solar System, the structure of our Galaxy, the origin and dynamic pressure effects of the cosmic rays, high energy particles and energetic processes in other galaxies especially active ones, and the degree of matter-antimatter symmetry of the Universe. The ..gamma..-ray results of the forthcoming programs such as Gamma-I, the Gamma Ray Observatory, the ..gamma..-ray burst network, Solar Polar, and very high energy ..gamma..-ray telescopes on the ground will almost certainly provide justification for more sophisticated telescopes. These advanced instruments might be placed on the Space Platform currently under study by N.A.S.A.

  12. First data from X-ray astronomy satellite

    Cox, J.


    EXOSAT, the European Space Agency's first x-ray astronomy satellite which was launched last year, has sent back information on x-ray sources. The article briefly discusses the observations made by the satellite concerning Cygnus x-1 and the galactic supernova remnant Cassiopeia A. EXOSAT is the first x-ray astronomy satellite to be operated in a deep space orbit

  13. Next-Generation X-Ray Astronomy

    White, Nicholas E.


    The future timing capabilities in X-ray astronomy will be reviewed. This will include reviewing the missions in implementation: Astro-H, GEMS, SRG, and ASTROSAT; those under study: currently ATHENA and LOFT; and new technologies that may enable future missions e.g. Lobster eye optics. These missions and technologies will bring exciting new capabilities across the entire time spectrum from micro-seconds to years that e.g. will allow us to probe close to the event horizon of black holes and constrain the equation of state of neutron stars.

  14. Very high energy gamma-ray astronomy

    Weekes, T.C.


    It is apparent that very high gamma-ray astronomy, at the very end of the electromagnetic spectrum, is just at the threshold of becoming an important channel of astronomical information. The author discusses how, to fully develop, it requires telescopes with improved minimum flux sensitivity; development of techniques that characterize the nature of the primary; more overlapping observations to remove any question of the reality of the detected phenomenon; more consistency in the application of statistics among experimenters and more openness about methods used; development of models that will predict the phenomenon to be expected rather than explain what has been observed; and more accurate calibrations to determine absolute fluxes and energies

  15. X-Ray Astronomy Discovery Experiments, III*

    Fisher, P. C.


    The first paper established the existence of concurrent discovery experiments by Riccardo Giacconi and myself at the start of x-ray astronomy.footnotetextR. Giacconi et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 9, 439 (1962).^,footnotetextP. C. Fisher et al., Quasars and High Energy Astronomy including Proceedings of the 2^nd Texas Symposium on Relativistic Astrophysics 15 - 19 December 1964 (K. N. Douglas et. al., eds.) Gordon and Breach Science Publishers, New York, p. 253 (1969).^,footnotetextP. C. Fisher, BAPS 53 No. 2, 165 (2008). Paper II footnotetextP.C. Fisher, plus FHP link to April 2009 presentation H14.00006. described some acts by some individuals/institutions over four decades that may have caused the illusion that I had not made a discovery. Some additional data about this illusion, and the first possible measurement of x-ray emission from a black hole, will be presented. This paper's primary goal is for the American Physical Society to have Giacconi comment on several questions of a historical nature. [4pt] *Work supported by NASA contracts NAS5-1174 and NASw-909, the Lockheed Independent Research Program, and Ruffner Associates.

  16. Handbook of X-Ray Astronomy

    Arnaud, Keith A. (Editor); Smith, Randall K.; Siemiginowska, Aneta


    X-ray astronomy was born in the aftermath of World War II as military rockets were repurposed to lift radiation detectors above the atmosphere for a few minutes at a time. These early flights detected and studied X-ray emission from the Solar corona. The first sources beyond the Solar System were detected during a rocket flight in 1962 by a team headed by Riccardo Giaccom at American Science and Engineering, a company founded by physicists from MIT. The rocket used Geiger counters with a system designed to reduce non-X-ray backgrounds and collimators limiting the region of sky seen by the counters. As the rocket spun, the field of view (FOV) happened to pass over what was later found to be the brightest non-Solar X-ray source; later designated See X-1. It also detected a uniform background glow which could not be resolved into individual sources. A follow-up campaign using X-ray detectors with better spatial resolution and optical telescopes identified See X-1 as an interacting binary with a compact (neutron star) primary. This success led to further suborbital rocket flights by a number of groups. More X-ray binaries were discovered, as well as X-ray emission from supernova remnants, the radio galaxies M87 and Cygnus-A, and the Coma cluster. Detectors were improved and Geiger counters were replaced by proportional counters, which provided information about energy spectra of the sources. A constant challenge was determining precise positions of sources as only collimators were available.

  17. Gamma ray astronomy and the origin of galactic cosmic rays

    Gabici, Stefano


    Diffusive shock acceleration operating at expanding supernova remnant shells is by far the most popular model for the origin of galactic cosmic rays. Despite the general consensus received by the model, an unambiguous and conclusive proof of the supernova remnant hypothesis is still missing. In this context, the recent developments in gamma ray astronomy provide us with precious insights into the problem of the origin of galactic cosmic rays, since production of gamma rays is expected both during the acceleration of cosmic rays at supernova remnant shocks and during their subsequent propagation in the interstellar medium. In particular, the recent detection of a number of supernova remnants at TeV energies nicely fits with the model, but it still does not constitute a conclusive proof of it, mainly due to the difficulty of disentangling the hadronic and leptonic contributions to the observed gamma ray emission. The main goal of my research is to search for an unambiguous and conclusive observational test for proving (or disproving) the idea that supernova remnants are the sources of galactic cosmic rays with energies up to (at least) the cosmic ray knee. Our present comprehension of the mechanisms of particle acceleration at shocks and of the propagation of cosmic rays in turbulent magnetic fields encourages beliefs that such a conclusive test might come from future observations of supernova remnants and of the Galaxy in the almost unexplored domain of multi-TeV gamma rays. (author)

  18. Interstellar medium structure and content and gamma ray astronomy

    Lebrun, F.


    A general description of gamma-ray astronomy is presented with special emphasis on the study of diffuse gamma-ray emission. This is followed by a collection of reflections and observations on the structure and the gas and dust content of the local interstellar medium. Results of gamma-ray observations on the local interstellar medium are given. The last part is devoted to the whole of the galactic gamma-ray emission and its interpretation [fr

  19. Ultra high energy gamma-ray astronomy

    Wdowczyk, J.


    The experimental data on ultra high energy γ-rays are reviewed and a comparison of the properties of photon and proton initiated shower is made. The consequences of the existence of the strong ultra high energy γ-ray sources for other observations is analysed and possible mechanisms for the production of ultra high energy γ-rays in the sources are discussed. It is demonstrated that if the γ-rays are produced via cosmic ray interactions the sources have to produce very high fluxes of cosmic ray particles. In fact it is possible that a small number of such sources can supply the whole Galactic cosmic ray flux

  20. Observational techniques of gamma rays astronomy in low energy

    Costa, J.M. da.


    Due to the absorption of great part of the gamma-ray spectrum of cosmic origin, by the earth's atmosphere at heights above 20Km, gamma-ray astronomy achieved its full development only after the advent of the space age. Ballons and satellites are the space vehicles which have been used to transport gamma-ray telescopes to observational heights in the atmosphere, or out of it. The results of these experiments can determine the sources, the energy spectra and the intensities of the cosmic gamma-rays, and provide other important information of astrophysical interest. The detection of gamma-rays of cosmic origin is very difficult. The observational techniques used in gamma-ray astronomy are dependent on the energy range of the gamma-rays which one desires to detect. The most common telescopes of low energy gamma-ray astronomy (50KeV - 20MeV) use NaI(Tl) scintillators, or germanium diodes, as principal detectors, surrounded by an active shield (anticoincidence) of organic or inorganic scintillators. (Author) [pt

  1. Gamma-Ray Astronomy Technology Needs

    Gehrels, N.; Cannizzo, J. K.


    In recent decades gamma-ray observations have become a valuable tool for studying the universe. Progress made in diverse 8re1lS such as gamma-ray bursts (GRBs), nucleosynthesis, and active galactic nuclei (AGNs) has complimented and enriched our astrophysical understanding in many ways. We present an overview of current and future planned space y-ray missions and discussion technology needs for- the next generation of space gamma-ray instruments.

  2. A high energy gamma ray astronomy experiment

    Hofstadter, R.


    The author describes work involving NASA's Gamma Ray Observatory (GRO). GRO exemplifies the near zero principle because it investigates new gamma ray phenomena by relying on the space program to take us into the region of zero interference above the earth's atmosphere. In its present form GRO has four experiments

  3. Galaxies and gamma-ray astronomy

    Bignami, G.F.; Fichtel, C.E.; Hartman, R.C.; Thompson, D.J.


    Comparisons between the recently measured X-ray spectra of active galaxies, the intensity upper limits to the γ-ray emission above 35 MeV from the same objects obtained from data from SAS 2, and other γ-ray data are used to address the nature of the high-energy spectra of several types of active galaxies, their contribution to the measured diffuse γ-ray emission between 1 and 150 MeV, and constraints which may be placed on cosmological evolutionary factors. It is found that a substantial increase in slope of the photon energy spectrum must occur in the low-energy γ-ray region for Seyfert galaxies, BL Lac objects, and emission line galaxies. A spectral steepening is also seen for 3C 273 and Cen A, the only quasar and radio galaxy for which accurate X-ray spectra are presently available above 20 keV. A cosmological integration shows that Seyfert galaxies, BL Lac objects, and quasars may account for most of the 1--150 MeV diffuse background, even without significant evolution. Sharp emission line galaxies and radio galaxies made a much smaller contribution under the same assumptions. The observed isotropic γ-radiation limits the γ-ray evolution possible for Seyfert galaxies, BL Lac objects, and quasars. The high-latitude galactic radiation limits the γ-ray evolution of normal field galaxies. The integrated emission of normal field galaxies with evolution back to z=4 cannot exceed about 10 times the integrated emission assuming no evolution

  4. The LASL gamma-ray burst astronomy program

    Klebesadel, R.W.; Evans, W.D.; Laros, J.G.


    Gamma-ray burst observations performed by LASL began with the identification and initial report of the phenomenon from data acquired by the Vela satellites. The Vela instruments have recorded responses to 73 gamma-ray bursts over a ten-year interval, and are continuing to contribute toward these observations. Similar instrumentation was included aboard the NRL SOLRAD 11 spacecraft. These performed well but suffered an early demise. Recently, the LASL gamma-ray burst astronomy program has been enhanced through the implementation of experiments aboard the Pioneer Venus Orbiter and ISEF-C spacecraft. Both of these experiments are continuing to contribute data vital to trigonometric directional analyses. (orig.)

  5. VHE and UHE gamma ray astronomy: transients and sources

    Fegan, D.J.


    The transient and sporadic nature of a number of Cosmic gamma ray sources is examined in relation to VHE (10 11 to 10 14 eV) observations of pulsars and X-ray binary systems. Transients are not all that common but when they occur they generally produce emission of sufficient intensity and duration to obtain statistically significant effects which are gradually helping to establish a source catalog. A brief review is also made of the staus of UHE (>10 14 eV) gamma ray astronomy

  6. Gamma ray astronomy and search for antimatter in the universe

    Schoenfelder, V.


    Gamma ray astronomy provides a powerful tool for searching antimatter in the universe; it probably provides the only means to determine, if the universe has baryon symmetry. Presently existing gamma-ray observations can be interpreted without postulating the existence of antimatter. However, the measurements are not precise enough to definitely exclude the possibility of its existence. The search for antimatter belongs to one of the main scientific objectives of the Gamma Ray Observatory GRO of NASA, which will be launched in 1990 by the Space Shuttle. (orig.)

  7. The Mercedes-Benz approach to γ-ray astronomy

    Akerlof, C.W.


    The sensitivity requirements for ground-based γ-ray astronomy are reviewed in the light of the most reliable estimates of stellar fluxes above 100 GeV. Current data strongly favor the construction of detectors with the lowest energy thresholds. Since improvements in angular resolution are limited by shower fluctuations, better methods of rejecting hadronic showers must be found to reliably observe the known astrophysical sources. Several possible methods for reducing this hadronic background are discussed. (orig.)

  8. Gamma-ray-line astronomy: the case of 26Al

    Prantzos, N.


    The recent detection of the 1.8 MeV line in the galactic plane, attributed to the decay of ∼ 3 Solar mass of radioactive 26 Al, brought closer together the disciplines of gamma-ray Astronomy and Nuclear Astrophysics. A review is presented here of the possible production mechanisms and sites of 26 Al in the Galaxy, with an emphasis on the role of massive, mass losing stars

  9. Advances in gamma-ray burst astronomy

    Cline, T.L.; Desai, U.D.


    Work at Goddard is presently being carried out in three major areas of gamma-ray burst research: (1) A pair of simultaneously operating 0.8-m 2 burst detectors were successfully balloon-borne at locations 800 miles apart on 9 May, 1975, each to atmospheric depths of 3 to 4 g cm -2 , for a 20-h period of coincident data coverage. This experiment investigates the size spectrum of bursts in the 10 -7 to 10 -6 erg cm -2 size region where dozens of events per day are expected on a -1.5 index integral power-law extrapolation. Considerable separation in latitude was used to avoid possible atmospheric and auroral secondary effects. Its results are not yet available. (2) A deep-space burst detector, the first spacecraft instrument built specifically for gamma-ray burst studies, was recently successfully integrated into the Helios-B space probe. Its use at distances of up to 2 AU will make possible the first high-resolution directional study of gamma-ray burst source locations. Similar modifications to several other space vehicles are also being prepared. (3) The gamma-ray instrument on the IMP-7 satellite is presently the most sensitive burst detector still operating in orbit. Its results have shown that all measured event-average energy spectra are consistent with being alike. Using this characteristic spectrum to select IMP-7 candidate events of smaller size than those detected using other spacecraft in coincidence, a size spectrum is constructed which fits the -1.5 index power law down to 2.5 x 10 -5 erg cm -2 per event, at an occurrence rate of about once per month. (Auth.)

  10. Fabrication of Sparse Readout Detectors for X-ray Astronomy

    Burrows, David

    We propose to continue our detector development program in X-ray astronomy. Under our current APRA grant we have fabricated a new read out integrated circuit that is one half of a hybrid CMOS detector. Here we propose to build and test these innovative detectors, which could potentially be flown on future X-ray missions with focused optics and/or large effective area. This proposal supports NASA's goals of technical advancement of technologies suitable for future missions and training of graduate students.

  11. Ground-based gamma-ray astronomy with Cherenkov telescopes

    Hinton, Jim


    Very high-energy (>100 GeV) γ-ray astronomy is emerging as an important discipline in both high-energy astrophysics and astro-particle physics. This field is currently dominated by imaging atmospheric-Cherenkov telescopes (IACTs) and arrays of these telescopes. Such arrays have achieved the best angular resolution and energy flux sensitivity in the γ-ray domain and are still far from the fundamental limits of the technique. Here, I will summarize some key aspects of this technique and go on to review the current status of the major instruments and to highlight selected recent results.

  12. Parameter estimation in X-ray astronomy

    Lampton, M.; Margon, B.; Bowyer, S.


    The problems of model classification and parameter estimation are examined, with the objective of establishing the statistical reliability of inferences drawn from X-ray observations. For testing the validities of classes of models, the procedure based on minimizing the chi 2 statistic is recommended; it provides a rejection criterion at any desired significance level. Once a class of models has been accepted, a related procedure based on the increase of chi 2 gives a confidence region for the values of the model's adjustable parameters. The procedure allows the confidence level to be chosen exactly, even for highly nonlinear models. Numerical experiments confirm the validity of the prescribed technique.The chi 2 /sub min/+1 error estimation method is evaluated and found unsuitable when several parameter ranges are to be derived, because it substantially underestimates their joint errors. The ratio of variances method, while formally correct, gives parameter confidence regions which are more variable than necessary

  13. Some aspects of ultra high energy gamma ray astronomy

    De Jager, O.C.


    A short review of ultra high energy (UHE) gamma ray astronomy (10 11 14 eV) as well as a description of a planned experiment to be erected at Potchefstroom is given in the introduction. This experiment will be the first and only one in the Southern Hemisphere and as such may play an important role in this new field of astronomy and astrophysics. In the first part the necessary infrastructure for astronomical observations of known celestial objects is developed. This embodies the special physical, mechanical and astronomical constraints in this type of astronomy, such as the definition of the various astronomical coordinate systems and transformations between them, the effect of precession and nutation on the source position etc. This leads to automatic observation schedules for the various applicable techniques of observation. In the second part the various effects which may influence the arrival time of a gamma ray at the telescope is investigated. It is found that dispersion and relativistic effects are negligible, given the special type of analysis used in this low counting rate system. The classic Doppler effect due to the motion of Earth as well as the configuration of the telescope does have a major effect and must be taken into consideration when analysing the data. A simple method, depending only on the movement of Earth around the sun, is developed to simplify the identification of pulsars at the planned observatory where computing facilities are limited

  14. Panel discussion on: Data analysis trends in X-ray and γ-ray astronomy

    Ozel, M.F.; Buccheri, R.; Scarsi, L.


    This article is a panel discussion that included several participants. The problems of data analysis in x- and gamma-ray astronomy are discussed. Improvements achieved by consecutive gamma-ray experiments since the 1960's are reviewed. The presentation of gamma-ray data in terms of two-dimensional sky maps is examined and different representations of galactic anticenter gamma-ray sky are shown

  15. Very high energy gamma ray astronomy from Hanle

    Chitnis, Varsha R.


    Over a past decade very high energy (VHE) gamma ray astronomy has emerged as a major astronomical discipline. In India, we have a long tradition of experiments in this field. Few years ago, multi-institutional Himalayan Gamma Ray Observatory (HiGRO) collaboration was formed to set up VHE gamma rays experiments at Hanle, a high altitude location in Himalayas. HAGAR, the first phase of this collaboration is operational since 2008. HAGAR has successfully detected VHE gamma ray emission from some of the extragalactic objects like Mrk 421, Mrk 501 as well as galactic sources including Crab nebula/pulsar. Details of HAGAR telescope system and results obtained will be discussed. HiGRO is now gearing up for the next phase, i.e. 21 m diameter MACE telescope, which is being installed at Hanle at present. Details of MACE telescope system and future plans will be discussed. (author)

  16. The ASTRO-H (Hitomi) X-Ray Astronomy Satellite

    Takahashi, Tadayuki; Kokubun, Motohide; Mitsuda, Kazuhisa; Kelley, Richard; Ohashi, Takaya; Aharonian, Felix; Akamatsu, Hiroki; Akimoto, Fumie; Allen, Steve; Anabuki, Naohisa; hide


    The Hitomi (ASTRO-H) mission is the sixth Japanese X-ray astronomy satellite developed by a large international collaboration, including Japan, USA, Canada, and Europe. The mission aimed to provide the highest energy resolution ever achieved at E greater than 2 keV, using a microcalorimeter instrument, and to cover a wide energy range spanning four decades in energy from soft X-rays to gamma-rays. After a successful launch on 2016 February 17, the spacecraft lost its function on 2016 March 26, but the commissioning phase for about a month provided valuable information on the on-board instruments and the spacecraft system, including astrophysical results obtained from first light observations. The paper describes the Hitomi (ASTRO-H) mission, its capabilities, the initial operation, and the instruments/spacecraft performances confirmed during the commissioning operations for about a month.

  17. Gamma ray astronomy with atmospheric Cherenkov telescopes: the future

    Krennrich, Frank


    Atmospheric Cherenkov telescopes have been key to the recent discoveries in teraelectronvolt (TeV) γ-ray astronomy. The detection of TeV γ rays from more than 90 galactic and extragalactic sources provides a wealth of data for probing physical phenomena that pertain to some of the big questions in astrophysics. These include the understanding of the origin of cosmic rays, unveiling the connection between relativistic jets and black holes, shedding light on dark matter and its relation to supersymmetric particles and estimating the brightness of cosmological diffuse radiation fields in the optical/infrared waveband. While these recent advances were made with instruments designed in the 1990s, the present paper is concerned with a next generation of imaging atmospheric Cherenkov telescopes (IACTs) that are currently in the conceptual planning stage. We discuss the basic ideas, the required technology and expected performance of a ≥1 square-kilometer array, which is poised to yield the most dramatic step yet to come in TeV astronomy.

  18. Composite mirror facets for ground based gamma ray astronomy

    Brun, P.; Carton, P.-H.; Durand, D.; Glicenstein, J.-F.; Jeanney, C. [CEA, Irfu, Centre de Saclay, F-91191 Gif sur Yvette (France); Medina, M.C., E-mail: [CEA, Irfu, Centre de Saclay, F-91191 Gif sur Yvette (France); Micolon, P.; Peyaud, B. [CEA, Irfu, Centre de Saclay, F-91191 Gif sur Yvette (France)


    Composite mirrors for gamma-ray astronomy have been developed to fulfill the specifications required for the next generation of Cherenkov telescopes represented by CTA (Cherenkov Telescope Array). In addition to the basic requirements on focus and reflection efficiency, the mirrors have to be stiff, lightweight, durable and cost efficient. In this paper, the technology developed to produce such mirrors is described, as well as some tests that have been performed to validate them. It is shown that these mirrors comply with the needs of CTA, making them good candidates for use on a significant part of the array.

  19. Prototyping iridium coated mirrors for x-ray astronomy

    Döhring, Thorsten; Probst, Anne-Catherine; Stollenwerk, Manfred; Emmerich, Florian; Stehlíková, Veronika; Inneman, Adolf


    X-ray astronomy uses space-based telescopes to overcome the disturbing absorption of the Earth's atmosphere. The telescope mirrors are operating at grazing incidence angles and are coated with thin metal films of high-Z materials to get sufficient reflectivity for the high-energy radiation to be observed. In addition the optical payload needs to be light-weighted for launcher mass constrains. Within the project JEUMICO, an acronym for "Joint European Mirror Competence", the Aschaffenburg University of Applied Sciences and the Czech Technical University in Prague started a collaboration to develop mirrors for X-ray telescopes. The X-ray telescopes currently developed within this Bavarian- Czech project are of Lobster eye type optical design. Corresponding mirror segments use substrates of flat silicon wafers which are coated with thin iridium films, as this material is promising high reflectivity in the X-ray range of interest. The deposition of the iridium films is based on a magnetron sputtering process. Sputtering with different parameters, especially by variation of the argon gas pressure, leads to iridium films with different properties. In addition to investigations of the uncoated mirror substrates the achieved surface roughness has been studied. Occasional delamination of the iridium films due to high stress levels is prevented by chromium sublayers. Thereby the sputtering parameters are optimized in the context of the expected reflectivity of the coated X-ray mirrors. In near future measurements of the assembled mirror modules optical performances are planned at an X-ray test facility.

  20. The MIRAX x-ray astronomy transient mission

    Braga, João; Mejía, Jorge


    The Monitor e Imageador de Raios-X (MIRAX) is a small (~250 kg) X-ray astronomy satellite mission designed to monitor the central Galactic plane for transient phenomena. With a field-of-view of ~1000 square degrees and an angular resolution of ~6 arcmin, MIRAX will provide an unprecedented discovery-space coverage to study X-ray variability in detail, from fast X-ray novae to long-term (~several months) variable phenomena. Chiefly among MIRAX science objectives is its capability of providing simultaneous complete temporal coverage of the evolution of a large number of accreting black holes, including a detailed characterization of the spectral state transitions in these systems. MIRAX's instruments will include a soft X-ray (2-18 keV) and two hard X-ray (10-200 keV) coded-aperture imagers, with sensitivities of ~5 and ~2.6 mCrab/day, respectively. The hard X-ray imagers will be built at the Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais (INPE), Brazil, in close collaboration with the Center for Astrophysics & Space Sciences (CASS) of the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) and the Institut fur Astronomie und Astrophysik of the University of Tubingen (IAAT) in Germany; UCSD will provide the crossed-strip position-sensitive (0.5- mm spatial resolution) CdZnTe (CZT) hard X-ray detectors. The soft X-ray camera, provided by the Space Research Organization Netherlands (SRON), will be the spare flight unit of the Wide Field Cameras that flew on the Italian-Dutch satellite BeppoSAX. MIRAX is an approved mission of the Brazilian Space Agency (Agnecia Espacial Brasileira - AEB) and is scheduled to be launched in 2011 in a low-altitude (~550 km) circular equatorial orbit. In this paper we present recent developments in the mission planning and design, as well as Monte Carlo simulations performed on the GEANT-based package MGGPOD environment (Weidenspointner et al. 2004) and new algorithms for image digital processing. Simulated images of the central Galactic plane as it

  1. [High-Performance Active Pixel X-Ray Sensors for X-Ray Astronomy

    Bautz, Mark; Suntharalingam, Vyshnavi


    The subject grants support development of High-Performance Active Pixel Sensors for X-ray Astronomy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Center for Space Research and at MIT's Lincoln Laboratory. This memo reports our progress in the second year of the project, from April, 2004 through the present.

  2. Resolve Instrument on X-ray Astronomy Recovery Mission (XARM)

    Ishisaki, Y.; Ezoe, Y.; Yamada, S.; Ichinohe, Y.; Fujimoto, R.; Takei, Y.; Yasuda, S.; Ishida, M.; Yamasaki, N. Y.; Maeda, Y.; Tsujimoto, M.; Iizuka, R.; Koyama, S.; Noda, H.; Tamagawa, T.; Sawada, M.; Sato, K.; Kitamoto, S.; Hoshino, A.; Brown, G. V.; Eckart, M. E.; Hayashi, T.; Kelley, R. L.; Kilbourne, C. A.; Leutenegger, M. A.; Mori, H.; Okajima, T.; Porter, F. S.; Soong, Y.; McCammon, D.; Szymkowiak, A. E.


    The X-ray Astronomy Recovery Mission (XARM) is a recovery mission of ASTRO-H/Hitomi, which is expected to be launched in Japanese Fiscal Year of 2020 at the earliest. The Resolve instrument on XARM consists of an array of 6 × 6 silicon-thermistor microcalorimeters cooled down to 50 mK and a high-throughput X-ray mirror assembly with the focal length of 5.6 m. Hitomi was launched into orbit in February 2016 and observed several celestial objects, although the operation of Hitomi was terminated in April 2016. The soft X-ray spectrometer (SXS) on Hitomi demonstrated high-resolution X-ray spectroscopy of 5 eV FWHM in orbit for most of the pixels. The Resolve instrument is planned to mostly be a copy of the Hitomi SXS and soft X-ray telescope designs, though several changes are planned based on the lessons learned from Hitomi. We report a brief summary of the SXS performance and the status of the Resolve instrument.

  3. Imaging escape gated MPWC for hard X-ray astronomy

    Ubertini, P.; Bazzano, A.; Boccaccini, L.; La Padula, C.; Mastropietro, M.; Patriarca, R.; Polcaro, V.F.; Barbareschi, L.; Perotti, F.; Villa, G.


    A scientific forward step in the hard X-ray and soft gamma-ray astronomy will only be possible with the use of a new generation of space borne instruments. Their main characteristics have to be the two-dimensional imaging capability over a large collecting area and the fine spectral resolution in order to discriminate between the weak signal coming from cosmic sources to be detected and the strong background induced by cosmic rays, in the space environment, on the detector. To reach this goal we have developed a new hard X-ray position sensitive proportional counter operating with the escape gate technique in the range 15-150 keV, to be used together with a pseudo-random coded mask in order to obtain sky images. The detector is a high pressure (5 bar) xenon-argon-isobutane filled chamber with a spatial resolution of 30x2 mm and a spectral resolution of 5% at 60 keV on the sensitive area of 3000 cm/sup 2/.

  4. The beginning of gamma-ray astronomy with Fermi

    Paneque, D.


    The Fermi observatory is designed to perform gamma-ray astronomy in the energy range 20 MeV to 300 GeV, with supporting measurements for gamma-ray bursts from 10 keV to 30 MeV. Fermi was successfully launched on June 11 (2008) from the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral. The main instrument of Fermi is the Large Area Telescope (LAT), which provides break-through high-energy measurements using techniques typically used in particle detectors for collider experiments. The LAT consists of 16 identical towers in a four-by-four grid, each one containing a pair conversion tracker and a hodoscopic crystal calorimeter, all covered by a segmented plastic scintillator anti-coincidence shield. The LAT is currently monitoring the GeV gamma-ray sky with rather uniform exposure (covering 20% of the sky at any instant and the entire sky on a timescale of a few hours) and a sensitivity ∼ 30 times better than its predecessor, EGRET. The large performance improvement of LAT opens a new and important window on a wide variety of high-energy astrophysical phenomena, as well as potential to discover/study non-conventional physics. In the talk I will report the instrument performance, the mission status and science opportunities and will present some results derived from the first months of operation, which includes astronomical telegrams on AGN flares, 2 GCN circulars on LAT-detected GRBs and the monitoring of some selected sources (22 blazars and 1 high mass X-ray Binary). (author)

  5. Atomic Physics Measurements in Support of X-ray Astronomy

    Beiersdorfer, Peter; Brown, G. V.; Kelley, R. E.; Kilbourne, C. A.; Leutenegger, M.; Porter, F. S.; Obst, M.; Lepson, J. K.; Desai, P.; Gu, M. F.


    X-ray astronomy has been a voracious consumer of atomic data, especially after the launch of the Chandra and XMM-Newton X-ray Observatories, which have produced very high-resolution grating spectra of point sources. One of the important issues has been to understand the physics underlying the Fe L-shell spectra, and the Fe XVII spectrum in particular. A lot of progress has been made, including measurements of the electron-impact and resonance excitation cross sections, which now provides a rather clear picture of the production mechanism of the Fe XVII spectrum. Recent measurements of the radiative rates provide additional information on the deexcitation channels, while investigations of dielectronic satellite transitions provide a measure of the electron temperature. Many questions, however, still remain. Work at LLNL was performed under the auspices of DOE under contract DE-AC53-07NA27344 and supported by NASA's APRA program under contracts NNH07AF81I and NNG06WF08I. Part of this work was supported by Chandra Cycle 10 Award AR9-0002X.

  6. Recent Progress in Adjustable X-ray Optics for Astronomy

    Reid, Paul B.; Allured, Ryan; Cotroneo, Vincenzo; McMuldroch, Stuart; Marquez, Vanessa; Schwartz, Daniel A.; Vikhlinin, Alexey; ODell, Stephen L.; Ramsey, Brian; Trolier-McKinstry, Susan; hide


    Two adjustable X-ray optics approaches are being developed for thin grazing incidence optics for astronomy. The first approach employs thin film piezoelectric material sputter deposited as a continuous layer on the back of thin, lightweight Wolter-I mirror segments. The piezoelectric material is used to correct mirror figure errors from fabrication, mounting/alignment, and any ground to orbit changes. The goal of this technology is to produce Wolter mirror segment pairs corrected to 0.5 arc sec image resolution. With the combination of high angular resolution and lightweight, this mirror technology is suitable for the Square Meter Arc Second Resolution Telescope for X-rays (SMART-X) mission concept.. The second approach makes use of electrostrictive adjusters and full shell nickel/cobalt electroplated replication mirrors. An array of radial adjusters is used to deform the full shells to correct the lowest order axial and azimuthal errors, improving imaging performance from the 10 - 15 arc sec level to 5 arc sec. We report on recent developments in both technologies. In particular, we discuss the use of insitu strain gauges on the thin piezo film mirrors for use as feedback on piezoelectric adjuster functionality, including their use for on-orbit figure correction. We also report on the first tests of full shell nickel/cobalt mirror correction with radial adjusters.

  7. Gamma ray astronomy and the COS-B satellite

    Cesarsky, C.J.; Paul, J.A.


    The European satellite COS-B, operating in space for almost seven years, has produced a full chart of the sky in gamma radiation. This chart is discussed in detail, as well as gamma astronomy, high energy photons, gamma photons, strange stars, young pulsars, stars seething with activity and quasar 3C273. Other gamma astronomy programmes are briefly mentioned. (U.K.)

  8. Use of the maximum entropy method in X-ray astronomy

    Willingale, R.


    An algorithm used to apply the maximum entropy method in X-ray astronomy is described. It is easy to programme on a digital computer and fast enough to allow processing of two-dimensional images. The method gives good noise suppression without loss of instrumental resolution and has been successfully applied to several data analysis problems in X-ray astronomy. The restoration of a high-resolution image from the Einstein Observatory demonstrates the use of the algorithm. (author)

  9. The restless universe understanding X-ray astronomy in the age of Chandra and Newton

    Schlegel, Eric M


    This title tells the story of the development and launch of a major space-based telescope, and explains the discoveries of the nature of the universe in the X-ray spectre. The author looks at the brief history of X-ray astronomy to explore what can and has been learnt by using X-ray.

  10. Bragg concentrators for hard (> 10 keV) X-ray astronomy: Status report

    Pareschi, G.; Pasqualini, G. [Ferrara, Univ. (Italy). Dipt. di Fisica; Frontera, F. [CNR, Bologna (Italy). Istituto di TESRE]|[Ferrara, Univ. (Italy). Dipt. di Fisica


    The use of focusing telescopes in hard X-ray (E > 10 keV) astronomy will provide better flux sensitivity and imaging performances with respect to the direct-viewing detectors, utilized until now. They present recent results obtained from their group regarding the possible use of Bragg-diffraction technique to design hard X-ray focusing telescopes.

  11. Bragg concentrators for hard (> 10 keV) X-ray astronomy: Status report

    Pareschi, G.; Pasqualini, G.; Frontera, F.; Ferrara, Univ.


    The use of focusing telescopes in hard X-ray (E > 10 keV) astronomy will provide better flux sensitivity and imaging performances with respect to the direct-viewing detectors, utilized until now. They present recent results obtained from their group regarding the possible use of Bragg-diffraction technique to design hard X-ray focusing telescopes

  12. Ray-tracing of shape metrology data of grazing incidence x-ray astronomy mirrors

    Zocchi, Fabio E.; Vernani, Dervis


    A number of future X-ray astronomy missions (e.g. Simbol-X, eROSITA) plan to utilize high throughput grazing incidence optics with very lightweight mirrors. The severe mass specifications require a further optimization of the existing technology with the consequent need of proper optical numerical modeling capabilities for both the masters and the mirrors. A ray tracing code has been developed for the simulation of the optical performance of type I Wolter masters and mirrors starting from 2D and 3D metrology data. In particular, in the case of 2D measurements, a 3D data set is reconstructed on the basis of dimensional references and used for the optical analysis by ray tracing. In this approach, the actual 3D shape is used for the optical analysis, thus avoiding the need of combining the separate contributions of different 2D measurements that require the knowledge of their interactions which is not normally available. The paper describes the proposed approach and presents examples of application on a prototype engineering master in the frame of ongoing activities carried out for present and future X-ray missions.

  13. Light from electron avalanches and background rejection in X-ray astronomy

    Siegmund, O.H.W.; Sanford, P.W.; Mason, I.M.; Culhane, J.L.; Cockshott, R.


    A modified version of the parallel plate imaging proportional counter, developed to register images of cosmic x-ray sources in the focal planes of x-ray telescopes, has been constructed to investigate the application of risetime discrimination to the scintillation pulses caused by the electron avalanche process. It is shown that efficient background event rejection (> 90%) is achieved and the application of this system for x-ray astronomy is discussed. (U.K.)

  14. Bragg concentrators for hard (> 10keV) x-ray astronomy: Status report

    Pareschi, G.; Frontera, F.; Pasqualini, G.


    The use of focusing telescopes in hard X-ray (E > 10 keV) astronomy will provide better flux sensitivity and imaging performances with respect to the direct-viewing detectors, utilized until now. We present recent results obtained from our group regarding the possible use of Bragg-diffraction tec......The use of focusing telescopes in hard X-ray (E > 10 keV) astronomy will provide better flux sensitivity and imaging performances with respect to the direct-viewing detectors, utilized until now. We present recent results obtained from our group regarding the possible use of Bragg...

  15. Gamma-ray astronomy in the medium energy (10-50 MeV) range

    Kniffen, D.A.; Bertsch, D.L.; Palmeira, R.A.R.; Rao, K.R.


    Gamma-ray astronomy in the medium energy (10-50 MeV) range can provide unique information with which to study many astrophysical problems. Observations in the 10-50 MeV range provide the cleanest window with which to view the isotropic diffuse component of the radiation and to study the possible cosmological implications of the spectrum. For the study of compact sources, this is the important region between the X-ray sky and the vastly different γ-ray sky seen by SAS-2 and COS-B. To understand the implications of medium energy γ-ray astronomy to the study of the galactic diffuse γ-radiation, the model developed to explain the high energy γ-ray observations of SAS-2 is extended to the medium energy range. This work illustrates the importance of medium energy γ-ray astronomy for studying the electromagnetic component of the galactic cosmic rays. To observe the medium energy component of the intense galactic center γ-ray emission, two balloon flights of a medium energy γ-ray spark chamber telescope were flown in Brazil in 1975. These results indicate the emission is higher than previously thought and above the predictions of the theoretical model

  16. Si(Li) detector system for application to x-ray astronomy rocket experiments

    Griffiths, R.E.; Cheron, C.; Friant, A.; Jehanno, C.; Rocchia, R.; Rothenflug, R.; Testard, O.


    The problems associated with the use of Si(Li) detectors in x-ray astronomy rocket experiments are discussed. In particular a detector system is described that can be used at the focus of a grazing-incidence paraboloid telescope for the energy range 0.3 to 2 keV. (U.S.)

  17. Highlights of GeV Gamma-Ray Astronomy

    Thompson, David J.


    Because high-energy gamma rays are primarily produced by high-energy particle interactions, the gamma-ray survey of the sky by the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope offers a view of sites of cosmic ray production and interactions. Gamma-ray bursts, pulsars, pulsar wind nebulae, binary sources, and Active Galactic Nuclei are all phenomena that reveal particle acceleration through their gamma-ray emission. Diffuse Galactic gamma radiation, Solar System gamma-ray sources, and energetic radiation from supernova remnants are likely tracers of high-energy particle interactions with matter and photon fields. This paper will present a broad overview of the constantly changing sky seen with the Large Area Telescope (LAT) on the Fermi spacecraft.

  18. High-energy gamma-ray astronomy and the COS-B mission

    Wills, R.D.


    The most significant results in gamma-ray astronomy have been produced by satellite- and balloon-borne instruments sensitive in the range 30 MeV to approximately 10 GeV. The COS-B instrument which is described is typical of this type of detector. For this reason the review of gamma-ray production mechanisms gives greater attention to those processes which are specifically important in that energy range. (orig.) [de

  19. Gamma-ray astronomy by the air shower technique: performance and perspectives

    Cronin, J.W.


    The techniques for γ-ray astronomy at energies ≥10 TeV using air shower detectors are discussed. The results, based on a number of large arrays, are negative, with no point sources being identified. While the contributions to γ-ray astronomy so far have been only upper limits, these arrays in the future will make significant progress in the understanding of cosmic rays in the energy range 10 13 eV to 10 16 eV. Also, contributions to solar physics are being made by observations of shape and time dependence of the shadow of the Sun as observed in cosmic rays. For the advancement of γ-ray astronomy a greater sensitivity is required in the energy region of 10 TeV. A number of promising techniques to accomplish a greater sensitivity are discussed. They include the enlargement of the Tibet array at 4300 meters altitude, the array of open photomultipliers at La Palma (AIROBICC), which views the shower by the Cherenkov photons produced in the atmosphere, and the instrumentation of a pond at Los Alamos with photomultipliers (Milagro)

  20. Open high-level data formats and software for gamma-ray astronomy

    Deil, Christoph; Boisson, Catherine; Kosack, Karl; Perkins, Jeremy; King, Johannes; Eger, Peter; Mayer, Michael; Wood, Matthew; Zabalza, Victor; Knödlseder, Jürgen; Hassan, Tarek; Mohrmann, Lars; Ziegler, Alexander; Khelifi, Bruno; Dorner, Daniela; Maier, Gernot; Pedaletti, Giovanna; Rosado, Jaime; Contreras, José Luis; Lefaucheur, Julien; Brügge, Kai; Servillat, Mathieu; Terrier, Régis; Walter, Roland; Lombardi, Saverio


    In gamma-ray astronomy, a variety of data formats and proprietary software have been traditionally used, often developed for one specific mission or experiment. Especially for ground-based imaging atmospheric Cherenkov telescopes (IACTs), data and software are mostly private to the collaborations operating the telescopes. However, there is a general movement in science towards the use of open data and software. In addition, the next-generation IACT instrument, the Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA), will be operated as an open observatory. We have created a Github organisation at where we are developing high-level data format specifications. A public mailing list was set up at and a first face-to-face meeting on the IACT high-level data model and formats took place in April 2016 in Meudon (France). This open multi-mission effort will help to accelerate the development of open data formats and open-source software for gamma-ray astronomy, leading to synergies in the development of analysis codes and eventually better scientific results (reproducible, multi-mission). This write-up presents this effort for the first time, explaining the motivation and context, the available resources and process we use, as well as the status and planned next steps for the data format specifications. We hope that it will stimulate feedback and future contributions from the gamma-ray astronomy community.

  1. Gamma-ray astronomy by the air shower technique: performance and perspectives

    Cronin, J.W. [Chicago, Univ. of Chicago (United States). Dept. of Phisycs and Enrico Fermi Inst.


    The techniques for {gamma}-ray astronomy at energies {>=}10 TeV using air shower detectors are discussed. The results, based on a number of large arrays, are negative, with no point sources being identified. While the contributions to {gamma}-ray astronomy so far have been only upper limits, these arrays in the future will make significant progress in the understanding of cosmic rays in the energy range 10{sup 13} eV to 10{sup 16} eV. Also, contributions to solar physics are being made by observations of shape and time dependence of the shadow of the Sun as observed in cosmic rays. For the advancement of {gamma}-ray astronomy a greater sensitivity is required in the energy region of 10 TeV. A number of promising techniques to accomplish a greater sensitivity are discussed. They include the enlargement of the Tibet array at 4300 meters altitude, the array of open photomultipliers at La Palma (AIROBICC), which views the shower by the Cherenkov photons produced in the atmosphere, and the instrumentation of a pond at Los Alamos with photomultipliers (Milagro).

  2. The local interstellar medium and gamma-ray astronomy

    Lebrun, F.; Paul, J.


    The recent improvement of the calibration of the galaxy counts used as an interstellar-absorption tracer modifies significantly the picture of the local interstellar medium (ISM). Consequently, previous analyses of the γ-ray emission from the local ISM involving galaxy counts have to be revised. In this paper, we consider the implications regarding the cosmic-ray (CR) density in the local ISM, and in particular within Loop I, a nearby supernova remnant (SNR)

  3. Design and modeling of an additive manufactured thin shell for x-ray astronomy

    Feldman, Charlotte; Atkins, Carolyn; Brooks, David; Watson, Stephen; Cochrane, William; Roulet, Melanie; Willingale, Richard; Doel, Peter


    Future X-ray astronomy missions require light-weight thin shells to provide large collecting areas within the weight limits of launch vehicles, whilst still delivering angular resolutions close to that of Chandra (0.5 arc seconds). Additive manufacturing (AM), also known as 3D printing, is a well-established technology with the ability to construct or `print' intricate support structures, which can be both integral and light-weight, and is therefore a candidate technique for producing shells for space-based X-ray telescopes. The work described here is a feasibility study into this technology for precision X-ray optics for astronomy and has been sponsored by the UK Space Agency's National Space Technology Programme. The goal of the project is to use a series of test samples to trial different materials and processes with the aim of developing a viable path for the production of an X-ray reflecting prototype for astronomical applications. The initial design of an AM prototype X-ray shell is presented with ray-trace modelling and analysis of the X-ray performance. The polishing process may cause print-through from the light-weight support structure on to the reflecting surface. Investigations in to the effect of the print-through on the X-ray performance of the shell are also presented.

  4. A synchrotron radiation facility for x-ray astronomy

    Hall, C.J.; Lewis, R.A.; Christensen, Finn Erland


    A proposal for an x-ray optics test facility based at a synchrotron radiation source is presented. The facility would incorporate a clean preparation area, and a large evacuable test area. The advantages of using a synchrotron as the source of the test radiation are discussed. These include the a...

  5. Applications of γ-ray image method to astronomy

    Wuensche, C.A.; Braga, J.; Jayanthi, U.B.; Villela, T.


    The use of codified mask technique in a gamma ray telescope is presented. The image reconstruction method is described showing the mask operation. The signal/noise relation for redundant uniform arrangements which constitute the mask, is discussed. The MASCO telescope is described in detail showing the main characteristics of project. (M.C.K.)

  6. Electrons at low altitudes: a difficult background problem for soft x-ray astronomy

    Seward, F.D.; Grader, R.J.; Toor, A.; Buginyon, G.A.; Hill, R.W.


    Quasti-trapped and precipitating electrons have been observed with rocket-borne x-ray astronomy detectors in the altitude range 150 to 500 km. Because the flights occurred at low magnetic latitudes the electrons were unexpected. Data from many flights are combined to derive altitude dependence, an average electron spectrum, and variation with solar activity. Development of electron-rejecting collimators is discussed, and laboratory and flight data on these collimators are presented. (U.S.)

  7. An innovative silicon photomultiplier digitizing camera for gamma-ray astronomy

    Heller, M.; Schioppa, E.jr.; Porcelli, A.; Pujadas, I.T.; Zietara, K.; della Volpe, D.; Montaruli, T.; Cadoux, F.; Favre, Y.; Aguilar, J.A.; Christov, A.; Prandini, E.; Rajda, P.; Rameez, M.; Bilnik, W.; Blocki, J.; Bogacz, L.; Borkowski, J.; Bulik, T.; Frankowski, A.; Grudzinska, M.; Idzkowski, B.; Jamrozy, M.; Janiak, M.; Kasperek, J.; Lalik, K.; Lyard, E.; Mach, E.; Mandát, Dušan; Marszalek, A.; Medina Miranda, L. D.; Michałowski, J.; Moderski, R.; Neronov, A.; Niemiec, J.; Ostrowski, M.; Pasko, P.; Pech, Miroslav; Schovánek, Petr; Seweryn, K.; Sliusar, V.; Skowron, K.; Stawarz, L.; Stodulska, M.; Stodulski, M.; Walter, R.; Wiecek, M.; Zagdanski, A.


    Roč. 77, č. 1 (2017), s. 1-31, č. článku 47. ISSN 1434-6044 R&D Projects: GA MŠk LE13012; GA MŠk LG14019 Institutional support: RVO:68378271 Keywords : silicon photomultiplier * digitizing camera * gamma-ray astronomy Subject RIV: BF - Elementary Particles and High Energy Physics OBOR OECD: Particles and field physics Impact factor: 5.331, year: 2016

  8. High Resolution Adjustable Mirror Control for X-ray Astronomy

    Trolier-McKinstry, Susan

    We propose to build and test thin film transistor control circuitry for a new highresolution adjustable X-ray mirror technology. This control circuitry will greatly simplify the wiring scheme to address individual actuator cells. The result will be a transformative improvement for the X-ray Surveyor mission concept: mathematical models, which fit the experimental data quite well, indicate that 0.5 arcsecond imaging is feasible through this technique utilizing thin slumped glass substrates with uncorrected angular resolution of order 5-10 arcseconds. In order to correct for figures errors in a telescope with several square meters of collecting area, millions of actuator cells must be set and held at specific voltages. It is clearly not feasible to do this via millions of wires, each one connected to an actuator. Instead, we propose to develop and test thin-film technology that operates on the same principle as megapixel computer screens. We will develop the technologies needed to build thin film piezoelectric actuators, controlled by thin film ZnO transistors, on flexible polyimide films, and to connect those films to the back surfaces of X-ray mirrors on thin glass substrates without deforming the surface. These technologies represent a promising avenue of the development of mirrors for the X-Ray Surveyor mission concept. Such a telescope will make possible detailed studies of a wide variety of astrophysical sources. One example is the Warm-Hot Intergalactic Medium (WHIM), which is thought to account for a large fraction of the normal matter in the universe but which has not been detected unambiguously to date. Another is the growth of supermassive black holes in the early universe. This proposal supports NASA's goals of technical advancement of technologies suitable for future missions, and training of graduate students.

  9. Towards gamma-ray astronomy with timing arrays

    Tluczykont, M; Epimakhov, S; Astapov, I; Barbashina, N; Beregnev, S; Eremin, T; Bogdanov, A; Bogorodskii, D; Budnev, N; Chvalaev, O; Dyachok, A; Gafarov, A; Gress, O; Gress, T; Boreyko, V; Gorbunov, N; Grebenyuk, V; Grinyuk, A; Brückner, M; Chiavassa, A


    The gamma-ray energy regime beyond 10 TeV is crucial for the search for the most energetic Galactic accelerators. The energy spectra of most known gamma-ray emitters only reach up to few 10s of TeV, with 80 TeV from the Crab Nebula being the highest energy so far observed significantly. Uncovering their spectral shape up to few 100 TeV could answer the question whether some of these objects are cosmic ray Pevatrons, i.e. Galactic PeV accelerators.Sensitive observations in this energy range and beyond require very large effective detector areas of several 10s to 100 square-km. While imaging air Cherenkov telescopes have proven to be the instruments of choice in the GeV to TeV energy range, very large area telescope arrays are limited by the number of required readout channels per instrumented square-km (due to the large number of channels per telescope). Alternatively, the shower-front sampling technique allows to instrument large effective areas and also naturally provides large viewing angles of the instrument. Solely measuring the shower front light density and timing (hence timing- arrays), the primary particle properties are reconstructed on the basis of the measured lateral density function and the shower front arrival times. This presentation gives an overview of the technique, its goals, and future perspective. (paper)

  10. Real-time image parameterization in high energy gamma-ray astronomy using transputers

    Punch, M.; Fegan, D.J.


