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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. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. An astronomical observatory for Peru

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    del Mar, Juan Quintanilla; Sicardy, Bruno; Giraldo, Víctor Ayma; Callo, Víctor Raúl Aguilar

    2011-06-01

    Peru and France are to conclude an agreement to provide Peru with an astronomical observatory equipped with a 60-cm diameter telescope. The principal aims of this project are to establish and develop research and teaching in astronomy. Since 2004, a team of researchers from Paris Observatory has been working with the University of Cusco (UNSAAC) on the educational, technical and financial aspects of implementing this venture. During an international astronomy conference in Cusco in July 2009, the foundation stone of the future Peruvian Observatory was laid at the top of Pachatusan Mountain. UNSAAC, represented by its Rector, together with the town of Oropesa and the Cusco regional authority, undertook to make the sum of 300,000€ available to the project. An agreement between Paris Observatory and UNSAAC now enables Peruvian students to study astronomy through online teaching.

  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. 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.

  11. BELDATA -- The Database of Belgrade Astronomical Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Milovanovic, N.; Popovic, L. C.; Dimitrijevic, M. S.

    The Belgrade Astronomical Database (BELDATA) is an Internet-based database designed to contain Stark broadening parameters, spectra of active galactic nuclei, catalogs of observations done at the Belgrade Observatory and abstracts of papers published in the publications of the observatory.

  12. Astronomical research at the Hopkins PHOENIX Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hopkins, J. L.

    1985-09-01

    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.

  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. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. The Virtual Astronomical Observatory Users Forum

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muench, August A.; Emery Bunn, S.; Astronomical Observatory, Virtual

    2013-01-01

    We present the online forum astrobabel.com, which has the goal of being a gathering place for the collective community intelligence about astronomical computing. The audience for this forum is anyone engaged in the analysis of astronomical or planetary data, whether that data be observational or theoretical. It is a free, community driven site where discussions are formulated primarily around the "question and answer" format. Current topics on the forum range from “Is there a photometry package in Python?” to “Where are the support forums for astronomy software packages?” and “Why is my SDSS SkyQuery query missing galaxies?” The poster will detail the full scope of discussions in the forum, and provide some basic guidelines for ensuring high quality forum posts. We will highlight the ways astronomers can discover and participate in discussions. Further, we view this as an excellent opportunity to gather feedback and feature requests from AAS221 attendees. Acknowledgement: The Virtual Astronomical Observatory (VAO) is managed by the VAO, LLC, a non-profit company established as a partnership of the Associated Universities, Inc. and the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc. The VAO is sponsored by the National Science Foundation and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

  18. 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.

  19. The First Astronomical Observatory in Cluj-Napoca

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Szenkovits, Ferenc

    2008-09-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. User Support in the Virtual Astronomical Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stobie, E.; Seaman, R.; Mighell, K.; Bunn, S. E.; Williams, R.

    2010-12-01

    As we anticipate the U.S. Virtual Astronomical Observatory (VAO) entering its operational phase, support for a growing number of users will become ever more important. The role of VAO User Support will be considered as having responsibility in three key areas: (1) for maintaining and expanding the VAO Help Desk and Web Site, which will give access to any catalogs, services, and tools that the VAO may provide; (2) for conducting aggressive Testing and Readiness Reviews, so that those tools and services will work reliably and will be well documented; and (3) for pursuing deverse opportunities for Training and Advocacy, including tutorials, seminars, and support for advanced use of the VAO. The authors present our view of how such pieces should work together with the hope of receiving feedback from the community to inform the development of program plans for VAO User Support. Funding for the VAO is pending and specific program activities and services are subject to the review and approval of the NSF and NASA.

  2. 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.

  3. CCD Photometry of Seven Asteroids at the Belgrade Astronomical Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Benishek, Vladimir

    2008-03-01

    CCD photometry of seven asteroids was performed at the Belgrade Astronomical Observatory from July 2006 to August 2007: 78 Diana, 125 Liberatrix, 702 Alauda, 888 Parysatis, 1095 Tulipa, 1293 Sonja, and 2006 VV2.

  4. 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 and on…

  5. 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

  6. The Sensitization of French Observatory Directors to Astronomical Heritage

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Le Guet Tully, Françoise; Davoigneau, Jean

    2012-09-01

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

  7. Green Bank (National Radio Astronomical Observatory)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murdin, P.

    2000-11-01

    Located in Green Bank, Pocahontas County, West Virginia. The site of the world's largest fully steerable radio telescope, which was under construction during 1999 and 2000. The National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) is a facility of the US National Science Foundation, and is operated under a cooperative agreement by Associated Universities, Inc. (AUI)....

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Observatory Publishes Memoir of Pioneer Radio Astronomer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2006-07-01

    One of the pioneers of radio astronomy tells her story of the formative years of that science in a memoir published by the National Radio Astronomy Observatory. Dr. Nan Dieter Conklin's book, Two Paths to Heaven's Gate, recounts her experiences making important scientific discoveries in an era when astronomy's "vision" was first extending beyond the light discernable to human eyes. Book Cover CREDIT: NRAO/AUI/NSF Conklin's story is remarkable not only because of her impressive scientific achievements, but also "because she was a woman who nevertheless pursued and succeeded in science -- the first U.S. woman whose Ph.D. thesis was based on her own radio astronomy research and the first U.S. woman to publish original radio astronomy research in a refereed journal -- and because she lived and worked with the degenerative disease multiple sclerosis," according to Claire Hooker of the University of Toronto. In the memoir, Conklin recounts her career and life from the awakening stirred by her first astronomy course at Goucher College in Baltimore, to junior research jobs in Washington, D.C., to graduate school at Harvard and ultimately to the faculty of the University of California at Berkeley. In addition to providing an insider's view of the process of scientific discovery, Conklin also gives the reader a fascinating look at a scientific community and social structure that, though only a half-century removed from the present, was vastly different from today's. Along the way, Conklin candidly reveals the person behind the science -- the person who dealt with the joys and tragedies of life while remaining dedicated to unlocking the secrets of the Universe. "Nan was and remains an inspiration to myself and hundreds of others in the field, both for her scientific acumen and for her ability to overcome extraordinary personal challenges," said Miller Goss of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory. The National Radio Astronomy Observatory is a facility of the National

  11. 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.

  12. Orbiting astronomical observatory-Copernicus. [scientific results

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    York, D. G.

    1973-01-01

    Of the three observatories planned in NASA's OAO program, one, OAO-3, is still in orbit and producing scientifically useful data. The prime experiment is the Princeton telescope spectrometer. Following a brief history of the OAO program, a description is given of the Princeton telescope with its 80-cm primary mirror, and of the spectrometer, which yields a resolution of up to 0.05 A. The spacecraft guidance system is also described. This system initially points the observatory to within a few arc minutes of the target, places the 0.3-arc sec slit on the star in less than 3 minutes, and holds on the star for up to 50 minutes with errors less than 0.05 arc sec. The main scientific results are described under the following categories: (1) the widespread presence of molecular hydrogen; (2) the search for other molecules, including detection of CO; (3) the nature of the interstellar medium as inferred from the detection of various atomic lines; (4) the study of chromospheres in late type stars; and (5) the study of mass loss in binaries and single stars.

  13. Outreach Activities of National Astronomical Observatory of Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ono, T.; Watanabe, J.; Agata, H.

    2006-08-01

    The activities on the outreach issues in the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ) are mainly conducted by the Public Relations Center established in June 1998. Its mission is to present the latest findings in astronomy to the public in a manner that is understandable, contemporary, and exciting. For this purpose, we provide a wide range of services and deliver a variety of scientific information through multiple ways. We also maintain an effective partnership with lots of dissemination experts working at the public observatories, the science museums, and the planetariums in Japan. The representative outreach activities in NAOJ are follows. • Telephone service to answer the questions on astronomy (about 10,000 calls a year) • Press release (about 60 a year) to about 100 registered journalists • Press Members' Lounge" for registered journalists • A special seminar for science journalists every year • Service of astronomical ephemeredes, and nautical almanacs. • Weekly news letter service named "Astro-Topics" • Monthly paper magazine "NAOJ news" • Web site service (http://www.nao.ac.jp/) (about 10^7 hits a year) • Open campus or visitor service to the public • Regular star party using a modern 50-cm reflector twice a month • Coordination and cooperation with other astronomical facilities. Such as Public Astronomical Observatory Network (PAONET), Star Week Program

  14. Karl Knorre - First Astronomer of the Nicolaev Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Petrov, G.; Pinigin, G.

    Karl Friedrich Knorre was born 28th March 1801 in family of the professor of astronomy of Dorpat university Ernst Knorre. During education in the Dorpat university he got acquantance with the future director of Pulkovo observatory Wilhelm Struve. According passion of K. Knorre for astronomy W. Struwe recommended him to the director position of planned naval observatory in Nikolaev. From the foundation of Nikolaev naval and later astronomical observatory in 1821 K. Knorre was a first director. He made star position observations with the meridian circle, worked as a teacher of astronomy for sea navigators, compiled the fifth page of star map of the Berlin Academy of sciences and headed by all hydrographic determinations on the sea of Asov and Black sea. After 50 years K. Knorre retired 1871 from the Directorship of the Nikolaev observatory and moved to Berlin. Nikolaev astronomical observatory arranges the international scientific conference devoted to the 180 anniversary of NAO and 200's birthday of Karl Friedrich Knorre in 2001.

  15. Virtual Observatory for Astronomers: Where Are We Now?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chilingarian, I. V.

    2009-07-01

    After several years of intensive technological development Virtual Observatory resources have reached a level of maturity sufficient for their routine scientific exploitation. The Virtual Observatory is starting to be used by astronomers in a transparent way. In this article I will review several research projects making use of the VO at different levels of importance. I will present two projects going further than data mining: (1) studies of environmental effects on galaxy evolution, where VO resources and services are used in connection with dedicated observations using a large telescope and numerical simulations, and (2) a study of optical and near-infrared colours of nearby galaxies complemented by the spectroscopic data.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. "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

  3. 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.

  4. Sendai Astronomical Observatory - Its Renewal and History as an observatory for general public -

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Watanabe, J.

    2006-08-01

    The Sendai Astronomical Observatory, located in the central part of the Sendai City in the northern part of Japan, is the one of the oldest observatory operated by local government mainly for general public. It has a 41-cm reflector together with a car equipped with a 20-cm refractor for providing chances for remote locations to have astronomical education called "Vega" . It also has a planetarium with a 16-m dome and 200 seats. Open in 1955, it maintained for more than a half century in high level education both to the general public and to school children. Especially all the children in the elementary school visit this observatory at least once as the school program defined in the Sendai city. We are considering a renewal of these facilities along with moving to the new site, Nishikigaoka, to avoid light pollution in the city. The new observatory will have a 1.2-m reflecting telescope, solar telescope, other smaller telescopes for experienced amateur astronomers or people, and a larger planetarium of a 25-m dome with 280 seats. We will introduce the plan of our renewal along with the history of these 50 years.

  5. Plana Student Astronomical Observatory: First results and perspectives

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ovcharov, E. P.; Kurtenkov, A.; Metodieva, Y.; Dimitrov, A.; Enikova, P.; Bozhilov, V.; Stanev, I.; Nikolov, P.; Nikolov, Y.; Markishki, P.; Gantchev, G.; Trifonov, T.; Nedialkov, P.; Stanchev, O.

    We present a new Bulgarian professional optical observatory initiated by the Department of Astronomy at the University of Sofia. The observatory is located in the Plana mountain at an altitude of 1240 m and about 30 km to the southeast of Sofia. It is situated on the premises of the Plana Geodetic Observatory operated by the National Institute of Geophysics, Geodesy and Geography of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. Plana Student Astronomical Observatory (SAO) is equipped with a 0.35 m f/4.6 Newtonian telescope and an SBIG STL-11000M CCD camera with Bessel UBVRI filters. The photometric accuracy reached with a single five-minute exposure is 0.2 mag at B=20.0 mag. In this article we present some of the first observational results obtained at Plana SAO -- photometric measurements of novae in M31 and AGNs. The list of observed novae includes M31N 2013-10a, M31N 2013-10d, M31N 2013-10g, M31N 2013-10h, M31N 2013-12a and M31N 2013-12b. Broadband BVRI photometry of BL Lac near its historical maximum in the autumn of 2013 is presented as well.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Improved upper winds models for several astronomical observatories.

    PubMed

    Roberts, Lewis C; Bradford, L William

    2011-01-17

    An understanding of wind speed and direction as a function of height are critical to the proper modeling of atmospheric turbulence. We have used radiosonde data from launch sites near significant astronomical observatories and created averaged profiles of wind speed and direction and have also computed Richardson number profiles. Using data from the last 30 years, we confirm a 1977 Greenwood wind profile, and extend it to include parameters that show seasonal variations and differences in location. The added information from our models is useful for the design of adaptive optics systems and other imaging systems. Our analysis of the Richardson number suggests that persistent turbulent layers may be inferred when low values are present in our long term averaged data. Knowledge of the presence of these layers may help with planning for adaptive optics and laser communications. PMID:21263622

  10. Japanese Virtual Observatory (JVO) as an advanced astronomical research environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shirasaki, Yuji; Tanaka, Masahiro; Kawanomoto, Satoshi; Honda, Satoshi; Ohishi, Masatoshi; Mizumoto, Yoshihiko; Yasuda, Naoki; Masunaga, Yoshifumi; Ishihara, Yasuhide; Tsutsumi, Jumpei; Nakamoto, Hiroyuki; Kobayashi, Yuusuke; Sakamoto, Michito

    2006-06-01

    We present the design and implementation of the Japanese Virtual Observatory (JVO) system. JVO is a portal site to various kinds of astronomical resources distributed all over the world. We have developed five components for constructing the portal: (1) registry, (2) data service, (3) workflow system, (4) data analysis service (5) portal GUI. Registry services are used for publishing and searching data services in the VO, and they are constructed using an OAI-PMH metadata harvesting protocol and a SOAP web service protocol so that VO standard architecture is applied. Data services are developed based on the Astronomical Data Query Language (ADQL) which is an international VO standard and an extension of the standard SQL. The toolkit for building the ADQL-based service is released to the public on the JVO web site. The toolkit also provides the protocol translation from a Simple Image Access Protocol (SIAP) to ADQL protocol, so that both the VO standard service can be constructed using our toolkit. In order to federate the distributed databases and analysis services, we have designed a workflow language which is described in XML and developed execution system of the workflow. We have succeeded to connect to a hundred of data resources of the world as of April 2006. We have applied this system to the study of QSO environment by federating a QSO database, a Subaru Suprim-Cam database, and some analysis services such a SExtractor and HyperZ web services. These experiences are described is this paper.

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

    PubMed

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

    1975-06-01

    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.

  12. Current and Future Capabilities of the 74-inch Telescope of Kottamia Astronomical Observatory in Egypt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Azzam, Y. A.; Ali, G. B.; Ismail, H. A.; Haroon, A.; Selim, I.

    In this paper, we are going to introduce the Kottamia Astronomical Observatory, KAO, to the astronomical community. The current status of the telescope together with the available instrumentations is described. An upgrade stage including a new optical system and a computer controlling of both the telescope and dome are achieved. The specifications of a set of CCD cameras for direct imaging and spectroscopy are given. A grating spectrograph is recently gifted to KAO from Okayama Astrophysical Observatory, OAO, of the National Astronomical Observatories in Japan. This spectrograph is successfully tested and installed at the F/18 Cassegrain focus of the KAO 74" telescope.

  13. 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.

  14. CCD Photometry of Asteroids at the Belgrade Astronomical Observatory: 2008 January-September

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Benishek, Vladimir; Protitch-Benishek, Vojislava

    2009-04-01

    Lightcurves for seven minor planets were obtained at the Belgrade Astronomical Observatory in the period 2008 January-September: 541 Deborah, 956 Elisa, 1022 Olympiada, 1071 Brita, 1724 Vladimir, 5010 Amenemhet, and (8567) 1996 HW1.

  15. Photographic Plate Archive of Astronomical Observatory of Ivan Franko National University of Lviv

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Virun, N.; Pakuliak, L.; Kazantseva, L.

    2012-05-01

    The project of Ukrainian Virtual Observatory is based on the digitization of photographic plate archives, collected during more than 100 years, which together with CCD archieves are expected to form the Joint Digital Archive. The paper presents the description of archieves the historical photographical collections of astronomical observatories of Kyiv and Lviv national universities. The application of flatbed scanners for plate digitization is discussed.

  16. Measurements of optical turbulence in the free atmosphere above Mount Maidanak in 2005-2007

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kornilov, V.; Ilyasov, S.; Vozyakova, O.; Tillaev, Yu.; Safonov, B.; Ibragimov, M.; Shatsky, N.; Egamberdiev, Sh.

    2009-08-01

    We present the results of our 2005-2007 campaign to measure the vertical distribution of optical turbulence above Mount Maidanak. The measurements were performed with the MASS instrument, a multi-aperture scintillation sensor that has been widely used for such studies in recent years at many observatories worldwide. Analysis of the data shows that the median seeing in the free atmosphere (at an altitude of 0.5 km and higher) is 0 ″46, while the isoplanatic angle is 2″.47. Given the large time constant (about 7 ms at good seeing), such conditions are favorable for using adaptive optics and interferometric measurements in the visible and near-infrared spectral ranges.

  17. Yangbajing Astronomical Observatory of NAOC in Tibet: a good multi-wavelength site

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Jun-Jie

    2015-08-01

    Yangbajing Astronomical Station of National Astronomical Observatories, Chinese Academy of Science (NAOC) is located in Yangbajing Tibet (90°31'50" E 30°06'38" N, 4300m ). It is the first professional observatory operated by NAOC for science project in Tibet. This station was established on August 17, 2011, which means that Tibet has its first astronomical observatory. There are one 3-meter in diameter submillimeter telescope CCOSMA and five 40-50 cm optical telescopes. This could lay a solid foundation for attracting more international cooperation on large telescope projects in Tibet in future. we have already tested the radio, millimeter/submillimeter and optical environment in Yangbajing. The result shows that Yangbajing station is a good desirable multi-wavelength astronomical observation site.

  18. Solar Observations in Pope Sylvester II's Astronomical Observatory in Bukowiec

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Banyś, T. A. J.; Wieteska, Ł.; Kata, M.; Sigismondi, C.

    2014-05-01

    The activity of the Pope Sylvester II Observatory in Bukowiec (Poland)included solar observations. Among them a large pinhole solar observatory with camera obscura has been realized in the aisles of the school, 70 meters long. These results have been presented to the CAP 2013 IAU congress in Warsaw on October 15-20, 2013.

  19. 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.

  20. South African Astronomical Observatory: from 1972 to the Present

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Warner, B.; Murdin, P.

    2001-07-01

    In the late 1960s the Science Research Council (SRC) in the UK seriously considered closing the Royal Observatory at the Cape of Good Hope (see SOUTH AFRICAN ASTRONOMY), but the observatory (located in Cape Town) was saved by the establishment in January 1972 of a joint agreement between the SRC and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) of South Africa, whereby the two Councils...

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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).

  4. Radioastronomy at the National Astronomical Observatory of Colombia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  5. Pulkovo Observatory - One of the Main Centers of Astronomical Education in Russia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shakht, Natalia A.

    2007-08-01

    Since the beginning of the activity in 1839, Pulkovo observatory was an important center of the teaching of astronomy and geodesy in Russia. The first director of Pulkovo observatory W. Ja. Struve together with Pulkovo astronomers taught the topographers and specialists in geodesy and to naval officers the methods of geographic coordinates determinations. Pulkovo observatory was the center of the improvement of such specialists till 1928. Pulkovo astronomers lecture for students in the leading educational centers during many decades and at present and also lead the aspirants and researchers. The works of Pulkovo astronomers have been united in the known textbooks of astronomy and stellar astronomy with several re-editions. In 1957-1965 after the first launch of artificial satellite, many seminars and schools, which were dedicated to study of observations of artificial satellites and to the space geodesy have been organized at Pulkovo. Each year, about 10-15 thousands of guests visit Pulkovo. Our astronomers have the contact with the amateurs of astronomy in many countries and collect the information on their observations. More than 1,000,000 observations of asteroids and comets made by amateurs are collected with the scientific aims, particularly for the enlargement of the information about NEOs. Pulkovo astronomers lecture and give the practical lessons in ecological expeditions, which unite young people of various places of Russia.

