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Sample records for maidanak astronomical observatory

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. The New North Georgia Astronomical Observatory.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jones, J. H.; Chapman, E. K.

    1999-12-01

    The mission of NGCSU's observatory over the last 30 years has been to provide a quality environment for student and public viewing and a professional platform for student/faculty research. During the fall of 1997 a large illuminated parking lot was constructed less than 100 feet from the old observatory site. Fortunately, the administration at that time recognized the impact that the lot would have on the observatory's mission and was able to find funds to relocate the Boller & Chivens 16 inch telescope to a new observatory built on school property four miles west of the campus. The new observatory became operational at the beginning of the fall semester 1999. We report here on the outcome of the many unique design features which we tried to incorporate into the building. Features for optimizing student and public viewing such as a "downslope" roll away enclosure and a wide "no steps" observing deck entrance. An ongoing student project to measure and compare photometric calibration coefficients as well as zenith sky brightness and "seeing" parameters with previously determined parameters will evaluate the building features which were designed to enhance the performance of the telescope and its instrumentation. We would especially like to thank university president (retired) Dr. Sherman R. Day for supporting this project, not only financially, but also for supporting the legacy of astronomical education and student research at NGCSU. We also would like to thank the current president, Dr. Nathaniel Hansford, and his administration for continuing that support.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. Orbiting Astronomical Observatory-C (OAO-C): Press kit

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Allaway, H. G.

    1972-01-01

    Mission planning for the Orbiting Astronomical Observatory-C (OAO-C) is presented. The characteristics of the observatory and its capabilities are described. The following experiments are discussed: (1) Princeton Experiment Package, (2) X-ray experiment, and (3) guest investigator program. Results of the OAO-2 observatory are presented. A tabulation of flight events is included.

  4. Astronomical Observatory of Belgrade from 1924 to 1955

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Radovanac, M.

    2014-12-01

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

  5. Daytime School Guided Visits to an Astronomical Observatory in Brazil

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2010-01-01

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

  6. Astronomical Data Integration Beyond the Virtual Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lemson, G.; Laurino, O.

    2015-09-01

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

  7. Astronomical Observatory of Belgrade from 1956 to 1975

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Radovanac, M.

    2010-06-01

    Although the present monograph "Astronomical Observatory of Belgrade from 1956 to 1975" is an independent work, it is in fact a continuation of the work done by the author and published in the series of the Publications of the Astronomical Society "Rudjer Boskovic" under the title "Astronomical Observatory of Belgrade from 1945 to 1955" in the Proceedings of the conference "Development of Astronomy among Serbs III", no. 6, pp. 55-200 in 2005; that manuscript in turn is an extension of the earlier paper (written together with Luka C. Popovic) and published in the series of the Publications of Astronomical Observatory of Belgrade "Development of Astronomy among Serbs II", no. 72, pp. 133-145 in 2002. Thus the three papers constitute a detailed review of the work of the Astronomical Observatory of Belgrade in the period of 35 years (of the total of 122 years) of its relatively recent history, from 1940 to 1975; this review is prepared using the archive material: general type of documents, notes of various meetings, especially the meetings of the Council of the Observatory, Scientific council and work plans, reports, correspondence, etc.

  8. ``Route of astronomical observatories'' project: Classical observatories from the Renaissance to the rise of astrophysics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wolfschmidt, Gudrun

    2016-10-01

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

  9. Required technologies for lunar astronomical observatories

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Johnson, Stewart W.; Wetzel, John P.

    1992-01-01

    Each of the major new observatories proposed to take advantage of the characteristics of the lunar environment requires appropriate advances in technology. These technologies are in the areas of contamination/interference control, test and evaluation, manufacturing, construction, autonomous operations and maintenance, power and heating/cooling, stable precision structures, optics, parabolic antennas, and communications/control. Telescopes for the lunar surface need to be engineered to operate for long periods with minimal intervention by humans or robots. What is essential for lunar observatory operation is enforcement of a systems engineering approach that makes compatible all lunar operations associated with habitation, resource development, and science.

  10. 400 years astronomical observatory in Jena

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schielicke, Reinhard E.

    ``Nam cum aliquod observatorium mihi comparaverim, ... '': ``As I have equiped my observatory now'', Georg Limnaeus, professor of mathematics in Jena from 1588 to 1611, wrote on 24 April 1598, ``I have decided to make friends with some experts by letter; I know from your Prodromus that you are one of them''. The letter was addressed to Johannes Kepler and was related to his first work about the ``Mysterium cosmographicum''. Kepler sent some copies of his paper to Galileo Galilei, Tycho Brahe, Reimar Ursus and also to Limnaeus in Jena from the Frankfurt Book Fair in 1597. Limnaeus gave him - apart from the words expressing praise but which actually were meaningless concerning Kepler's ideas - the information about Brahe Kepler had asked for and which may have promoted his move to Prague. The above mentioned observatory is considered to be the first one in Jena. Astronomy had already been established as a subject since the establishment of the ``Hohe Schule'' in 1548 and since the foundation of the university ten years later. Nothing is known about the instruments and the location of the observatory. Limnaeus did not belong to the taxpaying house-owners of which there exists an index; he obviously rented a flat. To all appearances the correspondence announced was not continued either. For the following centuries the professors Heinrich Hoffmann, Erhard Weigel, Georg Albrecht and Georg Erhard Hamberger are named in the literature running the observatory in Jena. The ``Herzogliche Sternwarte'' fitted out under Goethe's overall supervision in 1813 eventually developed into the university institute of today.

  11. Detroit Observatory: nineteenth-century training ground for astronomers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Whitesell, Patricia S.

    2003-12-01

    Detroit Observatory was founded in 1854 at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA, by Henry Philip Tappan, the University's first President. In 2004, the University celebrates Detroit Observatory's sesquicentennial year. Tappan named his creation the "Detroit Observatory" to honour the city's major benefactors. Tappan, who was inaugurated in 1852, was a visionary leader in the history of higher education. The creation of an astronomical observatory was one of his first steps toward the integration of a new scientific course with the traditional classical course of study, following the Prussian model of higher education. Tappan's observatory was built in the frontier state of Michigan at a modest cost, yet it was equipped with the best European and American instruments available. The facility was impressive, but Tappan's success in launching the University of Michigan to the forefront of American astronomical science was achieved through the recruitment of the renowned Prussian astronomer, Franz Brünnow, of the Berlin Observatory. The instruction in precision astronomy Brünnow offered to American students produced some of the most notable astronomers of the era, which led to the recognition of an "Ann Arbor School of Astronomy". Subsequent Directors and Assistants, including James Watson, Mark Harrington, J. Martin Schaeberle, and Asaph Hall Jr., produced students with exceptional talent in astronomy, geodesy, surveying and meteorology. Michigan's talent pool was the widely deployed across the nation. This paper documents and preserves the history, and serves as a focal point for celebrating in 2004 the 150-year milestone in Detroit Observatory's fascinating history.

  12. The University of Jaén Astronomical Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martí, Josep; Luque-Escamilla, Pedro L.; García-Hernández, María T.

    2017-01-01

    We present a description and instrumental characterization of the photometric equipment of the Astronomical Observatory of the University of Jaén. The observatory hosts a 41 cm automated telescope inside a 4 m dome located at the university main campus, in the outskirts of the city of Jaén (Spain). This facility is used for educational, outreach and occasional scientific research on bright stellar objects. Despite the observatory location in a light polluted urban area, its performance for differential photometry studies has proven to be very acceptable. The discovery of the Be star LS I +5979 as a peculiar eclipsing binary system is so far the most relevant achievement.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-09-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2003-05-01

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

  15. The Organization and Management of the Virtual Astronomical Observatory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. Data Sharing and Publishing Using the Virtual Astronomical Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  18. 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

  19. The Astronomical Virtual Observatory: Lessons Learned, Looking Forward

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Genova, F.

    2012-09-01

    The astronomical Virtual Observatory (VO) aims at providing seamless access to the wealth of the discipline's on-line resources, hence at developing global interoperability between them. This is coordinated by the International Virtual Observatory Alliance (IVOA). The paper summarizes the VO history and current evolution. During the first period of VO development, a huge amount of work has been devoted to the development of basic interoperability standards, to set up the VO framework for publication of data and for tools interoperability. This has proven to be a major asset for seamless usage of data. Now the VO is in operation, and the emphasis on supporting the take-up by astronomers and data providers, as well as on outreach, is increasing. A census of European astronomical data centres performed in 2009/2010 shows a large interest in the VO, and a wide diversity of sizes and organisations, in the data centre community. The different strands of work of an operational VO, and the challenges ahead are described, taking in particular the example of the European VO. The European implementation of the VO has been moulded by the specific organisation of European astronomy, with complementary roles of the national and European levels. Local and national projects contribute to the VO development and implementation in their domains of interest and expertise. Several projects supported by the European Commission have helped to shape Euro-VO, with a strong emphasis on coordination of national and intergovernmental agency projects, with actions towards astronomers, data centres and VO developers, including during the last period of outreach towards education and the public. The Astronet Infrastructure Roadmap for European astronomy (2009) has recognized data and the VO as one of the infrastructures of astronomy. The way forward in this context is discussed. In conclusion, the astronomical data infrastructure is put in perspective with the general trends around scientific

  20. Education and Outreach with the Virtual Astronomical Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lawton, Brandon L.; Eisenhamer, B.; Raddick, M. J.; Mattson, B. J.; Harris, J.

    2012-01-01

    The Virtual Observatory (VO) is an international effort to bring a large-scale electronic integration of astronomy data, tools, and services to the global community. The Virtual Astronomical Observatory (VAO) is the U.S. NSF- and NASA-funded VO effort that seeks to put efficient astronomical tools in the hands of U.S. astronomers, students, educators, and public outreach leaders. These tools will make use of data collected by the multitude of ground- and space-based missions over the previous decades. Many future missions will also be incorporated into the VAO tools when they launch. The Education and Public Outreach (E/PO) program for the VAO is led by the Space Telescope Science Institute in collaboration with the HEASARC E/PO program and Johns Hopkins University. VAO E/PO efforts seek to bring technology, real-world astronomical data, and the story of the development and infrastructure of the VAO to the general public, formal education, and informal education communities. Our E/PO efforts will be structured to provide uniform access to VAO information, enabling educational opportunities across multiple wavelengths and time-series data sets. The VAO team recognizes that many VO programs have built powerful tools for E/PO purposes, such as Microsoft's World Wide Telescope, SDSS Sky Server, Aladin, and a multitude of citizen-science tools available from Zooniverse. We are building partnerships with Microsoft, Zooniverse, and NASA's Night Sky Network to leverage the communities and tools that already exist to meet the needs of our audiences. Our formal education program is standards-based and aims to give teachers the tools to use real astronomical data to teach the STEM subjects. To determine which tools the VAO will incorporate into the formal education program, needs assessments will be conducted with educators across the U.S.

  1. 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 MicroObservatory

  2. Historical Examples of Lobbying: The Case of Strasbourg Astronomical Observatories

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heck, Andre

    2012-08-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. "Route of astronomical observatories'' project: classical observatories from the Renaissance to the rise of astrophysics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wolfschmidt, Gudrun

    2015-08-01

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

  5. The Virtual Astronomical Observatory: Re-engineering access to astronomical data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hanisch, R. J.; Berriman, G. B.; Lazio, T. J. W.; Emery Bunn, S.; Evans, J.; McGlynn, T. A.; Plante, R.

    2015-06-01

    The US Virtual Astronomical Observatory was a software infrastructure and development project designed both to begin the establishment of an operational Virtual Observatory (VO) and to provide the US coordination with the international VO effort. The concept of the VO is to provide the means by which an astronomer is able to discover, access, and process data seamlessly, regardless of its physical location. This paper describes the origins of the VAO, including the predecessor efforts within the US National Virtual Observatory, and summarizes its main accomplishments. These accomplishments include the development of both scripting toolkits that allow scientists to incorporate VO data directly into their reduction and analysis environments and high-level science applications for data discovery, integration, analysis, and catalog cross-comparison. Working with the international community, and based on the experience from the software development, the VAO was a major contributor to international standards within the International Virtual Observatory Alliance. The VAO also demonstrated how an operational virtual observatory could be deployed, providing a robust operational environment in which VO services worldwide were routinely checked for aliveness and compliance with international standards. Finally, the VAO engaged in community outreach, developing a comprehensive web site with on-line tutorials, announcements, links to both US and internationally developed tools and services, and exhibits and hands-on training at annual meetings of the American Astronomical Society and through summer schools and community days. All digital products of the VAO Project, including software, documentation, and tutorials, are stored in a repository for community access. The enduring legacy of the VAO is an increasing expectation that new telescopes and facilities incorporate VO capabilities during the design of their data management systems.

  6. Bringing the Virtual Astronomical Observatory to the Education Community

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lawton, B.; Eisenhamer, B.; Mattson, B. J.; Raddick, M. J.

    2012-08-01

    The Virtual Observatory (VO) is an international effort to bring a large-scale electronic integration of astronomy data, tools, and services to the global community. The Virtual Astronomical Observatory (VAO) is the U.S. NSF- and NASA-funded VO effort that seeks to put efficient astronomical tools in the hands of U.S. astronomers, students, educators, and public outreach leaders. These tools will make use of data collected by the multitude of ground- and space-based missions over the previous decades. The Education and Public Outreach (EPO) program for the VAO will be led by the Space Telescope Science Institute in collaboration with the High Energy Astrophysics Science Archive Research Center (HEASARC) EPO program and Johns Hopkins University. VAO EPO efforts seek to bring technology, real-world astronomical data, and the story of the development and infrastructure of the VAO to the general public and education community. Our EPO efforts will be structured to provide uniform access to VAO information, enabling educational and research opportunities across multiple wavelengths and time-series data sets. The VAO team recognizes that the VO has already built many tools for EPO purposes, such as Microsoft's World Wide Telescope, SDSS Sky Server, Aladin, and a multitude of citizen-science tools available from Zooniverse. However, it is not enough to simply provide tools. Tools must meet the needs of the education community and address national education standards in order to be broadly utilized. To determine which tools the VAO will incorporate into the EPO program, needs assessments will be conducted with educators across the U.S.

  7. Running a distributed virtual observatory: U.S. Virtual Astronomical Observatory operations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-09-01

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

  8. Astronomical Learning Centers from the Lake Afton Public Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kardel, W. S.

    1994-12-01

    The Lake Afton Public Observatory was founded 14 years ago as a joint project of the city, county, local schools, and Wichita State University to provide educational programs for the public and school children. During the 1993-1994 school year over 31,000 students were served by Observatory school and school outreach programs. The Observatory's Learning Centers are a vital part of its school outreach program. Students receive a presentation from an astronomer and make use of the materials and activities in the Learning Center. Each package is designed to lead students into discovering things for themselves. Learning centers are left with the students for up to two weeks. Four Learning Centers are currently in use, with an additional one under development. Current Learning Centers let students explore the solar system, examine meteorites, build a simple telescope, and discover the properties of light, lenses and color. In the 1993-94 nearly 3,000 students used a Learning Center from Lake Afton Public Observatory. This work is supported in part by NSF grant OSR-9255223.

  9. Project of space research and technology center in Engelhardt astronomical observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-09-01

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

  10. Managing distributed software development in the Virtual Astronomical Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-09-01

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

  11. MSE observatory: a revised and optimized astronomical facility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-07-01

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

  12. Ultraviolet photometry from the Orbiting Astronomical Observatory. II Interstellar extinction.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bless, R. C.; Savage, B. D.

    1972-01-01

    Evaluation of interstellar extinction curves over the region from 3600 to 1100 A for 17 stars. The observations were made by the two Wisconsin spectrometers on board the Orbiting Astronomical Observatory 2, with spectral resolutions of 10 and 20 A. The extinction curves generally show a pronounced maximum at 2175 plus or minus 25 A, a broad minimum in the region from 1800 to 1350 A, and finally a rapid rise to the far-ultraviolet. Large extinction variations from star to star are found, especially in the far-ultraviolet; however, with only two possible exceptions in this sample, the wavelength at the maximum of the extinction bump is essentially constant. These data are combined with visual and infrared observations to display the extinction behavior over a range in wavelength of about a factor of 20. The observations appear to require a multicomponent model of the interstellar dust.

  13. Twenty five years National Astronomical Observatory: Publications and dissertations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Iliev, Ilian

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

  14. The Russian Virtual Observatory. Information System of the Centre for Astronomical Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dluzhnevskaya, O.; Malkov, O.; Kovaleva, D.; Kilpio, E.; Kilpio, A.; Sat, L.

    The ultimate goal of the Russian Virtual Observatory (RVO) initiative is to provide every astronomer with on-line access to the rich volumes of data and metadata that have been and will continue to be produced by astronomical survey projects. RVO will be merged naturally into the International Astronomical Observatory. The information system of the RVO has a main goal of integrating resources of astronomical data accumulated in Russian observatories and institutions, and providing transparent access for scientific and educational purposes to the distributed information and data services that comprise its content. One of the general purpose data centres for astronomy world-wide is the Centre for Astronomical Data (CAD). CAD has been sistematically collecting and distributing astronomical data for more than 20 years. Some hundreds of catalogs and journal tables are currently available from the CAD repository. The CAD staff will carry out the activities on construction of the information system of the Russian Virtual Observatory.

  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. The Story of the Telescope Made in 1875 called the Oldest in National Astronomical Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nakagiri, Masao

    2008-09-01

    A meridian instrument made by Troughton&Simms in 1875 is exhihited to the history building as the National Astronomical Observatory oldest telescope. The author came to be concerned with old observation instruments of National Astronomical Observatory, and he excavated observation devices left in National Astronomical Observatory and was able to go ahead through reconstruction. And he thought this telescope whether it was the part of the astronomical theodolite not a meridian instrument. There is no doubt as to whether it is the oldest in the Observatory, and the author began inspection. As for him, the telescope called a meridian instrument made in this 1875 came to have the conviction that was transferred from the Department of the Interior geography station of the Meiji government to Tokyo Astronomical Observatory.

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

    PubMed

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

    1975-06-06

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

  18. Lightcurves for 366 Vincentina, 592 Bathseba, and 1544 Yugoslavia from Belgrade Astronomical Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Benishek, Vladimir

    2013-04-01

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

  19. The R. M. Aller Astronomical Observatory Research on Double and Multiple Stars: Highlights and Projects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Docobo, J.-A.

    2012-12-01

    In this talk, I will speak about some relevant results that we have obtained in the Ramon Maria Aller Astronomical Observatory (OARMA) concerning binaries. More concretely, I will discuss our current research project and highlights of our work.

  20. Celescope catalog of ultraviolet stellar observations. Magnetic tape version. [Orbiting Astronomical Observatory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Davis, R. J.; Deutschman, W. A.; Haramundanis, K. L.

    1973-01-01

    Observational results obtained by the celescope experiment during the first 16 months of operation of NASA's Orbiting Astronomical Observatory are presented. Results of the stellar observations are listed along with selected ground-based information obtained from the available literature.

  1. Nikolaev (Mykolayiv) Astronomical Observatory as the Object of the Ukrainian Tentative List WH UNESCO

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pinigin, Gennadiy; Pozhalova, Zhanna

    2012-09-01

    Nikolaev Astronomical Observatory (NAO), one of the oldest scientific institutions of the South-Eastern Europe, was founded as a naval observatory in 1821 for providing the needs of the Russian Black Sea Navy. It is a historical and astronomical complex with a reserved territory of total area 7.1 hectares, situated in the central part of Mykolaiv city, Ukraine. The beginning of scientific research at the Observatory is connected with the activity of Karl Knorre, its first director. From 1912 up to 1991, NAO was one of the Southern departments of Pulkovo Observatory with the main purpose to spread the system of absolute catalogs to the Southern hemisphere and to carry out regular observations of the Solar system bodies. Since 1992 NAO has become an independent leading institution of Ukraine in the field of positional astronomy, dynamics of Solar system bodies, research of near-Earth space, astronomical instrumentation. In 2007, it was inscribed in the Tentative UNESCO List of WH (#5116). The most significant part of the complex is the Main building, which was built in the style of Classicism in 1821--1829 (the monument of architecture #535 in the state registry). Also, the astronomical pavilions (1875, 1913, 1955, etc.) and instruments were preserved. Among them three Repsold instruments: meridian circle (1834), portable circle (1868) and vertical circle (1897). The unique astronomical and navigational devices, the collection of astronomical clocks are present in the observatory museum and the paper archive since the foundation of observatory is preserved.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-08-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shlyapnikov, A.; Bondar', N.; Gorbunov, M.

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2003-03-21

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

  6. The Astronomical Observatory of the University of Coimbra (1772--1799): its Instruments and Scientific Activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Figueiredo, Fernando B.

    2012-09-01

    The establishment of scientific education at the University of Coimbra was one of the most important features of the Reform of the University in 1772. One of the best examples is the creation of the Faculty Mathematics and of the Astronomical Observatory (OAUC) - it was here that Alexandre Gouveia (1731--1808), who would be bishop of Beijing (1785--1808), obtained his degree in Mathematics. The foundation of the OAUC was fundamental in the institutionalization of astronomical science in Portugal, during a period when astronomy, supported by the great theoretical advances of the celestial mechanics and applied mathematics, could finally provide some important solutions to the most prominent scientific problems since Newton (questions about celestial mechanics, navigation, geodesy, etc.). Such questions were also central in the conception and planning of OAUC - the first Portuguese university-based astronomical observatory, although with aspects of a National Observatory. Jose Monteiro da Rocha (1734--1819) was the central personality in the conception, planning and construction of OAUC, as well in its instrument's provision (purchased and assembled throughout the 1780s) and posterior scientific activity. The construction of the OAUC was originally planned for the site of the Castle of the city of Coimbra. In 1775, when only the first floor of the Observatory was built, the construction stopped. However, to fulfill the teaching needs a small provisional Observatory was built inside the courtyard of the University. This provisional Observatory would eventually run for about 15 years! The definitive OAUC was built between the years 1790--99. In this communication we pretend to study the establishment of the OAUC and its primary astronomical collection (a transit instrument, a portable quadrant, a sector, several telescopes, etc.) and how that collection was responsible for the construction plan of the OAUC and the establishment of its Astronomical Ephemeris (1803).

  7. The Development of Astronomy in Odessa and its Reflection in Publications of the Astronomical Observatory, Odessa State University

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dorokhova, Tatyana N.

    Dramatic, rich in events, the history of Odessa Astronomical Observatory during 127 years of its existence is reflected to a certain extent in the publications of the Astronomical Observatory and Odessa State University. These publications were neither regular nor numerous for different reasons, but nevertheless they do indicate landmarks of the basic directions of the development of astronomy in Odessa.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-12-01

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

  9. Some characteristics of new type of hydrogen maser receiver in Shaanxi Astronomical Observatory.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ren, Yan

    1990-12-01

    Some characteristics of the new type of hydrogen maser receiver in Shaanxi Astronomical Observatory are described, and the methods of noise rejection are presented in detail. The measured results show that the stability is 1.8×10-13s-1.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-07-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-12-01

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

  12. The Chandra X-ray Observatory: An Astronomical Facility Available to the World

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, Randall K.

    2006-01-01

    The Chandra X-ray observatory, one of NASA's "Great Observatories," provides high angular and spectral resolution X-ray data which is freely available to all. In this review I describe the instruments on chandra along with their current calibration, as well as the chandra proposal system, the freely-available Chandra analysis software package CIAO, and the Chandra archive. As Chandra is in its 6th year of operation, the archive already contains calibrated observations of a large range of X-ray sources. The Chandra X-ray Center is committed to assisting astronomers from any country who wish to use data from the archive or propose for observations

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-11-01

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

  14. Twentieth-century astronomical heritage: the case of the Brazilian National Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barboza, Christina Helena

    2016-10-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cirella, E. O.; Caprio, G.

    2015-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bell, T. E.

    2005-12-01

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

  17. From Amateur Astronomer to Observatory Director: The Curious Case of R. T. A. Innes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Orchiston, Wayne

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-10-01

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

  19. The Cornell Astronomical Society: The Student Experience of Running an Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  20. A small collection of sunspot drawings made in the Royal Astronomical Observatory of the Spanish Navy in 1884

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-12-01

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

  1. ``What Are Astronomers Doing?" at McDonald Observatory: An Education/Public Outreach Website and Museum Kiosk

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hemenway, M. K.; Preston, S. L.; Johnson, R. A.; Young, C. H.; Connor, P. S.; Summers, A. C.; Tykoski, M. J.

    2004-05-01

    ``What are Astronomers Doing?" is a weekly updated web site and on-site kiosk that details current research at McDonald Observatory for the general public. At any given time, site visitors will find descriptions of all research going on that week on the Observatory's three traditionally scheduled telescopes, a description of an approved trimester project for the queue-scheduled Hobby-Eberly Telescope, and descriptions of any maintenance or special public events on the telescopes. There is also a ``NASA Astronomer of the Week" profile in which some of the featured astronomers are those who perform research that does not require McDonald telescopes. Each project write-up is accompanied by a biography of the astronomer or engineer in charge. Graduate-student, undergraduate, and K-12 teacher interns prepared material for the site. All text is edited by a professional editor and tech edited for accuracy by astronomers. Additionally, site-related classroom activities are available for grade 6-12 classrooms. The web template is available for use by other institutions. We gratefully acknowledge the support of NSF 0227870 ``What Are Astronomers Doing?: A Project for MPS Internships in Public Science Education" and support for the ``NASA Astronomer of the Week" profile by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration under an Education and Public Outreach supplement to Grant/Contract/Agreement No. NAG5-13057 issued through the Office of Space Science.