    Recently, significant advances in Very-High-Energy gamma-ray astronomy have been made by parameterization of the Cherenkov images arising from gamma-ray initiated showers in the Earth's atmosphere. A prototype system to evaluate the use of Transputers as a parallel-processing elements for real-time analysis of data from a Cherenkov imaging camera is described in this paper. The operation of and benefits resulting from such a system are described, and the viability of an applicaiton of the prototype system is discussed

  11. Thick and large area PIN diodes for hard X-ray astronomy

    Ota, N; Sugizaki, M; Kaneda, M; Tamura, T; Ozawa, H; Kamae, T; Makishima, K; Takahashi, T; Tashiro, M; Fukazawa, Y; Kataoka, J; Yamaoka, K; Kubo, S; Tanihata, C; Uchiyama, Y; Matsuzaki, K; Iyomoto, N; Kokubun, M; Nakazawa, T; Kubota, A; Mizuno, T; Matsumoto, Y; Isobe, N; Terada, Y; Sugiho, M; Onishi, T; Kubo, H; Ikeda, H; Nomachi, M; Ohsugi, T; Muramatsu, M; Akahori, H


    Thick and large area PIN diodes for the hard X-ray astronomy in the 10-60 keV range are developed. To cover this energy range in a room temperature and in a low background environment, Si PIN junction diodes of 2 mm in thickness with 2.5 cm sup 2 in effective area were developed, and will be used in the bottom of the Phoswich Hard X-ray Detector (HXD), on-board the ASTRO-E satellite. Problems related to a high purity Si and a thick depletion layer during our development and performance of the PIN diodes are presented in detail.

  12. Performance of Magnetic Penetration Thermometers for X-Ray Astronomy

    Nagler, P. C.; Adams, J. S.; Balvin, M. A.; Bandler, S. R.; Denis, K. L.; Hsieh, W. T.; Kelly, D. P.; Porst, J. P.; Sadleir, J. E.; Seidel, G. M.; hide


    The ideal X-ray camera for astrophysics would have more than a million pixels and provide an energy resolution of better than leV FWHM for energies up to 10 keY. We have microfabricated and characterized thin-film magnetic penetration thermometers (MPTs) that show great promise towards meeting these capabilities. MPTs operate in similar fashion to metallic magnetic calorimeters (MMCs), except that a superconducting sensor takes the place of a paramagnetic sensor and it is the temperature dependence of the superconductor's diamagnetic response that provides the temperature sensitivity. We present a description of the design and performance of our prototype thin-film MPTs with MoAu bilayer sensors, which have demonstrated an energy resolution of approx 2 eV FWHM at 1.5 keY and 4.3 eV FWHM at 5.9 keY.

  13. Thermal detection of X-rays. [cryogenic calorimeters for astronomy

    Mccammon, D.; Edwards, B.; Juda, M.; Plucinsky, P.; Zhang, J.; Kelley, R.; Holt, S.; Madejski, G.; Moseley, S.; Szymkowiak, A.


    The development of calorimeters is described in terms of their proposed application to sounding-rocket investigations of cosmic X-ray sources. The fundamental theory of the energy resolution of the devices is given, and general discussions are presented regarding the limitations associated with the materials used and available thermometer types. Also given are data describing electrical nonlinearity as a function of temperature, thermistor sensitivity, and heat capacity, as well as data regarding the excess noise that aids in the conduction process. Cryogenic calorimeters based on doped semiconductor thermistors are found to be limited, although thermal detectors have important applications to high-resolution laboratory spectroscopy. Electrical nonlinearity and the excess noise are found to be important for obtaining optimum heat capacity in the thermistor.

  14. The assessment of GRASP as a prospective ESA gamma ray astronomy mission

    Bignami, G.; Villa, G.; Dean, A.J.


    The GRASP mission - Gamma-Ray Astronomy with Spectroscopy and Positioning was originally proposed as a prospective European astronomy mission by the representatives of a wide European community. The project was selected by ESA for a detailed assessment study which was duly completed in December 1986. The telescope has been designed as a high quality spectral imager (E/ΔE∼1000, Δθ∼6') which operates over a wide spectral range (15 keV to >∼100 MeV) with a (3σ) sensitivity of typically 10 m Crab or better over the entire operational range within an observation period of 10 5 s. Two principal mission scenarios were considered

  15. Estimating the sky map in gamma-ray astronomy with a Compton telescope

    Herbert, T.J.


    Compton telescopes represent an effective design for γ-ray astronomy in the 1-30 MeV range. However, the complexity of the system response to incident γ-rays has restricted the formulation of optimal methods for processing the data. Since data is only acquired at considerable expense and difficulty a significant investment in both algorithm development and computer processing time are warranted. Current methods for processing low level data form the sky map as either the sum or product of the probabilities that each recorded γ-ray originated from within an area of the sky map. Instead, we model the unknown sky map itself as the means of a Poisson process generating the γ-ray recorded by the telescope. In this paper the authors formulate the probability density function of the data conditioned upon the sky map and derive an iterative algorithm for estimating the sky map by the method of maximum likelihood

  16. MEGA - A next generation mission in Medium Energy Gamma-Ray Astronomy

    Kanbach, Gottfried


    A Medium Energy Gamma-Ray Astronomy (MEGA) detector is being developed and proposed for a small satellite mission. MEGA intends to improve the sensitivity at medium γ-ray energies (0.4-50 MeV) by at least an order of magnitude with respect to past instruments. Its large field of view will be especially important for the discovery of transient sources and for conducting all-sky surveys. Key science objectives for MEGA are the investigation of cosmic high-energy accelerators and of nucleosynthesis sites with γ-ray lines. The large-scale structure of the galactic and cosmic diffuse background is another important goal for this mission. MEGA records and images γ-ray events by completely tracking Compton and pair creation interactions in a stack of double sided Si-strip track detectors and 3-D resolving CsI calorimeters

  17. Ground-based VHE γ ray astronomy with air Cherenkov imaging telescopes

    Mirzoyan, R.


    The history of astronomy has been one of the scientific discovery following immediately the introduction of new technology. In this report, we will review shortly the basic development of the atmospheric air Cherenkov light detection technique, particularly the imaging telescope technique, which in the last years led to the firm establishment of a new branch in experimental astronomy, namely ground-based very high-energy (VHE) γ ray astronomy. Milestones in the technology and in the analysis of imaging technique will be discussed. The design of the 17 m diameter MAGIC Telescope, being currently under construction, is based on the development of new technologies for all its major parts and sets new standards in the performance of the ground-based γ detectors. MAGIC is one of the next major steps in the development of the technique being the first instrument that will allow one to carry out measurements also in the not yet investigated energy gap i.e. between 10 and 300 GeV

  18. Multimessenger astronomy with pulsar timing and X-ray observations of massive black hole binaries

    Sesana, A.; Roedig, C.; Reynolds, M. T.; Dotti, M.


    In the decade of the dawn of gravitational wave astronomy, the concept of multimessenger astronomy, combining gravitational wave signals to conventional electromagnetic observation, has attracted the attention of the astrophysical community. So far, most of the effort has been focused on ground- and space-based laser interferometer sources, with little attention devoted to the ongoing and upcoming pulsar timing arrays (PTAs). We argue in this paper that PTA sources, being very massive (>108 M⊙) cosmologically nearby (z 10-13 erg s-1 cm-2 will be in the reach of upcoming X-ray observatories; in the most optimistic case, a few of them may be already being observed by the MAXI detector placed on the International Space Station. Double relativistic Kα lines may be observable in a handful of low-redshift (z figures depend on the details of the adopted MBHB population and on the properties of the circumbinary discs, but the existence of a sizeable population of sources suitable to multimessenger astronomy is a robust prediction of our investigation.

  19. Design criteria for small coded aperture masks in gamma-ray astronomy

    Sembay, S.; Gehrels, N.


    Most theoretical work on coded aperture masks in X-ray and low-energy γ-ray astronomy has concentrated on masks with large numbers of elements. For γ-ray spectrometers in the MeV range, the detector plane usually has only a few discrete elements, so that masks with small numbers of elements are called for. For this case it is feasible to analyse by computer all the possible mask patterns of given dimension to find the ones that best satisfy the desired performance criteria. In this paper we develop a particular set of performance criteria for comparing the flux sensitivities, source positioning accuracies and transparencies of different mask patterns. We then present the results of such a computer analysis for masks up to dimension 5x5 unit cell and conclude that there is a great deal of flexibility in one's choice of mask pattern for each dimension. (orig.)

  20. Astronomy and astrophysics of galactic X-ray binaries: from the nature of the X-ray sources to the physics of accretion processes

    Rodriguez, Jerome


    In this HDR (Accreditation to supervise research) report, the author proposes an overview of his research works in the field of accretion of X-ray binaries. After a presentation of X-ray binaries, neutron stars and black holes, micro-quasars, and of the main issues regarding X-ray binaries, the author presents and comments his activities in X-ray astronomy and gamma-ray astronomy (the INTEGRAL observatory, the discovery of new sources of X and gamma radiation, studies of new sources at different wavelengths). The second part addresses the understanding of source accretion: phenomenological studies in astronomy, relationships between accretion and ejection. The third part presents and comments several studies of the physics of phenomena related to matter accretion and ejection. (author) [fr

  1. The Restless Universe - Understanding X-Ray Astronomy in the Age of Chandra and Newton

    Schlegel, Eric M.


    Carl Sagan once noted that there is only one generation that gets to see things for the first time. We are in the midst of such a time right now, standing on the threshold of discovery in the young and remarkable field of X-ray astronomy. In The Restless Universe , astronomer Eric Schlegel offers readers an informative survey of this cutting-edge science. Two major space observatories launched in the last few years--NASA's Chandra and the European Newton --are now orbiting the Earth, sending back a gold mine of data on the X-ray universe. Schlegel, who has worked on the Chandra project for seven years, describes the building and launching of this space-based X-ray observatory. But the book goes far beyond the story of Chandra . What Schlegel provides here is the background a nonscientist would need to grasp the present and follow the future of X-ray astronomy. He looks at the relatively brief history of the field, the hardware used to detect X-rays, the satellites--past, present, and future--that have been or will be flown to collect the data, the way astronomers interpret this data, and, perhaps most important, the insights we have already learned as well as speculations about what we may soon discover. And throughout the book, Schlegel conveys the excitement of looking at the universe from the perspective brought by these new observatories and the sharper view they deliver. Drawing on observations obtained from Chandra, Newton , and previous X-ray observatories, The Restless Universe gives a first look at an exciting field which significantly enriches our understanding of the universe.

  2. Report of the High Energy Physics Advisory Panel (HEPAP) subpanel on high energy gamma ray and neutrino astronomy

    Gaisser, T.K.; Gordon, H.A.; Melissinos, A.; Rosen, S.P.; Ruderman, M.A.; Turner, M.S.; Zeller, M.


    This report contains information on topics of neutrino and gammay-ray astronomy. Some of the topics discussed are: SN1987A, statistics and variability, background rejection and muons, relation between photon and neutrinos, sensitivity of gamma-ray experiments, comparison of air Cherenkov experiments, air shower experiment, and underground experiments

  3. ESA presents INTEGRAL, its space observatory for Gamma-ray astronomy


    A unique opportunity for journalists and cameramen to view INTEGRAL will be provided at ESA/ESTEC, Noordwijk, the Netherlands on Tuesday 22 September. On show will be the full-size structural thermal model which is now beeing examined in ESA's test centre. Following introductions to the project, the INTEGRAL spacecraft can be seen, filmed and photographed in its special clean room environment.. Media representatives wishing to participate in the visit to ESA's test centre and the presentation of INTEGRAL are kindly requested to return by fax the attached registration form to ESA Public relations, Tel. +33 (0) - Fax. +33 (0) For details please see the attached programme Gamma-ray astronomy - why ? Gamma-rays cannot be detected from the ground since the earth's atmosphere shields us from high energetic radiation. Only space technology has made gamma-astronomy possible. To avoid background radiation effects INTEGRAL will spend most of its time in the orbit outside earth's radiation belts above an altitude of 40'000 km. Gamma-rays are the highest energy form of electromagnetic radiation. Therefore gamma-ray astronomy explores the most energetic phenomena occurring in nature and addresses some of the most fundamental problems in physics. We know for instance that most of the chemical elements in our bodies come from long-dead stars. But how were these elements formed? INTEGRAL will register gamma-ray evidence of element-making. Gamma-rays also appear when matter squirms in the intense gravity of collapsed stars or black holes. One of the most important scientific objectives of INTEGRAL is to study such compact objects as neutron stars or black holes. Besides stellar black holes there may exist much bigger specimens of these extremely dense objects. Most astronomers believe that in the heart of our Milky Way as in the centre of other galaxies there may lurk giant black holes. INTEGRAL will have to find evidence of these exotic objects. Even

  4. The HiSCORE experiment and its potential for gamma-ray astronomy

    Tluczykont, M; Hampf, D; Einhaus, U; Horns, D; Büker, M; Epimakhov, S; Kunnas, M; Maurer, A; Brückner, M; Budnev, N; Chvalaev, O; Dyachok, A; Gress, O; Ivanova, A; Konstantinov, E; Mirgazov, R; Korosteleva, E; Kuzmichev, L; Lubsandorzhiev, B K; Lubsandorzhiev, N B


    The HiSCORE (Hundred*i Square-km Cosmic ORigin Explorer) detector aims at the exploration of the accelerator sky, using indirect air-shower observations of cosmic rays from 100 TeV to 1 EeV and gamma rays in the last remaining observation window of gamma-ray astronomy from 10 TeV to several PeV. The main questions addressed by HiSCORE are cosmic ray composition and spectral measurements in the Galactic/extragalactic transition range, and the origin of cosmic rays via the search for gamma rays from Galactic PeV accelerators, the pevatrons. HiSCORE is based on non-imaging Cherenkov light-front sampling with sensitive large-area detector modules of the order of 0.5 m 2 . A prototype station was deployed on the Tunka cosmic ray experiment site in Siberia, where an engineering array of up to 1km 2 is planned for deployment in 2012/2013. Here, we address the expected physics potential of HiSCORE, the status of the project, and further plans.

  5. Gamma-ray astronomy in the nuclear transition region (the promise and the problems)

    Chupp, E.L.


    Gamma ray astronomy, γ-ray lines and continuum γ-rays carry unique information about many astrophysical phenomena. The γ-ray observations give insight into the acceleration of particles insolar flares, galactic nucleosynthesis, and the dynamics of an evolving supernovae. Further, we can hope to understand the enigmatic γ-ray bursts and other, yet unknown phenomena. The present list of accomplishments is meager for a field that offers so much promise, yet inspite of the difficulties inherent to the field the promise is even greater today. This is so, because only a few observations have brought forth many insights, as I will discuss. Also many unresolved questions remain concerning the interpretation of the exciting observations of the cosmic 26 Al and the e + --e - annihilation γ lines and as well the γ-ray lines from solar flares. In the following we will review, briefly, some of the conflicts existing at this time on the observational scene and suggest approaches for future developments of the field

  6. Astro 4 - a sounding rocket programme of the X-ray astronomy

    Henkel, R.; Pechstein, H.


    The 'Astro 4' program is part of the German Astronomy Sounding Rocket Program and was divided into two different tasks. The 'Astro 4/1' project had the task to perform X-ray spectroscopic investigations and imaging of solar coronal active regions by means of zone-plate cameras, a Rowland spectrograph and a KAP crystal spectrometer aboard of a three-axis stabilized payload. The 'Astro 4/2' project had the task to take investigations of the X-ray sources Puppis A and the Crab Nebula by means of a Wolter Telescope, equipped with a position-sensitive proportional counter. Up to now the three-axis stabilized payload 'Astro 4/2' has been the longest Skylark payload. (Auth.)

  7. Event-sequence time series analysis in ground-based gamma-ray astronomy

    Barres de Almeida, U.; Chadwick, P.; Daniel, M.; Nolan, S.; McComb, L.


    The recent, extreme episodes of variability detected from Blazars by the leading atmospheric Cerenkov experiments motivate the development and application of specialized statistical techniques that enable the study of this rich data set to its furthest extent. The identification of the shortest variability timescales supported by the data and the actual variability structure observed in the light curves of these sources are some of the fundamental aspects being studied, that answers can bring new developments on the understanding of the physics of these objects and on the mechanisms of production of VHE gamma-rays in the Universe. Some of our efforts in studying the time variability of VHE sources involve the application of dynamic programming algorithms to the problem of detecting change-points in a Poisson sequence. In this particular paper we concentrate on the more primary issue of the applicability of counting statistics to the analysis of time-series on VHE gamma-ray astronomy.

  8. X-ray astronomy 2000: Wide field X-ray monitoring with lobster-eye telescopes

    Inneman, A.; Hudec, R.; Pina, L.; Gorenstein, P.


    The recently available first prototypes of innovative very wide field X-ray telescopes of Lobster-Eye type confirm the feasibility to develop such flight instruments in a near future. These devices are expected to allow very wide field (more than 1000 square degrees) monitoring of the sky in X-rays (up to 10 keV and perhaps even more) with faint limits. We will discuss the recent status of the development of very wide field X-ray telescopes as well as related scientific questions including expected major contributions such as monitoring and study of X-ray afterglows of Gamma Ray Bursts

  9. From cosmic ray physics to cosmic ray astronomy: Bruno Rossi and the opening of new windows on the universe

    Bonolis, Luisa


    Bruno Rossi is considered one of the fathers of modern physics, being also a pioneer in virtually every aspect of what is today called high-energy astrophysics. At the beginning of 1930s he was the pioneer of cosmic ray research in Italy, and, as one of the leading actors in the study of the nature and behavior of the cosmic radiation, he witnessed the birth of particle physics and was one of the main investigators in this fields for many years. While cosmic ray physics moved more and more towards astrophysics, Rossi continued to be one of the inspirers of this line of research. When outer space became a reality, he did not hesitate to leap into this new scientific dimension. Rossi's intuition on the importance of exploiting new technological windows to look at the universe with new eyes, is a fundamental key to understand the profound unity which guided his scientific research path up to its culminating moments at the beginning of 1960s, when his group at MIT performed the first in situ measurements of the density, speed and direction of the solar wind at the boundary of Earth's magnetosphere, and when he promoted the search for extra-solar sources of X rays. A visionary idea which eventually led to the breakthrough experiment which discovered Scorpius X-1 in 1962, and inaugurated X-ray astronomy.

  10. Université de Genève : Gamma-ray lines astronomy


    Ecole de physique Département de physique nucléaire et corspusculaire 24, Quai Ernest-Ansermet 1211 Genève 4 Tél. : (022) 379 62 73 Fax: (022) 379 69 92 Wednesday 8 March PARTICLE PHYSICS SEMINAR at 17:00 - Stückelberg Auditorium Gamma-ray lines astronomy by Prof. Nicolas Prantzos / CNRS, Paris Gamma-ray lines from cosmic sources provide unique isotopic information, since they originate from energy level transitions in the atomic nucleus. Gamma-ray telescopes explored this astronomical window in the past three decades, detecting radioactive isotopes that have been ejected in interstellar space by cosmic nucleosynthesis events. Astronomical gamma-ray telescopes feature standard detectors of nuclear physics, but have to be surrounded by effective shields against local instrumental background, and need special detector and/or mask arrangements to collect imaging information. Due to exceptionally-low signal/noise ratios, progress in the field has been slow compared with other wavelengths. Despite the...

  11. An imaging escape gated MPWC for hard X-ray astronomy

    Ubertini, P.; Bazzano, A.; Boccaccini, L.; La Padula, C.; Mastropietro, M.; Patriarca, R.; Polcaro, V.F.; Barbareschi, L.; Perotti, F.; Villa, G.; Butler, R.C.; Di Cocco, G.; Spada, G.; Charalambous, P.; Dean, A.J.; Stephen, J.B.


    A scientific forward step in the hard X-ray and soft gamma-ray astronomy will only be possible with the use of a new generation of space borne instruments. Their main characteristics have to be the two-dimensional imaging capability over a large collecting area and the fine spectral resolution in order to discriminate between the weak signal coming from cosmic sources to be detected and the strong background induced by cosmic rays, in the space environment, on the detector. To reach this goal we have developed a new hard X-ray position sensitive proportional counter operating with the escape gate technique in the range 15-150 keV, to be used together with a pseudo-random coded mask in order to obtain sky images. The detector is a high pressure (5 bar) xenon-argon-isobutane filled chamber with a spatial resolution of 30x2 mm and a spectral resolution of 5% at 60 keV on the sensitive area of 3000 cm 2 . (orig.)

  12. Multi-Absorber Transition-Edge Sensors for X-Ray Astronomy Applications

    Smith, S. J.; Adams, J. S.; Bandler, S. R.; Busch, S. E.; Chervenak, J. A.; Eckart, M. E.; Ewin, A. J.; Finkbeiner, F. M.; Kelley, R. L.; Kelly, D. P.; hide


    We are developing multi-absorber Transition-Edge Sensors (TESs) for applications in x-ray astronomy. These position-sensitive devices consist of multiple x-ray absorbers each with a different thermal coupling to a single readout TES. Heat diffusion between the absorbers and the TES gives rise to a characteristic pulse shape corresponding to each absorber element and enables position discrimination. The development of these detectors is motivated by a desire to maximize focal plane arrays with the fewest number of readout channels. In this contribution we report on the first results from devices consisting of nine) 65 X 65 sq. microns Au x-ray absorbers) 5 microns thick. These are coupled to a single 35 X 35 sq. microns Mo/Au bilayer TES. These devices have demonstrated full-width-half-maximum (FWHM) energy resolution of 2.1 eV at 1.5 keV) 2.5 eV at 5.9 keV and 3.3 eV at 8 keV. This is coupled with position discrimination from pulse shape over the same energy range. We use a finite-element model to reproduce the measured pulse shapes and investigate the detector non-linearity with energy) which impacts on the devices position sensitivity and energy resolution.

  13. A study of gamma-ray bursts and a new detector for gamma-ray astronomy

    Carter, J.N.


    Three gamma-ray experiments flown on balloons between August 1975 and August 1976 are described in detail. The successful Transatlantic balloon flight enabled a rate of 3 bursts year -1 with energies > 7 x 10 -7 ergs cm -2 to be established. This result is discussed in the light of other work. The choice of γ-ray detector for optimum sensitivity is presented. In addition various techniques for determining the arrival direction of gamma-ray bursts are compared. A new balloon borne γ-ray burst telescope is proposed. The design, testing and results of the beam calibration of a new drift chamber detector system for high energy (> 50 MeV) γ-rays are presented. A projected angular resolution of 0.8 0 was obtained at 300 MeV. Techniques for the measurement of γ-ray energies are discussed in relation to this instrument. Finally the use of drift chambers in an integrated free flying satellite is illustrated, and the expected performance is presented. (author)

  14. Cooled CdZnTe detectors for X-ray astronomy

    Bale, G; Seller, P; Lowe, B


    Recent results combining thermoelectrically cooled CdZnTe detectors with a low-noise Pentafet preamplifier are presented. Cooling between -30 deg. C and -40 deg. C reduces the leakage current of the detectors and allows the use of a pulsed reset preamplifier and long shaping times, significantly improving the energy resolution. Mn K subalpha X-rays at 5.9 keV have been observed with a resolution of less than 280 eV FWHM and a peak to background of more than 200:1. The Fano factor of the material has been estimated at 0.11+-0.012 at -40 deg. C. The detector requirement for X-ray astronomy will be a photon-counting imaging spectrometer. A 16x16 element, bump bonded pixel detector is described and results from a prototype silicon array presented. The detector is constructed with ASIC amplifiers with a system noise of <25 electrons rms and should give an energy resolution comparable to the Pentafet results presented here.

  15. Air shower array designed for cosmic ray variation measurements and high energy gamma ray astronomy

    Morello, C; Navarra, G [Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Turin (Italy). Lab. di Cosmo-Geofisica


    We describe an array for performing measurements of counting rates and arrival directions of extensive air showers at primary energy E/sub 0/ approx. equal to 3 x 10/sup 9/ eV. The aim of the research is to study the time variations and the anisotropies of cosmic rays and the observable gamma ray sources in the high energy region. The installation, composed of four large area scintillation counters and completely controlled by a microcomputer system, operates at mountain altitude (3500 m a.s.l.). The preanalysis of data, stability tests and periodic calibrations are performed by on-line programs. The method for obtaining the required stability and the corrections on temperature and gain variations are also described.

  16. Novel Hybrid CMOS X-ray Detector Developments for Future Large Area and High Resolution X-ray Astronomy Missions

    Falcone, Abe

    In the coming years, X-ray astronomy will require new soft X-ray detectors that can be read very quickly with low noise and can achieve small pixel sizes over a moderately large focal plane area. These requirements will be present for a variety of X-ray missions that will attempt to address science that was highly ranked by the 2010 Decadal Survey, including missions with science that overlaps with that of IXO and Athena, as well as other missions addressing science topics beyond those of IXO and Athena. An X-ray Surveyor mission was recently chosen by NASA for study by a Science & Technology Definition Team (STDT) so it can be considered as an option for an upcom-ing flagship mission. A mission such as this was endorsed by the NASA long term planning document entitled "Enduring Quests, Daring Visions," and a detailed description of one possible reali-zation of such a mission has been referred to as SMART-X, which was described in a recent NASA RFI response. This provides an example of a future mission concept with these requirements since it has high X-ray throughput and excellent spatial resolution. We propose to continue to modify current active pixel sensor designs, in particular the hybrid CMOS detectors that we have been working with for several years, and implement new in-pixel technologies that will allow us to achieve these ambitious and realistic requirements on a timeline that will make them available to upcoming X-ray missions. This proposal is a continuation of our program that has been work-ing on these developments for the past several years. The first 3 years of the program led to the development of a new circuit design for each pixel, which has now been shown to be suitable for a larger detector array. The proposed activity for the next four years will be to incorporate this pixel design into a new design of a full detector array (2k×2k pixels with digital output) and to fabricate this full-sized device so it can be thoroughly tested and

  17. X-ray characterization of curved crystals for hard x-ray astronomy

    Buffagni, Elisa; Bonnini, Elisa; Ferrari, Claudio; Virgilli, Enrico; Frontera, Filippo


    Among the methods to focus photons the diffraction in crystals results as one of the most effective for high energy photons. An assembling of properly oriented crystals can form a lens able to focus x-rays at high energy via Laue diffraction in transmission geometry; this is a Laue lens. The x-ray diffraction theory provides that the maximum diffraction efficiency is achieved in ideal mosaic crystals, but real mosaic crystals show diffraction efficiencies several times lower than the ideal case due to technological problems. An alternative and convenient approach is the use of curved crystals. We have recently optimized an efficient method based on the surface damage of crystals to produce self-standing uniformly curved Si, GaAs and Ge tiles of thickness up to 2-3 mm and curvature radii R down to a few meters. We show that, for curved diffracting planes, such crystals have a diffraction efficiency nearly forty times higher than the diffraction efficiency of perfect similar flat crystals, thus very close to that of ideal mosaic crystals. Moreover, in an alternative configuration where the diffracting planes are perpendicular to the curved ones, a focusing effect occurs and will be shown. These results were obtained for several energies between 17 and 120 keV with lab sources or at high energy facilities such as LARIX at Ferrara (Italy), ESRF at Grenoble (France), and ANKA at Karlsruhe (Germany).

  18. Future Extensive Air Shower arrays: From Gamma-Ray Astronomy to Cosmic Rays

    Sciascio Giuseppe Di


    Full Text Available Despite large progresses in building new detectors and in the analysis techniques, the key questions concerning the origin, acceleration and propagation of Galactic Cosmic Rays are still open. A number of new EAS arrays is in progress. The most ambitious and sensitive project between them is LHAASO, a new generation multi-component experiment to be installed at very high altitude in China (Daocheng, Sichuan province, 4400 m a.s.l.. The experiment will face the open problems through a combined study of photon- and charged particle-induced extensive air showers in the wide energy range 1011 – 1018 eV. In this paper the status of the experiment will be summarized, the science program presented and the outlook discussed in comparison with leading new projects.

  19. CIAO: A Modern Data Analysis System for X-Ray Astronomy

    Fruscione, Antonella


    It is now eighteen years after launch and Chandra continues to produce spectacular results!A portion of the success is to be attributed to the data analysis software CIAO (Chandra Interactive Analysis of Observations) that the Chandra X-Ray Center (CXC) continues to improve and release year after year.CIAO is downloaded more than 1200 times a year and it is used by a wide variety of users around the world: from novice to experienced X-ray astronomers, high school, undergraduate and graduate students, archival users (many new to X-ray or Chandra data), users with extensive resources and others from smaller countries and institutions.The scientific goals and kinds of datasets and analysis cover a wide range: observations spanning from days to years, different instrument configurations and different kinds of targets, from pointlike stars and quasars, to fuzzy galaxies and clusters, to moving solar objects. These different needs and goals require a variety of specialized software and careful and detailed documentation which is what the CIAO software provides. In general, we strive to build a software system which is easy for beginners, yet powerful for advanced users.The complexity of the Chandra data require a flexible data analysis system which provides an environment where the users can apply our tools, but can also explore and construct their own applications. The main purpose of this talk is to present CIAO as a modern data analysis system for X-ray data analysis.CIAO has grown tremendously over the years and we will highlight (a) the most recent advancements with a particular emphasis on the newly developed high-level scripts which simplify the analysis steps for the most common cases making CIAO more accessible to all users - including beginners and users who are not X-ray astronomy specialists, (b) the python-based Sherpa modelling and fitting application and the new stand-alone version openly developed and distributed on Github and (c) progress on methods to

  20. Characteristics and performance of thin LaBr3(Ce) crystal for X-ray astronomy

    Manchanda, R. K.

    Lanthanum Bromide crystal is the latest among the family of the scintillation counters and has an advantage over conventional room temperature detectors. It has a high atomic number, high light yield, and fast decay time compared to NaI(Tl) crystal and therefore, the energy resolution, of LaBr3 detector is superior and it has higher detection efficiency. In recent past, laboratory studies have been generally made using thick crystal geometry (1.5×1.5-inch and 2×2-inch). Similarly, simulation studies are also in progress for the use of LaBr3 detectors in the ground based high energy physics experiments. The detector background counting rate of LaBr3 crystal is affected by the internal radioactivity and is due to naturally occurring radioisotopes 138La and 227Ac, similar to the sodium Iodide detector which is affected by the iodine isotopes. We have developed a new detector using thin lanthanum bromide crystal (3×30-mm) for use in X-ray astronomy. The instrument was launched in high altitude balloon flight on Dec. 21, 2007, which reached a ceiling altitude of 4.3 mbs. A background counting rate of 1.6 ×10-2 ct cm-2 s-1 keV-1 sr-1 was observed at the ceiling altitude. This paper describes the details of the electronics hardware, energy resolution and the background characteristics of the detector at ceiling altitude

  1. Possible measurements of gamma ray astronomy through the detection of EAS particles in Chacaltaya (5220 m a. s. 1. )

    Morello, C; Navarra, G; Martinic, N; Miranda, P; Turtelli, Junior, A


    Since the beginning of August '82 an array for measurements of cosmic ray variations is operating at the Chacaltaya Laboratory (Bolivia, 5220 m a.s.1.). The possibility of using the same detector for measurements of high energy gamma-ray astronomy from the Galactic Center and the sources PSR 0833-45 and Centaurus A is discussed. In one year of continuous operation a flux: S(E/sub 0/>2.5 x 10/sup 4/ GeV) = 10/sup -11/ Ph/cm/sup 2/ sec can be detected from a point source within a confidence level of 3 s.d.

  2. Application of bootstrap sampling in gamma-ray astronomy: Time variability in pulsed emission from crab pulsar

    Ozel, M.E.; Mayer-Hasselwander, H.


    This paper discusses the bootstrap scheme which fits well for many astronomical applications. It is based on the well-known sampling plan called ''sampling with replacement''. Digital computers make the method very practical for the investigation of various trends present in a limited set of data which is usually a small fraction of the total population. The authors attempt to apply the method and demonstrate its feasibility. The study indicates that the discrete nature of high energy gamma-ray data makes the bootstrap method especially attractive for gamma-ray astronomy. Present analysis shows that the ratio of pulse strengths is variable with a 99.8% confidence

  3. Possible measurements of gamma ray astronomy through the detection of EAS particles in Chacaltaya (5220 m a.s.1.)

    Morello, C.; Navarra, G.; Martinic, N.; Miranda, P.; Turtelli Junior, A.


    Since the beginning of August'82 an array for measurements of cosmic ray variations is operating at the Chacaltaya Laboratory (Bolivia, 5220 m a.s.1.). The possibility of using the same detector for measurements of high energy Gamma-Ray Astronomy from the Galactic Center and the sources PSR 0833-45 and Centaurus A is discussed. In one year of continuous operation a flux: S(E 0 >2.5x10 4 GeV) = 10 -11 Ph/cm 2 sec can be detected from a point source within a confidence level of 3 s.d. (Author) [pt

  4. γ astronomy

    Wolfendale, A.W.


    Some problems of gamma astronomy are discussed in the popular form. The most interesting research directions are considered:e + e - pair annihilation, 100 MeV gamma quanta sources, Cherenkov radiation gamma quanta recording and cosmic ray anisotropy. Special attention is paid to unique gamma quanta source - Cygnus X-3. The source possesses the highest luminosity in the gamma range

  5. Contributions of the "Great" X-Ray Observatories (XMM-Newton and Chandra) to Astronomy and Astrophysics

    Weisskopf, Martin


    NASA s Chandra X-ray Observatory and ESA s XMM-Newton made their first observations over a decade ago. The unprecedented and complementary capabilities of these observatories to detect, image, and measure the energy of cosmic X-rays, achieved less than 50 years after the first detection of an extra-solar X-ray source, represent an increase in sensitivity comparable in going from naked-eye observations to the most powerful optical telescopes over the past 400 years. In this presentation we highlight some of the many discoveries made using these powerful X-ray observatories that have transformed 21st century astronomy. We briefly discuss future prospects for this truly exciting field.

  6. The first back-side illuminated types of Kyoto's X-ray astronomy SOIPIX

    Itou, Makoto, E-mail: [Department of Physics, Graduate School of Science, Kyoto University, Kitashirakawa Oiwake-cho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8502 (Japan); Tsuru, Takeshi Go; Tanaka, Takaaki; Takeda, Ayaki; Matsumura, Hideaki; Ohmura, Shunichi; Uchida, Hiroyuki [Department of Physics, Graduate School of Science, Kyoto University, Kitashirakawa Oiwake-cho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8502 (Japan); Nakashima, Shinya [Institute of Space and Astronautical Science (ISAS)/JAXA, 3-1-1 Yoshinodai, Chuo-ku, Sagamihara, Kanagawa 252-5210 (Japan); Arai, Yasuo; Kurachi, Ikuo [Institute of Particle and Nuclear Studies, High Energy Accelerator Research Org., KEK, 1-1 Oho, Tsukuba 305-0801 (Japan); Mori, Koji; Takenaka, Ryota; Nishioka, Yusuke [Department of Applied Physics, Faculty of Engineering, University of Miyazaki,1-1 Gakuen Kibana-dai Nishi, Miyazaki 889-2192 (Japan); Kohmura, Takayoshi; Tamasawa, Koki [Department of Physics, Faculty of Science and Technology, Tokyo University of Science, 2641 Yamazaki, Noda, Chiba 278-8510 (Japan); Tindall, Craig [Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA 94720 (United States)


    We have been developing Kyoto's X-ray astronomy SOI pixel sensors, called “XRPIX”, aiming to extend the frontiers of X-ray astronomy with the wide-band imaging spectroscopy in the 0.5–40 keV band. A dead layer on the X-ray incident surface should ideally be as thin as possible to achieve a high sensitivity below 1 keV, and the depletion layer is required to be thick enough to detect 40 keV X-rays. Thus, we have started developing fully-depleted back-side illuminated (BI) types of XRPIXs. This paper reports on our first two BI devices and their X-ray evaluation (2.6–12 keV). The device named “XRPIX2b-FZ-LA” successfully reaches a full depletion with a thickness of 500 μm. On the other hand, it has a dead layer with a thickness of 1.1–1.5 μm and struggles to achieve the requirement of 1.0 μm. The other device named “XRPIX2b-CZ-PZ”, which is applied with a thin Si sensor-layer and an improved back-side process, is found to satisfy the requirement with its thickness of 0.9–1.0 μm, including Al optical blocking filter of 0.2 μm, although the Si sensor-layer is rather thin with 62 μm. We also describe in this paper the X-ray calibration system that we have built for the X-ray evaluation of XRPIXs.

  7. End of the Golden Age for X-ray Astronomy: Technical and Fiscal Challenges

    Elvis, Martin


    Golden Ages don't last much more than 50 years (viz. Athens 4th century BCE, Renaissance Italy, Dutch Golden Age) - that's why they're golden. X-ray astronomy is now 50 years old. Should we expect it to continue to flourish? Or is this the end of our Golden Age? Technologically there is tremendous promise. New optics and detectors are set to deliver great improvements along all axes: collecting area, angular and spectral resolution, field of view, polarimetry. To be optimal along a given axis, missions should not try to combine all these improvements in a single mission. Hence specialized missions of modest size (similar to NASA's Explorer class) should be pursued world-wide. Multiple missions also support a wide, varied, and creative community, not only of observers but also of instrument builders, operations staff and data/archive developers. All are necessary for a healthy field. We should encourage our agencies to adopt vigorous modest-mission programs, and to encourage open access to promote intellectual creativity. But some axes are almost certainly out of reach for Explorer-class missions. Most likely equaling or bettering Chandra angular resolution with larger area will require an Observatory-class, flagship, mission. While the technology is promising, the world-wide prospects for such a mission are grim. This is not merely the result of current economic woes, although they have brought the crisis to a head. Each generation of mission has to be an order of magnitude better than its predecessor in order to win funding. But to achieve this costs go up by a factor of a few each time. The progression: rockets - UHURU - Einstein - Chandra illustrates this clearly. The same exponentiation is evident in UV/visible astronomy and, perhaps, in Mars exploration. We have now hit the "funding wall" where each flagship mission costs so much that they pop into politicians notice. JWST is now a budget line item in the US, a precarious position previously held by the

  8. MoonBEAM: A Beyond Earth-Orbit Gamma-Ray Burst Detector for Gravitational-Wave Astronomy

    Hui, C. M.; Briggs, M. S.; Goldstein, A. M.; Jenke, P. A.; Kocevski, D.; Wilson-Hodge, C. A.


    Moon Burst Energetics All-sky Monitor (MoonBEAM) is a CubeSat concept of deploying gamma-ray detectors in cislunar space to improve localization precision for gamma-ray bursts by utilizing the light travel time difference between different orbits. We present here a gamma-ray SmallSat concept in Earth-Moon L3 halo orbit that is capable of rapid response and provide a timing baseline for localization improvement when partnered with an Earth-orbit instrument. Such an instrument would probe the extreme processes in cosmic collision of compact objects and facilitate multi-messenger time-domain astronomy to explore the end of stellar life cycles and black hole formations.

  9. Characteristics and performance of thin LaBr3(Ce) crystal for hard X-ray astronomy

    Manchanda, R. K.


    We have developed a new detector using thin lanthanum bromide crystal (32 × 3 mm) for use in X-ray astronomy. The instrument was launched in high altitude balloon flight on two different occasions, December 21, 2007, which reached a ceiling altitude of 4.3 mbs and April 25, 2008 reaching a ceiling altitude 2.8 mbs. The observed background counting rate at the ceiling altitude of 4 mbs was ˜4 × 10-3 ct cm-2 s-1 keV-1 sr-1. This paper describes the details of the experiment, the detector characteristics, and the background behaviour at the ceiling altitude.

  10. A primary scintillation gated high pressure position sensitive gas scintillation proportional counter (HPGSPC) for applications to x-ray astronomy

    Giarrusso, S.; Manzo, G.; Re, S.


    The authors describe a new instrument for x-ray astronomy. The instrument, based on a high pressure (5 atm.), xenon filled, position sensitive Gas Scintillation Proportional counter (HPGSPC) is expected to feature an energy resolution better than 4% at 60 keV, an angular resolution of approximately 20 arc-minutes over the full energy range (4 to 100 keV) and a field of view (FOV) of up to 30x30 degrees. A prototype flight unit of the gas cell on which the instrument is based is presently under technological development in the framework of the SAX project

  11. Development of Position-Sensitive Magnetic Calorimeters for X-Ray Astronomy

    Bandler, SImon; Stevenson, Thomas; Hsieh, Wen-Ting


    Metallic magnetic calorimeters (MMC) are one of the most promising devices to provide very high energy resolution needed for future astronomical x-ray spectroscopy. MMC detectors can be built to large detector arrays having thousands of pixels. Position-sensitive magnetic (PoSM) microcalorimeters consist of multiple absorbers thermally coupled to one magnetic micro calorimeter. Each absorber element has a different thermal coupling to the MMC, resulting in a distribution of different pulse shapes and enabling position discrimination between the absorber elements. PoSMs therefore achieve the large focal plane area with fewer number of readout channels without compromising spatial sampling. Excellent performance of PoSMs was achieved by optimizing the designs of key parameters such as the thermal conductance among the absorbers, magnetic sensor, and heat sink, as well as the absorber heat capacities. Micro fab ri - cation techniques were developed to construct four-absorber PoSMs, in which each absorber consists of a two-layer composite of bismuth and gold. The energy resolution (FWHM full width at half maximum) was measured to be better than 5 eV at 6 keV x-rays for all four absorbers. Position determination was demonstrated with pulse-shape discrimination, as well as with pulse rise time. X-ray microcalorimeters are usually designed to thermalize as quickly as possible to avoid degradation in energy resolution from position dependence to the pulse shapes. Each pixel consists of an absorber and a temperature sensor, both decoupled from the cold bath through a weak thermal link. Each pixel requires a separate readout channel; for instance, with a SQUID (superconducting quantum interference device). For future astronomy missions where thousands to millions of resolution elements are required, having an individual SQUID readout channel for each pixel becomes difficult. One route to attaining these goals is a position-sensitive detector in which a large continuous or

  12. A 3D CZT high resolution detector for x- and gamma-ray astronomy

    Kuvvetli, Irfan; Budtz-Jørgensen, Carl; Zappettini, A.


    At DTU Space we have developed a high resolution three dimensional (3D) position sensitive CZT detector for high energy astronomy. The design of the 3D CZT detector is based on the CZT Drift Strip detector principle. The position determination perpendicular to the anode strips is performed using...

  13. Gamma radiation associated to stellar formation in the galaxy (cosmic ray astronomy)

    Casse, Michel.


    The gamma ray sky revealed by the COS-B satellite is very peculiar: a few 'gamma ray stars' lying along the galactic plane emerge from a bright milky way. A possible interpretation of this sky is to invoke the existence of regions in which stars, cosmic rays and interstellar matter are very concentrated. A genetic link is established between clouds, stars and cosmic rays: the partial fragmentation of a cloud give birth to stars, the most massive stars accelerate cosmic rays through their supersonic stellar winds, cosmic ray interact in turn with the cloud material to copiously produce high energy gamma rays: a gamma ray source is born

  14. White Paper on the Status and Future of Ground-based Gamma-Ray Astronomy - Extragalactic Science Working Group

    Krawczynski, H.; Coppi, P.; Dermer, C.; Dwek, E.; Georganopoulos, M.; Horan, D.; Jones, T.; Krennrich, F.; Mukherjee, R.; Perlman, E.; Vassiliev, V.


    In fall 2006, the Division of Astrophysics of the American Physical Society requested a white paper about the status and future of ground based gamma-ray astronomy. The white paper will largely be written in the year 2007. Interested scientists are invited to join the science working groups. In this contribution, we will report on some preliminary results of the extragalactic science working group. We will discuss the potential of future ground based gamma-ray experiments to elucidate how supermassive black holes accrete matter, form jets, and accelerate particles, and to study in detail the acceleration and propagation of cosmic rays in extragalactic systems like infrared galaxies and galaxy clusters. Furthermore, we discuss avenues to constrain the spectrum of the extragalactic infrared to optical background radiation, and to measure the extragalactic magnetic fields based on gamma-ray observations. Eventually, we discuss the potential of ground based experiments for conducting gamma-ray source surveys. More information about the white paper can be found at:

  15. From EXOSAT to the High Energy Astrophysics Science Archive (HEASARC): X-ray Astronomy Comes of Age

    White, Nicholas E.


    In May 1983 the European Space Agency launched EXOSAT, its first X-ray astronomy observatory. Even though it lasted only 3 short years, this mission brought not only new capabilities that resulted in unexpected discoveries, but also a pioneering approach to operations and archiving that changed X-ray astronomy from observations led by small instrument teams, to an observatory approach open to the entire community through a guest observer program. The community use of the observatory was supported by a small dedicated team of scientists, the precursor to the data center activities created to support e.g. Chandra and XMM-Newton. The new science capabilities of EX OS AT included a 90 hr highly eccentric high earth orbit that allow unprecedented continuous coverage of sources as well as direct communication with the satellite that allowed real time decisions to respond to unexpected events through targets of opportunity. The advantages of this orbit demonstrated by EXOSAT resulted in Chandra and XMM-Newton selecting similar orbits. The three instruments on board the EXOSAT observatory were complementary, designed to give complete coverage over a wide energy band pass of 0.05-50 keY. An onboard processor could be programmed to give multiple data modes that could be optimized in response to science discoveries: These new capabilities resulted in many new discoveries including the first comprehensive study of AGN variability, new orbital periods in X-ray binaries and cataclysmic variables, new black holes, quasi-periodic oscillations from neutron stars and black holes and broad band X-ray spectroscopy. The EXOSAT team generated a well-organized database accessible worldwide over the nascent internet, allowing remote selection of data products, making samples and undertaking surveys from the data. The HEASARC was established by NASA at Goddard Space Flight Center in 1990 as the repository of NASA X-ray and Gamma-ray data. The proven EXOSAT database system became the core

  16. Observation of the Crab Nebula with cosmic rays in the UV, or 'gamma astronomy at the moonlight'

    Sarazin, Xavier


    The aim of ARTEMIS (Antimatter Research Through the Earth Moon Ion Spectrometer) is to detect extragalactic antimatter at Very High (TeV) Energies in cosmic rays. The Earth's magnetic field is used as deflector of these ions, the moon serves as an absorber, and the atmosphere as a giant calorimeter. The cosmic rays are detected by Cerenkov imaging in the atmosphere. This Cerenkov flash must be detected in the UV because of the presence of moonlight, necessitating the construction of a novel UV camera. This is the first time Cerenkov imaging has been performed in the UV. The Crab Nebula, which has become a reference source for Very High Energy Gamma-ray Astronomy, enabled evaluation of the UV method in low moonlight. Our detection of a signal from the Crab validates, on the one hand, the Cerenkov imaging technique in the UV and, on the other hand, offers the possibility of uninterrupted nightly observations of a source, regardless of the moon's phase. (author) [fr

  17. Hard X-ray Optics Technology Development for Astronomy at the Marshall Space Flight Center

    Gubarev, Mikhail; Ramsey, Brian; Kilaru, Kiranmayee


    Grazing-incidence telescopes based on Wolter 1 geometry have delivered impressive advances in astrophysics at soft-x-ray wavelengths, while the hard xray region remains relatively unexplored at fine angular resolution and high sensitivities. The ability to perform ground-breaking science in the hard-x-ray energy range had been the motivation for technology developments aimed at fabricating low-cost, light-weight, high-quality x-ray mirrors. Grazing-incidence x-ray optics for high-energy astrophysical applications is being developed at MSFC using the electroform-nickel replication process.

  18. Characteristics of the telescope for high energy gamma-ray astronomy selected for definition studies on the Gamma Ray Observatory

    Hughes, E. B.; Hofstadter, R.; Rolfe, J.; Johansson, A.; Bertsch, D. L.; Cruickshank, W. J.; Ehrmann, C. H.; Fichtel, C. E.; Hartman, R. C.; Kniffen, D. A.


    The high energy gamma-ray telescope selected for definition studies on the Gamma Ray Observatory provides a substantial improvement in observational capability over earlier instruments. It will have about 20 times more sensitivity, cover a much broader energy range, have considerably better energy resolution and provide a significantly improved angular resolution. The design and performance are described.

  19. Doubly curved imaging Bragg crystal spectrometer for X-ray astronomy

    Byrnak, B. P.; Christensen, Finn Erland; Westergaard, Niels Jørgen Stenfeldt


    An X-ray spectrometer which is sensitive in the 0.5-7-keV energy range and is intended for use onboard astronomical satellites has been studied. The Bragg reflected rays from a doubly bent crystal positioned downstream of the focal plane of a grazing-incidence concentrator are focused along the a...

  20. Development of a CZT spectroscopic 3D imager prototype for hard X ray astronomy

    Auricchio, N.; Caroli, E.; Basili, A.