  6. Knowing the people who come to public astronomical observatories: The case of Akita prefecture, Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kawamura, N.

    2015-03-01

    The purpose of this research is to know and gain a better understanding of people who come to astronomical observatories and to find out more about their experiences and thoughts on astronomy. To find some of the issues about science communication in astronomy, the author carried out questionnaire research studies involving high school students and junior high school and elementary school teachers.

  7. A Needs Analysis Study of Amateur Astronomers As Regards To the National Virtual Observatory Outreach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Craig, N.; Price, A.; Mattei, J.; Mendez, B.; Hawkins, I.; UC Berkeley Team; AAVSO Collaboration

    2003-12-01

    Astronomy, more than any other science, benefits from the active contribution of Amateur Astronomers, who bring to this field a high degree of skill and dedication. Amateur Astronomers make direct contributions to informal and public education: they present public lectures and courses; organize star parties, international Astronomy Day programs, and special displays in libraries and shopping malls; they write articles and books and produce radio and television programs; they lobby for planetariums, science centers, public observatories, and even NASA satellites. Above all, amateur astronomers convey their enthusiasm for science with dedication and devotion. They represent a unique and exceptional way in which ordinary citizens can support science and education at the grass-roots level. We have conducted a needs analysis survey, with collaboration of The American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO) to identify areas in which the National Virtual Observatory (NVO) Education & Public Outreach efforts can best address the astronomical needs and interest of the amateur astronomical community. We found that above all amateurs want access to the same data the professionals use and in a format that allows them to use the data in their own personal manner. We will discuss the further results of this qualitative and quantitative survey. This study is supported by Science Education Gateway (SEGway) Project, a NASA SR&T (Supporting Research and Technology) Program.

  8. LST: The National Space Observatory concept - An observatory for future astronomer involvement in planning and use

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Roman, N. G.

    1974-01-01

    The Large Space Telescope (LST) will be a unique facility which must be designed to serve the needs of all potential users throughout the world. This requires that a representative group of astronomers work intimately with the engineers in the early design of the telescope and that astronomers continue to be closely involved in the planning throughout the life of the project. Forty scientists are now defining the auxiliary instruments and their operation. Later, others will build instruments and participate in assigning observing time on the telescope, on the basis of the scientific merit of the proposed observation.

  9. 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

  10. Observatories in South America: from Astronomical Expeditions to the Foundation of National Observatories

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Le Guet Tully, Françoise; Paolantonio, Santiago

    2012-09-01

    One of the consequences of the 19th century development of institutional astronomy in the northern hemisphere (Europe and North America) was the rising number of expeditions sent from these countries to the southern hemisphere. We shall describe how the observation of oppositions of Mars in Chile (1849--1852), that of a solar eclipse in Brazil (1858), and that of a transit of Venus in Argentina (1882) led directly and indirectly to the foundation of permanent observatories in Santiago (1852) and Córdoba (1871), to the organisation of an imperial observatory in Rio de Janeiro (1871) and to the development of one in La Plata (1883). We shall examine the influence exerted by the first directors of these observatories -- all coming from the northern hemisphere -- and in each case we shall study the processes that later led to the development of a national astronomy.

  11. Forecasting the precipitable water vapour content: validation for astronomical observatories using radiosoundings

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pérez-Jordán, G.; Castro-Almazán, J. A.; Muñoz-Tuñón, C.; Codina, B.; Vernin, J.

    2015-09-01

    The atmospheric precipitable water vapour content (PWV) strongly affects astronomical observations in the infrared (IR). We have validated the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) mesoscale numerical weather prediction (NWP) model as an operational forecasting tool for PWV. In the validation, we used atmospheric radiosounding data obtained directly at the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory [ORM: ≈2200 metres above sea level (masl)] during three intensive runs and an aditional verification sample of 1 yr of radiosonde data from World Meteorological Organization (WMO) station 60018 in Güímar (Tenerife, TFE: ≈105 masl). These data sets allowed us to calibrate the model at the observatory site and to validate it under different PWV and atmospheric conditions. The ability of the WRF model in forecasting the PWV at astronomical observatories and the effects of horizontal model grid size on the computed PWV and vertical profiles of humidity are discussed. An excellent agreement between model forecasts and observations was found at both locations, with correlations above 0.9 in all cases. Subtle but significant differences between model horizontal resolutions have been found, the 3 km grid size being the most accurate and the one selected for future work. Absolute calibrations are given for the lowest and finest grid resolutions. The median PWV values obtained were 3.8 and 18.3 mm at ORM and TFE, respectively. WRF forecasts will complement the PWV measured by the GPS monitoring system at the Canarian Observatories.

  12. 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.

  13. The Role of the Virtual Astronomical Observatory in the Era of Big Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  14. The Wisconsin Experiment Package (WEP) aboard the Orbiting Astronomical Observatory (OAO-2)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marche, J. D.

    2005-12-01

    On 7 December 1968, NASA's Orbiting Astronomical Observatory (OAO-2) was launched into space. Roughly ten years in development, the OAO carried two sets of experiments, each designed to conduct the first extended observations of the sky at ultraviolet wavelengths. One experiment package was designed by the University of Wisconsin; the other by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. Remote operation of the OAO, especially the WEP's narrow-field photometric instruments, demanded a "complex stabilization and control system" that could point the spacecraft towards any desired object with an accuracy of better than one arc-minute. A host of other calculations were routinely performed to insure that the instruments were never pointed toward (or within) a fixed number of degrees of the Sun, Moon, or even the Earth. During its 50 months of operation, WEP successfully observed more than a thousand celestial objects. It was the first true stellar space observatory, whose operating system represented a greater technological leap forward in its day than the Hubble Space Telescope (HST), launched in 1990. At the same time, OAO-2 marked a significant turning point in the way astrophysical research was conducted. OAO scientists' dependence upon high-speed, digital techniques of data acquisition, storage, transmission, and reduction, not only presaged but also influenced the universal adoption of such techniques throughout the astronomical community. The OAO spacecraft was a significant bellwether of the transition to an era of digital data manipulation that occurred well before the impact of the personal computer and the charge-coupled device (CCD).

  15. PHEMU 2003 CAMPAIGN-CCD Observations made at Cluj-Napoca Astronomical Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moldovan, Dan

    2008-09-01

    The CCD-observations of mutual events (occultations and eclipses) in the system of Galilean satellites of Jupiter have been carried out in the period of November 2002 to Mars 2003 at Cluj-Napoca Astronomical Observatory (CNAORA) using MEADE 16'' LX200 optical instrument and a CCD Meade Pictor 416 camera. 29 photometric observations for 18 occultations and 11 eclipses have been obtained. Cubic spline functions were used to aproximate of light curves and to find observed mid-light times. The results are given in Table 1.

  16. Irish astronomers eager to use European gamma-ray space observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2001-09-01

    Space observatories are today helping astronomers discover and understand the furthest reaches of the Universe. But the origin of gamma-ray bursts, brief but extremely powerful explosions, is still one of the great cosmic mysteries. INTEGRAL will be a space observatory whose objective is to gather gamma rays, the most energetic radiation that comes from space, pinpointing and studying their sources with an unprecedented resolution and sensitivity. In addition to tracking down gamma-ray bursts, the observatory will bring much new information on stellar explosions, black holes and the formation of elements. With no other dedicated gamma-ray mission on the horizon, the world's scientists are eagerly awaiting the start of the mission, just 12 months away. Ireland's astronomers and astrophysicists will be privileged users. Professor Brian McBreen of University College Dublin, and Professor Evert Meurs of the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies (DIAS) and Director of Dunsink Observatory, are both co-investigators for the Optical Monitor Camera (OMC), one of INTEGRAL's four science instruments. Their teams have also contributed to the science analysis software to be used at the INTEGRAL Science Data Centre (ISDC). Professor McBreen, an authority in the field of gamma-ray bursts, was one of the founding fathers of the project in the 1980s that subsequently led to INTEGRAL. The spacecraft is currently undergoing environmental tests at ESA's Technical and Research Centre (ESTEC) in the Netherlands. The launch, on a Russian Proton rocket from Baïkonour, is scheduled for October 2002. Speakers at the press conference will include , Ireland's Minister for Commerce, Science and Technology Mr. Noel Treacy, the President of RIA Professor T.D. Spearman, and Professor David Southwood, Director of Science at the European Space Agency and the Irish co-investigators.

  17. 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.

  18. The Maria Mitchell Observatory--For Astronomical Research and Public Enlightenment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hoffleit, Dorrit

    2001-04-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Long-term synoptic observations of the Sun at the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hanaoka, Yoichiro

    2013-06-01

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

  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. 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.

  5. Measuring light pollution in Beijing and effects on Xinglong Station of National Astronomical Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    LU, Ligen; ZHANG, Baozhou; AI, Mingze; LIU, Jian; ZENG, Shanshan

    2015-08-01

    A light pollution survey in Beijing has been carried on to assess the quality of the night sky. To measure the absolute luminance of night sky directly, a portable night-sky luminance meter was developed specially for this survey. With a 2-degree field of view, the meter is sensitive only to a narrow cone of the sky and capable of detecting the minimum luminance of 10-6 cd/m2 (equivalent to 27.4 mag/arcsec2). The night-sky brightness was measured at seven sites, of which six are almost in line but with different distances from the city center. The Xinglong Station of National Astronomical Observatory was included to study the impacts of city lightings on an astronomical observatory. The survey shows that night skies at later time (from 0:00 to 3:00) keep mostly unchanged and are evidently darker than earlier time (e.g. the night-sky at 23:00 is about 40% brighter than midnight), which can be attributed to substantial artificial lightings for human activities being turned off after midnight. Moreover, zenith luminance of the night sky decreases with increasing distance from the city center. Compared with the night-sky luminance (21.50 mag/arcsec2) at Lingshan observation site which is closer to the city center, the night-sky brightness at Xinglong Station is a litter brighter (21.37 mag/arcsec2). This indicates that night sky at Xinglong Station has been brightened by outdoor lighting of the county town of Xinglong. The survey shows that either the luminance of zenith dark sky or the average luminance of skies at 45 degree altitude in all directions could be considered as a reasonable indicator of light pollution.

  6. Milan Popović - from the stationary clerk of Belgrade Astronomical Observatory to the great man of Serbian surrealism

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dimitrijević, Milan S.

    2002-04-01

    We present in this work the personality of Milan Popović (6 May 1905, Surdulica - April 1969) the great Serbian surrealistic painter, which from 21 January 1949 up to 31 May 1949 worked at the Belgrade Astronomical Observatory as senior stationary clerk.

  7. 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

  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. 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.

  10. The French Jesuit Mission to Thailand in the 1680s and the Establishment of a Major Astronomical Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Soonthornthum, Boonrucksar; Orchiston, Wayne; Komonjinda, Siramas

    2012-09-01

    The first great Thai ruler to encourage the adoption of Western culture and technology was King Narai, and his enlightened attitude led to the rapid development of Thailand. King Narai also had a passion for astronomy, and he pursued this interest by allowing French Jesuit missionaries to set up a large modern well-equipped astronomical observatory in Lopburi Province between AD 1685 and 1687. This was known as the Wat San Paolo Observatory, and King Narai and the missionaries observed a total lunar eclipse on 10 December 1685 and a partial solar eclipse on 30 April 1688. These observations and others made at Wat San Paolo Observatory during the 1680s marked the start of modern scientific astronomy in Thailand. In this paper we discuss King Narai's scientific and other interests, the founding of the Wat San Paolo Observatory, the missionaries who conducted the astronomical programs, their instruments and their observations. We also describe the surviving ruins of the Observatory and their interpretation as a site of national scientific importance in Thailand.

  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. Pluvial Precipitation in Baja California and the National Astronomical Observatory at San Pedro Mártir Sierra

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Álvarez, M.; Michel, R.; Reyes-Coca, S.; Troncoso-Gaytán, R.

    2007-10-01

    We present an analysis of climatic data around the National Astronomical Observatory at San Pedro Mártir Sierra (OAN-SPM) in Ensenada, B.C. This analysis is based on data taken by several authors, and at different epochs, to characterize this site for astronomical purposes. We used rain precipitation data, relative humidity, wind, and other parameters from the climatological stations operated by Comisión Nacional del Agua and other offices. We use indexes, derived from ocean surface temperature (OST) and tree-ring data analysis, to study past climatic variations to create a possible future scenario for pluvial precipitation. We point out some implications on the Global Climatic Change at the region of Baja California.

  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. A Strategy for Urban Astronomical Observatory Site Preservation: The Southern Arizona Example

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Craine, Eric R.; Craine, Brian L.; Craine, Patrick R.; Craine, Erin M.; Fouts, Scott

    2014-05-01

    Urbanized observatories are under financial pressures for numerous and complex reasons, including concerns that increasing sky brightness will continue to erode their scientific viability. The history of urbanized observatories is one of steady decline and divestiture. We argue that light at night (LAN) impacts of urban growth are inadequately understood, that current measurement techniques are incomplete in scope, and that both limit the effectiveness of mitigation programs. We give examples of these factors for Pima County, Arizona, and propose techniques and a program that could provide focus and power to mitigation efforts, and could extend the longevity of southern Arizona observatories.

  16. A Strategy for Urban Astronomical Observatory Site Preservation: The Southern Arizona Example (Abstract)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Craine, E. R.; Craine, B. L.; Craine, P. R.; Craine, E. M.; Fouts, S.

    2014-12-01

    (Abstract only) Urbanized observatories are under financial pressures for numerous and complex reasons, including concerns that increasing sky brightness will continue to erode their scientific viability. The history of urbanized observatories is one of steady decline and divestiture. We argue that light at night (LAN) impacts of urban growth are inadequately understood, that current measurement techniques are incomplete in scope, and that both limit the effectiveness of mitigation programs. We give examples of these factors for Pima County, Arizona, and propose techniques and a program that could provide focus and power to mitigation efforts, and could extend the longevity of southern Arizona observatories.

  17. 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.

  18. Progress on the New York State Observatory: a new 12-meter astronomical telescope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sebring, T.; O'Dea, C.; Baum, S.; Teran, J.; Loewen, N.; Stutzki, C.; Egerman, R.; Bonomi, G.

    2014-07-01

    Over the past two years, the New York Astronomical Corporation (NYAC), the business arm of the Astronomical Society of New York (ASNY), has continued planning and technical studies toward construction of a 12-meter class optical telescope for the use of all New York universities and research institutions. Four significant technical studies have been performed investigating design opportunities for the facility, the dome, the telescope optics, and the telescope mount. The studies were funded by NYAC and performed by companies who have provided these subsystems for large astronomical telescopes in the past. In each case, innovative and cost effective approaches were identified, developed, analyzed, and initial cost estimates developed. As a group, the studies show promise that this telescope could be built at historically low prices. As the project continues forward, NYAC intends to broaden the collaboration, pursue funding, to continue to develop the telescope and instrument designs, and to further define the scientific mission. The vision of a historically large telescope dedicated to all New York institutions continues to grow and find new adherents.

  19. 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.

  20. A Lunar Far Side Radio Array As The First Astronomical Observatory On The Moon: Precursor Studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Takahashi, Y.

    Setting up an observatory on the Moon could not only give us new views of the uni- verse, but also inspire the billions of people who look at the Moon. The Moon as a site for astronomy has been proposed since at least the mid-1960s when humans began to have access to outer space. The most seriously investigated concept for a Moon-based observatory has always been a very-low-frequency array on the far side for several well-grounded reasons. First, the Lunar far side is recognized as the best site of all for radio astronomy because it is the one location permanently free from the significant artificial and natural interference from Earth. Second, such an observatory will give us a completely new look at the universe by opening up the new frequency window of 50kHz-30MHz, the only part of the electromagnetic spectrum through which the universe has yet to be explored. Third, a simple array of dipole antennas is probably the most technologically feasible observatory to be placed and operated on the Moon. To be able to see astronomy happening from the Moon before we all age another 10 years, we must answer several questions at our earliest opportunities. (1) How far into the far side does the observatory site need to be for the terrestrial interference to be at- tenuated below the background level? (2) How do the electrical properties of the Lunar surface influence the site selection and the antenna design? In particular, how might the subsurface structures reflect radio waves to affect the observation? (3) How much would the Lunar ionosphere affect the observation? To address these questions now, radio wave propagation around the Moon is simulated using Apollo data for dielectric permittivity and loss tangent of the Lunar surface. The results of the simulations are presented. To ultimately identify the best sites and to specify the observatory design, making the following measurements within the next several years is crucial. (1) The level of terrestrial noise at various

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Design of the HEAO main bus shunt regulator. [High Energy Astronomical Observatory solar array

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Middlebrook, R. D.; Kimble, S. G.

    1976-01-01

    The High Energy Astronomy Observatory (HEAO) is being built for NASA by an American company. The general requirements concerning the HEAO main bus regulator are examined. The bus regulated voltage is 33 V, the maximum shunt current is 45 A, and the regulator output impedance is to be less than 0.5 Ohm from dc to 100 kHz. Loop gain design considerations for the main bus regulator are discussed and a description is given of the general device configuration. Attention is also given to regulator loop design and performance.

  5. Austrian-Hungarian Astronomical Observatories Run by the Society of Jesus at the Time of the 18th Century Venus Transits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Posch, Thomas; Aspaas, Per Pippin; Bazso, Akos; Mueller, Isolde

    2013-05-01

    The Venus transit in June 1761 was the first one to be observed on a truly international scale: almost 250 astronomers followed this rare celestial event (e.g. Wulff 2012, p. 115), and at least 130 published successful observations of it (Aspaas 2012, p. 423). The present paper deals with the astronomical observatories built by the Society of Jesus in its eighteenth century "Provincia Austriae", at which the 1761 transit could be observed. Five Jesuit observatories are being presented in this context: three in today's Austria, namely, two in Vienna and one in Graz; one in Trnava in today's Slovakia and one in Cluj in today's Romania. Thereafter, we briefly examine which of these observatories submitted any Venus transit observations for publication in the appendix to Maximilian Hell's "Ephemerides astronomicae ad meridianum Vindobonensem" for the year 1762.

  6. 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.

  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. 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.

  10. The Astronomical Observatory of the Autonomous Region of the Aosta Valley. A professional research centre in the Italian Alps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Calcidese, P.; Bernagozzi, A.; Bertolini, E.; Carbognani, A.; Damasso, M.; Pellissier, P.; Recaldini, P.; Soldi, M.; Toso, G.

    The Astronomical Observatory of the Autonomous Region of the Aosta Valley (OAVdA), in the Alps at the border with France and Switzerland, is located in the Saint-Barthélemy Valley at 1675 m a.s.l. and 16 km from the town of Nus (AO). Managed by the Fondazione Clément Fillietroz-ONLUS with funding from local administrations, the OAVdA opened in 2003. For the first years its initiatives were focused on public outreach & education. Since 2006 the main activity has been scientific research thanks to an official agreement of cooperation established with the italian National Institute for Astrophysics (INAF). The OAVdA researchers, with Research Grants from the European Social Fund (EU-ESF), have been authors and/or coauthors of several papers on international journals. Here we present in detail the scientific projects developed at the OAVdA and describe some public outreach & education initiatives proposed at the OAVdA and the Planetarium of Lignan, also managed by the Fondazione Clément Fillietroz-ONLUS since 2009.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Determination of the Telluric Water Vapor Absorption Correction for Astronomical Data Obtained from the Kuiper Airborne Observatory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Erickson, E. F.; Simpson, J. P.; Kuhn, P. M.; Stearns, L. P.

    1979-01-01

    The amount of telluric water vapor along the line of sight of the Kuiper Airborne Observatory telescope as obtained concommitantly on 23 flights is compared with the NASA-Ames Michelson interferometer and with the NOAA-Boulder radiometer. A strong correlation between the two determinations exists, and a method for computing the atmospheric transmission for a given radiometer reading is established.