  2. SAO/NASA joint investigation of astronomical viewing quality at Mount Hopkins Observatory: 1969-1971

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pearlman, M. R.; Bufton, J. L.; Hogan, D.; Kurtenbach, D.; Goodwin, K.

    1974-01-01

    Quantitative measurements of the astronomical seeing conditions have been made with a stellar-image monitor system at the Mt. Hopkins Observatory in Arizona. The results of this joint SAO-NASA experiment indicate that for a 15-cm-diameter telescope, image motion is typically 1 arcsec or less and that intensity fluctuations due to scintillation have a coefficient of irradiance variance of less than 0.12 on the average. Correlations between seeing quality and local meteorological conditions were investigated. Local temperature fluctuations and temperature gradients were found to be indicators of image-motion conditions, while high-altitude-wind conditions were shown to be somewhat correlated with scintillation-spectrum bandwidth. The theoretical basis for the relationship of atmospheric turbulence to optical effects is discussed in some detail, along with a description of the equipment used in the experiment. General site-testing comments and applications of the seeing-test results are also included.

  3. About using wide field lens optics for Space Surveillance Systems in Odessa Astronomical observatory (Ukraine)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sukhov, P. P.; Volkoff, S. K.; Karpenko, G. F.; Titenko, V. V.; Yamnitsky, V. A.; Tkachenko, A. A.

    2007-08-01

    On base results of the observations in Odessa astronomical observatory, is shown obvious fact. The possibility of the using domestic wide field lens optics for monitoring high orbital artificial Earth satellite objects for the calculations elements of orbits. With wide field lens optics "Tair-19 5003", limited magnitude consist 15m.5 per 10 seconds of the accumulation, average square-error (ASE) of the measurements of the coordinates slowly move GSS consist not more than 2 arcsec. Beside 90% measurements has ASE not more 1 arcsec. At surveillance of the area of the equator by width 5° areas 500 deg2 are discovered all 40 active "standing" GSS, 12 passive GSS and 2 high elliptical orbital satellites (HEO). Is shown perspective possibility of the use WFO for monitoring LEO height before of 2 000 km. 90% of 39 object LEO fixed in mode "beam-park" (the still telescope) in current 1 hour, surelay are identified using catalog NORAD.

  4. Twentieth-century astronomical heritage: the case of the Brazilian National Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barboza, Christina Helena

    2015-08-01

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

  5. The ISS as a Testbed for Future Large Astronomical Observatories: The OpTIIX Demonstration Program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Burdick, G.; Callen, P.; Ess, K.; Liu, F.; Postman, M.; Sparks, W.; Seery, B.; Thronson, H.

    2012-01-01

    Future large (diameters in excess of approx. 10 m) astronomical observatories in space will need to employ advanced technologies if they are to be affordable. Many of these technologies are ready to be validated on orbit and the International Space Station (ISS) provides a suitable platform for such demonstrations. These technologies include low-cost, low-density, highly deformable mirror segments, coupled with advanced sensing and control methods. In addition, the ISS offers available telerobotic assembly techniques to build an optical testbed that embodies this new cost-effective approach to assemble and achieve diffraction-limited optical performance for very large space telescopes. Given the importance that NASA attaches to the recommendations of the National Academy of Sciences "Decadal Survey" process, essential capabilities and technologies will be demonstrated well in advance of the next Survey, which commences in 2019. To achieve this objective, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC), NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), and the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) are carrying out a Phase A/B study of the Optical Testbed and Integration on ISS eXperiment (OpTIIX). The overarching goal is to demonstrate well before the end of this decade key capabilities intended to enable very large optical systems in the decade of the 2020s. Such a demonstration will retire technical risk in the assembly, alignment, calibration, and operation of future space observatories. The OpTIIX system, as currently designed, is a six-hexagon element, segmented visual-wavelength telescope with an edge-to-edge aperture of 1.4 m, operating at its diffraction limit,

  6. The National Astronomical Observatory ""Rozhen"" - A Centre for Astrophysical Investigations in Bulgaria

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kolev, D.

    2008-10-01

    The Bulgarian National Astronomical Observatory (NAO) located close to the Rozhen ridge in the Rhodope Mountains near Smolyan, is presented with its history, functional characteristics and capabilities. Its latitude of 41° 41.5'N gives opportunities to investigate over 80{%} of the celestial sphere. The altitude of 1750 m lies within the height level that is most populated by observatories (1500-2500m). However, the astroclimate (mean seeing ˜ 2" and 35-40% clear sky time) is worse than that of the best world sites and corresponds to the mean for the continental Southern Europe. The light pollution near NAO is still the lowest among the Balkan sites, but some problems arise because of the ever growing illumination from the Pamporovo resort and the nearby towns of Smolyan and Chepelare. Equipped with 2-m, 70- and 60-cm stellar and 15-cm solar coronograph telescopes, NAO allows observations to be made for a wide range of optical astrophysical investigations: from Solar System bodies to extragalactic sources. The productivity of the 2-m telescope is quite comparable with that of other telescopes of similar class. Important studies (photometric, spectral, morphologic) of stellar clusters, flare stars, variable stars, nearby and distant galaxies were performed with/at the NAO telescopes. The 2-m telescope is very suitable for spectroscopic investigation with moderate resolution and it can be a subject of its future specialization in the era of giant telescopes of decameter size. The future of NAO can be connected with educational and conference activities if Bulgaria joins ESO - the most desirable way to develop astronomy in our land/in our country.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roxy, M. S.; Sumithranand, V. B.; Renuka, G.

    2014-06-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  9. The South African Astronomical Observatory instrumentation software architecture and the SHOC instruments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-07-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vecchiato, Alberto; Bernardi, Gabriella; Bucciarelli, Beatrice

    2015-08-01

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

  11. Highlighting the history of Japanese radio astronomy. 3: Early solar radio research at the Tokyo Astronomical Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nakajima, Hiroshi; Ishiguro, Masato; Orchiston, Wayne; Akabane, Kenji; Enome, Shinzo; Hayashi, Masa; Kaifu, Norio; Nakamura, Tsuko; Tsuchiya, Atsushi

    2014-03-01

    The radio astronomy group at the Tokyo Astronomical Observatory was founded in 1948 immediately after WWII, and decided to put its main research efforts into solar radio astronomy. The first radio telescope was completed in 1949 and started routine observations at 200 MHz. Since then, the group has placed its emphasis on observations at meter and decimeter wavelengths, and has constructed various kinds of radio telescopes and arrays operating at frequencies ranging from 60 to 800 MHz. In addition, radio telescopes operating at 3, 9.5 and 17 GMHz were constructed. In parallel with the observationally-based research, theoretical research on solar radio emission also was pursued. In this paper, we review the instrumental, observational and theoretical developments in solar radio astronomy at the Tokyo Astronomical Observatory in the important period from 1949 through to the 1960s.

  12. Astronomical Honeymoon Continues as X-Ray Observatory Marks First Anniversary

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2000-08-01

    of the X-ray background, a glow throughout the universe whose source or sources are unknown. Astronomers are now pinpointing the various sources of the X-ray glow because Chandra has resolution eight times better than that of previous X-ray telescopes, and is able to detect sources more than 20 times fainter. "The Chandra team had to develop technologies and processes never tried before," said Tony Lavoie, Chandra program manager at Marshall. "One example is that we built and validated a measurement system to make sure the huge cylindrical mirrors of the telescope were ground correctly and polished to the right shape." The polishing effort resulted in an ultra-smooth surface for all eight of Chandra's mirrors. If the state of Colorado were as smooth as the surface of Chandra's mirrors, Pike's Peak would be less than an inch tall. "Chandra has experienced a great first year of discovery and we look forward to many more tantalizing science results as the mission continues," said Alan Bunner, program director, Structure and Evolution of the universe, NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC. Marshall manages the Chandra program for the Office of Space Science, NASA Headquarters. TRW Space and Electronics Group, Redondo Beach, CA, is the prime contractor. Using glass purchased from Schott Glaswerke, Mainz, Germany, the telescope's mirrors were built by Raytheon Optical Systems Inc., Danbury, CT, coated by Optical Coating Laboratory, Inc., Santa Rosa, CA, and assembled and inserted into the telescope portion of Chandra by Eastman Kodak Co., Rochester, NY. The scientific instruments were supplied by collaborations led by Pennsylvania State University, University Park; Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, Cambridge, MA; Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge; and the Space Research Organization Netherlands, Utrecht. The Smithsonian's Chandra X-ray Center controls science and operations from Cambridge, working with astronomers around the globe to record the activities

  13. Status, upgrades, and advances of RTS2: the open source astronomical observatory manager

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kubánek, Petr

    2016-07-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  15. Algiers, La Plata, Nice: Three Prestigious and Emblematic Astronomical Observatories in the 1880s

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Le Guet Tully, Françoise; Davoigneau, Jean

    2012-09-01

    We shall describe the political and scientific contexts of the concomitant foundation on three continents of three observatories particularly well equipped instrument-wise: the ``ideal'' observatory erected in Nice by the sponsor Raphaël Bischoffsheim, the one developed in Algiers by the French State in a very good observational site, and the one in La Plata embedded in the urbanistic utopic project for the new capital of the Province of Buenos-Aires. We shall also explore their similarities and differences, especially as regards their instruments and their makers, their scientific aims and training of their staff.

  16. Sensor system development for the WSO-UV (World Space Observatory-Ultraviolet) space-based astronomical telescope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hayes-Thakore, Chris; Spark, Stephen; Pool, Peter; Walker, Andrew; Clapp, Matthew; Waltham, Nick; Shugarov, Andrey

    2015-10-01

    As part of a strategy to provide increasingly complex systems to customers, e2v is currently developing the sensor solution for focal plane array for the WSO-UV (World Space Observatory - Ultraviolet) programme, a Russian led 170 cm space astronomical telescope. This is a fully integrated sensor system for the detection of UV light across 3 channels: 2 high resolution spectrometers covering wavelengths of 115 - 176 nm and 174 - 310 nm and a Long-Slit Spectrometer covering 115 nm - 310 nm. This paper will describe the systematic approach and technical solution that has been developed based on e2v's long heritage, CCD experience and expertise. It will show how this approach is consistent with the key performance requirements and the overall environment requirements that the delivered system will experience through ground test, integration, storage and flight.

  17. Past and Present of the Synoptic Observations of the Sun at the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hanaoka, Y.; Solar Observatory of NAOJ

    2016-04-01

    The National Astronomical Observatory of Japan has a history of about 100 years of regular synoptic solar observations. It started with Ca K spectroheliographic and white-light imaging observations, and shortly afterward, the counting of sunspots was started. Current imaging observations are being carried out in the Hα line, the Ca K line, the G-band, and the green continuum. In addition, the NAOJ has a history of more than 30 years of magnetic field measurements, and now we are conducting full-Sun spectropolarimetry observations. Most of the historical photographic and hand-drawn data have been digitized and are now open at our web site as well as recently obtained data. Here we introduce our data to promote the collaboration in the long-term solar activity study.

  18. Research in space physics at the University of Iowa. [astronomical observatories, spaceborne astronomy, satellite observation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vanallen, J. A.

    1974-01-01

    Various research projects in space physics are summarized. Emphasis is placed on: (1) the study of energetic particles in outer space and their relationships to electric, magnetic, and electromagnetic fields associated with the earth, the sun, the moon, the planets, and interplanetary medium; (2) observational work on satellites of the earth and the moon, and planetary and interplanetary spacecraft; (3) phenomenological analysis and interpretation; (4) observational work by ground based radio-astronomical and optical techniques; and (5) theoretical problems in plasma physics. Specific fields of current investigations are summarized.

  19. Software for autonomous astronomical observatories: challenges and opportunities in the age of big data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-07-01

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

  20. Remote Telescope System for Science Education and Small-scale Researches at Bosscha Observatory, Indonesia and at Gunma Astronomical Observatory, Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Malasan, H. L.; Kurata, T.; Kurabayashi, T.; Taguchi, H.; Indradjaja, B.; Prasetyono, G. I.; Kinugasa, K.

    2006-08-01

    This talk presents the concept of The Gunma Astronomical Observatory-Instititute of Technology Bandung Remote Telescope System (hereafter the GAO-ITB RTS) that has been commisioned in March, 2004. GAO-ITB RTS consists of two 21 cm Schmidt-Cassegrain (f/D=10.0) telescopes, equatorially mounted and supported by Takahashi EM-200 (drive) + GO TO System Temma 2 (control system) connected to a PC through RS 232 C cable. The ITB-side telescope will be situated inside a lightweight sliding roof on the roof of the visitor center at Bosscha Observatory in Lembang. The main software is the Telescope Tracer 98 working under Windows XP that enables chart-based pointing for epoch 2000 or at the observing time, hand-set emulator, and equipped with a database containing SAO, variable star, double star (V ≤ 9.5 mag); Deep sky objects: Messier (110), NGC (7840), IC (5382); and Solar system. Furthermore, with the support of the software TelAgent, web-based remote control can be conducted under Internet Explorer (Ver 5.5 or later). Assigning a static IP address for the mounting system is indispensable. The remote system has been set up to fulfill three basic functions, i.e. command sending through TelAgent, image streaming using web server, and teleconferencing. To support the whole activity, a data communication rate greater than 64 Kbps is needed. The system is currently furnished with TGV-M (811(H)´508(V) pixels, 8.4μm(H) ´9.8 μm(V) @ pixel) camera. Although primarily designed for public distant-learning, the potential of GAO-ITB RTS for high-time resolution photometric observation, such as occultation, and patrol-type observation have been identified and will be explored.

  1. George C. Comstock: Wisconsin Astronomer, Observatory Director, Graduate School Dean, and AAS Officer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Osterbrock, D. E.

    1996-05-01

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

  2. First observations of the Fabra-ROA telescope at the Montsec Astronomical observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muiños, J. L.; Fors, O.; Montojo, F. J.; Núñez, J.; Voss, H.; Boloix, J.; Baena, R.; López Morcillo, R.; Merino, M.

    The Baker-Nunn Cameras (BNCs) were produced by the Smithsonian Institution during the late 50's as an optical tracking system for artificial satellites. One of those telescopes was installed at the Real Instituto Observatorio de la Armada (ROA) in San Fernando (Spain) and managed jointly between these two institutions until 1979, when the Smithsonian transferred the instrument to the ROA. In 2000, due to its excellent mechanical and optical original design, the Observatori Fabra of the Reial Academia de Ciències Arts de Barcelona (RACAB) and the ROA agreed to refurbish the BNC and to install this new facility in a new observatory at 1570 m altitude founded in Catalonia, in the NE of Spain. After the refurbishment period and first test at the ROA the now called Telescope Fabra-ROA Montsec (TFRM) was moved to the Observatori Astronòmic del Montsec (OAdM) on 2010 September. Since then, it is in commissioning period to test both observing modes: remote and robotic. In this presentation we shall show the results of some observational campaigns carried out with the TFRM while it was in commissioning. Mainly the instrument has participated, as an informal partner, in the CO-VI Satellite Tracking Campaign of the ESA's Space Situational Awareness (SSA). These campaigns are experimental observations of Earth orbit objects using existing European telescopes and radars to determine how accurately they can work together. Also some transiting observations of known exoplanets have been conducted. More information in to http://www.am.ub.es/bnc/

  3. The simulation of residual optical aberrations of the 8-inch Clark objective of the astronomical observatory in Ondřejov

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rail, Zdeněk.; Pintr, Pavel; Šrajer, Bohdan

    2016-11-01

    The 8-inch Clark objective lens of the Astronomical Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences is probably the oldest doublet used for professional astronomical observation in the Czech Republic. Its optical imaging performance has become legendary among several generations of professional astronomers. The lens was manufactured by Alvan Clark in Cambridge, Massachusetts at the end of the 1850s. The 8-inch refractor functioned as the main telescope of the astronomical observatory in Ondřejov in the first half of the twentieth century. The objective has been cleaned and restored twice in the TOPTEC Centre in Turnov. We had the opportunity to measure the optical parameters of the doublet during its time in Turnov and we subsequently evaluated its residual aberrations. This paper is a record of the results of the optical simulations.

  4. 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.

  5. Observations of extrasolar planet transits with the automated telescopes of the Pulkovo Astronomical Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sokov, E. N.; Vereshchagina, I. A.; Gnedin, Yu. N.; Devyatkin, A. V.; Gorshanov, D. L.; Slesarenko, V. Yu.; Ivanov, A. V.; Naumov, K. N.; Zinov'ev, S. V.; Bekhteva, A. S.; Romas, E. S.; Karashevich, S. V.; Kupriyanov, V. V.

    2012-03-01

    Exoplanet observations have been performed on the automated Pulkovo Observatory telescopes. We have obtained 33 transit light curves for 16 known exoplanets and six transit observations for three exoplanet candidates discovered by the Kepler telescope. Based on our observations, we have reliably confirmed the existence of an exoplanet with an extremely large radius, R pl = 1.83 ± 0.16 R Jup, in the system KOI 256 and detected a strong deviation of its orbital revolution from the theoretically predicted one. During the transit of the exoplanet WASP-12b across the stellar disk, we detected bursts that could be caused by the planet transit across spots on the star or by the presence of a satellite around this exoplanet. We detected possible periodic variations in the duration of the exoplanet transit across the stellar disk with time for HAT-P-12b that could be caused by variations in orbital inclination. The transit duration and depth, the central transit time, and the radius and orbital inclination of the planet have been estimated. The equilibrium temperature and albedo have been estimated for several exoplanets.

  6. Web Services for Astronomical Databases: Connecting AIPS++ to the Virtual Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Douthit, M. C.

    2002-12-01

    In the year 2010, the NRAO will be operating four of the world's most powerful radio telescopes: GBT, EVLA, VLBA, and ALMA (with international partnership). Multi-Terabyte data sets will quickly accumulate with a rate of twenty-five to fifty Megabytes of data per second generated by ALMA and EVLA each. It will be imperative for scientists to possess software capable of automated data reduction, image synthesis, and archiving. With the evolution of AIPS++ and the recently developed concepts of the image pipeline, the participation of the NRAO in the virtual observatories of the future is now on the horizon giving birth to the need for fast archive access and web service development in AIPS++. When the software package began over 10 years ago, it was not designed for data transfer via the web. In response to the demands of the NVO, we have designed and implemented an application layer that will allow our system to communicate with others. Sponsored by the NRAO and California State University, San Marcos.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-09-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Benacchio, L.

    1984-01-01

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

  9. Walter Baade, Dynamical Astronomer at Goettingen, Hamburg, Mount Wilson, and Palomar Observatories

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Osterbrock, D. E.

    2002-09-01

    Walter Baade, famous for his astrophysical discoveries, also made many contributions in dynamical astronomy. His thesis at Goettingen University on the spectroscopic orbit of β Lyrae was based on spectrograms his teacher, Johannes Hartmann, had taken at Potsdam years earlier. Immediately on receiving his Ph.D. in 1919, Baade joined the Hamburg Bergedorf Observatory staff, and soon was the sole observer with its 1-m reflector, the largest telescope in Europe. Under its director, Richard Schorr, Baade's main job at first was to obtain direct plates of asteroids and comets for positional measurements. As an incidental part of this observing he discovered many asteroids, eight of which were eventually named, including 966 Muschi (his wife's nickname), 944 Hidalgo, with large orbital semi-major axis, eccentricity, and inclination, and 1036 Ganymed, whose orbit extends inside that of Mars. Baade also discovered a new comet, 1922 II. During the close approach of Eros in 1930 Baade measured its period of light variation, its color, and its mean magnitude. After Pluto was discovered in 1930 he measured its position assiduously, following it as far from opposition as he could. In 1931 Baade moved to Mount Wilson, where he concentrated almost entirely on globular-cluster, supernova, and galaxy research. He saw many asteroid trails on his long exposures but did not report them except for one, 7448 (still not named), which showed a very long trail on a 3-hr exposure of the Crab nebula. At Palomar, using the 48-in Schmidt soon after it went into operation, he dicovered and reported 1566 Icarus, with a very small perihelion distance, and later his second comet, 1955 VI.

  10. TTL robotic telescopes and Robonet: new possibilities for robotic astronomical observatories

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moss, C.

    2003-05-01

    Five TTL (Telescope Technologies Limited, Liverpool J.M. University, U.K.) telescopes, ranging in size from 2m to 2.4m are currently being manufactured and installed at sites worldwide (Hawaii; La Palma; India; China; Australia). These telescopes have been designed to work robotically, i.e. the telescopes will not be supervised either locally or remotely during routine observations. Observation requests from many observers authorised by multiple allocation committees are stored in the telescope database. Actual observations are scheduled using a version of a `dispatch' scheduler which decides in real time the best observation to perform next on the basis of the current telescope state and observing conditions, subject to fairness and efficiency criteria. In this way observations can be matched to local conditions, and rapid response to targets of opportunity is possible. The robotic software includes telescope run-up and run-down, focussing tests, monitoring of observing conditions for optimum scheduling of observations, automated observation of photometric standards and pipeline data reduction. The developing global network of TTL telescopes (`Robonet') is uniquely well suited to a vast range of scientific programs in time domain astrophysics, such as the discovery of Earth-size planets using gravitational lensing, astro-tomography with a resolution of one millionth of an arc second, and continuous 24-hour monitoring of variable objects. Also, uniquely, telescope time may be readily `traded' on the network to enable a single telescope to become effectively a global distributed Observatory, facilitating observations in both northern and southern hemispheres and on a much wider set of instrumentation than is easily available for a single telescope.

  11. High Resolution Near-Infrared Spectroscopy of Comet C/2013 R1 (Lovejoy) using WINERED at Koyama Astronomical Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-11-01

    High resolution near-infrared spectroscopic observations of comet C/2013 R1 (Lovejoy) using the WINERED ( 3x10^4) spectrometer on the 1.3-m Araki telescope at Koyama Astronomical Observatory were carried out on UT 2013 November 30. The comet was at 0.91 AU from the Sun and 0.49 AU from the Earth at the observations. This comet was considered to originate in the Oort cloud and became bright in visible from October to December 2013. The newly developed instrument, WINERED, was a cross-dispersed Echelle spectrometer that can cover the wavelength range from 0.9 to 1.3 microns simultaneously. Many emission lines were recorded in the high signal-to-noise ratio spectra of comet Lovejoy. We report the line assignment of the detected emission lines and present our preliminary analysis for CN Red-band system.This research program is supported by the MEXT --- Supported Program for the Strategic Research Foundation at Private Universities, 2014 - 2018.

  12. High dispersion spectroscopy of Venus at 1.0 μm using WINERED at Koyama Astronomical Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-10-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-08-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bernardi, Gabriella; Vecchiato, Alberto; Bucciarelli, Beatrice

    2014-07-01

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

  15. Four Big-Telescope Planetary Astronomers of the 1920's at Mount Wilson, Yerkes, and Lick Observatories

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Osterbrock, D. E.

    2002-12-01

    Contrary to current mythology, many professional astronomers tried to do planetary research before World War II, as Ronald Doel and I have previously emphasized. Their difficulty was that once the known planets had been studied with the biggest and best telescopes, spectrographs, and radiometers there was little more they could do until some new instrumental development came along, and these were rare in those years. Two astronomers who observed planets in the 1920's were Frank Ross, of the Yerkes Observatory faculty, with the Mount Wilson 60- and 100-inch telescopes, and William H. Wright, at Lick, with its 36-inch Crossley reflector, which he considered a big telescope. Both were keenly interested in photographic emulsions (Ross had been a research physicist at the Eastman Kodak Laboratory), and when fast new panchromatic films and plates became available in the 1920's they quickly applied them to photographing the planets. Robert J. Trumpler, also at Lick, used its 36-inch refractor in a combination of photographic (in the yellow and red spectral regions) and visual observing to map and describe Martian surface features. All three of them began planetary observing at the close opposition of Mars in 1924; they were all mainline scientists who ultimately were elected to the National Academy of Sciences. All three of them were doing descriptive work, seeing what was there, and none of them had any theoretical ideas to check or disprove. Francis G. Pease, more of a telescope designer and engineer at Mount Wilson, also used its 60- and 100-inch reflectors, chiefly to take photographs of the planets for illustrations in books and magazines. They all used fine-grain photographic plates, but seeing was a problem they could not overcome. Examples of their planetary photographs, papers, and letters will be posted. Ross and Trumpler dropped out of planetary astronomy after 1928, but Wright and Pease continued in it for many years. An interesting sidelight is that Gerard P

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-08-01

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

  17. The Experience at the University of Puerto Rico with ``The Sky in Your Hands'' and ``The Tactile Moon Project'' from the Astronomical Observatory University of Valencia (Spain)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Villamizar, G. M. I.; Pantoja, C. A.; Lebrón Santos, M. E.; Ortiz-Gil, A.