    The development of focusing optics based on wide band Laue lenses operating from ∼60 keV up to several hundreds of keV is particularly challenging. This type of hard X-ray or gamma ray optics requires a high performance focal plane detector in order to exploit to the best its intrinsic capabiliti...

  1. Gamma-Ray Imaging Spectrometer (GRIS): a new balloon-borne experiment for gamma-ray line astronomy

    Teegarden, B.J.; Cline, T.L.; Gehrels, N.; Porreca, G.; Tueller, J.; Leventhal, M.; Huters, A.F.; Maccallum, C.J.; Stang, P.D.; Sandia Labs., Albuquerque, NM)


    High resolution gamma-ray spectroscopy is a relatively new field that holds great promise for further understanding of high energy astrophysical processes. When the high resolution gamma-ray spectrometer (GRSE) was removed from the GRO payload, a balloon program was initiated to permit continued development and improvement of instrumentation in this field, as well as continued scientific observations. The Gamma-Ray Imaging Spectrometer (GRIS) is one of the experiments selected as part of this program. The instrument contains a number of new and innovative features that are expected to produce a significant improvement in source location accuracy and sensitivity over previous balloon and satellite experiments

  2. The future of high energy gamma ray astronomy and its potential astrophysical implications

    Fichtel, C. E.


    Future satellites should carry instruments having over an order of magnitude greater sensitivity than those flown thus far as well as improved energy and angular resolution. The information to be obtained from these experiments should greatly enhance knowledge of: the very energetic and nuclear processes associated with compact objects; the structure of our galaxy; the origin and dynamic pressure effects of the cosmic rays; the high energy particles and energetic processes in other galaxies; and the degree of matter-antimatter symmetry of the universe. The relevant aspects of extragalactic gamma ray phenomena are emphasized along with the instruments planned. The high energy gamma ray results of forthcoming programs such as GAMMA-1 and the Gamma Ray Observatory should justify even more sophisticated telescopes. These advanced instruments might be placed on the space station currently being considered by NASA.

  3. Point source search techniques in ultra high energy gamma ray astronomy

    Alexandreas, D.E.; Biller, S.; Dion, G.M.; Lu, X.Q.; Yodh, G.B.; Berley, D.; Goodman, J.A.; Haines, T.J.; Hoffman, C.M.; Horch, E.; Sinnis, C.; Zhang, W.


    Searches for point astrophysical sources of ultra high energy (UHE) gamma rays are plagued by large numbers of background events from isotropic cosmic rays. Some of the methods that have been used to estimate the expected number of background events coming from the direction of a possible source are found to contain biases. Search techniques that avoid this problem are described. There is also a discussion of how to optimize the sensitivity of a search to emission from a point source. (orig.)

  4. Cosmic-ray world with gamma-ray astronomy: a wealth on information, an even more open issue

    Cardillo Martina


    Full Text Available Since from their discovery in 1912, Cosmic-Rays (CRs are one of the most debated issues of the high energy astrophysics. Their origin is still a fundamental problem and is the subject of very intense research. Until now, the best candidate sources of Galactic CR component are Supernova Remnants (SNRs but final proof for the origin of CRs up to the knee can only be obtained through two fundamental signatures, the detection of a clear gamma-ray signature of π0 decay in Galactic sources and the identification of sources emitting a photon spectrum up to PeV energies. Both indications are quite difficult to obtain. The two gamma-ray satellites, AGILE and Fermi, together with ground telescopes operating in the TeV energy range (HESS, VERITAS and MAGIC, collected a great amount of data from SNRs. In spite of the recent discovery of the neutral pion spectral signature in the SNR W44 spectrum by AGILE (and confirmed by Fermi-LAT, all gamma-ray data collected at GeV and TeV energies for several young and middle-aged SNRs provide interesting challenges to current theoretical models. The emerging view from gamma-ray and particle detection is intriguing and lead to revisit the CR-SNR paradigm, considering also the contribution of other kind of sources.

  5. A Three-Year Program of Micro- and Nano-System Technology Development for X-Ray Astronomy

    Canizares, Claude R.


    For many years the work at MIT aimed at the development of new concepts and technologies for space experiments in high-energy astrophysics, but not explicitly supported by flight programs, has been supported. This work has yielded new devices and techniques for X-ray astronomy, primarily low-noise, deep-depletion charge-coupled devices (CCDS) for spectrally-resolved X-ray imaging, and high-performance transmission gratings for high-resolution X-ray spectroscopy. Among the most significant recent achievements have been the development by G. Ricker and associates of the X-ray CCD camera flying on ASCA, and currently in development for AXAF and Astro-E, and the development by C. Canizares and associates of thick, 200 nm-period transmission gratings employing the phenomenon of phase shifting for high-resolution X-ray spectroscopy up to energies of 8- 1 0 keV that is essential for the operation of the AXAF High Energy Transmission Grating Spectrometer (HETGS). Through the current SR&T grant, the latter technology is now being extended successfully to the fabrication of 100 nm-period transmission gratings, which have twice the dispersion of the AXAF gratings. We note that, among other outcomes, the modest investments of past SR&T Grants at MIT resulted in the development of the key technologies for fully one-half of the scientific instrumentation on AXAF. In addition, NASA flight programs that have benefited from previous SR&T support at MIT include the SAS 3 X-ray Observatory, which carried the first rotation modulation collimator, the Focal Plane Crystal Spectrometer (FPCS) on the Einstein Observatory, the CCD cameras on ASCA and planned for Astro-E, the High Energy Transient Experiment (HETE), the Solar EUV Monitor on the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO), the Medium Energy Neutral Atom imager (MENA) on the Image for Magnetopause-to-aurora Global Exploration (IMAGE) mission, and the recently-approved Two Wide-Angle Imaging Neutral-atom Spectrometers (TWINS

  6. Gamma-ray imaging spectrometer (GRIS): a new balloon-borne experiment for gamma-ray line astronomy

    Teegarden, B.J.; Cline, T.L.; Gehrels, N.; Porreca, G.; Tueller, J.; Leventhal, M.; Huters, A.F.; MacCallum, C.J.; Stang, P.D.


    High resolution gamma-ray spectroscopy is a relatively new field that holds great promise for further understanding of high energy astrophysical processes. Preliminary results such as the annihilation radiation from the galactic center, the 26 Al line from the galactic plane and cyclotron lines from neutron stars may well be just the initial discoveries of a rich and as yet undeveloped field. When the high resolution gamma-ray spectrometer (GRSE) was removed from the GRO payload NASA decided to initiate a balloon program to permit continued development and improvement of instrumentation in this field, as well as continued scientific observations. The Gamma-Ray Imaging Spectrometer (GRIS) is one of the experiments selected as part of this program. The instrument contains a number of new and innovative features that are expected to produce a significant improvement in source location accuracy and sensitivity over previous balloon and satellite experiments. 6 refs., 2 figs

  7. A sounding rocket payload for X-ray astronomy employing high-resolution microcalorimeters

    McCammon, D.; Almy, R.; Deiker, S.; Morgenthaler, J.; Kelley, R.L.; Marshall, F.J.; Moseley, S.H.; Stahle, C.K.; Szymkowiak, A.E.


    We have completed a sounding rocket payload that will use a 36 element array of microcalorimeters to obtain a high-resolution spectrum of the diffuse X-ray background between 0.1 and 1 keV. This experiment uses only mechanical collimation of the incoming X-rays, but the cryostat and detector assembly have been designed to be placed at the focus of a conical foil imaging mirror which will be employed on subsequent flights to do spatially resolved spectroscopy of supernova remnants and other extended objects. The detector system is a monolithic array of silicon calorimeters with ion-implanted thermometers and HgTe X-ray absorbers. The 1 mm 2 pixels achieve a resolution of about 8 eV FWHM operating at 60 mK. (orig.)

  8. Phonon-mediated superconducting transition-edge sensor X-ray detectors for use in astronomy

    Leman, Steven W.; Martinez-Galarce, Dennis S.; Brink, Paul L.; Cabrera, Blas; Castle, Joseph P.; Morse, Kathleen; Stern, Robert A.; Tomada, Astrid


    Superconducting Transition-Edge Sensors (TESs) are generating a great deal of interest in the areas of x-ray astrophysics and space science, particularly to develop them as large-array, imaging x-ray spectrometers. We are developing a novel concept that is based on position-sensitive macro-pixels placing TESs on the backside of a silicon or germanium absorber. Each x-ray absorbed will be position (X/δX and Y/δY ~ 100) and energy (E/δE ~ 1000) resolved via four distributed TES readouts. In the future, combining such macropixels with advances in multiplexing could lead to 30 by 30 arrays of close-packed macro-pixels equivalent to imaging instruments of 10 megapixels or more. We report on our progress to date and discuss its application to a plausible solar satellite mission and plans for future development.

  9. Large-area atmospheric Cherenkov detectors for high-energy gamma-ray astronomy

    Ong, R.A.


    This paper describes the development of new ground-based gamma-ray detectors to explore the energy region between 20 and 200 GeV. This region in energy is interesting because it is currently unexplored by any experiment. The proposed detectors use the atmospheric Cherenkov technique, in which Cherenkov radiation produced in the gamma-ray air showers is detected using mirrors and light-sensitive devices. The important feature of the proposed experiments is the use of large mirror collection areas, which should allow for a significant improvement (i.e. reduction) in energy threshold over existing experiments. Large mirror areas are available for relatively low cost at central tower solar power plants, and there are two groups developing gamma-ray experiments using solar heliostat arrays. This paper summarizes the progress in the design of experiments using this novel approach

  10. Implications of the IRAS data for galactic gamma-ray astronomy and EGRET

    Stecker, F.W.


    Using the results of gamma-ray, millimeter wave and far infrared surveys of the galaxy, one can derive a logically consistent picture of the large scale distribution of galactic gas and cosmic rays, one tied to the overall processes of stellar birth and destruction on a galactic scale. Using the results of the IRAS far-infrared survey of the galaxy, the large scale radial distributions of galactic far-infrared emission were obtained independently for both the northern and southern hemisphere sides of the Galaxy. It was found that the dominant feature in these distributions to be a broad peak coincident with the 5 kpc molecular gas cloud ring. Also found was evidence of spiral arm features. Strong correlations are evident between the large scale galactic distributions of far infrared emission, gamma-ray emission and total CO emission. There is a particularly tight correlation between the distribution of warm molecular clouds and far-infrared emission on a galactic scale

  11. Design of a scattering polarimeter for hard X-ray astronomy

    Costa, E.; Cinti, M.N.; Feroci, M.; Matt, G.; Rapisarda, M.


    The design of a new hard X-ray Compton scattering polarimeter based on scintillating fibre technology is presented and studied in detail by means of Monte Carlo calculations. Several different configurations and materials have been tested in order to optimise the sensitivity in the medium/high energy X-ray band. A high sensitivity over the energy band 20-200 keV is obtained for a two material configuration. The advantages deriving from employing a new scintillating material, the YAP (YAlO 3 ), are also discussed. (orig.)

  12. Developments in microchannel plate detectors for imaging x-ray astronomy

    Fraser, G.W.; Whiteley, M.J.; Pearson, J.F.


    The authors present new results in four areas of microchannel plate (MCP) X-ray detector operation. The performance in pulse counting mode of MCPs with 8 micron channel diameters is reported. The effects on MCP quantum detection efficiency and energy discrimination of multiple CsI coatings are described. A new mode of operation of two-stage multipliers is evaluated. Replacing the conventional electron-accelerating inter-plate potential difference by a retarding field is shown to result in definite advantages with regard to X-ray energy discrimination and detector lifetime. The source of the MCP internal background is discussed

  13. Gamma ray astronomy above 30 TeV and the IceCube results

    Vernetto Silvia


    Full Text Available The study of the diffuse Galactic gamma ray emission is of fundamental importance to understand the properties of cosmic ray propagation in the Milky Way, and extending the measurements to E ≳ 30 TeV is of great interest. In the same energy range the IceCube detector has also recently observed a flux of astrophysical neutrinos, and it is important to test experimentally if the neutrino production is accompanied by a comparable emission of high energy photons. For E ≳ 30 TeV, the absorption effects due to e+e− pair production when the high energy photons interact with radiation fields present in space are not negligible and must be taken into account. Gamma rays, in good approximation, are completely absorbed if they have an extragalactic origin, but the absorption is significant also for Galactic photons. In this case the size and angular dependence of the absorption depends on the space distribution of the emission. In this work we estimate the absorption for different models of the space distribution of the gamma ray emission, and discuss the potential of future detectors.

  14. Performance of microstrip proportional counters for x-ray astronomy on spectrum-roentgen-gamma

    Budtz-Jørgensen, Carl; BAHNSEN, A; Christensen, Finn Erland


    DSRI will provide a set of four imaging proportional counters for the Danish-Soviet X-ray telescopes XSPECT/SODART. The sensor principle is based on the novel micro-strip proportional counter (MSPC), where the strip electrodes are deposited by photolithography onto a rigid substrate. The MSPC off...

  15. X-Ray Astronomy--A New View of the Sky From Space

    Gursky, Herbert


    Objects and energy sources are detected whose existence was only hinted at a few years ago. The X-Ray sky has a large number of sources along the Milky Way, most of which lie within 30 degrees of the galactic center, plus a number of faint sources associated with external galaxies. (DF)

  16. Design concepts for the Cherenkov Telescope Array CTA: an advanced facility for ground-based high-energy gamma-ray astronomy

    Allekotte, I.; Arnaldi, H.; Asorey, H.; Gomez Berisso, M.; Sofo Haro, M.; Cillis, A.; Rovero, A.C.; Supanitsky, A.D.; Actis, M.; Antico, F.; Bottani, A.; Ochoa, I.; Ringegni, P.; Vallejo, G.; De La Vega, G.; Etchegoyen, A.; Videla, M.; Gonzalez, F.; Pallota, J.; Quel, E.; Ristori, P.; Romero, G.E.; Suarez, A.; Papyan, G.; Pogosyan, L.; Sahakian, V.; Bissaldi, E.; Egberts, K.; Reimer, A.; Reimer, O.; Shellard, R.C.; Santos, E.M.; De Gouveia Dal Pino, E.M.; Kowal, G.; De Souza, V.; Todero Peixoto, C.J.; Maneva, G.; Temnikov, P.; Vankov, H.; Golev, V.; Ovcharov, E.; Bonev, T.; Dimitrov, D.; Hrupec, D.; Nedbal, D.; Rob, L.; Sillanpaa, A.; Takalo, L.; Beckmann, V.; Benallou, M.; Boutonnet, C.; Corlier, M.; Courty, B.; Djannati-Atai, A.; Dufour, C.; Gabici, S.; Guglielmi, L.; Olivetto, C.; Pita, S.; Punch, M.; Selmane, S.; Terrier, R.; Yoffo, B.; Brun, P.; Carton, P.H.; Cazaux, S.; Corpace, O.; Delagnes, E.; Disset, G.; Durand, D.; Glicenstein, J.F.; Guilloux, F.; Kosack, K.; Medina, C.; Micolon, P.; Mirabel, F.; Moulin, E.; Peyaud, B.; Reymond, J.M.; Veyssiere, C.


    Ground-based gamma-ray astronomy has had a major breakthrough with the impressive results obtained using systems of imaging atmospheric Cherenkov telescopes. Ground-based gamma-ray astronomy has a huge potential in astrophysics, particle physics and cosmology. CTA is an international initiative to build the next generation instrument, with a factor of 5-10 improvement in sensitivity in the 100 GeV-10 TeV range and the extension to energies well below 100 GeV and above 100 TeV. CTA will consist of two arrays (one in the north, one in the south) for full sky coverage and will be operated as open observatory. The design of CTA is based on currently available technology. This document reports on the status and presents the major design concepts of CTA. (authors)

  17. Lightweight and High-Resolution Single Crystal Silicon Optics for X-ray Astronomy

    Zhang, William W.; Biskach, Michael P.; Chan, Kai-Wing; Mazzarella, James R.; McClelland, Ryan S.; Riveros, Raul E.; Saha, Timo T.; Solly, Peter M.


    We describe an approach to building mirror assemblies for next generation X-ray telescopes. It incorporates knowledge and lessons learned from building existing telescopes, including Chandra, XMM-Newton, Suzaku, and NuSTAR, as well as from our direct experience of the last 15 years developing mirror technology for the Constellation-X and International X-ray Observatory mission concepts. This approach combines single crystal silicon and precision polishing, thus has the potential of achieving the highest possible angular resolution with the least possible mass. Moreover, it is simple, consisting of several technical elements that can be developed independently in parallel. Lastly, it is highly amenable to mass production, therefore enabling the making of telescopes of very large photon collecting areas.

  18. The MAGIC telescope for gamma-ray astronomy above 30 GeV

    Moralejo, A.; MAGIC Collaboration

    The MAGIC telescope is presently at its commissioning phase at the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory (ORM) on the island of La Palma. MAGIC will become the largest ground-based gamma ray telescope in the world, being sensitive to photons of energies as low as 30 GeV. The spectral range between 10 and 300 GeV remains to date mostly unexplored. Observations in this region of the spectrum are expected to provide key data for the understanding of a wide variety of astrophysical phenomena belonging to the so-called ``non thermal Universe'', like the processes in the nuclei of active galaxies, the radiation mechanisms of pulsars and supernova remnants, and the enigmatic gamma-ray bursts. And overview of the telescope and its Physics goals is presented.

  19. Application of imaging to gamma ray astronomy: Progress report, 1986-87


    In March 1986, the Mark II Iowas State camera electronics utilizing CAMAC modules interfaced to an LSI-11/73 computer was installed and tested at the Whipple Observatory. A study of the noise, gains, and spectral response of the photomultiplier tubes which comprise the camera was made. Also, detections of pulsed neutron star spin periods have provided an opportunity for tests of various techniques of signal-background discrimination. Observation have concentrated on x-ray binaries. As a preliminary step to constructing a full size camera, a new 37 element mini-camera is being constructed. Short summaries are presented on new computer equipment, testing of the Cherenkov detectors under moonlight, the construction of a muon telescope, and the design and testing of a fast trigger for the gamma ray camera system

  20. Development of a Telescope for Medium-Energy Gamma-ray Astronomy

    Sunter, Stan


    Since the launch of AGILE and FERMI, the scientific progress in high-energy (Eg greater than approximately 200 MeV) gamma-ray science has been, and will continue to be dramatic. Both of these telescopes cover a broad energy range from approximately 20 MeV to greater than 10 GeV. However, neither instrument is optimized for observations below approximately 200 MeV where many astrophysical objects exhibit unique, transitory behavior, such as spectral breaks, bursts, and flares. Hence, while significant progress from current observations is expected, there will nonetheless remain a significant sensitivity gap in the medium-energy (approximately 0.1-200 MeV) regime; the lower end of this range remains largely unexplored whereas the upper end will allow comparison with FERMI data. Tapping into this unexplored regime requires significant improvements in sensitivity. A major emphasis of modern detector development, with the goal of providing significant improvements in sensitivity in the medium-energy regime, focuses on high-resolution electron tracking. The Three-Dimensional Track Imager (3-DTI) technology being developed at GSFC provides high resolution tracking of the electron-positron pair from gamma-ray interactions from 5 to 200 MeV. The 3-DTI consists of a time projection chamber (TPC) and 2-D cross-strip microwell detector (MWD). The low-density and homogeneous design of the 3-DTI, offers unprecedented sensitivity by providing angular resolution near the kinematic limit. Electron tracking also enables measurement of gamma-ray polarization, a new tool to study astrophysical phenomenon. We describe the design, fabrication, and performance of a 30x30x30 cm3 3-DTI detector prototype of a medium-energy gamma-ray telescope.

  1. The application of two-dimensional imaging to very high energy gamma ray astronomy

    Weekes, T.C.


    A technique has been developed to distinguish air showers generated by gamma rays from those generated by hadronic cosmic rays. The method involves the registration of the Cherenkov light images by a large aperture multi-phototube telescope at the Whipple Observatory in southern Arizona. The energy threshold is 0.4 TeV. The efficacy of the technique has been demonstrated by the detection of a signal from the Crab Nebula, a supernova remnant. The physics of shower development at TeV energies is demonstrated to be what is expected, and no support is found for the detection of anomalous signals from binary sources. The sensitivity of the technique is such that a five sigma gamma-ray signal from the Crab can be detected in just an hour of observation. Further improvements in the technique are under way; in particular, a second large aperture camera is now operated in conjunction with the original camera to give stereoscopic images of showers. When completed, this system will give a flux sensitivity a factor of ten below that now available

  2. AtomDB: Expanding an Accessible and Accurate Atomic Database for X-ray Astronomy

    Smith, Randall

    Since its inception in 2001, the AtomDB has become the standard repository of accurate and accessible atomic data for the X-ray astrophysics community, including laboratory astrophysicists, observers, and modelers. Modern calculations of collisional excitation rates now exist - and are in AtomDB - for all abundant ions in a hot plasma. AtomDB has expanded beyond providing just a collisional model, and now also contains photoionization data from XSTAR as well as a charge exchange model, amongst others. However, building and maintaining an accurate and complete database that can fully exploit the diagnostic potential of high-resolution X-ray spectra requires further work. The Hitomi results, sadly limited as they were, demonstrated the urgent need for the best possible wavelength and rate data, not merely for the strongest lines but for the diagnostic features that may have 1% or less of the flux of the strong lines. In particular, incorporation of weak but powerfully diagnostic satellite lines will be crucial to understanding the spectra expected from upcoming deep observations with Chandra and XMM-Newton, as well as the XARM and Athena satellites. Beyond incorporating this new data, a number of groups, both experimental and theoretical, have begun to produce data with errors and/or sensitivity estimates. We plan to use this to create statistically meaningful spectral errors on collisional plasmas, providing practical uncertainties together with model spectra. We propose to continue to (1) engage the X-ray astrophysics community regarding their issues and needs, notably by a critical comparison with other related databases and tools, (2) enhance AtomDB to incorporate a large number of satellite lines as well as updated wavelengths with error estimates, (3) continue to update the AtomDB with the latest calculations and laboratory measurements, in particular velocity-dependent charge exchange rates, and (4) enhance existing tools, and create new ones as needed to

  3. Figure and Dimension Metrology of Extremely Lightweight X-Ray Mirrors for Space Astronomy Applications

    Zhang, William W.


    The International X-ray Observatory (IXO) is the next major space X-ray observatory, performing both imaging and spectroscopic studies of all kinds of objects in the Universe. It is a collaborative mission of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration of the United States, the European Space Agency, and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. It is to be launched into a Sun-Earth L2 orbit in 2021. One of the most challenging aspects of the mission is the construction of a flight mirror assembly capable focusing X-rays in the band of 0.1 to 40 keY with an angular resolution of better than 5 arc-seconds and with an effective collection area of more than 3 sq m. The mirror assembly will consist of approximately 15,000 parabolic and hyperbolic mirror segments, each of which is approximately 200mm by 300mm with a thickness of 0.4mm. The manufacture and qualification of these mirror segments and their integration into the giant mirror assembly have been the objectives of a vigorous technology development program at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. Each of these mirror segments needs to be measured and qualified for both optical figure and mechanical dimensions. In this talk, I will describe the technology program with a particular emphasis on a measurement system we are developing to meet those requirements, including the use of coordinate measuring machines, Fizeau interferometers, and custom-designed, and -built null lens. This system is capable of measuring highly off-axis aspherical or cylindrical mirrors with repeatability, accuracy, and speed.

  4. A hybrid multiwire proportional-drift chamber for use in gamma-ray astronomy

    Crannell, H.; Maurer, G.S.


    The direction of an incident high-energy gamma ray can be determined by accurately measuring the direction of the electron-positron pair created by the photon conversion. The operation of a hybrid multiwire-drift proportional chamber is described. Track position is obtained to within a small fraction of the anode wire spacing over a wide range of incident angles. Both track position and angle information are obtained from a single anode-plane crossing. A method of employing a multiple delay-line readout to obtain the position and direction of both members of an electron-positron pair

  5. Section on prospects for dark matter detection of the white paper on the status and future of ground-based TeV gamma-ray astronomy.

    Byrum, K.; Horan, D.; Tait, T.; Wanger, R.; Zaharijas, G.; Buckley , J.; Baltz, E. A.; Bertone, G.; Dingus, B.; Fegan, S.; Ferrer, F.; Gondolo, P.; Hall, J.; Hooper, D.; Horan, D.; Koushiappas, S.; Krawczynksi, H.; LeBohec, S.; Pohl, M.; Profumo, S.; Silk , J; Vassilev, V.; Wood , M.; Wakely, S.; High Energy Physics; FNAL; Univ. of St. Louis; Stanford Univ.; Insti. d' Astrophysique; LANL; Univ. of California; Washington Univ.; Univ. of Utah; Brown Univ.; Oxford Univ.; Iowa State Univ.; Univ. of Chicago


    This is a report on the findings of the dark matter science working group for the white paper on the status and future of TeV gamma-ray astronomy. The white paper was commissioned by the American Physical Society, and the full white paper can be found on astro-ph (arXiv:0810.0444). This detailed section discusses the prospects for dark matter detection with future gamma-ray experiments, and the complementarity of gamma-ray measurements with other indirect, direct or accelerator-based searches. We conclude that any comprehensive search for dark matter should include gamma-ray observations, both to identify the dark matter particle (through the characteristics of the gamma-ray spectrum) and to measure the distribution of dark matter in galactic halos.

  6. Carbon-based Fresnel optics for hard x-ray astronomy.

    Braig, Christoph; Zizak, Ivo


    We investigate the potential of large-scale diffractive-refractive normal-incidence transmission lenses for the development of space-based hard x-ray telescopes with an angular resolution in the range of (10 -6 -10 -3 )  arcsec over a field of view that is restricted by the available detector size. Coherently stepped achromatic lenses with diameters up to 5 m for compact apertures and 13 m in the case of segmentation provide an access to spectrally resolved imaging within keV-wide bands around the design energy between 10 and 30 keV. Within an integration time of 10 6   s, a photon-limited 5σ sensitivity down to (10 -9 -10 -7 )  s -1  cm -2  keV -1 can be achieved depending on the specific design. An appropriate fabrication strategy, feasible nowadays with micro-optical technologies, is considered and relies on the availability of high-purity carbon or polymer membranes. X-ray fluorescence measurements of various commercially available carbon-based materials prove for most of them the existence of a virtually negligible contamination by critical trace elements such as transition metals on the ppm level.

  7. Monte-Carlo background simulations of present and future detectors in x-ray astronomy

    Tenzer, C.; Kendziorra, E.; Santangelo, A.


    Reaching a low-level and well understood internal instrumental background is crucial for the scientific performance of an X-ray detector and, therefore, a main objective of the instrument designers. Monte-Carlo simulations of the physics processes and interactions taking place in a space-based X-ray detector as a result of its orbital environment can be applied to explain the measured background of existing missions. They are thus an excellent tool to predict and optimize the background of future observatories. Weak points of a design and the main sources of the background can be identified and methods to reduce them can be implemented and studied within the simulations. Using the Geant4 Monte-Carlo toolkit, we have created a simulation environment for space-based detectors and we present results of such background simulations for XMM-Newton's EPIC pn-CCD camera. The environment is also currently used to estimate and optimize the background of the future instruments Simbol-X and eRosita.

  8. String Quantum Gravity, Lorentz-Invariance Violation and Gamma-Ray Astronomy

    Mavromatos, Nick E


    In the first part of the review, I discuss ways of obtaining Lorentz-Invariance-Violating (LIV) space-time foam in the modern context of string theory, involving brane world scenarios. The foamy structures are provided by lower-dimensional background brane defects in a D3-brane Universe, whose density is a free parameter to be constrained phenomenologically. Such constraining can be provided by high energy gamma-ray photon tests, including ultra-high energy/infrared photon-photon scattering. In the second part, I analyze the currently available data from MAGIC and FERMI Telescopes on delayed cosmic photon arrivals in this context. It is understood of course that conventional Astrophysics source effects, which currently are far from being understood, might be the dominant reason for the observed delayed arrivals. I also discuss how the stringent constraints from studies of synchrotron-radiation from distant Nebulae, absence of cosmic birefringence and non observation of ultra-high-energy cosmic photons can be ...

  9. Characterization of LaBr{sub 3}:Ce and CeBr{sub 3} calorimeter modules for 3D imaging in gamma-ray astronomy

    Gostojić, A., E-mail: [CSNSM, Univ. Paris-Sud, CNRS/IN2P3, Université Paris-Saclay, 91405 Orsay (France); Tatischeff, V.; Kiener, J.; Hamadache, C.; Peyré, J.; Karkour, N.; Linget, D.; Gibelin, L.; Lafay, X.; Grave, X.; Dosme, N.; Legay, E. [CSNSM, Univ. Paris-Sud, CNRS/IN2P3, Université Paris-Saclay, 91405 Orsay (France); Blin, S. [OMEGA, École Polytechnique, CNRS/IN2P3, Route de Saclay, 91128 Palaiseau (France); Barrillon, P. [LAL, Univ. Paris-Sud, CNRS/IN2P3, Université Paris-Saclay, 91898 Orsay (France)


    For the purpose of future space instrumentation for γ-ray astronomy, we developed a small prototype of a Compton telescope and studied novel detector modules aimed for Compton imaging. We assembled and tested 2 modules, one with a cerium-doped lanthanum(III) bromide (LaBr{sub 3}:Ce) crystal and the other with cerium(III) bromide (CeBr{sub 3}). Both crystals measure 5×5 cm{sup 2} in area and are 1 cm thick. They are coupled to and read out by 64-channel multi-anode PMTs. Our goals are to obtain the best possible energy resolution and position resolution in 3D on the first impact of an incident γ-ray within the detector. Both information are vital for successful reconstruction of a Compton image with the telescope prototype. We developed a test bench to experimentally study both modules and have utilized a customized readout electronics and data acquisition system. Furthermore, we have written a detailed Geant4 simulation of the experiment, and utilize simulated data to train an Artificial Neural Network (ANN) algorithm to create a simplified 3D impact position reconstruction method. We give experimental test results obtained by both modules and present detailed parametrization and results from the Geant4 simulation and from the ANN. We compare and discuss the performance of the modules and conclude by giving a brief overview of the future prospects for using such modules in γ-ray astronomy.

  10. High-energy astronomy in the U.K

    Pounds, K.A.


    Highlights of British research on radio galaxies, x-ray astronomy, and hot black holes are described. The prospects for international collaboration on space projects, in particular x-ray astronomy, are discussed

  11. Greek astronomy

    Heath, Sir Thomas L


    Astronomy as a science began with the Ionian philosophers, with whom Greek philosophy and mathematics also began. While the Egyptians and Babylonians had accomplished much of astronomical worth, it remained for the unrivalled speculative genius of the Greeks, in particular, their mathematical genius, to lay the foundations of the true science of astronomy. In this classic study, a noted scholar discusses in lucid detail the specific advances made by the Greeks, many of whose ideas anticipated the discoveries of modern astronomy.Pythagoras, born at Samos about 572 B.C., was probably the first

  12. Gamma astronomy

    Cesarsky, C.; Cesarsky, J.P.


    This article overviews the gamma astronomy research. Sources already observed, and what causes to give to them; the galactic radiation and its interpretation; techniques already used and current projects [fr

  13. Accessible Astronomy.

    Glickstein, Neil


    Describes the development of a theme-based, multidisciplinary course. The article partitions into the following sections: (1) Constructing the Course; (2) Putting the Ideas to Work; (3) Connecting Science and Society; and (4) The Arts and Astronomy. (ZWH)

  14. Fundamental Astronomy

    Karttunen, Hannu; Oja, Heikki; Poutanen, Markku; Donner, Karl Johan


    Fundamental Astronomy gives a well-balanced and comprehensive introduction to the topics of classical and modern astronomy. While emphasizing both the astronomical concepts and the underlying physical principles, the text provides a sound basis for more profound studies in the astronomical sciences. The fifth edition of this successful undergraduate textbook has been extensively modernized and extended in the parts dealing with the Milky Way, extragalactic astronomy and cosmology as well as with extrasolar planets and the solar system (as a consequence of recent results from satellite missions and the new definition by the International Astronomical Union of planets, dwarf planets and small solar-system bodies). Furthermore a new chapter on astrobiology has been added. Long considered a standard text for physical science majors, Fundamental Astronomy is also an excellent reference and entrée for dedicated amateur astronomers.

  15. Astronomy Communication

    Heck, A.; Madsen, C.


    Astronomers communicate all the time, with colleagues of course, but also with managers and administrators, with decision makers and takers, with social representatives, with the news media, and with the society at large. Education is naturally part of the process. Astronomy communication must take into account several specificities: the astronomy community is rather compact and well organized world-wide; astronomy has penetrated the general public remarkably well with an extensive network of associations and organizations of aficionados all over the world. Also, as a result of the huge amount of data accumulated and by necessity for their extensive international collaborations, astronomers have pioneered the development of distributed resources, electronic communications and networks coupled to advanced methodologies and technologies, often much before they become of common world-wide usage. This book is filling up a gap in the astronomy-related literature by providing a set of chapters not only of direct interest to astronomy communication, but also well beyond it. 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 communication techniques while providing specific detailed information, as well as plenty of pointers and bibliographic elements. This book will be very useful for researchers, teachers, editors, publishers, librarians, computer scientists, sociologists of science, research planners and strategists, project managers, public-relations officers, plus those in charge of astronomy-related organizations, as well as for students aiming at a career in astronomy or related space science. Link:

  16. Radio astronomy

    Parijskij, Y.N.; Gossachinskij, I.V.; Zuckerman, B.; Khersonsky, V.K.; Pustilnik, S.; Robinson, B.J.


    A critical review of major developments and discoveries in the field of radioastronomy during the period 1973-1975 is presented. The report is presented under the following headings:(1) Continuum radiation from the Galaxy; (2) Neutral hydrogen, 21 cm (galactic and extragalactic) and recombination lines; (3) Radioastronomy investigations of interstellar molecules; (4) Extragalactic radio astronomy and (6) Development in radio astronomy instruments. (B.R.H.)

  17. New readout and data-acquisition system in an electron-tracking Compton camera for MeV gamma-ray astronomy (SMILE-II)

    Mizumoto, T., E-mail: [Department of Physics, Kyoto University, 606-8502 Kyoto (Japan); Matsuoka, Y. [Department of Physics, Kyoto University, 606-8502 Kyoto (Japan); Mizumura, Y. [Unit of Synergetic Studies for Space, Kyoto University, 606-8502 Kyoto (Japan); Department of Physics, Kyoto University, 606-8502 Kyoto (Japan); Tanimori, T. [Department of Physics, Kyoto University, 606-8502 Kyoto (Japan); Unit of Synergetic Studies for Space, Kyoto University, 606-8502 Kyoto (Japan); Kubo, H.; Takada, A.; Iwaki, S.; Sawano, T.; Nakamura, K.; Komura, S.; Nakamura, S.; Kishimoto, T.; Oda, M.; Miyamoto, S.; Takemura, T.; Parker, J.D.; Tomono, D.; Sonoda, S. [Department of Physics, Kyoto University, 606-8502 Kyoto (Japan); Miuchi, K. [Department of Physics, Kobe University, 658-8501 Kobe (Japan); Kurosawa, S. [Institute for Materials Research, Tohoku University, 980-8577 Sendai (Japan)


    For MeV gamma-ray astronomy, we have developed an electron-tracking Compton camera (ETCC) as a MeV gamma-ray telescope capable of rejecting the radiation background and attaining the high sensitivity of near 1 mCrab in space. Our ETCC comprises a gaseous time-projection chamber (TPC) with a micro pattern gas detector for tracking recoil electrons and a position-sensitive scintillation camera for detecting scattered gamma rays. After the success of a first balloon experiment in 2006 with a small ETCC (using a 10×10×15 cm{sup 3} TPC) for measuring diffuse cosmic and atmospheric sub-MeV gamma rays (Sub-MeV gamma-ray Imaging Loaded-on-balloon Experiment I; SMILE-I), a (30 cm){sup 3} medium-sized ETCC was developed to measure MeV gamma-ray spectra from celestial sources, such as the Crab Nebula, with single-day balloon flights (SMILE-II). To achieve this goal, a 100-times-larger detection area compared with that of SMILE-I is required without changing the weight or power consumption of the detector system. In addition, the event rate is also expected to dramatically increase during observation. Here, we describe both the concept and the performance of the new data-acquisition system with this (30 cm){sup 3} ETCC to manage 100 times more data while satisfying the severe restrictions regarding the weight and power consumption imposed by a balloon-borne observation. In particular, to improve the detection efficiency of the fine tracks in the TPC from ~10% to ~100%, we introduce a new data-handling algorithm in the TPC. Therefore, for efficient management of such large amounts of data, we developed a data-acquisition system with parallel data flow.

  18. Astronomy Explained

    North, Gerald

    Every year large numbers of people take up the study of astronomy, mostly at amateur level. There are plenty of elementary books on the market, full of colourful photographs, but lacking in proper explanations of how and why things are as they are. Many people eventually wish to go beyond the 'coffee-table book' stage and study this fascinating subject in greater depth. This book is written for them. In addition, many people sit for public examinations in this subject each year and this book is also intended to be of use to them. All the topics from the GCSE syllabus are covered here, with sample questions at the end of each chapter. Astronomy Explained provides a comprehensive treatment of the subject in more depth than is usually found in elementary works, and will be of interest to both amateur astronomers and students of astronomy.

  19. Development status of a CZT spectrometer prototype with 3D spatial resolution for hand x-ray astronomy

    Auricchio, N.; Caroli, E.; Basili, A.


    The development of new focusing optics based on wide band Laue lenses operating from ~60 keV up to several hundred keV is particularly challenging. This type of hard X-ray or gamma ray optics requires a high performance focal plane detector in order to exploit to the best their intrinsic capabili...

  20. Astronomy essentials

    Brass, Charles O


    REA's Essentials provide quick and easy access to critical information in a variety of different fields, ranging from the most basic to the most advanced. As its name implies, these concise, comprehensive study guides summarize the essentials of the field covered. Essentials are helpful when preparing for exams, doing homework and will remain a lasting reference source for students, teachers, and professionals. Astronomy includes the historical perspective of astronomy, sky basics and the celestial coordinate systems, a model and the origin of the solar system, the sun, the planets, Kepler'

  1. Lithuanian Astronomy

    Sudzius, J.; Murdin, P.


    Lithuanian folklore, archaic calendars and terminology show that Lithuanians were interested in astronomy from ancient times. A lot of celestial bodies have names of Lithuanian origin that are not related to widely accepted ancient Greek mythology. For example, the Milky Way is named `Pauksciu Takas' (literally the way of birds), the constellation of the Great Bear `Didieji Grizulo Ratai' (literal...

  2. Radio astronomy


    It is shown how some of the main areas of current CSIRO radioastronomy research are contributing to increasing our knowledge of the universe. The survey includes background astronomy, interstellar gas, the Sun, exploding stars and pulsars, galaxies and quasars. The Australia Telescope and other CSIRO research programs are described

  3. The physics-astronomy frontier

    Hoyle, F.; Narlikar, K.


    Spacetime diagrams and the structure of matter are considered, and aspects of electrical interaction are investigated. Attention is given to radiation, quantum mechanics, spectrum lines, black bodies, stellar spectra, the H-R diagram, radio astronomy, millimeter-wave astronomy, interstellar grains and infrared astronomy, and X-ray astronomy. The strong and weak interactions are examined, taking into account atoms, nuclei, the evolution of stars, and the measurement of astronomical distances. A description of gravitational interaction is also presented. The laws of motion and gravitation are considered along with black holes, the significance of cosmology, Hubble's law, the expanding universe, the symmetries of the universe, Olbers' paradox, the big-bang universe, Mach's principle, the meaning of the expansion of the system of galaxies, the redshift-magnitude relation of Hubble and Humason, the early universe, and the geometry of special relativity

  4. A study of the sensitivity of an imaging telescope (GRITS) for high energy gamma-ray astronomy. Final report

    Yearian, M.R.


    When a gamma-ray telescope is placed in Earth orbit, it is bombarded by a flux of cosmic protons much greater than the flux of interesting gammas. These protons can interact in the telescope's thermal shielding to produce detectable gamma rays, most of which are vetoed. Since the proton flux is so high, the unvetoed gamma rays constitute a significant background relative to some weak sources. This background increases the observing time required to pinpoint some sources and entirely obscures other sources. Although recent telescopes have been designed to minimize this background, its strength and spectral characteristics were not previously calculated in detail. Monte Carlo calculations are presented which characterize the strength, spectrum and other features of the cosmic proton background using FLUKA, a hadronic cascade program. Several gamma-ray telescopes, including SAS-2, EGRET and the Gamma Ray Imaging Telescope System (GRITS), are analyzed, and their proton-induced backgrounds are characterized. In all cases, the backgrounds are either shown to be low relative to interesting signals or suggestions are made which would reduce the background sufficiently to leave the telescope unimpaired. In addition, several limiting cases are examined for comparison to previous estimates and calibration measurements

  5. Design studies for nonimaging light concentrators to be used in very high-energy gamma-ray astronomy

    Radu, A.A.Aurelian A.; Mattox, John R.; Ahlen, Steven


    Light concentrators to be used by the camera of a telescope to view gamma-ray-induced Cherenkov light, are analyzed from the point of view of optical efficiency, background rejection capability and manufacturability. A small decrease in the optical efficiency due to multiple reflections undergone by rays incident at small angles in a compound parabolic concentrator is observed. The influence of the angle of incidence on the reflectivity of the wall is analyzed and found to be inconsequential. A closed-packed matrix of concentrators with hexagonal entrance apertures is considered and the light spread in the adjacent pixels introduced by the removal of portions of the surface of concentrators is evaluated

  6. Design studies for nonimaging light concentrators to be used in very high-energy gamma-ray astronomy

    Radu, A.A.Aurelian A.; Mattox, John R.; Ahlen, Steven


    Light concentrators to be used by the camera of a telescope to view gamma-ray-induced Cherenkov light, are analyzed from the point of view of optical efficiency, background rejection capability and manufacturability. A small decrease in the optical efficiency due to multiple reflections undergone by rays incident at small angles in a compound parabolic concentrator is observed. The influence of the angle of incidence on the reflectivity of the wall is analyzed and found to be inconsequential. A closed-packed matrix of concentrators with hexagonal entrance apertures is considered and the light spread in the adjacent pixels introduced by the removal of portions of the surface of concentrators is evaluated.

  7. Extragalactic astronomy

    Sersic, J.L.


    This book condenses the author's yearly semester lectures on 'Extra galactic Astronomy' held almost without interruption over two decades at Cordoba University for students of Astronomy. After a first chapter on Morphology and Classification of galaxies, the second gives most of the basic information about normal galaxies as individuals. Active galaxies are described in chapter III whilst chapter IV deals with the mutual relationship between galaxies and their environment. The Scale of distance is considered in chapter V. Distance indicators are introduced and several conflicting viewpoints of different schools are presented. Chapter VI deals with Cosmology, just to give the necessary elements for chapter VII where the relation between gravitational instability and galaxy formation is discussed. Chapter VIII is an appendix containing additional notes. (Auth.)

  8. Chaco astronomies

    Martín López, Alejandro


    This presentation discusses the result of 18 years of ethnographic and ethnohistorical studies on Chaco astronomies. The main features of the systems of astronomical knowledge of the Chaco Aboriginal groups will be discussed. In particular we will discuss the relevance of the Milky Way, the role of the visibility of the Pleiades, the ways in which the celestial space is represented, the constitution of astronomical orientations in geographic space, etc. We also address a key feature of their vision of the cosmos: the universe is seen by these groups as a socio-cosmos, where humans and non-humans are related. These are therefore actually socio-cosmologies. We will link this to the theories of Chaco Aboriginal groups about power and political relations.We will discuss how the study of Aboriginal astronomies must be performed along with the studies about astronomies of Creole people and European migrants, as well as anthropological studies about the science teaching in the formal education system and by the mass media. In this form we will discuss the relevance of a very complex system of interethnic relations for the conformation of these astronomical representations and practices.We will also discuss the general methodological implications of this case for the ethnoastronomy studies. In particular we will talk about the advantages of a study of regional scope and about the key importance of put in contact the ethnoastronomy with contemporary issues in social sciences.We also analyze the importance of ethnoastronomy studies in relation to studies of sociology of science, especially astronomy. We also study the potential impact on improving formal and informal science curricula and in shaping effective policies to protect the tangible and intangible astronomical heritage in a context of respect for the rights of Aboriginal groups.

  9. Inuit Astronomy

    MacDonald, John

    Inuit live mainly in the treeless Arctic regions of North America, Greenland, and parts of northeastern Siberia. Their cosmology, based on shamanistic belief, constructed a view of the sky and its contents distinctively suited to their spiritual and pragmatic needs. Their astronomy, particularly for those groups living far above the Arctic Circle, reflects the unique appearance of the celestial sphere at high northerly latitudes, demonstrated most noticeably in the annual disappearance of the sun during midwinter months.

  10. Infrared astronomy

    Setti, G.; Fazio, G.


    This volume contains lectures describing the important achievements in infrared astronomy. The topics included are galactic infrared sources and their role in star formation, the nature of the interstellar medium and galactic structure, the interpretation of infrared, optical and radio observations of extra-galactic sources and their role in the origin and structure of the universe, instrumental techniques and a review of future space observations. (C.F.)

  11. Fundamental astronomy

    Kröger, Pekka; Oja, Heikki; Poutanen, Markku; Donner, Karl


    Now in its sixth edition this successful undergraduate textbook gives a well-balanced and comprehensive introduction to the topics of classical and modern astronomy. While emphasizing both the astronomical concepts and the underlying physical principles, the text provides a sound basis for more profound studies in the astronomical sciences. The chapters on galactic and extragalactic astronomy as well as cosmology were extensively modernized in the previous edition. In this new edition they have been further revised to include more recent results. The long chapter on the solar system has been split into two parts: the first one deals with the general properties, and the other one describes individual objects. A new chapter on exoplanets has been added to the end of the book next to the chapter on astrobiology. In response to the fact that astronomy has evolved enormously over the last few years, only a few chapters of this book have been left unmodified. Long considered a standard text for physical science maj...

  12. Humanising Astronomy

    Levin, S.


    Universe Awareness (UNAWE) is an international programme that aims to expose underprivileged children (in the age group 4-10) to the inspirational aspects of astronomy. We are currently at the stage of developing materials that will be utilised in a diverse range of environments. This paper explores UNAWE's particular approach to developing tools which includes not only indigenous and folkloric astronomical knowledge, but also the culture of transmission of such knowledge. A specific understanding and explanation of the Universe, the Sun, Moon and stars is present in every culture and can be found contained in its history, legends and belief systems. By consciously embracing different ways of knowing the Universe and not uniquely the rational model, UNAWE places the humanising potential of astronomy at the centre of its purpose. Whilst inspiring curiosity, pride and a sense of ownership in one's own cultural identity, such an approach also exposes children to the diversity of other peoples and their cultures as well as the unifying aspects of our common scientific heritage. The means of creating and delivering the astronomy programme are as relevant to the desired educational outcomes as the content. The challenge in the design of materials is to communicate this stimulating message to the very young. Respect for alternative values systems, the need for dialogue and community participation, and where possible the production of materials using local resources is emphasised. This paper touches recent experiences liaising with communities in India, South Africa, Tunisia, Venezuela and Colombia.

  13. Design and performance of a one square meter proportional counter system for hard X-ray astronomy

    Bazzano, A.; Boccaccini, L.; La Padula, C.D.; Mastropietro, M.; Patriarca, R.; Polcaro, F.; Ubertini, P.


    A versatile balloon borne hard X-ray experiment with a very large area (approx.= 1.1 m 2 ) and high spectral resolution has been developed for the study of the hard X-ray sources in the energy range 20-180 keV. The telescope consists of four multiwire proportional chambers (MWPC) that have a geometrical sensitive area of 2700 cm 2 each. The detector system has a sensitivity of approx.= 10 -5 photons cm -2 s -1 keV -1 during a typical balloon observation. A background rate of approx.= 3 x 10 -4 counts cm -2 s -1 keV -1 was observed in the operative energy range at 2.4 gm/cm 2 ceiling altitude and geographic latitude of 38 0 N. The design details, fabrication and flight performance of the instrument are briefly discussed with reference to the effectiveness of background reduction and other test parameters. (orig.)

  14. A visibility-based approach using regularization for imaging-spectroscopy in solar X-ray astronomy

    Prato, M; Massone, A M; Piana, M [CNR - INFM LAMIA, Via Dodecaneso 33 1-16146 Genova (Italy); Emslie, A G [Department of Physics, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078 (United States); Hurford, G J [Space Sciences Laboratory, University of California at Berkeley, 8 Gauss Way, Berkeley, CA 94720-7450 (United States); Kontar, E P [Department of Physics and Astronomy, The University, Glasgow G12 8QQ, Scotland (United Kingdom); Schwartz, R A [CUA - Catholic University and LSSP at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, code 671.1 Greenbelt, MD 20771 (United States)], E-mail:


    The Reuven Ramaty High-Energy Solar Spectroscopic Imager (RHESSI) is a nine-collimators satellite detecting X-rays and {gamma}-rays emitted by the Sun during flares. As the spacecraft rotates, imaging information is encoded as rapid time-variations of the detected flux. We recently proposed a method for the construction of electron flux maps at different electron energies from sets of count visibilities (i.e., direct, calibrated measurements of specific Fourier components of the source spatial structure) measured by RHESSI. The method requires the application of regularized inversion for the synthesis of electron visibility spectra and of imaging techniques for the reconstruction of two-dimensional electron flux maps. The method, already tested on real events registered by RHESSI, is validated in this paper by means of simulated realistic data.

