Science.gov

Sample records for astronomical image mosaicking

  1. Radiometric framework for image mosaicking.

    PubMed

    Litvinov, Anatoly; Schechner, Yoav Y

    2005-05-01

    Nonuniform exposures often affect imaging systems, e.g., owing to vignetting. Moreover, the sensor's radiometric response may be nonlinear. These characteristics hinder photometric measurements. They are particularly annoying in image mosaicking, in which images are stitched to enhance the field of view. Mosaics suffer from seams stemming from radiometric inconsistencies between raw images. Prior methods feathered the seams but did not address their root cause. We handle these problems in a unified framework. We suggest a method for simultaneously estimating the radiometric response and the camera nonuniformity, based on a frame sequence acquired during camera motion. The estimated functions are then compensated for. This permits image mosaicking, in which no seams are apparent. There is no need to resort to dedicated seam-feathering methods. Fundamental ambiguities associated with this estimation problem are stated.

  2. Automatic registration and mosaicking of conservation images

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Conover, Damon M.; Delaney, John K.; Loew, Murray H.

    2013-05-01

    As high-resolution conservation images, acquired using various imaging modalities, become more widely available, it is increasingly important to achieve accurate registration between the images. Accurate registration allows information unavailable in any one image to be compiled from several images and then used to provide a better understanding of how a painting was constructed. We have developed an algorithm that solves several important conservation problems: 1) registration and mosaicking of multiple X-ray films, ultraviolet images, and infrared reflectograms to a color reference image at high spatial-resolution (200 to 500 dpi) of paintings (both panel and canvas) and of works on paper, 2) registration of the images within visible and infrared multispectral reflectance and luminescence image cubes, and 3) mosaicking of hyperspectral image cubes (400 to 2500 nm). The registration/mosaicking algorithm corrects for several kinds of distortion, small rotation and scale errors, and keystone effects between the images. Thus images acquired with different cameras, illumination, and geometries can be registered/mosaicked. This automatic algorithm for registering/mosaicking multimodal conservation images is expected to be a valuable tool for conservators attempting to answer questions regarding the creation and preservation history of paintings. For example, an analysis of the reflectance spectra obtained from the sub-pixel registered multispectral image cubes can be used to separate, map, and identify artist materials in situ. And, by comparing the corresponding images in the X-ray, visible, and infrared regions, conservators can obtain a deeper understanding of compositional changes.

  3. Toward Real Time Uavs' Image Mosaicking

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mehrdad, S.; Satari, M.; Safdary, M.; Moallem, P.

    2016-06-01

    Anyone knows that sudden catastrophes can instantly do great damage. Fast and accurate acquisition of catastrophe information is an essential task for minimize life and property damage. Compared with other ways of catastrophe data acquisition, UAV based platforms can optimize time, cost and accuracy of the data acquisition, as a result UAVs' data has become the first choice in such condition. In this paper, a novel and fast strategy is proposed for registering and mosaicking of UAVs' image data. Firstly, imprecise image positions are used to find adjoining frames. Then matching process is done by a novel matching method. With keeping Sift in mind, this fast matching method is introduced, which uses images exposure time geometry, SIFT point detector and rBRIEF descriptor vector in order to match points efficiency, and by efficiency we mean not only time efficiency but also elimination of mismatch points. This method uses each image sequence imprecise attitude in order to use Epipolar geometry to both restricting search space of matching and eliminating mismatch points. In consideration of reaching to images imprecise attitude and positions we calibrated the UAV's sensors. After matching process, RANSAC is used to eliminate mismatched tie points. In order to obtain final mosaic, image histograms are equalized and a weighted average method is used to image composition in overlapping areas. The total RMSE over all matching points is 1.72 m.

  4. Mosaicking of NEAR MSI Color Image Sequences

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Digilio, J. G.; Robinson, M. S.

    2004-05-01

    Of the over 160,000 frames of 433 Eros captured by the NEAR-Shoemaker spacecraft, 21,936 frames are components of 226 multi-spectral image sequences. As part of the ongoing NEAR Data Analysis Program, we are mosaicking (and delivering via a web interface) all color sequences in two versions: I/F and photometrically normalized I/F (30° incidence, 0° emission). Multi-spectral sets were acquired with varying bandpasses depending on mission constraints, and all sets include 550-nm, 760-nm, and 950-nm (32% of the sequences are all wavelengths except 700-nm clear filter). Resolutions range from 20 m/pixel down to 3.5 m/pixel. To support color analysis and interpretation we are co-registering the highest resolution black and white images to match each of the color mosaics. Due to Eros's highly irregular shape, the scale of a pixel can vary by almost a factor of 2 within a single frame acquired in the 35-km orbit. Thus, map-projecting requires a pixel-by-pixel correction for local topography [1]. Scattered light problems with the NEAR Multi-Spectral Imager (MSI) required the acquisition of ride along zero exposure calibration frames. Without correction, scattered light artifacts within the MSI were larger than the subtle color differences found on Eros [see details in 2]. Successful correction requires that the same region of the surface (within a few pixels) be in the field-of-view of the zero-exposure frame as when the normal frame was acquired. Due to engineering constraints the timing of frame acquisition was not always optimal for the scattered light correction. During the co-registration process we are tracking apparent ground motion during a sequence to estimate the efficacy of the correction, and thus integrity of the color information. Currently several web-based search and browse tools allow interested users to locate individual MSI frames from any spot on the asteroid using various search criteria (cps.earth.northwestern.edu). Final color and BW map products

  5. Efficient Mosaicking of Spitzer Space Telescope Images

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jacob, Joseph; Makovoz, David; Eisenhardt, Peter

    2007-01-01

    A parallel version of the MOPEX software, which generates mosaics of infrared astronomical images acquired by the Spitzer Space Telescope, extends the capabilities of the prior serial version. In the parallel version, both the input image space and the output mosaic space are divided among the available parallel processors. This is the only software that performs the point-source detection and the rejection of spurious imaging effects of cosmic rays required by Spitzer scientists. This software includes components that implement outlier-detection algorithms that can be fine-tuned for a particular set of image data by use of a number of adjustable parameters. This software has been used to construct a mosaic of the Spitzer Infrared Array Camera Shallow Survey, which comprises more than 17,000 exposures in four wavelength bands from 3.6 to 8 m and spans a solid angle of about 9 square degrees. When this software was executed on 32 nodes of the 1,024-processor Cosmos cluster computer at NASA s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a speedup of 8.3 was achieved over the serial version of MOPEX. The performance is expected to improve dramatically once a true parallel file system is installed on Cosmos.

  6. Image mosaicking using SURF features of line segments

    PubMed Central

    Shen, Dinggang; Yap, Pew-Thian

    2017-01-01

    In this paper, we present a novel image mosaicking method that is based on Speeded-Up Robust Features (SURF) of line segments, aiming to achieve robustness to incident scaling, rotation, change in illumination, and significant affine distortion between images in a panoramic series. Our method involves 1) using a SURF detection operator to locate feature points; 2) rough matching using SURF features of directed line segments constructed via the feature points; and 3) eliminating incorrectly matched pairs using RANSAC (RANdom SAmple Consensus). Experimental results confirm that our method results in high-quality panoramic mosaics that are superior to state-of-the-art methods. PMID:28296919

  7. Comparison of mosaicking techniques for airborne images from consumer-grade cameras

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Song, Huaibo; Yang, Chenghai; Zhang, Jian; Hoffmann, Wesley Clint; He, Dongjian; Thomasson, J. Alex

    2016-01-01

    Images captured from airborne imaging systems can be mosaicked for diverse remote sensing applications. The objective of this study was to identify appropriate mosaicking techniques and software to generate mosaicked images for use by aerial applicators and other users. Three software packages-Photoshop CC, Autostitch, and Pix4Dmapper-were selected for mosaicking airborne images acquired from a large cropping area. Ground control points were collected for georeferencing the mosaicked images and for evaluating the accuracy of eight mosaicking techniques. Analysis and accuracy assessment showed that Pix4Dmapper can be the first choice if georeferenced imagery with high accuracy is required. The spherical method in Photoshop CC can be an alternative for cost considerations, and Autostitch can be used to quickly mosaic images with reduced spatial resolution. The results also showed that the accuracy of image mosaicking techniques could be greatly affected by the size of the imaging area or the number of the images and that the accuracy would be higher for a small area than for a large area. The results from this study will provide useful information for the selection of image mosaicking software and techniques for aerial applicators and other users.

  8. Methods in Astronomical Image Processing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jörsäter, S.

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

  9. Image mosaicking based on feature points using color-invariant values

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Dong-Chang; Kwon, Oh-Seol; Ko, Kyung-Woo; Lee, Ho-Young; Ha, Yeong-Ho

    2008-02-01

    In the field of computer vision, image mosaicking is achieved using image features, such as textures, colors, and shapes between corresponding images, or local descriptors representing neighborhoods of feature points extracted from corresponding images. However, image mosaicking based on feature points has attracted more recent attention due to the simplicity of the geometric transformation, regardless of distortion and differences in intensity generated by camera motion in consecutive images. Yet, since most feature-point matching algorithms extract feature points using gray values, identifying corresponding points becomes difficult in the case of changing illumination and images with a similar intensity. Accordingly, to solve these problems, this paper proposes a method of image mosaicking based on feature points using color information of images. Essentially, the digital values acquired from a real digital color camera are converted to values of a virtual camera with distinct narrow bands. Values based on the surface reflectance and invariant to the chromaticity of various illuminations are then derived from the virtual camera values and defined as color-invariant values invariant to changing illuminations. The validity of these color-invariant values is verified in a test using a Macbeth Color-Checker under simulated illuminations. The test also compares the proposed method using the color-invariant values with the conventional SIFT algorithm. The accuracy of the matching between the feature points extracted using the proposed method is increased, while image mosaicking using color information is also achieved.

  10. Consistent Tonal Correction for Multi-View Remote Sensing Image Mosaicking

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xia, Menghan; Yao, Jian; Li, Li; Xie, Renping; Liu, Yahui

    2016-06-01

    In this paper, we propose an effective approach for consistent tonal correction of multi-view images during mosaicking. Our method is specifically designed for mosaicking multi-view remote sensing images acquired under different conditions and/or presenting inconsistent tone. To avoid the correlation of three channels in original RGB images, we convert them to an orthogonal color space lαβ in advance. First of all, the tones of sequential images are transferred from an example image reasonably via our improved color transfer algorithm. Secondly, the more refined adjustments take place in the luminance channel l and color channels α and β, independently. In the luminance channel, the global gain compensation is applied to minimize the luminance difference between pairs of images by the least square estimator. In the color channels, the specifically designed stepwise histogram adjustments make all the images consistent tone as a whole, including the initial correction transferring the color characteristics of the automatically selected reference subset to other images in an optimal order and the consistent correction readjusting each image by referring all their neighbors based on the overlaps. Thirdly, we creatively transfer the original structures to the previously corrected images by a local linear model, which can preserve the local structures of the original images. Finally, several groups of convincing experiments on both challenged synthetic and real data demonstrate the validity of our proposed approach.

  11. Automatic orthorectification and mosaicking of oblique images from a zoom lens aerial camera

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, Qianfei; Liu, Jinghong

    2015-01-01

    For the purpose of image distortion caused by the oblique photography of a zoom lens aerial camera, a fast and accurate image autorectification and mosaicking method in a ground control points (GCPs)-free environment was proposed. With the availability of integrated global positioning system (GPS) and inertial measurement units, the camera's exterior orientation parameters (EOPs) were solved through direct georeferencing. The one-parameter division model was adopted to estimate the distortion coefficient and the distortion center coordinates for the zoom lens to correct the lens distortion. Using the camera's EOPs and the lens distortion parameters, the oblique aerial images specified in the camera frame were geo-orthorectified into the mapping frame and then were mosaicked together based on the mapping coordinates to produce a larger field and high-resolution georeferenced image. Experimental results showed that the orthorectification error was less than 1.80 m at an 1100 m flight height above ground level, when compared with 14 presurveyed ground checkpoints which were measured by differential GPS. The mosaic error was about 1.57 m compared with 18 checkpoints. The accuracy was considered sufficient for urgent response such as military reconnaissance and disaster monitoring where GCPs were not available.

  12. A multi-threaded mosaicking algorithm for fast image composition of fluorescence bladder images

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Behrens, Alexander; Bommes, Michael; Stehle, Thomas; Gross, Sebastian; Leonhardt, Steffen; Aach, Til

    2010-02-01

    The treatment of urinary bladder cancer is usually carried out using fluorescence endoscopy. A narrow-band bluish illumination activates a tumor marker resulting in a red fluorescence. Because of low illumination power the distance between endoscope and bladder wall is kept low during the whole bladder scan, which is carried out before treatment. Thus, only a small field of view (FOV) of the operation field is provided, which impedes navigation and relocating of multi-focal tumors. Although off-line calculated panorama images can assist surgery planning, the immediate display of successively growing overview images composed from single video frames in real-time during the bladder scan, is well suited to ease navigation and reduce the risk of missing tumors. Therefore we developed an image mosaicking algorithm for fluorescence endoscopy. Due to fast computation requirements a flexible multi-threaded software architecture based on our RealTimeFrame platform is developed. Different algorithm tasks, like image feature extraction, matching and stitching are separated and applied by independent processing threads. Thus, different implementation of single tasks can be easily evaluated. In an optimization step we evaluate the trade-off between feature repeatability and total processing time, consider the thread synchronization, and achieve a constant workload of each thread. Thus, a fast computation of panoramic images is performed on a standard hardware platform, preserving full input image resolution (780x576) at the same time. Displayed on a second clinical monitor, the extended FOV of the image composition promises high potential for surgery assistance.

  13. Observatory Sponsoring Astronomical Image Contest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2005-05-01

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

  14. Automatic registration and mosaicking of technical images of Old Master paintings

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Conover, Damon M.; Delaney, John K.; Loew, Murray H.

    2015-06-01

    The registration of technical art conservation images of Old Master paintings presents unique challenges. Specifically, X-radiographs and reflective infrared (1000-2500 nm) images reveal shifted, or new, compositional elements not visible on the surface of artworks. Here, we describe a new multimodal registration and mosaicking algorithm that is capable of providing accurate alignment of a variety of types of images, such as the registration of multispectral reflective infrared images, X-radiographs, hyperspectral image cubes, and X-ray fluorescence image cubes to reference color images taken at high spatial sampling (300-500 pixels per inch), even when content differences are present, and a validation study has been performed to quantify the algorithm's accuracy. Key to the algorithm's success is the use of subsets of wavelet images to select control points and a novel method for filtering candidate control-point pairs. The algorithm has been used to register more than 100 paintings at the National Gallery of Art, D.C. and The Art Institute of Chicago. Many of the resulting registered datasets have been published in online catalogues, providing scholars additional information to further their understanding of the paintings and the working methods of the artists who painted them.

  15. Processing, mosaicking and management of the Monterey Bay digital sidescan-sonar images

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chavez, P.S.; Isbrecht, J.; Galanis, P.; Gabel, G.L.; Sides, S.C.; Soltesz, D.L.; Ross, S.L.; Velasco, M.G.

    2002-01-01

    Sidescan-sonar imaging systems with digital capabilities have now been available for approximately 20 years. In this paper we present several of the various digital image processing techniques developed by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and used to apply intensity/radiometric and geometric corrections, as well as enhance and digitally mosaic, sidescan-sonar images of the Monterey Bay region. New software run by a WWW server was designed and implemented to allow very large image data sets, such as the digital mosaic, to be easily viewed interactively, including the ability to roam throughout the digital mosaic at the web site in either compressed or full 1-m resolution. The processing is separated into the two different stages: preprocessing and information extraction. In the preprocessing stage, sensor-specific algorithms are applied to correct for both geometric and intensity/radiometric distortions introduced by the sensor. This is followed by digital mosaicking of the track-line strips into quadrangle format which can be used as input to either visual or digital image analysis and interpretation. An automatic seam removal procedure was used in combination with an interactive digital feathering/stenciling procedure to help minimize tone or seam matching problems between image strips from adjacent track-lines. The sidescan-sonar image processing package is part of the USGS Mini Image Processing System (MIPS) and has been designed to process data collected by any 'generic' digital sidescan-sonar imaging system. The USGS MIPS software, developed over the last 20 years as a public domain package, is available on the WWW at: http://terraweb.wr.usgs.gov/trs/software.html.

  16. Preparing Colorful Astronomical Images II

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2002-12-01

    We present additional techniques for using mainstream graphics software (Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator) to produce composite color images and illustrations from astronomical data. These techniques have been used on numerous images from the Hubble Space Telescope to produce photographic, print and web-based products for news, education and public presentation as well as illustrations for technical publication. We expand on a previous paper to present more detail and additional techniques, taking advantage of new or improved features available in the latest software versions. While Photoshop is not intended for quantitative analysis of full dynamic range data (as are IRAF or IDL, for example), we have had much success applying Photoshop's numerous, versatile tools to work with scaled images, masks, text and graphics in multiple semi-transparent layers and channels.

  17. Generating Mosaics of Astronomical Images

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bergou, Attila; Berriman, Bruce; Good, John; Jacob, Joseph; Katz, Daniel; Laity, Anastasia; Prince, Thomas; Williams, Roy

    2005-01-01

    "Montage" is the name of a service of the National Virtual Observatory (NVO), and of software being developed to implement the service via the World Wide Web. Montage generates science-grade custom mosaics of astronomical images on demand from input files that comply with the Flexible Image Transport System (FITS) standard and contain image data registered on projections that comply with the World Coordinate System (WCS) standards. "Science-grade" in this context signifies that terrestrial and instrumental features are removed from images in a way that can be described quantitatively. "Custom" refers to user-specified parameters of projection, coordinates, size, rotation, and spatial sampling. The greatest value of Montage is expected to lie in its ability to analyze images at multiple wavelengths, delivering them on a common projection, coordinate system, and spatial sampling, and thereby enabling further analysis as though they were part of a single, multi-wavelength image. Montage will be deployed as a computation-intensive service through existing astronomy portals and other Web sites. It will be integrated into the emerging NVO architecture and will be executed on the TeraGrid. The Montage software will also be portable and publicly available.

  18. Future Directions for Astronomical Image Display

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mandel, Eric

    2000-01-01

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

  19. Future Directions for Astronomical Image Display

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mandel, Eric

    1997-01-01

    In our "Future Directions for Astronomical Image Display" project, the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) and the National Optical Astronomy Observatories (NOAO) will evolve our existing image display software into a fully extensible, cross-platform image display server that can run stand-alone or be integrated seamlessly into astronomical analysis systems. We will build a Plug-in Image Extension (PIE) server for astronomy, consisting of a modular image display engine that can be customized using "plug-in" technology. We will create plug-ins that reproduce all the current functionality of SAOtng. We also will devise a messaging system and a set of distributed, shared data objects to support integrating the PIE server into astronomical analysis systems. Finally, we will migrate our PIE server, plug-ins, and messaging software from Unix and the X Window System to a platform-independent architecture that utilizes cross-platform technology such as Tcl/Tk or Java.

  20. Coronagraph for astronomical imaging and spectrophotometry

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vilas, Faith; Smith, Bradford A.

    1987-01-01

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

  1. Software Helps Extract Information From Astronomical Images

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hartley, Booth; Ebert, Rick; Laughlin, Gaylin

    1995-01-01

    PAC Skyview 2.0 is interactive program for display and analysis of astronomical images. Includes large set of functions for display, analysis and manipulation of images. "Man" pages with descriptions of functions and examples of usage included. Skyview used interactively or in "server" mode, in which another program calls Skyview and executes commands itself. Skyview capable of reading image data files of four types, including those in FITS, S, IRAF, and Z formats. Written in C.

  2. Astropix: An Archive of Astronomical Images

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  3. High-performance compression of astronomical images

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    White, Richard L.

    1993-01-01

    Astronomical images have some rather unusual characteristics that make many existing image compression techniques either ineffective or inapplicable. A typical image consists of a nearly flat background sprinkled with point sources and occasional extended sources. The images are often noisy, so that lossless compression does not work very well; furthermore, the images are usually subjected to stringent quantitative analysis, so any lossy compression method must be proven not to discard useful information, but must instead discard only the noise. Finally, the images can be extremely large. For example, the Space Telescope Science Institute has digitized photographic plates covering the entire sky, generating 1500 images each having 14000 x 14000 16-bit pixels. Several astronomical groups are now constructing cameras with mosaics of large CCD's (each 2048 x 2048 or larger); these instruments will be used in projects that generate data at a rate exceeding 100 MBytes every 5 minutes for many years. An effective technique for image compression may be based on the H-transform (Fritze et al. 1977). The method that we have developed can be used for either lossless or lossy compression. The digitized sky survey images can be compressed by at least a factor of 10 with no noticeable losses in the astrometric and photometric properties of the compressed images. The method has been designed to be computationally efficient: compression or decompression of a 512 x 512 image requires only 4 seconds on a Sun SPARCstation 1. The algorithm uses only integer arithmetic, so it is completely reversible in its lossless mode, and it could easily be implemented in hardware for space applications.

  4. Preparing Colorful Astronomical Images and Illustrations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2001-12-01

    We present techniques for using mainstream graphics software, specifically Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, for producing composite color images and illustrations from astronomical data. These techniques have been used with numerous images from the Hubble Space Telescope to produce printed and web-based news, education and public presentation products as well as illustrations for technical publication. While Photoshop is not intended for quantitative analysis of full dynamic range data (as are IRAF or IDL, for example), we have had much success applying Photoshop's numerous, versatile tools to work with scaled images, masks, text and graphics in multiple semi-transparent layers and channels. These features, along with its user-oriented, visual interface, provide convenient tools to produce high-quality, full-color images and graphics for printed and on-line publication and presentation.

  5. Comparison of mosaicking techniques for airborne images from consumer-grade cameras

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Images captured from airborne imaging systems have the advantages of relatively low cost, high spatial resolution, and real/near-real-time availability. Multiple images taken from one or more flight lines could be used to generate a high-resolution mosaic image, which could be useful for diverse rem...

  6. An infrared upconverter for astronomical imaging

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1977-01-01

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

  7. Shift-and-add for astronomical imaging

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ribak, Erez; Hege, E. Keith; Strobel, Nicolas V.; Christou, Julian C.

    1989-01-01

    Diffraction-limited astronomical images have been obtained utilizing a variant of the shift-and-add method. It is shown that the matched filter approach for extending the weighted shift-and-add method reduces specklegrams from extended objects and from an object dominated by photon noise. The method is aberration-insensitive and yields very high dynamic range results. The iterative method for arriving at the matched filter does not automatically converge in the case of photon-noisy specklegrams for objects with more than one maximum.

  8. Preparing Colorful Astronomical Images III: Cosmetic Cleaning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2003-12-01

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

  9. Astronomers Discover Six-Image Gravitational Lens

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2001-08-01

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

  10. Tip--tilt compensation for astronomical imaging

    SciTech Connect

    Olivier, S.S. ); Gavel, D.T. )

    1994-01-01

    We present a performance analysis of tip--tilt-compensation systems that use natural stars as tilt references. Taking into account properties of the atmosphere and of the galactic stellar populations, we optimize operating parameters over the system to determine performance limits for several varieties of tip--tilt-compensation system operating on a 10-m telescope on Mauna Kea, Hawaii. We find that, for systems that use a single tilt reference star, if the image of the star is uncorrected, a one-axis root-mean-square tilt residual of less than 190 nrad can be obtained for at least 99% of all astronomical objects, whereas if the image of the tilt reference star is fully corrected this limit drops to 90 nrad. For systems that use two tilt reference stars the limits drop to 160 nrad if the images of the stars are uncorrected and to 60 nrad if the images of the stars are fully corrected. These residual tilt levels would permit [ital V]-band images with long-exposure resolution of 8.5, 4.2, 7.3, and 2.9 times the diffraction limit, respectively, where the diffraction-limited resolution in the [ital V] band is 0.011 arcsec. These results may be compared with the typical seeing of 0.75 arcsec.

  11. Profile fitting in crowded astronomical images

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Manish, Raja

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

  12. a Modified Projective Transformation Scheme for Mosaicking Multi-Camera Imaging System Equipped on a Large Payload Fixed-Wing Uas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jhan, J. P.; Li, Y. T.; Rau, J. Y.

    2015-03-01

    In recent years, Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) has been applied to collect aerial images for mapping, disaster investigation, vegetation monitoring and etc. It is a higher mobility and lower risk platform for human operation, but the low payload and short operation time reduce the image collection efficiency. In this study, one nadir and four oblique consumer grade DSLR cameras composed multiple camera system is equipped on a large payload UAS, which is designed to collect large ground coverage images in an effective way. The field of view (FOV) is increased to 127 degree, which is thus suitable to collect disaster images in mountainous area. The synthetic acquired five images are registered and mosaicked as larger format virtual image for reducing the number of images, post processing time, and for easier stereo plotting. Instead of traditional image matching and applying bundle adjustment method to estimate transformation parameters, the IOPs and ROPs of multiple cameras are calibrated and derived the coefficients of modified projective transformation (MPT) model for image mosaicking. However, there are some uncertainty of indoor calibrated IOPs and ROPs since the different environment conditions as well as the vibration of UAS, which will cause misregistration effect of initial MPT results. Remaining residuals are analysed through tie points matching on overlapping area of initial MPT results, in which displacement and scale difference are introduced and corrected to modify the ROPs and IOPs for finer registration results. In this experiment, the internal accuracy of mosaic image is better than 0.5 pixels after correcting the systematic errors. Comparison between separate cameras and mosaic images through rigorous aerial triangulation are conducted, in which the RMSE of 5 control and 9 check points is less than 5 cm and 10 cm in planimetric and vertical directions, respectively, for all cases. It proves that the designed imaging system and the proposed scheme

  13. Radiation events in astronomical CCD images

    SciTech Connect

    Smith, A.R.; McDonald, R.J.; Hurley, D.L.; Holland, S.E.; Groom, D.E.; Brown, W.E.; Gilmore, D.K.; Stover, R.J.; Wei, M.

    2001-12-18

    The remarkable sensitivity of depleted silicon to ionizing radiation is a nuisance to astronomers. ''Cosmic rays'' degrade images because of struck pixels, leading to modified observing strategies and the development of algorithms to remove the unwanted artifacts. In the new-generation CCD's with thick sensitive regions, cosmic-ray muons make recognizable straight tracks and there is enhanced sensitivity to ambient gamma radiation via Compton-scattered electrons (''worms''). Beta emitters inside the dewar, for example high-potassium glasses such as BK7, also produce worm-like tracks. The cosmic-ray muon rate is irreducible and increases with altitude. The gamma rays are mostly by-products of the U and Th decay chains; these elements always appear as traces in concrete and other materials. The Compton recoil event rate can be reduced significantly by the choice of materials in the environment and dewar and by careful shielding. Telescope domes appear to be significantly cleaner than basement laboratories and Coude spectrograph rooms. Radiation sources inside the dewar can be eliminated by judicious choice of materials. Cosmogenic activation during high-altitude flights does not appear to be a problem. Our conclusions are supported by tests at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory low-level counting facilities in Berkeley and at Oroville, California (180 m underground).

  14. Radiation events in astronomical CCD images

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, Alan R.; McDonald, Richard J.; Hurley, D. C.; Holland, Steven E.; Groom, Donald E.; Brown, William E.; Gilmore, David K.; Stover, Richard J.; Wei, Mingzhi

    2002-04-01

    The remarkable sensitivity of depleted silicon to ionizing radiation is a nuisance to astronomers. 'Cosmic rays' degrade images because of struck pixels, leading to modified observing strategies and the development of algorithms to remove the unwanted artifacts. In the new-generation CCD's with thick sensitive regions, cosmic-ray muons make recognizable straight tracks and there is enhanced sensitivity to ambient gamma radiation via Compton-scattered electrons ('worms'). Beta emitters inside the dewar, for example high-potassium glasses such as BK7 , also produce worm-like tracks. The cosmic-ray muon rate is irreducible and increases with altitude. The gamma rays are mostly by- products of 40K decay and the U and Th decay chains; these elements commonly appear as traces in concrete and other materials. The Compton recoil event rate can be reduced significantly by the choice of materials in the environment and dewar and by careful shielding. Telescope domes appear to have significantly lower rates than basement laboratories and Coude spectrograph rooms. Radiation sources inside the dewar can be eliminated by judicious choice of materials. Cosmogenic activation during high-altitude fights does not appear to be a problem. Our conclusion are supported by tests at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory low-level counting facilities in Berkeley and at Oroville, California (180 m underground).

  15. Application of digital image processing techniques to astronomical imagery 1977

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lorre, J. J.; Lynn, D. J.

    1978-01-01

    Nine specific techniques of combination of techniques developed for applying digital image processing technology to existing astronomical imagery are described. Photoproducts are included to illustrate the results of each of these investigations.

  16. The application of interferometry to optical astronomical imaging.

    PubMed

    Baldwin, John E; Haniff, Christopher A

    2002-05-15

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

  17. Astronomical Image Subtraction by Cross-Convolution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yuan, Fang; Akerlof, Carl W.

    2008-04-01

    In recent years, there has been a proliferation of wide-field sky surveys to search for a variety of transient objects. Using relatively short focal lengths, the optics of these systems produce undersampled stellar images often marred by a variety of aberrations. As participants in such activities, we have developed a new algorithm for image subtraction that no longer requires high-quality reference images for comparison. The computational efficiency is comparable with similar procedures currently in use. The general technique is cross-convolution: two convolution kernels are generated to make a test image and a reference image separately transform to match as closely as possible. In analogy to the optimization technique for generating smoothing splines, the inclusion of an rms width penalty term constrains the diffusion of stellar images. In addition, by evaluating the convolution kernels on uniformly spaced subimages across the total area, these routines can accommodate point-spread functions that vary considerably across the focal plane.

  18. Digital image centering. II. [for astronomical photography

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Auer, L. H.; Van Altena, W. F.

    1978-01-01

    Digital image centering algorithms were compared in a test involving microdensitometer raster scans of a refractor parallax series consisting of 22 stars on 26 plates. The highest accuracy in determining stellar image positions was provided by an algorithm which involved fitting of a symmetric Gaussian curve and a flat background to the image marginal density distributions. Algorithms involving transmission marginals instead of density marginals were found to be less accurate. The repeatability and computational efficiency of the digital image centering technique were also studied.

  19. Empowering schoolchildren to do astronomical science with images

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2005-06-01

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

  20. ASTRiDE: Automated Streak Detection for Astronomical Images

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Dae-Won

    2016-05-01

    ASTRiDE detects streaks in astronomical images using a "border" of each object (i.e. "boundary-tracing" or "contour-tracing") and their morphological parameters. Fast moving objects such as meteors, satellites, near-Earth objects (NEOs), or even cosmic rays can leave streak-like traces in the images; ASTRiDE can detect not only long streaks but also relatively short or curved streaks.

  1. Aerial video mosaicking using binary feature tracking

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Minnehan, Breton; Savakis, Andreas

    2015-05-01

    Unmanned Aerial Vehicles are becoming an increasingly attractive platform for many applications, as their cost decreases and their capabilities increase. Creating detailed maps from aerial data requires fast and accurate video mosaicking methods. Traditional mosaicking techniques rely on inter-frame homography estimations that are cascaded through the video sequence. Computationally expensive keypoint matching algorithms are often used to determine the correspondence of keypoints between frames. This paper presents a video mosaicking method that uses an object tracking approach for matching keypoints between frames to improve both efficiency and robustness. The proposed tracking method matches local binary descriptors between frames and leverages the spatial locality of the keypoints to simplify the matching process. Our method is robust to cascaded errors by determining the homography between each frame and the ground plane rather than the prior frame. The frame-to-ground homography is calculated based on the relationship of each point's image coordinates and its estimated location on the ground plane. Robustness to moving objects is integrated into the homography estimation step through detecting anomalies in the motion of keypoints and eliminating the influence of outliers. The resulting mosaics are of high accuracy and can be computed in real time.

  2. Content-based retransmission with error concealment for astronomical images

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thienphrapa, Paul; Boussalis, Helen; Liu, Charles; Rad, Khosrow; Dong, Jane

    2005-10-01

    The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is expected to produce a vast amount of images that are valuable for astronomical research and education. To support research activities related to JWST mission, NASA has provided funds to establish the Structures Pointing and Control Engineering (SPACE) Laboratory at the California State University, Los Angeles (CSULA). One of the research activities in SPACE lab is to design an effective and efficient transmission system to disseminate JWST images across the Internet. This paper presents a prioritized transmission method to provide the best quality of the transferred image based on the joint-optimization of content-based retransmission and error concealment. First, the astronomical image is compressed using a scalable wavelet-based approach, then packetized into independently decodable packets. To facilitate the joint-optimization of two mutually dependent error control methods, a novel content index is declared to represent the significance of the packet content as well as its importance in error concealment. Based on the defined content index, the optimal retransmission schedule is determined to maximize the quality of the received image under delay constraint with the given error concealment method. Experimental results demonstrate that the proposed approach is very effective to combat the packet loss during transmission to achieve a desirable quality of the received astronomical images.

  3. Enhancement of astronomical images using digital filtration methods

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Korovyakovskaya, A. A.; Korovyakovskij, Y. P.

    1982-02-01

    A technique for reconstructing astronomical images using digital filtration is presented. A quantitative description of the factors causing image distortion is presented, and an algorithm for image enhancement is developed. The frequency characteristics of the reconstructing filter are given for the distorting system and the signal-to-noise ratio. Consideration is given to two-dimensional Fourier transform of the large image matrices. The technique is examined for the M 87 radio galaxy and an improvement of 2-3 times in the angular resolution of the original photograph is demonstrated.

  4. SIP: A Web-Based Astronomical Image Processing Program

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Simonetti, J. H.

    1999-12-01

    I have written an astronomical image processing and analysis program designed to run over the internet in a Java-compatible web browser. The program, Sky Image Processor (SIP), is accessible at the SIP webpage (http://www.phys.vt.edu/SIP). Since nothing is installed on the user's machine, there is no need to download upgrades; the latest version of the program is always instantly available. Furthermore, the Java programming language is designed to work on any computer platform (any machine and operating system). The program could be used with students in web-based instruction or in a computer laboratory setting; it may also be of use in some research or outreach applications. While SIP is similar to other image processing programs, it is unique in some important respects. For example, SIP can load images from the user's machine or from the Web. An instructor can put images on a web server for students to load and analyze on their own personal computer. Or, the instructor can inform the students of images to load from any other web server. Furthermore, since SIP was written with students in mind, the philosophy is to present the user with the most basic tools necessary to process and analyze astronomical images. Images can be combined (by addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division), multiplied by a constant, smoothed, cropped, flipped, rotated, and so on. Statistics can be gathered for pixels within a box drawn by the user. Basic tools are available for gathering data from an image which can be used for performing simple differential photometry, or astrometry. Therefore, students can learn how astronomical image processing works. Since SIP is not part of a commercial CCD camera package, the program is written to handle the most common denominator image file, the FITS format.

  5. Pattern Recognition and Image Processing of Infrared Astronomical Satellite Images

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    He, Lun Xiong

    1996-01-01

    The Infrared Astronomical Satellite (IRAS) images with wavelengths of 60 mu m and 100 mu m contain mainly information on both extra-galactic sources and low-temperature interstellar media. The low-temperature interstellar media in the Milky Way impose a "cirrus" screen of IRAS images, especially in images with 100 mu m wavelength. This dissertation deals with the techniques of removing the "cirrus" clouds from the 100 mu m band in order to achieve accurate determinations of point sources and their intensities (fluxes). We employ an image filtering process which utilizes mathematical morphology and wavelet analysis as the key tools in removing the "cirrus" foreground emission. The filtering process consists of extraction and classification of the size information, and then using the classification results in removal of the cirrus component from each pixel of the image. Extraction of size information is the most important step in this process. It is achieved by either mathematical morphology or wavelet analysis. In the mathematical morphological method, extraction of size information is done using the "sieving" process. In the wavelet method, multi-resolution techniques are employed instead. The classification of size information distinguishes extra-galactic sources from cirrus using their averaged size information. The cirrus component for each pixel is then removed by using the averaged cirrus size information. The filtered image contains much less cirrus. Intensity alteration for extra-galactic sources in the filtered image are discussed. It is possible to retain the fluxes of the point sources when we weigh the cirrus component differently pixel by pixel. The importance of the uni-directional size information extractions are addressed in this dissertation. Such uni-directional extractions are achieved by constraining the structuring elements, or by constraining the sieving process to be sequential. The generalizations of mathematical morphology operations based

  6. Lossless Astronomical Image Compression and the Effects of Random Noise

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pence, William

    2009-01-01

    In this paper we compare a variety of modern image compression methods on a large sample of astronomical images. We begin by demonstrating from first principles how the amount of noise in the image pixel values sets a theoretical upper limit on the lossless compression ratio of the image. We derive simple procedures for measuring the amount of noise in an image and for quantitatively predicting how much compression will be possible. We then compare the traditional technique of using the GZIP utility to externally compress the image, with a newer technique of dividing the image into tiles, and then compressing and storing each tile in a FITS binary table structure. This tiled-image compression technique offers a choice of other compression algorithms besides GZIP, some of which are much better suited to compressing astronomical images. Our tests on a large sample of images show that the Rice algorithm provides the best combination of speed and compression efficiency. In particular, Rice typically produces 1.5 times greater compression and provides much faster compression speed than GZIP. Floating point images generally contain too much noise to be effectively compressed with any lossless algorithm. We have developed a compression technique which discards some of the useless noise bits by quantizing the pixel values as scaled integers. The integer images can then be compressed by a factor of 4 or more. Our image compression and uncompression utilities (called fpack and funpack) that were used in this study are publicly available from the HEASARC web site.Users may run these stand-alone programs to compress and uncompress their own images.

  7. Source detection in astronomical images by Bayesian model comparison

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frean, Marcus; Friedlander, Anna; Johnston-Hollitt, Melanie; Hollitt, Christopher

    2014-12-01

    The next generation of radio telescopes will generate exabytes of data on hundreds of millions of objects, making automated methods for the detection of astronomical objects ("sources") essential. Of particular importance are faint, diffuse objects embedded in noise. There is a pressing need for source finding software that identifies these sources, involves little manual tuning, yet is tractable to calculate. We first give a novel image discretisation method that incorporates uncertainty about how an image should be discretised. We then propose a hierarchical prior for astronomical images, which leads to a Bayes factor indicating how well a given region conforms to a model of source that is exceptionally unconstrained, compared to a model of background. This enables the efficient localisation of regions that are "suspiciously different" from the background distribution, so our method looks not for brightness but for anomalous distributions of intensity, which is much more general. The model of background can be iteratively improved by removing the influence on it of sources as they are discovered. The approach is evaluated by identifying sources in real and simulated data, and performs well on these measures: the Bayes factor is maximized at most real objects, while returning only a moderate number of false positives. In comparison to a catalogue constructed by widely-used source detection software with manual post-processing by an astronomer, our method found a number of dim sources that were missing from the "ground truth" catalogue.

  8. AETC: a powerful web tool to simulate astronomical images

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Uslenghi, Michela; Falomo, Renato; Fantinel, Daniela

    2016-08-01

    We present the capabilities of the Advanced Exposure Time Calculator (AETC), a tool, publicly available via web interface (http://aetc.oapd.inaf.it/), aimed to simulate astronomical images obtained with any (given) telescope and instrument combination. The tool includes the possibility of providing an accurate modelling of PSF variations in the FoV, a crucial issue for realistic simulations, which makes AETC particularly suitable for simulations of adaptive optics instruments. To exemplify the AETC capabilities we present a number of simulations for specific science cases, useful for studying the capabilities of next generation AO imaging cameras for Extremely Large Telescopes.

  9. Astronomical imaging investigations for Shuttle and Spacelab missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Carruthers, G. R.; Stecher, T. P.

    1981-01-01

    General objectives of space astronomical imagery are briefly examined, taking into account the improved angular resolution achievable in space observations, the utilization of an accessibility of the far ultraviolet spectral range for an easier detection and more accurate measurement of very hot stars, the determination of the structure and evolution of galaxies, and the determination of the cosmic distance scale. Attention is given to the Ultraviolet Imaging Telescope, the Spacelab Wide Angle Telescope, and the Starlab UV/optical telescope facility. It is pointed out that Starlab is envisioned as a multi-instrument, multi-purpose astronomical facility based on a near-diffraction-limited Ritchey-Chretien telescope of about 1 meter aperture and f/15 focal ratio. These resolutions are a factor of 10 better than typically achieved with ground-based telescopes.

  10. Applying public access programming techniques to astronomical image display

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mandel, Eric

    1996-03-01

    The X Public Access (XPA) mechanism allows an Xt program to define named public access points through which data and commands can be exchanged with other programs. We will discuss our design goals for XPA, the technical challenges we faced--including extensions to the Xt selection implementation--and the user interface and application programming interface that we developed to meet these challenges. We also will describe our application of XPA to a new version of the popular SAOimage astronomical image display program. XPA makes possible external control of the program's main function, including image display, image zoom and pan, colormap manipulation, cursor/region definition, and frame selection. It also supports `public access' to internal algorithms such as image file access and scaling. Finally, we will describe how XPA is used to support user-configurable analysis of image data and bi- directional communication with other processes.