    2013-04-01

    This poster describes the collaboration that was originated from the activities of the “International Year of Astronomy 2009” (IYA2009). Beyond 2009 we have continued the collaboration with the outreach specialists from Spain. Two projects have followed, the first was the presentation of the Planetarium Show “The Sky in Your Hands” at the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus during 2012. The second project is our participation in the design and development of the 3D Tactile Moon Project for the Blind from the Astronomical Observatory of the University of Valencia, Spain.

  18. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vidmachenko, A. P.

    2015-12-01

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

  20. 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 ...

  1. 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.

  2. Observatories: History

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krisciunas, K.; Murdin, P.

    2000-11-01

    An astronomical OBSERVATORY is a building, installation or institution dedicated to the systematic and regular observation of celestial objects for the purpose of understanding their physical nature, or for purposes of time reckoning and keeping the calendar. At a bona fide observatory such work constitutes a main activity, not just an incidental one. While the ancient Egyptians, Babylonians, Chi...

  3. The Results of Observations of Mutual Phenomena of the Galilean Satellites of Jupiter in 2009 and 2015 IN Nikolaev Astronomical Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  4. Experiments with "wide field" for Space Surveillance Systems in Odessa Astronomical observatory (Ukraine). Prodolzhen eksperiment s "shirokim polem" dlya zadach kontrolya kosmicheskogo prostranstva v Odesskoy astronomicheskoy observatorii

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sukhov, P. P.

    2007-08-01

    In OAO on point Mayaki (40 km for city) is continued observations geostationary (GSS) and low orbital (LEO) satellites with using more inexpensive domestic, "ready to use", wide field optic lens for the reason: To get limited magnitude on high orbital cosmic object (HEO) to 15m in to view telescope 3 -7 degrees for time accumulation 10-15 sec. To value the possibility of the use WFO for monitoring LEO on low orbit by height less than 2 000 km with limited magnitude to 11m on star for 1 sec. accumulations. 90% LEO from 39 objects are surely identified using catalog NORAD. About obtain the results possible to read in article: "About using wide field lens optics for Space Surveillance Systems in Odessa Astronomical observatory" (in Russian).

  5. Union catalogue of printed books of 15th, 16th and 17th centuries in European astronomical observatories.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grassi, G.

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

  6. Studying local sources in the radio range based on the partial solar eclipse of January 4, 2011, at the Mountain Astronomical Station, Central Astronomical Observatory, Russian Academy of Sciences

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shramko, A. D.; Guseva, S. A.

    2012-12-01

    Data are presented on a partial solar eclipse, which occurred on January 4, 2011, and was observed with RT-3 (λ = 4.9 cm) and RT-2 (λ = 3.2 cm) radio telescopes at the Mountain Astronomical Station, Central Astronomical Observatory, Russian Academy of Sciences (MAS CAO RAS). The radioemission flux in two channels was registered using digital methods with a time resolution of 0.5 s. Comparisons were performed with observations in the optical, UV, and X-ray ranges. The following local sources of increased radioemission on the solar disk have been identified: sunspot groups 1 (NOAA 1142) and 126 (NOAA 1141), unipolar sunspot 127 (NOAA 1140), facula areas, and polar and midlatitude coronal holes. It has been indicated that the brightness of a unipolar sunspot (for λ = 4.9 cm, I rel = 29.5; for λ = 3.2 cm, I rel = 10.1) and two sunspot groups (for λ = 4.9 cm, I rel = 10.1 and 14.2; for λ = 3.2 cm, I rel = 5.1 and 6.2) is maximal. The radioemission flux of all found coronal holes is decreased, and the decrease is more contrasting in the 4.9-cm range as compared to such a decrease in the 3.2-cm range. Radio maps of the Sun and changes in the radioemission flux of undisturbed solar regions from the center to the limb for λ = 4.9 and 3.2 cm have been constructed based on the eclipse data.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-11-01

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

  8. Optical low-dispersion spectroscopic observations of Comet 103P/Hartley 2 at Koyama Astronomical Observatory during the EPOXI flyby

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shinnaka, Yoshiharu; Kawakita, Hideyo; Kobayashi, Hitomi; Naka, Chiharu; Arai, Akira; Arasaki, Takayuki; Kitao, Eiji; Taguchi, Gaku; Ikeda, Yuji

    2013-02-01

    We performed low-dispersion spectroscopic observations of Comet 103P/Hartley 2 in optical wavelengths using the LOSA/F2 mounted on the 1.3 m-Araki telescope at Koyama Astronomical Observatory on UT 2010 November 4 during the close approach of the Deep Impact spacecraft to the nucleus of Comet 103P/Hartley 2 in the EPOXI mission flyby. Our observations have revealed the chemistry of the coma at optical wavelengths; including CN, C3, C2 and NH2 along with H2O from [OI] emission at 6300 Å. Resultant mixing ratios of these radicals put the comet into the normal group in chemical composition. The mixing ratios with respect to H2O obtained in our observations are basically consistent with the previous optical spectro-photometric observations of Comet 103P/Hartley 2 in 1991 by A'Hearn et al. (A'Hearn, M.F., Millis, R.L., Schleicher, D.G., Osip, D.J., Birch, P.V. [1995]. Icarus 118, 223-270), the optical spectroscopic observations in 1998 by Fink (Fink, U. [2009]. Icarus 201, 311-334) and also consistent with the observations on UT 2010 October 27 and 29 by Lara et al. (Lara, L.M., Lin, Z.-Y., Meech, K. [2011]. Astron. Astrophys. 532, A87) (but only for the ratio relative to CN).

  9. Taosi Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sun, Xiaochun

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

  10. Dudley Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murdin, P.

    2000-11-01

    The Dudley Observatory, in Schenectady, New York, is a private foundation supporting research and education in astronomy, astrophysics and the history of astronomy. Chartered in 1852, it is the oldest organization in the US, outside academia and government, dedicated to the support of astronomical research. For more than a century it was a world leader in astrometry, with such achievements as pub...

  11. 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.

  12. John Flamsteed and the turn of the screw: mechanical uncertainty, the skilful astronomer and the burden of seeing correctly at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich.

    PubMed

    Spiegel, Richard J

    2015-03-01

    Centring on John Flamsteed (1646-1719), the first Astronomer Royal, this paper investigates the ways in which astronomers of the late seventeenth century worked to build and maintain their reputations by demonstrating, for their peers and for posterity, their proficiency in managing visual technologies. By looking at his correspondence and by offering a graphic and textual analysis of the preface to his posthumous Historia Coelestis Britannica (1725), I argue that Flamsteed based the legitimacy of his life's work on his capacity to serve as a skilful astronomer who could coordinate the production and proper use of astronomical sighting instruments. Technological advances in astrometry were, for Flamsteed, a necessary but not a sufficient condition for the advancement of astronomy. Technological resources needed to be used by the right person. The work of the skilful astronomer was a necessary precondition for the mobilization and proper management of astronomical technologies. Flamsteed's understanding of the astronomer as a skilled actor importantly shifted the emphasis in precision astronomical work away from the individual observer's ability to see well and toward the astronomer's ability to ensure that instruments guaranteed accurate vision.

  13. The South African Astronomical Observatory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1989-01-01

    Topics discussed in the Overview of Year 1988 include the following: Supernova in the Large Magellanic Cloud; Galaxies; Ground based observations of celestial x ray sources; the Magellanic Clouds; Pulsating variables; Galactic structure; Binary star phenomena; The provision of photometric standards; Nebulae and interstellar matter; Stellar astrophysics; Astrometry; Solar system studies; Visitors programs; Publications; and General matters.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. The Russian Virtual Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dluzhnevskaya, O. B.; Malkov, O. Yu.; Kilpio, A. A.; Kilpio, E. Yu.; Kovaleva, D. A.; Sat, L. A.

    The Russian Virtual Observatory (RVO) will be an integral component of the International Virtual Observatory (IVO). The RVO has the main goal of integrating resources of astronomical data accumulated in Russian observatories and institutions (databases, archives, digitized glass libraries, bibliographic data, a remote access system to information and technical resources of telescopes etc.), and providing transparent access for scientific and educational purposes to the distributed information and data services that comprise its content. Another goal of the RVO is to provide Russian astronomers with on-line access to the rich volumes of data and metadata that have been, and will continue to be, produced by astronomical survey projects. Centre for Astronomical Data (CAD), among other Russian institutions, has had the greatest experience in collecting and distributing astronomical data for more than 20 years. Some hundreds of catalogs and journal tables are currently available from the CAD repository. More recently, mirrors of main astronomical data resources (VizieR, ADS, etc) are now maintained in CAD. Besides, CAD accumulates and makes available for the astronomical community information on principal Russian astronomical resources.

  18. 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.

  19. Development and test of an IR camera for astronomical observation at the Palomar 200-in. observatory using the NICMOS II array

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bruce, Carl; Beichman, Charles; Van Buren, D.; Gautier, Nick; Jorquera, Carlos; Seaman, Kirk

    1992-01-01

    A NICMOS II array, a NIR (0.80 - 2.6 micron) imaging system, was integrated into the California Institute of Technology Palomar Observatory camera. The Palomar camera system which consists of six discrete subsystems including a focal plane, an electrical interface, data acquisition electronics, a dewar, dewar optics, and the software is described. The performance and calibration data for each subsystem are presented. Emphasis is placed on test data on the focal plane performance.

  20. Graduate Astronomy Education in the Early Days of Lick Observatory.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Osterbrock, Donald E.

    1980-01-01

    Discusses Lick Observatory's (University of California) early graduate students and graduate program in astronomy. The history of the Lick Observatory and famous astronomy professors and astronomers associated with the Lick Observatory are also discussed. (DS)

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Information Hub of the Russian Virtual Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Malkov, Oleg; Dluzhnevskaya, Olga; Kilpio, Elena; Kilpio, Alexander; Kovaleva, Dana

    The ultimate goal of the Russian Virtual Observatory (RVO) initiative is to provide every astronomer with on-line access to the rich volumes of data and metadata that have been and will continue to be produced by astronomical survey projects. The information hub of the RVO has a main goal of integrating resources of astronomical data accumulated in Russian observatories and institutions, and providing transparent access for scientific and educational purposes to the distributed information and data services that comprise its content.

  7. Grand Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Young, Eric W.

    2002-01-01

    Various concepts have been recently presented for a 100 m class astronomical observatory. The science virtues of such an observatory are many: resolving planets orbiting around other stars, resolving the surface features of other stars, extending our temporal reach back toward the beginning (at and before stellar and galactic development), improving on the Next Generation Space Telescope, and other (perhaps as yet) undiscovered purposes. This observatory would be a general facility instrument with wide spectral range from at least the near ultraviolet to the mid infrared. The concept espoused here is based on a practical, modular design located in a place where temperatures remain (and instruments could operate) within several degrees of absolute zero with no shielding or cooling. This location is the bottom of a crater located near the north or south pole of the moon, most probably the South Polar Depression. In such a location the telescope would never see the sun or the earth, hence the profound cold and absence of stray light. The ideal nature of this location is elaborated herein. It is envisioned that this observatory would be assembled and maintained remotely through the use of expert robotic systems. A base station would be located above the crater rim with (at least occasional) direct line-of-sight access to the earth. Certainly it would be advantageous, but not absolutely essential, to have humans travel to the site to deal with unexpected contingencies. Further, observers and their teams could eventually travel there for extended observational campaigns. Educational activities, in general, could be furthered thru extended human presence. Even recreational visitors and long term habitation might follow.

  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. 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.

  10. NASA'S Great Observatories

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    Why are space observatories important? The answer concerns twinkling stars in the night sky. To reach telescopes on Earth, light from distant objects has to penetrate Earth's atmosphere. Although the sky may look clear, the gases that make up our atmosphere cause problems for astronomers. These gases absorb the majority of radiation emanating from celestial bodies so that it never reaches the astronomer's telescope. Radiation that does make it to the surface is distorted by pockets of warm and cool air, causing the twinkling effect. In spite of advanced computer enhancement, the images finally seen by astronomers are incomplete. NASA, in conjunction with other countries' space agencies, commercial companies, and the international community, has built observatories such as the Hubble Space Telescope, the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory, and the Chandra X-ray Observatory to find the answers to numerous questions about the universe. With the capabilities the Space Shuttle provides, scientist now have the means for deploying these observatories from the Shuttle's cargo bay directly into orbit.

  11. The Russian Virtual Observatory Project

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dluzhnevskaya, O. B.; Malkov, O. Yu.

    2005-12-01

    We describe the Russian Virtual Observatory (RVO), a prestigious international project sponsored by the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS). In 2001, the RAS Scientific Council on Astronomy included this project in a list of the most important international projects of the RAS. Its main goal to create and develop the RVO, intended to provide Russian astronomers with direct and effective access to worldwide astronomical data resources. The RVO is one component of the International Virtual Observatory (IVO), a system in which vast astronomical archives and databases around the world, together with analysis tools and computational services, are linked together into an integrated facility. The IVO unites all important national and international projects to create virtual observatories, coordinated by the International Virtual Observatory Alliance. The RVO is one of the organizers and an important participant of the IVO Alliance.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Asteroid Lightcurve Analysis at the Danhenge Observatory Apr - Aug 2011

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coley, Daniel

    2012-01-01

    The lightcurves for three main-belt asteroids, 1413 Roucarie, 3385 Bronnina, and 39890 Bobstephens. All observations were taken from the DanHenge Observatory, one of 13 observatories at Goat Mountain Astronomical Research Station (GMARS - MPC G79).

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bartky, Ian R.

    2000-12-01

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

  16. The Norwegian Naval Observatories

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pettersen, Bjørn Ragnvald

    2007-07-01

    Archival material has revealed milestones and new details in the history of the Norwegian Naval Observatories. We have identified several of the instrument types used at different epochs. Observational results have been extracted from handwritten sources and an extensive literature search. These allow determination of an approximate location of the first naval observatory building (1842) at Fredriksvern. No physical remains exist today. A second observatory was established in 1854 at the new main naval base at Horten. Its location is evident on military maps and photographs. We describe its development until the Naval Observatory buildings, including archives and instruments, were completely demolished during an allied air bomb raid on 23 February 1945. The first director, C.T.H. Geelmuyden, maintained scientific standards at the the Observatory between 1842 and 1870, and collaborated with university astronomers to investigate, develop, and employ time-transfer by telegraphy. Their purpose was accurate longitude determination between observatories in Norway and abroad. The Naval Observatory issued telegraphic time signals twice weekly to a national network of sites, and as such served as the first national time-service in Norway. Later the Naval Observatory focused on the particular needs of the Navy and developed into an internal navigational service.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. The Virtual Observatory: I

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hanisch, R. J.

    2014-11-01

    The concept of the Virtual Observatory arose more-or-less simultaneously in the United States and Europe circa 2000. Ten pages of Astronomy and Astrophysics in the New Millennium: Panel Reports (National Academy Press, Washington, 2001), that is, the detailed recommendations of the Panel on Theory, Computation, and Data Exploration of the 2000 Decadal Survey in Astronomy, are dedicated to describing the motivation for, scientific value of, and major components required in implementing the National Virtual Observatory. European initiatives included the Astrophysical Virtual Observatory at the European Southern Observatory, the AstroGrid project in the United Kingdom, and the Euro-VO (sponsored by the European Union). Organizational/conceptual meetings were held in the US at the California Institute of Technology (Virtual Observatories of the Future, June 13-16, 2000) and at ESO Headquarters in Garching, Germany (Mining the Sky, July 31-August 4, 2000; Toward an International Virtual Observatory, June 10-14, 2002). The nascent US, UK, and European VO projects formed the International Virtual Observatory Alliance (IVOA) at the June 2002 meeting in Garching, with yours truly as the first chair. The IVOA has grown to a membership of twenty-one national projects and programs on six continents, and has developed a broad suite of data access protocols and standards that have been widely implemented. Astronomers can now discover, access, and compare data from hundreds of telescopes and facilities, hosted at hundreds of organizations worldwide, stored in thousands of databases, all with a single query.

  20. ISS images for Observatory protection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sánchez de Miguel, Alejandro; Zamorano, Jaime

    2015-08-01

    Light pollution is the main factor of degradation of the astronomical quality of the sky along the history. Astronomical observatories have been monitoring how the brightness of the sky varies using photometric measures of the night sky brightness mainly at zenith. Since the sky brightness depends in other factors such as sky glow, aerosols, solar activity and the presence of celestial objects, the continuous increase of light pollution in these enclaves is difficult to trace except when it is too late.Using models of light dispersion on the atmosphere one can determine which light pollution sources are increasing the sky brightness at the observatories. The input satellite data has been provided by DMSP/OLS and SNPP/VIIRS. Unfortunately their panchromatic bands (color blinded) are not useful to detect in which extension the increase is due to the dramatic change produced by the irruption of LED technology in outdoor lighting. The only instrument in the space that is able to distinguish between the various lighting technologies are the DSLR cameras used by the astronauts onboard the ISS.Current status for some astronomical observatories that have been imaged from the ISS is presented. We are planning to send an official request to NASA with a plan to get images for the most important astronomical observatories. We ask support for this proposal by the astronomical community and especially by the US-based researchers.

  1. Annals of Shanghai Observatory, Academia Sinica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, Cheng; Jiang, Dong-Rong; Li, Zhi-Fang; Wan, Ning-Shan; Wang, Lan-Juan; Wang, Jia-Ji; Jiang, Xiao-Yuan; Zhu, Neng-Hong; Xu, Hua-Guan; Li, Zhi-Fang; Yan, Hao-Jian; Jin, Wen-Jing; Zheng, Da-Wei; Liang, Shi-Guang; Huang, Cheng; Fu, Cheng-Qi; Zhai, Zao-Cheng; Tan, De-Tong

    1996-01-01

    This is a report of scientific researches at Shanghai Observatory. Topics presented include achievements in the fields of astro-geodynamics, astrophysics, time and frequency, and development of astronomical instrumentation.

  2. Observatoriya imeni russkogo astronoma v dalekoj Brazilii. K 100-letiyu so diya rozhdeniya Aleksandra Ivanovicha Postoeva (1900 - 1976) %t An observatory in distant Brazil named after a Russian astronomer (dedicated to Alexander Postoyev (1900 - 1976) centennial anniversary

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marques Dos Santos, P.; Matsuura, O. T.

    This is a biographical note on the life of Dr. Alexander Postoyev, a victim of Stalin's purge of Soviet astronomers in 1936 - 1937. Together with his family, he left the Soviet Union in 1943 and lived in Germany as a refugee and a "displaced person" until 1952, when he moved to Brazil. There, he started the second part of his professional career. Thanks to his efforts, the Astronomical and Geophysical Institute (IAG) of the University of Sao Paulo (USP) was for the first time included in programs of international cooperation, thus contributing to the institutional consolidation of IAG/USP as a leading center of astronomical research and teaching in Brazil now.

  3. Tools for Coordinated Planning Between Observatories

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jones, Jeremy; Fishman, Mark; Grella, Vince; Kerbel, Uri; Maks, Lori; Misra, Dharitri; Pell, Vince; Powers, Edward I. (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    With the realization of NASA's era of great observatories, there are now more than three space-based telescopes operating in different wavebands. This situation provides astronomers with a unique opportunity to simultaneously observe with multiple observatories. Yet scheduling multiple observatories simultaneously is highly inefficient when compared to observations using only one single observatory. Thus, programs using multiple observatories are limited not due to scientific restrictions, but due to operational inefficiencies. At present, multi-observatory programs are conducted by submitting observing proposals separately to each concerned observatory. To assure that the proposed observations can be scheduled, each observatory's staff has to check that the observations are valid and meet all the constraints for their own observatory; in addition, they have to verify that the observations satisfy the constraints of the other observatories. Thus, coordinated observations require painstaking manual collaboration among the observatory staff at each observatory. Due to the lack of automated tools for coordinated observations, this process is time consuming, error-prone, and the outcome of the requests is not certain until the very end. To increase observatory operations efficiency, such manpower intensive processes need to undergo re-engineering. To overcome this critical deficiency, Goddard Space Flight Center's Advanced Architectures and Automation Branch is developing a prototype effort called the Visual Observation Layout Tool (VOLT). The main objective of the VOLT project is to provide visual tools to help automate the planning of coordinated observations by multiple astronomical observatories, as well as to increase the scheduling probability of all observations.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. The Russian Virtual Observatory: Recent Developments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Malkov, O.; Dluzhnevskaya, O.; Kilpio, E.; Kovaleva, D.

    2006-04-01

    The Russian Virtual Observatory (RVO) is a collaborative effort by Russian astronomy researches and computer scientists to develop astronomical data and tools which have proved to be very useful for the international astronomical community. The paper reviews the current status of the RVO project and planned developments.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 195-year history of Mykolayiv Observatory: events and people

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shulga, O. V.; Yanishevska, L. M.

    2017-02-01

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

  11. Some astronomical challenges for the twenty-first century

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Burns, Jack O.

    1992-01-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. The Instruments of Dudley Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gino, M. C.

    2002-12-01

    Dudley Observatory, founded in 1852, is the nation's oldest independent organization dedicated to astronomical research and education. While Dudley no longer operates a physical observatory, it is home to a number of historically important scientific instruments and telescopes. Dudley's first operating telescope, a Clark Comet-seeker, remains in Dudley's collection today. This 4-inch refractor provided the first discovery of a comet by a Dudley astronomer in 1857 and is one of only four telescopes of this size produced by Alvan Clark. Also in Dudley's collection is the Olcott Meridian Circle which was the primary working telescope at the observatory for over 75 years. This telescope, made by Pistor & Martins and which operated both at the Dudley Observatory in Albany, NY and the San Luis Observatory in Argentina, was used to conduct all of the observations for the Preliminary General Catalog of 6788 Stars (1908) and the General Catalog of 33,343 Stars (1937). The gem of Dudley's collection is the Pruyn Equatorial Telescope, built by the Warner and Swasey Company and equipped with a 12-inch lens made by John Brashear. It was installed in 1893 to conduct both research observations and public observing sessions. After remaining in storage for many decades, this historic telescope will soon resume its role after being refurbished and installed at the Arunah Hill Natural Science Center in Cummington, MA. While Dudley retains its interest in astronomical instruments it has also moved into the areas of space studies and astronomical education. The key projects in the areas of instrumentation and astronomical outreach, which include the instruments above as well as the Rising Star Internship and Space Campership educational programs, will be detailed in the remainder of this paper.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Autonomous Infrastructure for Observatory Operations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seaman, R.

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Preservation and maintenance of the astronomical sites in Armenia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mickaelian, A. M.

    2008-01-01

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

  1. TMT in the Astronomical Landscape of the 2020s

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dickinson, Mark; Inami, Hanae

    2014-07-01

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

  2. Carnegie Observatories

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murdin, P.

    2000-11-01

    The Carnegie Observatories were founded in 1902 by George Ellery Hale. Their first facility was the MOUNT WILSON OBSERVATORY, located in the San Gabriel Mountains above Pasadena, California. Originally a solar observatory, it moved into stellar, galactic and extragalactic research with the construction of the 60 in (1.5 m), and 100 in (2.5 m) telescopes, each of which was the largest in the world...

  3. 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.

  4. ESO's Two Observatories Merge

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2005-02-01

    , a unique instrument capable of measuring stellar radial velocities with an unsurpassed accuracy better than 1 m/s, making it a very powerful tool for the discovery of extra-solar planets. In addition, astronomers have also access to the 2.2-m ESO/MPG telescope with its Wide Field Imager camera. A new control room, the RITZ (Remote Integrated Telescope Zentrum), allows operating all three ESO telescopes at La Silla from a single place. The La Silla Observatory is also the first world-class observatory to have been granted certification for the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 9001 Quality Management System. Moreover, the infrastructure of La Silla is still used by many of the ESO member states for targeted projects such as the Swiss 1.2-m Euler telescope and the robotic telescope specialized in the follow-up of gamma-ray bursts detected by satellites, the Italian REM (Rapid Eye Mount). In addition, La Silla is in charge of the APEX (Atacama Pathfinder Experiment) 12-m sub-millimetre telescope which will soon start routine observations at Chajnantor, the site of the future Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA). The APEX project is a collaboration between the Max Planck Society in Germany, Onsala Observatory in Sweden and ESO. ESO also operates Paranal, home of the Very Large Telescope (VLT) and the VLT Interferometer (VLTI). Antu, the first 8.2-m Unit Telescope of the VLT, saw First Light in May 1998, starting what has become a revolution in European astronomy. Since then, the three other Unit Telescopes - Kueyen, Melipal and Yepun - have been successfully put into operation with an impressive suite of the most advanced astronomical instruments. The interferometric mode of the VLT (VLTI) is also operational and fully integrated in the VLT data flow system. In the VLTI mode, one state-of-the-art instrument is already available and another will follow soon. With its remarkable resolution and unsurpassed surface area, the VLT is at the forefront of

  5. Asteroids Observed from GMARS and Santana Observatories: 2011 July - September

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stephens, Robert D.

    2012-01-01

    Lightcurves of three asteroids were obtained from Santana Observatory and Goat Mountain Astronomical Research Station (GMARS) from 2011 July to September: 688 Melanie, 1077 Campanula, and (42265) 2001 QL69.