  15. A year after lift-off, XMM-Newton is impressing the X-ray astronomy community


    XMM-Newton was launched from Kourou on 10 December 1999 on the first Ariane-5 commercial flight. After in-orbit commissioning of the spacecraft, and calibration and performance verification of its science instruments, the observatory entered its routine operations phase on 1 July. At the press conference, ESA's Director of Science Prof. Roger-Maurice Bonnet and XMM-Newton Project Scientist Fred Jansen will present some of the many scientific results from the first eight months of the mission. Also present will be two of Europe's foremost X-ray astronomers, Prof. Johan Bleeker of the Space Research Organisation of the Netherlands, and Prof. Guenther Hasinger of the Astrophysikalisches Institut Potsdam, Germany. Amongst the topics to be illustrated with some remarkably vivid "colour" images of the X-ray Universe, will be XMM-Newton's first examination of a cataclysmic binary star, its first insights into some enigmatic black hole systems, analysis of the morphology of a few supernovae remnants, and evidence it has collected to end the long-standing mystery over X-ray cosmic background emission... The press conference will also recap on the spacecraft's operations, the performance of its science instruments, the issue of radiation constraints and future aspects of the mission. Media representatives wishing to attend the press event are kindly invited to complete the attached reply form and fax it back to ESA Media Relations Office +33(0) Note to editors XMM-Newton is ESA's second Cornerstone Mission of the Horizon 2000 programme. The spacecraft was built by a European consortium of companies led by Astrium (formerly Dornier Satellitensysteme), Friedrichshafen, Germany. Its X-ray imaging and spectrographic instruments (EPIC and RGS) and its optical telescope (OM) were provided by large consortia, whose principal investigators are from, respectively, the University of Leicester, UK, SRON University of Utrecht Netherlands, and the Mullard Space Science

  16. Development of the radio astronomical method of cosmic particle detection for extremely high-energy cosmic ray physics and neutrino astronomy

    Zheleznykh Igor


    Full Text Available The proposal to use ground based radio telescopes for detection of Askaryan radio pulses from particle cascades arising when extremely high-energy (EHE > 1020 eV cosmic rays (including neutrinos interact with the lunar regolith of multi gigaton mass was made at the end of 1980s in the framework of the Russian (Soviet DUMAND Program. During more than a quarter of century a number of lunar experiments were carried out mainly in the 1–3 GHz frequency range using the large radio telescopes of Australia, USA, Russia and other countries but these experiments only put upper limits to the EHE cosmic rays fluxes. For this reason, it would be of great interest to search for nanosecond radio pulses from the Moon in a wider interval of frequencies (including lower ones of 100–350 MHz with larger radio detectors – for example the giant radio telescope SKA (Square Kilometer Array which is constructed in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. In this paper possibilities are discussed to use one of the most sensitive meter-wavelength (∼ 110 MHz Large Phased Array (LPA of 187 × 384 m2 and the wide field of view meter-wavelength array of the Pushchino Radio Astronomy Observatory as prototypes of low frequency radio detectors for lunar experiments. The new scheme for fast simulation of ultrahigh and extremely high-energy cascades in dense media is also suggested. This scheme will be used later for calculations of radio emission of cascades in the lunar regolith with energies up to 1020 eV and higher in the wide frequency band of 0.1− a few GHz.

  17. Demonstrating Enabling Technologies for the High-Resolution Imaging Spectrometer of the Next NASA X-ray Astronomy Mission

    Kilbourne, Caroline; Adams, J. S.; Bandler, S.; Chervenak, J.; Chiao, M.; Doriese, R.; Eckart, M.; Finkbeiner, F.; Fowler, J. W.; Hilton, G.; Irwin, K.; Kelley, R. L.; Moseley, S. J.; Porter, F. S.; Reintsema, C.; Sadleir, J.; Smith, S. J.; Swetz, D.; Ullom, J.


    NASA/GSFC and NIST-Boulder are collaborating on a program to advance superconducting transition-edge sensor (TES) microcalorimeter technology toward Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 6. The technology development for a TES imaging X-ray microcalorimeter spectrometer (TES microcalorimeter arrays and time-division multiplexed SQUID readout) is now at TRL 4, as evaluated by both NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) during mission formulation for the International X-ray Observatory (IXO). We will present the status of the development program. The primary goal of the current project is to advance the core X-ray Microcalorimeter Spectrometer (XMS) detector-system technologies to a demonstration of TRL 5 in 2014. Additional objectives are to develop and demonstrate two important related technologies to at least TRL 4: position-sensitive TES devices and code-division multiplexing (CDM). These technologies have the potential to expand significantly the range of possible instrument optimizations; together they allow an expanded focal plane and higher per-pixel count rates without greatly increasing mission resources. The project also includes development of a design concept and critical technologies needed for the thermal, electrical, and mechanical integration of the detector and readout components into the focal-plane assembly. A verified design concept for the packaging of the focal-plane components will be needed for the detector system eventually to advance to TRL 6. Thus, the current project is a targeted development and demonstration program designed to make significant progress in advancing the XMS detector system toward TRL 6, establishing its readiness for a range of possible mission implementations.

  18. A novel camera type for very high energy gamma-ray astronomy based on Geiger-mode avalanche photodiodes

    Anderhub, H; Biland, A; Boller, A; Braun, I; Commichau, S; Commichau, V; Dorner, D; Gendotti, A; Grimm, O; Gunten, H von; Hildebrand, D; Horisberger, U; Kraehenbuehl, T; Kranich, D; Lorenz, E; Lustermann, W; Backes, M; Neise, D; Bretz, T; Mannheim, K


    Geiger-mode avalanche photodiodes (G-APD) are promising new sensors for light detection in atmospheric Cherenkov telescopes. In this paper, the design and commissioning of a 36-pixel G-APD prototype camera is presented. The data acquisition is based on the Domino Ring Sampling (DRS2) chip. A sub-nanosecond time resolution has been achieved. Cosmic-ray induced air showers have been recorded using an imaging mirror setup, in a self-triggered mode. This is the first time that such measurements have been carried out with a complete G-APD camera.

  19. Development of the Advanced Energetic Pair Telescope (AdEPT) for Medium-Energy Gamma-Ray Astronomy

    Hunter, Stanley D.; Bloser, Peter F.; Dion, Michael P.; McConnell, Mark L.; deNolfo, Georgia A.; Son, Seunghee; Ryan, James M.; Stecker, Floyd W.


    Progress in high-energy gamma-ray science has been dramatic since the launch of INTEGRAL, AGILE and FERMI. These instruments, however, are not optimized for observations in the medium-energy (approx.0.3< E(sub gamma)< approx.200 MeV) regime where many astrophysical objects exhibit unique, transitory behavior, such as spectral breaks, bursts, and flares. We outline some of the major science goals of a medium-energy mission. These science goals are best achieved with a combination of two telescopes, a Compton telescope and a pair telescope, optimized to provide significant improvements in angular resolution and sensitivity. In this paper we describe the design of the Advanced Energetic Pair Telescope (AdEPT) based on the Three-Dimensional Track Imager (3-DTI) detector. This technology achieves excellent, medium-energy sensitivity, angular resolution near the kinematic limit, and gamma-ray polarization sensitivity, by high resolution 3-D electron tracking. We describe the performance of a 30x30x30 cm3 prototype of the AdEPT instrument.

  20. Design and performance of a one square meter proportional counter system for hard X-ray astronomy

    Bazzano, A.; Boccaccini, L.; La Padula, C.D.; Mastropietro, M.; Patriarca, R.; Polcaro, F.; Ubertini, P. (Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Frascati (Italy). Lab. di Astrofisica Spaziale); Manchanda, R.K. (Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Frascati (Italy). Lab. di Astrofisica Spaziale; Tata Inst. of Fundamental Research, Bombay (India))


    A versatile balloon borne hard X-ray experiment with a very large area (approx.= 1.1 m/sup 2/) and high spectral resolution has been developed for the study of the hard X-ray sources in the energy range 20-180 keV. The telescope consists of four multiwire proportional chambers (MWPC) that have a geometrical sensitive area of 2700 cm/sup 2/ each. The detector system has a sensitivity of approx.= 10/sup -5/ photons cm/sup -2/ s/sup -1/ keV/sup -1/ during a typical balloon observation. A background rate of approx.= 3 x 10/sup -4/ counts cm/sup -2/ s/sup -1/ keV/sup -1/ was observed in the operative energy range at 2.4 gm/cm/sup 2/ ceiling altitude and geographic latitude of 38/sup 0/N. The design details, fabrication and flight performance of the instrument are briefly discussed with reference to the effectiveness of background reduction and other test parameters.

  1. FACT-The first Cherenkov telescope using a G-APD camera for TeV gamma-ray astronomy

    Anderhub, H.; Backes, M.; Biland, A.; Boller, A.; Braun, I.; Bretz, T.; Commichau, S.; Commichau, V.; Domke, M.; Dorner, D.; Gendotti, A.; Grimm, O.; Gunten, H. von; Hildebrand, D.; Horisberger, U.; Koehne, J.-H.; Kraehenbuehl, T.; Kranich, D.; Krumm, B.; Lorenz, E.


    Geiger-mode Avalanche Photodiodes (G-APD) bear the potential to significantly improve the sensitivity of Imaging Air Cherenkov Telescopes (IACT). We are currently building the First G-APD Cherenkov Telescope (FACT) by refurbishing an old IACT with a mirror area of 9.5 square meters and are constructing a new, fine-pixelized camera using novel G-APDs. The main goal is to evaluate the performance of a complete system by observing very high energy gamma-rays from the Crab Nebula. This is an important field test to check the feasibility of G-APD-based cameras to replace at some time the PMT-based cameras of planned future IACTs like AGIS and CTA. In this article, we present the basic design of such a camera as well as some important details.

  2. Design and Optimization of Multi-Pixel Transition-Edge Sensors for X-Ray Astronomy Applications

    Smith, Stephen J.; Adams, Joseph S.; Bandler, Simon R.; Chervenak, James A.; Datesman, Aaron Michael; Eckart, Megan E.; Ewin, Audrey J.; Finkbeiner, Fred M.; Kelley, Richard L.; Kilbourne, Caroline A.; hide


    Multi-pixel transition-edge sensors (TESs), commonly referred to as 'hydras', are a type of position sensitive micro-calorimeter that enables very large format arrays to be designed without commensurate increase in the number of readout channels and associated wiring. In the hydra design, a single TES is coupled to discrete absorbers via varied thermal links. The links act as low pass thermal filters that are tuned to give a different characteristic pulse shape for x-ray photons absorbed in each of the hydra sub pixels. In this contribution we report on the experimental results from hydras consisting of up to 20 pixels per TES. We discuss the design trade-offs between energy resolution, position discrimination and number of pixels and investigate future design optimizations specifically targeted at meeting the readout technology considered for Lynx.

  3. Astronomy stories

    Berenson, Rhoda


    For many years I have taught physics and astronomy courses to liberal arts students. I have found most of my students to be intelligent and diligent, but not anxious to study science. They typically take the class only because their degree requires a science course. Many arrive having already decided they will not be able to do the math or understand the scientific concepts, and have essentially built a wall between themselves and science. In the 1990s, in an effort to help break down that wall, as part of an NSF-supported course, "The Evolution of the Universe, Earth and Life," I began using creative writing assignments.

  4. Radio astronomy

    Alder, Berni


    Methods in Computational Physics, Volume 14: Radio Astronomy is devoted to the role of the digital computer both as a control device and as a calculator in addressing problems related to galactic radio noise. This volume contains four chapters and begins with a technical description of the hardware and the special data-handling problems of using radioheliography, with an emphasis on a selection of observational results obtained with the Culgoora radioheliograph and their significance to solar physics and to astrophysics in general. The subsequent chapter examines interstellar dispersion, i

  5. Open Astronomy Catalogs API

    Guillochon, James; Cowperthwaite, Philip S.


    We announce the public release of the application program interface (API) for the Open Astronomy Catalogs (OACs), the OACAPI. The OACs serve near-complete collections of supernova, tidal disruption, kilonova, and fast stars data (including photometry, spectra, radio, and X-ray observations) via a user-friendly web interface that displays the data interactively and offers full data downloads. The OACAPI, by contrast, enables users to specifically download particular pieces of the OAC dataset via a flexible programmatic syntax, either via URL GET requests, or via a module within the astroquery Python package.

  6. XUV astronomy

    Beuermann, K.P.; Technische Univ. Berlin


    A review is presented of the young field of extreme-ultraviolet astronomy at wavelengths from 50 Angstroem to 912 Angstroem. In recent years, it was realized that observations in this wavelength band could be performed due to the lucky circumstance that the sun is located in an extended region of extremely low interstellar gas density. Hence, the horizon for observations at 100 Angstroem due to the photoelectric opacity of the interstellar medium is typically at a distance of about 200 pc. Since 1975 a series of rocket and satellite observations have yielded the first positive results. Sources which radiate primarily in the extreme ultraviolet have been detected and even the small list of currently observed objects has had immediate impact on the studies of both stellar evolution and the interstellar medium. Diffuse emission from the interstellar medium results from a hot 10 5 to 10 6 K component of the interstellar gas. Prime stellar candidates for extreme-ultraviolet observations are (1) hot low-luminosity stars at the blue end of the HR diagram as, e.g., white dwarfs at the beginning of the cooling sequence, (2) atmospheric emission from stars surrounded by a hot corona or with flaring activity, (3) mass-exchanging binary systems as, e.g., main-sequence close binaries or catalysmic variables. The article discusses the prospects of extreme-ultraviolet astronomy and reviews the existing observations of extreme-ultraviolet emission from the interstellar medium and from stellar sources of the different categories. (orig.)

  7. Elementary astronomy

    Fierro, J.


    In developing nations such as Mexico, basic science education has scarcely improved. There are multiple reasons for this problem; they include poor teacher training and curricula that are not challenging for students. I shall suggest ways in which astronomy can be used to improve basic education, it is so attractive that it can be employed to teach how to read and write, learn a second language, mathematics, physics, as well as geography. If third world nations do not teach science in an adequate way, they will be in serious problems when they will try to achieve a better standard of living for their population. I shall also address informal education, it is by this means that most adults learn and keep up to date with subjects that are not their specialty. If we provide good outreach programs in developing nations we can aid adult training; astronomy is ideal since it is particularly multidisciplinary. In particular radio and television programs are useful for popularization since they reach such wide audiences.

  8. Development of phonon-mediated transition-edge-sensor x-ray detectors for use in astronomy

    Leman, Steven W.

    Low temperature detectors have grown in popularity over the years for a variety of reasons. Reduced thermal noise and the associated reduction in statistical fluctuations improve signal to noise. Novel material properties at low temperature such as superconductivity can be exploited. And let us not forget easier access to cryogenic techniques, for example industry made and sold refrigerators eliminating the need for graduate students to make their own. In this thesis I discuss development of a novel phonon-mediated distributed transition-edge-sensor x-ray detector which would be useful for astrophysical studies such as magnetic recombination in the solar corona, the warm-hot intergalactic medium and surveys of clusters and groups of galaxies. The detector uses a large semiconductor absorber and Transition-Edge-Sensors (TESs) to readout the absorbed energy. Calorimetry is performed on individual photons and a partitioning of the energy between various TESs allows for position determination. Hence time varying astronomical sources can be spectroscopically studied and imaged. I will conclude with a discussion of the detector's performance and propose a next generation detector which could make significant improvements on the design discussed in this thesis.


    Oezel, Feryal; Psaltis, Dimitrios; Ransom, Scott; Demorest, Paul; Alford, Mark


    The recent measurement of the Shapiro delay in the radio pulsar PSR J1614-2230 yielded a mass of 1.97 ± 0.04 M sun , making it the most massive pulsar known to date. Its mass is high enough that, even without an accompanying measurement of the stellar radius, it has a strong impact on our understanding of nuclear matter, gamma-ray bursts (GRBs), and the generation of gravitational waves from coalescing neutron stars. This single high-mass value indicates that a transition to quark matter in neutron-star cores can occur at densities comparable to the nuclear saturation density only if the quarks are strongly interacting and are color superconducting. We further show that a high maximum neutron-star mass is required if short-duration GRBs are powered by coalescing neutron stars and, therefore, this mechanism becomes viable in the light of the recent measurement. Finally, we argue that the low-frequency (≤500 Hz) gravitational waves emitted during the final stages of neutron-star coalescence encode the properties of the equation of state because neutron stars consistent with this measurement cannot be centrally condensed. This will facilitate the measurement of the neutron star equation of state with Advanced LIGO/Virgo.

  10. Pulsar astronomy

    Lyne, A.G.; Graham-Smith, F.


    This account of the properties of pulsars tells an exciting story of discovery in modern astronomy. Pulsars, discovered in 1967, now take their place in a very wide range of astrophysics. They are one of the endpoints of stellar evolution, in which the core of a star collapses to a rapidly spinning neutron star a few kilometres in size. This book is an introductory account for those entering the field. It introduces the circumstances of the discovery and gives an overview of pulsar astrophysics. There are chapters on search techniques, distances, pulse timing, the galactic population of pulsars, binary and millisecond pulsars, geometry and physics of the emission regions, and applications to the interstellar medium. An important feature of this book is the inclusion of an up-to-date catalogue of all known pulsars. (author)

  11. - Digitizing Astronomy Resources

    Hardegree-Ullman, Kevin; Impey, C. D.; Austin, C.; Patikkal, A.; Paul, M.; Ganesan, N.


    Teach Astronomy—a new, free online resource—can be used as a teaching tool in non-science major introductory college level astronomy courses, and as a reference guide for casual learners and hobbyists. Digital content available on Teach Astronomy includes: a comprehensive introductory astronomy textbook by Chris Impey, Wikipedia astronomy articles, images from Astronomy Picture of the Day archives and (new) AstroPix database, two to three minute topical video clips by Chris Impey, podcasts from 365 Days of Astronomy archives, and an RSS feed of astronomy news from Science Daily. Teach Astronomy features an original technology called the Wikimap to cluster, display, and navigate site search results. Development of Teach Astronomy was motivated by steep increases in textbook prices, the rapid adoption of digital resources by students and the public, and the modern capabilities of digital technology. This past spring semester Teach Astronomy was used as content supplement to lectures in a massive, open, online course (MOOC) taught by Chris Impey. Usage of Teach Astronomy has been steadily growing since its initial release in August of 2012. The site has users in all corners of the country and is being used as a primary teaching tool in at least four states.

  12. Simulation of a long focal length Wolter-I telescope for hard X-ray astronomy. Application to the Simbol-X and PheniX space missions

    Chauvin, M.


    The future of hard X-ray astronomy relies on the development of new instruments able to focus photons of a hundred keV. Indeed, focalization allows an important improvement in sensitivity and angular resolution. Achieved by grazing incidence reflections on Wolter-I mirrors, its use currently limited to tens of keV can be extended to higher energies thanks to a specific coating and a large focal length. As X-ray observations are only possible above the atmosphere, the size of the observatories, and hence their focal length, was limited by the launcher capacity. Over the past few years, different technologies like extendible masts or formation flight have been studied to go beyond this limit. To gain a better understanding of these telescopes, I detail the Wolter-I mirror geometry, their coating reflectivity, the detection in semi-conductor as well as the dynamic related to extendible masts and formation flight. These telescopes are complex optical systems, subject to deformations during observation and need a fine metrology system to measure these deformations for image correction. To study their performance, I developed a code reproducing the real functioning of such a telescope. Each photon is considered individually, its path and interactions depend on the behavior of the telescope structure along with time. Each component of the telescope is modeled, as well as the metrology needed for the restitution of its dynamic. The path of the photon is computed in a three dimensional vector space, using Monte-Carlo methods to reproduce the mirror defaults, their reflectivity and the interactions in the detector. The simulation produces images and energy spectra, from which we can infer the angular resolution, the field of view, the effective area and the detection efficiency. In 2006, the Simbol-X mission was selected in the framework of the formation flight studies. This concept allows a large focal length, the telescope being distributed on two independent spacecrafts

  13. Teaching and Learning Astronomy

    Pasachoff, Jay; Percy, John


    Preface; Part I. Astronomy in the Curriculum Around the World: Preface; 1. Why astronomy is useful and should be included in the school curriculum John R. Percy; 2. Astronomy and mathematics education Rosa M. Ros; 3. Astronomy in the curriculum around the world; 4. Engaging gifted science students through astronomy Robert Hollow; 5. Poster highlights: astronomy in the curriculum around the world; Part II. Astronomy Education Research: Preface; 6. Astronomy education research down under John M. Broadfoot and Ian S. Ginns; 7. A contemporary review of K-16 astronomy education research Janelle M. Bailey and Timothy F. Slater; 8. Implementing astronomy education research Leonarda Fucili; 9. The Astronomy Education Review: report on a new journal Sidney C. Wolff and Andrew Fraknoi; 10. Poster highlights: astronomy education research; Part III. Educating Students: Preface; 11. Textbooks for K-12 astronomy Jay M. Pasachoff; 12. Distance/internet astronomy education David H. McKinnon; 13. Educating students with robotic telescopes - open discussion; 14. Poster highlights - educating students; Part IV. Educating teachers: Preface; 15. Pre-service astronomy education of teachers Mary Kay Hemenway; 16. In-service education of teachers Michèle Gerbaldi; 17. Poster highlights: educating teachers; Part V. Astronomy and Pseudoscience: Preface; 18. Astronomy, pseudoscience and rational thinking Jayant V. Narlikar; 19. Astronomical pseudosciences in North America John R. Percy and Jay M. Pasachoff; Part VI. Astronomy and Culture: Preface; 20. Teaching astronomy in other cultures: archeoastronomy Julieta Fierro; 21. Poster highlights: astronomy and culture; Part VII. Astronomy in Developing Countries: Preface; 22. Astronomy Curriculum for developing countries Case Rijsdijk; 23. Science education resources for the developing countries James C. White II; Part VIII. Public Outreach in Astronomy: Preface; 24. What makes informal education programs successful? Nahide Craig and Isabel

  14. Binocular astronomy

    Tonkin, Stephen


    Binoculars have, for many, long been regarded as an “entry level” observational tool, and relatively few have used them as a serious observing instrument. This is changing! Many people appreciate the relative comfort of two-eyed observing, but those who use binoculars come to realize that they offer more than comfort. The view of the stars is more aesthetically pleasing and therefore binocular observers tend to observe more frequently and for longer periods. Binocular Astronomy, 2nd Edition, extends its coverage of small and medium binoculars to large and giant (i.e., up to 300mm aperture) binoculars and also binoviewers, which brings the work into the realm of serious observing instruments. Additionally, it goes far deeper into the varying optical characteristics of binoculars, giving newcomers and advanced astronomers the information needed to make informed choices on purchasing a pair. It also covers relevant aspects of the physiology of binocular (as in “both eyes”) observation. The first edition ...

  15. Astronomy in the City for Astronomy Education

    Ros, Rosa M.; Garc, Beatriz


    Astronomy is part of our culture. Astronomy cannot be isolated in a classroom, it has to be integrated in the normal life of teachers and students. ``Astronomy in the city'' is an important part of NASE (Network for Astronomy School Education) (Ros & Hemenway 2012). In each NASE course we introduce a ``working group session'' chaired by a local expert in cultural astronomy. The chair introduces several examples of astronomy in their city and after that, the participants have the opportunity to discuss and mention several similar examples. After this session all participants visit one or two sites proposed and introduced by the chair. After more than 5 years using this method we visited and discovered several examples of astronomy in the city: •Astronomy in ancient typical clothes. •Archaeological temples oriented according to the sunrise or set. •Petroglyphs with astronomical meaning. •Astronomy in monuments. •Sundials. •Oriented Colonial churches. •Astronomy in Souvenirs. In any case, teachers and students discover that Astronomy is part of their everyday life. They can take into account the Sun's path when they park their car or when they take a bus ``what is the best part in order to be seat in the shadow during the journey?'' The result is motivation to go with ``open eyes'' when they are in the street and they try to get more and more information about their surroundings. In summary, one of the main activities is to introduce local cultural aspects in NASE astronomy courses. The participants can discover a new approach to local culture from an astronomical point of view.

  16. Innovation in Astronomy Education

    Pasachoff, Jay M.; Ros, Rosa M.; Pasachoff, Naomi


    Preface; Part I. General Strategies for Effective Teaching: Introduction; 1. Main objectives of SpS2; 2. Learning astronomy by doing astronomy; 3. Hands-on Universe-Europe; 4. Life on Earth in the atmosphere of the Sun; 5. A model of teaching astronomy to pre-service teachers; 6. How to teach, learn about, and enjoy astronomy; 7. Clickers: a new teaching tool of exceptional promise; 8. Educational opportunities in pro-am collaboration; 9. Teaching history of astronomy to second-year engineering students; 10. Teaching the evolution of stellar and Milky Way concepts through the ages; 11. Educational efforts of the International Astronomical Union; 12. Astronomy in culture; 13. Light pollution: a tool for astronomy education; 14. Astronomy by distance learning; 15. Edible astronomy demonstrations; 16. Amateur astronomers as public outreach partners; 17. Does the Sun rotate around Earth or Earth rotate around the Sun?; 18. Using sounds and sonifications for astronomy outreach; 19. Teaching astronomy and the crisis in science education; 20. Astronomy for all as part of a general education; Poster abstracts; Part II. Connecting Astronomy with the Public: Introduction; 21. A status report from the Division XII working group; 22. Outreach using media; 23. Astronomy podcasting; 24. IAU's communication strategy, hands-on science communication, and the communication of the planet definition discussion; 25. Getting a word in edgeways: the survival of discourse in audiovisual astronomy; 26. Critical evaluation of the new Hall of Astronomy; 27. Revitalizing astronomy teaching through research on student understanding; Poster abstracts; Part III. Effective Use of Instruction and Information Technology: Introduction; 28. ESO's astronomy education program; 29. U.S. student astronomy research and remote observing projects; 30. Global network of autonomous observatories dedicated to student research; 31. Remote telescopes in education: report of an Australian study; 32. Visualizing

  17. The astronomy spacelab payloads study: executive volume. Interim report


    The progress of the Astronomy Spacelab Payloads Project at the Goddard Space Flight Center is reported. Astronomical research in space, using the Spacelab in conjunction with the Space Shuttle, is described. The various fields of solar astronomy or solar physics, ultraviolet and optical astronomy, and high energy astrophysics are among the topics discussed. These fields include scientific studies of the Sun and its dynamical processes, of the stars in wavelength regions not accessible to ground based observations, and the exciting new fields of X-ray, gamma ray, and particle astronomy

  18. Gamma-ray astronomy from the ground and the space: first analyses of the HESS-II hybrid array and search for blazar candidates among the unidentified Fermi-LAT sources

    Lefaucheur, Julien


    This manuscript is about high energy gamma-ray astronomy (between 30 GeV and 300 GeV) with the Fermi-LAT satellite and very high energy gamma-ray astronomy (above ∼100 GeV) via the H.E.S.S. experiment. The second phase of the H.E.S.S. experiment began in July 2012 with the inauguration of a fifth 28 m-diameter telescope added to the initial array composed of four 12 m-diameter imaging atmospheric Cherenkov telescopes. In the first part of this thesis, we present the development of an analysis in hybrid mode based on a multivariate method dedicated to detect and study sources with different spectral shapes and the first analysis results on real data. The second part is dedicated to the research of blazar candidates among the Fermi-LAT unidentified sources of the 2FGL catalog. A first development is based on a multivariate approach using discriminant parameters built with the 2FGL catalog parameters. A second development is done with the use of the WISE satellite catalog and a non-parametric technic in order to find the blazar-like infrared counterparts of the unidentified sources of the 2FGL catalog. (author)

  19. Astronomy and Politics

    Steele, John M.

    The relationship between astronomy and politics is a complex but important part of understanding the practice of astronomy throughout history. This chapter explores some of the ways that astronomy, astrology, and politics have interacted, placing particular focus on the way that astronomy and astrology have been used for political purposes by both people in power and people who wish to influence a ruler's policy. Also discussed are the effects that politics has had on the development of astronomy and, in particular, upon the recording and preservation of astronomical knowledge.

  20. African Cultural Astronomy

    Holbrook, Jarita C; Medupe, R. Thebe; Current Archaeoastronomy and Ethnoastronomy research in Africa


    Astronomy is the science of studying the sky using telescopes and light collectors such as photographic plates or CCD detectors. However, people have always studied the sky and continue to study the sky without the aid of instruments this is the realm of cultural astronomy. This is the first scholarly collection of articles focused on the cultural astronomy of Africans. It weaves together astronomy, anthropology, and Africa. The volume includes African myths and legends about the sky, alignments to celestial bodies found at archaeological sites and at places of worship, rock art with celestial imagery, and scientific thinking revealed in local astronomy traditions including ethnomathematics and the creation of calendars. Authors include astronomers Kim Malville, Johnson Urama, and Thebe Medupe; archaeologist Felix Chami, and geographer Michael Bonine, and many new authors. As an emerging subfield of cultural astronomy, African cultural astronomy researchers are focused on training students specifically for do...

  1. Journal of Astrophysics and Astronomy | Indian Academy of Sciences

    Home; Journals; Journal of Astrophysics and Astronomy. Pantea Davoudifar. Articles written in Journal of Astrophysics and Astronomy. Volume 32 Issue 3 September 2011 pp 359-370. Extragalactic Gamma Ray Excess from Coma Supercluster Direction · Pantea Davoudifar S. Jalil Fatemi · More Details Abstract Fulltext ...

  2. Journal of Astrophysics and Astronomy | Indian Academy of Sciences

    Home; Journals; Journal of Astrophysics and Astronomy. V. Navalkar. Articles written in Journal of Astrophysics and Astronomy. Volume 38 Issue 2 June 2017 pp 29 Review Article. Soft X-ray Focusing Telescope Aboard AstroSat: Design, Characteristics and Performance · K. P. Singh G. C. Stewart N. J. Westergaard S.

  3. Journal of Astrophysics and Astronomy | Indian Academy of Sciences

    Home; Journals; Journal of Astrophysics and Astronomy. BLESSY ELIZABETH BABY. Articles written in Journal of Astrophysics and Astronomy. Volume 39 Issue 1 February 2018 pp 11 Review. Study of X-ray transients with Scanning Sky Monitor (SSM) onboard AstroSat · M. C. RAMADEVI B. T. RAVISHANKAR ABHILASH ...

  4. Journal of Astrophysics and Astronomy | Indian Academy of Sciences


    Jan 27, 2016 ... Home; Journals; Journal of Astrophysics and Astronomy. Stefano Ciroi. Articles written in Journal of Astrophysics and Astronomy. Volume 36 Issue 4 December 2015 pp 447-455 Review. Optical Counterparts of Undetermined Type -Ray Active Galactic Nuclei with Blazar-Like Spectral Energy Distributions.

  5. Journal of Astrophysics and Astronomy | Indian Academy of Sciences

    Home; Journals; Journal of Astrophysics and Astronomy. S. Seetha. Articles written in Journal of Astrophysics and Astronomy. Volume 21 Issue 1-2 June 2000 pp 29-38. X-ray Observation of XTE J2012+381 during the 1998 Outburst · S. Naik P. C. Agrawal B. Paul A. R. Rao S. Seetha Κ. Kasturirangan · More Details Abstract ...

  6. Journal of Astrophysics and Astronomy | Indian Academy of Sciences

    Home; Journals; Journal of Astrophysics and Astronomy. K. Anilkumar. Articles written in Journal of Astrophysics and Astronomy. Volume 38 Issue 2 June 2017 pp 30 Review Article. Large Area X-Ray Proportional Counter (LAXPC) Instrument on AstroSat and Some Preliminary Results from its Performance in the Orbit.

  7. Journal of Astrophysics and Astronomy | Indian Academy of Sciences

    Home; Journals; Journal of Astrophysics and Astronomy. ABHILASH R. SARWADE. Articles written in Journal of Astrophysics and Astronomy. Volume 39 Issue 1 February 2018 pp 11 Review. Study of X-ray transients with Scanning Sky Monitor (SSM) onboard AstroSat · M. C. RAMADEVI B. T. RAVISHANKAR ABHILASH R.

  8. Journal of Astrophysics and Astronomy | Indian Academy of Sciences

    Home; Journals; Journal of Astrophysics and Astronomy. A. K. Singh. Articles written in Journal of Astrophysics and Astronomy. Volume 38 Issue 2 June 2017 pp 29 Review Article. Soft X-ray Focusing Telescope Aboard AstroSat: Design, Characteristics and Performance · K. P. Singh G. C. Stewart N. J. Westergaard S.

  9. Journal of Astrophysics and Astronomy | Indian Academy of Sciences

    Home; Journals; Journal of Astrophysics and Astronomy. MOHAMMED HASAN. Articles written in Journal of Astrophysics and Astronomy. Volume 39 Issue 1 February 2018 pp 11 Review. Study of X-ray transients with Scanning Sky Monitor (SSM) onboard AstroSat · M. C. RAMADEVI B. T. RAVISHANKAR ABHILASH R.

  10. Journal of Astrophysics and Astronomy | Indian Academy of Sciences

    Home; Journals; Journal of Astrophysics and Astronomy. K. H. Navalgund. Articles written in Journal of Astrophysics and Astronomy. Volume 38 Issue 2 June 2017 pp 29 Review Article. Soft X-ray Focusing Telescope Aboard AstroSat: Design, Characteristics and Performance · K. P. Singh G. C. Stewart N. J. Westergaard S.

  11. H.E.S.S.-II - Gamma ray astronomy from 20 GeV to hundreds of TeV’s

    de Naurois Mathieu


    Highlights of these observations with H.E.S.S.-II have been presented and discussed at the conference. Moreover, after ten years of H.E.S.S. phase I observations, we are currently preparing a Legacy Release of the H.E.S.S. Galactic Plane Survey. A special edition of Astronomy & Astrophysics is currently under preparation, and will contain many important legacy results from H.E.S.S.-I. Major results from this very deep scan of the MilkyWay performed with H.E.S.S.-I, including among others spectacular findings from the Large Magellanic Cloud, have been presented.

  12. Armenian Cultural Astronomy

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


    Cultural Astronomy is the reflection of sky events in various fields of nations' culture. In foreign literature this field is also called "Astronomy in Culture" or "Astronomy and Culture". Cultural astronomy is the set of interdisciplinary fields studying the astronomical systems of current or ancient societies and cultures. It is manifested in Religion, Mythology, Folklore, Poetry, Art, Linguistics and other fields. In recent years, considerable attention has been paid to this sphere, particularly international organizations were established, conferences are held and journals are published. Armenia is also rich in cultural astronomy. The present paper focuses on Armenian archaeoastronomy and cultural astronomy, including many creations related to astronomical knowledge; calendars, rock art, mythology, etc. On the other hand, this subject is rather poorly developed in Armenia; there are only individual studies on various related issues (especially many studies related to Anania Shirakatsi) but not coordinated actions to manage this important field of investigation.

  13. The purpose of astronomy

    Davoust, Emmanuel


    This is a presentation of the purpose of astronomy in the context of modern society. After exposing two misconceptions about astronomy, I detail its role in five domains, certified knowledge, incorporated abilities, innovations, collective goods, and popular science; with each domain is associated an institution, an incentive, and a method of evaluation. Finally, I point out the role of astronomy as a source of inspiration in other fields than science.

  14. Space and astronomy

    Kirkland, Kyle


    Some daring explorers like to study distant frontiers by venturing out into them, but others prefer to study them by bringing them, or representative samples, a little closer to the lab. Both options are pursued in the fields of space and astronomy. Space exploration and astronomy are intricately linked and are examined in-depth in this guide. Dedicated to the scientists who explore the frontiers of space and astronomy-and the results of their unfamiliar findings-each chapter in Space and Astronomy explores one of the frontiers of this science. The development of technology, such as rocket pro

  15. The high energy astronomy observatories

    Neighbors, A. K.; Doolittle, R. F.; Halpers, R. E.


    The forthcoming NASA project of orbiting High Energy Astronomy Observatories (HEAO's) designed to probe the universe by tracing celestial radiations and particles is outlined. Solutions to engineering problems concerning HEAO's which are integrated, yet built to function independently are discussed, including the onboard digital processor, mirror assembly and the thermal shield. The principle of maximal efficiency with minimal cost and the potential capability of the project to provide explanations to black holes, pulsars and gamma-ray bursts are also stressed. The first satellite is scheduled for launch in April 1977.

  16. Indian Astronomy: History of

    Mercier, R.; Murdin, P.


    From the time of A macronryabhat under dota (ca AD 500) there appeared in India a series of Sanskrit treatises on astronomy. Written always in verse, and normally accompanied by prose commentaries, these served to create an Indian tradition of mathematical astronomy which continued into the 18th century. There are as well texts from earlier centuries, grouped under the name Jyotishaveda macronn d...

  17. Astronomy in Mozambique

    Ribeiro, Valério A. R. M.; Paulo, Cláudio M.


    We present the state of Astronomy in Mozambique and how it has evolved since 2009 following the International Year of Astronomy. Activities have been lead by staff at University Eduardo Mondlane and several outreach activities have also flourished. In 2010 the University introduced its first astronomy module, Introduction to Astronomy and Astrophysics, for the second year students in the Department of Physics. The course has now produced the first students who will be graduating in late 2012 with some astronomy content. Some of these students will now be looking for further studies and those who have been keen in astronomy have been recommended to pursue this as a career. At the university level we have also discussed on the possibility to introduce a whole astronomy course by 2016 which falls well within the HCD that the university is now investing in. With the announcement that the SKA will be split between South Africa with its partner countries (including Mozambique), and Australia we have been working closely with the Ministry of Science and Technology to make astronomy a priority on its agenda. In this respect, an old telecommunications antenna is being converted by the South Africa SKA Project Office, and donated to Mozambique for educational purposes. It will be situated in Maluana, Mozambique.

  18. Extragalactic infrared astronomy

    Gondhalekar, P.M.


    The paper concerns the field of Extragalactic Infrared Astronomy, discussed at the Fourth RAL Workshop on Astronomy and Astrophysics. Fifteen papers were presented on infrared emission from extragalactic objects. Both ground-(and aircraft-) based and IRAS infrared data were reviewed. The topics covered star formation in galaxies, active galactic nuclei and cosmology. (U.K.)

  19. Stellar extreme ultraviolet astronomy

    Cash, W.C. Jr.


    The design, calibration, and launch of a rocket-borne imaging telescope for extreme ultraviolet astronomy are described. The telescope, which employed diamond-turned grazing incidence optics and a ranicon detector, was launched November 19, 1976, from the White Sands Missile Range. The telescope performed well and returned data on several potential stellar sources of extreme ultraviolet radiation. Upper limits ten to twenty times more sensitive than previously available were obtained for the extreme ultraviolet flux from the white dwarf Sirius B. These limits fall a factor of seven below the flux predicted for the star and demonstrate that the temperature of Sirius B is not 32,000 K as previously measured, but is below 30,000 K. The new upper limits also rule out the photosphere of the white dwarf as the source of the recently reported soft x-rays from Sirius. Two other white dwarf stars, Feige 24 and G191-B2B, were observed. Upper limits on the flux at 300 A were interpreted as lower limits on the interstellar hydrogen column densities to these stars. The lower limits indicate interstellar hydrogen densitites of greater than .02 cm -3 . Four nearby stars (Sirius, Procyon, Capella, and Mirzam) were observed in a search for intense low temperature coronae or extended chromospheres. No extreme ultraviolet radiation from these stars was detected, and upper limits to their coronal emisson measures are derived

  20. Cosmic rays

    Tkachev, I.I.


    In this talk I will review results of cosmic ray observations at the highest energies. This year the new results on energy spectra, composition and the study of arrival directions of cosmic ray primaries came from the Telescope Array collaboration. I present these results in comparison with measurements done by other recent experiments and discuss their implications for the search of cosmic ray sources. Some related results in gamma-ray astronomy and selected recent advances in theory are also covered. (author)

  1. The Future of Space Astronomy.

    Field, George B.


    Discusses various aspects of space astronomy, considering advantages, the space telescope and ground-based astronomy, an orbiting astrophysics facility, solar physics, and other areas. Indicates that earth-based astronomy will continue to be carried out there and space astronomy will be limited to observations that can be carried out only from…

  2. The Astronomy Workshop

    Hamilton, D. P.; Asbury, M. L.; Proctor, A.


    The Astronomy Workshop ( is an interactive online astronomy resource developed, and maintained at the University of Maryland, for use by students, educators and the general public. The Astronomy Workshop has been extensively tested and used successfully at many different levels, including High School and Junior High School science classes, University introductory astronomy courses, and University intermediate and advanced astronomy courses. Some topics currently covered in the Astronomy Workshop are: Animated Orbits of Planets and Moons: The orbits of the nine planets and 91 known planetary satellites are shown in animated, to-scale drawings. The orbiting bodies move at their correct relative speeds about their parent, which is rendered as an attractive, to-scale gif image. Solar System Collisions: This most popular of our applications shows what happens when an asteroid or comet with user-defined size and speed impacts a given planet. The program calculates many effects, including the country impacted (if Earth is the target), energy of the explosion, crater size, magnitude of the planetquake generated. It also displays a relevant image (e.g. terrestrial crater, lunar crater, etc.). Planetary and Satellite Data Calculators: These tools allow the user to easily calculate physical data for all of the planets or satellites simultaneously, making comparison very easy. Orbital Simulations: These tools allow the student to investigate different aspects of the three-body problem of celestial mechanics. Astronomy Workshop Bulletin Board: Get innovative teaching ideas and read about in-class experiences with the Astronomy Workshop. Share your ideas with other educators by posting on the Bulletin Board. Funding for the Astronomy Workshop is provided by the National Science Foundation.

  3. Astronomy Landscape in Africa

    Nemaungani, Takalani


    The vision for astronomy in Africa is embedded in the African Space Policy of the African Union in early 2014. The vision is about positioning Africa as an emerging hub for astronomy sciences and facilities. Africa recognized the need to take advantage of its natural resource, the geographical advantage of the clear southern skies and pristine sites for astronomy. The Pan African University (PAU) initiative also presents an opportunity as a post-graduate training and research network of university nodes in five regions of Africa and supported by the African Union. The Southern African node based in South Africa concentrates on space sciences which also includes astronomy. The PAU aims to provide the opportunity for advanced graduate training and postgraduate research to high-performing African students. Objectives also include promoting mobility of students and teachers and harmonizing programs and degrees.A number of astronomy initiatives have burgeoned in the Southern African region and these include the Southern Africa Largest Optical Telescope (SALT), HESS (High Energy Stereoscopic System), the SKA (Square Kilometre Array) and the AVN (African Very Long Baseline Interferometer Network). There is a growing appetite for astronomy sciences in Africa. In East Africa, the astronomy community is well organized and is growing - the East African Astronomical society (EAAS) held its successful fourth annual conference since 2010 on 30 June to 04 July 2014 at the University of Rwanda. Centred around the 'Role of Astronomy in Socio-Economic Transformation,' this conference aimed at strengthening capacity building in Astronomy, Astrophysics and Space Science in general, while providing a forum for astronomers from the region to train young and upcoming scientists.

  4. Teaching Astronomy with Technology

    Austin, Carmen; Impey, Chris David; Wenger, Matthew


    Students today are expected to have access to computers and the Internet. Students young and old, in school and out of school, are interested in learning about astronomy, and have computers to use for this. Teach Astronomy is a website with a comprehensive digital astronomy textbook freely available to students and educators. In addition to the textbook, there are astronomy Wikipedia articles, image archives from Astronomy Picture of the Day and AstroPix, and video lectures covering all topics of astronomy. Teach Astronomy has a unique search tool called the wikimap that can be used to search through all of the resources on the site. Astronomy: State of the Art (ASOTA) is a massive, open, online course (MOOC). Over 18,000 students have enrolled over the past year and half. This MOOC has been presented in various forms. First, only to students on the web, with content released weekly on host site Udemy. Then to university students who met formally in the classroom for educational activities, but were also expected to watch lectures online on their own time. Presently, it is available online for students to go at their own pace. In the future it will be available in an extended format on a new host site, Coursera. ASOTA instructors use social media to interact with students. Students ask questions via the course host site, Udemy. Live question and answer sessions are conducted using Google Hangouts on Air, and interesting and relevant astronomy news, or supplementary educational content is shared via the ASOTA Facebook page. Teaching on the Internet may seem impersonal and impractical, but by learning to use all of these tools, instructors have the ability to interact with students, and keep them engaged.

  5. Astronomy and culture

    Hetherington, Edith


    While astronomy is a burgeoning science, with tremendous increases in knowledge every year, it also has a tremendous past, one that has altered humanity's understanding of our place in the universe. The impact of astronomy on culture - whether through myths and stories, or through challenges to the intellectual status quo - is incalculable. This volume in the Greenwood Guides to the Universe series examines how human cultures, in all regions and time periods, have tried to make sense of the wonders of the universe. Astronomy and Culture shows students how people throughout time have struggled

  6. Mathematical Astronomy in India

    Plofker, Kim

    Astronomy in South Asia's Sanskrit tradition, apparently originating in simple calendric computations regulating the timing of ancient ritual practices, expanded over the course of two or three millennia to include detailed spherical models, an endless variety of astrological systems, and academic mathematics in general. Assimilating various technical models, methods, and genres from the astronomy of neighboring cultures, Indian astronomers created new forms that were in turn borrowed by their foreign counterparts. Always recognizably related to the main themes of Eurasian geocentric mathematical astronomy, Indian astral science nonetheless maintained its culturally distinct character until Keplerian heliocentrism and Newtonian mechanics replaced it in colonial South Asia's academic mainstream.

  7. Discovering Astronomy Through Poetry

    Mannone, John C.


    The literature is replete with astronomical references. And much of that literature is poetry. Using this fact, not only can the teacher infuse a new appreciation of astronomy, but also, the student has the opportunity to rediscover history through astronomy. Poetry can be an effective icebreaker in the introduction of new topics in physics and astronomy, as well as a point of conclusion to a lecture. This presentation will give examples of these things from the ancient literature (sacred Hebraic texts), classical literature (Homer's Iliad and Odyssey), traditional poetry (Longfellow, Tennyson and Poe) and modern literature (Frost, Kooser, and others, including the contemporary work of this author).

  8. High Energy Astronomy Observatory (HEAO)-2


    This artist's concept depicts the High Energy Astronomy Observatory (HEAO)-2 in orbit. The HEAO-2, the first imaging and largest x-ray telescope built to date, was capable of producing actual photographs of x-ray objects. Shortly after launch, the HEAO-2 was nicknamed the Einstein Observatory by its scientific experimenters in honor of the centernial of the birth of Albert Einstein, whose concepts of relativity and gravitation have influenced much of modern astrophysics, particularly x-ray astronomy. The HEAO-2, designed and developed by TRW, Inc. under the project management of the Marshall Space Flight Center, was launched aboard an Atlas/Centaur launch vehicle on November 13, 1978. The HEAO-2 was originally identified as HEAO-B but the designation was changed once the spacecraft achieved orbit.

  9. Astronomy in Everyday Life

    Rosenberg, M.; Bladon, G.; Russo, P.; Christensen, L. L.


    For a long time astronomers and other scientists believed that the importance of their work was evident to society. But in these difficult days of financial austerity, even the most obvious benefits of science have to undergo careful scrutiny. So, now more than ever is the time to highlight the importance of astronomy as a field in terms of its contributions to our technology, our mind sets and our lives. Here we will outline both the tangible and intangible reasons why astronomy is an important part of society. Whilst considerable attention will be given to technology and knowledge transfer from astronomy, perhaps the most important contribution outlined is the awareness that astronomy gives us of the vastness of the Universe and our place within it.

  10. Gravity wave astronomy

    Pinheiro, R.


    The properties and production of gravitational radiation are described. The prospects for their detection are considered including the Weber apparatus and gravity-wave telescopes. Possibilities of gravity-wave astronomy are noted



    This publication of the Academy on Astronomy and Astrophysics is unique in ... bring out position papers on societal issues where science plays a major ..... funding agencies, the Astronomical Society of ..... orbit very close to the parent star.

  12. Galactic radio astronomy

    Sofue, Yoshiaki


    This book is a concise primer on galactic radio astronomy for undergraduate and graduate students, and provides wide coverage of galactic astronomy and astrophysics such as the physics of interstellar matter and the dynamics and structure of the Milky Way Galaxy and galaxies. Radio astronomy and its technological development have led to significant progress in galactic astronomy and contributed to understanding interstellar matter and galactic structures. The book begins with the fundamental physics of radio-wave radiation, i.e., black body radiation, thermal emission, synchrotron radiation, and HI and molecular line emissions. The author then gives overviews of ingredients of galactic physics, including interstellar matter such as the neutral (HI), molecular hydrogen, and ionized gases, as well as magnetic fields in galaxies. In addition, more advanced topics relevant to the Galaxy and galaxies are also contained here: star formation, supernova remnants, the Galactic Center and black holes, galactic dynamics...

