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 Engineering team images tiny quasicrystals as they form
18.08.2017 | Cornell University

nachricht Astrophysicists explain the mysterious behavior of cosmic rays
18.08.2017 | Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology

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: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

On the way to developing a new active ingredient against chronic infections

21.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Smart Computers

21.08.2017 | Information Technology

A Map of the Cell’s Power Station

18.08.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>