Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Spanish Researchers set up the first free access robotized astronomical observatory

19.02.2008
On February 15th last, the Montegancedo robotized astronomical observatory was presented at Cosmocaixa in Alcobendas (Madrid).

The Montegancedo observatory is Spain’s first robotized astronomical observatory that is open to the public free of charge. The observatory was conceived and developed by a team of researchers at the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid’s School of Computing (FIUPM) led by professor Francisco Manuel Sánchez Moreno.

The Cosmocaixa demonstration included a collective Internet observation of the Madrid’s night sky via the UPM’s Robotized Astronomical Observatory. This observatory is part of Astrocam, Madrid Regional Government’s Astrophysics Network, partnered by other research institutions and universities (CSIC, UCM, UAM, ESAC, UPM and UEM), as well as a number of companies.

Also, the observatory is to transmit the eclipse of the moon that is due to take place on the night of February 20th to 21st live. Both the eclipse and the Cosmocaixa presentation will be broadcast live via Astrocam.

10” Telescope

The observatory is installed inside a dome on the roof of Building 6 at the FIUPM’s Montegancedo Campus in Boadilla del Monte. The dome is fitted with a 10” robotized and computer-automated telescope, plus several computers operating as web applications servers to connect and broadcast the images and videos captured by the webcams arranged around the dome. They all run on GNU/Linux operating systems. These machines also serve the purpose of desktop computers, equipped with the respective development, web navigation and star map viewer applications. Additionally, they can store and manage photo albums.

The facilities are also fitted with four webcams, one coupled to the telescope and another to the browser. They have both been modified to take long-exposure photos. The other two give a partial view of the observatory.

The facilities are complete with a weather station. This station supplies real-time data on the weather, which is vital for proper observatory use.

Astro Cyclops

The FIUPM’s robotized astronomical observatory is remote controlled by software called Astro Cyclops. This software includes a number of tools for running astronomical experiments, building astronomical scenarios and remote controlling tools, such as telescopes, cameras and domes. This software is at the final stages of development and will be available in the second half of 2008.

The key objective of the robotized observatory is to be able to control every last detail of an astronomical project. It aims to automate all the tasks and make them accessible and controllable over the Internet.

This application will be a means for shared astronomical learning and discovery and, generally, for educating in astronomy. The observatory aspires to become a centre of astronomical learning and education within the Madrid Region, as well as turning out new astronomers within society thanks to the potential of this technology. All internauts have free access to the observatory.

Applications

The potential applications of this virtual observatory range from collaboration between amateur astronomers, supervised by professionals, to guided tours around different regions of the universe, the development of virtual classes or the monitoring of once in a lifetime astronomical events. Additionally, this observatory will be able to measure users’ knowledge levels and also examine the social networks participating in the experience.

The observatory is based on a collaborative working methodology, specific to the new Internet level known as Web 2.0, like the wikipedia, where it is the user or client who takes centre stage and inputs the web content. Astro Cyclops is different in that, apart from enabling content input, it provides users with a platform for real experimentation.

The observatory’s control interface is accessible from home using just a browser (no software needs to be installed) and targets different user types. Each user’s participation is regulated by a reputation system based on what is known as Karma. This way, more active users get to use the telescope longer.

Eduardo Martínez | alfa
Further information:
http://www.astrocam.es/
http://sourceforge.net/projects/castro/
http://www.fi.upm.es/?pagina=609&idioma=english

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Studying fundamental particles in materials
17.01.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Struktur und Dynamik der Materie

nachricht Seeing the quantum future... literally
16.01.2017 | University of Sydney

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

Im Focus: How to inflate a hardened concrete shell with a weight of 80 t

At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).

Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...

Im Focus: Bacterial Pac Man molecule snaps at sugar

Many pathogens use certain sugar compounds from their host to help conceal themselves against the immune system. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now, in cooperation with researchers at the University of York in the United Kingdom, analyzed the dynamics of a bacterial molecule that is involved in this process. They demonstrate that the protein grabs onto the sugar molecule with a Pac Man-like chewing motion and holds it until it can be used. Their results could help design therapeutics that could make the protein poorer at grabbing and holding and hence compromise the pathogen in the host. The study has now been published in “Biophysical Journal”.

The cells of the mouth, nose and intestinal mucosa produce large quantities of a chemical called sialic acid. Many bacteria possess a special transport system...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

Nothing will happen without batteries making it happen!

05.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Water - as the underlying driver of the Earth’s carbon cycle

17.01.2017 | Earth Sciences

Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

17.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Smart homes will “LISTEN” to your voice

17.01.2017 | Architecture and Construction

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>