  13. Stamping through astronomy

    Dicati, Renato


    Stamps and other postal documents are an attractive vehicle for presenting astronomy and its development. Written with expertise and great enthusiasm, this unique book offers a historical and philatelic survey of astronomy and some related topics on space exploration. It contains more than 1300 color reproductions of stamps relating to the history of astronomy, ranging from the earliest observations of the sky to modern research conducted with satellites and space probes. Featured are the astronomers and astrophysicists who contributed to this marvelous story – not only Ptolemy, Copernicus, Kepler, Newton, Herschel, and Einstein but also hundreds of other minor protagonists who played an important role in the development of this, the most ancient yet the most modern of all the sciences. The book also examines in depth the diverse areas which have contributed to the history of astronomy, including the instrumentation, the theories, and the observations. Many stamps illustrate the beauty and the mystery of ce...

  14. Astronomy, Astrology, and Medicine

    Greenbaum, Dorian Gieseler

    Astronomy and astrology were combined with medicine for thousands of years. Beginning in Mesopotamia in the second millennium BCE and continuing into the eighteenth century, medical practitioners used astronomy/astrology as an important part of diagnosis and prescription. Throughout this time frame, scientists cited the similarities between medicine and astrology, in addition to combining the two in practice. Hippocrates and Galen based medical theories on the relationship between heavenly bodies and human bodies. In an enduring cultural phenomenon, parts of the body as well as diseases were linked to zodiac signs and planets. In Renaissance universities, astronomy and astrology were studied by students of medicine. History records a long tradition of astrologer-physicians. This chapter covers the topic of astronomy, astrology, and medicine from the Old Babylonian period to the Enlightenment.

  15. Astronomy in Second Life

    Gauthier, A.


    Full Text Available Second Life (SL is a multi-user virtual environment that is not limited to adult social entertainment. SL is also a 3D playground for innovative instructors and education/outreach professionals in the sciences. Astronomy and space science have a presence in SL, but it could be so much more. This paper describes some of the current astronomy themed spaces in SL and briefly discusses future innovations.

  16. Bad Astronomy Goes Hollywood

    Plait, P.


    It can be argued that astronomy is the oldest of all the sciences, so you'd think that after all this time people would have a pretty good understanding of it. In reality, however, misconceptions about astronomy abound, and even basic concepts are misunderstood. There are many sources of these cosmic misconceptions, including incorrect textbooks, parents and/or teachers who don't understand astronomy and therefore spread misinformation, urban legends, and so on. Perhaps the most pervasive source of bad astronomy is Hollywood. Science fiction movies are enormously popular, but are commonly written and directed by people who don't have even a passing familiarity with astronomy. The smash hit "Armageddon" (the number one box office movie of 1998), for example, used vast quantities of incorrect astronomy in the plot. It reinforced such popular misconceptions as huge asteroids impacting the Earth with little warning, small meteorites being hot when they impact, air existing in space, and that a simple bomb can blow up an asteroid the size of a small moon (even when the bomb is buried only 800 feet deep!). However, movie scenes can be used as a hook that engages the student, helping them learn and remember the correct science. In this talk, I will light-heartedly discuss specific examples of common misinformation, using movie clips, diagrams, and a splash of common sense to show just where Hollywood gets it wrong, and what you can do to help students and the public get it right.

  17. Very high energy gamma-ray astronomy with H.E.S.S. Development of a multivariate analysis and application to study of pulsar wind nebulae

    Dubois, Florent


    H.E.S.S. (High Energy Stereoscopic System) is one of the leading systems of four Imaging Atmospheric Cherenkov Telescopes that investigates very high energy (VHE) cosmic gamma-rays in the 100 GeV to 100 TeV energy range. H.E.S.S. is located in Namibia, near the Gamsberg mountain and operational since December 2003. The H.E.S.S. experiment is mainly aimed to the observation of the southern sky including the galactic plan and the numerous astrophysics sources therein. Three analysis methods have been developed using various properties of the electromagnetic showers generated by the interaction of primary cosmic gamma-rays within the Earth atmosphere. The first goal of this thesis was to combine the information from these methods for the selection and the energy and direction reconstruction of gamma-ray events. The new analysis called X eff improves significantly the quality of the selection and the precision of the reconstruction. This analysis has been afterwards applied to the study of pulsar wind nebulae like Vela X, G0.9+0.1 and MSH 15-52. New results were found concerning the source extension (Vela X) or spectral analysis (G0.9+0.1 and MSH 15-52) at TeV energies, thanks to additional data and to the improved efficiency of the new method. In 2010, a new phase will begin with the achievement of a fifth telescope dedicated to gamma-ray observation from tens GeV. The calibration processes of the photomultipliers equipping the camera of the new telescope, as well as the results of the tests, are also described in this thesis. (author)

  18. Introduction. Progress in astronomy: from gravitational waves to space weather.

    Thompson, J Michael T


    This brief paper introduces and reviews the 'visions of the future' articles prepared by leading young scientists throughout the world for the first of two Christmas 2008 Triennial issues of Phil. Trans. R. Soc. A, devoted, respectively, to astronomy and Earth science. Contributions in astronomy include the very topical gamma-ray bursts, new ideas on stellar collapse and the unusual atmospheres of synchronized planets orbiting nearby stars.

  19. High-Energy 3D Calorimeter based on position-sensitive virtual Frisch-grid CdZnTe detectors for use in Gamma-ray Astronomy

    Bolotnikov, Alexey [Brookhaven National Lab. (BNL), Upton, NY (United States); De Geronimo, GianLuigi [Brookhaven National Lab. (BNL), Upton, NY (United States); Vernon, Emerson [Brookhaven National Lab. (BNL), Upton, NY (United States); Hays, Elizabeth [NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), Greenbelt, MD (United States); Thompson, David [NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), Greenbelt, MD (United States); James, Ralph [Savannah River Site (SRS), Aiken, SC (United States). Savannah River National Lab. (SRNL); Moiseev, Alexander [Center for Research and Exploration; Technology, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) and Univ. of Maryland, Greenbelt, MD (United States)


    We present a concept for a calorimeter based on a novel approach of 3D position-sensitive virtual Frischgrid CZT detectors. This calorimeter aims to measure photons with energies from ~100 keV to 10 (goal 50) MeV. The expected energy resolution at 662 keV is ~1% FWHM, and the photon interaction positionmeasurement accuracy is ~1 mm in all 3 dimensions. Each CZT bar is a rectangular prism with typical cross-section of 6x6 mm2 and length of 2-4 cm. The bars are arranged in modules of 4 x 4 bars, and the modules themselves can be assembled into a larger array. The 3D virtual voxel approach solves a long-standing problem with CZT detectors associated with material imperfections that limit the performance and usefulness of relatively thick detectors (i.e., > 1 cm). Also, it allows us to relax the requirements on the quality of the crystals, maintaining good energy resolution and significantly reducing the instrument cost. Such a calorimeter can be successfully used in space telescopes that use Compton scattering of γ rays, such as AMEGO, serving as part of its calorimeter and providing the position and energy measurement for Compton-scattered photons. Also, it could provide suitable energy resolution to allow for spectroscopic measurements of γ-ray lines from nuclear decays. Another viable option is to use this calorimeter as a focal plane to conduct spectroscopic measurements of cosmic γ-ray events. In combination with a coded-aperture mask, it potentially could provide mapping of the 511-keV radiation from the Galactic Center region.

  20. Application of two-dimensional imaging to very-high-energy gamma-ray astronomy, May 1, 1983-April 30, 1984

    Weekes, T.C.


    Significant progress has been made on the development of the fast large-aperture camera on the 10m reflector on Mt. Hopkins at Whipple Observatory. Preliminary observations with the 19-element camera show that the camera behaves as predicted. We propose to expand the camera to 37 elements and to recoat the mirrors of the 10m reflector. An additional 3m reflector (supplied by Iowa State University) will be added to the system to improve its angular discrimination. The camera will be used in the winter of 1983-1984 in an extensive series of observations of candidate gamma-ray sources

  1. Highlights of Astronomy, Vol. 15

    Corbett, Ian


    Preface; Part I. Gruber Cosmology Prize Lecture; Part II. Invited Discourses; Part III. Joint Discussions: 1. Dark matter in early-type galaxies Léon V. E. Koopmans and Tommaso Treu; 2. Diffuse light in galaxy clusters Magda Arnaboldi and Ortwin Gerhard; 3. Neutron stars - timing in extreme environments Tomaso Belloni, Mariano Méndez and Chengmin Zhang; 4. Progress in understanding the physics of Ap and related stars Margarida Cunha; 5. Modelling the Milky Way in the age of Gaia Annie C. Robin; 6. Time and astronomy Pascale Defraigne; 7. Astrophysical outflows and associated accretion phenomena Elisabete M. de Gouveia Dal Pino and Alex C. Raga; 8. Hot interstellar matter in elliptical galaxies Dong-Woo Kim and Silvia Pellegrini; 9. Are the fundamental constants varying with time? Paolo Molaro and Elisabeth Vangioni; 10. 3D views on cool stellar atmospheres - theory meets observation K. N. Nagendra, P. Bonifacio and H. G. Ludwig; 11. New advances in helio- and astero-seismology; 12. The first galaxies - theoretical predictions and observational clues; 13. Eta Carinae in the context of the most massive stars Theodore R. Gull and Augusto Damineli; 14. The ISM of galaxies in the far-infrared and sub-millimetre; 15. Magnetic fields in diffuse media Elisabete M. de Gouveia Dal Pino and Alex Lazarian; 16. IHY global campaign - whole heliosphere interval; Part IV. Special Sessions: SpS 1. IR and sub-mm spectroscopy - a new tool for studying stellar evolution Glenn Wahlgren, Hans Käufl and Florian Kerber; SpS 2. The international year of astronomy Pedro Russo, Catherine Cesarsky and Lars Lindberg Christensen; SpS 3. Astronomy in Antarctica in 2009 Michael G. Burton; SpS 4. Astronomy education between past and future J. P. De Greve; SpS 5. Accelerating the rate of astronomical discovery Ray P. Norris; SpS 6. Planetary systems as potential sites for life Régis Courtin, Alan Boss and Michel Mayor; SpS 7. Young stars, brown dwarfs, and protoplanetary disks Jane Gregorio

  2. Rescuing Middle School Astronomy

    Mayo, L. A.; Janney, D.


    There is a crisis in education at the middle school level (Spellings, 2006). Recent studies point to large disparities in middle school performance in schools with high minority populations. The largest disparities exist in areas of math and science. Astronomy has a universal appeal for K-12 students but is rarely taught at the middle school level. When it is taught at all it is usually taught in isolation with few references in other classes such as other sciences (e.g. physics, biology, and chemistry), math, history, geography, music, art, or English. The problem is greatest in our most challenged school districts. With scores in reading and math below national averages in these schools and with most state achievement tests ignoring subjects like astronomy, there is little room in the school day to teach about the world outside our atmosphere. Add to this the exceedingly minimal training and education in astronomy that most middle school teachers have and it is a rare school that includes any astronomy teaching at all. In this presentation, we show how to develop and offer an astronomy education training program for middle school teachers encompassing a wide range of educational disciplines that are frequently taught at the middle school level. The prototype for this program was developed and launched in two of the most challenged and diverse school systems in the country; D.C. Public Schools, and Montgomery County (MD) Public Schools.

  3. Journal of Astrophysics and Astronomy | Indian Academy of Sciences

    On 28th September 2015, India launched its first astronomical space observatory AstroSat, successfully. AstroSat carried five astronomy payloads, namely, (i) Cadmium Zinc Telluride Imager (CZTI), (ii) Large Area X-ray Proportional Counter (LAXPC), (iii) Soft X-ray Telescope (SXT), (iv) Ultra Violet Imaging Telescope (UVIT) ...

  4. What next for astronomy?

    Williams, Robert


    "Astronomy is in the midst of a golden age," wrote Catherine Cesarsky, my predecessor as president of the International Astronomical Union (IAU), earlier this year in Physics World (March pp22-24). I believe that is certainly true and it is an opportunity that we must take full advantage of. Astronomy is one of the great ways to bring science to the public - the images of the universe obtained using the Hubble Space Telescope, for example, are full of beauty. Astronomy is all about us. Indeed, the Earth and the life on it have developed from the cosmos, and the sky is the one laboratory that all humanity shares equally and that is accessible to all. There is little about the subject that appeals to fear - except, perhaps, the occasional killer asteroid. So what better science to inspire and educate people that what we do not know is definitely worth knowing?

  5. Submillimetre-wave astronomy

    Beckman, J.E.; Phillips, J.P.


    Observations in the 100-1000-micron band and the instruments used to obtain them are discussed in contributions to the Submillimeter Wave Astronomy Conference held at Queen Mary College, London, in September 1981. The major subject areas covered are large-scale structure and radiative transfer within interstellar clouds, spectroscopic observations of molecular sources, interstellar chemistry, and submillimeter (SM) instrumentation. Reports are included on the formation of giant cloud complexes, cool molecular clouds, models for hot-centered and externally heated clouds, dust in Bok globules, airborne FIR and SM spectroscopy, rotational transitions of CH3OH and NH2 near 1.2 mm, high-velocity flows and molecular jets, FIR emissions from late-type galaxies, ion-grain collisions as a source of interstellar molecules, bandpass filters for SM astronomy, the SM receiver of the future, HF techniques in heterodyne astronomy, and the mm-wave cosmic background

  6. Astronomy in Australia

    Watson, F.; Couch, W.


    Australians have watched the sky for tens of thousands of years. The nineteenth century saw the foundation of government observatories in capital cities such as Sydney and Melbourne. While early twentieth-century astronomy focused largely on solar physics, the advent of radio astronomy at the end of the Second World War enabled Australia to take a leading role in the new science, with particular emphasis on low-frequency studies. Today, the radio quietness of its outback interior provides an excellent location for the Australian core of the Square Kilometre Array. Australian optical astronomy has flourished since the 1960s, with the 3.9-metre Anglo-Australian Telescope becoming the principal national facility in 1974. Access to ESO’s facilities at the La Silla Paranal Observatory is warmly welcomed by all Australian astronomers.

  7. Academic Training: Astronomy from Space

    Françoise Benz


    2004-2005 ACADEMIC TRAINING PROGRAMME LECTURE SERIES 14, 15, 16, 18 March from 11.00 to 12.00 hrs - Main Auditorium, bldg. 500 Astronomy from Space by T. Courvoisier / Observatoire de Genève In the very wide field of High Energy astrophysics we will select a number of topics that range from the source of radiative energy in the deep potential well around Schwarzschild and Kerr black holes and the basics of accretion disks around compact objects to the description and (where possible) the understanding of binary systems including a compact object (neutron star or black hole), of Active Galactic Nuclei and of gamma ray bursts. The approach that is chosen aims at giving an understanding of the most important phenomenologies encountered in high energy astrophysics rather than a detailed knowledge of one specific topic. ENSEIGNEMENT ACADEMIQUE ACADEMIC TRAINING Françoise Benz 73127

  8. Women in Astronomy Workshop Report

    Brough, Sarah; Bauer, Amanda E.; Brooks, Kate; Hopkins, Andrew; Maddison, Sarah


    Here we report on the Women in Astronomy Workshop (, which was held on 13 May 2011 in Sydney, Australia. The workshop was organised by the Astronomical Society of Australia's Chapter on Women in Astronomy, to discuss some of the issues that face women in astronomy and make recommendations to help support the success of women in Australian astronomy but came to broader conclusions that have value for the whole astronomical community. The worksho...

  9. Astronomy and Poetry (overview)

    Samvelyan, David


    Through this work we have tried to show how astronomy penetrates into the poetry of different periods in time and in various poets' works all over the world. The following work has significant cognitive value, demonstrates and reveals the general nature of certain poets' astronomical ideas and provides a brief analysis in some cases. As a result, we have come to the conclusion that astronomy with all its components such as the sky, our solar system and phenomena such as these have always been a source of inspiration for those who create works of art, moreover some of them have even gained actual astronomical knowledge.

  10. Astronomy in Iraq

    Alsabti, A. W.


    The history of modern Iraqi astronomy is reviewed. During the early 1970's Iraqi astronomy witnessed significant growth through the introduction of the subject at university level and extensively within the school curriculum. In addition, astronomy was popularised in the media, a large planetarium was built in Baghdad, plus a smaller one in Basra. Late 1970 witnessed the construction of the Iraqi National Observatory at Mount Korek in Iraqi Kurdistan. The core facilities of the Observatory included 3.5-meter and 1.25-meter optical telescopes, and a 30-meter radio telescope for millimetre wavelength astronomy. The Iraqi Astronomical Society was founded and Iraq joined the IAU in 1976. During the regime of Saddam Hussain in the 1980's, the Observatory was attacked by Iranian artillery during the Iraq-Iran war, and then again during the second Gulf war by the US air force. Years of sanctions during the 1990's left Iraq cut off from the rest of the international scientific community. Subscriptions to astronomical journals were halted and travel to conferences abroad was virtually non-existent. Most senior astronomers left the country for one reason or another. Support from expatriate Iraqi astronomers existed (and still exists) however, this is not sufficient. Recent changes in Iraq, and the fall of Saddam's regime, has meant that scientific communication with the outside world has resumed to a limited degree. The Ministry of Higher Education in Baghdad, Baghdad University and the Iraqi National Academy of Science, have all played active roles in re-establishing Iraqi astronomy and re-building the damaged Observatory at Mount Korek. More importantly the University of Sallahudin in Erbil, capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, has taken particular interest in astronomy and the Observatory. Organized visits to the universities, and also to the Observatory, have given us a first-hand assessment of the scale of the damage to the Observatory, as well as the needs of astronomy teaching

  11. The Cambridge encyclopaedia of astronomy


    Astronomy has been transformed in the last two decades by a series of dramatic discoveries that have left most reference books completely out of date. The Cambridge Encyclopaedia of Astronomy presents a broadly based survey of the whole of astronomy which places emphasis on these critical new findings.

  12. Quickly Creating Interactive Astronomy Illustrations

    Slater, Timothy F.


    An innate advantage for astronomy teachers is having numerous breathtaking images of the cosmos available to capture students' curiosity, imagination, and wonder. Internet-based astronomy image libraries are numerous and easy to navigate. The Astronomy Picture of the Day, the Hubble Space Telescope image archive, and the NASA Planetary…

  13. School-Based Extracurricular Astronomy

    Stanger, Jeffrey J.


    The International Year of Astronomy in 2009 focused considerable public attention on Astronomy and generated valuable resources for educators. These activities are an effective vehicle for promoting Science to students and to the wider school community. The most engaging practical astronomy activities are best delivered with sustained support from…

  14. Teaching Astronomy in UK Schools

    Roche, Paul; Roberts, Sarah; Newsam, Andy; Barclay, Charles


    This article attempts to summarise the good, bad and (occasionally) ugly aspects of teaching astronomy in UK schools. It covers the most common problems reported by teachers when asked about covering the astronomy/space topics in school. Particular focus is given to the GCSE Astronomy qualification offered by Edexcel (which is currently the…

  15. The Cost of Astronomy

    Dorch, Bertil F.

    Using Scopus and national sources, I have investigated the evolution of the cost of publishing in Danish astronomy on a fine scale over a number of years. I find that the number of publications per year from Danish astronomers increased by a factor of four during 15 years: naturally, the correspo......Using Scopus and national sources, I have investigated the evolution of the cost of publishing in Danish astronomy on a fine scale over a number of years. I find that the number of publications per year from Danish astronomers increased by a factor of four during 15 years: naturally......, the corresponding potential cost of publishing must have increased similarly. The actual realized cost of publishing in core journals are investigated for a high profile Danish astronomy research institutions. I argue that the situation is highly unstable if the current cost scenario continues, and I speculate...... that Danish astronomy is risking a scholarly communication collapse due to the combination of increasing subscription cost, increased research output, and increased direct publishing costs related to Open access and other page charges....

  16. Teaching Astronomy Using Tracker

    Belloni, Mario; Christian, Wolfgang; Brown, Douglas


    A recent paper in this journal presented a set of innovative uses of video analysis for introductory physics using Tracker. In addition, numerous other papers have described how video analysis can be a meaningful part of introductory courses. Yet despite this, there are few resources for using video analysis in introductory astronomy classes. In…

  17. Astronomy and Creationism.

    Morrison, David


    Discusses the effects on astronomy courses/curriculum if equal time were given to the concept that the universe was created in its present form about ten thousand years ago. Includes the full text on a resolution concerning creationism passed by the Board of Directors of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific. (Author/JN)

  18. Tools of radio astronomy

    Wilson, Thomas L; Hüttemeister, Susanne


    This 6th edition of “Tools of Radio Astronomy”, the most used introductory text in radio astronomy, has been revised to reflect the current state of this important branch of astronomy. This includes the use of satellites, low radio frequencies, the millimeter/sub-mm universe, the Cosmic Microwave Background and the increased importance of mm/sub-mm dust emission. Several derivations and presentations of technical aspects of radio astronomy and receivers, such as receiver noise, the Hertz dipole and  beam forming have been updated, expanded, re-worked or complemented by alternative derivations. These reflect advances in technology. The wider bandwidths of the Jansky-VLA and long wave arrays such as LOFAR and mm/sub-mm arrays such as ALMA required an expansion of the discussion of interferometers and aperture synthesis. Developments in data reduction algorithms have been included. As a result of the large amount of data collected in the past 20 years, the discussion of solar system radio astronomy, dust em...

  19. The Cost of Astronomy

    Dorch, Bertil F.

    Using Scopus and national sources, I have investigated the evolution of the cost of publishing in Danish astronomy on a fine scale over a number of years. I find that the number of publications per year from Danish astronomers increased by a factor of four during 15 years: naturally, the correspo...

  20. Physics and astronomy

    Moraal, H


    Full Text Available The chapter is about physics and astronomy. The chapter gives a background about the origins of physics in South Africa. After the CSIR was founded in 1945, physics emerged as a nationwide and unified discipline. The authors show how physics...

  1. Strategies for Teaching Astronomy

    Bennett, J.


    No matter whether you are teaching school children, undergraduates, or colleagues, a few key strategies are always useful. I will present and give examples for the following five key strategies for teaching astronomy. 1. Provide a Contextual Framework: It is much easier to learn new facts or concepts if they can be ``binned" into some kind of pre-existing mental framework. Unless your listeners are already familiar with the basic ideas of modern astronomy (such as the hierarchy of structure in the universe, the scale of the universe, and the origin of the universe), you must provide this before going into the details of how we've developed this modern picture through history. 2. Create Conditions for Conceptual Change: Many people hold misconceptions about astronomical ideas. Therefore we cannot teach them the correct ideas unless we first help them unlearn their prior misconceptions. 3. Make the Material Relevant: It's human nature to be more interested in subjects that seem relevant to our lives. Therefore we must always show students the many connections between astronomy and their personal concerns, such as emphasizing how we are ``star stuff" (in the words of Carl Sagan), how studying other planets helps us understand our own, and so on. 4. Limit Use of Jargon: The number of new terms in many introductory astronomy books is larger than the number of words taught in many first courses in foreign language. This means the books are essentially teaching astronomy in a foreign language, which is a clear recipe for failure. We must find ways to replace jargon with plain language. 5. Challenge Your Students: Don't dumb your teaching down; by and large, students will rise to meet your expectations, as long as you follow the other strategies and practice good teaching.

  2. Grote Reber, Radio Astronomy Pioneer, Dies


    Grote Reber, one of the earliest pioneers of radio astronomy, died in Tasmania on December 20, just two days shy of his 91st birthday. Reber was the first person to build a radio telescope dedicated to astronomy, opening up a whole new "window" on the Universe that eventually produced such landmark discoveries as quasars, pulsars and the remnant "afterglow" of the Big Bang. His self- financed experiments laid the foundation for today's advanced radio-astronomy facilities. Grote Reber Grote Reber NRAO/AUI photo "Radio astronomy has changed profoundly our understanding of the Universe and has earned the Nobel Prize for several major contributions. All radio astronomers who have followed him owe Grote Reber a deep debt for his pioneering work," said Dr. Fred Lo, director of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO). "Reber was the first to systematically study the sky by observing something other than visible light. This gave astronomy a whole new view of the Universe. The continuing importance of new ways of looking at the Universe is emphasized by this year's Nobel Prizes in physics, which recognized scientists who pioneered X-ray and neutrino observations," Lo added. Reber was a radio engineer and avid amateur "ham" radio operator in Wheaton, Illinois, in the 1930s when he read about Karl Jansky's 1932 discovery of natural radio emissions coming from outer space. As an amateur operator, Reber had won awards and communicated with other amateurs around the world, and later wrote that he had concluded "there were no more worlds to conquer" in radio. Learning of Jansky's discovery gave Reber a whole new challenge that he attacked with vigor. Analyzing the problem as an engineer, Reber concluded that what he needed was a parabolic-dish antenna, something quite uncommon in the 1930s. In 1937, using his own funds, he constructed a 31.4-foot-diameter dish antenna in his back yard. The strange contraption attracted curious attention from his neighbors and became

  3. Astronomy Courses which Emphasize Communication Skills

    Dinerstein, H. L.


    The ability to communicate effectively, both in oral and written form, is crucial for success in almost any career path. Furthermore, being able to effectively communicate information requires a high level of conceptual mastery of the material. For these reasons, I have incorporated practice in communication into courses at a variety of levels, ranging from non-science-major undergraduate courses to graduate courses. I briefly describe the content of these courses, particularly the communication-related component. The first, Ast 309N, ``Astronomy Bizarre: Stars and Stellar Evolution," is an elective which follows one semester of general introductory astronomy for non-majors. Instead of homework problems, the students complete a sequence of writing assignments of graduated complexity, beginning with simple tasks such as writing abstracts and critiques of assigned readings, and moving on to writing term papers which require literature research and a short science fiction story incorporating accurate depictions of relativistic effects. In Ast 175/275, a ``Journal Club" course for upper-division astronomy majors, students read articles in the professional literature and give short oral presentations to the rest of the class. To build up their understanding of a topic, we work through the ``paper trail" of key papers on topics with exciting recent developments, such as extrasolar planets, gravitational lenses, or gamma-ray bursts. Finally, in a seminar course for first-semester astronomy graduate students (Ast 185C) that broadly addresses professional development issues, I include a practice AAS oral session, with the students giving 5-minute presentations on a journal paper of their choice. This seminar course also examines career paths and employment trends, the peer review process for papers and proposals, professional norms and ethics, and other topics. Syllabi for these and other courses I teach regularly can be found from my home page (

  4. Small astronomy satellite-A, Uhuru data analysis

    Koch, D.


    Objectives were to conduct observations with the first satellite entirely devoted to X-ray astronomy and to analyze the results obtained. A catalog of X-ray sources was generated, and results of discoveries and further detailed observations of sources were presented in scientific journals and meetings. A list of how objectives were met, a brief description of the instrument, significant results, the X-ray catalog, and a complete bibliography of results are included.

  5. Using the Teach Astronomy Website to Enrich Introductory Astronomy Classes

    Hardegree-Ullman, K. K.; Impey, C. D.; Patikkal, A.; Austin, C. L.


    This year we implemented Teach Astronomy as a free online resource to be used as a teaching tool for non-science major astronomy courses and for a general audience interested in the subject. The comprehensive astronomy content of the website includes: an introductory text book, encyclopedia articles, images, two to three minute topical video clips, podcasts, and news articles. Teach Astronomy utilizes a novel technology to cluster, display, and navigate search results, called a Wikimap. We will present an overview of how Teach Astronomy works and how instructors can use it as an effective teaching tool in the classroom. Additionally, we will gather feedback from science instructors on how to improve the features and functionality of the website, as well as develop new assignment ideas using Teach Astronomy.

  6. Tools of radio astronomy

    Wilson, Thomas L; Hüttemeister, Susanne


    The recent years have seen breathtaking progress in technology, especially in the receiver and digital technologies relevant for radio astronomy, which has at the same time advanced to shorter wavelengths. This is the updated and completely revised 5th edition of the most used introductory text in radio astronomy. It presents a unified treatment of the entire field from centimeter to sub-millimeter wavelengths. Topics covered include instruments, sensitivity considerations, observational methods and interpretations of the data recorded with both single dishes and interferometers. This text is useful to both students and experienced practicing astronomers. Besides making major updates and additions throughout the book, the authors have re-organized a number of chapters to more clearly separate basic theory from rapidly evolving practical aspects. Further, problem sets have been added at the end of each chapter.

  7. Astronomy and astrology

    Zarka, Philippe


    Astrology meets a large success in our societies, from the private to the political sphere as well as in the media, in spite of the demonstrated inaccuracy of its psychological as well as operational predictions. We analyse here the relations between astrology and astronomy, as well as the criticisms opposed by the latter to the former. We show that most of these criticisms are weak. Much stronger ones emerge from the analysis of the astrological practice compared to the scientific method, leading us to conclude to the non-scientificity of astrology. Then we return to the success of astrology, and from its analysis we propose a renewed (and prophylactic) rôle for astronomy in society.

  8. Infrared Astronomy Satellite

    Ferrera, G. A.


    In 1982, the Infrared Astronomy Satellite (IRAS) will be launched into a 900-km sun-synchronous (twilight) orbit to perform an unbiased, all-sky survey of the far-infrared spectrum from 8 to 120 microns. Observations telemetered to ground stations will be compiled into an IR astronomy catalog. Attention is given the cryogenically cooled, 60-cm Ritchey-Chretien telescope carried by the satellite, whose primary and secondary mirrors are fabricated from beryllium by means of 'Cryo-Null Figuring'. This technique anticipates the mirror distortions that will result from cryogenic cooling of the telescope and introduces dimensional compensations for them during machining and polishing. Consideration is also given to the interferometric characterization of telescope performance and Cryo/Thermal/Vacuum simulated space environment testing.

  9. Artificial Intelligence in Astronomy

    Devinney, E. J.; Prša, A.; Guinan, E. F.; Degeorge, M.


    From the perspective (and bias) as Eclipsing Binary researchers, we give a brief overview of the development of Artificial Intelligence (AI) applications, describe major application areas of AI in astronomy, and illustrate the power of an AI approach in an application developed under the EBAI (Eclipsing Binaries via Artificial Intelligence) project, which employs Artificial Neural Network technology for estimating light curve solution parameters of eclipsing binary systems.

  10. Archaeology and astronomy


    MEETING REPORT The interaction between archaeology and astronomy has a long, tangled and not entirely creditable history, marred by misunderstandings on both sides. But statistics and cultural awareness are bringing a better picture of how and why lasting monuments such as Stonehenge were built. Sue Bowler reports on a joint meeting of the Royal Astronomical Society and the Prehistoric Society, held at Jodrell Bank on 17 July 2009.

  11. Gravitational Wave Astronomy

    CERN. Geneva


    Gravitational wave astronomy is expected to become an observational field within the next decade. First direct detection of gravitational waves is possible with existing terrestrial-based detectors, and highly probable with proposed upgrades. In this three-part lecture series, we give an overview of the field, including material on gravitional wave sources, detection methods, some details of interferometric detectors, data analysis methods, and current results from observational data-taking runs of the LIGO and GEO projects.

  12. Astronomy on a Landfill

    Venner, Laura


    Engaging "K-to-Gray” audiences (children, families, and older adults) in astronomical activities is one of the main goals of the NJMC Center for Environmental and Scientific Education and the William D. McDowell Observatory located in Lyndhurst, NJ. Perched atop a closed and reclaimed municipal solid waste landfill, our new LEED - certified building (certification pending) and William D. McDowell observatory will assist in bringing the goals of IYA 2009 to the approximately 25,000 students and 15,000 adults that visit our site from the NY/NJ region each year. Diversifying our traditional environmental science offerings, we have incorporated astronomy into our repertoire with "The Sun Through Time” module, which includes storytelling, cultural astronomy, telescope anatomy, and other activities that are based on the electromagnetic spectrum and our current knowledge of the sun. These lessons have also been modified to bring astronomy to underserved communities, specifically those individuals that have dexterity or cognitive ability differences. The program is conducted in a classroom setting and is designed to meet New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards. With the installation of our new 20” telescope, students and amateur astronomers will be given the opportunity to perform rudimentary research. In addition, a program is in development that will allow individuals to measure local sky brightness and understand the effects of light pollution on astronomical viewing. Teaching astronomy in an urban setting presents many challenges. All individuals, regardless of ability level or location, should be given the opportunity to be exposed to the wonders of the universe and the MEC/CESE has been successful in providing those opportunities.

  13. The Astronomy Workshop

    Hamilton, D. P.


    The Astronomy Workshop ( is a collection of interactive online educational tools developed for use by students, educators, and the general public. The more than 20 tools in the Astronomy Workshop are rated for ease-of-use, and have been extensively tested in large university survey courses, classes for undergraduate majors, and High Schools. Here we briefly describe a few of the more popular tools. The Life of the Sun (New!): The history of the Sun is animated as a movie, showing students how the size and color of our star has evolved and will evolve in time. Animated Orbits of Planets and Moons: The orbital motions of planets, moons, asteroids, and comets are animated at their correct relative speeds in accurate to-scale drawings. Solar System Collisions: This most popular of our applications shows what happens when an asteroid or comet with user-defined size and speed impacts a given planet. The program calculates many effects, including the country of impact (if Earth is the target), energy of explosion, crater size, and magnitude of the ``planetquake'' generated. It also displays a relevant image (e.g. terrestrial crater, lunar crater, etc.). Astronomical Distances: Travel away from the Earth at a chosen speed and see how long it takes to reach other planets, stars and galaxies. This tool helps students visualize astronomical distances in an intuitive way. Funding for the Astronomy Workshop is provided by a NASA EPO grant.

  14. Astronomy Research Seminars

    Genet, Russell M.


    Astronomy Research Seminars are offered by a rapidly growing number of community colleges and universities. Over the past decade some 120 student team research papers have been published with approximately 500 coauthors. Each team manages their own research, obtains and analyzes original data, writes a team paper, obtains an external review, submits their paper for publication, and gives a public PowerPoint presentation. The student teams are supported by: (1) an extensive community-of-practice which consists of professional and amateur astronomers, educators, and Seminar graduates; (2) the Institute for Student Astronomical Research (; (3) the Small Telescope Astronomy Research Handbook and (4) an in-person/online, open-source Canvas learning management system with videos, quizzes, and other, extensive supporting material. Team research projects are completed in a semester or less and are managed by the students themselves. The Seminars have expanded from double star astronomy to asteroid astrometry, eclipsing binary times of minima, and exoplanet transits. Conducting authentic research inspires students, provides them with important skills in teamwork, project management and scientific literacy, and gives them confidence in their abilities to participate in scientific research. Being coauthors of published papers boosts student educational careers with respect to admissions and scholarships.

  15. Astronomy in the streets

    Kebe, Fatoumata


    The Ephemerides Association was founded last year by a PhD student in Astronomy. The association is devoted to the promotion and advancement of knowledge of the universe through research and education.The main activities of the association are scientific meetings, the planning and realization of scientific projects, the support of the scientific activities of its members, and the dissemination of related information among members and other interested persons.The association targets the disadvantaged zones of the Paris suburbs.The main issue was how to bring astronomy in those places. In the suburbs, since most of the youth are poor, most leisure activities like cinema are out of your reach. Thus, mostly of them will play football or basketball outside.We decided to go to meet young people who find themselves together in the evening. We prepare the telescope as well as the fasicules to start the observation of the planets. The discussion finally lead to their career plans and aspirations. Astronomy has become a tool to address societal issues. We present our results after one year of activity.

  16. Time analysis in astronomy: Tools for periodicity searches

    Buccheri, R.; Sacco, B.


    The authors discuss periodicity searches in radio and gamma-ray astronomy with special considerations for pulsar searches. The basic methodologies of fast Fourier transform, Rayleigh test, and epoch folding are reviewed with the main objective to compare cost and sensitivities in different applications. It is found that FFT procedures are convenient in unbiased searches for periodicity in radio astronomy, while in spark chamber gamma-ray astronomy, where the measurements are spread over a long integration time, unbiased searches are very difficult with the existing computing facilities and analyses with a-priori knowledge on the period values to look for are better done using the Rayleigh test with harmonics folding (Z /sub n/ test)

  17. Transmission of Babylonian Astronomy to Other Cultures

    Jones, Alexander

    Babylonian astronomy and astrology were extensively transmitted to other civilizations in the second and first millennia BC. Greek astronomy in particular was largely shaped by knowledge of Babylonian observations and mathematical astronomy.

  18. Journal of Astrophysics and Astronomy | Indian Academy of Sciences


    Jan 27, 2016 ... Home; Journals; Journal of Astrophysics and Astronomy; Volume 22; Issue 2-3. Volume 22, Issue 2-3. June-September 2001, pages 145-227. pp 145-154. Hard X-ray Spectrum of Mkn 421 during the Active Phase · R. K. Manchanda · More Details Abstract Fulltext PDF. Spectral measurement of Mkn 421 ...

  19. Journal of Astrophysics and Astronomy | Indian Academy of Sciences

    Home; Journals; Journal of Astrophysics and Astronomy; Volume 25; Issue 3-4. Volume 25, Issue 3-4. September-December 2004, pages 103-223. pp 103-113. TreePM Method for Two-Dimensional Cosmological Simulations · Suryadeep Ray · More Details Abstract Fulltext PDF. We describe the two-dimensional TreePM ...

  20. Journal of Astrophysics and Astronomy | Indian Academy of Sciences


    Jan 27, 2016 ... The field of Very High Energy (VHE) gamma ray astronomy using the Atmospheric Cerenkov Technique has entered an interesting phase with detection of various galactic and extragalactic sources. Among galactic sources, only the Crab nebula has been established as a standard candle.

  1. Modern Gravitational Lens Cosmology for Introductory Physics and Astronomy Students

    Huwe, Paul; Field, Scott


    Recent and exciting discoveries in astronomy and cosmology have inspired many high school students to learn about these fields. A particularly fascinating consequence of general relativity at the forefront of modern cosmology research is gravitational lensing, the bending of light rays that pass near massive objects. Gravitational lensing enables…

  2. Olfar: orbiting low frequency antenna for radio astronomy

    Bentum, Marinus Jan; Boonstra, Albert Jan


    New interesting astronomical science drivers for very low frequency radio astronomy have emerged, ranging from studies of the astronomical dark ages, the epoch of reionization, exoplanets, to ultra-high energy cosmic rays. However, astronomical observations with Earth-bound radio telescopes at very

  3. Journal of Astrophysics and Astronomy | Indian Academy of Sciences

    Therefore, multiwaveband observational efforts with wide fields of view will be the key to progress of transients astronomy from the middle 2020s offering unprecedented deep images and high spatial and spectral resolutions. Radio observations of Gamma Ray Bursts (GRBs) with SKA will uncover not only much fainter ...

  4. Journal of Astrophysics and Astronomy | Indian Academy of Sciences

    Home; Journals; Journal of Astrophysics and Astronomy; Volume 23; Issue 1-2 ... We report the discovery of a decay in the superorbital period of the binary X-ray pulsar LMC X-4. ... This means that each accepted article is being published immediately online with DOI and article citation ID with starting page number 1.

  5. Explorers of the Southern Sky: A History of Australian Astronomy

    Haynes, Raymond; Haynes, Roslynn D.; Malin, David; McGee, Richard


    This well-illustrated volume is the most comprehensive account of Australian astronomy to date. It is both an indispensable reference book on the history of astronomy in Australia, and a highly readable study of a scientific discipline in the context of emerging nationhood. It covers not only the science, but the individuals involved and the social and economic climate in which they worked. Starting from the ancient Aboriginal beliefs about the Sky World - the earliest known astronomy, anywhere in the world - we are led through to the most exciting high-tech current and projected research being carried out at Australia's world-class national astronomy facilities, and by groups in Australian universities. All branches of astronomy are covered - optical, infrared, X-ray, gamma-ray, microwave, gravitational wave and theoretical - including the contribution of amateur astronomers. The non-technical language, many illustrations, and explanatory figures, ensure that this guide will appeal to a wide range of readers - including professional astronomers, historians of science, students, amateur astronomers and general readers.

  6. Astronomy across cultures the history of non-Western astronomy

    Xiaochun, Sun


    Astronomy Across Cultures: A History of Non-Western Astronomy consists of essays dealing with the astronomical knowledge and beliefs of cultures outside the United States and Europe. In addition to articles surveying Islamic, Chinese, Native American, Aboriginal Australian, Polynesian, Egyptian and Tibetan astronomy, among others, the book includes essays on Sky Tales and Why We Tell Them and Astronomy and Prehistory, and Astronomy and Astrology. The essays address the connections between science and culture and relate astronomical practices to the cultures which produced them. Each essay is well illustrated and contains an extensive bibliography. Because the geographic range is global, the book fills a gap in both the history of science and in cultural studies. It should find a place on the bookshelves of advanced undergraduate students, graduate students, and scholars, as well as in libraries serving those groups.

  7. Dyslexia and Astronomy

    Schneps, Matthew H.; Greenhill, L. J.; Rose, L. T.


    Dyslexia is a hereditary neurological disability that impairs reading. It is believed that anywhere from 5% to 20% of all people in the US may have dyslexia to a greater or lesser degree. Though dyslexia is common, it is a "silent disability" in the sense that it is not easy to tell which individuals suffer from dyslexia and which do not. There is a substantial body of evidence to suggest that people with dyslexia tend to do well in science. For example, Baruj Benacerraf, a Nobel laureate in medicine, is among those whose impairments have been documented and studied. Given that dyslexia was not diagnosed in schools prior to the late 1970's, many established science researchers may have dyslexia and be unaware of their impairment. Therefore, it would not be surprising to find that substantial numbers of scientists working in the fields of astronomy and astrophysics have dyslexia, and yet be unaware of the effects this disability has had on their research. A recently proposed theory by the authors suggests that there may be specific neurological reasons why those with dyslexia may be predisposed to science, and predicts that dyslexia may be associated with enhanced abilities for certain types of visual processing, with special implications for image processing. Our study, funded by the NSF, investigates this hypothesis in the context of astronomy and astrophysics. We expect this work will uncover and document challenges faced by scientists with dyslexia, but perhaps more importantly, lead to an understanding of the strengths these scientists bring to research. The program will serve as a clearing-house of information for scientists and students with dyslexia, and begin to provide mentoring for young people with dyslexia interested in astronomy. Scientists who have reason to believe they may have dyslexia are encouraged to contact the authors.

  8. Gravitational-Wave Astronomy

    Kelly, Bernard J.


    Einstein's General Theory of Relativity is our best classical description of gravity, and informs modern astronomy and astrophysics at all scales: stellar, galactic, and cosmological. Among its surprising predictions is the existence of gravitational waves -- ripples in space-time that carry energy and momentum away from strongly interacting gravitating sources. In my talk, I will give an overview of the properties of this radiation, recent breakthroughs in computational physics allowing us to calculate the waveforms from galactic mergers, and the prospect of direct observation with interferometric detectors such as LIGO and LISA.

  9. Astrology as Cultural Astronomy

    Campion, Nicholas

    The practice of astrology can be traced in most if not all human societies, in most time periods. Astrology has prehistoric origins and flourishes in the modern world, where it may be understood as a form of ethnoastronomy - astronomy practiced by the people. The Western tradition, which originated in Mesopotamia and was developed in the Greek world, has been most studied by academics. However, India is also home to a tradition which has survived in a continuous lineage for 2,000 years. Complex systems of astrology also developed in China and Mesoamerica, while all other human societies appear to seek social and religious meaning in the stars.

  10. Islamic Mathematical Astronomy

    Montelle, Clemency

    A short survey on Islamic mathematical astronomy practiced during the period running from the eight century until the fifteenth is presented. Various pertinent themes, such as the translation of foreign scientific works and their impact on the tradition; the introduction, assimilation, and critique of the Ptolemaic model; and the role of observations, will be covered. In addition, the zīj, the dominant format for astronomical works, will be briefly explained as well as the legacy of the Islamic tradition of astral sciences to other cultures.

  11. Science and Mathematics in Astronomy

    Woolack, Edward


    A brief historical introduction to the development of observational astronomy will be presented. The close historical relationship between the successful application of mathematical concepts and advances in astronomy will be presented. A variety of simple physical demonstrations, hands-on group activities, and puzzles will be used to understand how the properties of light can be used to understand the contents of our universe.

  12. Subluminous X-ray binaries

    Armas Padilla, M.


    The discovery of the first X-ray binary, Scorpius X-1, by Giacconi et al. (1962), marked the birth of X-ray astronomy. Following that discovery, many additional X-ray sources where found with the first generation of X-ray rockets and observatories (e.g., UHURU and Einstein). The short-timescale

  13. Journal of Astrophysics and Astronomy | Indian Academy of Sciences


    Jan 27, 2016 ... You-Dong Hu. Articles written in Journal of Astrophysics and Astronomy. Volume 35 Issue 3 September 2014 pp 423-427 Part V: Black Holes (or Binary Black Holes) in Blazars. Joint Spectral Analysis for Early Bright X-ray Flares of -Ray Bursts with Swift BAT and XRT Data · Fang-Kun Peng You-Dong Hu ...

  14. The Astronomy Genealogy Project

    Tenn, Joseph S.


    The Astronomy Genealogy Project, to be known as AstroGen, will list as many as possible of the world's astronomers with their academic parents (aka thesis advisors) and enable the reader to trace both academic ancestors and descendants. It will be very similar to the highly successful Mathematics Genealogy Project (MGP), available at The MGP, which has been in operation since 1996, now contains the names of about 170,000 "mathematicians." These include many physicists and astronomers, as well as practitioners of related sciences. Mitchel Keller, the director of the MGP, has generously shared the software used in that project, and the American Astronomical Society (AAS) will host AstroGen, a project of the Historical Astronomy Division, on its website. We expect to start seeking entries soon, depending on the availability of computational assistance from the AAS IT department. We are seeking volunteers to help run the project. If you are interested, please contact me at

  15. The Astronomy Workshop

    Hamilton, Douglas P.


    {\\bf The Astronomy Workshop} ( is a collection of interactive online educational tools developed for use by students, educators, professional astronomers, and the general public. The more than 20 tools in the Astronomy workshop are rated for ease-of-use, and have been extensively tested in large university survey courses as well as more specialized classes for undergraduate majors and graduate students. Here we briefly describe a few of the available tools. {\\bf Solar Systems Visualizer}: The orbital motions of planets, moons, and asteroids in the Solar System as well as many of the planets in exoplanetary systems are animated at their correct relative speeds in accurate to-scale drawings. Zoom in from the chaotic outer satellite systems of the giant planets all the way to their innermost ring systems. {\\bf Solar System Calculators}: These tools calculate a user-defined mathematical expression simultaneously for all of the Solar System's planets (Planetary Calculator) or moons (Satellite Calculator). Key physical and orbital data are automatically accessed as needed. {\\bf Stellar Evolution}: The "Life of the Sun" tool animates the history of the Sun as a movie, showing students how the size and color of our star has evolved and will evolve over billions of years. In "Star Race," the user selects two stars of different masses and watches their evolution in a split-screeen format that emphasizes the great differences in stellar lifetimes and fates.

  16. Astronomy books in Spanish

    Fierro, Julieta

    Great cultures have created language. They have discovered its strength among other reasons for education. For a long time the Bible was one of the few books available in western culture, its influence is beyond any doubt. Many developing nations have no science books in their mother tongue. They might carry a few translations but these do not convey the local culture so it is harder for students to grasp the concepts and to build on what they know. Books, even if they are extremely simple, should be written in local languages because that will facilitate the conveying of knowledge and the creation of scientific culture. In the books examples that pertain to every day local life must be given, in particular examples that have to do with women. Women play a central role in developing nations by child bearing; if they become literate they will influence enormously the quality of their children's education, in particular their science comprehension. In Mexico a collection that includes astronomy books has recently been edited by the National Council for Culture and Arts. The books are small and light, which encourages middle-school students to carry them around and read them while traveling in public transportation, such as the subway. Every other page is a new subject, that carries illustrations, abstracts and conclusions. The astronomy books are on search for extraterrestrial life, the stars and the universe. These books are distributed nation-wide and are inexpensive. They have been written by Mexican astronomers.

  17. Making Astronomy Accessible

    Grice, Noreen A.


    A new semester begins, and your students enter the classroom for the first time. You notice a student sitting in a wheelchair or walking with assistance from a cane. Maybe you see a student with a guide dog or carrying a Braille computer. Another student gestures "hello” but then continues hand motions, and you realize the person is actually signing. You wonder why another student is using an electronic device to speak. Think this can't happen in your class? According to the U.S. Census, one out of every five Americans has a disability. And some disabilities, such as autism, dyslexia and arthritis, are considered "invisible” disabilities. This means you have a high probability that one of your students will have a disability. As an astronomy instructor, you have the opportunity to reach a wide variety of learners by using creative teaching strategies. I will share some suggestions on how to make astronomy and your part of the universe more accessible for everyone.

  18. Classics in radio astronomy

    Sullivan, Woodruff Turner


    Radio techniques were the nrst to lead astronomy away from the quiescent and limited Universe revealed by traditional observations at optical wave­ lengths. In the earliest days of radio astronomy, a handful of radio physicists and engineers made one startling discovery after another as they opened up the radio sky. With this collection of classic papers and the extensive intro­ ductory material, the reader can experience these exciting discoveries, as well as understand the developing techniques and follow the motivations which prompted the various lines of inquiry. For instance he or she will follow in detail the several attempts to detect radio waves from the sun at the turn of the century; the unravelling by Jansky of a "steady hiss type static"; the incredible story of Reber who built a 9 meter dish in his backyard in 1937 and then mapped the Milky Way; the vital discoveries by Hey and colleagues of radio bursts from the Sun and of a discrete source in the constellation of Cygnus; the development of re...