  16. The spectrum of comet Hale-Bopp (C/1995 O1) observed with the Infrared Space Observatory at 2.9 astronomical units from the sun.

    PubMed

    Crovisier, J; Leech, K; Bockelée-Morvan, D; Brooke, T Y; Hanner, M S; Altieri, B; Keller, H U; Lellouch, E

    1997-03-28

    Comet Hale-Bopp (C/1995 O1) was observed at wavelengths from 2.4 to 195 micrometers with the Infrared Space Observatory when the comet was about 2.9 astronomical units (AU) from the sun. The main observed volatiles that sublimated from the nucleus ices were water, carbon monoxide, and carbon dioxide in a ratio (by number) of 10:6:2. These species are also the main observed constituents of ices in dense interstellar molecular clouds; this observation strengthens the links between cometary and interstellar material. Several broad emission features observed in the 7- to 45-micrometer region suggest the presence of silicates, particularly magnesium-rich crystalline olivine. These features are similar to those observed in the dust envelopes of Vega-type stars.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Real and Virtual Heritage Historical Astronomical Plate Archives in Sonneberg, Bamberg and Hamburg Observatories, the Evolution of Astrophysics and their Influence on Human Knowledge and Culture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kunzmann, Björn

    The rise of astrophysics around 1860 introduced new instruments, methods and research areas. Of course, the increasing number of foundations of new observatories around the world starting at that time was forced by that new scientific discipline, too, but especially by the usage of photographic instruments. At the end of the 19th century the formation and development of photographic methods and techniques had reached a level of sufficient stability for productive usage in astronomy and astrophysics, their new instrumrents, methods and goals. The fundamental meaning of star light analysis for astrophysics by increasing discoveries of Variable Stars and the Systematic search for moving Solar System objects had basically driven the beginning of large photographic sky patrols at that time, using photographic glass plates as detectors and information storages. Sky Patrols, especially systematic long-term monitoring of the whole sky or of well defined selected areas and Sky Surveys were (and still are) an important key method that forced the evolution and progress of astrophysics. Important scientific results by famous astronomers, for example Walter Baade, Cuno Hoffmeister and Harlow Shapley depended on the analysis of photographic plates. Today, there are around 50 photographic plate archives world-wide. Most of them, unfortunately, are in a quite poor condition and not yet digitized. Following Harvard College Observatory with an estimated total of 600,000 plates, Sonneberg observatory harbours the second largest archive world-wide (around 300,000 plates) among other large ones in Germany like Bamberg (40,000 plates) and Hamburg (35,000 plates). These plate archives form an important heritage with a total of roughly two million direct plates and some ten or hundred thousands of spectroscopic plates. A lot of progress has been made by transforming this real heritage to a virtual one by systematic digitisation of the plates, but perhaps only 15% of them have been

  1. Analyses of atmospheric extinction data obtained by astronomers. I - A time-trend analysis of data with internal accidental errors obtained at four observatories

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Taylor, B. J.; Lucke, P. B.; Laulainen, N. S.

    1977-01-01

    Long-term time-trend analysis was performed on astronomical atmospheric extinction data in wideband UBV and various narrow-band systems recorded at Cerro Tololo, Kitt Peak, Lick, and McDonald observatories. All of the data had to be transformed into uniform monochromatic extinction data before trend analysis could be performed. The paper describes the various reduction techniques employed. The time-trend analysis was then carried out by the method of least squares. A special technique, called 'histogram shaping', was employed to adjust for the fact that the errors of the reduced monochromatic extinction data were not essentially Gaussian. On the assumption that there are no compensatory background and local extinction changes, the best values obtained for extinction trends due to background aerosol changes during the years 1960 to 1972 are 0.006 + or - 0.013 (rms) and 0.009 + or - 0.009 (rms) stellar magnitudes per air mass per decade in the blue and yellow wavelength regions, respectively.

  2. 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).

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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. PMID:25833797

  8. The Space Telescope Observatory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bahcall, J. N.; Odell, C. R.

    1979-01-01

    A convenient guide to the expected characteristics of the Space Telescope Observatory for astronomers and physicists is presented. An attempt is made to provide enough detail so that a professional scientist, observer or theorist, can plan how the observatory may be used to further his observing programs or to test theoretical models.

  9. 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.

  10. Report on the decade of un/esa workshops on basic space science: the international perspective from small astronomical telescopes to the world space observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haubold, H.; Wamsteker, W.

    The UN/ESA Workshops on Basic Space Science is a long-term effort for the development of astronomy and regional and international cooperation in this field on a world wide basis, particularly in developing nations. The first four workshops in this series (India 1991, Costa Rica and Colombia 1992, Nigeria 1993, and Egypt 1994) addressed the status of astronomy in Asia and the Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa, and Western Asia, respectively. One major recommendation that emanated from the first four workshops was that small astronomical facilities should be established in developing nations for research and education programmes at the university level and that such facilities should be networked. Subsequently, material for teaching and observational programmes for small optical telescopes were developed or recommended and astronomical telescope facilities have been inaugurated at UN/ESA Workshops on Basic Space Science in Sri Lanka (1995), Honduras (1997), and Jordan (1999). Elements of the Workshops, focusing on teaching, observing programmes, and the Japanese donation programme for small astronomical telescopes are briefly summarized in the first part of this paper. A report on the recent UN/ESA Workshop on Basic Space Science, held at CONAE of Argentina in 2002, and a full report on achievements of the UN/ESA Workshops on Basic Space Science for the period of time from 1991 to 2002 is contained in the second part of this paper. Since 1991, similar reports, issued for each of the UN/ESA Workshops on Basic Space Science, have been brought to the attention of UN Member States on an annual basis with the objective to gain more support for the world wide development of astronomy. WWW: http://www.seas.columbia.edu/~ah297/un-esa/

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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)

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Women Astronomers.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Warner, Deborah Jean

    1979-01-01

    Traces the role of women in the scientific community in the United States since the mid-nineteenth century. Specific concern is directed towards the education and career opportunities of female astronomers. (MA)

  17. 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.

  18. Ancient Chinese Astronomical Technologies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walsh, Jennifer Robin

    2004-05-01

    I am interested in the astronomical advances of the Ancient Chinese in measuring the solar day. Their development of gnomon & ruler, sundial, and water clock apparatuses enabled Chinese astronomers to measure the annual solar orbit and solar day more precisely than their contemporaries. I have built one of each of these devices to use in collecting data from Olympia, Washington. I will measure the solar day in the Pacific Northwest following the methodology of the ancient Chinese. I will compare with my data, the available historical Chinese astronomical records and current records from the United States Naval Observatory Master Clock. I seek to understand how ancient Chinese investigations into solar patterns enabled them to make accurate predictions about the movement of the celestial sphere and planets, and to develop analytic tests of their theories. Mayall, R. Newton; Sundials: their construction and use. Dover Publications 2000 North, John; The Norton History of Astronomy and Cosmology W.W. Norton& Co. 1995 Zhentao Xu, David W. Pankenier, Yaotiao Jiang; East Asian archaeoastronomy : historical records of astronomical observations of China, Japan and Korea Published on behalf of the Earth Space Institute by Gordon and Breach Science Publishers, c2000

  19. Grand Observatory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    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.

  20. The Management of Astronomical Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Norris, R. P.

    2006-08-01

    Astronomy has a distinguished tradition of using technology to accelerate the quality and effectiveness of science. However, amongst the shining examples of excellent data management by major projects lie examples of projects and institutions where data management has not been properly resourced, or where hard-earned data remain inaccessible to most astronomers. We need to establish and agree on a set of guiding principles for the management of astronomical data. For example, all OECD governments, representing nearly all countries with major astronomical facilities, have committed to the principle that publicly-funded data should be placed in the public domain. The last IAU GA in Sydney passed a resolution that archive data from publicly funded observatories should be placed in the public domain. The HST archive, which quadruples the number of science publications resulting from HST data, has demonstrated the value to science of doing so. And yet many observatory archives are still inaccessible. Another example is the barrier between journals and data centres. The astronomical data centres are enormously successful, and provide powerful tools which have accelerated the advance of science, and some of our journals are forward-looking and receptive to new ideas. And yet most data published in those journals never appear in the data centres. These two examples show that we are not making most effective use of our data, and consequently are not extracting the maximum scientific value from our observatories and astronomers. The Virtual Observatory promises us tools to provide better access to data, but these tools lose their value if the data are not available. It is time for the astronomical community to adopt a professional approach to data management, to maximise the science that can be achieved with our new and existing facilities.

  1. 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.

  2. Strasbourg's "Academy" observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heck, André

    2011-08-01

    The observing post located on the roof of Strasbourg's 19th-century "Academy" is generally considered as the second astronomical observatory of the city: a transitional facility between the (unproductive) turret lantern at the top of the Hospital Gate and the German (Wilhelminian) Observatory. The current paper reviews recent findings from archives (blueprints, inventories, correspondence, decrees and other documents) shedding some light on this observatory of which virtually nothing was known to this day. While being, thanks to Chrétien Kramp (1760-1826), an effective attempt to establish an actual observatory equipped with genuine instrumentation, the succession of political regimes in France and the continual bidding for moving the university to other locations, together with the faltering of later scholars, torpedoed any significant scientific usage of the place. A meridian instrument with a Cauchoix objective doublet was however recovered by the German observatory and is still existing.

  3. Astronomical Polarimetry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tinbergen, Jaap

    1996-09-01

    This handy volume provides a clear, comprehensive and concise introduction to astronomical polarimetry at all wavelengths. Starting from first principles and a simple physical picture of polarized radiation, the author introduces the reader to all the key topics, including Stokes parameters, applications of polarimetry in astronomy, polarization algebra, polarization errors and calibration methods, and a selection of instruments (from radio to X-ray). The author rounds off the book with a number of useful case studies, a collection of exercises, an extensive list of further reading and an informative index. This review of all aspects of astronomical polarization provides both an essential introduction for graduate students, and a valuable reference for practicing astronomers.

  4. 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.

  5. San Marcos Astronomical Project and Doctoral Prospectus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aguilar, M. L.

    2009-05-01

    The Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, UNMSM, in Lima, Perú, is the only Peruvian institution working for the peruvian astronomical development as a career since 1970. We are conforming a network with international friend astronomers to invite them as Visiting Lectures to assure the academic level for the future doctoral studies in the UNMSM. The Chancellor of UNMSM has decided that the Astronomical Project is a UNMSM Project, to encourage and advance in this scientific and strategical area, to impulse the modernity of Peru, the major effort will be the building of the San Marcos Astronomical Observatory, with a telescope of 1 meter aperture.

  6. 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.

  7. Astronomical Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2004-05-01

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

  8. 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).

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Astronomical instruments.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rai, R. N.

    Indian astronomers have devised a number of instruments and the most important of these is the armillary sphere. The earliest armillary spheres were very simple instruments. Ptolemy in his Almagest enumerates at least three. The simplest of all was the equinoctial armilla. They had also the solstitial armilla which was a double ring, erected in the plane of the meridian with a rotating inner circle. This was used to measure the solar altitude.

  13. Astronomical superhighways

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leach, D. C.

    1995-08-01

    The expansion of data supply has been prolific over the past decade. Publishers of text are only just beginning to consider what the aim of their publications should be in the light of competition from computer databases. Increasingly sources of data are becoming linked into a global network. The modem has revolutionised the way many astronomers interact with the outside world and each other. Access to data sources world wide can now be undertaken with a simple telephone call and a desktop computer.

  14. Early German plans for southern observatories

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wolfschmidt, G.

    2002-07-01

    As early as the 18th and 19th centuries, French and English observers were active in South Africa. Around the beginning of the 20th century, Heidelberg and Potsdam astronomers proposed a southern observatory. Then Göttingen astronomers suggested building an observatory in Windhoek for photographing the sky and measuring the solar constant. In 1910 Karl Schwarzschild (1873-1916), after a visit to observatories in the United States, pointed out the usefulness of an observatory in South West Africa, in a climate superior to that in Germany, giving German astronomers access to the southern sky. Seeing tests were begun in 1910 by Potsdam astronomers, but WW I stopped the plans. In 1928 Erwin Finlay-Freundlich (1885-1964), inspired by the Hamburg astronomer Walter Baade (1893-1960), worked out a detailed plan for a southern observatory with a reflecting telescope, spectrographs and an astrograph with an objective prism. Paul Guthnick (1879-1947), director of the Berlin observatory, in cooperation with APO Potsdam and Hamburg, made a site survey to Africa in 1929 and found the conditions in Windhoek to be ideal. Observations were started in the 1930s by Berlin and Breslau astronomers, but were stopped by WW II. In the 1950s, astronomers from Hamburg and The Netherlands renewed the discussion in the framework of European cooperation, and this led to the founding of ESO in 1963.

  15. The Transformation of an Astronomical Institution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    DeVorkin, David H.

    2012-01-01

    In 1954 the Astrophysical Observatory of the Smithsonian Institution was closed down in Washington and transferred to Harvard, becoming the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. It was a bureau of the Harvard College Observatory but was wholly governed by the Smithsonian in Washington. Historians such as the speaker and Ron Doel have explored the nature of the transfer, but not so much its implications. Specifically, soon after the transfer, the SAO geared up for the IGY, the only astronomical institution to do so in a big way, and the NSF became the conduit for a vastly increased level of activity of a character and scale only dreamed of by astronomers prior to the Cold War era. This support, and soon additional NASA and Air Force support, led to the SAO becoming one of the largest astronomical institutions on the planet by the mid-1960s. We will explore some of the implications.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Astronomical Photographic Plate Collections: Treasure or Trash?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Osborn, W. H.; Castelaz, M. W.; Cline, J. D.

    2005-12-01

    Our efforts over the past three years to establish a national archive for astronomical plates will be described. This work has led to the following major conclusions regarding the preservation of astronomical photographic plates: (1) a significant number of observatories, as well as retiring astronomers, wish to dispose of the plates they hold; (2) most astronomers feel direct and spectroscopic plates of potential scientific value should be preserved; (3) there is little interest in providing support for preservation efforts on a broad scale. We offer that the astronomical community must quickly decide to preserve plate collections or they will soon be lost, either consciously discarded or through benign neglect. If a systematic effort to preserve these archival data is indeed to be made, priorities need to be established. Not only is archiving (and eventually digitizing) all existing plates impracticable, many plates have little or no potential value. We will present our ideas on priorities and seek the input of the community.

  4. University Observatory, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murdin, P.

    2000-11-01

    The University Observatory of Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität was founded in 1816. Astronomers who worked or graduated at the Munich Observatory include: Fraunhofer, Soldner, Lamont, Seeliger and Karl Schwarzschild. At present four professors and ten staff astronomers work here. Funding comes from the Bavarian Government, the German Science Foundation, and other German and European research progra...

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. The challengers of an astronomer being a journalist

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Podorvanyuk, N.

    2015-03-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. The Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cline, J. Donald

    2015-01-01

    The path of the total solar eclipse across the United States on August 21, 2017 crosses the Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute (PARI) located in western North Carolina. The partial eclipse begins at about 17:08 UT, followed by the nearly 2 minute total eclipse which begins at about 18:37 UT. The PARI campus includes radio and optical telescopes, as well as earth science instruments that include a seismometer, geomagnetometer, EarthScope Plate Boundary Observatory, time standards, and several weather stations. The instruments stream data to the PARI website and will be available for the eclipse. In anticipation of the 2017 solar eclipse, we present the instruments and infrastructure of the PARI campus. We invite astronomers to explore the use of the PARI campus as a site for their own instruments and/or the use of instruments already located at PARI.

  11. Astronomical education in Armenia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harutyunian, H. A.

    2006-08-01

    First ideas on astronomy pupils in Armenia get at elementary schools. Astronomy as a distinct subject is taught at all secondary schools in the country. Teaching is conducted according to a unified program elaborated jointly by professional astronomers and astronomy teachers. Unfortunately only one hour per week is allotted for teaching astronomy which obviously is not enough workload to hire specialized astronomy teachers at every school and at many schools this subject is tutored by non-specialists. Many schools partly compensate this lack organizing visits to the Byurakan observatory (BAO) for pupils where they also attend short lectures on astronomy. In some schools facultative training is organized faced to the amateurs purposive for deeper learning astronomy. During recent years annual competitions for revealing gifted pupils in astronomy are organized. These competitions have three rounds, namely, in schools, in districts and final one as a rule holds at BAO. The country winners successfully participate and win prestigious prizes in the international astronomical Olympiads as well. At Yerevan State University (YSU) a department for astrophysics was set up in 1946 operating to date. This department trains specialists for a career in astrophysics. Only one or two students graduate from this department yearly at present while in 80s a dozen of specialists were trained every year. BAO serves as the scientific base for the students of YSU as well and a number of staff members from BAO conduct special courses for YSU students. YSU provides Master's degree in astrophysics, and BAO is granting Doctor's (PhD) degree since 70s of last century.

  12. [French astronomical journals an interactivity of the scientific world].

    PubMed

    Vassilieff, Catherine

    2014-01-01

    Astronomical data issued from observatories find multiple uses on land, as well as on sea. Due to their structure and periodicity, scientific reviews are particularly adapted to peer review and sharing of data between astronomers as well as between astronomers and hobbyists. During the 19(th) century regional observatories first gather together professionals interested in the practical applications of the observations and later, under the influence of personalities such as Camille Flammarion, they bring together a larger non-professional audience. Being the epicentre of scientific exchange, the reviews have in the 20(th) century found their place on the websites of academic institutions as well as users forums. PMID:25311894

  13. [French astronomical journals an interactivity of the scientific world].

    PubMed

    Vassilieff, Catherine

    2014-01-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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?

  16. Early German Plans for a Southern Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wolfschmidt, Gudrun

    As early as the 18th and 19th centuries, French and English observers were active in South Africa. Around the beginning of the 20th century the Heidelberg astronomer Max Wolf (1863-1932) proposed a southern observatory. In 1907 Hermann Carl Vogel (1841-1907), director of the Astrophysical Observatory Potsdam, suggested a southern station in Spain. His ideas for building an observatory in Windhuk for photographing the sky and measuring the solar constant were taken over by the Göttingen astronomers. In 1910 Karl Schwarzschild (1873-1916), after having visited the observatories in America, pointed out the usefulness of an observatory in South West Africa, where it would have better weather than in Germany and also give access to the southern sky. Seeing tests were begun in 1910 by Potsdam astronomers, but WW I stopped the plans. In 1928 Erwin Finlay-Freundlich (1885-1964), inspired by the Hamburg astronomer Walter Baade (1893-1960), worked out a detailed plan for a southern observatory with a reflecting telescope, spectrographs and an astrograph with an objective prism. Paul Guthnick (1879-1947), director of the Berlin observatory, in cooperation with APO Potsdam and Hamburg, made a site survey to Africa in 1929 and found the conditions in Windhuk to be ideal. Observations were started in the 1930s by Berlin and Breslau astronomers, but were stopped by WW II. In the 1950s, astronomers from Hamburg and The Netherlands renewed the discussion in the framework of European cooperation, and this led to the founding of ESO in 1963, as is well described by Blaauw (1991). Blaauw, Adriaan: ESO's Early History. The European Southern Observatory from Concept to Reality. Garching bei München: ESO 1991.

  17. Detours to the unification of calendars: The ``Improved Calendar'' (1700 bis 1775) and the foundation of the Berlin Astronomical Observatory. (German Title: Umwege zur Kalendereinheit: Der ``Verbesserte Kalender'' (1700 bis 1775) und die Gründung der Berliner Sternwarte)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kokott, Wolfgang

    The refusal of most protestant communities in Germany and other countries to accept the calendar reform decreed by Pope Gregor XIII in 1582 was finally circumvented by the introduction of an ``Improved (Julian) Calendar''. It did provide for astronomical rather than cyclical calculation of the date of Easter. While for most years both calendars were identical except in name, some conflicts did eventually occur. This led finally, in 1775, to a decision in favour of the Gregorian mode of calculation.

