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 Meteoritic stardust unlocks timing of supernova dust formation
19.01.2018 | Carnegie Institution for Science

nachricht Artificial agent designs quantum experiments
19.01.2018 | Universität Innsbruck

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: Artificial agent designs quantum experiments

On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.

We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

Im Focus: Room-temperature multiferroic thin films and their properties

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.

Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Let the good tubes roll

19.01.2018 | Materials Sciences

How cancer metastasis happens: Researchers reveal a key mechanism

19.01.2018 | Health and Medicine

Meteoritic stardust unlocks timing of supernova dust formation

19.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>