  19. Challenges in Astronomy Education

    De Greve, Jean-Pierre


    Astronomy is an attractive subject for education. It deals with fascination of the unknown and the unreachable, yet is uses tools, concepts and insights from various fundamental sciences such as mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology. Because of this it can be well used for introducing sciences to young people and to raise their interest in further studies in that direction. It is also an interesting subject for teaching as its different aspects (observation techniques, theory, data sampling and analysis, modelling,?) offer various didactical approaches towards different levels of pupils, students and different backgrounds. And it gives great opportunities to teach and demonstrate the essence of scientific research, through tutorials and projects. In this paper we discuss some of the challenges education in general, and astronomy in particular, faces in the coming decades, given the major geophysical and technological changes that can be deducted from our present knowledge. This defines a general, but very important background in terms of educational needs at various levels, and in geographical distribution of future efforts of the astronomical community. Special emphasis will be given to creative approaches to teaching, to strategies that are successful (such as the use of tutorials with element from computer games), and to initiatives complementary to the regular educational system. The programs developed by the IAU will be briefly highlighted.

  20. Astronomy LITE Demonstrations

    Brecher, Kenneth


    Project LITE (Light Inquiry Through Experiments) is a materials, software, and curriculum development project. It focuses on light, optics, color and visual perception. According to two recent surveys of college astronomy faculty members, these are among the topics most often included in the large introductory astronomy courses. The project has aimed largely at the design and implementation of hands-on experiences for students. However, it has also included the development of lecture demonstrations that employ novel light sources and materials. In this presentation, we will show some of our new lecture demonstrations concerning geometrical and physical optics, fluorescence, phosphorescence and polarization. We have developed over 200 Flash and Java applets that can be used either by teachers in lecture settings or by students at home. They are all posted on the web at For either purpose they can be downloaded directly to the user's computer or run off line. In lecture demonstrations, some of these applets can be used to control the light emitted by video projectors to produce physical effects in materials (e.g. fluorescence). Other applets can be used, for example, to demonstrate that the human percept of color does not have a simple relationship with the physical frequency of the stimulating source of light. Project LITE is supported by Grant #DUE-0125992 from the NSF Division of Undergraduate Education.

  1. A Grand Vision for European Astronomy


    Today, and for the first time, astronomers share their global Science Vision for European Astronomy in the next two decades. This two-year long effort by the ASTRONET network of funding agencies, sponsored by the European Commission and coordinated by INSU-CNRS, underscores Europe's ascension to world leadership in astronomy and its will to maintain that position. It will be followed in just over a year by a prioritised roadmap for the observational facilities needed to implement the Vision. Implementation of these plans will ensure that Europe fully contributes to Mankind's ever deeper understanding of the wonders of our Universe. astronet logo "This is a great opportunity to help create a vibrant long-term future for astronomy and science" says Tim de Zeeuw (Leiden Observatory, The Netherlands) who led this community-wide effort. The ASTRONET Science Vision provides a comprehensive overview of the most important scientific questions that European astronomy should address in the next twenty years. The four key questions are the extremes of the Universe, from the nature of the dark matter and dark energy that comprise over 95% of the Universe to the physics of extreme objects such as black holes, neutron stars, and gamma-ray bursts; the formation of galaxies from the first seeds to our Milky Way; the formation of stars and planets and the origin of life; and the crucial question of how do we (and our Solar System) fit in the global picture. These themes reach well beyond the realm of traditional astronomy into the frontiers of physics and biology. The Vision identifies the major new facilities that will be needed to achieve these goals, but also stresses the need for parallel developments in theory and numerical simulations, high-performance computing resources, efficient astronomical data archiving and the European Virtual Observatory, as well as in laboratory astrophysics. "This report is a key input for the even more challenging task of developing a prioritised

  2. Astronomy Enrollments and Degrees: Results from the 2012 Survey of Astronomy Enrollments and Degrees. Focus On

    Mulvey, Patrick; Nicholson, Starr


    Interest in astronomy degrees in the U.S. remains strong, with astronomy enrollments at or near all-time highs for the 2012-13 academic year. The total number of students taking an introductory astronomy course at a degree-granting physics or astronomy department is approaching 200,000. Enrollments in introductory astronomy courses have been…

  3. Astronomy for beginners

    Becan, Jeff


    Astronomy For Beginners is a friendly and accessible guide to our universe, our galaxy, our solar system and the planet we call home. Each year as we cruise through space on this tiny blue-green wonder, a number of amazing and remarkable events occur. For example, like clockwork, we'll run head-on into asteroid and cometary debris that spreads shooting stars across our skies. On occasion, we'll get to watch the disk of the Moon passing the Sun, casting its shadow on the face of the Earth, and sometimes we'll get to watch our own shadow as it glides across the face of the Moon. The Sun's path w

  4. Astronomy a visual guide

    Garlick, Mark A


    Space has fascinated man and challenged scientists for centuries and astronomy is the oldest and one of the most dynamic of the sciences. Here is a book that will stimulate your curiosity and feed your imagination. Detailed and fascinating text is clearly and richly illustrated with fabulous, vibrant photographs and diagrams. This is a comprehensive guide to understanding and observing the night sky, from distant stars and galaxies to our neighbouring planets; from comets to shooting stars; from eclipses to black holes. With details of the latest space probes, a series of monthly sky maps to provide guidance for the amateur observer and the latest photos from space, this book brings the beauty and wonder of our universe into your living room and will have you reaching for the telescope!

  5. Gravitational wave astronomy

    CERN. Geneva


    In the past year, the LIGO-Virgo Collaboration announced the first secure detection of gravitational waves. This discovery heralds the beginning of gravitational wave astronomy: the use of gravitational waves as a tool for studying the dense and dynamical universe. In this talk, I will describe the full spectrum of gravitational waves, from Hubble-scale modes, through waves with periods of years, hours and milliseconds. I will describe the different techniques one uses to measure the waves in these bands, current and planned facilities for implementing these techniques, and the broad range of sources which produce the radiation. I will discuss what we might expect to learn as more events and sources are measured, and as this field matures into a standard part of the astronomical milieu.

  6. Handbook of pulsar astronomy

    Lorimer, Duncan


    Radio pulsars are rapidly rotating highly magnetized neutron stars. Studies of these fascinating objects have provided applications in solid-state physics, general relativity, galactic astronomy, astrometry, planetary physics and even cosmology. Most of these applications and much of what we know about neutron stars are derived from single-dish radio observations using state-of-the-art receivers and data acquisition systems. This comprehensive 2004 book is a unique resource that brings together the key observational techniques, background information and a review of results, including the discovery of a double pulsar system. Useful software tools are provided which can be used to analyse example data, made available on a related website. This work will be of great value not only to graduate students but also to researchers wishing to carry out and interpret a wide variety of radio pulsar observations.

  7. Interdisciplinary Astronomy Activities

    Nerantzis, Nikolaos; Mitrouda, Aikaterini; Reizopoulou, Ioanna; Sidiropoulou, Eirini; Hatzidimitriou, Antonios


    On November 9th, 2015, three didactical hours were dedicated to Interdisciplinary Astronomy Activities ( Our students and their teachers formed three groups and in rotation, were engaged with the following activities: (a) viewing unique images of the Cosmos in the mobile planetarium STARLAB (, (b) watching the following videos: Journey to the end of the universe (, Rosetta update (, The Solar System (, Ambition the film ( in the school's library. Students and teachers were informed about our solar system, the Rosetta mission, the universe, etc. and (c) tactile activities such as Meet our home and Meet our neighbors (, and the creation of planets' 3D models (Geology-Geography A' Class Student's book, pg.15). With the activities above we had the pleasure to join the Cosmic Light Edu Kit / International Year of Light 2015 program. After our Interdisciplinary Astronomy Activities, we did a "small" research: our students had to fill an evaluation about their educational gains and the results can be found here Moreover, we discussed about Big Ideas of Science ( and through the "big" impact of the Rosetta mission & the infinity of our universe, we print posters with relevant topics and place them to the classrooms. We thank Rosa Doran (Nuclio - President of the Executive Council) for her continuous assistance and support on innovative science teaching proposals. She is an inspiration.

  8. Astronomy in laboratory

    Suzuki, B.


    It is not easy to practice astronomical observation in a high school. It is difficult to teach authentic astronomy because real-world conditions cannot be reproduced in the classroom. However, the following ideas produce some interesting experiments. 1. The reappearance experiment of the meteor spectrum. We produced emission spectra by using a gas burner and welding. It can be understood that the luminosity of emission lines varies according to temperature. Furthermore, we mixed in liquid chlorides of Na, Ca, Fe, Sg, Si, etc., in different proportions tomimic different meteor spectra. We then observed the time changes of the luminosity using a video camcorder that we attached to a spectroscope. The spectrum in the experiment closely resembled that of a meteor. 2. The verification of the black-drop phenomenon.Long ago, the black-drop phenomenon became important in the case of Venus's passage between the Earth and the Sun, a transit of Venus. We tried to reproduce this phenomenon by using a small ball painted black, solar light, and an artificial illuminant. The profile of the reproduced image was then checked in detail. We found that this phenomenon depended on the influence of the limb darkening of the Sun, the scintillation of the Earth's atmosphere, and the optical performance of the telescope. Furthermore, we imitated Venus's atmosphere as an additional experiment by applying oil on the surface of the small ball. It resulted in an interesting profile but was not a sufficient experiment. Of course, these experiments are in conditions that are very different from the actual physical conditions. However, we think that they provide a very effective method for enhancing students' interest in astronomy. We are planning other experiments with similar themes.

  9. Planets in Inuit Astronomy

    MacDonald, John


    Inuit are an indigenous people traditionally inhabiting the Arctic and sub-Arctic regions of Greenland, Canada, Alaska, and parts of Russia's Chukchi Peninsula. Across this vast region, Inuit society, while not entirely homogeneous either culturally or linguistically, nevertheless shares a fundamental cosmology, in part based on a common understanding of the sky and its contents. Traditionally, Inuit used prominent celestial objects—the sun, moon, and major circumpolar asterisms—as markers for estimating the passage of time, as wayfinding and directional aids, and, importantly, as the basis of several of the foundational myths and legends underpinning their society's social order and mores. Random inquiries on Inuit astronomy made by European visitors after initial contact through the mid-18th and early 20th centuries were characteristically haphazard and usually peripheral to some other line of ethnological enquiry, such as folklore or mythology. In addition, the early accounts of Inuit star lore were often prone to misrepresentation due to several factors, including European cultural bias, translation inadequacies, a deficiency of general astronomical knowledge on the part of most commentators, and, most significantly, a failure—sometimes due to lack of opportunity—to conduct systematic observations of the sky in the presence of Inuit knowledge holders. Early accounts therefore tended to diminish the cultural significance of Inuit astronomy, almost to the point of insignificance. Unfortunately, by the time systematic fieldwork began on the topic, in the mid-1980s, unalloyed information on Inuit astronomical knowledge was already elusive, more and more compromised by European acculturation and substitution and, notably, by light pollution—a consequence of the increasing urbanization of Inuit communities beginning in the late 1950s. For the residents of most Arctic settlements, street lights reflecting off the snow have virtually eliminated the evocative

  10. Thirty years of the new astronomy

    Rowan-Robinson, M.


    In an overview of advances in astrophysics over the last thirty years, the author expounds some of the important discoveries and how they have contributed to our understanding of star formation and evolution. The starting point for these new ideas has been exploring the non-visible radiations of the universe. Telescopes and observatories have been tuned to receive infrared, ultraviolet, x-ray, gamma ray and radiowave emissions. Radio astronomy revealed the existence of interstellar molecular clouds where stars are born. The discovery of the uniform microwave background radiation has suggested that the Universe started as a hot big bang. The inflationary model of cosmology provides answers to some problems of the big bang theory and predicts the existence of dark, nonluminous, matter which some infrared observations have confirmed. The author ends by providing a modern, astrophysical, description of the constellations so familiar to mediaeval astrologers. (UK)

  11. Astronomy at the frontiers of science


    Astronomy is by nature an interdisciplinary activity: it involves mathematics, physics, chemistry and biology. Astronomers use (and often develop) the latest technology, the fastest computers and the most refined software.  In this book twenty-two leading scientists from nine countries talk about how astronomy interacts with these other sciences. They describe modern instruments used in astronomy and the relations between astronomy and technology, industry, politics and philosophy. They also discuss what it means to be an astronomer, the history of astronomy, and the place of astronomy in society today.   The book contains twenty chapters grouped in four parts: ASTRONOMY AND PHYSICS discusses the place of astronomy among various branches of (mostly high-energy) physics. ASTRONOMY IN SOCIETY describes not only the historical context of astronomy, but issues facing astronomers today, including funding, planning, worldwide collaboration and links with industry. THE TOOLS OF OBSERVATION AND THE PROFESSION OF AS...

  12. Introducing Astronomy Related Research into Non-Astronomy Courses

    Walker, Douglas

    The concern over the insufficient number of students choosing to enter the science and engineering fields has been discussed and documented for years. While historically addressed at the national level, many states are now recognizing that the lack of a highly-skilled technical workforce within their states' borders has a significant effect on their economic health. Astronomy, as a science field, is no exception. Articles appear periodically in the most popular astronomy magazines asking the question, "Where are the young astronomers?" Astronomy courses at the community college level are normally restricted to introductory astronomy I and II level classes that introduce the student to the basics of the night sky and astronomy. The vast majority of these courses is geared toward the non-science major and is considered by many students to be easy and watered down courses in comparison to typical physics and related science courses. A majority of students who enroll in these classes are not considering majors in science or astronomy since they believe that science is "boring and won't produce any type of career for them." Is there any way to attract students? This paper discusses an approach being undertaken at the Estrella Mountain Community College to introduce students in selected mathematics courses to aspects of astronomy related research to demonstrate that science is anything but boring. Basic statistical techniques and understanding of geometry are applied to a large virgin data set containing the magnitudes and phase characteristics of sets of variable stars. The students' work consisted of developing and presenting a project that explored analyzing selected aspects of the variable star data set. The description of the data set, the approach the students took for research projects, and results from a survey conducted at semester's end to determine if student's interest and appreciation of astronomy was affected are presented. Using the data set provided, the

  13. Demographics in Astronomy and Astrophysics

    Ulvestad, James S.


    Astronomy has been undergoing a significant demographic shift over the last several decades, as shown by data presented in the 2000 National Research Council (NRC) report "Federal Funding of Astronomical Research," and the 2010 NRC report, "New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics." For example, the number of advertised postdoctoral positions in astronomy has increased much more rapldly than the number of faculty positions, contributing to a holding pattern of early-career astronomers in multiple postdoctoral positions. This talk will summarize some of the current demographic trends in astronomy, including information about gender and ethnic diversity, and describe some of the possible implications for the future. I thank the members of the Astro2010 Demographics Study Group, as well as numerous white-paper contributors to Astro2010, for providing data and analyses.

  14. Essays on medieval computational astronomy

    Bergón, José Chabás


    In Essays on Medieval Computational Astronomy the authors provide examples of original and intelligent approaches and solutions given by medieval astronomers to the problems of their discipline, mostly presented in the form of astronomical tables.

  15. History of the modern astronomy

    Herrmann, D.B.


    The book treats the following topics: structure and motion of the sky - classical astronomy, origin of astrophysics, macrocosm - microcosm, and techniques and organization of research. 86 black-and-white and 15 color plates are included

  16. Adaptive Optics, LLLFT Interferometry, Astronomy


    We propose to build a three telescope Michelson optical interferometer equipped with wavefront compensation technology as a demonstration and test bed for high resolution Deep Space Surveillance (DSS) and Astronomy...

  17. Astronomy Week in Madeira, Portugal

    Augusto, P.; Sobrinho, J. L.


    The outreach programme Semanas da Astronomia (Astronomy Weeks) is held in late spring or summer on the island of Madeira, Portugal. This programme has been attracting enough interest to be mentioned in the regional press/TV/radio every year and is now, without doubt, the astronomical highlight of the year on Madeira. We believe that this programme is a good case study for showing how to attract the general public to astronomy in a small (population 250 000, area 900 km2) and fairly isolated place such as Madeira. Our Astronomy Weeks have been different each year and have so far included exhibitions, courses, talks, a forum, documentaries, observing sessions (some with blackouts), music and an astro party. These efforts may contribute towards putting Madeira on the map with respect to observational astronomy, and have also contributed to the planned installation of two observatories in the island.

  18. From astronomy to data science

    Rodriguez Zaurín, Javier


    After almost ten years in academia I took one of the best decisions of my life: to leave it. This is my experience transitioning from astronomy to data science in search of a more open, fast-paced working environment.

  19. Historic Radio Astronomy Working Group


    This special issue of Astronomische Nachrichten contains the proceedings of a session of the Historic Radio Astronomy Working Group of the International Astronomical Union that took place during the 26th General Assembly of the IAU in Prague on 17th August 2006. In addition to the talks presented in Prague some contributions were solicited to give a more complete overview of `The Early History of European Radio Astronomy'.

  20. Radio astronomy on the moon

    Burns, J.O.; Asbell, J.


    The advantages and opportunities for radio astronomy on the moon during the early to mid 21st century are reviewed. In particular, it is argued that the lack of atmosphere, the extremely low seismic activity, the low RF background, and the natural cryogenic environment make the moon (particularly the far side and the poles) a nearly ideal locale for submillimeter/FIR to VLF (below 10 MHz) radio astronomy. 22 references

  1. Bibliometric evaluation of Finnish astronomy

    Isaksson, Eva


    Finnish astronomy publishing provides us with an interesting data sample. It is small but not too small: approximately one thousand articles have been published in a decade. There are only four astronomy institutes to be compared. An interesting paradox also emerges in the field: while Finnish science assessments usually value highly the impact of scientific publishing, no serious evaluations using real bibliometric data have been made. To remedy this, a comprehensive ten-year database of ref...

  2. News clippings for introductory astronomy

    Bobrowsky, Matthew


    Most students entering our introductory astronomy course for nonscience majors arrive not merely lacking scientific facts-they also have misconceptions about the nature of science, and many have a handicapping ``science anxiety'' (in addition to math anxiety). So I have added a ``current science'' requirement to our introductory course. Each student must compile a file of five astronomy news articles taken from readily available sources.

  3. Astronomy at the Market

    Roten, Robert; Constantin, A.; Christensen, E.; Dick, E.; Lapolla, J.; Nutter, A.; Corcoran, J.; DiDomenico, N.; Eskridge, B.; Saikin, A.


    We present here an energetic grass-roots outreach program run entirely by undergraduate physics and astronomy majors at James Madison University. Our "Team Awestronomy" takes Astronomy out to the Market, literally. Once a month, for eight months during the academic year, the group sets up a “scientific corner” at the Harrisonburg Farmers Market, offering people the chance to meet with astrophysicists (in the making) and discuss science. Our group members wear t-shirts with simple messages like “Ask me about the Sun,” “...about Black Holes and Mega-Masers” or “...about Big Bang” that initiate the dialog. We help our audience with observations of solar activity through our department’s Coronado telescope equipped with a safe H-alpha filter, sunspotters, and the incredibly simple yet durable and accurate handheld (Project Star) spectrometers, and invite them to the free Saturday Planetarium shows and the star parties hosted by our department on the JMU campus. The team is also prepared with a suite of fun activities aimed particularly at K-5 kids, e.g., building (and eating, after investigating out-gassing properties of) ”dirty comets,” making craters (in pans with flour or sand) and testing how different types of impactors (pebbles, ping-pong balls or even crumpled aluminum foil) affect crater formation, and demonstrations of shock wave created in supernova explosions. The main goals of this outreach program are: 1) to illustrate to people of all ages that science is a fun, creative, and exciting process; 2) to empower people to be curious and to ask questions; 3) to demonstrate that science is a viable career path chosen by many diverse individuals; and 4) to nurture a sense of wonder and awe for the Universe. While this outreach program is aimed at a very general audience, of an extremely wide range, we expect to produce a significant impact on K-12 students in general and in particular on the home-schooled kids. There is a relatively high

  4. Astronomy Research Seminar

    Johson, Jolyon; Genet, Russell; Armstrong, James; Boyce, Grady; Boyce, Pat; Brewer, Mark; Buchheim, Robert; Carro, Joseph; Estrada, Reed; Estrada, Chris; Freed, Rachel; Gillette, Sean; Harshaw, Richard; Hollis, Thomas; Kenney, John; McGaughey, Seven; McNab, Christine; Mohanan, Kakkala; Sepulveda, Babs; Wallace, Dan; Wallen, Vera


    Traditional science lectures and labs are often enhanced through project- and team-based learning. Some students go beyond these classroom studies by conducting research, often under the guidance of university professors. A one-semester astronomy research seminar was initiated in 2006 in collaboration with the community of professional and amateur double star astronomers. The result was dozens of jointly-authored papers published in the Journal of Double Star Observations and the Annual Proceedings of the Society of Astronomical Sciences. This seminar, and its affiliated community, launched a series of conferences and books, providing students with additional forums to share their double star research. The original seminar, and its derivatives, enhanced educational careers through college admissions and scholarships. To expand the seminar's reach, it was restructured from a few teams at one school, to many teams, each from a different school. A volunteer from each school became an assistant instructor. Most of them were seminar veterans, experienced astronomers, or science teachers. The assistant instructors, in turn, recruited enthusiastic students for their teams. To avoid student and instructor overload, the seminar focused on its three deliverables: a formal proposal, published paper, and public PowerPoint presentation. Future seminars may offer other astronomical research options such as exoplanet transit or eclipsing binary photometry.

  5. Gnuastro: GNU Astronomy Utilities

    Akhlaghi, Mohammad


    Gnuastro (GNU Astronomy Utilities) manipulates and analyzes astronomical data. It is an official GNU package of a large collection of programs and C/C++ library functions. Command-line programs perform arithmetic operations on images, convert FITS images to common types like JPG or PDF, convolve an image with a given kernel or matching of kernels, perform cosmological calculations, crop parts of large images (possibly in multiple files), manipulate FITS extensions and keywords, and perform statistical operations. In addition, it contains programs to make catalogs from detection maps, add noise, make mock profiles with a variety of radial functions using monte-carlo integration for their centers, match catalogs, and detect objects in an image among many other operations. The command-line programs share the same basic command-line user interface for the comfort of both the users and developers. Gnuastro is written to comply fully with the GNU coding standards and integrates well with all Unix-like operating systems. This enables astronomers to expect a fully familiar experience in the source code, building, installing and command-line user interaction that they have seen in all the other GNU software that they use. Gnuastro's extensive library is included for users who want to build their own unique programs.

  6. Astronomy and Atmospheric Optics

    Cowley, Les; Gaina, Alex


    The authors discusse the insuccess of the observation of the Total Eclipse of the Moon from 10 december 2011 in Romania and relate them with meteoconditions. Only a very short part of the last penumbral phase was observed, while the inital part and the totality was not observed due to very dense clouds. The change in color and brightness during this phase was signaled. Meanwhile, there is an area of science where clouds are of great use and interest. This area is Atmospheric optics, while the science which study clouds is meteorology. Clouds in combination with Solar and Moon light could give rise to a variety of strange, rare and unobvious phenomena in the atmosphere (sky), sometimes confused with Unidentified Flying Objects (UFO). The importance of meteorology for astronomy and atmospheric optics is underlined and an invitation to astronomers to use unfavourable days for athmospheric observations was sent. The web address of the site by Les Cowley, designed for atmospheric optics phenomena is contained in the text of the entry.

  7. Grab 'n' go astronomy

    English, Neil


      Like everyone else, most amateur astronomers live busy lives. After a long day, the last thing you want as an observer is to have to lug out a large telescope and spend an hour getting it ready before it can be used. Maybe you are going somewhere sure to have dark skies, but you don’t necessarily want astronomy to dominate the trip. Or you are not quite committed to owning a large telescope, but curious enough to see what a smaller, portable setup can accomplish. These are times when a small “grab ’n’ go” telescope, or even a pair of binoculars, is the ideal in­strument. And this book can guide you in choosing and best utilizing that equipment.   What makes a telescope fall into the “grab ’n’ go” category? That’s easy – speed of setting up, ease of use, and above all, portability. This ambitious text is dedicated to those who love to or – because of their limited time – must observe the sky at a moment’s notice. Whether observing from the comfort of a backyard or while on busi...

  8. The National Astronomy Consortium (NAC)

    Von Schill, Lyndele; Ivory, Joyce


    The National Astronomy Consortium (NAC) program is designed to increase the number of underrepresented minority students into STEM and STEM careers by providing unique summer research experiences followed by long-term mentoring and cohort support. Hallmarks of the NAC program include: research or internship opportunities at one of the NAC partner sites, a framework to continue research over the academic year, peer and faculty mentoring, monthly virtual hangouts, and much more. NAC students also participate in two professional travel opportunities each year: the annual NAC conference at Howard University and poster presentation at the annual AAS winter meeting following their summer internship.The National Astronomy Consortium (NAC) is a program led by the National Radio Astronomy Consortium (NRAO) and Associated Universities, Inc. (AUI), in partnership with the National Society of Black Physicist (NSBP), along with a number of minority and majority universities.

  9. Astronomy education through interactive materials

    Voelzke, Marcos Rincon; Antunes de Macêdo, Josué


    This study presents results of a survey conducted at the Federal Institution of Education, Science and Technology in the North of Minas Gerais (IFNMG), and aimed to investigate the potentialities of the use of interactive materials in the teaching of astronomy. An advanced training course with involved learning activities about basic concepts of astronomy was offered to thirty-two Licenciate students in Physics, Mathematics and Biological Sciences, using the mixed methodology, combined with the three pedagogical moments. Among other aspects, the viability of the use of resources was noticed, involving digital technologies and interactive materials on teaching of astronomy, which may contribute to the broadening of methodological options for future teachers and meet their training needs.

  10. International Olympiad on Astronomy and Astrophysics

    Soonthornthum, B.; Kunjaya, C.


    The International Olympiad on Astronomy and Astrophysics, an annual astronomy and astrophysics competition for high school students, is described. Examples of problems and solutions from the competition are also given. (Contains 3 figures.)

  11. Coincident Detection Significance in Multimessenger Astronomy

    Ashton, G.; Burns, E.; Dal Canton, T.; Dent, T.; Eggenstein, H.-B.; Nielsen, A. B.; Prix, R.; Was, M.; Zhu, S. J.


    We derive a Bayesian criterion for assessing whether signals observed in two separate data sets originate from a common source. The Bayes factor for a common versus unrelated origin of signals includes an overlap integral of the posterior distributions over the common-source parameters. Focusing on multimessenger gravitational-wave astronomy, we apply the method to the spatial and temporal association of independent gravitational-wave and electromagnetic (or neutrino) observations. As an example, we consider the coincidence between the recently discovered gravitational-wave signal GW170817 from a binary neutron star merger and the gamma-ray burst GRB 170817A: we find that the common-source model is enormously favored over a model describing them as unrelated signals.

  12. Outreach Testing of Ancient Astronomy

    Sanmartin, J. R. S.; Blanco, M. B. M.


    This work is an outreach approach to an ubiquitous recent problem in secondary-school education: how to face back the decreasing interest in natural sciences shown by students under 'pressure' of convenient resources in digital devices/applications. The approach rests on two features. First, empowering of teen-age students to understand regular natural events around, as very few educated people they meet could do. Secondly, an understanding that rests on personal capability to test and verify experimental results from the oldest science, astronomy, with simple instruments as used from antiquity down to the Renaissance (a capability restricted to just solar and lunar motions). Because lengths in astronomy and daily life are so disparate, astronomy basically involved observing and registering values of angles (along with times), measurements being of two types, of angles on the ground and of angles in space, from the ground. First, the gnomon, a simple vertical stick introduced in Babylonia and Egypt, and then in Greece, is used to understand solar motion. The gnomon shadow turns around during any given day, varying in length and thus angle between solar ray and vertical as it turns, going through a minimum (noon time, at a meridian direction) while sweeping some angular range from sunrise to sunset. Further, the shadow minimum length varies through the year, with times when shortest and sun closest to vertical, at summer solstice, and times when longest, at winter solstice six months later. The extreme directions at sunset and sunrise correspond to the solstices, swept angular range greatest at summer, over 180 degrees, and the opposite at winter, with less daytime hours; in between, spring and fall equinoxes occur, marked by collinear shadow directions at sunrise and sunset. The gnomon allows students to determine, in addition to latitude (about 40.4° North at Madrid, say), the inclination of earth equator to plane of its orbit around the sun (ecliptic), this

  13. Astronomy and Shakespeare's Hamlet.

    Usher, P. D.


    Payne-Gaposchkin and others have suggested that Hamlet shows evidence of the Bard's awareness of the astronomical revolutions of the sixteenth century. I summarize major arguments and note that the play's themes recur in modern astronomy teaching and research: (1) The play amounts to a redefinition of universal order and humankind's position in it. (2) There is interplay between appearance and reality. Such a contrast is commonplace wherever superficial celestial appearances obscure underlying physical realities, the nature of which emerge as the tale unfolds. (3) The outermost sphere of the Ptolemaic and Copernican models seems to encase humanity, who are liberated by the reality of Digges' model and the implications advanced by Bruno. Similarly the oppressiveness of the castle interior is relieved by the observing platform which enables the heavens to be viewed in their true light. (4) Hamlet could be bounded in a nut-shell and count himself a king of infinite space, were it not that he has bad dreams. These concern the subversiveness of the new doctrine, for Hamlet refers to the infinite universe only hypothetically and in the presence of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, who are named for relatives of the Danish astronomer Brahe. (5) Hamlet, and Brahe and Bruno, have connections to the university at Wittenberg, as does the Copernican champion Rheticus. (6) Ways are needed to reveal both the truths of nature, and the true nature of Danish royalty. Those unaccustomed to science think that there is madness in Hamlet's method. In particular, `doubt' is advanced as a methodological principle of inquiry. (7) The impression of normalcy and propriety in the upper reaches of society is like the false impression of an encapsulating universe. In Hamlet this duality is dramatized tragically, whereas in King John (cf. BAAS 27, 1325, 1995) it is not; for by 1601 when the writing of Hamlet was probably completed, Shakespeare would have known of the martyrdom of Bruno the previous

  14. Advances in astronomy and astrophysics

    Kopal, Zdenek


    Advances in Astronomy and Astrophysics, Volume 2 brings together numerous research works on different aspects of astronomy and astrophysics. This volume is composed of six chapters and begins with a summary of observational record on twilight extensions of the Venus cusps. The next chapter deals with the common and related properties of binary stars, with emphasis on the evaluation of their cataclysmic variables. Cataclysmic variables refer to an object in one of three classes: dwarf nova, nova, or supernova. These topics are followed by discussions on the eclipse phenomena and the eclipses i

  15. Advances in astronomy and astrophysics

    Kopal, Zdenek


    Advances in Astronomy and Astrophysics, Volume 1 brings together numerous research works on different aspects of astronomy and astrophysics. This book is divided into five chapters and begins with an observational summary of the shock-wave theory of novae. The subsequent chapter provides the properties and problems of T tauri stars and related objects. These topics are followed by discussions on the structure and origin of meteorites and cosmic dust, as well as the models for evaluation of mass distribution in oblate stellar systems. The final chapter describes the methods of polarization mea

  16. Vistas in astronomy. Volume 16

    Beer, A.


    A series of papers dealing with theoretical and experimental work in solar, planetary, and stellar astronomy, including stellar spectroscopy, photometry, and radio astronomy. The topics covered include: solar flares, the historical development of solar theories, the intrinsic light variation and the reflection effect in very close eclipsing binary systems with distorted components, spectroscopic binaries, early-type stars with abnormal spectra, photometric classification of the O-B stars, the nova DQ Herculis, emission nebulas at radio wavelengths, and the planetary nebulas as radio sources. (IAA)

  17. Multiverso: Rock'n'Astronomy

    Caballero, J. A.


    In the last few years, there have been several projects involving astronomy and classical music. But have a rock band ever appeared at a science conference or an astronomer at a rock concert? We present a project, Multiverso, in which we mix rock and astronomy, together with poetry and video art (Caballero, 2010). The project started in late 2009 and has already reached tens of thousands people in Spain through the release of an album, several concert-talks, television, radio, newspapers and the internet.

  18. Advances in astronomy and astrophysics

    Kopal, Zdenek


    Advances in Astronomy and Astrophysics, Volume 4 brings together numerous research works on different aspects of astronomy and astrophysics. This volume is composed of five chapters, and starts with a description of objective prism and its application in space observations. The next chapter deals with the possibilities of deriving reliable models of the figure, density distribution, and gravity field of the Moon based on data obtained through Earth-bound telescopes. These topics are followed by a discussion on the ideal partially relativistic, partially degenerate gas in an exact manner. A ch

  19. Synthesis imaging in radio astronomy

    Perley, R.A.; Schwab, F.R.; Bridle, A.H.


    Recent advances in techniques and instrumentation for radio synthesis imaging in astronomy are discussed in a collection of review essays. Topics addressed include coherence in radio astronomy, the interferometer in practice, primary antenna elements, cross correlators, calibration and editing, sensitivity, deconvolution, self-calibration, error recognition, and image analysis. Consideration is given to wide-field imaging (bandwidth and time-average smearing, noncoplanar arrays, and mosaicking), high-dynamic-range imaging, spectral-line imaging, VLBI, solar imaging with a synthesis telescope, synthesis imaging of spatially coherent objects, noise in images of very bright sources, synthesis observing strategies, and the design of aperture-synthesis arrays

  20. Informal Education: Slacker Astronomy Podcasts

    Price, A.


    Slacker Astronomy is a weekly podcast about astronomy begun in February, 2005. Each week we cover a recent astronomical news event. We present it with humor and silliness, yet we respect the intelligence of the audience and do not ``dumb it down." Since we are professional astronomers we often cover items ignored by traditional press. We currently have around 10,000 loyal weekly listeners. All our shows are rated for content and available to the public under the Creative Commons license. Both scripts and audio are also used as source material by parents, teachers and planetarium directors.

  1. Astronomy 3.0 Style

    Accomazzi, A.


    Over the next decade, we will witness the development of a new infrastructure in support of data-intensive scientific research, which includes Astronomy. This new networked environment will offer both challenges and opportunities to our community and has the potential to transform the way data are described, curated and preserved. Based on the lessons learned during the development and management of the ADS, a case is made for adopting the emerging technologies and practices of the Semantic Web to support the way Astronomy research will be conducted. Examples of how small, incremental steps can, in the aggregate, make a significant difference in the provision and repurposing of astronomical data are provided.

  2. Advances in astronomy and astrophysics

    Kopal, Zdenek


    Advances in Astronomy and Astrophysics, Volume 6 brings together numerous research works on different aspects of astronomy and astrophysics. This volume is composed of five chapters, and starts with the description of improved methods for analyzing and classifying families of periodic orbits in a conservative dynamical system with two degrees of freedom. The next chapter describes the variation of fractional luminosity of distorted components of close binary systems in the course of their revolution, or the accompanying changes in radial velocity. This topic is followed by discussions on vari

  3. Practical astronomy with your calculator

    Duffett-Smith, Peter


    Practical Astronomy with your Calculator, first published in 1979, has enjoyed immense success. The author's clear and easy to follow routines enable you to solve a variety of practical and recreational problems in astronomy using a scientific calculator. Mathematical complexity is kept firmly in the background, leaving just the elements necessary for swiftly making calculations. The major topics are: time, coordinate systems, the Sun, the planetary system, binary stars, the Moon, and eclipses. In the third edition there are entirely new sections on generalised coordinate transformations, nutr

  4. Indian Astronomy: The Missing Link in Eurocentric History of Astronomy

    Haque, Shirin; Sharma, Deva


    A comprehensive history of Astronomy should show in reasonable chronological order, the contributions from wherever they arise in the world, once they are reliably documented. However, the authors note that consistently, the extremely rich contributions from Ancient Indian scholars like Aryabatha and Bhramagupta are omitted in Eurocentric…

  5. Blazing the Trail for Astronomy Education Research

    Bailey, Janelle M.; Lombardi, Doug


    Education research has long considered student learning of topics in astronomy and the space sciences, but astronomy education research as a sub-field of discipline-based education research is relatively new. Driven by a growing interest among higher education astronomy educators in improving the general education, introductory science survey…

  6. The Explorer program for astronomy and astrophysics

    Savage, B.D.; Becklin, E.E.; Cassinelli, J.P.; Dupree, A.K.; Elliot, J.L.; Hoffmann, W.F.; Hudson, H.S.; Jura, M.; Kurfess, J.; Murray, S.S.


    This report was prepared to provide NASA with a strategy for proceeding with Explorer-class programs for research in space astronomy and astrophysics. The role of Explorers in astronomy and astrophysics and their past accomplishments are discussed, as are current and future astronomy and astrophysics Explorers. Specific cost needs for an effective Explorer program are considered

  7. Division B Commission 40: Radio Astronomy

    Chapman, Jessica M.; Giovaninni, Gabriele; Taylor, Russell; Carilli, Christopher; Hills, Richard; Hirabayashi, Hisashi; Jonas, Justin L.; Lazio, Joseph; Morganti, Raffaella; Nan, Rendong; Rubio, Monica; Shastri, Prjaval; Kellermann, Ken; Ekers, Ronald; Ohishi, Masatoshi


    IAU Commission 40 for Radio Astronomy (hereafter C40) brought together scientists and engineers who carry out observational and theoretical research in radio astronomy and who develop and operate the ground and space-based radio astronomy facilities and instrumentation. As of June 2015, the

  8. X-ray Emission from Solar Flares


    Jan 27, 2016 ... Solar flares; X-ray detectors; X-ray line emission and continuum; break energy; microflares. Abstract. Solar X-ray Spectrometer (SOXS), the first space-borne solar astronomy experiment of India was designed to improve our current understanding of X-ray emission from the Sun in general and solar flares in ...

  9. Visual lunar and planetary astronomy

    Abel, Paul G


    With the advent of CCDs and webcams, the focus of amateur astronomy has to some extent shifted from science to art. The object of many amateur astronomers is now to produce “stunning images” that, although beautiful, are not intended to have scientific merit. Paul Abel has been addressing this issue by promoting visual astronomy wherever possible – at talks to astronomical societies, in articles for popular science magazines, and on BBC TV’s The Sky at Night.   Visual Lunar and Planetary Astronomy is a comprehensive modern treatment of visual lunar and planetary astronomy, showing that even in the age of space telescopes and interplanetary probes it is still possible to contribute scientifically with no more than a moderately priced commercially made astronomical telescope.   It is believed that imaging and photography is somehow more objective and more accurate than the eye, and this has led to a peculiar “crisis of faith” in the human visual system and its amazing processing power. But by anal...

  10. Encyclopedia of Astronomy and Astrophysics


    Interstellar medium, Light, Magnetisphere, Matter, Planet Earth, Public Impact, Solar Activity, Solar Heliosphere, Solar Interior, Solar Systems, Space, Stellar Astrophysics, Stellar Populations, Telescopes, Time The Encyclopedia of Astronomy and Astrophysics covers 30 major subject areas, such as Active galaxies, Astrometry, Astrophysical theory, Atmospheres, Binary stars, Biography, Clusters, Coordinates, Cosmology, Earth, Education, Galaxies,

  11. Recent advances in infrared astronomy

    Robson, E.I.


    A background survey is given of developments in infrared astronomy during the last decade. Advantages obtained in using infrared wavelengths to penetrate the Earth's atmosphere and the detectors used for this work are considered. Infrared studies of, among other subjects, the stars, dust clouds, the centre of our galaxy and the 3k cosmic background radiation, are discussed. (UK)

  12. Utrecht and Galactic Radio Astronomy

    van Woerden, H.

    Important roles in early Dutch Galactic radio astronomy were played by several Utrecht astronomers: Van de Hulst, Minnaert and Houtgast. The poster announcing the conference contained a number of pictures referring to scientific achievements of the Astronomical Institute Utrecht. One of these

  13. Service Learning in Introductory Astronomy

    Orleski, Michael


    Service learning is a method of instruction where the students in a course use the course's content in a service project. The service is included as a portion of the students' course grades. During the fall semester 2010, service learning was incorporated into the Introduction to Astronomy course at Misericordia University. The class had eight…

  14. Network for Astronomy School Education

    Deustua, Susana E.; Ros, R. M.; Garcia, B.


    The Network for Astronomy School Education Project (NASE) was developed in response to the IAU's most recent 10 Years Strategic Plan to increase the efforts of the IAU in schools. NASE's mission is to stimulate teaching astronomy in schools, through professional development of primary and secondary school science teachers in developing and emerging countries. NASE's organizational principle is to build capacity by providing courses for three years in cooperation with a Local Organizing Committee (Local NASE Group). The Local NASE Group consists of 6-8 local university professors and education professional who will promote astronomy activities and organize future courses in subsequent years in their region of their country. NASE philosophy is to introduce low-tech astronomy, and has thus developed an a suite of activities that can be carried out with inexpensive, quotidian materials. Supporting these activities is a text for teachers, plus a complete set of instructional materials for each topic. These materials are available in English and Spanish, with future editions available in Chinese and Portuguese. We describe and discuss NASE activities in Central and South America from 2009 to the present.

  15. Highlights of Astronomy, Vol. 16

    Montmerle, Thierry


    Part I. Invited Discourses: 1. The Herschel view of star formation; 2. Past, present and future of Chinese astronomy; 3. The zoo of galaxies; 4. Supernovae, the accelerating cosmos, and dark energy; Part II. Joint Discussion: 5. Very massive stars in the local universe; 6. 3-D views of the cycling Sun in stellar context; 7. Ultraviolet emission in early-type galaxies; 8. From meteors and meteorites to their parent bodies: current status and future developments; 9. The connection between radio properties and high-energy emission in AGNs; 10. Space-time reference systems for future research; Part III. Special Sessions: 11. Origin and complexity of massive star clusters; 12. Cosmic evolution of groups and clusters of galaxies; 13. Galaxy evolution through secular processes; 14. New era for studying interstellar and intergalactic magnetic fields; 15. The IR view of massive stars: the main sequence and beyond; 16. Science with large solar telescopes; 17. The impact hazard: current activities and future plans; 18. Calibration of star-formation rate measurements across the electromagnetic spectrum; 19. Future large scale facilities; 20. Dynamics of the star-planet relations strategic plan and the Global Office of Astronomy for Development; 21. Strategic plan and the Global Office of Astronomy for Development; 22. Modern views of the interstellar medium; 23. High-precision tests of stellar physics from high-precision photometry; 24. Communicating astronomy with the public for scientists; 25. Data intensive astronomy; 26. Unexplained spectral phenomena in the interstellar medium; 27. Light pollution: protecting astronomical sites and increasing global awareness through education.

  16. Research on teaching astronomy in the planetarium

    Slater, Timothy F


    From a noted specialist in astronomy education and outreach, this Brief provides an overview of the most influential discipline-based science education research literature now guiding contemporary astronomy teaching. In recent years, systematic studies of effective and efficient teaching strategies have provided a solid foundation for enhancing college-level students’ learning in astronomy. Teaching astronomy and planetary science at the college-level was once best characterized as professor-centered, information-download lectures. Today, astronomy faculty are striving to drastically improve the learning environment by using innovative teaching approaches.  Uniquely, the authors have organized this book around strands of commonly employed astronomy teaching strategies to help readers, professors, and scholars quickly access the most relevant work while, simultaneously, avoiding the highly specialized, technical vocabulary of constructivist educational pedagogies unfamiliar to most astronomy professors. F...

  17. Scientific detectors for astronomy 2005 Explorers of the Photon Odyssey

    Beletic, Jenna E; Amico, Paola


    Every three years, the leading experts in detectors for astronomy gather together to exchange information and form professional relationships. This series of meetings is entitled Scientific Detectors for Astronomy. The meeting has been held six times, with the last four publishing hardcover proceedings. Nearly all leading astronomical observatories and manufacturers attend this meeting, with participants from every continent of the world. The 2005 meeting in Taormina, Italy was attended by 127 professionals who develop and use the highest quality detectors for wavelengths from x-ray to sub-mm, with emphasis on optical and infrared detectors. The meeting consisted of overview talks, technical presentations, poster sessions and roundtable discussions. In addition, a strong cultural programme exposed the participants to the host region while fostering the enhancement of professional relationships. These proceedings capture the technical content and the spirit of the 2005 workshop. The 87 papers cover a wide rang...

  18. Time-Domain Astronomy with the Fermi GBM

    Hui, C. M.


    The Fermi Gamma-ray Burst Monitor (GBM) is an all-sky monitoring instrument sensitive to energies from 8 keV to 40 MeV. Over the past 8 years of operation, the GBM has detected over 240 gamma-ray bursts per year and provided timely GCN notices with localization to few-degree accuracy for follow-up observations. In addition to GRBs, Galactic transients, solar flares, and terrestrial gamma-ray flashes have also been observed. In recent years we have also been searching the continuous GBM data for electromagnetic counterpart to astrophysical neutrinos and gravitational wave events, as these are believed to be associated with gamma-ray bursts. With continuous data downlink every few hours and a temporal resolution of 2 microseconds, GBM is well suited for observing transients and supporting EM follow-up in the era of multi-messenger astronomy.

  19. Positron astronomy with SPI/INTEGRAL

    Weidenspointner, G.; Diehl, R.; Strong, A.; Weidenspointner, G.; Skinner, G.K.; Skinner, G.K.; Jean, P.; Knoedlseder, J.; Von Ballmoos, P.; Cordier, B.; Schanne, S.; Winkler, C.


    We provide an overview of positron astronomy results that have been obtained using the INTEGRAL spectrometer SPI, and discuss their implications for the still mysterious origin of positrons in our Galaxy. It has long been known that the 511 keV positron annihilation emission is strongest from the central region of our Galaxy. Recently, it has been discovered with the SPI spectrometer that the weaker 511 keV line emission from the inner Galactic disk appears to be asymmetric, with the emission to the west of the Galactic center being about twice as strong than that to the east. This distribution of positron annihilation resembles that of low mass X-ray binaries as observed with the INTEGRAL imager IBIS at hard X-ray energies, suggesting that these systems could provide a significant portion of the positrons in our Galaxy. In addition, the spectrometer SPI has permitted unprecedented spectroscopy of annihilation radiation from the bulge and disk regions of the Galaxy, which commences to yield important insights into the conditions of the medium in which the positrons annihilate. (authors)

  20. Multi-Messenger Astronomy and Dark Matter

    Bergström, Lars

    This chapter presents the elaborated lecture notes on Multi-Messenger Astronomy and Dark Matter given by Lars Bergström at the 40th Saas-Fee Advanced Course on "Astrophysics at Very High Energies". One of the main problems of astrophysics and astro-particle physics is that the nature of dark matter remains unsolved. There are basically three complementary approaches to try to solve this problem. One is the detection of new particles with accelerators, the second is the observation of various types of messengers from radio waves to gamma-ray photons and neutrinos, and the third is the use of ingenious experiments for direct detection of dark matter particles. After giving an introduction to the particle universe, the author discusses the relic density of particles, basic cross sections for neutrinos and gamma-rays, supersymmetric dark matter, detection methods for neutralino dark matter, particular dark matter candidates, the status of dark matter detection, a detailled calculation on an hypothetical "Saas-Fee Wimp", primordial black holes, and gravitational waves.

  1. Transient multimessenger astronomy with gravitational waves

    Marka, S


    Comprehensive multimessenger astronomy with gravitational waves is a pioneering field bringing us interesting results and presenting us with exciting challenges for the future. During the era of the operation of advanced interferometric gravitational wave detectors, we will have the opportunity to investigate sources of gravitational waves that are also expected to be observable through other messengers, such as gamma rays, x-rays, optical, radio, and/or neutrino emission. Multimessenger searches for gravitational waves with the LIGO-GEO600-Virgo interferometer network have already produced insights on cosmic events and it is expected that the simultaneous observation of electromagnetic or neutrino emission could be a crucial aspect for the first direct detection of gravitational waves in the future. Trigger time, direction and expected frequency range enhances our ability to search for gravitational wave signatures with amplitudes closer to the noise floor of the detector. Furthermore, multimessenger observations will enable the extraction of otherwise unaccessible scientific insight. We summarize the status of transient multimessenger detection efforts as well as mention some of the open questions that might be resolved by advanced or third generation gravitational wave detector networks.

  2. Einstein pictures the x-ray sky

    Hartline, B.K.