  11. Hybrid CMOS SiPIN detectors as astronomical imagers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Simms, Lance Michael

    Charge Coupled Devices (CCDs) have dominated optical and x-ray astronomy since their inception in 1969. Only recently, through improvements in design and fabrication methods, have imagers that use Complimentary Metal Oxide Semiconductor (CMOS) technology gained ground on CCDs in scientific imaging. We are now in the midst of an era where astronomers might begin to design optical telescope cameras that employ CMOS imagers. The first three chapters of this dissertation are primarily composed of introductory material. In them, we discuss the potential advantages that CMOS imagers offer over CCDs in astronomical applications. We compare the two technologies in terms of the standard metrics used to evaluate and compare scientific imagers: dark current, read noise, linearity, etc. We also discuss novel features of CMOS devices and the benefits they offer to astronomy. In particular, we focus on a specific kind of hybrid CMOS sensor that uses Silicon PIN photodiodes to detect optical light in order to overcome deficiencies of commercial CMOS sensors. The remaining four chapters focus on a specific type of hybrid CMOS Silicon PIN sensor: the Teledyne Hybrid Visible Silicon PIN Imager (HyViSI). In chapters four and five, results from testing HyViSI detectors in the laboratory and at the Kitt Peak 2.1m telescope are presented. We present our laboratory measurements of the standard detector metrics for a number of HyViSI devices, ranging from 1k×1k to 4k×4k format. We also include a description of the SIDECAR readout circuit that was used to control the detectors. We then show how they performed at the telescope in terms of photometry, astrometry, variability measurement, and telescope focusing and guiding. Lastly, in the final two chapters we present results on detector artifacts such as pixel crosstalk, electronic crosstalk, and image persistence. One form of pixel crosstalk that has not been discussed elsewhere in the literature, which we refer to as Interpixel Charge

  12. Detection and removal of artifacts in astronomical images

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-07-01

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

  13. Astronomers Make "Movie" of Radio Images Showing Supernova Explosion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1995-11-01

    Astronomers using an international network of radio telescopes have produced a "movie" showing details of the expansion of debris from an exploding star. Their sequence of images constitutes the best determination yet made of the details of a new supernova remnant, and already has raised new questions about such events. The scientists used radio telescopes in Europe and the United States, including the National Science Foundation's Very Large Array (VLA) and Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA), to make very high- resolution images of Supernova 1993J, which was discovered by a Spanish amateur astronomer on March 28, 1993 in the galaxy M81, some 11 million light-years distant in the constellation Ursa Major. Their results are reported in the December 1 issue of the journal Science. The "movie" is based on five images of the supernova, made during 1993 and 1994. The work was done by: Jon Marcaide and Eduardo Ros of the University of Valencia, Spain; Antxon Alberdi of the Special Laboratory for Astrophysics and Fundamental Physics of Madrid, Spain and the Institute of Astrophysics at Andalucia, Spain; Philip Diamond of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Socorro, NM; Irwin Shapiro of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, MA; Jose-Carlos Guirado, Dayton Jones and Robert Preston of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA; Thomas Krichbaum and Arno Witzel of the Max-Planck Institute for Radioastronomy in Bonn, Germany; Franco Mantovani of the Institute of Radioastronomy in Bologna, Italy; Antonio Rius of the Special Laboratory for Astrophysics and Fundamental Physics of Madrid, Spain and the Center for Advanced Studies at Blanes, Spain; Richard Schilizzi of the Joint Institute for VLBI in Europe and Leiden Observatory in the Netherlands; Corrado Trigilio of the Institute of Radioastronomy in Noto, Italy; and Alan Whitney of the MIT- Haystack Observatory in Massachusetts. The capability to make such high-quality images with widely

  14. Automating sky object classification in astronomical survey images

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fayyad, Usama M.; Doyle, Richard J.; Weir, Nicholas; Djorgovski, S. G.

    1992-01-01

    We describe the application of machine classification techniques to the development of an automated tool for the reduction of a large scientific data set. The 2nd Palomer Observatory Sky Survey is nearly completed. This survey provides comprehensive coverage of the northern celestial hemisphere in the form of photographic plates. The plates are being transformed into digitized images whose quality will probably not be surpassed in the next ten to twenty years. The images are expected to contain on the order of 10(exp 7) galaxies and 10(exp 8) stars. Astronomers wish to determine which of these sky objects belong to various classes of galaxies and stars. The size of this data set precludes manual analysis. Our approach is to develop a software system which integrates the functions of independently developed techniques for image processing and data classification. Digitized sky images are passed through image processing routines to identify sky objects and to extract a set of features for each object. These routines are used to help select a useful set of attributes for classifying sky objects. Then GID3* and O-BTree, two inductive learning techniques, learn classification decision trees from examples. These classifiers will be used to process the rest of the data. This paper gives an overview of the machine learning techniques used, describes the details of our specific application, and reports the initial encouraging results. The results indicate that our approach is well-suited to the problem. The primary benefits of the approach are increased data reduction throughput and consistency of classification. The classification rules which are the product of the inductive learning techniques will form an object, examinable basis for classifying sky objects. A final, not to be underestimated benefit is that astronomers will be freed from the tedium of an intensely visual task to pursue more challenging analysis and interpretation problems based on automatically cataloged

  15. Astronomers Make First Images With Space Radio Telescope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1997-07-01

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

  16. Dynamic support region-based astronomical image deconvolution algorithm

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Geng, Ze-xun; Chen, Bo; Xu, Qing; Zhang, Bao-ming; Gong, Zhi-hui

    2008-07-01

    The performance of high-resolution imaging with large optical instruments is severely limited by atmospheric turbulence, and an image deconvolution is required for reaching the diffraction limit. A new astronomical image deconvolution algorithm is proposed, which incorporates dynamic support region and improved cost function to NAS-RIF algorithm. The enhanced NAS-RIF (ENAS-RIF) method takes into account the noise in the image and can dynamically shrink support region (SR) in application. In restoration process, initial SR is set to approximate counter of the true object, and then SR automatically contracts with iteration going. The approximate counter of interested object is detected by means of beamlet transform detecting edge. The ENAS-RIF algorithm is applied to the restorations of in-door Laser point source and long exposure extended object images. The experimental results demonstrate that the ENAS-RIF algorithm works better than classical NAS-RIF algorithm in deconvolution of the degraded image with low SNR and convergence speed is faster.

  17. MOPEX: MOsaicker and Point source EXtractor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    NASA/IPAC Infrared Science Archive; JPL; Caltech; NASA

    2011-11-01

    MOPEX (MOsaicker and Point source EXtractor) is a package for reducing and analyzing imaging data, as well as MIPS SED data. MOPEX includes the point source extraction package, APEX. MOPEX is designed to allow the user to: perform sophisticated background matching of individual data framesmosaic the individual frames downloaded from the Spitzer archiveperform both temporal and spatial outlier rejection during mosaickingapply offline pointing refinement for MIPS data (refinement is already applied to IRAC data)perform source detection on the mosaics using APEXcompute aperture photometry or PRF-fitting photometry for point sourcesperform interpolation, coaddition, and spectrum extraction of MIPS SED images.MOPEX comes in two different interfaces (GUI and command-line), both of which come packaged together. We recommend that all new users start with the GUI, which is more user-friendly than the command-line interface

  18. Multiscale Analysis of Photon-Limited Astronomical Images

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Willett, R.

    2007-11-01

    Many astronomical studies rely upon the accurate reconstruction of spatially distributed phenomena from photon-limited data. These measurements are inherently ``noisy'' due to low photon counts. In addition, the behavior of the underlying photon intensity functions can be very rich and complex, and consequently difficult to model a priori. Nonparametric multiscale reconstruction methods overcome these challenges and facilitate characterization of fundamental performance limits. In this paper, we review several multiscale approaches to photon-limited image reconstruction, including wavelets combined with variance stabilizing transforms, corrected Haar wavelet transforms, multiplicative multiscale innovations, platelets, and the à trous wavelet transform. We discuss the performance of these methods in simulation studies, and describe statistical analyses of their performances.

  19. Imfit: A Fast, Flexible Program for Astronomical Image Fitting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Erwin, Peter

    2014-08-01

    Imift is an open-source astronomical image-fitting program specialized for galaxies but potentially useful for other sources, which is fast, flexible, and highly extensible. Its object-oriented design allows new types of image components (2D surface-brightness functions) to be easily written and added to the program. Image functions provided with Imfit include Sersic, exponential, and Gaussian galaxy decompositions along with Core-Sersic and broken-exponential profiles, elliptical rings, and three components that perform line-of-sight integration through 3D luminosity-density models of disks and rings seen at arbitrary inclinations. Available minimization algorithms include Levenberg-Marquardt, Nelder-Mead simplex, and Differential Evolution, allowing trade-offs between speed and decreased sensitivity to local minima in the fit landscape. Minimization can be done using the standard chi^2 statistic (using either data or model values to estimate per-pixel Gaussian errors, or else user-supplied error images) or the Cash statistic; the latter is particularly appropriate for cases of Poisson data in the low-count regime. The C++ source code for Imfit is available under the GNU Public License.

  20. Deconvolution of astronomical images using SOR with adaptive relaxation.

    PubMed

    Vorontsov, S V; Strakhov, V N; Jefferies, S M; Borelli, K J

    2011-07-04

    We address the potential performance of the successive overrelaxation technique (SOR) in image deconvolution, focusing our attention on the restoration of astronomical images distorted by atmospheric turbulence. SOR is the classical Gauss-Seidel iteration, supplemented with relaxation. As indicated by earlier work, the convergence properties of SOR, and its ultimate performance in the deconvolution of blurred and noisy images, can be made competitive to other iterative techniques, including conjugate gradients, by a proper choice of the relaxation parameter. The question of how to choose the relaxation parameter, however, remained open, and in the practical work one had to rely on experimentation. In this paper, using constructive (rather than exact) arguments, we suggest a simple strategy for choosing the relaxation parameter and for updating its value in consecutive iterations to optimize the performance of the SOR algorithm (and its positivity-constrained version, +SOR) at finite iteration counts. We suggest an extension of the algorithm to the notoriously difficult problem of "blind" deconvolution, where both the true object and the point-spread function have to be recovered from the blurred image. We report the results of numerical inversions with artificial and real data, where the algorithm is compared with techniques based on conjugate gradients. In all of our experiments +SOR provides the highest quality results. In addition +SOR is found to be able to detect moderately small changes in the true object between separate data frames: an important quality for multi-frame blind deconvolution where stationarity of the object is a necesessity.

  1. IMFIT: A Fast, Flexible New Program for Astronomical Image Fitting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Erwin, Peter

    2015-02-01

    I describe a new, open-source astronomical image-fitting program called IMFIT, specialized for galaxies but potentially useful for other sources, which is fast, flexible, and highly extensible. A key characteristic of the program is an object-oriented design that allows new types of image components (two-dimensional surface-brightness functions) to be easily written and added to the program. Image functions provided with IMFIT include the usual suspects for galaxy decompositions (Sérsic, exponential, Gaussian), along with Core-Sérsic and broken-exponential profiles, elliptical rings, and three components that perform line-of-sight integration through three-dimensional luminosity-density models of disks and rings seen at arbitrary inclinations. Available minimization algorithms include Levenberg-Marquardt, Nelder-Mead simplex, and Differential Evolution, allowing trade-offs between speed and decreased sensitivity to local minima in the fit landscape. Minimization can be done using the standard χ2 statistic (using either data or model values to estimate per-pixel Gaussian errors, or else user-supplied error images) or Poisson-based maximum-likelihood statistics; the latter approach is particularly appropriate for cases of Poisson data in the low-count regime. I show that fitting low-signal-to-noise ratio galaxy images using χ2 minimization and individual-pixel Gaussian uncertainties can lead to significant biases in fitted parameter values, which are avoided if a Poisson-based statistic is used; this is true even when Gaussian read noise is present.

  2. IMFIT: A FAST, FLEXIBLE NEW PROGRAM FOR ASTRONOMICAL IMAGE FITTING

    SciTech Connect

    Erwin, Peter

    2015-02-01

    I describe a new, open-source astronomical image-fitting program called IMFIT, specialized for galaxies but potentially useful for other sources, which is fast, flexible, and highly extensible. A key characteristic of the program is an object-oriented design that allows new types of image components (two-dimensional surface-brightness functions) to be easily written and added to the program. Image functions provided with IMFIT include the usual suspects for galaxy decompositions (Sérsic, exponential, Gaussian), along with Core-Sérsic and broken-exponential profiles, elliptical rings, and three components that perform line-of-sight integration through three-dimensional luminosity-density models of disks and rings seen at arbitrary inclinations. Available minimization algorithms include Levenberg-Marquardt, Nelder-Mead simplex, and Differential Evolution, allowing trade-offs between speed and decreased sensitivity to local minima in the fit landscape. Minimization can be done using the standard χ{sup 2} statistic (using either data or model values to estimate per-pixel Gaussian errors, or else user-supplied error images) or Poisson-based maximum-likelihood statistics; the latter approach is particularly appropriate for cases of Poisson data in the low-count regime. I show that fitting low-signal-to-noise ratio galaxy images using χ{sup 2} minimization and individual-pixel Gaussian uncertainties can lead to significant biases in fitted parameter values, which are avoided if a Poisson-based statistic is used; this is true even when Gaussian read noise is present.

  3. Clementine High Resolution Camera Mosaicking Project

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    This report constitutes the final report for NASA Contract NASW-5054. This project processed Clementine I high resolution images of the Moon, mosaicked these images together, and created a 22-disk set of compact disk read-only memory (CD-ROM) volumes. The mosaics were produced through semi-automated registration and calibration of the high resolution (HiRes) camera's data against the geometrically and photometrically controlled Ultraviolet/Visible (UV/Vis) Basemap Mosaic produced by the US Geological Survey (USGS). The HiRes mosaics were compiled from non-uniformity corrected, 750 nanometer ("D") filter high resolution nadir-looking observations. The images were spatially warped using the sinusoidal equal-area projection at a scale of 20 m/pixel for sub-polar mosaics (below 80 deg. latitude) and using the stereographic projection at a scale of 30 m/pixel for polar mosaics. Only images with emission angles less than approximately 50 were used. Images from non-mapping cross-track slews, which tended to have large SPICE errors, were generally omitted. The locations of the resulting image population were found to be offset from the UV/Vis basemap by up to 13 km (0.4 deg.). Geometric control was taken from the 100 m/pixel global and 150 m/pixel polar USGS Clementine Basemap Mosaics compiled from the 750 nm Ultraviolet/Visible Clementine imaging system. Radiometric calibration was achieved by removing the image nonuniformity dominated by the HiRes system's light intensifier. Also provided are offset and scale factors, achieved by a fit of the HiRes data to the corresponding photometrically calibrated UV/Vis basemap, that approximately transform the 8-bit HiRes data to photometric units. The sub-polar mosaics are divided into tiles that cover approximately 1.75 deg. of latitude and span the longitude range of the mosaicked frames. Images from a given orbit are map projected using the orbit's nominal central latitude. Polar mosaics are tiled into squares 2250 pixels on a

  4. Automatic Mosaicking of Satellite Imagery Considering the Clouds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kang, Yifei; Pan, Li; Chen, Qi; Zhang, Tong; Zhang, Shasha; Liu, Zhang

    2016-06-01

    With the rapid development of high resolution remote sensing for earth observation technology, satellite imagery is widely used in the fields of resource investigation, environment protection, and agricultural research. Image mosaicking is an important part of satellite imagery production. However, the existence of clouds leads to lots of disadvantages for automatic image mosaicking, mainly in two aspects: 1) Image blurring may be caused during the process of image dodging, 2) Cloudy areas may be passed through by automatically generated seamlines. To address these problems, an automatic mosaicking method is proposed for cloudy satellite imagery in this paper. Firstly, modified Otsu thresholding and morphological processing are employed to extract cloudy areas and obtain the percentage of cloud cover. Then, cloud detection results are used to optimize the process of dodging and mosaicking. Thus, the mosaic image can be combined with more clear-sky areas instead of cloudy areas. Besides, clear-sky areas will be clear and distortionless. The Chinese GF-1 wide-field-of-view orthoimages are employed as experimental data. The performance of the proposed approach is evaluated in four aspects: the effect of cloud detection, the sharpness of clear-sky areas, the rationality of seamlines and efficiency. The evaluation results demonstrated that the mosaic image obtained by our method has fewer clouds, better internal color consistency and better visual clarity compared with that obtained by traditional method. The time consumed by the proposed method for 17 scenes of GF-1 orthoimages is within 4 hours on a desktop computer. The efficiency can meet the general production requirements for massive satellite imagery.

  5. AstroImageJ: Image Processing and Photometric Extraction for Ultra-precise Astronomical Light Curves

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Collins, Karen A.; Kielkopf, John F.; Stassun, Keivan G.; Hessman, Frederic V.

    2017-02-01

    ImageJ is a graphical user interface (GUI) driven, public domain, Java-based, software package for general image processing traditionally used mainly in life sciences fields. The image processing capabilities of ImageJ are useful and extendable to other scientific fields. Here we present AstroImageJ (AIJ), which provides an astronomy specific image display environment and tools for astronomy specific image calibration and data reduction. Although AIJ maintains the general purpose image processing capabilities of ImageJ, AIJ is streamlined for time-series differential photometry, light curve detrending and fitting, and light curve plotting, especially for applications requiring ultra-precise light curves (e.g., exoplanet transits). AIJ reads and writes standard Flexible Image Transport System (FITS) files, as well as other common image formats, provides FITS header viewing and editing, and is World Coordinate System aware, including an automated interface to the astrometry.net web portal for plate solving images. AIJ provides research grade image calibration and analysis tools with a GUI driven approach, and easily installed cross-platform compatibility. It enables new users, even at the level of undergraduate student, high school student, or amateur astronomer, to quickly start processing, modeling, and plotting astronomical image data with one tightly integrated software package.

  6. Video Mosaicking for Inspection of Gas Pipelines

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Magruder, Darby; Chien, Chiun-Hong

    2005-01-01

    A vision system that includes a specially designed video camera and an image-data-processing computer is under development as a prototype of robotic systems for visual inspection of the interior surfaces of pipes and especially of gas pipelines. The system is capable of providing both forward views and mosaicked radial views that can be displayed in real time or after inspection. To avoid the complexities associated with moving parts and to provide simultaneous forward and radial views, the video camera is equipped with a wide-angle (>165 ) fish-eye lens aimed along the axis of a pipe to be inspected. Nine white-light-emitting diodes (LEDs) placed just outside the field of view of the lens (see Figure 1) provide ample diffuse illumination for a high-contrast image of the interior pipe wall. The video camera contains a 2/3-in. (1.7-cm) charge-coupled-device (CCD) photodetector array and functions according to the National Television Standards Committee (NTSC) standard. The video output of the camera is sent to an off-the-shelf video capture board (frame grabber) by use of a peripheral component interconnect (PCI) interface in the computer, which is of the 400-MHz, Pentium II (or equivalent) class. Prior video-mosaicking techniques are applicable to narrow-field-of-view (low-distortion) images of evenly illuminated, relatively flat surfaces viewed along approximately perpendicular lines by cameras that do not rotate and that move approximately parallel to the viewed surfaces. One such technique for real-time creation of mosaic images of the ocean floor involves the use of visual correspondences based on area correlation, during both the acquisition of separate images of adjacent areas and the consolidation (equivalently, integration) of the separate images into a mosaic image, in order to insure that there are no gaps in the mosaic image. The data-processing technique used for mosaicking in the present system also involves area correlation, but with several notable

  7. Blending zone determination for aerial orthimage mosaicking

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, Chao-Hung; Chen, Bo-Heng; Lin, Bo-Yi; Chou, Han-Szu

    2016-09-01

    Creating a composed image from a set of aerial images is a fundamental step in orthomosaic generation. One of the processes involved in this technique is determining an optimal seamline in an overlapping region to stitch image patches seamlessly. Most previous studies have solved this optimization problem by searching for a one-pixel-wide seamline with an objective function. This strategy significantly reduced pixel mismatches on the seamline caused by geometric distortions of images but did not fully consider color discontinuity and mismatch problems that occur around the seamline, which sometimes cause mosaicking artifacts. This study proposes a blending zone determination scheme with a novel path finding algorithm to reduce the occurrence of unwanted artifacts. Instead of searching for a one-pixel-wide seamline, a blending zone, which is a k-pixel-wide seamline that passes through high-similarity pixels in the overlapping region, is determined using a hierarchical structure. This strategy allows for not only seamless stitching but also smooth color blending of neighboring image patches. Moreover, the proposed method searches for a blending zone without the pre-process of highly mismatched pixel removal and additional geographic data of road vectors and digital surface/elevation models, which increases the usability of the approach. Qualitative and quantitative analyses of aerial images demonstrate the superiority of the proposed method to related methods in terms of avoidance of passing highly mismatched pixels.

  8. PathGrid: The Transfer of Astronomical Image Algorithms to the Analysis of Medical Microscopy Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walton, N. A.; Brenton, J. D.; Caldas, C.; Irwin, M. J.; Akram, A.; Gonzalez-Solares, E.; Lewis, J. R.; MacCullum, P.; Morris, L. J.; Rixon, G. T.

    2009-09-01

    We describe our pilot `PathGrid' study which applies astronomical image processing and data handling techniques to the challenges involved in analysing Tissue Micro Array (TMA) image data. Image analysis has been applied to the input TMA data using open source solutions developed for an astronomical context. The resulting data products are in turn interfaced to the clinical trials systems in use at the Cambridge Research Institute (Cancer Research-UK).

  9. Block iterative restoration of astronomical images with the massively parallel processor

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Heap, Sara R.; Lindler, Don J.

    1987-01-01

    A method is described for algebraic image restoration capable of treating astronomical images. For a typical 500 x 500 image, direct algebraic restoration would require the solution of a 250,000 x 250,000 linear system. The block iterative approach is used to reduce the problem to solving 4900 121 x 121 linear systems. The algorithm was implemented on the Goddard Massively Parallel Processor, which can solve a 121 x 121 system in approximately 0.06 seconds. Examples are shown of the results for various astronomical images.

  10. IMAGE EXPLORER: Astronomical Image Analysis on an HTML5-based Web Application

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gopu, A.; Hayashi, S.; Young, M. D.

    2014-05-01

    Large datasets produced by recent astronomical imagers cause the traditional paradigm for basic visual analysis - typically downloading one's entire image dataset and using desktop clients like DS9, Aladin, etc. - to not scale, despite advances in desktop computing power and storage. This paper describes Image Explorer, a web framework that offers several of the basic visualization and analysis functionality commonly provided by tools like DS9, on any HTML5 capable web browser on various platforms. It uses a combination of the modern HTML5 canvas, JavaScript, and several layers of lossless PNG tiles producted from the FITS image data. Astronomers are able to rapidly and simultaneously open up several images on their web-browser, adjust the intensity min/max cutoff or its scaling function, and zoom level, apply color-maps, view position and FITS header information, execute typically used data reduction codes on the corresponding FITS data using the FRIAA framework, and overlay tiles for source catalog objects, etc.

  11. Recent developments at JPL in the application of digital image processing techniques to astronomical images

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lorre, J. J.; Lynn, D. J.; Benton, W. D.

    1976-01-01

    Several techniques of a digital image-processing nature are illustrated which have proved useful in visual analysis of astronomical pictorial data. Processed digital scans of photographic plates of Stephans Quintet and NGC 4151 are used as examples to show how faint nebulosity is enhanced by high-pass filtering, how foreground stars are suppressed by linear interpolation, and how relative color differences between two images recorded on plates with different spectral sensitivities can be revealed by generating ratio images. Analyses are outlined which are intended to compensate partially for the blurring effects of the atmosphere on images of Stephans Quintet and to obtain more detailed information about Saturn's ring structure from low- and high-resolution scans of the planet and its ring system. The employment of a correlation picture to determine the tilt angle of an average spectral line in a low-quality spectrum is demonstrated for a section of the spectrum of Uranus.

  12. Toyz: A framework for scientific analysis of large datasets and astronomical images

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moolekamp, F.; Mamajek, E.

    2015-11-01

    As the size of images and data products derived from astronomical data continues to increase, new tools are needed to visualize and interact with that data in a meaningful way. Motivated by our own astronomical images taken with the Dark Energy Camera (DECam) we present Toyz, an open source Python package for viewing and analyzing images and data stored on a remote server or cluster. Users connect to the Toyz web application via a web browser, making it ​a convenient tool for students to visualize and interact with astronomical data without having to install any software on their local machines. In addition it provides researchers with an easy-to-use tool that allows them to browse the files on a server and quickly view very large images (>2 Gb) taken with DECam and other cameras with a large FOV and create their own visualization tools that can be added on as extensions to the default Toyz framework.

  13. Straight to the Source: Detecting Aggregate Objects in Astronomical Images with Proper Error Control

    PubMed Central

    Friedenberg, David A.; Genovese, Christopher R.

    2013-01-01

    The next generation of telescopes, coming on-line in the next decade, will acquire terabytes of image data each night. Collectively, these large images will contain billions of interesting objects, which astronomers call sources. One critical task for astronomers is to construct from the image data a detailed source catalog that gives the sky coordinates and other properties of all detected sources. The source catalog is the primary data product produced by most telescopes and serves as an important input for studies that build and test new astrophysical theories. To construct an accurate catalog, the sources must first be detected in the image. A variety of effective source detection algorithms exist in the astronomical literature, but few if any provide rigorous statistical control of error rates. A variety of multiple testing procedures exist in the statistical literature that can provide rigorous error control over pixelwise errors, but these do not provide control over errors at the level of sources, which is what astronomers need. In this paper, we propose a technique that is effective at source detection while providing rigorous control on source-wise error rates. We demonstrate our approach with data from the Chandra X-ray Observatory Satellite. Our method is competitive with existing astronomical methods, even finding two new sources that were missed by previous studies, while providing stronger performance guarantees and without requiring costly follow up studies that are commonly required with current techniques. PMID:24068849

  14. Toyz: Large datasets and astronomical images analysis framework

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moolekamp, Fred

    2015-07-01

    Toyz is a python web framework that allows scientists to interact with large images and data sets stored on a remote server. A web application is run on the server containing the data and clients are run from web browsers on the user's computer. Toyz displays large FITS images also also renders any image format supported by Pillow (a fork of the Python Imaging Library), contains a GUI to interact with linked plots, and offers a customizable framework that allows students and researchers to create their own work spaces inside a Toyz environment. Astro-Toyz extends the features of the Toyz image viewer, allowing users to view world coordinates and align images based on their WCS.

  15. Optimum synthetic-aperture imaging of extended astronomical objects.

    PubMed

    van der Avoort, Casper; Pereira, Silvania F; Braat, Joseph J M; den Herder, Jan-Willem

    2007-04-01

    In optical aperture-synthesis imaging of stellar objects, different beam combination strategies are used and proposed. Coaxial Michelson interferometers are very common and a homothetic multiaxial interferometer is recently realized in the Large Binocular Telescope. Laboratory experiments have demonstrated the working principles of two new approaches: densified pupil imaging and wide field-of-view (FOV) coaxial imaging using a staircase-shaped mirror. We develop a common mathematical formulation for direct comparison of the resolution and noise sensitivity of these four telescope configurations for combining beams from multiple apertures for interferometric synthetic aperture, wide-FOV imaging. Singular value decomposition techniques are used to compare the techniques and observe their distinct signal-to-noise ratio behaviors. We conclude that for a certain chosen stellar object, clear differences in performance of the imagers are identifiable.

  16. On the efficiency of techniques for the reduction of impulsive noise in astronomical images

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Popowicz, A.; Kurek, A. R.; Blachowicz, T.; Orlov, V.; Smolka, B.

    2016-12-01

    The impulsive noise in astronomical images originates from various sources. It develops as a result of thermal generation in pixels or the collision of cosmic rays with an image sensor, or it may be induced by high read-out voltage in an electron-multiplying CCD (EMCCD). It is usually efficiently removed by employing the dark frames or by averaging several exposures. Unfortunately, there are some circumstances when either the observed objects or positions of impulsive pixels evolve and, therefore, each image obtained has to be filtered independently. In this article we present an overview of impulsive noise filtering methods and compare their efficiency for astronomical image enhancement. The set of noise templates employed consists of dark frames obtained from CCD and EMCCD cameras working on the ground and in space. The experiments, conducted on synthetic and real images, allowed for drawing numerous conclusions about the usefulness of several filtering methods for various: (1) widths of stellar profiles, (2) signal-to-noise ratios, (3) noise distributions and (4) applied imaging techniques. The results of this evaluation are especially valuable for selecting the most efficient filtering schema in astronomical image-processing pipelines.

  17. The Astronomical Potential of Wide-field Imaging from Space

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beckwith, S.

    2001-12-01

    Wide-field imaging is best done from space. Unrestricted by seeing and the limitations of an isoplanatic patch, it should be possible to construct space telescopes delivering very wide fields of diffraction-limited images with enormous information content per image. Among the science programs that will benefit are complete sky surveys to look for rare objects, staring observations to look for microlensing events, monitoring of star clusters to look for eclipses by extra-solar planets, regular surveys of large regions to search for time-variable phenomena, especially supernovae, and repeated observations of the ecliptic to identify ``killer asteroids" and other interlopers. This talk will discuss some of the science that could be enabled by wide-field imaging telescopes in space such as the SNAP satellite.

  18. Optimal Compression of Floating-Point Astronomical Images Without Significant Loss of Information

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pence, William D.; White, R. L.; Seaman, R.

    2010-01-01

    We describe a compression method for floating-point astronomical images that gives compression ratios of 6 - 10 while still preserving the scientifically important information in the image. The pixel values are first preprocessed by quantizing them into scaled integer intensity levels, which removes some of the uncompressible noise in the image. The integers are then losslessly compressed using the fast and efficient Rice algorithm and stored in a portable FITS format file. Quantizing an image more coarsely gives greater image compression, but it also increases the noise and degrades the precision of the photometric and astrometric measurements in the quantized image. Dithering the pixel values during the quantization process greatly improves the precision of measurements in the more coarsely quantized images. We perform a series of experiments on both synthetic and real astronomical CCD images to quantitatively demonstrate that the magnitudes and positions of stars in the quantized images can be measured with the predicted amount of precision. In order to encourage wider use of these image compression methods, we have made available a pair of general-purpose image compression programs, called fpack and funpack, which can be used to compress any FITS format image.

  19. Optimal Compression of Floating-Point Astronomical Images Without Significant Loss of Information

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pence, W. D.; White, R. L.; Seaman, R.

    2010-09-01

    We describe a compression method for floating-point astronomical images that gives compression ratios of 6–10 while still preserving the scientifically important information in the image. The pixel values are first preprocessed by quantizing them into scaled integer intensity levels, which removes some of the uncompressible noise in the image. The integers are then losslessly compressed using the fast and efficient Rice algorithm and stored in a portable FITS format file. Quantizing an image more coarsely gives greater image compression, but it also increases the noise and degrades the precision of the photometric and astrometric measurements in the quantized image. Dithering the pixel values during the quantization process can greatly improve the precision of measurements in the images. This is especially important if the analysis algorithm relies on the mode or the median, which would be similarly quantized if the pixel values are not dithered. We perform a series of experiments on both synthetic and real astronomical CCD images to quantitatively demonstrate that the magnitudes and positions of stars in the quantized images can be measured with the predicted amount of precision. In order to encourage wider use of these image compression methods, we have made available a pair of general-purpose image compression programs, called fpack and funpack, which can be used to compress any FITS format image.

  20. Atmospheric isoplanatism and astronomical image reconstruction on Mauna Kea

    SciTech Connect

    Cowie, L.L.; Songaila, A.

    1988-07-01

    Atmospheric isoplanatism for visual wavelength image-reconstruction applications was measured on Mauna Kea in Hawaii. For most nights the correlation of the transform functions is substantially wider than the long-exposure transform function at separations up to 30 arcsec. Theoretical analysis shows that this is reasonable if the mean Fried parameter is approximately 30 cm at 5500 A. Reconstructed image quality may be described by a Gaussian with a FWHM of lambda/s/sub 0/. Under average conditions, s/sub 0/ (30 arcsec) exceeds 55 cm at 7000 A. The results show that visual image quality in the 0.1--0.2 arcsec range is obtainable over much of the sky with large ground-based telescopes on this site.

  1. Application of digital image processing techniques to astronomical imagery, 1979

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lorre, J. J.

    1979-01-01

    Several areas of applications of image processing to astronomy were identified and discussed. These areas include: (1) deconvolution for atmospheric seeing compensation; a comparison between maximum entropy and conventional Wiener algorithms; (2) polarization in galaxies from photographic plates; (3) time changes in M87 and methods of displaying these changes; (4) comparing emission line images in planetary nebulae; and (5) log intensity, hue saturation intensity, and principal component color enhancements of M82. Examples are presented of these techniques applied to a variety of objects.

  2. Near-infrared spectral imaging Michelson interferometer for astronomical applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wells, C. W.; Potter, A. E.; Morgan, T. H.

    1980-01-01

    The design and operation of an imaging Michelson interferometer-spectrometer used for near-infrared (0.8 micron to 2.5 microns) spectral imaging are reported. The system employs a rapid scan interferometer modified for stable low resolution (250/cm) performance and a 42 element PbS linear detector array. A microcomputer system is described which provides data acquisition, coadding, and Fourier transformation for near real-time presentation of the spectra of all 42 scene elements. The electronic and mechanical designs are discussed and telescope performance data presented.

  3. Infrared Astronomical Satellite (IRAS) image reconstruction and restoration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gonsalves, R. A.; Lyons, T. D.; Price, S. D.; Levan, P. D.; Aumann, H. H.

    1987-01-01

    IRAS sky mapping data is being reconstructed as images, and an entropy-based restoration algorithm is being applied in an attempt to improve spatial resolution in extended sources. Reconstruction requires interpolation of non-uniformly sampled data. Restoration is accomplished with an iterative algorithm which begins with an inverse filter solution and iterates on it with a weighted entropy-based spectral subtraction.

  4. Center determination for trailed sources in astronomical observation images

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Du, Jun Ju; Hu, Shao Ming; Chen, Xu; Guo, Di Fu

    2014-11-01

    Images with trailed sources can be obtained when observing near-Earth objects, such as small astroids, space debris, major planets and their satellites, no matter the telescopes track on sidereal speed or the speed of target. The low centering accuracy of these trailed sources is one of the most important sources of the astrometric uncertainty, but how to determine the central positions of the trailed sources accurately remains a significant challenge to image processing techniques, especially in the study of faint or fast moving objects. According to the conditions of one-meter telescope at Weihai Observatory of Shandong University, moment and point-spread-function (PSF) fitting were chosen to develop the image processing pipeline for space debris. The principles and the implementations of both two methods are introduced in this paper. And some simulated images containing trailed sources are analyzed with each technique. The results show that two methods are comparable to obtain the accurate central positions of trailed sources when the signal to noise (SNR) is high. But moment tends to fail for the objects with low SNR. Compared with moment, PSF fitting seems to be more robust and versatile. However, PSF fitting is quite time-consuming. Therefore, if there are enough bright stars in the field, or the high astronometric accuracy is not necessary, moment is competent. Otherwise, the combination of moment and PSF fitting is recommended.

  5. A 5-18 micron array camera for high-background astronomical imaging

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gezari, Daniel Y.; Folz, Walter C.; Woods, Lawrence A.; Varosi, Frank

    1992-01-01

    A new infrared array camera system using a Hughes/SBRC 58 x 62 pixel hybrid Si:Ga array detector has been successfully applied to high-background 5-18-micron astronomical imaging observations. The off-axis reflective optical system minimizes thermal background loading and produces diffraction-limited images with negligible spatial distortion. The noise equivalent flux density (NEFD) of the camera at 10 microns on the 3.0-m NASA/Infrared Telescope Facility with broadband interference filters and 0.26 arcsec pixel is NEFD = 0.01 Jy/sq rt min per pixel (1sigma), and it operates at a frame rate of 30 Hz with no compromise in observational efficiency. The electronic and optical design of the camera, its photometric characteristics, examples of observational results, and techniques for successful array imaging in a high- background astronomical application are discussed.

  6. Astronomical imaging by filtered weighted-shift-and-add technique

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ribak, Erez

    1986-01-01

    The weighted-shift-and-add speckle imaging technique is analyzed using simple assumptions. The end product is shown to be a convolution of the object with a typical point-spread function (psf) that is similar in shape to the telescope psf and depends marginally on the speckle psf. A filter can be applied to each data frame before locating the maxima, either to identify the speckle locations (matched filter) or to estimate the instantaneous atmospheric psf (Wiener filter). Preliminary results show the power of the technique when applied to photon-limited data and to extended objects.

  7. Automatic Mosaicking of 360 degree Panorama in Video Surveillance

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2008-12-01

    Automatic Mosaicking of 360° Panorama in Video Surveillance by Sean Ho and Philip David ARL-TR-4670 December 2008...Automatic Mosaicking of 360° Panorama in Video Surveillance Sean Ho and Philip David Computational and Information Sciences Directorate...2007 to September 2008 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER 5b. GRANT NUMBER 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE Automatic Mosaicking of 360° Panorama in Video Surveillance 5c

  8. Youpi: A Web-based Astronomical Image Processing Pipeline

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Monnerville, M.; Sémah, G.

    2010-12-01

    Youpi stands for “YOUpi is your processing PIpeline”. It is a portable, easy to use web application providing high level functionalities to perform data reduction on scientific FITS images. It is built on top of open source processing tools that are released to the community by Terapix, in order to organize your data on a computer cluster, to manage your processing jobs in real time and to facilitate teamwork by allowing fine-grain sharing of results and data. On the server side, Youpi is written in the Python programming language and uses the Django web framework. On the client side, Ajax techniques are used along with the Prototype and script.aculo.us Javascript librairies.

  9. Hexabundles: imaging fiber arrays for low-light astronomical applications.

    PubMed

    Bland-Hawthorn, Joss; Bryant, Julia; Robertson, Gordon; Gillingham, Peter; O'Byrne, John; Cecil, Gerald; Haynes, Roger; Croom, Scott; Ellis, Simon; Maack, Martin; Skovgaard, Peter; Noordegraaf, Danny

    2011-01-31

    We demonstrate a novel imaging fiber bundle ("hexabundle") that is suitable for low-light applications in astronomy. The most successful survey instruments at optical-infrared wavelengths use hundreds to thousands of multimode fibers fed to one or more spectrographs. Since most celestial sources are spatially extended on the celestial sphere, a hexabundle provides spectroscopic information at many distinct locations across the source. We discuss two varieties of hexabundles: (i) lightly fused, closely packed, circular cores; (ii) heavily fused non-circular cores with higher fill fractions. In both cases, we find the important result that the cladding can be reduced to ~2 μm over the short fuse length, well below the conventional ~10λ thickness employed more generally, with a consequent gain in fill factor. Over the coming decade, it is to be expected that fiber-based instruments will be upgraded with hexabundles in order to increase the spatial multiplex capability by two or more orders of magnitude.

  10. "From Earth to the Universe": Update on the IYA2009 Worldwide Exhibition of Astronomical Images

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arcand, Kimberly; Watzke, M.

    2009-01-01

    The fantastic images of the Universe captured by ground and space-based telescopes are largely responsible for the magical appeal that astronomy has on lay people. "From Earth to the Universe” is an IYA 2009 cornerstone project that will bring astronomical images to a worldwide audience in a way that exposes the beauty of these images while also introducing the science behind them. The main target of these exhibitions is non-traditional venues such as public parks and gardens, art museums, metro stations, etc. that allow for large-scale prints to be displayed. This poster will provide an update on the status of the project for 2009.

  11. Astronomical image segmentation by self-organizing neural networks and wavelets.

    PubMed

    Núñez, Jorge; Llacer, Jorge

    2003-01-01

    Standard image segmentation methods may not be able to segment astronomical images because their special nature. We present an algorithm for astronomical image segmentation based on self-organizing neural networks and wavelets. We begin by performing wavelet decomposition of the image. The segmentation process has two steps. In the first we separate the stars and other prominent objects using the second plane (w(2)) of the wavelet decomposition, which has little noise but retains enough signal to represent those objects. This method was as least as effective as the traditional source extraction methods in isolating bright objects both from the background and from extended sources. In the second step the rest of the image (extended sources and background) is segmented using a self-organizing neural network. The result is a predetermined number of clusters, which we associate with extended regions plus a small region for each star or bright object. We have applied the algorithm to segment images of both galaxies and planets. The results show that the simultaneous use of all the scales in the self-organizing neural network helps the segmentation process, since it takes into account not only the intensity level, but also both the high and low frequencies present in the image. The connectivity of the regions obtained also shows that the algorithm is robust in the presence of noise. The method can also be applied to restored images.

  12. Advanced tools for astronomical time series and image analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scargle, Jeffrey D.

    The algorithms described here, which I have developed for applications in X-ray and γ-ray astronomy, will hopefully be of use in other ways, perhaps aiding in the exploration of modern astronomy's data cornucopia. The goal is to describe principled approaches to some ubiquitous problems, such as detection and characterization of periodic and aperiodic signals, estimation of time delays between multiple time series, and source detection in noisy images with noisy backgrounds. The latter problem is related to detection of clusters in data spaces of various dimensions. A goal of this work is to achieve a unifying view of several related topics: signal detection and characterization, cluster identification, classification, density estimation, and multivariate regression. In addition to being useful for analysis of data from space-based and ground-based missions, these algorithms may be a basis for a future automatic science discovery facility, and in turn provide analysis tools for the Virtual Observatory. This chapter has ties to those by Larry Bretthorst, Tom Loredo, Alanna Connors, Fionn Murtagh, Jim Berger, David van Dyk, Vicent Martinez & Enn Saar.