  6. Asteroids Observed from GMARS and Santana Observatories: 2011 October- December

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stephens, Robert D.

    2012-04-01

    Lightcurves of six asteroids were obtained from Santana Observatory and Goat Mountain Astronomical Research Station (GMARS): 555 Norma, 1028 Lydina, 1123 Shapleya, 1178 Irmela, 3436 Ibadinov, and 6042 Cheshirecat.

  7. Asteroids Observed from GMARS and Sanana Observatories: 2011 April - June

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stephens, Robert D.

    2011-10-01

    Lightcurves of four asteroids were obtained from Santana Observatory and Goat Mountain Astronomical Research Station (GMARS) from 2011 April to June: 948 Jucunda, 1183 Jutta, 1775 Zimmerwald and 3492 Petra-Pepi.

  8. 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

  9. Current Status of the Russian Virtual Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Malkov, Oleg Y.; Dluzhnevskaya, Olga B.; Kilpio, Elena Y.; Kilpio, Alexander A.; Kovaleva, Dana A.

    The Russian Virtual Observatory (RVO) has been officially recognized as one of the key projects of the Scientific Council on Astronomy of the Russian Academy of Sciences since December 2001. 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. One of the principal goals of the project is to provide Russian researchers with on-line access to the rich volumes of data and metadata that have been and will continue to be produced by astronomical survey projects. RVO architecture main tasks and roadmap are discussed in the presentation.

  10. 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).

  11. 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.

  12. SOFIA: Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Erickson, E. F.; Davidson, J. A.

    1993-01-01

    SOFIA, (Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy) is a planned 2.5 meter telescope to be installed in a Boeing 747 aircraft and operated at altitudes from 41,000 to 46,000 feet. It will permit routine measurement of infrared radiation inaccessible from the ground-based sites, and observation of astronomical objects and transient events from anywhere in the world. The concept is based on 18 years of experience with NASA's Kuiper Airborne Observatory (KAO), which SOFIA would replace.

  13. Protection of the Guillermo Haro Astrophysical Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carrasco, E.; Carraminana, A. P.

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

  14. Tonantzintla's Observatory Astronomy Teaching Laboratory project

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-07-01

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

  15. Simon Newcomb, America’s First Great Astronomer

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2009-02-01

    46 February 2009 Physics Today © 2009 American Institute of Physics, S-0031-9228-0902-030-4 In 1854, at age 19, Simon Newcomb stood outside the...powerful friend in Congress, Newcomb soon found himself selected to lead the highly visible and costly Simon Newcomb, America’s first great astronomer...His daugh- ter, Merri Sue Carter, is an astronomer at the US Naval Observatory Flagstaff Station, Arizona. Figure 1. Simon Newcomb circa 1871, the

  16. 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.

  17. The Great Astronomical Ear.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hiatt, Blanchard

    1980-01-01

    Presents a description of the world's largest radio/radar antenna, the Areciba Observatory in Puerto Rico. Activities at the observatory are discussed as well as the scientific research in the field of radio astronomy. (SA)

  18. Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory as Cultural Centre

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-12-01

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

  19. Reengineering observatory operations for the time domain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-07-01

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

  20. DSN Transient Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  1. 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.

  2. Keele Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Theodorus van Loon, Jacco; Albinson, James; Bagnall, Alan; Bryant, Lian; Caisley, Dave; Doody, Stephen; Johnson, Ian; Klimczak, Paul; Maddison, Ron; Robinson, StJohn; Stretch, Matthew; Webb, John

    2015-08-01

    Keele Observatory was founded by Dr. Ron Maddison in 1962, on the hill-top campus of Keele University in central England, hosting the 1876 Grubb 31cm refractor from Oxford Observatory. It since acquired a 61cm research reflector, a 15cm Halpha solar telescope and a range of other telescopes. Run by a group of volunteering engineers and students under directorship of a Keele astrophysicist, it is used for public outreach as well as research. About 4,000 people visit the observatory every year, including a large number of children. We present the facility, its history - including involvement in the 1919 Eddington solar eclipse expedition which proved Albert Einstein's theory of general relativity - and its ambitions to erect a radio telescope on its site.

  3. Biographical index ``Astronomers of Ukraine'' at the UkrVO portal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vavilova, I. B.; Artemenko, T. G.; Pakuliak, L. K.

    2014-02-01

    The new electronic database developed by the authors and titled "Astronomers of Ukraine" is described as a source of the main biographical data on astronomers of Ukraine from the 15th century until the beginning of the 21st century. The database is an upgrading component of the Ukrainian Virtual Observatory portal and contains the main biobibliographical data and papers concerning astronomers of Ukraine, as well as links to their publications. The existing biographical sources about astronomers in the world are discussed briefly. A list of the principal publications about astronomers of Ukraine is given.

  4. The Malaysian Robotic Solar Observatory (P29)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2006-11-01

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

  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. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Light Phenomena over the ESO Observatories II: Red Sprites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Horálek, P.; Christensen, L. L.; Bór, J.; Setvák, M.

    2016-03-01

    A rare atmospheric phenomenon, known as red sprites, was observed and captured on camera from the La Silla Observatory. This event signalled the first time that these extremely short-lived flashes of red light, originating in the Earth’s upper atmosphere, were photographed from a major astronomical observatory. Further images of red sprites from the La Silla Paranal Observatory sites are presented and the nature of red sprites is discussed.

  11. 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

  12. Status of the Frisco Peak Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ricketts, Paul; Springer, Wayne; Dawson, Kyle; Kieda, Dave; Gondolo, Paolo; Bolton, Adam

    2009-10-01

    The University of Utah has constructed an astronomical observatory located at an elevation of approximately 9600 feet of Frisco Peak west of Milford, Utah. This site was chosen after performing a survey of potential observatory sites throughout Southern Utah. At the time of writing this abstract, the dome and control buildings have been completed. Installation of a 32'' telescope manufactured by DFM Engineering is scheduled to start October 5, 2009. Commissioning of the telescope will take place this fall. A study of the photometric quality of the observatory site will be performed as well. A description of the observatory site survey and the construction and commissioning of the Frisco Peak Observatory will be presented.

  13. The Pulkovo Observatory on the Centuries' Borderline

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abalakin, Viktor K.

    The present paper deals with the development of astrophysical research at the Pulkovo Observatory (now: the Central (Pulkovo) Astronomical Observatory of the Russian Academy of Sciences) at adjacent time periods separated by the threshold between the 19th and the 20th centuries. The Pulkovo Observatory had been inaugurated in 1839. Its traditional field of research work was astrometry. The confirmation of light absorption phenomenon in interstellar space by Friedrich Georg Wilhelm Struve marked the turn of the Observatory's research programs toward astrophysics. New tendencies in the development of contemporaneous astronomy in Russia were pointed out by Otto Struve in his paper “About the Place of Astrophysics in Astronomy” presented in 1866 to the Saint-Petersburg Academy of Sciences. Wide-scale astrophysical studies were performed at Pulkovo Observatory around 1900 during the directorships of Theodore Bredikhin, Oscar Backlund and Aristarchos Belopolsky.

  14. Astronomical journey to the Skåne district in Sweden

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nakamura, Tsuko

    2006-09-01

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

  15. Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mickaelian, A. M.

    2016-09-01

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

  16. The creation of the International Astronomical Union as a result of scientific diplomacy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saint-Martin, Arnaud

    2011-06-01

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

  17. Achievements of the Armenian Astronomy and the Present Activities of the Armenian Astronomical Society

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mickaelian, A. M.

    2014-10-01

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

  18. The Astronomical Journal in the Early 20th Century

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gino, M. C.; Wise, G.

    2004-05-01

    The Astronomical Journal (AJ), one of the longest running scientific journals in the United States, was edited in Albany, New York between 1909 and 1941. That Albany sojourn, occurring just as astronomy was maturing into a scientific profession, provides insight into the evolution of scientific journals and the science behind them. Those journals grew from the personal property of one or a few individuals into the voice of a professional community. Upon taking over the AJ in 1909, its new editor, Dudley Observatory director Lewis Boss, polled that U.S. astronomical community on the advisability of continuing the journal, which had been founded in 1849 by Benjamin Apthorp Gould. The answer he received provides insight into how portions of the astronomical community defined their field, and the policies he subsequently followed illuminate the realities of the role of journal publication in early 20th century astronomy. The correspondence between Boss and members of the astronomical community upon which this research is primarily based is from the Records of the Astronomical Journal spanning the years of 1897 - 1941. These records, which include correspondence, mailing lists, journals, memorandums, proofs, financial records, manuscripts and ledgers, are part of the Dudley Observatory Institutional Archives that have been maintained as the historical collection of the Observatory.

  19. The Cincinnati Observatory as a Research Instrument for Undergraduate Research

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-06-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.)

  2. 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.

  3. Brazil to Join the European Southern Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2010-12-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Light pollution around Tonantzintla Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-06-01

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

  7. Etienne Leopold Trouvelot (1827--1895), the Artist and Astronomer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Corbin, B. G.

    2007-10-01

    The French-born artist Trouvelot arrived in the United States in 1855. His interest in astronomy began with his observations and sketches of spectacular auroras in the 1870s. This work drew the interest of Harvard College Observatory astronomers and he was invited to join the staff. Using Harvard's 15-inch refractor and other telescopes, Trouvelot made many drawings of celestial objects. He was invited to Washington in 1875 to use the Naval Observatory's 26-inch Equatorial, at that time the world's largest refractor. In 1881 Charles Scribner's & Sons agreed to publish a portfolio with 15 of his best drawings as chromolithographs. He returned to France in 1882 to work with Jules Janssen at the Meudon Observatory. Unfortunately, in the United States, Trouvelot will always be remembered not for his astronomical art but as the person who introduced the gypsy moth into the country.

  8. New Geophysical Observatory in Uruguay

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-05-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  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. Astronomy and astronomical education in the FSU (Former Soviet Union)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bochkarev, Nikolai G.

    The current situation in astronomy and astronomical education over the territory of the Former Soviet Union is traced. New facilities for radioastronomy are being put into work - the most important of them being the 2 coupled 32-m dishes, VLBI network "Quasar"; a number of observatories are acquiring an international status (in the frame of CIS); INTERNET is becoming available for an increasing number of astronomical institutions. Azerbaijan astronomers have overcome their isolation from the rest of the world and cooperate actively with the astronomical community. All-Russia and international olympics in astronomy for high school students are held and attract participants from increasing number of regions of Russia and other states. The outcome of the 9th JENAM in Moscow and of the events attached to the Meeting is presented.

  13. The Chandra X-Ray Observatory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Weisskopf, M. C.

    2001-01-01

    The Chandra X-Ray Observatory is the X-ray component of NASA's Great observatories which also includes the recently decommissioned Compton Gamma Ray Observatory, the Hubble Space Telescope, and the soon to be launched Space Infra Red Telescope Facility. Chandra is a unique X-ray astronomy facility for high-resolution imaging and for high-resolution spectroscopy. Chandra's performance advantage over other X-ray observatories is analogous to that of the Hubble Space Telescope over ground-based observatories. Chandra is a NASA facility that provides scientific data to the international astronomical community in response to proposals for its use. Data becomes public one year after the observation. The Observatory is the product of the efforts of many commercial, academic, and government organizations in the United States and Europe. NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) manages the Project and provides Project Science; TRW Space and Electronics Group served as prime contractor responsible for providing the spacecraft, the telescope, and assembling and testing the observatory; the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) provides technical support and is responsible for ground operations.

  14. Conceiving and marketing NASA's Great Observatories

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harwit, Martin

    2009-08-01

    In early 1984, the astronomical community’s plans to launch a series of powerful telescopes able to study celestial sources at almost any wavelength were in trouble. The President of the United States had just declared his priority for a Space Station that was bound to be expensive, and Congress could not understand why yet another set of space observatories was needed when others were already being funded. To realize their aims, astronomers would have to advocate their needs much more effectively than in the past.

  15. Introduction to the Infrared Space Observatory (ISO)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kessler, M. F.; Sibille, F.

    1989-01-01

    The Infrared Space Observatory (ISO) is an astronomical satellite, which will operate at infrared wavelengths (2.5 to 200 microns) for a period of at least 18 months. Imaging, spectroscopic, photometric and polarimetric observations will be obtained by four scientific instruments in the focal plane of its 60-cm diameter, cryogenically-cooled telescope. Two-thirds of ISO's observing time will be available to the astronomical community. ISO is a fully approved and funded project of the European Space Agency (ESA) with a foreseen launch date of May 1993.

  16. Magdalena Ridge Observatory: the start-up of a new observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bakker, Eric J.; Westpfahl, David; Loos, Gary

    2008-07-01

    This paper discusses the challenges faced in designing and building a new astronomical observatory. Which factors drive an organization (e.g. university) to invest considerable funding and human resources, and experience considerable risk to establish a new research facility? We identify four main drivers for establishing a new observatory: support for education, research, economic development, and technology development. For public observatories, research is generally the main driver. For nonpublic observatories, the situation is more complex and is for each situation different. A detailed description is presented on the drivers and opportunities that resulted in establishing the Magdalena Ridge Observatory. Three main opportunities are identified: a developed site, surplus equipment, and economic development of the Socorro area.

  17. Virtual Observatories: Are We Virtually There Yet?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gurman, J. B.

    2004-01-01

    Virtual observatories are tools for simplifying access to and use of astronomical data from an increasing number of data sources of rapidly growing volume. Now that a variety of virtual observatory development efforts are under way around the world, a cursory review of the efforts outside solar physics, and an only slightly more detailed consideration of those within, demonstrates a commonality of conceptual model if not of approach or application. The linkages among virtual observatories optimized for different scientific communities present an interesting challenge to the designers: should virtual observatories be designed for the most expert users? For the least? For everyone? It is too early to provide definitive answers, but examination of current efforts does offer some clues.

  18. Using Robotic Operating System (ROS) to control autonomous observatories

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-07-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dimitrijevic, Milan S.

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

  2. An Astronomical Life Salted by Pure Chance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kraft, Robert P.

    2009-09-01

    My childhood upbringing in no way suggested that I would become an astronomer, but accidents of fate pushed me in the direction of science, and I have benefited greatly from being in the right place at the right time. I grew up in Seattle, earned B.S. and M.S. degrees in mathematics at the University of Washington, and eventually a Ph.D. in astronomy from the University of California, Berkeley. I was a postdoc at the Mt. Wilson Observatory, an assistant professor at Indiana University, later the Yerkes Observatory (University of Chicago), and still later I became a staff member of the Mt. Wilson and Palomar Observatories. After several years, I returned to the University of California, this time with the Lick Observatory staff at its new academic home on the Santa Cruz campus, where I have been ever since. My research has focused on the relation of Cepheids and RR Lyrae stars to problems of Galactic structure, the binary nature of cataclysmic variables, the decay of angular momentum of solar type stars, and the chemical history of the Galaxy as revealed by the abundances of very old stars in globular clusters and the Galactic halo field. None of this work would have been possible without the help of excellent teachers and mentors, great colleagues, and superb postdocs and graduate students. Most of all, I am grateful for the educational opportunities afforded me by state-supported public Universities.

  3. Flamsteed's stars. New perspectives on the life and work of the first Astronomer Royal (1646 - 1719).

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Willmoth, F.

    Contents: 1. Introduction: the King's "astronomical observer". 2. Flamsteed's career in astronomy: nobility, morality and public utility (J. Bennett). 3. Astronomy and strife: John Flamsteed and the Royal Society (M. Feingold). 4. Models for the practice of astronomy: Flamsteed, Horrocks and Tycho (F. Willmoth). 5. Flamsteed's optics and the identity of the astronomical observer (A. Johns). 6. Equipping an observatory: Flamsteed and Molyneux discuss an astronomical quadrant (H. Higton). 7. Mathematical characters: Flamsteed and Christ's Hospital Royal Mathematical School (R. Iliffe). 8. "Professor" John Flamsteed (I. G. Stewart). 9. Edmond Halley and John Flamsteed at the Royal Observatory (A. Cook). 10. A unique copy of Flamsteed's Historia coelestis (1712) (O. Gingerich). 11. "Labour harder than thrashing": John Flamsteed, property and intellectual labour in nineteenth-century England (W. J. Ashworth). 12. The Flamsteed papers in the archives of the Royal Greenwich Observatory. (A. Perkins). A summary catalogue of Flamsteed's papers in the Royal Greenwich Observatory archives (compiled by F. Willmoth).

  4. 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.

  5. The MicroObservatory Net

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brecher, K.; Sadler, P.

    1994-12-01

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

  6. Contributions of the Astronomical Observatory Skalnate Pleso, Volume 25

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zverko, Juraj; Antalova, Anna; Svoren, Jan; Chochol, Drahomir; Kucera, Ales; Porubcan, Vladimir

    1995-01-01

    Topics addressed include astrometry of minor planets, solar magnetic sectors and spatial distribution of LDE-type flares, radar observations of the Perseid meteor shower, periodic variations in the light curves of symbiotic stars, photometry of symbiotic stars, even-odd solar-cycle differences of corona brightness, solar eclipses, and index of cosmic ray fluctuations at neutron monitor energies. Also addressed is stratification of chromium abundance in CP-stars alpha2 Canum Venaticorum, epsilon Ursae Majoris, Sirius and Vega.

  7. Optical observations of meteors in RI Nikolaev Astronomical Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shulga, Alexander; Sybiryakova, Yevgeniya; Kulichenko, Nikolay; Vovk, Vasyl

    2015-08-01

    Video observations of meteors at the RI NAO are conducted using meteor patrol, which includes 6 optical telescopes (4 lenses: f = 85 mm, f/1.8; 2 lenses: f = 100 mm, f/2.0) equipped with a TV CCD cameras WAT-902H2 (768×576, 8.6×8.3µ). The field of view of 4 telescopes is 3.2°×4.2° and 2.7°×3.6° for 2 telescopes. System doesn't have any intensifier. Each video system is contained in a hermetic capsule to prevent it from rain and other aggressive meteorological conditions. Cameras work in the interlace mode with rate 50 half-frames per second.During 2011-2014 4135 single station meteors were observed. The mean duration of observed meteor trajectories are in 0.05-0.6 s. Double station observation campaigns has been started in September 2013 and it is still working with baseline 11.8 km. During September 2013 - September 2014 total number of observed meteor trajectories was 1757. Number of double station meteors - 328. The mean accuracy of visible radiant determination is less than 0.5 arc sec, more than 80% of radiates have standard deviation less than 0.2 arc sec.

  8. Automation of Coordinated Planning Between Observatories: The Visual Observation Layout Tool (VOLT)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Maks, Lori; Koratkar, Anuradha; Kerbel, Uri; Pell, Vince

    2002-01-01

    Fulfilling the promise of the era of great observatories, NASA now has more than three space-based astronomical telescopes operating in different wavebands. This situation provides astronomers with the unique opportunity of simultaneously observing a target in multiple wavebands with these observatories. Currently scheduling multiple observatories simultaneously, for coordinated observations, is highly inefficient. Coordinated observations require painstaking manual collaboration among the observatory staff at each observatory. Because they are time-consuming and expensive to schedule, observatories often limit the number of coordinated observations that can be conducted. In order to exploit new paradigms for observatory operation, the Advanced Architectures and Automation Branch of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center has developed a tool called the Visual Observation Layout Tool (VOLT). The main objective of VOLT is to provide a visual tool to automate the planning of coordinated observations by multiple astronomical observatories. Four of NASA's space-based astronomical observatories - the Hubble Space Telescope (HST), Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer (FUSE), Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer (RXTE) and Chandra - are enthusiastically pursuing the use of VOLT. This paper will focus on the purpose for developing VOLT, as well as the lessons learned during the infusion of VOLT into the planning and scheduling operations of these observatories.

  9. Education of American research astronomers, 1876-1941

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hall, Robert Dale

    1999-01-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Eminent Astronomers - Odessa University Graduates - In European Astronomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Volyanskaya, M. Yu.

    1998-09-01

    A brief description of scientific activity of some eminent astronomers - graduates of the Odessa University named after I.I. Mechnikov (earlier - Novorossiiski University) in European astronomy is given: * Stratonov V.V. (1869-1938), professor, wellknown specialist in stellar astronomy, who was exiled abroad in 1992 among many scientists and writers, lived in Germany and Prague, where died; * Gansky A.P. (1870-1908) - famous investagator of the Sun, worked at the Meudon Observatory, ascended 9 times to Mount Blanc to make observations, was awarded by P.Z.C. Jansen medal of the Paris Academy of Sciences; * Donitch N.N. (1874-1956) - wellknown investigator of the Solar system, one of the first Romanian astronomers, a brilliant personality of the astronomical community of his time, a honorary member of the Romanian Academy of Sciences, died in Nice (France); * Zalesky Bogdan (1887-1927), specialist in astrometry, which became a wellknown astronomer in Poland. One of the founders and the first director of the University Observatory in Poznan; * Witkowsky Josef (1892- 1976) - specialist in astrometry, practical astronomy, and tidal phenomena studies, history of astronomy. Professor, Director of the Astronomical Centre in Poznan; *Stoiko N.M. ((1894-1976) - investigator of the irregularities of the Earth's rotation, the Earth's poles motions and the universal time determination. A member of many scientific societies. He was awarded by prizes of the Paris Academy of Sciences, of the French astronomical society, of the Royal Academy of Belgium. He worked at the Paris Observatory and was one of the Directors of the International Time Service; * Jardecky (Zhardecky) Vietcheslaw (1896-1962), worked at the Department of Mathematics of the Beograd University; eminent specialist in the field of Mechanics of Fluids; After the Second World War he emmigrated to the USA, Professor of Geophysics at the Columbia Univeristy (New York), where died.

  15. Recent results at the Canarian Observatories

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-10-01

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

  16. Beyond the Observatory: Reflections on the Centennial

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Devorkin, D. H.

    1999-05-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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…

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Astronomical researches in Poincaré's and Romanian works

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stavinschi, M.; Mioc, V.

    2005-09-01

    Henri Poincaré was not only a honorary member of the Romanian Academy, but also an important collaborator of many Romanian mathematicians and astronomers. It is sufficient to mention Spiru Haret, the first doctor in mathematics at Sorbonne, or Nicolae Coculescu, the first director of the Astronomical Observatory of Bucharest. The 150th anniversary of the birth of the illustrious French personality offered us a good opportunity to study the relations he and two other Poincaré, Raymond and Lucien, had with Romania.

  2. 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)

  3. 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)

  4. 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.

  5. Demetrios Eginitis: Restorer of the Athens Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Theodossiou, E. Th.; Manimanis, V. N.; Mantarakis, P.

    2007-07-01

    Demetrios Eginitis (1862-1934), one of the most eminent modern Greek astronomers, directed the National Observatory of Athens for 44 years (1890-1933). He was the fourth director since its founding, and was responsible for the restoration and modernization of the Observatory, which was in a state of inactivity after the death of Julius Schmidt in 1884. Eginitis ordered the purchase of modern instruments, educated the personnel, enriched the library with necessary and up-to-date books and arranged for new buildings to be built to house new telescopes and accommodate the personnel. Moreover, he divided the National Observatory of Athens into three separate Departments: the Astronomical, the Meteorological and the Geodynamic. D. Eginitis' contribution to Greek society went beyond his astronomical accomplishments. He was instrumental in the adoption of the Eastern European time zone for local time in Greece, and he succeeded in changing the official calendar from the Julian to the Gregorian. Having served twice as Minister of Education, he created many schools, founded the Academy of Athens and the Experimental School of the University of Athens. Eginitis was fluent in French, German and English, and therefore was the official representative of his country in numerous international conferences and councils.

  6. SOFIA's Choice: Scheduling Observations for an Airborne Observatory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Frank, Jeremy; Kurklu, Elif; Koga, Dennis (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    We describe the problem of scheduling observations for an airborne observatory. The problem is more complex than traditional scheduling problems in that it incorporates complex constraints relating the feasibility of an astronomical observation to the position and time of a mobile observatory, as well as traditional temporal constraints and optimization criteria. We describe the problem, its proposed solution and the empirical validation of that solution.

  7. Influences of German science and scientists on Melbourne Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clark, Barry A. J.

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2001-12-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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).

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. The Lowell Observatory Predoctoral Scholar Program

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Belle, Gerard; Prato, Lisa A.

    2016-01-01

    Lowell Observatory is pleased to solicit applications for our Predoctoral Scholar Fellowship Program. Now beginning its eighth year, this program is designed to provide unique research opportunities to graduate students in good standing, currently enrolled at Ph.D. granting institutions. Lowell staff research spans a wide range of topics, from astronomical instrumentation, to icy bodies in our solar system, exoplanet science, stellar populations, star formation, and dwarf galaxies. The Observatory's new 4.3 meter Discovery Channel Telescope has successfully begun science operations and we anticipate the commissioning of new instruments in 2015, making this a particularly exciting time in our history. Student research is expected to lead to a thesis dissertation appropriate for graduation at the doctoral level at the student's home institution. The Observatory provides competitive compensation and full benefits to student scholars. For more information, see http://www2.lowell.edu/rsch/predoc.php and links therein. Applications for Fall 2016 are due by May 1, 2016.