    The second High Energy Astronomy Observatory (HEAO-2, Einstein) is revolutionizing x-ray astronomy just as its namesake revolutionized physics. Earlier x-ray observatories, including HEAO-1, were designed to scan the sky for x-ray emitters. With Einstein, the challenge has shifted from discovering x-ray sources to understanding the processes producing the x-rays. But having 500 times the sensitivity of previous detectors, Einstein makes more than its share of discoveries, too. For example, it sees distant quasars and clusters of galaxies that can barely be detected by the largest optical telescopes

  3. Multimedia Astronomy Communication: Effectively Communicate Astronomy to the Desired Audience

    Star Cartier, Kimberly Michelle; Wright, Jason


    A fundamental aspect of our jobs as scientists is communicating our work to others. In this, the field of astronomy holds the double-edged sword of ubiquitous fascination: the topic has been of interest to nearly the entire global population at some point in their lives, yet the learning curve is steep within any subfield and rife with difficult-to-synthesize details. Compounding this issue is the ever-expanding array of methods to reach people in today's Communications Era. Each communication medium has its own strengths and weaknesses, is appropriate in different situations, and requires its own specific skillset in order to maximize its functionality. Despite this, little attention is given to training astronomers in effective communication techniques, often relying on newcomers to simply pick up the ability by mimicking others and assuming that a firm grasp on the subject matter will make up for deficiencies in communication theory. This can restrict astronomers to a narrow set of communication methods, harming both the communicators and the audience who may struggle to access the information through those media.Whether writing a research paper to academic peers or giving an astronomy talk to a pubic audience, successfully communicating a scientific message requires more than just an expert grasp on the topic. A communicator must understand the makeup and prior knowledge of the desired audience, be able to break down the salient points of the topic into pieces that audience can digest, select and maximize upon a medium to deliver the message, and frame the message in a way that hooks the audience and compels further interest. In this work we synthesize the requirements of effective astronomy communication into a few key questions that every communicator needs to answer. We then discuss some of the most common media currently used to communicate astronomy, give both effective and poor examples of utilizing these media to communicate astronomy, and provide key

  4. Academic Training: Gravitational Waves Astronomy


    2006-2007 ACADEMIC TRAINING PROGRAMME LECTURE SERIES 16, 17, 18 October from 11:00 to 12:00 - Main Auditorium, bldg. 500 Gravitational Waves Astronomy M. LANDRY, LIGO Hanford Observatory, Richland, USA Gravitational wave astronomy is expected to become an observational field within the next decade. First direct detection of gravitational waves is possible with existing terrestrial-based detectors, and highly probable with proposed upgrades. In this three-part lecture series, we give an overview of the field, including material on gravitional wave sources, detection methods, some details of interferometric detectors, data analysis methods, and current results from observational data-taking runs of the LIGO and GEO projects. ENSEIGNEMENT ACADEMIQUE ACADEMIC TRAINING Françoise Benz 73127 If you wish to participate in one of the following courses, please tell to your supervisor and apply electronically from the course description pages that can be found on the Web at: http://www...

  5. Tangible Things of American Astronomy

    Schechner, Sara Jane


    As a science that studies celestial objects situated at vast distances from us, astronomy deals with few things that can be touched directly. And yet, astronomy has many tangible things—scientific instruments, observatories, and log books, for example—which link the past to the present. There is little question about maintaining things still valuable for scientific research purposes, but why should we care about documenting and preserving the old and obsolete? One answer is that material things, when closely examined, enhance our knowledge of astronomy’s history in ways that written texts alone cannot do. A second answer is that learning about the past helps us live critically in the present. In brief case studies, this talk will find meaning in objects that are extraordinary or commonplace. These will include a sundial, an almanac, telescopes, clocks, a rotating desk, photographic plates, and fly spankers.

  6. LGBT Workplace Climate in Astronomy

    Gaudi, B. S.; Danner, R.; Dixon, W. V.; Henderson, C. B.; Kay, L. E.


    The AAS Working Group on LGBTIQ Equality (WGLE) held a town hall meeting at the 220th AAS meeting in Anchorage to explore the workplace climate for LGBTIQ individuals working in Astronomy and related fields. Topics of discussion included anti-discrimination practices, general workplace climate, and pay and benefit policies. Four employment sectors were represented: industry, the federal government, private colleges, and public universities. We will summarize and expand on the town hall discussions and findings of the panel members.

  7. Search for new light bosons in high energy astronomy

    Wouters, Denis


    High-Energy astronomy studies the most violent phenomena in the universe with observations in a large spectrum of energies ranging from X rays to very high energy gamma rays (1 keV - 100 TeV). Such phenomena could be for instance supernovae explosions and their remnants, pulsars and pulsar wind nebulae or ultra relativistic jets formation by active galactic nuclei. Understanding these phenomena requires to use well-known particle physics processes. By means of high energy photons, studying such phenomena enables one to search for physics beyond the standard model. Concepts regarding the emission and propagation of high-energy photons are introduced and applied to study their emission by extragalactic sources and to constrain the extragalactic background light which affects their propagation. In this thesis, these high-energy extragalactic emitters are observed in order to search for new light bosons such as axion-like particles (ALPs). The theoretical framework of this family of hypothetical particles is reviewed as well as the associated phenomenology. In particular, because of their coupling to two photons, ALPs oscillate with photons in an external magnetic field. A new signature of such oscillations in turbulent magnetic fields, under the form of stochastic irregularities in the source energy spectrum, is introduced and discussed. A search for ALPs with the HESS telescopes with this new signature is presented, resulting in the first constraints on ALPs parameters coming from high-energy astronomy. Current constraints on ALPs at very low masses are improved by searching for the same signature in X-ray observations. An extension of these constraints to scalar field models for modified gravity in the framework of dark energy is then discussed. The potential of the search for ALPs with CTA, the prospected gamma-ray astronomy instrument, is eventually studied; in particular, a new observable is proposed that relies on the high number of sources that are expected to

  8. Cultural Astronomy in the Armenian Highland

    Farmanyan, S. V.; Suvaryan, Yu. M.; Mickaelian, A. M. (Eds.)


    The book contains 29 articles of the Proceedings of the Young Scientists Conference "Cultural Astronomy in the Armenian Highland" held at the Armenian National Academy of Sciences on 20-23 June 2016. It consists of 4 main sections: "Introductory", "Cultural Astronomy", "Archaeoastronomy", "Scientific Tourism and Journalism, Astronomical Education and Amateur Astronomy". The book may be interesting to astronomers, culturologists, philologists, linguists, historians, archaeologists, art historians, ethnographers and to other specialists, as well as to students.

  9. Ancient Indian Astronomy in Introductory Texts

    Narahari Achar, B. N.


    It is customary in introductory survey courses in astronomy to devote some time to the history of astronomy. In the available text books only the Greek contribution receives any attention. Apart from Stonehenge and Chichenitza pictures, contributions from Babylon and China are some times mentioned. Hardly any account is given of ancient Indian astronomy. Even when something is mentioned it is incomplete or incorrect or both. Examples are given from several text books currently available. An attempt is made to correct this situation by sketching the contributions from the earliest astronomy of India, namely Vedaanga Jyotisha.

  10. Space astronomy and astrophysics program by CSA

    Laurin, Denis; Ouellet, Alain; Dupuis, Jean; Chicoine, Ruth-Ann


    Canada became actively engaged in space astronomy in the 1990s by contributing two fine guidance sensors to the FUSE Far-UV mission (NASA 1999-2008). In the same period, Canada contributed to ODIN's infrared instrument (ESA 2001-2006) and correlators for VSOP (JAXA 1997-2005). In early 2000, Canada developed its own space telescope, Micro-variability and Observations of STars (MOST), a 15-cm telescope on a microsatellite, operating since 2003, and more recently contributed to the realization of the BRITE nanosatellites constellation. Canada also provided hardware to the European Space Agency's Herschel HIFI instrument and simulators to the SPIRE instrument and data analysis tools for Planck. More recently the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) delivered detector units for the UVIT instrument on board the Indian Space Research Organisation's (ISRO) ASTROSAT. The CSA's most important contribution to a space astronomy mission to date is the Fine Guidance Senor (FGS) and Near Infrared Imager and Slitless Spectrograph (NIRISS) instrument to NASA's James Webb Space Telescope. The CSA is currently building the laser metrology system for JAXA's ASTRO-H hard X-ray telescope. Canadian astronomers contributed to several high profile stratospheric balloon projects investigating the CMB and the CSA recently established a balloon launch facility. As expressed in Canada's new Space Policy Framework announced in February 2014, Canada remains committed to future space exploration endeavors. The policy aims at ensure that Canada is a sought-after partner in the international space exploration missions that serve Canada's national interests; and continuing to invest in the development of Canadian contributions in the form of advanced systems and optical instruments. In the longer term, through consultations and in keeping the Canadian astronomical community's proposed Long Range Plan, the CSA is exploring possibilities to contributions to important missions such as WFIRST, SPICA and Athena

  11. Improving Astronomy Achievement and Attitude through Astronomy Summer Project: A Design, Implementation and Assessment

    Türk, Cumhur; Kalkan, Hüseyin; Iskeleli', Nazan Ocak; Kiroglu, Kasim


    The purpose of this study is to examine the effects of an astronomy summer project implemented in different learning activities on elementary school students, pre-service elementary teachers and in-service teachers' astronomy achievement and their attitudes to astronomy field. This study is the result of a five-day, three-stage, science school,…

  12. The Relationship between Preservice Science Teachers' Attitude toward Astronomy and Their Understanding of Basic Astronomy Concepts

    Bektasli, Behzat


    Turkish preservice science teachers have been taking a two-credit astronomy class during the last semester of their undergraduate program since 2010. The current study aims to investigate the relationship between preservice science teachers' astronomy misconceptions and their attitudes toward astronomy. Preservice science teachers were given an…

  13. The Unified Astronomy Thesaurus: Semantic Metadata for Astronomy and Astrophysics

    Frey, Katie; Accomazzi, Alberto


    Several controlled vocabularies have been developed and used by the astronomical community, each designed to serve a specific need and a specific group. The Unified Astronomy Thesaurus (UAT) attempts to provide a highly structured controlled vocabulary that will be relevant and useful across the entire discipline, regardless of content or platform. Because classifying articles and data will be the two major functions of the UAT, we examine the UAT in comparison with the Astronomical Subject Keywords used by major publications and the JWST Science Keywords used by STScI’s Astronomer’s Proposal Tool.

  14. A New Online Astronomy Resource for Education and Outreach

    Impey, C. D.; Hardegree-Ullman, K. K.; Patikkal, A.; Srinathan, A.; Austin, C. L.; Ganesan, N. K.; Guvenen, B. C.


    A new web site called "Teach Astronomy" ( has been created to serve astronomy instructors and their students, amateur astronomers, and members of the public interested in astronomy. The

  15. Music and Astronomy Under the Stars 2009

    Lubowich, D.


    Bring telescopes to where the people are! Music and Astronomy Under the Stars is a three-year NASA-funded astronomy outreach program at community parks during and after music concerts and outdoor family events—such as a Halloween Stars-Spooky Garden Walk. While there have been many astronomy outreach activities and telescope observations at city sidewalks and parks, this program targets a completely different audience: music lovers who are attending summer concerts held in community parks. These music lovers who may never have visited a science museum, planetarium, or star party are exposed to telescope observations and astronomy information with no additional travel costs. Music and Astronomy Under the Stars increased awareness, engagement, and interest in astronomy at classical, pop, rock, and ethnic music concerts. This program includes solar observing before the concerts, telescope observations including a live image projection system, an astronomical video presentation, and astronomy banners/posters. Approximately 500-16,000 people attended each event and 25% to 50% of the people at each event participated in the astronomy program. This program also reached underrepresented and underserved groups (women, minorities, older adults). The target audience (Nassau and Suffolk Counties, New York) is 2,900,000 people, which is larger than combined population of Atlanta, Boston, Denver, Minneapolis, and San Francisco. Although eleven events were planned in 2009, two were canceled due to rain and our largest event, the NY Philharmonic in the Park (attended by 67,000 people in 2008), was cancelled for financial reasons. Our largest event in 2009 was the Tanglewood Music Festival, Lenox MA, attended by 16,000 people where over 5000 people participated in astronomy activities. The Amateur Observers' Society of New York assisted with the NY concerts and the Springfield STARS astronomy club assisted at Tanglewood. In 2009 over 15,000 people participated in astronomy

  16. Third-World Astronomy Network

    Narlikar, Jayant V.

    Several developing countries of the Third World have been actively interested in astronomy, as is evidenced by the membership of the IAU. The enthusiasm of individual astronomers from these countries is, however, not matched by the resources available to them to pursue their interest in astronomy, in teaching as well as research, at an above-threshold level. Major problems requiring solutions are (I) isolation from the mainstream work, which leads to research work which is not quite relevant or realistic, and to teaching based on outdated knowledge; (II) lack of financial resources, leading to shortage of books and journals in the library, insufficient computing power, out-of-date instruments, as well as inability to participate in essential activities like schools, workshops, and major international conferences and symposia; and (III) lack of handson experience with state-of-the-art instrumentation that often leads to good scientists being turned away from astronomical observations towards abstract theories. Experience of the International Centre for Theoretical Physics at Trieste, Italy and of the inter-university centres in India, like the IUCAA at Pune, has shown that limited resources can be made to go a long way by sharing, networking and intelligent use of communications technology. Based on the above experience, this proposal envisages setting up a Third World Astronomy Network (TWAN) under the auspices of the IAU, within the wider ICSU-umbrella with support from the UNESCO as well as participating nations. The TWAN will operate with a few key institutions as local nodal points of a wide network. The objectives of the proposed TWAN and the role of the Nodal Institutions (NIs) are spelled out in this proposal, along with the budgetary support required.

  17. Fallacies in astronomy and medicine

    Salpeter, Edwin E


    Both in astronomy and in medicine research, fallacies occur occasionally. Sometimes these fallacies are due to 'subconscious cheating' or the 'file drawer effect' (filing away unfavourable results instead of publishing), but it is difficult to know whether a fallacy has occurred and, if so, why. I give two examples from the past where, in my opinion, fallacies have occurred: a quadratic distance-redshift law and a periodicity in galaxy pair redshift differences. I then discuss the current quasi steady state cosmology, which is very unorthodox but it is not yet clear if fallacies have occurred. I finish with examples from medicine research, where fallacies are particularly troublesome and some countermeasures are attempted

  18. The handy astronomy answer book

    Liu, PhD, Charles


    From planetary movements and the exploration of our solar system to black holes and dark matter, this comprehensive reference simplifies all aspects of astronomy with an approachable question-and-answer format. With chapters broken into various astronomical studies—including the universe, galaxies, planets, and space exploration—this fully updated resource is an ideal companion for students, teachers, and amateur astronomers, answering more than 1,000 questions, such as Is the universe infinite? What would happen to you if you fell onto a black hole? What are the basic concepts of Einstein's special theory of relativity? and Who was the first person in space?.

  19. CD-ROMs in Astronomy

    Robertson, K.

    The CD-ROM has become a major data storage medium in astronomy. The release of the Digitized Sky Survey is the most recent example of this phenomena. I will summarize the large scale jukebox technologies available for making the DSS available over LANs (Local Area Networks). I will also give an overview of the developments in disciplines such as medicine, chemistry and business, where CD-ROMs have been used to distribute the full text of journals. These factors may give us insights into the future role of CD-ROMs.

  20. Astronomy Map of the World

    Veras, D.


    I have created an online clickable and zoom-enabled world map - now viewed over 5,400 times - that contains weblinks to institutions where astronomy is either researched professionally and / or and taught in classrooms at the university level. Not included are stand-alone museums, planetariums, amateur astronomical societies, virtual institutes, nor observatories which do not fulfill this criteria. One can click on a marker to access the relevant institute. The map currently contains 697 institutes, and has multiple potential uses for undergraduate students, graduate students, postdocs, faculty and journal editors.

  1. The Hartebeeshoek Radio Astronomy Observatory

    Nicolson, G.D.


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

  2. Calibration of the cameras of the H.E.S.S. {gamma}-ray astronomy experiment and observations of the Galactic Centre above 100 GeV; Etalonnage des cameras de l'experience d'astronomie {gamma} H.E.S.S. et observations du centre galactique au-dela de 100 GeV

    Rolland, L


    The H.E.S.S. experiment (High Energy Stereoscopic System) consists of four imaging atmospheric Cherenkov telescopes to study the southern astrophysical sources above 100 GeV. This thesis presents the detector as well as the analysis chain. The calibration methods are described in details and the systematic errors on the image amplitude are derived. Then, an analysis based on a semi-analytical model of the electromagnetic shower development in the atmosphere is presented. Tools to reconstruct the energy spectrum and the morphology of the very high energy {gamma}-ray sources are presented and applied to the Crab Nebula. Systematic errors associated to the spectrum analysis are estimated. All these techniques were applied to study the Galactic Centre emission above 100 GeV. The nature of the source detected in 2003 and 2004 observations is still unknown and its spectrum, variability and morphology are studied. Various candidates are proposed, among them the supermassive black hole Sgr A* located at the dynamical centre of the Milky Way, the supernova remnant Sgr A Est or interactions of accelerated particles with the dense medium of this region. In this thesis, the signal was interpreted in terms of dark matter annihilation (neutralinos or Kaluza-Klein bosons) in a dense halo located at the Galactic Centre. This analysis showed that, in the framework of these models, dark matter annihilation alone can not explain the H.E.S.S. signal. The main component would thus come from astrophysical sources. (author)

  3. Gamma astronomy above 30 GeV. A new method for identifying cosmic gamma rays from the ground based detector Celeste; Astronomie gamma au-dessus de 30 GeV. Une nouvelle methode d'identification des rayons gamma cosmiques a partir du sol avec le detecteur CELESTE

    Manseri, H


    Celeste is an atmospheric Cherenkov telescope based on the reconversion of the Themis solar facility, located in the Eastern Pyrenees. The mirrors, named heliostats, recover the Cherenkov light emitted by the electromagnetic shower created by gamma-rays in the atmosphere. The Celeste experiment was designed during the 90's to cover the 30-300 GeV energy range and to fill the gap between satellites and imaging atmospheric Cherenkov telescopes. In 2000, we attained our goal with the detection of the Crab Nebula and those of the active galactic nucleus Markarian 421. This thesis presents the work accomplished since then to improve the sensitivity of our instrument by studying the detector and by developing a new analysis. Despite the very bad weather conditions, a new detection of the Crab Nebula is presented here which validates the principle of the new analysis. This manuscript ends with the study of the data sample taken on two Active Galactic Nuclei, the blazars Markarian 421 and 1ES1426+428. (author)

  4. Women in Physics and Astronomy in the U.S.

    Ivie, Rachel


    I presented results from the AIP report, Women in Physics and Astronomy, 2005 (R. Ivie and K. Nies Ray, AIP Publication Number R-430.02,, which was funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Compared with other scientific fields, women are very underrepresented in physics, although their representation has increased in the last 30 years. By 2003, women earned 18% of the physics degrees in the United States, which is a record high. In 2003, women earned 26% of the PhDs in astronomy. However, minority women (African-American and Hispanic) receive very few physics and astronomy degrees in the U.S. Also troubling is the salary gap between men's and women's salaries in physics and related fields. Even within the same employment sector and controlling for years since degree, women earn 5% less than men. The percentage of newly hired part-time faculty who are women is higher than the percentages hired into tenured and tenure-track positions. Many women take physics in high school, but a smaller percentage take the Advanced Placement physics exams, and an even smaller percentage earn physics bachelor's degrees. However, once women have earned a bachelor's degree in physics, they are able to persist in academic careers. In fact, our data show that women are represented on physics and astronomy faculties at about the rates we would expect given degree production in the past. Finally, women's representation in physics varies across countries, documenting the influence of social and cultural factors on the representation of women in science.

  5. Astronomy Education in Morocco - New Project for Implementing Astronomy in High Schools

    Darhmaoui, H.; Loudiyi, K.


    Astronomy education in Morocco, like in many developing countries, is not well developed and lacks the very basics in terms of resources, facilities and research. In 2004, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) signed an agreement of collaboration with Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane to support the continued, long-term development of astronomy and astrophysics in Morocco. This is within the IAU program "Teaching for Astronomy Development" (TAD). The initial focus of the program concentrated exclusively on the University's Bachelor of Science degree program. Within this program, and during two years, we were successful in providing adequate astronomy training to our physics faculty and few of our engineering students. We also offered our students and community general astronomy background through courses, invited talks and extra curricular activities. The project is now evolving towards a wider scope and seeks promoting astronomy education at the high school level. It is based on modules from the Hands on Universe (HOU) interactive astronomy program. Moroccan students will engage in doing observational astronomy from their PCs. They will have access to a world wide network of telescopes and will interact with their peers abroad. Through implementing astronomy education at this lower age, we foresee an increasing interest among our youth not only in astronomy but also in physics, mathematics, and technology. The limited astronomy resources, the lack of teachers experience in the field and the language barrier are amongst the difficulties that we'll be facing in achieving the objectives of this new program.

  6. Teach Astronomy: An Online Textbook for Introductory Astronomy Courses and Resources for Informal Learners

    Hardegree-Ullman, Kevin; Impey, C. D.; Patikkal, A.


    This year we implemented Teach Astronomy ( as a free online resource to be used as a teaching tool for non-science major astronomy courses and for a general audience interested in the subject. The comprehensive content includes: an introductory astronomy text book by Chris Impey, astronomy articles on Wikipedia, images from the Astronomy Picture of the Day, two to three minute topical video clips by Chris Impey, podcasts from 365 Days of Astronomy, and astronomy news from Science Daily. Teach Astronomy utilizes a novel technology to cluster, display, and navigate search results, called a Wikimap. Steep increases in textbook prices and the unique capabilities of emerging web technology motivated the development of this free online resource. Recent additions to Teach Astronomy include: images and diagrams for the textbook articles, mobile device implementation, and suggested homework assignments for instructors that utilize recent discoveries in astronomy. We present an overview of how Teach Astronomy has been implemented for use in the classroom and informal settings, and suggestions for utilizing the rich content and features of the web site.

  7. The cost of publishing in Danish astronomy

    Dorch, Bertil F.

    I investigate the cost of publishing in Danish astronomy on a fine scale, including all direct publication costs: The figures show how the annual number of publications with authors from Denmark in astronomy journals increased by a factor approximately four during 15 years (Elsevier’s Scopus...... database), and the increase of the corresponding potential (maximum) cost of publishing....

  8. Julia and Python in Astronomy: Better Together

    Barbary, Kyle


    Astronomers love Python because it is open source, easy to learn, and has a tremendous ecosystem for scientific computing. The Julia programming language has many of those same characteristics. In this talk, I discuss Julia, its use in astronomy and the growing ecosystem of astronomy packages, particularly those managed by the JuliaAstro organization (

  9. Some Daytime Activities in Solar Astronomy

    Burin, Michael J.


    This century's transits of Venus (2004, 2012) captured significant public attention, reminding us that the wonders of astronomy need not be confined to the night. And while nighttime telescope viewing gatherings (a.k.a. "star parties") are perennially popular, astronomy classes are typically held in the daytime. The logistics of…

  10. Resources for Teaching Astronomy in UK Schools

    Roche, Paul; Newsam, Andy; Roberts, Sarah; Mason, Tom; Baruch, John


    This article looks at a selection of resources currently available for use in the teaching of astronomy in UK schools. It is by no means an exhaustive list but it highlights a variety of free resources that can be used in the classroom to help engage students of all ages with astronomy and space science. It also lists several facilities with a…

  11. Student Comprehension of Mathematics through Astronomy

    Search, Robert


    The purpose of this study is to examine how knowledge of astronomy can enhance college-level learning situations involving mathematics. The fundamental symbiosis between mathematics and astronomy was established early in the 17th century when Johannes Kepler deduced the 3 basic laws of planetary motion. This mutually harmonious relationship…

  12. Preservice Science Teachers' Beliefs about Astronomy Concepts

    Ozkan, Gulbin; Akcay, Hakan


    The purpose of this study was to investigate preservice science teachers' conceptual understanding of astronomy concepts. Qualitative research methods were used. The sample consists of 118 preservice science teachers (40 freshmen, 31 sophomores, and 47 juniors). The data were collected with Astronomy Conceptual Questionnaire (ACQ) that includes 13…

  13. Encouraging Student Participation in Large Astronomy Courses

    Willoughby, Shannon D.


    Introductory astronomy is one of the most widely taught classes in the country and the majority of the students who take these classes are non-science majors. Because this demographic of students makes up the majority of astronomy enrollments, it is especially important as instructors that we do our best to make sure these students don't finish…

  14. The future of astronomy in Australia

    Sadler, Elaine M.


    Australian astronomy has a bright future, thanks largely to recent government investments in major new telescopes, instruments and research centres. There are some short-term challenges as Australia's focus continues to shift from the current (mainly) national facilities for radio and optical astronomy to new multinational and global facilities.

  15. Astronomy all the time for everybody

    Grigore, Valentin


    General contextCommunicating astronomy with the public must be done all year and with all community members using all the available methods to promote the all aspects of astronomy: education, science, research, new technologies, dark-sky protection, astrophotography, mythology, astropoetry, astro arts and music.An annual calendarTwo aspect must be taken in consideration when create a calendar of activity:- astronomical events (eclipses, meteor showers, comets, etc.)- international and local astronomical events: Global Astronomy Months, Astronomy Day, Globe at Night, ISAN, public activitiesCommunicating astronomy with the whole communityA description of the experience of the author organizing over 500 events in 30 years of activity including all the community members: general public, students, teachers, artists, authorities, people with disabilities, minor and adult prisoners, etc.An experience of seven years as TV producer of the astronomy TV show “Ùs and the Sky” is presented.Promotion of the activityThe relation with the mass-media is an important aspect communicating astronomy with the public.Mass-media between rating and correct information of the public.The role of the cooperation with the community in astronomy projectsA successful model: EURONEAR project

  16. Overview of lunar-based astronomy.

    Smith, H. J.

    The Moon offers both significant advantages and drawbacks for astronomy. Recognition of these characteristics can clarify the objectives toward which developments should be directed and can help to inhibit premature or excessive selling of lunar developments on the basis of astronomy.

  17. Selected topics on data analysis in astronomy

    Scarsi, L.


    The contents of this book are: General Lectures Given at the Erice II Workshop on Data Analysis in Astronomy: Fundamentals in Data Analysis in Astronomy; Computational Techniques; Evolution of Architectures for Data Processing; Hardware for Graphics and Image Display; and Data Analysis Systems

  18. Multi-Institutional Collaborative Astronomy Education Research

    Slater, T. F.; Slater, S. J.


    ASP, AAS, APS, and AAPT advocate that scientists should be engaged and acknowledged for successfully engaging in astronomy and physics education research and the scholarship of teaching because these efforts serve to improve pedagogical techniques and the evaluation of teaching. However, scientists have had the opportunity to pursue formal training in how to meaningfully engage in astronomy education research as an important scholarly endeavor. This special interest session for college and university physics and astronomy faculty, post-docs, and graduate students provided a forum to discuss the motivations, strategies, methodology, and publication routes for improving astronomy education through conducting rigorous science education research. Topics for discussion targeted the value of various education research questions, strengths and weaknesses of several different research design methodologies, strategies to successfully obtain Institutional Review Board approval to conduct education research on human subjects, and become more aware of how education research articles are created for publication in journals such as the Astronomy Education Review.

  19. Astronomers Without Borders: A Global Astronomy Community

    Simmons, M.


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

  20. Communicating astronomy with the public in Cuba

    Alvarez, O.


    Communicating astronomy with the public to produce attractive materials for a broad audience on TV is a difficult job in a third world country. One way of developing effective communication in fields like astronomy, astrophysics, and cosmology whilst connecting the professional astronomer with a majority of the people is to combine the knowledge of the scientist with the most spectacular TV production methods of first world countries: integrating, through commentary and analysis, astronomy and science into the public debate of lay citizens. Here I present my ten years of experience of presenting a TV programme devoted to general science outreach. I also comment on the progress of the construction of the new planetarium, a cultural centre for science and technology, to be opened as part of the commemoration activities for the 2009 International Year of Astronomy. It is hoped to guide the interest of the people of Cuba towards basic science and astronomy in the most populated and frequented area of the country.

  1. Design course in space astronomy

    Dean, A J; Perez-Fournon, I


    The aim of this course is to provide direct experience of collaboration with other European astronomy/space science students and to gain an insight into the establishment of ESA space science programmes. The first half of the course takes place in Southampton. The Southampton students work as a team to track a past ESA space science mission from initial conception through to final realization and operations. This is achieved through the study of the high quality documentation available in the form of ESA reports. Each student has well defined responsibilities within the team. The second half of the course takes place in Tenerife, at the University of La Laguna. Again the students are expected to complete a team study of a space science mission. This time, however, there are important differences: the study teams are now international, approximately half Southampton and half University of La Laguna students; and this time they are expected to design a completely new space astronomy mission with clearly specified scientific objectives and operational constraints

  2. Astronomy with a home computer

    Monks, Neale


    Here is a one-volume guide to just about everything computer-related for amateur astronomers! Today's amateur astronomy is inextricably linked to personal computers. Computer-controlled "go-to" telescopes are inexpensive. CCD and webcam imaging make intensive use of the technology for capturing and processing images. Planetarium software provides information and an easy interface for telescopes. The Internet offers links to other astronomers, information, and software. The list goes on and on. Find out here how to choose the best planetarium program: are commercial versions really better than freeware? Learn how to optimise a go-to telescope, or connect it to a lap-top. Discover how to choose the best webcam and use it with your telescope. Create a mosaic of the Moon, or high-resolution images of the planets... Astronomy with a Home Computer is designed for every amateur astronomer who owns a home computer, whether it is running Microsoft Windows, Mac O/S or Linux. It doesn't matter what kind of telescope you...

  3. Academic Training: Gravitational Waves Astronomy


    2006-2007 ACADEMIC TRAINING PROGRAMME LECTURE SERIES 16, 17, 18 October from 11:00 to 12:00 - Main Auditorium, bldg. 500 Gravitational Waves Astronomy M. LANDRY, LIGO Hanford Observatory, Richland, USA Gravitational wave astronomy is expected to become an observational field within the next decade. First direct detection of gravitational waves is possible with existing terrestrial-based detectors, and highly probable with proposed upgrades. In this three-part lecture series, we give an overview of the field, including material on gravitional wave sources, detection methods, some details of interferometric detectors, data analysis methods, and current results from observational data-taking runs of the LIGO and GEO projects.ENSEIGNEMENT ACADEMIQUE ACADEMIC TRAINING Françoise Benz 73127 If you wish to participate in one of the following courses, please tell to your supervisor and apply electronically from the course description pages that can be found on the Web at:

  4. Armenian Archaeoastronomy and Astronomy in Culture

    Mickaelian, Areg M.; Farmanyan, Sona V.


    A review is given on archaeoastronomy in Armenia and astronomical knowledge reflected in the Armenian culture. Astronomy in Armenia was popular since ancient times and Armenia is rich in its astronomical heritage, such as the names of the constellations, ancient observatories, Armenian rock art (numerous petroglyphs of astronomical content), ancient and medieval Armenian calendars, astronomical terms and names used in Armenian language since II-I millennia B.C., records of astronomical events by ancient Armenians (e.g. Halley's comet in 87 B.C., supernovae explosion in 1054), the astronomical heritage of the Armenian medieval great thinker Anania Shirakatsi's (612-685), medieval sky maps and astronomical devices by Ghukas (Luca) Vanandetsi (XVII-XVIII centuries) and Mkhitar Sebastatsi (1676-1749), etc. For systemization and further regular studies, we have created a webpage devoted to Armenian archaeoastronomical matters at Armenian Astronomical Society (ArAS) website. Issues on astronomy in culture include astronomy in ancient Armenian cultures, ethnoastronomy, astronomy in Armenian religion and mythology, astronomy and astrology, astronomy in folklore and poetry, astronomy in arts, astrolinguistics and astroheraldry. A similar webpage for Astronomy in Armenian Culture is being created at ArAS website and a permanent section "Archaeoastronomy and Astronomy in Culture" has been created in ArAS Electronic Newsletter. Several meetings on this topic have been organized in Armenia during 2007-2014, including the archaeoastronomical meetings in 2012 and 2014, and a number of books have been published. Several institutions are related to these studies coordinated by Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory (BAO) and researchers from the fields of astronomy, history, archaeology, literature, linguistics, etc. are involved.

  5. NASA's Great Observatories Celebrate the International Year of Astronomy


    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Click on the image for larger version In 1609, Galileo improved the newly invented telescope, turned it toward the heavens, and revolutionized our view of the universe. In celebration of the 400th anniversary of this milestone, 2009 has been designated as the International Year of Astronomy. Today, NASA's Great Observatories are continuing Galileo's legacy with stunning images and breakthrough science from the Hubble Space Telescope, the Spitzer Space Telescope, and the Chandra X-ray Observatory. While Galileo observed the sky using visible light seen by the human eye, technology now allows us to observe in many wavelengths, including Spitzer's infrared view and Chandra's view in X-rays. Each wavelength region shows different aspects of celestial objects and often reveals new objects that could not otherwise be studied. This image of the spiral galaxy Messier 101 is a composite of views from Spitzer, Hubble, and Chandra. The red color shows Spitzer's view in infrared light. It highlights the heat emitted by dust lanes in the galaxy where stars can form. The yellow color is Hubble's view in visible light. Most of this light comes from stars, and they trace the same spiral structure as the dust lanes. The blue color shows Chandra's view in X-ray light. Sources of X-rays include million-degree gas, exploded stars, and material colliding around black holes. Such composite images allow astronomers to see how features seen in one wavelength match up with those seen in another wavelength. It's like seeing with a camera, night vision goggles, and X-ray vision all at once. In the four centuries since Galileo, astronomy has changed dramatically. Yet our curiosity and quest for knowledge remain the same. So, too, does our wonder at the splendor of the universe. The International Year of Astronomy Great Observatories Image Unveiling is supported by the NASA Science Mission Directorate Astrophysics Division. The project is a

  6. High-Energy Spectroscopic Astrophysics Swiss Society for Astrophysics and Astronomy

    Kahn, Steven M; von Ballmoos, Peter


    After three decades of intense research in X-ray and gamma-ray astronomy, the time was ripe to summarize basic knowledge on X-ray and gamma-ray spectroscopy for interested students and researchers ready to become involved in new high-energy missions. This volume exposes both the scientific basics and modern methods of high-energy spectroscopic astrophysics. The emphasis is on physical principles and observing methods rather than a discussion of particular classes of high-energy objects, but many examples and new results are included in the three chapters as well.

  7. The Large Observatory for X-ray Timing (LOFT)

    Feroci, M.; Stella, L.; van der Klis, M.; Courvoisier, T. J.-L.; Hernanz, M.; Hudec, René; Bursa, Michal; Dovčiak, Michal; Horák, Jiří; Karas, Vladimír


    Roč. 34, č. 2 (2012), s. 415-444 ISSN 0922-6435 Grant - others:ESA(XE) ESA-PECS project No. 98040 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z10030501 Keywords : X-ray astronomy Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics Impact factor: 2.969, year: 2012

  8. The Terzan 2 Cluster Taken by the High Energy Astronomy Observatory (HEAO)-2


    The dramatic change in x-ray emission from the Terzan 2 cluster is shown in this series of 2.5-minute exposures taken with the High Energy Astronomy Observatory (HEAO)-2/Einstein Observatory immediately before, during, and after the burst. Total exposure (20 minutes) of the object, including the outburst, is shown in the fourth photograph. These images represent the first observation of an x-ray burst in progress. The actual burst lasted 50 seconds. Among the rarest, and most bizarre, phenomena observed by x-ray astronomers are the so-called cosmic bursters (x-ray sources that suddenly and dramatically increase in intensity then subside). These sudden bursts of intense x-ray radiation apparently come from compact objects with a diameter smaller than 30 miles (48 kilometers). Yet, despite their minuscule size, a typical x-ray burster can release more x-ray energy in a single brief burst than our Sun does in an entire week. The HEAO-2, the first imaging and largest x-ray telescope built to date, was capable of producing actual photographs of x-ray objects. Shortly after launch, the HEAO-2 was nicknamed the Einstein Observatory by its scientific experimenters in honor of the centernial of the birth of Albert Einstein, whose concepts of relativity and gravitation have influenced much of modern astrophysics, particularly x-ray astronomy. The HEAO was designed and developed by TRW, Inc. under the project management of the Marshall Space Flight Center.

  9. Teach Astronomy: An Online Resource for Introductory Astronomy Courses and Informal Learners

    Austin, Carmen; Impey, C. D.; Hardegree-Ullman, K.; Patikkal, A.; Ganesan, N.


    Teach Astronomy ( is a new, free online resource—a teaching tool for non-science major astronomy courses and a reference guide for lifelong learners interested in the subject. Digital content available includes: a comprehensive introductory astronomy textbook by Chris Impey, Wikipedia astronomy articles, images from Astronomy Picture of the Day archives and AstroPix database, two to three minute topical video clips by Chris Impey, podcasts from 365 Days of Astronomy archives, and an RSS feed of astronomy news from Science Daily. Teach Astronomy features an original technology called the Wikimap to cluster, display, and navigate site search results. Motivation behind the development of Teach Astronomy includes steep increases in textbook prices, the rapid adoption by students and the public of digital resources, and the modern capabilities of digital technology. Recent additions to Teach Astronomy include: AstroPix images—from some of the most advanced observatories and complete with metadata, mobile device functionality, links to WikiSky where users can see the location of astronomical objects in the sky, and end of chapter textbook review questions. Next in line for development are assignments for classroom use. We present suggestions for utilizing the rich content and features of the web site.

  10. Philippine Astronomy Convention 2009 Abstract: Program Offerings in Astronomy in the Philippines

    Torres, J. R. F.


    The formal academic programs in Astronomy of the Rizal Technological University are the first such programs in the Philippines. The Master of Science in Astronomy program is envisioned to provide the student with a wide range of knowledge in many areas of Astronomy, leaning towards the descriptive aspects of knowledge. The student will choose the field or research most suitable to his or her interests. Three of these researches done while enrolled in the program, and even researches completed before the student actually enrolled in the program, may be considered as his or her thesis. The program suits professionals in all persuasions who wish to study Astronomy either for professional advancement or plainly for the love of the science or for intellectual satisfaction. Non-science majors can enroll. In 2008, the RTU Graduate School decided to ladderize the MS program and the Graduate Diploma in Astronomy was designed. This program is suited for science educators, astronomy lecturers and entrepreneurs, members of astronomical societies, and plain astronomy enthusiasts who like to gain in-depth knowledge in the most important aspects of astronomy. A bachelor's degree in any field is required. The program can be finished in two semesters and one summer. If the student opts to continue in the MS in Astronomy program, all the courses he or she has earned in the Diploma will be credited. The Bachelor of Science in Astronomy Technology is an intensive baccalaureate degree program designed to prepare students to become future research scientists and technologists in the field of Astronomy. The BS in Astronomy Technology is a cross-fertilized program, integrating interrelated sciences, such as engineering, geology, remote sensing, physics, atmospheric and environmental science, biology and biochemistry, and even philosophy and entrepreneurship into the study. Thus, the B.S. in Astronomy Technology program gives the student excellent job opportunities in many fields.

  11. NASA Airborne Astronomy Ambassadors (AAA)

    Backman, D. E.; Harman, P. K.; Clark, C.


    NASA's Airborne Astronomy Ambassadors (AAA) is a three-part professional development (PD) program for high school physics and astronomy teachers. The AAA experience consists of: (1) blended-learning professional development composed of webinars, asynchronous content learning, and a series of hands-on workshops (2) a STEM immersion experience at NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center's B703 science research aircraft facility in Palmdale, California, and (3) ongoing participation in the AAA community of practice (CoP) connecting participants with astrophysics and planetary science Subject Matter Experts (SMEs). The SETI Institute (SI) is partnering with school districts in Santa Clara and Los Angeles Counties during the AAA program's "incubation" period, calendar years 2016 through 2018. AAAs will be selected by the school districts based on criteria developed during spring 2016 focus group meetings led by the program's external evaluator, WestEd.. Teachers with 3+ years teaching experience who are assigned to teach at least 2 sections in any combination of the high school courses Physics (non-AP), Physics of the Universe (California integrated model), Astronomy, or Earth & Space Sciences are eligible. Partner districts will select at least 48 eligible applicants with SI oversight. WestEd will randomly assign selected AAAs to group A or group B. Group A will complete PD in January - June of 2017 and then participate in SOFIA science flights during fall 2017 (SOFIA Cycle 5). Group B will act as a control during the 2017-18 school year. Group B will then complete PD in January - June of 2018 and participate in SOFIA science flights in fall 2018 (Cycle 6). Under the current plan, opportunities for additional districts to seek AAA partnerships with SI will be offered in 2018 or 2019. A nominal two-week AAA curriculum component will be developed by SI for classroom delivery that will be aligned with selected California Draft Science Framework Disciplinary Core Ideas

  12. Music and Astronomy Under the Stars

    Lubowich, D.


    Bring telescope to where the people are! Music and Astronomy Under the Stars is a public astronomy outreach program at community parks during and after free summer music concerts and outdoor movie nights. This project also includes daytime activities because there are some afternoon concerts and daylight children's concerts, and observations using remotely operated telescopes in cloudy weather. While there have been many astronomy outreach activities and telescope observations at city sidewalks and parks, this program targets a completely different audience---music lovers who are attending free summer concerts held in community parks. The music lovers who may never have visited a science museum, planetarium, or star party will be exposed to telescope observations and astronomy information with no additional travel costs. This program will permit the entire community to participate in telescope observations and view astronomical video information to enhance the public appreciation of astronomy. This program will also reach underrepresented and underserved groups (women, minorities, older adults). The population base for the initial target audience (Nassau and Suffolk Counties, New York) is 2,500,000. My partners are the Amateur Observers' Society of New York (AOS) and the Towns of Oyster Bay, Hempstead, North Hempstead, and Huntington. Music and Astronomy Under the Stars is program that should continue beyond the International Year of Astronomy 2009 (IYA2009) and can be expanded into a national program.

  13. Interactive Materials In The Teaching Of Astronomy

    Macêdo, J. A.; Voelzke, M. R.


    This study presents results of a survey conducted at the Federal Institution of Education, Science and Technology in the North of Minas Gerais (IFNMG), and aimed to investigate the potentialities of the use of interactive materials in the teaching of astronomy. An advanced training course with involved learning activities about basic concepts of astronomy was offered to thirty-two Licenciate students in Physics, Mathematics and Biological Science. The following steps were to be taken: i) analysis of the pedagogical projects (PPC) of the licenciates at the IFNMG, research locus of its Campus Januária; ii) analysis of students' preconceptions about astronomy and digital technologies, identified by the application of an initial questionnaire; iii) preparation of the course taking into account the students' previous knowledge; iv) application of the education proposal developed under part-time presence modality, using various interactive tools; v) application and analysis of the final questionnaire. The test was conducted with the qualitative and quantitative methodology, combined with a content analysis. The results indicated that in the IFNMG only the licenciate-course in physics includes astronomy content diluted in various subjects of the curriculum; the rates of students prior knowledge in relation to astronomy was low; an evidence of meaningful learning of the concepts related to astronomy, and of viability of resource use involving digital technologies in the Teaching of astronomy, which may contribute to the broadening of methodological options of future teachers and meet their training needs.

  14. A Brief History of Publishing Papers on Astronomy Education Research

    Fraknoi, Andrew


    While some research had been done on K-12 and planetarium astronomy teaching from the 1930's to the 1980's, the growth of research on college physics education offered astronomy education researchers a model for examining techniques for teaching introductory college astronomy survey "Astronomy 101" courses as well. This early research…

  15. Women's and Men's Career Choices in Astronomy and Astrophysics

    Ivie, Rachel; White, Susan; Chu, Raymond Y.


    The Longitudinal Study of Astronomy Graduate Students (LSAGS) arose from the 2003 Women in Astronomy Conference, where it was noted that a majority of young members of the American Astronomical Society were women. The astronomy community wishes to make every effort to retain young women in astronomy, so they commissioned a longitudinal study to be…

  16. Astronomy for teachers: A South African Perspective

    de Witt, Aletha; West, Marion; Leeuw, Lerothodi; Gouws, Eldrie


    South Africa has nominated Astronomy as a “flagship science” and aims to be an international Astronomy hub through projects such as the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) and the South African Large Telescope (SALT). These projects open up career opportunities in maths, science and engineering and therefore offers a very real door for learners to enter into careers in science and technology through Astronomy. However, the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Survey (TIMSS), the Global Competitiveness Report (GCR) and Annual National Assessment (ANA) have highlighted that South Africa’s Science and Mathematics education is in a critical condition and that South African learners score amongst the worst in the world in both these subjects. In South Africa Astronomy is generally regarded as the worst taught and most avoided Natural Science knowledge strand, and most teachers that specialised in Natural Sciences, never covered Astronomy in their training.In order to address these issues a collaborative project between the University of South Africa (UNISA) and the Hartebeesthoek Radio Astronomy Observatory (HartRAO) was initiated, which aims to assist teachers to gain more knowledge and skills so that they can teach Astronomy with confidence. By collaborating we aim to ensure that the level of astronomy development will be raised in both South Africa and the rest of Africa.With the focus on Teaching and Learning, the research was conducted within a quantitative paradigm and 600 structured questionnaires were administered to Natural Science teachers in Public primary schools in Gauteng, South Africa. This paper reports the findings of this research and makes recommendations on how to assist teachers to teach Astronomy with confidence.

  17. Galactic Astronomy in the Ultraviolet

    Rastorguev, A. S.; Sachkov, M. E.; Zabolotskikh, M. V.


    We propose a number of prospective observational programs for the ultraviolet space observatory WSO-UV, which seem to be of great importance to modern galactic astronomy. The programs include the search for binary Cepheids; the search and detailed photometric study and the analysis of radial distribution of UV-bright stars in globular clusters ("blue stragglers", blue horizontal-branch stars, RR Lyrae variables, white dwarfs, and stars with UV excesses); the investigation of stellar content and kinematics of young open clusters and associations; the study of spectral energy distribution in hot stars, including calculation of the extinction curves in the UV, optical and NIR; and accurate definition of the relations between the UV-colors and effective temperature. The high angular resolution of the observatory allows accurate astrometric measurements of stellar proper motions and their kinematic analysis.

  18. Astronomy in the Digital Universe

    Haisch, Bernard M.; Lindblom, J.; Terzian, Y.


    The Digital Universe is an Internet project whose mission is to provide free, accurate, unbiased information covering all aspects of human knowledge, and to inspire humans to learn, make use of, and expand this knowledge. It is planned to be a decades long effort, inspired by the Encyclopedia Galactica concept popularized by Carl Sagan, and is being developed by the non-profit Digital Universe Foundation. A worldwide network of experts is responsible for selecting content featured within the Digital Universe. The first publicly available content is the Encyclopedia of Earth, a Boston University project headed by Prof. Cutler Cleveland, which will be part of the Earth Portal. The second major content area will be an analogous Encyclopedia of the Cosmos to be part of the Cosmos Portal. It is anticipated that this will evolve into a major resource for astronomy education. Authors and topic editors are now being recruited for the Encyclopedia of the Cosmos.

  19. Tides in astronomy and astrophysics

    Mathis, Stéphane; Tokieda, Tadashi


    Based on the lecture notes of a school titled ‘Tides in Astronomy and Astrophysics’ that brought together students and researchers, this book focuses on the fundamental theories of tides at different scales of the universe—from tiny satellites to whole galaxies—and on the most recent developments. It also attempts to place the study of tides in a historical perspective. Starting with a general tutorial on tides, the theme of tides is approached in 9 chapters from many directions. They allow non-experts to pick up a physical intuition and a sense of orders of magnitude in the theory of tides. These carefully prepared lecture notes by leaders in the field include many illustrative figures and drawings. Some even offer a variety of simple back-of the-envelope problems.

  20. Linear regression in astronomy. II

    Feigelson, Eric D.; Babu, Gutti J.


    A wide variety of least-squares linear regression procedures used in observational astronomy, particularly investigations of the cosmic distance scale, are presented and discussed. The classes of linear models considered are (1) unweighted regression lines, with bootstrap and jackknife resampling; (2) regression solutions when measurement error, in one or both variables, dominates the scatter; (3) methods to apply a calibration line to new data; (4) truncated regression models, which apply to flux-limited data sets; and (5) censored regression models, which apply when nondetections are present. For the calibration problem we develop two new procedures: a formula for the intercept offset between two parallel data sets, which propagates slope errors from one regression to the other; and a generalization of the Working-Hotelling confidence bands to nonstandard least-squares lines. They can provide improved error analysis for Faber-Jackson, Tully-Fisher, and similar cosmic distance scale relations.

  1. Linear regression in astronomy. I

    Isobe, Takashi; Feigelson, Eric D.; Akritas, Michael G.; Babu, Gutti Jogesh


    Five methods for obtaining linear regression fits to bivariate data with unknown or insignificant measurement errors are discussed: ordinary least-squares (OLS) regression of Y on X, OLS regression of X on Y, the bisector of the two OLS lines, orthogonal regression, and 'reduced major-axis' regression. These methods have been used by various researchers in observational astronomy, most importantly in cosmic distance scale applications. Formulas for calculating the slope and intercept coefficients and their uncertainties are given for all the methods, including a new general form of the OLS variance estimates. The accuracy of the formulas was confirmed using numerical simulations. The applicability of the procedures is discussed with respect to their mathematical properties, the nature of the astronomical data under consideration, and the scientific purpose of the regression. It is found that, for problems needing symmetrical treatment of the variables, the OLS bisector performs significantly better than orthogonal or reduced major-axis regression.

  2. Quantitative Activities for Introductory Astronomy

    Keohane, Jonathan W.; Bartlett, J. L.; Foy, J. P.