  18. 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.

  19. 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).

  20. Strasbourg Observatory Archives Revisited

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heck, A.

    2002-12-01

    Official talks in France and Germany after World War I were generally of hatred and revenge. Strasbourg Observatory had just changed nationality (from Prussian to French) for the first time (this would happen again at the outbreak of WWII and after the conflict). Documents show that astronomers did not share the general attitude. For example the inventory book started in German was continued in French after 1918. It is moving to see those different handwritings in two different languages on the same pages -- making of that book a unique document in various respects, but also reminding us that the native language of the region was in fact Alsacian.

  1. 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.

  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. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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).

  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 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Public relations for a national observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Finley, David G.

    The National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) is a government-funded organization providing state-of-the art observational facilities to the astronomical community on a peer-reviewed basis. In this role, the NRAO must address three principal constituencies with its public-relations efforts. These are: the astronomical community; the funding and legislative bodies of the Federal Government; and the general public. To serve each of these constituencies, the Observatory has developed a set of public-relations initiatives supported by public-relations and outreach professionals as well as by management and scientific staff members. The techniques applied and the results achieved in each of these areas are described.

  10. 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.

  11. Ten years of the Spanish Virtual Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Solano, E.

    2015-05-01

    The main objective of the Virtual Observatory (VO) is to guarantee an easy and efficient access and analysis of the information hosted in astronomical archives. The Spanish Virtual Observatory (SVO) is a project that was born in 2004 with the goal of promoting and coordinating the VO-related activities at national level. SVO is also the national contact point for the international VO initiatives, in particular the International Virtual Observatory Alliance (IVOA) and the Euro-VO project. The project, led by Centro de Astrobiología (INTA-CSIC), is structured around four major topics: a) VO compliance of astronomical archives, b) VO-science, c) VO- and data mining-tools, and d) Education and outreach. In this paper I will describe the most important results obtained by the Spanish Virtual Observatory in its first ten years of life as well as the future lines of work.

  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. Tartu Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murdin, P.

    2000-11-01

    Tartu Observatory (TO) is a research institution in Estonia accommodating the northernmost 1.5 m telescope in the world. It is located in Estonia, about 20 km south-west of Tartu in the village of Tõravere (58°16'08''.4 N, 26°27'32''.4 E). TO performs research in astrophysics and atmospheric physics and popularizes those branches of science. TO was founded in 1808 as an observatory of Tartu Unive...

  15. 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.

  16. 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)

  17. 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.

  18. Astronomers Working in Industry.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bless, Robert C.; King, Ivan R.

    1981-01-01

    Four scientists, trained as astronomers, describe their astronomical training and present careers in non-astronomy, industrial jobs. They recount some of the differences, positive and negative, between industrial and academic employment, and comment on some of the attitudes they perceive academic and industrial scientists hold toward each other.…

  19. 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...

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  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. National and international astronomical activities in Chile 1849--2002

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Duerbeck, H. W.

    2003-03-01

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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Analyses of atmospheric extinction data obtained by astronomers. II - Seasonal variations in astronomical extinction

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Laulainen, N. S.; Hodge, P. W.; Taylor, B. J.

    1977-01-01

    Archival astronomical atmospheric extinction records obtained from fifteen observatory sites were analyzed by not strictly rigorous statistical averaging procedures in order to obtain sufficiently reliable pictures of the trends and variations in atmospheric transparency for the period 1956-1972. While the northern hemisphere sites reveal definite seasonal variations with maxima occurring during local summer, the southern hemisphere displays little such effect. The only southern hemisphere sites with any variation were in South Africa, where a late winter maximum was observed.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. WNCC Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Snyder, L. F.

    2003-05-01

    Western Nevada Community College (WNCC), located in Carson City, Nevada, is a small two year college with only 6,000 students. Associate degrees and Cer- tificates of Achievement are awarded. The college was built and started classes in 1971 and about 12 years ago the chair of the physics department along with a few in administration had dreams of building a small observatory for education. Around that time a local foundation, Nevada Gaming Foundation for Education Excellence, was looking for a beneficiary in the education field to receive a grant. They decided an observatory at the college met their criteria. Grants to the foundation instigated by Senators, businesses, and Casinos and donations from the local public now total $1.3 million. This paper will explain the different facets of building the observatory, the planning, construction, telescopes and equipment decisions and how we think it will operate for the public, education and research. The organization of local volunteers to operate and maintain the observatory and the planned re- search will be explained.

  11. Odessa Astronomical Calendar-2003

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Karetnikov, V. G.; Mihalchuk, V. V.; Bazey, A. A.; Andronov, I. L.; Volyanskaya, M. Yu.; Garbuzov, G. A.; Komarov, N. S.; Koshkin, N. I.; Pozigun, V. A.; Ryabov, M. I.

    2002-10-01

    The Odessa Astronomical Calendar is intended for a wide range of readers, who are interested in the problems of astronomy and in the applications of the astronomical data. The items, of information, assembled in the Calendar may be useful to professional workers requiring a definition of time of sets and rises of the Sun and the Moon and approach of twilights, as well as to the amateurs astronomers and other citizens. The Calendar may be used for astronomical education at schools, hymnasia, lycea, colleges and institutes. In this issue of the Calendar, besides a description of the main astronomical events of the year and the tables of the positions of celestial bodies and time of observations of astronomical events on the celestial sphere, there are also included sketches on interesting problems of astronomy and, as the appendix, the instruction on observations of comets. The Odessa Astronomical Calendar is published in Russian and is intended for the inhabitants of southern region of Ukraine. The Calendar is published every year with a constant part and series of articles, which change every year.

  12. Restoration of the Detroit Observatory at the University of Michigan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Whitesell, P. S.; Seitzer, P.

    1996-12-01

    The Detroit Observatory, located on the University of Michigan's campus, was erected in 1854 and named in honor of its many benefactors from the City of Detroit. It is the most significant unaltered mid-nineteenth century observatory in America with its original astronomical instruments still intact and operational, and was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1973. The Observatory is an important physical legacy of the University's early scientific preeminence, since it served as the training ground for many of the most prominent astronomers of the 19th century. A full restoration of the building is currently underway. When completed, the Observatory will serve as a museum of astronomical and meteorological science. As part of the project, the 12 5/8 inch Henry Fitz refracting telescope (1857) and the 6 inch Pistor & Martins meridian circle (1854) will undergo historical restoration.

  13. Astronomical Video Suites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Francisco Salgado, Jose

    2010-01-01

    Astronomer and visual artist Jose Francisco Salgado has directed two astronomical video suites to accompany live performances of classical music works. The suites feature awe-inspiring images, historical illustrations, and visualizations produced by NASA, ESA, and the Adler Planetarium. By the end of 2009, his video suites Gustav Holst's The Planets and Astronomical Pictures at an Exhibition will have been presented more than 40 times in over 10 countries. Lately Salgado, an avid photographer, has been experimenting with high dynamic range imaging, time-lapse, infrared, and fisheye photography, as well as with stereoscopic photography and video to enhance his multimedia works.

  14. America's foremost early astronomer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rubincam, David Parry; Rubincam, Milton, II

    1995-05-01

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

  15. The Lifetimes of Astronomers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abt, Helmut A.

    2015-08-01

    For members of the American Astronomical Society, I collected data on their lifetimes from (1) 489 obituaries published in 1991-2015, (2) about 127 members listed as deceased but without published obituaries, and (3) a sample of AAS members without obituaries or not known to the AAS as being deceased. These show that the most frequent lifetimes is 85 years. Of 674 deceased members with known lifetimes, 11.0 ± 1.3% lived to be 90 or more years. In comparison to the astronomers, the most frequent lifetime for the general population is 77 years, showing that astronomers live an average of 8 years longer than the general population.

  16. 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.

  17. 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'.

  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. Preliminary design study of astronomical detector cooling system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Norman, R. H.

    1976-01-01

    The preliminary design of an astronomical detector cooling system for possible use in the NASA C-141 Airborne Infrared Observatory is presented. The system consists of the following elements: supercritical helium tank, Joule-Thomson supply gas conditioner, Joule-Thomson expander (JTX), optical cavity dewar, optical cavity temperature controller, adjustable J-T discharge gas pressure controller, and vacuum pump.

  20. Early results from the infrared astronomical satellite.

    PubMed

    Neugebauer, G; Beichman, C A; Soifer, B T; Aumann, H H; Chester, T J; Gautier, T N; Gillett, F C; Hauser, M G; Houck, J R; Lonsdale, C J; Low, F J; Young, E T

    1984-04-01

    For 10 months the Infrared Astronomical Satellite (IRAS) provided astronomers with what might be termed their first view of the infrared sky on a clear, dark night. Without IRAS, atmospheric absorption and the thermal emission from both the atmosphere and Earthbound telescopes make the task of the infrared astronomer comparable to what an optical astronomer would face if required to work only on cloudy afternoons. IRAS observations are serving astronomers in the same manner as the photographic plates of the Palomar Observatory Sky Survey; just as the optical survey has been used by all astronomers for over three decades, as a source of quantitative information about the sky and as a "roadmap" for future observations, the results of IRAS will be studied for years to come. IRAS has demonstrated the power of infrared astronomy from space. Already, from a brief look at a miniscule fraction of the data available, we have learned much about the solar system, about nearby stars, about the Galaxy as a whole and about distant extragalactic systems. Comets are much dustier than previously thought. Solid particles, presumably the remnants of the star-formation process, orbit around Vega and other stars and may provide the raw material for planetary systems. Emission from cool interstellar material has been traced throughout the Galaxy all the way to the galactic poles. Both the clumpiness and breadth of the distribution of this material were previously unsuspected. The far-infrared sky away from the galactic plane has been found to be dominated by spiral galaxies, some of which emit more than 50 percent and as much as 98 percent of their energy in the infrared-an exciting and surprising revelation. The IRAS mission is clearly the pathfinder for future missions that, to a large extent, will be devoted to the discoveries revealed by IRAS. PMID:17783499

  1. 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.

  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. Digitization and Position Measurement of Astronomical Plates of Saturnian Satellites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Fried Parameter Analysis of Astronomical Photometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Joko, Satria A.; Zainuddin, Mohd Zambri

    2009-07-01

    The physical relationship between atmospheric turbulence and astronomical seeing has been reviewed in detail by Roddier [2] and Coulman [3]. When a plane wave of light with uniform amplitude propagates through a refractive non-uniform medium such as the atmosphere it exhibits amplitude and phase fluctuations. These effects will degrade astronomical image quality and limit the resolution of the point source (star). The measurement of Fried parameter of the Eagle Nebulae has been done at An-Najm Observatory, University of Malaya, using direct imaging technique. The image was captured by a Celestron CGE-14 telescope and a STL-1001E CCD camera (Clear filter) with Normal guided and Active-optical element guided techniques. Statistically, the Fried parameter measured for the Eagle Nebulae using Normal -guided technique was 0.18+/-0.13 mm. Use of Active-optical element has improved and increased the Fried parameter of the Eagle Nebulae by up to 11%.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Women Astronomers: Australia: Women astronomers in Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bhathal, Ragbir

    2001-08-01

    Ragbir Bhathal summarizes the role played by women astronomers in Australia's astronomy, now and in the past. Australia has a great tradition in astronomy, from the early observations of Aboriginal people through the colonial drive to explore and understand, culminating in the established excellence of research there today. Women have contributed to this achievement in no small way, yet their contribution has been unremarked, if not ignored. Here I summarize the historical and present state of affairs and look forward to a brighter and more equitable future.

  13. 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.

  14. Astronomical network event and observation notification

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    White, R. R.; Allan, A.; Barthelmy, S.; Bloom, J.; Graham, M.; Hessman, F. V.; Marka, S.; Rots, A.; Scholberg, K.; Seaman, R.; Stoughton, C.; Vestrand, W. T.; Williams, R.; Wozniak, P. R.

    2006-09-01

    Networks are becoming a key element in most current and all future, telescope and observatory projects. The ability to easily and efficiently pass observation data, alert data and instrumentation requests between distributed systems could enable science as never before. However, any effective large scale or meta-network of astronomical resources will require a common communication format or development resources will have to be continuously dedicated to creating interpreters. The necessary elements of any astronomy communication can be easily identified, efficiently described and rigidly formatted so that both robotic and human operations can use the same data. In this paper we will explore the current state of notification, what notification requirements are essential to create a successful standard and present a standard now under development by the International Virtual Observatory Alliance (IVOA), called the VOEvent.

  15. Ice Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    blugerman, n.

    2015-10-01

    My project is to make ice observatories to perceive astral movements as well as light phenomena in the shape of cosmic rays and heat, for example.I find the idea of creating an observation point in space, that in time will change shape and eventually disappear, in consonance with the way we humans have been approaching the exploration of the universe since we started doing it. The transformation in the elements we use to understand big and small transformations, within the universe elements.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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).

  19. 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.

  20. Orbiting astronomical observatory battery and power system design

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ford, F. E.

    1977-01-01

    The battery design of OAO-C (OAO-3) is given and consists of three-20 ampere hour 22 series connected cells in the battery. There are three batteries per spacecraft. The packaging configuration is described. The charging-discharging operations and the voltage potential of the battery system are discussed. Graphs are presented for the voltage limits (battery voltage versus temperature) and end of dark voltages (battery voltage versus ampere-hours discharged) of the battery system used on OAO-3. Data tables are also presented which give a summary of the battery performance and a comparison of OAO-3 with OAO A-2.

  1. A Future Astronomical Software Environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grosböl, P.; Tody, D.; Paioro, L.; Granet, Y.; Garilli, B.; Surace, C.; Opticon Fase Network

    2012-09-01

    Analyzing data sets in astronomy has become more and more complex and has driven the development of specific tools, functions and tasks. In order to integrate these tools in a global environment and thereby preserving them, the OPTICON Network 9.2 in coordination with US-VAO has outlined requirements, defined an architectural concept and developed a prototype of a Future Astronomical Software Environment (FASE). Important features are support for user scripting (e.g. Python), access to legacy applications (e.g. IRAF, MIDAS), integration with the Virtual Observatory (VO) for access to remote data and computation, and scalability supporting desktops to distributed cluster systems. A first prototype has been implemented and demonstrates the feasibility by offering access to numerous applications (e.g. ds9, ESO CPL pipelines, MIDAS, topcat) from a Python or Unix shell using VO-SAMP as a software bus. A simple packaging system is also provided to allow easy definition and sharing of applications at a Web portal.

  2. Splatalogue: Database for Astronomical Spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Remijan, Anthony J.; Markwick-Kemper, A.; ALMA Working Group on Spectral Line Frequencies

    2007-12-01

    The next generation of powerful radio and millimeter/submillimeter observatories (e.g. EVLA, ALMA, & Herschel) require extensive resources to help identify spectral line transitions. We describe the compilation of the most complete spectral line database currently assembled for this purpose. The Splatalogue is a comprehensive transition-resolved compilation of observed, measured and calculated spectral lines. In addition to the JPL and CDMS spectral line lists, 229,221 new/updated lines from the Spectral Line Atlas of Interstellar Molecules (SLAIM) were included. Of that, 12,332 lines (or an addition of 2000 lines) were added to the Lovas/NIST Recommended Rest Frequencies of known astronomical transitions. To these added lines, we have run diagnostics on the 4 lists for overlaps on transitions, frequencies, formulae and chemical names and have come up with a common way to display and designate each individual species. Splatalogue also contains atomic and recombination lines, template spectra, and is completely VO-compliant, queryable under the IVOA SLAP standard. The details of the database and how it will be used for the ALMA archive, observing tool and data reduction packages will be discussed.

  3. 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.

  4. Astronomical surveys and big data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mickaelian, Areg M.

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  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. 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.

  10. ASURV: Astronomical SURVival Statistics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Feigelson, E. D.; Nelson, P. I.; Isobe, T.; LaValley, M.

    2014-06-01

    ASURV (Astronomical SURVival Statistics) provides astronomy survival analysis for right- and left-censored data including the maximum-likelihood Kaplan-Meier estimator and several univariate two-sample tests, bivariate correlation measures, and linear regressions. ASURV is written in FORTRAN 77, and is stand-alone and does not call any specialized libraries.

  11. 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…

  12. 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.

  13. Designation and nomenclature for astronomical sources of radiation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dickel, H. R.; Lortet, M.-C.; de Boer, K. S.

    1987-02-01

    A nomenclature designation scheme for astronomical radiation sources, adopted by the IAU in Resolutions C3 and C12 on Astronomical Designations and Radio Source Nomenclature, is discussed. The proposed scheme is of the form: DDDD Errrrrrr + or - rrrrrrr (NNNNN) sssss, in which DDD represents the detection technique, observatory or observer(s) name(s); E is the code for the standard epoch and type of coordinate; NNNNN is the source or association name; and sssss are further specifiers, as needed. The first two designations are mandatory and the last two are optional. Other methods and schemes are also considered.

  14. Observer versus software engineer: The dawn of the armchair astronomers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Economou, F.; Jenness, T.; Delorey, K. K.; Cavanagh, B.; de Witt, S.; Allan, A.

    2004-07-01

    Traditional ground-based observatories have moved into a new era where the dominant consumers for their data products are astronomers who no longer come out to use the facility themselves. Using the JCMT and UKIRT as an example, we discuss the wide variety of software systems that are necessary for maintaining a high level of scientific involvement for the absentee observer. These include cradle-to-grave flexible scheduling support, advanced data reduction pipelines, VO integration and intelligent agent networks. Is the observational astronomer becoming an endangered species, and does this really matter?

  15. 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.

  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. 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)

  18. 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)

  19. 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.

  20. Time series visualization tools through a Virtual Observatory in geodesy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deleflie, Florent; Berthier, Jérôme; Barache, Christophe; Soudarin, Laurent; Portmann, Christophe; Lambert, Sébastien; Collilieux, Xavier

    2013-04-01

    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, concerning the visualization of time series obtained from the analysis of space geodetic techniques. 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. 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.

  1. "Stars should henceforth register themselves": astrophotography at the early Lick Observatory.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pang, A. S.-K.

    1997-06-01

    The purpose of this paper is to explain how apparently contradictory aims were pursued, by exploring the collaboration between Lick Observatory astronomers and a group of commercial engravers in the production of astronomical photographs in the late 1890s and early 1900s. The author begins with a brief introduction to photomechanical printing technology. Next, he describes how astronomers chose one printing method over another, and what their relationships with printers were like. The author then examines astronomical aesthetics, the standards by which photographs were judged, and the effects astronomers sought in reproductions of pictures.

  2. Using Virtual Observatory Services in Sky View

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    McGlynn, Thomas A.

    2007-01-01

    For over a decade Skyview has provided astronomers and the public with easy access to survey and imaging data from all wavelength regimes. SkyView has pioneered many of the concepts that underlie the Virtual Observatory. Recently SkyView has been released as a distributable package which uses VO protocols to access image and catalog services. This chapter describes how to use the Skyview as a local service and how to customize it to access additional VO services and local data.

  3. The Architectural and Instrumental Heritage of the Strasbourg University Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davoigneau, Jean

    When, in 1872, Alsace was handed over to Germany, Empperor Wilhelm I decided to make Strasbourg the showcase of his empire, and in particular to build a prestigious university and an observatory. The construction of the observatory was entrusted to the astronomer August Winnecke (1835-1897), former director of the Pulkovo observatory, and to the Baumeister Hermann Eggert. Begun in 1876, the work was completed in 1880. The astronomical instruments, ordered from German makers, were installed during the winter of 1880-1881, and the observatory was inaugurated on September 22, 1881 at the general assembly of the Astronomische Gesellschaft, the international association of astronomers, whose secretary was Winnecke. Marking the south-eastern extremity of the ‘imperial axis’, the architecture of the university observatory harmonizes perfectly with the new German city built on the former French parade grounds. The astronomical heritage operation conducted at the beginning of the present decade provides a richly docurnented and illustrated inventory of both the architecture and instruments of this institution. This work has also highlighted the unique quality of the collection of instruments, befitting the long and complex history of this institution.