  2. From astronomer to architect

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Woods, Bryan

    2004-06-01

    The career of Sir Christopher Wren as an architect is well known. He designed more than 50 churches in London, including St.Paul's Cathedral. Amongst his many secular buildings is the old Royal Observatory in Greenwich. However, less familiar are his earlier achievments in astronomy. Wren made important observations of the Moon, Saturn and comets, and improved the telescope.

  3. Observatories of Sawai Jai Singh II

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnson-Roehr, Susan N.

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mangano, A.

    2015-04-01

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

  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. Planetariums, The Great Messengers of the Astronomical Research

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Acker, A.

    2005-12-01

    A close partnership between planetariums and astronomers allows the public better access to the results of the astronomical research through high quality audiovisual tools. The French-speaking planetariums have shared their areas of expertise, their different approaches and techniques and their resources since 1984. They created the Association of French Language Planetariums (APLF) in 1989, with a head office located at the Observatory/University of Strasbourg in collaboration with teachers and astronomers. The French Planetariums welcome ~1,300,000 visitors per year, 65 % of which come from schools. APLF comprises about thirty fixed structures, 70 small and portable planetariums, and ten French-speaking Planetariums: Brussels and Genk (Belgium), Brescia (Italy), Lafayette (the USA), Lucerne (Swiss), Montreal (Canada), Tunis. APLF wish to develop planetariums in France and beyond in order to diffuse scientific knowledge towards a large audience and especially towards young people.

  7. 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

  8. Instrument Remote Control via the Astronomical Instrument Markup Language

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1998-01-01

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

  9. Odessa Observatory as a Cultural and Scientific Educational Center on the Black Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Karetnikov, V. G.; Dorokhova, T. N.

    2007-10-01

    Odessa is a large port city on the Black Sea. Historically, transport, economy and business problems call forth the necessity of a major astronomical center in the city. In 2006 the Astronomical Observatory of Odessa National University celebrates its 135th Anniversary. Some interesting astronomical buildings and instruments of the 19th and 20th centuries, and the extensive scientific investigations which are reflected in numerous publications make the Observatory not only a scientific and educational establishment but also an historical and cultural center.

  10. The International Virtual Observatory: Summary of the first decade

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Malkov, O. Yu.

    2012-01-01

    International Virtual Observatory is a collection of integrated astronomical data archives and software tools that utilize computer networks to create an environment in which research can be conducted. Several countries have initiated national virtual observatory programs that will combine existing databases from ground-based and space-born observatories and make them easily accessible to researchers. As a result, data from all the world's major observatories will be available to all users and to the public. This is significant not only because of the immense volume of astronomical data but also because the data on stars and galaxies have been compiled from observations in a variety of wavelengths: optical, radio, infrared, gamma ray, X-ray and more. Each wavelength can provide different information about a celestial event or object, but also requires a special expertise to interpret. In a virtual observatory environment, all of this data is integrated so that it can be synthesized and used in a given study. The International Virtual Observatory Alliance (IVOA) represents 20 national and international projects working in coordination to realize the essential technologies and interoperability standards necessary to create a new research infrastructure. Russian Virtual Observatory is one of the founders and important members of the IVOA. The International Virtual Observatory project was launched about ten years ago, and its major achievements in science and technology in recent years are discussed in this paper. Standards for accessing large astronomical data sets were developed. Such data sets can accommodate the full range of wavelengths and observational techniques for all types of astronomical data: catalogues, images, spectra and time series. The described standards include standards for metadata, data formats, query language, etc. Services for the federation of massive, distributed data sets, regardless of the wavelength, resolution and type of data were

  11. Remote observatory access via the Advanced Communications Technology Satellite

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Horan, Stephen; Anderson, Kurt; Georghiou, Georghios

    1992-01-01

    An investigation of the potential for using the ACTS to provide the data distribution network for a distributed set of users of an astronomical observatory has been conducted. The investigation consisted of gathering the data and interface standards for the ACTS network and the observatory instrumentation and telecommunications devices. A simulation based on COMNET was then developed to test data transport configurations for real-time suitability. The investigation showed that the ACTS network should support the real-time requirements and allow for growth in the observatory needs for data transport.

  12. Astronomy and astrophysics communication in the UCM Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  13. The Virtual Observatory: Retrospective and Prospectus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hanisch, R. J.

    2010-12-01

    At the ADASS XV in San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Spain, in October 2005, I gave an overview of the accomplishments of the Virtual Observatory initiatives and discussed the imminent transition from development to operations. That transition remains on the horizon for the US Virtual Observatory, and VO projects worldwide have encountered various programmatic challenges. The successes of the Virtual Observatory are many, but thus far are primarily of a technical nature. We have developed a data discovery and data access infrastructure that has been taken up by data centers and observatories around the world. We have web-based interfaces, downloadable toolkits and applications, a security and restricted access capability, standard vocabularies, a sophisticated messaging and alert system for transient events, and the ability for applications to exchange messages and work together seamlessly. This has been accomplished through a strong collaboration between astronomers and information technology specialists. We have been less successful engaging the astronomical researcher. Relatively few papers have been published based on VO-enabled research, and many astronomers remain unfamiliar with the capabilities of the VO despite active training and tutorial programs hosted by several of the major VO projects. As we (finally!) enter the operational phase of the VO, we need to focus on areas that have contributed to the limited take-up of the VO amongst active scientists, such as ease of use, reliability, and consistency. We need to routinely test VO services for aliveness and adherence to standards, working with data providers to fix errors and otherwise removing non-compliant services from those seen by end-users. Technical developments will need to be motivated and prioritized based on scientific utility. We need to continue to embrace new technology and employ it in a context that focuses on research productivity.

  14. Conceiving and Marketing NASA's Great Observatories

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harwit, Martin

    2009-01-01

    In late 1984, Dr. Charles P. (Charlie) Pellerin Jr., director of the Astrophysics Division of NASA's Office of Space Science and Applications (OSSA) faced a dilemma. Congress and the White House had given approval to work that would lead to the launch of the Gamma Ray Observatory and the Hubble Space Telescope, but competing segments of the astronomical community were clamoring for two additional missions, the Space Infrared Telescope Facility (SIRTF) and the Advanced X-ray Astrophysics Facility (AXAF). Pellerin knew that Congress would not countenance a request for another costly astronomical space observatory so soon after approving GRO and HST. He also foresaw that if he arbitrarily assigned priority to either AXAF or SIRTF he would split the astronomical community. The losing faction would be up on Capitol Hill, lobbying Congress to reverse the decision; and Congress would do what it always does with split communities --- nothing. Pellerin called a meeting of leading astrophysicists to see how a persuasive argument could be made for both these new observatories and to market them as vital to a first comprehensive inventory of the universe conducted across all wavelength ranges. The group provided Pellerin a rotating membership of astrophysicists, who could debate and resolve issues so that decisions he reached would have solid community support. It also helped him to market his ideas in Congress. Ultimately, the concept of the Great Observatories came to be accepted; but its implementation faced myriad difficulties. False starts, political alliances that never worked out, and dramatic changes of direction necessitated by the Challenger disaster of early 1986 continually kept progress off balance. My paper follows these twists and turns from late 1984 to the announcement, on February 1, 1988, that President Reagan's FY89 budget proposal to Congress had designated AXAF for a new start.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  16. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wenjing, Jin; Bai, Jinming; Yao, Yongqiang

    2015-03-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. Centre for Astronomical Data and Software at Indian Institute of Astrophysics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murthy, J.

    2006-11-01

    jmurthy61@rediffmail.com jmurthy@yahoo.com We propose to set up a Centre for Astronomical Data and Software (CADS) at the CREST campus of IIA. A Data Centre is many things. At the most basic level, it is simply a place to warehouse astronomical data but this has led in the past to a sterile environment which may not serve the user. We plan, on the model of the Virtual Observatory, to set up a living centre which will proactively serve the needs of the IIA and, more generally, the Indian astronomical community. IIA has always been a source of data - from Kodaikanal to the Vainu Bappu Observatory (Kavalur) and the Indian Astronomical Observatory (Hanle) - and this will continue into the future with major missions such as TAUVEX or UVIT and with the digitization of the Kodaikanal solar observations. IIA astronomers are further involved with many other missions (SOHO, GALEX, SDSS ...) all with large amounts of data. Our group will serve as a single node for all data related activities in the Institute where other groups or individual scientists will be able to come for help in, primarily, software development. Science will continue to be driven by the scientist but accessory tools and techniques will be developed by CADS. As we develop, we hope to become part of the global Virtual Observatory community.

  20. A Green Robotic Observatory for Astronomy Education

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reddy, Vishnu; Archer, K.

    2008-09-01

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

  1. Science and the Virtual Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dowler, Patrick; Schade, David

    The Canadian Virtual Observatory (CVO) is the cornerstone of a budding international partnership that delivers high quality scientific content and capabilities to the astronomical community. We have developed a uniform astronomical data model to characterise all types of observational data across the entire electromagnetic spectrum; this model enables users to find archive data based on the content and the quality without letting the technology get in the way. We have also developed general purpose source and object catalogs to store information extracted from the data using standard techniques and algorithms. These catalogs are explorable with a variety of scientific tools from a web interface for simple tasks to a programmatic interface for sophisticated analysis involving client and server side processing. Finally all of the data processing and analysis tasks we have executed or will execute are viewable via our processing catalog; links between object and source catalogs processing catalogs and observation catalogs allow users to examine the complete pedigree of every single derived value. Thus the entire system is open to peer review which is the cornerstone of science.

  2. Sylvester II Bukowiec Observatory: a "piece de theatre" for the inauguration day

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maksym, P. M.

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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  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. 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.

  7. Integral Programme of Basic Astronomic Literacy Development

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tignanelli, H.

    2009-05-01

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

  8. ESO's First Observatory Celebrates 40th Anniversary

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2009-03-01

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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. Spectral photographic archives of observatories of Ukraine: digital versions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pakuliak, L.; Shlyapnikov, A.; Rosenbush, A.; Gorbunov, M.

    Photographic archives of Ukrainian observatories contain a large number of plates in collections of spectral observations. First attempts to digitize them and to make them available via VO formats and protocols of data transfer and processing were undertaken during last years. The involved observatories are Crimean Astrophysical Observatory (CrAO) and Main Astronomical observatory NAS of Ukraine (MAO NASU).The project of spectral archive digitizing is carried out within the framework of Ukrainian Virtual Observatory - UkrVO. The core of UkrVO is a Joint Digital Archive (JDA) of photographic and CCD observations. On-line databases of spectral photographic collections and their fitting for VO tools set are the further enhancement of the idea of JDA.

  12. The Most Popular Astronomical Web Server in China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cui, Chenzhou; Zhao, Yongheng

    Affected by the consistent depressibility of IT economy free homepage space is becoming less and less. It is more and more difficult to construct websites for amateur astronomers who do not have ability to pay for commercial space. In last May with the support of Chinese National Astronomical Observatory and Large Sky Area Multi-Object Fiber Spectroscopic Telescope project we setup a special web server (amateur.lamost.org) to provide free huge stable and no-advertisement homepage space to Chinese amateur astronomers and non-professional organizations. After only one year there has been more than 80 websites hosted on the server. More than 10000 visitors from nearly 40 countries visit the server and the amount of data downloaded by them exceeds 4 Giga-Bytes per day. The server has become the most popular amateur astronomical web server in China. It stores the most abundant Chinese amateur astronomical resources. Because of the extremely success our service has been drawing tremendous attentions from related institutions. Recently Chinese National Natural Science Foundation shows great interest to support the service. In the paper the emergence of the thought construction of the server and its present utilization and our future plan are introduced

  13. Social Media Programs at the National Optical Astronomy Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-08-01

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

  14. Invited review article: The Chandra X-ray Observatory.

    PubMed

    Schwartz, Daniel A

    2014-06-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. Bruce Medalists at the Mt. Wilson Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tenn, J. S.

    2004-12-01

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

  17. Lessons from the MicroObservatory Net

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1998-12-01

    Over the past several years, 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. Each telescope can be pointed and focused remotely, and filters, field of view and exposure times can be changed easily. The MicroObservatory Net consists of five of these telescopes. They are being deployed around the world at widely distributed longitudes for access to distant night skies during local daytime. Remote access to the MicroObservatories over the Internet has been available to select schools since 1995. The telescopes can be controlled in real time or in delay mode, from any computer using Web-based software. Individuals have access to all of the telescope control functions without the need for an `on-site' operator. 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. Images are archived at the Web site, along with sample challenges and a user bulletin board, all of which encourage collaboration between schools. The Internet address of the telescopes is http://mo-www.harvard.edu/MicroObservatory/. The telescopes were designed for classroom instruction by teachers, as well as for use by students and amateur astronomers for original scientific research projects. In this talk, we will review some of the experiences we, students and teachers have had in using the telescopes. Support for the MicroObservatory Net has been provided by the NSF, Apple Computer, Inc. and Kodak, Inc.

  18. Fostering Student Awareness in Observatory STEM Careers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  19. The University of Montana's Blue Mountain Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Friend, D. B.

    2004-12-01

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

  20. Design of a Lunar Farside Observatory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1989-01-01

    The design of a mantendable lunar farside observatory and science base is presented. A farside observatory will allow high accuracy astronomical observations, as well as the opportunity to perform geological and low gravity studies on the Moon. The requirements of the observatory and its support facilities are determined, and a preliminary timeline for the project development is presented. The primary areas of investigation include observatory equipment, communications, habitation, and surface operations. Each area was investigated to determine the available options, and each option was evaluated to determine the advantages and disadvantages. The options selected for incorporation into the design of the farside base are presented. The observatory equipment deemed most suitable for placement on the lunar farside consist of large optical and radio arrays and seismic equipment. A communications system consisting of a temporary satellite about the L sub 2 libration point and followed by a satellite at the stable L sub 5 libration point was selected. A space station common module was found to be the most practical option for housing the astronauts at the base. Finally, a support system based upon robotic construction vehicles and the use of lunar materials was determined to be a necessary component of the base.

  1. Private Observatories in South Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rijsdijk, C.

    2016-12-01

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

  2. Preservation Challenges in North America: Recent Efforts by the American Astronomical Society

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schechner, Sara J.

    2012-09-01

    In January 2007 in Seattle, the Council of the American Astronomical Society established the Working Group for the Preservation of Astronomical Heritage (WGPAH) in response to a report from the society's Historical Astronomy Division (HAD). Twelve members of WGPAH are chosen on the basis of their professional qualifications relating to the preservation of sites, astronomical instruments, and historical documents. Two additional members represent the concerns of active research observatories. WGPAH is charged with developing and disseminating procedures, criteria and priorities for identifying, designating, and preserving astronomical structures, instruments, and records so that they will continue to be available for astronomical and historical research, for the teaching of astronomy, and for outreach to the general public. The Working Group may interact with other academic, international, or governmental organizations, as appropriate to advance the preservation of astronomical heritage. As a founding member of the Working Group, I will speak about both the AAS's initiatives and the leadership it has shown in affirming the value of historical astronomical data, glass plates, instruments, observatories, research papers, and editorial records. I will also describe the challenges faced in preserving these things in North America.

  3. The Development of Mauna Kea as an Astronomical Site

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    DeVorkin, David H.

    2015-08-01

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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chapman, Allan

    1999-01-01

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

  9. Swift Observatory Space Simulation Testing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Espiritu, Mellina; Choi, Michael K.; Scocik, Christopher S.

    2004-01-01

    The Swift Observatory is a Middle-Class Explorer (MIDEX) mission that is a rapidly re-pointing spacecraft with immediate data distribution capability to the astronomical community. Its primary objectives are to characterize and determine the origin of Gamma Ray Bursts (GRBs) and to use the collected data on GRB phenomena in order to probe the universe and gain insight into the physics of black hole formation and early universe. The main components of the spacecraft are the Burst Alert Telescope (BAT), Ultraviolet and Optical Telescope (UVOT), X-Ray Telescope (XRT), and Optical Bench (OB) instruments coupled with the Swift spacecraft (S/C) bus. The Swift Observatory will be tested at the Space Environment Simulation (SES) chamber at the Goddard Space Flight Center from May to June 2004 in order to characterize its thermal behavior in a vacuum environment. In order to simulate the independent thermal zones required by the BAT, XRT, UVOT, and OB instruments, the spacecraft is mounted on a chariot structure capable of maintaining adiabatic interfaces and enclosed in a modified, four section MSX fixture in order to accommodate the strategic placement of seven cryopanels (on four circuits), four heater panels, and a radiation source burst simulator mechanism. There are additionally 55 heater circuits on the spacecraft. To mitigate possible migration of silicone contaminants from BAT to the XRT and UVOT instruments, a contamination enclosure is to be fabricated around the BAT at the uppermost section of the MSX fixture. This paper discuses the test requirements and implemented thermal vacuum test configuration for the Swift Observatory.

  10. The Boulder magnetic observatory

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Love, Jeffrey J.; Finn, Carol A.; Pedrie, Kolby L.; Blum, Cletus C.

    2015-08-14

    The Boulder magnetic observatory has, since 1963, been operated by the Geomagnetism Program of the U.S. Geological Survey in accordance with Bureau and national priorities. Data from the observatory are used for a wide variety of scientific purposes, both pure and applied. The observatory also supports developmental projects within the Geomagnetism Program and collaborative projects with allied geophysical agencies.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. SOFIA: Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Erickson, E. F.

    1989-01-01

    SOFIA will be a three meter class telescope operating in a Boeing 747, offering astronomers routine access to infrared wavelengths unavailable from the ground, and with the means to observe transient astronomical events from anywhere in the world. The concept is based on 15 years of experience with NASA's Kuiper Airborne Observatory (KAO), which SOFIA will replace in the mid 1990's. SOFIA's wavelength range covers nearly four decades of the electromagnetic spectrum: from the visible, throughout the infrared and submillimeter, to the microwave region. Relative to the KAO, SOFIA will be roughly ten times more sensitive for compact sources, enabling observations of fainter objects and measurements at higher spectral resolution. Also, it will have three times the angular resolving power for wavelengths greater than 30 microns, permitting more detailed imaging at far infrared wavelengths.

  14. Women Astronomers through History

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dobrosavljevic-Grujic, Lj.

    2008-10-01

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

  15. Why choosing the Virtual Observatory in Geodesy and Earth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deleflie, F.; Lambert, S.; Collilieux, X.; Berthier, J.; Barache, C.; Coulot, D.; Gontier, A.-M.; Exertier, P.

    2009-04-01

    This poster presents the context of the astronomical Virtual Observatory (VO), an ambitious international proposal to provide uniform, convenient access to disparate, geographically dispersed archives of astronomical data from software which runs on the computer on the astronomer's desktop. The VO could be of interest for the geodetic community: we present here some of our efforts in this direction that we have recently achieved. Astronomers using that Virtual Observatory are now organized within an international association called the International Virtual Observatory Alliance (IVOA). As noted on the IVOA website (http://www.ivoa.net/), IVOA was formed in June 2002 with a mission to "facilitate the international coordination and collaboration necessary for the development and deployment of the tools, systems and organizational structures necessary to enable the international utilization of astronomical archives as an integrated and interoperating virtual observatory." The "Groupe de Recherche de Géodésie Spatiale (GRGS)" now routinely delivers geodetic products to most of the space geodetic services of the International Association of Geodesy (IAG): IERS, IGS, ILRS, IVS, and IDS. Some of these products are now natively built and archived following the data format recommended by IVOA, the VO-Table format. We present this format, which is based on the XML format, and we list the reasons why we chose to use it. We also enumerate the list of geodetic products actually published with this format, with the associated available Webservices, and we show how easy it is to compare time series obtained by various analysis centers. We finally give as well an example of such a comparison.

  16. The Lowell Observatory Predoctoral Scholar Program

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prato, Lisa A.

    2017-01-01

    Lowell Observatory is pleased to solicit applications for our Predoctoral Scholar Fellowship Program. Now beginning its ninth year, this program is designed to provide unique research opportunities to graduate students in good standing, currently enrolled at Ph.D. granting institutions. Lowell staff research spans a wide range of topics, from astronomical instrumentation, to icy bodies in our solar system, exoplanet science, stellar populations, star formation, and dwarf galaxies. The Observatory's new 4.3 meter Discovery Channel Telescope is now operating at full science capacity. Student research is expected to lead to a thesis dissertation appropriate for graduation at the doctoral level at the student's home institution. For more information, see http://www2.lowell.edu/rsch/predoc.php and links therein. Applications for Fall 2017 are due by May 1, 2017; alternate application dates will be considered on an individual basis.

  17. The Lowell Observatory Predoctoral Student Program

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prato, Lisa A.

    2010-01-01

    Lowell Observatory is pleased to solicit applications for our Predoctoral Scholar Fellowship Program. Now beginning its fourth year, this program is designed to provide unique research opportunities to graduate students in good standing, currently enrolled at Ph.D. granting institutions. Several projects are available in collaboration with Lowell staff astronomers; we anticipate the availability of an increasing variety of projects over the next years as completion of our new 4.2 meter Discovery Channel Telescope and corresponding instrumentation progresses. Student research is expected to lead to a thesis dissertation appropriate for graduation at the doctoral level at the student's home institution. Currently, three students are enrolled in our program; our first graduate completed the program in August, 2009. The Observatory provides competitive compensation and full benefits to student scholars. For more information, see http://www.lowell.edu/rsch/predoc.php and links therein. Applications for Spring 2010 are due by December 1, 2009.

  18. Preserving the History of Wesleyan University's Van Vleck Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-01-01

    Since its opening in 1916, the Van Vleck Observatory at Wesleyan University has been dedicated to the joint mission of astronomical education and research. In celebration of the Observatory's centennial year, we are undertaking a number of projects to preserve and chronicle its history. The centerpiece of these efforts has been the renovation of the 20-inch Alvan Clark refracting telescope. Through careful compromise of historical restoration and modernization, we have ensured the future of one of the nation's last large, long-focus refractors well into the 21st century. In addition, we are producing an historical exhibition in the Observatory and online that will open to the public in the spring of 2016. Our exhibition explores the place-based nature of astronomical research, the scientific instruments, labor, and individuals that have connected places around the world in networks of observation, and the broader history of how observational astronomy has linked local people, amateur observers, professional astronomers, and the tools and objects that have facilitated their work under Connecticut's skies over the past 100 years. We are also collecting memories from the community to enrich our exhibition. If you have a story about the Van Vleck Observatory you would like to share with our researchers, please contact one of the authors.

  19. 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.

  20. Light Emitting Diodes and Astronomical Environments: Results from in situ Field Measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Craine, Brian L.; Craine, Eric R.

    2015-05-01

    Light emitting diode (LED) light fixtures are rapidly becoming industry standards for outdoor lighting. They are promoted on the strength of long lifetimes (hence economic efficiencies), low power requirements, directability, active brightness controls, and energy efficiency. They also tend to produce spectral shifts that are undesirable in astronomical settings, but which can be moderated by filters. LED lighting for continuous roadway and parking lot lighting is particularly popular, and many communities are in the process of retrofitting Low Pressure Sodium (LPS) and other lights by tens of thousands of new LED fixtures at a time. What is the impact of this process on astronomical observatories and on dark skies upon which amateur astronomers rely? We bypass modeling and predictions to make actual measurements of these lights in the field. We report on original ground, airborne, and satellite observations of LED lights and discuss their light budgets, zenith angle functions, and impacts on observatory environs.

  1. 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. 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. Illustration of a Magnetar Illustration of a Magnetar 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 explosions is that the blasts that

  2. Education and public engagement in observatory operations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gabor, Pavel; Mayo, Louis; Zaritsky, Dennis

    2016-07-01

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

  3. The Cape Observatory: all Categories of Heritage

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Glass, Ian S.

    2012-09-01

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

  4. SOFIA: Stratospheric Observatory For Infrared Astronomy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kunz, Nans; Bowers, Al

    2007-01-01

    This viewgraph presentation reviews the great astronomical observatories both space and land based that are now operational. It shows the history of the development of SOFIA, from its conception in 1986 through the contract awards in 1996 and through the planned first flight in 2007. The major components of the observatory are shown and there is a comparison of the SOFIA with the Kuiper Airborne Observatory (KAO), which is the direct predecessor to SOFIA. The development of the aft ramp of the KAO was developed as a result of the wind tunnel tests performed for SOFIA development. Further slides show the airborne observatory layout and the telescope's optical layout. Included are also vies of the 2.5 Meter effective aperture, and the major telescope's components. The presentations reviews the technical challenges encountered during the development of SOFIA. There are also slides that review the wind tunnel tests, and CFD modeling performed during the development of SOFIA. Closing views show many views of the airplane, and views of SOFIA.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Williamstown Observatory and the Development of Professional Astronomy in Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andropoulos, Jenny; Orchiston, W.; Clark, B.