  13. Using Microsoft PowerPoint as an Astronomical Image Analysis Tool

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beck-Winchatz, Bernhard

    2006-12-01

    Engaging students in the analysis of authentic scientific data is an effective way to teach them about the scientific process and to develop their problem solving, teamwork and communication skills. In astronomy several image processing and analysis software tools have been developed for use in school environments. However, the practical implementation in the classroom is often difficult because the teachers may not have the comfort level with computers necessary to install and use these tools, they may not have adequate computer privileges and/or support, and they may not have the time to learn how to use specialized astronomy software. To address this problem, we have developed a set of activities in which students analyze astronomical images using basic tools provided in PowerPoint. These include measuring sizes, distances, and angles, and blinking images. In contrast to specialized software, PowerPoint is broadly available on school computers. Many teachers are already familiar with PowerPoint, and the skills developed while learning how to analyze astronomical images are highly transferable. We will discuss several practical examples of measurements, including the following: -Variations in the distances to the sun and moon from their angular sizes -Magnetic declination from images of shadows -Diameter of the moon from lunar eclipse images -Sizes of lunar craters -Orbital radii of the Jovian moons and mass of Jupiter -Supernova and comet searches -Expansion rate of the universe from images of distant galaxies

  14. Improving Resolution and Depth of Astronomical Observations via Modern Mathematical Methods for Image Analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Castellano, M.; Ottaviani, D.; Fontana, A.; Merlin, E.; Pilo, S.; Falcone, M.

    2015-09-01

    In the past years modern mathematical methods for image analysis have led to a revolution in many fields, from computer vision to scientific imaging. However, some recently developed image processing techniques successfully exploited by other sectors have been rarely, if ever, experimented on astronomical observations. We present here tests of two classes of variational image enhancement techniques: "structure-texture decomposition" and "super-resolution" showing that they are effective in improving the quality of observations. Structure-texture decomposition allows to recover faint sources previously hidden by the background noise, effectively increasing the depth of available observations. Super-resolution yields an higher-resolution and a better sampled image out of a set of low resolution frames, thus mitigating problematics in data analysis arising from the difference in resolution/sampling between different instruments, as in the case of EUCLID VIS and NIR imagers.

  15. ImageX: new and improved image explorer for astronomical images and beyond

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hayashi, Soichi; Gopu, Arvind; Kotulla, Ralf; Young, Michael D.

    2016-08-01

    The One Degree Imager - Portal, Pipeline, and Archive (ODI-PPA) has included the Image Explorer interactive image visualization tool since it went operational. Portal users were able to quickly open up several ODI images within any HTML5 capable web browser, adjust the scaling, apply color maps, and perform other basic image visualization steps typically done on a desktop client like DS9. However, the original design of the Image Explorer required lossless PNG tiles to be generated and stored for all raw and reduced ODI images thereby taking up tens of TB of spinning disk space even though a small fraction of those images were being accessed by portal users at any given time. It also caused significant overhead on the portal web application and the Apache webserver used by ODI-PPA. We found it hard to merge in improvements made to a similar deployment in another project's portal. To address these concerns, we re-architected Image Explorer from scratch and came up with ImageX, a set of microservices that are part of the IU Trident project software suite, with rapid interactive visualization capabilities useful for ODI data and beyond. We generate a full resolution JPEG image for each raw and reduced ODI FITS image before producing a JPG tileset, one that can be rendered using the ImageX frontend code at various locations as appropriate within a web portal (for example: on tabular image listings, views allowing quick perusal of a set of thumbnails or other image sifting activities). The new design has decreased spinning disk requirements, uses AngularJS for the client side Model/View code (instead of depending on backend PHP Model/View/Controller code previously used), OpenSeaDragon to render the tile images, and uses nginx and a lightweight NodeJS application to serve tile images thereby significantly decreasing the Time To First Byte latency by a few orders of magnitude. We plan to extend ImageX for non-FITS images including electron microscopy and radiology scan

  16. EMCCD calibration for astronomical imaging: Wide FastCam at the Telescopio Carlos Sánchez

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Velasco, S.; Oscoz, A.; López, R. L.; Puga, M.; Pérez-Garrido, A.; Pallé, E.; Ricci, D.; Ayuso, I.; Hernández-Sánchez, M.; Vázquez-Martín, S.; Protasio, C.; Béjar, V.; Truant, N.

    2017-03-01

    The evident benefits of Electron Multiplying CCDs (EMCCDs) -speed, high sensitivity, low noise and their capability of detecting single photon events whilst maintaining high quantum efficiency- are bringing these kinds of detectors to many state-of-the-art astronomical instruments (Velasco et al. 2016; Oscoz et al. 2008). The EMCCDs are the perfect answer to the need for great sensitivity levels as they are not limited by the readout noise of the output amplifier, while conventional CCDs are, even when operated at high readout frame rates. Here we present a quantitative on-sky method to calibrate EMCCD detectors dedicated to astronomical imaging, developed during the commissioning process (Velasco et al. 2016) and first observations (Ricci et al. 2016, in prep.) with Wide FastCam (Marga et al. 2014) at Telescopio Carlos Sánchez (TCS) in the Observatorio del Teide.

  17. Robust endoscopic pose estimation for intraoperative organ-mosaicking

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reichard, Daniel; Bodenstedt, Sebastian; Suwelack, Stefan; Wagner, Martin; Kenngott, Hannes; Müller-Stich, Beat Peter; Dillmann, Rüdiger; Speidel, Stefanie

    2016-03-01

    The number of minimally invasive procedures is growing every year. These procedures are highly complex and very demanding for the surgeons. It is therefore important to provide intraoperative assistance to alleviate these difficulties. For most computer-assistance systems, like visualizing target structures with augmented reality, a registration step is required to map preoperative data (e.g. CT images) to the ongoing intraoperative scene. Without additional hardware, the (stereo-) endoscope is the prime intraoperative data source and with it, stereo reconstruction methods can be used to obtain 3D models from target structures. To link reconstructed parts from different frames (mosaicking), the endoscope movement has to be known. In this paper, we present a camera tracking method that uses dense depth and feature registration which are combined with a Kalman Filter scheme. It provides a robust position estimation that shows promising results in ex vivo and in silico experiments.

  18. High speed, line-scanning, fiber bundle fluorescence confocal endomicroscopy for improved mosaicking

    PubMed Central

    Hughes, Michael; Yang, Guang-Zhong

    2015-01-01

    A significant limitation of fiber bundle endomicroscopy systems is that the field of view tends to be small, usually only several hundred micrometers in diameter. Image mosaicking techniques can increase the effective image size, but require careful manipulation of the probe to ensure sufficient overlap between adjacent frames. For confocal endomicroscopes, which typically have frame rates on the order of 10 fps, this is particularly challenging. In this paper we demonstrate that line-scanning confocal endomicroscopy can, by use of a high speed linear CCD camera, achieve a frame rate of 120 fps while maintaining sufficient resolution and signal-to-noise ratio to allow imaging of topically stained gastrointestinal tissues. This leads to improved performance of a cross-correlation based mosaicking algorithm when compared with lower frame-rate systems. PMID:25909008

  19. SGM-based seamline determination for urban orthophoto mosaicking

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pang, Shiyan; Sun, Mingwei; Hu, Xiangyun; Zhang, Zuxun

    2016-02-01

    Mosaicking is a key step in the production of digital orthophoto maps (DOMs), especially for large-scale urban orthophotos. During this step, manual intervention is commonly involved to avoid the case where the seamline crosses obvious objects (e.g., buildings), which causes geometric discontinuities on the DOMs. How to guide the seamline to avoid crossing obvious objects has become a popular topic in the field of photogrammetry and remote sensing. Thus, a new semi-global matching (SGM)-based method to guide seamline determination is proposed for urban orthophoto mosaicking in this study, which can greatly eliminate geometric discontinuities. The approximate epipolar geometry of the orthophoto pairs is first derived and proven, and the approximate epipolar image pair is then generated by rotating the two orthorectified images according to the parallax direction. A SGM algorithm is applied to their overlaps to obtain the corresponding pixel-wise disparity. According to a predefined disparity threshold, the overlap area is identified as the obstacle and non-obstacle areas. For the non-obstacle regions, Hilditch thinning algorithm is used to obtain the skeleton line, followed by Dijkstra's algorithm to search for the optimal path on the skeleton network as the seamline between two orthophotos. A whole seamline network is constructed based on the strip information recorded in flight. In the experimental section, the approximate epipolar geometric theory of the orthophoto is first analyzed and verified, and the effectiveness of the proposed method is then validated by comparing its results with the results of the geometry-based, OrthoVista, and orthoimage elevation synchronous model (OESM)-based methods.

  20. ComEst: A completeness estimator of source extraction on astronomical imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chiu, I.; Desai, S.; Liu, J.

    2016-07-01

    The completeness of source detection is critical for analyzing the photometric and spatial properties of the population of interest observed by astronomical imaging. We present a software package ComEst, which calculates the completeness of source detection on charge-coupled device (CCD) images of astronomical observations, especially for the optical and near-infrared (NIR) imaging of galaxies and point sources. The completeness estimator ComEst is designed for the source finder SExtractor used on the CCD images saved in the Flexible Image Transport System (FITS) format. Specifically, ComEst estimates the completeness of the source detection by deriving the detection rate of synthetic point sources and galaxies simulated on the observed CCD images. In order to capture any observational artifacts or noise properties while deriving the completeness, ComEst directly carries out the detection of simulated sources on the observed images. Given an observed CCD image saved in FITS format, ComEst derives the completeness of the source detection from end to end as a function of source flux (or magnitude) and CCD position. In addition, ComEst can also estimate the purity of the source detection by comparing the catalog of the detected sources to the input catalogs of the simulated sources. We run ComEst on the images from Blanco Cosmology Survey (BCS) and compare the derived completeness as a function of magnitude to the limiting magnitudes derived by using the Signal-to-Noise ratio (SNR) and number count histogram of the detected sources. ComEst is released as a Python package with an easy-to-use syntax and is publicly available at https://github.com/inonchiu/ComEst.

  1. Novel optical designs for consumer astronomical telescopes and their application to professional imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wise, Peter; Hodgson, Alan

    2006-06-01

    Since the launch of the Hubble Space Telescope there has been widespread popular interest in astronomy. A further series of events, most notably the recent Deep Impact mission and Mars oppositions have served to fuel further interest. As a result more and more amateurs are coming into astronomy as a practical hobby. At the same time more sophisticated optical equipment is becoming available as the price to performance ratio become more favourable. As a result larger and better optical telescopes are now in use by amateurs. We also have the explosive growth in digital imaging technologies. In addition to displacing photographic film as the preferred image capture modality it has made the capture of high quality astronomical imagery more accessible to a wider segment of the astronomy community. However, this customer requirement has also had an impact on telescope design. There has become a greater imperative for wide flat image fields in these telescopes to take advantage of the ongoing advances in CCD imaging technology. As a result of these market drivers designers of consumer astronomical telescopes are now producing state of the art designs that result in wide, flat fields with optimal spatial and chromatic aberrations. Whilst some of these designs are not scalable to the larger apertures required for professional ground and airborne telescope use there are some that are eminently suited to make this transition.

  2. Proper coaddition of astronomical images - One image that contains the information from all the images

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ofek, Eran; Zackay, Barak; Gal-Yam, Avishay

    2016-01-01

    We present image coaddition methods for source detection and flux measurement under both the background- and source-dominated noise regimes, that are optimized to achieve the highest possible signal-to-noise ratio (S/N). We also derive a coaddition method, which provides a sufficient statistic for any further signal processing of the data, such as source detection, star/galaxy separation or shape measurements, in the background-noise dominated case. This means that any hypothesis testing or measurement that can be done on all the individual images simultaneously, can be equivalently performed on the coadded image without any loss of information, leading to significant reduction in data storage and transmission requirements. In addition, our method produces an image with a PSF which is typically narrower than that of the highest quality image in the original ensemble, and its noise is Gaussian white noise. For seeing-limited surveys, we argue thatby using these methods an increase of between a few percents to 20% in survey speed is possible relative to simple weighted coaddition techniques. We demonstrate this claim using simulated data as well as data from the Palomar Transient Factory data release 2. This method has important implications for multi-epoch seeing-limited deep surveys, weak lensing, galaxy shape measurements, and diffraction-limited imaging via speckle observations.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-12-01

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

  4. "From Earth to the Universe": Bringing An Exhibition of Astronomical Images To Your Backyard

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arcand, Kimberly; Watzke, M.

    2008-05-01

    The fantastic images of the Universe captured by ground and space-based telescopes are largely responsible for the magical appeal that astronomy has on lay people. "From Earth to the Universe" is an IYA 2009 cornerstone project that will bring astronomical images to a worldwide audience in a way that exposes the beauty of these images while also introducing the science behind them. The main target of these exhibitions is non-traditional venues such as public parks and gardens, art museums, metro stations, etc. that allow for large-scale prints to be displayed. This talk will cover the plans to implement this project, including the details on a prototype exhibition slated for June 2008 in Liverpool, England.

  5. SIMULATION OF ASTRONOMICAL IMAGES FROM OPTICAL SURVEY TELESCOPES USING A COMPREHENSIVE PHOTON MONTE CARLO APPROACH

    SciTech Connect

    Peterson, J. R.; Peng, E.; Ahmad, Z.; Bankert, J.; Grace, E.; Hannel, M.; Hodge, M.; Lorenz, S.; Lupu, A.; Meert, A.; Nagarajan, S.; Todd, N.; Winans, A.; Young, M.; Jernigan, J. G.; Kahn, S. M.; Rasmussen, A. P.; Chang, C.; Gilmore, D. K.; Claver, C.

    2015-05-15

    We present a comprehensive methodology for the simulation of astronomical images from optical survey telescopes. We use a photon Monte Carlo approach to construct images by sampling photons from models of astronomical source populations, and then simulating those photons through the system as they interact with the atmosphere, telescope, and camera. We demonstrate that all physical effects for optical light that determine the shapes, locations, and brightnesses of individual stars and galaxies can be accurately represented in this formalism. By using large scale grid computing, modern processors, and an efficient implementation that can produce 400,000 photons s{sup −1}, we demonstrate that even very large optical surveys can be now be simulated. We demonstrate that we are able to (1) construct kilometer scale phase screens necessary for wide-field telescopes, (2) reproduce atmospheric point-spread function moments using a fast novel hybrid geometric/Fourier technique for non-diffraction limited telescopes, (3) accurately reproduce the expected spot diagrams for complex aspheric optical designs, and (4) recover system effective area predicted from analytic photometry integrals. This new code, the Photon Simulator (PhoSim), is publicly available. We have implemented the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope design, and it can be extended to other telescopes. We expect that because of the comprehensive physics implemented in PhoSim, it will be used by the community to plan future observations, interpret detailed existing observations, and quantify systematics related to various astronomical measurements. Future development and validation by comparisons with real data will continue to improve the fidelity and usability of the code.

  6. Simulation of Astronomical Images from Optical Survey Telescopes Using a Comprehensive Photon Monte Carlo Approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peterson, J. R.; Jernigan, J. G.; Kahn, S. M.; Rasmussen, A. P.; Peng, E.; Ahmad, Z.; Bankert, J.; Chang, C.; Claver, C.; Gilmore, D. K.; Grace, E.; Hannel, M.; Hodge, M.; Lorenz, S.; Lupu, A.; Meert, A.; Nagarajan, S.; Todd, N.; Winans, A.; Young, M.

    2015-05-01

    We present a comprehensive methodology for the simulation of astronomical images from optical survey telescopes. We use a photon Monte Carlo approach to construct images by sampling photons from models of astronomical source populations, and then simulating those photons through the system as they interact with the atmosphere, telescope, and camera. We demonstrate that all physical effects for optical light that determine the shapes, locations, and brightnesses of individual stars and galaxies can be accurately represented in this formalism. By using large scale grid computing, modern processors, and an efficient implementation that can produce 400,000 photons s-1, we demonstrate that even very large optical surveys can be now be simulated. We demonstrate that we are able to (1) construct kilometer scale phase screens necessary for wide-field telescopes, (2) reproduce atmospheric point-spread function moments using a fast novel hybrid geometric/Fourier technique for non-diffraction limited telescopes, (3) accurately reproduce the expected spot diagrams for complex aspheric optical designs, and (4) recover system effective area predicted from analytic photometry integrals. This new code, the Photon Simulator (PhoSim), is publicly available. We have implemented the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope design, and it can be extended to other telescopes. We expect that because of the comprehensive physics implemented in PhoSim, it will be used by the community to plan future observations, interpret detailed existing observations, and quantify systematics related to various astronomical measurements. Future development and validation by comparisons with real data will continue to improve the fidelity and usability of the code.

  7. Profile Detection in Medical and Astronomical Images by Means of the Hough Transform of Special Classes of Curves

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Massone, A. M.; Perasso, A.; Campi, C.; Beltrametti, M. C.

    2015-02-01

    We develop a formal procedure for the automated recognition of rational and elliptic curves in medical and astronomical images. The procedure is based on the extension of the Hough transform concept to the definition of Hough transform of special classes of algebraic curves. We first introduce a catalogue of curves that satisfy the conditions to be automatically extracted from an image and the recognition algorithm, then we illustrate the power of this method to identify skeleton profiles in clinical X-ray tomography maps and front ends of solar eruptions in astronomical images provided by the NASA solar dynamics observatory satellite.

  8. High Resolution Imaging of Satellites with Ground-Based 10-m Astronomical Telescopes

    SciTech Connect

    Marois, C

    2007-01-04

    High resolution imaging of artificial satellites can play an important role in current and future space endeavors. One such use is acquiring detailed images that can be used to identify or confirm damage and aid repair plans. It is shown that a 10-m astronomical telescope equipped with an adaptive optics system (AO) to correct for atmospheric turbulence using a natural guide star can acquire high resolution images of satellites in low-orbits using a fast shutter and a near-infrared camera even if the telescope is not capable of tracking satellites. With the telescope pointing towards the satellite projected orbit and less than 30 arcsec away from a guide star, multiple images of the satellite are acquired on the detector using the fast shutter. Images can then be shifted and coadded by post processing to increase the satellite signal to noise ratio. Using the Keck telescope typical Strehl ratio and anisoplanatism angle as well as a simple diffusion/reflection model for a satellite 400 km away observed near Zenith at sunset or sunrise, it is expected that such system will produced > 10{sigma} K-band images at a resolution of 10 cm inside a 60 arcsec diameter field of view. If implemented, such camera could deliver the highest resolution satellite images ever acquired from the ground.

  9. Mosaicking Mexico - the Big Picture of Big Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hruby, F.; Melamed, S.; Ressl, R.; Stanley, D.

    2016-06-01

    The project presented in this article is to create a completely seamless and cloud-free mosaic of Mexico at a resolution of 5m, using approximately 4,500 RapidEye images. To complete this project in a timely manner and with limited operators, a number of processing architectures were required to handle a data volume of 12 terabytes. This paper will discuss the different operations realized to complete this project, which include, preprocessing, mosaic generation and post mosaic editing. Prior to mosaic generation, it was necessary to filter the 50,000 RapidEye images captured over Mexico between 2011 and 2014 to identify the top candidate images, based on season and cloud cover. Upon selecting the top candidate images, PCI Geomatics' GXL system was used to reproject, color balance and generate seamlines for the output 1TB+ mosaic. This paper will also discuss innovative techniques used by the GXL for color balancing large volumes of imagery with substantial radiometric differences. Furthermore, post-mosaicking steps, such as, exposure correction, cloud and cloud shadow elimination will be presented.

  10. A 58 x 62 pixel Si:Ga array camera for 5 - 14 micron astronomical imaging

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gezari, D. Y.; Folz, W. C.; Woods, L. A.; Wooldridge, J. B.

    1989-01-01

    A new infrared array camera system has been successfully applied to high background 5 - 14 micron astronomical imaging photometry observations, using a hybrid 58 x 62 pixel Si:Ga array detector. The off-axis reflective optical design incorporating a parabolic camera mirror, circular variable filter wheel, and cold aperture stop produces diffraction-limited images with negligible spatial distortion and minimum thermal background loading. The camera electronic system architecture is divided into three subsystems: (1) high-speed analog front end, including 2-channel preamp module, array address timing generator, bias power suppies, (2) two 16 bit, 3 microsec per conversion A/D converters interfaced to an arithmetic array processor, and (3) an LSI 11/73 camera control and data analysis computer. The background-limited observational noise performance of the camera at the NASA/IRTF telescope is NEFD (1 sigma) = 0.05 Jy/pixel min exp 1/2.

  11. Real-time unmanned aircraft systems surveillance video mosaicking using GPU

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Camargo, Aldo; Anderson, Kyle; Wang, Yi; Schultz, Richard R.; Fevig, Ronald A.

    2010-04-01

    Digital video mosaicking from Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) is being used for many military and civilian applications, including surveillance, target recognition, border protection, forest fire monitoring, traffic control on highways, monitoring of transmission lines, among others. Additionally, NASA is using digital video mosaicking to explore the moon and planets such as Mars. In order to compute a "good" mosaic from video captured by a UAS, the algorithm must deal with motion blur, frame-to-frame jitter associated with an imperfectly stabilized platform, perspective changes as the camera tilts in flight, as well as a number of other factors. The most suitable algorithms use SIFT (Scale-Invariant Feature Transform) to detect the features consistent between video frames. Utilizing these features, the next step is to estimate the homography between two consecutives video frames, perform warping to properly register the image data, and finally blend the video frames resulting in a seamless video mosaick. All this processing takes a great deal of resources of resources from the CPU, so it is almost impossible to compute a real time video mosaic on a single processor. Modern graphics processing units (GPUs) offer computational performance that far exceeds current CPU technology, allowing for real-time operation. This paper presents the development of a GPU-accelerated digital video mosaicking implementation and compares it with CPU performance. Our tests are based on two sets of real video captured by a small UAS aircraft; one video comes from Infrared (IR) and Electro-Optical (EO) cameras. Our results show that we can obtain a speed-up of more than 50 times using GPU technology, so real-time operation at a video capture of 30 frames per second is feasible.

  12. Automated Mosaicking of Multiple 3d Point Clouds Generated from a Depth Camera

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, H.; Yoon, W.; Kim, T.

    2016-06-01

    In this paper, we propose a method for automated mosaicking of multiple 3D point clouds generated from a depth camera. A depth camera generates depth data by using ToF (Time of Flight) method and intensity data by using intensity of returned signal. The depth camera used in this paper was a SR4000 from MESA Imaging. This camera generates a depth map and intensity map of 176 x 44 pixels. Generated depth map saves physical depth data with mm of precision. Generated intensity map contains texture data with many noises. We used texture maps for extracting tiepoints and depth maps for assigning z coordinates to tiepoints and point cloud mosaicking. There are four steps in the proposed mosaicking method. In the first step, we acquired multiple 3D point clouds by rotating depth camera and capturing data per rotation. In the second step, we estimated 3D-3D transformation relationships between subsequent point clouds. For this, 2D tiepoints were extracted automatically from the corresponding two intensity maps. They were converted into 3D tiepoints using depth maps. We used a 3D similarity transformation model for estimating the 3D-3D transformation relationships. In the third step, we converted local 3D-3D transformations into a global transformation for all point clouds with respect to a reference one. In the last step, the extent of single depth map mosaic was calculated and depth values per mosaic pixel were determined by a ray tracing method. For experiments, 8 depth maps and intensity maps were used. After the four steps, an output mosaicked depth map of 454x144 was generated. It is expected that the proposed method would be useful for developing an effective 3D indoor mapping method in future.

  13. Facing "the Curse of Dimensionality": Image Fusion and Nonlinear Dimensionality Reduction for Advanced Data Mining and Visualization of Astronomical Images

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pesenson, Meyer; Pesenson, I. Z.; McCollum, B.

    2009-05-01

    The complexity of multitemporal/multispectral astronomical data sets together with the approaching petascale of such datasets and large astronomical surveys require automated or semi-automated methods for knowledge discovery. Traditional statistical methods of analysis may break down not only because of the amount of data, but mostly because of the increase of the dimensionality of data. Image fusion (combining information from multiple sensors in order to create a composite enhanced image) and dimension reduction (finding lower-dimensional representation of high-dimensional data) are effective approaches to "the curse of dimensionality,” thus facilitating automated feature selection, classification and data segmentation. Dimension reduction methods greatly increase computational efficiency of machine learning algorithms, improve statistical inference and together with image fusion enable effective scientific visualization (as opposed to mere illustrative visualization). The main approach of this work utilizes recent advances in multidimensional image processing, as well as representation of essential structure of a data set in terms of its fundamental eigenfunctions, which are used as an orthonormal basis for the data visualization and analysis. We consider multidimensional data sets and images as manifolds or combinatorial graphs and construct variational splines that minimize certain Sobolev norms. These splines allow us to reconstruct the eigenfunctions of the combinatorial Laplace operator by using only a small portion of the graph. We use the first two or three eigenfunctions for embedding large data sets into two- or three-dimensional Euclidean space. Such reduced data sets allow efficient data organization, retrieval, analysis and visualization. We demonstrate applications of the algorithms to test cases from the Spitzer Space Telescope. This work was carried out with funding from the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency University Research Initiative

  14. COBE Astronomical Databases

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Freedman, I.; Raugh, A. C.; Cheng, E. S.

    A project to store and convert external astronomical survey maps to the Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE) spacecraft pixelization is described. Established software is reused in order to reduce development costs. The proposed packages and systems include the Image Reduction and Analysis Facility (IRAF), Interactive Data Language Astronomy Library (IDL), the FITSIO data transfer package and the Astronomical Image Processing System (AIPS). The software structure of the astronomical databases, projected conversion schemes, quality assurance procedures and outstanding problems will be discussed.

  15. SAOImage DS9: A utility for displaying astronomical images in the X11 window environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory

    2000-03-01

    SAOImage DS9 is an astronomical imaging and data visualization application. DS9 supports FITS images and binary tables, multiple frame buffers, region manipulation, and many scale algorithms and colormaps. It provides for easy communication with external analysis tasks and is highly configurable and extensible via XPA and SAMP. DS9 is a stand-alone application. It requires no installation or support files. Versions of DS9 currently exist for Solaris, Linux, MacOSX, and Windows. All versions and platforms support a consistent set of GUI and functional capabilities. DS9 supports advanced features such as multiple frame buffers, mosaic images, tiling, blinking, geometric markers, colormap manipulation, scaling, arbitrary zoom, rotation, pan, and a variety of coordinate systems. DS9 also supports FTP and HTTP access. The GUI for DS9 is user configurable. GUI elements such as the coordinate display, panner, magnifier, horizontal and vertical graphs, button bar, and colorbar can be configured via menus or the command line. DS9 is a Tk/Tcl application which utilizes the SAOTk widget set. It also incorporates the X Public Access (XPA) mechanism to allow external processes to access and control its data, GUI functions, and algorithms.

  16. Astronomical image denoising by means of improved adaptive backtracking-based matching pursuit algorithm.

    PubMed

    Liu, Qianshun; Bai, Jian; Yu, Feihong

    2014-11-10

    In an effort to improve compressive sensing and spare signal reconstruction by way of the backtracking-based adaptive orthogonal matching pursuit (BAOMP), a new sparse coding algorithm called improved adaptive backtracking-based OMP (ABOMP) is proposed in this study. Many aspects have been improved compared to the original BAOMP method, including replacing the fixed threshold with an adaptive one, adding residual feedback and support set verification, and others. Because of these ameliorations, the proposed algorithm can more precisely choose the atoms. By adding the adaptive step-size mechanism, it requires much less iteration and thus executes more efficiently. Additionally, a simple but effective contrast enhancement method is also adopted to further improve the denoising results and visual effect. By combining the IABOMP algorithm with the state-of-art dictionary learning algorithm K-SVD, the proposed algorithm achieves better denoising effects for astronomical images. Numerous experimental results show that the proposed algorithm performs successfully and effectively on Gaussian and Poisson noise removal.

  17. AMICA: The First camera for Near- and Mid-Infrared Astronomical Imaging at Dome C

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Straniero, O.; Dolci, M.; Valentini, A.; Valentini, G.; di Rico, G.; Ragni, M.; Giuliani, C.; di Cianno, A.; di Varano, I.; Corcione, L.; Bortoletto, F.; D'Alessandro, M.; Magrin, D.; Bonoli, C.; Giro, E.; Fantinel, D.; Zerbi, F. M.; Riva, A.; de Caprio, V.; Molinari, E.; Conconi, P.; Busso, M.; Tosti, G.; Abia, C. A.

    AMICA (Antarctic Multiband Infrared CAmera) is an instrument designed to perform astronomical imaging in the near- (1{-}5 μm) and mid- (5 27 μm) infrared wavelength regions. Equipped with two detectors, an InSb 2562 and a Si:As 1282 IBC, cooled at 35 and 7 K respectively, it will be the first instrument to investigate the potential of the Italian-French base Concordia for IR astronomy. The main technical challenge is represented by the extreme conditions of Dome C (T ˜ -90 °C, p ˜640 mbar). An environmental control system ensures the correct start-up, shut-down and housekeeping of the various components of the camera. AMICA will be mounted on the IRAIT telescope and will perform survey-mode observations in the Southern sky. The first task is to provide important site-quality data. Substantial contributions to the solution of fundamental astrophysical quests, such as those related to late phases of stellar evolution and to star formation processes, are also expected.

  18. Hierarchical progressive surveys. Multi-resolution HEALPix data structures for astronomical images, catalogues, and 3-dimensional data cubes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fernique, P.; Allen, M. G.; Boch, T.; Oberto, A.; Pineau, F.-X.; Durand, D.; Bot, C.; Cambrésy, L.; Derriere, S.; Genova, F.; Bonnarel, F.

    2015-06-01

    Context. Scientific exploitation of the ever increasing volumes of astronomical data requires efficient and practical methods for data access, visualisation, and analysis. Hierarchical sky tessellation techniques enable a multi-resolution approach to organising data on angular scales from the full sky down to the individual image pixels. Aims: We aim to show that the hierarchical progressive survey (HiPS) scheme for describing astronomical images, source catalogues, and three-dimensional data cubes is a practical solution to managing large volumes of heterogeneous data and that it enables a new level of scientific interoperability across large collections of data of these different data types. Methods: HiPS uses the HEALPix tessellation of the sphere to define a hierarchical tile and pixel structure to describe and organise astronomical data. HiPS is designed to conserve the scientific properties of the data alongside both visualisation considerations and emphasis on the ease of implementation. We describe the development of HiPS to manage a large number of diverse image surveys, as well as the extension of hierarchical image systems to cube and catalogue data. We demonstrate the interoperability of HiPS and multi-order coverage (MOC) maps and highlight the HiPS mechanism to provide links to the original data. Results: Hierarchical progressive surveys have been generated by various data centres and groups for ˜200 data collections including many wide area sky surveys, and archives of pointed observations. These can be accessed and visualised in Aladin, Aladin Lite, and other applications. HiPS provides a basis for further innovations in the use of hierarchical data structures to facilitate the description and statistical analysis of large astronomical data sets.

  19. Astronomical Equipment for Amateurs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mobberley, Martin

    Telescopes - refractors and reflectors - are the main items of equipment used by almost every amateur astronomer. The purpose of astronomical telescopes is to collect and focus more light than the human eye can, forming an image that can be viewed, photographed, or analysed. Astronomical Equipment for Amateurs makes buying and using both telescopes and their ancillary instruments easy for astronomers of all abilities. It begins by looking at the advantages and disadvantages of the basic types of refractors, reflectors, mountings and accessories. Observation techniques are also included, along with the use of filters, (colour, anti-pollution and nebula), types of photography (piggy-back, prime focus and eyepiece projection), and also CCD imaging (including types of CCD camera and their advantages and disadvantages compared to photography). Martin Mobberley provides a fascinating insight into astronomical software.

  20. The Astronomical League

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2000-10-01

    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.

  1. Optimized graph-based mosaicking for virtual microscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steckhan, Dirk G.; Wittenberg, Thomas

    2009-02-01

    Virtual microscopy has the potential to partially replace traditional microscopy. For virtualization, the slide is scanned once by a fully automatized robotic microscope and saved digitally. Typically, such a scan results in several hundreds to thousands of fields of view. Since robotic stages have positioning errors, these fields of view have to be registered locally and globally in an additional step. In this work we propose a new global mosaicking method for the creation of virtual slides based on sub-pixel exact phase correlation for local alignment in combination with Prim's minimum spanning tree algorithm for global alignment. Our algorithm allows for a robust reproduction of the original slide even in the presence of views with little to no information content. This makes it especially suitable for the mosaicking of cervical smears. These smears often exhibit large empty areas, which do not contain enough information for common stitching approaches.

  2. Reconstructing color images of astronomical objects using black and white spectroscopic emulsions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dufour, R. I.; Martins, D. H.

    1976-01-01

    A color photograph of the peculiar elliptical galaxy NGC 5128 (Centaurus A) has been reconstructed from three Kodak 103a emulsion type photographs by projecting positives of the three B&W plates through appropriate filters onto a conventional color film. The resulting photograph shows color balance and latitude characteristics superior to color photographs of similar astronomical objects made with commercially available conventional color film. Similar results have been obtained for color reconstructed photographs of the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds. These and other results suggest that these projection-reconstruction techniques can be used to obtain high-quality color photographs of astronomical objects which overcome many of the problems associated with the use of conventional color film for the long exposures required in astronomy.

  3. Astronomical observatories

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ponomarev, D. N.

    1983-01-01

    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.

  4. Astronomical masers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Elitzur, Moshe

    1992-01-01

    Recent research related to astronomical masers is reviewed. First, attention is given to phenomenology, including observations and modeling of galactic and extragalactic maser sources. The discussion then focuses on the developments concerning the physical properties of maser radiation. Finally, the use of masers as general tools for the study of astronomical environments where the radiation is produced and where it propagates, is discussed.

  5. Real-time visual mosaicking and navigation on the seafloor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Richmond, Kristof

    -reckoned navigation information in a framework allowing the creation and updating of large, locally consistent mosaics. These mosaics are used as maps in which the vehicle can navigate and localize itself with respect to points in the environment. The system achieves real-time performance in several ways. First, wherever possible, direct sensing of motion parameters is used in place of extracting them from visual data. Second, trajectories are chosen to enable a hierarchical search for side-to-side links which limits the amount of searching performed without sacrificing robustness. Finally, the map estimation is formulated as a sparse, linear information filter allowing rapid updating of large maps. The visual navigation enabled by the work in this thesis represents a new capability for remotely operated vehicles, and an enabling capability for a new generation of autonomous vehicles which explore and interact with remote, unknown and unstructured underwater environments. The real-time mosaic can be used on current tethered vehicles to create pilot aids and provide a vehicle user with situational awareness of the local environment and the position of the vehicle within it. For autonomous vehicles, the visual navigation system enables precise environment-relative positioning and mapping, without requiring external navigation systems, opening the way for ever-expanding autonomous exploration capabilities. The utility of this system was demonstrated in the field at sites of scientific interest using the ROVs Ventana and Tiburon operated by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute. A number of sites in and around Monterey Bay, California were mosaicked using the system, culminating in a complete imaging of the wreck site of the USS Macon , where real-time visual mosaics containing thousands of images were generated while navigating using only sensor systems on board the vehicle.

  6. Blind Astronomers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hockey, Thomas A.

    2011-01-01

    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.

  7. The Astronomers' Data Manifesto

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Norris, R. P.

    2006-08-01

    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.

  8. Application of digital computer techniques to rectification and enhancement of astronomical images

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Danielson, R. E.

    1974-01-01

    An image processing program is reported to analyze the high resolution images obtained by the balloon borne 36 in. diameter stratoscope 2 telescope. A film recording device is described which is capable of converting numerical data from the computer into photographic images.

  9. Astronomical kaleidoscope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gaina, Alex

    2005-10-01

    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.

  10. Astronomical Microdensitometry Conference

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Klinglesmith, D. A. (Editor)

    1984-01-01

    The status of the current microdensitometers used for digitizing astronomical imagery is discussed. The tests and improvements that have and can be made to the Photometric Data System PDS microdensitometer are examined. The various types of microdensitometers that currently exist in the world are investigated. Papers are presented on the future needs and the data processing problems associated with digitizing large images.

  11. The interactive astronomical data analysis facility - image enhancement techniques to Comet Halley

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kinglesmith, D. A., III

    1981-01-01

    PDP 11/40 computer is at the heart of a general purpose interactive data analysis facility designed to permit easy access to data in both visual imagery and graphic representations. The major components consist of: the 11/40 CPU and 256 K bytes of 16-bit memory; two TU10 tape drives; 20 million bytes of disk storage; three user terminals; and the COMTAL image processing display system. The application of image enhancement techniques to two sequences of photographs of Comet Halley taken in Egypt in 1910 provides evidence for eruptions from the comet's nucleus.

  12. The interactive astronomical data analysis facility - image enhancement techniques to Comet Halley

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klinglesmith, D. A.

    1981-10-01

    PDP 11/40 computer is at the heart of a general purpose interactive data analysis facility designed to permit easy access to data in both visual imagery and graphic representations. The major components consist of: the 11/40 CPU and 256 K bytes of 16-bit memory; two TU10 tape drives; 20 million bytes of disk storage; three user terminals; and the COMTAL image processing display system. The application of image enhancement techniques to two sequences of photographs of Comet Halley taken in Egypt in 1910 provides evidence for eruptions from the comet's nucleus.

  13. Using vector building maps to aid in generating seams for low-attitude aerial orthoimage mosaicking: Advantages in avoiding the crossing of buildings

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Dongliang; Cao, Wei; Xin, Xiaoping; Shao, Quanqin; Brolly, Matthew; Xiao, Jianhua; Wan, Youchuan; Zhang, Yongjun

    2017-03-01

    A novel seam detection approach based on vector building maps is presented for low-attitude aerial orthoimage mosaicking. The approach tracks the centerlines between vector buildings to generate the candidate seams that avoid crossing buildings existing in maps. The candidate seams are then refined by considering their surrounding pixels to minimize the visual transition between the images to be mosaicked. After the refinement of the candidate seams, the final seams further bypass most of the buildings that are not updated into vector maps. Finally, three groups of aerial imagery from different urban densities are employed to test the proposed approach. The experimental results illustrate the advantages of the proposed approach in avoiding the crossing of buildings. The computational efficiency of the proposed approach is also significantly higher than that of Dijkstra's algorithm.

  14. D Hyperspectral Frame Imager Camera Data in Photogrammetric Mosaicking

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mäkeläinen, A.; Saari, H.; Hippi, I.; Sarkeala, J.; Soukkamäki, J.

    2013-08-01

    A new 2D hyperspectral frame camera system has been developed by VTT (Technical Research Center of Finland) and Rikola Ltd. It contains frame based and very light camera with RGB-NIR sensor and it is suitable for light weight and cost effective UAV planes. MosaicMill Ltd. has converted the camera data into proper format for photogrammetric processing, and camera's geometrical accuracy and stability are evaluated to guarantee required accuracies for end user applications. MosaicMill Ltd. has also applied its' EnsoMOSAIC technology to process hyperspectral data into orthomosaics. This article describes the main steps and results on applying hyperspectral sensor in orthomosaicking. The most promising results as well as challenges in agriculture and forestry are also described.

  15. Super-Drizzle: Applications of Adaptive Kernel Regression in Astronomical Imaging

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2006-01-01

    and reconstruction. In contrast to the parametric methods, which rely on a specific model of the signal of interest, non-parametric methods rely on...the data itself to dictate the structure of the model , in which case this implicit model is referred to as a regression function. We promote the use...takes advantage of a generic model that is appropriate for reconstructing images contam- inated with different noise models , including additive Gaussian

  16. Station-Keeping Requirements for Astronomical Imaging with Constellations of Free-Flying Collectors

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Allen, Ronald J.

    2004-01-01

    The requirements on station-keeping for constellations of free-flying collectors coupled as (future) imaging arrays in space for astrophysics applications are discussed. The typical knowledge precision required in the plane of the array depends on the angular size of the targets of interest; it is generally at a level of tens of centimeters for typical stellar targets, becoming of order centimeters only for the widest attainable fields of view. In the "piston" direction, perpendicular to the array, the typical knowledge precision required depends on the bandwidth of the signal, and is at a level of tens of wavelengths for narrow approx. 1% signal bands, becoming of order one wavelength only for the broadest bandwidths expected to be useful. The significance of this result is that, at this level of precision, it may be possible to provide the necessary knowledge of array geometry without the use of signal photons, thereby allowing observations of faint targets. "Closure-phase" imaging is a technique which has been very successfully applied to surmount instabilities owing to equipment and to the atmosphere, and which appears to be directly applicable to space imaging arrays where station-keeping drifts play the same role as (slow) atmospheric and equipment instabilities.

  17. Digital display of astronomical data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grandi, S. A.

    1982-08-01

    A brief summary is given of techniques to enhance for photographic display digital astronomical images. The phenomenon of photographic deresolution is discussed and a proposed algorithm, the highpass squared filter, is presented to correct for this effect.

