Yoshida, F.; Nozawa, Y.; Ito, T.; Takahashi, S.; Okita, K.; Ibrahimov, M.; Ehgamberdiev, S.; Marshalkina, A.; Karimov, R.; Burhonov, O.; Tillayev, Y.; Hafizov, B.; Yanagisawa, T.; Kurosaki, H.; Yoshikawa, M.; Urakawa, S.; Ohtani, H.
We observed 43 young family asteroids (Karin, Iannini, Veritas) and 7 old family asteroids (Koronis, Themis) at Maidanak Observatory, then determined their rotation period, lightcurve amplitude, B-V, V-R, V-I colors.
Ponomarev, D. N.
The layout and equipment of astronomical observatories, the oldest scientific institutions of human society are discussed. The example of leading observatories of the USSR allows the reader to familiarize himself with both their modern counterparts, as well as the goals and problems on which astronomers are presently working.
Smolentsev, Sergey; Rahimov, Ismail
This report summarizes information about the Svetloe Radio Astronomical Observatory activities in 2012. Last year, a number of changes took place in the observatory to improve some technical characteristics and to upgrade some units to their required status. The report provides an overview of current geodetic VLBI activities and gives an outlook for the future.
Smolentsev, Sergey; Dyakov, Andrei
This report summarizes information about Zelenchukskaya Radio Astronomical Observatory activities in 2012. Last year a number of changes took place in the observatory to improve some technical characteristics and to upgrade some units to the required status. The report provides an overview of current geodetic VLBI activities and gives an outlook for the future.
This Poznan acute Astronomical Observatory is a unit of the Adam Mickiewicz University, located in Poznan acute, Poland. From its foundation in 1919, it has specialized in astrometry and celestial mechanics (reference frames, dynamics of satellites and small solar system bodies). Recently, research activities have also included planetary and stellar astrophysics (asteroid photometry, catalysmic b...
The turret lantern located at the top of the Strasbourg Hospital Gate is generally considered as the first astronomical observatory of the city, but such a qualification must be treated with caution. The thesis of this paper is that the idea of a tower-observatory was brought back by a local scholar, Julius Reichelt (1637-1717), after he made a trip to Northern Europe around 1666 and saw the "Rundetårn" (Round Tower) recently completed in Copenhagen. There, however, a terrace allowed (and still allows) the full viewing of the sky, and especially of the zenith area where the atmospheric transparency is best. However, there is no such terrace in Strasbourg around the Hospital Gate lantern. Reichelt had also visited Johannes Hevelius who was then developing advanced observational astronomy in Gdansk, but nothing of the kind followed in Strasbourg. Rather, the Hospital Gate observatory was built essentially for the prestige of the city and for the notoriety of the university, and the users of this observing post did not make any significant contributions to the progress of astronomical knowledge. We conclude that the Hospital Gate observatory was only used for rudimentary viewing of bright celestial objects or phenomena relatively low on the horizon.
This chapter is a brief survey of astronomical instruments being used and developed in Islamic territories from the eighth to the fifteenth centuries as well as a concise account of major observatories and observational programs in this period.
Andropoulos, Jenny Ioanna
During the second half of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century, four well-equipped government observatories were maintained in Australia - in Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide and Perth. These institutions conducted astronomical observations, often in the course of providing a local time service, and they also collected and collated meteorological data. As well, some of these observatories were involved at times in geodetic surveying, geomagnetic recording, gravity measurements, seismology, tide recording and physical standards, so the term "observatory" was being used in a rather broad sense! Despite the international renown that once applied to Williamstown and Melbourne Observatories, relatively little has been written by modern-day scholars about astronomical activities at these observatories. This research is intended to rectify this situation to some extent by gathering, cataloguing and analysing the published astronomical output of the two Observatories to see what contributions they made to science and society. It also compares their contributions with those of Sydney, Adelaide and Perth Observatories. Overall, Williamstown and Melbourne Observatories produced a prodigious amount of material on astronomy in scientific and technical journals, in reports and in newspapers. The other observatories more or less did likewise, so no observatory of those studied markedly outperformed the others in the long term, especially when account is taken of their relative resourcing in staff and equipment.
Redmond, Jay; Kodak, Charles
This report summarizes the technical parameters and the technical staff of the Very Long Base Interferometry (VLBI) system at the fundamental station Goddard Geophysical and Astronomical Observatory (GGAO). It also gives an overview about the VLBI activities during the previous year. The outlook lists the outstanding tasks to improve the performance of GGAO.
Forget the headphones you saw in the Warner Brothers thriller Contact, as well as the guttural throbs emanating from loudspeakers at the Very Large Array in that 1997 movie. In real life, radio telescopes aren't used for "listening" to anything - just like visible-light telescopes, they are used primarily to make images of astronomical objects. Now, the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) wants to encourage astronomers to use radio-telescope data to make truly compelling images, and is offering cash prizes to winners of a new image contest. Radio Galaxy Fornax A Radio Galaxy Fornax A Radio-optical composite image of giant elliptical galaxy NGC 1316, showing the galaxy (center), a smaller companion galaxy being cannibalized by NGC 1316, and the resulting "lobes" (orange) of radio emission caused by jets of particles spewed from the core of the giant galaxy Click on image for more detail and images CREDIT: Fomalont et al., NRAO/AUI/NSF "Astronomy is a very visual science, and our radio telescopes are capable of producing excellent images. We're sponsoring this contest to encourage astronomers to make the extra effort to turn good images into truly spectacular ones," said NRAO Director Fred K.Y. Lo. The contest, offering a grand prize of $1,000, was announced at the American Astronomical Society's meeting in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The image contest is part of a broader NRAO effort to make radio astronomical data and images easily accessible and widely available to scientists, students, teachers, the general public, news media and science-education professionals. That effort includes an expanded image gallery on the observatory's Web site. "We're not only adding new radio-astronomy images to our online gallery, but we're also improving the organization and accessibility of the images," said Mark Adams, head of education and public outreach (EPO) at NRAO. "Our long-term goal is to make the NRAO Image Gallery an international resource for radio astronomy imagery
Guthals, D. L.
The design, development, and configuration of the astronomical observatory for shuttle are discussed. The characteristics of the one meter telescope in the spaceborne observatory are described. A variety of basic spectroscopic and image recording instruments and detectors which will permit a large variety of astronomical observations are reported. The stDC 37485elines which defined the components of the observatory are outlined.
Johnson, Stewart W.; Burns, Jack O.; Chua, Koon Meng; Duric, Nebojsa; Gerstle, Walter H.
The best location in the inner solar system for the grand observatories of the 21st century may be the moon. A multidisciplinary team including university students and faculty in engineering, astronomy, physics, and geology, and engineers from industry is investigating the moon as a site for astronomical observatories and is doing conceptual and preliminary designs for these future observatories. Studies encompass lunar facilities for radio astronomy and astronomy at optical, ultraviolet, and infrared wavelengths of the electromagnetic spectrum. Although there are significant engineering challenges in design and construction on the moon, the rewards for astronomy can be great, such as detection and study of earth-like planets orbiting nearby stars, and the task for engineers promises to stimulate advances in analysis and design, materials and structures, automation and robotics, foundations, and controls. Fabricating structures in the reduced-gravity environment of the moon will be easier than in the zero-gravity environment of earth orbit, as Apollo and space-shuttle missions have revealed. Construction of observatories on the moon can be adapted from techniques developed on the earth, with the advantage that the moon's weaker gravitational pull makes it possible to build larger devices than are practical on earth.
Zainuddin, Mohd. Zambri; Loon, Chin Wei; Harun, Saedah
Astronomical limiting magnitude is an indicator for astronomer to conduct astronomical measurement at a particular site. It gives an idea to astronomer of that site what magnitude of celestial object can be measured. Langkawi National Observatory (LNO) is situated at Bukit Malut with latitude 6°18' 25'' North and longitude 99°46' 52'' East in Langkawi Island. Sky brightness measurement has been performed at this site using the standard astronomical technique. The value of the limiting magnitude measured is V = 18.6+/-1.0 magnitude. This will indicate that astronomical measurement at Langkawi observatory can only be done for celestial objects having magnitude less than V = 18.6 magnitudes.
This report summarizes the technical parameters and the technical staff of the VLBI system at the fundamental station GGAO. It also gives an overview about the VLBI activities during the report year. The Goddard Geophysical and Astronomical Observatory (GGAO) consists of a 5-meter radio telescope for VLBI, a new 12-meter radio telescope for VLBI2010 development, a 1-meter reference antenna for microwave holography development, an SLR site that includes MOBLAS-7, the NGSLR development system, and a 48" telescope for developmental two-color Satellite Laser Ranging, a GPS timing and development lab, a DORIS system, meteorological sensors, and a hydrogen maser. In addition, we are a fiducial IGS site with several IGS/IGSX receivers. GGAO is located on the east coast of the United States in Maryland. It is approximately 15 miles NNE of Washington, D.C. in Greenbelt, Maryland.
Muñoz-Tuñón, C.; Varela, A. M.; Castro-Almazán, J. A.
Roque de los Muchachos Observatory (La Palma) and Teide Observatory (Tenerife) are prime astronomical sites, as confirmed by more than 30 years of intensive site-testing campaigns. The IAC has long been aware of the importance of promoting initiatives for the characterization and protection of the Canarian Observatories. For this purpose, in the late ’80s a Sky Team was created to measure the atmospheric parameters relating to astronomical observations, to design and develop new instruments and techniques for astronomical site testing, and to improve and maintain a high level of instrumentation in site characterization. New instruments and techniques are welcomed by the Observatories.
Troche-Boggino, Alexis E.
Background: Paraguay has some heritage from the astronomy of the Guarani Indians. Buenaventura Suarez S.J. was a pioneer astronomer in the country in the XVIII century. He built various astronomical instruments and imported others from England. He observed eclipses of Jupiter's satellites and of the Sun and Moon. He published his data in a book and through letters. The Japanese O.D.A. has collaborated in obtaining equipment and advised their government to assist Paraguay in building an astronomical observatory, constructing a moving-roof observatory and training astronomers as observatory operators. Future: An astronomical center is on the horizon and some possible fields of research are being considered. Goal: To improve education at all possible levels by not only observing sky wonders, but also showing how instruments work and teaching about data and image processing, saving data and building a data base. Students must learn how a modern scientist works.
Hopkins, J. L.
After trying astrophotography and radio astronomy it was decided that the best way to do meaningful astronomical research at a small private observatory was by doing photoelectric photometry. Having the observatory located in the back yard of a private residence affors the luxury of observing any time the sky conditions permit. Also modest equipment is all that is needed to do accurate UBV photometry of stars 8th magnitude and brighter. Since beginning in 1980 the Hopkins Phoenix Observatory has published papers on several RS CVn star systems, 31 Cygni, 22 Vul, 18 Tau Per, and has followed the 1982-1984 eclipse of Epsilon Aurigae from its start to the present with over 1000 UBV measurements. In addition the Hopkins Phoenix Observatory has developed several pieces of photometry equipment including the HPO PEPH-101 photometer head and photon counting electronics.
Prabhu, T. P.; Anupama, G. C.
Indian Astronomical Observatory, Hanle, is the high altitude (4500 m above msl) observatory operated by the Indian Institute of Astrophysics, Bangalore. The 2-m Himalayan Chandra Telescope (HCT) installed in the autumn of 2000 as a first step towards a national large telescope is operated remotely from Bangalore. HCT data has resulted in 70 research publications till date, with average citations of 9.2 per paper. Some of the results are described in this brief review. The development of this high altitude site has also attracted other facilities in the area of Very High Energy gamma ray astronomy using atmospheric Čerenkov technique, and also in earth sciences.
Burns, Jack O. (Editor); Mendell, Wendell W. (Editor)
Papers at a workshop which consider the topic astronomical observations from a lunar base are presented. In part 1, the rationale for performing astronomy on the Moon is established and economic factors are considered. Part 2 includes concepts for individual lunar based telescopes at the shortest X-ray and gamma ray wavelengths, for high energy cosmic rays, and at optical and infrared wavelengths. Lunar radio frequency telescopes are considered in part 3, and engineering considerations for lunar base observatories are discussed in part 4. Throughout, advantages and disadvantages of lunar basing compared to terrestrial and orbital basing of observatories are weighted. The participants concluded that the Moon is very possibly the best location within the inner solar system from which to perform front-line astronomical research.
The Mt. Maidanak Observatory, one of several observatories in the former Soviet Central Asia, is located at an important longitude to fill in the gap in the WET (Whole Earth Telescope) network. The Lithuanian astronomical station on Mt. Maidanak was successfully tested in May 1992 for future WET campaigns. In the September 1992 campaign it provided some useful data for the WET. In February 1993 the observatory was nationalized by the Uzbekistan government, and almost all astronomical activities there have stopped. The future use of this observatory for the WET campaigns is uncertain, but there are some signs that the situation is improving. We have examined the possibility of using other Central Asian observatories for the WET. A contact was established with the Fesenkov Astronomical Institute in Alma-Ata, and in October 1993 WET observations were made at the Assy-Turgen Observatory in Kazakhstan.
Johnson, Stewart W.; Taylor, G. Jeffrey; Wetzel, John P.
The Moon offers a stable platform with excellent seeing conditions for astronomical observations. Some troublesome aspects of the lunar environment will need to be overcome to realize the full potential of the Moon as an observatory site. Mitigation of negative effects of vacuum, thermal radiation, dust, and micrometeorite impact is feasible with careful engineering and operational planning. Shields against impact, dust, and solar radiation need to be developed. Means of restoring degraded surfaces are probably essential for optical and thermal control surfaces deployed in long-lifetime lunar facilities. Precursor missions should be planned to validate and enhance the understanding of the lunar environment (e.g., dust behavior without and with human presence) and to determine environmental effects on surfaces and components. Precursor missions should generate data useful in establishing keepout zones around observatory facilities where rocket launches and landings, mining, and vehicular traffic could be detrimental to observatory operation.
The Engelhardt Astronomical Observatory (EAO) was founded in September 21, 1901. The history of creation of the Engelhard Astronomical Observatory was begun in 1897 with transfer a complimentary to the Kazan University of the unique astronomical equipment of the private observatory in Dresden by known astronomer Vasily Pavlovichem Engelgardt. Having stopped astronomical activity owing to advanced years and illnesses Engelgardt has decided to offer all tools and library of the Astronomical observatory of the Kazan University. Vasily Pavlovich has put the first condition of the donation that his tools have been established as soon as possible and on them supervision are started. In 1898 the decree of Emperor had been allocated means and the ground for construction of the Astronomical observatory is allocated. There is the main historical telescope of the Engelhard Astronomical Observatory the 12-inch refractor which was constructed by English master Grubbom in 1875. The unique tool of the Engelhard Astronomical Observatory is unique in the world now a working telescope heliometer. It's one of the first heliometers, left workshops Repsolda. It has been made in 1874 and established in Engelgardt observatory in 1908 in especially for him the constructed round pavilion in diameter of 3.6 m. Today the Engelhard Astronomical Observatory is the only thing scientifically - educational and cultural - the cognitive astronomical center, located on territory from Moscow up to the most east border of Russia. Currently, the observatory is preparing to enter the protected UNESCO World Heritage List.
Pinigin, Gennadiy; Stavinschi, Magda
Scientific collaboration between Bucharest Observatory of the Astronomical Institute (Romania) and Nikolaev Astronomical Observatory (Ukraine), based on the similar research directions and scientific traditions from the beginning of 1990s. The main research field was positional astronomy with compilation of catalogues of star positions in the fields around selected ERS from the CCD observations in Nikolaev and photographical observations in the Bucharest Observatory. Many conferences and workshops, mutual visits of astronomers from both observatories were organized and held in Nikolaev and Bucharest.
Muench, August A.; Emery Bunn, S.; Astronomical Observatory, Virtual
We present the online forum astrobabel.com, which has the goal of being a gathering place for the collective community intelligence about astronomical computing. The audience for this forum is anyone engaged in the analysis of astronomical or planetary data, whether that data be observational or theoretical. It is a free, community driven site where discussions are formulated primarily around the "question and answer" format. Current topics on the forum range from “Is there a photometry package in Python?” to “Where are the support forums for astronomy software packages?” and “Why is my SDSS SkyQuery query missing galaxies?” The poster will detail the full scope of discussions in the forum, and provide some basic guidelines for ensuring high quality forum posts. We will highlight the ways astronomers can discover and participate in discussions. Further, we view this as an excellent opportunity to gather feedback and feature requests from AAS221 attendees. Acknowledgement: The Virtual Astronomical Observatory (VAO) is managed by the VAO, LLC, a non-profit company established as a partnership of the Associated Universities, Inc. and the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc. The VAO is sponsored by the National Science Foundation and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
Liu, C. Y.
An ancient observatory was unearthed recently at Taosi site. This paper discussed the figure of the relic, analyzed the relationship between the 12 backsights and calendar date using astronomical method, and compared the simulated observation with theoretic computation. The investigation shows that backsight E2---E12 indicated the directions of sunrise in the whole year, which were roughly equally distributed and offered an unequal calendar system. The backsight E1 indicated the south-end of the moonrise, giving a time symbol of 18---19 years. This building must be a complex of solar observation, time service, solar worship, and sacrificial ritual
Colome, Josep; Colomer, Pau; Guàrdia, Josep; Ribas, Ignasi; Campreciós, Jordi; Coiffard, Thierry; Gesa, Lluis; Martínez, Francesc; Rodler, Florian
The main task of a scheduler applied to astronomical observatories is the time optimization of the facility and the maximization of the scientific return. Scheduling of astronomical observations is an example of the classical task allocation problem known as the job-shop problem (JSP), where N ideal tasks are assigned to M identical resources, while minimizing the total execution time. A problem of higher complexity, called the Flexible-JSP (FJSP), arises when the tasks can be executed by different resources, i.e. by different telescopes, and it focuses on determining a routing policy (i.e., which machine to assign for each operation) other than the traditional scheduling decisions (i.e., to determine the starting time of each operation). In most cases there is no single best approach to solve the planning system and, therefore, various mathematical algorithms (Genetic Algorithms, Ant Colony Optimization algorithms, Multi-Objective Evolutionary algorithms, etc.) are usually considered to adapt the application to the system configuration and task execution constraints. The scheduling time-cycle is also an important ingredient to determine the best approach. A shortterm scheduler, for instance, has to find a good solution with the minimum computation time, providing the system with the capability to adapt the selected task to varying execution constraints (i.e., environment conditions). We present in this contribution an analysis of the task allocation problem and the solutions currently in use at different astronomical facilities. We also describe the schedulers for three different projects (CTA, CARMENES and TJO) where the conclusions of this analysis are applied to develop a suitable routine.
One of the most important cities of Romania is Cluj-Napoca (Kolozsvár, Klausenburg). This is a traditional center of education, with many universities and high schools. From the second half of the 18th century the University of Cluj has its own Astronomical Observatory, serving for didactical activities and scientific researches. The famous astronomer Maximillian Hell was one of those Jesuits who put the base of this Astronomical Observatory. Our purpose is to offer a short history of the beginnings of this Astronomical Observatory.
Allaway, H. G.
Mission planning for the Orbiting Astronomical Observatory-C (OAO-C) is presented. The characteristics of the observatory and its capabilities are described. The following experiments are discussed: (1) Princeton Experiment Package, (2) X-ray experiment, and (3) guest investigator program. Results of the OAO-2 observatory are presented. A tabulation of flight events is included.
Stobie, E.; Seaman, R.; Mighell, K.; Bunn, S. E.; Williams, R.
As we anticipate the U.S. Virtual Astronomical Observatory (VAO) entering its operational phase, support for a growing number of users will become ever more important. The role of VAO User Support will be considered as having responsibility in three key areas: (1) for maintaining and expanding the VAO Help Desk and Web Site, which will give access to any catalogs, services, and tools that the VAO may provide; (2) for conducting aggressive Testing and Readiness Reviews, so that those tools and services will work reliably and will be well documented; and (3) for pursuing deverse opportunities for Training and Advocacy, including tutorials, seminars, and support for advanced use of the VAO. The authors present our view of how such pieces should work together with the hope of receiving feedback from the community to inform the development of program plans for VAO User Support. Funding for the VAO is pending and specific program activities and services are subject to the review and approval of the NSF and NASA.
History of the Astronomical Observatory in Belgrade, as the presentation is done here, become the field of interest to the author of the present monograph in early 2002. Then, together with Luka C. Popovic, during the Conference "Development of Astronomy among Serbs II" held in early April of that year, he prepared a paper entitled "Astronomska opservatorija tokom Drugog Svetskog rata" (Astronomical Observatory in the Second World War). This paper was based on the archives material concerning the Astronomical Observatory which has been professionally bearing in mind the author's position the subject of his work.
Colombo, Pedro Donizete, Jr.; Silva, Cibelle Celestino; Aroca, Silvia Calbo
This article analyzes the activity "Daytime School Guided Visits" at an astronomical observatory in Brazil with pupils from primary school. The adopted research methodology relied on questionnaire applications and semistructured interviews. The objectives were to identify the influences of the visits on learning of astronomical concepts and on…
Lemson, G.; Laurino, O.
"Data integration" generally refers to the process of combining data from different source data bases into a unified view. Much work has been devoted in this area by the International Virtual Observatory Alliance (IVOA), allowing users to discover and access databases through standard protocols. However, different archives present their data through their own schemas and users must still select, filter, and combine data for each archive individually. An important reason for this is that the creation of common data models that satisfy all sub-disciplines is fraught with difficulties. Furthermore it requires a substantial amount of work for data providers to present their data according to some standard representation. We will argue that existing standards allow us to build a data integration framework that works around these problems. The particular framework requires the implementation of the IVOA Table Access Protocol (TAP) only. It uses the newly developed VO data modelling language (VO-DML) specification, which allows one to define extensible object-oriented data models using a subset of UML concepts through a simple XML serialization language. A rich mapping language allows one to describe how instances of VO-DML data models are represented by the TAP service, bridging the possible mismatch between a local archive's schema and some agreed-upon representation of the astronomical domain. In this so called local-as-view approach to data integration, “mediators" use the mapping prescriptions to translate queries phrased in terms of the common schema to the underlying TAP service. This mapping language has a graphical representation, which we expose through a web based graphical “drag-and-drop-and-connect" interface. This service allows any user to map the holdings of any TAP service to the data model(s) of choice. The mappings are defined and stored outside of the data sources themselves, which allows the interface to be used in a kind of crowd-sourcing effort
Lara, L.; Gallego, T.; de La Torre, A.
We describe a project developed at the University of Granada in collaboration with the Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía aimed at using a remote telescope for live astronomical observations from the classroom. Available instrumentation, software and activities are presented.
Le Guet Tully, Françoise; Davoigneau, Jean
An inventory of the heritage of historical astronomical observatories was launched in the mid 1990s as part of a collaboration between the Ministry of Research and the Ministry of Culture. This has produced a significant body of knowledge not only on astronomical instruments, but also on the specificities of astronomical sites and on the architecture of observatories. Other major results of this operation are (i) the development of numerous works on the institutional history of observatories and (ii), at the request of a few directors, the protection as "historical monuments" of some buildings and of collections of instruments. Given that knowledge about astronomical heritage is a prerequisite for proper conservation and intelligent outreach, and given also that the protection of such heritage (as historical monuments) is a major asset that bolsters its cultural value, the long term sustainability of such heritage depends on political decisions and the search for financial support. We shall describe the complex administrative situation of French observatories and outline the various actions undertaken recently to sensitize their directors to astronomical heritage issues.
Johnson, Stewart W.; Wetzel, John P.
Each of the major new observatories proposed to take advantage of the characteristics of the lunar environment requires appropriate advances in technology. These technologies are in the areas of contamination/interference control, test and evaluation, manufacturing, construction, autonomous operations and maintenance, power and heating/cooling, stable precision structures, optics, parabolic antennas, and communications/control. Telescopes for the lunar surface need to be engineered to operate for long periods with minimal intervention by humans or robots. What is essential for lunar observatory operation is enforcement of a systems engineering approach that makes compatible all lunar operations associated with habitation, resource development, and science.
Schielicke, Reinhard E.
``Nam cum aliquod observatorium mihi comparaverim, ... '': ``As I have equiped my observatory now'', Georg Limnaeus, professor of mathematics in Jena from 1588 to 1611, wrote on 24 April 1598, ``I have decided to make friends with some experts by letter; I know from your Prodromus that you are one of them''. The letter was addressed to Johannes Kepler and was related to his first work about the ``Mysterium cosmographicum''. Kepler sent some copies of his paper to Galileo Galilei, Tycho Brahe, Reimar Ursus and also to Limnaeus in Jena from the Frankfurt Book Fair in 1597. Limnaeus gave him - apart from the words expressing praise but which actually were meaningless concerning Kepler's ideas - the information about Brahe Kepler had asked for and which may have promoted his move to Prague. The above mentioned observatory is considered to be the first one in Jena. Astronomy had already been established as a subject since the establishment of the ``Hohe Schule'' in 1548 and since the foundation of the university ten years later. Nothing is known about the instruments and the location of the observatory. Limnaeus did not belong to the taxpaying house-owners of which there exists an index; he obviously rented a flat. To all appearances the correspondence announced was not continued either. For the following centuries the professors Heinrich Hoffmann, Erhard Weigel, Georg Albrecht and Georg Erhard Hamberger are named in the literature running the observatory in Jena. The ``Herzogliche Sternwarte'' fitted out under Goethe's overall supervision in 1813 eventually developed into the university institute of today.
Whitesell, Patricia S.