  4. Haystack Observatory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1972-01-01

    Radio astronomy programs comprise three very-long-baseline interferometer projects, ten spectral line investigations, one continuum mapping in the 0.8 cm region, and one monitoring of variable sources. A low-noise mixer was used in mapping observations of 3C273 at 31 GHz and in detecting of a new methyl alcohol line at 36,169 MHz in Sgr B2. The new Mark 2 VLBI recording terminal was used in galactic H2O source observations using Haystack and the Crimean Observatory, USSR. One feature in W29 appears to have a diameter of 0.3 millisec of arc and a brightness temperature of 1.4 x 10 to the 15th power K. Geodetic baseline measurements via VLBI between Green Bank and Haystack are mutually consistent within a few meters. Radar investigations of Mercury, Venus, Mars, and the Moon have continued. The favorable opposition of Mars and improvements in the radar permit measurements on a number of topographic features with unprecedented accuracy, including scarps and crater walls. The floor of Mare Serenitatis slopes upward towards the northeast and is also the location of a strong gravitational anomaly.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Microcomputers and astronomical navigation.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Robin-Jouan, Y.

    1996-04-01

    Experienced navigators remember ancient astronomical navigation and its limitations. Using microcomputers in small packages and selecting up-to-date efficient methods will overcome many of these limitations. Both features lead to focus on observations, and encourage an increase in their numbers. With no intention of competing with satellite navigation, sextant navigation in the open sea can then be accessed again by anybody. It can be considered for demonstrative use or as a complement to the GPS.

  9. Vibration budget for observatory equipment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    MacMartin, Douglas G.; Thompson, Hugh

    2015-07-01

    Vibration from equipment mounted on the telescope and in summit support buildings has been a source of performance degradation at existing astronomical observatories, particularly for adaptive optics performance. Rather than relying only on best practices to minimize vibration, we present here a vibration budget that specifies allowable force levels from each source of vibration in the observatory (e.g., pumps, chillers, cryocoolers, etc.). This design tool helps ensure that the total optical performance degradation due to vibration is less than the corresponding error budget allocation and is also useful in design trade-offs, specifying isolation requirements for equipment, and tightening or widening individual equipment vibration specifications as necessary. The vibration budget relies on model-based analysis of the optical consequences that result from forces applied at different locations and frequencies, including both image jitter and primary mirror segment motion. We develop this tool here for the Thirty Meter Telescope but hope that this approach will be broadly useful to other observatories, not only in the design phase, but for verification and operations as well.

  10. 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.

  11. FIASCO: A new spectrograph at the University Observatory Jena

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mugrauer, M.; Avila, G.

    2009-05-01

    A new spectrograph (FIASCO) is in operation at the 0.9 m telescope of the University Observatory Jena. This article describes the characterization of the instrument and reports its first astronomical observations, among those lithium (6708 Å) detection in the atmosphere of young stars, and the simultaneous photometric and spectroscopic monitoring of variable stars. Based on observations obtained with telescopes of the University Observatory Jena, which is operated by the Astrophysical Institute of the Friedrich-Schiller-University.

  12. 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.

  13. ASTRONOMY: The Virtual Observatory Moves Closer to Reality.

    PubMed

    Schilling, G

    2000-07-14

    Data from decades of observations by dozens of instruments may soon be accessible over the Internet, changing the way that astronomy is done around the world. The National Virtual Observatory will be an electronic web that gives astronomers access to terabytes of celestial data with the click of a mouse. The virtual observatory promises to make possible new analyses of the heavens by weaving together information from facilities around the world--and in space. PMID:17750399

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 150 years of magnetic observatories: Recent researches on world data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barraclough, D. R.; Clark, T. D. G.; Cowley, S. W. H.; Hibberd, F. H.; Hide, R.; Kerridge, D. J.; Lowes, F. J.; Malin, S. R. C.; Murphy, T.; Rishbeth, H.; Runcorn, S. K.; Soffel, H. C.; Stewart, D. N.; Stuart, W. F.; Whaler, K. A.; Winch, D. E.

    1992-01-01

    A joint Discussion Meeting of the Royal Astronomical Society and the Royal Irish Academy, held on January 11th, 1991, commemorated the establishment of some early magnetic observatories, discussed recent research using global geomagnetic data and described the present status of magnetic observatories in the United Kingdom. The observatory and instruments at the Dublin magnetic observatory; the origins of the Greenwich magnetic observatory, and why it eventually had to be resited; and the history of the Munich magnetic observatory formed the historical part of the proceedings. Current research topics discussed were the geomagnetic secular variation and deep Earth structure and dynamics; fluid flow patterns near the top of the core; the origin of the annual variation of the geomagnetic field; results of an analysis of monthly means from some British observatories; a new theory of the geomagnetic daily variation; and the interactions between ionospheric science and geomagnetism. The present-day observatory scene was described in terms of the information that can be derived from the almost 40 year series of data from Hartland magnetic observatory; of the methods used to process data from the three UK magnetic observatories, which nowadays are operated automatically and remotely; and (a look into the future) of a new project, INTERMAGNET, which aims to make available, in near real time, data from the world-wide network of magnetic observatories.

  19. Assembled Chandra X-Ray Observatory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1999-01-01

    This photograph shows TRW technicians preparing the assembled Chandra X-Ray Observatory (CXO) for an official unveiling at TRW Space and Electronics Group of Redondo Beach, California. The CXO is formerly known as the Advanced X-Ray Astrophysics Facility (AXAF), which was renamed in honor of the late Indian-American Astronomer, Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar in 1999. The CXO will help astronomers world-wide better understand the structure and evolution of the universe by studying powerful sources of x-rays such as exploding stars, matter falling into black holes, and other exotic celestial objects. X-ray astronomy can only be done from space because Earth's atmosphere blocks x-rays from reaching the surface. The Observatory provides images that are 50 times more detailed than previous x-ray missions. At more than 45 feet in length and weighing more than 5 tons, it will be one of the largest objects ever placed in Earth orbit by the Space Shuttle. TRW, Inc. was the prime contractor and assembled and tested the observatory for NASA. The CXO program is managed by the Marshall Space Flight Center. The Observatory was launched on July 22, 1999 aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia, STS-93 mission. (Image courtesy of TRW)

  20. Assembled Chandra X-Ray Observatory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    This photograph shows a TRW technician inspecting the completely assembled Chandra X-ray Observatory (CXO) in the Thermal Vacuum Chamber at TRW Space and Electronics Group of Redondo Beach, California. The CXO is formerly known as the Advanced X-Ray Astrophysics Facility (AXAF), which was renamed in honor of the late Indian-American Astronomer, Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar in 1999. The CXO will help astronomers worldwide better understand the structure and evolution of the universe by studying powerful sources of x-rays such as exploding stars, matter falling into black holes and other exotic celestial objects. X-ray astronomy can only be done from space because Earth's atmosphere blocks x-rays from reaching the surface. The Observatory provides images that are 50 times more detailed than previous x-ray missions. At more than 45 feet in length and weighing more than 5 tons, it will be one of the largest objects ever placed in Earth orbit by the Space Shuttle. TRW, Inc. was the prime contractor and assembled and tested the observatory for NASA. The CXO program is managed by the Marshall Space Flight Center. The Observatory was launched on July 22, 1999 aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia, STS-93 mission. (Image courtesy of TRW)

  1. 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.

  2. Astronomical computing in the 1990s - The Bahcall Committee report

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smarr, Larry L.; Press, William H.

    1991-04-01

    Some of the findings and recommendations of the Bahcall Committee in the area of computing are reviewed. The Committee's deliberations on this subject were in large measure guided by the separate report of a subsidiary Panel on Astronomical Computing. Major recommendations of the Astronomy and Astrophysics Survey Committee and its Panel on Astronomical Computing regarding computation are summarized. Among the recommendations are the suggestion that digital data archives, encompassing ground-based and space-based observations, should be established and made available over high-speed national networks; that individual workstations and departmental mini-supercomputers should be acquired, providing a distributed network for astronomical computing; that the NSF should encourage the development of high-speed national networks by funding links to widely-used observatories; and that NASA should increase its role in furthering the development of community software and standards.

  3. 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.

  4. Telescopes in Education: the Little Thompson Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1997-12-01

    A second observatory of the Telescopes in Education (TIE) project is in the planning stages, with hopes to be in use by fall 1998. The Little Thompson Observatory will be located adjacent to Berthoud High School in northern Colorado. TIE has offered the observatory a Tinsley 18" Cassegrain telescope on a 10-year loan. Local schools and youth organizations will have prioritized access to the telescope until midnight; after that, the telescope will be open to world-wide use by schools via the Internet. The first TIE observatory is a 24" telescope on Mt. Wilson, already booked through July 1998. That telescope has been in use every clear night for the past four years by up to 50 schools per month. Students remotely control the telescope over the Internet, and then receive the images on their local computers. The estimated cost of the Little Thompson Observatory is roughly \\170,000. However, donations of labor and materials have reduced the final price tag closer to \\40,000. Habitat for Humanity is organized to construct the dome, classrooms, and other facilities. Tom and Linda Melsheimer, who developed the remote telescope control system for the University of Denver's Mount Evans Observatory, are donating a similar control system. The formally-trained, all-volunteer staff will be comprised of local residents, teachers and amateur astronomers. Utilities and Internet access will be provided by the Thompson School District.

  5. 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.

  6. On astronomical drawing [1846

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smyth, Charles Piazzi

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

  7. Astronomical Instruments in India

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sarma, Sreeramula Rajeswara

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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  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. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Astronomical Site Testing Initiatives in Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buckley, David A. H.; Graham, Edward; Vaughan, Richard; Belay, Solomon; Biressa, Tolu

    2015-08-01

    Two astronomical site testing initiatives are beginning in both Kenya and Ethiopia, with the aim of selecting suitable locations in those countries for modest sized (1-2m) optical telescopes.The first project, in Kenya, has initially involved a desk-top study of ~30 years of low resolution (~80 km) meteorological satellite data from the European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (so called “ERA-reanalysis” data). This was later supplemented by ~2 years of higher resolution (~12 km) United Kingdom Met Office Limited Area Model for Africa (“Africa-LAM”) data, kindly made available by the British Atmospheric Data Centre (BADC).The analysis looked at cloud cover, aerosol distribution, integrated water vapour and wind conditions, On the basis of this study, we determined a number of regions in the north of Kenya, east of the Rift Valley, which show promise as potential observatory sites. We are now in the process of installing Automatic Weather Stations (AWS) at 3 selected sites (~2000-2700 m altitude) to begin monitoring meteorological conditions over the next few years. It is eventually hoped to supplement this study with instrumentation to allow the measurement of sky brightness, local cloud cover and seeing (e.g. with a DIMM system).A similar program of astronomical site testing is due to start in 2015 in the Lalibela region of northern Ethiopia, at three potential dark sky sites with expected relatively low cloud cover, ranging in altitude from ~3600 to 4100 m.

  18. 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.

  19. A New Tool for Handling Astronomical Images

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rughooputh, S. D. D. V.; Oodit, S.; Persand, S.; Golap, K.; Somanah, R.

    2000-09-01

    A variety of software exists for the manipulation of astrophysical data. For example, we have the Astronomical Image Processing software (AIPS) which is used by astronomers. Other software like MATLAB are also widely used to manipulate the astrophysical images. We demonstrate that there are tremendous potentials for using the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to analyze astrophysical images at all frequencies. To our knowledge, celestial objects have not been studied so far using GIS. We have explored the possible use of a GIS to study the Sun and the southern sky (using data from the Mauritius Radio Telescope Low Resolution Survey and the PARKES Observatory). Most of the images at different frequencies available over the Internet were imported into a GIS software (IDRISI, Version 4.0) for the study. A number of operations supported by GIS software were used for our studies. For instance, Principal Component Analysis has been used on a set of Coronal White Light images in the tracking of the time evolution of Coronal Mass Ejections and in `cleaning' images, in integrated flux density computations of selected supernova remnants, and in supervised classification of solar images and supernova remnants.

  20. 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

  1. Data Centres In The Virtual Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Genova, F.

    2006-08-01

    Astronomy has been at the forefront for the development of on-line services, and astronomers routinely retrieve data from observatory archives, information from value-added services provided by data centres, and bibliography from the ADS and electronic journals. The Virtual Observatory aims at going one step further by providing astronomers with seamless and transparent access to data and services, and data centres with a framework to publish their data and services. Many teams size the opportunity and express their willingness to provide VO services in their domains of expertise, such as data compilations or specific tools, including theory data and services. The VO allows astronomers to discover and use resources of interest for their research, and specific tools can be interfaced with more general VO portals. This means that even small teams can have a significant contribution if they choose the proper niche. VO projects are organising themselves to help these new data centres to uptake the VO framework. Traditional data centres also have a role to play in explaining the constraints linked to service quality and sustainability. The VO "Data Centre Alliance" opens exciting new prospects for increasing the sharing of knowledge throughout the community.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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. PMID:24985792

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. A National Solar Digital Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hill, F.

    2000-05-01

    The continuing development of the Internet as a research tool, combined with an improving funding climate, has sparked new interest in the development of Internet-linked astronomical data bases and analysis tools. Here I outline a concept for a National Solar Digital Observatory (NSDO), a set of data archives and analysis tools distributed in physical location at sites which already host such systems. A central web site would be implemented from which a user could search all of the component archives, select and download data, and perform analyses. Example components include NSO's Digital Library containing its synoptic and GONG data, and the forthcoming SOLIS archive. Several other archives, in various stages of development, also exist. Potential analysis tools include content-based searches, visualized programming tools, and graphics routines. The existence of an NSDO would greatly facilitate solar physics research, as a user would no longer need to have detailed knowledge of all solar archive sites. It would also improve public outreach efforts. The National Solar Observatory is operated by AURA, Inc. under a cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation.

  13. 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

  14. Early Photographs of the Distant Sierra Nevada Mountains Taken from Lick Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Osterbrock, Donald E.

    2006-12-01

    During World War I, a group of American chemists, physicists and astronomers developed processes for greatly increasing the infrared sensitivity of photographic emulsions, for long-distance reconnaissance from airplanes or the ground. After the war Lick Observatory astronomers, beginning with C.D. Shane and Mary Lea Heger, used long-focal-length astronomical cameras and these hypersensitization methods to photograph the distant Sierra Nevada range, including Yosemite Valley and Half Dome, nearly one hundred miles away across the Central Valley of California. These pictures, widely exhibited and admired, strengthened links between astronomers, the Eastman Kodak Company and the public.

  15. Visualizing Astronomical Data with Blender

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kent, Brian R.

    2013-06-01

    Astronomical data take on a multitude of forms—catalogs, data cubes, images, and simulations. The availability of software for rendering high-quality three-dimensional graphics lends itself to the paradigm of exploring the incredible parameter space afforded by the astronomical sciences. The software program Blender gives astronomers a useful tool for displaying data in a manner used by three-dimensional (3D) graphics specialists and animators. The interface to this popular software package is introduced with attention to features of interest in astronomy. An overview of the steps for generating models, textures, animations, camera work, and renders is outlined. An introduction is presented on the methodology for producing animations and graphics with a variety of astronomical data. Examples from subfields of astronomy with different kinds of data are shown with resources provided to members of the astronomical community. An example video showcasing the outlined principles and features is provided along with scripts and files for sample visualizations.

  16. 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.

  17. Meaningful metrics for observatory publication statistics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rots, Arnold H.; Winkelman, Sherry L.; Becker, Glenn E.

    2012-09-01

    Observatories have wrestled for decades with the questions how to measure their importance to the astronomical community, what their scientific impact is, and how their performance in that respect compares to that of other observatories. There is a general sense that the answer is to be found in the publication record - specifically, in the refereed journal articles. However, simple parameters (such as the number of papers) are not helpful, because in isolation (applied to a single observatory) they are meaningless, while in comparison between observatories they are subject to external influences that all but invalidate the comparisons. We were fortunate in having the Chandra X-ray Observatory's bibliographic database with its rich variety of metadata available as a resource for experimenting with more sophisticated metrics. Out of this project we propose a modest set that contains meaningful information when viewed in the isolation of a single observatory as well as in comparison with other observatories. Even so, we urge users not to draw conclusions on the basis of the face value of the comparisons, but only after a serious analysis of potential causes for any differences or similarities. We have designed our metrics to provide useful information in three main areas of interest: speed of publication; fraction of observing time published; and archival usage. The basic measured parameters are the percentage of available observing time published as a function of the data's age, at a few specific age values; the median time it takes to publish observations; and similar parameters for multiple publications of the same observations. Citation of results is a fourth category, but it does not lend itself well to comparisons and defies the search for definite statements.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Instruments and Astronomical Observations at the Jesuit College of Santo Antão-o-Novo, 1722-1759

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tirapicos, Luís

    2014-01-01

    The observatory of the Jesuit College of Santo Antão-o-Novo, in Lisbon, is one of the first documented observatories in Portugal. It was established around 1724, by the Neapolitan Jesuit Giovanni Battista Carbone (1694-1750). Carbone arrived in Portugal in 1722 by invitation of King João V to work on the cartography of Maranhão, in Brazil, but he never left the Portuguese mainland. In this paper a preliminary survey of instruments used in Santo Antão is presented as well as a characterization of the observations in which they were used. The observatory will be contextualized in the wider picture of eighteenth-century astronomical observatories in Europe. In conclusion we will see that the astronomical activities of this College Especula were accomplished, and supported by the state, with the aim of many other European observatories in this period: to solve geographical, cartographical and nautical problems.

  1. 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.

  2. XEphem: Interactive Astronomical Ephemeris

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Downey, Elwood Charles

    2011-12-01

    XEphem is a scientific-grade interactive astronomical ephemeris package for UNIX-like systems. Written in C, X11 and Motif, it is easily ported to systems. Among other things, XEphem: computes heliocentric, geocentric and topocentric information for all objects; has built-in support for all planets; the moons of Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Earth; central meridian longitude of Mars and Jupiter; Saturn's rings; and Jupiter's Great Red Spot; allows user-defined objects including stars, deepsky objects, asteroids, comets and Earth satellites; provides special efficient handling of large catalogs including Tycho, Hipparcos, GSC; displays data in configurable tabular formats in conjunction with several interactive graphical views; displays a night-at-a-glance 24 hour graphic showing when any selected objects are up; displays 3-D stereo Solar System views that are particularly well suited for visualizing comet trajectories; quickly finds all close pairs of objects in the sky; and sorts and prints all catalogs with very flexible criteria for creating custom observing lists. Its capabilities are listed more fully in the user manual introduction.

  3. The Astronomical Almanac 2006: Changes Resulting from IAU Resolutions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Urban, S. E.; Bell, S.; Kaplan, G. H.; Hohenkerk, C. Y.; Stewart, S. G.; Bangert, J. A.; Hilton, J. L.

    2005-12-01

    Over the last few decades, advances in the precision of astronomical and geophysical measurements along with improvements in the underlying theories have lead astronomers to realize that better models and computation methods -- and detailed specifications on how to apply them -- were necessary. This work culminated in several resolutions that were adopted by the International Astronomical Union (IAU) in 1997 and 2000. These include changes to the fundamental celestial reference system, changes to time-scales used in astronomy, new models of precession and nutation, and a new method of computing Earth rotation. Among the first places astronomers will notice the influence of the resolutions is in The Astronomical Almanac (AsA), produced jointly by the U.S. Naval Observatory (USNO) and Her Majesty's Nautical Almanac Office (HMNAO). Due to the breadth of the changes and the required lead time, the 2006 edition is the first to have the data consistent with the resolutions. Much of the 2006 AsA is based on new software -- the IAU SOFA package for the data prepared by the British, and a considerably updated NOVAS package for the American portion -- and much new text has been included that describes the new formulations and paradigms. Since the AsA has page limitations, a practical explanation about the resolutions and how to implement them are addressed in detail in a separate publication, USNO Circular 179 (http://aa.usno.navy.mil/publications/docs/Circular_179.html). This paper will discuss specific changes in the The Astronomical Almanac 2006 and identify resources for additional information.