  18. Advanced Photon Counting Imaging Detectors with 100ps Timing for Astronomical and Space Sensing Applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Siegmund, O.; Vallerga, J.; Welsh, B.; Rabin, M.; Bloch, J.

    In recent years EAG has implemented a variety of high-resolution, large format, photon-counting MCP detectors in space instrumentation for satellite FUSE, GALEX, IMAGE, SOHO, HST-COS, rocket, and shuttle payloads. Our scheme of choice has been delay line readouts encoding photon event position centroids, by determination of the difference in arrival time of the event charge at the two ends of a distributed resistive-capacitive (RC) delay line. Our most commonly used delay line configuration is the cross delay line (XDL). In its simplest form the delay-line encoding electronics consists of a fast amplifier for each end of the delay line, followed by time-to-digital converters (TDC's). We have achieved resolutions of < 25 μm in tests over 65 mm x 65 mm (3k x3k resolution elements) with excellent linearity. Using high speed TDC's, we have been able to encode event positions for random photon rates of ~1 MHz, while time tagging events using the MCP output signal to better than 100 ps. The unique ability to record photon X,Y,T high fidelity information has advantages over "frame driven" recording devices for some important applications. For example we have built open face and sealed tube cross delay line detectors used for biological fluorescence lifetime imaging, observation of flare stars, orbital satellites and space debris with the GALEX satellite, and time resolved imaging of the Crab Pulsar with a telescope as small as 1m. Although microchannel plate delay line detectors meet many of the imaging and timing demands of various applications, they have limitations. The relatively high gain (107) reduces lifetime and local counting rate, and the fixed delay (10's of ns) makes multiple simultaneous event recording problematic. To overcome these limitations we have begun development of cross strip readout anodes for microchannel plate detectors. The cross strip (XS) anode is a coarse (~0.5 mm) multi-layer metal and ceramic pattern of crossed fingers on an alumina

  19. Astronomical photometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Henden, Arne A.; Kaitchuck, Ronald H.

    A handbook of astronomical photometry is presented in a format amenable to both professional and amateur use. The fundamental equipment, procedures, theory, and applications of photometry are described. Photometric systems such as the UBV, M-K, and Stromgren classification methods are explained, together with statistical treatments of photometric data. Data reduction techniques and applications in air-mass calculations, the determination of first-order extinction, and for computing zero-point values are defined. Baseline standards such as solar, universal,and sidereal time, and dating methods are provided. Instructions for constructing photometer heads are given, and the operational principles and techniques for using pulse-counting and dc electronics are explored. Finally, observational techniques and applications of photoelectric photometry are suggested and targets are indicated. A review is also offered of the theoretical basis and computational tools involved in the science of astronomical photometry.

  20. Phase closure retrieval in an infrared-to-visible upconversion interferometer for high resolution astronomical imaging.

    PubMed

    Ceus, Damien; Tonello, Alessandro; Grossard, Ludovic; Delage, Laurent; Reynaud, François; Herrmann, Harald; Sohler, Wolfgang

    2011-04-25

    This paper demonstrates the use of a nonlinear upconversion process to observe an infrared source through a telescope array detecting the interferometric signal in the visible domain. We experimentally demonstrate the possibility to retrieve information on the phase of the object spectrum of an infrared source by using a three-arm upconversion interferometer. We focus our study on the acquisition of phase information of the complex visibility by means of the phase closure technique. In our experimental demonstration, a laboratory binary star with an adjustable photometric ratio is used as a test source. A real time comparison between a standard three-arm interferometer and our new concept using upconversion by sum-frequency generation demonstrates the preservation of phase information which is essential for image reconstruction.

  1. Distributed Read-out Imaging Device array for astronomical observations in UV/VIS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hijmering, Richard A.

    2009-12-01

    STJ (Superconducting Tunneling Junctions) are being developed as spectro-photometers in wavelengths ranging from the NIR to X-rays. 10x12 arrays of STJs have already been successfully used as optical imaging spectrometers with the S-Cam 3, on the William Hershel Telescope on La Palma and on the Optical Ground Station on Tenerife. To overcome the limited field of view which can be achieved with single STJ arrays, DROIDS (Distributed Read Out Imaging Devices) are being developed which produce next to energy and timing also produce positional information with each detector element. These DROIDS consist of a superconducting absorber strip with proximized STJs on either end. The STJs are a Ta/Al/AlOx/Al/Ta 100/30/1/30/100nm sandwich of which the bottom electrode Ta layer is one with the 100nm thick absorber layer. The ratio of the two signals from the STJs provides information on the absorption position and the sum signal is a measure for the energy of the absorbed photon. In this thesis we present different important processes which are involved with the detection of optical photons using DROIDs. This includes the spatial and spectral resolution, confinement of the quasiparticles in the proximized STJs to enhance tunnelling and quasiparticle creation resulting from absorption of a photon in the proximized STJ. We have combined our findings in the development of a 2D theoretical model which describes the diffusion of quasiparticles and imperfect confinement via exchange of quasiparticles between the absorber and STJ. Finally we will present some of the first results obtained with an array of 60 360x33.5 μm2 DROIDs in 3x20 format.

  2. ICPES analyses using full image spectra and astronomical data fitting algorithms to provide diagnostic and result information

    SciTech Connect

    Spencer, W.A.; Goode, S.R.

    1997-10-01

    ICP emission analyses are prone to errors due to changes in power level, nebulization rate, plasma temperature, and sample matrix. As a result, accurate analyses of complex samples often require frequent bracketing with matrix matched standards. Information needed to track and correct the matrix errors is contained in the emission spectrum. But most commercial software packages use only the analyte line emission to determine concentrations. Changes in plasma temperature and the nebulization rate are reflected by changes in the hydrogen line widths, the oxygen emission, and neutral ion line ratios. Argon and off-line emissions provide a measure to correct the power level and the background scattering occurring in the polychromator. The authors` studies indicated that changes in the intensity of the Ar 404.4 nm line readily flag most matrix and plasma condition modifications. Carbon lines can be used to monitor the impact of organics on the analyses and calcium and argon lines can be used to correct for spectral drift and alignment. Spectra of contaminated groundwater and simulated defense waste glasses were obtained using a Thermo Jarrell Ash ICP that has an echelle CID detector system covering the 190-850 nm range. The echelle images were translated to the FITS data format, which astronomers recommend for data storage. Data reduction packages such as those in the ESO-MIDAS/ECHELLE and DAOPHOT programs were tried with limited success. The radial point spread function was evaluated as a possible improved peak intensity measurement instead of the common pixel averaging approach used in the commercial ICP software. Several algorithms were evaluated to align and automatically scale the background and reference spectra. A new data reduction approach that utilizes standard reference images, successive subtractions, and residual analyses has been evaluated to correct for matrix effects.

  3. Astronomical Images and Data Mining in the International Virtual Observatory Context

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  4. Seam-based variable-step Bresenham blending method for real-time video mosaicking

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Hongru; Shi, Zaifeng; Pang, Ke; Cao, Qingjie; Luo, Tao; Yao, Suying

    2016-09-01

    Image blending plays an important role in video mosaicking, which has a high demand for real-time performance and visual quality. This paper proposes a fast blending method based on Bresenham algorithm, which realizes blending by controlling the storing addresses of source pixels. The starting storing location is accurately computed based on the coordinates of the middle pixel of the seam instead of the first pixel's, reducing the accumulated error along the seam significantly. The other storing addresses are acquired using a variable-step Bresenham method, which takes advantage of burst mode operation of a dynamic memory and can achieve a good trade-off between the operation convenience and memory requirement. By the proposed method, complicated calculations of storing addresses are simplified into integer additions and subtractions, which is more suitable for hardware implementation. A hardware architecture based on field programmable gate array is presented to evaluate the proposed method with clock frequency analysis and resource assessment. The experimental results show that the proposed method achieves good performance of high image quality, low computational complexity, and low memory requirement.

  5. Implementation of fluorescence confocal mosaicking microscopy by ``early adopter'' Mohs surgeons and dermatologists: recent progress

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jain, Manu; Rajadhyaksha, Milind; Nehal, Kishwer

    2017-02-01

    Confocal mosaicking microscopy (CMM) enables rapid imaging of large areas of fresh tissue ex vivo without the processing that is necessary for conventional histology. When performed in fluorescence mode using acridine orange (nuclear specific dye), it enhances nuclei-to-dermis contrast that enables detection of all types of basal cell carcinomas (BCCs), including micronodular and thin strands of infiltrative types. So far, this technique has been mostly validated in research settings for the detection of residual BCC tumor margins with high sensitivity of 89% to 96% and specificity of 99% to 89%. Recently, CMM has advanced to implementation and testing in clinical settings by "early adopter" Mohs surgeons, as an adjunct to frozen section during Mohs surgery. We summarize the development of CMM guided imaging of ex vivo skin tissues from bench to bedside. We also present its current state of application in routine clinical workflow not only for the assessment of residual BCC margins in the Mohs surgical setting but also for some melanocytic lesions and other skin conditions in clinical dermatology settings. Last, we also discuss the potential limitations of this technology as well as future developments. As this technology advances further, it may serve as an adjunct to standard histology and enable rapid surgical pathology of skin cancers at the bedside.

  6. Fully digital image sensor employing delta-sigma indirect feedback ADC with high-sensitivity to low-light illuminations for astronomical imaging applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maricic, Danijel; Ignjatovic, Zeljko; Figer, Donald F.; Ashe, Brian; Hanold, Brandon J.; Montagliano, Thomas; Stauffer, Don; Nikzad, Shouleh

    2010-07-01

    We describe a CMOS image sensor with column-parallel delta-sigma (ΔΣ) analog-to-digital converter (ADC). The design employs three transistor pixels (3T1) where the unique configuration of the ΔΣ ADC reduces the noise contribution of the readout transistor. A 128 x 128 pixel image sensor prototype is fabricated in 0.35μm TSMC technology. The reset noise and the offset fixed pattern noise (FPN) are removed in the digital domain. The measured readout noise is 37.8μV for an exposure time of 33ms. The low readout noise allows an improved low light response in comparison to other state-of-art designs. The design is suitable for applications demanding excellent low-light response such as astronomical imaging. The sensor has a measured intra-scene dynamic range (DR) of 91 dB, and a peak signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of 54 dB.

  7. Interactive Astronomical Data Analysis Facility

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Klinglesmith, D. A., III

    1980-01-01

    A description is given of the Interactive Astronomical Data Analysis Facility (IADAF) which performs interactive analysis of astronomical data for resident and visiting scientists. The facilities include a Grant measuring engine, a PDS 1010A microdensitometer, a COMTAL image display system and a PDP 11/40 computer system. Both hardware and software systems are examined, including a description of thirteen overlay programs. Some uses of the IADAF are indicated.

  8. Astronomers without borders

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Simmons, Mike

    2011-06-01

    ``Astronomers Without Borders'' is a new global organisational dedicated to furthering understanding and goodwill across national and cultural boundaries using the universal appeal of astronomy and space science. A growing network of affiliate organisations brings together clubs, magazines and other organizations involved in astronomy and space science. Forums, galleries, video conferences and other interactive technologies are used to connect participants around the world. Sharing of resources and direct connections through travel programs are also planned. One project, ``The World at Night'' (TWAN), has become an Special Project of IYA2009. TWAN creates wide-angle images of the night sky in important natural and historic settings around the world, dramatically demonstrating the universal nature and appeal of the night sky. ``Astronomers Without Borders'' is also a leader of the 100 Hours of Astronomy IYA2009 Global Cornerstone Project.

  9. Field application of moment-based wavefront sensing to in-situ alignment and image quality assessment of astronomical spectrographs: results and analysis of aligning VIRUS unit spectrographs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Hanshin; Hill, Gary J.; Tuttle, Sarah E.; Noyola, Eva; Peterson, Trent; Vattiat, Brian L.

    2014-07-01

    Teague introduced a phase retrieval method that uses the image shape moments. More recently, an independent study arrived at a similar technique, which was then applied to in-situ full-field image-quality evaluation of spectroscopic systems. This moment-based wavefront sensing (MWFS) method relies on the geometric relation between the image shape moments and the geometric wavefront modal coefficients. The MWFS method allows a non-iterative determination of the modal coefficients from focus-modulated images at arbitrary spatial resolutions. The determination of image moments is a direct extension of routine centroid and image size calculation, making its implementation easy. Previous studies showed that the MWFS works well in capturing large low-order modes, and is quite suitable for in-situ alignment diagnostics. At the Astronomical Instrumentation conference in 2012, we presented initial results of the application of the moment-based wavefront sensing to a fiber-fed astronomical spectrograph, called VIRUS (a set of replicated 150 identical integral-field unit spectrographs contained in 75 unit pairs). This initial result shows that the MWFS can provide accurate full-field image-quality assessment for efficiently aligning these 150 spectrographs. Since then, we have assembled more than 24 unit pairs using this technique. In this paper, we detail the technical update/progress made so far for the moment-based wavefront sensing method and the statistical estimates of the before/after alignment aberrations, image-quality, and various efficiency indicators of the unit spectrograph alignment process.

  10. UkrVO astronomical WEB services

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mazhaev, O. E.

    2017-02-01

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

  11. Side-scan sonar mapping: Pseudo-real-time processing and mosaicking techniques

    SciTech Connect

    Danforth, W.W.; Schwab, W.C.; O'Brien, T.F. ); Karl, H. )

    1990-05-01

    The US Geological Survey (USGS) surveyed 1,000 km{sup 2} of the continental shelf off San Francisco during a 17-day cruise, using a 120-kHz side-scan sonar system, and produced a digitally processed sonar mosaic of the survey area. The data were processed and mosaicked in real time using software developed at the Lamont-Doherty Geological Observatory and modified by the USGS, a substantial task due to the enormous amount of data produced by high-resolution side-scan systems. Approximately 33 megabytes of data were acquired every 1.5 hr. The real-time sonar images were displayed on a PC-based workstation and the data were transferred to a UNIX minicomputer where the sonar images were slant-range corrected, enhanced using an averaging method of desampling and a linear-contrast stretch, merged with navigation, geographically oriented at a user-selected scale, and finally output to a thermal printer. The hard-copy output was then used to construct a mosaic of the survey area. The final product of this technique is a UTM-projected map-mosaic of sea-floor backscatter variations, which could be used, for example, to locate appropriate sites for sediment sampling to ground truth the sonar imagery while still at sea. More importantly, reconnaissance surveys of this type allow for the analysis and interpretation of the mosaic during a cruise, thus greatly reducing the preparation time needed for planning follow-up studies of a particular area.

  12. Adapting astronomical source detection software to help detect animals in thermal images obtained by unmanned aerial systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Longmore, S. N.; Collins, R. P.; Pfeifer, S.; Fox, S. E.; Mulero-Pazmany, M.; Bezombes, F.; Goodwind, A.; de Juan Ovelar, M.; Knapen, J. H.; Wich, S. A.

    2017-02-01

    In this paper we describe an unmanned aerial system equipped with a thermal-infrared camera and software pipeline that we have developed to monitor animal populations for conservation purposes. Taking a multi-disciplinary approach to tackle this problem, we use freely available astronomical source detection software and the associated expertise of astronomers, to efficiently and reliably detect humans and animals in aerial thermal-infrared footage. Combining this astronomical detection software with existing machine learning algorithms into a single, automated, end-to-end pipeline, we test the software using aerial video footage taken in a controlled, field-like environment. We demonstrate that the pipeline works reliably and describe how it can be used to estimate the completeness of different observational datasets to objects of a given type as a function of height, observing conditions etc. - a crucial step in converting video footage to scientifically useful information such as the spatial distribution and density of different animal species. Finally, having demonstrated the potential utility of the system, we describe the steps we are taking to adapt the system for work in the field, in particular systematic monitoring of endangered species at National Parks around the world.

  13. Hubble repair and more wins astronomers' acclaim.

    PubMed

    Travis, J

    1994-01-28

    The repaired Hubble Space Telescope overshadowed everything else at the American Astronomical Society (AAS) Meeting earlier this month in Alexandria, Virginia. The nearly 2000 astronomers who turned out for the society's largest meeting yet provided plenty of "oohs" and "aahs" for every new image. But, in between, some astronomers caught word of a new proposal about how to tell whether the universe is open or closed, more data about mysterious gamma ray bursts, and the crowning of the "Galaxy of the Year."

  14. Astronomical observatory for shuttle. Phase A study

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Guthals, D. L.

    1973-01-01

    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.

  15. More to Astronomical Images than Meets the Eye: Data Dimension Reduction for Efficient Data Organization, Retrieval and Advanced Visualization and Analysis of Large Multitemporal/Multispectral Data Sets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pesenson, Meyer; Pesenson, I.; Carey, S.; Roby, W.; McCollum, B.; Ingalls, J.; Ardila, D.; Teplitz, H.

    2009-01-01

    Effective analysis of large multispectral and multitemporal data sets demands new ways of data representation. We present applications of standard and original methods of data dimension reduction to astrophysical images (finding significant low-dimensional structures concealed in high-dimensional data). Such methods are widely used already outside of astronomy to effectively analyze large data sets. Data dimension reduction facilitates data organization, retrieval, and analysis (by improving statistical inference), which are crucial to multiwavelength astronomy, archival research, large-scale digital sky surveys and temporal astronomy. These methods allow a user to reduce a large number of FITS images, e.g. each representing a different wavelength, into a few images retaining more than 95% of the original visual information. An immediate simple application of this would be creating a multiwavelength "quick-look" image that includes all essential information in a statistically justified way, and thus is much more accurate than a "quick-look" made by simple coadding with an ad hoc, heuristic weighting. The dimensionally-reduced image is also naturally much smaller in file size in bytes than the total summed size of the non-dimensionally-reduced images. Thus dimensionally-reduced images offer an enormous savings in storage space and database-transmission bandwidth for the user. An analogous process of dimension reduction is possible for a large set of images obtained at the same wavelength but at different times (e.g. LSST images). Other applications of data dimension reduction include, but are not limited to, decorrelating data elements, removing noise, artifact separation, feature extraction, clustering and pattern classification in astronomical images. We demonstrate applications of the algorithms to test cases of current space-based IR data from the Spitzer Space Telescope.

  16. Astronomical Images from the Very Large Array (VLA) FIRST Survey Images from the STScI Archive (Faint Images of the Radio Sky at Twenty-cm)

    DOE Data Explorer

    FIRST, Faint Images of the Radio Sky at Twenty-Centimeters was a project designed to produce the radio equivalent of the Palomar Observatory Sky Survey over 10,000 square degrees of the North Galactic Cap. Using the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) Very Large Array (VLA) in its B-configuration, the Survey acquired 3-minute snapshots covering a hexagonal grid. The binary data are available in detailed source catalogs, but the full images themselves, developed through special techniques, are also available for public access. Note that the images are fairly large, typically 1150x1550 pixels. Access to the images is simple through the search interface; the images are also available via anonymous ftp at ftp://archive.stsci.edu/pub/vla_first/data. Another convenient way to obtain images is through the FIRST Cutout Server, which allows an image section to be extracted from the coadded image database at a user-specified position. The cutout server is also linked to the FIRST Search Engine, so that the catalog can be searched for sources of interest and then images can be obtained for those objects. All images taken through 2011 are available through the cutout server at http://third.ucllnl.org/cgi-bin/firstcutout.

  17. Astronomical Institute of Athens

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murdin, P.

    2000-11-01

    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 ...

  18. FITSManager: Management of Personal Astronomical Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-07-01

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

  19. Mosaicked Historic Airborne Imagery from Seward Peninsula, Alaska, Starting in the 1950's

    SciTech Connect

    Cherry, Jessica; Wirth, Lisa

    2016-12-06

    Historical airborne imagery for each Seward Peninsula NGEE Arctic site - Teller, Kougarok, Council - with multiple years for each site. This dataset includes mosaicked, geolocated and, where possible, orthorectified, historic airborne and recent satellite imagery. The older photos were sourced from USGS's Earth Explorer site and the newer, satellite imagery is from the Statewide Digital Mapping Initiative (SDMI) project managed by the Geographic Information Network of Alaska on behalf of the state of Alaska.

  20. Developing an astronomical observatory in Paraguay

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  1. Armenian Astronomical Heritage

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mickaelian, A. M.

    2014-10-01

    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.

  2. Rapid, automated mosaicking of the human corneal subbasal nerve plexus.

    PubMed

    Vaishnav, Yash J; Rucker, Stuart A; Saharia, Keshav; McNamara, Nancy A

    2017-03-04

    Corneal confocal microscopy (CCM) is an in vivo technique used to study corneal nerve morphology. The largest proportion of nerves innervating the cornea lie within the subbasal nerve plexus, where their morphology is altered by refractive surgery, diabetes and dry eye. The main limitations to clinical use of CCM as a diagnostic tool are the small field of view of CCM images and the lengthy time needed to quantify nerves in collected images. Here, we present a novel, rapid, fully automated technique to mosaic individual CCM images into wide-field maps of corneal nerves. We implemented an OpenCV image stitcher that accounts for corneal deformation and uses feature detection to stitch CCM images into a montage. The method takes 3-5 min to process and stitch 40-100 frames on an Amazon EC2 Micro instance. The speed, automation and ease of use conferred by this technique is the first step toward point of care evaluation of wide-field subbasal plexus (SBP) maps in a clinical setting.

  3. Exploring the Hidden Structure of Astronomical Images: A "Pixelated" View of Solar System and Deep Space Features!

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ward, R. Bruce; Sienkiewicz, Frank; Sadler, Philip; Antonucci, Paul; Miller, Jaimie

    2013-01-01

    We describe activities created to help student participants in Project ITEAMS (Innovative Technology-Enabled Astronomy for Middle Schools) develop a deeper understanding of picture elements (pixels), image creation, and analysis of the recorded data. ITEAMS is an out-of-school time (OST) program funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) with…

  4. A dimensionless relative trajectory estimation algorithm for autonomous imaging of a small astronomical body in a close distance flyby

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ariu, Kaito; Inamori, Takaya; Funase, Ryu; Nakasuka, Shinichi

    2016-08-01

    The world's first micro-spacecraft, ;Proximate Object Close flYby with Optical Navigation; (PROCYON) has the advanced mission to approach an asteroid in dozen km (a one-order closer imaging distance compared with previous probes). In such a close distance encounter, the estimation of the relative trajectory of the target is necessary to perform autonomous imaging. However, the estimation is difficult owing to rapid changes of the line-of-sight direction of the target body. To overcome this problem, a novel dimensionless or direction only relative trajectory estimation algorithm, which uses a least square method, is proposed. The evaluation function for the least square method coincides with the error property of picture information to enable all of its calculations to be recursive and linear. It is suited for the implementation on the limited on-board computer. Numerical simulation results indicate that the proposed algorithm should enable the one-order closer flyby observation.

  5. Astronomical Software Directory Service

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hanisch, R. J.; Payne, H.; Hayes, J.

    1998-01-01

    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.

  6. Nicolaus Copernicus Astronomical Center

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murdin, P.

    2000-11-01

    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...

  7. Russian Astronomical Data Resources

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Malkov, O. Yu.; Kovaleva, D. A.; Kilpio, E. Yu.

    2006-08-01

    The ultimate goal of the RVO initiative is to integrate resources of astronomical data accumulated in Russian observatories and institutions, and to provide Russian data to the rest of the world. We collect information about all available Russian and some former Soviet Union (fSU) astronomical data resources, classify them and register them in the registries of other VO projects. A new version of the list of Russian and fSU astronomical resources is recently compiled and presented here. The original resources that contain astronomical data obtained by Russian and fSU astronomers are listed by kind of object they treat (Sun, Solar System, Stars, Stellar Systems, Radioastronomy, Cosmic Rays, Mixed Data Archives). This list of resources (as well as other information on RVO) can be found on the RVO web page.

  8. Astronomical pipeline processing using fuzzy logic

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shamir, Lior

    In the past few years, pipelines providing astronomical data have been becoming increasingly important. The wide use of robotic telescopes has provided significant discoveries, and sky survey projects such as SDSS and the future LSST are now considered among the premier projects in the field astronomy. The huge amount of data produced by these pipelines raises the need for automatic processing. Astronomical pipelines introduce several well-defined problems such as astronomical image compression, cosmic-ray hit rejection, transient detection, meteor triangulation and association of point sources with their corresponding known stellar objects. We developed and applied soft computing algorithms that provide new or improved solutions to these growing problems in the field of pipeline processing of astronomical data. One new approach that we use is fuzzy logic-based algorithms, which enables the automatic analysis of the astronomical pipelines and allows mining the data for not-yet-known astronomical discoveries such as optical transients and variable stars. The developed algorithms have been tested with excellent results on the NightSkyLive sky survey, which provides a pipeline of 150 astronomical pictures per hour, and covers almost the entire global night sky.

  9. Land-cover classification of California using mosaicking and high-speed processing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Peterson, D. L.; Norman, S.; Tosta-Miller, N.; Wierman, D.; Newland, W.

    1980-01-01

    A land cover classification of Landsat MSS data has been made for the entire state of California. Digital mosaicking of 32 Landsat scenes with registered digital elevation, slope, and aspect was prepared. Stratified unsupervised clustering generated the spectral classes which were identified into 16 categories, mostly forest types, using U-2 CIR photos. A verification using 81 primary sample units resulted in a forest/nonforest accuracy of 80.2% and a commercial conifer and hardwood accuracy of 75.1%. The results are now being used in many projects throughout the state.

  10. High-contrast imaging of Sirius A with VLT/SPHERE: looking for giant planets down to one astronomical unit

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vigan, A.; Gry, C.; Salter, G.; Mesa, D.; Homeier, D.; Moutou, C.; Allard, F.

    2015-11-01

    Sirius has always attracted a lot of scientific interest, especially after the discovery of a companion white dwarf at the end of the 19th century. Very early on, the existence of a potential third body was put forward to explain some of the observed properties of the system. We present new coronagraphic observations obtained with VLT/SPHERE (Very Large Telescope/Spectro-Polarimetric High-contrast Exoplanet REsearch) that explore, for the very first time, the innermost regions of the system down to 0.2 arcsec(0.5 au) from Sirius A. Our observations cover the near-infrared from 0.95 to 2.3 μm and they offer the best on-sky contrast ever reached at these angular separations. After detailing the steps of our SPHERE/IRDIFS data analysis, we present a robust method to derive detection limits for multispectral data from high-contrast imagers and spectrographs. In terms of raw performance, we report contrasts of 14.3 mag at 0.2 arcsec, ˜16.3 mag in the 0.4-1.0 arcsec range and down to 19 mag at 3.7 arcsec. In physical units, our observations are sensitive to giant planets down to 11 MJup at 0.5 au, 6-7 MJup in the 1-2 au range and ˜4 MJup at 10 au. Despite the exceptional sensitivity of our observations, we do not report the detection of additional companions around Sirius A. Using a Monte Carlo orbital analysis, we show that we can reject, with about 50 per cent probability, the existence of an 8 MJup planet orbiting at 1 au.

  11. 400th Anniversary of Marius's Book with the First Image of an Astronomical Telescope and of Orbits of Jovian Moons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pasachoff, Jay M.; Leich, Pierre

    2015-01-01

    Simon Mayr's (Marius's) Mundus Iovialis Anno M·DC·IX Detectus Ope Perspicilli Belgici (The World of Jupiter...) was published in Nuremberg in 1614; Marius was the Ansbach court mathematician. The frontispiece includes not only a portrait of Marius (1573-1624) himself but also, in the foreground, a long tube labelled "perspicillum," the first known image of a telescopic device used for astronomy; the name "telescope" came later. A schematic diagram of Jupiter with four moons orbiting appears at upper left; Marius, following a suggestion from Kepler, gave these Galilean satellites the names now still in use: Io, Europa. Ganymede, and Callisto. The title continues Hoc est, Quatuor Joviali cum Planetarum, cum Theoria, tum Tabulae, Propriis Observationibus Maxime Fundate.... A pair of conferences was held in Germany in 2014 to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Marius's book and to discuss Marius's work and its relation to Galileo's work (http://www.simon-marius.net; http://www.simon-marius.net/index.php?lang=en&menu=1 28 languages are available). Marius (Mayr) had independently discovered the four satellites of Jupiter, apparently one day after Galileo, on December 29 O.S., 1609; by the time he published his work four years later (a local-circulation publication had appeared in Nuremberg in 1611 in Prognosticon Astrologicum auf das Jahr 1612), Galileo had gained fame and priority, and Galileo accused Marius of plagiarism in Il Saggiatore (1623). With his Belgian telescope, Marius also noted the tilt of the orbital plane of Jupiter's moons, sunspots (1611), and the Andromeda Nebula (1612). He claimed to have worked out a system of cosmology similar to the Tychonic system in 1596, contemporaneously to Kepler's Mysterium Cosmographicum. A crater, the Marius Hills, and the Rima Marius on the Moon are named for him by the I.A.U., as well as, to celebrate the quadricentennial, a main-belt asteroid, now (7984) Marius. Acknowledgment: JMP thanks Seth Fagen, PRPH Books in

  12. Parallel blind deconvolution of astronomical images based on the fractal energy ratio of the image and regularization of the point spread function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jia, Peng; Cai, Dongmei; Wang, Dong

    2014-11-01

    A parallel blind deconvolution algorithm is presented. The algorithm contains the constraints of the point spread function (PSF) derived from the physical process of the imaging. Additionally, in order to obtain an effective restored image, the fractal energy ratio is used as an evaluation criterion to estimate the quality of the image. This algorithm is fine-grained parallelized to increase the calculation speed. Results of numerical experiments and real experiments indicate that this algorithm is effective.

  13. An astronomical murder?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Belenkiy, Ari

    2010-04-01

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

  14. Decoding Astronomical Concepts

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Durisen, Richard H.; Pilachowski, Catherine A.

    2004-01-01

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

  15. Astronomical photography, part T

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dunkelman, L.; Mercer, R. D.; Ross, C. L.; Worden, A. M.

    1972-01-01

    Photographic observations of astronomical interest conducted during the Apollo 15 mission are discussed. Procedures used in photographing the solar corona are described together with calibration and reduction methods. In addition, selected preliminary results obtained from the photography are presented.

  16. Astronomical database and VO-tools of Nikolaev Astronomical Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-05-01

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

  17. The development of astronomical interferometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Quirrenbach, Andreas

    2009-08-01

    Astronomical interferometry was pioneered by Fizeau and Michelson in the 19th century. In the 1920s, the first stellar diameters were measured. The development of radio interferometry began in the 1950s, and led to the construction of powerful synthesis arrays operating at cm, mm, and sub-mm wavelengths. Modern computer and control technology has enabled the interferometric combination of light from separate telescopes also in the visible and infrared regimes. Imaging with milliarcsecond resolution and astrometry with microarcsecond precision have thus become reality.

  18. Aligning Astronomical Telescopes via Identification of Stars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Whorton, Mark

    2010-01-01

    A proposed method of automated, precise alignment of a ground-based astronomical telescope would eliminate the need for initial manual alignment. The method, based on automated identification of known stars and other celestial objects in the telescope field of view, would also eliminate the need for an initial estimate of the aiming direction. The method does not require any equipment other than a digital imaging device such as a charge-coupled-device digital imaging camera and control computers of the telescope and camera, all of which are standard components in professional astronomical telescope systems and in high-end amateur astronomical telescope systems. The method could be implemented in software running in the telescope or camera control computer or in an external computer communicating with the telescope pointing mount and camera control computers.

  19. The New Amateur Astronomer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mobberley, Martin

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

  20. Theory of astronomical masers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kylafis, Nikolaos D.

    The theory of astronomical masers is reviewed. As with laboratory masers, masing occurs when a transition between two energy levels of a molecule exhibits inverted populations. In order to present the basic concepts about masers, an idealized two-level system is used. The exact energy level structure is taken into account later on when the pumping of specific molecules is discussed. Unlike laboratory masers, where the radiation must be bounced between two mirrors to accumulate gain, the propagation of radiation in astronomical masers is a lot simpler. This is because astronomical masers are single-pass and broadband. Thus, the main theoretical effort has concentrated on inventing efficient mechanisms that produce population inversion. Specific pumping mechanisms for the three molecules (H2O, SiO and OH) that exhibit strong masing are presented and their ability to explain the observations is discussed.

  1. Reconstructing the astronomical heritage

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Planesas, Pere

    2011-06-01

    Studies of the astronomical heritage can deal with the ancient astronomical knowledge, traditions and myths, as well as with old instruments and observatories. It is urgent to work for their recovery, before they are definitely forgoten, lost or destroyed. On the cultural side, the Joint ALMA Observatory is sponsoring the study of the local cosmology and sky of the indigenous people living in the region where ALMA is currently being build. In the case of ancient instruments, several success stories already exist, the most recent one being the reconstruction of the Madrid 25ft Herschel telescope. Examples of notable instruments pending reconstruction are listed.

  2. Custom Sky-Image Mosaics from NASA's Information Power Grid

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jacob, Joseph; Collier, James; Craymer, Loring; Curkendall, David

    2005-01-01

    yourSkyG is the second generation of the software described in yourSky: Custom Sky-Image Mosaics via the Internet (NPO-30556), NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 27, No. 6 (June 2003), page 45. Like its predecessor, yourSkyG supplies custom astronomical image mosaics of sky regions specified by requesters using client computers connected to the Internet. Whereas yourSky constructs mosaics on a local multiprocessor system, yourSkyG performs the computations on NASA s Information Power Grid (IPG), which is capable of performing much larger mosaicking tasks. (The IPG is high-performance computation and data grid that integrates geographically distributed 18 NASA Tech Briefs, September 2005 computers, databases, and instruments.) A user of yourSkyG can specify parameters describing a mosaic to be constructed. yourSkyG then constructs the mosaic on the IPG and makes it available for downloading by the user. The complexities of determining which input images are required to construct a mosaic, retrieving the required input images from remote sky-survey archives, uploading the images to the computers on the IPG, performing the computations remotely on the Grid, and downloading the resulting mosaic from the Grid are all transparent to the user

  3. NRAO Astronomer Honored by American Astronomical Society

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2011-01-01

    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

  4. Svetloe Radio Astronomical Observatory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smolentsev, Sergey; Rahimov, Ismail

    2013-01-01

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

  5. Zelenchukskaya Radio Astronomical Observatory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smolentsev, Sergey; Dyakov, Andrei

    2013-01-01

    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.

  6. Astronomical education in Mongolia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dulmaa, A.; Tsolmon, R.; Lkhagvajav, Ch.; Jargalsuren, Sh.; Bayartungalag, B.; Zaya, M.

    2011-06-01

    The history, current situation, education and future directions of modern Mongolian space science and astronomy is reviewed. This paper discusses recent efforts to develop astronomy education and research capacity in Mongolia with cooperation of the International Astronomical Union. Various capacity-building initiatives in space science including remote sensing in Mongolia are discussed.

  7. Misconceptions of Astronomical Distances

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Miller, Brian W.; Brewer, William F.

    2010-01-01

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

  8. Korean Astronomical Calendar, Chiljeongsan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  9. Russian astronomical software

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lukashova, Marina V.; Glebova, Nina I.; Netsvetaev, Ilja N.; Netsvetaeva, Galina A.; Parijskaja, Ekaterina Ju.; Pitieva, Elena V.; Sveshnikov, Michael L.; Skripnichenko, Vladimir I.

    2012-08-01

    Institute of Applied Astronomy of RAS has published “ The Astronomical Yearbook ” ( AY) with 1921, “ The Nautical Astronomical Yearbook ” (NAY) with 1930, “ The Nautical Astronomical Almanac ”’ biennial (NAA - 2) with 2001. The new IAU2006/2000 precession - nutation models, and the FK6/HIPPARCOS stellar catalogues were used in these editions. Ephemeris editions are based on the domestic EPM2004 (IAA RAS) theory of movement of planets, Sun and Moon. The electronic versions are developed for two editions. The important stage of work is creation of “The Personal Astronomical Yearbook ”’ (PersAY). The system gives ample opportunities to the user to put and to solve tasks of calculation of ephemerides for any moment in various time scales, and for any location of the observer on a terrestrial surface. Also in PersAY it is possible to calculate by means of DE405/LE405 theory to make comparison with others ephemeris editions. The time interval of validity of the system makes 2010 - 2015. Besides system of the removed access the "Navigator" was developed. It intended to solve some the navigating tasks describe d in NAA - 2. The system is accessible on a site http://shturman.ipa.nw.ru/ (in Russian). In electronic systems as in Y the same reduce theories and the theory of movement of planets, the Sun, the Moon are used. All calculations are work out on the basis of the multifunctional software system ERA.

  10. The League of Astronomers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thomas, Nancy H.; Brandel, A.; Paat, A. M.; Schmitz, D.; Sharma, R.; Trujillo, J.; Laws, C. S.

    2014-01-01

    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.

  11. News and Views: VLT moves a step closer to optical interferometry; Astronomical imaging aids fight against melanomas; Magma ocean on Io; Crab's bumper flare; Titan lightning rare

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2011-06-01

    The four 8 m telescopes at the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope in Paranal have come together to work as a single telescope at last - 10 years after two beams were first combined in the VLT interferometer using the new instrument PIONIER. An astronomer who works on instrumentation for the Keck Telescope is applying the same techniques to measure and assess malignant melanomas - partly as a result of the frequent skin cancer checks he himself undergoes.

  12. High School Teachers as Astronomers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sather, Robert

    1977-01-01

    Discusses a joint research program between several high school teachers and solar system astronomers in which data were collected on photoelectric observations of asteroids and minor planets via astronomical telescopes. (MLH)

  13. Thomas Kuhn's Influence on Astronomers.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shipman, Harry L.

    2000-01-01

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

  14. Digitizer of astronomical plates at Shanghai Astronomical Observatory and its performance test

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2017-02-01

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

  15. Enhanced management of personal astronomical data with FITSManager

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-02-01

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

  16. Ancient Egyptian Astronomical Calander

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2001-03-01

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

  17. Astronomical Fourier spectropolarimetry

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Forbes, F. F.; Fymat, A. L.

    1974-01-01

    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.

  18. Astronomers as Software Developers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pildis, Rachel A.

    2016-01-01

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

  19. Misconceptions about astronomical magnitudes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schulman, Eric; Cox, Caroline V.

    1997-10-01

    The present system of astronomical magnitudes was created as an inverse scale by Claudius Ptolemy in about 140 A.D. and was defined to be logarithmic in 1856 by Norman Pogson, who believed that human eyes respond logarithmically to the intensity of light. Although scientists have known for some time that the response is instead a power law, astronomers continue to use the Pogson magnitude scale. The peculiarities of this system make it easy for students to develop numerous misconceptions about how and why to use magnitudes. We present a useful exercise in the use of magnitudes to derive a cosmologically interesting quantity (the mass-to-light ratio for spiral galaxies), with potential pitfalls pointed out and explained.

  20. Network resources for astronomers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andernach, H.; Hanisch, Robert J.; Murtagh, F.

    1994-11-01

    The amount of data produced by large observational facilities and space missions has led to the archiving and on-line accessibility of much of these data, available to the entire astronomical community. This allows a much wider multifrequency approach to astronomical research than previously possible. Here we provide an overview of these services, and give a basic description of their contents and possibilities for accessing them. Apart from services providing observational data, many of those providing general information, e.g., on addresses, bibliographies, software, etc., are also described. The field is rapidly growing with improved network technology, and out attempt to keep the report as complete and up-to-date as possible will inevitably be outdated shortly. We will endeavor to maintain an updated version of this document on-line.

  1. Astronomical Kalendar-2011

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kozlovskii, Alexander Nikolaevich; Kuznetsov, Alexander

    The webpage give the Astronomical Kalendars for the Months of 2010, 2011 as well as a General Kalendar of astronomical events for schoolars and beginners for 2011 to be downloaded in pdf or word formats. The Kalendar for schoolars and beginners include on 149 pp. the following sections: 1) recommendations for Schoolars 2) the general review of events for 2011 3) The Moon in 2011 4) Moon and Sun Ephemerides with comments 5) Planets visibility for the latituide 56 Deg N. 6) Planets conjunctions for 2011 7) Eclipses in 2011 8) Stars and planets occultations by the Moon 9) Phenomena for Jupiter satellites 10) Phenomena for Saturn satellites 11) Small Planets (Iris, Thalia, Nisa, Junona, Gigeia, Ariadna, Vesta, Cerera and other) 12) Comets (C/2009 P1 ( Garradd ), 103P/Hartley 2, P/2006 T1 ( Levy ) 13) variable Stars 14) Meteor showers. Both Calendars include maps and tables

  2. Airborne Infrared Astronomical Telescopes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Erickson, Edwin F.

    2017-01-01

    A unique program of infrared astronomical observations from aircraft evolved at NASA’s Ames Research Center, beginning in the 1960s. Telescopes were flown on a Convair 990, a Lear Jet, and a Lockheed C-141 - the Kuiper Airborne Observatory (KAO) - leading to the planning and development of SOFIA: a 2.7 m telescope now flying on a Boeing 747SP. The poster describes these telescopes and highlights of some of the scientific results obtained from them.

  3. Astrobiology: An astronomer's perspective

    SciTech Connect

    Bergin, Edwin A.

    2014-12-08

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

  4. Astrobiology: An astronomer's perspective

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bergin, Edwin A.