    2011-01-01

    During the early 1850s the colony of Victoria was enjoying a succession of gold rushes, and as the population of the fledgling settlement of Melbourne rapidly grew, an urgent need arose for an accurate local time service. Thus, Williamstown Observatory was founded at the port of Williamstown in 1853. Under the dynamic direction of Robert Ellery, the Williamstown Observatory quickly added meteorological and tidal observations, geodetic surveying and non-meridian astronomical observations to its portfolio, and by the time it closed in 1863 it had already played a key role in the early development of professional astronomy in Australia. Ellery went on to direct Melbourne Observatory_Williamstown's successor_and in the process build an international reputation in astronomy, meteorology and scientific entrepeneurship. In this paper we will discuss the founding and chequered history of the Williamstown Observatory, its scientific instruments and the ways in which they were used to contribute to Australian and international astronomy.

  10. Radio protection zone evaluation at the Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tapping, Ken

    Increasing use of the radio spectrum by licensed and unlicensed devices, together with the encroachment of housing developments are an issue facing many radio observatories, including the Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory (DRAO), located near Penticton in Southern British Columbia. A joint study by Industry Canada (Canada's national spectrum manager), and the National Research Council (Operator of DRAO) is currently in progress to examine protection zone needs and the reliability of the definitions of the zone, and the general level of background noise from growing local communities. The objectives are to produce a definition of a protection zone that is useful in spectrum management to protect the observatory, and to establish how much local community development is acceptable if the observatory is to remain a viable location for radio astronomical observations. This presentation will summarize the results so far in this ongoing study.

  11. A mountain observatory and the Brazilian Astrophysics Project

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Machado, Cristina de Amorim; Videira, Antonio A. P.

    2015-11-01

    The Brazilian astrophysics project is intimately linked to a scientific institution that came into existence in the 1980s: the National Astrophysics Laboratory. Responsible for enabling the development of Brazilian research in this area, its history dates back to a dream to build an observatory on a mountaintop conceived at an institution formed in the nineteenth century, the Imperial Observatory of Rio de Janeiro, later the National Observatory. It is a story of national and international scientific cooperation, especially in the second half of the twentieth century. This paper tells the story of this dream and how it was transformed into reality in 1980s with the installation of what was then called the Brazilian Astrophysics Observatory, heralding a new era for astronomical research in Brazil.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. The Little Thompson Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schweitzer, A.; Melsheimer, T.; Rideout, C.; Vanlew, K.

    1998-12-01

    The Little Thompson Observatory is believed to be the first observatory built as part of a high school and accessible to other schools remotely, via the Internet. This observatory is the second member of the Telescopes in Education (TIE) project. Construction is nearly completed and first light is planned for fall 1998. The observatory is located on the grounds of Berthoud High School in northern Colorado. Local schools and youth organizations will have prioritized access to the telescope, and there will also be opportunities for public viewing. After midnight, the telescope will be open to world-wide use by schools via the Internet following the model of the first TIE observatory, the 24" telescope on Mt. Wilson. That telescope has been in use for the past four years by up to 50 schools per month. Students remotely connect to the observatory over the Internet, and then receive the images on their local computers. The observatory grew out of grassroots support from the local community surrounding Berthoud, Colorado, a town of 3,500 residents. TIE has provided the observatory with a Tinsley 18" Cassegrain telescope on a 10-year loan. The facility has been built with tremendous support from volunteers and the local school district. We have applied for an IDEAS grant to provide teacher training workshops which will allow K-12 schools in northern Colorado to make use of the Little Thompson Observatory, including remote observing from classrooms.

  16. The Little Thompson Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schweitzer, A.; Melsheimer, T.; Sackett, C.

    1999-05-01

    The Little Thompson Observatory is believed to be the first observatory built as part of a high school and accessible to other schools remotely, via the Internet. This observatory is the second member of the Telescopes in Education (TIE) project. Construction of the building and dome has been completed, and first light is planned for spring 1999. The observatory is located on the grounds of Berthoud High School in northern Colorado. Local schools and youth organizations will have prioritized access to the telescope, and there will also be opportunities for public viewing. After midnight, the telescope will be open to world-wide use by schools via the Internet following the model of the first TIE observatory, the 24" telescope on Mt. Wilson. Students remotely connect to the observatory over the Internet, and then receive the images on their local computers. The observatory grew out of grassroots support from the local community surrounding Berthoud, Colorado, a town of 3,500 residents. TIE has provided the observatory with a Tinsley 18" Cassegrain telescope on a 10-year loan. The facility has been built with tremendous support from volunteers and the local school district. We have received an IDEAS grant to provide teacher training workshops which will allow K-12 schools in northern Colorado to make use of the Little Thompson Observatory, including remote observing from classrooms.

  17. Royal Observatory, Edinburgh

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murdin, P.

    2000-11-01

    The Royal Observatory, Edinburgh (ROE) comprises the UK Astronomy Technology Centre (ATC) of the PARTICLE PHYSICS AND ASTRONOMY RESEARCH COUNCIL, and the University of Edinburgh's Institute for Astronomy....

  18. 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

  19. A British national observatory: the building of the New Physical Observatory at Greenwich, 1889-1898.

    PubMed

    Higgitt, Rebekah

    2014-12-01

    Over its long history, the buildings of the Royal Observatory in Greenwich were enlarged and altered many times, reflecting changing needs and expectations of astronomers and funders, but also the constraints of a limited site and small budgets. The most significant expansion took place in the late nineteenth century, overseen by the eighth Astronomer Royal, William Christie, a programme that is put in the context of changing attitudes toward scientific funding, Christie's ambitious plans for the work and staffing of the Observatory and his desire to develop a national institution that could stand with more recently founded European and American rivals. Examination of the archives reveals the range of strategies Christie was required to use to acquire consent and financial backing from the Admiralty, as well as his opportunistic approach. While hindsight might lead to criticism of his decisions, Christie eventually succeeded in completing a large building - the New Physical Observatory - that, in its decoration, celebrated Greenwich's past while, in its name, style, structure and contents, it was intended to signal the institution's modernization and future promise.

  20. Urania in the Marketplace: Observatories as Holiday Destinations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rumstay, Kenneth S.

    2015-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Drivas, Sotirios; Kastanidou, Sofia

    2016-04-01

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

  2. "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

  3. 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

  4. Astronomers Discover Six-Image Gravitational Lens

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2001-08-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. Geographic Information Processings for Astronomical Site Survey

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, N.; Liu, Y.; Zhao, M. Y.

    2015-01-01

    The geographic information is of great importance for the site survey of ground-based telescopes. Especially, an effective utilization of the geographic information system (GIS) has been one of the most significant methods for the remote analysis of modern site survey. The astronomical site survey should give consideration to the following geographical conditions: a large relative fall, convenient traffic conditions, and far away from populated areas. Taking into account of the convenience of construction and maintenance of the observatories as well as the living conditions of the scientists-in-residence, the optimum candidate locations may meet the conditions to be at a altitude between 3000 m and 5000 m and within one-hour drive from villages/towns. In this paper, as an example, we take the regions of the Great Baicao mountain ridge at Dayao county in Yunnan province to research the role of the GIS for site survey task. The results indicate that the GIS can provide accurate and intuitive data for us to understand the three dimensional landforms, rivers, roads, villages, and the distributions of the electric power as well as to forecast the tendency of the population and city development around. According to the analysis based on the GIS, we find that the top of the Great Baicao mountain ridge is flat and droughty. There are few inhabitants to distribute around the place while the traffic conditions are convenient. Moreover, it is a natural conservation area protected by the local government, and no industry with pollution sources exists in this region. Its top is 1500 m higher than the nearby village 10 km away, and 1800 m higher than the town center 50 km away. The Great Baicao mountain ridge is definitely an isolated peak in the area of the Yi nationality of Yunnan. Therefore, the GIS data analysis is a very useful for the remote investigation stage for site survey, and the GIS is the indispensable source for modern astronomical site survey.

  7. Anomalous astronomical time-latitude residuals: a potential earthquake precursor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hu, Hui; Su, You-Jin; Gao, Yi-Fei; Wang, Rui

    2016-09-01

    The geophysical mechanism behind astronomical time-latitude residuals (ATLR) are discussed. The photoelectric astrolabe at Yunnan Observatory (YO) observed apparent synchronous anomalous ATLR before the Wenchuan M8.0 earthquake (EQ) in May 12, 2008 and the Lushan M7.0 EQ n April 20, 2013. We compared the ATLR from the YO photoelectric astrolabe and EQ data since 1976. Anomalous ATLR was observed before several strong EQs in the Yunnan Province. We believe the photoelectric astrolabe can be used to predict strong EQs and the anomalous ATLR are a potential EQ precursor.

  8. Training telescope operators and support astronomers at Paranal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-07-01

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

  9. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barrado, D.; Thiele, U.; Aceituno, J.; Pedraz, S.; Sánchez, S. F.; Aguirre, A.; Alises, M.; Bergond, G.; Galadí, D.; Guijarro, A.; Hoyo, F.; Mast, D.; Montoya, L.; Sengupta, Ch.; de Guindos, E.; Solano, E.

    2011-11-01

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

  11. The Transformation of Observatory Newsletters - A Gemini Perspective

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Xiaoyu

    2015-08-01

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

  12. Pulkovo Observatory and its Former Branches in the Crimea and Nikolaev

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stepanov, A. V.; Abalakin, V. K.; Pinigin, G. I.; Rostopchina, A. N.

    2012-09-01

    The Central Astronomical Observatory at Pulkovo was founded in 1839 for ``providing permanent and, as far as possible, the most perfect observations aimed at the prosperity of Astronomy and necessary for geographic undertakings of the Russian Empire and for ends of the Practical Astronomy as well''. The first director of the Pulkovo was the prominent astronomer F.G.W. Struve (1793--1864). The Observatory was designed by the well-known architect Alexander Brüllow. The three-dome Pulkovo style was propagated over the world. Widely-used methods of astrometric observations along with famous fundamental star catalogs were developed in Pulkovo. The Observatory has kept the leading position in Russia up to date, conducting research in all major areas of astronomy -- astrophysics, solar physics, radio astronomy, astrometry, celestial mechanics, etc. In 1908, the south branch of Pulkovo Observatory in Simeiz (Crimea) was organized, where both systematic observations in search of new comets and minor planets, photometric and spectroscopic observations of stars and galaxies were started. These observations yielded fundamental results concerning rotation of stars, structure of galaxies, the role of magnetic field in interstellar medium. In 1945 Crimean Astrophysical Observatory of USSR Academy of Science (now Scientific Research Institute ``Crimean Astrophysical Observatory'', Ukraine) was founded on the base of the Simeiz department. Now it is a leading astronomical institution in Ukraine. Areas of research at CrAO are solar physics, chemical composition and activity of stars and their surroundings, extragalactic studies, geo-dynamics, small bodies in the Solar System and in the near-Earth space, instrumentation for ground-based and space astronomy. In 1912, Nikolaev branch of Pulkovo Observatory was organized on the basis of the oldest in Russia Naval Observatory in Nikolaev, which was founded in 1821 by Admiral A. Greig, chief commander of the Black Sea Fleet. Regular

  13. INTERMAGNET and magnetic observatories

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Love, Jeffrey J.; Chulliat, Arnaud

    2012-01-01

    A magnetic observatory is a specially designed ground-based facility that supports time-series measurement of the Earth’s magnetic field. Observatory data record a superposition of time-dependent signals related to a fantastic diversity of physical processes in the Earth’s core, mantle, lithosphere, ocean, ionosphere, magnetosphere, and, even, the Sun and solar wind.

  14. Carter National Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murdin, P.

    2000-11-01

    The Carter National Observatory is situated in the Botanic Gardens in Wellington, New Zealand. Opened in 1941, the observatory is equipped with a 41 cm Boller and Chivens, an historic 23 cm Cooke photo-visual refractor and a 36 seat Zeiss planetarium. The staff are involved in research, school and tertiary education programs....

  15. Dreamtime astronomy: development of a new indigenous program at Sydney Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wyatt, Geoffrey; Stephenson, Toner; Hamacher, Duane W.

    2014-07-01

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

  16. The Russian Virtual Observatory as the National Information Resource

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vitkovskij, V. V.; Zhelenkova, O. P.; Kajsina, E. I.; Kalinina, N. A.; Mal'Kova, G. A.; Chernenkov, V. N.; Shergin, V. S.

    As the base for creation of the Russian Virtual Observatory (RVO) we consider the uniting available information in observational archives, data centers and the telescopes. A prossess of implementation of science research is regarded as a whole, from making task production to getting necessary information and obtaining science result. For realization of the project we intend to working out the next components: the internet portal as a main RVO exit and a manage system, the information hub of CAD INASAN, a remote access system to information and technical resources of telescopes. We include to principal components RVO: centers of astronomical data, automated telescopes and acquisition systems, computing facilities and/or a system of access to supercomputer centers, system of remote access to information and technical resources, system of the resources planning, scheduling, support and control of observations similarly to present-day practice of space missions, Internet portal "The Russian Virtual Observatory", Open Virtual Medium of the astronomical education.

  17. 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

  18. Recollections of life as a student and a young astronomer in Germany in the 1920s

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brück, Hermann A.; Brück, Mary T.

    2000-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sowell, J.

    1999-12-01

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

  20. Research, Education, and Outreach at the Oakley Observatories

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ditteon, Richard

    2013-05-01

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

  1. Long-lived space observatories for astronomy and astrophysics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Savage, Blair D.; Becklin, Eric E.; Beckwith, Steven V. W.; Cowie, Lennox L.; Dupree, Andrea K.; Elliot, James L.; Gallagher, John S.; Helfand, David J.; Jenkins, Edward F.; Johnston, Kenneth J.

    1987-01-01

    NASA's plan to build and launch a fleet of long-lived space observatories that include the Hubble Space Telescope (HST), the Gamma Ray Observatory (GRO), the Advanced X Ray Astrophysics Observatory (AXAF), and the Space Infrared Telescope Facility (SIRTF) are discussed. These facilities are expected to have a profound impact on the sciences of astronomy and astrophysics. The long-lived observatories will provide new insights about astronomical and astrophysical problems that range from the presence of planets orbiting nearby stars to the large-scale distribution and evolution of matter in the universe. An important concern to NASA and the scientific community is the operation and maintenance cost of the four observatories described above. The HST cost about $1.3 billion (1984 dollars) to build and is estimated to require $160 million (1986 dollars) a year to operate and maintain. If HST is operated for 20 years, the accumulated costs will be considerably more than those required for its construction. Therefore, it is essential to plan carefully for observatory operations and maintenance before a long-lived facility is constructed. The primary goal of this report is to help NASA develop guidelines for the operations and management of these future observatories so as to achieve the best possible scientific results for the resources available. Eight recommendations are given.

  2. Science Operations of the International Ultraviolet Explorer (IUE) Observatory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1996-01-01

    The fundamental operational objective of the International Ultraviolet Explorer (IUE) program is to support competitively selected astronomical research program. Through the IUE program, researchers make IUE observations, have their scientific data reduced in a meaningful way, and receive data products in a form amenable to the pursuit of scientific research. The IUE Observatory is key to the program since it is the central control and support facility for all science support functions within the IUE project.

  3. Cultural Heritage of Observatories and Instruments - From Classical Astronomy to Modern Astrophysics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wolfschmidt, Gudrun

    Until the middle of the 19th century positioal astronomy with meridian circles played the dominant role. Pulkovo Observatory, St. Petersburg, was the leading institution for this kind of research. The design of this observatory was a model for the construction of observatories in the 19th century. In addition, in Hamburg Observatory and in some other observatories near the coast, time keeping and teaching of navigation were important tasks for astronomers. Around 1860 astronomy underwent a revolution. Astronomers began to investigate the properties of celestial bodies with physical and chemical methods. In the context of “classical astronomy”, only the direction of star light was studied. In the 1860s quantity and quality of radiation were studied for the first time. This was the beginning of modern “astrophysics”, a notion coined in 1865 by the Leipzig astronomer Karl Friedrich Zöllner (1834-1882). It is remarkable that many amateurs started this new astrophysics in private observatories but not in the established observatories like Greenwich, Paris or Pulkovo. In Germany this development started in Bothkamp Observatory near Kiel, with Hermann Carl Vogel (1841-1907), strongly influenced by Zöllner. An important enterprise was the foundation of the Astrophysical Observatory in Potsdam, near Berlin, in 1874 as the first observatory in the world dedicated to astrophysics - a foundation that inspired others. Important innovations and discoveries were made in Potsdam. The new field of astrophysics caused, and was caused by, new instrumentation: spectrographs, instruments for astrophotography, photometers and solar physics instruments. In particular, the glass mirror reflecting telescope was recognised as a more important instrument than a large refractor; for the new observatory in Hamburg-Bergedorf a 1-m reflector, the fourth largest in the world, made by Zeiss of Jena, was acquired in 1911. Another change was made in the architecture, the idea of a park

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2001-12-01

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

  5. Solar System Object Extraction for Virtual Observatories

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Müller, T. G.; Duran, F. R.

    Astronomy archives cover at different wavelengths all possible types of astronomical sources, including many dedicated and also serendipitous observations of solar system objects (SSO). It is difficult to handle SSOs in a ``typical'' archive way due to their apparent movement in the sky, ranging from a fraction of an arcsec/hour for Trans-Neptunian objects up to a few degrees for Near-Earth objects, and their enormous brightness change. To locate known SSOs in astronomical images, one needs to calculate highly accurate observatory-centric ephemeris for the image epochs. In crowed fields also rough brightness estimates are required for SSO identifications. The current data base includes, additionally to the planets and their satellites, about 200 comets and more than 100 000 asteroids. These constraints usually limit search procedures either to a small number of objects or to only a few frames. We present a possible solution to handle SSOs with known orbits in a systematic way for large numbers of sky frames. Our first attempts consisted in cross correlating about 5 Million 3'×3' sky fields, taken by the Infrared Space Observatory, against the data base of SSOs. The final source identification was based on reliable N-body ephemeris calculations and infrared brightness estimates. We aimed for the following goals: (1) ``Cleaning'' of stellar, galactic and extragalactic catalogue lists from SSOs; (2) Identifying serendipitously seen well-known SSOs for calibration purposes; (3) Extracting asteroids and comets for further scientific investigations; We believe that our experience in solving these problems might also be helpful for future developements of ``Virtual Observatories''.

  6. World's fastest and most sensitive astronomical camera

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2009-06-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-09-01

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

  8. Astronomical Interlibrary Cooperation: The Long and Difficult Plan for Coordinated Acquisition of Journals -- the Italian Case

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-10-01

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

  9. The Little Thompson Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schweitzer, A. E.; VanLew, K.; Melsheimer, T.; Sackett, C.

    1999-12-01

    The Little Thompson Observatory is the second member of the Telescopes in Education (TIE) project. Construction of the dome and the remote control system has been completed, and the telescope is now on-line and operational over the Internet. The observatory is located on the grounds of Berthoud High School in northern Colorado. Local schools and youth organizations have prioritized access to the telescope, and there are monthly opportunities for public viewing. In the future, the telescope will be open after midnight to world-wide use by schools following the model of the first TIE observatory, the 24" telescope on Mt. Wilson. Students remotely connect to the observatory over the Internet, and then receive the images on their local computers. The observatory grew out of grassroots support from the local community surrounding Berthoud, Colorado, a town of 3,500 residents. TIE has provided the observatory with a Tinsley 18" Cassegrain telescope on a 10-year loan. The facility has been built with tremendous support from volunteers and the local school district. With funding from an IDEAS grant, we have begun teacher training workshops which will allow K-12 schools in northern Colorado to make use of the Little Thompson Observatory, including remote observing from classrooms.

  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 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

  12. Gotha - the instruments of the observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wolfschmidt, Gudrun

    Around 1800 the Gotha observatory was an international center of astronomy and was the most modern astronomical institute with respect to its instruments 1. Duke Ernst II of Sachsen-Gotha-Altenburg (1745-1804) used the following instruments in his private observatory at castle Friedenstein in Gotha; it should be emphasized that all instruments were coming from London - England was the center of instrument making in the 18th century 2: A 18-inch quadrant made by Sisson, London; a small 2-ft transit instrument made by Ramsden, London [DM 67751]; three Hadley sextants; an achromat heliometer made by Dollond, London [DM 67750]; a 2-ft achromat refractor made by Ramsden, London [DM 67754]; a Gregory reflector made by Short, London [Gotha] and several clocks. In 1787, Franz Xaver von Zach (1754-1832) planned a new observatory outside of Gotha on the top of hill Seeberg, financed by the Duke (building 36000 Taler, instruments 20000 Taler; for comparison: the director got several hundreds Taler/year). The focus of research was astrometry, time keeping, geodetic and meteorological observations. Most of the instruments came from the leading instrument makers of that time: A southern and a northern quadrant; a 8-ft transit instrument made by Ramsden, London, 1788 [DM 67743 a-c]; a 7-ft Herschel reflector [DM 67483]; a 2-ft vertical circle made by Cary, London, 1796; a 8-ft circle made by Ramsden, London, 1800; a 3-ft vertical circle made by Trougthon, London, 1800; a 3-ft equatorial refractor made by Dollond, London, 1796 [DM 67745 a, b]; a 3-ft equatorial refractor made by Schroeder, Gotha [DM 67746 a, b]; a 3-ft double refractor made by Dollond, London [DM 67747]; a 10-ft refractor mady by Dollond, London, 1796; a 2-ft comet seeker made by Baumann & Kinzelbach, Stuttgart [DM 67755]. By analyzing the instrumentation, we can see around 1800 a change in the kind of the instruments on one hand from quadrants and sextants to the vertical circle and on the other hand from the

  13. Life Cycle of a Large Telescope: the David Dunlap Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jarrell, Richard

    2009-01-01

    When it went into operation in 1935, the 74-inch reflector at the David Dunlap Observatory was the world's second largest and most sophisticated telescope. Designed specifically for stellar spectroscopy, almost all work performed with it until the early 1950s was limited to that specialty. Most University of Toronto staff were expected to contribute to the observatory's programme. However, as the staff expanded and newer research specialties were introduced, the telescope had to be refitted with new auxiliary equipment, or not be used at all. By the late 1960s, the observatory's night sky began to deteriorate due to light pollution from uncontrolled urban growth. While limited work could be performed into the 1990s, the telescope was no longer considered "large” far more powerful, versatile instruments at much superior sites were by then available. That Toronto astronomers had moved on can be demonstrated from their publication records. The end came in 2008 when the University of Toronto decided that the land's value could be used to support astronomical research in a broader sense. In response, the community, which had ignored the observatory for most of its history, and a few dissident astronomers, strongly defended its survival on a number of grounds. The narrative suggests a number of life-cycle stages: 1) maximum use of the instrument due to superior environmental and technical conditions, plus staff homogeneity; 2) application of new technologies to extend the instrument's capability in the face of diversifying research interests and decaying environmental factors; 3) fading value due to obsolescence and poor environmental factors; 4) death or metamorphosis (such as becoming an educational or historical institution). It appears that these phases apply to a number of historical cases. It is not clear, for the Dunlap Observatory, how the fourth phase will play out.

  14. President of Czech Republic visits ESO's Paranal Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2011-04-01

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

  15. The brazilian indigenous planetary-observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Afonso, G. B.

    2003-08-01

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

  16. High Energy Astronomy Observatory (HEAO)-2

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1975-01-01

    This illustration is a schematic of the High Energy Astronomy Observatory (HEAO)-2 and its experiments. It shows the focal plane instruments (at the right) plus the associated electronics for operating the telescope as it transmitted its observations to the ground. A fifth instrument, the Monitor Proportional Counter, is located near the front of the telescope. Four separate astronomical instruments are located at the focus of this telescope and they could be interchanged for different types of observations as the observatory pointed at interesting areas of the Sky. Two of these instruments produced images; a High Resolution Imaging Detector and an Imaging Proportional Counter. The other two instruments, the Solid State Spectrometer and the Crystal Spectrometer, measured the spectra of x-ray objects. A fifth instrument, the Monitor Proportional Counter, continuously viewed space independently to study a wider band of x-ray wavelengths and to examine the rapid time variations in the sources. The HEAO-2 was nicknamed the Einstein Observatory by its scientific experimenters in honor of the centernial of the birth of Albert Einstein, whose concepts of relativity and gravitation have influenced much of modern astrophysics, particularly x-ray astronomy. The HEAO-2, designed and developed by TRW, Inc. under the project management of the Marshall Space Flight Center, was launched aboard an Atlas/Centaur launch vehicle on November 13, 1978. The HEAO-2 was originally identified as HEAO-B but the designation was changed once the spacecraft achieved orbit.

  17. The Lowell Observatory Predoctoral Scholar Program

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-01-01

    Lowell Observatory is pleased to solicit applications for our Predoctoral Scholar Fellowship Program. Now beginning its fifth year, this program provides unique research opportunities to graduate students in good standing and currently enrolled at Ph.D. granting institutions. Lowell staff research spans a wide range of topics from astronomical instrumentation to icy bodies in our solar system, exoplanet science, and stellar populations and dwarf irregular galaxies. The Observatory's new 4.3-meter Discovery Channel Telescope is on track for first light by mid-2012, making this a particularly exciting time in our history. Student research is expected to lead to a thesis dissertation appropriate for graduation at the doctoral level at the student's home institution. Currently, three students are enrolled and three have successfully completed their thesis work at Lowell and moved on to postdocs and astronomy jobs elsewhere. The Observatory provides competitive compensation and full benefits to student scholars. For more information, see http://www2.lowell.edu/rsch/predoc.php and links therein. Applications for Fall 2012 are due by May 1, 2012.