  4. Old Star's "Rebirth" Gives Astronomers Surprises

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2005-04-01

    Astronomers using the National Science Foundation's Very Large Array (VLA) radio telescope are taking advantage of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to watch an old star suddenly stir back into new activity after coming to the end of its normal life. Their surprising results have forced them to change their ideas of how such an old, white dwarf star can re-ignite its nuclear furnace for one final blast of energy. Sakurai's Object Radio/Optical Images of Sakurai's Object: Color image shows nebula ejected thousands of years ago. Contours indicate radio emission. Inset is Hubble Space Telescope image, with contours indicating radio emission; this inset shows just the central part of the region. CREDIT: Hajduk et al., NRAO/AUI/NSF, ESO, StSci, NASA Computer simulations had predicted a series of events that would follow such a re-ignition of fusion reactions, but the star didn't follow the script -- events moved 100 times more quickly than the simulations predicted. "We've now produced a new theoretical model of how this process works, and the VLA observations have provided the first evidence supporting our new model," said Albert Zijlstra, of the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom. Zijlstra and his colleagues presented their findings in the April 8 issue of the journal Science. The astronomers studied a star known as V4334 Sgr, in the constellation Sagittarius. It is better known as "Sakurai's Object," after Japanese amateur astronomer Yukio Sakurai, who discovered it on February 20, 1996, when it suddenly burst into new brightness. At first, astronomers thought the outburst was a common nova explosion, but further study showed that Sakurai's Object was anything but common. The star is an old white dwarf that had run out of hydrogen fuel for nuclear fusion reactions in its core. Astronomers believe that some such stars can undergo a final burst of fusion in a shell of helium that surrounds a core of heavier nuclei such as carbon and oxygen. However, the

  5. 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

  6. Cosmic Blasts Much More Common, Astronomers Discover

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2006-08-01

    A cosmic explosion seen last February may have been the "tip of an iceberg," showing that powerful, distant gamma ray bursts are outnumbered ten-to-one by less-energetic cousins, according to an international team of astronomers. 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

  7. Strasbourg Observatory in World War II

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Duerbeck, H. W.

    During World War II, the Reichsuniversitat Strassburg was installed by the German authorities and Johannes Hellerich (1888-1963) was appointed director of the Observatory. A review of his life and his astro- nomical career as an assistant and professor in Kiel, Hamburg, Strasbourg, and Muenster is given. His activity in Strasbourg from mid-1941 to mid-1943 was focussed on bringing the Observatory into working operations, and on carrying out the monitoring of solar radiation and atmospheric extinction. After being drafted to the army and spending some time as a prisoner of war, he returned to Hamburg to complete a review on variable-star research in wartime Germany. He was called to Muenster University in 1947 to teach astronomy, and, from 1949 onward, to serve as director of the small Astronomical Institute till his retirement in 1954.

  8. Scripting the Virtual Observatory in Python

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tody, Douglas; Fitzpatrick, M. J.; Graham, M.; Young, W.

    2013-01-01

    The VOClient package from the US Virtual Astronomical Observatory (VAO) provides a desktop or client-side interface to the Virtual Observatory (VO). The VO integrates data and services from many archives into a single unified system, allowing development of research tools which combine data from multiple sources. VOClient provides both ready to use tools for finding and retrieving data from remote archives, as well as support for user scripting to build custom applications. In this paper we focus on the capabilities provided by VOClient for developing user scripts or other applications which access remote data and services via the VO framework. A companion paper (Fitzpatrick et. al.) describes the user tools provided by VOClient. Initial support for application development using VOClient emphasizes Python scripting. Integration with high level environments such as IRAF and CASA is also provided.

  9. 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.

  10. A report on upcoming observatory of MPCST at Dongla, Ujjain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  11. Solar Physics at the Kodaikanal Observatory: A Historical Perspective

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hasan, S. S.; Mallik, D. C. V.; Bagare, S. P.; Rajaguru, S. P.

    The Kodaikanal Observatory traces its origins to the East India Company, which started an observatory in Madras "for promoting the knowledge of astronomy, geography, and navigation in India." Observations began in 1787 at the initiative of William Petrie, an officer of the Company, with the use of two 3-in achromatic telescopes, two astronomical clocks with compound pendulums, and a transit instrument. By the early nineteenth century, the Madras Observatory had already established a reputation as a leading astronomical center devoted to work on the fundamental positions of stars, and a principal source of stellar positions for most of the southern hemisphere stars. John Goldingham (1796-1805, 1812-1830), T.G. Taylor (1830-1848),W.S. Jacob (1849-1858), and Norman R. Pogson (1861-1891) were successive Government Astronomers who led the activities in Madras. Scientific highlights of the work included a catalogue of 11,000 southern stars produced by theMadras Observatory in 1844 under Taylor's direction using the new 5-ft transit instrument.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Towards a Reference Implementation of a Standardized Astronomical Software Environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paioro, L.; Garilli, B.; Grosbøl, P.; Tody, D.; Fenouillet, T.; Granet, Y.; Surace, C.

    2010-12-01

    The OPTICON Network 3.6 (FP6) and the US NVO, coordinating with international partners and the Virtual Observatory, have already identified high-level requirements and a global architectural design for a future astronomical software environment. In order to continue this project and demonstrate the concepts outlined, the new OPTICON Network 9.2 (FP7) was born and is working on a concrete prototype which will contribute to the development of a reference implementation of the basic core system to be jointly developed by the major partners. As the reference implementation stabilizes, we plan to work with selected groups within the astronomical community to port software to test the new environment and provide feedback for its further evolution. These groups will include both producers of new software as well as the major legacy systems (e.g. AIPS, CASA, IRAF/PyRAF, Starlink and ESO Common Pipeline Library).

  17. 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.

  18. Implementation of the new nomenclature in The Astronomical Almanac

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hohenkerk, C. Y.

    2006-08-01

    This talk charts the implementation of the resolutions of the 24^th International Astronomical Union in 2000 (IAU 2000) in The Astronomical Almanac (AsA), a joint publication of HM Nautical Almanac Office (HMNAO) and the Nautical Almanac Office of the US Naval Observatory (USNO). The aspects of the resolutions that will be discussed are (a) the implementation of IAU 2000 precession-nutation theory, and (b) the recommendation to use what is now called the Celestial Intermediate Origin (CIO) as the origin for right ascension. It is only when new concepts are fully considered, the software tools developed and an established nomenclature exists that a new algorithm may be introduced successfully into any almanac. I will highlight these areas, in the context of Section B - Time-scales and Coordinate Systems, the section of the AsA which covers these topics, and for which HMNAO is responsible.

  19. Virtual Observatories, Data Mining, and Astroinformatics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Borne, Kirk

    The historical, current, and future trends in knowledge discovery from data in astronomy are presented here. The story begins with a brief history of data gathering and data organization. A description of the development ofnew information science technologies for astronomical discovery is then presented. Among these are e-Science and the virtual observatory, with its data discovery, access, display, and integration protocols; astroinformatics and data mining for exploratory data analysis, information extraction, and knowledge discovery from distributed data collections; new sky surveys' databases, including rich multivariate observational parameter sets for large numbers of objects; and the emerging discipline of data-oriented astronomical research, called astroinformatics. Astroinformatics is described as the fourth paradigm of astronomical research, following the three traditional research methodologies: observation, theory, and computation/modeling. Astroinformatics research areas include machine learning, data mining, visualization, statistics, semantic science, and scientific data management.Each of these areas is now an active research discipline, with significantscience-enabling applications in astronomy. Research challenges and sample research scenarios are presented in these areas, in addition to sample algorithms for data-oriented research. These information science technologies enable scientific knowledge discovery from the increasingly large and complex data collections in astronomy. The education and training of the modern astronomy student must consequently include skill development in these areas, whose practitioners have traditionally been limited to applied mathematicians, computer scientists, and statisticians. Modern astronomical researchers must cross these traditional discipline boundaries, thereby borrowing the best of breed methodologies from multiple disciplines. In the era of large sky surveys and numerous large telescopes, the potential

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. "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

  4. 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

  5. Standardization of massive data from various telescopes at Xinglong Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, Qin; Lu, Xiaomeng; Jiang, Xiaojun

    2013-07-01

    Xinglong Observatory of the National Astronomical Observatories, Chinese Academy of Sciences (NAOC) has accumulated various and massive observational data, and new data are continuously being generated. However, an archive to effectively manage these data has not been established. We plan to create a data archive system designated as the Xinglong Data Sharing Platform (XDSP). The bottleneck for creating the XDSP is the collection of metadata, which are mainly derived from the FITS (Flexible Image Transport System) headers. To overcome this bottleneck, we have established a Xinglong Observatory Public FITS Header Standard (XPFHS). We then created flexible Information Acquisition Software (IAS) for collecting metadata according to the XPFHS. Based our successful collection of metadata, we built an XDSP test version, and we popularized and applied the standard XPFHS and the IAS tool to other observatories.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Tuneable Heterodyne Infrared Spectrometer for atmospheric and astronomical studies.

    PubMed

    Sonnabend, Guido; Wirtz, Daniel; Schmülling, Frank; Schieder, Rudolf

    2002-05-20

    The transportable setup of the Cologne Tuneable Heterodyne Infrared Spectrometer (THIS) is presented. Frequency tuneability over a wide range provided by the use of tuneable diode lasers as local oscillators (LO) allows a variety of molecules in the mid-infrared to be observed. Longtime integration, which is essential for astronomical observations, is possible owing to tight frequency control of the LO with optical feedback from an external cavity. THIS is developed to fly on the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy beginning in 2006 but can also be used on different types of ground-based telescopes.

  14. Period04: Statistical analysis of large astronomical time series

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lenz, Patrick; Breger, Michel

    2014-07-01

    Period04 statistically analyzes large astronomical time series containing gaps. It calculates formal uncertainties, can extract the individual frequencies from the multiperiodic content of time series, and provides a flexible interface to perform multiple-frequency fits with a combination of least-squares fitting and the discrete Fourier transform algorithm. Period04, written in Java/C++, supports the SAMP communication protocol to provide interoperability with other applications of the Virtual Observatory. It is a reworked and extended version of Period98 (Sperl 1998) and PERIOD/PERDET (Breger 1990).

  15. 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. PMID:25546998

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. The 40-foot Solar Eclipse Camera of the Lick Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pearson, John C.; Orchiston, Wayne

    2008-03-01

    The primary goal of the Lick Observatory's direct solar eclipse photography program was to secure high-resolution images of inner coronal structure and images in which coronal brightness could be studied. Between 1889 and 1932 the Observatory sent out seventeen eclipse expeditions worldwide. During these expeditions, direct coronal photography was a significant part of the program for the first couple of decades. By the end of the expedition series, spectrographic observations became of primary importance, yet direct coronal imaging continued. Lick Observatory astronomer, John M. Schaeberle, conceived and constructed a large portable camera of 5-inch aperture with a focal length of 40-feet, and from 1893 the so-called 'Schaeberle Camera' became a hallmark of the Observatory's eclipse expeditions. In this paper we provide details of the Schaeberle Camera's design, setup and operation, and we briefly discuss some of the ways in which Lick Observatory staff and other astronomers used the plates obtained during the various eclipse expeditions in their investigations of the solar corona.

  20. Solar Eclipse Expeditions of Hamburg Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wolfschmidt, Gudrun

    2012-09-01

    Total solar eclipses had -- and still have, in spite of the maximum duration of eight minutes -- an important meaning for astronomical research. For a long time in the 19th century astronomers were searching for a planet inside the orbit of Mercury. But especially, the solar atmosphere was studied: during an eclipse the bright photosphere is covered by the moon and enables the observation of the chromosphere with the prominences and the flash spectrum. George Rümker (1832--1900), the third director of Hamburg Observatory, made a solar eclipse expedition to Spain in 1860. He used only small instruments like a 4-foot Fraunhofer telescope and a comet seeker. Richard Schorr (1867--1951), the director of the new Hamburg Observatory in Bergedorf, observed in 1905 the solar eclipse in Algeria and put the emphasis on astrophysical research, investigation of the inner corona and the prominences. A horizontal telescope with 20-m focal length and an equatorial double refractor were acquired, both instruments made by Carl Zeiss of Jena. This instrumentation and many smaller instruments were used for all the expeditions in the 1920s, like in 1922 -- Java, in 1923 -- Mexico, in 1925 -- Atlantic Ocean, in 1927 -- Jokkmokk, Sweden, and in 1929 -- Philippines. These Hamburg solar expeditions of the 1920s put the emphasis on two topics: to solve the so-called riddle of coronium, or mystery of coronium -- the nature of the green emission line -- and to measure the deviation of light for verifying Einstein's general theory of relativity.

  1. Chilean Virtual Observatory services implementation for the ALMA public data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Antognini, Jonathan; Solar, Mauricio; Ibsen, Jorge; Araya, Mauricio; Nyman, Lars; Mardones, Diego; Valenzuela, Camilo; Ramirez, Patricio; Fernandez, Christopher; Garces, Mario

    2014-07-01

    The success of an observatory is usually measured by its impact in the scientific community, so a common objective is to provide transparent ways to access the generated data. The Chilean Virtual Observatory (ChiVO), started working in the implementation of a prototype, in collaboration with ALMA, considering the current needs of the Chilean astronomical community, in addition to the protocols and standards of IVOA, and the comparison of different existing data access toolkit services. Based on this efforts, a VO prototype was designed and implemented for the ALMA large scale of data.

  2. Running PILOT: operational challenges and plans for an Antarctic Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-07-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. Searching the Heavens and the Earth: This History of Jesuit Observatories

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Udías, Agustín

    2003-10-01

    Jesuits established a large number of astronomical, geophysical and meteorological observatories during the 17th and 18th centuries and again during the 19th and 20th centuries throughout the world. The history of these observatories has never been published in a complete form. Many early European astronomical observatories were established in Jesuit colleges. During the 17th and 18th centuries Jesuits were the first western scientists to enter into contact with China and India. It was through them that western astronomy was first introduced in these countries. They made early astronomical observations in India and China and they directed for 150 years the Imperial Observatory of Beijing. In the 19th and 20th centuries a new set of observatories were established. Besides astronomy these now included meteorology and geophysics. Jesuits established some of the earliest observatories in Africa, South America and the Far East. Jesuit observatories constitute an often forgotten chapter of the history of these sciences. This volume is aimed at all scientists and students who do not want to forget the Jesuit contributions to science. Link: http://www.wkap.nl/prod/b/1-4020-1189-X

  6. 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.

  7. Einstein Observatory (HEAO-2)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bond, P.; Murdin, P.

    2002-04-01

    The second in the series of HIGH ENERGY ASTROPHYSICAL OBSERVATORIES was launched by an Atlas-Centaur rocket on 13 November 1978. Soon after its insertion into a 470 km circular orbit inclined at 23.5° to the equator, HEAO-2 was named the Einstein Observatory, in celebration of the centenary of Albert Einstein's birth....

  8. 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.

  9. Virtual Educational Observatories: Project CLEA in the 21st Century

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marschall, L. A.; Snyder, G. A.

    2004-12-01

    Computerized simulations of astronomical instrumentation along with user-friendly analysis tools provide a versatile and effective way to introduce students to the methodology of astronomy. Recent efforts by Project CLEA (Contemporary Laboratory Experiences in Astronomy) have produced a new modular exercise on solar rotation, with exercises on transits of mercury and venus and on x-ray astronomy in the works. We focus on an ongoing effort, currently in an advanced beta version, to produce a "virtual educational observatory", VIREO, which departs from the modular approach. VIREO is a simulated multi-wavelength observatory including optical, radio, infrared, and x-ray instrumentation and a very large-all-sky database. The VIREO software provides an environment under which a wide variety of astronomical exercises can be carried out, from observations of asteroids, to searches for high-redshift quasars using a multi-slit spectrograph. This research was sponsored by the National Science Foundation and Gettysburg College.

  10. Explanatory Supplement to the Astronomical Almanac (3rd Edition)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. An Astronomer In The Classroom: Observatoire de Paris's Partnership Between Teachers and Astronomers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Doressoundiram, A.; Barban, C.

    2006-08-01

    The Observatoire de Paris is offering a partnership between teachers and astronomers. The principle is simple: any teacher wishing to undertake a pedagogical project in astronomy, in the classroom or involving the entire school, can request the help of a mentor. An astronomer from the Observatoire de Paris will then follow the teacher's project progress and offer advice and scientific support throughout the school year. The projects may take different forms: construction projects (models, instruments), lectures, posters, exhibitions, etc. The type of assistance offered is as varied as the projects: lecture(s) in class, telephone and e-mail exchanges, visits to the Observatoire; an almost made-to-measure approach that delighted the thirty or so groups that benefited such partnership in the 2005-2006 academic year. And this number is continuously growing. There was a rich variety of projects undertaken, from mounting a show and building a solar clock to visiting a high altitude observatory, or resolving the mystery of Jupiter's great red spot. The Universe and its mysteries fascinate the young (and the not so- young) and provide a multitude of scientific topics that can be exploited in class. Astronomy offers the added advantage of being a multidisciplinary field. Thus, if most projects are generally initiated by a motivated teacher, they are often taken over by teachers in other subjects: Life and Earth Sciences (SVT), history, mathematics, French, and so forth. The project may consist in an astronomy workshop or be part of the school curriculum. Whatever the case, the astronomer's task is not to replace the teacher or the textbooks, but to propose activities or experiments that are easy to implement. Representing the Solar system on a school-yard scale, for instance, is a perfect way to make youngsters realize that the Universe consists mostly of empty space. There is no shortage of topics, and the students' enthusiasm, seldom absent, is the best reward for the

  17. Operations with the FUSE observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blair, William P.; Kruk, Jeffrey W.; Moos, Henry W.; Oegerle, William R.

    2003-02-01

    The Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer satellite (FUSE) is a NASA Origins mission launched on 1999 June 24 and operated from the Johns Hopkins University Homewood campus in Baltimore, MD. FUSE consists of four aligned telescopes feeding twin far-ultraviolet spectrographs that achieve a spectral resolution of R=20,000 over the 905-1187 Å spectral region. This makes FUSE complementary to the Hubble Space Telescope and of broad general interest to the astronomical community. FUSE is operated as a general-purpose observatory with proposals evaluated and selected by NASA. The FUSE mission concept evolved dramatically over time. The version of FUSE that was built and flown was born out of the "faster, better, cheaper" era, which drove not only the mission development but also plans for operations. Fixed price contracts, a commercial spacecraft, and operations in the University environment were all parts of the low cost strategy. The satellite performs most functions autonomously, with ground contacts limited typically to seven 12-minute contacts per day through a dedicated ground station. All support functions are managed by a staff of 40 scientists and engineers located at Johns Hopkins. In this configuration, we have been able to achieve close to 30% average on-target science efficiency. In short, FUSE is a successful example of the "faster, better, cheaper" philosophy.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  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. 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.

  7. AIPY: Astronomical Interferometry in PYthon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parsons, Aaron

    2016-09-01

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

  8. John Couch Adams, the astronomer.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Foster, N.

    1989-03-01

    The planet Neptune was discovered more than 140 years ago. The circumstances of the discovery gave rise to great controversy, and very nearly led to an international incident between Britain and France, but this was only one of John Couch Adams' many contributions to astronomical science.

  9. 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)

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  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. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Operations Staff Astronomer - Deputy Head of the Paranal Science Operations Department

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2004-03-01

    Assignment: The Science Operations Department at ESO's Paranal Observatory (PSO) is responsible for all aspects of the direct support of observing operations of the VLT, the VLTI, and in the future, of the VST and VISTA, so as to optimize the scientific output of this world leading astronomical facility. The department currently comprises 26 operations staff astronomers, 14 telescope instrument operators, and 5 data handling administrators, as well as, for the functional part of their assignment, 15 postdoctoral fellows of ESO's Office for Science. Further recruitment is planned once all auxiliary telescopes of the VLTI, VST and VISTA become operational.

  19. 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.

  20. Sharing Images Intelligently: The Astronomical Visualization Metadata Standard

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hurt, Robert L.; Christensen, L.; Gauthier, A.