    2014-12-01

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

  5. Astronomical Software Directory Service

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1997-01-01

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

  6. On astronomical drawing [1846

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smyth, Charles Piazzi

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

  7. Astronomical Instruments in India

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sarma, Sreeramula Rajeswara

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

  8. Armenian Astronomical Archives and Databases

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  9. XXXVI Polish Astronomical Society Meeting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Różańska, Agata; Bejger, Michał

    2014-12-01

    XXXVI meeting of Polish Astronomical Society was held in Warsaw on Sept. 11-14, 2013. The conference brought together 150 astronomers working in different institutes in Poland and abroad. The highlight of the Congress was the first awarding of the Paczynski's Medal. The first laureate of the Medal is Professor Martin Rees from University of Cambridge. Medal was given by the President of the Polish Astronomical Society prof. Bozena Czerny.

  10. Astronomer's Proposal Tool

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Krueger, Tony

    2005-01-01

    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.

  11. Professional Ethics for Astronomers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marvel, K. B.

    2005-05-01

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

  12. La Plata Astronomical Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Forte, Juan Carlos; Cora, Sofia A.

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

  13. Really Bad Astronomers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hockey, Thomas A.

    2009-01-01

    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.

  14. Strasbourg's "First" astronomical observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heck, André

    2011-08-01

    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.

  15. Grigor Narekatsi's astronomical insights

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Poghosyan, Samvel

    2015-07-01

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

  16. Astronomers against Newton.

    PubMed

    Higgitt, Rebekah

    2004-03-01

    Francis Baily's publication of the manuscripts of John Flamsteed, the first Astronomer Royal, provoked a furious response. Flamsteed had quarrelled with Isaac Newton, and described him in terms unforgivable to those who claimed him as a paragon of all virtues, both moral and scientific. Baily was condemned for putting Flamsteed's complaints in the public sphere. However, his supporters saw his work as a critique of the excessive hero-worship accorded to Newton. Written when the word 'scientist' had been newly coined, this work and the debates it provoked gives us an insight into contemporary views of the role of the man of science and of the use of science to back political, religious and moral positions.

  17. The Amateur Astronomer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moore, Patrick

    This 2000 Edition of Sir Patrick Moore’s classic book has been completely revised in the light of changes in technology. Not only do these changes include commercially available astronomical telescopes and software, but also what we know and understand about the universe. There are many new photographs and illustrations. Writing in the easy-going style that made him famous as a writer and broadcaster, Sir Patrick introduced astronomy and amateur observing together, so that his reader gets an idea of what he is observing at the same time as how to observe. Almost half the book is Appendices. These are hugely comprehensive and provide hints and tips, as well as data (year 2000 onwards) for pretty well every aspect of amateur astronomy. This is probably the only book in which all this information is collected in one place.

  18. Astronomy without astronomers?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stavinschi, Magdalena

    Astronomy in Romania has an old tradition. After half a century of privations and isolation from the rest of the world, we believed that the changes undergone by our country in 1989 (and by the neighbour countries, as well) will be benefit for the Romanian astronomy, too. Indeed, it was, but for a very short period. The young people left the country, one by one, and others cannot accept the low salary offered by a research institute. The economy doesn't allow us to enrich the astronomical endowment. Of course, we cannot close the observatories. We have to find other ways to save the astronomy in this part of Europe, especially in the epoch of the space astronomy.

  19. Immanuel Halton, the astronomer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barber, P. M.

    1996-02-01

    Immanuel Halton was born in Cumberland, studied at Grays Inn, London during the later stages of the English Civil War and, during the Commonwealth, entered the service of Henry Howard, later 6th Duke of Norfolk. He pursued his mathematical and astronomical interests while auditor to the Duke of Norfolk. He met with John Flamsteed, encouraged the latter's interest in mathematics and astronomy and became his first patron, as well as contributing observations to Flamsteed's published works. Immanuel ended his days at Wingfield Manor, Derbyshire. A short biographical piece on Immanuel Halton appeared in the Journal in the early 1950s, consisting mostly of quotations from Flamsteed's 'Self Inspections' and Baily's 'Life of Flamsteed'. 1996 is the 350th anniversary of Flamsteed's birth, and it is hoped that this fuller account will flesh out the bones of his first patron.

  20. Weizmann Fast Astronomical Survey Telescope (WFAST)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  1. Astronomical CCD observing and reduction techniques

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Howell, Steve B. (Editor)

    1992-01-01

    CCD instrumentation and techniques in observational astronomy are surveyed. The general topics addressed include: history of large array scientific CCD imagers; noise sources and reduction processes; basic photometry techniques; introduction to differential time-series astronomical photometry using CCDs; 2D imagery; point source spectroscopy; extended object spectrophotometry; introduction to CCD astrometry; solar system applications for CCDs; CCD data; observing with infrared arrays; image processing, data analysis software, and computer systems for CCD data reduction and analysis. (No individual items are abstracted in this volume)

  2. Indexing and Searching Distributed Astronomical Data Archives

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jackson, R. E.

    The technology needed to implement a Distributed Astronomical Data Archive (DADA) is available today (e.g., Fullton 1993). Query interface standards are needed, however, before the DADA information will be discoverable. Fortunately, a small number of parameters can describe a large variety of astronomical datasets. One possible set of parameters is (RA, DEC, Wavelength, Time, Intensity) times (Minimum Value, Maximum Value, Resolution, Coverage). These twenty parameters can describe aperture photometry, images, time resolved spectroscopy, etc. These parameters would be used to index each dataset in each catalog. Each catalog would in turn be indexed by the extremum values of the parameters into a catalog of catalogs. Replicating this catalog of catalogs would create a system with no centralized resource to be saturated by multiple users.

  3. Astronomy Legacy Project - Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  4. Astronomical surveys and big data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mickaelian, Areg M.

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

  5. The Expansion of the Astronomical Photographic Data Archive at PARI

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  6. The Role of Amateur Astronomers in Exoplanet Research

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Conti, Denns M.

    2016-05-01

    Because of recent technological advances in imaging equipment and processing software, research grade characterization of exoplanet transits is now within the realm of amateur astronomers. This paper will describe the current state of exoplanet observing by amateur astronomers and the best practices used for conducting such observations. In addition, a pipeline will be described that has proved successful in obtaining high quality, exoplanet science data from these observations. The paper will also describe a major collaboration currently underway between a world-wide network of amateur astronomers and a Hubble Space Telescope (HST) science team. Finally, the growing need for exoplanet observations by amateur astronomers will be discussed, as well as an example of their role in characterizing other "exo-objects."

  7. Computer version of astronomical ephemerides.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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 choliy@astrophys.ups.kiev.ua.

  8. Virtual Astronomical Pipelines

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dave, R.; Protopapas, P.; Lehner, M.

    2007-10-01

    The sheer magnitude of databases and data rates in new surveys makes it hard to develop pipelines to enable both the analysis of data and the federation of these databases for correlation and followup. There is thus a compelling need to facilitate the creation and management of dynamic workflow pipelines that enable correlating data between separate, parallel streams; changing the workflow in response to an event; using the NVO to obtain additional needed information from databases; and modifying the observing program of a primary survey to follow-up a transient or moving object. This paper describes such a Virtual Astronomical Pipeline (VAP) system which is running in the TAOS project. The software enables components in the pipeline to react to events encapsulated in XML messages, modifying and subsequently routing these messages to multiple other components. This architecture allows for the bootstrapping of components individually in the development process and for dynamic reconfiguration of the pipeline as a response to external and internal events. The software will be extended for future work in combining the results of surveys and followups into a global virtual pipeline.

  9. Astronomers Unveiling Life's Cosmic Origins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2009-02-01

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

  10. AWOB: A Collaborative Workbench for Astronomers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-09-01

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

  11. Islamic Astronomical Instruments and Observatories

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heidarzadeh, Tofigh

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

  12. Annotations of a Public Astronomer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Adamo, A.

    2011-06-01

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

  13. Astronomical Significance of Ancient Monuments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Simonia, I.

    2011-06-01

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

  14. Astronomical Instrumentation System Markup Language

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goldbaum, Jesse M.

    2016-05-01

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

  15. Sixteenth Century Astronomical Telescopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Usher, P. D.

    2001-12-01

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

  16. Astronomical dilettante or misunderstood genius? On Johann Hieronymus Schroeter's image in the history of science. (German Title: Astronomischer Dilettant oder verkanntes Genie? Zum Bild Johann Hieronymus Schroeters in der Wissenschaftsgeschichte)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oestmann, Günther

    The paper deals with contemporary assessments of Johann Hieronymus Schroeter's (1745-1816) astronomical works - especially by Wilhelm Olbers and Carl Friedrich Gauß - and also later judgements of the scientific importance and significance of his observations voiced by astronomers and historians.

  17. Amateur astronomers in support of observing campaigns

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yanamandra-Fisher, P.

    2014-07-01

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

  18. Application of Astronomical Compositions in Small Architectural Forms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haykazun, Ani

    2016-12-01

    The small architectural forms are an important part of the Armenian architecture. Their compositions are diverse including quadrihedral structures, cross-stones, monuments, gravestones, memorial stones, etc. From ancient times to the late middle ages, and up to themodern small architectural forms, there are many decorative elements of astronomical character. Among them, one can more often see stars, the sun, the moon, the sky, the planets, the sign of eternity and other symbolic decorative images, which play a major role in the formation of the artistic image of the architectural compositions. The analysis of application of astronomical compositions will help more comprehensively introduce the compositional peculiarities of the small architectural forms.

  19. Enthusiastic Little Astronomers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Novak, Ines

    2016-04-01

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

  20. Hosting an `Ask the Astronomer' Site on the Internet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Odenwald, S. F.

    1996-12-01

    Since 1995, the World Wide Web has explosively evolved into a significant medium for dispensing astronomical information to the general public. In addition to the numerous image archives that have proliferated, an increasing number of sites invite visitors to pose questions about astronomy and receive answers provided by professional astronomers. In this paper, I describe the operation of an Ask the Astronomer site that was opened on the WWW during August, 1995 as part of an astronomy education resource area called the "Astronomy Cafe" (URL=http://www2.ari.net/home/odenwald/cafe.html). The Astronomy Cafe includes a number of documents describing: a career in astronomy; how research papers are written; essays about cosmology, hyperspace and infrared astronomy; and the results from a 100-question, just for fun, personality test which distinguishes astronomers from non-astronomers. The Ask the Astronomer site is operated by a single astronomer through private donations and is now approaching its 500th day of operation. It contains over 2000+ questions and answers with a growth rate of 5 - 10 questions per day. It has attracted 70,000 visitors who are responsible for nearly 1 million 'hits' during the site's lifetime. The monthly statistics provide a unique survey of the kinds of individuals and organizations who visit Ask the Astronomer-type web sites, moreover, the accumulated questions provide a diagnostic X-ray into the public mind in the area of astronomy. I will present an analysis of the user demographics, and the types of questions that appear to be the most frequently asked. A paper copy of the complete index of these questions will be available for inspection.

  1. Initial Lab and Sky Test Results for the Teledyne Imaging System's H4RG-10 CMOS-Hybrid 4k Visible Array for Use in Ground- and Space-based Astronomical and SSA Applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dorland, B.; Hennessy, G.; Zacharias, N.; Gaume, R.; Shu, P.; Miko, L.; Rollins, C.; Waczynski, A.

    We report on the first set of laboratory and telescope tests of the Teledyne Imaging System's (TIS) H4RG-10 CMOS-Hybrid visible focal plane array (FPA). This family of detectors has been chosen as the baseline for USNO's proposed J-MAPS space astrometry mission to close a number of capability gaps. While this FPA has been designed for precision astrometry, it has potentially significant Space Situational Awareness (SSA) applications. Because of the hybrid design, which consists of separate readout and detector layers connected by Indium bump-bonds, this FPA has the readout flexibility of advanced CMOS readout integrated circuits (ROICs), including non-destructive readout, random access windowing and selective reset, and near-CCD performance in terms of fill factor, quantum efficiency, read noise and dark current. Our laboratory testing, performed at Goddard Space Flight Center's Detector Characterization Lab, includes measures of absolute spectral quantum efficiency, flat-field response uniformity, read noise, dark current as a function of operating temperature, inter-pixel crosstalk, and persistence. Sky testing, performed at Naval Observatory Flagstaff Station, consists of astrometric and photometric performance characterization. We discuss implications for the use of this detector in future ground- and space-based astrometric, astronomical and SSA applications.

  2. Astropix: Everyone's New Portal to the Universe of Astronomical Imagery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hurt, Robert L.; Squires, G. K.; Llamas, J.; Rosenthal, C.; Brinkworth, C. S.

    2012-01-01

    Astropix is a new online repository for astronomical imagery that is now available for everyone to use. Currently in a beta development state, Astropix provides powerful ways to browse, search, and download images, diagrams, artwork, and photographs from many astronomical missions. The site is built around the Astronomical Visualization Metadata (AVM) standard developed by the Virtual Astronomy Multimedia Project (VAMP) that captures all the key descriptive information for a public image, including color representations and astronomical and sky coordinates. Existing image galleries containing AVM-tagged images can easily supply them to Astropix, which downloads them, extracts the metadata into its database, and generates versions of the images at a variety of common sizes. Visitors to Astropix can search the database using simple free-text queries, or use a structured search (similar to "Smart Playlists" found in iTunes, for example). The Astropix archive also features an Xquery-based method for posting http queries and retrieving XML lists of matching imagery, allowing for scripted access to the site. Current assets include imagery from Spitzer, Chandra, ESO, Galex, Herschel, Hubble, Spitzer, and WISE, with more on the way. Website: astropix.ipac.caltech.edu

  3. Electrography and astronomical applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Martins, D. H.

    1975-01-01

    A review is presented of a conference on electrographic detectors in astronomy announced in IAA, issue 9, p. 1377, A75-23926. Different electrographic camera designs are described, and schematic diagrams of various image intensifiers (Lallemand, Kron, and Spectracon) are presented.

  4. Image processing techniques for digital orthophotoquad production

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hood, Joy J.; Ladner, L. J.; Champion, Richard A.

    1989-01-01

    Orthophotographs have long been recognized for their value as supplements or alternatives to standard maps. Recent trends towards digital cartography have resulted in efforts by the US Geological Survey to develop a digital orthophotoquad production system. Digital image files were created by scanning color infrared photographs on a microdensitometer. Rectification techniques were applied to remove tile and relief displacement, thereby creating digital orthophotos. Image mosaicking software was then used to join the rectified images, producing digital orthophotos in quadrangle format.

  5. Astronomical coronagraphy with high-order adaptive optics systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lloyd, James P.; Graham, James R.; Kalas, Paul; Oppenheimer, Ben R.; Sivaramakrishnan, Anand; Makidon, Russell B.; Macintosh, Bruce A.; Max, Claire E.; Baudoz, Pierre; Kuhn, Jeff R.; Potter, Dan

    2001-12-01

    Space surveillance systems have recently been developed that exploit high order adaptive optics systems to take diffraction limited images in visible light on 4 meter class telescopes. Most astronomical targets are faint, thus driving astronomical AO systems towards larger subapertures, and thus longer observing wavelengths for diffraction limited imaging at moderate Strehl ratio. There is, however, a particular niche that can be exploited by turning these visible light space surveillance systems to astronomical use at infrared wavelengths. At the longer wavelengths, the Strehl ratio rises dramatically, thus placing more light into the diffracted Airy pattern compared to the atmospheric halo. A Lyot coronagraph can be used to suppress the diffracted light from an on axis star, and observe faint companions and debris disks around nearby, bright stars. These very high contrast objects can only be observed with much higher order adaptive optics systems than are presently available to the astronomical community. We describe simulations of high order adaptive optics coronagraphs, and outline a project to deploy an astronomical coronagraph at the Air Force AEOS facility at the Maui Space Surveillance System.

  6. American Astronomical Society Honors NRAO Scientist

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2005-01-01

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

  7. Denali image map

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Binnie, Douglas R.; Colvocoresses, Alden P.

    1987-01-01

    The Denali National Park and Preserve 1:250,000-scale image map has been prepared and published as part of the US Geological Survey's (USGS) continuing research to improve image mapping techniques. Nine multispectral scanner (MSS) images were geometrically corrected, digitally mosaicked, and enhanced at the National Mapping Division's (NMD) EROS Data Center (EDC). This process involves ground control and digital resampling to the Universal Tranverse Mercator (UTM) projection. This paper specifically discusses the preparation of the digital mosaic and the production peculiarities associated with the Denali National Park and Preserve image map.

  8. Using Astronomical Photographs to Investigate Misconceptions about Galaxies and Spectra: Question Development for Clicker Use

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lee, Hyunju; Schneider, Stephen E.

    2015-01-01

    Many topics in introductory astronomy at the college or high-school level rely implicitly on using astronomical photographs and visual data in class. However, students bring many preconceptions to their understanding of these materials that ultimately lead to misconceptions, and research about students' interpretation of astronomical images has…

  9. Knowledge discovery in astronomical data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Yanxia; Zheng, Hongwen; Zhao, Yongheng

    2008-08-01

    With the construction and development of ground-based and space-based observatories, astronomical data amount to Terascale, even Petascale. How to extract knowledge from so huge data volume by automated methods is a big challenge for astronomers. Under this situation, many researchers have studied various approaches and developed different softwares to solve this issue. According to the special task of data mining, we need to select an appropriate technique suiting the requirement of data characteristics. Moreover all algorithms have their own pros and cons. We introduce the characteristics of astronomical data, present the taxonomy of knowledge discovery, and describe the functionalities of knowledge discovery in detail. Then the methods of knowledge discovery are touched upon. Finally the successful applications of data mining techniques in astronomy are summarized and reviewed. Facing data avalanche in astronomy, knowledge discovery in databases (KDD) shows its superiority.

  10. Infrared upconversion for astronomical applications.

    PubMed

    Abbas, M M; Kostiuk, T; Ogilvie, K W

    1976-04-01

    The performance of an upconversion system is examined for observation of astronomical sources in the low to middle ir spectral range. Theoretical values for the performance parmeters of an upconversion system for astronomical observations are evaluated in terms of the conversion efficiencies, spectral resolution, field of view minimum detectable source brightness, and source flux. Experimental results of blackbody measurements and molecular absorption spectrum measurements using a lithium niobate upconverter with an argon-ion laser as the pump are presented. Estimates are given of the expected optimum sensitivity of an upconversion device that may be built with presently available components.

  11. Astronomers meet in phoenix, recount a stellar year.

    PubMed

    Flam, F

    1993-01-22

    Despite a tightening of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's budget and the trouble with the Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers were starry-eyed over their latest findings, presented at the major annual meeting of the American Astronomical Society, (AAS) January 3 to 7. New images and measurements of stars, galaxies, cosmic microwaves, and mysterious gamma rays, along with an exciting nova explosion, made it a bright year for those working with existing orbiting satellites and ground-based telescopes, though uncertain funding clouds the future.

  12. Astronomical Deities in Ancient Mesoamerica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Milbrath, Susan

    The best known astronomical deities in ancient Mesoamerica are the sun, moon, and Venus. The Milky Way was also deified, and its constellations were visualized as celestial animals or locations. The sun and Venus were male deities, but the moon had both male and female aspects. Some of these concepts survive today in Mesoamerican ethnographic accounts referencing different transformations of the moon.

  13. Australian sites of astronomical heritage

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stevenson, T.; Lomb, N.

    2015-03-01

    The heritage of astronomy in Australia has proven an effective communication medium. By interpreting science as a social and cultural phenomenon new light is thrown on challenges, such as the dispersal of instruments and problems identifying contemporary astronomy heritage. Astronomers are asked to take note and to consider the communication of astronomy now and in the future through a tangible heritage legacy.

  14. Astronomical Photography for the Classroom.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hulme, Kenneth S.

    1981-01-01

    Describes class projects involving astronomical photography. Includes a description of how to make an astrocamera or convert a pocket camera into one suitable for astrophotography, film choices, and phenomena to photograph, such as star trails, meteors, the sun, and the moon. (DS)

  15. The Astronomical Photographic Data Archive

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cline, J. Donald; Barker, T.; Castelaz, M.

    2010-01-01

    Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute is the home of the Astronomical Photographic Data Archive (APDA), a national effort to preserve, archive, and digitize astronomical photographic plate collections. APDA was formed in 2007 and presently holds more than 100,000 plates and films from more than a dozen observatory collections. While the photographic data pre-dates modern observational data taken with electronic instruments, it is nevertheless of extremely high quality. When one considers 100,000 plates and films in the APDA collection, some with 100's or 1000's of objects per plate, and plates taken over 100 years the value of the data in APDA becomes apparent. In addition to the astronomical photographic data collections, APDA also possesses two high precision glass plate measuring machines, GAMMA I and GAMMA II that were built for NASA and the Space Telescope Science Institute. The measuring machines were used by a team of scientists under the leadership of the late Dr. Barry Lasker to develop the Guide Star Catalog and Digitized Sky Survey that guide and direct the Hubble Space Telescope. We will describe the current set of collections, plans for the measuring machines, and the efforts that have been made to assure preservation of plate collections.

  16. Snorkelling between the stars: submarine methods for astronomical observations.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Velasco, S.; Quevedo, E.; Font, J.; Oscoz, A.; López, R. L.; Puga, M.; Rebolo, R.; Hernáandez Brito, J.; Llinas, O.; Marrero Callico, G.; Sarmiento, R.

    2017-03-01

    Trying to reach diffraction-limited astronomical observations from ground-based telescopes is very challenging due to the atmospheric effects contributing to a general blurring of the images. However, astronomy is not the only science facing turbulence problems; obtaining quality images of the undersea world is as ambitious as it is on the sky. One of the solutions contemplated to reach high-resolution images is the use of multiple frames of the same target, known as fusion super-resolution (Quevedo et al. 2015), which is the principle for Lucky Imaging (Velasco et al. 2016). Here we present the successful result of joining efforts between the undersea and the astronomical research done at the Canary Islands.

  17. Tests of commercial colour CMOS cameras for astronomical applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pokhvala, S. M.; Reshetnyk, V. M.; Zhilyaev, B. E.

    2013-12-01

    We present some results of testing commercial colour CMOS cameras for astronomical applications. Colour CMOS sensors allow to perform photometry in three filters simultaneously that gives a great advantage compared with monochrome CCD detectors. The Bayer BGR colour system realized in colour CMOS sensors is close to the astronomical Johnson BVR system. The basic camera characteristics: read noise (e^{-}/pix), thermal noise (e^{-}/pix/sec) and electronic gain (e^{-}/ADU) for the commercial digital camera Canon 5D MarkIII are presented. We give the same characteristics for the scientific high performance cooled CCD camera system ALTA E47. Comparing results for tests of Canon 5D MarkIII and CCD ALTA E47 show that present-day commercial colour CMOS cameras can seriously compete with the scientific CCD cameras in deep astronomical imaging.

  18. Astronomical observatories of the Soviet Union

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ponomarev, Dmitrii Nikolaevich

    Various types of astronomical instruments are described, including optical telescopes, radio telescopes, and radiation detectors. Soviet ground-based astronomical observatories are described as well as those aboard satellites and space stations.

  19. Leslie Peltier: The World's Greatest Amateur Astronomer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Simonsen, M.

    2014-05-01

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

  20. The Research Tools of the Virtual Astronomical Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hanisch, Robert J.; Berriman, G. B.; Lazio, T. J.; Project, VAO

    2013-01-01

    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.

  1. Astronomical Surveys, Catalogs, Databases, and Archives

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mickaelian, A. M.

    2016-06-01

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

  2. Astronomical Heritages: Astronomical Archives and Historic Transits of Venus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sterken, C.; Duerbeck, H. W.

    2005-03-01

    These Proceedings contain a selection of presentations and research papers emanating from meetings of the Astronomical Archives and Transits of Venus Working Groups of Commission 41, and from presentations at the last three IAU General Assemblies. Some additional reports related to the topic of this book have also been added. The first part of the book deals with archives, the second part with facts related to historical transits of Venus - although there is substantial overlap since some archive papers deal with Transits of Venus as well. The compilation deals with many wonderful and even rare sources of information, such as official documents and reports, private letters, astronomical instruments and telescopes, national inventories, photographic plates, etc. A lot of documentation described in this book is available only on national level, and the combination of this material in one single volume looks like a cross-cultural study dealing with art and science, and almost can serve as a travel guide in time and space.

  3. Quasi-random array imaging collimator

    DOEpatents

    Fenimore, E.E.

    1980-08-20

    A hexagonally shaped quasi-random no-two-holes-touching imaging collimator. The quasi-random array imaging collimator eliminates contamination from small angle off-axis rays by using a no-two-holes-touching pattern which simultaneously provides for a self-supporting array increasing throughput by elimination of a substrate. The present invention also provides maximum throughput using hexagonally shaped holes in a hexagonal lattice pattern for diffraction limited applications. Mosaicking is also disclosed for reducing fabrication effort.

  4. Digital mapping of side-scan sonar data with the Woods Hole Image Processing System software

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Paskevich, Valerie F.

    1992-01-01

    Since 1985, the Branch of Atlantic Marine Geology has been involved in collecting, processing and digitally mosaicking high and low resolution sidescan sonar data. In the past, processing and digital mosaicking has been accomplished with a dedicated, shore-based computer system. Recent development of a UNIX-based image-processing software system includes a series of task specific programs for pre-processing sidescan sonar data. To extend the capabilities of the UNIX-based programs, development of digital mapping techniques have been developed. This report describes the initial development of an automated digital mapping procedure. Included is a description of the programs and steps required to complete the digital mosaicking on a UNIXbased computer system, and a comparison of techniques that the user may wish to select.

  5. Recent progress on CCDs for astronomical imaging

    SciTech Connect

    Groom, D.E.

    2000-02-28

    We review recent progress in the field, using as a framework a partial list of present limitations and problems: CCD and mosaic size, packing fraction in mosaics, red response and fringing, and intrinsic point-spread function due to lateral charge diffusion. Related topics such as orthogonal-transfer CCDs and the special requirements of adaptive-optics wavefront sensors are also discussed. Only cursory attention is given to other relevant issues, such as readout speed and anti-blooming techniques.

  6. Adding image search capabilities to astronomical archives

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baumann, Peter; Bruggen, Marcus

    VO-Paris Data Centre is a common structure to the Observatory of Paris, in charge of develop-ing Virtual Observatory activities. As a partner in Europlanet-IDIS, VO-Paris contributes to defining the future European VO in Planetary Science. There are two aspects in this program: on one hand, VO-Paris is in charge of the IDIS thematic node "Planetary Dynamics and Extra-Terrestrial Matter", which distributes data resources related to this field, including resources developed by other Europlanet Work Packages. On the other hand, OV-Paris is a partner in the Joint Research Activity (JRA4) which designs the VO infrastructure, and is the co-leader of the task "Added Value Services". VO-Paris baseline in Europlanet-IDIS is to remain as compatible as possible with existing VO systems in Astronomy and Solar Physics, ie to use standards and protocols developed in the IVOA context when they suit the need of Planetary Science, and possibly to propose their extensions whenever the existing standards do not address the usual specific questions in Planetary Science. This approach will allow the rapid design of a registry system, and easy use of tools providing basic functions such as data visualization. Concerning the data resources involved, our aim is to set up a core of data services on which the community will accrete new data resources accessible through VO protocols. This initial core is currently expected to include AMDA (CDPP's service in plasma physics), SSODnet (a semi-VO service being developed at OV-Paris), the PSA (ESA's space missions archive), GhoSST (solid samples spectroscopy developed at LPG), and various topical data bases such as a reference data base set up in LESIA to support the Herschel TNO key-program. The OV-Paris IDIS node can be reached at: http://voparis-europlanet.obspm.fr/ The EuroPlaNet RI project is funded by the European Commission under the 7th Framework Program, grant 228319 "Capacities Specific Programme".

  7. Astronomical imaging by pupil plane interferometry

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ribak, Erez

    1989-01-01

    Comparing rotational shear interferometry to standard speckle interferometry, it is found that it is easier in the first case to separate the atmospheric phases from the object transform phases. Phase closure and blind deconvolution should be directly applicable. Laboratory simulations were conducted to verify theoretical predictions and computer simulations for the phase closure case, and preliminary results show promise.

  8. PyXel: A Python Package for Astronomical X-ray Data Modeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ogrean, Georgiana

    2016-06-01

    PyXel is an new Python package for modeling astronomical X-ray imaging data. It is built on NumPy, SciPy, matplotlib, and Astropy, and distributed under an open-source license. The package aims to provide a common set of image analysis tools for astronomers working with extended X-ray sources. I will present an overview of its existing and planned features, and analysis examples based on public Chandra data.

  9. Astronomical Activities with Disabled People

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gil, Amelia Ortiz

    With this contribution we would like to share our experiences in organizing astronomical activities addressed to people with disabilities. The goal is twofold: we would like to invite all those with similar experiences to contribute to the compilation of a document to guide other astronomers who might be interested in carrying out these kind of activities aimed at groups of people with special needs. We also want to persuade public outreach officers that working with disabled people is not as difficult as it may seem at first, as long as they are provided with adequate educational material and guidelines about how to do it. The final goal is to build a repository that can be used by educators and public outreach officers as a guide when working with disabled people, specially during the International Year of Astronomy.

  10. Integrated optics for astronomical interferometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marques, P. V. S.; Ghasempour, A.; Alexandre, D.; Leite, A. M. P.; Garcia, P. J. V.; Reynaud, F.

    2011-05-01

    Integrated optics is a well established technology that finds its main applications in the fields of optical communication and sensing. However, it is expanding into new areas, and in the last decade application in astronomical interferometry has been explored. In particular, several examples have been demonstrated in the areas of beam control and combination. In this paper, different examples of application integrated optics devices for fabrication of beam combiners for astronomical interferometry is given. For the multiaxial beam combiners, a UV laser direct writing unit is used for mask fabrication. The operation principles of the coaxial combiners fabricated in hybrid sol-gel were validated using an interferometric set-up. These results demonstrate that hybrid sol-gel technology can produce quality devices, opening the possibility of rapid prototyping of new designs and concepts.

  11. Armenian Astronomical Society Annual Activities in 2014

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mickaelian, A. M.

    2015-07-01

    A report is given on the achievements of the Armenian astronomy during the last year and on the present activities of the Armenian Astronomical Society (ArAS). ArAS membership, ArAS electronic newsletters (ArASNews), ArAS webpage, annual meetings, Annual Prize for Young Astronomers (Yervant Terzian Prize) and other awards, international relations, presence in international organizations, summer schools, astronomical Olympiads and other events, matters related to astronomical education, astronomical heritage, astronomy outreach and ArAS further projects are discussed. The present meeting, BAO Science Camp, ArAS School lectures are among 2014 events as well.

  12. Armenian Astronomical Society (ArAS) activities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mickaelian, A. M.

    2016-09-01

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

  13. The Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cline, J. Donald; Castelaz, M.

    2009-01-01

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

  14. Directory of astronomical data files

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1978-01-01

    This Directory of Astronomical Data Files was prepared by the Data Task Force of the Interagency Coordination Committee for Astronomy (ICCA) in cooperation with the National Space Science Data Center (NSSDC). The purpose of the Directory is to provide a listing which will enable a user to locate stellar and extragalactic data sources keyed along with sufficient descriptive information to permit him to assess the value of the files for his use as well as the status and availability of the compilations.

  15. World's fastest and most sensitive astronomical camera

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2009-06-01

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

  16. Astronomical publications of Melbourne Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andropoulos, Jenny Ioanna

    2014-05-01

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

  17. GPU accelerated processing of astronomical high frame-rate videosequences

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vítek, Stanislav; Švihlík, Jan; Krasula, Lukáš; Fliegel, Karel; Páta, Petr

    2015-09-01

    Astronomical instruments located around the world are producing an incredibly large amount of possibly interesting scientific data. Astronomical research is expanding into large and highly sensitive telescopes. Total volume of data rates per night of operations also increases with the quality and resolution of state-of-the-art CCD/CMOS detectors. Since many of the ground-based astronomical experiments are placed in remote locations with limited access to the Internet, it is necessary to solve the problem of the data storage. It mostly means that current data acquistion, processing and analyses algorithm require review. Decision about importance of the data has to be taken in very short time. This work deals with GPU accelerated processing of high frame-rate astronomical video-sequences, mostly originating from experiment MAIA (Meteor Automatic Imager and Analyser), an instrument primarily focused to observing of faint meteoric events with a high time resolution. The instrument with price bellow 2000 euro consists of image intensifier and gigabite ethernet camera running at 61 fps. With resolution better than VGA the system produces up to 2TB of scientifically valuable video data per night. Main goal of the paper is not to optimize any GPU algorithm, but to propose and evaluate parallel GPU algorithms able to process huge amount of video-sequences in order to delete all uninteresting data.

  18. AstroVis: Visualizing astronomical data cubes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Finniss, Stephen; Tyler, Robin; Questiaux, Jacques

    2016-08-01

    AstroVis enables rapid visualization of large data files on platforms supporting the OpenGL rendering library. Radio astronomical observations are typically three dimensional and stored as data cubes. AstroVis implements a scalable approach to accessing these files using three components: a File Access Component (FAC) that reduces the impact of reading time, which speeds up access to the data; the Image Processing Component (IPC), which breaks up the data cube into smaller pieces that can be processed locally and gives a representation of the whole file; and Data Visualization, which implements an approach of Overview + Detail to reduces the dimensions of the data being worked with and the amount of memory required to store it. The result is a 3D display paired with a 2D detail display that contains a small subsection of the original file in full resolution without reducing the data in any way.

  19. Astronomical observations with an infrared array camera

    SciTech Connect

    Tresch-Fienberg, R.M.

    1985-01-01

    Astronomical observations with an infrared array camera demonstrate that arrays are excellent for high spatial resolution photometric mapping of celestial objects. The author describes a a 16 x 16 pixel array camera system based on a bismuth-doped silicon charge injection device optimized for use in the 8-13 micron atmospheric window. Observing techniques and image processing algorithms that are unique to the use of an array detector are also discussed. Multi-wavelength, 1-2 arcsec resolution images of three different celestial objects are presented. For the galactic center, maps of the infrared color temperature and emission optical depth are derived. The results are consistent with a model in which a low density region with a massive luminosity source at its center is encircled by a ring of gas and dust from which material may be infalling toward the nucleus. Multiple luminosity sources are not required to explain the infrared appearance of the galactic center. Images of Seyfert galaxy NGC 1068 are the first to resolve the infrared structure of the nucleus and show that it is similar to that at optical and radio wavelengths. Infrared emission extended northeast of the nucleus is identified with the radio jet. Combined with optical spectra and charge coupled device images, the new data imply a causal relationship between the Seyfert activity in the nucleus and the starburst in the disk.

  20. Powerful Radio Burst Indicates New Astronomical Phenomenon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2007-09-01

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

  1. The Application of ElasticSearch in the Massive Astronomical Data Retrieval

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Y. J.; Wang, F.; Deng, H.; Liu, Y. B.

    2016-03-01

    Astronomical observational data are the fundamental element for modern astronomical researches. However, with the rapid increase of astronomical data, the traditional centralized retrieval methods are hard to meet the requirements of high- performance data retrieval. In the study, we present a novel method which is based on the ElasticSearch distributed retrieval engine and River mechanism to create data indexes, and provide high performance data retrieval for massive FITS (Flexible Image Transport System) data. We discuss the key technologies of the nearly real-time retrieval and query. The experimental results show that the method is capable of obtaining high retrieval performance especially for the cases in which the number of the FITS data exceeds millions or even tens of millions. Meanwhile, the method can be easily integrated into the current astronomical data archiving systems, and completely meet the archive requirements of all kinds of astronomical telescope systems.

  2. Automatic mosaicking and volume assembly for high-throughput serial-section transmission electron microscopy

    PubMed Central

    Tasdizen, Tolga; Koshevoy, Pavel; Grimm, Bradley C.; Anderson, James R.; Jones, Bryan W.; Watt, Carl B.; Whitaker, Ross T.; Marc, Robert E.

    2010-01-01

    We describe a computationally efficient and robust fully-automatic method for large-scale electron microscopy image registration. The proposed method is able to construct large image mosaics from thousands of smaller, overlapping tiles with unknown or uncertain positions, and to align sections from a serial section capture into a common coordinate system. The method also accounts for nonlinear deformations both in constructing sections and in aligning sections to each other. The underlying algorithms are based on the Fourier shift property which allows for a computationally efficient and robust method. We demonstrate results on two electron microscopy datasets. We also quantify the accuracy of the algorithm through a simulated image capture experiment. The publicly available software tools include the algorithms and a Graphical User Interface for easy access to the algorithms. PMID:20713087

  3. Orthorectification, mosaicking, and analysis of sub-decimeter resolution UAV imagery for rangeland monitoring

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) offer an attractive platform for acquiring imagery for rangeland monitoring. UAVs can be deployed quickly and repeatedly, and they can obtain sub-decimeter resolution imagery at lower image acquisition costs than with piloted aircraft. Low flying heights result in ima...

  4. Using mosaicked airborne imagery to assess cotton root rot infection on a regional basis

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Cotton root rot is a serious and destructive disease in many of the cotton production areas in Texas. Since 2012, many cotton growers in Texas have used the Topguard fungicide to control this disease in their fields under Section 18 emergency exemptions. Airborne images have been used to monitor the...

  5. Recent Activity at the Astronomical Photographic Data Archive

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cline, J. Donald; Castelaz, M.; Barker, T.

    2011-01-01

    The Astronomical Photographic Data Archive (APDA) located at the Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute (PARI) was established in November 2007. APDA is dedicated to the task of collecting, restoring, preserving and storing astronomical photographic data. APDA is also tasked with scanning each image and establishing a database of images that can be accessed via the Internet by the global community of scientists, researchers and students. APDA is a new type of astronomical observatory - one that harnesses analog data of the night sky taken for more than a century and making that data digitally available. APDA is housed in a newly renovated Research Building on the PARI campus. An award from the NSF allowed renovation of the heating and air conditioning. Plates in APDA are kept in a 20 C +/- 1 C area with humidity at 38% +/- 3%. Renovation of the electrical system with backup power allows for support of a data center with a networked storage system and software donated from EMC Corp. The storage system can hold more than 300 terabytes of research data which can be accessed through multiple gigabyte connectivity to the Internet. APDA has a collection of more than 100,000 photographic plates and film collections, as well as major instrumentation, from NASA, the STScI, the US Naval Observatory, the Harvard Smithsonian CfA and others. APDA possesses two high precision glass plate scanners, GAMMA I and GAMMA II, that were built for NASA and the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI). The scanners were used to develop the HST Guide Star Catalog and Digitized Sky Survey. We will present the status of GAMMA II and the recent donations of astronomical plates and current research projects.

  6. Glacial cycles and astronomical forcing

    SciTech Connect

    Muller, R.A.; MacDonald, G.J.

    1997-07-11

    Narrow spectral features in ocean sediment records offer strong evidence that the cycles of glaciation were driven by astronomical forces. Two million years ago, the cycles match the 41,000-year period of Earth`s obliquity. This supports the Croll/Milankovitch theory, which attributes the cycles to variations in insolation. But for the past million years, the spectrum is dominated by a single 100,000-year feature and is a poor match to the predictions of insolation models. The spectrum can be accounted for by a theory that derives the cycles of glaciation from variations in the inclination of Earth`s orbital plane.

  7. Senenmut: An Ancient Egyptian Astronomer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Novakovic, B.

    2008-10-01

    The celestial phenomena have always been a source of wonder and interest to people, even as long ago as the ancient Egyptians. While the ancient Egyptians did not know all the things about astronomy that we do now, they had a good understanding of some celestial phenomena. The achievements in astronomy of ancient Egyptians are relatively well known, but we know very little about the people who made these achievements. The goal of this paper is to bring some light on the life of Senenmut, the chief architect and astronomer during the reign of Queen Hatshepsut.

  8. Method for determining astronomic azimuth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Evans, Alan G.; Stein, William L.

    1990-09-01

    An improved method is disclosed for fixing position of a land based target site with respect to a reference site in the natural coordinate frame comprising the steps of determining geodetic azimuth between the target site and the reference target using Global Positioning System (GPS) satellites and relative positioning survey techniques; then calculating a relationship using gravity vertical deflections; and then converting the geodetic azimuth to astronomic azimuth. This method has several advantages over conventional methods of targeting, including speed, the ability to work in all weather conditions, and improved accuracy.

  9. How I Became an Astronomer

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Maran, Stephen P.

    2001-01-01

    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.

  10. Visualizing Astronomical Data with Blender

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kent, Brian R.

    2014-01-01

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

  11. astroplan: Observation Planning for Astronomers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morris, Brett

    2016-03-01

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

  12. Robust Mosaicking of Stereo Digital Elevation Models from the Ames Stereo Pipeline

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kim, Tae Min; Moratto, Zachary M.; Nefian, Ara Victor

    2010-01-01

    Robust estimation method is proposed to combine multiple observations and create consistent, accurate, dense Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) from lunar orbital imagery. The NASA Ames Intelligent Robotics Group (IRG) aims to produce higher-quality terrain reconstructions of the Moon from Apollo Metric Camera (AMC) data than is currently possible. In particular, IRG makes use of a stereo vision process, the Ames Stereo Pipeline (ASP), to automatically generate DEMs from consecutive AMC image pairs. However, the DEMs currently produced by the ASP often contain errors and inconsistencies due to image noise, shadows, etc. The proposed method addresses this problem by making use of multiple observations and by considering their goodness of fit to improve both the accuracy and robustness of the estimate. The stepwise regression method is applied to estimate the relaxed weight of each observation.