Detroit Observatory was founded in 1854 at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA, by Henry Philip Tappan, the University's first President. In 2004, the University celebrates Detroit Observatory's sesquicentennial year. Tappan named his creation the "Detroit Observatory" to honour the city's major benefactors. Tappan, who was inaugurated in 1852, was a visionary leader in the history of higher education. The creation of an astronomical observatory was one of his first steps toward the integration of a new scientific course with the traditional classical course of study, following the Prussian model of higher education. Tappan's observatory was built in the frontier state of Michigan at a modest cost, yet it was equipped with the best European and American instruments available. The facility was impressive, but Tappan's success in launching the University of Michigan to the forefront of American astronomical science was achieved through the recruitment of the renowned Prussian astronomer, Franz Brünnow, of the Berlin Observatory. The instruction in precision astronomy Brünnow offered to American students produced some of the most notable astronomers of the era, which led to the recognition of an "Ann Arbor School of Astronomy". Subsequent Directors and Assistants, including James Watson, Mark Harrington, J. Martin Schaeberle, and Asaph Hall Jr., produced students with exceptional talent in astronomy, geodesy, surveying and meteorology. Michigan's talent pool was the widely deployed across the nation. This paper documents and preserves the history, and serves as a focal point for celebrating in 2004 the 150-year milestone in Detroit Observatory's fascinating history.
Ishitsuka, M.; Montes, H.; Kuroda, T.; Morimoto, M.; Ishitsuka, J.
The Cosmos Coronagraphic Observatory was completely destroyed by terrorists in 1988. In 1995, in coordination with the Minister of Education of Peru, a project to construct a new Educational Astronomical Observatory has been executed. The main purpose of the observatory is to promote an interest in basic space sciences in young students from school to university levels, through basic astronomical studies and observations. The planned observatory will be able to lodge 25 visitors; furthermore an auditorium, a library and a computer room will be constructed to improve the interest of people in astronomy. Two 15-cm refractor telescopes, equipped with a CCD camera and a photometer, will be available for observations. Also a 6-m dome will house a 60-cm class reflector telescope, which will be donated soon, thanks to a fund collected and organized by the Nishi-Harima Astronomical Observatory in Japan. In addition a new modern planetarium donated by the Government of Japan will be installed in Lima, the capital of Peru. These installations will be widely open to serve the requirements of people interested in science.
York, D. G.
Of the three observatories planned in NASA's OAO program, one, OAO-3, is still in orbit and producing scientifically useful data. The prime experiment is the Princeton telescope spectrometer. Following a brief history of the OAO program, a description is given of the Princeton telescope with its 80-cm primary mirror, and of the spectrometer, which yields a resolution of up to 0.05 A. The spacecraft guidance system is also described. This system initially points the observatory to within a few arc minutes of the target, places the 0.3-arc sec slit on the star in less than 3 minutes, and holds on the star for up to 50 minutes with errors less than 0.05 arc sec. The main scientific results are described under the following categories: (1) the widespread presence of molecular hydrogen; (2) the search for other molecules, including detection of CO; (3) the nature of the interstellar medium as inferred from the detection of various atomic lines; (4) the study of chromospheres in late type stars; and (5) the study of mass loss in binaries and single stars.
Ono, T.; Watanabe, J.; Agata, H.
The activities on the outreach issues in the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ) are mainly conducted by the Public Relations Center established in June 1998. Its mission is to present the latest findings in astronomy to the public in a manner that is understandable, contemporary, and exciting. For this purpose, we provide a wide range of services and deliver a variety of scientific information through multiple ways. We also maintain an effective partnership with lots of dissemination experts working at the public observatories, the science museums, and the planetariums in Japan. The representative outreach activities in NAOJ are follows. • Telephone service to answer the questions on astronomy (about 10,000 calls a year) • Press release (about 60 a year) to about 100 registered journalists • Press Members' Lounge" for registered journalists • A special seminar for science journalists every year • Service of astronomical ephemeredes, and nautical almanacs. • Weekly news letter service named "Astro-Topics" • Monthly paper magazine "NAOJ news" • Web site service (http://www.nao.ac.jp/) (about 10^7 hits a year) • Open campus or visitor service to the public • Regular star party using a modern 50-cm reflector twice a month • Coordination and cooperation with other astronomical facilities. Such as Public Astronomical Observatory Network (PAONET), Star Week Program
Petrov, G.; Pinigin, G.
Karl Friedrich Knorre was born 28th March 1801 in family of the professor of astronomy of Dorpat university Ernst Knorre. During education in the Dorpat university he got acquantance with the future director of Pulkovo observatory Wilhelm Struve. According passion of K. Knorre for astronomy W. Struwe recommended him to the director position of planned naval observatory in Nikolaev. From the foundation of Nikolaev naval and later astronomical observatory in 1821 K. Knorre was a first director. He made star position observations with the meridian circle, worked as a teacher of astronomy for sea navigators, compiled the fifth page of star map of the Berlin Academy of sciences and headed by all hydrographic determinations on the sea of Asov and Black sea. After 50 years K. Knorre retired 1871 from the Directorship of the Nikolaev observatory and moved to Berlin. Nikolaev astronomical observatory arranges the international scientific conference devoted to the 180 anniversary of NAO and 200's birthday of Karl Friedrich Knorre in 2001.
Berriman, G. Bruce; Hanisch, Robert J.; Lazio, T. Joseph W.; Szalay, Alexander; Fabbiano, Giussepina
The U.S. Virtual Astronomical Observatory (VAO; http://www.us-vao.org/) has been in operation since May 2010. Its goal is to enable new science through efficient integration of distributed multi-wavelength data. This paper describes the management and organization of the VAO, and emphasizes the techniques used to ensure efficiency in a distributed organization. Management methods include using an annual program plan as the basis for establishing contracts with member organizations, regular communication, and monitoring of processes.
Gunma Astronomical Observatory is designed for both astronomical research and public use, and was established in April 1999 by Gunma Prefecture, located in Takayama village, about 100 km north-west of Tokyo. It is equipped with all devices and facilities needed to conduct full-scale observational research, including a telescope of 150 cm diameter. Based upon fundamental philosophy of providing every visitor with a real experience, we are also engaged in educational activities that are linked to school or life-long education to spread astronomical observation, as well as observational research activities at our observatory. We are hoping that all of those who visit our observatory come in contact with wonders of their cosmos or the latest information about astronomy; thereby being able to have an opportunity to think about nature, the environment and the future of the human race in general. There are about 30 staff members; 9 of them have the degree of doctor, 12 of them belong to the section of research and education. We had 38 317 visitors in the last year (April 2001 to March 2002).
Hanisch, Robert J.; Berriman, G. B.; Lazio, T. J.; Project, VAO
Astronomy is being transformed by the vast quantities of data, models, and simulations that are becoming available to astronomers at an ever-accelerating rate. The U.S. Virtual Astronomical Observatory (VAO) has been funded to provide an operational facility that is intended to be a resource for discovery and access of data, and to provide science services that use these data. Over the course of the past year, the VAO has been developing and releasing for community use five science tools: 1) "Iris", for dynamically building and analyzing spectral energy distributions, 2) a web-based data discovery tool that allows astronomers to identify and retrieve catalog, image, and spectral data on sources of interest, 3) a scalable cross-comparison service that allows astronomers to conduct pair-wise positional matches between very large catalogs stored remotely as well as between remote and local catalogs, 4) time series tools that allow astronomers to compute periodograms of the public data held at the NASA Star and Exoplanet Database (NStED) and the Harvard Time Series Center, and 5) A VO-aware release of the Image Reduction and Analysis Facility (IRAF) that provides transparent access to VO-available data collections and is SAMP-enabled, so that IRAF users can easily use tools such as Aladin and Topcat in conjuction with IRAF tasks. Additional VAO services will be built to make it easy for researchers to provide access to their data in VO-compliant ways, to build VO-enabled custom applications in Python, and to respond generally to the growing size and complexity of astronomy data. Acknowledgements: The Virtual Astronomical Observatory (VAO) is managed by the VAO, LLC, a non-profit company established as a partnership of the Associated Universities, Inc. and the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc. The VAO is sponsored by the National Science Foundation and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
Plante, Raymond; Mishin, D. Y.; LAZIO, J.; Muench, A. A.; Project, VAO
The astronomical research community is now use to accessing data through the web. In particular, we have ready access to large surveys as well as to observations from the major observatories. The latter data is typically available in their raw form and often also as "level 1" products that have undergone basic, standard processing. There exists, however, a vast set of data that is described in the current literature but which is largely unavailable on-line: highly processed data products from which we extract the science results we publish. We refer to this as the "long-tail of astronomical data". Typically, these products are the result of tuned or specialized processing by small teams of scientists. As part of the US Virtual Astronomical Observatory (VAO, usvao.org) project's effort to connect scientists with astronomical data of all types in a network-based research environment, we have taken up a multi-year initiative to capture that missing data and make it available to the community, thereby enabling new "archival" research. We describe a pilot program, in conjunction with community partners, to provide a platform for individual scientists and small research teams to make their data available through the Virtual Observatory (VO). At the core of the effort is a network-based storage space that provides a place for teams to assemble their collections and prepare them for release into the VO. Upon their release, the data collections will be connected to standard VO services that make the data accessible to the myriad VO discovery, analysis, and visualization tools. Once demonstrated in this pilot phase, we plan to assemble a more integrated repository toolkit that allows scientists to take full control of the publishing process and allow other institutions to host repositories. In particular, we are collaborating with the DataVerse project to create a repository platform that is fully connected to the VO web.
Brecher, K.; Sadler, P.; Gould, R.; Leiker, S.; Antonucci, P.; Deutsch, F.
We have developed a fully integrated automated astronomical telescope system which combines the imaging power of a cooled CCD, with a self-contained and weatherized 15 cm reflecting optical telescope and mount. The MicroObservatory Net consists of five of these telescopes. They are currently being deployed around the world at widely distributed longitudes. Remote access to the MicroObservatories over the Internet has now been implemented. Software for computer control, pointing, focusing, filter selection as well as pattern recognition have all been developed as part of the project. The telescopes can be controlled in real time or in delay mode, from a Macintosh, PC or other computer using Web-based software. The Internet address of the telescopes is http://cfa- www.harvard.edu/cfa/sed/MicroObservatory/MicroObservatory.html. In the real-time mode, individuals have access to all of the telescope control functions without the need for an `on-site' operator. Users can sign up for a specific period of ti me. In the batch mode, users can submit requests for delayed telescope observations. After a MicroObservatory completes a job, the user is automatically notified by e-mail that the image is available for viewing and downloading from the Web site. The telescopes were designed for classroom instruction, as well as for use by students and amateur astronomers for original scientific research projects. We are currently examining a variety of technical and educational questions about the use of the telescopes including: (1) What are the best approaches to scheduling real-time versus batch mode observations? (2) What criteria should be used for allocating telescope time? (3) With deployment of more than one telescope, is it advantageous for each telescope to be used for just one type of observation, i.e., some for photometric use, others for imaging? And (4) What are the most valuable applications of the MicroObservatories in astronomical research? Support for the MicroObservatory
Astronomical instruments of the past are certainly valuable artifacts of the history of science and education. Like other collections of scientific equipment, they also demonstrate i) development of scientific and technical ideas, ii) technological features of the historical period, iii) professional features of artists or companies -- manufacturers, and iv) national and local specificity of production. However, astronomical instruments are also devices made for observations of rare phenomena -- solar eclipses, transits of planets of the solar disk, etc. Instruments used to study these rare events were very different for each event, since the science changed quickly between events. The Astronomical Observatory of Kyiv National Taras Shevchenko University has a collection of tools made by leading European and local shops from the early nineteenth century. These include tools for optically observing the first artificial Earth satellites, photography, chronometry, and meteorology. In addition, it has assembled a library of descriptions of astronomical instruments and makers'price-lists. Of particular interest are the large stationary tools that are still active in their pavilions. Almost every instrument has a long interesting history. Museification of astronomical instruments gives them a second life, expanding educational programs and tracing the development of astronomy in general and scientific institution and region in particular. It would be advisable to first create a regional database of these rare astronomical instruments (which is already being done in Ukraine), then a common global database. By combining all the historical information about astronomical instruments with the advantages of the Internet, you can show the full evolution of an astronomical instrument with all its features. Time is relentless, and much is destroyed, badly kept and thrown in the garbage. We need time to protect, capture, and tell about it.
Cowsik, R.; Srinivasan, R.; Prabhu, T. P.
Situated in the high-altitude cold desert of Changthang Ladakh bordering Himachal Pradesh and Tibet, Indian Astronomical Observatory, Hanle (32o46m46sN, 78o57'51''E; 4500 m above msl), provides excellent opportunities for developing astronomical facilities at a variety of frequencies. In addition, it provides environment and logistics for a range of scientific experiments which be nefit from its unique location. Indian Institute of Astrophysics has built this observatory around a modest 2-m aperture optical/infrared telescope. A 0.5 m telescope will soon be added. A large facility (6.5-8.5 m class infrared/optical telescope) is under consid eration. A 2-m telescope of new advanced technology design has been installed at the observatory in what probably is a record in the speed of execution. The site development, fabrication and installation of the telescope has been accomplished in just about 3 years. The telescope saw its first light on the night of September 26/27 2000 and has been operating with a CCD imager. A larger CCD imager, a faint object spectrograph camera, and a JHK imager are under fabrication. A 1-5 micron imager spectrograph is planned as the next generation instrument. The telescope will be remotely operable from the Centre for Research and Education in Science & Technology of IIA at Hosakote near Bangalore over the next few months. All the necessary infrastructure including 20 kw/h power through generators, 1 Mbps dedicated satellite communication link (to be upgarded to 2 Mbps and a 128 kbps redundant link to be established), liquid nitrogen plant, etc. have been already developed. The Government of Jammu & Kashmir has transferred over 600 acres of land to the observatory. The infrastructure developed for the observatory is already being used for other scientific experiments by national and international institutions. The experiments include determination of atmospheric opcaity at mm wavelengths, geodynamic and seismological experiments, aerosol
Several astronomical observatories have been established in Strasbourg in very differing contexts. In the late 17th century, an observing post (scientifically sterile) was put on top of a tower, the Hospital Gate, essentially for the prestige of the city and the notoriety of the university. In the 19th century, the observatory built on the Académie hosting the French university was the first attempt to set up in the city a real observatory equipped with genuine instrumentation with the purpose of carrying out serious research, but the succession of political regimes in France and the continual bidding for moving the university to other locations, together with the faltering of later scholars, torpedoed any significant scientific usage of the place. After the 1870-1871 Franco-Prussian war, the German authorities set up a prestigious university campus with a whole range of institutes together with a modern observatory consisting of several buildings and hosting a flotilla of excellent instruments, including the then largest refractor of the country. This paper illustrates various types of lobbying used in the steps above while detailing, from archive documents largely unexploited so far, original research on the two first observatories.
Zhang, Ji-Cheng; Ge, Liang; Lu, Xiao-Meng; Cao, Zi-Huang; Chen, Xu; Mao, Yong-Na; Jiang, Xiao-Jun
Xinglong Observatory of the National Astronomical Observatories, Chinese Academy of Sciences (NAOC), is one of the major optical observatories in China, which hosts nine optical telescopes including the Large Sky Area Multi-Object Fiber Spectroscopic Telescope (LAMOST) and the 2.16 m reflector. Scientific research from these telescopes is focused on stars, galaxies, and exoplanets using multicolor photometry and spectroscopic observations. Therefore, it is important to provide the observing conditions of the site, in detail, to the astronomers for an efficient use of these facilities. In this article, we present the characterization of observing conditions at Xinglong Observatory based on the monitoring of meteorology, seeing and sky brightness during the period from 2007 to 2014. Meteorological data were collected from a commercial Automatic Weather Station (AWS), calibrated by China Meteorological Administration. Mean and median wind speed are almost constant during the period analyzed and ranged from 1.0 to 3.5 m s-1. However, high wind speed (>=15 m s-1) interrupts observations, mainly, during the winter and spring. Statistical analysis of air temperature showed the temperature difference between daytime and nighttime, which can be solved by opening the ventilation device and the slit of the dome at least 1 hr before observations. Analysis resulted in average percentage of photometric nights and spectroscopic nights are 32% and 63% per year, respectively. The distribution of photometric nights and spectroscopic nights has a significant seasonal tendency, worse in summer due to clouds, dust, and high humidity. Seeing measurements were obtained using the Differential Image Motion Monitor (DIMM). Mean and median values of seeing over 1 year are around 1.9'' and 1.7'', respectively. Eighty percent of nights with seeing values are below 2.6'', whereas the distribution peaks around 1.8''. The measurements of sky brightness are acquired from the Sky Quality Meter (SQM
Hanisch, R. J.; Berriman, G. B.; Lazio, T. J. W.; Emery Bunn, S.; Evans, J.; McGlynn, T. A.; Plante, R.
The US Virtual Astronomical Observatory was a software infrastructure and development project designed both to begin the establishment of an operational Virtual Observatory (VO) and to provide the US coordination with the international VO effort. The concept of the VO is to provide the means by which an astronomer is able to discover, access, and process data seamlessly, regardless of its physical location. This paper describes the origins of the VAO, including the predecessor efforts within the US National Virtual Observatory, and summarizes its main accomplishments. These accomplishments include the development of both scripting toolkits that allow scientists to incorporate VO data directly into their reduction and analysis environments and high-level science applications for data discovery, integration, analysis, and catalog cross-comparison. Working with the international community, and based on the experience from the software development, the VAO was a major contributor to international standards within the International Virtual Observatory Alliance. The VAO also demonstrated how an operational virtual observatory could be deployed, providing a robust operational environment in which VO services worldwide were routinely checked for aliveness and compliance with international standards. Finally, the VAO engaged in community outreach, developing a comprehensive web site with on-line tutorials, announcements, links to both US and internationally developed tools and services, and exhibits and hands-on training at annual meetings of the American Astronomical Society and through summer schools and community days. All digital products of the VAO Project, including software, documentation, and tutorials, are stored in a repository for community access. The enduring legacy of the VAO is an increasing expectation that new telescopes and facilities incorporate VO capabilities during the design of their data management systems.
Observatories offer a good possibility for serial transnational applications. A well-known example for a thematic programme is the Struve arc, already recognized as World Heritage.I will discuss what has been achieved and show examples, like the route of astronomical observatories or the transition from classical astronomy to modern astrophysics (La Plata, Hamburg, Nice, etc.), visible in the architecture, the choice of instruments, and the arrangement of the observatory buildings in an astronomy park. This corresponds to the main categories according to which the ``outstanding universal value'' (UNESCO criteria ii, iv and vi) of the observatories have been evaluated: historic, scientific, and aesthetic. This proposal is based on the criteria of a comparability of the observatories in terms of the urbanistic complex and the architecture, the scientific orientation, equipment of instruments, authenticity and integrity of the preserved state, as well as in terms of historic scientific relations and scientific contributions.Apart from these serial transnational applications one can also choose other groups like baroque or neo-classical observatories, solar physics observatories or a group of observatories equipped with the same kind of instruments and made by the same famous firm. I will also discuss why the implementation of the Astronomy and World Heritage Initiative is difficult and why there are problems to nominate observatories for election in the national Tentative Lists
Zhou, Jian-jun; Esimbek, Jarken; Wu, Gang
Water masers are good tracers of high-mass star-forming regions. Water maser VLBI observations provide a good probe for studying high-mass star formation and galactic structure. We plan to make a blind survey toward the northern Galactic plane in future years using the 25 m radio telescope of the Xinjiang Astronomical Observatory. We will select some water maser sources discovered in the survey and perform high resolution observations to study the gas kinematics close to high-mass protostars.
McGlynn, Thomas A.; Hanisch, Robert J.; Berriman, G. Bruce; Thakar, Aniruddha R.
Operation of the US Virtual Astronomical Observatory shares some issues with modern physical observatories, e.g., intimidating data volumes and rapid technological change, and must also address unique concerns like the lack of direct control of the underlying and scattered data resources, and the distributed nature of the observatory itself. In this paper we discuss how the VAO has addressed these challenges to provide the astronomical community with a coherent set of science-enabling tools and services. The distributed nature of our virtual observatory-with data and personnel spanning geographic, institutional and regime boundaries-is simultaneously a major operational headache and the primary science motivation for the VAO. Most astronomy today uses data from many resources. Facilitation of matching heterogeneous datasets is a fundamental reason for the virtual observatory. Key aspects of our approach include continuous monitoring and validation of VAO and VO services and the datasets provided by the community, monitoring of user requests to optimize access, caching for large datasets, and providing distributed storage services that allow user to collect results near large data repositories. Some elements are now fully implemented, while others are planned for subsequent years. The distributed nature of the VAO requires careful attention to what can be a straightforward operation at a conventional observatory, e.g., the organization of the web site or the collection and combined analysis of logs. Many of these strategies use and extend protocols developed by the international virtual observatory community. Our long-term challenge is working with the underlying data providers to ensure high quality implementation of VO data access protocols (new and better 'telescopes'), assisting astronomical developers to build robust integrating tools (new 'instruments'), and coordinating with the research community to maximize the science enabled.
The Sendai Astronomical Observatory, located in the central part of the Sendai City in the northern part of Japan, is the one of the oldest observatory operated by local government mainly for general public. It has a 41-cm reflector together with a car equipped with a 20-cm refractor for providing chances for remote locations to have astronomical education called "Vega" . It also has a planetarium with a 16-m dome and 200 seats. Open in 1955, it maintained for more than a half century in high level education both to the general public and to school children. Especially all the children in the elementary school visit this observatory at least once as the school program defined in the Sendai city. We are considering a renewal of these facilities along with moving to the new site, Nishikigaoka, to avoid light pollution in the city. The new observatory will have a 1.2-m reflecting telescope, solar telescope, other smaller telescopes for experienced amateur astronomers or people, and a larger planetarium of a 25-m dome with 280 seats. We will introduce the plan of our renewal along with the history of these 50 years.
Nefedyev, Y.; Gusev, A.; Sherstukov, O.; Kascheev, R.; Zagretdinov, R.
Today on the basis of Engelhardt astronomical observatory (EAO) is created Space research and technology center as consistent with Program for expansion of the Kazan University. The Centre has the following missions: • EDUCATION • SCIENCE • ASTRONOMICAL TOURISM
The Orbiting Astronomical Observatory (OAO-II) launched on December 7, 1968, was the first optical observatory to be operated above the earth's atmosphere. It contained two major instruments, the Smithsonian Celescope and the Wisconsin Experiment Package (WEP), composed of ultraviolet photometers and spectrometers. In 1957 the Soviet "Sputnik" Satellite started the race to space. The National Academy of Science circulated a letter drafted by Lloyd Berkner soliciting suggestions for scientific payloads for a 100 lb satellite. The University of Wisconsin was one of the organizations that responded with a proposal for an ultraviolet photometer. Shortly afterwards when NASA came into existence Wisconsin was one of those that received funding for a study of a 100 lb UV photometric telescope. By the time our preliminary design was completed NASA had developed a plan for an astronomical platform to support all varieties of experiments requiring pointing, power and command and data capability and payload weights over 1000 lbs. To adapt to this new dimension we clustered our telescopes and shared the volume with the four telescope of the Smithsonian Celescope. Celescope would look out one end of the spacecraft and the Wisconsin Experiment Package WEP would look out the other end. Since no one had ever done this before both NASA and ourselves had a lot to learn. One feature of our design was redundancy. The clustering contributed to this approach but there was both hardware and software redundancy throughout. This paper will describe elements of the origin of WEP, it's fabrication, operation and scientific yield
Hanisch, Robert J.; Berriman, G. B.; Lazio, J.; Szalay, A. S.; Fabbiano, G.; Plante, R. L.; McGlynn, T. A.; Evans, J.; Emery Bunn, S.; Claro, M.; VAO Project Team
Over the past ten years, the Virtual Astronomical Observatory (VAO, http://usvao.org) and its predecessor, the National Virtual Observatory (NVO), have developed and operated a software infrastructure consisting of standards and protocols for data and science software applications. The Virtual Observatory (VO) makes it possible to develop robust software for the discovery, access, and analysis of astronomical data. Every major publicly funded research organization in the US and worldwide has deployed at least some components of the VO infrastructure; tens of thousands of VO-enabled queries for data are invoked daily against catalog, image, and spectral data collections; and groups within the community have developed tools and applications building upon the VO infrastructure. Further, NVO and VAO have helped ensure access to data internationally by co-founding the International Virtual Observatory Alliance (IVOA, http://ivoa.net). The products of the VAO are being archived in a publicly accessible repository. Several science tools developed by the VAO will continue to be supported by the organizations that developed them: the Iris spectral energy distribution package (SAO), the Data Discovery Tool (STScI/MAST, HEASARC), and the scalable cross-comparison service (IPAC). The final year of VAO is focused on development of the data access protocol for data cubes, creation of Python language bindings to VO services, and deployment of a cloud-like data storage service that links to VO data discovery tools (SciDrive). We encourage the community to make use of these tools and services, to extend and improve them, and to carry on with the vision for virtual astronomy: astronomical research enabled by easy access to distributed data and computational resources. Funding for VAO development and operations has been provided jointly by NSF and NASA since May 2010. NSF funding will end in September 2014, though with the possibility of competitive solicitations for VO-based tool
Evans, Janet D.; Plante, Raymond L.; Boneventura, Nina; Busko, Ivo; Cresitello-Dittmar, Mark; D'Abrusco, Raffaele; Doe, Stephen; Ebert, Rick; Laurino, Omar; Pevunova, Olga; Refsdal, Brian; Thomas, Brian
The U.S. Virtual Astronomical Observatory (VAO) is a product-driven organization that provides new scientific research capabilities to the astronomical community. Software development for the VAO follows a lightweight framework that guides development of science applications and infrastructure. Challenges to be overcome include distributed development teams, part-time efforts, and highly constrained schedules. We describe the process we followed to conquer these challenges while developing Iris, the VAO application for analysis of 1-D astronomical spectral energy distributions (SEDs). Iris was successfully built and released in less than a year with a team distributed across four institutions. The project followed existing International Virtual Observatory Alliance inter-operability standards for spectral data and contributed a SED library as a by-product of the project. We emphasize lessons learned that will be folded into future development efforts. In our experience, a well-defined process that provides guidelines to ensure the project is cohesive and stays on track is key to success. Internal product deliveries with a planned test and feedback loop are critical. Release candidates are measured against use cases established early in the process, and provide the opportunity to assess priorities and make course corrections during development. Also key is the participation of a stakeholder such as a lead scientist who manages the technical questions, advises on priorities, and is actively involved as a lead tester. Finally, frequent scheduled communications (for example a bi-weekly tele-conference) assure issues are resolved quickly and the team is working toward a common vision.