  18. The Lowell Observatory Predoctoral Scholar Program

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prato, Lisa A.

    2015-01-01

    Lowell Observatory is pleased to solicit applications for our Predoctoral Scholar Fellowship Program. Now beginning its seventh year, this program is designed to provide unique research opportunities to graduate students in good standing, currently enrolled at Ph.D. granting institutions. Lowell staff research spans a wide range of topics, from astronomical instrumentation, to icy bodies in our solar system, exoplanet science, stellar populations, star formation, and dwarf galaxies. The Observatory's new 4.2 meter Discovery Channel Telescope has successfully begun science operations and we anticipate the commissioning of several new instruments in 2015, making this a particularly exciting time in our history. Student research is expected to lead to a thesis dissertation appropriate for graduation at the doctoral level at the student's home institution. The Observatory provides competitive compensation and full benefits to student scholars. For more information, see http://www2.lowell.edu/rsch/predoc.php and links therein. Applications for Fall 2015 are due by May 1, 2015.

  19. The Lowell Observatory Predoctoral Scholar Program

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prato, Lisa A.

    2013-01-01

    Lowell Observatory is pleased to solicit applications for our Predoctoral Scholar Fellowship Program. Now beginning its sixth year, this program is designed to provide unique research opportunities to graduate students in good standing, currently enrolled at Ph.D. granting institutions. Lowell staff research spans a wide range of topics, from astronomical instrumentation, to icy bodies in our solar system, exoplanet science, stellar populations, star formation, and dwarf galaxies. The Observatory's new 4.3 meter Discovery Channel Telescope has successfully seen first light in May, 2012, and is on track to commence science operations in 2013, making this a particularly exciting time in our history. Student research is expected to lead to a thesis dissertation appropriate for graduation at the doctoral level at the student's home institution. The Observatory provides competitive compensation and full benefits to student scholars. For more information, see http://www.lowell.edu/rsch/predoc.php and links therein. Applications for Fall 2013 are due by May 1, 2013.

  20. The Lowell Observatory Predoctoral Scholar Program

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prato, Lisa A.

    2011-01-01

    Lowell Observatory is pleased to solicit applications for our Predoctoral Scholar Fellowship Program. Now beginning its fourth year, this program is designed to provide unique research opportunities to graduate students in good standing, currently enrolled at Ph.D. granting institutions. Lowell staff research spans a wide range of topics, from astronomical instrumentation, to icy bodies in our solar system, to exoplanet science, to stellar populations and dwarf irregular galaxies. First light with the observatory's new 4.2 meter Discovery Channel Telescope is expected in 2011, making this a particularly exciting time in our history. Student research is expected to lead to a thesis dissertation appropriate for graduation at the doctoral level at the student's home institution. Currently, five students are enrolled in our program; our first graduate completed the program in August, 2009. The Observatory provides competitive compensation and full benefits to student scholars. For more information, see http://www.lowell.edu/rsch/predoc.php and links therein. Applications for Fall 2011 are due by May 1, 2011.

  1. Developing Geostationary Satellite Imaging at Lowell Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Belle, G.

    2016-09-01

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

  2. 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

  3. Remote Observing and Beyond: Student Research and Analysis Programs at the Dark Ridge Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, Thomas C.

    2008-05-01

    Students that utilize remote observatories to conduct their scientific research are often at the mercy and whims of the observatory owner/ operator. In today's growing arsenal of remote observatories, many have provided the use of their equipment for both research and astrophotography but for most remote sites the support ends there. At the Dark Ridge Observatory students are made a part of the entire observatory and observing process including data reduction, analysis and incorporation into scientific papers in refereed journals. At the Dark Ridge Observa-tory the student is guided through the nuances of the host equipment to achieve scientific accuracy for their measurements. The process provides mentoring for the student in the collection, reduction and understanding of the use of astronomical images in science.

  4. OAdM robotic observatory: solutions for an unattended small-class observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Colomé, J.; Ribas, I.; Fernández, D.; Francisco, X.; Isern, J.; Palau, X.; Torra, J.

    2008-07-01

    The Montsec Astronomical Observatory (OAdM) is a small-class observatory working on a completely unattended control, due to the isolation of the site. Robotic operation is, then, mandatory for its routine use. The level of robotization of an observatory is given by the confidence reached to respond to environment changes and by the required human interaction due to possible alarms. These two points establish a level of human attendance to ensure low risk at any time. There are key problems to solve when a robotic control is envisaged. Learned lessons and solutions to these issues at the OAdM are discussed here. We present a description of the general control software (SW) and several SW packages developed. The general control SW specially protects the system at the identified single points of failure and makes a distributed control of any subsystem, which are able to respond independently when an alarm is triggered on thanks to a top-down control flow. Specific SW packages developed are: an environment monitoring SW, a set of alarm routines, a pipeline for calibration and analysis of the images taken, and an observation scheduler. All together compose a SW suite designed to reach the complete robotization of an observatory.

  5. 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.

  6. A leading nineteenth century instrument-maker in Norway and his astronomical and geodetic instruments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pettersen, Bjorn Ragnvald

    2004-12-01

    Christian Holberg Gran Olsen introduced the European continental standards of scientific instrument making into Norway in 1861, following a four-year tenure with A. & G. Repsold, Hamburg. This paper lists and discusses the major astronomical and geodetic instruments made by Olsen. The geodetic instruments are now in museums or in university storage. The first universal instrument was extensively used to carry out the Norwegian part of the European Geodetic Arc 1863-1878, both as a theodolite and as a transit instrument for astronomical observations at selected geodetic stations. Other instruments contributed to the mapping of Norway. Olsen's last model was used to determine the position of Fridtjof Nansen's polar ship Fram during its three-year expedition (1893-1896) in the Polar Sea. It was also used on other Norwegian polar expeditions during the next thirty years. A copy was made for the first winter expedition to Antarctica, with Belgica in 1897-1899. The first astronomical refractor by Olsen (with a 10.8-cm Steinheil objective lens) was made for Bergen Observatory in 1869. Its current whereabouts have been investigated, but the instrument has not been found. Two larger refractors have been successfully searched for. A 13.2-cm Merz refractor with mounting by Olsen, made for the University Observatory in Christiania (Oslo) in 1883, exists in refurbished condition. The largest refractor, with a 36.0-cm objective lens by Olsen (7 metres focal length), was the centrepiece in what appears to be the first astronomical observatory in Europe founded and operated exclusively for the public on a commercial basis. When erected in 1885, the refractor of the Peoples' Observatory in Oslo was unsurpassed in size in Scandinavia, even at professional observatories.

  7. Transient Astrophysics Observatory (TAO)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Racusin, J. L.; TAO Team

    2016-10-01

    The Transient Astrophysics Observatory (TAO) is a NASA MidEx mission concept (formerly known as Lobster) designed to provide simultaneous wide-field gamma-ray, X-ray, and near-infrared observations of the sky.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pasachoff, Jay M.

    2013-01-01

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

  9. Golden legacy from ESA's observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2003-07-01

    ISO was the first space observatory able to see the sky in infrared light. Using its eyes, we have discovered many new phenomena that have radically changed our view of the Universe. Everybody knows that when something is heated it glows. However, things also glow with a light our eyes cannot detect at room temperature: infrared light. Infrared telescopes do not work well on the Earth’s surface because such light is absorbed by the atmosphere. ISO looked at the cold parts of the universe, usually the 'cold and dusty' parts. It peered into clouds of dust and gas where stars were being born, observing for the first time the earliest stages of star formation. It discovered, for example, that stars begin to form at temperatures as low as -250°C or less. Scientists were able to follow the evolution of dust from where it is produced (that is, old stars - the massive 'dust factories') to the regions where it forms new planetary systems. ISO found that most young stars are surrounded by discs of dust that could harbour planets. The observatory also analysed the chemical composition of cosmic dust, thereby opening up a new field of research, ‘astromineralogy’. With ISO we have been able to discover the presence of water in many different regions in space. Another new discipline, 'astrochemistry', was boosted when ISO discovered that the water molecule is common in the Universe, even in distant galaxies, and complex organic molecules like benzene readily form in the surroundings of some stars. "ISO results are impacting most fields of astronomical research, almost literally from comets to cosmology," explains Alberto Salama, ISO Project Scientist. "Some results answer questions. Others open new fields. Some are already being followed up by existing telescopes; others have to await future facilities." When ISO's operational life ended, in 1998, its observations became freely available to the world scientific community via ISO’s data archive. In May 2003 the

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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)

  13. Self-scanned photodiode array - High performance operation in high dispersion astronomical spectrophotometry

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vogt, S. S.; Tull, R. G.; Kelton, P.

    1978-01-01

    A multichannel spectrophotometric detector system has been developed using a 1024 element self-scanned silicon photodiode array, which is now in routine operation with the high-dispersion coude spectrograph of the University of Texas McDonald Observatory 2.7-m telescope. Operational considerations in the use of such arrays for high precision and low light level spectrophotometry are discussed. A detailed description of the system is presented. Performance of the detector as measured in the laboratory and on astronomical program objects is described, and it is shown that these arrays are highly effective detectors for high dispersion astronomical spectroscopy.

  14. Hawaiian Volcano Observatory

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Venezky, Dina Y.; Orr, Tim R.

    2008-01-01

    Lava from Kilauea volcano flowing through a forest in the Royal Gardens subdivision, Hawai'i, in February 2008. The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) monitors the volcanoes of Hawai'i and is located within Hawaiian Volcanoes National Park. HVO is one of five USGS Volcano Hazards Program observatories that monitor U.S. volcanoes for science and public safety. Learn more about Kilauea and HVO at http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov.

  15. Observatories and Telescopes of Modern Times

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leverington, David

    2016-11-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. Etienne Leopold Trouvelot, 19th Century Artist and Astronomer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Corbin, B. G.

    2002-12-01

    Etienne Leopold Trouvelot, born in France in 1827, came to the United State with his family in 1855, settling in Massachusetts. He supported his family as an artist, but became interested in astronomy after observing and sketching auroras in the 1870s. When astronomers at Harvard saw the quality and detail in these drawings, they invited him to join the staff and use their telescopes for observation and making drawings of celestial objects. In 1875 the U. S. Naval Observatory invited him to Washington to use the 26 inch refractor, at that time the world's largest refractor. Through the years he made more than 7000 drawings which were highly regarded by astronomers who saw them, especially for the fine detail of the drawings. Trouvelet wanted to publish a portfolio of some of the best drawings and approached Charles Scribner's Sons, publishers in New York. The 15 drawings he chose were produced as chromolithographs, and the set was published in 1881 selling at \\$125. Very few complete sets remain in institutions today, and one set sold at auction within the last few years for many times the original price. However, Trouvelot will always be remembered not for his astronomical artistry but as the person who introduced the gypsy moth into the United States. In his attempt to bring better silk producing caterpillars into the country, some egg masses escaped and the rest is history.

  18. Initial Science Results And Operations Procedures At The Etelman Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Laquiere, Robert; Neff, J. E.; Gomez-Martin, C.

    2009-05-01

    At 18 degrees north and 65 degrees west, the Etelman Observatory of the University of the Virgin Islands is the southernmost and easternmost optical observatory in the United States. The observatory is located at an elevation of 420 meters on the island of St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands. The site has exceptionally good seeing, dark skies, and the ability to reach deep into the southern hemisphere and to plug the northern-hemisphere longitude gap between the US and Europe. Astronomers at the College of Charleston, South Carolina State University, and the University of the Virgin Islands have formed a consortium to install a new 0.5-meter telescope and instrumentation. We have also established collaborative programs with astronomers at Clemson University, the University of North Carolina Asheville, and the Sierra Stars Observatory Network. Our operations mode (manual, remote-controlled, or fully robotic) simultaneously supports our research, participation in multi-site campaigns, and the educational and outreach missions of our institutions. We will describe the characteristics of the telescope, instrumentation, and site. We will also provide an overview of the initial science results and of the science plans of the members of the consortium. Further details are available at http://astro.uvi.edu/.

  19. Education and Outreach Opportunities in New Astronomical Facilities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mould, J. R.; Pompea, S.

    2002-12-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. The Virtual Observatory for the Python Programmer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Plante, Raymond L.; Fitzpatrick, M. J.; Graham, M.; Tody, D.; Virtual Astronomical Observatory, US

    2014-01-01

    The web of astronomical data centers that we refer to as the virtual observatory (VO) has led to the development of a variety of web and desktop applications that can discover and download data from most archives around the world. These are made possible by standard interfaces which archives provide and the applications understand that provide a common way to search for information and retrieve discovered datasets. For some applications, retrieving data through the VO is simply an extra feature that enhances the main purpose of the tool. Despite the accessibility to VO data provided by such tools, the VO offers greater flexibility to developers that access the standard services directly within their own software. This applies not only to those who build tools but also to research astronomers that create highly-customized scripts for data analysis. One of the goals of the US Virtual Astronomical Observatory (VAO) project is to make the VO more accessible to both tool developers and astronomer-programmers. To this end, we announce the release of two products with a special focus on supporting access to the VO via Python. PyVO (http://dev.usvao.org/pyvo) is a pure Python library built on Astropy (astropy.org) that can be used to discover data in the VO. In particular, one can search the registry for archives with data, search archives for images and spectra, and query remote catalogs and spectral line databases. While it provides full support for the VO standards, its API is designed to make processing the most common types of queries simple without requiring knowledge about the underlying standards. It also makes available the full power of Astropy for processing tabular information. VOClient (http://dev.usvao.org/voclient), which provides scripting and programming libraries for a variety of languages, also supports Python programming. While the two products share a common API, VOClient provides higher level interfaces that assist with managing data from many

  2. Mead Observatory WebCasts: Public Outreach to the World

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnson, Michael; Hood, J.; Williams, R. N. M.; Cruzen, S.; Johnson, C.

    2010-01-01

    The Real-Time Interactive Solar Observatory (RISO) is a web portal that allows educational institutions from around the world to log into and control the solar telescopes and cameras at Columbus State University's Meade Observatory. RISO's technology has also allowed the observatory to stream webcasts for special astronomical events on the web allowing for a larger public audience. This poster will present the tools used for the webcasts and review some of the results from previous webcasts. We will also discuss some of the future paths of RISO and the technology associated with RISO and how this will be able to provide public outreach to a much larger audience. Support for RISO and the webcasts has been provided by NASA through the Georgia Space Science Grant Consortium.

  3. World Space Observatory - Ultraviolet mission: state of art 2016

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-07-01

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

  4. The Busot Observatory: towards a robotic autonomous telescope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-12-01

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

  5. Enabling Remote and Automated Operations at The Red Buttes Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. Creating Griffith Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cook, Anthony

    2013-01-01

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

  8. Benjamin Apthorp Gould and the Founding of The Astronomical Journal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gingerich, O.

    1998-05-01

    The origin and vicissitudes of The Astronomical Journal are inextricably bound up with the extraordinary career of Benjamin Apthorp Gould (1824-1896), the first American to obtain a PhD in astronomy (at Gottingen). Returning to Cambridge in 1848, Gould joined an informal group known as the Lazzaroni, who were determined to bring professional standards to American science. Gould devoted much of his life to professionalizing American astronomy, and his founding of the AJ was part of this strategy. Beginning on 2 November 1849, Gould's AJ was issued at irregular intervals, seldom shorter than two weeks and occasionally much longer, such as the two-month gap in 1851 when Gould had gone to the solar eclipse in Europe. About 20% of the space was devoted to asteroids, then the hot topic in astronomy. The 11th issue announced the discovery of the 11th asteroid; by March of 1853, 23 asteroids were known, and Gould editorialized about the "threatened consumption of astronomical energies." In 1856 the trustees of the newly-founded Dudley Observatory agreed to support the financially struggling AJ, and volume 5 (1856-58) bore the Albany dateline though printing continued in Cambridge. Gould's ill-fated directorship of the Dudley Observatory lasted only a year in Albany itself, and volume 6 was again edited in Cambridge. The Civil War then brought a 25-year hiatus to Gould's journal. In 1870 Gould went to Argentina, where he founded the Argentine National Observatory in Cordoba; he returned to Cambridge in 1885, and very shortly thereafter resumed publication of the AJ (in November, 1886). He continued his editorship for a decade, producing volumes 7-16; his last issue, vol. 17, no. 4, is dated just two weeks before his death. As his successor, Seth Chandler wrote, "Of all the great enterprises of his life, this is the one which he has most cherished."

  9. The application of artificial intelligence to astronomical scheduling problems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Johnston, Mark D.

    1992-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vilas, F.; Sollitt, L. S.

    2012-12-01

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

  11. NRAO Astronomer Wins Prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2010-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1999-05-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-10-01

    Construction of Canada's Dominion Astrophysical Observatory (DAO) commenced in 1914 with first light on 6 May 1918. As distinct from the contemporaneous development with private funding of major observatories in the western United States, DAO was (and remains) funded by the federal government. Canada's initial foray into `big science', creation of DAO during the First World War was driven by Canada's desire to contribute significantly to the international rise of observational astrophysics enabled by photographic spectroscopy. In 2009 the Observatory was designated a National Historic Site. DAO's varied, rich contributions to the astronomical heritage of the 20th century continue in the 21st century, with particularly strong ties to Maunakea.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Trafton, L.

    1991-01-01

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

  19. Digital Data Preservation and Curation: A Collaboration Among Libraries, Publishers, and the Virtual Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-10-01

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

  20. Asteroids Observed from Santana, CS3 and GMARS Observatories: 2012 April - June

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stephens, Robert D.

    2012-10-01

    Lightcurves of seven asteroids were obtained from Santana Observatory, Goat Mountain Astronomical Research Station (GMARS), and the Center for Solar System Studies (CS3): 412 Elisabetha, 1055 Tynka, 1424, Sundmania, 3493 Stepanov, (6254) 1993 UM3, and (33736) 1999 NY36.

  1. 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.

  2. The Steward Observatory asteroid relational database

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sykes, Mark V.; Alvarezdelcastillo, Elizabeth M.

    1991-01-01

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

  3. The Virtual Observatory in the classroom

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aberasturi, M.; Solano, E.

    2011-11-01

    EuroVO-AIDA/WP5 (http://wwwas.oats.inaf.it/aidawp5/) is a project developed within the framework of the European Virtual Observatory (EuroVO) (http://www.euro-vo.org/pub/) with the aim of disseminating EuroVO data and software to the public, in particular students, teachers and amateur astronomers. EuroVO-AIDA/WP5 offers use cases, pedagogical units, and simplified professional software that allow users a taste of scientific research, even to those approaching Astronomy for the first time. The educational material of EuroVO-AIDA/WP5 has been designed specifically for teachers in support of an effective presentation of Astronomy in the classroom.

  4. Night sky brightness measurement at PERMATApintar observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Azhar, A. D.; Gopir, G.; Kamil, W. M. A. Wan Mohd; Mohamad, N. S.; Azmi, N. Che

    2016-11-01

    One of the quality parameter of an astronomical site testing is sky brightness. We measure the night sky brightness over PERMATApintar Observatory to obtain the first preliminary sky brightness reading. The measurement is done by using an Unihedron Sky Quality Meter (SQM-LU) with a position pointing zenith. Six measurements have been done during the period of January to March 2016. The measurement is taken between approximately 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. on each of the night. The best (darken) night sky brightness reading is 19.54 mag/arcsec2 obtained on March 11th, 2016. The preliminary average reading of sky brightness is 17.20 mag/arcsec2. Comparison with previous similar measurement for the same type of area (suburban area) shows that our data is within the range of the sky brightness for suburban area, which is 19.5 to 20.7 mag/arcsec2.

  5. Science in the Spanish Virtual Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Solano, E.

    2009-07-01

    Since the beginning of the Spanish Virtual Observatory (SVO) in 2004 science is playing a key role. In order to boost the use of the VO capabilities among the Spanish astronomical community our group is fostering an initiative based on the collaboration with research teams having science cases that could benefit from using the VO. Our role in the collaboration is to evaluate the science case from the VO point of view, to provide information and support about the existing VO tools to tackle the scientific problem and, if necessary, to develop new analysis tools. Effective liaisons have been established between the SVO and a number of funded projects and, as a result of this, several refereed VO papers have been published. In this presentation an overview of these collaborations and the results obtained so far are presented.

  6. Were megalithic tombs solar observatories?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hänel, Andreas

    The orientations of the entrances of several hundred neolithic tombs in Northwest Germany, the Netherlands, Bretagne (Brittany) and the eastern Pyrenees (Roussillon and Catalunya) have been measured with a compass. Comparing these measurements with other authors, we could determine systematic errors and combine the measurements. The results are presented as polar coordinate histograms. The passage graves of Northwest Germany and the Netherlands are oriented east-west. For some of the tombs, entrances are preserved always on the southern side. We assume therefore, that all tombs had entrances on the southern side and we conclude that they are mainly oriented to the south, the direction where celestial objects, and especially the sun, reach their highest position in the sky. Similar results were found by Hamel (1985) for tombs in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. The tombs in Brittany show a different orientation to the southeast, the azimuth of the rising sun on winter solstice. Tombs in the eastern Pyrenees have a similar orientation, as has also been found by other authors for several regions in southern France and the Iberian peninsula (Iund 2002, Chevalier 1999, Hoskin 2002). But in the eastern Pyrenees and from there north to the Provence and on the Balearic Islands exists a group of tombs that are oriented towards the southwest, where the winter sun sets (Chevalier 1999). But most of the entrances of the tombs are oriented towards the sun. The tombs certainly were no precise astronomical observatories, but their orientations might have had a ritual reason and the course of the sun in the sky was well known at that time.

  7. ESA innovation rescues Ultraviolet Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1995-10-01

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

  8. Toward a green observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weilenmann, Ueli; Ramírez, Christian; Vanderheyden, Pierre

    2010-07-01

    Many of the modern observatories are located at remote sites, far from larger cities and away from infrastructure like power grids, water supplies and roads. On-site power generation in island mode is often the only choice to provide electricity to an observatory. During the 2008 petrol price rally, conventional power generation has received special attention and alternatives are being studied now in many organisations to keep energy prices at bay. This paper shall outline the power generation at the ESO VLT/VLTI observatory at Paranal as it is now and a plan for a possible way out of the dependency on fossil fuels in the near future. A discussion of several alternatives including wind energy, solar energy and heat recovery from a conventional power plant shall be analysed and compared. Finally, a project is being proposed to equip the VLT/VLTI with a modern alternative energy supply, based on a novel concept: Solar cooling.

  9. Wendelstein Observatory control software

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Snigula, Jan M.; Gössl, Claus; Kodric, Mihael; Riffeser, Arno; Wegner, Michael; Schlichter, Jörg

    2016-07-01

    LMU Munchen operates an astrophysical observatory on Mt. Wendelstein1. The 2m Fraunhofer telescope2, 3 is equipped with a 0.5 x 0.5 square degree field-of-view wide field camera4 and a 3 channel optical/NIR camera5, 6. Two fiber coupled spectrographs7-9 and a wavefront sensor will be added in the near future. The observatory hosts a multitude of supporting hardware, i.e. allsky cameras, webcams, meteostation, air conditioning etc. All scientific hardware can be controlled through a single, central "Master Control Program" (MCP). At the last SPIE astronomy venue we presented the overall Wendelstein Observatory software concept10. Here we explain concept and implementation of the MCP as a multi-threaded Python daemon in the area of conflict between debuggability and Don't Repeat Yourself (DRY).

  10. Iranian National Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khosroshahi, H. G.; Danesh, A.; Molaeinezhad, A.

    2016-09-01

    The Iranian National Observatory is under construction at an altitude of 3600m at Gargash summit 300km southern Tehran. The site selection was concluded in 2007 and the site monitoring activities have begun since then, which indicates a high quality of the site with a median seeing of 0.7 arcsec through the year. One of the major observing facilities of the observatory is a 3.4m Alt-Az Ritchey-Chretien optical telescope which is currently under design. This f/11 telescope will be equipped with high resolution medium-wide field imaging cameras as well as medium and high resolution spectrographs. In this review, I will give an overview of astronomy research and education in Iran. Then I will go through the past and present activities of the Iranian National Observatory project including the site quality, telescope specifications and instrument capabilities.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Lessons Learned during the Development and Operation of Virtual Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-12-01

    In the last a few years several Virtual Observatory (VO) projects have entered from the research and development phase to the operations phase. The VO projects include AstroGrid (UK), Virtual Astronomical Observatory (former National Virtual Observatory, USA), EURO-VO (EU), Japanese Virtual Observatory (Japan), and so on. This successful transition from the development phase to the operations phase owes primarily to the concerted action to develop standard interfaces among the VO projects in the world, that has been conducted in the International Virtual Observatory Alliance. The registry interface has been one of the most important key to share among the VO projects and data centers (data providers) with the observed data and the catalog data. Data access protocols and/or language (SIAP, SSAP, ADQL) and the common data format (VOTable) are other keys. Consequently we are able to find scientific papers so far published. However, we had faced some experience during the implementation process as follows:

  14. At the initial stage of the registry implementation, some fraction of the registry meta data were not correctly set, or some meta data were missing. IVOA members found that it would be needed to have validation tools to check the compliance before making the interface public;
  15. It seemed that some data centers and/or data providers might find some difficulties to implement various standardized interfaces (protocols) in order to publish their data through the VO interfaces. If there were some kind of VO interface toolkits, it would be much easier for the data centers to implement the VO interfaces; At the current VO standardization, it has not been discussed in depth on the quality assurance on the published data, or how we could provide indexes on the data quality. Such measures would be quite helpful for the data users in order to judge the data quality. It would be needed to discuss this issue not only within IVOA but with observatories and data

  16. 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.