  13. Russian astronomical ephemeris editions and software

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Glebova, N.; Lukashova, M.; Netsvetaeva, G.; Sveshnikov, M.; Skripnichenko, V.

    2015-08-01

    Institute of Applied Astronomy has published "The Astronomical Yearbook", "The Nautical Astronomical Yearbook", "The Nautical Astronomical Almanac" biennial. Ephemerides are calculated according to resolutions of GA IAU of 2000-2006. The EPM domestic theory of movement of the Solar system bodies is used in Russian astronomical ephemeris editions and software since 2009 according to the recommendations of the conference CTNS-2007. Along with printing the astronomical software are elaborated. "The Personal Astronomical Yearbook" (PersAY) allows the user to solve tasks of calculation of ephemerides for any moment in various time scales, and for any position of the observer on a terrestrial surface. System of the removed access the "Scturman" is developed also intended to solve some the navigating tasks.

  14. The ESO astronomical site monitor upgrade

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-08-01

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

  15. Astronomical Methods in Aerial Navigation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Beij, K Hilding

    1925-01-01

    The astronomical method of determining position is universally used in marine navigation and may also be of service in aerial navigation. The practical application of the method, however, must be modified and adapted to conform to the requirements of aviation. Much of this work of adaptation has already been accomplished, but being scattered through various technical journals in a number of languages, is not readily available. This report is for the purpose of collecting under one cover such previous work as appears to be of value to the aerial navigator, comparing instruments and methods, indicating the best practice, and suggesting future developments. The various methods of determining position and their application and value are outlined, and a brief resume of the theory of the astronomical method is given. Observation instruments are described in detail. A complete discussion of the reduction of observations follows, including a rapid method of finding position from the altitudes of two stars. Maps and map cases are briefly considered. A bibliography of the subject is appended.

  16. Astronomers in the Chemist's War

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trimble, Virginia L.

    2012-01-01

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

  17. LGBT Workplace Issues for Astronomers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  18. The Japanese Astronomical Archives Project

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nakamura, T.

    2004-12-01

    Due to recent activities of local libraries and museums in Japan for collecting and cataloguing historical books and documents and their increased efforts to publicize such information via Internet services, we are now in a position to have a much easier and better access to the historical resources preserved than in the past. With this background, we started in 2002 a project under governmental support for four years, to make a general inventory of Japanese archives in astronomy and relating disciplines written or published before 1870. Since in pre-modern Japan astronomical knowledge and books were circulated mainly in hand-written form so that they have been apt to be lost in wars and fires, there are good reasons for us to now compile such an inventory through extensive and systematic surveys of both domestic and overseas sources. In April 2003, we published an inventory book of 250 pages, which is intended to be a basis for our survey, including about 4600 titles collected from known source materials. We expect that by March 2006 the number of titles will be increased by 30-35%. This paper briefly introduces the current status of this project and presents the characteristics and problems of Japanese astronomical archives.

  19. Combined ultraviolet studies of astronomical sources

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dupree, A. K.; Baliunas, S. L.; Blair, W. P.; Hartmann, L. W.; Huchra, J. P.; Raymond, J. C.; Smith, G. H.; Sonderblom, D. R.

    1985-01-01

    Ultraviolet studies of various astronomical entities are reported. Among the specific phenomena examined were supernova remnants, dwarf novae, red giant stars, stellar winds, binary stars, and galaxies.

  20. Storing Astronomical Information on the Romanian Territory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stavinschi, Magda; Mioc, Vasile

    The Romanian astronomy has a more than 2000-year old tradition which is however too little known abroad. The first known archive of astronomical information is the Dacian sanctuary at Sarmizegetusa Regia very similar to that of Stonehenge. After a gap of more than 1000 years sources of astronomical information became to be recovered. They consist mainly of records of astronomical events seen on the Romanian territory. The most safe places to store these genuine archives were the monasteries. We present a classification of the manners of storing astronomical information along with characteristic examples.

  1. Storing Astronomical Information on the Romanian Territory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stavinschi, M.; Mioc, V.

    2004-12-01

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

  2. Exploratory visualization of astronomical data on ultra-high-resolution wall displays

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pietriga, Emmanuel; del Campo, Fernando; Ibsen, Amanda; Primet, Romain; Appert, Caroline; Chapuis, Olivier; Hempel, Maren; Muñoz, Roberto; Eyheramendy, Susana; Jordan, Andres; Dole, Hervé

    2016-07-01

    Ultra-high-resolution wall displays feature a very high pixel density over a large physical surface, which makes them well-suited to the collaborative, exploratory visualization of large datasets. We introduce FITS-OW, an application designed for such wall displays, that enables astronomers to navigate in large collections of FITS images, query astronomical databases, and display detailed, complementary data and documents about multiple sources simultaneously. We describe how astronomers interact with their data using both the wall's touchsensitive surface and handheld devices. We also report on the technical challenges we addressed in terms of distributed graphics rendering and data sharing over the computer clusters that drive wall displays.

  3. Towards Fast Morphological Mosaicking of High-Resolution Multi-Spectral Products - on Improvements of Seamlines

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Storch, Tobias; Fischer, Peter; Fast, Sebastian; Serr, Philipp; Krauß, Thomas; Müller, Rupert

    2016-06-01

    The complex process of fully automatically establishing seamlines for the fast production of high-quality mosaics with high-amount of high-resolution multi-spectral images is detailed and improved in this paper. The algorithm is analyzed and a quasi-linear runtime in the number of considered pixels is proven for all situations. For typical situations the storage is even essentially smaller from a complexity theoretical perspective. Improvements from algorithm practical perspective are specified, too. The influence of different methods for the determination of seamlines based on gradients is investigated in detail for three Sentinel-2 products. The studied techniques cover well-known ones normally based on a single band. But also more sophisticated techniques based on multiple bands or even taking additional external geo-information data are taken into account. Based on the results a larger area covered by Image2006 orthorectified products with data of the Resourcesat-1 mission is regarded. The feasibility of applying advanced subordinated methods for improving the mosaic such as radiometric harmonization is examined. This also illustrates the robustness of the improved seamline determination approaches.

  4. BOOK REVIEW: The Wandering Astronomer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Swinbank, Elizabeth

    2000-09-01

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

  5. Astronomical Knowledge from Holy Books

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Farmanyan, Sona V.; Devrikyan, Vardan G.; Mickaelian, Areg M.

    2016-10-01

    We investigate religious myths related to astronomy from different cultures in an attempt to identify common subjects and characteristics. The paper focuses on astronomy in religion. The initial review covers records from Holy books about sky related superstitious beliefs and cosmological understanding. The purpose of this study is to introduce sky related religious and national traditions (particularly based on different calendars; Solar or Lunar). We carried out a comparative study of astronomical issues contained in a number of Holy books. We come to the conclusion that the perception of celestial objects varies from culture to culture, and from religion to religion and preastronomical views had a significant impact on humankind, particularly on religious diversities. We prove that Astronomy is the basis of cultures, and that national identity and mythology and religion were formed due to the special understanding of celestial objects.

  6. William Doberck - double star astronomer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    MacKeown, P. Kevin

    2007-03-01

    We outline the role of astronomy in the career of William Doberck (1852-1941). After taking a PhD in astronomy at the University of Jena in 1873, he accepted a position as superintendent of Markree Observatory in the west of Ireland. There he refurbished the great 13-inch refractor and spent nine years observing mostly double star systems, paying only such attention to meteorological monitoring as was required of his position. In 1883 he became the founding Director of a new observatory in Hong Kong, a post which he held for 24 years. His frustrations in attempting to continue his purely astronomical work, not assuaged by his combative and prickly personality, and in the face of the strictly practical demands of that mercantile society for comprehensive storm forecasting, are described. Finally, his observations in retirement in England, and his overall contribution to astronomy, are summarised.

  7. IAU Public Astronomical Organisations Network

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Canas, Lina; Cheung, Sze Leung

    2015-08-01

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

  8. Ancient Astronomical Monuments of Athens

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Theodossiou, E.; Manimanis, V. N.

    2010-07-01

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

  9. Goddard Geophysical and Astronomical Observatory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Figueroa, Ricardo

    2013-01-01

    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.

  10. Astronomical Data in Undergraduate courses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-06-01

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

  11. Accessing Astronomical Data over the Internet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ipatov, S. I.

    1999-05-01

    Websites of astronomical journals, scientific organizations, databases and individual scientists are listed. A short description of the information that can be obtained from these addresses is included. The websites are mainly for specialists in dynamic astronomy, but may also be of interest to other astronomers.

  12. Aristotle University Astronomical Station at Mt. Holomon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Avdellidou, C.; Ioannidis, P.; Kouroubatzakis, K.; Nitsos, A.; Vakoulis, J.; Seiradakis, J. H.

    2012-01-01

    The Aristotle University Astronomical Station was established seven years ago in order to fulfill the educational needs of its students. Astronomical observations are undertaken using three fully equipped small telescopes. Some interesting results are presented below, including the study of asteroids and flare stars, the detection of optical emission from supernovae remnants and follow up observations in extra solar planets.

  13. Conceptual Astronomy Knowledge among Amateur Astronomers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Berendsen, Margaret L.

    2005-01-01

    Amateur astronomers regularly serve as informal astronomy educators for their communities. This research inquires into the level of knowledge of basic astronomy concepts among amateur astronomers and examines factors related to amateur astronomy that affect that knowledge. Using the concept questions from the Astronomy Diagnostic Test Version 2,…

  14. ISO Results Presented at International Astronomical Union

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1997-08-01

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

  15. The design and evaluation of a generic method for generating mosaicked multispectral filter arrays.

    PubMed

    Miao, Lidan; Qi, Hairong

    2006-09-01

    The technology of color filter arrays (CFA) has been widely used in the digital camera industry since it provides several advantages like low cost, exact registration, and strong robustness. The same motivations also drive the design of multispectral filter arrays (MSFA), in which more than three spectral bands are used. Although considerable research has been reported to optimally reconstruct the full-color image using various demosaicking algorithms, studies on the intrinsic properties of these filter arrays as well as the underlying design principles have been very limited. Given a set of representative spectral bands, the design of an MSFA involves two issues: the selection of tessellation mechanisms and the arrangement/layout of different spectral bands. We develop a generic MSFA generation method starting from a checkerboard pattern. We show, through case studies, that most of the CFAs currently used by the industry can be derived as special cases of MSFAs generated using the generic algorithm. The performance of different MSFAs are evaluated based on their intrinsic properties, namely, the spatial uniformity and the spectral consistency. We design two metrics, static coefficient and consistency coefficient, to measure these two parameters, respectively. The experimental results demonstrate that the generic algorithm can generate optimal or near-optimal MSFAs in both the rectangular and the hexagonal domains.

  16. Compression of interferometric radio-astronomical data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Offringa, A. R.

    2016-11-01

    Context. The volume of radio-astronomical data is a considerable burden in the processing and storing of radio observations that have high time and frequency resolutions and large bandwidths. For future telescopes such as the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), the data volume will be even larger. Aims: Lossy compression of interferometric radio-astronomical data is considered to reduce the volume of visibility data and to speed up processing. Methods: A new compression technique named "Dysco" is introduced that consists of two steps: a normalization step, in which grouped visibilities are normalized to have a similar distribution; and a quantization and encoding step, which rounds values to a given quantization scheme using a dithering scheme. Several non-linear quantization schemes are tested and combined with different methods for normalizing the data. Four data sets with observations from the LOFAR and MWA telescopes are processed with different processing strategies and different combinations of normalization and quantization. The effects of compression are measured in image plane. Results: The noise added by the lossy compression technique acts similarly to normal system noise. The accuracy of Dysco is depending on the signal-to-noise ratio (S/N) of the data: noisy data can be compressed with a smaller loss of image quality. Data with typical correlator time and frequency resolutions can be compressed by a factor of 6.4 for LOFAR and 5.3 for MWA observations with less than 1% added system noise. An implementation of the compression technique is released that provides a Casacore storage manager and allows transparent encoding and decoding. Encoding and decoding is faster than the read/write speed of typical disks. Conclusions: The technique can be used for LOFAR and MWA to reduce the archival space requirements for storing observed data. Data from SKA-low will likely be compressible by the same amount as LOFAR. The same technique can be used to compress data from

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1999-01-01

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

  18. Astronomers Find Enormous Hole in the Universe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2007-08-01

    Astronomers have found an enormous hole in the Universe, nearly a billion light-years across, empty of both normal matter such as stars, galaxies, and gas, and the mysterious, unseen "dark matter." While earlier studies have shown holes, or voids, in the large-scale structure of the Universe, this new discovery dwarfs them all. Void Illustration Hole in Universe revealed by its effect on Cosmic Microwave Background radiation. CREDIT: Bill Saxton, NRAO/AUI/NSF, NASA Click on image for page of graphics and detailed information "Not only has no one ever found a void this big, but we never even expected to find one this size," said Lawrence Rudnick of the University of Minnesota. Rudnick, along with Shea Brown and Liliya R. Williams, also of the University of Minnesota, reported their findings in a paper accepted for publication in the Astrophysical Journal. Astronomers have known for years that, on large scales, the Universe has voids largely empty of matter. However, most of these voids are much smaller than the one found by Rudnick and his colleagues. In addition, the number of discovered voids decreases as the size increases. "What we've found is not normal, based on either observational studies or on computer simulations of the large-scale evolution of the Universe," Williams said. The astronomers drew their conclusion by studying data from the NRAO VLA Sky Survey (NVSS), a project that imaged the entire sky visible to the Very Large Array (VLA) radio telescope, part of the National Science Foundation's National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO). Their careful study of the NVSS data showed a remarkable drop in the number of galaxies in a region of sky in the constellation Eridanus. "We already knew there was something different about this spot in the sky," Rudnick said. The region had been dubbed the "WMAP Cold Spot," because it stood out in a map of the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) radiation made by the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotopy Probe (WMAP) satellite

  19. Astronomical catalog desk reference, 1994 edition

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1994-01-01

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

  20. Blind Deconvolution Method of Image Deblurring Using Convergence of Variance

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-03-24

    10 4 Astronomical imaging diagram . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 5 (a) is the truth data and shows the scene of the...useful results when processing astronomical scenes. This new technique will capitalize on the statistics of the blurry image and the refined image...improves on current methods for deblurring astronomical data. Experiments conducted using simulated data will feature binary star images as well as

  1. Astronomers Gain Clues About Fundamental Physics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2005-12-01

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

  2. A component based astronomical visualization tool for instrument control

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Briegel, Florian; Berwein, Jürgen; Kittmann, Frank; Pavlov, Alexey

    2008-07-01

    For various astronomical instruments developed at the Max-Planck-Institute-Heidelberg there was a need for a highly flexible display and control tool. Many display tools (ximtool, DS9, skycat,...) are available for astronomy, but all this applications are monolitic and can't be easily enriched by plugins for interaction with the graphical display, and other functionalities for remote access and control of the instrument and data pipepline. It was developed on top of Trolltechs Cross-Platform Rich Client Development Framework Qt,1 the modern middleware Internet Communications Engine 2 from ZeroC and the template based SOA developer framework for astronomical instrumentation - NICE.3 The display tool is used on the Calar Alto Observatory, Spain) as a guider, for a wide field imager and guider at the Wise Observatory (Israel; for the LBT interferometer Linc-Nirvana, USA).

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thomas, B.; Jenness, T.; Economou, F.; Greenfield, P.; Hirst, P.; Berry, D. S.; Bray, E.; Gray, N.; Muna, D.; Turner, J.; de Val-Borro, M.; Santander-Vela, J.; Shupe, D.; Good, J.; Berriman, G. B.; Kitaeff, S.; Fay, J.; Laurino, O.; Alexov, A.; Landry, W.; Masters, J.; Brazier, A.; Schaaf, R.; Edwards, K.; Redman, R. O.; Marsh, T. R.; Streicher, O.; Norris, P.; Pascual, S.; Davie, M.; Droettboom, M.; Robitaille, T.; Campana, R.; Hagen, A.; Hartogh, P.; Klaes, D.; Craig, M. W.; Homeier, D.

    2015-09-01

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

  4. Multiband filters for near-infrared astronomical applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rhoads, James E.; Malhotra, Sangeeta; Scowen, Paul; Probst, Ron; McCarthy, Don

    2010-07-01

    Filters for astronomical imaging traditionally have a simple bandpass that admits (more or less equally) all the photons within some bandwith ▵λ around some central wavelength λ0. However, there are situations where not all photons are equally desirable. We plan to develop and apply multiband filters for practical astronomical application. A multiband filter is a bandpass filter whose transmission dips to zero at select, undesired wavelength ranges. Anticipated applications include (i) OH-suppressing filters, especially in the J band (λc ~ 1.2μm) (ii) economy of filter slots through multi-band filters used in series with broad blocking filters; and (iii) efficient searches for object classes with highly structured spectra. We present the design and anticipated photometric properties of a prototype reduced-background JR filter, which we plan to buy and test in 2010.

  5. Managing Dynamic Range for Visualization of Astronomical Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hurt, R. L.

    2005-12-01

    The steps involved in transforming one or more astronomical FITS datasets into a print-friendly picture are similar to the photographer's role in taking a photograph. For many images, a key step is compressing dynamic range so that it can be viewed in print or onscreen. Since astronomical datasets can span many magnitudes of dynamic range, they must generally be transformed by the application of a stretch function to render into viewable 8-bit graphics. Many tools for this exist, including the Photoshop FITS LIberator which has a flexible system for stretching data. The quality of the final product can be improved by a proper understanding the characteristics of common stretch functions and how to renormalize the datasets through background subtraction and scaling. This paper will present a practical overview of these topics and show how stretch functions can be used most effectively.

  6. First use of a HyViSI H4RG for astronomical observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Simms, Lance M.; Figer, Donald F.; Hanold, Brandon J.; Kerr, Daniel J.; Gilmore, D. Kirk; Kahn, Steven M.; Tyson, J. Anthony

    2007-09-01

    We present the first astronomical results from a 4K2 Hybrid Visible Silicon PIN array detector (HyViSI) read out with the Teledyne Scientific and Imaging SIDECAR ASIC. These results include observations of astronomical standards and photometric measurements using the 2.1m KPNO telescope. We also report results from a test program in the Rochester Imaging Detector Laboratory (RIDL), including: read noise, dark current, linearity, gain, well depth, quantum efficiency, and substrate voltage effects. Lastly, we highlight results from operation of the detector in window read out mode and discuss its potential role for focusing, image correction, and use as a telescope guide camera.

  7. First use of a HyViSI H4RG for Astronomical Observations

    SciTech Connect

    Simms, Lance M.; Figer, Donald F.; Hanold, Brandon J.; Kerr, Daniel J.; Gilmore, D.Kirk; Kahn, Steven M.; Tyson, J.Anthony; /UC, Davis

    2007-09-25

    We present the first astronomical results from a 4K2 Hybrid Visible Silicon PIN array detector (HyViSI) read out with the Teledyne Scientific and Imaging SIDECAR ASIC. These results include observations of astronomical standards and photometric measurements using the 2.1m KPNO telescope. We also report results from a test program in the Rochester Imaging Detector Laboratory (RIDL), including: read noise, dark current, linearity, gain, well depth, quantum efficiency, and substrate voltage effects. Lastly, we highlight results from operation of the detector in window read out mode and discuss its potential role for focusing, image correction, and use as a telescope guide camera.

  8. User extensibility of the Firefly astronomical visualization software

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dubois-Felsmann, Gregory P.; Goldina, Tatiana; Ly, Loi; Roby, William; Wu, Xiuqin; Zhang, Lijun

    2016-01-01

    We have developed mechanisms for extending the functionality of the open-source Firefly astronomical visualization software with user-supplied code. Firefly is a toolkit for the construction of Web-based applications for visualizing astronomical images and tabular data, with the software distribution also including a basic general-purpose pre-built application. The Firefly tools are the base for NASA's IRSA archive as well as other web applications developed at IPAC.Recent releases include new public APIs allowing the extension of Firefly functionality in various ways. New Javascript APIs allow customization of the interface presented in the browser, including the ability to define buttons for custom actions that can be performed on points, lines, and regions in images. New Python APIs allow the invocation of operations in a Firefly-based application, allowing it to serve as a display engine for FITS images and other astronomical data. In addition, the Firefly web server side has been enhanced with the ability to invoke user-supplied processes that can produce either image or tabular results based on operations on data from the application or external sources. For instance, the user can define an operation to perform source detection on a graphically selected region in an image and return the results for display as a table and/or x-y plot. User processes can be defined in any language supported on the server host; our current efforts have focused on Python. This mechanism has been used to support the integration of Firefly with the LSST project's software stack, with reusable "tasks" from the LSST stack configurable as extensions to Firefly.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Ribeiro, V. A. R. M.; Russo, P.; Cárdenas-Avendaño, A. E-mail: russo@strw.leidenuniv.nl

    2013-12-01

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

  10. A Survey of Astronomical Research: A Baseline for Astronomical Development

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  11. High resolution VESTA LAMO atlas derived from Dawn FC images.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roatsch, Thomas; Kersten, Elke; Matz, Klaus-Dieter; Preusker, Frank; Scholten, Frank; Jaumann, Ralf; Raymond, Carol A.; Russell, Cris T.

    2013-04-01

    Introduction: NASA's Dawn spacecraft entered orbit of the inner main belt asteroid 4 Vesta on July 16, 2011, and spent about one year in orbit to characterize the geology, elemental and mineralogical composition, topography, shape, and internal structure of Vesta before it departed to asteroid 1 Ceres in late 2012. One of the major goals of the mission was a global mapping of Vesta. Data: The DAWN mission was mapping Vesta from three different orbit heights during Survey orbit (3100 km altitude), HAMO (High Altitude Mapping Orbit, 700 km altitude), and LAMO (Low Altitude Mapping Orbit, 210 km altitude) [1]. The Dawn mission is equipped with a framing camera (FC) [2] which was the prime instrument during the LAMO phase. DAWN orbited Vesta during LAMO in 21 cycles between December 2011 and end of April 2012. The framing camera took about 10,000 clear filter images with a resolution of about 20 m/pixel during these cycles. The images were taken with different viewing angles and different illumination conditions. We selected about 8,000 images for the global coverage of Vesta. Data Processing: The first step of the processing chain is to ortho rectify the images to the proper scale and map projection type. This process requires detailed high-resolution information of the local topography of Vesta. The global topgraphy was calculated during the stereo processing of the HAMO images [3] and was used here. The shape model was used for the calculation of the ray intersection points while the map projection itself was done onto a sphere with a mean radius of 255 km. The next step was the mosaicking of all images to one global mosaic of Vesta, the so called basemap. Vesta map tiles: The Vesta atlas was produced in a scale of 1:200,000 and consists of 30 tiles that conform to the quadrangle scheme proposed by Greeley and Batson [4] and is used for example for mapping Mars in a scale of 1:5,000,000. A map scale of 1:200,000 guarantees a mapping at the highest available DAWN

  12. Young Galaxy's Magnetism Surprises Astronomers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2008-10-01

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

  13. The Blue Comet: A Railroad's Astronomical Heritage

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rumstay, Kenneth S.

    2009-01-01

    Between 1929 February 21 and 1941 September 27, the Central New Jersey Railroad operated a luxury passenger train between Jersey City and Atlantic City. Named The Blue Comet, the locomotive, tender, and coaches sported a unique royal blue paint scheme designed to evoke images of celestial bodies speeding through space. Inside each car were etched window panes and lampshades featuring stars and comets. And each coach sported the name of a famous comet on its side; these comets were of course named for their discoverers. Some of the astronomers honored in this unique fashion remain famous to this day, or at least their comets do. The names D'Arrest, Barnard, Encke, Faye, Giacobini, Halley, Olbers, Temple, Tuttle, and Westphal are familiar ones. But Biela, Brorsen, deVico, Spitaler, and Winnecke have now largely faded into obscurity; their stories are recounted here. Although more than sixty years have elapsed since its last run, The Blue Comet, perhaps the most famous passenger train in American history, lives on in the memories of millions of passengers and railfans. This famous train returned to the attention of millions of television viewers on the evening of 2007 June 3, in an episode of the HBO series The Sopranos. This work was supported by a faculty development grant from Valdosta State University.

  14. Book Review: Scientific Writing for Young Astronomers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Uyttenhove, Jos

    2011-12-01

    EDP Sciences, Les Ulis, France. Part 1 : 162 pp. € 35 ISBN 978-2-7598-0506-8 Part 2 : 298 pp. € 60 ISBN 978-2-7598-0639-3 The journal Astronomy & Astrophysics (A&A) and EDP Sciences decided in 2007 to organize a School on the various aspects of scientific writing and publishing. In 2008 and 2009 Scientific Writing for Young Astronomers (SWYA) Schools were held in Blankenberge (B) under the direction of Christiaan Sterken (FWO-VUB). These two books (EAS publication series, Vol. 49 and 50) reflect the outcome of these Schools. Part 1 contains a set of contributions that discuss various aspects of scientific publication; it includes A&A Editors' view of the peer review and publishing process. A very interesting short paper by S.R. Pottasch (Kapteyn Astronomical Institute, Groningen, and one of the two first Editors-in Chief of A&A) deals with the history of the creation of the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics. Two papers by J. Adams et al. (Observatoire de Paris) discuss language editing, including a detailed guide for any non-native user of the English language. In 2002 the Board of Directors decided that all articles in A&A must be written in clear and correct English. Part 2 consists of three very extensive and elaborated papers by Christiaan Sterken, supplying guidelines to PhD students and postdoctoral fellows to help them compose scientific papers for different forums (journals, proceedings, thesis, etc.). This part is of interest not only for young astronomers but it is very useful for scholars of all ages and disciplines. Paper I "The writing process" (60 pp.) copes with the preparation of manuscripts, with communicating with editors and referees and with avoiding common errors. Delicate problems on authorship, refereeing, revising multi-authored papers etc. are treated in 26 FAQ's. Paper II "Communication by graphics" (120 pp.) is entirely dedicated to the important topic of communication with images, graphs, diagrams, tables etc. Design types of graphs

  15. MAISIE: a multipurpose astronomical instrument simulator environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    O'Brien, Alan; Beard, Steven; Geers, Vincent; Klaassen, Pamela

    2016-07-01

    Astronomical instruments often need simulators to preview their data products and test their data reduction pipelines. Instrument simulators have tended to be purpose-built with a single instrument in mind, and at- tempting to reuse one of these simulators for a different purpose is often a slow and difficult task. MAISIE is a simulator framework designed for reuse on different instruments. An object-oriented design encourages reuse of functionality and structure, while offering the flexibility to create new classes with new functionality. MAISIE is a set of Python classes, interfaces and tools to help build instrument simulators. MAISIE can just as easily build simulators for single and multi-channel instruments, imagers and spectrometers, ground and space based instruments. To remain easy to use and to facilitate the sharing of simulators across teams, MAISIE is written in Python, a freely available and open-source language. New functionality can be created for MAISIE by creating new classes that represent optical elements. This approach allows new and novel instruments to add functionality and take advantage of the existing MAISIE classes. MAISIE has recently been used successfully to develop the simulator for the JWST/MIRI- Medium Resolution Spectrometer.

  16. Franklin Edward Kameny (1925-2011, Astronomer)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wright, Jason

    2012-01-01

    Dr. Frank Kameny is best known today as one of the most important members of the gay rights movement in the United States, but he was also a PhD astronomer. In fact, it was his firing from his civil service position as astronomer for the US Army Map Service on the grounds of homosexuality that sparked his lifelong career of activism. Here, I explore some aspects of his short but interesting astronomical career and the role of the AAS in his life.

  17. America's foremost early astronomer. [David Rittenhouse

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rubincam, David Parry; Rubincam, Milton, II

    1995-01-01

    The life of 18th century astronomer, craftsman, and partriot David Rittenhouse is detailed. As a craftsman, he distinguished himself as one of the foremost builders of clocks. He also built magnetic compasses and surveying instruments. The finest examples of his craftsmanship are considered two orreries, mechanical solar systems. In terms of astronomical observations, his best-known contribution was his observation of the transit of Venus in 1769. Rittenhouse constructed the first diffraction grating. Working as Treasurer of Pennsylvania throughout the Revolution, he became the first director of the Mint in 1792. Astronomical observations in later life included charting the position of Uranus after its discovery.

  18. Treasure-Hunting in Astronomical Plate Archives

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kroll, Peter; La Dous, Constanze; Bräuer, Hans-Jürgen

    In our days astronomical research shows two trends - anong others: On the one hand traditional astronomical plate archives are in danger of falling into oblivion while science is losing their information content. On the other hand, there is an ever-growing need for long-term monitoring of large quantities of objects - the very information contained in the archives. On thes background the workshop ``Treasure-Hunting in Astronomical Plate Archives'' was convened in order to discuss the scientific potential of the world's photometric and astrometric plate archives, ways of making them fully available to scientific research, as well as technical problems connected with this.

  19. Astronomical Knowledge in Holy Books

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Farmanyan, Sona V.; Mickaelian, Areg M.

    2015-08-01

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

  20. VEGAS: VErsatile GBT Astronomical Spectrometer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bussa, Srikanth; VEGAS Development Team

    2012-01-01

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

  1. "Microquasar" Discoveries Win Prize for Astronomers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

  2. The PACA Project: When Amateur Astronomers Become Citizen Scientists

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yanamandra-Fisher, P. A.

    2014-12-01

    The Pro-Am Collaborative Astronomy (PACA) project evolved from the observational campaign of C/2012 S1 or C/ISON in 2013. Following the success of the professional-amateur astronomer collaboration in scientific research via social media, it is now implemented in other comet observing campaigns. While PACA identifies a consistent collaborative approach to pro-am collaborations, given the volume of data generated for each campaign, new ways of rapid data analysis, mining access and storage are needed. Several interesting results emerged from the synergistic inclusion of both social media and amateur astronomers: (1) the establishment of a network of astronomers and related professionals, that can be galvanized into action on short notice to support observing campaigns; (2) assist in various science investigations pertinent to the campaign; (3) provide an alert-sounding mechanism should the need arise; (4) immediate outreach and dissemination of results via our media/blogger members; (5) provide a forum for discussions between the imagers and modelers to help strategize the observing campaign for maximum benefit. In 2014, two new comet observing campaigns involving pro-am collaborations have been initiated: (1) C/2013 A1 (C/SidingSpring) and (2) 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko (CG), target for ESA/Rosetta mission. The evolving need for individual customized observing campaigns has been incorporated into the evolution of PACA portal that currently is focused on comets: from supporting observing campaigns of current comets, legacy data, historical comets; interconnected with social media and a set of shareable documents addressing observational strategies; consistent standards for data; data access, use, and storage, to align with the needs of professional observers. The integration of science, observations by professional and amateur astronomers, and various social media provides a dynamic and evolving collaborative partnership between professional and amateur astronomers

  3. Astronomers Discover Fastest-Spinning Pulsar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2006-01-01

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

  4. Stardial: an Autonomous Astronomical Camera on the World Wide Web

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McCullough, P.; Thakkar, U.

    1997-11-01

    We describe the use of an autonomous astronomical camera, called ``Stardial,'' for undergraduate instruction. Stardial delivers images of the night sky nearly in real-time to the world wide web (www.astro.uiuc.edu/~stardial/). The world wide web (WWW) interface is robust, inexpensive, and accommodates many students asynchronously with respect to the instructor(s). The guiding philosophy is to provide students with authentic astronomical data so that they may learn about science by doing it themselves. Students respond favorably to the opportunity to learn from their own experiences with authentic data, complete with its irregularities and its surprises. Stardial has been operational for one academic year (1996-97) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In this paper we describe Stardial's instrumentation, some of the curriculum based upon Stardial's unique data, and the experiences of students who have used Stardial. We conclude with possible research topics using Stardial data and with a brief look to the future of remote laboratories. (SECTION: Astronomical Instrumentation) The name ``Stardial'' derives from the fact that like a sundial, Stardial is a stationary device placed outside 24 hours a day, and that both depend on and make evident the rotation of the Earth. A sundial operates with sunlight, while Stardial operates with starlight. There the similarity ends.

  5. The Discovery of Extrasolar Planets by Backyard Astronomers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Castellano, Tim; Laughlin, Greg; DeVincenzi, D. (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    The discovery since 1995 of more than 80 planets around nearby solar-like stars and the photometric measurement of a transit of the jovian mass planet orbiting the solar-like star HD 209458 (producing a more than 1% drop in brightness that lasts 3 hours) has heralded a new era in astronomy. It has now been demonstrated that small telescopes equipped with sensitive and stable electronic detectors can produce fundamental scientific discoveries regarding the frequency and nature of planets outside the solar system. The modest equipment requirements for the discovery of extrasolar planetary transits of jovian mass planets in short period orbits around solar-like stars are fulfilled by commercial small aperture telescopes and CCD (charge coupled device) imagers common among amateur astronomers. With equipment already in hand and armed with target lists, observing techniques and software procedures developed by scientists at NASA's Ames Research Center and the University of California at Santa Cruz, non-professional astronomers can contribute significantly to the discovery and study of planets around others stars. In this way, we may resume (after a two century interruption!) the tradition of planet discoveries by amateur astronomers begun with William Herschel's 1787 discovery of the 'solar' planet Uranus.

  6. PANIC (PtSi Astronomical Near-Infrared Camera) in South Africa and its astronomical applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tanabe, Toshihiko; Nishida, Shinji; Nakada, Yoshikazu; Matsumoto, Shigeru; Onaka, Takashi; Sekiguchi, Kazuhiro; Ono, Tomoko; Glass, Ian S.; Carter, David B.

    1996-06-01

    A large-format PtSi array (effectively 1040 by 520 pixels) has been incorporated into an astronomical infrared camera (named PANIC: PtSi astronomical near-infrared camera) intended for wide-field survey work using the 0.75-m telescope at Sutherland and the 0.4-m one at Capetown. Here we briefly describe our camera and its astronomical applications.

  7. Recent Development in Astronomic Position Determinations.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1984-10-25

    Division, incorporates a charge injection device (CID) detector having a 256 x 256 pixel array. The system is integrated with a Wild T-4 astronomic... sigma ). This system is being built for the Defense Mapping Agency under an on-going technical development program to improve the accuracy of astronomic...charge injection device (CID) 08 of electro-optical system theodolite star sensor 19. ABSTRACT (Continue on reverse if necessary and identlify by blocks

  8. Algorithms for Large-Scale Astronomical Problems

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2013-08-01

    release; distribution unlimited 13. SUPPLEMENTARY NOTES 14. ABSTRACT Modern astronomical datasets are getting larger and larger, which already include...of data, which raises the following question: How can we use modern computer science techniques to help astronomers better analyze large datasets? To...indexing and sorting further reduce the processing time of user queries.  We processed large data using modern distributed computing frameworks

  9. Infrared array detectors. [for astronomical observation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Arens, J. F.

    1982-01-01

    Arrays of detectors sensitive to infrared radiation will enable astronomical observations to be made with shorter observing times than with discrete detectors and with good relative spatial accuracy. Systems using such arrays are being developed for astronomy in several regions of the electromagnetic spectrum. An example of an infrared system is given here consisting of a 32x32 element bismuth doped silicon charge injection device array that has been used in an astronomical camera.

  10. Interactions between astronomical ephemerides and society

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arlot, Jean-Eudes

    2011-06-01

    Ephemerides are regularly made by astronomers for their own uses. However, the general public is also interested, as well as official organisms, because of the interactions of ephemerides with society. Astronomers in charge of the making of calendars and keeping the time are of great importance every day. Their calculations are also required for the positioning of ships and airplanes. Some ephemerides are also requested by the general public.

  11. Woods Hole Image Processing System Software implementation; using NetCDF as a software interface for image processing

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Paskevich, Valerie F.

    1992-01-01

    The Branch of Atlantic Marine Geology has been involved in the collection, processing and digital mosaicking of high, medium and low-resolution side-scan sonar data during the past 6 years. In the past, processing and digital mosaicking has been accomplished with a dedicated, shore-based computer system. With the need to process sidescan data in the field with increased power and reduced cost of major workstations, a need to have an image processing package on a UNIX based computer system which could be utilized in the field as well as be more generally available to Branch personnel was identified. This report describes the initial development of that package referred to as the Woods Hole Image Processing System (WHIPS). The software was developed using the Unidata NetCDF software interface to allow data to be more readily portable between different computer operating systems.

  12. PyXel: A Python Package for Astronomical X-ray Data Modeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ogrean, Georgiana

    2017-01-01

    PyXel is a open-source Python package for modeling astronomical X-ray imaging data. It is primarily built on NumPy, SciPy, Astropy, and emcee. The package aims to provide a common set of image analysis tools for astronomers working with extended X-ray sources. I will present an overview of its features, and analysis examples based on public Chandra data.The code is available for download on GitHub (https://github.com/gogrean/PyXel), and contributions to it are welcome.

  13. Astronomical Data Center Bulletin, volume 1, no. 1

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Warren, W. H., Jr. (Editor); Nagy, T. A. (Editor); Mead, J. M. (Editor)

    1980-01-01

    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.

  14. Astronomical Observations by Speckle Interferometry.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1986-06-12

    FIELD GROUP IUB-GROUP Speckle Interferometry; Extrasolar Planets; Brown Dwarfs; ,, IAsteroids; Diffraction Limited Imaging; Image Processing...the astrophysi- of T. It is likely that careful visual inspection should cal parameters of r Per which are summarized in Table have detected the...SPECTROSCOPIC BINARIES y Per AND . Cyg 566 TAME V. Residuals to the speckle observations of y Per. TABLE VI. Preliminaq astrophysical parameters for y Per

  15. STELAR: an Experiment in the Electronic Distribution of Astronomical Literature

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Warnock, A.; van Steenberg, M. E.; Brotzman, L. E.; Gass, J. E.; Kovalsky, D.; Giovane, F.

    1993-01-01

    \\STELAR\\ is a pilot project designed to study the technical and practical aspects of making the refereed scientific literature available on line. Machine readable abstractions, supplied by the NASA STI program, of articles from eight journals of interest to astronomers have been indexed and made available using WAIS as the query and retrieval mechanism for the publically-available prototype. The complete system will include the ability to retrieve scanned images of the pages of selected articles. Enhancements of the search and retrieval system, the user interface and additions to the current holdings are anticipated.

  16. Pointing system for the balloon-borne astronomical payloads

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nirmal, Kaipacheri; Sreejith, Aickara Gopinathan; Mathew, Joice; Sarpotdar, Mayuresh; Ambily, Suresh; Prakash, Ajin; Safonova, Margarita; Murthy, Jayant

    2016-10-01

    We describe the development and implementation of a light-weight, fully autonomous 2-axis pointing and stabilization system designed for balloon-borne astronomical payloads. The system is developed using off-the-shelf components such as Arduino Uno controller, HMC 5883L magnetometer, MPU-9150 inertial measurement unit, and iWave GPS receiver unit. It is a compact and rugged system which can also be used to take images/video in a moving vehicle or in real photography. The system performance is evaluated from the ground, as well as in conditions simulated to imitate the actual flight by using a tethered launch.

  17. The North American Astronomical Photographic Plate Center: Phase I.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cline, J. D.; Castelaz, M. W.; Crowley, T.; Griffin, E.; Osborn, W.

    2004-05-01

    Astronomical photographic plates constitute an important and, for the large part, unrepeatable resource for research. International pressure is mounting to preserve and catalog scientifically valuable plate collections and capture their information through digitization. At the same time, many institutions holding plates now lack the space, funds and expertise to adequately preserve this important material. In response, the Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute has established the North American Photographic Plate Center (NAPPC). NAPPC is intended as a long-term repository for direct and objective prism plate collections currently stored in North America. PARI is a natural location for such a center. It offers physically secure and abundant environmentally controlled space for plate storage as well as Internet 2 infrastructure and instrument space necessary for the eventual digitization and Internet distribution of images. Phase I of this initiative is to collect unwanted plate collections, store them in an appropriate manner, prepare catalogues of their relevant information and establish a laboratory for on-site examination or measurement of the plates. This is currently underway. Phase II will be the eventual digitization and development of a public web accessible database of images. We will describe the procedures for placing plate collections in NAPPC, the infrastructure in place for plate storage and measurement, and our preliminary plans for making the plate archive a public image library with Internet access.

  18. European astronomers observe first evaporating planet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2003-03-01

    The scorched planet called HD 209458b orbits ‘only’ 7 million kilometres from its yellow Sun-like star. By comparison, Jupiter, the closest gas giant in our Solar System, orbits 780 million kilometres from our Sun. NASA/ESA Hubble Space telescope observations reveal a hot and puffed-up evaporating hydrogen atmosphere surrounding the planet. This huge envelope of hydrogen resembles a comet with a tail trailing behind the planet. The planet circles the parent star in a tight 3.5-day orbit. Earth also has an extended atmosphere of escaping hydrogen gas, but the loss rate is much lower. A mainly European team led by Alfred Vidal-Madjar (Institut d’Astrophysique de Paris, CNRS, France) reports this discovery in the 13 March edition of Nature. "We were astonished to see that the hydrogen atmosphere of this planet extends over 200 000 kilometres," says Vidal-Madjar. Studying extrasolar planets, especially if they are very close to their parent stars, is not easy because the starlight is usually too blinding. The planet was also too close to the star for Hubble to photograph directly in this case. However, astronomers were able to observe the planet indirectly since it blocks light from a small part of the star during transits across the disc of the star, thereby dimming it slightly. Light passing through the atmosphere around the planet is scattered and acquires a signature from the atmosphere. In a similar way, the Sun’s light is reddened as it passes obliquely through the Earth’s atmosphere at sunset. Astronomers used Hubble’s space telescope imaging spectrograph (STIS) to measure how much of the planet's atmosphere filters light from the star. They saw a startling drop in the star's hydrogen emission. A huge, puffed-up atmosphere can best explain this result. What is causing the atmosphere to escape? The planet’s outer atmosphere is extended and heated so much by the nearby star that it starts to escape the planet's gravity. Hydrogen boils off in the

  19. Digital processing of side-scan sonar data with the Woods Hole image processing system software

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Paskevich, Valerie F.