Roberts, Lewis C; Bradford, L William
An understanding of wind speed and direction as a function of height are critical to the proper modeling of atmospheric turbulence. We have used radiosonde data from launch sites near significant astronomical observatories and created averaged profiles of wind speed and direction and have also computed Richardson number profiles. Using data from the last 30 years, we confirm a 1977 Greenwood wind profile, and extend it to include parameters that show seasonal variations and differences in location. The added information from our models is useful for the design of adaptive optics systems and other imaging systems. Our analysis of the Richardson number suggests that persistent turbulent layers may be inferred when low values are present in our long term averaged data. Knowledge of the presence of these layers may help with planning for adaptive optics and laser communications. PMID:21263622
Pineda de Carias, M. C.
In June of 1997, within the framework of the VII UN/ESA Workshop on Basic Space Science Workshop held in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, the Central American Suyapa Astronomical Observatory (CASAO) was inaugurated, with the dedication of the Telescope "René Sagastume Castillo", a 42 cm Schmidt Cassegrain Meade LX200 telescope located at Latitude: 14deg 05' N, Longitude: 87deg 09' W and Altitude: 1,077 meters over sea level, for the Central American countries (Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama). In this document we present what has been achieved with this facility, as part of academic activities for outreach, training and now, for research projects in observational astronomy with the international cooperation.
Bless, R. C.; Savage, B. D.
Evaluation of interstellar extinction curves over the region from 3600 to 1100 A for 17 stars. The observations were made by the two Wisconsin spectrometers on board the Orbiting Astronomical Observatory 2, with spectral resolutions of 10 and 20 A. The extinction curves generally show a pronounced maximum at 2175 plus or minus 25 A, a broad minimum in the region from 1800 to 1350 A, and finally a rapid rise to the far-ultraviolet. Large extinction variations from star to star are found, especially in the far-ultraviolet; however, with only two possible exceptions in this sample, the wavelength at the maximum of the extinction bump is essentially constant. These data are combined with visual and infrared observations to display the extinction behavior over a range in wavelength of about a factor of 20. The observations appear to require a multicomponent model of the interstellar dust.
Yaskell, Steven Haywood
The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences (RSAS) (or Kungliga Vetenskapsakademien [KvA] in Swedish) founded 1739, opened its first permanent building, an astronomical and meteorological observatory, on 20 September 1753. This was situated at Brunkebergsåsen (formerly Observatorie Lunden, or Observatory Hill), on a high terrace in a northern quarter of Stockholm. This historic building is still sometimes called Gamla Observatoriet (the Old Observatory) and now is formally the Observatory Museum. This paper reviews the history of the Observatory from its function as a scientific astronomical institution to its relatively-recent relegation to museum status.
Massimino, P.; Catalano, S.; Cigna, M.; Greco, V., Mangano, A.; Marilli, E.; Blanco, C.
To make easily available the great amount of highly valuable information stored in the photographic archives of many Italian Observatories and of the Specola Vaticana, a large-scale National Project to digitize the plates was financially supported by the Italian Ministry of Education (MIUR) (Barbieri et al. 2003, 2004). The contribution of the Catania Astrophysical Observatory and of the Physics and Astronomy Department of Catania University to the Project is to digitize the image plates of the "Carte du Ciel" and of the Astrographic Catalogue obtained from 1896 to 1907. Moreover plates of the 1910 passage of Halley's comet and other plates obtained during the XX Century (Massimino et al. 2004) have been digitized. A set of identical systems, composed of a commercial flat-bed-retro-illuminated scanner, a dedicated personal computer and an acquisition software, has been installed in the Institutes involved in the Project. The main characteristics of Astroplates, a software program developed in Catania, that uses the IDL libraries to manage the astronomical images acquired with the scanner from photographic plates are presented.
Aveni, A F; Gibbs, S L; Hartung, H
the front of the structure. It may be astronomically significant that the Yucatecan towers fronted in approximately the same direction. Andrews (34) reports the existence of a curious circular building located at Puerto Rico, Campeche, near Xpujil. His crosssectional view of the tower bears a close resemblance to Ruppert's sketch (6, figure 293) of a horizontal section taken through the windows remaining at the top of the Caracol. Hartung (12) has suggested a possible astronomical use for the Puerto Rico tower, but no analysis of the orientation of its "windows," which are much smaller than those of the Caracol, has yet been conducted. Other circular buildings are reported at Ake (20, p. 113) and Isla Cozumel (35, p. 557). We hope that future investigations of the remains of Yucatecan towers will shed further light upon the significance and use of the Caracol as an astronomical observatory. PMID:17759669
Liu, Chao; Wang, Dan; Liu, Bo; Gao, Dan; Cui, Chenzhou; Zhao, Yongheng
A new application framework for virtual observatory (VO) is designed for discovering unknown knowledge from thousands of astronomical catalogs which have already released and are accessible through VO services. The framework consist of two new technologies to seamlessly associate data queried from SkyNode supported databases with data mining (DM) algorithms, which either come from third-party software or are developed directly above the framework. The first one is a high level programming language, called Job Description Language (JDL), for describing jobs for data accessing and numerical computation based on web services. The second technology is a computation component standard with both local and web service invocation interface, which is named as CompuCell. It is a universal solution for integrating arbitrary third-party DM software into the framework so as to invoke them directly in JDL program. We implement a prototype with a JDL supported portal and achieve clustering algorithm in CompuCell components. We combine a series of data mining procedures with a data access procedure by programming in JDL on the portal. A scientific research, which recognizes OB associations from 2MASS catalog, is treated as a demonstration for the prototype. It confirms the feasibility of the application framework.
Davis, R. J.; Deutschman, W. A.; Haramundanis, K. L.
Observational results obtained by the celescope experiment during the first 16 months of operation of NASA's Orbiting Astronomical Observatory are presented. Results of the stellar observations are listed along with selected ground-based information obtained from the available literature.
Pinigin, Gennadiy; Pozhalova, Zhanna
Nikolaev Astronomical Observatory (NAO), one of the oldest scientific institutions of the South-Eastern Europe, was founded as a naval observatory in 1821 for providing the needs of the Russian Black Sea Navy. It is a historical and astronomical complex with a reserved territory of total area 7.1 hectares, situated in the central part of Mykolaiv city, Ukraine. The beginning of scientific research at the Observatory is connected with the activity of Karl Knorre, its first director. From 1912 up to 1991, NAO was one of the Southern departments of Pulkovo Observatory with the main purpose to spread the system of absolute catalogs to the Southern hemisphere and to carry out regular observations of the Solar system bodies. Since 1992 NAO has become an independent leading institution of Ukraine in the field of positional astronomy, dynamics of Solar system bodies, research of near-Earth space, astronomical instrumentation. In 2007, it was inscribed in the Tentative UNESCO List of WH (#5116). The most significant part of the complex is the Main building, which was built in the style of Classicism in 1821--1829 (the monument of architecture #535 in the state registry). Also, the astronomical pavilions (1875, 1913, 1955, etc.) and instruments were preserved. Among them three Repsold instruments: meridian circle (1834), portable circle (1868) and vertical circle (1897). The unique astronomical and navigational devices, the collection of astronomical clocks are present in the observatory museum and the paper archive since the foundation of observatory is preserved.
Derriere, Sebastian; Richard, André; Preite-Martinez, Andrea
The Semantic Web and ontologies are emerging technologies that enable advanced knowledge management and sharing. Their application to Astronomy can offer new ways of sharing information between astronomers, but also between machines or software components and allow inference engines to perform reasoning on an astronomical knowledge base. The first examples of astronomy-related ontologies are being developed in the european VOTech project.
Martinez Picar, Antonio; Salas Ramirez, Henry
The Centro de Investigaciones de Astronomia (CIDA), the Venezuelan Institute in charge for managing human- and technical resources of the National Astronomical Observatory in Llano del Hato, is one of the younger institutes in its field. However, its foundation is surrounded by a series of curious and interesting eyents that go back to the end of the 18th century. Its equatoriallocation, excellent astronomical equipment and the high-qualified personnel offers a geographical and technical advantage. The paper is a historical oveniew of events, facts and demonstrations of the human activity related to the conception, building and starting the Llano del Hato National Astronomical Observatory.
Delisle, born in 1688 April 4, is well known as a collector of astronomical data from all over the world. Part of his manuscripts are preserved in the Paris Observatory library. He is said to have collected all available astronomical data at the time he was in activity in France and in Russia where he spent more than twenty years. He had more correspondents and among them, in Asia father Gaubil, of which more than one hundred letters are in the Paris Observatory archives, providing priceless informations to astronomical researchers, historians and others.
Virun, N.; Pakuliak, L.; Kazantseva, L.
The project of Ukrainian Virtual Observatory is based on the digitization of photographic plate archives, collected during more than 100 years, which together with CCD archieves are expected to form the Joint Digital Archive. The paper presents the description of archieves the historical photographical collections of astronomical observatories of Kyiv and Lviv national universities. The application of flatbed scanners for plate digitization is discussed.
Yangbajing Astronomical Station of National Astronomical Observatories, Chinese Academy of Science (NAOC) is located in Yangbajing Tibet (90°31'50" E 30°06'38" N, 4300m ). It is the first professional observatory operated by NAOC for science project in Tibet. This station was established on August 17, 2011, which means that Tibet has its first astronomical observatory. There are one 3-meter in diameter submillimeter telescope CCOSMA and five 40-50 cm optical telescopes. This could lay a solid foundation for attracting more international cooperation on large telescope projects in Tibet in future. we have already tested the radio, millimeter/submillimeter and optical environment in Yangbajing. The result shows that Yangbajing station is a good desirable multi-wavelength astronomical observation site.
Bendek, Eduardo A.; Leatherbee, Michael; Smith, Heather; Strappa, Valentina; Zinnecker, Hans; Perez, Mario
Specialized manpower required to efficiently operate world-class observatories requires large investments in time and resources to train personnel in very specific areas of engineering. Isolation and distances to mayor cities pose a challenge to retain motivated and qualified personnel on the mountain. This paper presents strategies that we believe may be effective for retaining this specific know-how in the astronomy field; while at the same time develop a local support industry for observatory operations and astronomical instrumentation development. For this study we choose Chile as a research setting because it will host more than 60% of the world's ground based astronomical infrastructure by the end of the decade, and because the country has an underdeveloped industry for astronomy services. We identify the astronomical infrastructure that exists in the country as well as the major research groups and industrial players. We further identify the needs of observatories that could be outsourced to the local economy. As a result, we suggest spin-off opportunities that can be started by former observatory employees and therefore retaining the knowhow of experienced people that decide to leave on-site jobs. We also identify tools to facilitate this process such as the creation of a centralized repository of local capabilities and observatory needs, as well as exchange programs within astronomical instrumentation groups. We believe that these strategies will contribute to a positive work environment at the observatories, reduce the operation and development costs, and develop a new industry for the host country.
Warner, B.; Murdin, P.
In the late 1960s the Science Research Council (SRC) in the UK seriously considered closing the Royal Observatory at the Cape of Good Hope (see SOUTH AFRICAN ASTRONOMY), but the observatory (located in Cape Town) was saved by the establishment in January 1972 of a joint agreement between the SRC and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) of South Africa, whereby the two Councils...
Shlyapnikov, A.; Bondar', N.; Gorbunov, M.
We describe the main principles of formation of databases (DBs) with information about astronomical objects and their physical characteristics derived from observations obtained at the Crimean Astrophysical Observatory (CrAO) and published in the ``Izvestiya of the CrAO'' and elsewhere. Emphasis is placed on the DBs missing from the most complete global library of catalogs and data tables, VizieR (supported by the Center of Astronomical Data, Strasbourg). We specially consider the problem of forming a digital archive of observational data obtained at the CrAO as an interactive DB related to database objects and publications. We present examples of all our DBs as elements integrated into the Crimean Astronomical Virtual Observatory. We illustrate the work with the CrAO DBs using tools of the International Virtual Observatory: Aladin, VOPlot, VOSpec, in conjunction with the VizieR and Simbad DBs.
The beginnings of astronomical education and research in Nagyszombat can be traced back to the 17th century. In the middle of the 18th century, astronomical research received a new impetus with the founding of a dedicated astronomical observatory. While the university and its main observatory were moved to the capital Buda in 1777, observations continued in the old observing station at Nagyszombat until 1785. The first director of the observatory, Franciscus X. Weiss (1717--1785) and his assistants (J.N. Sajnovics, F. v. P. Triesnecker. F. X. Bruna and F. Taucher) made a great number of astrometric measurements, i.e. observations of eclipses, the determination of positions of the Moon and planets rep. to bright stars, the last contact of the transit ov Venus (1761) and from the events of Jovian satellites.
Berriman, G. Bruce; Hanisch, Robert J.; Lazio, T. Joseph W.
The Virtual Observatory (VO) is realizing global electronic integration of astronomy data. One of the long-term goals of the U.S. VO project, the Virtual Astronomical Observatory (VAO), is development of services and protocols that respond to the growing size and complexity of astronomy data sets. This paper describes how VAO staff are active in such development efforts, especially in innovative strategies and techniques that recognize the limited operating budgets likely available to astronomers even as demand increases. The project has a program of professional outreach whereby new services and protocols are evaluated.
Figueiredo, Fernando B.
The establishment of scientific education at the University of Coimbra was one of the most important features of the Reform of the University in 1772. One of the best examples is the creation of the Faculty Mathematics and of the Astronomical Observatory (OAUC) - it was here that Alexandre Gouveia (1731--1808), who would be bishop of Beijing (1785--1808), obtained his degree in Mathematics. The foundation of the OAUC was fundamental in the institutionalization of astronomical science in Portugal, during a period when astronomy, supported by the great theoretical advances of the celestial mechanics and applied mathematics, could finally provide some important solutions to the most prominent scientific problems since Newton (questions about celestial mechanics, navigation, geodesy, etc.). Such questions were also central in the conception and planning of OAUC - the first Portuguese university-based astronomical observatory, although with aspects of a National Observatory. Jose Monteiro da Rocha (1734--1819) was the central personality in the conception, planning and construction of OAUC, as well in its instrument's provision (purchased and assembled throughout the 1780s) and posterior scientific activity. The construction of the OAUC was originally planned for the site of the Castle of the city of Coimbra. In 1775, when only the first floor of the Observatory was built, the construction stopped. However, to fulfill the teaching needs a small provisional Observatory was built inside the courtyard of the University. This provisional Observatory would eventually run for about 15 years! The definitive OAUC was built between the years 1790--99. In this communication we pretend to study the establishment of the OAUC and its primary astronomical collection (a transit instrument, a portable quadrant, a sector, several telescopes, etc.) and how that collection was responsible for the construction plan of the OAUC and the establishment of its Astronomical Ephemeris (1803).
Guevara Gómez, J. C.; Calvo-Mozo, B.; Martinez Oliveros, J. C.
Colombia is located in the northern tip of South America close to the amazon rain forest. This makes astronomical observations in the visible range very challenging, as cloud coverage is relatively high. Hence, radio astronomy becomes a natural and good choice. We present the design, characterization and first results of the Observatorio Astronomico Nacional solar radio spectrograph. This instrument is a Log-Periodic Dipole Array Antenna (LPDA) working between 100 MHz and 1 GHz optimized for solar observations. The radio spectrograph is a working prototype for a more ambitious solar radio interferometer, that will be the first instrument of this kind in Colombia.
A brief summary is given on scientific research work of Shanghai Astronomical Observatory in 2001, including achievements obtained in knowledge innovation and basic research, observations and technical development, personal training and introducing, scientific management and service, international corporation and academic exchange, and so on. The main shortage on the work is also pointed out.
The purpose of this research is to know and gain a better understanding of people who come to astronomical observatories and to find out more about their experiences and thoughts on astronomy. To find some of the issues about science communication in astronomy, the author carried out questionnaire research studies involving high school students and junior high school and elementary school teachers.
Mighell, Kenneth J.; Garmany, K.; Larson, K.; Eastwood, K. D.
The Virtual Observatory provides several tools that are useful for educators. With these tools, instructors can easily provide real data to students in an environment that engages student curiosity and builds student understanding. In this poster we demonstrate how the tools Aladin and TOPCAT can be used to enhance astronomy education. The Aladin Sky Atlas is a Virtual Observatory portal from the CDS that displays images, superimposes catalogs, and provides interactive access to data. For illustration, we show an exercise for non-science majors in a college-level astronomy course that introduces students to the HR diagram of star clusters. After launching the pre-loaded Aladin applet, students select their own stars, connecting visual cues of brightness and color to the conceptual meaning behind a quantitative HR diagram. TOPCAT can be linked with Aladin on the desktop to let students analyze their data, perform calculations, and create professional-quality graphs. The basic exercise can be easily expanded to address other learning objectives and provides a launching point for students to access, visualize, and explore multi-wavelength data as they continue in astronomy. As a second example, we show an exercise that uses TOPCAT to do three-dimensional plotting of the positions of open and globular cluster to illustrate galactic structure. Detailed information is available at the following website: http://www.noao.edu/staff/mighell/nvoss2008/ . This research was done at the 2008 U.S. National Virtual Observatory Summer School which was held in Santa Fe, New Mexico on September 3 - 11, 2008 and was sponsored by the National Science Foundation.
Gondolo, P.; Kieda, D.; Lebohec, S.; Martens, S. K.; Ricketts, P.; Springer, R. W.; Zimmer, C.
The University of Utah has recently begun construction of a new 0.8 m optical/IR robotic telescope to be operated as a regional astronomy resource in the Intermountain West. The new Southern Utah Observatory (SUO) will require a high altitude (>3000 m) site with excellent atmospheric seeing, favorable weather conditions, and nearby infrastructure, including road, power, and high speed internet. We have explored six possible sites for the SUO telescope with favorable climate, night sky darkness and infrastructure. Since spring 2007, we have performed detailed measurements of atmospheric seeing at several of these sites, and have identified the preferred site for the SUO telescope at Frisco Peak, UT. Several large (1 sq. mile) areas of State Trust Land are nearby the new SUO telescope site. These large, flat areas may be excellent sites for large area, next generation Imaging Atmospheric Cherenkov Telescopes (IACT) arrays such as AGIS or northern CTA.
Craig, N.; Price, A.; Mattei, J.; Mendez, B.; Hawkins, I.; UC Berkeley Team; AAVSO Collaboration
Astronomy, more than any other science, benefits from the active contribution of Amateur Astronomers, who bring to this field a high degree of skill and dedication. Amateur Astronomers make direct contributions to informal and public education: they present public lectures and courses; organize star parties, international Astronomy Day programs, and special displays in libraries and shopping malls; they write articles and books and produce radio and television programs; they lobby for planetariums, science centers, public observatories, and even NASA satellites. Above all, amateur astronomers convey their enthusiasm for science with dedication and devotion. They represent a unique and exceptional way in which ordinary citizens can support science and education at the grass-roots level. We have conducted a needs analysis survey, with collaboration of The American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO) to identify areas in which the National Virtual Observatory (NVO) Education & Public Outreach efforts can best address the astronomical needs and interest of the amateur astronomical community. We found that above all amateurs want access to the same data the professionals use and in a format that allows them to use the data in their own personal manner. We will discuss the further results of this qualitative and quantitative survey. This study is supported by Science Education Gateway (SEGway) Project, a NASA SR&T (Supporting Research and Technology) Program.
The Astronomical Observatory of Lisbon was founded in 1857 in the sequence of a controversy on stellar parallax measurements involving astronomers from the Observatory of Paris and the Observatory of Pulkovo. The development of this discussion led the contenders to recognize Lisbon as a suitable place to carry out this kind of measurements and to foster the field of stellar astronomy. Some local actors strived to keep up with this wave of international interest and establish a first-rank astronomical institution in the Portuguese capital. In order to fulfil this goal, correspondence was intensively exchanged with leading foreign astronomers and instrument makers. Besides, a Portuguese Navy officer bound to become the first director of the new institution was commissioned to visit several observatories and instrument workshops abroad, and to spend a few years in Pulkovo as a trainee astronomer. Although founded with generous financial support from the Portuguese crown and lavishly equipped and constructed, the Observatory of Lisbon was later affected by limiting budgets and a shortage of qualified personnel. Nevertheless, local efforts to improve instruments as well as observation and calculation techniques enabled its astronomers to yield important contributions to positional astronomy, especially towards the end of the nineteenth century and the beginnings of the twentieth century. The original instruments and spaces of the Observatory of Lisbon, strongly modelled on those of Pulkovo, are very well preserved, constituting an outstanding extant example of a mid-nineteenth century advanced observatory. The history they embody testifies the connectedness of the astronomical heritage worldwide.
Roman, N. G.
The Large Space Telescope (LST) will be a unique facility which must be designed to serve the needs of all potential users throughout the world. This requires that a representative group of astronomers work intimately with the engineers in the early design of the telescope and that astronomers continue to be closely involved in the planning throughout the life of the project. Forty scientists are now defining the auxiliary instruments and their operation. Later, others will build instruments and participate in assigning observing time on the telescope, on the basis of the scientific merit of the proposed observation.
Smith, Randall K.
The Chandra X-ray observatory, one of NASA's "Great Observatories," provides high angular and spectral resolution X-ray data which is freely available to all. In this review I describe the instruments on chandra along with their current calibration, as well as the chandra proposal system, the freely-available Chandra analysis software package CIAO, and the Chandra archive. As Chandra is in its 6th year of operation, the archive already contains calibrated observations of a large range of X-ray sources. The Chandra X-ray Center is committed to assisting astronomers from any country who wish to use data from the archive or propose for observations
Ledvinka, S.; Pisala, J.
The astronomy can be an ideal vehicle for extending the informal education. The planetariums can be the appropriate choice for an extended education. The science of astronomy has a great advantage over other disciplines and all those attributes can be fully utilised in creation of an educational programs for students and general public. The following article will describe how The Nicholas Copernicus Observatory and Planetarium in Brno dealt with some aspects of the astronomical education.
Pérez-Jordán, G.; Castro-Almazán, J. A.; Muñoz-Tuñón, C.; Codina, B.; Vernin, J.
The atmospheric precipitable water vapour content (PWV) strongly affects astronomical observations in the infrared (IR). We have validated the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) mesoscale numerical weather prediction (NWP) model as an operational forecasting tool for PWV. In the validation, we used atmospheric radiosounding data obtained directly at the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory [ORM: ≈2200 metres above sea level (masl)] during three intensive runs and an aditional verification sample of 1 yr of radiosonde data from World Meteorological Organization (WMO) station 60018 in Güímar (Tenerife, TFE: ≈105 masl). These data sets allowed us to calibrate the model at the observatory site and to validate it under different PWV and atmospheric conditions. The ability of the WRF model in forecasting the PWV at astronomical observatories and the effects of horizontal model grid size on the computed PWV and vertical profiles of humidity are discussed. An excellent agreement between model forecasts and observations was found at both locations, with correlations above 0.9 in all cases. Subtle but significant differences between model horizontal resolutions have been found, the 3 km grid size being the most accurate and the one selected for future work. Absolute calibrations are given for the lowest and finest grid resolutions. The median PWV values obtained were 3.8 and 18.3 mm at ORM and TFE, respectively. WRF forecasts will complement the PWV measured by the GPS monitoring system at the Canarian Observatories.
Cirella, E. O.; Caprio, G.
This paper describes a project for the preservation, promotion, and creation of a website for the rare book collection of Capodimonte Astronomical Observatory. The project, promoted by INAF—Capodimonte Astronomical Observatory, was supported by the Campania Region through European funds. The final component of the project was the publication of a bibliographical catalog, Le Cinquecentine dell'Osservatorio Astronomico di Capodimonte, which was addressed to specialized users, including historians of science and bibliophiles.
Berriman, G. B.; Hanisch, R. J.; Lazio, T. J.
The Virtual Observatory (VO) is realizing global electronic integration of astronomy data. The rapid growth in the size and complexity of data sets is transforming the computing landscape in astronomy. One of the long-term goals of the U.S. VO project, the Virtual Astronomical Observatory (VAO), is development of an information backbone that responds to this growth. Such a backbone will, when complete, provide innovative mechanisms for fast discovery of, and access to, massive data sets, and services that enable distributed storage, publication processing of large datasets. All these services will be built so that new projects can incorporate them as part of their data management and processing plans. Services under development to date include a general purpose indexing scheme for fast access to data sets, a cross-comparison engine that operate on catalogs of 1 billion records or more, and an interface for managing distributed data sets and connecting them to data discovery and analysis tools. The VAO advises projects on technology solutions for their data access and processing needs, and recently advised the Sagan Workshop on using cloud computing to support hands-on data analysis sessions for 150+ participants. Acknowledgements: The Virtual Astronomical Observatory (VAO) is managed by the VAO, LLC, a non-profit company established as a partnership of the Associated Universities, Inc. and the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc. The VAO is sponsored by the National Science Foundation and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
Jurgenson, Colby A.; Fischer, Debra A.; McCracken, Tyler M.; Stoll, Rebecca A.; Szymkowiak, Andrew E.; Giguere, Matt J.; Santoro, Fernando G.; Muller, Gary
The Yale Exoplanet Laboratory is under contract to design, build, and deliver a high-resolution (R = 60,000) echelle spectrograph for the Moletai Astronomical Observatory 1.65-meter telescope at the Vilnius University. We present a fiber-fed, white-pupil architecture that will operate from 400 to 880nm. The optomechanical design implements a modular approach for stability and ease of alignment that can be reproduced for other telescopes. It will utilize highperformance off-the-shelf optical components with a custom designed refractive camera for high throughput and good image quality.