    2006-12-01

    The astronomical education and public outreach (EPO) community plays a key role in conveying the results of scientific research to the general public. A key product of EPO development is a variety of non-scientific public image resources, both derived from scientific observations and created as artistic visualizations of scientific results. This refers to general image formats such as JPEG, TIFF, PNG, GIF, not scientific FITS datasets. Such resources are currently scattered across the internet in a variety of galleries and archives, but are not searchable in any coherent or unified way. Just as Virtual Observatory standards open up all data archives to a common query engine, the EPO community will benefit greatly from a similar mechanism for image search and retrieval. A new standard has been developed for astronomical imagery defining a common set of content fields suited for the needs of astronomical visualizations. This encompasses images derived from data, artist's conceptions, simulations, photography, and can be ultimately extensible to video products. The first generation of tools are now available to tag images with this metadata, which can be embedded with the image file using an XML-based format that functions similarly to a FITS header. As image collections are processed to include astronomy visualization metadata tags, extensive information providing educational context, credits, data sources, and even coordinate information will be readily accessible for uses spanning casual browsing, publication, and interactive media systems.

  1. DART, a New Solution to Deploy and Access Astronomical Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paioro, L.; Chiappetti, L.; Garilli, B.; Franzetti, P.; Fumana, M.; Scodeggio, M.

    2008-08-01

    We present a new software solution, based on Java, which allows to deploy and access astronomical catalogs in relational database form, with their associated data products. It is already used to provide the public VVDS data via VO and manage zCosmos data within the Italian COSMOS community; it is also used as the second generation Web interface to the XMM-LSS master catalog. DART (Database Access and Retrieval Tool) supplies a Web interface which allows to query catalogs, filter data by conditions on the columns values (even complex expressions), view the results and export them in private user files; it is also possible to make simple plots or retrieve the related data products. The software supports access to more than one catalog at a time (e.g. for multi-band usage) either in parallel, or as a couple linked by pre-built correlation tables, or even viewing the result of an identification among several catalogs as a single virtual table. DART has been designed as a general tool capable of accessing any collection of astronomical database tables and related products. It is highly (and easily) customizable editing simple configuration files and (for an increased flexibility specially concerning data product access) populating appropriately a few administrative database tables. It supports ConeSearch, SSA and SIA Virtual Observatory protocols. DART will be soon released to the astronomical community from the PANDORA Web site (http://cosmos.iasf-milano.inaf.it/pandora/dart.html).

  2. Engaging Students through Astronomically Inspired Music

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Whitehouse, M.

    2011-09-01

    This paper describes a lesson outline in which astronomically inspired musical compositions are used to teach astronomical concepts via an introductory activity, close listening, and critical/creative reflection.

  3. 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

  4. Prototype optical SETI observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kingsley, Stuart A.

    1996-06-01

    The Optical Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (OSETI) is based on the premise that there are ETIs within our galaxy which are targeting star systems like our own with free-space beams. Upon these beams will ride attention- getting beacon signals and wideband data channels. Perhaps the wideband channels form part of a Galactic Information Superhighway, a Galactic Internet to which we are presently oblivious. The Columbus Optical SETI Observatory described in this paper is intended to be a prototype observatory which might lead to a new renaissance in both optical SETI and optical astronomy. It is hoped that the observatory design will be emulated by both the professional and amateur communities. The modern-day OSETI observatory is one that is more affordable than ever. With the aid of reasonably priced automatic telescopes, low-cost PCs, software and signal processing boards, Optical SETI can become accessible to all nations, professional scientific groups, amateur astronomy societies and even individuals.

  5. Global Health Observatory (GHO)

    MedlinePlus

    ... repository Reports Country statistics Map gallery Standards Global Health Observatory (GHO) data Monitoring health for the SDGs ... relevant web pages on the theme. Monitoring the health goal: indicators of overall progress Mortality and global ...

  6. Observatory Improvements for SOFIA

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Peralta, Robert A.; Jensen, Stephen C.

    2012-01-01

    The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) is a joint project between NASA and Deutsches Zentrum fuer Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR), the German Space Agency. SOFIA is based in a Boeing 747 SP and flown in the stratosphere to observe infrared wavelengths unobservable from the ground. In 2007 Dryden Flight Research Center (DFRC) inherited and began work on improving the plane and its telescope. The improvements continue today with upgrading the plane and improving the telescope. The Observatory Verification and Validation (V&V) process is to ensure that the observatory is where the program says it is. The Telescope Status Display (TSD) will provide any information from the on board network to monitors that will display the requested information. In order to assess risks to the program, one must work through the various threats associate with that risk. Once all the risks are closed the program can work towards improving the observatory.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Astronomical Heritage in the National Culture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harutyunian, H. A.; Mickaelian, A. M.; Parsamian, E. S.

    2014-10-01

    The book contains Proceedings of the Archaeoastronomical Meeting "Astronomical Heritage in the National Culture" Dedicated to Anania Shirakatsi's 1400th Anniversary and XI Annual Meeting of the Armenian Astronomical Society. It consists of 3 main sections: "Astronomical Heritage", "Anania Shirakatsi" and "Modern Astronomy", as well as Literature about Anania Shirakatsi is included. The book may be interesting for astronomers, historians, archaeologists, linguists, students and other readers.

  10. 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

  11. 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."

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Wide-Field Plate Archive of the University Observatory Jena

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Poghosyan, A. V.; Pfau, W.; Tsvetkova, K. P.; Mugrauer, M.; Tsvetkov, M. K.; Hambaryan, V. V.; Neuhäuser, R.

    We present the archive of the wide-field plate observations obtained at the University Observatory Jena, which is stored at the Astrophysical Institute of the Friedrich Schiller University Jena. The archive contains plates taken in the period February 1963 to December 1982 with the 60/90/180-cm Schmidt telescope of the university observatory. A computer-readable version of the plate metadata catalogue (for 1257 plates), the logbooks, as well as the digitized Schmidt plates in low and high resolution are now accessible to the astronomical community.This paper describes the properties of the archive, as well as the processing procedure of all plates in detail. Based on observations obtained with telescopes of the University Observatory Jena, which is operated by the Astrophysical Institute of the Friedrich Schiller University.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Astronomical Data and Information Visualization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goodman, Alyssa A.

    2010-01-01

    As the size and complexity of data sets increases, the need to "see" them more clearly increases as well. In the past, many scientists saw "fancy" data and information visualization as necessary for "outreach," but not for research. In this talk, I wlll demonstrate, using specific examples, why more and more scientists--not just astronomers--are coming to rely upon the development of new visualization strategies not just to present their data, but to understand it. Principal examples will be drawn from the "Astronomical Medicine" project at Harvard's Initiative in Innovative Computing, and from the "Seamless Astronomy" effort, which is co-sponsored by the VAO (NASA/NSF) and Microsoft Research.

  20. SLODAR turbulence monitors for real-time support of astronomical adaptive optics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilson, Richard; Butterley, Timothy; Sarazin, Marc; Lombardi, Gianluca; Chun, Mark; Benigni, Samuel; Weir, Donald; Avila, Remy; Aviles, Jose-Luis

    2008-07-01

    We describe the current status of the SLODAR optical turbulence monitors, developed at Durham University, for support of adaptive optics for astronomy. SLODAR systems have been installed and operated at the Cerro Paranal and Mauna Kea observatories, and a third will be deployed at the South African Astronomical Observatory in 2008. The instruments provide real-time measurements of the atmospheric turbulence strength, altitude and velocity. We summarize the capabilities of the systems and describe recent enhancements. Comparisons of contemporaneous data obtained with SLODAR, MASS and DIMM monitors at the ESO Paranal site are presented.

  1. A knowledge-based expert system for scheduling of airborne astronomical observations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nachtsheim, P. R.; Gevarter, W. B.; Stutz, J. C.; Banda, C. P.

    1985-01-01

    The Kuiper Airborne Observatory Scheduler (KAOS) is a knowledge-based expert system developed at NASA Ames Research Center to assist in route planning of a C-141 flying astronomical observatory. This program determines a sequence of flight legs that enables sequential observations of a set of heavenly bodies derived from a list of desirable objects. The possible flight legs are constrained by problems of observability, avoiding flyovers of warning and restricted military zones, and running out of fuel. A significant contribution of the KAOS program is that it couples computational capability with a reasoning system.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Conceptual approach to astronomical problems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Skvortsov, N. A.; Avvakumova, E. A.; Bryukhov, D. O.; Vovchenko, A. E.; Vol'nova, A. A.; Dluzhnevskaya, O. B.; Kaigorodov, P. V.; Kalinichenko, L. A.; Kniazev, A. Yu.; Kovaleva, D. A.; Malkov, O. Yu.; Pozanenko, A. S.; Stupnikov, S. A.

    2016-01-01

    New technical capabilities have brought about the sweeping growth of the amount of data acquired by the astronomers from observations with different instruments in various parts of the electromagnetic spectrum. We consider conceptual approach to be a promising tool to efficiently deal with these data. It uses problem domain knowledge to formulate the tasks and develop problem-solving algorithms and data analysis methods in terms of domain concepts without reference to particular data sources, and thereby allows solving certain problems in general form. We demonstrate the benefits of conceptual approach by using it to solve problems related to search for secondary photometric standard candidates, determination of galaxy redshifts, creation of a binary and multiple star repository based on inhomogeneous databases, and classification of eclipsing binaries.We formulate and solve these problems over specifications of astronomical knowledge units such as photometric systems, astronomical objects, multiple stars, etc., and define them in terms of the corresponding problem domains independently of the existing data resources.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. The Astronomical Museum: A tool for the teaching of Natural Science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goldes, G.; Bózzoli, M.; Yapura, O.; Rivarola, C.

    The outlines of "Pte. D.F. SARMIENTO - DR. B. A. GOULD" Astronomical Museum, recently dedicated at the National University of Cordoba`s Observatory, are presented. This new museum will articulate its activities with the existing university net of science museums. The exhibits and scripts of the Museum will have a conception and design aimed to serve as a powerful educational tool. The Museum will have two main bases: history and scientific vulgarization, which will be related in order to show how present scientific knowledge is the result of historical processes. The relationships between astronomy and other disciplines will be pointed out. Although the Museum will be open for general public, a guided visit system, specially devoted for scholars, will be operated. The features of the new circuit: ASTRONOMICAL MUSEUM - PORTABLE PLANETARIUM - ENVIRONMENTAL OBSERVATORY are also described.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Education and Outreach activities in the framework of the Spanish Virtual Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Solano, E.; Rodrigo, C.

    2015-05-01

    In this paper we will describe the main education and outreach activities that are being conducted in the framework of the Spanish Virtual Observatory. In particular, we will outline the scientific and technical activities that are being done in collaboration with astronomical amateurs as well as the citizen science project to improve the orbits of near Earth asteroids using archive images.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. The Collaborative Heliophysics Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hurlburt, N.; Freeland, S.; Cheung, M.; Bose, P.

    2007-12-01

    The Collaborative Heliophysics Observatory (CHO) would provide a robust framework and enabling tools to fully utilize the VOs for scientific discovery and collaboration. Scientists across the realm of heliophysics would be able to create, use and share applications -- either as services using familiar tools or through intuitive workflows -- that orchestrate access to data across all virtual observatories. These applications can be shared freely knowing that proper recognition of data and processing components are acknowledged; that erroneous use of data is flagged; and that results from the analysis runs will in themselves be shared Ð all in a transparent and automatic fashion. In addition, the CHO would incorporate cross-VO models and tools to weave the various virtual observatories into a unified system. These provide starting points for interactions across the solar/heliospheric and heliospheric/magnetospheric boundaries.

  19. 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

  20. "Zhizneopisanie" astronomia N. N. Pavlova, im samim napisannoe %t Astronomer N. N. Pavlov's autobiography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhukov, V. Yu.

    This document called by the author "the life story" is written for the human resources department. It is a document intended for the official departmental purposes. At the same time there is something facinating about this documentary testimony about the epoch and the man. This short autobiography describes the early years of the Pulkovo astronomer N. N. Pavlov that fell on hard times of the Civil War. In the years between the World War I and the World War II he was awarded Mendeleyev Prize. He defended his doctorate dissertation after the evacuation from Leningrad. He was one fo the first Pulkovo astronomers to return to Leningrad in order to start reconstruction of the observatory that had been completely ruined during the war. Astronomer N. N. Pavlov renewed the Time Service in the city. N. N. Pavlov was a successful scientist and an outstanding person, all his life was devoted to science.

  1. 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.

  2. 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:

  3. 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;
  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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/.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Preserving the Future of Small Observatories

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oswalt, T. D.

    1997-05-01

    The diminishing availability of small (1-2m) telescopes at national facilities throughout the world requires that new models for operating such facilities must be developed if they are to be preserved for the next generation of astronomers. Their users, typically students and faculty at small universities, must achieve an equitable voice in decisions affecting those facilities which support their education and research. In exchange, they must assume a larger role in the facilities' operation, management and funding. Preliminary discussions at the 1996 Lowell workshop and the 1997 Toronto AAS meeting indicated that there is broad interest in not only preserving but increasing the science done by small observatories. Drawing upon the experiences of several existing organizations, here we discuss the merits of: (1) forming small consortia to pool the necessary resources to acquire and operate facilities; (2) creating informal networks of consortia and/or individual institutions; (3) establishing modest travel support programs for students and isolated faculty to facilitate their participation in existing internship programs and projects; and (4) creating avenues by which disadvantaged astronomers can make their needs and capabilties known to prospective collaborators and policy- making bodies.

  15. Japanese Virtual Observatory (JVO) Prototype 2

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tanaka, M.; Shirasaki, Y.; Honda, S.; Mizumoto, Y.; Ohishi, M.; Yasuda, N.; Masunaga, Y.; Ishihara, Y.; Abe, K.; Tsutsumi, J.; Nakamoto, H.; Kobayashi, Y.; Yoshida, T.; Morita, Y.

    2005-12-01

    We describe the architecture of the Japanese Virtual Observatory (JVO) prototype system version 2. JVO aims at seamless access to astronomical data archives stored in distributed data servers as well as data analysis environment. For this purpose, it is important to establish a framework for access to remote servers, including remote procedure calls (RPCs) and data transfer. A data request for distributed database is described in the JVO Query Language. The JVO system parses the query language and decomposes it into individual remote procedures, such as the retrieval of catalog images and spectra, cross matching, and workflow generation. Based on this workflow, remote procedures are called. For RPCs of JVO prototype system 1, we employed Globus toolkit 2 (GT2). However, latency time of GT2 RPCs was too long for successive short-time jobs. Therefore, we employed Globus toolkit 3 (GT3) for JVO prototype system 2. As a result, we find that Grid Service in GT3 improves performance of RPC. In addition to Grid Service, Reliable File Transfer (RFT) is used for efficient data transfer. Astronomical data stored in distributed servers are discovered through a registry server which provides metadata discussed in the IVOA registry working group and is built using a XML database.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. A double beam astronomical photometer.

    PubMed

    McCord, T B

    1968-03-01

    A double beam photoelectric filter photometer has been designed and constructed to make simultaneous measurements of two astronomical objects. Both objects are imaged in the same focal plane so that the same aperture-filter-detector system is used for both beams. The device greatly reduces errors due to variable atmospheric extinction. Photometric measurements can be made under conditions normally suitable only for spectroscopic work. Measurement precision is also increased, and accuracies of a few tenths of one percent are routine under thin cloud conditions. A description of the instrument and its operation is given in this paper.

  19. 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.

  20. The Travelogue of an Astronomer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hameed, S.

    2005-03-01

    Roughly 3 million years back, a series of volcanic eruptions raised a huge mass of land to a height of over 3000 meters. The primary volcano lost its fight to gravity and eventually collapsed 500,000 years ago to form a huge caldera. Today this is the most dominant feature on the island of La Palma in the Spanish Canary Islands, located in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Morocco. The rim of the caldera is now populated with instruments designed to answer some of humanity's most profound questions about our place in the universe. Three million years of landscaping has provided astronomers an ideal place to gaze at the heavens.

  21. Formation flight astronomical survey telescope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tsunemi, Hiroshi

    2012-03-01

    Formation Flight Astronomical Survey Telescope (FFAST) is a project for hard X-ray observation. It consists of two small satellites; one (telescope satellite) has a super mirror covering the energy range up to 80 keV while the other (detector satellite) has an scintillator deposited CCD (SDCCD) having good spatial resolution and high efficiency up to 100 keV. Two satellites will be put into individual Kepler orbits forming an X-ray telescope with a focal length of 20 m. They will be not in pointing mode but in survey mode to cover a large sky region.

  22. 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.

  1. 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…

  2. 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.

  3. 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....

  4. 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…

  5. 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

  6. Goals and strategies in the global control design of the OAJ Robotic Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rueda-Teruel, S.; Yanes-Díaz, A.; Antón, J. L.; Rueda-Teruel, F.; Moles, M.; Cenarro, A. J.; Marín-Franch, A.; Ederoclite, A.; Gruel, N.; Varela, J.; Cristobal-Hornillos, D.; Chueca, S.; Díaz-Martín, M. C.; Guillén, L.; Luis-Simoes, R.; Maícas, N.; Lamadrid, J. L.; López-Sainz, A. L.; Hernández-Fuertes, J.; Valdivielso, L.; Mendes de Oliveira, C.; Penteado, P.; Schoenell, W.; Kanaan, A.

    2013-05-01

    The Observatorio Astrofísico de Javalambre (OAJ), is a new astronomical facility located in the Sierra de Javalambre (Teruel,Spain). The observatory will host two telescopes, an 83cm telescope with one 9.2k x 9.2k CCD and a 2.55 telescope with 14 CCDs 10.5K x 10.5K The OAJ control system has been designed from a global point of view including astronomical subsystems as well as infrastructures and other facilities. We strongly believe that the best approach for a success design of a new observatory is to consider it as whole and to focus on overall efficiency basically integrated by several systems. The relationship between systems has to be optimized in order to facilitate coordination and best performance of observatory functionality as a whole.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. In Brief: Chandra Observatory marks 10 years in space

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Showstack, Randy

    2009-08-01

    NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory, originally envisioned as a 5-year mission, was deployed into an elliptical orbit around Earth 10 years ago, on 23 July 1999. The most powerful X-ray telescope yet, Chandra has provided a peak into the high-energy universe and has independently confirmed the existence of dark energy. Martin Weisskopf, Chandra project scientist at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala., said discoveries made possible by the observatory “have made dramatic changes to our understanding of the universe and its constituents.” “The Great Observatories program—of which Chandra is a major part—shows how astronomers need as many tools as possible to tackle the big questions out there,” said Ed Weiler, associate administrator of NASA's Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington. The Hubble Space Telescope, Compton Gamma Ray Observatory, and Spitzer Space Telescope are NASA's other Great Observatories. For more information, visit http://chandra.harvard.edu/ten/ and http://chandra.nasa.gov.

  10. 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).

  11. 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

  12. Desktop Tools for the Virtual Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fitzpatrick, Michael J.; Tody, D.

    2013-01-01

    VOClient is a package providing both ready to use tools and programming interfaces for accessing remote data and services via the Virtual Observatory (VO). VOClient is being developed by the US Virtual Astronomical Observatory (VAO). The initial release provides some two dozen applications to find data services in the VO, query and access remote data, and interoperate with other VO tools. These tools provide high-level functionality that can be called from a number of environments to integrate VO capabilities into local software systems, to quickly harvest VO data for many objects from a large numbers of remote data services, or to integrate existing desktop data and VO data from other wavelengths. Interoperability tools allow collaborators to share data between institutions transparently or to create new workflows to process data. A companion paper (Tody et. al.) describes the programmatic interfaces which provide capabilties for user application development, initially emphasizing Python scripting. We would be happy to demonstrate these tools or discuss how they might be used in your project at the VAO Demo Booth.