    1992-01-01

    Since 1985, the Branch of Atlantic Marine Geology has been involved in collecting, processing and digitally mosaicking high and low-resolution side-scan sonar data. Recent development of a UNIX-based image-processing software system includes a series of task specific programs for processing side-scan sonar data. This report describes the steps required to process the collected data and to produce an image that has equal along- and across-track resol

  20. Astronomers debate diamonds in space

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1999-04-01

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

  1. He2-90'S APPEARANCE DECEIVES ASTRONOMERS

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    Astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have stumbled upon a mysterious object that is grudgingly yielding clues to its identity. A quick glance at the Hubble picture at top shows that this celestial body, called He2-90, looks like a young, dust-enshrouded star with narrow jets of material streaming from each side. But it's not. The object is classified as a planetary nebula, the glowing remains of a dying, lightweight star. But the Hubble observations suggest that it may not fit that classification, either. The Hubble astronomers now suspect that this enigmatic object may actually be a pair of aging stars masquerading as a single youngster. One member of the duo is a bloated red giant star shedding matter from its outer layers. This matter is then gravitationally captured in a rotating, pancake-shaped accretion disk around a compact partner, which is most likely a young white dwarf (the collapsed remnant of a sun-like star). The stars cannot be seen in the Hubble images because a lane of dust obscures them. The Hubble picture at top shows a centrally bright object with jets, appearing like strings of beads, emanating from both sides of center. (The other streaks of light running diagonally from He2-90 are artificial effects of the telescope's optical system.) Each jet possesses at least six bright clumps of gas, which are speeding along at rates estimated to be at least 375,000 miles an hour (600,000 kilometers an hour). These gaseous salvos are being ejected into space about every 100 years, and may be caused by periodic instabilities in He2-90's accretion disk. The jets from very young stars behave in a similar way. Deep images taken from terrestrial observatories show each jet extending at least 100,000 astronomical units (one astronomical unit equals the Earth-Sun distance, 93 million miles). The jets' relatively modest speed implies that one member of the duo is a white dwarf. Observations by the Compton Gamma-Ray Observatory, however, discovered a

  2. All-sky brightness monitoring of light pollution with astronomical methods.

    PubMed

    Rabaza, O; Galadí-Enríquez, D; Estrella, A Espín; Dols, F Aznar

    2010-06-01

    This paper describes a mobile prototype and a protocol to measure light pollution based on astronomical methods. The prototype takes three all-sky images using BVR filters of the Johnson-Cousins astronomical photometric system. The stars are then identified in the images of the Hipparcos and General Catalogue of Photometric Data II astronomical catalogues, and are used as calibration sources. This method permits the measurement of night-sky brightness and facilitates an estimate of which fraction is due to the light up-scattered in the atmosphere by a wide variety of man-made sources. This is achieved by our software, which compares the sky background flux to that of many stars of known brightness. The reduced weight and dimensions of the prototype allow the user to make measurements from virtually any location. This prototype is capable of measuring the sky distribution of light pollution, and also provides an accurate estimate of the background flux at each photometric band.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2005-03-01

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

  4. Astronomers Discover New Star-Forming Regions in Milky Way

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2010-05-01

    Astronomers studying the Milky Way have discovered a large number of previously-unknown regions where massive stars are being formed. Their discovery provides important new information about the structure of our home Galaxy and promises to yield new clues about the chemical composition of the Galaxy. "We can clearly relate the locations of these star-forming sites to the overall structure of the Galaxy. Further studies will allow us to better understand the process of star formation and to compare the chemical composition of such sites at widely different distances from the Galaxy's center," said Thomas Bania, of Boston University. Bania worked with Loren Anderson of the Astrophysical Laboratory of Marseille in France, Dana Balser of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO), and Robert Rood of the University of Virginia. The scientists presented their findings to the American Astronomical Society's meeting in Miami, Florida. The star-forming regions the astronomers sought, called H II regions, are sites where hydrogen atoms are ionized, or stripped of their electrons, by the intense radiation of the massive, young stars. To find these regions hidden from visible-light detection by the Milky Way's gas and dust, the researchers used infrared and radio telescopes. "We found our targets by using the results of infrared surveys done with NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope and of surveys done with the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Very Large Array (VLA) radio telescope," Anderson said. "Objects that appear bright in both the Spitzer and VLA images we studied are good candidates for H II regions," he explained. The astronomers then used the NSF's giant Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope (GBT) in West Virginia, an extremely sensitive radio telescope. With the GBT, they were able to detect specific radio frequencies emitted by electrons as they recombined with protons to form hydrogen. This evidence of recombination confirmed that the regions contained ionized

  5. Astronomers celebrate a year of new Hubble results

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1995-02-01

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

  6. International Astronomical Search Collaboration -- Astronomical Discovery Program for High School and College Students

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miller, Patrick

    2012-01-01

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

  7. The associate principal astronomer telescope operations model

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Drummond, Mark; Bresina, John; Swanson, Keith; Edgington, Will; Henry, Greg

    1994-01-01

    This paper outlines a new telescope operations model that is intended to achieve low operating costs with high operating efficiency and high scientific productivity. The model is based on the existing Principal Astronomer approach used in conjunction with ATIS, a language for commanding remotely located automatic telescopes. This paper introduces the notion of an Associate Principal Astronomer, or APA. At the heart of the APA is automatic observation loading and scheduling software, and it is this software that is expected to help achieve efficient and productive telescope operations. The purpose of the APA system is to make it possible for astronomers to submit observation requests to and obtain resulting data from remote automatic telescopes, via the Internet, in a highly-automated way that minimizes human interaction with the system and maximizes the scientific return from observing time.

  8. DVD Database Astronomical Manuscripts in Georgia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-06-01

    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.

  9. Services for Astronomical Data Management and Sharing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  10. ORCID Uptake in the Astronomical Community

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Holmquist, Jane

    2015-08-01

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

  11. Ancient Maya Astronomical Tables from Xultun, Guatemala

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-05-01

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

  12. Brazilian Participations in the International Astronomical Search Collaboration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-10-01

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

  13. Book Review: Scientific Writing for Young Astronomers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Broens, E.

    2013-06-01

    Part 1, 165 pp., hardcover, EAS Publication Series Volume 49, ISBN 978-2-7598-0506-8. Price 36 Euro, including VAT (http://www.edition-sciences.com/scientific-writing-for-young-astronomers-part-1.htm). Part 2, 298 pp., hardcover, EAS Publication Series Volume 50, ISBN 987-2-7598-0639-3. Price 61 Euro, including VAT (http://www.edition-sciences.com/scientific-writing-for-young-astronomers-part-2.htm). Both parts include subject and name index and list of acronyms. Published by EAS, EDP Sciences, Les Ulis, France.

  14. Water-Powered Astronomical Clock Tower

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sun, Xiaochun

    The construction of water-powered astronomical instruments was a long tradition of instrument making that started in the second century AD with Zhang Heng's water-powered celestial globe. The technology reached a peak when, in the eleventh century, Su Song and his team constructed the Water-Powered Astronomical Clock Tower which combined the armillary sphere, the celestial globe, and the time-keeping mechanism into a large automatic structure. Su Song's instrument contained a mechanism for controlling the water-powered movements of its wheels that amounts to an "escapement mechanism" for a mechanical clock. A new reconstruction of the mechanism is introduced in this chapter.

  15. Digital Images on the DIME

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2003-01-01

    With NASA on its side, Positive Systems, Inc., of Whitefish, Montana, is veering away from the industry standards defined for producing and processing remotely sensed images. A top developer of imaging products for geographic information system (GIS) and computer-aided design (CAD) applications, Positive Systems is bucking traditional imaging concepts with a cost-effective and time-saving software tool called Digital Images Made Easy (DIME(trademark)). Like piecing a jigsaw puzzle together, DIME can integrate a series of raw aerial or satellite snapshots into a single, seamless panoramic image, known as a 'mosaic.' The 'mosaicked' images serve as useful backdrops to GIS maps - which typically consist of line drawings called 'vectors' - by allowing users to view a multidimensional map that provides substantially more geographic information.

  16. The Astronomical Photographic Data Archive at the Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Castelaz, M. W.

    2009-08-01

    Astronomical photographic data constitute an enormously important and, for the large part, unrepeatable resource for astronomical research. To answer the need for rescue, preservation and digitization of astronomical photographic data, the Astronomical Photographic Data Archive (APDA) was established at Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute (PARI). APDA is essential both for the health of astronomical science and for credibility of the current generation of astronomers as guardians of its unique heritage. The basic facility requirements met at PARI for APDA include: a secure area with controlled access; several thousand square feet of floor space with a solid foundation; a clean, dust-free environment with controlled humidity and temperature; protection from sunlight; office and lab space for high-resolution scanners and with internet access. APDA development is focused on collections in danger of disposal or extreme damage. Beyond this essential salvage effort, PARI is currently working to establish the physical archives environment, collection development plan, and standard finding aids for the archive. This essay describes the current set of collections, status for access, research resulting from the collections, and future direction of APDA.

  17. Power spectrum analysis of astronomical photographs digitised with small apertures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stobie, R. S.; Okamura, S.; Davenhall, A. C.; MacGillivray, H. T.

    1984-04-01

    Noise characteristics of images on 8 UK Schmidt Telescope plates, 2 Anglo-Australian Telescope prime focus plates, and 2 Palomar Observatory Sky Survey (POSS) copies (comprising 3 different emulsion types) were measured with a scanning aperture of 11 microns and a pixel spacing of 16 microns. Power spectrum analysis shows plate noise (except POSS plates) to correspond to almost white noise over the frequency range 0.1 to 60 cycles/mm. The signal-to-noise power spectrum is shown to be a useful tool for measuring the information content of an astronomical photograph. Macronoise computed over 8 x 8 mm regions on the plates varies as the minus half power of the aperture area. Information content of a survey quality IIIa-J plate and atlas quality copies on very fine-grained emulsion were compared. Analysis shows no significant degradation in emulsion noise or image content of the copy relative to the original.

  18. Recent astronomical detector development at the University of Arizona

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lesser, Michael

    2012-07-01

    The University of Arizona Imaging Technology Laboratory (ITL) has been developing back illuminated detectors and detector technologies for several astronomical projects in recent years. These projects include the WIYN telescope One Degree Imager (ODI) mosaic of Orthogonal Transfer Array CCDs, the VIRUS detectors for the University of Texas' Hobby-Eberly Telescope Dark Energy Experiment (HETDEX), detector and packaging development for the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST), and 10kx10k and 4kx4k CCDs for several instruments. In this paper we discuss these projects with an emphasis on backside processing issues and detector characterization results which may be relevant to other groups. We will also focus packaging techniques and metrology for achieving very flat and stable focal planes. Results will include device flatness at cryogenic temperatures, process yield, photo-response non-uniformity and cosmetics, quantum efficiency, read noise, linearity, charge transfer efficiency, and photon transfer data.

  19. Crowd Sourcing as a Means of Collecting Astronomical Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Childs, Linda; Burke, Todd; Gorjian, Varoujan; Odden, Caroline; Orgul, Sarp; Strasburger, David; Tambara, Kevin

    2015-01-01

    The discovery of previously unknown, extreme sources of infrared excess was a highly engaging activity for five teachers, a veteran astronomer, and more than 30 students in the NITARP program (NASA/IPAC Teacher Archive Research Program). Beginning with over one million sources culled from Spitzer Enhanced Imaging Products (SEIP) archive, the group used color-color plots to identify just over one hundred sources that appeared to exhibit extreme infrared excess. The team then developed a computer selection system that allowed group members to rate the reliability of each source based on cutout images from the SEIP server. The crowd sourcing proved to be an integral part of the process. Decisions on which objects qualified for further review were based on the results of this crowdsourcing exercise. This research was made possible through the NASA/IPAC Teacher Archive Research Program (NITARP) and was funded by NASA Astrophysics Data Program.

  20. TOPICAL REVIEW: Inverse problems in astronomical adaptive optics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ellerbroek, B. L.; Vogel, C. R.

    2009-06-01

    Adaptive optics (AO) is a technology used in ground-based astronomy to correct for the wavefront aberrations and loss of image quality caused by atmospheric turbulence. Provided some difficult technical problems can be overcome, AO will enable future astronomers to achieve nearly diffraction-limited performance with the extremely large telescopes that are currently under development, thereby greatly improving spatial resolution, spectral resolution and observing efficiency which will be achieved. The goal of this topical review is to present to the inverse problems community a representative sample of these problems. In this review, we first present a tutorial overview of the mathematical models and techniques used in current AO systems. We then examine in detail the following topics: laser guidestar adaptive optics, multi-conjugate and multi-object adaptive optics, high-contrast imaging and deformable mirror modeling and parameter identification.

  1. Imaging sciences workshop

    SciTech Connect

    Candy, J.V.

    1994-11-15

    This workshop on the Imaging Sciences sponsored by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory contains short abstracts/articles submitted by speakers. The topic areas covered include the following: Astronomical Imaging; biomedical imaging; vision/image display; imaging hardware; imaging software; Acoustic/oceanic imaging; microwave/acoustic imaging; computed tomography; physical imaging; imaging algorithms. Selected papers are indexed separately for inclusion in the Energy Science and Technology Database.

  2. Astronomers Win Protection for Key Part of Radio Spectrum

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2000-06-01

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

  3. Next VLT Instrument Ready for the Astronomers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2000-02-01

    FORS2 Commissioning Period Successfully Terminated The commissioning of the FORS2 multi-mode astronomical instrument at KUEYEN , the second FOcal Reducer/low dispersion Spectrograph at the ESO Very Large Telescope, was successfully finished today. This important work - that may be likened with the test driving of a new car model - took place during two periods, from October 22 to November 21, 1999, and January 22 to February 8, 2000. The overall goal was to thoroughly test the functioning of the new instrument, its conformity to specifications and to optimize its operation at the telescope. FORS2 is now ready to be handed over to the astronomers on April 1, 2000. Observing time for a six-month period until October 1 has already been allocated to a large number of research programmes. Two of the images that were obtained with FORS2 during the commissioning period are shown here. An early report about this instrument is available as ESO PR 17/99. The many modes of FORS2 The FORS Commissioning Team carried out a comprehensive test programme for all observing modes. These tests were done with "observation blocks (OBs)" that describe the set-up of the instrument and telescope for each exposure in all details, e.g., position in the sky of the object to be observed, filters, exposure time, etc.. Whenever an OB is "activated" from the control console, the corresponding observation is automatically performed. Additional information about the VLT Data Flow System is available in ESO PR 10/99. The FORS2 observing modes include direct imaging, long-slit and multi-object spectroscopy, exactly as in its twin, FORS1 at ANTU . In addition, FORS2 contains the "Mask Exchange Unit" , a motorized magazine that holds 10 masks made of thin metal plates into which the slits are cut by means of a laser. The advantage of this particular observing method is that more spectra (of more objects) can be taken with a single exposure (up to approximately 80) and that the shape of the slits can be

  4. Throughput of commercial photographic camera lenses for use in astronomical systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nagasawa, D. Q.; Mondrik, N.; Marshall, J. L.; DePoy, D. L.; Schmidt, L.; Hill, B.; Turner, L.; Rheault, J. P.

    2016-08-01

    We present measurements of the spectral response function of commercially-available Nikon 35mm photographic camera lenses for use in astronomical instrumentation. Our motivation for this work stems from the fact that several astronomical imaging systems have been deployed or proposed using this type of commercial lens. We have performed measurements of the relative and absolute spectral response function of five commercially-available photographic lenses. These measurements show that these lenses generally have >50% throughput across the entire optical window of 400nm < λ < 800nm.

  5. "Word of Discovery": A Planetary Example from Volume I of the Astronomical Journal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hockey, T.

    1998-09-01

    In 1850, William Lassell (1799-1880) discovered a series of bright white spots, in the south temperate latitudes of Jupiter, unlike any that that been seen before. Lassell's note on these STZ features is a useful example of how astronomical discoveries of the day were communicated among astronomers. Word of Lassell's Spots spread quickly by nineteenth-century standards. This was due, in part, to the recent appearance of journals devoted exclusively to astronomy. The transition from letters as a means of conveying scientific information to journals is reflected in the propagation of Lassell's announcement: a report of Lassell's description of the white spots to the Royal Astronomical Society appeared in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society along with a woodblock print of one of his drawings. This report reappeared shortly thereafter in German translation. It was part of a letter to the editor of the Astronomische Nachrichten, Heinrich Schumacher (1780-1850), from an English correspondent of his, the Reverend Richard Sheepshanks (1974-1855). (Sheepshanks was himself editor of the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.) It then made its way across the Atlantic as a letter from Schumacher to Benjamin Gould (1824-1896), who published it in the first volume of his upstart Astronomical Journal. There it appears in English, again, as Schumacher quoting Sheepshanks quoting Lassell! The observations by Lassell and William Dawes (1799-1868) of this phenomenon also were the first major planetary discovery made using a silvered-glass reflecting telescope. Lassell's Spots have remained in the "astronomical news" of the last 150 years: Most recently, they appeared worldwide in images showing the Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 impact sites.

  6. Astroquery: querying astronomical web forms and databases

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sipocz, Brigitta

    2016-03-01

    Astroquery is an Astropy affiliated package for a set of tools for querying astronomical web forms and databases. In this lightning talk I give an overview of the available services and the usage of the package including a live demo of a typical use case.

  7. Astronomía en la cultura

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  8. Kepler as astronomical observer in Prague

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bialas, Volker

    Official histories of science have consistently perpetuated the rumour that Kepler's poor eyesight prevented him from undertaking astronomical observations. However the condition of his eyesight could not have been so serious for in 1582, when his father made it possible for him to see a lunar eclipse, Kepler saw the moon emerge clearly. We find quite a lot of his astronomical observations especially of the years in Prague, mostly left in his manuscripts and unpublished until now. They will be edited in Vol. XXI.1 of the Kepler-Edition in the next future. Kepler's astronomical observations in Prague were mostly initiated by spectacular phenomena in the sky. He was self-critical enough to know, that his observations could not compete with those of the best observers of his time. It was not necessary for him to come up to highest standard of accuracy, and it was not possible to do so because he did not possess proper astronomical instruments. But nevertheless it was important for him as a theorist of astronomy and as a philosopher of nature to take a view of the phenomena which he wished to study carefully.

  9. Nathaniel Bowditch, Early American Amateur Astronomer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Williams, Thomas R.

    1984-10-01

    Nathaniel Bowditch had very successful careers as a seaman/ship's master and as an actuary/insurance executive. In addition he managed to make very substantial contributions to mathematics and astronomy. Bowditch is therefore important as one of the earliest significant amateur astronomers in the United States.

  10. Prospective Science Teachers' Conceptions about Astronomical Subjects

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Küçüközer, Hüseyin

    2007-01-01

    The main objective of this study was to identify prospective science teachers' conceptions on basic astronomical phenomena. A questionnaire consisting of nine open-ended questions was administered to 327 prospective science teachers. The questionnaire was constructed after extensive review of the literature and took into consideration the reported…

  11. ASTROPHYSICS: Astronomers Spot Their First Carbon Bomb.

    PubMed

    Irion, R

    2000-11-17

    Carbon on the surface of an ultradense star detonated in a 3-hour thermonuclear explosion, according to a report at a meeting here last week of the American Astronomical Society's High Energy Astrophysics Division. If confirmed, the burst would be the first known cosmic explosion fueled solely by carbon rather than hydrogen or helium and could verify or revise models of carbon combustion.

  12. Astronomical Data Bank: The Solar System.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Morrison, David

    1983-01-01

    Provided are two tables which contain the latest orbital and physical characteristics of the planets and their main satellites. These tables are part of a series of information materials available from the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, 1290 24th Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94122. (JN)

  13. Early Astronomical Sequential Photography, 1873-1923

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bonifácio, Vitor

    2011-11-01

    In 1873 Jules Janssen conceived the first automatic sequential photographic apparatus to observe the eagerly anticipated 1874 transit of Venus. This device, the 'photographic revolver', is commonly considered today as the earliest cinema precursor. In the following years, in order to study the variability or the motion of celestial objects, several instruments, either manually or automatically actuated, were devised to obtain as many photographs as possible of astronomical events in a short time interval. In this paper we strive to identify from the available documents the attempts made between 1873 and 1923, and discuss the motivations behind them and the results obtained. During the time period studied astronomical sequential photography was employed to determine the time of the instants of contact in transits and occultations, and to study total solar eclipses. The technique was seldom used but apparently the modern film camera invention played no role on this situation. Astronomical sequential photographs were obtained both before and after 1895. We conclude that the development of astronomical sequential photography was constrained by the reduced number of subjects to which the technique could be applied.

  14. Sociological Profile of Astronomers in Spain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  15. Sociological profile of astronomers in Spain.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Ussel, J. I.; Trinidad, A.; Ruíz, D.; Battaner, E.; Delgado, A. J.; Rodríguez-Espinosa, J. M.; Salvador-Solé, E.; Torrelles, J. M.

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

  16. Astronomical Data Center Bulletin, volume 1, number 2

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nagy, T. A.; Warren, W. H., Jr.; Mead, J. M.

    1981-01-01

    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.

  17. Johann Leonhard Rost, "novelist" and astronomer; (German Title: Johann Leonhard Rost, "Romanist" und Astronom)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gaab, Hans; Simons, Olaf

    Johann Leonhard Rost (1688-1727) of Nuremberg studied at Altdorf, Leipzig and Jena. During this time, he earned his living by writing gallant novels. In 1715, he returned to Nuremberg, where he pursued his juvenile inclination towards astronomy and became a serious astronomical observer. His introductions to astronomy, written around this time, contributed a lot to popularize astronomy. This contribution attempts to do justice to both the novelist and the astronomer Rost.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kazantseva, Liliya

    2012-09-01

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

  19. Initial Lab and Sky Test Results for the Teledyne Imaging System’s H4RG-10 CMOS-Hybrid 4k Visible Array for Use in Ground- and Space-based Astronomical and SSA Applications

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2007-01-01

    Initial Lab and Sky Test Results for the Teledyne Imaging System’s H4RG -10 CMOS-Hybrid 4k Visible Array for Use in Ground- and Space-based...00-00-2007 to 00-00-2007 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE Initial Lab And Sky Test Results For The Teledyne Imaging System’s H4RG -10 CMOS-Hybrid 4k Visible...relative strengths and weaknesses. 5. DESCRIPTION OF THE H4RG -10 FPA AND GROUND TEST CAMERA During the J-MAPS concept study and subsequent risk

  20. Astronomical Association of Queensland Program of Measurements of Seven Southern Multiple Stars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jenkinson, Graeme

    2016-04-01

    This paper presents the results of a mid-2014 program of the Astronomical Association of Queensland of photographic measurements of seven southern multiple stars. The images were obtained using a Meade DSI CCD camera in conjunction with an equatorially mounted 150mm F8 refractor. For each target pair, either a 2x or 5x barlow lens was used as required. Image processing was carried out using Losse's REDUC software.

  1. Stardial -- an autonomous astronomical camera on the WWW

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McCullough, P. R.; Thakkar, U.

    1997-05-01

    The use of an autonomous electronic camera, called ``Stardial,'' for undergraduate instruction is described. Stardial delivers images of the night sky nearly in real-time to the world wide web (www.astro.uiuc.edu/stardial/). The remote instrumentation of Stardial is robust, inexpensive, and accomodates many students asynchronously with respect to the instructor(s). The guiding philosophy of the curriculum is to provide students with authentic astronomical data so that they may learn about science by doing it themselves on the internet. Students respond favorably to the opportunity to learn from their own experiences with genuine data, complete with its irregularities and its surprises. Perhaps surprisingly, 9 of 10 self-selected student volunteers in our pilot project were female. Stardial's instrumentation is similar to that of Gaustad et al., and to that of Richmond, Droege, et al. (both at this same meeting). Stardial has benefitted from contributions from students, especially Lawrence Tan, Troy Klyber, Jim Pulokas, Jim Waldemer, and Diana Lopez, and from a number of professionals, especially G.T. Becker, Mike Newberry, John Dolby, Tom Droege, Bob Mutel, Mike Richmond, John Thorstensen, and Rick White. Stardial is funded by the University of Illinois, primarily from the office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs. We welcome participation from amateur astronomers and other educators.

  2. Public perception of astronomers Revered, reviled and ridiculed

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    West, Michael J.

    2011-06-01

    Society's view of astronomers has changed over time and from culture to culture. This review discusses some of the many ways that astronomers have been perceived by their societies and suggests ways that astronomers can influence public perception of ourselves and our profession in the future.

  3. Astronomical Research with the MicroObservatory Net

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1997-05-01

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

  4. Distinguished Astronomer Awarded Jansky Lectureship

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2008-05-01

    Associated Universities, Inc. (AUI), and the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) have awarded the 2008 Karl G. Jansky Lectureship to Dr. Arthur M. Wolfe of the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). The Jansky Lectureship is an honor established by the trustees of AUI to recognize outstanding contributions to the advancement of radio astronomy. Dr. Arthur M. Wolfe Dr. Arthur M. Wolfe CREDIT: UCSD Click on image for high-resolution file Dr. Wolfe has made major contributions in several areas of astronomy. Along with Rainer Sachs, he predicted the Sachs-Wolfe Effect, a phenomenon which forms the basis for modern precision cosmology using the background radio emission left over from the Big Bang. In the 1970s, he discovered that light emitted by very distant galaxies is absorbed by hydrogen atoms in previously-undetected intervening gas clouds. From the 1980s until the present, he used optical light emitted by distant quasars to show that these clouds are the progenitors of stars found in modern galaxies. This phenomenon has since been used extensively to study the production of heavy elements and history of star formation in the Universe. He also did landmark research on whether the fundamental constants of nature, such as the charge of the electron and the masses of elementary particles, do, in fact, remain constant through cosmological time. Dr. Wolfe was the Director of the Center for Astrophysics and Space Sciences at UCSD from 1997 to 2007. He joined UCSD as a Professor of Physics and Astronomy in 1989, leaving the University of Pittsburgh, where he had taught since 1973. He holds the Chancellor's Associates Chair of Physics at UCSD. Dr. Wolfe received his Ph.D from the University of Texas at Austin. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and received the Sackler Fellowship of the Institute of Astronomy at the University of Cambridge, UK, in 2004. As Jansky Lecturer, Wolfe will give a presentation entitled, Finding the Gas that

  5. Revista Mexicana de Astronomía y Astrofísica, a real option for astronomical publication

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Torres-Peimbert, S.; Allen, C.

    2011-10-01

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

  6. Young Astronomers' Observe with ESO Telescopes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1995-11-01

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

  7. Isaac Newton and the astronomical refraction.

    PubMed

    Lehn, Waldemar H

    2008-12-01

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

  8. Carriers of the astronomical 2175 ? extinction feature

    SciTech Connect

    Bradley, J; Dai, Z; Ernie, R; Browning, N; Graham, G; Weber, P; Smith, J; Hutcheon, I; Ishii, H; Bajt, S; Floss, C; Stadermann, F

    2004-07-20

    The 2175 {angstrom} extinction feature is by far the strongest spectral signature of interstellar dust observed by astronomers. Forty years after its discovery the origin of the feature and the nature of the carrier remain controversial. The feature is enigmatic because although its central wavelength is almost invariant its bandwidth varies strongly from one sightline to another, suggesting multiple carriers or a single carrier with variable properties. Using a monochromated transmission electron microscope and valence electron energy-loss spectroscopy we have detected a 5.7 eV (2175 {angstrom}) feature in submicrometer-sized interstellar grains within interplanetary dust particles (IDPs) collected in the stratosphere. The carriers are organic carbon and amorphous silicates that are abundant and closely associated with one another both in IDPs and in the interstellar medium. Multiple carriers rather than a single carrier may explain the invariant central wavelength and variable bandwidth of the astronomical 2175 {angstrom} feature.

  9. David Gill: clock maker to global astronomer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haley, P. A.

    2014-04-01

    Reduction in the uncertainty of physical measurements underpinned many advances in solar and stellar parallax, the determination of longitude, geodesy, and the accurate mapping of the heavens using celestial photography in the late nineteenth century. A pioneer in these areas, who successfully made the transition from clock maker in Aberdeen to H.M. Astronomer at the Cape of Good Hope was David Gill (1843-1914); Sir David Gill, K.C.B. from 1900. This paper celebrates the first third of Gill's career in astronomy and geodesy up to the time he was made redundant from Dun Echt Observatory at the end of 1875. It highlights how his horological skills were applied to telescope design and also how his aspirations to become a global astronomer started. The paper is timed to coincide with Gill's centenary anniversary year - he died 24 January 1914.

  10. Warren De La Rue - Pioneer astronomical photographer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Le Conte, D.

    2011-02-01

    Warren De La Rue (1815-1889) was the quintessential Victorian wealthy amateur astronomer, operating at the centre of the astronomical scene in England in the third quarter of the nineteenth century. He stands pre-eminent in that country and period in the development and application of astro-photography. His achievements include improvements to the figuring of mirrors, the construction of a superb equatorial reflector and photoheliograph, detailed observations of the Sun, Moon and planets, photography of the Moon and of solar prominences, an extended series of photographic observations of the Sun over a solar cycle, and support for others engaged in the science of astronomy. He achieved all this while making innovations to mechanical systems, carrying out chemical and electrical research, and running a major company.

  11. Recruitment and Retention of LGBTIQ Astronomers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dixon, William Van Dyke

    2012-01-01

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

  12. Astronomical dating in the 19th century

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hilgen, Frederik J.

    2010-01-01

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

  13. Future Astronomical Observatories on the Moon

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Burns, Jack O. (Editor); Mendell, Wendell W. (Editor)

    1988-01-01

    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.

  14. Nicephoros Gregoras: the greatest Byzantine astronomer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Theodossiou, Efstratios Th.; Manimanis, Vassilios N.; Dimitrijević, Milan S.; Danezis, Emmanuel

    2006-02-01

    In the whole of Greece, no eminent astronomers appeared after the great Claudius Ptolemy (second century AD). For ten centuries after Ptolemy we can distinguish only one astronomer: Nicephoros Gregoras (1295 1360). The monk Nicephoros Gregoras is discussed together with his teacher, Theodoros Metochites, one of the most significant scholars of Byzantium. The literary work of Gregoras is especially important, while Byzantine astronomy owes indisputable progress to him. Gregoras was the first to propose, in 1324, a correction to the calculation of the date of Easter, and to the Julian calendar similar to that adopted later, in 1582, by Pope Gregory XIII. This proposition and, more obviously, his dispute with St Gregory Palamas created problems in the relationship between Gregoras and the Church, leading to the desecration of his corpse by a fanatical crowd.

  15. Division B Commission 6: Astronomical Telegrams

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  16. Astronomía Mocoví

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  17. Lunar orbital photography of astronomical phenomena.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mercer, R. D.; Dunkelman, L.; Ross, C. L.; Worden, A.

    1972-01-01

    This paper reports further progress on photography of faint astronomical and geophysical phenomena accomplished during the recent Apollo missions. Command module pilots have been able to photograph such astronomical objects as the solar corona, zodiacal light-corona transition region, lunar libration region, and portions of the Milky Way. The methods utilized for calibration of the film by adaptation of the High Altitude Observatory sensitometer are discussed. Kodak 2485 high-speed recording film was used in both 35-mm and 70-mm formats. The cameras used were Nikon f/1.2 55-mm focal length and Hasselblad f/2.8 80-mm focal length. Preflight and postflight calibration exposures were included on both the flight and control films, corresponding to luminances extending from the inner solar corona to as faint as 1/10 of the luminance of the light of the night sky. The photographs obtained from unique vantage points available during lunar orbit are discussed.

  18. Near Infrared Astronomical Observing During the Daytime

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tinn Chee Jim, Kevin; Pier, Edward Alan; Cognion, Rita L.

    2015-08-01

    Ground-based, near-infrared astronomy has been mostly restriced to nighttime observing with occasional, bright solar system objects observed during the daytime. But for astronomical phenomena that are time-varying on timescales of less than a day, it would be advantageous to be able to gather data during the day and night. We explore some of the limitations of observing in the J, H, and K bands during the daytime. Atmospheric radiative transfer simulations show that K is the optimal common astronomical filter for daytime observations on Mauna Kea, but the J and H filters can also be used. Observations from Mauna Kea show that it is possible to observe objects at least as faint as K=15.5 during the early afternoon, with photometric accuracies only slightly worse than those obtained at night.

  19. The origins of Ptolemy's astronomical tables.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Newton, R. R.

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

  20. The astronomical pulse of global extinction events.

    PubMed

    Lewis, David F V; Dorne, Jean-Lou C M

    2006-06-23

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

  1. Preserving Dark Skies: Do Astronomers Care?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2001-12-01

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

  2. How do earth tides affect astronomers?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sasao, T.

    1978-01-01

    Earth tides affect astronomical observations of the Earth's rotation in the following two ways: (1) verticals are deflected; and (2) the polar moment of inertia of the Earth is changed causing periodic variations in the rotation rate. The diurnal and semidiurnal tides and nutation were examined in periodic variations. Results indicate little change occured in the polar motions. Nutation observations were disturbed rather seriously by the diurnal tides.

  3. The la Plata Astronomical Data Center

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marraco, H. G.

    1990-11-01

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

  4. A website for astronomical news in Spanish

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ortiz-Gil, A.

    2008-06-01

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

  5. New knowledge in determining the astronomical orientation of Incas object in Ollantaytambo, Peru

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hanzalová, K.; Klokočník, J.; Kostelecký, J.

    2014-06-01

    This paper deals about astronomical orientation of Incas objects in Ollantaytambo, which is located about 35 km southeast from Machu Picchu, about 40 km northwest from Cusco, and lies in the Urubamba valley. Everybody writing about Ollantaytambo, shoud read Protzen (1993). He devoted his monograph to description and interpretation of that locality. Book of Salazar and Salazar (2005) deals, among others, with the orientation of objects in Ollantaytambo with respect to the cardinal direction. Zawaski and Malville (2007) documented astronomical context of major monuments of nine sites in Peru, including Ollantaytambo. We tested astronomical orientation in these places and confirm or disprove hypothesis about purpose of Incas objects. For assessment orientation of objects we used our measurements and also satellite images on Google Earth and digital elevation model from ASTER. The satellite images used to approximate estimation of astronomical orientation. The digital elevation model is useful in the mountains, where we need the really horizon for a calculation of sunset and sunrise on specific days (solstices), which were for Incas people very important. By Incas is very famous that they worshiped the Sun. According to him they determined when to plant and when to harvest the crop. In this paper we focused on Temple of the Sun, also known the Wall of six monoliths. We tested which astronomical phenomenon is connected with this Temple. First, we tested winter solstice sunrise and the rides of the Pleiades for the epochs 2000, 1500 and 1000 A.D. According with our results the Temple isn't connected neither with winter solstice sunrise nor with the Pleiades. Then we tested also winter solstice sunset. We tried to use the line from an observation point near ruins of the Temple of Sun, to west-north, in direction to sunset. The astronomical azimuth from this point was about 5° less then we need. From this results we found, that is possible to find another observation

  6. Cosmic Blasts Much More Common, Astronomers Discover

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2006-08-01

    A cosmic explosion seen last February may have been the "tip of an iceberg," showing that powerful, distant gamma ray bursts are outnumbered ten-to-one by less-energetic cousins, according to an international team of astronomers. The VLA The Very Large Array CREDIT: NRAO/AUI/NSF (Click on image for VLA gallery) A study of the explosion with X-ray and radio telescopes showed that it is "100 times less energetic than gamma ray bursts seen in the distant universe. We were able to see it because it's relatively nearby," said Alicia Soderberg, of Caltech, leader of the research team. The scientists reported their findings in the August 31 issue of the journal Nature. The explosion is called an X-ray flash, and was detected by the Swift satellite on February 18. The astronomers subsequently studied the object using the National Science Foundation's Very Large Array (VLA) radio telescope, NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory, and the Ryle radio telescope in the UK. "This object tells us that there probably is a rich diversity of cosmic explosions in our local Universe that we only now are starting to detect. These explosions aren't playing by the rules that we thought we understood," said Dale Frail of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory. The February blast seems to fill a gap between ordinary supernova explosions, which leave behind a dense neutron star, and gamma ray bursts, which leave behind a black hole, a concentration of mass so dense that not even light can escape it. Some X-ray flashes, the new research suggests, leave behind a magnetar, a neutron star with a magnetic field 100-1000 times stronger than that of an ordinary neutron star. "This explosion occurred in a galaxy about 470 million light-years away. If it had been at the distances of gamma ray bursts, as much as billions of light-years away, we would not have been able to see it," Frail said. "We think that the principal difference between gamma ray bursts and X-ray flashes and ordinary supernova

  7. GalileoMobile: Astronomical activities in schools

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  8. AAS Publishing News: Astronomical Software Citation Workshop

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2015-07-01

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

  9. Impact of astronomical research from different countries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sánchez, S. F.; Benn, C. R.

    2004-06-01

    The impact of astronomical research carried out by different countries has been compared by analysing the 1000 most-cited astronomy papers published 1991-8 (125 from each year). 61% of the citations are to papers with first authors at institutions in the USA, 11% in the UK, 5% in Germany, 4% in Canada, 3% in Italy and 3% in France. 17% are to papers with first authors in ESO countries. The number of citations is approximately proportional to the number of IAU members in a given country. The number of citations per IAU astronomer is highest in the USA, Switzerland and the UK. Within continental Europe, the number of citations per IAU astronomer varies little from country to country, but is slightly higher in the north than in the south. The sample of 1000 papers maps regional subject preferences. 62% of the extragalactic papers in the sample were published from the USA, 15% from the UK, 23% from other countries (mainly in continental Europe). 62% of the papers on stars were also published from the USA, but the fractions from the UK and from other countries are 2% and 36% respectively.

  10. Hydroxide catalysis bonding for astronomical instruments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Veggel, Anna-Maria A.; Killow, Christian J.

    2014-06-01

    Hydroxide catalysis bonding (HCB) as a jointing technique has been under development for astronomical applications since ˜1998 (patented by D.-H. Gwo). It uses an aqueous hydroxide solution to form a chemical bond between oxide or oxidisable materials (e.g., SiO2, sapphire, silicon and SiC). It forms strong, extremely thin bonds, and is suitable for room temperature bonding, precision alignment, operation in ultra-low vacuum and down to temperatures of 2.5 K. It has been applied in the NASA satellite mission Gravity Probe B and in the ground-based gravitational wave (GW) detector GEO600. It will soon fly again on the ESA LISA Pathfinder mission and is currently being implemented in the Advanced LIGO and Virgo ground-based GW detectors. This technique is also of considerable interest for use in other astronomical fields and indeed more broadly, due to its desirable, and adjustable, combination of properties. This paper gives an overview of how HCB has been and can be applied in astronomical instruments, including an overview of the current literature on the properties of hydroxide catalysis bonds.

  11. Study on the Application of Fast-steering Mirror in Astronomical Instruments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gao, P. F.; Hu, Z. W.; Dai, S. X.

    2016-05-01

    For astronomical telescopes, an image tracking and correction system is designed to correct the image motion caused by the atmosphere and by imperfect telescope tracking so as to keep the optical path stable, ensure high optical throughput, and improve astronomical observation. When the system is working, the images taken with the CCD camera are sent to the control computer. The software algorithms of the control computer calculate the error value of the star's centroid position between the real-time image and the reference image. Then a control signal is generated for the Tip/tilt mirror to correct the stellar target positioning error. This system has been installed at the 2.16~m telescope of National Astronomical Observatories of China. The experimental results show that the correcting frequency of this system is about 15~Hz when the exposure time is 25~ms. This system can almost eliminate the effect of telescope tracking error, and has some improvement on the impact of low-frequency atmospheric disturbance. The observational efficiency is increased by about 15%.

  12. 110th Anniversary of the Engelhardt Astronomical Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nefedyev, Y.

    2012-09-01

    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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2001-08-01

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

  14. Power spectrum analysis of astronomical photographs digitised with small apertures.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stobie, R. S.; Okamura, S.; Davenhall, A. C.; MacGillivray, H. T.

    A total of 8 UK Schmidt Telescope plates, 2 Anglo-Australian Telescope prime focus plates and 2 Palomar Observatory Sky Survey (POSS) copies were measured with a scanning aperture of 11 μm and a pixel spacing of 16 μm. Power spectrum analysis of the resulting data shows the plate noise (with the exception of the POSS plates) to correspond to almost white noise over the frequency range 0.1 - 60 cycles mm-1. The signal-to-noise power spectrum is shown to be a useful tool for measuring the information content of an astronomical photograph. A comparison was made of the information content of a survey quality UKST IIIaJ plate and atlas quality copies on very fine-grained emulsion. Power spectrum analysis of exactly the same area on the original plate and copies showed no significant degradation in either emulsion noise or image content of the copy relative to the original.