Echevarria, J.; Michel, R.; Costero, R.
We review some of the most important aspects of the astronomical Observatory at the Sierra de San Pedro Mártir, in Baja California, México. We put particular emphasis on our own results on seeing evaluation and compare the results with what we considered the best twenty sites in the world. We also compile the results on the San Pedro Mártir site in sensitive aspects like number of clear and photometric nights, scintillation, water vapour content and seismic activity among others.
Barbieri, C.; Blanco, C.; Bucciarelli, B.; Coluzzi, R.; Di Paola, A.; Lanteri, L.; Li Causi, G. L.; Marilli, E.; Magrin, S.; Nesci, R.; Omizzolo, A.; Rampazzi, F.; Rossi, C.; Stagni, R.; Viotti, R.
A two-year project to digitize the archive of plates of the Italian Astronomical Observatories and of the Specola Vaticana has started in 2002 with funds from the Ministry of the University and Research. Identical systems, composed by a commercial scanner plus dedicated PCs and acquisition software have been installed in all participating Institutes. The project means to provide high quality photometric sequences with the Campo Imperatore telescopes and to distribute the digitized information via the international Web. This paper concisely presents some of the activities carried out and results obtained so far.
Space observatories are today helping astronomers discover and understand the furthest reaches of the Universe. But the origin of gamma-ray bursts, brief but extremely powerful explosions, is still one of the great cosmic mysteries. INTEGRAL will be a space observatory whose objective is to gather gamma rays, the most energetic radiation that comes from space, pinpointing and studying their sources with an unprecedented resolution and sensitivity. In addition to tracking down gamma-ray bursts, the observatory will bring much new information on stellar explosions, black holes and the formation of elements. With no other dedicated gamma-ray mission on the horizon, the world's scientists are eagerly awaiting the start of the mission, just 12 months away. Ireland's astronomers and astrophysicists will be privileged users. Professor Brian McBreen of University College Dublin, and Professor Evert Meurs of the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies (DIAS) and Director of Dunsink Observatory, are both co-investigators for the Optical Monitor Camera (OMC), one of INTEGRAL's four science instruments. Their teams have also contributed to the science analysis software to be used at the INTEGRAL Science Data Centre (ISDC). Professor McBreen, an authority in the field of gamma-ray bursts, was one of the founding fathers of the project in the 1980s that subsequently led to INTEGRAL. The spacecraft is currently undergoing environmental tests at ESA's Technical and Research Centre (ESTEC) in the Netherlands. The launch, on a Russian Proton rocket from Baïkonour, is scheduled for October 2002. Speakers at the press conference will include , Ireland's Minister for Commerce, Science and Technology Mr. Noel Treacy, the President of RIA Professor T.D. Spearman, and Professor David Southwood, Director of Science at the European Space Agency and the Irish co-investigators.
Bell, T. E.
"What good is this century-old monster refractor? Sell it and use the money to buy a brand new go-to reflector useful for teaching students and advancing astronomy." So argues logic that is endangering an increasing number of university observatories around the U.S. (if not the rest of the world), even up to the Yerkes Observatory and its 40-inch Clark, world's largest refractor by the acknowledged world's best lens-makers. While most non-historians readily accept the value of preserving our cultural heritage in rare and precious documents (such as the Declaration of Independence), artifacts (such as Stradivarius violins), and institutions (such as the birthplaces of U.S. Presidents), they tend not to think of astronomical observatories as part of cultural heritage-with a result that history is crumbling apace to the wrecking ball. In early October, the Antique Telescope Society convened a special 60-minute session discussing philosophical why's and practical how's of preserving astronomical assets (including historically significant telescopes, observatory buildings, auxiliary equipment used to make observations or calculate results, and libraries of books and papers). This paper will summarize the discussion's key insights - including the assessing and assigning of value to old vs. new telescopes, and the roles of politics, funding and fund-raising, publicity (positive and negative), education, use as a form of preservation, innovative solutions by private collectors (including "half-way houses" for homeless instruments), restoration vs. renovation, special problems facing very large telescopes, and lessons learned from both failures and success.
Robert Innes was one of a select band of amateur astronomers who made the transition to professional ranks towards the end of the nineteenth century. Initially he had a passion for mathematical astronomy, but after settling in Sydney he developed a taste for observational astronomy, specialising in the search for new double stars. He quickly became known for his success in this field and for his publications on solar system perturbations, and with John Tebbutt's patronage managed to secure a clerical position at the Royal Observatory, Cape of Good Hope. Once there he continued to observe in his spare time and to publish, and, with strong support from Sir David Gill, was appointed founding Director of the Transvaal Observatory. By the time he died in 1933, Innes had received an honorary D.Sc. from Leiden University, and had established an international reputation as a positional astronomer. This paper provides an interesting case study of a well-known `amateur-turned-professional', and an example of the ways in which patronage played a key role in nineteenth and early twentieth century Australian and South African astronomy.
Srivastava, Mudit K.; Ramaprakash, A. N.; Burse, Mahesh P.; Chordia, Pravin A.; Chillal, Kalpesh S.; Mestry, Vilas B.; Das, Hillol K.; Kohok, Abhay A.
For any modern astronomical observatory, it is essential to have an efficient interface between the telescope and its back-end instruments. However, for small and medium-sized observatories, this requirement is often limited by tight financial constraints. Therefore a simple yet versatile and low-cost control system is required for such observatories to minimize cost and effort. Here we report the development of a modern, multipurpose instrument control system TELICS (Telescope Instrument Control System) to integrate the controls of various instruments and devices mounted on the telescope. TELICS consists of an embedded hardware unit known as a common control unit (CCU) in combination with Linux-based data acquisition and user interface. The hardware of the CCU is built around the ATmega 128 microcontroller (Atmel Corp.) and is designed with a backplane, master-slave architecture. A Qt-based graphical user interface (GUI) has been developed and the back-end application software is based on C/C++. TELICS provides feedback mechanisms that give the operator good visibility and a quick-look display of the status and modes of instruments as well as data. TELICS has been used for regular science observations since 2008 March on the 2 m, f/10 IUCAA Telescope located at Girawali in Pune, India.
Hammer, Michael; Blackburn, B.; Fredricks, J.; Garcia, K.; Poniatowski, A.; Schindler, K.; Wilk, A.
The Cornell Astronomical Society is an undergraduate student-run organization that operates Cornell’s on-campus Fuertes Observatory with the help of members of the astronomy department and local amateur astronomy volunteers. While some of our members study physics or astronomy, the majority of our club members represent a diverse spectrum of majors both inside and outside of other STEM fields. Our primary activity as a club is to host weekly public stargazing nights that are attended annually by over two thousand people in a city of Ithaca that has a population of only one hundred thousand. We train our members to use a variety of telescopes and to open and close the observatory with the ultimate goal of having any one of us able to operate Fuertes individually. We also teach stargazing-related astronomy knowledge and host a weekly public lecture series, in which CAS members give talks on basic, but interesting topics in astronomy. Our club effort has made Fuertes Observatory a true part of the Cornell experience.
The National Astronomical Observatory of Japan started regular synoptic solar observations about 100 years ago. At the beginning, Ca K spectroheliograms and white-light photographs were taken, and various other types of observations have been added. These historical data have been digitized and are now open at our web site (http://solarwww.mtk.nao.ac.jp/en/solarobs.html). Currently we are operating high-resolution imaging observations in the Hα line, the green continuum, and the G-band. Besides various kinds of imaging observations, magnetic field measurements have been carried out for about 30 years. We recently started to conduct full-Sun spectropolarimetry observations in the lines of He 10830 Å/Si 10827 Å and Fe 15648 Å. These near infrared observations show the magnetic field evolutions in both the photosphere and the chromosphere. In this paper, we present our data, which are expected to contribute to studying the long-term change of the solar activity.
Pearlman, M. R.; Bufton, J. L.; Hogan, D.; Kurtenbach, D.; Goodwin, K.
Quantitative measurements of the astronomical seeing conditions have been made with a stellar-image monitor system at the Mt. Hopkins Observatory in Arizona. The results of this joint SAO-NASA experiment indicate that for a 15-cm-diameter telescope, image motion is typically 1 arcsec or less and that intensity fluctuations due to scintillation have a coefficient of irradiance variance of less than 0.12 on the average. Correlations between seeing quality and local meteorological conditions were investigated. Local temperature fluctuations and temperature gradients were found to be indicators of image-motion conditions, while high-altitude-wind conditions were shown to be somewhat correlated with scintillation-spectrum bandwidth. The theoretical basis for the relationship of atmospheric turbulence to optical effects is discussed in some detail, along with a description of the equipment used in the experiment. General site-testing comments and applications of the seeing-test results are also included.
LU, Ligen; ZHANG, Baozhou; AI, Mingze; LIU, Jian; ZENG, Shanshan
A light pollution survey in Beijing has been carried on to assess the quality of the night sky. To measure the absolute luminance of night sky directly, a portable night-sky luminance meter was developed specially for this survey. With a 2-degree field of view, the meter is sensitive only to a narrow cone of the sky and capable of detecting the minimum luminance of 10-6 cd/m2 (equivalent to 27.4 mag/arcsec2). The night-sky brightness was measured at seven sites, of which six are almost in line but with different distances from the city center. The Xinglong Station of National Astronomical Observatory was included to study the impacts of city lightings on an astronomical observatory. The survey shows that night skies at later time (from 0:00 to 3:00) keep mostly unchanged and are evidently darker than earlier time (e.g. the night-sky at 23:00 is about 40% brighter than midnight), which can be attributed to substantial artificial lightings for human activities being turned off after midnight. Moreover, zenith luminance of the night sky decreases with increasing distance from the city center. Compared with the night-sky luminance (21.50 mag/arcsec2) at Lingshan observation site which is closer to the city center, the night-sky brightness at Xinglong Station is a litter brighter (21.37 mag/arcsec2). This indicates that night sky at Xinglong Station has been brightened by outdoor lighting of the county town of Xinglong. The survey shows that either the luminance of zenith dark sky or the average luminance of skies at 45 degree altitude in all directions could be considered as a reasonable indicator of light pollution.
The 2 meter reflector of the National Astronomical Observatory (NAO) Rozhen offers two main modi of observations: imaging in the Ritchey-Chretien (RC) focus and spectroscopy in the Coude focus. Images can be obtained with two spatial scales: 0.25 arcsec/px or 0.89 arcsec/px. High signal-to-noise, high resolution (up to 35000) spectra are obtained with the Coudé spectrograph. Upgrades of the 2 meter telescope performed in the last years are presented: autoguiding system in 2007, recoating of the optics in 2008, installation of a new telescope control system in 2009. The performance of the 2-m telescope after these upgrades will be illustrated by a sample of observations and the capabilities for observations of Gaia follow-up of SSO will be discussed. Some of the characteristics of the telescope presented here and many more, can be found on the web-site of the National Observatory: www.naorozhen.org.
Barboza, Christina Helena
The National Observatory of Brazil was created in 1827. It was initially focused on the practical teaching of Astronomy to the students of military and naval academies. Since the mid-nineteenth century to the early twentieth century it was installed over the ruins of a Jesuit church located in the center of Rio de Janeiro, capital of the Brazilian Empire.Due to the constant complaints of its successive directors, the search for a new site to house the Observatory began in 1911. The new headquarters of the institution were located on the hill of São Januário, a little further but still around the city center of Rio de Janeiro. Its inauguration took place in 1921.The main building of the new Observatory was based on one of the Brazilian pavilions of the Turin Exhibition of 1911, and its architecture can be characterized as eclectic. The pavilions intended to house the many telescopes were scattered in a large wooded area. Since 1985 all these facilities are protected by the Federal government, as a consequence of the same initiative that gave birth to the Museum of Astronomy and Related Sciences, which has the custody also of the Observatory’s former instruments, furniture, and documents.Although built in the early twentieth century the National Observatory new facilities reveal astronomical practices typical of the previous century. One of its most important activities was the determination of the legal time, a task that justifies its location in the urban environment. It was also responsible for the organization of expeditions destined to determine the geographical positions of railroads and the borders of Brazil. For this reason, the Museum of Astronomy has currently more than 3,000 portable instruments. Moreover, these instruments belong to the domain of Astronomy, but also to Geodesy, Meteorology, Electricity. Due to the creation of the Museum of Astronomy, this rich collection is now open to public visitation, and has become the object of scholarly
Burdick, G.; Callen, P.; Ess, K.; Liu, F.; Postman, M.; Sparks, W.; Seery, B.; Thronson, H.
Future large (diameters in excess of approx. 10 m) astronomical observatories in space will need to employ advanced technologies if they are to be affordable. Many of these technologies are ready to be validated on orbit and the International Space Station (ISS) provides a suitable platform for such demonstrations. These technologies include low-cost, low-density, highly deformable mirror segments, coupled with advanced sensing and control methods. In addition, the ISS offers available telerobotic assembly techniques to build an optical testbed that embodies this new cost-effective approach to assemble and achieve diffraction-limited optical performance for very large space telescopes. Given the importance that NASA attaches to the recommendations of the National Academy of Sciences "Decadal Survey" process, essential capabilities and technologies will be demonstrated well in advance of the next Survey, which commences in 2019. To achieve this objective, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC), NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), and the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) are carrying out a Phase A/B study of the Optical Testbed and Integration on ISS eXperiment (OpTIIX). The overarching goal is to demonstrate well before the end of this decade key capabilities intended to enable very large optical systems in the decade of the 2020s. Such a demonstration will retire technical risk in the assembly, alignment, calibration, and operation of future space observatories. The OpTIIX system, as currently designed, is a six-hexagon element, segmented visual-wavelength telescope with an edge-to-edge aperture of 1.4 m, operating at its diffraction limit,
Erculiani, M. S.; Claudi, R.; Cocola, L.; Giro, E.; La Rocca, N.; Morosinotto, T.; Poletto, L.; Barbisan, D.; Billi, D.; Bonato, M.; D'Alessandro, M.; Galletta, G.; Meneghini, M.; Trivellin, N.; Cestelli Guidi, M.; Pace, E.; Schierano, D.; Micela, G.
At the Astronomical observatory of Padova we are trying to answer some questions about the detectability of biosignatures in the exoplanetary atmospheres, working in the framework of the project Atmosphere in a Test Tube. In particular we are investigating how the presence of photosynthetic biota living on the surface of a planet orbiting in the HZ of an M type star may modify the atmospheric gas abundances. This can be achieved in laboratory with an environmental simulator called MINI - LISA. The simulator allows to modify the temperature and the pressure inside a test chamber, where a selected population of photosynthetic bacteria is arranged. We'll focalize our experiments on the following bacteria: Acaryochloris marina, Halomicronema hongdechloris, Leptolyngbya sp.1 and Chlorogloeopsis fritschii. The first two bacteria are naturally provided with NIR light metabolizers, like Chl-d and Chl-f, while the last two can develop such pigments if grown in NIR light. The experiment will lead us to obtain useful data to be compared with the ones expected either by the future space missions (JWST, ARIEL) and ground based new instrumentation (SPHERE@VLT; GPI@GEMINI; PCS@E-ELT). In this talk we discuss the layout of the experiment and its state of art.
Vecchiato, Alberto; Bernardi, Gabriella; Bucciarelli, Beatrice
The slopes surrounding the buildings of the European Southern Observatory at La Silla are known to house several hundred rock engravings dating back to the pre-Columbian populations that once inhabited this region. Although precise archaeological studies are missing since none of these sites has been excavated, these petroglyphs are attributed to people of the El Molle Culture, who around AD 300 had just abandoned their original lifestyle of hunting and gathering and developed more evolved settlements based on herding and farming.While it is difficult to ascertain precisely the meaning of these ancient rock engravings, it seems that a specific astronomical alignment can be attributed to a simple yet peculiar, man-made stone structure, which can be found in the same site. The archaeoastronomical dating of this alignment coincides to that of the petroglyphs. Moreover it allows to highlight a noticeable and intriguing connection with a practical function which appears quite reasonable for the population to whom this structure is attributed.
Soonthornthum, Boonrucksar; Orchiston, Wayne; Komonjinda, Siramas
The first great Thai ruler to encourage the adoption of Western culture and technology was King Narai, and his enlightened attitude led to the rapid development of Thailand. King Narai also had a passion for astronomy, and he pursued this interest by allowing French Jesuit missionaries to set up a large modern well-equipped astronomical observatory in Lopburi Province between AD 1685 and 1687. This was known as the Wat San Paolo Observatory, and King Narai and the missionaries observed a total lunar eclipse on 10 December 1685 and a partial solar eclipse on 30 April 1688. These observations and others made at Wat San Paolo Observatory during the 1680s marked the start of modern scientific astronomy in Thailand. In this paper we discuss King Narai's scientific and other interests, the founding of the Wat San Paolo Observatory, the missionaries who conducted the astronomical programs, their instruments and their observations. We also describe the surviving ruins of the Observatory and their interpretation as a site of national scientific importance in Thailand.
of the X-ray background, a glow throughout the universe whose source or sources are unknown. Astronomers are now pinpointing the various sources of the X-ray glow because Chandra has resolution eight times better than that of previous X-ray telescopes, and is able to detect sources more than 20 times fainter. "The Chandra team had to develop technologies and processes never tried before," said Tony Lavoie, Chandra program manager at Marshall. "One example is that we built and validated a measurement system to make sure the huge cylindrical mirrors of the telescope were ground correctly and polished to the right shape." The polishing effort resulted in an ultra-smooth surface for all eight of Chandra's mirrors. If the state of Colorado were as smooth as the surface of Chandra's mirrors, Pike's Peak would be less than an inch tall. "Chandra has experienced a great first year of discovery and we look forward to many more tantalizing science results as the mission continues," said Alan Bunner, program director, Structure and Evolution of the universe, NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC. Marshall manages the Chandra program for the Office of Space Science, NASA Headquarters. TRW Space and Electronics Group, Redondo Beach, CA, is the prime contractor. Using glass purchased from Schott Glaswerke, Mainz, Germany, the telescope's mirrors were built by Raytheon Optical Systems Inc., Danbury, CT, coated by Optical Coating Laboratory, Inc., Santa Rosa, CA, and assembled and inserted into the telescope portion of Chandra by Eastman Kodak Co., Rochester, NY. The scientific instruments were supplied by collaborations led by Pennsylvania State University, University Park; Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, Cambridge, MA; Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge; and the Space Research Organization Netherlands, Utrecht. The Smithsonian's Chandra X-ray Center controls science and operations from Cambridge, working with astronomers around the globe to record the activities
Ziemer, John; Mueller, J.; Spence, D.; Hruby, V.
A new Colloid Microthruster feed system, including a propellant tank and redundant Microvalves, is being developed for fine pointing and drag-free operations of multi-year astronomical observatories under the PCOS SAT program. Almost all Gravitational Wave Observatory (GWO) concepts require microthrusters to maintain a drag-free environment for the inertial sensor instrument to meet the mission science objectives. The current state-of-the-art microthruster in the US is the Busek Colloid Micro-Newton Thruster (CMNT) originally developed under the New Millennium Program for the Space Technology 7 (ST7) and ESA's LISA Pathfinder (LPF) technology demonstration mission. The ST7 CMNT design includes a bellows propellant storage tank that is sized to provide up to 90 days of maximum thrust (30 µN). The new propellant tank is based on a blow-down, metal-diaphragm spherical tank design with enough capacity for a 5-year GWO mission. The new feed system will also include the third generation of Busek’s Microvalve, currently being developed under a NASA Phase II SBIR. The Microvalve is responsible for the picoliter per second control of the propellant from the tank to the thruster head, demanding parts with micron-level tolerances, critical alignments, and challenging acceptance test protocols. This microthruster system could also be considered for replacement of reaction wheels for slewing and fine pointing of other astronomical observatories, including Exo-Planet Observatory concepts. The goal of the PCOS SAT effort is to raise the new system to TRL 5 with performance and environmental testing within the next two years.
Craine, Eric R.; Craine, Brian L.; Craine, Patrick R.; Craine, Erin M.; Fouts, Scott
Urbanized observatories are under financial pressures for numerous and complex reasons, including concerns that increasing sky brightness will continue to erode their scientific viability. The history of urbanized observatories is one of steady decline and divestiture. We argue that light at night (LAN) impacts of urban growth are inadequately understood, that current measurement techniques are incomplete in scope, and that both limit the effectiveness of mitigation programs. We give examples of these factors for Pima County, Arizona, and propose techniques and a program that could provide focus and power to mitigation efforts, and could extend the longevity of southern Arizona observatories.
Craine, E. R.; Craine, B. L.; Craine, P. R.; Craine, E. M.; Fouts, S.
(Abstract only) Urbanized observatories are under financial pressures for numerous and complex reasons, including concerns that increasing sky brightness will continue to erode their scientific viability. The history of urbanized observatories is one of steady decline and divestiture. We argue that light at night (LAN) impacts of urban growth are inadequately understood, that current measurement techniques are incomplete in scope, and that both limit the effectiveness of mitigation programs. We give examples of these factors for Pima County, Arizona, and propose techniques and a program that could provide focus and power to mitigation efforts, and could extend the longevity of southern Arizona observatories.
The cooperation of Masaryc University and Nicolas Copernicus Observatory and Planetarium in Brno, Czech republic is introduced. Students can use CCD camera and obtain precize photometric data for their practicums. Such possibility is unique in Czech republic.
Le Guet Tully, Françoise; Davoigneau, Jean
We shall describe the political and scientific contexts of the concomitant foundation on three continents of three observatories particularly well equipped instrument-wise: the ``ideal'' observatory erected in Nice by the sponsor Raphaël Bischoffsheim, the one developed in Algiers by the French State in a very good observational site, and the one in La Plata embedded in the urbanistic utopic project for the new capital of the Province of Buenos-Aires. We shall also explore their similarities and differences, especially as regards their instruments and their makers, their scientific aims and training of their staff.
Sebring, T.; O'Dea, C.; Baum, S.; Teran, J.; Loewen, N.; Stutzki, C.; Egerman, R.; Bonomi, G.
Over the past two years, the New York Astronomical Corporation (NYAC), the business arm of the Astronomical Society of New York (ASNY), has continued planning and technical studies toward construction of a 12-meter class optical telescope for the use of all New York universities and research institutions. Four significant technical studies have been performed investigating design opportunities for the facility, the dome, the telescope optics, and the telescope mount. The studies were funded by NYAC and performed by companies who have provided these subsystems for large astronomical telescopes in the past. In each case, innovative and cost effective approaches were identified, developed, analyzed, and initial cost estimates developed. As a group, the studies show promise that this telescope could be built at historically low prices. As the project continues forward, NYAC intends to broaden the collaboration, pursue funding, to continue to develop the telescope and instrument designs, and to further define the scientific mission. The vision of a historically large telescope dedicated to all New York institutions continues to grow and find new adherents.
Hayes-Thakore, Chris; Spark, Stephen; Pool, Peter; Walker, Andrew; Clapp, Matthew; Waltham, Nick; Shugarov, Andrey
As part of a strategy to provide increasingly complex systems to customers, e2v is currently developing the sensor solution for focal plane array for the WSO-UV (World Space Observatory - Ultraviolet) programme, a Russian led 170 cm space astronomical telescope. This is a fully integrated sensor system for the detection of UV light across 3 channels: 2 high resolution spectrometers covering wavelengths of 115 - 176 nm and 174 - 310 nm and a Long-Slit Spectrometer covering 115 nm - 310 nm. This paper will describe the systematic approach and technical solution that has been developed based on e2v's long heritage, CCD experience and expertise. It will show how this approach is consistent with the key performance requirements and the overall environment requirements that the delivered system will experience through ground test, integration, storage and flight.
Hanaoka, Y.; Solar Observatory of NAOJ
The National Astronomical Observatory of Japan has a history of about 100 years of regular synoptic solar observations. It started with Ca K spectroheliographic and white-light imaging observations, and shortly afterward, the counting of sunspots was started. Current imaging observations are being carried out in the Hα line, the Ca K line, the G-band, and the green continuum. In addition, the NAOJ has a history of more than 30 years of magnetic field measurements, and now we are conducting full-Sun spectropolarimetry observations. Most of the historical photographic and hand-drawn data have been digitized and are now open at our web site as well as recently obtained data. Here we introduce our data to promote the collaboration in the long-term solar activity study.
Setting up an observatory on the Moon could not only give us new views of the uni- verse, but also inspire the billions of people who look at the Moon. The Moon as a site for astronomy has been proposed since at least the mid-1960s when humans began to have access to outer space. The most seriously investigated concept for a Moon-based observatory has always been a very-low-frequency array on the far side for several well-grounded reasons. First, the Lunar far side is recognized as the best site of all for radio astronomy because it is the one location permanently free from the significant artificial and natural interference from Earth. Second, such an observatory will give us a completely new look at the universe by opening up the new frequency window of 50kHz-30MHz, the only part of the electromagnetic spectrum through which the universe has yet to be explored. Third, a simple array of dipole antennas is probably the most technologically feasible observatory to be placed and operated on the Moon. To be able to see astronomy happening from the Moon before we all age another 10 years, we must answer several questions at our earliest opportunities. (1) How far into the far side does the observatory site need to be for the terrestrial interference to be at- tenuated below the background level? (2) How do the electrical properties of the Lunar surface influence the site selection and the antenna design? In particular, how might the subsurface structures reflect radio waves to affect the observation? (3) How much would the Lunar ionosphere affect the observation? To address these questions now, radio wave propagation around the Moon is simulated using Apollo data for dielectric permittivity and loss tangent of the Lunar surface. The results of the simulations are presented. To ultimately identify the best sites and to specify the observatory design, making the following measurements within the next several years is crucial. (1) The level of terrestrial noise at various
Vanallen, J. A.