    We present a collection of short lecture-tutorial (or homework) activities, designed to be both quantitative and accessible to the introductory astronomy student. Each of these involves interpreting some real data, solving a problem using ratios and proportionalities, and making a conclusion based on the calculation. Selected titles include: "The Mass of Neptune” "The Temperature on Titan” "Rocks in the Early Solar System” "Comets Hitting Planets” "Ages of Meteorites” "How Flat are Saturn's Rings?” "Tides of the Sun and Moon on the Earth” "The Gliese 581 Solar System"; "Buckets in the Rain” "How Hot, Bright and Big is Betelgeuse?” "Bombs and the Sun” "What Forms Stars?” "Lifetimes of Cars and Stars” "The Mass of the Milky” "How Old is the Universe?” "Is The Universe Speeding up or Slowing Down?"

  3. Infrared Astronomy and Star Formation

    Evans, N.J.


    Infrared astronomy is a natural tool to use in studying star formation because infrared light penetrates the surrounding dust and because protostars are expected to emit infrared light. Infrared mapping and photometry have revealed many compact sources, often embedded in more extensive warm dust associated with a molecular cloud core. More detailed study of these objects is now beginning, and traditional interpretations are being questioned. Some compact sources are now thought to be density enhancements which are not self-luminous. Infrared excesses around young stars may not always be caused by circumstellar dust; speckle measurements have shown that at least some of the excess toward T Tauri is caused by an infrared companion. Spectroscopic studies of the dense, star-forming cores and of the compact objects themselves have uncovered a wealth of new phenomena, including the widespread occurence of energetic outflows. New discoveries with IRAS and with other planned infrared telescopes will continue to advance this field. (author)

  4. Mac OS X for Astronomy

    Pierfederici, F.; Pirzkal, N.; Hook, R. N.

    Mac OS X is the new Unix based version of the Macintosh operating system. It combines a high performance DisplayPDF user interface with a standard BSD UNIX subsystem and provides users with simultaneous access to a broad range of applications which were not previously available on a single system such as Microsoft Office and Adobe Photoshop, as well as legacy X11-based scientific tools and packages like IRAF, SuperMongo, MIDAS, etc. The combination of a modern GUI layered on top of a familiar UNIX environment paves the way for new, more flexible and powerful astronomical tools to be developed while assuring compatibility with already existing, older programs. In this paper, we outline the strengths of the Mac OS X platform in a scientific environment, astronomy in particular, and point to the numerous astronomical software packages available for this platform; most notably the Scisoft collection which we have compiled.

  5. L'astronomie des Anciens

    Nazé, Yaël


    Quelle que soit la civilisation à laquelle il appartient, l'être humain cherche dans le ciel des réponses aux questions qu'il se pose sur son origine, son avenir et sa finalité. Le premier mérite de ce livre est de nous rappeler que l'astronomie a commencé ainsi à travers les mythes célestes imaginés par les Anciens pour expliquer l'ordre du monde et la place qu'ils y occupaient. Mais les savoirs astronomiques passés étaient loin d'être négligeables et certainement pas limités aux seuls travaux des Grecs : c'est ce que l'auteur montre à travers une passionnante enquête, de Stonehenge à Gizeh en passant par Pékin et Mexico, fondée sur l'étude des monuments anciens et des sources écrites encore accessibles. Les tablettes mésopotamiennes, les annales chinoises, les chroniques médiévales, etc. sont en outre d'une singulière utilité pour les astronomes modernes : comment sinon remonter aux variations de la durée du jour au cours des siècles, ou percer la nature de l'explosion qui a frappé tant d'observateurs en 1054 ? Ce livre offre un voyage magnifiquement illustré à travers les âges, entre astronomie et archéologie.

  6. Astronomy Education: a Challenge for Contemporary Education

    Metaxa, M.


    Tales around the World give visibility to local, national and international fundamental connection that always existed between people and the night sky that means Astronomy. In this paper we discuss and analyze further the role of Astronomy Education for achieving an integrated concept of education, one that enables individuals to adapt to a rapidly changing social, economic and cultural environment, and to continue to learn throughout life. It is no longer enough to learn how to read, write and count. We also discuss and present initiatives undertaken in the context of various national, and international educational projects in Greece as best practices on how Astronomy Education can actually reinforce the Contemporary Education.

  7. HF Radio Astronomy from a Small Satellite


    SSC16-XI-03 HF Radio Astronomy from a Small Satellite Frank C. Robey1, Mary Knapp2, Alan J. Fenn1, Mark Silver1, Kerry Johnson1 Frank J. Lind3...frequency end of the electromagnetic spectrum (below 15 MHz) is one of the least explored windows in observational astronomy . Observations at these...pdf. [Accessed: 17-Oct-2015]. 3. G. Hallinan, “The Owens Valley LWA,” in Exascale Radio Astronomy , 2014, vol. 2. 4. C. J. Lonsdale, R. J. Cappallo

  8. Reflections on the astronomy of Glasgow

    Clarke, David


    How Astronomy contributed to the educational enlightenment of Glasgow, to its society and to its commerce. The words 'Astronomy' and 'Glasgow' seem an incongruous juxtaposition, and yet the two are closely linked over 500 years of history. This is a tale of enlightenment and scientific progress at both institutional and public levels. Combined with the ambitions of civic commerce, it is a story populated with noteworthy personalities and intense rivalries.It is remarkable to realise that the first Astronomy teaching in the Glasgow 'Colledge' presented an Earth-centred Universe, prior to the Co

  9. Advances in astronomy and astrophysics 9

    Kopal, Zdenek


    Advances in Astronomy and Astrophysics, Volume 9 covers reviews on the advances in astronomy and astrophysics. The book presents reviews on the Roche model and its applications to close binary systems. The text then describes the part played by lunar eclipses in the evolution of astronomy; the classical theory of lunar eclipses; deviations from geometrical theory; and the methods of photometric observations of eclipses. The problems of other phenomena related in one way or another to lunar eclipses are also considered. The book further tackles the infrared observation on the eclipsed moon, as

  10. A Website for Astronomy Education and Outreach

    Impey, C.; Danehy, A.


    Teach Astronomy is a free, open access website designed for formal and informal learners of astronomy. The site features: an online textbook complete with quiz questions and a glossary; over ten thousand images; a curated collection of the astronomy articles in Wikipedia; a complete video lecture course; a video Frequently Asked Questions tool; and other materials provided by content partners. Clustering algorithms and an interactive visual interface allow users to browse related content. This article reviews the features of the website and how it can be used.

  11. Europe's Astronomy Teachers Meet at ESO


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

  12. The astronomy education through interactive materials

    de Macedo, Josué Antunes; Voelzke, Marcos Rincon


    This study presents results of a survey conducted at the Federal Institution of Education, Science and Technology in the North of Minas Gerais (IFNMG), and aimed to investigate the potentialities of the use of interactive materials in the teaching of astronomy. An advanced training course with involved learning activities about basic concepts of astronomy was offered to thirty-two Licenciate students in Physics, Mathematics and Biological Sciences, using three pedagogical moments. Among other aspects, the viability of the use of resources was noticed, involving digital technologies and interactive materials on teaching of astronomy, which may contribute to the broadening of methodological options for future teachers and meet their training needs

  13. Astronomy, Indigenous Knowledge and Interpretation: Advancing studies of Cultural Astronomy in South Africa

    Holbrook, Jarita


    The International Society for Archaeoastronomy and Astronomy in Culture (ISAAC) Oxford X conference came to Africa for the first time in 2014. Oxford X exposed South African students and researchers to cultural astronomy data collection and analysis methods, as well as to potential mentors to further the goal of advancing the field. Cultural Astronomy studies in South Africa, however, remain in a nascent stage, which in some ways can be said for the entire field, but especially when it comes ...

  14. Making Space for Specialized Astronomy Resources

    MacMillan, D.


    With the growth of both free and subscription-based resources, articles on astronomy have never been easier to find. Locating the best and most current materials for any given search, however, now requires multiple tools and strategies dependent on the query. An analysis of the tools currently available shows that while astronomy is well-served by Google Scholar, Scopus and Inspec, its literature is best accessed through specialized resources such as ADS (Astrophysics Data System). While no surprise to astronomers, this has major implications for those of us who teach information literacy skills to astronomy students and work in academic settings where astronomy is just one of many subjects for which our non-specialist colleagues at the reference desk provide assistance. This paper will examine some of the implications of this analysis for library instruction, reference assistance and training, and library webpage development.




    This book is the seventh volume under the title Organizations and Strategies in Astronomy (OSA). The OSA series covers a large range of fields and themes: in practice, one could say that all aspects of astronomy-related life and environment are considered in the spirit of sharing specific expertise and lessons learned. The chapters of this book are dealing with socio-dynamical aspects of the astronomy (and related space sciences) community: characteristics of organizations, strategies for development, operational techniques, observing practicalities, journal and magazine profiles, public outreach, publication studies, relationships with the media, research communication, series of conferences, evaluation and selection procedures, research indicators, national specificities, contemporary history, and so on. The experts contributing to this volume have done their best to write in a way understandable to readers not necessarily hyperspecialized in astronomy while providing specific detailed information and somet...

  16. Organizations and Strategies in Astronomy Volume 6

    Heck, André


    This book is the sixth volume under the title Organizations and Strategies in Astronomy (OSA). The OSA series is intended to cover a large range of fields and themes. In practice, one could say that all aspects of astronomy-related life and environment are considered in the spirit of sharing specific expertise and lessons learned. The chapters of this book are dealing with socio-dynamical aspects of the astronomy (and related space sciences) community: characteristics of organizations, strategies for development, legal issues, operational techniques, observing practicalities, educational policies, journal and magazine profiles, public outreach, publication studies, relationships with the media, research communication, evaluation and selection procedures, research indicators, national specificities, contemporary history, and so on. The experts contributing to this volume have done their best to write in a way understandable to readers not necessarily hyperspecialized in astronomy while providing specific detai...

  17. The Past and Future of American Astronomy

    Sagan, Carl


    Traces the history of astronomy by analyzing the scientific literature of various time periods, reviewing prize-winning research, and noting the input from physics. Speculates on some accomplishments that may occur in the next 75 years. (GS)

  18. Indian Mathematics and Astronomy: Some Land- marks

    mathematics and astronomy from the ... tion of the Indian contribution to math- .... only 16 years to go before Whish's re- ... which is based on the recent paper of ... The last chapter of this book is dedi- ... interesting, though elementary, exam-.

  19. Extragalactic astronomy and cosmology an introduction

    Schneider, Peter


    Accounting for the astonishing developments in the field of Extragalactic Astronomy and Cosmology, this second edition has been updated and substantially expanded. Starting with the description of our home galaxy, the Milky Way, this cogently written textbook introduces the reader to the astronomy of galaxies, their structure, active galactic nuclei, evolution and large scale distribution in the Universe. After an extensive and thorough introduction to modern observational and theoretical cosmology, the focus turns to the formation of structures and astronomical objects in the early Universe. The basics of classical astronomy and stellar astrophysics needed for extragalactic astronomy are provided in the appendix. The new edition incorporates some of the most spectacular results from new observatories like the Galaxy Evolution Explorer, Herschel, ALMA, WMAP and Planck, as well as new instruments and multi-wavelength campaigns which have expanded our understanding of the Universe and the objects populating it....

  20. The Ninth-Century Renaissance in Astronomy.

    Farrell, Charlotte


    Discusses the events in the ninth century that moved astronomy away from the pursuit of mystical hermetic sciences and astrology back toward observation and measurement. Describes the achievements of astronomers and the instruments and calculations used during that period. (JRH)

  1. Astronomy in the Big Data Era

    Yanxia Zhang


    Full Text Available The fields of Astrostatistics and Astroinformatics are vital for dealing with the big data issues now faced by astronomy. Like other disciplines in the big data era, astronomy has many V characteristics. In this paper, we list the different data mining algorithms used in astronomy, along with data mining software and tools related to astronomical applications. We present SDSS, a project often referred to by other astronomical projects, as the most successful sky survey in the history of astronomy and describe the factors influencing its success. We also discuss the success of Astrostatistics and Astroinformatics organizations and the conferences and summer schools on these issues that are held annually. All the above indicates that astronomers and scientists from other areas are ready to face the challenges and opportunities provided by massive data volume.

  2. 2009 International Year of Astronomy (IYA2009)

    Wiseman, Jennifer


    400 years ago, Galileo first turned a telescope to the sky, and to honor that historic moment, 2009 has been designated the International Year of Astronomy (IYA2009). This session will feature two scientists who have used the telescope to understand our solar system and well beyond to yield fantastic new discoveries. Jennifer Wiseman will share the work she does with NASA, presenting beautiful and tantalizing images from the Hubble Space Telescope and discussing how space astronomy can inspire all ages.


    David Pundak


    Full Text Available Even though astronomy is the oldest science, it is still an open question how to evaluate students’ understanding in astronomy. In spite of the fact that some methods and evaluation tools have been developed for that purpose, the sources of students' difficulties in astronomy are still unclear. This paper presents an investigation of the changes in conceptual frameworks in astronomy among 50 engineering students as a result of learning a general course in astronomy. A special tool called Conceptual Frameworks in Astronomy (CFA, which was initially used in 1989, was adopted to gather data for the present research. In its new version, the tool includes 23 questions and five to six optional answers to each question. Each of the answers characterizes one of the four conceptual frameworks: pre-scientific, geocentric, heliocentric and sidereal. These four conceptual frameworks act as a taxonomical system that enables us to evaluate astronomical understanding. The paper describes the background of the CFA, its development, and discusses its validity and reliability. Using the CFA we were able to: (1 identify the students’ conceptual frameworks at the beginning of the course and at its end, (2 to evaluate the students’ paradigmatic change following the course. It was found that the measure of the students’ improvement (gain index was g = 0.37. Approximately 45% of the students in the course improved their conceptual frameworks in astronomy and 26% deepened their understanding of the heliocentric or sidereal conceptual frameworks. The CFA can also be applied as an evaluation tool in all schools and institutions that teach astronomy.

  4. Possible Minoan Contributions to Greek Astronomy

    Henriksson, G.; Blomberg, M.

    We present the results of orientation studies of important Minoan monuments and our interpretations of their significance for later Greek astronomy. The studies have been made on the hypothesis that the Minoans, via the Mycenaeans, were the source of the Greek lunisolar calendar and the use of bright stars to signal when to begin activities of economic importance, e.g., ploughing and sailing. The palace at Knossos is oriented so that the first rays of the sun at the equinoxes, as they clear the ridge in the east, will strike an usual concave stone in the floor of the corridor immediately adjacent to the pillar crypt area in the west wing. This area is generally considered to b = e the most sacred part of the first palace. The palace at Zakros is oriented so that from the northern-most corridor of the west wing the moon, as it rose at the southern major standstill, would have been observed to follow the profile of the ridge opposite at the time when the first palace was built (ca 2000 BC). At two peak sanctuaries near Zakros, there are walls oriented such that they could have been used to facilitate observations of the heliacal rising and setting and also the acronychal rising and cosmical setting of the bright star Arcturus ca 1800 BC. In the Minoan ruins of the palaces at Ayia Triada and Mallia, there was constructed a small building of Mycenaean megaron type. Both are oriented to sunset at the summer solstice. We argue from these results that the Minoans had begun systematic observations of the sun, the moon and the bright star Arcturus by the end of the Early Minoan Period (ca 2000 BC). The proximity of Crete to Egypt and the Near East and the documented contact among these regions invite comparison of the calendrical uses of astronomical knowledge in the three areas in the Bronze Age.

  5. The Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer (IXPE

    Martin C. Weisskopf

    Full Text Available The Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer (IXPE expands observation space by simultaneously adding polarization to the array of X-ray source properties currently measured (energy, time, and location. IXPE will thus open new dimensions for understanding how X-ray emission is produced in astrophysical objects, especially in systems under extreme physical conditions. Keywords: X-ray astronomy, X-ray polarimetry, X-ray imaging

  6. X-rays as a probe of the Universe

    Table of contents. X-rays as a probe of the Universe · Probing the Universe ….. Flux = sT4 umax = 1011 T (in Kelvin) · History of x-ray astronomy · X-ray Production · X-ray spectra · Celestial sphere as seen by UHURU (1970) · Slide 8 · X-rays from accreting binary systems · Slide 10 · Neutron stars: Black Hole: · Primary X-ray ...

  7. Methodological pluralism in the teaching of Astronomy

    de Macedo, Josué Antunes; Voelzke, Marcos Rincon


    This paper discusses the feasibility of using a teaching strategy called methodological pluralism, consisting of the use of various methodological resources in order to provide a meaningful learning. It is part of a doctoral thesis, which aims to investigate contributions to the use of traditional resources combined with digital technologies, in order to create autonomy for future teachers of Natural Sciences and Mathematics in relation to themes in Astronomy. It was offered an extension course at the "Federal Institution of Education, Science and Technology" in the North of Minas Gerais (FINMG), Campus Januaria, for thirty-two students of licentiate courses in Physics, Mathematics and Biological Sciences, involving themes of Astronomy, in order to search and contribute to improving the training of future teachers. The following aspects are used: the mixed methodology, with pre-experimental design, combined with content analysis. The results indicate the rates of students' prior knowledge in relation to Astronomy was low; meaningful learning indications of concepts related to Astronomy, and the feasibility of using digital resources Involving technologies, articulated with traditional materials in the teaching of Astronomy. This research sought to contribute to the initial teacher training, especially in relation to Astronomy Teaching, proposing new alternatives to promote the teaching of this area of knowledge, extending the methodological options of future teachers.

  8. Future Professional Communication in Astronomy II

    Accomazzi, Alberto

    The present volume gathers together the talks presented at the second colloquium on the Future Professional Communication in Astronomy (FPCAII), held at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (Cambridge, MA) on 13-14 April 2010. This meeting provided a forum for editors, publishers, scientists, librarians and officers of learned societies to discuss the future of the field. The program included talks from leading researchers and practitioners and drew a crowd of approximately 50 attendees from 10 countries. These proceedings contain contributions from invited and contributed talks from leaders in the field, touching on a number of topics. Among them: The role of disciplinary repositories such as ADS and arXiv in astronomy and the physical sciences; Current status and future of Open Access Publishing models and their impact on astronomy and astrophysics publishing; Emerging trends in scientific article publishing: semantic annotations, multimedia content, links to data products hosted by astrophysics archives; Novel approaches to the evaluation of facilities and projects based on bibliometric indicators; Impact of Government mandates, Privacy laws, and Intellectual Property Rights on the evolving digital publishing environment in astronomy; Communicating astronomy to the public: the experience of the International Year of Astronomy 2009.

  9. Improving Teach Astronomy: A Survey of Instructors

    Wenger, Matthew; Riabokin, Malanka; Impey, Chris David


    Teach Astronomy is a website that provides educational resources for introductory astronomy. The motivation behind constructing this site was to provide quality online educational tools for use as a primary or supplementary instructional resource for teachers and students. The website provides an online textbook, glossary, podcasts and video summaries of concepts. As the popularity of online courses steadily increases, so does the demand for robust online educational resources. In order to cater to our users, our team conducted a survey of the instructors that use Teach Astronomy site for feedback for use in updating and streamlining the website content. The survey collected feedback regarding functionality of each of the website tools, in which courses the site was being used, and the motivation of the instructors use of our site. The overwhelming majority of responses indicate that instructors use the website as a class textbook in introductory astronomy courses for non-science majors, and instructors also generally tended to agree that the site content was comprehensive and lucid. One interesting result of the survey is to cluster topics in a way that is consistent with different levels of instruction (i.e. grouping middle-school level content and university level content distinctly). Our team will use this feedback to improve the Teach Astronomy website and maintain it as a high-quality, free online resource. We will also continue to gather feedback from instructors to ensure that the Teach Astronomy website stays current and remains a valuable online resource for instructors around the country.

  10. Astronomy Learning Activities for Tablets

    Pilachowski, Catherine A.; Morris, Frank


    Four web-based tools allow students to manipulate astronomical data to learn concepts in astronomy. The tools are HTML5, CSS3, Javascript-based applications that provide access to the content on iPad and Android tablets. The first tool “Three Color” allows students to combine monochrome astronomical images taken through different color filters or in different wavelength regions into a single color image. The second tool “Star Clusters” allows students to compare images of stars in clusters with a pre-defined template of colors and sizes in order to produce color-magnitude diagrams to determine cluster ages. The third tool adapts Travis Rector’s “NovaSearch” to allow students to examine images of the central regions of the Andromeda Galaxy to find novae. After students find a nova, they are able to measure the time over which the nova fades away. A fourth tool, Proper Pair, allows students to interact with Hipparcos data to evaluate close double stars are physical binaries or chance superpositions. Further information and access to these web-based tools are available at

  11. Expanding radio astronomy in Africa

    Gaylard, M J


    The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) Organisation announced in May 2012 that its members had agreed on a dual site solution for the SKA [1]. South Africa's bid for hosting the SKA has caused a ramp up of radio astronomy in Africa. To develop technology towards the SKA, the South African SKA Project (SKA SA) built a protoype radio telescope in 2007, followed in 2010 the seven antenna Karoo Array Telescope (KAT-7). Next is the 64 antenna MeerKAT, which will merge into SKA Phase 1 in Africa. As SKA Phase 2 is intended to add a high resolution capability with baselines out to 3000 km, the SKA SA brought in partner countries in Africa to host outstations. South Africa has been working with the partners to build capacity to operate the SKA and to benefit from it. The SA Department of Science and Technology (DST) developed a proposal to establish radio telescopes in the partner countries to provide hands-on learning and a capability for Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) research. Redundant 30 m class satellite antennas are being incorporated in this project.

  12. Space Debris and Observational Astronomy

    Seitzer, Patrick


    Since the launch of Sputnik 1 in 1957, astronomers have faced an increasing number of artificial objects contaminating their images of the night sky. Currently almost 17000 objects larger than 10 cm are tracked and have current orbits in the public catalog. Active missions are only a small fraction of these objects. Most are inactive satellites, rocket bodies, and fragments of larger objects: all space debris. Several mega-constellations are planned which will increase this number by 20% or more in low Earth orbit (LEO). In terms of observational astronomy, this population of Earth orbiting objects has three implications: 1) the number of streaks and glints from spacecraft will only increase. There are some practical steps that can be taken to minimize the number of such streaks and glints in astronomical imaging data. 2) The risk to damage to orbiting astronomical telescopes will only increase, particularly those in LEO. 3) If you are working on a plan for an orbiting telescope project, then there are specific steps that must be taken to minimize space debris generation during the mission lifetime, and actions to safely dispose of the spacecraft at end of mission to prevent it from becoming space debris and a risk to other missions. These steps may involve sacrifices to mission performance and lifetime, but are essential in today's orbital environment.

  13. Using Games to Teach Astronomy

    Francis, Paul J.

    We all know that astronomical research is a chaotic sociable deeply human enterprise full of baffling mysteries enigmatic clues and breathtakingly unexpected conclusions. Abundant evidence suggests that our students see astronomy very differently. They see it as a lonely activity: a collection of facts (and very pretty pictures) brought down from the mountain by antisocial ""experts"" for them to memorise. Can we change this false perception? I've been experimenting with using role-playing games in the classroom. I've tried these games out on a wide range of high-school and university students. Students play the roles of competing teams of astronomers battling to solve some perplexing astrophysical enigma. Do these games work? Sometimes! When they work well the really change student perceptions of science in a way that almost no other teaching technique can match. But there have been a fair number of embarrassing fiascos along the way... I will share my experiences and hard earned tips for avoiding disasters

  14. Astronomy Fun with Mobile Devices

    Pilachowski, Catherine A.; Morris, Frank


    Those mobile devices your students bring to class can do more that tweet and text. Engage your students with these web-based astronomy learning tools that allow students to manipulate astronomical data to learn important concepts. The tools are HTML5, CSS3, Javascript-based applications that provide access to the content on iPad and Android tablets. With "Three Color" students can combine monochrome astronomical images taken through different color filters or in different wavelength regions into a single color image. "Star Clusters" allows students to compare images of clusters with a pre-defined template of colors and sizes to compare clusters of different ages. An adaptation of Travis Rector's "NovaSearch" allows students to examine images of the central regions of the Andromeda Galaxy to find novae and to measure the time over which the nova fades away. New additions to our suite of applications allow students to estimate the surface temperatures of exoplanets and the probability of life elsewhere in the Universe. Further information and access to these web-based tools are available at

  15. Astronomy Matters for Chemistry Teachers

    Huebner, Jay S.; Vergenz, Robert A.; Smith, Terry L.


    The purpose of this paper is to encourage more chemistry teachers to become familiar with some of the basic ideas described in typical introductory astronomy courses (1 - 9), including those about the origin of elements and forms of matter. These ideas would enrich chemistry courses and help resolve some basic misconceptions that are expressed in many introductory texts (10 - 16) and journal articles for chemistry teachers (17, 18). These misconceptions are typified by statements such as "we can classify all substances as either elements or compounds," and "nature has provided 92 elements out of which all matter is composed." If students accept these misconceptions, they could be deprived of (i) an appreciation of the history of elements and knowing that the elemental composition of the universe continues to evolve, (ii) knowing that of the first 92 elements in the periodic table, technetium and promethium do not occur naturally on Earth, and (iii) understanding that there are forms of matter other than elements and compounds. This paper briefly explores these ideas.

  16. Astronomy TV outreach, CUBA experiences

    Alvarez, Oscar


    As professional astronomer and science communicator, I want to share my personal experience communicating Astronomy and general science principles in maybe, the most popular science outreach devoted TV program in Cuba. It is broadcasted nationwide in a prime time schedule every Sunday. The Science Popularization on TV, is in a Third World Country hard to do if you want to produce attractive materials for a broad audience. Budgets constraints in most of the cases and lack of the technical equipment required to produce first class visual materials conspire, against motivation and creativity of local scientists and media professionals. A way to show the advance of the national scientific community in Science fields and connecting them in a friendly relation with a broad majority of the people, is to combine the wisdom and knowledge of the local scientists together with the most spectacular TV production of the first world countries. Commenting, analyzing and conveying the hard science into the public debate of the common citizens. Here is shown a way to convey cutting edge science to the general public, using limited resources to produce imaginative television productions, highlighting the development, knowledge and wisdom of the local scientists.

  17. The Effect of Media on Preservice Science Teachers' Attitudes toward Astronomy and Achievement in Astronomy Class

    Bektasli, Behzat


    Studies show that it is hard to change students' attitudes toward science. This study specifically explored if media affect preservice science teachers' attitudes toward astronomy and their astronomy achievement. The sample for the pilot study consisted of 196 preservice science and mathematics teachers for attitude assessment and 230 preservice…

  18. Archaeo- and Cultural Astronomy in Armenia

    Farmanyan, Sona V.; Mickaelian, Areg M.


    We present a general overview on Armenian Archaeoastronomy and Astronomy in Culture to mention and summarize some activities and related organizations involved. Armenia is rather rich in archaeoastronomy and culture, including calendars, rock art, mythology, etc. Archaeoastronomical issues in Armenia include: Zodiac Constellations (believed to be introduced for the first time in the Armenian Highland); Ancient Observatories; Armenian Rock Art; Ancient Armenian Calendar and other (medieval) calendars; Astronomical Terms and Names; Records of Astronomical Events by ancient Armenians; Anania Shirakatsi’s (612-685) Astronomical Heritage; Medieval Sky Maps and Astronomical Devices. During the recent years, we have organized a number of meetings, where archaeoastronomy was involved: Joint European and National Astronomy Meeting (JENAM-2007), Special Session #6: “Archaeoastronomy” (2007), ArAS VIII Annual Meeting “Astronomy and Society”, Session “Archaeoastronomy” (2009), Archaeoastronomical meeting “Astronomical Heritage in the National Culture” dedicated to Anania Shirakatsi’s 1400th anniversary (2012), Meeting “Relation of Astronomy to other Sciences, Culture and Society” (RASCS), Sessions“Archaeoastronomy” and “Astronomy in Culture” (2014). Along with Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory (BAO), there are several other institutions related to Archaeoastronomy and Astronomy in Culture: Institute of History, Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography, Institute of Literature, Institute of Language, Matenadaran (Institute of Ancient Manuscripts). We have introduced a section “Archaeoastronomy and Astronomy in Culture” in the newsletter of Armenian Astronomical Society (ArAS). This is to strengthen ArAS activities and to widen our knowledge in this area, to encourage and establish collaborations with other scientists related to these subjects; historians, archaeologists, ethnographers, philologists, linguists, artists and other

  19. A Pilot Astronomy Outreach Project in Bangladesh

    Bhattacharya, Dipen; Mridha, Shahjahan; Afroz, Maqsuda


    In its strategic planning for the "Astronomy for Development Project," the International Astronomical Union (IAU) has ecognized, among other important missions, the role of astronomy in understanding the far-reaching possibilities for promoting global tolerance and citizenship. Furthermore, astronomy is deemed inspirational for careers in science and technology. The "Pilot Astronomy Outreach Project in Bangladesh"--the first of its kind in the country--aspires to fulfill these missions. As Bangladesh lacks resources to promote astronomy education in universities and schools, the role of disseminating astronomy education to the greater community falls on citizen science organizations. One such group, Anushandhitshu Chokro (AChokro) Science Organization, has been carrying out a successful public outreach program since 1975. Among its documented public events, AChokro organized a total solar eclipse campaign in Bangladesh in 2009, at which 15,000 people were assembled in a single open venue for the eclipse observation. The organization has actively pursued astronomy outreach to dispel public misconceptions about astronomical phenomena and to promote science. AChokro is currently working to build an observatory and Science Outreach Center around a recently-acquired 14-inch Scmidt-Cassegrain telescope and a soon-to-be-acquired new 16-inch reflector, all funded by private donations. The telescopes will be fitted with photometers, spectrometers, and digital and CCD cameras to pursue observations that would include sun spot and solar magnetic fields, planetary surfaces, asteroid search, variable stars and supernovae. The Center will be integrated with schools, colleges, and community groups for regular observation and small-scale research. Special educational and observing sessions for adults will also be organized. Updates on the development of the Center, which is expected to be functioning by the end of 2015, will be shared and feedback invited on the fostering of

  20. IceCube: An Instrument for Neutrino Astronomy

    IceCube Collaboration; Halzen, F.; Klein, S.


    Neutrino astronomy beyond the Sun was first imagined in the late 1950s; by the 1970s, it was realized that kilometer-scale neutrino detectors were required. The first such instrument, IceCube, is near completion and taking data. The IceCube project transforms a cubic kilometer of deep and ultra-transparent Antarctic ice into a particle detector. A total of 5,160 optical sensors are embedded into a gigaton of Antarctic ice to detect the Cherenkov light emitted by secondary particles produced when neutrinos interact with nuclei in the ice. Each optical sensor is a complete data acquisition system, including a phototube, digitization electronics, control and trigger systems and LEDs for calibration. The light patterns reveal the type (flavor) of neutrino interaction and the energy and direction of the neutrino, making neutrino astronomy possible. The scientific missions of IceCube include such varied tasks as the search for sources of cosmic rays, the observation of Galactic supernova explosions, the search for dark matter, and the study of the neutrinos themselves. These reach energies well beyond those produced with accelerator beams.

  1. A multiplex coding imaging spectrometer for X-ray astronomy

    Rocchia, R.; Deschamps, J.Y.; Koch-Miramond, L.; Tarrius, A.


    The paper describes a multiplex coding system associated with a solid state spectrometer Si(Li) designed to be placed at the focus of a grazing incidence telescope. In this instrument the spectrometric and imaging functions are separated. The coding system consists in a movable mask with pseudo randomly distributed holes, located in the focal plane of the telescope. The pixel size lies in the range 100-200 microns. The close association of the coding system with a Si(Li) detector gives an imaging spectrometer combining the good efficiency (50% between 0,5 and 10 keV) and energy resolution (ΔE approximately 90 to 160 eV) of solid state spectrometers with the spatial resolution of the mask. Simulations and results obtained with a laboratory model are presented

  2. [Mathematics - astronomy - astrology special library].

    Gluch, Sibylle


    About 1560 Elector August of Saxony created an unusual library--one distinguished within its period by both its specialization and location. Situated within the Kunstkammer this library was mostly dedicated to the mathematical sciences and related disciplines. It contained works by the most important authors on mathematics, astronomy, and astrology from the classical, medieval, and early modern periods. This essay traces the formation and composition of August's library, and examines its function: What kind of relationship existed between the library and the Kunstkammer? In what way did the library mirror the interests of the Elector, and to what extend does it permit inferences regarding the Elector's knowledge of mathematics? From the analysis August emerges not as a specialist with a deep understanding of mathematics, but as a particular aficionado of mathematical applications. As a practitioner and general follower of the mathematical arts he took part in a far-reaching intellectual network the center of which lay in the University of Wittenberg. Here, Melanchthon had effectively strengthened the importance of the mathematical disciplines within the university curriculum. He regarded mathematics as the foremost science, arguing that before all other disciplines its method enabled man to recognize the harmonic order of the world, and to discern divine providence. Thus, mathematics offered consoling stability and support in an often seemingly chaotic world torn by religious controversies. This kind of esteem for the mathematical sciences did not presuppose expert knowledge. Hence, the fact that August does not appear to have read the mathematical books he collected does not come as a contradiction. On the contrary, for August it sufficed to recognize the potential of the mathematical sciences, which he brought into life through the creation of a specialized library that developed a rhetoric of its own. The collection of his Kunstkammer library spoke of a

  3. The Canadian Astronomy Data Centre

    Ball, Nicholas M.; Schade, D.; Astronomy Data Centre, Canadian


    The Canadian Astronomy Data Centre (CADC) is the world's largest astronomical data center, holding over 0.5 Petabytes of information, and serving nearly 3000 astronomers worldwide. Its current data collections include BLAST, CFHT, CGPS, FUSE, Gemini, HST, JCMT, MACHO, MOST, and numerous other archives and services. It provides extensive data archiving, curation, and processing expertise, via projects such as MegaPipe, and enables substantial day-to-day collaboration between resident astronomers and computer specialists. It is a stable, powerful, persistent, and properly supported environment for the storage and processing of large volumes of data, a condition that is now absolutely vital for their science potential to be exploited by the community. Through initiatives such as the Common Archive Observation Model (CAOM), the Canadian Virtual Observatory (CVO), and the Canadian Advanced Network for Astronomical Research (CANFAR), the CADC is at the global forefront of advancing astronomical research through improved data services. The CAOM aims to provide homogeneous data access, and hence viable interoperability between a potentially unlimited number of different data collections, at many wavelengths. It is active in the definition of numerous emerging standards within the International Virtual Observatory, and several datasets are already available. The CANFAR project is an initiative to make cloud computing for storage and data-intensive processing available to the community. It does this via a Virtual Machine environment that is equivalent to managing a local desktop. Several groups are already processing science data. CADC is also at the forefront of advanced astronomical data analysis, driven by the science requirements of astronomers both locally and further afield. The emergence of 'Astroinformatics' promises to provide not only utility items like object classifications, but to directly enable new science by accessing previously undiscovered or intractable

  4. Identification and Support of Outstanding Astronomy Students

    Stoev, A. D.; Bozhurova, E. S.


    The aims, organizational plan and syllabus of a specialized Astronomy School with a subject of training students for participation in the International Astronomy Olympiad, are presented. Thematic frame includes basic educational activities during the preparation and self-preparation of the students and their participation in astronomical Olympiads. A model of identification and selection of outstanding students for astronomical Olympiads has been developed. Examples of didactic systems of problems for development of mathematical, physical and astronomical skills are shown. The programme ends with individual training for solving problems on astronomy and astrophysics. Possibilities, which the characteristic, non-standard astronomical problems give for stimulating the creative and original thinking, are specified. Basic psychological condition for development of the students' creative potential - transformation of the cognitive content in emotional one - is demonstrated. The programme of identification and support of outstanding students on astronomy is realized in collaboration with The Ministry of Education and Science, Public Astronomical Observatories and Planetaria, Institute of Astronomy - Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, and The Union of Astronomers in Bulgaria.

  5. Bibliographic Resources for the Historian of Astronomy

    Corbin, B. G.


    Many large library collections now have online bibliographic catalogs on the web. These provide many hidden resources for the historian of astronomy. Special searching techniques will allow the historian to scan bibliographic records of hundreds of entries relating to biographies of astronomers, collected works of astronomers, ancient and medieval astronomy and many other historical subjects. Abstract databases such as the Astrophysics Data System and ARIBIB are also adding much historical bibliographic information. ARIBIB will eventually contain scanned images of the Astronomischer Jahresbericht containing bibliographic entries for all literature of astronomy from 1899 to 1968 and Astronomy and Astrophysics Abstracts from 1969 to present. Commercial services such as UnCover and FirstSearch provide a means of reaching bibliographic entries for journal and book literature in the history of astronomy which were not easily located in the past. A broad overview of these collections and services will be given, and searching techniques for finding ``hidden" bibliographic data will be presented. Web page addresses will be given for all sources covered.

  6. Teaching Astronomy with Podcasts of the APOD

    Wagner, Robert M.


    The APOD website provides many excellent astronomy photos that are used to enhance introductory astronomy classes. For nearly six years, podcasts have been used to enhance learning in introductory astronomy classes at Harrisburg Area Community College. Daily 3-5 minute podcasts have been created and made available through iTunes to students in these classes at no charge. Students are asked to subscribe to the podcast collections and are quizzed on the images discussed throughout the semester. Because the images often focus on current findings in astronomy, the students are given instruction on findings that will not appear in their textbooks for several years. The students also receive a taste of some topics that may not be covered or that are just touched upon because of time limits in the classes. The podcasts have been used successfully with both traditional and fully online classes. The use of the podcasts enhances mobile learning as students can download and listen to the podcasts on their smartphones or tablets at their convenience. The student response to the podcasts has been excellent with some students noting that they continue to follow the website and podcasts even after they have completed the class. With mobile learning expanding, this is an excellent way to reach students and encourage them to further research the various topics in astronomy that are covered in the APOD images.

  7. OLFAR: the orbiting low frequency array, how a cube sat swarm becomes a novel radio astronomy instrument in space

    Bentum, Marinus Jan; Meijerink, Arjan; Boonstra, Albert Jan; Verhoeven, Chris; van der Veen, Alle-Jan


    To study the physical processes in the Universe, observations are done at various wavelengths, from Gamma rays to optical and radio frequencies. At this moment research at low frequencies is one of the major topics in radio astronomy. Several Earth-based radio telescopes are being built and will be

  8. Europe Unveils 20-Year Plan for Brilliant Future in Astronomy


    for Earth Sciences and Astronomy (INSU) of the CNRS. To build consensus on priorities in a very diverse community, the Science Vision and Roadmap were developed in an open process involving intensive interaction with the community through large open meetings and feedback via e-mail and the web. The result is a plan now backed by astronomers in 28 Member and Associated States of the EU, with over 500 million inhabitants. Over 60 selected experts from across Europe contributed to the construction of the ASTRONET Roadmap, ensuring that European astronomy has the tools to compete successfully in answering the challenges of the Science Vision. They identified and prioritised a set of new facilities to observe the Universe from radio waves to gamma rays, to open up new ways of probing the cosmos, such as gravitational waves, and to advance in the exploration of our Solar System. In the process, they considered all the elements needed by a successful scientific enterprise, from global-scale cooperation on the largest mega-project to the need for training and recruiting skilled young scientists and engineers. One of two top-priority large ground-based projects is ESO's European Extremely Large Telescope. Its 42-metre diameter mirror will make the E-ELT the largest optical/near-infrared telescope in the world -- "the biggest eye on the sky". The science to be done with the E-ELT is extremely exciting and includes studies of exoplanets and discs, galaxy formation and dark energy. ESO Director General Tim de Zeeuw says: "The top ranking of the E-ELT in the Roadmap is a strong endorsement from the European astronomical community. This flagship project will indisputably raise the European scientific, technological and industrial profile". Among other recommendations, the Roadmap considers how to maximise the future scientific impact of existing facilities in a cost-effective manner. It also identifies a need for better access to state-of-the art computing and laboratory facilities

  9. Astronomy from the Moon: A New Frontier for 21st Century Astrophysics

    Durst, Steve


    The International Lunar Observatory Association of Hawai'i USA continues into its second decade with research and development of South Pole instruments for astronomy, observation and communication from the Moon. Since the pioneering first astronomy observations from the Moon by Apollo 16 Commander John Young (an ILOA founding-emeritus director until his recent passing), with China Lunar Ultraviolet Telescope LUT operations and current American and European considerations for far-side radio telescopes, today's climate is most promising for a diversity of lunar-based astronomy locations, instruments and technologies. ILOA is aiming to advance this frontier through its Galaxy First Light Imaging program, being developed through contracts with Moon Express and Canadensys Aerospace Corp.A wide variety of extreme and unique lunar conditions enable many astronomy activities and installations, on the Moon's near-side, far-side, north pole, and south pole: The extremely thin lunar exosphere favors observations in millimeter / submillimeter to optical, UV, X-ray, and gamma-ray wavelengths; the highly stable platform that is the Moon provides for long-duration observations; ultra cold, shaded areas for cryogenic infrared instruments; far-side radio-quiet environment for radio telescopes and VLF astronomy; 1/6-Earth gravity for production and utilization of new, very lightweight materials and instruments, including large refractors, 100-m class liquid mirror telescopes, and possibly 1,000-m class radio telescopes and interferometer antenna arrays vastly larger than Atacama LMA; North and especially South Pole sites, with high peaks and long solar power windows, offer perhaps the widest variety of lunar conditions and opportunities for astronomical innovation on the Moon: a veritable "condominium of observatories".21st century astrophysics seems likely to find Luna a very busy and productive new frontier, as American Astronomical Society and IAU members will validate, with

  10. Image of the Great Nebula in Andromeda, M31 Taken by the High Energy Astronomy Observatory (HEAO)-2


    Both of the High Energy Astronomy Observatory (HEAO) 2/Einstein Observatory imaging devices were used to observe the Great Nebula in Andromeda, M31. This image is a wide field x-ray view of the center region of M31 by the HEAO-2's Imaging Proportional Counter. The HEAO-2, the first imaging and largest x-ray telescope built to date, was capable of producing actual photographs of x-ray objects. Shortly after launch, the HEAO-2 was nicknamed the Einstein Observatory by its scientific experimenters in honor of the centernial of the birth of Albert Einstein, whose concepts of relativity and gravitation have influenced much of modern astrophysics, particularly x-ray astronomy. The HEAO-2, designed and developed by TRW, Inc. under the project management of the Marshall Space Flight Center, was launched aboard an Atlas/Centaur launch vehicle on November 13, 1978.

  11. Highschool astronomy research workshop in Thailand and how it transforms Thai astronomy education

    Tangmatitham, Matipon


    The National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand (NARIT) have launched the program "Advance Teacher Training Workshop" that aims to introduce both the students and astronomy teacher alike to the nature of critical thinking in science via hands on experience in astronomy projects. Students and accompanying teachers are participated in 5 days workshop in which each of them must select an individual astronomy research project. The project is then carried out on their own for the next 6 months, after which their works are presented in a conference. Progress is monitored and extra aid is delivered as needed via the use of social media. Over a hundred projects have been completed under this program. Follow up study have suggests that this workshop has shown to be quite successful at improving critical thinking skills in participants. As the program became more popular, other schools began to follow. To support the growing interest, we have also launched the "Thai Astronomical Society: student session", a highschool astronomy conference for anyone who participated or interested in astronomy related projects. Via these stages we are able to secure a permanent foothold in Thai astronomy education and inspire new generations to participate in astronomy projects.

  12. L'astronomie et son histoire

    Roy, Jean-René


    Le livre de Jean-René Roy nous présente une vaste synthèse des connaissances présentes en astronomie. Le grand mérite du livre est de dérouler son sujet en parallèle avec une histoire de l'astronomie. Le côté historique est ici beaucoup plus qu'un luxe. Il redonne leurs dimensions vraies aux réponses qu'apporte l'astronomie. Pour bien sentir la nature d'une étape franchie, il faut aussi avoir vécu la situation telle qu'elle se présentait avant. Et les fiches personnelles incluses dans le livre ont l'intérêt de nous rapprocher encore plus du "" feu de l'action "". Écrit dans un style direct et

  13. The sociology of innovation in modern astronomy

    Edge, D.


    This paper describes some of the main features of the development of astronomy since 1945, stressing sociological factors, and drawing examples mainly from the history of radio astronomy. Particular attention is given to aspects which appear to distinguish astronomy from other recently-studied sciences - notably, the prevalence of serendipitous discoveries, and the lack of any general resistance from the 'parent' discipline. The work of Kuhn and Hagstrom is used to illuminate these features, and also to indicate how a sociological analysis can be advanced of individual research decisions, and of the nature of disputes within science. Common misconceptions about the nature and scope of sociology are briefly discussed; in particular, it is emphasized that the kind of sociology of science under discussion cannot be normative. (author)

  14. Innovative technology for optical and infrared astronomy

    Cunningham, Colin R.; Evans, Christopher J.; Molster, Frank; Kendrew, Sarah; Kenworthy, Matthew A.; Snik, Frans


    Advances in astronomy are often enabled by adoption of new technology. In some instances this is where the technology has been invented specifically for astronomy, but more usually it is adopted from another scientific or industrial area of application. The adoption of new technology typically occurs via one of two processes. The more usual is incremental progress by a series of small improvements, but occasionally this process is disruptive, where a new technology completely replaces an older one. One of the activities of the OPTICON Key Technology Network over the past few years has been a technology forecasting exercise. Here we report on a recent event which focused on the more radical, potentially disruptive technologies for ground-based, optical and infrared astronomy.

  15. The Cambridge Illustrated History of Astronomy

    Hoskin, Michael

    Expertly written and lavishly illustrated, The Cambridge Illustrated History of Astronomy offers a unique account of astronomical theory and practice from antiquity to the present day. How did Moslems of the Middle Ages use astronomy to calculate the direction of Mecca from far-flung corners of the Islamic world? Who was the only ancient Greek to suspect that the earth might revolve around the sun? How did Christopher Columbus abuse his knowledge of a lunar eclipse predicted by an astronomical almanac? Packed with anecdotes and intriguing detail, this book describes how we observed the sky and interpreted what we saw at different periods of history; how this influenced our beliefs and mythology; and how great astronomers contributed to what we now know. The result is a lively and highly visual history of astronomy - a compelling read for specialists and non-specialists alike.

  16. Contribution to the popularization of the astronomy

    Markishki, Pencho

    The purpose of this report is the representation of a WEB-book, related to astronomy, astro-photography, optics and some additional areas that have direct practice for the amateur astronomers. The popularization of astronomy worldwide is the purpose of many amateur astronomers. It is interesting and maybe fascinated, requires often innovative solutions from the hobby star observers. Today it is possible to share the science information by different methods, using the modern information technologies - a possibility used by the amateur astronomers too. In Internet existing currently thousands of WEB- sites, related to astronomy, completed training programs developed by amateur astronomers are included. They are addressed often to the schools, to the hobby beginners or to the wide audience.

  17. Astronomy and astrophysics in the new millennium: Panel reports

    Astronomy and Astrophysics Survey Committee, Board on Physics and Astronomy, Space Studies Board, National Research Council


    In preparing the report, Astronomy and Astrophysics in the New Millenium , the AASC made use of a series of panel reports that address various aspects of ground- and space-based astronomy and astrophysic...

  18. Astronomy Exercises for the Artist: van Gogh the Observer

    Lawlor, Timothy M.


    We present a set of exercises designed to be used in a survey astronomy course, an introductory astronomy laboratory course, or in secondary education. The exercises use the great works of Vincent van Gogh but could

  19. Journal of Astrophysics and Astronomy | Indian Academy of Sciences


    Jan 27, 2016 ... Astronomy Education Project for Guangdong High Schools ... Astronomy education; high school; science popularization. ... This means that each accepted article is being published immediately online with DOI and article ...

  20. NASA's Great Observatories Celebrate International Year of Astronomy


    A never-before-seen view of the turbulent heart of our Milky Way galaxy is being unveiled by NASA on Nov. 10. This event will commemorate the 400 years since Galileo first turned his telescope to the heavens in 1609. In celebration of this International Year of Astronomy, NASA is releasing images of the galactic center region as seen by its Great Observatories to more than 150 planetariums, museums, nature centers, libraries, and schools across the country. The sites will unveil a giant, 6-foot-by-3-foot print of the bustling hub of our galaxy that combines a near-infrared view from the Hubble Space Telescope, an infrared view from the Spitzer Space Telescope, and an X-ray view from the Chandra X-ray Observatory into one multiwavelength picture. Experts from all three observatories carefully assembled the final image from large mosaic photo surveys taken by each telescope. This composite image provides one of the most detailed views ever of our galaxy's mysterious core. Participating institutions also will display a matched trio of Hubble, Spitzer, and Chandra images of the Milky Way's center on a second large panel measuring 3 feet by 4 feet. Each image shows the telescope's different wavelength view of the galactic center region, illustrating not only the unique science each observatory conducts, but also how far astronomy has come since Galileo. The composite image features the spectacle of stellar evolution: from vibrant regions of star birth, to young hot stars, to old cool stars, to seething remnants of stellar death called black holes. This activity occurs against a fiery backdrop in the crowded, hostile environment of the galaxy's core, the center of which is dominated by a supermassive black hole nearly four million times more massive than our Sun. Permeating the region is a diffuse blue haze of X-ray light from gas that has been heated to millions of degrees by outflows from the supermassive black hole as well as by winds from massive stars and by stellar