  13. Hubble repair and more wins astronomers' acclaim.

    PubMed

    Travis, J

    1994-01-28

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

  14. Topics in Machine Learning for Astronomers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cisewski, Jessi

    2016-01-01

    As astronomical datasets continue to increase in size and complexity, innovative statistical and machine learning tools are required to address the scientific questions of interest in a computationally efficient manner. I will introduce some tools that astronomers can employ for such problems with a focus on clustering and classification techniques. I will introduce standard methods, but also get into more recent developments that may be of use to the astronomical community.

  15. Astronomical Methods in Aerial Navigation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Beij, K Hilding

    1925-01-01

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

  16. Astronomers in the Chemist's War

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trimble, Virginia L.

    2012-01-01

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

  17. The League of Astronomers: Outreach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-01-01

    The University of Washington League of Astronomers (LOA) is an organization comprised of University of Washington (UW) undergraduate students. Our main goal is to share our interest in astronomy with the UW community and with the general public. The LOA hosts star parties on the UW campus and collaborates with the Seattle Astronomical Society (SAS) on larger Seattle-area star parties. At the star parties, we strive to teach our local community about what they can view in our night sky. LOA members share knowledge of how to locate constellations and use a star wheel. The relationship the LOA has with members of SAS increases both the number of events and people we are able to reach. Since the cloudy skies of the Northwest prevent winter star parties, we therefore focus our outreach on the UW Mobile Planetarium, an inflatable dome system utilizing Microsoft’s WorldWide Telescope (WWT) software. The mobile planetarium brings astronomy into the classrooms of schools unable to travel to the UW on-campus planetarium. Members of the LOA volunteer their time towards this project and we make up the majority of the Mobile Planetarium volunteers. Our outreach efforts allow us to connect with the community and enhance our own knowledge of astronomy.

  18. LGBT Workplace Issues for Astronomers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  19. ACE Observatory Control System - 16 years of remote intercontinental observing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mack, Peter

    2011-03-01

    The ACE Observatory Control System has been used for remote control since 1995. The system was designed for use at isolated observatories with no-one present on the mountain-top. The software provides complete diagnostic feedback to the astronomer and is supplemented by live audio-visual. Accessories include environmental sensors (weather station, all-sky camera, constellation cameras), automated mirror covers and remote power control. This gives the astronomer the same experience as being present at the observatory. The system is installed on 30 telescopes and many of them are used for routine nightly intercontinental observations, such as Taejeon (S. Korea) to Mt. Lemmon (Arizona) and southeast USA to KPNO and CTIO. The system has fully integrated autoguider acquisition and science camera control. We describe the building blocks of the system and the accessories including automated mirror covers, weather station, all sky camera, remote power control and dome control. Future plans are presented for a fully autonomous platform-independent scheduler and robot for use on multiple telescopes.

  20. Political Repression Against Soviet Astronomers in the 1930s

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eremmeva, A. I.

    1993-12-01

    The Soviet government's repression of the Russian intelligentsia in the late 1930s had a devastating effect on astronomy. This period was marked by the strengthening of a rigid ideology in society and a growing atmosphere of suspicion, fear, and spy mania. Under these conditions the international nature of astronomy--in particular the need for foreign contacts--became the excuse for accusations of "wrecking" against astronomers. The fate of individual astronomers and institutions depended greatly, however, on local circumstances. For example, the general political repression of the 1930s began in Leningrad at a time when Pulkovo Observatory director B. P. Gerasimovich was engaged in a sharp conflict with a small group of junior staff led by V. A. Ambartsumian. In addition, the very first arrest of a Leningrad astronomer--namely the arrest of B. V. Numerov--appears to have initiated a cascading series of arrests that spread like an avalanche through the close-knit com- munity of Leningrad astronomers. These two factors led to the devastating ruin of Pulkovo. Completely different circumstances saved GAISh. This was a com- paratively young institute whose junior staff had spent its formative years at GAISh rather than joining the staff from out- side (as had been the case at Pulkovo). Thus the GAISh staff had a greater degree of homogeneity and solidarity, and this, in turn, may explain why the ideological department at GAISh (the "partburo") conducted itself in a manner that differed sharply from that of the "partburo" at Pulkovo. Thanks to these circum- stances not even one arrest occurred at GAISh. The directors of Pulkovo and GAISh came from very similar back- grounds, but the different conditions at Pulkovo and GAISh led to dramatic differences in their fates: execution for B. P. Gerasimovich in 1937 and "only" the persecution of GAISh director V. G. Fesenkov. The persecution of V. G. Fesenkov included his dismissal from the post of chairman of the Astronomical

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2010-05-01

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

  2. Progresos recientes en Astronomía de Rayos Gamma

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Romero, G. E.

    Tras la exitosa misión del Compton Gamma-Ray Observatory durante los años 1990, la astronomía de rayos gamma ha entrado en una etapa de madurez, convirtiéndose en una de las principales herramientas para el estudio de procesos relativistas en el universo. En este reporte, presentaré una revisión de los principales tópicos abordados a través de estudios con rayos gamma en los últimos años, con particular énfasis en los intentos más recientes por establecer la naturaleza de las fuentes de rayos gamma no identificadas, detectadas por el instrumento EGRET.

  3. Wide-Field Astronomical Surveys in the Next Decade

    SciTech Connect

    Strauss, Michael A.; Tyson, J.Anthony; Anderson, Scott F.; Axelrod, T.S.; Becker, Andrew C.; Bickerton, Steven J.; Blanton, Michael R.; Burke, David L.; Condon, J.J.; Connolly, A.J.; Cooray, Asantha R.; Covey, Kevin R.; Csabai, Istvan; Ferguson, Henry C.; Ivezic, Zeljko; Kantor, Jeffrey; Kent, Stephen M.; Knapp, G.R.; Myers, Steven T.; Neilsen, Eric H., Jr.; Nichol, Robert C.; /Portsmouth U., ICG /Harish-Chandra Res. Inst. /Caltech, IPAC /Potsdam, Max Planck Inst. /Harvard U. /Hawaii U. /UC, Berkeley, Astron. Dept. /Baltimore, Space Telescope Sci. /NOAO, Tucson /Carnegie Mellon U. /Chicago U., Astron. Astrophys. Ctr.

    2011-11-14

    Wide-angle surveys have been an engine for new discoveries throughout the modern history of astronomy, and have been among the most highly cited and scientifically productive observing facilities in recent years. This trend is likely to continue over the next decade, as many of the most important questions in astrophysics are best tackled with massive surveys, often in synergy with each other and in tandem with the more traditional observatories. We argue that these surveys are most productive and have the greatest impact when the data from the surveys are made public in a timely manner. The rise of the 'survey astronomer' is a substantial change in the demographics of our field; one of the most important challenges of the next decade is to find ways to recognize the intellectual contributions of those who work on the infrastructure of surveys (hardware, software, survey planning and operations, and databases/data distribution), and to make career paths to allow them to thrive.

  4. Wide-Field Astronomical Surveys in the Next Decade

    SciTech Connect

    Strauss, Michael A.; Tyson, J.Anthony; Anderson, Scott F.; Axelrod, T.S.; Becker, Andrew C.; Bickerton, Steven J.; Blanton, Michael R.; Burke, David L.; Condon, J.J.; Connolly, A.J.

    2009-03-01

    Wide-angle surveys have been an engine for new discoveries throughout the modern history of astronomy, and have been among the most highly cited and scientifically productive observing facilities in recent years. This trend is likely to continue over the next decade, as many of the most important questions in astrophysics are best tackled with massive surveys, often in synergy with each other and in tandem with the more traditional observatories. We argue that these surveys are most productive and have the greatest impact when the data from the surveys are made public in a timely manner. The rise of the 'survey astronomer' is a substantial change in the demographics of our field; one of the most important challenges of the next decade is to find ways to recognize the intellectual contributions of those who work on the infrastructure of surveys (hardware, software, survey planning and operations, and databases/data distribution), and to make career paths to allow them to thrive.

  5. A VO-Driven Astronomical Data Grid in China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cui, C.; He, B.; Yang, Y.; Zhao, Y.

    2010-12-01

    With the implementation of many ambitious observation projects, including LAMOST, FAST, and Antarctic observatory at Doom A, observational astronomy in China is stepping into a brand new era with emerging data avalanche. In the era of e-Science, both these cutting-edge projects and traditional astronomy research need much more powerful data management, sharing and interoperability. Based on data-grid concept, taking advantages of the IVOA interoperability technologies, China-VO is developing a VO-driven astronomical data grid environment to enable multi-wavelength science and large database science. In the paper, latest progress and data flow of the LAMOST, architecture of the data grid, and its supports to the VO are discussed.

  6. Infrared Astronomical Satellite /IRAS/ Scientific Data Analysis System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Duxbury, J. H.; Soifer, B. T.

    1980-01-01

    The Infrared Astronomical Satellite (IRAS), to be launched in 1982, is discussed. It will systematically survey the entire sky over a large percentage of the infrared spectrum, in the wavelength region of 8 to 120 microns, at sensitivities a hundred times greater than previously achieved from high-altitude observatories, aircraft, balloons or sounding rockets. The Scientific Data Analysis System (SDAS), an off-line data processing facility, is examined. Its primary function is to produce a catalog of inertially fixed infrared-emitting point sources (mainly stars and galaxies) observed during the IRAS survey. Details for source detection and confirmation are given. It is estimated that the catalog will contain approximately a million objects having a brightness of 10 amtowatts per square centimeter or greater; 125,000 SDAS detections, if spurious events of signal-to-noise ratios greater than 2.5 are included, will be made every day.

  7. Ashra NTA: Towards Survey of Astronomical ντ Sources

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aita, Y.; Aoki, T.; Asaoka, Y.; Motz, H. M.; Sasaki, M.; Abiko, C.; Kanokohata, C.; Ogawa, S.; Shibuya, H.; Takada, T.; Kimura, T.; Learned, J. G.; Matsuno, S.; Kuze, S.; Chang, P.; Hou, G. W.-S.; Hsiung, Y. B.; Shu, J.-G.; Ueno, K.; Wang, M.; Binder, P. M.; Goldman, J.; Sugiyama, N.; Watanabe, Y.; Hsu, C.-C.

    The Earth-skimming ντ method allows for huge target mass and detection volume simultaneously. The planned Ashra NTA observatory has three site stations watching the air mass surrounded by Mauna Loa, Mauna Kea, and Hualalai on Hawaii Island, plus a site station at the center watching the night sky. Sensitivities equivalent to >100 km3 water and pointing accuracy of <0.2° can be achieved with Cherenkov-fluorescence stereoscopic observation for PeV-EeV neutrinos that is almost background-free. With design based on experience from Ashra-1 and the goal of clear discovery and identification of astronomical ντ sources, a new international collaboration is being formed.

  8. Ashra NTA: Towards Survey of Astronomical vT Sources

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hou, George W. S.

    2014-06-01

    By separating ντ → τ conversion from τ-shower generation, the Earth-skimming ντ method allows for huge target mass and detection volume simultaneously. An attempt by NuTel a decade ago was limited by acceptance and did not reach observation stage, but Ashra-1 succeeded in demonstrating feasibility. The planned Ashra NTA observatory will have three site stations watching the air mass surrounded by Mauna Loa, Mauna Kea, and Hualalai on Hawaii Island, plus a site station at the center watching the night sky. Sensitivities equivalent to > 100 km3 water and pointing accuracy of < 0.2° can be achieved with Cherenkov-fluorescence stereoscopic observation for PeV-EeV neutrinos that is almost background-free. With design based on Ashra-1 experience, and the goal of clear discovery and identification of astronomical ντ sources, a new international collaboration is beginning to form.

  9. The Associate Principal Astronomer for AI Management of Automatic Telescopes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Henry, Gregory W.

    1998-01-01

    This research program in scheduling and management of automatic telescopes had the following objectives: 1. To field test the 1993 Automatic Telescope Instruction Set (ATIS93) programming language, which was specifically developed to allow real-time control of an automatic telescope via an artificial intelligence scheduler running on a remote computer. 2. To develop and test the procedures for two-way communication between a telescope controller and remote scheduler via the Internet. 3. To test various concepts in Al scheduling being developed at NASA Ames Research Center on an automatic telescope operated by Tennessee State University at the Fairborn Observatory site in southern Arizona. and 4. To develop a prototype software package, dubbed the Associate Principal Astronomer, for the efficient scheduling and management of automatic telescopes.

  10. Ares V and Future Very Large Launch Vehicles to Enable Major Astronomical Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thronson, Harley; Langhoff, Stephanie; Stahl, H. Philip; Lester, Daniel

    2008-01-01

    The current NASA architecture planned to return humans to the lunar surface includes the Ares V heavy lift launch vehicle designed primarily to carry the Altair lunar lander and to be available before about 2020. However. the capabilities of this system (and its variants) are such that adapting the vehicle to launch very large optical systems could achieve major scientific goals that are not otherwise possible. For example, an 8-m monolith UV/visual/IR telescope appears able to be launched to the Sun-Earth L2 location by an Ares V with a 10-m fairing. Even larger apertures that are deployed or assembled in space seem possible, which may take advantage of other elements of NASA's future human spaceflight architecture. Alternatively. multiple elements of a spatial array or two or three astronomical observatories might he launched simultaneously. That is, Ares V appears to offer the astronomy communities an opportunity to put into orbit extremely capable observatories, in addition to being a key element of NASA's current architecture for human spaceflight. For the past year, a number of scientists and engineers have been eva1uating concepts for astronomical observatories that take advantage of future large launch vehicles, including the science goals of such missions and design modifications to the vehicle to enable the observatories. In parallel, members of the Solar System science communities have likewise been considering what major science goals can be achieved if new, extremely capable launch systems become available.

  11. Storing Astronomical Information on the Romanian Territory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stavinschi, Magda; Mioc, Vasile

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

  12. Storing Astronomical Information on the Romanian Territory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stavinschi, M.; Mioc, V.

    2004-12-01

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

  13. Amateur Astronomers: Secret Agents of EPO

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Berendsen, M.; White, V.; Devore, E.; Reynolds, M.

    2008-06-01

    Amateur astronomers prime the public to be more interested, receptive, and excited about space science, missions, and programs. Through recent research and targeted programs, amateur astronomy outreach is being increasingly recognized by professional astronomers, educators, and other amateurs as a valued and important service. The Night Sky Network program, administered by the ASP, is the first nationwide research-based program specifically targeted to support outreach by amateur astronomers. This Network of trained and informed amateur astronomers can provide a stimulating introduction to your EPO programs as Network members share the night sky with families, students, and youth groups.

  14. Amateur Astronomers As Public Outreach Partners

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bennett, M. A.

    2006-08-01

    Amateur astronomers involved in public outreach represent a huge, largely untapped source of energy and enthusiasm to help astronomers reach the general public. Even though many astronomy educators already work with amateur astronomers, the potential educational impact of amateur astronomers as public outreach ambassadors remains largely unrealized. Surveys and other work by the ASP in the US show that more than 20% of astronomy club members routinely participate in public engagement and educational events, such as public star parties, classroom visits, work with youth and community groups, etc. Amateur astronomers who participate in public outreach events are knowledgeable about astronomy and passionate about sharing their hobby with other people. They are very willing to work with astronomers and astronomy educators. They want useful materials, support, and training. In the USA, the ASP operates "The Night Sky Network," (funded by NASA). We have developed specialized materials and training, tested by and used by amateur astronomers. This project works with nearly 200 local astronomy clubs in 50 states to help them conduct more effective public outreach events. It has resulted in nearly 3,600 outreach events (reaching nearly 300,000 people) in just two years. In this presentation we examine key success factors, lessons learned, and suggest how astronomers outside the US can recruit and work with "outreach amateur astronomers" in their own countries.

  15. 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

  16. High Energy Astronomy Observatory program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wojtalik, F. S.

    1979-01-01

    The series of three orbiting high energy astronomy observatories that comprise the HEAO program are described. Several unique designs as well as the attitude control and determination system, used for observatory scan rotation of the first and third missions and for precision pointing on the second mission, are analyzed. Attention is given to observatory requirements, design characteristics, and the RGA performance summary.

  17. NASA's Great Observatories: Paper Model.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Washington, DC.

    This educational brief discusses observatory stations built by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for looking at the universe. This activity for grades 5-12 has students build paper models of the observatories and study their history, features, and functions. Templates for the observatories are included. (MVL)

  18. Archaeo-astronomical characteristics of the Kokino archaeological site

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cenev, Gjore

    In the North-East part of Macedonia, near to the peak Tatikjev Kamen, an archaeological site with vast quantity of artifacts, dated in the Bronze Age, was discovered in 2001. For the first time in Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), comprehensive archaeo-astronomical analysis of this site, providing extraordinary important results, was performed in 2002. The site contains a lot of materials typical for a megalithic observatory, 3800 years old. Three stone markers, pointing out the places of the sunrise on the days of the summer and winter solstice, as well as the vernal and autumn equinoxes, were found there. Four stone markers, indicating the places of the full Moon rise above the horizon, are recognized too. They are used in the days when the Moon has maximum or minimum declination - two of them in the summer and two of them - in the winter. There are also two other stone markers used for measuring the length of the lunar month in winter - when it has 29 days, and in summer - when it has 30 days. These markers give clear evidences that the ancient Balkan inhabitants used the observatory not only to monitor the movement of the Moon, but also to develop the lunar calendar with 19-year cycle. The archaeo-astronomical analysis presents also an evidence for the existence of one very characteristic stone marker, used for pointing out the sunrise position in a very important ritual day. This is the day when special ceremonies related to the end of the harvest, as well as to the ritual unification of the community leader with the God Sun, were performed. (Colour versions of the illustrations are presented as Appendix on the site of the journal.)

  19. New optical telescope projects at Devasthal Observatory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sagar, Ram; Kumar, Brijesh; Omar, Amitesh; Pandey, A. K.

    2012-09-01

    Devasthal, located in the Kumaun region of Himalayas is emerging as one of the best optical astronomy site in the continent. The minimum recorded ground level atmospheric seeing at the site is 0.006 with median value at 1.001. Currently, a 1.3-m fast (f/4) wide field-of-view (660) optical telescope is operating at the site. In near future, a 4-m liquid mirror telescope in collaboration with Belgium and Canada, and a 3.6-m optical telescope in collaboration with Belgium are expected to be installed in 2013. The telescopes will be operated by Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences. The first instruments on the 3.6-m telescope will be in-house designed and assembled faint object spectrograph and camera. The second generation instruments will be including a large field-of-view optical imager, high resolution optical spectrograph, integral field unit and an optical near-infrared spectrograph. The 1.3-m telescope is primarily used for wide field photometry imaging while the liquid mirror telescope will see a time bound operation to image half a degree wide strip in the galactic plane. There will be an aluminizing plant at the site to coat mirrors of sizes up to 3.7 m. The Devasthal Observatory and its geographical importance in between major astronomical observatories makes it important for time critical observations requiring continuous monitoring of variable and transient objects from ground based observatories. The site characteristics, its expansions plans and first results from the existing telescope are presented.

  20. The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wolf, J.

    2004-05-01

    The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, SOFIA, will carry a 3-meter-class telescope onboard a Boeing 747SP aircraft to altitudes of 41,000 to 45,000 ft, above most of the atmosphere's IR-absorbing water vapor. The telescope was developed and built in Germany and has been delivered to the U.S. in September 2002. The integration into the B747SP has been com- pleted and functional tests are under way in Waco, Texas. In early 2005 flight-testing of the observatory will initially be dedi-cated to the re-certification of the modified aircraft, then performance tests of the telescope and the electronics and data systems will commence. Later in 2005 after transferring to its home base, NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California, SOFIA will start astrophysical observations. A suite of specialized infrared cameras and spectrometers covering wave-lengths between 1 and 600 ?m is being developed by U.S. and German science institutions. In addition to the infrared instruments, a high-speed visible range CCD camera will use the airborne observatory to chase the shadows of celestial bodies during occultations. Once SOFIA will be in routine operations with a planned observing schedule of up to 960 hours at altitude per year, it might also be available as a platform to serendipitous observations not using the main telescope, such as recordings of meteor streams or the search for extra-solar planets transiting their central stars. These are areas of research in which amateur astronomers with relatively small telescopes and state-of-the-art imaging equipment can contribute.