Various research projects in space physics are summarized. Emphasis is placed on: (1) the study of energetic particles in outer space and their relationships to electric, magnetic, and electromagnetic fields associated with the earth, the sun, the moon, the planets, and interplanetary medium; (2) observational work on satellites of the earth and the moon, and planetary and interplanetary spacecraft; (3) phenomenological analysis and interpretation; (4) observational work by ground based radio-astronomical and optical techniques; and (5) theoretical problems in plasma physics. Specific fields of current investigations are summarized.
Sybilski, Piotr W.; Pawłaszek, Rafał; Kozłowski, Stanisław K.; Konacki, Maciej; Ratajczak, Milena; Hełminiak, Krzysztof G.
We present the software solution developed for a network of autonomous telescopes, deployed and tested in Solaris Project. The software aims to fulfil the contemporary needs of distributed autonomous observatories housing medium sized telescopes: ergonomics, availability, security and reusability. The datafication of such facilities seems inevitable and we give a preliminary study of the challenges and opportunities waiting for software developers. Project Solaris is a global network of four 0.5 m autonomous telescopes conducting a survey of eclipsing binaries in the Southern Hemisphere. The Project's goal is to detect and characterise circumbinary planets using the eclipse timing method. The observatories are located on three continents, and the headquarters coordinating and monitoring the network is in Poland. All four are operational as of December 2013.
Price, A.; Cohen, L.; Mattei, J. A.; Craig, N.
Through a combination of qualitative and quantitative processes, a survey was conducted of the amateur astronomy community to identify outstanding needs which the National Virtual Observatory (NVO) could fulfill. This is the final report of that project, which was conducted by The American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO) on behalf of the Science Education Gateway (SEGway) Project at The Center for Science Education at The UC Berkeley Space Sciences Laboratory.
Banni, A.; Buffa, F.; Falchi, E.; Sanna, G.
At the present time two research groups are engaged to space-geodesy activities in Sardinia: a staff belonging to the Stazione Astronomica of Cagliari (SAC) and the To- pography Section of the Dipartimento di Ingegneria Strutturale (DIST) of the Cagliari University. The two groups have a share in international campaigns and services. The local structure, consists of permanent stations of satellite observation both on radio and laser techniques. Particularly in the Cagliari Observatory a Satellite Laser Ranging system runs with nearly daily, low, medium and high orbit satellite tracking capability (e. g. Topex, Ajisai, Lageos1/2, Glonass); up to this time the Cagliari laser station has contributed towards the following international campaigns/organizations. Besides in the Observatory's site a fixed GPS system, belonging the Italian Space Agency GPS- Network and to the IGS-Network; and a GPS+GLONASS system, acquired by DIST and belonging to the IGLOS are installed and managed. All the above stations are furnished with meteorological sensors with RINEX format data dissemination avail- ability. Moreover a new 64 meters dish radio telescope (Sardinian Radio Telescope), geodetic VLBI equipped, is under construction not long away from the Observatory. The poster fully shows the facilities and furnishes a complete report on the mark- ers eccentricities, allowing co-location of the different space techniques operating in Sardinia.
Riva, M.; Basso, S.; Canestrari, R.; Conconi, P.; Fugazza, D.; Ghigo, M.; Landoni, M.; Pareschi, G.; Spanó, P.; Tomelleri, R.; Zerbi, F. M.
This paper want to show an innovative amateur oriented telescope with an unconventional alt-alt conguration. The goal is to make a telescope with good optical quality reducing production costs by adopting a gimbal based mounting to develop an alt-alt conguration suitable for a telescope. Reduce costs while preserving the optical quality is a necessary condition to allow small groups of amateur astronomers, schools and cultural clubs, with reduced economic resources, to acquire an astronomical instrument that encourages learning and advancing astrophysical knowledge. This unconventional mechanism for the realization of a telescope alt-alt provides signicant advantages. The traditional rotary motors coupled with expensive precision bearings are replaced with two simple linear actuators coupled to a properly preloaded gimbal joint and the cell becomes the primary structure of the telescope. A second advantage would be secured by mechanical simplicity evident in the easy portability of the instrument. The frame alt-alt has some limitations on the horizon pointing but does not show the zenith blind spot of the alt-az mount. A dedicated alt-alt pointing and tracking model is under development to be compatible with commercial telescope softwares and with the proposed new mounting.
Muiños, J. L.; Fors, O.; Montojo, F. J.; Núñez, J.; Voss, H.; Boloix, J.; Baena, R.; López Morcillo, R.; Merino, M.
The Baker-Nunn Cameras (BNCs) were produced by the Smithsonian Institution during the late 50's as an optical tracking system for artificial satellites. One of those telescopes was installed at the Real Instituto Observatorio de la Armada (ROA) in San Fernando (Spain) and managed jointly between these two institutions until 1979, when the Smithsonian transferred the instrument to the ROA. In 2000, due to its excellent mechanical and optical original design, the Observatori Fabra of the Reial Academia de Ciències Arts de Barcelona (RACAB) and the ROA agreed to refurbish the BNC and to install this new facility in a new observatory at 1570 m altitude founded in Catalonia, in the NE of Spain. After the refurbishment period and first test at the ROA the now called Telescope Fabra-ROA Montsec (TFRM) was moved to the Observatori Astronòmic del Montsec (OAdM) on 2010 September. Since then, it is in commissioning period to test both observing modes: remote and robotic. In this presentation we shall show the results of some observational campaigns carried out with the TFRM while it was in commissioning. Mainly the instrument has participated, as an informal partner, in the CO-VI Satellite Tracking Campaign of the ESA's Space Situational Awareness (SSA). These campaigns are experimental observations of Earth orbit objects using existing European telescopes and radars to determine how accurately they can work together. Also some transiting observations of known exoplanets have been conducted. More information in to http://www.am.ub.es/bnc/
Osterbrock, D. E.
George C. Comstock, the third director of Washburn Observatory, had a long and interesting career at Wisconsin. Born in Madison, he did his undergraduate work at Michigan under James Watson. From him Comstock learned the classical astronomy of stellar positions and celestial mechanics. He had one year of graduate work at Michigan before going to Madison as Watson's assistant in 1880, and remained after the latter's death as E.S. Holden's assistant. At Wisconsin, Comstock also studied law at the UW Law School in his ``spare time", to have an alternate career path. He was admitted to the bar in 1883 but never practiced. From 1885-7 he was on the Ohio State faculty with a summer working at Lick Observatory; then in 1887 became associate director back at Washburn Observatory. Two years later he succeeded to the full directorship, and kept the post until he retired in 1922 at the age of 67. All Comstock's research was in positional astronomy, and he considered his most important work to be the measurement of stellar aberration and atmospheric refraction. He also measured double stars with the 15-inch Washburn refractor. His main duty at UW was teaching, mostly ``practical astronomy" for civil engineering students. Comstock wrote several text books on astronomy, surveying, and least squares. He was the first head of the UW Graduate School, set up by President Charles R. Van Hise in 1904. Comstock was a highly effective administrator, and did much to build up research at UW. His own most successful students were Sidney D. Townley, Joel Stebbins, and Sebastian Albrecht. Because of his legal training, Comstock was involved as an officer in many scientific societies. He was one of the organizers of the AAS, its first secretary, and later its vice president, then president. He retired in 1922, and was succeeded by Stebbins, whom he helped to bring back to Madison from Illinois. After his retirement, Comstock lived in Beloit until his death in 1934.
Malasan, H. L.; Kurata, T.; Kurabayashi, T.; Taguchi, H.; Indradjaja, B.; Prasetyono, G. I.; Kinugasa, K.
This talk presents the concept of The Gunma Astronomical Observatory-Instititute of Technology Bandung Remote Telescope System (hereafter the GAO-ITB RTS) that has been commisioned in March, 2004. GAO-ITB RTS consists of two 21 cm Schmidt-Cassegrain (f/D=10.0) telescopes, equatorially mounted and supported by Takahashi EM-200 (drive) + GO TO System Temma 2 (control system) connected to a PC through RS 232 C cable. The ITB-side telescope will be situated inside a lightweight sliding roof on the roof of the visitor center at Bosscha Observatory in Lembang. The main software is the Telescope Tracer 98 working under Windows XP that enables chart-based pointing for epoch 2000 or at the observing time, hand-set emulator, and equipped with a database containing SAO, variable star, double star (V ≤ 9.5 mag); Deep sky objects: Messier (110), NGC (7840), IC (5382); and Solar system. Furthermore, with the support of the software TelAgent, web-based remote control can be conducted under Internet Explorer (Ver 5.5 or later). Assigning a static IP address for the mounting system is indispensable. The remote system has been set up to fulfill three basic functions, i.e. command sending through TelAgent, image streaming using web server, and teleconferencing. To support the whole activity, a data communication rate greater than 64 Kbps is needed. The system is currently furnished with TGV-M (811(H)´508(V) pixels, 8.4μm(H) ´9.8 μm(V) @ pixel) camera. Although primarily designed for public distant-learning, the potential of GAO-ITB RTS for high-time resolution photometric observation, such as occultation, and patrol-type observation have been identified and will be explored.
Middlebrook, R. D.; Kimble, S. G.
The High Energy Astronomy Observatory (HEAO) is being built for NASA by an American company. The general requirements concerning the HEAO main bus regulator are examined. The bus regulated voltage is 33 V, the maximum shunt current is 45 A, and the regulator output impedance is to be less than 0.5 Ohm from dc to 100 kHz. Loop gain design considerations for the main bus regulator are discussed and a description is given of the general device configuration. Attention is also given to regulator loop design and performance.
Feigelson, Eric; Chakraborty, A.; Babu, G.
VOStat (http://vostat.org), is a VO-compliant Web service giving astronomers access to a suite of statistical procedures in a user-friendly Web environment. It uses R (http://www.r-project.org), the largest public domain statistical software environment with >4000 add-on packages. Data input is by user upload, URL, or SAMP interaction with other VO tools. Outputs include plots, tabular results and R scripts. VOStat implements ~60 statistical functions, only a tiny portion of the full R capabilities. These include density estimation (smoothing), hypothesis tests, regression (linear, local, quantile, robust), multivariate analysis (regression, principal components, hierarchical clustering, normal mixture models), spatial analysis (autocorrelation, k-NN, Riley's K, Voronoi tests), directional data, survival analysis (Kaplan-Meier estimator, two-sample tests, Lynden-Bell-Woodroofe estimator), and time series analysis (autocorrelation, autoregressive models, periodogram).
Posch, Thomas; Aspaas, Per Pippin; Bazso, Akos; Mueller, Isolde
The Venus transit in June 1761 was the first one to be observed on a truly international scale: almost 250 astronomers followed this rare celestial event (e.g. Wulff 2012, p. 115), and at least 130 published successful observations of it (Aspaas 2012, p. 423). The present paper deals with the astronomical observatories built by the Society of Jesus in its eighteenth century "Provincia Austriae", at which the 1761 transit could be observed. Five Jesuit observatories are being presented in this context: three in today's Austria, namely, two in Vienna and one in Graz; one in Trnava in today's Slovakia and one in Cluj in today's Romania. Thereafter, we briefly examine which of these observatories submitted any Venus transit observations for publication in the appendix to Maximilian Hell's "Ephemerides astronomicae ad meridianum Vindobonensem" for the year 1762.
Trávníček, Petr; Benzvi, Segev; Boháčová, Martina; Connolly, Brian; Grygar, Jiří; Hrabovský, Miroslav; Kárová, Tatiana; Mandát, Dušan; Nečesal, Petr; Nosek, Dalibor; Nožka, Libor; Palatka, Miroslav; sPech, Miroslav; Prouza, Michael; Řídký, Jan; Schovánek, Petr; Šmída, Radomír; Vitale, Primo; Westerhoff, Stefan
FRAM - F/(Ph)otometric Robotic Atmospheric Monitor is the latest addition to the atmospheric monitoring instruments of the Pierre Auger Observatory. An optical telescope equipped with CCD camera and photometer, it automatically observes a set of selected standard stars and a calibrated terrestrial source. Primarily, the wavelength dependence of the attenuation is derived and the comparison between its vertical values (for stars) and horizontal values (for the terrestrial source) is made. Further, the integral vertical aerosol optical depth can be obtained. A secondary program of the instrument, the detection of optical counterparts of gamma-ray bursts, has already proven successful. The hardware setup, software system, data taking procedures, and first analysis results are described in this paper.
Marschall, C. W.; Maringer, R. E.; Cepollina, F. J.
This paper considers the problem of irreversible dimensional changes of the order of one thousandth of an inch per inch in several candidate materials for orbiting observatories. Although there are a number of potential sources for such dimensional changes, those given major consideration here are applied stresses and residual stresses. Results of room-temperature microyield strength (MYS) and microcreep tests to detect permanent strains associated with both short- and long-duration loading are reported for several engineering materials, including four aluminum alloys (2024, 5456, 6061, and 2014), I400 beryllium, TZM molybdenum, AZ31 magnesium, two titanium alloys (Ti-6Al-4V and Ti-5Al-2.5Sn), 321 stainless steel, a graphite/epoxy composite, and low-expansion glass ceramics. The data indicate that: metallic materials have no true elastic limit; the MYS cannot be predicted reliably from, and is appreciably less than, the conventional yield strength: significant microcreep and stress relaxation can occur at stresses somewhat below the MYS.
Some software facilities used mainly for information retrieval and analysis at the Padova-Asiago Observatory are discussed. These facilities help guest and resident astronomers to make easier the preparation of plate measurements. The problems connected with the creation, use and management of a data base in a scientific (astronomical) environment are reviewed on the basis of the experience gathered during the last three years. The development plan of the user session environment and its possible applications in a computer network are briefly sketched.
Osterbrock, D. E.
Walter Baade, famous for his astrophysical discoveries, also made many contributions in dynamical astronomy. His thesis at Goettingen University on the spectroscopic orbit of β Lyrae was based on spectrograms his teacher, Johannes Hartmann, had taken at Potsdam years earlier. Immediately on receiving his Ph.D. in 1919, Baade joined the Hamburg Bergedorf Observatory staff, and soon was the sole observer with its 1-m reflector, the largest telescope in Europe. Under its director, Richard Schorr, Baade's main job at first was to obtain direct plates of asteroids and comets for positional measurements. As an incidental part of this observing he discovered many asteroids, eight of which were eventually named, including 966 Muschi (his wife's nickname), 944 Hidalgo, with large orbital semi-major axis, eccentricity, and inclination, and 1036 Ganymed, whose orbit extends inside that of Mars. Baade also discovered a new comet, 1922 II. During the close approach of Eros in 1930 Baade measured its period of light variation, its color, and its mean magnitude. After Pluto was discovered in 1930 he measured its position assiduously, following it as far from opposition as he could. In 1931 Baade moved to Mount Wilson, where he concentrated almost entirely on globular-cluster, supernova, and galaxy research. He saw many asteroid trails on his long exposures but did not report them except for one, 7448 (still not named), which showed a very long trail on a 3-hr exposure of the Crab nebula. At Palomar, using the 48-in Schmidt soon after it went into operation, he dicovered and reported 1566 Icarus, with a very small perihelion distance, and later his second comet, 1955 VI.
Calcidese, P.; Bernagozzi, A.; Bertolini, E.; Carbognani, A.; Damasso, M.; Pellissier, P.; Recaldini, P.; Soldi, M.; Toso, G.
The Astronomical Observatory of the Autonomous Region of the Aosta Valley (OAVdA), in the Alps at the border with France and Switzerland, is located in the Saint-Barthélemy Valley at 1675 m a.s.l. and 16 km from the town of Nus (AO). Managed by the Fondazione Clément Fillietroz-ONLUS with funding from local administrations, the OAVdA opened in 2003. For the first years its initiatives were focused on public outreach & education. Since 2006 the main activity has been scientific research thanks to an official agreement of cooperation established with the italian National Institute for Astrophysics (INAF). The OAVdA researchers, with Research Grants from the European Social Fund (EU-ESF), have been authors and/or coauthors of several papers on international journals. Here we present in detail the scientific projects developed at the OAVdA and describe some public outreach & education initiatives proposed at the OAVdA and the Planetarium of Lignan, also managed by the Fondazione Clément Fillietroz-ONLUS since 2009.
Kawakita, Hideyo; Shinnaka, Yoshiharu; Ogawa, Sayuri; Kobayashi, Hitomi; Kondo, Sohei; Nakanishi, Kenshi; Kawanishi, Takafumi; Nakaoka, Tetsuya; Otsubo, Shogo; Kinoshita, Masaomi; Ikeda, Yuji; Yamamoto, Ryo; Izumi, Natsuko; Fukue, Kei; Hamano, Satoshi; Yasui, Chikako; Mito, Hiroyuki; Matsunaga, Noriyuki; Kobayashi, Naoto
High resolution near-infrared spectroscopic observations of comet C/2013 R1 (Lovejoy) using the WINERED ( 3x10^4) spectrometer on the 1.3-m Araki telescope at Koyama Astronomical Observatory were carried out on UT 2013 November 30. The comet was at 0.91 AU from the Sun and 0.49 AU from the Earth at the observations. This comet was considered to originate in the Oort cloud and became bright in visible from October to December 2013. The newly developed instrument, WINERED, was a cross-dispersed Echelle spectrometer that can cover the wavelength range from 0.9 to 1.3 microns simultaneously. Many emission lines were recorded in the high signal-to-noise ratio spectra of comet Lovejoy. We report the line assignment of the detected emission lines and present our preliminary analysis for CN Red-band system.This research program is supported by the MEXT --- Supported Program for the Strategic Research Foundation at Private Universities, 2014 - 2018.
Bernardi, Gabriella; Vecchiato, Alberto; Bucciarelli, Beatrice
This paper reviews and updates the accounts of a previous article discussing the possible astronomical significance of a peculiar, man-made circular stone structure, located close to the European Southern Observatory in La Silla, Chile, and attributed to the El Molle culture. Thanks to further, higher-accuracy measurements in situ, we can confirm some of the original hypotheses and dismiss others, upholding the main tenets of the original work.
The astronomer Friedrich Viktor Schembor and the Vienna Urania Observatory (The history of the Vienna Urania Observatory from its foundation to its re-opening (1897-1957) / Friedrich Viktor Schembor - a life for astronomy). (German Title: Der Astronom Friedrich Viktor Schembor und die Wiener Urania-Sternwarte (Die Geschichte der Wiener Urania-Sternwarte von ihrer Gründung bis zu ihrer Wiedereröffnung (1897-1957) / Friedrich Viktor Schembor - ein Leben für die Astronomie))
Schembor, Friedrich Wilhelm
The Urania Observatory in Vienna and the life and workings of the Viennese astronomer Friedrich Viktor Schembor are the topics of this volume. The first part deals with the history of the Urania Observatory and its significance as the oldest popular observatory in Vienna for the education of adults. After a short digression on the development of popular educational activities in the 19th century, the efforts are traced that led to the establishment of the Urania Observatory. The second part deals with the biography of the astronomer Friedrich Viktor Schembor (1898-1942). Already at an early age he committed himself as a volunteer for popular education in astronomy. In his time as director of the Urania Observatory, he was able to guide the “Astronomische Gemeinde” (Astronomical Congregation) to scientifically useful results. Because of a vicious disease, he was given only a short time of scientific work at the Vienna University Observatory.
The Ondrejov Observatory is located 20 miles from Prague in the village of Ondrejov. It was established in 1898 as a private observatory and donated to the state of Czechoslovakia in 1928. Since 1953 it has been part of the Astronomical Institute, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic; there are 40 astronomers....
Vidmachenko, A. P.; Ivanov, Yu. S.; Syniavskyi, I. I.; Sergeev, A. V.
In the Main Astronomical Observatory of NAS of Ukraine is proposed and implemented the concept of the imaging Stokes polarimeter [1-5]. This device allows carrying out measurements of the four Stokes vector components at the same time, in a wide field, and without any restrictions on the relative aperture of the optical system. Its scheme is developed so that only by turning wheel with replaceable elements, photopolarimeter could be transformed into a low resolution spectropolarimeter. The device has four film's polarizers with positional angles 0°, 45°, 90°, 135°. The device uses a system of special deflecting prisms in each channel. These prisms were achromatizing in the spectral range of 420-850 nm , the distortion of the polarimeter optical system is less than 0.65%. In manufacturing version of spectropolarimeter provided for the possibility of using working on passing the diffraction grating with a frequency up to 100 lines/mm. Has begun the laboratory testing of instrument. References. 1. Sinyavskii I.I., Ivanov Yu. S., Vidmachenko Anatoliy P., Karpov N.V. Panoramic Stokes-polarimeter // Ecological bulettin of research centers of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation. - 2013. - V. 3, No 4. - P. 123-127. 2. Sinyavskii I. I., Ivanov Yu. S., Vil'machenko A. P. Concept of the construction, of the optical setup of a panoramic Stokes polarimeter for small telescopes // Journal of Optical Technology. - 2013. - V. 80, Issue 9. - P. 545-548. 3. Vidmachenko A. P., Ivanov Yu. S., Morozhenko A. V., Nevodovsky E. P., Syniavskyi I. I., Sosonkin M. G. Spectropolarimeter of ground-based accompanying for the space experiment "Planetary Monitoring" // Kosmichna Nauka i Tekhnologiya. - 2007. - V. 13, No. 1, p. 63 - 70. 4. Yatskiv Ya. S., Vidmachenko A. P., Morozhenko A. V., Sosonkin M. G., Ivanov Yu. S., Syniavskyi I. I. Spectropolarimetric device for overatmospheric investigations of Solar System bodies // Kosmichna Nauka i Tekhnologiya. - 2008. - V. 14, No. 2. - P. 56
Villamizar, G. M. I.; Pantoja, C. A.; Lebrón Santos, M. E.; Ortiz-Gil, A.
This poster describes the collaboration that was originated from the activities of the “International Year of Astronomy 2009” (IYA2009). Beyond 2009 we have continued the collaboration with the outreach specialists from Spain. Two projects have followed, the first was the presentation of the Planetarium Show “The Sky in Your Hands” at the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus during 2012. The second project is our participation in the design and development of the 3D Tactile Moon Project for the Blind from the Astronomical Observatory of the University of Valencia, Spain.
Mickaelian, A. M.
A review is given on the Armenian Astronomical Heritage from ancient times to nowadays. Armenian ancient astronomy includes the division of the skies into constellations, rock art, ancient Armenian calendar, ancient observatories (such as Metsamor and Karahunge), records of astronomical events (such as Halley's Comet recorded on Tigranes the Great's coin), ancient names of celestial bodies (planets, stars, constellations), etc. The Medieval Armenian astronomy includes two more calendars, Anania Shirakatsi's scientific heritage, the record of 1054 Supernova, sky maps by Luca Vanandetsi and Mkhitar Sebastatsi, etc. Modern Armenian astronomical heritage first of all consists of the famous Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory founded in 1946 by Viktor Ambartsumian, as well as Yerevan Astronomical Observatory, Armenian Astronomical Society, Armenian Virtual Observatory, Yerevan State University Department of Astrophysics, Astrofizika journal, and brilliant young students who systematically win high positions at International Astronomical Olympiads.
Vidmachenko, A. P.
The first part of the almanac gives the 2016 calendar, description of calendar systems used by various peoples in the world, ephemerides for the Sun, the Moon, and planets, moments of rising and setting for the Sun and the Moon, planetary configurations, the visibility of planets and Jupiter's satellites on the sky, some data on variable stars, comets, occultations of stars by the Moon and asteroids, meteor showers, eclipses, and other celestial phenomena. The second part informs us on the current state of investigations in some fields of astronomy, and gives some memorable dates in history of astronomy and cosmonautics. The almanac may be used as a handbook by specialists in astronomy and related sciences, by school teachers, students, pupils, amateur astronomers etc.
The Astronomical Institute of Athens is the oldest research institute of modern Greece (it faces the Parthenon). The Astronomical Institute (AI) of the National Observatory of Athens (NOA) started its observational projects in 1847. The modern computer and research center are housed at the Penteli Astronomical Station with major projects and international collaborations focused on extragalactic ...
Hockey, Thomas A.
The phrase "blind astronomer” is used as an allegorical oxymoron. However, there were and are blind astronomers. What of famous blind astronomers? First, it must be stated that these astronomers were not martyrs to their craft. It is a myth that astronomers blind themselves by observing the Sun. As early as France's William of Saint-Cloud (circa 1290) astronomers knew that staring at the Sun was ill-advised and avoided it. Galileo Galilei did not invent the astronomical telescope and then proceed to blind himself with one. Galileo observed the Sun near sunrise and sunset or through projection. More than two decades later he became blind, as many septuagenarians do, unrelated to their profession. Even Isaac Newton temporarily blinded himself, staring at the reflection of the Sun when he was a twentysomething. But permanent Sun-induced blindness? No, it did not happen. For instance, it was a stroke that left Scotland's James Gregory (1638-1675) blind. (You will remember the Gregorian telescope.) However, he died days later. Thus, blindness little interfered with his occupation. English Abbot Richard of Wallingford (circa 1291 - circa 1335) wrote astronomical works and designed astronomical instruments. He was also blind in one eye. Yet as he further suffered from leprosy, his blindness seems the lesser of Richard's maladies. Perhaps the most famous professionally active, blind astronomer (or almost blind astronomer) is Dominique-Francois Arago (1786-1853), director until his death of the powerful nineteenth-century Paris Observatory. I will share other _ some poignant _ examples such as: William Campbell, whose blindness drove him to suicide; Leonhard Euler, astronomy's Beethoven, who did nearly half of his life's work while almost totally blind; and Edwin Frost, who "observed” a total solar eclipse while completely sightless.
A roundup of amateur observatories in this country and abroad, with construction and location details, concluding with a detailed description and architect's drawing of the author's own observatory at Worcester Park, Surrey. The text of the 1996 Presidential Address to the British Astronomical Association.