  17. WFIRST Observatory Performance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kruk, Jeffrey W.

    2012-01-01

    The WFIRST observatory will be a powerful and flexible wide-field near-infrared facility. The planned surveys will provide data applicable to an enormous variety of astrophysical science. This presentation will provide a description of the observatory and its performance characteristics. This will include a discussion of the point spread function, signal-to-noise budgets for representative observing scenarios and the corresponding limiting sensitivity. Emphasis will be given to providing prospective Guest Observers with information needed to begin thinking about new observing programs.

  18. Arecibo Observatory for All

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Isidro, Gloria M.; Pantoja, C. A.; Bartus, P.; La Rosa, C.

    2006-12-01

    We describe new materials available at Arecibo Observatory for visitors with visual impairments. These materials include a guide in Braille that describes the telescope, some basic terms used in radio astronomy and frequently asked questions. We have also designed a tactile model of the telescope. We are interested that blind visitors can participate of the excitement of the visit to the worlds largest radio telescope. We would like to thank the "Fundacion Comunitaria de Puerto Rico" for the scholarship that allowed GMI to work on this project. We would like to express our gratitude to the Arecibo Observatory/NAIC for their support.

  19. Long Valley Observatory

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Venezky, Dina Y.; Hill, David

    2008-01-01

    The ~300-year-old lava on Paoha Island in Mono Lake was produced by the most recent eruption in the Long Valley Caldera area in east-central California. The Long Valley Caldera was formed by a massive volcanic eruption 760,000 years ago. The region is monitored by the Long Valley Observatory (LVO), one of five USGS Volcano Hazards Program observatories that monitor U.S. volcanoes for science and public safety. Learn more about the Long Valley Caldera region and LVO at http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/lvo.

  20. Cascades Volcano Observatory

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Venezky, Dina Y.; Driedger, Carolyn; Pallister, John

    2008-01-01

    Washington's Mount St. Helens volcano reawakens explosively on October 1, 2004, after 18 years of quiescence. Scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey's Cascades Volcano Observatory (CVO) study and observe Mount St. Helens and other volcanoes of the Cascade Range in Washington, Oregon, and northern California that hold potential for future eruptions. CVO is one of five USGS Volcano Hazards Program observatories that monitor U.S. volcanoes for science and public safety. Learn more about Mount St. Helens and CVO at http://vulcan.wr.usgs.gov/.

  21. Yellowstone Volcano Observatory

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Venezky, Dina Y.; Lowenstern, Jacob

    2008-01-01

    Eruption of Yellowstone's Old Faithful Geyser. Yellowstone hosts the world's largest and most diverse collection of natural thermal features, which are the surface expression of magmatic heat at shallow depths in the crust. The Yellowstone system is monitored by the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory (YVO), a partnership among the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Yellowstone National Park, and the University of Utah. YVO is one of five USGS Volcano Hazards Program observatories that monitor U.S. volcanoes for science and public safety. Learn more about Yellowstone and YVO at http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/yvo.

  22. 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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wen, Pey Chun; Busby, Christopher M.

    2011-01-01

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

  2. 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

  3. Anomalies of astronomical time-latitude residuals at YAO before Wenchuan earthquake

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hu, H.; Vondrák, J.; Su, Y. J.

    2014-12-01

    Accurate optical astrometric observations of variations of the local vertical contain rich geophysical information. These may be used not only in the astronomical research, but also can provide important information for the earthquake forewarning (Li et al. 1978, Zhang 1981, Han et al. 1987, Hu et al. 1989, Hu et al. 2003, Han et al. 2007) . In the paper we analyze astronomical time-latitude residuals observed at Yunnan Astronomical Observatory in 2008ñ2009, and find that significant anomalies appeared before the earthquake of magnitude 8.0 that occurred in Wenchuan on May 12, 2008. The results obtained make us believe that the observed anomalies of time-latitude variations may provide an important warning sign before strong earthquakes and thus deserves further research.

  4. Sir Robert Stawell Ball (1840-1913): Royal Astronomer in Ireland and astronomy's public voice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chapman, Allan

    2007-11-01

    Nineteenth-century Ireland, and especially Dublin, had a vibrant scientific tradition. And astronomy in particular was seriously cultivated, being part of an Irish tradition extending back to early medieval times. This paper examines principally the career of Sir Robert Stawell Ball, who, while holding three prestigious posts in Ireland, namely those of Andrews Professor at Trinity College, Dublin, Royal Astronomer of Ireland, and Director of the Dunsink Observatory, became famous for his genius as a popular astronomical interpreter, lecturer, and writer. The paper looks at Ball's wider career, the circumstances that provided a receptive market for astronomical information across the English-speaking world, and his massive outreach as both a lecturer and a writer.

  5. Slitmasks for instruments at Keck Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Allen, S. L.; Clarke, D. A.; Phillips, A. C.; Wirth, G. D.

    2004-05-01

    DEIMOS and LRIS are multi-slit spectrographs used with the 10-meter telescopes at W.M. Keck Observatory on Mauna Kea. Their focal planes admit light from celestial objects through slitlets cut into interchangeable aluminum sheets. Each observing night may use a dozen custom-cut slitmasks. Each mask may have dozens, or even hundreds, of slitlets. The process of observing through a slitmask starts with an astronomer choosing targets. Ideally it ends with FITS files which contain images of spectra from each slitlet and tables which document the slitlets and the objects viewed through them. We describe the system which handles slitmasks for Keck from the point where the astronomer has completed the mask design to the point where archival FITS files have been constructed. This system was created for DEIMOS and later retrofitted to LRIS. DEIMOS slitmask design files (MDFs) contain FITS tables that document objects and slitlets on the sky and on the metal. The observer submits MDFs via a web interface which authenticates the user, validates the input, and inserts the mask design into a relational database (RDB). Consistency checks later verify each slitlet and alert the observer of any problems via e-mail. Astronomers and engineers can check the status of masks via additional web interfaces which query the RDB. At the milling facility a graphical user interface (GUI) queries the RDB to display a prioritized queue of masks to be manufactured. A machinist uses the GUI to produce code for a numerically-controlled mill. Manufactured masks receive a barcode to identify them uniquely for use during observation. The DEIMOS observing software queries the database and attaches to each image a set of FITS tables describing the slitmask. This allows DEIMOS software to align the mask on the sky automatically to sub-arcsecond precision.

  6. Reliability centered maintenance in astronomical infrastructure facilities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ansorge, W. R.

    2006-06-01

    Hundreds of mirror segment, thousands of high precision actuators, highly complex mechanical, hydraulic, electrical and other technology subsystems, and highly sophisticated control systems: an ELT system consists of millions of individual parts and components, each of them may fail and lead to a partial or complete system breakdown. The traditional maintenance concepts characterized by predefined preventive maintenance activities and rigid schedules are not suitable for handling this large number of potential failures and malfunctions and the extreme maintenance workload. New maintenance strategies have to be found suitable to increase reliability while reducing the cost of needless maintenance services. The Reliability Centred Maintenance (RCM) methodology is already used extensively by airlines, and in industrial and marine facilities and even by scientific institutions like NASA. Its application increases the operational reliability while reducing the cost of unnecessary maintenance activities and is certainly also a solution for current and future ELT facilities. RCM is a concept of developing a maintenance scheme based on the reliability of the various components of a system by using "feedback loops between instrument / system performance monitoring and preventive/corrective maintenance cycles." Ideally RCM has to be designed within a system and should be located in the requirement definition, the preliminary and final design phases of new equipment and complicated systems. However, under certain conditions, an implementation of RCM into the maintenance management strategy of already existing astronomical infrastructure facilities is also possible. This presentation outlines the principles of the RCM methodology, explains the advantages, and highlights necessary changes in the observatory development, operation and maintenance philosophies. Presently, it is the right time to implement RCM into current and future ELT projects and to save up to 50% maintenance

  7. Different Categories of Astronomical Heritage: Issues and Challenges

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ruggles, Clive

    2012-09-01

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

  8. Kepler's Supernova Studied Through the Combined Abilities of NASA's Great Observatories

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    Four hundred years ago, sky watchers, including the famous astronomer Johannes Kepler, best known as the discoverer of the laws of planetary motion, were startled by the sudden appearance of a new star in the western sky, rivaling the brilliance of the nearby planets. Modern astronomers, using NASA's three orbiting Great Observatories, are unraveling the mysteries of the expanding remains of Kepler's supernova, the last such object seen to explode in our Milky Way galaxy. When a new star appeared Oct. 9, 1604, observers could use only their eyes to study it. The telescope would not be invented for another four years. A team of modern astronomers has the combined abilities of NASA's Great Observatories, the Spritzer Space Telescope (SST), Hubble Space Telescope (HST), and Chandra X-Ray Observatory (CXO), to analyze the remains in infrared radiation, visible light, and X-rays. Visible-light images from Hubble's Advanced Camera for Surveys reveal where the supernova shock wave is slamming into the densest regions of surrounding gas. The astronomers used the SST to probe for material that radiates in infrared light, which shows heated microscopic dust particles that have been swept up by the supernova shock wave. The CXO data show regions of very hot gas. The combined image unveils a bubble-shaped shroud of gas and dust, 14 light-years wide and expanding at 4 million mph. There have been six known supernovas in our Milky Way over the past 1,000 years. Kepler's is the only one in which astronomers do not know what type of star exploded. By combining information from all three Great Observatories, astronomers may find the clues they need. Project management for both the HST and CXO programs is the responsibility of NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

  9. The astronomical instruments of Gottfried Kirch (German Title: Die astronomischen Instrumente von Gottfried Kirch)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Herbst, Klaus-Dieter

    The development of the instrumental equipment of Gottfried Kirch is analyzed in three sections: (1) from 1663 to 1681 (Kirch becomes famous as the discoverer of comet 1680), (2) in the 1680s and 1690s, (3) from 1700 onward (Kirch becomes Royal astronomer in Berlin). The evaluation of sources indicates that Kirch decisively improved his collection of astronomical instruments. In the following two decades, he acquired 16 telescopes up to 28 feet focal length, and a few smaller measuring instruments (among them several screw micrometers, an instrument invented by him). He used a 1-foot brass quadrant for time determination. With this equipment, Kirch belonged, in 1680/90, to the well-equipped astronomers. He was only lacking the major instruments for the measurement of angles, which were installed at the Royal observatories in Greenwich, Paris and Copenhagen and in private observatories in Gdansk and Nuremberg. Around 1700, the quality of his instruments was not sufficient any more to keep up scientifically with the best ones. Finally it is shown to what extent Kirch constructed or bought telescopes for himself or for other astronomers.

  10. The Lowell Observatory Navajo-Hopi Astronomy Outreach Program

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-08-01

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

  11. 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

  12. Mt. Dushak-Erekdag Observatory: A Chance to Close the Asian Gaps in WET Coverage

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dorokhova, T. N.; Dorokhov, N. I.

    The Mt. Dushak-Erekdag Observatory (Central Asia, Turkmenistan, 58deg E longitude) is located just in the longitudes gap of asteroseismological networks. It is the southernmost observatory of the former Soviet Union, its latitude is +38deg . The sky seeing at the site is one of the best in Central Asia: a low light pollution, high and stable sky transparency, over 200 usable nights per year. The altitude is above 2000 m. Odessa Astronomical Observatory has its 0.8 m telescope with a two-star high-speed photometer there, which frequently participates in international programs and multi-site campaigns. An accuracy of the photometry amounts to 1 mmag. Besides, a 1 m wide-angle telescope and a dual-tube telescope with 0.5 m mirrors are installed at the observatory. The developed infrastructure at the site and the stable economy in Turkmenistan make the Mt. Dushak-Erekdag Observatory very interesting for the WET observations.

  13. New Roles for the Librarian of Bosscha Observatory: Review of Tasks in Library over Two Decades

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sulistialie, E.

    2015-04-01

    Mr. K. A. R Bosscha, a Dutch tea planter and successful businessman, has become a legendary figure in Indonesia for his various concerns to society. Through his generous support, he helped to found the observatory in 1920. The site of the observatory is in Lembang, West Java, and a suitable place for southern hemisphere observation. The library of Bosscha Observatory was built to support and facilitate research activities of Indonesian astronomers. The core of the library's collection consisted of a donation from Professor H.G. van de Sande Bakhuiyzen, the retired director of Leiden Observatory. Various national and international institutions have contributed to the development of the library. Today, information technology is a major influence on Bosscha Observatory and its librarian.

  14. High Energy Astronomy Observatory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1980-01-01

    An overview of the High Energy Astronomy Observatory 2 contributions to X-ray astronomy is presented along with a brief description of the satellite and onboard telescope. Observations relating to galaxies and galactic clusters, black holes, supernova remnants, quasars, and cosmology are discussed.

  15. Arecibo Observatory for All

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bartus, P.; Isidro, G. M.; La Rosa, C.; Pantoja, C. A.

    2007-01-01

    We describe new materials available at the Arecibo Observatory for visitors with visual impairments. These materials include a guide in Braille that describes the telescope, explains some basic terms used in radio astronomy, and lists frequently asked questions. We have also designed a tactile model of the telescope. Our interest is in enabling…

  16. Improving Arecibo Observatory's Hardware

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Van Rooy, Paula; Whitlow, Dana; Seymour, Andrew

    2017-01-01

    The Puerto-rican Ultimate Pulsar Processing Instrument (PUPPI) is a key backend for time-domain observations at Arecibo Observatory. PUPPI enables pulsar timing used for gravitational wave studies, single pulse studies of pulsars, searches for new pulsars, and allows in depth studies of Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs). Unfortunately, PUPPI is presently restricted to only certain Arecibo receivers due to its input frequency and bandwidth requirements. Here we present the design process, building, bench testing, and updates on the implementation of a one-channel breadboard of a new frequency mixer at the Arecibo Observatory. The function of the frequency mixer design is to translate a 1.1-1.9 GHz band to 0.8 - 1.6 GHz band, where PUPPI samples the data at the second Nyquist zone. When this seemingly simple device is fully implemented, it will allow for the further expansion of the abilities of PUPPI. Mainly it will expand PUPPI's frequency agility to higher frequencies from 4 to 10 GHz, by enabling it to work with many more of Arecibo's receivers. We hope this becomes particularly useful, now that a FRB has been detected at these higher frequencies. The Arecibo Observatory is operated by SRI International under a cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation (AST-1100968), and in alliance with Ana G. Méndez-Universidad Metropolitana, and the Universities Space Research Association. The Arecibo Observatory REU is funded under grant AST-1559849 to Universidad Metropolitana

  17. Observatory of Shiraz University

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bordbar, G. H.; Bahrani, F.

    2016-12-01

    Here we write about the observatory of Shiraz University, which has the largest active telescope in Iran but now, because of problems like light pollution of the nearby city and exhaustion of its largest telescope we need a plan for modernization and automatization in a new place.

  18. Armenian Virtual Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mickaelian, A. M.

    2015-07-01

    Vast amount of information continuously accumulated in astronomy requires finding new solutions for its efficient storage, use and dissemination, as well as accomplishing new research projects. Virtual Observatories (VOs) have been created in a number of countries to set up a new environment for these tasks. Based on them, the International Virtual Observatory Alliance (IVOA) was created in 2002, which unifies 19 VO projects, including Armenian Virtual Observatory (ArVO) founded in 2005. ArVO is a project of Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory (BAO) aimed at construction of a modern system for data archiving, extraction, acquisition, reduction, use and publication. ArVO technical and research projects are presented, including the Global Spectroscopic Database, which is being built based on Digitized First Byurakan Survey (DFBS). Quick optical identification of radio, IR or X-ray sources will be possible by plotting their positions in the DFBS or other spectroscopic plate and matching all available data. Accomplishment of new projects by combining data is so important that the International Council of Scientific Unions (ICSU) recently created World Data System (WDS) for unifying data coming from all science areas, and BAO has also joined it.

  19. The IT Observatory.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kent, Kai Iok Tong; Sousa, Antonio C. M.

    1999-01-01

    Describes the IT Observatory, a service of the Macau Productivity and Technology center (CPTTM) that provides information on demand using information technology. The CPTTM is a nonprofit organization funded by the Macau government and private businesses to enhance the productivity of Macau businesses by introducing new technologies and new…

  20. Torun Radio Astronomy Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murdin, P.

    2000-11-01

    Torun Center for Astronomy is located at Piwnice, 15 km north of Torun, Poland. A part of the Faculty of Physics and Astronomy of the Nicolaus Copernicus University, it was created by the union of Torun Radio Astronomy Observatory (TRAO) and the Institute of Astronomy on 1 January 1997....

  1. The Sudbury Neutrino Observatory

    SciTech Connect

    Hime, A.

    1996-09-01

    A report is given on the status of the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory, presently under construction in the Creighton nickel mine near Sudbury, Ontario in Canada. Focus is upon the technical factors involving a measurement of the charged-current and neutral-current interactions of solar neutrinos on deuterium.

  2. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-08-01

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

  4. Remote observing with the Nickel Telescope at Lick Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grigsby, Bryant; Chloros, Konstantinos; Gates, John; Deich, William T. S.; Gates, Elinor; Kibrick, Robert

    2008-07-01

    We describe a project to enable remote observing on the Nickel 1-meter Telescope at Lick Observatory. The purpose was to increase the subscription rate and create more economical means for graduate- and undergraduate students to observe with this telescope. The Nickel Telescope resides in a 125 year old dome on Mount Hamilton. Remote observers may work from any of the University of California (UC) remote observing facilities that have been created to support remote work at both Keck Observatory and Lick Observatory. The project included hardware and software upgrades to enable computer control of all equipment that must be operated by the astronomer; a remote observing architecture that is closely modeled on UCO/Lick's work to implement remote observing between UC campuses and Keck Observatory; new policies to ensure safety of Observatory staff and equipment, while ensuring that the telescope subsystems would be suitably configured for remote use; and new software to enforce the safety-related policies. The results increased the subscription rate from a few nights per month to nearly full subscription, and has spurred the installation of remote observing sites at more UC campuses. Thanks to the increased automation and computer control, local observing has also benefitted and is more efficient. Remote observing is now being implemented for the Shane 3- meter telescope.

  5. OpenROCS: a software tool to control robotic observatories

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Colomé, Josep; Sanz, Josep; Vilardell, Francesc; Ribas, Ignasi; Gil, Pere

    2012-09-01

    We present the Open Robotic Observatory Control System (OpenROCS), an open source software platform developed for the robotic control of telescopes. It acts as a software infrastructure that executes all the necessary processes to implement responses to the system events that appear in the routine and non-routine operations associated to data-flow and housekeeping control. The OpenROCS software design and implementation provides a high flexibility to be adapted to different observatory configurations and event-action specifications. It is based on an abstract model that is independent of the specific hardware or software and is highly configurable. Interfaces to the system components are defined in a simple manner to achieve this goal. We give a detailed description of the version 2.0 of this software, based on a modular architecture developed in PHP and XML configuration files, and using standard communication protocols to interface with applications for hardware monitoring and control, environment monitoring, scheduling of tasks, image processing and data quality control. We provide two examples of how it is used as the core element of the control system in two robotic observatories: the Joan Oró Telescope at the Montsec Astronomical Observatory (Catalonia, Spain) and the SuperWASP Qatar Telescope at the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory (Canary Islands, Spain).

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Connolly, L.; Lederer, S.

    2004-12-01

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

  7. SOFIA, an airborne observatory for infrared astronomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krabbe, Alfred; Mehlert, Dörte; Röser, Hans-Peter; Scorza, Cecilia

    2013-11-01

    The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) is a joint US/German project operating a 2.7 m infrared airborne telescope onboard a modified Boeing 747-SP in the stratosphere at altitudes up to 13.7 km. SOFIA covers a spectral range from 0.3 µm to 1.6 mm, with an average atmospheric transmission greater than 80%. After successfully completing its commissioning, SOFIA commenced regular astronomical observation in spring 2013, and will ramp up to more than one hundred 8 to 10 h flights per year by 2015. The observatory is expected to operate until the mid 2030s. SOFIA's initial complement of seven focal plane instruments includes broadband imagers, moderate-resolution spectrographs and high-resolution spectrometers. SOFIA also includes an elaborate program for Education and Public Outreach. We describe the SOFIA facility together with its first light instrumentation and include some of its first scientific results. In addition, the education and public outreach program is presented.

  8. The Cline Observatory at Guilford Technical Community College

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    English, T.; Martin, A.; Herrick, D.; Cline, D.

    2003-12-01

    The Cline Observatory at the Jamestown, NC campus of Guilford Technical Community College (GTCC) was dedicated in 1997. It is the only such facility in the community college systems of the Carolinas. GTCC employs two astronomy faculty and offers multiple sections of introductory courses. The facility utilizes a 16-inch Meade LX-200 under a 6-meter dome, along with accessories for digital imaging and basic spectroscopic studies. An outside observing pad with permanent piers allows smaller instruments to be set up for sessions. In addition to supporting introductory and basic observational astronomy classes, the observatory provides regular outreach programs to serve a variety of constituencies. Public viewings are held once a week; school and community groups schedule visits throughout the year; special lectures bring the latest astronomical topics to the public; and annual conferences are hosted for regional amateur astronomers and for faculty/students from NC academic/research institutions. Volunteer support staff for such programs has been developed through partnership with the local astronomy club and through training via the observational astronomy course. Our courses and outreach programs have been very popular and successful, and the observatory now serves as a focal point of GTCC's public image.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Database-Driven Analyses of Astronomical Spectra

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cami, Jan

    2012-03-01

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

  16. "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

  17. 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.

  18. Overview of the Chandra X-Ray Observatory Facility

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Weisskopf, M. C.; Six, N. Frank (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    The Chandra X-Ray Observatory (originally called the Advanced X-Ray Astrophysics Facility - AXAF) is the X-Ray component of NASA's "Great Observatory" Program. Chandra is a NASA facility that provides scientific data to the international astronomical community in response to scientific proposals for its use. The Observatory is the product of the efforts of many organizations in the United States and Europe. The Great Observatories also include the Hubble Space Telescope for space-based observations of astronomical objects primarily in the visible portion of the electromagnetic spectrum, the now defunct Compton Gamma- Ray Observatory that was designed to observe gamma-ray emission from astronomical objects, and the soon-to-be-launched Space Infrared Telescope Facility (SIRTF). The Chandra X-Ray Observatory (hereafter CXO) is sensitive to X-rays in the energy range from below 0.1 to above 10.0 keV corresponding to wavelengths from 12 to 0.12 nanometers. The relationship among the various parts of the electromagnetic spectrum, sorted by characteristic temperature and the corresponding wavelength, is illustrated. The German physicist Wilhelm Roentgen discovered what he thought was a new form of radiation in 1895. He called it X-radiation to summarize its properties. The radiation had the ability to pass through many materials that easily absorb visible light and to free electrons from atoms. We now know that X-rays are nothing more than light (electromagnetic radiation) but at high energies. Light has been given many names: radio waves, microwaves, infrared, visible, ultraviolet, X-ray and gamma radiation are all different forms. Radio waves are composed of low energy particles of light (photons). Optical photons - the only photons perceived by the human eye - are a million times more energetic than the typical radio photon, whereas the energies of X-ray photons range from hundreds to thousands of times higher than that of optical photons. Very low temperature systems

  19. 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

  20. The First 50 Years of Konkoly Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Balazs, Lajos G.; Vargha, Magda; Zsoldos, Endre

    The second half of the 19th century experienced a revolution in astronomy. It coincided with a new start of professional astronomy in Hungary through the work of Miklós Konkoly Thege (1842-1916) who is considered as a pioneer of current astrophysical activity in our country. He played an outstanding role in organizing scientific life and institutions, too. He started observations in his newly founded Observatory at Ógyalla in 1871. Sunspots were regularly observed in the observatory from 1872. In 1874 Konkoly began regular spectroscopic observations of comets and emphasized the importance of parallel laboratory works. An important field of Konkoly's astronomical activity was the observation of surface patterns of planets, particularly that of Jupiter and Mars. Spectroscopic observations of stars were also a significant part of the activity of Ógyalla Observatory. In the last period of the Konkoly era (starting in 1899) stellar photometry became the main field of research. At the end of WW I the institute was moved to Budapest Ógyalla and started a new life based on a completely new infrastructure: “... all era are followed by a new one, with its new tasks, in which the scope of activity changes correspondingly, in which enthusiasm is mostly manifested. It was different in the forties when our nation found itself following the word of the founder of our Academy, it was different in the fifties and sixties when we have to defend our nation against foreign aggression, and it became different since the sixties when, our existence being guarantied, we also have to make an effort, beside strengthening it, to get as distinguished a position among the civilized nations as possible.”