  15. A Study of the Publishing Activity of Astronomers since 1969

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davoust, E.; Schmadel, L. D.

    This is an analysis of the scientific production of astronomers worldwide over the past 17 years. The inflation in astronomical literature is due to the increasing number of astronomers. They are becoming more productive, but there are also more authors per paper. The total production per astronomer has been decreasing, but the trend may be changing. The frequency distribution of productivity falls more steeply than Lotka's law, hence the more prolific authors do not contribute much to the total production. The proportion of more productive astronomers is increasing with time: astronomers' productivity seems to grow with age. Fourteen superproductive astronomers published over 150 papers each in 15 years. Sociological rather than scientific or technical causes are probably responsible for most of the identified trends.

  16. An Integrative Object-Based Image Analysis Workflow for Uav Images

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, Huai; Yan, Tianheng; Yang, Wen; Zheng, Hong

    2016-06-01

    In this work, we propose an integrative framework to process UAV images. The overall process can be viewed as a pipeline consisting of the geometric and radiometric corrections, subsequent panoramic mosaicking and hierarchical image segmentation for later Object Based Image Analysis (OBIA). More precisely, we first introduce an efficient image stitching algorithm after the geometric calibration and radiometric correction, which employs a fast feature extraction and matching by combining the local difference binary descriptor and the local sensitive hashing. We then use a Binary Partition Tree (BPT) representation for the large mosaicked panoramic image, which starts by the definition of an initial partition obtained by an over-segmentation algorithm, i.e., the simple linear iterative clustering (SLIC). Finally, we build an object-based hierarchical structure by fully considering the spectral and spatial information of the super-pixels and their topological relationships. Moreover, an optimal segmentation is obtained by filtering the complex hierarchies into simpler ones according to some criterions, such as the uniform homogeneity and semantic consistency. Experimental results on processing the post-seismic UAV images of the 2013 Ya'an earthquake demonstrate the effectiveness and efficiency of our proposed method.

  17. Measuring the color and brightness of artificial sky glow from cities using an all-sky imaging system calibrated with astronomical methods in the Johnson-Cousins B and V photometric systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pipkin, Ashley; Duriscoe, Dan M.; Lughinbuhl, Christian

    2017-01-01

    Artificial light at night, when observed at some distance from a city, results in a dome of sky glow, brightest at the horizon. The spectral power distribution of electric light utilized will determine its color of the light dome and the amount of light will determine its brightness. Recent outdoor lighting technologies have included blue-rich light emitting diode (LED) sources that may increase the relative amount of blue to green light in sky glow compared to typical high pressure sodium (HPS) sources with warmer spectra. Measuring and monitoring this effect is important to the preservation of night sky visual quality as seen from undeveloped areas outside the city, such as parks or other protected areas, since the dark-adapted human eye is more sensitive to blue and green. We present a method using a wide field CCD camera which images the entire sky in both Johnson V and B photometric bands. Standard stars within the images are used for calibration. The resulting all-sky brightness maps, and a derived B-V color index map, provide a means to assess and track the impact of specific outdoor lighting practices. We also present example data from several cities, including Las Vegas, Nevada, Flagstaff, Arizona, and Cheyenne, Wyoming.

  18. Infrared upconversion for astronomical applications. [laser applications to astronomical spectroscopy of infrared spectra

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Abbas, M. M.; Kostiuk, T.; Ogilvie, K. W.

    1975-01-01

    The performance of an upconversion system is examined for observation of astronomical sources in the low to middle infrared spectral range. Theoretical values for the performance parameters of an upconversion system for astronomical observations are evaluated in view of the conversion efficiencies, spectral resolution, field of view, minimum detectable source brightness and source flux. Experimental results of blackbody measurements and molecular absorption spectrum measurements using a lithium niobate upconverter with an argon-ion laser as the pump are presented. Estimates of the expected optimum sensitivity of an upconversion device which may be built with the presently available components are given.

  19. Surveys, Fields, and Collections in the Astronomical Photographic Data Archive at PARI

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-01-01

    A diverse set of photometric, astrometric, spectral and surface brightness data exist on more than 100 years of photographic glass plates. About 20 percent of the plates in North America are located in the Astronomical Photographic Data Archive (APDA) at the Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute (PARI). APDA was established in November 2007 and is dedicated to the task of collecting, restoring, preserving and storing astronomical photographic data and PARI continues to accept collections. APDA is also tasked with scanning each image and establishing a database of images that can be accessed via the Internet by the global community of scientists, researchers and students. APDA is a new type of astronomical observatory - one that harnesses analog data of the night sky taken for more than a century and making that data available in a digital format. APDA currently has 50 collections with more than 250,000 plates taken for QSO identification, parallax measurements, spectral classification and monitoring, Magellanic Cloud studies, H-alpha emission star surveys, novae evolution, and astrometry of asteroids, outer planet satellites and Pluto. Some examples of collections include the complete set of the Henize H-alpha Southern Survey plates taken between 1949 and 1952 (Henize 1954, AJ, 59, 325), the Case Western Objective Prism All Sky Survey from 1958-1976 (e.g. Pesch, Sanduleak, and Stephenson 1996, ApJS, 103, 513), and QSO Survey from 1980 to 1991 (e.g. Pesch and Stephenson 1983, ApJS, 51, 171). We feature the contents of the APDA collections to provide the opportunity to the astronomical community to advance new and established areas of study.

  20. Community College Class Devoted to Astronomical Research

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2002-05-01

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

  1. US Gateway to SIMBAD Astronomical Database

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Eichhorn, G.

    1998-01-01

    During the last year the US SIMBAD Gateway Project continued to provide services like user registration to the US users of the SIMBAD database in France. User registration is required by the SIMBAD project in France. Currently, there are almost 3000 US users registered. We also provide user support by answering questions from users and handling requests for lost passwords. We have worked with the CDS SIMBAD project to provide access to the SIMBAD database to US users on an Internet address basis. This will allow most US users to access SIMBAD without having to enter passwords. This new system was installed in August, 1998. The SIMBAD mirror database at SAO is fully operational. We worked with the CDS to adapt it to our computer system. We implemented automatic updating procedures that update the database and password files daily. This mirror database provides much better access to the US astronomical community. We also supported a demonstration of the SIMBAD database at the meeting of the American Astronomical Society in January. We shipped computer equipment to the meeting and provided support for the demonstration activities at the SIMBAD booth. We continued to improve the cross-linking between the SIMBAD project and the Astro- physics Data System. This cross-linking between these systems is very much appreciated by the users of both the SIMBAD database and the ADS Abstract Service. The mirror of the SIMBAD database at SAO makes this connection faster for the US astronomers. The close cooperation between the CDS in Strasbourg and SAO, facilitated by this project, is an important part of the astronomy-wide digital library initiative called Urania. It has proven to be a model in how different data centers can collaborate and enhance the value of their products by linking with other data centers.

  2. Research on schedulers for astronomical observatories

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-09-01

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

  3. Advanced astronomical interference filters from SCHOTT technology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hull, Anthony B.; Reichel, Steffen; Brauneck, Ulf; Bourquin, Sebastien; Marin-Franch, Antoni

    2016-01-01

    Developing precision interference filters for astronomical radiometry often requires simultaneous solutions to very difficult requirements. SCHOTT's 80-year legacy methods with interference filters and 9,200-m2 facility dedicated to filters and optical fabrication bring multiple disciplines together to simultaneously solve requirements that include: narrow-band high-transmission, steep-edge bandpasses, extremely high out-of-band rejection across Si response, sizes accommodating large fields-of-view, precision mechanical filter assemblies and both spectral uniformity and excellent transmitted wavefront across the field. We discuss solutions as satisfied for Spain's state-of-the-art new fast LOCAL UNIVERSE 3° wide-field survey telescope.

  4. Division XII: Commission 6: Astronomical Telegrams

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Samus, N. N.; Yamaoka, H.; Gilmore, A. C.; Aksnes, K.; Green, D. W. E.; Marsden, B. G.; Nakano, S.; Lara, Martin; Pitjeva, Elena V.; Sphar, T.; Ticha, J.; Williams, G.

    2015-08-01

    IAU Commission 6 ``Astronomical Telegrams'' had a single business meeting during the Beijing General Assembly of the IAU. It took place on Friday, August 24, 2012. The meeting was attended by five C6 members (N. N. Samus; D. W. E. Green; S. Nakano; J. Ticha; and H. Yamaoka). Also present was Prof. F. Genova as a representative of the IAU Division B. She told the audience about the current restructuring of IAU Commissions and Divisions and consequences for the future of C6.

  5. An optical toolbox for astronomical instrumentation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sutin, Brian M.

    2016-08-01

    The author has open-sourced a program for optical modeling of astronomical instrumentation. The code allows for optical systems to be described in a programming language. An optical prescription may contain coordinate systems and transformations, arbitrary polynomial aspheric surfaces and complex volumes. Rather than using a plethora of rays to evaluate performance, all the derivatives along a ray are computed by automatic differentiation. By adaptively controlling the patches around each ray, the system can be modeled to a guaranteed known precision. The code currently consists of less than 10,000 lines of C++/stdlib code.

  6. Using Virtual Observatory Tools for Astronomical Research

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Sang Chul; Taylor, John D.; Panter, Benjamin; Sohn, Sangmo Tony; Heavens, Alan F.; Mann, Robert G.

    2005-06-01

    Construction of the Virtual Observatory (VO) is a great concern to the astronomical community in the 21st century. We present an outline of the concept and necessity of the VO and the current status of various VO projects including the 15 national ones and the International Virtual Observatory Alliance (IVOA). %, and of Grid project. We summarize the possible science cases that could be solved by using the VO data/tools, real science cases which are the results of using current VO tools, and our own work of using AstroGrid, the United Kingdom national VO, for a research on star formation history of galaxies.

  7. Middleware for Astronomical Data Analysis Pipelines

    SciTech Connect

    Abdulla, G; Liu, D; Garlick, J; Miller, M; Nikolaev, S; Cook, K; Brase, J

    2005-01-26

    In this paper the authors describe the approach to research, develop, and evaluate prototype middleware tools and architectures. The developed tools can be used by scientists to compose astronomical data analysis pipelines easily. They use the SuperMacho data pipelines as example applications to test the framework. they describe their experience from scheduling and running these analysis pipelines on massive parallel processing machines. they use MCR a Linux cluster machine with 1152 nodes and Luster parallel file system as the hardware test-bed to test and enhance the scalability of the tools.

  8. The Astronomical Orientation of Ancient Greek Temples

    PubMed Central

    Salt, Alun M.

    2009-01-01

    Despite its appearing to be a simple question to answer, there has been no consensus as to whether or not the alignments of ancient Greek temples reflect astronomical intentions. Here I present the results of a survey of archaic and classical Greek temples in Sicily and compare them with temples in Greece. Using a binomial test I show strong evidence that there is a preference for solar orientations. I then speculate that differences in alignment patterns between Sicily and Greece reflect differing pressures in the expression of ethnic identity. PMID:19936239

  9. ESO's Studentship Programmes: Training Tomorrow's Astronomers Today

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-03-01

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

  10. Contamination control of the Infrared Astronomical Satellite

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Andreozzi, L. C.; Irace, W. R.; Maag, C. R.

    1980-01-01

    The Infrared Astronomical Satellite, to be launched in August 1981, will perform an all-sky survey in the 8-120 micron wavelength region. High sensitivity to thermal radiation and the low operating temperature of optics and thermal control surfaces make the IRAS telescope extremely vulnerable to contamination. Four special topics of importance are discussed in this paper: (1) deposition of atmospheric gases; (2) sighting of particles released from the satellite; (3) functions of a deployable aperture cover; and (4) degradation of a radiatively cooled sunshade from spacecraft outgassing. These topics demonstrate how mission strategy, ground cleaning and handling, and hardware design are used to avoid contamination which would degrade telescope performance.

  11. ANSEF Support to Astronomical Research in Armenia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Terzian, Yervant

    2007-08-01

    To promote scientific and scholarly research in Armenia, in 1999 the Armenian National Science and Education Fund (ANSEF) was formed in New York, USA. Since 2000, ANSEF has issued an annual request for proposals from scientists and scholars working in Armenia. In the last seven years we have received 200 to 300 proposals each year. These proposals are peer reviewed and grants issued to the top 10% to 15% annually. Proposals in the astronomical sciences have primarily been submitted from scientists from the Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory, and the Yerevan State University, and they have been very successful. These competitive awards have produced significant new research published in many international journals.

  12. Astronomical Beliefs in Medieval Georgia: Innovative Approaches

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sauter, Jefferson; Orchiston, W.; Stephenson, F.

    2014-01-01

    Written sources from medieval Georgia show, among other things, how astronomical ideas were adapted on the periphery of the Byzantine and Islamic worlds. In this paper, we investigate a number of Georgian beliefs about the heavens from a calendrical work and a celestial prognostication text, but also from less expected sources including the medieval life of a saint and an epic poem. For the most part, these sources were derived from Byzantine or Persian models. We show the extent to which the sources nevertheless conform to a specifically Georgian view of the cosmos. We argue that, in so doing, medieval Georgian authors employed several innovative approaches hitherto unnoticed by modern scholars.

  13. The astronomical orientation of ancient Greek temples.

    PubMed

    Salt, Alun M

    2009-11-19

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

  14. Algorithms for classification of astronomical object spectra

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-09-01

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

  15. An astronomical survey conducted in Belgium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nazé, Yaël; Fontaine, Sébastien

    2014-03-01

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

  16. Enhancements to Ginga: a Python Package for Building Astronomical Data Viewers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jeschke, E.; Inagaki, T.; Kackley, R.

    2015-09-01

    Ginga is a toolkit for building astronomical image viewers. The package is available under a BSD license at github.com and has undergone continuous development since its introduction at ADASS 2012. The package may may be of interest to software developers who are looking for a solution for integrating FITS or numpy-based data visualization into their python programs and end users interested in FITS viewers (via the example reference viewer). We present the updates and enhanced capabilities of the package, including: support for additional GUI toolkits, WCS-based image mosaicing, image overlays, customizable user interface bindings, support for python3 and more.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Corneau, M. J.

    2009-12-01

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

  18. 150th Anniversary of the Astronomical Observatory Library of Sciences

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Solntseva, T.

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

  19. Scholastic intercourse between Shogunal Astronomer Shibukawa Kagesuke and Nagasaki-based astronomer Mine Gensuke

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ito, Setsuko

    2004-04-01

    It is important to know how scholastic tradition of Tenmon-kata (Shogunal Astronomical Office) was transferred to local astronomers over the 19th century, since it is likely that modernization of Japan in science and technology after the Meiji-restoration (1868) has its root in the pre-Meiji period. In this report, as a case-study of such line-of-thoughts, I took up a local astronomer Mine Gensuke, from Omura-han (clan) of Nagasaki. Mine, at his age of 25 (1850), came to Edo and learned astronomy for six years under the supervision of Shibukawa Kagesuke, the top-ranking Shogunal astronomer at that time. After returning to Nagasaki, Mine was assigned to be the land-surveyer of Omura-han. In Mine's book-collection preserved at the Nagasaki Municipal Museum, I found several books and notebooks copied and annotated by Mine, whose original author was Shibukawa. Through a research to those materials, I discuss what and how Mine learned from Shibukawa.

  20. Balloon UV experiments for astronomical and atmospheric observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    A. G., Sreejith; Mathew, Joice; Sarpotdar, Mayuresh; K., Nirmal; Ambily, S.; Prakash, Ajin; Safonova, Margarita; Murthy, Jayant

    2016-08-01

    The ultraviolet (UV) window has been largely unexplored through balloons for astronomy. We discuss here the development of a compact near-UV spectrograph with fiber optics input for balloon flights. It is a modified Czerny-Turner system built using off-the-shelf components. The system is portable and scalable to different telescopes. The use of reflecting optics reduces the transmission loss in the UV. It employs an image-intensified CMOS sensor, operating in photon counting mode, as the detector of choice. A lightweight pointing system developed for stable pointing to observe astronomical sources is also discussed, together with the methods to improve its accuracy, e.g. using the in-house build star sensor and others. Our primary scientific objectives include the observation of bright Solar System objects such as visible to eye comets, Moon and planets. Studies of planets can give us valuable information about the planetary aurorae, helping to model and compare atmospheres of other planets and the Earth. The other major objective is to look at the diffuse UV atmospheric emission features (airglow lines), and at column densities of trace gases. This UV window includes several lines important to atmospheric chemistry, e.g. SO2, O3, HCHO, BrO. The spectrograph enables simultaneous measurement of various trace gases, as well as provides better accuracy at higher altitudes compared to electromechanical trace gas measurement sondes. These lines contaminate most astronomical observations but are poorly characterized. Other objectives may include sprites in the atmosphere and meteor ashes from high altitude burn-outs. Our recent experiments and observations with high-altitude balloons are discussed.

  1. An automated technique for stellar magnitude, color index, and position measurements of astronomical photographs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Green, R. F.; Morrill, M. E.

    1978-01-01

    Computer programs have been developed for use in collecting and processing data from a PDS scanning microdensitometer. The goal is to obtain fast and simple algorithms for handling an entire astronomical photograph with one-pass digitization. This capability is realized by a real-time detection scheme that provides a data compression of a factor of 100, and a processing program that produces a catalog of magnitudes, color indices, and positions for up to 90,000 multicolor stellar images.

  2. Amateur and professional astronomers meet at Mill Hill

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Poyner, G.

    2000-12-01

    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.

  3. Astronomical redshifts of highly ionized regions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hansen, Peter M.

    2014-07-01

    Astronomical or cosmological redshifts are an observable property of extragalactic objects and have historically been wholly attributed to the recessional velocity of that object. The question of other, or intrinsic, components of the redshift has been highly controversial since it was first proposed. This paper investigates one theoretical source of intrinsic redshift that has been identified. The highly ionized regions of Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) and Quasi-Stellar Objects (QSO) are, by definition, plasmas. All plasmas have electromagnetic scattering characteristics that could contribute to the observed redshift. To investigate this possibility, one region of a generalized AGN was selected, the so called Broad Line Region (BLR). Even though unresolvable with current instrumentation, physical estimates of this region have been published for years in the astronomical literature. These data, selected and then averaged, are used to construct an overall model that is consistent with the published data to within an order of magnitude. The model is then subjected to a theoretical scattering investigation. The results suggest that intrinsic redshifts, derivable from the characteristics of the ambient plasma, may indeed contribute to the overall observed redshift of these objects.

  4. Astronomical large Ge immersion grating by Canon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sukegawa, Takashi; Suzuki, Takeshi; Kitamura, Tsuyoshi

    2016-07-01

    Immersion grating is a powerful optical device for thee infrared high-resolution spectroscope. Germanium (GGe) is the best material for a mid-infrared immersion grating because of Ge has very large reflective index (n=4.0). On the other hands, there is no practical Ge immersion grating under 5umm use. It was very difficult for a fragile IR crystal to manufacture a diffraction grating precisely. Our original free-forming machine has accuracy of a few nano-meter in positioning and stability. We already fabricated the large CdZnTe immersion grating. (Sukegawa et al. (2012), Ikeda et al. (2015)) Wee are developing Ge immersion grating that can be a good solution for high-resolution infrared spectroscopy with the large ground-based/space telescopes. We succeeded practical Ge immersion grating with the grooved area off 75mm (ruled direction) x 119mm (grove width) and the blaze angle of 75 degrees. Our astronomical large Ge immersion grating has the grooved area of 155mm (ruled direction) x 41mmm (groove width) and groove pitch off 91.74um. We also report optical performance of astronomical large Ge immersion grating with a metal coating on the diffraction surface.

  5. Astronomical Alignments in a Neolithic Chinese Site?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nelson, S.; Stencel, R. E.

    1997-12-01

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

  6. Astronomers, Congress, and the Large Space Telescope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hanle, P. A.

    1985-04-01

    The Hubble Space Telescope (HST) project was initiated near the end of the Apollo program and immediately encountered fiscal contraints. Planned as a long-term facility, the HST had to be continually justified to the public, astronomers and Congress from 1973 onward. Budgetary restraints caused design reductions which for a while threatened the practicality of the HST and changed it from a pressurized, manned unit to an automatic mode, teleoperated, intermittently visited spacecraft. It is noted that numerous exaggerations were made of both the power of the HST for scientific research and the total support of the astronomical community during promotion of the HST program, although the HST is the most powerful visual wavelength telescope ever to be built due to its unique operating environment. NASA's consistent and steadily more detailed definitions of the design features and missions of the HST proved to be a decisive factor in repeated requests for information by funding committees who were deliberating in the presence of severe fiscal difficulties.

  7. Harvey Butcher: a passion for astronomical instrumentation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bhathal, Ragbir

    2014-11-01

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

  8. gatspy: General tools for Astronomical Time Series in Python

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    VanderPlas, Jake

    2016-10-01

    Gatspy contains efficient, well-documented implementations of several common routines for Astronomical time series analysis, including the Lomb-Scargle periodogram, the Supersmoother method, and others.

  9. Heavens Open Up for UK Astronomers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2002-07-01

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

  10. Major Conference about Astronomical Technology in Munich

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2000-03-01

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

  11. Astronomers Dissect a Supermassive Black Hole with Natural Magnifying Glasses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2008-12-01

    Combining a double natural "magnifying glass" with the power of ESO's Very Large Telescope, astronomers have scrutinised the inner parts of the disc around a supermassive black hole 10 billion light-years away. They were able to study the disc with a level of detail a thousand times better than that of the best telescopes in the world, providing the first observational confirmation of the prevalent theoretical models of such discs. Omega Centauri ESO PR Photo 47a/08 The Einstein Cross The team of astronomers from Europe and the US studied the "Einstein Cross", a famous cosmic mirage. This cross-shaped configuration consists of four images of a single very distant source. The multiple images are a result of gravitational lensing by a foreground galaxy, an effect that was predicted by Albert Einstein as a consequence of his theory of general relativity. The light source in the Einstein Cross is a quasar approximately ten billion light-years away, whereas the foreground lensing galaxy is ten times closer. The light from the quasar is bent in its path and magnified by the gravitational field of the lensing galaxy. This magnification effect, known as "macrolensing", in which a galaxy plays the role of a cosmic magnifying glass or a natural telescope, proves very useful in astronomy as it allows us to observe distant objects that would otherwise be too faint to explore using currently available telescopes. "The combination of this natural magnification with the use of a big telescope provides us with the sharpest details ever obtained," explains Frédéric Courbin, leader of the programme studying the Einstein Cross with ESO's Very Large Telescope. In addition to macrolensing by the galaxy, stars in the lensing galaxy act as secondary lenses to produce an additional magnification. This secondary magnification is based on the same principle as macrolensing, but on a smaller scale, and since stars are much smaller than galaxies, is known as "microlensing". As the stars are

  12. Astronomical data analysis software and systems I; Proceedings of the 1st Annual Conference, Tucson, AZ, Nov. 6-8, 1991

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Worrall, Diana M. (Editor); Biemesderfer, Chris (Editor); Barnes, Jeannette (Editor)

    1992-01-01

    Consideration is given to a definition of a distribution format for X-ray data, the Einstein on-line system, the NASA/IPAC extragalactic database, COBE astronomical databases, Cosmic Background Explorer astronomical databases, the ADAM software environment, the Groningen Image Processing System, search for a common data model for astronomical data analysis systems, deconvolution for real and synthetic apertures, pitfalls in image reconstruction, a direct method for spectral and image restoration, and a discription of a Poisson imagery super resolution algorithm. Also discussed are multivariate statistics on HI and IRAS images, a faint object classification using neural networks, a matched filter for improving SNR of radio maps, automated aperture photometry of CCD images, interactive graphics interpreter, the ROSAT extreme ultra-violet sky survey, a quantitative study of optimal extraction, an automated analysis of spectra, applications of synthetic photometry, an algorithm for extra-solar planet system detection and data reduction facilities for the William Herschel telescope.

  13. High-resolution Ceres HAMO Atlas derived from Dawn FC Images

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roatsch, T.; Kersten, E.; Matz, K. D.; Preusker, F.; Scholten, F.; Jaumann, R.; Raymond, C. A.; Russell, C. T.

    2015-12-01

    Introduction: NASA's Dawn spacecraft will orbit the dwarf planet Ceres in August and September 2015 in HAMO (High Altitude Mapping Orbit) with an altitude of about 1,500 km to characterize for instance the geology, topography, and shape of Ceres before it will be transferred to the lowest orbit. One of the major goals of this mission phase is the global mapping of Ceres. Data: The Dawn mission is equipped with a fram-ing camera (FC). The framing camera will take about 2600 clear filter images with a resolution of about 120 m/pixel and different viewing angles and different illumination conditions. Data Processing: The first step of the processing chain towards the cartographic products is to ortho-rectify the images to the proper scale and map projec-tion type. This process requires detailed information of the Dawn orbit and attitude data and of the topography of the target. Both, improved orientation and high-resolution shape models, are provided by stereo processing of the HAMO dataset. Ceres' HAMO shape model is used for the calculation of the ray intersection points while the map projection itself will be done onto a reference sphere for Ceres. The final step is the controlled mosaicking of all nadir images to a global mosaic of Ceres, the so called basemap. Ceres map tiles: The Ceres atlas will be produced in a scale of 1:750,000 and will consist of 15 tiles that conform to the quadrangle schema for small planets and medium size Icy satellites. A map scale of 1:750,000 guarantees a mapping at the highest availa-ble Dawn resolution in HAMO. Nomenclature: The Dawn team proposed to the International Astronomical Union (IAU) to use the names of gods and goddesses of agriculture and vege-tation from world mythology as names for the craters. This proposal was accepted by the IAU and the team proposed names for geological features to the IAU based on the HAMO mosaic. These feature names will be applied to the map tiles.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tappin, S. J.

    2017-04-01

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

  15. The Digitation of the Astronomical Plates of Catania Astrophysical Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Massimino, P.; Catalano, S.; Cigna, M.; Greco, V., Mangano, A.; Marilli, E.; Blanco, C.

    2006-07-01

    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.

  16. Some Astronomical Aspects of the Study of Lunar Regolith

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sinitsyn, M. P.

    2013-02-01

    This article provides some astronomical background for a systematic study of the lunar regolith. The Moon, like other atmosphere-less bodies, is the subject to all kinds of cosmic radiation, which are imprinted in the lunar surface. Therefore, the study of the lunar regolith for signs of cosmic radiation can assist to trace the history of changes in these emissions over time. Mostly changes in the solar wind and galactic cosmic rays are very interesting at time intervals from a few tens of millions of years to several billion years. The paper develops the idea of paleoregolith, the possible location of which can be seen on the slopes of some craters (Euler, Bessel) in images obtained by camera of LRO spacecraft (LROC). Because of the complexities of placing a spacecraft on the slopes of craters, some other possible locations of paleoregolith are offered to consideration. To study the recent history of the evolution of the Moon and the inner planets (up to 200 million years) the stored information in impact and volcanic melts, which are widely represented in the LROC images, should be considered.

  17. Data Triage of Astronomical Transients: A Machine Learning Approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rebbapragada, U.

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

  18. Urania in the Marketplace: Astronomical Imagery in Early Twentieth-Century Advertizing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rumstay, Kenneth S.

    2010-01-01

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

  19. UVMULTIFIT: A versatile tool for fitting astronomical radio interferometric data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martí-Vidal, I.; Vlemmings, W. H. T.; Muller, S.; Casey, S.

    2014-03-01

    Context. The analysis of astronomical interferometric data is often performed on the images obtained after deconvolving the interferometer's point spread function. This strategy can be understood (especially for cases of sparse arrays) as fitting models to models, since the deconvolved images are already non-unique model representations of the actual data (i.e., the visibilities). Indeed, the interferometric images may be affected by visibility gridding, weighting schemes (e.g., natural vs. uniform), and the particulars of the (non-linear) deconvolution algorithms. Fitting models to the direct interferometric observables (i.e., the visibilities) is preferable in the cases of simple (analytical) sky intensity distributions. Aims: We present UVMULTIFIT, a versatile library for fitting visibility data, implemented in a Python-based framework. Our software is currently based on the CASA package, but can be easily adapted to other analysis packages, provided they have a Python API. Methods: The user can simultaneously fit an indefinite number of source components to the data, each of which depend on any algebraic combination of fitting parameters. Fits to individual spectral-line channels or simultaneous fits to all frequency channels are allowed. Results: We have tested the software with synthetic data and with real observations. In some cases (e.g., sources with sizes smaller than the diffraction limit of the interferometer), the results from the fit to the visibilities (e.g., spectra of close by sources) are far superior to the output obtained from the mere analysis of the deconvolved images. Conclusions: UVMULTIFIT is a powerful improvement of existing tasks to extract the maximum amount of information from visibility data, especially in cases close to the sensitivity/resolution limits of interferometric observations.

  20. Stardial: an autonomous astronomical camera on the Web

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McCullough, P. R.; Logan, D. W.

    1998-12-01

    Stardial is a stationary, weather-proof electronic camera for recording images of the sky at night and delivering them to the Web (www.astro.uiuc.edu/stardial/). Its field of view is 8x5 degrees and its limiting magnitude is 12. It was invented by the first author specifically for teaching astronomy via the Web. Stardial is in its third year of continuous monitoring of the equatorial region of the night sky, and it has archived more than 15 thousand images for students to investigate. We are aware of three universities and one high school that use Stardial, but there may be more. During the most recent quarter, Stardial delivered 1000 images per day to web surfers. Stardial's most successful teaching activities related to variable stars and asteroids, because those objects change with time and are therefore most interesting from Stardial's patient viewpoint. Following a feature article in the German popular magazine Sterne und Weltraum, German amateur astronomers have been busily finding unusual events (new variable stars, artificial satellite glints, etc) in Stardial's archive. The archive is a veritable mine of data for individual projects at either the university or the science-fair level. For example, one Chicago high school used Stardial's data in its feature presentation to the Illinois State legislature. As we write this abstract, the Stardial group is analyzing photometry from the entire Stardial archive and is working with the ROTSE group (www.umich.edu/ rotse/) to archive the entire (northern) sky on the Web each night at a resolution of 30 seconds of arc, with a limiting magnitude of 15. We anticipate demonstrating Stardial and also the new, all-sky archive at the meeting with a FITS image viewer written in JAVA.

  1. Image processing and products for the Magellan mission to Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Clark, Jerry; Alexander, Doug; Andres, Paul; Lewicki, Scott; Mcauley, Myche

    1992-01-01

    The Magellan mission to Venus is providing planetary scientists with massive amounts of new data about the surface geology of Venus. Digital image processing is an integral part of the ground data system that provides data products to the investigators. The mosaicking of synthetic aperture radar (SAR) image data from the spacecraft is being performed at JPL's Multimission Image Processing Laboratory (MIPL). MIPL hosts and supports the Image Data Processing Subsystem (IDPS), which was developed in a VAXcluster environment of hardware and software that includes optical disk jukeboxes and the TAE-VICAR (Transportable Applications Executive-Video Image Communication and Retrieval) system. The IDPS is being used by processing analysts of the Image Data Processing Team to produce the Magellan image data products. Various aspects of the image processing procedure are discussed.

  2. What Lies Behind NSF Astronomer Demographics? Subjectivities of Women, Minorities and Foreign-born Astronomers within Meshworks of Big Science Astronomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guillen, Reynal; Gu, D.; Holbrook, J.; Murillo, L. F.; Traweek, S.

    2011-01-01

    Our current research focuses on the trajectory of scientists working with large-scale databases in astronomy, following them as they strategically build their careers, digital infrastructures, and make their epistemological commitments. We look specifically at how gender, ethnicity, nationality intersect in the process of subject formation in astronomy, as well as in the process of enrolling partners for the construction of instruments, design and implementation of large-scale databases. Work once figured as merely technical support, such assembling data catalogs, or as graphic design, generating pleasing images for public support, has been repositioned at the core of the field. Some have argued that such databases enable a new kind of scientific inquiry based on data exploration, such as the "fourth paradigm" or "data-driven" science. Our preliminary findings based on oral history interviews and ethnography provide insights into meshworks of women, African-American, "Hispanic," Asian-American and foreign-born astronomers. Our preliminary data suggest African-American men are more successful in sustaining astronomy careers than Chicano and Asian-American men. A distinctive theme in our data is the glocal character of meshworks available to and created by foreign-born women astronomers working at US facilities. Other data show that the proportion of Asian to Asian American and foreign-born Latina/o to Chicana/o astronomers is approximately equal. Futhermore, Asians and Latinas/os are represented in significantly greater numbers than Asian Americans and Chicanas/os. Among professional astronomers in the US, each ethnic minority group is numbered on the order of tens, not hundreds. Project support is provided by the NSF EAGER program to University of California, Los Angeles under award 0956589.

  3. Shirakatsi Astronomical and Natural Philosophical Views

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mkrtchyan, Lilit

    2016-12-01

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

  4. From Casual Stargazer to Amateur Astronomer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eagle, Dave

    The word amateur stems from the French word Amour, meaning "Lover Of". And there is a whole army of amateur astronomers around the world who just love doing astronomy. They don't get paid for the privilege of experiencing the sky in all its glory, but by making detailed observations they do make a very important contribution towards the Science. These observations are especially useful when organized as a collective effort. Citizen science has really taken off in the last few years and the GAIA project will soon be producing so much data, that the professionals just will not have enough manpower to tackle all the data. They will rely on amateurs sitting on their computers at home. But it is under a dark sky that astronomy really comes alive. The fact that you have picked up this book, must mean that you are interested in taking the hobby a step forward.

  5. Combined ultraviolet studies of astronomical source

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dupress, A. K.; Baliunas, S. L.; Blair, W. P.; Hartmann, L. W.; Huchra, J. P.; Raymond, J. C.; Smith, G. H.; Soderblom, D. R.

    1985-01-01

    As part of its Ultraviolet Studies of Astronomical Sources the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory for the period 1 Feb. 1985 to 31 July 1985 observed the following: the Cygnus Loop; oxygen-rich supernova remnants in 1E0102-72; the Large Magellanic Cloud supernova remnants; P Cygni profiles in dwarf novae; soft X-ray photoionization of interstellar gas; spectral variations in AM Her stars; the mass of Feige 24; atmospheric inhomogeneities in Lambda Andromedae and FF Aquarii; photometric and spectroscopic observation of Capella; Alpha Orionis; metal deficient giant stars; M 67 giants; high-velocity winds from giant stars; accretion disk parameters in cataclysmic variables; chromospheric emission of late-type dwarfs in visual binaries; chromospheres and transient regions of stars in the Ursa Major group; and low-metallicity blue galaxies.

  6. Library & Information Services: an Astronomer's Wishlist

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andernach, Heinz

    I review some of the past and current methods for retrieval of literature and other published information, excluding commercial services. Much of this is a personal view and based on experience made at various institutions, some of them neither with an adequately complete astronomy library, nor with a professional astronomy librarian. Rather than describing current retrieval methods, a few of their weaknesses are identified which merit future improval. Despite the availability of powerful electronic tools, we need to improve efforts in safeguarding published numerical and textual information in a format readily usable by astronomers. Comments are made on a user-friendly arrangement of a library, and on useful tasks for librarians with available time.

  7. Lyman Spitzer: Astronomer, Physicist, Engineer, and Mountaineer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morton, D. C.

    2006-12-01

    NASA's naming of the Spitzer Space Telescope after Lyman Spitzer was a most appropriate choice, recognizing an outstanding scientist who also contributed extensively to space astronomy. As an astronomer he was a leading authority in the physics of both the interstellar medium and stellar dynamics, wrote textbooks for both fields, and guided many research students. As a physicist he conceived the Stellarator for magnetic confinement, managed a laboratory for controlled fusion, and wrote a textbook on plasma physics. As an engineer he led the development of the payload for the successful Copernicus satellite, which fulfilled his 1946 proposal for an extraterrestrial observatory. His mountaineering included first ascents on Baffin Island and in the Canadian Rockies as well as the summit of the challenging Mt Waddington in the Coast Range.

  8. Kapteyn Package: Tools for developing astronomical applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Terlouw, J. P.; Vogelaar, M. G. R.

    2016-11-01

    The Kapteyn Package provides tools for the development of astronomical applications with Python. It handles spatial and spectral coordinates, WCS projections and transformations between different sky systems; spectral translations (e.g., between frequencies and velocities) and mixed coordinates are also supported. Kapteyn offers versatile tools for writing small and dedicated applications for the inspection of FITS headers, the extraction and display of (FITS) data, interactive inspection of this data (color editing) and for the creation of plots with world coordinate information. It includes utilities for use with matplotlib such as obtaining coordinate information from plots, interactively modifiable colormaps and timer events (module mplutil); tools for parsing and interpreting coordinate information entered by the user (module positions); a function to search for gaussian components in a profile (module profiles); and a class for non-linear least squares fitting (module kmpfit).

  9. Simon Newcomb: America's Unofficial Astronomer Royal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Graham, John

    2007-10-01

    Bill Carter and Merri Sue Carter Mantazas; xiii + 213 pp.; ISBN 1-59113-803-5 2006; $26.95 This book introduced me to a commanding figure in American science from the late nineteenth century: Simon Newcomb. Newcomb has been called the nineteenth-century equivalent of Carl Sagan and Albert Einstein. He rose from humble beginnings to be the preeminent American astronomer of his generation. He made basic, far-reaching, and enduring contributions to positional astronomy and planetary dynamics. On the more practical side, he determined a remarkably accurate value for the velocity of light, one within 0.01% of the value accepted today. His work provided an experimental grounding for the special and general theories of relativity to be formulated by Einstein in the coming twentieth century.

  10. Astronomical research at the Hopkins Phoenix Observatory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hopkins, J. L.

    1985-01-01

    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.

  11. Leslie Peltier, Amateur Astronomer and Observer Extraordinaire

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Corbin, B. G.

    2003-12-01

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

  12. Astronomical Expiration Date of the Gregorian Calendar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lichtenberg, Heiner

    Until now celestial mechanicists have not been able to calculate an astronomical expiration date for the Gregorian Calendar. Why? Because one still has difficulties with the long-term prediction of the duration of the average day d, the average synodical month msyn and the average tropical year atrop. But at least the question can be put clearly now. From the calendar equations of the Gregorian Calendar [1] one obtains a domain, in which the values of atrop/d and msyn/d should remain. This domain is called th e leap-parameter trapezoid and will be presented. [1] Lichtenberg, H., and Richter, P.H., Calendars in the Gregorian Spirit, Poster-Abstract, this vol., p. 95

  13. Astronomical observations of volatiles on asteroids

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2015-01-01

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

  14. Environmental effects on lunar astronomical observatories

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1992-09-01

    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.

  15. Astronomical and space-based systems engineering

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mosser, Benoît; Abergel, Alain

    2011-06-01

    The Master's degree ``Outils et Systèmes de l'Astronomie et de l'Espace'' (OSAE, ``Astronomical and Space-based Systems Engineering'') is intended for students interested in Astronomy and Space technology. Students undergo a comprehensive training in partnership with international-level laboratories and with leading private companies. The degree provides physicists with a wide range of skills, appropriate for those whose intention is to participate in subsystems, equipment and engineering systems, and also for future project managers, working in the aerospace industry or similar technological industries or in national and European agencies. The 1-year course is given in collaboration with national and international institutions, laboratories and industries. It includes an extended training period (5 to 6 months) and a theoretical and practical specialization given by university and industrial teachers. It benefits from the network of laboratories associated with the Astronomy and Astrophysics doctorate school of the Île-de-France.

  16. Cultural contacts at International Astronomical Olympiads

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Babakhanova, Siranush

    2016-12-01

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

  17. Are supernovae recorded in indigenous astronomical traditions?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hamacher, Duane W.

    2014-07-01

    Novae and supernovae are rare astronomical events that would have had an influence on the skywatching peoples who witnessed them. Although several bright novae/supernovae have been visible during recorded human history, there are many proposed but no confirmed accounts of supernovae in indigenous oral traditions or material culture. Criteria are established for confirming novae/supernovae in oral traditions and material culture, and claims from around the world are discussed to determine if they meet these criteria. Aboriginal Australian traditions are explored for possible descriptions of novae/supernovae. Although representations of supernovae may exist in Aboriginal traditions, there are currently no confirmed accounts of supernovae in Indigenous Australian oral or material traditions.

  18. Environmental effects on lunar astronomical observatories

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1992-01-01

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

  19. The astronomical revolution. Copernicus - Kepler - Borelli.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koyré, A.

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

  20. AstroTrek: Astronomical Learning Expeditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Noel-Storr, Jacob

    2007-05-01

    It is critical to the future success of the scientific workforce that we understand, investigate and implement new strategies to engage a more diverse range of youth in STEM activities and the excitement of science through a variety of less traditional avenues. Here we present the underlying design principles and outcomes of a series of front-end tests of the AstroTrek: Astronomical Learning Expeditions program. This program is designed to broaden the range of teenagers who choose to take part in science learning outside of school, and diversify the gateways through which they can be engaged in and excited by science; develop contexts and strategies where we can bring youth from where they are to where we (the scientific community) are; and find strategies to include authentic scientific experiences in expeditionary learning taking the experiences beyond ‘science tourism’.