This catalogue deals with the scientific subjects of that historical period such as astronomy, astrology, chemistry, mathematics, physics, historia naturalis and so forth, and contains extremely rare volumes such as the first printed editions of the eminent Arab, Latin, Greek and Persian scientists Albumasar, Albohazen Aly, Aristoteles, Ptolemaeus, Pliny the Elder and Ulugh Beig. In addition the catalogue contains the first works of such great astronomers of the 16th and 17th centuries as Copernicus, Kepler, Clavius, Regiomontanus, Sacrobosco, Mercator, Newton, Gassendi, Galilei and Hevelius, just to quote the most representative ones. The catalogue is followed by a chronological index and an index of printers and publishers.
Kawakita, Hideyo; Shinnaka, Yoshiharu; Kondo, Sohei; Hamano, Satoshi; Sameshima, Hiroaki; Nakanishi, Kenshi; Kawanishi, Takafumi; Nakaoka, Tetsuya; Otsubo, Shogo; Kinoshita, Masaomi; Ikeda, Yuji; Yamamoto, Ryo; Izumi, Natsuko; Fukue, Kei; Yasui, Chikako; Mito, Hiroyuki; Sarugaku, Yuki; Matsunaga, Noriyuki; Kobayashi, Naoto
CN radical has the strong electronic transition moments in optical wavelength region and CN has extensively observed in comets. Especially, the CN violet system (B2Σ+—X2Σ+) has been observed by using high-resolution spectroscopic technique in order to infer the isotopic ratios of carbon and nitrogen in comets via 12C14N, 13C14N and 12C15N. However, the wavelength range for this system (~388 nm) is severely extinct if a comet is close to the Sun (we have to observe the comet at low elevations from the ground-based observatories). On the other hand, CN radical also has the strong electronic transition in near-infrared (~1.1 microns), the CN red system (A2Πi—X2Σ+). Although there are few reports on the high-resolution spectra of this band in comets, this wavelength region is not severely affected by the telluric extinction and considered as the new window for the observations of the carbon and nitrogen isotopic ratios in comets.High resolution near-infrared spectra of comet C/2013 R1 (Lovejoy) using the WINERED (R~3x104) spectrometer mounted on the 1.3-m Araki telescope at Koyama Astronomical Observatory were acquired on UT 2013 Nov 30. The heliocentric and geocentric distances were 0.91 AU and 0.49 AU, respectively. We detected strong emission lines of the CN red system (0,0) at around 1.1 microns. The rotational line intensities of this band approximately follow the Boltzmann distribution at ~300K for our observations. We present the detailed analysis of the CN red system in comet C/2013 R1 (Lovejoy) and discuss about the isotopic ratios in CN.This research program is supported by the MEXT --- Supported Program for the Strategic Research Foundation at Private Universities, 2014 - 2018 and partially supported by JSPS, 15J10864.
The rise of astrophysics around 1860 introduced new instruments, methods and research areas. Of course, the increasing number of foundations of new observatories around the world starting at that time was forced by that new scientific discipline, too, but especially by the usage of photographic instruments. At the end of the 19th century the formation and development of photographic methods and techniques had reached a level of sufficient stability for productive usage in astronomy and astrophysics, their new instrumrents, methods and goals. The fundamental meaning of star light analysis for astrophysics by increasing discoveries of Variable Stars and the Systematic search for moving Solar System objects had basically driven the beginning of large photographic sky patrols at that time, using photographic glass plates as detectors and information storages. Sky Patrols, especially systematic long-term monitoring of the whole sky or of well defined selected areas and Sky Surveys were (and still are) an important key method that forced the evolution and progress of astrophysics. Important scientific results by famous astronomers, for example Walter Baade, Cuno Hoffmeister and Harlow Shapley depended on the analysis of photographic plates. Today, there are around 50 photographic plate archives world-wide. Most of them, unfortunately, are in a quite poor condition and not yet digitized. Following Harvard College Observatory with an estimated total of 600,000 plates, Sonneberg observatory harbours the second largest archive world-wide (around 300,000 plates) among other large ones in Germany like Bamberg (40,000 plates) and Hamburg (35,000 plates). These plate archives form an important heritage with a total of roughly two million direct plates and some ten or hundred thousands of spectroscopic plates. A lot of progress has been made by transforming this real heritage to a virtual one by systematic digitisation of the plates, but perhaps only 15% of them have been
Taylor, B. J.; Lucke, P. B.; Laulainen, N. S.
Long-term time-trend analysis was performed on astronomical atmospheric extinction data in wideband UBV and various narrow-band systems recorded at Cerro Tololo, Kitt Peak, Lick, and McDonald observatories. All of the data had to be transformed into uniform monochromatic extinction data before trend analysis could be performed. The paper describes the various reduction techniques employed. The time-trend analysis was then carried out by the method of least squares. A special technique, called 'histogram shaping', was employed to adjust for the fact that the errors of the reduced monochromatic extinction data were not essentially Gaussian. On the assumption that there are no compensatory background and local extinction changes, the best values obtained for extinction trends due to background aerosol changes during the years 1960 to 1972 are 0.006 + or - 0.013 (rms) and 0.009 + or - 0.009 (rms) stellar magnitudes per air mass per decade in the blue and yellow wavelength regions, respectively.
Taosi observatory is the remains of a structure discovered at the later Neolithic Taosi site located in Xiangfen County, Shanxi Province, in north-central China. The structure is a walled enclosure on a raised platform. Only rammed-earth foundations of the structure remained. Archaeoastronomical studies suggest that this structure functioned as an astronomical observatory. Historical circumstantial evidence suggests that it was probably related to the legendary kingdom of Yao from the twenty-first century BC.
In his testament, Duke Ernst II of Saxe Gotha and Altenburg instituted a foundation for the maintenance of an astronomical observatory. The interest from which the income of the only astronomer should be paid became insufficient in the course of time, especially after the death of Hansen. The government was not willing to increase the financial means but was nevertheless searching for the impossible, i.e. a reputable scientist who would accept a low salary. Scheibner in Leipzig was charged with the search. He missed two contrasting opportunities: on the one side a classical young astronomer in the tradition lines of Gotha (Leo de Ball) and on the other side a wealthy Hungarian amateur who would have brought the new astrophysics to Gotha (Nikolaus von Konkoly).
Norris, R. P.
A draft manifesto is presented for discussion. The manifesto sets out guidelines to which the astronomical community should aspire to maximise the rate and cost-effectiveness of scientific discovery. The challenges are not underestimated, but can still be overcome if astronomers, observatories, journals, data centres, and the Virtual Observatory Alliance work together to overcome the hurdles. The key points of the manifesto are: 1. All major tables, images, and spectra published in journals should appear in the astronomical data centres. 2. All data obtained with publicly-funded observatories should, after appropriate proprietary periods, be placed in the public domain. 3. In any new major astronomical construction project, the data processing, storage, migration, and management requirements should be built in at an early stage of the project plan, and costed along with other parts of the project. 4. Astronomers in all countries should have the same access to astronomical data and information. 5. Legacy astronomical data can be valuable, and high-priority legacy data should be preserved and stored in digital form in the data centres. 6. The IAU should work with other international organisations to achieve our common goals and learn from our colleagues in other fields.
Spiegel, Richard J
Centring on John Flamsteed (1646-1719), the first Astronomer Royal, this paper investigates the ways in which astronomers of the late seventeenth century worked to build and maintain their reputations by demonstrating, for their peers and for posterity, their proficiency in managing visual technologies. By looking at his correspondence and by offering a graphic and textual analysis of the preface to his posthumous Historia Coelestis Britannica (1725), I argue that Flamsteed based the legitimacy of his life's work on his capacity to serve as a skilful astronomer who could coordinate the production and proper use of astronomical sighting instruments. Technological advances in astrometry were, for Flamsteed, a necessary but not a sufficient condition for the advancement of astronomy. Technological resources needed to be used by the right person. The work of the skilful astronomer was a necessary precondition for the mobilization and proper management of astronomical technologies. Flamsteed's understanding of the astronomer as a skilled actor importantly shifted the emphasis in precision astronomical work away from the individual observer's ability to see well and toward the astronomer's ability to ensure that instruments guaranteed accurate vision. PMID:25833797
Covey, Rawland; Kodak, Charles
This report summarizes the technical parameters and the technical staff of the VLBI system at GGAO. It also gives an overview of VLBI activities during the previous year. The outlook lists the tasks planned for 1999.
Redmond, Jay; Kodak, Charles
This report summarizes the technical parameters and the technical staff of the VLBI system at the fundamental station GGAO. It also gives an overview about the VLBI activities during the previous year. The outlook lists the outstanding tasks to improve the performance of GGAO.
Topics discussed in the Overview of Year 1988 include the following: Supernova in the Large Magellanic Cloud; Galaxies; Ground based observations of celestial x ray sources; the Magellanic Clouds; Pulsating variables; Galactic structure; Binary star phenomena; The provision of photometric standards; Nebulae and interstellar matter; Stellar astrophysics; Astrometry; Solar system studies; Visitors programs; Publications; and General matters.
Tokugawa Bakufu's astronomical office, established in 1684, is the post for calendar reform. The reform was conducted when the calendar did not predict peculiar celestial phenomena, such as solar or lunar eclipses. It was, so to speak, the theme of the ancient astronomy. From removal of the embargo on importing western science books in 1720, Japanese astronomers studied European astronomy and attempted to apply its knowledge to calendar making. Moreover, they knew the Copernican system and also faced several modern astronomical subjects. The French astronomer Lalande's work "ASTRONOMY" exerted particularly strong influence on astronomers. This paper overviews the activities of Paris observatory and French astronomers in the 17th and 18th centuries, and survey what modern astronomical subjects were. Finally, it sketches a role of the Edo observatory played in the Japanese cultural history.
Astronomy has been at the forefront among scientific disciplines for the sharing of data, and the advent of the World Wide Web has produced a revolution in the way astronomers do science. The recent development of the concept of Virtual Observatory builds on these foundations. This is one of the truly global endeavours of astronomy, aiming at providing astronomers with seamless access to data and tools, including theoretical data. Astronomy on-line resources provide a rare example of a world-wide, discipline-wide knowledge infrastructure, based on internationally agreed interoperability standards.
We attempt to throw light upon the poorly known astronomical dynasty of Knorre and describe its contribution to astronomy. The founder of the dynasty, Ernst Christoph Friedrich Knorre (1759-1810), was born in Germany in 1759, and since 1802 he was a Professor of Mathematics at the Tartu University, and observer at its temporary observatory. He determined the first coordinates of Tartu by stellar observations. Karl Friedrich Knorre (1801-1883) was the first director of the Naval Observatory in Nikolaev since the age of 20, provided the Black Sea navy with accurate time and charts, trained mariners in astronomical navigation, and certified navigation equipment. He compiled star maps and catalogues, and determined positions of comets and planets. He also participated in Bessel's project of the Academic Star Charts, and was responsible for Hora 4, published by the Berlin Academy of Sciences. This sheet permitted to discover two minor planets, Astraea and Flora. Viktor Knorre (1840-1919) was born in Nikolaev. In 1862 he left for Berlin to study astronomy. After defending his thesis for a doctor's degree, he went to Pulkovo as an astronomical calculator in 1867. Since 1873 Viktor worked as an observer of the Berlin Observatory Fraunhofer refractor. His main research focussed on minor planets, comets and binary stars. He discovered the minor planets Koronis, Oenone, Hypatia and Penthesilea. Viktor Knorre also worked on improving astronomical instrumentation, e.g. the Knorre / Heele equatorial telescope mounting.
Dluzhnevskaya, O. B.; Malkov, O. Yu.; Kilpio, A. A.; Kilpio, E. Yu.; Kovaleva, D. A.; Sat, L. A.
The Russian Virtual Observatory (RVO) will be an integral component of the International Virtual Observatory (IVO). The RVO has the main goal of integrating resources of astronomical data accumulated in Russian observatories and institutions (databases, archives, digitized glass libraries, bibliographic data, a remote access system to information and technical resources of telescopes etc.), and providing transparent access for scientific and educational purposes to the distributed information and data services that comprise its content. Another goal of the RVO is to provide Russian astronomers with on-line access to the rich volumes of data and metadata that have been, and will continue to be, produced by astronomical survey projects. Centre for Astronomical Data (CAD), among other Russian institutions, has had the greatest experience in collecting and distributing astronomical data for more than 20 years. Some hundreds of catalogs and journal tables are currently available from the CAD repository. More recently, mirrors of main astronomical data resources (VizieR, ADS, etc) are now maintained in CAD. Besides, CAD accumulates and makes available for the astronomical community information on principal Russian astronomical resources.
Warren, W. H., Jr. (Editor); Nagy, T. A. (Editor); Mead, J. M. (Editor)
Information about work in progress on astronomical catalogs is presented. In addition to progress reports, an upadated status list for astronomical catalogs available at the Astronomical Data Center is included. Papers from observatories and individuals involved with astronomical data are also presented.
Amongst the staff of the Berlin Academy in the 18th century, who have until now been almost completely absent from historical texts, were numerous mechanical and optical technicians. Although only a partial picture can be drawn from the available historical sources, it is clear that the Academy continuously employed a number of instrument makers, and financed their labours generously. Their primary task was the care and repair of the Academy's and its observatory's scientific instruments. Most of this equipment was, in the 18th century, imported from Paris or London.
Osterbrock, Donald E.
Discusses Lick Observatory's (University of California) early graduate students and graduate program in astronomy. The history of the Lick Observatory and famous astronomy professors and astronomers associated with the Lick Observatory are also discussed. (DS)
Choliy, V. Ya.
A computer version of astronomical ephemerides for bodies of the Solar System, stars, and astronomical phenomena was created at the Main Astronomical Observatory of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine and the Astronomy and Cosmic Physics Department of the Taras Shevchenko National University. The ephemerides will be distributed via INTERNET or in the file form. This information is accessible via the web servers space.ups.kiev.ua and alfven.ups.kiev.ua or the address email@example.com.
Thomas, Nancy H.; Brandel, A.; Paat, A. M.; Schmitz, D.; Sharma, R.; Trujillo, J.; Laws, C. S.
The League of Astronomers is committed to engaging the University of Washington (UW) and the greater Seattle communities through outreach, research, and events. Since its re-founding two years ago, the LOA has provided a clear connection between the UW Astronomy Department, undergraduate students, and members of the public. Weekly outreach activities such as public star parties and planetarium talks in both the UW Planetarium and the Mobile Planetarium have connected enthusiastic LOA volunteers with hundreds of public observers. In addition, collaboration with organizations like the Seattle Astronomical Society and the UW Society of Physics Students has allowed the LOA to reach an even greater audience. The club also provides opportunities for undergraduate students to participate in research projects. The UW Student Radio Telescope (SRT) and the Manastash Ridge Observatory (MRO) both allow students to practice collecting their own data and turning it into a completed project. Students have presented many of these research projects at venues like the UW Undergraduate Research Symposium and meetings of the American Astronomical Society. For example, the LOA will be observing newly discovered globular clusters at the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory (DAO) in Victoria, B.C. and constructing color-magnitude diagrams. The LOA also helps engage students with the Astronomy major through a variety of events. Bimonthly seminars led by graduate students on their research and personal experiences in the field showcase the variety of options available for students in astronomy. Social events hosted by the club encourage peer mentoring and a sense of community among the Astronomy Department’s undergraduate and graduate students. As a part of one of the nation’s largest undergraduate astronomy programs, members of the League of Astronomers have a unique opportunity to connect and interact with not only the Seattle public but also the greater astronomical community.
Genova, Françoise; Norris, Raymond P.; Bessel, M. S.; Dluzhnevskaia, O.; Jenkner, H.; Malkov, O.; Murtagh, F.; Nakajima, K.; Ochsenbein, F.; Pence, W.; Schmitz, M.; Wielen, R.; Zhao, Y. H.
The triennial report of Commission V Documentation and Astronomical Data/Documentation et Données Astronomiques covers 2002-2005 activities, and in particular the activities of the five Working Groups: Working Group Astronomical Data; Working Group Designations; Working Group Libraries; Working Group FITS; Working Group Virtual Observatories; and of Task Force for the Preservation and Digitization of Photographic Plates.
Fulco, M. T.; Olostro Cirella, E.
The scientific popularization is an important activity in the Research Institutes. In particular, at Capodimonte Astronomical Observatory and at Catania Astrophysical Observatory where in the first half of the XX century the astronomical communication reached its highest expression.
Warner, Deborah Jean
Traces the role of women in the scientific community in the United States since the mid-nineteenth century. Specific concern is directed towards the education and career opportunities of female astronomers. (MA)
Walsh, Jennifer Robin
I am interested in the astronomical advances of the Ancient Chinese in measuring the solar day. Their development of gnomon & ruler, sundial, and water clock apparatuses enabled Chinese astronomers to measure the annual solar orbit and solar day more precisely than their contemporaries. I have built one of each of these devices to use in collecting data from Olympia, Washington. I will measure the solar day in the Pacific Northwest following the methodology of the ancient Chinese. I will compare with my data, the available historical Chinese astronomical records and current records from the United States Naval Observatory Master Clock. I seek to understand how ancient Chinese investigations into solar patterns enabled them to make accurate predictions about the movement of the celestial sphere and planets, and to develop analytic tests of their theories. Mayall, R. Newton; Sundials: their construction and use. Dover Publications 2000 North, John; The Norton History of Astronomy and Cosmology W.W. Norton& Co. 1995 Zhentao Xu, David W. Pankenier, Yaotiao Jiang; East Asian archaeoastronomy : historical records of astronomical observations of China, Japan and Korea Published on behalf of the Earth Space Institute by Gordon and Breach Science Publishers, c2000
Lee, Eun Hee
In fifteenth century Korea, there was a grand project for the astronomical calendar and instrument making by the order of King Sejong 世宗 (1418-1450). During this period, many astronomical and calendrical books including Islamic sources in Chinese versions were imported from Ming 明 China, and corrected and researched by the court astronomers of Joseon 朝鮮 (1392-1910). Moreover, the astronomers and technicians of Korea frequently visited China to study astronomy and instrument making, and they brought back useful information in the form of new published books or specifications of instruments. As a result, a royal observatory equipped with 15 types of instrument was completed in 1438. Two types of calendar, Chiljeongsan Naepyeon 七政算內篇 and Chiljeongsan Oepyeon 七政算外篇, based on the Chinese and Islamic calendar systems, respectively, were published in 1444 with a number of calendrical editions such as corrections and example supplements (假令) including calculation methods and results for solar and lunar eclipses.
Forbes, F. F.; Fymat, A. L.
Spectra of the Stokes polarization parameters of Venus (resolution 0.5 per cm) are presented. They were obtained at the Cassegrain focus of the 154-cm telescope of the National Mexican Observatory, Baja California, Mexico, July 12 and 13, 1972, with the Fourier Interferometer Polarimeter (FIP). A preliminary, limited analysis of four spectral features and of the CO2 rotational band structures at 6080 and 6200 per cm has demonstrated that spectral polarization is indeed present. These experimental results, confirmed by two series of observations, provide substantiation for this theoretically predicted phenomenon. They also tend to show that the FIP represents a novel astronomical tool for variable spectral resolution studies of both the intensity and the state of polarization of astronomical light sources.
Young, Eric W.
Various concepts have been recently presented for a 100 m class astronomical observatory. The science virtues of such an observatory are many: resolving planets orbiting around other stars, resolving the surface features of other stars, extending our temporal reach back toward the beginning (at and before stellar and galactic development), improving on the Next Generation Space Telescope, and other (perhaps as yet) undiscovered purposes. This observatory would be a general facility instrument with wide spectral range from at least the near ultraviolet to the mid infrared. The concept espoused here is based on a practical, modular design located in a place where temperatures remain (and instruments could operate) within several degrees of absolute zero with no shielding or cooling. This location is the bottom of a crater located near the north or south pole of the moon, most probably the South Polar Depression. In such a location the telescope would never see the sun or the earth, hence the profound cold and absence of stray light. The ideal nature of this location is elaborated herein. It is envisioned that this observatory would be assembled and maintained remotely through the use of expert robotic systems. A base station would be located above the crater rim with (at least occasional) direct line-of-sight access to the earth. Certainly it would be advantageous, but not absolutely essential, to have humans travel to the site to deal with unexpected contingencies. Further, observers and their teams could eventually travel there for extended observational campaigns. Educational activities, in general, could be furthered thru extended human presence. Even recreational visitors and long term habitation might follow.
Birks, J. L.
This rather picturesque and historically important Victorian observatory was built by the wealthy John Dillwyn Llewelyn near to his mansion, some four miles north-west of Swansea, Wales. He had many scientific interests, in addition to astronomy, and was a notable pioneer of photography in Wales. Together with his eldest daughter, Thereza, (who married the grandson of the fifth Astronomer Royal, Nevil Maskelyne), he took some early photographs of the Moon from this site. This paper describes the construction of the observatory, and some of those primarily involved with it. Despite its having undergone restoration work in 1982, the state of the observatory is again the cause for much concern.
Cui, C. Z.; Zhao, Y. H.
Virtual Observatory (VO) is a data intensive online astronomical research and education environment, taking advantages of advanced information technologies to achieve seamless and uniform access to astronomical information. The concept of VO was introduced in the late 1990s to meet the challenges brought up with data avalanche in astronomy. In the paper, current status of International Virtual Observatory Alliance, technical highlights from world wide VO projects are reviewed, a brief introduction of Chinese Virtual Observatory is given.
Mazhaev, A.; Protsyuk, Yu.
Results obtained in 2010-2013 on the development of astronomical databases and web services are presented. Mykolaiv Virtual Observatory (MVO) is a part of the Ukrainian Virtual Observatory (UkrVO). At present, MVO consists of three major databases containing data on: astrometric catalogues, photographic plates, CCD observations. The databases facilitate the process of data mining and provide easy access to the textual and graphic information on the results of observations and their reduction obtained during the whole history of Nikolaev Astronomical Observatory (NAO).
Why are space observatories important? The answer concerns twinkling stars in the night sky. To reach telescopes on Earth, light from distant objects has to penetrate Earth's atmosphere. Although the sky may look clear, the gases that make up our atmosphere cause problems for astronomers. These gases absorb the majority of radiation emanating from celestial bodies so that it never reaches the astronomer's telescope. Radiation that does make it to the surface is distorted by pockets of warm and cool air, causing the twinkling effect. In spite of advanced computer enhancement, the images finally seen by astronomers are incomplete. NASA, in conjunction with other countries' space agencies, commercial companies, and the international community, has built observatories such as the Hubble Space Telescope, the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory, and the Chandra X-ray Observatory to find the answers to numerous questions about the universe. With the capabilities the Space Shuttle provides, scientist now have the means for deploying these observatories from the Shuttle's cargo bay directly into orbit.
The observing post located on the roof of Strasbourg's 19th-century "Academy" is generally considered as the second astronomical observatory of the city: a transitional facility between the (unproductive) turret lantern at the top of the Hospital Gate and the German (Wilhelminian) Observatory. The current paper reviews recent findings from archives (blueprints, inventories, correspondence, decrees and other documents) shedding some light on this observatory of which virtually nothing was known to this day. While being, thanks to Chrétien Kramp (1760-1826), an effective attempt to establish an actual observatory equipped with genuine instrumentation, the succession of political regimes in France and the continual bidding for moving the university to other locations, together with the faltering of later scholars, torpedoed any significant scientific usage of the place. A meridian instrument with a Cauchoix objective doublet was however recovered by the German observatory and is still existing.
The entry contains two Moon eclipses (a picture of a total eclipse and a photo of a penumbral one), photographs of monuments of few greatest astronomers: Nikolay Kopernik, Tiho Brahe and Johannes Kepler, a photo from the JENAM-1995 (Catania, Sicily) as well as photographs of few astronomers related with Moldova and Romania: V. Grigorevskii, N. Donitch, V.Nadolschi, D. Mangeron, two nice clocks in Prague, as well as a map of the Sanctuary in Orheiul -Vechi (Bessarabia) with an supposed ancient calendar.
Aguilar, M. L.
The Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, UNMSM, in Lima, Perú, is the only Peruvian institution working for the peruvian astronomical development as a career since 1970. We are conforming a network with international friend astronomers to invite them as Visiting Lectures to assure the academic level for the future doctoral studies in the UNMSM. The Chancellor of UNMSM has decided that the Astronomical Project is a UNMSM Project, to encourage and advance in this scientific and strategical area, to impulse the modernity of Peru, the major effort will be the building of the San Marcos Astronomical Observatory, with a telescope of 1 meter aperture.
Neuenschwander, D. E.; Finkenbinder, L. R.
Just as quetzals and jaguars require specific ecological habitats to survive, so too must planets occupy a tightly constrained astronomical habitat to support life as we know it. With this theme in mind we relate the transferable features of our elementary astronomy course, "The Astronomical Basis of Life on Earth." Over the last five years, in a team-taught course that features a spring break field trip to Costa Rica, we have introduced astronomy through "astronomical ecosystems," emphasizing astronomical constraints on the prospects for life on Earth. Life requires energy, chemical elements, and long timescales, and we emphasize how cosmological, astrophysical, and geological realities, through stabilities and catastrophes, create and eliminate niches for biological life. The linkage between astronomy and biology gets immediate and personal: for example, studies in solar energy production are followed by hikes in the forest to examine the light-gathering strategies of photosynthetic organisms; a lesson on tides is conducted while standing up to our necks in one on a Pacific beach. Further linkages between astronomy and the human timescale concerns of biological diversity, cultural diversity, and environmental sustainability are natural and direct. Our experience of teaching "astronomy as habitat" strongly influences our "Astronomy 101" course in Oklahoma as well. This "inverted astrobiology" seems to transform our student's outlook, from the universe being something "out there" into something "we're in!" We thank the SNU Science Alumni support group "The Catalysts," and the SNU Quetzal Education and Research Center, San Gerardo de Dota, Costa Rica, for their support.
Astronomer's Proposal Tool (APT) is a computer program that assists astronomers in preparing their Phase 1 and Phase 2 Hubble Space Telescope science programs. APT is a successor to the Remote Proposal Submission System 2 (RPS2) program, which has been rendered obsolete by more recent advances in computer software and hardware. APT exploits advances associated with widespread use of the Internet, multiplatform visual development software tools, and overall increases in the power of desktop computer hardware, all in such a way as to make the preparation and submission of proposals more intuitive and make observatory operations less cumbersome. APT provides documentation and help that are friendly, up to date, and easily accessible to users of varying levels of expertise, while defining an extensible framework that is responsive to changes in both technology and observatory operations. APT consists of two major components: (1) a set of software tools that are intuitive, visual, and responsive and (2) an integrated software environment that unifies all the tools and makes them interoperable. The APT tools include the Visual Target Tuner, Proposal Editor, Exposure Planner, Bright Object Checker, and Visit Planner.
Leach, D. C.
The expansion of data supply has been prolific over the past decade. Publishers of text are only just beginning to consider what the aim of their publications should be in the light of competition from computer databases. Increasingly sources of data are becoming linked into a global network. The modem has revolutionised the way many astronomers interact with the outside world and each other. Access to data sources world wide can now be undertaken with a simple telephone call and a desktop computer.
Rai, R. N.
Indian astronomers have devised a number of instruments and the most important of these is the armillary sphere. The earliest armillary spheres were very simple instruments. Ptolemy in his Almagest enumerates at least three. The simplest of all was the equinoctial armilla. They had also the solstitial armilla which was a double ring, erected in the plane of the meridian with a rotating inner circle. This was used to measure the solar altitude.
The lightcurves for three main-belt asteroids, 1413 Roucarie, 3385 Bronnina, and 39890 Bobstephens. All observations were taken from the DanHenge Observatory, one of 13 observatories at Goat Mountain Astronomical Research Station (GMARS - MPC G79).
Bartky, Ian R.
The Dearborn Observatory, located on the Old University of Chicago campus from 1863 until 1888, was America's most promising astronomical facility when it was founded. Established by the Chicago Astronomical Society and directed by one of the country's most gifted astronomers, it boasted the largest telescope in the world and virtually unlimited operating funds. The Great Chicago Fire of 1871 destroyed its funding and demolished its research programme. Only via the sale of time signals and the heroic efforts of two amateur astronomers did the Dearborn Observatory survive.
Pettersen, Bjørn Ragnvald
Archival material has revealed milestones and new details in the history of the Norwegian Naval Observatories. We have identified several of the instrument types used at different epochs. Observational results have been extracted from handwritten sources and an extensive literature search. These allow determination of an approximate location of the first naval observatory building (1842) at Fredriksvern. No physical remains exist today. A second observatory was established in 1854 at the new main naval base at Horten. Its location is evident on military maps and photographs. We describe its development until the Naval Observatory buildings, including archives and instruments, were completely demolished during an allied air bomb raid on 23 February 1945. The first director, C.T.H. Geelmuyden, maintained scientific standards at the the Observatory between 1842 and 1870, and collaborated with university astronomers to investigate, develop, and employ time-transfer by telegraphy. Their purpose was accurate longitude determination between observatories in Norway and abroad. The Naval Observatory issued telegraphic time signals twice weekly to a national network of sites, and as such served as the first national time-service in Norway. Later the Naval Observatory focused on the particular needs of the Navy and developed into an internal navigational service.
Hamidouche, M.; Young, E.; Marcum, P.; Krabbe, A.
We present one of the new generations of observatories, the Stratospheric Observatory For Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA). This is an airborne observatory consisting of a 2.7-m telescope mounted on a modified Boeing B747-SP airplane. Flying at an up to 45,000 ft (14 km) altitude, SOFIA will observe above more than 99 percent of the Earth's atmospheric water vapor allowing observations in the normally obscured far-infrared. We outline the observatory capabilities and goals. The first-generation science instruments flying on board SOFIA and their main astronomical goals are also presented.
As early as the 18th and 19th centuries, French and English observers were active in South Africa. Around the beginning of the 20th century, Heidelberg and Potsdam astronomers proposed a southern observatory. Then Göttingen astronomers suggested building an observatory in Windhoek for photographing the sky and measuring the solar constant. In 1910 Karl Schwarzschild (1873-1916), after a visit to observatories in the United States, pointed out the usefulness of an observatory in South West Africa, in a climate superior to that in Germany, giving German astronomers access to the southern sky. Seeing tests were begun in 1910 by Potsdam astronomers, but WW I stopped the plans. In 1928 Erwin Finlay-Freundlich (1885-1964), inspired by the Hamburg astronomer Walter Baade (1893-1960), worked out a detailed plan for a southern observatory with a reflecting telescope, spectrographs and an astrograph with an objective prism. Paul Guthnick (1879-1947), director of the Berlin observatory, in cooperation with APO Potsdam and Hamburg, made a site survey to Africa in 1929 and found the conditions in Windhoek to be ideal. Observations were started in the 1930s by Berlin and Breslau astronomers, but were stopped by WW II. In the 1950s, astronomers from Hamburg and The Netherlands renewed the discussion in the framework of European cooperation, and this led to the founding of ESO in 1963.
Loon, Chin Wei; Zainuddin, Mohd. Zambri; Ahmad, Nazhatulshima; Shukor, Muhammad Shamim; Tahar, Muhammad Redzuan
Observatory code was assigned by The International Astronomical Union (IAU) Minor Planet Center (MPC) for a permanent observatory that intended to do astrometric CCD-observing program of minor planet or comets in solar system. The purpose of acquiring an observatory code is to document specific details about a particular observation site and the types of instruments used within the observatory. In addition, many astronomical centers and stations worldwide will know there is an active observatory at the particular location and international cooperation program in astronomy observation is possible. The Langkawi National Observatory has initiated an observation program to monitor minor planet, specifically those Near Earth Objects (NEOs) that may bring potentially hazardous to the Earth. In order to fulfil the requirement that stated by MPC for undertaking astrometric CCD-observing program, an observatory code was required. The instruments and methods that applied to obtain the observatory code will be discussed. The Langkawi National Observatory is now coded as O43 and listed in the MPC system, the single worldwide location for receipt and distribution of positional measurements of minor planets, comets and outer irregular natural satellites of major planets.
Observatoriya imeni russkogo astronoma v dalekoj Brazilii. K 100-letiyu so diya rozhdeniya Aleksandra Ivanovicha Postoeva (1900 - 1976) %t An observatory in distant Brazil named after a Russian astronomer (dedicated to Alexander Postoyev (1900 - 1976) centennial anniversary
Marques Dos Santos, P.; Matsuura, O. T.
This is a biographical note on the life of Dr. Alexander Postoyev, a victim of Stalin's purge of Soviet astronomers in 1936 - 1937. Together with his family, he left the Soviet Union in 1943 and lived in Germany as a refugee and a "displaced person" until 1952, when he moved to Brazil. There, he started the second part of his professional career. Thanks to his efforts, the Astronomical and Geophysical Institute (IAG) of the University of Sao Paulo (USP) was for the first time included in programs of international cooperation, thus contributing to the institutional consolidation of IAG/USP as a leading center of astronomical research and teaching in Brazil now.
Dr. Scott Ransom, an astronomer at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO), received the American Astronomical Society's (AAS) Helen B. Warner Prize on January 11, at the society's meeting in Seattle, Washington. The prize is awarded annually for "a significant contribution to observational or theoretical astronomy during the five years preceding the award." Presented by AAS President Debra Elmegreen, the prize recognized Ransom "for his astrophysical insight and innovative technical leadership enabling the discovery of exotic, millisecond and young pulsars and their application for tests of fundamental physics." "Scott has made landmark contributions to our understanding of pulsars and to using them as elegant tools for investigating important areas of fundamental physics. We are very proud that his scientific colleagues have recognized his efforts with this prize," said NRAO Director Fred K.Y. Lo. A staff astronomer at the NRAO since 2004, Ransom has led efforts using the National Science Foundation's Green Bank Telescope and other facilities to study pulsars and use them to make advances in areas of frontier astrophysics such as gravitational waves and particle physics. In 2010, he was on a team that discovered the most massive pulsar yet known, a finding that had implications for the composition of pulsars and details of nuclear physics, gravitational waves, and gamma-ray bursts. Ransom also is a leader in efforts to find and analyze rapidly-rotating millisecond pulsars to make the first direct detection of the gravitational waves predicted by Albert Einstein. In other work, he has advanced observational capabilities for finding millisecond pulsars in globular clusters of stars and investigated how millisecond pulsars are formed. A graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, NY, Ransom served as an artillery officer in the U.S. Army. After leaving the Army, he earned a Ph.D. at Harvard University in 2001, and was a postdoctoral fellow
Hanisch, R. J.
The concept of the Virtual Observatory arose more-or-less simultaneously in the United States and Europe circa 2000. Ten pages of Astronomy and Astrophysics in the New Millennium: Panel Reports (National Academy Press, Washington, 2001), that is, the detailed recommendations of the Panel on Theory, Computation, and Data Exploration of the 2000 Decadal Survey in Astronomy, are dedicated to describing the motivation for, scientific value of, and major components required in implementing the National Virtual Observatory. European initiatives included the Astrophysical Virtual Observatory at the European Southern Observatory, the AstroGrid project in the United Kingdom, and the Euro-VO (sponsored by the European Union). Organizational/conceptual meetings were held in the US at the California Institute of Technology (Virtual Observatories of the Future, June 13-16, 2000) and at ESO Headquarters in Garching, Germany (Mining the Sky, July 31-August 4, 2000; Toward an International Virtual Observatory, June 10-14, 2002). The nascent US, UK, and European VO projects formed the International Virtual Observatory Alliance (IVOA) at the June 2002 meeting in Garching, with yours truly as the first chair. The IVOA has grown to a membership of twenty-one national projects and programs on six continents, and has developed a broad suite of data access protocols and standards that have been widely implemented. Astronomers can now discover, access, and compare data from hundreds of telescopes and facilities, hosted at hundreds of organizations worldwide, stored in thousands of databases, all with a single query.
Sánchez de Miguel, Alejandro; Zamorano, Jaime
Light pollution is the main factor of degradation of the astronomical quality of the sky along the history. Astronomical observatories have been monitoring how the brightness of the sky varies using photometric measures of the night sky brightness mainly at zenith. Since the sky brightness depends in other factors such as sky glow, aerosols, solar activity and the presence of celestial objects, the continuous increase of light pollution in these enclaves is difficult to trace except when it is too late.Using models of light dispersion on the atmosphere one can determine which light pollution sources are increasing the sky brightness at the observatories. The input satellite data has been provided by DMSP/OLS and SNPP/VIIRS. Unfortunately their panchromatic bands (color blinded) are not useful to detect in which extension the increase is due to the dramatic change produced by the irruption of LED technology in outdoor lighting. The only instrument in the space that is able to distinguish between the various lighting technologies are the DSLR cameras used by the astronauts onboard the ISS.Current status for some astronomical observatories that have been imaged from the ISS is presented. We are planning to send an official request to NASA with a plan to get images for the most important astronomical observatories. We ask support for this proposal by the astronomical community and especially by the US-based researchers.
Hockey, Thomas A.
What happens when even Percival Lowell stops believing in your Mars observations? History can be troubling. This I learned while editing the Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers (Springer, 2007). There have been astronomers who do not fit our commonly held, and clung to, conceptual model: a sociological system that sifts out generally like-minded and sensible colleagues. I refer to those individuals who (for at least a time) successfully entered the mainstream profession, but now disturb our worldview that says prosperity as a scientist usually is achieved by a rational being holding certain common values. My List of Shame includes examples from each of the last four centuries. Not "crack pot” cosmologists, these were hard-working observers for whom the end justified the means. And they all got away with it. Each person I discuss was vetted by the professional establishment of the day. Yet you will learn how to be fired from a major observatory, banned from prominent journals. But only after damage to the science is done. Be afraid.
Jones, Jeremy; Fishman, Mark; Grella, Vince; Kerbel, Uri; Maks, Lori; Misra, Dharitri; Pell, Vince; Powers, Edward I. (Technical Monitor)
With the realization of NASA's era of great observatories, there are now more than three space-based telescopes operating in different wavebands. This situation provides astronomers with a unique opportunity to simultaneously observe with multiple observatories. Yet scheduling multiple observatories simultaneously is highly inefficient when compared to observations using only one single observatory. Thus, programs using multiple observatories are limited not due to scientific restrictions, but due to operational inefficiencies. At present, multi-observatory programs are conducted by submitting observing proposals separately to each concerned observatory. To assure that the proposed observations can be scheduled, each observatory's staff has to check that the observations are valid and meet all the constraints for their own observatory; in addition, they have to verify that the observations satisfy the constraints of the other observatories. Thus, coordinated observations require painstaking manual collaboration among the observatory staff at each observatory. Due to the lack of automated tools for coordinated observations, this process is time consuming, error-prone, and the outcome of the requests is not certain until the very end. To increase observatory operations efficiency, such manpower intensive processes need to undergo re-engineering. To overcome this critical deficiency, Goddard Space Flight Center's Advanced Architectures and Automation Branch is developing a prototype effort called the Visual Observation Layout Tool (VOLT). The main objective of the VOLT project is to provide visual tools to help automate the planning of coordinated observations by multiple astronomical observatories, as well as to increase the scheduling probability of all observations.
The University Observatory of Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität was founded in 1816. Astronomers who worked or graduated at the Munich Observatory include: Fraunhofer, Soldner, Lamont, Seeliger and Karl Schwarzschild. At present four professors and ten staff astronomers work here. Funding comes from the Bavarian Government, the German Science Foundation, and other German and European research progra...
Nagy, T. A.; Warren, W. H., Jr.; Mead, J. M.
Work in progress on astronomical catalogs is presented in 16 papers. Topics cover astronomical data center operations; automatic astronomical data retrieval at GSFC; interactive computer reference search of astronomical literature 1950-1976; formatting, checking, and documenting machine-readable catalogs; interactive catalog of UV, optical, and HI data for 201 Virgo cluster galaxies; machine-readable version of the general catalog of variable stars, third edition; galactic latitude and magnitude distribution of two astronomical catalogs; the catalog of open star clusters; infrared astronomical data base and catalog of infrared observations; the Air Force geophysics laboratory; revised magnetic tape of the N30 catalog of 5,268 standard stars; positional correlation of the two-micron sky survey and Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory catalog sources; search capabilities for the catalog of stellar identifications (CSI) 1979 version; CSI statistics: blue magnitude versus spectral type; catalogs available from the Astronomical Data Center; and status report on machine-readable astronomical catalogs.
Jones, J.; Maks, L.; Fishman, M.; Grella, V.; Kerbel, U.; Misra, D.; Pell, V.
With the realization of NASA's era of great observatories, there are now more than three space-based telescopes operating in different wave bands. This situation provides astronomers with a unique opportunity to simultaneously observe with multiple observatories. Yet scheduling multiple observatories simultaneously is highly inefficient when compared to observations using only a single observatory. Thus, programs using multiple observatories are limited not by scientific restrictions, but by operational inefficiencies. At present, multi-observatory programs are initiated by submitting observing proposals separately to each concerned observatory. To assure that the proposed observations can be scheduled, each observatory's staff has to check that the observations are valid and meet all constraints for their own observatory; in addition, they have to verify that the observations satisfy the constraints of the other observatories. Thus, coordinated observations require painstaking manual collaboration among staffs at each observatory. Due to the lack of automated tools for coordinated observations, this process is time consuming and error-prone, and the outcome of requests is not certain until the very end. To increase multi-observatory operations efficiency, such resource intensive processes need to be re-engineered. To overcome this critical deficiency, Goddard Space Flight Center's Advanced Architectures and Automation Branch is developing a prototype called the Visual Observation Layout Tool (VOLT). The main objective of VOLT is to provide visual tools to help automate the planning of coordinated observations by multiple astronomical observatories, as well as to increase the probability of scheduling all observations.
Burns, Jack O.
This paper addresses some of the scientific puzzles that astronomers may face in the next century. Four areas in astronomy are discussed in detail. These include cosmology and galaxy formation, active galaxies and quasars, supernovae and stellar remnants, and the formation of stars and planets. A variety of observatories on the Moon are proposed to attack these astronomical challenges.
Nearly forty professional and amateur astronomers from around the UK converged on the Mill Hill Observatory of University College, London, on Saturday September 16, for a meeting set up by the Royal Astronomical Society and The Astronomer to promote and exchange ideas on professional?amateur collaboration in astronomy. Fields discussed included variable star research, gamma ray bursters, supernova searching, spectroscopy and minor planet and meteor work.
Cui, Chen-Zhou; Zhao, Yong-Heng
Virtual Observatory (VO) is brought forward under the background of progresses of astronomical technologies and information technologies. VO architecture design embodies the combination of above two technologies. As an introduction of VO, principle and workflow of Virtual Observatory are given firstly. Then the latest progress on VO architecture is introduced. Based on the Grid technology, layered architecture model and service-oriented architecture model are given for Chinese Virtual Observatory. In the last part of the paper, some problems on architecture design are discussed in detail.
Cline, J. Donald
The path of the total solar eclipse across the United States on August 21, 2017 crosses the Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute (PARI) located in western North Carolina. The partial eclipse begins at about 17:08 UT, followed by the nearly 2 minute total eclipse which begins at about 18:37 UT. The PARI campus includes radio and optical telescopes, as well as earth science instruments that include a seismometer, geomagnetometer, EarthScope Plate Boundary Observatory, time standards, and several weather stations. The instruments stream data to the PARI website and will be available for the eclipse. In anticipation of the 2017 solar eclipse, we present the instruments and infrastructure of the PARI campus. We invite astronomers to explore the use of the PARI campus as a site for their own instruments and/or the use of instruments already located at PARI.
Astronomical data issued from observatories find multiple uses on land, as well as on sea. Due to their structure and periodicity, scientific reviews are particularly adapted to peer review and sharing of data between astronomers as well as between astronomers and hobbyists. During the 19(th) century regional observatories first gather together professionals interested in the practical applications of the observations and later, under the influence of personalities such as Camille Flammarion, they bring together a larger non-professional audience. Being the epicentre of scientific exchange, the reviews have in the 20(th) century found their place on the websites of academic institutions as well as users forums. PMID:25311894
Maran, Stephen P.
Life as an astronomer has taken me to view eclipses of the Sun from the Gaspe' Peninsula to the Pacific Ocean and the China and Coral Seas, and to observe the stars at observatories across the USA and as far south as Chile. I've also enjoyed working with NASA's telescopes in space, including the Hubble Space Telescope and the International Ultraviolet Explorer. It seems funny to reflect that it all began in the Sixth Grade by a fluke - the consequence of a hoax letter whose author I never identified.
Lim, B.; Sung, H.; Kim, J. S.; Bessell, M. S.; Park, B.-G.
The observation of NGC 1893 was made on 2009 January 19 using the AZT-22 1.5m telescope (f/7.74) at Maidanak Astronomical Observatory in Uzbekistan. All imaging data were acquired using the Fairchild 486 CCD (SNUCam) with the standard Bessell UBVI and Hα filters. (1 data file).
Ibadinov, Khursandkul I.; Rahmonov, A. A.
The centre of astronomy in Tajikistan is the Institute of Astrophysics of the Academy of Sciences of Tajikistan. This institute carries out scientific research and contributes to the preparation of the astronomical staff and to astronomical education. The reform of education in Tajikistan continues and now astronomy is studied in schools (together with physics) and at universities. The Tajik State Pedagogical University resumed in 2007 the training of teachers in physics and astronomy. Since 1999 the Tajik National University (TNU) offers a a specialty in astronomy. In 2006 is restored the Small Academy of Sciences (SAS) of Tajikistan. There is a planetarium in Khujand and in 2006 the Institute of Astrophysics, TNU and the Astronomical Society of Tajikistan, along with the support IBSP/UNESCO, organised the Training Methodical Center (TMC) ``TAJASTRO'' at the Hisar astronomical observatory for students, graduate students, young scientists, and teachers at secondary schools.
This is an era of rapid change from ancient human-mediated modes of astronomical practice to a vision of ever larger time domain surveys, ever bigger "big data", to increasing numbers of robotic telescopes and astronomical automation on every mountaintop. Over the past decades, facets of a new autonomous astronomical toolkit have been prototyped and deployed in support of numerous space missions. Remote and queue observing modes have gained significant market share on the ground. Archives and data-mining are becoming ubiquitous; astroinformatic techniques and virtual observatory standards and protocols are areas of active development. Astronomers and engineers, planetary and solar scientists, and researchers from communities as diverse as particle physics and exobiology are collaborating on a vast range of "multi-messenger" science. What then is missing?
Through a domestic search as well as the one in Paris, I made clear the early life of Hisashi Terao, the first director of Tokyo Astronomical Observatory, his astronomical education in Paris, and the subsequent relation with the famous painter Seiki Kuroda. In particular, the origin and role of Montsouris Astronomical Training School were discussed.
As early as the 18th and 19th centuries, French and English observers were active in South Africa. Around the beginning of the 20th century the Heidelberg astronomer Max Wolf (1863-1932) proposed a southern observatory. In 1907 Hermann Carl Vogel (1841-1907), director of the Astrophysical Observatory Potsdam, suggested a southern station in Spain. His ideas for building an observatory in Windhuk for photographing the sky and measuring the solar constant were taken over by the Göttingen astronomers. In 1910 Karl Schwarzschild (1873-1916), after having visited the observatories in America, pointed out the usefulness of an observatory in South West Africa, where it would have better weather than in Germany and also give access to the southern sky. Seeing tests were begun in 1910 by Potsdam astronomers, but WW I stopped the plans. In 1928 Erwin Finlay-Freundlich (1885-1964), inspired by the Hamburg astronomer Walter Baade (1893-1960), worked out a detailed plan for a southern observatory with a reflecting telescope, spectrographs and an astrograph with an objective prism. Paul Guthnick (1879-1947), director of the Berlin observatory, in cooperation with APO Potsdam and Hamburg, made a site survey to Africa in 1929 and found the conditions in Windhuk to be ideal. Observations were started in the 1930s by Berlin and Breslau astronomers, but were stopped by WW II. In the 1950s, astronomers from Hamburg and The Netherlands renewed the discussion in the framework of European cooperation, and this led to the founding of ESO in 1963, as is well described by Blaauw (1991). Blaauw, Adriaan: ESO's Early History. The European Southern Observatory from Concept to Reality. Garching bei München: ESO 1991.
Detours to the unification of calendars: The ``Improved Calendar'' (1700 bis 1775) and the foundation of the Berlin Astronomical Observatory. (German Title: Umwege zur Kalendereinheit: Der ``Verbesserte Kalender'' (1700 bis 1775) und die Gründung der Berliner Sternwarte)
The refusal of most protestant communities in Germany and other countries to accept the calendar reform decreed by Pope Gregor XIII in 1582 was finally circumvented by the introduction of an ``Improved (Julian) Calendar''. It did provide for astronomical rather than cyclical calculation of the date of Easter. While for most years both calendars were identical except in name, some conflicts did eventually occur. This led finally, in 1775, to a decision in favour of the Gregorian mode of calculation.
Mickaelian, A. M.
Astronomy in Armenia was popular since ancient times. There are signs of astronomical observations coming from a few thousands years ago. Two ancient observatories, Karahunge and Metzamor are especially well known. Karahunge is the Armenian twin of the Stonehenge and is even older. However, there is no proper attention from the state authorities and efforts are needed for preservation of such historical-astronomical monuments. The Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory (BAO) is the modern famous Armenian observatory founded in 1946 by the outstanding scientist Victor Ambartsumian. It was one of the world astronomical centres in 1950-s to 1970-s, and at present is the largest observatory in the Middle East area. As the ancient astronomical sites, Byurakan also needs a proper attitude from the state authorities and corresponding international organizations to preserve its values and importance for the present and future astronomical activities in the region, including its rich observational archive, telescopes, and human resources. Despite all the difficulties, the Armenian astronomers keep high international level of research and display various activities organizing international meetings and schools, preparing new young generation for the future research. The Armenian Astronomical Society (ArAS) is an affiliated member of EAS. Armenia has its Virtual Observatory project (ArVO) as well. The next Joint European and National Astronomy Meeting (JENAM-2007) will be held in Yerevan, Armenia, in August 2007. There are plans to organize astronomical tours to Armenia for making observations from various sites, including the ancient observatories. The future of astronomy in Armenia strongly depends on all of this activities and the proper attention both from state authorities and society.
Dickinson, Mark; Inami, Hanae
Thirty Meter Telescope Observatory and NOAO will host the second TMT Science Forum at Loews Ventana Canyon Resort in Tucson, Arizona. The TMT Science Forum is an an annual gathering of astronomers, educators, and observatory staff, who meet to explore TMT science, instrumentation, observatory operations, archiving and data processing, astronomy education, and science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) issues. It is an opportunity for astronomers from the international TMT partners and from the US-at-large community to learn about the observatory status, discuss and plan cutting-edge science, establish collaborations, and to help shape the future of TMT. One important theme for this year's Forum will be the synergy between TMT and other facilities in the post-2020 astronomical landscape. There will be plenary sessions, an instrumentation workshop, topical science sessions and meetings of the TMT International Science Development Teams (ISDTs).
Official talks in France and Germany after World War I were generally of hatred and revenge. Strasbourg Observatory had just changed nationality (from Prussian to French) for the first time (this would happen again at the outbreak of WWII and after the conflict). Documents show that astronomers did not share the general attitude. For example the inventory book started in German was continued in French after 1918. It is moving to see those different handwritings in two different languages on the same pages -- making of that book a unique document in various respects, but also reminding us that the native language of the region was in fact Alsacian.
Ptitsyn, D. A.; Dluzhnevskaya, O. B.; Pomelnikova, N. A.; Ptitsyn, D. A.
The changes in literature acquisitions of the scientific libraries of astronomical institutes and observatories of the Russian Academy of Sciences during the last years are discussed. The greate role played by western astronomical societies and funds in supplying the astronomical libraries of the FSU with scientific journals is emphasized. The technical facilities of the Russian astronomical libraries are considered in connection with new technology developments in the world-wide exchange of scientific information.
Prévot, Marie-Louise; Caplan, James
The Marseille Observatory was founded in 1702 by the Jesuit order. It was located near the Vieux Port until the 1860s, when it was taken over as an annex to the Paris Observatory, directed by Le Verrier, and moved to its present location on the Plateau Longchamp. It again became independent in 1873. For information on the early history of the observatory we are largely indebted to F.X. von Zach, who spent several years in Marseille, and who was a good friend of J. Thulis, director from 1801 to 1810. Some aspects of the foundation and early history of the observatory, and of the lives of some of the astronomers who worked there, are presented and illustrated. Our collection of old instruments and documents are described.
, a unique instrument capable of measuring stellar radial velocities with an unsurpassed accuracy better than 1 m/s, making it a very powerful tool for the discovery of extra-solar planets. In addition, astronomers have also access to the 2.2-m ESO/MPG telescope with its Wide Field Imager camera. A new control room, the RITZ (Remote Integrated Telescope Zentrum), allows operating all three ESO telescopes at La Silla from a single place. The La Silla Observatory is also the first world-class observatory to have been granted certification for the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 9001 Quality Management System. Moreover, the infrastructure of La Silla is still used by many of the ESO member states for targeted projects such as the Swiss 1.2-m Euler telescope and the robotic telescope specialized in the follow-up of gamma-ray bursts detected by satellites, the Italian REM (Rapid Eye Mount). In addition, La Silla is in charge of the APEX (Atacama Pathfinder Experiment) 12-m sub-millimetre telescope which will soon start routine observations at Chajnantor, the site of the future Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA). The APEX project is a collaboration between the Max Planck Society in Germany, Onsala Observatory in Sweden and ESO. ESO also operates Paranal, home of the Very Large Telescope (VLT) and the VLT Interferometer (VLTI). Antu, the first 8.2-m Unit Telescope of the VLT, saw First Light in May 1998, starting what has become a revolution in European astronomy. Since then, the three other Unit Telescopes - Kueyen, Melipal and Yepun - have been successfully put into operation with an impressive suite of the most advanced astronomical instruments. The interferometric mode of the VLT (VLTI) is also operational and fully integrated in the VLT data flow system. In the VLTI mode, one state-of-the-art instrument is already available and another will follow soon. With its remarkable resolution and unsurpassed surface area, the VLT is at the forefront of
Gaina, Alex B.; Volyanskaya, M. Yu.
The article is devoted to milestones of life and scientific activity of the eminent astronomer Nikolay Nikolaevich Donitch (Nicolae N. Donici) (1874-1956), a graduate from the Odessa (Novorossiski) university. He was a wellknown expert in the field of reseacrh of objects of Solar system. A person highly cultured, which built the first in Bessarabia (actually a part of the Republic of Moldova) observatory. He was borne in Kishinev (Chisinau) in a nobles family of notable Moldavian landersmen. N.D. graduated from the Richelieu lyceym in Odessa and afterwards, in 1897, graduated from the Odessa (Novorossiysky) University. A.K. Kononovich (1850-1910)headed the chair of astronomy and the Observatory at that time - a foremost authority in the field of astrophysics and stellar astronomy. Many of his disciples became eminent scientists of their time. N. Donitch was among them. N.D. worked till 1918 at Pulkovo Observatory and became a master in the field of studying of such phenomena as solar and lunar eclipses. To observe the Sun N.D., could afford to design and manufacture a spectroheliograph, the first in Russia, with the assistance of a famous Odessa mechanic J.A. Timchenko. This instrument enabled him to obtain topquality photos of the Sun's surface and prominences. It was mounted together with coelostat in the private observatory of N.D. , built in the village Staryie Doubossary in 1908. Besides the heliograoph, the observatory was equiped with a five inch refractor-equatorial with numerous instruments for various observations. Of the other instruments should be mentioned : "a comet triplet" - an instrument consisting of guiding refractor, a photographic camera and a spectrograph with an objective prism. N.D. was lucky enough to observe rare astronomical phenomena. He observed the transit of Mercury through the disk of the Sun on November 14, 1907 and showed the athmosphere absence around this planet, observed the Halley's comet in 1910, the bright Pons-Winneke comet
Yamaoka, H.; Green, D. W. E.; Samus, N. N.; Aksnes, K.; Gilmore, A. C.; Nakano, S.; Sphar, T.; Tichá, J.; Williams, G. V.
IAU Commission 6 ``Astronomical Telegrams'' had a single business meeting during Honolulu General Assembly of the IAU. It took place on Tuesday, 11 August 2015. The meeting was attended by Hitoshi Yamaoka (President), Daniel Green (Director of the Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams, CBAT, via Skype), Steven Chesley (JPL), Paul Chodas (JPL), Alan Gilmore (Canterbury University), Shinjiro Kouzuma (Chukyo University), Paolo Mazzali (Co-Chair of the Supernova Working Group), Elena Pian (Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa), Marion Schmitz (chair IAU Working Group Designations + NED), David Tholen (University of Hawaii), Jana Ticha (Klet Observatory), Milos Tichy (Klet Observatory), Giovanni Valsecchi (INAF\\slash Italy), Gareth Williams (Minor Planet Center). Apologies: Nikolai Samus (General Catalogue of Variable Stars, GCVS).
Observatories are the engine room of astronomical outreach. They provide the tools that allow research discoveries to be made in addition to employing many of the research astronomers and public information officers (PIOs). Where accessible, they provide a natural venue for public visits and centres of excellence. They engage in a wide variety of outreach activities in their own right with varying degrees of success, often linked to funding. In all of this, the enthusiasm and high calibre activities of individuals can never be overestimated. We review the above and report the results from a 'health of stock' survey conducted of a large sample of mainly ground-based observatories refl ecting their overall activities and experiences.
Simonia, I.; Simonia, Ts.; Abuladze, T.; Chkhikvadze, N.; Samkurashvili, L.; Pataridze, K.
Little known and unknown Georgian, Persian, and Arabic astronomical manuscripts of IX-XIX centuries are kept in the centers, archives, and libraries of Georgia. These manuscripts has a form of treaties, handbooks, texts, tables, fragments, and comprises various theories, cosmological models, star catalogs, calendars, methods of observations. We investigated this large material and published DVD database Astronomical Manuscripts in Georgia. This unique database contains information about astronomical manuscripts as original works. It contains also descriptions of Georgian translations of Byzantine, Arabic and other sources. The present paper is dedicated to description of obtained results and DVD database. Copies of published DVD database are kept in collections of the libraries of: Ilia State University, Georgia; Royal Observatory, Edinburgh, UK; Congress of the USA, and in other centers.
Stephens, Robert D.
Lightcurves of six asteroids were obtained from Santana Observatory and Goat Mountain Astronomical Research Station (GMARS): 555 Norma, 1028 Lydina, 1123 Shapleya, 1178 Irmela, 3436 Ibadinov, and 6042 Cheshirecat.
Stephens, Robert D.
Lightcurves of three asteroids were obtained from Santana Observatory and Goat Mountain Astronomical Research Station (GMARS) from 2011 July to September: 688 Melanie, 1077 Campanula, and (42265) 2001 QL69.
Finley, David G.
The National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) is a government-funded organization providing state-of-the art observational facilities to the astronomical community on a peer-reviewed basis. In this role, the NRAO must address three principal constituencies with its public-relations efforts. These are: the astronomical community; the funding and legislative bodies of the Federal Government; and the general public. To serve each of these constituencies, the Observatory has developed a set of public-relations initiatives supported by public-relations and outreach professionals as well as by management and scientific staff members. The techniques applied and the results achieved in each of these areas are described.
Li, Chang-Hua; Cui, Chen-Zhou; Li, Lian; Zhao, Yong-Heng
Information technology has been affecting on all fields of traditional scientific research deeply. Virtual Observatory is a typical example of combination of the latest information technologies with astronomy. Taking advantages of advanced information technologies, for example, Grid technology, it aims to achieve the seamless and global access to astronomical information and maximum scientific output of huge modern astronomic datasets. In the process of design and implementation of resource information system for Chinese Virtual Observatory, the authors adopt Open Grid Service Architecture (OGSA) as its infrastructure, and all resources are managed in the system as services. Resource management, especially resource registry and discovery is a key consideration for both Grid and Virtual Observatory, which affects directly on the performance of the whole system. Based on OGSA and one of its implementations, GT3, this paper describes the design and implementation of resource information management system in Chinese Virtual Observatory.
The main objective of the Virtual Observatory (VO) is to guarantee an easy and efficient access and analysis of the information hosted in astronomical archives. The Spanish Virtual Observatory (SVO) is a project that was born in 2004 with the goal of promoting and coordinating the VO-related activities at national level. SVO is also the national contact point for the international VO initiatives, in particular the International Virtual Observatory Alliance (IVOA) and the Euro-VO project. The project, led by Centro de Astrobiología (INTA-CSIC), is structured around four major topics: a) VO compliance of astronomical archives, b) VO-science, c) VO- and data mining-tools, and d) Education and outreach. In this paper I will describe the most important results obtained by the Spanish Virtual Observatory in its first ten years of life as well as the future lines of work.
Ringwald, Fred; Morgan, G. E.; Barnes, F. S., III; Goldman, D. S.; Helm, M. R.; Mortfield, P.; Quattrocchi, K. B.; Van Vleet, L.
We report the founding of a new facility for astrophotography and small-telescope science. Sierra Remote Observatories are eight small observatories at 4610' altitude in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California. The sky brightness during New Moon typically rates 3 on the Bortle scale. Typical seeing is 1.2", with a one-sigma range between 1.0" and 1.6", measured during 2007 June-September. All eight observatories are operated by remote control over the Internet, from as far away as Toronto and South Carolina. The telescopes range in aperture from 106 mm to 16 inches. Color images have so far been published in several magazines (Astronomy, Practical Astronomer, and Sky & Telescope) and on NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day website. Science programs include time-resolved photometry of cataclysmic variables including the discovery of a 3.22-hour periodicity in the light curve of the nova-like V378 Pegasi, the serendipitous discovery of a previously undesignated spherical bubble in Cygnus, the discovery of three asteroids, and monitoring of Comet Lulin.
Erickson, E. F.; Davidson, J. A.
SOFIA, (Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy) is a planned 2.5 meter telescope to be installed in a Boeing 747 aircraft and operated at altitudes from 41,000 to 46,000 feet. It will permit routine measurement of infrared radiation inaccessible from the ground-based sites, and observation of astronomical objects and transient events from anywhere in the world. The concept is based on 18 years of experience with NASA's Kuiper Airborne Observatory (KAO), which SOFIA would replace.
Carrasco, E.; Carraminana, A. P.
The Guillermo Haro Astrophysical Observatory, with a 2m telescope, is one of only two professional observatories in Mexico. The observatory, run by the InstitutoNacional de Astrofisica, Optica y Electronica (INAOE), is located in the north of Mexico, in Cananea, Sonora. Since 1995 the observatory has faced the potential threat of pollution by an open cast mine to be opened at 3kms from the observatory. In the absence of national or regional laws enforcing protection to astronomical sites in Mexico, considerable effort has been needed to guarantee the conditions of the site. We present the studies carried out to ensure the protection of the Guillermo Haro Observatory from pollution due to dust, light and vibrations.
Presents a description of the world's largest radio/radar antenna, the Areciba Observatory in Puerto Rico. Activities at the observatory are discussed as well as the scientific research in the field of radio astronomy. (SA)
La Plata Observatory will welcome visitors to ESO-La Silla that are willing to make a stop at Buenos Aires on their trip to Chile or on their way back. There is a nice guesthouse at the Observatory that can be used, for a couple of days or so, by astronomers interested in visiting the Observatory and delivering talks on their research work to the Argentine colleagues. No payments can, however, be made at present. La Plata is at 60 km from Buenos Aires. In the same area lie the Instituto de Astronomia y Fisica dei Espacio (IAFE), in Buenos Aires proper, and the Instituto Argentino de Radioastronomia (IAR). about 40 km from Buenos Aires on the way to La Plata. Those interested should contacl: Sr Decano Prof. Cesar A. Mondinalli, or Dr Alejandro Feinstein, Observatorio Astron6mico, Paseo dei Bosque, 1900 La Plata, Argentina. Telex: 31216 CESLA AR.
Cui, Chenzhou; Zhao, Yongheng; Zhao, Gang; Zhang, Yanxia
The project of Virtual Observatory (VO) is the result of breakthroughs in telescope, detector, computer and Internet technologies. The combination with the new information technology is the major characteristic of the VO development. Extensible markup language (XML) and Grid as two trends of information technology will be adopted widely in the VO. The VO architecture is based upon the standard layered architecture of Grid. In the paper, technologies related in each layer of the VO architecture are introduced. The global Virtual Observatory provides new chances for Chinese astronomy. Using the abundant resources in the Internet and chances provided by open-source software, Chinese astronomers should cooperate with national IT experts and push the Virtual Observatory projects of China as soon as possible.
Nicolaus Copernicus Astronomical Center is the largest astronomical institution in Poland, located in Warsaw and founded in 1956. At present it is a government-funded research institute supervised by the Polish Academy of Sciences and licensed by the government of Poland to award PhD and doctor habilitatus degrees in astronomy and astrophysics. In September 1999 staff included 21 senior scientist...
Bless, Robert C.; King, Ivan R.
Four scientists, trained as astronomers, describe their astronomical training and present careers in non-astronomy, industrial jobs. They recount some of the differences, positive and negative, between industrial and academic employment, and comment on some of the attitudes they perceive academic and industrial scientists hold toward each other.…
Hanisch, R. J.; Payne, H.; Hayes, J.
This is the final report on the development of the Astronomical Software Directory Service (ASDS), a distributable, searchable, WWW-based database of software packages and their related documentation. ASDS provides integrated access to 56 astronomical software packages, with more than 16,000 URL's indexed for full-text searching.
Founded in 1899, the AAS is a non-profit scientific society created to promote the advancement of astronomy and closely related branches of science. Its membership consists primarily of professional researchers in the astronomical sciences, but also includes educators, students and others interested in the advancement of astronomical research. About 85% of the membership is drawn from North Ame...
Stevens, J. A.; Stevens, B. L.
Founded over fifty years ago, the League is the largest general astronomy society in the world. It is a recognized non-profit, educational organization, promoting the science of astronomy. This includes astronomical education, research, individual observing of the heavens and coordination between the amateur and professional astronomy communities. The Astronomical League publishes a quarterly newsletter, the "Reflector", which details amateur activities and amateur collaboration with professional astronomers. The League's Observing Clubs hone the skills of the amateur astronomer in using their telescopes. These clubs provide awards to encourge observing and learning the sky. More general awards are presented to encourage amateur astronomy and the science of astronomy. These include the National Young Astronomer Award, amd the Horkheimer Planetary Imaging Award. They also sponsor conventions on both the National and Regional levels. This year's national is in Ventura, California, next year, near Washington, D.C.
Vavilova, I. B.; Artemenko, T. G.; Pakuliak, L. K.
The new electronic database developed by the authors and titled "Astronomers of Ukraine" is described as a source of the main biographical data on astronomers of Ukraine from the 15th century until the beginning of the 21st century. The database is an upgrading component of the Ukrainian Virtual Observatory portal and contains the main biobibliographical data and papers concerning astronomers of Ukraine, as well as links to their publications. The existing biographical sources about astronomers in the world are discussed briefly. A list of the principal publications about astronomers of Ukraine is given.
Younger primary school students often show great interest in the vast Universe hiding behind the starry night's sky, but don't have a way of learning about it and exploring it in regular classes. Some of them would search children's books, Internet or encyclopedias for information or facts they are interested in, but there are those whose hunger for knowledge would go unfulfilled. Such students were the real initiators of our extracurricular activity called Little Astronomers. With great enthusiasm they would name everything that interests them about the Universe that we live in and I would provide the information in a fun and interactive yet acceptable way for their level of understanding. In our class we learn about Earth and its place in the Solar System, we learn about the planets and other objects of our Solar System and about the Sun itself. We also explore the night sky using programs such as Stellarium, learning to recognize constellations and name them. Most of our activities are done using a PowerPoint presentation, YouTube videos, and Internet simulations followed by some practical work the students do themselves. Because of the lack of available materials and funds, most of materials are hand made by the teacher leading the class. We also use the school's galileoscope as often as possible. Every year the students are given the opportunity to go to an observatory in a town 90 km away so that they could gaze at the sky through the real telescope for the first time. Our goal is to start stepping into the world of astronomy by exploring the secrets of the Universe and understanding the process of rotation and revolution of our planet and its effects on our everyday lives and also to become more aware of our own role in our part of the Universe. The hunger for knowledge and enthusiasm these students have is contagious. They are becoming more aware of their surroundings and also understanding their place in the Universe that helps them remain humble and helps
Edmondson, Frank K.
The subject of this history is the science and politics of the establishment, funding, construction and operation of two important American observatories, the Kitt Peak National Observatory (KPNO) and the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO) by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA). The book is written from the unique perspective of Frank K. Edmondson, a former member of the AURA board of directors. Drawing on oral histories, archival material, as well as the author's personal participation from 1956 to the present, this is a personal account of a period of major innovation in American optical astronomy. Will be of interest to historians and astronomers alike.
Bell, Peter M.
The Orbiting Astronomical Observatory (OAO-3), which was instrumental in the discovery of the first suspected black hole, wound up its scientific investigation at the end of 1980. Spacecraft science operations were terminated after 8½ years of operation. Named Copernicus, OAO-3 performed consistently beyond design specifications and 7½ years beyond project requirements. Its performance profile, according to the NASA-Goddard engineers and scientists, was ‘astonishing.’While formal scientific investigations were ended December 31, a series of engineering tests are still being made until February 15. At that time, all contact with the spacecraft will end. Project engineers are uncertain whether Copernicus will orient itself permanently toward the sun, begin a permanent orbital tumbling action, or a variation of both.
Seaman, Robert L.; Vestrand, W. T.; Hessman, Frederic V.
Observatories are complex scientific and technical institutions serving diverse users and purposes. Their telescopes, instruments, software, and human resources engage in interwoven workflows over a broad range of timescales. These workflows have been tuned to be responsive to concepts of observatory operations that were applicable when various assets were commissioned, years or decades in the past. The astronomical community is entering an era of rapid change increasingly characterized by large time domain surveys, robotic telescopes and automated infrastructures, and - most significantly - of operating modes and scientific consortia that span our individual facilities, joining them into complex network entities. Observatories must adapt and numerous initiatives are in progress that focus on redesigning individual components out of the astronomical toolkit. New instrumentation is both more capable and more complex than ever, and even simple instruments may have powerful observation scripting capabilities. Remote and queue observing modes are now widespread. Data archives are becoming ubiquitous. Virtual observatory standards and protocols and astroinformatics data-mining techniques layered on these are areas of active development. Indeed, new large-aperture ground-based telescopes may be as expensive as space missions and have similarly formal project management processes and large data management requirements. This piecewise approach is not enough. Whatever challenges of funding or politics facing the national and international astronomical communities it will be more efficient - scientifically as well as in the usual figures of merit of cost, schedule, performance, and risks - to explicitly address the systems engineering of the astronomical community as a whole.
Theodorus van Loon, Jacco; Albinson, James; Bagnall, Alan; Bryant, Lian; Caisley, Dave; Doody, Stephen; Johnson, Ian; Klimczak, Paul; Maddison, Ron; Robinson, StJohn; Stretch, Matthew; Webb, John
Keele Observatory was founded by Dr. Ron Maddison in 1962, on the hill-top campus of Keele University in central England, hosting the 1876 Grubb 31cm refractor from Oxford Observatory. It since acquired a 61cm research reflector, a 15cm Halpha solar telescope and a range of other telescopes. Run by a group of volunteering engineers and students under directorship of a Keele astrophysicist, it is used for public outreach as well as research. About 4,000 people visit the observatory every year, including a large number of children. We present the facility, its history - including involvement in the 1919 Eddington solar eclipse expedition which proved Albert Einstein's theory of general relativity - and its ambitions to erect a radio telescope on its site.
Contadakis, M. E.; Avgoloupis, S.; Mavridis, L. N.
The Astronomical research developed during the 35 years of action of the Stephanion Observatory is reviewed in this report. During these years scientists from all the Astronomical Institutes of Greece as well as from many other countries conduct astronomical research programs realized in the Stephanion Observatory. The research on the red dwarfs is a dominant part of the scientific work done. The international cooperation of the Greek scientific teams was developed in the frame of this research. The Greek -- Ukrainian scientific cooperation during the last decade in the frame of broader international cooperation as well as the bilateral ones were very prosperous and set the basis of a promising scientific cooperation in the future in the field of Astronomy.
Laulainen, N. S.; Hodge, P. W.; Taylor, B. J.
Archival astronomical atmospheric extinction records obtained from fifteen observatory sites were analyzed by not strictly rigorous statistical averaging procedures in order to obtain sufficiently reliable pictures of the trends and variations in atmospheric transparency for the period 1956-1972. While the northern hemisphere sites reveal definite seasonal variations with maxima occurring during local summer, the southern hemisphere displays little such effect. The only southern hemisphere sites with any variation were in South Africa, where a late winter maximum was observed.
Othman, M.; Asillam, M. F.; Ismail, M. K. H.
Robotic observatory with small telescopes can make significant contributions to astronomy observation. They provide an encouraging environment for astronomers to focus on data analysis and research while at the same time reducing time and cost for observation. The observatory will house the primary 50cm robotic telescope in the main dome which will be used for photometry, spectroscopy and astrometry observation activities. The secondary telescope is a robotic multi-apochromatic refractor (maximum diameter: 15 cm) which will be housed in the smaller dome. This telescope set will be used for solar observation mainly in three different wavelengths simultaneously: the Continuum, H-Alpha and Calcium K-line. The observatory is also equipped with an automated weather station, cloud & rain sensor and all-sky camera to monitor the climatic condition, sense the clouds (before raining) as well as to view real time sky view above the observatory. In conjunction with the Langkawi All-Sky Camera, the observatory website will also display images from the Malaysia - Antarctica All-Sky Camera used to monitor the sky at Scott Base Antarctica. Both all-sky images can be displayed simultaneously to show the difference between the equatorial and Antarctica skies. This paper will describe the Malaysian Robotic Observatory including the systems available and method of access by other astronomers. We will also suggest possible collaboration with other observatories in this region.
In September of 2005, we had a chance to travel to the Skåe district of Sweden. This short paper briefly reports what we saw there, along with historical episodes relating to Lund Observatory, the medieval astronomical clock preserved at the Lund Cathedral, and the Hven island where Tycho Brahe constructed in the late 16th century the first modern astronomical observatory called Uraniborg.
Karetnikov, V. G.; Mihalchuk, V. V.; Bazey, A. A.; Andronov, I. L.; Volyanskaya, M. Yu.; Garbuzov, G. A.; Komarov, N. S.; Koshkin, N. I.; Pozigun, V. A.; Ryabov, M. I.
The Odessa Astronomical Calendar is intended for a wide range of readers, who are interested in the problems of astronomy and in the applications of the astronomical data. The items, of information, assembled in the Calendar may be useful to professional workers requiring a definition of time of sets and rises of the Sun and the Moon and approach of twilights, as well as to the amateurs astronomers and other citizens. The Calendar may be used for astronomical education at schools, hymnasia, lycea, colleges and institutes. In this issue of the Calendar, besides a description of the main astronomical events of the year and the tables of the positions of celestial bodies and time of observations of astronomical events on the celestial sphere, there are also included sketches on interesting problems of astronomy and, as the appendix, the instruction on observations of comets. The Odessa Astronomical Calendar is published in Russian and is intended for the inhabitants of southern region of Ukraine. The Calendar is published every year with a constant part and series of articles, which change every year.
Paioro, L.; Garilli, B.; Grosböl, P.; Tody, D.; Surace, C.; Fenouillet, T.; Franzetti, P.; Fumana, M.; Scodeggio, M.
The OPTICON working group 3.6 in collaboration with international partners and in coordination with the Virtual Observatory, has already identified the high level requirements and the main architectural concepts for a future software environment for astronomical data reduction and analysis (Future Astronomical Software Environment). A special attention has been payed to: a) scalability, to allow the reduction of huge data volumes exploiting the hardware and software parallel architecture, b) interoperability, in order to guarantee the interaction between software coming from different sources and make easy the access to the Virtual Observatory, c) and modularity, to separate the adopted software technology from the specific computational algorithm and allow an independent evolution of the two areas. The proposed concepts have been widely discussed and shared by the astronomical community; however a lot of work still remains to do, mainly: a) the definition of open standards, b) the verification of such standards thanks to at least one reference implementation and practical user cases, c) and the whole must be supported at least by the major international organizations that develop data reduction and analysis software. All this work has led up to the definition of a new proposal for FP7 within OPTICON (where ESO, INAF, LAM-OAMP and NRAO/NVO are actively involved) which we present describing the project in detail and adding a description of the European FASE prototype, developed by INAF-IASF Milano in collaboration with LAM-OAMP (Marseille).
Kieda, David; Springer, R. Wayne; Gondolo, Paolo
The University of Utah is building a new Astronomical Observatory at a high altitude site in Southern Utah. The Southern Utah Observatory (SUO) Telescope will be outfitted with a 32" R-C telescope manufactured by DFM, and will feature optical and IR focal plane instrumentation as well as capability for remote/robotic operations. In this talk, I will describe the status of SUO Telescope Project, including surveys of atmospheric seeing and night sky darkness measured at potential observatory locations.